tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ecommerce Latest Ecommerce content from Econsultancy 2017-05-23T00:02:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69107 2017-05-23T00:02:00+01:00 2017-05-23T00:02:00+01:00 Three risky customer experience (CX) initiatives Jeff Rajeck <p>If you need some help with CX, Econsultancy recently published a report,<a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/implementing-a-customer-experience-cx-strategy-best-practice-guide"> Implementing a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy Best Practice Guide</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events/cx-trends-data-and-best-practice-apac-time-zone/">we are offering a webinar</a> which offers a glimpse of the report on Thursday, May 25th (11:30AM SGT). </p> <h3>1) Surge pricing for deliveries</h3> <p>Redmart is an online, home delivery supermarket based in Singapore which provides all the bells-and-whistles that one might expect from a digital leader in 2017. One way it has pulled ahead of the pack, though, is in how it schedules deliveries.</p> <p>Once customers have finished their shopping, they are asked to choose a two-hour slot for delivery. But instead of offering free delivery at all times, <strong>Redmart has made a risky decision and imposed 'surge pricing' at popular delivery times.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6275/redmart.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="514"></p> <p>That is, if you can only accept groceries at a particularly busy time then you are charged for your otherwise 'free' delivery. On the plus side, if you can receive groceries at an unpopular time you pay nothing for delivery or even get a small rebate.</p> <p>This is a risky strategy as <strong>most companies do not like to add visible surcharges to services initially offered for 'free'. </strong></p> <p>The customer benefit of this innovation is that those who have a tight schedule can be sure to get the delivery time that they need at a small extra cost. And those who are flexible enough to make the company's schedule just a little bit easier benefit with a small discount.</p> <h3>2) Using customer rewards to encourage criticism</h3> <p>Qoo10 (pronounced 'cue ten') is a popular online marketplace in Southeast Asia.</p> <p>The company's main strength is that customers can buy low-cost products from China and find obscure items globally through one shopping and payments hub. This strength, however, is also a weakness as <strong>the company's customer experience is dependent on the performance of its merchants.</strong></p> <p>To encourage its partners to deliver quality products on time, Qoo10 take a significant risk. <strong>The site rewards each customer with redeemable Qpoints when they verify delivery</strong> and offers additional points to those who take a photo and write a short review.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6276/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="221"></p> <p>The result of this simple mechanism is that every product listing is accompanied by numerous comments about the quality of the merchant's services, including photographs of the received items. These are largely positive but in many instances customers make it clear when they receive poor quality goods or late delivery.</p> <p>On one hand, encouraging comments risks damaging the site's reputation but, on the other, <strong>having reviews from multiple, unrelated customers enhances the overall customer experience.</strong></p> <p>Qoo10 consumers can take comfort that they can order from suppliers outside of their home country without worrying too much about their commitment to customer service.</p> <h3>3) Significant discounts for those working in the sharing economy</h3> <p>As everywhere, southeast Asia is now enjoying the benefits of the 'sharing economy' through taxi-hailing apps. In Singapore, one of the main companies in this space is called Grab.</p> <p>In Singapore, however, <strong>Grab drivers must purchase commercial auto insurance even if they are only working for Grab on a casual basis.</strong></p> <p>In response to this requirement, AXA has decided to take a risk to serve its customers better.  The company now offers an insurance product which <strong>reduces the cost of the commercial insurance for part-time drivers by 30% and then charges drivers on a per-km basis</strong>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6277/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="302"></p> <p>This means that <strong>the firm is, in essence, leaving money on the table</strong> so that Grab drivers who work on a part-time basis pay less for insurance than those working full-time.  Customers clearly benefit in this case at a significant and measurable cost to the company.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>Whether its risking <strong>upsetting customers with additional fees</strong> (Redmart), <strong>exposing bad merchants in your marketplace</strong> (Qoo10) or <strong>leaving money on the table</strong> (AXA), companies are taking significant risks to improve their overall customer experience.</p> <p>Whether any of these strategies will pay off is uncertain, but to enjoy the benefits of improving customer experience, it is likely that more companies will have to undertake similar, risky initiatives.</p> <p>*Forrester study: <a href="https://www.forrester.com/Only+One+In+Five+Companies+Deliver+Good+Or+Great+CX/-/E-PRE9504">One in Five companies Delivers Good or Great CX</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69103 2017-05-19T14:04:48+01:00 2017-05-19T14:04:48+01:00 10 fascinating digital marketing statistics from this week David Moth <p>As always, for more delicious data make sure to download our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</p> <h3>Searching for insurance</h3> <p>Pi Datametrics has published a report looking at which insurance brands perform best in search.</p> <p>It found that Moneysupermarket, Comparethemarket and Gocompare hoover up 47% of the Share of Voice (see the report for a full definition), with the top three most valuable search terms being car insurance, travel insurance and home insurance.</p> <p>However, ‘motor’ is by far the most valuable area, with nearly double the organic value of ‘buildings and contents’. There’s loads more data and insight <a href="https://www.pi-datametrics.com/resources/market-performance-reports/insurance/">in the full report</a>.</p> <p><em>Share of Voice among insurance brands</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6237/insurance_chart.png" alt="" width="700" height="448"></p> <h3>Abandonment rates</h3> <p>Finance websites have the highest average abandonment rate of any industry at 83.5%, according to data from Salecycle.</p> <p>Its Q1 2017 report shows that the average abandonment rate across all sectors is 75.6%, with 52.3% of all abandonments taking place on mobile. Check out <a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/post/infographic-remarketing-report-q1-2017/">this blog for more</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6239/abandonment_rate.png" alt="" width="700" height="444"></p> <h3>Challenger banks </h3> <p>Data <a href="http://hitwise.connexity.com/Retail-Banking-UK.html">from Hitwise shows</a> that website visits to the UK’s top challenger banks such as Monzo and Atom have increased by over 50% over the past year.</p> <p>In contrast, high street banks only saw a 1% increase, though that’s obviously from a much higher base.</p> <p>The data also shows there was a 19% increase in searches for credit card applications in January and February year-on-year.</p> <h3>UK online sales stats </h3> <p>Data from <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/bulletins/retailsales/apr2017#whats-the-story-in-online-sales">the ONS</a> shows that online retail sales in the UK for April increased by 19% year-on-year. Ecommerce now accounts for 16% of all retailing, compared to 14% in April 2016. On average UK consumers spent £1bn online each week.</p> <p><em>Summary of internet statistics, April 2017</em></p> <h3><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6227/ONS_sales.png" alt="" width="650" height="374"></em></h3> <h3>The perfect partnership</h3> <p>According <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-top-companies-2017-where-uk-wants-work-now-isabelle-roughol">to LinkedIn</a>, the John Lewis Partnership is the place everyone in the UK wants to work.</p> <p>The partnership, made up of John Lewis and Waitrose, topped the chart for the second successive year. LinkedIn works out the ranking using a combination of data points including reach, job interest and retention.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6231/top_companies.png" alt="" width="700" height="396"></p> <h3>Consumer demands</h3> <p>A study by Sapio Research on behalf of Zetes has revealed something we already knew to be true – people are impatient.</p> <p>The survey of 2,022 people across Europe found that 70% of customers would not be willing to wait more than five minutes in-store to find out whether an item is out of stock. Apparently 30% wouldn’t wait longer than two minutes, though this seems slightly hard to believe.</p> <p>The study also asked more broadly about the customer experience, finding that over three quarters (78%) of customers would consider not using a retailer again if a delivery was late or incomplete three times, with nearly a third (31%) prepared to accept just one late or incomplete delivery.</p> <h3>Enter via the product page</h3> <p>More than a third of online retail shopping journeys begin on a product page, according to data from FoundIt.</p> <p>Product pages were the entry point for 36% of users on average, but this increased to 46% for some retailers. This is apparently caused in part by the prominence of Google Shopping ads.</p> <p>There’s loads more data and insight <a href="http://www.foundit.com/blog/product-pages-google-shopping-a-customer-journey-battleground/">in this blog post</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6234/entry_points.gif" alt="" width="392" height="424"></p> <h3>Great customer expectations</h3> <p>New data from Salesforce shows that 73% of respondents said poor customer service was the main reason for not purchasing from a company, compared to too much advertising (25%) and not having a mobile app (4%).</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.salesforce.com/uk/blog/2017/05/connected-uk-customer-experience.html">Connected UK Customer Report</a> found that online customer service is improving rapidly. Half (50%) of UK adults say it has improved in the past five years and only 7% of consumers say it is worse.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6235/Salesforce.png" alt="" width="700" height="364"></p> <p>Finally, more than one in three (36%) respondents said that an inconsistent experience across mobile, online and in-store put them off a brand and a further third (36%) said offers that weren’t relevant to them put them off purchasing.</p> <h3>How to do Google Shopping</h3> <p>Clicteq has created <a href="http://clicteq.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/7-Advanced-Google-Shopping-Strategies-01-2-768x6882.jpg">a nifty infographic</a> that gives tips on how to use Google Shopping. It includes some handy data to back up its points.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6236/Clicteq.png" alt="" width="700" height="404"></p> <p>That's your lot this week. If you're hungry for more, head over to our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69095 2017-05-18T14:10:00+01:00 2017-05-18T14:10:00+01:00 How Coca-Cola is using smartphone data to personalise in-store ads Nikki Gilliland <p>It’s not such a far-fetched notion. Recently, Coca-Cola started using Google technologies to target consumers in US grocery stores. So, how does it work exactly? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h3>Ads in grocery aisles</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68051-six-case-studies-that-show-how-digital-out-of-home-advertising-is-changing/" target="_blank">Digital out-of-home advertising</a> typically uses contextual data to display relevant ads, e.g. a Coke billboard that changes depending on the weather. Digital signs (such as those at bus stops or in buildings) also use data in this way.</p> <p>The problem for brands like Coca-Cola, however, is the high cost of these ads, combined with a lack of any real <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67070-why-personalisation-is-the-key-to-gaining-customer-loyalty/" target="_blank">personalisation</a> or targeting to individual consumers. This is where Google-integrated ‘endcaps’ come in – a term used to describe advertisements at the front of grocery store aisles. (Endcaps are fairly common in the US, but less so in the UK.) </p> <p>These endcaps serve ads to passing consumers based on their smartphone data, using a combination of Google’s DoubleClick and location-based technologies.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6150/Endcaps.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="439"></p> <p>The data includes anything from your basic gender or age demographic to previous browsing history. So, an ad could change from Coke Zero to Glacéau Smartwater if it recognises a preference for healthier products, for instance.</p> <p>The aim is to connect and engage with consumers to drive sales of the brand in retail stores – however Coca-Cola has also suggested that it benefits other brands and products within the same category (in this case soft drinks). This sounds somewhat improbable, but moving on. </p> <h3>Creepy or enhanced customer experience?</h3> <p>The real question is: Will consumers will be happy to receive super targeted ads, or does this level of personalisation veer into creepy territory? This generally remains one of the biggest issues for marketers, with <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/14/privacy-and-information-sharing/" target="_blank">research from Pew</a> suggesting that consumers do not want to trade privacy for personalisation. </p> <p>It found that people are particularly negative about targeted ads if they are unaware of what is happening or do not provide outright consent. However, the study also found that consumers are more willing to accept data tracking if ads are highly relevant or beneficial, e.g. offering discounts or coupons.</p> <p>Fortunately, Coca-Cola’s endcaps also involve communicating wirelessly with devices to send tailored offers or coupons, also meaning people do not have to log-in or stand still. This could be one benefit, but it is unlikely to satisfy all consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6151/Google_tech_Coca_Cola.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="544"></p> <h3>Will it catch on?</h3> <p>While this example from Coke appears to be a first, it’s clear that tracking physical consumers is becoming a pressing concern for the retail industry as a whole. </p> <p>Online retailers can easily hone strategies based on metrics like click-throughs and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67120-12-ways-to-reduce-basket-abandonment-on-your-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">basket abandonment rates</a> – so it’s understandable that offline retailers want to build a similar picture of consumer behaviour. </p> <p>Interestingly, a report by <a href="https://dxc.turtl.co/story/55ee93d8bbfd077f2d4e22ee" target="_blank">CSC</a> recently suggested that as many as 30% of retailers are now using facial-recognition technology to track customers in-store. By comparing certain facial characteristics with browsing or buying behaviour, retailers are able to predict intent and deliver relevant ads. Unsurprisingly, CSC also reports that 33% of consumers think the technology is intrusive, while 56% do not even know what it is.</p> <p>Whether consumers are creeped out or keen for this kind of in-store tech – with Coca-Cola set to roll out endcaps to thousands of US stores – we could be seeing much more of it in future.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/">What's now &amp; next for digital technology in retail stores?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67418-what-is-location-based-advertising-why-is-it-the-next-big-thing/" target="_blank">What is location-based advertising &amp; why is it the next big thing?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67038-11-ways-to-track-online-to-offline-conversions-and-vice-versa/" target="_blank">11 ways to track online to offline conversions (and vice versa)</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69078 2017-05-18T10:55:05+01:00 2017-05-18T10:55:05+01:00 How brands are tapping into the transformation economy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what brands are taking this approach? Here are just a few examples. </p> <h3>Nike</h3> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63129-10-awesome-digital-marketing-campaigns-from-nike/">Nike’s branding</a> has always evoked notions of self improvement and positivity, this has been in more of an inspirational sense rather than in terms of the actual product offering. Of course, sports gear can be a key tool when it comes to physical transformation, but examples like the Nike+ app offer a much more tangible way of achieving it.</p> <p>Through the Nike+ app users can join local running clubs, track and monitor progress, and even set goals based on personal ability. By offering data in return, customers are essentially able to use the Nike brand to help make getting and keeping fit a much richer personal experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5979/Nike_.JPG" alt="" width="752" height="633"></p> <h3>Selfridges</h3> <p>According to the 2014 Boston Consulting Group report, of the $1.8trn spent on ‘luxuries’ in 2013, nearly 55% was spent on luxury experiences. More often than not, these experiences tend to be rooted in a quest for health or wellness – which is also the idea behind retail initiatives like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68034-how-selfridges-s-body-studio-blurs-the-lines-between-digital-in-store/" target="_blank">Selfridges’ Body Studio</a>.</p> <p>Located in the London Oxford Street store, the space includes a clean-eating café and a hair studio. It also holds regular fitness events and motivational talks.</p> <p>You could argue that the Body Studio is more of a marketing exercise, simply a selection of products packaged up and sold under the umbrella of ‘wellness’. After all, shoppers aren’t going to feel all <em>that</em> different after a visit. Having said that, I think it still demonstrates how brands and retailers are using the power of transformation and related experiences to drive the sales of products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uObtsABLuhY?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>District Vision</h3> <p>While District Vision is largely an ecommerce brand – selling eyewear for runners – it also sees its events and experiences as part of its product offering.</p> <p>The company, which began in New York, is based on the idea that ‘mental wellbeing is the foundation of every form of physical exercise’. As a result, it also offers a meditation and running program that helps runners to – you guessed it – run and meditate at the same time.  </p> <p>So, as both a wellness company and an ecommerce business, District Vision is one of the first real examples of a brand set up to be transformative - rather than as a by-product of a marketing strategy. By using its values as the very basis of its product research and development – as well as the paid-for events it offers on top – it is able to offer consumers a way to better themselves both physically and mentally.</p> <p>It’s a tall order, of course, but it’s certainly a bit more enticing than just paying for a designer logo.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5978/District_Vision.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="462"></p> <h3>Headspace</h3> <p>Headspace, the mindfulness app, proves that meditation can be the basis of a viable business model. In fact, it has used a subscription-based service – which offers unlimited access to sessions for £7.96 a month – to generate a reported annual revenue of over $50m.</p> <p>Naturally, this would not be possible if there was not the demand from consumers. And with the increase in technology and social media, issues relating to anxiety, mental health, self-esteem, and exhaustion are also on the up.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What are you trying to cram into your day that could wait until tomorrow? <a href="https://t.co/vNsT7zoaIi">pic.twitter.com/vNsT7zoaIi</a></p> — Headspace (@Headspace) <a href="https://twitter.com/Headspace/status/861279481318617088">May 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While the transformative aspect of Headspace is clear – with the aim of reducing the stresses and strains of everyday life – it could also be seen as revolutionary in a wider sense. By helping to bring awareness to mental health issues, it has also helped to change common perceptions, while making meditation a widely accepted part of modern life. </p> <p><em><strong>Related article:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68701-the-impact-of-the-sharing-economy-on-retail/" target="_blank">The impact of the sharing economy on retail</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69075 2017-05-15T15:00:00+01:00 2017-05-15T15:00:00+01:00 Is it too early to predict that Amazon will win the voice-controlled speaker market? Patricio Robles <p>Thus far, it appears that Amazon is winning <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Alexa-Say-What-Voice-Enabled-Speaker-Usage-Grow-Nearly-130-This-Year/1015812">according to</a> eMarketer, which says that Amazon's lineup of Alexa-powered Echo speaker devices will capture 70.6% of the market this year, handily beating Google's Home device, which will capture 23.8% of the market.</p> <p>While the size of the market is still small, it's growing rapidly. eMarketer predicts that just over 35m Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month in 2017, a nearly 129% increase over last year.</p> <p>eMarketer believes that Amazon's share of the market will fall in coming years at Google's expense, but the research firm still expects that "Amazon will remain the dominant player in the category for the foreseeable future."</p> <h3>And there's little reason to believe that Google can do anything to change that.</h3> <p>In April of this year, Amazon unveiled the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69051-will-amazon-s-echo-look-help-grow-the-market-for-voice-based-intelligent-personal-assistants/">Echo Look</a>, a $200 fashion-centric voice-activated personal assistant that features a camera capable of taking full-length photos and videos. It's integrated with Style Check, an Amazon service that offers up fashion recommendations, making it a potentially perfect voice-controlled speaker Trojan horse to lure millions of consumers who love fashion.</p> <p>But Amazon isn't stopping there. Last week, it announced yet another Echo device, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J24C0TI">the Echo Show</a>, which features a 7-inch screen, phone and videoconferencing capabilities. Amazon's pitch:</p> <blockquote> <p>Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.</p> </blockquote> <p>The new device will bring to four the total number of voice-activated personal assistant devices Amazon sells. The other three devices are the Echo, Echo Dot and aforementioned Echo Look. Google only offers one Google Home device.</p> <h3>The Amazon advantages</h3> <p>Beyond its ability to launch new devices tailored to specific price points and consumer groups, Amazon has a number of advantages over Google. These include:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Amazon Music.</strong> One of the most popular applications for voice-controlled speakers is music. Both Amazon and Google's devices integrate with a number of popular services, such as Spotify and Pandora, and Google has its own music service, Google Play Music. But Amazon arguably has an edge here because it gives its tens of millions of Prime members free access to Prime Music, a streaming service that offers more than 2m songs. For an additional $7.99 per month, Prime members can upgrade to Prime Unlimited, which offers 10m songs including new releases. </li> <li> <strong>Voice commerce.</strong> In addition to a compelling music streaming service, Amazon gives owners of Echo devices the ability to place Amazon orders by voice. This is arguably one of the Echo devices' biggest selling points and despite the fact that Google does allow Google Home owners to place voice orders for Google Express, there's simply no comparing Google Express to the Amazon marketplace.</li> <li> <strong>A means to make money without advertising.</strong> Google makes the bulk of its money from text-based search ads and a number of analysts have noted that increased use of voice search could eventually cut into this revenue stream. While Google has stated that it wouldn't distribute audio ads via Google Home, at least not yet, it has <a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/3/16/14948696/google-home-assistant-advertising-beauty-and-the-beast">already sort of broken this promise</a>. Because of its retail business and Amazon Prime, Amazon can avoid thorny advertising-based monetization techniques if it so chooses. Google seemingly can't.</li> </ul> <p>Obviously, Google should have an advantage over Amazon's Alexa personal assistant when it comes to search – and <a href="http://searchengineland.com/google-home-amazon-echo-262438">apparently does</a> in the eyes of some thus far – but it looks like Google will have a far harder time catching up to Amazon outside of search.</p> <p>Given that Amazon already has a sizable lead over Google in the voice-controlled speaker market and is adding new devices and features at a more rapid pace, it might not be too early to declare Amazon the likely winner of the space and for companies integrating their services into the Alexa and Actions on Google platforms to hedge their bets accordingly.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69059 2017-05-15T09:37:14+01:00 2017-05-15T09:37:14+01:00 Preparing for a Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration Paul Rogers <p>Overall, I’d say that a lot of the initial instabilities of Magento 2 have now been resolved and the platform is now proven at most levels.</p> <p>A lot of the Magento partners who were previously struggling with the transition are now far more positive and even more so around the upcoming 2.2 release. There are also now a number of known-brand Magento 2 <a href="https://paulnrogers.com/magento-2-websites/">stores</a> on the platform - including Osprey and Helly Hansen (both launched by Vaimo), Cycle Republic (launched by The Pixel), Gear4 (launched by GPMD) and Oliver Sweeney (launched by Redbox).</p> <p>Other live stores include Land Rover, Graze.com, Soak &amp; Sleep and Venroy. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6076/osprey.jpg" alt="osprey" width="800" height="391"></p> <p><em>Osprey's website on Magento 2</em></p> <p>One thing to bear in mind is that moving to Magento 2 is not an upgrade, but a full-scale replatforming exercise. Magento 2 bears many similarities to 1.x versions, both in the front end and the admin area, but it is fundamentally a different platform, with wholly new coding structures and database architecture.</p> <p>As such, any transition to Magento 2 requires careful planning and execution. In this article, I’ve attempted to set out a basic road map for those merchants now looking to make the transition in a measured and sensitive way.</p> <h3>Take stock of what you have</h3> <p>The first step in the transition process is to conduct an assessment of your current installation. This should incorporate a functional definition of your operations, highlighting any areas that are specific to your organisation (custom extensions, integrations and workflows), areas where the Magento platform could be improved to meet your needs (and generally be more efficient) and areas where you would like to add additional functionality.</p> <p>If you’re planning on moving to a new agency, you’ll need to create a more comprehensive functionality specification, especially if you’re planning on making big changes to the store.</p> <p>The next part of this assessment is to identify all third-party extensions or custom modules that you have installed in your existing Magento store. If any internal records have not been kept to date, you can get an idea of the third-party extensions you’re using by going to system &gt; config &gt; admin &gt; advanced &gt; disable module output in the admin area. Your developers or agency should confirm your list of what extensions you use, by checking both community and local code pools for modules.</p> <p>All third-party modules should be listed, along with the functionality they provide and whether or not they are in active use within your eCommerce operations. This is particularly important since not all third-party extensions are currently available for Magento 2 and some extension providers are taking the opportunity to ‘retire’ some older, less popular extensions. It’s worth pointing out that existing licenses for Magento 1.x extensions are not valid for Magento 2 stores, so licensing costs will need to be added to the overall project costs.</p> <p>Another part of this initial assessment should be to identify any new business requirements that could be impacted by a move to Magento 2. If you have soldiered on without implementing a fully responsive design in your existing Magento store, for example, the transition to Magento 2 would provide the perfect opportunity to rectify that. Since Magento 1.x themes aren’t transferrable to Magento 2, you may as well get any desired front-end improvements in the spec to save time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6077/hh.jpg" alt="helly hansen" width="800" height="385"></p> <p><em>Helly Hansen's website on Magento 2</em></p> <p>The other thing to consider is that this represents a good opportunity to improve your product catalog setup - I’m working on two Magento 2 projects at the moment where the merchant has taken the opportunity to restructure their core product data, with a view to removing things they don’t need, adding new attributes for merchandising and changing how they use attribute sets to support more specific products.</p> <p>On one of the projects I’m working on, we’ve also done a lot of working around improving some of the functions of the store as part of this project, specifically product recommendations, search, email marketing, merchandising, product reviews and building social into all of the page templates more. In order to do this, we’ve used the following:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.nosto.com/">NOSTO</a> for product recommendations / personalisation - this is a no-brainer really for me and the merchant. NOSTO is really easy to use and maintain and I’ve seen great results in the past. In this project we’re using it for personalised recommendations across all page templates.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.klevu.com/">Klevu</a> for Search - Klevu’s AI-based search solution is great for stores with big, complex catalogs and their machine learning aspect means that there’s always a second layer (based on user behaviour) to help service even the most complex queries.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> for email marketing - dotmailer is, again, an obvious choice with Magento because of their integration. Dotmailer allows merchants to create workflows based on the data you have against a customer record in Magento (which is really valuable), as well as your product data. Dotmailer also integrates with Klevu and NOSTO to get more data on the best products to promote to specific users.</li> <li> <a href="http://docs.magento.com/m1/ee/user_guide/catalog/visual-merchandiser.html">Visual merchandiser</a> for merchandising - this solution has been re-built in Magento 2 Enterprise and is a really good fit for most merchants. You could also use Klevu, which makes use of the machine learning solution to promote products based on how users have interacted with them (e.g. clicks, add to carts or purchases). We’ve used visual merchandiser in this instance so merchandisers are able to visual merchandise at category-level. Worth noting that visual merchandiser is no longer available for M2 Community Edition, after Magento acquired the solution from On Tap.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.yotpo.com/">Yotpo</a> for product reviews - we’ve used Yotpo for this project because it’s moderated, has Q&amp;A as a built-in option and allows for the form to be embedded into the actual post-purchase email. We’re also using their product-level curated Instagram feature.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.klarna.com/">Klarna</a> for checkout - this is still TBC, but Klarna also provides a really strong hosted checkout, with options around paying after delivery or finance payments.</li> </ul> <p>All of these solutions have existing Magento 2.x integrations.</p> <p>When you’ve selected a partner to support the migration, they’ll perform an initial discovery which will cover your existing store and the migration process in a lot more detail.</p> <h3>Build a project team</h3> <p>With any development project, it’s vital to obtain buy-in and commitment from all key stakeholders, from management who will be signing off on costs, through to operations staff who will have to get used to a new admin interface and changes to core processes. By creating a project team, staff will feel involved in the venture, and will be committed to its success.</p> <p>Depending on the size of the project, it may also be worth bringing in a solutions architect or project lead on your side to manage the aspects of the project you’re responsible for. On projects I’ve worked on (in-house, agency and as a consultant), this has always paid for itself. </p> <p>A few merchants I’ve worked with have also opted to book in-house training to help understand the core changes in Magento 2 - I’d recommend using Deryck from <a href="http://www.magetraining.com/uk/">MageTraining</a> for this. I’ve done their Magento 2 training course and it’s perfect for getting your head around how the fundamentals have changed and getting an understanding of all of core processes.</p> <h3>Start using the system early</h3> <p>The technical architecture of Magento 2 is very different from Magento 1 and it’s important that this is fully understood by the relevant members of your team. Any developers or technical users within your team will need time to properly understand the new Magento framework.</p> <p>I’d suggest getting your team comfortable with the system, the new processes and the way the extensions you’ve selected to work with early on - this will help to reduce the overhead around this once you’ve launched. With the projects I’m working on, we’ve got environments setup early and extensions installed, so we can start the configuration and get used to things as early as possible. If you decide to use third parties for some of the core functions (like NOSTO, dotmailer or Klevu), you’ll also want to allocate a lot of time to the setup and ensuring you get things like automated workflows (email), promotion rules (NOSTO) and synonyms and your product sync (Klevu) working properly.</p> <p>The other big consideration is going to be the data migration, which is likely to be managed via an agency if you’re using one. Magento have a data migration tool available that allows the transfer of standard and custom tables, but requires mapping and testing to ensure data comes across in the correct way. Data manipulation might be required if you're changing the extensions you're using too. This is a big part of the project and it’s important that you have your team setup to QA all aspects of this.</p> <h3>Conduct formal testing</h3> <p>It can often be difficult to get operations staff to conduct formal testing of an eCommerce platform - with team members assuming the agency will take ownership of this. Staff are busy with their day to day workload, and they are not professionally-trained testers, so they see little point in carrying out tedious, repetitive tests that, to them, reflect very little of how they actually use the system. Comprehensive testing is critical, however, and this should be conveyed to all those involved in the testing stage. Testing a key part of a project like this and the plan should really be factored into each stage of the project, depending on how it’s being managed.</p> <p>As with most things, the success is going to come down to detailed preparation. By taking the time to fully understand the new platform, to carefully assess current functional requirements and platform configuration, and to test the transition site thoroughly, the move to Magento 2 can be a positive and professional experience, leading to ongoing support and commitment for the platform throughout the organisation.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69080 2017-05-10T09:33:00+01:00 2017-05-10T09:33:00+01:00 FMCG brands, if you didn’t have an Amazon strategy before, you need one now Bola Awoniyi <p>The new Echo Show device, which will be available in the US in late June, is driven by it’s trademark Alexa voice OS, but also has a screen and built-in camera, making it perfect for video-calling, watching videos and more.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WQqxCeHhmeU?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>(As a brief aside, Amazon is also planning to use Alexa on the enterprise side, <a href="http://go.theinformation.com/MlxpbfuUkiw">by breaking into the Call Centre Industry</a>)</p> <p>Each Echo has a slightly different use case, thus increasing the rationale to have multiple Alexa-driven devices in the home.</p> <p>Naturally, if Amazon’s mission and ambition come to pass, our homes will be full of Echos, as well as third party software and services that are uniquely enabled by Alexa, thus creating a lock-in that will be hard for people to shift.</p> <p>The staggered deployment of the Echo product family is as swift as it is impressive; and it's worth wondering - why the rush?</p> <p>An easy answer is because the technology giant faces pending competition from at least two other tech giants; Google &amp; Apple.</p> <p>They are all clamouring into this space because Amazon is creating the next great operating system; <a href="https://stratechery.com/2017/amazons-operating-system/">the OS for the home</a>, the place where the smartphone is least likely to be in your hands.</p> <p>There are several jobs that need to be done in the home that a voice assistant can help with, as the promo video above demonstrates. From communication, to providing information and entertainment, the Echo suite of devices enables consumers to think out loud and get things done simultaneously, in an increasing number of ways that Amazon’s competition had been hoping to do with their own voice platforms.</p> <p>The implications and stakeholders of Amazon’s potential stranglehold on the home are vast and varied; content consumption and entertainment, life and home management, security, communication and of course, commerce.</p> <p>Given Amazon’s history, investment &amp; dominance in the commerce space, it is interesting to consider some of the high-level implications of having Alexa as the operating system of the home</p> <h3>Amazon = the destination store of choice - by default</h3> <p>If there is anything that Amazon pushes with the Echo, it is convenience. It has taken advantage of / manufactured this convenience to make it even easier for consumers to purchase products from Amazon.</p> <p>As “The Everything Store” pushes yet another lever in the flywheel to become the store of choice by default, it increases the pressure on brands that do not have their products listed on the platform.</p> <p>Who knows how many purchasing opportunities will be missed by not placing products on Amazon, especially consumer packaged goods, that will no doubt be heavily impacted if they are not capable of answering the call for more diapers or toilet roll in a consumer’s hour of need.</p> <h3>The changing shape of the regular shopping trip</h3> <p>If shopping with Alexa takes hold, by extension the shape of a consumer’s shopping trips will also change.  It makes sense to assume that the weekly shop will look different, because more products will be ordered and delivered on demand.</p> <p>The logic for this thinking increases further when you consider initiatives like Amazon's <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Subscribe-Save-Health-Beauty-Grocery/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=423139031">Subscribe &amp; Save</a> programme. </p> <p>It is not a hard leap to imagine Alexa recommending certain products for the subscription programme, after you have told it when you need it in regular intervals, thus removing repeat purchases from normal purchase consideration. </p> <p>Perhaps consumers will go on more frequent, but much smaller shopping trips, so they can buy the fresh produce or urgent needs they have that day. Or maybe, such trips will be oriented around big occasional buys that warrant trying in-store before purchase.</p> <p>Either way, such change means opportunities and threats are not far behind.</p> <h3>Voice + delivery = the highest convenience</h3> <p>Any retail professional with their ear to the ground would have heard reports of Amazon’s plans to own logistics, from the planes it has hired, to the drones it is testing, to delivery tracks and drones that will predict when you will order certain products, so that delivery can be near instant.</p> <p>As Amazon makes it easier and quicker to buy products <em>and</em> receive products once ordered, retailers and direct-to-consumer brands will have to compete with consumer expectations that are driven by Amazon’s ridiculously efficient experience.</p> <p>With every innovation, Amazon seeks to make the consumers’ life easier and builds a moat around its offering and ecosystem.</p> <h3>In summary</h3> <p>The competitive battleground looks like it's shifting slightly from the store to the home - and Amazon looks ever more likely to becoming the gatekeeper.</p> <p>To be clear, Alexa produces opportunities as well as threats. Organisations that figure out how to reposition their marketing, product and packaging initiatives for a world where consumers expect to order products with their voice and have it delivered to them within 24 hours, will be better positioned than brands that are only competing for recognition on shelves and over supermarket end caps.</p> <p>Whether you are a retailer or a consumer goods brand, if you didn’t have an Amazon strategy before, you need one now. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69058 2017-05-08T11:15:00+01:00 2017-05-08T11:15:00+01:00 How millennial entrepreneurs are disrupting retail and ecommerce Nikki Gilliland <p>Surprisingly, one time the term wasn’t bandied about was during a talk solely featuring this all-important demographic.</p> <p>With insight from three entrepreneurs in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, the discussion focused on how young people are effectively driving change in retail and ecommerce – as both consumers <em>and</em> entrepreneurs.</p> <p>So, how exactly are they changing the game? The panel included Tommy Williams, co-founder and CEO of All Shades Covered, Vivien Laszloffy, CEO of Áeron, and Freddy Macnamara, CEO of Cuvva. Here are a few key takeaways from the talk.</p> <h3>Innovation borne out of necessity</h3> <p>The panel began on the subject of motivation. When asked about the drive behind starting a new business, each speaker highlighted some form of frustration rather than any influence or inspiration from the existing market. And while the three companies are vastly different, this appeared to be a common theme.</p> <p>Cuvva is a pay-as-you-go insurance app aimed at infrequent drivers. Freddy, its CEO, explained how the company stemmed from the desire to drive his friend’s car – and the sheer annoyance at the lack of options out there for quick and easy cover.</p> <p>Similarly, All Shades Covered – co-founded by Tommy Williams – was borne out of the recognition that women of colour are incredibly underserved when it comes to hair and beauty products on the high street. Consequently, Tommy saw an opportunity to fill this gap, using ecommerce to fulfil the needs of consumers quickly and efficiently. </p> <p>As well as choosing to improve or bridge a gap on behalf of consumers, this drive perhaps also demonstrates their growing expectations, with a younger demographic demanding a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67322-not-offering-same-day-delivery-you-could-be-losing-customers/" target="_blank">superior customer experience</a> across the board.</p> <h3>It’s about more than influence</h3> <p>Alongside an avoidance of the term millennial, one thing that really stood out from the talk was a distinct lack of interest <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">in influencer marketing</a>. While it's not a strategy that's been sidelined completely, it appears to be less of a priority for the young entrepeneurs. Interestingly, during the session before, I’d heard Boohoo’s Chairman mention how it has been an integral part of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69044-five-reasons-behind-boohoo-s-97-increase-in-profits/" target="_blank">brand’s recent success</a>.</p> <p>So, why are millennials choosing another route?</p> <p>Perhaps it's a case of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68716-four-common-mistakes-brands-make-with-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">influencer overload</a>, but from an entrepreneurial perspective, it appears to be a simple case of other strategies generating better results.</p> <p>Vivien, the CEO of Budapest-based fashion retailer Áeron, spoke about the importance of working with women within the creative industry – but not just the standard blogger or model. Instead, people who fundamentally understand and appreciate the heritage of the brand are far more desirable, outweighing an influencer who might have a massive audience or even a reputation in the fashion industry. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5883/aeron.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="528"></p> <p>Meanwhile, Tommy says that his brand has seen far more success with offline and community-based marketing. He explained how tools like online video do not typically resonate with his core consumer in the same way as speaking and communicating directly, in the places where they live and work. While this strategy might be costly and much more time-consuming, it has resulted in much higher conversion rates for the company.</p> <p>This demonstrates the importance of understanding how both the brand and consumer can align to build a longer-term relationship, rather than jumping on digital trends merely to attract the masses.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5884/Hair.JPG" alt="" width="621" height="714"></p> <h3>A point of difference</h3> <p>The final topic revolved around how new companies are able to compete with giants in the industry. Instead of striving to match them, however, the general consensus was that viewing big brands as competition can largely be a fruitless exercise.</p> <p>Instead, it was suggested that brands in their infancy should remember the importance of establishing a unique and valuable point of difference when it comes to the product itself. Freddy highlighted Cuvva’s recognition of the supply chain, i.e. the underwriters who offer the insurance cover to drivers. In contrast to larger comparison sites that tend to focus solely on raising awareness to general consumers - Cuvva is able to offer greater value all-round.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Big updates to <a href="https://twitter.com/cuvva">@cuvva</a> for sharing today:<br>✅ min age now 19 (17 for learners)<br>✅ business use included<br>✅ lower pricing<br>✅ insurance groups 1-50</p> — James Billingham (@billinghamj) <a href="https://twitter.com/billinghamj/status/825157088343121922">January 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The biggest takeaway from listening to millennials talk? If you've got enough common sense, age doesn't come into it.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67822-four-great-examples-of-marketing-to-millennials" target="_blank">Four great examples of marketing to millennials</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66805-millennials-and-mobile-what-marketers-need-to-know" target="_blank">Millennials and mobile: what marketers need to know</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68203-six-millennial-ux-lessons-from-insurance-brand-back-me-up" target="_blank">Six 'millennial UX' lessons from insurance brand Back Me Up</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69051 2017-05-03T14:17:53+01:00 2017-05-03T14:17:53+01:00 Will Amazon's Echo Look help grow the market for voice-based intelligent personal assistants? Patricio Robles <p>Owners can also feed the photos they take to Style Check, an Amazon service that offers up fashion recommendations. Using machine-learning technology and human feedback, Style Check compares two photos and lets an individual know which one has the better outfit.</p> <p>According to Amazon, Style Check takes into consideration "fit, color, styling, seasons and current trends".</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/5843/eh-kk-image-574x602-2x._cb529298494_-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="493"></p> <p>The Echo Look's camera is depth-sensing and the device features LED lighting. Its hardware adds computer vision-based background blur.</p> <p>But the Echo Look is more than a camera. As its name suggests, the Echo Look is, like Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot devices, a voice-controlled device that integrates all of the capabilities of Amazon's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68786-amazon-alexa-brands-must-be-careful-before-rushing-in/">Alexa intelligent personal assistant</a>. </p> <h3>Will privacy concerns doom the Echo Look's prospects? </h3> <p>Many articles about the Echo Look point out the privacy implications of the device. The presence of a camera is an obvious source of concern as webcams on laptops have been hijacked and used to secretly make recordings. And the fact that the photos users take with the Echo Look will be uploaded to Amazon's cloud only adds to the concern.</p> <p>But if the growth of speaker devices like the Echo is any indication (one report estimates that sales through such devices <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/article/3127729/home-tech/amazon-echo-and-its-competitors-will-be-a-21-billion-market-by-2020.html">will hit $2.1bn</a> within the next four years), it seems that large numbers of consumers are willing to live with the privacy risks if they perceive that the value they are receiving in return outweighs those privacy risks.</p> <h3>What is Amazon really up to?</h3> <p>Some observers are scratching their heads at the Echo Look given its fashion focus. But Amazon's interest in fashion isn't really hard to understand. While Amazon has its hands in just about every nook and cranny of the retail market, apparel is a multi-trillion dollar business. The global market for womenswear alone is worth over a half a trillion dollars annually.</p> <p>If Look takes off, it could become a source of valuable data that Amazon can use to further fuel its progress in apparel markets. As TechCrunch's Natasha Lomas pointed out, even a decade ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/29/how-echo-look-could-feed-amazons-big-data-fueled-fashion-ambitions/">observed</a>, "In order to be a $200bn company we've got to learn how to sell clothes and food."</p> <p>Amazon appears to be well on its way to figuring out how to sell clothes and has been investing heavily in apparel. In fact, according to research firm Cowen Company, Amazon now has a third more apparel buyers than Target, and slightly more than Walmart. The online retail giant has opened its own fashion photography studios and extended <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67769-the-rise-of-amazon-s-private-labels-shows-the-perils-of-not-owning-your-data-customers/">its private label efforts</a> into <a href="http://wwd.com/business-news/retail/amazon-quietly-rolls-out-private-label-fashions-10364187/">fashion</a>.</p> <p>By Cowen Company's estimates, these investments will help Amazon capture 14% of the US apparel market by 2020, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-20/cowen-amazon-will-be-the-number-one-u-s-clothing-retailer-very-soon">making it the largest domestic apparel retailer</a>.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, Amazon says that Echo Look "helps you discover new brands and styles inspired by your lookbook," indicating that Amazon will be putting to immediate use the data it collects through Echo Look devices to make personalized recommendations that can drive apparel sales.</p> <p>But Amazon Echo Look isn't just about Amazon's efforts to dominate fashion retail. Taking a step back, the Echo Look is the type of offering that could help Amazon convince even more consumers to put voice-based intelligent assistant devices into their homes. </p> <p>While voice-based devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home are gaining traction, there are obviously still large segments of the consumer population that don't yet see enough value in these devices so as to be compelled to buy them. By bringing its voice interface Alexa to consumers through a fashion-focused device, Amazon has arguably created a Trojan horse, as consumers who purchase the Echo Look for the fashion-centric functionality can be introduced to all of the benefits of Alexa. </p> <p>That makes the Look a win-win for Amazon and highlights how other companies could develop their own Trojan horses to bring their intelligent personal assistants to a broader market. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69026 2017-05-03T10:00:38+01:00 2017-05-03T10:00:38+01:00 Why online publishers are launching wedding verticals Nikki Gilliland <p>Now it appears publishers want a slice of the cake too. Many more are launching wedding-related content to engage users, with some even expanding into the world of commerce to increase revenue. </p> <p>Here’s just a few examples, as well the reasons why it’s proving to be a profitable move.</p> <h3>Cosmopolitan</h3> <p>According to data, 10% of all engaged Americans have visited Cosmo.com. Up until recently, Cosmo has consistently written about the topic, choosing to ramp up activity ahead of and during the summer months when readers are most likely to attend events.</p> <p>After seeing an increase in traffic to this bridal content, the publisher decided to launch it as an official vertical all year round, giving ‘Weddings’ a dedicated category on the main site alongside ‘Style’, ‘Beauty’, ‘Love’ and ‘Video’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5616/Cosmo_weddings.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="330"></p> <p>For Cosmo, the aim is to meet the obvious demand for wedding content, as well as draw in readers who would otherwise turn to standalone wedding publications like Brides. </p> <p>To ensure it doesn't alienate anyone who <em>isn't </em>getting married, the new vertical will offer a range of wedding-related content, including articles about bachelorette parties, as part of a wider <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68384-how-cosmopolitan-reinvented-itself-became-the-number-one-women-s-magazine-in-the-uk/" target="_blank">strategy to reach a millennial audience</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5615/Cosmo_insta.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="483"></p> <h3>InStyle</h3> <p>Last year, InStyle expanded its online presence from just fashion to include the verticals of home, entertaining and, you guessed it – weddings. It was partly done to help engage a wider demographic (which is naturally interested in a more varied subject matter), but also to increase the potential for advertising revenue.</p> <p>InStyle readers reportedly purchase an average of seven items based solely on ads. That’s more than any other competitor, even the likes of Vogue which famously includes a hefty amount of advertising. Adding weddings into the mix is only likely to increase this spend, especially when you consider the fact that InStyle has the highest number of readers with an annual household income of more than $100,000.</p> <p>With the average American wedding <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/02/03/wedding-cost-spending-usa-average/" target="_blank">said to cost $35,329</a>, this type of content is bound to appeal to InStyle’s more affluent demographic. What’s more, it aligns with the publication’s decision to become more of a luxury lifestyle title rather than a straightforward fashion mag.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5617/InStyle_weddings.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="707"></p> <h3>The Knot</h3> <p>While the aforementioned publishers use wedding content to increase readership and ad revenue, rival bridal site The Knot has ventured deeper into the world of commerce.</p> <p>In 2015, it acquired event marketplace Gigmasters in order to allow users to search and book venues, photographers, planners, hairdressers and more. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5618/The_Knot.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="519"></p> <p>By fusing content with commerce in this way, its aim is to reach users at every stage of the wedding process. From providing initial inspiration to help with finding a photographer and inviting guests – even a honeymoon when the wedding is over – the idea is that there’s no need for users to seek help or advice anywhere else.</p> <p>With its own retail component, The Knot also allows users to directly shop the items featured in its print and online magazine.  </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You'll love these little white dresses from <a href="https://twitter.com/Macys">@Macys</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ad?src=hash">#ad</a> <a href="https://t.co/7iVweMaZdD">https://t.co/7iVweMaZdD</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bcy2LB4Q6b">pic.twitter.com/Bcy2LB4Q6b</a></p> — The Knot (@theknot) <a href="https://twitter.com/theknot/status/855053727257985024">April 20, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Brides</h3> <p>Another publisher that has dipped its toes (or should that be fingers) into commerce is Brides – Conde Nast’s popular wedding title. Instead of an online marketplace on its own site however, it has partnered with a number of other retailers to launch products that have the Brides brand stamp of approval. </p> <p>These include a line of engagement rings called ‘In Love by Brides’ sold at Walmart, ‘Modern Bride Jewelry’ for JCPenney, plus a custom stationery line called ‘Brides Fine Wedding Papers’ sold in a number of US stores.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5619/In_Love_By_Brides.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="505"></p> <p>Using data to delve into the interests of readers, Brides discovered that a large proportion were interested in more affordable or budget-friendly weddings.</p> <p>By partnering with retailers like Walmart it has been able to deliver this, offering readers the chance to invest in more than just content.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68121-why-i-love-the-pool-and-its-refreshing-approach-to-publishing/" target="_blank">Why I love The Pool and its refreshing approach to publishing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67494-five-ways-the-new-york-times-is-innovating-its-publishing-model/" target="_blank">Five ways The New York Times is innovating its publishing model</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67312-are-publishers-in-a-losing-battle-with-content-distribution-platforms/" target="_blank">Are publishers in a losing battle with content distribution platforms?</a></em></li> </ul>