tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ecommerce Latest Ecommerce content from Econsultancy 2016-08-22T14:03:00+01:00 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> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68188 2016-08-16T14:25:37+01:00 2016-08-16T14:25:37+01:00 Walmart buys Jet.com in a bid to keep up with Amazon Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what’s behind the buyout? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h3>Walmart vs. Amazon</h3> <p>While Walmart remains one of the biggest retail giants (accounting for a tenth of all US retail sales), Amazon is head and shoulders above in terms of ecommerce. </p> <p>The latter saw a growth of 20% last year as well as $99bn in annual online sales - this is compared with just a 12% rise for Walmart.</p> <p>Consequently - though it’s unrealistic to think it will catch up - the acquisition of Jet.com forms part of Walmart’s attempt to close the gap. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8042/Walmart.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="457"></p> <h3>Real-time algorithm</h3> <p>Jet.com is not dissimilar to Amazon – it sells a wide variety of goods ranging from groceries and household products to tech and toys. </p> <p>However, as well as targeting ‘urban millennials’, 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.</p> <p>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>With Walmart planning to integrate the software into its current ecommerce site, it is aiming to change the way consumers shop online.</p> <p>Instead of making one-off, impulse-purchases from the likes of Amazon, it will encourage fewer and larger orders with less shipping costs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8040/jet_low_prices.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="417"></p> <h3>New customer-focus</h3> <p>The co-founder of Jet.com, Marc Lore, recently said that the combination of Walmart’s retail expertise and Jet’s technology will ‘deliver more value to customers’.</p> <p>And this ethos appears to be behind the over-arching strategy to lure customers away from Amazon.</p> <p>Ramping up its omni-channel efforts, it is hoping to move away from being just a bulk-buy, bricks-and-mortar store. Instead, it aims to offer a seamless shopping experience both on- and offline. </p> <p>We've already seen examples of this. Along with its mobile app, last year the retailer introduced Walmart Pay - a way for consumers to purchase items using their smartphones in-stores.</p> <p>Similarly, it offers free in-store pick-up on same-day orders.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8041/Walmart_app.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="464"></p> <h3>Will it succeed?</h3> <p>Despite Jet’s position as an innovative start-up, there’s been a lot of debate over whether it will actually deliver any return on Walmart’s mega investment.</p> <p>Although it has added around 350,000 customers a month since its launch a year and a half ago, the company is not yet profitable. </p> <p>In the short-term, the acquisition will certainly allow Walmart to rapidly expand its ecommerce business.</p> <p>Whether or not it will succeed in winning over any of Amazon’s loyal customer-base remains to be seen. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68179 2016-08-15T11:54:44+01:00 2016-08-15T11:54:44+01:00 Monster Supplies review: The UK’s first pet food delivery app Nikki Gilliland <p>Now, we all know how <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68166-how-pets-at-home-s-omnichannel-strategy-is-driving-sales-growth/" target="_blank">gaga people can be over their pets</a>. But is there <em>really</em> a need for a dedicated delivery service, especially when animal food and treats can simply be added on to a regular supermarket shop?</p> <p>To find out, I delved into what the app has to offer.</p> <h3>Money-off incentives</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.monsterpetsupplies.co.uk/" target="_blank">main Monster Pet Supplies website</a> features a lot of ‘tail-waggingly good’ deals and discounts.</p> <p>Likewise, the app appears to be using the money-off angle as its main selling-point, as well as its strategy to encourage downloads.</p> <p>First impressions deliver on this promise, as I am met with a veritable slideshow of savings.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7961/IMG_2253.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="354"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7962/IMG_2255.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="354"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7963/IMG_2254.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="354">  </p> <p>Opening the app further, I was naturally intrigued by the 'free food' button in the main menu, which promised me £10 off an order if I shared the promotion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7964/IMG_2273.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7965/IMG_2259.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>Sounds good. I'm in.</p> <p>I soon discovered that this meant £5 off for me, and £5 off for the recipient (only if they go on to use it, of course). Less good.</p> <p>Despite this, the free delivery over £29 and focus on competitive prices are definitely a plus.</p> <p>With most supermarkets and large pet stores charging for shipping, this will be an obvious draw for new consumers.</p> <h3>Homepage and navigation</h3> <p>The main carousel on the homepage once again highlights the various savings to be had.</p> <p>One thing that is immediately obvious is the heavy promotion of Purina products. </p> <p>Unsurprising given the sponsorship, yet it still feels a little too biased... when you search by brand, Purina even gets its own dedicated filter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7966/IMG_2258.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="512"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7969/IMG_2275.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="503"></p> <p>In terms of the main navigation, the search and filter options are fluid and easy-to-use.</p> <p>Allowing you to search by type of food, brand, life-stage and specific flavour - it's easy to find what you're looking for.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7970/IMG_2260.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7972/IMG_2276.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>With many dedicated pet owners likely to have an existing favourite brand or treat, this makes features like the favourite list and automatic repeated delivery all the more convenient.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7989/IMG_2256.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="354"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7990/IMG_2257.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="354"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7991/IMG_2278.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="354"></p> <h3>Product range and pricing</h3> <p>Despite the bias towards Purina, there is a large variety of brands to choose from.</p> <p>The only downside is that the app so far only caters for dogs and cats, meaning other small pet owners are left out entirely.</p> <p>In terms of pricing, there is a clear focus on beating the recommended retail price.</p> <p>However, this appears to be a bit hit and miss, as while some products are certainly cheaper, I found other items selling for less on rival pet websites.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7992/IMG_2261.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="353"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7993/IMG_2262.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="353">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7994/IMG_2263.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="354">  </p> <h3>Checkout</h3> <p>One of the main reasons you might use an app like Monster Pet Supplies is convenience.</p> <p>In line with this, I found the checkout process to be surprisingly fast and easy.</p> <p>Allowing the user to enter details without the need for multiple click-throughs or waiting for pages to load, it was one of the fastest checkouts I've experienced in an app.</p> <p>The option for Paypal checkout was similarly pleasing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7995/IMG_2264.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="354"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7996/IMG_2279.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="353">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7997/IMG_2280.PNG" alt="" width="200" height="353"></p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>Despite some negatives like heavy-handed sponsorship and embellishment of the amount of savings on offer, it's a pretty decent ecommerce app overall.</p> <p>Going back to the initial point - will people use it to buy their pet food instead of a regular supermarket?</p> <p>If the app is able to deliver on its promise of price and convenience, I don't see why not.</p> <p>Like any new service, it all depends on how Monster Supplies is able to connect with the target market and whether it's actually solving a genuine problem for its user.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68173 2016-08-11T15:50:00+01:00 2016-08-11T15:50:00+01:00 Why fashion brands are teaming up with Apple Music Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a bit more on why they're getting involved.</p> <h3>Apple and Farfetch</h3> <p>Through its own dedicated channel, Farfetch is able to curate playlists and offer behind-the-scenes insight into photo shoots. </p> <p>Its ‘Songs from the Shoot’ playlists include content chosen and influenced by those involved, and likewise, its #TuneTuesdays are full of songs relating to the day-to-day musings of Farfetch editors.</p> <p>Often, the music reflects a particular style or sartorial theme.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7900/Farfetch_songs_from_the_shoot.PNG" alt="" width="370" height="390"></p> <h3>A win-win collaboration</h3> <p>For Apple, a brand that is synonymous with luxury, it certainly makes sense to tie-up with similarly high-end fashion brands.</p> <p>But why <em>fashion</em> in particular?</p> <p>Whether its musicians fronting ad campaigns or designing their own clothes, there has long been a natural link between the two industries. </p> <p>The same goes for the fashion and lifestyle sectors, with many clothing brands delving into wider subjects to increase their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> and editorial remit.</p> <p>Most significantly, it appears to be a no-risk collaboration for all involved.</p> <p>Where <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67852-style-or-sell-out-three-examples-of-celebrity-fashion-collaborations/" target="_blank">celebrity endorsements might appear gimmicky</a>, the established yet less visible nature of a company like Farfetch means that Apple won’t risk losing face if the collaboration fails to take off.</p> <p>On the flip side, for the likes of Farfetch and Burberry, the chance to be affiliated with Apple is a no-brainer. </p> <p>With such a large global audience, the collaboration offers huge opportunity for exposure and the chance to build brand awareness.</p> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7905/Farfetch_maxwell.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="367"></h3> <h3>Connecting with customers</h3> <p>As well as benefitting from the brand name, ecommerce companies like Farfetch are able to use Apple Music technology to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences/">enhance the customer experience</a>.</p> <p>By integrating the music into Farfetch.com as well as its Farfetch Discover App, the aim is to build on, as well as point users towards, existing editorial content. </p> <p>With its established blog section, Farfetch already delves into other areas of lifestyle such as tech, travel and sport.</p> <p>Integrating music adds an immersive aspect, and in turn, offers added value for the consumer. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7909/farfetch_editorial.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="400"></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">As the i.am+ headphones hit Farfetch we sat down with <a href="https://twitter.com/iamwill">@iamwill</a> to talk tech <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/iamplusfarfetch?src=hash">#iamplusfarfetch</a> <a href="https://t.co/co3DxxtoV7">https://t.co/co3DxxtoV7</a> <a href="https://t.co/Q8KXkPLD07">pic.twitter.com/Q8KXkPLD07</a></p> — Farfetch (@farfetch) <a href="https://twitter.com/farfetch/status/760439984755183616">August 2, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Finally, the collaboration also allows the brand to connect with consumers outside of the realms of fashion. </p> <p>Whether the customer is listening while browsing online or in the car, being able to access the music across multiple touchpoints means that Farfetch can become part of a lifestyle – not just shopping habits.</p> <h3><strong>In conclusion...</strong></h3> <p>It's hard to tell whether or not fashion brands have seen any tangible success with their Apple Music accounts.</p> <p>Burberry, a brand that has been on the platform since last September, has so far seen an underwhelming amount of 'likes' on its playlists.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7908/Burberry.PNG" alt="" width="380" height="467"></p> <p>However, this may of course be down to a lack of engagement on Apple Music in general, as opposed to any real indication of the user response to the brand.</p> <p>What we can say for sure is that Farfetch's collaboration marks Apple's continued growth as a lifestyle brand, not just a tech company.</p> <p>Not to mention one that many others are eager to be associated with.</p> <p><em><strong>Farfetch are among the speakers at the <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/welcome?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">Festival of Marketing</a>, which takes place in London on October 5-6. </strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68169 2016-08-11T14:24:00+01:00 2016-08-11T14:24:00+01:00 US sales tax isn't a deterrent to online sales: Report Patricio Robles <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7880/image002.jpg" alt="" width="621" height="369"></p> <p>Fast forward to 2016. Half of online shoppers are now paying sales tax and nearly half indicate that they either don't consider sales tax in deciding which retailer to purchase from, or don't consider it highly.</p> <p>That's according to <a href="http://pages.connexity.com/rs/953-HCY-363/images/Bizrate%20Insights%20Sales%20Tax%20charts.pdf">new data</a> (PDF) published by Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, which also found that more than three-quarters of shoppers who paid sales tax did not consider abandoning their purchases because of the tax.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7881/image008.jpg" alt="" width="621" height="358"></p> <p>Even among shoppers who didn't pay sales tax, 42% indicated that they would not have purchased from a different retailer because their choice "depended on other factors."</p> <p>Just over a third (36%) said sales tax might have led them to purchase from another retailer, but that's down from 39% in 2011.</p> <p>Perhaps not surprisingly, sales tax weighs on purchasing decisions as order value increases. </p> <p>While 39% of those polled stated that sales tax is not something they consider generally (compared to just 9% who stated that it is always important), nearly a quarter (24%) revealed that sales tax becomes more important as the cost of an order increases.</p> <h3>The primacy of customer experience</h3> <p>It's no accident that more online purchases today involve sales tax.</p> <p>Many online retailers may have benefited by not charging sales tax early on, but <a href="https://www.synchronyfinancial.com/SynchronyFinancialCustomerExperienceWhitePaperSept2015.pdf">numerous</a> <a href="http://www.mycustomer.com/experience/loyalty/customer-experience-trumps-price-for-loyalty-forrester-reveals">studies</a> have established that overall <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> trumps price.</p> <p>Understanding that they have to deliver on customer experience and not just price, retailers like Amazon are making a concerted effort to ensure that they can get products to customers as quickly as possible. </p> <p>As Hayley Silver, VP of Bizrate Insights, explained, this has typically involved expansion of distribution networks "such that more and more online purchases become eligible for sales tax."</p> <p>Thanks to Amazon's distribution network, Amazon Prime members in 27 metro areas can now choose free same-day delivery on over a million items, and through Prime Now, they can even get two-hour delivery on more than 25,000 items.</p> <p>Its ability to get millions of items into the hands of its customers quickly gives Amazon a formidable customer experience advantage.</p> <p>And it's no coincidence that perhaps the only retailer that can compete broadly with Amazon on price, Walmart, <a href="http://news.walmart.com/2016/08/08/walmart-agrees-to-acquire-jetcom-one-of-the-fastest-growing-e-commerce-companies-in-the-us">just acquired Jet.com</a> in a multi-billion dollar bid to improve the overall experience it offers customers online.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68166 2016-08-11T10:00:00+01:00 2016-08-11T10:00:00+01:00 How Pets at Home’s omnichannel strategy is driving sales growth Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s how it’s been keeping pets (and their owners) very happy of late.</p> <h3>Multichannel experience</h3> <p>Pets at Home was an early adopter of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66389-what-does-the-ideal-click-and-collect-service-look-like/">click and collect</a>, giving customers the chance to order on its ecommerce platform and pick up in any of its 400+ stores.</p> <p>Recently, it has expanded this service, allowing customers free next-day collection if orders are placed before 8pm.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68043-will-click-collect-be-killed-off-by-same-day-delivery/">With an increase in retailers launching same-day delivery services,</a> it remains to be seen whether Pets at Home will follow suit, but it'd certainly be another way to attract new customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7864/Click_and_Collect.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="485"></p> <p>Another success for Pets at Home has been its VIP club, and it's a great example of the brand’s customer-centric strategy.</p> <p>A membership scheme that offers rewards like exclusive savings and personalised advice - its data also allows the retailer to understand customer behaviour.</p> <p>With its new digital app, the scheme allows customers the opportunity to access features on a range of devices, as well as offering another place for pet lovers to explore content.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Don't forget to download our smart new app which puts your VIP benefits in your pocket! <a href="https://t.co/C22Sli80sF">https://t.co/C22Sli80sF</a> <a href="https://t.co/1iApjZ2RYu">pic.twitter.com/1iApjZ2RYu</a></p> — Pets at Home (@PetsatHome) <a href="https://twitter.com/PetsatHome/status/761879504700571648">August 6, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>In-store services</h3> <p>One of the biggest drivers for Pets at Home has been its in-store offerings.</p> <p>Capitalising on the nation’s tendency to pamper their pets, as well as the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67809-five-digital-trends-for-retail-in-the-next-five-years/" target="_blank">desire for a physical retail experience</a>, it has launched a number of successful services.</p> <p>The biggest is the Groom Room – a bespoke pet salon that’s now in 230 stores across the UK. </p> <p>Offering grooming, nail clipping and microchipping for pets, not only does it provide a useful service for pets, but its one-to-one service model enables the brand to build a greater connection with consumers.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/q1MUNSuVy0g?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>If a customer has a positive experience in-store, they are much more likely to order online and return again in future.</p> <h3>Valuable content</h3> <p>Since launching its ecommerce platform in 2008, Pets at Home has successfully built on its online content. </p> <p>As well as a large product range, its ‘Pet Advice’ section is impressively comprehensive.</p> <p>From keeping your dog healthy on holiday to creating a home for your pet tortoise – the range of articles online is vast.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7866/PAH_article.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="731"></p> <p>Similarly, the <a href="http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/pet-report" target="_blank">Pet Report</a> – a document full of expert insight on the role pets play in our lives – is a surprising bonus.</p> <p>Including visual data and engaging videos, it serves as a voice of authority and, in turn, provides the consumer with something of real value.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/141172427?color=20cc02&amp;title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Interactive campaign</h3> <p>In conjunction with the PetPals workshops, where children can learn how to look after animals, the retailer has just launched a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68051-six-case-studies-that-show-how-digital-out-of-home-advertising-is-changing/" target="_blank">DOOH campaign</a> in cinemas across the country.</p> <p>Designed to incentivise visits to Pets at Home, digital screens are located in 38 cinemas close to stores, allowing pet-lovers to feed animals for a chance to win vouchers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7865/Interactive_campaign.PNG" alt="" width="615" height="404"></p> <p>A clever example of geo-locational targeting, with screens deliberately placed in locations where families are spending time together, it demonstrates the brand’s focus on using innovative technology in its marketing.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We attended a free pet workshop at <a href="https://twitter.com/PetsatHome">@PetsatHome</a> and I was so impressed. H had a great time and learned loads! <a href="https://t.co/6q98VINHes">pic.twitter.com/6q98VINHes</a></p> — Becky Day (@BeckyBrightSide) <a href="https://twitter.com/BeckyBrightSide/status/756752149124636672">July 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Pets at Home is a great example of a retailer that understands the omnichannel experience.</p> <p>By connecting its online and offline services, it aims to provide a seamless service across all consumer touchpoints.</p> <p>As convenience, price and personalisation become priorities for animal owners, it's unsuprisingly leading the pack for pet retailers.  </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68161 2016-08-10T09:57:03+01:00 2016-08-10T09:57:03+01:00 Tesco explores experiential marketing with pop-up wine bar Nikki Gilliland <p>Located in London’s Soho, Tesco’s finest* wine bar is a two-week pop-up designed to give customers a taste of its premium tipples.</p> <h3>A new environment</h3> <p>Taking over an art gallery that would otherwise be closed for the summer, the pop-up wine bar aims to give consumers a more personalised, intimate and immersive experience – one that’s a world away from the supermarket aisles.</p> <p>Despite previous attempts to branch out, such as its <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/4c14eb16-3fa1-3887-b45a-e123a2410422" target="_blank">failed line of coffee shops</a>, this marks Tesco’s first real foray into experiential marketing. </p> <p>The pop-up is free to enter, meaning most of the visitors are likely to be passers-by.</p> <p>However, this is in line with Tesco’s aim to encourage consumers to ‘try before they buy’.</p> <p>Unable to sell full bottles for licensing reasons, it is clearly hoping that visitors will head to nearby stores to purchase what they have sampled.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7842/tesco_trolley.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="499"></p> <h3>Showcasing quality</h3> <p>The bar has a menu of 70 wines, each priced at around £3 to £4 per glass. Encouraging people to try a more varied selection of wines and explore their own personal taste, experts are on hand to make suggestions and offer advice.</p> <p>Building on the customer’s awareness of its finest* range, the pop-up is heavily geared around promoting the quality aspect of its own-brand product.</p> <p>As well as offering samples, bespoke masterclasses are also on offer to give visitors an in-depth look at four specific wines.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7841/tesco_wine.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="499"></p> <h3>A hybrid retail experience</h3> <p>Tesco is not the first brand to launch an alternative wine experience.</p> <p>Waitrose has previously experimented with in-store grazing offerings, and earlier this year, Aldi launched a very similar wine pop-up in Shoreditch’s Boxpark.</p> <p>Though it is certainly a good tactic for raising awareness and increasing loyalty, this isn’t just a case of brands jumping on the experiential bandwagon.</p> <p>It can also be put down to the growing popularity of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68023-think-retail-how-brands-are-targeting-the-phygital-generation/" target="_blank">hybrid retail outlets</a>, particularly in the drinks industry, where customers can enjoy an experience that simultaneously informs and enhances buying behaviour.</p> <p>As well as wine shops offering in-store dining, this can also work the other way around, with restaurants offering diners the chance to buy additional bottles to take home.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7843/Tesco_finest_wine_pop_up.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="551"></p> <h3>Could it become a permanent venture?</h3> <p>Running from the 2-13 August, there’s only a <a href="http://www.tesco.com/finest-wine-bar/" target="_blank">few days left if you want to get involved</a>.</p> <p>However, with the pop-up so far receiving positive reviews, there has been talk of whether or not it could become permanent.</p> <p>With most London bars selling wine upwards of £6 a glass, the cheaper price point would certainly be an incentive for many locals.</p> <p>Likewise, the informal nature of the setting (where a lack of knowledge about wine is expected) might entice people who would be put off going to a formal tasting.</p> <p>Regardless of whether or not the finest* bar continues, it certainly backs up Tesco's promise to give the customer a better experience in future.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tesco finest* launches pop up wine bar in London’s Soho today <a href="https://t.co/t4HCRxa50M">https://t.co/t4HCRxa50M</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZdjXfkPQiq">pic.twitter.com/ZdjXfkPQiq</a></p> — Tesco News (@tesconews) <a href="https://twitter.com/tesconews/status/760458508064161792">August 2, 2016</a> </blockquote>