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Environmental responsibility and digital: two key points for optimized customer experience 

Environmental responsibility has never been more relevant. According to a study conducted by Oney and OpinionWay on sustainable consumption[1], 90% of consumers expect brands to make a real commitment and help them consume better. While the current health crisis has accelerated this profound shift towards better consumption, it has also put the focus on better communication, which provides greater support and reassurance in a society that is searching for meaning.

How does the digital customer experience serve and strengthen brands’ environmentally responsible actions? What are the two areas where optimization can help to enrich the experience and strike the right balance between commitment and efficiency?

 

Building trust through transparency

In the face of the many recent greenwashing scandals, consumers are no longer as trusting and are wary about brands’ claims about environmental responsibility, which are often perceived as opportunistic marketing tools. It is no longer enough to simply claim to be a green or responsible brand: saying it is one thing, proving it is another. Consumers are well aware how difficult it is for brands to achieve targets such as carbon neutrality and zero waste. Nobody is expected to achieve the impossible, which is why the general public demands transparency above all.

The e-commerce and ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline) booms are proof: digital holds a select position in the buying process. It is essential now for brands to use digital to highlight their commitment and attract consumers’ interest, whether directly on their own websites or via social networks, for example. How can this be done?

  • Through regular updates: news and thoughts about sustainable development (such as the replacement of a material, the optimization of a logistics process or an innovation underway) are steps forward that reflect a real and ongoing commitment.
  • Through relevant certifications and standards: with an ever-growing number in the area of sustainable development, they offer brands an opportunity to back up their claims with tangible, objective evidence, which is always more reassuring for consumers.
  • Through storytelling: history, origins, aspirations and values are all ways in which brands can develop their communication strategies to link environmental responsibility with their DNA, give their green actions authenticity and highlight evidence of their commitment.

 

Ensuring coherency, always

According to ADEME, the French Agency for Ecological Transition, the carbon footprint of digital, information and communication technologies is equivalent to that of civil aviation over a one-year period. So how can a responsible digital strategy not be considered when thinking about sustainable development? Digital does not seem to be a real priority in companies’ green transformations, however, unlike production and logistics processes, or offline media, for example.

It should be! Digital makes it possible not only to ensure a constant commitment, but also to reconcile ethical requirements with profitability targets. Which good practices can help integrate environmental responsibility in your digital strategy?

  • An eco-designed website, combining minimalism and performance. From design to integration, and the choice of CMS to hosting, each design stage is an opportunity to deliver sustainable improvements that will lead to a slimline, fast, functional, attractive and even search-engine optimized website.
  • Targeted and personalized marketing campaigns based on big data. This is a very good way to prevent digital pollution, by optimizing the volume of communications, as well as to avoid large numbers of unread emails being stored indefinitely in inboxes.
  • Responsible marketing campaigns in the “age of better consumption”. Competition for Black Friday and sales, where brands are seen as being responsible for uncontrolled consumption (fast fashion, food waste, constant push marketing, etc.), is encouraging them to be more sparing with their promotional offers.

Digital is a powerful tool to increase the number of touchpoints between consumers and brands, and this is a real asset when it comes to convincing people about a topic as sensitive as sustainable development. For some, it is an opportunity to regularly gather a mass of information and experiences, in order to make enlightened choices. For others, it is a chance to build the relationship based on preference and loyalty that consumers expect, step by step.

However, at a time when ethics and authenticity are key, it is essential to bear in mind that environmental responsibility is a long-term investment, where humility and regularity remain the best guarantors of a recognized commitment and a lasting customer relationship.

 

 

[1] https://www.oney.com/etude-consommation-raisonnee/

VivaTech 2021: sustainable development at the heart of strategies, among other things

The leading global tech show reopened its doors with a hybrid online-physical approach: VIVA Technology in Paris, June 2021. This fifth event attracted more than 140,000 visitors (including 26,000 at the venue), and addressed the following topics: global trends through the lens of the pandemic, the positive impact of technology and strengthening of sustainable development strategies. This growing awareness was already apparent at last year’s CES in Las Vegas.

 

Vivatech

Source : echangeur.fr

 

The end of 2020 was all about learning to live with the “new normal”. 2021 could be the beginning of a race, which will probably last several years, to help companies complete their digital transition or transformation, which will be crucial if they are to meet challenges arising from today’s trend of growing respect for people and the planet. More than ever before, this VivaTech show perfectly illustrated this trend.

 

Sustainable development at the heart of companies’ digital transition

In the field of finance, BNP Paribas is engaging with the circular economy. On the one hand, it is offering its customers financing products that promote the growth of the circular economy.

On the other, BNP Paribas has introduced a policy of reducing paper, water and energy consumption, while equipping its employees with electric vehicles and locating its operations in environmentally friendly buildings. In addition, it has joined forces with 3 Step IT to help companies develop a circular economy strategy.

Cécile Gauffriau, Circular Economy Stream Leader at BNP Paribas Personal Finance, explained how the circular economy is first and foremost an opportunity to come up with new services and solutions: maintenance, resale, recycling, repair… New players with business models based on the circular economy have started to emerge: Vinted, Back Market, Charlotte… And many established brands are taking steps towards the circular economy: Ralph Lauren, Levis, Décathlon (rental services), Galerie Lafayette…

 

Vivatech1

 

Another sector that is being driven to transform and deeply integrate sustainable development is the travel industry and aviation in particular, due to its CO2 emissions.

In his speech, Vincent Etchebehere, Sustainability Director at Air France, talked about various actions initiated to meet this challenge, such as renewal of the fleet, eco-piloting (reviewed routes, less polluting take-offs, etc.) and the use of bio-fuels, which could eventually reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 90%. The first long-haul flight with sustainable aviation fuel was completed in May.

Arnaud Coiffard, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at OUI.sncf, spoke about two key points related to this challenge: The market share of train transport in France is 10%, and railways remain a clean form of transport, offering a cause for optimism as we look to meet the challenges lying ahead. However, the SNCF is keeping its eyes on the future, with a new, more efficient high-speed train – the TGV M – for 2024, experimentation with a hydrogen train in 2023, and an eco-comparison tool that is now available on the OUI.sncf website, enabling users to calculate and compare their environmental footprint, journey time and free time on-board.

Both of these companies are aligned with their customers’ expectations, and see the need to join the “fight” (Air France compensates for its carbon footprint through reforestation actions for each ticket sold), compensate for a lack of information about responsible consumption (SNCF: one out of every two French people feel that they are poorly informed about sustainable transport issues) and increase transparency (Air France & SNCF use scientific data produced by ADEME, the French Agency for Ecological Transition, to guide their policies).

These are the keys to success for these two players, in order to embrace the economic recovery while protecting the planet, develop multi-modal transport with a focus on railways and speed up the deployment of alternative fuels.

In order for us to make sustainable development a core part of our strategies, we need to know where we are now and, above all, be able to identify avenues for improvement and measure progress. With this in mind, the movement Impact France presented its ‘Tech for Good Score’ at VivaTech, an assessment tool that offers increased transparency about the social and environmental impacts of tech. For stakeholders, particularly consumers and investors, it is also a means of providing transparency.

Half of the total score out of 100 is based on the Impact Score, the aim of which is to assess the social and environmental impact, as well as the way in which value and power is shared within a company; the other half analyzes the impact of digital on society (inclusion, digital technology education, etc.) and the environment (eco-design, carbon footprint of servers, impact on biodiversity, etc.).

 

Alliances to overcome the pandemic and speed up digital transformation

Following a strategic partnership signed four years ago, Carrefour and Google were able to measure the impacts and benefits of their alliance during the Covid pandemic. Thanks to tools in the Google Workspace suite, Carrefour’s 160,000 employees were able to stay connected, which was absolutely crucial to overcoming the crisis, according to Alexandre Bompart, Carrefour’s CEO.

 

Vivatech2

Source : Frandroid

 

However, this partnership goes much further. Elodie Perthuisot, e-Commerce & Digital Transformation Manager and Data Officer at Carrefour, explained the three main areas of the transformation conducted in collaboration with Google’s teams.

  • Develop an omnichannel experience, with the creation of a digital catalog (20% of customers who go through the checkout consulted the catalog) and the development of Google My Business & Maps, to help customers locate stores and manage store image (20% increase in the NPS), for example.
  • Boost e-Commerceby strengthening collaboration between digital marketing and in-store sales, through data infrastructures, using machine learning to automate processes and, lastly, setting up anti-churn campaigns to ensure customer loyalty (1 customer out of 5 is prepared to switch store chains).
  • Create value using data, for example with a service that personalizes the product assortment in neighborhood stores, based on machine learning algorithms, which compare, analyze and recommend products by gathering data from several similar stores (like the Netflix of product assortment).

 

Google is also present in the luxury industry, through a strategic partnership at the show with the LVMH group and its 70 “houses”, which is aimed at speeding up innovation and developing new solutions based on artificial intelligence and the cloud.

AI will make it possible to improve operations in the area of demand forecasting and stock optimization, as well as create a personalized customer experience. As for Google Cloud, it will contribute to modernization of part of LVMH’s IT infrastructure. Training will also be addressed, with the introduction of a ‘Data & AI Academy’ to grow employee skills in the areas of artificial intelligence and data-based value creation.

In the travel and tourism sector, Amadeus is an ERP system that provides solutions enabling companies to safeguard their businesses and improve the traveler experience.

In early 2021, in order to innovate and provide new products and solutions, Amadeus and Microsoft signed a strategic partnership based on three main areas:

  • Speed up transition to the public cloud (with Azure), in order to adjust its operational capacity according to needs, market conditions and demand;
  • Encourage collaboration between internal and external teams using Microsoft solutions (Teams, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, etc.) ;
  • Promote innovation and joint-development of products in order to create fresh travel experiences.

 

Vivatech3

Source : news.microsoft.com

 

Another hot topic at the conferences, against the backdrop of tensions between Europe and the United States, was the issue of data confidentiality. Three of the biggest representatives of GAFAM – Apple, Facebook and Microsoft – each had a private keynote with Maurice Levy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Publicis Groupe and co-founder of VivaTech.

 

Combining competition, privacy and user security

For Tim Cook (Apple’s CEO), while the GDPR is legitimate and it would be interesting to roll it out at global level, security remains a core issue. In particular, he regrets to see the European Commission’s proposal for a Digital Markets Act, which would oblige the company to provide an alternative to the Apple Store, making it impossible to guarantee user privacy and security.

Regarding efforts to fight against carbon emissions, the company has integrated the entire chain, from suppliers to the end customer, in its approach. Result: the latest iPhone (12) is made using 40% recycled aluminum and 98% of rare minerals are also recycled.

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, has a more ambivalent position. He feels that the regulation is not totally bad and that regulating to stimulate competition and create value is a good thing. This is demonstrated by a recent agreement signed with the French groups Orange and Capgemini to provide the American firm’s cloud technology from infrastructure placed under their exclusive control, out of reach of American extraterritorial laws.

For Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, the future is all about augmented and virtual reality. He sees a world where “There will no longer be any need for televisions and screens. It will be possible to project an image anywhere and anytime using augmented reality glasses.” The California-based firm is currently investing billions of dollars in these two technologies in order to build “an extraordinary future in 5 to 10 years’ time.” “It’s an interesting thought experiment if you take a walk during the day and think: how many things in my life don’t have to exist physically and can easily be replaced by a digital hologram in a world with [technical] glasses.” Great opportunities lie ahead!

 

Vivatech4

Source: realite-virtuelle.com

 

This hybrid event clearly underlined the need to explore the world’s tech shows and discover the latest innovations that seem likely to contribute to the resilience of companies and organizations.

The highest bid wins...or does it really?

If you are involved in digital advertising, you probably know that Facebook’s advertising delivery is based on an auction system. In short, this system determines which ad will appear in a user’s feed.

In a “regular auction”, the winner is usually the one who places the highest bid – this is not the case with Facebook. If you are aware of the factors that determine who is the winner in this type of auctions, I am convinced that you will create a better foundation for successful campaigns. Are you curious to find out what these factors are? Continue reading!

 

2 winners, or maybe even 3?

Facebook’s ads have two goals that aim to make two specific target groups winners. First and foremost, they want their advertisers to reach their set goals for the platform. Without advertisers, the platform’s revenue would be modest as the majority (98%) comes from advertising revenue. The second objective is linked to the users of the platform. Facebook strives to deliver positive and relevant content for each unique user.

If we combine these two factors, it is quite easy to see that there is a third winner in addition to the advertisers and users – Facebook themselves.

 

How does the auction work?

When your ad ends up in Facebook’s auction system, it will compete against other ads aimed at the same defined audience. Because the number of ad slots is limited, the winner will be chosen based on three factors that together make up a total value. The formula for this is as follows:

[Bid] x [Estimated activity rate] + [Ad quality] = Total value

So what determines if your ad will appear is completely based on the “total value” factor. This includes your bid, Facebook’s estimate of how your target audience will react to your ad and how relevant the target audience will find it.

 

Ad Quality

If we take a closer look at [Ad Quality], it takes into account the relevance and quality of your ad for the specific audience. To get an indication of how well your ad is tailored to the user, you can use the metric “Quality Score” in your columns. However, Facebook itself states that the measured value does not directly affect the auction – but can be used as an indicator.

From Facebook’s side, the value is based on data from how users reacted to historically published content on the platform, organically as well as paid. It is important to keep in mind that the measured value “repetition” is also included. If a person has seen the same content several times, the user value is reduced. What happens after a click is also included in the equation, ie how your website performs.

 

Bid

There are a number of different ways to operate when it comes to bidding strategies and the possibilities are many. Instead of writing a novel here, I encourage you to get in touch with us, we are happy to tell you more and maybe write an article about this area in the future.

 

Estimated activity frequency

Each ad has an optimization goal, usually a conversion that you want a person to perform, such as driving traffic to a website or generating reach. Estimated activity frequency shows how likely it is that someone will meet the goals you set.

The metric is based on what a person has previously done and the ad’s previous performance.

 

5 tips on how to join the auction

  • Create landing pages that load quickly and with good quality content. Good quality means that the page is not filled with advertising, sexual material or other content that Facebook’s advertising policy does not appreciate. This probably feels pretty obvious, but it is always important to keep in mind that what happens after a click is also valuable to include in the equation.
  • Place the correct bid. Automatic bidding usually works very well, but if you have a good understanding of what you can pay for a click / view / purchase, it can be smart to also A / B test what works best for you.
  • Customize your content according to the goal of the campaign. If, for example, your goal is to get a certain reach, then use content that can contribute to this. Maybe in the form of a video with something that attracts attention and creates a desire to share the content with friends.
  • Create engagement! Use texts and images that encourage you to take a certain action. This action should of course be based on the target group and where in the funnel the potential customer currently is. For example, if the target audience is unknown to your brand, you should not ask them to buy anything from you, on the contrary – offer them something of value and encourage a discussion instead of making a purchase in this first step. It is important to point out that you should avoid attempts at creating “click baits”. Facebook’s AI will automatically detect this, leading to poorer results for the ad.
  • Think about the frequency! In a target group with cold traffic, you should not exceed 2-3 views, as you can be perceived as annoying. In a retargeting campaign, however, we can allow a slightly higher frequency as we know that the target group has shown an interest in the offer. Imagine that a completely unknown person repeats the same message to you several times, compared to your best friend doing it – who are you willing to listen to?

Create value for the entire customer journey by maximizing your digital advertising

It is said that only 3% of your potential customers are ready to buy right now. If you then start your marketing at the “buy now” step – it means that you could lose the remaining 97% of the traffic that is not there, yet. Maybe they need to get to know you first before they are ready for a purchase?

I suggest we take a look at the famous funnel.

Valeur parcours client 1

To reduce the risk of potential customers going to a competitor when a purchase is in progress, we need to start higher up the funnel with our advertising. Whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, Google or in another medium. Some platforms are better suited for earlier steps in the funnel and others closer to the end, the important thing is that you have decided on the purpose and goals of each specific channel.

 

How to get started

If we start looking at the beginning of a customer contact, we can compare this with the contacts that take place in real life. Imagine for a second you are out on a first date. You will probably not propose marriage to the person you are with on that first date (and if you should decide to do it, your chances of getting a yes are probably quite low…). Instead, you need to start by creating an interest and gradually show who you are. Whether it is in an entertaining, inspiring or educational way. It works exactly the same when it comes to digital marketing.

 

What type of content is suitable for each target group?

 

1. Cold traffic

Suppose you are a brand new acquaintance of a person who has never heard of you before. Which is the optimal way to introduce yourself? Would you start by asking the person for something or would you instead choose to start by offering the person something? I know which approach I would choose (at least in advertising). In order to try to capture the interest of the person I would definitely start with offering something. Now, I’m not talking about material things. There are lots of other things such as knowledge, entertainment and inspiration you can use to create an interest.

By offering something, you not only create more interest, your advertising costs will most likely also decrease.

 

2. Cool traffic

When you advance from the first “cold” step, a person has seen your ad and received a first message. Then it’s time to talk about who you are and what your company can offer by demonstrating knowledge about your products / services and create trust with the members of your target group. For example, you could show a “how-to video”, create a quiz or link to a blog post where you offer more knowledge and experience. It’s all about building trust and thereby creating traffic to your website to capture the visitor with a pixel.

 

3. Hot traffic

So-called “hot traffic” consists of people who have visited your site, scrolled around (maybe even on a specific product), but have not yet made a purchase. In these cases, it is time to convince the visitor that they are about to make the right choice, ie purchase something in your shop. The question you should ask yourself now is how you can show that your particular product / service can make a person’s life easier and more hassle-free. You can do this, for example, by clearly showing what advantages your offer has compared to your competitors’ and why it is sharpest in the segment you operate in? Maybe you could also offer free shipping and free returns?

 

4. Burning traffic

Burning love! At this stage, the purchase has already been made, but the customer journey certainly does not end here. Now it becomes important to thank your customers, ask for a review or maybe offer them something extra just because they purchased something from your store. Give them love and I am sure you will be able to increase the lifetime value of each customer. Keep in mind that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. If you can increase the value of each customer, you will generate significantly larger sales and also create a loyal crowd of customers who are happy to tell their loved ones about your greatness.

 

[Pro tip: Create target groups for each action you can measure so that you can also adapt the message according to each step in the customer journey]

E-commerce content marketing #1: Content is King

Content Marketing could be said to have originated with the invention of the Gutenberg printing press – from which pamphlets could be mass produced and circulated widely. Since the first spam email in 1978, content for web-based marketing has had some highs and lows – spam, clickbait and content purely to drive search engine optimisation (SEO) have featured in those troughs.

 

The name ‘Spam’ comes from Spam luncheon meat by way of a Monty Python sketch in which Spam is ubiquitous, unavoidable, and repetitive. The first blog – or web log – is credited to a Swarthmore College student named Justin Hall, who in 1994 created the site Links.net.

As time has progressed Marketeers have grown to understand that rich, relevant, quality content is the only content worth producing. To quote the entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk in 2018: “Content is King, but context is God”

From the rise of video, social sharing and SEO, content on the web and content marketing have been through some major changes. Below you will find some key facts and figures providing insights into these changes:

 

  • Sessions and page-views, conversion rate, and time on page make up the five most popular metrics with 60 percent, 47 percent, and 39 percent respectively (Obelero.com 2020)
  • The most popular forms of content include videos (72%), blog posts (69%) and research and original data (60%) (com 2020)
  • More is being invested to create & distribute content – 33% increase in spending via new hires and 29% increase in marketing/web agency resources (Source: Hubspot.com 2018)
  • Blogging remains the most effective technique for content marketing (75%) followed by e-newsletters (66%), infographics (60%) and long-form content (50%). (Source: Hubspot.com 2018)
  • “Only 55% of bloggers update old posts. Those who do are 74% more likely to get strong results” – Orbit Media 2018
  • “61% of consumers are influenced by custom content.” – Dragon Search Marketing 2018
  • Content marketing was rated the top marketing technique based on commercial impact on incremental leads and sales by 21% of marketeers (Source: Hubspot.com 2018)
  • 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day. (Source: eMarketer 2017)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than sales marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source: DemandMetric 2017)

 

Content Marketing SEO 

One way to improve search engine visibility is to include a list of ‘SEO snippets’. These could appear beneath the result on search engines such as Google in order to reach as large an audience as possible.

You do need to get into the top ten search results for your desired keywords to have a chance of getting your snippets listed. Below are some examples of SEO snippets:

 

Key objectives when creating marketing content for e-commerce sites:

  • Be relevant, useful and inspire trust
  • Integrate product call-to-actions
  • Connect with other lines of communication and in-store experience
  • Be mobile friendly
  • Produce data-driven, personalised content

 

Approaches to building content:

  • Become an authority on solving a challenge
  • Become a community organiser
  • Show off customer case studies
  • Provide help guides, how-to-guides or competitions
  • Join forces with influencers and encourage user generated content
  • Use infographics
  • Consider the SEO impact

 

What to expect

In a short series of articles, I will be covering different areas of content creation and provision. The snippets above summarise the topics that will be covered. SEO impact will be discussed together with how relevant content, within proper context and limited to specific topics and challenges, is integral to good SEO.

I’ll also consider case studies to help both clients and service providers and cover how content can be presented – and made easy to digest – together with techniques used to integrate products and services – instant click to buy, live streaming, videos with ‘stitched in’ links and chatbots.

The articles will also look at how organisations are connecting with other content – product pages, blogs, social sharing, video, email and in-store experience, together with the different channels involved: social media, curated content, keeping content fresh, live streaming, social commerce, reviews, videos, emails and brick and mortar stores.

 

Next instalments

Throughout this series of articles, I will include references to research and examples of good practice.

Each article will also contain some key figures, statistics and research to back up the advice.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have been enticed by this introduction and return for the follow-on sections arriving soon.

App Store's 30% commission: the apple of discord

Apple’s App Store and its 30% commission fee are currently the source of heated debate. The fee has angered the likes of Spotify, Fortnite and Digital Content Next. Are the tables turning?

Apple reaps significant profits from its store, where, in exchange for a secure environment, simple transactions and a large audience, a 30% commission is charged for each payment. In 2019, the revenue generated was $50bn. While the commission seemed to be no problem for developers up until now, they are beginning to make their voices heard. Three organisations in particular have expressed their discontent with what they refer to as the “Apple tax”.

 

Spotify, Fortnite and Digital Content Next: big fish that feel like they are caught in a net

Spotify, the leading music streaming provider, was one of the first to publicly denounce the 30% commission, describing it as anticompetitive. This is because Spotify and Apple have been competitors ever since the Apple Music service (priced at €9.99) appeared on the market in 2015. The latter is, of course, not required to pay the “tax”. One year before, Spotify had increased the price of its monthly subscription on the App Store (from €9.99 to 12.99), passing on the cost of the commission to the customer; it later came back on the decision, however, in order to remain competitive. In 2019, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, arguing that it was undeniably at a disadvantage to Apple Music.

Furthermore, in the autumn of 2020, Apple launched Apple One, a bundle subscription including TV+, Arcade, iCloud and Music, starting at €14.95 a month, provoking the ire of Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, who declared that “Apple is using its dominant position and unfair practices to disadvantage competitors and deprive consumers by favouring its own services.”

 

In the gaming sector, in-app sales on the game Fortnite, developed by Epic Games, earned $2.4bn in 2018, beating the record for most annual revenue in video game history. It has been available on the App Store since 2018 and, in August 2020, the publisher launched an alternative payment system in order to get around the commission. Furthermore, this allowed gamers to get 1000 V-Bucks (the game’s virtual currency) for €7.99 instead of the €9.99 they paid through Apple’s in-app payment system. Apple’s response was swift and Fortnite was removed from the store the same day for violating its terms of use.

Following this eviction, Epic Games immediately responded by filing a complaint against Apple, in order to put an end to practices it sees as anticompetitive. Fortnite’s creator was well prepared, presenting a solid case, and even a publicity campaign based on the 1984 launch campaign for the first Macintosh (which was aimed at IBM and its “old school” approach). The trial is still underway, with a possible conclusion in July 2021.

 

The American trade association Digital Content Next has also been in the news of late. Its members include the New York Times, Washington Post and CNBC, which attract an audience of more than 220 million unique visitors.

In August 2020, Digital Content Next asked Tim Cook if it could benefit from the same “advantageous” conditions as those granted to Amazon for its Prime Video service. Instead of a 30% commission (and then 15% from the second year), Amazon immediately benefited from the “privilege” of only paying 15% of its revenue. Legal documents revealed that this agreement was concluded between Jeff Bezos and Apple’s Vice-President, in order to attract Prime Video to the App Store. Following these revelations, Tim Cook admitted that this type of arrangement was possible with other companies, if they were able to satisfy certain conditions. Digital Content Next did not receive a direct answer concerning the “terms” required to benefit from the 15% commission, which would enable its members to invest more in providing quality information… Unless the condition to be satisfied was “simply” to become one of the most valuable groups in the world or, conversely, to be a “small player”. Indeed, in November 2020, Apple launched the Small Business Program, which enables developers that generate less than one million dollars in annual sales to pay a 15% commission right from the first year.

 

What can we expect in 2021 and subsequent years?

In September 2020, a dozen companies, including Spotify, Epic Games, Deezer and Match Group (Tinder, Meetic, etc.), grouped together via the non-profit Coalition for App Fairness in order to put pressure on Apple to change store regulations. There are now nearly 50 members.

Developers may need Apple to exist and prosper, but the opposite is also true. Specialists in this area, such as Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, and Mitch Stoltz, lawyer of the international non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation, agree that winning cases like this against Apple would be a good thing, in order to experiment with new ways of doing things and new business models. For the time being, the only solution is to reduce dependency on Apple by finding alternative channels, as Spotify has done by investing massively in its Progressive Web App (accessible from a browser) to offer a quality experience, while increasing its margin.

We are indeed seeing the beginning of a shift in the balance of power between these major brands. Companies are no longer shy about expressing their views on the company with the apple logo and what they see as anticompetitive practices. First steps have been taken with the cases against Apple, the Coalition for App Fairness and the Small Business Program. We will be watching to see what happens next.

Six questions to ask when defining the scope your digital project

Building a sufficiently clear and detailed requirements specification that will put your digital project on track is a big challenge. The definition of your need will be the foundation of your project, the basis on which your teams or partner(s) will establish a viable, relevant and, above all, realistic recommendation in terms of the solution, resources, workload and time frame. Each requirements specification remains specific to the company’s governance rules and environment, as well as the size of the project. Information gathered often lacks clarity, quality, coherency and consistency, which can lead to failure.  

 

Bearing in mind that the success of a project is largely based on its justification, correct definition, understanding and adhesion, it is crucial to devote the time and resources needed to the pre-project phase known as ‘project scoping’. I would like to share six guiding questions, based on the ‘Five Ws and How’ method, to help you bring your ideas to maturity and accurately define the project scope 

 

Why?: the justification, challenges and aims of the digital project 

  • How did your project come about? What is its reason for being?  
  • What will this project bring you? What is its value proposition? What problem does it solve?  
  • What opportunity does it offer?  
  • What are your project’s challenges and aims (qualitative and quantitative)?  
  • Does it meet your company’s strategic objectives (business, performance and image)?  
  • What results does your senior management expect?  
  • Which criteria will be used to judge its success?  

You need to ask yourself all of these questions to define the expected goals as accurately as possible. You also need to make sure that these goals are specific and measurable. If you realise that the project does not meet a clear or objective need, you should probably not pursue it.  

A project’s reason for being will differ from one business sector to another. In banking and insurance, many projects come about for external reasons, such as regulatory changes that need to be complied with. In industry, companies may be interested in digitising processes, from manufacturing to order and stock management, in order to pursue a cost reduction and performance improvement policy. By setting a valid and achievable goal, you will also be able to lastingly motivate the project team. 

 

What?: the project description 

  • How do you define your project?  
  • What are its content and scope? What are its limits? 
  • Which solution is being considered to meet the objectives? What are the possible alternatives, if any? 
  • What are the expected deliverables? Can they be prioritised?  

This is admittedly a difficult exercise… We often begin with a global idea expressed by the requester and have to achieve a sufficient level of detail to correctly identify activities, and their related workload, which will stem from the need. It is essential to clearly determine the limits, whether related to the expected functionality or services, the use cases, the processes, the organisations and information systems impacted, or the technology used. Carrying out this step reduces the risk of unpleasant surprises and changes of direction, which are often costly, occurring during the project. To do so, you must fully consider the various aspects of the project, for example by conducting interviews and workshops (to share a single vision by gathering information and comparing ideas and viewpoints). This offers a dual benefit: identify key needs and be able to formulate requirements in a clear and structured way, while ensuring that everybody involved is on board 

 

Who?: the entities and stakeholders involved 

  • Who are the project stakeholders?  
  • Who are the sponsors, project team, executive managers, departments involved, clients, end users and external organisations, for example?

You must make sure that nobody is forgotten (such as users of a back-office, the customer relations centre, etc.) and identify their roles (their influence on the project’s success, their expectations and fears). It is also crucial to maintain a targeted communication plan (what type of information and how often) for the duration of the project, in order to ensure you have their active involvement and support. It is not rare to see projects fail due to a clear lack of interaction between the various stakeholders. How can you expect to have the support of your senior management if the project drifts off course and you have not ensured they are sufficiently informed or forewarned? How can you guarantee the quality of deliverables if you have not involved end users in building your product or have done so too late? 

 

Where?: your project’s internal and external environment 

  • What is your project’s environment? What kind of existing or future ecosystem will it operate in? 
  • Are there interactions with other projects?  
  • If similar projects have been carried out, what kind of feedback did you receive?  
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities?  
  • What sets you apart from the competition? 
  • What are your target audiences and personas?  
  • Which need must you fulfil? How to reach your target? 
  • What are the internal (HR, technical, legal, etc.) and external restrictions?  
  • Where will the project be carried out (internally, outsourced, nearshore, offshore, etc.)?  
  • Are you able to bring together the project team on a single site? 

It is essential to effectively analyse the existing situation and gain a clear view of reality, in order to give the project a chance of success. This exploratory phase will often help you highlight the added value of your project and support its reason for being. 

 

When?: major milestones in the timeline 

  • Have you identified the main phases?  
  • Have you set the project start date, the main tasks, and the intermediary and final deliveries?  
  • Are there imperatives in terms of the schedule (a set or legally required deadline)? 

As explained above, the more mature your project is, the better you will be able to estimate and plan the workload of the main activities, without forgetting to take into account the availability of resources required to carry them out. You need to set reasonable and possibly adjustable deadlines as the project advances, adapting to any unexpected circumstances along the way. If you have an end date that ties your hands in terms of deadlines, then you must either allocate the necessary budget or reduce the scope 

Once again, even though it is only a macro schedule at this stage, you must be as realistic as possible. Approval phases are often underestimated, failing to take into account deadlines for legal validation. Another example we have encountered: user training sessions scheduled during summer holidays, when most of the personnel are absent. 

 

How?: organisational, human and financial resources 

  • Have you identified a project methodology?  
  • Which authorities? Which governance?  

Be coherent in terms of your organisation and project maturity (V-model, iterative or agile). Perhaps because it is in vogue, or due to the promises of agility, the agile project approach is very popular, while it does not always suit the corporate culture or even the project.  

  • What are the allocated material (machines, tools, software, premises, etc.) and human resources?  
  • What skills, expertise and resources have been identified (internal and/or external)?  
  • What are the roles and availabilities of each individual?  

Prior to the launch of the project, you will need to have identified the resources that are essential for its deployment and effectively planned ahead for their management, in order to maintain sufficient productivity and motivation throughout the project. 

  • What budget are you prepared to devote to it?  
  • Do you have the financial means to meet your ambitions or requirements?  
  • What return on investment do you expect?  

In any event, your ability to stay on budget will largely depend on how accurate your initial estimations are and the budget margin you have provided, as well as on managing costs in a way that enables you to identify and adjust any discrepancies. Defining your expression as clearly as possible will limit financial risks.  

In short: do not be afraid to ask questions! Asking questions is key to achieving a clear definition of your project and securing it. In addition, doing so will enable you to identify and assess the main risks early on and take preventive actions. No project is risk-free, but you can reduce uncertainty! This analysis phase, which will play a major part in your project’s success or failure, is a complex step that can be highly strategic depending on its size, so you should not hesitate to seek assistance. An outside perspective is often very helpful when producing your requirements specification.  

BOPIS and BORIS: the retailer's friends

While retailers are always obsessed with the competition, in particular Amazon, we feel that physical stores can be used as a key differentiating factor, in particular thanks to our friends BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up In Store) and BORIS (Buy Online, Return In Store). In this article, we will look at how they can significantly improve retailers’ daily lives. 

 

BOPIS and BORIS: an introduction 

One case illustrates the arrival of BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up In Store) and BORIS (Buy Online, Return In Store) particularly well. It is Walmart, which sees assistance of online customers as strategic, in particular through its delivery service direct to the doorstep. Customers benefit from Walmart’s Grocery Pickup service, which combines the convenience of online shopping and the ease of not having to leave the car, all without additional fees. 

If you were wondering, the advantage of BOPIS over click-and-collect is that it makes the order available at one of the brand’s stores, while speeding up the returns process. In the case of clothing, for example, customers benefit from the use of fitting rooms and a sales advisor, who is on hand to handle returns and update stocks. This makes it possible to reduce shipping costs and put returned items back into stock almost in real time, making them available for other customers to buy. 

To achieve this, retailers need to overcome organisational and operational challenges, particularly in terms of personnel, digitization and process optimization. 

However, BORIS and BOPIS open up major opportunities in terms of both sales and store footfall. Any retailer that offers fast-selling products, i.e. common consumer goods, will see an increase in its global revenue. This remains true for retailers in general. 

 

How to meet these challenges?

Current processes are not optimized. The management of orders as part of a ‘pick up in store’ and ‘return in store’ system involves additional workload and requires available employees to welcome customers who have purchased online. Furthermore, these employees must also receive and manage product returns, including operations such as adding to/removing from stock and checking returned products. The workload related to meeting consumers’ new expectations (speed, buying convenience and the ability to make an immediate return are at the top of the list) is, therefore, growing, and presents an organisational obstacle to the adoption of BOPIS and BORIS by retailers.  

In the view of retailers, the best way to overcome these challenges is to make the processes more efficient by optimizing and digitizing them1. In particular, this means having improved real-time visibility of stocks, at all points of sale, and a central stock that enables consolidation of all incoming and outgoing flows. These points are essential in order to set up a BOPIS and BORIS system. 

If retailers want to optimize the management of returns, or even avoid them altogether, they can adopt ROPIS: Reservation Online, Pick up In Store. The main difference here is that instead of customers paying for products before picking them up in the store, they can first reserve them online and then try them in person before deciding whether or not to buy. The product is kept on hold until the customer comes to the store. Not only does this method eliminate order processes, it also avoids unnecessary returns. 

 

What will BOPIS’ and BORIS’ roles be in tomorrow’s world? 

The Covid-19 crisis and its effects on consumption will most likely be felt for a while to come. It looks as though day-to-day consumer behaviour will change permanently and, in many cases, significantly. Nobody can predict how exactly, but it seems likely that consumers will be less inclined to spend as much time in stores, particularly those that do not offer added value or a “wow effect”.  

This means that BOPIS and BORIS will soon be one of those services that retailers need to offer without delay. Customers will only need to go to stores to pick up orders made online or return a product. 

It seems that BOPIS and BORIS, along with ROPIS, are extremely useful allies that no retailer can do without. 

Marketing attribution: beware of the last-click model

It’s Friday and it’s time to look at your KPIs. As you analyse your performance levels, your attention is drawn to one indicator in particular: Cost Per Acquisition, or ‘CPA’. As you examine it tool by tool, you notice that there are differences in performance and, therefore, cost. To make your media mix more effective, you are tempted to cut the tools with high CPA in order to focus on those that earn you more. Not so fast! Often, costs per acquisition only reflect conversion on the last click. You may be missing a big part of the story and making decisions a bit too hastily. In order to better understand a prospect’s journey up to acquisition, we need to take a look at marketing attribution. 

 

What does ‘marketing attribution’ mean?

Attribution makes it possible to link acquisition with the right tool or combination of tools. By looking at the contribution of each tool, you will see a very different picture than that drawn by last-click attribution.  

In practical terms, a last-click sale will be attributed to SEA, which is a particularly effective tool. But that’s not the whole story! Before clicking on your Google ad, your future customer may have clicked on a display banner first, and then a Facebook ad. Finally, it was only once the customer had decided to buy that they went to Google, entered the name of your brand and clicked on your ad. As the saying goes: It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. This is the very essence of attribution! 

 

Why adopt this approach? 

Understanding the contribution of each tool to the final acquisition simply enables you to make decisions based on the whole picture and, above all, to avoid making bad decisions due to a lack of information.  

As an example, the Facebook page of one of our clients in the travel industry had a very high CPA, brining only one or two sales per sponsored post. However, when we looked at the sales generated indirectly by this tool, the results were very good. While the last-click model made this tool seem unprofitable, the page was actually an effective initial touchpoint. Cutting out this tool would have risked damaging the performance of other tools! 

 

Which model to choose?

Attribution is a complex area and there are various models available: Think carefully about the model to adopt in order to understand the result.  

  • Initial touchpoint: in contrast to the last-click model, this helps you understand how the customer found you in the first place. However, it is insufficient if you want to track your user’s entire journey. 
  • Linear model: it attributes the same value to each visit, making it possible to follow the user’s journey, but not to accurately calculate the importance of each tool. 
  • U model: while the previous model flattens the importance of attributions, this model lends significant importance to the first and last clicks, and less importance to the tools in between. Remember that it is up to you to configure the importance attributed to the first and last clicks. 
  • Time decay model: somewhat similar to the last-click model, it attributes greater importance to touchpoints closer in time to conversion. Actions performed the same day are therefore given more credit than those on the previous day. Touchpoints further away in time lose value. 
  • Algorithmic attribution: more complex, this approach frees itself of the above models and is designed to measure the actual contribution of tools. While it is the most accurate, it is also very demanding in terms of the quality of the data to be processed. If you are unable to provide the data for all tools, including offline tools (quality, online visitor engagement, time stamping of touchpoints, etc.), this model may not function correctly.  
  • It is also possible to create personalised models in Google Analytics, where you can choose how much importance to attribute to each interaction. 

 

How to proceed?

The complexity of this area means you need to use a reliable tracking tool, which will give you the information you need. There are many solutions available on the market. It is often difficult to choose the best partner as the solutions are so similar. When choosing, we recommend that you take two factors into account: look carefully at how the algorithms offered work and make sure that the solution does not take into account fraudulent clicks and impressions 

In order to set up your attribution model, you can use the Google Analytics tool, including Google Acquisition. You can also create your own model using SQL. However, if you have many and complex data sources, it becomes difficult to manage the attribution model without using a dedicated tool. Several companies have specialised in a data-driven approach, such as Quantmetry, Funnel, Daitaku and Mazeberry, which was recently renamed Easyence. To find the right partner, make sure you specify the various data to be analysed and the attribution model that seems most relevant to you.  

The last-click model is now outdated and, above all, it is too blunt a tool to help you make relevant decisions. However, this remains a complex area to grasp. You need to take the time to choose the model that suits you best and the tool that will then enable you to obtain useful and intelligible data, in order to guide your acquisition strategy.  

Is loyalty still the best proof of love?

There was a time when loyalty was rewarded with stamps on a recycled paper card, with no tracking, no customer data and no history, and yet there were valued, happy and loyal customers all the same! This was followed by a period when it was hard to find a wallet with enough room to contain the many cards, now plastic, shops gave to their customers (in 2016, a study carried out by TNS Sofres estimated there were seven cards per customer)! However, such schemes are costly and investment in them has been called into question; not to mention those that are more a test of patience than a reward for customers. At a time when certain brands, such as Décathlon1, are rolling them back, we take a look at good practices and new trends for loyalty schemes. 
 

The art of seduction 

All relationships begin with a period of courtship! And, in a fiercely competitive environment, brands must find ingenious ways to make their loyalty schemes stand out. In ‘The Loyalty Report 2017’, Bond Brand Loyalty highlights two types of benefits: dividends and experiences.  

‘Dividends’ means anything that brings monetary value for users, including coupons, discounts, cashback, gift vouchers and free delivery. These various pecuniary benefits do encourage purchases, but, over the years, consumers have come to expect them. According to the report, these privileges no longer influence members’ satisfaction, so brands must go further in the way they offer benefits, in particular by personalising their offerings. Auchan has done just this, with its loyalty scheme named “Waaoh !”. Each week, the supermarket sends personalised challenges to its scheme members, who select which ones they would like to take on. The supermarket Monoprix is adopting a similar approach, making personalisation a core part of its redesigned loyalty scheme, allowing members to choose the top three products they would like discounts on, based on their order history. This gives them a 10 to 20% discount on each purchase! 

Fidélisation 1

Source : https://www.lsa-conso.fr/les-clients-de-monoprix-vont-choisir-eux-memes-leurs-produits-en-promotion-exclu,257160

 

Experiences: virtual badges, personalised recommendations, content, partnerships with other brands, forums, creation of communities, exclusive experiences, charity actions, co-branding… There is vast potential for brands to use their imaginations in order to offer ever more innovative, emotional and rewarding experiences for their members, while building a more personal relationship with their customers. With this in mind, M&S has chosen to offer exclusive invitations to fashion shows and cookery classes run by big-name chefs, for example, rather than discounts.

In order to get off the beaten track of the “same old” loyalty scheme dividends and experiences, now is the time for differentiation! Here, once again, brands are putting all their energy into coming up with original, sometimes surprising, and always attractive rewards in order to encourage membership 

 

Fidélisation 2

Source : https://www.marmiton.org/communaute/blog_plant-sitting-vos-plantes-seront-bien-gardees-cet-ete.aspx

Bio c’ Bon is offering a “plant-sitting” service to take care of members’ plants while they are away. The ready-to-wear brand Devianne is promising to refund damaged clothing up to six months after purchase! Elsewhere, Mango is giving members the option to use their points with a wide selection of partners (including Deezer and Rakuten), or to give them to friends or non-profits. There is a growing trend towards engaged and responsible approaches, which reflects the concerns of today’s “consom’acteurs” (socially responsible consumers). Nature & Découvertes is paying €1 of its club membership fee and 10% of its profits to its biodiversity protection foundation. Toms is giving a pair of shoes to children in developing countries for each purchase made. Similarly, Weight Watchers is offering members the option to donate their rewards to Secours Populaire, a non-profit that fights poverty and exclusion in France and around the world. These approaches show how loyalty and social responsibility can be combined, while enhancing brand image.  

To make sure their loyalty schemes are not dull, brands must position themselves as a source of value for their members, by offering benefits that reflect their concerns and social engagement.  

 

Keeping the flame alive 

Earning loyalty is not the same as maintaining it and, in the loyalty scheme war, diligence and commitment are the most important battle to win, particularly when you consider a study by Accenture Strategy, which found that loyalty scheme members generate between 12% and 18% additional turnover in comparison with non-member customers. Based on this observation, the meal delivery brand Food Chéri gives its members monthly challenges in order to encourage opportunistic consumption. If they buy four meals during the month, they get a free dessert. And they get a free dish for nine orders. Customers therefore only have 30 days to meet the challenge, which is a good way to boost brand preference.  

Fidélisation 3

Source : https://foodcheri.fr

 

Brands are using membership fees to build loyalty to their loyalty schemes: in exchange for an annual subscription, they offer services that enhance the customer experience and increase the loyalty of their members. For €15 per year, La Redoute & MOI (La Redoute) offers its members a 10% discount on orders, free delivery and a payment facility. For €49 per year, Amazon goes even further by offering free access to multimedia content on Amazon Prime Video. However, in 2018, JPMorgan estimated that in order to achieve profitability, this service would need to be provided at $785 in the United States (or $65 per month). And yet, this long-term strategy is paying off, since, in 2018, Prime members spent an average of $1400 on Amazon, compared with $600 for non-Prime members. One of the reasons for this is that many Amazon Prime members feel the need to justify their membership fee! In the brand preference race, this strategy seems to be bearing fruit.  

However, loyalty is about more than just transactions. Today, there are all kinds of ways to allow members to earn points, including sharing on social networks, downloading the mobile app, enriching user data, sponsorship and birthdays. All of these are opportunities to touch base with customers and learn more about them, while building a long-term relationship. And this is where content comes into its own: Kinder is courting parents with its Kinder club, which offers content in the form of a webzine. Parents are given access to articles and activities to enrich their family life, based on their children’s ages. The brand is going even further by enabling them to share their own content, such as ideas for days out, in order to earn points. 

Fidélisation 4

Source : https://kinder.fr

 

Another fast-growing trend is the use of tiered loyalty schemes. While they are nothing new in the travel industry, these schemes are becoming popular in other sectors: Lacoste offers three tiers according to members’ purchases. With ‘Legend’ status, members can access very private events and are given a premium birthday present. At Sephora, ‘Gold’ status provides access to free make-up classes, private evenings and even a dedicated product line. By appealing to pride and a feeling of belonging, brands are encouraging their members to move up to higher tiers in order to access increasingly high-end services. It is a way for brands to make a greater distinction between their various customers.    

Never say never, in love and in loyalty… The field of possibilities is wide open to ensure that schemes are anything but dull and a source of value for their members. Between providing a global experience, addressing customers’ concerns and creating a feeling of attachment, brands have various means at their disposal to imagine the schemes of today and tomorrow.  

Loyalty is like love: it is a work in progress.