The Department Store Decline: Is a Misplaced Sense of Brand Loyalty to Blame?

2019 has been the worst performing year on record for retail. We’ve seen the collapse and near-collapse of household names on an unprecedented scale. This leads us to the question, why? Surely these mega stores have enough clout to survive a tough trading climate? Surely, if they can’t noone can?

For those of you that follow our analyses of each case in the retail breaking news, we usually dive deep into the eCommerce blunders that likely prevented success for these brands. In this article however, we wanted to focus on a different issue altogether. We wanted to look specifically into the misguided sense of brand loyalty that ties these failures together.

In previous decades, our most historic high street retailers have seen great success in leveraging their legacies as part of their brand stories.  Customers and employees alike loved feeling connected to the bigger sense of belonging. But in more recent years, and as a result of the onset of the digital shopping age, declines would suggest that the likes of Beales, John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser are now suffering on this front.

It’s time for a new approach. In the new age of digital consumers, people are far less likely to show brand loyalty just for legacy’s sake. Customers shop around. They are connected enough to price-compare online, they are open to trying new brands and they expect seamless experiences such as home delivery and returns, if the items aren’t quite right.

So for our oldest brands to assume that their customers will continue to go through the motions, often with antiquated processes, is either stemming from ignorance or arrogance. Is this misplaced reliance on using their heritage to draw customers finally hitting (or hit) its saturation point? It certainly seems that these department stores are presuming a level of customer loyalty that no longer exists, or certainly not to the degree it used to. So then, how is it possible for similar companies to start making steps to future-proofing against this trap?

A piece of advice would be for businesses in a similar stalemate, to rediscover their sense of your story and its value and appeal to the end customer. Just because it sounds nice to you, the business, doesn’t mean it actually resonates in any way with the target audience. It’s about getting a fresh sense of this from the customers perspective. It should be firmly understood from the outset that internal perspectives are often somewhat clouded when the topics are close to home.

Happy shopping everyone!

#Retail #RetailDecline #CommerceTips

Biometrics Space Between

An Introduction to Biometric User Testing

What is Biometric Testing?

Biometric User Testing is relatively new on the digital marketing scene. Don’t panic - it’s really not as scary as it sounds. Essentially, it applies the principles of psychological testingtechniques to the context of digital marketing. That translated? It is used to test and record the responses of users when interacting with retailers’ websites and apps. Both emotional arousal and stress reaction measures are used in order to achieve this and data is then collated to provide insights on the findings.


Subject Connected to Galvanic Skin Response Kit while conducting Website User Session. (Source: Space Between Ltd).

How does Testing Work?

Testing a sample using qualitative and quantitative data, opportunities for these refinements quickly becomes apparent in the data reports. Subjects are selected to match the demographic profile of the website being tested. They are set up in a Biometric Laboratory, which guarantees consistency in the testing environment. The testing itself involves the application of various measures, including: Galvanic Skin Response (similar to polygraph testing in measuring palm sweat levels), Eye Tracking (what the subjects are looking at on screen), Mouse Tracking (what the subjects mouse is doing on screen), Facial Expression Analysis and Attention Analysis (captured with various user cameras during the testing session). Subjects also provide direct feedback on their experience using the website, usually in a series of questionnaires and surveys. Subjects are given several tasks to complete on the website, such as searching for a specific item, and proceeding to cart checkout. This testing process usually takes around one hour per subject and is highly valuable to highlighting key issues with eCommerce and functionality and overall usability. A deeper level of analysis can be achieved by repeating this testing process again with the same subjects, but this time performing the same test on competitor websites. This highlights the areas of success and improvement for an eCommerce site in the context of competitor presence.


Subject Facial Analysis recording and data feed during User Session (Source: Space Between Ltd).

How is it Applied?

Unsurprisingly, Biometric Testing has seen its early adopters in the mega eCommerce Retailing Market (think the big online supermarkets like WholeFoods, travel booking sites like Skyscanner, and marketplaces like Amazon). The reason being that they all have huge traffic volumes and huge online sales in common. When it comes to refinement, or optimization of their eCommerce site, a small tweak can mean the difference of millions of dollars in sales. So their common interest is in complete eCommerce refinement for the ultimate User Experience. But the benefits of Biometrics are now being recognised by smaller businesses too, and rightfully so. In a culture where a smooth online experience is so vital to successful business, particularly when financial transactions are involved, public expectation is constantly growing. This isn’t just isolated to big business - consumers have come to expect this now of all eCommerce interaction.


Biometrics User Testing - Applied  by the Big eCommerce Retailers (Source: Christian Wiediger, Unsplash)

Now What?

If you are in the business of eCommerce, it’s time to consider if Biometric Testing  is a marketing method you should be applying. As a general rule of thumb, the greater the site traffic, the greater the potential for achieving big results. So, if you are only just starting up, it may not be the right time for you. If you are a bigger business, with a robust online presence and marketing team, this could be your big opportunity for untapped growth in 2019. With User Experience and Conversion Optimization being high on the agenda for most digital teams, it’s time to consider if Biometrics Testing should become part of your ongoing digital strategy. Remember, when it comes to website traffic, users expect a seamless journey. The only way to truly test how your users interact with your site, and to identify any common pain points they may have, is to apply Biometric Testing.

Micro Moments - Space Between - Blog

Micro-Moments - What Are They and Why Should I Care?

If you are interested in customer behaviour, online user journeys and how these affect your brand, read on…

A Micro-Moment, like anything tech-related, has an emerging and evolving definition. Essentially, any moment where an online user makes a decision, or develops a preference toward a brand, is known as a Micro-Moment. People are increasingly connected. We are also increasingly likely to look to our device in order to satisfy any need that may arise. Think of the last time you wanted to learn something new, research a topic, find an address or look for a recommended restaurant…...we all probably did so online. Essentially, most Micro-Moments are acting on a need that can be categorised as one of the following:

  1. Wanting to buy something
  2. Wanting to watch something
  3. Wanting to learn
  4. Wanting to do
  5. Wanting to discover

Now let’s put these moments into a measurable context.

Of leisure travellers who are smartphone users, 69% search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they're standing in line or waiting for the subway. Nearly half of those travellers go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel.


Of smartphone users, 91% look up information on their smartphones while in the middle of a task.

Of smartphone users, 82% consult their phones while they're standing in a store deciding which product to buy. One in 10 of those end up buying a different product than they had planned.

Of online consumers, 69% agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company's message influences their perception of a brand [1]


In other words, Micro-Moments are now accounting for huge online spend when it comes to these immediate purchasing decisions. So what can you do to maximise on these moments?

Instead of looking at your website and working backwards, put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. What needs do they have, and what solutions are they seeking? Can you align with any of these, and optimise your website to offer this solution? Then start to think about how you can refine the overall experience for that user, once they enter your sales funnel by engaging with your site, or brand. What aspects of your current solution could be better?

Social Proofing - Space Between - Blog

Social Proof - What is It and How Can I Apply It?

There’s no denying the new ‘social’ way of life is changing the way we live and in turn, the way we interact online.

There’s that word again. Social.

Social, this, social that...

There’s no denying the new ‘social’ way of life is changing the way we live and in turn, the way we interact online.

We want to jump in head first to the world of social proofing; what is it? How has it changed online behaviour? How it affects customers decisions and therefore, business decisions. We look at strategies and will hopefully provide you with a nice little doggy-bag of actionable takeaways.

Social Proofing: Back to Basics

We all know by now how social media can influence users decisions, an image or an opinion can soon change somebody’s mind. But what do we know about social proofing as a whole?

Social proof (also known as informational social influence) is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior in a given situation.

Social proof goes far beyond social media and in fact social proofing as a marketing tool far out dates social media platforms. It’s simply the increase in the number of platforms and users of social media that has enhanced the importance of social proof. Keeping up?

Social Proof is identified in six different forms:

1) User Social Proof

This social proof can come in the form of testimonials, reviews or case studies from your existing customers.

2) Expert Social Proof

This social proof comes from reliable, trustworthy and credible experts in the same industry.

3) Celebrity Social Proof

Social proof from celebrities or other esteemed influencers who have bought your product, used your services or visited your establishment, it helps a great deal if the celebrity is properly matched to the brand.

4) ‘Wisdom of the crowds’ Social Proof

This comes when a large number of people or groups provide social proof proving that thousands of people or more have taken the desired business action, be it buying a product or subscribing to a newsletter.

5) ‘Wisdom of your friends’ Social Proof

As above but the social proof is on a smaller scale and comes from  friends of your users or website visitors. An easy example is the ‘like’ button on Facebook.

6) Certification

This one often gets forgotten, however we feel it’s just as important to get a mention. This comes from an accredited 3rd party entity which certifies that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy source.

Why is social proof important for your business?

Users’ movements can be unpredictable especially as technologies change and the Internet adapts. However, a consumer behaviour that continues to remain consistent is social proof, this is why it’s becoming such an important focus for businesses.

FACT: “Studies show that 61% of consumers say they look at product reviews before making a purchase and product reviews are 12x more trusted than product descriptions from manufacturers.”

Knowing that over half of customers read reviews before making a decision is monumental, it shows how much trust a consumer puts into others and how they can be influenced.

And in fact, there are further stats to prove the significance of reviews on page, how about these as food for thought: Reevoo research claims that having reviews present on your site can lead to an average of 18% increase in conversion. In 2011 iPerceptions proved that 63%of customers are more likely to buy from a site that has reviews and finally, Bazaarvoice showed that consumers who take the time to read reviews and customer questions are 105% more likely to make a purchase.

By getting the best results from your conversion rate optimisation you will of course increase your ROI. However, in the process social proof marketing can benefit your website in more ways than one. Another significant benefit is boosting your companies brand.

Brand awareness is mostly self explanatory; it’s building your brand to be a well-known, trusted business. Positive reviews, customer recommendations, shares, and media mentions for example, are all social proof strategies that will help build your brand and increase your brand’s awareness. This leads us to the ‘halo effect.’ The halo effect is described as: evaluation by an individual and can affect the perception of a decision, action, idea, business, person, group, entity, or other whenever concrete data is generalized or influences ambiguous information.

In layman's terms it can be said that a well established business brand has an influential effect on a person's decision.

List of further benefits of Social Proof Marketing:

  • A better ROI.
  • Social proof is a way of finding new visitors.
  • An increase in engagement throughout your site.
  • Enhanced customer insights.
  • Social proofing can help you to find the right customers for your business.
  • Social proof breeds trust into customers.

It’s clear to see why businesses are spending time and money on perfecting their social proof marketing; the power of the strategies are undeniably significant in easing the minds of customers, and in turn benefitting your conversion and ROI.


27 of the Best Social Proof Strategies to Increase Conversion

Below is a table showing you the best social proof strategies to increase conversion. We’ve given you a helping hand by advising how hard each is to implement and their potential reward.

Social Proof Strategy What is it? Type Implementation Conversion Value
E.g Review E.g Displaying customers case studies E.g Expert E.g Easy - Hard E.g High - Low
Ratings & Reviews Reviews left by existing customers User Easy High
Testimonials Testimonials left by existing customers User Easy High
Influencer / Celebrity endorsements Influencer/celebrity approval of your product/service Celebrity Hard High
Industry badges/certifications The display of certifications and accreditations on your site Certification Easy Medium
Media mentions The display of mentions of your product or brand in the media Expert Easy High
Social Media Proof Use of social media User Easy High
Counters - Real time statistics How many people are viewing the page/making a purchase Friends Medium Medium
Social shares/connections Show real time number of shares Friends Easy High
Subscriber/User/Customer Count The display of your user, subscriber or customer count Crowds Easy Medium
Customer base/Clients The display of client logos on your site Expert Easy Medium
Trust seals - eg payment protection Use Trust Seals such as Norton, McAfee on your check-out page Certification Easy High
Best sellers Show customers which products are best sellers User Easy High
Customers also bought The display of which products customers also bought User Medium Medium
Customer recommendations Present an average of customers that would buy again Crowds Medium Medium
Number of past orders/sales The display of how many orders you've had Crowds Easy High
Ambassadors - highlight comments etc Allow customers to become ambassadors of your brand Celebrity Medium Low
Popular content/products Sharing your popular posts or products User Easy Medium
Customer Showcase The display of happy customers User Medium High
Platform Integrations The display of the logos of integrated third-party services Certification Easy High
Case Studies Encouraging and the display of customers case studies User Medium Medium
Test Scores The display of test scores from independent third parties Certification Easy High
Photos Include photos with any of the above User Easy High
Similarity Use sources that are similar to your customer base User Medium High
Stories and Examples Provide stories and examples User Easy Low
Avoid negative social proof Don't use negative examples about missing out on a product/service User Easy High
Avoid minimal social proof Have a substantial amount of social proof before you put it live User Easy High
FOMO Allow customers to feel like they are on the verge of missing out User Easy High

Summary of Social Proofing

Seeing a long queue might not always make you want to jump in it, but it does spark an interest into what the queue is for and whether or not you’re missing out, it’s a natural reaction and as we’ve proved it’s this psychology of your audience that you need to explore.

When we consider the numbers; over 60% of customers reading reviews before making a purchase, it’s evident that businesses cannot ignore the power of social proofing. Using our comprehensive list of strategies you will be well on your way, from ‘like’ buttons to customer case studies, the list shows how easy social proof is to put into practice. What are you waiting for? Get sharing!


CRO Biometrics Conversion Rate Optimization Article Space Between

The Future of Conversion Rate Optimisation Demands Biometrics

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) as we know it is limited. A part of the user testing process is to ask people what they think of your site and observe how they use it.

What is biometrics?

Where conventional user testing asks people to give verbal, conscious feedback while they use your store, biometrics measures the unspoken, physical response that's happening in the background. As with any scientific study, tests take place in a lab using specialist equipment. You'd be forgiven for not knowing a great deal about it since only a handful of biometrics labs exist in the world.

Inside the lab, people browsing your site have sensors attached to them; they track things like heart rate and monitor activity in different areas of the body. These calculations are then recorded on a computer system and examined by data analysts as well as trained psychologists. Like Yin and Yang, the statistical facts and psychological interpretation complement one another to form a complete picture.

Where do biometrics and CRO meet?

CRO involves conducting experiments. You might test two pages to see if page A converts better than page B, or use heat maps to see which area of a page gets the most clicks. What CRO experts can get frustrated by is the missing finer detail. Biometrics can highlight information that simply isn't possible to determine using other methods. Here are just three of the techniques used to uncover more data:


1. Facial expression analysis

Biometrics testing will challenge even the best poker face. It's used to monitor 34 points on the face, such as the corners of the mouth and the tip of the chin. Movement in these areas gives away our true feelings. Through machine learning 20 facial expressions can be determined, plus seven key emotions are detected, including surprise, contempt, and joy. You'll soon know if your content is dire or delightful.

2. Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)

The amount of sweat people secrete gives away the secret to how people feel about a situation, knowingly or unknowingly. We're not talking about a jog in the park type of sweat, but subtle cues in the moisture level on the palm of the hand that can be measured using biometrics. Sweat can signal stress or arousal. Combine GSR with facial expression analysis, for example, and it's clear which it is.

3. Eye tracking and Areas of Interest (AOI)

Using biometrics, you can see how long it takes for a user to find the information you want them to see, then how long they spend looking at it. If it takes people a long time to find your call to action, that's quickly evident. Or if they linger over a message that—clearly—isn't clear. Armed with this information, you can move things around the page or change content so any barrier to conversion is taken away.

How can biometrics improve CRO?

Let's consider that someone reaches your call to action quickly but spends a long time looking at it. Maybe they don't want to admit to being confused in case they look silly, but GSR tests reveal they're feeling stressed and facial expression analysis detects fear. Biometrics reveals what's not being said, so you can edit out any points of confusion and guide users through your store without delay.

There is all manner of fascinating nuances that exist in our brain, which biometrics can help to capture:

  • Did you know the faster you take something in, the better the feeling you have about the source of the information? It's called Processing Fluency. Remove sticking points on your site so shoppers can glide through it quickly and those positive vibes are all projected onto your brand.
  • Researchers found the brain is seven seconds ahead of the actions we take. That means when someone adds to their cart, their brain decided to buy your product before you see this unfold with a click of the mouse. Biometrics can highlight the journey that precedes the click.

"By looking at brain activity while making a decision, the researchers could predict what choice people would make before they themselves were even aware of having made a decision." –, 2008

Verbal mutterings and visual clues can only get you so far in your quest for more sales. Add biometrics user testing to the process and you add depth to your hypothesis. Rather than waste time on an incorrect assumption, you can work with greater accuracy to increase your conversions.

Is biometrics likely to replace traditional methods?

All user testing is about getting to know your customer better. For a site to be successful, you have to know their every foible. It's the reason why brands create customer personas and use personalization, so you can focus on what your customer likes the most and give them more of the things they want.

Biometrics testing lets you peek inside the minds of those consumers. Without this, results from conversion optimization experiments can feel incomplete. Biometrics is not a replacement for other user testing methods but does provide more meaningful insight into your buyer's behavior.

Current success stories

When HR GO Recruitment worked with British biometrics lab, Space Between, they saw a 153% increase in conversions. Advertising jobs online, HR GO used a sense of urgency in their copy. Yet instead of encouraging candidates to act quickly, biometrics tests revealed that people were stressed out by them. It had the opposite effect. Sweat production increased, as did heart rates. Facial postures and emotions were negative. A change in tactic increased revenue for the company by £2 million.


Colour Psychology Space Between

Colour Psychology: Increase Sales With One Simple Change

The colours you choose lay the foundation for your online image so it's important to choose carefully.

Web design sounds fancy. Yet, like all elements of conversion rate optimisation, building a website is more about construction than design. The colours you choose lay the foundation for your online image so it's important to choose carefully. Using colour psychology not only helps you look good, it can help attract the right kind of customer to your website and increase conversions.

What is colour psychology?

Colour psychology is the study of how people are affected by colour. You can test how powerful colours are just by thinking of some of the biggest brands in the world. What colour do they use? You'll recall it instantly for Coca-Cola, FedEx, Nike, and Facebook. You also know Coca-Cola is pillar-box red, not burgundy. FedEx is a rich purple, not lilac. And Facebook is a muted blue, not sky blue or sapphire.

Now think about how those brands make you feel. It's common knowledge that red represents a 'bold' attitude and pink points to products for women. But do you know that purple divides people by gender? Women are drawn to it and men are not. These findings reveal how people might react to your website.

What do colours mean?

Site visitors take just 50 milliseconds to make a judgement about your brand and colour plays a key part in this. No doubt you're already familiar with some of the basic assumptions of colour psychology:

  • Blue and green are universally popular. Blue is steady and reliable; green is fresh and calm. An edgy brand wouldn't go for these colours, but a corporate or more reserved company might.
  • If black, white, and grey are flat, unemotional colours (frequently used by tech and engineering companies), red, yellow, and orange are stimulants. These warm colours grab attention, generate excitement, and can create a sense of urgency.
  • Where pink is mostly associated with girls, purple is the grandmother of the colour chart. Pink is energetic and youthful, but purple oozes calm and wisdom.
  • Poor brown is typically unloved. Yet nobody can pooh-pooh the success of UPS – it's still going, since 1907. Brown is a rich part of the company's history and the colour of the original uniform.

The thing that makes colour psychology so interesting is that, despite the trends, everybody is different. People can become obsessive over a particular colour. Just the sight of it can stoke an old memory — good or bad. It's this reaction to a colour trigger that you can test in conversion rate optimisation:

  • What does your audience respond to?
  • Which colours work best in your niche?

How to use colour psychology in web design

Number 1

Use harmonious colours to keep people on the site

The last time you read about complementary colours might have been in school.

If you remember, these are the colours opposite one another on the colour wheel: red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple. The colour wheel has been around since 1666. It was invented by Sir Isaac Newton and used by Claude Monet. Ever since then we've trusted that these pairings are pleasing on the eye.

Image source -

More modern depictions of the colour wheel show twelve colours, which make up the RYB (Red-Yellow-Blue) colour chart. For web design, you can pick three colours that sit next to each other on the wheel because they'll always hang nicely together. Or draw the corners of a triangle, rectangle, or square shape evenly within the wheel; the corners pinpoint the selection of colours. These will always work well together because they're part of the same tried-and-tested RYB chart.

Number 2

Keep colours consistent for a dramatic increase in conversions.

Research by the University of Loyola in Maryland suggests that sticking to the same palette of colours on your website can increase brand recognition by up to 80%.

If you don't want to mix colours, add black, white or grey to just one colour to create a different hue:

  • Make a colour lighter by adding white (tint)
  • Make it darker by adding black (shade)
  • Change the intensity by adding grey (tone)

A selection of different tints, shades, and tones of your chosen colour can form a colour palette too.

Number 3

Add accents of colour to prompt people to click.

Think about the conversion elements on your website. All the thought that goes into the headline, the description, the navigation, the images, and the button placement.

Do you give the same amount of thought to the colour of these key areas? Is it clear to your viewer what they should click on next?

In the EE example below, they highlight the headline and the button with a flash of yellow.

To keep colours balanced, not garish, use this design tactic:

  • Establish your brand colour by using it across most of your site (60%)
  • Make the brand colour stand out more by using a contrasting colour in places (30%)
  • Highlight areas key to conversion by using an accent colour sparingly (10%)

Think about the colour you use to showcase headings, navigation, buttons, and hyperlinks.

Tip! Background colour affects conversion.

Most websites have a plain background and lots of white space because it makes the text easier to read. Breaking convention with yellow text on a grey background may feel rebellious, but is it a smart move if nobody can read it? If your message is lost, your sale is lost too.

Conversion experts don't guess

Get to know what each colour means and it could give you an advantage in your optimisation strategy. Your next test could reveal something unexpected that turns a poorly performing page around.

  • Colour specialist, Carlton Wagner, once claimed yellow "activates the anxiety centre of the brain". If you're a gentle brand with a peaceful product, you should test yellow against green.
  • The University of Rochester suggests red makes people nervous when taking a test. If you're in the education sector, you might want to avoid red buttons on your website.
  • Orange is said to be a polarising colour; people can hate it as much as they love it. It's worth testing orange with your audience before you launch.

What works for one website won't work for another. Not all women like pinks and purples and some people love brown. Test it in your niche to avoid a flop—like Heinz, who famously tried and failed to launch a green version of their tomato ketchup. Parents didn't respond well to the conflict of colour. Kids didn't like it either because they associate green with vegetables and food they don't favour.

Putting colour psychology to the test (and winning)

When changed a "Sign up here!" button from green to yellow, they saw a 175% increase in conversions. Conversion optimisation is all about human behaviour and this brand knows their customer well. Because of that they were able to test what they thought might be most successful:

"Psychological effects of colour do matter. In our case, we chose two colours, both of which produced convincing arguments for their use. Our test likely would not have been fruitful if we had used white or black buttons. Our niche’s characteristics were paramount to our colour selection."

Try out colour psychology on your own site design

Will colour psychology testing work for you? If you work in conversion, you know there's only one way to find out: Test it. Find out if choosing one colour over another changes the way people behave on your website. It might just result in more click-throughs and more sales.

Here are some tools to help get you started...

Choosing a colour

Selecting colour palettes

W3C compliance

Let us know how you get on in comments. How do you use colour psychology in conversion rate optimisation?

World Cup of Kits 2018 Winner Revealed with Biometrics

We've discovered the winner of the Kit World Cup using biometrics in our very own lab!

The 2018 Russia World Cup is upon us.

We've noticed a change this tournament... The kits have been getting far more focus than the football! What's not to love? That's why we decided to run our very own World Cup of Kits 2018.

We've taken all of the home kits in the World Cup this year and put them through the rigours of our Biometric Lab. This allowed us to gain some actual scientific data, which we've used to determine the winners and losers.

We've kept it authentic, and tackled the testing in true World Cup style, yes we have group stages, round of 16, quarters, semi's and a tense final!

Check out the winners, and losers, below.


World Cup of Kits Wall Chart

Click below to reveal how Nigeria won in full resolution version.

We ran our testing sessions in the World Cup format so you can see how each team made it through the group stages, who sneaked through the quarters, got an easy ride in the semis, and went on to win... expectedly!

World Cup of Kits Wall Chart


The Process

So we've mentioned the lab...

Our lab is a collection of amazing tech that allows us to connect people up to our software. In this case we just focussed on eye tracking, though we can gauge emotions by measuring galvanic skin response. We didn't feel football kits would offer much of an emotional reaction, so left that one out!

The Process


The Analysis

We ran each participant through every stage.

We gathered lots of data from each participant and collated it together to form our insights. These were scored on 3 key areas.

  • Average Time spent gazing
  • Average of Time spent fixating
  • Average of total fixations

Combining this data allowed us to see who statistically had the best shirt.

The Analysis


Fashion Industry World Pollution Climate Change

Ethical eCommerce - Selling Ethically Online

We take a look at the fashion industry and the impact on our planet and how we can move towards more ethically focused eCommerce.


...the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter to the planet...


Ethical eCommerce - Selling Ethically Online

How many of you are aware that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter to the planet?

Me neither; until I was carrying out some research a couple of months ago.

It surprised me to find out that some of the much discussed, micro plastic pollution is coming from us washing our clothes!…Synthetic fibres coming ‘out in the wash’ so to speak.The movement towards more ethical trade and consumption is becoming more prevalent day by day, but our shopping habits and way of life is counter intuitive to this drive. Our want it now and want it fast habits are adding extra pressure on the environment, but companies and governments are trying to do something about it.

The 5p plastic carrier bag charge is having a positive impact on our habits, since we have implemented this our plastic consumption in the UK has dropped by 83%, with more than £66m of the revenue generated from the charges being donated to good causes*

(* 2017).

What about Fashion retail?

We’ve noticed an ongoing pressure, and commitment, to driving fair and ethical practices within the apparel retail industry. Whether it’s the environmental impact of apparel manufacturing or the wellbeing of those involved in production, this is something that will shape the retail industry going forward and become an important driver of brand loyalty.

As shoppers become more aware of unethical practices through the news and social media, they will become more loyal and engaged with brands whose ethos matches their own. The rise of fast fashion doesn’t help companies when looking at the ethical process and consumption of clothes. Due to the increase in trend cycles (we can see up to 50 cycles per year, instead of the traditional 2) clothing is becoming a quick fix, short term purchase, leading to a much larger volume of unwanted goods – the ones left in stores and in the back of people’s wardrobes.

According to eConsultancy ‘fast fashion’ has grown by 21% over the last 2 years, much quicker than the luxury market. Mckinsey & Company carried out a study that found the average consumer bought 60% more clothing in 2014 compared to 2000 but kept each garment half as long.

How can we reconcile a business model that encourages such a drive in production whilst meeting the important needs of reducing our environmental impact? Technology is at the forefront of enabling companies to become more responsible towards to the planet. Companies can now use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to better understand their processes, customers and market trends; so they can increase sales, reduce returns and improve stock management. Delivery companies like DPD are committed to smart urban delivery to reduce local pollution and improve customer experience with reduced waiting times for parcels. Shopper user experiences can also be improved to help make buying decisions easier. Fit recommendation technology by Rakuten Fits Me is being used by companies like Mud Jeans, to not only provide a more personalised shopping experience, but also to help reduce their fit based returns. As an ethical jeans company this helps them to meet a variety of their sustainability drives.



Last Minute Valentines Day Gift Ideas List

Top 5 Very Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

ASOS Same Day Delivery

What's better than next day delivery? Same day delivery of course. For just £9.95 you can have your last minute gifts delivered to your door on that same day, between 6pm and 10pm. They have an array of gift ideas, from designer bags and watches to the latest trainer drop. Now all you need to do is keep your loved one distracted until it arrives. To find out more about ASOS same day delivery click here.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime customers get same-day delivery on a million items in select areas of the UK that include Greater London, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and more. Like with ASOS, items for same-day Amazon Prime delivery are delivered between 6pm and 10pm. To find out more about Amazon Prime delivery same day delivery click here.

Animal Adoption

If you’re buying for an animal lover, why not adopt them an endangered animal online. WWF has 14 mammals and reptiles to choose from, including polar bears, pandas, big cats and elephants. They’ll receive a printable certificate and a cuddly toy and gift pack containing a fact book about their new charge, as well as other goodies. This present lasts throughout the year (or for as long as you choose to adopt them). To find out more about adopting an animal click here.

E-books and Online Subscriptions

Let's hear it for technology. This is great way to get someone a gift they’ll love and use all year round. You could buy your loved one a year's subscription to packages like Now TV or Netflix. Maybe they’re a music fanatic - Spotify or Apple Music might be more up their street. Or perhaps they love nothing more than a good book, so get their favourite series on e-books. To look at Now TV passes click here but all of our suggestions are available online.

Same Day Flower Delivery

Definitely one of the more romantic gifts this Valentines Day, flowers make for the perfect last minute loving gift. Choose from an array of arrangements from different sizes (and budgets). Best of all? You guessed it - same day delivery. To find out more about sending flowers click here.



eCommerce Email Marketing

Successful Email Marketing Tips for eCommerce

Email marketing allows you to create a deeper relationship with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media while also increasing brand awareness.

What is Email Marketing?

A marketing email is a form of direct marketing via email that allows you to communicate a message to an audience. This audience is a collection of your email list and they tend to be either a current or a potential customer. Email marketing is a great way to stay connected with your clients while also promoting your business.

With email marketing, you can easily and quickly reach target audiences without the need for print space, television or radio time, or high production costs. Also, with email marketing software, you can maintain an email list that has been segmented based on several factors and target them individually with unique campaigns.

Why is Email Marketing Successful?

One huge positive to email marketing is that it is low in cost - it’s that simple. Whether you do it yourself, or through an email marketing agency, marketing to hundreds of consumers via email is going to cost you very little in comparison to other channels of advertising. And other than being cost-effective, published findings showed that 85 percent of retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics (, 2018).

Another appeal to email marketing is its versatility. Depending on the size of the email database and the skills of the marketer, email marketing messages can range from simple to very complex. They can also be personalized to include things like the name of the user and even more. You can do this with the likes of Dotmailer.

Another reason is that it’s a great way to keep customers informed. It helps to keep business owners and consumers stay connected. A recent study showed that 28 percent of online shoppers subscribe to store or product emails in order to stay informed (especially if discounts are offered)(McGregor, 2018). Studies also showed that 64 percent of Internet users have printed a discount coupon from an email (, 2018). One of the primary reasons people choose to opt-in for emails is for the special or exclusive offers and news. The customer wants to be in the know and up-to-date with your business.

Successful Email Marketing Tips

Before you can create a successful email marketing campaign you need to have a good sized email list. There are different ways to collect these emails, for instance, you could offer a signup form on your website for updates or free downloads of some variety. You don’t have to target your whole mailing list either, you could segment them into groups but this depends on what you’re trying to get across and to whom. One thing to consider is timing. Try not to be too ‘spammy’. The biggest risk in sending out an email marketing campaign is in return you receive a large number of un-subscribers. You want to share valuable content and information with your customers.

Consider your subject line. Is it clear and informative? Perhaps even personalised? It is far better to use a clear subject line that tells the reader exactly what is inside the email and creates immediate curiosity or interest. If you’re offering a discount code, make it known in the subject line, don’t hide it in the body of the email as the buyer may never click on it and know. A coupon code is a great way to entice your customers to open your email and lead to a call to action and can help drive clicks which lead to an increased conversion rate.

This leads to the next point. Write directly to your target audience. Whether it’s women who are interested in beauty products or men who are interested in fashion - create a concise email speaking directly to them, don’t just be generic. Be time sensitive as well with your call to action. If you’re an online retailer offering 20% off on their next purchase. Writing “Today Only - Receive 20% Off All New In” is a good example. Your reader should want to click because there is an immediate benefit and you can also leverage curiosity. Letting your reader know there's valuable content inside is more likely to drive the customer to where you want them to go - and that’s your site.

Lastly, before you send out an email campaign, test it first. Take two concepts you think will be successful and dry run it on a much smaller sample group. Look at the metrics to see which one performs better, that one is the definite winner. This way you can make any last minute tweaks to make sure it’s as successful as possible before you go ahead and launch your email marketing campaign.

Best Email Marketing Tools and Services

Dotmailer is a great service to not only help you create marketing campaigns and help engage one-to-one with your users but much more. They help you create bespoke emails for your customers and tailor them to your chosen demographic cohorts to increase conversion rates. However, if you don’t quite have the budget for Dotmailer just yet, MailChimp is another platform you could use. They connect eCommerce shopping carts and track the results - an excellent feature for an entrepreneur, especially those starting out.

Email continues to be the most powerful of the online channels so ensure you’re making the most of it.

Email Marketing Personalisation

One of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates through email marketing is to make sure your emails are all personalised and you can do this in a number of ways.

Think outside of just inserting their name in the email - think about the subject line too. Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened (, 2018). Also look into data and purchase history. Don't spam all your customers on your mailing list with the same thing. For instance, you may have a sale on jackets but you should aim to only send these emails out to customers that have purchased searched jackets in the past.

Similarly, you can email unique product recommendations to your customers based on their purchase or search history as part of your email marketing campaign. This can help to boost conversion rates. Creating real-time, one-to-one targeted content that speaks right to the individual will also help to create a long-term relationship and increase the lifetime value of that customer.

However, there are a few instances where it’s okay to send your email to ‘all’, such as if your brand publishes blog posts or a monthly newsletter. Also if you’re making an important change to your business that will affect customers, it’s good to inform all of them - this could be updated terms and conditions. Another good example is if you’re launching a new product, you want to make sure all your customers are aware.

Conversion from Email Marketing

One way to help increase conversion from email marketing is to optimise your emails for mobile - you should test the optimisation to figure out which elements work as intended and which don’t so your campaigns are mobile friendly. Run an A/B test to evaluate the changes you have implemented and see how your segments react to them.​ There are some things you need to consider when creating mobile optimised email campaigns. This includes things like making sure your font is big enough to read on a smaller screen and spacing out so readers can skim read and not feel overwhelmed with text. Making any links you’ve included visible and easy to access. Reducing image sizes to make them load quicker.

Another way to increase the chances of conversion rates is to segment your email lists. You can do this by categories like demographics and preferences and interests. Once you segment your list, you need to find the best way to approach your customers. By using segmentation to send out more personalised email campaigns, you will increase the relevance for your customers and therefore the interest. Your subject line, the sender name, and the quality of the content are the three things that will determine your recipients' reactions to your campaign and the reaction you do not what is for them to unsubscribe or remove themselves from your mailing list.

You should also consider using the double opt-in method for your customers. This is when you ask them to confirm their email address and that they've signed up for a newsletter by clicking on a confirmation link they receive via email. This way you eliminate all the emails that contain typos or are delivered to the wrong recipient and can grow your list, though maybe at a slower pace, it will consist of real people. More so, Increases the likelihood that recipients will engage with your emails.

Cart Abandonment Emails

Cart abandonment is when a customer fills up their shopping cart online but for whatever reason, chooses not to follow through with the payment and ‘abandons’ it. In an effort to try and capture some of these lost sales, cart abandonment emails are sent to customers who have added products to their cart but failed to check out. When sending cart abandonment emails it’s good to be both specific and personal with your emails. Depending on when you send your email, people might have forgotten about their cart items. So be specific and specify which items are remaining in their cart and it helps if you leave images, this is much more effective. Using visual marketing to show people which items they’ve left makes the email more personal and reminds them of what they’re potentially missing out on.

Again, it’s a good idea to include a discount code so they can finish their purchase.  Offering a special extra 10% or 15% discount offer for your user in their exclusive email to finish their checkout process. It will make them feel valued and their email will feel personalised as it’s not something everyone is getting. To read more on cart abandonment emails and how to increase conversion using them, we have a whole article on it here.

Final Round up of Email Marketing

According to statistics released by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing brings in $40 for every $1 spend, outperforming search, display and social marketing. Aside from it being a financially rewarding process, email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. Email marketing allows you to create a deeper relationship with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media while also increasing brand awareness. Each email that is sent to consumers exposes them to your business and your brand.

You can target your audience - you have the chance to control exactly who sees an email by segmenting your contacts based on factors like demographics or location. Targeting emails ensure that your audience receives content suited specifically to their needs. Email marketing also allows you to boost conversion through offering customers unique product suggestions and discount codes.