tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ecommerce Latest Ecommerce content from Econsultancy 2016-08-31T10:12:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68216 2016-08-31T10:12:00+01:00 2016-08-31T10:12:00+01:00 Six iconic retailers and their digital transformation journeys Ben Davis <h3>1. Macy's</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8424/macys.png" alt="macy's" width="438" height="115"></p> <p>We have to start with Macy's, a retailer that is closing 100 of its 728 stores by early 2017, and in August announced a 5.7% decrease in year-to-date sales.</p> <p><a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;cat=news&amp;id=2194923">The press release</a> that says as such is probably the best document for describing the state of retail in 2016, and the impact of ecommerce. Here are the key points to note:</p> <h4><strong>Destination retail</strong></h4> <p>"Macy’s will operate fewer stores and concentrate its financial resources and talent on our better-performing locations to elevate their status as preferred shopping destinations.</p> <p>"Stores will remain critical customer touchpoints for Macy’s, along with online shopping and mobile apps, as omnichannel retailing continues to evolve."</p> <p>Not all stores are created equal. Look at the two examples below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8376/macy_s.jpg" alt="macy's" width="206" height="274">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8377/macys.jpeg" alt="macy's" width="275" height="183"></p> <p>The second store pictured is part of a mall, which aren't as popular as they once were, with new fast-fashion competitors from overseas prioritising high-street, flagship style stores.</p> <p>Macy's recognises that with online shopping maturing, customers need more reasons to visit a physical store. Boring real estate won't cut it.</p> <p>This is part of a change across retail, where stores must offer a rich experience to compete.</p> <h4><strong>Experiential retail</strong></h4> <p>That rich experience I mention is flagged up prominently in the Macy's store-closure press release:</p> <p>"...increasing the size and quality of staffing through programs such as My Stylist personal shopping services, infusing new technology, accentuating high-potential businesses such as fine jewelry, and creating new in-store events and experiences."</p> <p>There you go, more reasons to visit. Without them, customers will simply shop online more often.</p> <h4><strong>Investing in web, app and click-and-collect</strong></h4> <p>The Macy's website and mobile website (m.macys) are perfectly okay. I had a whizz through both and found no difficulty in finding an item and adding it to basket, then checking out.</p> <p>However, neither is up to the standard of some of Macy's competitors.</p> <p>For example, there could be much more product imagery (and video), a mobile menu that's easier to use and everything could be quicker and with a cleaner design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8386/IMG_3105.PNG" alt="macy's mobile" width="300"></p> <p>Macy's addresses this in its strategy for 2016/2017:</p> <p>"To foster continuation of [double digit] growth [online], the company is investing in capacity-building on its sites and apps, improvement in natural language search, faster page loading and simpler procedures for placing and fulfilling orders.</p> <p>"Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s successful Buy Online Pickup in Store offering, introduced in 2013, is being refined to improve speed and convenience of the customer experience."</p> <h3>2. John Lewis</h3> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8421/john_lewis.png" alt="john lewis" width="318" height="159"></strong></p> <h4><strong>The multichannel sales mix</strong></h4> <p>2015 sales figures are an eloquent summary of the changes happening at John Lewis.</p> <p>Sales at stores were down 0.1% but online sales were up 17.3%. Online now accounts for a third of all sales. Sales via mobile &amp; tablet grew 34% in 2015; smartphone sales in isolation growing by a staggering 86%.</p> <p>Looking at the Christmas trading period, the nature of evolving multichannel retail becomes clear.</p> <p>Footfall was down but online sales grew 21.4% (31% growth in tablet and mobile) and click-and-collect was up 16%, accounting for around half of online orders.</p> <p>Overall this meant Christmas 2015 sales were up 5.1%, despite the aforementioned lack of footfall.</p> <p>Looking at these types of patterns, it's easy to see why retailers like Macy's are closing stores that don't represent attractive shopping destinations.</p> <h4><strong>The impact of TV and social media </strong></h4> <p>Christmas is probably what John Lewis is best known for (at least lately). The fact that Christmas 2015 was a story of online success is testament to the retailer's strategy of big creative and social media.</p> <p>Though <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67161-is-john-lewis-playing-with-fire-with-its-annual-christmas-advert/">some think such spend on creative is risky</a>, the annual John Lewis Christmas ad of course continues to makes a significant impact via TV, but is also phenomenally successful on social media.</p> <p>This combined reach has so far kept John Lewis front of mind when online shoppers are deciding where to go for their click-and-collect purchases at Christmas.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wuz2ILq4UeA?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4><strong>The mobile boom</strong></h4> <p>John Lewis’ online product director, Sienne Veit, <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/07/01/google-facebook-and-john-lewis-on-why-brands-will-lose-if-they-are-not-mobile-first/">told Marketing Week earlier this year</a> of the impact mobile is having on the company’s fashion division in particular.</p> <p>“56% of orders for fashion are now on mobile at the company and mobile is now the first point of interest even if the purchase is made elsewhere,” she revealed.</p> <p>John Lewis has been investing in its mobile web and mobile app experiences for some time and regularly tops polls of mobile-friendly online retailers.</p> <p>Sienne Veit also highlights that app customers are the most loyal, with on average nine visits per user to the IOS app over a 12-week period, compared to 2.1 visits per user on mobile web.</p> <p>Loyalty can, of course, be a mobile UX bête noire - by which I mean, a digital replacement for the loyalty card has proved difficult to master for many, outside of the food and drink sector.</p> <p>John Lewis is playing a waiting game here, too, since adding loyalty functionality to its app in August 2015.</p> <p>Chris Bate, Head of Customer Marketing, <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/04/27/amazons-one-click-shopping-keeps-us-awake-at-night-admits-john-lewis/">told Marketing Week</a> that: "Loyalty is heading [towards digital] but it will take time to become mass market."</p> <blockquote> <p>We are appealing to early adopters and with an active marketing plan we’ll get more people although it will take time to wean some people off the plastic cards.</p> </blockquote> <p>But undoubtedly, advancements in this area are welcome, with in-store purchases tied up to a customer's online account when the mobile loyalty functionality is used.</p> <p>The loyalty scheme (across digital and physical card) had 1.6m members in September 2015, with 1.5m extra purchases made over the scheme's two-year history.</p> <p>This shows that loyalty is an area retailers cannot dismiss.</p> <p><em>A John Lewis loyalty card on mobile</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/8369/jl_loyalty-blog-flyer.png" alt="loyalty app" width="470" height="288"></p> <h4><strong>International expansion</strong></h4> <p>Online international sales increased by 50% in 2015, with interntional traffic up by 15%.</p> <p>John Lewis now delivers to 40 countries through its website, with payment possible in 10 different currencies.</p> <h4><strong>The startup incubator</strong></h4> <p><a href="http://jlab.co.uk/">JLab</a> is John Lewis' own incubator scheme and it has also invested in TrueStart, alongside other retailers.</p> <p>The first graduate of JLab (a digital peephole for doors) wasn't exactly a gamechanger for retail, nevertheless John Lewis is taking the lead in this area of startup/corporate cross-culture and fruit may yet be borne.</p> <h4><strong>Multichannel growing pains</strong></h4> <p>Of course, it's not all good news for John Lewis. There have been relatively high-profile growing pains with its multichannel offering.</p> <p>Both its outsourced customer management (call centres run by Capita) and its smaller-item delivery (by myHermes) have been subject of much criticism.</p> <p>This shows the difficulty when integrating infrastructure, with view of stock and customer history particularly tricky across warehouse/online and store.</p> <h3>3. Walmart</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8423/walmart.png" alt="walmart" width="457" height="110"></p> <p>There have been thousands of articles written about Walmart's attempts to fight back in the face of declining growth.</p> <p>2015 was the first year out of 45 as a public company that Walmart made less money than the year before.</p> <p>The chart below <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-03-31/walmart-s-first-ever-sales-drop-marks-new-era">from Bloomberg</a> shows change in annual revenue (-0.7% in 2015).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8392/Screen_Shot_2016-08-24_at_13.57.20.png" alt="walmart change in revenue" width="615" height="321"></p> <p>As Bloomberg details, this decline in revenue over 2015 can be partly explained by closure of Express stores and declining gas sales (as prices fell).</p> <p>Over the same period, Walmart unveiled new stores (400), remodelled many more and revamped parts of its ecommerce infrastructure. Looking at second quarter sales for 2016, this appears to have had an impact.</p> <p>Revenue is up 0.5% year-on-year, sales at established stores are up and footfall is up.</p> <p>This store remodelling and an increase in minimum wage aimed to improve customer service have done their trick.</p> <h4><strong>So what's the big deal?</strong></h4> <p>Walmart still accounts for a tenth of all US retail sales, but it is the growth of Amazon that is of concern. </p> <p>Amazon saw 20% growth last year, accumulating $107bn in annual online sales. Walmart's online growth in 2015 was 12%, up to $13.7bn.</p> <h4><strong>The Jet purchase - changing online shopping?</strong></h4> <p>Walmart's latest advance on Amazon has been its $3.3bn purchase of Jet.com.</p> <p>It's not dissimilar to Amazon – it sells a wide variety of goods ranging from groceries and household products to tech and toys.</p> <p>In <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68188-walmart-buys-jet-com-in-a-bid-to-keep-up-with-amazon/">a recent article about the acquisition</a> on Econsultancy, Nikki Gilliland details the unique features of Jet.com:</p> <p>"...one of its most distinct features is its real-time pricing algorithm which offers customers lower prices if they add more items to their basket. Likewise, it gives extra discounts if a customer forfeits the right to return an item. </p> <p>"Nicely aligned with Walmart’s position as a low-price, bulk-buy retailer, Jet will also help Walmart streamline its delivery and online logistics. The algorithm identifies vendors closest to the consumer to help minimise shipping costs."</p> <p>Nikki goes on to suggest that these features, once integrated into the Walmart ecommerce experience, may fundamentally change the way shoppers look for bargains online via Walmart. The website would offer a USP in line with the brand.</p> <p>Fewer and larger orders would replace impulse purchases.</p> <p><em>Jet.com</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8040/jet_low_prices.JPG" alt="jet.com" width="615"></p> <h4><strong>Uber delivery tie-up</strong></h4> <p>In June of this year, Walmart announced it would be trialling partnerships with Uber and Lyft in Denver.</p> <p>Walmart customers would pay the standard delivery charge and be able to choose a same-day slot.</p> <p>This is a direct response to the pressure for improved delivery that Amazon is putting on almost every market, even groceries after the launch of Amazon Fresh.</p> <h4><strong>The app experience (including Walmart Pay)</strong></h4> <p>Walmart's ecommerce app also looks to increase customer loyalty and engagement in-store.</p> <p>The app has 22m monthly active users and is one of the most impressive in the market.</p> <p>Neil Ashe, head of ecommerce at Walmart, <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c273fece-9ec1-11e5-8ce1-f6219b685d74.html%20">told the FT</a> that of almost half of online orders in 2015 were in-app, a 100% increase on 2014.</p> <p>The recently-launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67326-six-implications-of-walmart-pay-for-mobile-retail/">Walmart Pay</a> is incorporated into the app, allowing payment in store using a QR system at the till, similar to Starbucks.</p> <p>This foray into mobile payment as well as loyalty is a bold move, with the retailer unwilling to implement Apple Pay or Android Pay, presumably because of uncertainty in the mobile payment space, and the urge to own the entire experience.</p> <p><em>The Walmart app</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9980/walmart_pay.jpeg" alt="walmart app" width="400"></p> <h3>4. Marks &amp; Spencer</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8420/ms.jpeg" alt="m&amp;s" width="308" height="164"></p> <p>Marks &amp; Spencer is the classic British clothing retailer that has wilted under the pressure of fast fashion from the likes of Primark and Topshop.</p> <p>Whilst the company's food business is doing well, clothing sales declined for 14 consecutive quarters before seeing some growth in Q2 of 2015.</p> <p>Recent results in July 2016 have seen an 8.9% fall for the quarter, the biggest drop in 10 years, in the midst of an overall fall in the clothing market in Britain.</p> <p>Digital has been one weapon in M&amp;S's attempts to improve clothing sales. We looked at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65780-marks-and-spencer-s-three-steps-to-digital-transformation/">the retailer's digital transformation efforts</a> back in 2014.</p> <h4><strong>Website replatforming pains</strong></h4> <p>Website sales were up 23.4% in the year to March 2016.</p> <p>M&amp;S had <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65244-where-did-the-marks-spencer-website-relaunch-go-wrong/">well publicised difficulties with its new website</a> in 2014, part of a £150m investment in digital, but the retailer's approach of combining content and commerce online is sound.</p> <p>Marks is in a good place to succeed with its improved infrastructure. Next-day collect-in-store is offered, as is return-to-store, and stock-level indication is given on the website.</p> <p>Attribution of online sales to stores where they are picked up is one notable strategy of a progressive multichannel retailer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/4173/nautical_knit-blog-full.png" alt="m&amp;s website" width="615" height="351"></p> <h4><strong>One agency to rule them all</strong></h4> <p>M&amp;S has awarded Grey London its creative account, meaning Grey is in charge of both advertising and digital strategy at M&amp;S.</p> <p>This is a first for the retailer, and seems promising from a multichannel point of view.</p> <p>Having one agency in charge of TV and OOH adverts, media buying and online marketing is surely a route to more coherent and impactful campaigns, online and off.</p> <h4><strong>A new focus on customer experience</strong></h4> <p>M&amp;S's current strategy is 'putting the customer at the heart'. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67883-marks-spencer-what-does-putting-the-customer-at-the-heart-of-everything-mean/">Expanding on what this actually means</a>, the company details many customer experience improvements that aren't necessarily digital, but all make stores more attractive in the face of increased competition (some of it online).</p> <p>More staff on higher wages will improve customer service, and clearer ranges with better availability will prevent disappointing sellouts of popular items.</p> <p>However, it remains to be seen how fewer sales will be received by the customer.</p> <p>It has helped re-establish margins and increase revenue in the past, but is surely dependant on an improvement in product range.</p> <p>Overall, Marks &amp; Spencer is perhaps the most interesting retailer on this list - its brand is still strong and it has not fallen behind as far as new ecommerce and digital tech is concerned.</p> <p>But it is still seeking a differentiator on product (something that department stores like John Lewis have to worry less about).</p> <h3>5. Walgreens</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8422/walgreens.png" alt="walgreens" width="476" height="106"></p> <p>Walgreens is a pharmacy (as is Boots, part of the same group, which we look at below), so including it in a piece on retail transformation is a bit tricky as this market is very different.</p> <p>However, Walgreens retails, too. Retail sales in 2015 were up 1.9% year-on-year and though the pharmacy market has seen consolidation, it is likely to grow as the population gets older.</p> <p>Walgreens has excelled at innovating the customer experience, often through digital initiatives, and this makes it a useful comparison for the department stores discussed above.</p> <p>To understand the impact that online has had on Walgreens, one need only look at some widely reported stats from 2015, with the company claiming 48% of digital visitors would visit a store as their next action.</p> <p>Those customers interacting with Walgreens online and in store spend 350% more than solely in-store customers.</p> <h4><strong>Adding digital revenue streams</strong></h4> <p>Quick Prints is the perfect example of a retailer adding a revenue stream that is mobile-first and also drives visitors to store.</p> <p>Using the Walgreens app, users can select photos to print from either their camera roll or their social media photo albums.</p> <p>The printed photos can be picked up in an hour, with the app allowing customers to choose their most convenient store.</p> <p>With Walgreens operating c.8,000 stores, this kind of 'buy online/mobile, collect in store' service works well, and the retail pharmacy is attributing mobile sales to individual stores, in a bid to encourage multichannel customer service.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5814/Screen_Shot_2016-06-08_at_10.39.51.png" alt="walgreens app" width="500"></p> <h4><strong>The value of mobile</strong></h4> <p>To build on the aforementioned stat about the value of multichannel customers to Walgreens, those who visit in store, via web and mobile typically spend 600% more than store-only visitors.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67930-12-outstanding-mobile-customer-experiences/">The Walgreens app</a> is a big success store for in-store use, too, accounting for fully 50% of the multifunctional app's usage.</p> <p>Some features include: </p> <ul> <li>Personalised coupons redeemable in app (that 'learn' as you spend). </li> <li>Connecting the rewards programme with your fitness apps, to earn points for a healthy lifestyle.</li> <li>Refill by Scan - a barcode scanner that allows users to scan their medicine and automatically order a refill.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8415/Screen_Shot_2016-08-25_at_08.24.42.png" alt="balance rewards healthy choices" width="615"> </p> <h4>Omnichannel service</h4> <p>Other digital services outside of the mobile channel include email &amp; text reminders to refill or take medicine (shown to produce a 2% increase in adherence), Pharmacy Chat (a webchat facility to ask your local pharmacist a question), and a virtual doctor service that allows video-chat consultations.</p> <p>What all these services show is how well-suited a retail pharmacy is to digital technology. The use cases for digital and mobile are numerous.</p> <p>As adoption of these services increases and Walgreens further refines the customer experience, there is the potential to dramatically change the business.</p> <p>One only need look at the number of active Balance Reward (loyalty card) members, currently 85m, to see the possible future uptake of mobile among the customer base.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8416/Screen_Shot_2016-08-25_at_08.29.18.png" alt="virtual doctor" width="615" height="152"></p> <h3>6. Boots</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8419/boots.png" alt="boots" width="288" height="175"></p> <p>I did think about profiling Burberry, a revered British fashion retailer that is reaping the dividends of linking catwalk to high street using social media.</p> <p>But, I've gone with Boots instead, to provide a UK counterpoint to Walgreens.</p> <p>Boots is a pharmacy founded in 1849 in Nottingham, England. At the end of 2014 it became a subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance, but it still bears further investigation here as a retailer undergoing change.</p> <h4><strong>Preparing for omnichannel</strong></h4> <p>In June 2015, Boots announced 700 jobs would be cut, many at head office. It was reported at the time that some of these roles would be cut by retraining in digital sales.</p> <p>There was also an emphasis on improving order-and-collect services, which now allow customers to order until 8pm and collect the next day after 12pm.</p> <p>Further investment in digital occurred in spring 2016, when BT began overhauling in-store IT infrastructure, preparing the systems for better integration with online technologies.</p> <p>Part of this is improving WiFi across all stores, a key element of improving use of mobile in-store.</p> <p>The past two years have seen Boots move from so-called 'point solutions' (projects designed to fix a problem and be rolled out quickly, but without proper integration) to be in a better position to provide omnichannel retail.</p> <p>This emerging digital strategy has necessitated a change in structure, with centralised digital expertise evolving into a more hub and spoke model.</p> <h4><strong>Digital services that add value </strong></h4> <p>Boots has worked with IBM <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67986-boots-launches-salesassist-app-in-stores-what-are-the-benefits/">to launch SalesAssist</a> in every store across the UK in June this year.</p> <p>The app is designed to improve customer service, letting staff help customers through a slick interface that provides product and stock details, as well as reviews and ingredients.</p> <p>Boots, with its perfume and makeup concessions, wide range of healthcare products and electronics is in a unique position to improve with this type of assisted selling.</p> <p>Customers may want to understand how products work, what the alternatives are, how they compare, and whether they can get them shipped to their home.</p> <p>Rather than simply referring customers to 'the website', Boots staff can make use of this improved functionality to directly drive sales, either online or in-store.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6371/Boots-Logo-top-iPadinStore.png" alt="boots salesassist" width="615"></p> <p>Away from store, Boots offers an online service called Beautiful You, which offers personalised skincare advice.</p> <p>This approach to improving product information by providing content-rich experiences is designed to help loyal customers, in whatever channel they are in (online, in-store, or on mobile via relevant offers).</p> <p>The Boots mobile app, similar to Walgreens, allows for photo print and collect, appointment booking, and online shopping, too.</p> <p>Boots is only halfway along its journey of digital transformation - expect to see more innovation as new tech beds in, with the pharmacy mirroring Walgreens in its pursuit of new revenue, multichannel sales and greater loyalty.</p> <p><em>The Festival of Marketing, October 5-6 in London, includes speakers from Marks &amp; Spencer, Walmart, Boots and John Lewis. <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/welcome?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">Book your tickets now</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68234 2016-08-26T14:41:05+01:00 2016-08-26T14:41:05+01:00 10 splendid digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Before we begin, don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for extra insight.</p> <h3>New series of GBBO generates 42 tweets per second</h3> <p>With the new series of the Great British Bake Off kicking off this week, Blurrt has delved into how the nation reacted on Twitter.</p> <p>With 9,126 mentions, there was an affectionate flurry of tweets for Mary Berry, while Paul Hollywood received 5,545.</p> <p>In total, the show generated 150,379 tweets, with the most influential coming from the likes of Fearne Cotton and Zoella. </p> <h3>The Independent grows audience by nearly 50% since becoming digital-only</h3> <p>Since becoming a digital-only news brand, the Independent has added 6,646,000 readers to its audience, growing its total by 46% year-on-year.</p> <p>Successful coverage of the Rio Olympics has contributed to this surge, with a story about a Syrian refugee competing as an athlete garnering over 160,000 engagements on Facebook.</p> <p>With more paid subscribers of its Daily Edition app as well as readers overall, going digital has proved to be a resounding success for the publication.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8475/iStock_97105255_SMALL.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="499"></p> <h3>Online customer retention rate at record high</h3> <p>During the period of May to July of this year, the active online customer retention rate reached a record high of 36.4%.</p> <p>This is according to data from IMRG and Capgemini, which suggests that online retailers are focusing on retaining existing users rather than attracting new ones. </p> <p>Down 9% on the same period last year, the average selling price per item also reached its lowest rate in over three years.</p> <p>This is thought to be due to heavy discounting as many retailers competed with Amazon Prime Day.</p> <h3>Half of the most shared Olympics ads of all time are from Rio </h3> <p>Data from Unruly has revealed that recent ads by Channel 4, Nike, Under Armour and P&amp;G are included in the list of top ten Olympic ads of all time.</p> <p>With 1.46m shares, Channel 4’s ‘We’re the Superhumans’ comes in at number two in the list, making it the most-successful ad from Rio.</p> <p>Pipping it to the top spot with a total of 2.44m shares, making it the most popular of all time, is P&amp;G’s 2012 ad ‘Best Job’.</p> <p>The below chart tracks how Olympic ads compare with the average global ad – specifically relating to the reasons why people share them.   </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8476/Olympics.png" alt="" width="780" height="469"></p> <h3>Online popularity of VR and AR rises 548% since January 2015</h3> <p>The latest <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/adobe/2016-adobe-digital-insights-gaming-report" target="_blank">Digital Insights report</a> by Adobe has revealed that online mentions for augmented reality and virtual reality devices has grown significantly in the past 18 months, with a 548% uplift on Twitter.</p> <p>The HTC Vive has been the most-talked about device, ahead of the Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus Rift and the hotly-anticipated PlayStation VR.</p> <p>Despite the popularity of VR within gaming, a similar uplift is yet to be seen from marketers.</p> <p>While the space remains less crowded, it appears to be the ideal time to experiment with the technology.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8477/2016-adobe-digital-insights-gaming-report-6-1024.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="438"></p> <h3>Record-high for use of contactless cards</h3> <p>According the UK Cards Association, contactless payment cards were used to make more payments in the first half of this year than in all of 2015.</p> <p>Compared with £7.75bn spent between January and June last year, Brits have spent £9.27bn via 1.1bn contactless transactions in 2016 so far. </p> <p>This means that contactless accounted for 18% of all card spending in June, with this figure being expected to increase.</p> <h3>Consumer interest increases in BMW and Chevrolet thanks to Olympic ads</h3> <p>According to new data from Edmunds, investment in advertising during the Rio Olympics has paid off for car brands BMW and Chevrolet.</p> <p>BMW saw consumer interest rise 12% in the first week of the Games and 7% in the second.</p> <p>Likewise, Chevrolet saw a 6% lift and 2% in the respective weeks. To calculate this data, Edmunds’ team compared traffic in the four weeks’ prior the Olympics. </p> <p>While it's not unusual for major sports events to drive traffic, the Olympics consistently drew consumers back throughout its two-week period.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K9CnqEQWkZI?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Parents go online for back-to-school technology</h3> <p>New research from Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, has revealed how mums are leaning towards online shopping for certain back-to-school categories.</p> <p>While basic school supplies are still bought in brick and mortar stores, 45% of technology devices are said to be bought online.</p> <p>In terms of the type of technology, schools are said to influence decision-making by 29%. This is in comparison to gear (e.g. backpacks and lunchboxes) which is largely chosen by children themselves.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8478/connexity.JPG" alt="" width="736" height="420"></p> <h3>More consumers subscribing to multiple video-on-demand services</h3> <p>Data from Futuresource Consulting has found that there is a high overlap of subscribers between Netflix and Amazon Prime in the UK, US and Germany.</p> <p>Around half of Netflix subscribers in the UK and the US also subscribe to Amazon Prime, with 30% of US respondents saying they use both on a regular basis.</p> <p>The research also shows that Amazon Prime is gaining in popularity, with one-third of UK Amazon account holders having a subscription to Prime.</p> <h3>Worldwide ecommerce sales near $1.9tr</h3> <p>According to a forecast from eMarketer, global ecommerce sales are expected to grow 23.7% to $1.91trn in 2016.</p> <p>This will account for 8.7% of all global retail spending.</p> <p>eMarketer also predicts that ecommerce sales will account for $4trn of the total retail spend in 2020 and to make up 14.6% of retail spending that year.</p> <p>Much of this growth is likely to come from China, where ecommerce sales are expected to reach $899.09bn this year.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68233 2016-08-26T10:57:13+01:00 2016-08-26T10:57:13+01:00 All the digital news stories you missed this week Ben Davis <h3>Google announces changes to mobile search</h3> <p>Google is removing the 'mobile friendly' label from mobile search results in order to declutter the page.</p> <p><a href="https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/08/helping-users-easily-access-content-on.html">The search company said</a> that 85% of pages now comply with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66141-six-thoughts-on-google-s-mobile-friendly-search-announcement/">mobile-friendly criteria</a>, chiefly, no need to zoom in to read text and links far enough apart to be easily tapped.</p> <p>Google also announced that as of January 2017, interstitials that obscure mobile pages will be a factor that negatively impacts ranking.</p> <p>Exceptions include login dialogues, legal messages (e.g. cookies) and smaller banners (e.g. subtly promoting app download). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8469/Screen_Shot_2016-08-26_at_09.56.40.png" alt="google interstitials advice" width="615" height="518"></p> <h3>WhatsApp adverts are coming</h3> <p><a href="https://blog.whatsapp.com/10000627/Looking-ahead-for-WhatsApp">WhatsApp has updated its terms and privacy policy</a>, with two headline announcements.</p> <p>Firstly, WhatsApp will be sharing phone numbers with Facebook, unless users opt out. This will be used to improve friend suggestions and ads on Facebook.</p> <p>Secondly, WhatsApp is to allow businesses to message its users.</p> <p>This is intially intended to be used for informational messages (often sent by SMS), such as notifications about flights, but will eventually include marketing messages.</p> <h3>BuzzFeed restructures </h3> <p>BuzzFeed has split into BuzzFeed News and the newly-created BuzzFeed Entertainment Group (BFEG).</p> <p>Press coverage has made much of the fact that the restructure is intended to enable the prioritisation of video (where BuzzFeed makes money via Facebook ads), without compromising news.</p> <p>Mashable is one publisher that has previously laid off news team staff to make way for more video.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8470/Screen_Shot_2016-08-26_at_10.07.23.png" alt="buzzfeed news" width="615" height="335"></p> <h3>Tesco offers same-day <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66389-what-does-the-ideal-click-and-collect-service-look-like/">click-and-collect</a> groceries</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><a href="http://www.tesco.com/collect/#faq">Tesco is offering the service</a> at 261 stores in the UK, charging £2 Monday to Thursday and £3 for Friday and Saturday.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Customers will be required to place orders before 1pm and collect after 4pm.</p> <h3>Introducing Amazon Vehicles</h3> <p>August 25, Amazon launched Amazon Vehicles, 'a car research destination and automotive community that makes it easy for customers to get the information they need when shopping for vehicles, parts, and accessories'.</p> <p>Customers won't be able to buy cars directly through the service, but it will enable them to:</p> <ul> <li>Research.</li> <li>Read and post reviews, including photos and video.</li> <li>Add information about their current car to receive recommendations.</li> </ul> <p>Amazon already had an automotive category, but this goes one step further. <a href="https://www.amazon.com/b?node=10677469011">Go check it out</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8467/Screen_Shot_2016-08-26_at_09.16.24.png" alt="amazon vehicles" width="615" height="316"></p> <h3>nuTonomy becomes first to offer autonomous taxi rides</h3> <p>In last week's news roundup, we reported that Uber's surprise announcement of an autonomous vehicle trial in Pittsburgh would see it become the world's first.</p> <p>But nuTonomy, founded by two MIT researchers, has jumped ahead in Singapore, having already offered such a service this week.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8471/Screen_Shot_2016-08-26_at_10.15.17.png" alt="nutonomy" width="615" height="319"></p> <h3>WPP has bumper six months, remains cautious</h3> <p>Despite very good global results over the past six months, Martin Sorrell (headlining this year's <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/welcome?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">Festival of Marketing</a>) warned that uncertainty around article 50 and the triggering of Brexit is going to affect the ad business.</p> <p>Headline profits were up 10% to £769m, with global revenue of £6.5bn in the six months to the end of June (partly explained by ad spend over a big sporting summer and the US election).</p> <p>Business slowed in the second quarter in the UK, a wobble that preceded the Brexit vote.</p> <h3>Amazon planning more click-and-collect groceries</h3> <p>Last year it was revealed Amazon was planning to open a click-and-collect warehouse for groceries in Sunnyvale, now <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/05/16/exclusive-amazon-planning-second-drive-up-grocery.html">plans are also afoot</a> in San Carlos.</p> <p>With Amazon Fresh continuing to expand, it seems the company is intent on providing quick, timed fulfillment in any way it can, creating convenience for customers.</p> <h3>Uber launches Scheduled Rides </h3> <p>The service allows one to book an Uber up to a month in advance. A soft launch in the US has been followed by a rollout to business users in London yesterday.</p> <p>All Uber users will get access to the feature over the coming months.</p> <h3>UBS creates digital currency</h3> <p>UBS has developed a digital currency using blockchain technology and four banks have jumped aboard.</p> <p>Deutsche Bank, Santander, BNY Mellon and ICAP have all joined the development of the so-called Utility Coin.</p> <p>It's thought that the currency's use in security and currency trading will lead to cost savings and improved security.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68205 2016-08-24T11:57:00+01:00 2016-08-24T11:57:00+01:00 How three beauty ecommerce sites integrate editorial content Nikki Gilliland <p>(*By this I mean opinion-focused writing such as tips and advice, as opposed to marketing copy for the purposes of promotion.)</p> <p>While branded blogs (like Urban Decay and Clinique) are largely used to promote their own ranges, the above sites have the unique opportunity to write in an entirely balanced and unbiased way.</p> <p>Here’s a look at three of the biggest beauty ecommerce sites:</p> <ul> <li>LookFantastic.</li> <li>FeelUnique.</li> <li>BeautyBay.</li> </ul> <h3>LookFantastic</h3> <p>The homepage for LookFantastic is geared around promoting brands and savings rather than its editorial offering.</p> <p>In fact, with the top sections promoting specific brands and ‘beauty favourites’, the user is required to scroll down the very bottom of the page to find the ‘<a href="http://www.lookfantastic.com/blog/" target="_blank">Beauty Hub</a>’ – the site’s dedicated blog.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8198/beauty_hub.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="592"></p> <p>Described as the place to discover ‘beauty secrets, how-to guides, exclusive interviews and much more!’ – it seems a shame that it’s relegated to the bottom of the page.</p> <p>Similarly, the blog tab of the main navigation is the only other place it is highlighted on the homepage. This means it is very easy to miss.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8197/LookFantastic_homepage.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="682"></p> <p>Clicking onto the blog itself, the user is met with a wide range of article topics, split into categories like ‘gift guides’, ‘advice’ and ‘tutorials’.</p> <p>There are apparently eight editors of the Beauty Hub, each with their own specialist subject. With a photo and a short profile for each, this gives the site a personal and authoritative feel.</p> <p>In terms of the articles, it’s all very informative and useful from a product perspective – if you want to find out what you should be using and why, then you’re bound to find the answers here. </p> <p>The only negative is that this approach can appear a little salesy rather than reader-focused. And as a result, the tone lacks in personality.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8199/LookFantastic_editors.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="746"></p> <h3>FeelUnique</h3> <p>While FeelUnique’s homepage is similar to LookFantastic, the main difference is that the editorial section is given a bit more focus.</p> <p>Nicely integrated into the middle of the page, ‘<a href="http://www.feelunique.com/c/thelounge" target="_blank">The Lounge</a>’ is promoted with a side-by-side video and article, along with a call-to-action to discover more.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8200/FeelUnique_homepage.JPG" alt="" width="776" height="662"></p> <p>Similarly, its drop-down on the main navigation prompts the user to click through.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8201/feelunique_nav.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="541"></p> <p>As well as being easier to find, the inclusion of video is a big plus.</p> <p>It would be better if the user could watch it without being redirected to another page, however this is an immediate sign that the blog contains other types of content than just articles.</p> <p>Onto The Lounge, and while the design is quite basic, I like the fact that categories are broken down into more specific subjects like ‘tanning’ and ‘men.’ </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8202/The_Lounge.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="656"></p> <p>I also found the writing to be more engaging than LookFantastic.</p> <p>The main reason being that its conversational tone showcases the personality of individual writers.</p> <p>While it does come across as a bit cheesy on occasion, the approach is suited to the site's focus on general lifestyle topics and celebrity culture. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8203/feelunique_celeb.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="639"></p> <h3>BeautyBay</h3> <p>The homepage for BeautyBay is very different to the aforementioned sites.</p> <p>With its huge site-wide header and unusual navigation, it immediately strikes me as being the most editorially-inspired.</p> <p>In fact, it appears to be deliberately mimicking a publication rather than an ecommerce site, using subtle headlines to encourage users to click through to product-curations and brands.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8204/BeautyBay.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="381"></p> <p>Ironically, while the design focuses on editorial elements, the blog is nowhere to be found on the homepage. </p> <p>Instead, it is located in the sidebar navigation with a button labelled ‘EDITed Tutorials and Articles’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8205/beautybay_nav.JPG" alt="" width="852" height="944"></p> <p>With a minimal design and just four categories, the <a href="http://www.beautybay.com/edited" target="_blank">EDITed</a> blog feels more exclusive than the previous examples.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8206/EDITed.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="637"></p> <p>Entirely different from the celebrity-driven and conversational style of FeelUnique, it uses the personal experiences of its writers to drive articles and product recommendations.</p> <p>This means that it is just as engaging but far more valuable from a reader’s perspective. </p> <p>Similar to the type of editorial found in the likes of Marie Claire, the high quality on offer means that consumers are likely to revisit even after purchasing from BeautyBay.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8207/beautybay_article.JPG" alt="" width="677" height="730"></p> <p>The use of simple but quality images is another nice touch, giving the blog an independent feel rather than appearing like an extension of the main ecommerce site.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>With each aiming to drive traffic to the main site as well as increase consumer loyalty, all three blogs serve a purpose.</p> <p>However, there's no doubt that improvements could be made across the board.</p> <p>For FeelUnique, making the blog a more prominent and integrated part of the main site could entice new users to return.</p> <p>While the use of video and its chatty <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/">tone of voice</a> gives FeelUnique an edge, the product promotion still feels a little shoehorned in.</p> <p>Lastly, and although it is undoubtedly the best, BeautyBay is missing a trick by not promoting its blog on the main site.</p> <p>With its in-depth and authentic editorial-style, it deserves greater recognition.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68209 2016-08-24T10:59:10+01:00 2016-08-24T10:59:10+01:00 Garnier Nutrisse offers live chat for product advice: Is it any good? Nikki Gilliland <p>Can I achieve Holly Willoughby’s glossy golden locks at home? I used the <a href="http://www.garnier.co.uk/hair-colour/beauty/garnier/nutrisse-cream" target="_blank">new feature</a> to find out. </p> <h3>Promotion on-site</h3> <p>Alongside a tool that helps users find the correct shade, Nutrisse promotes its online chat feature with a subtle ‘speak to an advisor’ button.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8303/Nutrisse.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="718"></p> <p>While effective enough, I do feel like it could be promoted more prominently. Perhaps in a friendlier way, too - advisor sounds slightly clinical to me.</p> <p>Clicking through to the main page and the copy is much more personal and conversational in tone.</p> <p>The human element of one-to-one interaction is the a main purpose of live chat, so a recognition that customers may feel daunted or worried will give more incentive to use the service. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8304/Garnier_LiveChat.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="616"></p> <p>Highlighting the ‘opening hours’, there is also a disclaimer that the chat tool may be removed during busy periods.</p> <p>This might be slightly annoying if it suddenly disappears, but it’s certainly better than leaving customers waiting.</p> <h3>Customer data</h3> <p>Onto the chat itself, but before speaking to anyone, I was prompted to enter in my email address and answer a few basic questions.</p> <p>An obvious sign that it is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-pursuit-of-data-driven-maturity/">a data-driven</a> exercise for Garnier, it could potentially put people off using the tool.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8305/nutrisse_chat.JPG" alt="" width="325" height="425"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8306/nutrisse_chat_2.JPG" alt="" width="298" height="416"></p> <p>With online chat supposedly providing an instant connection, it takes away the immediacy of the service. Customers could end up choosing phone or email instead.</p> <h3>Help and product links</h3> <p>Eventually, I got through to an ‘agent’ named Tariq.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8309/nutrisse_3.JPG" alt="" width="293" height="420"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8310/nutrisse_4.JPG" alt="" width="296" height="416"></p> <p>There is definitely something to be said for speaking to a person with a real name and identity as opposed to a faceless brand.</p> <p>All in all, Tariq was very helpful.</p> <p>He didn’t tell me anything I couldn’t have found out for myself, especially as there is enough information elsewhere on the site, however it would certainly be useful to have someone reinforce the answer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8311/nutrisse_7.JPG" alt="" width="295" height="414"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8312/nutrisse_8.JPG" alt="" width="294" height="417"></p> <p>While he was generally helpful, there were a few negatives - I had to prompt Tariq to send me a product link.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8313/nutrisse_10.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="503"></p> <p>Likewise, he took quite a while to answer my questions, though this does mean customers can multi-task while waiting for an answer (something that is more difficult to do while on the phone).</p> <p>The fact that the pop-up box appears in each new window is another handy feature if you’re browsing at the same time, as is the option to have an email transcript of the chat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8315/nutrisse_11.JPG" alt="" width="297" height="412"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8314/nutrisse_options.JPG" alt="" width="290" height="414">  </p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Overall, there is definitely value in Nutrisse’s chat-feature.</p> <p>As well as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61813-how-asos-sky-and-schuh-use-live-chat-to-personalise-online-shopping/" target="_blank">offering a personalised interaction</a>, it also helps the brand determine customer pain points and prevent them from going elsewhere. </p> <p>Improvements could definitely be made in terms of speed and the amount of information offered, however it’s certainly a feature that’s worth having.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68111 2016-08-22T14:03:00+01:00 2016-08-22T14:03:00+01:00 Six brands that have made false health claims in advertising Nikki Gilliland <p>Recently, Kellogg’s UK <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/20/kelloggs-special-k-ads-banned-health-claims">was hit with a ban from the ASA</a> (Advertising Standards Authority) after making false health claims in its advert for Special K cereal.</p> <p>Since the ruling, it has apologised for the ‘error’.</p> <p>Just one in a long line of brands to falsely claim a product has health benefits, it seems to be a sad result of our quest for ‘wellness’. </p> <p><strong>Why do brands do it?</strong></p> <p>Well, consumers aren’t silly. We know chocolate is bad for us and broccoli is good.</p> <p>But when advertising is littered with words like ‘nutritious’, ‘healthy’ and ‘goodness’ – even when they’re not – we’re drawn in to the illusion that we’re making better choices.</p> <p>Here are six brands that have capitalised on this with some very sneaky marketing. </p> <h3>Special K</h3> <p>The aforementioned culprit – Special K recently claimed that its porridge was “full of goodness” and that its Nutri K Flakes were "nutritious". </p> <p>However, the company failed to back up this message with any specific health benefits or related ingredients. </p> <p>Interestingly, the branding on the Special K website is all about health and nutrition.</p> <p>Its latest range is called ‘nourish’, which surely promotes the idea that the products benefit your health. </p> <p>This time, it cleverly uses this disclaimer to back it up: "*Special K Nourish is a source of vitamin D and vitamin B2. Enjoy as part of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle."</p> <p>In other words, that probably means you have to pair it with some kale to get the benefits.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7391/special_k_nourish.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="555"></p> <h3>Oppo Ice Cream</h3> <p>Another brand failing to provide specific examples to back up its health claims.</p> <p>The fact that Oppo Ice Cream is made with all natural ingredients means it doesn’s deserve quite as much wrath.</p> <p>However, using the words ‘super fruit’ and ‘superfood’ on its website, the company still failed to relate it to the ingredients spirulina, lucuma or baobab. </p> <p>Interestingly, the complaint was originally made by rival ice cream brand Perfect World, meaning that this was more of a case of brand-on-brand sabotage than consumer grievance. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7392/oppo.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="525"></p> <h3>Nurofen</h3> <p>Painkillers target all types of pain. This is basic common sense, and yet Nurofen would like to have us believe that its products are made to target specific pain-points. </p> <p>In a recent advert for Nurofen Back and Joint Pain, it suggested that the product had a special mechanism to target this area of the body... which it obviously does not.</p> <p>In a landmark ruling, the ASA banned the advert, but the best thing to come out of the case is that it is likely to spark a crackdown on other brands in the pharmaceutical industry who misleadingly market products based on specific ailments. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7393/Nurofen.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="399"></p> <h3>VitaminWater</h3> <p>One of the worst examples of false advertising in recent years, VitaminWater tried to market its (sugar-laden) product as a healthy alternative to soda.</p> <p>Using the tagline “vitamins + water = all you need”, it failed to mention or correctly highlight the eight teaspoons of sugar in every bottle.</p> <p>The US non-profit organisation, Center for Science in the Public Interest, has been battling for years to get a ruling against the brand.</p> <p>With the recent agreement that VitaminWater should add “with sweeteners” to its branding, it’s finally seen some success. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7394/vitamin_water.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="567"></p> <h3>Nesquik</h3> <p>Chocolate is a great start to any day, right?</p> <p>Granted, what it <em>isn’t</em> is a healthy start to the day. </p> <p>Kids' favourite Nesquik got itself in hot water last year with its misleading advert, effectively encouraging poor nutritional habits in children.</p> <p>Despite defending its 20.2 grams of sugar with the claim that most of this comes from the lactose in milk, the brand was rightly forced to remove the strapline.</p> <p>As you can see from the below snapshot, it’s still insisting on pushing the boundaries.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7395/Nesquik.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="470"></p> <h3>Pom Wonderful</h3> <p>Recently, Pom Wonderful lost its bid to challenge the FTC ruling that the brand deceptively advertised its products. </p> <p>While the previous examples claimed products were ‘healthy’ when they’re weren’t, Pom Wonderful went one step further and claimed that its pomegranate juice could treat or aid heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.</p> <p>It’s an incredible case, but its conclusion is certainly a victory for the consumer, with greater scientific evidence now a requirement for such bold claims.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7396/pom_wonderful.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="646"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68160 2016-08-22T10:08:45+01:00 2016-08-22T10:08:45+01:00 Five tips for creating a successful FAQ page Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are five tips for creating one.</p> <h3>Make it visible</h3> <p>If a user has a question in need of an answer, the last thing they want is to go hunting around for an FAQ page. </p> <p>So, it’s important for this section of the website to be noticeable on the homepage, as well as visible in other places where users are likely to need assistance.</p> <p>By labelling this section of its website as ‘Help’ and locating it to the left of the ‘My Account’ button, ASOS ensures the customer doesn't have to look very far.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7822/ASOS_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="583"></p> <p>While the text is fairly small, it is simple and subtle, and transfers users to the FAQ section with just one click.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7823/ASOS_help_2.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="703"></p> <p>An FAQ page isn’t only visible to the user, of course.</p> <p>It is also a good place to include relevant (and a balanced amount of) keywords to help improve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-training/">SEO</a>.</p> <h3>Categorise correctly</h3> <p>One of the biggest challenges of creating an FAQ page is organising a large amount of information in a way that's easy to digest.</p> <p>Remember that users often <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66920-why-visitors-only-read-20-of-your-web-page/" target="_blank">read just 20% of a web page</a>, with the majority scanning to find a specific piece of information. </p> <p>Ironically, the hallmark of a successful FAQ page is if the user reads as little as possible.</p> <p>If faced with a page that’s jam-packed full of jumbled copy, consumers are going to be put off. </p> <p>Questions need to be organised into distinct categories or groups, making it as easy as possible for the consumer to find exactly what they are looking for.</p> <p>Dropbox provides an excellent example of how to organise an FAQ page.</p> <p>As well as a visible search bar, the page is separated into twelve clear categories, each accompanied by a subtle illustrative design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7824/Dropbox_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="579"></p> <h3>Keep it customer-focused</h3> <p>Brands can be guilty of including irrelevant or biased information in FAQs, often using it as an extension or in place of an ‘About’ page. </p> <p>However, it's vital that questions are as relevant to the customer’s needs as possible, as well as answered within a positive or solution-based framework.</p> <p>Not only can this approach help to solve current problems (i.e. a returns query on an ecommerce site or a troubleshooting question relating to tech) – it can also be used to encourage the path to purchase.</p> <p>For example, if a user is uncertain about a brand, an authoritative and well-executed FAQs page can be enough to reassure and encourage them to stay on-site for longer.</p> <p>Take McDonald's - a brand that recognises consumers have a LOT of questions about its product.</p> <p>Consequently, it uses this to its advantage, creating an entire section of informative articles based on the most common concerns.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7828/What_makes_McDonalds..PNG" alt="" width="780" height="615"></p> <p>It goes even further with its customer-centric approach, here giving users the opportunity to ask a specific question if they can't find it on-site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7829/McDonald_s_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="734"></p> <h3>Point the user forward</h3> <p>An FAQ page should never be a dead-end.</p> <p>Like any part of a website, it is vital that the page prompt the user onwards in their journey. </p> <p>Of course, its main purpose is always to provide information, however it should also include calls-to-action and links back to the homepage or various category pages to encourage conversion. </p> <p>As well as including links in its answers, Lush’s FAQ section includes a sidebar which conveniently points the user in the direction of further information and help sections. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7825/Lush_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="642"></p> <h3>Use personality</h3> <p>All copy on a website is a chance to convey a brand’s personality and values.</p> <p>On an FAQ page, where the information is usually quite dull and dry, the opportunity is even more pertinent.</p> <p>Whether it’s through engaging visuals or a humorous <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/">tone of voice</a>, a creative approach can strengthen a brand's connection with consumers.</p> <p>By surprising and delighting the user with something unexpected, it will automatically be more memorable. </p> <p>It is a rather extreme example, yet Cards Against Humanity show how a brand’s tone of voice can stretch to the even most mundane parts of a website.</p> <p>The brilliant thing about this FAQ page is that it manages to actually give all the information the consumer needs, while being deliberatively subversive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7826/CAH_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="672"></p> <p>Similarly, there's the ever-so-divisive Innocent Drinks.</p> <p>The creativity here is undeniable, yet it appears to be far more self-indulgent than anything else, demonstrating that even the biggest brands can lose sight of the customer's needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7827/Innocent_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="573"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>As the likes of McDonald's and Cards Against Humanity prove, an FAQ section is well-worth investing time and effort in.</p> <p>With relevant and well-organised information and an imaginative approach, it can be the difference between a disappointing user experience and a positive one.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68207 2016-08-19T14:27:00+01:00 2016-08-19T14:27:00+01:00 The 10 greatest digital marketing stats we've seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>As always, you’ll find further insight in the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium">Internet Statistics Compendium.</a></p> <h3>Half of UK retailers are struggling to connect in-store and online</h3> <p>According to research from RetailMeNot, 59% of retailers cite a lack of visibility across channels as the biggest challenge they face today.</p> <p>Despite 92% of large retailers selling online, nearly two-fifths are still failing to provide consistent pricing across the board.</p> <p>With the recognition that a more consistent experience is needed, 42% of businesses are said to be restructuring in order to integrate in-store and online teams. </p> <h3>27% of consumers display no brand loyalty</h3> <p>A <a href="http://dma.org.uk/infographic/talking-the-consumers-language-retail-infographic" target="_blank">new infographic</a> from the DMA has highlighted the four different types of loyalty that consumers feel towards brands.</p> <p>While 40% of consumers are ‘active loyals’, i.e. people who stay loyal to brands for both special and routine purchases, 27% are ‘active disloyals’ – displaying no brand loyalty at all.</p> <p>In general, disloyalty is said to increase with the value of items, meaning that consumers are more likely to shop around for expensive products like technology and furniture.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8275/brand_loyalty.JPG" alt="" width="574" height="384"></p> <h3>Twitter suspends 235,000 accounts in six months</h3> <p>Twitter has announced that it has suspended 235,000 accounts in the past six months due to violation of its policies relating to terrorism and the threat of violence.</p> <p>With 313m monthly active users, Twitter is struggling to control the amount of terrorism-linked accounts on its platform. </p> <p>Daily suspensions on the platform are up 80% on the previous year, bringing the overall number of suspensions since the middle of 2015 to 360,000 in total.</p> <h3>A third of people use only their mobile to make purchasing decisions</h3> <p>Research by xAd has highlighted how crucial mobile is in the path to purchase. </p> <p>In a survey of 1,500 consumers, 39% cited a smartphone as the most important tool used to research a product.</p> <p>What’s more, 29% admitted that it was the only tool they used to make a purchasing decision.</p> <p>With 56% of consumers buying immediately or within the hour after researching, the ‘always on’ nature of mobile means that marketers need to place more focus on engaging consumers in the right time and place. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8274/mobile_purchasing.JPG" alt="" width="755" height="414"></p> <h3>Failure to achieve targets is top reason for SEO agency terminations</h3> <p>According to a <a href="https://artios.io/why-seo-agencies-really-get-fired/" target="_self">study by Artios</a>, the biggest cause of businesses dropping SEO agencies is a failure to hit long-term targets, with this accounting for 29% of all terminations.</p> <p>25% of terminations are said to be due to a lack of transparency around methods, closely followed by out-dated SEO techniques causing 15% of dismissals. </p> <p>The study also found the longer the relationship, the more mutual the ending - after three or more years, ‘friendly terminations’ are the most common parting of ways.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8276/SEO.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="239"></p> <h3>Visits to online retail sites up 2.6% this back-to-school season</h3> <p>Data from Hitwise, a division of Connexity, has found that the 2016 back to school season has been the biggest ever for the top online retail sites.</p> <p>Compared to the same time last year, visits were up 2.6% in the run up to August 13th, equating to around 100m more online shopping visits so far.</p> <p>Hitwise also revealed the hottest products for kids, with the most sought after including Pokémon backpacks, the iPad Pro and Yeezy trainers.</p> <h3>Heavy discounting leads to highest online sales growth in 20 months</h3> <p>Figures from the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index show that online sales grew +19% year-on-year in July, making it the highest yearly growth since November 2014.</p> <p>Heavy discounting from retailers across the board is said to have contributed to the surge, with the average basket value of goods purchased online falling from £80.52 to £78.39 in a single month.</p> <p>Out of the best-performing categories, clothing and home and garden came out on top, with a period of sunny weather encouraging us to spend online. </p> <h3>35% of organisations believe technology is key to understanding customers </h3> <p>Our latest report, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/secrets-of-elite-analytics-practices/" target="_blank">Secrets of Elite Analytics Practices</a>, delves into the relationship between customer analytics and business results. </p> <p>The research found that organisations of all maturity levels agree technology is a massive contributing factor for success. </p> <p>When asked what they believe has had the greatest impact on better understanding customers, companies with both elite and average analytics capabilities cited having the right technologies for data collection and analysis.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8281/analytics_practices.JPG" alt="" width="699" height="595"></p> <h3>High-performance ads deliver an average of 180% ROI</h3> <p>Analysis by <a href="http://www.warc.com/Pages/ROI/ROIHome.aspx" target="_blank">Warc</a> has shown that the average profit from high-performing advertising is 1.8 times the initial investment. </p> <p>This data comes from the Warc database which includes figures calculated within the first year of a campaign.</p> <p>As a result, it does not take into account the long-term return, with the total predicted to be much higher as time goes on.</p> <p>In fact, the long-term payback is said to be twice as high as the short-term.</p> <h3>China predicted to become the world’s biggest retail market</h3> <p>It is already the largest in terms of ecommerce, but according to eMarketer, China is set to surpass the US to become the single biggest retail market in the world. </p> <p>Research suggests that total sales will increase 13% to reach $4.886 trillion in 2016. In comparison the US is set to grow at just 2.6% to reach $4.823 trillion.</p> <p>Over the next four years, this gap will widen even further, as China’s retail sales value is forecast to stand at $7.086 trillion by 2020.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68195 2016-08-17T11:04:26+01:00 2016-08-17T11:04:26+01:00 Fabled by Marie Claire: A closer look at the new retail store & ecommerce site Nikki Gilliland <p>A reflection of the changing ways women are consuming beauty content as well as buying products – it is designed for the ‘fast-paced lives of the beauty-savvy’.</p> <p>As well as exploring its website, I recently visited the flagship store on Tottenham Court Road to find out what it has to offer.</p> <h3>Bringing editorial expertise in-store</h3> <p>Sitting alongside the likes of Oasis and T2, Fabled occupies a shiny new space not far from Oxford Street. </p> <p>With its glass windows and eager staff, it immediately feels more high-end than your average department store (and a world away from Boots).</p> <p>Upon entering, I was first drawn to the digital screens situated by each make-up counter.</p> <p>Reflecting Marie Claire’s reputation as an influential voice on beauty, each counter promotes ‘The Edit’ – a selection of carefully curated items recommended by the magazine’s editors. </p> <p>The screens display more information on each product along with a short review.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8081/IMG_2303.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="585"></p> <p>By allowing shoppers to swipe and browse, there is a definite interactive element to shopping in-store. </p> <p>While cynical consumers could potentially feel they are being dictated to, Marie Claire is clearly banking on its existing audience to buy into its curated shopping experience. </p> <p>Combined with the on-hand expertise of its employees, there is certainly a focus on meeting the customer needs.</p> <p>With its well-designed layout and wide range of brands, the store was impressive enough.</p> <p>However, the only real let down was that despite the aforementioned example, there didn’t appear to be many <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/" target="_blank">interactive features in-store</a>. </p> <p>I did spy a few extras like a mini GHD salon and a fragrance room, however both appeared to serve as visual elements as opposed to anything particularly unique or interesting in purpose.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8082/IMG_2309.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="585"></p> <h3>Fast delivery and convenience online</h3> <p>Like the flagship store, Fabled.com offers a similarly pleasant shopping experience – one that’s geared around high-end products and high-quality editorial.</p> <p>But then again, isn’t that what every beauty website offers?</p> <p>In the world of beauty <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a>, a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68087-six-brilliant-blogs-from-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">brilliant blog</a> and engaging social media presence is no longer unique – it’s expected.  </p> <p>Of course, with a lot of this type of content already found on the main Marie Claire website, it’s understandable that Fabled wants to be different. </p> <p>With editorial integrated throughout the site instead of in a dedicated category, it appears to be positioning itself as an authority on beauty ecommerce rather than the chatty, knowledgable mate of its regular magazine. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8085/Fabled_editorial.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="746"></p> <p>With helpful tips and advice, there's a lot of informative content to enjoy.</p> <p>However, I do feel that the Fabled brand could be a bit more fleshed out.</p> <p>It's early days of course, as the 'preview' marker at the top of the site suggests. Also, the site only appears on page two of Google when you search for 'Fabled'.</p> <p>But despite a decent enough user experience, there is nothing about the site’s design or content that’s particularly exciting or different.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8083/Fabled.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="611"></p> <p>One aspect where Fabled looks set to beat its competition is delivery.</p> <p>By teaming up with Ocado, it boasts a next-day delivery service as well as chosen one-hour slots. Even better, it means that orders from Fabled.com can be attached onto a main Ocado shop. </p> <p>With this added convenience, it is sure to entice shoppers who might otherwise abandon an online beauty purchase. </p> <p>Who could resist the temptation of a few nice treats alongside the tinned tomatoes?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8084/Fabled_delivery.JPG" alt="" width="575" height="342"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Overall, Fabled by Marie Claire is an interesting concept.</p> <p>You <em>could</em> argue that it offers the same (in-store and online) service as department stores like Debenhams or House of Fraser. </p> <p>However, when taking into consideration the excellent delivery options and its authorative content, there's certainly a lot more to appreciate.</p> <p>I wish there were more digital aspects in-store and a better defined branding strategy, but it's still well-worth having a browse.</p>