The Weekly Shop (24th – 28th Nov)

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Shop. This week we’re talking Black Friday and Cyber Monday, updates on Twitter and Facebook’s ‘buy’ button and what we mean by the term ‘insight.’ Plus, the chance to win Fortnum & Mason  hampers when you complete our first Premium Panel survey.

Researchers predict Cyber Monday spending will top £500m; eBay says its big day will fall the day before

Cyber Monday takes place this coming Monday and new research has predicted that British etailers will together take more than half a billion pounds for the first time during the course of the day. That’s 11.4% up on the same time last year.

Facebook and Twitter won’t be able to check ‘buy buttons’ off their holiday wishlists

This week Facebook and Twitter announced that the “buy” buttons they have been testing since the summer won’t be introduced in time for the Christmas rush. The social media giants stated that this is because they want to ensure that they create the “right tool” before making it available to everyone.

What do we mean when we want “Insight”?

This next article from Clickz looks at what the term “insight” really means when it comes to marketing and if we using it in the correct way.

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

At the end of every month we round-up the hottest products, trends and innovations from the world of premium and luxury retail according to our Premium Panel. This month our panel has been getting excited about Anya’s Hindmarch’s bespoke collection, Liberty of London’s mobile loyalty app and some very luxurious advent calendars! Head over to our blog to find out more.

Take our survey and WIN a Christmas hamper from Fortnum & Mason!

This week saw our first Premium Panel survey go live. If you’d like to get involved, just answer these questions about your Christmas shopping and you’ll automatically be entered into our prize draw to win one of three decadent Fortnum & Mason ‪Christmas hampers worth up to £150. We’ll even make sure they’re delivered in time for Christmas Day! Click here to take the survey.
See you next week!

 

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!

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 (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 (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!

The Weekly Shop (21st – 25th July)

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for a new edition of The Weekly Shop – our digital marketing and retail news digest. This week we have some news regarding Twitter and Facebook and their foray into ecommerce, emotional content marketing and the pop-up shop phenomenon.

 

 

Facebook eyes greater slice of ecommerce maket with ‘Buy’ button trial

Facebook has just announced that it is trialing the introduction of a ‘Buy’ button on its news feed and business pages, allowing users to purchase products and services without leaving the social network. Currently, Facebook is only testing the button in the US with a “few small and medium-sized businesses”, as it looks to help advertisers drive more sales through activity on Facebook. Definitely something to keep an eye on!

Facebook 'Buy Now' button

Image source: http://www.thedrum.com/

Twitter Dives Deeper Into E-Commerce With CardSpring Acquisition

Keeping on the theme of monetising social media, Twitter has just announced that it has acquired CardSpring – a payment infrastructure start-up. This means that Twitter will now be able to track when users redeem offers delivered via Twitter cards, as well as help businesses deliver relevant deals. This card-linked approach will bring Twitter closer to businesses, as it can help them offer consumers relevant deals.

Emotional Contagion and Content Marketing

Next up, an article from Clickz that looks at how emotionally driven marketing can increase shares and engagement much better than neutral content. The article also includes some useful recommendations to help up the value of your content.

Fast-growing retail pop-up phenomenon contributes £2.1bn to the UK economy

Boxpark Pop-Up shopping Mall

Another new study has found that pop-up shops contribute to £2.1bn a year to the UK economy and is a phenomenon growing faster than the retail industry as a whole. The study forecasts that the pop-up shop industry will grow almost 2.5 times faster than the traditional UK retail market over the next year, highlighting the important role that pop up retail is playing in the UK economy.

Image source: La Citta Vita on Flickr

Consumers are more aware – and more sceptical – of the safety of their shopping data: studies

Two new studies have found that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their online security following a wave of high-profile data breaches. Some 54% of the 2,000 online consumers surveyed said they were more conscious of their online security than they were a year ago, while 50% felt retailers should do more to keep them safe online.

See you next week!

 

The Weekly Shop (14th – 18th July)

This week’s Weekly Shop has a retail focus as we take a look at retail game changers, tweaks to increase ecommerce conversions, how consumers take longer to decide what to buy thanks to technology and Pinterest’s new follow button.

Top ten tweaks to increase ecommerce conversions

Many online retailers focus on growing overall site traffic, which often comes at the expense of increasing conversion rates from existing customers. This can be counter productive as the cost of acquiring new traffic is always increasing, so it makes sense to convert the customers that already visit your site and abandon before making a purchase. To help you do this, the guys over at Econsultancy have put together their top ten tweaks smart retailers have made to successfully boost their conversions. Continue reading

The Weekly Shop (23rd – 27th June)

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Weekly Shop. This week we take a look at new consumer laws, modern age SEO myths, content marketing tips for small businesses and creating a single view of stock.

New consumer laws and their impact on retailers

In retail news this this week, two sets of consumer laws have been announced that are set to have a major impact on UK retailers. The two pieces of legislation make substantial changes to consumers’ contractual rights and as a result of these changes, retailers must ensure that they comply with these new consumer laws by updating both their standard consumer agreements and consumer facing procedures accordingly.

Doddle rolls into stations across the UK

Doodle Parcel Shop

Image source: networkrail.co.uk

Also this week, Doodle, the UK’s first fully dedicated and staffed online shopping collection and returns service has announced it will open in 300 new locations in the next three years. Doodle operates in railway stations and major hubs, and is partnering with a number of well-known retailers including Asos and New Look. We’re looking forward to trailing the service when it launches in Brighton.

Creating a single view of stock: five key considerations

Adopting a single view of your stock across retail channels is an essential precursor to a true multichannel strategy. This next article from Econsultancy provides five key factors for retailers need to consider when looking to create a single view of their stock.

Uh-Oh…Looks Like We Might Have Lost the Customer

Here’s a good, quick read on the importance of creating a customer centric business from Clickz. The article highlights the three key questions you need to be asking yourself when migrating to a customer-centric organisation, versus a product-centric organisation.

Pinterest Moves a Step Closer to Search Engine With Guided Search

Pinterest has recently announced that it will be rolling out guided search on Pinterest over the next few weeks, as it did for its mobile app in April. Pinterest users will soon see a new search bar when they visit Pinterest.com, and just as it works on mobile, the search features will surface recommended keywords intended to help generate more specific queries and better search results. These adjustments to Pinterest functionality over time demonstrate the site’s vision for the future.

7 Outstanding Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

As SEO has evolved in recent years, it has become clear that small businesses need to adopt the content marketing strategies that corporate marketers use to remain competitive in rankings. If you’re struggling for creative ideas for interesting new content, then this article from Search Engine Watch provides seven tips for providing outstanding content.

7 Modern Age SEO Myths

One of the challenges that the world of SEO presents us with is its lack of clarity as search engines obscure and continuously tune their algorithms. This insightful article from Forbes aims to draw a bigger picture of how you need to process the claims that people make about SEO and debunks some of the newer myths about SEO that have emerged only in the past few years.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (26th – 30th May)

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Leapfrogg’s Weekly Shop. This week we feature articles about why people don’t trust your website, Twitter advertising, key takeaways from SheerLuxeB2B and the EU’s privacy ruling on Google.

44 reasons why people don’t trust your website

To kick us off this week, Chris Lake from Econsultancy has explored the reasons why people may not trust your website using insight from a post on reddit. Reasons range from content, design choices and the usability of a website and is well worth a read to make sure you’re not guilty of any of these.

Top 5 Learnings from Twitter Advertising

Earlier this year, Twitter launched Twitter Advertising which allows UK businesses to advertise on the platform. We’ve been running Twitter ads for a number of our clients for several months now, and our paid search analyst has provided his top five tips for using the platform over on the Froggblog.

Silos, Cycle Teams and Chief Customer Officers: Key Take Aways from Sheerluxe 2014

A few weeks ago, we were proud to speak at the SheerB2B - a conference which brings together experts from the world of online retail to help premium etailers successfully grow their online businesses. Ometria have written a round-up of their key takeaways from the conference, which includes our MD’s talk on five of the major challenges faced by retailers in trying to meet customer expectations and staying ahead of the competition.

5 Fast Facts about the EU’s Privacy Ruling on Google

On May 13th, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled against Google in a landmark privacy case, asserting that EU citizens have a “right to be forgotten.” This article from Search Engine Watch dives into some of the facts to provide some insight into what this means.

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