How Unilever is Driving Online Conversions with a Mobile First Strategy (UK)

Oliver Bradley
Experience Design

Smarter phones need smarter images.

Unilever is investing heavily in online and mobile commerce, which it sees as a primary driver for sales growth. As the FMCG giant’s Oliver Bradley put it recently, winning online is essential for Unilever to continue to lead in traditional off-line channels, and increasingly winning online is dependent on winning on mobile first.

But to win on mobile, brands must deliver a shopping experience that quickly converts browsers to buyers by making the most of the limited screen real estate available on the mobile phone. Get a first-hand account from Unilever’s Oliver Bradley on the strategies and tactics they are employing to ensure its brands stand out in the mobile channel.

Listen to this on-demand webinar as Oliver explores:

      • The results of Unilever’s joint work with Cambridge University’s Inclusive Design Centre to develop a new category-led approach for creating images and content for the mobile channel
      • Where mobile fits in along the path-to-purchase for today’s multi-channel shopper journey
      • How Unilever utilized visual science and proven shopper insights to partner with retailers to create clear visual consistency rules
      • How to optimize content and product images on mobile to answer the four questions shoppers need to know prior to making a purchase
      • The impact that mobile ready content and images are having on digital channel conversions
      • How Unilever leverages Clavis Insight to ensure the accuracy of images across all online retail partners

Presenter Bio:

Oliver BradleyOliver Bradley leads Experience Design for Unilever’s Global eCommerce team in addition to leading the Open Innovation initiative with Cambridge University which has helped to create the global standard for mobile ready hero images. Follow Oliver: LinkedIn






Tom Golden
Today’s webinar is brought to you by Clavis Insight with our guest speaker Ollie Bradley. He is the global e-Commerce Experience Design Director at Unilever. Unilever has been working with Clavis since 2012 and the company uses our eCommerce intelligence solutions in more than 20 countries to support its online channel programs. Ollie is going to be talking today about the fast-growing mobile channel and the strategy and tactics that you Unilever employs to ensure its brands stand out on the small screen. In particular [he’ll talk] about mobile-ready hero images, a set of standards and practices that the company has developed around product images for the mobile channel. And I think it’s very timely. I was just reading an article in Business Insider U.K. a couple of weeks ago citing numbers from [CapGemini???] and IMRG which point to a staggering 47% increase in the volume of eCommerce sales via smartphones and mobiles during 2016 over 2015.

We’re really pleased to have Ollie with us here today. As you’ll have guessed from his job title, Ollie leads experience design in Unilever’s global eCommerce team. He’ll admit to being a bit of an eCommerce geek. But most of all he’s passionate about making shopping for Unilever products online. Through his work with Cambridge University, Ollie and his team have come up with the concept of mobile-ready hero images. These images have delivered stronger conversions than standard images across all screen sizes and are now live with over 40 retailers in something like 20 markets around the world. Unilever has open sourced the design of the images in a bid to make online shopping better across the board. And Ollie is going to take you through how the images work and are already impacting Unilever’s online business. Over to you Ollie.

Oliver Bradley

I’m really delighted and revved up. I don’t know what to say. It’s nice to be given an opportunity to present on a topic that I’m hugely passionate about. I can’t contain my enthusiasm sometimes on this. I think for me it’s about making the shopping experience for consumers better on mobile and also, simply, for those like me with less than perfect eyesight. I think when you turn 40 you realize that your eyes are not as good as you thought they were. And multi-screening in the evening, watching TV and looking at your smartphone is not as simple as it used to be when you were younger.

But before I kick off, I love this cartoon because I think it captures what happens a lot when mobile gets desktop hand-me-downs: the shopper gets a bum deal.

I’d like to start with a few personal examples of how pervasive smartphone usage is. And I will bet for most of us on the call today, we are now doing at least as much e-mail on our smartphones, between meetings and possible in the evenings sadly, than on our laptops outside of meetings. And one of the things that I’ve realized is, if I know I’m sending an e-mail to a very senior person in Unilever, I will ensure that I look at it on my smartphone to make sure that the three of four sentences that I’ve constructed are above the page fold so that they can read it on their smartphone fast scrolling. Because I know that they are not going to want to spend long scrolling down. They just want to get to the point really quickly. And therein lies the insights around mobile. You’ve got a much smaller screen to be able to convey a lot of information really quickly. I think also for many of us the smartphone is the last thing we put down in the evening before we go to sleep and the first thing we pick up in the morning on waking. And that’s how pervasive things have become.

So today I’m going to talk about three things. I’m going to talk about mobile is now the first touch point for our brands — not a message that many of the brand managers will particularly enjoy, but it’s one of those things that technology has moved on and shoppers in many ways are ahead of the game. They have adopted the technology. We know: research online, purchase anywhere is a pervasive pattern. And mobile is now the first touchstone. A

I want to talk a little bit about how content is not optimized for mobile. And the work that we’ve been doing with Cambridge to optimize our content for mobile. And I want to show you the shopper-first category solution that we’ve open sourced so that not only retailers can use it, but also other brands. And everybody can benefit.

So just a couple of slides on the first touch point in everyone’s pocket. This is the front cover of The Economist. It’s actually really old. If you look carefully it’s March 2015. We’re now about to hit March 2017. And even back then they were declaring that by 2020, 80% of adults will have a super computer in their pocket — a.k.a. the smartphone.

I saw this tweet last week and I’ve added it to my deck because it shows that 430 million smartphones shipped in quarter 4, 2016. 1.5 billion in total in 2016. smartphone is still the next best thing. There’s been a lot of noise at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) about voice. And as much as I enjoy and find Amazon Alexa really fun, I don’t think a lot of stuff is getting sold through the Alexa and through voice yet. And actually the opportunity for us to make eCommerce better on the smartphone is much bigger in the near term. And there’s still a lot of work to do.

So 6 billion smartphones by 2020 is the prediction. We’re looking at 2.5 billion smartphones in use right now, according to Benedict Evans. Another little bit of stats. This is a global webindex survey of 60,000 shoppers saying that already in 2016 91% of adults own a smartphone. So the prediction that The Economist made is probably quite prudent and under-doing it.

Mobile is also the most important device, as you know, for most social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and obviously Instagram is pretty much mobile-only. And this trend is pervasive. And I think the alarming thing is that the base of mobile-only shoppers is growing. So we’re seeing in our emerging countries like China, India, Kenya, South Africa, and many of our developing world markets that there’s a lot of people who don’t actually access the internet other than through a mobile. And rather than ignore these people and expect them to put up with a desktop-only design solution, we need to cater for them and think mobile-first.


This is a slide from Mary Meeker’s state of the internet presentation where she looked at screen minutes versus TV across many countries. I’ve only capture 10 or so here. But you can see the pattern is clear: people are spending more screen minutes looking at their mobile phone and their tablets than they are watching TV. And that’s only accelerating.

But I’ve heard a lot of people say to me, “Ollie, mobile’s not important because, you know PC/laptop still represent a majority of online shopping transactions.” And I’ve heard that for probably two years now. And I would say that’s not true anymore. So even the criteria from Q1 2016, the mobile share of eCommerce transactions by country — and I’m not talking traffic here; I’m talking transactions — we’re past the tipping point in many of the really big eCommerce markets. Certainly China is now a bigger eCommerce market than the States. And Japan you’d expect. But even the U.K. we’re seeing a lot more eCommerce transactions go through mobile than desktop PC. And I predict the U.S.A. is at that tipping point now. Because I don’t have the data for 2017, but I would predict that the U.S.A. is at tipping point right now.

So, I think we all agree we need to deliver a great experience for the online shopper. But probably what we haven’t realized is we actually need to start with mobile rather than start with desktop. And we need to deliver a great experience on all screen sizes. So it’s actually not just about mobile. We need to make sure that we optimize the experience no matter what device or screen size the shopper is on. And we need to start mobile first. And then work toward the bigger screen size.

Here’s a great example when, obviously, 10-15 years ago when the habit was to go to Blockbuster on a Friday night and actually pick up a DVD together with your Ben & Jerry’s — I’d hope, being a Unilever man. The DVD cover would be quite ornate. You would have a lot of characters on it. It would be something that was designed for you to pick up and look at. Fast forward 15 years and what’s on Amazon on iTunes and on Netflix is quite different. And in fact what’s on Amazon, iTunes, and Netflix is very similar to mobile-ready eCommerce images. It’s a distillation of what is the single-most important brand icon. Finding Nemo is quite effective. Or Monsters, Inc. And then literally simplifying the design so everybody can actually see what’s going on. So we need to create a better experience before the store in eCommerce. And the reason we need to do that is because shoppers are increasingly researching online before they go to a store. So their first experience is a digital one, and their first experience is a mobile one. And we do some very straightforward things. I noticed on our Ben & Jerry’s vending machines that we had lids off our packs — and I thought: well, we could absolutely do that online as well. And we did. And we got strong uplift. And I’ll share that with you in a minute. You can do things in digital you just can’t achieve in store. Obviously in store you wouldn’t allow shoppers to rip the lids off Ben & Jerry’s just to have a look at the ice cream and taste it, unless you were giving away free samples. But online we can.

So we need to design mobile first. Now what does that mean? Well first, let’s talk about screen sizes. So here’s a range of screen sizes, all the way from the old iPhone 4S through to the exploding Galaxy Note 7. And the reality is right now 80 of mobile traffic is still on screens smaller than 5 inches. This presents a very big design challenge for us as a branded manufacturer. You have a very, very small canvas in order to convey to the shopper what the essential pieces of information that they are looking for in fast vertical scroll. Because we all know that people fast vertical scroll because they’ve learned that behavior from Facebook, Instagram, and that behavior is pervasive.

Just rewinding very quickly. I’ve been asked, do we really need better eCommerce primary images? I would say yes for two reasons. The first reason — I think I’ve outlined that clearly — is mobile is now the first screen. It’s not just Mary Meeker who’s saying it, or Benedict Evans who’s saying it; everybody’s saying it now. Mobile is the first encounter that someone is going to have with their brand. It’s going to be digital first and mobile first. And the second, which I mentioned earlier, is all about our eyesight. And what happens when you turn 40, your eyes become inelastic. The ability to focus near and far, your limbs and your eyes become a lot less flexible. So you either become long sighted or short sighted, or both. And you need [bi]focals. And ultimately this makes it very difficult to multi screen in the evening without glasses. And 5 million people in the U.K. for instance can’t read newsprint without their glasses. Yet you’d be amazed at how many people don’t bother to update their prescriptions — don’t bother to wear their glasses. So therefore they’re having a very suboptimal experience, to put it bluntly, when they’re trying to shop off their mobile and while they’re multi screening and watching TV in the evening.

Also I would say from the eye tracking that we’ve done, online eye tracking shows a couple of significant things. The first is, when a shopper eye tracks down and scrolls the screen — and I can’t mock that up all that easily on PowerPoint — basically the eye has fixations as I’ve shown you with the red dot. Shoppers like to look at the images. They avoid reading. And the reason they visually scan images is that our brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. And it’s a much easier thing to do look through images than it is to read. And as a result, we’ve realized from eye tracking that most of what the retailer presents on the page is ignored. And shoppers will avoid reading. So therefore the important stuff needs to be next to the image or on the image, because that’s the only place that they’re interested in looking at, other than the add-to-basket button and the price.

So, what four things then do shoppers need to successfully choose the right product? I mean it seems a sensible enough question, but it was one that Cambridge asked us when we started working with them. And it’s elusively simple. Retailers will tell you price. And they’re right. Price is correct, yes. But what else other than price do you need to see to choose the right product? Well Cambridge has said basically four things.

The first is brand. People are looking for brands. They’re looking for brands that they recognize. Magnum is the most valuable ice cream brand in the world. And it’s distinctly recognizable with its big gold “M” on the dark brown chocolate background. And the hero image makes it very easy at every screen size imaginable to actually see what you’re looking at and find a brand.

Second, format. If you look at the consumer decision tree in terms of how people shop: when people shop deodorants — and Unilever has very good market share in deodorants; and we’re experts in deodorants — people are very loyal to format. People who like aerosols don’t generally like contact applicators like sticks and roll-on. So they are looking for their formats when they go shopping. So people need to recognize: are they buying a dove bar? or are they buying a Dove body wash? Or are they buying a Dove cream? And they want to be able to work that out very easily from the hero image.

Third, variants. Shoppers search by color and they shop by shape. So yes, they recognize the shape of the Dove bottle, but they’re also looking for the pink one. They won’t necessarily know the name of the pink one. They’ll probably call it the pomegranate one or the pink one. It’s actually called rhubarb. But we want to make it really easy in the hero image for them to be able to see the pomegranate and recognize that this is their variant.

And then last, size. It’s very difficult when we use exactly the same bottle shapes across sizes of thumbnail to recognize which is the big one and which is the small one. And not a lot of shoppers want to have to go through to the product display page to verify which one they’re buying or read the text to see which size they’re buying. So therefore we made it really easy for shoppers to see size in the bottom right-hand corner. From all the eye tracking interviews that we’ve done, the most common mistake of people shopping online was actually people selecting the wrong size. I’m sure you find that true as well.

So we created a video with Cambridge, which is available on YouTube. For purposes of time today, I’m not able to play it to you. But I would ask that if you’d like, after the webinar if you go to either Google or YouTube and type in “mobile ready hero image.” This video is now open source available for anybody to watch. And [it] demonstrates what it is like for the shopper to try and select from high-speed mobile scrolling on mobile — what we called “Vegas-style” scrolling, for lack of a better word, which is when the shopper stops the screen with their finger. A little bit like a slot machine; you kind of stop when you think you’ve hit the jackpot.

So what I’ve done is built a little demo with Cambridge instead. I understand you won’t be able to answer me, but I’ll be asking you, what is the brand? You’d maybe be able to recognize that with Dove. I’d then be asking you: What format is it? Is it shampoo, conditioner? And you are going to struggle because we use pretty much the same bottle shape for both. So you’re not going to be able to answer me on that. And you’re going to be forced to read, which will slow you down shopping and will irritate you as a shopper. I’m then going to ask you which variant it is: Is it color care or intensive repair? And you’re going to struggle because you’re not going to remember. And you’re just going to say, oh it’s the pink one; I wanted the pink one. So you’re not going to be able to tell that. And then lastly on sizes: Is it the 400 ml,  250 ml, or the travel size. You’re going to be stuck on that one as well. Now using exactly the same amount of space with the hero image; and all we’ve done here is zoomed. And we’ve added the off-pack lozenges. What is the brand becomes very simple. Is it shampoo or conditioner?: very simple. Intensive care or color care?: really easy to tell. And it’s very easy to tell size. So there’s just a quick demonstration of what medium zoom plus lozenges does. It really takes the shopper closer to the product and able to select a lot easier.

So, what is a mobile-ready hero image? I hear you ask. Well, quite simply it’s an image that’s designed to work across all screen sizes. That’s designed to work at the worst possible size: anything between 10 mm, which is Tesco’s app, to 16 mm, which generally is around the biggest size you’re going to get in a retailer’s app. Through to the biggest you’re ever going to get usually on a desktop to be about 48 mm if you’re lucky. And as you can see here, just because of medium zoom and the lozenges, it’s much easier to be able to recognize that you’re looking at Tresemme Shampoo 600 ml Keratin Smooth. And if I had to ask you to quickly give me that level of detail from the pack shot, certainly anything smaller than desktop, you’re going to struggle. The other thing is, because we know shoppers recognize color, we made it really easy to navigate by variants by having colors in the call out strips.


The dilemma that we face, and the reason we use call out, is because not all packs are square. Some packs are tall and thin; some packs are triangular; some packs are long and landscaped. So here’s a great example — and there are plenty of examples like this, from toothbrushes to eyeliner — where I could say to you as brand owner: What brand am I looking at? We know that shoppers tend to type in category keywords into search. Yes, they do search for big brands like Dove and Nivia and Axe links. But they will also search literally for “eyeliner” or “deodorant.” And if you’re faced with this, it’s very difficult to be able to tell what you’re looking at. Who knows?: maybe it’s Maybelline, maybe it’s not. So what we’ve done — and we have an eyeliner brand in India — as you can see we’ve medium zoomed. And we’ve added the call outs to actually make it very easy for the shopper to see what they’re looking at. Finding you eyeliner shouldn’t cause eye strain.

So the work that we’ve done is kind of three pillars. The first pillar is the visual science. Getting to a greater visual acuity and hopefully helping particularly the older shoppers with poor eyesight; helping shoppers who don’t have access to desktop to shop; and using objectivity, the department of engineering, and the inclusive design units of Cambridge University to be the expert to help us with that. And they’ve created a very simple open source test called the “See It” exclusion model, and you can access it off their web site. We also did a ton of research: both over a hundred eye tracks using tobii kits, we eye tracked on mobile, tablet, and desktop. And we did a big piece of quantitative research with SKIM. And we tested 165 hero images across personal care, against 35 pack shots; and without exception hero images beat pack shots in terms of uplift.

And lastly to develop, I guess, category management for online. To understand what are the rules that should exist. We’ve taken feedback from GS1 and Google Shopping, which are open source in their merchant center all their [???] rules. And we’ve taken feedback from retailers. And the main thing that retailers told us — I’m sure have told all of you — is that they want visual consistency; they don’t want Armageddon.

Let’s start with the first one. What is an inclusive design audit? So Cambridge make you wear these glasses that feel like they’ve been smeared with Vaseline and you can’t see. It’s similar to poor eyesight. But they also use something called the distance method which is looking at 23 mm image on a 7-inch tablet from a meter away: can you recognize brand, format, variant, and size? And the inclusive design standard that we set with Cambridge wasn’t a particularly strict one. We said 75% of U.K. adults should be able to do it. And we weren’t even testing on the difficulty of mobile. We were testing, like I said, a 23 mm image on a 7-inch tablet. We want to achieve 75% inclusion: adults can actually complete the task and quite easily work out those four things.

When we look at the pack shot for Dove, you can see we’ve got real problems, particularly format and people recognizing it’s a bar and certainly recognizing the pack count, that there’s six bars in this pack. Nobody was able to work that out, even from a 23 mm image on a tablet.

So do hero images work? Absolutely, so this is some of the results that we’ve shared with retailers — and quite openly shared — to provide proof that the work that we’ve done does actually drive mobile conversion on all screen sizes both on mobile and desktop. In fact, unusually, it drives even better conversion on desktop, which shows that it works on both. And this is some of the qualitative feedback that we got in terms of helping on brand clarity, clarity on formats, clarity on size — really unsurprising. And we’ve done A/B split tests with retailers. So for instance, adding the number of washes to indicate size in laundry, which P&G has followed us on, has delivered a simple 2.6% lift in an A/B split test that we did with the retailer. On Ben & Jerry’s, taking the lids off; in a test with the retailer, simply that change, no change in price, got us a 3.6% lift.

On Simple we got an even better lift. And this is another test we did with a retailer. We got a nearly 20% lift in an A/B split test. I think you’d be pretty cross if you took the 7-wipe home and you were meant to buy the 25-wipe.

And then lastly, probably our most successful has been the work on Magnum’s take-the-product-out-the-pack so people can see what’s inside. And basically show them a lot more clearly both on the pack and indicate — as you can see — what’s inside. And this has got us a 24% lift in an A/B split test with a retailer in Europe.

So hopefully that’s convinced you there is some real conversion that’s behind mobile-ready hero images and they do it better than conventional pack shots.

I think, on to the next challenge, is retailers wanted visual consistency because it’s good for shoppers. It’s good for brands ultimately to know what the rules are, rather than creating visual Armageddon. And it’s ultimately good for both shoppers and retailers, as I said.

Here’s kind of where we started out. All I can say is really ugly yellow lozenges. This is never going to be a long-term solution because it’s too attention grabbing. And your focus ends up being on the lozenge rather than on the pack. And it’s just too noisy. And yeah, it’s really, really ugly. Placing the front of pack number-of-washings lozenge is already established on the physical pack in laundry. And just lifting that off the image and putting it separately so shoppers can read it at 16 mm just made a whole lot more sense.

So past efforts to deliver brand-led solutions for mobile failed. We needed category solutions that would work across full categories. And the full category solution that we’ve open sourced is simply to say: medium zoom and use the standard strip lozenges that Cambridge has created. Zoom really does work. It’s very difficult looking at these Dove body washes to see what’s going on. But when you’ve got medium zoom it’s quite quick and easy to see what you’re looking at.

We open sourced the template probably middle of last year, apparently June last year. And we’ve made it available for everyone to download the Photoshop templates, to download the open-sourced typeface, to download the laundry category lozenge that’s front of pack. And we waived our intellectual property rights for the template and for the number-of-washes lozenge because we realized we needed to create an industry standard, and we’d been working with GS1 to make this the industry standard. So GS1 hosted two meetings: one hosted by Brand Bank on the 20th of January where Cambridge trained on how to use the template; and last week GS1 hosted another meeting with 61 different suppliers in London talking through any objections to this template so that we could become the number 1 GS standard. And indeed there were very few objections raised by the suppliers in the room, which was really good. And this is moving to become the industry standard.

In terms of just explaining the template, that’s very simple: medium zoom does make best use of space, but it’s not compulsory. It is compulsory to use the Open Sans typeface for off-pack text. Size callout should always match the color of the brand. The larger strip always matches the color of the format. Open Sans should always be used in sentence case because it’s faster to read it than caps.

So for instance, on the left where you’ve got a brand-led solution, at least inconsistency across the category; whereas if you have the Cambridge GS1-endorsed lozenges, it leads to category consistency.

And again on colors: where you have the wrong colors, it leads to a mess; where you have the correct colors, it’s much easier to be able to see what’s going on.

So just moving on to the decision tree for the position of off-pack communications. Ultimately, the brand team may choose whether or not they want to do mobile-ready images; whether they want to add off-pack communications; and whether they need it. But if they do add them, they need to add the GS1 Cambridge rules. These are the rules so far that have been published openly. If your pack is squarish, then maximize the full canvas..

Second question is, the formats are obvious; the products are obvious from the pack. If it’s yes, then you only really need to talk about the size. And if you have a really established category standard lozenge, like we have in laundry, you don’t need to use the other sized lozenge in the corner; you can use the category standard lozenge. In many cases, there isn’t a category standard lozenge. And in honesty, on mobile-ready hero images there’s not the opportunity to establish it. It has to be established usually on pack or on TV first before you have the right to use it on mobile. Trying to establish it on mobile would be exceptionally difficult.

The third question is, what is the aspect ratio of the pack. If the format’s not obvious, therefore the longer strip needs to go along the bottom. And if the format is not obvious but the pack is portrait, then it needs to go in a vertical strip on the right-hand side. And the reason the text reads from the bottom upward is that’s how a graph reads. Also read from top to bottom, I mean so from bottom to top, so going up.

Where have we got mobile-ready images live? This is public. You can go to any of these web sites. And if you type in “Dove” or “Ben & Jerry’s,” you will see our hero images across roughly 40 retailers in 20 markets.

And we use Clavis to help us track where those hero images are live; what stage we are, in terms of, do we have the correct pack shot; or do we have the correct hero image. And we have come up with an elaborate scoring system, which the Clavis technology enabled us to do, which looks at: (1) exact match, hero image for hero image; (2) partial, whether we’ve got pack shots but not a hero image, but the related pack shot; (3) no match, if we haven’t even got the right pack shot live and we expect a hero image; (4) hero image is missing, in terms of our trusted source and no match; and (5) the hero image is missing, but there is a match; (6) and then there’s no trusted source in our digital asset management system. Pretty complex, but I guess from my point of view, Clavis has been a great partner to be able to measure the complexity that we need, in terms of — as Tom said earlier — across 20 markets or so, and with the granularity of seeing which part of the chain have things broken down. Is it the retailer’s fault? Or was it our fault for not providing the correct trusted source?

And I want to conclude with this. We’ve seen this movement start and argue it’s no longer a Unilever thing, but absolutely an industry thing. So our competitors have fast followed. As an eCommerce team, we’re delighted to have created the industry standard that competitors are now following. We think ultimately it’s shopper first. Ultimately that’s what you have to do to win the shopper over. You need to put the shopper first and then the retailer align around that.

So I’m going to pause there, because I know I’ve thrown a lot at you in the last 30 minutes, and hand back to Tom, who is emceeing for us today.

Tom Golden

One question about retailers is: Do you meet much resistance from retailers with respect to putting up these type of images that are not just straightforward pack shots?

And there’s another similar retailer-focused question: Looking great from the standpoint of the brand. But what happens when you are an e-tailer having to stamp over the images for promotions, etc. — like 2-for-1 and half-price etc. coming into the info? Is that one of the things that retailers rebel against or is that an issue?

Oliver Bradley

Yeah. So I’ll deal with the first question, then I’ll move on to the second question. So I understand your first question is, do I come across resistance from retailers to accept these mobile-ready hero images instead of pack shots? Absolutely. I think it’s a major change in process. So retailers are used to taking pack shots because we’ve always done it like that. And for supplier then to provide an optimized mobile-ready image is a change in process. I think what we’ve tried to do to alleviate the pain, because we knew this would cause pain, is to open source everything, so that retailers could just literally template and do it on their own level. And also they could make it available for all suppliers down to the smallest supplier to follow. I guess we’ve done the hard work for everybody. We don’t begrudge doing that because we know it’s the right thing to do for the shopper. And I think we’ve kind of eliminated the excuse that this is too hard. The brand bank for instance offers the service of being able to create mobile-ready hero images using the Cambridge template and [???] competitors in the States. Jessica will probably talk about this later on in her webinar offering exactly the same service. So the image providers or aggregators offer this service.

The second question was around retailers dropping promo flashes across the hero images. Our view is a pretty strong one on that. Our hero images are our brand trademarks, and retailers need to find other creative ways to highlight promotions. I think the need to highlight promotions is critical. And they need to highlight other things: like shelf life is also critical. I’ve seen retailers like Sainsbury’s being able to both highlight promotions and highlight [???] or frozen using other icons without covering up the hero image. In our view we need to maximize the full canvas because our full canvas is only a 16 mm square at best on mobile, and it’s 10 mm square on So if we were to give up that space, we’d end up with a 7 mm square, which is no good to anyone. And honestly you can’t design to something so small. So I think it’s a matter of time for that to be addressed in the user experience where the promotional flashes don’t impinge and go over the hero images. Great question, thank you.

Tom Golden

Do you have hero images for all products?

Oliver Bradley

Do we have hero images for all our products? Yes we do. So if you go to Asda or Sainsbury’s, you will see all Unilever products have hero images.

Tom Golden

Which function — marketing? — is responsible for the hero images?

Oliver Bradley

Who’s responsible? In honesty I’m not that comfortable with answering that because I think it’s up to you, your company to figure out who’s going to do it. Whether it’s going to be sales or marketing: go figure it out. I’m not going to give that away. It’s not that difficult to figure out to be honest.

Tom Golden

Within the organization, who or what department is most resistant to the change? And have you persuaded them that this is the way to go or that heroes might be better than what they might be offering?

Oliver Bradley

Yeah absolutely. I think it’s something new; it’s a change in process. There is going to be some internal resistance. But actually what has delighted me about working for Unilever is we’ve moved very fast; we’ve scaled very fast. And actually the resistance in many ways has been minimal. At the start there was the question around, does this really work? And I think when the numbers came in, we had some very strong support and we’ve moved very quickly.

Tom Golden

There’s another question here about Apple Pay. Does Apple Pay and other similar tools count as mobile transactions? Maybe I’ll take that. The thing about these mobile payment systems. I think these are some of the things that really encourage the growth of mobile sales. If you look at countries like South Korea and China, where mobile payments are much bigger than they would be in the U.K. or in Europe, eCommerce is a lot bigger: 80% in South Korea and well over 50% in China. Have you anything to add on mobile payments, Ollie? Is that a consideration or are you more focused on the content and the images?

Oliver Bradley

Yeah, I’m more the content expert rather than the payment guy.

Tom Golden

Another question here. How applicable do you think these standards are to other categories outside grocery, like personal care and household, which were Unilever’s primary candidate categories? Do you think they’re applicable in other categories as well?

Oliver Bradley

Yes, I do. I can’t say they’re applicable every single non-Unilever category. That would be arrogant. I think what Cambridge has done definitely works for pretty much all of personal care, which is where Unilever is big and competes. And we’ve done it in foods, so a lot of the [Ambient???] food products and all of [???] and Hellman’s categories we’ve done it for. We’ve done it for ice cream business as well, and those have got fantastic results. So I know GS1 is kicked off the process to make mobile-ready Cambridge hero images the de facto industry standard. They are consulting with 31 different suppliers. They’ve hosted their first meeting. I’m sure that there may be some other new category standard lozenges that will emerge in non-Unilever categories. And that’s great. But I’m also pretty convinced that people will use the Cambridge work with similar CPG categories where they face the same issues in terms of too often things are difficult to see. And the off-pack lozenges work, I can see that that work will be borrowed with pride and used. And that’s great because we can fast-track a better solution for the shopper.

Tom Golden

Great, thanks. And there’s another question here: Are these images ADA (American Disability Association) compliant? And if not, are you getting pushback from retailers in the U.S.?

Oliver Bradley

So yes, we’re working with the inclusive design team from Cambridge, which is all about accessibility and inclusive design. I won’t go into detail other than to say, we have had strong retailer acceptance in the States. I think it’s up to each individual company to work with retailers that are really strong on ADA-like targets. And I’m going to leave it there because ultimately I can’t give away information that’s not public.