tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/web-design Latest Design content from Econsultancy 2017-09-22T12:13:14+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3250 2017-09-22T12:13:14+01:00 2017-09-22T12:13:14+01:00 Creative Thinking for Digital Marketing <p>“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein.<br> <br> </p> <p>Our highly interactive 1-day course introduces practical tools to help you think more creatively about your digital marketing challenges.  Your day will be filled with hands-on exercises and examples from many areas, but with a special focus on digital.  </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69419 2017-09-18T15:10:00+01:00 2017-09-18T15:10:00+01:00 How Warby Parker’s newsjacking campaign eclipsed the competition Nikki Gilliland <p>Jumping on real-time events <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68433-newsjacking-the-us-election-six-brands-playing-the-trump-card" target="_blank">such as elections</a> or celebrity deaths can also divide consumers. Cinnabon’s tweet in tribute to Carrie Fisher was both <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69081-six-ways-brand-marketers-can-bring-the-funny-without-being-cringeworthy" target="_blank">comical and clever to some</a>, for instance, yet tacky and insensitive to others.</p> <p>One story to dominate the news recently was the solar eclipse, or more specifically, the first total solar eclipse to cross North America since 1918. Unsurprisingly, with nothing to lose, a wide range of brands from Casper to Lipton used the event to capitalise on social conversation. However, the one campaign that stood out as the best of the bunch was from US eyewear brand Warby Parker.</p> <p>So what did it involve? Here’s a run-down of the campaign, along with a few things we can learn from it.</p> <h3>Brand alignment</h3> <p>Newsjacking is much harder to pull off when the event or occurence is entirely unrelated to a brand or its product, but occasionally, something comes along which feels like a gift.</p> <p>For Warby Parker, this was the case with the solar eclipse. </p> <p>With people desperate to catch a glimpse of the eclipse as it happened, the brand created a campaign based on the importance of protecting your eyes whilst doing so. And what better brand to promote this message than one which sells glasses?</p> <p>Surprisingly, not many others in this retail category took the opportunity. Coastal created a few informative posts on social media on what to do during the eclipse, while Zenni Optical only replied to customer tweets. Other big brands like Ray Ban tried to avoid the subject entirely, only sternly warning people that they would not be protected by wearing sunglasses. Safety was obviously a big concern.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcoastal.com%2Fposts%2F10155485974345903&amp;width=500" width="500" height="529"></iframe></p> <p>In contrast, Warby Parker created a dedicated landing page on its own site called ‘The Great American Solar Eclipse’, alongside activity on social and in its physical stores. </p> <h3>Slick design </h3> <p>Using real-life events for marketing can often be rushed, with brands quickly rolling out tweets in response to something that’s already happened. However, Warby Parker clearly planned its campaign well in advance – a fact reflected by the slick design of its landing page. </p> <p>With stunning graphics and informative content, the page offers users a pleasing UX, and also continues its cool and slightly quirky tone of voice that the brand has become so well known for.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8931/Warby_Parker2.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="523"></p> <p>You can read more on Warby Parker’s UX and design features <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68874-27-bold-ux-design-features-from-disruptive-retail-brands" target="_blank">in this article</a> by Ben Davis.</p> <h3>In-store activity</h3> <p>Other brands that jumped on the eclipse did so mainly for the opportunity to insert their name into the conversation, perhaps posting a funny tweet or offering a bit of information about the event.</p> <p>Warby Parker aimed to provide consumers with something of real value, as well as simultaneously increasing footfall to its own stores. </p> <p>It handed out free eclipse glasses (compliant with ISO safety standards) to visitors of its US shops. If people couldn’t make it in person, however, it also offered online users the chance to download a pinhole projector, which is a special eclipse filter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8925/Solar_Eclipse.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="715"></p> <p>The potential for consumers to directly get involved didn’t stop there - Warby Parker also held a special ‘eclipse-viewing party’ in its Nashville store, where the location happened to fall in the path of totality.</p> <p>The event was made complete with music from local artists and food from nearby restaurants. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8926/Nashville.JPG" alt="" width="490" height="805"></p> <h3>Social engagement</h3> <p>Warby Parker is well-known for its clever social strategy, where it fosters loyalty by conversing with users and posting behind-the-scenes goings on. </p> <p>The solar eclipse was no exception, with the brand taking the opportunity to post eclipse-related content across all of its social channels.</p> <p>Capitalising on the visually stunning nature of the event, it worked with professional storm chasers to photograph the eclipse itself – posting the resulting images on its Instagram channel.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8927/warbyparkerinsta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <p>On Facebook, it launched a competition whereby the winner would be flown out to the Nashville eclipse party.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8928/Warby_comp.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="443"></p> <p>Lastly, on Twitter, it continued its focus on customer engagement – ramping up excitement in the run up to the event as well as acknowledging it after it happened with a constant stream of replies.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/WarbyParker">@WarbyParker</a> nailed it for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SolarEclipse2017?src=hash">#SolarEclipse2017</a> advertising. This is perfect and brand relevant! <a href="https://t.co/J0WfZskzzW">pic.twitter.com/J0WfZskzzW</a></p> — Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChristiJOlson/status/900105830217003008">August 22, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Humour and pop culture</h3> <p>Newsjacking can often veer into silly territory, mainly because brands recognise that engagement will be short-lived. It’s more about creating a splash in-the-moment rather than serious long-term loyalty.</p> <p>In line with this, Warby Parker took the opportunity to create a rather daft parody music video – set to the famous Bonnie Tyler hit, ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. </p> <p>The brand's content strategy usually centres on user-generated content, focusing more on feedback and advocacy from consumers. However, it is not averse to using humour to engage and entertain too, with ‘Solar Eclipse of the Heart’ continuing this unashamedly fun and carefree approach.</p> <p>It clearly resonated with the audience, too. The video has gone on to be the brand’s most-viewed video on Facebook, with 455,000 views on the platform. However, it was not created purely in the name of fun. Warby Parker cleverly used it to promote and raise awareness of its Nashville store event and related eyewear offer.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwarbyparker%2Fvideos%2F10155498749643838%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=476" width="476" height="476"></iframe></p> <h3>What can we learn?</h3> <p>So, what can we learn from Warby Parker's campaign? Here are a few key takeaways:</p> <p><strong>1. Make it relevant</strong>. Unless the idea is super clever, jumping on a real-time event when it has no relation to a brand can seem insincere. Warby Parker recognised that it could offer something of greater value to consumers thanks to the link between the event and its product, instead of merely using it as a shallow marketing ploy.</p> <p><strong>2. Use a multi-channel approach</strong>. Warby Parker is a great example of agile marketing because it created an entire campaign on the back of a cultural event – not just a one-off tweet or Instagram post. This increases the likelihood of engagement, with users being able to get involved with the campaign via a number of different channels.</p> <p><strong>3. Create an experience.</strong> By hosting eclipse parties and offering free glasses, Warby Parker ensured that consumer involvement would transfer from online to offline. In turn, this increased the brand’s connection with its audience, giving them something more memorable than a standard brand campaign might.</p> <p><em>Related reading:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65184-what-is-agile-marketing-and-why-do-you-need-it" target="_blank">What is agile marketing and why do you need it?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68433-newsjacking-the-us-election-six-brands-playing-the-trump-card" target="_blank">Newsjacking the US election: Six brands playing the Trump card</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69414 2017-09-12T10:15:00+01:00 2017-09-12T10:15:00+01:00 Four big digital trends impacting travel & tourism marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>But, how exactly are they doing it? Here’s a look at of some of the most interesting trends in online tourism marketing, and why certain destinations are leading the way.</p> <h3>Immersive video</h3> <p>In 2015, both Facebook and YouTube introduced 360-degree video, leading many tourism destinations to experiment with the medium. </p> <p>The benefits are obvious. If done well, 360-degree video enables viewers to immerse themselves in a destination as well as specific activities or events, generating much higher engagement than standard video. </p> <p><a href="https://skift.com/2017/01/17/5-charts-showing-the-untapped-potential-of-360-degree-video-in-travel-planning/" target="_blank">Research from Skift</a> backs this up, but also shows that getting people to actively watch 360-videos is still somewhat of a barrier. It found that while only 13% of users say they’ve interacted with a 360-degree video, 51% of those that have say they find them much more engaging.</p> <p>So which tourism brands have been getting involved? Here are a few of the best examples.</p> <h4>Philadelphia Virtual Tour</h4> <p>Visit Philadelphia allows viewers to jump into the sights and sounds of ‘Philly’ with a series of immersive videos of the city’s most recognisable spots.   </p> <p>Viewers can skate along the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, look around Elfreth’s Alley and experience what it’s like to be in the middle of Washington Square. With a full-screen format plus the option to use a VR headset, it offers a great way to get a glimpse of what’s it like to actually be there.</p> <p><a href="http://www.visitphilly.com/virtual-tour/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8877/Welcome_to_Philly.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="398"></a></p> <h4>VisitLEX Horses</h4> <p>Lexington in Kentucky is known as ‘horse country’. The city’s tourism board, VisitLex, chose to hone in on this niche appeal this with its 360-degree video, Horses.</p> <p>The video immerses users inside the world of horses, allowing them to see a 360-degree view of race day, the animals being groomed, and the fields in which they roam. By focusing on this rather than the general location, VisitLex is able to target a much more specific audience. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4bx-RXegHus?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>British Columbia: Whistler Within</h4> <p>British Columbia uses action to drive its 360-degree video, Winter Within, showing viewers exactly what it’s like to ski in the area. In fact, by allowing viewers to navigate wherever they choose, it offers more of a view than the skiers themselves can enjoy.</p> <p>While 360-degree tour video might serve a more functional purpose, adventure videos can be effective for really ramping up excitement in the run-up to a trip.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VVRAB4eoPbk?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Slick UX and design</h3> <p>Last year, I wrote about five tourism websites <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust" target="_blank">guaranteed to give you wanderlust</a>, and one thing they all have in common is a particularly slick and engaging UX.  </p> <p>While most other types of travel-related websites rely on bookings, focusing on avoiding abandoned user journeys and so on, tourist board sites have the luxury to concentrate on beautifully designed and informative content. </p> <p>Tennessee Vacation grabs the user’s attention with highly visual and arresting imagery, designed to highlight different aspects of the state. It also helps different types of travellers navigate the site depending on what they’re interested in.</p> <p>While indoor and outdoor activities might appeal to families, Nashville’s nightlife is bound to appeal to younger travellers. </p> <p><a href="https://www.tnvacation.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8878/tennessee.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="343"></a></p> <p>Another example of great design is Visit Finland – specifically its animated map.</p> <p>Users are taken around the map as they scroll, with each section detailing information about key attractions within four regions. The map itself is deliberately cartoon-like, however I think this adds to its charm, with the main enjoyment stemming from the easy user experience and bright design.</p> <p><a href="http://www.visitfinland.com/destinations/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8879/VisitFinland.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="455"></a></p> <p>In the UK, Visit Cornwall also makes use of striking design, integrating site-wide video into its homepage.</p> <p>Showcasing the county’s beautiful coastal views, it effectively captures the user’s attention and shows off its unique appeal.</p> <p><a href="https://www.visitcornwall.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8880/visitcornwall.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="458"></a></p> <h3>Food tourism</h3> <p>Another element that tourism boards are increasingly focusing on is food. Gastronomy is a huge motivation for travellers around the world – the AAA found that an estimated 22m Americans will take a culinary-focused holiday in the next 12 months, while 75% feel that food is an integral part of their trip.</p> <p>It’s not just about recommending <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67785-why-restaurants-need-a-hyper-local-influencer-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">local restaurants</a> either. Content relating to tasting experiences, food markets, and regional produce can all be effective for engaging foodies – all the while helping to boost local businesses.</p> <p>Catalunya is one tourism board to have a dedicated food section on its website, where it features videos about the region’s famous cuisine and wine. As well as increasing engagement from people interested in food, this type of content also helps to promote the authenticity and unique identity of a place.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kXXsUlQgul8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>NYCGo also has an extensive focus on food, using a magazine style format to delve into the restaurants, food trends, and quirks that make its dining scene so famous.</p> <p>It also promotes food events happening in New York City, helping users to plan specific trips and events as well as gain inspiration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8881/NYCGO.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="677"></p> <h3>Instagram</h3> <p>It’s unsurprising that most tourism sites have a very strong presence on Instagram – it’s a trend that’s seen across the entire <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68815-becoming-an-influencer-notes-from-a-fledgling-travel-blogger/" target="_blank">travel industry</a>. However, it is a great way for tourism boards in particular to establish themselves as a standout brand, using the platform to increase visibility and awareness.</p> <p>Whereas Twitter or Facebook might create a more passive user experience, an increasing number of people are using Instagram to search for inspiration.</p> <p>Tourism boards are able to capitalise on this, delivering stunning and inspiring imagery based on destination-interest.</p> <h4>PureMichigan</h4> <p>PureMichigan has an impressive 516,000 followers on Instagram. Compared to VisitCalifornia’s 295,000 and NYCGO’s 212,000 – the US state is clearly doing something right.</p> <p>Most of its success appears to be down to a focus on user generated content, with the channel continuously posting and crediting imagery to others. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8883/puremichigan.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h4>Greenland</h4> <p>Greenland makes the most of its photogenic landscape, using Instagram to showcase everything from its epic icebergs to magnificent wildlife.</p> <p>It doesn’t only just focus on the imagery, however, with its captions providing users with informative insight into life on the island.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8882/Greenland.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="650"></p> <h4>VisitLondon</h4> <p>Finally, VisitLondon shows that you don’t always have to use Instagram to target international travellers.</p> <p>Posting imagery that celebrates all aspects of life in the capital, it is able to become a source of interest for locals as well as potential visitors.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8884/VisitLondon.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="574"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67996-what-travel-tourism-marketers-can-learn-from-discover-la/">What travel &amp; tourism marketers can learn from Discover LA</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69109-why-visit-sweden-and-other-tourism-boards-are-teaming-up-with-airbnb/">Why Visit Sweden and other tourism boards are teaming up with Airbnb</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69412 2017-09-11T11:25:00+01:00 2017-09-11T11:25:00+01:00 Six charities with excellent online donation user journeys Nikki Gilliland <p>It’s hard enough for charities to convince consumers to want to donate in the first place, never mind guiding them through the process – so which charities do it best? Here’s just six examples and the reasons why they’re so effective.</p> <h3>Charity: Water</h3> <p>Charity: Water’s website is one of my favourites in terms of design, using eye-catching imagery and informative content to nudge donations. It also makes giving very easy, letting users know that there are a variety of ways to get involved.</p> <p>Its donate button is easy to spot, including a nifty drop-down menu that instantly tells users there’s more than one option. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8840/charity_water.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <p>The main reason I like it is that it offers choice – and not just in terms of how often or how much to donate. It uses a fun and enthusiastic <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67941-10-nudge-tastic-examples-of-persuasive-copywriting-from-charities/" target="_blank">tone of voice to encourage</a> people to fundraise in a variety of ways. </p> <p>In fact, it lets users decide, allowing them to set up a bespoke campaign page detailing exactly how. Charity:Water also makes it as easy as possible for people who don’t have the time or inclination to fundraise, giving them a ready-made campaign page that lets people ask for donations in place of birthday gifts.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8841/charity_water_2.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="551"></p> <h3>American Heart Association</h3> <p>According to a survey, <a href="https://www.blackbaud.com/files/support/helpfiles/bestpractices/donationforms/donationform.htm" target="_blank">65% of organisations</a> require online donors to click three or more times to make a donation. This undoubtedly results in an increase of people abandoning their journey. </p> <p>The American Heart Association’s donation page is a great example of how to counteract this. It uses a one-page form to simplify the donation process. What’s more, it automatically fills in elements of the page, pre-setting suggested amounts to reduce form filling.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8842/AHA.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="661"></p> <p>Research also shows that suggesting gift amounts leads to bigger donations. This is perhaps because people might use the suggested amount as a minimum, whereas they might select a lower amount if left to their own devices.</p> <p>Finally, American Heart Association has an integrated Amazon Pay feature to let users pay in a single click if they are logged in their account, making donating as quick and easy as <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/66534-three-lessons-all-retailers-can-learn-from-amazon" target="_blank">buying something on Amazon</a>.</p> <h3>Cancer Research UK</h3> <p>According to PSA’s annual report, text donations fell by 7m last year. However, it’s been suggested that this was due to a reduction in marketing spend, with PSA also predicting that it will rise again in 2017.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69132-how-cancer-research-is-using-smart-technology-to-drive-fundraising" target="_blank">Cancer Research UK</a> heavily promotes text donations, allowing users to give £3 by texting a code. While the website itself does not overtly promote the feature (you need to click through to ‘other ways to donate’ to find it) – it is very clearly explained here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8843/cancer_research_uk.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="487"></p> <p>Text donation is certainly one of the most user-friendly options, with charities able to capitalise on user’s spontaneity and in-the-moment urge to give. </p> <p>Cancer Research UK’s easy UX is also continued onto its mobile site. It has recently integrated Apple Pay, meaning users can give money in just two steps. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8844/IMG_1677.PNG" alt="" width="400" height="711"></p> <h3>Macmillan </h3> <p>Another cancer charity with a great mobile user journey is Macmillan. On its website, the donation process is a little bit lengthy – the three-step process feels like harder work than others I’ve mentioned.</p> <p>However, its mobile site is a different story. After clicking ‘donate’ on the homepage, you are taken you to a page with three ways to give money – either by credit card, PayPal or text. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8846/IMG_1678.PNG" alt="" width="400" height="711"></p> <p>The text feature is particularly cool. By tapping the screen, users are immediately taken to a draft text message where the number is already pre-filled. Again, while text donations are one of the easiest ways to donate, this ensures that all friction is removed, as the user does not even have to enter in the phone number.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8847/IMG_1679.PNG" alt="" width="400" height="711"></p> <h3>Red Nose Day</h3> <p>Red Nose Day is an annual event where people up and down the country hold events and activities to raise money for charity. But how exactly does the charity collect all the cash?</p> <p>Its website allows fundraisers to pay in their money online. The process is pretty quick and easy, taking users through a straightforward payment process – similar to that of any slick ecommerce site.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the charity also allows people to donate all year round, prompting them to do so throughout its site. Here, I particularly like how suggested donations correspond to what they can achieve. This encourages consumers to take action, also acting as proof that the money is put to good use.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8848/Red_nose_day.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="478"></p> <p>On to donating, and Red Nose Day offers one of the best experiences. A one-page, responsive form – it enables users to quickly complete the process without any real hassle. It also clearly and concisely explains its Gift Aid option – one element which perhaps might confuse people.</p> <p>While most websites promote Gift Aid as a tiny tick-box, this approach is great way to promote transparency and ensure understanding.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8849/GiftAid.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="550"></p> <h3>Alzheimer’s Society</h3> <p>Finally, the Alzheimer’s Society taps into emotive elements to help drive consumers through the donating process, by asking whether or not people would like to donate in memory of someone.</p> <p>This adds an element of personalisation to the often one-sided experience of giving to charity, with Alzheimer’s Society making the process more meaningful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8851/Alzheimers_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="594"></p> <p>It also separates the user journey into single or monthly donations, which is effective for avoiding any confusion or anxiety about recurring payments. The various payment provider logos also help to instil trust and reassurance in consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8850/Alzheimers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="377"></p> <h3>Key points:</h3> <p>So, what can we learn from the aforementioned examples? Here are a few takeaways.</p> <p><strong>1. Provide options</strong>. Giving consumers multiple ways to raise money helps to spur on action and involvement. A ready-made form like Charity:Water’s ‘birthday pledge’ makes it as easy as possible.</p> <p><strong>2. Reduce steps</strong>. It’s important to make the donating process as simple as possible, ensuring it takes just a few clicks. Similarly, pre-filling forms is a great way to streamline the process.</p> <p><strong>3. Think mobile</strong>. A mobile optimised site should be standard, but extra features like ‘tap to text’, Apple Pay, and a native form can massively enhance the user experience.</p> <p><strong>4. Add personalisation</strong>. Giving consumers the option to donate in memory of someone helps to prompt donations, but more than this, it also helps to create a meaningful connection between the charity and consumers. </p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69391-how-five-charities-convey-purpose-through-tone-of-voice">How five charities convey purpose through tone of voice</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68014-how-charities-can-win-at-the-zero-moment-of-truth/">How charities can win at the Zero Moment of Truth</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67451-the-smartest-experiential-charity-marketing-campaign-you-ll-see-this-year/">The smartest experiential &amp; charity marketing campaign you'll see this year</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69332 2017-09-01T08:44:30+01:00 2017-09-01T08:44:30+01:00 How Premier League club websites are changing: A Swansea and Stoke case study Ben Davis <p>I've been speaking to Hayden Evans, creative director at Reading Room, the agency that has recently redesigned and relaunched the websites of Stoke City, Swansea City and Middlesbrough. Let's find out what is changing for the better and how these redesigns were made possible.</p> <p><em>For more on digital in the Premier League, check out these other posts:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68828-after-years-of-apathy-football-clubs-are-embracing-digital-transformation"><em>After years of apathy, football clubs are embracing digital transformation</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/"><em>Digital transformation in the Premier League: Southampton FC's fan-first strategy</em></a></li> </ul> <h3>Legacy technology was a pain in the metatarsal</h3> <p>Anyone familiar with football club websites will know that historically many have been tied in to a Football League Interactive contract, which meant they had their websites provided for them by the league, each of which was based on the same back-end system.</p> <p>Evans tells me that "The problem with [the Football League Interactive system] was that each club had very restrictive designs and publishing capability. The clubs all went into the same publishing queue, so you can imagine what that meant at 4.45pm on a Saturday. Some clubs wouldn’t get their content published for 20-25 minutes whilst it waited in the queue."</p> <p>That system meant that a Premier League club could be beholden to the content strategy of another club altogether - not ideal when you're trying to build a global football brand.</p> <h3>Clubs need to be able to create a visual brand</h3> <p>Each club that Reading Room worked with was very clear, according to Evans, about "being able to customise the design" of their website. They "don’t necessarily mind being on the same platform if it works well," he continued, "but what they don't want is a website on which their only design choice is to change the colours."</p> <p>The visual brand of big football clubs is increasingly important, with Evans pointing to when clubs change their crest as an example - such changes invariably provoke plenty of debate and feedback on social media.</p> <p>It's no different when it comes to the club's website design, as well as the content and the user experience. Fans are not slow in coming forward with their thoughts.</p> <p>So, with the goal (no pun intended) of providing Stoke, Swansea and Middlesbrough with much improved publishing capability and a customiseable design, Reading Room created Playmaker.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8430/swans2.jpg" alt="swansea city fc" width="615" height="340"> </p> <p><em>Swansea City FC website</em></p> <h3>Playmaker - a Drupal8 platform specifically for sports teams</h3> <p>Reading Room's Playmaker platform is based on a Drupal8 open-source backend.</p> <p>The agency worked with the three clubs to determine their workflows and build back-end systems that suit their needs (for live match centres, for example), but the platform does have some consistent functionality. There is integration with stream AMG, the stream partner that brings through live and on-demand content, for example. There is also integration with Opta, pulling in player and league stats.</p> <p>Evans gave the impression that Playmaker has been built to deliver the best of both worlds - customisable open-source infrastructure and best-practice functionality that will work for any club.</p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8427/stoke.jpg" alt="stoke website" width="615" height="342"></em></p> <p><em>Stoke City FC website</em></p> <h3>Designing both fan and club UX</h3> <p>Part of scoping out each website build was working with both club and fans to determine what great UX meant to each.</p> <p>For the clubs, as touched on earlier, Evans said this could mean "sitting down with content teams to understand their experiences watching a live match and updating the website." This might mean being able to "quickly update a system when someone scores, add in some commentary, maybe pull in and embed a Tweet or Instagram post. And be able to do that quickly."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8432/Screen_Shot_2017-08-21_at_17.14.27.png" alt="swansea live commentary" width="615" height="329"> </p> <p><em>The Swansea City FC website's live match commentary</em></p> <p>Similarly, the agency worked with each club to improve how the systems works when the club needs to announce a season ticket campaign or unveil a new signing, for example.</p> <p>Alongside this club-side UX, various fan groups were consulted - what social media do younger fans appreciate (can we incorporate player posts?), what stats do the fans want from the website, and so on.</p> <p>The presentation of stats is one area where, by working across multiple football club websites, Reading Room was able to zero in on an optimised UX that can be shared across clubs, meeting with fan approval and also providing the consistency that great data visualisations rely on. That means fans can sort through league tables and rich stats (who has the most assists from midfield, for example) using a throughly tested design.</p> <p>The agency, Evan says, was "upfront with the clubs, saying we’re going to keep this stats layout and style for all three of you because this is working and we’ve tested it, across devices. It's the same with upcoming fixtures, which will show form from last season's corresponding fixtures."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8431/stats.png" alt="player stats" width="615" height="352"> </p> <p><em>Player stats on the Middlesbrough website (Ben Gibson, if you're curious)</em></p> <h3>Designing for mobile <em>and</em> desktop</h3> <p>"We’re not prioritising mobile," said Evans, "the sites work on mobile and on desktop." </p> <p>"We didn’t want to go down that worn out path of ‘mobile first’ - we’re very aware of sites in both the football sector and others too where they have almost gone mobile only, it’s overly basic at the desktop level i.e. the same mobile view just expanded for the desktop."</p> <p>It's easy to understand what Evans is getting at here - the website with a simplistic homepage or a feed homepage, with a hidden navigation. This mobile-first design can sometimes feel limited on desktop. Fans want to check scores on their mobiles, but also dig into match reports and stats on desktop, or watch video here in the evening.</p> <p>You can see the advantages of this multi-device approach by looking at Swansea's site, which includes a mega-menu.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8428/SWAN_MEGA_MENU.gif" alt="Swansea mega menu" width="615"></p> <p><em>Swansea City mega-menu</em></p> <p>Evans tells me it’s only Swansea that have gone for the mega-menu, with each club trialling their own navigation methods - an example of the flexibility of the backend system.</p> <p>The platform also works in partnership with the various app providers that the three clubs use. Clubs can "enter the content once," says Evans, "and that same content gets pushed out to both the website and the app.</p> <h3>Early metrics point to a much improved experience</h3> <p>The early results are positive for the three websites, with lots of positive sentiment on social media and increased visits and browsing.</p> <p>Stoke City's website saw views up 118% year-on-year in the month after launch, with visit duration up 108% and page view per visit up 58%.</p> <h3>The roadmap to single sign-on</h3> <p>So what's next for football clubs who have succeeeded in creating visually appealling, functional and usable websites for publisher and fan?</p> <p>Well, for the three named clubs, single sign-on is the next goal, allowing fans to sign in once and be able to buy tickets, view content and add items to their basket in the shop. Currently, website, match tickets and the club shop necessitate separate accounts, and that doesn't represent a great customer experience.</p> <p>Reading Room has been working with all three clubs to ensure that single sign-on is implemented.</p> <h3>Accessiblity</h3> <p>A last word on accessibility, an oft-overlooked part of UX when writing articles like this, but a vital aspect for football clubs.</p> <p>Reading Room has been working with a blind fan of Middlesbrough FC to ensure that new features on the site work well with a screen reader. When a new website launches, it can be a disconcerting experience for visually impaired users and so Reading Room's development roadmap includes work to make sure they take this into account.</p> <p>We'll hopefully do a more detailed study on this accessbility work on the Econsultancy blog. Watch this space.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8425/boro.jpg" alt="boro website" width="615" height="342"></p> <p><em>Middlesbrough FC website</em></p> <h3>In summary</h3> <p>Football clubs are finally undertaking work that is long overdue, providing the information fans want in an easy-to-use format. For a while now, fans have bemoaned the state of their club websites, but it looks like most are catching and delivering experiences that are not far behind what big media players can deliver.</p> <p>The leagues are evolving, too, with the Premier League rebranding and dropping its title sponsor, and the EFL putting its digital platform (Interactive) out to tender last year and also creating a consumer-facing video streaming product for the 2017-18 season.</p> <p>The first stage of digital transformation looks to be gently underway - the next is about offering the kind of seemless experience that can generate greater revenue through fan loyalty, ecommerce and media. Top players are getting in on the act, too, with their own digital ventures.</p> <p>It's clear there's much to look forward to, with platforms like Playmaker a great start.</p> <p><strong><em>Interested in learning more about usability and user training? <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/usability-user-experience/">Book now for Econsultancy's upcoming training course</a>.</em></strong></p> tag: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: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: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: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: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>