tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/high-street Latest High street content from Econsultancy 2018-04-20T09:09:08+01:00 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/69754 2018-01-29T11:00:00+00:00 2018-01-29T11:00:00+00:00 How Lush is raising the bar for in-store experience Nikki Gilliland <p>While it’s pretty impressive in terms of ecommerce (you can read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67158-why-lush-is-the-undisputed-master-of-b-commerce" target="_blank">more about that here</a>) – I think its in-store CX is particularly worth shouting about. </p> <p>So, what can we learn from it? Here’s more on why Lush is leading the pack.</p> <h3>Innovative in-store payment</h3> <p>Recently, Lush overhauled its till system in its flagship Oxford Street London store, introducing a brand-new payment concept. It has replaced its regular till system with Android-powered tablets, which enables staff to roam around, and allows customers to checkout and pay anywhere in the store.</p> <p>The tablets also offer more payment options and faster transactions, meaning customers are less likely to abandon a purchase due to long queues or busy staff. In fact, reports suggest that revenue has risen by 20% since the introduction of the new system, as staff have been able to process more transactions at a faster rate.</p> <p>This is just one example of Lush’s aim to offer a seamless experience for shoppers in-store, as well as one that is tailored to the brand’s own retail strategy. For example, it is now looking to improve its payment system, introducing ways for customers to access wish-lists and more detailed receipts via its tablets.</p> <p>It also marks the first time a retailer has built its very own payment system, choosing to take greater control over its in-store technology and bypass traditional till providers. While not all retailers will have the funds or resources to invest (or perhaps gamble) in a similar initiative, it certainly acts as an example of how retailers can take greater control.</p> <p>On the back of its success so far, Lush plans to roll out this tablet payment system in UK stores before going on to trial it globally.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1871/Lush_tills.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="390"></p> <h3>Employees going the extra mile</h3> <p>Working for Lush is not like working in your average retail store. Shop staff typically go through extensive training to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to deliver the type of service customers have come to expect.</p> <p>So, how does Lush’s service improve the brand’s wider CX? There are a few strategies that staff take in order to satisfy customers. One is recognising and targeting customers based on their browsing behaviour. For example, if they ask lots of questions, employees will know to spend time demonstrating products based on the customer’s specific needs. Alternatively, staff are expected to recognise when a customer wants fast customer service and a quick turnaround in store. </p> <p>Lush employees are also known for going the extra mile, and striving to create friendly, memorable, and personal interactions with shoppers that aren’t based on retail transactions. It’s been reported that staff use ‘facts of the day’ in order to connect with certain emotions. So, if the weather outside is dark and miserable, Lush might aim to counteract this mood by recommending particularly bright and cheerful products. </p> <p>When you compare the type of customer service offered in Lush to other retail stores, many pale in comparison. Of course, there is the danger that not all customers will want a conversation as they shop, yet it remains an integral way in which Lush differentiates itself to create a memorable store experience.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">being greeted by the lush staff <a href="https://t.co/swCjPFzKJA">pic.twitter.com/swCjPFzKJA</a></p> — arran (@coloppola) <a href="https://twitter.com/coloppola/status/804038170425884672?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 30, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Unique and interactive layout</h3> <p>Another thing that makes Lush stand out from other retail stores is how it displays its products – as well as how it encourages customers to interact with them.</p> <p>Its stores are reminiscent of a deli or grocery layout, with customers encouraged to pick up, smell, and touch items as they go. Demonstrations are also part and parcel of the shop experience, as again staff are eager to show how products work and what they can do, using large sinks to show off its famously colourful bath bombs.</p> <p>It might sound a little grandiose, but there is almost a theatrical element to the Lush experience. Which, arguably, is why the brand is able to charge quite a bit more than other household brands of everyday products like soap, shower gel, and shampoo.</p> <p>Lush packaging is also another hallmark. While most of its products come ‘naked’, taking away the need for wasteful packaging, its pots and bottles are made from post-consumer plastic, and include quirky information such as who made it. Alongside friendly service, the Lush eco-friendly attitude and interactive store experience is something customers have come to expect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1873/lush_in_store.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="427"></p> <h3>Aligning offline and online CX</h3> <p>In-store technology is clearly a new priority for Lush, however the brand has also been striving to better align its app with the in-store experience for a while now.</p> <p>During last year’s Creative Showcase, Lush unveiled two new technologies. The first is Lush Lens – a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69460-image-recognition-in-ecommerce-visual-search-product-tagging-and-content-curation" target="_blank">visual search tool</a> that allows users to discover further information about a product by identifying it with their smartphone camera. Secondly, it’s experimenting with a voice-activated assistant called Lush Concierge. This lets customers ask questions (such as where the nearest store is) as well as enables staff to find out information like stock levels and other inventory-related queries.</p> <p>With plans to integrate both tools into the existing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68308-four-things-to-appreciate-about-lush-s-new-app/" target="_blank">Lush app</a>, it further proves the brand’s commitment to innovation, which will in turn continue to improve the customer’s experiences with the brand, and act as a key differentiator in the retail market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1874/Lush_lens.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="409"></p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/lush-a-fresh-approach-to-customer-experiences" target="_blank">case study on Lush’s CX</a></strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69600 2017-11-27T11:23:00+00:00 2017-11-27T11:23:00+00:00 Four examples of persuasive packaging copy Nikki Gilliland <p>Packaging copy has gained a bad reputation in the past few years, mainly due to the rise of ‘wackaging’ – i.e. the overly-friendly and almost sickly-sweet style of language used by Innocent and Ella’s Kitchen. </p> <p>It’s understandable why this tactic has become so popular. By using chatty language and quirky slogans, brands are aiming to grab the buyer’s attention and create a more personal connection. The problem is - it can also feel patronising if, say, you’re simply looking for a smoothie with the lowest sugar content. No one wants to be told to ‘eat your greens’ at the same time, right?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0644/Innocent.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="453"></p> <p>This is an arguably cynical point of view, and perhaps it is rather too obvious to single out Innocent. It has crafted its own unique and highly recognisable brand voice, and there is undoubtedly an audience for it.</p> <p>So, where does the balance lie when it comes to good packaging copy? Here are a few examples that I think hit the mark, and how it might impact the consumer in a positive way.</p> <h3>The Ordinary</h3> <p>Most beauty brands use over-the-top packaging to capture the attention of shoppers, using equally exaggerated names and descriptions to hammer-home the supposed benefits. </p> <p>For instance, while Maybelline’s ‘Colossal Big Shot Mascara’ sounds impressive, the reality could leave customers feeling slightly let down by its bold claim. Similarly, skincare is another area where brands tend to go over the top, waxing lyrical about how a product will restore a youthful glow or banish wrinkles. </p> <p>The Ordinary is one brand that does the opposite, instead using packaging copy to reflect its wider ethos of ‘less is more’. By taking away unnecessary ingredients, design, and marketing – which only ramps up price – it is able to take a no-frills approach across the board. Its packaging reflects this, merely listing ingredients to leave the consumer in no doubt as to what’s included.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0637/Ordinary.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="555"></p> <p>While this might sound like it lacks elements of persuasion, I think it instils confidence in customers. Promising ‘clinical formulations with integrity’ – it comes across as a brand that strives to be honest and authentic rather than boastful and in-your-face. There is the argument that a lack of information on packaging might leave customers unsure about what the product is meant to do, however, as a brand that largely sells online, the Ordinary relies on the fact that this is typically included on ecommerce sites.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0638/Ordinary_2.JPG" alt="" width="372" height="427"></p> <h3>Anatomicals</h3> <p>Another way brands tend to use copy to stand out on shelves is with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67434-four-brands-with-a-brilliantly-funny-tone-of-voice" target="_blank">humour</a>. Again, this can be an even riskier strategy, with the combined danger of sounding overly-friendly as well as unfunny. </p> <p>One company that I think uses humour and wit to great effect is bath and body brand, Anatomicals. Its uses a bold typeface and witty puns to grab the user’s attention, also doing so to make its broad (and perhaps mundane) product range sound exciting and appealing to customers - especially against glossy and high-end competitive brands.</p> <p>I don’t mean that the brand is mundane. But on the product side is it really possible to make lip balm sound exciting? With its ‘stop cracking up’ balm – Anatomicals gives it a good go. Elsewhere, from the “you need a blooming shower, rose and jasmine cleanser” to the “help the paw hand cream” – its copy is both clever and unique.</p> <p>Anatomicals also shrewdly recognises the context in which its products will be used, for example incorporating lengthy descriptions on products like shampoo or shower gel, in situations where consumers are likely to stop and linger. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0635/Anatomicals_2.JPG" alt="" width="381" height="413"></p> <p>Another reason the copy works well is that – much like The Ordinary - it reflects the brand’s no-nonsense approach. If you’ve ever come across an Anatomicals product, you might have noticed that it does not try to convince you to buy it with endless benefits and promised results. Rather, it concentrates on the functional and straight-forward elements of the product. </p> <p>What more can you say about “puffy the eye-bag slayer: wake-up under-eye patches”? I for one am convinced.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0636/anatomicals_3.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="324"></p> <h3>Propercorn</h3> <p>As well as trying to make friends with consumers, a number of brands are now using copy to convey a sense of authenticity or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67874-the-rise-of-the-artisanal-tone-of-voice-among-brand-marketers/" target="_blank">artisanal sensibility</a>. This can backfire of course, with brands like (the now defunct) ‘Harris &amp; Hoole’ pretending to sound independent – despite being owned by Tesco.</p> <p>Some can get it right, if values and products match up that is. Propercorn is one brand that I think does succeed with its artisanal packaging copy, using a good combination of storytelling and product information to engage customers in-the-moment. After all, Propercorn does not largely invest in digital marketing activity, typically relying on outdoor ads and word of mouth instead.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0643/propercorn_OOH.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="371"></p> <p>On its packaging, which is also well-known for its bright and eye-catching design, it takes the opportunity to <a href="https://www.creativereview.co.uk/brand-storytelling-trend-began-whether-will-ever-end/">tell the story</a> of how the brand began. Detailing how it’s “popcorn done properly”, borne out “hours spent experimenting with ingredients and seasonings” – the copy surprises consumers with a personal touch.</p> <p>The fact that it’s also written from the personal perspective of co-founder, Cassandra Stavrou, further enhances this notion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0642/propercorn.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>To me, this is what makes Propercorn stand out amid an onslaught of similar brands. With restrained yet engaging storytelling, the product is perhaps more likely to draw in customers browsing supermarket snack shelves. </p> <h3>Oasis</h3> <p>Finally, while you might not consider fashion items to contain ‘packaging’ copy (unless you order online) – I’ve noticed that Oasis has been placing a big focus on in-store copy of late. </p> <p>For example, customers might come across slogans like “you deserve it” or “treat yourself” on item hangers, perhaps prompting you to at least try it on…</p> <p>Meanwhile, signs around the store speak to customers at every touchpoint, from encouraging you to ask for another size to checking out Oasis on social. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0640/Oasis.JPG" alt="" width="510" height="345"></p> <p>This example shows that copywriting does not have to begin and end online – and neither does it have to be the hallmark of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68919-how-visual-social-listening-is-helping-fmcg-and-beyond" target="_blank">FMCG brands</a>.</p> <p>By using copy in a creative and personal way, Oasis is able to successfully reach out engage customers in-the-moment, when they’re ready and primed to buy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0641/oasis_2.JPG" alt="" width="403" height="313"></p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions" target="_blank">A copywriter's template for excellent product page descriptions</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67708-10-common-online-copywriting-mistakes/" target="_blank">10 common online copywriting mistakes</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67752-three-online-copywriting-tips-supported-by-research" target="_blank">Three online copywriting tips supported by research</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69593 2017-11-22T10:00:00+00:00 2017-11-22T10:00:00+00:00 Physical book sales rise as consumers embrace the #shelfie Nikki Gilliland <p>Leaving our tea obsession aside for now, <a href="http://store.mintel.com/uk-books-and-e-books-market-report" target="_blank">Mintel predicts</a> that sales of books and e-books will reach £2.02 billion in 2017, marking an annual increase of 4%.</p> <p>Interestingly, despite the nation’s supposed digital addiction – with consumers spending more time watching screens than ever before – print is winning out. Sales of physical books are predicted to rise by 6% to £1.7bn this year, while sales of e-books are in line to fall.</p> <p>So, what’s behind this boom in consumer desire for physical books, and how are brands and publishers capitalising on it? Here’s more on the story.</p> <h3>Perceived value in physical media</h3> <p>Sales of print books are predicted to grow by 25% in the next five years, reaching £2.1 billion by 2022. In contrast, annual growth of e-books will be minimal.</p> <p>Perhaps we can put this down to the fact that consumers attribute higher value to physical books. Mintel’s research found that 69% of consumers are prepared to pay more than £6 on a hardback book, while 48% are prepared to spend more than this on a paperback. On the other hand, just 17% are prepared to spend more than £6 on an e-book, demonstrating how the perceived value of physical media is much greater. </p> <p>Alongside this, increased sales also appear to be due to a younger generation eager to get their hands on physical books. This is perhaps a little surprising, especially considering the fact that children’s digital usage is at a record high. <a href="https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/childrens-media-use" target="_blank">Ofcom research found</a> that 34% of children aged three to four years own their own media device, while youngsters aged five to 15 years spend an average of 15 hours per week online. </p> <p>It’s easy to assume then that this digital media consumption would translate to books. However, with printed copies mostly accounting for the 16% growth in children’s books in 2016 (rising to sales worth £365m) – this is apprently not the case.</p> <p>One publisher to capitalise on the desire for children's print is Wonderbly, which <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69284-how-wonderbly-uses-data-and-personalisation-to-create-a-magical-ecommerce-experience" target="_blank">uses data to personalise</a> its books based on its young reader's interests and personalities. Using technology to create and sell traditional books – it is a clever example of how to combine the digital and physical. With today's shoppers naturally drawn towards ecommerce giants like Amazon, Wonderbly draws in consumers with engaging storytelling and a seamless user experience.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FWonderbly%2Fposts%2F1523022034401160&amp;width=500" width="500" height="677"></iframe></p> <h3>The ‘shelfie’ trend</h3> <p>Another reason for the resurgence in affection for physical books could be the ‘shelfie’ trend popularised by Instagram. Essentially, instead of taking photos of themselves (i.e. in a selfie) social media users are now photographing beautifully curated shelves – filled with an impressive amount of books.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0572/Shelfie.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <p>It’s an undeniable phenomenon. There are currently 883,652 posts using the hashtag #shelfie on Instagram. Naturally, book publishers both large and small have recognised the trend, incorporating the hashtag into posts alongside #bookstagram and #bookworm. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0571/Addyman_books.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="530"></p> <p>It’s not just book publishers that are reaping the benefits either. Furniture and home interior brands are also said to be capitalising on the trend, using the hashtag to engage both book and home design fans. And these brands aren’t just benefiting from increased social media engagement – apprently it’s also boosting sales. According to John Lewis, sales of bookcases have increased 11% on the back of the trend, with consumers being inspired to get back into physical books.</p> <h3>Desire for a digital detox</h3> <p>But are consumers really reading, or are they only doing it for design purposes? It’s an interesting notion, and it’s hard not to think that the trend might sometimes be more about perceived intellect or a pretty bookcase rather than real enjoyment of literature.</p> <p>That being said, the overriding rise of audiobooks negates this, showing that the demand for content itself is legitimate. After all, audiobooks were the fastest-growing format in publishing in 2017. And in the first half of 2017, digital audio sales increased by over 28% in the US, generating $74m dollars.</p> <p>Book publishers are helping to drive this popularity through greater investment. Instead of unknown actors, they’re now employing well-known movie stars and media personalities to narrate books. Similarly, publishers are also ramping up the value of audiobooks (which can be more expensive than books or ebooks) by including additional or exclusive content. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This enchanting audiobook reunites readers with the Snowman and introduces them to an adorable new puppy-friend, the Snowdog. Read by <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BenedictCumberbatch?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BenedictCumberbatch</a> <a href="https://t.co/MgqjkpMTz5">https://t.co/MgqjkpMTz5</a> <a href="https://t.co/nscgaeHHit">pic.twitter.com/nscgaeHHit</a></p> — audible.co.uk (@audibleuk) <a href="https://twitter.com/audibleuk/status/931572262301560832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Technology has of course played a big part - brands like Audible enable consumers to access and consume content in a variety of different ways – however the resurgence of phsyical books is also perhaps due to a growing desire for <em>less</em> technology in our lives. While much of consumer downtime can be digitally-focused, e.g. shopping online or watching Netflix, audiobooks and physical books give people the chance to truly switch off and enjoy some screen-free time. </p> <h3>Other forms of physical media</h3> <p>So, does this consumer desire for physical media stop at books?</p> <p>According to Neilsen, sales of vinyl have been on the rise for the past few years, growing 2% this year – and that's despite sales of CD’s and digital downloads falling. Similarly, a recent <a href="https://tamebay.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/A-Guide-to-Physical-Media-eBay.pdf" target="_blank">report by eBay</a> suggests that gamers are also looking for physical copies of videogames, generating 22m searches on its marketplace over the past year.</p> <p>This proves that the desire for physical media is still there, which is naturally great news for traditional high street brands like HMV and Game. Meanwhile, with the likes of Amazon opening its own physical bookstores, it's a sign that even the most digitally-focused brands should not dismiss the pysical just yet. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0574/Amazon_books.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="473"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69134-amazon-books-what-retail-can-learn-from-amazon-s-new-bookstores" target="_blank">Amazon Books: What retail can learn from Amazon's new bookstores</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68023-think-retail-how-brands-are-targeting-the-phygital-generation" target="_blank">Think retail: How brands are targeting the ‘phygital’ generation</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69585 2017-11-16T14:16:50+00:00 2017-11-16T14:16:50+00:00 Advent calendars: Why beauty brands are so keen Nikki Gilliland <p>Is it yet another example of the commercialisation of Christmas? Almost certainly. However, it could also be described as an undeniably clever marketing strategy. Here’s a few reason why brands are getting involved.</p> <h3>1. Hype and conversation</h3> <p>Beauty advent calendars have been around for a while now, however they’ve continued to gain even more popularity in the past few years. </p> <p>For most beauty brands, the basic premise remains the same as the traditional one – i.e. to build excitement in the run-up to Christmas with a countdown (and a small gift each day). They often include mini or travel-sized products behind each window, allowing people to enjoy a selection of items from a specific brand, a particular category, or a mixture of the two.</p> <p>For consumers, the main appeal is the fact that the combined value of the products inside is usually far greater than the price of the calendar itself. Conversely, one of the main benefits for the brands is the amount of hype and anticipation that can be generated around the product’s release. </p> <p>Marks and Spencer is one example of a brand that generates massive hype around its now cult beauty calendar, which is well-known for being very generous in terms of the size and value of the gifts inside. M&amp;S’s clever pricing strategy – whereby customers have to spend £35 in store on top of the cost of the £35 calendar – helps boost profits, while still offering great value for consumers. This year, the contents are reported to be worth more than £250.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">M&amp;S Intel: apparently their beauty advent calendar will be out of stock by tomorrow. GO GO GO GO GO GO GO <a href="https://t.co/USTbzQXh4N">https://t.co/USTbzQXh4N</a>. It was literally my favourite thing about last December (and I went to Lapland UK so the bar was high) <a href="https://t.co/9luHwv6eN2">pic.twitter.com/9luHwv6eN2</a></p> — Alice Judge-Talbot (@alicej_t) <a href="https://twitter.com/alicej_t/status/929033921882411008?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>2. Social media engagement</h3> <p>Like most marketing campaigns within the beauty industry, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67884-seven-ways-social-media-is-shaping-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">social media is key</a> to furthering customer engagement. This can be generated with content created by the brand itself, as well as by consumers caught in the hype and anticipation.</p> <p>Last year, the luxury perfume and candle brand Diptyque created a social media campaign to coincide with customers opening their calendars throughout the month. Working with graphic designer and illustrator Pierre Marie, the brand created 25 original videos which it released on Instagram Stories each day in December. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdiptyque%2Fvideos%2F10154733356766579%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=476" width="476" height="476"></iframe></p> <p>Clarins is another brand that ramps up social media activity at this time of year, specifically using Instagram to promote its advent calendars and other festive products. It does this by using the hashtag #christmaswithclarins, which automatically encourages consumers to post photos of their own purchases and festive gift ideas.</p> <p>YouTube is another platform where advent calendar hype is ripe – particularly heightened by beauty bloggers and vloggers who post ‘best advent calendar’ videos. Some are geared around specific brands, with creators opening up calendars and reviewing the products inside, while others are a general countdown of the best of the bunch.</p> <p>Regardless, with these videos generating hundreds of thousands of views each, the exposure and promotion for the brands featured is priceless.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/p3letDKiCd8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Gifting opportunities</h3> <p>Another reason consumers can’t wait to get their hands on beauty calendars is that they are also a good option for Christmas presents - which is the main marketing message from retailers at this time of year. If you’re not certain what specific products someone might like or be suited to, for example, the amount of different products inside means that they can be a fail-safe gift idea. </p> <p>Another benefit is that advent calendars are not limited to high-end or luxury brands either. Primark is one budget retailer to recognise the potential, launching its first beauty calendar this year costing just £10. Sure, the product itself might be cheap and cheerful, but the price reflects this.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0490/Primark.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="575"></p> <p>While gifting requires you to give away calendars at the beginning of December, savvier consumers are also cottoning on to the fact that products inside the calendars can be divided up for multiple recipients, furthering value for shoppers in the run up to Christmas. </p> <p>Lastly, I also think they’re a good alternative to the rather stale ‘three for two’ bath and body gifts peddled by some retailers, which tend to be much more about the unnecessary packaging rather than products inside.</p> <h3>4. Customer loyalty</h3> <p>Thanks to the success of previous examples, advent calendars have become a big focus for beauty brands, with continual improvements being made to differentiate products and provide greater value for consumers.</p> <p>In turn, this means that brands have managed to build a loyal customer-base – one that returns each year to buy the same product. </p> <p>Liberty is one example of a brand that takes customer feedback into consideration, using it to inform the content of its calendar each year. The strategy certainly works – this November, it reportedly sold 33 calendars per minute on the Liberty website, meaning that over half of the stock had been sold online before it debuted in-store. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Set your alarms! Our Beauty Advent Calendar launches on 25th Oct in-store and online! Learn more: <a href="https://t.co/DPObi7aoDG">https://t.co/DPObi7aoDG</a> <a href="https://t.co/SHHS8LuSEr">pic.twitter.com/SHHS8LuSEr</a></p> — Liberty London (@LibertyLondon) <a href="https://twitter.com/LibertyLondon/status/920680937448443905?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 18, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Does it always work?</h3> <p>While beauty advent calendars are proving to be a great way for brands to boost sales and increase engagement at Christmas, that doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to result in success.</p> <p>Recently, YouTuber Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella) has received backlash over the release of her own advent calendar, which is apparently very disappointing considering its £50 price tag. With critics attacking her for jumping on a trend solely for monetary gain – it's clear that customer value should remain the biggest priority for brands getting involved, as well as the retail stores that sell them.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69354-10-brilliant-examples-of-content-marketing-from-beauty-brands">10 brilliant examples of content marketing from beauty brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69241-three-reasons-to-admire-glossier-the-best-online-beauty-brand-you-ve-never-heard-of">Three reasons to admire Glossier: The best online beauty brand you've never heard of</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68087-six-brilliant-blogs-from-the-beauty-industry/">Six brilliant blogs from the beauty industry</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69539 2017-10-26T10:19:26+01:00 2017-10-26T10:19:26+01:00 Six spooky Halloween marketing campaigns from big brands Nikki Gilliland <p>It appears Halloween is on heat this year. Unsurprising really, considering that UK consumers are <a href="http://www.mintel.com/blog/retail-market-news/halloween-spending-in-the-uk-set-to-reach-320-million" target="_blank">predicted to spend a whopping £320m</a> on the event.</p> <p>So, along with some more info on Topshop’s campaign, here’s how big brands are capitalising on Halloween in 2017.</p> <h3>Topshop</h3> <p>Topshop has been focusing on its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69286-five-innovators-of-the-in-store-customer-experience" target="_blank">in-store experience</a> of late. It launched a VR waterslide in its flagship store this summer, and now it’s partnered with Netflix UK to create an immersive ‘Stranger Things’ pop-up for Halloween.</p> <p>It’s a clever partnership and a win-win for both brands. Building on the popularity of season one, Topshop has created a 28-piece collection of Stranger Things clothing including t-shirts, jumpers, and bags. Meanwhile, Netflix is building anticipation in the run up to the release of season two in the UK.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9943/Topshop_2.JPG" alt="" width="679" height="489"></p> <p>Alongside the clothing, Topshop has decked out its Oxford Street store with sets including Hawkins lab, the arcade, and Will’s Castle Byers den. It’ll also be holding exclusive screenings of the new series and giving shoppers the opportunity to ‘strangeify’ their online experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9942/Topshop.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="570"></p> <p>Altogether, it makes a refreshing change from the standard Halloween-themed campaign. By capitalising on the spooky-theme of the cult TV show, Topshop has created an engaging and exciting retail event for fans. </p> <h3>Marks &amp; Spencer</h3> <p>With a long-term decline in clothing sales, last year <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69378-m-s-director-of-customer-loyalty-on-the-retailer-s-sparks-strategy" target="_blank">M&amp;S</a> announced that it would be converting 45 stores into Simply Food outlets. </p> <p>The demand for M&amp;S food is clear, and never more so than as we head into the colder months. Now the brand is aiming to delight consumers on the look-out for Halloween-themed treats, with a spooky spin on its popular range of confectionary. </p> <p>Percy Pigs have become Percy Pumpkins, alongside new pals Freaky Frogs, Vampire Fangs and Zombie Owls. Meanwhile, the famous Colin the Caterpillar (which is the brand’s long-term bestseller) has been dressed up as Dracula. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9944/M_S.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="491"></p> <p>In order to promote the range, M&amp;S has been concentrating on its Facebook and Instagram channels where it typically engages with followers to build excitement and address customer queries. </p> <p>Like Topshop, M&amp;S’s product-focus (as opposed to merely using Halloween as an excuse for a themed marketing campaign) means that it feels authentic, and should give consumers yet more incentive to visit M&amp;S food stores as we head into autumn. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9945/M_S_2.JPG" alt="" width="460" height="762"></p> <h3>Fanta</h3> <p>Coca-Cola has hugely invested in Halloween this year, launching newly designed cans and limited edition Halloween versions of Fanta multipack drinks.</p> <p>These products also feature special QR codes that can be scanned to access branded Snapchat filters and lenses, such as a China Doll shedding tears of Fanta and other spooky examples.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9946/Fanta_cans.JPG" alt="" width="670" height="509"></p> <p>Alongside this, the main event is a special VR experience in London’s Westfield Stratford and Thorpe Park. It involves a scary elevator ride, with unexpected events occurring during the trip up to the 13th floor. You can also watch the 360-degree video below to see what happens.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gqz7cEAzVw8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68401-virtual-reality-content-marketing-s-next-big-trend" target="_blank">Virtual Reality is always a draw</a> for consumers and this themed experience is bound to get people talking (especially at Thorpe Park, where people will naturally be more eager to get involved).</p> <h3>Strongbow </h3> <p>Another beverage brand to jump on Halloween this year is Strongbow Cider, mainly to draw in consumers who might typically think of it as a summertime drink. This is combined with the fact that Halloween is increasingly becoming known as a party occasion, leading the brand to mark the event with a special ‘CarnEvil’ campaign.</p> <p>Working in conjunction with pubs and bars, Strongbow has released special point-of-sale kits including decorations and beer mats to allow licensees to create their own ‘theatre of horrors’.</p> <p>Meanwhile, there is a competition for Strongbow drinkers to win a five-night stay in New Orleans to attend Mardi Gras (hence the ‘CarnEvil’ angle).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9947/Strongbow.JPG" alt="" width="460" height="650"></p> <p>So, will the campaign lead to more sales of Strongbow in pubs this Halloween? The competition might be an incentive, but I doubt it’s enough to persuade anyone who doesn’t drink cider to do so.</p> <p>That being said, with a fun and eye-catching creative, it should drive increased awareness of the brand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9948/Strongbow_2.JPG" alt="" width="583" height="587"></p> <h3>Asda</h3> <p>Asda is typically favoured by consumers looking for cheap and creative Halloween goods. This year, the supermarket has also released one of the most creative advertising campaigns based around the event.</p> <p>With an eighties theme, Asda's infectious TV advert involves multiple generations dancing to ‘Word Up’ by Cameo, dressed up in costumes and surrounded by Halloween food and decorations. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mBn9_ch7Qa0?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>It has also launched a well-designed online hub where its collates its entire collection of Halloween products, along with inspiring content such as cocktail ideas and decorating tips. And similar to M&amp;S, Asda has also released a range of special Halloween-themed food items including pumpkin crumpets and ‘day of the dead’ shortbread. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9949/Asda.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="501"></p> <p>All in all, the comprehensive campaign means that consumers are likely to think of Asda in relation to Halloween in future, with its extensive product selection likely to satisfy shoppers as they head in-stores or buy online. </p> <h3>Svedka Vodka</h3> <p>Is retargeting <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68303-four-ways-to-avoid-creepy-personalisation" target="_blank">creepy or cool</a>? This is the premise of Svedka Vodka’s digital Halloween campaign, which cleverly uses data to stalk online consumers.</p> <p>Once they watch the ‘Curse Video,’ users will be retargeted with an onslaught of spine-chilling banner ads. In order to break free of the ‘curse’, they'll then be prompted to visit the Svedka microsite and share content with their friends (which in turn redirects them to the original curse video).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0E67Ts4bqYE?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>It’s a particularly clever campaign, drawing on the modern phenomenon of data-use in advertising. </p> <p>Of course, there is the big danger that people will be annoyed rather than entertained, leading to a whole host of negativity towards the brand. However, with the campaign clearly aimed at digitally-savvy millennials, Svedka is hoping its target market will recognise the irony and relent to the fun. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9951/Svedka.JPG" alt="" width="521" height="550"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69519-memes-in-marketing-seven-memorable-examples-from-brands/" target="_blank">Memes in marketing: Seven memorable examples from brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69505-eight-effective-examples-of-quizzes-in-content-marketing" target="_blank">Eight effective examples of quizzes in content marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69499 2017-10-18T10:00:00+01:00 2017-10-18T10:00:00+01:00 Four lessons retailers can learn from Ted Baker’s international growth Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what’s behind Ted Baker’s recent success? Here’s a few reasons why I think it’s succeeding in today’s increasingly competitive fashion retail market, and what we can learn from its example.</p> <h3>Distinct brand DNA</h3> <p>Ted Baker sets itself apart from other fashion retailers with a distinct brand identity. This is characterised by ‘Ted’ himself, who is a personification of the brand’s quirky and decidedly British image. </p> <p>The brand’s founder, Ray Kelvin, has previously been described as the ‘closest man to Ted’. He says that it is “an individual and quirky viewpoint on fashion which keeps the customer coming back for more”, and it is the brand’s distinctly British sense of humour that is a big part of this.</p> <p>Ted Baker now has 36 standalone shops, 237 concessions and 14 outlets in countries across the word, capitalising on its British heritage to appeal to international consumers. Alongside this, it also focuses on a dedication to quality (in terms of both its product and customer service) and a real attention to detail. </p> <p>The latter is particularly evident in its retail stores, with each one being entirely unique in design. Its stores also serve as an opportunity for the retailer to reflect its whimsical personality. Examples of this include its Bluewater store including its own fictional village called ‘Tedbury’, as well as its London-themed Tokyo outlet, which is complete with a booth made to look like a black cab.</p> <p>Altogether, it has managed to create a brand identity that is both fun and highly recognisable to consumers across the globe.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9611/TB_Tokyo.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="326"></p> <h3>Experiential and innovative retail</h3> <p>Ted Baker was one of the first fashion brands to launch an experiential retail concept. Its line of Grooming Rooms, which first opened in 2010, offers customers the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Turkish barber experience (which ‘Ted’ apparently discovered during his travels).</p> <p>It offers haircuts and shaves and even brow threading – drawing in customers who are fans of Ted Baker’s dapper and perfectly groomed image. Some Grooming Rooms are standalone, yet others are placed inside larger Ted stores to entice shoppers to linger.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hold fast with the new Hair Mud from <a href="https://twitter.com/Teds_Grooming?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Teds_Grooming</a>, formulated to give matte definition without the weight: <a href="https://t.co/fHFJXN9b8f">https://t.co/fHFJXN9b8f</a> <a href="https://t.co/kNKvYCerAt">pic.twitter.com/kNKvYCerAt</a></p> — Ted Baker (@ted_baker) <a href="https://twitter.com/ted_baker/status/915275385079771136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 3, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>On the back of this demand for the brand, Ted Baker has also expanded its product offering, stretching to bath and body products, spectacles, and even a range of bicycles in collaboration with bike retailer Quella.</p> <p>This has meant that Ted Baker is transforming into much more of a lifestyle brand than just a straight-forward fashion brand – which is a clear advantage over competitors like Paul Smith and French Connection. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We're all wheels: shop Ted bikes with <a href="https://twitter.com/QuellaBicycle?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@QuellaBicycle</a>. <a href="https://t.co/cxgpJLwohw">pic.twitter.com/cxgpJLwohw</a></p> — Ted Baker (@ted_baker) <a href="https://twitter.com/ted_baker/status/914759479782146048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Elsewhere, Ted Baker uses digital technology to dazzle in-store customers. For its Spring 2017 campaign, it installed an interactive window displays in its flagship Regent Street store.</p> <p>The display, which involved passers by placing their hands on the window and peering through, was effective for piquing consumer interest. It also gave them the chance to enter a prize draw if they got involved, which was a great way to forge long-term connections.</p> <h3>Strong logistics</h3> <p>While the aforementioned activity is bound to delight customers, Ted Baker’s recent success can also be put down to heavy investment in infrastructure. It has recently opened a brand new distribution centre based in Derby, which acts as the main base for all of Ted Baker’s retail, wholesale and ecommerce operations across Europe. It also allows Ted Baker to fulfil the increasingly demanding expectations of consumers, such as next-day delivery and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68739-how-has-click-collect-evolved-and-is-it-still-in-high-demand/">click and collect</a>. </p> <p>This approach has also led to steady but strong international expansion, with the brand leading with concessions in markets like Vietnam and South Africa to build desire for its product – and building further standalone stores in China and the US.</p> <p>With a 43.8% rise in ecommerce sales, its investment has clearly paid off.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9639/TB_China.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="351"></p> <h3>Non-traditional marketing</h3> <p>Ted Baker has famously avoided traditional advertising, mainly focusing on digital and social channels. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69094-five-examples-of-brands-using-interactive-video" target="_blank">Video</a> has been a huge area of focus, with the brand clearly paying attention to the prediction that 79% of all internet traffic will come from video by 2020.</p> <p>In 2016, it released a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66625-shoppable-video-the-missing-piece-of-your-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">shoppable video</a> directed by Guy Ritchie – essentially a mini-film that allowed viewers to click and save items featured. For its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68900-ted-baker-uses-360-video-and-instagram-stories-for-new-ss17-campaign" target="_blank">follow-up campaign</a>, ‘Keeping Up with the Bakers’, the brand launched a 360-degree shoppable film, allowing users to become further immersed in the world of Ted. </p> <p>This demonstrates how eager the brand is to innovate, with each campaign introducing new elements to surprise and delight consumers. According to research, 360-degree video increases engagement (and therefore sales) as people are said to feel greater affinity with things that they can control. Combining this with shoppable content means that consumers are even more likely to take action. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZSSfIlQnZb8?wmode=transparent" width="656" height="367"></iframe></p> <p>Meanwhile, Ted Baker uses social to further increase engagement around its campaigns, particularly focusing on Instagram for its large reach.</p> <p>It released its ‘Keeping Up with the Bakers’ sitcom on Instagram Stories, building anticipation in the run up to each episode, and giving viewers incentives to view each episode with daily challenges.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">UFO sightings have been confirmed on Tailor’s Lane. Head to Instagram Stories to find out the classified information <a href="https://t.co/auSCp3J3s1">https://t.co/auSCp3J3s1</a> <a href="https://t.co/px7PpjCmQl">pic.twitter.com/px7PpjCmQl</a></p> — Ted Baker (@ted_baker) <a href="https://twitter.com/ted_baker/status/841725624293117952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 14, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Key takeaways</h3> <p>So, what can we learn from Ted Baker’s approach to retail? Here are few key points to remember.</p> <p><strong>1. Define your DNA.</strong> Ted Baker has created a memorable brand image based on its quirky and British sense of humour. This allows the brand to differentiate itself from the competition, and engage consumers on a deeper level.</p> <p><strong>2. Constantly innovate.</strong> With a strong brand (and product) as its backbone, Ted Baker is unafraid to improve and innovate in other areas such as in-store technology. Again, this makes it stand out in a competitive retail market, as well as delivering a memorable customer experience.</p> <p><strong>3. Focus on logistics</strong>. While engaging customers is important, Ted Baker ensures it is able to deliver top quality service with heavy focus and investment on logistics. Factors like fast delivery and easy returns, as well as large and new amount of products helps to satisfy customer demand.</p> <p><strong>4. Refresh your content</strong>. Lastly, Ted Baker shows how an innovative and creative approach to marketing can pay off. With a focus on video – experimenting with 360 and shoppable content – it constantly surprises and delights consumers, helping to increase long-term loyalty to the brand.</p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69037-four-digital-commerce-lessons-from-fashion-retailer-bonobos" target="_blank">Four digital commerce lessons from fashion retailer Bonobos</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69334-lessons-in-brand-building-from-deliciously-ella" target="_blank">Lessons in brand building from Deliciously Ella</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69494 2017-10-17T12:00:00+01:00 2017-10-17T12:00:00+01:00 Four reasons fashion brands are launching their own beauty ranges Nikki Gilliland <p>But <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69044-five-reasons-behind-boohoo-s-97-increase-in-profits" target="_blank">Boohoo</a> is certainly not the only fashion retailer to capitalise on this burgeoning industry. It comes hot on the heels of other high street and online fashion brands including Primark, H&amp;M, and New Look also launching their very own beauty products. Others, like Topshop and M&amp;S, have been in the game for a while.</p> <p>So why are more fashion brands entering the beauty market? Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest benefits.</p> <h3>1. A slice of the beauty pie</h3> <p>On the surface, it’s unsurprising that fashion brands are looking to the increasingly lucrative beauty sector. </p> <p>While fashion sales stagnated in 2016, the beauty industry enjoyed notable growth. This only looks set to continue in the next few years, with the US beauty market in particular predicted to be worth <a href="http://www.gcimagazine.com/marketstrends/regions/northamerica/US-Beauty-Sector-Will-be-worth-90-Billion-by-2020-387002581.html?utm_source=Most+Read&amp;utm_medium=website&amp;utm_campaign=Most+Read" target="_blank">$90bn by 2020</a>. Meanwhile, the mass market category (which is targeted at middle or low income population) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 2.6% until then.</p> <p>Of course, the more crowded the market becomes, the more difficult it will be to connect with customers. However, previous examples show there is potential for real success.</p> <p>Take Topshop for instance, which first launched its beauty range back in 2009. Now a familiar part of its stores, its make-up range has a loyal customer base. There are perhaps a few reasons in particular why this is the case, such as dedicating a large part of its stores to showcasing make-up – not simply shoving it by the tills. This decision highlights the collection’s standalone appeal, telling customers that it is something worth seeking out rather than buying last-minute.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9569/Topshop_beauty.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="504"></p> <p>Similarly, its investment in a large and diverse range of products – which happens to also take much longer to produce than fashion – has contributed to the range’s reputation for high quality.</p> <h3>2. The chance to be a one-stop shop</h3> <p>Another reason fashion brands are expanding into beauty is the opportunity to become a one-stop shop, providing loyal customers with everything they need under one umbrella brand.</p> <p>Primark is a pertinent example of this, with beauty being just one of its extensive number of categories. Essentially, it contributes to the idea that there is nothing you can’t buy from Primark, including fashion, homeware, food, and now make-up – so why would you go anywhere else?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Are you a saint or a sinner? Prices from: €3/$3.50 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PrimarkBeauty?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PrimarkBeauty</a> <a href="https://t.co/1cLTWaYyNX">pic.twitter.com/1cLTWaYyNX</a></p> — Primark (@Primark) <a href="https://twitter.com/Primark/status/911229108914409472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 22, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Other brands are also recognising the potential to capture customer loyalty in this way. H&amp;M recognises that beauty can be an extension of fashion, which merely allows customers to experiment with their personal style in another way. Consequently, the retailer has heavily invested in its hair and make-up range, also extending it to fragrance and bath and body. It’s even launched sustainable and limited edition products, ensuring that customers are dazzled by an irresistible amount of choice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9570/H_M.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="502"></p> <h3>3. Upselling and repurchasing</h3> <p>Alongside the ability to offer something other than just fashion, brands are also jumping on beauty as a way to increase customer retention.</p> <p>It depends on both budget and personal choice, of course, but while people might only buy new clothes at the start of every season or during sales, customers are more likely to buy beauty or cosmetics products when they run out. In turn, this also allows retailers to retarget customers based on predictions about when they will need to re-purchase – a tactic often used by traditional beauty brands such as Lancome (see below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9571/Lancome.JPG" alt="" width="480" height="782"></p> <p>Another reason is that stocking beauty or make-up products can prompt customers to spend more, even if that is not their original intention. For example, online shoppers might add small-price beauty items to their basket to reach the amount needed for free-delivery. In stores, customers might also be drawn to beauty and cosmetics items for gifting purposes or simply as spontaneous purchases.</p> <p>For <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69216-four-factors-fuelling-the-growth-of-fast-fashion-retailers" target="_blank">fast-fashion brands</a>, where value is already a selling point, the ability to sell low-price but high quality beauty is also drawing in swathes of consumers – especially of a younger generation. With cosmetics typically being one of the first categories young people spend their money on, fast-fashion brands (that already have a connection with this demographic) have a one-up on legacy or higher-priced brands such as Mac or L’Oréal. </p> <p>Meanwhile, older consumers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to factors like packaging or branding, which typically inflates price but does not impact the quality of the product itself. The popularity of new brands like The Ordinary (which offers highly functional, stripped down skincare products) demonstrates this.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I cant stop myself from pressing that 'add to basket' button when it comes to The Ordinary products from <a href="https://twitter.com/deciem?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@deciem</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skincare?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skincare</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/obsessed?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#obsessed</a> <a href="https://t.co/vsgFf9yosk">pic.twitter.com/vsgFf9yosk</a></p> — Orla Maginness (@MissMaginness) <a href="https://twitter.com/MissMaginness/status/917701252737314818?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>4. Potential for influencer involvement</h3> <p>A number of fashion brands have successfully <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">partnered with influencers</a> to capitalise on an existing and highly engaged social audience. The potential for this kind of marketing only increases in the beauty market, allowing brands to tap into a large new pool of influencers, as well as the ability to reach consumers seeking out reviews, tutorials, and general inspiration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9572/Hannah_Gale_Primark.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="489"></p> <p>In this sense, influencers have given brands an entirely new way to market their products. Customers are ready and waiting to lap it up, too. According to research, 92% of consumers are said to trust an influencer more than they do an advertisement or a traditional celebrity endorsement.</p> <p>Of course, fashion brands do not solely rely on this kind of content to reach a beauty-hungry audience. The category itself gives brands the opportunity to create diverse and more lifestyle-driven content of their own. </p> <p>For example, H&amp;M's spin-off brand &amp; Other Stories sells beauty on the back of its distinct aesthetic. Its packaging mirrors the style of its social media as well as its stores, using pretty and minimal design to promote a certain type of lifestyle as well as the products themselves.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">&amp; other stories do the prettiest pastel coloured beauty products, I want them all for my bathroom <a href="https://t.co/NMAQ2mnDmO">pic.twitter.com/NMAQ2mnDmO</a></p> — Lucy (@WhatLucyLovesxo) <a href="https://twitter.com/WhatLucyLovesxo/status/913450616936124416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>So, will Boohoo succeed in beauty, or is the market already too saturated for brands like it to succeed? </p> <p>With clear opportunity to boost sales, store footfall, and social engagement, it’s an unsurprisingly enticing prospect.</p> <p>As Topshop and H&amp;M have already demonstrated, the real key to success appears to be delivering on the promise of great value, high quality products – not just jumping on the beauty bandwagon. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69241-three-reasons-to-admire-glossier-the-best-online-beauty-brand-you-ve-never-heard-of" target="_blank">Three reasons to admire Glossier: The best online beauty brand you've never heard of</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69354-10-brilliant-examples-of-content-marketing-from-beauty-brands" target="_blank">10 brilliant examples of content marketing from beauty brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68205-how-three-beauty-ecommerce-sites-integrate-editorial-content" target="_blank">How three beauty ecommerce sites integrate editorial content</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69493 2017-10-13T08:49:00+01:00 2017-10-13T08:49:00+01:00 Majestic Wine revamps website with focus on some familiar social proof tactics Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what does its new website offer, and will it encourage consumers to order more wine online? Here’s a run-down of what I think does and doesn’t work.</p> <h3>Customer influence</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them" target="_blank">Ratings and reviews</a> have long been seen as an essential tool for ecommerce sites, but recent research highlights the extent to which they can impact conversion rates. </p> <p>According to <a href="http://learn.podium.com/rs/841-BRM-380/images/2017-SOOR-Infographic.jpg" target="_blank">Podium</a>, a whopping 93% of online shoppers say reviews have an impact of their purchasing decisions, while 83% say that the content of a review has convinced them to buy something online.</p> <p>Majestic Wine’s previous site also included customer reviews and ratings, however its new version makes this a primary focus. It includes a new tool which lets users choose whether or not they would ‘buy it again’ – alongside the standard star rating and written review.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9526/Would_you_buy_it_again.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="221"></p> <p>Putting aside the impact on those reading the reviews for now, this increased interaction enables consumers to become decision-makers. Essentially it means that Majestic Wines will consider the amount of ‘buy it again’ votes before restocking a product, using customer influence to determine what wines it sells online.</p> <p>This feature has been copied from Naked Wines, a smaller wine-on-subscription business <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32246651">that Majestic purchased in 2015</a>. That deal was intended to spur Majestic's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>, and clearly the acquisition has influenced the new site design.</p> <p>It does appear as if Majestic has copied much of Naked’s UX, with the focus on ratings and reviews being one of the most obvious features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9522/nakedwine.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="511"></p> <p>The reviews feature should help improve conversions as it is a very obvious sign of social proof and allows customers to feel much more involved.</p> <p>Majestic’s minimal design actually makes the feature look a bit more appealing than on Naked’s site, with the cleaner product pages making it easier for customers to rate products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9523/Majestic_Rate_This_Wine.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="513"></p> <h3>Capitalising on social proof</h3> <p>As well as giving customers increased influence, the new ‘buy it again’ feature allows the retailer to capitalise on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66569-five-ways-to-use-social-proof-online" target="_blank">social proof</a>. In short, it instils confidence in the product, urging customers to hit the ‘add to basket’ button.</p> <p>The highly visual nature of Majestic Wine’s rating system is likely to be effective. Instead of clicking through to product pages or scrolling down to read reviews, users can get an instant idea of how others feel about a product simply by browsing category pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9524/Majestic_category_page.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="529"></p> <p>Another plus is that this will only increase as time goes on, with social proof increasing (or decreasing if the product fails to impress) as more and more ratings are accumulated. </p> <p>One drawback worth mentioning is that the review section itself is poorly designed. While it could be useful to include the option for users to respond to reviews, this section appears to take up far too much space.</p> <p>It would make more sense to condense reviews, meaning that the site could fit more on one page (and users would not have to click through to the next page as often).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9527/Customer_reviews.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="522"></p> <h3>Discovery tool</h3> <p>Another new feature on Majestic’s site is a discovery tool on its homepage that helps users find their ‘perfect wine’. This is a nifty tool, helping to quickly and easily narrow down a search in just a few questions. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9530/Discovery_Tool.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="260"></p> <p>This is likely to be useful for customers who have a limited level of knowledge about wine or who are typically overwhelmed by choice. Even if the customer does not have white or red preference, for instance, the tool still offers suggestions based on other factors like ‘easy drinking’ or ‘intense flavours’ and whether or not the person favours deals or one-of-a-kind items.</p> <p>As well as providing general inspiration, this tool could also help to reduce basket abandonment rates, ultimately nudging customers down the sales funnel when they might otherwise get bored or frustrated and leave.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9531/Discovery_Tool_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="221"></p> <h3>Promoting the little extras</h3> <p>Majestic’s new site is slick in design, if a little basic. One thing that stands out is the promotion of customer-centric extras like delivery, click and collect, and a ‘no quibble’ money-back guarantee. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9550/Little_extras.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="378"></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68739-how-has-click-collect-evolved-and-is-it-still-in-high-demand/" target="_blank">Click and collect</a> is particularly important, especially when it comes to attracting millennial shoppers. A <a href="https://www.retailitinsights.com/doc/new-survey-finds-that-percent-of-millennials-click-and-collect-0001" target="_blank">recent survey</a> found that 87% of millennials have used click and collect – with this generation particularly viewing the service as an incentive to shop with certain retailers.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the inclusion of these icons on product pages is eye-catching, however the site lets itself down with avoidable mistakes like spelling mistakes or typos in the copy (“It’s up too you”). That aside, I like other small details such as symbols detailing the country of origin as well as other handy titbits like whether or not the wine is screw-cap or organic. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9551/Product_info.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="510"></p> <p>In comparison to Naked Wines, which focuses on conversational (and occasionally convoluted) copy, I prefer Majestic’s succinct and highly visual product information. </p> <h3>Pushing customers in-stores</h3> <p>Finally, Majestic’s new site is clearly designed to better highlight its status as a multichannel retailer, with a focus on improving customer service across the board. </p> <p>It recently rolled out a new ‘franchise-lite’ model, which allows store managers to become partners, giving them much greater control over the running of day-to-day events and stock. This is reflected online, with the site’s ‘store locator’ also including detailed information about those who work there – plus links to unique Twitter and Facebook accounts for individual stores. </p> <p>It is quite rare for a mid-size retailer to invest in localised social media in this way, but it can be a good way to foster loyalty of local customers. Another way Majestic is doing this is with in-store events, with the store locator also including information about wine and beer tasting and Christmas-themed experiences. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Superb weekend tasting <a href="https://twitter.com/majesticclapham?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@majesticclapham</a> quickly discovered a new favourite in <a href="https://twitter.com/OldBakeryGin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OldBakeryGin</a> thanks to the wonderful staff <a href="https://t.co/vsmuiatvpN">pic.twitter.com/vsmuiatvpN</a></p> — James Laird (@scavgourmet) <a href="https://twitter.com/scavgourmet/status/893801730919604225?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 5, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Customers can also purchase tickets to these events online. But while this feature is good addition, it doesn’t appear as if the events are promoted that heavily on the main site. Customers might only come across them if they are searching via the store locator, and even then the ‘events’ tab is quite easy to miss.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9552/Majestic_localised.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="490"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While many of the features on Majestic's new site have been copied from Naked Wines, I think the way Majestic has presented the information is much more visually appealing. </p> <p>There are still drawbacks. Its store locator is a bit lacklustre, unable to detect my current location and failing to promote in-store events in an exciting way. The site is also rather dull in terms of design, but all in all, there’s lots to appreciate. </p> <p>It’s definitely slicker and more interactive than before, which is likely to please existing online customers. The ability to leave decisive feedback on wine will lead to more informed purchasing decisions while fostering a sense of customer involvement, and the discovery tool should help to push customers down the path to purchase.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67344-habitat-s-new-mobile-site-great-ux-poor-content/" target="_blank">Habitat's new mobile site: Great UX, poor content</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69036-six-ways-aldo-s-new-mobile-site-streamlines-the-shopping-experience" target="_blank">Six ways Aldo’s new mobile site streamlines the shopping experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69464 2017-10-10T09:15:00+01:00 2017-10-10T09:15:00+01:00 Five delicious reasons behind Hotel Chocolat’s boost in profits Nikki Gilliland <p>In the year ending 2nd July, Hotel Chocolat saw an increase of 12% in year-on-year revenue growth. Meanwhile, its pre-tax profits doubled to £11.2m.</p> <p>This is perhaps interesting in itself, but even more so considering rival Thorntons has reportedly seen <a href="https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/midlands/pre-tax-losses-widen-at-thorntons" target="_blank">pre-tax losses</a> of more than £19m under new owners Ferrero.</p> <p>So, why is Hotel Chocolat succeeding where Thorntons clearly isn’t? Here’s a few reasons why I think the chocolate brand is winning consumer favour. </p> <h3>Revamped website</h3> <p>Earlier this year, Hotel Chocolat launched a brand new website – redesigned to eradicate previous bugbears such as poor search, longwinded checkout, and awkward navigation. </p> <p>The new site is certainly an improvement. Now, the header menu is much more streamlined, with categories more deeply nested. I particularly like how it points users to shop by interests such as ‘health enthusiast’ and ‘caramel lover’ – especially good considering most consumers turn to the retailer for gifting purposes.</p> <p>The site’s focus on discovery also extends to the ‘Gift Creator’ – a feature that helps consumers build bespoke and personalised presents. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9293/Gift_Creator.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="418"></p> <p>There are other good features too, such as the ability to check in-store stock, and handy information on ‘letterbox friendly’ items on product pages. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9294/letterbox_friendly.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="565"></p> <p>It’s far from perfect. There are still frustrating niggles, such as awkward and slow load times and a poor <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68222-ecommerce-product-filters-best-practice-tips-for-a-great-ux" target="_blank">filter tool</a>.</p> <p>However, it offers a far better UX than before, with these new features perhaps contributing to more online purchases where consumers might have once abandoned their baskets or abandoned their search.</p> <h3>Shop and café format</h3> <p>Another factor that has contributed to increased consumer interest in Hotel Chocolat is its new café and shop format, with the retailer now rolling out 18 of these stores in locations across the UK.</p> <p>While the retailer already has an affiliated restaurant in London (called Rabot 1745), it has been able to further capitalise on its well-known brand name and USP of a chocolate-themed café. Instead of just boxed confectionary, shop+café’s sell hot drinks and ‘eat-in’ food including porridge and brownies. This had led to a reported increase in footfall, with the retailer giving passers-by an extra reason to enter and linger. </p> <p>Meanwhile, where Hotel Chocolat has been unable to introduce the full café format into certain locations, it has still added extras like its ‘Ice Cream of the Gods’ service where possible. Again, this is likely to have helped increase footfall and boost sales (particularly during hot weather spells).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9292/Ice_Cream_Hotel_Chocolat.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="359"></p> <h3>Tasting experiences</h3> <p>Alongside adding a café element to its stores, Hotel Chocolat has entered into the world of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69389-five-innovative-examples-of-food-drink-brand-experiences" target="_blank">events and experiences</a>. It launched its ‘chocolate lock-ins’ series, offering shoppers the chance to attend tasting sessions in-stores after hours. Similarly, it now holds chocolate-making workshops for kids, as well as more in-depth ‘bean to bar’ learning workshops.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Date night with a twist?<br>Be VIP guests at one of our Chocolate Lock-Ins for an evening of Prosecco and Chocolate. <a href="https://t.co/NnE8Ifei3t">https://t.co/NnE8Ifei3t</a> <a href="https://t.co/9y8LvoYuqu">pic.twitter.com/9y8LvoYuqu</a></p> — Hotel Chocolat (@HotelChocolat) <a href="https://twitter.com/HotelChocolat/status/912743646411264000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>By creating memorable experiences, Hotel Chocolat is able to connect with consumers in a much more meaningful way. Instead of simply providing a product, it also enables the brand to give consumers something of real value, which in turn is likely to increase loyalty in the long-run.</p> <p>While rival Thorntons has also experimented with events - last year teaming up with Bompass &amp; Parr to create a ‘sensory pod’ in Westfield shopping centre – it hasn’t invested in any long-term endeavour.</p> <h3>Subscription boxes</h3> <p>Another area of expansion is Hotel Chocolat’s new subscription box service, which is set to launch next year after a successful test run. Called ‘Tasting Club’, it offers consumers the chance to receive a selection of curated chocolate in the post each month.</p> <p>Hotel Chocolat is marketing it as something of an elite members’ club, building on the exclusive nature of tasting products before they’re sold in stores. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9299/Tasting_Club.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="553"></p> <p>Naturally, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68545-five-ways-subscription-box-services-can-increase-customer-retention/" target="_blank">subscription model</a> will also provide the brand with the opportunity to capture recurring sales, hooking consumers in to a rolling service each month. This kind of service also allows brand to develop a relationship with those who sign up – as well as the opportunity to deepen it further by surprising them with offers and innovative boxes.</p> <p>Of course, it remains to be seen whether the model is a true success in the long-term. There is the danger that subscribers will soon lose interest or sign-up for a single box – especially if the retailer does not diversify its offering. However, with a successful trial period, it is certainly a sign that there is a demand for the brand’s product. </p> <h3>Expanding its core product</h3> <p>Finally, another reason Hotel Chocolat could be capturing consumers is the fact that it continues to experiment and diversify its product range.</p> <p>Instead of just food, the retailer now sells its own coffee and alcoholic drinks including cocoa infused gin, vodka and beer – as well as traditional prosecco specifically chosen to accompany its chocolate. Meanwhile, it also sells popular Christmas and birthday hampers and even its own brand recipe book. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our new Coffee range - created especially to pair with chocolate. <br>Available in capsules, beans and ground coffee. <a href="https://t.co/w4xNEdRVr0">https://t.co/w4xNEdRVr0</a> <a href="https://t.co/YBpkQws7vX">pic.twitter.com/YBpkQws7vX</a></p> — Hotel Chocolat (@HotelChocolat) <a href="https://twitter.com/HotelChocolat/status/914410836126572544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While this is bound to be a draw, it is also important to note how Hotel Chocolat’s brand ethos contributes to its overall appeal. With a dedication to sustainable and ethical cocoa farming, it has been able to build a reputation for high quality in every sense. </p> <p>On the back of its recent profits, Hotel Chocolat has also invested in British manufacturing operations in order to ramp up production – a sure-fire sign that it’s enjoying the sweet taste of success.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66150-thorntons-vs-hotel-chocolat-user-experience-comparison/" target="_blank">Thorntons vs. Hotel Chocolat: user experience comparison</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66150-thorntons-vs-hotel-chocolat-user-experience-comparison/" target="_blank">How Thorntons uses content marketing to gain an edge at Easter</a></li> </ul>