What types of product videos do you need for better conversion?

To be more precise, we are going to talk about product videos. You probably remember the bad quality films of the previous century, recorded with funny narrations demonstrating the operation of fork-lift trucks and other machines. These were not really good for anything else but to put the audience to sleep right away: they were intended to be informative, but since they were dull creations without any creativity, this objective was not been achieved at all.

The other thing that may come to your mind is Home Shopping Network and similar channels: it is an efficient, but a clearly sales-type tool, which in addition is too clumsy for the age of the internet. You cannot seize the Y generation through the TV home shopping any more – especially because they don’t watch TV, and if they do, not such channels.

No, in the post-web2 era, you have to use much more sophisticated tools than that. By relying on content marketing, you need to make videos that are interesting, valuable, useful and relevant for your audience.

Videos, which are searched and found by the users themselves, are usually watched from the beginning to the end with pleasure and are even shared with friends.

 

You can read about the following topics in this article:

  • Why do you have to use videos?
  • What can you use them for exactly?
  • Explanatory videos
  • How-to videos
  • Product presentations
  • Testimonials
  • Thumbnail videos
  • What will the near future bring?

 

Why do you have to use videos?

 

Because that’s what the market dictates.

For example, because of Google: today, the proportion of relevant videos on the results pages is already high, which is not surprising, since the company wants to make its YouTube service more powerful from the search engine’s side as well.

At the moment, you find videos with approximately 14-15% of the organic search results. So you cannot miss out on aiming to dominate the hit lists in this field either.

Videos perform superbly in the social media as well. Users readily play and share video content, since they can watch them even directly on their timelines. And if their friends recommend them content, that has a much greater effect than if you spread it yourself.

For this, you don’t necessarily have to make a viral video: it’s enough to make one that properly responds to a given problem of one of your target groups.

Did you know that according to HubSpot, 71% of the consumers think that the products can be explained much more clearly with the help of videos? If the customers fully understand what a product is for and how it can be used, they will more likely buy it.

The power of videos in brand building and for increasing your visibility is enormous, and at the same time it also makes you look more trustworthy. This figure number also comes from HubSpot: 58% think that the companies publishing videos are more reliable.

There are simple reasons for this: on the one hand, they transfer much more information than the companies not using videos, on the other hand, due to the individual faces of the company appearing, introducing themselves in the videos, the customers can more easily connect with the company.

 

What can you use videos for exactly?

 

You can make almost anything from the videos within the framework of content marketing.

  • You can use them to promote your brand, to make it visible: to reach new people by having them sharing your videos among themselves.
  • You can obtain leads by presenting your products and the solutions that are available for your customers with their help.
  • They can serve as “bait products” or hooks that you give in exchange for the data of the users and you can build a list thanks to them – we’ll talk about that later.
  • You can use them, as exclusive content, for reinforcing loyalty.
  • Videos can facilitate sales promotion by presenting your product more effectively than a few images would.

 

And this is only a very short list.

Now let’s move on to what fundamental types of e-commerce content marketing are worth using.

 

Explanatory videos

 

There are cases when it’s not your product that you need to present.

 

Example

You operate an online home improvement store. You sell hammers, saws and nails – these are not too exciting products, you can hardly make any videos about them that would capture your target audience’s attention.

But in this case it’s not even the hammer that your target market wants to buy. A tool, as it is, is functional, you use it for something: you either want to build a tree house for the kid, repair the kitchen cabinets, or finish the shed.

Let’s take the tree house example: if you shoot a video about how anyone can build such a thing easily, you’re already winning. People who are interested in the hows of tree house building will watch it – it makes sense that they will need the tools you are selling, either for this or for a similar project.

 

Still, you don’t need to shove those products down their throats anyway. It’s enough to introduce yourself as a brand giving helpful, detailed and useful answers. They will remember that they learned those specific things from you, and once they really need a hammer, they will be most willing to buy it from you.

You don’t simply carry out audience building with this method, it is also good for lead generation. Let’s assume that you are dealing with some kind of a more complex problem: you might as well make the first couple of videos freely available but hide the rest. You don’t ask for money of course – you just ask for an email address.

You’ve immediately created a list for a relatively well usable segment: you will have a list of those who are very much interested in the solution of the given problem. Then you can make them offers in email, which help them solve that problem. You can show your hammer at this point.

 

How-to videos

 

This is a solution very similar to the previous one. You have to make this according to the following:

 

  • You define your target market.
  • You identify a problem that at least one segment of your target market wants to solve.
  • This should preferably be a problem that can be solved with the help of your products.
  • Describe the process in detail, showing what they need to do step by step.

 

The mechanism of action is the same in this case as well: members of your audience commit themselves because you help them solve their problem, and with a little smartness, you will have a chance of list building, and thanks to product placements and relevant offers, you can even promote sales with these videos.

 video how

 

Product presentations

 

[bctt tweet=”Product videos may work well in an online store – provided they are honest.” username=”aionhill”]

 

The biggest problem of Home Shopping Network and the like is that it’s too theatrical. A knife will not change the world, and it’s not the biggest problem of the average people’s lives that they can’t cut a tomato in half at first. And a random host should probably not be shouting enthusiastically just because he comes across an incredibly sharp knife set.

You have to present your product truthfully and in detail.

Ideally, it has functions that your audience is not necessarily aware of. For example, did you know why there is a hole in the centre of the pasta spoon? Because by putting spaghetti into it before cooking, you can precisely measure out one portion of pasta with it.

Perhaps it has some characteristics that can make it more useful – and thus more attractive –, however, the customers are not necessarily aware of those. Or there may be some tricks that can increase its lifetime.

In case you show these things in detail and quite spectacularly in your videos, your audience will be grateful for it: they will feel they get more from you than a simple product: complete guidance and in an enjoyable form, too, not as an IKEA catalogue.

 video presentation

 

Testimonials

 

Social proof, the power of the community is one of the most convincing techniques you can apply, which we have already mentioned on our blog earlier. And video is an exceptionally good content format for recording these.

But a video will not become a good one just because one of your satisfied customers says in it how happy he or she is with the purchased product. If you watch this, you don’t find out anything else, apart from the fact that some other person thinks the product is good. You need more than that.

 

So you should shoot videos about the results.

  • What was your product used for?
  • What has been achieved with its help?
  • Why exactly are they happy because they bought it – how did it make their lives better?

 

It’s not enthusiasm that a good testimonial can be recognized of, but of your potential customers being able to imagine themselves having the position of the satisfied customer. This is why you need to use authentic, even worse quality images in the testimonials of the product pages instead of shiny stock photos – and that’s because you need to have real people performing in your videos instead of extras or models.

Because they need to talk honestly about why they think it was good for them choosing you, and this should be done in a way that the video is not focusing on you but on your audience. It’s not about your store: the key player of a good marketing communications is never you, it’s always your potential customer.

 

Thumbnail videos

 

Isn’t it boring that in every online shop you can view the products only in simple photos?

You have to offer the fullest possible experience to the users: you have to make up for not being able to touch, measure or scent the product in person. Therefore, you need to present the product in as many details as possible, with the help of the tool that you have: visual techniques.

So you can create a video gallery in which you show the product in small videos, from all angles, during use, in situations to which your audience can somehow connect.

At the same time, you should also be informative: you can display the specifications, demonstrate the different functions, all this in a very easily and immediately consumable form.

 tumbnail

 

What will the near future bring?

 

Videos play a huge role in ecommerce globally. Today, you can have an adequately strong internet connection without problems: even tack sharp HD videos run smoothly, and today, we are already starting to get used to 360-degree videos.

While many people are only getting acquainted with the power of video marketing, many western companies have already left this market and are interested in the virtual or extended reality, that will soon be part of our everyday lives.

However, in marketing, it’s the time of the video that has come: statistics undoubtedly show that those who don’t use videos, simply give up on a set of opportunities, which their competitors on the other hand will soon take advantage of.

 

 

SummaryMaking videos is not expensive: nowadays you can record great quality even with an average mobile phone, and you often don’t even need more than that, in case you are making a how-to video or a testimonial for example. In other cases, when professional equipment and staff are necessary, like in case of product presentations, the results experienced in sales usually abundantly justify the investment.

If you have an estore without any videos, start making videos by talking to your audience about some solutions that your product can offer. Positive feedback, new visitors and leads that this simple technique will bring you, will definitely convince you to go on.

 

 

Your online store’s survival can depend on it: make your shoppers loyal!

In the following, we will present the techniques which help you reward your present customers, how you can gain the loyalty of the new ones and how you can build a community and “raise” evangelists in the meantime.

 

We are going to discuss the following topics:

  • What do statistics show?
  • Fist condition: you should have an excellent customer service
  • Enhance your email communication
  • Monitor customer behaviour
  • Create useful content!
  • Ask and listen
  • Give points
  • Special discounts
  • Create a new channel by community building
  • Create winners
  • Exclusive access only for veterans
  • How to carry out all this?

 

Let’s start with the most important question right away:

Does it really make sense for you digging into the topic?

 

What do statistics show?

 

Numbers don’t lie.

 

Statistics Acquisition of new customers is more costly than the retention or reactivation of the already existing ones – indeed, by approximately 500%. And by the time you bring the new client to the same level of profitability as the already existing one, you have to calculate with a 16 times increased expense.

 

So it is not a matter of choice whether you seize the old ones in case you want to have a lucrative business.

Loyalty programmes usually provide a great opportunity for that – you can choose several techniques from the simplest solutions, like the collection of points that is familiar to everyone, to the more complex evangelist-educating campaigns.

It’s almost just your imagination that limits how you can build loyalty.

And according to the researches 87% of the users like loyalty programmes – moreover, they are even essential already in certain segments. 68% of generation Y for example declare they would not be loyal to any brand that doesn’t have some kind of good loyalty schemes.

These programmes definitely work: the vast majority, 83% of loyalty programme participants think that they more likely purchase from the brands dealing more with them.

How can you build such a level of trust? We are going to try to list the hows, although it will not be easy, you’ll have an even harder challenge: how you will be able to implement all the ideas.

 

First condition: you should have an excellent customer service

 

We have already talked about this in the article on the increase of customer lifetime value: if you want your clients to return to you from time to time with a positive experience, you have to actively deal with their problems and questions.

Therefore, you need to operate a customer service that is continuously capable of giving them reassuring answers, so that even if they turn to you with a complaint, they can feel that you don’t treat them lightly, on the other hand, you take them and deal with them seriously.

It could also be useful if the customer service doesn’t only play a passive role: you can for example create groups on social sites for your customers, and you can answer the different questions and comments there even if they were not addressed to you.

 

Enhance your email communication

 

It’s an obvious tool, but at the same time one of the most profitable among the tools of online marketing: email marketing.

Once you have obtained the data of your customers, if you know their email addresses, their names, and what they purchased from you, you can start sending them personalized emails.

Compose letters that offer relevant products and content and do that in a way so that the customers feel they are important to you, and not that you want more of their money.

 

How can you sell while making them feel that you care?

For example, by monitoring the service life of the different products. By using automation, you will be able to offer them a more recent product, even a better one, when the lifetime of the previous one comes to an end.

Based on their activities, send them content, which they may find useful: if you make a video on how to use correctly the product they can buy in your ecommerce store, what they should bear in mind, what tips they may not be aware of, send it to the segment that have already bought such products from you earlier.

Help them instead of pushing them aggressively towards making a purchase.

Even the more personalized emails work wonderfully: greeting your old customers on their birthdays or on the anniversary of their registration on your site, and giving them a small personalized present on the occasion, are usually exceptionally well-received.

 

Monitor customer behaviour

 

Speaking of personalized offers: by monitoring customer behaviour and by fine-tuning your communication – not only in email – according to that, building trust will be easy for you.

You should not only monitor the purchases: with the help of analytical tools you can also follow which product data sheets the different customers visit, what they add to cart that they still don’t buy in the end.

If you give an individual and immediately available discount on a not purchased product, or if you offer the best of a given category with a discount to someone who has viewed a lot of similar products, you will increase the chances of customers purchasing again from you – and at the same time they will be impressed by your attention to their needs.

 

 loyalty behaviour

 

Create useful content!

 

After discussing usefulness, we are going to talk about another topic: content creation.

Content marketing can greatly assist you in acquiring new clients, and in reinforcing of the loyalty of the old ones as well. If questions are asked from you, if similarly formulated problems are frequently addressed to your customer service, or even if a certain question comes up on the various customer forums from time to time, you already know you have found a good topic.

You should process these in a way that you already answer the questions: if your customers have some kinds of problems, they shouldn’t even need to write an email, they should simply be able to find the content giving them the relevant and useful answer.

This could be a blog entry, a video or even infographics: the most important thing is to give real answers.

In addition to that, as we have already mentioned earlier, you can set your imagination free in connection with the product as well: you shouldn’t only demonstrate what the drone, the lawn mower or the mobile accessory you sold is capable of: you should also give useful hints.

 

  • How can I use your product better?
  • How can I extend its lifetime?
  • How can I clean it without damaging it?
  • Can I repair it myself or I need to take it to a repair shop in any case?
  • Why is it buzzing and bubbling anyway?

 

Those who answer such questions can count on being trusted even in the long run.

 

 

Ask and listen

 

You should regularly ask your returning customers on how shopping in your store feels for them.

By organising voting, by using questionnaires, you can extremely effectively collect useful data, you can learn at first hand what you should change in order to ameliorate the user experience.

Process the results, publish them, but you should not stop there: if many people request an additional function from you, build that in, and communicate it towards your audience that you did that because they asked you to do so. You are not the person who simply peeps in their wallets while they are talking to you, but the one who shapes the shop according to their needs, just to make purchasing more comfortable for them.

 

Give points

 

Point collection may be a simple but effective solution: everyone is familiar with it, everyone knows what it is about. It’s up to you, what the returning customers can exchange the points to – it is best if it’s a free decision to be made by the customers, which means you offer a good number of gifts to choose from.

That’s because the more freely the rewarded can choose what they would like to have, the more freedom of choice you give them, the more valuable they will consider the outcome.

 

tips Tip: In case of the Magento ecommerce system, you can do that with even an extension: with the help of the very popular Sweet Tooth Rewards you can use a bunch of valuable features:

  • how the users obtain points based on different parameters,
  • built-in customer referral programme,
  • rewards granted based on social networking,
  • VIP programmes with different customer “levels”,
  • customize how customers can spend their points,
  • personalize the attributes of the cart and the products more easily.

 

 

 

Special discounts

 

It’s also substantial to grant special discounts. The simplest way of doing this is probably when the higher RFM segment your customers belongs to (for details see our article on the increase of customer lifetime value), the higher discounts you offer them – either as a percentage of the price or by offering them certain things for free, like free delivery.

You can also offer discounts based on their previous purchases: if they regularly buy from a specific product category for example, you can give them discounts on these products.

 

Create a new channel by community building

 

Create channels, through which you communicate only with certain “privileged” users – sort of VIP clubs, for instance closed groups on Facebook, where the system of the online shop automatically invites in email those who have been registered members for the last six months (and who have purchased let’s say at least 3 times already).

You can share exclusive content through these channels, you can ask questions – if you communicate actively and helpfully, the news will spread by the members, and this is one of the best ways of “bringing up” evangelists and of reinforcing and sustaining their loyalty.

The main reason for which this is true is because social media sites provide a great opportunity for two-way communication: you don’t tell your audience anything, but you talk to them and they talk to each other and thus a discussion begins and a community is being built.

 

“Create” winners

 

You can carry out prize promotions, even with participation exclusive for the loyal customers. You should take advantage of the opportunities the social media offers to spread the word about yourself.

 

Example You can organize a competition in which the users have to upload photos using your hashtags, or they need to take photos with your products at unlikely places – only your creativity sets the limit.

 

And you shouldn’t just send the prize to the winners: talk to them, ask for their permission to display them on your page – you should make the others able to imagine themselves being in the winner’s position.

You can do that more simply as well, without organizing any special games behind it. Oreo for instance, regularly introduces “fan of the week” on its Facebook page, they provide him publicity in exchange let’s say for some sort of a small creative product placement for example.

 

 loyalty winners

 

Exclusive access only for veterans

 

If you introduce a new product with a major campaign, provide early access to your most loyal customers: by doing that, you can increase the product’s value in their eyes and also in the eyes of the “outsiders” with the exclusivity, while collecting inestimably useful feedback and testimonials.

At the same time, you can further reinforce loyalty, since you perfectly show how generously and with how special treatment it is you reward those who choose you over a long period of time.

 

How to carry out all this?

 

It may seem a great deal of work putting into practice all that’s described above – however, if you do it smartly, your job will be easy.

First of all, you don’t need to deal with everything at the same time: start with community building, ask a lot from your customers and extend your loyalty programmes according to their needs.

Presence in social media and content creation are almost for free compared to how useful they are – you can organize those even in-house, with minimum expenses while still pulling your audience even closer.

And for the programmes requiring special software solutions, if you can, hire a developer who can implement them – and don’t save on that: the aim is to enhance user experience, and because of a less competent developer, carrying out a not certainly excellent work, a single bug may create irritation instead of satisfaction.

 

SummaryIt is not a question that you need to start the implementation: you must make your customers loyal, otherwise you will not be able to stand up to your competitors in the long run and make your marketing and sales activities more cost-effective.

In that respect we are happy give support, should you require any Magento eCommerce related help.

 

Customer lifetime value: make your store more profitable!

How can you do that?

To give the best “numeric answer”, we use the customer lifetime value.

 

What is customer lifetime value precisely?

 

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): tells us the expected income or profit gained on a given customer as long as he or she keeps shopping in our online store.

If you go to your local diner, but you do not like the food because you find a hair in your soup, and consequently you will never go back again, then your CLV equals the price of your meal, for example $10.

But if you spend $100 every weekend in the same hypermarket, your CLV reaches tens of thousands of dollars throughout the coming years.

 

Why is it important to you?

 

Because if you can estimate the amount of money to be spent on your products or services in the future, you will know how much effort, time and money is worth putting in the customer retention process.

If you give discount to someone you still don’t know if he or she plans to shop again in your store or this is the very reason he or she comes back. It is also important how many emails you send to your customers or how many times they are called by your salesperson – the more effort you invest into keeping your shoppers “active” the higher the CLV should get.

 

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): CAC equals the amount of money which is needed to acquire a new customer.

 

For example:

Having a banner on a news portal for $2000 generating 1000 new customers, we have a CAC of $2.

In a B2B environment, we’ll have a much bigger number if we target a multinational enterprise, using different methods like meetings in person, elaborating complex sales offers and direct sales tactics etc.

The main goal is not to reach the highest CLV possible only, but to exceed CAC expenses, because the other way round we have an inefficient marketing and sales approach, generating losses instead of profits.

 

How to calculate with these values?

 

In both cases, the math is quite simple. However, it may be hard to obtain the right and precise data.

 

Let’s begin with Customer Acquisition Cost

 

tips IMPORTANT: You will get the CAC value when the sum of marketing expenses is divided by the number of new customers.

Calculating the cost of a campaign should not be problematic, but if you lack relevant data, you might need to think the whole thing over.

 

How will you know how many new customers you managed to acquire?

 

If you run traditional advertising campaigns you basically have no chance to get exact numbers – you can ask your shoppers afterwards, of course, if they took action because of your ad they met on television, radio, or in the papers, but the result would still only be an approximate figure.

Through online campaigns, however, you can track better what results you get after spending a certain amount on a campaign. You could as well raise some doubts after the campaign asking: Was it only that campaign that brought me all the customers?  Was it just the final “push” in their decision making? But since you won’t be able to measure that, it won’t take you any further.

Additionally, monitoring your expenditures is not the only vital issue here, but you also need to know where your customers come from.

 

Let’s have a look at the Customer Lifetime Value!

 

To calculate the most basic form of CLV, you need three numbers:

  • Average purchase value (in an online shop, this is the average shopping cart value),
  • number of purchases (over a given period)
  • customer acquisition cost.

 

Multiply the first two numbers and then subtract CAC. The result is the Customer Lifetime Value. For example, if acquiring a customer cost you $100, the average number of purchases (in a given time period) in that segment is 10 and the average purchase value is $10, you would get a CLV of zero.

 

Use segmentation to be able to measure more accurately: the RFM system

 

RFM segmentation

 

Your customers shop in your ecommerce store for different reasons and turn to you with different problems. Every one of them may have different desires, possibilities and can be convinced and reached through different methods and channels.

So it will not be enough to have an average figure in your pocket, because you will not be able to build a proper strategy on that.

You need to use segmentation to filter out those shoppers that generate losses, i.e. generate negative CLVs. You simply cannot spend the same amount on each customer and may come to the conclusion that you will not spend any money at all on segments that you may have considered significant.

It’s worth applying the RFM segmentation method which defines how valuable your customers really and then you can divide them into groups accordingly. RFM stands for the following:

  • Recency: the time when a customer last purchased in your store (say, how much time has passed since the last purchase).
  • Frequency: how often a customer purchases in your store in a given period.
  • Monetary value: the amount he / she spends in that same period.

 

Based on this, you can create different segments. It’s up to you how many you want to work with, but try not to make it too complicated. You can then order your segments from most valuable to least valuable and then elaborate your targeted marketing campaigns based on that information.

 

How can you increase lifetime value?

 

In order to get more relevant figures to see more precisely if your marketing budget is spent wisely, when calculating lifetime value, you need to achieve three things. We now take a look at these.

 

How frequently do your customers shop in your store?

 

Even if the average shopping cart value does not change, with more frequent purchases customer lifetime value rises. Therefore what you need to do is persuade your shopper to return more often.

 

Email marketing

Effective email marketing can be a great tool: send relevant offers to your customers, better if these are personalized messages that most probably attract their attention. This requires a different kind of segmentation: you need to know how they found your online store, what kind of products they look for, what they bought etc.

If the product’s lifetime is soon to expire, (e.g. the customer bought a product 11 months ago with a service life of 1 year), remind him of this, offer him the product or a similar product with a discount.

Track what your shopper usually purchases. E.g. if she has a particular interest in baby clothes in a clothing online store, recommend her a few very relevant products (e.g. a set or accessories) in email.

 

Loyalty programmes

If you indulge your regular customers, take special care of them, you can increase their loyalty.

You may not always offer them price discounts. You can also give them access to certain exclusive pieces of content or services that are not for everyday shoppers. You can create a scheme in which they can collect points later to be redeemed for free products.

 

Retargeting

You can target your audience with ads using AdWords: if, for example, you had a customer who bought pens, show him an ad of refills. If he put the pens in the shopping cart, but did not purchase them, show him the same products to make him return to your website.

 

 

How much do shoppers spend in your store?

 

Making shopping cart value higher is the purpose of every e-merchant. If you’ve been visiting your local grocery shop every day for 10 years and have been buying only a pack of bubble gums every time, you are still not a valuable shopper.

To become one, they should urge or “stimulate” you to fill your shopping cart with products, but you also should feel satisfied with that.

 

Cross-sell and upsell

There is a wide range of possibilities to convince your customers to add another item to their cart. You can offer them articles that are usually also bought together with that particular product already placed in the cart. On the product page you can show them other relevant or complementary products and you can also tell them that they can save money if larger quantities are ordered.

The point is to make them feel they really save money if they buy more items in one session. Thus you need to give them true benefits which they are happy with.

 

 

more value with clv

 

Discounts, package deals

You don’t have to offer discounts all the time, but you can probably manage offering products in packages right away, even without any price discount, but simply because this way they are more convenient to purchase.

It can also work if you deliver the products for free or give a little gift if the total reaches a certain threshold amount.

 

 

How long will your shoppers stay with you?

 

It’s not enough to lead your customers to a few bigger purchases, you have to make them loyal as well. You need to make sure that it’s always a nice experience to shop in your online store by meeting all sorts of expectations not merely by offering nice products at good prices.

For this you can follow different tactics.

 

Customer service

First, it is a good idea to build up excellent client service that can answer all questions and solve all kinds of problems. If your customers feel that their problems are important to you as well, that you want them to have a very nice experience while shopping, then they will prefer your store to other online shops where they may feel like being only wallets in human form.

 

Loyalty programme

There is more to loyalty schemes than just collecting points or stickers. You can also provide regular, long term rewards and deals, send little presents to your shoppers, invite them to exclusive events etc. – of course always keeping in mind that these marketing incentives should have a return on investment.

 

Ongoing communication

Maintain such channels through which you can constantly communicate with your customers: share new pieces of information, introduce your latest products, advertise your deals etc.

It is also recommended to have premium channels that help communication with only a smaller group of your customer base, like your old and loyal shoppers, and sharing some exclusive content and information with them.

 

It’s NOT the new customer that has the most value

No matter how much a new customer spends in your ecommerce store, he or she can never be your most precious shopper. Your goal is to have him or her return as frequently as possible for long years to come.

The more often your customers shop with you, the better your communication is, the more loyal they will become, and therefore the cost of “reactivation” will decrease. Thanks to this, you’ll have seriously reduced marketing and sales costs while your income will probably be stabilized.

In order to achieve all this, you’ll need to elaborate a complex and cost-efficient customer retention strategy based on the precise information that you have gathered on your customers.

 

eCommerce and mCommerce – is mobile really on the way to rule the world?

On the Western markets the searches launched from mobile devices were already in the majority in 2014 compared to those launched from desktop. Today, the shift in the trend has become obvious even on the smaller markets.

With the growing penetration of smartphones more and more purchases are made on them. Global companies are actively getting prepared for mobile dominance, the Micro-Moments concept elaborated by Google indicates the same.

 

What is the difference between eCommerce and mCommerce?

eCommerce: According to the definition of Wikipedia, eCommerce, in other words electronic commerce, is “the trading or facilitation of trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet.”

 

mCommerce (mobile commerce):

is in fact a subcategory of eCommerce, and the substantial difference actually is what kind of devices are used for the shopping. mCommerce does not only include the transactions carried out on mobile phones, but on all kinds of smart devices, from smart phones through phablets to tablets, even laptops are mentioned here in some cases, since those are also portable devices.

As smart devices are famous for their mobility, this implies that mCommerce can be realized not only in front of desktop computers – typically at home or at the workplace –, but it can happen practically anywhere, where there is some kind of internet access available.

 

Optimization for mobile devices is completely different

 

It is not only the screen on which an online shop is displayed is simply smaller. You have to take into consideration as many screen sizes, resolutions and colour displays as many kinds of devices there are. So if you are mobile optimizing the appearance of an ecommerce store, you have to be flexible when doing that, so that the appearance can adapt to almost any kind of interface: this can be called real responsiveness.

It is also an important aspect that mobile transactions have to be simple, just like the path leading to the transaction (conversion). We are used to having access to anything through a smartphone, to being able to launch anything, or to close anything by only a few taps or clicks, and this is what we expect from web-based interfaces as well: quickness and simplicity, while we have no problem with even more complex solutions either on a desktop computer.

 

Anyone and anything can be reached any time

 

There are huge opportunities lying within targeting mobile users because they are accessible practically any moment. If you send them an eDM, the e-mail instantly beeps on the phone. The users are already on the product page by one click, they can pay straight away as well – a conversion can take place a whole lot quicker.

The mobile is also more powerful when it comes to personalized content or offers: you can gain a great deal of useful information based on which you can make more precise offers.

 

An example:

An estore selling clothing products can monitor where the visitors are located just then – provided that the visitors allow access to the location data on their phones. You can connect these data with other databases, let’s say, with weather forecasting services. It is only a step away from here to offer on the first page umbrellas to those checking in from a stormy area and sunshades to those who are in a sunny place.

 

This is a quite simplified example but it shows very well what opportunities there are for you if you take advantage wisely of the possibilities mobility offers.

 

Hectic conversion – and what lies within

Conversion rate changes from website to website as it depends on countless factors from the pricing of the products to the extent of complicatedness of the navigation used on the online shop.

However, industry averages show that ecommerce stores can usually realize lower conversion on mobiles than on desktops: for some reason the users show more willingness to purchase on desktop computers.

tips Important: While today even 40-50% of the turnover of an online shop can be generated by mobile users, they can bring even 70% less conversions than those arriving from desktop computers.

At the same time, purchases from tablets are leading in this aspect: tablet conversion rates may be even twice as much as desktop conversion rates, on the other hand, only 15% of the turnover is generated from tablets.

 

What do the statistics show?

According to the Canadian eCommerce Benchmark Report published by Demac Media, showing the data of the first quarter of 2016, in most of the cases the mobile users produce conversions between 0 and 1%, these devices don’t bring 4-5% conversion rates practically anywhere. On the other hand, the desktop brings conversions between 1 and 2 % most of the time.

There is a significant difference between the value of the purchases as well, and these differences show that people are more willing to buy the higher value goods on desktops: this means that desktop computers are considered safer.

Most probably, the reason for this is that a more complex payment process can at the same time provide a greater sense of security: you have more opportunities to convince the users that you don’t deceive them. Likewise, people tend to purchase goods of lower value on mobiles: there is less need for confirmation in case of smaller investments.

Additionally, new shoppers on desktop computers still make up a little larger proportion of visits to online stores than on mobile devices:

 

mcommerce new shoppers

 

According to the report, the average cart values by device types are the following:

  • desktop: $127
  • tablet: $114
  • mobile: $104

It is also clear from the report that the patience of the mobile users is noticeably limited.

 

The number of average number page views per session are shown below:

  • mobile: 4.87
  • tablet: 6.11
  • desktop: 6.61

 

And this is what you see if you are examining the duration of the visits:

  • mobile: 3 minutes 28 seconds
  • tablet: 4 minutes 29 seconds
  • desktop: 4 minutes 39 seconds

 

Consequence:

Those arriving at your ecommerce store from mobiles view less pages and leave you quicker as well and in the meantime there is much less chance that they will convert. What is the reason for that?

 

The reasons for low mobile conversion

1)

Many websites still don’t optimize properly even today: their AdWords advertisements and newsletters may catch the users and direct them to the website, which on the other hand doesn’t appear appropriately on the small screen. Thus the lead guided to the page will interrupt the purchasing process – mobile users are famous for their impatience.

By the way, the golden rule that is worth applying is the rule of 3: the size of any page of the online shop should be less than 3 megabytes (so that the page is not loaded too slowly), and any content within the website should be accessible for the users after 3 clicks at most.

 

2)

Not only the appearance or design itself can be problematic, but the unoptimized purchasing process as well. It is possible that a payment process of four pages works perfectly on desktop and brings an acceptable conversion rate, however, on mobiles it may prove to be too complex for the customers wishing for a single-step checkout, exactly because its relative complicatedness.

 

3)

The users don’t always go through the purchasing process in a start-finish way. On desktop, the visitors using the cart as a shopping list are responsible for the majority of cart abandonments: they add the products to cart in order to buy them later. A similar phenomenon can be observed on mobile that is reflected in the conversion rates per devices: the users search for the product on mobile but in the end they finish the purchasing process on desktop.

The purchasing path, as Google put it in its Micro-Moments concept in 2015, has fragmented: people are looking for solutions, products in one or two-minute intervals, decisions are made in seconds. People look for the products ideal for them while travelling on the bus or sitting in the waiting room, they save them and then buy them at home in front of the desktop. Today the purchasing path is not a straight line any more, it’s rather a random set of points, from which it is sometimes difficult to figure out some kind of a pattern.

 

4)

The hybrid nature of tablets in itself justifies the much higher conversions. The screen is not so small so that the deficient optimization discourages too many customers – whatever is displayed well on desktop usually appears well on tablets as well.

On the other hand, tablets are small, light, you can easily take them anywhere with you. Therefore, potential users have much more opportunities to spend their money using them – and online shops to reach the users.

 

The customer who is willing but unable

In a great deal of cases the users would be very much ready to purchase on mobiles: it would be more comfortable and quicker than sending a link over to themselves, than continuing and finishing the purchase hours later on a completely different device.

However, the online shops themselves often make this simply impossible. Either because their appearance falls into pieces on the small screen, or because they haven’t thought about the mobiles when elaborating their processes – the point is that the level of the user experience is so low that finishing the purchase requires too much energy.

 

mcommerce optimization

 

However, you should not delegate tasks to the users, on the other hand, you should make their job easier in case you want to realize high conversion rates.

It also needs to be mentioned that in certain cases it is not even the bad user experience what’s responsible for the shift in device or the interrupted purchases. The users who were disappointed many times before simply don’t even attempt to purchase because they expect a frustrating experience by default.

For this very reason, if you have successfully optimized your processes for mobiles, it is worth communicating that strongly: letting the users know at every step that they can immediately move on and they are only a couple of simple taps away from comfortable purchasing.

 

Where to start mCommerce optimization?

Lower conversion and cart value does not suggest that it is not worth investing in mobile ecommerce – it only shows that it has to be done in an intelligent way.

The trend is clear: the mobile has played an important role on the market of online shopping in the last few years and this will not change in the near future. In 2016 mCommerce is expected to grow by 46.8% in the United States, while the “traditional” desktop computer shopping will show an expansion of only 15.7% – the modest, 2.6% growth of retail is basically insignificant compared to that.

And the States is not even among the leading countries with that figure: according to the Mobile 500 report of 2016, expansion of mobile commerce in Latin America is 59.8%, it is 70.7% in Europe and 249.3% in China.

Dominance is only a matter of time, and the shortness of time is determined by how quickly the merchants recognize relevance of all this and optimize fully their pages and processes.

Those who decide in the middle of 2016 to optimize the complete purchasing process thus providing a perfect experience for those visiting their pages on mobile phones as well, can easily outstrip their competitors and experience much higher conversion rates.

 

What effects will Brexit have on ecommerce?

The British decided in a referendum to leave the European Union, surprising even themselves with that, not to mention the shock it caused to the markets.

The first and most obvious effect of Brexit was the fall of the British pound. The money of the British suddenly crashed so deep against the US dollar where it had not been the previous 30 years and it also suffered severe losses against the euro.

This, of course, may be a good thing, mainly for the customers within the European Union: all of a sudden they can buy products at lower prices in the UK online shops, they can take advantage of the chaotic financial situation.

 

British ecommerce stores can even benefit from this

 

Many British estores allow the customers to choose freely in what currency they would like to pay for the selected product, which may be extremely advantageous for the overseas customers in a situation like this.

The online shops selling clothing products are expected to realize significant sales abroad in the next few weeks – at the same time, this effect will not be that strong in case of the electronic devices, because of the differing adapters.

Therefore, European and American customers will profit from purchasing in British ecommerce stores – however, this equally applies to the British customers. Since the pound has weakened compared to the foreign currencies, the prices unchanged in foreign currencies are actually much higher for them – consequently, part of this traffic will shift to the domestic online stores where they can pay in pounds.

tips Important:

The role of online commerce in the United Kingdom is not insignificant anyway: 14.5% of all purchases is already realized online. Thanks to Brexit this number will most probably increase significantly, mainly due to the mobile searches.

British consumers have been shopping abroad enthusiastically so far and it is quite unlikely that there would be a radical change in that trend (54% have already purchased some sort of a product in a foreign estore) in the long run and at the moment domestic shops may consider the sudden weakening of the pound being a great opportunity.

It is the responsibility of the online stores to communicate to the foreigners in the right way: a lot of consumers would not realize the opportunity by themselves, so it may even be worthwhile building a separate campaign on this, as the inflow of the foreign customers may increase the traffic of a British ecommerce store even many times over.

 

Mobile optimization becomes more important

 

Purchases with smartphones already represent 33% of the total ecommerce traffic in the United Kingdom: this was already 15 billion pounds in 2015. The significance of this is expected to grow further in the second half of this year.

As the British will most probably buy less and at lower prices, according to Business2Community the number of searches launched from mobile devices are expected to grow as they will try to find the most favourable offers. Certainly, product searches nowadays are typically done from smart devices, which is even more valid for the United Kingdom.

Watchful online shops, ones that optimize their pages and content to mobile devices, may realize some extra profit thanks to that trend.

 

The British market will be less easily accessible – for EU firms and customers

 

The United Kingdom has not left the European Union just yet, only the referendum on the issue has been held. The British parliament will still have to pass a law on the withdrawal following that and then the successor of David Cameron will have to start the negotiations on the exit. This will most probably come about this autumn and the negotiations will last at least two years even from then on.

Therefore, there is no such situation for the time being, where delivery or sale of products would be more difficult for the ecommerce stores outside the UK – however, two years from now all this will look completely different, as Ecommerce News also mentions that in its analysis.

The situation may seriously change for the American merchants that can deliver their products under the same conditions anywhere within the EU at the moment – in two years, different conditions will apply when delivering to the British. And since we are talking about the most powerful ecommerce market in the world, this will be a quite significant change.

 

brexit ecommerce effects

 

The British are outstanding in ecommerce from several points of view. According to the researcher Sjoukje Goldmann, studying international ecommerce in Amsterdam, they are among the leading countries in Europe regarding the proportion of estores offering international shipping (50-70%) and regarding the proportion of customers arriving from across the borders (above 30%, compared to the European average of 23.6%) as well.

No matter how favourable it is for those from the continent at the moment to purchase from the British, the proportion of the cross-border customers will most likely significantly decrease in the long run, and if the common market, the free movement of goods will come to an end between the UK and the continent, international shipping to EU countries may also become less significant as it will become more expensive as well.

The companies facing the biggest dilemma are most probably those that have targeted the EU as a whole – including the United Kingdom as well – until now, and who operate supply centres and warehouses both in the UK and on the continent.

They have been in a comfortable position so far because of the free movement of goods, there weren’t any obstacles blocking expansion within the EU – but if the European Union and the United Kingdom will mutually apply customs duty on the products, or even if the customs duty will be implemented again only in one direction, that could cause serious problems to them.

The online advertising market may not be affected heavily by Brexit.

According to L2 consulting company, the digital products, like for example online advertisements or other information products will not be affected by the exit on practically any level whatsoever, as the European Union does not impose customs duty on intangible goods.

 

Those who will lose: online shops in the EU, those selling high-value products, those expanding in the EU

 

With Brexit there will be no shortage of losers either: according to many analysts it is likely that more people will lose on Brexit than those who will be able to benefit from it. In her analysis Grace Caffyn mentions several groups whose position will become more difficult.

It is quite clear that the ecommerce stores in the EU that target the British market with their products will obviously not benefit from this, since the British customers will try to find the products on the domestic market. Their position is further worsened by the fact that their products will be much more expensive not only because of the drop of the pound.

In the long run the pound is expected to somewhat regain its value despite the economic recession, however, in two years the United Kingdom will find itself outside the EU and its common customs territory. This also means that the British may impose customs duty on the products imported from the continent, which would make cross-border purchase for the British even more expensive.

Many online shops will certainly get into price wars in order to catch the British customers who will have started saving money, even though this is never a good choice. Those who rather look for new target markets, try to address their target audience through online channels again, or even those who re-position their products will most probably have better chances.

Higher value products that are typically purchased for a longer period are also expected to become less popular on the British market in the near future. The simple reason for this is that nobody was totally prepared for the withdrawal: nobody expected the victory of Brexit, which is exactly why it is completely unpredictable what kind of consequences it will have on the economy.

Consequently, in these turbulent times, until the situation of the pound is settled, until anyone knows how seriously this will affect the economy and thus the salaries and the prices, the customers will most probably postpone their long-term product purchases involving greater investments.

 

What will Brexit bring? It’s basically unpredictable.

Brexit may have winners and losers both in the short and the long run. Since we do not know what results the future negotiations will bring, the best we can do is guessing when it comes to the situation following the negotiations.

In spite of the many pessimistic views, there is a good number of optimistic predictions that say the present situation will not last long and in the long term the market players will find opportunities for growth and development arising mainly from freer commercial and trade relations with other regions of the world – and these will bring benefits on a larger scale to the whole economy of the UK.

We have no idea how much additional bureaucracy the European e-merchants targeting the British market or the British e-merchants targeting the European market will have to struggle with. We do not know if customs duties will be implemented, in which direction and how significant they will be. We do not know what kind of new regulations may be born by then on both sides or how far the UK will lag behind the European common market.

The only thing that is certain that the referendum may seriously upset even the most significant ecommerce market of the continent, and thus influence the power balance in the entire European Union.

The merchants, who actively follow the events, pay attention even to the tiniest changes in international commerce and law, always look for new, promising opportunities, and continuously modify their strategies accordingly instead of waiting are the ones who will most likely benefit from all this.

 

Color Psychology Marketing: How To Sell With Emotions

Colors constitute a great part of visual perception and communicate information together with the text.

Even before reading and processing the text information on your website, visitors will get their first impression about your website from the colors you use.

Hence, colors can help you emphasize certain points, make customers see what you want them to see, and reveal your emotions.

Moreover, colors can influence usability, and inappropriately chosen colors will spoil the readability of the text and the impact of your message.

If you prepare your own online store, you often select colors randomly: you go for colors that you like and probably not too vivid. But this is far from enough.

During the past decades we all have had the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of color theory and color psychology that can help us determine the color combinations that work best, and also why they work best, in marketing and sales.

 

Simply put: It’s definitely worth having at least some basic knowledge about color psychology. That’s why you’re here…

 

In this post we are going to summarize what you definitely should know about using colors in the right way.

We are going to cover the following topics:

  • How much influence can colors have?
  • The basics: primary, secondary, and complementary colors
  • The meaning of different colors: Red / Orange / Yellow / Green / Blue / Purple / Pink / Brown / White / Black
  • Useful tips for maximizing your color psychology marketing effectiveness
  • Color use in practice

 

How much influence can colors have?

 

The first question: how important is color selection?

According to data from Kissmetrics, the shoppers are given a first impression of a product based on the influence of the following 3 key factors:

  • 1% – sound/smell,
  • 6% – texture,
  • 93% – visual appearance.

 

We cannot really deal with the first two as the shopper cannot hold the product in his hand, nor can he smell it.

So, here, even more emphasis is given to visuals: with colors you can “manipulate” your visitors in many ways.

 

tips Example: Just think of movies and the numerous color filters cinematographers and directors use to “set” us in a particular mood.

Black Hawk Down, Seven and The Matrix are excellent examples to see how carefully selected filters can take an effect on the mood of the audience, just like music can.

 

Colors influence our sense of security, danger, falseness etc.

Additionally, it is a fact that our mind can evoke memories better if they have been associated with a color first.

That’s why we often use highlighter pens when studying for an exam and that’s why a lot of people with Synaesthesia have amazing memorizing abilities.

 

Why should you study color theory and color psychology?

  • To show your products in a more convincing and more appealing way.
  • To improve user experience.
  • To set the customer in a mood desirable for us and to make a good impression.
  • To direct the shopper’s attention.

 

Now that we have made it clear what benefits proper, scientific color choice can have, let’s get into the details.

 

The basics: primary, secondary, tertiary, complementary, and analogous colors

 

Understanding the basics of color schemes will help you with your personal choice, so it is better to start from the very beginning, primary and secondary colors.

Primary colors are red, blue, and yellow, and they are used to make all other colors.

The next level of colors is called secondary colors, and they include  purple, green, and orange.

It can be easily understood that secondary colors are created from primary colors, that is, red and blue will make up purple, blue and yellow will give you green, and the combination of red and yellow will create orange.

When we go one step further and add more of one primary color than the other, we’ll create not a true secondary color, but  a tertiary color.

So, tertiary colors are such colors as red-purple, red-orange, yellow-green, etc. They are, in fact, closer to primary colors than to secondary colors.

Primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, without the addition of white, black, or a third color, are known as pure (saturated) colors.

These untainted colors are bright and intense. Can you imagine cheerful children’s toys? These are the bright items that use pure colors.

Besides the notion of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, it is essential to know some information about tints, shades, and tones.

Tints are colors that have a white color added to them. They are not as intense as pure colors; as they are lighter and paler, they are often referred to as pastel colors.

A similar principle is true for shades, but shades have a black color added to pure colors. Hence, shades are less bright and darker than pure colors.

Tones are achieved by adding gray to pure colors, so tones decrease the intensity of pure colors.

Primary, secondary, and tertiary colors with their tints, shades, and tones are usually presented as a color wheel.

Cool colors, in the blues and greens, are on the left side, and warm colors, in the yellows and reds, are on the right side of the wheel.

The color wheel or color circle shows us how different hues are organized and what relationships there are between them: similar, contrasting etc.

 

color wheel, color psychology marketing

The Color Wheel

 

Creating correct color contrast is crucial if you want to influence the audience.

High contrast, when colors easily stand apart from each other, is most often applied to achieve readability, because the text or object becomes distinguishable from the background.

Low contrast, when colors do not easily stand apart, looks more beautiful and can be applied for backgrounds, but it is not the best solution to achieve readability.

Generally, we can say that warm tones are “optimistic”, more energetic, while cool tones reflect a more relaxed, gloomy, serious mood.

Complementary (or opposite) colors are situated opposite each other on the color wheel. These are such colors as red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple.

Using complementary colors for contrast is the simplest way to emphasize something. Choose a primary color as your main color and accentuate it with a complementary color in about 7:3 proportion.

If you want to apply three colors on your page, pick your main color and split your complementary color, that is, choose two colors adjacent to the opposite of your main color.

Analogous colors are those that stand next to each other on the color wheel.

They create beautiful content and schemes, but they are not used to make objects stand out. Learning to combine analogous and complementary colors will give you a powerful tool to create magnificent designs and persuade them to take action.

 

Color psychology and design in practice

 

Designers usually combine the colors according to one of the following three methods:

  • 1) Triad colors: we draw a triangle on the color wheel and select the hues at the edges: this method results in a well-balanced color palette with well-defined contrasts.
  • 2) Complementary colors: we select colors of opposite sides and also choose neighbouring colors with each to get sharp contrasts. Using contrasting hues (e.g. blue-yellow, magenta-green) can have a very dynamic effect.
  • 3) Analogous colors: we select a given point in the spectrum as a basic corporate color and choose from the neighbouring colors.

 

color scheme, color wheel

 

Color Preferences and Associations

 

What influences our preferences and choice of colors? Do people’s favorite colors depend on their upbringing, experience, and culture, or is color choice just a matter of personal tastes?

Without a doubt, colors have some universal associations. It is with good reason that colors are divided into warm and cool ones.

Although it can be said that color perceptions cannot be universally translated into specific feelings, and personal associations play a more important part than generally accepted perceptions, colors do have some common associations and similar reactions by people.

 

Some color preference statistics:

Blue is the most popular color: 57% of men and 35% of women say it is their favorite color.

  • With men, other favorite colors include: green (14%), black (9%), grey (8%), red (7%) and orange (5%).
  • With women it is, of course, different: purple (23%), green (14%), red (9%), grey (8%) and black (6%).

 

Unfortunately, as these figures are too generic, we cannot make any serious conclusions based on them.

So let’s take a look at each color one after the other and examine how they influence our mind and feelings.

In the following sections we don’t make any guesses, but mention such statements and results that have been supported by a good number of scientific researches.

 

Red

 

What do we associate it with?

Excitement, energy, rush, love, passion, anger, aggression, power.

Just think about an approaching St Valentine’s Day, and you will easily recollect an unlimited amount of cards and various gifts in red. The red color is also regarded as a dominant, strong, and stimulating color.

The human body reacts to red in a clearly measurable way. Certain processes start in the brain that make your heart beat faster, induce increased adrenaline release, metabolism and more intensive breathing.

Just imagine being in a room painted and furnished completely red: most probably just the very thought of it makes you feel unpleasant.

We use red to highlight something. If we want to have something to be in focus, to draw attention to it, we usually color it red.

As for marketing, red is often applied to create urgency and to draw attention to sales.

Red works well if we want the customers to take action, to “rush” them to make a decision faster and direct them towards conversion.

We can use red numbers for example to show how many products are still available on stock or make the countdown clock red displaying how much time is left until a special deal expires.

Still, it is important not to overwhelm your page with red, as it can cause negative reactions, including aggression.

 

Orange

 

What do we associate it with?

Joy, energy, warmth, fun, enthusiasm, vitality.

Being less intense than red, orange is still identified as a color of excitement.

On the emotional spectrum it fits well between red and yellow: powerful yet friendly and warm. Generally it evokes positive feelings, makes us more excited.

Suitable for grabbing the attention of the user. As we often associate it with creativity, it serves those well who want to make themselves “different”.

If you want to use a somewhat “less aggressive” call to action color, but still having impact, orange is an ideal choice.

You can apply orange when you need to create motivation and enthusiasm.

 

Yellow

 

What do we associate it with?

Energy, optimism, happiness, playfulness, friendliness.

Ideal for “easy” or informal topics. If you would like to support a positive thought, convey some pleasant mood, yellow can be a nice tool for that. Used properly, it functions as a good motivator to lift somebody’s spirits.

But keep balance!

Too much yellow, especially the lighter tones, can be disturbing and can make the text hard to read. So use it with caution: too much of it can displease your visitors.

 

Green

 

What do we associate it with?

Naturalness, life, energy, wealth.

It is known as the color that calms you down, a symbol of peace and rest. With green, you get security and tenderness, balance and harmony.

Basically, green can direct us towards two fields of association:

On the one hand, it is the color of Mother Nature, therefore it can be a good choice for design elements of ecommerce stores that offer food products or cosmetics or any other products that are to be communicated as not artificial.

On the other hand, green can also represent prosperity, sustainable development and financial stability.

As green is a soothing color, it is often used in backgrounds to set a relaxing atmosphere.

 

Blue

 

What do we associate it with?

Calmness, coldness, reliability, intelligence, security.

Blue is related to logical thinking.

Additionally, blue is connected with water and has a soothing effect of tranquility. The color blue is widely liked both by men and by women around the world, so it is often applied by various companies.

Just take a look at the logos of insurance companies. How many of them use blue?

A good deal of them because blue can evoke a sense of trust and reliability.

By applying blue, we suggest that the visitor is in a good place when browsing our online store: we won’t deceive them, they can trust us, we are experts.

However, it can be a bad choice with food items since case studies mention that blue decreases appetite.

Too much blue can create a distant and unfriendly atmosphere, so do not overdo blue and try combining it with other colors.

 

Purple

 

What do we associate it with?

Degree, title, influence, power, strength, femininity, loyalty, calmness, luxury.

Usually referred to as a color of creativity and imagination, purple combines the power of red and the reliability of the blue.

Purple can be effectively used as a dominant color in an online shop that offers premium products for an elite group of customers.

We associate purple strongly with nobleness: purple is the aristocrat of colors.

There are some historical reasons for it, of course. Purple dye or Tyrian purple was one of the most expensive dyes in ancient times, only the wealthiest could afford it.

Its price by weight was the same as of silver, and as purple colored textiles became status symbols in Rome, their use was restricted by law. In Byzantium purple coloring was allowed only for imperial silks.

As for femininity, if you sell top quality, prestigious products for women, purple can be a great choice for one of the web design colors.

You can also use purple to intrigue your visitors and create some mystery, as this color stimulates suppositions and insight.

 

Pink

 

What do we associate it with?

Romance, love, femininity, tenderness, fragility, delicacy.

In Western cultures we regard it as the “young and lively” color of femininity, is often considered to be a romantic ‘girlish’ color.

It soothes and shows understanding, so it is widely used on different sites to appeal to women. You just have to be aware that too much pink can be identified as a sign of immaturity.

If you use it while your target audience is made up of men, it can bring awful results. An exception may be that you target men with a Valentine’s Day deal to buy their gifts for their girlfriends or wives.

 

Brown

 

What do we associate it with?

Security, structure, support, seriousness.

Employed in a correct context and amount, this color will promote reliability and support.

Though, if you have too much brown on your website, it may seem to be dull and cause gloominess.

Different shades and tints of brown are popular for creating websites with furniture, as furnishing is connected with wood, which is actually brown.

 

White

 

What do we associate it with?

Purity, cleanliness, innocence, effectiveness.

It can symbolize a new beginning and refreshment. This tender color is very often chosen as a color of a wedding gown as the sign of innocence, serenity, and happiness.

White is a firm and “straightforward” color that, in web design, can effectively play a supplementary role, to create an appropriate environment, to set the basis and ambience for other elements.

The proper use of white space or negative space can make a huge difference in design, for example when placing a CTA button or an important message on the page.

White also represents cleanliness and minimalism: it’s no wonder that Apple extensively uses it.

White can be effectively combined with other colors, and looks especially nice with black.

 

Black

 

What do we associate it with?

Power, luxury, elegance, sophistication, safety, independence.

Black is often the color of premium products. The color of the elite. It symbolizes power and strength, it is very impressive combined with silver, gold or purple.

Its meaning can vary according to what other colors you use it with. You can express assertive “messages” with it towards your shoppers, but excessive use of it can be depressing.

Being quite a controversial color and differing from culture to culture, black requires careful application, as it can also be the color of sadness and death.

In any case, black is a powerful tool used with other colors for contrast, that is why text’s readability will be best in black when the background is yellow or orange, for instance.

 

Color appropriateness is something that should be taken into consideration when choosing your company’s colors.

You should definitely think about your products, your target audience, and the context you are working with when you are choosing colors.

For instance, why is it said that green means calmness?

The answer is quite obvious, because green is one of the most widespread colors in nature and so in our minds it is linked with the grass and spring that evoke positive feelings of peacefulness.

Similarly, your products will evoke certain emotions and create some mood which will matter within a certain context.

 

Useful tips for maximizing your color psychology marketing effectiveness

 

After we have taken into account how different colors can influence the customers, it is time to have a look at how we can combine, use, and name them in the most appelaing way.

 

Apply different color combinations

 

It is difficult to imagine any online store that uses just one color.

Usually, several colors are involved in creating a store and presenting products. So, color coordination becomes an important issue for setting the correct mood and impressing your visitors.

Use no more than 5 colors on a single page. Too many colors can easily cause confusion and disturbance.

A webpage usually has a basic color and some accent colors that will strike your visitors’ eye and call to action.

Always make your CTA prominent. Use a contrast color compared to the background, use white spaces wisely so that you can make your customer notice it easily.

Keeping in mind what you have found out about colors, choose the color of the background that will set the mood, but will not distract your audience from the main information, such as the images of your products and their descriptions.

Remember that you can change the color of the text and even the color of the buttons if you need to draw attention to them.

The element that has to be noticed should stand out, i.e. it should not blend with the general palette of the page.

Random combinations are definitely not recommended: our mind finds some color combinations either nice or unpleasant based on clearly definable principles.

 

cool colors vs warm colors

Combining cool and warm colors gives a feeling of balance

 

Think about gender, age, and colors

 

Can we say that colors are a universal issue that is perceived equally by men and women?

Although personal preferences do not necessarily depend on gender, women tend to differentiate more shades, tints, and hues.

Usually, men are inclined to choose shades, while women prefer soft colors, or tints.

Thus, if your target audience is women, you should be more conscientious when picking colors and descriptions of your products.

As for the age of your audience, pure bright colors may be appropriate for children or teenagers’ online stores, both for images and for the text.

They will definitely be unbefitting if you use a lot of them for companies that deal with accounting, finances, legal advising and so on. Such colors should only be applied to the most important buttons or pieces of information.

Orange, black and blue work well with impulse shoppers. Dark blue and bluish green are attractive to customers who like saving money. Bright pink, sky blue and rose may work well with a more traditional or old-fashioned audience.

 

Color names

 

The names of colors are another important characteristic that you have to think of.

Basic names of colors, such as ‘red’, ‘green’, or ‘blue’ do not evoke such intense emotions as ‘crimson’, ’emerald’, or ‘azure’.

So, although a sweatshirt of a light green color will not differ much from a lime sweatshirt, people will tend to choose items with more unusual and unique color names.

If there are products of similar colors in your store, choosing appropriate color names becomes essential for their correct identification.

For instance, you can have dresses of navy, indigo, sapphire, or sky blue colors to show differences between them.

 

Always run tests

 

You may have found your main colors, but it does not at all guarantee that everything will go all right on your website.

To be able to define what hues perform well and exactly what purposes they serve best, you first need to describe your target group and define their needs and expectations.

Based on that, you can create a color scheme, but it’s worth running A/B tests as well.

Try changing the color of a button. Or try showing different colored T-shirts against different background colors on your product pages.

 

color test, color psychology marketing

 

Follow how this influences conversion, the time spent on the page and the bounce rate. Also try heatmap analyses and figure out how your “trigger zones” perform.

The best piece of advice we can give you here is this: don’t underestimate the power of colors.

Visual expression (apart from price) is the most important factor with online offers. Use it smartly.

 

Color psychology marketing in practice

 

Now, let us have a look at how colors can be used effectively, depending on a certain context on TemplateMonster’s themes examples.

If you want to create a website of a Healthy Food Store, you will opt for a webpage with lots of variants of green, because it is usually associated with nature.

Bright images of fruit and vegetables will look the same awesome as various photos restaurant dishes against a green background.

 

color psychology example food, color psychology marketing

 

Creating a stylish photography portfolio can involve choosing various colors.

A lot of photographers prefer the background of their website to stay clean and white, not to distract attention from the works presented on the site. Many other photographers love black, as it accentuates photos making them look more appealing.

 

color psychology photo portfolio, color psychology marketing

It is possible to create an impressive webpage just using black and white combinations.

In case you are not a fan of black, and the white color seems too simple to you, try gray and light blue colors to design your photographer portfolio.

Both gray and blue can come in a variety of shades and tints, so you will be able to set the color that best suits your themes and pictures.

 

color psychology images and colors, color psychology marketing

 

For a culinary or houseware items shop you may also choose gray and its shades to associate your website with stainless steel objects or silverware.

Your images will definitely stand out against a dark background, and you can freely experiment with bright colors when choosing text or button colors.

 

color psychology culinary, color psychology marketing

 

Summary

 

All in all, selecting appropriate colors that will promote your business by letting your customers feel your company can be a challenging business.

Taking into consideration information about general associations, remember that it is you who knows and feels your business, so it is you who imagines what colors should be applied.

Remember about your target audience, try to look at your webpage from their point of view, and feel free to experiment with colors to find those that appeal to you the most.

 

Moreover, if you want to explore more about colors try Template Monster’s free e-book about UI for Web Design enthusiasts:

 

Download Free

 

free e-book ui tips web design

 

 

Are there really 235,000 Magento stores out there? Can we trust the numbers?

Since ecommerce is rapidly growing globally, it is not by chance that more and more of the “rookies” try to take advantage of that fact and “hunt down” the new entrants.

However, it seems that while competition is really high among the online store software applications that have only a few percent of market share, they are not at all able to squeeze or shake the dominant systems.

The market is by far lead by WooCommerce and Magento, when looking at the global picture.

 

Comment:

It is quite difficult to make detailed analyses based on the statistical data since different sources and analyses (Datanyze, AheadWorks, BuiltWith) provide different numbers.

The question pops up:

Are there any reliable data showing ecommerce platform market shares, usage by country and sector, etc?

 

Now let us see, based on the available data, where and who uses Magento, who are the major challengers and what is going on with Magento 2 globally.

 

In this article you can read about the following:

  • Share of the Magento systems
  • Is Magento dominant?
  • Share of Magento 2
  • Segments, industrial sectors, languages
    • Language use
    • Average Alexa rank
    • Typical product categories
    • Average prices
    • Division by countries
  • What are the ecommerce trends for the future?

 

Market share of Magento Commerce

 

On the basis of Alexa data, Datanyze provides current statistics: you can check how many of the one million websites with the most hits globally (Alexa Top 1 million) use the different ecommerce store software applications – May 2017 figures.

The two most powerful ecommerce platforms are beyond doubt WooCommerce and Magento Commerce.

Alexa Top 1 million share: WooCommerce+WooCommerce 2.6: 31%, Magento: 18% (It means there are 14,500 Magento stores in the Alexa Top 1 million.)

 

ecommerce platforms market share

 

If we are taking a look at the entire Internet, global ecommerce platform market share numbers are different: WooCommerce+WooCommerce 2.6 is still leading, with 36%, but here Shopify is number 2 with 10% and Magento is number 3 with 8% (here we can see that globally /Datanyze Universe/ there are 168,000 Magento stores).

 

ecommerce platforms market share all internet

 

But are these numbers totally correct? Well… The analyses by BuiltWith and AheadWorks are somewhat different.

 

BuiltWith data show this:

 

ecommerce-usage-statistics-by-platform-builtwith

 

 

Here Magento has a 13% and WooCommerce a 24% share. Although BuiltWith does not use Alexa’s top 1 million, it’s still a considerable difference!

 

Figures of the market share of Magento are provided by AheadWorks. Their latest study was published in March 2016 (well, a little outdated).

 

magento statistics 2016

 

They also used the data of Alexa examining the one million most popular websites.

According to their analysis, Magento is undoubtedly dominant on the market: it has a share of 29.1%, while the proportion of those using the software of WooCommerce is only 26.5%. Shopify and Prestashop are the other two who also have significant segments, these are 10.9 and 9.4 percent, respectively.

The analysis shows that even though the share of WooCommerce is growing, its expansion is slowing down, it grew by only 2 percent in the last six months in comparison with the previous 6 percent.

On the other hand, the number of Magento users only slightly decreased, by a relative 2.3%.

Data of BuiltWith  found approx. 13 thousand (red line on the graph) Magento online shops within the Top one million (note: their Top 1 m isn’t Alexa’s), and they measure 235,000 Magento-based online stores on the entire web – May 2017 figures.

Clicking this link you can see the current global Magento usage statistics on BuiltWith’s website.

 

magento usage statistics builtwith data

 

The analysis of AheadWorks also mentions that the majority of the platforms realizing the biggest growth are among the top 10: although the market of ecommerce systems is growing on the whole, those other than the biggest ones are fighting for survival.

 

And here’s another figure:

According to Magento there are over 250,000 merchants worldwide using the Magento Commerce platform:

 

magento usage statistics magento

 

 

The questions pop up: Now, how many websites use Magento globally in the Top 1 million? 14,500 or 13,000? And globally? 168,000, 235,000 or 250,000?

 

We assume that Magento cannot afford to publish false statistics. On the other hand we contacted Builtwith (see interview section a little later) and they have a reliable, sophisiticated data collection system.

 

So we'd say: there are most probably 240-250 thousand Magento stores worldwide.

 

Market share of Magento 2

 

Since this is the first analysis of AheadWorks in which Magento 2 is also examined, separate results have been published on that.

According to which:

  • Most users of Magento 2 are of American interest, but Indian, Australian, Canadian, Estonian and Vietnamese ecommerce stores use the system as well.
  • 19 out of 20 Magento 2 systems are used in English language.
  • The vast majority of Magento online shops are selling clothing products and accessories, on the other hand, Magento 2 stores are rather selling electronic devices, servers, footwear or toys for the time being – so they show a quite mixed picture for the time being, and there is no obviously dominant market segment.
  • The average rank position of Magento 2 online stores within Alexa is 635 834.

 

According to BuiltWith (here you’ll see current figures), Magento 2 has gained a significant move forward in the Top one million, 523 ecommerce stores run on Magento 2 at the moment (May 2017).

Additionally, there are approx. 11,000 Magento 2 web stores on the entire Internet. Most of them switched from WooCommerce.

6500 businesses using Magento 2 are in the US, other major locations include the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Australia.

 

magento 2 usage statistics builtwith data

 

Some “ancient” versions still in use

 

We can find data about older versions of Magento on BuiltWith’s website. We can see that version 1.9 is the most widespread, however, we can still find 11 online stores that use 1.2, released back in 2008. 1.3 and 1.4 are used by 100 and 400 websites respectively.

 

Comment:

On this page (http://trends.builtwith.com/shop/Magento-1.9) we see that in the Top 1 million there are 2600 websites that use version 1.9, we don’t see any figure for the entire Internet and in the right-hand paragraph we see that 5000 live websites use it.

Isn’t this number too low?

Moreover, if we add up all the numbers of currently live websites using any Magento version, we come to the sum of approx. 20,000, which is very far away from the 235,000 figure mentioned before. (http://builtwith.com/magento)

Are we missing or overlooking something here?

 

ANSWERS FROM BUILTWITHWe contacted BuiltWith and they were glad to answer some questions.

 

Question: How up to date is the data?

Answer: BuiltWith’s reporting principle is based on a “dead mans switch” style of operation. This means, if we stopped checking the internet for new data, within 30 days all of our reports would have no data. This ensures our data is always up to date and forces us to ensure we are managing data updates in a timely manner.

 

Question: What kind of crawling method do you use for detecting Magento based websites?

Answer: We use multiple advanced methods, looking for the BLANK_IMG javascript variable is a good one, it’s quite unique ‒ we look for that in memory objects as well.

We have an advanced a method of detection that we can use for different versions of Magento (1.x as well as version 2 onwards).

 

Question: Do you use your own approach for defining the top 1 M / 100k etc. websites?

Answer: We’ve used Quantcast since we started doing trends ‒ then they made it the top 100k instead of top 1m so we use top 100k Quantcast and then the next 900k from Alexa that aren’t in the Quantcast 1m.

 

Question: What is the difference between Magento 2 and Magento 2.0 from your aspect? We see different figures for them: http://trends.builtwith.com/websitelist/Magento-2 vs. http://trends.builtwith.com/websitelist/Magento-2.0

Answer: Version 2 is sites where we found evidence of the new version of the software, whereas 2.0 is that actual version number (2 will include 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 etc.) ‒ not all sites have evidence for version numbers ‒ rightfully they may want to remove it if they are running an older version that is vulnerable.

 

Question: On this page (http://trends.builtwith.com/shop/Magento-1.9) we see that in the Top 1 million there are 2500 websites that use version 1.9, we don’t see any figure for the entire Internet and in the right-hand paragraph we see that 4500 live websites use it. Isn’t this number too low?

Answer: We try to keep accuracy high for this. It doesn’t use the normal detection methodology but relies on a file in the installation existing and being a certain amount of bytes in length.

 

It looks like data gathering and processing is not an easy task. As we’ve learned, BuiltWith uses advanced methods to provide their clients with the most up to date and accurate data available.

However, we still need to use our own common sense and logic to draw conclusions on which we may make our own business decisions.

 

Segments, industrial sectors, languages

 

Let’s take a look at an AheadWorks report published in February.

 

Another chart for market shares:

 

magento February 2016 chart

 

Language use

 

You can learn from it for example in what language Magento is typically used:

  • Magento Enterprise Edition: 71% in English, 7% in Spanish and in German language, and the proportion of online shops operated in Italian language is also significant.
  • Magento Community Edition: English has a proportion of only 62% here, while the proportion of Spanish and German is 9%, and beside Italian, Polish language is represented in a higher number as well.
  • The division is quite similar in the case of WooCommerce, while Sopify is used exclusively in English, PrestaShop on the other hand shows a much more colourful picture. Russian and Persian are also represented here in a higher proportion.

 

Average Alexa rank

 

The study of AheadWorks shows that the users of WooCommerce mainly come from among the less visited sites: most of them rank between the 800-900 thousandth positions.

Magento EE has a more significant share here as well, but it strongly appears around the 500-600 thousandth ranks, while the majority of the users of Community Edition are between the 100 and 300 thousandth ranks.

What can you read out of this? First of all, that ecommerce stores with a significant number of visitors, like for example websites of major international brands are typically more willing to choose Magento.

 

magento woocommerce site visits

 

Typical product categories

 

Most Magento users, both in case of Enterprise Edition and Community Edition are selling clothing products and accessories, around 14-16 percent. The proportion of those selling sporting goods and electronic devices is considerable as well.

Also a lot of users of EE sell furniture and books, or various software applications, while the other most popular industrial sectors of Community Edition are cosmetics, mobile accessories and online shops operating as markets.

 

Average prices

 

Among the dominant ecommerce platforms it is Magento EE that principally sells products to large companies: according to AheadWorks, an average product costs the most in these online stores, $538. In the case of Community Edition, the average price is only $260.

Shopify ($82), PrestaShop ($180) and WooCommerce ($178) are all lagging far behind this.

 

Distribution by country

 

This is a real challenge as the statistics vary from source to source.

 

E.g. according to the June 2015 analysis of AheadWorks:

The USA’s share of Magento CE was 38% (Stores by Countries), it was 10% for the UK, while in February 2016 it was 14% for the USA, 13% for the UK.

Analysis June 2015

Analysis February 2016

 

In the case of Magento Enterprise, in June 2015 it was mainly used in the UK (27%), and secondly in the USA (13%), but in February 2016 (after only half a year) the situation is quite different: UK: 14%, USA: 57%.

 

We just wonder: How could such a big change take place in such a short time?

 

magento statistics 2016

 

Based on recent data of BuiltWith, taking into account currently live websites, we could calculate the following figures /number of physical locations of businesses using a particular system divided by the total number of currently live websites using that particular system (=%)/:

Half (50%) of websites using Magento Community Edition 1.9 operate in the USA, the second largest market is the UK (10%).

http://trends.builtwith.com/shop/Magento-1.9

 

magento 1.9 chart 2016

 

Looking at the Enterprise Edition: the largest user base is in the USA (56%), while it is 6% for the UK and 5% for Australia.

http://trends.builtwith.com/shop/Magento-Enterprise

 

magento enterprise chart

 

 

Coclusion: It seems that, if we take more sources into account, we can only make rough estimates for the distribution of different Magento systems across countries.

 

 

Ecommerce trends: What will the future bring?

 

It seems that only trends and approximate proportions can be defined on the basis of the statistics:

Currently there is no major serious challenger that could threaten the position of the market leaders.

The smaller players are not able to get near the podium, they are present with an average of 4-6% of market share.

At the same time, it seems that more than three fourths of the market is covered by the four systems having the biggest shares, and within these four, WooCommerce and Magento cover nearly 50% of the entire market.

Magento 2’s share is expanding steadily, it is now used by 11,000 of online shops – there is a good chance that, over time, it’ll take its rightful place.

It is also interesting that despite the major fluctuations, the two market leaders could not really change the balance of power in the last few years – at the same time, an overwhelming proportion of Magento 2 users shifted from WooCommerce.

For now, their number is too low of course to let us draw major conclusions from this, but it is possible that with Magento 2, Magento created a worthy challenger for its rival.

Of course it is also important to remember that most ecommerce store systems on the market are for a completely different target audience.

It is quite clear from our previous analyses (see article on Magento vs. WooCommerce) as well that the leading systems could hardly represent competition to Magento (and vice versa) in practice, since they were intended for something else by default.

 

Finally, we welcome any suggestion, comment or correction concerning the statistical analyses, as we still would like to get clear answers to the following questions:

  • How many online stores are there globally?
  • How many Magento stores are in the world?
  • What market shares do the top 10 ecommerce systems have?
  • How many online stores use Magento CE, Magento EE and Magento 2 in different countries?