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Online and On Brand

Online and On Brand

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Published by Beth Lawrence
Web 2.0 and the new marketing techniques
Web 2.0 and the new marketing techniques

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Published by: Beth Lawrence on Mar 28, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/01/2013

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Online and on brand
Web 2.0 and the new marketing techniques
 
Online and on brandWeb 2.0 and the new marketing techniques
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Creating the ideal site
We know that the luxury consumer wantsconvenience and personalisation, but yetstill have that luxury experience. So whynot create the ideal site which is aseamless brand extension allowing you todifferentiate? To some extent, luxury isalready doing this, although this is only arecent phenomena. Stephen Blumberg,Worldwide Director of E-Marketing atGucci, on his recent podcast with imediamentioned that two years ago Gucci onlyadvertised in print and that just 18 monthsago it set up its first e-commerce site.
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 A website is more than a catalogue. It is achannel to sell, both to existing customersand to potentially new ones, particularly inmarkets where you do not have a physicalpresence. Further, you can have regularand cost effective (two-way)communication with consumers. Finally, itis a twenty-four seven advocate andoracle for the brand that allows theconsumer to control how they interactwith it; allowing them to interact on theirown terms and to the level of detail thatsatisfies their own needs. There are a few hallmarks for a successfulwebsite:An aesthetically pleasing layout withinformative and engaging content that iseffortless to readSimple, intuitive navigationRich content when the user chooses toprobe more deeply about a specificproductSeamless integration with the offlineexperience You are the experts on aesthetics andengaging copy, but here we offer yousome simple guidelines on navigation, richcontent and online-offline integration. Andwe will take you beyond this into theworld of web 2.0 with opportunities topersonalise your site and build in elementsof sharing or communicating around thecontent - key trends that we haveidentified from research across Europe,the US and the advanced internetmarkets in Asia.
Natural navigation
 The key to navigation is to remove allbarriers to consumers making a purchaseor finding out about a product or service. The site should also help customersdevelop the criteria they use to evaluatewhich products or services best suit theirneeds - colour, size, availability, price andso on - help them find the information, andthen allow them to compare their options tocome to a decision. Achieving intuitivenavigation requires three things: clear sitestructure, unambiguous menu labelling, andeffective search. Let’s take each in turn. A clear site structure is important tominimise click distance (the number of clicks to reach desired content, and a keyreason why people give up on sites) andto ensure users always know where theyare within the site and how to get back.‘Breadcrumbs’ show users where they arein the site and allow them to click back toany stage in the navigation process. Youwill have seen these in the corner of sitesyou have navigated displayed ashyperlinked menu labels with ‘>’ signsbetween each label. Navigation to andfrom shopping baskets or wish listsshould also be as seamless as possible. Although not luxury sites, eBay and Amazon have invested much time andresearch in getting this ‘journey’ right andprovide useful lessons - the call to actionshould be prominent on all pages, and itshould be easy for the user to navigate
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www.brandchannel.com/features_effect.asp?pf_id=33#more
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www.imediaconnection.com/podcast/iMediaConnection_Podcast_171.mp3
Introduction
One billion consumers are online. Web 2.0 has redefined the rules of marketing andwhat your customers expect from you. Today's consumer is internet savvy and expectschoice. Whether they're doing the family's weekly shop, indulging in a bit of 'windowshopping' or splurging on the latest designer bag, customers' expectations both on andoff line are higher than ever. We're all time short and cash rich (theoretically) and theinternet is the perfect tool from which the retail industry can benefit. Surely we shouldbe able to indulge in retail therapy whenever and wherever we want?Being online is one thing but being on brand is quite another. Most retail companies dohave an online presence, a great website that reflects their values and brand. That’s justthe beginning. It's time to embrace customisation, communities and co-creation.Consumers want convenience, trust and personalisation. The net is no longer arepository of static information used for research, or just a tool for communication andtransactions; its evolution into web 2.0 offers us the technologies and ideas to allowpeople to participate with the information online to make it dynamic and relevant.In this practical guide, using the luxury industry as an example, we tell you how you candevelop your online presence and make sure that your on line brand is everything youand your customers would expect. We show you how to optimise your current sites withsome basic steps that you can get started on straight away; ideas on taking your site tothe next level with sharing and personalisation tips and insights into how other industriesare driving brand awareness through new marketing tools.
 
Online and on brandWeb 2.0 and the new marketing techniques
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back to product pages from the basket orforward to the cashier to pay for goods.Unambiguous category labelling onmenus avoids users navigating to thewrong page and missing the informationthey want. To achieve intuitive labellingyou need to understand how yourcustomers categorise your products andservices. A focus group researchtechnique called card sorting can help youto distil this. Make sure also that the entiremenu is visible above the fold on the page(without scrolling).Effective search functionality is vital. Usersexpect search results to be relevant,refined and rich. In other words, if a usersearches for a black clutch bag they don’texpect to get results that are shoes, or500 hits or 10 hits with no information inthe summary to help choose betweenthem. Feature filtering is a great searchtechnique that users respond well to. You may have seen examples of this onholiday websites - picking dates, alocation, a star rating, a price band and soon from drop down menus. But you cantake it one step further. figleaves.com onlyoffers features within each drop downmenu that are available. By only presenting‘valid’ options customers do not have theoption of refining the search as they goonly to receive a frustrating ‘no matchingproducts’ message or worse arriving atthe cashier to discover their carefullychosen product is not available. As withnavigation, features can be displayed in abreadcrumb trail with the option of removing or changing feature values atany stage. Search should also allowusers to sort the matching products indifferent ways - by price, colour and soon. Crucially, to make search workeffectively you need accurate productmetadata (feature tags attached to eachproduct description). Another new tool to consider is ‘mindsetsearch’. This helps companies identifycustomers with particular interests orshopping aims and cater for their needsmore specifically. At the most basic levelmindset search asks consumers whetherthey are shopping or researching prior toentering their search query. That wayresults are ordered according torelevance to the intent as well as thesearch terms. Yahoo! has released a betasearch application that takes into accountthe degree of each mindset - are you100% researching or only 50% - andre-orders results according to relevancebased on this mindset mix.
 Yahoo mindset search
On figleaves.com users are given a number of items that match their search, andcan then refine the choice using drop down lists which also note the number of items in stock with that given value. If there is a zero next to 'small' for the itemsearched for this allows the user to consider other colours where a small isavailable for example. There is an option to remove previously selected features orchange feature values at any stage. There is a 'breadcrumb' trail of the search,results can be sorted in multiple ways and the view of products can be changed(e.g. number of products shown on one page).
Recommendations - navigation
Ensure your site structure is clear,with minimal click distance andbreadcrumbs to allow users tonavigate back easily.
Understand how your customerscategorise your products andservices, and tailor the menus tominimise ambiguity and maximisequick navigation to the desiredcontent.
Invest in effective product metadatadevelopment and searchfunctionality, considering featurefiltering and mindset search.

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