Social selling: understanding the purchase cycle

Social media is a major part of the customer journey. A growing number of consumers are using social media to search for, discover, purchase and recommend products. This offers retailers a great opportunity to build a relationship with their customers and connect with them throughout their purchase cycle. But from our experience, few retailers are making the most of this opportunity.

 

The options

There is an almost dizzying array of ways that brands can sell direct to consumers through social platforms. For some time now, Facebook have been including a “Shop Now” call to action in adverts, which encourages users to click through directly to the brand’s website, and this feature has now been made available on Instagram as well. Facebook also offers the opportunity to embed a “Facebook Store” within your brand’s Facebook Page, to allow users to browse, like, share and initiate purchase within the platform:

Untitled design (2)

For the time being, these stores are integrated with your current ecommerce platform and transactions are processed through your existing website. However, Facebook is currently testing functionality that would allow users to pay and complete their purchase entirely within Facebook through a third party payment solution.

Facebook has also launched a suite of ad tools aimed at driving and measuring footfall to physical stores, as well as click-to-call ads to drive direct sales and enquiries. A number of brands have jumped on Facebook’s chatbot functionality to provide 24/7 customer service and process sales:

1800 Flowers Live chat

Combined with improvements to the Facebook pixel, allowing you to track website behaviour that is influenced by your Facebook ads, and new audience targeting options for dynamic product ads, Facebook is very much leading the way in social commerce opportunities.

However, Pinterest is still one of the most powerful forces in social commerce. 93% of Pinners are using the platform to plan purchases, and on average they spend 70% more than other online shoppers. While not yet available in the UK, Buyable Pins, which will let users purchase a product directly from a Pin that inspires them, are something that all online retailers should be watching closely.

Even Snapchat is getting in on the act, having recently launched Shoppable Snaps – ads that allow users to swipe down for purchase options. Snapchat has struggled to attract the hordes of advertisers that Facebook has bagged, given its expensive pricing structure, basic targeting options and limited analytics, but they are hoping that a partnership with Nielsen and renewed trust in the platform will turn that around. Another channel that has struggled to effectively monetise its platform, Twitter is testing its own “Buy Now” button for ads.

The purchase cycle

It’s not just the moment of purchase itself that is influenced by social media. Consumers involve social media at every point in their purchase cycle:

journey

According to research, 43% of UK consumers currently use social media to research products before making a purchase, and this number is growing. Many consumers now search on social media platforms without consulting a search engine at all. Making sure that your social channels are optimised for discovery and engagement will only continue to become more important.

Once a customer finds your brand on social media, the experience they encounter could have a major impact on their desire to purchase from you. Social media users expect brands to be extremely responsive on these platforms: 42% expect a response within an hour, and 32% expect a response within 30 minutes. Not providing distinctive, interactive content and communicating often with your followers could lead to customers feeling negative towards your brand – and 95% of customers say they are inclined to share negative brand experiences on social channels, which could impact your reputation amongst other potential customers.

When consumers are making their final decision about which brand to purchase from, 80% are influenced by reviews on social media platforms. Enabling and encouraging customers to leave reviews, and sharing customer feedback, can be incredibly valuable to your business – especially as research suggests even negative reviews have a more positive impact on customers than no reviews at all.

Once a customer has made a purchase, allowing them to connect their social accounts for a more personalised experience and communicating with them on social platforms not only gives them a better customer experience and therefore makes it more likely they will shop with you again, but also encourages them to share their experience for new researchers to see.

The halo effect

Social commerce doesn’t only drive social sales. When we launched a Facebook shop for one of our clients, we were pleased to see a 74% increase in revenue. However, we also saw a 160% increase in direct conversions and 133% increase in organic search conversions. We know that customers mostly use social media on their mobiles, but prefer to complete purchases, especially high-end purchases, on desktop. Customers discover the brand through the Facebook Shop or adverts on mobile, then return directly to the website or through organic search later on desktop. Social media advertising also creates “warm leads” – those who have seen an ad for a brand on a social platform are twice as likely to click on a PPC ad. True enough, PPC conversions for our client increased by 56% following our Facebook activity.

Think integrated

Customers are likely to come into contact with your brand on a multitude of channels before they make a purchase decision – the more seamless and integrated you can make their experience, the more likely they will purchase, continue to purchase, and influence their networks to do the same. Your social media channels aren’t just a place for you to advertise, they are an extension of your physical and online stores – a place where customers will browse, ask questions, make complaints, ask other customers’ opinions, and purchase. Rather than simply using social channels to promote your business, think about how you can use those channels to offer the best possible service to your customers. Then you know they’ll be back.

To find out how Leapfrogg can help you develop a social commerce and customer service strategy, please do get in touch.

 

Key takeaways from this years’ SheerB2B Ecommerce Conference

Leapfrogg has proudly been a part of the SheerB2B conference for the past six years. As well as the bigger industry events we go to, it’s our annual opportunity to check in with the premium retail industry at the smaller, more niche, luxury end of the spectrum. We always enjoy catching up with brands and our fellow speakers over its two days of panel discussions, presentations, case studies and networking.

As the Board Director accountable for bigger picture strategy for our clients, there were three main themes came out of the show for me:

    • Ensuring the longevity and value of a premium brand
    • Getting to know your data better
    • Breaking down your supplier silos

Ensuring the longevity of your brand

Driving sales vs. protecting your brand was the hottest topic this year.

With retail competition for the premium and luxury consumer fierce, a current retail culture for excellent service as expected and discounting the new normal, there were a number of retailers at the show all keen to share how best to keep a tight grip on their brand, whilst not losing revenue.

Sarah Weedon from Jigsaw inspired us with a very generous presentation about their brand ethos and stance against discounting culture. They have a “pricing referendum” – an honest and bold statement of product quality and ‘truth’ that that brand resolutely sticks too.

jigsaw
Jigsaw’s pricing manifesto

To ensure this ethos is lived by all departments, Jigsaw refused to participate in Black Friday discounting last year, claiming to “stand for something”; that ‘something’ being the quality of product and longevity of design. Their ecommerce team clearly communicate their sale dates to their customers at the beginning of the year and don’t discount stock below certain, pre-agreed level.

As Sarah told us, Jigsaw stocks some cardigans that can take more than 30 hours for one of their designers to hand knit – discounting something of such obvious quality is madness.

Their content strategy supports the business stance justifying the price point, materials and design ethos with ongoing storytelling around quality, fostering trust and belief from their loyal audience.

THE ITALIAN JOB a film by Jigsaw from Jigsaw on Vimeo.

Jigsaw’s designers are also very bought into the idea of longevity and create garments of silk, cashmere and leather that can be worn season after season. Jigsaw invests in its own in-house illustrator and works closely with designers to create hand created pieces each season.

There were also lessons to be learned from Martin Bartle from Arthur Ridley Esq and Michael Ross from Dynamic Action who cautioned against discounting. Many retailers know that any new customers you acquire during a discounting period, are more often than not, retained customers that feel comfortable purchasing at full price at the start of a season, but both were very clear to the delegates in the room that luxury and premium retailers just shouldn’t discount and realistically accept that revenue growth may well be slower because of it, but ultimately much better for the longevity of the brand.

Getting to know your data better

Martin Bartle and Michael Ross both gave presentations about digging into your data.

The quote of the conference has to come from Martin Bartle who said: “Your data is like an Agent Provocateur bikini; what is reveals is interesting, but what is conceals is vital!”

His argument that average order value (AOV) is a myth, and it was refreshing and exciting to hear both Martin and Michael argue that retailers make a disproportionate amount of their profits from a small segment of their loyalist E.I.Ps – Exceptionally Important People – and that this segment should not only be identified but treated differently from the majority their most loyal and retained customer segment.

This immediately inspired Will from our data partner rais and I, to start working on a new programme to start identifying our client’s average profile value (APV) per segment. This is an exciting element of insight that will only add value to the current segmentation, insight and strategy projects we’re working on.

Breaking down your supplier silos

We have been working with retailers for many years, helping the more forward thinking ones break down their internal department silos and ensure that all internal disciplines responsible for success in digital and ecommerce communicate and work with each other better. We’ve trained offline content teams to think bigger picture about online, structured reporting procedures and lobbied for buy-in from traditional bricks and mortar stakeholders into the value of digital, but we hadn’t yet started work on breaking down logistical supplier silos.

Presentations from our friends at Nosto and the logistics experts Temando, who we hadn’t met before, helped us see how the supplier chain could work more efficiently and cost effectively too.

It makes sense that the customer wants a seamless experience and seeing logistics and technology suppliers talk at the conference enabled us to see how the offline jigsaw could compliment the online one.

 

On the first day of the conference, our Managing Director, Rosie, spoke about how you can deliver a perfect personalised experience using data and insight and you can catch up with her presentation here. On the second day, I spoke about the level of customer intelligence within premium panel after analysing the results of more than 75 retailers who completed our Customer Intelligence Index. You can read a recap of my presentation here.

All in all another useful conference!

Which health & beauty brands are delivering a personalised experience?

It’s clear the modern shopper is increasingly seeking a personalised experience from brands and retailers. As consumers, we have come to expect retailers to fully understand what we want, when we want it and how we want to buy it and to use this information to engage and interact with us in a seamless and unobtrusive way.

According to Drapers 2016 Personalisation Report, 92% of retail executives say consumers are increasingly demanding a personalised approach to shopping online and in-store and a recent survey to our Premium Panel back this up further and found that 53% of consumers feel it is important that brands offer them a personalised shopping experience.

With personalisation so key, we wanted to investigate levels of personalisation retailers deliver during and after purchase across relevant digital touchpoints.

We’ve started by analysing the health & beauty sector which offers ample opportunities for personalisation given every customer will be interested in different products based on their age, skin type and concerns, hair type and brand preference. In addition, a Google Digital Beauty Study found that 43% of online shoppers go to five or more beauty websites before making a decision, and ultimately, one in four beauty shoppers make purchases online. Therefore, providing an exceptional experience is vital to these beauty brands.

We analysed 10 of the UK’s leading online health & beauty retailers over the period of one month and looked at the data they collected about their customers and how they used it to offer a personalised experience across all digital touchpoints. We analysed the following retailers:

  1. Feel Unique
  2. SpaceNK
  3. Look Fantastic
  4. Cult Beauty
  5. Beauty Bay
  6. Escentual
  7. Blow Ltd
  8. Beauty Expert
  9. Urban Retreat Beautique
  10. Bath & Unwind

Two studies were carried out concurrently by two researchers. One researcher made a purchase for each site at the beginning of the study and one followed exactly the same path through the site but did not make the final purchase.

Each researcher then followed a pre-agreed set of interactions with the retailers over the following 4 weeks and recorded all communications and visuals.

We looked at the following elements of personalisation:

1. Personal data collected pre-purchase (name, gender, age, skin type etc)
2. Personal data collected during purchase
3. Personal data collected post-purchase
4. Personalisation of online communication
5. Personalised packaging communication
6. Trigger emails based on onsite behaviour
7. Personalised retargeting or display ads based on products viewed or purchased
8. Personalised offers during period
9. Personalised content by site behaviour

The results showed that there is currently a real lack of personalisation across the retailers that we analysed. Minimal data and preferences were being collected and we saw little evidence of tailored content or offers with most retailers taking a general approach to communication across multiple channels.

Here are some insights from our analysis:

  • Only 30% of retailers studied collected the gender of their customers when signing up to emails
  • 30% collected hair, skin and beauty preferences from its customers
  • 30% addressed email communications by their first name
  • 20% personalised email communications by purchase
  • 20% sent trigger emails by on-site behaviour
  • 40% showed users personalised retargeting or display ads based on products viewed or purchased
  • 50% gave the user personalised content on site by showing recently viewed or recommended products

The retailers that provided the most personalised experience were Beauty Expert and Look Fantastic. Both websites are owned by The Hut Group who are renowned for their data-driven approach to ecommerce.

Despite not collecting any personal information, bar email addresses, both websites sent emails that were related to the products viewed or purchased and suitable for sensitive skin and also sent special offers related to products viewed.

beauty expert

An example of an email we received from Beauty Expert based on products viewed.

lookfantastic

Look Fantastic ran remarketing ads on Facebook related to the product and brand viewed.

Escentual, Feel Unique and SpaceNK were the only retailers who collected the gender of the user as well as email address when they signed up for emails. The emails which were consequently sent through were all very female-focused. Collecting the gender and age of your customers is a great way to start personalising their experience as men will most probably have very different needs to women.

Gender email

Escentual collected their customers’ gender when signing up for emails.

cult beauty

Beauty preferences were collected by Cult Beauty but we couldn’t see any indication of how this data was being used.

From our study, we were surprised to see how little data the retailers were collecting from their customers and potential customers. We recommend these retailers try and collect at least gender and date of birth as well as email addresses as a starting point to help them communicate more effectively with their customers. The main elements of personalisation we spotted were very product focused and we would have liked to have seen evidence of more personalised content relating to customer preferences.

Our MD, Rosie Freshwater, says “With such a wide scope for personalising the customer experience in the health and beauty sector, whether that be by product, age, gender, or skin type, it is disappointing how little seems to be happening even amongst the larger players.

Retailers are missing out on the potential for upsell and repeat business by failing to show through content how much they recognise and understand their customers.”

Making friends with Google’s micro-moments

The latest marketing buzz word flying around is the “micro-moment.” The term micro-moment has been coined by Google and is described by them as “critical touch points within today’s consumer journey when added together, ultimately determine how that journey ends.”

So, what exactly are micro-moments?

I won’t go into huge detail about what defines a micro-moment as there is already a great introduction piece on Search Engine Watch and Google also has a wealth of content on the subject which is well worth reading.

Essentially, the consumers buying journey is made up of a number of critical moments. Due to the nature of the modern consumers’ behaviour, lifestyle and access to multiple devices, an immediate relevant response from brands to any query across any device at any point of the buying journey is now critical.

The advent of mobile devices has created the need for immediacy in the response required from brands. In the past a consumer may have done their shopping research in a long session at a desktop computer, now the consumer journey is likely to be made up of bite-size engagements and moments that are fit in around the consumers lifestyle.

  • On the train home
  • In a queue at the bank
  • On a bench in the park
  • In bed at night

Brands now need to recognise what are likely to be the micro-moments that will form part of the customer journey and identify how to deliver the right experience at that time.

Many successful retailers will already have thought long and hard about the search terms that may be used at each stage of the buying journey, from generic research terms right through to long tail terms with specific intent. They will have also thought about the right content to create to have a presence for each of those terms and deliver a relevant experience.

So this isn’t a new “thing”? No, it isn’t BUT the difference in this is thinking about how “intent,” “content,” and “immediacy” combine together to form a moment in time.

If you understand the intent when someone is using those terms – how do you ensure the right content is delivered quickly to create a useful moment for that person at that moment in time?

Our advice for retailers

Our advice for retailers would be to revisit the work they have already done around their customers’ buying journey and keyword research and make sure it is aligned with their multi-device content strategies both on and off-site.

  1. Start by listing all of the moments you absolutely need to own and win within your customers’ journey. If you don’t know what they are – use the data and analytics you have available and speak to your customers!
  2. Define what the customer needs from you at that specific moment. Is it inspiration, education, information or is it a quick easy purchase, direction to their nearest shop, customer reviews
  3. Create time and location relevant content that delivers what the customer needs at that moment to move them to the next critical micro-moment

Once you have those key moments nailed and converting, use a deeper level of customer data and insight to widen the number of moments you are aware of and need to own seamlessly across multiple channels.

If you want any further advice on how you can weave micro-moments into your existing digital strategy or develop your levels of customer insight don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Pinterest opens up Promoted Pins for UK advertisers

In the last couple of weeks, visual bookmarking site, Pinterest, has opened up advertising to UK brands for the first time as it looks to monetise its growing user base and prove it can help brands drive up sales.

Advertising will be open to all brands in the UK and Ads will be sold on a cost-per-click basis or a cost-per-engagement basis and can be targeted based on demographics, interests or keywords. Marketers will also get access to data including impressions, engagement, click-throughs to a website and activity.

Pinterest also offers what it calls a “conversion pixel” which can help you understand how your Promoted Pins are performing and get a clear idea of what they are doing for your business. For example, you can add conversion tags to track activity based on the objectives of a campaign such as how Pinterest encourages newsletter sign ups or measure sales information on what pages people visit, what they put in their basket and purchase.

On speaking of the development, our Paid Search Consultant, Matt, said “As a brand new advertising platform Pinterest offers a wealth of opportunity for brands. Get in early and your ads will stand out and make a greater impact on people are yet to discover your brand.

The product is also king on Pinterest, so making your products and offering visible lends itself perfectly to the platform. Promoted Pins are just about one of the most native forms of advertising you can find on the web meaning that the content looks natural and doesn’t jar for the user. It’s also an interesting platform as it can tap into users who are in ‘planning’ mode and looking for inspiration for future purchases.”

We’ve already spotted a couple of home décor retailers such as Trouva and Loaf utilising Promoted Pins. The platform is perfect for them as home décor is one of the biggest categories of pins.

Made Promoted Pin                pin3

If you would like to find out more about your Pinterest strategy, please do get in touch.

The Insight Edit – Email habits of the modern consumer

Here at Leapfrogg, we have a panel of over 1000 retail consumers that we engage with on a regular basis to help us understand customer needs and expectations from the brands and retailers they buy from.

Every month, we question them on a range of areas from buying behaviours and brand opinion, to emotional purchase triggers and their recent shopping experiences.

The Insight Edit is our weekly bite size edit of the insight we gain from our panel in our search to truly understand the mind of the premium customer.

Mobile has grown significantly in recent years, and with that, the reliance on email has become a significant driver of revenue. For that reason, this month we wanted to ask our Premium Panel how they view and engage with email marketing from brands and retailers.

Firstly, we asked them what time of day they were most likely to open and read emails from their favourite brands and 75% of our respondents stated that after dinner and early morning were their preferred time.

The next most popular time was the mid-morning break or at lunchtimes. 45% of our panel said they liked to read emails during their morning commute and we found that the age and gender of our panelists didn’t affect the number of people who selected the commute as their preferred time.

During the weekends, there was a more even spread of times that people were most likely to check their email.  Breakfast and mid-morning were the most popular times for over 75% of our respondents.

We then looked at the devices that were most likely to be used at the times which were most popular. Not surprisingly mobile was the device of choice during in the morning and during the commute with 84% of respondents likely to use their mobile to check email at these times.

During the lunch break, there was a more even split between reading emails on mobile and desktop, but in the evenings tablet and desktop computers were far more prevalent with 83% of respondents using them to read marketing emails at that time.

At the weekends, apart from breakfast time, desktops were the most popular platform to view email throughout the day with tablets coming a close second.

Email Premium Panel stats

What these statistics show us is that one customer may use multiple devices to view email at different points in the week. It is, therefore, key that retailers have a completely responsive email template that adapts seamlessly to the device it is opened on.

Those who are able to gain similar data from their own customer base should look to adapt their email marketing strategy to send more visual or content rich emails during the weekend as they are more likely to be viewed on a desktop computer or tablet.

Understanding your customers’ email habits has never been more important. Don’t rely on the data of previous emails, but also ask your customers what their preferred habits are.

Twitter updates and highlights from Fashion Week 2016

Here at Leapfrogg, every week we have a meeting to share developments within the world of customer experience, digital and retail. Here are some of the things we discussed this week…

Twitter makes changes to timeline functionality

Twitter has just rolled out a new timeline feature that will display tweets out of chronological order and by relevancy to the user. The aim of this change is to stop Twitter users from missing out on updates from the people that they follow.

The feature, which launched Wednesday, is currently optional (you need to manually activate the option), but Twitter plans to roll it out as a default in the next few weeks but give users the ability to opt-out.

The new timeline feature seems aimed at solving one of Twitter’s biggest problems – the fact that casual users can be overwhelmed by the service’s noise, making it difficult for them to quickly find content that’s useful and relevant.

Our Senior Social Media and Content Consultant says “The introduction of an algorithm is both a challenge and an opportunity for retailers. If Twitter follows a similar path to Facebook, the new algorithm will become more complex over time, resulting in more time being needed to understand, monitor and adapt to these changes. Retailers could also end up being pushed towards advertising in order to compensate for loss of visibility on the platform.

However, there is an upside, particularly from a user perspective. Low quality and repetitive content will no longer cut it. Although this will mean more effort will be required from brands when they craft their content, the overall experience of using Twitter will be greatly improved.”

Twitter aims to improve customer service interactions

In more Twitter news, in response to the amount of customer service interactions that take place on the social media platform, Twitter has just added new a single ‘direct message’ button which can be added to a tweet, which aims to make the customer service interactions easier for both customers and brands.

Meanwhile Twitter is also planning the roll out, initially with selected brands, of a new survey feature called Customer Feedback. It claims this will make it easier for brands to ask customers about their thoughts against use two industry standard question formats: Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction. Read more here.

London Fashion Week 2016

London Fashion Week kicks off today and this year will see The British Fashion Council screen shows and exclusive footage from 60 out of home sites on Ocean Outdoor and signature digital screens.

Content will include live streams from six catwalk shows and will air in four locations in London, as well as in Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

This new venture brings London Fashion Week allows designers and brands to reach significantly wider audiences than ever before.

Lyst at New York Fashion Week

Over in New York, we spotted our client Lyst launch a campaign to ensure they are noticed during the busy period – which can typically be a struggle for ecommerce to engage with.

Through their ‘I’ve Got Clothes In Different Area Codes’ #FindNYFW campaign – Lyst teamed up with Uber to provide users with the opportunity to ‘style packs’ filled with designer items depending on what is trending in their neighbourhood (via data on the Lyst site).

All users have to do is open the app in Manhattan and Brooklyn and enter the promo code FINDNYFW to unlock the special stylepack option.

Instagram more popular than Twitter at London Fashion Week

This week, we were also interested to find out that Instagram has overtaken Twitter to become the go-to platform for London Fashion Week news. According to Greenlight, there were 5,602 Instagram posts using #LFW2016 in the month leading up to London Fashion Week 2016, compared with just 1,178 Twitter mentions over the same timeframe.

In 2015 things looked were quite different, with more than 6,000 Twitter mentions using the #LFW2015 hashtag leading up to the event.

What we’ve been reading this week:

New parents are Facebook’s mobile power-users

How to embrace creativity in the programmatic age

13 reasons your organic traffic is in decline…it’s not a penalty

How premium retailers are trying to win hearts for Valentine’s Day

Despite more than half of consumers feeling that Valentine’s Day is a waste of money, it has clearly not stopped Britain spending. Last year saw £313m spent on food and drink, £518m spent on gifts, and £135m spent on seasonal non-food items such as cards and wrap and this year, it’s estimated that Britain will spend £980m*.

In response to this, brands have been really pushing their Valentine’s campaigns this year with everything from emojis to fishing. Here we’ve rounded up some of the marketing highlights from premium retailers we have seen so far.

Ted Baker

Ted Baker is well known for their creative and engaging campaigns. To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, the retailer rolled out a quirky microsite featuring a fishing game that invites consumers to ‘hook their Sole Mate’ in order to win prizes.

Users get three plays per day, before being invited to share the campaign on social media and return the next day to try again. The campaign also adorns Ted Baker store windows in the period running up to Valentine’s Day. Check it out here.

Ted Baker Sole Mate

House of Fraser

You can’t have missed House of Fraser’s not-so-subtle #emojinal takeover which was all over their social channels last week. The brand which is usually more known for their luxury-focused image hijacked trending topics such as Harry Styles’ birthday and Gigi Hadid’s night out by sharing a flurry of slightly cringe-worthy tweets and photoshopped images of celebrities filled with emojis.

While a lot of people have been slating House of Fraser’s #Emojinal campaign because it was such a stark contrast to their traditional branding, it certainly captured people’s attention.

It’s clear that House of Fraser was trying to capture a younger audience, but the campaign was criticised for alienating their existing audience as they jumped on trending topics without any real meaning or context. Interesting, as we get closer to the big day, there is no sign of the campaign on House of Fraser’s social channels.

Pandora

Valentine’s Day is a key date for jewellery brands, and so it’s no surprise to see many brands upping their game before the big day.

Pandora launched their #GesturesofLove campaign by visiting three stations to surprise people with gestures of love jewellery and a morning coffees.

They have also rolled out the campaign to their social channels to drive user-generated content asked their followers to share what simple gestures make them feel loved over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Tiffany & Co

Tiffany & Co has asked its followers the age-old question, “What is love?” Their dedicated site features video interviews, a gift guide and a love generator that presents consumers with a sharable GIF to express their personal answer to the frequently pondered question. However, while the Generate Your Love GIFs initially grab your attention, they do get quite repetitive and it would have been nice to see more user-generated content seeded throughout the campaign

Tiffany & Co Love Is

One tip from our MD, Rosie Freshwater, is to make sure you are not alienating some of your customer base by blanket sending Valentine’s content or only speaking about valentines on your social, as half of them could be single and really not want to be reminded of it this time of year!

*stats via Retail Gazette.

Facebook reactions and brands jump on the emoji bandwagon

Here at Leapfrogg, every week we have a meeting to share developments within the world of customer experience, digital and retail. Here are some of the things we discussed this week…

Facebook rolls out reactions globally

Facebook reactions were first announced in November 2015, after many requests for a ‘dislike’ button from users. Now after a period of testing in various markets across the world, Facebook has announced they are ready to roll this feature out to all users in the coming weeks.

Facebook reactions

Facebook is rolling out an initial five Reactions: ‘angry, sad, wow, haha and love’. Although, this update may seem quite trivial, we’re interested to see how brands and retailers can start to use this feature to gain even more insight and data into the customer experience. Now is the time for marketers to develop a plan to process this new stream of customer data so they can take advantage of it at launch.

 

Our Senior Account Manager, James Bradbury said “Rather than the simple ‘like’ and much clamoured for ‘dislike’ button, users will be able to attach emotion to brand messaging. This is going to mean that brands are going to have to be even more intelligent when it comes to brands and retailers communicating through Social Media.”

House of Fraser’s #Emojinal campaign provokes mixed reactions

If you follow @HouseofFraser, you won’t have missed their very out of character #emojinal takeover which was shared across their social channels on Monday.

 

The brand, usually more known for their luxury-focused image, hijacked trending topics such as Pep Guardiola’s move to Manchester City and Harry Styles’ birthday by sharing a flurry of slightly cringe-worthy tweets and photoshopped images of celebrities filled with emojis.

A quick scan of the #emojinal hashtag on Twitter shows mixed reactions from House of Fraser’s followers with many expressing surprise and dismay at the drastic shift in tone from the retailer and questioning whether the account had actually been hacked. The campaign appears to follow on from their more ‘edgy’ Christmas advert back in December as House of Fraser continues to evolve its image and reach a new audience.

 

On analysing the campaign Rosie, Leapfrogg’s Managing Director, said “Unless House of Fraser is tricking us all and has a brilliant next stage of their #emojinal campaign I think this is a classic case of jumping on a trend for the sake of it rather than thinking about what would really resonate with their customers. House of Fraser may be trying to attract a new younger audience but completely changing your brand tone and identity on a platform where many of your core customers engage with you is not a clever move. I would recommend House of Fraser revisit their customer profiles and find a way to attract the right type of customer for the products they sell.”

Diptyque launches new scent with packaging and emojis

Following on from the above, our favourite fragrance brand Diptyque has also jumped on the emoji bandwagon.

 

To coincide with the launch of their new Rosaviola scent, Diptyque has recruited fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan to create embroidered versions of the brand’s iconic packaging. In addition, the full range of designs have been digitised as an emoji keyboard which includes lollipops, typewriters, lipsticks and a version of Diptyque’s recognisable shopping carrier.

 

#diptyque #emoji #collaboration #olympialetan (link in bio)

A photo posted by @diptyque on

 

Unfortunately, the icons cannot be used like traditional emojis but are more like ‘Facebook stickers’ where the user has to paste them into messages which we found a little disappointing.

 

It’s interesting to see how a luxury brand such as Dipthque has jumped on the growing trend of emoji marketing but put their own luxury spin on them in order to meet reach out to a younger, tech-savvy audience.

 

Insight Edit: Are consumers buying through social media?

Here at Leapfrogg, we have a panel of over 1000 retail consumers that we engage with on a regular basis to help us understand customer needs and expectations from the brands and retailers they buy from.

 

Every month, we question them on a range of areas from buying behaviours and brand opinion, to emotional purchase triggers and their recent shopping experiences.

 

The Insight Edit is our weekly bite size edit of the insight we gain from our panel in our search to truly understand the mind of the premium customer.

 

There has been a lot of speculation that 2016 will be the year of the “buy now” button in social media. Many people within in the digital industry are convinced there will be a huge move forward in the number of consumers purchasing directly through their favourite social media platforms.

 

Whilst we are seeing the steady impact of social media (done correctly) on purchase behaviour across our client base, we are still seeing a low number of direct purchases through those platforms.

 

We decided to ask our panel if they had bought directly through social media platforms in the last three months.

 

77% of consumers have not made a direct purchase through social media in the last three months. (1)

Of the 23% who did make a purchase – 77% made a purchase through Facebook, 33% through Instagram and a further 13% through Twitter.

 

This shows us that social platforms still have a long way to go to be the main conversion channel compared to retail websites and email. We believe the main reason for this is due to the consumers lack of willingness to make purchases directly on social channels. Perhaps they are just not in buying mode when engaging on those platforms.

 

Alternatively, retailers may not yet be providing the right levels of engaging content on those platforms and, therefore, failing to create the need to purchase right there and then.

 

It will be interesting to see how these numbers change over the coming months as the main social platforms continue the push their “buy now” buttons to own the purchase moment in the customer journey.