Category Archives: retail

4 ways retailers can use technology to reinvigorate the high street

HighStreetMany bricks-and-mortar retailers are still feeling embattled against the march of e-commerce, desperately looking for strategies to help them compete. But with online sales accounting for 21% of all retail in 2013 and climbing, consumers have made their preferences very clear and the freedom and flexibility of e-commerce is the new norm.

To meet these increasingly strident demands, retailers must stop competing with e-commerce and the enabling technology and embrace it instead. One of the most important lessons to be learned from online traders is the emphasis on an experience tailored to individual preferences, as well as the ability to shop on their own terms. Read More »

Stop, collaborate and listen: what wikis can do for brand engagement

John LewisOne hundred and fifty years old but still not past it, John Lewis has been crowned the UK’s most collaborative brand online. Beating the likes of Google and Apple to claim the top spot in a recent survey by .wiki (in conjunction with YouGov), John Lewis is perceived to be a brand that not only listens, but also acts on the views of its loyal customers.

Any brand worth its salt is harnessing the power of social media channels to improve customer service and promote their products. However, unlike John Lewis, many consumer-facing companies are still failing to nurture meaningful two-way dialogues with customers. In fact, half of the consumers that we surveyed (51% in the US, 49% in the UK) said that they have little to no opportunity to collaborate with their favourite brands over the internet.

Why should brands work in concert with their customers online? First, half of consumers (52% US, 48% UK) hold a better perception of brands that enlist the help of their customer base online. Second, the internet is the greatest information resource ever created – any brand would be mad to ignore the trove of knowledge that is now easily accessible via the web. Read More »

Bursting the filter bubble

HenryFrom Benetton developing ‘The Infinite Shelf’ to Samsung launching its bespoke ‘One Stadium Live’ network in time for the World Cup, many brands are finding new ways to flex the opportunities offered by social platforms.

Another example comes from Penguin Random House UK, which launched ‘My Independent Bookshop’ earlier this month, an initiative conceived and developed with Collective London. It’s an online community where authors and book lovers can give and receive personal book recommendations from their very own virtual bookshops.

Read More »

Do French Connection and Adam Lallana have something in common?

MenSo French Connection has unveiled Adam Lallana as the new face of their first ever pre-fall men’s range. Good news? It is for them.

Lallana is not only in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for Brazil, he’s also been one of the best performers in the past Premier League season and is linked with a high profile move to Liverpool FC. Good news indeed as when it comes to endorsement deals, timing is absolutely crucial.

Read More »

The winners and losers with Beacon technology

ShoppingArcadePersonalised loyalty offers, footfall tracking, storytelling in-store – here are three ways that beacon technology can deliver value.

While it’s still something of a novelty in UK retail, Beacon technology is on the rise and you should expect to see it coming to a store near you in the very near future. Eat, Coca-Coca, The Swan Shopping Centre in Eastleigh and William Hill have all trialed the technology and have reported some excellent results.

As with any new innovation, there will be winners – mainly retailers who are savvy enough to reap the benefits of Beacon technology – and losers, mainly existing platforms that will become defunct.

Read More »

Tech-tonic shifts in online fashion

FashionFlashThe online fashion market is increasingly rife with concepts providing unique and personal experiences to the customer.

One such example is ModCloth a vintage-inspired clothing e-tailer that has launched initiatives such as its ‘Make the Cut’ and ‘Be the Buyer’ programmes, in a goal to democratise fashion by giving customers a voice to design or vote for clothes the company should stock. Read More »

The Burberry model: why blending online and offline boosts success

burberry London Fashion Week catwalkLuxury retailers such as Burberry have made no secret of the fact that they are making their flagship stores more like their online counterparts and not the other way around. The reason? Research has shown that shoppers using multiple channels are nearly four times more likely to make a purchase than single-channel shoppers so blending online and in-store experiences in this way can lead to more sales.

So how does this work in practice? Certainly in the retail world, marketers and retailers may find that Pareto’s Principle – more commonly known as the 80:20 rule could offer some insight. Read More »

The role of digital in editorialised content

ShoppingArcadeIt’s a growing trend for retailers to venture into the media space; producing high-quality editorial content which provides customers with a reason to engage with their brand beyond a simple purchase. Some brands are choosing to invest in TV and print, but now even digital channels are undergoing a re-design to better engage consumers and drive purchasing with editorialised content very much at the heart.

The benefits of editorialised content are easy to measure: longer interaction on websites, greater sharing across social media and an opportunity to move beyond the crude sales messaging which consumers have begun to tune out of. No longer are they a supplier of goods but a destination; an experience that customers can cherish and be inspired by. Digital channels are increasingly becoming the first destination where a customer interacts with a brand and is therefore a major focal point for content strategies. Read More »

Engaging shoppers via mobile: you can if you know where to look

Shoppers2We recently filmed 2,000 shoppers in and around retail sites on London’s Oxford Street and in central Guildford – including John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser – to find out where people are most likely to use their mobile phones.

Doing this would uncover opportunities for retailers and other brands to create mobile encounters with shoppers.

The research found huge differences in where people use their devices.

Surprisingly, the biggest hotspot was just outside stores, where 24% of people waiting next to entrances were using their phones for non-voice activities such as social networking, using apps, and accessing the internet. Read More »

Infographic: How we respond to personalised content

infographic retailTen per cent of UK online shoppers have purchased an item whilst on the toilet. That’s according to a survey by Sailthru, providers of personalised marketing technology, which aimed to find out how consumers feel about personalised content from brands.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers found mums are more likely to make the most of bedtime with 72% admitting they have purchased items whilst still in bed. Results also showed 42% of online shoppers have abandoned a purchase because it was too complicated to complete on a mobile device. Read More »