tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2017-11-14T10:34:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69552 2017-11-14T10:34:00+00:00 2017-11-14T10:34:00+00:00 93 ecommerce UX features that create user flow Ben Davis <p>Most of the features help to usher the user along towards finding the right product and then purchasing it.</p> <p>The examples come from some of my favourite ecommerce sites: Airbnb, AO.com, Argos, ASOS, Barnes &amp; Noble, Best Buy, Booking.com, Debenhams, Everlane, Lush, Nike, Rentalcars, RS Components, Schuh, Size, Tesco, The Trainline and Toys R Us.</p> <p>You can use the links below to jump between sections:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="#Homepage">Homepage</a> </li> <li> <a href="#Product%20listings%20page">Product listings page</a> </li> <li> <a href="#Product%20details%20page">Product details page</a> </li> <li> <a href="#Bag%20/%20basket%20/%20cart">Bag / basket / cart</a> </li> <li> <a href="#Checkout">Checkout</a> </li> </ul> <h2> <a name="Homepage"></a>Homepage</h2> <h3>1. Best Buy – local store hours in header</h3> <p>Best Buy uses a store icon in its header and tells me where my closest shop is located, as well as its opening hours for the day. This is a great idea for a store that sells considered purchase electronics and white goods, where the customer may want to see the item on display before they make a purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0264/store_header_best_buy.png" alt="best buy header" width="615" height="223"></p> <h3>2. AO.com – category slider</h3> <p>This may well be my favourite bit of UX on any website anywhere. On AO.com's homepage I don't have to scroll down to find a content block which corresponds to televisions, nor do I need to open the hamburger menu and look around, I can simply use the gorgeously chunky category slider smack bang in the middle of the page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0302/mobile_home_ao.com_categories.jpg" alt="ao.com mobile categories on home page" width="300"></p> <h3>3. Booking.com – sticky search widget</h3> <p>For an online travel agent, by far and away the most important part of the homepage is the search widget which users will use to define their vacation and find aggregated results. This search box needs to be visible at all times.</p> <p>Booking.com uses a sticky search widget, which stays pinned to the top of the homepage as you scroll, meaning users can have a look at content below the fold without forgetting the point of the exercise.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0473/booking_homepage_search.gif" alt="booking.com sticky search widget" width="498" height="274"></p> <h3>4. AO.com – track order button in header</h3> <p>A great customer experience is what makes AO.com stand out, and that extends far beyond the sale to a great delivery service, product warranties and the like.</p> <p>This much should be obvious by the AO.com header on both mobile and desktop, with a track order button being given as much prominence as the basket and the menu. The visibility of this button will reduce call volumes and keep customer's satisfied.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0304/track_order_ao.com.jpg" alt="ao.com track order" width="300"></p> <h3>5. Rentalcars – sign-in prompt</h3> <p>Rentalcars is in the same group as Booking.com, so you won't be surprised to learn it's a master in the art of persuasion on an ecommerce page.</p> <p>Sign-in is all important to ensure Rentalcars knows customer email addresses and can add them to the sausage factory of marketing automation / personalisation. Accordingly, I get a 'Great to see you!' message flash up with call to action to sign in. The promise of 'exclusive deals &amp; offers' ought to gently push me along, too.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0364/rentalcars_login.jpg" alt="rentalcars login incentive" width="615" height="359"></p> <h3>6. Rentalcars – booking incentive at sign-in</h3> <p>And to doubly make sure my momentum is carried through, once I click on Rentalcars's sign-in button, I'm given another incentive above the email and password form fields: "This November, 5 lucky holders will win a free car rental."</p> <p>All I have to do for a chance to win is sign in and book.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0365/rentalcars_signin2.jpg" alt="rentalcars login incentive" width="615" height="314"></p> <h3>7. Argos – value proposition banner</h3> <p>Argos has the best banner in all of retail (IMHO) when it comes to explaining delivery, pickup and credit options (a big part of the Argos proposition). I can see same-day delivery pricing, in-store collection pricing and timeframe, and Argos card APR. Despite the smaller screen size, these messages show on mobile, too, gently fading in and out.</p> <p>This banner is vital for those customers who may not know that Argos offers such speedy fulfillment or flexible payment.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0278/argos_delivery_info.jpg" alt="argos delivery info" width="615" height="231"></p> <h3>8. Lush – immersive header menu</h3> <p>A header menu can be a confusing thing. To allow users to concentrate on the options available in the menu, retailers such as Lush use a full-page menu which takes over pretty much the whole screen. I love this signature black and white design, and the vertical category lists. No messing about.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0458/Screen_Shot_2017-11-12_at_19.46.11.png" alt="lush immersive header menu" width="615" height="340"></p> <h3>9. Argos – Eye-catching promotional categories</h3> <p>I love the way Argos draws attention to its seasonal and popular products with these colour swatches that sit above the relatively muted mega-menu. A great way to suck users in throughout the entire site, without relying on them landing on the homepage and clicking a content block further down the page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0279/xmas_whats_hot.png" alt="argos menu buttons" width="615" height="121"></p> <h2>Search</h2> <h3>10. Rentalcars – informative loading</h3> <p>Waiting is horrible. Rentalcars uses this clever multi-logo loading graphic, which lessens the user's frustration as they can watch as progress is made sourcing all of the different quotes they need. Who knows if the timing of the little green ticks actually correspond with what is happening behind the scenes?</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0380/loading_rentalcars.png" alt="rentalcars loading" width="615" height="340"></p> <h3>11. AO.com – popular product thumbnails in search</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">This is nothing particularly new to ecommerce, the use of suggested search which updates as I type. However, the inclusion of popular products, 'best buys' in this case, which have a clear price and also update as my search term changes is a nice touch. This epitomises AO.com – best practice in action.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0301/best_buys_in_search.jpg" alt="best buys in search ao.com" width="615" height="449"></p> <h3>12. RS Components – categorised search suggestions</h3> <p>For product search buffs, RS Components is the retailer that will really get you excited. That's because the B2B supplier has an enormous catalogue of very complicated products which creates obvious difficulties in search.</p> <p>Here's one way RS seeks to help the customer. It separates my search results (in this case for 'LED') into product categories, brands and even part numbers (some customers will know the number of a part they want). There are also top products on display here, much like the AO.com example above.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0359/varied_search_RS.jpg" alt="rs varied search" width="615" height="470"></p> <h3>13. RS Components – popular category results</h3> <p>Here's another way RS helps to narrow down my search results. Once I hit return on my 'LED' search term, I'm told that there are more than 25,000 results in 200 categories.</p> <p>In order to prevent me from trawling so many products, RS prompts me to choose from a popular category, offering me a smaller selection of 10. I can click the button to 'go to products' if I insist on wading through everything.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0358/rs_categorise_in_search.png" alt="rs popular categories in search" width="615" height="349"></p> <h3>14. Airbnb – search as homepage</h3> <p>I thought I should include something esoteric, so here's Airbnb's homepage, which like Google is simply a search bar. Yes, there is some content beneath the fold, and a few little links in the top right, but this homepage sets the tone for Airbnb's whole experience and brand. It's about dreaming of where you want to go.</p> <p>Okay, perhaps not that transferable to ecommerce more broadly, but still worthy of appreciation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0386/airbnb_search.png" alt="airbnb search" width="615" height="325"></p> <h3>15. Airbnb – search with embedded menu</h3> <p>I'm not sure I've seen this done anywhere else. Correct me in the comments if I'm missing an obvious example. Before I type anything into Airbnb's search box, I get a drop down which in effect contains the header menu that the homepage lacks – there are buttons to explore different products (homes, experiences and restaurants), as well as a handy list of my recent searches.</p> <p>These explore buttons are mirrored further down the page in content blocks, with Airbnb intent on giving the user more than one path to reach the content they need.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0387/airbnb_search_suggestions.jpg" alt="airbnb search suggestions" width="615" height="338"></p> <h3>16. Debenhams – search suggestions and results as you type</h3> <p>There's one thing to note here which the previous AO.com example didn't include, and that's the use of product frequency in suggested search terms. This makes the user aware of just how many results they'll discover when they click through any given term.</p> <p>This is standard practice now and retailers such as ASOS have done this for a while. The suggestions themselves are usually based on aggregated user behaviour and optimised algorithmically.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0258/search_deb.png" alt="debenhams search" width="300"></p> <h3>17. AO.com – product selection guide</h3> <p>This isn't strictly search as we know it, in that I am not entering a search term, but it serves a very similar function (or somewhere between search and faceted navigation).</p> <p>AO.com uses a dynamic product guide on its desktop homepage to help customers find the product that’s right for them. I’m asked a simple question about the product I need (such as screen size). As I state a preference for brand and set a price range, the number of product matches is whittled down and I’m left with a smaller selection to choose from. Great for honing purchase intent when users are bamboozled by too many options.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0288/ao_guide.png" alt="ao product guide" width="615" height="341"></p> <h2> <a name="Product%20listings%20page"></a>Product listings page</h2> <h3>18. Argos – same-day delivery in faceted nav</h3> <p>Late buying that birthday present? Argos and its faceted navigation allows you to filter only those products that are available for same-day delivery or faster in-store collection. Life saver.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0277/facets_argos.jpg" alt="argos faceted nav" width="615" height="360"></p> <h3>19. Best Buy – local store pick-up filter (prominent on mobile)</h3> <p>Best Buy’s faceted navigation gives lots of options, but on mobile only one is surfaced outside of the filter menu and ready for me to select with one tap. Yep, it’s the ‘pick up today’ filter, which is customised to my nearest store. By tapping this when I’m on the go, I can quickly see which products I can reserve near me. Vital for those in a rush.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0272/pick_up_today.jpg" alt="pick up today best buy" width="300"></p> <h3>20. Rentalcars – sticky filter</h3> <p>A nice way on mobile to allow the user (and their thumb) to quickly reach the filter results button – Rentalcars uses a sticky button on the bottom left, ever-present as I scroll through.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0453/rentalcars_filter.jpg" alt="rentalcars sticky filter" width="300"></p> <h3>21. Tesco – 'Rest of shelf' button</h3> <p>When shopping for groceries online, finding products is a pain because users often have to use a many-branched menu, clicking through many categories before they find the product they want. Of course, there is the search bar and usually a list of previous purchases, but there should really be a more elegant and visual solution.</p> <p>Tesco has just that on its newly updated website. I can scroll through larger catogories (such as the entirety of 'fresh food') and when I see something vaguely familiar I can click 'rest of shelf' and view products that live on the same shelf in-store.</p> <p>This small feature is a wonderful way of linking offline shopping behaviours with online behaviour. See the example below with milk.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0336/rest_of_shelf.gif" alt="rest of shelf" width="473" height="288"></p> <h3>22. Best Buy – 'notify me'</h3> <p>Best Buy’s product listings sometimes contain products currently out of stock, such as this Apple Watch. Rather than disappoint the customer, the retailer changes its ‘add to cart’ button to a ‘notify me’ call to action. Customers can then enter they email address and wait for Best Buy to let them know when they are available.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0273/notify_me_best_buy.jpg" alt="notify me best buy" width="300"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0271/notify_me_2_bestbuy.jpg" alt="notify me best buy" width="300"></p> <h3>23. Booking.com – faceted navigation tool-tip</h3> <p>When I saw this tool-tip on Booking.com I wondered why I hadn't seen similar examples before. After all, we mustn't assume that there's such a thing as intuitive web design. New users might need an extra prompt to narrow down their hundreds of search results.</p> <p>The tool-tip says 'Give us your must-haves. Filters help our customers find the perfect place to stay. Click the things that are most important to you and we'll show you what we've got.'</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0436/must_haves_faceted_nav_bookingcom.jpg" alt="booking.com faceted nav guidance" width="615" height="511"></p> <h3>24. Booking.com – real-time social proof</h3> <p>More from the 'chatty' UI that is Booking.com. On mobile my product listings page told me what percentage of rooms on my selected dates had been reserved along with how many other people were viewing this search.</p> <p>I must say, the little red pie chart of reserved rooms was quite the prompt to get on and book.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0457/bookingcom_reserved_percentage.jpg" alt="booking.com percentage reserved" width="300"></p> <h3>35. Argos – add to cart from product listings page</h3> <p>I love the way Argos product listings pages allow you to add each product to your cart with one tap of this button, without having to click into the product details page. Not every retailer does this.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0284/trolley_argos.jpg" alt="argos add to trolley" width="300" height="710"> </p> <h3>26. Size – quick-select faceted navigation</h3> <p>Here's a feature that is creeping into more and more product listings pages. Rather than having to use the fiddly faceted navigation on the left hand side (which often involves small checkboxes and little scrollers), I can use the popular facets surfaced at the top of the page.</p> <p>These are bigger buttons allowing me to narrow down to a particular size or a price ceiling. Let's be honest, these are the two things shoe browsers care about most.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0385/faceted_size.png" alt="size faceted nav" width="615" height="333"></p> <h3>27. Nike – illustrated faceted navigation</h3> <p>On a similar theme to the Size example above, Nike understands that some models of its trainers are iconic enough to merit an image and a button at the top of product listings pages.</p> <p>In the shot below, I've selected 'lifestyle' shoes in the site header menu, which has taken me to this listings page, where I can pick an Air Max from the top menu if I want to focus only on these. It's a useful addition to the traditional faceted navigation and a lesson for all sports brands selling direct to consumer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0443/nike_browse_by_shoe.png" alt="nike browse by shoe" width="615" height="310"></p> <h3>28. AO.com – delivery date in product listings</h3> <p>There's plenty of information in AO.com's product listings, and none as important for some users as a delivery date. Particularly in the run up to Christmas, shoppers want to know that their fridge/TV/washing machine will turn up on time.</p> <p>The lorry icon and a delivery date help to reassure the customer that AO.com is the right choice for prompt delivery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0292/home_delivery.jpg" alt="ao.com delivery on listings page" width="615" height="292"></p> <h3>29. Booking.com – 'in high demand / latest booking' hover effect</h3> <p>One of many examples of social proof that Booking.com uses to give the user some pep. A red warning tells me when a listing is in high demand and how many times it was viewed in the last 24 hours. If I scroll over this information I'm also told when the latest booking at this hotel was made. Persuasive stuff.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0439/bookingcom_high_demand.gif" alt="booking.com high demand rollover" width="555" height="251"></p> <h3>30. Lush - 'Leaving soon' stickers</h3> <p>A simple touch here, but one done well. Lush adds characteristic black and white stickers saying 'leaving soon' to its seasonal products such as halloween soaps. These messages can help to add a sense of urgency to the repeat shopper who may be fond of a particular seasonal product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0448/lush_leaving_soon.jpg" alt="lush leaving soon" width="300"></p> <h3>31. Size - product image hover effect</h3> <p>Hover effects on product listing pages have been around for a number of years, but that doesn't mean they are always used effectively. In this case, I love what Size does with the hover state.</p> <p>Not only am I offered different angles to view the product from, the fact they are portrayed sat atop their box almost feels like a little psychological ploy to make the user imagine unboxing the product at home.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0389/hover_size.gif" alt="size hover states product listings" width="417" height="200"></p> <h3>32. Everlane - detail hover effect</h3> <p>I'm also a fan of hover states on apparel ecommerce sites which do something a bit different. Everlane sells quality clothing and so takes care to show a product detail when I hover over the full image. Yes, there are no model shots here, which some may see as an issue, but I like how this photography puts emphasis on material and shape, rather than an overall look.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4476/hover_state_everlane.gif" alt="everlane hover state" width="365" height="241"></p> <h3>33. RS Components - list view or grid view</h3> <p>RS Components has so many different types of products that one view of product listings won't suit everything. So, for more complex products, users can select 'list view', allowing them to sort by a number of different criteria.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0357/list_view_rs.jpg" alt="rs grid view or list view" width="615" height="304"></p> <p>For quicker scanning, users can switch to the more common grid view that one would see in ecommerce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0356/grid_view_rs.jpg" alt="rs grid view or list view" width="615" height="280"></p> <h3>34. AO.com - customer counter</h3> <p>For online pureplays like AO.com, convincing customers to buy something for the first time without experience of a high street store could be a challenge. That's why the appliances retailer takes the opportunity to display its credentials where it can, including telling users how many customers they have helped.</p> <p>The shot below is taken from the TV category page, where AO.com states how many people have used their product guide.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0303/weve_helped_ao.com.jpg" alt="ao.com we've helped 1,700,000 people" width="300"></p> <h3>35. Rentalcars – new booking notification</h3> <p>This may annoy some users, a message that pops up every time a customer in my location books a car. Equally, it does show how popular and likely trustworthy is the site. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0381/new_booking_rentalcars.png" alt="rentalcars new booking" width="615" height="238"></p> <h3>36. Rentalcars - product tool-tips</h3> <p>Hiring a car can be an exercise that involves plenty of customer questions and some small print, too. Rentalcars makes sure it gives users as much information as possible on its product listings pages, with tool-tips appearing on pretty much every bit of copy. For example, when I hover over 'collision damage waiver', a tip appears saying "If the car's bodywork gets damaged, the most you'll pay is the damage excess."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0392/rentalcars_hover_states.gif" alt="rentalcars hover states" width="417" height="276"></p> <h3>37. AO.com - curated 'best products' landing page </h3> <p>What a simple idea – <a href="http://ao.com/best">a page</a> showing AO.com's best products as picked by AO.com experts. This is a feature that Currys PC World, for example, seems not to provide on its website.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0289/best_product_landing.jpg" alt="best product landing page" width="615" height="343"></p> <h3>38. Booking.com – green text emphasising 'risk free' purchase</h3> <p>Booking.com can appear to be a tad on the bright side with its garish mix of font colours, but they all serve a purpose and have no doubt been thoroughly tested. The one I like best is the use of green text saying "Risk Free" and "FREE cancellation". This shows the customer at a glance that they can book now and repent at their leisure.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0437/risk_free_bookingcom.jpg" alt="booking.com risk-free booking" width="615" height="323"></p> <h3>39. The Trainline – 'Cheapest' sticker</h3> <p>You're shopping for travel tickets, be it plane, train or coach, and you really want a good listings page and the ability to find the cheapest seat at your convenience. Whilst the world of UK trains isn't renowned for this kind of transparency, The Trainline does at least use a 'cheapest' sticker and a message telling me how many tickets are left at this price.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/0366/trainline_cheapest-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline cheapest price" width="300"></p> <h2> <a name="Product%20details%20page"></a>Product details page</h2> <h3>40. AO.com – dynamic price match promise</h3> <p>You may be familiar with this – it's one of the most famous interactions in ecommerce. Block a product title on AO.com as if you are about to copy and paste to Google and you'll be shown a price match message encouraging you to call AO.com and tell them if you can find the product cheaper. Ingenious.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0298/price_match.jpg" alt="ao.com price match" width="615" height="335"></p> <h3>41. Argos – sticky add-to-cart button</h3> <p>Watch as I scroll down an Argos product details page, and the add-to-trolley button sticks to the top of the page, allowing me to throw it into my bag without having to waste precious seconds scrolling back up again.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0276/argos_sscroll.gif" alt="argos add to cart" width="542" height="308"></p> <h3>42. Best Buy – product "on display at…"</h3> <p>Customers may want to check local store stock, but equally with a considered purchase they may want to know if the product is on display at their nearest store. Best Buy lets the customer know with a message below the product photos. If it’s not on display at your nearest store, you’ll be given the next nearest option.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0268/display_best_buy.jpg" alt="best buy product on display" width="615" height="321"></p> <h3>43. ASOS – interactive size guide</h3> <p>Too many websites offering boring, large and potentially difficult-to-use sizing charts. Not ASOS, which gives me this lightbox where I can fill in my height and weight (in metric or imperial) and how tight I like my clothes. The tool will then return the sizes right for me – no sifting through data.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0352/size_guide_lightbox_asos.jpg" alt="asos size guide" width="615" height="456"></p> <h3>44. Debenhams – ‘Pre-Christmas Delivery’ message</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Approaching the Christmas rush, Debenhams product details pages have a prominent green message which tells me an item is available for pre-Christmas delivery. Great for encouraging a confident add-to-bag.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0262/xmas_deb.png" alt="debenhams xmas delivery" width="300"></p> <h3>45. Debenhams – 'Want it by tomorrow?' order countdown</h3> <p>Most retailers offering next-day delivery require customers to order before a particular time of the day. Debenhams knows that highlighting this using a countdown timer will encourage indecisive users to purchase sooner rather than later.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0250/deb_countdown.gif" alt="debenhams order countdown" width="361" height="258"></p> <h3>46. Lush – hero product video</h3> <p>I've long championed Lush (see <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/10/19/ben-davis-lush-ecommerce-lesson-marketers/">here</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67158-why-lush-is-the-undisputed-master-of-b-commerce">here</a>). One of my favourite features in its website is the use of hero video at the top of product pages. For my money, it puts all competition in the shade with this one authentic use of rich content. It also shows the product in action, so the customer knows what to expect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8785/lush2.gif" alt="gif header product page" width="317" height="163"></p> <h3>47. ASOS – 'Buy the look'</h3> <p>Here's another feature that has long been talked about in ecommerce but rarely carried through with the simplicity and success that ASOS has managed here. Yes, there are some products out of stock in this example, but it's still a feature that squeezes extra value out of stylish product/model photography.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0348/asos_outfit.jpg" alt="asos product page" width="615" height="427"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0349/buy_the_look_asos.png" alt="asos buy the look" width="615" height="393"></p> <h3>48. Airbnb – reassuring micro-copy</h3> <p>How the tiniest things can just tip the customer in the right direction. Here, Airbnb uses small copy saying "You won't be charged yet" to encourage customers to click the 'Request to Book' button without fear of immediate financial consequences.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0433/airbnb_wont_be_charged.png" alt="airbnb request booking" width="615" height="326"></p> <h3>49. Argos – 'X others have looked at this….'</h3> <p>A common tactic among retailers and functionality that is available in most ecommerce platforms – dynamic messages appear for a few seconds when I land on a product details page, telling me how many have viewed or bought this item recently or are looking at it right now.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0280/others.png" alt="argos others have viewed" width="615" height="274"></p> <h3>50. Debenhams – alternative 'breadcrumb'</h3> <p>Those customers who haven’t found what they want on a product details page should always been given a quick and easy route back to browsing. This can often be via the main header menu, or by using the breadcrumb trail (e.g. Men - Shirts - Short Sleeve). Debenhams, as shown in the GIF below, also adds some category options, an alternative breadcrumb, if you like, below the product. This is a very helpful feature for customers to delve back in once again.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0252/breadcrumb_deb.gif" alt="debenhams breadcrumb trail" width="542" height="308"></p> <h3>51. Booking.com – user review carousel</h3> <p>Reviews are incredibly important for people booking a hotel room. So why not make them hard to miss? Booking.com includes a carousel of reviews inset within the product photography carousel. This way, as you review the photographs you can't help but notice glowing reviews of service, location and facilities.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0438/reviews_inset_bookingcom.jpg" alt="booking.com inset customer reviews in photos" width="615" height="360"></p> <h3>52. The Trainline – 'You've found the cheapest ticket'</h3> <p>For some travel sites, it's important to make customers on listings pages aware of which product is cheapest, but it shouldn't stop there, a message should be displayed on product pages, too. The Trainline does this nicely with a friendly "Hooray!".</p> <p>(<strong>Correction</strong>: This is actually on the search or product listings page as you can tell because the cheapest price doesn't match the price below, it corresponds to the ticket above which I would have to scroll up to view. Still, a handy feature nonetheless.) </p> <p><br><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/0367/trainline_cheapest2-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline cheapest price" width="300"></p> <h3>53. Rentalcars – trip countdown</h3> <p>What better way to instil urgency in the customer looking for a hire car than displaying a timer inexorably counting down until the start of their trip.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0382/trip_starts_rentalcars.jpg" alt="rentalcars your trip starts in" width="615" height="335"></p> <h3>54. Rentalcars – 'Save for later' email</h3> <p>Rentalcars lets users send themselves an email with all their selected product details, helpful for those who aren't quite ready to book but don't want to go through the rigmarole of search all over again.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0455/rentalcars_save_for_later.jpg" alt="rentalcar save for later" width="300"></p> <h3>55. RS Components – warehouse stock counter</h3> <p>Trade buyers may need quite a number of a particular product from RS, so the 'catalogue' company provides accurate warehouse stock numbers so customers know if their order can be fulfilled.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0355/number_in_stock_rs.jpg" alt="rs number in stock" width="615" height="324"></p> <h3>56. Argos – check stock in store</h3> <p>No self-respecting multichannel retailer will miss the opportunity to let customers check their local stock, should they want to purchase in-store or reserve an item.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0281/check_stock.png" alt="argos check stock" width="615" height="325"></p> <h3>57. Lush – cross-sell by ingredient</h3> <p>Each product contains an illustrated list of ingredients, some of which have their own ingredients page which users can click through to. Once on an ingredient page, I can see every product that Lush sells which contains said ingredient. A really neat way of bringing educational content back to commerce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0363/ingredient_cross_sell.png" alt="lush ingredient cross-sell" width="615" height="314"></p> <h3>58. Barnes &amp; Noble – send as gift</h3> <p>I had never come across SmartGift before. It's a service which allows the user to send a gift link whereupon the recipient can accept or exchange online for any same or lower-priced item. The gifter will pay only once the recipient has accepted.</p> <p>A great tool for no-hassle gifting.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0307/smart_gift_bn.jpg" alt="smart gift barnes &amp; noble" width="615" height="330"></p> <h3>59. Rentalcars – 'bargain' popup</h3> <p>More persuasion from Rentalcars, this time on mobile featuring a fairly intrusive message but one that tells me I'm saving a heck of a lot of money (compared to average prices at this time of year).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0454/rentalcars_deal.jpg" alt="rentalcars deal" width="300"></p> <h3>60. Schuh – 360-degree product photography</h3> <p>I can choose a set of product images on Schuh if I want, but the default view is this drag-to-spin 360-degree imagery which lets me view the shoe from any angle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0445/drag_to_spin_schuh.jpg" alt="drag to spin imagery" width="615" height="308"></p> <h3>61. Lush – related article</h3> <p>Combining content and commerce is a hot potato. Does it distract the user from purchase? I would argue that for a multichannel brand, the goal is to engage with and educate the consumer as much as possible, placing your brand as the premier destination for shopping and browsing. Lush does this with a related article at the bottom of most product pages, as well as plenty of content on the homepage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0360/related_article_lush.jpg" alt="lush related articles" width="615" height="301"></p> <h3>62. Rentalcars – double CTA</h3> <p>I debated whether to include this. Arguably it's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68973-13-examples-of-dark-patterns-in-ecommerce-checkouts">a dark pattern</a> with the customer perhaps clicking to add full protection for £9.98 without actively wanting to (if they're not paying attention). I've included it just to show it goes on, and because for all the moral questions this kind of UX throws up, I'm sure there have been plenty of customers who were glad they unwittingly chose full protection. Complaints on a postcard.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0383/gotobook_rentalcars.png" alt="rentalcars two ctas (Dark pattern?)" width="615" height="310"></p> <h3>63. ASOS – model size and fit</h3> <p>Want to know whether clothes will fit right? Size guides are helpful, but so, too, is product photography. Telling customers what height the model is, as well as what size they are wearing can help the customer decide on what size to purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0350/model_height_asos.jpg" alt="asos model height" width="615" height="404"></p> <h3>64. ASOS – full-screen product imagery</h3> <p>This has been best practice on small mobile screens for a while, but it still impresses me and is one of the most impactful changes a retailer, particularly in apparel, can implement. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0450/asos_full_image.jpg" alt="asos full page imagery" width="300"></p> <h3>65. Argos – clever product recommends copy</h3> <p>A simple but elegant bit of copywriting from Argos. The product recommends feature towards the bottom of the product page uses the copy “…or how about these?”, which acknowledges the fact that the customer is likely to buy only one item from this category (coffee machines). The choice of phrasing shows a good understanding of customer mindset during the browsing stage of their journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0283/how_about_argos.jpg" alt="argos how about these" width="300"></p> <h3>66. Argos – 'Our lowest price'</h3> <p>A very simple but very persuasive bit of copy on this Argos product details page. “Our Lowest Price” let’s the customer know the retailer has never charged more for this item. Perhaps not a revelatory claim, but psychologically it makes the customer think they’re getting a price that’s unlikely to be better elsewhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0282/lowest_price.png" alt="argos lowest price" width="615" height="316"></p> <h3>67. Best Buy – instructional product photos</h3> <p>Why rely on the customer poring over the product specification to find the vital information they need about a fridge freezer’s dimensions? Best Buy uses instructional content from the product manufacturer in its product photos carousel. This way, customers can see exactly what they need to measure.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0266/product_image_instructions_best_buy.jpg" alt="best buy instructional product image" width="615" height="383"> </p> <h3>68. Best Buy – instructional product video</h3> <p>Best Buy uses instructional videos in the product imagery carousel. In this example, I’m carefully walked through how to measure up, to make sure I don’t buy a fridge that doesn’t fit my kitchen. This type of content is part of the effort to reduce costly product returns and make sure the customer is happy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0267/product_video.png" alt="best buy product video" width="615" height="314"></p> <h3>69. Debenhams – 'Hurry, 10 or less left!' low stock message</h3> <p>Though customers are getting more savvy when it comes to urgency tactics such as ‘one room left’ when browsing hotel aggregators, this tactic can still be very effective in ecommerce when used responsibly. Here, Debenhams tells the consumer when there are 10 or less of a product in stock. If you have a realtime overview of stock levels, why not use it to keep the customer informed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0261/xmas_deb_hurry.png" alt="debenhams hurry box" width="300"></p> <h3>70. Rentalcars – 'Don't lose this saving' banner</h3> <p>More urgency-inducing messages from Rentalcars. All I want to do now is get this car booked.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0384/today_you_save_rentalcars.jpg" alt="today you save - rentalcars" width="615" height="364"></p> <h3>71. Best Buy – prominent product Q&amp;A</h3> <p>Lots of product details pages use question and answers, particularly for technical products, such as electronics or white goods. I particularly like the way Best Buy highlights the Q&amp;A content alongside its average customer review rating, right at the top of the product page. This is key information and can make the difference between sale and no-sale for those customers who are sticklers for finding the perfect product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0270/q_and_a_product_page.png" alt="best buy q and a" width="615" height="261"></p> <p>The Q&amp;As themselves can be sorted (defaults to ‘most helpful’) and searched.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0269/q_and_a_best_buy.png" alt="best buy product q and a" width="615" height="285"></p> <h3>72. Debenhams – 'Earn points with this purchase'</h3> <p>A dynamic message under the add-to-bag button on product details pages tells the customer how any points they will pick up if they had a store card or loyalty card. What do points make? That’s right, prizes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0251/credit_card_points.png" alt="reward points - debenhams" width="615" height="327"></p> <h3>73. The Trainline – price increase warning</h3> <p>It's worthwhile letting febrile ticket shoppers know that if they wait, prices may increase. The Trainline does this with a pop-up message saying "Advance tickets are likely to increase in price" and to "Look for tickets with 'limited availability' or fewer than 9 left".</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0311/trainline_price_warning.png" alt="trainline price warning" width="615" height="325"></p> <h3>74. Schuh – front-and-centre delivery info</h3> <p>On no other product page did I see delivery information turned into such a virtue as on the Schuh website. It makes sense though, the customer is made aware they can get almost instant fulfillment through Shutl or Click &amp; Collect, they can pay for Sunday delivery or choose a particular day. There are Collect+ and UPS Access Points available, too. This is customer experience that walks the walk.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0446/delivery_schuh.jpg" alt="schuh delivery info on product page" width="615" height="326"></p> <h2> <a name="Bag%20/%20basket%20/%20cart"></a>Bag / basket / cart</h2> <h3>75. Size – size-select lightbox on add-to-basket</h3> <p>I really like the UX on Size's site on mobile when I forget to select a size before adding a product to my bag. This lightbox style size-select flashes up and I can quickly tap the size I want.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0456/size_select.png" alt="size size select" width="300"></p> <h3>76. ASOS – bag time-limit pop-up</h3> <p>Make sure users know how long their chosen item will be held in the bag for. ASOS does this with a little pop-up telling me I've bagged it and it'll be held for an hour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0451/asos_its_in_the_bag.png" alt="asos it's in the bag" width="300"></p> <h3>77. Barnes &amp; Noble – "add $X of eligible items to qualify for free shipping"</h3> <p>The Barnes &amp; Noble cart tells me just how much extra I have to spend to get my order shipped for free. A lovely incentive to buy more books.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0306/free_shipping_eligibility_bn.jpg" alt="eligibility for free shipping barnes and noblee" width="615" height="437"></p> <h3>78. Debenhams &amp; Toys R Us – 'Your shopping bag qualifies for FREE Standard Delivery'</h3> <p>Don’t leave a customer wary of delivery charges, let them know in the cart/bag, before they get to checkout, that they qualify for free delivery. Debenhams does this with a chunky blue message including a blue tick and the hard-to-miss ‘FREE’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0257/bag_deb.png" alt="debenhams add to bag" width="300"></p> <p>Toys R Us is even better. The retailer uses its mascot Geoffrey to delivery this free delivery message. A brilliant use of the brand to draw attention to a kew message.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0287/jeffrey_toys.png" alt="toys r us free delivery" width="615" height="314"></p> <h3>79. ASOS - next-day delivery subscription</h3> <p>Why should it be just Amazon that hooks customers into a subscription to next-day deliver? ASOS offers the service in the bag for £9.95, a great way to please your most loyal of customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0452/asos_premier_delivery.png" alt="asos premier delivery" width="300"></p> <h3>80. AO.com – service up-sell in basket</h3> <p>I love the way AO.com will bundle in lots of services with delivery for those customers who want to eliminate hassle. When buying a TV for example, I'm offered stand installation, old TV removal and unpacking.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0294/service_options.png" alt="added services in checkout ao.com" width="615" height="327"></p> <h3>81. AO.com – complimenting the customer's taste</h3> <p>The AO.com basket also includes this very simple message telling me I've "got great taste" and am "getting one or [their] best offers". A lovely touch. No reason not to checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0295/customer_compliment.png" alt="ao.com user compliment" width="615" height="320"></p> <h3>82. Lush – full-page add-to-basket message</h3> <p>The whitespace and imagery on the Lush website makes it a joy to browse. Even this simple full-page add-to-basket notification made me feel special.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0449/lush_add_to_basket.png" alt="lush add to basket" width="300"></p> <h3>83. AO.com – finance and up-front price in add-to-basket</h3> <p>If customers are having second thoughts when they add a big ticket item to their basket, AO.com provides a monthly price in the add-to-basket message. Finance options are shown on product listings pages and product details pages, but it doesn't hurt to reiterate the option in this add-to-basket message.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0293/finance.png" alt="ao.com finance in bag" width="615" height="357"> </p> <h2> <a name="Checkout"></a>Checkout</h2> <h3>84. The Trainline – cute customised thumbnail </h3> <p>Look at this! The houses of parliament in a cute little thumbnail as I pay for my trip to London on The Trainline. I'm already excited about my trip.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0313/trainline_london_pic.png" alt="trainline destination photo" width="615" height="411"></p> <h3>85. AO.com – anxiety-killer delivery info</h3> <p>"You don't have to stay in all day because..." – AO.com gets straight to the nub of its excellent delivery service. The information below tells me when I'll receive a text message, how long my delivey window will be, that I'll receive a call and that I can track my order any time I want.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0297/dont_stay_in.png" alt="ao.com don't stay in all day" width="615" height="306"></p> <h3>86. AO.com – contact number in checkout header</h3> <p>A common sight in the best checkouts, the contact telephone number suddenly appears front and centre in the header menu. Any wavering customers can call to clairfy an issue rather than falling our of the checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0300/phone_number_in_checkout.png" alt="phone number in checkout ao.com" width="615" height="297"></p> <h3>87. Barnes &amp; Noble – form field reminders</h3> <p>Another bit of best practice that nevertheless isn't always implemented. When I click into a form field, it's title remains, shifting up slightly to let me type. This way I am less likely to make an error.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0308/shipping_b_and_n.gif" alt="barnes &amp; noble checkout form" width="412" height="341"></p> <h3>88. AO.com – privacy reassurance</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">The GDPR</a> has put privacy concerns more firmly on the agenda for many companies. This is only a small feature, but it's increasingly common to see a promise under a telephone number field that a company will never share customer information.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0299/privacy_telephone.png" alt="privacy in checkout - telephone ao.com" width="615" height="280"></p> <h3>89. Lush – checkout progress bar</h3> <p>One of the core tenets of a usable and converting checkout is a clear progress bar. None clearer than Lush's.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0361/checkout_progress_lush.png" alt="lush checkout trail" width="615" height="335"></p> <h3>90. AO.com – chunky, focused form design</h3> <p>Throughout the AO.com checkout, form fields are chunky and easy to select, with relevant buttons close by and similarly chunky. Compare with Lush above (which isn't that bad itself).</p> <h4><img style="font-weight: normal;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0296/chunky_checkout.png" alt="ao.com chunky checkout" width="615" height="255"></h4> <h3>91. Lush – email field validation</h3> <p>Another bit of best practice. Do you validate email addresses with a nice green tick so customers know they have put dots and @s in the right places?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0362/email_validation.png" alt="lush email validation" width="615" height="306"></p> <h3>92. Debenhams – firm date and time for click and collect</h3> <p>One of the uncertainties for customers when they use click and collect is whether their item will arrive on time. Some retailers say ‘1-3 working days’, leaving the user waiting for a notification and hoping it will be one rather than three. Debenhams counteracts this unease by very clearly giving the customer a date and time by which their parcel should be ready for collection. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0263/click_n_coll_deb.jpg" alt="debenhams click and collect" width="615" height="464"></p> <h3>93. Nike – tool-tips</h3> <p>And finally, more tool-tips, this time from Nike. They don't add startling useful information, but enough to help new or unsure users.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0444/tool_tips_nike.png" alt="nike tool tips" width="615" height="365"></p> <p><strong>That's your lot. Don't forget to check out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/ecommerce">Ecommerce Best Practice Guide</a>.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69572 2017-11-08T11:35:00+00:00 2017-11-08T11:35:00+00:00 Site review: How Mamas & Papas combines content and commerce Nikki Gilliland <p>Up until now, its ecommerce efforts have failed to match up, offering online shoppers a purely transactional (and often disappointing) UX. Now, the retailer has re-launched its website to give consumers a ‘content ecommerce experience’ that mirrors the one offered in its physical stores.</p> <p>So, does it deliver? Here’s a review of the new Mamas &amp; Papas site, focusing on key areas of change.</p> <h3>New look and feel</h3> <p>Previously, the Mamas &amp; Papas site was fairly underwhelming in terms of design. Purely product-driven, its header menu sufficiently pointed users to various categories including best-sellers, car-seats and clothing. However, there was nothing particularly inspiring about its creative, with the site typically using promotions and a dedicated section for offers to drive sales.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0310/Mamas_and_Papas_old.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="764"></p> <p>Now, the homepage is much more slick and streamlined, using large site-wide imagery to highlight hero products. Its menu has been moved to the left-hand side, separated into two distinct categories of ‘shop’ and ‘discover’ – which signals a definite shift in how users can navigate the site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0312/Mamas_and_papas_new.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="567"></p> <p>There is no longer a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67878-mega-menu-design-trends-in-ecommerce-2014-vs-2016" target="_blank">mega menu</a>, and while its absence does contribute to the impactful design, the new slide-out mobile-style menu adds a few clicks onto the user's search journey.</p> <p>Plus, with popular items like ‘car seats’ not immediately visible, this could frustrate customers or potentially prolong search. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0314/M_P_nav.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="731"></p> <p>Meanwhile, the categories have been updated to include items ‘for mum’, as well as a new focus on furniture and pushchair collections, with the latter set out in a newly designed showroom format. </p> <p>This means that - with a select number of items in each category (10 in furniture, and just five in pushchairs) - each item is individually showcased as the user scrolls down the page, using a combination of large imagery and informative copy to highlight specific features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0315/Furniture_collections.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="556"></p> <p>For new parents struggling to decide between larger-spend items, this section is likely to be particularly useful. It's also just nicer to look at, resulting in a much more enjoyable browsing experience.</p> <h3>Collection and product pages</h3> <p>Within the furniture and pushchair categories, users are prompted to ‘learn more’ about each product, which then leads on to new and in-depth product pages. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0317/Ocarro.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="593"></p> <p>The ‘Why Buy Me?’ section is particularly effective here, whereby in-depth information is again likely to help parents narrow down to bigger purchases. </p> <p>Similarly, these pages include practical information (such as ‘age guidelines’ and ‘weight’) which nicely complements the inspirational copy above.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0316/Why_buy_me.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <p>Elsewhere, larger and standard items like ‘clothing’ are not given the same showroom treatment.</p> <p>They are still decent enough. With a heavy focus on large and hi-res imagery, it’s easy to gain an idea of what fabric and other details might look and feel like in real life. User reviews also provide social proof to reassure customers (or not, as the case may be).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0318/Product_pages.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="514"></p> <p>However, I do wish these pages were more filled out. Mamas &amp; Papas could have definitely added more calls to action, as well as other effective <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63161-31-things-i-need-to-see-on-your-ecommerce-product-page" target="_blank">product page elements</a> like prominent returns info.</p> <p>Similarly, the option to check stock availability in-store only appears when you add an item to your basket. This is annoying, as users are unlikely to know this is the case, potentially leading to many <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69561-why-online-shoppers-abandon-their-baskets-and-how-to-stop-them/" target="_blank">abandoning their journey</a> at this point. Niggles like this make for a disappointing UX, especially in comparison to the slick design of the new collection pages. </p> <h3>‘Discover’ content</h3> <p>Alongside the new ‘Shop’ format, Mamas &amp; Papas has introduced an entirely new section dedicated to content. This is part of its aim to guide customers ‘through pregnancy and beyond’, with the hope of becoming a place that people turn to for help and information alongside the products themselves.</p> <p>So, is it comprehensive enough?</p> <p>I was quite impressed with the amount of content on the site, as well as the variation of subject matter. Separated into four sections of ‘learn’, ‘grow’, ‘support’ and ‘inspire’ – there is a good mixture of helpful articles, such as ‘what is hypnobirthing and why does it work?’, and product-focused guides like ‘choosing the perfect car seat’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0319/M_P_Discover.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="522"></p> <p>The brand has also partnered with influencers and experts in the field to ramp up authenticity and engage consumers.</p> <p>For instance, it has collaborated with food writer Madeleine Shaw for content on nutrition, and founders of skincare brand Bloom + Blossom for articles about self-care.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0320/Madeliene_Shaw.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="555"></p> <p>There’s certainly a demand for this kind of content. A reported 70% of new mums using YouTube turn to the platform for tips and advice on parenting on a weekly basis.</p> <p>While Mamas &amp; Papas <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68340-seven-kids-baby-ecommerce-brands-using-youtube-to-reach-parents" target="_blank">already uses YouTube</a> to deliver this, its new on-site content hub has been designed in conjunction with the shopping experience, aiming to subtly point users towards products at the same time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0321/Pushchair_prompt.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="450"></p> <p>So far, this is a bit hit and miss. Products are only integrated into certain buying guides, while articles are only promoted in the new pushchair and furniture category and product pages. This is perhaps a deliberate move on the part of the brand so as not to appear too salesy, however it does mean that users might remain unaware of a lot of the content, with the danger of the 'shop' and 'discover' verticals living somewhat independently rather than complementing each other.</p> <p>That being said, the content is still effective as part of the retailer’s wider efforts to increase value for existing and new customers, as well as better aligning the online and in-store experience in terms of help and advice.</p> <h3>Other notable features</h3> <p>While the new Mamas &amp; Papas site is largely geared around its new discover section and showroom pages, there are a few other features worth noting. </p> <h4>Mobile optimisation</h4> <p>According to the retailer, more than three-quarters of its online customers access the site via a mobile or tablet device. Consequently, it is fully optimised for mobile, also including helpful features like a store locator, which rapidly returns store info based on location, and multiple payment options for fast mobile checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0325/Mamas_and_Papas_mobile.JPG" alt="" width="374" height="659"></p> <h4>User generated content</h4> <p>User generated content was nowhere to be found on the former Mamas &amp; Papas site. Now there is a dedicated section for it on the bottom of the homepage, pulling in content with the hashtag #mamasandpapas from Twitter and Instagram.</p> <p>These are not just screenshots either - users can actually click on and through to the person’s social profiles, giving people more of an incentive to get involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0322/UGC.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="435"></p> <h4>'Let us guide you'</h4> <p>On the homepage, there is also a nifty user guide which helps customers narrow down their search. This is particularly useful if you are looking for an answer to a specific question, or conversely whether you want help picking out a gift.</p> <p>It asks users who they are (e.g. ‘Dad’ or ‘Friend’) and what they want help with (‘interesting articles’ or ‘buying advice for…’) before taking them to the appropriate product or item guide.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0324/Let_us_guide_you.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="520"></p> <h4>Unexpected reassurance</h4> <p>Finally, a small but nifty feature that helps to reassure users as they browse. The category pages are now interspersed with small illustrations that highlight USPs, such as 100% cotton and nickle-free poppers on baby grows, plus general perks like free delivery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0323/Illustrations.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="493"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>With its revamped ecommerce site, Mamas &amp; Papas has certainly made strides to align its offline and online customer experience. Both now offer a more interactive and personalised service – largely thanks to informative product guides and helpful parenting advice.</p> <p>There are still features that could be improved. Product pages within clothing and home categories need greater focus, with further calls to action to prompt customers to purchase. Similarly, the ‘discover’ content needs to be better integrated into the ‘shop’, if only to prevent users from sticking to one vertical rather than experiencing the two in conjunction.</p> <p>Elsewhere, highlights include the new furniture and pushchair pages (which are very well-designed) as well as comprehensive and varied editorial content.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68530-eight-features-to-appreciate-on-hunter-s-revamped-ecommerce-site">Eight features to appreciate on Hunter’s revamped ecommerce site</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69532-tottenham-hotspur-put-focus-on-user-generated-content-to-boost-ecommerce-sales" target="_blank">Tottenham Hotspur put focus on user-generated content to boost ecommerce sales</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69488-the-seven-stages-of-smart-ecommerce-marketing" target="_blank">The seven stages of smart ecommerce marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69555 2017-11-06T15:28:00+00:00 2017-11-06T15:28:00+00:00 Six excellent hotel websites (and how they encourage direct booking) Nikki Gilliland <p>In the analysis of the period of May to December 2016, when the hotels in question ran ‘book direct’ campaigns, <a href="https://www.traveldailynews.com/post/research-reveals-consumer-shift-in-favor-of-hotel-brands-websites-vs-otas" target="_blank">Kalibri found</a> a faster rate of growth in hotel site bookings compared to the OTA channel. This was also the case in terms of both revenue and room nights when compared to year before, (and prior to the direct booking campaigns being launched).</p> <p>So, what makes consumers <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69260-four-ways-hotels-and-accommodation-sites-can-increase-direct-bookings" target="_blank">want to book direct</a> rather than via a third party? Here are some examples of hotel websites I think are getting it right. </p> <h3>The Ritz</h3> <p>As one of the most well-known hotels in London, the Ritz largely relies on its prestigious reputation to drive bookings. This means that people might be more inclined to visit its website as a first port of call anyway (as opposed to a third party site). However, the Ritz still encourages direct bookings as often as possible, immediately capturing the user’s attention with a list of benefits (including lowest rates and free calls and internet).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0084/The_Ritz.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="483"></p> <p>Elsewhere, it sets out types of rooms and suites clearly, showcasing the opulence and luxury of the hotel with large and prominent imagery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0099/Ritz_3.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="484"></p> <p>The search and booking process itself is quick and easy, with prominent reviews also being used to spur on consumers and encourage bookings.</p> <p>This is perhaps surprising for a luxury hotel like the Ritz, whereby a high level of service is presumed to be standard. However, its inclusion shows how important the advocacy and influence of past customers can be - regardless of hotel heritage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0085/Ritz_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="535"></p> <h3>Rosewood London</h3> <p>A relatively new luxury hotel in London, Rosewood uses full-screen imagery to emphasise its stunning exterior and interior design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0086/Rosewood_London.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="392"></p> <p>Like the Ritz, it also encourages direct bookings, but instead of simply emphasising the obvious reasons – it uses ‘additional benefits’ such as complimentary room upgrades and late check-outs.</p> <p>Again, the search and booking process is clear and concise, with the results page conveniently listing various upgrades or alternative hotel packages.</p> <p>As well as encouraging consumers to spend more, this is also good for helping people to discover other services Rosewood can offer such as its wellness spa and cocktail bar and restaurant.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0087/Rosewood_3.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="688"></p> <h3>Bellagio Las Vegas</h3> <p>Bellagio hotels offers one of the most user friendly site designs, with a drop down search feature making it super easy to browse availability and book. Alongside this, it places a huge emphasis on value, luring users in with its ‘best rate guarantee’ and offers such as a ‘two free complimentary buffets’ when you book by a certain date.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0088/Bellagio.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="490"></p> <p>According to Kalibri, loyalty is becoming a powerful driver for direct bookings, with the study finding that between four and six of every 10 room nights booked were driven by loyalty members. </p> <p>Bellagio is one hotel that heavily focuses on this, promoting the benefits and perks of its ‘M Life Rewards’ programme across its website. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0089/Bellagio_3.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="514"></p> <p>As well as promoting access to special room rates, the hotel effectively showcases the variety of places where its points can be used. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0100/Bellagio_M_Rewards.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="534"></p> <h3>Cervo</h3> <p>Cervo is a boutique hotel in the ski resort of Zermatt, Switzerland. Along with an impressive site design, which emphasises its cosy and charming nature and mountain-side proximity, I have chosen it because it uses a number of tactics typically seen on online travel agencies.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0090/Cervo.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="396"></p> <p>For example, it uses <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/" target="_blank">urgency</a> throughout its search and booking process, telling users when there only a limited number of rooms available.</p> <p>Similarly, it tells you how many other people are currently looking at the room. This can effectively instil a fear of loss into the user, prompting them to click through and book rather than abandon.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0091/Cervo_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="479"></p> <p>However, if a user chooses <em>not</em> to complete the booking, the site will also ask if you want to save your search for a later date – which is another clever way to capture data and retarget potential customers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0092/Cervo_5.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="521"></p> <h3>Premier Inn</h3> <p>Earlier this year, Premier Inn was named the <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68951-what-makes-premier-inn-the-world-s-strongest-hotel-chain" target="_blank">world’s strongest hotel chain</a> by Brand Finance. The reasons were a combination of good value, convenience, and emotionally-driven marketing – features which are all emphasised on its website. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0094/Premier_Inn_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="619"></p> <p>The website promotes family-friendly stays and comfy beds, but of course, this would all prove irrelevant without a fast and intuitive UX – which it also happens to deliver.</p> <p>As a nationwide chain, location-based features are important, and its responsive search bar and map makes it easy for users to find a hotel in the right place.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0093/Premier_Inn_location.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="622"></p> <p>Similarly, the hotel search results show users flexible rates as well other useful nuggets of information like whether a hotel has new rooms or is a special ‘hub’ version, which are centrally located in select cities.</p> <p>To prompt users further, Premier Inn highlights a TripAdvisor rating for each hotel which promotes a sense of authenticity and trust.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0095/Premier_Inn_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="695"></p> <h3>Artist's Residence</h3> <p>Artist's Residence, a small boutique chain in locations including London and Brighton, uses its website as an extension of its hotels’ eclectic design. </p> <p>In contrast to a lot of hotel sites, it is decidedly minimal, made up of a combination of illustrations and photos. And unlike the sales-driven and urgent tone of hotels like Cervo, it all feels very understated.</p> <p>There is only one promise of a ‘best price guarantee’ to ensure customers that booking direct is the best option.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0096/Artists_Residence.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="672"></p> <p>But is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, as there is enough imagery and information to entice interest.</p> <p>What’s more, users are prompted to search room availability in multiple places on the site, plus the offer of flexible dates and further hotel information at the booking stage. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0097/AR_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="549"></p> <p>This example also shows the importance of having a website that mirrors the hotel’s values.</p> <p>After all, it’s perhaps the case that customers are looking at Artist’s Residence specifically for its boutique style and quirky nature, so a website that is both urgent and boastful could end up putting more people off than getting them to book.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0098/AR_3.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="522"></p> <h3>Key takeaways</h3> <p>So, what can these examples tell us? Here is a summary of some key characteristics that consumers might favour over an online travel agency.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Promote direct bookings.</strong> The Ritz and Rosewood make it clear why users should book directly, and this is likely to increase confidence in both new and loyal customers. Signposting the benefits alongside reviews and rating on the booking page might also be effective for driving conversions. </li> <li> <strong>Upsell hotel extras</strong>. Online travel agencies don’t have the opportunity to include as much content about hotel extras, such as spas or food and drink facilities. This is one area hotel sites can make the most of, particularly when it comes to upselling on hotel packages like afternoon tea.</li> <li> <strong>Drive loyalty programs</strong>. If there’s one reason to use a hotel website rather than an OTA, it’s being able to make use of special hotel offers and discounts. Bellagio is a good example of how to promote this, using its ‘M Rewards’ scheme to drive bookings.</li> <li> <strong>Copy OTA tactics</strong>. Personalisation is a key reason online travel agencies tend to be so popular. Through data, these sites are able to guide users towards relevant results, with a focus on value and choice. However, hotel sites can steal some tactics also used by OTA’s, such as creating a sense of urgency and social proof.</li> <li> <strong>Make it convenient</strong>. Factors like location can help determine whether or not someone books a hotel, so increasing focus on this can also be effective. With area guides or locational maps, for instance.</li> <li> <strong>Create your own identity.</strong> Lastly, Artist's Residence show how a hotel website can be just as important for building or furthering a brand's identity – not just as a vehicle to drive bookings.</li> </ul> <p><em><strong>R</strong><strong>elated reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67658-how-hotels-can-personalize-the-customer-experience-to-compete-with-airbnb">How hotels can personalize the customer experience to compete with Airbnb</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69260-four-ways-hotels-and-accommodation-sites-can-increase-direct-bookings">Four ways hotels and accommodation sites can increase direct bookings</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69127-how-hotels-are-upping-the-fight-against-online-travel-agencies">How hotels are upping the fight against online travel agencies</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-10-31T11:33:00+00:00 2017-10-31T11:33:00+00:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3336 2017-10-26T18:25:35+01:00 2017-10-26T18:25:35+01:00 Usability and UX in Successful Web Design <p>As acquiring traffic becomes more and more expensive, making sure your website is user-friendly is essential. This course aims to detail the standards for, and benefits of, a user-centred design approach. You’ll examine key areas where usability is of paramount importance, including best practice for navigation, page layout, forms and error messages, as well as the impact on checkouts and conversion.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3320 2017-10-26T18:00:58+01:00 2017-10-26T18:00:58+01:00 Creating Superior Customer Experience (CX) <p>When the competition are a click away differentiation can be hard. Competing on price is a fools game and erodes margins. If you want to stand out from the crowd the experience you provide customers is everything.</p> <p>This course will show you how to create an outstanding customer experience whatever type of site you run. Customers who are more engaged and more loyal. Customers who will take action and convert.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69493 2017-10-13T08:49:00+01:00 2017-10-13T08:49:00+01:00 Majestic Wine revamps website with focus on some familiar social proof tactics Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what does its new website offer, and will it encourage consumers to order more wine online? Here’s a run-down of what I think does and doesn’t work.</p> <h3>Customer influence</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them" target="_blank">Ratings and reviews</a> have long been seen as an essential tool for ecommerce sites, but recent research highlights the extent to which they can impact conversion rates. </p> <p>According to <a href="http://learn.podium.com/rs/841-BRM-380/images/2017-SOOR-Infographic.jpg" target="_blank">Podium</a>, a whopping 93% of online shoppers say reviews have an impact of their purchasing decisions, while 83% say that the content of a review has convinced them to buy something online.</p> <p>Majestic Wine’s previous site also included customer reviews and ratings, however its new version makes this a primary focus. It includes a new tool which lets users choose whether or not they would ‘buy it again’ – alongside the standard star rating and written review.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9526/Would_you_buy_it_again.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="221"></p> <p>Putting aside the impact on those reading the reviews for now, this increased interaction enables consumers to become decision-makers. Essentially it means that Majestic Wines will consider the amount of ‘buy it again’ votes before restocking a product, using customer influence to determine what wines it sells online.</p> <p>This feature has been copied from Naked Wines, a smaller wine-on-subscription business <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32246651">that Majestic purchased in 2015</a>. That deal was intended to spur Majestic's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>, and clearly the acquisition has influenced the new site design.</p> <p>It does appear as if Majestic has copied much of Naked’s UX, with the focus on ratings and reviews being one of the most obvious features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9522/nakedwine.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="511"></p> <p>The reviews feature should help improve conversions as it is a very obvious sign of social proof and allows customers to feel much more involved.</p> <p>Majestic’s minimal design actually makes the feature look a bit more appealing than on Naked’s site, with the cleaner product pages making it easier for customers to rate products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9523/Majestic_Rate_This_Wine.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="513"></p> <h3>Capitalising on social proof</h3> <p>As well as giving customers increased influence, the new ‘buy it again’ feature allows the retailer to capitalise on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66569-five-ways-to-use-social-proof-online" target="_blank">social proof</a>. In short, it instils confidence in the product, urging customers to hit the ‘add to basket’ button.</p> <p>The highly visual nature of Majestic Wine’s rating system is likely to be effective. Instead of clicking through to product pages or scrolling down to read reviews, users can get an instant idea of how others feel about a product simply by browsing category pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9524/Majestic_category_page.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="529"></p> <p>Another plus is that this will only increase as time goes on, with social proof increasing (or decreasing if the product fails to impress) as more and more ratings are accumulated. </p> <p>One drawback worth mentioning is that the review section itself is poorly designed. While it could be useful to include the option for users to respond to reviews, this section appears to take up far too much space.</p> <p>It would make more sense to condense reviews, meaning that the site could fit more on one page (and users would not have to click through to the next page as often).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9527/Customer_reviews.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="522"></p> <h3>Discovery tool</h3> <p>Another new feature on Majestic’s site is a discovery tool on its homepage that helps users find their ‘perfect wine’. This is a nifty tool, helping to quickly and easily narrow down a search in just a few questions. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9530/Discovery_Tool.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="260"></p> <p>This is likely to be useful for customers who have a limited level of knowledge about wine or who are typically overwhelmed by choice. Even if the customer does not have white or red preference, for instance, the tool still offers suggestions based on other factors like ‘easy drinking’ or ‘intense flavours’ and whether or not the person favours deals or one-of-a-kind items.</p> <p>As well as providing general inspiration, this tool could also help to reduce basket abandonment rates, ultimately nudging customers down the sales funnel when they might otherwise get bored or frustrated and leave.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9531/Discovery_Tool_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="221"></p> <h3>Promoting the little extras</h3> <p>Majestic’s new site is slick in design, if a little basic. One thing that stands out is the promotion of customer-centric extras like delivery, click and collect, and a ‘no quibble’ money-back guarantee. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9550/Little_extras.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="378"></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68739-how-has-click-collect-evolved-and-is-it-still-in-high-demand/" target="_blank">Click and collect</a> is particularly important, especially when it comes to attracting millennial shoppers. A <a href="https://www.retailitinsights.com/doc/new-survey-finds-that-percent-of-millennials-click-and-collect-0001" target="_blank">recent survey</a> found that 87% of millennials have used click and collect – with this generation particularly viewing the service as an incentive to shop with certain retailers.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the inclusion of these icons on product pages is eye-catching, however the site lets itself down with avoidable mistakes like spelling mistakes or typos in the copy (“It’s up too you”). That aside, I like other small details such as symbols detailing the country of origin as well as other handy titbits like whether or not the wine is screw-cap or organic. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9551/Product_info.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="510"></p> <p>In comparison to Naked Wines, which focuses on conversational (and occasionally convoluted) copy, I prefer Majestic’s succinct and highly visual product information. </p> <h3>Pushing customers in-stores</h3> <p>Finally, Majestic’s new site is clearly designed to better highlight its status as a multichannel retailer, with a focus on improving customer service across the board. </p> <p>It recently rolled out a new ‘franchise-lite’ model, which allows store managers to become partners, giving them much greater control over the running of day-to-day events and stock. This is reflected online, with the site’s ‘store locator’ also including detailed information about those who work there – plus links to unique Twitter and Facebook accounts for individual stores. </p> <p>It is quite rare for a mid-size retailer to invest in localised social media in this way, but it can be a good way to foster loyalty of local customers. Another way Majestic is doing this is with in-store events, with the store locator also including information about wine and beer tasting and Christmas-themed experiences. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Superb weekend tasting <a href="https://twitter.com/majesticclapham?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@majesticclapham</a> quickly discovered a new favourite in <a href="https://twitter.com/OldBakeryGin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OldBakeryGin</a> thanks to the wonderful staff <a href="https://t.co/vsmuiatvpN">pic.twitter.com/vsmuiatvpN</a></p> — James Laird (@scavgourmet) <a href="https://twitter.com/scavgourmet/status/893801730919604225?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 5, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Customers can also purchase tickets to these events online. But while this feature is good addition, it doesn’t appear as if the events are promoted that heavily on the main site. Customers might only come across them if they are searching via the store locator, and even then the ‘events’ tab is quite easy to miss.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9552/Majestic_localised.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="490"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While many of the features on Majestic's new site have been copied from Naked Wines, I think the way Majestic has presented the information is much more visually appealing. </p> <p>There are still drawbacks. Its store locator is a bit lacklustre, unable to detect my current location and failing to promote in-store events in an exciting way. The site is also rather dull in terms of design, but all in all, there’s lots to appreciate. </p> <p>It’s definitely slicker and more interactive than before, which is likely to please existing online customers. The ability to leave decisive feedback on wine will lead to more informed purchasing decisions while fostering a sense of customer involvement, and the discovery tool should help to push customers down the path to purchase.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67344-habitat-s-new-mobile-site-great-ux-poor-content/" target="_blank">Habitat's new mobile site: Great UX, poor content</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69036-six-ways-aldo-s-new-mobile-site-streamlines-the-shopping-experience" target="_blank">Six ways Aldo’s new mobile site streamlines the shopping experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69460 2017-10-02T13:30:00+01:00 2017-10-02T13:30:00+01:00 Image recognition in ecommerce: Visual search, product tagging and content curation Ben Davis <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> What is the most exciting use of your image recognition technology in ecommerce?</h4> <p><strong><em>Matthias Dantone:</em></strong> Of course we’re excited about and confident in all of our technology’s use cases. Lately however we have witnessed a great interest in visual search – a tool by which shoppers can upload an inspirational image to an app and shop the products in the image.</p> <p>Just looking at the media frenzy that surrounded the visual search announcements by Pinterest or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69358-asos-visual-search-is-it-any-good/">ASOS</a>, for instance, it’s clear that this is exactly what shoppers want. They find what they are looking for, and the process to checkout is sped up. It’s an experience that’s valuable for both the shopper and the retailer.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GtDhZb1nNF0?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How many consumers are using visual search?</h4> <p><strong><em>MD:</em></strong> While we aren’t at liberty to disclose exact numbers, we can tell you that every month there continue to be new users and stronger statistics that support that this is the direction of the future of search.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Uploading pictures to visual search is easiest when browsing on mobile, where conversion is typically low. Is this problematic?</h4> <p><strong><em>MD:</em></strong> This is still a problem in mobile commerce, but one that we're trying to help solve. We bridge the gap from content to commerce by streamlining the path from inspirational image – be it on Instagram or in the image library on your phone – to the checkout page.</p> <p>Among the many challenges of shopping on mobile is of course the screen size, which isn’t optimized for endless scrolling. Our Visual Search eliminates that entire process: Shoppers land directly on the product they were looking for, making shopping easier than it has ever been.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Your tool can be used to help advertisers with content creation. Where else can you see visual search used as a back-office tool?</h4> <p><strong><em>MD:</em></strong> There are many use cases for Fashwell’s tech, both on the front and backend. For instance, we work with a fashion marketplace that uses our automatic <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68921-an-introduction-to-ai-powered-ecommerce-merchandising">attribute tagging</a> in the backend. Each of their products is automatically tagged with attribute labels, both for their physical and aesthetic qualities. This helps the retailer manage their catalog, as well as personalize the search results for each customer segment since they have information on their shoppers’ style.</p> <p>Additionally, we help to speed up and automate the product tagging process for the curation teams at a number of technology companies who build shoppable content or distribute UGC content for publishers, brands and retailers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9283/shop_now.jpg" alt="shop the look" width="600" height="424"></p> <h4>E: Why is visual analysis used for product classification? Isn't it more efficient to classify with product data?</h4> <p><em><strong>MD:</strong></em> We've been building classifiers for product data tagging, which are a much faster and more scalable solution for product tagging within ecommerce. A big problem that retailers face is that every brand has a different set of attributes and taxonomies with which they describe their products. For example, one brand may call something “pants”, another “trousers” and yet another “long pants”.</p> <p>Fashwell can standardize this by looking at a product image: Our algorithms take it one step further by adding new product information that is generally not included in any type of data – like style, neck type, or the occasion the product would be appropriate for.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9284/sneaks.png" alt="visual classification" width="615" height="256"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What will it take for visual search to be widely adopted in ecommerce? Is it a matter of time? </h4> <p><em><strong>MD:</strong></em> It’s definitely only a matter of time. Some of the world’s biggest companies – Amazon, eBay, Pinterest – already offer visual search, and Europe’s two biggest etailers, Zalando and ASOS, have also implemented visual search as a permanent tool for their shoppers.</p> <p>It’s been predicted that 80% of all search queries are going to be either through images or speech. So with more time, more usage and more technical fine tuning, most brands and retailers will turn to visual search as an effective ecommerce tool.</p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69431-how-machine-learning-can-set-fashion-ecommerce-strategy-product-assortment">How machine learning can set fashion ecommerce strategy &amp; product assortment</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69441 2017-09-25T13:51:00+01:00 2017-09-25T13:51:00+01:00 Six cool things about Leicester City FC's new website Ben Davis <h4>Project background </h4> <p>Seven League began working with Leicester as the club's lead digital agency in December 2015. The agency conducted an audit and assessment of website platforms, CRM, analytics, content, and social media.</p> <p>Leicester, like many football clubs in the English leagues, were beset with legacy technology problems and were intent on migrating away from the generic Football League Interactive (FLi) platform. Ayers points out that though the old FLi platform was obviously no longer fit for purpose, "it’s a hard thing to do to make a centralised platform that works well for 70 clubs" of all different sizes and needs.</p> <p>Indeed, we've looked at other clubs before on the Econsultancy blog (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69332-how-premier-league-club-websites-are-changing-a-swansea-and-stoke-case-study">such as Swansea, Stoke and Middlesbrough</a>) who have also chosen to move away from the FLi solution, though it should be noted that the FLi launched a new platform this summer with many clubs choosing to stay in the modernised scheme.</p> <p>Leicester City decided to run a tender process for new website, new ecommerce platform, new ticketing platform, new CRM and business intelligence platform, and new POS system in the club shop.</p> <p>Ayers admits that it was particularly "difficult to change [so many] parts and sync development timelines" but that contracts were coming to an end at the same time and it was decided that getting these new systems in place would then allow the club to go on and hone its commercial digital strategy.</p> <p>The development took six months, from February to July 2017. You can check out a list of the vendors involved in the project at the bottom of this article.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9121/home.jpg" alt="lcfc home" width="615" height="318"></p> <p><em>The new LCFC homepage</em></p> <h3>Six cool things about the Leicester City FC website</h3> <h4>1. Single sign-on</h4> <p>Leicester is now in exalted company as Ayers says that "Across Europe, as far as I’m aware, it’s just Bayern Munich and Paris St. Germain that have the same level of single sign-on that Leicester have got now."</p> <p>Yep, Leicester City is the only Premier League club with website, tickets and ecommerce rolled into one account for the fan. That's great, but it's also quite revealing of the pace of digital transformation at most Premier League clubs.</p> <p>Single sign-on is a big plus for many reasons (UX, data, conversion), though Ayers admits that "you’re never going to get a fan saying 'wow, my single sign-on experience is so amazing'." It is, however, a big hygiene factor and "annoying to people if you don't have it", says Ayers.</p> <p>In order to create the single sign-on, ticketing history was maintained and migrated to the new accounts – fans simply had to enter their season ticket or membership number to link an old account to their new one.</p> <p>Purchase history was not carried across from the online shop, but Ayers laid out the rationale for that decision, saying "It was felt that because product ranges change very often and the data was somewhat messy, the likelihood of being able to do something useful with that data wasn’t that high compared to what we have with the new platform" and was very much secondary to ticket history.</p> <p>(<strong>Update, Oct 2017:</strong> Ayers has since let me know that they "did migrate all of the historic retail data into the new CRM system, but we didn’t make it available in the relevant API for display in the front-end on fan’s account history pages" – Ed.)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9122/Screen_Shot_2017-09-25_at_12.08.56.png" alt="sso" width="500"></p> <p><em>One account to rule them all</em></p> <h4>2. Analytics is set up properly</h4> <p>In Ayers' words, "web analytics was not good across previous platforms."</p> <p>That's a bit of understatement, given that Ayers tells me "ticketing and retail were on the same platform, but ecommerce tracking wasn’t set up, so I could see how much revenue came in every day, but I couldn’t see [without looking at the sales reporting] whether that was tickets or retail items. Being able to unpick that figure was pretty hard, and you couldn’t get a lot of good intelligence from it."</p> <p>However, Ayers continues, "with the new platforms, we have Google Analytics profiles for each individual site (main, shop, ticketing). And there’s also a rolled-up profile where all the traffic from all those sites is merged into one profile where we de-dupe users."</p> <p>Ayers explains what he means by de-duping in analytics: "A common problem we see on lots of football club ticketing or ecommerce sites is that you look at referrer details to see what’s driving revenue but often what you’ll see is it's our own main website that’s driving revenue – that’s not useful information. I want to know where people came from before they hit our website [and then clicked on tickets or shop]."</p> <p>So, with the new solution "if a user arrives on the main site and then goes to the shop, the individual Google Analytics profiles count that as one session for the main site <em>and</em> one session for the shop, but in reality it’s just one user session, so we can track that, and the <em>real</em> numbers [in the rolled-up profile]."</p> <p>Again emphasising how dated the old FLI platform had become, Ayers says that "the mobile and desktop sites were literally different products. One analytics profile for mobile and one for desktop – trying to glue that data together was speculative."</p> <p>Thankfully, the Foxes are in a much better position now to understand their online success.</p> <h4>3. A clear incentive for paid membership</h4> <p>"One of the nice things that single sign-one has enabled," says Ayers, "is to tie the membership scheme in well and have a clear digital pathway from free digital members to paid members."</p> <p>Leicester's membership scheme is similar to other clubs in many ways – paid membership allows early access to tickets, and free membership allows people to watch video or listen to live audio commentary.</p> <p>But where Leicester has been smarter is linking the two via the online shop. Paid members get 5% of their shop spend back as rewards, season tickets earn 10%. Free members earn these rewards, too, but crucially they are only redeemable if you are a fully paid up member. "So there may become a point," Ayers points out, "if you’ve spent money in the shop over the season, where it becomes uneconomic not to pay for membership."</p> <p>What this means is that pathway for users may look something like this:</p> <ol> <li>Visit website and read some free content and browse the shop.</li> <li>Sign up as free member to watch video content.</li> <li>Purchase a strip in the club shop.</li> <li>Take incentive to pay for membership.</li> <li>Purchase tickets for a cup game.</li> </ol> <p>Unlocking this pathway is a big bonus of single sign-on, and no doubt Leicester will optimise these journeys and club marketing over time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9123/shop.jpg" alt="online shop lcfc" width="615" height="318"></p> <p><em>The online shop</em></p> <h4>4. Content teams are liberated </h4> <p>All the excellent content you see on the Leicester City website is produced by internal content teams, which were beefed up in the wake of Leicester's 2015/2016 title win.</p> <p>Ayers makes some interesting points about how a legacy platform with poor UX previously impacted the content team:</p> <p>"Previously, content teams produced a lot of video content that was behind the FLI subscription product, and because it was behind the paywall, the reach of the content was lower. Inevitably, [content teams] focused on the things where they got – social media, for example, which saw a huge uplift in the title-winning year. Putting content into subscription channels didn’t get as much reaction and job satisfaction can be affected."</p> <p>Though a lot of this content is still behind a free subscription on the new website, the platform now looks great, the team can present their work in a much more pleasing way using different long form articles or video formats, with much better functionality that you'd normally associate with a web publisher. Suddenly, Ayers says, "[content teams] take a lot more pride in the website."</p> <p>This means, Ayers continues, that "the quantity and quality of content has increased, with people trying new things." Regular live broadcasts are a notable new addition, with content that feels very much like that of a major broadcaster involving past players acting as pundits.</p> <p>There's a knock-on effect that this has around the club. Ayers cites the example of access to first team players: "Players have lots of commitments. It can be the case that players are less interested in club internal channels if they don't look great. Whereas now they are more likely to appreciate them. It's a win-win, the website benefits and the players benefit."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9124/video.jpg" alt="video content" width="615" height="318"></p> <p><em>Improved video content</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9125/Screen_Shot_2017-09-25_at_12.11.07.png" alt="broadcasting lcfc" width="615" height="289"></p> <p><em>Professional review programmes hosted by ex-players now tempt free registration</em></p> <h4>5. Mobile is converting</h4> <p>Some early stats for you now.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Old</strong> ecommerce store: 53% traffic was mobile, 20% of revenue was mobile</li> <li> <strong>New</strong> ecommerce store: 57% traffic is mobile, 38% of revenue is mobile</li> </ul> <p>Obviously, Ayers says, "this was expected, given the comparison of functionality between the old and new ecommerce sites."</p> <p>"Historically," Ayers adds, "football ecommerce sites have been an afterthought. For example, the old Leicester shop used to offer only one delivery method – next day courier at £6 – now it offers Royal Mail, too." This is what customers expect and will of course have a bearing on overall conversion.</p> <p>A site with good UX on mobile is vital for convincing customers to buy when in the moment on the smaller device.</p> <h4>6. Leicester will be able to capitalise on Blue Friday and Christmas</h4> <p>Success on the pitch has had a big impact online for Leicester City. Ayers tell me the club shot up close to the top six Premier League clubs for social media engagement and followers.</p> <p>And though he admits it "would have been nice to have the new website in place" during the title-winning season and the following Champions League campaign, Ayers says "they still did very well on Blue Friday," the club's version of Black Friday.</p> <p>The hope is that the new website will allow even more sales on these important holidays in 2017, as the functionality and resilience of the platform will help the club meet demand efficiently.  </p> <p><em>Seven League and Leicester City FC's list of vendors for the new website platforms:</em></p> <ul> <li><em>Pulselive built the LCFC.com site</em></li> <li><em>Digital Boutique built the ecommerce site</em></li> <li><em>TopTix built the ticketing and hospitality site</em></li> <li><em>Sports Alliance manage the data warehouse, CRM platform and business intelligence that comes from that</em></li> <li><em>PCS Technology provide the fanstore retail systems and stock control.</em></li> </ul> <p><strong><em>More on Premier League football:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69380-arsenal-vs-spurs-which-premier-league-club-offers-the-best-mobile-ux"><em>Arsenal vs. Tottenham: Which offers the best mobile UX?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/"><em>Digital Transformation in the Premier League: Southampton FC's fan-first strategy</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69414 2017-09-12T10:15:00+01:00 2017-09-12T10:15:00+01:00 Four big digital trends impacting travel & tourism marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>But, how exactly are they doing it? Here’s a look at of some of the most interesting trends in online tourism marketing, and why certain destinations are leading the way.</p> <h3>Immersive video</h3> <p>In 2015, both Facebook and YouTube introduced 360-degree video, leading many tourism destinations to experiment with the medium. </p> <p>The benefits are obvious. If done well, 360-degree video enables viewers to immerse themselves in a destination as well as specific activities or events, generating much higher engagement than standard video. </p> <p><a href="https://skift.com/2017/01/17/5-charts-showing-the-untapped-potential-of-360-degree-video-in-travel-planning/" target="_blank">Research from Skift</a> backs this up, but also shows that getting people to actively watch 360-videos is still somewhat of a barrier. It found that while only 13% of users say they’ve interacted with a 360-degree video, 51% of those that have say they find them much more engaging.</p> <p>So which tourism brands have been getting involved? Here are a few of the best examples.</p> <h4>Philadelphia Virtual Tour</h4> <p>Visit Philadelphia allows viewers to jump into the sights and sounds of ‘Philly’ with a series of immersive videos of the city’s most recognisable spots.   </p> <p>Viewers can skate along the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, look around Elfreth’s Alley and experience what it’s like to be in the middle of Washington Square. With a full-screen format plus the option to use a VR headset, it offers a great way to get a glimpse of what’s it like to actually be there.</p> <p><a href="http://www.visitphilly.com/virtual-tour/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8877/Welcome_to_Philly.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="398"></a></p> <h4>VisitLEX Horses</h4> <p>Lexington in Kentucky is known as ‘horse country’. The city’s tourism board, VisitLex, chose to hone in on this niche appeal this with its 360-degree video, Horses.</p> <p>The video immerses users inside the world of horses, allowing them to see a 360-degree view of race day, the animals being groomed, and the fields in which they roam. By focusing on this rather than the general location, VisitLex is able to target a much more specific audience. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4bx-RXegHus?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>British Columbia: Whistler Within</h4> <p>British Columbia uses action to drive its 360-degree video, Winter Within, showing viewers exactly what it’s like to ski in the area. In fact, by allowing viewers to navigate wherever they choose, it offers more of a view than the skiers themselves can enjoy.</p> <p>While 360-degree tour video might serve a more functional purpose, adventure videos can be effective for really ramping up excitement in the run-up to a trip.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VVRAB4eoPbk?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Slick UX and design</h3> <p>Last year, I wrote about five tourism websites <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust" target="_blank">guaranteed to give you wanderlust</a>, and one thing they all have in common is a particularly slick and engaging UX.  </p> <p>While most other types of travel-related websites rely on bookings, focusing on avoiding abandoned user journeys and so on, tourist board sites have the luxury to concentrate on beautifully designed and informative content. </p> <p>Tennessee Vacation grabs the user’s attention with highly visual and arresting imagery, designed to highlight different aspects of the state. It also helps different types of travellers navigate the site depending on what they’re interested in.</p> <p>While indoor and outdoor activities might appeal to families, Nashville’s nightlife is bound to appeal to younger travellers. </p> <p><a href="https://www.tnvacation.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8878/tennessee.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="343"></a></p> <p>Another example of great design is Visit Finland – specifically its animated map.</p> <p>Users are taken around the map as they scroll, with each section detailing information about key attractions within four regions. The map itself is deliberately cartoon-like, however I think this adds to its charm, with the main enjoyment stemming from the easy user experience and bright design.</p> <p><a href="http://www.visitfinland.com/destinations/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8879/VisitFinland.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="455"></a></p> <p>In the UK, Visit Cornwall also makes use of striking design, integrating site-wide video into its homepage.</p> <p>Showcasing the county’s beautiful coastal views, it effectively captures the user’s attention and shows off its unique appeal.</p> <p><a href="https://www.visitcornwall.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8880/visitcornwall.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="458"></a></p> <h3>Food tourism</h3> <p>Another element that tourism boards are increasingly focusing on is food. Gastronomy is a huge motivation for travellers around the world – the AAA found that an estimated 22m Americans will take a culinary-focused holiday in the next 12 months, while 75% feel that food is an integral part of their trip.</p> <p>It’s not just about recommending <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67785-why-restaurants-need-a-hyper-local-influencer-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">local restaurants</a> either. Content relating to tasting experiences, food markets, and regional produce can all be effective for engaging foodies – all the while helping to boost local businesses.</p> <p>Catalunya is one tourism board to have a dedicated food section on its website, where it features videos about the region’s famous cuisine and wine. As well as increasing engagement from people interested in food, this type of content also helps to promote the authenticity and unique identity of a place.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kXXsUlQgul8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>NYCGo also has an extensive focus on food, using a magazine style format to delve into the restaurants, food trends, and quirks that make its dining scene so famous.</p> <p>It also promotes food events happening in New York City, helping users to plan specific trips and events as well as gain inspiration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8881/NYCGO.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="677"></p> <h3>Instagram</h3> <p>It’s unsurprising that most tourism sites have a very strong presence on Instagram – it’s a trend that’s seen across the entire <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68815-becoming-an-influencer-notes-from-a-fledgling-travel-blogger/" target="_blank">travel industry</a>. However, it is a great way for tourism boards in particular to establish themselves as a standout brand, using the platform to increase visibility and awareness.</p> <p>Whereas Twitter or Facebook might create a more passive user experience, an increasing number of people are using Instagram to search for inspiration.</p> <p>Tourism boards are able to capitalise on this, delivering stunning and inspiring imagery based on destination-interest.</p> <h4>PureMichigan</h4> <p>PureMichigan has an impressive 516,000 followers on Instagram. Compared to VisitCalifornia’s 295,000 and NYCGO’s 212,000 – the US state is clearly doing something right.</p> <p>Most of its success appears to be down to a focus on user generated content, with the channel continuously posting and crediting imagery to others. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8883/puremichigan.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h4>Greenland</h4> <p>Greenland makes the most of its photogenic landscape, using Instagram to showcase everything from its epic icebergs to magnificent wildlife.</p> <p>It doesn’t only just focus on the imagery, however, with its captions providing users with informative insight into life on the island.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8882/Greenland.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="650"></p> <h4>VisitLondon</h4> <p>Finally, VisitLondon shows that you don’t always have to use Instagram to target international travellers.</p> <p>Posting imagery that celebrates all aspects of life in the capital, it is able to become a source of interest for locals as well as potential visitors.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8884/VisitLondon.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="574"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67996-what-travel-tourism-marketers-can-learn-from-discover-la/">What travel &amp; tourism marketers can learn from Discover LA</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69109-why-visit-sweden-and-other-tourism-boards-are-teaming-up-with-airbnb/">Why Visit Sweden and other tourism boards are teaming up with Airbnb</a></em></li> </ul>