tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/customer-experience Latest Customer Experience content from Econsultancy 2017-08-21T13:27:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4569 2017-08-21T13:27:00+01:00 2017-08-21T13:27:00+01:00 Nike: Engaging customers across multiple channels <h2>Overview</h2> <p>Nike: Engaging customers across multiple channels is part of a series of brand strategy briefings examining the marketing strategies and tactics of the most popular and searched for brands. As part of this series, Econsultancy curates a selection of brand case studies and stories to help you improve your modern marketing efforts.</p> <p>Nike has long been one of the most recognisable sportwear brands in the world, but how does it maintain its cache across the digital channels? In this briefing, Econsultancy looks at Nike's greatest successes over the last 12 months, each carrying a lesson brands and marketers can learn from.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>How Nike turned a product launch into a must-see event on and offline</li> <li>How Nike approaches its relationship with third party sellers (i.e. Amazon)</li> <li>How Nike is collaborating with big digital names (i.e. Spotify)</li> <li>How Nike.com stands up as an enjoyable and user-friendly ecommerce experience</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/899 2017-08-21T04:30:07+01:00 2017-08-21T04:30:07+01:00 Digital Intelligence Briefing 2017 <p>We know the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-2/" target="_blank">first Digital Intelligence Briefing</a> is not enough to cover the entire digital marketing spectrum. This second Digital Intelligence Briefing will continue to highlight the most important digital trends and developments (curated by our research analysts) you should be aware about, and also sharing the latest trends, best practices and data on digital ROI and customer experience.</p> <p>Join us at this half-day session as we curate and highlight the key digital trends, challenges, opportunities and developments that are going to affect how markets are operating, what tools are being used, and how digital marketing practices are changing - making it simple for you to keep track of the key developments in digital technology and marketing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69328 2017-08-19T21:00:37+01:00 2017-08-19T21:00:37+01:00 Should companies embrace SMS texting for customer service? Patricio Robles <p>As <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-10/furious-about-delays-and-lost-luggage-text-your-airline">detailed by</a> Bloomberg's Justin Bachman, despite its ubiquity, SMS text messaging — "arguably the world's most favored form of communication" — has largely been ignored as a customer service channel by businesses, particularly large corporations. Instead, SMS has historically been used as a one-way channel to deliver notifications and marketing communications to customers. </p> <p>But that is changing.</p> <p>Case in point: while airlines have long used SMS to deliver information such as flight status updates to their customers, two airlines, Hawaiian and JetBlue, are or will be experimenting with SMS-based customer service.  </p> <p>Hawaiian Airlines began testing SMS-based customer service in April and recently decided to make the channel permanent. Currently, it handles about 200 texts a day, a tiny number for the eighth-largest commercial carrier in the United States, and interestingly, says that 70% of the SMS inquiries "don't involve itineraries or the carrier's HawaiianMiles program."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8304/hasms.png" alt="" width="396" height="252"></p> <p>JetBlue has invested in a startup called Gladly, which offers a customer service platform that supports SMS. According to the company, once JetBlue integrates Gladly's platform into its call center operations, "JetBlue customers will be able to have continuous, real-time conversations through whichever channel they prefer at the moment. They’ll be able to switch communication channels mid-conversation, and JetBlue will be able to pick up where they left off by accessing the full history of conversations with the customer from both current and previous flights."</p> <h3>The problem with SMS</h3> <p>While there are logical reasons to believe that SMS-based customer service has a future, in large part due to texting's popularity, it's not certain that customers will embrace it. There are a number of reasons for this.</p> <p>For starters, one of texting's benefits – its asynchronous nature – can also be a drawback under certain circumstances. While many consumers avoid phone customer service like the plague, for urgent or complicated matters customers might very well prefer to speak with a person who can respond to them in real-time. This raises the question as to whether SMS-based customer service will become anything more than an email alternative.</p> <p>Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that when it comes to text-based customer service inquiries, it's possible that many individuals will turn to social media channels like Twitter before they use SMS. As some observed <a href="https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14979737">in a discussion thread</a> about SMS-based customer service on Hacker News, companies have an incentive to respond promptly to inquiries that are posted in social channels. After all, those inquiries are public and a failure to address them adequately and in a reasonable period of time could result in negative press or even a full-on backlash.</p> <p><strong>In other words, the appeal of social media customer service is that consumers feel it gives them more leverage to get companies to take their inquiries seriously and respond.</strong> That leverage doesn't exist when texting because the communications are private.</p> <h3>The bot factor</h3> <p>Even if SMS proves to be a marginal customer service channel for industries like air travel, Bloomberg's Bachman noted that there are other markets, such as banking and telecommunications, that might be better-suited. According to Rurik Bradbury, the head of global communications and research at LivePerson, up to 70% of the inquiries in these markets could one day be responded to in an automated fashion "because you have 60-80 very common questions."</p> <p>The predictable nature of inquiries, coupled with the relative simplicity of addressing many of them, lends itself to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67697-does-the-rise-of-messaging-apps-mean-brands-need-a-bot-strategy/">the use of bots</a>, which in some cases might totally change the viability of using SMS for customer service. While companies need to be careful about buying into <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/">the idea that AI-powered bots can automate customer service completely</a>, bots backed by humans could be an effective combination.</p> <p>As customer service platforms add support for SMS, making it possible for companies to offer SMS-based customer service, expect more and more companies to give it a look, especially if they're already investing in human and bot text-based customer service for other messaging channels such as social.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69348 2017-08-18T11:00:00+01:00 2017-08-18T11:00:00+01:00 Five examples of brands that succeed with word-of-mouth marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>This cycle is what’s known as word of mouth marketing. Instead of overtly selling to customers, brands are able to get their customers to do the work for them by creating experiences that they’ll naturally want to shout about.</p> <p>So, which brands are pioneers of word of mouth marketing? Here’s a run-down of some of the best examples in recent times.  </p> <h3>Chipotle</h3> <p>Chipotle is only just recovering from a food safety scandal that saw sales plummet. However, with a famously non-traditional advertising strategy, it has previously generated much of its success from clever and shareable online campaigns.</p> <p>In 2013, it released an online video called ‘The Scarecrow’, depicting a dystopian world in which a scarecrow is forced to work in a fictional factory but eventually rebels to run his own. The video also happened to be a trailer for an accompanying iOS app that allowed players to earn codes for free Chipotle menu items. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lUtnas5ScSE?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>By combining powerful storytelling with a real-life incentive, Chipotle’s campaign generated massive engagement. The video was viewed 6.5m views times on YouTube in under two weeks, while the game went to number one in app store’s free category. Most importantly, the campaign involved no paid media during the first four weeks, immediately gaining traction through social alone.</p> <p>Offline, Chipotle also ensures word-of-mouth marketing by delivering a positive customer experience. Its employees are typically jovial and friendly, helping to foster the brand’s unique ‘food culture’. In order to maintain a high level of service, it implements what it calls ‘four pillars of throughput’. In other words, four essential roles, including a ‘linebacker’ whose sole job is to replenish ingredients so others can focus on taking orders.</p> <p>Ironically, Chipotle’s food safety scandal spread like wildfire due to negative word-of-mouth, but as it tries to win back favour, it’ll be focused on turning this around.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8310/Chipotle_service.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="396"></p> <h3>Netflix</h3> <p>Netflix arguably has a head-start on word-of-mouth marketing. Its core product (original programming like House of Cards) offers an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68457-how-netflix-became-the-most-loved-brand-in-the-uk/" target="_blank">enjoyable and original experience</a> that people naturally want to talk about. However, Netflix boosts its CX by tapping into user data and sentiment – and delivering exactly what people want on the back of it.</p> <p>For example, recognising the phenomenon of ‘binge watching’, Netflix strategically released all ten episodes of Making a Murderer in one go. What’s more, it released it on 19th December in the US – a time when viewers would be well primed to hibernate during the holidays. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Steven Avery's troubled life. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MakingAMurderer?src=hash">#MakingAMurderer</a> <a href="https://t.co/emMcg4oAN9">pic.twitter.com/emMcg4oAN9</a></p> — Netflix US (@netflix) <a href="https://twitter.com/netflix/status/681548607896457216">December 28, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Elsewhere, Netflix’s social activity is also designed to increase awareness about new original programming. It often does this through user generated content, sharing viewer’s excitement about their favourite upcoming shows in order to prompt interest in others. This taps into the notion that people trust their peers more than big brands, especially when it comes to what to watch. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8313/Netflix_UGC.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="577"></p> <h3>Lush</h3> <p>I’ve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67953-how-lush-cosmetics-uses-word-of-mouth-marketing" target="_blank">written about Lush before</a>, but with an increasingly successful strategy built on customer favour and loyalty – it’s an example worth repeating. Especially considering the fact that business is booming, with worldwide sales for the brand increasing 26% YoY in 2016. </p> <p>Instead of traditional advertising, Lush largely relies on its brand values in order to raise awareness and engage consumers. Its values are centred around <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68097-purchase-with-purpose-how-four-brands-use-social-good-to-drive-consumer-loyalty/" target="_blank">social and environmental causes</a> such as animal welfare, fair trade and ethical buying. The brand has even backed more controversial campaigns like anti-fracking and Guantanamo prisoners. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our friends at <a href="https://twitter.com/AnimalEquality">@AnimalEquality</a> work hard exposing cruelty wherever they find it. *Warning, distressing images* <a href="https://t.co/ubykDQBuIg">https://t.co/ubykDQBuIg</a></p> — LUSH UK (@LushLtd) <a href="https://twitter.com/LushLtd/status/895589247805083648">August 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>With a zero-spend policy on advertising, it uses organic social reach to promote the brand, focusing on content related to issues the brand and its target customer cares about.</p> <p>As well as brand values, Lush promotes a unique in-store experience. Its employees are typically forthcoming and chatty, engaging customers in product demonstrations as well as general conversation. The store layouts are also unique, with products displayed so that customer can touch and smell them.</p> <p>Combined, this creates a shopping experience that people truly invest in, with shoppers returning not just for the products themselves but everything that surrounds it. When you compare it to the experience of offered by Body Shop or Boots, it’s easy to understand why it has generated an almost cult-like following among millennials and generation Z. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">As I lay here, unable to sleep, I wonder... can <a href="https://twitter.com/lushcosmetics">@lushcosmetics</a> open a brick and mortar here?? Cause I needs my <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LUSH?src=hash">#LUSH</a> fix!!</p> — Ashley Naron (@ashnalex) <a href="https://twitter.com/ashnalex/status/898027706528477184">August 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>CrossFit</h3> <p>Why would anyone want to put themselves through a workout that deliberately pushes them to their limit? Beats me, but then again, why does CrossFit have millions of loyal customers all over the world? It’s a conundrum that has led many suckers for punishment to find out for themselves, and CrossFit to become a multi-million-dollar brand. </p> <p>Customer testimonials have been at the heart of Crossfit’s marketing strategy, with members sharing how and why Crossfit has not only transformed their bodies – but multiple aspects of their lives. With a constant stream of testimonial videos on its YouTube channel (and integrated into its main site) – anyone researching the brand for the first time is guaranteed to be met with a positive reason to join. The content furthers advocacy in existing members, and gives them incentive to continue. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HPanYrXOcOQ?list=PLdWvFCOAvyr2wQ3SBCkzCUwUgNhPgStC3&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Importantly, the testimonials often focus on those people might not associate with Crossfit, such as people with disabilities, health issues, or an older demographic. This allows potential customers to think ‘if they can do it, so can I’. </p> <p>Another tactic used by Crossfit is WOD, or ‘workout of the day’, which as the name suggests, it posts on social daily. This gives people a reason to come back for more as well as share their own results. Essentially, if you know someone who is a fan of Crossfit – they’re probably already talking to you about it, whether directly or via social.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8314/Crossfit.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h3>Slack</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/07/a-marketing-trick-slack-used-to-become-a-multibillion-dollar-company.html" target="_blank">CNBC</a>, 58% of small business owners identify word-of-mouth marketing as the most effective way to communicate with customers, stemming from both a lack of research time and a desire for quality products.</p> <p>Now with over 1.25m paid users – Slack has certainly capitalised on this desire. The workplace messenger uses a ‘freemium’ model, meaning an unlimited number of people can use it for free before deciding to pay for the upgraded package. This is itself relies on word of mouth, with small teams advocating the brand and pushing the wider business to invest in its service.</p> <p>This also means that the key to word-of-mouth is a great customer experience. Slack is said to have about four times as many support staff than sales staff, meaning that it is laser-focused on delivering exactly what the customer needs – both pre-and post-purchase.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We love tweeting but our Help Center is also just a click away: <a href="https://t.co/0dt5FI0xbu">https://t.co/0dt5FI0xbu</a>.</p> <p>See what’s new at <a href="https://t.co/yKKsTpkbxM">https://t.co/yKKsTpkbxM</a>.</p> — Slack (@SlackHQ) <a href="https://twitter.com/SlackHQ/status/888418111229001728">July 21, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Slack also uses online content to help foster loyalty, mainly through its Medium channel. Here it keeps customers in the know about product updates, as well as communicates what is going on within the company itself in terms of culture and progression. Its Medium is said to help the brand generate an extra 70,000 visitors to its main website each month.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8315/Slack_Medium.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="541"></p> <p>Overall, Slack is an example of how a great product and a slick UX can outweigh any flashy (and expensive) marketing campaign.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">10 excellent examples of user-generated content in marketing campaigns</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69220-who-should-own-customer-reviews-in-your-organisation" target="_blank">Who should own customer reviews in your organisation?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4566 2017-08-15T11:14:00+01:00 2017-08-15T11:14:00+01:00 Starbucks: Adapting to changing consumer habits <h2>Overview</h2> <p><em>Starbucks: Adapting to changing consumer habits</em> is part of a series of brand strategy briefings examining the marketing strategies and tactics of the most popular and searched for brands. As part of this series, Econsultancy curates a selection of brand case studies and stories to help you improve your modern marketing efforts. As one of the most successful and well-known coffee outlets, Starbucks is continuosly learning from and adapting its business and marketing strategy. Other brands and marketers can learn from these stories too. </p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>How Starbucks is battling the impact of changing consumer behaviour and engaging with new and younger audiences </li> <li>How Starbucks has responded to criticism when adapting loyalty programme schemes </li> <li>How the brand is utilising new technologies to improve customer experience</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69333 2017-08-15T10:00:00+01:00 2017-08-15T10:00:00+01:00 New Look sees profits fall: What can turn it around? Nikki Gilliland <p>However, it’s not been an entirely bleak quarter for the brand. While sales on New Look’s website dropped 0.6%, sales of clothing on third-party websites were actually up 15.7%.</p> <p>So, why are customers still buying the product, yet failing to shop direct? Here’s a bit of insight into the story, as well as my own opinion on where New Look could be going wrong.</p> <h3>Stiff competition </h3> <p>In response to the recent decline in profits, chief executive Anders Kristiansen admitted that New Look’s decision to run fewer discounts in store and online could be to blame. However, he stressed that it was a conscious choice, designed to differentiate the brand from the likes of Boohoo and Missguided – two retailers that typically use promotions to deliver on a promise of fast and highly affordable fashion.</p> <p>Much to New Look’s annoyance, those competitors looks to be winning.</p> <p>Earlier this year, Boohoo announced that it had nearly doubled its profits, with sales in the UK jumping 33%. Similarly, last December Missguided reported that its profits were up 34% up on the same time last year. Both these retailers are clearly reaping the rewards of their cheap and cheerful approach to fashion – something that New Look could also be benefiting from.</p> <p>After all, New Look’s alternative USP is not quite so clear cut. It’s always been known as one of the most affordable fashion retailers on the high street, so a refusal to keep pace with online competition in this area seems a little foolish. Especially considering it is not known for being as cool or edgy as Zara, or quite as mass-market as H&amp;M - two retailers with a similar price-point.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Outerwear | 3. THE BLAZER<a href="https://t.co/FUeorLEbCt">https://t.co/FUeorLEbCt</a> <a href="https://t.co/h4WMKddFHp">pic.twitter.com/h4WMKddFHp</a></p> — ZARA (@ZARA) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZARA/status/893532008944685056">August 4, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Misjudged campaigns</h3> <p>Despite the fact New Look carries a teen range, its average shopper is said to be around 33 years old. </p> <p>Interestingly, it has recently announced a change in strategy, choosing to narrow its target market to a twenty-something audience rather than a broad demographic. But having increased marketing spend by £2m in the past year, it appears that this change is already under way, with New Look largely investing this in online campaigns featuring social media and celebrity influencers – something that usually appeals to younger shoppers.</p> <p>But could the decision to use influencers be misjudged? </p> <p>An <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">Econsultancy report</a> recently revealed that measuring ROI on influencer initiatives is the biggest challenge for 65% of marketers. It can be difficult to justify large spend on influencers – particularly when engagement metrics do not necessarily translate into immediate sales.  </p> <p>The strategy also tends only to be effective when the influencer partnership is authentic, with both the brand and influencer sharing common values (and the invested interest of the audience).</p> <p>Take US clothing brand Revolve, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">for example</a>, who typically partners with luxury fashion bloggers such as Victoria Magrath (In the Frow). This allows the brand to tap into the influencer’s in-built audience, generating new leads from consumers with a vested interest in both the influencer and luxury fashion.</p> <p>While New Look’s campaigns attempt to mirror this - with the retailer using online fashion influencers on platforms like Instagram – sales suggest that it might not be hitting the mark.</p> <p>Rather, you could even argue the brand may be alienating an existing audience – i.e. the aforementioned 33-year-old, who might have a distinct <em>lack</em> of interest or even awareness of the influencers in question.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8247/New_Look_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="558"></p> <h3>Confusing USP</h3> <p>Despite heavier investment in marketing, New Look has been failing to focus on the product itself, with Anders Kristiansen even admitting that it ‘could be better’.</p> <p>Instead of investing in new and in-demand fashion, the retailer has continued to regurgitate similar styles and concentrate on basics and staples – something that is unlikely to inspire trend-hungry twenty-somethings. </p> <p>Meanwhile, expansion in China and investment in menswear and homeware ranges has added to confusion over the store’s product offering.</p> <p>Perhaps this is why its product has continued to sell on third-party sites like ASOS. A brand that, in contrast to New Look, has a very strong image and a clear-cut USP. With additional factors like fast-delivery, a huge inventory, and clever marketing – ASOS has been able to pick up on New Look’s failings and deliver what it hasn't been able to. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8248/ASOS.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="669"></p> <h3>Lacklustre in-store experience</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/retail-consumer/total-retail/total-retail-categories.html" target="_blank">PWC</a>, 51% of global shoppers still prefer to shop for clothes and footwear in stores as opposed to online. Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.barclayscorporate.com/insight-and-research/industry-expertise/new-retail-reality.html" target="_blank">Barclays research</a> suggests that 57% of customers are more likely to visit stores if they have the latest technologies – with 65% of customers valuing touchscreen technology, and 52% even saying they’d like to see augmented reality utilised.</p> <p>When it comes to New Look’s in-store experience, the retailer’s uptake of technology has been slow in comparison to its biggest rivals. Zara, for example, has started to integrate new technology like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67962-zara-introduces-self-checkout-in-store-how-will-it-impact-the-customer-experience" target="_blank">self-checkouts</a> and touch-screens in changing rooms.</p> <p>New Look also fails to inspire with store formats. With its immersive layout and conceptual design, Missguided’s <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68567-five-things-to-appreciate-about-missguided-s-first-ever-physical-store/" target="_blank">first ever physical store</a> encourages social activity while shopping in-store. In comparison, New Look has neglected to integrate any experiential elements in stores up until this point, ignoring customer’s desires for an immersive and multi-channel experience.</p> <p>Interestingly, this <em>does</em> look set to change. The retailer’s new flagship Oxford Street store, which is due to open in November, reportedly includes a hair salon and embroidery station, aiming to create a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69286-five-innovators-of-the-in-store-customer-experience" target="_blank">destination-store experience</a> that we’ve seen from the likes of Topshop. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8249/New_Look_TCR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="509"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Despite its recent decline, New Look appears to be in the midst of attempting to turn around its fortunes, focusing on a new ecommerce site, flagship store and more streamlined targeting strategy.</p> <p>However, only by rectifying its biggest failing will it be able to compete with its biggest rivals. Which means actually delivering the fast and trend-led fashion that its new target market desires.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69044-five-reasons-behind-boohoo-s-97-increase-in-profits" target="_blank">Five reasons behind Boohoo’s 97% increase in profits</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68659-three-reasons-behind-the-white-company-s-boost-in-profits" target="_blank">Three reasons behind The White Company’s boost in profits</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69322 2017-08-10T13:00:00+01:00 2017-08-10T13:00:00+01:00 What are customer personas and why are they so important? Nikki Gilliland <p>However, as highlighted in Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/content-strategy-best-practice-guide/" target="_blank">Content Strategy Best Practice Guide</a>, personas can be one of the most effective ways of bringing this customer segmentation to life. </p> <p>So, what exactly are customer personas, and why are they so important? Let’s get back to basics on the subject, using insight from the report.</p> <h3>What is a customer persona?</h3> <p>Let’s start with the difference between customer segments and personas. </p> <p>First, segmentation allows a brand to understand different sets or groups of customers. This might tell us where a particular group lives, their age range, and maybe even some of their typical buying behaviour. A customer persona, on the other hand, allows brands to better understand these homogenous groups, and to recognise key traits within them. </p> <p>In order to create a representative sample of an audience, personas are based on the analysis and research of real customers. This helps to build a much more detailed picture of the (hypothetical) customer, including far more emotive information such as personal motivations, what they value in a brand, what kind of communication they prefer, etc.</p> <p>Brands are then able to take this insight and use it to deliver a much more relevant and less one-dimensional experience.</p> <h3>How to create a customer persona</h3> <p>The below image is an example of how to lay out key elements of the customer persona, integrating information such as similar brands of interest, frustrations and motivations. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8175/Persona.JPG" alt="" width="582" height="328"></p> <p>But where exactly does this information come from? </p> <p>Keyword research is one effective tool for generating data, allowing brands to discover exactly what customers are searching for in relation to their product or website. For example, if a retailer discovers that a popular search term is its brand-name alongside the word ‘discount’ or ‘offer’, it could be the case that customers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67841-as-consumers-clamor-for-good-deals-discount-strategy-becomes-key-for-retailers/" target="_blank">value price</a> over other factors like entertaining content or <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69301-how-10-online-retailers-promote-free-and-fast-shipping" target="_blank">fast delivery</a> – informing the ‘motivations’ part of a persona.</p> <p>Social media is another important tool for establishing personas, with most platforms already having in-built analytics that can offer key data sets. </p> <p>Facebook Insights, for example, allows brands to tap into how users are responding to ads, as well as what kind of content is generating the most engagement. By comparing this to specific user data, such as gender, relationship status and so on, brands are able to flesh out personas even more.</p> <p>Finally, alongside data-driven tools, customer personas can also be largely influenced by surveys, feedback, and one-to-one interviews. </p> <h3>Building empathy between marketers and personas</h3> <p>While generating information about the customer might be fairly straightforward, it is far more difficult for brands to step into the shoes of the customer, as well as sustain this perspective long-term. There is always the danger of slipping back into <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68803-the-newbie-s-glossary-of-misunderstood-digital-marketing-jargon/" target="_blank">marketing jargon</a>. Would the customer use the same terminology? Perhaps not. </p> <p>Empathy mapping is a great way to maintain the customer perspective, helping brands to visualise what the person is hearing, seeing, thinking and feeling. In other words, it can reveal less tangible insights, such as obstacles throughout the customer journey and opportunities for communication. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8176/Empathy.JPG" alt="" width="561" height="484"></p> <h3>What about negative personas?</h3> <p>Once the ideal customer persona has been established, it can also be worthwhile to build a negative one. </p> <p>This means identifying the kind of person that brands <em>don’t</em> want as a customer. Not to be all ‘Mean Girls’ about it, that is, but by identifying who is not a good fit – companies can avoid wasted resources and misspent budget. </p> <p>Characteristics of a negative persona could involve someone who is overly negative or unrealistic in their expectations, someone who typically abandons purchases, or who has a high acquisition cost. Recognising these types of customers early on can allow marketers to hone their communication and marketing messages accordingly, and instead target the most worthwhile.</p> <h3>Turning insight into action</h3> <p>So, while it’s all well and good creating customer personas, how do you turn insight into strategic actions? Here are just a few key takeaways.</p> <p><strong>Focus on where customers spend their time</strong>. Are a larger percentage of people using Facebook or Instagram? Do they read the Guardian or watch YouTube videos? Information on where customers live can help brands to plan advertising and marketing spend accordingly, informing where and how they use ads to target users.</p> <p><strong>Speak their language</strong>. Does a customer use slang and emojis? Are they a lover of hashtags? Taking this kind of information into consideration can help brands to hone and refine their communication style to mirror how customers speak.</p> <p><strong>Creating persona-specific content.</strong> Instead of creating content and marketing it to a specific segment, customer personas can help to inform what kind of content is created in the first place. Insight into whether the customer cares about topics like charity, technology or the environment can also provide an indication of what else they might want to hear about.</p> <p><strong>Partner with people your personas love</strong>. Finally, by working with a company <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69315-love-island-2017-is-this-the-future-of-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">or influencer that will definitely appeal</a> to the customer, brands can be sure that they are spending both time and budget wisely – and also helping to prevent miss-judged and potentially damaging brand-associations.</p> <p><em><strong>For more information, subscribers can download <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/content-strategy-best-practice-guide/" target="_blank">Econsultancy's Content Strategy Best Practice Guide</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69286 2017-08-07T14:30:00+01:00 2017-08-07T14:30:00+01:00 Five innovators of the in-store customer experience Nikki Gilliland <p>But this got me thinking about what <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67962-zara-introduces-self-checkout-in-store-how-will-it-impact-the-customer-experience">Zara could do</a> to reverse the situation. More specifically, what exactly makes for a truly great in-store customer experience?</p> <p>With this in mind, here are a few examples of those retailers leading the way, and what we might learn from them. Disclaimer: I’ve intentionally tried to steer clear of some the most obvious examples (like Apple).</p> <h3>1. Ulta Beauty</h3> <p>In 2016, American beauty chain, Ulta Beauty, saw a 23.7% increase in net sales – making it one of the fastest-growing beauty retailers, despite having already been around for 25 years. With nearly 1,000 stores in the US, its physical retail experience has seemingly contributed to a recent boom in success.</p> <p>So what makes it so great? First, the retailer has a deep understanding of what customers actually want from their shopping experience.</p> <p>While beauty in the US is usually separated into two distinct categories – prestige products found in high-end department stores, and low-price products from drug stores – Ulta combines the two to create an ‘all things beauty’ superstore.</p> <p>Alongside this vast array of products, Ulta differentiates itself from other retailers by offering in-store services such as hair, skin and brow treatments. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7842/Ulta_Stores.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="409"></p> <p>This type of service (and the expertise that goes with it) creates an almost spa-like environment. This also means that the store has become a destination for consumers – somewhere people want to hang out or specifically visit – rather than a place to pop into.</p> <p>While Macy’s and Sephora also offer great beauty products, Ulta’s salon services mean that customers can enjoy the experience that surrounds discovering them. As recent profits show, it’s a tactic that’s proving popular with both new and existing customers – driving loyalty in an increasingly competitive space.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7841/Ulta_Beauty.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="478"></p> <h3>2. Waitrose</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67889-how-waitrose-is-using-personalisation-to-increase-conversions/" target="_blank">Waitrose</a> has recently been voted the UK’s favourite supermarket in a Which? survey on customer satisfaction, beating M&amp;S and Sainsbury’s for the third year in a row.</p> <p>The survey involved customer ratings on appearance, queue-length, availability ease of finding products, and overall quality. And while you might argue that these features should be standard as opposed to something that differentiates a retailer, it’s clear that Waitrose is leading the pack in terms of the in-store supermarket experience.</p> <p>The MyWaitrose loyalty scheme has been a key attraction for consumers, with the programme promising a free hot drink or newspaper to members. Despite Waitrose coming under recent fire for changing the rules – stipulating that members must buy something in exchange for a coffee – the scheme has certainly helped to differentiate the supermarket from the competition.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Impressed <a href="https://twitter.com/waitrose">@waitrose</a> by <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SoyaMilk?src=hash">#SoyaMilk</a> availability at hot drink station<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AvoidingCowsMilk?src=hash">#AvoidingCowsMilk</a> <a href="https://t.co/2hyGaGPx3u">pic.twitter.com/2hyGaGPx3u</a></p> — Helen Moss-Black (@Tang18) <a href="https://twitter.com/Tang18/status/878615966564929536">June 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Elsewhere, Waitrose has ensured that the online experience seamlessly translates to the real world, allowing customers to pick up groceries without the need to visit a large store. Its Click-and-Collect service involves temperature-controlled lockers so that customers can access groceries in train stations and airports at their own convenience.</p> <p>Other innovations include Waitrose’s Quick Check service which allows customers to scan goods as they shop, as well as in-store tablets helping to speed up and enhance shopping. With Waitrose’s ‘Hot Ideas’ scheme – an incubator program aiming to drive innovation – it’s clear that the supermarket is set on finding ways to further entice shoppers back to its bricks-and-mortar stores in future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7844/Click_and_collect.JPG" alt="" width="621" height="411"></p> <h3>3. Rebecca Minkoff</h3> <p>Luxury brands are setting the bar when it comes to the in-store experience, using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68540-how-four-uk-retailers-are-giving-consumers-the-vip-treatment-this-christmas" target="_blank">VIP treatment</a> to instil loyalty. In fact, this level of service means that many struggle to replicate this online.</p> <p>For US brand Rebecca Minkoff, the aim is to fuse the best of both worlds, with its 11 global outlets using technology to create an immersive and digitally-driven experience.</p> <p>Each store has smart mirrors in fitting rooms, allowing shoppers to browse for other sizes or products that might complement whatever they’re trying on. Smart walls also suggest new styles when people pass by or enter, even allowing customers to order champagne to enjoy while they browse.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7845/Rebecca_Minkoff.JPG" alt="" width="556" height="301"></p> <p>According to the brand, the fitting-room technology in particular has been the catalyst for a boost in sales, with 30% of customers reportedly requesting additional items thanks to the smart mirror recommendations. </p> <p>Unlike other luxury brands, which still place a primary focus on showcasing the product, Rebecca Minkoff cleverly uses the real-life retail environment to turn the spotlight on the customers themselves. It aims to use technology to aid and enhance the discovery process, setting the bar for how customers browse and shop for fashion.</p> <h3>4. Lowe’s</h3> <p>Another retailer embracing technology is Lowe’s. The US home improvement store has implemented a number of features to streamline the physical shopping experience in the past, including a mobile app that allows users to access real-time store inventory, and equipping staff with iPhones to help with enquiries. </p> <p>Just recently, it also announced the new 'Lowe Vision: In-Store Navigation' app with AR technology.</p> <p>Working in conjunction with Google's Tango AR technology, it provides indoor mapping, allowing customers to search and quickly find items in-store.  </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KAQ0y19uEYo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>The idea of guiding customers through the path to purchase was also the idea behind SmartSpot – a ‘store within a store’ concept that helped customers evaluate the right smart technology for their home.</p> <p>Recognising that most people feel overwhelmed at the amount of products available (and the level of sophistication of smart technology) the concept aimed to eliminate uncertainty and instil confidence in consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7847/SmartSpot.JPG" alt="" width="634" height="275"></p> <p>Again, in comparison to competitors within the market, Lowe’s sets itself apart by streamlining the customer journey in-store, using technology to facilitate this.</p> <h3>5. Topshop</h3> <p>Lastly, a retailer that sets a fine example for the likes of Zara and other British high street fashion stores. Topshop – specifically its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street – uses a combination of pop-up retail and experiential campaigns to delight customers. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We're not taking the mickey!! This 2ft Prickly Pear is £65 and can be yours if you come visit Barry @topshop_oxfordstreet<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/topshop?src=hash">#topshop</a> <a href="https://t.co/ITfVFXZaOB">pic.twitter.com/ITfVFXZaOB</a></p> — Barry The Cactus (@thecactusbarry) <a href="https://twitter.com/thecactusbarry/status/888387626356617216">July 21, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Alongside personal shopping, which is available free of charge, the store also includes a number of hair and beauty services ranging from brow-taming to piercing. Alongside a café, it also includes integrated food and drink pop-ups such as Bubbleology and Lola’s cupcakes.</p> <p>Essentially, it aims to make a visit to Topshop about much more than just basic apparel, tempting customers with things they might not even realise they want while browsing in-store.</p> <p>It’s the unexpected nature of the experience that also differentiates Topshop from the high-street competition. From the new retail pop-ups in-store (some appearing for a limited time only) to its recent experimentation with VR – the brand is focused on keeping the in-store experience fresh and original for returning customers, while delighting new ones.</p> <p>This summer, ‘Splash’ at Topshop involved the retailer turning its shop windows into an interactive pool scene and allowing customers to ride a virtual water slide. Combining clever advertising with a fun and immersive activity for customers, it’s an indication of how the in-store customer experience is evolving.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7849/Topshop_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="483"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68712-i-beg-you-retailers-don-t-digitize-the-in-store-customer-experience/">I beg you, retailers, don't digitize the in-store customer experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68270-how-can-retailers-create-more-engaging-mobile-experiences-in-store/">How can retailers create more engaging mobile experiences in-store?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66504-how-18-retailers-in-central-london-are-integrating-digital-in-store/">How 18 retailers in Central London are integrating digital in-store</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69223 2017-08-02T16:50:59+01:00 2017-08-02T16:50:59+01:00 Five ways retailers are helping in-store shoppers using digital channels Patricio Robles <h3>Store-specific product locations</h3> <p>One of the reasons that shoppers leave a store empty-handed is that they can't find the products they're looking for. Given this, it's imperative for retailers, particularly those with large stores carrying lots of items, to help shoppers identify the locations of the products they want.</p> <p>Home Depot is one retailer that deals with this issue head-on. When browsing products on the Home Depot website, product detail pages list the precise location of the product within the user's local store.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/7225/homedepot-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="175"></p> <p>Home Depot isn't the only major retailer that offers this functionality. For example, in 2014 WalMart <a href="http://blog.walmart.com/innovation/20141031/find-items-even-easier-with-search-my-store">added</a> a new feature called <em>Search My Store</em> to its mobile app, which lets customers search for products in-store and tells them exactly where they're located. WalMart likened it to "a personal shopping associate for your local Walmart" and revealed that shortly after its launch, it had already been used in 99% of its more than 4,300 stores, demonstrating the real-world value of this functionality to shoppers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/7571/walmartais-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="301"></p> <h3>Store inventory</h3> <p>A growing number of retailers make real-time store inventory available to customers through their websites and mobile apps and this is fast-becoming a must-have function that customers simply expect. The value of store inventory is apparent: if a customer is looking for a specific product, she's likely going to want to know that the product is available beforehand.</p> <p>To ensure that customers don't turn to a competitor if they don't have a product in stock (or enough of it in stock), some make it easy for customers to determine the stock levels in nearby stores. Beverage retailer BevMo, for example, includes a <em>Check Nearby Stores</em> button on its website product detail pages that allows shoppers to quickly view product inventory levels at nearby locations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7224/bevmo.png" alt="" width="215" height="344"></p> <p>While the technology behind this kind of real-time store inventory can be complex and costly to set up, it's worth noting that it can be used to improve customer experience beyond the store. That's because a growing number of retailers <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/retailwire/2013/04/03/macys-others-turn-stores-into-online-fulfillment-centers/">are using their stores as fulfillment centers</a> in a trend dubbed <em>ship-from-store</em> to speed delivery and reduce costs.</p> <h3>App-based in-store maps</h3> <p>Trying to navigate a store can sometimes feel like navigating a maze so it's not surprising that some retailers have added in-store maps to their mobile apps. For example, Target's Cartwheel app includes store maps and not only that, it was <a href="http://www.retaildive.com/ex/mobilecommercedaily/targets-cartwheel-app-update-maps-shoppers-directly-to-product-deals">updated last year</a> to highlight the location of items within the store for which coupons or discounts are available.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7226/targetcartwheel.png" alt="" width="215" height="384"></p> <p>Other retailers, such as Toys R Us, WinCo Foods and Dick's Sporting Goods, have partnered with companies like Aisle411, which offers mobile apps that let consumers navigate directly to products in 13,000 stores that have searchable indoor maps. And <a href="http://adage.com/article/datadriven-marketing/walgreens-tests-google-s-augmented-reality-loyalty-app/293961/">Walgreens has even used Aisle411's technology to experiment with augmented reality</a> by adding 3D imagery to its in-store maps.<br></p> <p>Finally, retailers aren't the only ones aiming to help consumers navigate physical stores. Google, through its <a href="https://www.google.com/maps/about/partners/indoormaps/">Indoor Maps offering</a>, allows consumers to view the floor plans of malls and department stores through Google Maps. Mall operators and retailers can submit their floor plans to Google for inclusion in Indoor Maps.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/7570/grapevinemills-indoor-map-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="262"></p> <h3>QR codes</h3> <p>Customers often want or need more information before making a purchase decision, especially when they are considering a more expensive purchase, like a big-ticket electronics item.</p> <p>Because customers won't always ask for help in-store, some retailers make it easy for shoppers to obtain more detailed product information themselves on the spot. Best Buy, for example, is one of a number of retailers that includes a QR code on product labels. Scanning the QR code allows the customer to access product information and read reviews, either on the web or in the Best Buy mobile app (if installed), without having to talk to a sales associate or leave to do more research at home.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/7223/bestbuy-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="377"></p> <p><a href="http://retailgeek.com/best-buy-deploys-qr-codes-to-enhance-shopping-experience/">According to</a> Retail Geek, every product QR code in each Best Buy stores is unique to that store, which allows the retailer to track which products are being scanned in which stores. This is a good example of how the digital efforts retailers make to improve the in-store shopping experience can also help retailers make data-driven decisions regarding product availability, store layout, etc.</p> <p>Retail Geek also points out that using QR codes (or a similar technology) to reduce the amount of information that needs to be printed on product cards could generate substantial cost savings, as product cards obviously cost money to print and labor is required to install them.</p> <p>With this in mind, it's worth pointing out that in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69173-customer-experience-in-amazon-s-new-york-book-store-why-not-just-buy-it-online">Amazon's new bookstores</a> no prices are listed on the shelves. Instead, customers must scan items with the Amazon app or an in-store machine to find out what they cost.</p> <h3>Proximity marketing</h3> <p>While a lot of in-store tech is geared toward helping customers locate products, some of the most interesting and exciting efforts are focused on influencing customer behavior. A number of technologies, such as beacons and WiFi hotspots, are being used to enable proximity marketing campaigns that alert shoppers to specific products and locations within the store.</p> <p>Retailers like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64626-five-examples-of-how-marketers-are-using-ibeacons/">Macy's, American Eagle Outfitters</a> and <a href="http://www.startribune.com/target-testing-beacons-to-provide-in-store-shoppers-coupons-recommendations/320704471/">Target</a> have experimented with beacons, and location intelligence platforms like the <a href="https://enterprise.foursquare.com/pilgrim">new Pilgrim SDK</a> offered by Foursquare are making it possible for retailers to engage in proximity marketing without even installing hardware in their stores.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CipsLFB8KFk?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>While privacy concerns are still a major impediment to proximity marketing, don't expect retailers to give up on it yet because the benefits of finding ways to influence customer behavior in-store are just too great to ignore.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/"><em>What's now &amp; next for digital technology in retail stores?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67096-in-store-tech-the-screen-in-the-corner-that-nobody-wants-to-use/"><em>In-store tech: the screen in the corner that nobody wants to use</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69296 2017-07-28T14:34:27+01:00 2017-07-28T14:34:27+01:00 10 superb digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>On we go…</p> <h3>Only 25% of data is being used for real-time customer engagement</h3> <p>Despite 60% of UK organisations believing that real-time customer engagement can deliver a 10%-40% increase in revenue, those same organisations are collecting less than a third of relevant data on their customers.</p> <p>What’s more, just 25% of this dataset is being used in segmentation for real-time customer engagement.</p> <p>These stats come from SAS’s <a href="https://www.sas.com/en_gb/whitepapers/real-time-customer-experience-report.html" target="_blank">Age of Now</a> report, which also reveals how slow companies are to act. It says that only 16% of UK organisations can adjust their marketing communication in real-time based on customer behaviour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7888/SAS.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="327"></p> <h3>42% of customers more impatient due to reliance on technology</h3> <p>A new survey by Fetch and YouGov suggests UK consumers are increasingly looking to new technology for functional purposes, with 81% of millennials being more receptive than older generations to try new tech in order to improve the speed at which they do things.</p> <p>42% of UK consumers now say they are more impatient today than they were five years ago, mainly due to an over-reliance on technology to complete everyday life activities.</p> <p>When it comes to food, 61% of Brits are unwilling to wait 45 minutes or more for a takeaway they ordered online or using an app. Similarly, 22% of consumers say they are only willing to wait between 11-15mins for a taxi service.</p> <h3>CPC costs reach an all-time high</h3> <p>iProspect has just released its <a href="https://www.iprospect.com/en/us/insights/povs/paid-search-trends-2017-q2/" target="_blank">Q2 report</a>, which includes in-depth analysis of data from more than 1,800 AdWords accounts.</p> <p>It has revealed that CPC costs continued to rise in Q2, reaching their highest recorded levels since 2014. Despite this, iProspect found year-on-year impressions and clicks declined 16% and 27.5% respectively, as advertisers were forced to pay more per click while dealing with diminishing budgets.</p> <p>Elsewhere, it found mobile CPC to be on the rise, increasing 17% from Q1 to Q2 of this year and 52% year-on-year. Similarly, mobile click share increased 22% year-on-year. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7890/iProspect.JPG" alt="" width="743" height="547"></p> <h3>Over 60% of SMB’s attribute half or more of sales to Amazon</h3> <p>In a survey of 503 small- to mid-size retailers, NetElixir found that 60% of respondents attribute 50% or more of their ecommerce sales to Amazon. Interestingly, 26.6% are seeing a 50/50 split from their website vs. marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.</p> <p>In terms of the reasons why SMBs are choosing to sell on Amazon, 52% said that the potential for increased sales volume is the biggest benefit, 32.6% said increased brand exposure and 11.3% noted solid infrastructure. Conversely, 45% cited lower margins as the biggest downside.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What was the biggest benefit and downside of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Amazon?src=hash">#Amazon</a>? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/webinar?src=hash">#webinar</a> <a href="https://t.co/OhOnUZG67Z">pic.twitter.com/OhOnUZG67Z</a></p> — NetElixir (@NetElixir) <a href="https://twitter.com/NetElixir/status/890292060938543105">July 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>UK advertising spend grows 1.3% YoY in Q1 2017</h3> <p>WARC’s latest <a href="http://expenditurereport.warc.com/" target="_blank">Expenditure Report</a> has revealed that overall ad spend grew 1.3% to reach £5.318bn in Q1 2017. But despite being the 15th consecutive quarter of growth, it was actually the slowest rate seen in four years.</p> <p>This growth also occurred despite a 6.2% decline in total television advertising spend – TV’s first fall since 2009. However, it is forecast to recover next year with 2.5% growth in 2018.</p> <p>Meanwhile, online ad spend grew 10.1% year-on-year, and mobile growth was recorded at an impressive 36.2%.</p> <h3>Retailers wrongly assume that customers value speed over free shipping</h3> <p>According to a new report by <a href="http://www2.temando.com/l/86602/2017-07-10/4g564b" target="_blank">Temando</a>, 86% of UK shoppers prefer free delivery over fast delivery. However, the majority of retailers’ surveyed wrongly assume that customers place greater value on a fast shipping service.</p> <p>As a result of this misconception, many retailers are failing to respond to customer demands, with just 27% offering free standard shipping every day. Even worse, almost a quarter of retailers admit that that they don't use free shipping as a promotional tool.</p> <p>With 58% of shoppers stating that they’d shop more if free shipping was offered, many online retailers are still missing a trick.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7889/Tamando.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="439"></p> <h3>Usage of connected TV’s predicted to grow 10.1% in the US this year</h3> <p>Emarketer says that usage of connected TVs will continue to surge in 2017, with 168.1m Americans predicted to use an internet-connected television this year – up 10.1% on 2016.</p> <p>In terms of brands, it predicts that 38.9m Americans will use a Roku device at least once a month – 19.3% more than in 2016. Meanwhile, 36.9m will use a ChromeCast and 35.8m will use an Amazon Fire TV. Just 21.3m users are expected to use an Apple TV.</p> <h3>AI predicted to create over 2.5m jobs in the next 15 years</h3> <p>PwC has estimated that by 2030, 30% of British jobs will be lost to automation. On the back of this, <a href="https://joblift.co.uk/Press/artificial-intelligence-and-automation-potential-job-creation-will-fill-only-19-of-the-hole-left-by-robotic-job-replacement" target="_blank">Joblift</a> has further analysed the situation, comparing potential job creation with jobs lost.</p> <p>Research shows that 136,939 jobs dealing with AI and automation have been posted in the last 12 months, and jobs in this field have increased by an average of 0.06% each month.</p> <p>On this basis, calculations suggest that over the next 15 years, AI, automation and robotics will create 2,535,009 new jobs in total. However, by 2031, 13,375,363 jobs will be at risk from automation, meaning that newly created roles would be able to fill only 19% of the jobs lost.</p> <h3>John Lewis tops UK brand health rankings</h3> <p>John Lewis has ranked first in YouGov’s BrandIndex list of UK brand ‘health’. The ranking is based on consumer perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation and whether consumers would recommend the brand to others.</p> <p>BBC iPlayer comes in at number two on the list, followed by Sony and Marks &amp; Spencer. In contrast to these older, more heritage-based brands, the global list was topped by younger tech brands like Google, YouTube, and Facebook. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7892/Brand_health.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="291"></p> <h3>Cause-related ads generate more views &amp; engagement</h3> <p><a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/video/cause-related-marketing-purpose-driven-ads/" target="_blank">Pixability</a> has revealed that the number of cause-related ads created by the top 100 global brands has increased four times over the past five years.</p> <p>Women’s empowerment accounted for 24% of these ads, making it the top featured issue. Meanwhile, 17% of ads were related to the topic of community aid and 14% were about sustainability.</p> <p>Pixability also found that the average number of views for cause-driven videos was almost 1m more than for those not related to a particular cause. The engagement rate was also 0.31% for cause-related ads compared to 0.29% for the rest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7891/Cause_related_ads.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="384"></p>