Emmaboda Möbler′s web shop has been around for three years now and it has proven to be a very successful project. 2014 the turnover was 3.5 Million, an increase by 75% since 2013.

According to DIBS annual report ”E-handel i Sverige 2014”, e-commerce has increased by 7% from 2013 to 2014 (the same rate as the year before that). Home decoration (including furniture) constitutes 9% of all purchases.

When launching a completely new web shop it obviously helps if you already have a well-known brand. Emmaboda Möbler has been selling design furniture for over 100 years, but their strongest target group is rich seniors, a group not overrepresented on the web. Another concern was if people were ready to buy expensive products online. It is not uncommon that the best couches cost over 50 000 SEK.

Despite these concerns, Emmaboda Möbler decided to give it a shot. Now looking back, Emmaboda Möbler’s regular customers did not start to do their shopping on the web abandoning the physical shop, instead a new set of customers made their way to the web shop. This meant that the income from the web shop became a bonus of sorts to the normal sales made in the physical shop.

The web shop was set up on one of the first cloud platforms called Heroku. One of the advantages with Heroku is that you can scale the performance seamlessly. For example you might foresee the traffic increasing during a sale, then you just login, slide a control and at once the site is twice as fast. When the sale is over you switch back to normal mode, paying only what is necessary.

Technology is one thing, but even though a site can be terrific in many ways, it does not matter if no one finds it. A strategy involving price comparing sites proved to be very efficient from day one, attracting new users to the site. Still today 21% of all traffic comes from this setup. Yearly AdWords campaigns also boosted the traffic and have proved to grow the number of organic visitors in the long run.

Although the number of visitors is interesting you also need to keep track of the conversion rate. The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who actually makes a purchase. If you sell more costly products, as in Emmaboda Möbler’s case, the conversion rate is understandably lower than it would be for a shop that sell cheaper products.

2014
Turnover: 3.5 Million
Visitors: 78 000
Conversion: 1.5%

2013
Turnover: 2 Million
Visitors: 55 000
Conversion: 1.2%

From 2013 to 2014 the visitors increased by 42% and the turnover increased by 75%. If the conversion rate had stayed at 2013’s level: 1.2%, the turnover would have only been increased by 40% which translates into 2.8 Million instead of 3.5 Million.

So what created this crucial increase of conversion? It is hard to say for sure, but a big change during the end of 2013 was the release of a responsive version of the site. We saw that traffic from mobiles and tablets was close to 40% and increasing. This was a lot compared to other sites so ayond recommended Emmaboda Möbler to go responsive. Looking back, it does not feel very far-fetched that users that got tired of zooming and squinting now actually went through with their purchases because of the site being responsive and adapted to their device of choice.

E-commerce, Interaction Design, Marketing, Mobile,
With hypes like “Mobile First” and Responsive web you can get the idea that it is a matter of screen size. But a mobile phone is not a small computer, it is something far different – and if realizing this you might find that there is some great potential right in front of you, for you to build better services for your customers, and to build brand.

http://designshack.net/articles/css/mobilefirst/

http://thesiteslinger.com/blog/responsive-design-why-youre-doing-it-wrong/

A mobile phone is so much more different from a computer than only being smaller, with a smaller screen and smaller buttons. In difference to a computer a mobile phone stays with its user almost at all times, in social situations and when dining alone, in good times and in bad times, in all kinds of thrilling, interesting, exciting and dull environments. A mobile phone is a device that easily can be picked up in the middle of a conversation for a party to check something that might help the conversation to continue, to become more interesting, to deepen. A mobile phone is a device that easily can be shared, in order to together understand the details of a map view, or look at someone’s photos. A mobile phone can buzz silently in the pocket. It can be something you pick up in a situation when you want to pass the time or show that you want to be left alone, or to show that you are totally fine with being just that, alone with your phone before a busy conference.

But also a mobile phone holds other technologies than a computer that can be used and make sense and aid its user and even his/her friends in all these thrilling, interesting, exciting and dull environments and situations. Technologies that most companies today do not consider how they potentially can benefit, change and develop their business. There are today a range of innovative Apps that make use of the gyro, the vibration actuator and the camera to track things like movement and sleep patters, pulse, and even blood pressure and a whole range of other things. But a problem with these Apps is that they are not developed, designed and built together with practitioners, such as nurses and doctors. Therefore, these practitioners cannot trust the data collected and produced by these Apps if a user for example wants to show this data when visiting the doctor. Also practitioners like doctors do not today have a work schedule that fit with looking at App data, as it not yet has been a decision coming from their superior to make use of these kinds of technical possibilities and develop these kinds of Apps internally in the health care system.

Moreover, this is not just about a difference between computers and mobile phones. It is about there being a difference between all kinds of screens and devices being used in different settings and scenarios where technology can aid people differently from in another setting and set up.

A screen used in the car, such as the navigation system, is for example not only for the driver to use. Of course we should develop easy to grasp interfaces for the driver when he or she is the user, but it can also be that the screen in the car scenario is turned around and read by the front seat passenger who most likely is another capable driver (though not driving right now) that in this instance have better abilities to read more complicated and detailed information that could help them both in the situation they are in. Not always is it best to shape data in a form that it can be read while driving. Perhaps navigation systems should be possible to rotate and have two modes!? http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2441952

And iPad games or any game for that reason that is used in cars can be shaped to make use of all the exciting data that is in the car to be found, like how the car is driven, how it accelerates, where in the world it is, what other cars that are nearby and what other people that are travelling in those other cars and what they are doing and much much more. This kind of data is what we used when creating three car games aimed at making it more fun for some young children to sit still and as they should and then potentially more safe when in a driving car. One game make use of the forces anything in a driving car is exposed to and invert those forces in a game set up to have the children instead of leaning with the curves, out of their child seat, fight them to gain points by sitting more upright and still. Another game play with how the car gets emotional from how it is driven and has the children mimic these emotions by making use of their small but highly expressive face muscles. This game plays with how children playing this game come to realize how the system is more capable of tracking their expressions if they hold their head upright and still right in front of the camera in use. A third game play with sensations of suspense and has children look out for shadows the car is driving though in which there are ghosts to be found and potentially caught. http://www.mobilelifecentre.org/sites/default/files/Gaming%20to%20Sit%20Safe.pdf

In the world of IoT (http://ayond.se/blogs/internet-of-things-without-people-is-internet-of-nothing/) being asked by various companies where to start and in what direction to head, making better and more interesting use of all the technologies that already are here right in front of us is such ready to hand opportunity. Can we for instance make use of accelerometer data to allow for mobile rehabilitation programs formed by our physiotherapist!? Or can we be allowed to prepare ATM activities on our mobiles and later just execute them via the NFC technology!? Or can we use motor data in the car to judge how environmentally friendly or secure a person is driving and then let that shape his/her tax and insurance costs!?

We can see how for instance Volvo build brand by being first and unique in this new world of IoT (http://www.volvocars.com/intl/sales-services/sales/volvo-on-call/Pages/default.aspx). Not all companies have the budget for this. But if still wanting to be more unique and build better mobile services for your customers, and to build brand, my recommendation would definitely be to consider this range of opportunities your customers already carry with them. What could these technologies potentially bring, targeted to your business and customer needs!?

Business Modelling, Emerging technologies, Innovation, Interaction Design, Marketing, Mobile, Social Media, Trends,
An employee who does not have a clear job description does not work effectively. The same applies to brands. If the brand needs to appear everywhere, anytime and always be prepared to talk to people who it neither knows or has any background information on, the brand will eventually need a break to recover.

Podcasts, print, events, web, PR, apps, seminars, hr, office design, banners, campaigns, youtube, facebook, google+, advertisement, commercials, SEO etc. A list of today’s communication channels could be written beyond this article, but let me reflect on the concept of burnout for a while.

What does it mean for a company’s brand to be seen everywhere all the time? Personally, I believe that brands will soon suffer the same stress symptoms that affects over burdened people. If the brand needs/are able to appear everywhere, anytime and always be prepared to talk to people who it neither knows or has any background information on, the brand will eventually need a break to recover.

The new marketing opportunities can also lead to a paradox. Companies have now every chance to communicate with their customers because of cheaper technology and smarter viral campaigns. But the risk is that the eagerness to communicate frequently affects the content so that the recipient either gets tired of listening or that some of the communication will be recognized in very wrong way.

They says one thing there, another thing there, a third thing there and finally the core of the brand´s clarity become blunted. The earned and constructed meaning of the brand can decrease and be diffuse by telling to many stories. And brands without a clear job role aren´t effective. The same goes for individuals.

The new, more democratic way to communicate is of course very good in many ways. You just have to have a reasonably clear strategy for how you and your brand can handle the communication tools in the best possible way.

I hope to have the opportunity to talk to companies about the importance to stop and concentrate on getting to know themselves and who they want to be in the future. Discuss how they can socialize with both “family”, “close friends” and not so very close friends in a decent way. To create clarity about which venues they should be on, when and why.

Below you can see some examples of when social communication goes wrong. Mistakes like these harms trademarks deeper and more often now than before.

And as you can see in the following examples its difficult for the sender to know how all instant messages will be interpreted and exploited nowadays. This blog post will surely be interpreted in several different ways and some may not agree with me. I hope you still continue to like us on ayond if so;-)

McDonald’s tried to promote its brand and engage with customers through two promoted trends: #meetthefarmers and #mcdstories.

Unfortunately for McDonald’s, many Twitter users decided to post their horror stories at the fast food chain using the second of those hashtags. In essence, McDonald’s paid to promote a trend that showered the company in bad publicity. McDonald’s later admitted that “#mcdstories did not go as planned.”

mcdonalds

 

New York’s police force NYPD (New York Police Department) attempted to create great publicity for themselves by inviting users on Twitter to send pictures of police officers in New York with the hash tag # myNYPD.

They probably wanted the city’s citizens would tweet advantageous selfie pictures of police officers, but instead many of the citizens tweeted pictures where the police were involved in more or less violent context.

http://feber.se/webb/art/299123/new_yorkpolisens_selfiekampanj/

police_ny

 

Word to the wise: Think twice before you try to turn a natural disaster into a promotional opportunity. American Apparel offered 20% off for those in states affected by Hurricane Sandy, in case they were “bored” by the storm. Customers quickly took to Twitter and other social networks to criticize the ad.

americanappearal

Marketing, Social Media, Trends,
Some may think this is crazy, but we think it′s a fun step to combine social media with physical stores.

When visitors to the company’s Facebook page click on the like button for a particular item of clothing, it will be displayed in real time on the garment hanger in the store. In this way, the store employees quickly find out which designs are popular. Doubtful customers get confirmation if it is a “yes” or “no purchase” buy for others who looked at the garment. Likewise, in future, you may be able to post comments about a particular article of clothing.

See also the film that describes the fashion retailer C & A in Brazil working with Fashion Likes

 

E-commerce, Emerging technologies, Innovation, Interaction Design, Marketing, Mobile, Social Media, Trends,
This spring ayond sponsored a high school student Erik Levin to go on a one week visit to China as part of his final year project. This is Erik’s report:

“After an eight hour flight we landed in a surprisingly cold Beijing. Cold and tired we decided to have a look at the classic tourist attractions as our schedule for coming days was tightly packed. With some quick peeks at people’s mobile phones in town I soon came to see that Apple hadn’t been able to get a grip on the market here in the same way they have done in Western Europe and the US.

We then visited Sony’s factory and talked with them about their view on the future of applications. They saw the application’s future as something very positive, the possibilities with applications are endless and the only thing stopping us is where our imagination stops. Not only can we see this in the wide selection on the market but also in with functions integrated like Google’s voice command and Apple’s AI Siri. As they see it the development of applications is growing align with the usage of them, especially applications for social media and instant messaging.

 

china2

The next day we all went to visit Yew Chung International School of Beijing were I got the chance to speak with the students about common applications they used in their everyday life. Just as they said at Sony the students were using more and more application for social media, instant messaging and even for making calls. These applications were important for them as they made it much easier for them to stay in contact with friends at different schools in other countries.

The fact that they used mostly other brands on their mobile phones in China was something I found rather puzzling. As one might understand smartphones are common in China just like the rest of the world, but unlike other countries they have their own brands such as Huawei. The question I then asked myself is way hasn’t terminals such as Huawei spread more internationally, is it because China has closed of the market for them or is it just a time question.

I found the usage of applications very similar in China compared to how it is in Sweden. This is rather logical as students are often looking for the same uses be it computers or a mobile phone.

The application market is something I find very fascinating, and I know I’m not alone in this. With the help of applications we will star synchronising all our digital media and not too far in the future we will all be have our storage in the clouds.”

 

 

Marketing, Mobile,