tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/high-street Latest High street content from Econsultancy 2016-01-26T14:07:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67439 2016-01-26T14:07:00+00:00 2016-01-26T14:07:00+00:00 How creative SEO can deliver big wins for luxury fashion retailers Chris Bishop <p>Neither were they desperately researching which colour would dominate this season and updating their collections accordingly.</p> <p>They were mostly trying to work out how not to break their necks on a Saturday night.</p> <p>But even more surprisingly, this term was searched for equally by men and women.</p> <h3>Why you need to understand search behaviour</h3> <p>Both these strange insights from Google underline one important message.</p> <p>If you want to understand and take advantage of the retail opportunities presented by search, you really have to understand what search is all about.</p> <p>Because, despite the odd quirks of search behaviour – or maybe because of them – there is vast branding and commercial potential here for fashion brands.</p> <p>And now, more than ever, luxury brands that are ignoring search are missing huge revenue opportunities that others are capitalising on.</p> <h3>But what’s the opportunity in search for luxury brands?</h3> <p>With 1 trillion Google searches in 2015, luxury customers are just as likely to Google as everyone else.</p> <p>And luxury customers were <strong>4.7 times more likely to Google ‘Black Friday’</strong> than the average.</p> <p>Add to this the fact that <strong>39% of luxury clothes bought on the internet last year were bought on impulse</strong>, search really <em>does</em> look like the place where the smartest luxury brands would want to be.</p> <p>At a fashion digital conference last week we presented with our client Net-A-Porter on luxury consumer search behaviour and it really demonstrates how crucial ecommerce is for luxury brand health in the years ahead:</p> <h3>Black Friday: what a difference a day makes</h3> <p>Luxury brands really can benefit from the retail ‘holidays’ which have established themselves in recent years.</p> <p>Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2015 marked the highest and second highest sales days on record for Net-A-Porter.</p> <ul> <li>The retailer sold one item every second.</li> <li>Of these, the most expensive item sold online was priced at <strong>$27,307.</strong> </li> <li>While a single Saint Laurent mini-dress was sold for <strong>$14,943.</strong> </li> </ul> <p>This is not loss-leading discounting reluctantly undertaken for fear of losing brand profile.</p> <p>This is a strategic opportunity to engage with high-net-worth individuals and galvanise profitable sales activity at specific points in the calendar.</p> <p>And search plays a crucial part in this.</p> <h3>And what a difference a change makes</h3> <p>Data from fashion brands is pointing to a shift from slow, curated purchasing patterns to fast decision making tipped by arresting content. </p> <p>Once luxury brands understand that price is no longer the key driver behind online luxury brand buying decisions, it becomes much clearer what search barriers are really in the way of increased sales.</p> <p>McKinsey released research demonstrating that returns (75%) and delivery policy (73%) were key factors influencing luxury buying decisions, especially interesting when considering only<strong> 48% were interested in price</strong>.  </p> <h3>Adjusting to a multi-device world</h3> <p>It’s a cliché, but luxury brand customers are cash rich and time poor – the question is how does this translate into search and buying behaviour online?</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/multidevice.png" alt=""></p> <p>In online luxury retail there is no such thing as a single customer journey anymore, these customers with their demanding lifestyles, constantly switch between devices that are ‘always on’.</p> <p>What’s more, they have the best devices (high spec, tablets, laptops, smartphones) and they expect the experiences they have on them to be equally high spec.</p> <p>Therefore, as one absolute takeaway - don’t ever think in devices (desktop, mobile), think only of the consumer journey.</p> <h3>The beautiful customer experience</h3> <p>Ecommerce is now a multi-device world and brands need to understand the importance of a ‘beautiful customer experience’, meaning a series of seamless, all-encompassing, cross-platform customer journeys that often begin with search and are highly mobile.</p> <p>Every year marketers have been told that this year is the year of mobile and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital-marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/">2016 will be no exception</a>.</p> <p>For luxury mobile is becoming increasingly important to keep up with the demands of the luxury consumer.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/catwalkmobilephone.png" alt=""></p> <p>Often we hear about the increase in mobile penetration in a market – however when you consider the affluence of a luxury shopper that becomes even more important.</p> <p>McKinsey suggests that across the world <strong>95% of luxury shoppers have a smartphone</strong>, with <strong>100% penetration in some markets</strong>.</p> <p>Forrester research last year stated most luxury consumers expect retailers to have mobile optimised website or app - however in January 2016 only half do.</p> <p>Luxury customers are everywhere in terms of device and location, and mobile has become key to closing sales.</p> <ul> <li>41% of Net-A-Porter’s customer orders over Thanksgiving were on a mobile device.</li> <li>Nearly half (48%) of its sales in Japan were on mobile.</li> </ul> <p>Customers are not only visiting Net-A-Porter's sites on mobile, but buying items as well.</p> <p>As such there are opportunities to optimise search in specific ways, in specific locations and for specific groups that could make all the difference to traffic and sales.</p> <h3>Gender targeting through Google search</h3> <p>Gender targeting is one of these opportunities. Male luxury customers still often seem to be impulsive and impatient in their purchases as they tend to shop for gifts on mobile devices at the last minute. </p> <p>Males tend to spend more time examining search engine results pages (SERPS) and are <strong>5.4 times more likely than females</strong> to inspect lower ranked results.</p> <p>Therefore, a key opportunity to maximize conversion from search is by reassuring customers on the SERPS that the mobile checkout process will be simple and painless.</p> <h3>Location, location, location?</h3> <p>Location is also significant when selling to these customers, but not necessarily in the ways that you think.</p> <p>The average luxury customers takes <strong>16 trips a year</strong>. So, where these customers are searching is not necessarily where they live.</p> <p>This means brands need to be careful about the kind of delivery offers they’re making based on location.</p> <p>Don’t go offering free delivery in Tokyo when the customer lives in New York.</p> <p>Therefore, when a consumer adds location-based search queries we have to listen to the signal - dig deeper into data, don’t make assumptions and tailor to location.</p> <h3>Social &amp; content converts</h3> <p>Even if they’re not buying, your customers want to talk to you and about you.</p> <p>Working out when to sell to them and when to talk to them is part of the challenge of dealing with customer search.</p> <p>But in reality every search is an opportunity for engagement that may lead to a sale.</p> <p>In fashion it is even more important to have a focus on social, with two-thirds of the target audience generating content on a regular basis and <strong>15% doing that on a daily basis</strong>.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/customerswantcontent.png" alt="" width="660" height="390"></p> <p>Social and content is presenting more and more chances to capture the imagination of potential customers and shortening the gap between catwalk and shopping basket.</p> <p>Fashion is throwing open the doors to the public with live streaming and interactive digital tools.</p> <p>Lining up your social, content and search is presenting more and more chances to share amazing content and arrest the attention of a customer base primed and willing to buy into your brand.</p> <h3>Rising to the challenge of search for luxury brands</h3> <p>“<em><strong>How to Walk In Heels</strong></em>” is not a comment on the mundanity of search.</p> <p>Instead it’s an imaginative challenge to agencies and marketers to interpret needs and wants in ways that are thrilling to customers.</p> <p>I hear there’s a trick to walking in heels, but once learned it looks elegant and effortless.</p> <p>Learning the secrets of luxury search is learning to create beautiful experiences, optimised customer journeys that seamlessly capture, build your brand and convert sales in new and exciting ways.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66501-how-fashion-brands-are-setting-trends-in-digital/"><em>How fashion brands are setting trends in digital</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64543-20-beautiful-examples-of-web-design-from-high-fashion-brands/"><em>20 beautiful examples of web design from high fashion brands</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/fashion-ecommerce-and-content-marketing/"><em>Fashion Ecommerce and Content Marketing Report</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67159 2015-11-09T12:06:27+00:00 2015-11-09T12:06:27+00:00 Are we doing Black Friday in the UK or not? Chris Bishop <p>This year, there’s definitely a bit of Black Friday backlash in the air.  </p> <p>Fuelled by snobbery and perhaps a British stiff upper lip, some Marketing Directors seem to think it’s all a bit tactical and beneath them.  </p> <p>Others are just counting the death toll resulting from all this madness. For a chilling glimpse at the collateral damage of retail rage look no further than <a href="http://blackfridaydeathcount.com/" target="_blank">BlackFridayDeathCount.com</a> </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8822/john_lewis_black_friday.png" alt="" width="606" height="300"></p> <h3>For or against Black Friday?</h3> <p>In reality the arguments for and against UK brands observing Black Friday are finely balanced. Some of the naysayers, like John Lewis’s Andy Street, really do have a point:</p> <blockquote> <p>It is not in the industry’s interest to focus so much trade onto one day. You want more steady trade and obviously you want more of it at full price.</p> </blockquote> <p>But as Black Friday looms and retailers anxiously wait to see what will happen, it’s worth considering the arguments on both sides:</p> <h3>The case for getting stuck in </h3> <ul> <li> <strong>It’s hard to ignore.</strong> Black Friday is predicted to be a £1bn trading day (Salmon, Experian and IMRG all say so).</li> <li> <strong>Consumers love it.</strong> 96% of Black Friday’s 2014 purchasers said they were <strong>happy</strong> or <strong>very happy</strong> with what they bought (via Retail Week).</li> <li> <strong>It’s the big one!</strong> IMRG estimated £810m was spent online on Black Friday last year – the biggest ever day for UK online sales. For those that missed the analysis Econsultancy and Hitwise did last year, here are the <a href="https://docs.google.com/a/econsultancy.com/file/d/0B0IZM8gxECK6Y2lQYkpkV3dHaUE/edit?pli=1" target="_blank">Black Friday traffic statistics for all major UK retailers</a>.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8823/house_of_fraser_black_friday.png" alt="" width="578" height="417"></p> <ul> <li> <strong>It’s a global gold rush</strong>. Not just in the UK and US. The phenomenon in spreading to Asia and Africa; a client of ours in Nigeria received a staggering 1,440% year-on-year increase in online revenue with a <a href="http://techloy.com/2014/12/03/record-breaking-numbers-and-statistics-from-the-konga-yakata-sales-infographics/" target="_blank">domestic version of Black Friday activity</a>.  </li> <li> <strong>The big spenders will be out in force</strong>. Luxury consumers are 4.7x more likely to search for Black Friday (Experian).</li> <li> <strong>Don’t disappoint.</strong> You risk disappointing your customers if you don’t engage.</li> </ul> <h3>The case for holding back</h3> <ul> <li> <strong>Black Friday cannibalises Christmas sales.</strong> According to e-Digital Research 30% of UK online shoppers say they’ll buy on 27 November this year - compared to 8% last year.</li> <li> <strong>Margin. What’s the cost?</strong> If you go for it, sales might increase, but will consumers ultimately spend more? Discounting often comes at a cost to margin.</li> <li> <strong>For retailers demand can prove too much.</strong> Site outages, slow page load and annoying queuing systems are not going to endear you to your customers. In 2014 Tesco, Argos and Boots reported problems with their websites on the big day. You need IT platforms that can perform under the heaviest of peak loads.</li> <li> <strong>What about supply chain bandwidth?</strong> Are there enough lorry drivers? Can demand be met? Don’t forget that customers will be disappointed if logistics melt and delivery is slow or muddled.</li> <li> <strong>Needy is not a good look. </strong>Jumping on this particular band wagon can appear rather... tactical.</li> </ul> <h3>Which way will we jump?</h3> <p>There seems to be real uncertainty about whether British brands are going to ‘go for it’ in 2015, or if there’ll be an uneasy stand off over who’ll blink first. This is what Home Retail boss John Walden said in October:</p> <blockquote> <p>Trading at Argos during this year’s important Christmas season seems less predictable than usual, as both retailers and customers determine whether to repeat last year’s unusual Black Friday patterns.</p> </blockquote> <p>So whether or not you’re planning ‘to do’ Black Friday this year, it seems the best way to deal with this encroaching American tradition is to adopt the best in British traditions – approach calmly and be prepared.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8826/argos_black_friday.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <h3>11 quick tips for a trouble-free Black Friday</h3> <p><strong>1. Have a plan and stick to it.</strong></p> <p>Retailers can approach Black Friday in one of several different ways.  </p> <ul> <li>Plan A: We are not doing Black Friday.</li> <li>Plan B: We might do Black Friday if Debenhams do.</li> <li>Plan C: Okay change the homepage, we’ll put a few things 20% off.</li> <li>Plan D: F$%k, ASOS &amp; Selfridges have joined in, launch the Black Friday missiles!</li> </ul> <p>Whatever you decide make sure everyone in the business knows you have a plan(s) - and what it is.</p> <p><strong>2. Know your limits.</strong>  </p> <p>Do you know your capacity? Have you forecasted targets? Have you thought about website load, stock, supply network, warehouse, click and collect?</p> <p><strong>3. Have you got a contingency plan?</strong>  </p> <p>What can you switch off? Can you slow down orders? Do you need to offer only mainland delivery, can you just concentrate on London?</p> <p><strong>4. Timings.</strong></p> <p>What time will the sale go live? What time is the TV ad scheduled for? What advanced notice will staff and customers receive?  </p> <p>Statistics show 7am to 10am on Black Friday, and 7pm to 10pm on Cyber Monday will be the peak traffic times.</p> <p><strong>5. Mobile.</strong>  </p> <p>Black Friday will be the peak day for mobile transactions, with predictions of 23% on mobile device (Adobe).</p> <p>Ensure your mobile marketing, website and app are fully prepared.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8825/debenhams_black_friday.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <p><strong>6. Prepare your marketing.</strong>  </p> <p>Consistency across all channels is key.  </p> <p>Don’t just rely on your email database or a few tweets. Amplify across all marcoms and especially digital - affiliate, display, PPC, SEO (yes SEO!) and social all need to be aligned.  </p> <p><strong>7. Prepare your media budget.</strong></p> <p>How scalable is it?  What if one big affiliate is performing well, how do you further incentify to push harder, do you have a contingency PPC budget if the demand continues?</p> <p>What opportunistic marketing can you do? Hijack a brand that isn't? Or their TV advertising via the second screen?</p> <p><strong>8. What’s your product/sale mix?</strong>  </p> <p>Have this agreed well in advance. Hourly discounts? Percentage off? Hot Hero products? </p> <p><strong>9. Upsell and cross-sell.</strong>  </p> <p>Don’t forget your basic sales principles in all the excitement. Use peak traffic periods to sell bundles, sell the accessories that goes alongside the hero product.  </p> <p>Push both gifting and self-purchase (gifting for yourself).</p> <p><strong>10. Plan and rehearse.</strong>  </p> <p>Across your business, your media agencies and all relevant third parties – rehearse what you’re all going to do – allowing margin for error…</p> <p><strong>11. On the day...</strong></p> <p>...have all the <a href="https://twitter.com/7thingsmedia/status/538331609767100416" target="_blank">key people together</a>. Agree and know accountability, prepare for regular and short communications on activity.</p> <p>React quickly to issues and schedule breaks for all the various teams.</p> <h3>So, what’s the verdict?</h3> <p>Opinion may be divided on whether or not Black Friday and Cyber Monday are welcome additions to the UK retail calendar.  </p> <p>The jury is still out on whether it is good or bad for sales, logistics and, ultimately, customers.</p> <p>But the momentum is such that it <strong>may be difficult to abstain</strong>.  And if you do, <em>what if your closest competitors don’t?   </em> </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67014 2015-10-16T11:02:45+01:00 2015-10-16T11:02:45+01:00 Fast fashion: how to keep up with the new ecommerce trend Georges Berzgal <p>They bring new and trending styles to the market faster and cheaper, whether the inspiration comes from the catwalks of fashion weeks or celebrity magazines.</p> <p>The creation, marketing and selling of these garments has become big business for high-street retailers and is putting established fashion brands under a lot of pressure as they struggle to keep pace with the quickly changing demand.</p> <p>So how are businesses able to take advantage of this trend? Read on to find out, and for more on this topic check out Econsultancy's report on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/fashion-ecommerce-and-content-marketing/">Fashion Ecommerce and Content Marketing</a>.</p> <h3> <strong>Create fast</strong> </h3> <p>While traditional brands follow the annual seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter and require up to nine months from the design stage to the sales floor, fast fashion brands have compressed these cycles into a couple of weeks.</p> <p>‘Rapid fashion’ companies like Boohoo.com claim to be even faster, stating that they design, manufacture and start selling a celebrity-inspired outfit in just a few days.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8067/Screen_Shot_2015-10-16_at_10.51.01.png" alt="" width="1187" height="812"></p> <p>While traditional retailers have looked to Asia for cost-effective product creation, many of the fast fashion brands are increasingly manufacturing within close proximity to their headquarters.</p> <p>For example, the Guardian reports that over half of <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/apr/07/fast-fashion-online-labels-boohoo-missguided">Boohoo.com and Missguided’s stock is being produced in the UK</a>, and Zara has retained a substantial part of its production in its native Spain.</p> <p>This makes it easy to get new items made and in the hands of consumers as quickly as possible.</p> <h3><strong>Market fast</strong></h3> <p>Marketing is far and away the key driver for fast fashion - and again speed is key.</p> <p>Marketers must create the desire for these new designs close to the time of creation in order to bring it to market as quickly as possible.</p> <p>Many fast fashion brands are seeing the best returns on image-based social platforms, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65826-what-is-asos-doing-so-right-on-pinterest/">Pinterest</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67020-why-instagram-should-be-the-channel-of-choice-for-marketers/">Instagram</a> and Facebook, where celebrities as well as millenials post pictures of their latest purchases. </p> <p>By continuously and quickly releasing new products, these brands are also able to drive consistent traffic and engagement with their website throughout the year as customers visit the site more regularly to make sure they don’t miss out on the latest styles.</p> <p>Missguided’s founder and CEO Nitin Passi plans to capitalise on the fast in fast fashion by <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/2015/04/85199/future-of-fast-fashion-boohoo-missguided">updating its website every hour with new items instead of only once per day.</a></p> <h3>Sell fast</h3> <p>Last, but by no means least, is the ability of fast fashion retailers to test small batches of fashion items in their stores and online and then quickly produce more if the goods are selling well.</p> <p>Thanks to their highly responsive supply chain, these brands are able to deliver new fashions as soon as a trend emerges while established brands will be unable to respond quickly to a sudden rise in popularity of a certain colour or shape.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8068/Screen_Shot_2015-10-16_at_10.50.49.png" alt="" width="1402" height="997"></p> <p>Because fast fashion retailers don’t order in the same volumes as many traditional businesses, opting instead to increase batches on products that sell well, they don’t have piles of unsold clothes to get rid of.</p> <p>This means less need to discount. It also increases the urgency for the customer to visit frequently to get their hands on the latest fashionable items.</p> <p>Studies found that <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/operations/2012/06/zara_s_fast_fashion_how_the_company_gets_new_styles_to_stores_so_quickly_.html">customers are visiting Zara stores an average of 17 times per year, compared to only four to five at the Gap</a> – we can only imagine what the difference online could be!</p> <p>A number of traditional high-street brands are beginning to baulk at this speedier trend for disposable fashions, opting instead to market their products as ‘long-lasting’ and staples of any wardrobe.</p> <p>But with the Gap, possibly one of the most established fashion retailers on the high street, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/gap-backs-earnings-guidance-1440100878">recently announcing its own trial of fast fashion</a>, it looks like the ability to create new designs and bring them to market quickly is a trend that is going to stay.</p> <p>By speeding up the process of creating, marketing and selling garments, retailers will do more than just become faster, they will also help their bottom line by streamlining each of the three key areas of their business. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63977-how-fashion-site-missguided-made-the-switch-to-responsive-email/"><em>How fashion site Missguided made the switch to responsive email</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9908-q-a-boohoo-s-chris-bale-on-digital-marketing-for-fashion-retail/"><em>Q&amp;A: Boohoo's Chris Bale on digital marketing for fashion retail</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66919 2015-09-14T09:25:00+01:00 2015-09-14T09:25:00+01:00 Four steps to help build customer loyalty in retail Ritchie Mehta <p>I’m a regular visitor to the various mainstream coffee chains that sprawl our high streets. While holding a client meeting at one of these establishments, we got talking about the all singing, all dancing Starbucks Rewards program...</p> <p>“I can redeem my points anywhere in the world… they even give me a free coffee on my birthday!” I heard rather enthusiastically.</p> <p>So, I asked, “you must be the biggest Starbucks coffee drinker ever?”. “Nah, I don’t actually like their coffee!”</p> <p>The conversation struck a cord with me as so many organisations constantly churn out offers and rewards as a way to entice customers back through their doors, when surely a more holistic approach should be taken. </p> <p>There is certainly a place for the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66904-do-retailers-really-need-a-customer-loyalty-program">loyalty program</a> lever but for me it needs to be the icing on the cake rather than the cake itself.</p> <p>It’s simple, if you can get customers to love your brand for what it stands for and what it delivers (earned loyalty), they will only appreciate you more when you give them great offers to spend more time with you (bought loyalty).</p> <p>So to do this, organisations should consider winning ‘earned’ before ‘bought’ loyalty to be sure to create stickier relationships. Here’s a four step guide to doing just that:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6995/earned_bought_loyalty-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="350"></p> <h3>1) Align your brand and customer’s values</h3> <p>As a foundation, your brand purpose must align and resonate with that of your audience and be demonstrated in everything you do. </p> <p>This will ensure you stay relevant and favoured in the eyes of your customers, leading to an increased emotional connection.</p> <p>Starbucks didn't do itself any favours by being embroiled in the tax avoidance issue that goes against one of their core values to ‘connect with transparency, dignity and respect’. After a massive boycott the brand is still recovering and many customers have not returned to its doors.</p> <p>So to create ‘earned’ loyalty, its important for organisations to reflect on their brand position and determine if it is both clear and truly aligned to their target market. </p> <p>At the end of it, all other activities flow from delivering the brand promise so it’s important to get right.</p> <h3>2) Propositions must meet and exceed customer requirements</h3> <p>The second stage of ‘earned’ loyalty is to ensure your value proposition spot on. It must align to your customer’s wants and needs, otherwise no matter what else you do, they will not come back for more.</p> <p>As an example: on a recent visit to Soho, I walked into a very reasonably priced all-you-can-eat buffet. The quality of the food was terribly disappointing to the point I even got resentful paying the reasonably priced price tag. </p> <p>The real kicker came at the end when I was handed a half-priced voucher for my next visit. Would I ever go back to redeem it? I’ll let you decide.</p> <h3>3) Deliver an exceptional and novel experience</h3> <p>The final stage in the ‘earned’ loyalty category is to deliver an exceptional experience. </p> <p>If you can meet a consumer's wants and needs AND deliver it in a place (digital or physical) that is convenient to them AND in a way that is aligned to their tastes, they will make you a regular thing.</p> <p>I recently had my first experience of immersive theatre at Alice Underground Wonderland (sadly its now finished for the year), where the experience was second to none and exceeded all expectations. </p> <p>It encapsulated the audience, made you anticipate what was around the next corner and took you into its own world for that space in time. </p> <p>I ended up taking another set of friends two weeks later and even paid for the premium tickets the next time around. If only brands could replicate these emotions, clearly in their own way. </p> <h3>4) Giving customers that little bit extra</h3> <p>The final step in building loyalty is to generate ‘bought’ loyalty. </p> <p>This is where you offer incentives, rewards and surprises to encourage repeat purchase and re-visits. </p> <p>There are some great programs out there, my personal favourite being the Nandos loyalty app. It’s simple and hence effective, as you always know how far away you are from your next free chicken. </p> <p>But if I didn't associate with the brand (Cheeky Nandos!), love the food and enjoy the experience, the app would simply not exist on my phone.</p> <p>So all in all, it's a simple equation to building stronger customer loyalty: '3 to 1' - Three steps to building ‘earned’ loyalty and one step to building ‘bought’ loyalty. To me, it should be in that order.   </p> <p><em>You can learn even more about customer experience at our two day <a href="http://bit.ly/1M8uMOA">Festival of Marketing</a> event in November. Book your ticket today and see how you can create a customer-focused culture.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66821 2015-08-18T09:30:00+01:00 2015-08-18T09:30:00+01:00 Key ecommerce statistics from Ofcom's Communication Market Report 2015 James Ellis <p>It seems the ecommerce market is still growing at a decent pace. Figures published in Royal Mail’s latest annual report estimate total parcel volume growth at approximately 4%. </p> <p>The business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-originated (C2X) parcel segments are estimated to be growing at a slightly faster rate, between 4.5% and 5.5%. </p> <p>In 2014, the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) put the value of the UK ecommerce sales at £104bn.</p> <p>This is 14% greater than the value of sales the previous year, and more than double the 2009 value.</p> <p>Online retail is accounting for an increasing proportion of total retail sales.</p> <p>Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 11.2% of total retail sales were made online in 2014, compared to 10.4% in the previous year. </p> <p>Consumers in the UK are also shopping more on mobile devices. 40% of online retail sales at the end of 2014 were through mobile devices.</p> <p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2InCrO4k7YkZ5OuEoFPpNGSV8-kLcSdWtWOk9THY3a0934kRbYhKEmAopzNFCc1faBFxygwLitb1LWBCr87rNVHGh5ZXvouybzFg7VmmvoANb3qLYrgGePxR3rD3kcOrnNheiI" alt="" width="602px;" height="295px;"></p> <h3><strong>Retail becomes more mobile</strong></h3> <p>As many marketers already know, mobile has become an integral part of retail and digital commerce offerings.</p> <p>Overall, use of mobile phones for retail activities was relatively stable between 2014 and 2015.</p> <p>Around one in four mobile internet users (26%) said they used their mobile phone to purchase goods or services in the month, the same proportion who said that they had used their mobile phone to find the location of a store. </p> <p><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/--afs8_hM2zjxQKCqemkqkO2vcCU8-oXytEGY-P776E6K6_B_dGXspVzxiYOEt79dtvXZ8F_dW56D8o4msfhfN3rCrPBi9h0ACLbO5SetYyAJ6O18mPKmq4W7-wW91-ITntkjAQ" alt="" width="601px;" height="303px;"> </p> <p>With 4G subscriptions increasing it could be expected that these trends accelerate and more consumers will become mobile shoppers.</p> <p>While mobile payments at the Point Of Sale is relatively low, it could be expected to increase once Apple Pay gains widespread traction.</p> <h3><strong>Factors affecting purchase decisions</strong></h3> <p>One in 10 consumers consider that the operator that delivers their parcel is an important factor in choosing a retailer.</p> <p>When asked to name the most important factors when choosing a retailer, over half of UK adults (56%) said that free delivery was an important factor. </p> <p>Around half (49%) considered that quick and efficient deliveries were important and three in 10 that the offer of click-and-collect services was important. </p> <p>Just over one in 10 (11%) UK adults considered that the provider used for delivery was an important factor, suggesting that consumers have little preference who provides their deliveries, as long as it does not add an additional cost to their purchase and it is quick and efficient.  </p> <p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/lY0n-N3XygzCo2lcrSLssTSPeZWoGht2KRo9cfxlJ9Ukbc5D70UDM0HudD69FYAy8UzLKJAhbaUIEXj0FuwHjCmhR5ZkPIzMMgeqSo72b9oQKUI06Uj4TDbD3iQvh-EoQ3z5qYo" alt="" width="602px;" height="357px;"> </p> <p>A majority of consumers like to have notifications and/or tracking in place for their e-retail deliveries </p> <p>Over six in 10 (63%) of adults said that they liked to have email confirmation at each stage of delivery when awaiting deliveries from online shopping, and a similar proportion (61%) said that they liked to be able to track their parcels online.</p> <p>Features that provide more precise information about when items are likely to be delivered were cited by a significant majority of respondents. </p> <p>Around four in 10 said they wanted greater certainty of the specific delivery time: 43% said that they would like to receive texts with the exact time of delivery and 39% said they liked to have one-hour time slots for delivery. </p> <p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/RG6xOfY5f829O8uxLJtoy_IbW8OJIobeX1nOUcymvpjptVHN4p4J3HnVRx0AF__T4uDz-vpBgkfDzGSSRNcDYLHBXt9nArXIk7RIUp-wvlMTunTnX6Hy7W1Ovwrl3cmvzOgJaL4" alt="" width="602px;" height="355px;"></p> <p>When it comes to delivery, almost seven out of 10 (68%) adults stated that delivery to the home was their preferred option.</p> <p>For delivery options away from the home, click and collect was the preferred method. 14% said that this was their preferred option.</p> <p>Preferences for other delivery methods (including parcel lockers, parcel shops and post offices) was low. None of these options were the preferred delivery point for more than 2% of respondents. </p> <p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/4JFFGUI4UJommS5HZxqXSPJk7DprBKFjeD4v4TZsm0z2C3Zw8HNU5qAuJKxdCK55Dx2VSyO6XlbeosTwnc7bEUpNrYMK03BIKOHfsHPeKcGtuZDf4MhaDMl9VRbWFWfGLWFzXLU" alt="" width="602px;" height="325px;"></p> <h3><strong>Amazon still leading the way for digital retail</strong></h3> <p>In March 2015, 32.1m people visited Amazon on a desktop/laptop or mobile device, equivalent to two-thirds (68%) of the digital population. This was the largest digital audience among Ofcom’s comparator online retail services.</p> <p>eBay was visited by six in 10 of the digital population (59% or 28.2m), the second highest total digital audience, followed by Argos with 14.1m (an active reach of 30%) in March 2015.</p> <p>Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, was visited by 12.7m people i.e. 27% of the active digital audience.</p> <p>The number of people accessing the comparator retailers via desktop and laptops was generally higher than those accessing these on mobile devices, although in March 2015 more people accessed Argos, Tesco and Asda on mobile devices than on desktops and laptop. </p> <p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/JgS90s0FlF4e5FNqxmNw-bgAOL2C-QKynQp_LCBVrSJRF4f0el6nfaSdhZ8PWqhoVgswN9_iuqJfrjXbzvAuNuFFv3ocAHkVBDmEVqqvAQPp715ZtXoB1KGBCdBvlf_qC_3kPQQ" alt="" width="602px;" height="397px;"> </p> <p>As with the other topics discussed in the Ofcom Market Report, mobile’s influence is becoming more important.</p> <p>As the report points out, several of the UK’s biggest retailers saw a bigger digital audience on mobile than desktop/laptop earlier this year. Amazon’s audiences across devices are approaching parity also. </p> <h3>For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           </h3> <p>Download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/?utm_source=Econ%20Blog%20&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=BLOGSTATS">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>, a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media.</p> <p>It’s updated monthly and covers 11 different topics from advertising, content, customer experience, mobile, ecommerce and social.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66019 2015-01-29T10:53:54+00:00 2015-01-29T10:53:54+00:00 Can retailers bring personalisation from clicks to bricks? Darryl Adie <p>Clearly, the application of personalisation to the physical world has the potential to be powerful. In fact, a report by Econsultancy and Monetate last year found that 94% of companies agreed that personalisation is “<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62583-94-of-businesses-say-personalisation-is-critical-to-their-success/">critical to current and future success</a>.”</p> <p>Retailers already have huge databases of customer data that are used to offer shoppers digital deals and services, but the application of this approach offline has been complex.</p> <p>Particularly problematic has been the ability to match an offline shopper to a digital profile.</p> <p>That said, the combination of online data with the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65230-10-very-cool-examples-of-experiential-marketing/">experiential richness</a> offered in-store could lead to highly engaging marketing and shopping experiences. So, how can this be achieved?</p> <h3>Beacons</h3> <p>The use of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65221-ibeacon-trials-13-brands-trying-to-find-a-use-case/">beacons</a> to identify shoppers would be the starting point for in-store personalisation. With customer opt-in it would be possible to link a customer’s mobile ID to their online data profile, creating the vital bridge between the physical and digital worlds.</p> <p>For instance, if a customer had been browsing online before their visit to a high street store, beacon technology could be used to send them personalised information or offers for similar products to be used during their time in-store.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/c3h0eKGfUfI?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <h3>In-store television</h3> <p>In-store TV has already attempted a degree of personalisation, for example using facial recognition to identify age and gender.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65307-five-retailers-using-nfc-and-rfid-to-enhance-shopping-but-do-they-work/">Burberry’s flagship store on Regent Street</a> features the world’s tallest retail screen, with other smaller screens located throughout the store displaying images of products on the catwalk, activated by RFID tags.</p> <p>If this type of personalisation was based on online data it could become a powerful marketing channel. Of course, there would be significant privacy concerns if this was done clumsily, but it could become acceptable with appropriate transparency and open value exchange. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8847/burberry.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="565"></p> <h3>Digital price labels</h3> <p>Digital price labels are becoming standard in many stores and, with the appropriate technology, these could move from being basic information displays to additional marketing channels.</p> <p>Using these changeable labels to highlight personalised offers to customers in real-time could help guide the in-store experience in a new way.</p> <h3>Electronic point of sale (EPOS) </h3> <p>A truly personalised point of sale could revolutionise customer service. Providing live customer information to staff allowing them to personalise interactions could enhance brand relationships and loyalty while creating upsell opportunities.</p> <p>Identifying customer preferences, personalising discount offers, or even enabling assistants to address customers by first name, could add a new level of customisation and relevance to the shopping experience.</p> <h3>The Internet of Things</h3> <p>The much-hyped <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64211-the-internet-of-things-five-new-products-changing-the-market-now/">Internet of Things</a> market could provide a massive opportunity for in-store personalisation and retailers are already pricking up their ears.</p> <p>The Internet of Things could empower retailers to make decisions that improve customer loyalty while offering great in-store experiences.  </p> <p>For example, a shopping trolley that could display the contents of a shopper’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65076-if-you-could-know-one-thing-about-your-customers-what-would-it-be/">internet-connected fridge</a> would enable customers to build better shopping lists on the move.</p> <p>With much debate about data privacy at present, clearly customer buy-in will be essential for all of these approaches. The degree of personalisation implied treads perilously close to the boundary between personalised and creepy, something retailers need to keep closely in mind.  </p> <p>However, if the data exchange is transparent and the benefits clearly communicated, it may just be possible for retailers to create a new paradigm for in-store experience. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65947 2015-01-08T10:50:00+00:00 2015-01-08T10:50:00+00:00 What have we learnt about click and collect this Christmas? Christopher Ratcliff <p>One piece of research published in October made the bold prediction that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/new/%20https:/econsultancy.com/blog/65687-95-of-online-shoppers-will-use-click-and-collect-this-christmas-stats/">95% of online shoppers will use click and collect over Christmas 2014</a>, more than double the percentage who used it in 2013.</p> <p>Although the Postcode Anywhere survey of 2,400 online shoppers seemed rather optimistic, it’s a customer service trend that’s definitely worth being positive about.</p> <p>Click and collect gives the customer almost complete control over delivery as they can pick up purchases when and where they choose. For added convenience it’s also free.</p> <h3>Post Christmas analysis</h3> <p>According to JDA/YouGov research published today <strong>39% of online shoppers opted to use click &amp; collect services this Christmas</strong>.</p> <p>A percentage substantially lower (-56%) than the figure predicted by the Postcode Anywhere survey. It’s also 6% lower than the number we reported in our Christmas 2013 survey: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64330-45-of-uk-online-consumers-used-click-and-collect-for-christmas-shopping-report/">45% of UK online consumers used click-and-collect for Christmas shopping</a>.</p> <p>Out of the 2,400 shoppers surveyed, 61% of those that used click and collect cited avoiding delivery charges as their biggest motivation and 53% cited the greater convenience offered.</p> <p>More than a third (34%) stated that they would use click and collect again next Christmas.</p> <p>Again these figures are much lower than expected, but perhaps slightly more worrying are the low levels of customer satisfaction.</p> <p>Although 40% of click &amp; collect shoppers had a very positive experience of using the service, 35% of users encountered negative issues:</p> <ul> <li>30% experienced long waiting times due to a lack of in-store staff.</li> <li>29% cited a lack of a dedicated area in-store for click and collect purchases.</li> <li>25% said staff were unable to look or took a long time to source goods in-store.</li> </ul> <p>Some major retailers were experiencing problems much earlier than December.</p> <p>As David Moth reported in '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65869-how-are-retailers-promoting-click-collect-online/">How are retailers promoting click &amp; collect online?</a>' Tesco had suffered a fulfilment disaster after failing to deliver many Black Friday click and collect orders on time. </p> <p>On the following Friday it displayed a banner notifying customers that due to “unprecedented demand” it was currently unable to provide next day click and collect deliveries.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7249/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_14.03.51.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7249/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_14.03.51-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="154"></a></p> <p>Marks and Spencer had also been forced to withdraw its click and collect service, and deliveries to customers’ homes were delayed by up to two weeks as its new distribution centre failed to cope with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65847-all-the-stats-you-need-from-black-friday-cyber-monday-2014">Black Friday</a> demand.</p> <p>However there are major rays of optimism to be found elsewhere. </p> <h3>Success for John Lewis</h3> <p>For the department store, click and collect overtook home delivery for the first time during Christmas 2014.</p> <p>56% of John Lewis’s online customers chose to collect their goods from stores, rather than have them delivered to home addresses.</p> <p>Total sales for John Lewis for the five weeks up to 27 December were a record £777m, up 5.8% on the same period last year.</p> <p>As counter sales fell by around 1%, the growth can be entirely attributed to a 19% rise in online sales compared with Christmas 2013.</p> <h3>Ways to improve click and collect</h3> <p>Clearly it’s all about connecting the online proposition with the offline reality.</p> <p>Many brands have an excellent approach to promoting click and collect, as evidenced by its ubiquity this winter, as well there being an increase in retailers adopting it as a delivery option.</p> <p>However the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65612-how-do-ecommerce-sites-approach-the-click-collect-ux/">user experience of click and collect</a> differs in quality across various ecommerce sites. </p> <p>Schuh has clear CTAs on every product page allowing you to check stock in any branch, then you can either buy online and collect in-store, or reserve the item in-store and pay after you try them on.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7898/shuh.png" alt="" width="1114" height="826"></p> <p>Halfords on the other hand provides a confusing array of CTAs on each product page, meaning that the click and collect stock checker is easy to overlook.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/5146/screen_shot_2014-10-20_at_09.52.05-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="637"></p> <p>John Lewis obviously has a very succesful click and collect service, but only mentions it on product pages for items that are available for delivery via this method.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/5144/screen_shot_2014-10-20_at_09.34.25-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="410"></p> <p>As a result, shoppers may not realise that click and collect is available on alternative products.</p> <p>Although these UX niggles are important to iron out, the key thing to achieve, as I mentioned earlier, is making the whole multichannel experience as connected and as excellent as it can be.</p> <p>If a significant proportion of your online shoppers are choosing not to have their goods delivered to their home but to store, these customers will expect the same hassle-free, customer-focused experience on the high street store as they did online.</p> <p>This means:</p> <ul> <li>Providing a specific area with a customer service team to deal with click and collect enquiries (which in my experience TopShop’s Oxford Street branch does very well).</li> <li>Ensuring there aren’t lengthy queues.</li> <li>Keeping customers informed regularly on the status of their order.</li> <li>Making sure opening times are clearly communicated not just in store but online and most importantly in direct email or text messages to the customer.</li> <li>Make sure deliveries are clearly labelled and organised in stock rooms so that customers don’t have to wait too long.</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65894 2014-12-17T10:32:35+00:00 2014-12-17T10:32:35+00:00 The 2014 retail IPO explosion: what does this mean for retail technology? Darryl Adie <p>A common theme running through these IPOs is a real focus on retail technology and the web.</p> <p>AO.com, Poundland, Pets at Home and Boohoo.com have all predicated their valuations on cutting edge technology that has, and will, facilitate growth and margins above the retail norm.</p> <p>ASOS led a charge of pureplay retailers to the stock exchange this year and its shares have more than doubled since flotation, helped by a booming ecommerce economy that is set to double in Europe between 2012 and 2018.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7621/poundland-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="266"></p> <p>For those involved in retail technology these listings are an important moment. The IPOs are going to drive a whole new wave of retail technology investment and every retailer, listed or not, needs to be aware that we are going to see a sudden acceleration in the pace of technology development in the retail sector.</p> <p>There will be a couple of driving forces behind this sudden burst of tech growth.  </p> <p>On the one hand, these deals have raised awareness of the importance of technology amongst retail investors and, on the other, they’ve released a huge amount of capital to newly listed retailers who are fighting hard for a competitive edge.</p> <p>Retail technology was, for a long time, an issue of only passing interest to investors. While it was understood that ecommerce meant growth, the details of what this meant weren’t seen as a major factor in retail valuations. With these listings that has changed. </p> <p>In particular, AO.com spent weeks taking analysts around its warehouse and fulfilment infrastructure to help them understand why its model was worth the price it was asking.  </p> <p>This new understanding among investors means that there will be increasing pressure on all retailers to meet the standards set by the market leaders, or risk losing out to the technologically advanced. </p> <p>For more on the company's brilliance in online retail, read our post on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64902-13-ecommerce-best-practice-lessons-from-ao-com/">13 ecommerce best practice lessons from AO.com</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/DUwAAIh.jpg" alt="" width="500"></p> <p>Video game retailer Game announced its intention to proceed with an IPO earlier this year, just two years after undergoing extensive restructuring.</p> <p>The company cited its 'ground-breaking digital strategy', omnichannel credentials and digital marketing potential following a company-wide technical revamp.</p> <p>There have also been whispers in recent weeks that luxury online retailer Net-a-Porter may be floated in 2015.</p> <p>The second side effect has been the release of significant funds for technology investment onto the market, as the newly cash-rich public retailers attempt to meet their prospective financial targets through increasingly innovative approaches.</p> <p>The speed of new technology development in retail, combined with the pressure to beat expectations, will force retailers to maintain or expand their pre-IPO technology investment plans. </p> <p>As a result, private or already listed retailers should expect the technology arms race to become significantly more intense in the coming months.</p> <p>Consumers are consistently demanding optimised, tailored, multichannel shopping experiences and the retailers that win will be the ones with the most up-to-date technological offering.  </p> <p>The flip side to this is that this investment will also spur further innovation as vendors fight to provide the magic bullet that will solve the latest retail challenge. </p> <p>For all online retailers, these recent IPOs are more than just a validation of the market sector.  </p> <p>They’re the starting gun in a new race to the top in retail technologies and may mark the start of a massive bout of development within the retail space. </p> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic read our post on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64408-12-more-examples-of-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/">12 examples of digital technology in retail stores</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64332-what-is-the-state-of-digital-retail-in-london/">the state of digital retail in London</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65869 2014-12-08T11:06:22+00:00 2014-12-08T11:06:22+00:00 How are retailers promoting click & collect online? David Moth <p>On Friday it was displaying a banner notifying customers that due to “unprecedented demand” it was currently unable to provide next day click and collect deliveries.</p> <p>Weirdly this was only the case for Tesco products, as “partner items are unaffected.”</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7249/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_14.03.51.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7249/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_14.03.51-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="154"></a></p> <p>But Tesco is only showing this notification on the click-and-collect information page.</p> <p>On the Tesco Direct homepage the graphic is still offering free next day collection from every store, which is quite underhand really.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7248/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_14.12.17.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7248/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_14.12.17-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="265"></a></p> <p>M&amp;S has also been forced to withdraw its next-day in-store delivery service and deliveries to customers’ homes have also been delayed by up to two weeks.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/07/marks-and-spencer-delays-online-orders">the Guardian</a> M&amp;S’s new distribution centre failed to cope with the extra demand generated on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65847-all-the-stats-you-need-from-black-friday-cyber-monday-2014">Black Friday</a>.</p> <p>Its site has been updated to inform customers that the next-day click and collect service is unavailable, but still says: “Order by 5pm for delivery to your chosen store.”</p> <p>Surely it doesn’t matter what time you place your order if next-day delivery isn’t an option?</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7238/Screen_Shot_2014-12-08_at_09.48.52.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7238/screen_shot_2014-12-08_at_09.48.52-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="342" height="346"></a></p> <p>Click and collect services are hugely important for the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">customer experience</a>, particularly at this time of year, so it’s a major problem if retailers fail to deliver on promised delivery times.</p> <p>Here’s a look at how other ecommerce retailers are promoting their click-and-collect delivery services.</p> <h3>Argos</h3> <p>Argos operates a hugely popular click and reserve service, but it isn’t currently making a big deal of it on its website.</p> <p>The homepage carousel is promoting gift vouchers and a 70% sale on Christmas decorations, so shoppers are first made aware of click and collect option at the product pages.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7247/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_14.30.46.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7247/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_14.30.46-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="344"></a></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>John Lewis lists its delivery options at the bottom of the homepage, but you need to scroll down quite far to find it.</p> <p>The free click &amp; collect service is at the top of the list, which highlights its popularity among shoppers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7246/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_15.22.39-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="273"></p> <p>Click &amp; collect is also mentioned on each of the category pages, with collection available from both John Lewis and selected Waitrose stores.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7245/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_15.27.43.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7245/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_15.27.43-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="231"></a></p> <h3>Homebase</h3> <p>Homebase also lists its delivery options low down on the homepage, with the top option being reserve &amp; collect.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7244/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_15.46.57.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7244/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_15.46.57-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="300"></a></p> <p>However this appears to be the usual homepage template so I don’t think Homebase is doing anything out of the ordinary here.</p> <p>It doesn’t make any mention of delivery options on the category pages.</p> <h3>B&amp;Q</h3> <p>Again B&amp;Q mentions click &amp; collect on its homepage but it appears to be part of the standard template rather than any particular effort to promote it over Christmas.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7243/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_15.57.52.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7243/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_15.57.52-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="313"></a></p> <h3>Matalan</h3> <p>Matalan has a standard click &amp; collect promo at the top of its homepage, but a warning that deliveries are taking longer than normal appears lower down the page.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7242/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_16.02.00.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7242/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_16.02.00-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="431"></a></p> <h3>Debenhams</h3> <p>All of Debenhams’ various fulfilment options are displayed prominently on its homepage...</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7241/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_16.19.50.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7241/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_16.19.50-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="350"></a></p> <p>...but lower down the page there’s an update warning customers that some standard deliveries are running late. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7240/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_16.25.23.png" alt="" width="218" height="343"></p> <h3>Waterstones</h3> <p>Click &amp; collect is mentioned on the homepage, but it looks like a fairly standard template.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7239/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_16.27.40.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7239/screen_shot_2014-12-05_at_16.27.40-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="237"></a></p> <h3>Evans Cycles</h3> <p>Evans Cycles has a homepage banner linking to its Christmas order dates.</p> <p>This is really useful for shoppers as they can make a considered purchase without worrying whether the bike will arrive on time.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7237/Screen_Shot_2014-12-08_at_09.58.07.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7237/screen_shot_2014-12-08_at_09.58.07-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="291"></a></p> <p>One of the slides in the carousel also links to the various delivery options, which includes a free click &amp; collect option.</p> <h3>New Look</h3> <p>New Look has adopted the same approach as Evans Cycles. </p> <p>It lists the final Christmas order date for each of its UK stores which is useful but could have been improved by using a postcode lookup tool rather than making shoppers trawl through a giant list.</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7236/Screen_Shot_2014-12-08_at_10.00.53.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7236/screen_shot_2014-12-08_at_10.00.53-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="360"></a></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65643 2014-10-22T14:30:00+01:00 2014-10-22T14:30:00+01:00 Back to the Future: the journey from online to offline retail Darryl Adie <p>There are a range of reasons why offline has gradually become more interesting for web-based retailers:</p> <h3><strong>Brand</strong></h3> <p>As the online retail space has become more competitive and price-led, differentiation amongst retailers has become correspondingly more important.</p> <p>The rising cost of traffic combined with declining margins on sales from price competition, means that online retailers are increasingly having to look to brand as a means of maintaining a non-commodity pricing model.</p> <p>As it turns out, one of the most effective ways of communicating brand values is through letting your customers have a physical experience of your organisation. </p> <p>For example, eyewear retailer Warby Parker made the move from on- to offline with the opening of its first physical store in mid-2013. Its stores are intended, in part at least, as vehicles to help communicate the group’s brand in a way that simply isn’t possible in the two dimensional world of the web. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/5233/Warby_Parker_store.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="334"></p> <h3>Fulfilment</h3> <p>One of the surprises of the rise of clicks-and-bricks has been the power of retail real estate in the fulfilment chain.</p> <p>Innovative fulfilment models such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers">click and collect</a>, try-before-you-buy or pick-from-store have all enabled offline retailers to launch differentiated service offerings compared to their pureplay counterparts. </p> <p>In particular, without a network of stores, online retailers have been forced to develop ever larger distribution networks to get close enough to retailers to facilitate next- or even same-day delivery.</p> <p>Some pureplays are now moving into the physical world to help them match the clicks-and bricks players in new fulfilment models. </p> <p>Amazon’s recent announcement to open <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/new-york-amazon-store-set-to-open-before-christmas-9787639.html">its first physical store in New York</a> made it clear that being a pureplay retailer just isn’t enough anymore and marks a move by the online giant towards a more customer-focused approach.</p> <p>Amazon has understood that providing great customer service means it needs to be physically close to its customers.</p> <h3>Legacy</h3> <p>One of the long-standing criticisms of traditional physical store networks is that they tend to come with a heavy legacy cost base of rents, staffing, technology and other outdated infrastructure.</p> <p>However, as pureplays have investigated the physical world in more detail, they’ve realised that creating ‘greenfield’ retail sites from scratch means that this legacy can be avoided.</p> <p>If a store estate is constructed based on a mixed format model then many of the costs and disadvantages of traditional stores can be avoided. For example, US clothing retailer Bonobos moved into the physical world in early 2013 with its ‘Guideshop’ ecommerce stores.</p> <p>These enable shoppers to experience the Bonobos range and try on products for size and feel before ordering for delivery to the home.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/5234/bonobos.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400"></p> <p>By focusing the store presence on try-before-you-buy, it’s been able to avoid the traditional costs that clothing retailers incur in holding large in-store stock with the costs in terms of floor space and product value that come with this. </p> <h3>Showrooming</h3> <p>For a long time <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63268-showrooming-is-on-the-rise-stats">showrooming was seen as a threat to bricks-and-mortar retailers</a>. The perception was that shoppers would visit physical stores to experience a product and then order it online for the best possible price.</p> <p>Now, many retailers are beginning to view this as an opportunity, not a threat. The ability to give customers a physical experience of your product can be a direct route to sales. </p> <p>Clearly, showrooming is more of a threat with a commodity product but, if you carry sufficiently differentiated stock, and offer customers a seamless channel from store to online purchase, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62447-13-ways-for-retailers-to-deal-with-the-threat-of-showrooming">showrooming can be utilised as a marketing tool</a>. </p> <p>For example, UK furniture retailer Oak Furniture Land started as an eBay storefront in 2004 before opening 54 stores between 2009 and the present day. Its offline presences enable showrooming by customers whilst giving them the choice to then purchase in store or online. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/5235/oak_furniture_land.gif" alt="" width="600" height="300"></p> <p>With a proprietary range the risk of cannibalisation is minimal and the physical stores let consumers experience the tactile nature of the all-wood products.</p> <p>Clearly, not every venture from on- to offline is destined to succeed. For example, the move by Kiddicare to open retail stores following its acquisition by Morrisons doesn’t appear to have succeeded.</p> <p>This was potentially because Kiddicare attempted to create a traditional, big box format rather than leveraging the efficiencies of online in a physical environment. </p> <p>However, when the positive synergies between on- and offline are effectively combined, as has been the case with the likes of Warby Parker, Bonobos and My-Wardobe, it seems that the combination can be more than the sum of its parts. </p> <p>While for many years the offline industry has been learning from the web, it seems now that there is something that the old guard can teach the new wave.</p>