tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/multichannel-2 Latest Multichannel content from Econsultancy 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67731 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 2016-04-11T14:27:17+01:00 Think affiliate marketing doesn’t work for luxury brands? Think again Chris Bishop <p>But no longer. Affiliate marketing has truly come of age.</p> <h3>Isn’t affiliate just voucher codes?</h3> <p>This is not just about voucher codes, cashback and last-click for advertisers, this is part of a holistic approach to digital advertising that promises real and sustained ROI for high-end brands.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/whoaretheaffiliates.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>The modern managed affiliate programmes use sophisticated groups of content publishers, including mainstream “offline” publishing houses such as Condé Nast.  </p> <p>This is performance marketing through deep partnership, levered via tenancy, editorial, blogging, email and (yes) incentives like voucher codes or cashback. </p> <p>Partnerships with high volume and niche sites that can deliver the kind of primed-to-buy, long tailed traffic available nowhere else.</p> <h3>Are you at risk of losing control of your message?</h3> <p>No, but…</p> <p>For years affiliate networks and technology companies used the size and scale of the channel as a key selling point, promising brands access to tens of thousands of affiliates.  </p> <p>Given that they worked on tracking fees based upon revenue generated by activity, who can blame them? </p> <p>However, this wasn’t what luxury or designer retailers, already nervous about losing control of their brand’s messages, wanted to hear. </p> <p>Only now, with dedicated, digital agencies selling these solutions as part of a wider media strategy, are brands being given the whole picture.</p> <p>When properly managed, affiliate marketing allows brands to deliver relevant messages to highly-targeted customer segments.  </p> <p>But it’s the size and scale of the networks that makes this targeting possible in the first place.</p> <h3>But isn’t luxury all about exclusivity?  </h3> <p>Why would luxury brands want their valuable name bandied about on affiliate channels with everyone else’s?</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/chriscarcollection.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>Success in the digital age requires a change in mind-set for luxury brands as customers’ buying cycles accelerate and competition stiffens in every part of the market place.  </p> <p>No longer can scarcity be the strongest value in a luxury brand's armoury, as the array of choice and quality available elsewhere can fill any sales vacuum.  </p> <p>Instead, luxury today is defined by desirability, product excellence, exemplary service and, fundamentally, a brand promise.</p> <p>And affiliate channels are exactly where a brand’s promise, desirability, service and excellence are defined for its target audience.  </p> <p>They are key to the continued success of luxury brands in the digital age and are proven to send ready-to-convert customers direct to online stores.   </p> <h3>Luxury is talked about and bought online more than ever</h3> <p>Deloitte says that 58% of UK millennial luxury consumers buy their luxury goods online. What’s more, 85% of luxury consumers regularly use social media.</p> <p>According to Google one in five luxury purchases happens on the web.</p> <p>And participating in high profile online retail events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday clearly doesn’t dim the lustre of a luxury brand or cannibalize their full-price sales.</p> <p>In 2015 our client NET-A-PORTER saw Black Friday was its highest day for sales that year, with one item sold every second on its website. </p> <p>What’s more, offering deals and vouchering is not regarded as damaging to luxury brands’ reputation by consumers.  </p> <p>In fact, these luxury customers were four times more likely to be searching for deals on Black Friday 2015 than non-luxury customers (Experian).</p> <h3>Do affiliate tactics really deliver incremental sales to luxury brands?</h3> <p>Yes, they do.</p> <p>One of our retailers had always assumed cashback websites would only reach customers already on its files and has little effect on overall profit. We helped them prove otherwise.  </p> <p>A tactical trial conducted with Quidco for the brand found that 86% of consumers that bought their products via the publisher during the trial were “new to file” and their average order value was much higher than the norm.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/shopstylesolacelondon.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>For another fashion retailer, working with affiliates achieved over 300 pieces of content coverage in a three-month period which, in turn, contributed to content websites driving 50%+ of the brand's affiliate revenue.</p> <p>Affiliate channels have proved, time and time again, to bring new customers and incremental sales to the table for every kind of brand, particularly those at the very top end of their sector.</p> <h3>Who else is using affiliates?</h3> <p>The roll call of brands that are using the affiliate channel as part of the marketing mix is impressive – Agent Provocateur, Barneys New York, Burberry, Liberty London, NET-A-PORTER to name a few.</p> <p>But if the affiliate channel was just about vouchers and cashback, they wouldn’t be using it.</p> <p>These brands know the value of curated conversation and content-led buzz to their brand; they are finding new and exciting ways to engage through affiliate marketing.  </p> <p>Crucially, they are realising that careful planning, targeted partnership and innovative execution ensures the biggest ROI alongside an extension of digital PR.</p> <h3>The lessons of affiliate marketing</h3> <ul> <li>Luxury affiliate marketing is happening... if you’re not doing it, you’re already losing out.</li> <li>Luxury consumers are savvy, switched on and impulsive – take advantage of that.</li> <li>Be led by the data and use experts to help you execute the highest quality campaigns.</li> <li>Choose who manages your affiliates carefully – your brand’s success will live or die by their experience both within wider digital marketing, the specific affiliate channel and naturally their knowledge of your brand / sector.</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67681 2016-03-30T14:56:00+01:00 2016-03-30T14:56:00+01:00 Can cross-channel marketing save the Next catalogue? Matthew Kelleher <h3>Catalogues on the wane?</h3> <p>It’s not the shift from offline to digital that is the stand out issue here, which remains a constant now as it has done for many years (although the shift in buying patterns detailed by Next in their annual review, from offline to online to mobile, is very significant).</p> <p>What is momentus is that the Next catalogue, one of the pillars of Next’s long term success along with Directory and its credit services, as well as being one of the icons of the catalogue market, is on the wane.</p> <p>Of course it is not just Next who are questioning the role of the catalogue in the digital era, many retailers I speak to are struggling to understand both the strategic role of a catalogue in the evolving marketing mix and its value in a multi-channel world.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3440/Screen_Shot_2016-03-30_at_14.45.07.png" alt="next catalogue" width="615"></p> <h3>Is the catalogue's value to other channels truly known?</h3> <p>Customer behaviour continues to change and, critically, traditional measurement of channel performance no longer provides accurate understanding of channel performance.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66440-three-key-trends-from-our-marketing-attribution-briefing-digital-cream-2015/">Attribution modelling</a>, if it is being applied, is stymied by the inability to accurately view customers across the great divide between off and online marketing.</p> <p>The convergence of traditional and digital marketing and the rise of cross-channel marketing have been well predicted, for instance <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65990-three-digital-marketing-mega-trends-for-2015/">by Ashley Friedlein</a> here on Econsultancy. The travails of the Next catalogue are a salient reminder of this trend.</p> <p>Retailers operating without cross-channel tracking and genuinely-<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66316-how-are-organisations-integrating-the-single-customer-view">single customer views </a>cannot see what role the catalogue plays in generating, for instances, footfall in store or browsing activity online.</p> <p>The catalogue is therefore operating marooned in its own silo, judged only by its direct response results which, we all know, are declining across the board.</p> <h3>Enhancing attribution models</h3> <p>The solution for retailers facing these issues is to move onto the next generation of cross-channel single customer view database that use cross-channel tracking and customer identification software.</p> <p>Retailers need to know when they send a catalogue who browses, who is driven in store and who is price checking on a mobile device.</p> <p>In this fashion attribution models are enhanced, customer journeys effectively tracked and channel value properly understood. There is also the added benefit, probably the most valuable, of integrating the catalogue into the digital channels.</p> <p>Retailers practising cross-channel marketing in this fashion can serve relevant content to individuals launched on their journey by the catalogue as they arrive at the next stage on their journey, for instance when they arrive at the website or when they interact with an email, delivering an ‘omnichannel’ message and guiding them along the path to conversion.</p> <p><em>A mid-'90s Next Directory (<a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Next-Directory-Catalogue-No-10-Autumn-Winter-1992-/281975932968">via eBay</a>)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3441/Screen_Shot_2016-03-30_at_14.53.28.png" alt="early next directory" width="615"></p> <h3>Confidence in catalogues can only come from a single customer view</h3> <p>I’m also intrigued by the phraseology used by The Telegraph – “for customers who don’t want them”. This refers to the Next press release's ‘Catalogues and Marketing’ review.</p> <p>Next has been a leader in using segmentation and analytics to drive their catalogue and direct mail for many years, but reading between the lines, as the Telegraph is doing, the Next hierarchy is losing confidence and switching spend.</p> <p>Any retailer facing a similar challenge needs a cross-channel single customer view to open the door to a wealth of online generated data that would bolster a shift to Predictive Analytical approaches. The days of offline marketers dismissing and ignoring multi-channel behavioural data as ‘clickstream’ have to be nearing an end.</p> <p>The development of cross-channel tracking software and single customer views will lead retailers not only to greater understanding of the role of the catalogue but will also create additional customer value.</p> <p>Not only will retailers be able to more accurately tie online customers together with offline, showing the true value of a single customer, but it will drive increased value through better decision making at a customer level.</p> <p>That means more accurate personalisation and a greater probability to retain a customer in a world where brand loyalty is an increasingly rare commodity.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67680 2016-03-29T14:04:00+01:00 2016-03-29T14:04:00+01:00 Cross-device measurement: what to look for in a solution James Collins <h3>We have the technology</h3> <p>I am reminded of Steve Austin, the astronaut from the popular 1970s TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man. His team set out to “rebuild” him, using the latest technology to design the first bionic man.</p> <p>Similarly, the technology exists to connect user journeys across screens – desktop, mobile, tablet, connected TVs and others. Through a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67110-what-does-the-rollout-of-google-cross-device-conversions-mean-for-marketers">cross-device tracking</a> solution, we have the technology to fix broken user journeys and ultimately improve the conversation between brands and consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3390/six.jpeg" alt="six million dollar man" width="225" height="225"></p> <h3>Shopping for a Solution</h3> <p>To truly understand consumer behavior, you need to identify the role different devices play in the customer journey. I have compiled a “buyer’s guide” of five things you should consider when choosing a cross-device measurement solution.</p> <p><strong>1. Look for any joins you already have</strong></p> <p>Most businesses are sitting on piles of first party data; the first step to understanding the customer journey is to look inwards and see what you already have.</p> <p>It is likely that you will have lots of chances to join data within your organisation. Your customer database is a great source and a natural place to start. The solution you choose should be able to integrate this data and build from there. </p> <p><strong>2. Look for ways to enhance the data </strong></p> <p>Work with your measurement provider to add to your current data set.</p> <p>Your solution should allow for importing any <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67674-what-are-first-second-and-third-party-data">first party data </a>where a user provides information that is consistent across devices, like an email address, customer ID or login. Of course, PII data (personally identifiable information) must be hashed and encrypted to safeguard users’ privacy at all times. </p> <p>Your provider should be able to create deterministic joins based on first party data collected and joined. Keep in mind, you are not going to get every match right – no data is 100% accurate.</p> <p>Even with deterministic first party data, there are circumstances that make the data less accurate, such as when multiple people use the same machine or when households share an email address.  </p> <p><strong>3. If you can’t find them, buy them</strong></p> <p>Your data can only get you so far. What about those who are visiting your site on their mobile or tablet for the first time, who you have yet to identify?</p> <p>Whether your provider buys the data or creates it themselves, this is where probabilistic joining comes in. Probabilistic identification involves ‘fingerprinting’ devices using a variety of attributes, such as number of cookies stored, device IDs, public data such as IP addresses and behavioural data (geographic location and movement of devices geographically across time).</p> <p>All of these factors are combined to connect disparate devices to the same user.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3391/print.jpg" alt="fingerprint" width="250" height="234"> </p> <p><strong>4. Use deterministic joins to increase confidence in probabilistic data </strong></p> <p>Probabilistic device joining is often very accurate, but since the process employs algorithms, analysis and probabilities to match devices there will always be a degree of inaccuracy. The ‘accurate’ deterministic data can be used to validate the joins made by the probabilistic approach.</p> <p>For example, take a user who’s identified themselves on two devices – has the probabilistic data also matched the same devices, or is it saying something completely different; then repeat this process as required. A cross-device solution provider should be able to provide the degree of accuracy for the data they have joined.  </p> <p><strong>5. Use the data to take action </strong></p> <p>Similar to painting a room, the hard work is done before you actually put fresh paint on the walls. It is in the prep, the patching and the priming that makes a newly painted room shine.</p> <p>Now that you have done the work to create the joins, you can look at all of your marketing performance and use the insights to enhance your marketing. </p> <h3>A smarter abandoned basket campaign</h3> <p>Cross-device data can be used to improve marketing effectiveness and efficiency in many ways. One example is when managing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67534-from-checkout-to-conversion-how-to-prevent-basket-abandonment">abandoned basket </a>campaigns – when a customer adds items to their online basket but does not place an order.</p> <p>A problem arises when customers are targeted with email reminders based on shopping cart abandonment on a single device. This strategy does not take into consideration real user behaviour – shopping and browsing on tablet or mobile, but making a purchase on desktop, or vice versa.</p> <p>Without a view across devices marketers are unable to see if people have actually converted, and ultimately this can result in a poor experience.   </p> <p>To be successful at targeting users who have left items in their online basket, you need a solution that captures and joins behaviour across all screens, enabling you to send relevant and timely emails to re-engage consumers. By using this insight, brands can make their emails more effective and ensure they don’t retarget customers with products they have already bought. </p> <h3>A Smart Solution for your Business</h3> <p>Marketers need to understand their customers’ cross-device journeys and through harnessing this information they can develop smarter marketing campaigns.</p> <p>When working with a cross-device solution provider, each business should strive to use their data in a pragmatic way, understanding the value that will be gained from creating this joined up view.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67630 2016-03-16T12:07:00+00:00 2016-03-16T12:07:00+00:00 Forget AO.com, does Benefit Cosmetics offer the best ecommerce experience? Paul Rouke <ol> <li>Knowing and communicating your unique value proposition.</li> <li>Being truly, passionately customer centric.</li> <li>Harnessing social proof to make this central to the purchasing decision.</li> <li>Embracing <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/PRWD/iterative-versus-innovative-testing-exploiting-the-full-spectrum-of-testing-opportunities-paul-rouke-elite-camp-2015-final">the full spectrum of testing and optimisation</a>.</li> </ol> <p>Whenever a website is praised or wins an award, I always check to see what all the fuss is about.</p> <p>Using these four criteria as a starting point, you can begin to assess whether or not a website can truly deliver the goods.</p> <p>I am always curious to see who can join the illustrious list of true disrupter brands such as Uber and AirBnb, and as my previous post concluded, AO.com hs joined that list having disrupted the white goods industry.</p> <p>As such, when I read that Benefit Cosmetics (part of the multi-billion, multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH) was recently awarded '<a href="http://beauty20awards.com/who-won-the-beauty20-london-the-10-best-loved-beauty-brands-online/">Best Beauty Brand Online</a>’, I had to check it out for myself and see whether the brand is worthy of the title!</p> <p>So here goes. Will Benefit join the illustrious list of disruptive brands and cement itself as a trailblazer for the beauty industry? Let's find out.</p> <h3>1. Knowing and communicating your unique value proposition</h3> <h4><strong>Universal header area</strong></h4> <p>Landing on the homepage - or other primary landing pages - I’m extremely surprised to see that Benefit Cosmetics doesn’t dedicate <em>any</em> part of the primary header area to communicate anything tangible about its unique value proposition.</p> <p>Prime website real estate is just being neglected.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2800/Homepage_top_half.PNG" alt="" width="600" height="382"></p> <p>This online crime happens all the time.</p> <p>Brand X feels like it is big enough, credible enough and well known enough to not need to communicate why visitors should stick around and buy from them and not one of their competitors.</p> <p>As crowded as the beauty market is, you would think every brand would jump at a chance to communicate their USPs.</p> <p>It doesn’t matter how big or well-known you are, <strong>you should always be providing visitors with reasons to stay. </strong></p> <h4>On primary landing and decision making pages, under the navigation</h4> <p>Just as Benefit doesn’t communicate any form of its unique value proposition in the site-wide header, it doesn’t dedicate any area under or around its primary navigation for communicating what makes the brand and products special.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2818/bestsellers.PNG" alt="" width="601" height="339"></p> <p>As I shared in my AO.com critique, we all know about the fact that people need to see things a number of times before it typically “sinks in”.</p> <p>Never has this been more important for retailers than with your unique value and service proposition messages.</p> <p>In summary,<strong> Benefit Cosmetics is failing to communicate its value proposition clearly on key landing pages</strong><em>. </em></p> <h3>2. Being truly, passionately customer centric</h3> <h4><strong>Providing customer journeys that match different types of buyer behaviour</strong></h4> <p>The two ways to browse products on Benefit Cosmetics are to ‘shop by product’ and ‘shop by dilemma’.</p> <p>Though 'shop by dilemma' is an intriguing concept, only having two initial options to start a product search is limiting.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2819/product_page_top_half.PNG" alt="" width="600" height="306"></p> <p>What about shop by latest releases, shop by most popular, shop by highest rated?</p> <p>Even with a small product set compared to a retailer like AO.com, visitors will still benefit from being able to browse your range by other ways than just the type or category of product.</p> <h4><strong>Replicating the offline shopping experience</strong></h4> <p>Benefit Cosmetics is doing some really positive things in this area, not least actively encouraging visitors to visit a store.</p> <p>Often multichannel retailers are almost afraid of promoting their store finder as they want their online visitors to buy online.</p> <p>Truth is, bridging this gap (and encouraging the multichannel shopper) will in turn help create new customers who have the potential to become brand advocates.</p> <p>The terminology used in the primary navigation ‘Get Serviced’ followed by the headline ‘Pamper Yourself Pretty’ are excellent examples of using emotive language and speaking directly to the visitor.</p> <p>Creative and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65365-how-seven-ecommerce-brands-use-highly-persuasive-copywriting/">persuasive copywriting</a> is certainly an area that Benefit has prioritised as part of its online user experience and it shows.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2820/pamper_yourself.PNG" alt="" width="601" height="324"></p> <p>Store integration is intrinsic to the online experience.</p> <p>In the section ‘explore our services’, hovering over any of the services immediately presents you with a ‘Find a Store’ button – this <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67345-23-creative-examples-of-hover-states-in-ecommerce-ux/">subtle hover state</a> change ensures visitors are drawn to what they want you to do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2821/find_a_store.PNG" alt="" width="601" height="324"></p> <p>Benefit has another whole area dedicated to its customers with the ‘Wow your Brows’ page.</p> <p>From striking, emotive imagery and humanised language, to video content and specific advice tailored to women’s different styles of eyebrows, this is an extremely (and impressively) customer-centric page.</p> <p>I can't help but wonder why it doesn't promote this specialist area in the universal header!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2822/wowbrows.PNG" alt="" width="600" height="360"></p> <p>In addition, it dedicates a whole section of the homepage to helping fix ‘Beauty Dilemmas’.</p> <p>This once again showcases visually striking images that ooze brand personality (which is consistent throughout the whole site).</p> <p>In summary,<strong> when it comes to being truly, passionately customer centric, Benefit is doing a lot right.<br></strong></p> <h3>3. Harnessing social proof to make this central to the purchasing decision</h3> <h4>Customer satisfaction is one of the first things new visitors are presented with</h4> <p>First-time visitors to AO.com see a prominent customer satisfaction score on the homepage.</p> <p>When examining Benefit’s homepage, apart from a sub headline ‘What benebabes love most’ (which doesn’t provide you with any way to find out what or who are ‘benebabes’) and some very small hearts, there is a distinct lack of social proof used to demonstrate the popularity and advocacy of the Benefit customer base.</p> <p>Of course it has the standard social links in the footer, but visitors have absolutely no idea if Benefit has 500 or 500,000 Pinterest followers, or 250 or 250,000 Twitter followers, or 800 or 800,000 Facebook likes.</p> <p>I will let you guess the numbers behind the brand...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2823/footer.PNG" alt="" width="600" height="117"></p> <h4>Prominence of reviews</h4> <p>As mentioned, with the miniscule love hearts under product images it’s almost as if Benefit Cosmetics doesn't want visitors to think about or look at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/">the reviews</a>.</p> <p>It would be interesting to see if any research was made in this decision.</p> <p>Not only that, you have no idea whether products have seven or 700 reviews until you get to the product page.</p> <p>From my experience, I always advise retailers to clearly communicate how many reviews you have for a product prior to visitors going to that product page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2824/most_loved.PNG" alt="" width="600" height="371"></p> <h4>Detailed, intelligent, informative, relevant customer reviews</h4> <p>Whilst the reviews are not prominent on the homepage, once you get on the product page Benefit has an exceptional rating and review system.</p> <p>It provides both fantastic depth of reviews and also puts the visitor in control of seeing the reviews most relevant to them.</p> <p>This shows how important Benefit take its customer reviews and the review system should be applauded, but ideally it should look to get this in front of the customer earlier in the journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2825/mascara_page.PNG" alt="" width="600" height="340"></p> <h3>4. Embracing the full spectrum of testing and optimisation</h3> <p>Unlike with AO.com (which is a brand I know truly embraces the full spectrum of optimisation), the very fact that Benefit doesn’t appear to have a testing tool installed says to me that this is one of the biggest opportunities for its next phase of growth.</p> <h4><strong>What do I mean by the full spectrum of testing and optimisation? </strong></h4> <p>Very few businesses embrace the full spectrum of opportunities on offer from A/B, multivariate and personalisation testing.</p> <p>Typically testing is quick and simple and focused on the low hanging fruit (what we at PRWD call <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67245-why-mvt-doesn-t-live-up-to-the-hype-isn-t-worth-significant-investment/">iterative testing</a>).</p> <p>The biggest business growth opportunity many businesses are missing out on is the impact and growth that innovative and strategic testing can deliver for their business.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>In summary, Benefit Cosmetics is doing some fantastic things with its digital experience to convert visitors into customers.</p> <p>But as this quick evaluation has highlighted, there are a range of opportunities which can take it to the next level:</p> <ol> <li>Effectively communicating the unique value proposition to differentiate itself in the marketplace.</li> <li>Utilising the scale and passion of its social communities and customers to better effect.</li> <li>Most importantly, recognise that full spectrum optimisation represents the biggest growth lever.</li> </ol> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67503 2016-02-12T15:02:00+00:00 2016-02-12T15:02:00+00:00 Is Amazon Pantry still winning on price vs. other online grocers? Keith Anderson <p>In light of these comments – and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67379-will-amazon-pantry-and-fresh-succeed-in-2016">Econsultancy’s previous post on whether Pantry will succeed in 2016</a> - we reassessed Amazon’s price competitiveness (it’s still the lowest-priced, by far), as well as continued to monitor its ratings and reviews situation.</p> <p>In our previous analysis, just 28% of Pantry products were reviewed.</p> <p>This blog also examines the creative promotions available to brands on Pantry: ways to improve findability outside of the typical search rankings and category placement pages.</p> <h3>1. Amazon Pantry still the cheapest - by a wide margin</h3> <p>Based on our latest pricing data from January 2016, Amazon Pantry has maintained its significant price advantage: UK supermarkets were priced between 18% and 26% higher on 2,774 identical items.</p> <p>As in December 2015, Asda remained the retailer closest in price to Pantry – albeit 18% more expensive, on average, compared to 16% in December.</p> <p>The biggest change came from Waitrose, which went from 29% more expensive than Pantry to 24%, and from Morrisons, which went from just 20% more expensive than Pantry to 25%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1587/Pantry2.png" alt="" width="1083" height="596"></p> <p>Across most categories, Amazon also remained notably less expensive than the average price compared with the major UK grocers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1586/Pantry1.png" alt=""></p> <p><strong><em>The takeaway is clear: </em></strong><em>Amazon Pantry items are priced as aggressively after launch as they were at launch.</em> </p> <h3><strong>2. Amazon's reviews engine has picked up steam</strong></h3> <p>One of Amazon’s historical advantages is its massive database of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/">customer reviews</a>, which play an important role at every stage of an online shopper’s path-to-purchase: reviews influence search results, impact which product page links shoppers click on, and influence shoppers’ purchase decisions at the key decision point.  </p> <p>Early in December, only 28% of products listed on Amazon Pantry were reviewed, with an average of 50 reviews per product.</p> <p>By January, the number rose to 38%, which means close to 300 additional listed products gained their first reviews. (The broader base of products with reviews is the reason the average review count per reviewed products dropped from 50 to 40 in January.)</p> <p>The new reviews were, on the whole, more positive than negative: the average star rating improved slightly from 4.4 to 4.5.</p> <p>However, while Pantry’s products still lag behind Amazon's best sellers from other categories, it does have some stand-out products, such as this Pampers item which has over 1,000 reviews.</p> <h3><strong>3. Amazon offers creative promotional opportunities on Pantry</strong></h3> <p>A brand’s findability is typically measured through search ranking and category placement.</p> <p>Amazon Pantry, however, offers creative opportunities for promotions that can improve your products’ visibility, especially in the early stages of this program.</p> <p>There’s a nice feedback loop that results from findability: the more easily shoppers can find your products, the more sales you will get, the higher you’ll likely rank in search results, the more reviews you’ll get, the more findable you will be, and so on.</p> <p><strong>'Themed banner promotions'</strong> typically entice shoppers to add a few select items – four Pepsi products, for example – to get free delivery. </p> <p>Beyond the added visibility, these promotions can entice trialists and promote your broader portfolio (by encouraging shoppers to buy both your hand lotion and face wash, for example).</p> <p>In comparison,<strong> 'themed boxes'</strong> present shoppers with selections of themed items to add to their Pantry boxes. Like brand-sponsored recipes, themed box promotions help shoppers be fun and creative - importantly, with your products. </p> <p>These boxes are typically designed for first-time shoppers in mind who might be intimidated by filling up a Pantry box, or shoppers looking for creative ideas to stock up their cupboards.</p> <p>Boxes can be unique to specific brands, such as the Dove box below, or boxes can be themed and include products from multiple brands.</p> <h3>What does 2016 hold for the UK online grocery market?</h3> <p>Whether Amazon chooses to go it alone with AmazonFresh or through acquisition (Ocado CEO Tim Steiner has recently denied any Amazon-Ocado deal), expect to see lots of change and continued developments within the UK online grocery sector this year. </p> <p>With the recent announcement that Sainsbury’s has agreed terms to buy Home Retail Group, 2016 is already off to a very interesting start.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67459 2016-01-29T11:37:18+00:00 2016-01-29T11:37:18+00:00 13 delightful digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Jack Simpson <p>
This week we’re covering influencers, mobile shopping, multichannel, the growth of social and much more. </p> <h3>57% of fashion &amp; beauty brands have an influencer marketing strategy</h3> <p>Almost three quarters of fashion and beauty brands are already carrying out influencer marketing, while a further 21% plan to invest in it over the next 12 months. </p> <p>This is according to a new Fashion &amp; Beauty Monitor report in partnership with Econsultancy, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands">The Rise of Influencers</a>, which explores the role influencers play in the fashion and beauty industry.</p> <p><em><strong>Q: Do you currently use influencer marketing as part of your marketing strategy?</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1208/Screen_Shot_2016-01-29_at_10.10.04.png" alt="influencer marketing stats fashion and beauty brands" width="650"></p> <h3>One in five expect more than 50% of overall spend to be via mobile</h3> <p>People are increasingly comfortable <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66543-50-fascinating-stats-about-mobile-commerce-in-the-uk-2015">using their mobile to shop online</a>, with almost three quarters (69%) now browsing or buying this way, a 10% increase since 2013, according to new figures from BuzzCity. </p> <p>The main reasons people choose to chop via mobile are the variety of products available (18%), the experience of discovery (16%) and the speed of delivery (14%).</p> <h3>Emirates becomes first airline to gain 1m Instagram followers</h3> <p>Recently named the world’s most valuable airline brand, Emirates launched its Instagram channel in November 2013. </p> <p>In less than three years, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/emirates/">the airline’s Instagram content</a> has generated over 5.8m likes and comments.</p> <p>It has also become the first airline in the world to achieve a seven-figure follower count on the image-sharing network.  </p> <h3>Mobile commerce set to rise by 68% in 2016</h3> <p>The number of purchases made via mobile will rise by almost 70% this year, according to new research by Connexity. </p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Nearly half (42%) of all online orders during Christmas 2016 may be made on a mobile device.</li> <li>Up to a third (33%) of all online purchases will be made on a smartphone this year.</li> <li>Purchases on tablets are expected to stagnate or slightly decline.</li> </ul> <h3>Like-for-like growth for over 80% of retailers, largely thanks to online</h3> <p>80% of UK retailers and leisure operators have registered positive like for like (LFL) annual growth, with 50% delivering LFL growth in excess of 4% year on year, according to <a href="http://www.jll.co.uk/united-kingdom/en-gb/services/property-sectors/retail-and-leisure/market-commentary/christmas-trading-special-lfl-growth-for-over-80-percent-of-uk-retailers">JLL’s annual Christmas Trading Update</a>. </p> <p>As you can see from the chart below, online predominantly drove that growth for many retailers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1209/Screen_Shot_2016-01-26_at_10.45.54.png" alt="uk retail growth driven by online" width="650"></p> <h3>57% of IT security workers don't know where payment data is stored or located</h3> <p>More than half of IT security practitioners say their company has had a security or data breach involving payment <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/value-exchange-from-data">data</a> an average of four times in the past two years, according to <a href="http://data-protection.safenet-inc.com/files/2016/01/global-study-payment-data-security-report.pdf?utm_source=dynamic&amp;utm_medium=press-release&amp;utm_campaign=payment-data-security%20">a new survey by Gemalto</a>.</p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>56% say payment data security is not a top-five security priority for their company.</li> <li>Only one third (30%) feels their company allocates enough resources to protecting payment data.</li> <li>Less than half (43%) feel their security personnel has the expertise to effectively protect payment data.</li> <li>Two thirds (66%) of UK respondents say their companies are either not fully PCI DSS compliant or are only partially compliant. </li> </ul> <h3>Retailers failing to offer the omnichannel experience consumers want</h3> <p>59% of Brits are not downloading retail apps because they do not complement and match up to the in-store and website shopping experience, according to <a href="http://www.apadmi.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/retail-app-report-november-2015.pdf">new research by Apadmi</a>.</p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Only 11% of consumers are interacting with their favourite retailers across all channels, including its store, website, and mobile app.</li> <li>Nearly a quarter (22%) of consumers only shop in store, 8% solely use a retailer’s website, and 2% use its website and app without visiting the store. Only 1% use a retail app on its own, and 1% go to store and use the mobile app to shop.</li> <li>For Brits who use retail mobile apps, the majority (65%) tend to use them at home. Just 31% use them while shopping in-store.</li> </ul> <h3>Mobile share of visits to UK retail sites increases to 65%</h3> <p>On average, 64.54% of visits to all ecommerce sites in the UK last year were via mobile phones, compared to 35.46% for desktop, according to new figures from SimilarWeb.</p> <p>Top UK retail sites’ average monthly mobile share by visits in 2015:</p> <ol> <li>Amazon – 64%</li> <li>eBay – 59%</li> <li>Argos – 76%</li> <li>Tesco – 71%</li> <li>Next – 72%</li> <li>Asos – 62%</li> <li>John Lewis – 60%</li> <li>M&amp;S – 62%</li> <li>Currys – 70%</li> <li>Boots – 75% </li> </ol> <h3>79% of Brits would uninstall ad blockers given more choice over ads</h3> <p>Almost four fifths of adult UK <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66650-how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-ad-blocking">ad-blockers</a> – 9.5m people – would consider getting rid of the software if they had more choice over ads, according to <a href="http://info.teads.tv/ad-blockers-en">a new report by Teads</a>.</p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Intrusive adverts (72%) and the impact of ads on site performance (62%) were the main motivators for installing a blocker.</li> <li>71% of ad blockers are installed on mobile.</li> <li>Users would consider uninstalling their blockers if they could skip ads at will (57%) and they were more relevant (38%).</li> </ul> <h3>There are now 2.31bn social media users worldwide</h3> <p>Almost one-third of the world’s population now uses social media, according to We Are Social’s new Digital in 2016 report.</p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Social media users are up by 10% YoY, an increase of 219m.</li> <li>Taiwan is the ‘most social’ country, with 77% of its total population using Facebook in the past 30 days.</li> <li>WhatsApp has grown a massive 50% in the last year.</li> <li>Mobile social media users leapt 17%, adding 283m new users.</li> <li>South Korea tops rankings for mobile social media usage.</li> </ul> <h3>80% choose Facebook for social login</h3> <p>Facebook is by far the most trusted social network when it comes to website authentication, according to a new infographic by Gigya. </p> <p>Check out the infographic below for more stats:</p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1211/Gigya_SocialLoginInfographic_Q4_2015.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1210/Screen_Shot_2016-01-29_at_10.33.14.png" alt="social login stats inforgraphic" width="650"></a></p> <h3>Digital subscriptions sector registers highest chargeback rates</h3> <p>Nearly a quarter of all UK digital subscriptions result in a chargeback – the return of funds to a consumer that are forcibly initiated by the issuing bank as the instrument used by a consumer to settle a debt – according to new data from Global Risk Technologies.</p> <p>This is double the rate of the diet, health and beauty and women’s products sector.</p> <h3>One in four UK shoppers uses a smartphone to buy groceries</h3> <p>A quarter of Brits <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66602-do-supermarkets-know-what-online-customers-want">use their mobile to do food shopping</a>, according to Shoppercentric’s new grocery retail index. </p> <p>Other key findings include:</p> <ul> <li>Wrong items delivered annoys 39% of online shoppers, paying for delivery 36%. Misleading or wrong promotional details were also a cause of frustration (35%). </li> <li>20% of shoppers now use price comparison sites and 30% look up and use deal/voucher websites. 41% still collect and use vouchers from magazines or flyers that come through the door.  </li> </ul> <h3>Timely and vaguely relevant stat of the week…</h3> <p><strong>On this day in 1999,</strong> the US Senate delivered subpoenas for Monica Lewinsky – who you may have heard speaking at the <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/speakers/monica-lewinsky">Festival of Marketing 2015</a> – and two presidential advisers for private, videotaped testimony in the impeachment trial.</p> <h3>For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           </h3> <p>Download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/?utm_source=Econ%20Blog%20&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=BLOGSTATS">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>, a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media.</p> <p>It’s updated monthly and covers 11 different topics from advertising, content, customer experience, mobile, ecommerce and social.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67439 2016-01-26T14:07:00+00:00 2016-01-26T14:07:00+00:00 How creative SEO can deliver big wins for luxury fashion retailers Chris Bishop <p>Neither were they desperately researching which colour would dominate this season and updating their collections accordingly.</p> <p>They were mostly trying to work out how not to break their necks on a Saturday night.</p> <p>But even more surprisingly, this term was searched for equally by men and women.</p> <h3>Why you need to understand search behaviour</h3> <p>Both these strange insights from Google underline one important message.</p> <p>If you want to understand and take advantage of the retail opportunities presented by search, you really have to understand what search is all about.</p> <p>Because, despite the odd quirks of search behaviour – or maybe because of them – there is vast branding and commercial potential here for fashion brands.</p> <p>And now, more than ever, luxury brands that are ignoring search are missing huge revenue opportunities that others are capitalising on.</p> <h3>But what’s the opportunity in search for luxury brands?</h3> <p>With 1 trillion Google searches in 2015, luxury customers are just as likely to Google as everyone else.</p> <p>And luxury customers were <strong>4.7 times more likely to Google ‘Black Friday’</strong> than the average.</p> <p>Add to this the fact that <strong>39% of luxury clothes bought on the internet last year were bought on impulse</strong>, search really <em>does</em> look like the place where the smartest luxury brands would want to be.</p> <p>At a fashion digital conference last week we presented with our client Net-A-Porter on luxury consumer search behaviour and it really demonstrates how crucial ecommerce is for luxury brand health in the years ahead:</p> <h3>Black Friday: what a difference a day makes</h3> <p>Luxury brands really can benefit from the retail ‘holidays’ which have established themselves in recent years.</p> <p>Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2015 marked the highest and second highest sales days on record for Net-A-Porter.</p> <ul> <li>The retailer sold one item every second.</li> <li>Of these, the most expensive item sold online was priced at <strong>$27,307.</strong> </li> <li>While a single Saint Laurent mini-dress was sold for <strong>$14,943.</strong> </li> </ul> <p>This is not loss-leading discounting reluctantly undertaken for fear of losing brand profile.</p> <p>This is a strategic opportunity to engage with high-net-worth individuals and galvanise profitable sales activity at specific points in the calendar.</p> <p>And search plays a crucial part in this.</p> <h3>And what a difference a change makes</h3> <p>Data from fashion brands is pointing to a shift from slow, curated purchasing patterns to fast decision making tipped by arresting content. </p> <p>Once luxury brands understand that price is no longer the key driver behind online luxury brand buying decisions, it becomes much clearer what search barriers are really in the way of increased sales.</p> <p>McKinsey released research demonstrating that returns (75%) and delivery policy (73%) were key factors influencing luxury buying decisions, especially interesting when considering only<strong> 48% were interested in price</strong>.  </p> <h3>Adjusting to a multi-device world</h3> <p>It’s a cliché, but luxury brand customers are cash rich and time poor – the question is how does this translate into search and buying behaviour online?</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/multidevice.png" alt=""></p> <p>In online luxury retail there is no such thing as a single customer journey anymore, these customers with their demanding lifestyles, constantly switch between devices that are ‘always on’.</p> <p>What’s more, they have the best devices (high spec, tablets, laptops, smartphones) and they expect the experiences they have on them to be equally high spec.</p> <p>Therefore, as one absolute takeaway - don’t ever think in devices (desktop, mobile), think only of the consumer journey.</p> <h3>The beautiful customer experience</h3> <p>Ecommerce is now a multi-device world and brands need to understand the importance of a ‘beautiful customer experience’, meaning a series of seamless, all-encompassing, cross-platform customer journeys that often begin with search and are highly mobile.</p> <p>Every year marketers have been told that this year is the year of mobile and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital-marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/">2016 will be no exception</a>.</p> <p>For luxury mobile is becoming increasingly important to keep up with the demands of the luxury consumer.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/catwalkmobilephone.png" alt=""></p> <p>Often we hear about the increase in mobile penetration in a market – however when you consider the affluence of a luxury shopper that becomes even more important.</p> <p>McKinsey suggests that across the world <strong>95% of luxury shoppers have a smartphone</strong>, with <strong>100% penetration in some markets</strong>.</p> <p>Forrester research last year stated most luxury consumers expect retailers to have mobile optimised website or app - however in January 2016 only half do.</p> <p>Luxury customers are everywhere in terms of device and location, and mobile has become key to closing sales.</p> <ul> <li>41% of Net-A-Porter’s customer orders over Thanksgiving were on a mobile device.</li> <li>Nearly half (48%) of its sales in Japan were on mobile.</li> </ul> <p>Customers are not only visiting Net-A-Porter's sites on mobile, but buying items as well.</p> <p>As such there are opportunities to optimise search in specific ways, in specific locations and for specific groups that could make all the difference to traffic and sales.</p> <h3>Gender targeting through Google search</h3> <p>Gender targeting is one of these opportunities. Male luxury customers still often seem to be impulsive and impatient in their purchases as they tend to shop for gifts on mobile devices at the last minute. </p> <p>Males tend to spend more time examining search engine results pages (SERPS) and are <strong>5.4 times more likely than females</strong> to inspect lower ranked results.</p> <p>Therefore, a key opportunity to maximize conversion from search is by reassuring customers on the SERPS that the mobile checkout process will be simple and painless.</p> <h3>Location, location, location?</h3> <p>Location is also significant when selling to these customers, but not necessarily in the ways that you think.</p> <p>The average luxury customers takes <strong>16 trips a year</strong>. So, where these customers are searching is not necessarily where they live.</p> <p>This means brands need to be careful about the kind of delivery offers they’re making based on location.</p> <p>Don’t go offering free delivery in Tokyo when the customer lives in New York.</p> <p>Therefore, when a consumer adds location-based search queries we have to listen to the signal - dig deeper into data, don’t make assumptions and tailor to location.</p> <h3>Social &amp; content converts</h3> <p>Even if they’re not buying, your customers want to talk to you and about you.</p> <p>Working out when to sell to them and when to talk to them is part of the challenge of dealing with customer search.</p> <p>But in reality every search is an opportunity for engagement that may lead to a sale.</p> <p>In fashion it is even more important to have a focus on social, with two-thirds of the target audience generating content on a regular basis and <strong>15% doing that on a daily basis</strong>.</p> <p><img src="https://openmerchantaccount.com/img2/customerswantcontent.png" alt="" width="660" height="390"></p> <p>Social and content is presenting more and more chances to capture the imagination of potential customers and shortening the gap between catwalk and shopping basket.</p> <p>Fashion is throwing open the doors to the public with live streaming and interactive digital tools.</p> <p>Lining up your social, content and search is presenting more and more chances to share amazing content and arrest the attention of a customer base primed and willing to buy into your brand.</p> <h3>Rising to the challenge of search for luxury brands</h3> <p>“<em><strong>How to Walk In Heels</strong></em>” is not a comment on the mundanity of search.</p> <p>Instead it’s an imaginative challenge to agencies and marketers to interpret needs and wants in ways that are thrilling to customers.</p> <p>I hear there’s a trick to walking in heels, but once learned it looks elegant and effortless.</p> <p>Learning the secrets of luxury search is learning to create beautiful experiences, optimised customer journeys that seamlessly capture, build your brand and convert sales in new and exciting ways.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66501-how-fashion-brands-are-setting-trends-in-digital/"><em>How fashion brands are setting trends in digital</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64543-20-beautiful-examples-of-web-design-from-high-fashion-brands/"><em>20 beautiful examples of web design from high fashion brands</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/fashion-ecommerce-and-content-marketing/"><em>Fashion Ecommerce and Content Marketing Report</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67219 2015-11-23T11:37:06+00:00 2015-11-23T11:37:06+00:00 Preparing for Christmas: Key UK online retail stats Luke Richards <h3><strong>Online purchases likely to exceed forecasts</strong></h3> <p>The latest data from <a title="IMRG Press Releases" href="http://imrg.org/press-releases" target="_blank">IMRG</a> saw UK ecommerce grow 12% year-over-year during September – a far better performance than the 5% growth in August.</p> <p>Judging from trends last year, it is quite typical for ecommerce to dip slightly in August and then pick up again in autumn and winter.</p> <p>Indeed, a release from IMRG looking at online delivery volumes saw them grow 18.9% year-over-year in September – already better than predicted.</p> <p>It is also worth noting the increasing acceptability of key dates like Black Friday (this year falling on November 27) in the UK. 30% of shoppers say they are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to shop on that day according to IMRG.</p> <h3><strong>Average order values likely to be even bigger</strong></h3> <p>Recently published data by <a title="Monetate" href="http://info.monetate.com/eq2-2015-lp.html" target="_blank">Monetate</a> gives a great insight into the value of typical online orders among shoppers in Great Britain.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9182/xmasprep1.png" alt="" width="881" height="131"></p> <p>Orders which come via PCs and laptops remain the biggest on average – hitting $98.55 (£64.80) during Q2 2015. </p> <p>Looking at these trends, order values on traditional devices might actually be falling slightly.</p> <p>While being at their lowest in Q2 2015 compared to any point over the last five quarters – it is worth noting just how much AOVs have jumped on mobile devices since the same time last year - AOVs are now not too dissimilar to the peak of $95.66 (£62.91) which happened during 2014's festive season.</p> <h3><strong>Digital having even more influence on the habits of shoppers, on and offline</strong></h3> <p>With Monetate’s average order value data fresh in our minds, recent multichannel data from Savvy makes particularly interesting reading too.</p> <p>According to the recent report <a title="Savvy: The Evolution of the Path to Purchase" href="http://blog.getsavvy.com/more-than-half-of-products-bought-for-more-than-20-are-now-bought-online-for-home-delivery/" target="_blank"><em>The Evolution of the Path to Purchase</em></a>, it found that even if conversions often occur offline rather than online, a massive 69% of all purchases over £20 are influenced in some way by digital retailing.</p> <p>Additionally, most shoppers aren’t simply doing a Google search for such items or going straight to Amazon for pre-purchase research, but they will on average look at more than two sources of information before clicking the buy button.</p> <h3><strong>Further growth in click &amp; collect and more diverse fulfilment options</strong></h3> <p>One of the key talking points of the festive season last year was the rise of click &amp; collect purchases – with 39% of British online shoppers choosing to place orders online and then going to pick them up in-store, according to <a title="JDA" href="http://www.jda.com/view/press-release/nearly-one-in-three-british-online-christmas-shoppers-experienced-problems-with-orders/" target="_blank">JDA</a>.</p> <p>It’s likely such services will play an even bigger role in Christmas shopping in 2015.</p> <p>JDA also found that of those who used click &amp; collect in 2014, 34% said they would intend to use it more this year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9183/xmasprep2.png" alt="" width="792" height="462"></p> <p><a title="Zebra 2015 Global Shopping Study" href="https://www.zebra.com/content/dam/zebra_new_ia/en-us/solutions-verticals/vertical-solutions/retail/success-stories/zebra-2015-global-shopper-study-en.pdf" target="_blank">Zebra’s <em>2015 Global Shopping Study</em></a> (which includes UK respondents) released in September also found that 22% of those they asked prefer to buy online and then collect their orders in person from the store.</p> <h3><strong>Takeaways</strong></h3> <p>Christmas is always an interesting time for ecommerce and multichannel trends.</p> <p>Looking at recent data and comparing predictions with what we have seen happen in recent years, online retailers and marketers are in an ever-improving position to ensure they are reaching potential customers at the right times and across the best channels.</p> <p>With greater choice and more online and mobile accessibility to a wider range of products, the sector is increasingly consumer-led.</p> <p>Those hoping to engage with more customers over the next month or so need to be sure they are offering convenience and user-specific functionality, so shoppers can find and receive the items they want when they want them.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67225 2015-11-23T10:45:29+00:00 2015-11-23T10:45:29+00:00 International ecommerce: Four things to consider when venturing into foreign markets Ian Harris <p>One of the recession’s ‘silver linings’ was that it changed the ‘tunnel vision’ attitude many businesses can develop. </p> <p>The difficulties that arose as a result of this economic stagnation forced business to explore other opportunities – namely those abroad.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_1-2.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="324" height="279"></p> <p>Now that the economic situation looks a bit brighter at home, we wanted to revisit the research. We surveyed 500 senior decision-makers within large organisations to understand how they now prioritise their expansion budgets, and what they consider to be the main barriers for successful market entry. </p> <p>The overriding theme of the results was a sense of missed opportunity. The survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they are currently missing out on key global ecommerce opportunities.</p> <p>This statistic alone highlights that many UK businesses are still yet to fully explore the global opportunities an online presence can provide.</p> <p>It also highlights a potential dearth of information about how and why a business should engage in such markets. </p> <p>With the country looking forward to developing better, more profitable business offerings, a lack of information in such a key area may highlight the need for a more protracted, government-led emphasis on globalising UK ecommerce.</p> <p>The problem may, however, not be as dire as the figures suggest. 83% of respondents considered overseas expansion to be a new revenue stream. </p> <p>This means that although they might currently be engaged in ecommerce in overseas markets, they simply aren't getting the most out of their endeavours.</p> <p>So, how can businesses that have identified the potential in these markets then go on to take the next steps and ensure they're not missing out?</p> <p><em>Read on to find out, or for more on this topic read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65718-international-seo-a-beginner-s-skills-guide/"><em>International SEO: A beginner's skills guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66817-five-international-social-media-myths-debunked/"><em>Five international social media myths debunked</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66575-five-golden-rules-when-localising-for-international-ecommerce/"><em>Five golden rules when localising for international ecommerce</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66929-how-to-overcome-the-difficulties-of-copywriting-for-the-chinese-market/"><em>How to overcome the difficulties of copywriting for the Chinese market</em></a></li> </ul> <h3>Speak the same language as your customers</h3> <p>The study revealed that a large majority of UK businesses felt that they were failing to properly embrace digital business opportunities.</p> <p>While many businesses have certainly woken up to the digital opportunities available to them, many are still not adapting their marketing strategies country to country. </p> <p>Worryingly, 40% of the businesses we surveyed don’t think that communicating with customers in their native languages is important.</p> <p>This is despite the fact that three out of five of these businesses rely on up to 50% of their revenue from global markets. </p> <p>Studies have shown that failing to communicate in native languages can have a serious effect upon the trust consumers place with brands.</p> <p>However, translation doesn't just pertain to the direct translation of written content on your site. The content on your site should always be implemented with technical SEO best practice in mind.</p> <p>This could range from meta-tags and titles to more advanced technical recommendations. This should help you to develop fully optimised content on local domains, which will help increase rankings on your targeted keywords, but also give a better user experience.</p> <p>A native speaker’s cultural insight is also invaluable when moving into a new market. The nuances of a language and culture may not be immediately available to a second language translator but it is these small insights that will keep you ahead of the competition.</p> <p>For example, a native speaking French content consultant could reject content with sub-titles such as “Did You Know…?” for the French market.</p> <p>While acceptable in the UK, this could be perceived as condescending to French audiences, who would prefer something neutral such as “Additional Information” as a title.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_4.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="345" height="297"></p> <h3>Localise your site</h3> <p>It’s not just issues around translating content that can influence customer sentiment either, there are many other big factors to consider too, including your domain structure.</p> <p>87% of businesses stressed the importance of using a local website domain. </p> <p>Yet, many are still not implementing vital changes like this. In a country where 20% of the ecommerce market is through exports, with the majority in Europe, the need for specialised and tailored ecommerce presences in these markets is vital.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_5.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="291" height="251"></p> <p>You should also spend some time on specialising <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-backlink-masterclass">your backlink profile</a> for each country, as this can have a big effect on the trust signals that Google places on your localised site.</p> <p>Your online marketing plan should include local PR, such as PR campaigns and events that will help build natural links to your site.</p> <p>Businesses should also implement a proactive quality link building campaign (brand mentions can be an effective tactic if your brand is already well known in the region) to get links from local sites.</p> <p>This two-pronged strategy should help indicate to both Google, and your customers, that you’re a trusted brand in the market.</p> <h3>Get your brand noticed</h3> <p>The usability and relevance of your website are vital to ensuring your audience's journey ends in a conversion – but you need to get them there first.</p> <p>In markets where you’re a new brand, you're competing with established businesses who know the market inside out. Often you may have to build yourself up from the bottom.</p> <p>To get noticed you have to get your name out there, which involves lots of relationship building with industry influencers.</p> <p>Communicating with these influencers (often journalists and bloggers) is easier if you use native speaking employees. Native speakers understand the market and can save you valuable time lost in research. </p> <p>Content promotion methods differ from country to country too.</p> <p>For example, while forums are generally considered bad practice in the UK, in China they are still hugely influential.</p> <p>Social media is becoming ever more important to brand recognition. In Europe and America, Facebook still dominates the social landscape.</p> <p>When looking at other large markets though, don’t be mistaken for thinking that it’s the be all and end all.</p> <p>In China, the platform's website is blocked, so usage is very low. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64625-weibos-wechat-renren-how-to-approach-social-marketing-in-china/">QZone and Weibo are the market leaders</a>, with the former boasting a profile for 99% of Chinese internet users. (For more on this topic, download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/state-of-ecommerce-in-china/">State of Ecommerce in China Report</a>).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3607/starbucks_screenshot-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="457"></p> <p>In Russia, VK (Vkontakte) has over five times as many daily users as Facebook. </p> <p>These platforms work in different ways, with users interacting differently on each site. You should research the habits and trends on these different platforms before <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66774-social-media-marketing-in-china-which-platforms-should-you-invest-in/">forming a social media strategy</a>.</p> <h3>Use paid platforms effectively</h3> <p>You may also choose to run paid campaigns along with your organic ones. As with organic channels, you will need to translate each campaign for each market.</p> <p>One of the mistakes that marketers often make is rolling out a successful campaign from one market across many others. </p> <p>Just because <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/ppc-training/">a PPC campaign</a> was successful in one country doesn't mean it will be in another.</p> <p>The structure and content of your ads in different markets should be based upon comprehensive research and testing in each market. Successful campaigns will have relevant messages and a tone that is in keeping with your market. </p> <p>Programmatic has also become much more important to many digital marketing strategies. 90% of stakeholders in Europe have said they plan to increase their visibility on the platform over the next 12 months.</p> <p>Effective use of programmatic is heavily reliant on the ability to analyse audience habits. It’s important, therefore, that you have good insight into the markets you’re entering.</p> <p>This insight covers a wide range of ideas, such as how your brand is perceived in a particular country and how programmatic campaigns in your industry have worked in the past. </p> <p>Looking at this, as well as the cultural attitudes and habits of your audience, should help you localise each campaign. </p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>The UK has the third biggest ecommerce market in the world. Considering the size of country and population, that’s quite an achievement.</p> <p>This indicates a market and consumers who are progressive, and global, in their thinking.</p> <p>Today, there are countless opportunities for businesses to expand overseas. UK business leaders should focus their efforts on tailoring their strategies to each market.</p> <p>If they present an accessible and relevant online presence to users, brands can reap all the rewards that globalisation offers.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67159 2015-11-09T12:06:27+00:00 2015-11-09T12:06:27+00:00 Are we doing Black Friday in the UK or not? Chris Bishop <p>This year, there’s definitely a bit of Black Friday backlash in the air.  </p> <p>Fuelled by snobbery and perhaps a British stiff upper lip, some Marketing Directors seem to think it’s all a bit tactical and beneath them.  </p> <p>Others are just counting the death toll resulting from all this madness. For a chilling glimpse at the collateral damage of retail rage look no further than <a href="http://blackfridaydeathcount.com/" target="_blank">BlackFridayDeathCount.com</a> </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8822/john_lewis_black_friday.png" alt="" width="606" height="300"></p> <h3>For or against Black Friday?</h3> <p>In reality the arguments for and against UK brands observing Black Friday are finely balanced. Some of the naysayers, like John Lewis’s Andy Street, really do have a point:</p> <blockquote> <p>It is not in the industry’s interest to focus so much trade onto one day. You want more steady trade and obviously you want more of it at full price.</p> </blockquote> <p>But as Black Friday looms and retailers anxiously wait to see what will happen, it’s worth considering the arguments on both sides:</p> <h3>The case for getting stuck in </h3> <ul> <li> <strong>It’s hard to ignore.</strong> Black Friday is predicted to be a £1bn trading day (Salmon, Experian and IMRG all say so).</li> <li> <strong>Consumers love it.</strong> 96% of Black Friday’s 2014 purchasers said they were <strong>happy</strong> or <strong>very happy</strong> with what they bought (via Retail Week).</li> <li> <strong>It’s the big one!</strong> IMRG estimated £810m was spent online on Black Friday last year – the biggest ever day for UK online sales. For those that missed the analysis Econsultancy and Hitwise did last year, here are the <a href="https://docs.google.com/a/econsultancy.com/file/d/0B0IZM8gxECK6Y2lQYkpkV3dHaUE/edit?pli=1" target="_blank">Black Friday traffic statistics for all major UK retailers</a>.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8823/house_of_fraser_black_friday.png" alt="" width="578" height="417"></p> <ul> <li> <strong>It’s a global gold rush</strong>. Not just in the UK and US. The phenomenon in spreading to Asia and Africa; a client of ours in Nigeria received a staggering 1,440% year-on-year increase in online revenue with a <a href="http://techloy.com/2014/12/03/record-breaking-numbers-and-statistics-from-the-konga-yakata-sales-infographics/" target="_blank">domestic version of Black Friday activity</a>.  </li> <li> <strong>The big spenders will be out in force</strong>. Luxury consumers are 4.7x more likely to search for Black Friday (Experian).</li> <li> <strong>Don’t disappoint.</strong> You risk disappointing your customers if you don’t engage.</li> </ul> <h3>The case for holding back</h3> <ul> <li> <strong>Black Friday cannibalises Christmas sales.</strong> According to e-Digital Research 30% of UK online shoppers say they’ll buy on 27 November this year - compared to 8% last year.</li> <li> <strong>Margin. What’s the cost?</strong> If you go for it, sales might increase, but will consumers ultimately spend more? Discounting often comes at a cost to margin.</li> <li> <strong>For retailers demand can prove too much.</strong> Site outages, slow page load and annoying queuing systems are not going to endear you to your customers. In 2014 Tesco, Argos and Boots reported problems with their websites on the big day. You need IT platforms that can perform under the heaviest of peak loads.</li> <li> <strong>What about supply chain bandwidth?</strong> Are there enough lorry drivers? Can demand be met? Don’t forget that customers will be disappointed if logistics melt and delivery is slow or muddled.</li> <li> <strong>Needy is not a good look. </strong>Jumping on this particular band wagon can appear rather... tactical.</li> </ul> <h3>Which way will we jump?</h3> <p>There seems to be real uncertainty about whether British brands are going to ‘go for it’ in 2015, or if there’ll be an uneasy stand off over who’ll blink first. This is what Home Retail boss John Walden said in October:</p> <blockquote> <p>Trading at Argos during this year’s important Christmas season seems less predictable than usual, as both retailers and customers determine whether to repeat last year’s unusual Black Friday patterns.</p> </blockquote> <p>So whether or not you’re planning ‘to do’ Black Friday this year, it seems the best way to deal with this encroaching American tradition is to adopt the best in British traditions – approach calmly and be prepared.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8826/argos_black_friday.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <h3>11 quick tips for a trouble-free Black Friday</h3> <p><strong>1. Have a plan and stick to it.</strong></p> <p>Retailers can approach Black Friday in one of several different ways.  </p> <ul> <li>Plan A: We are not doing Black Friday.</li> <li>Plan B: We might do Black Friday if Debenhams do.</li> <li>Plan C: Okay change the homepage, we’ll put a few things 20% off.</li> <li>Plan D: F$%k, ASOS &amp; Selfridges have joined in, launch the Black Friday missiles!</li> </ul> <p>Whatever you decide make sure everyone in the business knows you have a plan(s) - and what it is.</p> <p><strong>2. Know your limits.</strong>  </p> <p>Do you know your capacity? Have you forecasted targets? Have you thought about website load, stock, supply network, warehouse, click and collect?</p> <p><strong>3. Have you got a contingency plan?</strong>  </p> <p>What can you switch off? Can you slow down orders? Do you need to offer only mainland delivery, can you just concentrate on London?</p> <p><strong>4. Timings.</strong></p> <p>What time will the sale go live? What time is the TV ad scheduled for? What advanced notice will staff and customers receive?  </p> <p>Statistics show 7am to 10am on Black Friday, and 7pm to 10pm on Cyber Monday will be the peak traffic times.</p> <p><strong>5. Mobile.</strong>  </p> <p>Black Friday will be the peak day for mobile transactions, with predictions of 23% on mobile device (Adobe).</p> <p>Ensure your mobile marketing, website and app are fully prepared.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8825/debenhams_black_friday.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <p><strong>6. Prepare your marketing.</strong>  </p> <p>Consistency across all channels is key.  </p> <p>Don’t just rely on your email database or a few tweets. Amplify across all marcoms and especially digital - affiliate, display, PPC, SEO (yes SEO!) and social all need to be aligned.  </p> <p><strong>7. Prepare your media budget.</strong></p> <p>How scalable is it?  What if one big affiliate is performing well, how do you further incentify to push harder, do you have a contingency PPC budget if the demand continues?</p> <p>What opportunistic marketing can you do? Hijack a brand that isn't? Or their TV advertising via the second screen?</p> <p><strong>8. What’s your product/sale mix?</strong>  </p> <p>Have this agreed well in advance. Hourly discounts? Percentage off? Hot Hero products? </p> <p><strong>9. Upsell and cross-sell.</strong>  </p> <p>Don’t forget your basic sales principles in all the excitement. Use peak traffic periods to sell bundles, sell the accessories that goes alongside the hero product.  </p> <p>Push both gifting and self-purchase (gifting for yourself).</p> <p><strong>10. Plan and rehearse.</strong>  </p> <p>Across your business, your media agencies and all relevant third parties – rehearse what you’re all going to do – allowing margin for error…</p> <p><strong>11. On the day...</strong></p> <p>...have all the <a href="https://twitter.com/7thingsmedia/status/538331609767100416" target="_blank">key people together</a>. Agree and know accountability, prepare for regular and short communications on activity.</p> <p>React quickly to issues and schedule breaks for all the various teams.</p> <h3>So, what’s the verdict?</h3> <p>Opinion may be divided on whether or not Black Friday and Cyber Monday are welcome additions to the UK retail calendar.  </p> <p>The jury is still out on whether it is good or bad for sales, logistics and, ultimately, customers.</p> <p>But the momentum is such that it <strong>may be difficult to abstain</strong>.  And if you do, <em>what if your closest competitors don’t?   </em> </p>