Words from the Editor………………………………Page 1 Insight Media’s Research………………………….Page 2-‐3 Website Goals………………………………………..Page 4 The 5 S’s……………………………………...……Page 5-‐10 Website Goals……………………………………….Page 11 Online Value Proposition…………………………...Page 12 Search Engine Optimisation………………………..Page 13 Source Code…………...……………………………Page 14 O.V.P. Summary…………………………………….Page 15 Frequently Updated………………………………..Page 16 Personalisation & Dynamic Design……………..Page 17-‐20 Aesthetics……………………………………..…Page 21-‐24 Page Design……………………………...…….Page 26–27 Navigation & Structure……………….………...Page 28-‐34 Interaction………………………………………Page 35-‐37 Social media Engagement……………………...Page 38-‐40 Content………………………………………….Page 41-‐42 Ease of Use………………………………………....Page 43 Evaluation……………………………………….Page 44-‐49
Welcome to this month’s issue of Insight Media, this month we are looking into Male High Street Brands. We have chosen four of the biggest brands to look into, these are; Ø -‐ Topman Ø -‐ River Island Ø -‐ Burtons Ø -‐ Zara
As we do in everything issue of Insight Media, we will be analysing these four companies and how they look to engage with their customers digitally. Inside this months issue will include primary research conducted by insight media and secondary resources from the most reliable sources. Also inside this moths issue; -‐PR of the companies, how they manage and look aGer social media and network sites -‐The Five Ss’ -‐Online Value ProposiKon -‐The Key Design on the websites -‐SEO -‐Google AnalyKcs -‐Dynamic Design and PersonalisaKon
For this months issue we gave the responsibility of the research to Tyler Lawrence, one of Insights top Marketers.
So the ﬁrst part of my research is simple, yet needed! We have made the statement of these brands being the top high street brands; we need some evidence for our statement! Insight Media have gone into the top high streets and shopping centres in the country and made sure these brands are there. Here our ﬁndings and the ﬁrst part of our primary research.
The High Streets and shopping centres we checked are: -‐WesSields Shopping Centre -‐ StraSord
You can follow @tylerlawrence03 or connect with him at his LinkedIn proﬁle.
-‐MetroCentre – Gateshead -‐Bluewater – DarSord -‐Lakeside Shopping Centre – Thurrock -‐The Centre MK: Milton Keynes -‐The Eden Shopping Centre – High Wycombe -‐Oxford Street – London (Retail Week)
So here from the Birst part of the research you can see that these four brands are top high street brands! Passing the Birst insight media test, these brands have stores in the top shopping centres and most famous high street within the UK. ! Time for the second test, inside our head quarters we set up a focus group with a twist. We invited ten males between the ages of 18 – 24, and let them visit and explore each of these brands websites and take items into the online checkout to see how easy it was and what they thought of the website.
After they had visited and explored the website we asked them to discuss and rate the website on these points: -‐The websites ability to Mix – mode sell -‐Easy to view -‐Easy to Use -‐Ability to personalise -‐Online RecommendaKons -‐DuraKon on site – maximum allowed was 10 minutes -‐Easy to Purchase -‐Would they visit it again
! Mix7mode!selling! ! Easy!to!view! Easy!to!Use! Ability!to! personalise! Online! Recommendations! Duration!on!site! Easy!to!Purchase! Visit!Again!
Burton! Yes!–!80%! No!–!20%! Yes!–!90%! No!–!10%! Yes!–!100%!
River!Island! Yes!–!80%! No!–!20%! Yes!–!100%!
Yes!–!70%! No!–!30%! No!–!100%!
Yes!–!80%! No!–!20%! No!–!100%!
Yes!–!90%! No!–!10%! No!–!100%!
Avg!–!8mins! Yes!–!100%! Yes!–!100%!
Avg.!–!5mins! Yes!–!100%! Yes0!90%! No!–!10%!
Avg.!7!mins! Yes!–!100%! Yes!–!80%! No!–!20%!
Avg.!8mins! Yes!–!100%! Yes!–!100%!
So here are the two primary researches conducted by Insight media. So before we look into the secondary research what can we take from the primary. Well ﬁrstly and simply as already menKoned the four high street brands have the status to be called a “top high street brand” this can be said with them having stores in the top shopping hot spots across the country.
The content and overall funcKonality of a website is governed strictly by its overall goal. Why is it there and what is its aim. With a goal comes relevant content, and this in turn projects how the website will look and how it is organised in order to operate. Common examples of how a website serves a customer include: -‐ Helping them purchase something they need. -‐ Aid them with research/informaKon -‐ Seek ways in which they can save Kme and money -‐ Encourage communicaKon between them and the organisaKon -‐ Allow them to enjoy a beeer web experience. (Chaﬀey, 2011)
These goals can be summarised into 5 key factors. Those factors are known as the 5s’. Insight Media has applied these factors to this issue’s brand leaders.
“Growing sales can be achieved through eﬀecKvely communicaKng a crystal clear online value proposiKon” (Chaﬀey, 2011) This means that the website uKlises the opportunity of the internet to the beneﬁt of not only the company but the customer. These can include immediacy (taking the customer straight to what they want) convenience (faster to buy online, more relaxing shopping experience, wider availability) it could also include being cheaper to shop online as opposed to oﬄine.
The homepage for this site clearly suggests that the customer can shop online. This is demonstrated from a banner that informs “This site ships to the United Kingdom”, the banner also gives the customer the opportunity to “change country” meaning the website could sKll provide service to those customers who live abroad. There are also 11 tabs which lead to speciﬁc product groups, and large pictures of models wearing products that are available for sale, all displayed on the homepage. Beneath the 11 product type tabs, there are tabs which give further informaKon about delivery and returns. This is the very ﬁrst page the customer will see and it seems heavily orientated toward product, and delivery, thus encouraging sales.
Here the website idenKﬁes exactly who you are shopping for (as the brand caters for men women and children), once idenKﬁed product is presented instantly, including price, something that was lacking from the Topman website. This website similarly to others, informs the customer that they can delivery to over 100 diﬀerent countries, once more allowing for internaKonal sales.
The digital architecture of this website is very similar to that of Topman, and this comes as no surprise as the two companies are both owned by the Arcadia group, quite possibly using the same web design team. Looking beyond the aestheKcs, the website oﬀered by Burton is heavily orientated toward sales, with the home page displaying the latest deals and oﬀering a direct link to the relevant secKon of the website.
This website oﬀers shopping funcKonality, however it is quite covert in its approach when compared against the other websites menKoned. The website comes across more as a ‘look book’ or fashion magazine, the prices are listed but don’t appear as obvious as for instance River Island or Burton’s are. Where the website is detailed and provides clear imagery against the products available to buy, this website doesn’t strike the user as boldly as the others do in pumng the message across that this is in fact an online shop.
“Add value through designing easy to use interacKve services that help customer to ﬁnd relevant up to date informaKon quickly” (Chaﬀey, 2011) This essenKally means that the website provides recent informaKon, in an easily accessible, interacKve format for the user to for ﬁll their needs.
The website is clearly organised and labelled; there is
no ambiguity as to what it is you might be selecKng to look at. The website is also very Kdy, drop down menus automaKcally appear when you place the cursor over the relevant tab, and from this come more opKons, which are but a click away from the product range available. Within two clicks, the customer has the potenKal to be looking at their desired item in full detail, there is a selecKon of large pictures detailing the item, and a magniﬁcaKon tool provided in order to really get a good idea of what it is they’re to be purchasing.
Similarly to the funcKonality of Topman, this website is very clean and concise in the number of clicks to get to the items which are of interest to the customer. Because this company oﬀers ranges to more than one gender, they put themselves at a slight disadvantage by keeping all the products under one website. For example, where there are 11 clearly labelled and well thought out drop down menus on the Topman website, River Island provide one drop down menu, which appears bulky and very busy. This makes it less eﬃcient than other websites, because the customer has to carefully read through all the diﬀerent product types available in one go, rather than only seeing the product types that are relevant to their needs.
Here the website is packed with informaKon as to the latest deals in store, achieving Serve by clearly displaying this informaKon on the homepage, and giving direct links to the relevant pages to which the products involved with the deal are on. This is a good example of serve as the informaKon is clear, and easily used.
Once the customer has selected the area of the site that applies to them, for instance Man, the site does then oﬀer a page which hosts two links, one to a “Look book” and another to “What’s new”. These are of beneﬁt to the customer as essenKally they become sales assistants, there to help guide the customer to the latest products or products which are popular at the moment. However should the customer not be buying for themselves, idenKfying which of the navigaKon tabs would be most relevant does become slightly tricky should the customer not have shopped with Zara before. There are a number of tabs which aren’t labelled as clearly as for example River Island (they do however work in the same way. One tab drops down and presents the enKre available product for that category, rather than individually segmented). There are also a selecKon of tabs which lead the customer to pages that are less focussed on product and are more like magazine fashion supplements.
“Converse and get closer to customer by providing tailored content and designing interacKve faciliKes to create dialogue when customers talk to each other, as well as learning about their needs” (Chaﬀey, 2011) Here the aim is to build communicaKon between customer and company, this can be from providing capability to the customer to view a site that is speciﬁcally tailored to their needs, for instance recommendaKons for products they might be interested in. This can also be achieved through direct communicaKon to the customer, for instance through social networking or internal website popups. Topman.com
This website displays which of your Facebook friends ‘Like’ the company, and should the user wish to click on this informaKon, it automaKcally ‘Likes’ the website via their Facebook, and encourages the user to post this acKvity onto their personal Facebook wall. This simple addiKon to their website, has contributed toward the page’s 193,000 fans. Featured items on the Facebook page include links to Youtube, an RSS feed, direct link to the Topman online shop. The external Topman Youtube channel has been acKve since 2005, and has only accumulated 20,000 upload views. Perhaps an area that could be expanded upon. Topman also has an acKve Twieer, tweeKng at least once a day, and has accrued almost 23,000 followers.
Not overly interacKve with their customer on the main website, there is a toolbar which oﬀers the opportunity to sign up to an emailing list however. Their contribuKons to the likes of Facebook, Youtube and Twieer, are again quite covert, and are simply represented via the social networking symbols at the boeom of the website page. When invesKgated further River Island’s Facebook page have over a million fan likes. The page’s wall is full of messages outlining discounts for students, user compeKKons in return for free product, and the latest fashion clothing and accessories. Their Twieer is also a success, hosKng over 40,000 followers, and also a very acKve resource, with consistency to Tweets, oGen more than twice a day. Their Youtube contribuKon started in 2009, and so far their uploads have had over 300,000 views. Overall they have made a strong impact into the social networking ﬁeld.
Here Burton disrupt the shopping experience for the customer with a pop up that requests feedback from the customer upon ﬁnishing their visit. Where this is quite a direct aggressive approach from the website, should the visitor click No Thanks, the website remembers this should they return to the website at another Kme, which is a great bit of personalisaKon for the customer, meaning no annoyance of consistent pop ups. Externally Burton host a Facebook page, and have designed the content to come across as quite personal and on a level with the customer. For example the “About” descripKon of the page menKons “We look aGer our mates; become a fan for sneak previews and exclusive promoKons.”. The page runs compeKKons for those who have joined the page and also allows users to post comments on their wall, allowing for direct communicaKon between company and customer. The page currently has less than 30,000 fans. Burton are also on Twieer, oﬀering similar funcKonality to the Facebook page, however currently only have just over 1000 followers.
Currently the site hosts a large Flash player video on their homepage, which can be shared through Facebook or Twieer. However this neither helps nor hinders the customer using the website in terms of communicaKon. This website very covertly displays a link to their Facebook page, and this is shown aGer the customer has selected a secKon they wish to look into. However, the Facebook page itself has proved very successful, with over 10 million fans. The page provides fashion arKcles that have been produced by Zara, and also short ﬁlms. Perhaps taking the approach of entertainment as opposed to overt sales markeKng is a beeer approach for this parKcular industry to aeain a beeer social network following. Providing arKcles that may be of some interest to read, as opposed to essenKally ‘junk mail’ oﬀer aGer oﬀer. In contrast to their Facebook success, their Twieer seems fairly inacKve, having only posted 84 tweets. They have accumulated over 11,000 followers.
“Costs are saved through delivering online content and services that may have previously been achieved through print and post or face to face service and sales transacKons” (Chaﬀey 2011) This boils down to saving on overheads. Area’s that this can include are email promoKons as opposed to printed, use of mobile applicaKon rather than catalogue, or even saving costs of payroll – online transacKons do not require staﬀ. Topman.com/Burton.com
Topman/ Burton oﬀer an email mailing list to which visitors can sign up for to be apart of. This is a basic funcKon of most retailing websites, and looking beyond this, there are no further aeempts at uKlising digital to save on costs and thus maximise on proﬁts of online sales. There is no mobile applicaKon for purchasing on the move, or contacKng consumers directly with promoKons and deals. The lack of mobile applicaKon could be down to the iniKal cost factor in the short term for the design and creaKon of the app, however it should be noted that, aGer only 14 months from being launched, the iPad accounts for 1% of internet browsing throughout the world (Mintel, 2011), and that in the UK Ofcom esKmate that 15% of households are completely mobile only, and have no landline nor broadband (Mintel, 2011), introducing a mobile app could potenKally break this large percentage of the market.
River Island have uKlised digital in a big way by introducing an iPhone/iPad applicaKon, which is free to download, and it adverKsed on the website as well as in the iTunes store. This app has been developed by a company called No Need 4 Mirrors, who appear to specialise in retail applicaKons, having also developed apps for Oasis, Karen Miller and Warehouse. This applicaKon allows the user to shop, create ‘wishlists’ that can then be shared, locates nearest stores and receive news and oﬀers. A fantasKc tool which saves the customer Kme by having the freedom to shop on the move, or plan what they’d like to purchase then be told where the nearest place to buy is.
Zara.com Zara have aeempted to break into the market of mobile applicaKons, however have made a poor aeempt. Their applicaKon has been widely criKcised and shunned by various ecommerce websites, and quite rightly. The app provides very liele informaKon to the customer, it does demonstrate some of the new lines available for purchase, but only details them with a single picture, no product informaKon or code, no price, no availability. There is also no menKon of local stores to the customer’s locaKon, and no contact details for any stores. You also cannot purchase from the app. Overall a disappoinKng aeempt from Zara, however the foundaKons have been laid and perhaps this is an area which could be improved upon going forwards.
“An excellent site design helps build the brand and reinforces the brand values through the type of content, interacKviKes and overall style tone or feel.” (Chaﬀey, 2011). Sizzle is an area which focuses on portraying the brand eﬀecKvely online, so that where the new digital proposiKon is put forward, it is done so in a way that is familiar to that parKcular brand’s clientele.
Topman have styled their website very similarly to how they would merchandise window displays in store. The stores are decorated with pictures of models or manikins that are dressed in product available to purchase, and this is mirrored brilliantly through the website. As a brand Topman target a speciﬁc young male audience, that are on trend and are a modern man. The website reﬂect this with opKonal music delivered through the site add on ‘Topman Player’, this is a nice feature which again brings to the table the essence of the nature of the brand. .
River Island have altered the look of their website from the look of their stores, by making the website more clean cut. There are displays of models wearing product which does reﬂect the in store manikins, however at store level the brand appears more lively, with stores being ﬁeed to look more like dressing rooms someKmes including dressing tables to which clothes are displayed on. The website seems more professional and more like an online catalogue, which is a useful tool for the customer but however doesn’t reﬂect the brand’s in store look.
Once more, very much similar in approach to Zara’s website stands out from other online Topman, however lacking the opKon of a retail websites namely because, it doesn’t personal music player. follow the standard format. There are no elaborate “sale” signs or “30% oﬀ” banners. The website is very subtle and elegant, and as menKoned before, appears more like a professional fashion magazine. This bodes well against the nature of the brand, which appears to pride itself with connecKons to the fashion world, by providing detailed interesKng arKcles about the latest trends and news within this industry. It also reﬂects the professional clean cut modern appearance of stores.
All companies have goals they wish the website to achieve, companies also wish for their website to be diﬀerent to its compeKtors, as to ensure their website is the site the users visit. However, it is believed that four factors aﬀect what makes customers return to a website, these are: • • • •
Ease of use Content Frequently updated Quick to download
Nowadays the Internet is even more mobile than ever. So much so that most mobile phones have the Internet on it. The percentage of people using mobile Internet is on the rise and is set to keep increasing. Therefore websites need to ensure that they are mobile compaKble, this applies to all 4 factors previous.
Ease of use A good website should always be easy to navigate through. A website should be clear and signposted well for the user to be able to navigate to any page with ease. Chaﬀey and Smith (2008) say that the ‘form or structure of the site is neither over complicated nor too big.’ The user should never ﬁnd themselves lost or overwhelmed with informaKon and therefore unable to do the task they wish. Content Content is seen to be the most important factor of the four. This is due to the fact that ‘quality content helps visitors to make the right decisions, also aeracKng visitors through SEO, therefore increasing brand awareness.’ (Chaﬀey and Smith, 2008) The more relevant the content as well as how good the content it, the more likely the user to want to come back as well as enKce new users to visit the page. Frequently updated A good website needs to stay updated and make sure that it is ‘with the Kmes.’ A frequently updated website ensures that it is relevant to users as well as useful. (Chaﬀey and Smith, 2008) This also means that the site needs to have out of date informaKon ﬁltered out or archived. Quick to download This refers to the Kme it takes for a page to load. Some pages are so heavily loaded with useless content that a low bandwidth Internet speed will take forever for a page to load. So a good website will ensure content and the page is in a format in which it will load quickly and correctly.
Deﬁned by Chaﬀey as “an organisaKon’s online oﬀering disKnct from oﬄine or compeKtor oﬀering”, online value proposiKon in many ways is the unique selling point of the online facility – what is the website oﬀering that cannot be aeained by oﬄine means, and more to the point why should the customer use the online channel as opposed to regular oﬄine means.
In many instances, websites seek to exploit opportuniKes made available to them through the internet could include:
-‐ InteracKvity and depth of content -‐ Faster -‐ More convenient -‐ Easier -‐ Cheaper to buy online -‐ Beeer/new experiences online -‐ More resources/informaKon online (Chaﬀey, 2011)
Example of Headlines on a Google Search
When a website idenKﬁes its proposiKon, they must then communicate this clearly and concisely to the customer in a way which supports their brand values. This summary essenKally sets the website apart from compeKtors and will inform their customer as to why they should use their website. Achieving this summary concisely can be translated by way of a strap line, these are usually found on a search engine and are later displayed on the web browser header. Further descripKon of the website is put forward beneath the main hyperlink provided by a search engine.
So, what is SEO?
“A structured approach to achieve the highest ranking position on a organic (natural) search engine listing after a speciﬁc combination of keywords (key phrase) is entered.” (Chaﬀey and Smith, 2008) “The Position or ranking to which the result shows is dependent on the algorithm used by each search engine. Each search engine will use its algorithm to match relevant site content with the key phrases entered.” So, as you can see from these two images, by changing the combination of the keywords used in the search bar, the more relevant and precise the results. As well as this, it shows in order which websites out of the speciﬁc search entered are highest in ranking. Burton 1st, with Topman 2nd.
(Chaﬀey and Smith, 2008)
Meta tag Having the right keywords used in the Meta description helps a website to be found better wishing search results as well as higher up the organic list. Topman and Burton both come up in the search results relating to clothing. Zara and River Island do not. Here are the Meta descriptions used: Zara -‐ <meta
name="description" content="You can buy all the new clothes that arrive to our store once a week and you can also find the pictures of the catalogue, lookbook and collection." / > Burton - <title>Burton Mens Clothing - Mens Fashion - Burton Menswear</ title> River Island - <meta name="Keywords" content="fashion, glamour, women, men, clothes, jeans, goiung-out, trendy" /> Topman - <title>TOPMAN Mens Fashion - Mens Clothing - Topman</title>
When looking through the source codes, Topman, Burton and Zara do not have Meta Tags (Keywords) as such that are easy to ﬁnd. However the Keywords that are used in the ‘title’ for Topman and Burton act the same as a meta tag.
Given that these retailers are all popular and successful high street retailers, some of the descripKons do strike as rather un inspiring and quite basic, which comes as a direct contrast to the products that the brands sell, and so have not supported their overall brand values. This alludes to Chaﬀey’s observaKon that “many sites, in fact most sites, do not achieve this”.
Once more, Topman and Burton holds very liele ground between the two brands that disKnguishes one from the other, here using a l m o s t t h e s a m e wording for their strap l i n e s , a n d s i m i l a r descripKon content.
Zara’s description seems almost completely alien to the content of the website, in the sense that the website is so clean and professional in appearance, and could be likened to an online fashion magazine. The description fails to put this image of the brand across, using basic language heavily laden with conjunctive words as opposed to emotive.
River Island champions above the other brands in this issue, encapsulating exactly what is on offer from the website (thus the proposition) and communicates this using emotive language to draw the customer into the website, and the description reads in a welcoming tone which invites the customer in.
All of the websites have a designated secKon for new stock, which Kes in with the latest fashions on the market. These websites must keep up to date with fashion or they will fall behind, therefore they are updated as much as fashion is. The new secKons are clearly marked so users know there is new stock in.
All websites oﬀer the choice to the consumer of signing up to the company newsleeer, however Zara is the only website out of the 4 to oﬀer a more personal newsleeer as it allows consumers to select what departments they have an interest in and this will come through in the newsleeer.
Only two out of the 4 websites being analysed greeted the consumer by their ﬁrst name once they created an account with website then revisited, these were Zara and River Island. DisappoinKngly Topman only welcome a customer to a degree by displaying the message “logoﬀ” which is very impersonal, however the Burton website displays no change in having an account and visiKng the website to not having an account and visiKng the site. The “MY BAG” opKon displays only what people have chosen to buy and this opKon is available for both non-‐and current registrants.
AGer the accounts had been created for each of the four websites only 2 out of 4 of them replied with an automated email. Topman talk about the beneﬁts that a customer will now receive since creaKng the accounts as well as reinforcing the safety of the customers private details, ﬁnally Topman have addressed the consumer by their ﬁrst name which adds to the whole personal shopping experience. On the other hand the River Island email does not address the user by their ﬁrst name but by the registered email address. The appearance of the email seems to diﬀer from Topman’s as River Island’s email focuses on selling the product where as Topman focuses on the beneﬁts of having an account with the site.
Zara & River Island oﬀer their website consumers informaKon about current event. Zara being a mulKnaKonal company have tried to accommodate a vast amount of their worldwide customer base by hosKng events in various locaKons. However the site does not recognise the user and their locaKon and then personalises the page to display local events to the consumer. River Island again does not take full advantage of demographic targeKng for their events through the means of IP addresses. Although, River Island have added mulKple locaKons for their events across the UK to cater for their customers, but this could not be regarded as a website using personalisaKon to its full potenKal. A more personal feature River Island have added is the feature to socialise on the events secKon of their website with other registered users
Topman is the only website that tries to use member’s addresses to enhance the personalisaKon on their website. The image above is a screenshot of the Topman website recognising the country of origin the user is located in.
The best way to design a website is in around the lower end spectrum of technical speciﬁcaKons, this way the largest possible audience can reap the beneﬁts provided by the website. Two F’s of AestheKcs – Form and FuncKon. “Comprises graphics, colour, style and Form refers to the appearance or design typography. Many websites indulge in over factor, FuncKon is the interacKon/ elaborate graphics and ignore their navigaKon element to the website. “A site audiences’ capability and paKence to view with powerful aestheKc appeal can help them” (Chaﬀey, 2011). In order to combat c o m m u n i c a t e a b r a n d ’ s e s s e n K a l this problem it is the job of the web designer values” (Chaﬀey, 2011). to consider the restricKons of the varying levels of internet connecKon and screen resoluKons in conjuncKon with the diﬀerent Element 1: Graphics types of internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox etc). Topman.com
The Topman website uses a basic graphic interface, which includes simply photos and interacKve drop down menus. However there is a link to launch an external ﬂash player for “Topmusic” which launches a player pre loaded with music selected for Topman. This means the website can be read by a vast audience and sKll carry the same visual aestheKcs with no missing elements.
“CombinaKon of colours used is important since they create a feeling about the site and brand. Colour schemes need to be right i.e. -‐ Right for a personality which ﬁts the target audience -‐ Right for a colour scheme that ﬁts the brand -‐ Right for usability and accessibility” (Chaﬀey, 2011)
Element 2: Colour
The majority of this website is displayed in black/grey and white, with contrasKng colours to highlight oﬀers or important informaKon. In terms of accessibility this means that the site is equally as impressive on monitors that can display 256 colours to 16 million. In terms of colour scheme ﬁmng the personality of the brand/audience this clean cut classic image is in keeping with the current fashion trends and products available.
Basic colours used for the majority of the pages, white background with black text make for ease of readability. Images display the most part of colours used on pages. This gives the brand a modern stylish image, much in keeping with the brands clothing selecKon. In terms of accessibility this is a bonus too, as it allows for maximum audience impact.
This site uses a lot more colours due to it being more image based. The colours used contrast against the colours used in pictures, and in terms of the brand/audience percepKons give the brand a bright lively image, which is in keeping with their stock which is mainly casual wear as opposed to formal amre.
Similarly to River Island, this site is mainly set out on white background with black text, once more allowing for maximum accessibility and reﬂecKng the chic style of the brand.
Element 3: Style
“Tests by Amazon have shown that they generate best average order value with a design with many containers in the leG and right sidebars and with opKon to scroll several Kmes – there is simply more opportunity to connect a diverse audience with relevant products and promoKons” (Chaﬀey, 2011). Most retail websites follow this design outline.
Element 4: Typography
“The power of typography in adding to the visual appeal and persuasive power of a website is oGen underesKmated” (Chaﬀey, 2011).
So what are the important elements that should be considered in the typography of a website?
1. Never use underline in body text as a reader will think it’s a hyperlink 2. Avoid extensive use of italics as it is diﬃcult to read on screen, however they can add to variety 3. Agree a standard capitalizaKon of headlines and link text. Generally sentence case is best as it is most ‘scannable’ to the eye, where Title Case Is Ugly And More Diﬃcult For The Reader To Scan. 4. Headlines of more than 3 or 4 words may work best for SEO, so ensure font size is not too large to support this. 5. Remember that many web browser users will increase their type sizes so check that design renders gracefully as type is enlarged
All the websites successfully demonstrate great use of typography by having consistency amongst fonts used, no excessive use of italics and no un clickable use of underline (oGen replacing underline hyperlink style for use of bold to indicate a click through opportunity). The websites all equally have used few words in their headlines, meaning all the key informaKon chosen to be delivered to the reader can be easily read. Finally the websites do not ruin under type size enlargement.
Content Management Systems are web applications that are used to create, edit and update documents accessed by the internet. Of these applications, page templates are used to format page layouts. The design will be more effective should there be a different template for different sections of the site which have different objectives. It is however necessary for each of these different layouts to have consistency and usually have elements which are the same throughout a website. (Chaffey, 2011)
Things A Good Page Template Does -‐ AestheKcally pleasing layout -‐ Clear emphasis of diﬀerent content types -‐ Visual hierarchy showing relaKve importance of diﬀerent content through site -‐ PrioriKsaKon of markeKng messages -‐ Clear navigaKon opKons to a range of content
Though each of the four reviewed websites have implemented consistency throughout their pages, namely: -‐ Company name/logo for idenKty -‐ Menu and submenus for navigaKon -‐ Footer for reference to copyright and privacy informaKon -‐ Page Ktle for content Some sites have been more eﬀecKve in implemenKng diﬀerenKaKon between site secKons with diﬀerent objecKves, namely the checkout.
Topman.com (Picture 1)
River Island.com (Picture 4)
Throughout the site, the colours and layout remain much the same as the homepage, keeping the majority of the pages in tones of grey to black and using pink to highlight checkout bueons. The company logo also links back to the homepage. There is some diﬀerence in layout of the checkout page, as the page become more text based as opposed to image clad.
This site uses the most graphics and yet the least colour. InformaKon isn’t very well prioriKsed and there are no markeKng messages used (unlike Burton which clearly promotes a discount oﬀer). Due to the use of graphics they innovaKvely approach the checkout page, and make it really stand out by having it emerge on top of the shopping basket page, whilst fading out the rest of the screen.
Burton.com (Picture 2)
Zara.com (Picture 3)
The navigaKon menus and company name are the main successes of the consistency here, making navigaKon easy. There is also clear emphasis on content on the checkout page, with images of payment methods accepted, making it easy for the customer to idenKfy ways to pay. AestheKcally however the site is very similar to Topman.
This site, though following the same generic structure of the others, was the easiest and clearest to use. All the informaKon is set out with regard to visual hierarchy, making it a v i e w i n g p l e a s u r e f o r t h e c u s t o m e r . PrioriKsaKon of messages has been thought out, with links to similar or related products. Clear navigaKon throughout, plus good diﬀerenKaKon in regard to the checkout.
Site allows for users to sign in to g a i n a m o r e p e r s o n a l i s e d experience. Also a search bar has been embed enabling users to ﬁnd products quicker.
Links to social media websites.
Newsleeer subscripKons available, which give user access to personalised oﬀers.
The home page is very clear and laid out to maximize ﬂow of use in order to ﬁnd the knitwear secKon for men. As well as this a search opKon has been allocated to ﬁnd items faster for the user too.
When hovering the mouse over the men’s selecKon a drop down box menu becomes available for the user to choose from a range of products, and this increases once again the ﬂuidity of the website for the user to navigate to the knitwear secKon.
Finally once selecKng the previous opKon of knitwear a new opKon menu becomes available which allows the user to specify sizes and colours they are searching for. This website has followed the three-‐click rule which has lead to a very easy to navigate website
T o p m a n h a s clearly listed and parKKoned areas of interest to the user in the header of the home page
Topman also has a search opKon in the homepage to increase the speed the user can navigate to a parKcular product on the site.
D ro p d o w n m en u becomes available s i m i l a r t o R i v e r Island’s website.
Unlike River Island, Topman use the type o f k n i t w e a r a s a speciBic, rather than River Island’s colour choice or age range c h o i c e . T h e u s e r arrives at their chosen destination selected prior in 3 clicks, which River Island does also.
Account sign-‐in allows for user personalisaKon
Links to Social-‐ media sites
Unlike the other websites Zara has the navigaKon bar on the leG hand s i d e o f t h e i r website.
Once clicking the men’s secKons a new navigaKon menu, w h i c h s e p a r a t e s each segment of clothing. Exactly the same feature as the other websites
The user arrives at their desKnaKon in under three clicks, abiding by the three click rule and so far the fastest website to d o s o w h e n compared to the other websites.
Search embedded allows the user to navigate the site more thoroughly s i m i l a r t o t h e other websites.
Sign in option for users of the website, which delivers the consumer a more personalised experience.
Links to social media and Facebook events.
The homepage has a clear laid out opKon list creaKng a more user-‐ friendly navigaKon experience.
Just like Topman, the Burton website creates a drop down menu box when the mouse hovers over a speciﬁc opKon in the footer of the main navigaKon bar. This means that technically the website saves the user unnecessary loading and redirecKon to other pages and maintains the ease of navigaKng by making unneeded clicks redundant,
Finally the user is redirected to the knitwear page, with a given opKon to simplify the results if they choose to similar to the River Island website, however what is diﬀerent in comparison to River Island is that a slider scale allows the user to adjust the price range to their budget, which saves the user Kme riﬂing through pages of products that bare no relevance to them.
Account sign-‐in for a more personalised experience shopping online. Search enabled allowing for faster navigation.
Social media links
Newsletter sign-‐up form
Businesses use pictures, videos, ﬂash images, and gifs as a way to interact with users. This is a way to keep them on the page as well as engage with them. Along with this, websites use Blogs, Forums, and Social networking sites. As well as sign up pages as a way for users to interact on a two way level, thus engaging with the brand whilst giving feedback. This can be good and bad as if blog or Facebook page is not set up in the right way, people can use this as a way to issue bad publicity and can have a negaKve eﬀect on businesses. When logging onto Burton, I was prompted to enter a survey regarding my thoughts on the website. None of the other websites had this funcKon. Using social sites such as Facebook, users are able to link a given brand such as Topman to their proﬁle, and can even tag themselves as ‘Logged In’ when they visit a Topman store, this then shows up on their site as well as Topman’s. This all with all the other data businesses and websites are able to gather from this link with its consumers is a great insight. This can help tailor stores to consumers needs beeer in the future. All of the 4 websites have social network pages they use to interact with their consumers, above are some examples. They all use Facebook, YouTube and Twieer, with Burton’s and Topman using Blogs. Zara have a newsleeer you can sign up to use. Top man was the only site to use Google+, this is the newest social networking site, which is sKll building up its hype to take out Facebook as the social networking site to use.
Topman.com oﬀers the strap line “-‐ Mens Fashion – Mens Clothing – Topman”, with the website descripKon “Retail chain for men oﬀers online shopping, store locator and fashion advice”
Riverisland.com provides no strap line
but the following descripKon “Find the latest clothing trends at River Island as well as the latest girls and boys clothes collecKons. Shop online at your favorite high street store”
Burton.co.uk “-‐ Mens Clothing – Mens Fashion – Burton Menswear”, following with the descripKon “On-‐line shopping and men’s lifestyle features from the high street retailer”
Zara.com once more boasts no strap line, oﬀering a short descripKon “You can ﬁnd all the new clothes that arrive to our store once a week and you can also see the pictures of the catalogue and lookbook”.
Secondly, from the test involving ten males Insight Media can grasp a liele informaKon on what the customers think about these brands websites. From these results you are able to see that Zara had 30% of users say that they had diﬃculty in navigaKng the website while browsing. Also 20% of users said the same about River Islands website. Zara’s website was only used for an average of 5 minutes out of the users; this may show concern for engagement with the online viewer.
Overall from these results, from the customers who took part, the two brands that stand out that may have potenKal issues with there website is Zara and River Island. Now Insight media will ﬁnd some relevant secondary research to help with this issue.
In September 2011 Zara recorded a rise on
proﬁt of 14% in its half year results. They put this down to their growth and development in online engagement and online sales. (retailweek)
Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has signalled the importance of online as a key growth plank with the simultaneous relaunch of all its fashion sites this week. (retail week)
Online sales is worth a lot of money to all of these brands. In June, this year, 5.3 billion pounds was spent on online shopping, this was a rise of 21% compared to last year, this June also saw a fall of 0.6% on the high street. (reuters)
This secondary research that Insight Media have discovered has shown how important online engagement and online sales with the customers is. As in store sales seem to be decreasing online sales conKnue to increase. This evidence shows how important digital can be within any retail organisaKon.
Social Media Engagement is a tool used for traﬃc building for an organisaKon. It is used to increase menKons of the brand or site on other popular sites. There are many acKviKes that can be used and managed as part of the online PR. -‐Search MarkeKng AcKviKes -‐Brand Engagement AcKviKes -‐Buzz-‐building AcKviKes -‐Defensive and Crisis PR
The opKons available for Social Media are: Social networks – the brands can create pages on sites such as Facebook, twieer and YouTube. These three sites any brand are able to buzz-‐build about new launches and fashion ranges within the brand. Blogs – brands can have their own blogs on their own websites or using other sites such as word press to talk ﬁrst hand to their customer online, such as one of the brands can have a blog discussing there new range of clothes or a speciﬁc piece of clothing to market them. Having successful social media can increase brand awareness and also increase sales for the company. Urban ouSieers who are another high brands, have shown how successful online PR can be when you invest correctly in it. Urban OuSieers set up their Facebook page, by September of this year they increased their fans to the page by 148%. This saw their fan base on facebook grow from 490,579 to 822,223.
These are the opKons of social media engagement each brand gives on their website. On the top is Topman then its Burton, Zara and at the boeom River Island. From the variety of opKons available Topman have a lot more opKons for the customer to follow them on, even including Google + which is the latest version of social network. Topman and Burton are the only brands to oﬀer a blog. Zara don’t use the social network icons to promote in on their website. Also they are a lot harder to ﬁnd on the website.
To conKnue looking into the brands social media engagement, Insight Media is going to look into one of their social network sites. As all the brands have the popular Facebook site, we are going to compare each brands Facebook site.
These are the four Facebook pages for each of the brand. Zara, being an internaKonal high street brand have the most “likes” on their page with over 10 million. River Island are in second with over a million. Topman are far behind in third with just under 200,000 and then last but not least with just over 30,000 likes.
Zara are expected to have a higher traﬃc on their social network site, being an internaKonal brand they have more opportuniKes for the traﬃc on Facebook. Surprisingly Topman have less likes then River Island. This may be due to the range of social media engagement opportuniKes that Topman oﬀer and their customers are spread all over the other opKons available. River Island compared to Topman and Burton.
Topman and Burton Both have links to users accounts.
After scrolling to the second half on the page, Burton links you to a Facebook page.
On the Burton’s website the ﬁrst thing a user sees when entering this page is the big banner linking Burton’s TV Ad (referring to discount).
Users can listen to Topman radio
Whereas on the Topman website, the same oﬀer is much smaller, giving space to show models wearing selected lines.
This website, much like the Topman and Burton website. Oﬀering a display of ranges available, links to discount as well as the option to enter a search into a search bar much like on the Topman and Burton sites.
There is a small link to Facebook at the bottom, as well as link to a Zara account.
Once the desired destination is chosen, i.e. T-‐Shirts, all websites oﬀer a selection.
All of the websites have a simple tab bar, where all sections of the website clearly labeled, can be entered. The only diﬀerence is on the Zara site, the tab bar is on the left side of the page, and to reach the diﬀerent sections on the River Island site the user must hover on the selected tab.
Once the chosen item is picked, all websites link to add the item to a bag/ cart.
All of the websites follow the same ease of navigating to the desired purchase.
Overall Insight Media ﬁnd that given the extensive analysis into each of the selected Men’s fashion retailer websites, River Island present the best example of a quality website, and across all aspects of website design and functionality.
Burton Topman Zara River Island
From the Research and Social Media Engagement, River Island are seen to be in stronger position then the other brands. River Island have a more niche presence across social networks, they boast more followers and a better developed Facebook page, which is easier in terms of usability and navigation for the customer.
In terms of Personalisation River Island allows consumers to search for clothing of a speciﬁc style or colour, and tailor product choices to their own personal budget, a feature excellently presented to create a user focused personal shopping experience. They also oﬀer an e-‐mail service to inform the user of new style lines which may be of interest to them, this information is ﬁlled out during the account creation process, this allows for a more eﬃcient consumer targeting. In conjunction with this River Island allow the user to create a bespoke personal newsletter, via a simple tick box survey, which specify the users interests e.g., Men’s trouser. The advantage of this is that the consumer is more willing to read the newsletter rather than disregard it as junk mail as the oﬀers and new information is targeted to the users interests.
When looking at the 5 P’s, River Island go from strength to strength in each aspect of the analysis. Some of the stronger areas include Sell and Save. In regard to Sell, River Island being a mixed gender retailer, they pay close attention to this factor and tailor the contents of the website speciﬁcally to the appropriate consumer i.e. from the homepage the website identiﬁes whether the customer is male or female, and redirects them to the appropriate product areas. Save is another strong area for River Island, being the only brand featured in this report to have a functional mobile shopping application that provides good service to the customer. Compatible on iPhone/iPad, the app is a key tool in targeting the mobile market, and an area which has been overlooked by the other brands.
Online Value Proposition, River Island uses emotive language to engage the user into clicking through onto their site, and uses a clear and concise approach to presenting the sites proposition
Key design objectives. I feel that River Island was the hardest to navigate through and did not oﬀer enough content. I also did not think that it was like its store in the sense that it did not have the same ranges. Also I feel that River Island was not as up to date with the latest fashion as the other three sites. I feel that River Island could improve their site by possibly working on their tabs where you pick which section to go to as this feature as it stands is not as easy as the other sites to get to where you want to go.
Search engine optimization When searching for ‘Men’s High Street Fashion’ in a search engine, Topman and Burton came up high on the list. This could be because they paid to be put higher on the list. When looking into the source codes for all of the sites almost all of the sites fail to use ‘meta tags’. With the exception of one. The only site which had a ‘meta tag’ is River Island, and due to this organic approach to SEO, River Island champions this area.
Interaction All of the websites oﬀered good interaction with users, however River Island focus’ theirs into a smaller selection of successful interactions, an uniquely oﬀer a very good YouTube page, an area which fails in other brands, as well as highly successful social sites including Facebook and Twitter. It seems River Island puts the most focus into achieving successful interaction with their consumer, as opposed to simply creating social pages and leaving them to blossom on their own, River Island drive interaction through their website.
Aesthetics, a real strong point for River Island is its aesthetics. It’s a clean cut website, clearly reﬂecting the store image of the brand, and also allowing the site to be easily viewed on a lower spec PC or mobile device, due to simple colour schemes and low graphic (yet eﬀective) pages. Page Structure and Navigation, River Island stay within the three click rule when navigating to a speciﬁc section of their website, as well as having a reﬁner for the users search results ﬁtting in the assigned number of clicks. They also boast an intelligent search option in their website which allows the user to search for a unique item of clothing, or should they know the product number, they can enter this and ﬁnd the product instantly, which saves the user time. Finally shortcuts to social media sites. River island have incorporated the feature of the user being able to log in their Facebook proﬁle and comment or like the River Island page via the oﬃcial River Island page this simpliﬁes the whole process of liking the River Island page to a novice level as well as providing an innovative structure for the user to perform this process in
Research and SME B u r t o n , e v e n t h o u g h t h e y h a v e m o r e opportunities within social network sites, they are seen to have confused online customers with too many sites and customers unsure of which one too follow. Burton should look at River Island as an example where "quality is better then quantity" and how River Island have managed to engage on a social network more successfully then any other brands within the UK. 5 P’s, Online Value Proposition & Aesthetics, the main issue for Burton in these areas is the similarities between their site and Topman’s. Which operate as part of the same retail group Arcadia, it seems that Burton’s site has been designed and developed around versions of the Topman site. It’s clear that Burton’s site mimics Topman’s, for instance looking ‘Speak’ and ‘Sizzle’, area’s in which Topman excel, Burton have failed to implement suﬃcient content to succeed in these aspects. Aesthetically Burton’s site looks and feels the same as Topman, and to improve Burton should diﬀerentiate themselves away from Topman, and establish their own website design. In terms of Online Value Proposition, Burton need to bring their brand to life, with emotive language rather than the bland corporate approach they have currently. A lot of the right ‘notes’ are available on the site as it stands, however they just need to be clearly deﬁned and ‘played in the right order’.
Interaction When logging onto Burton, I was prompted to enter in a survey on how I feel the site is. This I feel was a good attempt; none of the other sites oﬀered this. However this was misplaced, asking the user to ﬁll in a survey about their experience of the website, before even getting the opportunity to browse the site, is an injustice to the interaction, and actually leaves a negative feeling toward the brand. Aside from this attempt, Burton oﬀered the least interaction and engagement for users. To improve, placing this survey further down into the website, perhaps at the checkout, or through an email after a purchase, would be a much better approach to customer interaction. Personalisation Burton do not send the user any information about oﬀers or information about new clothing when the account has been created, to ﬁx this problem they should focus on designing some form of small fashion interest survey on the account creation page as this would allow them to create a more personal experience for the shopper. Information about local events would be something they could improve on, for example when the user goes on to the Burton site their IP address is recognised and relevant event information is brieﬂy explained say on the footer or the wings of the page. This would enhance the personalisation the user is expecting as well as geo-‐demographically targeting consumers Search Engine Optimisation In contrast to River Island, where Burton have a high ranking on search engines, this is not an organic ranking, and so need to focus on the introduction of ‘Meta tags’ to their source code as this could help to improve the ranking on the organic listing. Page structure and navigation Developing their search option the results do not always bare relevance to what is being searched sometimes such as searching for “blue t shirts” the search option does not recognise the colour being speciﬁed, perhaps some coding could be done to tweak this minor issue.
Insight Media recommend by way of improving the site and keeping it up to date with future technologies, would be to implement widgets to the site. A new development in this arena is Blippar, a Smartphone device application that uses the in-‐built camera to recognise things in the real world and instantaneously provide the user with digital connections, information or interactive entertainment on our phone screens. River Island could implement this as part of their website by way of further product detail, i.e. having a 3D preview of the clothing selected, simply hold your Smartphone device over the product image, and a model walks out of the screen to present the features of the clothing and an interactive look at how the product looks when worn. Blipper could also be used to download a catalogue, or even the shopping App currently used by River Island. This widget can also be applied to oﬄine campaigns, in order to drive internet sales.
On the whole, Burton need to address their brand in relation to their website. A lot of their problems could be improved by simply applying some time and eﬀort into developing the site correctly, based on what they currently have in place. The site is lacking a sense of stand alone diﬀerentiation from the Topman website, and compare against it, is lacking a lot of lustre. Should this action take place, Burton’s site could equally rival Topman, and perhaps even River Island.