tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/customer-experience Latest Customer Experience content from Econsultancy 2016-08-31T10:12:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68216 2016-08-31T10:12:00+01:00 2016-08-31T10:12:00+01:00 Six iconic retailers and their digital transformation journeys Ben Davis <h3>1. Macy's</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8424/macys.png" alt="macy's" width="438" height="115"></p> <p>We have to start with Macy's, a retailer that is closing 100 of its 728 stores by early 2017, and in August announced a 5.7% decrease in year-to-date sales.</p> <p><a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=84477&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;cat=news&amp;id=2194923">The press release</a> that says as such is probably the best document for describing the state of retail in 2016, and the impact of ecommerce. Here are the key points to note:</p> <h4><strong>Destination retail</strong></h4> <p>"Macy’s will operate fewer stores and concentrate its financial resources and talent on our better-performing locations to elevate their status as preferred shopping destinations.</p> <p>"Stores will remain critical customer touchpoints for Macy’s, along with online shopping and mobile apps, as omnichannel retailing continues to evolve."</p> <p>Not all stores are created equal. Look at the two examples below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8376/macy_s.jpg" alt="macy's" width="206" height="274">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8377/macys.jpeg" alt="macy's" width="275" height="183"></p> <p>The second store pictured is part of a mall, which aren't as popular as they once were, with new fast-fashion competitors from overseas prioritising high-street, flagship style stores.</p> <p>Macy's recognises that with online shopping maturing, customers need more reasons to visit a physical store. Boring real estate won't cut it.</p> <p>This is part of a change across retail, where stores must offer a rich experience to compete.</p> <h4><strong>Experiential retail</strong></h4> <p>That rich experience I mention is flagged up prominently in the Macy's store-closure press release:</p> <p>"...increasing the size and quality of staffing through programs such as My Stylist personal shopping services, infusing new technology, accentuating high-potential businesses such as fine jewelry, and creating new in-store events and experiences."</p> <p>There you go, more reasons to visit. Without them, customers will simply shop online more often.</p> <h4><strong>Investing in web, app and click-and-collect</strong></h4> <p>The Macy's website and mobile website (m.macys) are perfectly okay. I had a whizz through both and found no difficulty in finding an item and adding it to basket, then checking out.</p> <p>However, neither is up to the standard of some of Macy's competitors.</p> <p>For example, there could be much more product imagery (and video), a mobile menu that's easier to use and everything could be quicker and with a cleaner design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8386/IMG_3105.PNG" alt="macy's mobile" width="300"></p> <p>Macy's addresses this in its strategy for 2016/2017:</p> <p>"To foster continuation of [double digit] growth [online], the company is investing in capacity-building on its sites and apps, improvement in natural language search, faster page loading and simpler procedures for placing and fulfilling orders.</p> <p>"Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s successful Buy Online Pickup in Store offering, introduced in 2013, is being refined to improve speed and convenience of the customer experience."</p> <h3>2. John Lewis</h3> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8421/john_lewis.png" alt="john lewis" width="318" height="159"></strong></p> <h4><strong>The multichannel sales mix</strong></h4> <p>2015 sales figures are an eloquent summary of the changes happening at John Lewis.</p> <p>Sales at stores were down 0.1% but online sales were up 17.3%. Online now accounts for a third of all sales. Sales via mobile &amp; tablet grew 34% in 2015; smartphone sales in isolation growing by a staggering 86%.</p> <p>Looking at the Christmas trading period, the nature of evolving multichannel retail becomes clear.</p> <p>Footfall was down but online sales grew 21.4% (31% growth in tablet and mobile) and click-and-collect was up 16%, accounting for around half of online orders.</p> <p>Overall this meant Christmas 2015 sales were up 5.1%, despite the aforementioned lack of footfall.</p> <p>Looking at these types of patterns, it's easy to see why retailers like Macy's are closing stores that don't represent attractive shopping destinations.</p> <h4><strong>The impact of TV and social media </strong></h4> <p>Christmas is probably what John Lewis is best known for (at least lately). The fact that Christmas 2015 was a story of online success is testament to the retailer's strategy of big creative and social media.</p> <p>Though <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67161-is-john-lewis-playing-with-fire-with-its-annual-christmas-advert/">some think such spend on creative is risky</a>, the annual John Lewis Christmas ad of course continues to makes a significant impact via TV, but is also phenomenally successful on social media.</p> <p>This combined reach has so far kept John Lewis front of mind when online shoppers are deciding where to go for their click-and-collect purchases at Christmas.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wuz2ILq4UeA?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4><strong>The mobile boom</strong></h4> <p>John Lewis’ online product director, Sienne Veit, <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/07/01/google-facebook-and-john-lewis-on-why-brands-will-lose-if-they-are-not-mobile-first/">told Marketing Week earlier this year</a> of the impact mobile is having on the company’s fashion division in particular.</p> <p>“56% of orders for fashion are now on mobile at the company and mobile is now the first point of interest even if the purchase is made elsewhere,” she revealed.</p> <p>John Lewis has been investing in its mobile web and mobile app experiences for some time and regularly tops polls of mobile-friendly online retailers.</p> <p>Sienne Veit also highlights that app customers are the most loyal, with on average nine visits per user to the IOS app over a 12-week period, compared to 2.1 visits per user on mobile web.</p> <p>Loyalty can, of course, be a mobile UX bête noire - by which I mean, a digital replacement for the loyalty card has proved difficult to master for many, outside of the food and drink sector.</p> <p>John Lewis is playing a waiting game here, too, since adding loyalty functionality to its app in August 2015.</p> <p>Chris Bate, Head of Customer Marketing, <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/04/27/amazons-one-click-shopping-keeps-us-awake-at-night-admits-john-lewis/">told Marketing Week</a> that: "Loyalty is heading [towards digital] but it will take time to become mass market."</p> <blockquote> <p>We are appealing to early adopters and with an active marketing plan we’ll get more people although it will take time to wean some people off the plastic cards.</p> </blockquote> <p>But undoubtedly, advancements in this area are welcome, with in-store purchases tied up to a customer's online account when the mobile loyalty functionality is used.</p> <p>The loyalty scheme (across digital and physical card) had 1.6m members in September 2015, with 1.5m extra purchases made over the scheme's two-year history.</p> <p>This shows that loyalty is an area retailers cannot dismiss.</p> <p><em>A John Lewis loyalty card on mobile</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/8369/jl_loyalty-blog-flyer.png" alt="loyalty app" width="470" height="288"></p> <h4><strong>International expansion</strong></h4> <p>Online international sales increased by 50% in 2015, with interntional traffic up by 15%.</p> <p>John Lewis now delivers to 40 countries through its website, with payment possible in 10 different currencies.</p> <h4><strong>The startup incubator</strong></h4> <p><a href="http://jlab.co.uk/">JLab</a> is John Lewis' own incubator scheme and it has also invested in TrueStart, alongside other retailers.</p> <p>The first graduate of JLab (a digital peephole for doors) wasn't exactly a gamechanger for retail, nevertheless John Lewis is taking the lead in this area of startup/corporate cross-culture and fruit may yet be borne.</p> <h4><strong>Multichannel growing pains</strong></h4> <p>Of course, it's not all good news for John Lewis. There have been relatively high-profile growing pains with its multichannel offering.</p> <p>Both its outsourced customer management (call centres run by Capita) and its smaller-item delivery (by myHermes) have been subject of much criticism.</p> <p>This shows the difficulty when integrating infrastructure, with view of stock and customer history particularly tricky across warehouse/online and store.</p> <h3>3. Walmart</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8423/walmart.png" alt="walmart" width="457" height="110"></p> <p>There have been thousands of articles written about Walmart's attempts to fight back in the face of declining growth.</p> <p>2015 was the first year out of 45 as a public company that Walmart made less money than the year before.</p> <p>The chart below <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-03-31/walmart-s-first-ever-sales-drop-marks-new-era">from Bloomberg</a> shows change in annual revenue (-0.7% in 2015).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8392/Screen_Shot_2016-08-24_at_13.57.20.png" alt="walmart change in revenue" width="615" height="321"></p> <p>As Bloomberg details, this decline in revenue over 2015 can be partly explained by closure of Express stores and declining gas sales (as prices fell).</p> <p>Over the same period, Walmart unveiled new stores (400), remodelled many more and revamped parts of its ecommerce infrastructure. Looking at second quarter sales for 2016, this appears to have had an impact.</p> <p>Revenue is up 0.5% year-on-year, sales at established stores are up and footfall is up.</p> <p>This store remodelling and an increase in minimum wage aimed to improve customer service have done their trick.</p> <h4><strong>So what's the big deal?</strong></h4> <p>Walmart still accounts for a tenth of all US retail sales, but it is the growth of Amazon that is of concern. </p> <p>Amazon saw 20% growth last year, accumulating $107bn in annual online sales. Walmart's online growth in 2015 was 12%, up to $13.7bn.</p> <h4><strong>The Jet purchase - changing online shopping?</strong></h4> <p>Walmart's latest advance on Amazon has been its $3.3bn purchase of Jet.com.</p> <p>It's not dissimilar to Amazon – it sells a wide variety of goods ranging from groceries and household products to tech and toys.</p> <p>In <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68188-walmart-buys-jet-com-in-a-bid-to-keep-up-with-amazon/">a recent article about the acquisition</a> on Econsultancy, Nikki Gilliland details the unique features of Jet.com:</p> <p>"...one of its most distinct features is its real-time pricing algorithm which offers customers lower prices if they add more items to their basket. Likewise, it gives extra discounts if a customer forfeits the right to return an item. </p> <p>"Nicely aligned with Walmart’s position as a low-price, bulk-buy retailer, Jet will also help Walmart streamline its delivery and online logistics. The algorithm identifies vendors closest to the consumer to help minimise shipping costs."</p> <p>Nikki goes on to suggest that these features, once integrated into the Walmart ecommerce experience, may fundamentally change the way shoppers look for bargains online via Walmart. The website would offer a USP in line with the brand.</p> <p>Fewer and larger orders would replace impulse purchases.</p> <p><em>Jet.com</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8040/jet_low_prices.JPG" alt="jet.com" width="615"></p> <h4><strong>Uber delivery tie-up</strong></h4> <p>In June of this year, Walmart announced it would be trialling partnerships with Uber and Lyft in Denver.</p> <p>Walmart customers would pay the standard delivery charge and be able to choose a same-day slot.</p> <p>This is a direct response to the pressure for improved delivery that Amazon is putting on almost every market, even groceries after the launch of Amazon Fresh.</p> <h4><strong>The app experience (including Walmart Pay)</strong></h4> <p>Walmart's ecommerce app also looks to increase customer loyalty and engagement in-store.</p> <p>The app has 22m monthly active users and is one of the most impressive in the market.</p> <p>Neil Ashe, head of ecommerce at Walmart, <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c273fece-9ec1-11e5-8ce1-f6219b685d74.html%20">told the FT</a> that of almost half of online orders in 2015 were in-app, a 100% increase on 2014.</p> <p>The recently-launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67326-six-implications-of-walmart-pay-for-mobile-retail/">Walmart Pay</a> is incorporated into the app, allowing payment in store using a QR system at the till, similar to Starbucks.</p> <p>This foray into mobile payment as well as loyalty is a bold move, with the retailer unwilling to implement Apple Pay or Android Pay, presumably because of uncertainty in the mobile payment space, and the urge to own the entire experience.</p> <p><em>The Walmart app</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9980/walmart_pay.jpeg" alt="walmart app" width="400"></p> <h3>4. Marks &amp; Spencer</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8420/ms.jpeg" alt="m&amp;s" width="308" height="164"></p> <p>Marks &amp; Spencer is the classic British clothing retailer that has wilted under the pressure of fast fashion from the likes of Primark and Topshop.</p> <p>Whilst the company's food business is doing well, clothing sales declined for 14 consecutive quarters before seeing some growth in Q2 of 2015.</p> <p>Recent results in July 2016 have seen an 8.9% fall for the quarter, the biggest drop in 10 years, in the midst of an overall fall in the clothing market in Britain.</p> <p>Digital has been one weapon in M&amp;S's attempts to improve clothing sales. We looked at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65780-marks-and-spencer-s-three-steps-to-digital-transformation/">the retailer's digital transformation efforts</a> back in 2014.</p> <h4><strong>Website replatforming pains</strong></h4> <p>Website sales were up 23.4% in the year to March 2016.</p> <p>M&amp;S had <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65244-where-did-the-marks-spencer-website-relaunch-go-wrong/">well publicised difficulties with its new website</a> in 2014, part of a £150m investment in digital, but the retailer's approach of combining content and commerce online is sound.</p> <p>Marks is in a good place to succeed with its improved infrastructure. Next-day collect-in-store is offered, as is return-to-store, and stock-level indication is given on the website.</p> <p>Attribution of online sales to stores where they are picked up is one notable strategy of a progressive multichannel retailer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/4173/nautical_knit-blog-full.png" alt="m&amp;s website" width="615" height="351"></p> <h4><strong>One agency to rule them all</strong></h4> <p>M&amp;S has awarded Grey London its creative account, meaning Grey is in charge of both advertising and digital strategy at M&amp;S.</p> <p>This is a first for the retailer, and seems promising from a multichannel point of view.</p> <p>Having one agency in charge of TV and OOH adverts, media buying and online marketing is surely a route to more coherent and impactful campaigns, online and off.</p> <h4><strong>A new focus on customer experience</strong></h4> <p>M&amp;S's current strategy is 'putting the customer at the heart'. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67883-marks-spencer-what-does-putting-the-customer-at-the-heart-of-everything-mean/">Expanding on what this actually means</a>, the company details many customer experience improvements that aren't necessarily digital, but all make stores more attractive in the face of increased competition (some of it online).</p> <p>More staff on higher wages will improve customer service, and clearer ranges with better availability will prevent disappointing sellouts of popular items.</p> <p>However, it remains to be seen how fewer sales will be received by the customer.</p> <p>It has helped re-establish margins and increase revenue in the past, but is surely dependant on an improvement in product range.</p> <p>Overall, Marks &amp; Spencer is perhaps the most interesting retailer on this list - its brand is still strong and it has not fallen behind as far as new ecommerce and digital tech is concerned.</p> <p>But it is still seeking a differentiator on product (something that department stores like John Lewis have to worry less about).</p> <h3>5. Walgreens</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8422/walgreens.png" alt="walgreens" width="476" height="106"></p> <p>Walgreens is a pharmacy (as is Boots, part of the same group, which we look at below), so including it in a piece on retail transformation is a bit tricky as this market is very different.</p> <p>However, Walgreens retails, too. Retail sales in 2015 were up 1.9% year-on-year and though the pharmacy market has seen consolidation, it is likely to grow as the population gets older.</p> <p>Walgreens has excelled at innovating the customer experience, often through digital initiatives, and this makes it a useful comparison for the department stores discussed above.</p> <p>To understand the impact that online has had on Walgreens, one need only look at some widely reported stats from 2015, with the company claiming 48% of digital visitors would visit a store as their next action.</p> <p>Those customers interacting with Walgreens online and in store spend 350% more than solely in-store customers.</p> <h4><strong>Adding digital revenue streams</strong></h4> <p>Quick Prints is the perfect example of a retailer adding a revenue stream that is mobile-first and also drives visitors to store.</p> <p>Using the Walgreens app, users can select photos to print from either their camera roll or their social media photo albums.</p> <p>The printed photos can be picked up in an hour, with the app allowing customers to choose their most convenient store.</p> <p>With Walgreens operating c.8,000 stores, this kind of 'buy online/mobile, collect in store' service works well, and the retail pharmacy is attributing mobile sales to individual stores, in a bid to encourage multichannel customer service.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5814/Screen_Shot_2016-06-08_at_10.39.51.png" alt="walgreens app" width="500"></p> <h4><strong>The value of mobile</strong></h4> <p>To build on the aforementioned stat about the value of multichannel customers to Walgreens, those who visit in store, via web and mobile typically spend 600% more than store-only visitors.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67930-12-outstanding-mobile-customer-experiences/">The Walgreens app</a> is a big success store for in-store use, too, accounting for fully 50% of the multifunctional app's usage.</p> <p>Some features include: </p> <ul> <li>Personalised coupons redeemable in app (that 'learn' as you spend). </li> <li>Connecting the rewards programme with your fitness apps, to earn points for a healthy lifestyle.</li> <li>Refill by Scan - a barcode scanner that allows users to scan their medicine and automatically order a refill.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8415/Screen_Shot_2016-08-25_at_08.24.42.png" alt="balance rewards healthy choices" width="615"> </p> <h4>Omnichannel service</h4> <p>Other digital services outside of the mobile channel include email &amp; text reminders to refill or take medicine (shown to produce a 2% increase in adherence), Pharmacy Chat (a webchat facility to ask your local pharmacist a question), and a virtual doctor service that allows video-chat consultations.</p> <p>What all these services show is how well-suited a retail pharmacy is to digital technology. The use cases for digital and mobile are numerous.</p> <p>As adoption of these services increases and Walgreens further refines the customer experience, there is the potential to dramatically change the business.</p> <p>One only need look at the number of active Balance Reward (loyalty card) members, currently 85m, to see the possible future uptake of mobile among the customer base.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8416/Screen_Shot_2016-08-25_at_08.29.18.png" alt="virtual doctor" width="615" height="152"></p> <h3>6. Boots</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8419/boots.png" alt="boots" width="288" height="175"></p> <p>I did think about profiling Burberry, a revered British fashion retailer that is reaping the dividends of linking catwalk to high street using social media.</p> <p>But, I've gone with Boots instead, to provide a UK counterpoint to Walgreens.</p> <p>Boots is a pharmacy founded in 1849 in Nottingham, England. At the end of 2014 it became a subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance, but it still bears further investigation here as a retailer undergoing change.</p> <h4><strong>Preparing for omnichannel</strong></h4> <p>In June 2015, Boots announced 700 jobs would be cut, many at head office. It was reported at the time that some of these roles would be cut by retraining in digital sales.</p> <p>There was also an emphasis on improving order-and-collect services, which now allow customers to order until 8pm and collect the next day after 12pm.</p> <p>Further investment in digital occurred in spring 2016, when BT began overhauling in-store IT infrastructure, preparing the systems for better integration with online technologies.</p> <p>Part of this is improving WiFi across all stores, a key element of improving use of mobile in-store.</p> <p>The past two years have seen Boots move from so-called 'point solutions' (projects designed to fix a problem and be rolled out quickly, but without proper integration) to be in a better position to provide omnichannel retail.</p> <p>This emerging digital strategy has necessitated a change in structure, with centralised digital expertise evolving into a more hub and spoke model.</p> <h4><strong>Digital services that add value </strong></h4> <p>Boots has worked with IBM <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67986-boots-launches-salesassist-app-in-stores-what-are-the-benefits/">to launch SalesAssist</a> in every store across the UK in June this year.</p> <p>The app is designed to improve customer service, letting staff help customers through a slick interface that provides product and stock details, as well as reviews and ingredients.</p> <p>Boots, with its perfume and makeup concessions, wide range of healthcare products and electronics is in a unique position to improve with this type of assisted selling.</p> <p>Customers may want to understand how products work, what the alternatives are, how they compare, and whether they can get them shipped to their home.</p> <p>Rather than simply referring customers to 'the website', Boots staff can make use of this improved functionality to directly drive sales, either online or in-store.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6371/Boots-Logo-top-iPadinStore.png" alt="boots salesassist" width="615"></p> <p>Away from store, Boots offers an online service called Beautiful You, which offers personalised skincare advice.</p> <p>This approach to improving product information by providing content-rich experiences is designed to help loyal customers, in whatever channel they are in (online, in-store, or on mobile via relevant offers).</p> <p>The Boots mobile app, similar to Walgreens, allows for photo print and collect, appointment booking, and online shopping, too.</p> <p>Boots is only halfway along its journey of digital transformation - expect to see more innovation as new tech beds in, with the pharmacy mirroring Walgreens in its pursuit of new revenue, multichannel sales and greater loyalty.</p> <p><em>The Festival of Marketing, October 5-6 in London, includes speakers from Marks &amp; Spencer, Walmart, Boots and John Lewis. <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/welcome?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">Book your tickets now</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68215 2016-08-25T14:24:00+01:00 2016-08-25T14:24:00+01:00 Are regulations impeding financial services innovation? Patricio Robles <p>As <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/66c75f74-6790-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c.html">detailed by</a> The Financial Times, BBVA is asking the European Commission to make changes to the bonus cap rules, which apply to employees who are "material risk takers" or earn more than €500,000 per annum.</p> <p>BBVA says that the bonus cap rules are making it difficult to compete and innovate, and that they should be amended.</p> <p>Specifically, BBVA would like to see that they're not applied to technology specialists, which the bank notes have seen their compensation increase but who don't expose the bank to the type of risks traders do.</p> <p>"In some cases we compete against US banks or tech companies on acquisitions. Their bonuses are not capped, so we may lose out," BBVA's digital M&amp;A chief, Juan López Carretero, told the FT.</p> <blockquote> <p>If you can design an app so a payment is done in two clicks instead of eight clicks that is valuable but it isn’t putting the bank at risk.</p> </blockquote> <p>BBVA is considered one of the more tech-friendly large banks.</p> <p>It <a href="https://www.bbva.com/en/news/economy/corporate/finance/bbva-acquires-simple-to-accelerate-digital-banking-expansion/">acquired Simple</a>, a US banking startup, for $117m in 2014, <a href="https://www.bbva.com/en/news/general/bbva-acquires-finnish-banking-start-holvi/">and Finnish business banking startup Holvi</a> in March. </p> <p>BBVA has invested in a number of financial services startups, including <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b71ad596-91f3-11e5-94e6-c5413829caa5.html">UK mobile bank Atom</a>, and earlier this year it <a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/bank-technology/whats-behind-restructuring-of-bbvas-fintech-venture-fund-1079319-1.html">created an independent venture firm</a>, Propel Venture Partners, to "invest in technology-driven companies that are Rethinking and Rebuilding financial services."</p> <p>With more and more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67919-five-fintech-start-ups-aiming-to-replace-traditional-banking">startups looking to disrupt traditional banking</a>, rules that make it more difficult for banks like BBVA to recruit top tech talent or acquire promising young companies would indeed appear to be a legitimate concern.</p> <p>But big banks shouldn't fall into the trap of believing that the ability to open their wallets more freely is the key to thwarting would-be disruptors and spurring innovation.</p> <p><strong>First,</strong> in the battle for talent, <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2015/06/25/a-closer-look-at-the-silicon-valley-vs-wall-street-talent-war/">it's not all about money</a>.</p> <p>Many of those who are choosing Silicon Valley over Wall Street and The City aren't doing so just because they see the opportunity to make more money.</p> <p>Big banks are seen by many as stodgy and bureaucratic, making them less attractive for job seekers looking for opportunities that will give them the ability to do interesting work and make an impact.</p> <p>Additionally, the financial services industry's reputation hit post-2008 hasn't helped matters.  </p> <p><strong>Second,</strong> as far as acquisitions and partnerships are concerned, banks will need to prove that they can integrate with the upstarts they acquire and partner with.</p> <p>BBVA appears to be on the right track in this regard <a href="https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/28693/simple-to-move-customer-accounts-to-bbva-compass-platform">thanks to investment in APIs</a>, but it's still very early in the game and it's not clear that large financial institutions will be able to acquire or partner their way to success.</p> <h3>Regulation to the rescue?</h3> <p>Ironically, regulation might soon provide some relief for banks under attack from fintechs.</p> <p>Their rapid rise has not gone unnoticed by regulators and it's possible that fintech upstarts will soon find themselves subject to much greater scrutiny.</p> <p>For example, in the US, state and federal regulators, including the FDIC, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/greater-scrutiny-looms-for-bank-online-lender-rent-a-charter-deals-1471824803">are eyeing new guidelines</a> that would allow greater oversight of online lenders.</p> <p>If they become subject to more regulation, these upstart non-bank lenders could see many of the advantages they've used to gain market share slip away, making it easier for banks to compete for loan business once again.</p> <p>That could be good news for banks, at least in the short-term, but even if fintechs are saddled with new regulatory burdens, the reality is that <a href="http://www.americanbanker.com/news/bank-technology/what-do-millennials-want-from-banks-everything-nothing-whatever-1079945-1.html">consumer behavior and expectations have changed and continue to change</a>.</p> <p>Banks that want to thrive will need to address this and they can't do that with money alone.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68206 2016-08-25T10:52:46+01:00 2016-08-25T10:52:46+01:00 UberEats vs. Deliveroo: A comparison of the app user experience Nikki Gilliland <p>Two of the biggest food delivery apps are Deliveroo and the newly-launched UberEats.</p> <p>They both offer the same service - but which one’s best? </p> <p>Here's a helpful comparison...</p> <p>*Disclaimer: I have previously ordered from Deliveroo and regularly use Uber taxis. This means that my PayPal details and home address were already saved on the two apps. From what I remember, registering was similarly quick and painless on both.</p> <h3>Deliveroo</h3> <p>The first thing that strikes me about Deliveroo's homescreen is how glorious it looks.</p> <p>Along with its bright and eye-catching turquoise branding, the food imagery is slick, high-quality and designed to grab the user's attention.</p> <p>The offer for free delivery during the month of August is also nicely highlighted, giving users an incentive to sign up to Apple Pay.</p> <p>While it allows you to filter by how hungry you are, this seems like a rather pointless feature - who orders a takeway hours in advance?</p> <p>Delivery ASAP, please.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8217/homescreen.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8223/deliver_asap.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>On the left hand side-bar, there is a handy synopsis of the user's account. With options to edit delivery and payment details and what-not, everything is very self-explanatory.</p> <p>The 'my orders' tab is pretty handy - it allows you to view what you've previously ordered (if you can't remember or want to repeat it).</p> <p>As you can see below, pizza is clearly my takeaway of choice. Not even sorry.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8218/my_account.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8224/my_orders.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>Though I've never actually used one myself, Deliveroo offers a money-off incentive when you share a code.</p> <p>However, when I recently sent it to my esteemed Editor, David Moth, he could only access it on the Deliveroo website (which wasn't very helpful at all as we were testing the mobile apps).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8219/refer_a_friend.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8220/promo_code.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>Deliveroo's categories are easy to decipher, ranked according to the amount of restaurants in the local area. </p> <p>With Soho as my location, I was surprised to see salads come out on top with a whopping 42 options. That's far too much choice for my liking, so for this part of the test, I opted for a fail-safe burger.</p> <p>In the list of burger restaurants, I found the clear labelling of features like 'free delivery' and 'new' particularly helpful. For regular users, the latter would be an especially nice touch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8221/categories_and_filter.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8225/burgers.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>The search bar is brilliantly responsive, delivering the desired result in just a few taps.</p> <p>The chosen page includes an handy synopsis of the restaurant. Arguably unnecessary, but I think this adds a bit of personality.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8222/search.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8226/patty_and_bun.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>Speaking of copy, when entering a new address (I was prompted due to being somewhere other than my usual stomping-ground) I rather enjoyed the humourous options given.</p> <p>With the street name appearing on the integrated map, entering a new address was easy enough, but I was disappointed to find that my location wasn't automatically detected.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8229/address.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8230/entering_address.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>Finally, although I didn't actually order food here (more on that later) - I still did a run-through of the choosing food and checking out process.</p> <p>Overall I found it to be a fluid and intuitive experience. The prices are nicely highlighted and the total sum is updated as you go.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8238/burger.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8237/sides.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> </p> <p>Likewise, the basket summary is nicely set-out, including estimated delivery time, options to tip the driver as well another prompt to enter a promo code.</p> <p>The only negative is the dreaded Deliveroo fee of £2.50 added onto the total. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8239/sides.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8240/basket.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <h3>UberEats</h3> <p>Like Deliveroo, the homepage for UberEats utilises high quality imagery of delicious-looking food.</p> <p>Not quite as appealing to look at, although this might be my own OCD, as I put this down to the white borders and lack of design symmetry.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8241/home.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8243/imagery.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>Again, the user is given a convenient summary of their account. </p> <p>It's pretty much a carbon copy of Deliveroo, apart from the 'help' section which is definitely an added bonus.</p> <p>The offer incentive is certainly where UberEats has succeeded. By heavily using this to promote its launch, it managed to garner huge interest and entice even Deliveroo-loyal customers to download.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8244/account.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8245/offer.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>On to the search and category options, which in all honesty I found to be a bit baffling.</p> <p>There are seemingly random options at top (sea bass, anyone?) before the categories become alphabetical as you scroll down.</p> <p>Also note the two search suggestions of 'burger' and 'burgers' in the below right image. This seems entirely pointless seeing as there is no difference in the results.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8247/categories_2.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8246/categories.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>When clicking on a category, the app returns both restaurants and related items on a menu.</p> <p>While I understand this in theory - it's obviously designed to showcase the variety of restaurants where you might not realise you could get a burger - it is a bit off-putting.</p> <p>Why not just list the restaurants themselves? Maybe I'm missing something here.</p> <p>On the other hand, the search bar is lightning fast - it returns queries instantly, alongside estimated delivery times.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8248/burgers.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8250/search.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>The use of imagery on the main restaurant pages is also great - I particularly like that you can see what specific items look like. </p> <p>Likewise, the suggested <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62864-nine-tips-to-help-improve-your-product-filtering-options/">filter options</a> make choosing from the menu a quick process.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8251/patty_and_bun.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8252/suggested_filter.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>Onto the checkout, and like its competetor, it's a fast and easy experience.</p> <p>While some aspects are very good indeed (like choosing sauces at the same time as sides), it lets itself down by not updating the basket's total price.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8253/chips.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8254/drinks.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>The final checkout page saves it, however, with a prompt for notes like 'extra napkins, extra sauce' bringing back the focus on user experience.</p> <p>Even better, the reassurance that there's 'no need to tip'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8255/checkout.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8256/checkout_2.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <h3>Real-time delivery test</h3> <p>After going through the motions above, I realised it'd only be fair to test out the actual delivery of both apps.</p> <p>While David used Deliveroo to order Japanese from Matsuri, I used UberEats to get a big salad from the Good Life Eatery.</p> <p>Yes, I'm clearly trying to offset all that pizza.</p> <h4>Deliveroo</h4> <p>David's order was easy to place, however from this moment on, the app failed to update him of its progress.</p> <p>This annoyingly meant he had to keep checking his phone to find out where the food was.</p> <p>Moreover, when opening the app to check, the homescreen kept appearing which meant he had to navigate through the app to find the order status.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8351/Screenshot_20160823-113254.png" alt="" width="300" height="533"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8349/order_submitted.png" alt="" width="300" height="533">  </p> <p>Another negative was that despite being under the impression that the app would alert him when the food arrived, he only realised it had when the driver called from downstairs. </p> <p>It did only take about 20 minutes though, which was very speedy indeed.</p> <p>The food itself was mediocre. Not Deliveroo's fault obviously, but just in case you're on the edge of your seat...</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8350/preparing.png" alt="" width="300" height="533"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8352/arrived.png" alt="" width="300" height="533"></p> <h4>UberEats</h4> <p>From the moment I ordered by 'goodness bowl', UberEats kept me updated with its progress through its push notifications option.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8344/good_life.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8345/push.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>I was also notified whenever the status of my order changed, which meant I could get on with what I was doing instead of checking my phone every few minutes in anticipation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8346/food_journey.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8347/notification.PNG" alt="" width="300" height="532"></p> <p>As well as allowing me to watch my driver's journey in real-time on the app, it alerted me when he arrived at the 40-minute mark (before the estimated 54 mins).</p> <p>All in all, the process was entirely smooth. And the food was delicious, FYI.</p> <h3>Conclusion...</h3> <p>In terms of initial impressions, it was a tightly-run race.</p> <p>But while I do prefer Deliveroo's straightforward design and category options, the superior location-based functionality and money-off incentive gives UberEats the edge.</p> <p>This verdict was also cemented in the delivery experiment. Deliveroo was a real let-down when it came to giving updates.</p> <p>So, despite its competitor arriving first, my fuss-free customer journey meant UberEats was well worth the wait. </p> <p><em><strong>Uber’s Marketing and Business Director, Rachael Pettit, will be speaking at the <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/welcome?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">Festival of Marketing 2016</a>, which takes place in London on October 5-6.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68209 2016-08-24T10:59:10+01:00 2016-08-24T10:59:10+01:00 Garnier Nutrisse offers live chat for product advice: Is it any good? Nikki Gilliland <p>Can I achieve Holly Willoughby’s glossy golden locks at home? I used the <a href="http://www.garnier.co.uk/hair-colour/beauty/garnier/nutrisse-cream" target="_blank">new feature</a> to find out. </p> <h3>Promotion on-site</h3> <p>Alongside a tool that helps users find the correct shade, Nutrisse promotes its online chat feature with a subtle ‘speak to an advisor’ button.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8303/Nutrisse.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="718"></p> <p>While effective enough, I do feel like it could be promoted more prominently. Perhaps in a friendlier way, too - advisor sounds slightly clinical to me.</p> <p>Clicking through to the main page and the copy is much more personal and conversational in tone.</p> <p>The human element of one-to-one interaction is the a main purpose of live chat, so a recognition that customers may feel daunted or worried will give more incentive to use the service. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8304/Garnier_LiveChat.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="616"></p> <p>Highlighting the ‘opening hours’, there is also a disclaimer that the chat tool may be removed during busy periods.</p> <p>This might be slightly annoying if it suddenly disappears, but it’s certainly better than leaving customers waiting.</p> <h3>Customer data</h3> <p>Onto the chat itself, but before speaking to anyone, I was prompted to enter in my email address and answer a few basic questions.</p> <p>An obvious sign that it is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-pursuit-of-data-driven-maturity/">a data-driven</a> exercise for Garnier, it could potentially put people off using the tool.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8305/nutrisse_chat.JPG" alt="" width="325" height="425"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8306/nutrisse_chat_2.JPG" alt="" width="298" height="416"></p> <p>With online chat supposedly providing an instant connection, it takes away the immediacy of the service. Customers could end up choosing phone or email instead.</p> <h3>Help and product links</h3> <p>Eventually, I got through to an ‘agent’ named Tariq.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8309/nutrisse_3.JPG" alt="" width="293" height="420"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8310/nutrisse_4.JPG" alt="" width="296" height="416"></p> <p>There is definitely something to be said for speaking to a person with a real name and identity as opposed to a faceless brand.</p> <p>All in all, Tariq was very helpful.</p> <p>He didn’t tell me anything I couldn’t have found out for myself, especially as there is enough information elsewhere on the site, however it would certainly be useful to have someone reinforce the answer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8311/nutrisse_7.JPG" alt="" width="295" height="414"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8312/nutrisse_8.JPG" alt="" width="294" height="417"></p> <p>While he was generally helpful, there were a few negatives - I had to prompt Tariq to send me a product link.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8313/nutrisse_10.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="503"></p> <p>Likewise, he took quite a while to answer my questions, though this does mean customers can multi-task while waiting for an answer (something that is more difficult to do while on the phone).</p> <p>The fact that the pop-up box appears in each new window is another handy feature if you’re browsing at the same time, as is the option to have an email transcript of the chat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8315/nutrisse_11.JPG" alt="" width="297" height="412"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8314/nutrisse_options.JPG" alt="" width="290" height="414">  </p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Overall, there is definitely value in Nutrisse’s chat-feature.</p> <p>As well as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61813-how-asos-sky-and-schuh-use-live-chat-to-personalise-online-shopping/" target="_blank">offering a personalised interaction</a>, it also helps the brand determine customer pain points and prevent them from going elsewhere. </p> <p>Improvements could definitely be made in terms of speed and the amount of information offered, however it’s certainly a feature that’s worth having.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 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/68160 2016-08-22T10:08:45+01:00 2016-08-22T10:08:45+01:00 Five tips for creating a successful FAQ page Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are five tips for creating one.</p> <h3>Make it visible</h3> <p>If a user has a question in need of an answer, the last thing they want is to go hunting around for an FAQ page. </p> <p>So, it’s important for this section of the website to be noticeable on the homepage, as well as visible in other places where users are likely to need assistance.</p> <p>By labelling this section of its website as ‘Help’ and locating it to the left of the ‘My Account’ button, ASOS ensures the customer doesn't have to look very far.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7822/ASOS_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="583"></p> <p>While the text is fairly small, it is simple and subtle, and transfers users to the FAQ section with just one click.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7823/ASOS_help_2.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="703"></p> <p>An FAQ page isn’t only visible to the user, of course.</p> <p>It is also a good place to include relevant (and a balanced amount of) keywords to help improve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-training/">SEO</a>.</p> <h3>Categorise correctly</h3> <p>One of the biggest challenges of creating an FAQ page is organising a large amount of information in a way that's easy to digest.</p> <p>Remember that users often <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66920-why-visitors-only-read-20-of-your-web-page/" target="_blank">read just 20% of a web page</a>, with the majority scanning to find a specific piece of information. </p> <p>Ironically, the hallmark of a successful FAQ page is if the user reads as little as possible.</p> <p>If faced with a page that’s jam-packed full of jumbled copy, consumers are going to be put off. </p> <p>Questions need to be organised into distinct categories or groups, making it as easy as possible for the consumer to find exactly what they are looking for.</p> <p>Dropbox provides an excellent example of how to organise an FAQ page.</p> <p>As well as a visible search bar, the page is separated into twelve clear categories, each accompanied by a subtle illustrative design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7824/Dropbox_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="579"></p> <h3>Keep it customer-focused</h3> <p>Brands can be guilty of including irrelevant or biased information in FAQs, often using it as an extension or in place of an ‘About’ page. </p> <p>However, it's vital that questions are as relevant to the customer’s needs as possible, as well as answered within a positive or solution-based framework.</p> <p>Not only can this approach help to solve current problems (i.e. a returns query on an ecommerce site or a troubleshooting question relating to tech) – it can also be used to encourage the path to purchase.</p> <p>For example, if a user is uncertain about a brand, an authoritative and well-executed FAQs page can be enough to reassure and encourage them to stay on-site for longer.</p> <p>Take McDonald's - a brand that recognises consumers have a LOT of questions about its product.</p> <p>Consequently, it uses this to its advantage, creating an entire section of informative articles based on the most common concerns.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7828/What_makes_McDonalds..PNG" alt="" width="780" height="615"></p> <p>It goes even further with its customer-centric approach, here giving users the opportunity to ask a specific question if they can't find it on-site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7829/McDonald_s_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="734"></p> <h3>Point the user forward</h3> <p>An FAQ page should never be a dead-end.</p> <p>Like any part of a website, it is vital that the page prompt the user onwards in their journey. </p> <p>Of course, its main purpose is always to provide information, however it should also include calls-to-action and links back to the homepage or various category pages to encourage conversion. </p> <p>As well as including links in its answers, Lush’s FAQ section includes a sidebar which conveniently points the user in the direction of further information and help sections. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7825/Lush_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="642"></p> <h3>Use personality</h3> <p>All copy on a website is a chance to convey a brand’s personality and values.</p> <p>On an FAQ page, where the information is usually quite dull and dry, the opportunity is even more pertinent.</p> <p>Whether it’s through engaging visuals or a humorous <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/">tone of voice</a>, a creative approach can strengthen a brand's connection with consumers.</p> <p>By surprising and delighting the user with something unexpected, it will automatically be more memorable. </p> <p>It is a rather extreme example, yet Cards Against Humanity show how a brand’s tone of voice can stretch to the even most mundane parts of a website.</p> <p>The brilliant thing about this FAQ page is that it manages to actually give all the information the consumer needs, while being deliberatively subversive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7826/CAH_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="672"></p> <p>Similarly, there's the ever-so-divisive Innocent Drinks.</p> <p>The creativity here is undeniable, yet it appears to be far more self-indulgent than anything else, demonstrating that even the biggest brands can lose sight of the customer's needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7827/Innocent_FAQ.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="573"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>As the likes of McDonald's and Cards Against Humanity prove, an FAQ section is well-worth investing time and effort in.</p> <p>With relevant and well-organised information and an imaginative approach, it can be the difference between a disappointing user experience and a positive one.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68107 2016-08-19T11:17:00+01:00 2016-08-19T11:17:00+01:00 Q&A: TotallyMoney.com on its customer-centric approach to financial services Nikki Gilliland <h3>In one sentence, describe the product/service your company offers.</h3> <p>Essentially, TotallyMoney.com helps consumers get a fairer deal when applying for credit.</p> <p>We offer personalised search results, ranked according to what the best credit product is for them.</p> <h3>What sets TotallyMoney.com apart from other comparison sites?</h3> <p>Our company is driven by a passion for making the credit market fairer for consumers. We're independent and unbiased and on a mission to help every UK credit card holder save money.</p> <p>It’s amazing to think that 15m people have never even checked to see whether they're eligible for a better credit card deal - if they had the same attitude to comparing credit as they do to switching car insurance or energy provider they could be saving a fortune.</p> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7343/alastair_douglas.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400"></h3> <h3>Without vast TV spend, how do you optimise your media mix to stay competitive?</h3> <p>We're a lean, agile business, and we take a data-driven approach to our marketing. We measure the performance of every campaign we build and follow an iterative cycle of improvement. </p> <p>We move quickly in the market to explore new opportunities across all channels - building, measuring and most importantly learning quickly is more important than whether individual ideas or campaigns succeed or fail. </p> <p>To stay ahead of the competition, we're starting to tap into the possibilities that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64743-predictive-analytics-machine-learning-and-the-future-of-personalization/">machine learning</a> and big data can offer.</p> <h3>You place a lot of focus on producing long-form content – how do you measure its success?</h3> <p>Our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> is about building brand awareness and connecting with our target audiences.</p> <p>By taking a creative approach to the subjects of value for money and better decision making, we've overcome the inertia and resistance to personal finance topics. </p> <p>We've moved out of the personal finance sections and into the lifestyle pages of national publications. We measure success by the coverage we receive and the interest and interaction we see.</p> <h3>How is the business adapting to the rise in mobile use over desktop?</h3> <p>We adopted a mobile-first approach to product development and marketing over two years, and we first saw visits on mobile phones eclipse desktop visits in October 2014. </p> <p>Today, more than 70% of consumers use our service on mobile phones with another 10% using tablets.</p> <p>We've invested in understanding the challenges of context and interaction on mobile devices and refined the user experience accordingly.</p> <h3>What do you see as the biggest challenge in future for consumer-facing finance?</h3> <p>The internet is an unstoppable force that weights things in the favour of the consumer; it gives them direct access to all the information they need, rather than having to rely on self-appointed experts.</p> <p>Therefore, the biggest challenge for consumer-facing finance is to align themselves with what customers actually want, rather than focusing on short-term profits.</p> <p>This change is the biggest challenge because many businesses are not set up for it and stuck in the past.</p> <h3>How does regulation affect innovation in customer experience?</h3> <p>We support the FCA's drive to ensure that customers are treated fairly. Regulation exists to protect the consumer interest.</p> <p>We take a customer-centric approach to building better user journeys; we embrace regulation that makes the market more transparent and ensures a level playing field for all.</p> <h3>Finally – what’s the best thing about your job?</h3> <p>It's got to be the people I work with; it's a smart, energetic team that works hard, shares responsibility and celebrates success together. </p> <p>There's a great sense of unity that comes from everyone working together to change the credit market for the better.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68195 2016-08-17T11:04:26+01:00 2016-08-17T11:04:26+01:00 Fabled by Marie Claire: A closer look at the new retail store & ecommerce site Nikki Gilliland <p>A reflection of the changing ways women are consuming beauty content as well as buying products – it is designed for the ‘fast-paced lives of the beauty-savvy’.</p> <p>As well as exploring its website, I recently visited the flagship store on Tottenham Court Road to find out what it has to offer.</p> <h3>Bringing editorial expertise in-store</h3> <p>Sitting alongside the likes of Oasis and T2, Fabled occupies a shiny new space not far from Oxford Street. </p> <p>With its glass windows and eager staff, it immediately feels more high-end than your average department store (and a world away from Boots).</p> <p>Upon entering, I was first drawn to the digital screens situated by each make-up counter.</p> <p>Reflecting Marie Claire’s reputation as an influential voice on beauty, each counter promotes ‘The Edit’ – a selection of carefully curated items recommended by the magazine’s editors. </p> <p>The screens display more information on each product along with a short review.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8081/IMG_2303.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="585"></p> <p>By allowing shoppers to swipe and browse, there is a definite interactive element to shopping in-store. </p> <p>While cynical consumers could potentially feel they are being dictated to, Marie Claire is clearly banking on its existing audience to buy into its curated shopping experience. </p> <p>Combined with the on-hand expertise of its employees, there is certainly a focus on meeting the customer needs.</p> <p>With its well-designed layout and wide range of brands, the store was impressive enough.</p> <p>However, the only real let down was that despite the aforementioned example, there didn’t appear to be many <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/" target="_blank">interactive features in-store</a>. </p> <p>I did spy a few extras like a mini GHD salon and a fragrance room, however both appeared to serve as visual elements as opposed to anything particularly unique or interesting in purpose.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8082/IMG_2309.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="585"></p> <h3>Fast delivery and convenience online</h3> <p>Like the flagship store, Fabled.com offers a similarly pleasant shopping experience – one that’s geared around high-end products and high-quality editorial.</p> <p>But then again, isn’t that what every beauty website offers?</p> <p>In the world of beauty <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a>, a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68087-six-brilliant-blogs-from-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">brilliant blog</a> and engaging social media presence is no longer unique – it’s expected.  </p> <p>Of course, with a lot of this type of content already found on the main Marie Claire website, it’s understandable that Fabled wants to be different. </p> <p>With editorial integrated throughout the site instead of in a dedicated category, it appears to be positioning itself as an authority on beauty ecommerce rather than the chatty, knowledgable mate of its regular magazine. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8085/Fabled_editorial.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="746"></p> <p>With helpful tips and advice, there's a lot of informative content to enjoy.</p> <p>However, I do feel that the Fabled brand could be a bit more fleshed out.</p> <p>It's early days of course, as the 'preview' marker at the top of the site suggests. Also, the site only appears on page two of Google when you search for 'Fabled'.</p> <p>But despite a decent enough user experience, there is nothing about the site’s design or content that’s particularly exciting or different.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8083/Fabled.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="611"></p> <p>One aspect where Fabled looks set to beat its competition is delivery.</p> <p>By teaming up with Ocado, it boasts a next-day delivery service as well as chosen one-hour slots. Even better, it means that orders from Fabled.com can be attached onto a main Ocado shop. </p> <p>With this added convenience, it is sure to entice shoppers who might otherwise abandon an online beauty purchase. </p> <p>Who could resist the temptation of a few nice treats alongside the tinned tomatoes?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8084/Fabled_delivery.JPG" alt="" width="575" height="342"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Overall, Fabled by Marie Claire is an interesting concept.</p> <p>You <em>could</em> argue that it offers the same (in-store and online) service as department stores like Debenhams or House of Fraser. </p> <p>However, when taking into consideration the excellent delivery options and its authorative content, there's certainly a lot more to appreciate.</p> <p>I wish there were more digital aspects in-store and a better defined branding strategy, but it's still well-worth having a browse.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68184 2016-08-15T11:23:20+01:00 2016-08-15T11:23:20+01:00 Domino’s introduces 'Dom the Pizza Bot' for Facebook Messenger Nikki Gilliland <p>Is it a gimmick or a pizza-lover’s dream?</p> <p>Here’s a bit more info.</p> <h3>How to sign up</h3> <p>Before you get too excited, the chatbot doesn’t just provide pizza on-demand. Dom is a bit more discerning that that.</p> <p>First, customers are required to sign up to the Easy Order system, which along with an address and contact details, saves a ‘favourite basket’ which can be requested via the chatbot in future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8014/Dominos_easy_order.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="347"></p> <p>While this might sound ultra-convenient, my concern is that it surely takes away the opportunity for spontaneous pizza behaviour...</p> <p>I mean, say a person comes home after a few too many carbonated beverages and thinks ‘I don’t fancy the same old cheese and tomato with a side of dough balls… Bring on the MEAT FEAST’.</p> <p>Sadly, Dom will only remember the meal that's been previously selected, meaning that the customer would need to change their basket or just order like normal. Oh, the agony.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8015/Easy_Order.PNG" alt="" width="600" height="618"></p> <h3>How it works</h3> <p>Chatbot technology is taking off, and nowhere more so than via apps like Facebook Messenger where it is able to facilitate direct communication between brands and consumers.</p> <p>For a company like Domino’s, the chance to provide a specific service as well as build a one-to-one connection with customers is incredibly valuable.</p> <p>So, what does Dom sound like?</p> <p>During a recent conversation in the name of research, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he’s not just a dough-brained bot, but one with a bit of a sense of humour at least.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8016/Dom_Pizza_Bot.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="516"></p> <p>With an irreverent tone of voice, Dom brings a refreshingly human feel to an otherwise faceless brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8017/Dom_the_Pizza_Bot_2.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="355"></p> <p>Of course, there are limitations, and as <a href="http://qz.com/653084/microsofts-disastrous-tay-experiment-shows-the-hidden-dangers-of-ai/" target="_blank">Microsoft's Tay proved</a> there's always the danger that this early-stage technology can go awry.</p> <p>But as chatbots go, Dom's got a little personality at least.</p> <h3>Will it take off?</h3> <p>I doubt that occasional Domino’s customers will be inclined to use the chatbot, especially as it is a bit of a faff to set up.</p> <p>For dedicated customers, however, it might provide some amusement as well as convenience for the very laziest.</p> <p>It is perhaps a way to build brand awareness more than anything else, as well as a sign that brands are getting serious when it comes to entering <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/" target="_blank">dark social.</a></p> <h3>Who else is doing it?</h3> <p>We’ve already seen the likes of Taco Bell launching an order-based chatbot for Slack-users, offering customers the opportunity to order without leaving their desks.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8018/tacobot.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="512"></p> <p>Now, hot on the heels of Domino’s, Pizza Hut is set to deliver its own bot later on in the month.</p> <p>Reportedly offering extra features like customisation, Q&amp;A and specialised menus, it sounds a little more sophisticated than anything else we’ve seen so far. </p> <p>Sorry, Dom. You might need to step up your game.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68169 2016-08-11T14:24:00+01:00 2016-08-11T14:24:00+01:00 US sales tax isn't a deterrent to online sales: Report Patricio Robles <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7880/image002.jpg" alt="" width="621" height="369"></p> <p>Fast forward to 2016. Half of online shoppers are now paying sales tax and nearly half indicate that they either don't consider sales tax in deciding which retailer to purchase from, or don't consider it highly.</p> <p>That's according to <a href="http://pages.connexity.com/rs/953-HCY-363/images/Bizrate%20Insights%20Sales%20Tax%20charts.pdf">new data</a> (PDF) published by Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, which also found that more than three-quarters of shoppers who paid sales tax did not consider abandoning their purchases because of the tax.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7881/image008.jpg" alt="" width="621" height="358"></p> <p>Even among shoppers who didn't pay sales tax, 42% indicated that they would not have purchased from a different retailer because their choice "depended on other factors."</p> <p>Just over a third (36%) said sales tax might have led them to purchase from another retailer, but that's down from 39% in 2011.</p> <p>Perhaps not surprisingly, sales tax weighs on purchasing decisions as order value increases. </p> <p>While 39% of those polled stated that sales tax is not something they consider generally (compared to just 9% who stated that it is always important), nearly a quarter (24%) revealed that sales tax becomes more important as the cost of an order increases.</p> <h3>The primacy of customer experience</h3> <p>It's no accident that more online purchases today involve sales tax.</p> <p>Many online retailers may have benefited by not charging sales tax early on, but <a href="https://www.synchronyfinancial.com/SynchronyFinancialCustomerExperienceWhitePaperSept2015.pdf">numerous</a> <a href="http://www.mycustomer.com/experience/loyalty/customer-experience-trumps-price-for-loyalty-forrester-reveals">studies</a> have established that overall <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> trumps price.</p> <p>Understanding that they have to deliver on customer experience and not just price, retailers like Amazon are making a concerted effort to ensure that they can get products to customers as quickly as possible. </p> <p>As Hayley Silver, VP of Bizrate Insights, explained, this has typically involved expansion of distribution networks "such that more and more online purchases become eligible for sales tax."</p> <p>Thanks to Amazon's distribution network, Amazon Prime members in 27 metro areas can now choose free same-day delivery on over a million items, and through Prime Now, they can even get two-hour delivery on more than 25,000 items.</p> <p>Its ability to get millions of items into the hands of its customers quickly gives Amazon a formidable customer experience advantage.</p> <p>And it's no coincidence that perhaps the only retailer that can compete broadly with Amazon on price, Walmart, <a href="http://news.walmart.com/2016/08/08/walmart-agrees-to-acquire-jetcom-one-of-the-fastest-growing-e-commerce-companies-in-the-us">just acquired Jet.com</a> in a multi-billion dollar bid to improve the overall experience it offers customers online.</p>