Our Insight

Another free kick for Uber

Melbourne, faced with a pre-planned tram strike by Yarra Trams sees its taxis go out on strike in protest against the rising Uber juggernaut.

Interestingly, instead of striving to provide their customers with a better experience, they further frustrate their customer by striking.

Taxi industry. Its time you woke up and came to your senses. The public are voting with their apps for a better experience. If your industry does not embrace the ‘experience economy’ with all that it can muster, then services like Uber will send you into oblivion.

Customers, not the law, makes an industry great. Looking to the parliament for legislative change will not stop the paying public demanding a better experience when travelling in a cab. And if that paying public cannot seek out that better experience, then be prepared to be disrupted.

Taxis, after today’s protest will be the last choice of many!

Image: Courtesy of Katie Hodge via Twitter

Double your sales by optimising your mobile experience

The data is in and it shows that by simply optimising the mobile experience, a company can double its sales on that platform. Put aspirational and meaningful experiences around your brand when engaging your customers and sales can grow exponentially. One of our clients recently doubled their enquiries and quadrupled their conversion rate – this saw an eight-times increase in their sales.

A recent independent study by Criteo, a digital performance advertising company, confirms the above as they have recently completed their Q2 2015 report on the State of Mobile Commerce*.

The report highlights the following trends:

  • Growth in mCommerce is unstoppable. By year end, mobile share of eCommerce transactions is forecast to reach 33% in the U.S and 40% globally
  • Smartphones will continue to displace slower-growing tablets due to larger available screens. The desktop marketing is shrinking.
  • Apps are the next frontier. Advertisers will start to significantly invest in their mobile app as a way to drive more conversions than desktop and engage with their loyal customers.
  • Dealing with cross-device behavior is the biggest challenge and opportunity for marketers in 2015. With 40% of sales already cross-device, marketers have to talk to users and no longer to devices.

If we drill down on a few of these trends, we find that it is imperative for business to give high regard to their mobile experience.

Criteo mobile facts

  • The more optimized the site, the higher the conversion rate. Non-optimised sites have conversion rates of 1.6% whereas optimised sites have conversion rates of 3.4%
  • For optimised sites, the number of products viewed, add-to-basket rate and purchase rate are higher than non-optimised sites. Differences in purchase rates are reflective of the experience of browsing products and the associated comfort of adding them to the basket.
  • Optimised sites see a larger share of mobile transactions than non-optimised sites. The difference is significant: non-optimised sites have 22% of their eCommerce transactions via mobile verus 31% for optimized sites. This represents a potential 41% opportunity for sites that are not optimised today.

Criteo app facts

  • Retailers who have prioritised their mobile app as a key revenue driver see significant share of transactions via their app.
  • For those retailers that have prioritised, apps generate 47% of all mobile revenue.
  • The higher conversion rate on apps partly relates to a better user experience on the app when compared to the desktop and browser. It also reflects the fact that apps are used by more loyal customers, leading to higher conversion rates.
  • In retail, consumers using the app convert at a rate three times higher than those using a mobile browser.
  • Shoppers view more than three times the number of products on apps than on mobile browsers because of a more engaging user experience. As a result of seeing these products, many more are added to the basket. This results in apps having three times the conversion rate of mobile browsers.

Experience Matters

Imagine if your digital footprint provided your potential customer with a great user experience. Then imagine if that user experience was optimised on the mobile platform – consider the impact that would have on your bottom line.

What would an extra conversion rate of 3.4% do to your bottom line? What if you had an app that provided your business with three times the conversion rate of your mobile browser?

Numbers tell a powerful story and provide the justification that you need to ensure that both your customer experience and mobile presence are fully optimised.

*Trends and forecasts come from Criteo’s Q2 2015 State of Mobile Commerce Report, based on its unique pool on online shopping data covering 1.4 billion transactions totaling over $160 billion of annual sales.

Another bite out of the taxi industry

Uber, the disruptive technology company has announced a partnership with OzHarvest to provide meals for people in need across Australia.

Part of the initiative sees some of Austalia’s best known chefs cooking up lunch that Uber then delivers to waiting workers curbside in Melbourne’s CBD.  On Friday, 200 lunches were cooked up to feed Melbourne CBD workers who used their Uber app to get a taste of George Colombaris’ cooking – all for $12.

This initiative might be a first for Australia, but it is not new to Uber.  Earlier this year, Uber started working on ways to keep its drivers and its service in high demand.  The technology giant has teamed up with iconic restaurants in places like New York and Barcelona in an effort to allow its customers to have meals delivered to their door – they call it UberEats.

With initiatives like this, the taxi industry will need to do more than protest to save their bacon.


User Experience Disrupts Apps-solutely

A brand knowing where their customer is living today is critical if they want to influence the customer buy cycle, and today the customer is choosing apps.  75 billion apps have been downloaded. There are 10 apps for every adult in the world.

Apple is now working on ways to ensure that more people choose apps. Apple thinks that the consumer will go to the provider that is supplying the best and most seamless experience.  Apple knows that the experience of the web can be disjointed and directionless.  So the tech giant with the release of iOS 9 is offering customers a better experience when surfing on their devices by taking the step to allow ad blocking on the Safari mobile browser.

Blocking ads is not new.  But this step recognizes that there are a large proportion of people using Safari when searching on their smart devices.  Blocking ads here will force publishers and creators of content to re-think how ads will power their business plans.  And this is where it gets interesting. As Apple has not said that its News App will block ads.  This may force the hand of publishers and content creators to play in what some are describing as “Apple’s Walled Garden”.

Apple is backing that its ability to provide users with an awesome experience will be the game changer – time will tell.


Milo has changed its recipe in New Zealand on health and sustainability grounds.

There has been an almighty backlash against the move with New Zealanders demanding that parent company, Nestlé change the recipe back immediately.  This outpouring of damnation against the recipe change again demonstrates that the world’s most cherished brands are not owned by the brand but by their customers.  Brands today need to see themselves as ‘brand custodians’.  A brand custodian looks after the experience that its consumers have with their brand and they respect the long held relationships that have endured for a lifetime.

It took Coke 79 days to put an end to its 1985 launch of ‘New Coke’.  How long will it be before New Zealanders are again sipping on the original and much loved Milo recipe?

As one customer has said, “We don’t pay them to be our nutritionist. Just change it back!” 

Progressive or controversial? Victorian Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy’s Uber ride

“Is it legal?” A question asked by many to an entrepreneur introducing a disruptive technology. And the answer: “Not yet”. Today, disruption is not just shaking up old ways of thinking. It is disrupting our laws and regulations.  And the ‘old ways of thinking’ call on the law to justify those old ways.  The taxi industry is no different. But just like marketers had to learn that they no longer own their audience, the taxi industry must understand that the customer too owns their service.  And that customer has been calling out for an ‘uberlicious experience’. And along came Uber to fill the void.

People today are voting with their smartphones and the laws will have to adapt.  It is just a matter of time. On Monday, 27 April 2015, industry and community representatives met with the Victorian Transport Minister Jacinta Allan as part of the inaugural Taxi and Hire Car Industry Ministerial Forum.  With all due respect to the Forums objectives and outcomes, customers will continue to vote for a better customer experience which will see services like Uber remain in play.

Just like a local farmers market – but with a crowd-sourced crop

The Australian Government as part of its Economic Action Strategy has recently concluded its public discussion on modeling a crowd-sourced funding arrangement for the Australian market. The arrangement aims to provide entrepreneurs and innovative businesses with a mean of raising cash from investors online. It would reduce the need for Australian businesses and their community to leave Australia to access the crowd sourced cash market. Marketers and business alike should be buoyed by this step. It gives them every incentive to build a strong community around their brands.  Strong communities have shown that they will ‘crowd fund’ ideas that are relevant to their needs.

What would Darwin say about your digital engagement?

In a changing digital world marketing teams across businesses need to be keeping pace with Digital Darwinism. But do they even know what the term means? In essence, it means that technology is changing faster than our ability to adapt.  But adapt we must if we want to remain relevant to the consumer’s decision-making cycle.  Those brands playing it safe with digital engagement will be doing significant damage to shareholder return.

McKinsey & Company recently surveyed 1000 brands across a range of product categories that covered 20,000 consumer journeys and 100,000 touch points. It found that brands with a high digitization score resulted in a disproportionate increase in brand-sales conversion.  The result of McKinsey’s research confirms that those brands with a savvy digital experience are consolidating their positions – and as Darwin predicted, they will be the fittest and they will survive in a commercial environment that sees stiff competition.  What does this research mean for those who are digitally challenged?

So how does an unsophisticated brand in the digital arena change its digital engagement?

Is your data strategy making you dumb? Beware dumb data!

Companies are treating their data capture as yet another business silo.  Grab a customer and put them in the database and send an occasional email to keep them loyal to the brand. It is so yesterday!

This siloed approach to data collection sees the collection of some basic information about the customer.  Customer name, email address and mobile number are some of the elements captured.  Data is now much more complicated.  Social data is not structured in a homogenised fashion.  It is comprised of lots of text and imagery with different intent, meanings and formats.

Due to its complexities, businesses are ignoring social data.  Instead, they rely on ‘dumb data’ which does little to maintain customer loyalty and engagement.  This approach sees business missing the social conversation.  Business need to change their approach to data capture to engage with the customer’s sentiment and real time needs.

Simply pushing email campaigns and status updates about the business to a disengaged database is not going to inspire the engagement experience you need today.

So how do you extract meaningful customer data today?