Last week we held our 2nd Jewellery Quarter Shopify Meetup here at Digital Cake HQ. The event was focused on looking forward to what 2020 has in store for Ecommerce, plus we were joined by 304 Clothing.
A Q&A with 304 clothing!
We were thrilled to be joined by Co-founder David Powell and Director of E-commerce Jon Hutchins from 304 Clothing, to tell their story on starting their own business back in 2012 and give the audience exclusive insight into the main challenges and opportunities they face going into 2020.
For those who missed the event, here are some of the highlights:
Where did it all begin?
The brand initially started with David, Jon and CEO Sean Cotter, who met at University of Liverpool, ironing their slogans onto H&M vests. The light bulb moment came when 3 of their vests were stolen from a pre-Parklife party. When the guys spotted the culprits the next day at the festival wearing them, the brand 304 Clothing! was born.
How did the brand first start getting noticed?
In the early stages, there wasn’t a marketing strategy and the majority of success came from influencers wearing the clothing or giving them shout-outs through Social Media. A turning point was when The Twins DJ’s in Australia wore their vests to an event, resulting in another sell-out overnight.
What is the vision for the brand?
304 has always been a brand who cares about their customers so are continuing to focus on customer loyalty and retention- rather than becoming a huge corporation. Their CRM strategy is customised to reward existing customers rather than those who only order when there is a discount or when people abandon their baskets. They are also keen to expand into personalisation, by developing and promoting items that consumers can customise to make it their own.
Ecommerce Innovations for 2020
Team Digital Cake also presented the latest innovations in Ecommerce, what to watch out for this year and how this could impact retail businesses.
Chatbots are evolving:
Advanced technology has allowed Chatbots to become more sophisticated, resulting in them being used in different ways to solve modern problems. Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered Chatbots now understand free language as well as having predefined flows to help solve common user issues which is why we expect to see a rise of Chatbots in customer service in particular as this will help improve response times and alleviate the pressure of community management teams.
Will AI models dominate the online catwalk?
Japanese company DataGrid are working to design and create a range of fully functioning “Whole-body model automatic generation AI” models. The technology that makes this possible is called GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) which applies deep learning and enables the development of creative AI to generate valuable content. This technology automatically generates images of non-existent peoples’ whole bodies at high resolution, which upon further research and development, could be used for advertising and apparel purposes.
Recommerce, also known as reverse commerce, is a term used to describe the purchase of used products by companies, who will then re-sell them to others. Similar to charity shops and vintage boutiques. It’s important to consider Recommerce within your brand story because ethical consumption is a growing concern for active consumers, who consider what their money goes towards once they’ve made a purchase.
You can find out more in-depth about our 2020 Ecommerce Innovations by downloading our latest ebook here.
Finally a roundup of recent Shopify updates
Shopify Search Suggestions
It’s now possible to add predictive search to website themes so that suggested results appear immediately as users type into the search field. Predictive search helps customers refine their search queries, and provides new ways for them to explore an online store. It also lets them quickly browse matches without having to leave their current page to see a separate list of search results.
Build better brands with video and 3D
Winning the attention of today’s buyers has a lot to do with weaving a powerful brand story— According to the current usage of Shopify AR, interacting with a product through augmented reality can significantly improve conversion rates for brands. Hence why it’s important that more brands invest in more advanced product browsing experiences that push for higher engagement and conversion rates.
Shopify’s new online store design experience
Shopify’s new store design feature will allow merchants to create a customised storefront without having to write a single line of code. This means that merchants can focus on providing their clients with the highly valuable services necessary to take their business to the next level- without having to focus on teaching them the basics of store editing. Some of the key features of this update include:
- Sections on every page
- Master pages
- Content portability
- Draft changes
- Online store editor
Subscription services aren’t a new concept, however, they are a relatively new trend in the world of ecommerce and an increasingly popular way to purchase online. Back in 2018 it was reported that UK shoppers spent £2billion a year on retail subscriptions, and this figure has continued to see a consistent rise since this report was published.
A convenient, personalised way to shop
Subscription services offer customers, (who are often young, affluent and from urban cities) a convenient, personalised and low-cost way of purchasing items that they want and need. These services seamlessly work alongside their busy lifestyles and take the hassle out of repeatedly having to purchase certain items. Of course for brands, the major benefit here is that when someone signs up for a subscription service, they are essentially confirming their brand loyalty and commitment to your products, as well as entering your database with information equipped to offer them a highly personalised experience.
According to a report from the Royal Mail, the value of the subscription market is forecast to grow 72% to a value of £1 billion by 2022! This report also noted that 27% of UK customers have already signed up to a subscription box service, with these models being most popular with under 35s.
Replenishment, curation and access
Generally, there are three broad types of subscriptions, these being replenishment, curation and access.
Replenishment subscriptions give customers the ability to automate the purchase of ‘commodity’ items that they have a continuous need for. Often this can be influenced directly by their lifestyle, for example razor and hygiene products would fall into this category and the need for these products can vary from person to person, but generally there is a consistent need and demand for them.
Curation-based subscription seeks to surprise and delight customers by exposing them to new and exciting products through a highly personalised experience, with the main types of subscriptions in this category falling into apparel, beauty and food. Two big players in this area are Birchbox and Glossybox who both curate boxes of beauty products for their customers each month depending on their unique needs and what is popular in the industry at that time.
The final type of subscription, access, allows subscribers to pay a monthly fee to obtain lower prices to a product or service, as well as members-only perks. Often it will be apparel and food which falls into this category.
Depending on your product, your consumers, and the relationship between the two, if you’re thinking about offering a subscription service you’ll need to consider which of the above is the most applicable and relevant for your customers before you move forward.
Retaining customers with a subscription model
Creating a successful and profitable subscription service isn’t as easy as just asking your existing customers to tick a box! Customers do not have an automatic or inherent love of subscriptions, and it can actually be harder to acquire customers in this format.
There needs to be a real value to your service and it needs to be something which will benefit your customers and not just your customer return rate! Customers still demand and expect a superior end-to-end experience and are only willing to subscribe when automated purchasing gives them real tangible benefits, such as increased personalisation. And if the service isn’t good enough, you’ll find that they will cancel their subscription with no hesitation
If you’re thinking of adapting a subscription-based model into your existing ecommerce strategy, then give us a call today to explore which model would work for you and how we can adapt it into your business for 2020.
Three members of the Digital Cake team have been shortlisted for “Digital Woman of the Year” in the inaugural Digital Women Awards, that are being held in London just after International Women’s Day. The past two years have seen many successes for Digital Cake and our clients, we have been recognised for the strength of our work in the digital space as an e-commerce agency, and as Shopify experts.
Our very own Cheryl Thomas, Kirstie Smith and Katie Underwood have all been shortlisted for the “Digital Woman of the Year” award. Digital Women celebrates all women working in digital and the awards recognise those who are going above and beyond in their digital space while producing incredible work. As well as being shortlisted for this award, Cheryl, Kirstie and Katie have been announced as three of the “40 Women to Watch”. The accolades mean that they are amongst the highest achieving and most innovative women working in the digital sector in the UK today.
Kirstie Smith, our Marketing Director, has additionally been shortlisted in the “Digital Women Role Model of the Year” and “Digital Women Community Leader of the Year” categories. Kirstie’s nominations are in recognition of her role in establishing Social Circle, a monthly social media networking event, as well as her lecturing role at Birmingham City University where she’s delivered courses in Digital Marketing (BA Hons) and Future Media (MA / MSc). She comments:
“My passion for all things relating to digital marketing and e-commerce is undeniable. I have committed time to both Social Circle and to supporting the next generation of marketeers as they study. For me, something like Social Circle is vital in driving innovation amongst like-minded industry professionals, whilst my time lecturing allows me to share my enthusiasm with the digital creative professionals of tomorrow.”
Our CEO Chris Thomas has said:
“In Cheryl, Kirstie and Katie, we have some of the most ambitious, passionate and experienced digital marketeers out there and this is something that the clients who choose to work with Digital Cake undoubtedly benefit from. As an agency head, I am hugely aware of the benefit that having these three women as part of the Digital Cake team brings to the wider team as well as to our growing client base. I wish them all the best of luck at the awards.”
Good luck to all the other nominees, it’s great to see so much female talent coming through the industry.
Recent figures have shown that having product reviews on your website can uplift sales by up to 18%, and customers who visit a website and interact with product reviews on average spend 11% more compared to those who don’t!
Customers want a more tailored experience
However, simply having reviews isn’t enough anymore, as customers who are shopping with ecommerce-only brands want to know that the information they have access to is relevant to their unique needs. If you’re buying an item of clothing for instance, you will want to know how an item fits on someone with a similar figure and body type as yourself before you make a purchase. This extra piece of information can help make the whole customer experience more seamless and alleviate the need to order multiple sizes of the same product.
As the unique needs and requirements of each customer can vary dramatically, customers need to have more context behind individual reviews so they can know whether the information provided is relevant to them. The information provided by improved and relevant product filters can then inform a customer on important information such as sizing and fit, enabling them to make more accurate purchase decisions based on their existing needs and expectations.
Millennial favourite “Glossier” is leading the way with its unique product filters
While most reviews allow you to filter by most recent/most helpful, some online retailers are now offering additional filters to give their customers a more personal and meaningful online experience. Glossier, for example, are one of the first major ecommerce brands to introduce additional and relevant product filters to their website.
As new customers will likely be purchasing products without previously trying or physically holding an item, it’s important that before they commit to a purchase that they are able to filter products by skin type, age-range and shin shade so they can make a more informed purchase decision. By introducing these unique filters to their product pages, Glossier is reducing their overall return rate and improving customer satisfaction by making the customer experience seamless and easy! Customers know what they are buying and whether it will work for them before the item arrives at their door.
Product reviews create a sense of community with your customers
Having detailed product reviews on your website is more than just a way to increase your brands credibility, it can also create a sense of community with your customers as their comments can be repurposed for your marketing and be used to inform new customers with unbiased and honest reviews of an existing customers experience of purchasing from your website. It also allows your customers to feel valued as they can see direct interaction between a brand and their personal opinions of it.
Creating a more meaningful shopping experience by improved and varied product filters will likely be adapted for the wider retail industry in the near future, as customers will come to expect this as the basic standard and will shop elsewhere if this level of detail isn’t provided for them. And with an ever-expanding competitor marketplace, can you really afford to fall behind your competitors because of small website tweaks such as this?
Social media is always being updated in various ways and staying on top of all of the latest innovations can be time consuming. So we’ve summarised 10 of the social innovations we discovered this month- all in one place! Here are some of the things we learnt:
What is takes to make effective Tweet copy
Twitter is a staple marketing tool that can help you reach your goals and interact with your existing and future customers. Twitter ads engagement is up to 23% and Twitter users spend 26% more time watching ads than the users of other social media channels, so it’s important to consider the best practices for your Twitter feed! Here are our tips when it comes to writing your Twitter copy:
- Avoid using all capital letters to create urgency, as it appears quite shouty and aggressive.
- Percentages are actually more effective than currency symbols, so try switching out ‘£10 off” to “10% off’.
- Limit the use of hashtags in posts, try to stick to 2 or 3. This is to avoid crowding the post.
- Use website cards to add visual aspects to your tweets, these are more likely to catch users attention.
IGTV is finally releasing a prototype that enables IGTV creators to monetize with ads
By 2021 mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, which is good news for IGTV creators as Instagram has finally prototyped the monetization of IGTV, through a Partner Program that would let creators earn money through showing adverts alongside their videos.
Lack of monetization could have contributed to the lack of high-quality content on IGTV. The majority of the content on there currently is either clickbait teasers or low-grade YouTube clones.
However, 18 months after it launched the longer-form content hub, Instagram has finally given content creators a chance for a sustainable and passive approach to generate earnings. It may even inspire them to produce a higher standard of content, so it benefits both parties.
Twitter is working towards expanding user creativity
We could soon have a whole new range of visual tools for Twitter. The social media giant has announced its acquisition of Chroma Labs, the team behind the Chroma Stories app, which provides a range of stylistic frames and filter options for your Stories content. Chroma Stories isn’t a platform in itself, but a supplementary app which allows users to design higher quality Stories that they can post across their social channels.
Youtube’s Applause to content creators
It seems as though YouTube is still conjuring up innovative ways for its creators to earn more revenue through monetisation methods. Their latest update consists of “viewer applause” which users can purchase to privately show their support to their favourite creators.
To give creators more opportunity to earn income, YouTube is figuring out alternative ways of monetisation by using inspiration from popular streaming apps. Thus, it has been leaning towards what works for successful streaming app Twitch. This ‘applause’ works by fans being able to click an icon between the like and dislike buttons, it will cost the user $2 per clap- however, this isn’t a one-time function as fans can spend up to $500 per day on this type of feature.
Facebook creates Hobbi
Facebook has released Hobbi, a photo and video sharing app focused around documenting and showcasing personal projects and hobbies. It’s part of their initiative to rapidly try out new ideas to see how users react. Undoubtedly, there are similarities to well known creative platform Pinterest, however the difference is that Hobbi isn’t just a pinboard of interests and ideas. This app is designed to inspire hobbyists to track their progress over time by organising their projects into themes such as gardening, cooking and decor. In this sense, Hobbi is more like an editor and organiser than any sort of new social network.
TikTok gives parents back control with new ‘family safety mode’
It was recently announced that half of UK 10-year-olds own a smartphone, which increases the potential of young people seeing harmful content- especially through mainstream apps such as TikTok. To combat this, TikTok has released a new safety mode that works by choosing a parent phone and child phone after linking them together via the app. Once this process is completed, it gives the parent phone permission to turn on/off the setting for:
- Restricted mode- this uses an automatic filter driven by an algorithm, which tries to hide content that may be inappropriate
- Messages- which can be limited so they can only be received from friends – or turned off completely
- Screen time controls- putting a limit on how long the app can be used each day
Discover “Hoop” the Tinder for new friends on Snapchat
SnapKit has added another feature to its roster, and this one bears resemblance to popular dating app Tinder. Hoops works to help you make new friends on Snapchat, users can swipe left or right with them and then choose to connect within that process. Once connected that’s when you can begin your relationship on Snapchat. Hoop has demonstrated that its not just another app, with it amassing 3 million global downloads already!
TikTok gives users the option to upload from their desktop.
Social media expert Matt Navarra has announced that it’s now possible to upload TikTok videos from the desktop version of the app. The new update is handy for those who are managing multiple social media accounts from one workspace, or even for digital marketers looking to make use of TikTok. It enables users to upload more polished, edited content whilst providing the capacity to add TikTok videos into regular creative flows.
Instagram tests new Stories trimming tool.
Instagram is making it easier for users to edit and upload Stories within the app by working on a trimming feature. The new option would provide a video slider trimming tool built into Stories, that works similarly to video editing tools available elsewhere. It works by adding in a new editing icon to the creative options along the top of the first frame.
LinkedIn pinned posts.
You can now choose what other Linked In users see first when visiting your profile- in a new update by the platform to improve the experience of those who use it regularly. Each profile will now have a ‘featured’ section, that can be used to give insight into your personality and more specifically what you can offer others if they were to connect with you.
To make sure you’re all caught up, here’s all of our innovations from last month. Could you implement any of these features in your online strategy in the future?
If you want to keep up to date with all of the latest social updates and innovations, make sure you’re following Social Circle on Instagram and Eventbrite! We’ll see you at the next event!
Team Digital Cake was recently asked to take part in the BIrmingham City University #FORWARD2021 conference and join a panel of digital professionals, sharing their knowledge of the industry with the BA(Hons) Digital Marketing and MSc/MA Future Media students.
It was great to be a part of such an exciting event and participate in this event alongside the keynote speakers; William Bonaddio (Social Media Consultant), Ashley Temple (BBC creative) and Rebecca Meekings (Iprospect). Joining our very own Senior Client Delivery Manager, Katie, on the panel was Sophie Page-Britton (Brew Digital), Sally Hawkesford (SHC Digital), Abbie Swindell (Electric House), Adam Barrie (Electric House), Gareth Davies (GRIN) and Emma Davies (GRIN).
Here are our key take-aways from the event –
1. William Bonaddio, “Can I Have Your Attention, Please?”
First up was social media consultant William Banaddio, who presented some fantastic insights into the industry and highlighted the importance of being able to accurately track your online activity. For instance, he explained how those who are looking to utilise social media as a sales channel need to have a Pixel set up so that they can monitor conversions and track user journeys. By doing this, you are able to pinpoint at which stage of the conversion path that they disengaged and use this information to inform your tailored retargeting messages.
During his talk, Will revealed that there are two ways to influence consumer behaviour through marketing. The first method accounts for 60% of the strategy and is centred around priming the audience. This is achieved through building a strong brand which resonates in consumers minds via consistent, purposeful brand activity. Additionally, the messaging that is used for marketing is critical in proving to consumers that you’re a long-term trustworthy brand. The focus here isn’t on short term sales but instead in resonating in users minds. The second part accounts for 40% and is focused on driving sales! This tactic involves nudging the audience by prompting them to purchase your products/services through short-term campaigns. Eventually, the effectiveness of short-term campaigns depletes as consumers reactions lessen over time; making it important to have a strategy that’s an optimum combination of both.
Regarding video ads, Will highlighted the importance of ads which can be engaged with both with and without sound and recommends including closed captions where possible, as Facebook tests have suggested that adding captions to video ads can increase view duration by 12%. Adding to this, he stated that 60% of Instagram Stories ads are viewed with sound on and that ads with sound are perceived to be more ‘relevant” than those without. To end, he pointed out that it’s important for video ads to still make sense if viewed in a sound-off environment but should also include engaging audio for those who are able to watch with sound.
2. Ashley Temple, “The Attention Economy”
We were also joined by the Creative Director of Technology & Innovation for BBC Creative, Ashley Temple, who had some important advice concerning the distribution of assets! The central theme of his keynote was on “sweating your assets” when promoting content for your brand. Essentially, when you’re given an asset or creating new assets from previous content to think about how it could advance into different narratives. For example, a perfume advert can be personalised toward a male audience, female audience or be entirely product lead. “Sweating your assets” can also be executed by formatting the content for different channels and platforms, so at the finish, you’d have multiple versions of the same content. These assets could then be redeployed across different channels, providing a comprehensive campaign for a client.
Growing from your failures was another key aspect of Ashley’s talk as he pointed out that marketers shouldn’t be scared to fail and should be brave enough with their creative strategies to give themselves the opportunity to fail! If you don’t succeed in the way that you’d hoped, you need to react quickly and resolve any issues that arise, in favour of satisfying the client. He also mentioned that in times of failure, it’s important to analyse the data and engagement metrics thoroughly to verify what went wrong and what can be learned from any misjudgements. Overall his message conveyed positivity towards failing, in the sense that if it’s dealt with correctly, it can promote further growth and personal development that you would have otherwise missed out on.
Following this, he addressed that the audience should be at the heart of everything you do when it comes to creating successful campaigns. At present, it’s no longer just about broadcasting to your audience as it’s equally important to have an omnichannel experience and engage with them across various channels. Make sure you react with them on social platforms, like comments/posts, reply to direct messages etc. As well as this, listening to your audience is extremely important and growing from any constructive feedback they may have.
3. Rebecca Meekings, “A Week In The Life”
Rebecca Meekings, Paid Social Director from IProspect, was the final keynote speaker of the event who shared their insights into the company’s digital strategy. She explained how one of their prime strategies consists of three-segments which are: Tease, Reveal and Sustain.
Tease: The first stage is all about creating buzz and awareness for the campaign, which could be a new product launch or a big event that you feel people will be interested in.
Reveal: Consists of establishing mass awareness and impact, it’s also where the big reveal within the campaign lies. This stage requires you to own the conversation and be centre stage for your audience for your formal launch in the market.
Sustain: Includes maintaining the buzz and engagement by keeping audiences interested and at the forefront of their mind.
By following these steps, you can ensure a complete user journey which results in high levels of customer retention. To end her keynote speech, Rebeca touched upon the concept of omnichannel marketing and how digital marketing can extend to immersive real-life experiences. (thinking back to how they went to Gucci fashion week?).
4. Panel Discussions
We heard from a range of incredibly talented individuals from creative, digital and ecommerce agencies. Including Sophie Page-Britton from Brew, Sally Hawkesford of SHC Digital, Abbie Swindell and Adam Barrie from Electric House, Gareth Davies and Emma Davies from GRIN. It was a fantastic opportunity for our Client Delivery Manager Katie Underwood to partake in conversations about a range of insightful topics and trends. The panel discussed themes such as:
- The future of digital marketing, predictions, innovations and how the landscape will change over time.
- How certain individuals achieved their success, along with any tips they had for aspiring young marketers.
- How a key characteristic of a successful digital marketer is being authentic and trustworthy.
- There was also mention of how marketers should continually focus on their personal development in order to adapt to the forever changing industry.
We really enjoyed attending the FORWARD2021 event at BCU, and we’re keen to attend the FORWARD2022 event next year!