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Pizza Express are embracing chatbots in their social media - how easy was it for us to book a table and what are the implications for other E-commerce sites?

Pizza Express have launched a new chatbot on Facebook Messenger, they state it allows users to book restaurants using Messenger - we wanted to book a table ourselves, with this in mind, we did. Here's how we got on.

The launch followed a trial over Christmas, which was used by 150,000 people, much to the surprise of Pizza Express.

We first tried it on desktop, aiming to book a table for the restaurant near our office in Leeds, UK.

An interesting point to note is there is not much chat involved, you select options - I  typed responses to see how well…

Use these tools to speed up your influencer outreach

These tools are especially useful for content marketers who are regularly producing content and need a structured and scalable way of managing their outreach efforts. They help to identify the types of site and key people within your niche that may link to or share your content in order to help amplify your message. Tools such as Kred, Klout and Followerwonk (Twitter specific tool) focus on assigning scores to online users, surfacing those who are likely to be most influential for your given content, search or topic.

Why are these tools important to digital marketers?

They help digital marketers to identify, analyse and contact relevant PR, blogger and other key influencer contacts, usually with the aim of…

Chart of the Day: What challenges you when it comes to email marketing? Part 1 of 4.

For email marketers, there will always be aspects of email marketing that are a challenge. The below chart looks at the various areas that email marketers are struggling with. I will be doing a 4 part series of issues pertaining to email marketing.

We will be looking at the following during the course of the series:

Targeting & Segmenting Subscriber list growth Tracking results Main email marketing goal.

There is no real surprise that "Targeting & Segmenting" comes up with the highest score of 40%. For most, the main issue will be the clients' data records. They will be inaccurate, out of date or incomplete. The more data you can obtain from your clients, that is relevant to your business, the more tailored you can make your emails. Segmented email campaigns have a 63% higher click rate because the client…

Google will stop accepting new customers for Google Site Search at the start of April, and will turn the product off completely in 2018

You know that search box in the top corner of just about every website you visit? There's a pretty good chance that it's powered by Google site search. This means the site is paying Google to use its excellent search functionality to find relevant results for users. If your site's search uses Google Site Search, then we've got some bad news for you. Google has just announced it will be discontinuing the product, and although it will be fulfilling the contracts it already has it won't be allowing anyone to renew after April 2017. This will mean by 2018 the product will be switched off completely, and anyone using Google Site Search will have their site search function automatically switch to Google's 'Custom Search Engine' (CSE) product. This…

Google home, Amazon Echo and other virtual personal assistants will transform ecommerce marketing

2016 saw the rise of connected home voice assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, but 2017 is the year they mature. Last week, Google announced that its Google Home product would be able to place orders of essential items for consumers in the US.

A user can place orders just by asking Google Home to do it, with the only interface being natural speech. This is the ultimate UX experience. Now it's as easy to get Google to pick up some shopping for you as it is to ask your better half if there is any milk left.

Google home will send your order to participating retailers, who can then fulfil it. Google has announced it is partnering with…

The biggest technology trends emerging this year

For organisations of all shapes and sizes, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the latest digital and technological advances. To help you do this, we’ve looked ahead at those trends that will have a major impact in 2017 - and beyond…

2016 saw significant technological advances in a number of different areas (as we discussed in a post on the Box UK blog towards the end of last year). It doesn’t look like this rapid rate of change will slow anytime soon - so what will everyone be talking about in this year? Here are some of the trends we expect to see dominate:

‘Digital Transformation’

Addressing one of the most talked-about trends in recent years, digital transformation may be fast becoming an overused and increasingly vague term - but with four generations now in the workplace and collaborating across all sorts of projects, digital is…

Chart of the day: Advertisers that implemented Influencer Marketing in 2016 received $11.69 in Earned Media Value (EMV) on average for every $1.00 they spent.

A report by RhythmOne highlights the influencer marketing benchmarks for full-year 2016, finding that influencer marketing is providing high Earned Media Value (EMV).

Earned Media Value is the value of earned media (such as influencers promoting a brand). It is the value given to the impact of the influencer campaigns and is organic, compared to paid media (such as pay per click) or owned media (advertising on your own channels e.g. your own website).

Food and software industries ran the most influencer campaigns whilst health and pharma had the largest average EMV, followed by retail, food and grocers.

With an average of $11.69 influencer marketing is a…

Five ways to supercharge your Facebook video ad campaigns

Facebook is now pretty much a ubiquitous presence in many of our lives. The platform now has over 1.65 billion monthly users and is considered so influential that it was even accused of affecting the outcome of the US presidential election.

What’s been fascinating to see is how Facebook has evolved as a mobile + video-first platform over the last couple of years. Of the 1+ billion people on Facebook everyday, 100 million hours of video is consumed. Emerging social apps such as Snapchat have redefined how video is consumed on mobile (from clunky and expensive to quick and informal) and Facebook themselves point to the 2015 ALS ice bucket challenge as a turning point for social video proliferation. The trend proved just how simple and easy it was for anyone to upload video online, whether it was children, parents or even…

Psychology has a bigger effect on purchase decisions than you think

A while ago I was doing my monthly "Let's see what TED's been up to recently" session, and I came across an older one: Dan Ariely's Ted talk on irrational purchase behavior.

It's well-worth a watch (after, of course, you finish this article).

In it, he breaks down the delusion that our buying decisions are rationally made. He discusses the true influences and psychological factors which affect our subconscious - the real determinants for why we buy that pack of gum, why that T-shirt stands out, or why we decide we need a jacket we don't.

Ever gone into a store for a single thing and walked out with a full cart?

Psychology has a bigger influence on your prospective customers than you might think. Understanding how you can use psychology to influence buying decisions will make you a better marketer and…

In a survey by eMarketer, 84% of marketers said they would launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months.

It’s no secret that the world of marketing has been somewhat flipped on its head in the last few years. What with the vast inbound advancements in social media, growing dominance of online content and ever-increasing desire of brands to be seen as approachable personas, marketing professionals have had to change and adapt faster than ever before. However, there is one group that has ridden this wave of change better than any other, and has subsequently found itself at the very top of the inbound marketing pile: influencers.

Using influencers in your marketing strategy can often seem daunting and expensive, with no guarantee of success. What follows is an exploration of this prominent trend, what we can learn from it, and how best it can be implemented for 2017.

What is…

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