tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/web-design Latest Design content from Econsultancy 2017-08-08T09:37:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69311 2017-08-08T09:37:00+01:00 2017-08-08T09:37:00+01:00 Six lessons we can learn from the best stationery brands on Instagram Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why can’t social media get enough of the stuff? And what are these brands doing to delight and engage users online? Let’s delve into the topic a little more.</p> <h3>1. Inject personality &amp; humour</h3> <p>While Instagram is often used for inspirational content – perhaps to motivate users to get fit or eat healthily – a lot of people look to it purely for entertainment purposes. </p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/asadali/2015-05-24/business-social-media-infographic" target="_blank">research</a>, entertaining content is one of the top four reasons people follow brands online, alongside other factors like customer service and product information. Brands that can elicit a chuckle or even just provoke a smile are instantly more memorable, meaning customers are probably more likely to follow them long-term.</p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/ohhdeer/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8037/Ohh_Deer.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="518"></a></p> <p>As well as being a stationery retailer, Ohh Deer also describes itself as a platform for illustrators, using artwork by artists like Gemma Correll and Cat Faulkner. Capitalising on pop culture references and relatable humour, Ohh Deer often posts images of these illustrations on Instagram. </p> <p>These posts are ideal for the platform, as not only do they promote the actual products sold by the retailer, but they also provide an instant impact – perfect for users scrolling through their feed.</p> <p>Of course, humorous stationery is not Ohh Deer’s only selling point, but these posts tend to stand out the most – resulting in consistent levels of engagement for the brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8036/Ohh_Deer_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="496"></p> <h3>2. Nod towards nostalgia</h3> <p><a href="https://hbr.org/2014/07/science-shows-why-marketers-are-right-to-use-nostalgia#comment-section" target="_blank">Scientific studies</a> have shown that feelings of sentimentality and nostalgia can increase people’s willingness to buy desired objects – mainly due to the sense of connectedness this kind of emotion generates.</p> <p>We’ve seen many brands capitalise on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68860-four-ways-nostalgia-can-help-to-boost-your-marketing-efforts/" target="_blank">nostalgia in marketing campaigns</a> before, including the likes of Pepsi and Nokia. It’s also a popular tactic for increasing engagement social media, with stationery brands such as London-based company Present and Correct using it to tap into people’s fondness for the past.</p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/presentandcorrect/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8038/Present___Correct.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="514"></a></p> <p>The brand mainly sells vintage-inspired stationery which – in its own words – is inspired by ‘things we have enjoyed from school’. As a result, its uses Instagram to evoke the same memories in users, including nostalgic images of old-fashioned school supplies such as rubbers, pencil cases, and staplers.</p> <p>In turn, the brand naturally increases feelings of warmth of positivity (assuming the memories are positive, that is) – which, as I previously mentioned, is helpful for prompting online purchases.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8039/Present___Correct_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="501"></p> <h3>3. Create an aesthetic</h3> <p>The most popular channels on Instagram (both in terms of brands and influencers) tend to have one thing in common, regardless of industry or genre. They all have a theme.</p> <p>This doesn’t necessarily mean posting similar photos about the same subject matter, but rather, creating an aesthetic or particular style using a specific colour palette. The reason this works well on Instagram is that is helps to establish a brand, making it instantly recognisable to followers.</p> <p>Kikki.K – the Swedish stationery company – is a great example of this. Its Instagram channel uses a pastel and gold colour theme. </p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/kikki.k/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8040/KikkiK.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="508"></a></p> <p>However, this is just its current strategy. When scrolling further down its feed, we can see how it has subtly and slowly changed this over time. </p> <p>The simplicity of Kikki.K’s imagery is also another important factor. Deliberately steering clear of clutter, is uses a minimalistic style to reflect the idea of a fresh start – something that is often associated with a new notebook. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8042/KikkiK_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="383"></p> <h3>4. Tap into trends</h3> <p>Minimalism seems to be having a moment, a fact also demonstrated by the recent popularity of books such as <em>The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up</em> and <em>The Curated Closet</em>.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, it is an incredibly popular trend on Instagram, with the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67671-11-of-the-most-memorable-brand-hashtags-of-all-time" target="_blank">hashtag</a> often being used by design and home interior brands.</p> <p>Japanese brand Muji is built around a similar minimalist aesthetic, using this to appeal to US consumers amid recent international expansion. While its online presence is also rather ‘less is more’ – with the brand having a strict ‘no advertising’ policy – it does have a social media presence. </p> <p>As you might expect, it capitalises on the growing Instagram trend for de-cluttering, particularly using it in relation to its stationery and organisational products.</p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/mujiusa/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8045/Muji_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="496"></a></p> <p>It uses hashtags like #storage and #organize to make its content more discoverable via search.</p> <p>This tactic also encourages <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">user-generated content</a>, with customers naturally using the same hashtags when uploading their Muji purchases (and the results of their organisation and planning efforts).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8046/Muji.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <h3>5. Capitalise on seasonal events</h3> <p>Seasonal or timely events can help brands boost engagement on Instagram. As well as piquing general interest, this is also because popular hashtags tend to relate to specific times of the year – think #pumpkinspicelatte near Halloween or #firstdayofsummer in June.</p> <p>Paperchase uses seasonal events like this as the basis of its Instagram strategy, mainly capitalising on its greetings card and gifting vertical to do so. Its feed showcases the best of its seasonal product range, such as cards for Father’s Day or Valentine’s. And much like Kikki.K, it also uses colour and design to continue the theme. </p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/frompaperchase/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8043/Paperchase.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="381"></a></p> <p>Paperchase doesn’t just capitalise on the most obvious holidays, either. It also targets general audience demographics, such as kids going back to school or people likely to attend summer weddings.</p> <p>It even jumps on niche trends such as unicorns or llamas to generate interest through associated hashtags. Who knew 'unicorn party' was a thing?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8044/Paperchase_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="498"></p> <h3>6. Create context</h3> <p>Lastly, while a lot of the aforementioned examples showcase their products on shelves or in-stores, Smythson uses Instagram to showcase them as part of a wider, more luxury-driven lifestyle.</p> <p>It mainly does this by partnering with social media influencers as well as other brands in the verticals of fashion and lifestyle.</p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/smythson/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8047/Smythson.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="495"></a></p> <p>With research by MuseFind suggesting that 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement, it’s no surprise that brands from all industries are using the strategy.</p> <p>By choosing a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69096-four-reasons-luxury-brands-are-embracing-influencers/" target="_blank">certain kind of influencer</a> – a luxury fashion blogger for example – Smythson ensures that it builds on its brand’s high-end and exclusive nature.</p> <p>Finally, by showcasing stationery items including invitations and famous notebooks alongside other categories like luggage, it is also able to cross-sell to customers and instil desire for the wider brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8048/Smythson_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="496"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68987-why-instagram-is-the-ideal-platform-for-fitness-brands" target="_blank">Why Instagram is the ideal platform for fitness brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank">Four delicious examples of food &amp; drink brands on Instagram</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68262-three-innovative-examples-of-instagram-ux-hacks" target="_blank">Three innovative examples of Instagram UX hacks</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69284 2017-07-31T11:37:39+01:00 2017-07-31T11:37:39+01:00 How Wonderbly uses data and personalisation to create a magical ecommerce experience Nikki Gilliland <p>So, alongside a winning product, what has been the key to Wonderbly’s success? Here’s a bit of an insight into what it’s been doing right.</p> <h3>Harnessing data and personalisation </h3> <p>Wonderbly’s first product, the <em>Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name</em>, is a great example of personalisation in its own right. It’s a fairly simple but original premise – the characters and elements of the story correspond to the different letters in a child’s name – and different to the standard idea of using the child's name for the main character.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Juni's last Christmas present came, all the way from England! The little boy who lost his name <a href="https://twitter.com/LostMyName">@LostMyName</a> <a href="https://t.co/OpZjJCZWjs">pic.twitter.com/OpZjJCZWjs</a></p> — Sarah McTamney (@SarahMcTamney) <a href="https://twitter.com/SarahMcTamney/status/811009352215756800">December 20, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>The brand’s other books, such as <em>Kingdom of You</em>, are based around even greater levels of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68285-six-things-to-consider-when-implementing-personalisation/" target="_blank">personalisation</a>, allowing customers to integrate specific details about a child such as their birthday or favourite food. </p> <p>Apart from shaping the product itself, Wonderbly is able to use the customer data it generates to take personalisation to another level, making elements of the path to purchase much more relevant and tailored to individuals.</p> <p>Speaking at last year's <a href="http://www.datasciencefestival.com/ryan-moriarty-using-data-help-create-impossibly-personalised-storytelling/" target="_blank">Data Science Fest</a>, Ryan Moriarty, Head of Data Science, explained how the company discovered that the female audience accounted for just a 29% share of sales for its book, <em>The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home</em>. In contrast, <em>Lost His/Her Name</em> had a 50/50 split between boys and girls.</p> <p>On the back of this discovery, the brand re-designed the book’s cover to better highlight its value proposition (reinforcing the ‘home’ element) to appeal to all genders. There was a subsequent 25% increase in conversion rates to females as a result. While Ryan alluded to the fact that the change in design could be seen as Wonderbly giving in to sexist stereotypes, the increase in sales validated the decision.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7781/Nikki.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="290"></p> <p>Wonderbly also heavily draws on customer data to target and re-target consumers, largely focusing on Facebook and its ad platform. The company's co-founder, Depesh Mandalia, has <a href="http://figarodigital.co.uk/article/in-depth-depesh-mandalia-marketing-growth-at-lost-my-name/" target="_blank">spoken about</a> how Facebook's algorithm and its predictive capabilities has helped the company to better target users on social media.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://blog.ometria.com/im-a-sucker-for-handwritten-notes-ira-wichmann-on-next-level-personalisation" target="_blank">Ometria</a>, CRM is also a huge focus, with the company drawing on data from previous customers to inform future marketing. If a customer has already bought <em>Lost Her Name</em>, for instance, it will retarget the same person with a pre-personalised mock-up of <em>Kingdom of You</em> – re-engaging with the user based on an existing relationship, and allowing them to imagine the next step in the journey.</p> <h3>Using customer insight</h3> <p>In his talk at Data Science Fest, Ryan Moriarty also explained how, alongside using customer data to optimise on-site targeting (e.g. showing certain characters that might appeal to different genders or countries), Wonderbly also uses insight – usually in the form of surveys and online feedback – to inform the future product roadmap. </p> <p>For example, the assumption might be that all customers are parents or grandparents – but what if the buyer doesn’t necessarily know specific details about a child, such as their favourite food or home address?</p> <p>Before launching <em>Kingdom of You</em> – a book which relies on more personal details of a child – the brand surveyed potential customers on the likelihood they would buy the product in future. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7782/Perfectly_personal.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="351"></p> <p>Results found that as the relationship to the child grew more distant (i.e. from a parent to an aunt, to a family friend) – the likelihood decreased. Thanks to this feedback, Wonderbly is currently working on optimising the copy in targeted emails based on these differing relationships.</p> <p>Similarly, it’s also experimenting in the same way with customer intent, aiming to capitalise on the reasons why someone might buy a book for a child and how it might make them feel – as opposed to just the delight of the child.</p> <h3>Focus on UX </h3> <p>Another aspect that sets Wonderbly apart is its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66731-25-excellent-ux-examples-from-ecommerce-sites" target="_blank">focus on design</a>. With customers creating their own books online, a fun and seamless user experience is vital – something the brand certainly delivers on. </p> <p>At the heart of this UX is the book creation tool, which allows users to preview books in full before buying them. </p> <p>However, before customers even get into this process, the site’s use of video and graphics create a wonderfully immersive experience, hooking users in to the brand’s ethos and the story behind each book.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DYhZLQP_X5w?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63462-ecommerce-product-pages-where-to-place-30-elements-and-why" target="_blank">product pages</a> include a few nice touches, too, such as prominent reviews and a visible ‘free shipping’ promise. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7783/Free_shipping.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="447"></p> <p>However, the site’s preview tool is arguably its most impressive feature. With a lot of ecommerce sites still lacking in high quality product imagery, it’s a novel experience to be able to see exactly what the final product will look like. Moreover, it means that the company is perhaps able to reduce dissatisfaction with the final product – as customers will already be fully aware of what they’re going to receive. </p> <p>I also like the fact that the site’s simple UX is suited to all age ranges, too. So whether a parent or less-tech savvy grandparent is using the site, the functional design means it will be easy for most people to use.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7784/Creation_Tool.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="365"></p> <h3>Social media marketing</h3> <p>While much of Wonderbly’s growth has stemmed from word-of-mouth, which was then bolstered by paid advertising and CRM, it’s recently veered into other areas of online marketing with a number of social campaigns. </p> <p>Instead of just promoting the product, however, it aims to provide value, creating campaigns that inherently offer something useful or helpful for customers.</p> <p>It has previously supported worthwhile events and causes, such as World Book Day, encouraging youngsters to read with an incentivised ‘Snowy Book Peaks’ tutorial.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7785/WBD.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="437"></p> <p>Similarly, it uses competitions to encourage user involvement and interaction. Its 'Food Monster' award gave people the chance to have their child’s drawing turned into a professional illustration by artist Marija Tiurina. The competition generated an onslaught of interest online, and a follow-up competition as a result.</p> <p>More recently, the brand appears to be placing more focus on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, capitalising on hashtags to build engagement and encourage <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">user generated content</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7786/_lostinthestory.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="380"></p> <p>Meanwhile, it's not afraid to use a personal or humorous tone of voice on Twitter, which serves to increase user engagement and levels of customer retention. Once someone has purchased one product (perhaps for their own child), the brand strives to re-engage with customers, using this kind of interaction to inspire repeat purchases and interest in new products.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Toddlers, explained in a venn diagram... <a href="https://t.co/ptAHzpsBMl">pic.twitter.com/ptAHzpsBMl</a></p> — Wonderbly (@Wonderbly) <a href="https://twitter.com/Wonderbly/status/781477006038953984">September 29, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Combining a smart use of data with slick design, Wonderbly is a great example of how to build a successful ecommerce company on the back of a single idea.</p> <p>What’s more, as consumer expectations only increase, it demonstrates how important it is to integrate personalisation into every step of the user experience.</p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69226-how-food52-successfully-combines-content-and-commerce">How Food52 successfully combines content and commerce</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69212-how-jo-loves-creates-a-memorable-retail-experience">How Jo Loves creates a memorable retail experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69273 2017-07-27T11:30:00+01:00 2017-07-27T11:30:00+01:00 Luxury ecommerce review: Is Balenciaga's 'normcore' website more than a gimmick? Ben Davis <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7798/home.jpg" alt="balenciaga homepage" width="615"></p> <p><em>Balenciaga homepage</em></p> <p><a href="https://www.balenciaga.com/gb">The Balenciaga site</a> is managed by the Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, which also manages sites for other luxury brands such as Armani, Valentino and YSL. The agency that worked on the site, Bureau Borsche, was tasked with bringing a radically simple design to fruition, one which mirrors Balenciaga's current high fashion ideals. Writing for It's Nice That, Rebecca Fulleylove <a href="http://www.itsnicethat.com/news/bureau-borsche-balenciaga-website-redesign-010317">explains</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>In 2015, Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia was brought in to inject the brand with a 'breath of fresh air', taking his 'norm core aesthetic and mundane brand-abstractions' to Balenciaga’s runways.</p> <p>Bureau Borsche has worked with Demna to emulate this shift on its digital platforms by creating a new website that aims to be 'utterly brilliant in its simplicity and superbly user-friendly'.</p> </blockquote> <p>All of this slightly arcane description begs the question – is the website any good? And how does it compare to other luxury brands?</p> <p>Well, after spending some time on the site, I found it's a tale of two devices. The minimalist concept works much better on a smartphone rather than desktop.</p> <p>The lack of fuss is always strangely compelling on desktop, but be in no doubt that there are some ecommerce conventions that go ignored here, and I'd be surprised if they don't impact on user satisfaction or even the bottom line. On mobile, though, the whole thing feels better proportioned.</p> <p>Let's have a look....</p> <h3>Homepage</h3> <p><strong>Where is the... content?</strong></p> <p>You've seen seen the homepage above. It certainly puts the cat amongst the pigeons when it comes to the debate of whether products should appear on the homepage.</p> <p>Greg Randall <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67394-why-ecommerce-retailers-should-never-place-products-on-the-homepage/">argues</a> that the homepage is there as a signpost and as such should not disrupt the buyer's momentum. Randall says he expects homepages to feature: </p> <ol> <li>Large search box.</li> <li>Clearly displayed main navigation bar/menu.</li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67878-mega-menu-design-trends-in-ecommerce-2014-vs-2016/">Mega menu</a>. </li> <li>Content tiles in the body of the homepage pictorially representing main categories. </li> </ol> <p>The Balenciaga homepage arguably only scores points on number 1 - it has a clearly visible search box. The tiny burger menu in the top right corner is almost imperceptible on desktop and it doesn't even render on first visit to the site on mobile, as shown below.</p> <p>However, maybe this is a bit of a moot point – the menu itself is fairly useless as it merely replicates the category structure the user will see if they click on the 'female' or 'male' content blocks. Essentially, the content itself is the menu.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7818/IMG_3935.png" alt="balenciaga homepage" width="300"></p> <p><em>Homepage on mobile</em></p> <p>By making the page so simple, Balenciaga succeeds in not derailing a customer from their buying intent by distracting them with product images, but ultimately it fails to adequately point them onwards on desktop.</p> <p>If I was looking for Men's jackets, for example, I would not be able to get there in one click – it takes three. These clicks require some concentration, without imagery to guide me.</p> <p>Just look below, I have clicked through from 'mens' and I still can't see 'jackets'. Is it in 'collections'? No. I have to know to click on 'ready to wear'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7802/cateogries_mens.jpg" alt="categories - mens - balenciaga" width="615"></p> <p><em>Balenciaga men's category 'rabbit hole'</em></p> <p>That might not seem too complicated. But compare the above user experience with that of Dolce &amp; Gabbana, seen below. D&amp;G's mega menu on desktop allows me to quickly find the jackets category I am looking for and get there in one click.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7804/dg_menu.jpg" alt="d&amp;g mega meni" width="615"></p> <p><em>Dolce &amp; Gabbana's mega menu - helping me find jackets in one click</em></p> <p>On mobile, where the Balenciaga site has much less white space and where users are accustomed to tapping three or four times through a menu structure, the site feels much more like a successful design (see below). In fact, it feels app-like and user-friendly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/7820/img_3936-blog-flyer.png" alt="balenciaga categories" width="300"></p> <p><strong>Visual aids</strong></p> <p>Language is surely a consideration here, particularly on desktop. Whilst browsers will translate the Balenciaga category text for users that don't speak English, wouldn't some imagery help guide, say, a French monoglot shopping from a London IP?</p> <p>The D&amp;G site, pretty much standard in this regard, uses content tiles when I click through to 'mens' with images illustrating each product category. Would this help desktop Balenciaga buyers?</p> <p>I'm perhaps sounding a bit harsh about the Balenciaga homepage. One excellent feature is the search bar. Okay, there are no images in the suggested search to help guide me, but there are lots of suggestions that very quickly help me narrow down to a particular product type (see below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7803/search.jpg" alt="search balenciaga" width="615"></p> <p><em>Balenciaga's nicely detailed suggested search goes some way in making up for the lack of a decent menu</em></p> <p>A final word on the lack of content on the homepage: Whilst showcasing products on the homepage can lead first-time visitors to underestimate the breadth of the product mix, Balenciaga's lack of...well, anything on the homepage arguably does the same (again, mostly on the more sparse desktop version). I'm left unsure of what is on offer without clicking hither and thither.</p> <p><strong>The text size is annoying on desktop</strong></p> <p>Look again at the homepage, below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7798/home.jpg" alt="balenciaga homepage" width="615"></p> <p><em>Balenciaga homepage and its small text</em></p> <p>My own opinion is if you're going to make a feature of the text, why not make the text stand out?</p> <p>I read <a href="https://medium.com/@xtianmiller/your-body-text-is-too-small-5e02d36dc902">an article</a> by designer Christian Miller recently who argues that website body text should be bigger, at least 20px. Miller writes: "There is a misperception among some designers (and stakeholders) that big body text feels “clunky”, or childish."</p> <p>We're not talking about body text here (though there is a small amount on product pages), but the category titles here are still very small. Obviously the image above is reduced in size to fit into this article, but go and have a look for yourself and you'll see the text <em>is</em> pretty small and potentially problematic for some users.</p> <p>Look below at the homepage after I zoom in on my laptop to 200%. Personally I think this is much better (and the change doesn't jeopardise the site's normcore credentials).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7801/home_big.jpg" alt="balenciaga homepage x200" width="615"></p> <p><em>Balenciaga homepage at 200% zoom</em></p> <p><strong>Anything else to note about the homepage? </strong> </p> <p>As you can see for yourself, not really. But I do quite like the reasons to register listed under the account icon (see below). a simple touch but nicely done.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/7806/screen_shot_2017-07-25_at_18.13.41-blog-flyer.png" alt="balenciaga reasons to register" width="350"> </p> <p><em>Reasons to register with Balenciaga</em></p> <p>I think it's also worth noting that I was never once served a pop-up / light box on desktop asking me if I wanted to subscribe to Balenciaga's newsletter. Balenciaga does have such an email, and you can sign up in one click using a handy little form in the footer (see below) but it's noticeable that the site goes to no extra lengths to get me to subscribe.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7807/newsletter.jpg" alt="balenciaga newsletter signup" width="615"></p> <p><em>Balenciaga newsletter signup prompted only in the footer and at checkout</em></p> <p>There is the option to subscribe to the newsletter as I go through the checkout, but for browsers (perhaps planning to buy offline), there is no prompt on arrival. Go to any other luxury fashion brand's website and chances are you <em>will</em> see a light box asking you to subscribe (D&amp;G is shown below).</p> <p>I admire Balenciaga's commitment to a clean and user-friendly design but I wonder if the company is missing out on valuable data because of its aesthetic ideals.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7808/dg_news.jpg" alt="d&amp;g newsletter light box" width="615" height="317"></p> <p><em>Dolce &amp; Gabbana's online store asks new visitors if they would like to signup to the brand's newsletter</em></p> <h3>Product listing pages</h3> <p>This is where we start to see some imagery (at last) and where the mobile comes into its own. The images are two abreast and fill the screen nicely. The simplicity of the design makes the products shine through (see below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7825/IMG_3939.png" alt="" width="300" height="533"></p> <p>On desktop, too, the listing pages are striking. It's a pity the detail pages don't stand up as well...</p> <h3>Product detail pages</h3> <p><strong>A single green compromise</strong></p> <p>Here is a product page on desktop. The first comforting thing to note is that Balenciaga here makes one concession to its minimalist black and white design. Yes, there's a neon green add-to-bag (or 'reserve item') button. A black and white button would have been frankly idiotic so this is encouraging.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7809/PRODUCT_PAGE.png" alt="balenciaga product page" width="615" height="300"></p> <p><em>Balenciaga product page</em></p> <p><strong>Concertinas and a lack of icons</strong></p> <p>Though my screenshot above is a little blurry after I condensed it, you can clearly see that all the important information is concertinaed – the user has to click to view sizes, shipping information etc.</p> <p>In fairness, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63161-31-things-i-need-to-see-on-your-ecommerce-product-page">all the information that a product page needs</a> is here on the page, it just needs a bit of clicking to find it. I don't object to this – it's a useful way to save space on mobile in particular and can focus the user on the purchase. However, I do think that where a choice of colours is available, it's pretty important that these colour swatches aren't hidden. If a user misses the colour options, they may navigate away, unaware that the blue version they wanted is in fact a reality.</p> <p>The same goes for available sizes, perhaps. And on desktop, it would be nice to see some thumbnails of the other product images in the carousel, rather than having to click through each.</p> <p>It's all a little tucked away. Some icons may help, too, to draw the user to the information they need – a heart for the wishlist, a truck for shipping, and so on. That would really help the minimal design, especially for international users. The white space is again somewhat detracting.</p> <p>You're probably shouting that I'm missing the point of normcore, but I'm only looking at it from a UX (and revenue) point of view.</p> <p><strong>How do I zoom?</strong></p> <p>I was all set to write about how much of a shame it is that you can't zoom in on product images. But eventually I found out there is a very adequate zoom – there's simply no indication that it's there.</p> <p>There's no icon or copy, and the cursor does not change to a magnifying glass or a plus when I roll over the imagery (see the grainy and super exciting GIF below). All of which means some people may not figure out how to take a closer look at these expensive items, which is surely a user's number one priority for a product details page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7811/no_zoom.gif" alt="no obvious zoom" width="500"></p> <p><em>The GIF shows no change to the cursor indicating a zoom function, even though a very good one exists (the user has to know to click)</em></p> <p><strong>Opportunities lost on desktop</strong></p> <p>I found that some products didn't have any product detail imagery, just full length model shots. It's also the case that while some product pages have very nice recommendations below the fold, not all product pages provide such cross-sell suggestions. This is an opportunity lost.</p> <p>My overall feeling about these product pages on desktop is that they do the job, but no more than that. The 'store availability' function works very well, it must be said, and users can reserve items at their local store – surely a big plus for clothes in this price bracket.</p> <p>But, if we look at D&amp;G desktop product details page below (which itself is nothing special), it's clear that Balenciaga doesn't use the full page in the same way. See how D&amp;G has more information available at a glance (size and colour), better imagery and thumbnails.</p> <p>A few simple tweaks is all Balenciaga needs. And if it wanted to do something many competitors don't, it could provide links to the other items that the models are wearing in the product photography. This 'shop the look' functionality would be an even better way to cross-sell items.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7810/Screen_Shot_2017-07-25_at_18.52.03.jpg" alt="d&amp;g product page" width="615" height="339"></p> <p><em>A Dolce &amp; Gabbana product page</em></p> <p><strong>But the mobile product details page is a different kettle of fish</strong></p> <p>On mobile, things have a very different feel again – the product image fills the screen and the information is easy to read and to access with a quick tap. Swiping through images is also much better suited to mobile.</p> <p>All in all, the mobile device reverses the fortunes of these product pages, turning the white space from a weakness into a strength.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7824/IMG_3937.png" alt="" width="300" height="533"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7823/IMG_3938.png" alt="balenciaga product page" width="300"></p> <h3>Checkout</h3> <p>Don't worry, I didn't checkout with a £500 t-shirt and claim it on expenses. I did however notice, and this is a minor gripe, that when checking out, my order summary doesn't show what item I'm buying, in what size or colour. I have to hit 'review order' in the top right (see screenshot below).</p> <p>I do get a detailed order summary when I proceed to payment, but only after I have entered all my payment details and scrolled down. This is only a trifling annoyance, but a detailed summary could be shown on each page of the checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7812/ORDER_SUMMARY.jpg" alt="order summary balenciaga" width="615"></p> <p><em>Balenciaga checkout does not give me an order summary until I'm about to hit purchase, possibly increasing the returns rate</em></p> <p>Other than this gripe, the checkout is pretty foolproof. I am happy to see I can checkout as a guest (see below), and there's some nice information about gift giving and packaging (see in the image above).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7813/REGISTRATION_CHECKOUT.png" alt="checkout as guest balenciaga" width="514" height="358"></p> <p><em>Guest checkout</em></p> <h3>Nice touches</h3> <p>There's a good <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65622-store-locator-tools-which-retailers-offer-the-best-mobile-ux">store locator</a> – pretty important for luxury fashion brands.</p> <p>I also like the grey footer, to distinguish from the very minimal page content (see image below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7814/grey_footer.png" alt="balenciaga footer" width="615"></p> <p><em>A rather chic grey footer</em></p> <p>There is also a delightful little micro-interaction when rolling over many of the buttons on desktop, such as 'back to top', 'proceed to checkout' and 'back to shopping' (see GIF below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7815/back_to_top.gif" alt="balecniaga button" width="500"></p> <p><em>Micro-interaction</em></p> <h3>Conclusion - what more could the site be doing?</h3> <p>Fashion comes and goes, whereas many important UX considerations in ecommerce have stuck around for a decade.</p> <p>I enjoyed using the Balenciaga website, but to say it is user-friendly is to ignore the problems with its homepage and product pages on desktop, where the design sometimes feels like a pastiche. Pastiche is definitely not cool.</p> <p>On mobile though, I think the agency has really achieved a simple design where the product is the star.</p> <p>So what should Balenciaga be doing differently, particularly on desktop? Arguably it should:</p> <ul> <li>Add a mega menu</li> <li>Do more to showcase its products</li> <li>Champion its offline stores in a more obvious way (outside of the store locator tool)</li> <li>Provide at least a little inspiration to users, with some photograpy or even video</li> <li>Help users out by using category content block imagery and product page icons</li> <li>Make everything a bit more obvious (bigger?)</li> </ul> <p>Ecommerce is all about experience. On mobile that means a slick journey and simple browsing. On desktop, however, there's a little more freedom to impress. It's a tight rope, but one that luxury fashion brands need to walk in order to bring their brand to the fore. </p> <p>If the website can drive the agenda of the brand aesthetic and create a little PR, however, maybe Balenciaga was right to go with a high concept? Reader, you decide.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69279 2017-07-27T10:01:00+01:00 2017-07-27T10:01:00+01:00 13 creative call-to-action examples and reasons why they work Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what makes an effective CTA? Here are 13 creative examples and the reasons why they work so well.</p> <h3>OKCupid</h3> <p>The CTA on OKCupid’s homepage cleverly takes away the need for any deliberation, drawing users in with a simple form that promotes the idea of a quick and easy sign-up process. Combined with the humorous nature of the main copy, which effectively explains the brand’s value proposition, it makes clicking ‘continue’ feel like a natural next step.</p> <p>The prominent position of the CTA button also means that there are zero distractions. With nowhere else to browse or scroll, the chances of the user clicking through are likely to be increased.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7728/OKCupid.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="388"></p> <h3>Joules</h3> <p>This Joules newsletter is another good example of effective CTA positioning. It’s impossible to miss the dark blue button in the centre of the email.</p> <p>Sure, the ‘shop now’ phrase is uninspiring, however, the accompanying pun of ‘don’t mullet over’ is what makes it work. A clever play on user behaviour - it naturally instils urgency, and prompts the consumer to browse the sale before all bargains are gone.</p> <p>I also like the ‘come and say hello’ copy at the bottom, which uses a friendly and personable tone to entice customers to head in-store.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7729/Joules_email.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="774"></p> <h3>Warby Parker</h3> <p>Instead of leaving users to browse the website of their own accord, Warby Parker cleverly uses an interactive quiz to guide people down the purchase funnel. </p> <p>With the promise of helping to narrow down the perfect pair of frames, the ‘take the quiz’ CTA adds a gamification element as well as a more personalised outcome. The inclusion of a box that says ‘good things await you’ emphasises this point.</p> <p>This kind of CTA is particularly effective at hooking in consumers still very much in the discovery stage, adding a bit of fun to what could be a lengthy or boring browsing experience.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7730/Warby_Parker.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="418"></p> <h3>The Skimm</h3> <p>The Skimm – a free daily newsletter aimed at women – uses newsletter CTAs to encourage word of mouth, prompting existing readers to share articles with others. To do so, it encourages people to sign up for its ‘Skimm’bassador’ program, which gives members perks like free trips and early access to special offers.</p> <p>The progress bar shows users how many steps stand between them and their status as a ‘Skimm’bassador’, while the prominent circular button grabs the user’s attention with a tongue-in-cheek CTA.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7733/The_Skimm_2__2_.JPG" alt="" width="648" height="554"></p> <h3>Grammarly</h3> <p>Grammarly’s homepage CTA is simple but incredibly effective. The bright and bold colour ensures the button stands out, while the copy cleverly includes both a prompt to add Grammarly and a reason why you should. Highlighting the fact that Grammarly is free helps reassure people who might be thinking twice about clicking.</p> <p>This CTA is also a great example of personalisation, with Grammarly recognising which browser you are using and changing the copy accordingly. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7734/Grammarly.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="371"></p> <h3>Missguided</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68387-how-missguided-uses-personalisation-to-create-an-addictive-shopping-experience/" target="_blank">Missguided</a> often uses language to appeal to a young, digitally-savvy and pop-culture-loving audience. This CTA prompting customers to sign up to its newsletter is no different, using the word ‘squad’ to promote the sense of comradery and togetherness that comes with being part of the Missguided gang.</p> <p>The 30%-off promise is also a valuable proposition, giving customers a sense that they’re signing up to something far more exclusive than just a newsletter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7736/Missguided.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="510"></p> <h3>HostelWorld</h3> <p>Unlike the standard ‘search’ button, HostelWorld manages to evoke the exciting nature of travel with a short but punchy CTA. The phrase ‘Let’s go!’ – complete with exclamation point – creates urgency, giving users the sense that there’s no point wasting time. Meanwhile, the ‘best price guarantee’ instils trust. </p> <p>The bright orange design and central positioning grabs the user’s attention, eliminating distraction so that people will be prompted to go straight to search.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7737/HostelWorld.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="632"></p> <h3>Firebox</h3> <p>Firebox is another brand that’s known for its quirky and creative tone of voice, which is demonstrated here by its ‘ARRIBA ARRIBA’ CTA.</p> <p>Meaning a variation of ‘hurry up’ or ‘let’s go’ in Spanish, the phrase cleverly co-ordinates with the fiesta-themed product category, while its playful and motivational nature further entices customers to click-through. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7745/Firebox.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="465"></p> <h3>Amazon Prime</h3> <p>In contrast to other more minimal examples, Amazon veers towards clutter with this CTA for its Amazon Prime service. However, it is undeniably persuasive, using words like ‘simplify’, ‘free’, and ‘limitless’ in the surrounding copy to sell its package of convenience.</p> <p>The CTA button itself is clear and concise, and other phrases such as ‘cancel anytime’ and ‘see more plans’ reassure customers to make them feel like they’re in control. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7739/Amazon_Prime.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="434"></p> <h3>AYR</h3> <p>US clothing brand AYR aims to tap into the consumer mind-set with its short and sweet CTA. </p> <p>Instead of using language that asks you to do something (e.g. ‘buy now’), the company often talks from the perspective of the customer. Language like ‘Mine’ and ‘I want’ reflects an inner desire for the product, inspiring consumers to actually imagine owning it instead of browsing from afar.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the brand uses conversational language to instil intrigue. For example, using ‘it’s super fun’ as a CTA to check out AYR's physical stores might sound abstract, but it makes the user question <em>why</em>, and encourages them to find out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7740/AYR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="438"></p> <h3>River Island</h3> <p>Urgency is another tactic often deployed by online retailers, as seen here in a River Island email.</p> <p>It’s certainly not the most inspiring creative, but by including a strong CTA that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/" target="_blank">successfully instils FOMO</a> (‘fear of missing out’) alongside a discount – with nothing else in the email – the brand increases the likelihood of users clicking straight through rather than browsing other content and eventually clicking away.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7747/River_Island.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="581"></p> <h3>BlueCross</h3> <p>CTAs are a vital tool for the <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68781-five-ways-charities-can-encourage-more-online-donations" target="_blank">charity sector,</a> helping to maximise user engagement and fundraising.</p> <p>People might automatically assume that giving money is the only way to help, so in order to combat this the BlueCross nicely highlights the different ways people can get involved with four distinct CTAs.</p> <p>While it could arguably be more effective to move this section higher up the landing page, the drop-down menu already prompts users to take a specific path. What’s more, the simple but striking graphics grab the user’s attention if they do happen to scroll down. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7744/BlueCross.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="519"></p> <h3>Unicef</h3> <p>Another charity example to end the list, with Unicef and its motivational CTA. Instead of merely asking users to donate or help out, it explains the results of a specific fundraising scenario in order to inspire and drive action. This effectively paints a picture in the mind of the user.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the bright yellow ‘donate to help children’ button catches the eye, simultaneously giving the user a much more direct and immediate route to making a difference. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7743/Unicef.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="456"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63139-six-useful-case-studies-on-where-to-place-your-cta-to-maximise-conversions">Six useful case studies on where to place your CTA to maximise conversions</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63139-six-useful-case-studies-on-where-to-place-your-cta-to-maximise-conversions">10 nudge-tastic examples of persuasive copywriting from charities</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69241 2017-07-14T12:09:00+01:00 2017-07-14T12:09:00+01:00 Three reasons to admire Glossier: The best online beauty brand you've never heard of Charles Wade <p>The brainchild of reality TV semi-celebrity Emily Weiss, it is a spin-off from her popular blog ‘<a href="https://intothegloss.com/categories/the-top-shelf/">IntoTheGloss.com</a>’ (an editorial beauty site). Whilst Glossier’s trajectory from nowhere to darling of the cosmetics world has much to do with its sister site, the savvy CEO, and a tidal influencer strategy, it is in fact the fantastic customer journey – from online to on-skin – that keeps people coming back for more.  </p> <h3>Subjective Lines </h3> <p>This is a brand that knows its audience, nowhere is this more evident than email newsletters, which are often playful and quizzical, yet equally compelling.</p> <p>For example, on March 2016 a message was sent with the odd title “Re: Phase 2 Launch tomorrow”. Inside there was plain text, no images, and content – it appeared to be a professional exchange between the Head of Design and the Founder that had been mistakenly forwarded to customers.</p> <p>“Hey guys!” the former proclaims, “The new product pages and fonts go live in the AM. Watch out world, there’s a new serif in town.” Weiss fires back: “This is huge, guys. TOMORROW!!!” The ‘Unsubscribe’ option at the bottom revealed that it was indeed a mail-out. Essentially an exercise in ‘guerilla emarketing’, it gave the recipient the feeling that they were peeking behind the curtain, with tantalising language that generated anticipation. </p> <p>The brand has frequently returned to the theme of provocative subject lines, such as “ADULTS ONLY”, “whoops”, and “How to get Rich”. Sometimes the content is related – in the case of the latter it is about ‘rich moisturizer’ – whereas others are often more ambiguous. Another example from May 26 was titled “Are you leaving?”. Given the channel it had shades of an unsubscribe message, yet it was in fact about Glossier's travel pouch (for carrying items on the plane). It is borderline clickbait – but it works.</p> <p>Glossier has used GIFs; added instructional graphics to images; and even brought back an early 2000s favourite, downloadable ‘wallpapers’. What is remarkable is how the brand consistently finds new ways to excite its audience, belying the fact that the ecommerce store carries less than 30 products.</p> <h3>‘Sitegiest’</h3> <p>The inbox experience is extended unequivocally through to <a href="https://www.glossier.com/">the website</a>, which could act as a reference point in ecommerce. Although the templates that underpin the site are not revolutionary, the brand majors on strong imagery and equally compelling language, with quips such as “the best highlighter in the universe” expertly placed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7482/glossier_homepage.png" alt="" width="750" height="404"></p> <p>A common theme with this brand is the sense that it knows its customer; this translates throughout the user experience (UX). For example, the arrow cursor has been replaced by a series of emoji-style icons that are different from one piece of content to the next, utterly pointless but equally glorious.</p> <p>The product pages are impressive. Not only is the inventory shot luxuriously – often on models who are in fact employees – there is a full description, replete with awards won and application guidelines. Towards the bottom of the page images are used to further describe an item. For example, the highlight properties of ‘Haloscope’ make-up are cleverly presented by a simple motion: the wearer moves her hand from side to side, whereupon it shimmers in the light.</p> <p><a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/haloscope"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7483/haloscope_makeup.png" alt="" width="750" height="429"></a></p> <p>Glossier can also claim to have been consistently aware about how its products might look on different skin tones. Those items with more than one shade usually have multiple application guides featuring models with varying skin or lip colours. Another clever initiative is the ability to either add a single piece into the shopping bag or essentially subscribe by selecting ‘Deliver every’ one, two, or three months. Glossier has been brave with reviews too: a sample of the best and worst are positioned next to each other at the top of the section – all remaining responses are listed thereafter. (A customer can even sort results by date or highest / lowest rating.)</p> <p>The checkout is invitingly easy. Here too a neat touch, with a progress bar filling in front of the eyes to indicate how many more dollars are required to qualify for free shipping. Gamification of the purchase process is rarely a bad thing.</p> <p>However, the best is saved for mobile. Glossier has not bothered with an app, but, recognising the proliferation of smartphone usage amongst its audience, has designed an excellent m-commerce site. In fact, it basically is an app.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7484/glossier_mobile.png" alt="" width="280" height="498">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7485/glossier_mobile_2.png" alt="" width="280" height="498"></p> <p>For example, simple navigation is anchored to the bottom of the page, rather than <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65511-hamburger-menus-for-mobile-navigation-do-they-work">via hamburger menu</a>. Product shots fit snuggly within an iPhone screen and automatically scroll, making life a little more convenient for the viewer. One slight error though might have been adding so many reviews to each page, forcing the user to scroll for quite some time before being shown related items.</p> <p>The checkout is – like its desktop counterpart – brilliant. As a further help, a promo box is presented as a prominent overlay, making it easy to enter the code.</p> <h3>Applying The Gloss</h3> <p>Whilst Glossier's comms and user experience are no doubt fantastic, it would be all in vain if the product was a letdown. Yet in many ways this is the strongest suit and ensures an exquisite end-to-end journey.</p> <p>First-off, the price-point is squarely in-line with the dominant player in the market, Sephora. For example, a $25 'Priming Moisturizer' is comparable to anything on its competitor’s site. Glossier definitely sits in the enticing ‘affordable, not cheap’ zone, thereby giving it enough of an aspirational quality, without costing “<a href="https://www.glossier.com/category/makeup">half a paycheck</a>”. Indeed, the Glossier <a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/glossier-sweatshirt">sweater</a> notwithstanding, no single item strays above the $40 mark.</p> <p>The product packaging is almost flawless. The typography is bold and robust, and the standalone ‘G’ logo has an almost gothic quality. Juxtaposed are the simple yet bright colour blocks, which look like a pantone – this is demonstrated ably in the <a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/cloud-paint">Cloud Paint</a>. The company has managed to produce an inventory that is feminine without being ‘girly’. Crucially, it is easy to imagine the items standing out inside a bathroom cabinet. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7486/Cloud_paint.png" alt="" width="700" height="470"></p> <p>This is essentially an online business (the exception being a Manhattan showroom), so parcel presentation is important, especially given that shipping, whilst free over $30, is otherwise not cheap and certainly slower than buying at a local shop.</p> <p>An order comes in a white box embossed with Glossier's single-letter logo. Under the lid there is are quotes like "Skin First. Make up second. Smile always.”, all conveying a personal touch. The merchandise is encased within a pink semi-transparent sleeve with bubble wrap. (Perfect for carrying on a flight with most products below the TSA liquid limit.)</p> <p>Inside might be stickers or notes, all to enhance the unboxing experience – again, a knowing nod to a distinctly millennial endeavor. Whilst sales and consumer feedback attest to the quality, should someone not like their purchase they can return it for free. However the brand urges you to give it someone else who might like it and still receive money back. Clearly, this is not altruistic, however it reaffirms a central pillar of thoughtfulness that runs across all customer touchpoints.</p> <h3>Finally...</h3> <p>There is much more to admire about the brand, such as its social media presence and ethics, yet it is these three aspects that stand-out. The path from email to enamel is considered, engaging, simple, and rewarding.</p> <p>And on July 12 Glossier <a href="https://intothegloss.com/2017/07/where-can-i-buy-glossier-canada-uk-france/?_ke=Y2hhcmxpZXdAYXNvcy5jb20%3D&amp;utm_campaign=canada&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=glossier&amp;utm_content=canada_prelaunch_quebecnocountry_071217">announced</a> that it will start to ship internationally. The formula is a winning one, so expect to see Glossier soon.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69224 2017-07-04T23:59:00+01:00 2017-07-04T23:59:00+01:00 How to get started with design thinking Jeff Rajeck <p>At a recent Econsultancy event, Digital Outlook 2017 Part 2 hosted by NTUC, Nicholas Kontopoulos, Global VP of Fast Growth Markets, SAP Hybris, offered just that. In his presenation, Nicholas told attendees why we need design thinking, what its goals are, and how to get started.</p> <h3>Why we need design thinking</h3> <h4>Engaging consumers is hard</h4> <p>It almost goes without saying that it has never been more difficult for brands to engage with consumers. </p> <ul> <li>Click-through rates on ads are at an <a href="http://www.smartinsights.com/internet-advertising/internet-advertising-analytics/display-advertising-clickthrough-rates/">all-time low</a>,</li> <li>Consumers report that <a href="https://www.cebglobal.com/blogs/b2b-sales-and-marketing-two-numbers-you-should-care-about/">most of the buying process is over before they interact with a brand representative</a>, and </li> <li>More than <a href="http://about.americanexpress.com/news/docs/2014x/2014-Global-Customer-Service-Barometer-All.pdf">half of consumers have abandoned purchases</a> due to a poor service experience</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7217/designthinkng1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="341"></p> <p><strong>Consumers don't trust brands</strong></p> <p>In addition to struggling to reach potential customers, brands are also finding that consumers don't trust brands either.</p> <p>A <a href="http://adage.com/article/btob/siriusdecisions-survey-examines-trusted-b-b-sources/280552/">B2B survey by SiruusDecisions</a> found that fewer than half (42%) favor brand-initiated trials and demos whereas nearly two in three (64%) prefer independent white papers.</p> <p>Even more revealing, <a href="http://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2013/6/3/b2b_buyers_don_t_tru.html#gs.S0rwtWQ">reported by the CMO council</a>, is that two in three (67%) consumers say that professional groups are highly trusted but fewer that one in ten (9%) say the same about vendors.</p> <h4>The marketing funnel has gone haywire</h4> <p>Finally, even when brands are in touch with the consumer, they find that the marketing funnel is not what it was.</p> <p>Instead of being able to tie each step of the customer journey with a particular channel (e.g. TV = 'awareness'), customers now 'choose their own adventure' by connecting with the brand through a wide variety of mediums in their own way and at their own pace.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7220/designthinking4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="446"></p> <p>So, Nicholas explained, we need a new way to reach consumers, build trust, and provide better guidance through the customer journey.</p> <h3>Paving the way for design thinking</h3> <p>The reason why marketers have ended up in this situation is that brands are out of touch with their customers.</p> <p>So, Nicholas pointed out, marketers must step away from their product, brief, or day-to-day tasks and, instead, think deeply about their customers.</p> <p>Why? Because consumers pay attention to innovation and avoid the mundane.<strong> </strong>Innovation is one of the best ways to break through the consumer 'bubble' but it requires both creativity and execution.</p> <p>Brand marketers, however, tend to be excellent in execution but lack creativity, and that's where design thinking comes in. Design thinking helps marketers be more creative so that their execution, their daily work, matters to customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7219/designthinking3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="500"></p> <h3>How to get started with design thinking</h3> <p>So having established why we need design thinking, a vexing issue remains. How can marketers get started? Nicholas offered a step-by-step guide:</p> <h4>1) Start by listening to your customers</h4> <p>First and foremost, marketers should seek genuine customer feedback about the product or service they provide. This will help them elicit genuine problems which the customer finds painful.</p> <p>For the process to be effective, design thinking must be human-centred and empathy needs to be at the heart of it.</p> <p>Once a problem is identified, marketers can then work on a solution with the aim of engineering engaged customers.</p> <h4>2) Iterate through solutions</h4> <p>There are a number of design thinking methodologies, but each is based on the idea that design teams should take risks, test new ideas, and be willing to sacrifice those which only deliver incremental value to customers.<strong>  </strong></p> <p>Here are the steps provided by Nicholas for finding truly innovative solutions.</p> <p><strong>i) Scope the problem space</strong></p> <p>With the customer problem in mind, marketers should thoroughly research the problem space with an open mind. Only when a problem area is well-scoped will new approaches emerge. </p> <p>Personas, customer journey maps, touchpoint analysis and user stories are all produced at this stage.</p> <p><strong>ii) Ideate</strong></p> <p>While it may sound like obscure business-speak, ideation simply requires marketers to synthesize the various elements of the customer's problem and think of ways to solve the problem.</p> <p>Ideas should be unconstrained at first but the team should end up with a prioritized list of solutions.</p> <p><strong>iii) Prototype</strong></p> <p>The next step is to turn the idea into an actual product or system, the prototype.</p> <p>Prototypes will probably not be finished products or solutions, but<strong> they need to deliver feedback which helps the team understand whether the new approach will have significant impact on the problem.</strong></p> <p>Prototypes can be low or high-fidelity. Low-fidelity prototypes, such as storyboards or UI sketches, are quick and easy but may not generate enough feedback to make changes. High-fidelity prototypes, such as models and working systems, are more time-consuming to produce but will deliver more valid data.</p> <p>The process of building a prototype can also help spark new ideas.</p> <p><strong>iv) Test</strong></p> <p>The best prototypes should then be given to actual users without prompting to see whether the new idea solves the problem in an intuitive way. </p> <p>Having multiple solutions at this stage helps as users can then compare alternatives and provide better feedback.</p> <p>Note that the whole design thinking process is iterative and non-linear. At any point the team may drop back a step to rethink the problem or even use test results to re-examine the problem area.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7218/designthinking2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="500"></p> <h4>3) Deliver balanced solutions</h4> <p>Once an innovation emerges from the design thinking process, marketers should then think realistically about delivery.<strong> </strong></p> <p>Every solution should follow the three key principles of design thinking. The solution should be:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Desirable: </strong>The solution should be what you and your customers want to see happen.</li> <li> <strong>Feasible:</strong> It should be possible with new or existing technology.</li> <li> <strong>Viable:</strong> It should be something which your organisation can sustain and something customers are willing to pay for.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7221/designthinking5.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="320"></p> <p>Nicholas's closing advice is for design thinking teams to go very broad in thinking what is desirable but to spend extra effort identifying what solutions are feasible and viable.</p> <p>The end point of design thinking is the delivery of a new, innovative product or service which solves the customers problem and satisfies the three principles of desirability, feasibility, and viability.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank <strong>Nicholas Kontopoulos, Global VP of Fast Growth Markets, SAP Hybris</strong> for his presentation as well as the delegates who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6936/event3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69101 2017-05-23T14:42:00+01:00 2017-05-23T14:42:00+01:00 Why increasingly efficient UX might not always be a good thing Nick Hammond <p>"Efficiency is at the heart of progress. Yet just as too much of a good thing (travel, say) can yield a bad (congestion), so excessive ease in transactions can generate costs, known in the jargon as a “facile externality”, such that less efficiency would actually be more efficient. In academic circles…. the notion is well established that innovations which eliminate too much hassle could do society harm."</p> <p>The article continues, stating that "a few companies have recognised the benefits of restoring friction. Research into “the Ikea effect”, named in honour of those happy hours spent with an Allen key, a Billy bookcase and a rising hatred of Sweden, shows that people put extra value on things when they devote their own labour to them."</p> <p>It is important to mention at this point, that the above Economist article came out on 1st April and the mention of the UN’s “Don’t Nudge—Tell” office (DoNuT) rather gave the game away, with regards to the article’s seriousness. Although the idea of a tax on efficiency is good fun and makes for a great April Fool, this piece got me thinking. I see a grain of truth here, whether intended or not, and you will see below examples that support this view. </p> <p>In the pursuit of efficiency, the purchasing process is being made progressively easier. Amazon’s 1-click ordering makes it easier for people to buy stuff.  But not easy enough for some organisations - witness the advent of ‘zero-click’ ordering. Dominos have pioneered <a href="https://www.dominos.com.au/inside-dominos/technology/zeroclick" target="_blank">“zero-click” pizza-buying</a>, simply open the app and, after ten seconds, it automatically places a pre-set order. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6350/zero_click.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="347"></p> <p>Dangerously for brands, a focus on efficiency threatens to short circuit the importance of branding, and brand values, with the customer. The nature of speed is utilitarian and is therefore unreliable and indefensible as a brand USP. Fine if you are the fastest but not so good if you get overtaken. </p> <p>Let’s consider how overt speed, efficiency and ease of access, can be a problem within specific categories.</p> <h4>Content distribution</h4> <p>As content providers increasingly distribute via major technology platforms, the value of the brand and the content becomes reduced. Stories are taken out of context, often edited down and sometimes re-distributed unbranded. Established media brands may have few other options to reach their audience, but it does their brand equity no good in the long term. </p> <h4>Location based taxi Apps</h4> <p>On a recent trip to Austin, despite the lack of Uber in the city, I found there were five or six different location based taxi apps to choose from. The differences between them were marginal, apart from the odd technical glitch, and it was easy to register and swap between services. In this instance, the efficiency of the delivery mechanisms and the resultant commoditisation of the products, worked against the opportunity for brand differentiation.</p> <h4>Online food order and delivery services</h4> <p>As with the taxi apps, brands such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and HungryHouse are similar in terms of product and delivery. Therefore, a major consideration becomes that of velocity – who can deliver sustenance the fastest.</p> <p>To counter this, companies like these are seeking to build personalities in order to forge connections with consumers. As with soft drinks, beer and online betting, there is little differentiation in this market so the relative importance of brand equity becomes greater.</p> <h3>Positive friction</h3> <p>On the other side of the coin, there are instances where deliberate friction can have a positive effect. A good example in the banking sector is Monzo. Monzo's ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68756-prudent-ux-for-banking-monzo-designs-positive-friction/" target="_blank">positive friction</a>’ design approach includes options such as late-night spending reviews, and spending and top-up limits. </p> <p>In the healthcare category, an example of positive friction is the redesign of Tylenol (pain reliever) pill packaging. By switching from bottles to blister packaging, Tylenol related suicides declined 43%, with accidental poisonings significantly shrinking too. The reason for this was simple, in the original bottle packaging, a person could open the cap and ingest more than enough pills to overdose in one swift movement.</p> <p>In the new blister packaging, by decreasing the number of pills in the pack and forcing the person to individually pop each one out of its casing, enough minor friction was created to drastically bring down suicide numbers. This was all achieved without hindering the experience for those using the pills for medical reasons.</p> <p>Positive friction is being utilised across a range of business categories and environments. Even the most transactional businesses, for example travel and ticketing sites, employ techniques to encourage users to stay connected longer. Ticket booking sites such as Viagogo engineer deliberately delayed loading pages (artificial friction) to indicate the ‘popularity’ of an event and increase anticipation, pressure to purchase. Airlines encourage app downloads, which can then be used to surface additional information, such as flight updates or upcoming travel offers.</p> <p>Major digital channels encourage users to stay on their sites as long as possible. Facebook could make the process of posting quicker, but that would do them no favours as they encourage longer dwell time for users to interact with advertising.</p> <h3>In the workplace</h3> <p>Positive friction is increasingly used in workplace design to encourage interaction and the modern equivalent of the ‘water cooler moment’. Google’s latest London offices are a good example. This <a href="http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/does-your-office-create-positive-friction-8953942.html" target="_blank">from The Evening Standard</a>:</p> <p>‘Google’s sparkling new £1 billion headquarters in King’s Cross will have a climbing wall, rooftop pool and indoor football pitch but it’s short of one thing — offices. This is because Google wants to encourage something called positive friction — that’s bumping into your colleagues, but not the ones you know. Think Big Bang theory for working. Great things come from collisions.’ </p> <h3>Bots and automation</h3> <p>On the negative side, technology is having an effect as well. Technology is bringing greater efficiency which, alongside the introduction of automation and bots in the decision-making process, raises serious ethical questions.</p> <p>In a recent article <a href="http://www.brandlearning.com/views-ideas/marketing-capability/the-future-and-eternal-truth-of-marketing-trust/" target="_blank">on trust</a>, I discussed the relationship between brand and consumer, and the transparency with which it is conducted, which risks being further confused by the growing influence of bots. ‘Choice architecture’ is changing with the rise of automation, robotics and AI. Bots will refine choices presented, and even make choices on behalf of consumers. Some argue that the intervention of bots will mean that matters of ethics, which are nuanced and not binary decisions, will get side-lined.</p> <p>'In any event, the reality is that this will place even more responsibility on the brand to uphold ethics. Bots may ignore these in the moment of choice, but ultimately, any brand that cannot meet the requirement for transparent ethics, will risk a consumer backlash.’  </p> <p>Venturebeat.com strikes <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2017/04/03/3-challenges-of-developing-bots-for-immersive-environments/" target="_blank">a more serious note</a> on the negative effects of efficiency than The Economist, quoting Airbnb’s Steve Selzer and his view that immediacy and the absence of friction are creating a less tolerant, less self-aware world. 'This is why designers of intelligent, immersive experiences need to build in meaningful friction, encouraging reflection and awareness of the actions themselves as well as their consequences.'</p> <p>A separate article from Chatbots Magazine does hint at an upside to chatbots though, saying that <a href="https://chatbotsmagazine.com/humans-are-saying-thanks-to-bots-why-i-believe-this-peculiar-interaction-is-important-ac5066481e57" target="_blank">people seem to say 'thank you'</a>, although there is no logical reaason to do so, which may mean some technology is promoting good behaviour.</p> <h3>Virtual realities</h3> <p>The advent of other realities, augmented and virtual, in tandem with reduced friction, may also cause problems. This also from Venturebeat – ‘…reflection is even more important in immersive environments, where you don’t so much “watch” or “use” experiences as really “live” through them. VR experiences are perceived by the brain as actually happening to the user, so their transformative potential — toward self-development or rapture — is quite powerful.’</p> <p>For brands, the question of how to provide the right amount of friction to unlock reflection but not to hamper experience is critical in building a world that, in addition to doing things, thinks about what it is doing.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69078 2017-05-18T10:55:05+01:00 2017-05-18T10:55:05+01:00 How brands are tapping into the transformation economy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what brands are taking this approach? Here are just a few examples. </p> <h3>Nike</h3> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63129-10-awesome-digital-marketing-campaigns-from-nike/">Nike’s branding</a> has always evoked notions of self improvement and positivity, this has been in more of an inspirational sense rather than in terms of the actual product offering. Of course, sports gear can be a key tool when it comes to physical transformation, but examples like the Nike+ app offer a much more tangible way of achieving it.</p> <p>Through the Nike+ app users can join local running clubs, track and monitor progress, and even set goals based on personal ability. By offering data in return, customers are essentially able to use the Nike brand to help make getting and keeping fit a much richer personal experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5979/Nike_.JPG" alt="" width="752" height="633"></p> <h3>Selfridges</h3> <p>According to the 2014 Boston Consulting Group report, of the $1.8trn spent on ‘luxuries’ in 2013, nearly 55% was spent on luxury experiences. More often than not, these experiences tend to be rooted in a quest for health or wellness – which is also the idea behind retail initiatives like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68034-how-selfridges-s-body-studio-blurs-the-lines-between-digital-in-store/" target="_blank">Selfridges’ Body Studio</a>.</p> <p>Located in the London Oxford Street store, the space includes a clean-eating café and a hair studio. It also holds regular fitness events and motivational talks.</p> <p>You could argue that the Body Studio is more of a marketing exercise, simply a selection of products packaged up and sold under the umbrella of ‘wellness’. After all, shoppers aren’t going to feel all <em>that</em> different after a visit. Having said that, I think it still demonstrates how brands and retailers are using the power of transformation and related experiences to drive the sales of products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uObtsABLuhY?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>District Vision</h3> <p>While District Vision is largely an ecommerce brand – selling eyewear for runners – it also sees its events and experiences as part of its product offering.</p> <p>The company, which began in New York, is based on the idea that ‘mental wellbeing is the foundation of every form of physical exercise’. As a result, it also offers a meditation and running program that helps runners to – you guessed it – run and meditate at the same time.  </p> <p>So, as both a wellness company and an ecommerce business, District Vision is one of the first real examples of a brand set up to be transformative - rather than as a by-product of a marketing strategy. By using its values as the very basis of its product research and development – as well as the paid-for events it offers on top – it is able to offer consumers a way to better themselves both physically and mentally.</p> <p>It’s a tall order, of course, but it’s certainly a bit more enticing than just paying for a designer logo.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5978/District_Vision.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="462"></p> <h3>Headspace</h3> <p>Headspace, the mindfulness app, proves that meditation can be the basis of a viable business model. In fact, it has used a subscription-based service – which offers unlimited access to sessions for £7.96 a month – to generate a reported annual revenue of over $50m.</p> <p>Naturally, this would not be possible if there was not the demand from consumers. And with the increase in technology and social media, issues relating to anxiety, mental health, self-esteem, and exhaustion are also on the up.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What are you trying to cram into your day that could wait until tomorrow? <a href="https://t.co/vNsT7zoaIi">pic.twitter.com/vNsT7zoaIi</a></p> — Headspace (@Headspace) <a href="https://twitter.com/Headspace/status/861279481318617088">May 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While the transformative aspect of Headspace is clear – with the aim of reducing the stresses and strains of everyday life – it could also be seen as revolutionary in a wider sense. By helping to bring awareness to mental health issues, it has also helped to change common perceptions, while making meditation a widely accepted part of modern life. </p> <p><em><strong>Related article:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68701-the-impact-of-the-sharing-economy-on-retail/" target="_blank">The impact of the sharing economy on retail</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69082 2017-05-12T10:00:00+01:00 2017-05-12T10:00:00+01:00 How Coca-Cola uses design to create a memorable customer experience Nikki Gilliland <p>Also at Summit was James Sommerville, VP of Global Design at The Coca Cola Company, talking about how Coke designs the digital experience to be every bit as real as the physical. </p> <p>Here are a few key takeaways from his talk.</p> <h3>Making Coke relevant for modern consumers</h3> <p>James kicked off with a question – how exactly can a brand stay relevant when its product hasn’t changed for over 131 years? </p> <p>This continues to be a big challenge for Coca Cola, but arguably, it has also been a factor in its success. After all, the Coca Cola brand is as instantly recognisable as the taste of the drink, meaning it does not need to work <em>too</em> hard to differentiate itself. </p> <p>But of course, in such a comptetive market, being recognisable to modern consumers is not enough. It needs to be relevant.</p> <p>James spoke about the importance of innovation within the company, specifically how it has used up-and-coming designers to help inform the evolution of its design. He cited the example of Jonathan Mak - a designer who created <a href="http://www.jonmak.com/Coke-Hands">'Coke hands'</a> - the image of two people shaking hands around a Coke bottle, built around the brand’s original and iconic ribbon design. By introducing the notion of togetherness, it naturally evoked the idea of people coming together to share enjoyment in the product.</p> <p>James also spoke about the ‘Contour Mash-up Project,’ which involved asking 100 designers around the world to create posters based on what they imagine the famous Coca Cola bottle will look like in the next 100 years.</p> <p>Not only did the results help Coca Cola to let go of some of its old rules of identity, but it also helped create a visual language for the brand. Some of the entries went on to inspire and directly inform the design of Coke products and brand experiences. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6017/Coke_mash_up.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="479"></p> <p><em>#MashupCoke</em></p> <h3>Creating infectious campaigns</h3> <p><a href="http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/stories/share-a-coke">Share a Coke</a> is one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time – bolstered by the force of social media and sheer consumer favour. Interestingly, James referenced it when speaking about the brand’s digital presence in out-of-home spaces such as Times Square.</p> <p>While displaying a name (e.g. ‘Sophie’ or ‘James’) on a digital billboard in the middle of New York sounds relatively simple – the impact for the consumer is huge. It enables the brand to use its digital presence to forge a one-to-one connection with the individual. Which, in such a saturated space, presents an incredibly valuable opportunity.</p> <p>It is not just personalised aspects that help consumers relate to the digital experience, of course. Coca Cola uses real-time effects in its out-of-home advertising, reflecting the surrounding context with things like weather-related imagery or news headlines. </p> <p>In doing so, it effectively becomes a live and ever-changing visual representation of the brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6013/Coca_Cola_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="454"></p> <h3>Using history to say hello to the future</h3> <p>So, how will the Coca Cola brand continue to evolve in future?</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, its design hallmarks – such as the red disc and swirly font – will remain unchanged. However, with the aim of uniting the brand under a single identity, the different colours of products like Coke Zero and Coke Life will be replaced by a uniform red and silver. </p> <p>This fusion of the past and present continues in its campaign imagery. James cited old Norman Rockwell ads as inspiration behind the latest ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign. Instead of taking direct influence, however, Coke ensures that the ads resonate with a modern audience by depicting decidedly modern experiences.</p> <p>Using the vintage style made famous by Rockwell – whose paintings are much-loved for their intense detail and storytelling - Coke pairs it with jarringly modern images, such as a young boy taking a selfie or girls sunbathing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6016/Coke_image.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="506"></p> <p>Meanwhile, as the official sponsors of the 2018 World Cup, Coca Cola will also aim to fuse together the two experiences evoked by both Coke and football. </p> <p>From the typeface (inspired by Russia) to the new product packaging (which will include score predictors on caps) – it is yet another example of a brand that continuously uses design to innovate as well as honour its long-standing history. </p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6015/typography.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="570"></p> <p><em><strong> Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63175-10-inspiring-digital-marketing-campaigns-from-coca-cola/" target="_blank">10 inspiring digital marketing campaigns from Coca-Cola</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69022 2017-05-04T09:57:00+01:00 2017-05-04T09:57:00+01:00 Five fintech websites with crystal clear value propositions Ben Davis <p>So, when you look at the website of a digital-only bank, there is usually a very clear value proposition, with little obfuscation and jargon, one main message and no complex muddle of products.</p> <p>I've rounded up five financial services websites with crystal clear value propositions, to see what incumbents can learn.</p> <h3>1. N26</h3> <p>In case the homepage pictured below leaves you in any doubt, N26 is a mobile bank. The tagline, "Run your entire financial life from your phone", is about as clear as it gets, and N26 makes sure that the calls-to-action on the page ('open bank account') emphasise the ease with which consumers can sign up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5711/n26_mobile.jpg" alt="n26" width="615" height="317"></p> <p>The straightforward language is continued on the bank account product page. "You'll never have to visit a bank again" – this takes what for some consumers is a negative of online banks (lack of branches) and spins it as a positive for the more mobile-savvy consumer who never wants to stand in a queue.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5712/n26_one_account.jpg" alt="n26 " width="615" height="316"></p> <p>N26's homepage is matter of fact in stating the benefits of its accounts. There's little fluffy copy - "Open an account in under 8 minutes, withdraw from any ATM....get realtime push notifications with every transaction."</p> <p>Note that for all of the companies included on this list, images of the mobile interface are a vital part of marketing to their potential consumers. The interface is the product, just as much as the pricing details. Note, too, the lack of lifestyle images of smiling families that one typically sees on incumbent bank websites (<a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5740/barclays.jpg">here's an image of the Barclays homepage</a> above the fold at time of writing). Objects are captured to show the bank's place within a busy lifestyle (sun hat, passport, keys), but it is the product that inspires trust, not a persona.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5729/n26_features.jpg" alt="n26" width="615" height="335"></p> <p>The '8-minute' proposition is rammed home again when the user clicks to open an account, a nice touch to chivvy the user along.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5728/n26_signup.jpg" alt="n26" width="600" height="185"></p> <h3>2. Trov</h3> <p>Trov offers on-demand insurance. Here's an instance where images of people are appropriate, with the guitar-playing beach bum a strong indication that this insurance product is not as stuffy as all the others, and befits a roaming lifestyle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5730/trov.jpg" alt="trov" width="615" height="336"></p> <p>Illustrations are used effectively. The message format is second nature to younger demographics and its inclusion here is a powerful indicator of a product that works on their terms.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5699/trov_claims.jpg" alt="trov website" width="300"></p> <p>Clicking the 'How it works' button in the top menu gives a very simple light box which demonstrates key features of the app. Once again, this is a very obvious example of a company selling the experience over and above its pricing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5649/trov_slide_2.jpg" alt="trov" width="600"> </p> <h3>3. Acorns</h3> <p>Acorns is a micro-investment platform. The website is particularly good at communicating what the app does. That starts with some confident copywriting – 'Automatically invest life's spare change', followed by the assertion that 'anyone can grow wealth'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5701/acorn_life_spare_change.jpg" alt="acorn" width="615" height="339"></p> <p>Acorns is very good at explaining how the app works, breaking the process down into three steps. The screenshot below shows the advantage that such focused apps enjoy over competition that provides multiple bespoke services – Acorns is able to distill down its proposition. Clarity is one step away from transparency, giving the consumer confidence. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5702/acorns_connect.jpg" alt="investing" width="615" height="342"></p> <p>Security is one marketing message that new fintech players have to convey, where incumbents can perhaps rely on their reputation as safe places for your money. Acorns' website addresses this issue, stating its 'serious security' credentials, including its membership of the SIPC.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5703/acorns_security.jpg" alt="security acorn" width="615" height="327"></p> <p>The $1/month pricing is attractive, offering little barrier to virgin investors, and the Acorns website lists exactly what such a modest fee gets you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5704/acorns__1.jpg" alt="acorn" width="615" height="334"></p> <p>Lastly, I was impressed by the educational content on the Acorns website, designed to make sure its target customers do not feel out of their depth. There's a particularly good <a href="https://youtu.be/zWftVEaTNJg">explainer video</a> (clickable, too) and an FAQ-style section with some very simple questions answered, such as 'what is an ETF?'</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5700/what_acorns.jpg" alt="acorns content for beginners" width="450"> </p> <h3>4. ClearScore</h3> <p>ClearScore is one fintech company that is synonymous with clarity and great UX. Its homepage is probably the best and clearest value proposition in the sector.</p> <p>ClearScore uses the language of enfranchisement – 'your credit score <em><strong>should</strong></em> be free'. And powerfully declares 'Just free. Forever'. This proposition had a big effect on the competition, which followed suit in offering a free score.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5742/clearscore_home.jpg" alt="clearscore" width="615" height="307"></p> <p>Compare ClearScore to incumbent Experian, which looks pretty similar but notably includes much more information to try to assert its trustworthiness and functionality. ClearScore lives up to its name with a website that appears to exist simply to show the consumer their credit score, which is exactly what they want.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5743/experian.jpg" alt="experian" width="615" height="339"></p> <p>ClearScore even dares to declare its credit report beautiful. Again, the company is appealing to the part of the consumer that is fed up with wading through financial guff.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5647/clearscore_beautiful.jpg" alt="clearscore" width="800" height="392"></p> <p>The brand tries to be as transparent as possible when it comes to data, spam and risk-free score checking. These values are important to consumers who don't want their score or their inbox to be compromised simply because they are seeking information in order to improve their situation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5646/clearscore_safe_hands.jpg" alt="clearscore" width="800" height="314"></p> <p>Testimonials offer further assurance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5725/clearscore_testimonial.jpg" alt="clearscore" width="615" height="325"></p> <h3>5. Stash</h3> <p>Stash is another investment platform, like Acorns, which promotes small investments and low fees. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5723/stash_confidence.jpg" alt="stash" width="615" height="225"></p> <p>Stash uses similar messaging to Acorns but has a bit more emphasis on empowerment, rather than the ease/low risk which Acorns promotes. Stash appeals to a 'new generation' of investors and talks about its 'mission' to give everyone access to financial opportunities.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5706/stash_nw_gen.jpg" alt="new gen stash" width="615" height="333"></p> <p>Furthermore, Stash promotes investment portfolios that mean something to the investor.</p> <p>The 'invest in what matters' line is backed up with visuals that represent a range of ETFs, each with their own snappy title (see 'delicious dividends' further below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5707/stash_what_matters.jpg" alt="stash" width="615" height="338"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5710/stash_port_2.jpg" alt="stash etf" width="615" height="318"></p> <p>An investment calculator with a slider helps small investors to project the success of their funds over the next 20 years – a powerful motivator to start today. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5708/stash_calc.jpg" alt="stash calc" width="615" height="311"> </p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>There are some obvious tropes used by these websites, each of which boils down to a focus on UX and transparency. Bold copywriting without too much detail, beautiful shots of the app interface, and calls-to-action to start today are all common place. </p> <p>It's not hard to see how, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68981-could-established-financial-services-firms-lose-a-quarter-of-their-revenue-to-fintechs/">according to a new study</a> conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, established financial services firms could lose 24% of their revenue to fintechs in the next three to five years. As my colleague <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68981-could-established-financial-services-firms-lose-a-quarter-of-their-revenue-to-fintechs/">Patricio Robles points out</a>, fintech startups 'largely don't have to worry about large legacy systems, and their priorities aren't pulled in a million different directions because they don't have a million different lines of business.' This is evident on their websites.</p> <p>Incumbents are fighting back though, with mobile functionality and online services given more elbow room on the homepages of big banks, for instance. As <a href="https://thefinancialbrand.com/64990/digital-banking-fintech-challenger-growth-trends/">reported by The Financial Brand</a>, the incumbents are still in a very good position considering the 'stickiness' of customers in financial services, particularly banking.</p> <blockquote> <p>Challenger banks in the UK face an uninspiring average annual population growth rate (less than 1% over the last five years), and despite efforts to simplify the switching process, the Current Account Switch Service program has seen only 3 million accounts change hands since inception, roughly just 1.1% per year.</p> </blockquote> <p>One thing is for sure, though, those that do switch to new banks, insurers and the like can be fiercely loyal to those companies they see as tech and customer service pioneers. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68866-monzo-outage-is-it-possible-to-fail-in-a-good-way/">The 2017 Monzo outage</a> proved that even in the face of failure, honesty and simplicity are strong brand characteristics.</p>