WANTED talented and professional digital marketing freelancers

WANTED talented and professional digital marketing freelancers to join our sister company Digital Team on Demand’s consultant network. At Digital Team on Demand we work with interesting and exciting brands advising them on the digital talent they need to achieve their targets. Join our team for the chance to work with those brands as an expert consultant.

We take the both the dull and the risky parts of freelancing out of your hands. We create the opportunity with interesting brands, negotiate all terms and handle the invoicing. We then guarantee to pay you on time.

In addition we provide support and mentoring for your duration with a client and ensure your working relationship is effective and productive.

We have contracts waiting to be filled.

Currently seeking:

 

Paid Search Experts:

Minimum 5 years experience in AdWords, Bing, Paid Social

Ecommerce marketing experience is essential

Paid Search Strategy

Campaign and budget management

Creative copy writing for Ads

Analysis and reporting

 

Content and Social Media Experts:

Minimum 5 years experience

Ecommerce marketing experience is essential

Social Media Strategy

Social Media Analysis

Content Strategy
Online PR

Influencer marketing

Content creation (written, graphic, video)

Community management

Analysis and reporting

 

Technical SEO:

Minimum 5 years experience

Ecommerce marketing experience is essential

Technical SEO consultancy and strategy

Technical SEO implementation

International Search / Local Search / Mobile Search

Website usability consultancy

UX implementation

CRO

A/B / Multivariate testing

User testing

Google Analytics

Ecommerce experience

Analysis and reporting

 

You need to be:

Strategic thinker

Proactive self starter

Process driven

Able to plan and take accountability for the success of your work

Adaptable and flexible

Motivated and driven personality

Good communication skills, you enjoy interacting with new people

Innovative and a bigger picture thinker with a curious mind – you like asking and knowing “why” before diving straight into the detail

Be brave to try new things and not be afraid to fail

Reliable and committed

A superb team player

A jolly nice person!

 

If you are interested in joining the digital experts at DTOD to be in with a chance of securing some exciting projects with some top brands then please send an email to gwen@digitalteamondemand.co.uk explaining who you are, what you do, your core skills and link to your website.

If we would like to meet you then we will ask you to complete a short form about your experience and skill set in more detail with a view to arrange a face to face meeting to discuss the proposition further.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Using Christmas 2017 trends to grow sales

As well as keeping on top of developments in retail strategy, our many years living and breathing retail has made the Leapfrogg team keen design trend spotters.

Although not always relevant to a consistent or seasonal product strategy, understanding how design and visual trends are developing is important when helping us make recommendations on how to keep merchandising and marketing imagery fresh, how to ensure email marketing is on trend and how your product images stay fresh and engaging on social media.

Rosie is a frequent speaker at Pulse and this year, came back with three main trends that had been spotted at the show:

Bloomsbury Christmas

Rosie’s favourite, Bloomsbury is a festive celebration of the dark interiors trend, rich, dark colours and textures, with big blooming florals. Layering is key to create a luxurious, sumptuous feel.

Rich burgundy, deep plum tones and navy are accentuated with the satin textures of orchid, magnolia petals and pearl.  Think luxe, butter soft leathers, with hints of opulent gold and richly scented candles to create an intimate and luxurious mood.

Decorate table tops with lavish floral arrangements and collections of exotic, metallic trinkets

A brand that brings the Bloomsbury Christmas to life is interiors stylist and designer Anna Hayman, for more inspiration on this trend, follow her on Instagram (her gold leather curtains are our particular fav!).

Nomadic Christmas

Gwen’s favourite, Nomadic Christmas is a combination of this year’s global nomad and scandi themes; the bare woods and simple, clean lines of scandi interiors are softened with rustic finishes, artisanal soft furnishings and oodles of greenery

This trend is embodied by a cool and calm palette of eucalyptus greens, warm greys, navy, charcoal and dark denim blue. Rich browns and pops of dusty pink add an earthy element.

Feature furniture pieces are made from bleached wood, draped in patch work and geometric patterned rugs and heavy rustic fabrics.

For the Christmas table, think heavy linens, crackle glazed artisanal bowls, miss-matching plate settings and wooden serving spoons.

For inspiration on this interiors trend, check out blogger Kate Young on Instagram.

Indulgent Christmas

Lucy’s favourite, the Indulgent Christmas trend explodes with excesses of glitter, tinsel, clashing brights and glitter, plenty of glitter!  High shine metallics and over the top decorations in man-made fibres and plastics, a room decorated in the Indulgent Christmas trend looks like a bomb went off in a party poppers factory and some unicorns tried to put it out with a glitter cannon.

Colours are vibrant and clashing, with Miami inspired colour combinations of turquoise, orange, pinks and lilacs adding lightness to the usual Christmas reds and golds

More is more with this interiors trend, so spray paint objects pink and tie them to the tree and cover everything in rainbow glitters – including yourselves!

Read blogger Sarah Akwisombe’s Christmas styling posts for inspiration on how to bring this trend to life.

We’ve put the following tips together to help you make the most of these trends:

  • Go through your product portfolio and identify any that could sit well into a trend, refresh the product copy if relevant and optimise for any trend related natural searches
  • Experiment with some of your paid search spend – what trend related search terms could you appropriately target to pull further traffic into your product pages?
  • Ensure your social team are incorporating relevant trend hashtags into their posts about your products, you could inspire engagement from a new audience if you’re are visible
  • Include nods to the trends that sit best with your products with any seasonal photography, to ensure your imagery stays fresh and ahead of the curve
  • Try product placement or developing a relationship with key bloggers within each trend niche – featuring in their marketing and media not only positions you well within a trend, but is worth PR riches

 

How retailers SHOULD mention the C word (Christmas) right now!

If you’re a regular to our blog you’ll know we preach Christmas planning every year! However with the growing popularity of Black Friday, and savvy shoppers starting their Christmas buying earlier every year planning your Christmas and pre-Christmas strategy now is essential to success.

Building on our recommendations from previous posts:

Tis the season to start planning for Christmas

Christmas in July what you should be doing now

We have even more top tips for you!

What do your customers want?

All good strategies should start with customer insight, ask your customers about their planned shopping behaviour for this year. A simple Survey using a tool like survey monkey can help you unlock data for planning your Christmas marketing strategy.

Will your customers be looking out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals? If so what deals most appeal to them?

Use this to test popularity of your Christmas Gifting products by asking your customers which ones they would be most interested in. Who they might be gifting for and how much they might be looking to spend.

Check in with them on what channels they use when researching there Christmas gifts, are they reading blogs? How important are reviews? What social channels do they focus on?

In a crowded space understanding what is most important to your customers will help you plan your budget and tactics effectively.

Social media

We talked lot in our previous post about getting you content right on social, making sure your potential customers have an exceptional experience with you is also not to be forgotten. With increased traffic, customers and sales making sure your customer service through all channels is impeccable is essential to creating happy customers.

With social media taking an ever more present seat in customer service, and those comments and conversation being available in the public arena up weighting your customer service staff is a must. Whilst that’s not rocket science ensuring you have enough time to train them and get them up to speed with your brand and social media guidelines, get them fluent in all the new product inventory and offers will only make for better customer service and improved sales.

So make sure staff and training is included in your budget.

Mobile first

Again not an unfamiliar message from us on optimising for mobile, with Google planned Mobile First index roll out if it’s not on your list to be looked at it should.

Google assures us it’s some months away but that shouldn’t stop you from getting started now. Here’s a couple of great articles on what mobile first mean and some tips on how to prepare from our friends are search engine land.

 

90 days may seem like a long time but it’ll be here before you know it. For support planning your Christmas strategy do not hesitate to get in touch

Black Friday & Cyber Monday – How to use them strategically to make a positive difference to your business

Christmas 2016 was a bit of a mixed bag for retailers, with the ‘new normal’ trading peaks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday now firmly entrenched in consumer’s minds.  We remember a little last minute panic as retailers hadn’t hit targets early in the Christmas trading season, but overall the on-and offline high street had done well by the time the alka selzer had stopped fizzing and the New Year’s hangover had receded.

The retail industry has been gearing up for this year’s festive season since July, but after a tough year for some, how do you ensure that Christmas 2017 becomes your game changing season?

The biggest question in retailer’s minds at the moment, is Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Now an established feature of the trading calendar, it’s an event in itself – but how should you approach it and is it right for you?

We’ve rounded up the key ways for you to identify the value of this retail event to your business to help you approach and plan for Christmas differently this year.

SCRUTINISE YOUR DATA

We know, you’ve heard this before, but central to your decision to stay on or jump off the Black Friday / Cyber Monday band wagon is a cold hard look at how it affected your overall Q4, and 2017 sales figures.

Did you genuinely make more because of your early discounting, or did you make the same across the period, just at different points?

The customers that you won over this period, have they gone on to become loyal repeat customers, or did they buy at a discount to be never seen again? You have 3 Qs worth of transactional data to crunch to enable you to make a strategic decision to invest time, energy and product to Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

We’ve spoken to many retailers who are going to resist the temptation of black Friday this year, but behind that decision is a very clear understanding of how potentially damaging (or indeed, rewarding) the effort to take part and get the cut through you want, is.

CAN YOU USE BLACK FRIDAY TO IDENTIFY AND TARGET THE GROWTH OF YOUR DATABASE?

It is possible to use Black Friday / Cyber Monday strategically of course.  If from scrutinising your data, you won some customers that did make a positive difference to your business, can you win more look-a-like customers from offering a similar offer than you did last year?

DO YOU HAVE THE TIME AND RESOURCE TO GENUINELY CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS WELL BEFORE BLACK FRIDAY?

We know you have an email marketing strategy and you probably have a solid content strategy – but can you, hand on heart, expect your customer’s loyalty this Christmas, or do you risk their heads being turned by a different and exciting brand in the melee of Black Friday / Cyber Monday?

Along with the scrutiny of your transactional data – make sure you know how to really engage with your customers to keep them with you during the festive period.  It’s disappointing how many bland marketing messages are seen at Christmas and if you choose to not do Black Friday, then you need a laser focus on your customers and an effective plan to engage, upsell and retain them.

Alternatively, why not just target your existing customers with a Black Friday message?  Focus on rewarding them just before Christmas with an added value message to encourage further loyalty.

Retailers don’t have to be beholden to Black Friday & Cyber Monday to win this festive season, but by taking a step back, identifying its bigger picture value to your business and planning to make the most of it, you can make Black Friday work strategically for you, if indeed, you discover it’s right for you and your business at all.

Boost your Festive ROI – Five top tips to maximise Christmas sales

With £24 billion spent online in the UK in the 8 weeks running up to Christmas in 2015 and a further 11% rise predicted for 2016, how prepared are you to take advantage of this years bumper sales season? In this post I am going to explore five top tips to turn up the dial up on the activity you are doing already to boost ROI.

 

Dedicated Landing Page / Onsite Content

Your onsite strategy must include bespoke landing pages dedicated to Christmas, ideally getting pages live in October so they have time to bed in and become well established in time for the busy period.

Make sure your customer is at the heart of your content, consider how they might be searching, who are they buying for, what budget will they spend? Creating relevant onsite content that is useful, engaging and that has a clear call to action will be key to driving conversion.

Curate your best edit into a Christmas Gift guide, price band filtering to easily aid customers who have a specific budget in mind, along with ‘Gifts for him’, ‘Gifts for her’, ‘Gifts for kids’ to direct users to the most relevant content.

Getting your onsite content nailed then allows you to integrate your offsite strategy and funnel people to the most relevant content. Creating a consistent message on and off site, increasing awareness, engagement and ultimately conversion through a targeted approach.

Make sure messaging, offers and promotions in your offsite activity are clearly detailed on the landing page you are directing customers to, there’s nothing more frustrating than landing on a page without the relevant information on the offer, promotion or product you’ve seen.

Brand Paid Search

Brand Paid Search can be used cheaply and effectively to promote onsite messages and promotions. Creating consistent messaging across touch points.

“But no one is bidding on my brand term” I hear you cry “why would I pay for traffic I am getting organically?!” A very valid question…

Not all retailers run brand Paid Search year round, if you have no competition on your brand terms why would you? Competition or not, tactical use of Brand and Brand + Product Paid Search gives you seasonal and time sensitive flexibility in your message, that your well optimised but generic Natural Search listing can’t. Using site links to drive traffic to your Christmas content, gift guides and dedicated landing pages, plus call out extensions to highlight key messages such as delivery, price matching, returns etc.

If you haven’t already completed your trademark authorisation with Google, this allows you to associate your Adwords account as the trademark owner, create a list of authorised resellers if appropriate. We’ve seen clients brand CPCs drop after they have claimed and managed their Trademark authorisation.

Personalisation of offers

Use your data wisely, tap into your customer segments and personalise your message across touch points. Offering your customers relevant and timely offers that will drive them back to the site to buy.

Not all site visitors are made equal, use your remarketing lists and customer segments to create a more personalised message depending on the visitors site behaviour.

Abandon baskets being the Holy Grail and those primed to buy. Often retailers are all too quick to go straight in with a discount, when people can be tempted back without taking a big hit on your margin. We have seen great success with a tiered offering, for example:

No purchase within 24 hours – Free Next Day Delivery
No purchase within 1 week – Gift with purchase / free gift wrapping
No purchase within 2 weeks – X% discount

New vs returning – Depending on your strategy whether that be acquisition, retention or both! Use your remarketing list for search ads to show new and returning visitors different, relevant and personalised messages e.g. introductory offer to new customers, returning visitor promotional code. Also optimise bids based on behaviour so perhaps a 25% bid increase for returning customers.

RLSAs will also allow you to target terms you wouldn’t normally target, it opens up keywords that perhaps would be too expensive and perhaps broad, just for visitors who have been to the site or who have converted before.

Create sense of urgency

Black Friday was the busiest trading week last year with estimated sales of £4.3 billion last year, up 62% on 2014. In just two years the shift from Black Friday being a Bricks and Mortar event on a single day to a week of online offers.

Why have we all gone so crazy for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Creating that sense of urgency with time sensitive offers is a brilliant conversion tactic to push people to purchase, however don’t over use it or people will learn to ignore it.

  • Some examples on how to do this:
  • Flash sale / promotions for a limited time period
  • AdWords dynamic countdown ads are a great, they have proven to significantly increase CTR and drive more traffic to the site
  • Sneak previews for your VIPs – let them have access to say the Christmas edit, Sale or similar 24 hours before it’s unveiled to the general public
  • Shipping offers for a limited period
  • Last order dates to get in time for Christmas
  • Stock levels for products with limited availability

Social commerce

So you’ve spent 2016 gaining followers, driving engagement, so how can you monetise social further in the busy period?

Optimise your calls to action, for example on Facebook:

  • Shop Now – direct fans to your website if sales are the primary objective
  • Send Message – Allows fans to send a private message directly to your Facebook account, where you could start the order process
  • Call Now – you get the idea right!

Facebook Shop:

Most ecommerce platforms now have an app or plugin to pull your site inventory into Facebook. We saw sales increase 50% after launching a Facebook Shop and promoting through Paid Social ads. With the rise of mobile commerce people are far more comfortable buying direct from their phone and through social commerce.

Content Optimisation:

Ensure that content is optimised for each channel. This will ensure a high quality appearance, better visibility within users’ timelines and increased engagement. One size does not fit all!

Promoted Content:

Organic reach has declined dramatically on all platforms, particularly Facebook. Boosting posts on Facebook and Twitter with small amounts of budget can drastically increase reach and engagement, as well as driving fan acquisition.

Ultimately these tips are designed to help you squeeze the ROI out of activity you are already doing, maximising visibility and efficiency of budget and time invested over the next 10 weeks.

Operational tips for independent retailers learnt from the big boys

One of the things I love the most about digital is the lightning speed at which it changes, the flexibility and adaptability required to keep ahead of the curve at the cutting edge is phenomenal. As someone who is motivated by new challenges and finding solutions, this speed of change keeps me interested and excited all the time. Retail digital consultancy luckily lends itself to fast paced adaptation. Being operationally nimble is no small feat and certainly not something to be under estimated.

Having spent the last six years working with retailers there are common hurdles and barriers to success I see time and again. In this post I am going to explore five of the lessons independent and growing retailers can learn from the big ones, and get right.

Unity

All too often I see big in house teams divided, marketing and ecommerce working independently, to goals that don’t align with each other. Marketing speak digital but don’t fully understand it. Ecommerce are revenue orientated and are laser focused on the 2-3% of site visitors who are converting, often neglecting the other 98% of visitors who need to be engaged through the brand experience. Brand vs Ecommerce, ultimately with the customer suffering as the result.

Unify your team, set collaborative goals and clear lines of ownership.

Your marketing team should own acquisition, retention, engagement and advocacy. Bringing together harmony between departments is the only way to do this successfully. Up skill your brand team to exploit opportunity and support the ecommerce function but with the customer at the heart.

KPIs must be centralised and teams working collectively to the same goal. Minimise waste, maximise efficiency and create a unified customer experience.

Vanity Vs. Sanity

Get to know your customer, marketing should be aspirational but it also needs to be inclusive and realistic. All too often brands have an idea of who their customers are or who they would like them to be, but the reality of those actually buying is very different.

Use your data effectively, investing in your data partner and getting your customer data in good shape is essential. Build a centralised, single view across all channels, no silos or duplication of databases!

Segment your data and get to know your customer beyond their purchase, who are they, what do they care about, how do they want to be communicated with.

Each part of your business can then use this data to create a perfect experience across all touch points for all segments.

Look beyond last click

All activity needs to be driving a return that of course is a no brainer. However all channels are not equal when it comes to ROI. All too often activity gets canned (mostly by the FD!) if it is in a silo and cannot hold its own in the ROI stakes.

Don’t underestimate the halo effect of activity, ensure your reporting looks deeper at metrics such as assisted sales, brand and non-brand impressions, new visitors vs returning, engagement etc.

Set realistic goals with conversion in mind. Appearing number 1 for high volume generic terms may boost your ego (and cost a pretty penny), but will those customers actually convert?

Make structured change and measure the impact. Changing lots of things at once can leave you unsure of what impact each change has had. Analyse, develop, test and repeat.

Jack of all, master of none

The temptation to try and do everything, be everywhere and use all channels and tactics is all to present for brands. Keeping up with the Joneses isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be for the bottom line.

Use your customer insight and data to identify where your customers are actually spending their time and getting their inspiration and turn that into action. Invest your budget wisely.

Embarking on activity without a clear brief or objective is the road to failure. Make sure you know what you want to achieve from the activity and set clear goals so you can kick the tires and test the effectiveness of it. Analyze, develop, test and repeat.

Do less but do it brilliantly.

Direct to consumer vs wholesale

All too often do we see brands battling with their stockists for market share. Trade team driving forward their partners whilst the ecommerce team are hemorrhaging budget trying to keep up with the big players and their deep pockets.

Get your Trade and Ecommerce teams working together.

Agree terms and guidelines around products, pricing, promotions and brand bidding through paid media in your trade agreements.

Retain exclusives so you are the go to for the full range or hero products.

Get full visibility on stockist promotional activity and align your promotional strategy. Enabling you to manage your budget effectively in times when you may not be price competitive.

Submit your authorised stockist list to Google via their trademark form. This allows only authorised stockists the ability to use your brand name in their ad copy. Simple and effective but also needs policing.

All of the recommendations above are well within the reach of smaller retailers. They don’t require huge budgets, just time and focus. What are your barriers to success? Speak to us now about how we can help you start making a change in your business.

How to take an agile approach to digital marketing

Our Head of Delivery, Gwen, recently wrote about Leapfrogg’s move into an Agile way of working across our digital marketing.

She wrote: “An Agile approach to campaign planning and delivery enables us to further adopt the growth hacking mind-set of data, creativity, and curiosity. The heart of growth hacking is the relentless focus on growth as the metric that matters.It fosters greater future focused analysis, opportunity spotting, adaptable plans (that can move at the speed at which the digital landscape changes) and it allows us to overcome any barriers and blockers to hitting targets in a proactive and flexible way.”

Working in a more agile way means that we are no longer tied to delivery of a longer term plan but are now equipped to redefine our scope of work as needed in much shorter intervals to maximise success. It means we are fully focused forward at all times and we deliver results not work. We are able to move with the same speed of the wider digital sector and stay ahead of the curve at all times.

Agile has been around in the technology and development sector of digital for a long time, but it’s now being more widely spoken of in mainstream marketing circles.

There is a growth hacking movement in the USA that is hitting our shores. Marketers are breaking down traditional approaches to campaign planning and working in a far more flexible way.

Instead of planning a six-month programme of work across multiple tactics, they are breaking down the plan and focussing on one area at a time to maximise its impact.

For example, instead of putting together a full eCRM strategy they will focus first on the priority which may be growing the number of email sign-ups as quickly as possible.

Step 1 – Analyse what is required to encourage sign ups and develop idea to test
Step 2 – Test the concept in a short sprint period
Step3 – Measure the impact
Step 4 – Roll out if successful

Then move onto the next priority, which may be improving email click-through-rate.

Once that element is improved they then may move onto landing page UX or email personalisation – whichever they feel will get them to their target quickest.

By working in this way, marketers are always focused on the end result, moving forward, failing fast, and most importantly they are able to keep up with the fast pace of the digital landscape.

Multiple sprints can be running at the same time to ensure that different areas of the marketing mix are developing. The main differentiator in working in this way is that if an activity does not yield results in an agreed amount of time, the team are able to move on quickly to the next tactic or revise the approach to the current one.

Although this approach is faster and harder than a long-term strategy, basing your activity on strong insight and data is still absolutely fundamental. How else will you be able to prioritise the work required effectively?

This level of analysis beforehand means you can pick the activity that will give you the biggest return first, improve it and use the increased success to give you the resource to move onto the next priority.

For agile to work effectively marketers must be constantly using the cycle of analysis, test, measure, then roll out.

This will inevitably mean a change in internal structure and process and the level of investment upfront will reap quicker and deeper rewards across all of your marketing activity.

Start thinking now about how you can be more agile with your approach to digital marketing, or speak to us about how we can help.

Image credit: VFS Digital Design on Flickr

Why Leapfrogg are moving to an agile way of working

In the ever changing world of digital, being adaptable and nimble is essential to succeed. Here at Leapfrogg, we are constantly evolving our working methods to stay ahead of the curve and to deliver impeccable service and results and now we are moving to a new way of working to enable greater flexibility in approach and a more agile way of working.

What is agile?

Agile is defined as “a method of project management that is characterised by the division of tasks into frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.”

Agile in itself is not a new concept. It has been used in software development for many years and its methods and process are well suited to growth hacking and in order to achieve growth everything we do is assessed by its potential impact on scalable growth.

Why are we doing it?

An Agile approach to campaign planning and delivery enables us to further adopt the growth hacking mind-set of data, creativity, and curiosity. The heart of growth hacking is the relentless focus on growth as the metric that matters.

It fosters greater future focused analysis, opportunity spotting, adaptable plans (that can move at the speed at which the digital landscape changes) and it allows us to overcome any barriers and blockers to hitting targets in a proactive and flexible way.

How are we doing this?

We are adapting our campaign and delivery planning to shorter “sprints” with continual review and revision in relation to hitting targets.
Client strategy is prioritised and timelines remain fixed within sprints with sprint deliverables detailed weekly.

Communication is in real-time, meaning at any given time clients have full access to exactly where we are against targets and activity. This has required some changes in how we report back and the format in which the updates are presented.

Real-time updates mean our planning and status reports becoming ‘living’ documents that are managed and updated throughout each week. Clients have full visibility at any point on their exact status and there’s no need to wait for their next status report to be sent over.

Real-time reporting keeps a firm eye on where we are against our target to date, giving quick and clear direction on when activity needs to change to achieve the agreed objectives. Our plans in terms of reporting are three-fold:

1) Making use of custom dashboards within Google Analytics means we can build a reporting dashboard that focuses on the important metrics within our clients’ businesses which have full visibility within Google Analytics

2) A target tracker of the KPIs that have been agreed is part of our planning document and is automatically refreshed as our barometer of success

3) Finally, we will be automating the paid search statistics, which again, are refreshed as part of our planning document

So what are the benefits?

Receiving real-time updates means our clients will have the numbers at their fingertips!

The data and performance analysis are of course, still front of mind and vital to success. Our analysis time will become even more future-focused and woven into each stream of activity so we can continually analyse, develop and test its effectiveness to achieve clients’ business targets whilst providing proactive recommendations to deliver results.

Streamlining all reporting and communication has enabled us to deliver more thinking and doing time, a greater focus on innovation, added value and a proactive ability to circumnavigate hurdles. We believe it’s an adaptable way to run marketing campaigns in an ever changing landscape.

Joining the multi-channel dots – using postcode data to attribute in-store sales to website activity

Working in a multichannel retail environment means a greater need for integrated reporting, an ability to evaluate different marketing activities, attribute sales accurately and ultimately measure how online/offline marketing impacts the bottom line.

We have been working with one of our clients to do just that. Their main website is non e-commerce functional i.e. it is used to drive enquiries for products that typically involve a long consideration period (reflected by the price point). In the digital sphere this means tracking the effectiveness of the website on the bottom line is more of a challenge than with fully e-commerce functional sites. In this instance, we wanted to help demonstrate the role the website plays in a complex sales journey. At Leapfrogg, we never shy away from a challenge so set about implementing a tracking project to attribute store sales back to website visits and enquiries.

The web can often be seen as the enemy of bricks and mortar with stores and the web often having separate revenue targets to hit. Joining the dots between website interactions which lead to in-store purchases is essential to bridging this gap and creative a cohesive multi-channel approach.

Using advanced software, we began tracking store finder searches through the collection of post code data on our client’s website. We began to build a picture of how many store searches were being carried out according to the online channel (e.g. paid search, natural search) driving the visitor to the website in the first place.

The different coloured pins in the screenshots below highlight the traffic source (blue = natural search, red = paid search). The larger the pin, the more store searches that took place in that location.

Overlaying the information captured via the online store search with in-store sales information, we are able to see any postcode searches which have resulted in an in-store quote and order, demonstrating cause and effect between the website activity, in-store visit and ultimately the revenue generated.

By combining this information with….

  • The channel the website visit was driven from e.g. paid search, natural search, email and so on
  • The first click search term
  • The last click search term
  • The order value

…we can further optimise our search strategy, both paid and natural, to support terms that drive in-store visits and purchases.

An interesting by-product of the tracking and analysis project, which hadn’t originally been set as an objective, was identifying potential areas for new store openings. Our client is looking to increase their number of physical stores over the next 18 months.

The postcode search mapping data has enabled them to identify possible areas for expansion based on demand rather than gut feel.

Augmented Reality – the future of online retail?

Inspired by the recent Becks Green box project event I attended, it got me thinking about the wider effects of augmented reality for online retailers and the way this could shape and change online and offline shopping habits in the very near future.

So firstly what is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment (such as a camera on a mobile phone) whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

Traditionally this technology has been used to overlay information such as maps, venue locations or event information either accessed through a mobile device or webcam. Due to recent innovations in scanning technology, real objects and people can now be scanned and placed into AR apps. This gives the ability to have, for example, three dimensional images of objects placed into a room.

With enhancements in technology such as smart phones and tablets, AR has evolved dramatically and can now be accessed anywhere, having previously been confined to desktop PC and webcams. This means users can have AR experiences almost anywhere; this improvement in mobile technology has opened up AR to the rest of reality.

So what’s the impact of this for retailers and how can AR be integrated into their marketing campaigns?

One of the biggest hurdles for online retailers is allowing their customers to get a real sense of what the product looks like, how it will feel, the size, shape and colour of the product. Current methods for display take on two forms, photography and video. Both great in their own right but rarely replace the in store experience of seeing the product first hand.

With great advancements in AR technology we now have the ability to scan anything from products to people to produce 3D photo-realistic models. Customers can then view these models from any angle giving them as close to the in-store experience as possible from their own home! Combining this with AR apps means a customer can simply print a marker directly from the retailers website or tear off a marker from a magazine and download the app. Placing the marker in their home and viewing it with the app they will be able to see what the product would look like, to scale, with a 3D photo-realistic model. Imagine buying a new sofa or a bed and being able to try out different positions, designs, colours and getting used to what it would really look like in your own room. With the added benefit of a ‘click to buy’ feature this is going to be huge!

There are key benefits for in-store applications of AR as well, for example awe-inspiring installations where markers viewed through an app jump out of the floor or appear around the retail space. Not only creating a new and innovative buzz but also a great space saver allowing people to view products in different styles, materials, colours and sizes or even virtually trying on clothes without actually entering the changing room. This creatively takes multi-channel retailing to the next level.

Installations can also be informative and provide the necessary information for the consumer, for example whilst viewing their new sofa through the AR app it can overlay all the information relating to the product such as cost, delivery time, etc thereby reducing the in-store point of sale material required.

Applications are not only restricted to online or in-stor. Major brands are embracing the world of AR catwalk shows and interactive AR clothes, like this fun rock paper scissors T-shirt! The way I see it we’re really are only limited by our imaginations.

CASSETTE PLAYA AW1011 – AUGMENTED REALITY from Amazing Grace on Vimeo.

As with any marketing strategy AR applications need to be done well and combined as part of a wider marketing strategy. A shining example of how this can be achieved is the artfinders application. Users can use the artfinders website to create and share virtual galleries of their favourite paintings. The artfinders AR app, uses the phones GPS to identify when the user is near a gallery that is displaying one of the paintings they have in their virtual gallery. Whilst in the gallery the app then searches to see if the gallery sells a print of that masterpiece, if not it will connect you to a website which has that print for order and will allow you to click to buy and have the print delivered to your home – amazing!

I truly believe AR will shape the future of retail on and offline and for those with the creative insight to lead the charge they will deliver a truly innovative and eye-popping user experience.

Digicave is a Brighton based company who have pioneered 3D photo-realistic scanning and freeviewpoint media and showcase some great examples of this technology in action.