tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ecommerce Latest Ecommerce content from Econsultancy 2018-04-20T15:12:19+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69962 2018-04-20T15:12:19+01:00 2018-04-20T15:12:19+01:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>As always, be sure to check out the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for further facts and figures.</p> <h3>Just 2.6% of consumers list personalisation as important</h3> <p>When it comes to digital experiences, personalisation is way down on the list of things consumers care about. This is <a href="https://www.acquia.com/gb/resources/collateral/beyond-hype-new-research-what-separates-digital-dreamers-digital-doers" target="_blank">according to Acquia</a>, who undertook a survey of 1,000 consumers from UK and France this March.</p> <p>Just 2.6% of the survey respondents cited personalisation as an important part of a brand’s digital offering. Instead, the majority (65%) cited a website that’s easy to navigate. </p> <p>Alongside this, 13% said a good-looking website is more important, while 11% said engaging content, and 4% said a brand’s social media presence.</p> <p>However, despite the fact consumers seem to care less about personalisation, it could indicate that marketers are failing to deliver this with any real relevance or value (and the same goes for content and social media). In the long run - on top of basic features like an easy-to-use website - personalisation could still be a key differentiator. </p> <p><strong>More on personalisation:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69951-how-ai-is-redefining-personalisation-the-job-of-the-email-marketer/">How AI is redefining personalisation &amp; the job of the email marketer</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69360-how-to-build-a-personalisation-strategy-for-your-content-website" target="_blank">How to build a personalisation strategy for your content website</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69207-how-six-travel-hospitality-brands-use-personalisation-to-enhance-the-customer-experience" target="_blank">How six travel &amp; hospitality brands use personalisation to enhance the customer experience</a></li> </ul> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69360-how-to-build-a-personalisation-strategy-for-your-content-website" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3734/Personalisation_Graphic_Blog___Twitter.png" alt="2.6% of consumers see personalisation as important part of brand activity" width="615"></a></p> <h3>59% of marketers are hesitant to surrender digital data analysis to AI</h3> <p>Artificial intelligence (AI) platforms are gaining a toehold among brands and marketing agencies, however, a <a href="https://albert.ai/ai-adoption-marketing-brand-agency-survey/" target="_blank">new report by Albert</a> has revealed that some are still hesitant to adopt the technology. </p> <p>According to a blind survey of 52 brand and agency marketers, 59% of brand respondents said they’re hesitant to surrender digital campaign data analysis to an AI, while 33% of agencies expressed reservations about giving up manual audience segmentation.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 63% of agency respondents cited an ‘inability to communicate with AI’ as a perceived drawback, and 32% of brand respondents cited the same concern.</p> <p>That being said, not all marketers are so resistant. The survey also uncovered optimistic feeling about the tech, with agencies ranking AI’s ‘ability to lift sales’ and ‘exceed campaign benchmarks’ as important performance benefits. Similarly, brands ranked ‘increased return on ad spend’ and ‘reduced costs’ as positive attributes.</p> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3732/Albert.JPG" alt="" width="615"></h3> <p><strong>More on AI:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69951-how-ai-is-redefining-personalisation-the-job-of-the-email-marketer" target="_blank">How AI is redefining personalisation &amp; the job of the email marketer</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69769-how-ai-marketing-can-help-brands-right-now" target="_blank">How AI marketing can help brands right now</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69820-google-unveils-ai-driven-ad-placement-with-launch-of-adsense-auto-ads" target="_blank">Google unveils AI-driven ad placement with launch of AdSense Auto ads</a></li> </ul> <h3>UK consumers positive about data privacy ahead of GDPR</h3> <p>Despite a number of data breach and privacy-related stories hitting the headlines recently, <a href="https://dma.org.uk/uploads/misc/5a857c4fdf846-data-privacy---what-the-consumer-really-thinks-final_5a857c4fdf799.pdf">research from the DMA and Acxiom</a> suggests that consumer sentiment remains unaffected. </p> <p>According to a survey of 1,047 UK respondents, 61% of consumers say that (as businesses prepare for GDPR) they are already happy with the amount of personal information they share. </p> <p>Sentiment has also changed since the DMA commissioned a similar survey six years ago. 51% of the respondents now view data as essential to the smooth running of the modern economy - up from 38% in 2012. </p> <p>Interestingly, a change in attitudes has been greatest among 55 to 64 year-olds, with 63% saying they are happy with the amount of data they share today – this is compared to 47% in 2012. Critically, 88% cite transparency as one of the keys to further increasing trust in how their data is collected and used. Younger respondents are even more relaxed about privacy, with 38% falling into the ‘data unconcerned’ group.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr-online"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3749/Online_GDPR_course.png" alt="gdpr online training course" width="614" height="214"></a></p> <h3>Marketplaces predicted to account for 40% of the global online retail market by 2020</h3> <p>A <a href="http://info.mirakl.com/a-marketplace-mindset-report" target="_blank">new report</a> from Mirakl has highlighted how a growing number of retailers are adopting the marketplace model, so much so that it’s predicted marketplaces will account for 40% of the global online retail market by 2020.</p> <p>In a study of the opinions of 50 leading UK retailers, it was found that an increasing number of retailers believe the marketplace model is the key to winning customers. 68% of retailers say that operating their own marketplace gives existing customers more reasons to shop with them. Meanwhile, 70% agree that a wider product offering helps to win new customers. </p> <p>As a result of this, 44% of retailers are already selling their product through a marketplace model or plan to in the near future. 48% of retailers are also operating or plan to operate the ‘dropship model’ to sell third-party products.</p> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3731/Mirakl.JPG" alt="" width="300"></h3> <h3>Brits abandon online baskets worth almost £30 every month</h3> <p><a href="https://www.home.barclaycard/media-centre/press-releases/Retailers-losing-18bn-per-year-through-surf-n-turf-shopping.html" target="_blank">New research</a> by Barclaycard has revealed that UK shoppers abandon an online basket worth an average of £29.37 each month. This could amount to more than £18 billion of lost sales per year for retailers.</p> <p>The research also says that women’s clothing is the most abandoned category, followed by men’s clothing, and then entertainment items. More specifically, women’s knitwear is the number one most abandoned item, leather goods (such as wallets) is the second, while women’s lingerie and hosiery is the third.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 6pm to 8pm and 8pm to 10pm are said to be the peak times for online shopper drop-out, and 17% of shoppers who abandon items do so because they like to ‘window shop’ with no intention to buy.</p> <p><strong>More on basket abandonment:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69561-why-online-shoppers-abandon-their-baskets-and-how-to-stop-them">Why online shoppers abandon their baskets and how to stop them</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69694-how-to-deal-with-cart-abandonment-inside-the-mind-of-a-customer" target="_blank">How to deal with cart abandonment: Inside the mind of a customer</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69663-don-t-patronise-me-with-personalised-cart-abandonment-emails-a-case-study" target="_blank">Don't patronise me with 'personalised' cart abandonment emails (a case study)</a></li> </ul> <h3>ePrivacy law could see brands lose more than 40% of web traffic</h3> <p>A <a href="https://www.mailjet.com/blog/news/research-report-eprivacy/" target="_blank">Mailjet report</a> (based on opinion from 400 marketers in the UK and France) suggests that the new ePrivacy law could see brands lose more than 40% of web traffic. As a result, 30% of respondents plan to reduce the amount of cookie-based display, paid search, and retargeting they carry out in the immediate aftermath of the new regulation.</p> <p>Under ePrivacy, internet users will have the option to set browser-level cookie permissions which could mean the withdrawal of millions of consumer datasets from brand view. </p> <p>While 85% of marketers are confident they know the difference between ePrivacy and GDPR, 93% of companies are currently still using cookie-based advertising to reach their customers. </p> <p>Despite the potential loss in traffic, marketers do feel ePrivacy will be a good thing for their company in the long term. 57% of marketers agreed they will rely less on tactics like retargeting ads and build more qualitative data insights to improve the customer experience.</p> <p><strong>More on ePrivacy:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69342-focus-on-gdpr-but-ignore-e-privacy-at-your-peril" target="_blank">Focus on GDPR, but ignore e-Privacy at your peril</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/training/courses/gdpr-data-driven-marketing"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3748/London_F2F_GDPR_course.png" alt="gdpr london training course" width="613" height="214"></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69960 2018-04-20T09:09:08+01:00 2018-04-20T09:09:08+01:00 How Zara is using in-store tech to improve its frustrating shopper experience Nikki Gilliland <p>From this it aims to offer customers a slicker, more streamlined, and ultimately enjoyable experience – as well as to combat the growing competition of ecommerce front-runners.</p> <p>So, here’s a run-down of how Zara is using technology to gain an in-store edge, as well as what value it provides consumers.</p> <h3>Streamlining checkout with self-service</h3> <p>There’s no denying that Zara is one of the most in-demand retailers of the past few years. As of May 2017, it was ranked as the <a href="https://www.forbes.com/companies/zara/" target="_blank">51st most valuable brand</a> in the world by Forbes, with sales increasing 13% to reach a record £602.7 million.</p> <p>This is pretty evident in Zara stores, hence my frustrating experience last year. Shops are typically packed, often resulting in long queues for the fitting rooms and even longer ones to actually buy something (or god forbid, make a return).</p> <p>In a bid to combat this, Zara has now launched self-service checkouts, allowing customers to skip the queue and buy for their items via do-it-yourself kiosks (à la Tesco). </p> <p>However, the technology looks and feels much slicker than your average supermarket. Since being made a permanent feature of stores last September, I’ve given it a go a few times myself, and have actually left feeling quite impressed. </p> <p>Instead of receiving the classic ‘unexpected item in bagging area’ alert, I enjoyed an intuitive and relatively easy-to-use experience. One of its best features is that it adds any item to your basket that you hold up in front of it (meaning no searching for or scanning pesky barcodes).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Zara has self checkout now!!!! I get to avoid unnecessary human interaction as much as possible <a href="https://t.co/zTcfhwwnBY">pic.twitter.com/zTcfhwwnBY</a></p> — A Boogie (@_KillaSeasonn) <a href="https://twitter.com/_KillaSeasonn/status/897154223829389315?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 14, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Has it abolished long queues entirely? Not quite, though (and this might just coincide with refurbished stores or more staff) the issue does seem to be lessening. Plus, the more customers try using the checkouts, the more it’s likely to ease even further.</p> <h3>Click-and-collect &amp; fitting room tech</h3> <p>Recently, Zara introduced its first ever click-and-collect store in London’s Westfield Stratford. It’s only a pop-up (set to run until May) while its main store is being refurbished, but it could indicate that the retailer will be fully rolling out the feature in future. </p> <p>Click-and-collect is not the only new technology on display at the pop-up, with other features also indicating what we might expect from the new flagship store. </p> <p>Alongside online order collection, there’s also the option for customers to order and pay via their mobile phones in-store. What’s more, the fitting rooms include radio frequency identification technology (RFID), which offers up recommended or co-ordinating items when a customer scans something. </p> <p>There’s certainly value in both these features, most notably click-and-collect - which Zara has surprisingly failed to invest in until now. The decision is certainly set to please online shoppers, as well as potentially increase orders made on the website. </p> <p>The fitting room feature is also innovative and not something commonly seen on the high street – Mango is the only other example currently experimenting with it – meaning that it could be a key differentiator amid stiff competition for Zara.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3718/Zara_pop_up.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="456"></p> <h3>Clothing comes to life with AR</h3> <p>Moving on to Zara’s latest initiative - augmented reality. This is particularly interesting, as while we’ve seen many mainstream <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69016-why-beauty-brands-are-betting-on-augmented-reality" target="_blank">beauty brands launching AR apps</a> - capitalising on the consumer’s desire to test products before purchasing – the fashion industry has been less quick on the uptake.</p> <p>So far, there have been just a few examples to appear (mainly from the luxury sector, such as Burberry) – also serving as a bit of fun rather than for product-based research.</p> <p>Zara was recently one of the first mainstream retailers to launch an AR app, which is designed to bring clothes to life in-stores. By pointing cameras at sensors installed in windows, users of the app can see virtual fashion models strutting their stuff. Other AR imagery includes mannequins moving around and showcasing the brand’s new Studio Collection.</p> <p>Once users have viewed the experience, there is also the option to buy the clothes featured directly through the app or in the store itself.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3716/Zara_AR.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="396"></p> <p>But will customers really use this kind of technology in-the-moment? </p> <p>With Zara reportedly only running the initiative for a few weeks, it does seem more like a promotional campaign rather than something of real or long-term value for consumers. Again, this is also because the AR imagery is more geared around novelty and entertainment rather than having any real impact on the path to purchase.</p> <p>The fact that the app asks users to share their photos and videos of the AR experience indicates that the retailer is hoping for a big splash on social.</p> <p>Having said that, there’s certainly a demand for a share-worthy shopping experience. Other brands like Missguided have found success with an <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68567-five-things-to-appreciate-about-missguided-s-first-ever-physical-store" target="_blank">Instagram-able in-store CX</a>. Meanwhile, Zara is clearly hoping the technology will lure millennials away from online-only retailers like ASOS and into its now hi-tech stores.</p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Thanks to its increased focus on technology, Zara has certainly made steps to improve and enhance the customer experience in stores, with initiatives helping to counteract some of its previous problems. </p> <p>Self-checkouts help to ease congestion and make buying items less frustrating, while fitting room technology makes the experience of trying on clothes much more fun and enjoyable. Similarly, the AR app is a fun and unique concept, which is sure to pique the interest of younger shoppers - or those wanting to try out something new. </p> <p>So, while Zara’s future was never really in doubt, it’s recent investments are likely to boost success, as well as cement the loyalty of long-term fans.</p> <p><strong>Related articles:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69754-how-lush-is-raising-the-bar-for-in-store-experience">How Lush is raising the bar for in-store experience</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69727-how-retailers-are-using-geofencing-to-improve-in-store-cx">How retailers are using geofencing to improve in-store CX</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69223-five-ways-retailers-are-helping-in-store-shoppers-using-digital-channels">Five ways retailers are helping in-store shoppers using digital channels</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69949 2018-04-17T11:29:00+01:00 2018-04-17T11:29:00+01:00 How Intelistyle plans to become the 'Spotify of fashion' with its AI stylist app Nikki Gilliland <p>Intelistyle is a new company built around this premise. An AI fashion stylist and retail aggregator - it offers personalised styling advice via its mobile app.</p> <p>I recently spoke with Kostas Koukoravas, Intelistyle’s founder and CEO, to gain a better understanding of the company, and more specifically, how it is aiming to change the retail experience for everyday shoppers.</p> <p><em>(Note, if you're interested in AI, ecommerce and marketing, why not attend our <a href="http://conferences.marketingweek.com/">Supercharged event on May 1st in London</a>)</em></p> <h3>Supercharged clothes-styling and discovery</h3> <p>Most fashion brands claim to offer a ‘personalised’ service nowadays. But this usually amounts to recommendations based on past online purchases, or perhaps a chat with a style advisor in-store. </p> <p>This is obviously due to the personal and often subjective nature of clothing in general, with brands typically using purchase or browsing data for marketing or re-targeting purposes.</p> <p><a href="https://www.intelistyle.co.uk/" target="_blank">Intelistyle</a> strives to put personalisation at the forefront of the shopping experience. There are two ways people can use the mobile app – either to look for new clothes or to find out how to style their existing wardrobe. Users can browse from online retail stores or upload photos of their existing clothes. From this, the AI then provides them with instant outfit suggestions. </p> <p>Kostas explains that the goal is to personalise the entire ecommerce experience, “tailoring recommendations to the user’s style, body type, skin tone and the latest fashion trends”. </p> <p>The app is designed to solve a tangible need, with the idea stemming from Kostas’ own frustrations as a shopper – and someone who simply struggles knowing what to wear. </p> <p>“Whenever I go shopping online or in store I end up browsing through hundreds of irrelevant clothes, so I started thinking that there must be a better way to do this.” With research showing that one in two adults in the UK are looking for inspiration on how to use or renew their wardrobe, “the idea of getting free personalised style advice at the press of a button is bound to appeal.”</p> <p>Kostas also cites the success of brands like Spotify and YouTube as inspiration, and with previous experience working on AI products at Microsoft, he spotted a clear opportunity to use the technology to “supercharge clothes-styling and discovery” within fashion.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Get personalised styling recommendations in a tap. Try out our app here: <a href="https://t.co/8pmPtM8wxh">https://t.co/8pmPtM8wxh</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/app?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#app</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ai?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ai</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ootd?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ootd</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/fashion?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#fashion</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/outfitinspiration?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#outfitinspiration</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/outfit?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#outfit</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/style?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#style</a> <a href="https://t.co/FU2ikfeFpX">pic.twitter.com/FU2ikfeFpX</a></p> — Intelistyle (@intelistyle) <a href="https://twitter.com/intelistyle/status/978601308923064320?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 27, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>How does Intelistyle work with fashion retailers?</h3> <p>There are two ways that retailers can work with Intelistyle. First, as an affiliate company, Intelistyle directly integrates with retail websites (and takes a cut of every sale).</p> <p>According to Kostas, the ability to check out directly on the app is key, as it “allows customers to have an uninterrupted user experience.” </p> <p>There are further benefits for brands too. “We’ve made this process really easy for smaller or independent retailers who might have different needs - our plugins allow them to sell their existing website stock on our platform without any additional risk or effort on their end.”</p> <p>Alongside this, retailers also have the option of using Intelistyle’s AI styling services on their own website. This allows them to offer ‘complete the look’ recommendations for their entire product catalogue. Kostas says that this is where the real value lies, as retailers are able to personalise the entire customer experience:</p> <p>“Their homepage and search results can show recommendations that are right for the user’s body type, skin tone, hair, and eye colour as well as personal sense of style.”</p> <p>What’s more, email promotions or ad retargeting can become much more personal. For example, instead of delivering blanket offers, Intelistyle can tailor offers to the user’s specific needs.</p> <p>Kostas explains, “Instead of just saying ‘here’s 20% off shoes’, you can say ‘here’s 20% off shoes to match that dress you own’ or ‘discover dresses to flatter your natural skin tone’. It immediately becomes much more powerful.”</p> <h3>An AI for your own wardrobe</h3> <p>There are a number of other brands using artificial intelligence for styling purposes. There’s Amazon’s ‘Style Check’ skill, for example, as well as styling chatbot Epytom.</p> <p>So, how does Intelistyle differentiate itself?</p> <p>Kostas says that it is down to the innovative nature of the AI, as while competitors offer consumers generic ideas for clothing that’s <em>similar</em> to ones they own, “Intelistyle gives specific recommendations for the actual clothes they have in their wardrobe.”</p> <p>The AI has been trained by analysing millions of fashion photography images, and now uses 512 style parameters to give specific recommendations for clothes. This means Intelistyle doesn’t “box in” users with predefined styles, and the more someone uses the app, the more the AI learns and is able to create a style that is entirely unique and personal to them.</p> <p>Alongside this, Kostas says that there’s also additional value in Intelistyle’s varied functionality, with users having the ability to use the app while out shopping.</p> <p>“People can instantly see if the new clothes they’re buying match what they already own, or get styling advice for new combinations on the spot”. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Outfit of the day!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ootd?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ootd</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/outfit?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#outfit</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/fashion?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#fashion</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/fashionista?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#fashionista</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/streetstyle?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#streetstyle</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/instafashion?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#instafashion</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/stylish?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#stylish</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/instastyle?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#instastyle</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/lookbook?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#lookbook</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sunday?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sunday</a> <a href="https://t.co/gfGsXXBV0T">pic.twitter.com/gfGsXXBV0T</a></p> — Intelistyle (@intelistyle) <a href="https://twitter.com/intelistyle/status/965282298009702400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 18, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>AI stylists</h3> <p>While there’s no real ‘chat’ involved with Intelistyle, the AI-stylist is still personified to a certain extent. Kostas explains how ‘Jamie’, as she’s known, is designed to have a personality – one that is supportive and friendly. </p> <p>“We’re creating an experience that is like going shopping with your best friend, but who also happens to be a stylist.”</p> <p>This is reflected in the app’s user experience, with Intelistyle creating one that feels as natural as possible. </p> <p>“A good user interface allows for natural interactions that humans are used to. For example, it is a lot more instinctive to tap on a smartphone screen than use a mouse to translate your intent. In the same way, AI allows for exciting opportunities to create these human-like interactions.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fintelistyle%2Fposts%2F123489168268556%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="377"></iframe></p> <h3>Obstacles and inspiration</h3> <p>Intelistyle started just one year ago, and the technology needed to power its efforts was in its infancy at that time. Unsurprisingly, with huge progress being made on a daily basis in the field of AI, Intelistyle has come a long way since. The company was also given a massive boost in the form of a grant from Innovate UK - the government’s innovation agency. </p> <p>I asked Kostas whether there is a fashion brand or retailer using AI (or technology in general) that has been a particular inspiration. He cited 3D body scanning as “an area to watch”, largely to its “potential to bring a virtual fitting room into people’s homes.”</p> <p>Likeaglove.me is a good example of this - a company that uses 3D scanning to measure a person’s body and recommend perfectly-fitting clothes.</p> <p>Bodylabs, which is a recent acquisition from Amazon, is another. It can predict and measure the 3D shape of a body from just a single image, using traditional gaming technology to allow users to see a rendered avatar of themselves.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Things to know about LikeAGlove: <br>1. We analyzed hundreds of jean styles and brands and created an algorithm that takes your measurements and recommends jeans that look like they're custom made specifically for your body. <a href="https://t.co/R6xuw85DEH">https://t.co/R6xuw85DEH</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/fashiontech?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#fashiontech</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/wearabletech?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#wearabletech</a> <a href="https://t.co/ohwaUg2Kf3">pic.twitter.com/ohwaUg2Kf3</a></p> — LikeAGlove.me (@LikeAGlove_ltd) <a href="https://twitter.com/LikeAGlove_ltd/status/962063618392014848?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 9, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Kostas, there are huge benefits for both retailers and customers here, “potentially reducing the cost of returns and simultaneously driving conversions.”</p> <h3>How will Intelistyle evolve?</h3> <p>Alongside the possibilities presented by 3D scanning and other technology, Kostas believes the future of Intelistyle could lie beyond its own app walls. </p> <p>He refers to the customer’s “fashion profile” (i.e. data their own unique style preferences, body type, skin tone, hair colour etc.) – which “customers will be able to take with them online or in-store to different retailers in order to instantly receive a personalised experience on the shop floor or in the fitting room.”</p> <p>On top of this, augmented reality could be another key component, naturally helping retailers to reduce friction for customers buying online. This is because “being able to visualise how an entire outfit looks on you is not only an exciting way to explore styles, but to encourage shoppers to be more daring.”</p> <p>While these features might be a way off for Intelistyle, the start-up’s bold intent to become the “Spotify of fashion” is clearly an immediate priority. Watch this space.</p> <p><strong>More on artificial intelligence:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69716-why-fashion-and-beauty-brands-are-still-betting-on-chatbots" target="_blank">Why fashion and beauty brands are still betting on chatbots</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69769-how-ai-marketing-can-help-brands-right-now" target="_blank">How AI marketing can help brands right now</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69714-the-five-ps-of-ai-strategy-for-marketers" target="_blank">The five Ps of AI strategy for marketers</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/946 2018-04-16T05:18:47+01:00 2018-04-16T05:18:47+01:00 The Future of Ecommerce: Engaging Today's Channel-less Customer (Mumbai) <p>In collaboration with Magento, this roundtable session will discuss the latest in developments, trends, and best practices in Ecommerce.</p> <p>Attendance is <strong>limited to 30 attendees</strong> to ensure maximum interaction and sharing of insights.</p> <h4>The Roundtable Format</h4> <p>The roundtable allows you to have in-depth discussion on 2 related topics "<strong>Conversion Optimization in Ecommerce</strong>" and "<strong>Unleashing Customer Experience Excellence in Ecommerce</strong>" and also to find out from your peers how they are addressing similar challenges and opportunities.</p> <p>The roundtable is moderated by Econsultancy and delegates propose specific questions or challenges they wish to discuss on that topic in the time available.</p> <p>Led by Econsultancy and Magento's cross industry Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), this roundtable session is a "hands-on" participatory event driven by your priority areas and pain points, enabling you to learn through discussion and debate, gather marketing insights driving effective business decisions, and network with like-minded peers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3532 2018-04-13T12:14:22+01:00 2018-04-13T12:14:22+01:00 GDPR Essentials for Marketers - Online <p>This online course will help you learn everything you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before it comes into force in May 2018, and crucially: what to do about it.</p> <h4>In association with:</h4> <p><img src="http://image.mail.centaurmedia.com/lib/fe9612747465007c7d/m/2/logo_RGB_web.png" alt="" width="250" height="150">       </p> <p> <img src="https://cdn.frontify.com/api/screen/thumbnail/EAzkFg3Qo4YvWC4ph_8yDMC_6Ml5rGzx333b8HZkq4KJx64s6xyk9RzcSAvrX2PW9ftJln_n7gjA8HJCDP8ZQg/800" alt="" width="300" height="100"> </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69944 2018-04-13T10:13:13+01:00 2018-04-13T10:13:13+01:00 Why UGC is so important to subscription ecommerce brands Marina Cheal <p>Ultimately it costs a lot to generate a customer, entice them to return and to increase their basket size or their order value. As marketers, we are starting to look at changing the business model, getting customers and advocates hooked in over a longer time period.</p> <p>Why? This allows us increased budgets for attracting new customers - as long as we then invest in service and experience to engage and retain them. It’s also true that those advocates will buy more and tell their friends.</p> <p>In the B2C world, subscriptions used to be limited to media and entertainment, such as Sky, Netflix, National Geographic and Virgin Media. Today, you can subscribe to everything from shaving kits to veg boxes and even toys.</p> <p>In theory, you could sit down on Jan 1st and have an intensive session of online subscribing that will have every one of your daily needs sorted for the next 12 months. When you realise you have subscriptions to hair dye, washing powder, movie merchandise and makeup, you know that convenience and a reward for your loyalty is king. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69321-with-peugeot-now-selling-cars-online-how-is-retail-influencing-automotive">Even when looking for a car</a>, we now are starting to seek subscription models. Alongside leasing, many are turning to PCP finance, in which only the devaluation of a car (plus interest) is paid in a set amount of time. This gives customers the autonomy to upgrade or buy at the end of their contract – a new angle on the subscription model. </p> <p>So, getting customers to click that subscribe button is a no-brainer from a marketing point of view. Not only is it convenient for the customer, one conversion means ongoing guaranteed revenue, or at least it should. The problem is, and happily for the consumer, 12-month locked in subscriptions are largely a thing of the past... In many instances, ecommerce subscription products are created on a rolling month-by-month basis.</p> <p>While you might have attracted a customer to subscribe, there’s no guarantee they’ll stay. If anything, once you have the sale, the work begins. Customers go through their own little hype curve when they commit to a subscription. There’s the discovery ('Wow! Eyeliner delivered every month, who knew?'), the anticipation ('I can’t wait to get eyeliner through the post every month, amazing!'), the evangelising ('Hey everyone, getting eyeliner through the post is a REVELATION!') and the calming ('Oh look, my new eyeliner, I’d forgotten about that').</p> <p>Then the curve hits the downward slide –  the wandering eye ('They have much better eyeliner in that shop/box/subscription') and then the break-up ('Do I really need eyeliner every single month?' or 'I want eyeliner and lipstick every month – theirs is better'). How brands manage that curve is key to heading off the wandering eye and the break-up.</p> <p>The same tools used to bring customers to a subscription model in the first place need to be deployed across the customer’s lifetime. Emotional marketing has a huge influence on how subscription models stay relevant to customers’ lives. </p> <p>In the case of Harry’s shaving subscription, that means a combination of plucking the heartstrings (real employees sharing stories of their first shave) and sticking it to the man (founders standing in their boxers in an ad explaining why big FMCG threatened to ‘sue their pants off’).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eYWCUGmGuss?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>But you don’t have to be a startup to create a subscription, nor is emotion beyond the reach of giants. P&amp;G demonstrated the very threat subscription models face by <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/gillette-shows-why-legacy-brand-should-probably-never-troll-underdog-167448/">highlighting social media posts</a> of disgruntled Harry’s users, such as the one below. For every subscriber that is hooked, there is a poacher waiting to snare it away again.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tried Dollar Shave but the blades just weren't as good. Back w <a href="https://twitter.com/Gillette?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Gillette</a>. You get what you pay for! <a href="http://t.co/AAl4ZKY0Aj">pic.twitter.com/AAl4ZKY0Aj</a></p> — John Caron (@jcaron2) <a href="https://twitter.com/jcaron2/status/621129994065080324?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">15 July 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>User generated content (UGC) is at the heart of this battle. Whether the winner or the challenger, positive views and reviews can capture a new customer while negative ones give an existing customer pause for thought, even if their own experience is just fine. Sadly, few want to ally with the losing side.</p> <p>Keeping the subscriptions fresh and relevant is a task for which UGC is ideally suited. Raving about the fresh beets in the veg box on Twitter, rhapsodising over the Funko Pop in the loot box reviews section - <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69822-how-to-encourage-online-reviews-and-reasons-why-you-should">glowing reviews attract new customers</a> but also reassure current subscribers that they’re making the right choice. </p> <p>Subscription models are growing in popularity as they offer a way to keep customers loyal for longer, but they’re not an excuse for marketers to get lazy. While UGC is a critical tool to keeping that loyalty in the face of intense competition, it’s up to brands to encourage and cultivate it.</p> <p>Promote sharing on social media and elicit reviews and keep preaching to the converted. Even devout followers aren’t immune to temptation.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69713-four-marketing-lessons-we-can-learn-from-subscription-box-brands">Four marketing lessons we can learn from subscription box brands</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69220-who-should-own-customer-reviews-in-your-organisation">Who should own customer reviews in your organisation?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/945 2018-04-13T04:39:11+01:00 2018-04-13T04:39:11+01:00 The Future of Ecommerce: Engaging Today's Channel-less Customer (Bangkok) <p>In collaboration with Magento, this roundtable session will discuss the latest in developments, trends, and best practices in Ecommerce.</p> <p>Attendance is <strong>limited to 30 attendees</strong> to ensure maximum interaction and sharing of insights.</p> <h4>The Roundtable Format</h4> <p>The roundtable allows you to have in-depth discussion on 2 related topics "<strong>Conversion Optimization in Ecommerce</strong>" and "<strong>Unleashing Customer Experience Excellence in Ecommerce</strong>" and also to find out from your peers how they are addressing similar challenges and opportunities.</p> <p>The roundtable is moderated by Econsultancy and delegates propose specific questions or challenges they wish to discuss on that topic in the time available.</p> <p>Led by Econsultancy and Magento's cross industry Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), this roundtable session is a "hands-on" participatory event driven by your priority areas and pain points, enabling you to learn through discussion and debate, gather marketing insights driving effective business decisions, and network with like-minded peers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/944 2018-04-13T04:35:24+01:00 2018-04-13T04:35:24+01:00 The Future of Ecommerce: Engaging Today's Channel-less Customer (Hong Kong) <p>In collaboration with Magento, this roundtable session will discuss the latest in developments, trends, and best practices in Ecommerce.</p> <p>Attendance is <strong>limited to 30 attendees</strong> to ensure maximum interaction and sharing of insights.</p> <h4>The Roundtable Format</h4> <p>The roundtable allows you to have in-depth discussion on 2 related topics "<strong>Conversion Optimization in Ecommerce</strong>" and "<strong>Unleashing Customer Experience Excellence in Ecommerce</strong>" and also to find out from your peers how they are addressing similar challenges and opportunities.</p> <p>The roundtable is moderated by Econsultancy and delegates propose specific questions or challenges they wish to discuss on that topic in the time available.</p> <p>Led by Econsultancy and Magento's cross industry Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), this roundtable session is a "hands-on" participatory event driven by your priority areas and pain points, enabling you to learn through discussion and debate, gather marketing insights driving effective business decisions, and network with like-minded peers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69939 2018-04-11T14:04:58+01:00 2018-04-11T14:04:58+01:00 Why dynamic pricing is still as relevant as ever Min-Jee Hwang <p>With its growing popularity, any retailer that didn't have some form of dynamic pricing implemented might risk missing out on increased margins when competitors run out of inventory. On the other end of the spectrum, a retailer could be missing out on sales opportunities if a competitor drops their prices, leaving that retailer with a relative price that is way too high to be competitive.</p> <p>Dynamic pricing is still relevant because online retail is as competitive as ever, which means it's harder to capture pricing opportunities (to maximize margin or revenue, depending on your strategy) in real-time. </p> <p>'Retail winners' overwhelmingly find dynamic pricing more effective than price matching – 65% of retail winners and 46% of others agree with that statement, <a href="https://www.rsrresearch.com/research/retail-pricing-2017-the-dawn-of-personalized-prices">according to an RSR Research study</a>. It's not about pricing lower, it's about pricing more intelligently. Dynamic pricing means pricing according to internal and external variables, such as stock levels and competitor prices. You need timely, accurate data in order to do it right.</p> <h3>Dynamic pricing benefits</h3> <h4>1. Keep up with market trends</h4> <p>Retail moves fast. You may have the best price in the market one moment and be beat by multiple competitors the next. With dynamic pricing, retailers can stay up to date on competitors' prices, as well as other pricing and inventory trends, and automatically incorporate those variables into new pricing. Imagine manually trying to keep up with market trends and repricing your SKUs based on that data before the market changes. Sounds impossible, doesn't it?</p> <h4>2. Boost stagnant sales</h4> <p>Are your sales lackluster or do you need to clear inventory faster? Discounts are necessary sometimes, but it's important to ensure you don't price too low, or too high. With dynamic pricing, you can lower prices to meet your revenue goals by incorporating market trends, internal stock levels, and competitor data to find the most ideal price.</p> <h4>3. Maximize margins</h4> <p>On the flip side, dynamic pricing can be used to identify when you can raise prices to maximize margins without negatively impacting revenue. For example, perhaps your top competitor is priced significantly higher than you, or you are the only seller in the market. In both of these scenarios, you can test higher prices to estimate demand elasticity. </p> <h4>4. Scalability</h4> <p>If you're managing a large number of SKUs, perhaps the most important consideration is whether the pricing strategy you have in place is scalable. Only then can you ensure sustainability and long-term success. Many retailers have invested in building technology to support the dynamic pricing process or have turned to third-party providers to automate what was once an extremely tedious, manual, and inaccurate process.</p> <h3>Common misconceptions about dynamic pricing</h3> <p>While the benefits of dynamic pricing are clear, many retailers are hesitant to implement such a strategy due to some common fears:</p> <h4>Will dynamic pricing deplete margins?</h4> <p>Dynamic pricing is often associated with Amazon's aggressive price slashing strategy, and many retailers worry that changing their prices based on competitor pricing will force them into a margin-depleting price war. After all, most retailers can't afford to be as aggressive on price as Amazon. </p> <p>A few ways to prevent this domino effect from happening include setting price guards to make sure your pricing never goes below a certain price and incorporating other pricing variables, besides competitor pricing, into the equation.</p> <h4>Will consumers be turned off by dynamic pricing?</h4> <p>Another company that is often associated with dynamic pricing is Uber. Trying to call an Uber during a peak time can be 10x the normal cost, and consumers certainly didn't take kindly to surge pricing. While that's an extreme example, it's a reasonable concern that consumer sentiment may suffer.</p> <p><strong>But consider this:</strong> consumers are used to sales and discounts. This is no different, in the sense that consumers end up paying different prices for the same items. While incredibly frequent price changes are most likely not the right strategy, carefully implemented price changes at the right time can be a win-win for both retailers and savvy shoppers.</p> <p>In addition, just like the price guards mentioned above can protect your margins from falling below a given threshold, you can also set an upper bound to ensure your prices are always in line with your brand identity and customer expectations. </p> <h3>Closing thoughts</h3> <p>Dynamic pricing in retail is plagued with misconceptions, but Amazon's success with it proves that it is worth the time and effort. While customers might take some time to get used to the concept, rest assured they will. As a retailer, dynamic pricing is more relevant than ever because it helps them make the most of existing traffic and sales. Pricing can fluctuate within an ethical framework and still keep shoppers happy. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/ecommerce"><em><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3439/Ecommerce_Best_Practice_Widget.png" alt="ecommerce best practice guide (subscriber only)" width="615" height="243"></strong></em></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/943 2018-04-11T09:21:54+01:00 2018-04-11T09:21:54+01:00 The Future of Ecommerce: Engaging Today's Channel-less Customer (Sydney) <p>In collaboration with Magento, this roundtable session will discuss the latest in developments, trends, and best practices in Ecommerce.</p> <p>Attendance is <strong>limited to 30 attendees</strong> to ensure maximum interaction and sharing of insights.</p> <h4>The Roundtable Format</h4> <p>The roundtable allows you to have in-depth discussion on 2 related topics "<strong>Conversion Optimization in Ecommerce</strong>" and "<strong>Unleashing Customer Experience Excellence in Ecommerce</strong>" and also to find out from your peers how they are addressing similar challenges and opportunities.</p> <p>The roundtable is moderated by Econsultancy and delegates propose specific questions or challenges they wish to discuss on that topic in the time available.</p> <p>Led by Econsultancy and Magento's cross industry Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), this roundtable session is a "hands-on" participatory event driven by your priority areas and pain points, enabling you to learn through discussion and debate, gather marketing insights driving effective business decisions, and network with like-minded peers.</p>