tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/multichannel Latest Multichannel content from Econsultancy 2017-04-27T15:16:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69041 2017-04-27T15:16:00+01:00 2017-04-27T15:16:00+01:00 Social commerce: Why basic bots and buy buttons are not enough Nikki Gilliland <p>It seems that despite mobile commerce rising in popularity – and with one in four users trying to purchase a product on social last year – many brands have struggled to find the right balance between social media and ecommerce. </p> <p>In fact, a recent survey suggests that <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/buy-buttons-fail-to-show-return-on-investment-2016-12?r=US&amp;IR=T" target="_blank">45% of adults have no current interest</a> in clicking on a 'buy now' button, while a further quarter don’t even know the technology exists. Meanwhile, many brands are scaling back on chatbots after Facebook reported a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68868-facebook-scales-back-on-chatbots-what-does-it-mean-for-brands/" target="_blank">failure rate</a> of 70%.</p> <p>So, how can brands make social commerce appealing to users, as well as ensure the process is seamless across channels? </p> <p>This was a question asked at a recent event held by We Are Social, where a number of brands spoke about their previous experience and what they think will be the key to success. Here are a few takeaways.</p> <h3>Most buy buttons do not mirror the user mind-set</h3> <p>While it’s true that users are increasingly turning to social media for shopping inspiration, many brands are failing to realise how big the leap to buying on social actually is. Currently, the reality of social commerce is often very different to the user’s expectations. </p> <p>Caroline Lucas-Garner, strategy director at We Are Social, explained how most experiences involve clicking on a link in a social bio. This then means being taken from the cosy bubble of Instagram to an interim landing page, before finally onto the main ecommerce site itself.</p> <p>That’s a lot of disruption when you think about it, which could naturally lead to users abandoning the journey, or worse – being put off the brand as a result. </p> <p>Similarly, Caroline suggested that buy buttons on other platforms can be akin to a pushy sales assistant, which when you’re simply having a leisurely browse (or scroll), can feel frustratingly intrusive.</p> <h3>Brands in your Messenger inbox feel unnatural </h3> <p>Chatbots are of course another big part of social commerce – we’ve seen many examples of branded bots created for customer service or to drive conversions.</p> <p>But do users really feel that comfortable allowing them into this space? It's an odd notion to see a message from a brand alongside your nearest and dearest.</p> <p>Dominos is one brand that has tried to get around this by creating a character specifically to front its chatbot. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger/" target="_blank">Dom the Pizza Bot</a> has his own unique set of characteristics, designed to urge people to speak to it like they would a friend. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5752/Dom_the_pizza_bot.JPG" alt="" width="658" height="309"></p> <p>Another way to make users feel more comfortable interacting with brands in this context is to establish boundaries early on – even making it clear that a bot has limitations. </p> <p>Sam Poullain, senior growth marketing manager at Skyscanner, explained how his team made the decision to include a ‘talk to a human’ option in its chatbot to point users towards an alternative or next step. This way, it was able to prevent people from abandoning their journey, giving users an option to talk to a real employee instead.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5753/Skyscanner.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="323"></p> <p>For more on this topic, read:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">What are chatbots and why should marketers care?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68932-how-we-built-our-facebook-chatbot-what-does-it-do-and-what-s-the-point/">How we built our Facebook chatbot: What does it do, and what's the point?</a></li> </ul> <h3>Brand messaging <em>can</em> drive conversion</h3> <p>For ASOS, a brand that has seen growth of 84% on mobile orders year-on-year – social commerce feels like a natural evolution. It is clear that its target customer is highly engaged on social, with those aged 16-14 particularly overlooking search engines for discovery platforms like Instagram and Facebook.  </p> <p>Morgan Fitzsimons, ASOS’s acting head of content and broadcast, explained how the brand is now taking a three-tiered approach to targeting these kinds of customers – choosing to focus on the top of the funnel to ensure the bottom doesn’t have to work so hard. In other words, this means focusing on the brand messaging – not just the buy button.</p> <p>Its recent campaign for jeans is a prime example of this, using a combination of organic and paid promotion as well as dynamic product ads. An initial video tells the story of the brand but doesn’t include any further links. It instead introduces hints of the shopping experience in retargeted ads, before delivering blatant buying options in the final push. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fasos.us%2Fvideos%2F1540714015970588%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Morgan also admitted that it’s taken a while for ASOS to get to this stage, with previous campaigns on Snapchat failing to follow up with those who first engaged.  </p> <p>Ultimately, she reiterated that success in social commerce lies in continually testing. Only then will brands understand how customers will best respond in this new and unique context. </p> <p><em><strong>Relating reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67778-made-com-on-the-value-of-social-commerce/" target="_blank">MADE.COM on the value of social commerce</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67306-is-pinterest-or-instagram-better-for-driving-ecommerce/" target="_blank">Is Pinterest or Instagram better for driving ecommerce?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69000 2017-04-24T11:00:00+01:00 2017-04-24T11:00:00+01:00 What Farfetch's 'Store of the Future' tech says about the state of luxury retail Nikki Gilliland <p>This is just one example of Farfetch’s tech-driven approach, which it recently announced alongside a set of ‘Store of the Future’ technologies - designed to enhance the future retail experience for both brands and consumers. </p> <p>So, what exactly does this future look like? Here’s a run-down of Farfetch’s strategy and what it says about the wider luxury retail market as a whole. </p> <h4>Fusion of the online and offline experience</h4> <p>According to Bain &amp; Company, 70% of luxury purchases today are influenced by online interactions, with shoppers partaking in at least one digital interaction with a brand before buying. </p> <p>That being said, it also predicts that stores will play a critical role in the luxury retail market, with 75% of purchases still occurring in a physical location by 2025. </p> <p>So, which one will win out? </p> <p>According to Farfetch - neither. Instead, it predicts a future of ‘connected retail’ – a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68023-think-retail-how-brands-are-targeting-the-phygital-generation/" target="_blank">blend of the digital and physical</a> realms that will allow consumers to seamlessly shift between the two. </p> <p>The brand’s CEO, José Neves, recently suggested that this will include a combination of innovative tech in-store such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68401-virtual-reality-content-marketing-s-next-big-trend/" target="_blank">virtual reality</a>, emotion-scanning software, and innovative payment options.</p> <p>As well as enhancing the physical shopping experience for consumers, this use of technology will also allow retailers to collect vital data about browsing behaviour in-store. In turn, this will inform online targeting, and so the cycle goes on.</p> <p>Browns, the New York-based store owned by Farfetch, will be the first to experiment with these ‘Store of the Future’ technologies. </p> <h4>Innovative online services</h4> <p>Meanwhile, Farfetch aims to enhance its ecommerce service with a selection of new digital services. </p> <p>With younger customers reportedly taking one-third less time than older customers to make decisions, 90-minute delivery specifically targets the ‘I want it now’ mind-set of millennials. A demographic that clearly wants their Gucci loafers delivered stat. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3unBWk3yp5Y?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Consumer expectations are also changing when it comes to personal aspects such as customisation and an alignment of personal beliefs and values. </p> <p>With this in mind, Farfetch has also launched a <a href="https://www.farfetch.com/uk/sets/women/customizable-NK-women.aspx">design-your-own tool</a> for shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood. Allowing online shoppers to customise its Beya Bespoke line, it’s another example of the retailer putting greater control into the hands of consumers.</p> <h4>Will others take note? </h4> <p>While the physical shopping experience is still in demand across all sectors, it appears to present a greater opportunity for luxury retailers. This is because consumers naturally expect to leave with an ‘experience’ to go along with the actual product they’re buying.</p> <p>By offering a much more intimate and immersive experience, it is a chance for brands and retailers to forge an emotional connection – far more so than online. </p> <p>Luxury retailers have clearly recognised this, with many introducing in-store technologies to dazzle shoppers. <a href="https://virtualrealityreporter.com/dior-eyes-virtual-reality-headst-vr-fashin/">Dior launched a virtual reality headset</a> to give shoppers a behind-the-scenes look of its runway show, for instance. And Harvey Nichols introduced <a href="http://www.harveynichols.com/project-109/">Project 109</a> – an in-store concept space that hosts immersive installations and pop-ups.</p> <p>With the announcement of Store of the Future, Farfetch might just have upped the ante. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68329-farfetch-s-cmo-why-we-re-more-than-just-a-shopping-platform/" target="_blank">Farfetch’s CMO: Why we’re more than just a shopping platform</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/" target="_blank">What's now &amp; next for digital technology in retail stores?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68990 2017-04-19T11:00:00+01:00 2017-04-19T11:00:00+01:00 Why brands should be bothered about (voice)bots Nick Hammond <p>On Thursday 6th April, I attended a very impressive voice tech session hosted by the Hoxton Mix Collective. The impressive line-up of speakers included - Oscar Meary, co-founder of Opearlo, talking about ‘Alexa Design and Best Practices' ; Marc Paulina, interaction designer from Google, on ‘VUI Prototyping Tools, Design Sprints and Research Best Practice,’ and Dean Bryen, voice/AI evangelist from Amazon. </p> <p>As it was also the day that <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-home-uk-okay-launch">Google Home was released in the UK</a>, this seemed an appropriate time to take stock of the current state of voice tech and associated opportunities.  </p> <p>So, what then did I learn? </p> <h4>Consumer expectations</h4> <p>A major issue in this space is around high consumer expectations and the challenge of managing them. We have all seen films like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzV6mXIOVl4">Her</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYGzRB4Pnq8">Ex Machina</a> , and we therefore think we know what AI will be like in the future. As a result, a rather unrealistic benchmark has been set for the ‘real’ voice tech that is being developed today.</p> <p>In addition to this, people are less tolerant of voicebots than they are of other digital assistants. This is because voice (talking) is the way that humans naturally prefer to communicate with each other as the process is, generally, an easy one. If a voicebot cannot meet this level of ease or proficiency, then the experience can be frustrating. </p> <p>A clear message from Oscar Meary of <a href="http://www.opearlo.com">Opearlo</a> (a voice design agency) is that despite all the excitement, this is a very new area. Companies looking to develop a voicebot <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68786-amazon-alexa-brands-must-be-careful-before-rushing-in/">need to be realistic</a> about what can be achieved successfully. One of the main problems can be around integration - an organisation’s digital design department may create a voicebot, but if this is not connected to back-end systems, then there is no sense of a joined-up user journey for the consumer.</p> <h4>Games or utility?</h4> <p>One speaker made the case for a more conservative ‘gamified’ approach, focusing on simple conversational design voicebots or gamebots. This simpler experience takes the user into a different world more easily than a utility bot, and because it has a more light-hearted approach; individuals are more likely to be forgiving of functionality issues. Content examples in this space are around games, such as pub quizzes and ‘would you rather’ games.</p> <p>The current scenario with voice tech and bots reminds me of the early days of the web, when brands rushed to acquire digital real estate or shopfront ‘ brochureware’ websites; where they could show of their products. It took some time before marketeers realised that consumers were not interested in visiting websites housing uninteresting and functional product information. This mistake was often repeated during the peak period of app development, where brands rushed to create their own apps, and this could easily happen again with voicebots. As always, the solution lies in providing useful content - what value can be added and how brands can add to the user experience. </p> <p>Perhaps surprisingly, the technical build of a voicebot is relatively easy via the use of available SDK’s, but the real work goes into the design of the customer interface and experience. Key areas to address in the design process include – setting expectations, limiting choices and options (to keep the process simple) and minimising pressure on the user. This last one is interesting because, again due to the nature of human voice interactions, consumers can feel under pressure if the interaction process does not feel relaxed or natural enough. </p> <p>I learnt some interesting voice tech language as well, including the importance of spending time on ‘edge cases’, ‘half happy paths’, ‘utterance expansion’ and taking a heuristic approach. All these techniques and approaches are concerned with fully testing a voice interaction (<a href="https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=13727921011">such as an Alexa skill</a>) to ensure a successful consumer experience. </p> <p>NB; for the avoidance of doubt, the video below is an example of a poor automated interaction and user experience.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wM1P7GMnd38?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4>Voice as first brand touchpoint</h4> <p>Voice tech is important for brands because, in the future, voice will be the first brand touchpoint for the consumer. This is already taking place on mobile (e.g. with Siri), in the home (with Alexa and Home) and is moving into the automotive sector. As the importance of voice and voice tech grows, it is essential that an approach is effective and integrated, across different platforms.</p> <p>Voice is also likely to become central to the area of identification, with the increasing use of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biometrics">biometrics</a>. The human voice is considerably more distinctive and individual than finger prints, and will increasingly be used for identification purposes, as in voice PINs for example. </p> <p>Most exciting for brands is the area of sentiment analysis. By listening to a user's tone of voice, brands will not only be able to understand what consumers want, but also how they are feeling. </p> <p>Google’s perspective is that voice technology, AI, and bots are all converging and will eventually represent one technological interface. Amazon’s ambition is to provide ‘the world’s most powerful voice service’ that will ‘power the connected home’. Dean Bryan, from Amazon, sees Alexa having an impact with audio, in the home, in car and with partner brands, for example Uber and Just Eat. I rather liked the fact that Dean sees the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA1hD3XRlh0">Star Trek computer</a> as the apogee of voice tech and the product they are trying to emulate.</p> <p>The key to any successful technology is that it should be invisible to the end user. A fitting end to this summary piece, is the quote shared in the session from <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0116WC5JE/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&amp;btkr=1">The Media Equation</a> (Reeeves and Nass 1996) – ‘…Individuals’ interactions with computers, television and new media are fundamentally social and natural.’</p> <p>This is especially true with voice tech. The intrinsically ‘human’ nature of the automated voice, means that people will want to interact in a very natural and social way. Brands, becoming involved in this space, will need to ensure that this happens.</p> <p><em><strong>Now read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68499-the-problem-with-voice-user-interfaces-like-amazon-alexa/">The problem with voice user interfaces like Amazon Alexa</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68951 2017-04-03T11:44:55+01:00 2017-04-03T11:44:55+01:00 What makes Premier Inn the world’s strongest hotel chain? Nikki Gilliland <p>With total sales up 12.9% and like-for-like sales up 4.2% in 2015 and 2016, it marks a successful period for the hotel chain.</p> <p>So, what exactly makes Premier Inn so strong? Here’s a breakdown of its <a href="http://brandfinance.com/knowledge-centre/reports/brand-finance-hotels-50-2017/" target="_blank">BSI score</a> along with some further insight into what it’s been doing right.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5139/BSI.JPG" alt="" width="368" height="400"></p> <h3>Familiarity and consumer confidence</h3> <p>As one of the first mass market UK hotel chains to be advertised on prime time television, Premier Inn has infiltrated the consumer mind-set as a go-to brand. By using high-profile celebrities in its TV ads, most notably with comedian Lenny Henry, it has further cemented itself into the consumer consciousness.</p> <p>Alongside this sense of familiarity, Premier Inn has worked hard to instil a sense of confidence in consumers – and this has mainly been achieved by differentiating itself from the competition.</p> <p>With its ‘great night’s sleep guaranteed’ pledge, it goes above and beyond the promise of convenience or value to offer something that all consumers crave from a night in a hotel – real comfort and a sense that it is a home away from home. </p> <p>By using its partnership with Hypnos beds in this way, and even going as far as offering a money-back guarantee, it has been able to beat out similar chains that solely rely on factors like low cost.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpremierinn%2Fposts%2F1469295463100686%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="662"></iframe></p> <h3>Emotionally-led campaigns</h3> <p>Having established itself as a well-known and familiar brand, Premier Inn has widened its marketing approach to focus on more emotionally-led campaigns – recently using director Ben Wheatley for a new series of adverts. </p> <p>‘Great Aunt Mabel’s Birthday’ – a decidedly Wes Anderson-inspired ad – portrays the experience of getting ready for a special birthday party, building on relatable family-driven elements to engage viewers. </p> <p>Similarly, its ‘Working Girl’ ad depicts a different but similarly emotionally-driven experience of giving an important work presentation, which is conveniently made easier thanks to Premier Inn’s free Wi-Fi, unlimited breakfast and king-size Hypnos beds.</p> <p>With an emotional response reported to have a far greater influence on a consumer’s intent to purchase than the ad’s content – by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials – Premier Inn’s decision to veer into this territory is likely to resonate with consumers. </p> <p>What’s more, it aims to show the brand in a fresh and multi-faceted light, removing the perception that it's <em>only</em> about a good night’s sleep.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dbpH2F-kn8Y?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Value-for-money and employee focus</h3> <p>With value-for-money having a direct influence on consumer satisfaction, Premier Inn’s commitment to offering a quality service for less appears to be at the heart of its success. But more than this, it is its ability to strike a balance between value and quality which sets it apart – and a reason why it has also ranked consistently highly on YouGov’s BrandIndex.</p> <p>Lastly, with staff satisfaction and corporate reputation contributing to brand strength, Premier Inn’s commitment to equality is also worth a mention.</p> <p>As well as a student placement scheme, the brand runs the Premier Inn Hospitality Apprenticeship programme to recruit people from diverse class backgrounds, regardless of academic achievement. The chain employs around 700 apprentices in the UK at any one time, offering the opportunity for apprentices to rise up the ranks and even run hotels or large teams at corporate level.  </p> <p>In doing so, it has demonstrated its position as a fair and socially-aware employer, undoubtedly contributing to its status as a powerful brand. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpremierinn%2Fposts%2F1349966288366938&amp;width=500" width="500" height="488"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65315-which-hotel-sites-offer-the-best-user-experience/" target="_blank">Which hotel sites offer the best user experience?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67658-how-hotels-can-personalize-the-customer-experience-to-compete-with-airbnb/" target="_blank">How hotels can personalize the customer experience to compete with Airbnb</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68025-how-hotels-can-create-a-more-convenient-customer-experience/" target="_blank">How hotels can create a more convenient customer experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68950 2017-03-31T11:10:00+01:00 2017-03-31T11:10:00+01:00 How Shakespeare’s Globe used proximity marketing to increase ticket sales Nikki Gilliland <p>How can theatres such as Shakespeare’s Globe compete for the attention of international tourists? This was the challenge for agency, Digital Willow, which recently worked with the Globe to put a decidedly modern spin on its marketing strategy. </p> <p>Here’s a bit more on the campaign, as well as a few reasons why it worked.</p> <h3>The challenge</h3> <p>The biggest issue Shakespeare’s Globe faces is marketing with a miniscule budget. It is an educational charity, meaning it receives no annual government subsidy, largely making money from its theatre tours, box office sales and donations.</p> <p>While the Globe does naturally generate interest due to its history (and incredibly English reputation), it still tends to fall under the radar of tourists, especially up against the bright lights of Les Mis or Harry Potter.</p> <p>Competition does not only come in the form of theatre, either. When you take into account the amount of London tours and activities promoted on websites like TripAdvisor or even smaller apps like YPlan – a Shakespeare play can prove to be a tough sell.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5132/Shakespeare_s_Globe_mobile.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="531"></p> <h3>The solution</h3> <p>Instead of spending money on above-the-line advertising, such as billboards that could easily be ignored or go unseen, the Globe chose to use more advanced targetting to reach tourists, increase footfall and subsequent ticket sales to the theatre. </p> <p>It used GPS, geo-location techniques and programmatic buying to pinpoint advertising messages to mobile phones near Bankside and within a one-mile radius of competing sights, including the London Eye, Big Ben and the Tower of London. </p> <p>In order to prevent the potential wastage of marketing spend, it also drilled down to country level, narrowing down the target audience to tourists from Spain, France, United States, Germany and China where the Globe had previously seen ticket sale success.  </p> <p>Finally, marketing messages were also sent to tourists logging into partnering hotel Wi-Fi either early morning or late in the evening, when they were presumably planning their holiday activities.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Planning on visiting us over Easter? You might like this special offer from our hotel partners at <a href="https://twitter.com/GrangeHotels">@GrangeHotels</a>: <a href="https://t.co/mZuURm1umH">https://t.co/mZuURm1umH</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bgyieqjlgd">pic.twitter.com/Bgyieqjlgd</a></p> — Shakespeare's Globe (@The_Globe) <a href="https://twitter.com/The_Globe/status/847161446743998464">March 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>The results</h3> <p>With an increase in ticket sales of 30% year on year, the Globe’s geo-locational approach was an overall success.</p> <p>The campaign saw a click through rate of 1.08%, which is four times higher than the industry average on mobile devices. 33 days into the campaign, 1,006,550 impressions had been served to international tourists, of which 8,959 clicked and 3,381 registered on the website. </p> <p>Lastly, the overall click to conversion rate was 33.8%.</p> <h3>Why did it work?</h3> <p>While we’ve seen examples of retailers utilising this method, the entertainment industry has yet to experiment with geo-locational technology to much of an extent.</p> <p>As well as being a theatre-first, the Globe was able to hone in on its target international customer - only connecting with those that presented the biggest chance of conversion. The ads also appeared on apps that are proven to be incredibly popular with tourists, including Tube Map, London Bus Checker and XE Currency. </p> <p>Alongside a high level of visibility, the Globe's campaign also tapped into changing consumer behaviour, whereby tourists are less likely to plan ahead in favour of spontaneous and off-the-cuff experiences.</p> <p>Similarly, with smartphone use on the rise, and <a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/micro-moments-travel-customer-journey.html" target="_blank">72% of travellers</a> using a mobile to look for the most relevant information - geo-locational marketing provided the perfect opportunity to target consumers looking for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68749-why-online-travel-sites-are-focusing-on-tours-and-activities/" target="_blank">tours and activities on the go</a>.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67418-what-is-location-based-advertising-why-is-it-the-next-big-thing/" target="_blank">What is location-based advertising &amp; why is it the next big thing?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65068-what-is-geofencing-and-why-do-you-need-it/" target="_blank">What is geofencing and why do you need it?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68051-six-case-studies-that-show-how-digital-out-of-home-advertising-is-changing/" target="_blank">Six case studies that show how digital out-of-home advertising is changing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68925 2017-03-22T11:19:22+00:00 2017-03-22T11:19:22+00:00 How ASOS targeted students via ‘Blank Canvas’ competition Nikki Gilliland <p>With help from marketing agency Seed, the ecommerce brand aimed to create an authentic and empowering campaign that would truly resonate and connect with this young audience. Here’s how it succeeded.</p> <h3>Understanding the student experience</h3> <p>ASOS says that its challenge was to become the number one destination for fashion-loving students. A rather broad aim, perhaps, but you get the idea. </p> <p>In order to do so, it first set out to better understand this target market and what it is they desire from an online brand. As well as determining specific characteristics of the consumer – someone who is likely to be fashion-forward, experimental, and highly targetable due to a high level of social media activity – it set out to identify key student trends.</p> <p>So, what do students want from university life today?</p> <p>ASOS suggests that the notion of ‘success’ is no longer as traditional as it once was – especially within university life. From starting a new business to becoming a social media influencer, the youth of today are far more set on creating their own version of success, as well as their own rules on how to achieve it.</p> <p>In turn, while fashion might have an impact on a student’s identify, it is clear that a curation of individuality and of one’s self is far more important than modern trends.  </p> <p>ASOS also emphasises the experience-seeking nature of today’s student audience – one that has grown up with the internet (and in fact has never been without it) - resulting in the expectation of a seamless consumer experience, whereby the real and digital worlds blur.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4945/ASOS_students.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="543"></p> <h3>An interactive campaign</h3> <p>Once the brand had determined the typical values and lifestyle of today’s student consumer, it aimed to craft a campaign that would ultimately align with and resonate with this audience.</p> <p>The ‘Blank Canvas’ competition – launched in time for the ‘back to uni’ period across multiple global markets – involved students creating their own version of a tote bag when they registered as a student on ASOS. </p> <p>There were a few ways to get involved, but it was all done via a simple app designed specifically for the campaign. Students could either create a bag from pre-designed emoji-style graphics, select from 10 designs by global professional artists, or upload a bespoke design that they had created themselves.</p> <p>Essentially, it meant that all students could have the opportunity to get involved, but it also gave the most creative the chance to truly stand out. The best design would win a prize – to be able to sell their creation on ASOS, as well as a bursary and dedicated mentor.  </p> <p>The winner would be decided by a voting system, with all voters receiving a 15% discount on the site to encourage participation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4944/ASOS_blank_canvas.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="361"></p> <h3>The results</h3> <p>With over 22,000 custom-bags designed and over 80,000 votes from territories like the US and the UK, the competition drew a huge amount of interest.</p> <p>In turn, ASOS saw great results on-site, with a 178% success rate for targeted sign-ups, and a high conversion from sign-ups to shoppers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4950/ASOS_stat.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="425"></p> <p>While the figures speak for themselves, the brand also measured success in terms of positive brand sentiment, citing excellent feedback from participants as well as the general overwhelming response of entries as proof. The competition element also meant that students essentially did the marketing on behalf of ASOS, using their own social presence to promote their entries and the campaign itself.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">last day to cast your votes for ASOS blank canvas! please click this link to vote for my bag design and share: <a href="https://t.co/Dt6Lun3uPK">https://t.co/Dt6Lun3uPK</a> xo <a href="https://t.co/O9I1u8kCmg">pic.twitter.com/O9I1u8kCmg</a></p> — Alison (@alison_geddes) <a href="https://twitter.com/alison_geddes/status/807582274996830208">December 10, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Finally, the brand was able to take away a few key discoveries about the student consumer, using it to inform future campaigns and targeting. Firstly, that the age-old student stereotype is far from the reality of this super-ambitious demographic. </p> <p>Secondly, that by empowering a young audience – offering them a chance to fulfil their own potential as well as explore their individuality – a brand is able to generate great results. </p> <p><em><strong>More on ASOS:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67823-what-makes-asos-s-online-customer-experience-so-enjoyable/" target="_blank">What makes ASOS's online customer experience so enjoyable?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67950-eight-ecommerce-checkout-design-features-that-make-asos-great/" target="_blank">Eight ecommerce checkout design features that make ASOS great</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67870-why-asos-is-still-leading-the-online-retailing-pack/" target="_blank">Why ASOS is still leading the online retailing pack</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68900 2017-03-16T14:58:00+00:00 2017-03-16T14:58:00+00:00 Ted Baker uses 360 video and Instagram Stories for new SS17 campaign Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a closer look at the various aspects of the campaign and why I think it works.</p> <h3>New season narrative on Instagram Stories</h3> <p>One of the most interesting things about Ted Baker is how it takes the opportunity to completely refresh its brand creative with each passing season. This means that it is able to ramp up interest on social, teasing fans with sneak peeks and first looks of the latest collections.</p> <p>This time, the campaign is centred around a comedy sitcom called ‘Keeping up with the Bakers’, featuring a fictional suburban family hiding a heap of secrets. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">There’s a new family in town. Watch the Spring 17 film that has everyone talking <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/meetthebakers?src=hash">#meetthebakers</a> <a href="https://t.co/deD1XqFItz">https://t.co/deD1XqFItz</a> <a href="https://t.co/u7VDsL7XiQ">pic.twitter.com/u7VDsL7XiQ</a></p> — Ted Baker (@ted_baker) <a href="https://twitter.com/ted_baker/status/838681641807724544">March 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Interestingly, the brand has chosen to use Instagram Stories to launch the sitcom in an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67977-four-examples-of-brands-using-an-episodic-content-marketing-strategy/">episodic format</a>, releasing daily content to capitalise on the platform’s storytelling element. It also worked with digital agency Poke to create this part of the campaign.</p> <p>As well as hooking the audience into the narrative, this also offers users the chance to get involved and potentially win prizes, providing a real incentive to follow the story to the very end.</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">March 14, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Interactive windows in-store</h3> <p>While it has fewer stores than other competitor retailers, this fact has allowed Ted Baker to experiment more with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66591-ted-baker-s-virtual-store-what-is-the-point/" target="_blank">digital technology in its physical spaces</a> (as well as concentrate on a digital-first approach across the board).</p> <p>For its ‘Keeping up with the Bakers’ campaign, it has partnered with Nexus to create digital window displays in key Ted Baker stores in the UK. </p> <p>The windows include an interactive display that generates a photo and GIF when a passer-by places their hand on the glass screen. This focus on bringing the digital in-store is certainly something that sets the brand apart. While many other fashion retailers have also experimented with technology – such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67962-zara-introduces-self-checkout-in-store-how-will-it-impact-the-customer-experience/" target="_blank">Zara introducing self-checkout</a> into its stores, for example – Ted Baker’s approach aims to be fun and creative rather than purely functional. </p> <p>Granted, a shareable GIF is not necessarily ground-breaking, but in the context of a busy shopping location it cleverly drives footfall as well as sticks in the mind of consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4710/Ted_Baker.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="607"></p> <h3>360-degree shoppable film</h3> <p>The final part of the campaign is a shoppable film – a tactic <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68275-ted-baker-unveils-shoppable-video-google-voice-search-stunt-for-aw16-campaign/" target="_blank">previously used by Ted Baker</a> to increase shopper engagement and drive online purchases. However, unlike past examples, the brand has this time incorporated 360-degree technology to further immerse users into the Bakers' world.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the brand has also added a VR-element, allowing viewers to use Google Cardboard to bring the story to life.</p> <p>While the virtual reality aspect is entertaining, I think the chance to experience the shoppable video in 360-degrees is what truly elevates it to another level. <a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/360-video-advertising.html" target="_blank">Google suggests</a> that 360-degree video typically results is a higher click through rate, as well as a greater amount of engagement in the form of social shares. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZSSfIlQnZb8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>It’s not difficult to see why Ted Baker has made use of the technology. With most fashion brands relying on traditional marketing, Ted Baker's innovative approach continues to make it one of the most interesting brands around.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68893 2017-03-16T10:17:12+00:00 2017-03-16T10:17:12+00:00 Four digital priorities for retailers in 2017 Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are four key charts highlighting what’s high on the priority list for retailers in 2017.</p> <h3>Striving to become digital-first</h3> <p>While bricks-and-mortar operations drive traditional marketing activities for a lot of retailers, the quest to reach digital maturity is also growing in importance.</p> <p>The below chart shows that 48% of retailers say that digital ‘permeates most of their marketing activities’ – which is compared to 46% for non-retail respondents. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4660/Digital_in_marketing_activities.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="578"></p> <p>Meanwhile, 16% of retailers say that digital permeates all their marketing activities. Despite this figure still being fairly low – especially in comparison to other sectors such as media or gambling - it reflects a growing recognition that a strong digital element is needed to complement offline campaigns like TV ads and direct mail.</p> <h3>Targeting and personalisation remain top priorities</h3> <p>While other sectors are prioritising factors like social media engagement and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67985-what-is-the-future-of-content-marketing/" target="_blank">content marketing</a>, targeting and personalisation is now the top priority for retailers – with 33% citing it as one of their current three key areas of focus.</p> <p>Through personalisation, retailers are able to provide more of an authentic, relevant and memorable experience for consumers, in turn increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases and brand loyalty. </p> <p>As a result, we can see that budgets are expanding, with 57% of retailers now planning to further invest in personalisation during 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4662/Targeting_and_personalisation.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="593"></p> <h3>Understanding mobile users</h3> <p>With retail sales in the UK alone reaching £133bn in 2016, the impact of mobile is clear. </p> <p>For retailers, however, it’s becoming more about how mobile can be harnessed as part of an over-arching customer experience strategy – rather than a standalone area that competes for both attention and budget.</p> <p>The below chart demonstrates the importance of understanding the customer journey, more specifically in terms of how mobile users research and buy products on their smartphone. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4661/Mobile_users.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="550"></p> <p>75% of retailers now agree on the importance of taking all touchpoints into consideration when mapping the consumer journey, meaning both online and offline behaviour.</p> <h3>AR and VR breaking through</h3> <p>When it comes to how retailers plan to differentiate themselves in the face of competition, 34% cite making the experience as fun and valuable as possible - above and beyond other factors like customer service and the quality of products. </p> <p>With 28% of retailers also citing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67713-augmented-reality-vs-virtual-reality-where-should-brands-focus/" target="_blank">VR and AR</a> as the most exciting prospect ahead of 2020, many are embracing technology as a way of achieving a fun and unique customer experience. Whether it’s a virtual dressing room or an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/" target="_blank">online chatbot</a>, technology is now being utilised to strengthen bonds with consumers. </p> <p>Finally, as technology trends are predicted to dominate the evolution of retail in the next five years, it remains to be seen how retailers will successfully integrate this alongside human-centred design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4663/VR_AR_breaking_through.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="590"></p> <p><em><strong>For further insight, Econsultancy subscribers can download the </strong><strong>latest <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-retail/">Digital Trends in Retail Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68760 2017-03-16T01:00:00+00:00 2017-03-16T01:00:00+00:00 Five key takeaways from our Cross-Channel Marketing in Australia & New Zealand report Donna-Marie Bohan <p>This is according to our new Cross-Channel Marketing Report produced in association with <a title="IBM Marketing Cloud" href="http://www.ibmmarketingcloud.com/" target="_self">IBM Marketing Cloud</a>.</p> <p>Cross-channel engagement is a modern marketing reality. Today, step-by-step approaches are not enough and success depends on every channel integrating with and supporting each other. </p> <p>For customers, there is only one brand experience. As they move seamlessly across channels, marketers need to be where their customers are.</p> <p>Our new report explores the extent to which organisations in Australia and New Zealand are equipped for cross-channel marketing. The research is based on a survey of around 300 marketing, digital and ecommerce professionals in Australia and New Zealand, carried out in September and October 2016.</p> <p>Here are some key takeaways from the research:</p> <h4><strong>1. Ownership and responsibility for cross-channel marketing is not evenly shared across organisations.</strong></h4> <p>In terms of access to customer engagement insights, 71% of respondents agree that this lies with marketing teams. Furthermore, 37% of client-side respondents and 57% of agency respondents say that their, or their clients’, marketing teams are only ‘somewhat integrated’.</p> <p>This emphasises that siloed behaviours, processes and organisational structures still exist within organisations, preventing cross-channel marketing from becoming a reality.</p> <h4><strong>2. Social is a priority channel.</strong></h4> <p>Social is considered the biggest priority, the greatest opportunity and will receive the greatest investment from marketers over the next year, yet greater efforts need to be made to integrate social channels in the overall cross-channel marketing mix.</p> <p><em><strong>Which three marketing channels are the biggest priorities for your organisation over the next year?</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/4673/fig27-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Fig27" width="470" height="339"></p> <h4><strong>3. Organisations need to focus more on post-campaign elements such as testing, optimisation and evaluation/learning.</strong></h4> <p>When asked to rank the top five areas of a marketing campaign in terms of time spent, 43% of client-side respondents chose strategy and planning as their first choice while 32% chose design and content as their first choice.</p> <p>While these elements are important, this focus comes at the expense of testing (1%), optimisation (1%) and evaluation/learning (3%). A greater emphasis on these areas is required in order to iterate and improve cross-channel marketing efforts.</p> <h4><strong>4. The potential of mobile within the marketing mix is not fully exploited by marketers in the region.</strong></h4> <p>Mobile channels rank at the bottom of the list in terms of channel usage and the extent to which they are integrated with marketing activities.</p> <p>It is disconcerting that marketers in Australia and New Zealand are not fully taking advantage of mobile given the pivotal role that the channel plays in the path to purchase.</p> <h4><strong>5. Marketers need to refine their systems, broaden their set of metrics and pay closer attention to measuring cross-channel influence.</strong></h4> <p>In terms of understanding customer interactions across channels, 51% of client-side respondents indicate that they do not have a measurement system in place between differing online channels while 80% of these respondents say that they do not have a measurement system between online and offline channels.</p> <p>Furthermore, 75% of client-side respondents and 84% of agency respondents say that they, or their clients, rely on sales/revenue as an indicator for cross-channel marketing effectiveness.</p> <p><em>To learn more and read the full analysis, download our <a title="Cross-Channel Marketing in Australia and New Zealand" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/cross-channel-marketing-in-australia-and-new-zealand/" target="_self">Cross-Channel Marketing in Australia and New Zealand</a> report.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4382 2017-03-15T01:00:00+00:00 2017-03-15T01:00:00+00:00 Cross-Channel Marketing in Australia and New Zealand <h2>Overview</h2> <p>The <strong>Cross-Channel Marketing in Australia and New Zealand </strong>report, produced in association with <a title="IBM Marketing Cloud" href="http://www.ibmmarketingcloud.com/" target="_blank">IBM Marketing Cloud</a>, explores how companies are orchestrating their marketing activities across a range of channels. The research is based on a survey of almost 300 digital marketers and ecommerce professionals, carried out in September and October 2016.</p> <p>The report provides insight into the extent to which organisations in the region are delivering integrated cross-channel marketing campaigns, the level of mobile integration and their most important priorities over the next year.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>Find out how well organisations in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) are set up for cross-channel marketing and how they rate the impact of cross-channel interactions on various business objectives.</li> <li>Benchmark your cross-channel capabilities against those of ANZ marketers and discover if you're well equipped to deliver effectively orchestrated cross-channel marketing activities.</li> <li>Understand how organisations can enable orchestration of cross-channel marketing activities and what the most common barriers are.</li> <li>Find out where most time is spent on a typical digital marketing campaign and which channels are most time-consuming.</li> </ul> <h2>Key findings from the report</h2> <ul> <li>Over two-fifths (45%) of client-side marketers and over a third (36%) of agency respndents rate their cross-channel experience as 'fair'.</li> <li>Around four-fifths (83%) of responding companies agree that their messaging, execution and delivery strategies are still fragmented across touchpoints.</li> <li>Mobile channels rank at the bottom of the list in terms of channel usage and the extent to which they are integrated with marketing activities.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p>