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Christmas eCommerce: Keep it merry and stress-free!

Research has shown that almost 56% of British consumers will be spending nearly half of their Christmas shopping online this year. Others have also estimated that 8 out of 10 consumers will be considering online Christmas shopping. It is not surprising that British retailers have been investing a substantial amount of their efforts to embrace this once-in-a-year opportunity since several months before Christmas.

Despite the optimistic figures, some concerns remain amongst the retailers. It is one thing to browse on eCommerce website, but it is quite another thing to click the ‘purchase’ button for the consumers. Approximately 48% of the online shoppers are likely to quit shopping, leaving their shopping carts hanging there, abandoned and eventually forgotten.

So what is demoralising them?

Christmas time not only brings jolly and delightful feelings, but the time also makes people stressed and occupied with planning parties and finishing off their big projects before starting their holidays. And they are less likely to enjoy the complicated and time-consuming eCommerce procedures, forcing them to abandon their shopping baskets before completing the payments. It is the hard-to-follow structure, slow loading website or simply the unexpected delivery cost that make consumers switch to competitors or in-store shopping. Retailers cannot afford to lose these key shoppers whose expected average Christmas expenditure is 375 pounds per person.

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(Picture from Ag Report 365 http://agreport365.com/christmas-shopping-stress-fight/)

Christmas is just around the corner: What can we do at this stage?

Marketing strategy during Christmas encompasses an early preparation. Yet, there are still some actions that can be taken to avoid the ‘lost-consumer’ problem. The most straightforward solution, probably, is to send them the reminder emails. Big retailers such as John Lewis and QuickSilver use ‘Cart Abandonment Email’ to remind their consumers of the unfinished shopping activities. Their emails feature precise messages with images of items and the links that direct consumers back to their shopping carts.

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(Source from http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63925-cart-abandonment-emails-how-five-retailers-retarget-lost-customers)

However we also need to look at the root cause. In other others, to tackle the tedious eCommerce shopping experience by adding more fun and creative elements of your company.  For example, use of videos and photos featuring your team dressed in Santa costumes might attract the consumers’ attentions, making the process less monotonous.

Christmas-themed deals or promotions should be renewed and updated every couple of days to encourage your online customers to visit your website regularly. By offering vouchers that can be used in January 2014, it will not only ensure returning customers but also less chance of losing shoppers to the competitors. Similarly offering promotion code on the spot will prevent your consumers from leaving to other websites, looking for better offers. Your online sales will be likely to increase if you improve the cost of delivery. Given that consumers abandon their carts due to unexpected total prices at the final process of online shopping, companies may need to reduce the delivery fees, if not free, on orders that exceed certain amounts. This can provide some incentive for the consumers to spend more and at the same time avoid disappointments.

The most basic way to enhance online conversion rate is to revise the technicality and accessibility of your website (yet, many tend to underestimate this). The speed of website download determines the conversion rate, and therefore the volume of your Christmas sales. Ensure that your eCommerce website operates effectively and speedily for every type of device.

In conclusion…

As mentioned earlier, Christmas marketing strategy requires a long-term planning. This may involve the development of a personalized online shopping website, or incorporation of a range of social media methods to make online shopping more fun an interactive. In a busy time like Christmas, consumer attitudes are even more volatile. Retailers must make sure their eCommerce sites are precise, easy-to-follow, and speedy to avoid the ‘missing payment’ or ‘lost consumer’ situations.

3 reasons we are VERY excited this week – Featuring the app that will change EVERYTHING FOREVER!

Now that we have your attention, we would like to say that said app is great, although we really don’t know if it will change everything forever. But yeah, it’s a great app.

So the new iPhone came out, gazillion Apple fans queuing for hours outside the Regent Street store, excitement and confetti everywhere, Samsung ripping off Apple again – see below – and so on and so forth.

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But we are excited for other reasons. First and foremost, the app in the title: PicPlayPost. CNET says: ‘Finally, a photo-framing app that stands out. PicPlayPost offers video integration in an otherwise photo-only app-frame landscape, complete with sequential and simultaneous playback along with other unique features.’

Wow. And I mean, WOW! We all know video is something that still doesn’t quite appeal to the average user – unless it’s about cats or it’s something like the latest Masterpiece from Chanel, which cost gazillions to produce, anyway. With this app, things could change for good, as it allows you to feature photos and videos at the same time. See the example below.

A post shared by @thin_red_line on

Now imagine a brand using this thing, for Paris Fashion Week: a video from the runway, a full body picture showing the product and another picture of La Tour Eiffel – or something less obvious, but you get the point.

The second reason why we are as excited as a man who just found a forgotten Picasso under his bed, is that we are going to take care of the social media presence of a huge brand. We can’t say much at the moment…Stay tuned for more, folks!

The third reason? Oh, well, nothing…it’s just that one of our projects has been featured on http://www.webdesignserved.com/. Yep.

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What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Internet Obsessions: pets (not only cats!), money, and Beyoncé & Jay-Z.

“Four legs good, two legs bad.”

― George Orwell, Animal Farm

 

The Internet is a strange place where strange things happen. But it looks like three trends are going strong, nowadays: money, animals, and the Carter Family (i.e. Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and their kids).

Animals

Animals have always been big on the Internet, but there seems to be a shift, from mostly cats and (some) dogs, to other kinds of zoological creatures.

So, while online cats are “so everywhere” Vice even made a documentary about them – see below – non-cat owners too are trying to cash in on their pets.

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/lilbub/lil-bub–friendz-full-length

Remember “Maddie on things”? The latest evolution of the concept is “Stuff On My Rabbit”. Are rabbits the new cats? We don’t know, let’s see what happens next. it’s not clear why would you put a wrench on your rabbit’s head, though.

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rabbit

Money

We’ve been talking about this for a while – see previous posts – as the “Yo yo I’m mothaf***in’ rich and you ain’t” thing still seems to go strong, despite poverty, famines and the global recession. Here’s the latest Guru of this movement, @itslavishbitch, AKA the most hated human being on the planet right now, AKA the man who comes up with inspiring quotes such as “More money on my chest than in yo bank account”, “These peasants keep hating while my money keep calculating” and “You made your bed so sleep in it, peasant”. Even Rihanna told him to stop. He replied: “Broke bitch ur net worth only 80m.”

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And here’s how 50 Cent explains what it’s like to be filthy rich.

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The Carter Family

There is something weird going on: people worshipping Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the rest of the family are now giving the whole thing a twist that puts these individuals in the most iconic paintings in history, something that sounds like a Beatification.

Here’s “The Carter Family Portrait Gallery

Photo by Julia Pelish Photography

And “Beyoncé Art History

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What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Photo sources: see links

Has fashion become a senseless circus? Featuring weird ad campaigns, an extra thin Beyoncé and Karl Lagerfeld sporting a yellow safety vest.

Of course you have to consider new markets, BRIC, Russian taste, Chinese future customers, Brazilian trends, you constantly have to astonish and amaze, you need to go weird and arty and cutting-edge, you have to choose the right testimonial but at the same time you have to surprise your fans / followers / afinicionados / clientele, but, seriously, it looks like fashion brands are losing the plot. Big time.

Remember the what-is-going-on-here? Chanel ad starring a confused, mumbling Brad Pitt?

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What about the Yeti-like pyjamas, courtesy of Chanel, once again?

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Who’s Chanel’s controversial creative director, the man behind these bold moves? It’s Karl Lagerfeld! And he’s wearing a safety vest!

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Meanwhile, Lady Gaga wears five kilos of sirloin steaks for Vogue.

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The Telegraph reports: ‘Courtney Love joins fellow controversial rocker Marilyn Manson for the latest Saint Laurent campaign shot by creative director Hedi Slimane.’
So, Yves Saint Laurent – the man who said “I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style” – meets Marilyn Manson, Honorary Priest of the Church of Satan? Yes, it’s perfectly fine.

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Dolce & Gabbana’s new testimonial is Leo Messi. Yep. The female fan base screams FAIL! Look at the comments on their Facebook page.

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Talking about social media backfire, apparently Roberto Cavalli is swimming in muddy waters, after the fashion designer published this sketch of Beyoncé, looking nothing like the real thing. Check the Facebook page for the usual stream of insults.

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Russia: fashion is getting bigger and bigger, and ads are going weirder and weirder. Look at this masterpiece:

Finally, a smart fashion ad campaign. Oi, wait a sec, that’s a chocolate-flavoured drink ad! GENIUS.
From www.bestadsontv.com: ‘Arla Foods are launching Wing-co., a new chocolate flavoured drink designed for men, with a print campaign devised by CHI & Partners.

The campaign, which launches in press and 6$ from 3rd June, is a parody of over-masculine ‘Pour Homme’ fragrance advertising.

Shot by fashion photographer Matt Irwin, the ads show a rugged model performing exaggerated feats of manliness with nonchalance. He is a man, with added man. Be it balancing a huge tree trunk over one shoulder, carrying a full size live lioness or sitting in plus fours sporting a flamethrower, he remains unflustered.’

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What do you think?
London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Here’s Why Online Concept Stores Should Have A Music Player / feat. Colette, Google, Spotify, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Spotify hit 6 million users a month ago, SoundCloud is expanding and getting stronger, and, in very recent news, we saw that Google is about to launch Google Play Music All Access (read more here: http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/15/google-play-music-all-access/)

 

We listen to music everywhere, at all times, we dance to it and walk to it, changing the pace according to the tempo, our personal soundtrack to our personal music video. In other words, music is part and parcel of that cocktail of experiences, colours, sounds, sensations and situations we call “life”, and, consequently, part of a “lifestyle”. Now, we see and hear the word “lifestyle” written and whispered everywhere, but this concept has not yet been digitised in an effective and comprehensive way, from websites to social media, by too many brands.

Especially now that virtually every shop is bragging about being a lifestyle/concept store, the time has finally come to get a music player on your website.

 

The following concept stores are doing a great job, applying the following equation:

They are authorities + they always propose new and fresh things + they sell a lifestyle, not just mere products + therefore people tend to listen to them + and visit their shops/websites/blogs/etc. in order to get inspired and find new clothes/images/sounds = THEY HAVE A MUSIC PLAYER!

Colette, Paris

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Image source https://www.facebook.com/www.colette.fr

10 Corso Como, Milan

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Image source http://alliumb.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/36-hours-in-milan.html

Urban Outfitters

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Image source http://www.thedogandwardrobe.com/2012/04/22/the-dog-wardrobe-at-urban-outfitters/

Now, despite the fact that and old but gold article entitled ‘10 Reasons Websites Should Not Play Music’ features some good points, we have to remember the aforementioned equation, and the simple fact that, as usual, if you offer good and sticky content to users, they will be back for more. Therefore, if Colette manages to engage visitors and keep them on the website for longer thanks to their music player, and even make them come back on a regular basis, they will eventually sell more. Easy.

 

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Drink brands and social media #FAIL / How NOT to do things: Keglevich vodka.

‘My second marriage had a lot to do with alcohol.’
Mercedes McCambridge

We could talk about Buddhist rituals, conviviality from Dante Alighieri to the new ‘speakeasy’ in Soho, Ernest Hemingway and Jackson Pollock and how much it matters when it comes to French post-structuralism, but the truth is, at the end of the day, that we drink booze in order to get tipsy. Fact.
Now, you cannot really say that when you take care of a drink brand on social media, therefore you have to edulcorate the whole thing, and turn it into a lifestyle-related matter – you drink XXXXXX because you are a seasoned and urbane man, not because you want to get hammered, that’s the spirit.

Here are a few ways you can do things, when it comes to alcoholic beverages and social media.

The playful / ironic way
Have a laugh, this is supposed to be fun. Be responsible when you drink, but remember: alcohol is a social lubricant, and helps get the creative juices flow, so go ahead, enjoy! Look at Molinari and Newcastle Brown Ale. Top quality.

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Newcastle-Brown-Ale-No-Bollocks-Print

The luxurious / sophisticated way
You are not a dull, boring man with a grey, meaningless life. And this is not a drink. This is something else. Something more. From Frisco to the red carpet, you are a major player of that chess game they call ‘life’. You don’t get drunk, you get deep. That’s the difference. Absolut and Disaronno docet, in this case.

disaronno

The “real deal” way
A drink by yourself means you are having trouble with the wife. A pint with a friend means it’s Friday, everything is alright, no worries, Bob Marley singing in the background, spring in Seville. Life is good. This is the “Guinness way”.

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And then, there’s the Keglevich way, AKA the “WTF-cheap-not-funny-extremely-sexist-rude-oh-Lord” way.
Seriously, how bad is this?

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What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

The power of words in the World 2.0 / Feat. Waterstone’s, Burberry, looting crisps and CHAOS by Sylvester Stallone.

Words are extremely powerful, everybody knows that; think of Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, ‘Speaking words of wisdom, let it be’ and so on and so forth.

Words are your brand’s philosophy and identity made sound, but a great deal of companies forget it, very often. Lots of them struggle with language, or use the same vocabulary, mostly made of five words: Stunning, Gorgeous, Lovely, Exclusive, Spotted. Boring, boring, boring, boring. Boring. In other occasions, they simply don’t care, as long as they have some halfway decent copy, they think the product will take care of the rest; but imagine Burberry’s Twitter account going: ‘Yeh we fink r sales are da shiznit init? LOL’. Right, it would look weird.

Now, here’s someone who knows how to use words, whether it’s an in-store pun, a billboard at Camden Town tube station, or on social media. Not surprisingly, they sell books.

Foreword – remember the London riots, in 2011? The city was burning, madness and despair in the streets. In certain areas, every shop was being looted. I mean EVERY shop. In fact, the kids were so desperate to nick stuff, they even looted Poundland (in the image below, you can see a young lady running away with £3 worth of crisps).

poundland

EVERY shop was pillaged, then, but one: Watersone’s.
From The Guardian: ‘Reading the riot acts: why wasn’t Waterstone’s looted?’
London Evening Standard might know the answer: ‘The shop that no rioter wanted to loot… because it sells books’
‘On the worst night of London rioting almost every shop in Clapham Junction was ransacked – except one. The bookshop.’

Someone with basic Photoshop skills tried to manipulate the situation, but the results were quite poor.

looters

Jokes aside, the guys at Waterstone’s reacted the best way ever: with irony, wittiness, and bright words:

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They were not new to this. Check the following tweets.

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And the in-store jokes.

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And, last but not least, this billboard I spotted the other day at some tube station. Aesthetically speaking, it is indeed one of the worst looking billboards ever (together with CHAOS by Sylvester Stallone, pictured below): mainly black, no attractive women featured, no images. Still, a great piece of advertising.

waterstones_billboard

 

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The result is an increase in buzz, brand awareness, virality and, ultimately, sales. GENIUS.

What do you think?
London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Luxury Beauty Brands 2.0 / How to look classy online, feat. “Snooki” Polizzi, L’Occitane en Provence, The Sanctuary and Josie Maran.

I don’t have a TV set. The last time I had one I was at uni. It was 1997. The other day I went to visit a friend; he’s got a TV set, and suddenly I found myself channel surfing like a young Leroy “The Masochist” Smith in Big Wednesday.

After a little while, I sat and wondered:

snooki

It looks like there are way more Snookis, WAGs, Tulisas, Geordie Shorettes, TOWIE-sque beauties out there than Carole Bouquets, Audrey Hepburns and Zooey Deschanels.

Moreover, brands often – even plush ones – when it comes to social media, tend to adapt their image to the latest trend, which means that several times they end up looking like a chav, i.e. a not very classy individual with an expensive Burberry cap.

It’s true, thanks to gangsta rappers and Reality TV stars now luxury brands are much more ‘street’ than before, LOL and YOLO and the rest, but still, a luxury brand should stay true to its roots and perpetuate the purest ideals of beauty, elegance, and excellence (that means Coco Chanel is a good style icon, Nicki Minaj is not).

So, if you really need to give it a twist, use your brain.

Want to depict immortal beauty and allure? Ask Ellen von Unwerth to take care of the photoshoot, just like The Sanctuary did (and yes, you are right, we created their website ;)).

sanctuary

Want to engage your customers and keep them coming back for more? Choose culture, nature, healthy recipes and Vintage Posters of Provence, instead of OMG-scandal-scoop-unseen-footage-blah-blah-bloody-blah.

Look at L’Occitane en Provence on Pinterest, for instance.

occitane

Want to use Instagram in a different way? Stop posting pictures of parties with Rihanna and Drake, and give us some real pictures, like Josie Maran. She’s a mom and a business woman, and found a way to make these traits live together; moreover, her Instagram images show a brand’s human face, and the real deal, i.e. how to look cool and well-groomed even if you have to take care of a wild 1-year-old baby.

josiemaran

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Justin O’Shea, the man who stole the limelight at Paris Fashion Week.

It’s Paris Fashion Week. Everybody knows it. La Ville-Lumière shows its immortal beauty and allure, the designers are showing their pieces of art, the most beautiful models show off, the bloggers are simply showing up, for no apparent reason. Paparazzi, limos, celebrities, glamour, and rivers of champagne. C’est tout simplement magnifique.

But there is a man everybody’s talking about, more than the weather, the traffic, Carmen Kass, Stella McCartney’s polar mission, and Hollywood stars, put together: Mr. Justin O’Shea, Buying Director of the luxury online store mytheresa.com. Our friend Sennait, international account executive at Matthew Williamson, in Paris for the event, told me the other day: “Every girl is going crazy over him, at #PFW!”

So here he is, the man himself.

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What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Fashion, photography, and too much wine / The best SS 2013 fashion ad campaigns.

Last night I had a lovely chat with Sennait Ghebreab, a lovely young lady working as an international account executive, at Matthew Williamson. After a few drinks I tend to talk about my personal life and – I don’t know why – photography. Sennait first listened politely to my personal life-related issues, then told me about her favourites SS 2013 fashion ad campaigns.

Et voilà

1. Givenchy / Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

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2. Lanvin / Steven Meisel

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3. Alexander Wang / Steven Klein

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4.Balenciaga/ Steven Meisel

 balenciaga

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I personally prefer last year’s campaign, which I find AMAZING.

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5. Out of competition / super partes: Marc Jacobs / Juergen Teller

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Once again, I prefer the punk-ish little sister campaign – Marc by Marc Jacobs, by Juergen “THEBESTEVER” Teller

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What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.