Category Archives: retail

Are brands ready for the Millennials?

Girls texting millenialsIn its recent communications market report Ofcom has proven that the millennium generation of 14 and 15-year-olds are the most technology-savvy in the UK. Their exposure and awareness to digital media and brand communication across all tech devices is going to equal if not surpass that of the current adult generation, which today is estimated at a staggering eight hours 41 minutes.

These teens are the consumers of the future. They will have high expectations of brands when it comes to digital brand engagement. They have grown up with broadband and digital communications at their fingertips. They are already accustomed to instantaneous service and will expect brands in the future to serve to their preferences across all technologies, wherever they maybe.

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In-store digital…when does it truly succeed?

ImaginationIn the current retail market the rules of brand engagement are in a continuous state of flux. The speed of this change has lead to a lot of knee jerk reactions from retailers as they seek to integrate digital into their offer.

But where is the framework that helps define the real necessity of in-store interactivity? How can we tell when the integration of digital into a retail environment will eventually result in a real measurable and tangible difference.

The methods of retail engagement within a store environment have always relied on the relevance and desirability of the product offer, its price position, and the attraction of its presentation display. Finding the right balance between these methods generally has us reaching for our wallet and moving to that final goal, the moment of purchase. Read More »

Is Amazon’s Local Register set to shake up digital payment platforms?

Online payment by EP TechnologyThe retail industry has patiently waited for digital payment platforms to take off: NFC has not yet delivered the magic bullet many had hoped for. Apathy (or, perhaps, deliberate foot dragging) from retailers and major technology players has led to consumer indifference. This year, so far, Best Buy and 7-11 have both shut down their in-store NFC programmes.

It may yet be bodily recognition platforms (like the fingerprint recognition technology implemented on iPhone) or facial recognition technology overtake device-based approaches, of which, Zapp – the UK banking coalition initiative – and iBeacons look favourites to win out. Read More »

Cath Kidston social push asks ‘do you like yours big or small?’

Jo Whiley for Cath KidstonCath Kidston’s ‘Do You Like Yours Big or Small?’campaign wants to know what you keep in your handbag, as part of a digital push to encourage engagement across social media.

Fans of the brand are being asked to photograph the contents of their bags and share the results, using the hashtag #totesbig or #totessmall, depending on their chosen style.

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Make sure your online business doesn’t have a M&S moment

Marks and spencer adWith Marks and Spencer blaming its re-launched website for an 8% slump in online sales, Joe Doveton, head of conversion at Oban Multilingual, shares five things no-one tells you about web conversion. Read More »

Could mobile coupons be a secret retail weapon?

coupn by HA! Designs - Artbyheather FlickrTraditional couponing is big business in the UK. According to figures from coupon experts Valassis, 257 million coupons worth £850m were redeemed in the first half of last year, and shoppers are currently saving an average of £5.70 a month using them.

They initiate intent, create a psychological contract with the brand, act as a reminder to buy, help to signpost the product in-store and obviously deliver a compelling incentive to purchase by reducing price. In fact, in our experience, they remain one of the single most effective tools in our arsenal to drive trial. Read More »

Ninjas don’t need instruction manuals. Neither do shoppers.

ninjaYou are an expert. An expert in shopping.

A natural. So good, you don’t even realise how good you are.

To coin some pseudo-marketing-psychology, you have moved to the fourth stage of learning when it comes to making purchase decisions: you have an ‘Unconscious Competence’ in shopping. You are a Shopping Ninja. Read More »

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.

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