Category Archives: Web tip

Web tip – Sullivans personalized B2B e-commerce website

Sullivans Personalized Website

WHO

Sullivans is a B2B wholesaler of floral products, seasonal décor, and home décor.

CHALLENGE

Sullivans was ready to redesign their website to be mobile-friendly and easier to update to reflect promotions and merchandising.

They had in-depth understanding of their retailer audience, and the products each cared about. They wanted their new website to deliver a personalized shopping experience, so retailers shopping specific product lines would always see content reflective of their inventory needs.

SOLUTION

In November 2015, Whereoware designed and built Sullivans a new responsive website. The personalized B2B e-commerce website places the right product in front of the right customer at the right time to make shopping easy and intuitive for retailers. The site is easy to update and delivers an exceptional user experience from every device.

Check out the case study (above) to see Sullivans’ new website in action!

Marketing tip – why customers ignore you

Why are your customers ignoring you?Today’s reality check – your intentions are great, but your websites and emails are turning off customers. See, the problem is they’re all about you and forgive us for being harsh, but nobody cares.

Visitors land on your website or open your emails because they have a problem to solve. Maybe they‘re seeking a pick-me-up and your merchandise caught their eye or they have a work issue that your software can fix. Whether you’re an e-commerce or service company, customers and prospects seek you out because you offer something they value.

Gartner predicts that by 2016, 89% of companies will compete mostly on the basis of customer experience. Are you delivering a memorable customer experience when you trumpet the awards you’ve won or the cutting-edge tool you offer? Probably not.

At the beginning stages of nurturing prospect relationships and turning them into customers, the most prominent message should be how you can make your customers lives easier, happier, or more stress-free.

Go customer-first in 2016

If customer experience is the modern businesses’ competitive tipping point, and each customer is different, how do you flip the conversation to resonate with them all?

It’s true that you probably cannot understand and reach every single customer, but you can group your customers into categories (called personas) representing about 80% of your customer base. (Our persona worksheet makes this step easier.)

Personalized with shopping cart dataYou’ll then develop messaging around common customer actions. By reminding customers of actions they’ve taken, you get really close to speaking to each customer individually.

For example, Sole Society’s abandoned cart email includes a picture of the boot left in the customer’s cart, reminding them of their previous interest and enticing them to complete their purchase (right).

When you’re coming up with your personas, the most important thing is to note what kind of actionable behaviors they’ll take, so you can identify them.

For example, when your “busy mom” persona arrives on your website, how will you know this visitor is the busy mom? Perhaps it’s because she looks at products in your “baby six months and under” category, or reads the article “how supermoms get more done in less time” on your blog.

By anticipating these types of actions in your persona research, you’ll know how to identify each persona. From there, you’ll figure out the keywords, phrases, and tone that resonate with each audience.

You’ll soon realize the types of promotions and messages that motivate them or turns them off. You’ll find gaps in their activity, where you could offer them an incentive or a resource to make them more comfortable and engaged with your brand. You can identify opportunities to add value to their life.

Personalized using location dataHow to get customer-first

Personalizing interactions with your customers is easier than you think, and you likely have the customer data handy. Examples of data sources include customers’:

  • Purchase history
  • Webpages visited (products/pages viewed)
  • Registration at an event
  • Content downloads
  • Submitted webforms
  • Mobile app interactions
  • In-store actions
  • Abandoned carts
  • Browse abandonment
  • Location
  • Source of opt-in (an event, your website, etc.)

This list of data sources is far from comprehensive, but should get you thinking about ways to connect with customers. You can combine data sources for even greater personalization power.

Make sure you leverage data from all of your channels, not just your website or emails. Integrate your mobile app and automation tool, for example, to personalize mailings based on behaviors taken in the app. If your sales team meets with your customers, make sure their insights can be fed back into your database, so your follow up emails aren’t disjointed or repetitive.

We live in an omni channel world. When we effectively harness data from all of our channels, we can understand our customers better, be more relevant, and ultimately develop deeper relationships.

But what if I don’t have the data?

Capturing Data example - Mod ClothAt risk of sounding like a broken record, capturing customer data is vital to knowing who your customers are and what they care about, so you can provide relevant content to meet those needs.

Customers are more willing to part with their personal information if the perceived value outweighs the perceived cost. This balance is maintained by collecting information slowly instead of all at once, and offering value in return, like an entry in a contest, a white paper, a free consultation, etc.

Progressive forms are one of our favorite ways to slowly build a comprehensive profile of your customers, without turning them off and losing the chance to collect more information in the future. They work by initially requesting a few fields of information that is perceived as less sensitive on the first interaction with a customer, like email and first name, and then requesting more information at later interactions.

Opportunities to capture customer information:

  • Newsletter sign-up form
  • Opt-in form to receive a case study, flier, or other type of collateral piece
  • Sign-up form to receive exclusive deals or discounts
  • Surveys or contests
  • Engagement and capture on social networks
  • Offline – captured by employees in-store, at point of sale; or at networking events and conferences

Customer-first, not company-first

Flip your conversations with customers to be about them, not about you. Take an interest in your customers’ likes, dislikes, preferences, and behavior to create irresistible customer experiences.

Customer-obsessed – a Mud Pie case study

Who

Mud Pie is a B2B + B2C retailer of trendy and seasonal baby clothes, women’s apparel, gifts, home décor, and more.

Challenge

Whereoware executes behavior-based, personalized emails for Mud Pie to increase engagement and drive sales on their website. Unfortunately, the personalization was one-way. Mud Pie’s website didn’t have the functionality to dynamically display promotions targeting Mud Pie’s different audience segments. (Everyone saw the same promotion.) Mud Pie wanted to personalize their customers online experience on both their website and in their emails.

Solution

In 2015, Whereoware delivered Mud Pie a powerful new B2C website using WOWCommerce, an accelerator package built on top of their e-commerce platform EPiServer.  The new site is powered to leverage behavioral data from their website, marketing database, and email marketing tool to deliver a personalized shopping experience to every visitor.

Results

Comparing year-over-year data since site launch (accounting for seasonality changes), the new B2C Mud Pie site has seen:

  • 56% increase in e-commerce conversion rate
  • 120% increase in revenue
  • 508% increase in mobile revenue

Get the whole story (above) to see how Mud Pie’s new B2C website is personalizing customers entire online brand experience.

Check out the video produced by Episerver featuring Mud Pie eCommerce Manager, Andrea Ouargli + our very own Senior Online Marketing Manager, Faith Albers!

Marketing tip – are you on the Holiday Marketing Naughty List?

Developing a creative, effective holiday marketing plan is imperative, but there are a lot of moving parts to account for in our omni channel retail environments.  Our Holiday Marketing Naughty or Nice list will help you check that you haven’t overlooked any important steps.

A naughty brand comes up with an ad hoc plan, but a nice brand looks back on their marketing initiatives last year, measures results, and tailors those successes to maximize conversions this season. A naughty brand focuses on one channel, where as a nice brand optimizes a variety of channels to deliver an exceptional shopping experience wherever their customers are.

Fill out our fast, seven-step checklist to make certain that you’re not on the naughty list. Then, check out our holiday toolkit for easy tips to up your marketing game for the holidays.

Web tip – 4 website tweaks to convert holiday shoppers

Gap GiftsIt’s an e-commerce company’s summer secret that while customers are busy buying swimsuits and dipping their toes in the sand, brands are scrambling to prepare for the busy holiday season.

You can’t blame them for having holiday cheer on the brain in August. Between Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday sales, the season for gifting arrives earlier each year and extends longer, which means even earlier B2B sales. In fact, according to The National Retail Foundation’s 2014 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, your customers have already made their list, checked it twice, AND completed more than half of their shopping by December 10th.

It’s crucial that e-commerce companies have a solid marketing plan in place to excite and convert holiday shoppers as early as possible. An inviting website should be at the center of this plan to maximize both the early-bird and last-minute shoppers. To get ready, give your website a holiday facelift with our 4 tweaks to captivate visitors and increase seasonal spending.

Update hero imagery + banners

Your website’s hero image is often the first visual visitors see and leaves an overall impression of your website. To give your site an immediate refresh without overhauling the design, update your hero image to place holiday promotions and gift ideas front and center.

The Body Shop gets into the spirit with a holiday-themed hero image and festive offers above the fold. The Holiday Shoppe left sidebar calls out Gifts, Seasonal Scents, and E-Gift cards, making it easy for shoppers to fulfill all their gift-giving needs. The Perfect Gift Finder guides the unsure shopper, and discounts and promotions are impossible to miss. GIFTS is highlighted red in the top navigation and the banner (and hero image) adds urgency around Christmas Delivery. Compare their December 2014 website to April 2015’s, and you can see that the overall integrity of the website didn’t change, yet the look and feel is completely different.

The-Body-Shop-Holiday-Homepage-Update
Continue reading Web tip – 4 website tweaks to convert holiday shoppers

Web tip – Customer Journey Toolkit

Turn browsers into buyers + prospects into loyal customers with our Customer Journey Toolkit. Receive sample Journey Infographics, a Persona Worksheet, a Customer Questionnaire, + a Journey Map Worksheet – check out the toolkit details below.

In our Customer Journey Toolkit, you’ll find:

1)    Our Journey Infographics help you visualize a typical customer journey (broken out for B2B and B2C e-commerce companies and Service Companies).

2)   Our Persona Worksheet will help you understand your customers better + identify what motivates them or turns them off.

3)   Use our Customer Questionnaire to talk to customers about how you can increase their customer satisfaction.

4)   The Journey Worksheet will help you map out opportunities to reach out to your customers when they are most responsive and via the channels they respond to best.

Web tip – get in their head, map the customer journey

Before you map the customer journey, you’ll flesh out  audience personas, identify goals, talk to your customers, and collaborate with teams across your organization to gain a holistic understanding of your customers’ typical path to purchase. You’re ready to take pen to paper (or more likely, mouse to screen) to map out the customer journey, delighting customers at each step.

Map the customer journey

You’ll start by creating a journey for one of your personas. Remember, you’re treating customers as individually as possible, not developing a one-size-fits-all plan. Your journey will be highly repeatable, but tailored and tweaked for your different personas and their needs, motivations, and challenges.

Identify stages to lead the customer to the end goal

With your end goal in mind, develop the stages of customer interaction. Customers approach buying decisions similarly, most of the time. They are introduced to your brand or product category, research your products and competitors, purchase the product, experience it, and decide if they’ll purchase from you again. Each of these stages is an opportunity to educate, excite, sooth, and propel the customer to the next step in their journey.

You developed a detailed understanding of your customers’ typical buying stages from your persona research, but if you are unclear, walking through Discovery, Research, Conversion, and Post Sale is a safe bet. Design the journey as a flow chart, with Discovery on the left hand side and Post Sale on the right. As you get into the thick of things, the journey may tangent off and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to stay linear.

Continue reading Web tip – get in their head, map the customer journey

Web tip – are you wasting your website’s data?

Treat website visitors as individualsWebsites are more than digital storefronts; they are oftentimes the face and heart of a brand. (A face that customers judge in seconds.)

Websites must feel trustworthy, capture consumer insights, nurture customer relationships, and leave a fantastic impression. How can you leverage your website to better serve your customers?

Personalize customers’ online experience

Brands taking care to understand their customers’ behavior and digital journey across all channels can fine-tune their site to deliver on its promise. They can provide customers more relevant website content, target promotions and products toward individual needs, and take lead nurturing and prospecting to an unparalleled level.

By personalizing online experiences, we engage customers on a far more intimate level and dramatically increase the likelihood they’ll convert. Personalization hinges on identifying website visitors and capturing customer insights in an actionable database.

Identifying website visitors

People arrive on your site for various reasons and with different goals. You cannot deliver customers personalized content, products, or promotions  if you cannot differentiate their needs from everyone else’s.

Continue reading Web tip – are you wasting your website’s data?

Web tip – 5 ways to boost social media success

Grow your social media presenceYou aren’t alone in the struggle to grow and monetize your social presence. Social media connects your brand and customers, attracts new prospects, and lets you listen in on your audience’s thoughts and concerns, but social media feels like a moving target. It can be overwhelming to keep up with changing trends and best practices. To help, we updated a previous social media post on five tactics to monetize and boost your social media presence!

1. Think omni channel

Customers think about your brand as one entity. That’s why it makes no sense for marketers to engage customers differently on each channel. Brands don’t take this approach on purpose, of course. They just fail to effectively connect the dots across the many channels, timeframes, locations (in-store and online), and reasons customers experience their brand.

An omni channel marketing approach is the key to engaging customers across the board – your social networks, website, blog, paid ads, email marketing, and mobile apps work together to deliver a cohesive brand experience.

Omni channel is the future of business, but data drives your ability to identify consumers as a single identity. Unless marketers use data to understand their multi-touch point customers, they have no choice but to rely on tired siloed tactics. Luckily, there are a ton of tools at our disposal to help.

Continue reading Web tip – 5 ways to boost social media success

Web tip – How to Start Mapping A Customer Journey

Customer sentiment disconnectEngaged customers are at the heart of every successful business, but oftentimes, brands overestimate their customers’ engagement.

According to a 2015 eConsultancy survey, 81% of consumer brands say they have a holistic view of their customers, BUT only 37% of consumers believe their favorite retailer understands them. This disconnect wastes time, money, and opportunity, as brands try and fail to engage and convert customers.

What is a customer journey?

Brands must understand their customers to excite and retain them. Sounds easy, but no two customers are alike or respond to outreach the same way. Smart brands create a customer journey map, a visual representation of the many steps customers take when engaging with your brand.

Developing a customer journey map helps brands understand how customers consider and then decide to use their products or services by following them through the buying process. The journey map also identifies areas to improve their conversion path.Who are your customers

Getting started

There is no customer journey map standard (that would be too easy). Instead, we’ve outlined six steps to map out your customer journey. They include:

1. Developing user personas
2. Identifying your goal
3. Talking to your customers
4. Creating and engaging cross-functional teams
5. Designing the journey
6. Measure and adjusting

Today, we’ll cover the legwork (steps 1-4) you’ll complete before designing your customer journey.

Continue reading Web tip – How to Start Mapping A Customer Journey