The hectic holiday shopping season is here! If you haven’t optimized your website for holiday shoppers, don’t fret, there’s still time! Procrastinators rejoice – follow our simple last minute tips to update your website for holiday shoppers.
Maximize your homepage - Update your hero image to show off top-selling products, special holiday sales, or gift guides. Place sales and special offers center stage. Grab browsers attention right away and compel them to shop.
Create urgency – Tell visitors exactly how many days are left to ship their gifts in time for the holidays.
Make holiday items easy to find - Change up site navigation to include your best-selling gifts and holiday decorations. Similarly, call out gift guides in your navigation. Busy shoppers will appreciate how easily they can find “Gifts for Her” or “Gifts $25 + under” to cross everyone off their shopping list.
Make it mobile-friendly - Cyber Monday mobile traffic accounted for 41.2% of all online traffic, up 30.1% over 2013. Mobile sales were also strong, reaching 22% of total Cyber Monday online sales, an increase of 27.6% year-over-year.
This trend will continue, so make sure your site is ready to handle mobile shoppers! If you don’t have time to build a responsive site, simplify the site you have – remove clutter (tons of graphics + calls-to-action, text-heavy content), use larger fonts, place critical information above the fold, and utilize big buttons that are easy to press with clumsy fingers.
Optimize your website for the busy holiday shopping season – it pays off! By making it easy for customers to find gifts for everyone on their list, you’ll increase sales and boost their loyalty towards your brand. Happy shoppers are more likely to return to your site for their gift giving needs all year round.
Your company’s email list is gold. Email converts at a higher rate than other marketing tactics and keeps your brand top of mind with customers and leads. In fact, according to an infograph by QuickSprout, email converts at almost 2x the rate of search and 8x the rate of social, so when you’re deciding where to focus marketing energy, email is a clear winner.
Building and maintaining an effective email list isn’t for the faint of heart – email lists grow stale fast unless they’re nurtured with new faces and scrubbed clean of outdated addresses. Today, we’ll show you how our client Transpac Imports, Inc. leveraged existing sales to breath fresh air into their email list.
Incentivize email sign ups
Incentivizing web visitors to take action – like signing up for your email list – is proven to increase conversion. Both tangible incentives, like a coupon or a free gift, or a value exchange, like awesome research and other digital resources, helps grow your list. Even well-known brands like Ann Taylor, Dockers, and New York & Company sweeten the deal to motivate email signups.
Recycle promotions to motivate email sign ups
We know it isn’t always feasible to dedicate a promotion to email signups. With the holidays right around the corner, you must be offering a sale or discount on something, right? Follow Transpac’s lead and repurpose your existing promotion to motivate website visitors to sign up for your email list.
Running an e-commerce site is a full-time job. You devote resources to selling your products, keeping your site updated, and gaining and maintaining your customer base. Content often falls to the bottom of the priority list, but we recommend you move it up the list.
Content marketing involves attracting and retaining customers without directly selling to them. Instead, you offer contextual, relevant, and intriguing information that customers find valuable. The goal is for those customers to reward your awesome content with a purchase – and eventually, they will. The Custom Content Council reported “61% of people feel better about a company that delivers custom content; they are also more likely to buy from that company.”
Engaging customers with relevant content enhances your brand interactions and builds loyalty to your company. In addition to keeping your customers coming back, content marketing attracts new customers. According to the HubSpot Marketing Benchmarks report “companies who increase blogging from 3-5x/month to 6-8x/month almost double their leads.” Content marketing should serve as the foundation for your marketing strategy, because it positively impacts social media, search engine optimization, public relations, pay-per-click, and outbound marketing. Get our 5 content marketing tips for e-commerce companies.
Webinars help us stay on top of industry topics, trends, and best practices without traveling to workshops or conferences. (Another bonus – they’re frequently free!)
One pitfall of webinars is it’s difficult to fit them into our hectic schedules. To help out all you busy people, each month we’ll attend a webinar and summarize the key learning points for you, so we can learn from industry rock stars together.
Yesterday, we sat in on New Age Advertising: How to Succeed In The World of Paid Content. Speakers included:
Content is the new face of digital advertising. With this realization, brands jumped on board – creating, curating, and sharing content to capture consumer attention and drive brand interaction. There are limitless content opportunities – blogs, articles, infographics, webinars, print publishing, and today’s guest of honor – paid or sponsored content.
Web forms are an integral vehicle for converting traffic to revenue. Collecting explicit website data (information visitors give when filling out your web form) is often the first step in effectively marketing to your leads. Optimizing your web forms helps you gather more qualified leads.
Get your math on
According to MECLABS, a conversion index is the best way to boost conversions. They use the following equation: C = 4m +3v + 2(i-f) – 2a, wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user
v = Clarity of the value proposition
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information
Applying the formula to web forms helps you assess how effectively they’ll convert traffic. The theory is conversions are highest when the visitor is both comfortable providing their information and motivated to fill out the web form.
Today, we’ll use a Whereoware web form (above) and evaluate value proposition, incentive, friction, and anxiety to demonstrate how the theory boosts form conversion.
The value proposition is the reason your customers should take action. Here, the value prop is a newsletter full of website and marketing tips. Some common value props include: newness, price, or quality. The most important thing to remember is your value prop needs to have appeal and exclusivity, as well as being clear and concise.
Nutricia, who sells products for people requiring a specialized diet, leveraged the power of personalization with their new website and automated email campaigns. Both their website and emails dynamically change messaging + imagery based on age and health condition, so that customers with specific conditions see content + products relevant to their unique needs.
See the details of this case study and how creating a truly personalized customer experience creates impressive returns.
Is your e-commerce website helping you grow sales? Your website is more than an online version of your brochure or catalog. An effective website works for you – engaging, convincing, and converting web browsers into customers. If your website isn’t pulling its own weight, try incorporating a few of our website tweaks to convert visitors into customers.
Convince + Lead
You cannot turn browsing site visitors into buyers without a clear and concise value proposition supported by a descriptive call-to-action (CTA). We know – we sound like a broken record, but it’s an extremely important step that so many websites skip. The same way diet and exercise is the age-old mantra of slimming down, your value proposition and CTAs are the time-tested principles of a website that sells for you.
Regardless of how aesthetically pleasing your website is, your site visitors need to instantly know why you’re more awesome than your competitors and what action to take next. Your value proposition tells visitors why your products and services are valuable and worth purchasing. Your CTA directs them to their next step in the purchasing lifecycle. The best CTAs specifically tell visitors exactly what to do, like “Shop Kids Apparel,” or “Get Patio Furniture on Sale.”
Without these guiding principles, site visitors stumble around your website like toddlers learning to walk. Don’t leave site experience up to chance – make sure your value proposition is immediately understood and your CTAs are effectively guiding visitors through the shopping experience.
Make sales easy and upsells easier
Upsells are the best, plain and simple. Our value props and CTAs are working hard to guide our customers towards the shopping cart, so it’s always a bonus when customers purchase MORE product than originally intended. Build upsells into your website design – it’s easier than it sounds!
An easy way to guide both initial sales and upsells is to group products into complementary groupings. Allow users to not only shop by product type, but also by collections.
For example, West Elm allows you to shop all products in the mid-century line. This makes it easy for customers to visualize how items go together and in turn, compels them to put an extra item in their cart.
Another idea is to show glamour shots and allow shoppers to purchase the individual items shown in the image. Banana Republic features “Outfits We Love.” When you click on an outfit, you can purchase each of the items in the outfit.
You can also use recommendation engines to automatically categorize and display products (like “Similar Products” or “Customers Who Bought ABC, also Bought XYZ”).
Whereoware client MudPie sets the tone for upsells by offering “Related Items,” “Recently Viewed,” “Customers also Bought,” and “Customer Reviews” on their product pages.
Categories, glamour images, and recommendation engines are win-win: you make it easier for customers to shop your products and improve their experience on your site.
Add testimonials + product reviews
A study by Reevoo found that nearly 90% of customers consult a product review before purchase. Make sure customer testimonials and/or product reviews have a prominent piece of real estate on your website where they cannot be missed by customers. Both customer testimonials and product reviews help alleviate customer anxiety, by extending confidence that other people endorse your brand and products. They lend your website authority and credibility; an imperative since customers have so many shopping options online.
Another bonus is that it helps boost your SEO. Search engines love credible and fresh content regularly posted to your website.
Your compelling value proposition and CTA’s, upsells, and product reviews will ensure site visitors have a great user experience on your site – putting you miles ahead of any company with a pretty website that’s impossible to use. Incorporate a few of these easy tweaks to increase sales and turn aimless browsers into repeat buyers.
This week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Senior Project Marketing Managers, Peter Bergen. Peter works with clients to develop automated marketing programs and specializes in email and landing page optimization. He recently won Honorable Mention in the MarketingSherpa 2014 email awards for a cross-channel digital marketing program executed for a client in the gift and home furnishings trade show industry.
When analyzing your website’s performance, the question is simple – is my e-commerce website selling my products and driving revenue? Answering that question by boiling down the huge number of performance metrics you can track, analyze, and measure to identify success, is overwhelming to say the least.
Today, I’ve selected three (often undervalued) metrics that do more than simply indicate your website’s success (for example, the number of t-shirts you’ve sold), but instead, will help predict future growth over the long term (sticking with our same example, your expected six month growth rate of t-shirt sales).
Add these metrics to your digital reporting framework, and you’ll be able to better maximize the ROI of your e-commerce site. (Although I’ll be speaking in terms of e-commerce websites, these metrics help predict success on other kinds of websites too.)
Metric #1: Email List Growth Rate
Email marketing is one of the most effective channels for driving sales on your website. Measuring your email list growth is a huge predictor of your site’s success, because no matter how creative your email campaigns are, they cannot drive much revenue if your list is small and out of date.