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Continuing my quest to investigate how various industries use email marketing, here’s a look at how some of our favourite fashion retailers use this most effective yet often neglected marketing channel.
Much like my round-up on the travel industry a couple of weeks ago, I’ll be looking at the frequency of emails, the use of subject lines, the email content itself, special offers, editorial voice, personalisation, relevance… All of the many tools that a company can utilise to coerce the recipient to open up an email or even engage with it.
As well as the above criteria, I also filled up a shopping basket and abandoned it without purchase to see if I would receive any reminder emails. I also entered my birthday as a date in between sign-up and writing this article to see if I was offered any discounts or at some birthday wishes. It’s not fraud, it’s science!
These are the 16 sites I chose to register my details with: Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Threadless, H&M, Topshop, Topman, American Apparel, UNIQLO, Gap, River Island, Next, Pull and Bear, Anthropologie, Forever 21, Miss Selfridge and The Kooples.
Now let’s take a look at the ravaged state of my inbox. Thank you Gmail promotions tab…
How a company handles its online returns is one of the trickiest areas of ecommerce customer service.
How helpful, flexible and clear you are about your returns process can mean the difference between encouraging repeat customers and sending them off to a competitor.
There’s an excellent article on the best practice of handling returns written by editor-in-chef Graham Charlton which highlights 14 ways that companies can avoid annoying their customers.
But what if you want to reduce the amount of returns your business deals with, particularly if you’re a fashion retailer that traditionally deals with a higher volume of returns than other businesses?
Are there ways that you can help consumers find the right size product straight away, therefore saving you and the customer unnecessary trial and error?
Let’s take a look at some examples, including some from our own case study database, to see how companies are reducing the amount of returns they receive.
Here I've rounded up some brands that are successful with content marketing.
I hope you won't have seen all of my examples. Some of them have heritage in content, and some don't.
For more case studies, subscribers can check out the Econsultancy archive.
Conversion rates from mobile commerce remain extremely low when compared with desktop and tablet, as people often prefer to use smartphones for research rather than purchases.
However, I’ve recently come across data which shows that smartphone apps are an exception to this rule, and in fact convert at a rate that’s closer to desktop than the mobile web.
Data from mobile commerce platform Poq Studio shows that in November and December 2013 conversion rates from smartphone apps was 1.8% compared to 2.4% on desktop and 0.73% on the mobile web.
This is indicative of the fact that mobile apps are generally used by loyal customers, as the data also shows that 78% of apps users were return visitors, compared to 40% on mobile sites.
Furthermore, former ASOS director James Hart previously stated that the company’s apps saw a “much higher” conversion rate than the mobile web.
The low-cost clothing brand has entered the top five of the 100 UK retailers on social media for the first time.
According to eDigitalResearch’s Retail Social Media Benchmark, Primark now has almost 2.4m followers on Facebook alone, a steep rise from its reported 700,000 followers just six months ago.
It can be very easy for a high street brand to accrue a high number of followers on any social media platform just through brand identity alone.
However, in order to be an effective driver of traffic to online and offline commerce, brands need to use social media to directly engage with customers through conversation, quality entertaining content and through personalised, always-on customer service.
Therefore a high follower count isn’t necessarily the best metric to gauge whether a brand is ‘doing social media right’. Although the sharp rise in Primark’s social profile is indicative of Primark upping its game considerably.
Let’s take a look at Primark’s Facebook page to see if there’s anything to be learnt from its strategy.
In the run up to Christmas 2013, it seems that online fashion retailer ASOS is the top UK brand on Pinterest, generating 1,728 shares per week.
These findings come from the latest study by Searchmetrics, based on the top ten UK retail sites.
Every company in the top 10 has set up its own official Pinterest page, largely as a result of the image based platform becoming the third biggest social network globally and increasingly responsible for driving traffic towards ecommerce.
Here’s some more stats that highlight ASOS’s success on Pinterest.
As we approach the end of the penultimate month of 2013 it’s time to round up some of the most interesting and noteworthy social campaigns we’ve seen in the past 30 days or so.
This time it includes efforts from MTV, Red Bull, Manchester City, Sony and ASOS.
If you’ve spotted any other decent social campaigns in November please flag them up in the comments...
A few months I signed up to newsletters from a number of different fashion retailers in order to evaluate their welcome emails.
This means I now have an inbox full of marketing messages, which feature a surprisingly high proportion of deals and special offers.
What’s even more surprising is the lack of mobile optimisation among these brands.
The full list includes some of the world’s top online retailers, such as Macy’s, H&M, ASOS, Boohoo, Rue La La, House of Fraser, Schuh, Nordstrom, Mr Porter, American Apparel, Reiss and Office.
Yet of all of these, only four brands had any success in rendering emails properly on my Android phone.
Jeans are apparently the most difficult item of clothing to buy online, according to a new consumer survey.
Almost a third of shoppers (29.5%) identified jeans as the trickiest product to buy, followed by shoes/footwear with 18.2%.
There were also a number of bizarre responses to the open-ended question, including Appalachian dance outfits and Elizabethan ruff, however it's safe to assume that the customer experience of buying jeans is a more pressing concern for most online fashion retailers.
Despite having an iPhone app for more than a year ASOS waited until last week to finally unveil the Android smartphone version.
It’s been a long time coming and as a regular ASOS shopper I was keen to try it out.
At the end of last week ASOS unveiled a new design for its men’s and women’s category pages, with a strong focus on product ideas and fashion content.
The retailer has totally overhauled the old homepage, which had a fairly standard layout with product categories down the left and a large carousel promoting various ranges.
It’s certainly a bold revamp and requires a lot of scrolling to take it all in, but it’s not too dissimilar to H&M’s ’& Other Stories’ off-shoot.
We write a lot about ASOS on Econsultancy, largely because it’s one of the best in the business. So to find out more about the retailer’s wider ecommerce strategy read our blog posts on its excellent on-site SEO and how it uses Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.
Or for more on its new homepage, read on...
Product videos are a very effective online sales tool as they give a better view of the item and help to answer any queries the customer might have.
We’ve previously blogged a number of case studies from retailers that have boosted conversions by as much as 160% by using product videos, so the potential impact of the feature shouldn’t be ignored.
But the precise use of video will differ depending on what you’re trying to sell, as clothing retailers will obviously have a different sales pitch to a software vendor. So with this in mind here are six examples of businesses that got creative with their product videos.
And to find out more about how to get creative with marketing, come to Econsultancy's Punch event. Curated by Creative Review, Punch showcases the best of insight-driven creative and forms part of our week-long Festival of Marketing extravaganza.