tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/product-pages-merchandising Latest Product pages & merchandising content from Econsultancy 2017-02-20T14:24:16+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68821 2017-02-20T14:24:16+00:00 2017-02-20T14:24:16+00:00 Big brands embrace crowdfunding for marketing purposes Patricio Robles <p>Case in point: Clorox's Soy Vay brand partnered with upstart Three Jerks Jerky and launched <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/threejerksjerky/three-jerks-filet-mignon-beef-jerky-new-teriyaki-f">a Kickstarter for Veri Veri Teriyaki</a>.</p> <p>As <a href="http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/clorox-kickstarter-fund-venture-startup/308014/">detailed by</a> AdAge, Clorox, with billions of dollars in annual sales, certainly didn't need capital. But it turned to Kickstarter for the exposure. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/4001/d0562c5265f2c533e23c5d28144667ce_original-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>"The Kickstarter thing just kind of naturally evolved, where we said it made sense as an awareness driver, as a way to build one-to-one connections with consumers in a way that's very important to us and, frankly, as a way to cut against the grain of typical product launches in CPG," said Adam Simons, who is head of emerging brands at Clorox.</p> <p>Clorox's emerging brands division, as the name suggests, seeks to develop emerging brands. It also helps some of Clorox's existing brands innovate and revitalize themselves.</p> <p>According to Simons, "one of the pillars of the [group's] strategy was trying to align our emerging brand with others in the marketplace," and that's where the partnership with Three Jerks Jerky, which had previously been seen on the popular television show, Shark Tank, came about.  </p> <p>One of the companies that Clorox's emerging brands group is helping is Soy Vay. It makes a teriyaki sauce that the founders of Three Jerks Jerky were particularly fond of, so when the opportunity to create a teriyaki-flavored beef jerky using Soy Vay's product presented itself, the founders jumped.</p> <h3>If it doesn't make dollars, it can still make sense for big brands</h3> <p>The Veri Veri Teriyaki Kickstarter closed last week, with 741 backers pledging $29,094, nearly triple the $10,000 goal of the project. That's obviously chump change for Clorox, but the exercise of launching a product directly to the public and doing so in an "entrepreneurial and scrappy" fashion was where the CPG mega-brand saw value.</p> <p>And it's not the only major brand that has found value in crowdfunding platforms despite the fact that the funding part isn't important.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4002/opal.jpg" alt="" width="838" height="249"></p> <ul> <li>FirstBuild, a subsidiary of General Electric, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/business/global-brands-taking-cue-from-tinkerers-explore-crowdfunding.html?_r=0">raised</a> nearly $2.8m on Indiegogo in 2015 to launch the Opal Nugget Ice Maker. </li> <li>Sony <a href="https://www.wareable.com/sony/sonys-e-paper-watch-was-the-fes-watch-all-along-534">crowdfunded</a> the launch of an e-paper watch on Makuake, a Japanese crowdfunding site.</li> <li>Queen Games, an established tabletop games publisher with hits already under its belt, turned to Kickstarter <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1016374822/everything-alhambra-big-box-special-edition-and-mo">to promote</a> its game Alhambra.</li> <li>And Grammy-winning R&amp;B girl group TLC <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1507621537/tlc-is-back-to-make-our-final-album-with-you">raised over $400,000</a> to fund their final album using Kickstarter.</li> </ul> <p>Beyond the marketing value of launching a new product or business line using a crowdfunding platform, brands increasingly use crowdfunding platforms to get market feedback and validation. That can be particularly helpful, especially when launching a new product in a new category.</p> <p>After all, it's easy for big brands to make assumptions about consumers and markets, but crowdfunding campaigns allow them to test new ideas and products with consumers directly, and on a small, less costly scale. </p> <p>In some cases, brands can even do this without the burdens of their brand names. Sony's Makuake campaign is the perfect example of this. When the electronics giant created its e-paper watch campaign on Makuake, it didn't initially reveal that it was associated with Sony.</p> <h3>There are risks, however</h3> <p>One of the biggest risks is that as established players increasingly use crowdfunding, they will negatively impact the way consumers view crowdfunding platforms. For many consumers, crowdfunding platforms are seen as hubs in which entrepreneurs and young companies can obtain the support they need, financial and otherwise, to make their dreams a reality. In many cases, they are the places to find the <em>next big thing</em> before it becomes big.</p> <p>If entrepreneurs and startups are eventually drowned out by established companies using these platforms as proving grounds, particularly for already-developed products, it could diminish interest in crowdfunding, eventually reducing the value of these platforms.</p> <p>Platforms like Kickstarter are aware of this threat. In fact, when world-famous director Spike Lee used Kickstarter to raise money, some complained that the campaign would hurt creators trying to make a name for themselves. Kickstarter <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/the-truth-about-spike-lee-and-kickstarter-0">responded</a>, stating that it believed Lee's campaign introduced many individuals to crowdfunding for the first time, likely expanding the pool of backers available to others. The company also reminded the world that the projects on its platform are "not charity."</p> <p>Nonetheless, brands should be thoughtful and selective in determining when and how to take advantage of crowdfunding, favoring experimental products and test partnerships like the Clorox-Three Jerks Jerky relationship over fully-baked products that they plan to launch and promote on a large scale anyway.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68711 2017-01-19T13:01:00+00:00 2017-01-19T13:01:00+00:00 Storytelling might boost your product page conversion rates: stats Patricio Robles <p>Origin's study presented 3,000 consumers in the US with two variations of product pages – one with a "standard" description and another with a description containing some sort of story.</p> <p>For instance, one product page for a bottle of wine contained a standard description of the wine with tasting notes, while the variation contained the winemaker's story instead of the tasting notes.</p> <p>Which page performed better? Consumers were 5% more likely to purchase from the product page with the winemaker's story, and they were willing to pay 6% more for the same bottle of wine.</p> <p>Origin saw a similar trend for other kinds of products. Consumers were willing to pay 11% more for a painting, for example, when the artist's story was included on the product page, and 5% more for a hotel room that was promoted with a real guest's story instead of the standard hotel-supplied description.</p> <p>On eBay, the impact of a story was even more pronounced, as Origin was able to lure 64% higher bids for a set of fish-shaped spoons when the listing was accompanied by a short fiction story.</p> <h3>Why simple stories work</h3> <p>Origin's study suggests that companies don't necessarily need to develop strategic, brand-level initiatives to benefit from the power of storytelling. Instead, the mere inclusion of stories into product pages can pay dividends.</p> <p>That the use of simple stories at a product-level can be an effective way to drive more sales and increase perceived value, in turn boosting what consumers are willing to pay for a product, shouldn't come as a surprise. </p> <p>A 2014 Nielsen study <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2014/global-consumers-are-willing-to-put-their-money-where-their-heart-is.html">found that</a> globally, over half of online consumers are willing to pay more for products and services offered by companies that they believe are committed to social responsibility.</p> <p>While not every story speaks directly to social responsibility, many stories, such as those that provide information about the person who created a product, piggyback on the related trend of consumers wanting to know where their products come from, particularly on a personal level.</p> <p>Stories can also be used to capitalize on the trend of consumers, particularly young consumers, <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html">preferring experiences over products</a>. Origin's hotel room product page with a photo and story from a real guest sells the possibility of a real experience, not just a hotel room, and a product page for a wine bottle that contains the winemaker's story sells the creator's vision and journey, not just a bottle of wine.</p> <h3>A worthwhile priority for 2017?</h3> <p>Given the ease with which simple stories can be incorporated at an individual product level, companies should consider using the new year to explore the opportunities they have to engage in practical storytelling, even if they're not convinced or ready to apply storytelling at a more strategic, brand level. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting"><em>Online Copywriting training courses</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67941-10-nudge-tastic-examples-of-persuasive-copywriting-from-charities/"><em>10 nudge-tastic examples of persuasive copywriting from charities</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64969-five-evocative-examples-of-ecommerce-copywriting/"><em>Five evocative examples of ecommerce copywriting</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68692 2017-01-17T14:20:12+00:00 2017-01-17T14:20:12+00:00 Online merchandising: The importance of showing products in context Nikki Gilliland <p>By reducing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68477-how-six-online-retailers-are-combatting-wrong-size-returns/" target="_blank">doubts about size and fit</a>, and enabling a shopper to envisage how they might use a product, ecommerce retailers can help to reduce basket abandonment and encourage consumers to buy.</p> <p>Here's a look at some of the best examples of brands putting products into context online.</p> <p>And to learn more on this topic, book yourself onto one of these Econsultancy training courses:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-ecommerce-online-retailing/">Ecommerce and Online Retailing Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-merchandising-selling-in-the-digital-age/">Online Merchandising Training</a></li> </ul> <h3>Boots </h3> <p>When it comes to ecommerce retailers that sell a wide range of brands, implementing product demonstrations across the board can be difficult.</p> <p>In its 'electricals' category, Boots tackles this problem by making use of videos created by the brand manufacturers themselves.</p> <p>It includes demos from the likes of Braun and Dyson, which adds a sense of authority as the information comes direct from a trusted brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2938/Boots.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="770"></p> <p>As well as helping to make the online experience more engaging, this also gives shoppers a greater understanding of the product's key features as well as how it can be used in real life.</p> <h3>Nespresso</h3> <p>Nespresso uses context to solve consumer worries about the environmental impact of its coffee capsules.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2939/Recycling_with_Nespresso.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="438"></p> <p>Instead of merely focusing on the product itself, it uses its video on the ‘infinite journey of your Nespresso capsule’ to widen the story, informing customers what happens after the product has been used.</p> <p>By highlighting the surrounding environmental factors, consumers are reassured that they are making a responsible purchase, giving them more incentive to buy.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2xya-LSoIMo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Under Armour</h3> <p>Though many ecommerce retailers use contextual product imagery on-site, it's less common to see it used in email marketing - missing a trick when it comes to reducing basket abandonment.</p> <p>Under Armour is a great example of how to effectively combine copy and contextual imagery, often promoting its products with seasonal context or consumer motivation.</p> <p>The below email displays the products in a real-life scenario, capitalising on the relatable context of running in cold weather.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2941/Under_Armour.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="747"></p> <p>Even better, this example includes integrated video, which nicely complements the various feature-based images.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2940/Under_Armour_email.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="815"></p> <h3>Bosch</h3> <p>Practical products like household appliances are best shown in-use, especially when it comes to large items like fridges and freezers.</p> <p>Bosch is a great example of this, using visuals to tell consumers how much food and drink can fit inside its fridges.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2942/Bosch.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="689"></p> <p>While sizing dimensions are all well and good, this highly visual element means customers are immediately engaged and well-informed.</p> <p>It also uses demonstration videos to further highlight the product's features in a real-life scenario.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dz2fSx_yQR0?wmode=transparent" width="500" height="280"></iframe></p> <h3>Teapigs</h3> <p>Visuals are a great way to provide context, but Teapigs proves that words can also do the job.</p> <p>Its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> do not merely list ingredients or describe the taste of the tea. Instead, it tells the customer how and when the tea should be drunk, describing it in relation to time of day, and even with tips like ‘add sugar if particularly hungover’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2944/Teapigs.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="740"></p> <p>This contextual information makes the brand seem more human, which helps to trigger a positive reaction.</p> <p>Finally, it uses recipe ideas to add extra value, reminding the customer that products can be used in scenarios outside of their common everyday context.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2945/Teapigs_2.JPG" alt="" width="390" height="512"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68677 2017-01-05T10:30:00+00:00 2017-01-05T10:30:00+00:00 How 10 ecommerce sites present returns policies Nikki Gilliland <p>According to <a href="https://www.pressroom.ups.com/mobile0c9a66/assets/pdf/pressroom/infographic/2016%20National%20Returns%20Day%20Infographic%20.pdf" target="_blank">research from UPS</a>, 66% of online shoppers want to be able to return items for free, 58% want a hassle-free return policy and 47% want an easy-to-print returns label.</p> <p>So how do brands measure up? Here’s a look at how 10 ecommerce sites present returns policies online.</p> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>Users can access information about ASOS returns in two places.</p> <p>Either by clicking on the 'Help' tab at the top right of the homepage, or via the 'Free Delivery Worldwide' banner in the centre.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2769/ASOS_1.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="765"></p> <p>The latter page nicely lists the various options for returns, pointing customers to links for creating free labels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2770/ASOS_2.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="792"></p> <p>Meanwhile, the Help section is set out more like an FAQ page, which is also useful for general enquiries and info on overseas returns.</p> <p>While there is a decent amount of information overall, it seems odd that the two sections are not combined or better linked.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2772/ASOS_4.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="569"></p> <h3>Amazon</h3> <p>Amazon's returns policy is easily located within the 'Help' section of its website, as well as in the bottom footer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2791/Amazon_Help.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="653"></p> <p>There's lots of detail on Amazon's policy, with particularly helpful videos explaining how to send back unwanted items.</p> <p>The below 'Returns are Easy' section is also worth highlighting. By breaking down the process into four steps, with simple imagery to highlight each one, users are reassured that it will be hassle-free.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2764/Amazon_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="498"></p> <h3>Schuh</h3> <p>Schuh sets out its returns policy from the get-go, including it on product pages to inform customers before they've even bought anything.</p> <p>This is incredibly reassuring, and could even help to encourage spontaneous purchases thanks to the knowledge that sending it back won't be an issue. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2773/Shuh.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="591"></p> <p>This approach is continued throughout the site.</p> <p>The detailed returns policy highlights the inclusion of sale items, using copy that is geared around customer-satisfaction.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2774/Schuh_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="542"></p> <h3>Not On The High Street</h3> <p>Returns policies can be tricky for marketplaces, as it is usually up to individual sellers and buyers to negotiate the logistics.</p> <p>Despite its best efforts, Not On The High Street doesn't do much to clear up the confusion, explaining how to return items in a frustratingly convoluted way.</p> <p>It could definitely be made clearer - and the fact that customers are left to 'bear the direct cost of returning the product' is a bit of a sting in the tail too.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2775/NOTHS.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="730"></p> <h3>AO</h3> <p>AO.com is well-known for offering an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66768-ao-com-the-best-ecommerce-experience-available-online/" target="_blank">excellent ecommerce experience</a>.</p> <p>Sadly, despite very clear and concise information about delivery, its stance on returns is less easy to locate.</p> <p>It's not impossible to find, however it does take two clicks (on the 'Help and Advice' tab on the homepage and then the 'Help with my Order' section) until any info about returns is displayed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2796/AO.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="683"></p> <p>From there, users still need to click through to find the policy itself.</p> <p>Luckily, AO reminds us how good it is at customer service with its convenient and free collection service, including additional information about its call centres should you need any more help.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2797/AO_returns.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="676"></p> <h3>Firebox</h3> <p>Firebox takes a no-fuss approach to returns.</p> <p>While its inclusion in the homepage footer isn't as visible as it could be, the decision to plainly label it 'returns' rather than hide it behind a 'help' or 'further info' section is appreciated.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2779/Firebox_1.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="582"></p> <p>The returns policy is succinctly and plainly explained, too.</p> <p>I particularly like how Firebox's fun and friendly tone of voice is extended here, which makes the free and easy process sound all the sweeter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2780/Firebox_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="602"></p> <h3>Zappos</h3> <p>Zappos is a US retailer that's known for its superb dedication to customer service.</p> <p>This is immediately apparent to consumers, with the brand even including its free returns policy in its H1 tag.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2781/Zappos.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="745"></p> <p>Onto the site itself, and although the returns page is slightly hidden in the bottom footer, the clear and concise explanation is one of the best I've seen.</p> <p>By breaking it down into a three-step process, it is super quick and easy for consumers to understand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2782/Zappos_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="656"></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>Just one click on the 'Customer Services' tab is all it takes to find John Lewis's returns policy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2783/John_Lewis.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="719"></p> <p>Clicking through from the comprehensive main menu, users are met with a thorough and easy-to-understand explanation.</p> <p>Happily, John Lewis lets customers return to various outlets including Royal Mail and Waitrose for free, highlighting various links and easy-to-print labels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2799/John_Lewis_returns.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="768"></p> <h3>Nike</h3> <p>Nike is another brand that succinctly explains its policy, breaking everything down into easy-to-digest paragraphs.</p> <p>A surprising amount of retailers pack far too much copy into a single page, which can automatically put consumers off, but that's not the case here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2785/Nike.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="549"></p> <p>Alongside links to further help on the right-hand side of the page, I also like how Nike includes information about returns it does <em>not</em> accept.</p> <p>Many brands are reluctant to talk about non-refundable items, however Nike's stance comes off as confident and honest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2786/Nike_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="626"></p> <h3>Threadless</h3> <p>Lastly, an interesting approach from Threadless.</p> <p>Its help section is easy to find, coming in the form of a separate pop-out site dedicated to customer support.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2788/Threadless_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="821"></p> <p>Interestingly, Threadless does not offer returns on any of its products.</p> <p>However, it does offer a 'happiness guarantee' - which essentially means it'll replace any unwanted items with a new or different product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2789/Threadless_3.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="426"></p> <p>This is certainly frustrating for consumers who want their money back, however, I think the slightly self-deprecating tone and quirky approach works.</p> <p>It also helps that the 'return policy' is included in each product page, giving consumers a heads-up about what to expect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2790/Threadless_4.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="556"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68659 2017-01-03T11:05:19+00:00 2017-01-03T11:05:19+00:00 Three reasons behind The White Company’s boost in profits Nikki Gilliland <p>So, in a year that saw the demise of BHS and American Apparel – what’s behind the White Company’s success?</p> <p>Here’s a bit of insight into what I think the business is doing right.</p> <h3>Knowing the customer</h3> <p>The White Company began when founder, Chrissie Rucker, was unable to find high quality and affordable white homewares on the high street.</p> <p>With the launch of The White Company, she aimed to give fellow interior lovers a slice of ‘affordable luxury’. Since then the brand has gone on to expand its range to clothing, home accessories, gifts and furniture.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, given the motivation of its founder, The White Company prides itself on knowing exactly what its customers want.</p> <p>It has never wavered from its ‘white’ theme, only veering into cream or other ivory-like hues. And while its clean, crisp and elegant designs are far removed from the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68372-how-cath-kidston-used-a-disney-tie-up-to-increase-its-customer-database/">Cath Kidston</a>, it shares a similar reputation for selling a lifestyle - not just a product.</p> <p>While a candle might just be a candle to some, to others the idea of a calm and peaceful home is also part of the appeal. Using storytelling to engage its consumers, everything from its slippers to its range of cashmere robes come with irresistible promises such as “before-bed bliss”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Don't get them just any socks, get them our extra-cosy Cashmere Bed Socks -&gt; <a href="https://t.co/FEdW24O0SK">https://t.co/FEdW24O0SK</a> <a href="https://t.co/6xs5AgrheN">pic.twitter.com/6xs5AgrheN</a></p> — The White Company (@thewhitecompany) <a href="https://twitter.com/thewhitecompany/status/810500181192044548">December 18, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Fusing online and offline</h3> <p>The White Company’s chief executive Will Kernan recently commented that the company plans to "invest in enhancing our customers' experience through world-class new stores across the UK."</p> <p>It is this focus on the physical shopping experience which sets the brand apart, especially among fellow homeware giants like Ikea and Home Sense. In comparison to these other brands, its retail outlets are like an oasis of calm, designed to provide the kind of atmosphere you'd generally expect in a luxury or high-end store.</p> <p>Speaking about the visual nature of The White Company's stores, Chrissie herself has said that "some customers actually tell us they love it so much they often pop in just to calm down if they are having a bad day. We want it to be somewhere you love to spend time in, a bit like home really and somewhere you know you can trust the quality, advice and service."</p> <p>With this is mind, it might not be a surprise to hear that The White Company has opened seven more retail outlets in the past year. By translating its recognisable brand values into a physical experience, it has become one of the most inviting spaces on the high street.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2613/White_Company_store.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="473"></p> <h3>Tapping into demand</h3> <p>That being said, The White Company hasn't sidelined its ecommerce business.</p> <p>Another big reason behind its recent success has been in its expansion - not only in terms of physical stores in the UK, but also into the US online market. Seeing 'significant growth' in this area in the second half of the year, it has clearly been a shrewd move from the brand.</p> <p>Again going back to the customer experience, the brand has also been smart in how it has expanded its categories, introducing childrenswear and a line of fragrances into the mix.</p> <p>The White Company hasn't strayed too far from its origins, or its brand values for that matter. Starting life as a 12-page catalogue, it now runs at an impressive 130-pages, circulating an average of 10m copies in the UK alone each year.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thanks, The White Company for my Christmas brochure - so excited to receive it this morning! <a href="https://twitter.com/thewhitecompany">@thewhitecompany</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thewhitecompany?src=hash">#thewhitecompany</a> <a href="https://t.co/hEsfkMYy4e">pic.twitter.com/hEsfkMYy4e</a></p> — Coolcookingteacher (@Clueduponfood) <a href="https://twitter.com/Clueduponfood/status/789136310510424064">October 20, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>With a dedication to giving consumers exactly what they want, it's easy to see why The White Company has generated such success.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><strong><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/68659-three-reasons-behind-the-white-company-s-boost-in-profits/edit/Three%20reasons%20behind%20WHSmith%E2%80%99s%20boost%20in%20profits">Three reasons behind WHSmith’s boost in profits</a></em></strong></li> <li><strong><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68568-three-reasons-behind-dominos-digital-sales-boost" target="_blank">Three reasons behind Dominos’ digital sales boost</a></em></strong></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68629 2016-12-12T14:26:00+00:00 2016-12-12T14:26:00+00:00 Ikea renames products for new SEO-focused Retail Therapy campaign Patricio Robles <p>Developed by Åkestam Holst, a Swedish agency, the website takes a clever SEO-focused approach to promoting some of Ikea's wares.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/194489560" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>As AdWeek's Angela Natividad <a href="http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/ikea-renamed-products-after-frequently-googled-problems-those-products-solve-175005">explained</a>, the agency looked at common Google search queries in Sweden related to relationship problems. It then selected products that can "solve" them, renamed them with those search queries in mind, and added them to the Retail Therapy site.</p> <p>For instance:</p> <ul> <li>A daybed bearing the name, <em>My Partner Snores</em>.</li> <li>A frying pan called <em>How to Stay Married</em>.</li> <li>A dishwasher that has been named <em>My Girlfriend Won't Do the Dishes</em>.</li> <li>Champange flutes sold as <em>When Children Leave Home</em>.</li> </ul> <p>All told, there are more than 100 products that have catchy, SEO-friendly names featured on the Retail Therapy website, which has the same look and feel as the Ikea website, and links to the Ikea website, where users can purchase the featured products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2331/ikea.png" alt="" width="767" height="451"></p> <p>While slightly gimmicky, there just might be something to the concept: Already, some of the pages on the Retail Therapy appear to have reasonably good Google rankings.</p> <p>For instance, <em>My Partner Snores</em> is on the first page for the search query, you guessed it, "my partner snores." As is <em>She Doesn't Want to Cuddle</em>, a mattress wedge, for the "she doesn't want to cuddle" query.</p> <p>Will the Retail Therapy website actually drive sales? That remains to be seen, but the campaign is a good reminder to other retailers that in a world where so much product discovery now occurs through search engines, incorporating an SEO perspective into product naming might not be such a crazy idea.</p> <p>Many retailers, of course, do pay attention to product names, as well as descriptions, but Ikea's campaign highlights that there may be interesting opportunities for retailers to think about the problems their products solve when developing product names instead of simply describing the product itself, or the solution the product offers.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68595 2016-12-05T15:19:01+00:00 2016-12-05T15:19:01+00:00 Three musts for online retailers to prepare for the last-minute rush Bart Mroz <p dir="ltr">So for retail brands, there’s no more important time of year. What happens in December often determines whether yearly sales goals are missed or exceeded.</p> <p dir="ltr">Whatever your product offering is, holiday ecommerce is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for retailers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hopefully your ecommerce business has already fleshed out strategies to attract online consumers and bring in a chunk of those billions. If not, here are three absolute musts for a successful and profitable holiday season.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">1. Stress and load test your website</h3> <p dir="ltr">For an ecommerce business, few disasters are worse than a website crash. One common culprit behind website crashes (aside from the expiration of a domain or hosting subscription) is a sudden surge in visitor traffic.</p> <p dir="ltr">Given that retail traffic increases drastically during the holidays, the proper functioning of your website right now is absolutely critical.</p> <p dir="ltr">Put another way, there’s no worse time to have website problems. It literally equates to lost revenue, which could have devastating effects on your company’s bottom line at the end of the year.</p> <p dir="ltr">So, if your site is unable to handle the increased capacity, find out as soon as possible, because the holiday rush is here. It’s only a matter of time before last-minute shoppers surge online retailers once again. Take action now and preserve your end-of-year profits.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2078/Macy_s_Christmas.png" alt="" width="800" height="625"></p> <p dir="ltr">Perform a load test to make sure that the website can withstand surges in traffic. Companies like <a href="https://www.soasta.com/">Soasta</a>, <a href="https://www.blazemeter.com/">BlazeMeter</a> and <a href="https://www.redline13.com/">RedLine13</a> offer this service, which consists of, basically, bombarding your website with simulated visitor traffic.</p> <p dir="ltr">If it fails, you’ll need to make necessary adjustments, such as putting a content delivery network into place. It’s better to find out now as opposed to in the middle of the last-minute rush.  </p> <p dir="ltr">The updates will cost you, but it’s much less than the lost revenue that would result from an untimely website crash in the week before Christmas.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">2. Optimize product descriptions and images</h3> <p dir="ltr">Your ecommerce site is only as effective as the content that’s on it, both written and visual. Every product page should feature well-written, easy-to-read descriptions of the product so that shoppers can know exactly what they’re buying.</p> <p dir="ltr">If they’re unsure, they’re likely to search for the product on another site. So do a final pass to optimize product features so that they’re thorough, clearly listed, and prominently placed on the page.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another reason to be meticulous about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> is because they can help your website appear in search engine results — important because <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-27/more-than-50-of-shoppers-turn-first-to-amazon-in-product-search">over a quarter</a> of consumers still begin their search for products on Google and other search engines.</p> <p dir="ltr">Make sure to use descriptive keywords early and often, and link between product pages. This improves SEO and also makes it more likely that consumers will see your other product offerings and impulsively purchase something extra.</p> <p dir="ltr">Better yet, use holiday-themed keywords (e.g. “Christmas,” “last-minute,” “present,” etc).</p> <h3 dir="ltr">3. Freeze your website code</h3> <p dir="ltr">If new page templates, new designs, or new features are being developed for your ecommerce website, that’s great. Initiatives to improve the user experience are well worth the effort.</p> <p dir="ltr">But December isn’t the time to implement such improvements. If it hasn’t been done already, ecommerce companies should do a thorough review of each page within the website (especially the product pages) to find errors in the content and the code.</p> <p dir="ltr">Double check that the design is consistent throughout and that the mobile side of your site works as well or better than the desktop version.</p> <p dir="ltr">(And yes, by this point it should go without saying that your entire website should be mobile-friendly. Mobile ecommerce currently makes up <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/249863/us-mobile-retail-commerce-sales-as-percentage-of-e-commerce-sales/">29%</a> of total ecommerce, and that’s expected to rise to <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/249863/us-mobile-retail-commerce-sales-as-percentage-of-e-commerce-sales/">48%</a> by the year 2020. Google offers this <a href="https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/">free tool</a> to analyze how mobile-friendly a webpage is.)</p> <p dir="ltr">If you discover any bugs or other anomalies, fix them immediately and then institute a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeze_(software_engineering)">code freeze</a> immediately. No more work should be done on the back end of the website until after the holidays.</p> <p dir="ltr">In theory, this eliminates the possibility of a developer accidentally introducing a new bug while attempting to improve some already-existing feature.</p> <p dir="ltr">If such a bug were to compromise shoppers’ ability to use the site in the week before Christmas, it could result in abandonment of purchases, which translates to possibly thousands of dollars in foregone revenue. </p> <p dir="ltr">It’s an exciting time of year for retailers, and the advent of ecommerce has lowered the barriers to entry for small businesses that are introducing new product offerings.</p> <p dir="ltr">As ecommerce retailers gain momentum and build customer bases, good planning and preparation can yield big rewards throughout the rest of this holiday season.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68557 2016-11-24T10:00:00+00:00 2016-11-24T10:00:00+00:00 How UK retailers are promoting Black Friday online Nikki Gilliland <h3>AO.com</h3> <p>AO saw <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/52679ff2-9a2e-11e4-9602-00144feabdc0" target="_blank">record sales figures from Black Friday 2015</a>, and by the looks of it, it is banking on a repeat performance this year.</p> <p>Instead of simply focusing on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), it is selling all week-long.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1721/AO.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="436"></p> <p>By describing the deals launched before Friday as 'earlybird', it sounds as though prices will drop further or more deals will appear as the week goes on - annoyingly, this is a little unclear.</p> <p>Regardless, it is promoting pretty heavily across social media, even going so far as creating its very own 'Black Friday Survival Guide' for consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1722/AO_survival_guide.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="610"></p> <p>Despite last year's success, it has been suggested that Black Friday cannibalised AO sales from Christmas and New Year.</p> <p>However, with consumers being more likely to search for larger household goods now, we doubt it's much of a concern.</p> <h3>Argos</h3> <p>Argos isn't beating around the bush this year, extending its Black Friday event to a mammoth 13 days.</p> <p>Instead of counting down to the best deals, it is using a 'buy now' price promise to reassure customers that offers won't go lower until the entire event ends.</p> <p>However, when they're gone - they're gone.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1723/Argos_Black_Friday.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="374"></p> <p>Not stopping there - it is also using the additional tactic of bonus discounts, such as 25% off when you spend a certain amount on an item.</p> <p>With feverish promotion on Twitter, and one of the longest events out of all UK retailers, Argos could be in danger of alienating uninterested followers or cannibalising those Christmas sales at reduced prices.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Get this <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AcerAspire?src=hash">#AcerAspire</a> with 4GB memory &amp; 1TB storage at our lowest price EVER this <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackFriday?src=hash">#BlackFriday</a> <a href="https://t.co/B7EfpxEsOI">https://t.co/B7EfpxEsOI</a> <a href="https://t.co/rTIfbLayY7">pic.twitter.com/rTIfbLayY7</a></p> — Argos (@Argos_Online) <a href="https://twitter.com/Argos_Online/status/801433376720875520">November 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>House of Fraser </h3> <p>With sales up 40% last year compared to 2014, the event has traditionally been a success for House of Fraser.</p> <p>Once again it looks intent on capturing search interest around Black Friday - it has even optimised its H1 to incorporate the phrase.</p> <p><em>(Read more on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68432-black-friday-2016-how-are-uk-retailers-optimising-search-landing-pages/" target="_blank">how retailers are optimising landing pages here</a>)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1724/House_of_Fraser_H1.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="699"></p> <p>With healthy sales figures post-Black Friday last year, the department store's strong promotion appears to be effective.</p> <p>Running for six days, it is offering up to 50% off selected lines as well as new deals specifically for Cyber Monday.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1725/House_of_Fraser_flyer.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="447"></p> <p>The event hasn't overtaken all its current promotion either - it is still talking about Christmas and unrelated editorial content online - which means it's avoiding instilling the fear of 'buy now or never' into loyal customers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Christmas is the all consuming season. The festive flurry is inescapable. Enjoy it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReadyorNot?src=hash">#ReadyorNot</a> Christmas is coming for you! <a href="https://t.co/LP3ZE0SRLf">pic.twitter.com/LP3ZE0SRLf</a></p> — House of Fraser (@houseoffraser) <a href="https://twitter.com/houseoffraser/status/794994514905669632">November 5, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Body Shop</h3> <p>The Body Shop is promoting its 'wildest Black Friday yet' with a special 'bundle' deal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1726/Body_shop.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="369"></p> <p>It allows users to get a selection of products worth £93.50 for just £35.</p> <p>It's a surprisingly enticing deal - in just one click of a button, all products will be automatically added to your basket with the discount applied.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1727/Bundle.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="420"></p> <p>Alternatively, consumers can take advantage of the 40% off code in the run up to Friday, when an abundance of top deals are expected to land.</p> <p>A retailer that tends to rely on loyal and regular shoppers as well as seasonal gift buyers - opting in to Black Friday is likely to be a positive move, as long as it doesn't overshadow the Christmas rush.</p> <h3>River Island</h3> <p>River Island's Black Friday landing page has some confusing copy telling shoppers that they are a 'little too early' to find deals, despite the fact it does appear to be partaking in the earlybird trend (a week of 'style steals').</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1728/River_Island.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="403"></p> <p>Using daily deals in each category and the 'limited time only' tactic, it could whet customers appetites for the big day itself.</p> <p>Or, it could end up being a bit of a disappointment.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Shoe love is true love, don't miss today’s style steals! &gt; <a href="https://t.co/vgcXu4i4W3">https://t.co/vgcXu4i4W3</a> <a href="https://t.co/hO8O70FvqO">pic.twitter.com/hO8O70FvqO</a></p> — River Island (@riverisland) <a href="https://twitter.com/riverisland/status/801335674016321538">November 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Regardless, with Black Friday traditionally being seen as a way to get discounted technology and household items - it's interesting to see more clothing retailers take part.</p> <h3>Boots</h3> <p>Recognising that consumers are put-off shopping in-store during Black Friday madness, Boots is cleverly using an online-only tactic.</p> <p>Of course, there are in-store offers, however it is keeping a fairly hefty percentage for ecommerce orders.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1729/Boots.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="474"></p> <p>Building on the opportunity to capture online customer data - it's a good tactic for a retailer that is better known for its physical presence on the high street and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68371-why-travel-retail-is-big-business-for-beauty-brands/" target="_blank">travel retail </a>stores.</p> <p>Lastly, with excitement over its Christmas gift range generally beginning in December, it is using the sales bonanza as a nice jump off for festive-related advertising.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Get a Christmas ready smile with <a href="https://twitter.com/Philips">@Philips</a> DiamondClean toothbrushes. Offer ends 28 November - get yours now. <a href="https://t.co/ZPQO3ciSQH">https://t.co/ZPQO3ciSQH</a> <a href="https://t.co/tdNKPXCt2r">pic.twitter.com/tdNKPXCt2r</a></p> — Boots (@BootsUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/BootsUK/status/801161597427261440">November 22, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Final points</h3> <p>While they are using some of the most interesting tactics, the aforementioned examples make up a mere snapshot of the retailers partaking in Black Friday 2016.</p> <p>Of course, there are those that are choosing to opt-out, such as Next and Asda, but most do seem to be getting in on the act.</p> <p>The main question is whether customers will embrace this year's trend for extended sales, or whether it will truly be overkill.</p> <p>Similarly, with questions raised over whether Black Friday deals are <a href="https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/11/21/black-friday-deals-uk-face-criticism-over-pricing" target="_blank">actually worth buying</a>, it remains to be seen how consumers will respond.</p> <p>Let the madness commence.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68530 2016-11-16T11:20:00+00:00 2016-11-16T11:20:00+00:00 Eight features to appreciate on Hunter’s revamped ecommerce site Nikki Gilliland <p>And for more on this topic check out our range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/ecommerce/">ecommerce training courses</a>.</p> <h3>1. Creative curated shop</h3> <p>While <a href="http://www.hunterboots.com/">the homepage</a> for Hunter is attractive, the 'Core Concept' hub is most impressive in terms of design.</p> <p>Cleverly integrating the brand's latest campaign hashtag, #rainstartsplay, it uses integrated video and GIF features to promote its new range of weatherproof clothing and footwear.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1483/Core_concept.JPG" alt="" width="746" height="524"></p> <p>Its block colour scheme and large visuals allow for a more enjoyable browsing experience than the regular product pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1484/Explore_the_collection.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="334"></p> <p>What's more, it gives the user an overview of the entire range, instead of leaving them to search through various categories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1485/Colour_pallette_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="470"></p> <h3>2. Editorial-style content</h3> <p>Alongside the Core Concept hub, Hunter nicely promotes its blog-style content in the 'Discover' section.</p> <p>In fact, its prominent positioning on the site makes it feel less like a brand blog, and more like an integrated magazine.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1486/Discover.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="396"></p> <p>While the content subtly shows off the Hunter products, it also includes a nice variety of features including topics like photography and sport.</p> <p>I particularly like its 'Everyday Pioneers' series.</p> <p>Using an inspirational approach based around the boot's technical engineering, it promotes the durability of the product instead of its visual style.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kzmdNHpkWZw?list=PLVSqeLqwLyM2JAuxqHmnwqWUZRXFD17e3&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>3. High quality product imagery</h3> <p>Moving onto the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63462-ecommerce-product-pages-where-to-place-30-elements-and-why/" target="_blank">product pages</a> - the high quality imagery definitely stand out as one of the site's best features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1487/Images.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="808"></p> <p>With an average of six large images as well as a 360-degree video, it gives the user an excellent indication of how the product looks in real life.</p> <p>Since including more photography, specifically showing how far up the boots reach on calves, the site has seen<strong> a 10% increase in add-to-bags as well as a drop in returns.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1488/Boot_scale.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="763"></p> <h3>4. Up-front estimated delivery info</h3> <p>A small but significant feature I like on the product pages is this indication of estimated delivery.</p> <p>While many retailers leave this information to the checkout or choose to highlight the price, including the estimated date gives the customer a sense of reassurance and urgency.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1489/Hunter_estimated_delivery.JPG" alt="" width="558" height="679"></p> <p>Telling the customer that they could have the boots they're currently looking at within two days acts as a great call-to-action.</p> <h3>5. Cross-selling</h3> <p>Another newly improved feature on the product pages is the inclusion of related items.</p> <p>It might be unusual for consumers to buy more than one item at a time - Hunter is a premium-priced product after all.</p> <p>However, I think the inclusion of care products is worth highlighting here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1490/Hunter_cross_sell.JPG" alt="" width="519" height="597"></p> <p>Again, when spending on a luxury item, customers are likely to be willing to buy extra to keep them in good condition.</p> <p>Consequently, these products could do with being promoted even more prominently. </p> <h3>6. Detailed sizing info</h3> <p>I recently wrote about how <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68477-how-six-online-retailers-are-combatting-wrong-size-returns" target="_blank">retailers are attempting to reduce the amount of wrong-size returns</a>.</p> <p>Hunter also appears to be focused on this, nicely including a comprehensive size guide on each product page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1491/Size_Guide.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="602"></p> <p>The FAQ section is pleasingly comprehensive, too - it highlights the fact that sizes differ and urges the customer to check.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1492/Hunter_FAQ.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="418"></p> <h3>7. Guest checkout</h3> <p>Hunter's previous checkout option was a little misleading, making customers think they needed to create an account in order to checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1493/Previous_checkout.jpg" alt="" width="556" height="296"></p> <p>Now, it has been tweaked to be clearer, removing the previous step asking if the customer has a password.</p> <p>It's still not entirely clear-cut that a guest checkout is possible - however the site has since seen <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67120-12-ways-to-reduce-basket-abandonment-on-your-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">basket abandonment</a> reduce from 15% to 9%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1494/Email_Checkout.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="505"></p> <p>The friendly copy is also a nice touch, with the 'if you wish' sign-off reflecting a sense of flexibility.</p> <h3>8. Email reminders</h3> <p>Lastly, while it is not a feature on the ecommerce site itself, Hunter's dedication to reducing basket abandoment <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them/" target="_blank">also extends to its email strategy</a>.</p> <p>After my visit to Hunter boots, I received an email the same evening reminding me that there was something in my basket.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1495/Hunter_email.png" alt="" width="400" height="710"></p> <p>With an increasing number of shoppers browsing around before they commit to buy, this is a nice little nudge to return and make the final purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1496/Hunter_email_2.png" alt="" width="400" height="710"></p> <h3>Final points</h3> <p>Hunter's newly improved site offers an enjoyable user experience overall. But there could still be improvements. </p> <p>Though the press release said the updated site had customer reviews, I failed to find any. Similarly, the checkout process could be made even simpler.</p> <p>However, with its bold design and great attention to detail, it is generally quite impressive.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68468 2016-11-10T15:27:27+00:00 2016-11-10T15:27:27+00:00 Nike vs. Adidas vs. Under Armour: Which has the best product pages? Ben Davis <h3>Imagery</h3> <h4>Nike - Product imagery</h4> <p>Nike has the best composed product imagery of the three brands.</p> <p>It is notable how well the clothing is photographed to ensure it looks its best. For example, items are only shown in full if they are on a model.</p> <p>If a product is seen on its own, this is only done to show smart details (see below), and the item is crisply folded to ensure it maintains a premium look.</p> <p>Compare this approach with Adidas (further below), for example, where items are photographed off a model, in full, and appear slightly limp and lifeless.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0937/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.26.35.png" alt="nike product page" width="615" height="539"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0943/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_10.10.21.png" alt="adidas product image" width="615" height="339"></p> <p>Nike's product imagery is a good size (620 x 620), and I only have to hover over each thumbnail for it to appear in the larger pane.</p> <p>There's a fairly standard click-to-zoom function which works with zero latency.</p> <p>Back to composition - there are some particularly creative images designed to show off the best features of each product. <strong>This can be seen below</strong> in the example of a trainer photographed in the dark to highlight its reflective strip.</p> <p>There's only one place where Nike can improve its product imagery and that's adding model height and item size where appropriate, so that users can get a relative impression of fit.</p> <p>However, I don't think that's enough to stop Nike earning full points here.</p> <h4>Score: 5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0938/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.26.59.png" alt="nike product page" width="615" height="338"></p> <h4>Adidas - Product imagery</h4> <p>At first glance, Adidas has similar product imagery to Nike.</p> <p>However, as we have already pointed out above, products are not quite displayed with the same exacting standards (i.e. limp shirts).</p> <p>But that doesn't mean that product detail isn't very well represented. Below you can see a nice detail of a trainer's sole.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0939/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.31.22.png" alt="adidas product image" width="615" height="336"></p> <p>There are, however, a couple of small UX issues. Firstly, at 500 x 500, I didn't find the product images to be big enough. They didn't have the immediate salience of the Nike and Under Armour images.</p> <p>Additionally, the user has to click each thumbnail to view it, rather than simply hovering over them (as one does on the Nike and Under Armour sites).</p> <p>The zoom feature though is, again, standard and very efficient. And, unlike Nike, model height and item size is detailed on relevant images (see below).</p> <h4>Score: 4/5 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0940/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.36.11.png" alt="adidas product image" width="615" height="621"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Product imagery</h4> <p>Under Armour's notable point of difference is that the camera has zoomed in a little closer on the products in question, which almost fill the viewing pane. This is necessary, because the product page lacks a zoom function.</p> <p>Image sizes are good but there aren't as many offered as on the Nike and Adidas pages.</p> <p>For example, the trainer below has five images, instead of six or seven (the head-on view is missing).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0942/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.57.29.png" alt="under armour product page" width="615" height="306"></p> <p>Like Adidas, some good detail is provided showing model height and clothing size. And, similar to the Nike website, users only have to hover over thumbnails, rather than clicking them.</p> <p>Products are presented well, but again not quite as nicely as Nike's.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0941/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.42.36.png" alt="under armour product page" width="615" height="470"></p> <h3>Product description</h3> <h4>Nike - Product description</h4> <p>It may seem a little paradoxical, but the thing I like most about Nike's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> are their images.</p> <p>Each description is formatted next to a product image, and it makes the copy a lot more impactful. The image makes me more likely to read and buy into the superlative description.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0986/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.50.54.png" alt="nike product description" width="615" height="363"></p> <p>When it comes to the copy itself, it can only be described as authoritative and inventive.</p> <p>The above example shows how subheaders can drive home product USPs, and the description header acts much like a product slogan (see below for an effective example).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0981/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.53.54.png" alt="nike product description" width="615" height="290"></p> <p>On the downside, not every product description has been written with as much care. The screenshot below shows just one subheader - 'benefits' - which doesn't do as much for the imagination.</p> <p>There could also be some more technical detail (weight, dimensions etc), but Nike is selling the product here, not answering FAQs.</p> <p>More functional detail such as 'fit tips' and a sizing chart lives further up the page, next to main product imagery.</p> <p>The score has to be high because I believe these product descriptions help sell the product, and that's the goal.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0978/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.51.24.png" alt="nike product description" width="615" height="234"></p> <h4>Adidas - Product description</h4> <p>Adidas has product descriptions that aren't dissimilar to Nike's.</p> <p>In fact, they are stronger on style-/heritage-led copy (which befits the brand image) and use one bold subheader to greater effect.</p> <p>However, note how the lack of an accompanying thumbnail pic makes the copy less inviting.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0982/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.56.31.png" alt="adidas product description" width="615" height="220"></p> <p>There is probably slightly more vanilla product detail, too, as opposed to Nike's more technology flavoured copy.</p> <p>As there's not much between the two, Adidas gets the same score.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0983/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.57.25.png" alt="adidas product description" width="615" height="228"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Product description</h4> <p>Yet again, there's a clear difference when it comes to Under Armour and its product descriptions.</p> <p>In the 'Product DNA' section, creative copy is in short supply, to the detriment of the description, but there is some added detail that is helpful to the consumer (e.g. weight and even UPF factor).</p> <p>A static embedded sizing chart is presented alongside product descriptions, rather than the link to a dynamic tool that Nike and Adidas use.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0985/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.59.50.png" alt="under armour product descriptions" width="450"></p> <p>Below the product DNA, Under Armour includes 'featured technology', which is a much more attractive and convincing section that should arguably be placed above the product DNA.</p> <p>Imagery and technical USPs are employed to good effect (see below).</p> <h4>Score: 4/5 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1009/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_15.58.05.png" alt="under armour product descriptions" width="615" height="343"></p> <h3>Recommendations</h3> <h4>Nike - Recommendations</h4> <p>Nike's recommendations are simple but classily done. Just four recommended products, with good detail (colours, price, title, category).</p> <h3>Score: 3/5</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1010/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_15.54.21.png" alt="nike recommendations" width="615" height="254"></p> <h4>Adidas - Recommendations</h4> <p>Adidas lays it on thicker, with two lots of recommendations (with scrollable product carousel), as well as 'recently viewed items'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1011/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_15.56.01.png" alt="adidas recommendations" width="615" height="276"></p> <p>What's nice is that the 'others also bought' feature allows Adidas to surface popular products in addition to related products.</p> <p>These two features are staggered on the page (one beneath the product description and one above the footer), so it doesn't feel like overkill.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1012/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_15.56.31.png" alt="adidas recommendations" width="615" height="281"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Recommendations</h4> <p>Just the one set of recommendations from Under Armour, but a scrolling carousel allows more products to be showcased than Nike's recommendations.</p> <p>The product thumbnails though aren't quite as appealing and the feature lacks impact. Detail is only shown on rollover, so price isn't immediately obvious either.</p> <h4>Score: 2.5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1014/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_16.03.05.png" alt="under armour recommendations" width="615" height="283"> </p> <h3>Reviews</h3> <h4>Nike - Product reviews</h4> <p>Nike's product reviews are fairly sophisticated.</p> <p>First, there's a breakdown of the average product rating, alongside a percentage figure for those that would recommend the product, and also average scores for size, comfort, fit and durability.</p> <p>There is also a filter allowing users to filter the individual reviews (newest, highest rated etc.).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0962/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_10.59.15.png" alt="nike review" width="615" height="389"></p> <p>The individual reviews themselves have some pleasing details.</p> <p>Each reviewer (see below), in this case of a basketball shoe, is asked to state their basketball position and skill level, so that purchasers can give greater credence to reviews that match their intended usage. The same goes for running shoes (mileage and ability).</p> <p>Reviews can be upvoted or downvoted, though I'm not entirely sure what the point is, given that you can't filter by these upvotes and they don't appear to affect the order reviews are displayed. These upvotes function much as Facebook Likes do.</p> <p>Users can also flag or comment on reviews. I didn't find any comments during my browsing but it's a useful functionality to give power-users the ability to answer queries.</p> <p>As you can see from the screenshot below, reviewers not only fill in a text field but are given the ability to rate various qualities of the product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0963/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.03.07.png" alt="nike review" width="615" height="219"></p> <p>What was particularly encouraging to see was Nike responses to reviews, such as the one below, which is a balanced and helpful response to a piece of constructive criticism.</p> <p>Though I didn't browse each website for hours on end, Nike's was the only site on which I saw customer service responses to critical reviews. Adidas had responded to some reviews, but seemingly only positive ones.</p> <p>In summary, Nike has a good review system, with little room for improvement.</p> <h4>Score: 4.5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0961/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_10.57.46.png" alt="nike review" width="615" height="565"></p> <h4>Adidas - Product reviews</h4> <p>Adidas makes a virtue of its reviews more than the other two sites, with a more noticable star rating and call-to-action next to each product image.</p> <p>Full marks for transparency. Nike uses a dull orange, with no call to action.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0968/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.09.05.png" alt="adidas review" width="615" height="341"></p> <p>The review system itself is not dissimilar to Nike's. Filters, ratings for four product qualities, and the ability to comment or deem the review helpful or otherwise.</p> <p>All of this functionality is very clearly laid out, as you can see below.</p> <p>There are a couple of points where Adidas doesn't score as highly as Nike, though. Firstly, reviewers are listed as 'verified purchasers', but there is no information akin to Nike's reviewer use history (e.g. basketball position, weekly running mileage etc.).</p> <p>Furthermore, I could only find responses to positive reviews, and (if I'm being pedantic) each brand response seemed to encourage the user to do something else (e.g. submit a photo on social or sign up for an email newsletter), rather than focus on the review/product in question.</p> <p>I'm being a bit picky, but Adidas could certainly reply to more negative/critical reviews. For example, there are several reviews of its Gazelle shoes that refer to colours on the website not looking exactly accurate - surely Adidas could help by making a comment here?</p> <p>The last minor improvement that could be made is to show each reviewer's ratings for size, width, comfort and quality. The average scores for these ratings are displayed, but not each individual's.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0969/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.15.54.png" alt="adidas review" width="615" height="506"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Product reviews</h4> <p>Under Armour's product reviews aren't quite as slick as its two competitors'.</p> <p>Some of the functionality is lacking - crucially, there are no average scores, and strangely no ability to flag, upvote or comment on reviews, apart from a select and seemingly random few.</p> <p>On the plus side, reviews can be sorted by a large number of criteria, and the information given on each reviewer is good (height, age, gender, size purchased etc.).</p> <p>An average-to-good review system.</p> <h4>Score: 3/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0971/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.20.55.png" alt="under armour review" width="615" height="216"></p> <h3>Mobile</h3> <p>Though many retailers are seeing the majority of their traffic arriving on mobile devices, this article has concentrated mainly on desktop (where the majority of conversions occur).</p> <p>Of course, mobile is still important, so I whipped through a few product pages on my smaller device.</p> <h4>Nike - Mobile</h4> <p>What stands out here is how enjoyable it is to swipe through product imagery and through colour options, which also sit in a carousel, rather than a dropdown or matrix.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1041/nikemob1.png" alt="nike mobile" width="300" height="533">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1042/nike_mob2.png" alt="nike mobile" width="300" height="533"></p> <p>The impact of product imagery is maintained on the smaller device.</p> <p>Product description and reviews are tucked away, whereas customisation and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64255-why-do-online-retailers-need-live-chat/">live chat</a> are more prominent than on desktop. Usability is good, the site if fluid and quick.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1043/nike_mob_3.png" alt="nike mobile" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1044/nike_mob4.png" alt="nike mobile" width="250"></p> <h4>Adidas - Mobile</h4> <p>Adidas notably has a bolder product title and price. Thumbnail product images are maintained, beneath the swipeable carousel.</p> <p>All features seen on desktop are maintained on mobile, with product descriptions abridged and the option to reveal more.</p> <p>I found Adidas's rich product pages slower to load and navigate than Nike's. But, as Adidas uses a responsive site rather than an 'm.', I'm going to give it the same score as Nike.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1045/adimob1.png" alt="adidas mobile" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1046/adimob2.png" alt="adidas mobile" width="250"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Mobile</h4> <p>I was impressed with Under Armour's product pages on mobile. Features that appeared to lack design finesse on desktop were, conversely, chunky and easy to use on mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1047/ua1.png" alt="under armour mobile" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1048/ua2.png" alt="under armour mobile" width="250"></p> <p>Buttons are big, text is big, and the site is quick (and responsive).</p> <h4>Score: 5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1049/ua3.png" alt="under armour mobile" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1050/ua4.png" alt="under armour mobile" width="250"></p> <h3>Bonus points?</h3> <h4>Nike - Bonus points for live chat</h4> <p>Though the 'chat with an expert' function isn't picked out and is easily missed, the fact that you can chat to someone about your running gear, for example, could be a good tool for customer service and sales.</p> <h4>Bonus points: 1 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1016/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_16.12.53.png" alt="nike chat" width="450"></p> <h4>Adidas - Bonus points for Design your own, UGC &amp; <strong>embedded video</strong> </h4> <p>There isn't much video used on product pages by any of the three brands in question. Nike does have small video thumbnails on some product pages to explain particular lines (e.g. Nike Free, Nike Flyknit), but they are not prominent.</p> <p>Adidas, however, does include some large embedded YouTube videos, such as the one below showing some of the design team discussing the product.</p> <p>This is a nice addition.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyOlNZQ34Wc"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1018/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_16.37.30.png" alt="adidas video" width="615" height="335"></a></strong></p> <p>Adidas is also better than Nike at integrated customisation options in to product pages.</p> <p>Whereas Nike iD is simply a colour option, Adidas's customisable products have a large 'design your own' call-to-action and sometimes a dynamic tool allowing users to type in a 'quick customisation' field, with the text appearing in the product image pane.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1017/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_16.14.18.png" alt="adidas product page" width="615" height="361"></p> <p>Lastly user-generated content (UGC) is a definite area where Adidas trumps its rivals. Its most popular products come with a nice gallery of user photos.</p> <p>These are particularly effective examples of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a>, especially for bolder looks such as the Gazelle (see below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0974/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.43.28.png" alt="adidas ugc" width="615" height="364"></p> <p>Some newer product pages are still encouraging people to send in their pics, as you can see below.</p> <h4>Bonus points: 3</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0973/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.43.52.png" alt="adidas ugc" width="615" height="242"></p> <h3>Final scores</h3> <p>Totting up the scores, it's pretty much a shared win for Adidas and Nike on the criteria we looked at. Both have very effective product pages, with Nike perhaps edging Adidas on style, and Adidas including a bit more functionality.</p> <p>Under Armour is a little off the pace but only needs a few tweaks to close the gap.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Nike:</strong> 21.5/25+</li> <li> <strong>Adidas:</strong> 22/25+</li> <li> <strong>Under Armour:</strong> 18.5/25+ </li> </ul> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63462-ecommerce-product-pages-where-to-place-30-elements-and-why/"><em>Ecommerce product pages: where to place 30 elements and why</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67941-10-nudge-tastic-examples-of-persuasive-copywriting-from-charities/"><em>10 nudge-tastic examples of persuasive copywriting from charities</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65365-how-seven-ecommerce-brands-use-highly-persuasive-copywriting/"><em>How seven ecommerce brands use highly persuasive copywriting</em></a></li> </ul>