Consumers prefer to buy from retailers that offer them a personalized experience. When it comes to eCommerce personalization, what should retailers do for greatest impact? Statistics reveal that 75% of consumers prefer to choose retailers that personalize user experience.
Alternatively, 24 out of 25 retailers see personalization as a top priority for 2017.
Can you accurately predict what products your shoppers want personalized right away? It might help to leverage search and recommendation technology to understand preferences of customers. Use sophisticated technology to recognize preferences based on size or gender. This should help you show them relevant products when they are in a mood to buy.
Your customers may be looking for products that they can gift to others. It may be a big mistake to focus only their past purchasing behavior, though you may need their past preferences to create a personalized experience.
But it is important to be careful not to go overboard with it. You don’t want to act like a big brother when it comes to making recommendations. Use their past shopping data to create a great experience.
When it comes to offering a great eCommerce personalized experience, you want to use customized product banners to grab eyeballs. Your main purpose is to draw attention of customers to products relevant to their searches. 73% of consumers that have tried social buy buttons are willing to do so again.
Existing customers have been there with you for a long time. It is in your best interest to offer them much more than you offer first-time buyers. To improve user experience of loyal customers, you may want to show them items they might be interested in.
For new customers, it is a great strategy to show only those items they are looking for.
Related: 3 Steps to Get New Customers.
You don’t want to frustrate shoppers by showing them irrelevant products that they haven’t asked for. It would help to use their search data to display product lists they are looking for. For example, if they are looking for brown shoes, displaying products in different colors is likely to frustrate them.
Related: Don’t Give Up on Social Commerce!
Your customers are everywhere, both in mobile and desktop, when they make purchases. They may choose to purchase from mobile once and on desktop another time. Coordinate your personalization tools across different channels, including email, mobile, desktop, or kiosks, and offer them a consistent user experience everywhere.
Your product pages should display relevant content across all channels to facilitate decision making of shoppers. It might help to display product reviews, multimedia, how-to-videos, etc.
Show them you know what they want. Consumers are least interested in retailers knowing their name; rather, they are more focused on getting their hands on the products they are looking for. So offering them relevant information and product should be on top of your eCommerce personalization strategy.
This is an important step in the online retail business. When it comes to cross- selling, make sure you can do it perfectly. Remember, customers appreciate good recommendations based on their personal preferences. It may be a good idea to include trending relevant products as well in the search results.
Wrong recommendations can kill your customer’s loyalty toward your business. On the other hand, with the right personalization technology, you can boost sales revenue dramatically.
Irrespective of your baggage of frustrations from 2016, the New Year can always be a New Start. It is time to start preparing for eCommerce marketing for 2017. What is it that you failed to accomplish in 2016? What do you plan to achieve in the New Year? Focus holds the key to starting afresh for a successful year ahead. It is in your best interest to focus on one thing at a time instead of putting all your eggs in one basket and trying to everything right.
New business generation is undoubtedly the one thing you ought to focus on now to improve eCommerce revenue and sales leads.
As a small business, you might want to start focusing on brand building, brand awareness, brand loyalty, reputation building, and customer engagement in the New Year. This promises to bring you a good share of profitable revenue.
Starting 2017, you can evaluate new business generation marketing performance accurately, so by the end of the year, you will have accurate reports on spending and investment
You can test different offers, prices, and marketing channels, among other variables, in order to review marketing campaigns throughout the next year.
Set goals for new business generation and determine what budget should be allocated for marketing campaigns. It’s important to consider the lifetime value of each customer, which gives you an estimate as to how much you can earn from an average customer.
When it comes to creating a planning framework, determine how many new customers you plan to attract from the 2017 marketing campaigns.
It’s important to be realistic when establishing new customer goal. If you are unsure about the number of new customers attracted to your eCommerce marketing campaign, it is always rational to begin with a modest goal. When your marketing seems working, you can always increase it.
With a clear goal of new business generation, review the year that has just gone by and deal with your new marketing campaigns. You may struggle with a few questions, but it is important to find solutions.
Here are a few common questions marketers struggle with:
Quarterly reviews and assessments can help you refine your ecommerce marketing campaign and to try out new approaches. It is in your best interest to tweak your existing campaigns and track them closely before scraping them once and for all.
In order to have a successful eCommerce marketing campaign, consider the following:
Play your eCommerce marketing cards right for the New Year, so you can achieve your goals that directly affect your bottom line.
Small business marketing is tough if you are on a tight budget. A community outreach program can give your business local traction and visibility without involving huge investment. If you are looking for low-cost community outreach programs that can add value to your marketing campaign, here are a few to get you started, so your business benefits in terms of outreach.
What is it that schools in your area lack? What does the funding not cover for them? Can your business gain by making some donations that schools lack? Since schools encompass the whole community, you have a greater opportunity to connect to student families and neighborhoods. Your community reach is limitless when you develop a strong relationship with schools. By involving students in the program, you can get free word-of-mouth advertising, since students are more likely to spread the word about your program than other groups. Believe it or not, this strategy is highly effective than social media marketing at the community level.
By offering products, services, or funding to NGOs, you can get positive publicity, foster highly profitable relationships, and build a brand image. One way to spread the word about your brand is to host a fundraising event for an NGO and get your logo printed on their marketing materials and brand name on their shirts.
Since NGOs have high contact rates with the public, your business can benefit from increased visibility and association with a worthy cause.
You could join hands with other local businesses to hold a free promotion event for your brand. Your strategy should be to focus less on product promotion. Free public events give you greater exposure to different crowds. Collaboration between small businesses benefits brands, giving greater visibility to your products and services. Additionally, this gives you an opportunity to boost your brand and gain referrals from each other’s clientele. This helps in trust building.
You can garner greater revenue by teaming up with others and establishing relationships at a professional and personal level that outlive other promotional and marketing campaigns.
Your brand is like the shining star in your marketing arsenal. It is a symbol of your business identity. All your marketing efforts are directed toward promoting your brand. So how well do you know your brand?
Do you know your audience? Your audience represents value to your brand. If you aren’t aware how to build a strategy to entice and please your audience, all your efforts will go in vain. Your products or services are for your target audience. If they don’t cater to their needs or preferences, they won’t be of any use. Harness the power of market research to understand and know your audience.
It is equally important to know your competition. This will help you develop your brand and offer better quality products or services than the competition. What is your competition and what is your unique selling proposition that adds value to your brand and makes it different from them? It is your unique identity that sets you apart from the competition and gives you an edge over them.
Are you an entrepreneur or marketing director of the brand? Or are you a key decision maker? Knowing yourself and building your personal brand that seconds as an extension of your company will help boost your overall brand identity. Pieces of your personality inbuilt into your business brand will give your brand a personal touch that the audience wants to associate with.
Why does your business exist? What is your business objective, mission, and vision? Your mission and vision statements represent your brand, throwing light on the fact why your business exists. When the audience learns how you see your business developing or where do you see yourself in the next five years, it encourages them to do business with you. Additionally, it is your fundamental understanding of the culture or work environment you envision for your company that can boost your brand image before the audience and team members.
When trying to acquaint yourself with your brand, you may want to focus on the following:
When you are aware of your brand’s signature qualities, it will get better for you to execute the functions that will give you an edge over the competition and influence your organization growth.
Customers are always excited to grab a deal. Brands often try to win over customers by offering print-based discount offers. This includes coupons to sell products in newspapers and magazines. With consumers trying to get information online, they expect businesses to shift and come up with digital marketing strategies. If you have been out of the loop, consumers look for exciting saving opportunities while purchasing online too. As a result, businesses are trying to reach out to customers through different deals.
Unlike shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, online customers need a way to exchange a coupon virtually, since they can’t present a paper coupon at an online checkout. It is here that “coupon codes” can come in handy, which can be pasted into the relevant field before finally entering the payment details.
Many coupon sites have come up so customers can share coupon codes with anyone visiting the site, though not all brands are happy with the public sharing of coupon codes. But realistically speaking, they can work as great allies.
Online customers looking for such deals frequently look for coupon codes in these sites so they can get their hands on a great deal. It is a great idea to create a generic coupon code that has a long expiration date, so it is possible for customers to share online, though you may want to make deals for customers more lucrative, which can be grabbed within a short timeline.
With about 81% of customers searching the web before making a purchase, a business that chooses to be invisible online cannot compete with those that have already marked their presence in the Internet world. It is critically important that deals are clearly visible on retailer websites as well as deal sites which are frequented by customers. Savvy coupon users frequently visit some of the most popular deal sites, so they don’t lose out on any deal.
However, not all deal sites are worthy of posting coupon codes. So you must look for deal sites with a huge follower base and where major brands post deals regularly. Some of these sites allow subscription for customers so they can regularly receive deals in their email inboxes or even through notifications using their App. Listing yourself on deal sites is just the beginning. It is important to ensure that your coupon codes remain fresh and active to avoid being removed for inactivity.
Does the value of loyalty cards remain limited to offering money-saving deals to customers? Well, there is much more to loyalty cards than attracting customers. You can collect data on each customer’s purchasing decisions and habits. The data can then be used to make informed business decisions.
Additionally, loyalty cards are lucrative enough for customers to stay connected with your brand, thus helping generate incentive for them to prefer you to the competition. Apart from this, having a points-based reward system is another lucrative deal to keep customers attracted to your business.
Another way to get exposure is by enticing a few customers to buy into a deal even before it is announced publicly. Considering themselves lucky, those customers, share the offer with their friends on social media, thus boosting the company’s exposure.
However, a majority of brands aren’t too happy with group coupon sites, complaining that they fail to generate repeat business. It is true to some extent, especially when a customer participates only to benefit from the deal. As a result, the business often experiences accumulative loss or rarely sees a profit from the specific sale.
Nevertheless, a brand may want to use group coupon sites to introduce your business to a wider audience, while ensuring that your deal helps you make some profit.
All in all, coupons promise to be a great way to reach out to potential customers, whether you have a local presence or are an online business. It would help to learn about each option and select the one that best fits your goals.
The beginning of the holiday season is sending out positive signals to online merchants and retailers, and consumer purchasing spree is expected to break all previous records. According to a report released by the Adobe Digital Insights, holiday sales on the Internet are likely to grow 11 percent compared to the previous year statistics, accounting for $91.6 billion between the beginning of November and December end.
Holiday shopping trends show that Black Friday sales are expected to rise 11% and shoot to $3 billion, while sales on Cyber Monday are likely to grow by 9.4% to reach $3.4 billion. As expected, Thanksgiving Day sales are expected to register the biggest growth rate, as many chain stores shall remain closed that day.
With the closure of some of the top chain stores and malls, online sales this Thanksgiving are likely to break all previous records. It is highly likely that Thanksgiving 2016 would be the top mobile shopping day of the year. As a result, retailers that sell online have a chance to optimize their eCommerce sales and boost bottom line.
Online shopping during the holiday season gives consumers the opportunity to avoid the mad holiday rush in physical stores.
Related: Fight Holiday eCommerce Fraud.
Long checkout lines, traffic and parking blues seem to be on top of the consumer’s mind when it comes to shopping in physical stores. The Deloitte 2016 Holiday Survey predicts that big box stores are expected to lose out a major chunk of holiday sales this season, and shopping at malls will register a decline by three percent.
The survey also predicts that gift spending this season will be similar to that of 2015, and average spending per consumer is likely to be $430.
Of total ecommerce sales, mobile shopping will account for 29 percent. Deloitte Holiday Survey forecasts an increase in the use of smartphones for holiday shopping, with 57% using mobile phones for price comparisons and 50% for product information.
According to Adobe Digital Insights statistics, this is the first time mobile visits will exceed that of desktop, though some consumers may use desktop for making transactions.
Like previous years, there is a positive holiday shopping trend for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are expected to top the online retail sales of 2016.
According to Adobe Digital Insights, Email is the most preferred source of holiday promotions, preceding display ads.
With the holiday shopping season having just started, merchants need to be on their toes with seasonal promotions, with 27% of survey respondents likely to start shopping before Thanksgiving. More than 40% consumers are expected to join the shopping bandwagon in December, so there is still time for retail stores and eCommerce vendors to come up with exciting offers and seasonal discounts.
It is no wonder that 1/3rd of gift purchases are likely to accrue from an online sale or promotion. More so, 56% of online shoppers are looking for discounts and bargains that could give them the best deal of 2016.
About 71 percent of the survey respondents have shown the likelihood of preferring online stores that offer free shipping to others that do not. Smart consumers want fast shipping, expecting delivery of their orders within two days. Keeping this holiday shopping trend in mind, online retailers would do well to come up with flexible strategy to meet rising customer expectations.
Related: Free Shipping Versus Fast Shipping.
Online merchants and retailers are on their toes to ensure quality service in terms of returns, shipping, delivery, in-stock products, and customer service. Make sure you are ready for Holiday Returns and Exchanges.
Omnichannel model is becoming a popular sales model. Retailers are striving hard to meet customer expectations for swift delivery so much so that some even forget about their bottom lines. Since they are eager to sell their product, retailers are trying to compete with Amazon and ending up eroding their profit.
Though customers seem to love omnichannel, the practice of fulfilling orders from brick-and-mortar stores is expensive. Profitability comes down when you start fulfilling the same order from more than one store. Converting a traditional retail operation to omnichannel requires investment in material handling equipment, expert consultants, transportation route changes, retraining staff, and corporate realignment.
A recent survey conducted by PwC on retail and consumer goods finds that most retailers focus on raising prices in different operations in order to offset their rising fulfillment costs. This includes raising the minimum order value both for home delivery and click-and-collect orders. Some retailers may also raise product prices, cost of home delivery, and charges for click-and-collect orders, while some others may plan differential charges depending on customer profile.
One way to make omnichannel affordable is to eliminate inefficiencies and leverage hidden benefits.
There are items that involve too much shipping and handling charges that they cannot accrue expected profits. One way to check spiraling fulfillment costs is to avoid omnichannel in the case of such products.
If you put a product in a distribution center and then move it to a store, the twice movement adds up to the labor and transportation costs. On the contrary, if the product is in the store for a consumer to buy it then and there, it reduces the other cost. Each time you move it, you are eroding the profit margin.
As a smart retailer, you may want to exclude such products from your omnichannel operations. Distributed order management (DOM) software can keep track of accumulated cost on each product. If you find that an item would lose its profit margin after shipment, you could choose to ship it from another location instead. You could do well by offering a discount or coupon to placate the customer.
Related: Free Shipping Versus Fast Shipping.
By tightening up internal processes, retailers could allow more time for delivery and buy more time for shipping. By whisking the order out the distribution center, you could choose to send it by low-cost ground transportation, so the order reaches its destination on time.
The accelerated fulfillment process helps retailers cut shipping costs while allowing the orders to reach customers quickly.
One of the best ways to keep customers happy with your business is by ensuring swift fulfillment of their orders. It can help generate “likes” and “tweets” and help spread the word about your business.
Since customers are keen to get immediate visibility on their orders, they are happy to give immediate feedback and share experiences online. They key to generating positive feedback is to focus on customer experience.
Reducing omnichannel fulfillment cost is a challenge for retailers. It thus helps to generate publicity for the business.
Retailers are focusing on improving customer experience and paying close attention to order fulfillment. Keeping up with consumer expectations is a challenge, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
Do you know an exit popup is your last chance to engage readers before they move on to another competitor’s website? Popups offer you the last opportunity to hook leads onto your site by making a special offer or inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter. With a well-designed exit popup, you can get maximum conversions and reach your goals.
Exit Popups are popup windows that appear when a visitor is about to exit your website. Typically you may include a message or a call to action to entice a visitor before they leave your site. You may include images or videos to improve your website performance.
Harness the power of exit popup as a last ditch effort to sell a product or service. Add a more compelling message to your marketing copy to sweeten the deal.
Use an exit popup to invite subscribers to your newsletter. You may ask them to subscribe to get a free 10 Tips Newsletter or something similar for your niche.
Use exit popups to inform visitors about the negative consequences of clicking away. You may warn them that exiting the site at this moment could amount to emptying their shopping cart. This tactic should be used to persuade some exit-bound visitors to stay and complete their purchase. Offer them a 10% discount or free shipping if they don’t exit but complete their checkout.
Spend some time to understand your audience by digging deeper into your website’s analytics data. What does your audience want? Include offers aligned with your information about your audience. Make sure your call to action is easy for visitors to locate and click.
The design of your exit popup should be consistent with your site’s branding, so that it resonates with the audience in the way your brand does.
You want to grab eyeballs with an exit popup, so visitors do not leave your website before finalizing a deal. The design should be eye-catching, with dazzling images, animations, or large bold copy. They suddenly appear in the middle when the visitor is about to exit the page, overlaying the entire page.
Use high-quality popup plugins to adapt popup behavior to fit your business and audience. If possible, display one kind of popup to new visitors and another one to subscribers.
A freebie or discount can wow the visitor to think again before exiting your cart. Craft your exit popup to boost the sale and avoid shopping cart abandonment. You could offer a discount, gift, subscriber-only content, or anything that is relevant and entices them, so you can get maximum conversions.
It is the CTA (Call To Action) button where you want to bring visitors and entice them to click. Does your CTA button pop? You could use an animation or contrasting color to highlight your CTA button and optimize button text to maximize persuasiveness. Get a little playful or funny with your CTA button.
Your ultimate aim is to attract attention and prompt visitors to take action. The best tactic is to create a sense of urgency or scarcity or include a limited-time offer so visitors are tempted into taking immediate action. You could list the number of products left to imply scarcity.
When you want to make the last-ditch effort to get your point across, an exit popup is your best chance before the visitor exits the website. It may help to include relevant statistics, quantifiable values, and guaranteed results to make the most of the little space on the popup window, so you can get maximum conversions.
If a visitor has items in their shopping cart and seems to be making an exit, without making a purchase, you could use an exit popup as a reminder that there are items in their cart. You could even remind them that they would lose any information that they may have entered in the form upon exiting. It is in your best interest to use attention-grabbing words, including “Wait!”, “Hold on!” to create a sense of urgency.
With a goal to reduce your bounce rate, it could help to optimize exit pop to advertise related posts or products and catch visitors’ attention so that they stay. You could do so by displaying popular posts or products that send out a message to new visitors that the content is worth checking out.
You must use this last ditch effort within the exit popup in order to convert your site visitor to your end goal of getting a new subscriber, lead or selling your product. That is your last chance before they go away to anotehr website. Make it Count!
Amazon Vehicles is a vehicle research tool with information, images, reviews, and specifications about cars and automotive community. Users can find reviews of many used, classic, and new cars and ask car-related questions or give reviews of other owned vehicles. Users can view details of both old and new cars.
Amazon is the undisputed leader in online shopping, though its new auto portal is not designed for vehicle purchases. Amazon Vehicles is a new step on the part of the eCommerce giant that Amazon plans to enter the car sales field.
Like all other Amazon products, buyers can write reviews and each vehicle also has a Question and Answer (Q&A) section. Many customers use the Q&A section to find out information that only someone who bought a particular vehicle would know. You can search for vehicles using many parameters like body type, year, interior, color, MPG, and standard and optional features. The search an Q&A make Amazon Vehicles the most comprehensive site when you’re researching cars. You can’t order a car just yet, but you can do plenty of research.
Though the web portal is just a research tool, it does have the potential to be much more as Amazon has s huge user base. Is Amazon Vehicles a symbol of the times to come? Can we expect something big from the Amazon Vehicles for the auto industry? As of now, there’s not yet any revenue source for the eCommerce giant, but the possibilities for a major auto industry disruption are there.
TrueCar is a leader in the online auto industry. It is an automotive pricing portal that matches car shoppers with dealers that have given their nod to a price that cannot be negotiated.
In the wake of Amazon’s announcement, TrueCar’s shares dropped. TrueCar investors are apprehensive of Amazon’s scale, huge user base, and marketing expanse. With Amazon being one of the world’s most visited sites, there are concerns that TrueCar might lose out to the eCommerce giant. If such a battle ensues, it is expected to be a short one. Amazon enjoys a huge market presence and could battle aggressively on price, which could be the death knell for TrueCar. As a result, Amazon could make choice difficult for dealers.
It would definitely be a boon for consumers. Since Amazon has brought about a huge transformation in the world of traditional retailers, it is poised to do the same for the automotive market. Who does not want to find a car for a decent price, with no haggling required and with all the product information at your fingertips?
Amazon has a huge customer base. What if the eCommerce giant were to compel dealers to sell at established prices to its customers? Chances are it could become a hugely popular platform for consumers.
The Amazon vehicles platform could change the way cars are bought and sold. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the Amazon auto industry! Let’s wait and watch things unfold!
Before you start with a brand overhaul, it is important to pay attention to a few things. What do you want out of a redesign? How can you navigate through the logistics and design process of it all?
When you are thinking about a redesign of your brand, you don’t necessarily want a complete overhaul. Of course, nobody would wants to completely let go of what they’ve already built. Think about any specific areas of the current brand that you would like to keep. Or are there any areas that require a slight update?
Figuring out what you are completely unhappy about with your brand design is critical. This will give you an idea as to what your focus should be on.
Spend some time learning about your brand story or rather history. This should give you enough information about your objectives and driving force. When you are familiar with the original, you can go ahead with your spin on it. You may want to determine the specific qualities of brands your admire or even competitors’ brands. This should help your team build an informed vision. It helps to learn about any descriptive term that characterizes your brand, so you can better present your brands in terms of aesthetics.
This is one of the most crucial questions when it comes to brand redesign. Ask yourself (or your team) about your expectations from your business in the coming 10 years. This should give you a feel for the direction you may wish to take your brand.
When redesigning a brand, it would help to keep your target audience in mind. In order to make a rocking brand design, you want to understand your ideal customer persona. Besides, an understanding of your customers’ pain points can give you an idea as to how you may want to position your brand.
It is of utmost importance to learn about your direct competitors. You may want to research and define your competition so that you can approach your branding and marketing efforts similarly or differently. It would also help to get an insight into your products’ or services’ unique selling proposition that makes your brand unique and different from your competition.
Who is the key decision maker on your brand overhaul team – especially the person in charge of approving the entire process? You would want to keep everyone in the loop regarding the process, ensuring nothing goes wrong at any stage. Discuss the tangible products in the initial stages to make sure you are on the same page and there are no misunderstandings. If you are a one-person operation, you may want to get some help from third parties.
Set a realistic timeline, for branding is a massive undertaking that requires a good amount of time, understanding, and research. Be clear about the your branding expectations and any time limitations, so there aren’t any upsetting delays.