Archive for the Marketing
January 29th, 2015
Everyday, eCommerce websites lose out on sales when potential customers abandon their online shopping carts. In fact, the average shopping cart abandonment rate stands at ~68%. That’s roughly 7 out of every 10 shoppers that start the buying process, never finish the transaction. Yikes, that’s a big number! So how can we reduce that number and recoup some of that lost revenue? Well the good news is that many of those customer were either on the fence of pushing the buy button or where distracted in some fashion. Let’s look at some of the possible reasons a customer abandoned the process in the first place:
- The buyer was surprised by the shipping charges.
- The buyer was comparison shopping.
- The buyer was in a hurry and ran out of time to finish the purchase.
- The kids were screaming and fighting.
- The internet connection failed.
- The shopping cart expired.
- The buyer found a better price.
- Product availability changed.
Ok, so you get the point that there are many different scenarios for a customer to abandon the cart before purchasing their items.
Let’s start by looking at improvements that can be made prior to the cart abandonment which might help reduce the number of customers leaving the process before purchasing the items.
Pre Cart Abandonment
- Dont up sell or cross sell during the checkout process, users can get easily distracted.
- Use your blog to highlight/review new products, educate visitors on product benefits/uses, announce special deals and sales.
- Make sure to create a FAQ page which contains answers to the most common questions customers will have.
- Have a return policy page and list the acceptable reasons and process for returns.
- Offer a “Checkout as Guest” option on your website for those customers not wanting to register.
- Run a promotion or sale every so often to entice new customers and reward current ones.
- Offer free or discounted shipping to customers and add some of it to the price of the product to offset the cost.
- Make sure to show stock inventory if there is a limited number of a particular type of product.
- Try to show product images in real life situations if possible and use multiple images to show all angles of the product.
- Dont just list the features of the product being sold, also include any benefits the product may have to the customer.
No matter what you do or how amazing your shopping cart is, there will always be customer’s that abandon the buying process for one reason or another. This leads us to the post cart abandonment process. Obviously, we want to convert as many of those abandon carts or warm leads into paying customers as we can. So what can we do?
Post Cart Abandonment
Once the customer has abandoned the cart, there are couple of options depending on what information was collected during the signup process. Studies show that the best time to follow up with your customer is between 6 and 24 hours after they have abandoned the shopping process.
The first option, but probably not the most popular, would be to call the customer (assuming they provided their phone number during the buying process) and ask them to do a quick survey on why they didn’t purchase the items during checkout. It’s best to keep the survey simple and short. You could also entice the customer with a discount coupon, promo code or free shipping code for completing the survey. This might get the customer to reconsider the purchase.
The second option and a pretty simple solution, consists of emailing the customer through a personalized message or otherwise known as abandoned cart email marketing. This process should take into consideration of the reasons why the customer abandoned the buying process in the first place.
Below are few ways to create some of those emails. Keep in mind that you should vary these emails and try different combinations so customers don’t get use to or even expect a discount.
- Send a Reminder: Send customers a gentle reminder (and a link to their cart) that there are still products sitting in their shopping cart.
- Show Them More: Send customers product reviews or information on the items in their cart with similar items to compare.
- Free Shipping: Send customers a coupon for free shipping along with a link to their shopping cart.
- Promo Code/Discount: Send customers a promotion or discount code to sweeten the deal.
- Create Some Urgency!: Add a time limit to the email offer. This can be applied to any of the emails above.
- Low Inventory?: Send a warning to customers that the products in their shopping carts may sell out or have very limited quantities.
- New Products: Send customers a follow up email after sending the initial cart reminder with new products that are similar to the ones the customer had in their cart.
- Promote the Return Policy: Send the customer details of your return policy and special details or FAQs.
No matter what you decide, whether it’s a single follow up email or a multiple stage campaign, keep your emails simple and focused.
Crafting a Cart Recovery Email
Creating an effective cart recovery email can make all the difference in the customer’s decision to revisit the buying process. Each email can be broken down into three sections:
- Subject Line: Make sure this grabs the customer’s attention as it’s the first thing they will see.
- Email Copy: Including the right tone (e.g. funny, serious, etc.) and calls to action can make a difference in the click thru rate.
- Images: Using images in the email can also boost the recovery rate.
Grab Their Attention
Writing a great subject line can be a make or break statement that will determine the amount of interaction you get from your customers. You might only have a few seconds to capture their attention and convince them to click on your email. There are many different combinations that can be used to do this such as personalizing the subject line, adding product names, including numbers and so on. Below are a few examples using these techniques:
- You wouldn’t throw $20 away...would you?
- Did you forget something? We can help!
- Jay, there’s still time get those items!
- Last chance to get 15% off those shoes you liked!
- One of the items in your cart is almost sold out. Don’t miss out!
The email content is just as important once the customer opens the email. Sending a plain text email is probably better than nothing (if you do make sure to at least include some type of image) but to get the best results you should send the email in HTML and include images of either the products or something to grab their attention. A rule of thumb is maintaining a ratio of 30% images and 70% text.
Here are few sample cart recovery emails (followed by a link to a collection of other examples) to get a better idea of what they can consist of.
Don’t be scared to test with different techniques and subject lines to determine what works best for you and your customers. Responding to those warm leads in a timely manner can lead to 10-20% boost to your online revenue.
December 5th, 2012
Many new eCommerce businesses have little idea the impact of trust marketing will have in their online business success. For most customers the value of trust is important. This is why certain businesses continue to grow online while others do not. In a very simplified sense online businesses that grow give their customers reason to trust them while many others do very little to instill trust.
Where does that trust come from?
1. Always work to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Most web users refer to their favorite search engine as a litmus test for trust. If they can’t find you in the first 3 pages of results for a search term, they probably won’t look any further. Work to convince the search engines you can be trusted and customers will follow.
2. Making promises and then delivering on the promise. Customers pay attention to how well your word stacks up against the reality of the checkout.
3. Customer service is always a big deal. Do your best to make sure every customer feels taken care of. There are ecommerce businesses that routinely drop the ball when it comes to customer service. Sadly, many will not be with us long.
4. Knowledge-based content must be authoritative. When you give your customers quality information they can use, you extend a hand of friendship to them. You are perceived as someone who is not stingy – someone who can be trusted.
5. Make sure your site is clean. One killer of trust is a site riddled with spelling errors and other glaring mistakes. Many customers will leave when a pattern of error is detected. The feeling is that if something as important as a website can’t be developed with minimal error then how important are the customers and how well will they be taken care of. At that point it’s simply easier for the customer to look elsewhere.
6. Your customers are smart so let them know that you are aware of the fact. If you work to inform without high pressure you are letting your customers know you understand their ability to make informed decisions without the need to be lead. This often enhances trust.
7. The use of autoresponders can help in managing follow up and follow through. No one likes to be left hanging. When you use autoresponders you can effectively eliminate extended response time.
Trust marketing doesn’t have to be hard it simply needs to be managed as an effective means of reaching the goals of your customers as they help you reach yours. If you give more than the customer expects you are likely to see greater trust and increased sales.
May 10th, 2012
Online businesses take time to grow, especially in the first year. If your online store is quiet and you’re waiting for visitors to come and buy, it’s easy to get discouraged. The moment the advertising ends, so does your traffic.
What if you could get visitors to your online store for free? And, not just that, the visitors keep coming for years to come. How does that sound? One of the best methods of generating traffic to your website is by writing and sharing articles. This is not a ‘get rich quick’ or some other type of scam. It’s just plain old fashioned article marketing.
Now, even if you aren’t a writer, you can use this method of getting traffic. It doesn’t take a degree in Literature to succeed in article marketing. All it takes is a little time and energy. If you have that - you can get traffic to your website.
It’s actually quite simple and it is underused, especially in ecommerce businesses.
All you need to do is write a short, simple, helpful article about something related to your online store. If you sell makeup, then write an article about how to choose a foundation color, or how to care for your skin during the winter. Or write a review about a particular product you sell. Once you’ve written your article, you submit it to the article directories.
Article directories are libraries of free articles. They are collections of articles that website and blog owners can use on their sites for free. The only stipulation is that everyone who publishes your article must include your author bio at the end which is where you include your website URL and some intriguing information about your online store.
Having articles in various article directories is a great way of providing links back to your online store, thus building your site's popularity. When a page has many links back to it it helps to attain a good placement in the search engine results. An article directory which has a high page rank is the best place to submit articles, as this helps to boost your page's rank as well.
During the process of article marketing, don't submit an article that is already on your own website without modifying or spinning it to give it at least 25% uniqueness. It could be considered duplicate content if you just submit copies to all the article directories and you don't want that!
Use keywords in your article's title and in the beginning of the first paragraph. Spread your chosen keyword/phrase throughout the article as well.
Most article directories allow you to use hyperlinks. For superior article marketing, use anchor text that relates to the keywords you are targeting. This will help you attain a better position in the SERP's (search engine result pages). If you are targeting "makeup tips" make sure to hyperlink those keywords/phrases in your article or bio box. This will help your online store get higher in the search results for the term "makeup tips".
Here are a few article directories to submit your articles to: EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com, Amazines.com, ArticleDashboard.com, Buzzle.com, iSnare.com
In summary, article marketing should be an important element of ecommerce marketing. Now that you see how simple this free method of generating traffic is, give it a try. You have nothing to lose and much to gain.
March 15th, 2012
We all want visitors to our website but more importantly we want them to stay and spend money on our website. Below is a list of five ways on how to drive visitors away from your website screaming "Get me outta here!" If you prefer being alone with your website and don't want all those pesky visitors bothering you, then follow the guidelines below and you'll get rid of them quick as a blink.
1. Don't state on your website what you do or what you sell. Make it a complete mystery. It's like a secret club -- your visitors are left in the dark. Have you been to websites like this where you show up and think "What the heck is this site about?" If you're not presenting a clear statement about why your visitors should spend their money (or at least come back again), then you're on your way to the bottom of the abyss.
2. Overwhelm visitors with lots of information. Almost as bad as the "What the heck is this site about?" problem is the "Oh my Goodness! Oh my Gracious!" sites. As a visitor, you know the sites I'm talking about. The page opens and your jaw drops. There is a sea of banners and links everywhere. Where do you go? What do you do? I'll tell you what I do: Click the little "x' in the upper right-hand corner to get the heck outta there!
3. Make the ordering process really complicated. There's nothing I love more than putting items into my shopping cart and then spending 20 minutes trying to figure out how to set up an account and pay. Guess what? I sure don't click the 'contact us' button. I click the "x" instead. You've succeeded in getting rid of yet another pesky customer who wanted to spend money.
4. Fill your site with outdated information and broken links. Phew. You dodged a visitor with that one. They clicked on a link that was broken -- and off they went.
5. Make sure there's no way for an interested customer or business partner to contact you. Heaven forbid, you might get some spam if you have your contact information on your site.
Thank Goodness you don't have those gosh-darned customers emailing you while you're trying to read up on your favorite celebrity's love life.
Obviously, I'm being silly, but you do know that these examples are true. You've seen sites that seem like they are trying to drive you away. If you are spending time and energy putting up a website to make money, then make sure you do it right!
March 12th, 2012
With the deadline for the new Facebook timeline fast approaching on March 30th, 2012, you will need to convert to the new format sooner rather than later. Your current images may not be optimized to fit the new timeline format. You will also need to set a Cover Photo to make your page look more professional. In addition, calls to action on the new Cover Photo are not allowed under the terms of service. So what can we do to continue to get more Likes with the new Timeline format? Below are five ways to customize and optimize your Facebook's timeline...
1. Direct people from your website to a Welcome tab
If you currently have an iframe page tab setup to direct fans to a call to action (most likely to click the "Like" button), it will no longer default to that page from your vanity URL. However. each tab still has an unique URL that you can use to send people directly from your website, article, signature, etc. One benefit of the new tab pages is more horizontal space to get your message across.
2. Point arrows on your Welcome page to the top right
The Like button used to be in the top left area of a Page tab. On the new Facebook tab pages, the Like button is in a fixed position on the top right of the Page tab. If you currently have an arrow on an iframe Page tab, you should probably change it to point to the top right.
3. Use custom tab images for calls to action
On the new Facebook timeline, there are visible tab images (111 x 74 pixels) which contains plenty of room to include text and images. You can get creative with these by adding call to action text within the images too. You can also select which tabs you want to be visible.
4. Add a Click Like arrow to your Profile Picture
Although Facebook doesn’t allow calls to action on your Cover Photo, they don’t say anything about having a call to action on your Profile Picture. You can sneak in a subtle suggestion to click the Like button that’s to the right of your profile picture.
5. Pin and/or Highlight great content on your timeline
You can pin specific content to the top of your timeline and pinned posts will stay at the top for seven days. If you have a particularly popular blog post, be sure to pin it (and pin it again). You can also highlight specific content on your timeline which will increase the size of the post on the timeline.
Make sure to test multiple approaches to find what works best for your brand and remember that people will be more willing to Like your page if they see it as a source of great content that’s relevant to them in some way.
Please feel free to post your comments below with any approaches or tips to maximize the new Facebook timeline.
August 3rd, 2011
This is a good question that comes up a lot, so we’ve decided to put our thoughts down as to what you need to be successful with a eCommerce website.
The Right Mindset
If you’re starting out as a complete newbie in online sales, at some point you might become frustrated, so to compensate you need to have a positive attitude. It’s so important to believe in yourself and have faith that you too can learn the skills necessary to do this. It’s key, that you need to be in the learning mindset to succeed. Even though you might be using a turnkey eCommerce website there will still be things to learn. Do not listen to those who try and put you down or tell you that what your trying to do won’t work or there is too much competition.
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May 11th, 2010
Start with the copy.
Persuasive and interesting copy (the text on the page) is a key component to making your website stand out. Clear and compelling product descriptions, special offers and romantic stories about how products will positively impact your customers lives are what turn visitors into customers.
If you're at all interested in search engine traffic, you have to start with generating content for your website, and written content is the fastest and easiest to spread option.
Copy writing can be intimidating at first, but rest assured that anyone can become an effective copywriter with the right information and lots of practice. Below, we've assembled some of our favorite resources that are sure to give you a head start over competitors who don't understand the power of copy.
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