tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/personalisation Latest Personalisation content from Econsultancy 2017-04-19T09:00:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4457 2017-04-19T09:00:00+01:00 2017-04-19T09:00:00+01:00 Email Marketing Industry Census 2017 <p>The 11th annual <strong>Email Marketing Industry Census</strong>, published in partnership with <a href="http://www.adestra.com">Adestra</a>, is based on the largest UK survey of email marketers.</p> <p>The census takes an in-depth look at email practices being adopted, the resources being dedicated to email and the channel's effectiveness compared to other types of marketing.</p> <p>Personalisation, marketing automation, optimisation for different devices and the future of email are all themes that are revisited in this year's Census, and there are also new questions about the <strong>use of metrics</strong>, the <strong>application of artificial intelligence</strong> and the <strong>impact of Brexit</strong> on how companies are approaching the <strong>EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)</strong>.</p> <p>With <strong>11 years' worth of data to assess</strong>, this provides an unparalleled opportunity to measure the state of the industry and find out how those at the coalface of email marketing are operating.</p> <p>Over 1,000 respondents took part in the 2017 Census, which took the form of an online survey in February and March 2017.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>Find out how a variety of trends around email practices, budgets and opinions have changed over 11 years.</li> <li>Discover other marketers' opinions on what the future of email will look like.</li> <li>Benchmark your own practices with the activities of marketers maximising their email efforts.</li> <li>Understand the challenges organisations are facing in improving their email capabilities.</li> </ul> <h2>Key findings from the report</h2> <ul> <li>Marketers get to grips with automation, helped by improved technology</li> <li>Email reigns supreme when it comes to delivering ROI, though companies must do more to measure success</li> <li>Companies are still under-investing in a channel which drove an estimated £29bn in UK online retail sales in 2016</li> <li>Companies continue to adapt to consumer use of different devices</li> <li>True personalisation at scale remains elusive for many businesses, though more companies are starting to reap the benefits</li> <li>Census shows signs of inertia and lack of understanding around EU data law changes</li> <li>Segmentation continues to deliver</li> <li>Responsibility for email shifts from the individual to the team</li> <li>Artificial intelligence can improve email marketing performance</li> </ul> <h2>Expert insight</h2> <p>The <strong>80-page</strong> 2017 report contains insight and comment from leading experts in the email marketing world and associated digital sectors, including:</p> <ul> <li>Andrew Campbell, Martech Director, First 10</li> <li>Chris Combemale, Group CEO, DMA</li> <li>Riaz Kanani, Joint MD and Co-Founder, Radiate b2b</li> <li>Dave Littlechild, Email, Ecommerce and Sales &amp; Marketing Consultant</li> <li>Kath Pay, Founder and Senior Consultant, Holistic Email Marketing</li> <li>Jordie van Rijn, eCRM and Email Marketing Consultant, eMailMonday</li> <li>Philip Storey, Email Marketing and CRM Strategy Consultant, CEO at Enchant Agency</li> <li>Tim Watson, Email Marketing Consultant, Zettasphere</li> </ul> <h2>Features of the report</h2> <ul> <li>Approach to email</li> <li>Email effectiveness</li> <li>Place in the organisation</li> <li>Optimising for different devices</li> <li>Personalisation</li> <li>Marketing automation</li> <li>Improving email marketing for the future</li> </ul> <p><strong>You can download a free sample of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68977 2017-04-07T10:00:00+01:00 2017-04-07T10:00:00+01:00 10 notable digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Before we kick things off, remember that you can also download the <a style="font-weight: normal;" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>A third of B2B marketers are tracking sales from social</h3> <p>A new <a href="http://immediatefuture.co.uk/resource/b2b-report-what-has-social-media-ever-done-for-us/?utm_source=PR&amp;utm_medium=Msr&amp;utm_theme=&amp;utm_term=&amp;utm_campaign=B2B_Report17#sf_form_salesforce_w2l_lead_22" target="_blank">report by IF</a> has found that 33% of marketers are tracking sales through social media, with social platforms driving sales upwards of £50,000 per month. </p> <p>However, some B2B marketers are less adept at measuring social value, with 58% not rating their ability to measure social at all. More than one in 10 marketers also appear nonchalant about the benefits - 13% suggest that social media measurement is neither important or unimportant.  </p> <p>Senior marketers are much more optimistic, with 67% being confident that their ability to measure social will improve in the next two years, and 50% of them planning to increase resource and budget investment in the next 12 months.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5309/IF_report.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="480"></p> <h3>More marketing teams planning to restructure in 2017</h3> <p>An increasing number of marketing teams are restructuring to cope with technological challenges, according to new research by Technology for Marketing, the IDM and Pure360.</p> <p>In a survey, 33% of marketing teams said they expect to become more specialist in 2017, with just 3% becoming generalist in their expertise. However, just 12% of marketers said they exclusively ‘own’ the marketing technology they rely on, instead turning to partnerships with IT and external technology teams to get results. </p> <p>This highlights the need for restructuring, with marketing teams having to move away from all-purpose marketing managers towards specialist roles, agencies and freelancers.</p> <h3>UK consumers more trustworthy of familiar brands</h3> <p><a href="http://lp.outbrain.com/research-unconscious-content-bias-uk/?utm_source=press&amp;utm_campaign=research-content-bias&amp;utm_medium=pr" target="_blank">Outbrain suggests</a> that UK consumers place greater trust in familiar brands, with 77% of survey respondents citing them as a reliable source of information.</p> <p>In comparison, 67% say they trust content shared by their own friends on social media, while three in five people believe relevant content from even unfamiliar brands to be trustworthy.</p> <p>Research also shows that consumers place more trust in traditional publishers as opposed to social media or blogs, with two-thirds of respondents believing that content from the likes of The Guardian or The Sun is reliable.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5310/Outbrain.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="670"></p> <h3>Traffic to betting websites surge ahead of the Grand National</h3> <p>Hitwise has analysed the key data behind last years’ Grand National, looking at its demographic in comparison to other racing events.</p> <p>It found that betting websites saw a 35% increase in online traffic in the week of the race last year, with those searching for betting and racing sites most likely to be between the ages of 25 and 34.</p> <p>It also discovered that people who earn over £100,000 are 161% more likely to visit racing and betting sites in the week of Royal Ascot. Meanwhile, people aged 18-24 years old are most likely to visit Sky Bet over the week of Royal Ascot, whereas those aged 55 and over are more likely to choose At The Races.</p> <h3>37% of smartphone owners are using voice technology</h3> <p>According to a new report by <a href="http://www.mindshareworld.com/uk/about/speak-easy" target="_blank">Mindshare</a>, voice technology has the ability to drive a greater emotional connection with brands. </p> <p>A study carried out by Neuro Insight found that emotional activity was twice as high when consumers voiced a brand question rather than typing it out. People also find it much easier to use, as 50% less brain activity occurs when processing an answer delivered by voice.</p> <p>The technology is already becoming prevalent among smartphone users, with 37% using voice technology of some kind at least once a month and 18% using it at least weekly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5312/SpeakEasy.JPG" alt="" width="599" height="357"></p> <p><em>Reasons for using voice technology</em></p> <h3>Aldi and Lidl are struggling to build shopper loyalty </h3> <p>An ICLP survey has revealed that Aldi and Lidl are struggling to build consumer loyalty despite an ever-growing market share. In a survey of over 1,000 people, 37% of Tesco shoppers and 34% of Sainsbury’s shoppers felt that their custom and loyalty was rewarded. In contrast, just 16% of people said the same for Lidl and just 9% for Aldi. </p> <p>Similarly, only one in four Brits believe that they get something back when they share their personal information with a supermarket. 52% of Sainsbury’s shoppers and 35% of Tesco shoppers said that they have benefited from sharing data, compared to 26% of Aldi shoppers, and 20% of Lidl shoppers.</p> <h3>UK retailers are failing to invest in AI and machine learning</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.qubit.com/research/catalysts-of-change" target="_blank">Qubit report</a> on the future of retail tech suggests that the majority of brands are failing to invest in artificial intelligence, despite recognising its potential.</p> <p>While 82% believe that machine learning will have an impact on the retail sector, just 48% are currently using it in their business. As a result, 82% of companies are planning to invest less than £1m to introduce new tech, while 22% are planning to invest less than £50,000. </p> <p>Effective data collection appears to be hindering AI, with just a third of retailers having a strategy to collect and analyse data across all their channels. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5311/Qubit.JPG" alt="" width="588" height="618"></p> <h3>Digital performance of luxury brands is improving</h3> <p>Research by <a href="http://contactlab.com/en/more/reports/digital-competitive-map-march-2017/?step=step2" target="_blank">ContactLab</a> shows that there’s been a significant improvement in many luxury brand’s digital performance over the past year.</p> <p>The Digital Competitive Map found that Burberry still has the strongest digital presence of 32 international fashion and luxury brands, with Louis Vuitton and Gucci also remaining stable in comparison to the previous year.</p> <p>An overall 5% increase in the digital performance of 32 brands is said to be due to a focus on geographical localisation, a wider range of languages used on brand websites, and strong email campaigns. However, some are still lagging behind on social, with only half of the 32 brands using Instagram and only 10 having Snapchat accounts.</p> <h3>Consumer loyalty reduced by the threat of security breaches</h3> <p>A report by <a href="https://www.retail-week.com/analysis/retailers-face-losing-battle-in-fight-against-hackers/7019678.article" target="_blank">Retail Week and Cisco</a> has highlighted the impact of data breaches on both consumers and retailers.</p> <p>In a survey of 2,000 consumers, 72% said that they would be unlikely to do businesses with a company that has experienced a data breach. If their own personal data had been breached, nearly nine out of 10 respondents said they would reduce spend if the retailer did not take steps to quickly correct the problem.</p> <p>Lastly, only 9% of consumers would rule out taking legal action against a company if a data breach has occurred. However, 53% said they would definitely consider it and 38% would give it due consideration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5308/Retail_Week.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="404"></p> <h3>US news consumption on the rise</h3> <p>Finally, a <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2017/the-nielsen-total-audience-report-q4-2016.html" target="_blank">study by Nielsen</a> has found a rise in news consumption in the US. Consumers spent 73.5bn minutes consuming news content in the average week last year – an annual increase of 18%.</p> <p>Insight suggests that the rise is due to an ‘unrelenting flood of stories’ resulting from events like the presidential election. To put this into context, the typical consumer dedicated 18.5 hours to this activity a week in 2016, compared to just over 16 hours in 2012 when the last presidential election was held.</p> <p>National cable television has been the main beneficiary of the rise, claiming 20 additional minutes of weekly attention in the first month of this year compared with the average from last year as a whole.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68901 2017-03-24T12:10:34+00:00 2017-03-24T12:10:34+00:00 Top tips to drive more engagement with data-driven native ads Ray Jenkin <p>This quote nicely sums up the reason for this forecast: “Native advertising looks like a rare win-win for the industry: more effective for advertisers, more valuable for publishers, and more acceptable for users”, says Joseph Evans, digital media analyst at Enders Analysis.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5022/native_spend.png" alt="" width="470" height="470"></p> <p>To deliver this sort of scale and growth over the years, the programmatic buying protocol will be key; and with this in play, a whole plethora of opportunities emerge; from the use of data to dynamically adjusting the creative elements in native.</p> <h4><strong>Why native ads? </strong></h4> <p>Consumer consumption is changing and so is our attitude to “traditional” digital advertising. Display click-through rates are decreasing year on year, while engagement with native ads is up to six times higher than traditional display.  </p> <p>The native ad experience is personalised to the specific site and context where the ads appears, providing a more integrated experience for the ads and content. Furthermore, the format extends meaningfully across all major devices.</p> <p>Not only is native preferable for the users; the creative execution of native ads is quick and easy to deploy with most native supply being very similar to the specs of Facebook’s native ads, so little additional work is required and creative approvals should be significantly faster.</p> <h4><strong>Strengthening native: a data-driven tactic</strong></h4> <p>TripleLift, a programmatic native vendor, saw the number of ad impressions traded through its platform grow more than sevenfold in <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/programmatic-native-ads-are-growingbut-banner-habit-is-hard-to-break-1484737200">2016 to 23bn</a>. This increase in supply in the programmatic environment means marketers can start to focus on a user centric approach to native. Applying both contextual and behavioural data to native buys means there can be even more relevance and value applied to the native experience. </p> <p>It is an exciting time to match this trusted ad format with the blend of data, but you should be aware of several key considerations to really take full advantage of data driven native:</p> <h4><strong>1. Not all native supply is created equal </strong></h4> <p>Consider what native supply you are tapping into for your campaigns. Look for supply partners that give a meaningful or exclusive share of voice within website content; sharing your space with other native placement only dilutes the potency of your content.</p> <p>Alignment alongside questionable ads and click bait news stories also does not engender trust in your brand. Understand how the supplier’s ads typically render on sites. Also make sure they comply with best practice on ad disclosure, failure to do so means a great opportunity to engage consumers turns into perceived trickery.  </p> <h4><strong>2. Native supply and audience reach: a balancing act</strong></h4> <p>Balance inventory access with audience reach. If you want to use behavioural or contextual data to help further enhance your segmentation and improve engagement, make sure you tap into native supply that provides the audience reach you need to benefit from data based targeting.</p> <p>If you are only interested in cherry picking a few properties for your native ads then you are better off not mixing data tactics into the buy as your audience and inventory overlaps will be too small. However, some promising programmatic native integrations with large portals and popular vertical publishers over the last few months mean there is increasingly good scale to blend audience and inventory tactics. </p> <h4><strong>3. What data and when?</strong></h4> <p>In using data-driven native, data recency is key to engagement. If you are not serving ads to consumers based on recent behavioural actions, all the benefit of native placement is lost on those consumers.</p> <p>Behaviourally targeting a consumer with automotive ad content will seem misplaced if the data of that user browsing auto-related content is two-weeks-old. Work with data partners who can demonstrate the ability to build and refresh audiences quickly or ideally in real-time.  </p> <p>Consider the use of both contextual and behavioural data to provide both scale and improve relevance. Site buys may be good for a demographic segmentation but drilling down into the content of that page or URL can be a great way to enhance your data-driven native campaign. </p> <h4><strong>4. Creative Relevance</strong></h4> <p>If you utilise audience data for your native ads, headlines, images and copy need to be more relevant than ever before. Make sure you are matching your audiences and relevant data points with the most compelling creative. Being native and therefore in content means you need to be truly relevant to be noticed. You can’t fall back on the standard ad slot and call to action to gain attention.</p> <p>Dynamically served native ads: this is still in its infancy but as this becomes more prevalent, it will provide exciting opportunities for brands to have a more scaled approach to matching out the context of the page and/or the behaviours of the consumer with the most relevant content or product in real time.</p> <p>Native ads are much more than headline, copy and static image, with video and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67507-30-stunning-cinemagraphs-that-will-blow-your-mind/">cinemagraph formats</a> now becoming more prevalent in native placements. Improve relevancy and engagement by learning about and experimenting with these formats and how they might interplay with data-driven native opportunities.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/4705/data_driven_native_ops-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="271"></p> <h4><strong>In conclusion...</strong></h4> <p>Those that move quickly and begin to experiment and learn more about combining data to drive their native activity stand to benefit; not just from short term gains in engagement but also by preparing themselves for the long term changes in the digital ad market.   </p> <h4><em>Related resources:</em></h4> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/programmatic/">Programmatic Training</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-cmo-s-guide-to-programmatic/">The CMO's Guide to Programmatic</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/">A super accessible beginner’s guide to programmatic buying and RTB</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68921 2017-03-22T13:58:13+00:00 2017-03-22T13:58:13+00:00 An introduction to AI-powered ecommerce merchandising Ben Davis <p>I caught up with Sören Meelby, VP Marketing at Apptus, to get an introduction to the technology (Apptus eSales), and to pose some questions about the user experience in online retail.</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Many ecommerce sites allow the user to filter by 'most popular'? How much further does automated merchandising go?</h4> <p><em>Sören Meelby:</em> Each and every sort order typically follows a logic or business rules and 'most popular' is fairly straight forward. It is the most popular products over a given or configurable time period.</p> <p>Using 'most popular' as an example, it has several aspects that can be controlled and therefore optimised and automated, such as:</p> <ol> <li>Time period to decide what is most popular.</li> <li>Metric to determine what is popular = is it # sold units, # of views, # of sales to unique customers.</li> <li>Type of filter applied to determine product set.</li> <li>Visitors' historic behaviour on the site in general and in 'most popular' as a specific type of list.</li> <li>What type of product attributes to look at when building the list of most popular.</li> </ol> <p>Each parameter will affect the output of the list and thus the type of products that will be exposed.</p> <p>If a long time period is used as input then the list of products shown in 'most popular' may seldom change and the retailer will sell the same small set of products over and over at least from the real estate where 'most popular' is in play.</p> <p>If a retailer wants to get specific results (typically uplift of a KPI) from having an area of their site showing 'most popular' they will track the performance and adjust (if possible) the parameters (e.g. 1-5, above) and measure the effect and then iterate until satisfied.</p> <p>If humans need to be involved in these multi-step optimisation iterations the process will be slow and error prone (especially if the goal is to optimise an entire site where a multitude of different areas should play in concert towards an overarching business goal).</p> <p>With an automated merchandising system the optimisation process described above is automated by means of using algorithms (driven by AI and machine learning principles) to continuously adjust the parameters 1-5.</p> <p>With an automated system no human input is strictly needed to get the optimisation process to happen but in our case a human can enrich the automated system by telling it what goal to optimise towards, typically a specific business KPI (conversion, revenue, profit). </p> <p><em>One example of Apptus's solution</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4883/Navigation_2.gif" alt="apptus in action" width="800"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> If facets and sorts are adjusted based on user behaviours, doesn't this remove important predictability from the user experience?</h4> <p><em>SM:</em> First, a brief history lesson: </p> <ol> <li>Lists were originally in alphabetical order. This quickly becomes cumbersome to use.</li> <li>Then came using result counts in combination with a category structure. This quickly becomes cumbersome.</li> <li>Then came exposing more detailed attributes from the result set, such as color, size, price range, language etc. - and this is, at present, the industry standard for how to facilitate help for a user to find what they are looking for when starting out at a broad product set.</li> </ol> <p>Our system offers the industry standard described in C above but with an important twist - we make a relevant selection of what facets and filters to expose to the user.</p> <p>This does give up a tiny bit of predictability but you make significant gains in usability and usefulness for the user experience. </p> <p>Firstly, we look not merely at the counts of results to determine how important they are, we look at the aggregate sales performance for the underlying product set in each filter or facet.</p> <p>Secondly, we apply machine learning and AI to select the most relevant facets and filters and what order to present them in (implied here is that order has an impact on the performance, which we have tested).</p> <p>So the end result is a more useful list of filters and facets that doesn't add to the cognitive load for the user when they consume the UI. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you deal with customers who browse on mobile and shop on desktop? </h4> <p><em>SM:</em> We follow the user, cross-channel. Anonymous users still get a record in our system.</p> <p>Anonymous users on multiple devices can to a certain degree successfully be merged into one, but we have a dependency on the site 'owner' to facilitate this in their cookie handling. A user is best identified when he/she makes a purchase or signs in – then we get the entire landscape of sessions merged into one and our ability to perform increases.</p> <p>To summarize – as long as the site owner is not preventing anything we can deal gracefully with multi-device interactions. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What's next in merchandising?</h4> <p><em>SM:</em> One important mission for us is to marry automation with control in our system, to offer merchandisers the freedom to act without being dependent on IT staff or data scientists.</p> <p>We see some of our richest clients being completely locked down due to systematic failure of platforms and systems to offer merchandisers any freedom to act.</p> <p>Also, despite the best intentions, the end customer experience simply does not delight customers in all cases – the proof is in the metrics. At Apptus, we believe that reversing this trend requires a radical new approach: an approach that is already proven in solving the same problems in other markets.</p> <p>Predictive machine-learning is being used, successfully, in financial markets, and marketing automation is moving over to using AI. These are trends driven by the same issues facing retailers – masses of information and not enough people or time to act intelligently on it instantly.</p> <p>With computers becoming the dominant force of retail, we believe that in five years’ time over 90% of the virtual shopping experience will be automated by computers with AI-powered ecommerce optimisation.</p> <p><em><strong>More on this topic:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-merchandising-selling-in-the-digital-age/"><em>Online Merchandising Training Course</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68496-10-examples-of-ai-powered-marketing-software/">10 examples of AI-powered marketing software</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68387-how-missguided-uses-personalisation-to-create-an-addictive-shopping-experience/">How Missguided uses personalisation to create an addictive shopping experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68777-10-uses-of-computer-vision-in-marketing-customer-experience/">10 uses of computer vision in marketing &amp; customer experience</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:TrainingDate/3218 2017-03-21T12:37:34+00:00 2017-03-21T12:37:34+00:00 Usability and User Experience <p>As acquiring traffic becomes more and more expensive, making sure your website is user-friendly is essential. This course aims to detail the standards for, and benefits of, a user-centred design approach. You’ll examine key areas where usability is of paramount importance, including best practice for navigation, page layout, forms and error messages, as well as the impact on checkouts and conversion.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3216 2017-03-21T12:35:31+00:00 2017-03-21T12:35:31+00:00 Usability and Persuasion in E-commerce <p>Usability and persuasion techniques are proven to increase e-commerce conversion rates. From search and navigation through to product pages, shopping bag and checkout, this course will arm you with a wealth of insights that you can begin using on your own e-commerce customer experience.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3185 2017-03-21T11:49:18+00:00 2017-03-21T11:49:18+00:00 Mobile UX (User Experience) & Marketing <p>Mobile rules the world – we now spend almost 2x as long online with our smartphones than on laptops and desktops.  </p> <p>Our 1-day Mobile UX (User Experience) &amp; Marketing training course offers research-based, practical best practices to help you make the most of this massive opportunity.  </p> <p>You’ll also engage in lots of interactive exercises based on real-world examples to make sure that you’re getting the most out of the day!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3154 2017-03-21T11:00:00+00:00 2017-03-21T11:00:00+00:00 Creating Superior Customer Experiences <p>When the competition are a click away differentiation can be hard. Competing on price is a fools game and erodes margins. If you want to stand out from the crowd the experience you provide customers is everything.</p> <p>This course will show you how to create an outstanding customer experience whatever type of site you run. Customers who are more engaged and more loyal. Customers who will take action and convert.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68898 2017-03-17T09:39:50+00:00 2017-03-17T09:39:50+00:00 Seven retailers that use live chat to improve customer service Nikki Gilliland <p>In fact, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63867-consumers-prefer-live-chat-for-customer-service-stats/" target="_blank">92% of customers feel satisfied</a> when they use a live chat feature compared to other modes of communication. And with <a href="https://www.forrester.com/report/Contact+Centers+Must+Go+Digital+Or+Die/-/E-RES122341" target="_blank">55% of US adults</a> also likely to abandon a site if they can’t find the answer to a question, live chat can be an effective key way of keeping customers happy and more likely to make a purchase.</p> <p>Offering immediacy, one-to-one interaction and potentially resulting in greater levels of customer satisfaction – here are a few examples of online retailers utilising the technology.</p> <h3>ModCloth</h3> <p>ModCloth is well-known for its tone of voice, however it’s just as friendly when it comes to customer care. With its live chat functionality, consumers can chat one-to-one with staff – or a Modcloth ‘advocate’, as they’re also known.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4693/Modcloth_live_chat.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="640"></p> <p>The fact that the service includes a photo and the first name of the person makes it much more personal – users really feel like they’re talking to a real life person rather than to a faceless brand. Similarly, this also serves to emphasise the brand’s customer-centric reputation. </p> <h3>Nikon</h3> <p>While fashion retailers might use live chat to drive the path to purchase, technology brands like Nikon use it to speed up the customer care process. After all, with <a href="https://blog.zopim.com/2014/11/13/infographic-theres-a-chat-for-that/" target="_blank">42% of people</a> saying that not having to wait on hold is one of the biggest benefits of using it, the immediacy of the service is key.</p> <p>For brands that have a commitment to customers when products go wrong, live chat can be utilised to troubleshoot common issues, also saving on the hassle of sending back products for repair.</p> <p>Nikon is a great example of this, offering help and advice on how to fix specific problems with its cameras.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4694/Nikon_live_chat_3.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="764"></p> <h3>Canyon Bikes</h3> <p>While many retailers might offer live chat, it’s often buried within a website’s help and support pages. In contrast, mountain bike retailer Canyon Bikes puts the service front and centre on its homepage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4695/Canyon_Bikes.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="497"></p> <p>Not only does this instil an instant sense of trust – reassuring people that help and information is at hand throughout the path to purchase – but it also ensures that customers are less likely to abandon their journey due to difficulty in finding it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4696/Canyon_live_chat.JPG" alt="" width="672" height="578"></p> <h3>Warby Parker</h3> <p>Eyewear brand Warby Parker also puts live chat at the forefront of its customer service, promoting it alongside email and telephone help. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4697/Warby_Parker.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="607"></p> <p>However, with live chat resulting in <a href="http://www.maruedr.com/live-chat-tops-customer-service-league-table-thanks-to-high-satisfaction-and-low-customer-effort/">73% satisfaction levels</a> - the highest for any customer service channel - compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone, it’s likely to be the service that consumers are drawn to the most.</p> <p>This mainly looks to be due to its time-saving nature, providing instant results in comparison to calling up or writing out an email.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4698/Warby_Parker_live_chat.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="545"></p> <h3>Nordstrom</h3> <p>Nordstrom ensures that its online customer service covers all bases by separating its live chat service into categories such as 'designer specialist' and 'beauty stylist'.</p> <p>Even better, its live chat stays open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Not only does this improve levels of customer satisfaction, but it also helps to prevent customers from being disappointed and potentially abandoning a purchase due to an unavailable service.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4701/Nordstrom_live_chat.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="523"></p> <h3>Toys R Us</h3> <p>While I am including Toys R Us on the list, this is not necessarily a good example of how to use live chat online. This is mainly because the service looks to be automated, sending consumers pre-programmed answers based on the query they select.</p> <p>So, even though the ‘Ask Emma’ service appears to be a real person, it’s actually not.</p> <p>This is a dangerous move, as instead of improving the customer experience, it could potentially harm it – leading users to feel frustrated and even duped if they realise <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68458-why-chatbots-are-an-important-opportunity-for-retailers/" target="_blank">‘Emma’ is a bot</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4699/Toys_R_Us_Emma.JPG" alt="" width="615" height="401"></p> <h3>Goldsmiths</h3> <p>Finally, Goldsmiths is a good example of a brand going one step further and making use of live chat with sound and video as opposed to just text.</p> <p>The jewellery retailer recently introduced this feature in order to mimic the personal service that it offers in its physical stores. With consumers potentially preferring an in-store experience – and therefore avoiding shopping on the website in the past – this is a great way to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68023-think-retail-how-brands-are-targeting-the-phygital-generation/" target="_blank">fuse the physical and digital</a> experience and encourage online purchases. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4700/Goldsmiths_live_chat.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="574"></p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68546-social-media-customer-service-six-important-talking-points/" target="_blank">Social media customer service: Six important talking points</a></li> </ul>