Shopping Cart Abandonment: 63 Mind-Blowing Stats & 17 Ways To Crush It Right Now [+INFOGRAPHIC]

Although we’re sure you that you’ll never overcome cart abandonment totally, it may be enough that you keep and lure back just a few percent of your abandoning shoppers – because that will result in a nice rise in revenues.

 

We’re going to cover the following topics:

  • What is shopping cart abandonment?
  • What is the value of cart abandonment rate in reality?
  • Why do shoppers abandon their carts?
  • Numbers you need to know
    • It’s not because of the price – not that way
    • Cart abandonment and regional aspects
    • Abandoned carts, different industries
  • Information and conversion
    • Show all important information in time
      • Why is it crucial?
    • You communicate inappropriately?
    • Is free shipping that important?
  • Optimize your website
    • Complex navigation
    • Complicated checkout?
    • Do not ask for registration
    • Do care about the words you use (and test them)
    • “I’ve found it elsewhere at a better price”
  • Remarketing & retargeting
    • Follow your potential customer
    • Remarketing in email
      • What to write in the email?
    • Launch a loyalty programme
  • Cart abandonment on mobile
    • Why the smartphone user bounces?
    • The way to keep mobile using shoppers
    • An app can be a good idea
    • Filter strongly who you send push notifications to
    • Make your timing perfect
  • “If only one basket of dirt is missing…”

 

 

What is shopping cart abandonment?

 

Shopping cart abandonment is one of the most serious common problem for online store owners, so it is very likely you face this beast every day too.

 

The definition is simple: when a visitor of your ecommerce store adds items to his or her basket, but in the end no purchase is made.

 

Since there is absolutely no negative consequence of abandoning your cart during an online purchase process and then leaving the store, cart abandonment rate is very high.

Many look at this with a wondering face, because if someone has already firmly expressed their purchase intention by adding products to the cart, why don’t they finish the checkout process?

 

Basically: There can be a lot of reasons, but what most e-merchants do not see is this: shopping cart abandonment is not necessarily a problem, but a huge opportunity.

 

What is the actual cart abandonment rate?

 

A look at overall statistics can give us an idea. Luckily, it is a well examined field so there’s no need to make a big effort to find relevant data.

However, there are differences depending on which source you take.

The Baymard Institute has been searching through the relevant sites for years and has gathered figures for cart abandonment from more than 37 reliable sources.

 

THE AVERAGE RATE

Based on this, the average global cart abandonment rate is 69.23% (January 2017).

Please not that this figure is calculated from different data dating back several years at times.

A more up-to-date figure (but only from three sources) is the average of Listrak’s, Adobe’s and Barilliance’s calculated rates, which is: 74,1% (January 2017).

 

As this rate is increasing year by year, experts predict this number to go as high as 90% in a few years.

Researches indicate that online shoppers leave products approx. $4 trillion (4 thousand billion) worth a year. According to BI Intelligence, 63% of it could be recovered.

It is important not to regard the abandoned cart as a loss.

We’ll see that one of the main reasons for cart abandonment is that the user just “saves the products for later”, creating a shopping list and later they return and make the purchase.

In other cases they simply buy the same product elsewhere – they don’t cancel the purchase, but they choose a different offer with a different online shop.

So abandonments don’t produce losses, but provide opportunities.

From big brands to tiny online stores, everyone faces the issue of cart abandonment, but only a few do something to convince the hesitating shoppers.

 

Why do shoppers abandon their carts?

 

The first answer that seems very logical is that they “changed their mind”. Statistics, however, show a great number of different reasons for shopping cart abandonment (Baymard Institute):

  • 61% ‒ Extra costs too high
  • 35% ‒ Registration required
  • 27% ‒ Too complicated checkout process
  • 24% ‒ No up-front total order cost visible
  • 22% ‒ Website had errors or crashed
  • 18% ‒ Didn’t trust the website with credit card details
  • 16% ‒ Too slow delivery
  • 10% ‒ Returns policy not satisfactory
  • 8% ‒ Not enough payment methods
  • 5% ‒ Credit card was declined

 

It is clear that you cannot solve all these problems with a single solution, as these issues differ significantly from each other. In the following we’ll take a look at all reasons for not finishing the purchase one by one and suggest solutions accordingly.

 

Numbers you need to know

 

It’s not because of the price – not that way

 

It also seems logical to say that the higher the price the more customers quit the whole thing in the end.

But it’s not true.

 

The truth is rather the opposite with a little twist. The rate is highest (approx. 85%) for the lowest prices ($1-25), then falls to about 58% at the $80 price level and rises steeply to 77% at the $100-120 range. Then over $120 the chance of cart abandonment falls deeply and between $150-200 it is only around 40%.

 

So there is a psychological limit or point here at around $100, which is worth keeping in mind.

It can be so because it is easier to rationalize bigger purchases. Comparing expensive products is generally more difficult because these are usually more complex products. E.g. with a piece of clothing it’s enough to examine 2-3 attributes, while with a TV set that costs hundreds of dollars, dozens of features can be compared.

It is also likely that commitment towards a more expensive product can be stronger, a more serious buying intention and a more urgent need may be behind it.

And it is always easier to give up buying a cheaper product: you leave a key ring or mug in the store without any worries, but a vacuum cleaner or fridge that suits your expectations is much harder to forget about.

Who knows when comes another chance to get it? (Buy the way, for this kind of consumer insight you can effectively apply the scarcity sales technique.)

The psychology of pricing is, of course, a much more sophisticated field – the very detailed study by ConversionXL can be an ideal starting point to get familiar with the topic.

 

Cart abandonment and regional aspects

 

The global statistics for shopping cart abandonment are rather uniform, but it can also be noted that there can be significant differences in terms of regions.

According to the data of SaleCycle the global map of cart abandonment rates looks like this:

  • 74% in North America
  • 75.3% in Latin America
  • 70.9% in Europe
  • 76.3% in the Asia-Pacific region
  • 76.1% in Africa and the Middle East

 

There are, of course, other remarkable (e.g. cultural) differences that can be exploited smartly by e-merchants.

For instance, researches suggest that in the Pacific Region more shoppers tend to abandon their carts, but they are less sensitive to shipping costs or payment options.

In North America, free delivery is of very high importance, almost a basic expectation when someone puts an order online. Half of the customers abandon their carts immediately if they see some shipping cost (to be covered later in more detail).

Also, similarly to Europe, here the shopping cart abandonment rate is lower because the users are more focused, they are less likely to forget about finishing their shopping.

South Americans seem to postpone their online transactions more, but they care more about payment options – those who want to conquer this market, will need to offer several payment choices.

As we can see, there are lots of different characteristics, which means that there are no general solutions to cart abandonment. Based on your own research and experience, you can detect several problem areas, but you mustn’t forget that there is still a big pile of reasons for cart abandonment – to be discussed soon.

 

Abandoned carts, different industries

 

Cart abandonment rate is different from market to market as well (stats from SaleCycle and Statista):

  • The rate is highest in the travel industry (Statista: 80.4%, SaleCycle: 80.1%).
  • The financial sector has just a little lower rate (Statista: 79.3%).
  • Retail’s figure stays a tiny bit below the overall abandonment rate (Statista: 73.9%, SaleCycle: 74.6%).
  • For e-games it’s even lower (Statista: 70.1%).
  • Finally, fashion seems to be one of the best performers (Statista: 68.3%, SaleCycle: 68.8%).

 

 

 

Information and conversion

 

Show all important information in time

 

tips Tip: This may be the most important thing: never surprise your shoppers. They should always be aware of the critical information. You need to make them feel as though they are shopping at the good old small grocery store on the corner where they know the name of the shop assistant.

 

Why is it so important?

Because the most frequent reason why shoppers abandon their carts is encountering unexpected costs when they about to pay. According to several researches this is why some 50-60% of customers leave the online store without buying anything.

It is the shipping cost that most ecommerce stores “forget” to show in time. But there are a lot of shoppers as well (24-32%) that don’t pay special attention to what they add to their basket and leave when they finally see the total sum.

To avoid giving such unpleasant surprises to your customers, it is wise to show the total of their actual purchase, including EVERY additional cost, on every page they see during the shopping process.

Shopping Cart Abandonment

You communicate inappropriately?

 

It can also be that you simply don’t tell the important things in the right way.

For example, there can be a number of problems in terms of locations. If you can define the geographic location of a shopper, based on the IP address, then it should be obvious that you show the prices in their currency so as to avoid surprising them in a negative way.

 

The same applies to shipping: if it is not free, then you should not show this cost at the very end. But it may change depending on where you ship to, so you’ll need to make it dynamic.

 

Is free shipping that important?

 

It may sound odd at first, but we definitely suggest offering free shipping with every purchase.

73% of the shoppers say that unconditional free delivery is a very important factor when making an online purchase.

Shipping costs can be included in your prices. You can even communicate this: although you have a little higher prices, all products are delivered free.

This may “catch” those who would leave your store otherwise, but can also help raise average cart value: if you communicate clearly and smartly that shipping is free the chances are greater that the shopper will happily spend more.

Furthermore, according to the stats from Deloitte, for 20% of the shoppers it is a top reason to shop with a particular online store.

You can also provide free shipping if a condition is met, thus urging your target group to do something specific. Many online shops set a minimal total order amount to be reached for free shipping.

We’ve talked about the $100 psychological barrier – if you can find this kind of level for your own store, where the cart abandonment rate peaks, and here, at this price level, you show the message of free shipping, you’ll probably manage to convert a lot more customers.

 

Optimize your website

 

There are many who abandon their carts because of a complicated payment or shopping process.

 

Just imagine …… you are in a huge supermarket where you first don’t find the checkout, then you need to stand in a long queue and then talk to three different customer service assistants to finally get the product you want to buy. Now imagine that every few metres there is an exit to another supermarket where you’ll probably won’t meet all these problems.

 

Basically this is the situation with an online store that has a complex navigation and it is very easy for the user to switch to another store where he hopes to have a better experience.

Let’s see the most common problems with complexity that can be handled with optimization.

 

Complex navigation

 

Complex navigation can be a reason for quitting the shopping process with 25% of the visitors.

Navigation as such is rather intuitive – the next step should always be quite obvious in the process. Don’t expect to create a perfect navigation process right at the beginning. More likely, it will take some lengthy testing before being able to optimize your website to match the exact needs of your shoppers.

Simplicity, here too, can be a great advantage!

 

Complicated checkout process?

 

If you take a look at the data of Baymard Institute you’ll soon realize that simplifying the checkout process is one of your most important tasks. They studied this field for 7 years and came to the conclusion that a 35.26% increase in conversion rate can be reached on average through better checkout design.

 

How to make the checkout process simpler?

  • include as few steps as possible,
  • require as few data as possible,
  • never ever set registration as a condition for shoppers to be able to give their money to you.

 

Don’t overwhelm your customers with extra tasks. Make it possible for them to be able to get to the payment stage right after providing the required data.

According to Baymard, the ideal checkout flow would consist of 12-14 form elements – yet, an average US online store features about twice as many. (An element is not a page, but a single piece of information the user is required to give, e.g. surname, email etc.)

 

And here’s an interesting security dilemma: Statista says that cart abandonment can equally take place because of “excessive payment security checks (18%) as well as because of “concerns about payment security” (17%).

 

Again, simplicity can be the solution: if you can help it, use as few check points as possible at which the user needs to take action.

You can also eliminate security doubts in advance: display certifications of security on your page, show customer feedback and reviews to suggest that your store is regularly visited by tons of satisfied visitors.

 

Do not ask for registration

 

Registration is simply a pain in the neck for most shoppers.

If a user account registration is needed for making a purchase, it unnecessarily elongates the shopping process with several additional steps.

If you run your store requiring a registration, you have good chances that you’ll experience an extremely high cart abandonment rate with small-amount purchases. (Who’d want to register, and possibly expose themselves to advertising campaigns, just to have a T-shirt for a few bucks?)

So it’s obvious: registration should ALWAYS be optional and always offer the possibility of shopping as a guest visitor.

Make registration attractive by offering some kind of a premium experience, loyalty programme or something else (to be discussed later).

We don’t just say this. Every research proves that giving up required registration can vastly improve conversion figures. For example, User Interface Engineering measured a 45% rise in sales after making registration optional on their site.

 

Do care about the words you use (and test them)

 

First, it does matter what words you use with navigation or when giving information.

A fine example for that is the case study of Insound: they changed the wording of the CTA button in the checkout from “Continue” to “Review Order”. The result?

An 8% increase in the conversion rate from 30.5% to 39.4%.

In this example the reason behind this is probably that the second version is more concrete. If possible, don’t use the word “Continue”, instead, try to refer to what is going on in the process, where the user gets to after clicking the button.

It’s highly recommended to re-read and double check all wordings from button texts to product descriptions. It has significance how specific or factual the text is or how you can influence the feelings of your customers, i.e. what words you use to convince them to take action now or reinforce a sense of security in them for instance.

 

tips Let’s see an example! :

How would you tell a customer that he can safely provide his personal data?

You write…

We won’t steal your data!

…or that…

We always handle your data securely.

The first one may seem direct, thus sympathetic, but experience shows that positive messages are always stronger and more convincing.

 

“I’ve found it elsewhere at a better price”

 

You can deal with this kind of feedback in two ways.

 

1)

Continuous competitor monitoring: if you see they start operating at lower prices you take action. It can be effective sometimes, but in the majority of cases such price war is devastating.

 

Why lower price strategies can ruin your business?

If you keep your prices low all the time, it cuts into your profits and you may also lose those shoppers that were willing to purchase from you at higher prices. “Why have you become cheaper? Your product is not worth that money anymore? You could have sold that cheaper from the beginning?” They might ask.

And if the special offer ends, those may leave you who came just because of the discounts. Or they can choose to step aside and wait for the next cheap deal. But it is likely that such postponed purchases will never take place in reality.

 

2)

The second method is way more effective. Although it may hold back less visitors to leave you for other sites, still, those who you’ll keep will spend more with you. So you’ll increase average cart value.

This method is about telling them WHY your prices are higher.

You’ll need some strategic and copywriting skills to do that right.

 

A few examples

There must be a good reason for charging higher prices. For instance, this can be faster and high quality support or free shipping with every purchase.

It can also work that, beyond “plain” shopping, you offer a premium experience: e.g. membership for loyal customers with exclusive deals, membership in a special group, access to extra content or to a dedicated client service.

If you think that shoppers don’t really spend more on the same or very similar product, just think again. How can the popular premium brands make a living? The somewhat higher manufacturing costs do not justify the premium pricing – people pay more for brands and not necessarily for specific products.

 

Remarketing & retargeting

 

We have a good reason to touch on this topic multiple times – we’ve already published guides and case studies, because they’re simply among the most effective online marketing tools nowadays.

 

  • It is a crucial stat that if you target abandoners with remarketing, and if you manage to lure them back to your store, they will spend 55% more on average with each purchase from then on than those who converted right at the first time.
  • The average open rate of simple marketing emails is 21% according to SaleCycle – while remarketing emails are opened by 54% of the users.
  • Besides, the conversion rate of clicked-through remarketing emails is also very high, approx. 30%!

 

All this correlates with the good old marketing notion: it’s always easier to have someone make a purchase that is already in some “relation” with you than to convince a complete stranger to do so.

 

You already have some kind of valuable information about the ones who you can reach with remarketing, and statistics show that using different remarketing techniques based on that information can covert shoppers way better.

 

Follow your potential customer!

 

Time is your most limited resource. For many years, lots of marketing experts have been talking about this, especially online marketing professionals.

According to MIT, 90% of leads go cold after an hour.

Thus, if you intend to use remarketing, you’d better be fast: you should reach your potential customer with a to-the-point offer to have them return to your store.

You can

  • offer them a one-time discount,
  • free shipping,
  • call their attention that the given offer is valid only for 24 hours,
  • stocks are limited etc.

 

We’ve already written about what remarketing tools you can use and how to utilize different retargeting techniques.

If you feel that you still need some tutorial in this topic, do read these posts to learn a bunch of useful techniques:

How to apply retargeting and remarketing in your online shop

13 eCommerce Retargeting Methods & Bonus Case Studies to Boost your Conversion

 

However, if we talk about a returning customer that has abandoned his cart, it’s a different story – you can reach out to him at a later time, because there is already some kind of loyalty towards you, he knows you and it’s likely that you know his contact information.

In such a case it’s worth trying a more personal approach:

 

Remarketing in email

 

If you know the email address of your shoppers, you have good chances to lure them back to your store.

When to send out remarketing emails?

Radley London runs an ecommerce store selling different accessories. With the help of SaleCycle they targeted their cart abandoners in email. After running tests, they came to the conclusion that the ideal time for sending emails is half an hour after the abandonment took place. Finally they managed to convert 7.9% of their abandoners.

Configuring such a remarketing process, especially if an expert partner is involved, is relatively easy.

The example of Boot Barn is worth a look as well: they created a series of emails. The first was sent out 20 minutes after the time of the cart abandonment.

After 23 hours, the next email was sent to those who still did not finish their purchase. The last reminder email was sent when a week had passed. This campaign was closed with a result of a 12% growth in revenues.

There’s no need to worry even if you’re not that fast sending out the first email. Listrak’s report says that you can achieve an open rate of 40% and a click-through rate of 20% with emails sent to abandoners within 3 hours, which are great figures too.

 

What to write in the email?

 

You should pay a great deal of attention to the text here. First, you need to decide whether you want to use a positive or a negative emotional approach.

You may evoke a negative emotional response with messages that say that the shopper will miss something or will be left out of something if they don’t act in a given time.

This time you apply the scarcity technique in a way that you work with the well-known psychological phenomenon of “Fear of missing out” (FoMO) or fear of regret.

 

tips Example: You may write that the items added to the shopping cart can be purchased only in X days at a special price, or you can also communicate that only a limited number of the chosen product is available, so the shopper should finish his or her shopping as soon as possible.

Here you can help in the positive decision making by showing comments of satisfied customers or simply telling how many shoppers have bought that same product.

You may doubt, but these basic “tricks” can further raise the likelihood of conversion (the theory of social proof or informational social influence supports this approach.)

 

Here, a negative emotional reaction is not directed at you, but is generated within the shopper. However, positive messages that trigger positive feelings usually work better.

You can paraphrase your message like this: “We have saved your selected products” or “We still store your chosen items”

I.e. we still have them, we take care of them, you can buy them any time. They are in your cart, they are yours – you only need to finish what you started earlier.

With such messages you should emphasize that they practically own the items they put in the cart (well, yes, they still need to pay for them).

An email subject of “We keep your vacuum cleaner for you” can be powerful. You should achieve that the shopper feels strong that the product is already theirs.

 

Launch a loyalty programme

 

To retain your returning customers, it’s a great idea to run a loyalty programme.

Most people like feeling that they’re special and being treated in an exceptional way.

By creating a club, an inner circle to which you offer a kind of premium experience, you can reduce the rate of cart abandonment.

According to Forrester Research, participants of a loyalty programme spend 13% more on average than regular shoppers and you can also raise the number of visits by 20% with exclusive offers only for members.

Of course, with loyalty programmes a registration is needed, which is an extra step that is required ‒ not really preferred by 40-50% of users. (Here it’s worth mentioning the research of BI Intelligence, where 39.1% of the shoppers abandon their carts because of the lengthy checkout process that also includes creating an account.)

That’s why you should introduce your loyalty programme as an option and never as a mandatory step.

A loyalty programme is also an opportunity to communicate more actively with your loyal customers, and thus you can more easily get customer feedback and reviews.

In return, you can give reward points to your shoppers to be redeemed for certain discounts in order to make them even more committed towards you.

You can use these reviews to encourage hesitating customers to make a purchase decision.

 

Cart abandonment on mobile

 

In a separate post we covered the growth trends in mobile commerce (mCommerce). There is a number of reasons why it takes more time than expected for mobile ecommerce to expand in a faster rate compared to desktop use.

Probably it is mostly the “fault” of e-merchants rather than of users who usually adapt to new technologies very quickly.

Statistics show a steady rise – 2016’s Black Friday in the US saw a 40% mCommerce share of all sales. This is a truly relevant figure since this is the most significant period for retailers in the whole year.

Stats also show that the cart abandonment rate is even higher for mobile phones than for desktop or tablet, now it is approx. 78%.

This resonates well with other statistics that suggest that 40% of users go over to a competitor to make a purchase if they encounter a bad mobile user experience.

Note: 84% of users have already had a bad experience when they tried to make a mobile transaction of some kind.

 

Why smartphone users bounce?

 

The most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment on mobile do not significantly differ from that of desktop. We’ve already mentioned these reasons earlier in this post (see the Baymard Institute stats at “Why do shoppers abandon their carts?” above).

Baymard Institute lists the following reasons for abandonments during checkout taking into account both mobile and desktop computers:

When looking at abandonment rates measured in the Black Friday period, there is a considerable difference between the devices. On desktops the cart abandonment rate was 63.8% while on mobile it was 78.1%.  (We’ve mentioned earlier that conversion is also better on desktop (20.8%) than on mobile (14.1%) in this same festive period.)

Ventureburn, too, mentions reasons that are mainly in connection with page use, user interface and complex processes, like poor design, slow page speed, badly displayed forms, lengthy checkout etc.

It is clear that all of us want convenience, so it is not surprising that on a small screen we wish to see the simplest and easiest interface possible.

If an ecommerce store cannot provide that, we immediately leave the site for another one that gives us exactly what we desire.

 

The way to keep mobile using shoppers

 

Now we present a couple of methods that can help to convert more shoppers that use smartphones when visiting your online shop.

Before trying to elaborate some complex strategies, start by checking how user friendly your store’s mobile platform is.

We’re not talking just about optimization here. Yes, you need to take care of layout features and design, if they work smoothly on all devices etc.

But it’s truly worth thinking over how you could make navigation simpler and the checkout and payment process shorter than on desktop.

 

An app can be a good idea

 

If you can run an appropriate awareness campaign for your own ecommerce app, then you may give it a serious thought to have one created. It shouldn’t just be a selling platform, but a great marketing tool as well.

 

You can

  • send push notifications reaching the user any time you’d like,
  • promote your pieces of content,
  • create a kind of a loyalty programme, based on a shopping game with rewards at different shopping stages for example.

 

It may well worth the effort to create your app or selling your products or services through an existing one because according to recent stats 54% of mobile users make their purchases with an app.

 

Filter strongly who you send push notifications to

 

You can send push notifications via your web page as well, you do not need to use an app for that. It can be a good way to reach out to your cart abandoners, since they show a significant level of commitment if they approve push notifications from you.

But you should not target everybody.

It’s worth segmenting carefully because if you send messages to the user’s mobile, may this be very effective in reaching the user, it is a very direct and personal way of communication that can, in fact, alienate many people.

Therefore push notifications may work well with those that have already shown proof of a strong purchase intent:

  • they already viewed a dozen products before adding one to the cart,
  • they spent a considerable amount of time browsing on a specific product or category page,
  • they search for something for a long time,
  • they stopped the process of purchasing something of large value,
  • they added more than one product to the cart.

 

In such cases, sending a notification is justifiable because you may well assume that the purchase process was interrupted because of some external factor.

It is very likely in the case of mCommerce, as basically anything can draw the user’s attention away from their smartphone, e.g. they started a purchase on the train, but arrived in the meantime to their destination and just forgot about closing the transaction.

 

Make your timing perfect

 

We use our desktop and mobile devices in different ways for consuming content and shopping.

When reaching out to your shopper, in the case of desktop, being fast can be a good idea (mentioned in the section about remarketing), but with mobile devices you may hold your action a little.

If we examine Google’s Micro-Moments concept, we see that users generally take separate, smaller actions on their mobile, many times just driven by their instinct.

They usually don’t go all the way along the shopping process, at times they don’t even remember how they got to a certain point, and they also tend to start something purely in a random manner.

Just the same, they can stop doing something randomly, probably because in the meantime they get interrupted by something that seems more important to pay attention to. These can be very simple things like arriving at somewhere, lunchtime is over, the kids started to play with the car or you need to check in for your flight.

In such cases it is needless to send a push notification right away telling them they suspended their purchase process and the products are still there in the cart.

So it’s a good idea to wait for approx. 24-48 hours before calling gently their attention to the fact that their selected products are still there in the cart.

How to find the most suitable time to do that?

Try to collect as much data as possible on your shoppers: their daily routine, what they do for a living, what hobbies they have etc. Using A/B testing, define the best times for sending out push notifications.

Leanplum suggests that only by fine tuning the timing of push notifications, revenue can rise by 15% per user.

You can find further information on this topic in our article about segmentation.

 

“If only one basket of dirt is missing…”

…construction will fail.” says a Chinese proverb.

Luckily it is not so with ecommerce : )

One single abandoned cart doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. On the contrary, it may give you a good opportunity.

Every single e-merchant has issues with shopping cart abandonment. You can beat your competitors by fighting and beating cart abandonment.

Experts say that by 2020 only 1 out of 10 online purchase attempts will be closed with an actual purchase. Of course, along with that, overall ecommerce turnover, the number of purchases and average cart value will increase as well.

If you reach out to your cart abandoners in the right time and the right way, you can grow your income and if you pay special attention to mCommerce as well, your chances for success are even higher.

It’s not only the trends that you have to keep an eye on – you should learn the ins and outs of online marketing to face this challenge, but it will well worth the effort.

Save this article or print it out, follow the steps we’ve described, browse this blog further and make yourself an outstanding e-merchant.

 

 

Instagram Marketing Strategy: How to Make More Sales in 5 Steps?

The days when Instagram was the home of selfies and food photos only, are long gone now.

You can’t imagine how you could be efficiently present on such an interface as an online store operator?

No problem, that’s exactly why we prepared this article.

Here you can learn everything about how you should start building your Instagram profile, how to make guides to the posts, how to organize your activities, even what at all (and when) you should post.

We’ll show you a set of valuable tools that will make you an expert at using Instagram, with analytics and with thinking ahead.

 

In the following we’ll talk about the below topics:

  • How effective is Instagram in selling?
  • 1) Build and optimize your profile
    • Have a good profile photo
    • Write a good introduction
    • Link one of your relevant pages
  • 2) Post pieces of content!
    • First step: analyze your competitors
    • Second step: choose the visuals
    • Third step: post regularly
    • Use the hashtags
    • When to post?
    • Combine your feed and email
  • 3) Run advertisements
  • 4) Find content ideas. A little help:
    • Storytelling
    • Be creative
    • User generated content
    • Behind the scenes…
    • Live streams
    • Introduce influencers
    • Organize prize competitions
  • 5) Automate what you can, organize everything else
  • Never use stock photos
  • You can do this

 

How effective is Instagram in selling?

 

According to the data of L2, among all of the social media sites, the proportion of the browsing visitors converting into customers is the highest on Instagram.

In addition, the potential clients are also more willing to deal with the brands than on other platforms.

90% of the biggest brands of the world operate an Instagram profile. They don’t need to grab every tool they can, they use it simply because it’s really efficient.

 

It’s no wonder: 60% of the platform’s users learn about new products, new offers from here, and 75% of them are even encouraged to take some actions because of those (even if not necessarily to purchase but to share or to browse further).

 

According to Statista, as of September 2017, the number of monthly active Instagram users is 800 million globally. And it seems this number will grow further on at a rapid pace.

You can see now that you simply can’t leave Instagram out of your social media marketing strategy.

Or if you do so, your competitors will take advantage of all the opportunities you’ve left untouched.

 

1 ‒ Build and optimize your profile

 

The first step is that you make your potential customers follow you at all.

In order to direct them to your profile from other interfaces, you have to be a brand that’s most probably worth following on this interface in the first place.

However, most brands don’t put enough energy into the maintenance of their profiles.

This is what you should pay attention to:

 

Have a good profile photo

 

Your logo for example should work fine, most companies choose that.

Message match is excellent, it’s easily recognizable – if you don’t choose your logo, it still should be some kind of an image that can be easily linked to your brand.

You will also make your visitors become more committed like this – the average users come across a brand seven times before converting. And seeing the logo, the brand more frequently, will help them on that path.

 

Write a good introduction

 

Fill in the bio part as well: it should be clear from the text who you are exactly, what you’re dealing with, and the style should match the style of your brand’s overall communication.

You may as well include some major values in your introduction, moreover, you can even use emojis if you see fit. These are especially capable of capturing attention.

When choosing the name, you should make sure to select something that can be found easily: the user name should preferably match the brand’s name, or it should be similar to it as much as possible.

If it’s long or complicated, you can make it shorter, of course.

 

Link one of your relevant pages

 

You have the chance to redirect your followers to a given page from your profile.

In order to decide which one you should redirect them to, you have to ask yourself the following question: what would I like the visitors of my profile to do?

Obviously, it would be best if they purchased something from you right away, but that’s unlikely to happen.

On the other hand, if you have a blog posting interesting pieces of content, or a video channel for that matter, feel free to direct them to those.

For example, here you can see the links inserted in La Sportiva’s bio:

 

instagram marketing strategy bio

 

2 ‒ Post pieces of content!

 

You continuously have to pay attention to the content that you publish – they should preferably transmit the same visual elements, the same message.

But this is too important a question than to leave it just like that, so let’s see in detail what you have to do.

 

First step: Analyze your competitors

 

At first you should examine who, among your competitors, are active on Instagram, and what kind of content they post.

Analyze who the most successful are among them, and which of their pieces of content resonate most with the audience.

It’s also worth finding out how they direct the audience to their Instagram profile.

From a webpage, from Facebook, or from a newsletter for instance? Do they manage to recruit the appropriate audience with their technique?

In case you don’t have any competitors, monitor similar companies that operate on similar markets.

Follow them as well. They don’t necessarily have to be your direct competitors in order to learn a couple of useful practices from them.

By now, you may already have a set of ideas, however, your content has to be unique.

You want to stand out from the crowd.

In order to achieve this, you should follow a different path that also fits in the communication of your company.

 

Second step: choose the visuals

 

It’s aesthetics that’s most important on Instagram.

If people get to your profile and see that you upload confusing and chaotic images that don’t have much in common, they differ in style, in message, in meaning, there’s a great chance that they won’t follow you.

You have to maintain a stable standard, and you need to find your own style to be able to do that.

Choose the colours (color theory can help you with that, which we have already written about in detail earlier), the filters, decide what kind of photos you’ll upload, what kind of content you’ll share.

Whoever opens your profile, should experience this style in the very first moment.

 

instagram marketing strategy colors visuals

 

If your brand has an already established image, you shouldn’t have major difficulties creating this.

You should elaborate a branding guide that will help you in your work (or the work of the social media manager responsible for Instagram for that matter) in the future.

This should include the following:

  • What type of photos should you post? What should figure on them and what shouldn’t?
  • What kind of visual appearance do you want, what kind of filters do you use?
  • What colours do you work with?
  • Images of what sizes do you upload? (1080 x 1080 pixels is the recommended size.)
  • What kind of fonts do you use in the images?

 

Third step: post regularly

 

In your Instagram marketing, just like in case of all of your communication channels, you’ll have to find the frequency that’s not yet annoying but which ensures continuous presence for you.

The biggest brands post on average 1 or 2 times a day.

 

tips What to post? : The sports brands for example usually work with some inspirational content, for other users quotations, posts about entertaining everyday life, or even educational content may work. Begin with the types of your posts that are the most successful on other social interfaces, and visually transfer the spirit of those to Instagram.

 

It’s also important that you don’t forget the analytics. Iconosquare is a great tool for the analysis of Instagram. With the use of this, you’ll get a better insight of whether you’re going in the right direction.

 

You’ll have to monitor the following aspects in the first place:

  • Which are the most successful posts
  • Which trigger the most interactions
  • How many followers do you gain or lose within a given time period

 

You should get the useful data in an easily understandable way on the interface, then you can fine-tune posting based on those.

You can prepare monthly reports and you can analyze the individual posts.

You’ll receive data on how you can optimize (for example what kind of filters are worthwhile for you to use), and you can gain quite useful data on your followers as well.

After a couple of months of posting, when your follower basis is big enough, these data will be very useful.

You can automate your posting with the help of different tools, see section 5 to see them.

 

Use hashtags

 

The best way to increase your visibility on Instagram is with the use of hashtags (besides entangling users with larger follower basis, but we’ll discuss that later).

 

instagram marketing strategy hashtags

 

No matter how good content you publish, your audience will not find those by themselves, unless you use the appropriate tags, because the users search for preferred pieces of content and profiles based on those.

 

Why do they work so well? Because Instagram’s search engine is used extensively. Obviously, you should analyze which hashtags are worth using in a given field – there are free online tools for that, which work similarly to as if you were using keyword research. You enter a keyword and the service offers you a set of relevant hashtags that will bring you higher visibility.

 

Don’t use only the popular hashtags. Use the names of your brands as well, and create new hashtags that your audience will be able to use later.

When you organize some kind of a game or an event, in other words, if there are some topicalities that can be tied to you, try to spread these and that will also increase your visibility and the commitment of your audience.

Iconosquare is a great tool for that, especially that it can be used with free registration as well.

 

When to post?

 

Iconosquare’s data will precisely show that to you, still, we can present you some findings based on the general statistics that you can start working with.

The most active period is the weekend, from Friday until Sunday. And the most active period within the day is at around 5 p.m. This shows that Instagram is most busy after working hours.

 

But you’ll have to test your own audience yourself: if you target young people specifically, or members of a given profession, you may as well get completely different data than these.

 

Combine your feed and email

 

If you combine email marketing with your live Instagram feed, you can boost your overall conversion.

There are a couple of ways to do that.

 

Feature the latest content of your followers in your newsletter or email offer.

Hyatt did this in one of its email campaigns with the line “See how others make the most @Hyatt”.

At the bottom part of the email message you could see the latest images uploaded by the guests of Hyatt.

This is a perfect example for social proof where user generated content helps drive engagement and conversions.

 

 

hyatt-email-campaign

 

Build your email list via Instagram

Start sending out email newsletters. Don’t let your potential customers, i.e. your followers, pass by your offers. Reach out to them via email as well.

If you already have a follower base, it’s worth building your email list by setting up an email sign up page. Insert the sign up link into your Instagram bio so that your form is easily accessible for users.

Now you can send out your newsletters and special offers. Don’t underestimate the power of email marketing. It’s still the best converting online marketing tool out there.

 

3 ‒ Instagram Advertising

 

Fortunately, owners of the platform realized early on how great a tool they had created for online merchants.

For this very reason, they introduced Instagram advertisements, which have ever since been quite efficient in increasing visibility, generating traffic and collecting leads.

It’s also an important fact that while the users of Facebook and of other social networking sites become immune to advertisements with time (which is why native pieces of content are increasingly popular on Facebook currently), no major signs of this are seen on Instagram.

The reason for this is that the emphasis here is still on creativity, on aesthetics, yet on interfaces where photos are posted, those who post (and advertise) relevant and good pieces of content can be identified at the very first moment.

 

instagram marketing strategy advertising

 

In order to achieve success, your Instagram advertising and Instagram promotion goals have to be clearly defined.

 

These may typically be the following:

  • Directing traffic to the webpage
  • Having mobile applications downloaded and installed
  • Having videos viewed
  • Increase of a post’s reach
  • Conversion on the webpage (in case of product advertisement)
  • Increasing visibility

 

You can see that Instagram, and advertising on it, is suitable not only for simple brand building but for direct selling as well.

 

By the way, there are three types of these advertisements:

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel

 

The last is less recommended, because the message intended to reach the user when using a carousel is typically not focused enough, however, it’s still more efficient on Instagram than if you placed one on your webpage.

(We’ve already written a thorough analysis of that, we strongly recommend reading it.)

 

tips It’s best to have a completely focused message:  You present a single product (even if you use a carousel, you present the same product, only in different ways), you use a single, very specific call-to-action, and the link takes those who are interested directly to the product page.

 

The first step of optimization in ecommerce is always to get rid of the annoying factors that may discourage customers from converting.

If you advertise several products at the same time, or if the CTA is either too general or not clear enough, any of those can quite significantly reduce the conversion rate, especially on an interface as simple as Instagram by default.

Speaking of simplicity: make purchasing from you as easy as possible.

If the purpose of a given piece of content is in fact to make people get to your product page and buy the product, you should make sure to eliminate all unnecessary steps.

In case you have a specific offer, the link (simple, preferably shortened and customized) mentioned in the bio (introduction) should lead to a very simple landing page with a specific message, where the users will find the same message as they did in the advertisement, and of course the same visual elements as well. (In this case, message match is of vital importance in terms of visual elements as well.)

 

4 ‒ Find content ideas. Here’s a little help.

 

We are sharing some general advice with you right away, before giving you any hints.Don’t try to sell immediately on Instagram: don’t post images, photos with your product in them simply in front of a plain white background.

Place it in some kind of a real-life situation, present how it makes the life of the customers easier, how it’s made, how it’s used, what problems can be solved by using it, and so on. Selling can come after that.

 

Storytelling

 

Introduce an evangelist, a loyal customer who succeeded in solving one of his problems with your help. Or introduce someone who works for you.

Present the important (and interesting) milestones of the company’s history.

It’s the story that’s important: storytelling is one of the most powerful weapons in your hand.

 

instagram marketing strategy story telling

 

Let the users feel that they have something to do with the story, that they could even be its star, because that’s what you can create subconscious connection, sympathy with.

You can also mention and tag influencers and celebrities in your stories.

You can also use Instagram Stories. They’re a great way to draw your followers’ attention to some of your actions, as they are always at the top of the news feeds.

Instagram Stories let you post creatively, using text and drawing tools. But beware that they will disappear after 24 hours and won’t show in your feed.

 

Set free your creativity

 

Think about how creative solutions can be realized with the help of your products.

How can they be used “unintended”, how can that be made interesting?

If you can’t invent something like that yourself, ask your audience. Or you can organize a game for that purpose (more about that later).

Ask them to send in creative photos and display those on your interface together with their stories.

And that brings us to another type…

 

User generated content

 

Social media content, created by your users, for free.

It plays a major role, as the audience loves when you provide them the opportunity to play, to appear, to show off.

And it brings you free content and very high reach, since everyone is happy to share such posts.

Of course, the posts have to have something to do with you.

The brand, your products should be included in them somehow, so that those who come across them know that they are related to you, as this is how you’ll benefit from it even more (in addition to it facilitating the commitment of your already existing audience).

 

Behind the scenes…

 

How is the daily work going on at your company?

Yes, you’ll have to tell a story about that as well, but you may as well do something interesting in addition: you can provide insight into workflow processes and events, which your audience could not see otherwise.

You allow exclusive experience like that, and make your brand closer and more informal to them, as you reveal your “secrets”.

That’s a great tool for trust building.

 

instagram marketing strategy behind scenes

 

Live streams

 

You organized an event? Or you’re simply participating in one?

Introducing your brand new product?

That’s a perfect opportunity to turn your audience on.

The reason why live streams are so popular is that because a lot of people who don’t go in person to such an event, would like to be present in mind and spirit, or at least learn about the most interesting happenings.

Use Instagram Live and share your live video content with your followers.

Obviously, you should make sure it’s a relevant event, which has the most chance of capturing their attention. It’s also recommended spreading the word of your live event way before it takes place.

 

Involve influencers

 

Influencers can help you immensely to boost your brand awareness, sales, website traffic, or promotional campaigns.

Since they already have a huge audience, partnering with them can be extremely profitable, especially if they truly like what you’re doing.

It’s not by chance that influencer marketing is so efficient on Instagram: followers of the various celebrities can get incredibly enthusiastic when they see their heroes somewhere.

Here are some ways to work with influencers including some inspiring examples.

 

Introducing influencers

This is practically the same category as interviews on blogs.

Take an influencer with a lot of followers, who is also interesting for you, and present him/her in your feed in a way that the piece of content is connected to you as well.

They will also be happy to share these, and your audience will be enthusiastic about them.

 

Involving a popular photographer

Quality content is guarenteed when you ask a professional photographer to help you. And if he/she is popular as well, you can extend your audience remarkably.

Bonobos, a fashion brand, asked Foster Huntington to promote their summer collection. One of the platforms they used was Instagram, of course.

Foster was already very popular posting his own photos and videos. He took lifestyle shots for Bobobos and posted these in his feed, achieving a ton of views, shares, and likes.

The whole social media campaign proved to be big success increasing Bonobos’ average engagement rate by 300%.

 

instagram campaign bonobo

 

 

Organize contests

 

Instagram is an excellent platform for organizing different prize competitions.

 

There are multiple reasons for that:

  • You can perfectly promote it with influencer marketing.
  • Reach of user generated content is huge.
  • You can present the prizes straight away.

 

instagram marketing strategy contests

 

Of course, before starting organizing, you should set your specific goals, and formulate your call accordingly, in a very precise way.

 

What would you like to achieve?

  • To direct users to your product page or landing page?
  • To have more followers?
  • To reach more people?
  • To make one of your hashtags spread all over?

 

It’s also important what you offer in return.

The present should be valuable enough to make the users start posting or sending in pieces of content that can be associated with your brand, you’ll have to reward their efforts.

 

tips Tips: Exclusive products of limited edition, last pieces, prizes that relate to celebrities and influencers will work well for example.

 

Don’t forget to reward the participants either: at least you should republish the best posts, introduce and celebrate the winner, ask questions from him, post as he receives the prize – use the power of storytelling.

A great tool, Wishpond can make organizing the competition for you a lot easier.

By using hashtags, you can follow the potential winners, the winner among the posted images may be the one that receives the most likes on your Facebook page or even your webpage. (Like this, you can easily promote the game for higher reach on other interfaces as well.)

 

5 ‒ Automate what you can, organize everything else

 

Since you have to continuously provide high quality content, posting daily can become quite exhausting.

Sometimes you forget it, sometimes you don’t have anything to publish, or you run out of ideas…

So it’s a good thing to always make enough pieces of content in order to set up a reserve for such cases.

 

tips Tip: Open Canva and start creating pieces of content based on the predefined hashtags.

Take the photos made by a professional photographer or those among the product photos and other snapshots that are good enough to use them on Instagram, then change them to match the profile’s spirit.

 

You can even preschedule your posts you prepared in advance, and thus you can automate your posting activity.

Applications like Later or Buffer will make your life easier.

As we have already mentioned, regularity is quite important. For this reason, a content calendar is never a bad idea.

Adjust posting frequency to your capacity. E.g. if you can create only 8 posts a month, spread them out evenly, like two posts a week.

It’s worth varying the content types described above: ten product photos should not come one after the other, the different categories should vary at an enjoyable pace, so that you serve the needs of every member of your audience.

Interactions are also important: Instagram is a social networking platform after all.

You’ll have to answer the messages and comments here, too, just like you have to do so on Facebook.

Of course, not 24 hours a day – you should rather organize this activity, choose 30 minutes within the day when you deal only with responding to the reactions and answers that came in.

Thus you’ll “move” your brand closer to the audience, you’ll show your human face and will make them more committed.

The Letsell.It application represents a sort of bypass.

Even though Instagram API doesn’t support automated posting, you can still advertise your products through this application.

In exchange for a small fee, you can reach an audience through them, who you were unable to get to earlier.

It’s also a useful function for chatting with your customers, which will lead to higher conversion as it improves user experience.

 

Never use stock photos

 

If you want to be successful with your Instagram marketing strategy, you should forget about using photos from stock image sites.

It’s the unique and relevant pieces of content that are successful on Instagram.

 

tips Tip: Just like in case of the photos displayed on the product pages, here I also advise you to hire a professional photographer if necessary.

It will be more expensive, but the results will justify that the unique and high quality images perform better and make more profit for you.

(By the way, hiring a professional photographer is not at all as expensive as you would think so. By calculating with 1 or 2 posts a day, you can have content of even several months created relatively cheaply, provided you prepare everything right for the shooting in advance.

 

Stock photos represent one thing to your audience: that you weren’t willing to invest any energy into showing the best visual content you can on an interface where that’s all that matters in the first place. Why would they follow you then?

 

You can do this

If you use all these tips, you won’t have difficulties in creating a great Instagram profile, and building not only your brand but increasing your income as well.

The key, like many times, is simplicity:

Once you’ve laid down some ground rules, the rest will almost take care of itself.

Follow our pieces of advice and tips, use the tools mentioned here, exploit the various content types, and I guarantee you’ll become a more successful e-merchant.

 

 

eDM Marketing: Definition, Mistakes to Avoid and 3 Indicators You Need to Watch

First, we define eDM, then give useful advice regarding legal requirements. We give a step by step introduction to each important stage of an email’s journey: from clicking “send” to its final destination, a conversion. We will also discuss some important statistics of KPIs using Signup.to’s research.

 

Let’s begin! What are we going to talk about?

 

  • What is eDM?
  • What to pay attention to when sending an eDM and how to avoid being blacklisted?
  • How an eDM gets to the user?
  • Delivering the email
  • Opening the email
  • Clicking on a CTA button and/or link
  • Unsubscribing from the email
  • Conclusion

 

In today’s digital age, there’s nothing extraordinary in receiving daily promotional emails.

You must be familiar with this situation so you know exactly what it’s like to be on the receiver’s end.

 

 

What is eDM?

 

Electronic Direct Marketing: is basically sending marketing, advertising or business information materials to a group of people using email.

In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.

In legal terms, generally the following applies:

An advertisement could be anything containing the company’s name, logo, or activity that incites people to buy their products or services, or aims to gain more popularity. Emails, e-brochures, presentation materials, images, information about promotions, sales, sweepstakes, games, gifts, discounts, coupons, new products or services all qualify as eDM.

 

eDM materials can only be sent if the receiver has voluntarily agreed in advance.

 

It is important to note that in case there’s no identifiable person behind the email address (e.g. [email protected]) it is allowed to send promotional messages without prior consent.

 

What to pay attention to when sending an eDM and how to avoid being blacklisted?

 

Now that we know what eDM means, we can talk about sending it correctly.

There are conditions you must take into account carefully.

 

tips First and foremost: always ask for permission before sending an eDM (e.g. from newsletter subscribers). If you skip this step, you can be fined or even be sentenced to jail.

 

Let’s take a look at a few situations where we (as senders) don’t play by the rules:

  • the checkbox for consent is automatically ticked in
  • no comprehensive terms and conditions provided for the user
  • unsubscribing is too difficult and circumstantial (e.g. requires personal attendance)
  • subscribing is a requirement for using an application or a game

 

How an eDM gets to the user?

 

Let’s think of an email as if it is a train. If, for any reason, it fails to get to the next station, reaching the remaining stages will be impossible. Let’s consider this in the case of emails:

  • if the problem occurs with the delivery, the user won’t be able to open it
  • if they can’t open it, they won’t see its content and won’t be able to click on the CTA button and/or link
  • in the absence of a click, the desired interaction won’t take place either so the user won’t see the content intended for them

 

The next section will look into these stages in detail.

We present the statistics of each station (with the help of KPIs) and based our statements on Signup.to’s findings, who sent more than a billion emails during their research. This is a big enough number to draw relevant conclusions from with regards to emails.

 

Delivering the email

 

Not every email reaches its destination.

According to the research, 98.26% get to the addressee’s mailbox, the rest miss it for some reason. There can be different reasons in the background:

  • not the correct email address
  • the user has unsubscribed
  • the recipient’s mailbox is full
  • the sender’s IP address shows up as spam

In these cases, we get an error message from our email sending software so that we can identify the reason the email was rejected. We call these phenomena bounces. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Recipient Bounce: the email address is wrong, misspelled, or doesn’t exist
  • Content Bounce: the receiving email client (Mailbox, Gmail) deems it undesirable
  • Reputation Bounce: the email system or the internet provider labels you as an untrustworthy source so you can’t send your message / it ends up in the spam folder
  • Temporary Bounce: for some reason you cannot send your email for a certain amount of time

 

Opening the email

 

According to the research, only 24.88% of the addressees open the email.

KPI in this case: open rate.

 

What to pay attention to?

  • the email should have the recipient’s name in it
  • the email should be personalized in nature

 

According to the research, personalized emails achieve better results.

 

Two things to underline this:

  • in the case of general, standard, non-personalized emails, open rate is only 15.03% and only 1.13% clicked on the link inside
  • in the case of personalized emails, with content relevant to the user, open rate is 56.43% and the rate for opening the link is 31.13%

 

You’ve noticed a significant difference, right?

 

In order to remain competitive, you have to forget non-personalized emails!

You should pay attention to sending emails with different content to people on different levels of the sales funnel (depending on the extent of their interest/commitment).

 

tips Example: A bulk email is enough for those who subscribed for blog post notifications (low level of commitment). However, for those who are about to make purchases, personalized messages are more effective.

 

Clicking on a CTA button and/or link

 

Each email sent during the survey contained a link. Clicking on it took users to landing pages. Let’s look at the data!

 

Of the more than a billion recipients, 3.42% clicked on the link.

The KPI in this case was the click through rate.

The dropout rate is huge here too. Of the users who opened the email, 10.88% clicked on the link. Here, the KPI is the unique click through rate.

 

At this stage, the user gets a step closer to making a conversion. How can we formulate these steps to make as many users proceed on the sales funnel as possible?

 

Unsubscribing from the email

 

Our KPI here is the unsubscribe rate.

During the survey, the unsubscribe rate was the following: of all the people receiving the email, 0.52% unsubscribed. Of the people opening the email, 2.72% ended up unsubscribing.

Change is constant.

So the preference system of subscribed users also changes.

It can happen that something really grabs the user’s attention but it can also become completely irrelevant soon. If you detect an unsubscription, try to find the reason behind it and it can help improving the content and the structure of the newsletter. It might be worth looking at when the users subscribed or when they last received an email from you.

To succeed, it is crucial to have a responsive landing page, optimized for different mobile devices ‒ e.g. tablet, smartphone. It should be noted that in 2011, 27% of people opened emails on a mobile device. Now that number is 54.59% and further increase is predicted, so it’s time to prepare.

You’ve already made the necessary steps, right?

 

Conclusion

We hope that we managed to reach our goals set in the beginning of the article: introduce electronic direct marketing to you, define it, and draw attention to potential sources of problems as well as KPIs in connection with it.

 

 

Ecommerce Stats: Hard Facts You Can Use to Boost Conversion in 2017 [+INFOGRAPHIC]

It’s not only your numbers you need to know in order to have a rock solid strategy.

You have to think ahead in ecommerce: you need to know the trends, the benchmarks, the most recent industrial statistics to be able not only to maintain growth but also to realize how you can outstrip your competitors.

 

We’re going to talk about the following:

  • The turnover of online commerce is steeply increasing
  • Average conversion and efficiency of the channels
    • How do the channels perform?
    • Mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop
    • Why do people switch to desktop when making the purchase?
    • Increasing risks
    • Segmenting conversion
  • How can you increase conversion (according to the statistics)?
    • The importance of communication
    • That’s why it’s worth tying the customer to you
    • A little help with segmentation
    • Why is social media important for you?
    • Why do people abandon the cart in your shop?
    • Is email your most powerful tool?
  • How to interpret the numbers?

 

The turnover of online commerce is steeply increasing

 

At the end of 2016 there are 3.7 billion internet users in the world, which means that approx. 50% of the total population have access to online services. More than 1 billion of them have already purchased products or services on the internet. (Furthermore, according to Invesp’s data, 80% of the online population have already used the internet to buy something, 50% of them did that more than once.)

The global turnover of ecommerce amounted to 1.55 trillion dollars already in 2015, in 2016 on the other hand, according to the Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales: The eMarketer Forecast for 2016 report it can reach even $1.9 trillion – which forecasts a 23.7% growth.

The trend is not going to break in the future either. According to the analysts, a global ecommerce turnover of $3.4 trillion is expected for 2019 and that of $4 trillion for 2020, obviously, mainly at the expense of brick-and-mortar stores.

 

Average conversion and efficiency of the channels

 

The database of Compass includes the data of merchants realizing a turnover of 13 billion dollars out of the global turnover of the ecommerce sector. The most recent 2016 data show that the average conversion rate in ecommerce is currently 1.33%.

This proportion is significantly higher in case of the best performing 10% with an average conversion of 3.6%.

 

How do the channels perform?

 

The analysis of the sources of the turnover also highlighted interesting facts.

One is in connection with organic turnover: while the average conversion rate is below the average (1.18%) here as well, it jumps above it (3.7%) in the best performing 10%. In case of direct turnover, the average is close to the average CR (1.46%), but this source of turnover performs highly better (3.98%) in the “elite group” here as well.

However, the most outstanding is still email.

Both on average and in case of the best online stores, the newsletters resulted in almost three times as high a conversion rate as the average CR: 3.84 and 9.89 percent, respectively.

This also proves that email is still the most powerful weapon in the hands of online marketing professionals, it simply cannot be left out of a well-built strategy, as you can count on a huge return if you use it.

Looking at the conversion rates on average, obviously doesn’t provide much substantial information. It reflects the effectiveness of the channels well, but the proportion of conversion of the various audiences on the individual markets depends on a lot of variables.

It depends on the product type, the campaign, the specific offer, the type of the audience, and so on.

 

According to another resource, the average conversion rates are the following:

  • 1% in case of new visitors
  • 5% in case of returning visitors
  • And the cart abandonment rate is 71.3%

 

This also shows how much even the surveys working with large samples and population can differ from each other. You can find somewhat different numbers at BigCommerce as well, the average conversion rate is between 2 and 3 percent according to their measurements.

 

Mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop

 

We can’t avoid looking at the individual types of devices one by one – the revolution, by the end of which mobile devices will dominate almost every field, is currently ongoing, regarding most of the metrics they have already swept the desktop from its throne, even if only marginally.

In 2016 the average conversion rates were the following.

In case of products cheaper than 100 dollars:

  • mobile 1.96%
  • tablet 2.72%
  • desktop 3.99%

 

In case of products priced between 100 and 175 dollars:

  • mobile 1.15%
  • tablet 2.25%
  • desktop 2.89%

 

In case of products more expensive than 175 dollars:

  • mobile 1.14%
  • tablet 1.73%
  • desktop 2.42%

 

It’s quite clear that the conversion rates in case of mobile still don’t really come close to those in case desktop computers, even though there’s no major reason for that nowadays, when everyone browses products and online shops on their mobiles.

 

The problem is rather that the merchants can’t keep up: newer and newer technologies keep emerging that also influence the mobile purchasing behaviour, however, building them into the purchasing process takes time. The majority of the merchants can react only within months or even years, and there are a shockingly lot of people who don’t even try to pick up the pace.

 

There are still some serious problems in the field of mobile optimization, despite the fact that today this is a primary criterion in the searches. Many web pages are still unable to load within 2 seconds, even though the majority of the users think they shouldn’t wait any longer than that for a web page to appear on their mobile.

If it takes only a second longer for your web page to load, the conversion can immediately drop by 7%, and if it takes more than 3 seconds in total for your page to load, you’ve already lost 40% of the visitors. On the other hand, if you decrease the load speed of the page from 8 to 2 seconds, you can increase conversion by 74%.

Only the fact that the web pages load slowly, results in an estimated loss of 500 billion dollars for the American ecommerce sector. It’s true that this is not always up to the online store, many times the hosting service provider simply can’t serve the increased traffic properly.

 

Why do people switch to desktop when making a purchase?

 

A report of Adobe Mobile highlights why exactly a lot of customers rather switch to desktop to make the purchase – namely, why they start the process on mobile and then finish it on desktop instead.

30% of them do so because they can use the given page more easily, can navigate on it more simply on desktop. In case of 26% of them, wanting to view the images in a bigger size (on a bigger screen) plays an important factor in the shift. By the way, this also shows how important high quality images are. Further 16% of them is less willing to purchase from the mobile because they can provide the payment information on the desktop more easily.

According to the data of Custora Ecommerce Pulse the share of desktop decreased by 5 percent (from 72 to 67 percent) between 2015 and 2016, while mobile increased from 18% to 24%. The trend is quite clear, still, even in case of such a spectacular growth it’s obvious that most of the e-merchants are unprepared, they don’t serve the needs of the users on the small screen.

Those who visit an ecommerce store on mobile, typically do that with a weaker purchase intention than those who do this from desktop. (you can read about segmentation based on intention in this earlier article.)

 

It makes sense, since people use their mobile rather for browsing, searching: when they have a free moment they remember to check out how much a given product costs, or perhaps to get to know more about something they saw on the street or in a commercial. They collect information but are not yet ready for an immediate purchase.

 

In the near future, the fact that a great number of online shops start using shorter and simpler checkout processes, thus improving the user experience, is what may have the biggest effect on this trend.

 

Increasing risks in ecommerce

 

Parallel to ecommerce playing an increasingly important role in the world economy, you obviously need to take new risks into account. Online stores need to pay special attention to security, to building a trustworthy brand, say the analysts of Rippleshot, since there are more and more web pages that try to get some money by misusing the data of the customers purchasing from mobile.

Although the technology for safe payment is already available, biometric scanning for example can be found in most new smart phones, the users are not really willing to use these for the time being.

Frauds are working with more and more sophisticated techniques, they hide in applications that help them obtain passwords, take people’s money, and they also take advantage of the fact that the majority of the users are not cautious enough while using their mobile.

For these reasons, operators of ecommerce stores have to pay special attention to make sure that the users consider them trustworthy.

Besides providing secure payment methods, this can be ensured by continuous two-way communication and transparency, and the availability of proper information concerning the ordering process.

 

Segmenting conversion

 

If you want to understand better how the different user groups use your online shop, you have to apply segmentation during the analytics process. We’ve already written in detail about segmentation, therefore, the only thing we are now going to review is which main groups you should study in order to be able to begin optimization.

First of all, you need to know how big the average conversion among the new, the returning and the registered customers in your ecommerce store is.

 

tips Tip: After this, you should examine how the different sources of traffic perform – how efficient, for example, Facebook or Instagram is, what proportion of those visitors purchase who found you using organic search etc.

 

Of course it’s worth examining the searches separately as well, you need to know for which keywords and search terms your shop is found (this will help you have more efficient SEO and will also help with advertisements).

Also monitor how the individual product categories perform. You don’t have to be discouraged because of a lower conversion rate either: if the conversion is only half in case of a ten times more expensive product, your revenues will still be higher.

Finally, you’ll certainly have to study how the individual campaigns performed, e.g.:

  • periodic promotions,
  • special events,
  • product launches,
  • the campaigns specifically targeted to the individual channels, etc.

 

It’s worthwhile for you to review these data at least once in a quarter, and to further fine-tune your strategy based on that.

 

Now let’s see the infographic in which we highlight those figures that are of high importance when creating your business startegy for next year: 

 

ecommerce stats

 

Cool infographic, isn’t it?

If you find it useful, please share it by clicking on one of the social site icons.

Which figure is most amazing to you? Write your comment at the end. Thanks!

 

How can you increase conversion (according to the statistics)?

 

One of the best techniques with which you can persuade many people into purchasing is to offer free delivery. Even if you calculate it into your prices, simply offering free delivery will encourage 9 out of 10 users to purchase.

Personalized offers are of vital importance – both inside and outside the online shop, that’s why it’s essential that you use retargeting properly. Statistics show that by making personalized offers to your audience you may increase the average conversion rate on average 5.5 times over.

According to the British statistics, approximately one third of the customers mentioned visibility of the brand (34%) and social interactions (38%) as the reasons for shopping in a given ecommerce store.

 

The importance of communication

 

The importance of communication is also represented in the surveys of Nielsen-McKinsey, according to which 17% of the consumers would recommend a brand specifically because it efficiently helps them in solving a problem – even if it does that slowly.

At the same time, 33% of them would also recommend a brand that responds quickly, but the provided solution is not necessarily effective. With the quick responses you can present yourself as being helpful, however, in the long run you may end up better off striving for efficiency, because like that, you can more easily educate return customers who trust you more. (Yet, obtaining a new customer will cost you 5 to 25 times more than persuading a loyal one into anotherpurchase.)

The image you show about yourself and what your customer service is like, may influence significantly how much people like shopping in your store – which is especially important, because nowadays, 40% of the customers check 3 or even more shops out when they want to buy something. According to 73% of them, it’s friendly communication and helpful customer service, and according to 55% of them, it’s readily available information is what helps them choose a given brand during online shopping.

 

And what should you do about those who have already purchased from you earlier but had a negative experience?You have to pay special attention to your customer service.

First of all: if a customer doesn’t get enough help, it’s 4 times more likely that he will purchase from your competitor in the end. However, if you are capable of solving their complaints effectively, 70% of them will be willing to return to you and buy from you again.

Furthermore, they are even willing to pay for a better customer service: 86% of the customers are willing to purchase at a higher price (even by 25%) in an online shop in exchange for a better user experience, the big proportion of which is the result of the kind of information they are provided with, and of how helpful you are with them.

 

That’s why it’s worth tying the customer to you

 

The best technique you can follow is not trying to reach new customers, but paying special attention to keeping the old ones.

But at the same time, you should also monitor the cart value: according to McKinsey, on the American market the average cart value in case of the first purchase is 24.5 dollars, the returning customers on the other hand spend an average 52.5 dollars per purchase in your store.

(You should use RFM segmentation that we mentioned in our article on segmentation. By using that, you can learn how often the returning customers purchase from you again, and you can develop more effective campaigns to address them.)

The various loyalty programmes work quite well for example, if you want people to spend more in your shop: customers, who are part of such programmes, spend on average 13% more than those who are not members.

  • You don’t necessarily need to think of offering discounts in these cases: sometimes it’s also enough if you come up with exclusive content, if you make certain pieces of content available for only the members, and so on. This way you won’t reduce your income, however, you’ll build trust towards your brand.
  • But if you award points, that also works: bonus points can bring you even 20% more visits a year from the returning customers. You should also bear in mind that if you don’t have any kind of loyalty programme, you are indeed lagging behind your competitors – members of an American household for example are members of 8.4 loyalty programmes on average.
  • You can award points not only for a purchase: you can reward customers for other actions as well, for example when recruiting new members, or when simply sharing your products, your pieces of content, or when sending you feedback or making product ratings.
  • We shouldn’t forget about coupons: 55% of the American internet users redeem coupons they receive on social media sites. Obviously, mobile coupons are the most efficient, which is not surprising: in 2016 already 83% of all the digital coupons were used through smart phones.

 

75% of the customers in total have already redeemed some kind of a coupon at least once. This clearly indicates that it’s worthwhile for you to use an online store engine that supports coupon deals, because by using those, you can efficiently increase the willingness to purchase.

 

A little help with segmentation

 

In addition to monitoring your own audience, you should also pay attention to what tendencies are dominating the market, because this will help you plan campaigns that effectively address audiences that are new and unknown for you.

Did you know that while less than one fifth (18%) of women have already bought some kind of a product or service by using their mobile phones, this proportion in case of men is noticeably higher (22%)?

You should also make sure to please those who purchase from tablets. Statistics show that there’s still a greater chance of the customers’ conversion on tablets than in case of smart phones. And they also spend more than those who arrive on the page from desktops.

Social responsibility may also be a factor for certain groups: 50% of the parents belonging to the Y generation for example, specifically like to shop at places where they also support some kind of a charitable purpose by spending their money.

Yet this is the age group that’s worth targeting the most: The “millennial” segment spends online annually more than any other one.

And of course, they make their purchases online. Thanks to the data of BI Intelligence, we know the following about the people belonging to the Y generation:

  • 43% of men and 31% of women typically purchase on auction sites
  • 40% of men and 33% of women would rather buy everything online
  • 30% of men and 28% of women purchase online typically through mobile phones

 

Approximately one fourth of them enthusiastically use the applications of the different online shops.

 

It’s always worthwhile for you to use applications: not only can your customers shop more effectively and pay more safely through these, but another big advantage of their use is that you can even address them with push messages any time, thus drawing their attention to the current sales offers that are for them.

 

Why is social media important for you?

 

If our previous articles haven’t yet convinced you that you need to build a significant online social media presence, the following statistics will definitely do.

The number of online sales realized through social media is increasing annually in total. Professionals predict a growth of approximately 50-80% for 2017.

According to the statistics of Invesp, no less than 5% of the global ecommerce turnover was generated by the social media already in 2015. This is partly thanks to the fact that nowadays you have the possibility of direct selling on most of the popular networking sites.

For example if you’d like to launch an online store within your own platform on Pinterest or on Facebook, you can do that without having too many difficulties.

And if you are present on social networking sites, you shouldn’t use it only for marketing. Yes, we are now emphasizing the importance of communication again, and that’s for a reason: 43% of the most valuable age group (18 to 29 years of age) use the social platforms of brands for customer service type conversations.

And your competitors haven’t yet outstripped you for good: according to the Harvard Business Review only 12% of the companies feel they are efficiently taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the social media.

 

Why do people abandon the cart in your shop?

 

tips Attention!: At present, approximately 75% of the customers leave the cart, that is, they choose products but don’t buy them in the end. According to some estimations, this proportion can reach as high as 90% in the next few years!

 

For this very reason, most online shops should use every tool to minimalize cart abandonment. Let’s see the most common reasons why your customers don’t make it to the check-out according to the numbers:

  • 56% of the users tend to check out without payment due to unexpected costs
  • 37% of them don’t yet have a strong enough purchasing intention, they are “just looking around”, as we say
  • 36% of them abandon their cart if they find a better offer elsewhere (at one of your competitors)
  • 32% of them don’t pay because they consider the total value too high
  • 13% are not willing to pay because the price is not displayed in their own currency
  • 25% of them abandon the cart if navigation on a page is too complicated
  • 15% abandon the cart if the page is too slow, if it doesn’t load in time
  • 24% abandon the cart if the webpage simply doesn’t appear

 

You can find out what you should do based on the following:

  • Information should always be available and clear: don’t hide any costs, in fact, the customer should always be able to see the total amount of their cart.
  • Make a quick and easily usable webpage where navigation doesn’t spoil user experience.
  • Always make sure that purchasing is as simple as possible: if you can leave a step out of the payment process, you should do so. The shorter the path, the better.

 

The data of Statista also show the reasons why people don’t purchase from you:

  • 61% of them don’t purchase because you don’t provide a good enough warranty
  • 44% because of the too high delivery costs
  • 22% because you don’t display the delivery costs at the appropriate place
  • 6% of them don’t purchase because the delivery is not fast enough

 

The issues concerning delivery play an important role, as the users visit a lot of shops where they can simply buy the product and take it home. They want to get what they want cheaply and quickly, and you have to respect that.

 

Is email your most powerful tool?

 

Most probably.

The longer the email list you have and the more you segment your offers, the more the returns will be after you run your email campaigns.

 

  • In case of a list of 5 thousand people you can achieve a 21.38% open rate, but only an average 2.76 orders.
  • On the other hand, in case of a list of more than 50 thousand people you can expect to get 34.69 purchase orders even if the average open rate is only 8.64% here.

 

The best is if you send out letters once or twice a month, that’s how you’ll most probably achieve the highest average open rate (25.24%) and conversion rate (0.27%). If you send out electronic letters, you should do that in the second half of the month, sometime between the 16th and the 20th, because that’s when the conversion rate is usually the highest.

The users open the greeting letters (45.67%), the promotion letters (18.8%) and the letters sent due to cart abandonment (47.1%) in the highest proportion. The conversion is the highest (4.64%) in the last case.

 

How to interpret the numbers?

Find the ones that are most relevant for you.

Does your campaign concentrate enough on the effective channels, tools, on the most lucrative segments?

Are there any problems with your page that typically lead to cart abandonment or to the visitors not opening your page at all?

Start from here, make your own measurements, and you can make sure that you’ll start the next year more prepared than your competitors.

 

Facebook for eCommerce – How to Multiply Your Sales Today

That’s a big mistake. Because nowadays Facebook is a tool for reaching your target audience at a relatively low cost.

We’ll show you how to make advertisements, how to target, how to follow your customers and what kind of strategy it’s worth using, while avoiding the biggest blunders.

 

In this article you can read about the following:

  • Build your page smartly
    • What should you post?
    • How frequently?
  • Create a Facebook Store
  • About Facebook Pixel
    • Follow your individual audience
    • Follow those who convert
    • Define individual events
  • How to define the target groups?
    • Reach your already established audience
    • Find people similar to them
    • Concentrate on mobile!
  • The most effective tools
    • Use dynamic advertisements
    • Use video advertisements
    • Communicate actively with your customers
  • A proven strategy
  • Trends that you should be aware of
    • Mobile is at the forefront of ecommerce
    • DPAs bring higher returns
    • Native pieces of content are very popular
    • Videos becoming trendier
  • How to manage your budget?
  • The biggest mistakes you can make when creating a Facebook ad
    • You don’t target properly
    • You want to sell a too expensive product
    • You place your ads improperly
  • I have good news for you

 

Build your page smartly

 

What should you post?

 

First of all, you will obviously need a Facebook business page that will represent your brand.

It does make a difference what kind of content you upload on this page. The ecommerce stores that are present in social media at all, usually try to reach their audience with various sales and games. However, these are boring, not too many people trust them, and even Facebook is unwilling to display them.

Today Facebook users run through their timeline an average 14 times a day. This shows posts in an already filtered way, and you can be sure that if what you share is not interesting enough for those who like you, they won’t waste a fraction of a second on you.

Consequently, in everyday life you need to deal with things that they are also interested in. Publish a mixture of references, photos and simple text posts.

Look for topics just like in case of blogging: find out what people ask from each other within customer groups, relevant professional groups, monitor what kind of questions arrive to your customer service. Don’t focus on what you want to sell them, but on how you can help them in the given moment, how you can make their lives a easier.

 

How frequently should you post?

 

We don’t have a definite answer to that question – but just like in the case of email marketing, you have to follow the middle way. If you publish 5 or 6 posts within a day, your reach will be minimal, unless you have an incredibly committed and active audience who hang on your every word.

On the other hand, if you post too rarely, you’ll be forgotten, activity on your page will decrease and that will lead to the further decline of your organic reach. A direct consequence of this is that if you want to reach a larger audience again afterwards, you’ll have to invest a lot of time and money into doing that.

Experience shows that one or two posts a day are still fine, provided you actually create them smartly.

 

Create a Facebook Store

 

On the page, you have the chance of creating your own online store directly within the platform. This is obviously good for Facebook as this way the visitors don’t leave the page, they don’t have to be redirected outside Facebook’s own interface.

And it’s good for you because you can advertise more efficiently, you can gain a lot of relevant data and can sell directly, thus shortening the customer path.

tips We need to mention the importance of speed here: the average users, after clicking on a piece of content pointing outside Facebook, arrive at the given page in an average 8 seconds. However, most people consider 2 seconds to be the fair time period for waiting – as a consequence, if it takes too long to get to a page, a great deal of those who click will bounce off.

You can create such a store within your Facebook business page. The process is not specifically simple, however, with the help of a more experienced professional, you shouldn’t have difficulties with it either.

If you want to choose the simplest solution, all you have to do is find an extension that automatically connects your products with the Facebook store. The advantage of this is that when you change your products in some way on your page (let’s say you change the description or the price), these changes will automatically be displayed on the social media interface as well.

You can find such extensions to Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento and to practically all of the more professional ecommerce store engines.

For the sake of simplification, I suggest you use the help of a professional in any case: the comfort lying in automation will definitely be worth the investment, and you can also be sure that you won’t make any mistakes due to lack of experience.

 

About Facebook Pixel

 

Just like most of the advertising platforms, Facebook also uses following pixels for the advertisements, including retargeting advertisements. This basically marks the given potential clients visiting your page with the help of a cookie. This way you can follow their actions, and target them in the future with the most relevant offers.

This has been significantly simplified on Facebook in 2016: a single pixel has been introduced instead of the two different types, called Facebook Pixel.

With the help of this, you can do the following:

 

You follow your individual audience

The pixel can follow everyone who visits the page and is at the same time logged in to Facebook. The system will record which pages they visit and when. You can select groups based on that information:

  • those who visited you within the last 24 hours
  • those who visited you within the last 30-180 days
  • those who visited a given page of yours
  • those who visited a given page of yours but have not visited another particular one

 

Of course you can somewhat customize that, you can set the time intervals. By using this, you can efficiently monitor cart abandoners and those who bounce off as well.

 

You follow those who convert

If you place the pixel on the greeting page as well, you can draw up a list of those who actually purchased from you. This is very useful because you can retarget them after a certain time – for instance when the lifetime of the given purchased product ends, and you remind them it’s time they bought a new one.

 

You define individual events

A new, more developed feature is that you define various events. You can follow the users according to their behaviour by doing that – for example those who visit a landing page, launch a search on your page, those who add products to their carts, and so on.

You can target them with very precise messages, while also paying attention to ensuring message match – you can offer a one-time immediate discount for instance to those who searched on the product, visited the page but did not convert.

After having generated it, you have to place the pixel, or rather its code, in the head of the page. We won’t go into details about that because Facebook itself walks you through the process perfectly.

 

How to define the target groups?

 

Reach your already established audience

 

You’ll have a lot of opportunities on Facebook to determine to whom you want to advertise. You can set individual and lookalike target groups.

 

An individual audience is especially useful: you can upload some of your segmented lists into the database, and the system of the social media site will find them based on the email addresses, provided that the user accounts have been connected to the same email addresses.

 

Like that you can retarget those for example who registered to your list due to one of your bait products, or who registered to your page. This way you can display exclusive, well-targeted offers to them and, based on which list they are on, you will also know which offer and which tone it is most probably worth using with them. (Read our article on remarketing and retargeting if you haven’t yet done so.)

It’s good because it reduces your advertising costs: you can advertise to those who are most likely to convert after having seen a given offer, in other words, waste coverage will be minimal.

 

Find people similar to them

 

Obviously, you probably also want to expand the group of your customers. Once you’ve done segmentation, Facebook will be able to work perfectly based on your defined individual audience: it will assess the profiles found, and will look for users, based on the pre-set parameters, who are similar to them.

The system typically takes into account the interests and the demographic data at the definition of the lookalike target group.

 

Concentrate on mobile!

 

In 2015 people used various applications in 90% of the time when they were using mobile phones.

Not surprisingly, the users spent most of the time in Facebook’s application.

There are a lot of people who almost completely live their online social life here:

  • they share,
  • they like,
  • they chat in Messenger,
  • they make friends in groups
  • or share tips in groups,
  • they ask questions from each other, etc.

 

The number of those who click through is also high: by the end of 2015 the CTR in case of mobile users was already twice as high as that in case of those browsing from desktops, and the increase is still dynamic.

So when you are making advertisements or planning campaigns, try to target mainly those who come across your advertisements while using mobile phones.

 

tips Remember: Pay attention to analytics in the meantime. Make sure that most people who read your content are doing that from mobile devices, and that a sufficiently large proportion of the visitors of your page are mobile users.

 

The most effective tools

 

Use dynamic advertisements

 

We’ve just mentioned retargeting. We wrote about how you should organize such a campaign, and now we’re going to let you know how exactly you can use this tool on Facebook.

Dynamic advertisements (Dynamic Product Ads, DPA) represent the solution. With the help of the following pixel placed on your Facebook page you can mark those who carried out different actions on it – for example they viewed the products of a certain category.

If they didn’t convert, you can target them with a message that lures them back to you. You can indicate it to them that the cart is still there, all they have to do is make the payment, or you can also offer them some kind of immediate discount, provided they promptly purchase the product they inquired about earlier.

 

Use video advertisements

 

We’ve already written quite a lot about the power of videos as well – you can benefit a lot from them also on Facebook.

There are multiple reasons for that. One is that according to the official data of the networking site, video advertisements are able to reach your target audience 25 percent cheaper, you get a click on average that much cheaper. This is not too surprising, as you can grab attention with a video much more easily than with a static advertisement.

The data also show that video advertisements run with an average return of 175%.

Of course you need to make good videos to be able to achieve that. On the one hand, you should take into account that longer videos are viewed from beginning to the end by only a very few people. Think in a one-minute long time period at maximum, a relatively lot of people will be willing to view that much. And at the same time, write scripts that capture their attention from the very first moment and don’t let it go until the end of the video.

 

In order to realize that, it’s not enough to simply present a product or an action: you’ll have to use the techniques of storytelling and target the emotions of your target audience.

 

And don’t forget to subtitle the video either: many people start the video without sound, so if you don’t have subtitles, the talking is wasted, your main message can be lost.

 

Communicate actively with your customers

 

One of the greatest things about using Facebook is that you can communicate with your customers in the most direct way possible. They can simply send you messages through the page, moreover, if you’re smart, you’ll build a closed group for your registered customers, where you’ll be able to communicate with them actively.

It’s worthwhile for you to promptly and actually answer the questions and the inquiries. Not only because your customers will be satisfied if you do so, but also because in case of the corporate pages, Facebook monitors what your response time looks like, and it even displays the result.

If people see that you respond within a couple of minutes in the majority of the cases, they will be more willing to ping you – you will obtain more information like that and you’ll have a greater chance of convincing the individual customers. Of course, after having reached a certain level, you may need to hire a separate social media manager to be able to realize that, but you can be entirely sure that it’ll be worth it.

You should write down the incoming information and questions just like you do in case of your customer service. That’s how you’ll know

  • what part of your given campaigns are worth fine-tuning,
  • what you should post,
  • what kind of pieces of content are worth publishing
  • and what kind of questions you should answer.

 

A proven Facebook strategy

 

Selling on Facebook is not easy. It is much more difficult to create profitable advertisements here than in Google’s system. There’s a very simple reason for that: the diversity of the audience’s intentions.

If you target the right keywords with your advertisements in Google’s system, you’ll reach people who have strong, specific purchase intentions. On Facebook, on the other hand, the most you can hope for is a weak purchase intention, or even none at all. (You can read more about segmentation by intention in our writing covering the mysteries of ecommerce segmentation.)

 

tips Suggestion: an advertisement directly urging for a purchase will be less efficient. It’s much more worthwhile for you to build a complete customer funnel.

 

The following technique has worked for a lot of people already, and although it requires a noticeably higher energy input, we can only advise you to try it:

  1. Concentrate on content-based advertisements. Create a piece of content that’s useful and valuable for the target audience, and try not to sell anything at first. Write an article that is somewhat related to your products or services, but the focus should be on the things that the users are interested in, on their problems.
  2. It’s great if they have clicked through to your page, but you shouldn’t try to reach for their wallets just then either. You won’t yet create the purchase intention with the valuable piece of content, only the interest. You should rather create a bait product: a relevant ebook for example in which the consumers of the given content may be interested enough to download it.
  3. Obviously, you shouldn’t offer it for free: ask for their email addresses and names in return. And you can start list building right away. You can offer the download at the end of the piece of content.
  4. You can then work with this list. You can send automated emails to the users, you can communicate with them actively, and of course you can build an individual audience from them on Facebook, like we described earlier. At this point you’ll have a much greater chance of conversion, as you can build your offer nice and slow.

 

Conclusion: don’t focus on a single tool, otherwise your return will be low. You should set up a complete customer funnel instead, in which you can steer the more and more committed leads with stronger and stronger purchase intention with the help of multiple, coherent campaigns.

 

Ecommerce trends that you should be aware of

Some tips for managing your campaigns more effectively: we are going to outline a couple of very recent trends that will help you with the formulation and the targeting of your messages.

  1. Mobile is at the forefront of ecommerce

We’ve already mentioned that you must pay special attention mobile devices. Nowadays the click-through rate is twice as high as in the case of desktop, and there’s almost a tie even in the number of purchases as well. It’s quite clear already that the share of mobile will continue to grow in the upcoming years as well.

  1. DPAs bring higher returns

The return of dynamic advertisements (which we have also mentioned) is usually higher than that of traditional advertising techniques, mainly thanks to retargeting. More people notice personalized advertisements, they also make more people click through and convert as well. And that’s also a growing trend.

  1. Native pieces of content are very popular

More and more native pieces of content start to appear on Facebook – supporting content, the goal of which is sales promotion, which also offer value at the same time and which appear on the timeline just like the liked pages and the shares of friends. You should also invest in this, because experience shows that quite good results can be achieved like that, this can be for example the starting point of the funnel outlined above.

  1. Videos are becoming trendy

In the last few years, video has shown a huge increase among mobile advertising costs. We’re talking about a 20-50 percent expansion here, and it’s not by chance that companies and agencies spend so much on that. Take the pieces of advice described above (and read our related pieces of content) in order to make good videos, and follow the trend yourself, too.

 

How to manage your budget?

 

When you plan a campaign, always outline multiple options. Test various advertisements and product categories. Obviously, it’s not worthwhile for you to advertise all of your products at the same time – don’t pour your money unnecessarily into advertising the less popular and cheap products.

Monitor how much one click costs you in case of the individual advertisements. Launch the campaigns at first with lower budgets, running parallel to each other for similar audiences, and watch how they perform.

Keep an eye on the statistics of the page as well: it may happen that you get clicks more expensively in a given case, but at the same time, a higher proportion of the leads convert, the cart value of their purchase is higher, and so on.

Yes, this means that you’ll have to spend a lot of time examining the analytics. However, that’s the only way you’ll be able to plan actually effective campaigns, which may then run with multiple return. You shouldn’t push what doesn’t work, trust the experiences.

 

The biggest mistakes you can make when creating a Facebook ad

 

You don’t target properly

 

If you don’t set your audience properly, you’ll simply throw money down the drain. The magic of Facebook is the one billion active users, but that’s not because you’ll have to reach everybody.

Nowadays online interfaces are more and more used for advertising, for selling exactly because even though the reach was huge in case of traditional advertising (for example on TV), the waste coverage was also huge. Companies paid to reach millions – among whom there were only a precious few who were actually interested in the given product or service.

 

tips Tip: you should definitely start with thorough segmentation, with the establishment of buyer personas. You have to find the appropriate audience, you’ll have to plan targeted messages for them, and then you’ll have to test those. You should only reach out for those who are actually likely to become your customers later.

 

You want to sell a too expensive product

 

According to the researches people have two main motivations to use Facebook. One of them is that they’d like to feel that they belong to a community, the other is that they’d like to show themselves to others.

Wanting to purchase is not included in this anywhere.

Of course you can persuade the audience into purchasing, but to achieve that, you’ll most probably need tools similar to the funnel outlined above.

Keep in mind that the interface is not ideal for the selling of all kinds of products.

If you want to sell too expensive products or services, you’ll have a more difficult job, as you can’t target directly on the purchase intent.

It’s worthwhile for you to take the customer into the funnel with pieces of content, with bait products or with your cheaper products at first – the bigger offer can come later in email, or even on the phone or any other way that brings the highest return according to your experience. However, you won’t sell a car efficiently with a Facebook advertisement, that’s for sure.

 

You place your ads improperly

 

You can choose from various positions on the platform, depending on whether you want to display the advertisement on the sidebar or on the timeline, whether you’d rather advertise on desktop or on mobile.

So it’s good to know that each of these positions are suitable for different things. For example, according to the experiences, the advertisements appearing in the right sidebar work well on desktop if you run a high-reach marketing campaign. You also have to bear in mind that the size of the image is quite small here, and if you display the same image parallel on the timeline, that may reduce its efficiency.

You should appear on the timeline only if you are working with a strongly targeted audience, you’ll see better click-through rates and activity indicators in that case.

It’s worthwhile for you to appear on the timeline in almost all cases – it was not by chance that we emphasized how much it’s worth concentrating on the mobile devices. Experience shows that the advertisements appearing in the application’s timeline bring good results practically every time (provided of course that the campaign is smartly targeted and the advertisement is actually good).

 

I have good news for you

At the moment there are a ridiculously few online shops that actually exploit the potential lying within Facebook.

Most people simply show advertisements – and then they don’t understand why their products are not bought by the people who are not targeted in any way and have no purchase intention whatsoever.

You can become the leader of your market if you take the time and budget and build complete customer funnels based on specific strategies. For this, you will need to make analyses, will have to do a lot of planning and dig into analytics, and you’ll most probably need the help of a professional as well.

Even then it will definitely be worth it, because you can multiply your conversion on the most popular social networking platform using the techniques described above.

You can be the one who doesn’t reach for the wallet but who helps his shoppers: someone that people are willing to turn to, who they know and trust. And thus you can become the one who the competitors will try to catch up with in the upcoming years, even if you’re only setting up your Facebook strategy just now.

 

Retargeting marketing in ecommerce: basics + 13 Retargeting Methods & Bonus Case Studies to Boost your Conversion

Retargeting and remarketing have been the buzzwords of the last couple of years in marketing.

Everybody talks about these techniques, but few people can apply them properly – and most people don’t even know what the difference is between retargeting and remarketing.

For this very reason, we are trying to clarify the concepts, we are giving hints for the planning of efficient retargeting and remarketing campaigns, and we are introducing specific examples of how you can use all this to increase your online store’s turnover.

 

To see the 13 retargeting techniques + case studies right now, click here!

 

You can read about the following in the 1st part of this article:

  • What is retargeting? What is retargeting marketing?
  • Retargeting or remarketing?
  • How should you use retargeting?
    • Cross-sell and up-sell
    • What is a good retargeting message like?
    • Do segmentation (smartly)
    • Don’t rely on a single channel
  • Your proper retargeting techniques
  • How NOT to do it
  • Retargeting is a powerful tool, however…

 

What is retargeting? What is retargeting marketing?

 

Retargeting, or retargeting marketing, means repeated targeting: with its help you can mark your potential customers who visit your pages, thus gaining information on them, so that you’ll know where they are exactly, when they load a page that can be linked to the given advertisement network.

And this will allow you to display more relevant retargeting ads to them.

In order to be able to realize this, you have to incorporate a tracking pixel or a list of codes into your sites, that marks the users who download the given page.

It stores a cookie in their browsers, which will notify the advertisement system when they are, for example, on a page belonging to Google Display Network.

 

Example There’s an average user, John, who is on your page and views a certain product, but he doesn’t purchase. The system stores this information and when John arrives on a page where you advertise, the same product will appear to him that he has not purchased earlier, however, this time with a small discount.

 

Consequently, retargeting gives you a chance to

  • persuade those to purchase who have just been looking around in your store,
  • offer relevant products to those who have already purchased from you,
  • display special offers to the returning customers.

 

We are talking about an extremely valuable tool here: before technology made it possible, there was no way to approach subsequently the potential customers who have visited our page, viewed our products, having their first experience with us, because they did not give us any of their data.

You can give them a relevant experience with retargeting, in a way that they don’t feel it being pushy – provided that you use retargeting smartly. But we will talk about this in more detail below.

 

Retargeting or remarketing?

 

The two concepts sound very similar and they actually refer to similar things, but they are not identical at all:

remarketing typically means repeatedly targeting your previous customers or even cart abandoners with email campaigns.

This may be for example when somebody adds three or four products to the cart and then they exit the page without purchase, without conversion – and the system sends them a letter after a day in which it offers them the possibility of buying the products with some discount or with free delivery for a day.

So remarketing is not about displaying AdWords advertisements to the marked users: you target those with it, who you already know more about because they have already purchased from you or they have provided you with their addresses in exchange for a “bait” or hook product.

We will primarily deal with retargeting in this article, since we discussed in detail ecommerce email marketing in a separate writing.

 

retargeting marketing, remarketing in ecommerce

 

How should you use retargeting?

 

The goal is to reach  the audience again that previously bounced off your product pages – but you need to do that with relevant offers, otherwise your retargeting marketing campaign will not only be ineffective but it will have an especially negative outcome as well.

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges for the operator of an online shop.

There is a good chance that those who add a given product to the cart will not buy it – at the moment the average rate is approximately 75%, but according to some estimations, in a couple of years it may even reach 90% in ecommerce.

 

There may be a lot of reasons for cart abandonment:

  • the potential buyer did not have enough money for the purchase at the time,
  • he just listed and saved for later what he would have to buy,
  • or he might have found a better offer in the meantime.

 

The aim of retargeting is to be able to reach out and grab the customers in such cases even if they have not yet added the product to the cart, they have only showed their interest by viewing the product page.

Simply by reminding them that they viewed the product you can raise their attention again – an efficient headline, some immediate discount may convince them to change their interest into conversion.

 

Cross-sell and up-sell

 

You may even guide those who have already purchased a product from you into a completely new funnel.

Let’s assume that you sell mattresses, pillows, covers and similar products – if someone buys a set of pillows from you, and you cannot convince them to buy more from you neither on the product page nor at the checkout, you can easily do that with a retargeting up-sell offer.

How? By customizing the retargeting ads. Of course your capacity is limited, so it’s worth doing this in case of the especially popular and higher value offers – in particular those where you have the greatest chance for up-sell.

So there’s your customer buying pillows – with retargeting you can show him matching pillow covers through the network, thus encouraging him for further purchase.

Bear in mind that it’s much easier to convince those who have already purchased from you earlier, as you have already done the convincing once – at this point the only thing you need to invest energy into is bringing them back to your page.

 

What is a good retargeting message like?

 

It’s not enough to simply show an image of your product, but sometimes it’s not enough even if you offer some kind of a discount or other special deals to your potential customer.

You have to use techniques like scarcity and urging. You have to create the desire in the users of wanting to buy the product from you.

You may use the power of social proof and testimonials as well, thus convincing those who did not purchase from you at first just because they haven’t yet known you.

If you have a limited stock of something and you are running out of it quickly, you shouldn’t miss out on letting those hesitating know of this.

You don’t have to be too harsh, in case they have not purchased earlier just because they wanted to consider the decision better, scarcity will convince them and in that case it’s usually enough just to raise their attention.

 

Do segmentation (smartly)

 

We have been describing so far how to guide the customer back to your product, however, this is not the only option you have when you use retargeting.

You can guide the leads to your bait items so that you can build a list, or even to your relevant pieces of content in order to have them committed by that at least since they don’t want to purchase from you.

But if you want to choose from the options, the only way of doing that right is with segmentation.

 

You have to do segmentation based on the relationship between you and the users: it does make a difference whether they’ve

  • visited you once
  • or they are returning leads,
  • whether they are already on your email list
  • or they are old customers who are just looking at a given product for some reason.

 

retargeting marketing, segmentation ecommerce

 

You have to find proper software solutions for being able to do segmentation based on this relationship, since this is what makes retargeting cost-effective.

Otherwise you can expect an enormous waste coverage: the same message never convinces everyone.

How can you find those, who are really worth retargeting?

For example, Mazda and the retargeting company Merchenta realized 53% higher conversion and 20% higher reach by their promotions by geographically narrowing down their retargeting advertising, and then by directing the customers within those segments specifically to the salesmen.

 

Don’t rely on a single channel

 

Google Display Network is the best-known example of how you can use retargeting, but it’s not at all the only one.

It’s a good start of course, but you can really take advantage of the technique only if you actively apply it in the social media as well.

Retargeting ads placed in the news feed may be exceptionally effective, because they appear natively: there is a much greater chance that the users will click, since they are browsing the news feed to find something worth clicking anyway.

You shouldn’t monitor only those who have been on your product pages: if they have visited your YouTube channel, if they’ve got to some sort of content of yours arriving from a social site, there is a good opportunity for you to make them subscribers by offering them some similar content.

 

How NOT to do it

 

No matter which technique you apply from the two (hopefully both of them), there’s something you have to avoid in any case:

Driving your potential customers crazy.

 

Example: Imagine that you view a product in an online shop – for instance a red T-shirt. It seems nice at first, but then you still decide not to buy it.

A good approach in this case if the e-merchant offers you discounts once or twice, to see whether you are just hesitating for some reason, or if they show you relevant products hoping you will like those better.

On the other hand, it’s a bad idea to show you the same red T-shirt on all the pages that you load.

This creates frustration in the customer, negative feelings towards the brand, and it will almost definitely not result in a purchase.

If you walk out of a shop without buying anything, the shop assistants will not run after you either and ask you to buy what you previously held in your hands in the shop.

 

And it’s not good for you either, because you spend your advertisement budget completely pointlessly.

Yet, inexplicably, a lot of people do that – this means there’s a field where you can be smarter than your competitors.

 

Retargeting is a powerful tool, however…

…only if you have somebody to retarget, and if you have something to offer them.

So it’s you who has to drive visitors to your pages (or at least to make a strategy in order to know where they can be monitored), and you will also need powerful product pages, good content and landing pages as well.

 

Retargeting is not a strategy: it’s part of one.

On the other hand, if you use it wisely, you can amazingly effectively increase reach, conversion rates and also the turnover of your ecommerce store as a whole.

 

13 professional retargeting techniques and practices + case studies

 

In the following you can learn about the professional tricks so that you can use retargeting for your online shop to generate more profit.

And you can also avoid the mistakes you wouldn’t even think of making in the first place…

 

This is what we’re going to talk about in the 2nd part of this article:

  • 13 retargeting methods:
    • Show something they’ve already seen earlier
    • Retarget the funnel as a whole
    • Sequential retargeting
    • Use up-sell, but smartly
    • Delayed retargeting
    • Offer something else (even less)
    • Use retargeting on YouTube
    • Is it really worthwhile for you to target everybody?
    • Target those who have only seen less recent products
    • Monitor your FAQ page
    • Show faces, familiar names
    • Be present on multiple platforms
    • Pay attention to topicalities
  • Case studies:
    • Kelley Blue Book: a good idea, realized imperfectly
    • Retargeting can also be too much of a good thing: Handy
    • Understand your visitors: Inbound Ascension
  • Even if you don’t follow anything else, you should follow at least this one…

 

 

Show something they’ve already seen earlier

 

When you do retargeting, you should stick to matching messages not only during the campaign. To be precise, you should also pay attention to the starting point, to the first visit as well.

If you want to raise the attention of the users, the most effective way of doing that is by showing them something they’ve already seen or read earlier.

 

tips Examples: If somebody purchased a sofa on your page and you want to sell them cushions, show them an image of the sofa with the cushions on it.

If they booked a room on your page for a holiday, show them something about the given location that they have definitely seen first-hand.

 

You immediately create a connection like that, and from then on, it depends only on your offer whether you can persuade them to come back to your page.

 

Retarget the funnel as a whole

 

It doesn’t matter where exactly the given consumers are in your sales funnel, you can always reach them with retargeting messages. First of all, you should read our article on segmentation, then you should examine your own funnel.

You can formulate personalized messages for everybody, including those who just know about you, have been on your page but have not yet converted, and the returning customers as well.

 

  • you can make those interested return to your page by using some kind of a bait,
  • you can turn customers into returning customers with a well-targeted offer,
  • you can educate your returning customers to become evangelists or brand ambassadors.

 

The key is to know them well enough and thus be able to sell your own funnel, to formulate the messages that address your audiences with different intentions.

We already mentioned something similar to a push-along tactic in the previous article, but if you’re really smart, you don’t target only those who are stuck, but you always try to capture those as well, who are already “in your net”, even if they are regularly returning active customers.

On the other hand, if your funnel is specifically long and complicated, you can do better than that.

 

Sequential retargeting

 

If your customers go through a complicated process, if there are a lot of possibilities and branches, you’ll benefit most from sequencing.

 

The theory is not at all complicated (in contrast with the implementation): you divide the users into different groups, not only based on where they are exactly, but also based on their actions. Just like when you’re running an email campaign: you’re sending different letters to openers, non-openers, to those who click-through, and so on.

 

The “creme de la creme” of personalization is showing retargeted ads to people based on what they were doing on your page earlier, based on their previous behaviour.

You can achieve a much better user experience by that, as you don’t show unnecessary retargeting ads to whom you don’t need to do so: those who purchased a product from you will not see the same thing in the next few days, those who regularly return to purchase will not come across price discounts, and so on.

The point is to leave out of or include the users in the different groups based on their actions. For this you will need to create more visual elements and more texts, but you can be sure that it’s worth addressing the customers with truly personal examples.

 

tips Example: Let’s take a look at the offline campaign of an American store!

They keep record of and follow their customers even for decades: if somebody buys from them a mattress that comes with a 10 year warranty, they send him a letter addressed to him personally, after that time has passed.

They inquire how the given mattress that you purchased from them 10 years ago has worked out, and they offer you the possibility of buying the most recent piece of the series with a small discount.

That’s a perfect retargeting marketing campaign that is very much appreciated by the clients, because it addresses them again and again in the most personalized way possible.

 

By the way, up-sell…

 

Use up-sell, but smartly

 

With the help of retargeting advertising campaigns you can make your current customers purchase even more from you, but you shouldn’t do it in a way like most of the ecommerce stores are trying to.

In most of the cases the advertisements pop-up immediately after you buy something – but what for?

Since you’ve just paid for a service, you’ve just been convinced it’s worthwhile for you to spend money on it.

If they start convincing you right away that you’d rather need something more expensive, you won’t convert.

On the other hand, it’s likely that you’ll become unsure even about the quality of the already purchased product or service.

Wait until your product has been used for a while, and then try to offer something different, something better, something more.

You should try to help, not to sell!

 

  • Is it for sure that they are not pushing the limits of the present service?
  • Don’t they need more of the given product just to be on the safe side?
  • Don’t they need a bigger one after a year by any chance?

 

Be patient and retarget your active customers when they most likely need the change, and they also trust you enough already (as they have been using your quality product for a while) to believe you.

Of course, for this you will need to monitor who bought what exactly on your page, and make an offer to them relevant to that.

That’s the basic principle of up-sell, so make sure to use a retargeting service which you can achieve that with.

 

Delayed retargeting

 

If you mark those who visit your page, the “shelf life” of your audience will expire after a while – that’s not a problem though.

That’s because if you show them different retargeting ads from time to time, you can efficiently build a complete campaign like that even without having a need for any other reinforcement, for landing pages or for similar solutions.

Your messages can build the need, the offer, slowly convincing the potential customers.

Built on one another (and not displayed several dozens of times a day) they will reinforce each other, just like a well-created newsletter campaign.

You can gradually present them your offer with the help of the different messages, you can create authenticity, you can create desire, you can apply the limited offers (scarcity) towards the end of the marketing campaign, and so on.

If you make sure that the messages are consistent, that they refer to each other, that they are actually built on each other, you can indeed achieve quite high conversion rates among those who might have never found their way back to your page otherwise.

 

Offer something else (even less)

 

If somebody visits your landing page or product page but they don’t purchase, it may be that they are simply not ready to accept your offer just yet.

 

If that’s the case, you’ll just have to offer something else in order to catch them.Maybe they are not ready yet to talk to you over the phone, but a newsletter with valuable pieces of content can be tempting.

Perhaps they don’t want to purchase any of your products yet, but you can persuade them to read the pieces of content in your blog which are related to the products they viewed earlier.

 

This is practically down-sell, even if you don’t sell anything: if they don’t want to accept your offer immediately, you can still reach out to them, and offer something that they can accept much more easily.

By doing that, you can maintain the relationship in the long run as well, and you’ll have a better chance of convincing them.

You can also target the audience of your competitorsAdWords and other major platforms don’t only monitor the visitors of your own page, you can create a segment of the leads of your competitors’ pages and you can target them with a good (better) offer.

 

Use retargeting on YouTube

 

Hopefully, you’ve already read our article on how amazingly you can use video marketing in ecommerce.

If yes, then you may know that how-to videos, educational pieces of content and such things are incredibly popular and also perform well in the searches.

And if somebody watches one of your videos, you shouldn’t let them go.

If they found useful information in them (and why wouldn’t they, as you made the video to achieve that), you can target them with advertisements that direct their attention towards other similar pieces of content.

If they watched a product test, you can advertise even that product to them, just make sure to refer to the previous content.

 

Is it really worthwhile for you to target everybody?

 

When you do segmentation, you should also take into consideration that it’s not worth spending money on everybody.

Monitor the behaviour of your visitors, and also the path they follow.

You can work with those who visit several sub-pages, those who view multiple products within a category, or who regularly consume your pieces of content.

On the other hand, those who visited your main page once and then bounced off, are probably not valuable leads for you.

It’s likely that they found you organically or they just clicked on an advertisement (provided that you had advertised your main page, which you should never do, if possible), they saw your main offers and decided almost straight away that they didn’t want to purchase anything from you.

 

It’s not worth spending money on them: your retargeting ads will more likely irritate them than convince them of anything.

 

Target those who have only seen less recent products

 

It may well be that multiple pieces of a product line can be found at the same time in your online shop.

It is also possible that somebody found a less recent product organically – coming from a less recent piece of content, or even organically, from the search engine.

If they don’t convert, it may be a logical assumption that it’s because they have not seen the best offer.

You can target them with advertisements drawing their attention to the fact that the nicer/better/higher performance model is also available.

 

tips Fine-tune the targeting: display such retargeting ads to only those who viewed the page of the less recent product but have not viewed that of the new one – if they saw the new one as well, you should look for the reason for the failed conversion elsewhere.

 

Monitor your FAQ page

 

Those who browsed the frequently asked questions (and ideally did not just bounce off this page), probably have a question they did not find an answer to on your page. (Provided of course that they didn’t convert later.)

In this case you can recommend them your customer service, your educational pieces of content, possibility for consultation, or anything else that could provide answers to their questions.

It’s even better if you set filters that monitor what kind of products they might have viewed earlier.

For instance, if somebody browsed through the products of a given category and the frequently asked questions as well, there’s a good chance of them having some kind of questions in connection with the given product category.

Therefore, you can set the main categories to personalized advertisements: “you have questions about product X?”

This will more likely attract their attention and thus be able to push those towards conversion, who had no other problem than a couple of unanswered questions.

 

Show faces, familiar names

 

Hopefully you are building your personal brand as well.

You are building an “expert brand” for your ecommerce store with professional pieces of content so that you are renowned by the largest possible audience as an authentic expert.

If that’s the case, and if you have several people in your team, segment your advertisements also based on whose content the visitors read.

You don’t necessarily have to immediately sell a product: the goal is to tie them to yourself, to build an audience, to have the highest possible visibility.

Consequently, luring the readers who have already read a couple of articles, have seen a couple of videos back to you, may represent a great opportunity for lead generation.

In order to achieve this, you should use the faces familiar to them in your retargeting ads: show them who they saw in the video, or whose photo they saw next to the articles, display the name as well, in order to make the message even more personal.

Thus you will efficiently capture the attention: it’s quite certain that everyone will notice a familiar face and will also read your message.

And you have already achieved your first goal with that.

 

Be present on multiple platforms

 

But only if you can do that smartly!

You can target the same target audience with retargeting marketing on a dozen platforms simultaneously, you can send emails, you can be present on Facebook timeline, on Twitter, and so on.

But if they see too much of you, they’ll be blind for you.

As a consequence: set the frequency in a way so that they don’t see you too many times.

You can also avoid advertisement blindness (and can more efficiently attract attention) if you create platform specific advertisements smartly.

Examine what kind of pieces of content your visitors arriving from each platform, and those who follow you on them, like the most.

Whether they are gifs, images, quotations, professional articles or how-to videos – it doesn’t matter.

What’s essential is that you offer at each place something with which there’s the greatest chance of achieving the target conversion.

 

tips Tip:  Even if you van to sell the same product to the same target audience, make sure not to do that with the same text and same image – simply stick to the message match, but always vary the advertisements in accordance with the requirements of the platform.

 

It may be tempting to simply paste in the same solution, but by doing that, you’re definitely working against yourself.

 

Pay attention to topicalities

 

You shouldn’t monitor only what they purchased from you, but also when they did that.

Some products and services are always more popular at special occasions – which may be Christmas, or the time of the end-of-the-year high workload at the companies, you need to know your target audience to be able to determine these occasions.

The main thing is to be able to formulate a personalized message.

 

  • To be able to ask the customers whether at this Christmas they need what they purchased from you last year.
  • Or something similar, better or bigger.
  • Or whether their company will need help this October with this or that issue.

 

There’s a great chance of having yes as an answer, ideally they already started looking, or at least they have it in their minds that they need your product or service.

By doing this, you can efficiently make them think of you first when they actually want to make a purchase.

 

Retargeting marketing case studies: examples you can learn from

 

Kelley Blue Book: a good idea, realized imperfectly

 

Let’s see an example (1st case study in the article) that is quite far from being perfect.

The blogger of Wishpond had been looking for a car for a couple of months, then he came across the advertisement of Kelley Blue Book, a car salesman on Twitter.

He had visited their page before and he was addressed with a quite good message as well.

What was good in the advertisement: they applied an image that’s capable of attracting attention (there was no CTA on it, though).

The text was OK as well: it praised very shortly the performance of the advertised Honda car, and it didn’t want to shove purchasing down your throat right away.

It invited you to read the expert opinions on the car – it’s smart that they tried to persuade you to visit their site by using the power of social proof.

That’s fine so far. (The blogger also highlights that they could have customized the link shortened by bitly, which is actually a good idea.)

However, it becomes clear after  the click that the campaign has not been thought out carefully.

That’s because the visitor doesn’t arrive at the promised opinions, not even at the page of the car seen in the advertisement.

Those who had been reached by retargeting, were simply taken to the main page of the merchant.

 

tips This is a blunder: If somebody has already visited your page and you can retarget them, you should never take them to your main page.

They’ve already been on your page, they know what you have to offer.

If you can reach them with a retargeting ad so that they find their ways back to you, you probably gave them a well targeted offer, and taking them somewhere else after that would mean deceiving and misleading them.

Message match is damaged, and thus the trust towards you, because you make them frustrated.

 

You give them work, as they have to find the offer. And believe me, not too many people will do that after all this.

 

An excellent example of how this can be done well: a retargeting marketing campaign of FIAT from a couple of years ago, which Google also praises in its professional materials presenting micro-moments.

 

The users targeted with FIAT’s responsive advertisements ended up on very precisely specified sub-pages:

  • Those who clicked on the advertisement on desktop were directed to an interactive page where they could “put together” themselves the car suitable for them (By the way, applying such interactive solutions is incredibly efficient regarding the increase of commitment: if the potential customers already invested energy in the modification, in the building of the product, they will feel it to be their own much more.)
  • And those who clicked on the very same advertisement on the mobile phone, immediately arrived at a page where the nearest car salesmen were shown to them, where they could personally take a look at the car right away.

 

This campaign was not only targeted well, they also paid attention to what happens after the click, to what ideas should be planted in the user’s head by making them follow a given path.

It’s not by chance that it was a huge success.

 

Retargeting can also be too much of a good thing: Handy

 

We are taking a look at another example from here (3rd case study), because it demonstrates perfectly one of the most common mistakes.

The blogger was looking for cleaning services and one of those whose page he had visited earlier, targeted him with a simple banner advertisement.

 

The blogger likes the advertisement – I don’t too much, I tell you what’s wrong with it.It’s main message is that “it’s only 29 dollars”, however, I would rather focus on the service.

 

I would formulate creatively in a few words how clean your home will be.

I would even adjust it to an event: if somebody is looking for a cleaner, you can press that point of pain.

You can write it on the banner that they have never hosted their family in such a clean apartment for the celebratory dinner.

I would even put a short testimonial on it as well, or would just put the headline between inverted commas. Simply because inverted commas raise attention, people usually pay more attention to quoted texts, there’s a greater chance that they are read.

They could have made the CTA more creative as well, the “book now” text is completely average. You could write something like this instead: “I’d like a clean home”. However, these are not real mistakes, they’re rather elements that can be improved.

 

The mistake: the blogger came across the ad at least 50 times within two days.

 

Nowadays the biggest problem with advertisements is exactly that they fall victim to banner blindness.

You can counterbalance that with creative images and text, but if people see the same advertisement several dozens of times every day, they’ll be blind to those as well.

Recall the most creative TV commercial you saw last year.

Imagine that it’s played in each and every commercial break: after how many times do you get bored of it or have no effect on you anymore?

You should pay very close attention to how frequently the advertisement is shown: the targeted audience should never see the same thing everywhere, because by letting that happen you’re simply working against yourself.

 

Understand your visitors: Inbound Ascension

 

 

The biggest trick in retargeting is nothing new: you have to understand your visitors.

You need to know their intentions, their problems, their needs.

Of course the problem is that they don’t tell you those, only indirectly. You can draw conclusions, and mainly based on how they  act on your page.

Professionals at Inbound Ascension did exactly that, moreover, they were not working with an ecommerce webpage but with a service-based page, which represents a greater difficulty in this respect.

Their solution was very simple: they divided those in the sales funnel into several segments, and they advertised different bait products, pieces of content and services to them based on that.

They basically combined segmentation by intention with professional retargeting.

They noticed, that those for example who have already read our articles of educational type, but have not yet bought anything, have not yet found the appropriate solution for their problems.

On the other hand, it’s quite clear that they are having some kind of a problem in connection with online marketing.

Therefore, they addressed them with “Still need some help with marketing?” type advertisements using text and images that would definitely remind them where and when they had met the brand (during content consumption) earlier.

By using this simple technique they achieved a return (ROI) of 7,425% during their campaign.

You can even more easily accomplish that if you follow the earlier described segmentation methods, and are willing to invest the necessary time and energy into creating retargetig ads with different messages for the different customer groups, in order to have the greatest chance of reaching them.

 

Even if you don’t follow anything else, you should follow at least this one...

When you want to launch a retargeting marketing campaign, you should always start with examining your audience.

If you’ve never done segmentation before, you should dig into the topic, use analytical software applications, tools that will help you divide your visitors into groups that can be interpreted from marketing point of view.

You shouldn’t do this because this is the best practice or because I say so.

You have to do this because if you start retargeting advertising without any kind of filters, criteria or settings, you’ll just simply throw your money down the drain.

There’s no way of sugarcoating this.

You’ll have to invest energy and time into making well-identifiable groups at the beginning, and then into inventing the message for each group that would most probably capture them, that would best serve their needs, and represent the best answer to their problems.

And you don’t have too much space for that: should you advertise on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or in Google’s network, you’ll only have a couple of phrases and an image at maximum to work with.

You can make the maximum of this, if you take the pieces of advice detailed in this article – and you can also learn the tricks of the professionals from the case studies.

Avoid common mistakes, don’t torture but serve your audience, and I guarantee that much more people will purchase from you and also have positive experience while doing that.

That is because you pay attention to their needs and offer personalized solutions, all that without being pushy.

 

 

17 practical ecommerce link building techniques

You can apply lots of techniques in link building, so we are now posting another article on the presentation of the most effective and most creative solutions.

And all you’ll have to do in the future is to open this page and select the technique that will best serve your goals.

This article is not about optimization, but about techniques that will help you reinforce your link profile in the long run and steer audience to your pages – audience that find you not by simply searching on the appropriate keywords, audience that come across your brand not only on the search result page, because that’s only the very first step.

So let’s see which are the techniques that the most professional online marketing managers use for link building. We’re going to discuss the following:

  • Send in articles (to relevant pages)
  • Product tests
  • Make interviews
  • Answer questions: Yahoo Answers and Quora
  • Create infographics
  • Dig into video marketing
  • Make podcasts
  • Create your own online tools
  • Use Pinterest
  • reddit
  • You should be listed among the references in Wikipedia
    • Look for dead links
    • Write your own articles
  • Publish press releases
  • Use SlideShare for professional pieces of content
  • Make good use of customer guides
  • Don’t be afraid to be a little “crazy”
  • Outsource guest blogging
  • The basis of everything

 

1) Send in articles (to relevant pages)

 

Yes, it may sound like an old and outdated technique that has long been eaten up by the herd of Penguins & Pandas, but relax.

I’m not suggesting that you should send in a couple of articles to dozens of pages where they don’t belong. Of course, Google will also spot that, and even if it brings benefits in the short run, the unnatural building of your link profile may backfire in the long run.

 

I suggest the following: find professional pages where the community can send in articles as well, which will be even published following a proper professional check. So find pages publishing relevant, quality pieces of content by default.

 

This technique differs from customer blogging which we discussed in one of our  previous articles, in that it takes much less of your energy. You don’t have to build relationships in this case, but you will most probably also benefit less from it.

What’s most important is that you publish unique content on each page, and make sure you will be referred to and will get valuable backlinks in exchange for the piece of content.

 

2) Product tests

 

In contrast with the previous technique, you will need some relationship building for this one – this is a somewhat similar technique to that of looking for influencers. You should contact bloggers who publish about a given speciality field, it’s best if they regularly post product tests.

These are quite popular in video format, as the customers like to examine what they buy as thoroughly as possible. They can’t touch or try the product online, so it’s best if they check out how it worked for others.

 

tips So: find such bloggers or even professional news portals and offer them some of your products for testing. Make a deal: they should test the product, they can even keep it, provided that’s not too big of a burden for you, and in exchange they should display your brand in the review or next to the video, and they should provide a backlink as well.

 

Of course it’s best if your product is unique, and it can be tied to your brand – you’ll also make a profit even if a lot of others also sell such a product, because you are a reseller for example, however, you can generate the most visibility and traffic with the link if your product is completely unique.

 

3) Make interviews

 

We have mentioned this earlier as well, now I’m going to explain in detail how and why you should make interviews.

 

First of all: interview is a very popular content format, content consumers love reading the stories and opinions of others, mainly of recognized influencers or industrial experts. You can create very personal pieces of content that fit very well in storytelling, which will definitely capture the well-targeted audience.

 

But your profit, regarding link building, will not really be the success of the content.

Think about it: if someone made an interview with you, you would most probably share that on all available platforms. In the social media, on your blog, you would even publish it on your home page (many people collect media releases, interviews on a separate page).

 

tips The technique is there: collect the contact details of relevant influencers with huge groups of followers, visit them in person and request an interview from them. Don’t expect a response from everyone, you will be able to make interviews with only a small proportion of them, but if you catch at least a couple of the average names, you will immediately be richer by strong backlinks and thus can significantly increase your visibility.

 

4) Answer questions: Yahoo Answers and Quora

 

Pages where members of your target audience ask questions from each other and from experts, actually represent a gold mine for you. You can discover excellent topics here, of which blog posts, videos and discussions can be created. You can answer the questions, thus increasing your visibility and building your expert reputation. And they represent a great tool in link building as well.

Of course it’s essential that your webpage is full of truly valuable pieces of content: analyses, case studies, guides, product presentations and tests, which provide answers to everything that your target audience is most interested in.

So you can refer to your site when providing the response, which will then give you a backlink. Even though this will typically be a nofollow link, that’s not a problem: on one hand, many people will follow it, as you are providing an answer for a really interesting question (thus traffic will arrive to you, which will make you stronger), on the other hand, nofollow links will just as well add to your link profile, furthermore: they will help you create a mixed link profile that looks natural from the point of view of search engines.

 

5) Create infographics

 

Creating an infographic is a lot of work, having it created is not exactly cheap, but it’s really worth it, according to the experiences.

 

That’s because good infographics spread very easily: users share them in social media, bloggers and professional pages can use them to illustrate their articles, they can bring you benefit even for years.

 

Since Google also likes outbound links, and as the more prestigious content creators with larger groups of followers like to play safe as well, you will also get quality backlinks in many cases.

In addition to that, don’t forget to edit the infographic so that it’s automatically tied to you: your logo should be displayed on it, create the design and define the colours using your corporate design and marketing communications guidelines, and your website address should also be displayed on it. All this will help you a lot in brand building as well.

How should you spread it?

That’s simple: publish it on the available social networking interfaces, in professional groups, send it out in newsletters, or even send it to professional pages. As this is quality and interesting content, useful for the sharers as well, you can be sure that your efforts will pay off.

 

6) Dig into video marketing

 

Drop advertisements: because of banner blindness, most people won’t even remember having seen them. If you spend on simple advertisements in 2016, I can declare with almost absolute certainty that you’re wasting money.

 

Instead of interrupting content consumption, be the content yourself: don’t make pre-roll videos, but produce video content that the users will watch, share and spread voluntarily. If you asked what pieces of content these should be, I would say, almost any kind.

 

It may be a walk-through that helps put into operation or repair a given product, or solve a problem of the target audience with the use of your product. The trickier the given action, the better, since the more chance there is that your customers will need help with it.

It may be a product test, when you try the functions of each product and how they operate. You show the product in use, thus facilitating commitment, as your audience will see it, will know what it’s capable of and thus will be more willing to buy it later.

It may be an educational video in which you share various useful information, tips and tricks:

How can I use my lawn mower effectively?

How should I tie my tie?

How should I assemble my PC?

 

These are all questions, based on which an educational piece of content can be perfectly built.

It may be a simple entertainment video: a show in which you, even in the company of others, share opinions, do funny things with your products.

What’s essential is that you consider this piece of content as part of your brand, or even a separate brand within that. Videos rank very high, and usually 1 out of 7 search result pages contain some kind of video content: if you optimize the titles, descriptions and keywords properly, you won’t have difficulties reaching your audience.

You’re building a brand and increase visibility with the video content as well, and of course you place your link wherever you like. Also, you acquire additional committed customers with that while building an audience.

 

7) Make podcasts

 

It’s not by chance that you come across podcasts on almost every site nowadays: many people prefer simple audio content to videos, articles or infographics.

The reason: if you are listening to something, it allows multitasking. While you’re listening to a podcast, you can browse the internet, you can drive, even work.

For this, you will need equipment: a sound recording device that’s capable of creating high quality material. There’s a good chance that this is a one-time investment, which is why I don’t suggest you save money on this: nobody can endure a crackling podcast for too long.

 

Besides, it’s not only the content that has to be valuable: you need a person who’s a good speaker, just like a radio show host. Who can speak fluently, in a bearable tone, who can articulate properly and doesn’t get confused by the different topics.

 

Once that’s given, you can launch your show right away: you just have to select the topics that are interesting enough so that people listen to what you have to say about them.

 

8) Create your own online tools

 

A big investment, a lot of energy – but if you put smart marketing behind it, it’s very likely to pay off.

The different online tools are amazingly popular. Just think about how many different free tools you can use for link building and SEO, which examine your site, point out the mistakes, make valuable analyses and so on. This approach can be applied with similar success in almost every field.

Similarly to customer guides, these tools directly facilitate the solution of the problem: they make the recommended solution, or at least the outgoing data, personal, thus making the life of the customer significantly easier.

 

tips The simplest thing for you to do is to make some kind of a calculator: the users simply enter the data and get the final result that will actually help them in some way. In these cases you need to make sure you really help: don’t produce some irrelevant result.

 

If you’re doing it well, you will receive a great deal of links: your tool will spread in the social media, on the questions and answers pages, it will appear in listicles and so on. These will be extremely valuable backlinks, and you can easily raise the attention of influencers and professional pages as well.

 

9) Use Pinterest

 

We devoted an entire separate article to this excellent platform, on which you may even sell directly, but now I’d like to draw your attention to one more thing: did you know that the link of your webpage on your Pinterest profile is a dofollow link?

And the same goes for the links on the profiles of your followers and of the ones you follow.

 

tips So: The larger community you build around yourself, the more people you follow and the more people follow you, the higher the chance that they are getting to your profile, and even for your profile to appear on the results list – and that makes the link on your profile stronger as well, thus strengthening your link profile itself.

 

If you’ve read our previous article on Pinterest, you’re already using it, thus all you have to do now is to start paying attention to this very simple thing as well.

 

10) reddit

 

This is also a platform that you might not have considered to be useful for you. However, according to SEO professionals, it really is: in case a topic of yours gets enough votes, search engines will index the links included in it. And that’s incredibly good news, because reddit’s domain is very powerful, just like that of Wikipedia.

Therefore, all you need to do is to be active in a smart way, to try targeting the users with valuable pieces of content, while making sure to link the pages of yours that you want to make more powerful.

 

11) You should be listed among the references in Wikipedia

 

Speaking of powerful domains: why shouldn’t you be linked in Wikipedia as a reference?

If you launch any kind of search, the relevant Wiki article will most probably be among the first three hits, if there is any. That shows how extremely powerful the site is, and you can take advantage of that also.

Of course you’ll get a nofollow link, but according to the experiences, in case of Wiki, the search engines tend to “disregard” that and strengthen your page even in this case (and of course, including nofollow links will also do good to your link profile).

 

Some simple techniques

Look for dead links

Check out what exactly was referred to in the text with the use of sources that no longer exist (e.g. 404 pages). It goes without saying that you should preferably look for articles on Wiki that are relevant for you, so this way you’ll also have content, or you can create content.

If the content supporting the statements in the article is there on your page, you may as well replace the dead link with your own. Don’t advertise in the new source article if possible: editors of Wiki are quite sensitive to that.

 

Write your own articles

Look for topics that are important enough (in wiki Wording that is: renowned), but there’s no article about them yet, or the existing article is incomplete.

Elaborate the article yourself: pay attention to the language (encyclopedic), to the appropriate references (don’t claim something that you can’t support somehow), and make sure to include some of your own pieces of content among the references which are truly relevant, valuable and are not of an advertising nature.

With the help of these two techniques, you can easily become part of the Wiki source references, provided that you always bear in mind the rules of the online encyclopedia.

 

12) Publish press releases

 

Why would you, as an online shop issue press releases?

Why not?

If you create quality content continuously, if you have a large follower base and pay attention to your communication, ideally, you’ll be considered to be an expert, rather than a merchant. An expert, who sells stuff as well, of course, but building your professional reputation is what’s most important.

From then on, if you introduce any kind of unique and new products, if you make your own research, if you organize a professional event, you can send out a press release about that to professional sites – and if you formulate it interestingly enough, some of the sites will publish it, together with your reference. Bear in mind that these domains and the references on their sites, publishing professional news and articles, are usually quite powerful.

The trick is (in addition to the content truly worth communicating), is that you formulate the release smartly. A journalist receives dozens of press releases every day, which means you’ll have to stand out from the crowd.

 

Don’t send PDFs, don’t be sensationalist: simply highlight the most interesting point from your text, and don’t require anything. Don’t call the journalist, just bring the press release to his or her attention.

 

13) Use SlideShare for professional pieces of content

 

Do you usually make presentations? At professional events, meetups, even at webinars?

As a matter of fact, there’s no point in me asking those questions, because you can put together a presentation on any topic even if you don’t make a lecture of it anywhere.

You should by all means upload this presentation to SlideShare, because you can rank really high with that. This is a proven technique, especially in case of difficult, competitive keywords, since the domain is quite powerful.

The best solution is if you make a separate sub-page, where you collect the various presentations. If you made lectures of those at certain events, don’t forget to indicate that as well. On the one hand, those who search on those events can find your sub-page, and on the other hand, you can also reach out to the organizers that way.

If you are included as a referred site somewhere, this page should be linked, if they send out a newsletter after the event, they should link to your sub-page. You can get a great deal of backlinks using this technique, especially if you have invested the appropriate amount of energy into building your expert brand.

 

14) Make good use of customer guides

 

A tactic from Jordan Kasteler, expert of Utah SEO Blog. Make customer guides.

Think about how you buy jeans or furniture. Lawn mower. Dog food.

You’re vacillating which one’s the best for you. You need education: you have a problem, but you’re not certain what the best solution is. Because you don’t know for sure what the curtain will look like in your apartment, or which nutrition is the most useful for your dog’s body.

Guides that lead you through the purchasing process are simply adored, and experience shows that a lot of people refer to them as well, because they find them very useful. They assist the consumers, provide them with information that makes their lives easier.

Make guides like that and wait until they are strong enough. You can place references to given products or product categories on sub-pages where these guides are uploaded, however, a trickier technique is also available.

You can redirect the “strength” of the backlink pointing to the page: you can make the page of the category or the product stronger with the rel=canonical link element or even with a 301 redirect.

 

tips WARNING: use this only if you are at “advanced level”. It’s not exactly the nicest technique, and it can bring great results without the tricky part as well (because your link profile will also broaden if the guide gets stronger), it represents an advantage rather if you definitely want to beat the competitors in a given product category.

 

15) Don’t be afraid to be a little “crazy”

 

There are ecommerce stores that get backlinks by not being afraid of realizing somewhat extreme ideas as well. Offer products without the intention of selling but which are so original that users can’t help sharing.

Firebox online shop is the perfect example of that. In their case, the WTF (“What the Firebox”) section serves that purpose, where you can find – among others – a vacuum cleaner that costs 800.000 dollars.

The more extreme and creative the idea, the better.

Of course you should play safe, so that nobody buys something from you that you never had or you’ll never have – having a creative message at the end (“Sorry, our billion-dollar decorative cushions sold out on the first day.) is perfect. Your audience will appreciate the joke, they will share it with their friends – what you should pay attention to is that the tone, the communication of the whole thing is in line with your brand.

 

16) Outsource guest blogging

 

Not only can you publish guest posts in which your reference appears: you can simply advertise the job. Of course you should have a budget for that. However, if you are being clever during the advertisement and the selection, your investment will undoubtedly pay off.

Publish an advertisement on pages grouping together freelancers (you can find countless pages like that, Freelancer and Upwork are perhaps the most widely known examples). Explain that you are looking for those who operate well-established blogs, ideally relevant ones for the area of operation of your ecommerce store, and you would like them to write about you.

 

Or rather not about you: they should write about one of your products for instance. They should test it, show what it’s capable of, or show something that represents a problem for your target audience, but they can solve that problem with the help of your product.

 

You will most probably have several dozens of applicants who would willingly “lend” you their blogs, and there’s a good chance that Google will not be against the whole thing either, because you don’t actually buy links, you simply pay for content – and it’s your own decision where you publish that.

 

17) It should be you who creates the best pieces of content

 

One of the simplest techniques – at least in theory – is to check out which pieces of content of your competitors acquire the most backlinks (you can use a lot of online tools for that).

And you should definitely make better content than those: more recent, more detailed, more thorough, more useful.

Then you can recommend these for the sites that also have a reference of the original piece of content – not as a replacement, but simply as a curiosity. On the other hand, that’s how there’s the greatest chance that the most possible people will find your piece of content (the more detailed, interesting and useful it is, the higher organic traffic will arrive to it, and you won’t have difficulties spreading it either).

And if a lot of people find the given article, post or any other kind of content valuable, you can be certain that after a while it will be rewarded with a number of quality backlinks as well.

 

The basis of everything

You can see that there’s something in common in all of these techniques: you have to create great pieces of content, no matter which format, but something that the audience – preferably your own, well-targeted audience – will not only be willing to read but will be willing to recommend and share as well.

It’s not by chance that we have already written so much about blogging, and that we try to encourage you in all of our articles: think of your brand not only as a simple ecommerce store. Be more than that: not someone whom they purchase from, but who makes their lives easier in all areas, who serves their needs.

Directing the customers to your product pages is certainly not always what’s important: if your pieces of content rank high, that’s just as useful for you – moreover, building a community, educating returning customers is even a lot more useful for you in the long run.

We have already written an article for you on how to find your keywords: from this, you can learn how to conduct the basic research, and at the same time make sure to optimize not only for the keywords that are directly related to the products.

Serve your audience’s need for information, and your competitors will have no chance of beating you in link building.

 

Business Intelligence: basics you need to know

We’re going to cover the following topics:

  • The origin of business intelligence
  • Business Intelligence as a method
  • Information as a corporate resource
  • User field of databases

 

The origin of business intelligence

 

The concept of business intelligence derives from Howard Dresner (Gartner Group, 1989), who defined it as a set of techniques and tools for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes.

 

"concepts and methods to improve business decision making by using fact-based support systems."Howard Dresner

 

 

On Wikipedia we find the following definition:

"Business Intelligence: A set of techniques and tools for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes."Wikipedia

 

The key general categories of business intelligence tools are:

  • Spreadsheets
  • Reporting and querying software ‒ tools that extract, sort, summarize and present selected data
  • OLAP
  • Digital Dashboards
  • Data mining
  • Process mining
  • Business performance management

 

The phrase originally derives from Hans Peter Luhn (IBM, 1958):

"The ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal."Peter Luhn

 

The English word “intelligence” in the context means gaining information. It derives from the word “intelligentia” with the connection of the Latin word “inter” (between) and “legere” (to choose). Intelligence means the analytical and distinctive ability of the mind that supports us to choose between things. A kind of decision-making ability.

 

Business Intelligence as a method

using-business-iq-as-method

 

However, we do not necessarily need a data warehouse in order to build up a business intelligence system, yet those questions that come up in the course of planning a data warehouse can highlight the fact that business intelligence does not stop with the collection of data or the application of different software applications, but it means a full organisational transformation and new thinking method and outlook of managers.

It includes the whole screening of the company’s functioning, re-planning of internal processes and accurate identification of business purposes.

 

In the course of planning a data warehouse you have to take into consideration the following questions that may rise (Krajcsak 2012):

  • What kind of data are we still in need of?
  • How collected data can be depurated?
  • In what format should they be stored?
  • At which intervals data in the data warehouse should be updated?
  • Should a strategic bottom-up or a tactical top-down structure be applied?
  • What tasks can be done by using it?
  • Who is going to use it?
  • On what devices is it going to be used?

 

Information as a corporate resource

business-intelligence

 

Information as a corporate resource has economic value, mainly in terms of competitive advantage. It is particularly important for collected and stored pieces of information to be high-quality, otherwise we will be doing only database-building that is impossible to use for analysis and research.

 

Sources of error in case of data files can be the following (Krajcsak 2012):

  • Formats of data vary
  • Meaning of data is not unequivocal
  • It is hard to handle the data
  • Exactness of data are unknown
  • Topicality of data is inappropriate
  • Data is stored in different systems that cannot be connected with each other
  • There is redundant data in the system
  • We have inconsistent data (the same information appears in different ways)
  • Searched data cannot be found

 

These kinds of data is called disparate data, and they may be characterized by these basic problems:

  • In an organization implementing a database system, there is not a single, complete or integrated inventory of all the data.
  • The real substance, meaning and content of all the data within the organizational data resource is not readily known or well defined.
  • There is very high data redundancy all over the organization.
  • There is a very high variability of data formats and contents.

 

User field of databases

business-db

 

 

Databases serve two main fields in the management of the enterprise.

1)

On the one hand, databases serve operative processes through such enterprise application systems that support daily activities on the lower and middle management levels.

These are for example the supply chain management tools that support logistics, company resource management tools that support enterprise management projects and the customer relationship management systems that support sales activities.

Their advantages are that they provide such data availability for more users at the same time, which always shows the actual condition.

Their disadvantage is that an enquiry can be executed only through predetermined dimensions.

 

2)

On the other hand, there are those systems that support decision making and strategic management of the enterprise. These systems are applied on the high and middle management levels of the organization.

Their advantage is the processed and flexibly manageable enquiry. In the course of enquiries, decision-makers can receive answers to the questions:

  • “What happened?”
  • “Why did it happen?”
  • “What is happening now?”
  • “What could happen?”

 

So, in the course of applying business communication systems, data has an essential role, just like the juggler’s ball ‒ it can bring success and at the same time failure (if it happens to fall down).

 

 

120 Top eCommerce Blogs You Must Check To Boost Sales In 2017

Whether you’re a new or veteran ecommerce site owner, you’re going to learn a ton from this hand-picked collection of resources.

Yes, reading blogs takes a lot of time – still, we advise you to visit and follow for at least a couple of weeks all the ecommerce blogs on this list, and to add the most interesting ones to your regular reading list.

You can improve the operation of your online shop with the help of all the professional pieces of content and with the expert experiences that you can get to know here: you can optimize your store’s appearance, you can improve the sales method of your products, you can boost your marketing and increase your conversion rate.

We’ve tried to make a list of the best ecommerce blogs for you. Enjoy!

Choose the category you’re most interested in or start reading just by scrolling down.

 

Market & Trends Case Studies Conversion Optimization Customer Management Content Marketing eCommerce UX Social Media Digital Marketing Search Engine Optimization Business Advice Email Marketing Analytics Brand Building Landing Page PPC Extra

 

Market & Trends

 

Get Elastic

Simply, the king of the genre: Get Elastic shares 3 specific and quality articles every week with 200 thousand individual visitors a month: it has ecommerce news, tips and advice for the e-merchants.

The topics are diverse: you can find useful guidance here in almost any field from design to marketing solutions, from conversion optimizing to the improvement of user experience.

By the way, they define themselves as the blog having the most subscribers, and that’s for a reason, since they are followed by more than 17,500 people on RSS.

In this article they explain that cutting-edge retailers identify the trends that have staying power and leapfrog them before the rest.

 

E-Commerce Nation

E-Commerce Nation, launched in France, approaches the issue from its practical aspects, and addresses all opportunities that can make your ecommerce store more and more successful.

It increases its readership dynamically, it publishes diverse articles, covering topics in social commerce, design & development, ecommerce news, marketing, fulfillment, etc. and it tries to build a community at the same time, where different experts exchange experience and opinions.

A very clear comparison of three popular online shop platforms – WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento:

 

Case Studies

 

A Better Lemonade Stand

The blog of Richard Lazazzera, in which he shares his own, first-hand experiences on how exactly a well-operating, cost-effective ecommerce business should be built.

You can read great writings on the blog, it can be useful primarily for novice e-merchants, but you can get a great deal of immediately usable tips on the advanced level as well.

If you want to follow him together with more than 18,000 subscribers, documented to the tiniest details how an online store is built with professional methods, you can’t leave this one off your list.

You would like to launch an ecommerce store? You should definitely read this before getting started:

 

Practical Ecommerce

As its name shows, Practical Ecommerce is designed to smooth the way for the e-merchants towards high profits and steady growth with perfectly simple guides that are unfamiliar to a lot of people.

The site is considered to be a rarity as it is, because it’s been serving online merchants for more than a decade, since July 2005, and the site has become the number one assistant of both the beginner and the intermediate e-merchants.

Reinforced by the professionals of the field having extraordinary experience, they provide those concerned in online commerce with practical, down-to-earth pieces of advice. Beyond the dry strategy and data analysis, they regularly review the actual trends and issues of design and social marketing.

Learn from others, who are already successful on their market! Let’s see an excellent selection form the world of B2B ecommerce websites:

 

National Retail Federation

National Retail Federation is one of the world’s biggest retail organizations that is present in more than 45 countries in the world. You should pay attention to a commercial organization of such a size if only for its dimension and its extensive network. However, National Retail Federation also does you the favour of blogging on the topicalities concerning ecommerce (as well), almost on a daily basis.

Just like the organization, the blog would also like to help primarily the novice, or at least the less experienced participants in the field of ecommerce. It’s a novelty compared to the other thematic blogs that National Retail Federation addresses the legal background of online commerce and its eventual changes as well.

It’s an excellent summary of the currently operating global retail market and trends both from an online and offline point of view:

 

Volusion

Volusion addresses somewhat more important issues on its blog than its competitors. Although it’s dealing with ecommerce website building, even a developer agency’s blog would be envious of the selection of this blog’s topics and the mature professionalism of the articles.

A short but useful article for those who are currently planning to launch their first ecommerce store:

 

BrainSINS

Strategy, novelties and ecommerce prophecies… BrainSINS is an amazingly pulsating and vibrating blog, in the centre of which what else could be than online commerce. B2B, B2C, design and SEO ‒ it’s compulsory for hyperactive e-merchants.

Some simple solutions can prevent you from losing money:

 

Razor Social

Ian Cleary’s speciality field is social media, he varies expertly the different tricks and tools, so that you make the most of your business. There’s no social interface for which Razor Social has no solution, they are quite simply brilliant in this field.

Is it possible that after a while your blog will bring you a large proportion of your revenues?

 

Nosto

This is a blog of a personalization service that is already used by more than 21,000 ecommerce stores. Accordingly, in their articles they are dealing with topics like CTR, average conversion and consequently, the increase of revenues and the soonest possible return on investment. There’s absolutely no doubt that their writings are born of appropriate experience.

In the article we chose, they are providing ideas concerning what types of pop-ups displayable in online shops there are, and in addition, they present particular, already existing examples for each of them:

 

Business 2 Community

On the quite popular business-oriented social networking portal grown from the personal blog of Brian Rice, you can find only quality professional content in the fields of digital marketing, social media, content marketing and social selling.

The useful pieces of content are currently created by more than 15,000 contributors, and with its more than 3 million visitors a month it’s considered to be one of the biggest professional portals.

Every ecommerce entrepreneur likes useful statistics and everyone would like to read the customers’ minds. Let’s see how that’s possible:

 

Instapage

With the help of the landing page creation service, launched in 2012, practically anybody, without any professional web design knowledge, can create nicely layouted, efficiently converting subscription and selling pages.

We found one of the largest landing page surveys in their blog, thanks to the work of Fahad Muhammad. He hasn’t just collected 100 landing pages, but he even analyses them one by one, highlighting their well-working solutions and the ones that need to be tested:

 

Conversion Optimization

 

Got Groove – eCommerce Blog

Technical and marketing information for advanced e-merchants, Got Groove’s thematic blog provides more in-depth articles and analyses. A high-quality professional blog, nevertheless written in a language comprehensible to everyone.

In addition to the analyses, ecommerce communications can’t be left out either, of course. Those who regularly read Got Groove’s blog can obtain a comprehensive knowledge of ecommerce.

Learning from the big ones is not a shame. You can get to know three useful ideas from the example of Amazon Prime Day:

 

eCommerceFuel

A few years ago Andrew Youderian decided to start his own business, and the idea proved to be so good that by now he has become one of the most widely known figures in the ecommerce scene.

Operating two ecommerce stores, he has reached a profit of 1 million dollars within a relatively short period of time, and fortunately, in addition to providing his readers with relevant tips, he regularly shares on his blog the lessons learned from his own experiences.

Free e-books, videos, and, of course, forums help both the beginners and the advanced professionals in becoming as outstanding e-merchants as possible.

An interview with Peep Laja, the extremely popular founder of the ConversionXL blog site on conversion optimization:

 

Kissmetrics

Numbers, information, marketing and all the data that you’ll need for the creation of a successful campaign or an even more successful ecommerce strategy.

Neil Patel, today’s hero of online marketing has put together a site and a connected blog with Hiten Shah, which not only provides ideas and tangible solutions, but also offers an approach to its followers.

You will learn step by step how the data set that seems confusing at first, becomes a well converting online shop that generates significant profit.

You can learn about 8 detailed suggestions, which, if applied, will help you generate higher revenues:

 

Blue Acorn eCommerce Blog

Blue Acorn is one of the developer companies that share with their visitors the enormous amount of experiences in the field of ecommerce that have accumulated during their everyday work. No wonder that several thousands of people visit their blog every month, where the main topic is increasing conversion for online shops.

BlogMetrics ranks the thematic blog of Blue Acorn 6th in the category of ecommerce, which can be considered very high, especially if you look at how an illustrious group of market players the team has got into with that rank.

You’ll be amazed how enormous improvement in the performance of your ecommerce store can be achieved with some minor but measurable changes:

 

CMSWire

Targeting a niche market within a niche market is always an exciting undertaking, however it could end up either being a success or a failure. On the other hand, founders of CMSWire made such a success of the segmentation of ecommerce consultancy (blogging, communications etc.), that now even advanced e-merchants are visiting them in case they want to browse the latest pieces of content on customer experience.

The site functions as both an ecommerce portal and a community, all the content, all the news, articles and analyses have the purpose of enabling the e-merchants to boost customer experience to the maximum on their own interfaces.

This of course leads to high conversion numbers, and the numbers of the portal, which has been operating since 2003, speak for themselves: every quarter more than 800.000 visitors read the thoughts and ideas of more than 400 professionals on the present and the future of ecommerce and on the highest level service of the customers.

Customer reach through multiple digital channels results in higher revenues as well. Let’s see what Steve Olenski has got to say about it:

 

PrestaShop

It’s an open source code ecommerce application that tries to facilitate the job of online merchants in several languages. We recommend its English blog primarily for beginners, it’s an excellent site where you can lay the foundation of your professional knowledge!

Make the search engine of your ecommerce store better, in order to acquire more customers:

 

Magento

The blog of the developer company of our favourite ecommerce software application, Magento, with novelties, case studies, most of the best practices and with everything that an online merchant working with a Magento store needs to know.

It’s a more advanced blog, for true e-merchants.

Some conversion strategies in the system of Magento, by Jenna Warren, that have been proven to work:

 

Sellbrite

Sellbrite is dealing with multiple channel ecommerce, their blog is also about that. In addition, they are also dealing with customer acquisition, and the most extensive automation possible of ecommerce workflows.

Price is one of the most important factors of marketing strategy. How should you define it? Here’s a little help from William Harris:

 

Neuromarketing

Roger Dooley will show you how to acquire even more returning customers and how to obtain the trust of your customers.

Has your company, or any of your products won an award or ranked high? This is the way how you should communicate that towards your target audience:

 

UpSellit

UpSellit’s team writes mainly about how to boost shopping cart value once you have succeeded in persuading your customer to purchase something in your store. In addition to that, they have excellent articles on the topic of mobile reach and optimization, which is why we recommend them to you.

Thanks to proper testing you can achieve great improvement of results with low costs:

 

Traffic & Sales

What’s the goal of all e-merchants? The boost of turnover and sales. Traffic & Sales enjoys widespread popularity due to simple phrasing and its true stories amounting to impact studies.

Make use of your users in content creation! Believe us, you won’t regret that:

 

HubSpot

HubSpot is the specialist of inbound marketing, but for this very reason they are also good at online commerce. Plus, fortunately they also write a blog about that, and leaving that out of the daily routine would be a mistake.

How to apply the growth-driven design? You can find out here:

 

RevenueWire

They are offering a global ecommerce platform mainly to those companies that are selling digital products.

In addition to the latest news and crispy novelties of the field of ecommerce, they are focusing on making their readers able to realize continuous expansion on the market of “trading” with software applications and services.

How to adjust your prices immediately to the actual consumer demand in your online store?

 

Springbot

Springbot is working on connecting the social media with your ecommerce store, and you can get tips here, which will help you become an outstanding social communicator and a successful e-merchant. Facebook, Instagram and everything that is hot today and may be relevant for you as well.

Everyone likes discounts, which is exactly why you should consider all the options, with the help of which you can make your coupon deals effective:

 

Sweet Tooth

The most important advantage of Sweet Tooth, a loyalty extension for Magento and other ecommerce platforms, founded by Steve Deckert and Mike Rossi, beside the perfectly usable top ecommerce blogs, is that they publish very significant materials on the structure of loyalty systems, on their management and on everything in connection with that.

In our opinion they offer one of the best customer loyalty solutions. They can be of enormous help mainly in the fashion, beauty and sports equipment sectors since, based on the characteristics of these markets, loyalty programmes can be used with great success.

Customers love when you pay special attention to them. Check out how you can build the club of VIP customers:

 

Mouseflow

Mouseflow makes videos of what your visitors do (or don’t do unfortunately) on your site, and they provide conversion tips on their blog. Very useful and informative!

With these suggestions you will undoubtedly increase the standard of your online shop’s marketing activity:

 

The Daily Egg

What do you think? A company, whose job is to make heat maps on your pages based on the activity of your visitors, knows about conversion? Most certainly almost everything. That’s what Crazy Egg does and Daily Egg is their blog, where for example the “good old” Neil Patel publishes as well.

Personalized messages are good, right? And do your users think about it the same way?

 

Optimizely

A blog in the magic circle of the best performing online shops and A/B tests. The optimized, almost excessively personalized ecommerce stores will certainly reach better conversion, and that’s what Optimizely’s blog offers you a helping hand with.

A lot of people leave your online store before they would purchase? Ask them what’s the reason for that!

 

2X ecommerce

On the blog of Kunle Campbell you can find a lot of great interview podcasts he made with ecommerce marketing experts and with owners of successfully operating shops.

Useful advice is provided here on how you can redirect the traffic of the marketplace to your own ecommerce interface that is running parallel with it:

 

CommerceBrain

Yulia V Smirnova’s blog, her articles are mainly on ecommerce marketing and on methods to increase conversion.

A fundamental topic that concerns all e-merchants. The article is on the pricing activity of online stores:

 

Dynamic Yield

The articles of the blog primarily focus on the increase of conversion and on ecommerce personalization, and their references make it quite clear that there is very significant professional experience behind their publications.

The product referral system that they developed themselves is able to adjust the product range not only to the given customer’s personal preferences, but even to the expected weather.

We chose the guide on the exit-intent, which is quite useful in terms of keeping the first visitors, i.e. database building. In addition to the good examples, you can also learn from this article how NOT to do it, in case you apply it in your online shop:

 

Pixel Union

In the blog of the digital agency making Shopify, BigCommerce and WordPress based ecommerce templates and extensions, a quite popular online commerce model, in other words, subscriptions and their correct application are presented:

 

ShipStation

In case you’re selling through multiple ecommerce channels at the same time, order management and serving the needs of the customers requires a lot of time and effort. With the help of ShipStation, you can organize and carry out the tasks related to the orders through a central and intuitive interface.

We chose Jake Gasaway’s article from their blog, which introduces to merchants the advantages and basics of multichannel selling:

 

Shopping Signals

The digital marketing blog of Ryan BeMiller, specialist of B2B and B2C online selling, having more than 17 years of experience, focuses on the increase of the efficiency of ecommerce selling.

A flash sale, run in online shops, is an excellent tool at the introduction of new products or in case of selling off remaining stock. You get useful advice on the successful implementation of this through a specific case study:

 

Smart Marketer

Ezra Firestone has more than a decade of experience and is considered by a lot of people to be one of the best ecommerce experts. Smart Marketer that he established, compiles and publishes in digital format training programmes for salesmen and for online shop owners.

In Ezra’s blog you can find an ever growing, but an already gigantic quantity of useful videos, podcasts and conference materials ‒ categorized, of course.

We chose his article on the exploitation of UpSell opportunities:

 

Rejoiner

Recover, retain, optimize – this is the main message that Rejoiner communicates. They focus on a field within email marketing which is exploited mainly by the bigger ecommerce stores only, and that is the transformation of abandoned shopping carts into conversion.

Think how significant increase in revenue can be realized if you can achieve conversion in case of 15% of the abandoned shopping carts – according to the statistics.

We managed to find one of the best articles – if not the best article – on the topic of “abandoned cart”, which, beside presenting the sad facts, also provides solutions and immediately applicable techniques for online store owners.

 

Launch & Hustle

The mission of this company is to provide the best possible knowledge in the field of marketing strategy and marketing tactics for their clients – who may be start-up companies, businesses in a growth phase, or companies firmly established internationally – in order to ensure the achievement of excellent results and business growth.

How to transform your not too-well-performing B2B website into a lead generating machine? Let’s see some effective solutions!

 

Customer Management

 

E-Commerce Times

The site itself is not as pretty as the nowadays trendy top ecommerce blogs, but leaving it out of this list would be a mistake. They collect all news and curiosities that are related to online commerce, that are closely or a bit more remotely relevant to the topic.

In addition to the news of the ecommerce business world, technical background, mobile platforms, internet security and social media will be addressed as well on the pages of E-Commerce Times.

ECT News Network, which operates the site, claims to be one of the biggest e-business content providers in the USA, E-Commerce Times attracts approximately 50 thousand individual visitors a month out of the traffic of the truly considerable empire.

Monitoring customer behaviour and feedback, and changes made in time to the course of business may be of vital importance:

 

3dcart

3dcart is a less known player among the ecommerce store software applications, still, it’s very much worth paying attention to their blog. In addition to the tricks optimized to their own system, you can often catch practices that leave even an experienced online professional wondering.

Your conversion rate is below 2%? If you want to increase it, read this:

 

Reevoo Blog

Reevoo is dealing with customer feedback and ratings, they’re the best at this. That’s the reason why it’s worth reading their blog, because if anyone on earth really understands customer psychology, it’s them.

One of the biggest pains for an online store is shopping cart abandonment. How to minimize it? Here are some tips:

 

Userlike

In addition to the usual topics, Userlike places particular emphasis on the communication with the customers. Their posts include communication tools and channels, with the help of which you can easily keep in touch with your customers.

If your customers are dissatisfied with you, there’s only a 9% chance of them returning to you. Check out how you can make them happy:

 

Ecommerce Platforms

This is the ideal blog for those who like big comparisons. Catalin Zorzini compares online shop engines, SEO compatible ecommerce platforms – and the list probably could be continued forever – on the basis of various criteria.

If you are a B2B e-merchant, it is a must-read, by Oren Ezra, to ensure a great shopping experience:

 

Guided Selling

Nowadays more and more people believe in smart customer acquisition instead of aggressive advertising campaigns. On Guided Selling’s blog you can regularly read articles on how you can persuade smartly your visitors to purchase and spend less money at the same time.

According to Angela Sokolovska it’s time to add “conversational commerce” to your vocabulary. And she’s perfectly right!

 

XSellco

XSellco, the brainchild of Ray Nolan, is also one of the blogs which share with their readers their extremely valuable experiences gained during their everyday work. Nolan is good at making sales out of data, and at making customers out of visitors – he’s worth paying attention to.

Are you thinking big? In that case, you will have to operate a customer service system outstanding even according to international standards:

 

Bootstrapping Ecommerce

Shabbir Nooruddin claims to have been an e-merchant since his childhood, and on his blog he shares everything on ecommerce marketing: SEO, PPC, social media and lots of other stuff, so that the readers can launch their own highly lucrative business.

In this post, he lists how you can minimize customer fraud, moreover, at the end of the article you can even read a couple of tips from other experts:

 

Help Scout

Almost 73 thousand newsletter subscribers are awaiting regularly the best materials on the enhancement of customer experience, on the most useful ecommerce software applications, and on the establishment of a solid customer base.

A detailed description on how to build your customer service team from scratch:

 

Content Marketing

 

LemonStand

LemonStand, operating in Vancouver, offers a primarily cloud-based online shop system, with special regard to the design solutions, thanks to which you can tailor the user experience as you (more precisely your consumers) like.

Being a designer company, it’s not surprising that they are operating a quite nicely designed, very clear blog site, where they post detailed, comprehensive articles in many topics, e.g. ecommerce web design, content development or online store building.

In today’s fierce competition, it’s absolutely necessary to provide your target audience with outstanding pieces of content. How? Well, you can find the answer here:

 

ConversionXL

Peep Laja is specialized in the increase of conversion, and of course his corporate blog is also on that. General, primary and complementary topics, all in favour of higher conversion and higher sales.

Product description ‒ it does make a huge difference how it’s formatted:

 

BuzzSumo

The company providing assistance in the development of content marketing are giving useful advice in the field of content marketing in particular of course, so that you can have quality and useful text content in your ecommerce store.

With the help of their service, thanks to the recent data and the easy manageability, you can easily find the currently trendy, hot topics, based on which you can create relevant content yourself as well, that you can effectively spread in the social media with the help of opinion leaders.

It’s the headline that sells your content. How to write it well? Steve Rayson tells you:

 

SpyFu

SpyFu is an outstanding search engine optimization tool for “stealing” the most profitable organic keywords and PPC advertisements of your competitors, all this on an intuitive, well-organized and clear interface.

It’s a common mistake at larger ecommerce companies that the different units and teams communicate differently about the company itself. Consistent communication should be “message-based” or “message-forward”:

 

Unbounce

The conversion technologies applied on landing pages have developed to perfection, and the planning and preparation process itself has become an independent speciality field by now. With the help of Unbounce, you can put together and put into operation your landing pages, covering the complete process, without the need for a programmer.

We chose Amy Wood’s article because its content creation approach is perfectly applicable in ecommerce store blogs as well:

 

Hotjar

In order to be able to serve your visitors’ needs in the fullest possible way, you need to know what their needs are and what they do exactly after arriving to your website.

This is which Hotjar quite efficiently helps you with, regardless of what kind of device the users arrive from. You get a complex analysis from A to Z on conversion channels, on filling out questionnaires and on visitor feedback as well, in addition to getting one on the video recordings.

In his article, Brian Lenney presents a complete process – already proved to be working fine at Hotjar –, on the creation of content that your potential clients will definitely be interested in:

 

Ecommerce UX

 

Internet Retailer

Whenever you read Internet Retailer, you always have the feeling that you’ve arrived to the official and global news portal of ecommerce. That’s because in addition to the daily topicalities of the e-business world, e-merchants are assisted with analyses, articles and the “auxiliary sciences” of online commerce as well.

The portal is clear and reasonably minimalist, and as such, it represents a colourful patch in the sometimes way too artistic or vivid world of e-business blogs. We very much like the sites where not only best practices are published all the time, and Internet Retailer has found the perfect balance on the guidance-communications-data gathering axis.

This portal, which covers the field of e-business in an exemplary way, is simply a must-follow site.

With the spread of mobiles it’s indispensable that you optimize your ecommerce store for mobile devices as well. What do you have to pay attention to in terms of that?

 

Shopify

Shopify is one of the leading online shop engine developers of the world. You should pay attention to what they have to say, since they’ve already brought something on the virtual table of ecommerce.

On their blog, they combine the traditional, a thousand times proved commercial approach with the requirements of the internet era, all this in the form of interesting and easily comprehensible articles.

It does matter very much, how your products look in your online shop. It’s worthwhile for you to follow these very detailed, practical pieces of advice by Thomas Kragelund:

 

BigCommerce

It’s also a hosted online shop platform provider company. On their blog you can read mainly about their own development and their ecommerce success story. Their clear site in itself is a true representation of the current trends, but fortunately they also share their experiences with their audience, be it appearance or fine-tuning of the software.

The primary purpose of website design is not the creation of amazement, but that of conversions. The best online shops were selected in the light of that statement:

 

cleverbridge

The blog of cleverbridge will teach you proper pricing methods and will show you how to extract the useful information from an unfriendly data set. German precision in online commerce. Well, that can’t hurt, can it?

You should clarify the difference between these two things below, in case you want to build a stable customer base:

 

Blue Stout

Blue Stout’s blog comes up with podcasts, videos, case studies, and they don’t just talk about ecommerce but they also take active part in it as service providers.

How to make your product pages irresistible? Here’s the recipe from Jenna Compton:

 

My Wife Quit Her Job

A blog of personal tone, sharing experiences of operating one’s own family online shop, that is made mainly for beginner online merchants, but it’s so thorough that even the more advanced find plenty of useful information here.

This article by Steve Chou explains the utmost importance of search functions for your own site:

 

UserTesting

User experience is not a luxury, we hope we don’t have to explain that to you any more. On this blog you will get extremely useful information on how you can improve user experience in your ecommerce store in order to realize higher conversion.

Some basic functions that you will definitely need to manage in your online shop so that your customers are satisfied:

 

eCommerce UX Design

Amazingly great writings again in the topic of user experience. Even you will be surprised how thoroughly they address even the tiniest corner of your ecommerce store.

You find pop-up advertising messages too aggressive? Rest assured, they can be used smartly:

 

Smashing Magazine

The well-known Vitaly Friedman is its co-founder, they are dealing mostly with web-design. But still, what is the most important thing when it comes to user experience? Of course it’s web design. Today it’s not enough even if your site is responsive, there’s a great deal of other factors that are necessary for success. You’ll find them here.

Which is better? Infinite scrolling or a “Load more” button? An interesting study in respect of reliable test results:

 

Goodvidio

They focus on the optimization of product videos. Their goal, and of course the client’s goal as well, is that the videos lead to the highest possible conversion by capturing the customers’ attention and desires, which will eventually result in a highly satisfactory purchasing experience.

The blog specifically focuses on the sales of ecommerce stores realized through the use of videos, on the effect of product videos on the increase of conversion, on YouTube marketing and video marketing in general.

By the way, Gooodvidio is developing a special ecommerce solution that’s capable of automatically finding and collecting the most popular or the most relevant YouTube videos on your products. All what’s left for you to do, is to approve which videos among those should appear on the data sheets of the given products.

Do you have product videos? Are they good? Do the visitors also think they are good and they click through? It’s worthwhile for you to test what it is that really works!

 

eConsultancy

A portal specialized on supporting the global community of online merchants and salesmen, which conducts quite important research and publishes data analyses and useful instructional materials.

We chose the article Greg Randall wrote because it’s one of the best guides on a topic that significantly influences the results of online sales, however, to this day, a lot of ecommerce store owners still don’t put enough emphasis on this issue.

 

Ecommerce Illustrated

Linda Bustos’s blog, relating to her book to be published under the same title, specializes particularly in the optimization of the layout, of the appearance of ecommerce stores.

Including all the important types of sub pages from the opening page to the checkout, it demonstrates with excellent examples the creation of user friendly ecommerce interfaces which are optimized for the increase of conversion.

Optimization for mobiles is a true challenge for online shops. Let’s see some useful tips how it is worth planning filter and sort functions:

 

Envato

This business operating in Australia is one of the most popular social marketplaces among web developers and designers. Their most visited website is ThemeForest where you can view and download a great deal of ecommerce store “themes” as well, in addition to the countless website templates.

If an ecommerce company would like to be among the best, it’s important that they know the latest UI / UX trends:

 

Social Media

 

Buffer Social Media Blog

Buffer – being the supplier of one of the most popular solutions managing social media communication – is not dealing with ecommerce specifically, but their blog is useful for everyone who would like to develop and grow in the field of e-business. We usually visit Buffer’s blog when we’re a little fed up with the dry mountains of data and the umpteenth perfect online marketing strategy.

On Buffer’s blog you can read mainly about the business-wise successful use of social media interfaces, about increasing visitor numbers, and about a modern business approach in general that is based on online communication.

Customer service through social media? Absolutely! Let’s see some great examples of that from Bryan Haines:

 

WiziShop

WiziShop belongs to the relatively small group of European ecommerce experts. They don’t overdo blogging, instead of daily content provision they rather focus on quality.

Their own performance-based ecommerce service is also made for online merchants, and for this reason, they too need to face the current challenges of ecommerce on a daily basis.

It does matter when and how you react on opinions or comments appearing on social networking sites:

 

Demi University

On Demi, they are dealing with online courses, where, not surprisingly, online marketing is taught. On the blog you can get great pieces of advice mainly on your social media campaign, on the management of your interfaces, be it Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, but of course the list could still be continued.

How to choose the proper social media channels for your business communications:

 

Ecwid

In addition to the news on their own application, you can find quite good tips here on the effective seasonal offers, on email marketing and on the complementary but indispensable ecommerce workflows.

You’d like to have a bigger customer base or more subscribers? Organize a contest! You can find a lot of great ideas here:

 

Social Media Today

Your company has to be present on the interfaces of social networks as well, and it hasn’t been enough for a long time now to use only one of these. Social Media Today are one of the experts of the field, their articles, specifically on ecommerce, assist your successful social media presence.

Did you know that 60% of the traffic arriving to online shops from all social media originates from Facebook? Therefore, it’s worth exploiting better this channel as well. Chris London’s article helps you with that:

 

Hootsuite

One of the best social media management solutions, having more than 10 million users. They’re the best of the profession, so it’s worth paying attention to their pieces of advice.

What do you need if you think for example of the Facebook page of your business? Strategy, good advice, simple tips, which you are able to use as well. You will find all this several times a day on the social media blog of Hootsuite.

If you read this from Dara Fontein, you’ll realize that it absolutely does matter when you post:

 

Shane Barker’s blog

Shane Barker is one of the most widely known specialists of online sales and lead generation, he also publishes his professionally written articles containing his steps applicable in practice as well, on the blogs of Search Engine Journal, Social Media Examiner, SemRush, Hootsuite and Neil Patel.

Among the articles on his blog on digital marketing we chose the one on the quite important potential lying in micro-influencers:

 

Post Planner

Many people don’t have time to look for pieces of quality content on the internet that may be useful for their own community as well, and then to ensure the scheduling of the gathered content.

Post Planner takes this task off your shoulders in order to make your Facebook and Twitter communication more effective, as it is specifically looking for content which has generated high activity within the predefined topic according to the statistics.

Today ecommerce businesses cannot ignore Facebook communication any more. Let’s see what you should focus on:

 

Social Quant:

Twitter is not a social networking site that ecommerce businesses can ignore any more. Social Quant helps you increase the number of your Twitter followers with relevant followers based on the keywords defined by you, thus you can make sure that your tweets get to potential customers who are actually relevant for you.

It’s worth paying attention to their blog, they are one of the most useful sources of information in the field of Twitter marketing, as they are conducting their researches based on the activity of their almost 14 million (!) current users.

Should you have any questions concerning Twitter, you can count on Michael Kawula, the CEO of Social Quant, and David Boutin providing excellent solutions and ideas.

David Boutin’s article gives a helping hand with drawing up several Twitter marketing strategies of proven efficiency:

 

AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse is a relatively fresh player in the field of social networking site management, which has attracted our attention with its very appealing and intuitive user interface. It’s important to note that in contrast to their competitors, in their case only, you can’t just manage social media accounts but you can put together quizzes and promotional campaigns as well.

We chose their article that is of vital importance for practically every ecommmerce business, since with the help of your colleagues you can reach a much larger audience even at the time of launching your online store:

 

Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner, founded by Mike Stelzner, is perhaps the most popular social media marketing portal in the world, which currently has already more than half a million newsletter subscribers.

No matter what kind of questions you have in connection with the topic of social media, you will definitely find practical guides, podcasts or expert interviews here in which you will get the answers to them.

SME also organizes Social Media Marketing World, the largest social networking conference in the world today.

Creating good content for the blog of your ecommerce store is not enough, you should also think about attaching attractive, possibly click through rate increasing images to your shared articles. Kristi Hines provides a step-by-step guide of creating quality social media images:

 

Digital Marketing

 

The Sparkline

For those who would not like to read about anything else but building an online shop, about the perfect search engine optimization or about the pinpoint targeting of the social media for that matter, we don’t recommend reading Fizzle’s blog in any case. On the other hand, it’s perfect for all e-merchants craving for a little inspiration, mental ammunition in the middle of a stressful everyday life.

Corbett Barr and Chase Reeves help you win the online race, and in addition, they don’t attack using their power, they prefer the mind game. It’s not specifically an ecommerce blog, but those susceptible to it can successfully build the customer and follower base of their online shop with its help.

One of the cornerstones of marketing communication is the unique selling proposition (USP), with the definition of which we could use a little help:

 

ROI Revolution

It’s a general marketing blog, where they’re addressing exactly the issue you would definitely like to find out yourself as well: how to generate the most profit with the least investment. Let’s go for the best ROI!

Avoid irresponsible advertising costs, concentrate on the return and on the realistic goals:

 

Store Growers

Dennis Moons has been an eCommerce consultant for 5 years, he has tested heaps of visitor and customer acquisition techniques in his own and in his clients’ projects, so he knows what works and what you shouldn’t push.

We believe that the most useful writing for our readers here is this very well prepared online shop marketing guide, “configurable” at the top of the article, which even includes practical steps:

 

ReferralCandy

One of the most popular eCommerce solutions, in which you can easily plan and put into operation practically any kind of referral programme – of course every individual referrer participating in the programme gets a URL and the rewards granted for the referrals can also be easily configured.

It’s an important aspect that the system measures practically all activity in connection with the referral programme, thus you can measure and optimize the programme’s efficiency using the data of the statistics as well.

Which other topic could we have chosen from their blog than Jon Tan’s article? He shows you through 42 specific successful examples how to make everyone talk about you:

 

Mention

With the help of Mention’s service you can’t only monitor the public online discussions about you, but you can monitor the communication of your competitors as well, or, you can find the influencers important to you. All this accompanied by having automated reports prepared.

We have the pleasure to recommend you the article of Patrick Whatman as one of the most thorough guides on digital marketing strategy currently available online. We specifically consider it a required reading for all online businesses:

 

Search Engine Optimization

 

Backlinko

Brian Dean’s blog is about SEO, which is not at all neutral to an ecommerce store owner. He puts a great deal of effort in writing his detailed articles, which has brought excellent results to him in terms of visitor numbers, reputation and very probably revenues of course ‒ all very well deserved.

Without doubt he was not “born into” the first search results pages: he shares all of the SEO techniques that he worked out during the years in his blog and in the training materials of SEO That Works.

For us his blog is in the frontline of SEO.

Go to Backlinko if you’re interested in the relationship between SEO and ecommerce, this post will definitely put several things back into place in your head:

 

Ahrefs

As a relatively new player, Ahrefs managed to become one of the most popular website analysing platforms in the world, which is largely thanks to their huge backlink database.

Mapping and following backlink profiles is a main advantage and SEO is supplemented with competition analysis. A nice arsenal of SEO tools are available, the updated is Keyword Explorer is our favourites.

In their blog you can find guidelines much more thorough than usual, based on enormous quantities of data, in which all you need to know is explained step by step.

In case you’d like to select from loads of useful search engine optimization tips, you will definitely not be disappointed with David McSweeney’s post:

 

SEMrush

The main thrust of this blog is represented by the articles concerning SEO, which is not by chance, because SEMrush is a worthily recognized competitor in the forefront of SEO software applications, thanks to, for example, its specifically accurate tracking of keyword ranking.

The article we chose was written by Tony Messer, it focuses on link building for ecommerce stores describing five immediately applicable methods:

 

Moz

They started as an SEO agency, today they’re developers at the same time, and experts of ecommerce as well. One of the world’s most predominant SEO teams, but they’re present with useful materials regarding other topics as well.

A fine example of this is that they provide suggestions on how you should weed out all the non-attractive and non-useful pieces of content from your website:

 

Neil Patel

Neil Patel. The name simply speaks for itself. So we shouldn’t even write anything else here, however, it still needs to be somewhat explained why already the second blog that the famous online marketing guru is involved in is on this list.

There’s a good chance he knows everything about online marketing, and he even shares a great part of that knowledge on his own blog, which also particularly addresses ecommerce.

Ecommerce and search engine optimization. Very long, very easy to read, very useful:

 

WordStream

Their speciality is PPC, which you undeniably need if you are dealing with ecommerce. It may not be as exciting as a blog on social media, but it’s very advisable for you to read.

A new era is coming in the world of search engine optimization. What will it be like and how should you get prepared for it? Larry Kim provides an answer for that:

 

Search Engine Watch

An enormous amount of information on SEO, search engine marketing and PPC until exhaustion, and on all other areas of online marketing in connection with those for relaxation.

Great opportunities lie in local searches as well. How to take advantage of them? The solution is here:

 

ProRankTracker

They are specialized in the statistics of search engine rankings. They claim they are having the most accurate analytical solution on the market to determine which rank a certain website has on the results pages.

What’s your rank in Google? Well, the question is more complex than you would think…

 

Synup

Although Synup has been in operation only for less than 3 years (in November 2016), currently more than 30,000 businesses are using its marketing solutions that are based on local information. Their software processes a huge amount of data, thanks to which every company can efficiently manage its own location data, its brand building, its awareness promotion and its company analytics.

It may seem to be just a minor problem, but duplicate citation of your company in an online directory may turn out to be quite problematic. Why is that? Read this:

 

YOAST

The Dutch family man, with four children, Joost de Valk founded his now worldwide known company in 2010, which became famous for the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. Team Yoast has grown to become a team of 50 people by now, and they are active in all areas of website optimization, be it the optimization of speed, navigation or search engine.

In case you want to improve the SEO of your ecommerce store, you should go through this checklist!

 

Rebrandly

Rebrandly claims that creation, management and sharing of “branded” links – with the help of which you can increase the trust towards the links (the click-through rate will be higher), and brand presence as well as brand reputation can also be improved – can be most easily done with Rebrandly.

Did you know that the “presentation” or appearance of links has a significant influence on trust and thus on the willingness to click? The post by Derric Haynie describes just that:

 

Business Advice

 

Demac Media

Demac Media is a team of strategists, designers and developers, who help merchants build and grow ecommerce businesses.

Your business will go only as far as your team can take it. So, who are these eCommerce heroes, and how do you know you’ve found them? To help you, Demac has shortlisted 50+ role descriptions from leading ecommerce companies across North America (downloadable document). Learn the sequence of hiring that leverages your existing team, and save you time in recruiting your next key hire!

 

Veeqo

They offer a platform that makes ordering and inventory processes quicker and simpler, thus saving a huge amount of time for the operator of the online shop.

Both marketing tactics and general retail advice are presented on their blog site. They are not the only ones on this list who deal with the integration of your online interfaces, but since they know the European market in particular, we couldn’t leave Veeqo off the list.

It’s an extremely useful collection of the most important market data covering several fields:

 

Ecommerce Influence

Austin Brawner is an email marketing specialist, he’s a blogger of Ecommerce Influence. We found to be one of the most useful among his articles the one including the list of software applications carefully selected for online merchants.

He doesn’t only list these tools, but he is recommending them specifically based on his own experiences he had with them:

 

PFS

In the blog of the digital agency, familiar with the development of the 5 types of eCommerce platforms, you can find articles on nearly 60 topics relating to online marketing.

It’s the holiday season that’s the most important for you, too, right? Here are some useful hints for the preparations:

 

Segmentify

Segmentify developed an ecommerce personalization solution with which you can tailor the opening page of the online shop, the category page and the product data sheet to the profile of the given visitor.

Here’s an excellent video collection on the TED talks relevant and useful for e-merchants (we’d like to specifically highlight Barry Schwartz’s speech „The Paradox of Choice”):

 

The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce

The blog operated by SAP Hybris focuses specifically on the latest techniques of convincing the customers to purchase, on future trends, and on B2C and B2B commerce.

It’s common knowledge that a B2B ecommerce company has to be operated with a different approach and different customer management than one to be built on B2C, regardless of the fact that there are common points as well.

In his article, Brian Beck provides useful pieces of advice on building a B2B ecommerce organization, so that you can launch a B2B ecommerce initiative while having a stable background:

 

Quick Sprout

This blog is one of the most successful projects of Neil Patel, which means a gigantic quantity of immediately applicable practical advice for the readers, whether it’s on the increase of your social media followers, on practices of writing truly useful pieces of content, or on search engine optimization. A great challenge to find the time to read (and of course to apply!) them all.

We chose this article because if anyone knows for sure what you need in order to become an “influencer”, or in other words an opinion leader in your area of expertise, than he does, and that represents a huge advantage over your competitors even in case of an ecommerce business:

 

Colibri IO

Social media interfaces are outstanding platforms for you to follow and influence the discussions on your products, but not all ecommerce business persons have the capacity to monitor the newsfeed all day. (It’s another thing if there’s a team for that within the company.)

Of course, Colibri IO monitors not only the social media platfprms, but for example websites, blogs and forums as well, so all you need to deal with is the communication itself.

When launching a new ecommerce store, you might as well issue press releases as part of the marketing strategy. The article by Karol Pokojowczyk, head of Colibri IO, will help you with that:

 

Traackr

Influencer outreach, in other words, addressing the opinion leaders, is probably one of the most important foundation stones of digital marketing. Traackr helps you to find and also to build a relationship with the people that your target audience has confidence in.

Shane Barker provides a detailed, professionally built guide for those who have not yet dealt with influencer marketing, or for those who are already working on it but are not sure whether they do everything properly:

 

Entrepreneur

This is the online version of the magazine established in 1977, which publishes useful articles mainly in terms of topics for small enterprises and with other business topics.

The article we found the most useful is the one that provides an answer to a question frequently asked by commercial companies intending to enter the online market nowadays:

 

ALT Agency

ALT are an award winning web design company from Birmingham, UK, who specialise in eCommerce website design and development.

Infusing Online Sales Psychology into their eCommerce stores, ALT typically grow an average clients conversions by 300% and generate ROIs of £13 for every £1 invested.

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is vital, here’s everything you need to know about getting started with eCommerce:

 

Email Marketing

 

Printful

They’re online merchants themselves, which is why they have a very good knowledge of the seasonal tasks and of ecommerce marketing. What amazing luck that they also share their knowledge on their blog, which we recommend to e-merchants who like simply achievable things.

Approach your target audience with special messages before the holidays come in order to be able to benefit more from the opportunities lying in holiday shopping:

 

Nerd Marketing

Of course you’ll find a lot of info here as well on marketing, but on the blog of Nerd Marketing, alias Drew Sanocki, you can get indispensable information in particular on the threefold topic of business building, growth and expansion.

You can view Drew Sanocki’s video here on how you can check in Google Analytics which dates are the most suitable for sending out marketing emails:

 

MailChimp

You’ve certainly heard from a couple of your competitors that email marketing was dead. When that happens again, keep staring with wondering eyes, because not only has it not died, but it’s more alive than ever.

Hopefully we don’t need to introduce MailChimp by now to you either, however, we definitely need to raise your attention to their blog, since in addition to their own news, the professional material is also interesting.

How many people on your distribution list are Gmail users? How can you make sure they don’t block your letters?

 

AWeber

Email marketing again, from the top of the profession. They’ve been in operation for almost 20 years, more than 100 thousand businessmen use their services throughout the world, so it’s no wonder they have a great deal of experience in this sector.

Clearly structured articles, step-by-step guides so that your letter ends up in the right place, so that it’s opened and read, so that people getting it also purchase from you.

You haven’t considered email marketing communication that important until now? If you read this, you will think otherwise:

 

Ometria

Ometria is developing a multiplatform profiling and marketing automation system for merchants, with the help of which you can efficiently increase customer lifecycle.

What kind of email do you get when you unsubscribe from an ecommerce store’s newsletter? Thanks to the research done by Ometria, you can get to know the most common types of goodbye emails, and of course nothing should keep you from applying the best examples in practice, because even cancelling one’s subscription may result in purchasing later ;)

 

Sleeknote

The Sleeknote blog shares proven and reliable strategies to help e-commerce businesses generate more high-quality leads, improve their e-mail marketing, and grow their email list. With in-depth articles, the Sleeknote Blog explores and covers all the possibilities of email marketing and list building.

Your About US page is important. Can it be improved? Most probably!

 

 

Analytics

 

Search Engine Journal

They’ve been operating since 2003, they provide content on a social basis, which are created both by in-house and external experts. You can get to know the novelties, experiences, trends, strategies and important personalities of the world of search engine optimization.

You can monitor a lot of key performance indicators, but which are the ones that are really important for you? See Sergio Aicardis post:

 

Perpetto

The main topics of Perpetto’s blog are the increase of conversion and customer loyalty, for the achievement of which they find personalized product referral and email automation effective, which is for a reason, since they are experts of these thanks to the solutions they themselves developed.

Customer Lifetime Value ‒ it’s worth dealing with it, let’s see why and how. It’s a detailed description with immediately applicable formulas:

 

Prisync

Prisync is the specialist of competitor price monitoring, the service they developed provides an effective and clear solution to that need. At the time of writing this blog article (November 2016), they are monitoring more than 6 million 200 thousand prices with updates at 3-hour intervals.

Their writing on the most important ecommerce metrics for any business is the one that especially attracted our attention:

 

Smart Insights

Digital marketing strategy guides, templates, immediately applicable practical steps and trainings. This is what Smart Insights offers for small enterprises and start-ups.

In Dave Chaffey’s article you can find quite detailed statistics on mobile customer habits, based on which you can make the sales of your mobile optimized websites and of your applications more effective:

 

Trinity Insight

The digital marketing agency founded in 2006 provides assistance in increasing online selling in a way that at the same time it also reduces the costs of its ecommerce business clients.

Jason Bauman introduces the advantages of the use of Google Tag Manager:

 

Brand Building

 

Eyemagine

On the blog of this ecommerce marketing agency you can find very useful content primarily on topics for online shops, concerning digital marketing and Magento development.

Online marketing and playfulness. Let’s see a gamification strategy elaborated in detail:

 

Brandwatch

It is just as important for online stores to build and maintain their own brand as it is for manufacturers. Thanks to Brandwatch you can get a complete picture of what your customers think of you, be it a social media site or any other kind of public online portal.

With the help of the gathered data you can efficiently plan the marketing strategy, and can shape and have your brand image under control.

An important element of this activity is brand positioning detailed in Kit Smiths’s post:

 

IMPACT

The agency, founded in 2009 by Bob Ruffolo, specialized in inbound marketing helps small and medium sized enterprises with the successful solution of various digital marketing challenges.

Filled with many useful tips, their detailed posts focus on topics like digital marketing trends, content management, customer engagement, UX and many others.

What would you say if your brand was not simply “liked” but it was even surrounded by a cult-like respect and worship? How can you achieve that? Just follow the tips by Ramona Sukhraj:

 

Landing Page

 

Conversion Voodoo

This blog is mainly about the optimization of the efficiently selling landing pages, because even the authors of the blog have been dealing for more than 10 years with creating landing pages and with the implementation of campaigns built on them.

How to plan your landing pages so that they bring the most possible conversions?

 

Lander

Well prepared landing pages that facilitate the decision making of the visitor (in your favour, of course) have an especially important role among the techniques to increase conversion.

With the help of Lander’s service you can design and set up yourself even the tiniest details of your landing pages on an interface made rather for the advanced.

You can find out from Daren Low’s straightforward article, structured in bulleted lists, which are the “mandatory” elements on a landing page that are indispensable for your business success:

 

PPC

 

CPC Strategy

The company is analysing the commercial search channels and it helps the different products and the customers “find each other” as efficiently as possible. Their main area of expertise by the way is the management of cost-per-click advertisements and of different purchasing channels (Amazon Product Ads, PriceGrabber, Shopzilla) – they are sharing the 8 years of experience they have in this field with their readers.

In the article we chose, Leanna Kelly tells you every important detail on Facebook’s new form of advertisement planned for retail businesses:

 

Optimum Click

Optimum Click offers 100% revenue focused campaigns in AdWords and in Bing. It’s one of the few PPC agencies in case of which you can be sure that they won’t use your budget for unnecessary search terms that are irrelevant to you.

Even though there are only a few posts in the blog, written by Erno Horvath, they very well highlight each individual problem on how the efficiency of PPC campaigns can be improved.

You also get an answer here on how many other things you have to pay attention to in addition to search terms:

 

Extra

 

AionHill

And now, let us talk a little about our own blog…

Being a company specialized in the development of Magento ecommerce stores, we are trying to deal with topics related to Magento and ecommerce. We are not focusing only on the subject of development, because we see that professionals dealing with online commerce, and online store owners require more and more help in other fields as well, e.g. increase of conversion, search engine optimization, content marketing, etc.

That’s why we concentrate on writing posts that deal with each individual subject in a comprehensive manner, and provide useful hints for the readers. We are hopeful that our continuously growing blog enriches the ecommerce community’s knowledge base with useful pieces of content week by week.

If you’d like to have a Magento store developed, we warmly recommend our following article that raises important questions and aspects to be considered before you decide who to choose:

 

Have we left someone out?

That’s quite possible, since the internet is huge and it’s full of great content. We love learning, so if you think that we could add some further posts to even this amazingly long list, please let us know in a comment what else you would recommend to an e-merchant.

 

Should I read all this?

This is an awful lot of information, even letting in this much would be insane, let alone using it – you could say, and to tell the truth, this is what we would also say, if we had started doing this only recently. However, the thing is, that you need to continuously read the professional literature, otherwise you’ll find yourself chasing after your competitors so that you don’t lag to far behind.

Just think about it, a doctor, an engineer, or a professional working in any scientific field can only get to the top and stay there as well, if they continuously read, do research and learn. The same goes for online marketing and ecommerce.

Be up-to-date and follow those who have long developed best practice of the most modern techniques. That’s why it’s essential that you start getting to know the blogs and the highlighted posts listed here.

 

 

Ecommerce customer segmentation: basics, 6 types + 5 hacks for higher loyalty

How many people from the addressees do you think will fight their way through the 20-30 offers, until they find something relevant for them?

Very few.

It is much better if on any platform – e-mail, your website, in advertisements – you only offer your target audience relevant things, whether it is a product or some content, which they really find interesting.

You might not have known, but possibly presumed that even three-quarters of western online stores (73%, to be precise) do not use segmentation. This is a huge mistake in the big data era.

In this article we will cover in detail how to avoid this mistake, how to increase conversion in your online store, what specific methods you should apply to get ahead of your competitors.

 

This is what we will look through in the following:

  • What can you use segmentation for?
  • What determines a segment?
  • Demographical segmentation
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Segmentation by customer habits (RFM segmentation)
  • Segmentation by product categories
  • Segmentation by intention
  • Segmentation by behaviour
  • Examples of the most common segments
    • Potential customers
    • First-time customers
    • Returning customers
    • Cart abandoners
    • Non-purchasing visitors
    • Dropping out customers
  • Set clear objectives
  • How to achieve higher revenue by segmentation
    • Premium treatment for key customers
    • Pay attention to delivery with those who order a lot
    • Give to those who read your letters, but do not purchase
    • Encourage those who wait
    • Reactivate the ones who seem lost
  • There is no ecommerce without segmentation

 

What can you use segmentation for?

 

If you group your customers based on analytics, you can draw plenty of useful consequences. Let’s see some examples as follows.

You can discover cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

If you realize that four-fifths of your customers regularly buy two products at the same time, you have already found a splendid opportunity: make a package deal of two (or possibly more) products and offer them together – if you can precisely identify those who do not buy the two items together, target them with this deal.

You can cut down on unnecessary costs.

You can find out who the customers are that are not worth giving discount to or spending any advertising budget on. Perhaps you have some products that do bad for your business – for instance, because you hardly have any margin on them (teaser, entry-level products), but they bring you poor quality customers, who do not return or spend, who are not loyal.

You can concentrate on your most valuable customers.

It is an unquestionable fact that it is cheaper, easier and more profitable to keep your existing customers, than always trying to get new ones. (The reason is simple: you are through with the step requiring the most persuasion, which is the first purchase.)

 

What determines a segment?

Before starting a campaign for any segment, you must be sure it is going to be worthwhile. For this you need to know whether the given segment is worth working on. You should study carefully these aspects:

The segment is well definable. It has specific features, its reactions to each campaign is simply measurable. You can mark your segments by demographic features, purchase habits or other methods, all of which we will discuss in detail later.

The segment is significant enough. Of course, you cannot make a campaign for each segment, as it would be far too expensive, so obviously you should target the largest and most valuable ones to be able to make a significant profit. Analyse how much profit a campaign could make you, how much it will cost, what target messages you can use.

The segment is accessible. This means you have the opportunity to communicate with them through the given channels: you can access them in newsletters, you can target them by remarketing on social media, and so on.

The segment is stable. You do not change the definitions, features, indicators: define the most important segments the way that you will be able to work with them for years without changing.

The segment is well distinguishable. Customers have different preferences, demands, problems, behaviour patterns from other segments. If there are too many things in common, it might be a good idea to unify the segments in order to make the campaigns simpler (and cheaper).

The segment can be activated. You should not only be able to plan the solutions giving answers to the segments’ problems, but you should also be confident in actually getting them ready for action, making sure you can run a campaign that addresses them.

Let’s see the segmentation methods that you absolutely need to know.

 

Demographical segmentation

 

The simplest method is segmentation by demographic data. In some cases it might be useful to target men and women, urban and rural inhabitants, etc. by different messages or offers.

If you have never done segmentation before, this is the first method you should try, as it is simple (you can analyse your market basically with no effort, with the help of analytics), and it perfectly shows what a segmented campaign is capable of.

 

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

 

We will show you a more complex method as well, but first let’s see how you can calculate the average Customer Lifetime Value, and what you can do with this information.

You must know three things to get the estimated Customer Lifetime Value:

  • The average cart value: how much money does a customer spend in your online store in case of one order?
  • How often they purchase on average.
  • How much it costs you to acquire (and keep) the customer.

 

Multiplying the first two values by each other, then subtracting the third from the result you get the lifetime value of your average customer.

You should stop here for a second, as it could be extremely useful to be able to calculate CLV for each segment you have set in accordance with other aspects.

 

Segmentation by customer habits (RFM segmentation)

 

You can use the most basic analytical methods to determine which customers are the most valuable for you and which segments make the least profit.

From your database you can figure out who buys, how often and for how much – you can make an RFM segmentation which is the most basic method.

The essence of the technique is that you observe three indicators in case of each customer:

  • Recency, meaning: When did he/she last purchase anything in your online store?
  • Frequency, meaning: How often does he/she return to you?
  • Monetary value, meaning: How much is his/her average cart value per purchase?

 

 

From this you can see whether the given customer is active, loyal and purchases in high value. Obviously the most valuable ones are those who have recently bought something, frequently return and usually purchase in higher value – but you can set 8 more categories and build unique campaigns targeting them.

The principle is simple: you can encourage the frequently returning customers to spend more by offering discounts in return for their loyalty; you can make special offers for those who purchase in higher values in order to get them to return more often; you can even try to reactivate the inactive segments.

 

Segmentation by product categories

 

Observe what products the given customer buys or regularly looks at. Based on this information you can precisely customize the messages addressed to him/her. You can make more effective upsell and cross-sell activities on the site, you can send products or reasonable offers via email, which are more likely to be interesting for them.

 

Segmentation by intention

 

Treat your customers based on what their intention is with your online store, not by demographics or anything else: that is the theory of segmentation by intention.

Based on this method you can sgroup the people into four basic categories, which are the following:

  • SEE: the largest qualified audience accessible to you; they are basically the ones, as shown in the category name, who see you, but do not want to purchase from you. However, they have existing problems linked to you (which means you could solve them with your products). In their case you should get their purchase intention to increase.
  • THINK: they are your audience with stronger purchase intention, who have not yet made a decision. They are considering buying a product that you have in order to solve their problems, but nothing has definitely pushed them in the direction of purchasing yet.
  • DO: your potential customers with strong purchase intention, basically those who are already browsing your site, perhaps even placed the items in their carts. Around 97% of the current marketing activities focus on them – you can improve this ratio by applying segmentation by intention, in order to reach more people.
  • CARE: the final segment involves those who are already returning customers, who have had at least two transactions. You must actively care for them, offer them exclusive opportunities, communicate actively with them, create loyalty programmes and so on.

 

You can target each segment differentiated by intention with various content marketing tools. In case of the first segment, your aim is brand building, in other words enhancing visibility – then point out their problems and what solution you can provide them.

In case of the second segment, education is what you should focus on, to get them to better understand how you could satisfy their needs. You should give information about the solutions to their problems, show them with the tools of storytelling how others have solved the same problems.

Do not try to sell immediately to the first two segments – you should just guide them first to evoke definite purchase intention, otherwise you could cause revulsion.

In case of those with more definite purchase intention, less creative solutions will also do, as they already know they want to buy and what they want to buy. With them you can induce making the final decision, or even to buy more, using case studies or statistics.

At last, in case of the CARE segment, helpful content is the best choice: they show how they can make a better, more efficient, smarter use of the previously purchased goods, which will help them solve their problems even more.

 

Segmentation by behaviour

 

The principle is quite simple: you sort the people coming in your way by the actions they take.

You make separate groups for those who only follow you, who visit your site, who browse it, who visit specific product pages, who place items in their carts, and so on.

This way, the group of cart abandoners is also generated, which will be one of your most important segments later on. We will soon discuss what to do with them.

Behavioural segmentation is practical, because you can make action plans on how to make larger profits with them – besides, data on customer behaviour is easily accessible even for the laymen from analytics software.

Examples of the most common segments

 

If you do not know which segments to set up first, we will help you in this as well. Here are the most commonly used customer segments in ecommerce.

 

Potential customers:

They are the ones who have never purchased from you, but some interaction has happened in the past. They might have just looked at a product page, or perhaps given their email addresses in return for a bait item and therefore ended up on your newsletter list, or any other way.

Their purchase intention is weak: they have given proof that they are interested in your products, but are not yet ready to pay you. You can target them using retargeting solutions, but it is even more useful, if you send them various emails making them more committed, such as content recommendations and educational letters.

 

First-time customers:

Obviously they are the ones who have had their first transaction, but nothing else has happened yet. You should relatively quickly grab them, for example with content that helps them make better use of the purchased product (such as a how-to video), or offers directly connected to the purchased item.

Perhaps they only periodically need the purchased product. For instance, if they have bought a printer cartridge from you, you can track the purchase time in your database, and after the average lifetime of a cartridge, you can send them a reminder that they had bought the last one from you.

In order to reach them this way, you need a more complex database integrated with the newsletter software, but it is worth the effort to build such a system, as segmentation will make you a much higher profit.

 

Returning customers:

They are the ones who already trust you so much that they have made several transactions in your online store – but cannot you recommend them something that will make them buy more frequently or in higher value?

You can sort them into further categories using RFM segmentation, and by targeted offers, discounts, actions you can get them to increase their average cart value.

You can sort them into active, unsure and inactive groups, depending on how often they return – this is the clearest indicator of how much they trust you, so if you do not want to get deeper into RFM segmentation yet, this is how you should examine them.

As for returning customers, you should know that it is much more worth spending on them than working on gaining new customers all the time. According to ecommerce surveys, non-first-time customers spend nearly twice as much on average in your online store than those who convert for the first time.

The difference can be felt with the visitors, too: a returning customer is nearly twice as much likely to place something in the cart than someone who visits your site for the first time.

 

Cart abandoners:

All online stores take up a huge challenge to reduce the number of cart abandoners – they are the ones who place items in their carts, but do not pay for them.

There can be several grounds for that – they simply forget it, postpone it to make lists, they currently have no money, but later they intend to purchase from you.

If you can find out what the most common reason for cart abandonment is, you can target this segment by retargeting adverts via email, or other ways, say, offering immediate discount or simply reminding them of the interrupted shopping.

 

Non-purchasing visitors:

There are those who are keen visitors of your site without ever purchasing from you. This can be so for a number of reasons – perhaps they are just “window-shopping”, perhaps your offers are not good enough, but it is also possible that they mainly visit you for the content you offer them.

Observe what route the non-convertors reach your site – which sub pages they visit, how much time they spend and where, whether any interaction follows these routines.

 

Try to get them to purchase: improve the CTAs offers, transparency on your pages, where dropping out is most relevant according to the clickstream analysis.

 

Dropping out” customers:

As your aim is to keep your customers, you should analyse the details of each segment in order to find out when they are most likely to drop out. Before this happens, somehow you should reach them and wake them up.

You should know that 68% of the customers do not return to an online store because they simply do not get customized offers. If you show them products, offer discounts that might interest them based on their earlier activities, and you are not randomly trying to sell everything in your online store, they will not only be more keen to purchase, but the shopping experience will also remain positive for them.

But even if you do not reach them before dropping out, you still have a chance to lure them back. If you have data about what they had previously purchased, you can recommend it to them after the lifetime of the product, or show any other relevant products.

tips And what’s more, you can even be less direct: you can send them interesting content based on their earlier purchases, which will simplify the use of the products, you can give new ideas or point out previously unknown information.

 

Set clear objectives

 

If the methods of segmentation are now clear, it is advised to make the so called GAP analysis. This shows how the current performance of a company relates to the potentially achievable performance.

In order to make an efficient analysis, you should be aware of what exactly your goal is with segmentation. We can say things like: we want more returning customers instead of first-time customers, the returning customers should purchase more often, or they should have a higher cart value.

Also observe by segment, what profit results of each campaign can be expected. It might not be worth working on getting them to come shopping to you more often, because your product features are simply not like that, but you can get them to buy more at once, or to recommend you to others.

 

Lifetime Value is mentioned yet again: you can determine the total opportunity, which means how much more your revenue can be by moving the customers from one segment to another, by subtracting the average lifetime value of the source segment from the average lifetime value of the target segment, then multiply the result by the number of the potentially movable customers.

 

From this you will know on which segments you should focus your further marketing activity. If the opportunity is too low, you should build a campaign making a higher profit – this is obvious.

The question is, how many campaigns can you build and run from your resources, because you will have to prioritize them based on these analyses in order to be able to reasonably share your resources.

 

How to achieve higher revenue by segmentation

 

Premium treatment for key customers

 

It is also true in ecommerce that probably 20% of your customers generate 80% of your revenues. It is a big mistake, a missed opportunity to treat them the same way as any other customer.

If someone spends outstanding amounts, you should make sure they will return to you in the future and compile other high value carts.

You should pamper them, not with discounts or actions. You should rather offer them special services. Special support, extended warranty. Give them free gifts, make extra functions available at the time of order or delivery.

 

When defining this group, you must pay attention to one thing: only offer special key treatment to as many customers spending the most as it is still definitely profitable for you.

 

Pay attention to delivery with those who order a lot

 

As for delivery, you should mostly concentrate on those who order the most from you. Even if they leave a smaller amount at the cashier, they regularly return to you, they are loyal, they are the perfect evangelists.

You should pay attention to this, because as much as 44% of the customers abandon their carts if they find delivery options unsuitable.

Delivery is an important issue; it is crucial that the customers get their goods comfortably, fast and in the right place. Observe what delivery options your competitors offer and how you could improve your service in a still profitable way.

 

Give to those who read your letters, but do not purchase

 

There are many newsletter subscribers who open your letters but do not click on your site – or even if they do, they just look at the current content, offers, but do not buy anything.

In this case, you should think your offer over, because it might happen that most of them are just waiting for the one that is most suitable for them.

 

Encourage those who wait

 

There might well be a segment among your customers who do not purchase when special occasions approach – this is because they are waiting for special deals and offers connected to celebrations or holidays.

You should make (at least) one separate segment for them for these occasions.

You exclude those who have recently purchased and those who are already considered inactive. Target the rest with campaigns that will convince them not to wait until the very last moment.

You can support this by something like: if they order the presents for Christmas now, they will be delivered on time, so they will be able to comfortably wrap them, without any stress.

 

Reactivate the ones who seem lost

 

No matter how long ago someone purchased from you, you always have the chance to lure them back, to get them to purchase again – or at least to get them back to your site and start persuading them.

Realistically, you should mostly target those who have not purchased from you in the last 3-6 months. Send them a letter – if they used to be regular customers, offer them a loyalty programme.

Not just joining: the best is if you immediately credit the earlier collected points in the loyalty programme, even if they were not aware of the system at that time, or even if the system did not even exist at that time. This way you need not give a discount, you do not reduce the prices of your products and services, but offer a more tempting opportunity in the long run.

 

There is no ecommerce without segmentation

One of the biggest advantages of ecommerce is that you can give everyone the most reasonable, personally relevant offer. Based on their details you can learn about what interests them, how they can be motivated, how exactly they behave on the site. This way, your automatic systems can work as if you placed a personal sales assistant in front of each customer.

Segmentation provides the chance for this; and you can be sure your competitors exploit this opportunity.

If you have not yet done so, you have learnt about the basics and the most commonly used methods from this article – all you need to do now is put them in practice.