tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/tablets Latest Tablets content from Econsultancy 2017-01-27T09:56:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68744 2017-01-27T09:56:00+00:00 2017-01-27T09:56:00+00:00 What’s behind the decline in ebook sales? Nikki Gilliland <p>Interestingly, this doesn’t seem to be a generational trend.</p> <p>People under 30 are just as likely to disregard ebooks - a fact reflected by a <a href="http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial-reporting/article/72047-adult-books-sales-fell-in-first-half-of-2016.html" target="_blank">35% drop in digital sales of young adult fiction</a> during the first half of 2016, and cemented by an increase of 7.4% in paperback sales of the same genre.</p> <p>So, what’s behind the ebook decline?</p> <h3>A switch-off from social media</h3> <p>Despite being known as the ‘always on’ generation, millennials don’t actually want to be glued to a screen 24/7. </p> <p>In fact, a large proportion of young people are feeling inclined to switch off due to the constant pressure to be active on social media. Ofcom recently found that <a href="https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2016/cmr-uk-2016" target="_blank">34% of internet users have voluntarily gone offline</a> at some point for this very reason.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3393/Ofcom.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="309"></p> <p>In line with this is a greater desire to spend less time on digital devices as a whole.</p> <p>Despite advancements in technology making ebook screens thinner and lighter than ever before - mimicking the paper-thin nature of print - the very concept of reading on an electronic device is still a step too far for some. </p> <p>Unlike watching a film, having the option to read print over digital means that many people will naturally revert back to the latter, thereby stemming the sales of ebook devices and digital books.</p> <h3>Desire for a physical customer experience</h3> <p>Research has shown that the implicit understanding of how far along you are in a story increases the enjoyment of reading a physical book. In contrast, the inability to visualise progress arguably makes using an ebook a somewhat shallow and unsatisfactory experience.  </p> <p>Similarly, the tactile element, not only of reading a physical book, but browsing and buying within a real bookstore is also preferable.</p> <p>We’re constantly being told that consumers crave an immersive, interactive shopping experience. As a result, more and more online retailers are meeting the demand by entering into the physical realm.</p> <p>Amazon – a retailer that has dominated the book industry in recent years – opened its first ever bricks-and-mortar book shop in 2015. Waterstones has also stopped selling the Kindle in its UK stores, instead choosing to use the space for hardback and paperback books.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3392/Amazon_Books.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="421"></p> <p>It’s not just large or established brands that are noticing the demand for print either. The trend has trickled down to new and startup businesses, with many combining the best of both digital and traditional publishing.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with just <a href="https://printonpaper.com/10-steps-becoming-media-magnate/" target="_blank">32% of people trusting mainstream news</a> media, companies like AuthorHouse and Print on Paper are tapping into this distrust (and the simultaneous demand for print) by allowing anyone to self-publish books and print their own newspapers.</p> <h3>Popularity of audiobooks</h3> <p>It’s not just a resurgence for print that has contributed to less interest in ebooks. Alongside an increase in physical book sales, interest in audiobooks has also skyrocketed in recent years. </p> <p>Audiobooks are said to be the fastest-growing format in publishing, with <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/business/media/audiobooks-turn-more-readers-into-listeners-as-e-books-slip.html?_r=0" target="_blank">sales rising 35.3%</a> in the first half of 2016. So, why the sudden surge?</p> <p>Meeting the desire for less screen time without compromising on the immersive nature of storytelling, audiobooks are the perfect solution for the aforementioned digital fatigue. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Listen to 'Goodnight Smartphone' free on Audible, then give you &amp; your phone a rest tonight. <a href="https://t.co/QITBOI2WbI">https://t.co/QITBOI2WbI</a> <a href="https://t.co/WY9XJLmQl3">pic.twitter.com/WY9XJLmQl3</a></p> — audible.co.uk (@audibleuk) <a href="https://twitter.com/audibleuk/status/823960768920113152">January 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Moreover, with cars now including Bluetooth as standard, plus smartphones overtaking laptops as the primary device for getting online – consumers are increasingly turning to audiobooks in place of reading or even listening to music. </p> <p>Lastly, it’s also been suggested that we’re are moving towards an ‘agnostic’ channel experience, whereby consumers see little difference between audio, visual and textual platforms, as long as they are able to become fully immersed in the story.</p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While there is still a place for ebooks in certain contexts, such as travel or in spontaneous need, it’s hard to foresee digital book sales bouncing back to where they once were.</p> <p>Of course, this does not mean that consumers are forgoing digital text entirely – rather that the onslaught of online news, magazines, social media and messaging is more than enough.</p> <p>When it comes to reading a good book, this spells great news for traditionalists.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68242 2016-08-31T15:02:46+01:00 2016-08-31T15:02:46+01:00 The Samsung vs. Apple mobile battle continues: Stats Luke Richards <h3><strong>Samsung increases unit shipments and market share on 2015</strong></h3> <p>Recent data published by <a title="Strategy Analytics" href="https://www.strategyanalytics.com/strategy-analytics/news/strategy-analytics-press-releases/strategy-analytics-press-release/2016/07/28/strategy-analytics-global-smartphone-shipments-grow-1-percent-in-q2-2016#.V8Q72tQrLGh" target="_blank">Strategy Analytics</a> highlights changes in global smartphone shipment numbers and market share between Q2 2015 and Q2 2016.</p> <p>During Q2 this year Samsung shipped more than 77m units, up from just under 72m a year ago.</p> <p>Apple has not fared so well in the past 12 months, seeing just over 40m sold in Q2 2016 down on its 47.5m during the same period of 2015.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8520/samsung1.png" alt="" width="425" height="414"></p> <p>When it comes to vendor marketshare, Samsung’s land grab doesn’t seem so dramatic – moving from 21.3% in Q2 2015 to 22.8% in Q2 2016.</p> <p>Apple’s share has dropped to 11.9% not only due to Samsung’s continued growth but also thanks to positive sales results from Huawei and OPPO.</p> <h3><strong>The story is more positive for Apple when it comes to consumer interest for future purchases</strong></h3> <p>Research published by <a title="GlobalWebIndex" href="https://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/4-in-10-16-24s-would-buy-an-iphone?utm_campaign=Chart+of+the+Day&amp;utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=32316653&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9-tccWqwxiH_Ckme67d8eli2Fgn0eqqYz_6bNulJK4zFC0y2wTu4w4areXpP7rruSMRFHBIMnYWpJKrkmUo1Ok-gO4nkaDdPQB9CrhWBAF4ssqoY0&amp;_hsmi=32316653" target="_blank">GlobalWebIndex</a> offers an interesting twist on the hard sales data put forth above.</p> <p>According to GWI’s global trends, more consumers are considering the purchase of iPhones than they are Samsung devices.</p> <p>This is especially true for those located in the APAC, Latin America and MENA regions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8521/samsung2.png" alt="" width="540" height="420"></p> <p>IPhones are also seemingly more desirable among younger consumers, with nearly 40% of global 16-24 year olds saying they would consider buying Apple’s flagship smartphone.</p> <p>This compares to just over 20% being tempted by a Samsung mobile.</p> <h3><strong>Tablet shipments also still positive for Apple?</strong></h3> <p>As part of its <a title="Tablet &amp; Touchscreen Strategies" href="https://www.strategyanalytics.com/strategy-analytics/news/strategy-analytics-press-releases/strategy-analytics-press-release/2016/07/29/tablet-market-stabilizing-as-asps-climb-9-in-q2-2016-says-strategy-analytics#.V8RQr9QrLGh" target="_blank"><em>Tablet &amp; Touchscreen Strategies</em></a> report, Strategy Analytics also looked at tablet sales during Q2 2016.</p> <p>Apple and Samsung are still two of the major players in this corner of the market, sitting second and third respectively behind the share accounted for by ‘white box’ tablets.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8522/samsung3.png" alt="" width="518" height="196"></p> <p>That said, Apple has seen a decline in sales there too; shipping 10m during Q2 2016 compared to 10.9m during the same period last year.</p> <p>However, iPads still hold onto a quite considerable share compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs with 21.3% over 13.2%.</p> <h3><strong>Takeaways</strong></h3> <p>There are some big product launches expected from both Apple and Samsung in the latter half of 2016 so it will be interesting to see how the mobile landscape changes over the next 12 months.</p> <p>While the top level smartphone sales data for Samsung continues to look excellent, it will be well aware of emerging smaller brands posing a threat to market share – as is continuing to happen in the tablet market with ‘white box’ devices. </p> <p>Apple will also be pleased with the potential for sales as the desirability of iPhones does still manage to surpass those of Samsung devices. </p> <p>The question is whether that brand desirability can be sustained in a market of increasingly affordable and higher-powered devices from other manufacturers, and whether initial consumer interest in products is enough to transfer into sales over the next year.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68189 2016-08-19T14:50:31+01:00 2016-08-19T14:50:31+01:00 There’s life in the old tablet dog yet: stats Saima Alibhai <blockquote> <p>I can’t see anybody who needs a laptop buying an iPad, and I can’t see people using it as a smartphone either.</p> </blockquote> <p>While the iPad was not the first tablet on the market, it turned out to be a trailblazer for an entire device category, successfully establishing tablets as the perfect mid-way device between a smartphone and a laptop.</p> <p>Our research recently found that 60% of UK adults now own a tablet – that’s as many as 22.8m of us.</p> <p>It’s impressive to think that, in just six years, we have disregarded any reluctance we may have initially had and embraced the tablet into our lives. </p> <p>The iPad is still the fastest selling Apple product of all times with more than 225m sold in the first five years –  that's quite something up against the iPhone and iPod.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8286/ipad_usage.jpg" alt="" width="848" height="565"></p> <p>But a new generation of alternative devices, namely larger smartphones and smartwatches, may herald its end.</p> <p>I have recently seen articles talking about <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/tablet-dead-usage-declines-first-time-teenagers-stick-smartphones-2376684">the death of the tablet</a>.</p> <p>Is the tablet the modern day equivalent of Concorde - an amazing, ubiquitously famous innovation but whose time and place in the world was ultimately limited and pertinent to a particular era? </p> <p>In fact, tablet shipments are expected to <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160602005370/en/Tablets-Set-Return-Growth-2018-Driven-Emergence">decline 9.6% year on year in 2016</a>. But we found that British consumers still use tablets to shop.</p> <p>The UK (60%) not only has a higher level of tablet ownership than Australia (54%) or the US (57%), but also British consumers use the device more frequently when making a purchase (34%), compared with the US (25%) and Australia (19%).</p> <p><a href="http://mkto.bronto.com/BrontoResources_Whitepapers_Guides.html">We also found that in the last 12 months</a>, the time UK consumers spend shopping on their tablets has increased by a healthy proportion (48%), topped only by smartphones (54%).</p> <p>Some sources suggest that younger age groups barely use tablets at all because of the huge appeal of smartphones, but our research shows the age group with the greatest propensity to purchase via tablet is 25-34 (39%).</p> <p>Tablets also prove popular in the Baby Boomer generation which embraces the device category’s unique combination of a mobile operating system on a large screen.</p> <p>Twice as many UK consumers aged over 55 (22%) use tablets for online purchasing than their US (11%) and Australian peers (11%).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8287/ipad.jpg" alt="" width="848" height="565"></p> <p>With a third of UK consumers shopping on tablets, the gadget is still a crucial part of the device puzzle.</p> <p>No matter whether customers are using a smartphone, smartwatch, laptop or indeed a tablet - it’s very important to cater to everyone.</p> <p>The shopping and purchasing experience with your brand needs to span all the devices used by your target audience.</p> <p>So track closely which devices your customers use to visit your website or open your emails. Monitor the differences in device usage over the day.</p> <p>For example, if your ecommerce store shows a peak in smartphone traffic in the morning when people browse on their way to work, target your email sends accordingly.</p> <p>Also analyse when, and on which device, customers make the actual purchase.</p> <p>Many people prefer to buy on a larger device, such as a tablet, laptop or desktop, when they’re at home in the evening. </p> <p>Understanding the specifics of your audience and adjusting strategies accordingly will ensure that the shopping experience, from browse to buy on whatever device, is seamless, tailored to your customers and drives results.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67900 2016-06-01T10:13:38+01:00 2016-06-01T10:13:38+01:00 'White box’ devices continue to dominate tablet market: Stats Luke Richards <h3><strong>More than 28% of global tablets shipped are ‘white box’</strong></h3> <p><a title="Strategy Analytics" href="https://www.strategyanalytics.com/strategy-analytics/news/strategy-analytics-press-releases/strategy-analytics-press-release/2016/04/28/tablets-had-worst-quarter-since-2012-says-strategy-analytics#.V01uMNQrLGh" target="_blank">Research from Strategy Analytics</a> shows that while Apple with its iPad and Samsung with its Galaxy Tabs might be some of the big names in the tablet industry, it is actually the no-name cheaper devices which are dominating the market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/5495/tablets1-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="177"></p> <p>13.3m of these ‘white box’ devices shipped during Q1 2016 in what the research house stated was the “worst quarter since 2012” for the tablet market.</p> <h3><strong>Apple iPad’s decline not new</strong></h3> <p>While Strategy Analytics shows Apple’s shipment market share declining by 19% year-over-year, hunting around for more data on the subject shows that the vendor has seen its share shrink for a few years now.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5496/tablets2.png" alt="" width="656" height="423"></p> <p><a title="StatCounter" href="http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-vendor-ww-yearly-2013-2016" target="_blank">StatCounter</a>, for instance, shows the number of Apple devices currently in circulation around the globe falling by 10% between 2013 and 2016.</p> <h3><strong>Good news for Android?</strong></h3> <p>Many ‘white box’ tablets run Android OS, and while overall devices running the operating system has seen declining shipments also, around 30m Android tablets were sold during Q1 2016 according to Strategy Analytics.</p> <p>This follows on from data released in late 2015 showing 68% of globally shipped tablets running Android and predicting that those running the operating system will still dominate at least up until 2019.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5497/tablets3.png" alt="" width="444" height="209"></strong></p> <h3><strong>Unstable market?</strong></h3> <p>It’s certainly an interesting time for the tablet market. While it has broadly been a bad quarter for global shipments, vendors such as Chinese manufacturer Huawei have seen terrific growth of 66% year-over-year during Q1 2016 – and its operating system of choice? Windows.</p> <p>There are, I think, a few sureties though. ‘White box’ devices will continue to be first choice for many tablet buyers, in particular when we think about the influence Asia and specifically China has on how the global tablet market develops. </p> <p>For ‘white box’ manufacturers in Asia, I expect they will be somewhat enthused that if priced competitively enough such devices can easily compete with the bigger brands.</p> <p>And Huawei will no doubt be feeling it can compete in the market too.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66474 2015-05-21T14:59:01+01:00 2015-05-21T14:59:01+01:00 Six ways mobile can ease traveler stress and increase bookings Carin Van Vuuren <p dir="ltr">In order to reduce travel stress and bolster brand loyalty, brands should:</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Optimize travel trust</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Mobile provides consumers access to the world right at their fingertips.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a few quick taps, globetrotters can scope out destinations and amenities halfway around the world -- yet according to <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">research we recently conducted</a>,<strong> 41% refrain from researching on mobile,</strong> a stark contrast from the whopping 87% that browse by tablet.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the swarms of mobile-centric travelers, many travel sites are not properly optimized for mobile. Photos and videos are difficult to view, navigation is flawed and filtering is insufficient.</p> <p dir="ltr">To optimize travel trust and ensure experiences are seamless and consistent on all channels, brands are advised to carry out an audit of their customer experience and see where consumer pain points lie.</p> <p dir="ltr">By ensuring content is consistent across all touchpoints, brands can minimize the risk of unnecessary misunderstanding and eliminate the frustration associated with planning a trip.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Use visuals to drive excitement</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">To make the mobile experience more conductive for researching trips, <strong>brands should pay special attention to high-quality visual content. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Images and videos are the selling point during the research and booking phases and often greatly impact travelers’ decisions. Yet, visuals are a key aspect travelers feel is missing from their mobile experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">To drive excitement, brands must provide a visual representation of the experience they will be receiving.</p> <p dir="ltr">Engage travelers with rich visual content throughout the experience, leveraging location-specific videos and user-generated reviews.</p> <p dir="ltr">By incorporating best UX practices, which also include eliminating “pinch and zoom” and pixelated  images,  users will feel more confident about making a booking decision on mobile.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Soothe insecurities</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Research shows that insecurity is a prominent emotion during the booking stage of the consumer journey.</p> <p dir="ltr">During this phase, travelers worry whether sensitive information is safe over open and unsecured connections, a factor that can drastically affect one’s willingness to book and pay on mobile.</p> <p dir="ltr">In fact, <strong>51% of travelers are not likely to use mobile payment while 58% of travelers are apprehensive to book by mobile.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">To ease such concerns, travel brands should incorporate feedback and security elements throughout the journey, such as progress bars and visual security cues, and embrace language ensuring users their personal information is safe.</p> <p dir="ltr">By adding UX elements that increase the users’ sense of reassurance, brands can reduce stress and increase traveler confidence.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Fight frustration with feedback</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Nobody likes sparring with tech support. While researching and booking trips, travelers are frustrated by slow load times and fear losing connection in the midst of transactions, anxieties heightened by the crucial role these stages play.</p> <p dir="ltr">To soothe tension, <strong>brands must gauge if their sites are user friendly and aptly designed for performance. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In particular, users crave timely feedback on their actions; the use of a spinner indicates the system is working, addressing dreaded lag times.</p> <p dir="ltr">Including a numbered step indicator throughout the core booking stages also helps users maintain a sense of progress.</p> <p dir="ltr">By paying attention to technical issues that may arise on mobile, and updating the user during their experience, brands can eliminate frustration and decrease the number of drop offs on mobile.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brands should also streamline operations by reducing the number of lengthy pages and streamlining forms to include only those fields vital to checkout.</p> <p dir="ltr">Designing functionalities tied to user activity can diffuse frustration while increasing performance and decreasing the likelihood of technical issues.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Build anticipation through apps</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Once travelers arrive at their destination, they yearn to explore their surroundings, not wait on a lengthy check-in line.</p> <p dir="ltr">More and more, hoteliers are embracing functionalities like mobile check-in and keyless entry, streamlining the admissions process.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mobile is truly a one-stop shop for travelers; devices could be used to order room service, request housekeeping and access other amenities.</p> <p dir="ltr">Opportunities exist to create apps that focus on specific use cases, such as Virtual Concierge, Food &amp; Beverage, Beauty Services, or Banqueting.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, rather than carry guidebooks, <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">61% of travelers value local information</a> on a brand’s mobile site to help plan their stay.</p> <p dir="ltr">A well-trained staff could support and complement new technologies while user testing can find the right balance between human interaction and automation.</p> <p dir="ltr">By providing a personalized experience, users will be more eager to use mobile throughout the journey.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Incentivize sharing, streamline redemption</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">After getaways, travelers return home with stories to tell, yet smartphones seldom do the sharing. </p> <p dir="ltr">Fewer than four out of 10 travelers share mobile photos on a brand’s social media pages and nearly all said they would not be inclined to share their travel experience unless it was beneficial to them.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is a prime opportunity for brands to offer customers incentives to share and book directly through their site. Getting customers to interact directly through your site creates a sense of excitement in travelers and increases the likelihood they’ll return to your site in the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">Loyalty programs are also a massive missed opportunity. Though the majority of travelers collect loyalty points, programs as a whole are underleveraged; <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">less than a third redeem points on mobile</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brands must take measures to incorporate loyalty into mobile and market it as an extension of their brand. Design sites that allow travelers to seamlessly access their points and stress that interactions will be beneficial to them and their wallets.</p> <p dir="ltr">JetBlue, for example, allows loyalty members to pay for flights using acquired points. By clearly depicting this option, travelers see the value of such a program and can seamlessly claim their reward.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3368/jetBlue_Loyalty__1_.PNG" alt="" width="600"></strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While brands are accustomed to understanding a traveler’s practical needs and personal preferences, it is also valuable to respond to the emotional states of their customers.</p> <p dir="ltr">From the earliest rounds of research to boarding the flight home, emotions play a key role in travelers’ mobile experience; how brands cater to these sentiments can make or break relationships.</p> <p dir="ltr">Travel brands should proactively conduct a UX audit to see how see how functionalities perform. To best engage audiences, invite users to browse and book with compelling visual navigation, advanced search options and rich visual content.</p> <p dir="ltr">By <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65347-10-essential-features-for-mobile-travel-sites">improving the user experience of mobile offerings</a>, brands heighten the overall travel experience for guests and inspire repeat business.</p> <p dir="ltr">Implementing simple fixes can help ensure a user’s next vacation won’t be their last vacation with you.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3773 2015-04-29T11:30:00+01:00 2015-04-29T11:30:00+01:00 Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Quest for Mobile Excellence <p><strong>The Quest for Mobile Excellence </strong>briefing, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with <strong><a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/solutions/digital-marketing.html">Adobe</a></strong>, provides data and insights for those wishing to benchmark their own activities around mobile, and to elevate the importance of related business initiatives within their organisations.</p> <p>This research comes 12 months after Econsultancy and Adobe published the <strong><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-finding-the-path-to-mobile-maturity/">Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity report</a></strong>, giving us a great opportunity to assess the progress that companies have made in the intervening period.</p> <p>This year’s research is based on a global survey of nearly 3,000 marketers and digital professionals, providing another robust data set with which to compare last year’s findings.</p> <p>The following sections are featured in the report:</p> <ul> <li>Companies rise to the mobile challenge</li> <li>The desktop bias</li> <li>Investment and experimentation</li> <li>The need for mobile measurement</li> <li>The rise and rise of mobile apps</li> <li>Measuring, testing and optimising apps</li> <li>Ownership of mobile in a multichannel world</li> </ul> <h3> <strong>Findings</strong> include:</h3> <ul> <li>Almost two-thirds of companies (62%) are planning to <strong>increase their mobile investments in 2015</strong> compared to only 3% who are decreasing budgets. </li> <li>Around a fifth (19%) of companies now <strong>regard themselves as ‘mobile-first’</strong> compared to 13% last year.</li> <li>A third of companies (34%) said they had <strong>‘a defined mobile strategy that goes out at least 12 months’</strong>, down from 36% who agreed with this statement last year.</li> <li>The vast majority of respondents (71%) say that <strong>the desktop website is their top priority</strong> when it comes to providing a consistent customer experience, ahead of mobile site (16%), smartphone applications (10%) and tablet apps (3%). </li> <li>Only 11% strongly agree that they understand <strong>how mobile fits into the customer journey</strong> across devices and channels.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> <p>A <strong>free sample</strong> is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.</p> <h4> <strong>Econsultancy's Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings, sponsored by <a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/uk/marketing">Adobe</a>, look at some of the most important trends affecting the marketing landscape. </strong><strong>You can access the other reports in this series <a title="Econsultancy / Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefings">here</a>.</strong> </h4> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3739 2015-02-18T10:00:00+00:00 2015-02-18T10:00:00+00:00 Digital Experience: Are Brands Meeting Consumer Expectations? <p>The <strong>Digital Experience</strong> report, published in association with <strong>Sitecore</strong>, explores the extent to which brands are delivering what consumers want in the context of the digital experience, and whether marketers are prioritising the areas which matter. The aim of the research is to <strong>understand what makes an excellent experience</strong>, outlining the 'must have' factors that enable a good digital experience, but also what 'going the extra mile' means.</p> <p>Based on a survey of nearly <strong>1,500 marketers and consumers across nine verticals</strong>, the report also looks at the key differences between sectors, and how well sectors are performing in the areas that are perceived to be important by consumers.</p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>We asked marketers to weigh the importance of <strong>17 attributes describing different elements of digital experiences</strong>. We also asked the same of consumers, and compared the two groups in order to see how aligned marketers were to their audience.</p> <p>We used a statistical technique called <strong>maximum difference scaling</strong> (max diff) to understand the level of priority respondents place on each of the attributes tested in the survey. This technique for determining ‘importance’ yields much better results than conventional market research approaches based on simply asking respondents to rate importance on a scale.</p> <p>This enabled us to understand which attributes are necessary for a 'good' digital experience i.e. what marketers need to prioritise to avoid delivering a 'poor' experience. We also evaluated factors that move the needle, transforming a digital experience from 'good' to 'excellent'.</p> <h2>What you'll learn from this research</h2> <ul> <li>What are the most important attributes of the digital experience from the perspective of both brands and consumers?</li> <li>Are marketers aligned with consumers with respect to what is important?</li> <li>How well are brands performing across key areas?</li> <li>What are the 'must have' factors, and what constitutes 'going the extra mile'?</li> <li>Where should brands be focusing their customer experience efforts to get the biggest bang for their buck?</li> <li>How well do marketers perform across different industry sectors?</li> </ul> <h2>Who should read this report?</h2> <p>Anyone who is interested in improving the digital expericence their company or client provides will find this report useful. It will also be of interest to those who are looking to benchmark their digital experience against that of other brands, or any marketer with an interest in customer experience optimisation.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65914 2014-12-18T10:22:54+00:00 2014-12-18T10:22:54+00:00 The best mobile campaigns from 2014: the expert view David Moth <p>Now, on with the expert opinions...</p> <h3>Which company do you think has done great things in mobile this year? </h3> <p><strong>Sarah Watson, group mobile manager at The Net-A-Porter Group</strong></p> <p>It’s incredibly hard not to pick Uber. The UX is exceptional and it works simply and efficiently in almost every country I visit.</p> <p>The in-app marketing campaigns, incentive scheme and use of brand ambassadors are very compelling and will get anyone hooked.</p> <p>However, Apple still leads the pack when it comes to mobile. The continuity features, like Handoff, in iOS 8 mean I can write an email on my iPhone on my way to work, finish it on my Mac and send it from my iPad. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7648/sarah_watson-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>The lines between devices are blurring across the board but the transition within the Apple ecosystem has been notably easy and seamless, and soon my watch will be joining the club too. </p> <p>It also brings many new innovations to streamline the user experience and create new opportunities for brands, in particular with “extensions”.  </p> <p>We’re already seeing great extensions like View Source, which allows developers to pull up the source code for any website they’re viewing or LastPass, which enables one-click password input on websites. </p> <p>It’s just a matter of time before retailers begin experimenting with extensions and I’m really excited to see what they come up with.</p> <p><strong>Carl Uminski, COO and co-founder at Somo</strong></p> <p>Facebook. It's continued to transform the mobile media landscape, shifting from a publisher to a true ad tech company with the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65514-facebook-atlas-what-you-need-to-know/">Atlas cross-device launch</a> and has helped the ecosystem with its mobile development tools. </p> <p>Not to mention the Oculus and WhatsApp acquisitions and Instagram overtaking Twitter in audience size.</p> <p><strong>Matt Hobbs, mobile product lead at Just Eat</strong></p> <p>Uber, just by being focused on creating a transformative mobile product/service that - for the most part - just works. </p> <p>I'm still trying to work out if Foursquare deserves a booby prize for splitting its app into two parts for discovery &amp; checking in - Foursquare &amp; Swarm. </p> <p>It's a bold move and I'd love to see some real stats, but everyone I know who was used to the old, bundled Foursquare hates the split.</p> <p><strong>Theo Theodorou, General Manager EMEA at xAd</strong></p> <p>This is so broad – but I love companies that can disrupt and if you look to China there is amazing example of a company less than three years old called Xiaomi, which has reinvented the smartphone market in the largest smartphone market in the world.</p> <p>In 2013 it sold over 18m devices and its revenue was $5.2bn. Today, it’s the third largest smartphone maker in the world. </p> <p>It’s achieved this by not only having incredibly clever marketing, but by building few products, all of exceptional quality and at low price points. </p> <p>The company has made a conscious decision to focus on future revenue through software and services.</p> <h3>Which campaign that you’ve been involved in were you most proud of this year?</h3> <p><strong>Sarah Watson, The Net-A-Porter Group</strong></p> <p>It has to be the launch of our first global print publication, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64295-net-a-porter-s-new-shoppable-magazine-is-it-any-good/">Porter</a>.</p> <p>This really was a magazine launch like no other. In February our first issue hit stands around the world and simultaneously became available on iPad. </p> <p>However, unlike other fashion magazines, it was unique in its conception as a physical/digital offering from the start.</p> <p>Every printed page, whether editorial or advertorial, can be scanned with a mobile device via the Net-A-Porter app and shopped from, even if we don’t stock the products. </p> <p>And unlike other magazines, our iPad edition wasn’t just a print copy turned digital. We re-thought the digital magazine and made it intuitive, creating new formats that ensured ease of use and shopping.</p> <p><strong>Carl Uminski, Somo</strong></p> <p>The connected world experience we created for Audi at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. </p> <p>Using the latest tech including Oculus Rift and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63292-what-we-learned-from-trying-google-glass/">Google Glass</a>, we delivered a truly interactive, immersive experience for thousands of car lovers at the annual event.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ZZXKVRYa3E?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Matt Hobbs, Just Eat</strong></p> <p>We’ve been making numerous iterative improvements all year so our apps have been evolving solidly. </p> <p>Adding an in-menu food search was one of my favourite new features, with the added bonus of emoji search.</p> <p><strong>Theo Theodorou, xAd</strong></p> <p>We actually ran some trials in Q3 to measure store visitations as a result of a consumer seeing an advert on their mobile and to answer the question, ‘can mobile advertising really drive action into a store?’ </p> <p>Mobile has been held back as a marketing channel as previously trying to measure these types of actions has been very difficult. </p> <p>We were proud to work with ASDA and Starbucks with some really encouraging results. </p> <p>ASDA for example was able to show a 67% incremental lift of foot traffic into store after consumer exposure to one of its mobile ad campaigns for ‘Home’ or ‘Back to School’.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65754 2014-11-18T13:24:14+00:00 2014-11-18T13:24:14+00:00 Global stats: Why youngsters are more likely to be disconnected from the web Luke Richards <h3><strong>Young people in the UK have better access to the internet than they ever have</strong></h3> <p>It was little surprise to see that Ofcom’s latest data shows digital technologies becoming an increasing part of young people’s lives in the UK.</p> <p>Although the extent to which users as young as five are going online and the means by which they are accessing internet services is very interesting.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/6112/Demo_3.1.5._Ofcom_October_2014.png" alt="" width="606" height="492"></p> <p>In 2014, 87% of UK 5-15 year olds are going online at home – this is up from 84% in 2011. This is of course being driven by mobile devices; 36% of 5-15 year olds are going online at home via mobile phones (up from 14% in 2011) and 42% are doing the same via tablets (up from just 2% in 2011).</p> <h3><strong>But around the globe, young people are the most likely to be disconnected</strong></h3> <p>With such positive data from Ofcom concerning access to the internet for young people, it’s quite easy to become swept up in UK-centric trends (as well as our over-familiarity with neologisms such as ‘digital natives’) and to think the same applies in other markets.</p> <p>McKinsey’s data about the makeup of the world’s internet non-users is perhaps even more surprising.</p> <p>This data brings together research from 20 global markets and groups them by the amount of different barriers each respective population has to getting online – be they infrastructural or finance-related etc.</p> <p>The report doesn’t include the UK, but judging by what we know, our market is likely a 'Group 5' low-barrier country alongside Germany, the US, Japan and others.</p> <p>Looking at the globally unconnected by age, young people (aged 24 and under) account for 42% of those who are yet to go online. This compares to 40% who are middle aged and 18% who are senior.</p> <h3><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/6111/demo_2.1.1._mckinsey_september_2014_5-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="714"></strong></h3> <h3><strong>So why is this the case?</strong></h3> <p>There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the data varies from market to market in terms of how young the youngest people surveyed were – meaning that people up to a certain age across respective countries would automatically be considered a non-internet user.</p> <p>Additionally, populations in developing markets sometimes have far younger populations. The following graph shows just how much the young proportion of non-internet users can vary from country to country.</p> <p>It is worth taking into consideration the correlation between McKinsey's digitally developing countries with the most barriers to adoption – for example Ethiopia, Tanzania and Bangladesh – and that they have at least 52% of their young people not going online.</p> <h3><strong>Takeaways</strong></h3> <p>Being able to see these reports side by side, we can get a great overview of the ease of access available to those in digitally developed markets such as the UK, as well as the quite large divide between those markets McKinsey would deem ‘Group 5’ and others with significant barriers across infrastructure, incentive, education and affordability.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/6059/Demo_2.1.1._McKinsey_September_2014_3.png" alt="" width="604" height="466"></p> <p>While it is important to acknowledge that the majority of global internet non-users are young people, it is also worth bearing in mind that 47% of those who do go online are also under 25.</p> <p>This also bodes well for the markets whose unconnected are mostly younger, because these users are quick to adopt new technologies as and when they become accessible.</p> <p>Referring back to Ofcom’s data which shows the speed at which the UK’s young people are coming online via mobile phones and tablets, the growth we can expect in high-barrier markets such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh is likely to be rapid and big as soon as those barriers start to come down.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65268 2014-08-05T11:00:00+01:00 2014-08-05T11:00:00+01:00 Ecommerce main category page layout: Where to place key elements and why Greg Randall <p>Before delving into the detail of the main category page it’s important to review the key influencers forming the basis for all decision making around the layout of this key page. </p> <h2>Influencer one: Tablet first, PC/laptop second</h2> <p>When reviewing the wireframe created for this article (see below), it brings to light an important question: What screen size to initially design for, PC or tablet? </p> <p><strong>Answer... Tablet.</strong></p> <p>Ecommerce trends indicate the performance of tablets will continue to grow at pace along with the consumer’s use of tablets as the device of choice to purchase.     </p> <blockquote> <p>Tablets will become the default Internet enabled device of choice, surpassing PCs by 2016.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.globaldots.com/e-commerce-trend-2014-invest-tablet/" target="_blank">Globaldots Ecommerce Trends 2014</a></p> <p>One way for retailers to stimulate a surge in tablet ecommerce performance is to develop a 'tablet-first' design philosophy.</p> <p>Though <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64072-responsive-design-25-of-the-best-sites-from-2013">responsive design</a> remains popular, the default is always for desktop. By flipping this approach to tablet-first, the integrity of the experience for both the tablet and the PC is sustained.   </p> <p>Enhancing the tablet experience requires contextual relevance for a large touchscreen:</p> <blockquote> <p>Users swipe, prod, rotate and hold their tablets like a book while lounging, walking, chatting and watching TV. These actions don’t automatically translate from a desktop environment!</p> </blockquote> <p>Episerver published a report (Episerver Mobile Commerce 2014) finding “speed and convenience” was the top driver for mobile purchasing, not price. The ability for retailers to effectively display content on tablets, when the buying intent is high, will convert more mobile sales.  </p> <p>The same report also found 80% of tablet browsing takes place at home, giving a whole new meaning to mobile commerce. Mobile essentially means away from the PC/Laptop.  </p> <p>Taking this philosophy one step further is understanding which tablet view consumers prefer more: portrait or landscape.</p> <p><strong>Answer... Landscape.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/06/25/ipad-users-prefer-landscape-mode-late-night-browsing">AppleInsider conducted a usage report</a> revealing among the users it tracks:</p> <blockquote> <p>59.8% prefer landscape mode, while the remaining 41.2% choose portrait. The data comes from 127m users served over the last two years. </p> </blockquote> <p>According to AppleInsider the iPad remains the dominant platform among tablet users, accounting for 94.1% of traffic. </p> <h2>Influencer two: The context and purpose of the main category page</h2> <p>It's also important to understand the purpose of the main category page and the context of consumers when they view main category pages.  </p> <p><strong>Context of the main category page:</strong></p> <p>When consumers land on the main category page they will have come from many directions and sources.  The main three are:</p> <ol> <li>From the homepage.</li> <li>From other pages internally (within the site), e.g. subcategory pages, other main category pages.</li> <li>From external sources, e.g. search engines.</li> </ol> <p>Understanding the context assists in developing a clearer view of the purpose of the main category page.</p> <p><strong>Purpose of the main category page is:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Validation for those who come from search engines, they have been taken to the right site and landed in the right section of the site.    </li> <li>Introduce the entire range of subcategories.</li> <li>Move consumers to a subcategory.</li> <li>Introduce customer service messages.  </li> <li>Maintain buying momentum by making the next step of a consumer’s journey seamless and easy.</li> <li>Enhance user experience elements via strong use of imagery.</li> <li>Introduce feature brands (optional).</li> <li>Introduce feature products (optional).</li> </ol> <h2>Influencer three: Usability best practice principles</h2> <p>Many retailers have either forgotten or actively ignore usability principles. According to Usability.gov (an official US Government website managed by the Department of Health &amp; Human Services): </p> <ul> <li>Research by User Interface Engineering Inc. shows people cannot find the information they seek on a website about 60% of the time.</li> <li>Studies by Forrester Research estimate approximately 50% of potential sales are lost because users can't find information/products and 40% of users do not return to a site when their first visit is a negative experience. </li> </ul> <p>Main category pages are '<strong>journey'</strong> pages, and must contain best practice usability principles to keep consumers moving and in doing so build his/her buying momentum or '<a href="http://www.webusability.co.uk/blog/usability-testing/joining-the-dots-seo-analytics-and-usability/" target="_blank">scent trail</a>'. In contrast, product detail pages are '<strong>destination'</strong> pages.</p> <p><strong>Usability principle one.</strong> Consumer journeys consist of micro actions leading to a macro action (i.e. purchase). </p> <p>When a consumer has buying intent they undertake a journey comprising many steps. A step (or micro action) is moving from one website page to another.  </p> <p>If a step is relevant, easy to find, easy to take, and sets expectation for the next step, you are fundamentally building a consumer's buying momentum or keeping them on their scent trail. All the while the consumer is moving one step closer to fulfilling his/her need/goal. </p> <p><strong>Usability principle two.</strong>  Every main category page must have clear calls-to-action.</p> <p>This is an extension to the previous point. In order for clear steps to be taken in the journey, actions on pages must be clear and obvious. This can be in the form of buttons and/or hyperlinks.   </p> <p>If web pages are rooms consider buttons and hyperlinks to be clearly labeled doors.</p> <p><strong>Usability principle three.</strong>  Eye tracking studies for content positioning. </p> <p>Eye tracking studies by both Google and Jakob Nielsen recognise and respect the trending of <a href="http://www.nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/" target="_blank">F-shaped patterns for reading/scanning web content</a>.  </p> <p>This serves as a guide to content placement, maximising prime page real-estate. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1087/f_patterns-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="285"></p> <p><a href="http://www.webusability.co.uk/blog/usability-testing/joining-the-dots-seo-analytics-and-usability/" target="_blank">Nielsen took this one step further</a> by providing quantitative data around the level of focus on different areas of the page. You only have a few seconds to deliver relevant content, and in that time consumers:</p> <ul> <li>Spend 80% of their time looking at content above the fold. </li> <li>Spend 69% of their time viewing the left-hand side of a page. </li> <li>Read at most 28% of the words during an average visit.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Usability principle four.</strong>  The main navigation is plan B when it comes to consumers moving deeper into the site.</p> <p>Consumers seek navigation options in the body of the page. Put simply, <a href="http://blog.crazyegg.com/2012/11/08/lessons-eye-tracking-studies/" target="_blank">visuals have a greater impact than text</a>. Having a visual representation of the next layer of navigation is more effective at drawing the consumer’s eye and can easily facilitate an action.  </p> <p>This usability principle becomes extremely relevant when considering tablets. It’s easier and more compelling to select a tile over text.</p> <p>Now that the key influencers are clarified and understood, it's time to focus on the detail behind all the elements of the main category page layout.  </p> <h2>Main category page wireframe</h2> <p>To simplify discussions around the main category page layout, the wireframe (below) identifies five sections: </p> <ul> <li>Section one: Customer service bar (below the main navigation).</li> <li>Section two: Feature banner (below the customer service bar).</li> <li>Section three: Left-hand column.</li> <li>Section four: Subcategory zone (below the feature banner).</li> <li>Section five: Introduction of products (below the subcategory zone).</li> </ul> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/1086/Main_Category_page_best_practice_light.jpg" alt="" width="584" height="1024"> </p> <h2>Section One: Customer service bar</h2> <p>The customer service bar is anchored below the main navigation and its purpose is to introduce key customer service messages within the active window.</p> <p>In today's 'age of the customer', customer service is a key determiner on whether a consumer will engage and purchase from you. </p> <ul> <li>45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly. (Forrester)</li> <li>83% of consumers require some degree of customer support while making an online purchase. (Econsultancy)</li> </ul> <p>Without this bar where would these messages be featured? The footer? Some would argue this content is found on product detail pages, but for many consumers it’s too late.  </p> <p>The main category page is often the first page a consumer will land on when coming from external sources, these messages assist in building immediate credibility. </p> <p><strong>Tip one.</strong> Key messages to convey will vary by retailer but the most common are:</p> <ul> <li>A delivery message, e.g. free freight nationwide.</li> <li>Returns message, e.g. no fuss returns.</li> <li>A phone number, e.g. Call us 0800 123 346</li> </ul> <p><strong>Tip two</strong>.  Rules for the customer service bar:</p> <ul> <li>No more than three messages within the bar equally spaced apart. This allows the consumer’s eye to absorb the three messages.</li> <li>Always link off to content pages and provide more detail for those who want to learn more.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Examples of the customer service bars in use:</strong></p> <p>John Lewis has two customer service bars, located above and below the feature banner. Both can be seen within the active window of the tablet (landscape view).</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1093/john_lewis_left_hand_nav-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="545"></p> <p>Kmart.com has a scrolling customer service bar  While this runs the risk of drawing too much attention, it definitely catches the eye and clearly communicates core service messages.</p> <p>Kmart's "Free Returns when you bring it to your local Kmart" communicates an omnichannel offering, a very strong message.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1089/kmart_customer_service-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="275"></p> <p>Apple has a customer service bar below the feature banner, like John Lewis, it can just be seen in the tablet active window (landscape view). </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1090/apple_customer_service-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="451"></p> <h2>Section two: Feature banner</h2> <p>The purpose of the feature banner is:</p> <ul> <li>To highlight subcategories, products, and/or promotions.</li> <li>To assist in moving consumers to the next step.</li> <li>To deliver validation to consumers that they have landed on the right page of the site.</li> <li>To improve the user experience.</li> </ul> <h3><strong>Key elements to the feature banner section</strong></h3> <p><strong>Strong visible title (naming the main category).</strong> The title provides the validation to consumers that they are in the right place and its presence is also an SEO fundamental.  </p> <p>Its positioning must be in the top left-hand corner of this section (F pattern).  </p> <p><strong>Image representing the category.</strong>  This is where a high standard of photography is required and, if done right, can assist to build an emotional attachment with consumers. This is part of a user experience plan.  </p> <p>(Learn more about <a href="http://www.commaconsulting.co.nz/#!Succeeding-in-the-Digital-Age---Part-2/cwcf/A121D2FB-B335-461C-A2FA-20A69A5B56B7" target="_blank">user experience and how it’s different from usability in today’s digital age</a>.)</p> <p><strong>Rotating images (optional)</strong>. There is no right or wrong answer on the use of rotating images at the main category page level.</p> <p>For many retailers who have a large product range within a main category it makes sense to use a rolling banner option to communicate multiple features in one space, however be aware of the downsides to its use:</p> <ul> <li>Download speed of this page. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61995-carousels-on-ecommerce-sites-are-they-worth-bothering-with">Carousels</a> and the multiple banners are typically heavy and slow down page load times. (Learn more about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63176-slow-page-speed-what-to-measure-how-to-measure-and-how-it-s-affecting-your-ecommerce-channel" target="_blank">the dangers around slow page load speeds.</a>)</li> <li>If the banners scroll too quickly the consumer ignores all banners and their messages.</li> <li>Rotating images can draw attention away from the subcategories.</li> </ul> <p>And here are a couple of tips for carousel design:</p> <ol> <li>When using a carousel in the feature banner section, make sure each banner has a clear call-to-action (CTA) and each CTA is placed in the same position for each banner. It can become a frustrating game to find the bouncing CTA if placed in a different position for each banner.</li> <li>Keep copy to a minimum.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Copy (optional). </strong>Copy within the feature banner can be an effective tactic to introduce the range.  </p> <p>The copy needs to be concise, the font size needs to be large (16 to 18 pixels), and the use of <a href="http://blog.crazyegg.com/2013/08/27/website-navigation/" target="_blank">hyperlinks all work together</a> to add value to the experience. There are also strong SEO benefits.  </p> <p><strong>Size of the feature banner section. </strong>Many retailers build the feature banner section to monopolise the majority of the active window (the area of the page consumers can see without scrolling). </p> <h3>Other considerations - the 'false bottom'</h3> <p>Retailers need to be aware of downsides to this approach. Other than the obvious issue of pushing important content down the page, large deep banners create a 'false bottom', delivering an appearance to consumers that there is no more content below the banner.  </p> <p>Consumers are given no visual cues to suggest there is content below the banner. Retailers are reliant on consumers scrolling down, and if they don't, consumers make their decision of 'where to from here' based on incomplete content. </p> <p><a href="https://goodui.org/" target="_blank">GoodUI.org</a> says false bottoms are both a “conversion and continuity killer.” When considering the tablet-first philosophy, the false bottom issue takes on a whole new meaning. </p> <p>Two very good examples of this are Disneystore.com and Zappos.  </p> <p>Disneystore.com has wasted space below the main navigation pushing the feature banner down. On a tablet (landscape view) you can see all of the feature banner but nothing else.  </p> <p>Since there is no left-hand column displaying navigation content, Disney is relying on consumers to scroll to see more. By looking at this view you would never know there was six subcategories under the 'Boys' main category.</p> <p><em><strong>Disneystore.com tablet (landscape) view: </strong></em></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1120/disney_false_bottom-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="371"> </p> <p>In the 'Shoes' main category page of Zappos none of the subcategory tiles can be seen in the tablet active window (landscape view). </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1100/zappos_false_bottom-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="357"></p> <h2>Section three: Left-hand navigation</h2> <p>This section assists usability by helping consumers to understand where they are in the navigation tree and what subcategory options they have to select from.  </p> <p>While this section is not visually strong, it sits within the F pattern making it the prime placement for this content. </p> <p>The only navigation elements to be displayed is the main category and its subcategories. For many retailers who carry recognisable brands, this is optional but can be advantageous to introduce at this stage.  </p> <p>Both Zappos' and John Lewis' main category left-hand navigation columns follow this approach. Zappos incorporates the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle">Pareto Principle</a> (80/20 rule) by displaying the most popular subcategories then offers a “view all” option.</p> <p>This simplifies display of the left-hand column making it easier on the eye.   </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1095/zappos_left_hand_navigation-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="494"></p> <p>John Lewis has a very long list of subcategories but applies headings to assist in breaking up the content, again making it easier on the eye.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1093/john_lewis_left_hand_nav-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="545"> </p> <p><strong>Tip.</strong> Stay away from introducing feature filtering at the main category level. This single tip is a huge topic and an article on its own and deserves time and effort to effectively communicate.  </p> <p>For those of you that initially disagree with this tip, for now let's agree to disagree and wait for the next article tackling the subject of subcategory page layouts and page elements.  </p> <p>From the perspective of delivering a more relevant buying experience to consumers, there are more benefits to introducing feature filters at subcategory level then at the main category level.</p> <h2>Section four: Subcategory zone</h2> <p>When consumers land on the main category page, their eye will gravitate to the feature banner. If the banner is not relevant to the consumer, F patterns suggest a consumer's eye will move down the left-hand side of the page and shift back into the middle (below the feature banner).  </p> <p>If no false bottom exists the consumer’s eye will sit below the banner looking for direction and the answer to the question “where to from here?”  The subcategory zone is content full of visual tiles with the purpose of prompting the next micro step.  </p> <p>The tiles also serve as nice big targets for fingers ('Tablet first'). Episerver's Mobile Commerce 2014 Report showed one of the top frustrations found by consumers using tablets was:</p> <blockquote> <p>I can’t hit the right links because they are too small.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Tip one</strong>. The size of the tiles and the space required for this section depends on three things:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>The number of subcategories.</strong> If you have 15 subcategories you will be more inclined to align tiles three across on the page in order to display more subcategories and reduce the need for scrolling.</li> <li> <strong>How much of a user experience does the retailer want to deliver at this stage of the journey?</strong> Subcategory tiles can be pictorially represented combining both usability and user experience disciplines. In the wireframe the tiles show two per row. This allows for nice big subcategory titles (usability) and big images (user experience).</li> <li> <strong>Layout of these tiles.</strong> Some retailers choose to avoid the standard grid pattern of these tiles and opt for unique layouts (almost 'Pinterest-esque'). This is fine as long as all tiles have clear titles and design elements to ensure consumers know they are clickable (i.e. title is underlined as a minimum). A 'View Range' CTA is ideal. </li> </ol> <p><strong>Tip two.</strong> You don't need to display all subcategories in this section. By again following the Pareto Principle, feature those subcategories comprising the majority of sales and traffic.  </p> <p>As long as all the subcategories are displayed in the left-hand column, the pressure is off to display them in this area of the page.   </p> <p>In this example, Amazon features 10 subcategories but the left-hand column shows 20: </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1137/amazone_featured_sub_categories-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="580"> </p> <p><strong>Tip three.</strong> Order the placement of subcategories with the most popular at the top of the section.   </p> <p><strong>Tip four.</strong> Brands can also be featured in this area of the page instead of the left-hand column. This depends on the number of brands to be featured and the popularity of the brands.  </p> <p>If the brands add value to the consumer buying process, then it pays to feature them in this area of the page.</p> <p><strong>Tip five.</strong> Though you don't see it very often, it's recommended to insert a title above the tiles explaining what this content represents, e.g. “Men’s Shoe Range”. This aids with SEO and makes this content obvious.</p> <p><strong>Tip six.</strong> Align the subcategory tiles in the same order as they appear in the left-hand navigation. This is both a good usability and delivers continuity.</p> <p>In the example below, Argos lists all the subcategories in tiles below the feature banner, however, the ordering of the tiles is not consistent with the left-hand navigation potentially causes confusion.  </p> <p>Consumers may think there are two unique sets of subcategory options.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1122/argos_full_category_page-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="756"></p> <p>ASOS has a very 'shallow' feature banner pulling up all the subcategory content allowing it to monopolise the active window. </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1119/asos_main_category_page-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="593"></p> <h2>Section five: Product introduction</h2> <p>The issue for this section of the main category page is how can you deliver relevant product selections and what tactics can you employ at this early stage of the consumer journey.  </p> <p>In many respects it's too early. You (the retailer) still don't know what the consumer's true buying intent is.   </p> <p>If you feel strongly about presenting products on the main category page you have two options:</p> <ol> <li>Implement <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-realities-of-online-personalisation-report">a personalisation strategy</a> supported by software (very few retailers have the capability).</li> <li>Display products manually but be strategic in your selection.</li> </ol> <p>For those who apply <strong>a manual approach</strong> (manual = not having software driving the decision making), here are some tips on product selections proven to be effective:</p> <p><strong>Tip one: '</strong>New arrivals'. This is always a favourite, and is effective for brand advocates who keep coming back.</p> <p><strong>Tip two: </strong>'Best sellers'. Many consumers are interested in products commonly purchased by others. Even though Amazon.com is known for its ability to deliver personalised content, it still features best sellers in the main category pages.</p> <p>Amazon's display of best sellers in its 'Beauty' main category is situated directly below the subcategories (identical to the wireframe layout above): </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1124/amazon_best_sellers-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="350">  </p> <p><strong>Tip three: </strong>'Best Rated Products'. If you have a manual or automated process of driving consumer generated reviews, display the products with the best overall ratings.  </p> <p>This capitalises on social proof, a proven psychological influencer of purchase decision making. TripAdvisor does a great job of displaying accommodation reviews throughout the hotel content.</p> <p><strong>Tip four: </strong>'Most recently reviewed'. This is a combination of social proof and recency. Recency builds credibility via the notion of current consumer interest in a product.  </p> <p>Expedia does something similar by displaying the number of recent bookings of the hotel you are viewing, e.g. “36 people booked this hotel in the last 48 hours.”    </p> <p><strong>Tip five: </strong>'Feature Sale items'.  Depending on your business model, some retailers feature sale items in the hopes to acquire new customers.  </p> <p>New visitors can de risk a first purchase with something less expensive in order to test the retailer. Analyse your AOV (average order value) between sales from new vs. returning customers and see if this is the case for your business.  </p> <p>This is not ideal for obvious reasons (margin degradation) but can be a short term tactic.</p> <h3><strong>Using personalisation to display relevant products</strong></h3> <p>Personalisation strategies are now trying to become more dynamic in their attempts at delivering relevant content. This is achieved by changing the criteria used to decide what product content is to be presented to consumers.  </p> <p>'<a href="http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2334157/How-Personalizing-Websites-With-Dynamic-Content-Increases-Engagement" target="_blank">Common current' methods</a> are based on “purchase history, ratings, and viewing history”. Delivering content based on history has its downsides.</p> <p>The flaw in this approach is around the assumption that consumer buying intent is the same today as it was in the past.   </p> <p><a href="http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2334157/How-Personalizing-Websites-With-Dynamic-Content-Increases-Engagement" target="_blank">Dynamic personalisation</a> delivers a new standard of relevancy and recency and is driven several factors:</p> <ul> <li>What the consumer has purchaed in the past is still a consideration but it's not as influential as the other critieria.</li> <li>What products they have browsed during their current visit.</li> <li>The products currently in their shopping cart.</li> <li>Abandoned products.</li> </ul> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>Successful online retailers have main category page layouts that have organically evolved through years of measuring, testing and trial and error. Through the experiences and successes of these retailers, the main category page wireframe layout (above) remains highly effective across all retail. </p> <p>Retailers will have subtle variations of the main category page based on what works for their business model and their varying categories, but the fundamentals and core elements are consistent.  </p> <p>Main category page layouts are not influenced by product type or product volume. It does not matter if you have 50 products or 500,000, this layout applies to all online business applications and is another reason why larger retailers have been used as examples. </p> <p>The key takeaway is that if you want to make a change to your main category page, start here as the foundation and evolve.  </p> <p>And to finish, here are a few more examples of the main category page layout in use:</p> <p><strong>Amazon:</strong> </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1116/amazon_main_category_page-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="665"></p> <p><strong>Williams &amp; Sonoma:</strong></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1117/williams_main_category_page-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="761"></p> <p><strong>Macy's:</strong></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/1138/macy_main_category_page-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="1093"></p> <p>My next article will tackle the subcategory page layout.  </p>