Archive | Ecommerce RSS feed for this section

5 Tips To Improve Your Site’s Conversion Rate

cro

Having a website that showcases products is useless if customers don’t buy the products. In fact, we have no business calling them customers if they don’t buy. Because the rule of business is: we sell, they buy. 

What good is a website if it just sits there in the cyberspace, taking up space and waiting for the domain and hosting to expire? Unless this is the original intention, which I’m sure it is not, then a website is not really a website in every sense of the word. To use the analogy of a once great leader, “Your website is less useful than crap.”

Conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors who actually buy the products and services being offered. The higher the ratio of customers, the higher the revenue. That is how this game is played. Revenue is the name of the game, and conversion is the rule of the play. Websites must convert users, plain and simple. Site visits must have ROI for without it, businesses are doomed. 

Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO comes into play. CRO is the process of maximising the efforts of making site visitors take action. It takes time and lots of research and resources. In short, CRO is a costly venture. Big firms spend lots of money hiring other firms that specialise in CRO. For indeed, there are firms and agencies dedicated solely to CRO.

But what about the small and medium businesses that have no budget for CRO? Good news then that the Internet is a level-playing field. And it being a platform where SMEs have an equal footing with the big boys, the power of CRO can be harnessed DIY style.

Here are some tips you might want to consider to raise your site’s conversion rate.

1. Conduct Split Tests

This reliable method has been practiced ever since the beginning of the business era, when ancient galleon trade merchants studied markets and sold products based on their conclusions. Split testing, sometimes called A/B testing, is the process of creating two different versions of a landing page and testing it to two sets of users. Whichever converts better, we go for it. Below are particular sections that we need to focus on.

2. Call To Action

Call to Action, or CTA is the button or link that we want users to click. It is simply where the action is going to take place. Every click on the particular button is potential revenue.

That being said, make sure that you place the CTA where users can see it immediately. Meaning, above the fold or on the upper section of the page, before the users even begin to scroll down. Placing the CTA above the fold is strategic simply because users see it right away before they change their minds. 

But this does not mean that we skip the CTA at the end of the page. Some users would want to read first before they take action. So if they don’t click on the upper fold, they continue to read the content sandwiched in the middle, then they can still take action at the end of the page. A website or a landing page can have many CTAs as long as they are strategically placed and lead to only one action. 

3. Make it Clear

The purpose of CTA is to lure potential customers. You don’t want potential customers to get lost in all the content and finally leave the website. Or worse, get carried away with the aesthetics and art, and forget that we are actually selling something. Your CTA, as the name suggests, must drive the user towards your goal. In design-speak, that means proper layout and fonts. Avoid using artsy fonts and elements that make the headline hard to read. Keeping it simple often works better.

4. Forms

Studies show that users have little patience with step-by-step actions. Modern users who are most likely using a smartphone or tablet instead of a laptop or PC, have little patience in filling-up forms. With this in mind, make the forms shorter and concise. There’s no point in making it complicated for the user. Think: we are about to convert! The user is already filling-up our form! Instead of adding additional steps for him, by all means, let’s carry him on our shoulders all the way to the check-out counter if this would convert him to become a buyer.

Take note: studies based on years of experience state that a lot of potential customers walk away just because of the failure of captcha images to load. What a shame!

5. Testimonials

People tend to believe in products and services especially if they see other people buy them. That means “people”, not “celebrities”. You don’t need celebrities endorsing your products. First of all, you don’t have the budget to do it. In fact, using famous people is not a testimonial but a commercial. Testimonials are the exact antithesis of commercials.

Consumers have outgrown product endorsements from celebrities. People tend to believe people who are on their same level. Small and medium businesses would want to see other small and medium businesses saying your products worked for them. People don’t want to see stock photos but actual pictures of people proclaiming your product rocks. Testimonials breed trust.

 

There you go, folks. CRO presented DIY style. Your goal is to convert without spending too much money in hiring experts to raise your conversion rate. These simple tips would help you get started. 

Now convert! And forever make your website useful.

4 Commonly Found Mistakes In Most eCommerce Sites

ecommerce-australia

Not taking care of any of these factors might ruin your chances of succeeding in eCommerce.

Make sure that your site does not make any of the following mistakes:

1. Poor Site Aesthetics

guide-to-mobile-friendly-website

A well-designed site helps you build trust with your visitors and convert those visitors into customers.

The sad reality is that, on the first encounter, people judge us by our appearance and not by the content of our brains or character. This is true for eCommerce sites as well. 52% of shoppers abandon sites and do not return because they dislike the overall aesthetics.

Coming up with a good design for your site is not hard, however. The only thing you need to remember is that you have to keep it simple and ensure that it is practical for every user that comes to your site.

You want to make your products easy to find by having stellar navigation and a working search bar.

Many people now use mobile devices to shop. Without a responsive site, you will not be able to meet adequately the needs of this demographic.

2. Inadequate Customer Support

brand-loyalty-for-customers

The quality of customer support is the litmus test of how much a company values its customers.

Most customers know this, and many will not give you their business if their contact with your customer support team leaves a bad taste in their mouth. 76% of shoppers view customer service as a real test of how much a brand values them.

Build a responsive and helpful customer support team. You need to train the team, so they are equipped to deal with the varied demands of customers.

3. Shipping

The popularity of Amazon’s services has resulted in customers expecting free shipping from eCommerce sites. In fact, unconditional free shipping is now the number one criterion for shoppers buying with an eCommerce site. 47% of customers will abandon the cart at checkout on finding out that free shipping is not part of the package. Free shipping increases the chances of a customer making a purchase by a significant margin.

4. Social Media

social-media-content-marketing

With the rise in social media usage, many people are discovering brands and products through social media. The opportunities that social media present to your business regarding customer acquisition and engagement are just too huge to ignore. Using social media to grow your eCommerce business begins with you setting the goals you want to achieve and then studying your customers then using the data to deliver what they want.

Conclusion

Growth in the eCommerce sector is still projected to increase massively in the coming years. If you want to be a participant in this growth and not just a spectator, you must take strategic actions to ensure that your eCommerce store is primed for success.

By avoiding the mistakes mentioned, you will have placed yourself in the good graces of your customers and the industry, and you will be rewarded accordingly.

Is Your Ecommerce Store Leaking Money? (Infographic)

ecommerce-australia

Preparing an eCommerce store is not always as difficult to do as you might think. However, getting it right is definitely harder to achieve.

The truth is, there are many ways for your eCommerce store to leak money, even when you think that things are going fine and are making a profit. Even if you are managing to generate a profit and orders are coming in at a steady rate, there are almost certainly going to be some aspects of the design and navigation of your online store, that are either preventing customers buying more, or even checking out at all. You need to ensure that your eCommerce site does everything that they want, including offering a great price.

There are many components that combine to create a great site, and if you get any of these design or navigation elements wrong, it can prove costly. If you are suffering from poor conversion rates or a lack of repeat orders, it may just be that your eCommerce store is leaking more money than you imagined.

your-ecommerce-store-leaking-money-infographic

Infographic credit: Red Stag Fullfilment

WeChat Wallet Utilises QR Codes For Digital Transaction

wechat-and-qr-8QR codes might seem old school in the fast-paced world of digital marketing. However, in China, they have transformed communications app WeChat into a world-leading example of mobile social commerce.

The success of QR in China is mainly due to the country’s popular mobile messaging platform WeChat. Each time the app is downloaded, a QR code reader is embedded into the user’s phone. Perhaps, if Facebook had done the same here, or perhaps Apple had released iPhones with a pre-installed code reader, things may have been different here.

WeChat and QR Codes

There are now more than 600 million people using WeChat (or Weixin as it’s known by its Chinese users).

Since WeChat Wallet was launched in 2015, Chinese consumers are also using the QR code feature to pay utility bills, go Dutch when out with friends, book a taxi, visit a doctor, buy movie tickets and reserve seats at restaurants.

This is what the user interface looks like inside the WeChat user’s WeChat Wallet feature:

wechat-and-qr-1

The user links the wallet to a Chinese bank account. The system works more like a direct debit system, where users top up their wallet rather than having money deducted directly from the bank account.

It also means that WeChat acts as an interface between the consumer and the vendor. At no point does the vendor have access to the buyer’s bank details.

The key here is mobile. Like many new and emerging markets in Asia, China is a mobile first country.

According to eMarketer, 88% of China’s 700 million internet users are going online using a mobile. WeChat’s innovation started for mobile, and continues to evolve for mobile.

Here are some examples highlighting the simplicity of the QR code payment inside the WeChat Wallet feature:

1. Online movie payments

In our previous story on QR codes in China, one reader mentioned our omission of payments.

As an example, he talked about the simplicity of buying and watching online videos in China. Misha Maruma says when it’s time to pay for a movie, he scans the QR code that pops up on the screen using the reader in WeChat and in a matter of seconds the movie has been paid for using WeChat Wallet.

wechat-and-qr-2

2. Booking, buying and redeeming movie theatre tickets

By clicking the ‘Movie Tickets’ feature inside WeChat Wallet, the user is taken to WeChat’s movie app, WePiao.

The user is asked to select their city. It then brings up movies currently showing in that location.

wechat-and-qr-3

After selecting the movie, the theatre location, and seats, the user inputs a six digit WeChat Wallet pin number and the rest is done. A keycode for redeeming the ticket at the theatre is then sent to the user as an instant message.

At the theater, the user enters the code into a kiosk, and the ticket is printed.

Alibaba’s Alipay also uses a similar system.

3. Restaurants

Some restaurants have established sophisticated platforms inside WeChat.

For example, popular chain restaurant Dian Dou De in Guangzhou, uses a location feature to show users where it closest branches are, distances and table wait times, (including breakdowns on table sizes).

wechat-and-qr-4

Once the user has picked their restaurant, they join the virtual queue.

The user can then view the menu, which includes pictures and prices, order, and pay all within the WeChat platform.

wechat-and-qr-5

4. Booking a doctor, paying medical bills and ordering pharmaceuticals

Anyone who has visited a Chinese hospital knows what a time-consuming experience this is. People queue from the early hours to pre-pay the registration, queue to see a doctor, queue to pay the bill, queue again to pay for meds, and queue to receive the goods.

Some hospitals have set up accounts on WeChat allowing patients to book ahead, and pay the pre-registration and prescriptions bills.

Each hospital will offer different services on WeChat depending on their CRM and how much they want to invest into the system. WeChat is just the platform, how hospitals decide to use it, is up to them.

5. Booking a taxi

Didi Kuaidi is the result of a merger between the taxi-hailing businesses of two of China’s biggest technology companies – Tencent (parent company of WeChat) and Alibaba in February 2015. It was set up in part to take on Uber’s expansion in China.

Through the WeChat Wallet ‘Order Taxi’ feature, users can book and pay for the ride without reaching for cash or card.

wechat-and-qr-6

6. Go Dutch

Of all the WeChat Wallet features, being able to share a meal with friends without worrying about how to split the bill, has to be one of the best!

No longer do diners have to worry about having enough cash, or going through the complicated process of working out whose credit card is whose at the end of the meal.

The ‘Go Dutch’ feature lets friends split the bill easily. Unlike a bank transfer, there is no wait time.

When the money is sent between friends, it moves between wallets instantly.

wechat-and-qr-7

7. In-store retail payments

Uniqlo, McDonald’s, Pacific Coffee and 7-Eleven are some of the brands allowing customers to pay in-store with their mobile phones.

When it’s time to pay, the user allows the vendor to scan the personal QR code from their WeChat Wallet and the money is instantly deducted from the user’s account.

Vendors don’t need a special scan either. Entrepreneurial street sellers can also receive payment so long as they have a WeChat account. The consumer scans the vendor’s QR code from inside the wallet’s ‘Transfer’ feature. They then input the amount to be paid.

WeChat is not the first to introduce online and offline retail payment options. Alibaba’s Alipay has been available in number of stores for some time, including KFC and Walmart.

Conclusion

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the different ways Chinese consumers are using WeChat to make payments.

There are around 200 million Weixin (Chinese WeChat) and QQ accounts linked to a bank account. Some of those users could be the same person on both platforms, but it is still a lot of Chinese consumers purchasing goods through a messaging app.

What does it mean for brands? Chinese consumers are on WeChat, and are now paying for goods and services through WeChat Wallet.

They use it because it is simple, easy and the transfer of funds passes through a trustworthy platform.

Whether the business is an airline, a hospital, a restaurant or a bricks-and-mortar retail brand, having a presence on this platform has obvious marketing benefits.

How To Maintain The Hardly Obtained Holiday Engagement Until 2016

holiday-seasons-sales-2015

This year’s holiday season has already been the highest one, as many experts already predict.

The Cyber Monday order volume grew by 16 percent over 2014 and the revenue increased by 15 percent, while the Black Friday has increased by 16 percent. The trends also marked the true value to create the best marketing campaign as possible, where campaign builds and entry collection were both up.

All of these numbers prove the opportunity businesses gather during the holidays — but do you even realise the biggest mistake businesses make during the holidays? It’s stopping their marketing campaigns after their holiday promotions are over. Do you want to gain more even when the holiday season is over? Try keeping the momentum of this past weekend going well into the New Year!

The good news is you are not late yet. You can still keep increasing your engagement and sales once the holidays are over. Most businesses see a break in engagement after the New Year. However, great companies continue to see great numbers as long as they keep up their efforts past the holidays.

Essentially, it’s time to throw the “one and done” practice out the window when it comes to your marketing campaigns and to come up with new strategies that will keep your engagement and reach up. In today’s post, we will share six easy peasy tips you can do to keep your audiences’ attention when holiday season is over. Let’s start with:

1. Optimise all the elements

Not every action you take on social media will gain a lead. Social media was designed as a place to “socialise” with friends, colleagues and brands. It was never intended to be a selling tool.

When you are able to expand your marketing beyond promotions, you’ll open the door to a variety of campaign options that you can run all year long. Here are some non-promotional campaign ideas you can optimise:

  • Landing Page
  • Contact Us or Request More Information
  • Reservation or Appointment
  • Events or Calendar
  • Thank You
  • Coupon Offer
  • Quiz
  • Newsletter Sign Up
  • Countdown
  • Crowdsourcing

2. Exploit the ‘New Year Resolution’ tradition

Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions. Most people have committed to do, or stop doing, something. Still, only eight percent of people actually achieve their goals. By the middle of February, most of those commitments are long forgotten.

So why not encourage your fans to keep their New Year’s resolutions? Try running a campaign asking your audiences to submit their New Year’s resolutions. When people have an audience, mostly they have more accountability, so an essay contest can be a great place to host people’s resolutions.

You can even set the questions based on the network you’re posting on. For example: “What are your New Year’s resolutions for your Twitter account?” Another way to leverage the idea of a fresh start is to suggest some resolutions for your fans or provide tips on keeping the ones they’ve chosen.

3. Resource is the key in 2016

The best way to keep your audience engaged after the holidays is by telling them to stay. Most users look to a brand’s social profiles to be further educated about that brand and the relevant industry. The new year is the perfect time to position yourself and your company as experts. Social media is an ideal platform for sharing content, so take what works for your audience and help them succeed in 2016.

Don’t forget to use the 70/20/10 rule: 70 percent of your Page’s content shared should be information that is valuable and relevant to your fans; 20 percent of your posts should be shared content, i.e. content that comes from other people and the the final ten percent should be promotional posts. The promotional content can be sale announcements, new product alerts, events, etc. Don’t forget to share Facebook content across all of your networks.

4. Reminisce your 2015’s success stories

There’s no better way to keep the chatter going then to reflect back on the previous year. Offer up annual reports, infographics and success stories from 2015 that will excite your fan base and encourage them to move forward with you into 2016. If you had an awesome year on Twitter, let your fans know and share with them how you’ll meet your goals for 2016. Or maybe you focused a lot on Twitter and are looking to break into Facebook? Now’s the perfect time to transition your fans onto a new network. Graphical data from 2015 can be leveraged not only on social networks but through email marketing as well, which can drive new leads to your social profiles.

5. Valentine’s Day

When one holiday ends, there’s always another one in the pipeline and Valentine’s Day is nearby. It all about the love, so brainstorm ways to show your fans how much you appreciate them. This could include a variety of photo, essay or video contests or simple “thank you” messages from you to your Fans. Social networks do not need to be all about business, never forget to sit back and simply thank your fans for being your fans. Show them the love!

The worst thing you can do is accept the mindset “stopping when the holidays end”. Do you only sell items, run ads and write on your blog only during the holidays? The answer is obviously a big no. If all of your competitors don’t stop, why should you?

6. Save at least one big campaign after holiday

This may sound a little bit off, but have you ever thought of waiting for your big campaign push until after the holidays? If your business is one that already sees a great uptick during the holidays, consider pushing your promotion strategies back a a few weeks and piggy-backing on the excitement of the holidays.

Expanding your marketing beyond the holidays does not have to be expensive. The most important thing is to remain visible to your audience, whether it be with ongoing promotions or campaigns that allow your audience to interact with you and your website.

The Season for Ecommerce (Infographic)

social-media-vs-ecommerce

While we’re on the subject of social: Consider using easy social logins to reduce shopping cart abandonment and optimise checkout flow.

According to the infographic below, more than two-thirds of online shopping cart additions are ultimately abandoned. Turning content into commerce may come down to convenience. If your customers have to create a new user account just to make a purchase, they may be more likely to avoid making a purchase.

Take a look at the full infographic below to learn more about how today’s consumers are using digital tools to get their holiday shopping done.

the-season-for-ecommerce-infographic

Click to Enlarge

Infographic credit: Datanyze

Four Areas You Need To Focus On To Maximise Your Profit During Holiday Season

holiday-shopping-spree

The holiday season is officially here, which means millions of consumers will be spending more cash to buy those gifts.

If you are one of those small business owners, you should capitalise on the holiday shopping trend by creating a sound online marketing strategy. Doing so will allow you to reach more customers and generate more sales. Here are four areas you need to improve (if you haven’t) in order to maximise your profit during holiday sale season.

1. MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE

Don’t make the mistake of focusing your marketing efforts strictly on desktop visitors. Failure to cater to the ever-growing demographic of mobile users may cost you tons of sales. 54% of consumers plan to shop for products this holiday season on their smartphone or mobile device. Mobile devices are now faster and more powerful than ever, allowing consumers to buy products with just a few basic steps.

With the holiday season fast approaching, there’s no better time than now to optimise your online store for a higher conversion rate. If you’re site isn’t mobile friendly yet, depending on the size of your store, you may still have time to convert your website to a responsive mobile friendly design. If you have a large store and most of your orders take place over the holiday season, you may want to wait until the new year before taking on that challenge.

2. GOOGLE PRODUCT ADS

Not to be confused with Google AdWords, Product Listing Ads are another self-serving ad type offered by the search engine giant. They differ from PPC ads like keyword search or display ads in several different ways: PLAs are designed specifically for products, making them particularly effective for the holiday season, and they contain more information than standard AdWords keyword ads. Furthermore, PLAs display a picture of the product alongside the listing, drawing more attention to your ads. Assuming you sell a physical product and not a service, consider using PLAs as part of your online marketing strategy this holiday season.

3. VIDEO CONTENT

The same Thing With Google report cited above also found that consumers are planning to spend more time watching product videos this holiday season. Whether it’s a live demonstration on how a product works, or a video review by another customers, video has become an integral component in consumers’ shopping decisions. As such, business owners should include video in their marketing strategy, posting relevant videos to YouTube.

4. SOCIAL MEDIA

Of course, social media should also be a part of your marketing strategy for the holidays. More people use social media during the holidays than any other time of year. This means an even larger audience, which should help to generate sales, will see your posts. Try posting a combination of both informative and promotional material on social media, keeping your content diversified enough so that it doesn’t deter people from following your accounts. Social media marketing for the holiday season can be a great strategy for local retailers as well as online retailers.

Australians Prefer Online Shopping For Their Christmas Needs

yahoo-7-logo

Online world is exceeding the real-world experiences, especially at Christmas time. It turns out the new research from Yahoo7 has revealed.

The latest report highlights some key points on Christmas shopping trends and behaviours of Australian consumers online, to provide marketers with an enhanced understanding into reaching their consumers this holiday season.

According to the research, Australians have reached a tipping point, with more people opting to hunt online in order to avoid tackling shopping centres. Some 39 per cent of those surveyed even admitted they were stressed about dealing with crowds when Christmas shopping, while a third were worried about finding the time to shop.

The research also found that more than half of all Australians have already started their Christmas shopping but 62 per cent of Australians are not sure about what to buy our loved ones. Despite this, what is clear is that parents will be the most impressed come Christmas Day with respondents more likely to buy something special for their parents, followed by partners and siblings.

“Our insights assist marketers and advertisers plan and adapt their strategies to effectively reach different audiences. In particular, with more Australians revealed to be doing their Christmas shopping online this year, it suggests that used effectively, online advertising stands to be more valuable this Christmas compared to previous years” said Peter Hammer, the head of data and insights at Yahoo7.

The most popular gift ideas this year have been revealed to be experiences, electronics, home appliances and clothing, while 46 per cent of respondents noted they will purchase a charitable gift this year. Toys, jewellery, travel and cosmetics also rated highly on the list.

The 7 Christmas Insights research is part of Yahoo7’s new Insights Series, aiming to provide advertisers with a greater understanding of the behaviour of their target consumers.

Four Brilliant Tips To Secure The Online Deal

online-sales-in-2015

Every seller wants more conversions. The big question is how to get them.

However, conversion rates can be increased with a few simple tweaks to a website and/or marketing plan. After all, most merchants already have customers who are shopping on their sites, but may need a virtual push to complete their purchases.

For some inspiration on how to close the sale on your site, check out the following four tips for increasing conversions.

1. Create a Sense of Urgency

Sometimes consumers simply don’t convert because they are still in the research phase and are in no rush to make a purchase. To solve this problem, retailers can create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers or by highlighting scarce inventory. Both of these strategies can be implemented on the retailer’s website and within marketing initiatives, including emails, social and display ads.

2. Retarget Your Customers

Every retailer deals with shopping cart abandonment, but not every retailer knows that some customers actually abandon on purpose just to receive a discount from the retailer later. In fact, a study reveals that 44 percent of consumers expect to receive a shopping cart reminder after leaving items in their cart, and 37 percent also expect to receive a coupon as motivation to finish their product.

Retailers should consider this data when crafting their shopping cart recovery strategies. In fact, they can even conduct their own test by sending a coupon to some consumers who abandoned their cart and just a simple reminder to others. Once the test is completed, the retailer can analyse the data and adjust their recovery campaigns accordingly.

3. Give Incentive

In addition to recovery emails with coupon codes, there are many other ways retailers can motivate consumers to convert. For instance, retailers can offer gifts with purchase, free shipping on orders over a certain amount or coupon codes at checkout. In addition, the site features a “today’s offers” section and includes a promo code section in its checkout.

To close the sale when it matters the most, however, retailers should leverage live chat. For example, retailers can set a proactive chat trigger for customers whose carts exceed the merchant’s typical average order value (AOV). By doing this, the retailer can answer any questions and provide an incentive (like free shipping, a coupon code, etc.) to ensure the customer converts.

4. Offer a Simple Checkout

Sometimes consumers simply don’t have enough time to fill out lengthy forms, which is why they end up abandoning their purchase. Retailers can easily remedy this issue by simplifying their checkout and offering popular payment options, such as PayPal.

Black Friday Foot Traffic From Google (Infographic)

sale-on-black-friday

Recently, Google has released an infographic about Black Friday foot traffic.

The infographic examines the where, when, and why people actually get out of their homes to go shopping on the most annoying shopping day of the year, noting the important fact that Google’s “data isn’t just relevant to shoppers.” According to the infographic, the busiest time for department stores on Thanksgiving Day is between 6 and 7 p.m., while Black Friday’s busiest time is 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., but more interesting is that shopping malls, superstores, and discount stores all peak on the Saturday before Christmas. This makes sense as last-minute shoppers try to save time by knocking out multiple errands and gifts via one store.

Moreover, also unsurprising, there is the fact that on Christmas Eve the desperate go to dollar stores, which is their busiest day of the year. Additionally, it is interesting that the integration of our online and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences is becoming very commonplace, as “82% of smartphone users will consult their phone while in a store,” according to the infographic. The infographic comes with the announcement that Google will give advertisers more insights into shoppers’ offline habits, right down to store visits via data from Google Maps. It’s all part of Google’s push to be more appealing to advertisers in the midst of the ad war they are currently engaged in with Facebook and Apple.

Take a look at the more details below.

black-friday-store-traffic-infographic

Click to Enlarge

Infographic credit: Google