Category

Retail; E-Commerce

Retail Week Tech.Awards – We Won Silver!

By | Basket abandonment, Business, E-commerce, Fashion, Fit; Online Shopping, Online conversion, Online optimisation, Online optimization, Retail, Retail; E-Commerce, Social proof
Taggstar social proof Jacamo

Taggstar social proof at Jacamo

We’ve not yet come down from cloud nine after being awarded silver, in the ‘Best Online User Experience Initiative’ at the Retail Week Tech.Awards in London last Thursday.

This was a joint award with our fantastic retail partner N Brown Group, (Jacamo, SimplyBe and JD Williams).

We’ve been working together since the middle of 2016, when we added our social proof messaging to the three websites.  Click-through to the SimplyBe product pages for example, and you’ll see our real-time social proof messages in action.

We know (because we can prove it through extensive A/B testing), that products showing Taggstar social proof messaging have better conversion rates, than products that don’t. And we’ve worked hard with the N Brown team to get the messaging and positioning perfect.

You can read the story behind our entry here.

Not every category had a silver award, and competition in our field was fierce, so we feel very special. Congratulations to winners MADE.com and Hullabalook, plus all the other shortlisted retailers.

What’s more, we’ve been shortlisted (again with N Brown) for two more retail industry awards. They’re both due to be announced before Xmas.

Wish us luck!

Taggstar is a Finalist for the Retail Systems Awards ‘Online Solution of the Year’

By | Basket abandonment, Business, E-commerce, Fashion, Fit; Online Shopping, Long tail merchandising, Online conversion, Online optimisation, Online optimization, Retail, Retail; E-Commerce, Social proof

We’ve won our second award shortlisting of the year for our work with N Brown Group.

Our social proof messaging, used on its e-commerce brands Jacamo, JD Williams and SimplyBe, has been nominated as a finalist for the Retail Systems Awards ‘Online Solution of the Year.’  These awards recognise technology excellence and innovation within the retail sector.

The N Brown/Taggstar online solution was also nominated in June, for the Tech.awards powered by Retail Week. We’re over the moon to be recognised twice.

N Brown Group added Taggstar to its Power Brands Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo in mid-2016. In just a few months, it reported additional revenues of c.£2 million as a direct result of using our technology.  The messages provide what it needs to help nudge customers to buy, improving the sites’ online conversions.  You can read the whole story here.

We’ll find out who’s won both awards in the Autumn.

Five E-Commerce Challenges in Retail That Social Proof Can Fix Today

By | Business, E-commerce, Fashion, Fit; Online Shopping, Online optimisation, Online optimization, Retail, Retail; E-Commerce, Social proof

WE’RE working with a lot of savvy e-commerce brands in online retail that are first to the table when it comes to using software to improve their online sales conversions.  Some have whole teams dedicated to it.

What’s great is that they’re already setup to quickly run experiments proving how our real-time social proof product can increase sales conversion immediately.

However, as we talk to senior, board-level directors, there are more strategic areas where social proof product messaging is helping the business to manage some major e-commerce challenges.

Here are five:

  1. Your basket abandonment rates are too high

No e-commerce site has 100% conversion, and retailers are also struggling with consumers who use the basket as a calculator to pick and sort their shopping before they checkout fewer items. This consumer behavior has seen some retail sites top out at abandonment rates running at between 60-80%.  This is far too high, when tools are now available to bring the rate down and conversions up.

We find that when customers have seen social proof product messages when selecting their product shortlist, abandonment rates are lower and final checkout totals are higher.

Depending on the product you’re selling different messaging may techniques work.  If for example, it’s an on-trend fashion item, messages about the quantity left in stock, or how many people have bought it in the last hour are proven to boost consumer confidence measurably. Or if you’re selling a practical four-slice toaster, we know that showing star ratings near the product is an effective way to nudge consumers to complete the sale.

  1. You need to shift longtail products

We know that selling must-have gadgets while they’re trending, or before a negative press article scuppers sales, is important to your financial results.

We’re also aware that you have a wider product catalogue to keep selling, keeping stock management efficient, and making sure out-of-date versions are sold rather than discounted.

We work with retailers who attach social proof messaging to every single item in their portfolio, making the case to buy even the most mundane light bulb.   Equally, we work with these retailers’ marketing teams to tag, merchandize and promote any item, category or campaign that they need to drive.

Social proof is known to be powerful to sell seasonal products, or for technology that’s about to be updated.

  1. Big ticket items aren’t moving

We’re still in times of relative austerity.

Consumers are very careful with their cash, with year-on-year growth in the quantity bought for retail sales at 0.9%. That’s the lowest growth on the year since April 2013 (UK Office of National Statistics, May 2017).

Research shows that while we’re happy to treat ourselves with small luxuries or to buy in times of absolute necessity, people are more reluctant to shell out on expensive items or packaged holidays.

Given that people visit a site, multiple sites or a product details page more often when they’re unsure about an item, the so-called ‘bursty’ nature of online browsing is also bad news for e-tailers.  A recent joint paper called “The Empirical Economics of Online Attention” (University of California, Harvard Business School and Indiana University, 2016), found that people generally go online in small bursts, before dinner, before bed or heading into work. This makes grabbing consumer attention even harder. Attracting customers is no longer as simple as putting on a sale.

Checking a page multiple times is very common when the item is expensive or a holiday, which is why it’s important to give consumers maximum information and incentive to buy when they’re on-site.

Social proof messaging is designed to give the consumer as much product information as possible. It markets big ticket items effectively, gives customers more reasons about why they’re right to choose the big ticket item, and why the price is right (ratings, reviews, product trending information).

Using behavioral trend information like ‘32 people have bought this in the last week’ and ‘51 people give this item 4 stars,’ gives shoppers the extra on-site support and third party reassurance they need to justify buying a major item.  Telling customers that 1,500 people booked in Turkey in the past week for example, tells them they’re choosing a popular destination and that they might get a bargain.

  1. You’re competing for consumer attention

The same 2016 study also found that we devote more or less the same time to online activity each week.  If something new comes along, we don’t extend our online time, but we shift our attention to the new site at the expense of old sites.

In this framework, loyalty becomes a sensitive subject.  E-commerce sites are frantically competing for consumer attention as website browsing has become what the researchers call ‘filler activity’ – something that’s done in between offline activities like the kids’ homework or cooking.

In these short windows of attention, social proof messaging equips e-tailers with the ability to deliver information directly to customers to engage them before they jump offline.

It’s very important that the messages are customer-focused, which is why we test hundreds of message combinations to understand what works best for a retailer to reduce buy time and to increase overall conversions.

  1. The cost of returns is killing your margins

Fit-related and quality-related returns cost retailers millions in lost revenue and operational expense every year. People also return items because they’ve bought the wrong version or because it’s incompatible. The list goes on.

We’ve formed partnerships with software provider like BazaarVoice and to draw on powerful credible, crowd-sourced information like quality reviews, fit reviews, ratings and purchase history to convince shoppers who’ve wavering about whether a product is right, to make the right choice, first time.

Find out more how Taggstar could support your E-commerce business, and ask about our free trial.  Contact us here.

The UK and international retailers using our product can’t be wrong!.

N Brown Group & Taggstar Shortlisted for Tech.Awards 2017 Powered by Retail Week

By | Business, E-commerce, Fashion, Fit; Online Shopping, Online optimisation, Online optimization, Retail, Retail; E-Commerce, Social proof

N Brown Group and Taggstar have been shortlisted for Online CX Initiative of the Year in the Tech.Awards 2017 powered by Retail Week.  We’re over the moon!

We’ve been working together since the middle of 2016, and added our social proof messaging to the N Brown Group flagship websites SimplyBe, JD Williams and Jacamo.  You can click through to the product pages to take a look at our real-time messages in action.

N Brown Group conversion rate optimisation manager, Finn Christo said that they wanted to add the messages because “We were interested in what motivates us to buy as shoppers, and specifically the FOMO (fear of missing out) factor.  We saw how effective the Taggstar social proof messages were, and started using them across our entire product catalogue.”

It was the first time N Brown had used real-time urgency messages as part of its online customer journey, and the messages told online customers how many other shoppers were looking at each product at a particular moment, and what they had bought.
All three sites showed impressive conversion rate uplift.  And N Brown was able to specifically track an extra £2m+ of additional revenues in just a few months.  You can read the full press release about our software-in-action here.
Taggstar JD Williams social proof

Taggstar JD Williams social proof

COMMENT: Amazon Charts Launches – Social Proof for Our Social Proof

By | Business, E-commerce, Online optimisation, Online optimization, Retail, Retail; E-Commerce, Social proof

Last week, online retail colossus Amazon announced a new feature in its book sales called Amazon Charts. In case you missed it, this chart has been billed as a ‘new’ bestseller list, giving users a top 20 list of the ‘most read’ books on Amazon. The data combines both how much these titles are read on Kindle and listened to via Audible.

Amazon Kindle: Data included in social proof chart

Moreover Amazon will now also publish a ‘most sold’ top 20 list, including books sold, pre-ordered and borrowed each week on Amazon.com, Audible and Amazon Books. As time passes we’ll also see other selective stats and data about their sales.

Avid Amazon shoppers will ask what’s changed? Amazon has long-published lists, but this announcement shows a richer reliance on the data that it’s continually collecting as sales are made, and replaying that to add value to the online sales experience. What’s key is that the data wholly-belongs to Amazon by way of the opinions and behaviors of its millions of customers. From a branding point of view, Amazon is reinforcing its position as the leading online book retailer each time these stats are used – and undoubtedly replayed in the media and other sources.

Amazon sells millions of books each day, so as a game of numbers alone, it’s already viewed as a credible source. But what excites us about this announcement is that these charts are using social data first and foremost. Amazon is promoting information about what others are reading as way to encourage more sales. This works by using the wisdom of crowds to influence the behavior of new or returning customers.

Add to this that most of us have shopped on Amazon in the last few months, and probably know other people that have also used the site, so by mining and replaying the preferences of previous customers back to new visitors, we’re being giving recommendations by ‘people like us,’ making us feel more comfortable about the buying decisions we might then make. Amazon is adding value on-site, and therefore also reducing the likelihood that book buyers will go elsewhere.

According to the TechCrunch report, the data points presented will be selective.  This makes sense. We expect that Amazon will use the latest data to support seasonal or other marketing campaigns, but it will also be interesting to see what site’s algorithms show us according to the behavior of real-time customers.

It’s great to see more retailers show a deeper reliance on socially-sourced factual data.  At Taggstar, we work with the principle that the opinion of the crowd is always stronger than an individual, and are rolling out new ways of applying real-time social proof data to some of the web’s largest brands.

We already have a ‘top sellers’ feature available to Taggstar customers, which collects and presents data in the form of real-time messages sourced from the crowd, without the bias of the retailer.  We know from our testing that this is statistically-proven to improve sales.

You can read a recent example how we’re helping retailers and their customers to make better buying decisions using crowd-sourced trends here, as Finn Christo, online optimisation lead at N Brown explains.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on how Amazon develops its social charts.

Want to try Taggstar’s social proof messages yourself?  Drop us a line here.

Taggstar JD Williams social proof

N Brown Grows Online Sales by £2m with Taggstar’s Social Proof Messaging

By | Business, E-commerce, Fashion, Fit; Online Shopping, Online optimisation, Online optimization, Retail, Retail; E-Commerce, Social proof

Retailer Signs Contract After Trial Shows Significant Sales Uplift

23 May 2017 – Leading digital fashion retailer N Brown Group, has generated additional revenues of c.£2m in just a few months by adding social proof messaging from e-commerce conversion optimisation specialists, Taggstar.  Messaging was added to the group’s Power Brands Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo in mid-2016. The test showed impressive revenue uplift across the three sites that was directly linked to the customers who saw the Taggstar messages, leading the retailer to sign an ongoing contract.

Taggstar social proof

Taggstar social proof messaging at SimplyBe

N Brown began using Taggstar across the brands in mid-2016, testing the social proof messaging software over a 90-day period, and showing more than 12 million unique messages. Customers saw information about how many other people were looking at a product at a particular moment, or what other shoppers had bought. The messages increased customer confidence by providing transparent information about product popularity, and encouraged browsers to move down the purchase funnel.

N Brown Group conversion rate optimisation manager, Finn Christo said: “We were interested in what motivates us to buy as shoppers, and specifically the FOMO factor.  We saw how effective the Taggstar social proof messages were, and started using them across our entire product catalogue.”

Results from using the messaging were excellent. Sales attributed to the Taggstar messages added additional revenue of c.£2 million across the three sites, with Simply Be alone increasing its conversion rate by up to 2.7%.

N Brown and Taggstar continue to work together and have now signed a new contract to increase use of the messages and to test different combinations. The Group Optimisation team says that it will begin to deliver its social proof message roadmap immediately.

N Brown Group has adapted to drive improved online sales. Its online power brands Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo have an aggregated 1.8m active customers every year. It also uses Taggstar partners BizarreVoice and Monetate and is excited to try the two solutions together.

Taggstar social proof Jacamo

Taggstar social proof at Jacamo

Taggstar’s CEO Marjorie Leonidas said: “Our social proof messages give consumers the confidence to make more informed decisions when shopping online. We turn huge amounts of e-commerce trends into useful, actionable information to improve customer engagement and increase sales.”

With overwhelming online choice, Taggstar captures recommendations, ratings and real sales trends from others to guide customers down the purchase funnel. It’s statistically-proven to increase sales conversions of popular selling items and thousands of long-tail products.

Read the Essential Retail Q&A with Finn Christo, N Brown here.

Can Social Proof Messaging Solve The Problem of Fit in Online Fashion?

By | E-commerce, Fashion, Retail, Retail; E-Commerce, Social proof

We work with a number of fast fashion e-tailers, who all agree that one consumer mega trend is causing their businesses a problem – fit.

This isn’t new news, but as fashion and apparel sales have become the fastest-growing e-commerce category – second only to consumer electronics – it’s become more common and pressing. 2014 figures from Forrester said that the online return rate for a retailer is 20 to 30 per cent, and about twice the rate of goods bought in-person, in-store.

Online fashion sales are huge, and it’s a pain point for retailers as much as consumers when ill-fitting clothes bought online are returned. For consumers, the anticipation, optimism and excitement of their new purchase goes sour; and for online retailers, fit-related returns cost millions in terms of lost revenue and the extra operational expense needed to ship and process. Moreover, according to Gartner, fewer than half of returned online goods sell at full price again, dealing retailers a double blow.

Revenues lost from returns are of course only half of the problem. When customers are unsure whether an item will fit in the first place, they’re less likely to convert.

Technology suppliers have of course not been shy in trying to solve the problem. There’s now a range of tools to try and support consumers – everything from manual measurement input, to digital fitting rooms, to complex algorithmic solutions which meld fit data to recommend which size an online fashion shopper should pick. And yet the black-bagged returns are still coming back.

The retailers that we talk to say that this is partly inevitable. There is always going to be a chunk of the market who will buy multiple sizes and send the ill-fitting one back. It’s an unfortunate behaviour that’s evolved with fashion e-commerce.  The introduction of new technology won’t automatically reverse the trend either.  If you’re a shopper who’s habitually returning unwanted items, you’re not going to trust a new widget straight-away. We know that standard sizes and body shapes are all different.

High return rates are also partly to do with limited technology adoption. Once fit technologies are added, a behavioural change is needed to actually get shoppers to engage. Some tools need shoppers to take an extra step in their online purchase journeys, but for fast fashionistas who want to get online, get it and get out, that’s also possibly a step too far.

Where fashion e-commerce has exploded, online returns have followed suit, and retailers are now having to catch up.  It’s tough, but as customer-centric businesses, retailers have to make it work.

It seems that whether a clever, automated tool or one that needs manual input, sales conversions will only go up, and returns go down when shoppers actually trust the information that they’re getting. Which is where crowd-sourced, behavioural information like quality reviews, fit reviews, ratings and purchase information are powerful.

There’s little that we can do about the habitual returners who are likely to carry on buying and returning.  However, for the mass of shoppers in who aren’t sure about fit, and are dropping out of the purchase journey because of it, the more information that we can give them the better, making them more likely to trust in their product choices and therefore more likely to convert.

That’s the principle that effective social proof messaging should live and die by for fast fashion e-commerce. Fashion is the one retail niche where consumers are more likely to have a friend or family member to back them up when they’re shopping in-store. The benefit is that if they can’t see how tight the dress is around their thighs, then their friend is sure to tell them.  We lose this third party reassurance when we shop online, which is where social proof messaging fills the gap, providing crowd-sourced support for e-commerce fashion choices.

Social proof messaging can be tagged to every item on a retail site, and shoppers shouldn’t need to look for it. Real-time information should be shown with the product page, helping to build trust and add value with third party reviews about fit, quality (or any other issue that retailers need to address).  If the crowd agrees that an item comes up small, they’re arguably more reliable than a prep-programmed app.

It’s a non-disruptive, information injection that is working for the fashion e-tailers that Taggstar works with. For example, they tell us that by letting customers know on the product page that the item fits tight (and therefore to buy a size larger), customers are less likely to buy two of the same item and to return the ill-fitting one. This stops retailers losing margins on the item that is kept.

Additionally, having information about fit on the product page has also shown to increase sales conversions because these social proof messages actually help build customer confidence to buy rather than abandon.

To find out more about Taggstar for your fashion site, get in touch.

Taggstar Partners With Quill to Boost E-commerce Conversions for Retailers

By | Business, E-commerce, Fit; Online Shopping, Online travel agent, Retail; E-Commerce

20 March 2017 – We’re delighted to announce that Taggstar has inked a partnership with Quill, the primary content specialist, to provide online retailers with a dual offering to boost conversion rates at the all-important penultimate stage of the purchase journey.

One of the biggest challenges retailers face, both in the UK and internationally, is securing conversions – ensuring that website browsers become buyers.

The barriers to online conversion are numerous, ranging from a lack of informative product description content – with 1 in 5 consumers failing to make a purchase because of incomplete product information*– to simple customer inertia and a myriad of product choices.

This partnership unites Quill’s ability to create high-quality pre-purchase primary content (including detailed, persuasive product descriptions) at scale, and Taggstar’s ability to serve highly-relevant, galvanising messages in real-time on product pages – for example, to alert shoppers to trending, popular or low-stock items at just the right time to drive conversion.

The result is a complementary offering that enables retailers to drastically improve their e-commerce performance.

Online retailers will now be able to leverage Quill’s specialist multi-language content production service and Taggstar’s real-time social messaging in tandem. This will help them to deliver an improved experience to consumers – and, crucially, to overcome the challenge of driving high levels of conversion in a tough e-commerce environment.

Want to find out more about how Quill and Taggstar can help to improve conversion rates on your e-commerce website? Get in touch.

About Taggstar
With overwhelming online choice, Taggstar captures crowd-powered, ratings and real sales trends from others to guide customers down the purchase funnel. It’s statistically-proven to increase sales conversions of popular selling items and thousands of long-tail products by an average of 2.7%.

About Quill
Quill produces quality digital content for businesses to use on their websites and social media. Quill specialises in primary content – the critical pre-purchase information that converts browsers into buyers (such as product and category descriptions, and buying/how-to guides), driving revenue and profit by improving conversions, basket size, SEO and product return rates.

*  https://www.nngroup.com/articles/product-descriptions/

Taggstar’s Black Friday Report: The Impact of Social Proof on Black Friday in 2016

By | Business, E-commerce, Fashion, Fit; Online Shopping, Online travel agent, Retail; E-Commerce

Taggstar provides real-time, social proof messaging for e-commerce to drive increased sales conversions and revenue along with better customer engagement and a reduction in basket abandonment.

Each year we look at how our messages performed for e-commerce sites using Taggstar on Black Friday. We love to compare the role social proof messaging plays year-on-year. It’s a fascinating case in shopper behaviour to see how the transparent buying patterns of shoppers improve the sales conversions of others.

In 2016, we delivered close to a staggering 120 million real-time social proof messages for customers on some of the UK’s largest online retailers, which contributed to increasing revenue.

When there are so many bargains to be had, we can see that our messages are helping shoppers to make a quicker, more confident decision to buy. In fact, during Black Friday 2016 we saw sales conversion rate uplifts of up to 3.75 per cent based on A/B testing of all e-commerce sites using Taggstar.

For the full results and extra social proof tips to apply to your site as you prepare for Black Friday 2017, read The Taggstar Black Friday Report 2016

Comment: How to Use Social Proof to Optimize Programmatic Ad Spend

By | Basket abandonment, Business, E-commerce, Fit; Online Shopping, Online travel agent, Retail Week, Retail; E-Commerce

Yesterday we announced Taggstar’s new partnership with Jivox, leaders in dynamic personalised digital advertising. The news takes the application of our real-time messaging into a new market.  It’s a market that might not have heard of Taggstar, so we wanted to say hello and to offer a bit more in the way of explaining the concept of social proof.

Social proof is what Taggstar’s messages provide. In simple terms, when people see other people taking an action and benefiting from it, they tend to do the same. It’s the concept behind items that are trending (think last year’s ‘hoverboards’), or why people jump on a hashtag. Behind the scenes, our software aggregates product trends as people browse online.

By harnessing this data, e-tailers can show visitors to their website (or through adverts and social media posts), that other normal people just like them, really enjoy a product or service. That provides social proof that you’re providing a popular service or selling a good product.

Social proof itself is a perfect way to set internet browsers into action. If you can show visitors that there are other people out there, just like them, taking advantage of your offer and really enjoying the results – they’re likely to want to take advantage too.

It doesn’t matter whether they are on or off-site and what your action is, it might be a purchase, a download, or you simply need to get them to your site in the first place.

Think about reviews as an example: Why do you think the products with the highest reviews perform the best? The number of stars that appear on a product page give the shopper social proof that the product they’re looking at is right for them, so they buy it. Taggstar aggregates these reviews so that shoppers don’t have to click through one-by-one.

After you’ve read through this article, take a random search on Shop Direct’s website, Very.co.uk or on Thomas Cook’s website (both Taggstar customers) . You’ll start seeing how it uses trends, reviews, hot selling items and other messages to deliver social proof.

However, browsers don’t need to be on your website to see social proof. That’s what’s exciting about today’s announcement with Jivox.  The behaviour of your shoppers and trends around your products can be pulled into ongoing digital advertising optimisation and solid marketing strategies.  Think: “Oh it must be good if they’re featuring it!”

That simple thought process makes the user more likely to convert. Even more so if the product is relevant to them. For example, if a product is trending, something a visitor has looked at before or similar to another item, the trend data can be pulled into an ad to persuade them to look again, or visit the site for the first time.

By posting positive (or even embedding) positive product trends and reviews into your adverts you’re showing new visitors that other people, just like them, have enjoyed your product or service.

Not only will this help browsers to become more familiar with your brand and begin to trust your products even more, but you can also give that same impression to users on your website.