UK stores start putting Iconeme’s shopper-tracking beacons in mannequins

Interesting article on how iBeacon technology is being used for both customer convenience as well as brand data building. Worth the read!

Gigaom

Three British retail outlets have begun using a technology called VMBeacon in their store mannequins, so that shoppers with the appropriate app can check details about the clothes that the mannequins are wearing, and the stores can learn more about their shoppers.

The VMBeacon, from tech and design company Iconeme, can be programmed by the retailer through a secure web portal, so that shoppers will see details like prices or links to the retailer’s website, or information about where in the store the relevant item can be found. The first outlets to use it are a House of Fraser store in Aberdeen, a Hawes & Curtis in London, and a Bentalls in Kingston upon Thames.

The Iconeme app will alert users when they are within 50 meters of a VMBeacon, telling them what content is on offer. The system uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a type of Bluetooth connectivity…

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Twitter Releases Insights to EVERYONE!

About bloody time!

This is fantastic news for us stat nerds as we can finally get some more insight into our tweets and brand reach. Long gone are the days where a brand tweets and we don’t have much insight into where it lands. Twitter has now introduced a Twitter Dashboard that all brands must check out.

Twitter Insights

Great insights with full understand of your followers. This allows brands to find opportunities with potential cross branding campaigns and help find key brand influencers.

Twitter Dashboard 2

The Twitter Cards are a nice feature which give your bosses a more visual look at how your brand is performing online, plenty of fancy graphs to sink your teeth into.

How to access the dashboard

Get started by logging into analytics.twitter.com with your Twitter username and password.

Note: To view these analytics, your account must be at least 14 days old.

Introducing Hyperlapse, Instagram’s Latest Creation!

Hyperlapse

Instagram videos haven’t really taken off like Instagram would have liked. Videos don’t have as high engagement as images due to the videos not loading up quick enough and also, generally speaking Instagram videos from brands just are not done right.

Instagram has released Hyperlapse which can only be used on iPhones which works like time-lapse. This will allow brands to shoot better quality videos and allow for more content in the videos.

I see this working really well for retail brands at fashion shows, behind the scenes at shoots, a day in the life of an employee etc.

I can’t wait to see brands using this new feature and seeing what they come up with. Time to get more creative social content developers and get filming.

To watch a video of how this works and can be used click here -> http://vimeo.com/104409950

Twitter Favourites, brands watch out!

For the past few years I have been telling brands that they must acknowledge any digital mention in social channels they’re active in.

With Twitter’s most recent change brands need to rethink this strategy and execution slightly.

Twitter Change:

Tweets you favourite will be shared to your community, much like how a RT works.

There’s been plenty of hate projected at Twitter for this change from it’s users. It’s an odd change as the RT button is there for that. I don’t quite get the change, I’m not sure if it’s here to stay but for now, brands need to think twice about Favouriting all tweets as it will become very annoying to those that follow the brand.

Twitter Hate

In light of this change, I recommend that brands @reply to all direct and in direction mentions on Twitter and only favourite those that you’re happy the whole community will see.

If you are favouriting, think about this will affect your Twitter followers. If you favourite 30 things in a row, this will clog up your users feed which is a negative brand experience and one that I would avoid.

How do you think this change will affect brands and Twitter users?

Instagram releasing analytics… awesome and about time!

This is music to our ears, Instagram is set to release reporting analytics much like Facebook Insights. This was bound to happen with Instagram engagement being so high and the fact that Facebook own them.

The plan for Instagram is to start rolling this out and have it available in 2-3 months for everyone. They have not said this is only available for USA, so I’m looking forward to seeing this.

Action Insights: Great insights into how your posts are performing. This will help brands pin point best content and best times to post.

Instagram Insights

 

Ad Insights: Australia is yet to have ads on a wider scale, however they are available for some of the big boys. Each Instagram ad gets approved by the owner of Instagram, so I can’t imagine these will be rolled out to everyone for a while. However when they do this is what you will see in insights.

Ad Insights

 

The above looks great and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into these analytics.

Happy Friday!

404 Error Pages, don’t waste this chance.

Website visitors will from time to time land on a 404 Error page and whilst these pages now have branding on them there’s still a chance to make these better.

There are many reasons why users will land on these pages (products out of stock, page no longer exists, campaign has ended etc), understanding that this in inevitable your 404 error pages need to be on point. Looking through most brand 404 error pages I have realised that whilst they’re not all that bad, most brands are missing the opportunity to give the customer a better brand experience.

404 Error Page Example

 

Like above some brands go for humour and that’s great if it’s on brand.

What’s common place?

Most brands are creating 404 error pages that are branded and look nice enough. However rather than showing up nothing brands should treat this like a shop front window and put their best foot forward.

Sports Girl 404 Error Page

Nike 404 Error Page

What to do?

Brands have an opportunity to show off;

  • New Arrivals
  • Category blocks
  • Videos
  • Best sellers
  • Social feeds

Each of the above can be done and some easier than others, but are all no brainers and at least one of the above should be chosen. By executing one of the above your error pages will now have the ability to create sales and won’t leave the customer confused or annoyed that they ended up nowhere.

I personally like the thought of having dynamic ‘what’s hot right now’ products to show up on this page.

BlackMilk Clothing are doing it right 🙂

Black Milk Clothing

Dissecting Frank.

Frank has taken Australia by storm and I wanted to take a closer look into what they have done to become so successful so quickly. Yes a lot has to do with the product being great, with that being known, it was then about getting it out to the masses. How this was done I don’t know, so the below is more speculation but something I think has happened.

Frank, tell me if I’m wrong? 😛

Frank Hero

What does Frank do?

Frank is a body scrub with the attitude of the brand being a man and a very cheeky flirtatious man at that. The fine line between creepy and sexy is that girls are writing this, so the cheeky tone works and comes across as fun, flirtatious and spot on.

Instagram

Frank’s claim to fame. Frank’s Instagram account has the biggest following of all their accounts and this is because of one simple yet naughty strategy.

Get Frank in the hands of babes and get them to post a picture of themselves using it in the shower or bath with the hashtag #letsbefrank

This seems so simple and it is, it took off and soon all girls were stripping for Frank and were proudly sharing it on Instagram. What did Frank do next, he went and regramed all the sexy ladies onto Instagram which did a few things;

  1. Put Frank in the hands of beautiful humans (boys and girls). Aspirational marketing
  2. Showed that everyone is doing it so you should also
  3. Created a faithful and engaged community around the product.

Alongside of regrams Frank also users beautiful images of women and puts flirty, sexy, naughty comments under them. Frank says what we’re all thinking.

Facebook

Frank’s Facebook users the same strategy as Instagram. It’s growing organically and has done quite well within Facebook’s current like climate. As Facebook is becoming increasingly harder for brands to get traction this hasn’t had the same momentum or engagement as Instagram. That being said their like count is impressive, but they’re engagement isn’t so impressive.

Average Post TAT Rate: 2%
What I think brands should aim for: 4% – 5%

Frank Facebook

Franks images are different on Instagram to Facebook which is great, however all posts are wall posts and for better reach there needs to be more albums.

Frank’s response time for answering questions is great and it appears the team running this account don’t sleep as they respond in out of business hours and post in out of business hours. Solid job all round.

I believe Frank is on Facebook just because. I don’t feel it’s a major part of their online strategy. It’s growing organically and they would be happy with that.

Pinterest

Again, Frank’s Pinterest account doesn’t have the size that Instagram does, however the boards and pins are fantastic. I see this more as a channel they’re playing in because they feel they need to be.

Frank Pinterest Board

Frank’s content is great and if you’re on Pinterest go and give them a follow. Pinterest is a creative space that can drive sales. As they’re playing in this space I can only assume it’s driving website visits and sales.

Cheeky which is very much inline with the Frank tone and branding.

Twitter

Frank’s Twitter channel is going really well. Frank is listening and responding like a pro and has quite a decent size of followers for Twitter. This and Instagram is where they spend most of their time and it’s proving to be working really well.

They’re sharing directly from Instagram which isn’t Twitter friendly so that could be picked up. Frank should be either natively uploading images to Twitter or be using ITTT which will help them to do this automatically.

Email

I signed up and wasn’t amazed by their email signup process. This is something that could be improved. The branding is lost as they’re using MailChimp’s off the shelf double opt in method.

I would like to see better branding on these emails. Frank’s in a great position to have fun with these emails which they’re currently not.

Frank Welcome Email

Loyalty

There’s no loyalty as such. They’re loyalty relies solely on the product and the ‘Frankfurts’ proudly showing off their product. I do feel this is an area Frank could improve on as there’s an opportunity for Frank to really increase sales.

Conclusion:

Overall Frank is doing a great job on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and a decent job on Facebook. Improvements with email, loyalty and website is where there’s opportunity to improve.