Archive for December, 2013


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Christmas has been and gone and the January sales are in full swing, but how did the eCommerce world fair within what is often described as the busiest retail period of the year? Initial statistics are good indicating what we all want to hear; its safe to say eCommerce and online sales are on the rise.

That statistics are in…

John Lewis reported that internet orders on Christmas Eve were up 13% on 2012 and Christmas Day sales up 19%, whilst industry experts Experian stated that online sales were becoming more important each year as actual footfall – people visiting High Street shops – was down 7.6% in the week leading up to Christmas, which is in fact due to the increasing popularity of online shopping. A report conducted by the Office of National Statistics concluded that online sales hit a record reaching and overall 11.9% of total sales.

How can growing a growing retail market help me to optimise my website?

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Obviously such news is music to the ears of to ambitious online retailers; a growing audience is a good one to base your business around. However it does mean  that its more important than ever to ensure that your online retail merchandising techniques are truly optimising the potential of your retail platform.  Retail success stories including clients such as Boohoo, Superdry and Tesco, ensure they are doing this by employing Locayta Freestyle Merchandising to upgrade three key elements of functionality on their sites resulting in on average a 19% increase in revenues. Keep reading to see how Locayta’s Site Search, Product Recommendations and Visual Merchandising technologies achieve this.

Locayta’s Intelligent Site Search and Navigation: A fundamental element of functionality is the ability to connect your customer to the product they are looking for. Locayta are able to improve the effectiveness of internal site search on your eCommerce platform with a “Guided Navigation” which works by displaying refinement options from which users can narrow down their search resulting in a significantly reduced number of clicks to purchase for customers.

Locayta Product recommendations:  As one of the most successful merchandising techniques out there, Locayta’s are unique in their ability to use information gathered on your site from individual user behaviour and previous users’ behaviour, to generate highly personalised product suggestions to your customers resulting in increased conversion rates and average basket values.

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Locayta Behavioural Targeting: Responding to and acting on your user’s behaviour on site is essential to ensure you are delivering what they need. Locayta’s technology uses unique behavioural merchandising algorithms to market specifically to users who have previously abandoned your site without purchasing making use of an already engaged audience with high conversion rates.

What are you waiting for?

Amongst the many services available from LocaytaLocayta Product recommendations ,  Locayta Visual MerchandisingLocayta Intelligent Site Search and Navigation and Behavioural Targeting all come fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see them in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com today.

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The January sales play host to some of the busiest trading periods for online retailers with takings reaching their peak for the financial year during this timing. Promotions and sales begin earlier and earlier so as an online retailer, your promotions will be in full swing, but are they performing as you’d like them to? Are sales as expected? Today we’re discussing some of the features employed by award winning online only retailer Boohoo.com, to see how they are maximising their promotions this January with the help of Locayta Freestyle Merchandising®.

The technology…

Locayta Behaviour

Behavioural merchandising is the process of using customer behaviour to place, promote and display products in order to maximize retail sales revenue. This is one of the ways in which Boohoo.com employ Locayta’s online merchandising technology to enhance their promotions, especially during sale and promotion time periods such as January. LocaytaBehavioural Targeting is able to push Boohoo.com’s special offers specifically to those users that are likely to respond positively;  the functionality re-targets to returning users by reviewing your customers’ previous interactions on your site (including incomplete purchases) to make recommendations, helping you to re-engage with your users and in turn generating higher conversion rates and overall lowering acquisition costs. Benefits for online Boohoo.com include less clicks to purchase, increased total online purchases, improved customer satisfaction and retention and greater control over their online sales performance.

A word from Boohoo.com…

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For us the ability to opt in manually where we need to is the key win. Locayta has many automated response functions that can update search results, categories and recommendations – and that’s incredibly useful. But when a new buzz hits the catwalk it’s vital for us to be able to adapt our visual displays and search criteria at a moment’s notice. We can tie our categories and sequencing into a wide variety of trends, colour stories, collections, and special promotions in line with the latest media coverage. For Boohoo it’s all about delivering fast, relevant product placement as well as detailed category and search functionality. Compared with other systems Locayta’s dashboard is simple to use and enables us to do that at the touch of a button.

How to get involved…

The above features from Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® enable online retailers like Boohoo.com to increase their site searchability and product find-ability for their customers, especially during sale periods.   Amongst the many services available from Locayta, the above features come fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see it in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com today.

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Today we’re taking a look back over three of the many new clients that launched with Locayta in 2013 and sharing some direct feedback from from them. Keep reading to hear of some of the benefits of starting up with Locayta Freestyle Merchandising®.

Paperstone

“We have seen a much greater engagement with our search in general – it’s a vast improvement on what we had previously. Locayta Balance Factor® has worked really well for us because we’ve been able to automate a fair amount of control which we previously had to deal with manually. That means our sales people can manage how they use Balance Factor rather than having to go through the development team. It gives them more autonomy and the ability to respond to market factors. It also frees up the development team up to focus on other areas. From the start we always got the sense that Locayta were quite flexible to our requirements. They were willing to build in additional elements to meet our specific needs. It was great to have a direct channel into the technical team. We’ve got an in-house development team here and we build everything ourselves so it was important for us to really understand what goes on under the bonnet. We could talk to Locayta’s developers directly without being blocked by a sales middle man. It’s a vast improvement on what we had previously. The foundation feels like it’s definitely in place. In terms of where we’re going we’re always looking to improve our ecommerce platform, so we’ll be exploring more of the features Locayta in the future.”

IT Director George Harris

Work Wearhouse

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“Locayta provided swift, expert search facilities at a reasonable price. Search is vital for our customers. They tend to come to the site with a particular product in mind. They don’t want to hang around. They want to explore a couple of options, compare price and the like, and then make a fast decision. We used Locayta’s spell correction and synonym functions to achieve accurate search results. Customers can also now search using different criteria simultaneously. I see intelligent faceted search as one of Locayta’s key specialities. Locayta are very customer focussed; if an issue does arise they’ll tell you exactly what’s happening and deal with it quickly. They do have impressive global clients, but they’re also more than happy to help companies like ours, who are smaller but growing fast, with the same dedicated level of respect and service. We’re seeing people spend more time on the site and stay for longer on individual pages. The search experience is quicker and more accurate and that’s an vital factor for us. I’m keen to explore more of what the system can do this year as I’m aware we’re not yet tapping into its full potential.”

 Managing Director  Damon Horney

Nicole Farhi

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“When a customer searched on our site for something that isn’t part of the product database – like delivery details or a store locator – we couldn’t deliver any results. Locayta suggested using synonyms to resolve that issue. In this way we have ensured that a customer never sees zero results, which is important for their user journey. Compared to other agencies I always found that Locayta dealt quickly with support issues” William says. “The correspondence and visibility between their technical team and support managers is always highly apparent compared to others. Locayta have introduced a lot of little improvements. In the back end it’s very straightforward to use with instantaneous results. We still haven’t fully optimized the system, but there’s lots of further potential.”

eCommerce Manager William North

To see the technology in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole visit www.locayta.com today.

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Over the past few years, its safe to say the festive period is starting earlier and earlier. And with this, comes the promotions. The previously well known “January Sales” are starting earlier and earlier each year with most starting a few days prior to Christmas. Whilst this is great for those last minute shoppers wanting to bag gifts prior to festivities, but this means as a retailer it can be difficult to make your promotions stand out in the crowd amongst a busy market place. Ensuring your special promotions get noticed and are enhanced to their utmost effectiveness is a must in order to guarantee sales, revenue and conversion rate increases associated with promotions. With Locayta’s more intelligent and strategic online merchandising tools, you can do just this, to ensure the performance of your promotions will exceed expectations.

How to ehance the effectiveness of your promotions

Uniquely, Locayta offer a variety of features that work to target to specific customers offering a personal shopping experience to them, as well as a convertible audience to you the retailer. This centres around LocaytaBehavioural Targeting. This technology is able to push your promotions specifically to those users that are likely to respond positively;  the functionality re-targets to returning users by reviewing your customers’ previous interactions on your site (including incomplete purchases) to make recommendations, helping you to re-engage with your users and in turn generating higher conversion rates and overall lowering acquisition costs.

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More specifically, Locayta Behavioural Targeting is used heavily in generating personalised Product Recomendations for customers of Locayta clients. Here Locayta generate highly specific product recommendations which occur on site in real time and are updated dynamically, based on both the collective intelligence of the site, as well as on an individual’s past and present behaviour. Whilst this promotes products and offers to customers on-site, what about those who aren’t currently visiting your site? Queue Locayta Behavioural Targeting in Display Advertising. This technology has the unique ability to analyse user behaviour in depth and resultantly places highly likely purchase options and special offer promotions in both advertising display slots online, from banners, to skys and MPU’s. The level of this can be enhanced during the time periods of sale and promotions and the display of your special offers can be scheduled for different times of day and periods of high volume promotions.

The technology in action at Prezzybox.com…

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Locayta client,  Prezzybox.com, have been able to make the most of their promotions with the help of Locayta, “It’s been a revelation. We have total control. We use Locayta’s Balance Factor technology to adjust the weighting of search and category results, meaning that as well as responding to user behaviour we can add our own stock control and promotional strategies into the mix”.  They added, “We have the ability to create filter criteria to match seasonal promotions, gift categories and internal variables. Most crucially, because every decision we make can be applied automatically across every category we’ve eliminated any margin for error and ensured that our customers experience accurate results every time. It’s no exaggeration to say that we saw conversion rates increase overnight when we started using Locayta.

What next?

Behavioural TargetingProduct Recomendations and Display Advertising, all come fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see them in action and find out more on how you can maximise your festive special offers with Locayta Freestyle Merchandising®, visit www.locayta.com today.

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Online shopping has never been bigger, especially in periods of high shopping activity, such as pre Christmas gifting and post promotions and sales. During such volume of online activity, as an eCommerce retailer, its key to maximise potential and drive transactions meaning all aspects of your merchandising are of high importance. Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® is  a dynamic merchandising platform that offers a variety of features including Visual MerchandisingProduct Recommendations, Display AdvertisingLocayta Search,and Behavioural Targeting algorithms, which work by manipulating elements of your retail functionality to personalise your merchandising to optimise your sales.

The Features…

Using the collective intelligence based upon users’ behaviour on-site, Locayta generate individually user by user based personalised Product Recommendations alongside the items currently being browsed . The implementation of relevant, personal and dynamically updated product suggestions to your users, the uptake percentage is dramatically increased, making for a unique and personalised shopping experience every time – a sure fire way to increase your conversion rates. When it comes to Display Advertising, Locayta’s technology analyses the content of the page prior to generating the display advertisement. This insight enables you to target specific customers with specific displays; this can be anything during the seasonal period from festive clothing purchases, party season dressing and gifting. You can tailor your display advertising, product recommendations and general visual merchandising whether is be special offers, one off promotions or selective product ranges, to target your likely to purchase customers. With visual merchandising, Locayta learns from previous user behaviour and manipulates product sequencing.

A user experience…

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Boohoo.com

For us the ability to opt in manually where we need to is the key win. Locayta has many automated response functions that can update search results, categories and recommendations – and that’s incredibly useful. But when a new buzz hits the catwalk it’s vital for us to be able to adapt our visual displays and search criteria at a moment’s notice. We can tie our categories and sequencing into a wide variety of trends, colour stories, collections, and special promotions in line with the latest media coverage. For Boohoo it’s all about delivering fast, relevant product placement as well as detailed category and search functionality. Compared with other systems Locayta’s dashboard is simple to use and enables us to do that at the touch of a button.

For more info…

Display AdvertisingVisual Merchandising and Product Recommendations, all of which are available from Locayta, come fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform and work to enhance your merchandising over the festive period. To see them in action and to find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com.

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The Christmas shopping period provides a great opportunity for retailers, and for 2013, online figures are set to break records. The Centre for Retail Research forecast that “online Christmas spending will break through the 20% barrier, rising to £14.6 billion in 2013 (a rise of 15.8%). The online share of Christmas spending will be 20.1% compared to last year’s 17.7%, meaning that one in five goods will be bought online. UK online retail sales will be higher both in value and as a proportion of all-retail sales than any other country in Europe.”

The report continues, “We expect mobile spending (transactions through tablets and smartphones) to grow to £1.29 billion, with tablet sales growing by 538% (reaching 39.3% of mobile sales) and smartphone transactions to grow by 337%. Mobile ecommerce will be used even more widely to check prices and stock. Mobile is the fastest growing element in the most successful part of retailing and 2013 is expected to see the widest use of mobile eCommerce”.

How to optimise your merchandising over the Christmas period

Whilst increased levels of online retail transactions presents opportunity and prosperity for online retailers, it also presents more and more competition within a market place which is growing fast. Getting your retail merchandising strategy right is of utmost importance in ensuring you’re realising the true sales and revenue potential of your online platform at this time.

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Ensure Promotions are optimised

During this high volume selling period, it is key to ensure your promotions are maximised to drive sales, revenue and conversion rate. With the help of intelligent and strategic online merchandising tools, the performance of your special offer can exceed expectations. Locayta Product Recomendations use Behavioural Targeting to generate highly specific product suggestions which occur on site in real time and are updated dynamically based upon the users previous interactions on site. This tool can be used to highlight special offers and promotions you’d like to push out to your audience.

 

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Introduce and enhance mobile platforms

Locayta Freestyle Merchandising provide a quick and cost effective method of implementing a mobile platform. The technology is able to  translate your  retail offer over to the mobile sector, without requiring changes to your main retail site. Working as a is a click-to-buy iPhone shopping application, Locayta M-Commerce  enables your customers to browse and search your product offering via the mobile application; this includes viewing product detail pages and add or remove items to / from basket. The technology works by storing and indexing your product data independently from your eCommerce site, then directs queries your eCommerce site. When it comes to the point of purchase, your customers are transferred to your eCommerce site.

Get Involved…

Amongst the many services available from LocaytaBehavioural TargetingProduct Recomendations and Locayta M-Commerce come fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see it in action and find out more on how you can maximise your special offers with Locayta Freestyle Merchandising®, visit www.locayta.com today.

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As an online retailer providing a complex product offer to a large consumer market, it can be difficult to ensure your are engaging with your audience and enticing them to shop. Stationary and furniture supplier, Paperstone, have done just this by setting up a new online search and navigation solution with Locayta Freestyle Merchandising.  Keep reading to find out more.

The Problem

IT Director George  Harris at Paperstone explained, “Our previous website had no way to filter products down based on attributes. We were reliant on customers being willing to walk through categories to find what they wanted and drill into the options, whereas now we can use guided navigation. We wanted to add much better functionality to the site improving the search engine and facet navigation. We were lookingto focus very much on the search functions so for us Locayta was a precise and cost effective solution.”

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The Solution

Paperstone implemented Locayta’s Intelligent Navigation. This works with Paperstone’s product data enabling their customers to drill-down into certain refinement options set out by Paperstone, which can be anything from category, brand, price, colour, size, newness and more. Paperstone can then decide which options are displayed to their customers and in which order. Multiple configurations are possible within Locayta’s technology, meaning Paperstone can optimise different types of searches as well as specific search terms.  Another element of Locayta Freestyle Merchandising which enhances Papertone’s existing strategy is Locayta Balance Factor®; using Locayta’s bespoke technology the Paperstone team can manipulate the display of products on their site on category and search results pages to optimise and acheive their current business objectives.

The Results

George reports that Paperstone have “seen a much greater engagement with our search in general – it’s a vast improvement on what we had previously. The technology has worked really well for us because we’ve been able to automate a fair amount of control which we previously had to deal with manually. That means our sales people can manage how they use Balance Factor rather than having to go through the development team. It gives them more autonomy and the ability to respond to market factors. It also frees up the development team up to focus on other areas.” Even though it’s early days George is positive about the impact Freestyle Merchandising has had on site performance. “We’ve observed a much greater engagement with our search in general. It’s a vast improvement on what we had previously. The foundation feels like it’s definitely in place. In terms of where we’re going we’re always looking to improve our ecommerce platform, so we’ll be exploring more of the features Locayta in the future.”

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Your turn…

Alongside many other services available from LocaytaIntelligent Site Search and Locayta Balance Factor are fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. This means you can control other elements including visual merchandising and product recommendations alongside the features discussed today. To see them in action and find out more on Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® services as a whole, visit www.locayta.com for a quick, FREE and easy demo.

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Tesco are one of the UK’s largest growing retail operations, and launching their broad and varying product range online, has experienced unprecedented success. In addition to this, recent months have seen the retail giant roll out its online grocery home shopping business to more than 50 cities overseas, and growth in all markets – including the UK – has reportedly been strong.

So how have they done it? “This performance,” said Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke, “was driven by a further improvement in our food business in-store and a strong contribution from online, which included our biggest ever week for internet sales, a successful first Christmas for Grocery Click & Collect and a better performance for Tesco Direct, our online general merchandise business.” With a strong amount of online focus and competition fierce, Tesco needed to ensure their online retail offer was performing at optimum levels. With a need and desire to offer the Tesco customer a user friendly yet sales enhancing experience online, Tesco turned to Locayta to help optimise their online retail offer with their Product Recommendation technology.

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Locayta’s Product Recommendations

Tesco.com turned to Locayta’s Product Recommendations to help enhance their average basket order values and conversion rates. The technology works by generating  highly relevant and personalised product suggestions which are placed alongside the browsing pages and product detail view pages. Product Recommendations are widely known as one of the most impactful and effective online merchandising tools in the market, but Locayta’s technology is unique in offering an extremely high level of relevancy and personalisation. They achieve this by working in real time and use intelligent behavioural merchandising algorithms to harness collective information based on the user behaviour on Tesco’s site. This information is then used to make relevant and personal product recommendations to the Tesco customer, benefiting both the Tesco online customer, and Tesco as a business.

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Mark Wakeley, Change Manager at Tesco Clothing commented, “Until we launched with Locayta our systems just couldn’t achieve what we needed to do. The ability to control product and accessory recommendations makes sure that customers have fast, convenient access to the products they are looking for, ultimately increasing conversion rates and order values. We’re now moving to the full Locayta system. Freestyle Merchandising is easy to use and you receive full support”. He added,  “We’ve experienced some staff turnover in the past year and Locayta have been quick to respond to the training needs of new people. They take the time to meet with us once a week to look at potential new advances that will tighten our performance further.”

For more information on  Locayta’s Product Recommendations, visit www.locayta.com today.

Cyber-Monday-2012-Sales

We all know that the trend for online shopping is ever growing, with year on year success, it’s quite justifiably seen as the growth area for retail in the future years to come. A direct comparison for this arises with the world renowned shopping days; Black Friday, the busiest shopping day for physical stores, and the following Cyber Monday, where offers and promotions move online. With Black Friday 2013 stats in and Cyber Monday 2013 in full swing today, we take a look at some of the predictions for 2013 following on from the success of Cyber Monday 2012.

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For 2012, an IBM report discovered that Cyber Monday sales increased by 30.3% compared to last year. In addition, “more than 18% of online shoppers used a mobile device to shop online on Cyber Monday 2012, an increase of over 70% from the previous year”; all in all, Cyber Monday 2012 was a historic day for the online retail industry. During this same time period, the traditionally offline retail sales day, Black Friday too,  saw an exceptional growth in online sales. Totally, Cyber Monday remains in peak position.

Another industry expert, Adobe predict for 2013, a 15% increase in Cyber Monday spending, totalling 2.27 billion dollars and 17% increase in Black Friday sales, up to 1.628 billion. 

Why is Cyber Monday growing?

Mobile Shopping:

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The IBM Report went on to claim that, “Mobile sales accounted for approximately 13% of all sales for online retailers, almost double the amount of mobile sales on Cyber Monday 2011”. So as an online retailer, how can you optimise your mobile sales? Locayta Freestyle Merchandising provide a quick and cost effective solution to online retailers wanting to embrace the mobile platform and translate their  retail offer over to their mobile sector. Without requiring changes to their main retail site Locayta M-Commerce  enables your customers to browse and search your product offering via a mobile application; this includes viewing product detail pages and add or remove items to / from basket. When it comes to the point of purchase, your customers are transferred to your eCommerce site. Find out more here >>

Shopping Smarter: 

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Especially surrounding times of big promotions and  optimum shopping periods such as Cyber Monday, consumers are much smarter when it comes to making the most of offers and getting value for money. According to IBM, “the average order value on Cyber Monday dropped 6.6% to $185.12, but the average number of items per order increased 14.1% to 8.34 items”. Online, it is essential that your product positioning works to optimum to serve both your customers wants and your own commercial strategy in promotions. With Locayta’s unique in-house developed technology, Balance Factor, you, the retailer, can maintain, manage and optimise control over your product display on every single page of your eCommerce platform including search results pages and category pages. The technology combines rules based metrics with your own chosen retailing priorities, be it price, margin, newness or stock availability, then analyses your priorities and weights search results and category pages accordingly to the optimum presentation. Locayta Balance Factor® puts you in control of your merchandising and is specifically designed to help you enhance your sales and conversion rates. Find out more here >>

Find out more…

The above technology comes fully integrated into the Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® platform. To see it in action and to find out more about how you can get your business mobile with the help of Locayta Freestyle Merchandising®, visit www.locayta.com today.

Source: http://www.pfsweb.com/blog/cyber-monday-2012-the-results/