tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ecommerce Latest Ecommerce content from Econsultancy 2017-08-22T09:45:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69358 2017-08-22T09:45:00+01:00 2017-08-22T09:45:00+01:00 ASOS visual search: Is it any good? Nikki Gilliland <p>With a fast and intuitive user experience, ASOS is already known for having one of the best retail apps out there. However, the brand has just added a new feature with the aim of further improving its customer experience – a new visual search tool.</p> <p>So, what does it do exactly? And will customers actually use it? Here are my thoughts on the newly updated app and more on why visual search is becoming a big priority for brands.</p> <h3>Investment in technology</h3> <p>Both eBay and Pinterest have already launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68984-how-visual-search-is-helping-ecommerce-brands" target="_blank">visual search</a> tools of their own, with the latter doing so in order to boost its status as a shopping platform rather than a discovery site. </p> <p>For ASOS, the decision is part of the brand’s general focus on digital innovation. Speaking last year, ASOS’ CEO Nick Beighton <a href="http://www.essentialretail.com/news/article/5805e08c843da-asos-bets-on-visual-search-voice-search-and-ai">suggested</a> that technology will be key to meeting changing customer expectations, and more specifically, that “visual search, voice search and AI will help customers navigate the offer in a better and more convenient way.”  </p> <p>With 5,000 products added to its site each week, ASOS’ huge inventory can make navigation a struggle. It can simply feel far too overwhelming to browse through endless products, with this potentially leaving users bored or frustrated rather than inspired. </p> <p>On the flip side, it is also part of ASOS’ USP - the brand is known and loved for the very reason that it offers such a dazzling array of choice.</p> <p>This is where visual search comes in, with the tool helping to narrow down the customer focus and prompt discovery. So, when a customer sees something they like – let’s say on a friend or in a magazine for example, they can use it to search for similar products via the app.</p> <p>So, as the tool is now up and running, let’s look at how it works.</p> <h3>Searching for inspiration</h3> <p>The visual search tool can be accessed by clicking the new camera icon in the app’s search bar. You can then use it to take a photo or access the photos in your smartphone library. </p> <p>First, I decided to search using a photo taken in real-time. The results were super-fast, returning a good selection of comparable items. The search also returned men’s clothing, which some might see as a minor bug-bear, but I assume the app learns details like gender preferences over time. (I’ve never used it before now).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8414/IMG_1412.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="466"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8415/IMG_1408.PNG" alt="" width="350" height="622"></p> <p>Next, I searched for an item that I knew was already on the ASOS website, using a screenshot from an Instagram post. However, this time, it failed to return the exact item and only gave me similar styles. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8416/IMG_1409.PNG" alt="" width="350" height="622"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8417/IMG_1410.PNG" alt="" width="350" height="622"></p> <p>This could be a big negative, as visual search is meant to improve on the often frustrating experience of using keywords. If you're certain something is in stock (which I was), this would prove even more frustrating. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8418/IMG_1419.PNG" alt="" width="500" height="889"></p> <p>Interestingly, when I searched for another item I knew was on the website, but this time based on a photo from my own camera library – it worked. It seems ASOS' algorithms are still learning, as is to be expected. </p> <p>Lastly, I searched for a pair of shoes from a photo of a print magazine. I'm pretty impressed with these results.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8419/IMG_1423.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="466"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8420/IMG_1425.PNG" alt="" width="350" height="622"></p> <p>Generally, it seems like the technology is still working out some minor bugs – mainly when it comes to not returning exact items. Overall, however, I was impressed with how fast and easy it is to use and how effective it is at bringing up similar items. </p> <h3>Will consumers use it?</h3> <p>Personally, I am someone who struggles with online shopping, simply because I get bored of aimlessly browsing. I would definitely use the visual search tool in this scenario because it speeds up the whole process, helping you to find clothes based on ones you already know you like. </p> <p>I also think it could be very useful if you are shopping for a specific event or occasion, such as a wedding, where you might be able find a similar version of an expensive or designer item you’ve seen elsewhere. </p> <p>Social shopping is also another bonus, with customers often using channels like Instagram and YouTube for fashion inspiration. Ironically, visual search is also a return to ASOS’ original premise. Its brand name stands for ‘As Seen On Screen’, but now instead of television, the tool enables customers to instantly and easily pin-point items like those they’ve seen on social media.</p> <p>One problem is that users might not know the tool is there, as the camera icon is quite hard to miss, and neither is it promoted elsewhere on the app. However, as the technology becomes more commonplace, it certainly has the potential to catch on.</p> <h3>Will other retailers follow suit?</h3> <p>With such a mobile-savvy audience, it’s unsurprising that ASOS is the first big UK retailer to invest in this kind of technology. By making the mobile experience easier, better and more interesting – it’s sure to further customer satisfaction. </p> <p>What is unknown is whether or not it will increase sales.</p> <p>However, research by <a href="https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/237996/visual-and-voice-search-influence-mobile-serps.html" target="_blank">BloomReach</a> suggests that the technology can have a direct impact. In a three month period, it found that visual search was associated with more product views, more return visits, and an increase in average spend. Out of the 30.3m visits to the ecommerce sites analysed, users of the visual search tool were found to view 48% more products, were 75% more likely to make a return visit, and placed orders worth 9% more than those who did not.</p> <p>This kind of data is bound to have spurred on ASOS’ decision to invest in the technology, especially considering that it has also recently invested $40 million in the US market. With increasing competition in the fashion retail space from Amazon – visual search could be a key differentiator. </p> <p>For other retailers with less money to play with, visual search is unlikely to be a priority for the time being. But just like previous innovations within ecommerce, ASOS could set the benchmark. </p> <p><strong><em>More on ASOS:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67823-what-makes-asos-s-online-customer-experience-so-enjoyable">What makes ASOS's online customer experience so enjoyable?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67870-why-asos-is-still-leading-the-online-retailing-pack">Why ASOS is still leading the online retailing pack</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67950-eight-ecommerce-checkout-design-features-that-make-asos-great/">Eight ecommerce checkout design features that make ASOS great</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69352 2017-08-21T10:12:02+01:00 2017-08-21T10:12:02+01:00 A day in the life of... CTO at Adimo, an add-to-basket digital marketing company Ben Davis <h3>Please describe your job: What do you do?</h3> <p>I'm Chief Technology Officer and co-founder at <a href="https://adimo.co/">Adimo</a>, an add-to-basket digital marketing company. My role sees me working with the product and development teams on strategy, making sure we're delivering the best results for our clients our products.  </p> <p>Our goal at Adimo is to make online shopping easier, enabling users to add products to their favourite retailer shopping basket from almost any digital marketing materials. Consumers don’t need to navigate between webpages to add to their shopping lists while brands can close the purchasing loop in the marketing stage, acquiring a lot of useful data as a result (For more on the platform, see <a href="https://adimo.co/blog/2016/11/25/meet-adimo-an-interview-with-adimo-co-founder-and-cto-colin-brown/">another interview</a> with Colin Brown on the Adimo blog. Ed.)</p> <p>With this in mind, most of my time is spent optimising how our tech can influence the customer experience, as well as overseeing the design of the components, focusing on scalability and performance.</p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>I report to my fellow co-founder Richard Kelly, our CEO. We met at the digital marketing agency Dog Digital, sitting next to each other and enjoying the inevitable after-work beers that followed. We both continued to work in marketing but both got sick of never being able to directly link brand marketing to sales. Working together, we developed Adimo’s proposition and launched the company. </p> <p>As such, I'm part of the senior management team and sit on the company board as well. </p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p>Problem solving is absolutely key. Although I don't get involved in writing production code, I have a strong understanding of our platform, its architecture and how it's used, whether internally, by clients or by consumers. This means I'm in a great position to troubleshoot any problems we're having, both from a technical perspective - I had my own .NET consultancy business before starting Adimo so I'm quite technically minded - but also from a process perspective too.</p> <p>Another skill I find important is working with numbers. I get quite a lot of satisfaction diving into our analytics platform and extracting weird and interesting stats. I'm not scared by a big Excel spreadsheet either, unless pivot tables are involved…</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8386/colin_brown.jpg" alt="colin brown" width="190" height="190"></p> <p><em>Colin Brown, CTO at Adimo</em></p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day</h3> <p>The drive to work is vital time for me, since I start planning out my day in the car so that I'm ready to go as soon as I arrive at my desk. I aim to arrive before 9, since it's nice to start the day quietly without phone or email interruptions. </p> <p>Once I’ve planned my workload and dealt with any high-priority emails, I usually spend my time moving between different teams to help solve any issues they may be facing. This means joining the technical team’s "daily standup", where we all come together to collaborate on any development issues, any problems from the wider team and to identify potential blockers that could slow projects down. I’ll also make time for the account management, developments and office management teams, helping where I can and checking on progress. </p> <p>After lunch I'll try and focus my attention on research &amp; development. This could range from improving our deployment process to working on a prototype of a new feature that enhances one of our products. In short, if it can be improved or innovated on, I spend my time making it happen. </p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>I love my team, as we’re all natural problem solvers. It’s tremendously gratifying to all pull together on tech that can sometimes be complex but is essentially all about making peoples’ lives easier, whether that’s the customer shopping online or the marketer trying to find a new channel to harness. It’s complicated work with a very straightforward and practical end goal. </p> <p>That being said, I'm not a massive fan of documentation or reporting. It’s clearly an important job but writing it bores me to death! I'm much more kinetic, happier to demonstrate things rather than write about them.</p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p>Our product is geared towards turning content into an online checkout, so as well as tracking straightforward sales we measure each phase of the path to purchase. Each step of this journey gives us a wealth of customer behavioural information and insights that we can then feed back to our clients to inform their marketing decisions. We track variables such as whether the customer has followed a call to action, which retailer they favour when adding to a shopping basket, whether they compared prices or jumped straight to a basket. </p> <p>We also assess how these different metrics relate to each other too. We can track the level of drop off between steps, from initial engagement through to basket, so we can tweak the process if it’s becoming too slow or boring for the customer. Since we give the option to add to a weekly shop to complete later or to buy immediately, we also track different types of revenue. Revenue and Latent Revenue are metrics that highlight the value of these customers to the brand once they have completed the successful Add to Basket or Buy Now journey.</p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h3> <p>I'd be lost without Evernote. I have notes for everything from meeting write-ups, to-do lists, documentation (urgh), even photos of handwritten notes – I’ve got it all.</p> <p>Otherwise, I love using Atom. It's my Mac development environment of choice, alongside all the additional plugins I’ve added to make my life easier.</p> <h3>How did you get into adtech, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p>I studied Computing Science at university but after graduating went into digital marketing, so I suppose my career has always been a blend of advertising and technology. I tipped over from being a marketing professional into fully-fledged adtech simply by realising that marketing needed more technology if it was going to be successful. With the rise of ad-blockers, brands need innovative ways to track the impact of their online advertising to avoid budget wastage. It’s the whole premise behind Adimo. </p> <p>As for what's next, I’ll focus on building up Adimo and exploring new channels. I certainly think there's a lot of potential in augmented and virtual reality for add-to-basket tech, so I imagine I may be spend the next few months wearing a headset. </p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing display/video advertising well?</h3> <p>I liked the <a href="http://www.tedbaker.com/uk/Christmas/Ted_Presents">Ted Baker shoppable video campaign</a> from the start of the year, as it allowed you to click on the separate tags to immediately browse and shop that particular range. This kind of interactive video is becoming a fascinating marketing medium that gives customers engaging content while also enabling them to shop without leaving the publisher's website. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this in near future.</p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in adtech?</h3> <p>Be a geek about what you do, even if you're not in a dedicated technical role. The best people I've worked with are those that enjoy what they do and are interested enough that they don't just work on it nine to five. Of course you should always be focused on your current campaign, but do try and save some time for side project that interest you, as you never quite know what it’ll turn into. Mine evolved into a business!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69351 2017-08-18T14:21:00+01:00 2017-08-18T14:21:00+01:00 10 superior digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>59% of Instagram Stories leads to a shopping cart</h3> <p>New research from <a href="http://klear.com/blog/instagram-stories-conversion/" target="_blank">Klear</a> shows that 59% of brands' Instagram Stories link to a shopping cart or shoppable page.</p> <p>In contrast, just 23% of brands link their Stories to other social platforms, while 10% link to a blog post.</p> <p>Klear also found that 36% of brand Instagram Stories involve some form of product promotion, making it the most popular type of post. 22% of Stories involve an 'insider look' at the brand, and 14% involve an influencer takeover.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8341/Klear.JPG" alt="" width="705" height="476"></p> <h3>42% of all US business trips extended for leisure</h3> <p>A new report by <a href="https://info.advertising.expedia.com/custom-research-bleisure-travel-market?utm_campaign=2016+Bleisure+Custom+Research&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-95eaQxjOzd1Wm5VMuR1rk8GpeXcXmlEqI5VyE4c0E936EhBaZ413dK_VHQxo3mDwsC1QszbOJw10YgbY-rQbFF3Yc6ZeBPe57BpU9teRl92GzRveM&amp;_hsmi=40388954&amp;utm_content=40388954&amp;utm_source=hs_automation&amp;hsCtaTracking=71e4538a-6c18-405f-9307-1eba7186fefa%7C7e4357af-3125-4efe-831c-afc5ee46c7c9" target="_blank">Expedia Media Solutions</a> has highlighted the growing trend for ‘bleisure’ trips – i.e. travel that combines both business and leisure.</p> <p>It has found that 42% of all business trips within the US are extended for leisure, with this increasing to 52% when employees have to travel overseas for work. Expedia also suggests that trips to attend conferences and conventions are more likely to turn into leisure trips, as opposed to travel for client meetings or presentations.</p> <p>Lastly, it found that the leisure portion of a trip can often equal or exceed the length of the business portion, making ‘bleisure’ trips much longer than a typical business trip.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8332/Expedia_stat.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="284"></p> <h3>55% of consumers prefer shopping direct from brands than retailers</h3> <p>A new study by <a href="https://astoundcommerce.com/us/2017/08/15/global-brand-research/" target="_blank">Astound Commerce</a> has found that over half of consumers prefer visiting a brand or manufacturer’s website rather than shopping from multi-brand retailers. </p> <p>In a survey of over 1,000 consumers, 54% said they would turn to brands over retailers for more comprehensive product information, improved customer service, better value and more chance of personalisation. </p> <p>45% of millennials said they expect a more engaging, holistic experience on a brand’s website than a retailer’s, while 59% of shoppers would visit a physical store to seek out the full brand experience they don’t believe they can get online.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8335/Astound.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="325"></p> <h3>UK sees surge in search interest for electric cars</h3> <p>New data from Hitwise suggests that there has been a surge of interest in electric cars in the UK, following on from the launch of Tesla’s ‘Model 3’ car.</p> <p>In July, there was a 345% increase in searches for the new ‘Tesla Model 3’, as well as a 346% increase in people searching for ‘electric cars’ in general. This comes on the back of the news that there has been a 10.3% drop in new car sales and an increase in used cars sales in 2017.</p> <p>Hitwise also found that people aged 18-24 were the demographic most likely to be searching for ‘Tesla’, and the third most-asked question to be: “What electric cars are available in the UK?”</p> <h3>Transparency now a pressing priority for brands</h3> <p>In light of last year’s Media Transparency report by the ANA, a large number of global brands are in the midst of making changes to their media governance practices.</p> <p>In a survey of global marketers in 35 multinational companies, the World Federation of Advertisers found transparency to be a top priority for 47% of brands, while 51% said it is rising up the list. </p> <p>Brand safety is also a hot topic, with 70% saying it has escalated as a priority in the last 12 months. As a result, 74% have suspended investment in ad networks where they felt there was an unnecessary risk to their brands. Meanwhile, 89% are also limiting or plan to limit investment in ad networks that do not allow use of third-party verification.</p> <h3>Global cart abandonment increases 1.3% on previous quarter</h3> <p><a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/stats/the-remarketing-report-q2-2017/" target="_blank">SaleCycle</a> has released its Remarketing Report for Q2 2017, highlighting key cart abandonment stats from April to June.</p> <p>It shows that the global cart abandonment rate for Q2 was 76.9%, which is up 1.3% on the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the average retail conversion rate was 3.29%.</p> <p>In terms of sectors, gaming websites had the lowest abandonment rates at 67.4%, while finance had the highest at 83.7%. This was closely followed by non-profit – a sector which faces ongoing challenges in optimising online conversions. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8333/SalesCycle.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="420"></p> <h3>88% of consumers value speed of delivery over choice of brand</h3> <p>A <a href="https://info.salmon.com/buying-tomorrow-report" target="_blank">new report</a> by Salmon has revealed that 88% of consumers see the speed of delivery as more important than the brand being ordered. Additionally, it found that modern-day consumers also like to shop in new ways, with 45% currently using a digital assistant like Alexa or Google Home to do so.</p> <p>Other stats from the report include the fact that almost a quarter of consumers make all their purchases online, while 37% of total online spend is now done through Amazon.</p> <p>Lastly, it is clear that consumers are becoming more digitally obsessed than ever before, with 57% believing they are more digitally advanced than the retailers that serve them.</p> <h3>Searches for ‘make up’ increase over 200% in three years</h3> <p>According to research by <a href="https://www.pi-datametrics.com/resources/market-performance-reports/beauty/?mc_cid=af12c67cd5&amp;mc_eid=bdac343de4" target="_blank">PI Datametrics</a>, the UK beauty market saw a 76% increase in search volume growth from 2013 to 2016. The term ‘make up’ specifically has grown a whopping 203% in these three years.</p> <p>Insight suggests that this growth can be put down to the popularity of bloggers and vloggers within the category, plus the rise of visual social media and its influencers. With make-up sales being worth an estimated £1bn in the UK in 2017, the opportunity for retailers continues to grow.</p> <p>Interestingly, the report also revealed that the top four performers within the beauty market are all retailers (as opposed to make-up or beauty brands themselves), with Boots.com owning 9.1% of the entire market and competitor Superdrug owning 8.7%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8331/PI_Data.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="509"></p> <h3>77% of APAC mobile ads delivered via apps </h3> <p>A new study by <a href="http://www.vpon.com/en/events/2017H1AsiaReport/index.html?utm_source=VPON_EN&amp;utm_medium=EN_PPR&amp;utm_term=TH&amp;vpadn_src=EN_PPR_TH" target="_blank">Vpon</a> has revealed that mobile advertising in Asia-Pacific heavily relies on apps, with 77% of such ads being delivered in-app, and just 23% via the mobile web.</p> <p>This figure rises to 90% in Indonesia, where app usage is at its highest. Similarly, 86% of ads are delivered via apps in India, while the same goes for 85% in Thailand and 82% in Malaysia.</p> <p>In contrast, countries in East Asia are leaning more towards mobile web, with China and Japan delivering just 34% and 33% of ads in apps respectively.</p> <h3>Private Eye is the UK’s most-read current affairs title</h3> <p>The Audit Bureau of Circulation (<a href="https://www.abc.org.uk/" target="_blank">ABC</a>) has named Private Eye as the most-read news and current affairs magazine in the UK, with a circulation of 249,927 per issue, and a growth of 8.6% year-on-year.</p> <p>For the same category, circulation of the Economist was up 5% in the UK to 248,196, while Prospect grew substantially with a rise of 37% to 44,545.</p> <p>In contrast to the popularity of some news titles, ABC noted a decline in women’s weekly magazines, which dropped almost 11% from the same period last year. Look magazine suffered a 35% drop in circulation to 58,561, while Now fell almost 21% to 84,588.</p> <p>Elsewhere, TV Choice was found to have the biggest readership in the UK overall, with a circulation of 1.2m.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our circulation is up 9% on this time last year, with an ABC of 249,927. Thanks to all of you for buying/subscribing!</p> — Private Eye Magazine (@PrivateEyeNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/PrivateEyeNews/status/895621655615086593">August 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3242 2017-08-16T04:05:45+01:00 2017-08-16T04:05:45+01:00 Proving Digital ROI <p>A one-day workshop which will demystify the concept of ROI (return on investment)  by instructing participants about the key metrics, calculation, and techniques for reporting marketing performance to management.</p> 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/69295 2017-08-09T11:43:04+01:00 2017-08-09T11:43:04+01:00 As companies embrace Amazon advertising, some SMBs struggle Patricio Robles <p>In fact, by some estimates, more than half of consumers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68345-over-half-of-consumers-now-turn-to-amazon-first-for-product-search">now turn to Amazon first – even before Google – when they want to search for a product</a>.</p> <p>As a result of this, a growing number of companies are treating Amazon as an advertising channel and taking advantage of its growing suite of ad offerings. </p> <p>These companies include large brands like L’Oréal, <a href="https://digiday.com/uk/loreal-uk-shifting-search-budget-amazon/">which is now shifting some of its ad budget to Amazon</a> to capitalize on the fact that more than a third of beauty searches start on the ecommerce platform.</p> <p>While Amazon ads still only make up a single digit percentage of L’Oréal's ad budget, L’Oréal digital director Nick Buckley says that his company is "buying up all the inventory" it can on Amazon for the beauty terms its makeup brand is interested in. And as it expands to other categories, like skincare, "this will naturally increase the scale."</p> <p>Interestingly, L’Oréal isn't necessarily expecting its Amazon ads to drive sales immediately, or even on Amazon.</p> <p>“We're seeing people initially go to Amazon to find out information about a product before then jumping outside of that to YouTube, where they can see how to apply those products," Buckley explained to Digiday. "Then, they're moving on to Google to compare that same product with others. [Amazon is] an ecommerce platform, but we believe it's more than that."</p> <h3>SMBs are still learning the ropes</h3> <p>But while large brands like L’Oréal embrace Amazon Ads, some small and medium-sized business (SMBs) advertising through the retail giant are struggling to capitalize.</p> <p>In fact, according to <a href="https://www.netelixir.com/blog/amazon-for-small-businesses-friend-or-foe/">a study</a> recently published by search marketing agency NetElixir, 40% of SMBs running paid ads on Amazon say they are ineffective. </p> <p>SMBs cited a number of reasons for this. 23.7% of respondents who said their Amazon ads were ineffective cited a lack of know-how as the likely reason why. Almost a quarter (23.5%) cited lack of budget, 20.7% questioned whether Amazon was the right channel for their business, and 15.1% believed they lacked the time to make the ads work.</p> <p>Clearly, despite <a href="https://digiday.com/media/advertisers-warm-amazons-increasing-ad-pitch/">its promise to agencies</a> that it will become an "ad platform leader" that delivers "best-in-class service" and "strategic consultation," Amazon has work to do in educating SMBs on the best ways to make effective use of its paid ad offerings.</p> <p>But that's not unexpected. After all, it took years before there was broad knowledge of Google and Facebook advertising, especially among SMBs.</p> <p>The good news is that advertisers willing to invest in getting ahead of the curve could very well find that they're rewarded for the effort, just as many early adopters of Google and Facebook advertising were. After all, there's still less demand for Amazon ads right now, and the demand that exists isn't necessarily from sophisticated advertisers, meaning those advertisers that figure out what they're doing first could have a period of time in which to capitalize.</p> <p>Additionally, as the return on investment for digital ad spend is dropping, there's an imperative for advertisers to explore newer advertising channels, and despite some early challenges, few look as promising as Amazon.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69318 2017-08-08T13:00:00+01:00 2017-08-08T13:00:00+01:00 How do we find a solution to the great shopping-cart abandonment problem? Greg Randall <p> <a href="http://www.smartinsights.com/ecommerce/ecommerce-analytics/ecommerce-conversion-rates/" target="_blank">Recent research from Adobe</a> has delivered shopping cart bailout rates by device: </p> <ul> <li>Average desktop shopping cart bailouts: 74%</li> <li>Average tablet shopping cart bailouts: 78%</li> <li>Average smartphone shopping cart bailouts: 84%</li> </ul> <p>There are two reasons as to why this data is alarming: </p> <ol> <li>The sheer volume of people making the effort to start the cart process and not finishing.</li> <li>The general acceptance of retailers that bailouts will always be high. There appears to be no real urgency and a sense of acceptance around poor checkout performance.</li> </ol> <p>Imagine if this was happening in a physical retail setting. If the CEO of a retail brand found 74% to 84% of consumers who selected an item, approached the till and then suddenly left the store without purchasing, he/she would become directly involved in finding out why and work to develop a solution. </p> <p>Why? Because the CEO recognises fixing the problem(s) would translate to millions in extra revenue.</p> <p>Online is no different and should be thought of in the same way.</p> <h3>The checkout process from the consumer’s perspective </h3> <p>To understand what is contributing to these high bailout percentages, retailers need to pause for a moment and understand the shopping cart process from the perspective of the consumer.</p> <p>Throughout the journey, the consumer has had full control of the content he/she wishes to engage with, prior to reaching the checkout process. The consumer has also had full control of the direction their journey has taken. They have gone forward and backwards to their hearts content.</p> <p>But (and this is a big “but”), once the consumer begins the shopping cart process, he/she loses all of this control. The consumer must follow and conform to a series of forward steps dictated by the retailer, delivering the necessary information deemed necessary BY the retailer, to satisfy the retailer's needs for a transaction. </p> <p>Great online experiences occur when the consumer feels they are in full control of their journey and their exposure to relevant content to engage with, from beginning to end. This includes the checkout process. </p> <p>This <a href="https://www.clickz.com/conversion-vs-persuasion-whats-your-challenge/57462/" target="_blank">experience dichotomy </a>(the consumer having full control leading up to the checkout process, then having no control through the checkout process) can be dissected into two experience types:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Persuasion experience:</strong> The experiences the consumers control, engaging with relevant content aligned to his/her need.</li> <li> <strong>Conversion experience:</strong> The linear process of a retailer requesting information, forcing consumers through specific steps, and taking payment.</li> </ol> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/8127/persuasion_conversion_funnel-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="549"></p> <p><em>Figure 1 - the persuasion and conversion stages of the funnel, with the checkout part of the linear conversion stage</em></p> <p>Herein lies the issue with shopping carts, it’s in complete contradiction to how today's “<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenrosenbaum/2015/07/16/the-new-world-of-the-empowered-consumer/#7ec4415f4aab" target="_blank">empowered consumer</a>” wants to engage and enjoy online experiences. The consumer always wants to be in control.As soon as the consumer is forced down a clunky series of steps, their sense of control is lost. </p> <h3>Why is this persuasion/conversion juxtaposition important to understand? </h3> <p><a href="https://baymard.com/blog/ecommerce-checkout-usability-report-and-benchmark" target="_blank">Don’t be one of those retailers or researchers who say</a> “a large portion of cart abandonments are simply a natural consequence of how users browse eCommerce sites”.</p> <p>This philosophy is a cop out. Consumers don’t come to a site not to engage and buy. Consumers who are intent driven, want the path of least resistance to fulfil a need.</p> <p>The truth is this, if the consumer had a better experience leading up to the shopping cart process, and was presented with a higher standard of checkout process,<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64680-six-tactics-for-reducing-cart-abandonment-rates" target="_blank"> less consumers would bail out</a>. So before a retailer considers high bailout percentages is something to accept, think again. </p> <p>Sure, there is an argument for consumers who legitimately want to view content online and go in store, but this article is not talking about reducing bailouts from 84% to 0%. But imagine the business impacts if bailouts are reduced from 84% to 50%?</p> <p>So what can be done to dramatically reduce shopping cart bailouts?</p> <h3>Solution #1 – Gain an understanding of how to create amazing online experiences</h3> <p>One of the biggest issues faced by retailers is they don't know what amazing online experiences are supposed to look like for their target consumers and existing customers. My recently published article in Econsultancy on the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences" target="_blank">10 principles required to create amazing online experiences</a> explains the approach to take, why these principles are crucial, and provides examples of how to activate each of them.</p> <p>Reading and understanding these principles is the first step. Once you have gained this appreciation, you can move on to the next set of solutions.</p> <h3>Solution #2 – Choose your shopping cart flow wisely?</h3> <p>What is the best shopping cart flow philosophy?</p> <p>Be careful not to become caught in the trap of thinking less shopping cart steps equals a better shopping cart experience. There is no correlation between reducing the number of shopping cart steps, and the reduction of “friction” produced (<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffromm/2016/11/23/ebay-seeks-to-reduce-consumer-friction-during-holiday-shopping/#6b7d62855b42" target="_blank">"friction" being the exact opposite of delivering a seamless and intuitive experience</a>). In fact there is a <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/negative-correlation.asp" target="_blank">negative correlation</a>.</p> <p>As at the end of 2016, the trends in the top 50 grossing US eCommerce shopping cart checkout flows for a first-time customer is 5.42 steps long. This has grown since 2012 where the average number of steps used to be 5.08.</p> <p>Have a look at Figure 2 below which <a href="https://baymard.com/blog/checkout-flow-average-form-fields" target="_blank">breaks down and compares the average checkout steps in 2012 vs 2016</a>. Notice how 1-to-3 step checkout flows have become less popular and 6-step checkouts more popular in ecommerce.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8128/checkout_steps.png" alt="" width="765" height="544"> </p> <p><em>Figure 2 - average checkout steps 2012 vs 2016, via Baymard.</em> </p> <h4>Why is the average number of checkout steps increasing?</h4> <p>Retailers are breaking down the checkout flow in a more granular approach to ensure specific steps are easy for consumers to understand and complete across all screen types.</p> <p>The most common step <a href="https://baymard.com/blog/checkout-flow-average-form-fields" target="_blank">requiring more information processing from the consumer is delivery/pick up options</a>. Consumers now commonly have options to pick up products in store at various times, or have multiple delivery options for orders to be sent to their home or place of work. And many also offer locker delivery/pick up options. </p> <p>Multiple pick-up and delivery options has a down side. This flexibility and control the retailer is offering is only advantageous if the selection process online is seamless and intuitive (or friction-less).</p> <p>To make the checkout steps longer falls in line with best practice customer experience design. The simplification of potentially complicated steps, reduces the likelihood of consumer confusion at this critical step. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences" target="_blank">It’s OK to add steps if they are intuitive and make sense to the consumer</a>.</p> <p>For retailers who are passionately attached to their one step checkout flow consider this…</p> <p>You are not asking the consumer for any less information. You are merely <a href="https://blog.kissmetrics.com/1step-checkout-right-way/" target="_blank">cramming the same information requirements into a single page/step</a> increasing the risk of confusion due to the construction of what can only be described as a complicated and busy looking page. This is why they are on the decline.</p> <h4>Amazon get’s it – “Amazon GO”</h4> <p>Amazon realised the power of reducing friction in the checkout process very early on, and worked exceptionally hard to deconstruct the traditional online cart process.</p> <p>This online passion has recently translated back to physical retail. You only need to look at their new physical grocery store concept (where there are no checkouts) to understand the passion and focus this retailer has for delivering frictionless checkout experiences.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NrmMk1Myrxc?ecver=2&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>While Amazon calls it “<a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/12/05/amazon-go-supermarket-no-checkout-no-cashiers-artificial-intelligence-sensors/94991612/" target="_blank">Just walk out technology</a>” they are simply taking checkouts away and in the process gaining deep consumer buying behaviour insights.</p> <h3>Solution #3: Analyse consumer shopping cart behaviours</h3> <p>Below are three example of the types of consumer behaviours to look out for and why:</p> <h4>a. Analyse the shopping cart journeys for those who do not purchase</h4> <p>Online behavioural measurement tools (such as Google Analytics) have the capability to follow consumers once they leave the cart process (for those who remain on the site). Analysing their journeys once leaving the checkout will deliver insight into the reasons why they left.</p> <h4>b. Introduce or improve the visibility of online chat support during the checkout process</h4> <p>Introduce an online chat tool with a call to action like "We Are Here to Help" in the checkout process. <a href="https://go.forrester.com/blogs/16-03-03-your_customers_dont_want_to_call_you_for_support/" target="_blank">Forrester</a> states that "53% of US online adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question."</p> <p>The introduction of chat achieves two things: </p> <ol> <li>Enables consumers to reach out to the retailer and ask quick questions in the middle of their checkout process without the need for them to leave. </li> <li>It delivers a valuable feedback loop by capturing insights from consumers in the “buying moment”. The consumer is reaching out because he/she is missing important information stopping them from continuing.</li> </ol> <h4>c. Analyse call centre data and interview call centre employees</h4> <p>This is an extension to the above tactic. For those who do not have chat available, consumers with intent will pick up the phone or email the support team with their questions. This data becomes another valuable feedback loop in uncovering why consumers are bailing.</p> <p>These frontline employees are the people who are confronted with "consumer pain” every day and have equipped themselves with the necessary tools to overcome objections and various queries to initiate a sale online. The data gathered from this and previous steps, informs the business of what changes can and should be made to stifle the need for future consumers to reach out for support.</p> <p>It's important to remember, the retailer's site has created this pain. The consumer has expectations of a seamlessly intuitive engaging experience where he/she is exposed to content relevant to their current need. The absence of this creates discomfort, frustration resulting in the creation of "consumer pain".</p> <p>Many times, consumers will leave in the hope another retailer (your competitor) will not deliver this same pain. And if this happens, you lose. This process of seeking out the "consumer pain" is a key part to gaining the right insights to inform the business of what changes in the shopping cart process must occur.</p> <h3>Solution #4: Audit the fields of information asked of consumers in the checkout </h3> <p>The checkout process is NOT the time to be pestering consumers for extra information. Only once they become customers (a “customer” is someone who has completed a transaction with a retailer) can you begin to ask permission for more information to improve future experiences.</p> <p>In an extensive review of checkout processes, a Baymard found (on average) the checkout contains 14.88 form fields. A deeper analysis revealed sites <a href="https://baymard.com/blog/checkout-flow-average-form-fields" target="_blank">can achieve a 20% to 60% reduction in the number of form fields</a>.</p> <p>This comes back to the reduction of friction and improving this linear experience.</p> <h3>Solution #5 – Improve the ease of use of the shopping cart</h3> <p>While consumers appreciate there are steps required to checkout, retailers need to work hard to construct a frictionless checkout journey for new and existing customers. By achieving this the consumer is given a sense of control because the steps and the information they provide makes intuitive sense to them.</p> <p>Baymard has <a href="https://baymard.com/blog/ecommerce-checkout-usability-report-and-benchmark">also found</a> that the act of reducing friction by fixing design improvements alone can improve shopping cart conversion rates by (approximately) 35%.</p> <p>While there are retargeting and cart abandonment email tactics, the most effective and robust business strategy is to close the consumer while they are initially engaging with you.</p> <p>The improvement of a shopping cart's ease of use can be brought to life through the activation of the 10 principles in creating amazing online experiences. </p> <h3>Applying the 10 principles</h3> <p>Now that the cart flow of choice is understood, the number of required fields has been audited and reduced, and valuable insights on what is causing the "consumer pain" has been gathered, there is enough to embark on and apply the 10 principles to dramatically improve checkout experiences (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences" target="_blank">refer to the 10 principles article for more context</a>).</p> <p><strong>Below is a high-level summary of what activating the 10 principles would look like:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Wireframes (or prototypes) are created showing the adjusted page layouts of each step of the shopping cart process.</li> <li>These wireframes are simultaneously created for all device types.</li> <li>Apply best practice “interaction cost” management and “value creation” across all wireframes.</li> <li>Respect and honour the fold across all device types when constructing wireframes.</li> <li>Ensure the call-to-action hierarchy is on point.</li> <li>Work closely with the design team to ensure the integrity of the wireframes is properly translated.</li> <li>Work closely with your eCommerce technology vendor on all changes. Protect the integrity of the planned changes and do not allow the eCommerce technology vendor to make changes or talk you out of the newly created "experience plan". If the vendor cannot make changes to enrich consumer experiences, they are not adding business value. </li> <li>Modify the behavioural measurement tool (such as Google Analytics) and tag all new changes being made.</li> <li>As a result of the new experiences being offered, new behaviours will appear requiring tight monitoring. Repeat Solution 3 and in time and make more changes based on new insights gathered.</li> </ol> <h3>JC Penney's shopping cart in action: </h3> <p>To add impact to the comments made above, and better articulate <strong>why</strong> shopping cart bailouts are as high as 84%, an assessment on a shopping cart process has been completed below. The purpose of this section is not to produce a detailed view of faults, it is to show a checkout experience through the eyes of the consumer and introduce the potential friction points being created from a known brand. </p> <p>The example below is of JC Penney’s desktop cart process for “International Customers” (those outside of the US).   </p> <h4>The Consumer’s Step 1 - My Bag: </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8130/my_bag_step.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p>The first step shows the product, the pricing, saving options and “Ship to home”. There are calls to action both above and below the fold. The only criticism at this stage is the absence of expectation setting for two important things:</p> <ol> <li>The delivery cost (something very important for international consumers).</li> <li>The absence of a "progress bar" or visual element indicating the number of steps required to complete the checkout process. </li> </ol> <p>For today’s consumer (who wants to be in control), <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenrosenbaum/2015/07/16/the-new-world-of-the-empowered-consumer/#39fd16ef4aab" target="_blank">setting expectation is an important part of delivering amazing online experiences</a>. </p> <h4>The Consumer’s Step 2 - Sign In:</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8131/jc_sign_in.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p>Upon selecting the “Checkout” call to action in the previous step, the consumer is taken to the "Sign In" step. In this scenario, the “Continue As Guest” is selected.  </p> <p>The comment to make here is the size and visibility of the "Sign In" button. On this page, there are two different actions a consumer can take, both are of equal importance depending on the consumer's circumstance. So why is the "Sign In" button for repeat customers so much smaller? The risk with this <a href="https://www.usertesting.com/blog/2015/09/29/11-characteristics-of-persuasive-call-to-action-buttons/" target="_blank">call to action imbalance</a> is returning customers will select the large blue button purely because it is visually stronger.  </p> <p>It's good "Sign In" is a different colour to "Continue as Guest", but they both should be the identical size. Both buttons should also be right aligned within their space of the page to signal forward momentum (a common tactic used for the <a href="https://repositori.upf.edu/bitstream/handle/10230/20943/CHI_mcmarcos.pdf;sequence=1" target="_blank">Western Culture, essentially those who read left to right)</a>. </p> <h4>The Consumer’s Step 3 - Shipping: </h4> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8132/aussie_shipping_step.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p>Once the consumer selects "Continue as Guest" they are presented with what's shown above. The consumer has already completed 2 steps, and yet the title at the top of this page presents “Step 1 Shipping”. This may be “Step 1” for JC Penney, but it’s not for the consumer. This introduces friction.  </p> <p>The checkout process begins as a "multi step" then moves to accordion, this is where the accordion format begins. For the consumer, this is another point of friction introduced. The consumer began with moving from one page/step to another in the first two steps, and now they are confronted with a format where the pages are layered vertically over top of each other.   </p> <p>Another source of friction is the competing call to actions on this page.  In this step, it visually looks as if the “View Coupons” call to action is the most important action the consumer is to take on this checkout step. This is a good example of the call to action hierarchy gone wrong.</p> <p>In the checkout, its crucial for all call to actions to… </p> <ol> <li>be visually clear and obvious</li> <li>be the dominant action for every step</li> <li>use wording that sets expectations as to what happens if they click on it. For example, instead of “Continue” shown in Figure 5, use “Continue to Payment”.</li> </ol> <p>Structuring checkout CTA's in this way reduces friction.</p> <p>Once a consumer goes through the process of entering their address details, they select “Continue” (see Figure 5). Because the consumer has entered all the necessary fields of information displayed on the page and selects the “Continue” call to action, <strong>his/her expectation is they will be moving on to another step</strong>. However, once the consumer selects “Continue”, the page refreshes and displays the information shown below: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8133/shipping_options.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p>For the consumer, whenever a page refreshes, their eyes do not know where to travel (this is the danger in using page refresh). When the page refreshes, the consumer seeks out visual cues to verify the system has captured their delivery information and they have moved on to the next step. However, JC Penney keeps the consumer in the same step and presents “Shipping Methods” at the bottom of the page (see the image above). This is another source of friction; the consumer's expectations have not been met.  </p> <p>What makes this potentially worse is, for many smaller laptop screens the "Shipping Method" content and page elements will not be visible above the fold, so the page would refresh and the consumer would essentially see the same page and content.  It is at this moment the consumer will lose confidence thinking the system is broken and will produce anxiety because this page is dealing with the consumer's personal details. More friction.</p> <h3>Taking a step back</h3> <p>Think back to the conversion earlier where consumers want to be in control throughout their experience. When consumers reach content not quite what they are looking for, one of the more common consumer behaviours is to take a “Back” step.  If there is no obvious “Back” step within the page, the consumer will use their browser back button.   </p> <p>If the consumer lands on the payment page (see below) and takes a back step, they are moved back to the Sign In page (also shown below). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8134/payment.png" alt="" width="615"> </p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8136/sign_in_again.png" alt="" width="615"> </p> <p><em>Hitting the back button in browser takes users from the JC Penney checkout back to the sign-in page</em></p> <p>The consumer's definition of a "back step" is the <strong>previous step.</strong> The technology has taken him/her back to the Sign In page. Friction.</p> <p>Technically, this makes sense, the accordion checkout does not produce a URL, the browser back button takes consumers to the previous URL, but none of this helps the consumer who has an expectation of moving back one step.  </p> <h3><strong>Conclusion</strong></h3> <p>In the physical retail setting, it's unusual for a consumer to leave the till without purchasing the product, the same philosophy should be taken to online.  </p> <p>The difference is, retailers need to work harder to keep consumers in the online checkout process. The online checkout is a faceless, cold, impersonal medium where consumers are doing two things they hate the most: filling out forms and parting with their hard-earned money.  </p> <p>As can be seen by the JC Penney commentary above, friction can easily be introduced and lead to high bailout rates.</p> <p>Retailers need to lift their standard of empathy towards consumers during the checkout process and extinguish all elements of friction being delivered in the checkout process for all devices.  </p> <p>As this article illustrates, there is a lot of work to get this right. And the numbers don't lie, not many retailers are doing a good job of this.</p> <p>Many retailers will look at the bailout data and shrug their shoulders in despair, but it is these exact numbers that springs me out of bed every morning. The opportunity in getting this right is huge and worth the effort.</p> <p>In a world where retailers struggle to find a point of difference, adopting the above process and fixing the checkout process is a robust approach to lifting revenues.</p> <p><em><strong>Econsultancy subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/ecommerce-checkout-guidelines-digital-marketing-template-files/">Ecommerce Checkout Guidelines template files</a></strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69292 2017-08-06T13:30:00+01:00 2017-08-06T13:30:00+01:00 This online retailer uses AI for product categorisation – here's how Ben Davis <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing">15 examples of artificial intelligence in marketing</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68921-an-introduction-to-ai-powered-ecommerce-merchandising/">An introduction to AI-powered ecommerce merchandising</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69098-could-ai-revolutionize-high-street-retail-as-well-as-ecommerce/">Could AI revolutionize high street retail as well as ecommerce?</a></li> </ul> <p>In this blog post, we’ll be talking to the founder of <a href="https://www.lovethesales.com/">LoveTheSales.com</a>, Stuart McClure, about the company’s use of machine learning in ecommerce, as well as taking a more technical dive into algorithm training with CTO David Bishop. Before we start, let me point out that this year's Festival of Marketing has a whole stage (one of 12) dedicated to AI. <a href="https://goo.gl/nJMlTI">View the agenda and get your tickets here</a>.</p> <h3>AI for product tagging</h3> <p>LovetheSales.com was founded in 2013 and is a retail sales aggregator where consumers can find more than a million sales items from hundreds of retailers.</p> <p>Machine learning is used to classify these products, tagging them to enable the website to sort them into the right categories and to show a user products they may be interested in.</p> <p>McClure explains the need for a machine learning-led approach:</p> <p>“Given that we’ve got that massive catalogue of products that can change and shift very quickly - as products on sale can change in price or sell out - we recognised that we needed a pretty clever tool. We had a legacy tool that we built, based on Boolean search, which was alright, but it didn’t really understand the nuances of products. As a startup and essentially a tech business, we knew that AI would help.”</p> <p>“We built a tool that could classify a million plus products based on training data,. It would then sort products into the right parts of the website.”</p> <p>Simply put, the models that the LoveTheSales team used would tag a trainer, for example, understanding it was a trainer made of a specific material, in a specific colour, with a certain heel etc. Similarly, a shirt would be classified as such, with tags for sleeve length, collar type, pattern type and more.</p> <p>Additionally, brand tags, price tags and such can give a good idea of the types of products a particular consumer is viewing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8054/Screen_Shot_2017-08-02_at_16.28.21.png" alt="lovethesales.com homepage" width="615" height="298"></p> <p><em>The lovethesales.com homepage</em></p> <p>That all sounds very simple, you may think. Why exactly is cognitive computing necessary?</p> <p>The answer lies in the reliability of retailer data. McClure explains that this was one of the first problems the company encountered. “One retailer might give us amazing data and another could give us the same set of products but with awful data,” he said, continuing, “We use a text based classification tool, training various models with both positive and negative examples.”</p> <p>What this means is that the retailer data for a trainer, for example, may not even include the word ‘trainer’, but if it includes the word ‘sneaker’, or if the product description includes words or phrases that the model predicts are associated with a trainer product, then a tag can be applied with a certain degree of accuracy.</p> <p>McClure points out that as with many other machine learning use cases, the models can prove eerily accurate. He says “The really cool thing is, we’ll have examples, loads of them, where you’ll get say 100 shirts and there’ll be a piece of data that has nothing in it at all to say it’s a shirt, but the model has classified it correctly as a shirt because of the surrounding context.”</p> <p>As an aside, to my mind the most intriguing example of this eery accuracy is the pricing model developed by Airbnb. In an article about the Aerosolve algorithm, McClure states that the algorithm has become so effective that the pricing tips given to hosts in data-rich cities can be an accurate indicator of new micro-neighbourhoods. Essentially, Airbnb is mapping gentrification and charging guests accordingly.</p> <h3>A more technical explanation of training</h3> <p>David Bishop, CTO at LoveTheSales, has previously written <a href="http://www.kdnuggets.com/2017/07/squeeze-most-from-training-data.html">in greater detail </a>how the training of this tagging model works.</p> <p>I think it's worthwhile reposting some of his explanation of supervised learning, to offer the layman greater insight.</p> <p>Though the initial language is daunting - Bishop declaring “We have architected a hierarchical tree of chained 2-class linear (Positive vs Negative) Support Vector Machines (LibSVM), each responsible for binary document classification of each hierarchical class” - a few diagrams can add some clarity.</p> <p>Bishop writes that one might have assumed that these support vector machines (which are essentially models that give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to whether an item is, for example, a trainer) would be structured in a similar way to the website menu hierarchy picture below. i.e. Ask first ‘Is it clothing?’ Then ask ’Is it mens clothing?’ Then ‘Is it a mens shirt?’</p> <p>However, this structure entails two new SVMs to be trained every time a new sub category is added (e.g. mens swimwear and women swimwear). As Bishop states, “Overall, deep hierarchical structures can be too rigid to work with.”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8051/Screen_Shot_2017-08-02_at_16.25.25.png" alt="svm structure" width="615"></p> <p><em>A naive approach to support vector machine structure</em></p> <p>What Bishop and his team did was to flatten the data structures as shown below into sub-trees. This means simple set-based logic can be used to ‘traverse the SVM hierarchy’ - e.g. Mens Slim-fit jeans = (Mens and Jeans and Slim Fit) and not Womens</p> <p>The number of SVM’s required is therefore reduced using this method.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8052/Screen_Shot_2017-08-02_at_16.25.36.png" alt="svm training structure" width="615"></p> <p><em>Flattened structure for SVMs</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8053/Screen_Shot_2017-08-02_at_16.25.46.png" alt="classification overlap training svms" width="615"></p> <p><em>Illustration of set-based logic</em></p> <p>This set-based logic means a new class (such as ‘childrens’) would exponentially increase the number of final categories (producing categories such as children shirts, tops etc.) with additional training data only needed to classify if the item is ‘children’s or not (one more SVM).</p> <p>This is where it gets clever. Bishop writes that they were able to “[re-use] training data, via linked data relationships.”</p> <p>“For example”, he writes, “given some basic domain knowledge of the categories - we know for certain that ‘Washing machines’ can never be ‘Carpet cleaners’”</p> <p>‘Re-using’ that data means that positive training examples for washing machines can be used as negative training examples for carpet cleaners.</p> <p>Therefore when training data is added to improve the ‘Carpet Cleaners’ SVM - “it inadvertently improves the ‘Washing machines’ class, via linked negative data.”</p> <p>Bishop adds that “another chance for reuse, that is apparent when considering a hierarchy, is that the positive training data for any child nodes, is also always positive training data for it’s parent. For example: ‘Jeans’ are always ‘Clothing’.”</p> <p>You can see how this sort of methodology quickly reduces the amount of ‘manual labour’ in providing training examples for SVMs, and offers greater flexibility.</p> <h3>Machine learning doesn’t have to be ‘that’ difficult</h3> <p>LoveTheSales.com is run by a small team but that doesn't preclude development of AI-based tech. The machine learning described above makes use of an open-source library and according to McClure the team is "working on an additional tier of this sort of technology which is basically a machine learning recommendation engine."</p> <p>It's clear that McClure believe the use of machine learning, though democratised, is rather mythologised in the press and made to seem more difficult that it actually is.</p> <p>However, he does note, when discussing the calculation of customer lifetime value, that "having your data in the right format" is key. As retailers seek to improve their data infrastructure and use reliable data, the machine learning part is much more achievable.</p> <p><em>Are you a retailer using machine learning? Get in touch to let us know how, or leave a comment below.</em></p> 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>