This month we have very good news for the Blugento clients, for the team and for our partners. Blugento drew a 1-million euro strategic investment, after signing an international agreement with the R22 Polish group.Read More
Magento Imagine is an event that you don’t want to miss if you’re an eCommerce professional. That is why a couple of members of Zento’s team, namely Sandu Babasan, CEO, and Vlad Stanescu, CTO, attended Magento Imagine 2018 with a few of goals in mind:
- Connect with the global eCommerce community;
- Learn the latest updates and innovations in the industry;
- Get inspired by some of the brightest commerce experts.
There are two options when a visitor lands on your product page: you either win them as a customer or you lose them.
This means that how you present and structure your product pages is not important only for search engines, but it can also impact your conversion rates.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
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
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.
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.
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.
When it comes to making a purchase, we’re nothing but rational when we make that decision. That is because our brain is incredibly complex. What influences your customers’ decisions are cognitive biases.
Cognitive biases represent tendencies to think a certain way, even if most of the time they are not the most rational ways of thinking.
It’s important to be aware of them and how the human brain works because it will help you market your products more efficiently.
Here’s how you can use cognitive biases to sell more.
This cognitive bias refers to the fact that people tend to rely more on their recent memory. It’s like a mental shortcut.
This means that people will use recent information to make decisions and form new opinions.
You can apply this concept to your online store by taking advantage of what’s happening in the world and the latest news to market your products. For example, if you sell smartphone accessories, you could have taken advantage of the iPhone X release to create new cases or some cool accessories.
This states that people will supposedly believe descriptions that are tailored to them, when in fact, they can be applied to a wide range of people.
That’s why horoscopes seem so incredibly accurate.
You can apply this cognitive bias in eCommerce by creating the message with just one person in mind, which is your ideal customer.
For example, you may be selling protein bars that are sugar-free, so your message will target women who pay attention to what they eat, avoid sugar, and go to the gym as well. This is specific and general at the same time, because there are probably thousands of women in this situation. But it’s only a matter of making each woman feel as if the message was specially crafted for her.
This cognitive bias emphasizes the fact that people tend to prefer immediate payoffs, rather than later ones.
If we’re given two rewards, we’ll prefer the one that would arrive sooner, even if the second one would be much larger.
In eCommerce, you can take advantage of this cognitive bias by offering express shipping, even if it costs more. People are willing to pay for it if it means they’re going to get the products sooner rather than later.
People tend to remember funny memories and they’re also much more eager to share them with other people.
You can use humor to sell more but only if it feels natural and authentic. If you think you’re forcing it, better not do it at all.
If we had a positive experience with a certain product, then we’ll be more likely to buy other products from that brand.
For example, you may be extremely pleased with your iPhone, and you decide to buy a MacBook as well, even though you could’ve simply bought a laptop from a different brand, with the same specifications.
You can use this cognitive bias for your online store by determining what your store’s greatest quality is. Is it a particular product, its personality, or the experience you provide for your customers?
Find out what sets you apart and use that to create the halo effect.
Appealing to your customers’ logic and reason will not put you in a competitive position. Instead, take advantage of these cognitive biases to persuade your visitors. Look beyond price and product pages, and you’ll start selling more.
Do you want to start an eCommerce business but don’t want to hire a developer to create the site? Then you need to start thinking about eCommerce platforms.
These platforms are a popular choice nowadays because anyone can start an online store in just a matter of hours. And the best part is that you don’t need coding skills to do it.
Now, there are so many options out there when it comes to eCommerce platforms so you might not know which one to choose. Because of this, we thought it would be helpful to talk about the most important aspects to consider before choosing the best platform.
Let’s get into it.
Even if you may not have the budget to hire a web designer, you still want to differentiate your online store from others.
To do this, make sure that the eCommerce platform you’ll consider will allow you to customize every little detail and that it has a wide selection of themes to choose from.
That way, you will be able to match the design of the site to your brand.
This is extremely important for both you and your customers. The interface needs to be easy to use when you work on the website. Because if it isn’t, then you’re going to waste a lot of time trying to understand it and making it work.
On the other hand, you need to make sure that the online store itself will have an intuitive interface so that your visitors won’t get confused when they enter the site.
One size does not fit all eCommerce businesses, so we recommend opting for a platform that is flexible in terms of options. A restrictive platform could stunt the growth of your business later on.
Look out for those which allows you to add everything that you may need later on, such as:
- A bigger server, that can hold more products;
- Payment and shipping solutions;
- Marketing features, such as A/B testing, remarketing, instant chat and so on;
- Security. Are security updates automated or do you have to keep an eye out for them?
- Technical support. When something goes wrong, to whom will you turn?
While it may seem difficult, you need to start planning out the growth of your online store even before its launch.
It’s crucial for your visitors and customers to have an amazing experience whenever they enter your site so you want to choose a platform that will be able to provide this. It needs to support high amounts of traffic, offer a personalized experience to returning visitors/customers, and have the option to send emails based on previous actions/purchases.
Customizing the customer experience has become a norm for eCommerce businesses.
If you’re planning on starting small, and then scale your business, you need to choose a platform that will allow you to do this.
You also need to make sure that you won’t be paying more necessary on a platform with a high stock limit if you’re only planning on having a small array of products.
For more than two years now, Google’s search algorithm has been including mobile-friendly as a ranking factor. That is only one of the reasons why a mobile-friendly eCommerce platform is a must.
Make sure that the platform you choose is optimized for mobile devices and uses a responsive design.
Having an SSL certificate is a must for eCommerce businesses because it allows browsers to process sensitive data during transactions and while keeping it safe. A hosted platform will take care of this for you and will also make sure that you are PCI compliant.
If you choose an open-source platform, you’ll need to make sure that you cover these two aspects.
We hope that these aspects are going to help you decide which eCommerce platform is right for your business. In the beginning, don’t pay for the functionalities you don’t need and try to focus on what’s important.
Most eCommerce businesses don’t have a problem attracting traffic to their site. They have a problem with the conversion rate.
In this case, more traffic isn’t the solution, but finding the best ways to leverage the traffic you’re already getting and converting the visitors into actual customers.
Here are five changes you can make to improve your conversion rates and grow your eCommerce business.
1. Take Advantage of High-Quality Images
When people shop online, they can’t touch the product; they won’t be able to feel its texture and quality.
This means that you need to convince them through the product images that the item they’re looking at is of high-quality. Use multiple images to show the product from different angles. Even if visitors may not look at all of them, it’s important for them to see that they have the option to do so.
You don’t need to hire a product photographer for this. You can simply take the photos yourself in the highest quality possible.
Then, add white space around the photo, and allow visitors to zoom and rotate the image. It would also be ideal if you could show the product placed in context. For example, if you’re selling shoes, show a photo of someone wearing them with an outfit.
2. Add Product Filters
The more choices people have, the fewer decisions they’re going to make.
If you’re selling hundreds of product on your eCommerce site, then you need to add product filters so that visitors can navigate more easily.
Give them the option to sort your products by price range, popularity, color, size, category, and you can add more depending on what you sell.
3. Use Product Videos
You don’t need a professional studio to shoot product videos. In fact, you can do these with your smartphone or, even better, by taking advantage of user-generated content.
You can kindly ask the customers who already purchased from you to create a short testimonial video about the product.
And even if you don’t have customers yet, you can grab your team and start shooting some cool videos on your phone.
4. Eliminate The Shipping Costs
High shipping costs are the number one reason why consumers abandon shopping carts, which in return leads to lower conversion rates.
Moreover, studies show that they would purchase more products if they had the free shipping option. If you can’t eliminate shipping costs, then you should at least be upfront about the costs or set a minimum spend for which you can provide the shipping for free.
5. Showcase Product Reviews
Studies show that more than 50% of shoppers read product reviews before they decide to make a purchase.
Make it easy for your visitors to find out more about the products you’re selling by adding a reviews section. You can also use the star rating system to encourage your customers to rate your products.
Send an email to them one week after they received the product they ordered and ask them to leave a review. To entice them to do it, you can give them a 5% discount on their next order.
Always Be Testing
No matter which one of these ideas you’re going to test out, remember to measure the results and see if it made a difference in your conversion rates.
In eCommerce, there’s always room for improvement, so aim as high as possible to keep moving forward.
When you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s essential to optimize and design the site based on the users’ behavior, not just for search engines.
Today, mobile traffic for online stores accounts for more than 50% of the entire visits.Read More