• Indy Sim

CB Shoes Marketing Metrics and Analysis Company and Competitors Report

Table of content


1. Introduction

I. Competitors

2. Definitions and Key Concepts

I. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

II. Trust and User Experience (UX) in Small Media Enterprises (SME’s)

III. Accessibility

3. Competitors’ Analysis

I. UX Analysis

II. Accessibility Analysis

III. Social Media Engagement

4. Qualitative Sentiment Analysis

5. CB Shoes metrics analysis

I. KPI’s

II. KPI’s Dashboard

6. Conclusion

I. Key finding and recommendations


Introduction

The world of retail sector is changing: statistics from The Local Data Company show that in the first months of 2016, 2655 shops closed on the UK’s high streets, with over 21 thousand retail workers losing their jobs in 2018, while the outdated business models fail modern shoppers (Somerville, 2018; TheLocalDataCompany, 2018). By 2030, 40% of UK retail sales will account from e-commerce, growing by an average of 10% every next five years, leaving UK as the world’s third biggest market for eCommerce already in 2021 (WorldPlay, 2017). This trend sets the new objectives for the existing retail stores and underlines the significance of online retail stores.

The purpose of this report is to analyse the two direct competitors of CB shoes and their website performance. As a digital marketing consultant, my task is to find the trends between the competitors and CB shoes and by drawing relevant conclusions suggest recommendations to boost CB shoes performance within the next 12-18 months.


Competitors

A UK footwear retailer and an official stocksist of top brands, specialising in providing footwear for all family. Wynsors and CB shoes websites have similar monthly organic search results, but the trend and the number of users of Wynsors is steadily growing, while CB is going down (see Appendix 1.). Hence, Wynsors is taken as an example of a shoe brand having a website in a smilar current situation, but with the prospects of a steady growth, with the purpose of adopting the techniques, in order to secure the growth of CB shoes.

In contrast, Office call themselves a leading edge fashion footwear specialist with a unique product range. A widely known brand, boosting great SEO result, however, with a few website errors that CB shoes can learn from (see Appendix 2.). It has been chosen as an example of what CB shoes should aim for in implementing their new web strategy.


Definitions and key concepts


Search Engine Opimization

According to Search Optimisation Bible, “search engine is a piece of software that use algorithms to find and collect information about the websites. […] is usually keywords or phrases that are possible indicators of what is contained o the web page” (Ledford, 2009, p.5). The importance of SEO is growing, with 3.5 billion Google searches every day globally and 90% of website traffic being originated from a search engine (InternetLiveStats, 2019; HubSpot, 2018).


Trust and User Experience (UX) in Small Media Enterprises (SME’s)

In order to have a successful website and have a good SEO ranking, a number of factors determine whether it will generate traffic and conversions or not, two of them being user’s experience (UX) and accessibility (Santora, 2019).

Trust and reputation is particularly important for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s). The fierce competitors’ market, as well as he increasingly growing uncertainty steaming from the economic and political situations, such as Brexit and its threats to economy, and growing customers’ awareness create an environment of the need of a strong brand integrity, especially for the companies that do not have a global recognition (Wierzbinski, 2013). In academic literature there is a definition of reputation, conceptualised by Fombrun and Shanley (1990), stating that reputation is formed on the basis of emerging information about a company. Nowadays, website is the place where the customer can find most information about the company, as well as it’s the main touchpoint in their customer journey, influencing their decision to purchase by building trust.

A study by a number of professors in Switzerland has been conducted, based on a quantitative questionnaire, researching the trustful and distrustful user experiences on the web. The study concluded that distrust is mostly influenced by a poor graphical (e.g., complex layout and menu navigation) or structural (e.g., pop-ups) content, whilst trust is built based on social factors, such as reviews on social media or word of mouth (Seckler et al., 2014).


Accessibility

Multimedia requires users to rely on more than one sense, for it to be comprehend, hence having a visual or hearing impairment would prevent that. WAY came up with a more detailed concept of accessibility, claiming that it meant that “people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate and interact within the Web, and they can contribute to the Web” (WAI, 2005). New regulations of Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) state that all UK service providers must consider reasonable adjustments for disabled people (Accessibility Regulations, 2018). Moreover, accessibility can also be seen as content friendly to multiple devices – accessible for people who more use their phones or tablets. Hence, it is not only better for users, but for the companies too, as it generates more traffic.



Competitors’ Analysis


UX Analysis

So, a great user experience consists of an intuitive and engaging content that build trust. There is a number of frameworks that help to analyse the user’s priorities and how the websites fail or succeed in fulfilling them. One of them is a modification of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where the needs of the customer are shaped into a pyramid shape, indicating the importance of various parts (Maslow, 1997). Lyndon Cerejo’s version of Hierarchy of User Experience Needs is a version applied for the websites’ user experience, indicating the needs of desirability, confidence, supportive features, usability and site availability (see Appendix 3) (Cerejo, 2009).

The Report A further analyses Wynsor’s and Office’s website user experiences based on Cerejo’s Hierarchy of User Experience Needs framework (Cerejo, 2009).


Report A.






Accessibility Analysis

According to the regulations, in order to meet WCAG 2.1 to level AA, the content must be the four following features: perceivable, operable, understandable and robust. Following these guidelines, as well as using an online web accessibility checker, I have generated two reports that can be seen bellow, as well as the comparison table (Table C), based on the regulations and the analysis of www.wave.webaim.org (See figure1).


Web accessibility online analytics show that www.wynsors.com have a better total compliance and more accessibility practices applied in the website, where as Office falls behind by 5% by failing to provide valid labels from fields and ensure the meaningfulness of the links with the context.


C.




Social Media Engagement

According to Hootsuite, 3.484 Billion people are active social media users (see Appendix 4), with social networking accounting for 92% or performed activities online, followed by looking for information for goods and services (see Appendix 5) (Hootsuite, 2018). The most popular Social Media (SM) platforms are Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram, hence it is essential for the company to have active SM platforms (see Appendix 6) (Statista, 2018). Researches so far have found little evidence of purposeful social media strategy agenda from SME’s, which could add value to the customer experience. SM helps to get a more honest and accurate feedback by the help of likes, comments and emoji’s, as well as interact with the customer on a more approachable level (Durkin et al., 2013). Below there is a comparison of Office and Wynsors Social Engagement reports of the last 28 days, depicting customer’s activity on the main SM platforms.




The selected KPI’s show the growth, activity and interaction, as well as engagement between the shoe companys’ platforms and their customers. It can be seen that OFFICE is more active, uploading on average 3 posts a day, most active being on Twitter, while Wynsors take a step back and share only 1 post daily. That justifies the absolute growth rate contrast, OFFICE being the leading brand. Instagram seems to be the leading SM platform for OFFICE, with 50.000 reactions and likes overtime, however, they also use Facebook to engage with their customer in terms of feedback, as the number of comments reach 3.000. Both platforms are not using video content platform Youtube, which can be a competitive edge for CB shoes.


Bellow you can see the posts’ patterns of the both companies amongst all the SM platforms. The majority shared content is new and consisting of a link and a picture - both companies post on average 1.4 post per day and in the midweek or weekends.




Qualitative Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment in this context is words, transmitting feelings and associations that can be related to the brand. Consequently, ‘sentiment analysis aims to extract opinions and sentiments from natural language text using computational methods’ (Liu, 2015, p.11). Finally, it became established approached called netnography, called by the merge of terms ‘Internet’ ad “ethnography’ (Kozinets et al., 2010). The importance of it is providing a detailed representation of the lived online experience of cultural members - in this way you can get to know the customer better and adopt their language, in order to improve the communication between the audience and the brand (Kozinets, 2014).



According to the dashboards, it can be seen that OFFICCE has a much bigger digital media engagement, with the leading number of 1219 mentions on Instagram, while Wynsors has only 38 in total, during the last 28 days. However, OFFICE has more negative sentiments resulults, but the ration between the total and mentions is still better, than Wynsors where out of 30 mentions they have 2 negative sentiment results. OFFICE also is not very creative with their content, 97.1% of it being pictures, while Wynsors trusts more content types.


OFFICE Facebook Reviews


Primary data research by analysing OFFICE’s Facebook reviews page has revealed that the customers aren’t pleased with the services and, especially, deliveries, as can be seen in the world cloud bellow.



OFFICE Facebook Reviews Word Cloud

The word clod shows that the worlds ‘delivery’, ‘customer’, ‘service’, ‘Bad’, ‘shoes’, ‘terrible’, ‘back’, ‘refund’, have been used most often, which implies that bad customer service and terrible delivery are the to main issues that raise negative feedback from the users. OFFICE having Facebook community of over 300.000 users, 87 people who left the reviews with the final result of 1.7 stars out of 5, might seem as an opinion of minority. However, reviews are very important in building brand credibility and negative reviews are never beneficial for the company (Dinardi, 2019).

Wynsors Facebook Page


However, it is better to have some bad reviews – than none. It cannot be helped but thought that the company is either hiding something, or is not real and fully functioning. Even though it is evident that Wynsors is a big company and is quite successful in selling shoes, the missing reviews section in Facebook page is alarming.



CB Shoes Website Data Analysis

KPI’s

The website is the element of conducting business online – an eCommerce system that operates to serve as a communication channel, a platform for transacting and providing customer service and marketing incentives. The aim of it is to market the goods and services, while maximising profit. Such companies must have a sense of what proportion of the business is online, their target audience, the unique selling point and the path of delivering the best user experience (Krishnamurthy, 2003). Measuring website performance used to be one of the main challenges to website management (Ghandour, 2015), however, nowadays, by the help of analytics and a variety of logged metrics, it is an essential part of running a successful business. Bellow are the five chosen metrics’ analysis presented in a dashboard by the help pivot tables and charts. The more users visit the page, the more possibility of a bigger proportion of visitors making a purchase - a conversion (the global average ecommerce conversion rate is 1-3% (Di Fatta et al., 2018). Practitioners highly suggest that it is essential for eCommerce SME’s to track the traffic sources, landing pages and their bounce rate (Thetomorrowlab, 2015; Charlton, 2017; DMD, 2018):


Traffic Source

More important than the number of users, traffic source shows where they came from. Whether using organic or paid search, through clicking an email or a link on social media – this information helps to monitor the target audience’s behavior and increase or decrease a certain one or the other marketing strategy point, accordingly.


Traffic Landing Page

Different traffic aspects can be measuring by monitoring landing page data of visitors’ activities. Landing page data shows the total number of visitors within the desired timeframe, provides users’ online activities trail and purchasing patterns. This shows which age content is effective and lead to conversion, and which has the highest bounce rate and needs the improvement. This metrics also shows the general customer’s interest in the particular type of items, which could be seen by the highest number of users landing on certain pages.


Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is when the visitor leaves the webpage without completing any task or clicking on another page. Having a low bounce rate mean sthat visitors find what they need and the content of the webpage is good. Bounce rate can indicate these things:


Keywords Performance

A carefully planned SEO strategy based on effective keywords means less marketing spend. Organic traffic is one of the main channels of customer flow, hence optimising the keywords and their positioning is the key in bringing more traffic and conversions to the website.


CB Shoes KPI’s analysis


KPI’s Dashboard




Landing Pages Analysis


Data Analysis

As per seen in the dashboard, a pattern of the data fluctuation is as inconsistent as a wave and pattern of CR performance is directly related to the number of new users and sessions and the bounce rate. For instance, 11/2016 has the highest bounce rate, however, as well as the highest CR, as it was the month with the most users visiting the site. Hence, the issue is not a one failure of a particular KPI, but rather the performance inconsistency in general. As in the beginning of the year 2016 until the 11/2016, even though inconsistency, the pattern has slowly grown – from a CR of 0,9 % –to 2,5.% The real target of a successful eCommerce website is from 3% - 10% and even more (ref). So, if the trend would have gradually grown, the website would have become a success. However, November seemed to be the breaking point, as for the last three months of the year the number have drastically fallen, from 52569 new users that month, to a mere 16362 on 02/2017.


The key is to find the reason of the sudden drop of the number of website users and find the solutions to implement in the future marketing strategy. In the right of the dashboard, a pie chart shows the proportions of the different traffic sources, which indicates that the main channel that CB customers access the website is by organic search. So, the dramatic new users number on 11/2016 must be related with the main traffic channel’s performance. //Organic search is, indeed, one of the main channels generating traffic to the majority successful websites. However, considering that consumers become more tech savy (ref), improved other channels, like SM, might be considered.


Increasing SE rankings organically means constantly updating the keywords and optimizing the website and its content. CB keywords’ performance analysis show the top 10 keywords brining most estimated traffic. ‘nicolas deakins’, ‘heavenly feet’ and ‘lelli kelly sale’ are the top 3 keywords bringing the most estimated traffic, indicating, that the users mostly search for Nicolas Deakins shoes by SE and end up clicking on CB shoes website. The aim is to find the keyword with a high search volume and optimise it to reach a high position. That would lift the SE ranking up, which would result in more traffic via organic search and a higher CR.


Conclusion

Having analysed the importance of UX and website accessibility by comparing the two CB shoes competitors, as well as explored SM influence in building brand sentiment, I have implemented the key findings with the raising issues found in CB shoes metrics analysis and have a few strong suggestions to make of how to improve the companies marketing strategy.


Key findings and recommendations


1. A website with a better UX and accessibility does not necessarily mean that the eCommerce company is more successful. According to Report A. UX evaluation, Wynsors have scored a higher ranking, however, OFFICE has a better website performance in general, with more backlinks and much higher organic monthly traffic and is a better-known brand (Appendix . 7, 8). This suggests that OFFICE has a really good content and is also doing better with the physical brand promotion.

· Having discovered the inconsistency in CB shoes monthly performance, it is essential to look for the solutions in the strategies foundations. First, a hefty 63% of traffic coming from the organic search means that updating keywords and optimising the website are directly related to the users' flow. The keyword performance charts show that the top keywords have not the highest search volume and do not even stand in the first position. A good keyword competition is from 10,000 to 100,000 searches. Trying to score high position in larger competition is the key to jump up the SE rankings. For instance, one of the main CB shoes keyword, bringing estimated traffic of 416 users, ‘heavenly feet’ also appears on Wynsors charts (Appendix 9), standing the 3rd position and brining an estimated traffic of 963 users.

· Good content will also help to decrease the bounce rate of a number of important lading pages, as per seen in the Landing Page Analysis. Only four pages have an excellent bounce rate, whereas the rest 50% and above, with maximum of 93%, which is considered to be very disappointing. Flashy ads, confusing links and poor graphics are the reasons for the users to leave the site. Creating engaging content with strong links will encourage the user to explore the website more and build stronger trust towards the purchase.

2. SM is a great platform to build community and the trust between the customer and the brand. OFFICE has a much bigger number of connected SM users than Wynsors, boasting a large number of 731.000 users on Facebook and Instagram alone. Moreover, both brands build their SM content on links and images. However, the modern society more and more respond to video content.

· Once the already existing website is optimised, I would strongly recommend to extend the SM channel performance and its share in the traffic source, as per seen in the KPI’s Dashboard, it is currently only 3%. Facebook can be a great platform to have an open conversation with the customers by the help of reviews. OFFICE sentiment analysis revealed that people had more negative feedback than Wynsors, but that was because they did not even have a review section on SM. Aside building more interaction features, the SM channels content is very important, too. Nowadays more and more popularity gaining Instagram and Facebook stories is a great way how to promote the items, sales and other brand related content for a minimum price. Having in mind that the competitors are not doing that yet, can be a great strategic advantage.

· Hiring a content creator, analysing the target audience and building a communication strategy based on a particular tone of voice will create a strong foundation for the CB shoes website performance consistency. Tone of voice gives the brand personality and makes it more relatable for the users. Appendix 10 shows the heat graphs of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social engagement times, which suggest the dates and times when it is the best to post. Creating posts timetable is essential to stay in control and keep the consistency. Posting twice a week on Facebook, Wednesday and Frida at 10AM, Thursday at Noon on Instagram and a Tuesday evening Tweed is a good start.


3. Wynsors and OFFICE do not have a very clear positioning within the market – simply selling other manufacturers shoes and making it easy for the customers to choose for a variety of brands and styles.

· CB shoes landing pages show that the majority of organic search results leads to the kids’ section. Knowing that the company has a good reputation for children footwear already, it would a good idea to pursue this further and become more focused on children as a customer.

Finally, even though the world is going digital, blending digital with the physical in this case is a beneficial marketing mix, particularly for children. Keeping the number of stores to two, it is best to maximise their value, before thinking of expanding. If being more focused on children, it is worth looking into incorporating interactive digital elements in the physical shopping experience, that would encourage good emotions, increased motivation to buy and share the valuable contact details. That could be virtual reality (VR) helmets with the video content related to the branding of the children shoes, or a VR dressing room, with the possibilities to try on the shoes and switch their styles digitally.



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