tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2016-12-02T10:31:15+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68590 2016-12-02T10:31:15+00:00 2016-12-02T10:31:15+00:00 10 dazzling digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week’s roundup is unashamedly festive, with news about Christmas shopping, social media conversation, consumer trust and more.</p> <p>Don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for more trusty insight.</p> <h3>85% of UK consumers to buy half of their Christmas gifts online</h3> <p>With <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68587-black-friday-cyber-monday-2016-ecommerce-stats-bonanza/" target="_blank">Black Friday and Cyber Monday</a> out of the way, Tryzens has revealed that the majority of UK consumers will shop for Christmas online this year.</p> <p>A survey found that 85% of UK consumers will buy at least half their gifts online, while 56% will shop via their smartphones and tablets.</p> <p>22% of people are also reported to have started their Christmas shopping in October and 33% in November.</p> <p>Lastly, a very eager 5% started way back in January 2016.</p> <h3>Over 50% of top UK sites use at least one content recommendation engine</h3> <p>The New Yorker recently stopped using <a href="http://www.8ms.com/2014/02/20/rise-content-recommendation-engines/" target="_blank">content recommendation engines</a> – or monetization platforms known for their 'Around the Web' suggestions – due to allegations that they potentially support questionable content.</p> <p>However, SimilarTech has found that they are in widespread use both in the UK and US.</p> <p>Over 50% of top media sites in the UK use one or more them, and 75 out of 100 biggest online publications do the same.</p> <p>In fact, going against the assumption that they are going out of favour, the number of sites using content recommendation engines appears to be growing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1992/Number-of-Sites-Using-Taboola-and-Outbrain---Top-10k-sites.png" alt="" width="750" height="364"></p> <h3>Christmas conversation hits social peak on 1st December</h3> <p>New insight from Carat UK suggests we’re less excited about Christmas this year, with a 5% decrease of Christmas mentions on Twitter.</p> <p>However, while figures suggest that 45% of people start to feel excited about Christmas ahead of December, it only become socially acceptable to start posting from 1st December, demonstrated by the fact that Christmas tweets increased by a whopping 65% on the same day last year.</p> <p>As a result of the collective excitement on 1st December people start planning which gifts to buy people, though 46% of shoppers are said to leave present buying to the second half of the month.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1991/Social_Christmas.JPG" alt="" width="710" height="385"></p> <h3>Delivery options to determine choice of retailers</h3> <p>According to Shutl, retailers need to rely on more than reputation to ensure sales this Christmas.</p> <p>In a survey of 1,070 online shoppers, 95% said they would consider going to another retailer if a site couldn’t offer a delivery that suited their needs. Likewise, 41% said they’d definitely shop elsewhere if the last mile delivery wasn’t right for them.</p> <p>With 42% of shoppers having higher online delivery expectations than in 2015, the pressure for retailers is on.</p> <h3>Married male millennials are the most engaged consumers, apparently</h3> <p>A study by Affinion has delved into the engagement levels of consumers all over the world.</p> <p>In a Customer Engagement Score of between one and 100, millennials were found to have the highest.</p> <p>Those that were married also reported higher engagement levels, with an average score of 67 compared with 64 in singletons.</p> <p>Likewise, males are the most engaged gender, reporting a stronger bond with their banks and mobile phone providers.</p> <h3>M&amp;S named as the UK’s favourite Christmas shop</h3> <p>New research from Rakuten Marketing has revealed that Marks &amp; Spencer is officially the nation’s favourite Christmas shop, with nearly a third of Brits planning to spend the most there this December.</p> <p>In second position is Boots, and despite a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68484-the-top-10-most-shared-christmas-ads-of-all-time" target="_blank">strong advertising presence at this time of year,</a> John Lewis comes in third.</p> <p>The survey found that just 27% of British consumers make gift purchase decisions based on a brand’s Christmas TV ad campaign. Instead, 33% say they use retailer websites to source information, and 31% say recommendations from family and friends.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1994/M_S.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>31% of shoppers abandon baskets due to complicated payment processes</h3> <p>In a survey of 1,000 UK adults, PPRO Group has discovered that online merchants are failing to offer customers their preferred payment option, resulting in 31% of consumers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67120-12-ways-to-reduce-basket-abandonment-on-your-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">abandoning purchases at the checkout</a>.</p> <p>The survey also found that, this Christmas, 61% of consumers will be buying gifts online at home while watching TV, while 13% will shop from their smartphones while lying in bed.</p> <p>Bad news for employers - 17% also admit they will be buying their Christmas gifts online while at work.</p> <h3>UK sees higher online conversation rates than US </h3> <p>The Ecommerce Quarterly report from Monetate has revealed that UK retailers are faring better when it comes to online conversions.</p> <p>It found that the UK is converting more than the US for the second year in a row, taking into account figures from both 2015 and 2016.</p> <p>What’s more, while add-to-basket rates have dropped in the US, the UK’s has steadily increased. </p> <p>Average order value also saw month-on-month improvement in the UK throughout the last year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1993/Monetate.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="142"></p> <h3>User-generated content results in greater consumer trust</h3> <p>A new report by Olapic has found that user-generated images are much more likely to generate consumer trust than those created by marketers.</p> <p>In a survey of more than 4,500 active social media users in the US and Europe, 46% of people said they would place trust in user generated content, with just 27% saying they’d trust content created by brands. Only 5% said they would trust straight-forward advertising. </p> <p>In terms of the preferred forms of user generated content, 52% cited photos as the best, ahead of 27% for video and 12% for written content.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1995/Starbucks_UGC.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="479"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68572 2016-12-01T14:33:00+00:00 2016-12-01T14:33:00+00:00 12 tips to help find the right UX and design supplier Ben Davis <p>The manual is written by two of our favourite entrepreneurs and UX professionals (<a href="https://uk.linkedin.com/in/iamwill">Will Grant</a> and <a href="https://uk.linkedin.com/in/steffanaquarone">Steffan Aquarone</a>), and includes detail on: </p> <ul> <li>New expectations for UX</li> <li>Putting together the right team</li> <li>Components of user experience</li> <li>Key principles</li> <li>Personas</li> <li>Mapping user stories</li> <li>Wireframes</li> <li>Prototyping</li> <li>User testing</li> <li>Technical briefing</li> <li>Design toolkit</li> <li>Data collection and analytics</li> <li>Legislation</li> <li>Accessibility</li> <li>The future </li> </ul> <p>User-centred design is now seen as fundamental to business change (see <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>), but many companies work with outside parties to assist in setting their approach.</p> <p>Whether you're looking for a strategy consultancy or a specialist agency, how do you pick the right supplier?</p> <p>Steffan and Will discuss putting together the right team in detail in their new guide, but here are their 12 top tips for picking the perfect supplier partner.</p> <h3>Top tips for picking the perfect supplier partner</h3> <p><strong>1.</strong> Find a team that understands the difference between UX and design.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Not all UX designers are visual designers, and a designer who is a brilliant illustrator may have no background in UX. Experience design is a discipline in its own right.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> Ask for examples of their previous work.</p> <p><strong>4. </strong>Case studies are a good way to see the challenges of a project and how the team solved them. Even if an end product didn’t work perfectly, you should be able to see the reasons for which decisions were made.</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> Ensure that the team is comfortable with a prototyping stage.</p> <p><strong>6.</strong> So much of good UX practice is about prototyping and experimentation: if they want to ‘skip the wireframes’ and ‘just build it’, move on!</p> <p><strong>7. </strong>Ask for examples of their experience in user testing.</p> <p><strong>8. </strong>A good UX team will have a track record of conducting user tests and often their own documented methodology.</p> <p><strong>9.</strong> Ask what their approach to quality assurance (QA) and testing involves.</p> <p><strong>10. </strong>The best UX design in the world still needs to be tested by a logical QA person. They will devise, plan and run a series of tests to check that the wireframe designs logically cover all the parts of the system they need to.</p> <p><strong>11.</strong> Try to find a team that will challenge you and your assumptions.</p> <p><strong>12.</strong> If they’re saying ‘Right, you are the boss!’ to every little thing, they might not be adding much value. A good UX team will make calls based on experience and research, not just because the client wants things a certain way.</p> <h3>A new way</h3> <p>So much of the current context for UX and interaction design is the disruption of markets by digital incumbents.</p> <p>These incumbents are design-led and have very goal-oriented, startup mentalities that put the customer first, sometimes at the expense of short-term organisational gain.</p> <p>What these companies deliver are great experiences that prove a differentiator above and beyond product and price.</p> <p>Econsultancy's new guide aims to give advice to established companies on the nitty gritty of UX, but also on reconfiguring the business around UX and design.</p> <p>That means an assertive approach to recruitment and sourcing partners, with a clear vision and allocation of resources.</p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web/">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a> now.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4316 2016-11-30T12:05:00+00:00 2016-11-30T12:05:00+00:00 User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web <p>This guide to <strong>mobile and web user experience (UX) best practice</strong> aims to cover all the key aspects of product design for desktop and mobile, and equip you with the tools and techniques that will work for your project to help you achieve clear, measurable business objectives.</p> <p>It is aimed at a wide range of readers:</p> <ul> <li>Newcomers to the topic, for whom we have tried to uphold the principles of good design ourselves by ensuring that everything in this guide is easy to understand, even with little prior knowledge.</li> <li>People who have come across, or worked with, some of the principles of interaction design, for whom we hope there will be plenty to digest and think about, especially the evolving way that user experience principles are spreading throughout modern business. It could even be argued that they’re becoming part of the essential foundations of successful organisations.</li> <li>Experts who want to update their knowledge and set their perspectives in context with other leaders.</li> </ul> <p>The report contains some useful <strong>reflections on the state of UX as a discipline</strong>, including an overview of how organisations that are getting it right are organising their teams to build products that people like to use.</p> <p>It’s also full of <strong>contributions from some of the top experts in usability and interaction design</strong> to help you anticipate what will be relevant to your organisation in the future.</p> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank the following people for their contributions to this report:</p> <ul> <li>Jane Austin, Director of Design and User Experience, Moo.com</li> <li>Hugo Cornejo, Head of Design, Monzo</li> <li>Jonathon Moore, Chief Product Officer, Trainline</li> <li>Kate Shaw, Freelance UX Consultant</li> <li>Tom Wood, Founder and Managing Partner, Foolproof</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68564 2016-11-28T15:13:35+00:00 2016-11-28T15:13:35+00:00 2016: The good, the bad and the future of digital marketing Blake Cahill <p>However, while some of my “predictions” turned out to be fairly accurate, there have also been more than a few surprises over the last 12 months.</p> <p>Here are a couple of the most unexpected trends that have taken off this year, two of the biggest digital disappointments and my personal trend pick for 2017.</p> <h3>The surprise revival of silent video</h3> <p>One of the most unexpected trends that made a real comeback this year was silent video. Over <a href="http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/">80% of internet users own a smartphone</a>, but average video viewing time is <a href="http://www.campaignlive.com/article/facebooks-everson-agencies-lagging-mobile-creative/1388780">1.7 seconds</a>, meaning consumers are in rapid consumption mode and marketers have had to become even savvier at grabbing their attention.</p> <p>What this means is there’s a real need for content that packs a punch at the beginning of the clip. If you only have a miniscule amount of time to grab a customer’s attention before they scroll past, then the video needs to have an immediate hook.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/glX_vgRCmKE?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>A perfect example of this is the social media clip that Apple pushed out following the release of the new iPhone 7. The advert is completely silent and simplistic in nature, with each frame changing every 0.5 seconds. </p> <p>In an age where most of us have our smartphones on silent, Apple has managed to discover a way to capture our attention in the most straight-forward of ways.</p> <h3>Hail to the community managers</h3> <p>2016 has also become the year of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/">community manager</a>. It’s common for brands to think of social as a one trick pony, but the brands that are succeeding on social don’t just have someone schedule 10 tweets a day and like the occasional @ comment. </p> <p>The brands that allow their community managers to become the human face of the company add an extra dimension to their social media capabilities and provide the consumer with a real sense of personality.</p> <p>Some brands that really know how to do this are Innocent Drinks, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61946-how-tesco-uses-facebook-twitter-pinterest-and-google/">Tesco</a>, Virgin Trains and <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2015/12/010/10-of-the-most-brilliant-customer-service-exchanges-ever-seen-on/">Oreo</a>. They understand the importance of employing empowered community managers and with any luck, 2017 should see more brands following in their footsteps.</p> <h3>The problem with live content</h3> <p>Of all the successes and surprises in 2016, some of the newer marketing methods are still proving problematic.</p> <p>One of these is live content – it just isn’t working out. Despite the potential, all too many brands still don’t seem to realise how to properly manage live content. </p> <p>Maybe the production value is too low, the content is too tedious, the functionality is broken... Ultimately, without a high value exchange, live content is never going to have any impact with consumers.</p> <p>One example of a brand that has really nailed live content, however, is <a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/creditchat/">Experian</a>. It holds straight-forward, weekly chats via YouTube Live, Snapchat and <a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/creditscope/">Periscope</a> to talk directly with consumers about their money worries.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FExperianUK%2Fvideos%2F1062124017192953%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="665"></iframe></p> <p>Experian understands that for live content to work, companies need to accept that what a brand thinks is interesting for customers is rarely what they will actually spend time watching.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">10 pioneering examples of brands using Facebook Live</a>.</em></p> <h3>Where are the iBeacons?</h3> <p>Back in 2014, I was convinced that retail use of iBeacons would swiftly take centre stage in our marketing strategies. </p> <p>We all <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65221-ibeacon-trials-13-brands-trying-to-find-a-use-case/">saw the </a><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65221-ibeacon-trials-13-brands-trying-to-find-a-use-case/">potential</a> and several big brands got on board – <a href="https://blog.virgin-atlantic.com/t5/Our-Future/Virgin-Atlantic-lights-the-way-with-Apple-s-iBeacon-technology/ba-p/26359">Virgin</a> used them in its Heathrow airport lounges and Macy’s rolled them out in over 800 stores to track customer movements <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/macys-taps-ibm-watson-to-improve-in-store-shopping-app/">in-store</a>, push product recommendations and discounts and to inform shoppers about sale items.</p> <p>But despite these examples, they just haven’t made it to the mainstream yet. </p> <p>Despite predictions that 85 of the top 100 retailers would be using them by the end of 2016, only 3% of retailers had implemented beacon technology by 2015 and only 16% had plans to implement them in the near <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-paul-neil/is-ibeacon-marketing-fina_b_10508218.html">future</a>.</p> <p>So what’s the hold up? Well, they can be hard to manage and maintain from a logistical point of view, as all beacon marketing requires user opt-in and customers just aren’t sold on it yet. </p> <p>This could change in 2017 but my bet is that it’ll be a slow process before they start to become a standard part of our marketing efforts.</p> <h3>The democracy of content</h3> <p>Enough about 2016, let’s look to the future.</p> <p>In 2017, brands need to be able to engage and connect with their customers better than ever before (one nice example of this is Philips’ <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBGcW5AtKyg">Every Day Hero</a> campaign). Nowadays however, companies aren’t just competing with another brand’s marketing anymore; they’re competing with the entire internet and this is where it starts to get tricky.</p> <p>Any company hoping to inspire consistent engagement has to accept that consumers now have access to tools (like <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/boomerang-from-instagram/id1041596399?mt=8">Boomerang</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/hyperlapse-from-instagram/id740146917?mt=8">Hyperlapse)</a> that can result in better, more engaging pieces of video content than the stuff many of the brands are developing themselves.</p> <p>Earlier this year, a survey found that 85% of users find visual user-generated content (UGC) more influential than brand photos or <a href="http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/why-consumers-share-user-generated-content-infographic/639636">videos</a>. Another report found shoppers who interact with UGC are <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/278152">97% more likely to convert</a> with a retailer than customers who do not.</p> <p>What this means is we can expect to see a huge surge in marketers working with UGC in 2017. It’s nothing new (Burberry launched its <a href="http://artofthetrench.burberry.com/">Art of Trench</a> website back in 2009 for example), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it quickly becomes a much more common feature of brand campaigns.</p> <p>So roll on 2017. I’m looking forward to finding out if I’m right!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-11-23T09:45:00+00:00 2016-11-23T09:45:00+00:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68532 2016-11-22T13:30:00+00:00 2016-11-22T13:30:00+00:00 The case for chatbots being the new apps - notes from #WebSummit2016 Seán Donnelly <p>I counted 23 bot related companies exhibiting at the early stage (Alpha) area at Web Summit last week.</p> <p>These included bots for different kinds of services as well as bot building platforms. A year ago, this area might have been taken up by start-ups working on mobile apps.</p> <p>Is this a clear sign that bots are about to move beyond the nascent stage? Perhaps.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1501/web_summit_bot_start_ups-blog-flyer.png" alt="Start Ups exhibiting at Web Summit 2016" width="470" height="364"></p> <h3>What is a bot?</h3> <p>We’re actually a lot more familiar with bots than we might realise. Think of Apple’s Siri or Microsoft Cortana. They’ve been around for a while but until recently, haven’t really gained traction for various reasons.</p> <p>Search engines may be considered as a type of bot. A user types in a command or request in the form of a search query and the search engine returns a number of results based on that query. </p> <p>Or let’s go even further, remember Microsoft’s paper clip virtual assistant? That was discontinued years ago but bots have been taking off again recently as advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence make them more accessible and versatile than before.</p> <p>In terms of the more recent bot experiences, brands are starting to use them for more personal, proactive and streamlined interactions with people. In this sense, a bot is just a new type of user interface.</p> <p>According to Ted Livingston, CEO and founder of messaging app Kik, speaking on the digital marketing stage at Web Summit, "people think bots are about chatting. They're just a better way to deliver software. It's just a user interface.”</p> <p>Chatbots are just automated computer programs that can simulate conversation with people to perform tasks or answer questions. </p> <h3>How sophisticated are bots?</h3> <p>There is a scale of complexity when it comes to bots. At the most sophisticated level, a bot is an artificially intelligent creation capable of understanding complex interactions.</p> <p>At the lower end of the spectrum, a bot is just a simple interface that can respond to a limited number of pre-programmed commands.</p> <p>For an idea of how basic bots can be, there is a plethora of basic bot-building platforms online. I created Seanbot at robots.me. It’s not going to do my work for me anytime soon. </p> <p>As basic as some bots may seem, Kik’s Livingston says “calling bots basic today is a bit like calling websites basic 20 years ago”. We’re going to see bot sophistication increase far more quickly than we did for website functionality. </p> <h3>Why are bots getting popular so quickly?</h3> <p>According to Ted Livingston, one answer might be the growth and use of messaging platforms which is providing some of the infrastructure for delivering bot interfaces.</p> <p>Back in April 2016, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67799-facebook-s-f8-updates-mark-shift-from-screens-to-experiences/">Facebook opened up its Messenger platform</a> to developers at its F8 developer conference. That means that brands that want to reach people on mobile can build bots to share weather updates, order pizza, confirm flight reservations or send receipts after a purchase. </p> <p>For example, Mark Zuckerberg presented the use case of ordering flowers by chatting with the 1-800-Flowers.com bot, ironically bypassing dialling the telephone. As of July 2016, there were more than 11,000 bots on the Facebook Messenger platform. </p> <p>Also in April, Kik launched its own bot store, which according to Livingston, has already attracted more than 20,000 bots.</p> <p>He told users at Web Summit that in China there are more bots launched on TenCent’s WeChat every day than websites added to the Internet. In other words, according to Livingston, “WeChat is the Internet” in China. </p> <p><em>Kik bot store</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1502/kik_bot_store-blog-flyer.png" alt="Kik Bot Shop Interface" width="470" height="193"></p> <p>Google revealed its chatbot strategy in May. Unlike M, the virtual assistant in Facebook’s Messenger, the Google Assistant will respond to voice queries and not just text input.</p> <p>Microsoft also has its own open source bot builder. Unlike Messenger and Kik bots, these bots can be deployed on other platforms.</p> <p>Amazon has also opened up its bot building platform, Echo, to developers since 2015.</p> <h3>What do bots mean for the future of apps?</h3> <p>Chatbots can be delivered via website interfaces for managing basic customer service queries.</p> <p>There could be a time though when instead of visiting an ecommerce site, we simply message the relevant stores bot on Facebook Messenger which would ask us what we are looking for and we simply tell it. </p> <p>If we think about mobile apps, there are a number of reasons why bots may in fact be the new app.</p> <h3>Why might bots succeed apps?</h3> <p><strong>1. Difficulty getting cut through on mobile app stores</strong></p> <p>If we examine mobile, according to Livingston, three quarters of American smartphone users download zero apps per month. Also, research suggests that users only use 3–4 apps on a regular basis. </p> <p>Getting cut through in the app store and then retaining users is also incredibly difficult. Bots on the other hand are available via some of the most popular messaging apps and so can provide a new way to manage frictionless interactions with consumers. </p> <p>Livingston says that if you can create a great bot experience, that experience can spread virally.</p> <p>"The problem with the app store is that they (apps) can't go viral. The top 50 apps take up the majority of downloads. Bots make it easy for experiences to go viral via mentions which allow bots to be put into conversations”.</p> <p>He gave the example of a fun chatbot Kik built called Roll that went from 0 to half a million users in 30 days.</p> <p>95% of the user base came by being shared peer to peer. It now has 1 million users.</p> <p><strong>2. Ubiquity of messaging apps</strong></p> <p>Considering the incredible growth in the number of bots available via Messenger, Kik, WeChat and other platforms, then according to Livingston "if you are a developer at this point and you are still building an app, you are crazy”. </p> <ul> <li>WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, is the most popular messenger app in the world with 1bn monthly active users (Source: Statista).  </li> <li>Facebook Messenger takes second place with over 900m monthly active users (MAUs). This number has been consistently growing since 2014 when it had 200m MAUs.</li> <li>Chinese company Tencent’s instant messenger QQ isn’t far behind with about 880 MAUs (ChinaInternetWatch).</li> <li>Tencent’s WeChat is also on the list with 806 million monthly active users as of October 2016 (Statista). </li> </ul> <p>Further, the number of mobile messaging app users is forecast to nearly double between 2014 and 2019 (Statista). That means a projected total of 2.19bn people using mobile messaging apps by 2019.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1503/900_million_people_using_facebook_messenger-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="260"></p> <p><strong>3. There is less friction using a bot than installing an app</strong></p> <p>To make user of a bot, a user just needs to search for the bot within their preferred messaging app and start “chatting”. Because you are interacting via your installed messaging app, the bot will have access to your identity.</p> <p>This contrasts with searching for an app, installing and creating an account. This may be problematic if you are outside a wifi zone and don’t want to use data to download the app.</p> <p>I tried using 1800 Flowers this morning. While I didn’t actually order anything, connecting with the bot and starting the interaction was quite easy.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1505/1800_flowers-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="275"></p> <p><strong>4. Bots may be better options for businesses that don’t have an immediate business case for an app</strong></p> <p>Users can add a bot to their contact list rather than downloading an app.</p> <p>What this means is that small businesses or companies that don’t have a clear use case for downloading and keeping an app on your phone may benefit from a bot instead.  </p> <p>Think of hotels or your local hairdresser / barber. To spend the time, effort and money to build an app for these services wouldn’t be worth it but there may be a long tail in having them in your contact list to make bookings etc. </p> <p><strong>5. Bots don't use up valuable memory on users smartphones.</strong></p> <p>Enough said.</p> <h3>Use case - how KLM is starting to use bots for customer service</h3> <p>At Econsultancy’s Festival of Marketing 2016, KLM’s Social Media Manager Karlijn Vogel-Meijer discussed the airline’s approach to customer service via social media. </p> <p>KLM has been a poster child for using social media as a customer service tool. Karlijn told FoM attendees that KLM has 235 agents dealing with social mentions around the world, 24/7.  </p> <p>To put it into context, the KLM team responds to 15,000 social mentions per week in 12 different languages.</p> <p>They used to have a 60 minute promised response time but in reality, most customer don’t want to wait that long. These interactions are managed manually but the volume of interactions is increasing year on year. </p> <p>For this reason, KLM is exploring AI and bots to help reduce the strain, whilst working to maintain a human feel.</p> <p>KLM added in a Facebook Messenger chatbot in March. Since its launch, it is receiving 5 questions per hour via Messenger. This number can increase to 13 in a peak hour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1504/klm_social_mentions-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="KLM’s Social Media Manager Karlijn Vogel-Meijer speaking at FoM 2016" width="470" height="368"> </p> <p>The brand is using Messenger for automated updates around checking in, potential delays and sending boarding passes. However Karlijn was clear that if a customer has a more complex question, a KLM agent will still get involved. </p> <p>Bots right now may not be in a position to interact in a personal way she says. In that sense, KLM’s social customer service strategy hasn’t changed. They’ve just added a layer of technology to support common requests.</p> <p>KLM is exploring adding more functions to Facebook Messenger and expanding its chatbot to other platforms like WhatsApp and WeChat. These are expected to roll out within the next year.</p> <h3>Learn more about bots </h3> <p>Econsultancy has published a number of posts and reports about bots and artificial intelligence in the last year. In particular, readers may find the following helpful: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/">How KLM uses bots and AI in ‘human’ social customer service</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/">Marketing in the Age of Artificial Intelligence</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68469 2016-11-17T12:36:57+00:00 2016-11-17T12:36:57+00:00 Nike vs. Adidas vs. Under Armour: Site navigation comparison Ben Davis <h3>Category pages</h3> <p>We're going to start by looking at category pages, because some of the most interesting differences between the three brands are seen here.</p> <h4>Nike - Category pages</h4> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Nike has three really useful features which neither Adidas nor Under Armour can boast.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Firstly, category pages include some extra navigation elements. Below you can see a cool example of a <strong>pictoral menu</strong> that sits above category listings.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">These menus help to add structure to sometimes nebulous categories. The first example shows the 'Men's Lifestyle Shoes' category with a pictoral menu at the top showcasing Nike's most popular collections of shoe models (e.g. Air Max).</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">This is a great feature because browsers might not know the name of the shoe they are looking for, and therefore the text-based 'collections' filter on the left-hand side would not help.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The site's header menu doesn't drill down as far as collections, so it makes sense that Nike showcases them prominently on category pages.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><em>Pictoral headers on category pages</em></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1102/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_09.34.12.png" alt="nike shoes" width="615" height="326"></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Below you can see a second example of these pictoral menus within category pages. This time we are looking at the Basketball category.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Again, users could simply scroll down the filters on the left-hand side and narrow down the selection to 'tops', for example. But, the pictoral menu is a much more salient way of asking the customer to narrow down their selection.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1101/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_09.33.58.png" alt="nike category" width="615" height="331"></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Nike's product listings are presented in an endless scrolling format, and they load quickly with no noticeable lag as I scroll down the page.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The filters on the left-hand side will stick to the page as I scroll. This is a feature that is unique amongst the three websites. Bravo Nike.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The final thing to note is that Nike includes a nested menu on the left-hand side, above the filters.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">So, if I select 'Lifestyle Shoes', I can see the hierarchy shown below on the left-hand side. This is useful because the user does not want to have to go back into the site's header menu - to do so feels like a step back and an extra page load.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><em>Nested menu above filters</em></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1135/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_14.09.51.png" alt="nike filter" width="400"></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The filters work as one would expect and are easy to use. Filters can be folded away if desired. It is perhaps notable that there isn't a price filter - I'm sure Nike didn't forget to include one, rather it thought it to be counterintuitive when encouraging an impulse buy of some smart sneakers.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Of course, one can sort by price (low to high or vice versa), but cannot set their own parameters. 'Athlete' is one example of an interesting 'extra' filter though, allowing users to filter for 'Roger Federer' for example.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">When it comes to a score, I'm going to give Nike a bit of a silly mark (six out of five). In my defence, Nike's category pages are a masterclass in usability and fun.</p> <h4>Score: 6/5</h4> <p><em>Foldable filters</em></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1136/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_14.10.21.png" alt="nike filters" width="400"></p> <h4>Adidas - Category pages</h4> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Some of the great features of Nike's category pages are missing here. Adidas does not offer endless scroll through product listings, which is an annoyance.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The filters also do not pin to the left-hand side as I scroll down the page, meaning I have to head back up in order to fiddle with them.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><em>Adidas category page</em></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1115/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.38.50.png" alt="adidas category" width="615" height="412"></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Most annoying though, once you have used Nike's website, is the lack of that nested menu on the left-hand side of category pages, above the filters.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">I don't want to overplay this too much because, as you can see below, I can filter by types of shoes (running etc.) and by brand (Originals etc.) and all these subcategories are also available in the header menu.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">However, Nike's solution just seems more elegant because it keeps me better rooted, letting me know where I am in the product catalogue and what else I can explore, without having to rummage around in filters, or head back to the header menu.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In Adidas's favour, it does offer filters for price (Nike does not), as well as discount. On the whole, Adidas category pages are clear as crystal but not quite as elegant or fun as Nike's.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><em>Adidas filters</em></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1116/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.39.51.png" alt="adidas category" width="450"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Category pages</h4> <p style="font-weight: normal;">And so to Under Armour. There's one thing you should notice immediately about its category pages.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Filters sit at the top of results, rather than on the left-hand side. The user has to click these filter dropdown to select any of the options, which is very annoying.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The filters are also universal across categories, which results in clunky UX. For example, the 'Fit type' filter contains only one option ('regular') when looking at the Shoes category. The 'End use' filter is also clearly a ridiculous fudging of copywriting.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><em>Under Armour category page</em></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1131/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_12.32.38.png" alt="under armour category" width="615" height="352"></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Under Armour fails to provide numbers against filters (which Nike and Adidas do well), so users don't know when they select a filter whether one product or 50 will be returned.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">There is a number of results shown in the top right next to the sort function (seen below), but this isn't sufficient on its own, and both of these elements need to be made bigger and brought closer to the listings.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In short, there is lots to improve upon.</p> <h4>Score: 2/5</h4> <p><em>Sort is slightly peripheral</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1137/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_14.53.31.png" alt="under armour category" width="615" height="226"></p> <h3>Search</h3> <h4>Nike - Search</h4> <p>Nike's search works well, with search suggestions as shown below.</p> <p><em>Nike search suggestions</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1096/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_10.06.13.png" alt="nike search" width="500" height="279"></p> <p>Results are returned immediately, often with a simple gender filter on the left-hand side.</p> <p><em>Nike search results</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1094/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_10.09.12.png" alt="nike search" width="615" height="367"></p> <p>Using this gender filter will then reveal Nike's standard left-hand side category menu, and results can be refined further using product filters.</p> <p>As you can see on the screenshot below, the search term is shown within the results, and this can be removed if desired.</p> <p><em>Nike search results</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1097/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_10.07.14.png" alt="nike search" width="615" height="520"></p> <p>Of course, search hasn't been truly mastered yet on many ecommerce websites, given the difficulty of creating a foolproof artificially-intelligent suggestions engine.</p> <p>As such, suggestions can be clunky. Below is a nicely absurd example.</p> <p><em>Nike search suggestion</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1095/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_10.04.40.png" alt="nike search" width="500"></p> <p>Again, search cannot solve all problems, so if you search for 'size 11 shoes' for example, the site doesn't 'understand' this term.</p> <p>As you can see below, I was simply presented with shoes that had the nuber 11 in their product title. However, these are problems that most ecommerce companies have with site search.</p> <p><em>Nike search gone wrong</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1100/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_10.04.14.png" alt="nike search" width="615" height="369"></p> <p>What was good though about Nike search is that it corrected my typos (see below). This is something that Adidas and Under Armour failed to do.</p> <p>Nike's search is overall pretty good.</p> <h4>Score: 3.5/5</h4> <p><em>Nike search amends typos</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1142/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_16.31.54.png" alt="nike search" width="615" height="352"></em></p> <h4>Adidas - Search</h4> <p>Adidas goes the extra mile with site search. Suggestions are presented as categories and products, so the user knows exactly where they stand.</p> <p>The product suggestions come with thumbnail images. As an aside, these are tactics that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67239-the-ultimate-ecommerce-cro-ux-case-study-rs-components/">RS Components used to increase clickthrough</a> on popular products and categories.</p> <p>Adidas knows what it's doing here.</p> <p><em>Adidas search suggestions with thumbnails</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1117/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.41.07.png" alt="adidas search" width="500" height="391"></p> <p>Search results are very clear, using the same format as category listings.</p> <p>Incidentally, if I search for 'size 11 shoes', Adidas's search delivers me to the shoe sizing chart page, which is not a bad shout at all.</p> <p><em>Adidas search results</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1119/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.42.51.png" alt="adidas search" width="615" height="338"></p> <p>Apart from dealing with spelling mistakes (where Adidas merely gives me some tips and some category links, shown below), I didn't see much to improve as far as Adidas search goes.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><em>Adidas search with typo</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1145/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_16.32.34.png" alt="adidas typo in search" width="615" height="321"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Search</h4> <p>Under Armour's search was not dissimilar to Adidas's, but didn't have the same finesse.</p> <p>Suggested searches weren't quite as decisive as with Adidas (see below for comparison). Thumbnails were included, but they didn't seem as appropriate in all searches.</p> <p>As mentioned previously, Under Armour didn't understand my typos either.</p> <h4>Score: 3.5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1132/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_12.36.38.png" alt="under armour search" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1139/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_16.10.36.png" alt="adidas search" width="300"></p> <h3>Homepage</h3> <p>The received wisdom on navigation and homepages is to maintain a user's buying momentum.</p> <p>What that means, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67394-why-ecommerce-retailers-should-never-place-products-on-the-homepage/">according to Greg Randall</a>, is that products should never be placed on the homepage.</p> <p>Instead, the homepage should point to main/popular categories (essentially a digested header menu).</p> <p>In the case of Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, I would disagree with this received wisdom, because these megabrands attract traffic that may not have buying momentum at all.</p> <p>I often head to Nike's website, yes to look at shoes, but with no particular shoe in mind, and not necessarily ready to buy. Therefore, Nike's homepage should offer me something unexpected, to aid my discovery.</p> <p>This is arguably part of navigation, so let's have a look.</p> <h4>Nike - Homepage</h4> <p>Nike's homepage hedges its bets between showcasing products and categories, as you can see in the two screenshots below.</p> <p>Basketball for kids, fleeces, a new range of basketball shoes - the page is quite basketball heavy. Nike's basketball shoes are high value items that have a status in the game unmatched by Adidas and (arguably until recently) Under Armour.</p> <p>So it probably makes sense to showcase these flagship sporting products. The fleece also gives a nod to the current season.</p> <p><em>Nike homepage</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1092/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_10.31.21.png" alt="nike homepage" width="615" height="330"></p> <p><em>Nike homepage</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1093/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_10.31.24.png" alt="nike homepage" width="615" height="331"></p> <p>What's more interesting from a navigation point of view is the 'sub-homepage' of sorts that exists on the Men's page.</p> <p>In the shot below you can see basketball shoes are still promoted, but now that handy left-hand side nested menu is included.</p> <p><em>Nike Men's page</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1114/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_09.47.30.png" alt="nike mens" width="615" height="334"></p> <p>I didn't find the Nike homepage hugely useful for navigation (aside from the header), but it does what I expect it to - surface titbits that I might be interested in clicking on.</p> <p>There's perhaps an absence of content, but the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> discussion is one for another day.</p> <h4>Score: 3/5</h4> <p><em>Nike Men's page</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1113/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_09.47.38.png" alt="nike mens" width="615" height="331"></p> <h4>Adidas - Homepage</h4> <p>Adidas includes some content on its homepage (a video lookbook) alongside category and product suggestions.</p> <p><em>Adidas homepage</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1109/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.36.41.png" alt="adidas homepage" width="615" height="330"></p> <p><em>Adidas homepage</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1110/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.36.48.png" alt="adidas homepage" width="615" height="379"></p> <p>Where Adidas differs from Nike is the use of single product suggestions, in the form of the 'best of Adidas' carousel shown below, as well as a 'recently viewed' carousel (not pictured).</p> <p>The 'recently viewed' carousel appears on almost every page, and it's certainly a useful navigational aid on the homepage.</p> <p><em>Adidas homepage carousel</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1108/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.36.31.png" alt="adidas homepage" width="615" height="345"></p> <p>Like Nike, Adidas goes more category-led on its Men's and Women's pages (see below).</p> <p>There's not much to choose between the two brands, but Adidas's extra functionality and content gives it the edge.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1111/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.38.04.png" alt="adidas mens" width="615" height="340"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Homepage</h4> <p>Similar yet again - hero products and popular categories feature.</p> <h4>Score: 3/5</h4> <p><em>Under Armour homepage</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1127/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_12.22.00.png" alt="under armour homepage" width="615" height="335"></p> <p><em>Under Armour homepage</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1130/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_12.28.36.png" alt="under armour homepage" width="615" height="343"></p> <h3>Header menu</h3> <h4>Nike - Header menu</h4> <p>Nike's header menu quickly funnels customers by gender/age (Men, Women, Boys, Girls).</p> <p>Some featured categories sit alongside Shoes and Clothing, with further options to Shop by Sport and Shop by Brand.</p> <p>The Boys and Girls menus are nicely split into different age groups (e.g. baby/toddler).</p> <p>This header menu is simple but completely usable.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><em>Nike header</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1090/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_10.37.58.png" alt="nike header" width="615" height="278"></p> <h4>Adidas - Header menu</h4> <p>I like the way Adidas uses bold font to flag up the 'All' category links that sit at the bottom of each submenu.</p> <p><em>Adidas header</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1105/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.21.07.png" alt="adidas header" width="615" height="283"></p> <p>Adidas's header menu is a bit busier, with links to sports and brands at the top level.</p> <p>As you can see from the two shots below, some of these menus include imagery to represent each category.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1106/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.21.13.png" alt="adidas header" width="615" height="277"></p> <p>The brands menu also contains thumbnail images (see below).</p> <p>The extent of the Adidas menu and the repetition within it is entirely justified, given I would imagine it is used more than Nike's header is, to compensate for the lesser 'jumping off' ability of Adidas category pages.</p> <p>Adidas's menu has a slightly different approach to information architecture ('many routes in') but is just as well realised as the Nike menu.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1107/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_11.22.04.png" alt="adidas header" width="615" height="303"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Header menu</h4> <p>Under Armour's menu is similar to Nike's. There isn't an 'all' option within the submenus, however, which means users have to figure out they can click on the bold submenu titles.</p> <p>There's nothing to gripe at, though, and even though the Kids' menu doesn't have age-specific options, Under Armour's product range is smaller than Nike's or Adidas's, so less drilling down is needed.</p> <p>As Under Armour's product range expands, the menu will no doubt undergo changes.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1128/Screen_Shot_2016-11-02_at_12.26.27.png" alt="under armour header" width="615" height="178"></p> <h3>Mobile</h3> <h4>Nike - Mobile</h4> <p>There are features that aren't carried across to Nike's mobile site (m.Nike). The pictoral category menus I got so excited about are obviously too big to fit on a mobile screen.</p> <p>However, site search and product filters are easy to use, and the burger menu is not jeopardised on the smaller device.</p> <p>As I've stated in previous articles, the Nike mobile site is quick, with no latency when scrolling through products or using menu.</p> <h4>Score: 5/5</h4> <p><em>Simple and useful as ever</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1167/nikemob2.png" alt="nike mobile" width="300" height="533">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1166/nikemob1.png" alt="nike mobile" width="300" height="533"></p> <h4>Adidas - Mobile</h4> <p>Adidas's mobile homepage sees the addition of some large category links just below the fold (see below). This seems a smart move, given some may instinctively scroll, rather than heading for the burger menu.</p> <p>Most of the other navigation functionality works in the same way as desktop. I did have one gripe though - filter and sort buttons, as well as the product layout button, are all quite a bit smaller than Nike's buttons.</p> <p>I found these buttons a bit more fiddly to click (more of a thumb end than a thumb pad). Also, once you have hit the filter button, you cannot simply exit the filter menu, but have to reload product selection instead.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><em>Good apart from fiddly buttons and no filter exit</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1171/adi3.png" alt="adidas mobile" width="200"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1169/adimob2.png" alt="adidas mobile" width="200"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Mobile</h4> <p>Under Armour's mobile site is quick enough and presented me with no problems until I used the filters.</p> <p>In the screenshot below I have selected a blue colour filter, but the user interface gives me no indication that I have a filter selected. This is a pretty basic UX failure.</p> <p>Nike and Adidas solve this by altering the category title from 'Men's Shoes' to 'Men's Blue Shoes'.</p> <h4>Score: 3/5</h4> <p><em>Applied filters are not highlighted</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1170/uamob1.png" alt="UNDER ARMOUR MOBILE" width="300" height="533"></p> <h3>Final scores</h3> <p>Nike's category pages were the standout feature, whereas Under Armour's site was under cooked in this area.</p> <p>Adidas was strong throughout, but Nike's elegance means it has scraped victory.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Nike:</strong> 21.5/25</li> <li> <strong>Adidas:</strong> 21/25</li> <li> <strong>Under Armour:</strong> 16/25</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68530 2016-11-16T11:20:00+00:00 2016-11-16T11:20:00+00:00 Eight features to appreciate on Hunter’s revamped ecommerce site Nikki Gilliland <p>And for more on this topic check out our range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/ecommerce/">ecommerce training courses</a>.</p> <h3>1. Creative curated shop</h3> <p>While <a href="http://www.hunterboots.com/">the homepage</a> for Hunter is attractive, the 'Core Concept' hub is most impressive in terms of design.</p> <p>Cleverly integrating the brand's latest campaign hashtag, #rainstartsplay, it uses integrated video and GIF features to promote its new range of weatherproof clothing and footwear.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1483/Core_concept.JPG" alt="" width="746" height="524"></p> <p>Its block colour scheme and large visuals allow for a more enjoyable browsing experience than the regular product pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1484/Explore_the_collection.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="334"></p> <p>What's more, it gives the user an overview of the entire range, instead of leaving them to search through various categories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1485/Colour_pallette_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="470"></p> <h3>2. Editorial-style content</h3> <p>Alongside the Core Concept hub, Hunter nicely promotes its blog-style content in the 'Discover' section.</p> <p>In fact, its prominent positioning on the site makes it feel less like a brand blog, and more like an integrated magazine.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1486/Discover.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="396"></p> <p>While the content subtly shows off the Hunter products, it also includes a nice variety of features including topics like photography and sport.</p> <p>I particularly like its 'Everyday Pioneers' series.</p> <p>Using an inspirational approach based around the boot's technical engineering, it promotes the durability of the product instead of its visual style.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kzmdNHpkWZw?list=PLVSqeLqwLyM2JAuxqHmnwqWUZRXFD17e3&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>3. High quality product imagery</h3> <p>Moving onto the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63462-ecommerce-product-pages-where-to-place-30-elements-and-why/" target="_blank">product pages</a> - the high quality imagery definitely stand out as one of the site's best features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1487/Images.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="808"></p> <p>With an average of six large images as well as a 360-degree video, it gives the user an excellent indication of how the product looks in real life.</p> <p>Since including more photography, specifically showing how far up the boots reach on calves, the site has seen<strong> a 10% increase in add-to-bags as well as a drop in returns.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1488/Boot_scale.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="763"></p> <h3>4. Up-front estimated delivery info</h3> <p>A small but significant feature I like on the product pages is this indication of estimated delivery.</p> <p>While many retailers leave this information to the checkout or choose to highlight the price, including the estimated date gives the customer a sense of reassurance and urgency.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1489/Hunter_estimated_delivery.JPG" alt="" width="558" height="679"></p> <p>Telling the customer that they could have the boots they're currently looking at within two days acts as a great call-to-action.</p> <h3>5. Cross-selling</h3> <p>Another newly improved feature on the product pages is the inclusion of related items.</p> <p>It might be unusual for consumers to buy more than one item at a time - Hunter is a premium-priced product after all.</p> <p>However, I think the inclusion of care products is worth highlighting here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1490/Hunter_cross_sell.JPG" alt="" width="519" height="597"></p> <p>Again, when spending on a luxury item, customers are likely to be willing to buy extra to keep them in good condition.</p> <p>Consequently, these products could do with being promoted even more prominently. </p> <h3>6. Detailed sizing info</h3> <p>I recently wrote about how <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68477-how-six-online-retailers-are-combatting-wrong-size-returns" target="_blank">retailers are attempting to reduce the amount of wrong-size returns</a>.</p> <p>Hunter also appears to be focused on this, nicely including a comprehensive size guide on each product page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1491/Size_Guide.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="602"></p> <p>The FAQ section is pleasingly comprehensive, too - it highlights the fact that sizes differ and urges the customer to check.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1492/Hunter_FAQ.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="418"></p> <h3>7. Guest checkout</h3> <p>Hunter's previous checkout option was a little misleading, making customers think they needed to create an account in order to checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1493/Previous_checkout.jpg" alt="" width="556" height="296"></p> <p>Now, it has been tweaked to be clearer, removing the previous step asking if the customer has a password.</p> <p>It's still not entirely clear-cut that a guest checkout is possible - however the site has since seen <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67120-12-ways-to-reduce-basket-abandonment-on-your-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">basket abandonment</a> reduce from 15% to 9%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1494/Email_Checkout.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="505"></p> <p>The friendly copy is also a nice touch, with the 'if you wish' sign-off reflecting a sense of flexibility.</p> <h3>8. Email reminders</h3> <p>Lastly, while it is not a feature on the ecommerce site itself, Hunter's dedication to reducing basket abandoment <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them/" target="_blank">also extends to its email strategy</a>.</p> <p>After my visit to Hunter boots, I received an email the same evening reminding me that there was something in my basket.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1495/Hunter_email.png" alt="" width="400" height="710"></p> <p>With an increasing number of shoppers browsing around before they commit to buy, this is a nice little nudge to return and make the final purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1496/Hunter_email_2.png" alt="" width="400" height="710"></p> <h3>Final points</h3> <p>Hunter's newly improved site offers an enjoyable user experience overall. But there could still be improvements. </p> <p>Though the press release said the updated site had customer reviews, I failed to find any. Similarly, the checkout process could be made even simpler.</p> <p>However, with its bold design and great attention to detail, it is generally quite impressive.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68502 2016-11-09T15:26:26+00:00 2016-11-09T15:26:26+00:00 Three creative ways publishers and advertisers are combating ad blockers Patricio Robles <p>Others are getting even more creative, or sneaky depending on your perspective.</p> <p>Here are three of the newest examples of publishers and advertisers targeting ad blockers.</p> <h3>Netflix</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1281/netflixad.png" alt="" width="668" height="256"> </p> <p>Netflix is <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/31/netflix-serves-black-mirror-ads-to-ad-blockers/">currently running</a> an ad campaign that specifically targets ad block users across a number of sites.</p> <p>The ad's copy, which reads "Hello ad block user. You cannot see the ad. But the ad can see you. What's on the other side of your black mirror?", is promoting a Netflix original drama series, <em>Black Mirror</em>.</p> <p>The on-demand streaming media company hasn't commented on how its campaign functions technically. It is possible that Netflix has cut deals with popular sites to serve the ad directly to their users when ad blocking software is detected.</p> <p>It's also possible that Netflix is using an exchange like that <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/adblock-plus-is-launching-an-ad-exchange-1473768022">recently launched by Adblock Plus</a>. </p> <p>Either way, the Netflix campaign demonstrates that large advertisers have the resources to break through the ad blockers and are even willing to create messages that speak directly to users who have ad blockers.</p> <h3>Twitch</h3> <p>Amazon purchased live streaming platform Twitch for nearly $1bn in 2014.</p> <p>In an apparent effort to ensure that its parent company can recoup its investment in the gaming-centric service, last week Twitch <a href="https://blog.twitch.tv/introducing-surestream-for-a-better-video-ad-experience-on-twitch-3ca5ce3287c">announced</a> the launch of SureStream, a "new video technology that brings more of the ad delivery experience under our control so that we can optimize it in ways that benefit the entire community."</p> <p>While Twitch acknowledges that many Twitch users employ ad blockers and it isn't discouraging them from continuing to use ad blocking software, it says SureStream will "reduce the efficacy" of this software, enabling the company to deliver more ads.</p> <p>SureStream is similar to Facebook's server-side ad busting tech, which effectively inserts ad content into non-ad content, making if difficult if not impossible for ad blocking software to identify.</p> <h3>PornHub</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/1282/tumblr_ofrxd54te91vr3e05o2_r1_500-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="283"></p> <p>The adult entertainment industry has historically been an early adopter of new technologies and it appears this might be the case when it comes to combating ad blockers.</p> <p><a href="http://blog.bugreplay.com/post/152579164219/pornhubdodgesadblockersusingwebsockets">According to</a> BugReplay, maker of a bug reporting tool for developers, MindGeek, the company that owns PornHub, is using <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebSocket">WebSockets</a> to deliver ads to users that have an ad blocker enabled.</p> <blockquote> <p>When you visit Pornhub.com, it tries to detect if you have an ad blocker. If it detects one, it opens a WebSocket connection that acts as a backup mechanism for delivering ads.</p> </blockquote> <p>While the loophole that MindGeek has been exploiting might soon be closed, and ad blockers like AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin have developed workarounds to block the use of this technique, the fact that such a technique has existed until now demonstrates the lengths to which companies will go to bypass ad blockers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68505 2016-11-09T10:50:00+00:00 2016-11-09T10:50:00+00:00 A closer look at Booking.com's customer-focused strategy Nikki Gilliland <p>From multichannel ads to personalised apps – Booking.com is intent on keeping up with the evolving needs of its customers.</p> <p>Here's more on Gillian's talk, including other ways the company is delivering a winning experience all round.</p> <h3>Fostering diversity and innovation</h3> <p>When asked if Booking.com was a travel site or a tech company, Gillian didn’t miss a beat before answering with the latter. </p> <p>Because while travel might be its product, what many people fail to realise is that Booking.com is in fact the third largest ecommerce platform in the world. </p> <p>With a large team of web developers, and running more than 1,000 A/B tests at any one time, it also prides itself on innovating through continuous experimentation.</p> <p>Interestingly, while on this topic, Gillian emphasised how Booking.com also prides itself on diversity.</p> <p>Women make up 60% of the company's workforce, and with little to no background in technology herself, she explained why the company’s diversity is an important reflection of its global and wide-ranging demographic. </p> <h3>Concierge services to improve experiences</h3> <p>Booking.com fosters innovation through its constant measurement of data.</p> <p>In other words, it is continually looking at what customers want from the site as well as how they behave online.</p> <p>In turn, it is always introducing new technology and features to improve the online experience.  </p> <p>One example is a focus on delivering personalised messaging even long after the customer has booked their accommodation. </p> <p>Now, customers can interact with the site on their way to a hotel or apartment or even while out and about looking at tourist landmarks.</p> <p>Whether they want to order room service or make a restaurant reservation, concierge features like these help to create a more bespoke and personalised experience from start to finish. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The only thing better than finding your perfect getaway home, is arriving there. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bookingyeah?src=hash">#bookingyeah</a> <a href="https://t.co/hVuE7hxX6e">https://t.co/hVuE7hxX6e</a> <a href="https://t.co/dDCp8thAlg">pic.twitter.com/dDCp8thAlg</a></p> — Booking.com (@bookingcom) <a href="https://twitter.com/bookingcom/status/794113931149185024">November 3, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Targeting mobile travellers in the moment</h3> <p>So, what enables innovation like this to occur in the first place?</p> <p>Increased mobile usage, of course.</p> <p>Gillian spoke about how today’s consumers, and specifically millennial consumers, are using their mobiles in the moment – deliberately travelling without a plan and relying on smartphone technology to give them the service they need in real time.</p> <p>Naturally, when it comes to push notifications, there is a fine line between a mobile app being helpful and annoying. </p> <p>However, Gillian goes back to the notion of measuring and testing user response to determine when and how often interaction is required.</p> <p>Ultimately, it should never be about bombarding the customer with messaging, but engaging with them in the moments when they need it most. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1302/travel_app.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="521"></p> <h3>Staying relevant in a competitive space</h3> <p>With over 1m transactions every day, Booking.com’s customer base is huge.</p> <p>So, how does the company compete for the millennial audience against the likes of Airbnb.</p> <p>For Gillian, the answer is offering a non-traditional mix of multichannel marketing.</p> <p>While Airbnb and other more digital companies might resist offline entirely, Booking.com still dedicates a small yet focused portion of its budget to this. </p> <p>Why? Well, despite the ‘in-the-moment’ demand of mobile consumers, the company recognises the fact that a memorable offline ad is also what’s needed to stay in the mind of someone booking in six months' time. </p> <p>That being said, the company is still largely digital in its marketing presence - continually optimising for search to ensure relevancy and visibility online. </p> <p>Likewise, social media spaces like Facebook, where travel is an ever-present topic of conversation, offer great opportunities for targeted ads.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1LHTKVtiDnQ?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p><em>(If you fancy a look at other travel marketing campaigns, you can find <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">10 great examples here</a>.)</em></p> <h3>The future of travel</h3> <p>While Booking.com is undeniably functional, its site has often been criticised for being incredibly unsexy in design.</p> <p>A little harsh, perhaps. But does this matter?</p> <p>For Gillian, the answer is decidedly no.</p> <p>What <em>is</em> important is that the company takes into consideration actual customer feedback rather than just assuming what it is they might want.</p> <p>Again, this goes back to user testing, with the developers making small and constant changes in order to gauge response.</p> <p>In future, more pressing matters include improving the Booking.com experience in any way possible.</p> <p>This looks set to include greater <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbot</a> functionality, with booking assistants enabling an even faster and easier journey (both online and in literal terms) for customers than ever before.</p> <p>Finally, at the end of the talk, Gillian was asked a rather shoehorned-in question about Brexit. More specifically, its potential impact on the travel industry.</p> <p>For a global company like Booking.com, there doesn't appear to be any major issues on the horizon.</p> <p>Ultimately, it appears that people will always travel. The only thing that might change is where they travel to. </p> <p>But then again, with more leaving this decision up to the last minute, and even using sites like Booking.com to decide for them – nothing in this industry is quite so certain any more.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1301/London.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="483"></p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-trends-in-the-travel-and-hospitality-sector/"><em>Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sector Report</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67996-what-travel-tourism-marketers-can-learn-from-discover-la/"><em>What travel &amp; tourism marketers can learn from Discover LA</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66156-12-insanely-beautiful-travel-and-leisure-websites/"><em>12 insanely beautiful travel and leisure websites</em></a></li> </ul>