tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/high-street Latest High street content from Econsultancy 2017-10-18T10:00:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69499 2017-10-18T10:00:00+01:00 2017-10-18T10:00:00+01:00 Four lessons retailers can learn from Ted Baker’s international growth Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what’s behind Ted Baker’s recent success? Here’s a few reasons why I think it’s succeeding in today’s increasingly competitive fashion retail market, and what we can learn from its example.</p> <h3>Distinct brand DNA</h3> <p>Ted Baker sets itself apart from other fashion retailers with a distinct brand identity. This is characterised by ‘Ted’ himself, who is a personification of the brand’s quirky and decidedly British image. </p> <p>The brand’s founder, Ray Kelvin, has previously been described as the ‘closest man to Ted’. He says that it is “an individual and quirky viewpoint on fashion which keeps the customer coming back for more”, and it is the brand’s distinctly British sense of humour that is a big part of this.</p> <p>Ted Baker now has 36 standalone shops, 237 concessions and 14 outlets in countries across the word, capitalising on its British heritage to appeal to international consumers. Alongside this, it also focuses on a dedication to quality (in terms of both its product and customer service) and a real attention to detail. </p> <p>The latter is particularly evident in its retail stores, with each one being entirely unique in design. Its stores also serve as an opportunity for the retailer to reflect its whimsical personality. Examples of this include its Bluewater store including its own fictional village called ‘Tedbury’, as well as its London-themed Tokyo outlet, which is complete with a booth made to look like a black cab.</p> <p>Altogether, it has managed to create a brand identity that is both fun and highly recognisable to consumers across the globe.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9611/TB_Tokyo.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="326"></p> <h3>Experiential and innovative retail</h3> <p>Ted Baker was one of the first fashion brands to launch an experiential retail concept. Its line of Grooming Rooms, which first opened in 2010, offers customers the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Turkish barber experience (which ‘Ted’ apparently discovered during his travels).</p> <p>It offers haircuts and shaves and even brow threading – drawing in customers who are fans of Ted Baker’s dapper and perfectly groomed image. Some Grooming Rooms are standalone, yet others are placed inside larger Ted stores to entice shoppers to linger.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hold fast with the new Hair Mud from <a href="https://twitter.com/Teds_Grooming?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Teds_Grooming</a>, formulated to give matte definition without the weight: <a href="https://t.co/fHFJXN9b8f">https://t.co/fHFJXN9b8f</a> <a href="https://t.co/kNKvYCerAt">pic.twitter.com/kNKvYCerAt</a></p> — Ted Baker (@ted_baker) <a href="https://twitter.com/ted_baker/status/915275385079771136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 3, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>On the back of this demand for the brand, Ted Baker has also expanded its product offering, stretching to bath and body products, spectacles, and even a range of bicycles in collaboration with bike retailer Quella.</p> <p>This has meant that Ted Baker is transforming into much more of a lifestyle brand than just a straight-forward fashion brand – which is a clear advantage over competitors like Paul Smith and French Connection. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We're all wheels: shop Ted bikes with <a href="https://twitter.com/QuellaBicycle?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@QuellaBicycle</a>. <a href="https://t.co/cxgpJLwohw">pic.twitter.com/cxgpJLwohw</a></p> — Ted Baker (@ted_baker) <a href="https://twitter.com/ted_baker/status/914759479782146048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Elsewhere, Ted Baker uses digital technology to dazzle in-store customers. For its Spring 2017 campaign, it installed an interactive window displays in its flagship Regent Street store.</p> <p>The display, which involved passers by placing their hands on the window and peering through, was effective for piquing consumer interest. It also gave them the chance to enter a prize draw if they got involved, which was a great way to forge long-term connections.</p> <h3>Strong logistics</h3> <p>While the aforementioned activity is bound to delight customers, Ted Baker’s recent success can also be put down to heavy investment in infrastructure. It has recently opened a brand new distribution centre based in Derby, which acts as the main base for all of Ted Baker’s retail, wholesale and ecommerce operations across Europe. It also allows Ted Baker to fulfil the increasingly demanding expectations of consumers, such as next-day delivery and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68739-how-has-click-collect-evolved-and-is-it-still-in-high-demand/">click and collect</a>. </p> <p>This approach has also led to steady but strong international expansion, with the brand leading with concessions in markets like Vietnam and South Africa to build desire for its product – and building further standalone stores in China and the US.</p> <p>With a 43.8% rise in ecommerce sales, its investment has clearly paid off.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9639/TB_China.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="351"></p> <h3>Non-traditional marketing</h3> <p>Ted Baker has famously avoided traditional advertising, mainly focusing on digital and social channels. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69094-five-examples-of-brands-using-interactive-video" target="_blank">Video</a> has been a huge area of focus, with the brand clearly paying attention to the prediction that 79% of all internet traffic will come from video by 2020.</p> <p>In 2016, it released a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66625-shoppable-video-the-missing-piece-of-your-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">shoppable video</a> directed by Guy Ritchie – essentially a mini-film that allowed viewers to click and save items featured. For its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68900-ted-baker-uses-360-video-and-instagram-stories-for-new-ss17-campaign" target="_blank">follow-up campaign</a>, ‘Keeping Up with the Bakers’, the brand launched a 360-degree shoppable film, allowing users to become further immersed in the world of Ted. </p> <p>This demonstrates how eager the brand is to innovate, with each campaign introducing new elements to surprise and delight consumers. According to research, 360-degree video increases engagement (and therefore sales) as people are said to feel greater affinity with things that they can control. Combining this with shoppable content means that consumers are even more likely to take action. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZSSfIlQnZb8?wmode=transparent" width="656" height="367"></iframe></p> <p>Meanwhile, Ted Baker uses social to further increase engagement around its campaigns, particularly focusing on Instagram for its large reach.</p> <p>It released its ‘Keeping Up with the Bakers’ sitcom on Instagram Stories, building anticipation in the run up to each episode, and giving viewers incentives to view each episode with daily challenges.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">UFO sightings have been confirmed on Tailor’s Lane. Head to Instagram Stories to find out the classified information <a href="https://t.co/auSCp3J3s1">https://t.co/auSCp3J3s1</a> <a href="https://t.co/px7PpjCmQl">pic.twitter.com/px7PpjCmQl</a></p> — Ted Baker (@ted_baker) <a href="https://twitter.com/ted_baker/status/841725624293117952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 14, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Key takeaways</h3> <p>So, what can we learn from Ted Baker’s approach to retail? Here are few key points to remember.</p> <p><strong>1. Define your DNA.</strong> Ted Baker has created a memorable brand image based on its quirky and British sense of humour. This allows the brand to differentiate itself from the competition, and engage consumers on a deeper level.</p> <p><strong>2. Constantly innovate.</strong> With a strong brand (and product) as its backbone, Ted Baker is unafraid to improve and innovate in other areas such as in-store technology. Again, this makes it stand out in a competitive retail market, as well as delivering a memorable customer experience.</p> <p><strong>3. Focus on logistics</strong>. While engaging customers is important, Ted Baker ensures it is able to deliver top quality service with heavy focus and investment on logistics. Factors like fast delivery and easy returns, as well as large and new amount of products helps to satisfy customer demand.</p> <p><strong>4. Refresh your content</strong>. Lastly, Ted Baker shows how an innovative and creative approach to marketing can pay off. With a focus on video – experimenting with 360 and shoppable content – it constantly surprises and delights consumers, helping to increase long-term loyalty to the brand.</p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69037-four-digital-commerce-lessons-from-fashion-retailer-bonobos" target="_blank">Four digital commerce lessons from fashion retailer Bonobos</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69334-lessons-in-brand-building-from-deliciously-ella" target="_blank">Lessons in brand building from Deliciously Ella</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69494 2017-10-17T12:00:00+01:00 2017-10-17T12:00:00+01:00 Four reasons fashion brands are launching their own beauty ranges Nikki Gilliland <p>But <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69044-five-reasons-behind-boohoo-s-97-increase-in-profits" target="_blank">Boohoo</a> is certainly not the only fashion retailer to capitalise on this burgeoning industry. It comes hot on the heels of other high street and online fashion brands including Primark, H&amp;M, and New Look also launching their very own beauty products. Others, like Topshop and M&amp;S, have been in the game for a while.</p> <p>So why are more fashion brands entering the beauty market? Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest benefits.</p> <h3>1. A slice of the beauty pie</h3> <p>On the surface, it’s unsurprising that fashion brands are looking to the increasingly lucrative beauty sector. </p> <p>While fashion sales stagnated in 2016, the beauty industry enjoyed notable growth. This only looks set to continue in the next few years, with the US beauty market in particular predicted to be worth <a href="http://www.gcimagazine.com/marketstrends/regions/northamerica/US-Beauty-Sector-Will-be-worth-90-Billion-by-2020-387002581.html?utm_source=Most+Read&amp;utm_medium=website&amp;utm_campaign=Most+Read" target="_blank">$90bn by 2020</a>. Meanwhile, the mass market category (which is targeted at middle or low income population) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 2.6% until then.</p> <p>Of course, the more crowded the market becomes, the more difficult it will be to connect with customers. However, previous examples show there is potential for real success.</p> <p>Take Topshop for instance, which first launched its beauty range back in 2009. Now a familiar part of its stores, its make-up range has a loyal customer base. There are perhaps a few reasons in particular why this is the case, such as dedicating a large part of its stores to showcasing make-up – not simply shoving it by the tills. This decision highlights the collection’s standalone appeal, telling customers that it is something worth seeking out rather than buying last-minute.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9569/Topshop_beauty.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="504"></p> <p>Similarly, its investment in a large and diverse range of products – which happens to also take much longer to produce than fashion – has contributed to the range’s reputation for high quality.</p> <h3>2. The chance to be a one-stop shop</h3> <p>Another reason fashion brands are expanding into beauty is the opportunity to become a one-stop shop, providing loyal customers with everything they need under one umbrella brand.</p> <p>Primark is a pertinent example of this, with beauty being just one of its extensive number of categories. Essentially, it contributes to the idea that there is nothing you can’t buy from Primark, including fashion, homeware, food, and now make-up – so why would you go anywhere else?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Are you a saint or a sinner? Prices from: €3/$3.50 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PrimarkBeauty?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PrimarkBeauty</a> <a href="https://t.co/1cLTWaYyNX">pic.twitter.com/1cLTWaYyNX</a></p> — Primark (@Primark) <a href="https://twitter.com/Primark/status/911229108914409472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 22, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Other brands are also recognising the potential to capture customer loyalty in this way. H&amp;M recognises that beauty can be an extension of fashion, which merely allows customers to experiment with their personal style in another way. Consequently, the retailer has heavily invested in its hair and make-up range, also extending it to fragrance and bath and body. It’s even launched sustainable and limited edition products, ensuring that customers are dazzled by an irresistible amount of choice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9570/H_M.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="502"></p> <h3>3. Upselling and repurchasing</h3> <p>Alongside the ability to offer something other than just fashion, brands are also jumping on beauty as a way to increase customer retention.</p> <p>It depends on both budget and personal choice, of course, but while people might only buy new clothes at the start of every season or during sales, customers are more likely to buy beauty or cosmetics products when they run out. In turn, this also allows retailers to retarget customers based on predictions about when they will need to re-purchase – a tactic often used by traditional beauty brands such as Lancome (see below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9571/Lancome.JPG" alt="" width="480" height="782"></p> <p>Another reason is that stocking beauty or make-up products can prompt customers to spend more, even if that is not their original intention. For example, online shoppers might add small-price beauty items to their basket to reach the amount needed for free-delivery. In stores, customers might also be drawn to beauty and cosmetics items for gifting purposes or simply as spontaneous purchases.</p> <p>For <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69216-four-factors-fuelling-the-growth-of-fast-fashion-retailers" target="_blank">fast-fashion brands</a>, where value is already a selling point, the ability to sell low-price but high quality beauty is also drawing in swathes of consumers – especially of a younger generation. With cosmetics typically being one of the first categories young people spend their money on, fast-fashion brands (that already have a connection with this demographic) have a one-up on legacy or higher-priced brands such as Mac or L’Oréal. </p> <p>Meanwhile, older consumers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to factors like packaging or branding, which typically inflates price but does not impact the quality of the product itself. The popularity of new brands like The Ordinary (which offers highly functional, stripped down skincare products) demonstrates this.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I cant stop myself from pressing that 'add to basket' button when it comes to The Ordinary products from <a href="https://twitter.com/deciem?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@deciem</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skincare?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skincare</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/obsessed?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#obsessed</a> <a href="https://t.co/vsgFf9yosk">pic.twitter.com/vsgFf9yosk</a></p> — Orla Maginness (@MissMaginness) <a href="https://twitter.com/MissMaginness/status/917701252737314818?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>4. Potential for influencer involvement</h3> <p>A number of fashion brands have successfully <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">partnered with influencers</a> to capitalise on an existing and highly engaged social audience. The potential for this kind of marketing only increases in the beauty market, allowing brands to tap into a large new pool of influencers, as well as the ability to reach consumers seeking out reviews, tutorials, and general inspiration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9572/Hannah_Gale_Primark.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="489"></p> <p>In this sense, influencers have given brands an entirely new way to market their products. Customers are ready and waiting to lap it up, too. According to research, 92% of consumers are said to trust an influencer more than they do an advertisement or a traditional celebrity endorsement.</p> <p>Of course, fashion brands do not solely rely on this kind of content to reach a beauty-hungry audience. The category itself gives brands the opportunity to create diverse and more lifestyle-driven content of their own. </p> <p>For example, H&amp;M's spin-off brand &amp; Other Stories sells beauty on the back of its distinct aesthetic. Its packaging mirrors the style of its social media as well as its stores, using pretty and minimal design to promote a certain type of lifestyle as well as the products themselves.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">&amp; other stories do the prettiest pastel coloured beauty products, I want them all for my bathroom <a href="https://t.co/NMAQ2mnDmO">pic.twitter.com/NMAQ2mnDmO</a></p> — Lucy (@WhatLucyLovesxo) <a href="https://twitter.com/WhatLucyLovesxo/status/913450616936124416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>So, will Boohoo succeed in beauty, or is the market already too saturated for brands like it to succeed? </p> <p>With clear opportunity to boost sales, store footfall, and social engagement, it’s an unsurprisingly enticing prospect.</p> <p>As Topshop and H&amp;M have already demonstrated, the real key to success appears to be delivering on the promise of great value, high quality products – not just jumping on the beauty bandwagon. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69241-three-reasons-to-admire-glossier-the-best-online-beauty-brand-you-ve-never-heard-of" target="_blank">Three reasons to admire Glossier: The best online beauty brand you've never heard of</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69354-10-brilliant-examples-of-content-marketing-from-beauty-brands" target="_blank">10 brilliant examples of content marketing from beauty brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68205-how-three-beauty-ecommerce-sites-integrate-editorial-content" target="_blank">How three beauty ecommerce sites integrate editorial content</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69493 2017-10-13T08:49:00+01:00 2017-10-13T08:49:00+01:00 Majestic Wine revamps website with focus on some familiar social proof tactics Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what does its new website offer, and will it encourage consumers to order more wine online? Here’s a run-down of what I think does and doesn’t work.</p> <h3>Customer influence</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them" target="_blank">Ratings and reviews</a> have long been seen as an essential tool for ecommerce sites, but recent research highlights the extent to which they can impact conversion rates. </p> <p>According to <a href="http://learn.podium.com/rs/841-BRM-380/images/2017-SOOR-Infographic.jpg" target="_blank">Podium</a>, a whopping 93% of online shoppers say reviews have an impact of their purchasing decisions, while 83% say that the content of a review has convinced them to buy something online.</p> <p>Majestic Wine’s previous site also included customer reviews and ratings, however its new version makes this a primary focus. It includes a new tool which lets users choose whether or not they would ‘buy it again’ – alongside the standard star rating and written review.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9526/Would_you_buy_it_again.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="221"></p> <p>Putting aside the impact on those reading the reviews for now, this increased interaction enables consumers to become decision-makers. Essentially it means that Majestic Wines will consider the amount of ‘buy it again’ votes before restocking a product, using customer influence to determine what wines it sells online.</p> <p>This feature has been copied from Naked Wines, a smaller wine-on-subscription business <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32246651">that Majestic purchased in 2015</a>. That deal was intended to spur Majestic's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>, and clearly the acquisition has influenced the new site design.</p> <p>It does appear as if Majestic has copied much of Naked’s UX, with the focus on ratings and reviews being one of the most obvious features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9522/nakedwine.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="511"></p> <p>The reviews feature should help improve conversions as it is a very obvious sign of social proof and allows customers to feel much more involved.</p> <p>Majestic’s minimal design actually makes the feature look a bit more appealing than on Naked’s site, with the cleaner product pages making it easier for customers to rate products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9523/Majestic_Rate_This_Wine.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="513"></p> <h3>Capitalising on social proof</h3> <p>As well as giving customers increased influence, the new ‘buy it again’ feature allows the retailer to capitalise on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66569-five-ways-to-use-social-proof-online" target="_blank">social proof</a>. In short, it instils confidence in the product, urging customers to hit the ‘add to basket’ button.</p> <p>The highly visual nature of Majestic Wine’s rating system is likely to be effective. Instead of clicking through to product pages or scrolling down to read reviews, users can get an instant idea of how others feel about a product simply by browsing category pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9524/Majestic_category_page.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="529"></p> <p>Another plus is that this will only increase as time goes on, with social proof increasing (or decreasing if the product fails to impress) as more and more ratings are accumulated. </p> <p>One drawback worth mentioning is that the review section itself is poorly designed. While it could be useful to include the option for users to respond to reviews, this section appears to take up far too much space.</p> <p>It would make more sense to condense reviews, meaning that the site could fit more on one page (and users would not have to click through to the next page as often).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9527/Customer_reviews.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="522"></p> <h3>Discovery tool</h3> <p>Another new feature on Majestic’s site is a discovery tool on its homepage that helps users find their ‘perfect wine’. This is a nifty tool, helping to quickly and easily narrow down a search in just a few questions. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9530/Discovery_Tool.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="260"></p> <p>This is likely to be useful for customers who have a limited level of knowledge about wine or who are typically overwhelmed by choice. Even if the customer does not have white or red preference, for instance, the tool still offers suggestions based on other factors like ‘easy drinking’ or ‘intense flavours’ and whether or not the person favours deals or one-of-a-kind items.</p> <p>As well as providing general inspiration, this tool could also help to reduce basket abandonment rates, ultimately nudging customers down the sales funnel when they might otherwise get bored or frustrated and leave.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9531/Discovery_Tool_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="221"></p> <h3>Promoting the little extras</h3> <p>Majestic’s new site is slick in design, if a little basic. One thing that stands out is the promotion of customer-centric extras like delivery, click and collect, and a ‘no quibble’ money-back guarantee. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9550/Little_extras.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="378"></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68739-how-has-click-collect-evolved-and-is-it-still-in-high-demand/" target="_blank">Click and collect</a> is particularly important, especially when it comes to attracting millennial shoppers. A <a href="https://www.retailitinsights.com/doc/new-survey-finds-that-percent-of-millennials-click-and-collect-0001" target="_blank">recent survey</a> found that 87% of millennials have used click and collect – with this generation particularly viewing the service as an incentive to shop with certain retailers.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the inclusion of these icons on product pages is eye-catching, however the site lets itself down with avoidable mistakes like spelling mistakes or typos in the copy (“It’s up too you”). That aside, I like other small details such as symbols detailing the country of origin as well as other handy titbits like whether or not the wine is screw-cap or organic. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9551/Product_info.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="510"></p> <p>In comparison to Naked Wines, which focuses on conversational (and occasionally convoluted) copy, I prefer Majestic’s succinct and highly visual product information. </p> <h3>Pushing customers in-stores</h3> <p>Finally, Majestic’s new site is clearly designed to better highlight its status as a multichannel retailer, with a focus on improving customer service across the board. </p> <p>It recently rolled out a new ‘franchise-lite’ model, which allows store managers to become partners, giving them much greater control over the running of day-to-day events and stock. This is reflected online, with the site’s ‘store locator’ also including detailed information about those who work there – plus links to unique Twitter and Facebook accounts for individual stores. </p> <p>It is quite rare for a mid-size retailer to invest in localised social media in this way, but it can be a good way to foster loyalty of local customers. Another way Majestic is doing this is with in-store events, with the store locator also including information about wine and beer tasting and Christmas-themed experiences. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Superb weekend tasting <a href="https://twitter.com/majesticclapham?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@majesticclapham</a> quickly discovered a new favourite in <a href="https://twitter.com/OldBakeryGin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OldBakeryGin</a> thanks to the wonderful staff <a href="https://t.co/vsmuiatvpN">pic.twitter.com/vsmuiatvpN</a></p> — James Laird (@scavgourmet) <a href="https://twitter.com/scavgourmet/status/893801730919604225?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 5, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Customers can also purchase tickets to these events online. But while this feature is good addition, it doesn’t appear as if the events are promoted that heavily on the main site. Customers might only come across them if they are searching via the store locator, and even then the ‘events’ tab is quite easy to miss.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9552/Majestic_localised.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="490"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While many of the features on Majestic's new site have been copied from Naked Wines, I think the way Majestic has presented the information is much more visually appealing. </p> <p>There are still drawbacks. Its store locator is a bit lacklustre, unable to detect my current location and failing to promote in-store events in an exciting way. The site is also rather dull in terms of design, but all in all, there’s lots to appreciate. </p> <p>It’s definitely slicker and more interactive than before, which is likely to please existing online customers. The ability to leave decisive feedback on wine will lead to more informed purchasing decisions while fostering a sense of customer involvement, and the discovery tool should help to push customers down the path to purchase.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67344-habitat-s-new-mobile-site-great-ux-poor-content/" target="_blank">Habitat's new mobile site: Great UX, poor content</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69036-six-ways-aldo-s-new-mobile-site-streamlines-the-shopping-experience" target="_blank">Six ways Aldo’s new mobile site streamlines the shopping experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69464 2017-10-10T09:15:00+01:00 2017-10-10T09:15:00+01:00 Five delicious reasons behind Hotel Chocolat’s boost in profits Nikki Gilliland <p>In the year ending 2nd July, Hotel Chocolat saw an increase of 12% in year-on-year revenue growth. Meanwhile, its pre-tax profits doubled to £11.2m.</p> <p>This is perhaps interesting in itself, but even more so considering rival Thorntons has reportedly seen <a href="https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/midlands/pre-tax-losses-widen-at-thorntons" target="_blank">pre-tax losses</a> of more than £19m under new owners Ferrero.</p> <p>So, why is Hotel Chocolat succeeding where Thorntons clearly isn’t? Here’s a few reasons why I think the chocolate brand is winning consumer favour. </p> <h3>Revamped website</h3> <p>Earlier this year, Hotel Chocolat launched a brand new website – redesigned to eradicate previous bugbears such as poor search, longwinded checkout, and awkward navigation. </p> <p>The new site is certainly an improvement. Now, the header menu is much more streamlined, with categories more deeply nested. I particularly like how it points users to shop by interests such as ‘health enthusiast’ and ‘caramel lover’ – especially good considering most consumers turn to the retailer for gifting purposes.</p> <p>The site’s focus on discovery also extends to the ‘Gift Creator’ – a feature that helps consumers build bespoke and personalised presents. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9293/Gift_Creator.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="418"></p> <p>There are other good features too, such as the ability to check in-store stock, and handy information on ‘letterbox friendly’ items on product pages. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9294/letterbox_friendly.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="565"></p> <p>It’s far from perfect. There are still frustrating niggles, such as awkward and slow load times and a poor <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68222-ecommerce-product-filters-best-practice-tips-for-a-great-ux" target="_blank">filter tool</a>.</p> <p>However, it offers a far better UX than before, with these new features perhaps contributing to more online purchases where consumers might have once abandoned their baskets or abandoned their search.</p> <h3>Shop and café format</h3> <p>Another factor that has contributed to increased consumer interest in Hotel Chocolat is its new café and shop format, with the retailer now rolling out 18 of these stores in locations across the UK.</p> <p>While the retailer already has an affiliated restaurant in London (called Rabot 1745), it has been able to further capitalise on its well-known brand name and USP of a chocolate-themed café. Instead of just boxed confectionary, shop+café’s sell hot drinks and ‘eat-in’ food including porridge and brownies. This had led to a reported increase in footfall, with the retailer giving passers-by an extra reason to enter and linger. </p> <p>Meanwhile, where Hotel Chocolat has been unable to introduce the full café format into certain locations, it has still added extras like its ‘Ice Cream of the Gods’ service where possible. Again, this is likely to have helped increase footfall and boost sales (particularly during hot weather spells).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9292/Ice_Cream_Hotel_Chocolat.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="359"></p> <h3>Tasting experiences</h3> <p>Alongside adding a café element to its stores, Hotel Chocolat has entered into the world of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69389-five-innovative-examples-of-food-drink-brand-experiences" target="_blank">events and experiences</a>. It launched its ‘chocolate lock-ins’ series, offering shoppers the chance to attend tasting sessions in-stores after hours. Similarly, it now holds chocolate-making workshops for kids, as well as more in-depth ‘bean to bar’ learning workshops.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Date night with a twist?<br>Be VIP guests at one of our Chocolate Lock-Ins for an evening of Prosecco and Chocolate. <a href="https://t.co/NnE8Ifei3t">https://t.co/NnE8Ifei3t</a> <a href="https://t.co/9y8LvoYuqu">pic.twitter.com/9y8LvoYuqu</a></p> — Hotel Chocolat (@HotelChocolat) <a href="https://twitter.com/HotelChocolat/status/912743646411264000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>By creating memorable experiences, Hotel Chocolat is able to connect with consumers in a much more meaningful way. Instead of simply providing a product, it also enables the brand to give consumers something of real value, which in turn is likely to increase loyalty in the long-run.</p> <p>While rival Thorntons has also experimented with events - last year teaming up with Bompass &amp; Parr to create a ‘sensory pod’ in Westfield shopping centre – it hasn’t invested in any long-term endeavour.</p> <h3>Subscription boxes</h3> <p>Another area of expansion is Hotel Chocolat’s new subscription box service, which is set to launch next year after a successful test run. Called ‘Tasting Club’, it offers consumers the chance to receive a selection of curated chocolate in the post each month.</p> <p>Hotel Chocolat is marketing it as something of an elite members’ club, building on the exclusive nature of tasting products before they’re sold in stores. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9299/Tasting_Club.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="553"></p> <p>Naturally, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68545-five-ways-subscription-box-services-can-increase-customer-retention/" target="_blank">subscription model</a> will also provide the brand with the opportunity to capture recurring sales, hooking consumers in to a rolling service each month. This kind of service also allows brand to develop a relationship with those who sign up – as well as the opportunity to deepen it further by surprising them with offers and innovative boxes.</p> <p>Of course, it remains to be seen whether the model is a true success in the long-term. There is the danger that subscribers will soon lose interest or sign-up for a single box – especially if the retailer does not diversify its offering. However, with a successful trial period, it is certainly a sign that there is a demand for the brand’s product. </p> <h3>Expanding its core product</h3> <p>Finally, another reason Hotel Chocolat could be capturing consumers is the fact that it continues to experiment and diversify its product range.</p> <p>Instead of just food, the retailer now sells its own coffee and alcoholic drinks including cocoa infused gin, vodka and beer – as well as traditional prosecco specifically chosen to accompany its chocolate. Meanwhile, it also sells popular Christmas and birthday hampers and even its own brand recipe book. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our new Coffee range - created especially to pair with chocolate. <br>Available in capsules, beans and ground coffee. <a href="https://t.co/w4xNEdRVr0">https://t.co/w4xNEdRVr0</a> <a href="https://t.co/YBpkQws7vX">pic.twitter.com/YBpkQws7vX</a></p> — Hotel Chocolat (@HotelChocolat) <a href="https://twitter.com/HotelChocolat/status/914410836126572544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 1, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While this is bound to be a draw, it is also important to note how Hotel Chocolat’s brand ethos contributes to its overall appeal. With a dedication to sustainable and ethical cocoa farming, it has been able to build a reputation for high quality in every sense. </p> <p>On the back of its recent profits, Hotel Chocolat has also invested in British manufacturing operations in order to ramp up production – a sure-fire sign that it’s enjoying the sweet taste of success.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66150-thorntons-vs-hotel-chocolat-user-experience-comparison/" target="_blank">Thorntons vs. Hotel Chocolat: user experience comparison</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66150-thorntons-vs-hotel-chocolat-user-experience-comparison/" target="_blank">How Thorntons uses content marketing to gain an edge at Easter</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69450 2017-09-27T14:00:00+01:00 2017-09-27T14:00:00+01:00 What makes Argos the UK’s top multichannel retailer? Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a look at its multichannel strategy, and how it offers customer a superior and seamless experience across all channels. </p> <h3>In-store experience</h3> <p><a href="https://www.retail-week.com/topics/technology/data-the-uks-top-30-multichannel-retailers/7025739.article">Retail Week</a> reports that online sales account for a third of total sales on average for the top 30 multichannel retailers. This means that the rest is generated in stores. </p> <p>For Argos, success in both areas has stemmed from heavily investing in store technology – notably replacing its famous laminated catalogues and mini pens with tablet devices.</p> <p>Instead of the old system of writing out an order slip and queuing to pay a cashier, customers can now buy items much quicker via a digital kiosk before waiting for their collection to arrive. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9196/Argos_digital_innovation.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="474"></p> <p>Meanwhile, employees are also armed with portable devices to help find product and stock information quickly and easily, and warehouse staff use headsets to find out what tasks should be prioritised at that particular moment. </p> <p>Another key area of online and offline alignment is click-and-collect – a feature that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68739-how-has-click-collect-evolved-and-is-it-still-in-high-demand/" target="_blank">72% of consumers</a> are said to make use of if it is available. Argos’s ‘Fast Track’ service takes this up a notch, allowing customers to order and pick up from a store on the very same day.</p> <h3>Speed and convenience</h3> <p>This brings us to another important factor in Argos’s success – the aim of offering customers the fastest and most convenient option possible. </p> <p>According to research, 17% of consumers would change their minds about a purchase if click and collect was not available, making it a highly effective way of reducing basket abandonment. What’s more, click and collect customers are reported to spend <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/shoppers-hesitate-to-use-click-and-collect-2016-3?IR=T" target="_blank">twice as much</a> as regular shoppers.</p> <p>Not only does Argos offer click and collect, but the addition of ‘Fast Track’ means that customers can pick up on the same day, as well as get same-day delivery on home orders placed before 6pm.</p> <p>Effectively, this means that customers are no longer restricted to a retailer’s terms or operating hours, enjoying the freedom and choice to choose where and how they receive their items at their own convenience. Argos also allows customers to choose between four time slots or a two-hour delivery window in exchange for their mobile number – a way to banish that dreaded day-long wait indoors.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9197/fast_track.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="597"></p> <p>The demand for this kind of service is evident. Retail Week says that Argos generates half of its sales online, yet three quarters of those online orders are collected in its stores.</p> <p>When it comes to choosing Argos over competitors like Amazon, its £3.95 one-off cost for same-day delivery might also be a compelling option for customers, rather than being committed to the latter’s Prime monthly fee.</p> <p>Argos’s multi-channel business model is clearly making an impression. Since taking it over in 2016, Sainsbury’s has trialled the Click &amp; Collect service in a number of local stores, recently announcing that it is to roll it out throughout the UK.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9198/Sainsburys_Argos.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="359"></p> <h3>A focus on mobile </h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In 2015, it was revealed that Argos was the first multichannel retailer to generate £1bn of mobile commerce revenue in a single year, with sales on mobile devices growing 38%.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">With a user-friendly mobile site and a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66077-18-excellent-features-of-argos-s-mobile-app" target="_blank">slick and functional mobile app</a>, Argos’s dedication to this channel allows the retailer to better align its digital and physical worlds. Essentially, the app acts as a connector between the two, designed so that customers can switch from one device to another with ease, reflecting the increasingly fractured path to purchase consumers now take.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The app also allows users to streamline the in-store experience by providing a reservation number to quickly collect items. Similarly, features such as geo-location technology allow the retailer to target customers with relevant and location-related messaging, and a barcode scanner lets customers instantly bring up more information about items in the catalogue.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9195/Argos_scanner.JPG" alt="" width="300"></p> <p>As an aside, Argos often posts amusing version update descriptions on the app store. This is not entirely relevant, but it's a nice detail, showing how the retailer unexpectedly engages users and generates a bit of conversation on social.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Argos_Online">@Argos_Online</a> app updates always worth reading what's new <a href="https://t.co/6spMr99C06">pic.twitter.com/6spMr99C06</a></p> — Damianiw (@damianiw) <a href="https://twitter.com/damianiw/status/909864303490211840">September 18, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Featureful ecommerce</h3> <p>Most retailers have an ecommerce site, but that doesn’t always mean they’re easy or appealing to use. There are many features which makes Argos’s website both of those things.</p> <p>Stock visibility is a highly important factor, with Argos specifically being one of the retailers that allows customers to see whether or not an item is available in-store. </p> <p>This is an incredibly useful feature, made even more so by its prominent visibility on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67237-eight-examples-of-best-practice-on-argos-product-pages" target="_blank">Argos’s product pages</a>. The tool itself is fast and responsive, providing users with a handy map as well as a list of nearby stores – plus information about when the item in question will be available to pick up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9193/Argos_Stock_Map.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="403"></p> <p>Alongside this, there are a bunch of other helpful features on Argos product pages, including a question and answer tool that helps customers with specific queries about a product. </p> <p>Similarly, ratings and reviews include product-specific categories. For example, customers can rate out of five stars on things like ‘durability’ and ‘imaginative play’ for toys and ‘sound quality’ and ‘comfort’ for headphones. This might sound like a small detail, but it means that instead of reading extensive reviews, users can instantly find out details that might impact whether or not they make a purchase. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9194/Argos_reviews.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="458"></p> <p>Elsewhere, Argos integrates product videos where possible to further inform customers. It also uses recommendations and alternatives to pique interest, as well as prompt users into making a definitive decision.</p> <p>Its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67878-mega-menu-design-trends-in-ecommerce-2014-vs-2016">mega-menu</a> is also highly impressive, allowing customers to see all available categories at one time, without having to scroll or click through. It also showcases Argos's extensive product inventory, including popular products of the moment (such as fidget spinners or the Apple watch).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9213/Argos.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="428"></p> <p>Altogether, Argos might not have the most attractive or slickest UX, but in terms of functional elements, it certainly shines. </p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While other retailers like John Lewis, Dixons, and Schuh have also been cited as top multichannel retailers, it’s clear why Argos comes out on top.</p> <p>With a decent ecommerce offering, investment in store technology, and a clever distribution model, it delivers on the promise of a seamless shopping experience across the board.   </p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66121-improving-the-multichannel-customer-experience" target="_blank">Improving the multichannel customer experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores" target="_blank">What's now &amp; next for digital technology in retail stores?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68514-making-the-most-of-multichannel-with-data-s-help" target="_blank">Making the most of multichannel (with data’s help)</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69445 2017-09-22T14:24:47+01:00 2017-09-22T14:24:47+01:00 10 exciting digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>On we go.</p> <h3>Media agencies are wasting two days a week on admin-based tasks</h3> <p>New research by 4C suggests that media agency professionals are wasting the equivalent of two days per week performing admin, instead of focusing on creative and strategic tasks.</p> <p>In a survey of over 200 professionals, 84% of respondents said that they feel concerned about the actual value their agency brings to brands, and whether they are truly offering them value for money. </p> <p>The execution of social campaigns appears to be driving this concern, with 36% of respondents admitting that switching between platforms to manage campaigns is the biggest annoyance of their job. Some reportedly spend 17 hours per week doing this. Frustratingly, 63% said they believe the amount of time spent working on social campaigns will only increase over the next few years.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9105/4C.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="372"></p> <h3>Nearly a quarter of digital marketers don’t track marketing spend</h3> <p>According to research by Greenlight, digital marketers are suffering from a worrying level of uncertainty. </p> <p>It found that 36% of survey respondents don’t have confidence in their campaign targeting, while 18% don’t think their campaigns are reaching their desired audience at all.</p> <p>Alongside this, it appears marketers are also unsure about where their marketing spend is actually going. One in ten marketers are not even sure which channels are the most valuable for their campaigns, and 17% are yet to commit their budgets accordingly. Even worse, 23% are failing to track campaign spend whatsoever.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69432-restoration-hardware-bid-on-3-200-keywords-found-98-of-its-ppc-sales-came-from-just-22-brand-terms/">Here's a somewhat-related cautionary tale about PPC</a>.</p> <h3>25% of internet users use a VPN network</h3> <p>In a study of VPN (virtual private network) usage around the world, <a href="http://insight.globalwebindex.net/vpn-usage-around-the-world?utm_campaign=VPN%20Usage%20Around%20The%20World&amp;utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=56524113&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9BFGKHYG9SI5WGcZaWaiorCGsdLV-cu_4llCF9RLxP_1AsqA0w7CJEXzSRH64Kva36hetevTnlUgwRHdG7IcFeZCp-pRXbxikV71F-CczXZzlK0Nk&amp;_hsmi=56549588" target="_blank">GlobalWebIndex</a> has found that 25% of internet users have used a VPN in the past month, and that 42% of these use a VPN daily. </p> <p>When it comes to the motivation for doing so, 50% of people said that they use a VPN for better access to entertainment, 34% said better access to social networks or news services, and 31% said to maintain anonymity while browsing.</p> <p>The study also found VPN usage to be lower in North America and Europe, with the top markets being Indonesia, India, and Turkey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9107/VPN.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="323"></p> <h3>63% of consumers want biometric technology in-stores</h3> <p>Following on from the launch of the new iPhone, a report by <a href="http://www.worldpay.com/us/about/media-center/2017-09/shoppers-give-thumbs-up-to-in-store-biometrics" target="_blank">Worldpay</a> has revealed that consumers are growing increasingly demanding of new payment technology.</p> <p>In a survey of 2,500 consumers across the UK, 63% of respondents said they would like to be able to use a biometric scan to authorise payments in-store. 69% of consumers said they’d be open to using a finger to do so, while 24% said their face, and 33% said they’d be willing to use their eyes.</p> <p>Worldpay also found that consumers expect speed and convenience in other areas. Click-and-collect is highly in-demand, as are automated payments and bots - 65% of consumers said they’d rather pay a robot than waste time flagging down a waiter in a restaurant.</p> <h3>Mobile video ad spend jumps 142% in Q2</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://info.smaato.com/hubfs/Reports/Smaato_Global_Trends_in_Mobile_Advertising_Report_Q2_2017.pdf" target="_blank">Smaato</a>, spend on mobile video ads increased by 142% in Q2 2017, making it the fastest-growing mobile ad format.</p> <p>Rewarded video (full screen video ads that users can view in full in exchange for in-app rewards) was the fastest growing format, with spend increasing by 74%. In-app spending accounted for 94% of total mobile ad spending in Q2, compared with just 75% in 2016.</p> <p>Finally, full-screen interstitials were the most popular ad format among advertisers, accounting for almost two thirds of total mobile video ad spending in Q2.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9106/Smaato.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="392"></p> <h3>60% of 25 to 34-year olds find it easier to chat to brands via text</h3> <p>Mindshare’s <a href="http://www.mindshareworld.com/sites/default/files/FutureofRetailAW.pdf" target="_blank">UK retail trends</a> report has revealed the growing demand for instant and 24-hour customer service.</p> <p>Today, 60% of 25 to 34-year olds say that they find it easier to chat to brands via text message, online chat, or messenger apps. Meanwhile, 27% say they have used a chatbot in order to communicate with a brand.</p> <p>The report also found that consumer’s attitude to data is somewhat conflicted. Despite the demand for personalisation, with 56% of people saying that brands should be doing more with their data, 65% say they are still very selective about the companies they share it with.</p> <h3>Twice as many adults use the internet via a mobile than desktop</h3> <p><a href="http://www.vertoanalytics.com/10024-2/" target="_blank">Verto Analytics</a> has revealed that smartphones are now twice as popular than PC’s when it comes to accessing the internet.</p> <p>When tracking which devices 5,000 UK adults used to go online, it found that smartphones accounted for 57% of people, while traditional PCs accounted for 27%, and tablets for 16%.</p> <p>Smartphone usage was shown to peak during the morning, with this device accounting for 63% of the people online between 8am to 11am – three times as many people using a PC at that time. Meanwhile, desktop computers were found to have the largest audience share of 38% between the hours of 1am and 3am. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9109/Smartphone_PC.JPG" alt="" width="640" height="344"></p> <h3>Online retailers see unexpected growth in August</h3> <p>The latest <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/bulletins/retailsales/august2017#whats-the-story-in-online-sales" target="_blank">ONS</a> (Office for National Statistics) figures show that the average weekly UK online spend in August was £1.1bn - an increase of 15.6% compared with August 2016.</p> <p>This means that the amount spent online accounted for a total of 16.4% of all retail spending for the month, excluding automotive fuel. This figure is also up compared to 15% in August last year.</p> <p>Despite this year-on-year growth, Salmon has highlighted that shoppers have been predominantly spending on non-necessity and luxury goods and services, with the summer holidays and an increase in tourism contributing to this. As a result, Salmon predicts a dip in online spend as Autumn approaches.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9108/ONS.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="381"></p> <h3>Female influencers favour Instagram over Snapchat</h3> <p>Collective Bias has revealed that female <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers">influencers</a> are uninterested in Snapchat, with zero survey respondents saying that it is the most important channel to them. In contrast, 28.4% of influencers said that Instagram is invaluable.  </p> <p>Perhaps surprisingly, Pinterest came second in the survey, with 26.4% of respondents saying that they favoured the platform the most. </p> <p>Facebook and Twitter fared less well, but this is likely due to the less visual nature of the platforms as well as the subsequent lack of opportunity for sponsored, one-off posts.</p> <h3>Brits spend nearly eight hours per day consuming media</h3> <p>The <a href="http://ipa.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1f2c3c8034116a764afbdc0a5&amp;id=e6d608e522&amp;e=cf106b3443" target="_blank">IPA Touchpoints</a> report has revealed that adults are spending seven hours and 56 minutes a day consuming media – an increase of 9% from 2016 and 13% from 2005.</p> <p>This means that adults spend just over two hours a day media multi-tasking (which means watching TV or using a laptop or smartphone while doing other things) – or nearly a quarter of that time spent consuming media in total.</p> <p>In terms of medium, television or video remains the most popular, with adults viewing an average of four hours and 35 minutes per week. Meanwhile, out of home media accounts for three hours 28 minutes, and social networking or messaging accounts for two hours and 53 minutes.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69426 2017-09-20T10:14:00+01:00 2017-09-20T10:14:00+01:00 How Polish fashion retailer Reserved is targeting UK shoppers Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a run-down of Reserved, and how it’s aiming to grab a slice of the £36bn that Brits spend on clothing every year.</p> <h3>Influence and hype</h3> <p>Unlike Zara, which first opened in the UK in 1998 with zero fanfare, Reserved has worked hard on generating hype about the brand’s arrival. One of its biggest wins has been to enlist Kate Moss as the face of its Autumn/Winter range, as well as asking her to appear at the store on the day of its launch.</p> <p>This has undoubtedly generated a certain amount of buzz and interest about the brand. After all, Kate Moss is known for being highly influential in fashion circles – so her backing has definitely helped to ramp up Reserved’s cool-factor.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Kate Moss brings Reserved to London <a href="https://t.co/yW78906d1Q">pic.twitter.com/yW78906d1Q</a></p> — JACK (@JackAgency) <a href="https://twitter.com/JackAgency/status/907343909415682049">September 11, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>As well as Kate, Reserved has also worked with other <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">social media influencers</a> to get the word out. Popular YouTuber Tanya Burr was also in attendance on launch day, where she vlogged her entire experience. This meant that Burr’s 3m subscribers would also hear about the brand, and probably seek it out as a result of her influence.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8999/Tanya_Burr.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="409"></p> <h3>Another fast fashion competitor</h3> <p>So what does Reserved offer?</p> <p>Its product and price strategy seems pretty similar to the likes of Zara, with a focus on selling trend-lead pieces at affordable prices. Another similarity is its supply chain, with best-selling items reportedly able to be re-made in its factories within three weeks.</p> <p>This type of ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69216-four-factors-fuelling-the-growth-of-fast-fashion-retailers" target="_blank">fast-fashion</a>' certainly seems in-demand from consumers, with the likes of Boohoo and Missguided also reaping the rewards of the ‘stack them high, sell them cheap’ approach. </p> <p>However, one of the main reasons the aforementioned brands do so well is a clever social strategy, which successfully targets and engages a core demographic.</p> <p>Can Reserved compete?</p> <p>For one thing, the fact that Reserved’s target market is broader than the likes of Boohoo might mean it is unable to execute the same laser-targeted strategy. While Boohoo uses a distinct tone of voice to engage with social-savvy millennials, Reserved might have to work harder to communicate the appeal of its clothing – especially considering that is carries women’s, men’s and children’s ranges.</p> <p>So far, Reserved’s social activity looks interesting enough – particularly on Instagram. Here it posts a mixture of both lifestyle and product-focused imagery. There is the hint that it could be veering towards more shoppable content, as it already nudges users towards its online shop by including product information in posts. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9009/Reserved_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="495"></p> <p>One social channel it could definitely make more shoppable is Pinterest. While it is surprisingly fleshed out – including a number of well-crafted and inspirational boards – it is frustrating that it only includes links to its homepage, with no specific product information included. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9010/Reserved_Pinterest.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="358"></p> <p>Another drawback in terms of social is that Reserved does not have a presence on Twitter – it last used its Polish account in 2015.</p> <p>While this is not disastrous, it does mean that the retailer could be in danger of disappointing shoppers who are used to using the channel for help and customer service information. Similarly, it could also mean that resources for its other customer service channels, such as email and phone, could become stretched.</p> <h3>Does it measure up online?</h3> <p>So, social aside, let’s look at what Reserved has to offer in terms of ecommerce. </p> <p>Overall, it offers a decent enough online shopping experience. Reserved’s website design is rather basic, mainly using imagery to capture the user’s attention as opposed to copy or any kind of call-to-action. </p> <p>In fact, copy is minimal everywhere on the site - even on the product pages where you might expect product descriptions of some kind.</p> <p>In comparison to the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67994-10-ecommerce-ux-treats-on-the-new-oasis-website/" target="_blank">Oasis</a> or ASOS – this lack of content is disappointing. To me, it feels like the brand lacks personality. There’s no key USP to speak of other than its mildly 'Eastern Bloc aesthetic' (which is a trend popularised by fashion designers such as Gosha Rubchinskiy), and without Kate Moss’s face, it’d be hard pressed to feel inspired by its homepage. Again, this does suggest that Reserved is relying on other factors such as price and fast turnover to draw in consumers – something it has so far succeeded with in Poland and other European countries. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9011/Reserved_hompage.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="406"></p> <p>That being said, there are things to appreciate about its online offering.</p> <p>First, its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68222-ecommerce-product-filters-best-practice-tips-for-a-great-ux" target="_blank">product filter</a> makes it easy to narrow down search. With a handy clear all button – it’s a quick and intuitive tool. It is rather basic, however, and doesn't appear until you click on the filter button (most retailers have faceted navigation permanently on display).</p> <p>There's also the fact that the men's or women's categories do not have landing page - you can't click on men's in the header menu (only on the sub-categories, e.g. 'jeans'), which is a puzzling oversight.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9012/Reserved_filter.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="456"></p> <p>Elsewhere, there is clear and helpful information about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64943-12-excellent-ways-to-present-ecommerce-shipping-information/" target="_blank">returns and shipping</a>, conveniently offering both free shipping on orders over £30 and click and collect.</p> <p>Its checkout process is slightly hit and miss. While it does include some nice features – such as the reassurance about returns and data privacy – it does not offer a guest checkout. Another annoyance is that the basket summary is hidden at the bottom of the page, meaning that shoppers do not have a visible reminder of their order.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9013/Reserved_checkout.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="601"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Interestingly, Reserved has opened its first UK store on the former site of BHS. </p> <p>With BHS’ closure, it’s clear that succeeding on the British high street is not an easy task in today’s volatile retail market. Other large retailers including American Eagle, Banana Republic, and Forever 21 have also shut down stores after failing to inspire consumers. </p> <p>So will Reserved succeed?</p> <p>The brand has certainly done well to generate hype about its launch, but the true test will come once the fuss has died down. Its ecommerce site is fine, if a bit uninspiring, and its large and ever-changing inventory is a clear benefit.</p> <p>However, with just one physical store in the UK, it will need to ramp up its focus on targeting online shoppers, especially on social media. So while it might catch the eye of consumers who generally look to the likes of Zara and H&amp;M for fast and affordable fashion – it will perhaps take more to capture their loyalty long-term.   </p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67870-why-asos-is-still-leading-the-online-retailing-pack" target="_blank">Why ASOS is still leading the online retailing pack</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69273-luxury-ecommerce-review-is-balenciaga-s-normcore-website-more-than-a-gimmick/" target="_blank">Luxury ecommerce review: Is Balenciaga's 'normcore' website more than a gimmick?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69333-new-look-sees-profits-fall-what-can-turn-it-around" target="_blank">New Look sees profits fall: What can turn it around?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69333 2017-08-15T10:00:00+01:00 2017-08-15T10:00:00+01:00 New Look sees profits fall: What can turn it around? Nikki Gilliland <p>However, it’s not been an entirely bleak quarter for the brand. While sales on New Look’s website dropped 0.6%, sales of clothing on third-party websites were actually up 15.7%.</p> <p>So, why are customers still buying the product, yet failing to shop direct? Here’s a bit of insight into the story, as well as my own opinion on where New Look could be going wrong.</p> <h3>Stiff competition </h3> <p>In response to the recent decline in profits, chief executive Anders Kristiansen admitted that New Look’s decision to run fewer discounts in store and online could be to blame. However, he stressed that it was a conscious choice, designed to differentiate the brand from the likes of Boohoo and Missguided – two retailers that typically use promotions to deliver on a promise of fast and highly affordable fashion.</p> <p>Much to New Look’s annoyance, those competitors looks to be winning.</p> <p>Earlier this year, Boohoo announced that it had nearly doubled its profits, with sales in the UK jumping 33%. Similarly, last December Missguided reported that its profits were up 34% up on the same time last year. Both these retailers are clearly reaping the rewards of their cheap and cheerful approach to fashion – something that New Look could also be benefiting from.</p> <p>After all, New Look’s alternative USP is not quite so clear cut. It’s always been known as one of the most affordable fashion retailers on the high street, so a refusal to keep pace with online competition in this area seems a little foolish. Especially considering it is not known for being as cool or edgy as Zara, or quite as mass-market as H&amp;M - two retailers with a similar price-point.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Outerwear | 3. THE BLAZER<a href="https://t.co/FUeorLEbCt">https://t.co/FUeorLEbCt</a> <a href="https://t.co/h4WMKddFHp">pic.twitter.com/h4WMKddFHp</a></p> — ZARA (@ZARA) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZARA/status/893532008944685056">August 4, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Misjudged campaigns</h3> <p>Despite the fact New Look carries a teen range, its average shopper is said to be around 33 years old. </p> <p>Interestingly, it has recently announced a change in strategy, choosing to narrow its target market to a twenty-something audience rather than a broad demographic. But having increased marketing spend by £2m in the past year, it appears that this change is already under way, with New Look largely investing this in online campaigns featuring social media and celebrity influencers – something that usually appeals to younger shoppers.</p> <p>But could the decision to use influencers be misjudged? </p> <p>An <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">Econsultancy report</a> recently revealed that measuring ROI on influencer initiatives is the biggest challenge for 65% of marketers. It can be difficult to justify large spend on influencers – particularly when engagement metrics do not necessarily translate into immediate sales.  </p> <p>The strategy also tends only to be effective when the influencer partnership is authentic, with both the brand and influencer sharing common values (and the invested interest of the audience).</p> <p>Take US clothing brand Revolve, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69196-11-impressive-influencer-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">for example</a>, who typically partners with luxury fashion bloggers such as Victoria Magrath (In the Frow). This allows the brand to tap into the influencer’s in-built audience, generating new leads from consumers with a vested interest in both the influencer and luxury fashion.</p> <p>While New Look’s campaigns attempt to mirror this - with the retailer using online fashion influencers on platforms like Instagram – sales suggest that it might not be hitting the mark.</p> <p>Rather, you could even argue the brand may be alienating an existing audience – i.e. the aforementioned 33-year-old, who might have a distinct <em>lack</em> of interest or even awareness of the influencers in question.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8247/New_Look_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="558"></p> <h3>Confusing USP</h3> <p>Despite heavier investment in marketing, New Look has been failing to focus on the product itself, with Anders Kristiansen even admitting that it ‘could be better’.</p> <p>Instead of investing in new and in-demand fashion, the retailer has continued to regurgitate similar styles and concentrate on basics and staples – something that is unlikely to inspire trend-hungry twenty-somethings. </p> <p>Meanwhile, expansion in China and investment in menswear and homeware ranges has added to confusion over the store’s product offering.</p> <p>Perhaps this is why its product has continued to sell on third-party sites like ASOS. A brand that, in contrast to New Look, has a very strong image and a clear-cut USP. With additional factors like fast-delivery, a huge inventory, and clever marketing – ASOS has been able to pick up on New Look’s failings and deliver what it hasn't been able to. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8248/ASOS.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="669"></p> <h3>Lacklustre in-store experience</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/retail-consumer/total-retail/total-retail-categories.html" target="_blank">PWC</a>, 51% of global shoppers still prefer to shop for clothes and footwear in stores as opposed to online. Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.barclayscorporate.com/insight-and-research/industry-expertise/new-retail-reality.html" target="_blank">Barclays research</a> suggests that 57% of customers are more likely to visit stores if they have the latest technologies – with 65% of customers valuing touchscreen technology, and 52% even saying they’d like to see augmented reality utilised.</p> <p>When it comes to New Look’s in-store experience, the retailer’s uptake of technology has been slow in comparison to its biggest rivals. Zara, for example, has started to integrate new technology like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67962-zara-introduces-self-checkout-in-store-how-will-it-impact-the-customer-experience" target="_blank">self-checkouts</a> and touch-screens in changing rooms.</p> <p>New Look also fails to inspire with store formats. With its immersive layout and conceptual design, Missguided’s <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68567-five-things-to-appreciate-about-missguided-s-first-ever-physical-store/" target="_blank">first ever physical store</a> encourages social activity while shopping in-store. In comparison, New Look has neglected to integrate any experiential elements in stores up until this point, ignoring customer’s desires for an immersive and multi-channel experience.</p> <p>Interestingly, this <em>does</em> look set to change. The retailer’s new flagship Oxford Street store, which is due to open in November, reportedly includes a hair salon and embroidery station, aiming to create a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69286-five-innovators-of-the-in-store-customer-experience" target="_blank">destination-store experience</a> that we’ve seen from the likes of Topshop. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8249/New_Look_TCR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="509"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Despite its recent decline, New Look appears to be in the midst of attempting to turn around its fortunes, focusing on a new ecommerce site, flagship store and more streamlined targeting strategy.</p> <p>However, only by rectifying its biggest failing will it be able to compete with its biggest rivals. Which means actually delivering the fast and trend-led fashion that its new target market desires.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69044-five-reasons-behind-boohoo-s-97-increase-in-profits" target="_blank">Five reasons behind Boohoo’s 97% increase in profits</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68659-three-reasons-behind-the-white-company-s-boost-in-profits" target="_blank">Three reasons behind The White Company’s boost in profits</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69286 2017-08-07T14:30:00+01:00 2017-08-07T14:30:00+01:00 Five innovators of the in-store customer experience Nikki Gilliland <p>But this got me thinking about what <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67962-zara-introduces-self-checkout-in-store-how-will-it-impact-the-customer-experience">Zara could do</a> to reverse the situation. More specifically, what exactly makes for a truly great in-store customer experience?</p> <p>With this in mind, here are a few examples of those retailers leading the way, and what we might learn from them. Disclaimer: I’ve intentionally tried to steer clear of some the most obvious examples (like Apple).</p> <h3>1. Ulta Beauty</h3> <p>In 2016, American beauty chain, Ulta Beauty, saw a 23.7% increase in net sales – making it one of the fastest-growing beauty retailers, despite having already been around for 25 years. With nearly 1,000 stores in the US, its physical retail experience has seemingly contributed to a recent boom in success.</p> <p>So what makes it so great? First, the retailer has a deep understanding of what customers actually want from their shopping experience.</p> <p>While beauty in the US is usually separated into two distinct categories – prestige products found in high-end department stores, and low-price products from drug stores – Ulta combines the two to create an ‘all things beauty’ superstore.</p> <p>Alongside this vast array of products, Ulta differentiates itself from other retailers by offering in-store services such as hair, skin and brow treatments. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7842/Ulta_Stores.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="409"></p> <p>This type of service (and the expertise that goes with it) creates an almost spa-like environment. This also means that the store has become a destination for consumers – somewhere people want to hang out or specifically visit – rather than a place to pop into.</p> <p>While Macy’s and Sephora also offer great beauty products, Ulta’s salon services mean that customers can enjoy the experience that surrounds discovering them. As recent profits show, it’s a tactic that’s proving popular with both new and existing customers – driving loyalty in an increasingly competitive space.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7841/Ulta_Beauty.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="478"></p> <h3>2. Waitrose</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67889-how-waitrose-is-using-personalisation-to-increase-conversions/" target="_blank">Waitrose</a> has recently been voted the UK’s favourite supermarket in a Which? survey on customer satisfaction, beating M&amp;S and Sainsbury’s for the third year in a row.</p> <p>The survey involved customer ratings on appearance, queue-length, availability ease of finding products, and overall quality. And while you might argue that these features should be standard as opposed to something that differentiates a retailer, it’s clear that Waitrose is leading the pack in terms of the in-store supermarket experience.</p> <p>The MyWaitrose loyalty scheme has been a key attraction for consumers, with the programme promising a free hot drink or newspaper to members. Despite Waitrose coming under recent fire for changing the rules – stipulating that members must buy something in exchange for a coffee – the scheme has certainly helped to differentiate the supermarket from the competition.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Impressed <a href="https://twitter.com/waitrose">@waitrose</a> by <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SoyaMilk?src=hash">#SoyaMilk</a> availability at hot drink station<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AvoidingCowsMilk?src=hash">#AvoidingCowsMilk</a> <a href="https://t.co/2hyGaGPx3u">pic.twitter.com/2hyGaGPx3u</a></p> — Helen Moss-Black (@Tang18) <a href="https://twitter.com/Tang18/status/878615966564929536">June 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Elsewhere, Waitrose has ensured that the online experience seamlessly translates to the real world, allowing customers to pick up groceries without the need to visit a large store. Its Click-and-Collect service involves temperature-controlled lockers so that customers can access groceries in train stations and airports at their own convenience.</p> <p>Other innovations include Waitrose’s Quick Check service which allows customers to scan goods as they shop, as well as in-store tablets helping to speed up and enhance shopping. With Waitrose’s ‘Hot Ideas’ scheme – an incubator program aiming to drive innovation – it’s clear that the supermarket is set on finding ways to further entice shoppers back to its bricks-and-mortar stores in future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7844/Click_and_collect.JPG" alt="" width="621" height="411"></p> <h3>3. Rebecca Minkoff</h3> <p>Luxury brands are setting the bar when it comes to the in-store experience, using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68540-how-four-uk-retailers-are-giving-consumers-the-vip-treatment-this-christmas" target="_blank">VIP treatment</a> to instil loyalty. In fact, this level of service means that many struggle to replicate this online.</p> <p>For US brand Rebecca Minkoff, the aim is to fuse the best of both worlds, with its 11 global outlets using technology to create an immersive and digitally-driven experience.</p> <p>Each store has smart mirrors in fitting rooms, allowing shoppers to browse for other sizes or products that might complement whatever they’re trying on. Smart walls also suggest new styles when people pass by or enter, even allowing customers to order champagne to enjoy while they browse.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7845/Rebecca_Minkoff.JPG" alt="" width="556" height="301"></p> <p>According to the brand, the fitting-room technology in particular has been the catalyst for a boost in sales, with 30% of customers reportedly requesting additional items thanks to the smart mirror recommendations. </p> <p>Unlike other luxury brands, which still place a primary focus on showcasing the product, Rebecca Minkoff cleverly uses the real-life retail environment to turn the spotlight on the customers themselves. It aims to use technology to aid and enhance the discovery process, setting the bar for how customers browse and shop for fashion.</p> <h3>4. Lowe’s</h3> <p>Another retailer embracing technology is Lowe’s. The US home improvement store has implemented a number of features to streamline the physical shopping experience in the past, including a mobile app that allows users to access real-time store inventory, and equipping staff with iPhones to help with enquiries. </p> <p>Just recently, it also announced the new 'Lowe Vision: In-Store Navigation' app with AR technology.</p> <p>Working in conjunction with Google's Tango AR technology, it provides indoor mapping, allowing customers to search and quickly find items in-store.  </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KAQ0y19uEYo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>The idea of guiding customers through the path to purchase was also the idea behind SmartSpot – a ‘store within a store’ concept that helped customers evaluate the right smart technology for their home.</p> <p>Recognising that most people feel overwhelmed at the amount of products available (and the level of sophistication of smart technology) the concept aimed to eliminate uncertainty and instil confidence in consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7847/SmartSpot.JPG" alt="" width="634" height="275"></p> <p>Again, in comparison to competitors within the market, Lowe’s sets itself apart by streamlining the customer journey in-store, using technology to facilitate this.</p> <h3>5. Topshop</h3> <p>Lastly, a retailer that sets a fine example for the likes of Zara and other British high street fashion stores. Topshop – specifically its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street – uses a combination of pop-up retail and experiential campaigns to delight customers. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We're not taking the mickey!! This 2ft Prickly Pear is £65 and can be yours if you come visit Barry @topshop_oxfordstreet<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/topshop?src=hash">#topshop</a> <a href="https://t.co/ITfVFXZaOB">pic.twitter.com/ITfVFXZaOB</a></p> — Barry The Cactus (@thecactusbarry) <a href="https://twitter.com/thecactusbarry/status/888387626356617216">July 21, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Alongside personal shopping, which is available free of charge, the store also includes a number of hair and beauty services ranging from brow-taming to piercing. Alongside a café, it also includes integrated food and drink pop-ups such as Bubbleology and Lola’s cupcakes.</p> <p>Essentially, it aims to make a visit to Topshop about much more than just basic apparel, tempting customers with things they might not even realise they want while browsing in-store.</p> <p>It’s the unexpected nature of the experience that also differentiates Topshop from the high-street competition. From the new retail pop-ups in-store (some appearing for a limited time only) to its recent experimentation with VR – the brand is focused on keeping the in-store experience fresh and original for returning customers, while delighting new ones.</p> <p>This summer, ‘Splash’ at Topshop involved the retailer turning its shop windows into an interactive pool scene and allowing customers to ride a virtual water slide. Combining clever advertising with a fun and immersive activity for customers, it’s an indication of how the in-store customer experience is evolving.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7849/Topshop_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="483"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68712-i-beg-you-retailers-don-t-digitize-the-in-store-customer-experience/">I beg you, retailers, don't digitize the in-store customer experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68270-how-can-retailers-create-more-engaging-mobile-experiences-in-store/">How can retailers create more engaging mobile experiences in-store?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66504-how-18-retailers-in-central-london-are-integrating-digital-in-store/">How 18 retailers in Central London are integrating digital in-store</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69250 2017-07-14T10:52:35+01:00 2017-07-14T10:52:35+01:00 Four reasons behind Superdrug's 41% increase in profits Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why the big turnaround? Here’s a look at Superdrug’s strategy, and the reasons why it’s currently enjoying a resurgence.</p> <h3>Targeting younger shoppers </h3> <p>Boots is the largest health and beauty retailer in the UK, with over 2,500 stores compared to Superdrug’s 850 or so. It’s also got the longest history, as well as a large and loyal consumer base that includes people of all ages and budgets.</p> <p>With Boots catering to such a large demographic, Superdrug has changed its strategy to target a more specific set of consumers. While its rival concentrates on its own-brand beauty range of Botanics, as well as more mid to high-end brands such No. 7 and L’Oréal, Superdrug deliberately targets younger consumers interested in more affordable cosmetics. </p> <p>Cheaper brands like MUA, GOSH and Make-Up Revolution, despite being less well-known, are now sold in most stores.</p> <p>So, alongside a general focus on affordability, how exactly does Superdrug entice younger consumers?</p> <p>In the face of low-price beauty launches from the likes of Primark, H&amp;M and New Look, Superdrug’s work with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66560-what-are-influencers-and-how-do-you-find-them" target="_blank">influencers</a> certainly sets it apart. The retailer struck a deal with Zoella in 2014 to sell her beauty range, with the collection going on to break sales records. </p> <p>Upon launch, the Superdrug website saw twice as many visitors as usual, with 25% of new visitors clicking on the Zoella range. Since then, Zoella has gone on to release two new collections, both resulting in similar success for Superdrug.  </p> <p>Other popular influencers such as Tanya Burr and Fleur de Force have also partnered with Superdrug to sell exclusive make-up and cosmetics collections, meaning the retailer has been able to capitalise on their existing and loyal audience. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Zoella">@Zoella</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ZoellaBeauty">@ZoellaBeauty</a> I've just picked this up from Superdrug it's so pretty <a href="https://t.co/IKAg0QyMdR">pic.twitter.com/IKAg0QyMdR</a></p> — Jessica newman (@jnew135) <a href="https://twitter.com/jnew135/status/883622463531253760">July 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In-store experience</h3> <p>Influencers are not the only way Superdrug has aligned itself to younger shoppers. In 2014, it rolled out its new ‘Beauty Studio’ concept, offering beauty services such as threading, manicures and eyelash extensions in-stores. In select locations, it also introduced digital displays and an interactive ‘selfie’ area to encourage shoppers to share their makeovers on social media.</p> <p>Elsewhere, and even in stores that do not include a Beauty Studio, the design and layout of most stores is used to differentiate itself from Boots’ pared down approach. The retailer often uses bright colours and illuminated lettering, bringing a fashionable element into stores. Again, cosmetics is a huge focus, with this area often much larger than other areas.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7455/superdrug_cosmetics.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="431"></p> <p>Another way Superdrug has enhanced the in-store experience is to introduce Wi-Fi and its own radio station. ‘Superdrug Live’ is used to support brand campaigns and promotions, as well as create a unique store environment through music.</p> <h3>Healthcare focus</h3> <p>Alongside its Beauty Studio, Superdrug has also expanded into the healthcare market, placing much more focus on its status as a pharmacy as well as cosmetics retailer.</p> <p>While its stores used to have a 70/30 split between beauty and health products, some stores now have a 60/40 strategy, with the retailer introducing consultation rooms and services from pharmacists and nurses, such as flu vaccinations. </p> <p>Interestingly, Superdrug has also introduced its own brand of morning-after pill, selling it at half the cost of the average pill sold over the counter. The move has been praised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which applauded the retailer for giving women greater choice and accessibility. </p> <p>There’s no doubt that Superdrug’s focus on healthcare is succeeding – sales of this category grew 12% last year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7456/wellbeing.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="444"></p> <h3>Rewarding loyalty</h3> <p>Superdrug’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/69250-four-reasons-why-superdrug-is-succeeding/edit/Six%20tips%20for%20loyalty%20program%20success" target="_blank">loyalty program</a> has also grown over the past few years. In fact, membership is said to have doubled over the past two years, with the retailer having 19m registered members by the end of 2016. </p> <p>The Health and Beauty card is a fairly standard retail loyalty system, rewarding shoppers with points that can be exchanged for discounts. However, Superdrug adds value with exclusive offers and perks, also rewarding long-term loyalty members with exclusive gifts. Regular promotions like ‘Treat Thursdays’ – which offers exclusive discounts – provide incentive for members to collect and spend points.</p> <p>The Health and Beauty card also works in conjunction with the Superdrug app, allowing shoppers to collect and monitor points as well as access offers. By aligning the app and loyalty program, Superdrug has also been able to improve targeting, offering deals and promotions to customers based on their location or past purchase history.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Calling all Health &amp; Beautycard members! Get 10% off Diet &amp; Fitness products until 23:59 tonight <a href="https://t.co/pj1ctMQvf7">https://t.co/pj1ctMQvf7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/treatthursday?src=hash">#treatthursday</a> <a href="https://t.co/qcrKFWzd3g">pic.twitter.com/qcrKFWzd3g</a></p> — Superdrug (@superdrug) <a href="https://twitter.com/superdrug/status/885431137660796928">July 13, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Improved online presence </h3> <p>While most consumers might naturally think of Superdrug in terms of physical stores, the retailer has been making strides to improve its ecommerce capabilities – as well as its general digital presence.</p> <p>With improved delivery and click and collect, it offers customers more flexibility than before – perhaps one of the main reasons its saw a 60% growth in online sales last year.</p> <p>Another reason could be its Online Doctor service, which allows customers to consult with a doctor on various medical issues and arrange prescription for collection or delivery. The popularity of the Online Doctor has spurred on expansion of Superdrug’s healthcare services, with the retailer recently announcing that will open 30 new stores and create 600 new jobs in the UK.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Superdrug uses social media to reach out and interact with consumers. Its Twitter and Facebook strategy involves a lot of user generated content, with the brand also using lifestyle and pop-culture inspired content to engage younger, female consumers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Chris says he isn’t bothered… but we have a feeling that he is defo bothered! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/draaaaaama?src=hash">#draaaaaama</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/muggymikeisback?src=hash">#muggymikeisback</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/loveisland?src=hash">#loveisland</a> <a href="https://t.co/Tzj24KdgFW">pic.twitter.com/Tzj24KdgFW</a></p> — Superdrug (@superdrug) <a href="https://twitter.com/superdrug/status/885590454573641736">July 13, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Making both beauty and healthcare accessible, Superdrug has managed to carve out a niche in the market, making its high street presence almost indispensable to consumers.</p> <p>While it previously stood in the shadow of Boots, its strong growth and expansion plans means it is a worthy competitor – possibly even winning in the fight for the attention of today’s young consumers. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67138-native-apps-for-retail-10-reasons-it-s-now-or-never/">Native apps for retail: 10 reasons it's now or never</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66160-how-boots-can-improve-its-customer-journey-from-search-to-checkout/">How Boots can improve its customer journey from search to checkout</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68472-three-reasons-behind-whsmith-s-boost-in-profits/" target="_blank">Three reasons behind WHSmith’s boost in profits</a></em></li> </ul>