Wedding Rings Direct ‘Bride of the Year’ campaign

In light of our recent nomination for the European Search Awards we thought the time was ripe to share a few more details about our work with Wedding Rings Direct and the ’Bride of the Year campaign’, which earned us a nomination in the ‘Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign’ category.

Wedding Rings Direct offers the largest collection of quality engagement, wedding and eternity rings in the UK. We first started working with them at the beginning of 2013 when they approached us to help them increase brand exposure, customer acquisition and revenue having suffered a significant drop in natural search traffic as a result of Google updates and subsequent penalties.

As part of their strategy, we came up with the idea of a Bride of The Year campaign, aimed at raising brand awareness and boosting social media engagement, whilst also building a number of high quality editorial links.

At the launch of the campaign, we asked friends and family of brides set to marry in 2014 to nominate the brides-to-be with photo and the reason they deserved to be Bride of the Year. We then approached wedding related businesses with strong blog domains to help us publicise the competition, whilst also inviting them to donate items or services for the winner’s prize package in return for media coverage.

When the competition launched, we used an ‘old school’ PR approach via press releases and calls to the local media and relevant wedding bloggers. This secured us coverage in the main local newspaper, whilst also gaining editorial links from bloggers.

In order to generate social media buzz, we created a contest app for Wedding Rings Direct’s Facebook page where brides-to-be could be nominated and then voted for by family and friends. To encourage the highest number of entries possible, we supported Facebook activity with advertising, accompanied by sponsored stories to extend reach even further.

Bride of The Year Competition

There were a total of 28 entries to the competition with each entry receiving an average of 65 votes and six comments per entry. Bride of the Year content was shared on Facebook 12,322 times during the two months the competition was live.

In October– after receiving more than 800 public votes– Rosa Lee from Brighton was crowned Bride of the Year 2014, receiving a set of bespoke wedding rings as part of a prize package worth more than £1,500.

The winning bride receiving her wedding rings from Wedding Rings Direct

Campaign highlights included:

  • 17 pieces of coverage from the media and wedding bloggers about the competition and winner
  • 10,185 unique visitors to the competition on Facebook
  • 84% increase in Facebook fans
  • 41 high quality, editorial links from a variety of domains over the four months of the campaign (exceeding the target of 30)

In addition, year-on-year natural search traffic is now tracking above the pre-penalty level for the first time in twelve months.

Kate Rivera, Marketing Manager at Wedding Rings Direct said “We are so pleased with how the Bride of the Year campaign performed from both a brand awareness and social activity perspective. We increased our Facebook followers significantly and the campaign also allowed three months of daily social interaction with our audience across multiple social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest.”

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this campaign and were very happy to hear that due to the success of the competition, Wedding Rings Direct would like us to repeat and expand the competition nationally in 2014.

Watch this space for more details… and wish us luck with the European Search Awards!

 

European Search Awards Shortlist Badge

 

 

 

The Weekly Shop (3rd – 7th March)

In the Weekly Shop this week…a possible overhaul of the current business rates system, the changing face of retail, and a study which has revealed a major increase in online shopping.

Business rates ‘not fit for purpose’ as retail goes digital: MP

Good news for independent high street retailers this week as the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BISC) called for a major overhaul of the business rates system. The BISC commented that business rates system is no longer fit for purchase in a multichannel world where retail sales are moving online and rates should be based on turnover rather than property value. We’re interested to see how this develops.

Brands, technology and the changing face of retail

Earlier in the week, The Guardian ran a roundtable discussion for senior retailers to debate the pressing issue of how retailers can offer shoppers a seamless experience as technology transforms shopping habits. The discussion was held under the Chatham House rule which allows comments to be reported without attribution and revealed some interesting insights.

A third of online sales now made via a mobile device, suggests IMRG study

One in three of all UK online sales are now made on a mobile device, according to a new study from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking (Q4 2013/4). Significantly, online clothing and fashion retailers have a higher mobile commerce penetration rate, with 36% of sales completed via smartphones and tablets in the fourth quarter. More on this study over on Internet Retailing.

The Best and Worst Thing to Ever Happen to SEO

Next up is the first in two articles looking how SEO has changed as a discipline. This first article from Wired looks at how Google encrypting searches and withholding search referral data has been the best and also the worst thing to happen to SEO.

How Fast Is SEO Really Changing? A Look Back At Search Ranking Factors

This last article looks at the Search Ranking Factors studies by well-known SEO Rand Fishkin who has been churning out perceptive SEO insights every two years since 2005. Search Engine Land have put together a summary of highlights from the reports which shows how the findings have changed throughout the eight years which have revealed some interesting trends. Useful if you’re struggling to justify SEO investments.

See you next week!

The Weekly Shop (10th – 14th Feb)

In the Weekly Shop this week…online sales get off to a flying start this year, how small retailers can compete against their big brand stockists and the user experience signals that Google are using to rank websites.

Online sales grow at strongest rate for five years

According to figures from the British Retail Consortium, online sales grew by almost a fifth in January as the sector turned in its strongest start-of-the-year performance for five years, demonstrating the increasing importance of online in the retail sales mix. Read more over on Internet Retailing. 

How Small Retailers Can Compete Against Big Brand Stockists

If you’re a small retailer, one issue you may be familiar with is when your online competition is actually one of your stockists. Our website optimisation manager, Suze, has written a really helpful blog post on how smaller retailers can hold their own against big brand retailers. 

Customer experience is the most exciting opportunity for marketers [infographic]

According to Econsultancy’s 2014 Digital Trends Briefing, Customer Experience represents the single most exciting opportunity for businesses this year followed very closely by mobile. They’ve produced an infographic which presents some of the key findings from Trends Briefing. 

What kind of user experience ranking signals does Google take notice of?

Here’s another interesting article from Econsultancy which looks at how user experience signals are increasingly being used by Google to rank websites. The article looks at how UX ranking factors such as site speed, mobile user experience, button sizes, readability and many more can all add up to help you optimise your website. 

We Love Google, We Love Google Not: 6 SEO-Inspired Valentine’s Day Quotes

Lastly, seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day, we felt inclined to include these 6 SEO-Inspired Valentine’s Day Quotes from Search Engine Watch. 

We’ve also rounded up a couple of our favourite Valentine’s Day inspired digital marketing campaigns over on our blog, which includes Not On The High Street, Evian and Ted Baker. Read the post here.

Happy reading!

The Weekly Shop (3rd – 7th February)

In the Weekly Shop this week…we take a look at how there has been a huge rise in overseas shoppers searching for UK retailers, how giving consumers fewer options could actually boost conversions, a bad customer experience from a well-known high street retailer and some more thoughts on SEO in 2014.

One in five US and UK consumers did all of their Christmas shopping online: stats

This won’t come as a surprise to many but findings from a new Econsultancy survey have found that 61% of people in the UK said that they completed more than half or all of their Christmas shopping online in 2013, while just 7% completed all of their shopping offline. More on the findings over on Econsultancy. Read more.

New figures reveal huge rise in overseas shoppers searching for UK retailers online

According to data from the British Retail Consortium and Google, UK retailers are also benefiting from huge rises in online searches from overseas shoppers. The figureshave revealed that  the UK is now the world’s second biggest online retail exporter. Read more.

Want more sales? Give consumers fewer options

This is an interesting article from Econsultancy which looks at how giving consumers fewer options could actually help boost conversions. Blair Keen from Adobe looks at two psychological studies which show behaviour that might help explain cart abandonment and gives his suggestions for testing this theory on your website. Read more.

How to lose friends and alienate people: Mango

When our commercial director, Ben, attempted to purchase a Christmas gift for his wife from fashion etailer Mango, the service and experience was he received was far from what he expected. You can read more about his frustrating experience over on the Econsultancy blog. Read more.

Super rich shift their thrills from luxury goods to costly experiences

According to this article from Guardian, luxury is shifting from ‘having’ to ‘being’ with consumers moving away from owning a luxury product to experiencing luxury. Figures from the Boston Consulting Group hsve shown that of the $1.8tn spent on luxuries in 2013 an estimated $1tn went on services such gourmet dining, private flights, bespoke safaris, slimming clinics and art auctions. Read more.

Now you have to do SEO, thanks to Google

There have been many debates on the right approach to SEO recently and this is an insightful article from The Drum looks at how brands really need to do SEO and how Google has made the case for this easier in recent weeks. Read more.

2014 SEO — 6 Key Pointers

Following on from the above…this last article from Clickz looks at six key things every SEO professional should be concerned about in 2014 to overcome future update issues. Read more.

Thanks for reading!

Creating dream living rooms with Heal’s

Towards the end of last year, we were very privileged to work with iconic designer furniture store Heal’s on a blogger outreach project for their brand new collection of designer sofas.

Here at Leapfrogg, we all love Heal’s homeware and equally love any project that gets our creative juices flowing, so this quickly became one of our favourite pieces of work from last year. For this reason, we thought it would be nice to share a few more details about the project, the results, and also showcase some the inspirational images that came out of the campaign.

Established in 1810, Heal’s is the home of modern, designer and contemporary furniture, lighting and homewares. In September 2013, they launched a microsite for their new sofa collection and approached Leapfrogg to help develop a creative PR campaign to create awareness, drive traffic and build links from credible, relevant websites.

Heal’s had previously only targeted interiors and design blogs and wanted to capture a new audience of fashion and style-conscious consumers, in addition to re-engaging their existing customer base with their new products.

After brainstorming ideas, we came up with the concept of a #Healschallenge. We approached high-profile fashion and lifestyle bloggers and challenged them to design their ‘dream living room’ using a sofa from Heal’s new collection as the focal point, as well as featuring complementary items from Heal’s online store.

#Heal'sChallenge Screenshot

We asked our bloggers to document their design process by creating accompanying Pinterest boards to showcase their inspiration and the products which made up their ‘dream living room’, using the hashtag #HealsChallenge to extend the reach of the campaign even further.

The final room designs were judged by Heal’s, who selected Helena from A Diary of Lovely as a winner due to her colour scheme choices and fashion sense, which Heal’s felt brought a new dimension to their furniture.

A Diary of Lovely #healschallenge

The winning design was then turned into an in-store display at the Heal’s flagship store in Tottenham Court Road.

#HealsChallenge Filming

The creation of the room set with commentary from Heal’s Head of Design was made into a video which we pushed out through Heal’s social media channels.

The content produced by the winning blogger A Diary of Lovely can be seen below:

http://adiaryoflovely.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/dream-living-room-with-heals.html

http://adiaryoflovely.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-heals-challenge-video.html

https://www.pinterest.com/adiaryoflovely/a-diary-of-lovely-+-heals-healschallenge/

#Healschallenge Sofa Display

We were happy to report that our blogger outreach project resulted in significant coverage across a number of high-profile fashion and lifestyle blogs, generating content and traffic for Heal’s, whilst securing high quality, editorial links. Previously, there had been no link building activity for Heal’s new website.

The campaign also engaged and reached a new audience of style conscious fashion consumers and social buzz around the new sofa collection was created via the use of the hashtag #HealsChallenge and the bloggers’ Pinterest boards with reach potential of 6740 followers.

We thoroughly enjoyed working with Heal’s on this project and are very much look forward to working with the brand further in 2014.

 

How small retailers can compete against big brand stockists

An issue many smaller retailers face is when their competition online is their stockists or wholesalers. The desire to grow direct sales whilst keeping stockists and wholesalers happy is a difficult balancing act.

This is particularly prevalent for fashion brands where larger stockists can more often than not, be more competitive on price and offer free or next day delivery. They are also likely to have much higher marketing budgets and be able to promote products to gain a higher percentage of sales.

There are many industry pressures facing smaller retailers today, not least the constant markdowns and discounts made available by big brand retailers, such as Amazon. The dominance of big retailers entices more customers to hunt for the best price, something that is supported by the prevalence of mobile, where customers can compare prices online while shopping on the high street.

Ultimately, the marketplace is one where price is a key influencer, and one that supports big brand retailers. But what does this mean for the smaller retailer who cannot continually offer discounts or offer free/next day delivery as standard, especially if they operate in the premium/luxury space? Are consumers these days only really interested in grabbing a bargain? I think some are, but some are not.

I was chatting to my Dad over Christmas and we were both having a moan about bad service. It got me thinking about how easy it is to remember when you get poor service, but equally you do remember when you get a great service. People are much more likely to remember, recommend and return to businesses that go the extra mile and provide a great experience, which makes you feel valued as a customer, even if their prices are not the cheapest.

This article looks at how I think smaller retailers can compete against the big boys, which in time may negate the need for them to have a wholesale channel at all. We have certainly seen this with one or two of our clients. To build brand awareness and drive revenue during the early years, they need wholesale. But as the business grows and their direct channels to market mature (website, catalogue and so on), they are able to go it alone.

So where to start?

It has to be the customer.

Who is your typical customer?

  • Who are they demographically and geographically?
  • How often do they buy?
  • What are their interests?
  • What is important to them?
  • What do they like or dislike?
  • What are their daily challenges?

These are just a few of the questions you should ask to try understand exactly who your customers are, enabling you to plan and execute an experience that meets, and exceeds, their expectations.

Emotions are always involved in purchases, so recognising and understanding individual customer circumstances, as well as what is important to them will help you provide a more superior service then your stockists.

Think about building relationships

Customer relationships are different to customer experience. Relationships are not with a product or service, they are with a company or even an individual within that company. You therefore need to build trust with your customers and really develop a relationship to incite loyalty. Have a conversation with your customers, engage with them and stay in touch via social media, email marketing, newsletters and catalogues.

Remember that customer journeys are not linear and people are fickle, so investing time building relationships is what will help keep your brand front of mind when customers are thinking about their next purchase.

The next step is to ensure you have a quality product, informative website and a great delivery service.

When customers are actively browsing, one of the most important things they consider is the product itself. Is it good quality? Is it durable? What are the features? What do other people think? Additionally, be sure to let customers know how the product will make them feel or how will it change their daily life for the better. Again, consider the emotional value of the product.

Add value with great content

Create supplementary product content including detailed style and fit guides, inspirational product development stories, trend or seasonally-focused content, product videos, product reviews and so on. The benefits of this kind of information will be two-fold. You are providing rich, quality content to support your natural search visibility, but you are also enticing customers to buy directly on your site. People will always have doubts or questions about products, so if your content can answers these questions, there is no need for them to go elsewhere.

Consider bespoke incentives

If you cannot compete on price, what other incentives can you offer customers e.g. a ‘3 for 2’ offer or a ‘buy one get one half price’? This still reflects a saving to the customer but you are also encouraging people to buy more.

User experience is key

Ensure your website is easy to use and that your checkout process is quick, intuitive and user friendly. If you’ve got them this far, you definitely don’t want to lose the sale!

Add value to your delivery and personalise your packaging
If you cannot offer free or next day delivery, consider what other benefits you can offer as part of your delivery service. Could you text the customer with updates about the status of their delivery? Can you personalise the packaging? Customers love interesting packaging as well as receiving unique offers, small freebies and personalised messaging in their delivery. Use your customer insight to support what is important to them and use this to your advantage.

These are the small things that will make customers feel special and make the purchase a memorable one.

Loyalty programs

If providing a great product and experience, make sure you offer a loyalty program which can further incentivise customers to come back and buy directly from you. Ensure details are placed in each delivery.

Customer service

Ensure your problem handling process and service recovery is watertight. This is an important part of building trust, loyalty and brand advocacy. If you do everything to fix a problem (or demonstrate that you are doing everything you can) you will instil a good memory over the negative problem they have encountered.

This customer service needs to be delivered via multiple channels. Customers will complain via Facebook just as readily as they will via your contact number.

Managing stockists

Finally, some things to consider when setting up and developing relationships with stockists:

  • If possible, release your collections on your site first, and allow at least two weeks exclusivity on your site. This should enable the search engines to index your content as the primary source which should see your retain high natural visibility for product related searches.
  • If possible, do not allow stockists to bid on your brand name (or similar derivatives) via paid search.
  • Consider limiting the range you sell through stockists, whether this is a limit on product range, or just a limit on selling all product variations.
  • Do not give stockists all your product imagery, videos, etc. This will ensure you retain exclusive ownership of your full range of assets.

With all the above being considered, smaller retailers should not feel like they have to compete against their stockists on price or free/next day delivery. Getting a better understanding of your customer, engaging them in relevant ways and nurturing relationships will help you provide an unbeatable experience for them. Only until you know what your customers truly value, can you deliver a memorable and delightful experience that perhaps your stockists don’t.

People don’t tend to remember where they got the cheapest deal last time, but they do remember where they had a truly great customer experience.

The Weekly Shop (16th – 20th December)

Welcome to the last Weekly Shop of the year. In this last edition, we take a look at why ecommerce retailers are still failing provide information on Christmas delivery dates, which country spends the most online and some insight into SEO in 2014 and why link building is not enough anymore.

Ecommerce and Christmas delivery: some retailers still don’t get it

For anyone doing some last minute online Christmas shopping, one of the biggest questions will be ‘can this retailer deliver in time for Christmas?’ This information is essential to manage customer expectations and improve retention through clear messaging and delivering on promises. In this article, Graham Charlton from Econsultancy looks at how ecommerce sites are failing to inform customers about delivery dates at Christmas time and he also sheds some light on best practice approaches.

Key Christmas trends to keep in mind this season: stats

With higher-then-usual retail activity, Christmas is always an interesting time for digital trends and statistics. Using their vast pool of research and data, Econsultancy have helpfully put together some of the key Christmas trends which are worth bearing in mind in the lead up to the 25th and beyond.

The UK spends more online per head than the rest of the world: stats

OFCOM’s 2013 International Communications Market Report has found that the average person in the UK spends £1,175 online, making us the biggest online spenders in the world. According to the OFCOM report, the UK also has a higher level of trust in online retailers than the rest of the globe. More stats over on Econsultancy.

Silver surfers show their online confidence: research

Following on from the above, we’re clearly becoming more confident with the idea of online shopping and new research has shown that Senior Citizens have also embraced the digital shopping revolution.

From Old School to New School: SEO in Transition

This article from Search Engine Watch looks at some of the transitions that have taken place in the world of SEO by comparing the way SEO was practiced a few years ago to how it should be approached today.

Link building vs. content strategy: why link building alone is not enough anymore

In light of the above, our last link is a post from our Senior Social Media and Content Consultant, Alice, about why link building alone is not enough anymore. Her post really sums up our approach to link building and Alice has put together an infographic to illustrate the key aspects of a holistic natural search strategy.

And that’s it for this week. We’ll be taking a short break over Christmas, but we will be back on the 10th of January to fill you in on all digital marketing and retail news for the New Year.

Until then, Merry Christmas!

 

Link building vs. content strategy: why link building alone is not enough anymore

Here at Leapfrogg, we’ve always followed the mantra ‘users first, search engine second,’ when it comes to natural search. In other words, whatever we do to improve the visibility of your website should also benefit the user. You can read more about our customer-driven approach in one of Ben’s guest posts for Econsultancy, found here.

It used to be the case for many others that by simply building lots of links to your site – no matter where those links came from – you’d be able to “game” the search engines into thinking that your website was worthy of a high position in the search engine results page (SERP). Targeting specific keywords with links to specific pages would see your Google rankings steadily climb for those terms. Unfortunately (and quite rightly) it’s not that easy anymore. Your website has to genuinely add value to your readers if you want it to be noticed.

Since Google released its first Panda update back in 2011 with the aim of filtering out low quality content from search results, increasing emphasis has been placed on building a content-rich, well-structured website as a starting point for any natural search strategy. Following the latest Hummingbird update, which very much places users’ needs at the centre of search, Google is going to notice faster than ever before if your site doesn’t cut it when it comes to content.

Links are still important, there’s no denying that. Links count as editorial votes of confidence, but whereas this used to work in a silo Google is getting better at catching you out if you’re building links to a less-than-brilliant site. We’ve put together the accompanying graphic to illustrate the key aspects of a holistic natural search strategy. It’s not about gaming Google, it’s about creating a site that’s worthy of its position in the SERPs and making sure that the right people know about it.

Link Building vs Content Strategy Diagram

Click to enlarge

Make your website awesome

Your website shouldn’t just be the place where people can buy your products; it should be an indispensable information resource for your customers. User-focused content that sits on your site such as how to guides, a comprehensive FAQ section, customer competitions, white papers, surveys, videos, news stories, images, infographics and an active company blog – provided it’s all properly structured – will significantly increase the size of your site and give you a wealth of content that people will naturally want to link to.

Share your content with the world

Now that you’ve built an amazing site, it’s time to shout about it. Ensure that you are regularly sharing links to your on-site content via your social media channels – Google will notice when links to your site are being shared on social platforms and these positive social signals generally correlate with the authority of your site and your natural search visibility.

Encourage the world to share your content

It’s not just about YOU sharing your content though; it’s about getting others to share it. Use your social media channels to reach out to influencers including industry publications, potential and existing brand advocates, bloggers, influencers and – most importantly – customers by initiating conversations and volunteering links to your content. Also, ensure that every page of content on your site has sharing buttons, making it possible for others to promote your content with one click.

Nurture your brand advocates

Social media is undoubtedly the most effective way of building your army of online brand advocates. If you deliver a great experience via your social channels as well as having an amazing product or service, you’ll find that you’ll reap the rewards in the form of online recommendations which goes towards maintaining that all-important social buzz and engagement around your brand.

Get the links you deserve

By having a well-structured website with fantastic content, you will likely find that sites will link to you naturally as a result of discovering you via social media or natural search. Most of the time, however, securing links needs a lot more work. Do something that’s newsworthy, come up with a killer content collaboration idea, host an event for fans or influencers or launch an exciting competition and actively reach out to the people you want to links from – whether that’s news sites, industry publications or bloggers.

Get on Google+

Unsurprisingly, Google really wants you to use its own social media platform. Having a Google+ page for your business will help to enhance your presence in natural search. Firstly, by tagging your site up with rel=publisher, your Google+ page and latest Google+ post will appear in search results for relevant queries. Secondly, tagging individual content pages on your site (e.g. guest blog posts from industry influencers) with rel=author promotes the transparency and integrity of the content, helping users scan and read content by people they want to read more from. It also helps pages stand out in the SERPs by having the author’s image next to the listing which can help improve CTRs to your site. Additionally, blog owners should contribute to others’ blogs as an author which adds more weight to your brand and improves individual identity.

In summary…

Securing links should still be an integral part of your natural search strategy. We’ve known for a while that buying hundreds of links from low-quality sites won’t work, but now the quality of YOUR site is of primary importance. Even if you’re regularly gaining links from blogs and other online publications, Google will be looking at a whole host of other factors including your on-site content, how your site is structured, how many times links to your content have been shared on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. and whether or not you’re making use of Google+ as a social brand hub.

By getting all of these elements right, you’ll drastically increase the chances of your content being seen by the right people: your potential customers. What’s more, as is always the end goal, this should ultimately have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Alice Reeves on Google+

The Weekly Shop (9th – 13th December)

In The Weekly Shop this week, we have a white paper around customer experiences at Christmas, some tips on how you can build loyalty during a long purchase cycle, how retailers can leverage unique identifiers and structured data and an article from the Froggblog around the recent updates to Google’s Analytics and Webmaster tools.

Providing exceptional customer experiences at Christmas time

First up is a white paper from eDigitalResearch which examines how consumers rate their current contact with brands during the festive period and what they feel should be done to better their experiences at Christmas as a whole. The white paper yielded some interesting findings and is well worth a read. 

How marketers can build loyalty during a long purchase cycle

A key element for a majority of loyalty programs is product purchase frequency which enables members to earn more reward currency and keep the products and program on the forefront top of mind. But what happens when you have products without this high rate of purchase frequency? This article from Econsultancy looks at how implement a successful loyalty program with a little creative thinking and a different approach.

How Online Retailers Can Leverage Unique Identifiers & Structured Data

This article from Search Engine Land looks at how what we have learned to date about entity search, semantic search and the semantic web and how it can be applied to ecommerce. The article contains some useful tips on how online retailers can leverage unique identifiers and structured data for ecommerce.

Latest Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools updates in a nutshell

Our last article is from our Senior Natural Search Consultant, Ben. There has been a plethora of updates in recent weeks and months to Google’s Analytics and Webmaster Tools and in his article Ben takes a closer look at the three key recent updates not to be missed if you want to maximise your online marketing campaigns. More over on the Froggblog.

That’s it for this week. Happy reading!

The Weekly Shop (2nd – 6th December)

In The Weekly Shop this week…we look at the launch of the first railway station parcel collection point, a new nation of ‘smart shoppers’, how understanding the traits of online shoppers can drive conversions and 10 tips for planning your New Year sales customer journey.

Network Rail launches the first railway station parcel collection point that’s open to all retailers and carriers

Following on from the news last week that Asda are launching click and collect services at six London Underground car parks, Network Rail is following suit and will be trialling ecommerce parcel shops at unused space at mainline stations. The first collection point opened on Tuesday at Milton Keynes Central with more sites to follow at UK railway stations throughout 2014.

Smart shoppers combine high tech with high street to beat Christmas rush – saving a seven mile walk

New research from O2 has revealed that we are turning into a nation of ‘smart shoppers’, using technology to shop on our own terms this Christmas. The research has found that the average Brit visits 21 retail websites each week on their hunt for presents, notching up a staggering 425 minutes online – the equivalent of walking over 7 miles to browse the same range of products. The research also highlights the growing trend for consumers to blend offline and online services to meet their needs. More over on Internet Retailing.

Understanding the traits of online shoppers to drive conversions

Now onto another study which has identified that just over 1% of an ecommerce site’s users contribute 40% of its revenue. By analysing 950m page views from more than 123m website visits, the research found that whilst this 1.06% of total visitors generates four tenths of a site’s income, there are a further 20% of site visitors who will visit regularly, but never make a purchase. With this research in mind, this article from Econsultancy looks at the traits of these very different consumers and how can you use this information to convince them to shop more, not less.

10 tips for planning your New Year sales customer journey

Here’s a timely article from our Managing Director, Rosie Freshwater, on planning for your New Year sales customer journey. In her blog, Rosie provides us with her top 10 tips to using the busy sales period to increase retention, loyalty and revenue by placing the customer at the heart of the buying experience.

SEO Changed Forever In 2013. How To Adjust And Thrive In 2014

It’s clear that the changes we’ve seen in search throughout 2013 have been aimed at creating a better experience for the searcher. In this article from Search Engine Land, Jim Lui looks back at the key innovations search has seen in 2013 and how you can stay ahead of the game as a SEO Marketer in 2014 by putting the user first.

Three key steps towards a customer focused digital transformation

Last but not least, some food for thought from Econsultancy. This article looks at how brands must digitally transform to meet the evolving needs and expectations of their customers. With 2014 being a time to make new resolutions, Glen Hartman looks at the three main areas businesses should focus on to start their journey to achieving a successful customer-centric transformation to reap the resulting benefits long after we ring in the New Year. A recommended read.

That’s it for this week. Happy reading!