Find out the benefits Design Thinking can bring to your B2B and B2C strategies:Read More
Most online shoppers will get disappointed if they land on a product page and notice that the item they’ve wanted to purchase is no longer available. Luckily, you can turn their disappointment around and not lose them as customers.
Here’s how to approach sold-out product pages.Read More
For the emails to be effective, it’s essential to have a plan and know what and when to send them something.
Here are five tried and tested ideas you can start using right away.Read More
If you want to become a leader in your industry and make more informed decisions, you need to start relying on data-driven facts.
Here are some of the best tips you can use to boost your online store’s growth this year.Read More
Acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining the ones you already have.
As a result, successful customer retention programs have excellent ROI and successful businesses concentrate on extending customers' lifetime value .
Then, the question is: What does a successful customer retention strategy look like in the eCommerce industry?Read More
When you search for something on Google, you probably noticed that each result has a small description. Sometimes it’s short, sometimes it’s long, and sometimes it just looks bad. That is the meta description.
If you want to improve your click-through rate from search results and rank your product pages higher, then you need...Read More
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of attracting more organic/free traffic from search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Do you want more traffic for your online store? Sure you do!
To achieve this, you need to start getting the hang of SEO and know how to master it to achieve higher rankings in search results.
In this article, we want to talk about three main concepts that will help you understand eCommerce SEO much easier.
Let’s get started.
1. Keyword Research
Finding the best keywords you can use for your pages is key to appearing in search engine results. When it comes to keyword research, it’s all about finding the terms that your potential customers might be using.
You might be asking yourself: how do I choose the best keywords for my site? Well, you can make the selection based on these four characteristics:
- Volume. The higher the search volume a keyword has, the more traffic you could potentially bring to your site. But this often means there’s a lot of competition as well.
- Competition. The lower the competition for a keyword, the higher the chances for you to rank for that term. Bottom line, the ideal keyword should have high volume and low competition.
- Relevancy. The keyword you’re choosing needs to fit the content that’s on the page.
- Intent. In eCommerce, it’s all about the buyer’s intent, meaning that you need to use keywords that people would use when they are interested in buying something, such as “sexy black cocktail dress.”
Here are the best tools you can use to do keyword research:
- Google is the most popular search engine in the world, which means that it can be a goldmine for ideas. Just type in any word or combination of words you want, and you’ll notice how many suggestions you can get thanks to Google’s autocompleting feature.
- Amazon is the largest marketplace in the world, and the difference between this giant and Google is that it’s product-focused, whereas Google might give you suggestions that don’t match the intent characteristic.
- Keyword research tools such as Moz, SEMrush, Keyword Planner.
2. Site Structure
SEO it’s also about user experience and how your site organized can affect this. What this means is that you want to make it easy for people to find the information and the products they’re looking for.
A good site structure meets these two essential qualities:
- It’s simple and easy to scale as your online store grows;
- Visitors don’t have to click tens of times to find what they’re looking for.
Because eCommerce sites don’t have that much content on their pages compared to other sites, you need to identify which internal levels of the site structure (such as categories, attributes, filters, or brands) it makes sense to let Google index. Some pages might list only one product which can hurt your rankings due to thin content.
3. On-page SEO
After you’ve done the keyword research, you can start working on on-page SEO.
Here are the main aspects you need to optimize:
- The meta title and the meta descriptions. Ideally, these should include the keyword you used the optimize the page, and they should convince people to follow the link.
- The alternative text for the images. Google can’t read images, which is why you need to add the keyword in the alternative text as well.
- The URL. The perfect URL should be short, it needs to contain the keyword, and it should not have stop words, such as “a,” “the,” “and.”
- The product descriptions. We mentioned earlier how ecommerce sites have thin content compared to other websites. If you can, try to make the product descriptions longer, because the more you write, the more accurate Google can rank your pages for other similar keywords.
This was just a small fraction of what ecommerce SEO represents. Nevertheless, we hope it helped you understand better its main concepts.
SEO is an ongoing battle so once you start, you should not give up until you’re on the first page of Google.
Creating a content marketing strategy for your eCommerce business is one of the most important investments you can make.
Just think about how many times you’ve discovered certain products or an online store through content and not the product pages themselves.
Additionally, more than 50% of online buyers will research a product after reading about it. And 90% of these consumers think that custom content is useful which means that having a content strategy will meet your audience’s needs.
Let’s find out what are the advantages of investing in a content marketing strategy.
1. Brand Awareness
Consumers tend to feel more close and associate positive feelings with brands that create custom content. Depending on the type of content you create, you can also become an expert in your niche which means that more people will find out about you and trust your opinion.
The more content you publish, the more it will benefit your rankings, especially if you’re using keywords that you know people are searching for.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy which means that an article you publish today can bring lots of traffic years from now, especially if it’s evergreen content (eg. What to wear to a cocktail party).
3. Build Loyalty
The idea of having a content marketing strategy is not to make sales. It’s more of a consequence of your efforts. Your primary goal should be to create content that’s useful to your audience so they will come back to your site. Some of them will ultimately become repeat customers which will increase their lifetime value.
4. Product Research
Did you know that 81% of consumers do online research before they make a purchase and the majority of people start the research starts on search engines?
This means that if consumers can’t find content that matches their search intent, you’ve lost the battle. The point of having a content marketing strategy is to also attract the potential buyers as early as possible in the buying process.
Done right, content is all about educating your audience. “Teach, don’t sell” is the mantra of any content marketing strategy. Customers like to stay away from reading salesy content so don’t go for that approach.
Even though your content doesn’t have to be salesy, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your products. On the contrary, you should use them to inform consumers about their features and how to use them. You can probably share a few tricks and tips that your audience might not know about them yet.
7. Sales Funnel
The sales funnel goes like this: awareness, intention, desire, action. For every stage, there’s a particular type of content you can create so that consumers that may not have heard about your brand yesterday will turn into loyal customers over time.
If you are serious about growth, want to attract more traffic to your online store and increase your conversion rates, then you need to invest in a content marketing strategy.
Moreover, the costs will be less than what you would pay for traditional marketing. Start investing in content right away so you can reap the benefits as soon as possible.
Customer lifetime value is an essential metric for eCommerce businesses. Why? Because this metric will have a low value if your customers shop only once on your online store and will never return.
This is why you should focus on creating a relationship with one-time buyers and turn them into repeat customers. You won’t be able to turn all your one-time customers into loyal buyers, but this tactic is more cost-effective than trying to get new people to purchase from your site.
Here are the best ways you can use to keep new customers interested in your company.
Nurture Them With Emails
Lead nurturing emails get up to ten times more responses than sales emails. So if you want to keep them engaged with your brand, don’t be pushy by sending promotional emails right from the start.
You can use these ideas for the emails:
- Customer stories. You should take advantage of user-generated content and send an email where customers share stories about their experience with the products you’re selling. Chances are that some of them will relate to those stories.
- Educational content. Here you can send some of your best and most helpful blog posts to educate your new customers either about your products or your niche.
- Entertaining content. Everyone loves entertainment, so if the educational content doesn’t suit your niche, then you can send some funny videos with cats for example if you’re selling cat toys or cat food.
- Content curation. You don’t need to send your customers emails with links to your blog posts every single time. You can also do a content curation of the best articles in your niche. Make sure that the selection you’ll be making is interesting and helpful for them.
Exceed New Customer Expectations
In order to turn one-time customers into loyal buyers, you need to be different and stand out. How? By using these ideas:
- Send a thank you email/note. After your customer received the order, we recommend sending them a personalized thank you note and let them know that you are grateful to have them as a customer. If you have too many customers and simply don’t have the time to handwrite the notes, then send them a personalized email. Even though automation may be way easier and quicker, the effect will not be the same.
- Be proactive. Being proactive shows that you care. Reach out to your new customers and ask them if they need help with the product they bought. This will help you be aware of any potential issues that may have occurred and even avoid negative reviews online.
- Provide fast customer service. First impressions matter a lot. In eCommerce, they can determine whether a one-time customer will purchase from you again or not. Providing fast customer service, whether on email or social media is one sure way to exceed your customers’ expectations.
By using Facebook retargeting pixel, you can retarget all the visitors that have reached the checkout page. That way, you will be able to build a relationship with them outside of email.
Here are some ideas you can use for the ads:
- Tell them about new products that you’re launching;
- Promote the new sale you’re having;
- Create a special “comeback” discount just for them.
Seasonal shoppers are very common around Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or during any other periods when you’re having a major sale.
Even though you won’t be able to turn all of your one-time buyers into loyal customers, these tactics will pay off in the long run by helping you build a relationship with them. Some of them will buy from you again, and some will probably tell their friends about you. Either way, it’s a win-win.
Blogging is one of those strategies that can generate a constant stream of traffic to your online store. By creating quality content that other sites would want to link to, you will increase your audience and popularity over time, which will help your online store in terms of SEO as well.
Publishing content regularly will act as a signal that your site is continuously updated, which is important for Google. This means that your site will be ranked higher because of this.
Now that you know why it’s important to blog on your online store let’s see what types of posts you can create.
1. How-to Guides
Whether you’ll be doing tutorials on how people can use your product or tutorials that will help them solve certain problems, how-to guides are the most appreciated types of content out there, especially when it comes to videos.
To find the best topics you can cover, do some research on Reddit or use a tool such as AnswerThePublic to find the best topics for your niche.
You’ll get tons of content ideas that you can use for the upcoming months.
2. Buying Guides
You can create buying guides whether you sell physical or digital products. Think about how many holidays are every year, and it will be easy to come up with ideas for them.
Keep in mind that the main difference between buying guides and other types of blog posts is the fact that this one needs to have somewhere around 10,000 words long. So you most likely won’t be publishing buying guides every month.
Long content ranks better so you’ll get multiple benefits from creating this piece of content, aside from increasing awareness for your brand.
3. Lists posts
Lists are also an incredibly popular type of content, not to mention the fact that they can increase your click-through rate in SERP.
In the past, we would see posts such as “10 great Christmas gifts you can get your best friend”, but now it’s all about using bigger numbers, such as 50 or 100.
You may also want to check the results on Google to see if someone else has already written a list post using the same number you were thinking to use. It’s best to use a different one if this is the case.
By interviewing an industry expert, you will get to produce unique content that your audience won’t be able to find anywhere else.
If you do them regularly, they can bring more mentions and links than regular blog posts because people are more and more interested in an expert’s point of view.
Infographics have remained popular to this day and the main reason for this is because it’s an attractive, fast and fun way of presenting facts.
If you want to talk about some dull statistics, then an infographic can make them easier to digest.
Aside from creatively displaying data, infographics also provide useful information which is something people appreciate.
Blogging is one of those tools that not only help you sell more and increase brand awareness, but it’s also essential if you want constant traffic to your site.
Think about it: a blog post you publish today will bring traffic even a few years from now so it’s a long-term strategy that every online store should use.
Email marketing remains to this day the marketing channel with the highest ROI, especially for online stores. This is why it’s critical not only to send emails to subscribers but new customers as well.
The reason for this is because it’s way more expensive to convert potential buyers into customers then it is to sell to current ones.
So instead of selling to those who aren’t customers yet, we recommend focusing on building a relationship with your newest customers.
In this article, we’ll show you how to do it by using five types of emails.
5 Types of Emails You Need to Send to New Customers
1. Thank you emails
When it comes to building relationships, saying thank you can go a long way. This is especially important after someone has decided to do business with you.
Most online buyers expect to receive a basic confirmation email of their order, but if you want to stand out, then you need to send an exciting, amusing email that will set your brand apart.
2. How-to emails
To make sure that your customers will get the most out of the product they purchased, we recommend sending helpful content such as blog posts that have already been published on the topic, new content created based on your customers more frequently asked questions, or a tutorial.
For these emails, you need to figure out what your customers know and don’t know about using your product so you can send them helpful information.
3. Survey emails
After your customer had the chance to test and use your product, you can send them a survey email and ask something as simple as: How likely are you to refer [your company name] to a friend?
You can, of course, change the wording or ask more questions.
The point for these survey emails is to find out if people love your products, to turn them into repeat customers and to also be aware if certain customers are having issues with the product they purchased so you can fix them right away.
4. Follow up emails
A few days after your customer received the order, you can check in with them to see if their order arrived safely; if they’re enjoying the products or they have any questions.
It’s a nice touch you can add which will let them know that you care about their happiness.
Showing that you care is one of the first things that will help you build a relationship with new customers.
5. User-generated content emails
To encourage customers to share their (positive) thoughts about your product, you can tell them that they share the love on social media.
Make sure that you’re going to do a little bit of research first to see which platform would be best for your audience. You also need to come up with a hashtag so you can find your customers’ posts more easily. Then, as a bonus, you can include an incentive as well, such as a discount on their next order.
Nurture, Acquire, Send Emails, Repeat
These five emails represent just a small part of the process that will help you turn new customers into loyal fans of your company. They are important nonetheless which is why you should focus on making them as good as possible.
We hope that we’ve given you some good ideas that you can use and that you’ll take advantage of them to turn more new customers into life-long fans.
When you first start an online store, it may not be as hard to do everything yourself or with the help of a couple of people. It’s quite easy to be up to date with every operational aspect of your business.
But as your business grows, you need to hire more people, and you start realizing that what was working in the beginning, cannot be applied anymore.
That is when you need to start using eCommerce automation because despite how many more employees you’re going to hire, people don’t scale and so only automation can help you achieve sustainable growth.
First, let’s define eCommerce automation.
What Is eCommerce Automation?
Your employees most probably have a lot of small tasks that they need to do every single day. At first glance, they don’t appear to be a huge time waster, but if you combine them, you’ll realize how much time is actually spent on them instead of doing something more productive.
eCommerce automation combines software and processes to reduce redundant tasks and manual workload, it simplifies workflows, and you can also use it to do all kinds of experiments.
Automation can be applied to many different areas, such as orders, marketing, segmentation, tracking, reporting, or promotions.
Now, let’s see why every online store should take advantage of automation when their business starts to grow.
Why You Need To Start Using eCommerce Automation
1. It helps reduce cart abandonment
With automation, it’s easy to retarget people who visited your site but didn’t buy anything. You can use either cart abandonment emails or Facebook ads. For sending the emails, you can use an email platform such as MailChimp.
2. It helps with inventory management
For aspects related to inventory, shipping, or anything else that has to do with the products, automation can save so much time.
You can set up alerts, so you know when certain products are low in stock. That way, you can restock before they run out. Also, you can automate a process that will remove from the site products that have been discounted so you won’t need to do it manually every time.
3. It helps you connect with new customers
Establishing a relationship with new customers right from the beginning is critical. They should receive more than just the invoice for their order. A welcome and thank you email is recommended if you want to connect with them.
With automation, this process can be streamlined without a fuss.
4. It improves customer service
When it comes to automating customer service, we’re not referring to removing human interaction. In ecommerce, automation can help by integrating multiple channels so that your staff has access to previous communication history with every customer.
5. It helps you run promotions more efficiently
The marketing department can benefit from automation as well thanks to the fact that they can be notified whenever inventory for certain products is low and stop promotions for them.
Another scenario is one where new products are added to the site, and so they will be notified to start a promotional campaign.
When it comes to ecommerce automation, you must not forget that it should not replace human interaction. You should still spend time talking back and forth with your customers and have employees resolve any issues they may encounter.
In the end, eCommerce automation should be about eliminating manual work and redundant tasks so that you have more time to experiment and focus on growing your business.
Product images can say a lot about the quality of your products, its features and your brand as a whole. As a result, 50% of online shoppers care more about product images than product descriptions or customer reviews.
This doesn’t mean that the latter ones should be neglected, but it proves that it’s essential to invest in high-quality images as well.
In this post, we’ll walk you through five techniques that every online store should use to edit their product images.
1. Removing The Background
If you’re familiar with Photoshop, then you already know that background removal is one those basic skills that the tool offers.
The reason why it’s recommended to remove the background for your product images is that it will help you keep the focus on the product by making sure that there isn’t going to be any distracting element in the background.
Moreover, it provides consistency if you’ve taken the product images in different scenarios. Background removal is also a simple yet effective technique you can use if you want to go for a minimal look.
2. Adding Gradients
If you want to add drama to your product images or make them a little bit more luxurious, then you need to use gradients.
To mimic the fact that your product is under the spotlight on a stage, you can choose a radial gradient. The effect you’re going to get will set a certain mood and atmosphere, and so the product images will most certainly catch the eye of your visitors.
3. Using Blur
In photography, blur is also known as bokeh. It’s a technique that uses lenses to make certain parts of an image out of focus.
The point of blurring the background is to keep the focus on the product itself, which produces a delightful imagery.
This technique works great not only for products, but also for portrait images, and you want the focus on jewelry or certain accessories, such as glasses, or hats.
4. Adding Shadows
Because online we can only view products on our flat screens, it’s hard to get a feel for how they would look like in real life.
This is where adding shadows can help. By adding subtle shadows below products, you can create the sense of 3D and also add weight to them.
That way, the products can become more tangible to visitors.
5. Adding Reflections
If you’re selling jewelry, sunglasses, tech products, or glassware, then adding reflections to the product images is a must.
Like in the case of using shadows, reflections will also add physicality to the items you’re selling. The mirrored effect given by the reflection will create a clean, sleek look which will help you emphasize a certain part of the product.
Putting your products in the best light possible is critical if you want to make sales and establish yourself as a trusted brand.
Now that you know the best editing techniques for your product images, you can get to work and apply these tips. You’ll notice how much of a difference the smallest details can make.
The buying decision is a complex process which is why omnichannel retailing has increased in popularity over the years.
The main difference between traditional marketing and omnichannel is that the latter one delivers a seamless and consistent experience to customers at every touchpoint, including brick and mortar stores, marketplaces, social media, web, or mobile.
It’s all about connecting the dots between the channels people use to research and buy products. Let’s see why retailers should take advantage of omnichannel.
Consumers’ Behavior Has Changed
The first step towards building a robust omnichannel strategy is understanding how your audience is shopping.
This is something that has changed over the years, and now, customers are shopping differently.
For example, a buyer may check out the stock availability for a particular item on the online store so they know if they can grab it from the offline store. Or they may visit the offline shop to check the quality and the fit of a certain piece of clothing and then purchase it online for a better price.
There’s also the case where consumers search on marketplaces for a specific product and then go to a company’s site to place the order.
The bottom line is that online shoppers begin their search on various channels which is why it’s important to be present on all of them and create a unified customer experience.
More Channels, Bigger Revenue
This recent study revealed that 73% of customers used multiple channels during their shopping journey. Channel was defined by websites, mobile applications, interactive catalogs, in-store tablets and others.
The omnichannel customers used smartphone apps to compare prices or download coupons, and also took advantage of interactive catalogs, price-checkers, or tablets.
The conclusion of the study was that the more channels a consumer used, the more money they spent.
For example, customers spent on average 4% more on in-store shopping, and 10% more for online purchases compared to those who used only one channel.
Similarly, another study found that companies who are using an omnichannel strategy saw an average of 9.5% increase in revenue year-over-year.
Omnichannel Increases Your Product Discoverability
Ultimately, omnichannel is all about getting your products in front of as many consumers as possible.
This study showed that more than 40% of consumers start their product searches on Amazon and search engines. So when it comes to omnichannel, you should:
- Open a pop-up shop. If you don’t have a brick and mortar shop yet and you want to see how that would go for you, you can do a test by opening a pop-up shop.
- Optimize for search engines. Because search engines are one of the top three tools consumers use to research products, you need to make sure that people can find your site. Product descriptions, meta information, keywords, mobile-friendliness, SSL certificate, blog posts, and backlinks are some of the most important aspects to consider for proper optimization.
- Be present on marketplaces. Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace, not to mention the fact that almost half of all online product searches begin here. So if you’re not present here, then it will be hard for your potential customers to find you.
Retailers of all sizes need to take advantage of these facts and realize that they need to utilize all the channels available out there in order to be where the customer is doing their research.
Hopefully, this article helped you get a better grip on what omnichannel eCommerce means and that it will serve as a guide on how to get more customers.
Every eCommerce company is in the “people” business. That’s why it’s critical to provide exceptional customer service.
It will not only help you make your customers happy, but on the long-run, it can be used as a marketing strategy, as a powerful customer retention technique, and it can also raise awareness for your brand.
Do you want to stand up to your competitors and wow your customers through customer service? Then you need to apply these tips.
1. Provide Multichannel Support
Nowadays, customers are more impatient than ever which is why they expect to be able to contact online stores through multiple support channels.
Being available on multiple channels will also help your business provide more timely answers to your customers, which is one of the aspects that matters most to online buyers.
To cover all your bases, you should be using:
- Phone support;
- Social media;
- Live chat;
2. Listen On Social Media
Customers won’t shy away from posting bad reviews about your company on social media. In fact, they will choose this over contacting you directly and trying to solve the problem they encountered.
People are more likely to share their bad experiences instead of the positive ones. So you need to listen to what your customers are saying on social media and be responsive about their complaints.
More than 60% of customers admit that they won’t make any purchase from companies that don’t answer to negative reviews.
3. Track Customer Interactions
To help your customer agents avoid wasting any time and eliminate confusions, you need to keep track of all the customer interactions. That way, everyone will have access to the conversation history with each customer, and they will be able to establish a rapport with them.
Additionally, the data can prove invaluable when trying to determine how to improve your services and increase customer satisfaction.
4. Set Up A Knowledge Base
Creating a knowledge base on the site for your customers is a cost-effective way to provide excellent customer service. In fact, self-service is something that most people prefer, especially if they can find the information they’re looking for.
The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that the knowledge base needs to be done right in order to meet your customers’ expectations.
5. Provide Timely Responses
Fast service is something that most customers desire nowadays. Depending on the customer service channel used, their expectations when it comes to response time can significantly differ.
Here are some examples:
- For email, more than 70% of customers expect a response time in less than 12 hours;
- For phone support, 40% of customers expect an immediate response;
- On social media, more than 70% customers expect a reply in less than two hours.
Responsiveness can influence how people perceive your company so you should try your best to meet their expectations and even exceed them.
Excellent Customer Service Is A Sales Tool
People want a superior experience from the brands they already love but also from brands that they’ve just heard about. A positive customer experience can go a long way, which is why all eCommerce businesses should provide multiple channels for customer interaction.
Empathy and truly understanding customer challenges are also important aspects that set your business apart so if you invest in customer care, loyalty will follow.