tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/personalisation Latest Personalisation content from Econsultancy 2017-01-23T10:07:44+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68720 2017-01-23T10:07:44+00:00 2017-01-23T10:07:44+00:00 Six successful examples of online brand communities Nikki Gilliland <p>Unlike areas of social community management (such as a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64674-how-to-market-your-branded-facebook-page/" target="_blank">Facebook page</a> or a Twitter channel) these tend to be the dedicated forums or websites where online communities share and discuss their interests.   </p> <p>So, let’s take a look at some of the best examples.</p> <h3>Lego Ideas</h3> <p>Alongside Lego message boards, Lego Ideas is a creative online community for enthusiasts of the famous toy sets, allowing users to find and submit ideas for new designs. </p> <p>As well as promoting the sharing of ideas, it also incorporates a competition element whereby fans can vote and offer feedback. If a design receives 10,000 votes, it will be considered by Lego to become one of the brand’s official sets, even giving the creator a percentage of the final sales.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Meet this week's 10K Club member, Adrien S., fan designer of the The Little House on the Prairie project. Read more <a href="https://t.co/1c7wzz8OSq">https://t.co/1c7wzz8OSq</a> <a href="https://t.co/bgc5EsGWts">pic.twitter.com/bgc5EsGWts</a></p> — LEGO® Ideas (@LEGOIdeas) <a href="https://twitter.com/LEGOIdeas/status/821009322624905217">January 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Championing creativity, this example rewards loyal customers and gives them a reason to truly invest in the brand.</p> <h3>Made Unboxed</h3> <p>Furniture retailer, Made, launched an online community that connects undecided buyers with previous customers. The aim is to allow shoppers to see what Made's products look like in real life, as well as share ideas and inspiration. </p> <p>It is built on the idea that furniture shopping is a typically physical experience, yet not everyone has the ability to visit a showroom.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3164/Made_Unboxed.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="533"></p> <p>By enabling consumers to envision the set-up in a natural setting, it bridges the gap between online and physical stores and gives people a reason to connect.</p> <h3>Figment</h3> <p>Figment already existed before Random House bought it in 2013. Since then, it has continued on in the same vein, predominantly as a community for aspiring writers of YA (young adult) fiction. </p> <p>It acts as a sort of social network for 13-18 year olds, including both discussion elements and the chance for writers to express their own ideas and submit stories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3165/Figment_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="554"></p> <p>By keeping the original community and using it to subtly promote Random House books (as well as titles from other publishers) – Figment is a great example of a subtly-branded online community, and one that provides real value for consumers.</p> <h3>Playstation Community</h3> <p>The Playstation community has flourished in recent years, boosted by the popularity of the online gaming community in general. </p> <p>It allows gamers to talk to each other in forums, with dedicated channels for different games as well as general topics.</p> <p>There’s also a competitive element in the form of ‘Trophies’ – a rewards system that recognises gaming accomplishments – allowing users to compete with friends online.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3166/Playstation_trophies.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="714"></p> <p>Combining gaming elements with discussion and competition, the Playstation community is a great complement to the everyday experience of playing video games.</p> <h3>BeautyTalk</h3> <p>BeautyTalk was created in response to the thousands of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">online reviews</a> and consumer queries left on Sephora.com.</p> <p>An online community for beauty fans, it is now a thriving forum whereby consumers can share tips, advice and reviews – as well as merely talk to one another about whatever topic they like.</p> <p>One reason it has become so successful is that it is incredibly helpful for answering product-related queries. By simply entering a question or keyword into the search bar, users are likely to be met with multiple existing threads, instantly reinforcing whether or not they should buy a specific product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3167/BeautyTalk.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="650"></p> <p>Building on the need for unbiased opinions in the world of beauty, it has become a thriving community for beauty fanatics as well as a valuable resource for occasional Sephora shoppers.</p> <h3>Harley Owners Group</h3> <p>The Harley Davidson community is more than just an online forum. In fact, the ‘online’ aspect is pretty minimal, merely serving as a way of connecting with fellow riders and letting members know about the group’s perks, meet-ups and events. </p> <p>Unlike the aforementioned examples, membership isn’t free, and you can only join if you own a Harley Davidson motorcycle (or are a family-member or friend of someone that does). </p> <p>From dedicated motorcycle tours to access to the members-only website – there are many benefits to joining HOG. More than anything, it reinforces members' dedication to a particular lifestyle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3168/HOG.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="412"></p> <p>By building an online community based on the experiences that come from riding one of its bikes - rather than just the actual product itself - Harley Davidson has managed to attract over 1m members worldwide. </p> <p><em><strong>To improve your knowledge, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/" target="_blank">Online Community Management</a> training course.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>If you're looking for a new role within community management or social media, you'll find plenty on <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Econsultancy's jobs board</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68704 2017-01-13T13:27:41+00:00 2017-01-13T13:27:41+00:00 10 mind-boggling digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>You’ll find news on content marketing formats, abandonment emails, customer retention and social media. Don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>72% of marketers value data analysis over social media skills</h3> <p>According to a new report by BlueVenn, 72% of marketers consider data analysis to be the most important skill to acquire in the next two years.</p> <p>From speaking to over 200 marketers in the US and UK, BlueVenn found that understanding customer data is considered far more vital than the likes of social media and web development, with just 65% and 31% of respondents citing these respectively.</p> <p>This appears to be an especially common view in larger businesses, where a lack of tools and access to technologies is the biggest barrier.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3043/BlueVenn.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="475"></p> <h3>Abandonment emails sent after one-hour boost conversion</h3> <p>New stats from SaleCycle show that the best time to reconnect with shoppers is one hour after they’ve abandoned their basket.</p> <p>From the conversion rates of 500 global brands, an average conversion of 6.33% was seen after one hour, compared with just 3.14% when sent before one hour and 3.41% one to two hours after.</p> <p>As well as timing, research also found that personalisation is a big factor in email success, with subject names that include the customer name seeing the highest open-rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3048/Email_time.JPG" alt="" width="314" height="522"></p> <h3>Two-thirds of UK consumers willing to use robots for banking</h3> <p>‘Robo-advisors’ is not a term we’ll be adopting any time soon, however, according to new research from Accenture more of us will be willing to accept the concept in future.</p> <p>Apparently, it refers to the robots used to offer financial or banking advice in place of real-life humans. And according to a survey of UK consumers, 68% are willing to use them.</p> <p>The reasons behind the demand for this type of technology is speed and convenience, with 40% citing this factor for using it. Lastly, 25% see the impartiality of robo-advice as a key attraction, with this figure rising to almost one third in those over 65.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3047/Robots.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="397"></p> <h3>Instagram Stories grows to 150m daily users</h3> <p>Despite initial reservations from users, Instagram Stories continues to grow, with the feature adding 50m more daily users since October.</p> <p>According to other recent stats, a third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories on Instagram result in a direct message. </p> <p>Lastly, 70% of video views are reportedly played with the sound on (though this does not include Live Stories).</p> <h3>Original data is the best-performing type of content marketing</h3> <p>A survey by Clutch has uncovered the types of content that marketers believe leads to greater success.</p> <p>17% of respondents said that infographics perform the best, while 18% cited research or original data – both trumped other formats like blog posts and video.</p> <p>In terms of promotion, 85% of content marketers cited paid distribution, such as social media, PPC and native ads as the most effective tactic, over-and-above organic efforts. This reflects the strategies of most marketing agencies, with 71% using paid distribution tactics most frequently.</p> <h3>Nearly 20% of online retailers lost out to rivals over Christmas</h3> <p>According to the latest JDA/Centiro report, many retailers failed to meet the growing consumer demand for convenience during the 2016 Christmas period.</p> <p>19% of online Christmas customers shopped at alternative retailers due to stock unavailability and delivery time constraints.</p> <p>While use of click-and-collect services has somewhat plateaued, it is mostly seen as a way of avoiding delivery charges, with 53% of consumers recently using it for this reason.</p> <p>The report also found that many people suffered problems with click and collect last Christmas, with long waiting times due to a lack of staff having a negative impact on the experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3045/Click_and_Collect.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="571"></p> <h3>Valentine’s Day presents big opportunity for retailers</h3> <p>With Black Friday and Christmas out of the way, many retailers are turning their attention towards the next big holiday.</p> <p>According to stats from Bing, Valentine’s Day presents a huge opportunity, after an estimated $19.7bn was spent last year (and an average of $146 per person).</p> <p>However, it’s not just humans that can expect a gift or two. $681m was reportedly spent on pets for Valentine’s Day last year, giving pet retailers a good reason to get on board in 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3046/Valentines_Day.jpg" alt="" width="483" height="229"></p> <h3>Instagram most important platform for marketers</h3> <p>In more Instagram-related stats, it’s been revealed as the platform marketers will invest the most in this year.</p> <p>Research from Greenlight shows that 70% will focus on Instagram, while 40% of marketers will invest in Twitter. </p> <p>Interestingly, older marketers are placing less importance on social platforms, with 50% of professionals who are over the age of 50 reporting no plans to invest in Instagram and 58% saying the same for Snapchat. </p> <h3>Generation Z bored by standard digital ads</h3> <p>According to a study by Kantar Millward Brown, generation Z (i.e. consumers aged between 16-19) have high expectations when it comes to digital advertising, preferring ads that allow them to interact or make a decision.</p> <p>When it comes to ads that prompt viewers to vote, generation Z reported a positivity score of 31%, compared to just 25% from generation Y. </p> <p>Generation Z were also found to actively dislike invasive ad formats like non-skippable pre-rolls. However, interruption appears to be a big bugbear for all age ranges, with the majority of people installing ad blockers due to this reason.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3044/AdReaction.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="399"></p> <h3>Customer retention is down 7% globally</h3> <p>From a global study of more than 24,000 consumers across nine industry sectors, Verint and IDC has found that customer retention dropped by 7% last year.</p> <p>Overall, this appears to be down to consumers who prefer using digital-based companies displaying less brand loyalty than those who engage with businesses on a human and one-to-one level.</p> <p>49% of digital customers have been with providers for more than three years compared with 57% who prefer to go in-store.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68695 2017-01-12T14:50:39+00:00 2017-01-12T14:50:39+00:00 How brands are using WhatsApp for marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a look at a few examples.</p> <h3>Clarks</h3> <p>Shoe retailer Clarks was one of the first brands to use WhatsApp for marketing purposes.</p> <p>In 2015, it rolled out an interactive storytelling campaign to promote its popular Desert Boot, using WhatsApp to connect customers with ‘key figures from subcultures of the past 65 years’. </p> <p>The campaign involved live-chatting with three characters with links to the Desert Boot and its place in history, taking users on a journey back to 1960s Paris, the Mod era, and the Reggae generation of Jamaica.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2965/Clarks.JPG" alt="" width="380" height="675"></p> <p>Aiming to change people’s perception of the brand, the decision to use WhatsApp was related to an increased targeting of millennials, with Clarks using the medium of live chat to better engage with a young demographic. </p> <p>By focusing on the idea that millennials crave rich and engaging ‘experiences’ rather than one-sided marketing, it cleverly brought storytelling into the world of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67536-three-dark-social-channels-with-a-billion-active-users-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">dark social</a>.</p> <h3>Hellman’s</h3> <p>Tapping into common cooking dilemmas, mayonnaise brand Hellman’s used WhatsApp to give Brazilian consumers a customized experience. </p> <p>Once they signed up for the WhatsCook campaign online, users were asked to take photos of the contents of their refrigerator so that chefs could offer tips and advice on what to make with the ingredients. </p> <p>While users could also access the service via social media platforms, using WhatsApp enabled a much more direct and personal element, with questions being answered in the moment of need. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xYN9A09iy5Y?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>With 13,000 signing up for the service and <a href="http://www.digitaltrainingacademy.com/casestudies/2016/03/social_messaging_case_study_hellmanns_successfully_taps_into_whatsapp.php" target="_blank">99.5% of users reporting approval</a>, the campaign proved to be a success in Brazil. As a result, it was then launched in Uruguay, Chile and Argentina.</p> <p>An early adopter of WhatsApp, Hellman’s proves that mobile messaging can be an ideal platform to solve specific needs of consumers. </p> <p>It also shows how brands can use WhatsApp as a place for educational content, similar to the vein of cookery videos or beauty tutorials on YouTube. </p> <h3>Agent Provocateur</h3> <p>As part of its 2016 Christmas campaign, British lingerie brand Agent Provocateur rolled out ‘Ménage à Trois’ – a personal shopping service on WhatsApp.</p> <p>Designed to increase levels of personalisation, the service involved couples partaking in a three-way conversation with an Agent Provocateur agent, who would then offer lingerie suggestions based on personality and preferences.</p> <p>As you might expect from the brand, it’s a rather a risqué example, but by asking people to actively seek out the service, it ensured only those who were keen would get involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2964/Agent_Provocateur.JPG" alt="" width="340" height="703"></p> <p>It's also a good example of how WhatsApp can be used for shopping inspiration as well as direct customer service. </p> <p>With mobile traffic reportedly <a href="http://www.startupdonut.co.uk/news/startup/christmas-2016-sees-surge-mobile-shopping" target="_blank">rising 26% last Christmas</a>, Agent Provocateur cleverly capitalised on consumers searching for gifts via their smartphone.</p> <h3>Buyagift</h3> <p>Last year, online gift retailer Buyagift began experimenting with WhatsApp to inform customers about deals and discounts on the site.</p> <p>By sending alerts direct to WhatsApp, the service was a way of prompting immediate action from customers, building on the idea that receiving a personal message on mobile feels more exclusive than an email.</p> <p>Despite the sales-driven nature of the service, it’s an interesting case of a brand using the app to promote consumer perks like deals and competitions. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2963/Buyagift.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="473"></p> <h3>BBC</h3> <p>The BBC first used WhatsApp during the 2014 Ebola crisis to update people about the virus in West Africa.</p> <p>More recently, BBC Africa launched an innovative WhatsApp series titled ‘Young, Angry and Connected’, telling the story of marginalized young Africans who are using social media and messaging apps to get their voices heard.</p> <p>Sending a short daily clip to anyone subscribed to the service, ‘Young, Angry and Connected’ is a powerful illustration of how news sites and publishers can instantly reach users.</p> <p>While it is reliant on getting people to subscribe, the opt-in element is also part of its appeal, with the assurance that users will already be invested and engaged.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Young, angry and connected</p> <p>Did you miss our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WhatsApp?src=hash">#WhatsApp</a> series from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DRCongo?src=hash">#DRCongo</a>?</p> <p>Watch:</p> <p><a href="https://t.co/Lm9JrFzz0Q">https://t.co/Lm9JrFzz0Q</a></p> — BBC Africa (@BBCAfrica) <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCAfrica/status/711512932572667904">March 20, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>It’s clear that consumers are now more willing than ever to interact with brands on messaging apps. Since <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots/">chatbot technology</a> launched on Facebook Messenger, 30,000 bots have been built for the platform, with many brands concentrating <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/" target="_blank">efforts in this area</a>.</p> <p>That doesn’t mean that WhatsApp should be ignored, with the previous examples showing its potential for engaging consumers in a more intimate way.</p> <p>While WhatsApp remains a bot-free zone for the time being, it’s worth keeping an eye on how brands make use of the service in future.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68689 2017-01-11T10:07:00+00:00 2017-01-11T10:07:00+00:00 How the beauty industry is embracing the Internet of Things Nikki Gilliland <p>With the recent launch of L’Oreal’s smart hairbrush, it is clear that the beauty industry is tapping into the internet of things (also known as IoT) and embracing connected devices.</p> <p>Offering the chance to create an enhanced and interactive user experience, could this technology be the next big thing to infiltrate the beauty world?</p> <p>Here’s a bit more on how brands are getting involved.</p> <h3>Development of augmented reality</h3> <p>Before we get onto connected devices, it’s worth noting that it’s not the first strand of new technology within the beauty industry. Augmented reality has also been a big trend, with the likes of Urban Decay creating their own AR apps to give consumers a chance to pre-test products.</p> <p>L’Oreal Paris is another successful example. Its AR-powered beauty app, Make Up Genius, turns iPhone screens into mirrors to over-lay make-up onto the user’s face.</p> <p>It might sound like a gimmick or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/" target="_blank">Pokemon Go-style</a> fad for beauty fans, but with over 11m downloads, the app has proven to be a great success.</p> <p>By giving users the ability to try and test products before they buy, it offers greater value for consumers, solving common problems like finding the right shade or type of foundation. What’s more, it also gives consumers the opportunity to get expert or professional advice, resulting in a far more personal and customised experience all-round.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2918/L_Oreal_Make_Up_Genius.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="367"></p> <p>Due to the app's popularity, it’s been suggested that Make Up Genius technology could soon be integrated into household devices like bathroom mirrors.</p> <p>This is where the internet of things comes into play, with the opportunity for beauty and healthcare brands to expand their presence into homes and everyday personal care routines.</p> <p>With the arrival of L’Oreal’s smart brush – this concept doesn’t sound too farfetched.</p> <h3>Connectivity to enhance customer experiences</h3> <p>By using sensory technology, L’Oreal’s smart brush aims to help consumers improve their haircare. It tells users about specific texture or moisture and alerts them when they are brushing too hard.</p> <p>Essentially, it is a connected device that is designed to give the user greater levels of control and expertise.</p> <p>With a price point of around $200, the brush (which is due to launch mid-2017) certainly doesn't come cheap. The question is – will consumers be willing to pay just as much for a beauty device as they would a smartphone?</p> <p>The beauty industry is clearly hoping that technology-minded consumers (and fans of luxury) will embrace it.</p> <p>Of course, let’s not forget that electronic-based beauty has been overtaking manual processes for years, with everything from electric toothbrushes to face cleansing devices becoming more popular. Consequently, integrating connectivity-based features is an obvious next step.</p> <p>As well as being electronically powered, devices like L’Oreal’s smart brush and Oral B’s connected toothbrush allow users to become well-informed – monitoring, tracking and measuring performance. It's not about necessity, but about making life easier.</p> <p>Plus, with beauty and skincare industries overlapping with health and well-being, we’re likely to see more connected devices geared around lifestyle habits and trends, ranging from sun exposure to even things like stress and pollution.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2919/Oral_B.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="400"></p> <h3>Benefits for brands</h3> <p>For brands, the ability to gain insight into customer behaviour is undoubtedly the biggest benefit of connected devices.</p> <p>IoT technology lets companies like L’Oreal track exactly what their customers are buying and, in turn, re-target them for future purchases.</p> <p>Instant feedback and opinion is also another valuable aspect, which is harder and slower to gather from online purchases. Meanwhile, IoT creates a much richer and more memorable experience for consumers, ultimately proving the value of their shared data. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This Year's Haircare Must-Have? The Smart Brush <a href="https://t.co/O8cfhkiA9n">https://t.co/O8cfhkiA9n</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishVogue">@BritishVogue</a> <a href="https://t.co/VcLlmGXOj9">pic.twitter.com/VcLlmGXOj9</a></p> — L'Oréal USA (@LOrealUSA) <a href="https://twitter.com/LOrealUSA/status/817093281729290240">January 5, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>With the prediction that <a href="http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2905717" target="_blank">25bn connected 'things' will be in use by 2020</a>, many industries are beginning to realise the potential of IoT. </p> <p>For the beauty industry, it presents the next opportunity to revolutionise the everyday routines of consumers, ramping up personalisation and increasing value.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67839-how-l-oreal-uses-personalisation-to-increase-brand-loyalty/" target="_blank">How L’Oreal uses personalisation to increase brand loyalty</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketer-s-guide-to-the-internet-of-things/">A Marketer's Guide to the Internet of Things</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68612-how-the-internet-of-things-will-fundamentally-change-marketing/">How the Internet of Things will fundamentally change marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68690 2017-01-10T14:42:41+00:00 2017-01-10T14:42:41+00:00 How three travel brands deliver superior customer service Nikki Gilliland <p>This reflects how the travel sector is leading the way in terms of customer experience innovation. KPMG even commented that “within this sector there is something of an arms race, as companies work hard to woo the more affluent passenger or customer, in particular.”</p> <p>So what exactly are travel brands doing?</p> <p>Here’s a look at a few examples.</p> <h3>Service via social media</h3> <p>Marriott hotels is one brand with a great social media presence.</p> <p>In fact, it has increased its focus in this area with its recently launched M-Live Studio in London – a centre for creating real-time content and generating social engagement with consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2921/M_Live.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="354"></p> <p>Instead of simply reacting to users on Twitter or responding to customer demand, M-Live enables the brand to seek out and tap into conversations online and increase levels of personalisation.</p> <p>It does this by talking about cultural and topical subjects, as well as promoting motivational and inspirational content to engage users. Meanwhile, Marriott often puts its customers in the spotlight, by sharing and replying to those who post positive travel stories online. </p> <p>This might sound like run-of-the-mill <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65478-how-20-top-uk-retailers-handle-social-customer-service/" target="_blank">social service</a>, but Marriott’s laser focus in this area is what makes it stand out from competitors. </p> <p>A <a href="https://www.lireo.com/how-customer-service-can-impact-your-business-infographic/" target="_blank">2015 study</a> found that customers who feel engaged by companies on social media are likely to spend up to 40% more with them than other customers. For travel brands, this extends to loyalty, with travellers even more likely to return if an experience is positive.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bill Marriott: Take the vacation you deserve; in the end it makes you more fulfilled. <a href="https://t.co/JgRzPZvab9">pic.twitter.com/JgRzPZvab9</a></p> — Marriott Internat'l (@MarriottIntl) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarriottIntl/status/813809710822354944">December 27, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Retail experiences</h3> <p>While there has been a decline in the high-street travel agent, with online booking services becoming the most popular way to book holidays, we’ve also seen an increase in the demand for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/intensive-mastering-customer-experiences/">immersive customer experiences</a>.</p> <p>Virgin Holidays is one brand that has reacted to this by rolling out V Room, its travel outlet concept, in multiple shopping centres across the UK.</p> <p>Designed to look and feel like an airport lounge, V Room aims to provide the one-to-one experience of a travel agent but elevates it to create a truly unique customer experience.</p> <p>With an intangible product, travel brands are recognising the importance of making experiences come alive for consumers. V Room does just that, aiming to give visitors a slice of a Virgin Holiday before they’ve even booked.</p> <p>With a bar for cocktail tasting and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67834-why-virtual-reality-is-the-ultimate-storytelling-tool-for-marketers/" target="_blank">VR technology</a> to give people a view of a destination – it focuses more on the immersive aspect than the actual transaction or booking process.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2923/V_Room.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="399"></p> <h3>Practical functionality </h3> <p>As well as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust/" target="_blank">inspiration and wanderlust</a>, many travel brands are realising the importance of reducing stress and hassle of holidays, using digital technology to help facilitate the customer journey. </p> <p>Singapore Airlines uses its mobile app to do just that, relaunching it with a real focus on simplifying the customer experience. Now, users can access an integrated flight schedule, see real-time updates on flight statuses and keep track of loyalty rewards.</p> <p>While it's not unusual for airlines to have their own apps, Singapore Airlines has shown its intent to innovate – also launching a separate app specifically for the Apple Watch.  </p> <p>This also demonstrates the brand’s understanding of its customer base, with the airline clearly targeting the aforementioned affluent traveller.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X8embLqZTb0?wmode=transparent" width="600" height="338"></iframe></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>For many travel brands, a superior customer experience is often the key to long-term success.</p> <p>By meeting or even pre-empting the needs and desires of travellers, be it through social media engagement, immersive technology, or even <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68678-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">artificial intelligence</a> - many will increase positive brand sentiment and the chances of long-term customer loyalty.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68683 2017-01-09T10:33:22+00:00 2017-01-09T10:33:22+00:00 What can marketers learn from Amazon Go's customer experience? Nikki Gilliland <p>Shoppers are simply required to scan smartphones as they enter, leaving Amazon’s “just walk out” technology to detect exactly what’s being taken and charge it to their Prime accounts.</p> <p>It’s one of the first ever examples of a truly seamless customer experience - a trend that’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68652-ecommerce-in-2017-what-do-the-experts-predict/" target="_blank">predicted to be big</a> in the world of ecommerce this year.</p> <p>So, what can we learn from the concept? </p> <p>Here’s a few factors for marketers to consider.</p> <h3>Getting out of the customer’s way</h3> <p>According to Amazon, the store uses a combination of “computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion” to create a seamless experience for customers.</p> <p>The concept of walking into a store and out again without any interaction with employees or payments might sound alien – but it’s designed to make shopping as hassle-free as possible.</p> <p>It’s also the antithesis of many retail marketing strategies.</p> <p>Instead of interrupting customers as they use technology, or asking them to interact with the brand online (“like our Facebook page”), Amazon wants the technology to stay hidden (though you do need to have downloaded Amazon's app beforehand).</p> <p>From the success of companies like Uber and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68375-airbnb-how-its-customer-experience-is-revolutionising-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">Airbnb</a>, it is obvious that customers crave this kind of hands-off approach. Likewise, they also favour utility and practicality over anything else. </p> <p>With brands that offer a value proposition based on ease and simplicity dominating their fields, Amazon Go aims to provide customers exactly that – without shouting about it.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NrmMk1Myrxc?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Avoiding over-personalisation</h3> <p>By keeping track of the customer’s every move, Amazon Go will enable the brand to deliver more data-driven marketing than ever before.</p> <p>As customers, we’re used to waiving the right to privacy online, with the knowledge that brands draw on our browsing and buying behaviour in order to deliver targeted messages.</p> <p>In fact, this is now an expectation, with consumers desiring <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68285-six-things-to-consider-when-implementing-personalisation/" target="_blank">greater personalisation</a> for an improved service. Think Spotify's curated playlists or Netflix's movie recommendations. </p> <p>For the first time ever, however, Amazon Go means consumers will waive their right to privacy while shopping in person. From what we put back on the shelf to the route we take while walking around the store – this information is all up for grabs.</p> <p>From a marketing perspective, this also means there is the temptation to over-egg personalisation to the point of being creepy. As a result, issues over consumer privacy could potentially be its downfall.</p> <p>Of course, retail stores have been attempting to track customers for a while, but past examples show that it’s not always accepted. US retailer Nordstrom was previously forced to stop using WiFi to monitor movement in physical stores due to uproar from customers. </p> <p>A few years down the line, will it be any different?</p> <p>Retailers do appear to be recognising that success lies in an intelligent and relevant use of data – not just blind targeting or technology for the sake of it.</p> <p>For Amazon Go, clever targeting executed in a non-intrusive way is the aim, but the question remains whether or not customers are ready and willing to accept it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2835/amazon_go.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>Altering brand perceptions</h3> <p>The Amazon Go experience does not simply end in-store. Data could be used to serve customers even more targeted offers and personalised recommendations on-site.</p> <p>This connection between the online and offline world is evidently another reason behind the ecommerce brand’s foray into retail. </p> <p>After all, a physical experience is often a much better way to create a human connection with customers - especially for a brand like Amazon, which doesn’t exactly offer the most emotionally engaging experience online.</p> <p>With a bricks-and-mortar store, it has the opportunity to break down customer expectations – namely that Amazon offers a single type of service – and reveal a completely new way of interacting with the brand.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just finished my first trip to <a href="https://twitter.com/AmazonGoAmerica">@AmazonGoAmerica</a> !!! Looooved it!! Who's jealous??? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AmazonGo?src=hash">#AmazonGo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Amazon?src=hash">#Amazon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HappyAmazonian?src=hash">#HappyAmazonian</a> <a href="https://t.co/huRrtBUXHJ">pic.twitter.com/huRrtBUXHJ</a></p> — M (@ThusSpokeLadyM) <a href="https://twitter.com/ThusSpokeLadyM/status/808758908705587200">December 13, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Amazon’s cashier-free store is by no means a guaranteed success.</p> <p>Currently available for Amazon employees and due to open to the public in the near future – it is an experiment that could easily be shelved. </p> <p>However, it’s certainly an exciting development for the future of retail, and gives marketers an insight into how a seamless experience could lead to greater engagement and satisfaction from consumers.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68611 2016-12-19T14:00:00+00:00 2016-12-19T14:00:00+00:00 What were the biggest ecommerce trends in 2016? Nikki Gilliland <p>For more on this topic, check out these training courses from Econsultancy:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/ecommerce/" target="_blank">Ecommerce and Online Retailing Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/conversion-optimisation/" target="_blank">Conversion Optimisation - How to Deliver Digital Growth Training</a></li> </ul> <h3>Focus on the 'customer experience'</h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke, founder &amp; CEO, PRWD:</strong></p> <p>This is extremely healthy, although “being customer-centric” is easier said than done. In 2016, there were only a small number of brands who recognised how crucial it is to speak to their customers (and potential customers) one-to-one.  </p> <p>Only a minority of brands know exactly what motivates their customers, how their customers behaviour is changing, and what they can do to differentiate themselves from their competition (and delight visitors at the same time). </p> <h3>Personalisation and data</h3> <p><strong>James Gurd, Owner of Digital Juggler:</strong></p> <p>The increased used of data to tie-up customer touch points has led to better targeting and personalisation, both in marketing campaigns (e.g. personalised product recommendations) and on websites (e.g. surfacing relevant content and products based on user profiles).</p> <p>A smarter focus on data has also resulted in better use of automation technology, for example building lifecycle email campaigns around customer path to purchase journeys.</p> <p>Similarly, techniques like order gap analysis have helped people to understand when different types of customers are most likely to make a purchase or rebuy, and then allow them to schedule campaigns to target people when they’re most likely to be receptive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2169/ASOS_recommendations.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="390"></p> <p><strong>Matt Curry, Head of Ecommerce at LoveHoney:</strong></p> <p>Technologies, and ecommerce's employment of them, have matured.</p> <p>I think we've seen personalisation used more intelligently this year. It's no longer considered good enough to stick some product recommendations on a page and call it personalisation, or have a set number of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68431-how-to-combine-attribution-and-segmentation-data-to-achieve-marketing-success/">segments</a> you're personalising for. </p> <p>We've had technology to change experiences on the fly based on user behaviour for some time, but now it's finally being used.</p> <h3>Fast and flexible delivery</h3> <p><strong>Depesh Mandalia, CMO of ToucanBox:</strong></p> <p>One of the biggest growing trends has pivoted around delivery - providing customers with both flexibility and speed. </p> <p>This is important because not everyone is crying out for the fastest delivery, but you can bet that most will want flexibility. What use is next day, or even same day delivery, if you're not around to receive it? Choosing a time range and day is the most empowering. </p> <p>Food delivery businesses have mastered this – of course they wouldn’t be able to operate without it - but next year ecommerce can really step ahead in nailing the convenience factor.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2168/amazon_delivery.jpg" alt="" width="724" height="483"></p> <h3>Website optimisation</h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></p> <p>This is a clear sign of progression of the slow (but steadily maturing) digital industry and how more brands are now recognising the importance of adopting a test and learn culture to continually enhance their online experience.</p> <p>Steve Webster, Head of Ecommerce at Steinhoff UK, has recently said to me in late 2016, “in 2017 we will be undertaking a full ecommerce platform review, and core to our next platform will be its ability to support continuous, strategic experimentation.”</p> <p><strong>James Gurd:</strong></p> <p>Perhaps the least heralded trend has been greater focus on technical performance optimisation of websites – getting the infrastructural and underlying engineering right to improve the customer experience, speed up sites and minimise outages. </p> <p>I know CX teams who have put much more stringent quality control criteria in place for new developments, so any negative impact on page speed is picked up and resolved before release to live.</p> <p>I think this was demonstrated by the limited number of ‘Shock as Brand X website crashes’ stories over Black Friday weekend – 2014/2015 saw much higher incidents of major downtime.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2170/Body_shop_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="364"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68632 2016-12-13T15:10:54+00:00 2016-12-13T15:10:54+00:00 Seven tactics for increasing online conversion at Christmas Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are seven tactics, with seven current examples of retailers putting them into practice. </p> <h3>Delivery dates &amp; info</h3> <p>The nearer we get to Christmas, the more likely we are to switch to shopping in stores for fear of items not being delivered before the big day.</p> <p>Consequently, it's important that retailers provide <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64943-12-excellent-ways-to-present-ecommerce-shipping-information/" target="_blank">prominent delivery information</a> to reassure customers that there is still time.</p> <p>Topshop is one retailer that does this, including a dedicated tab for Christmas shipping dates on its homepage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2340/Topshop_Christmas_Dates.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="515"></p> <p>It clearly and concisely lists the various delivery options, reassuring customers that they can still pick up items as late as two days before Christmas.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2341/Topshop_delivery_info.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="634"></p> <h3>FREE delivery</h3> <p>As well as clear and concise information about delivery dates, <em>free</em> delivery is always an extra incentive for cash-strapped customers at Christmas. </p> <p>The homepage for Curry's/PC World is chock-a-block with attention grabbing copy, but its emphasis on free next day delivery definitely stands out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2342/Curry_s_PC_World.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="576"></p> <p>Ecommerce site Flying Flowers also prompts purchases by offering free delivery on all of its Christmas plants, as well as the added bonus of a free pop-up vase. </p> <p>Interestingly, I did discover that Flying Flowers offers free shipping all year round. </p> <p>It's a cheeky tactic, as this could easily be misconstrued as a seasonal-only offer, but it still demonstrates how much customers value it.</p> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2361/Flying_flowers.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="614"></h3> <h3>Gift guides</h3> <p>I recently wrote about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68610-how-six-retailers-are-using-gift-guides-to-inspire-online-shoppers/" target="_blank">how retailers are using gift guides</a> to inspire shoppers online.</p> <p>As well as helping to narrow down the search for gifts, this type of content is also effective for getting shoppers in the festive spirit.</p> <p>One other example that has recently caught my eye is River Island's 'Lucky Dip'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2344/River_Island_Gift_Guide.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="536"></p> <p>It's a very basic tool that offers up four random gift ideas based on a chosen personality type.</p> <p>However, with many other retailers merely passing off category filters as their 'gift guides', it's one of the most creative (and therefore memorable) examples I've come across.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2345/River_Island_Gift_Guide_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="373"></p> <h3>Product bundles and offers</h3> <p>A great incentive during Christmas time is to promote bundles or multiple-item deals.</p> <p>This is a good tactic for upselling, as while many people do shop with the aim of buying more than one gift, this type of offer can be hard to resist even if not.</p> <p>Thorntons capitalises on this, using the main header on its homepage to promote its '3 for 2' offer.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2349/Thorntons_3_for_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="395"></p> <p>Marks &amp; Spencer also uses this tactic.</p> <p>An extra bonus is that it allows customers to pick and choose from multiple categories, instead of limiting it to a specific type of gift.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2350/M_S_3_for_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="565"></p> <h3>Gifting options</h3> <p>As well as deals and offers, gift cards and vouchers can be a great way to target Christmas shoppers online.</p> <p>This option could lead unsure customers to make a purchase when they might have otherwise abandoned the site.</p> <p>A good example is Mr Porter, which nicely elevates the concept from a standard voucher to 'boxed and virtual gift cards'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2374/Mr_Porter.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="689"></p> <p>Described as being 'ideal for a last-minute gift', it draws on the notion of extra convenience by also allowing customers to send it directly to the recipient.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2375/Mr_Porter_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="777"></p> <h3>Personalisation</h3> <p>From product recommendations to emails - personalised content is often used to engage long-term customers at this time of year.</p> <p>One retailer that's taking a somewhat different approach to personalisation is Nordstrom.</p> <p>Designed to create an emotional connection with the customer, its 'Love, Nordstrom' campaign expresses gratitude to the people who have shopped with the brand throughout the year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2356/Nordstrom_social_proof.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="529"></p> <p>It's a creative approach to seasonal marketing. shifting the focus from the brand to the customer and reassuring shoppers that it is the brand to choose.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2357/Nordstrom_social_proof_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="775"></p> <h3>Urgency</h3> <p>The laid-back shopper is a rare breed at Christmas. Usually, everyone is in a bit of a rush, with the countdown looming over us from the very start of the month.</p> <p>So, what better way for retailers to get us buying than ramping up this <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64420-now-now-now-five-quick-ways-to-create-consumer-urgency/" target="_blank">sense of urgency</a>?</p> <p>Very is one online retailer that does this, displaying information about how many other people are looking at an item, as well as how many have been sold.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2358/Very_Urgency.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="601"></p> <p>House of Fraser also does this.</p> <p>As well as using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/" target="_blank">social proof</a> to promote the sense that an item is popular, this tactic effectively taps into the shopper's fear of losing out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2372/House_of_Fraser_Urgency.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="653"></p> <p><em><strong>For more on conversion strategies, you can download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/" target="_blank">Conversion Rate Optimization Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68626 2016-12-13T14:09:30+00:00 2016-12-13T14:09:30+00:00 Three reasons to appreciate Spotify’s latest data-driven ad campaign Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s three reasons why it works.</p> <h3>Real-time and relatable elements</h3> <p>Due to roll out in 14 different markets, Spotify’s campaign is designed to draw a line under the strange beast that was 2016, and it does so by showcasing the listening activity of its users on outdoor billboards.</p> <p>Naturally, it also takes the opportunity to draw on the various events that dumbfounded us all throughout the year.</p> <p>For example, one billboard in the UK says: “Dear 3,749 people who streamed ‘It's The End Of The World As We Know It’ the day of the Brexit Vote. Hang in There”.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2312/Spotify_1.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="487"></p> <p>As well as using humour to poke fun at its own audience, it’s also a rather wry take on what was an extremely eventful year. </p> <p>By talking about large topics, like global events, as well as the personal and every day, such as the music we listen to, the campaign comes off as both relevant and relatable.</p> <p>The timing is pretty smart, too. Unlike most Christmas campaigns, which tend to use sentimental and syrupy themes, Spotify is going against the grain with its light-hearted and sarcastic tone here.</p> <p>With HotelTonight also creating a similarly funny holiday campaign – there’s obviously a trend for going against tradition this year.</p> <h3>Hyper-localised</h3> <p>As well as talking about global and political events, the campaign is also super personal. </p> <p>It draws on data to pick out the (often questionable) music listening habits of its users, with tongue-in-cheek commentary for added humour.</p> <p>A personal favourite is the Justin Bieber-inspired billboard that says: “Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day, what did you do?”</p> <p>Other billboards are incredibly localised, mentioning the listening behaviour of local residents, such as: "Dear person in the Theater District who listened to the Hamilton soundtrack 5,376 times this year. Can you get us tickets?"</p> <p>By referencing the surrounding area, it is also effective for targeting and creating a deeper connection with a key demographic.</p> <h3>Creates a memorable moment</h3> <p>The CMO of Spotify, Seth Farban, recently spoke about the debate over big data and how it could potentially be muting creativity in marketing.</p> <p>In contrast to this suggestion, he says: “For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing.”</p> <p>I think this is why the campaign works so well.</p> <p>Spotify is a company that relies on data to give its users a better experience. Let’s say a fashion brand or ecommerce company advertised what customers bought and when – it could come across as creepy or even off-putting.</p> <p>So why is it different for Spotify? Like Farban says, it’s because the brand is wrapped up in the emotion of music.</p> <p>Likewise, it is also expected. Users understand Spotify has access to listener data, using it to dictate the platform’s algorithm and personalisation features. This makes it feel less intrusive. </p> <p>Finally, going back to the relatable element – advertising our ‘guilty pleasures’ or songs we might feel embarrassed listening to makes the intent appear jovial and harmless in nature.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2313/Spotify_3.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="498"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Spotify’s campaign is clever in how it uses its own customer-base as a marketing asset.</p> <p>Building on the platform’s reputation for giving users a curated and personal experience, it uses humour to shine a light on the ‘weird’ but wonderful ways we related to the brand in 2016.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66344-spotify-unveils-new-playlist-based-ad-targeting/" target="_blank">Spotify unveils new playlist-based ad targeting</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68522-the-impact-of-technology-and-social-media-on-the-music-industry/" target="_blank">The impact of technology and social media on the music industry</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68603 2016-12-07T11:04:00+00:00 2016-12-07T11:04:00+00:00 Five ways luxury brands attempt to increase conversions online Nikki Gilliland <p>Meanwhile, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68540-how-four-uk-retailers-are-giving-consumers-the-vip-treatment-this-christmas/" target="_blank">VIP treatment expected</a> in-store, getting the balance right between subtle and salesy on an ecommerce site can be tricky.</p> <p>So, how can retailers recreate the luxury experience online, while ensuring customers buy?</p> <p>Here are five ways, with some nice examples to back it up.</p> <h3>Creating a sense of urgency</h3> <p>Without staff to shmooze shopppers in-store, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/">creating a sense of urgency online</a> can be difficult - especially when luxury brands don't have sales or a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67149-how-to-create-simple-brand-tone-of-voice-guidelines-for-twitter/">unique tone of voice</a> to persuade.</p> <p>An effective online tactic is telling customers if an item is selling out.</p> <p>Fendi is one brand that has recently started to do this.</p> <p>On its product pages, it subtly tells you if an item has limited stock, giving a clever nudge to buy sooner rather than later.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2076/Fendi_stock.JPG" alt="" width="543" height="553"></p> <p>Similarly, it uses pop-ups to inform customers how many others are currently viewing an item.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2075/Fendi_pop_up.JPG" alt="" width="747" height="396"></p> <p>While it's a popular tactic used by travel sites, I've not come across many fashion brands doing it before, especially not a high-end brand like Fendi.</p> <h3>Enabling customisation</h3> <p>Another way for luxury retailers to encourage customers to buy online is to replicate the service they'd receive in-store.</p> <p>Or even better, to offer something they wouldn't.</p> <p>Dior is an example of a brand that cleverly uses personalisation to make shoppers feel special.</p> <p>Its made-to-order range of Dior So Real sunglasses are fully customizable, allowing customers to pick and choose the colour, lens-type and even engraving to suit their own unique taste.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2077/MyDiorSoReal.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="463"></p> <p>By handing over this level of control, it enables customers to feel like they are buying something a little more unique than just a carbon-copy of what everyone else is wearing.</p> <h3>Offering online exclusivity</h3> <p>It's an obvious tactic on the high street, but many luxury retailers resist sales and discounts for fear of devaluing their brand.</p> <p>Ralph Lauren is not afraid to promote discounts, as shown by its current offer of 40% off throughout December. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2079/Ralph_Lauren_Online_Only_Discount.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="595"></p> <p>While this could potentially put off shoppers who like the brand's premium aspect, it cleverly uses an 'online-only' element to offer something of value.</p> <p>It could also help to increase sales at what is a very competitive time of year.</p> <p>With shoppers displaying less loyalty and greater focus on getting the best deal, it appears to be a tactic that's growing in popularity.</p> <p>We've recently seen a trend for new companies aiming to disrupt traditional luxury brands by offering premium and custom-made products at more affordable prices.</p> <p>Awl and Sundry is an example of this. A US-based shoe retailer that wants to 'democratise bespoke luxury', it does so by using a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68139-the-rise-of-the-direct-to-consumer-model-it-s-not-just-dollar-shave-club/" target="_blank">direct-to-consumer business model</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2080/Awl_and_Sundry.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="786"></p> <p>By offering a similar level of luxury but without the extremely high price point, it could potentially steal customers from the brands that are refusing to offer discounts.</p> <h3>Providing extra special customer service</h3> <p>Another important feature of luxury shopping is the level of customer service offered in-store.</p> <p>From personal shopping to champagne - it's incredibly hard to replicate this element online.</p> <p>However, many are introducing features like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64255-why-do-online-retailers-need-live-chat/" target="_blank">live chat</a> and messenger bots to bring the personal touch to their ecommerce offering.</p> <p>Burberry is one brand that does this well, using a chat function to help and guide customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2082/Live_Chat_Burberry.JPG" alt="" width="432" height="451"></p> <p>Small features like using the employee's full name and a chatty and friendly tone reassures you that you're talking to a human being - not a faceless brand.</p> <p>While it is not advertised on the site as prominently as it could be, this chat feature still lets customers know that they are getting the same premium service that they would be in person.</p> <h3>Capitalising on social reach</h3> <p>With prestige and desirability the hallmarks of luxury brands, maintaining this allure on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67604-what-s-the-point-of-social-media-for-luxury-brands/" target="_blank">social media</a> can be difficult.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68119-how-everlane-is-using-an-exclusive-instagram-account-to-strengthen-customer-loyalty/" target="_blank">I've written about Everlane before</a>, but it's a great example of how to promote exclusivity while still fostering customer loyalty.</p> <p>It uses a private Instagram account to offer a select group of followers special sneak peeks and early access to sales.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2087/Everlane.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="841"></p> <p>By creating an 'inner circle', it ensures followers will feel valued and encourage sharing on their own social media channels, too.</p> <p>Similarly, with new opportunities for social commerce, more brands are cottoning on to how this tactic can directly lead to sales.</p> <p>Michael Kors revamped its #InstaKors campaign earlier this year to include a new shoppable feature.</p> <p>More than just allowing customers to buy, it has created a social loyalty programme, whereby Instagram followers will be able to get their hands on items before anyone else, as well as access unique offers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2086/Instakors.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="492"></p> <p>A great example of how to increase exclusivity through social media rather than dilute it - it's one element of the luxury ecommerce experience that we can expect to see more of in future.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64776-five-great-ecommerce-sites-from-luxury-brands/"><em>Five great ecommerce sites from luxury brands</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64767-where-are-luxury-brands-going-wrong-online/"><em>Where are luxury brands going wrong online?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66175-louis-vuitton-analysis-of-the-luxury-online-customer-journey/"><em>Louis Vuitton: analysis of the luxury online customer journey</em></a></li> </ul>