Introducing the Leapfrogg ‘Premium Panel’

Do you have a passion for premium retail? 

Do you love luxury and get excited by exclusives?

If this sounds like you, we’d love to invite you to join our community of premium retail shoppers who share a love of the finer things in life – whether that’s sumptuous home décor, designer fashion or must-have beauty products.By joining our Premium Panel, you’ll become part of a nationally representative, online community of premium retail consumers. We want to hear what YOU have to say about your favourite brands and chat to you about your awesome shopping experiences – from online to the high street.

Through our Premium Panel Facebook Group and regular, short surveys (which will give you the opportunity to win covetable prizes every month), we’ll ask you questions about which brands rock your world and why, how you shop online and what, in your eyes, makes the ultimate customer experience.

Your opinion matters to us and our clients want to hear from you.

It doesn’t cost a thing to sign up – all you need to do is join our friendly Facebook Group to see the latest updates about what’s hot in the retail world and hear about other members’ new discoveries.

Then, by signing up to our mailing list, you’ll get to have your say (and win loads of lovely premium prizes) by participating in our monthly surveys. We won’t EVER spam you, we promise.

Join the Premium Panel Facebook Group and email us on passionforpremium@leapfrogg.co.uk to be added to the Premium Panel mailing list – we assure you that your data is secure, won’t be shared without your permission and you can, of course, opt out at any time.

We look forward to sharing our love of shopping with you!

The Weekly Shop (15th – 19th September)

Welcome to this Friday’s edition of the Weekly Shop. This week we feature lots of retail news and some updates from London Fashion Week which kicked off last Friday.

How Burberry and Topshop used social to rule at London Fashion Week

With London Fashion Week over for another year, this article from Econsultancy takes a look how both Burberry and Topshop showcased digital innovation at their shows this week using social media.

What is customer lifetime value (CLV) and why do you need to measure it?

Next an article which aims to make sense of the term ‘Customer Lifetime Value’ and explains why retailers need to measure it.

10 Online Shopping Personality Traits

This next article looks at how shopping behaviour data derived from a behavioural commerce analytic platform was analysed to determine the 10 most common shopping personality profiles. Which category do you fit into?

Site search: retailers still have a lot to learn

Here’s another article from Econsultancy which looks at how site search remains a problem for ecommerce sites, with lack of key functionality and flexibility proving to be a barrier to the user experience.

High street shoppers change the way they shop in the light of online: BRC

A recent study has shown that shoppers are changing their high street shopping behaviour in the light of ecommerce with shoppers now visiting shops less often but spending more when they do. It seems that customers are now hitting the high street with purpose, knowing what they want to buy ahead of time, supported by online research, and doing more shopping in a single trip.

 

The Weekly Shop (8th – 12th Sept)

It’s Friday, so that means there’s a new edition of The Weekly Shop! This week, we explore Twitter’s ‘Buy Now’ button, driving brand advocacy through sales teams and employees, Christmas spending and the single customer view.

Twitter tests ‘buy’ button to allow retailers to sell products direct from a tweet

The big news in digital marketing this week came from Twitter, who is officially testing a ‘buy now’ button to allow retailers to sell products directly from a tweet. Currently, the trial is being offered to a small percentage of retailers in the US including Burberry and The Home Depot.

Next Up For Twitter: Improved Search, Better Algorithm, Possible Group Chat

While we’re on the subject of Twitter, this article from Marketing Land looks at what could be next for the social network following insights from Twitter’s CFO Anthony Noto.

Incentivising your retailers to drive brand advocacy

This next article explores how a brands sales teams and employees are, more often than not, the greatest brand ambassadors for your company as they are closest to the products to share your brand message. Econsultancy have provided three approaches to encourage employees to advocate for your brand whether it’s via bricks-and-mortar store, online or through third parties.

UK online shoppers set to spend £13bn this Christmas: forecast

According to a new study this week by Sage Pay, online spending will top £13bn for the first time this Christmas. Sage Pay says the rise – equivalent to an 18% boost on last year’s spending of £11bn – will come as Britons already start to look online ahead of Christmas spending. If you’re looking to start planning for the festive season, then check out this blog post which features some tips and tactics from the Leapfrogg team.

What is the single customer view and why do you need it?

This last article from Econsultancy aims to simplify the term ‘single customer view’ and explain why retailers need it. It also provides some further reading on the subject.

Thank for reading!

The Weekly Shop (1st – 5th September)

Hello and welcome to our Weekly Shop news digest. This week, we talk about the end of Google Authorship, mobile visits to retail websites topping PC for the first time and the world’s best ecommerce checkouts.

Half UK’s online shoppers buy from their beds, while 70% check their phones on waking: research

According to a new study, almost half (48%) of the UK’s online shoppers buy from their beds, while another study found that 70% of UK smartphone users check their phones as soon as they wake up. These two studies highlight how consumer habits have changed and how marketers need to provide engaging content outside of traditional time frames.

Mobile visits to retail websites top PC for the first time, retailer figures suggest

Another study from the IMRG this week, has found that 52% of traffic to retail websites now comes from mobile devices of one form or another, outstripping traditional desktop traffic for the first time. In 2010, this figure was just 3%.

11 of the world’s best ecommerce checkouts

ASOS Checkout

What exactly makes an excellent checkout process on an ecommerce site? To answer this question, Econsultancy has compiled a list of 11 checkouts which constitute examples of best practice, which include examples from Wiggle, ASOS and Hunter Boots.

Twitch + Extra Data = One Potentially Powerful Amazon Ad Network

Amazon has recently acquired video platform and gaming community Twitch Interactive and it has been reported that the ecommerce giant is also reportedly developing an ad network that could leverage the data it already has on its roughly 250 million users, to challenge Google and Microsoft by delivering better targeted ads. More over on Clickz.

Google drops authorship markup from search results: reaction

Google authorship Markup

Having removed author photos from the SERPs in June, Google has now removed authorship altogether from search results. Under the authorship scheme, writers could add the rel=author markup to their bylines, linking them to Google+ pages . Google has stated that they have removed author information because it wasn’t useful to users and actually distracted from search results. This article from Econsultancy explores various SEOs reaction to Google’s decision.

Did you catch the latest posts of the Froggblog this week? Our senior natural search consultant, Ben Adam, explores how online retailers can benefit from Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce and with only 110 days to go, the Leapfrogg team share their tips and tactics on how retailers can start planning for the festive season.

That’s it for this week. See you next week!

Image source: Econsultancy.com

Turn more shoppers into buyers with Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce

Enhanced Ecommerce is the latest feature to come to Google Analytics and is the first feature utilising the power and potential of Universal Analytics. Universal Analytics for those that don’t know is a tracking code update that lays the foundations for cross device tracking, data import, custom dimensions and metrics. Most importantly, it means you can stay up to date with new features and updates such as Enhanced Ecommerce.

As Google says, “Together they help online retailers see further and understand customers better than ever before.”

We’ve been utlising Enhanced Ecommerce for a number of our clients and thought we’d share some insight into how implementing Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce can have a big impact on a retailer’s revenue:

  1. Shopping behaviour analysis – This feature allows you to see how many people view products, add them to the basket, start checkout and most importantly convert. The new setup will offer greater insight over the current goal and funnel, allowing retailers to identify problems in the checkout process and any issues that arise when customers are moving from the basket to checkout.
  2. You can also analyse how far shoppers get in the shopping funnel and where they drop off. It allows you to understand which products are viewed most, which are frequently abandoned in the basket and which ones convert well.
  3. Upload refund data – Previously, Google Analytics didn’t support refund data. With Enhanced Ecommerce, you can see what channels and products are refunded the most and identify what patterns are linked to returns to get a more accurate calculation of ROI and product popularity.
  4. Upload product categories – This allows you to see which product areas are under performing. You can see which product categories perform well and at what times of year and then make decisions based on seasonal historic analytics data.
  5. Discounts – retailers can now see the true effect of their discount codes as these can now be recorded with every transaction.
  6. Internal promotions – For the first time, retailers will be able to garner a greater understanding of how effective their internal promotions really are.
  7. Segments – This last feature allows you to create segments directly from funnel reports and see which products were abandoned and on which devices so you can target and recapture those users.

All these features will require some development to ensure the data is being recorded, but once implemented the potential returns to retails looks pretty impressive. We’ve started building this feature in for some of our clients and are already starting to gain some valuable insights into shopping behaviours of their customers. Again, Google does the best job of a summary here and states that “Enhanced Ecommerce is all about the bottom line. We’ve designed it to help you improve your total experience and turn more shoppers into buyers.”

Tis the season to start planning for Christmas

So it seems summer may very sadly be on its way out as we enter September. For retailers, this can only mean one thing – Christmas is well and truly on its way. Earlier in the month, Selfridges even opened their Christmas shop – making it the first retailer in the world to do so. You might not want to be purchasing your baubles just yet, but with Christmas being the busiest and most important time of the year for online retailers – it’s never too early for retailers to start planning for the festive season. Being prepared and identifying a strategy now can make or break a successful year for retailers – in other words the difference between a lump of coal or the latest gadget from Apple in your stocking!

With only 115 days until the big day, we’re already hard at work planning for Christmas with our clients. In light of this, I thought it was worth sharing a couple of tips and tactics from the Leapfrogg team to help get you started.

What do your customers want?

Rosie, Leapfrogg’s Managing Director, recommends running a survey and asking your customers what they think they will want to buy from you at Christmas. You can ask them if they are likely to shop with you for Christmas gifts this year and if so, what categories, price points and people they will be shopping for.

It may well be too late for this insight to influence your product range for Christmas, but what this will do is give you a good steer on where to spend your marketing budget. If you know that your older customers are likely to buy a certain product from you in store, then make sure you remind them via email to pop in store as Christmas approaches. If you know that your younger customers are likely to buy a particular product from you online, then ensure you promote that product to them via all online channels in the run up to Christmas. A quick survey via email with an incentive for completion is an easy way to do this.

You could even go one step further and ask your customers to help you develop a new product for Christmas. If it isn’t too late and your products are applicable, then use social media to showcase a few product ideas or ask your customers to submit ideas for voting that you will be able to put into limited edition production. A loyal fan base will be very engaged with the process and will be likely to buy the product and others when it is released.

Can you offer free delivery?

If you can, offer free delivery – your investment really will pay off and may make the difference in a customer choosing to order with you rather than one of your competitors. A customer experience design project we ran for one of our clients revealed that a major barrier to conversion was a relatively high delivery charge on a low average order value. By offering free delivery, they increased online revenue by 20% within eight weeks.

Be clear and simple

Ensure all your delivery messaging is clearly displayed on your website across all pages, as well as your last online order dates for pre-Christmas delivery to ensure there are no nasty surprises for your customers and their expectations can be met at all times.

 

House of Fraser Christmas

Image source: Econsultancy

In addition, ensure that your returns policy is also clearly displayed across your website– especially if you are offering extended returns over this period.

 

asos Christmas Delivery

Image source: ASOS

Have a look at what questions you were asked last year and ensure your FAQs are up to date with the answers to those questions. Doing this will make life easier for your customers, and remove the need for them to contact you for questions that can be easily answered.

Also spend some time making sure that your product information is as detailed as possible. It’s worth bulking these out now, so your product pages contain as much information about the products as you can, again, making life easier for your customers.

Concentrate on improving your basket and checkout pages now to ensure you have a well converting process in time for Christmas. Maybe run some user-testing to check it’s as user-friendly as possible, and if you don’t already, offer guest checkout and consider a one page checkout.

 

Macy's one page checkout

Image source: Econsultancy

Be mobile responsive

We all know the importance of having a mobile-optimised website by now. If you don’t have one yet, definitely make this a priority as soon as possible as mobile searches increase over the festive period as more shoppers use their phones whilst on the high street to research products. According to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, last Christmas, mobile traffic grew to 58% of all online traffic, an increase of 42% over 2012 and we can only expect this figure to rise even more this Christmas.

 

John Lewis mobile website

If you do already have a mobile website, take some time to ensure it provides a seamless purchasing journey for your customers.

Content planning

Ben, our senior and social media content consultant suggests preparing a content schedule that includes relevant seasonal content such as tips, videos and blog posts. Rather than just pushing products, try and tap into your customers’ needs and help solve their stressful shopping problems. This type of content will help ramp up your audience in the run up Christmas and you can link in an association of how your products can fit into Christmas preparations. Ensure that this messaging is published in a steady flow throughout the Christmas period.

Generate Christmas discounts as a special reward for your social followers, which will make them feel special and like they are getting a bargain before the New Year’s sales. This can aid revenue flow and attract any buyers that usually wait until the sale period to purchase.

Offering competitions and promotions around the 12 days of Christmas are always a winner as they encourage people to keep coming back to your website and making purchases throughout the Christmas period. The Whistles annual advent calendar is a great example of this.

Whistle Advent Calendar

Think in advance about tying in in-store services with ways to boost social following and brand loyalty. For example, offering a free gift wrapping service to customers could be tied in with a data capture exercise to capture customer email addresses and dates of birth in reward for the free gift wrap. This data can then be used to target customers through email marketing and also through custom audiences advertising on Facebook.
Create any new pages well in advance of Christmas

Our senior natural search consultant, Ben and website optimisation manager, Suze, both recommend keeping your Christmas landing pages/categories the same year to year. This ensures Google keeps them in its index and all trust associated with those pages remains. You can always hide the URLs from the customer visible sitemap, but maintain them in the XML sitemap.
If you need to create new pages or categories, ensure you create them well in advance of Christmas to allow Google to index and begin to assign trust to the new pages. Again, link in from the XML sitemap, and if you don’t have your Christmas range confirmed yet – create a holding page for them. You could always include an email signup form on this page, so keen customers can find the page and register interest before you have the range finalised.

Paid search recommendations

Our paid search analysts, Joe and Andy, have a number of recommendations for planning paid search campaigns for the festive season:

  • Have a solid marketing plan in place, so you know exactly what promotions will be running and how they will be promoted e.g. which channel, paid search feature, and site/ad language and also the budgets available for each period building up to Christmas and after Christmas.
  • Look back at which promotions have worked best in the past and test again e.g. a flash sale, free P&P or exclusive discounts.
  • Plan paid search budgets to anticipate shifts in search volume such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Take a look at your historical data for this to see which days last year were popular and plan accordingly.
  • Upload all new ad creatives well in advance of their launch to ensure they are reviewed and approved before your campaign starts – this includes text and image ads.
  • Migrate any changes made in Google across to Bing Ads to ensure consistency and more visibility for your ads.
  • Make sure product feeds are fully optimised for Google Shopping. New feed requirements are coming into effect by the 30th September, so ensure you’re ready for this change now so you don’t run into any problems in build up to Christmas. Google Shopping will be a key channel for retailers this Christmas.

So there you have it – a few tips from the Leapfrogg team on how you can start preparing for the festive season. With only 115 days to go, the time is definitely ripe to start getting into the Christmas spirit and planning ahead. By doing so now, you’ll definitely be in a better position this festive season.

 

The Weekly Shop (18th – 22nd Aug)

In the Weekly Shop this week, we explore how poor service is eroding consumer loyalty and confidence in retail brands, shop dummies coming to life, social loyalty and Google adds Website call conversions in Adwords.

New study: poor service is eroding loyalty to retail brands

A new study has found that poor service is eroding consumer loyalty and confidence in retail brands. A poll of 2,000 consumers found that poor service is eroding consumer loyalty and confidence in retail brands. Accordingly to the survey 30% of those surveyed had become less loyal to retail brands in the past five years. In addition, a quarter of those customers identified poor service as the main reason for their declining loyalty.

Mobile takes 38% of all paid search clicks in the UK, the highest on record

Another new study this week has found that in the UK, adverts shown on mobile devices accounted for more than a third (36%) of all paid search spend in Q2 2014, which is the highest on record. In turn, the UK also witnessed the highest proportion of clicks coming through mobile ads – 38% of all paid search clicks during the quarter. More over on Internet Retailing.

Shop dummies come to life to tell smartphones what they are wearing

Reminiscent of something out of Dr Who – shop mannequins may now be coming to life thanks to i-beacon technology. Beacon company Iconeme has installed Bluetooth beacons in shop mannequins, which allow Bluetooth enabled shoppers to receive information about the clothes being worn (by the mannequins) when they walk past whilst harvesting data about the consumers.

How to increase conversions by creating buyer urgency & fear of loss

This article from Econsultancy rounds up 11 examples from ecommerce sites that use stock levels to create buyer urgency. A sense of urgency and fear of loss are powerful sales drivers in ecommerce. Undecided shoppers can be encouraged to make an impulse purchase if they think they’re in direct competition with other people for a product that has limited availability.

Social loyalty: the new faces of customer relationships

This next article from The Retail Bulletin explores social marketing and how it can be used a powerful platform to spread word of mouth and opinions between and among customers.

Google Launches Ability To Track “Website Call Conversions” In AdWords

Earlier in the week, Google launched a new feature in Adwords which allows advertisers to track calls that occur after a user arrives on a web site from an ad click.

The Weekly Shop (11th -15th Aug)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Weekly Shop. This week, we feature ways to increase customer engagment in ecommerce, Pinterest’s new messaging feature, Amazon’s 3D printing marketplace and the importance of the customer journey. Let’s get stuck in…

Ecommerce turns 20 and my, how it’s grown

Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the very first online sale, which apparently was a copy of Sting’s album ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ in case you were wondering! Our first article this week takes a look at how the world of ecommerce has changed since August 11th 1994.

10 ways to increase customer engagement in ecommerce

In our next article, Econsultancy have explored 10 innovative features that can help keep customers engaged on ecommerce websites which includes examples from the likes of M&S, Topshop and ASOS.

The customer journey & relevant experiences are the new business imperatives

Next is another great read from Econsultancy that explores how recent research by eBay and Deloitte have shown the sheer importance of understanding the customer journey and delivering relevant experiences. According to the article, ‘leading marketers must understand the value of these multichannel customer interactions and work towards ensuring seamless customer experiences.’

Amazon 3D-printing marketplace promises to ‘change the way people shop online’

Amazon 3D Printing Store

Amazon have just unveiled their 3D printing store where customers can buy on demand 3D printed products ranging from jewellery to home décor. Currently, the store is only available in the US and stocks over 200 print on-demand products which customers can personalise. Amazon believes that the introduction of the 3D Printed Products store suggests the beginnings of a shift in online retail and that manufacturing can be more nimble to provide an immersive customer experience.

Pinterest Rolls Out Messaging So Pinners Can Have Conversations Around Shared Pins

Direct messaging has popped up on many apps within the last year including Instagram and Vine. Now Pinterest has followed suit, and launched a new messaging feature that allows users to send a pin and start a conversation all within the desktop site and app to allow for further engagement on the platfrom.

Google confirms HTTPS as a new ranking signal: What are the implications?

Google has recently announced that it is starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal within search results. The ‘S’ in HTTPS stands for secure, so this change essentially means that any websites using secure and encrypted connections across their domains will benefit from this ranking update. In this article, Econsultancy looks at the implications of this change.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (4th – 8th August)

Welcome to another week’s edition of The Weekly Shop news digest. This week, we have been reading about concept stores, how and why your paid search agency should fail and how online browsing could save the high street.

Concept stores: what do they mean for customer experience?

M&S concept store

Image source: Econsultancy.com

Our first article this week looks at how we have seen the resurgence of the concept store over the last three years as retail has woken up to the value of service, great product display, interactivity, digital technology and a great shopping experience.  Econsultancy have taken a look at some of the concept stores out there from the likes of Argos, Apple and Burberry and what they mean for customer experience.

Online browsing ‘could save the high street’

While on the subject of the high street, a new study from SalesGossip has found that many of their users visited stores after browsing and researching online. The study found that their respondents will find information about products online but then go into the store to make the final purchase highlighting that online and in-store together are much greater than the sum of their individual parts.

Multichannel retailers enjoy faster m-commerce growth than pureplays: study

New research has found that multichannel retailers are enjoying stronger growth from m-commerce than their online-only competitors. Those using channels including shops and a website to sell saw sales via mobile rise by 79% in the period from January to June, according to a study by Capgemini and IMRG, while those who only sell via a website saw their m-commerce sales lift by 59%. More over on Internet Retailing.

5 Myths About Mobile Content Strategies and What You Can Do Instead

Matt Cutts recently stated that he expects Google’s mobile traffic to exceed desktop traffic in the very near future. If you don’t have a plan for mobile, you certainly need to make it a high priority. If you’re starting to think about your mobile strategy then this article from Clickz outlines five common myths about what it means to optimize content for mobile so you can be sure not to include them in your planning.

How and Why Your PPC Agency Should Fail

Here’s an interesting article from Clickz on why failure shouldn’t be a bad word in the PPC industry. It should be used as a tool for growth and continual improvement. The article features some useful tips on how you and your agency should be coming together to make progress on your accounts.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (28th Jul – 1st Aug)

In the Weekly Shop this week, we take a look at how British town centres have adapted as consumers move towards digital, some Facebook news, which includes a useful new ‘Save’ feature and how to breath life into old content.

Town centres adapt as consumers move towards digital and convenience: report

A new report has shown that British town centres are changing as they adapt to evolving customer demands. The report found that Britons are above all looking for convenience – and finding it both in high street, for quick ‘top-up’ shops, and online shopping, whereas once they found it in out-of-town retail destinations. The report suggests convenience is driving digital ways of buying and that click and collect has pushed people back to stores. More on the report over on Internet Retailing.

With Save, Facebook Lets You Bookmark Posts For Later

After announcing their ‘Buy Now’ button trial last week, Facebook have also just announced that they are testing a new ‘Save’ feature. This feature will let you bookmark things you discover on Facebook, so you can read them at a more convenient time. This will no doubt be very useful for both brands and users as posts frequently get lost in the constantly refreshing news feed.

399 Million People Use Facebook Only From Mobile

Keeping on the topic of Facebook, this week we also learnt that Facebook has now 399 million mobile-only monthy active uses. This means that almost 1 out of 3 Facebook users never use the web version of Facebook, clearly showing a trend of users moving away from Facebook’s web platform. Definitely something to keep in mind when you are planning your marketing efforts on Facebook.

How to breathe new life into old content

One of the biggest changes within content marketing is constantly coming up with ideas for great content. Whilst fresh content is important, you should equally be thinking about repurposing the fantastic content you’ve already created. This article from Econsultancy explores how you can breathe new life into old content, so it performs a useful function within your user journey.

Google Introduces Product Ratings on PLAs

Onto a new development in Paid Search. This week, Google announced that starting in late July, Product Listing Ads (PLA) will now feature product ratings. Currently this feature is only available in the U.S. but Google have stated that it will be introducing product ratings in additional countries throughout 2014. Definitely something to keep an eye on if you use reviews on your website.

Finally, Google Analytics App Arrives on iPhone

Google Analytics for iPhone

Image source: Mashable.com

Another development from Google this week saw a version of Google Analytics released for iPhone. The iPhone app comes more than two years after Google released Google Analytics for Android and allows users to check in on their website analytics — including real-time visitor reports — from the comfort of their smartphone. In addition to real-time and time-based reports, the app can be used to view behaviors, conversions and more.

See you next week!