The Hype: what’s hot and happening in premium retail this month?

Welcome to The Hype – a monthly digest of the hottest products, trends and innovations from the world of premium and luxury retail, hand-picked by our Premium Panel.

Selfridges launches new £40m website

Selfridges new website

This month Selfridges launched their new website as part of a £40m investment to bring their online presence in line with the experience people have of the brand in-store. The new website features a clean, minimal design with new options such as a quick view of products and wish list functionality. Content has been given greater prominence on the homepage and the site is fully responsive across mobile and tablet to cater for the 60% of traffic they receive from those channels. Our Premium Panel loved the sleek new design, but felt the desktop version wasn’t as user friendly as it could have been have been as iPad and mobile sites had been given greater preference.

Planning to shop on the new website? Don’t forget that there is a £50 Selfridges voucher up for grabs for one of our Premium Panel members this month. For a chance to win, join the Panel before the 30th October.

Alexander Wang’s collection for H&M revealed in full

Alexander Wang for H&M

Alexander Wang’s collaboration with H&M is being touted as one of the hottest high street collaborations to date.

Although the range doesn’t hit stores until November, the hype has been building as H&M and Wang have been drip-feeding us sneak previews of the forthcoming collection. Earlier in the month, the full lookbook and an interactive video landed online, revealing a strong 38 piece collection featuring Wang’s signature sports luxe aesthetic – think scuba, mesh and crop tops, all emblazoned with the designer’s graphic branding.

The collection launches in stores and online on the 6th November. If H&M’s previous designer collaborations are anything to go by, you’ll need to be up at the crack of dawn for inevitable queuing or frantic webpage refreshing in order to get your mitts on a piece.

Is fashion being dictated by technology?

If you’ve recently upgraded to iPhone 6 Plus or another ‘Phablet’ of choice, then you’ve probably discovered that the days of casually popping your phone in your pocket are long gone. To combat this problem, fashion brands including J. Crew, Lee Jeans, Levi’s, L.L. Bean and American Eagle are rumoured to be considering designing larger pockets on their garments to accommodate the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Plus

Jimmy Choo launches online customisation service

Luxury shoe designer Jimmy Choo has just launched an online personalisation service which allows customers the ability to design their very own bespoke pair of Choos.

The made-to-order service allows customers to choose one of four iconic silhouettes and customise them by choosing from an array of heel heights, colours and materials. For the finishing touch, the brand will also add a monogram of your initials to the soles. Even if you’re not in the market for a £475+ pair of Choos, it’s easy to while away hours playing shoe designer on the website and creating different combinations. The shoes take around 9-11 weeks to be created and delivered, so there may be just enough time to pop a pair on your Christmas list!

Jimmy Choo

Shop Direct unveils launch plans for luxury site VeryExclusive.co.uk

This month also saw Shop Direct reveal that it will launch its luxury spin-off site VeryExclusive.co.uk during London Fashion Week next February.

VeryExclusive.co.uk will span women’s clothing, footwear, accessories and beauty and will sell both ‘accessible luxury’ and ‘high street luxury’ from brands including Marc by Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and McQ. The retailer will also allow customers to purchase items using their credit account and spread the cost over three months interest-free, meaning that these ‘luxury’ pieces will become much more accessible. Our Premium Panel is particularly excited about being able to invest in designer classics such as bags and shoes and have the option to spread the cost. We’re also interested to see how the experience of buying through Very.com will compare to purchasing through the designers themselves.

Very Exclusive

Cara Delevinge launches range for DKNY and scouts models from Instagram

October also saw model-of-the-moment Cara Delevinge add yet another string to her already impressive bow by designing a capsule collection for DKNY.

Her collection features 15 sports-tastic unisex garments, all featuring details with “a special meaning to Cara”. Cara also called upon her Instagram followers to post pictures of themselves to their Instagram feeds with the tag #CaraD4DKNY and #CaraWantsYou to help her scout six budding models to join her in New York for the shoot.

Cara Delevinge DKNY

The full collection is available to buy via DKNY.com, Net-A-Porter and Harvey Nichols.

Fashion gets furry

There’s one trend that always comes back around when the temperature starts to drop, and that’s faux fur. However, this season we’ve seen a new spin on the trend pop up in the form of furry arm candy. Our Panelist, Bethanie, has her eye on this amazing version by Diane Von Furstenberg, but if you can’t stretch to this, there are plenty of more affordable versions on popping up on the high street.

Furry clutches

Image source: Pandora Sykes

That’s it for The Hype this month. Have you spotted anything we’ve missed? Please do let us know over on the Premium Panel Facebook group.

See you next month!

*Leapfrogg’s Premium Panel is a collection of like-minded premium consumers sharing insight into their shopping behaviours and expectations from premium and luxury brands. If you have a passion for premium retail, love luxe and get excited by exclusives, join our Premium Panel over on Facebook. Alternatively, email us on passionforpremium@leapfrogg.co.uk to be added to the mailing list.

 

The Weekly Shop (20th – 24th October)

In The Weekly Shop this week – three keys to omni-channel success, the launch of a new biometric contactless payment card and our Premium Panelists tell on how delivery contributes to a good customer experience.

Content, convenience and customer service: three keys to omni-channel success

According to Drazena Ivicic from Intershop there are three areas that are key to omni-channel success: convenience, content, and customer service. In her opinion, getting these three Cs right is key to successfully engaging with the customer and driving sales.

Amazon launches same day collection service

Following the news last week that Amazon were opening their first physical store – the etailer has just announced they are launching a same day collection service in the UK. Customers can order up until 11.45am to collect from 4pm until the closing time of their chosen pick-up point which include newsagents and convenience stores. Definitely set to be a game changer this Christmas.

Delivering Customer Happiness

When asked about what makes a good retail experience, in many cases your customers will mention delivery as a key factor. In light of this, we asked we asked our Premium Panel their thoughts on how delivery contributes to a good customer experience which you can read over on our blog. If you want to join the Premium Panel, you can do so here, you might even win a £50 Selfridges voucher if you join before the 30th October.

MasterCard and Zwipe unveil biometric contactless payment card

This week, MasterCard and Zwipe announced the launch of a biometric contactless payment card with integrated fingerprint sensor, which they say will improve security and consumer convenience.

Heresy: Google and SEO Don’t Actually Change that Much

In this next article, Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz shares his views on how Google and SEO Don’t Actually Change that Much. Brilliantly put and worth a read.

A thoroughly entertaining beginner’s guide to data and analytics

To finish this week, a useful glossary from Econsultancy around data and analytics which aims to simplify some of the complicated words, terms and phrases that you’re likely to come up against.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (6th – 10th October)

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Shop. This week we take a look at how you can build loyalty for customer retention, paid, owned and earned media, innovations that are set to change retail and how searchers user behaviours are evolving.

10 loyalty-building strategies for customer retention

Ongoing profit from a customer’s lifetime value is generally much higher than any one single transaction. However, in order to achieve higher customer lifetime values, you need to have some strong customer retention strategies in place which Econsultancy have round up in this article.

What’s the difference between paid, owned and earned media?

Next up, is a useful refresher on the difference between paid, owned and earned media and how SEO fits into the three categories.

The four disruptive innovations set to change retail

Our next article this week looks at four trends that are set to change retail, including payments, logistics, computing platforms and marketplaces.

New Google eye tracking study shows the downfall of the golden triangle

A new Google eye tracking study from Mediative has shown how the evolution of the Google search results from 2005 to today has resulted in searcher looking outside of the ‘golden triangle,’ which is the term used to describe how searchers looked at Google search page results in 2005.

The evolution of SERPs and user behaviors

Following on from the article above, this article from Clickz takes a more in-depth look into the study from Mediative and how SERPS and user behaviours are evolving.

7 obsolete SEO tactics you’re wasting your time on

And to finish off this week, a useful reminder on how SEO has changed over the years and how some of the old tactics will result in stagnant traffic and may actually cause your traffic to drop.

Remember, if you’d like to receive your Weekly Shop straight to your inbox, you can do so by signing up in our footer.

The Weekly Shop (29th Sept – 2nd Oct)

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Shop. This week we feature our latest report around the hot topic of customer experience, seven disruptive retail trends and lessons for effective blogger outreach.

Report: An Introduction to Customer Experience

‪‪Retailers‬ face huge challenges in meeting the needs and expectations of their customers. In light of this, we’ve just published a new report called ‘An Introduction to Customer Experience’ which aims to highlight those challenges and the steps that we recommend retailers take in order to address them. If you’d like to learn more, you can download your free guide here.

The Customer Experience Is Key: In Every Channel And At Every Interaction

With consumers being overwhelmed with marketing messages across multiple channels and mediums, they are becoming less likely to trust branded content and more inclined to seek out recommendations, tips and insights that come from their own peers and networks. This next article explores the vast opportunity that this shift presents to marketers.

Seven disruptive trends that will kill the ‘dinosaurs of retail’

Next an article from Retail Customer Experience which presents seven major disruptive trends that will cause the next wave of retailer casualties if retailers are unwilling or unable to adapt.

Five lessons for effective blogger outreach

The world of blogging has seen several changes recently which have come to interrupt and redefine the blogger-brand relationship. In our next article, Econsultancy conducted the UK’s largest ever blogger outreach study and rounded up the findings to provide their five tips for effective blogger outreach.

49% of U.K. Consumers Use Organic Search to Find Online Retailers [Study]

New research this week has highlighted how 49% of consumers in the U.K, leverage organic search as the main point of entry to e-commerce shopping sites, yet only 35 percent of online retailers in the U.K. believe consumers find their website through the organic channel.

SEO Is No One-Trick Pony

To finish this week, an article which aims to help to shape the discussion of “what SEO is,” and help others to understand that it’s not simply a ‘quick-fix’ solution.

Thanks for reading and see you next week.

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.