tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/native-apps Latest Native Apps content from Econsultancy 2017-05-04T09:57:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69022 2017-05-04T09:57:00+01:00 2017-05-04T09:57:00+01:00 Five fintech websites with crystal clear value propositions Ben Davis <p>So, when you look at the website of a digital-only bank, there is usually a very clear value proposition, with little obfuscation and jargon, one main message and no complex muddle of products.</p> <p>I've rounded up five financial services websites with crystal clear value propositions, to see what incumbents can learn.</p> <h3>1. N26</h3> <p>In case the homepage pictured below leaves you in any doubt, N26 is a mobile bank. The tagline, "Run your entire financial life from your phone", is about as clear as it gets, and N26 makes sure that the calls-to-action on the page ('open bank account') emphasise the ease with which consumers can sign up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5711/n26_mobile.jpg" alt="n26" width="615" height="317"></p> <p>The straightforward language is continued on the bank account product page. "You'll never have to visit a bank again" – this takes what for some consumers is a negative of online banks (lack of branches) and spins it as a positive for the more mobile-savvy consumer who never wants to stand in a queue.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5712/n26_one_account.jpg" alt="n26 " width="615" height="316"></p> <p>N26's homepage is matter of fact in stating the benefits of its accounts. There's little fluffy copy - "Open an account in under 8 minutes, withdraw from any ATM....get realtime push notifications with every transaction."</p> <p>Note that for all of the companies included on this list, images of the mobile interface are a vital part of marketing to their potential consumers. The interface is the product, just as much as the pricing details. Note, too, the lack of lifestyle images of smiling families that one typically sees on incumbent bank websites (<a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5740/barclays.jpg">here's an image of the Barclays homepage</a> above the fold at time of writing). Objects are captured to show the bank's place within a busy lifestyle (sun hat, passport, keys), but it is the product that inspires trust, not a persona.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5729/n26_features.jpg" alt="n26" width="615" height="335"></p> <p>The '8-minute' proposition is rammed home again when the user clicks to open an account, a nice touch to chivvy the user along.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5728/n26_signup.jpg" alt="n26" width="600" height="185"></p> <h3>2. Trov</h3> <p>Trov offers on-demand insurance. Here's an instance where images of people are appropriate, with the guitar-playing beach bum a strong indication that this insurance product is not as stuffy as all the others, and befits a roaming lifestyle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5730/trov.jpg" alt="trov" width="615" height="336"></p> <p>Illustrations are used effectively. The message format is second nature to younger demographics and its inclusion here is a powerful indicator of a product that works on their terms.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5699/trov_claims.jpg" alt="trov website" width="300"></p> <p>Clicking the 'How it works' button in the top menu gives a very simple light box which demonstrates key features of the app. Once again, this is a very obvious example of a company selling the experience over and above its pricing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5649/trov_slide_2.jpg" alt="trov" width="600"> </p> <h3>3. Acorns</h3> <p>Acorns is a micro-investment platform. The website is particularly good at communicating what the app does. That starts with some confident copywriting – 'Automatically invest life's spare change', followed by the assertion that 'anyone can grow wealth'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5701/acorn_life_spare_change.jpg" alt="acorn" width="615" height="339"></p> <p>Acorns is very good at explaining how the app works, breaking the process down into three steps. The screenshot below shows the advantage that such focused apps enjoy over competition that provides multiple bespoke services – Acorns is able to distill down its proposition. Clarity is one step away from transparency, giving the consumer confidence. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5702/acorns_connect.jpg" alt="investing" width="615" height="342"></p> <p>Security is one marketing message that new fintech players have to convey, where incumbents can perhaps rely on their reputation as safe places for your money. Acorns' website addresses this issue, stating its 'serious security' credentials, including its membership of the SIPC.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5703/acorns_security.jpg" alt="security acorn" width="615" height="327"></p> <p>The $1/month pricing is attractive, offering little barrier to virgin investors, and the Acorns website lists exactly what such a modest fee gets you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5704/acorns__1.jpg" alt="acorn" width="615" height="334"></p> <p>Lastly, I was impressed by the educational content on the Acorns website, designed to make sure its target customers do not feel out of their depth. There's a particularly good <a href="https://youtu.be/zWftVEaTNJg">explainer video</a> (clickable, too) and an FAQ-style section with some very simple questions answered, such as 'what is an ETF?'</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5700/what_acorns.jpg" alt="acorns content for beginners" width="450"> </p> <h3>4. ClearScore</h3> <p>ClearScore is one fintech company that is synonymous with clarity and great UX. Its homepage is probably the best and clearest value proposition in the sector.</p> <p>ClearScore uses the language of enfranchisement – 'your credit score <em><strong>should</strong></em> be free'. And powerfully declares 'Just free. Forever'. This proposition had a big effect on the competition, which followed suit in offering a free score.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5742/clearscore_home.jpg" alt="clearscore" width="615" height="307"></p> <p>Compare ClearScore to incumbent Experian, which looks pretty similar but notably includes much more information to try to assert its trustworthiness and functionality. ClearScore lives up to its name with a website that appears to exist simply to show the consumer their credit score, which is exactly what they want.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5743/experian.jpg" alt="experian" width="615" height="339"></p> <p>ClearScore even dares to declare its credit report beautiful. Again, the company is appealing to the part of the consumer that is fed up with wading through financial guff.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5647/clearscore_beautiful.jpg" alt="clearscore" width="800" height="392"></p> <p>The brand tries to be as transparent as possible when it comes to data, spam and risk-free score checking. These values are important to consumers who don't want their score or their inbox to be compromised simply because they are seeking information in order to improve their situation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5646/clearscore_safe_hands.jpg" alt="clearscore" width="800" height="314"></p> <p>Testimonials offer further assurance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5725/clearscore_testimonial.jpg" alt="clearscore" width="615" height="325"></p> <h3>5. Stash</h3> <p>Stash is another investment platform, like Acorns, which promotes small investments and low fees. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5723/stash_confidence.jpg" alt="stash" width="615" height="225"></p> <p>Stash uses similar messaging to Acorns but has a bit more emphasis on empowerment, rather than the ease/low risk which Acorns promotes. Stash appeals to a 'new generation' of investors and talks about its 'mission' to give everyone access to financial opportunities.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5706/stash_nw_gen.jpg" alt="new gen stash" width="615" height="333"></p> <p>Furthermore, Stash promotes investment portfolios that mean something to the investor.</p> <p>The 'invest in what matters' line is backed up with visuals that represent a range of ETFs, each with their own snappy title (see 'delicious dividends' further below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5707/stash_what_matters.jpg" alt="stash" width="615" height="338"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5710/stash_port_2.jpg" alt="stash etf" width="615" height="318"></p> <p>An investment calculator with a slider helps small investors to project the success of their funds over the next 20 years – a powerful motivator to start today. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5708/stash_calc.jpg" alt="stash calc" width="615" height="311"> </p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>There are some obvious tropes used by these websites, each of which boils down to a focus on UX and transparency. Bold copywriting without too much detail, beautiful shots of the app interface, and calls-to-action to start today are all common place. </p> <p>It's not hard to see how, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68981-could-established-financial-services-firms-lose-a-quarter-of-their-revenue-to-fintechs/">according to a new study</a> conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, established financial services firms could lose 24% of their revenue to fintechs in the next three to five years. As my colleague <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68981-could-established-financial-services-firms-lose-a-quarter-of-their-revenue-to-fintechs/">Patricio Robles points out</a>, fintech startups 'largely don't have to worry about large legacy systems, and their priorities aren't pulled in a million different directions because they don't have a million different lines of business.' This is evident on their websites.</p> <p>Incumbents are fighting back though, with mobile functionality and online services given more elbow room on the homepages of big banks, for instance. As <a href="https://thefinancialbrand.com/64990/digital-banking-fintech-challenger-growth-trends/">reported by The Financial Brand</a>, the incumbents are still in a very good position considering the 'stickiness' of customers in financial services, particularly banking.</p> <blockquote> <p>Challenger banks in the UK face an uninspiring average annual population growth rate (less than 1% over the last five years), and despite efforts to simplify the switching process, the Current Account Switch Service program has seen only 3 million accounts change hands since inception, roughly just 1.1% per year.</p> </blockquote> <p>One thing is for sure, though, those that do switch to new banks, insurers and the like can be fiercely loyal to those companies they see as tech and customer service pioneers. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68866-monzo-outage-is-it-possible-to-fail-in-a-good-way/">The 2017 Monzo outage</a> proved that even in the face of failure, honesty and simplicity are strong brand characteristics.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69029 2017-04-27T10:54:14+01:00 2017-04-27T10:54:14+01:00 MealPal review: Are Londoners hungry for a lunch subscription service? Nikki Gilliland <p>I was lucky enough to bag a free trial recently, so what’s a girl to do other than write a review about it? Here’s what I thought of the whole process.  </p> <h4>What does MealPlan offer?</h4> <p>Originally launching in New York City, MealPlan is a lunch subscription service that lets you reserve food at a number of participating restaurants. It offers two plans – both of which last for 30 days – £4.79 per meal for 12 or £4.39 per meal for 20.</p> <p>Either way, it guarantees you will pay less than a fiver each time, along with the promise of your lunch being ready and waiting so you don’t have to queue.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5644/Flexible_plans.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="396"></p> <h4>Planning ahead</h4> <p>You can use the service through a dedicated app or via the main website.</p> <p>Once you’ve signed up, you will be instructed to reserve your meal between 5pm and 9:30am for the next day. If you miss this time slot, you’ll have to wait until the ‘kitchen’ is open again the following evening. This could prove mildly annoying for some, but I found it quite enjoyable to plan ahead.</p> <p>It’s also handy if you're someone who finds yourself stuck in a food rut. The participating restaurants are listed in a visually-pleasing map format, which you can then filter by specific location or type of food. This means you might come across places you've never tried before - plus it's actually quite fun to browse and see what everyone's dish of the day will be.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5658/IMG_4974.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>It's important to stress that <strong>there is only one choice of meal from each restaurant</strong>. However, this meal changes on a daily basis, meaning that you still get a decent amount of variety over the course of a week. It also helps facilitate the service in the first place, as it means restaurants can produce a higher volume of meals in a shorter time frame when there is no customisation involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5659/IMG_4975.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h4>Skipping the queue (and deliberation)</h4> <p>Instead of paying more for delivery, MealPal is hoping that consumers will be drawn in by the prospect of paying less to pick up in person – getting one over on the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68206-ubereats-vs-deliveroo-a-comparison-of-the-app-user-experience/" target="_blank">Deliveroo and UberEats</a>. Unsurprisingly, it heavily leans on the fact that consumers can skip the queue when they arrive.</p> <p>This is one area I was a little dubious about. It’s London after all – surely those already queuing will be less than pleased about people jumping ahead?</p> <p>Having said that, my experiences have so far been pretty seamless. More often than not, I have spotted other MealPal members politely enquiring at the side of counters and merely followed suit. If the company grows in popularity, however, one problem could be restaurants keeping on top of this demand at the same time as satisfying regular customers. </p> <p>Alongside the no-queue element, if you’re an indecisive sort, you might also enjoy the fact that you don’t have to make a decision on the spot. What's more, it means that you can actually spend more of your lunch break enjoying it rather than waiting around.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5660/IMG_4976.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h4>Is it worth it?</h4> <p>I generally found there was no skimping on portion-size with MealPal, meaning you'd definitely be paying more if you ordered as a regular customer. You can also leave feedback on factors such as size and speed after each meal, and the app will learn your preferences over time in order to offer suggestions you might like.</p> <p>Overall, there’s no denying that it’s a viable way to save money for those who buy their lunch every day. Of course, success also depends on whether or not you’re guaranteed to use up all your meals within the time frame.</p> <p>This might put off customers from keeping subscriptions for the long-term, with a lack of freedom and repetitive menus being potential bugbears. Also keep in mind that, although most participating restaurants are littered in the City, Soho and Canary Wharf, there are more in some areas than others.</p> <p>Will I be signing up? I could be persuaded to give it a proper go in future, if cancelling membership is hassle-free. It beats going to Pret seven days a week anyway. </p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68197-which-restaurants-deliver-the-best-mobile-web-ux/" target="_blank">Which restaurants deliver the best mobile web UX?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64445-why-aren-t-restaurants-taking-advantage-of-mobile-search/" target="_blank">Why aren't restaurants taking advantage of mobile search?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68938 2017-03-28T14:47:26+01:00 2017-03-28T14:47:26+01:00 How smartphone apps & personal data might reduce the cost of healthcare products Charles Wade <p>Sports brands, like <a href="http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/nike-plus/running-app-gps">Nike</a>, moved into the ‘wellness’ tech space early, as they quickly recognized the opportunity inherent within smartphones, utilising native functionality – such as GPS – to provide (often free) apps that offer users exercise regimes or maps to track their morning runs. </p> <p>Alongside goal-setting, fitness apps looked to enhance the experience by partnering with their home screen neighbors, such as Spotify, to combine their features, for example adding ‘Power Songs’ that play when performance dips. </p> <p>Only this month <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/12/adidas-new-open-digital-fitness-products/">adidas announced</a> that it plans to make its ‘Runtastic’ app an open platform, allowing third-parties to utilize its capabilities in their own apps to further personalize the user’s experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5083/adidas_runtastic.png" alt="" width="587" height="294"></p> <p>The reason for investing in technology is clear for the aforementioned sports apparel and footwear manufacturers – they hope to remain front of mind for their target market, namely ‘athleisure’ buyers, a segment <a href="http://digiday.com/uk/stretching-global-athleisure-boom-5-charts/">thought to be worth</a> $270bn globally last year. </p> <p>Not only is it a lucrative space, it is an increasingly competitive one where the ‘traditional’ players are under pressure from relative newcomers like Under Armour and lululemon, as well as Topshop (Ivy Park), H&amp;M, and American Eagle Outfitters, all of whom have developed ranges in an attempt to muscle in.</p> <p>At the same time the healthcare industry is spending heavily on apps as it looks to maximise the relationship that people have with their phone (<a href="https://insights.samsung.com/2016/02/24/do-patients-rely-on-mobile-healthcare-apps-more-than-their-doctors/">32% of US consumers</a> had at least one healthcare app on their phone in 2016). As an example: <a href="https://carezone.com/features">CareZone</a> acts as a journal, reminding you when to take medication; <a href="http://www.uptodate.com/home">UpToDate</a> helps students stay informed with medical developments; and the <a href="http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps">Red Cross</a> offers first aid advice.</p> <p>Incredibly, <a href="https://suite.face2gene.com/technology-facial-recognition-feature-detection-phenotype-analysis/">Face2Gene</a> allows the user to take a photo of their face (via their phone’s camera) and then uses an algorithm to scan it to identify any genetic syndromes.</p> <p>Aside from selling clothes or taking a fee for download or ‘Premium’ services, what <em>is</em> slightly unclear is what developers are doing with the most important aspect, namely the data that they collect. Looking further afield, Uber recently released ‘<a href="https://newsroom.uber.com/introducing-uber-movement/">Movements</a>’, a service which aggregates the information that the company has learnt about riders and their journeys, which it then offers to cities for better town planning. (Was that in the privacy settings?)</p> <p>It does not take a huge leap of the imagination to hypothesize that app developers might pass on the information that has been clocked up by users to insurers or pharmaceutical companies. If so, not only should consumers be alerted to this fact, but there might be an opportunity for them to demand more from this value exchange, above and beyond receiving information without having to wait at the Emergency Room.</p> <p>There are myriad apps that <a href="http://www.apppicker.com/applists/3414/the-best-health-insurance-apps-for-iphone">store insurance personal data</a>, and subsequently let users ‘compare the market’: why not take this a stage further? For example, a 40-year-old woman might share her Nike Run+ app data with her life insurance provider to show that she runs on average 25-miles a week, possibly along with her associated heart rate (and average time). This could be combined with the step counter on their iPhone, used to further detail the level of her fitness by assessing her mobility.</p> <p>Interestingly, <a href="https://www.healthiq.com/affinity/runspeed8minmile">Health IQ</a>, an insurer, has spent heavily recently on programmatic ads, stating: “Special rate life insurance for runners. Runners who can complete an 8-minute mile have a 35% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 41% lower risk of death from heart disease.” </p> <p>Furthermore, <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/general-interest/can-runners-save-on-life-insurance">in an article</a> from July 2016 (which also cites HealthIQ) Runner’s World explains how the US insurance provider <a href="http://www.johnhancock.com/">John Hancock</a> introduced a plan with discounts “of up to 15%” to those customers who meet exercise targets “measured by fitness trackers”. This is a good start for those people who workout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5084/lifeinsurancead.jpg" alt="" width="578" height="368"></p> <p>Alongside the data above, could our runner submit her weekly online grocery order – that contains fruit and vegetables and low sugar items – evidence of a healthy diet that could also be used as a bargaining chip to reduce insurance costs. </p> <p>Again, John Hancock has implemented this, to a degree, through its ‘<a href="https://www.jhrewardslife.com/">Vitality Program</a>’, which rewards policy holders with points, redeemable at Whole Foods, Hyatt, and others if they can show a history of prudent eating. </p> <p>This is certainly commendable, but it does require the individual to have a relationship with that provider and the perks are only available at pre-determined vendors; those who remain fit and healthy might <em>possibly </em>prefer to use the information to reduce their premiums and buy whatever they like (such as new sneakers). </p> <p>Tech alone cannot determine the exact state of someone’s health. Indeed, people would need to continue to have medicals and routine check-ups to assess their overall state (until, that is, there’s an app for that too): however everyday activities should be seen as a tool for consumers to obtain services that are befitting of the condition they keep themselves in.</p> <p>This is timely for US consumers, given the long-term uncertainty around the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/affordable-care-act/">Affordable Care Act</a> (recent climb-down notwithstanding). Millions of Americans pay significant sums for insurance coverage; above and beyond the impact on their health, the invaluable mine of data that apps contain should be used to positively influence their wallets too.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68851-six-ways-digital-is-changing-the-pharma-healthcare-industry/"><em>Six ways digital is changing the pharma &amp; healthcare industry</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68346-new-data-shows-why-digital-is-now-critical-to-pharma/"><em>New data shows why digital is now critical to pharma</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68927 2017-03-23T10:14:35+00:00 2017-03-23T10:14:35+00:00 Childline launches app to offer counselling direct to mobiles Nikki Gilliland <p>Luckily, digital technology now means that it’s easier than ever for young people to seek confidential advice and support. Last year, 1.8m sessions on the Childline website originated on mobile devices, and 71% of counselling sessions were delivered online via email and one-to-one chat.</p> <p>Taking this into consideration, Childline has decided to take its digital efforts one step further, creating a dedicated app so that children can access its online services direct from their smartphones.</p> <p>It’s said to be the first ever app of its kind in the UK – here’s a bit of a run down on its features.</p> <h3>Discreet installation</h3> <p>Free to download, Childline has deliberately avoided using any branding in its design.</p> <p>By using the name ‘For Me’ and an ambiguous logo, it ensures that if anyone happens to see the app on a child’s phone, they would not know that it was a Childline service.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4951/home_screen.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4952/pin.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Even better, the app requires a pin in order to log in, meaning that nobody but the child can access it – a great way to instil confidence and reassure young users that the service is safe and secure.</p> <h3>Comprehensive help and advice</h3> <p>While the Childline website is a great resource, it might prove difficult for youngsters without direct access to their own computer, or who are worried about others looking at their search history.</p> <p>With many young people now having their own smartphone, the app provides a direct and instant link to Childline’s comprehensive counselling services.</p> <p>There is a tonne of information included on the app, ranging from general tips on exam stress through to practical advice like how to make a doctor’s appointment if you're under 16.</p> <p>I particularly like how the app can be tailored to a specific state of mind. Users can set their mood to ‘depressed’ or ‘stressed’ etc. and it will offer up articles that might be of help in this instance. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4953/mood.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4954/what_is_making_you_feel_bad.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>This is perhaps useful if a child does not necessarily know why they are feeling a certain way. For example, while they might be able to articulate that they are feeling depressed, seeing an article titled ‘worries about the world’ or ‘isolation’ might prompt them to further explore the reasons why.</p> <h3>Creative toolbox</h3> <p>Another thing I like is that the app is not merely a one-sided resource – it has plenty of interactive features to encourage children to actively express their feelings. </p> <p>The Toolbox section has a whole host of creative features, including integrated videos and an ‘art box’, which allows the user to create digital drawings and paintings. These images can be saved to the user’s ‘locker’, where they can also safely keep a mood journal and various other private documents.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4955/toolbox.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4956/Locker.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>This means that if a child does not actively seek further help and support, the app is still likely to act as an aid – even if it’s just as an outlet or a place to store thoughts and feelings.</p> <h3>Message boards and support</h3> <p>If a child does want to seek out help there are continuous prompts to do so, providing users with phone numbers and contact details for a range of support networks.</p> <p>What’s more, the app also has an in-built message board, where users can ask questions about whatever it is that’s worrying them. This is also likely to be effective for children who don’t want to ask a professional or even an adult – here they can talk to youngsters in similar situations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4957/message_boards.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4958/get_support.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Childline’s app cleverly taps into the idea that children today are glued to their smartphones. By opening up a direct link, it offers kids an easy and accessible way to seek help and advice whenever it’s needed.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66592-why-charities-need-true-digital-transformation/" target="_blank">Why charities need true digital transformation</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67451-the-smartest-experiential-charity-marketing-campaign-you-ll-see-this-year/" target="_blank">The smartest experiential &amp; charity marketing campaign you'll see this year</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68091-how-five-charities-are-innovating-with-contactless-payment-technology/" target="_blank">How five charities are innovating with contactless payment technology</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68889 2017-03-14T14:26:58+00:00 2017-03-14T14:26:58+00:00 Wetherspoons launches ‘Order and Pay’ app: Is it any good? Nikki Gilliland <p>While a few restaurant chains have introduced similar apps before, it’s a bold move by Britain’s biggest pub chain, with the potential to change service in its famous watering holes forever. But will it catch on? More to the point, is it any good? Here are my thoughts. </p> <h3>Ordering made easy</h3> <p>The premise of Order and Pay is exactly as it sounds. In a nutshell, it allows you to peruse the menu, order and pay without the need for any interaction with staff. </p> <p>It’s very simple to use. When you download the app, it will automatically detect your location, allowing you to select the Wetherspoons you are in or view a list of pubs nearby. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4613/Spoons_1.png" alt="" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4612/Spoons_3.png" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>You can then view the food and drinks menu, before selecting your table and what you would like to order. With the option to pay via PayPal or debit card, checking out is fuss free, and an automatic system takes any discounts or offers into consideration on your behalf.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4614/Spoons_menu_2.png" alt="" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4615/Spoons_9.png" alt="" width="250"></p> <h3>What are the benefits?</h3> <p>Wetherspoons describes its app as an ‘innovative solution’ for everyone from families to large groups of mates. If you are dining with children, for instance, you won’t have to leave them alone at the table. Similarly, it also takes away the need to navigate a packed pub with a massive tray of drinks.</p> <p>Of course, it also provides you with a great excuse to be lazy as well as to avoid any social interaction with employees. Naturally then, some have suggested that it will bring a sad end to the inherently social experience of going to the pub, where queuing at the bar is part and parcel of it all - just like Wetherspoons' sticky carpets or its gut-busting breakfasts.</p> <p>On the flip side, there’s the argument that it can only improve the experience for customers. We can all relate to waiting ages to be served or trying to locate a soggy menu – why risk that scenario when you can avoid it entirely? While the technology can only take you so far - with service still reliant on staff once the order has been taken - there’s no doubt that the technology facilitates a much more streamlined experience in the initial stages.</p> <p>One of the biggest benefits is also the fact that it draws greater attention to what you are actually ordering. For example, you might go to the bar and order a glass of wine and a main meal without thinking much about price or nutritional info. With the app, however, you are presented with the various prices, sizes, calories and optional extras before checking out.</p> <p>Granted, if you're eating in a Wetherspoons, you probably don't care <em>that</em> much, but it could still help some customers make more considered and better informed choices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4616/Spoons_14.png" alt="" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4617/Spoons_15.png" alt="" width="250"></p> <h3>What other features does it offer?</h3> <p>The Order and Pay aspect of the app is undoubtedly its main draw, however it has a few additional features that are also worthy of a mention.</p> <p>First, it includes a reorder option that conveniently lets you order the same again – pretty handy when there are lots of you. Secondly, a comprehensive allergen and nutrition menu lets you view detailed information at a glance, although it's not really mobile optimised.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4618/Spoons_10.png" alt="" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4611/Spoons_6.png" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>There's also a decent amount of information on top of the actual menu, including an ‘about’ section on the specific pub you’re in, as well as its contact details and opening times. You can build a list of your favourite Wetherspoons, too, which is a feature that regulars are sure to appreciate.   </p> <h3>Will it catch on?</h3> <p>There’s no doubt that the Order and Pay app is something of a novelty – its introduction is likely to be met with intrigue by many of Wetherspoon’s younger visitors. However, it has to be said that it isn't actually that useful for the fit and able customer. Instead, it’s more likely to help people who have trouble carrying drinks or queuing up for long periods of time – perhaps an older demographic that, ironically, will naturally be less likely to use it.</p> <p>Regardless, by simply taking away the hassle of queuing, it may well to appeal to all generations. </p> <p>With bar staff also still ready and willing to take orders at the bar, it’ll be interesting to see whether customers will use the technology once the novelty has worn off.</p> <p><em><strong>More about apps:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68872-five-excellent-features-of-uswitch-s-energy-switching-app/" target="_blank">Five excellent features of uSwitch’s energy-switching app</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68729-a-review-of-litsy-the-social-media-app-for-book-lovers/" target="_blank">A review of Litsy: The social media app for book lovers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68688-four-key-features-to-appreciate-about-google-trips/" target="_blank">Four key features to appreciate about Google Trips</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68206-ubereats-vs-deliveroo-a-comparison-of-the-app-user-experience/" target="_blank">UberEats vs. Deliveroo: A comparison of the app user experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68872 2017-03-08T15:00:05+00:00 2017-03-08T15:00:05+00:00 Five excellent features of uSwitch’s energy-switching app Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s an overview of the uSwitch app, highlighting its very best features.</p> <h3>1. Offers instant results</h3> <p>Most energy bills now have a QR code at the top (which stands for ‘quick response’). This is what the uSwitch app is built around, instantly scanning the code via your smartphone's camera to return an energy comparison.</p> <p>When you download the app, this is the very first thing it asks you to do – even before entering an email address or signing up. This provides immediate gratification - quickly and easily syncing your personal details without any fuss. While this kind of technology has been around for a while, it’s still surprising how much it simplifies the otherwise lengthy process of manually entering your details.</p> <p>I scanned my online bill instead of a paper copy, meaning I was able to complete the first step within about two minutes of downloading the app. Not too shabby.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4416/uswitch_2.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <h3>2. Personalises service</h3> <p>Once you have been given a list of comparative tariffs, uSwitch then prompts you to sign up to the service in order to save and monitor your energy plan in future. Conveniently, you can do this using either your email, Facebook or Google account.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4417/uswitch_3.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p>This also means that you will be able to receive exclusive reminders about future deals. You can even choose when to be prompted – for example, if the difference between your current plan and an alternative reaches £50.</p> <p>If you're signing up to uSwitch via the app, you'll also be able to login to your account on the main website, too. This is quite handy, as it ensures you can interact with the company regardless of device. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4418/uswitch_online.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="427"></p> <h3>3. Simplifies information</h3> <p>One thing I really like about the app is how it highlights key information in such a clear and concise fashion. First, it presents you with a screen that shows you exactly how much money you could save by switching – the fact that there is no other information on this page is what makes it so effective.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4419/uswitch_4.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p>With many people failing to switch due to confusion over tariffs or sheer laziness, it’s pretty hard to ignore the exact amount of money you’re currently wasting.</p> <p>Moving on, the app then presents you with a list of various plans, and again, this is ordered by the amount of money you could save. Each plan is also broken down into three sections - ‘summary’, ‘calculations’ and ‘tariff info’ – to provide users with a concise snapshot of the most important information. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4421/uswitch_6.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <h3>4. Switches with a simple tap</h3> <p>Once you have chosen the plan you want, it only takes a few extra taps to actually switch (as long as you are looking at plans offered by companies that work with uSwitch). This is undoubtedly the most convenient part of the service, and being able to access it via your smartphone ramps up the ease factor even more. </p> <p>It’s been suggested that most consumers simply forget to ‘get round’ to switching – it’s one of those things that sounds far more complicated than it is. uSwitch cleverly disrupts this notion, capitalising on mobile technology to make it as simple as possible. By clearly highlighting how much you'll pay if you switch (and if you don't), you're once again prompted to take action.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4420/uswitch_12.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <h3>5. Quashes user worries</h3> <p>Finally, an FAQ feature is not usually something I'd notice. However, uSwitch’s focus on answering consumer questions is definitely useful in the context of its app. By including it just before users make the decision to switch, it helps to ease worries and facilitate the user journey in the final stages.</p> <p>What’s more, the amount of information offered (even highlighting silly worries like: What if I select ‘confirm my switch’?) means that users are more likely to be kept in the app in the very moment they might otherwise abandon it.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4422/uswitch_11.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p><em><strong>Related article:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68814-how-utilities-brands-use-social-media-for-reputation-management" target="_blank">How utilities brands use social media for reputation management</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68575-start-me-up-bulb-the-green-energy-company-focusing-on-cx" target="_blank">Start Me Up! Bulb, the green energy company focusing on CX</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68857 2017-03-03T10:43:00+00:00 2017-03-03T10:43:00+00:00 Device-centric analytics might be giving you inaccurate conversion rates Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are a few more key points from <a href="http://www.criteo.com/resources/cross-device-commerce-report-h2-2016/">Criteo’s report</a>, illustrating why retailers should take multiple devices into consideration. </p> <h3>The danger of undervaluing consumers</h3> <p>First, the report highlights how retailers should forgo a device-centric analytics strategy for a user-centric one. Instead of a singular point of view, the latter enables a comprehensive understanding of the entire consumer journey, including browsing behaviour and intent. </p> <p>If retailers merely concentrate on behaviour from a single device, they could be missing out on vital information such as at what point shoppers are abandoning their basket, or what might increase the chances of a conversion. With one-third of purchase journeys taking place across multiple devices, retailers could also be miscalculating key metrics.</p> <p>What’s more, the report found that conversion rates are on average 1.4 times higher from cross-device measurement than those seen through a device-centric approach – retailers risk highly undervaluing and therefore underinvesting in consumers as a result.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4297/Criteo_1.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="675"></p> <h3>Helping to optimise the consumer experience </h3> <p>So what can a user-centric view give us? In short - greater accuracy. </p> <p>Criteo found that consumers actually view more products, add more items to basket, and checkout more than traditional analytics might suggest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4298/Criteo_2.JPG" alt="" width="712" height="656"></p> <p>With a cross-device strategy, retailers can utilise this information, becoming better equipped to optimise the overall <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67168-so-what-exactly-does-customer-experience-cx-mean/">consumer experience</a>. For instance, in the context of targeted offers and discounts or promoting one-click checkout – both factors that could help to encourage a mobile purchase.</p> <p>Similarly, the idea that people use their smartphone to research before only buying on desktop should be buried. This is no longer the case for the majority of consumers, with mobile being continuous and ever-present regardless of the device the final purchase is made on.</p> <h3>Cross-device shopping seen in all categories</h3> <p>In terms of retail categories, it appears that no one is exempt from the multi-device consumer journey. While fashion consumers remain some of the biggest adopters of smartphone shopping, all types of retailers are seeing an increase in mobile transactions.</p> <p>Interestingly, sporting goods has seen one of the biggest leaps, with its mobile share of transactions growing 30% year-on-year, overtaking mass merchants and health and beauty.</p> <p>Now, as many sports brands aim to capture consumer interest through <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/">community management</a> and social media, it’s not unusual for product discovery to occur in spaces other than a main ecommerce site. Take Nike or Adidas Originals, for example. The latter is well-known for driving interest in new product launches through <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68785-how-adidas-originals-uses-social-media-to-drive-sales/" target="_blank">creative content on social</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4299/Criteo_3.JPG" alt="" width="708" height="674"></p> <h3>Apps outperforming mobile browsers</h3> <p>Lastly, with retailers capturing 55% of transactions via apps versus 45% on mobile, Criteo suggests that retailers should invest in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66837-three-points-to-consider-when-developing-a-mobile-app-strategy/" target="_blank">mobile apps</a> wherever possible. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4300/Apps_Criteo.JPG" alt="" width="569" height="335"></p> <p>That being said, transactions are not the only reason to invest in them. </p> <p>Now, more consumers are using apps in conjunction with the physical shopping experience, using them in-store to redeem discounts, compare prices and read reviews. With mobile playing a role in all parts of the consumer journey - from browsing to purchasing - this means retailers must ensure the user experience is consistent and seamless.</p> <p>Not <em>only</em> for mobile, of course, but across all devices and platforms.</p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68369-five-ways-to-improve-your-cross-device-marketing/" target="_blank">Five ways to improve your cross-device marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67132-cross-device-tracking-in-the-affiliate-channel-which-method-is-best/" target="_blank">Cross-device tracking in the affiliate channel: Which method is best?</a></em></li> </ul> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic, be sure to check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/topics/mobile/" target="_blank">mobile research</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68855 2017-03-01T14:20:00+00:00 2017-03-01T14:20:00+00:00 Mobile app usage grows by 28%: Where are users spending their time? Nikki Gilliland <p>But what kind of apps are they using exactly? Here are a few of the most interesting charts from Flurry’s report, along with a bit of insight into the findings. </p> <p>First, a bit of housekeeping. <a href="http://flurrymobile.tumblr.com/post/155761509355/on-their-tenth-anniversary-mobile-apps-start">The report</a> draws on Flurry’s global footprint, which includes 940,000 applications, across 2.1bn devices, in 10bn sessions a day.</p> <h3>Social and messaging apps reign supreme</h3> <p>In 2016, UK mobile users continued their rapid uptake of social media messaging apps, with usage in this category increasing by 46%. Globally, usage also increased by 44%, helping mobile to achieve a session growth of 69% year-on-year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4275/UK_usage.png" alt="" width="780" height="434"></p> <p>So why are we using messaging apps even more than we used to? Flurry suggests that the ‘communitainment’ trend could be a factor – an awful term used to describe the act of sharing user-generated content on social media. </p> <p>As a result of this high usage, time spent in other apps – such as news or gaming – has naturally declined. Similarly, with a lot of messaging apps updating their range of emojis and adding sticker features, use of standalone personalisation apps has declined 46%. </p> <p>Retale recently reported that <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/chat-bots-are-winning-over-social-media-users-report/" target="_blank">58% of millennials</a> have interacted with a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots/" target="_blank">chatbot</a> on social media in the past year, meaning AI could have also contributed to the rise of messaging apps. That being said, it’s unclear whether this percentage is due to brands capturing user’s attention or merely reaching people in the channels they already spend time in.</p> <h3>Daily habits linked to rise</h3> <p>Flurry found that the average mobile user spends around five hours a day on their smartphones, of which two hours are designated to social or messaging apps. </p> <p>Brits in particular are most active first thing in the morning as well as post-work, peaking at around 4pm and continuing until 10pm. This appears to be because, while other activities like watching television remain popular, many users are using more than one connected device at a time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4274/Daily_habits.png" alt="" width="780" height="436"></p> <p>In fact, a recent <a href="https://www.consumerbarometer.com/en/graph-builder/?question=M9&amp;filter=country:united_kingdom" target="_blank">study by Google</a> shows that 65% of Brits also use a smartphone when watching television, once again highlighting the phenomenon known as second screening.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4273/Google_Devices.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="301"></p> <p>Meanwhile, real-time events have also helped to drive usage of mobile apps, such as sporting events like the Super Bowl. In Europe, app sessions for the sports category increased by a whopping 90% last year - a percentage largely put down to a jam-packed summer of sport including Wimbledon, the Euros and the Olympics.</p> <h3>Medium phones rivalling phablets in Europe</h3> <p>While Flurry’s previous report suggested that phablets (i.e. devices with screens between 5” and 6.9”) are dominating globally, it appears Europeans are still keeping hold of medium-sized devices, with the latter seeing a 47% market share in the UK.</p> <p>That being said, it’s been suggested that Europe will soon catch up, with phablet adoption set to grow to the point of eliminating small phones entirely. This is unsurprising, especially considering the global rise in shopping and utility apps, with many consumers turning to mobile devices for a multitude of practical purposes as well as entertainment.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4272/Phablets.png" alt="" width="780" height="436"></p> <p>For lots more information on this topic, be sure to check out Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/topics/mobile/" target="_blank">mobile-related research</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68843 2017-02-28T11:23:05+00:00 2017-02-28T11:23:05+00:00 Seven brands already using Instagram’s new slideshow tool Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are a few examples of those already getting on board, as well as a few reasons why it can work.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ1l8e1DhLM/?taken-by=urbandecaycosmetics" target="_blank">Urban Decay</a></h3> <p>The slideshow tool allows Urban Decay to create a mini-tutorial from a single post.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4193/Urban_Decay_1.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="466"></p> <p>By only revealing the finished make-up look at the very end, it gives users an incentive to keep swiping.</p> <p>What's more, by offering greater insight into the featured product - demonstrating how it can actually be used - it also nudges the viewer along the path to purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4194/Urban_Decay_2.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="464"></p> <p>With tutorials being a popular form of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68205-how-three-beauty-ecommerce-sites-integrate-editorial-content" target="_blank">online content for the beauty industry</a>, this means many brands could place an even heavier focus on Instagram in future. And while Instagram Stories can already be used in this way, a slideshow means brands no longer have to worry about investing time and effort into content that will subsequently disappear.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BRARrljg7F1/?taken-by=nba" target="_blank">NBA</a></h3> <p>Another way to use the tool is to tell the story of a specific date or event, like this example from the NBA.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4195/NBA_1.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="467"></p> <p>The brand is able to re-cap the results of multiple games, succinctly presenting a lot of information in a single post.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4196/NBA_2.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="463"></p> <p>While some have bemoaned the content-heavy nature of the feature, examples like this show how it can streamline an account’s overall aesthetic – allowing brands to post a number of interesting images without clogging up their followers' feeds.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ1X4cWhVt2/?taken-by=wework" target="_blank">WeWork</a></h3> <p>WeWork’s Instagram account is designed to showcase its stunning co-working spaces around the globe. With just a single image, however, it’s pretty difficult to gain any real insight into what the office actually feels like.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4197/WeWork.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="464"></p> <p>Thanks to the slideshow feature, the brand is now able to do just that. </p> <p>Combined with a detailed description about its history and concept, the series of 10 photos allows the user to dive deeper into the story, as well as gain a much more tangible sense of what it would be like to work there.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4198/WeWork_2.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="465"></p> <h3><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ0oUULh4io/?taken-by=baywatchmovie" target="_blank">Baywatch movie</a></h3> <p>Another benefit of being able to upload multiple photos is that it enables brands to use a series of related images that would have otherwise gone unused on the platform.</p> <p>Take Baywatch, for example, which takes the opportunity to post movie posters celebrating the female members of its cast. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4199/Baywatch_1.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="470"></p> <p>This tactic will likely come in handy for teaser-posts, too, with brands revealing candid images or behind-the-scenes videos to engage fans. </p> <p>Baywatch's Tinder-inspired tutorial is also worth a mention here, cleverly reminding users how to use the new feature.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4200/Baywatch_2.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="469"></p> <h3><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ8-XdJhznn/?taken-by=time" target="_blank">TIME</a></h3> <p>Publishers often use Instagram to pique the interest of users and encourage them to click through to a particular story. This is heightened with the inclusion of multiple images, enabling a brand like Time to illustrate the narrative.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4201/Time.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="464"></p> <p>Not only does this give the post more impact, but it also helps to validate it, instantly giving the user greater insight and information about the story.   </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4202/Time_2.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="460"></p> <h3><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ55ZQllfSh/?taken-by=disney" target="_blank">Disney</a></h3> <p>This post by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67860-10-examples-of-great-disney-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">Disney</a> proves that you don’t have to include all 10 photos to create an impact.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4203/Disney_1.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="468"></p> <p>By using just two images, it is able to show the difference between an original illustration and a movie’s final frame - a simple but effective approach. This before and after concept is something we could see more of, especially when it comes to artists and designers showcasing their creative journeys. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4204/Disney_2.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="464"></p> <h3><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ02XnNBIX2/?taken-by=cosmopolitan" target="_blank">Cosmopolitan</a></h3> <p>Finally, a brand that took the reveal concept to another level.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4205/Cosmo_1.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="463"></p> <p>With the promise of a surprise, Cosmopolitan rewarded users with a shirtless Zac Efron if they kept swiping. While this example is rather gimmicky (merely serving as a demonstration of the tool itself), it deserves a mention for sheer creativity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4206/Cosmo_2.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="469"></p> <p><em><strong>More on Instagram:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68485-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-instagram-shopping" target="_blank">What marketers need to know about Instagram shopping</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68262-three-innovative-examples-of-instagram-ux-hacks" target="_blank">Three innovative examples of Instagram UX hacks</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68142-instagram-stories-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/" target="_blank">Instagram Stories: what do marketers need to know? </a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68836 2017-02-27T11:06:00+00:00 2017-02-27T11:06:00+00:00 Eight Western brands running innovative campaigns on China's WeChat David Moth <p>Due to the app’s enormous user base and the way in which it is embedded in people’s lives, Western brands often use WeChat as a way of gaining a foothold in the Chinese market. If consumers habitually use an app on a daily basis, then it makes sense to try and use that platform for marketing.</p> <p>To give an idea of the scale of the app’s reach, here are some of those incredible numbers for you to marvel at:</p> <ul> <li>In Q3 2016 <a href="https://www.chinainternetwatch.com/19524/wechat-data-report-2016/">WeChat averaged 846m monthly active users</a>, which represents annual growth of 30%.</li> <li>In the same period the number of daily logged in users was 768m.</li> <li>50% of WeChat users use the app for at least 90 minutes per day.</li> <li>The average user sends 74 messages per day, rising to 81 messages among younger people.</li> <li>As of <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/16/tencent-q3-2016/">November 2015 more than 200m users</a> had linked their bank card with WeChatPay, which can be used to transfer money between users, make payments online and also to buy things in-store. More than 300,000 brick-and-mortar stores accept WeChat payment.</li> <li>In March 2016 Tencent said it banked over RMB300m ($46m) in a single month from commissions on WePay transactions. WeChat takes 0.1% on all payments, which indicates that app users made close to $50bn in payments that month.</li> </ul> <p>And to give an idea of how Western brands are making use of the app, I’ve rounded up some interesting campaigns and activations from recent years. This is a topic <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65279-how-and-why-western-brands-are-experimenting-with-wechat/">I’ve previously touched on</a>, but that was a few years ago so I’ve trawled the web for new case studies. </p> <p>You’ll notice that most of these campaigns involve either an event in the Chinese calendar or a competition, often both. Equally, we’re largely talking about luxury brands which have an existing cache among Chinese consumers. No doubt these brands are also using WeChat for ongoing content marketing and consumer engagement, but for the purposes of this post I’m only looking at one-off campaigns.</p> <h3>Burberry</h3> <p>In my previous post on Western brands using WeChat I detailed Burberry’s impressive 'Art of the Trench' campaign. But the British fashion brand didn’t rest on its laurels; to coincide with Chinese New Year in February 2016, Burberry sent all of its followers an image of a letter tied with a pink bow. User were told to ‘Shake, tap and swipe’ to try and open the gift.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4151/burberry_lunar_new_year.png" alt="" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4150/burberry_lunar_new_year_2.png" alt="" width="250"></p> <p><em>Images pinched from <a href="http://digiday.com/marketing/burberry-coach-chanel-win-wechat-users/">Digiday</a></em></p> <p>Once opened, the letter gave users the option to send a personalized Burberry greeting to a friend to celebrate Lunar New Year. They could then shop the brand’s New Year collection within Burberry’s WeChat store. This kind of seamless activation within WeChat’s walled garden is the kind of thing Facebook yearns for.</p> <p>Burberry also gave users the chance to win limited edition Lunar New Year envelopes that could only be picked up in one of the retailer’s boutiques, demonstrating a neat way of using mobile to drive footfall in-store.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VcCitrrCVOg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Coach</h3> <p>Coach uses WeChat to help run its Chinese loyalty scheme, asking all new followers to enter their mobile number for a chance to win a handbag. There is also a members section where users can manage their accounts and unlock exclusive offers.</p> <p>In addition, for Mother’s Day in 2015 Coach ran a clever campaign called #MyFirstCoach, which celebrated the fact that mothers were their daughters’ first coach. The brand’s WeChat and Weibo followers were encouraged to upload photos of themselves with their mothers in order to be featured on Coach’s homepage and win a wristlet.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4154/coach.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4154/coach.png" alt="" width="583" height="461"></a></p> <p>Backed by paid media, the campaign increased Coach’s WeChat followers by 35,000, as well as receiving more than 5,000 submissions and 2m impressions in three weeks.</p> <h3>Montblanc</h3> <p>Swiss accessories brand Montblanc ran a WeChat campaign that tied into China’s cultural association with the moon’s phases. The brand’s followers had to type in their gender and date of birth to receive information on their personal moon phase and the impact on their personality, love, hobbies and work. A Chinese astrology expert was drafted in to advise on the results.</p> <p>The campaign was to promote Montblanc’s new Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar and Bohème Perpetual Calendar watches, which feature a dial displaying the specific moon phase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4149/Montblanc-Moon-Phone.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="414"> </p> <p>In a separate campaign, Montblanc used WeChat to tell the story behind its luxury range of fountain pens.</p> <p>Users were invited to scroll through an interactive history lesson which begins with the Industrial Revolution and ends with a showcase of the brand's Rouge et Noir range of pens. The story is intended to hammer home Montblanc's heritage and luxury credentials. Users can even choose to have some suspenseful music play as they scroll through the story.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4147/montblanc_pen.png" alt="" width="620" height="414"></p> <p><em>Photo pinched from <a href="https://jingdaily.com/wechat-campaign-spotlight-montblanc-gives-chinese-fans-a-digital-history-lesson/">Jing Daily</a></em></p> <h3>Roger Dubuis</h3> <p>Another luxury Swiss watch maker - I did say there was a theme among these brands. Roger Dubuis launched a campaign last year called ‘Who is your daring partner?’, which aimed to offer users product suggestions that matched their personality.</p> <p>Upon arriving on the dedicated landing page, users had to answer a series of questions. This included asking people to choose between two city skylines and whether they’d prefer a luxury yacht or a sports car.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4148/Roger-Dubuis.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="399"></p> <p><em>Photo pinched from <a href="https://jingdaily.com/70806-2/">Jing Daily</a></em></p> <p>After answering all the questions, users had to shake their phone to reveal which of Roger Dubuis’s watches they had been paired with. There was no option to purchase the watch within WeChat, with users instead being directed in-store. Participants could also win trips to various branded events by sharing a picture of themselves. </p> <h3>Michael Kors</h3> <p>In April 2016 Michael Kors launched a WeChat campaign in cahoots with Grazia China to promote its spring/summer collection.</p> <p>The ‘Chic Together’ campaign featured five pairs of Chinese celebrities wearing the brand’s bags and shoes. Users could scroll through the interactive app, complete with optional music, and click on each image to find out more about the products on show.</p> <p>At the end of the photo series, users were encouraged to upload a selfie with a friend, with their friend then qualifying for a free gift if they bought some Michael Kors products. Users could also vote for their favourite picture by sharing it on social.</p> <p><a href="https://jingdaily.com/wechat-campaign-spotlight-michael-kors-gives-wechat-followers-free-gifts-tours-new-york-city/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4153/michael_kors.png" alt="" width="620" height="414"></a></p> <h3>Estée Lauder</h3> <p>Estée Lauder worked with Chinese supermodel Liu Wen for an ‘EyeQ’ campaign to promote its eye care products.</p> <p>An interactive brand post encouraged users to click on a diary that appeared to be falling out of a handbag. The notebook opened to reveal ‘handwritten’ notes from Liu Wen, which all happened to relate to a different Estée Lauder eye care product. Users could also click on Polaroid images to find out more about each of the products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4146/estee_lauder_feature.png" alt="" width="620" height="414"></p> <p>After scrolling through all the photos users were asked a multiple choice question to make sure they’d been paying attention. If they could correctly guess which product can take years off your eyes, users were offered the chance to win a surprise gift in exchange for their phone number and city of residence.</p> <h3>Clinique</h3> <p>Another cosmetics brand on the list, Clinique created a retro Snake game to lure consumers into learning more about its ‘Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector &amp; Optimizer’. Catchy product name, really rolls off the tongue.</p> <p>Players had to navigate a snake made of skintone squares round the screen, chomping down ‘dark spots’. I can’t pretend to know what dark spots are, but you can see the obvious link between the product and the WeChat game.</p> <p><a href="https://jingdaily.com/campaign-spotlight-clinique-taps-throwback-favorite-persuade-chinese-consumers/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4155/clinique-featured.png" alt="" width="620" height="414"></a></p> <p>If players scored more than 300 points they won a limited edition sample of the product, and could also share their score to see how they ranked against other WeChat followers. This is another instance of the trend for creating a game or competition within WeChat to encourage user engagement.</p> <h3>British Airways</h3> <p>British Airways used WeChat as part of a broader marketing campaign around Chinese students using the airline to travel to college in England.</p> <p>The central creative idea in ‘Flying the Nest’ was one of those dreadful videos which purport to show someone being totally shocked by an event that just happened to occur while they were casually sitting around with a film crew.</p> <p>In the video a Chinese student called Fangfang is mildly surprised when her parents show up in London unannounced. Apparently Chinese students abroad often get stressed when their parents visit due to language and cultural barriers. British Airways sought to solve this problem by creating a handy travel guide that was downloadable within WeChat.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6T-5jeLG7rs?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>At the end of the video a QR code links the viewer to the HTML5 guide, which details everything a traveller needs to know when flying with British Airways. This includes information on what they should bring, airport signage translations, immigration steps, and more. The guides could also be personalized and printed out.</p> <p>As is common with the examples on this list, British Airways also ran a competition. In this instance users could win flights from China to the UK by sharing an image with a specific hashtag. This is a really neat campaign from British Airways, offering followers something of genuine use via WeChat rather than just a gimmicky competition.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic, read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report/"><em>The China Digital Report</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67740-five-things-western-brands-should-know-about-china-s-digital-landscape/"><em>Five things Western brands should know about China's digital landscape</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67702-digital-in-china-10-things-you-might-not-know/"><em>Digital in China: 10 things you might not know</em></a></li> </ul>