Build a website that your marketing and legal teams will both love

When it comes to data privacy law compliance, are your marketing or legal team’s priorities more important? For companies operating globally — or even those whose websites merely reach visitors in different locations — this question has consumed significant time and valuable resources, with one or both parties generally feeling aggrieved. What if rather than this relationship being competitive, it could be collaborative and lead to better outcomes for your customers and company? This optimization isn’t hypothetical; it exists today for those in the know. In this post, we’ll show you how you can utilize Littledata’s integration with industry-leading data privacy compliance platform Clym to make this a reality for your website. First, though, we’ll need to survey the current landscape of privacy laws and how they affect what you can have on your website. How do data privacy laws affect your website? Modern data privacy laws originated in 2018 when Europe implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). Other jurisdictions have followed in the past few years as consumers increasingly grow concerned about their individual privacy. At their core, data privacy laws affect companies that collect and/or process the personally identifiable information (“PII”) of individuals, such as one’s name, email address, phone number or other information that can be readily attributable to a person. These laws dictate and restrict the way that PII is collected, processed and stored. Their restrictions often depend on a consumer’s consent to these actions, and are generally implemented to cover the geographic location of the consumer, rather than the location of the company to which they apply. One commonly overlooked piece of PII is the IP address of a website visitor that gets collected by cookies and tracking scripts. However, regulators are increasingly reviewing websites to assess data privacy law violations, and private advocacy groups have picked up the enforcement slack by lodging complaints against companies in multiple jurisdictions. Complaints regarding noncompliant websites range from companies implementing a cookie wall, relying on “legitimate interest” for consent or violating the principle and requirements of granular consent. Are all privacy laws the same? No, and that’s a problem for marketing professionals focusing on data-driven growth. Privacy laws are different around the world: in the US alone, a fragmented landscape of regulations is emerging on a state-by-state level, with California, Virginia and Colorado being first to adopt comprehensive laws for their residents. Most states aren’t far behind, and already-implemented laws are changing with a high level of frequency. [caption id="attachment_13314" align="aligncenter" width="600"] US State Privacy Legislation Map, Source: iapp.org[/caption] Data privacy isn’t limited to the US and EU. Countries such as Brazil and China have implemented their own laws, each with their own nuances and penalties for noncompliance. As consumer awareness regarding privacy continues to expand, expect these laws to proliferate, with enforcement following closely behind. If you’re targeting consumers in any location where a data privacy law exists, you need to ensure compliance with that jurisdiction’s regulation. My website has a cookie banner, so I’m good to go, right? The unfortunate reality is that many cookie banners are noncompliant for purposes of modern data privacy law, putting you at risk for penalties. Others only offer a static, inflexible UI that either creates friction for visitors or restricts the flow of data to your marketing team. The consent standards for each jurisdiction play a major role in how marketers can collect data from consumers. GDPR is an explicit consent or “opt-in” regulation, meaning that a consumer must provide specific and affirmative consent before you can collect their PII. CCPA, on the other hand, is an implicit or “opt-out” regulation, meaning that you can collect data from consumers assuming their consent, but must provide a way for them to retract that consent. These are mutually exclusive frameworks that require marketers to adopt a flexible approach. Further, to achieve compliance your website should have up-to-date policies (e.g., privacy, terms of use, etc.) and a mechanism to respond to data subject access requests (“DSARs”). Companies who fail to implement a scalable DSAR solution can become overwhelmed with consumer requests that are time-consuming and expensive. What’s the solution? Marketers rarely take a one-size-fits-all approach, and the same mindset should apply to data privacy compliance. There is no global standard, and adopting a static framework will put your company at risk of legal noncompliance, restrict the amount of legally-obtainable data flowing to your marketing team, or both. That’s why Littledata has an integration with Clym, a global leader in global website data privacy compliance management. To make things even easier, this integration can be deployed whether you’re only concerned with one site or if you leverage cross-domain tracking. Clym believes in striking a balance between legal compliance and business needs, which is why they provide Littledata companies with a cost-effective, scalable and flexible platform to comply with LGPD, GDPR, CCPA and other laws as they come online. Clym’s platform provides consumers with an effective and easy-to-navigate way to opt-out of data collection while not infringing upon the website UI that businesses rely on to drive revenues. Check out Littledata’s integration with Clym today to help manage your data privacy regulation compliance from a global perspective without sacrificing the valuable data your marketing team relies on for its digital strategy. This is a guest post from Michael Williams, Partner at Clym, a leading provider of data privacy law consent management software. After starting his career with Ernst & Young, Michael has provided executive leadership to multiple organizations with a focus on long-term strategy, day-to-day financial management and legal concerns (especially privacy!) Michael is a California-licensed attorney with his J.D. from the University of Connecticut and an M.B.A. from Bryant University.

2021-09-15

5 Still Effective Tactics to Boost Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization

Running an ecommerce business is a particular challenge. As a booming market, the industry landscape becomes more and more competitive each day. Customers are constantly setting higher demands for merchants to meet. Of course, ecommerce store owners strive for one thing above all — maximizing sales. In today’s market, that means achieving the highest rate of conversion. What does conversion rate signify, and how can you improve it? What tactics can help you get the most from the traffic you’re generating and increase online sales? That’s exactly what we plan to discuss in this article. The basics of conversion rate optimization (CRO) Business efficiency is not a transient entity; it’s actually quite measurable when you have accurate data on hand. A complete data picture helps you to build promotion strategies, test their efficacy, then change direction in real-time based on the behavior you see from your audience. Perhaps the most important indicator in this analysis will be your conversion rate, as it directly affects sales volume. Your conversion rate is based on the goals you’ve set for your business. In the case of an online store, one conversion is most often a unique sale of a product. So, for example, if 4 in 100 visitors to your page complete a purchase, your store's conversion rate will be 4%. However, you may choose to track other customer actions, like subscription signups, ebook downloads, promotion redemptions, or any number of actions as a conversion. Whatever you choose, the formula remains the same: take the number of times visitors took the desired action and divide it by the total number of visitors being measured in your chosen time period. # of desired actions taken ÷ # total visitors in sample = conversion rate There are, however, a few things to note which affect conversion rate beyond the simple calculation. 3 A’s of ecommerce conversion rate optimization Accessibility Each ecommerce website must be easily understandable. Don’t expect visitors to “learn” how to navigate a complicated layout. They’ll just leave for a competitor’s site. To give your visitors the best experience and turn them into customers, make sure your website has: high page load speeds a mobile-friendly design clear product listings descriptions for special offers access to a Contact Us page with multiple forms of contact access to a FAQ page When it comes to accessibility, the trick is not to provide too much information per page. Pages with pop-ups, numerous calls to action (CTA), and lots of text can be distracting and offputting for potential buyers. Attention After you have a convenient and accessible website, you need to find ways to grab visitors’ attention and motivate them to purchase. This can be a challenge for any marketer. Work on choosing your attention-grabbing website features before you launch your online store. Experiment with appealing CTAs on logically structured pages. Make pages scan-friendly, since people usually skim through pages and rarely read them carefully. [caption id="attachment_13207" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Example of how people usually view web pages (Source: CXL)[/caption] Of course, visuals will be of great help to get and hold the attention of visitors as well. Authority Online retailers must fight not only for recognition but also for a good name. After expending major efforts on gaining a group of initial buyers, it is important to build a community that will recommend products or services to others. The better your image among existing users, the more positively your potential customers will perceive you. Promotion is the first step, but trust is built among customers, emphasizing your values and customer service. Motivate buyers to share reviews by providing rewards, gather customer feedback, analyze it, collaborate with trusted brands/experts, and build an overall positive customer experience. Now that we know exactly what conversion rate is and what goes into shaping it, let’s dive into the ways you can optimize it. 5 tactics to improve ecommerce conversion rate optimization Establish competitive prices 88% of shoppers in the United States use coupons. Nearly half of in-store consumers use their phones to compare prices in search of a better deal. This gives a good insight into shopper psychology: price matters. At the same time, pricing strategy can be one of the most difficult issues for online store owners to solve. One key way to determine your acceptable pricing range is to analyze competitors’ prices and outgoing costs. Knowing your supplier charges and other operational expenses, you can select a potential margin and make prices appealing to consumers. With the power of AI and modern pricing solutions, you can build a competitive pricing strategy, optimize your stock, and better understand the purchasing habits of your target audience. Appealing prices are undoubtedly a huge advantage in the eyes of customers. Remember that promotions, sales, free delivery, and discounts are all great ways to encourage customers to choose you over competitors as well. Create valuable content: quality over quantity The next approach suggests providing value to your customers through content. You might develop a blog with tutorials and practical insights, or utilize helpful product reviews (not just product descriptions). From time to time, it is worth reviewing and updating blog articles (if you have a blog already) based on traffic and reader engagement. And remember, a person decides after a few seconds whether to stay on a given page or not. Give your content-filled pages an attractive appearance and utilize strategic placement of CTAs on each page. On product pages, use good-quality photos and give unique descriptions that encourage customers to choose higher-value items. [caption id="attachment_13210" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Example of high-quality product photos (Source: Herschel)[/caption] Emphasize customer safety and security When people buy from your store, they’re trusting you with their money. So, it’s essential you carry out transactions with the highest security. For this, you need to guarantee the safety of customer’s data and assure them of your credibility. A good place to start is to add an SSL certificate to your website (if you don’t have one already). Be sure you’re compliant with GDPR and DPA, write a privacy policy, and follow other security best practices. These ensure trust between you and visitors browsing your site, making them feel safe enough to complete a purchase. When starting your online business, you should also work on your social reputation. Start by setting up company profiles on major social media channels. Then, collect and share customer testimonials to spread the word about your products. These positive reviews are the best advertisement of your reliability to potential buyers. [caption id="attachment_13196" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Example of real customer testimonials (Source: Casper)[/caption] Make purchasing as easy as possible To optimize your ecommerce conversions, you need to make sure that you provide visitors with the best checkout experience possible. Start by allowing your customers to purchase in a few clicks. [caption id="attachment_13197" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Example of buy-in-1-click approach by Amazon (Source: Quadlayers)[/caption] Don't forget about payment methods. They influence whether potential customers will finalize their purchase or leave. Consider accepting as many popular payment methods as you’re able to so shoppers aren’t too constrained when it comes time to buy. Even the appearance of the shopping cart has a huge impact. Make clear suggestions on how to register, log in, or purchase without registration. Add elements encouraging buyers to finalize their order, and give clarity of the total cost and its components. Inform customers about the methods, time, and cost of shipping. All are important to providing a good checkout experience If you plan to offer a subscription product on your store, you can improve your conversion rates by using the Littledata guide to begin tracking subscriptions right in the Shopify checkout. Test, analyze, improve No two stores are alike. Tactics that worked for one store in one period will not necessarily work for others. The best way to ramp up conversion rate optimization in ecommerce is to analyze the results of your marketing and experiment with new approaches. One of the basic testing tactics we recommend is A/B testing. It focuses on an experiment between two variations of the same elements on a segment of users. For example, say you need to decide on the color and placement of a signup button. You can create a few versions and see how they perform. Based on the results achieved, you can select the more effective “winning” version. Then, you can test other elements, e.g., an offer form, landing page, or even the content of the product description. Additional testing tactics that give you powerful decision-making data include: multivariate tests website heatmaps video recordings of user sessions customer behavior funnel analysis testing the speed and correctness of your website's operation All these approaches help you to find the best working tactics specifically for your business. The important thing here is to gather data and analyze it. Doing experiments without a clear evaluation of outcomes brings low value. You have to collect all your experiments, visualize results, and then make reports based on insights. For this purpose, use data analyzing and automating tools. For example, suppose you're using Shopify as your store platform. In that case, you can export data to Google Sheets and use it for other data analyzing/reporting tools to polish your CRO strategy. Bonuses These are two honorable mentions that are present in various tactics above. Even better, they are boosters you can use right away with little hassle. Personalization Personalization is one of the most important marketing trends in recent years. Customers are more likely to engage with content and offers that relate directly to them. So, use personalization to empower your marketing. For example, personalization can help you provide offers based on visitor locations, recommend additional/similar items, or send personalized emails as a part of your content strategy. Customer communication Customers appreciate when their requests can be processed right here, right now. Using a live chat blinking at the bottom of the page expresses your concern for users, readiness to help immediately, and can dispel shopper’s doubts regarding the legitimacy of a purchase. Contact with the store is often a critical element that determines whether the user becomes a customer. Apart from the Contact Us page, it is worth implementing chatbots and multiple channels to communicate with visitors. Wrapping it all up There are no 100% sure-fire tactics when it comes to ecommerce CRO. As we mentioned before, something that works for one company may not necessarily work for another. However, the above article should help you understand that conversion rate optimization is a constant process of trial and learning. The tactics described are easy to start and definitely worth trying. Don't be afraid to experiment with each tactic above to create a unique CRO optimization strategy that works for your store. This is a guest post from Dmytro Zaichenko. Dmytro is a Marketing Specialist at Coupler.io, a service helping to import data to Excel, GSheets, BigQuery from various data sources. He has 6+ years of experience in content making. Apart from writing, he's passionate about networking and the NBA.

2021-09-03

5 Cool Ways to Convert More with Psychology

Nope, we’re not talking about mind control here or any other Batman-villain-style plots. He did have some sick outfits, though. We won’t be talking about the “psychological tricks” that have gained a bad rep in marketing, either. Using lessons from psychology in your promotion is more about being creative with the sales process — and it can bring fantastic results. If you show truthful information, use data to present customers with relevant products, add gifts to purchases, or lower prices, you create a hassle-free, win-win situation for you and them. The techniques described here can impact the way customers think about their purchase and help them decide in your favor. TL;DR Use the price anchoring technique to improve price perception Curb decision fatigue with data-based product recommendations Create FOMO and feelings of exclusiveness with limited-time and limited-quantity offers Combine bestsellers and frequently-bought-together items to create good bundles and upsells Everybody loves free stuff Now, let’s dive into five ways you can take lessons from psychology and apply them to your promotion. #1 Price Anchoring: put price in perspective People most often determine whether a product is expensive or cheap by comparing it to something else. That’s exactly what price anchoring does — it gives customers a main price (anchor price) they can reference to decide if they like the specific deal you’re offering. You’ll often see this technique used to promote sales — i.e. on a sign saying “$125 NOW $90,” that $125 is the anchor price. Use your anchor price in pricing tiers Another way to use price anchoring to increase sales is to show pricing tiers. If you have differently-priced versions of your product, you can list them side by side on your pricing page. That way, your customers can easily evaluate prices and features without switching between tabs or pages. You can see this full page at Littledata.io/plans Keep in mind: It’s best to set the anchor price as the most expensive option. That way, customers will opt for the cheaper offer — the one you originally intended to increase sales for. Your goal might be to boost sales on cheaper products despite being lower value than the more expensive option (a “you get what you pay for” sort of thing). In that case, people will choose the more expensive one because the perceived value is greater. Compare your product with competitors Before buying, customers will usually investigate what else is on the table; there’s no way to prevent that. So, why not use that to your advantage? Take a good look at a competitor’s offer and adjust yours accordingly to make a better deal whenever possible. Create a dedicated comparison page that shows customers what the benefits and features of your product or service look like side by side with your competition. These comparison pages are usually among the resources customers search for most, making them a great opportunity to improve your website’s ranking in search engine results. Be careful not to focus solely on the financial aspect; show feature differences, best use cases for each product, and their actual value. #2 Eliminate indecisiveness When facing a difficult decision, some people (including yours truly) just… run away. You guess if I'm exaggerating or not. What causes the inability to decide? The main culprits could be: Information overload Lack of information Fearing the consequences of the wrong choice To prevent this, revert to making comparisons and highlighting the exact purpose of items, as suggested above. Another way to help decision-making is to draw attention to specific products with social proof. Listing featured products, highlighting customer reviews, and naming items of the day/week/month are all great ways to suggest other buyers loved your product and help the customer in their buying decision. Utilizing a Recent Sales Notification system adds an element of rush to the buyer's decision. Speaking of... buying behavior analysis is a must! Data capturing capabilities are powerful and can be used to make changes to your store that influence purchase decisions. To do so ethically, use legally obtained data to learn customer preferences and design solutions that fit their needs like a glove. Using this data, you can make tweaks to your store’s appearance — like selecting items most likely to be purchased by certain people and showing them in “Recently Viewed” and “Related Items” sections. [tip]Get inspiration to optimize your store’s design from five successful DTC brands succeeding with Shopify Plus.[/tip] #3 Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and exclusivity Scarcity marketing relies on people’s fear that items they desire won’t be as cheap (or available at all) if they don’t hurry and buy them while the offer lasts. And it works. It’s science, baby! Scarce items are perceived as more valuable and have an aura of exclusiveness. There’s something about having what few other people have that gets people going — think designer handbags or rare sneakers. There are plenty of well-known ways to create FOMO and make products seem more exclusive: Limited-time offers like “buy X get Y” or free shipping Built-in timers indicating the amount of time left to act; a Cart Reserved Timer can speed things up even more and is incredibly useful for items that sell like hotcakes Low stock alerts — i.e. “Selling out fast” or “only X more left” Don’t rely solely on scarcity tactics, though, as they have limits. Always continue to improve your products and build lasting relationships with customers. Remember to show truthful information only. It’s the right thing to do, and Shopify will penalize the store owners caught embellishing or outright lying about products. #4 Create awesome bundles and upsells Delve into customers’ minds and find out their desires. Or, try a method that actually works and learn from data; it’s simple and feels just as powerful! Here are some foolproof bundle and upsell ideas: Offer bundles of products that are often bought together Combine store-wide best-sellers Offer luxurious and expensive minis Sephora creates great sets for people who are too afraid to commit, so they can try multiple high-end brands without breaking the bank. (Screenshot: sephora.com) Offer an add-on gift-wrapping service to increase the average order value during the holiday season Allow customers to purchase a money-back guarantee or a warranty for items that rarely require customer complaints or returns #5 BOGO deals BOGOs can be summed up with three words: “Hey, free stuff!” They come in handy when some items in stock just refuse to go away, but you need them to, and fast. An excellent example for using BOGO would be as a holiday strategy: “buy one, and we’ll ship the other one as a gift to your mom/pop/friend/loved one.” Then you can charge for shipping and gift wrapping, and the average cart value will grow as well. While we’re on freebies, never forget the power of free shipping! Setting a free shipping threshold is another easy way to increase customer spending without reinventing the wheel. Typically shoppers would rather spend more to get perks like free shipping than pay extra fees which can feel like more spending for little return. Bottom line Your own store’s data reveals what customers want, when they want it, and how they choose to get it. Having a full, accurate picture of that data gives you critical insight into your buyers’ psychology. Using psychology-based marketing means learning about people so you can help them, not exploit them. Customers today are more informed and aware of sneaky tactics than ever before. So, the best course of action is to stay transparent and provide excellent service and products they’ll love. The tactics above tick all the boxes: they make customers happy and bring extra profit. This is a guest post from Jordie Black. Jordie is a content marketer and strategist specializing in B2B, SaaS, and Influencer Marketing. Jordie is currently building her first DTC e-commerce business.

2021-08-18

How to migrate your subscription business to Shopify

Migrating your website from any platform requires a well thought-out plan and strategy to ensure you continue providing a quality user experience and you don’t risk losing any acquisition channels in the process. This is especially true when migrating your subscription business to Shopify.  In this article we'll discuss the benefits of moving from one platform to Shopify. We’ll also explore some of the pitfalls that brands make when migrating, how to avoid them and best practices when migrating.  Why migrate your subscription brand to Shopify?  Traditional ecommerce platforms such as Magento or WooCommerce require hosting and security updates to be done on a regular basis. When you factor the time required, the cost of maintaining a quality infrastructure and the inflexibility of hosting these platforms, many brands make the move to Shopify.  This is because Shopify is a SaaS (Software as a Service) which means any hosting requirements are automatically applied to the site along with any security updates. This means less time and money invested in simply having an online store and more time and money invested in making it profitable.  Using Shopify means less time and money invested in simply having an online store and more time and money invested in making it profitable.  Shopify’s ecosystem of apps and technology partners means that integrating a marketing tool or specific functionality is much easier than other platforms. Combining Shopify’s platform with ReCharge for subscription management and payments creates a powerful online store that’s easy to manage and guarantees a quality user experience for your customers.  [tip]Do you trust your subscription tracking? Littledata's ReCharge connection guide can help.[/tip] How to migrate your subscription store to Shopify Design  The design of your site is important to your brand; it’s how you showcase your personality. The design will also impact the way that users interact with your site. When you migrate from a platform to Shopify or Shopify Plus, there’s no direct way of converting your site design.  Rather, it requires choosing a theme from the Shopify theme directory, or rebuilding it using the help of a Shopify developer. However, the development cost of a Shopify site is often much lower than other ecommerce platforms.  This usually gives brands the opportunity to take stock of their ecommerce site pre-migration and make design updates to their UX to further capitalise on their migration investment.  Design and UX best practices are updated constantly, and if a brand is moving from an out-dated platform to Shopify then they’re likely to have outdated UX. Using the migration as an opportunity to refresh the user journey, design elements and the mobile experience will help boost the conversion rates of the new site.  [tip]See how your store stacks up when it comes to conversion rates[/tip] Functionality An ecommerce site is not about just looking good, the functionality of the site has to be considered when migrating to Shopify. Similar to the site design, Shopify has its own template language called Liquid, which isn’t used by any other ecommerce platform.  This means that any functionality within the code will need to be re-written. Again, this gives brands an opportunity to iterate and improve upon existing functionality and performance.  To extend the ecommerce functionality even further, Shopify has a very active ecosystem of technology partners. This means implementing functionality such as loyalty points, deferred payments, personalisation, onsite search, UGC and more is very easy to set up.  If you have specific requirements that can’t be fulfilled by one of the apps available on the Shopify market, then custom apps can be built to handle any of your requirements.  Subscription functionality As a subscription ecommerce business, getting the subscription functionality right is absolutely paramount to the success of your platform migration. While there are various subscription tools available on the Shopify and Shopify Plus platform, none come close to the functionality and scalability as ReCharge.  ReCharge has devised an easy 3 step plan to help merchants migrate over to their subscription solution.  Step 1 - Setup ReCharge and test Without making the site publically available, set up all the products within ReCharge and optimise them until you’re happy with how they look. Make sure your shipping, taxes and payment details are correct. Once you’ve done this, run a test subscription transaction and contact ReCharge to make sure it’s come through correctly.  Biomel, for instance, is a Littledata customer using Shopify for their ecommerce platform and ReCharge for their checkout. In this case you'd want to check that the product and subscription type are correct after placing a test order. Step 2 - Compile all the data ReCharge has a handy spreadsheet template that you can use to fill in your existing subscription data. It’s imperative that this is filled in correctly and that all the customer payment information is correct. ReCharge will then review this data to ensure that this is correct.  Step 3 - Set a date  While your existing platform will continue to service the subscriptions until the point of switching over, ReCharge can advise the optimum date to avoid any interruption. On the day of the switch, you will cancel your existing subscription platform and ReCharge will go live. This ensures that none of your customers are double charged and there is a seamless transition between the 2 platforms.  Migrating the data Once you’ve switched over your subscription data, the bulk of your work is done. But if you also sell one-off products, then you’ll want to migrate that data over too. While there is no quick way of migrating your data from legacy platforms to Shopify, it’s important that data fields are matched correctly.  Within the data migration process, you can import past order history data, customer account data and much more. The only exception to this, is importing customer passwords. However, this does give brands an opportunity to reach out and ask customers to change their password, usually, this can tie in with a promotional campaign.  Back office processes 3PL, stock management, warehousing and other back office processes can be a tricky task to get right. Thankfully, due to Shopify’s API and extensive ecosystem of technology partners, there is a solution out there for almost every brand.  Automating these processes as much as possible will help brands save time, reduce the risks of mistakes and make it easier to scale.  SEO One of the biggest worries that brands have when they migrate to a new platform is the impact it will have on their SEO efforts. For established brands that have invested a lot of time and effort into getting decent organic visibility, their SEO state could be the main source of income for the brand.  The key to successfully maintaining and improving the SEO efforts of a site during a platform migration is planning. If it’s planned correctly, there should be no reason as to why a site would lose any ranking.  Redirects No two platform URL structures are alike, and moving over to Shopify will likely change the structure of your site. If you don’t tell search engines that you’ve changed the URLs of your site, then it will assume that all of the new pages are new content and will try to rank them as such. It will then see a series of 404’s on the highly ranked pages, and demote them as they no longer offer quality content.  However, if you invest your time and effort into a proper 301 redirect strategy, you can tell search engines that your new URL is in fact the old one. This will help maintain a steady organic traffic flow while Google updates its listings and will also serve a better user experience for anyone visiting a legacy link.  It’s also worth noting that by putting in a 301 redirect link, you’re also passing over any backlink weight or “link juice” as it’s commonly known.  Content Search engines try to rank sites that offer the best quality content for a specific query. By ensuring that your content on the new site closely matches the old platform, you’re ensuring the same quality content that was previously being ranked for.  Brands will usually take the time to improve on their content at this stage, as it gives them an opportunity to invest more into their organic offering.  Speed Speed is key to a good user experience and Google and other search engines recognize this. That’s why improving the speed of your site can help improve your organic ranking. Because Shopify is SaaS, the loading speed of the platform is handled by Shopify themselves. This means that the platform is always fast and will scale as more traffic comes onto the site.  Usually, merchants moving from a self hosting platform, such as Magento, to Shopify will often see a huge difference in the performance of the site. Shopify is constantly improving the rendering engine, which means sites will actually get faster over time.  [tip]Thinking about migrating from Magento? Here is a comparison of Shopify vs Magento.[/tip] Analytics Finally, no ecommerce site can be truly improved without first studying the analytics of the site. While Shopify itself has an inbuilt dashboard for internal analytics, the industry standard is to use Google Analytics. By using the same GA tracking code on the legacy site and the new site, you’ll be able to compare the difference data pre-launch vs post-launch.  And of course, for a better understanding of your ecommerce data across subscriptions, install Littledata. This will ensure that the data you’re seeing is correct and consistent with what’s actually happening in your store, including subscription ecommerce events: The first part is just getting your tracking right, so you can make data-driven decisions about subscription packages and product marketing on your site. Then comes the fun part: increasing not just overall sales and conversions, but optimizing for customer lifetime value. At Underwaterpistol, we’ve had nearly two decades working at the forefront of ecommerce and as Shopify Plus partners. Our status only reinforces our knowledge of platform migrations, so do get in touch if we can help with your mirgration!   This is a guest post from Will Lynch. Will heads up the partnership program at Underwaterpistol who have been building Shopify stores for over 14 years. Specialising in theme builds, custom development and high-volume SKU migrations, Underwaterpistol think outside the box, helping you build a brand as well as grow your business. Underwaterpistol (UWP) is a Littledata agency partner.

2020-06-08

How to manage multiple Shopify stores without sacrificing conversions

Even if you only run one business, that doesn’t mean you should only have one Shopify store.  Indeed, there are many reasons why you may want to start using multiple Shopify stores for your business: Remove obstacles from the buying process: If you have a large inventory, customers may need to navigate through cluttered menus or click through multiple category pages before they can find the product they want and place their order. Breaking your inventory up into different stores removes friction from this process and makes it easier for customers to purchase products from you. Create a personalized experience: If you sell to many different areas, developing a unique online storefront for each location allows you to create a more personalized experience for your customers. By peppering the sales copy on your sites with local references and colloquialisms, you’ll be able to catch the visitor’s attention and stand out from the competition.  Improve SEO: With the more streamlined and personalized experience that the multi-store approach provides, customers are encouraged to stay for longer periods of time. The average amount of time visitors spend on your site carries a lot of weight in search engine algorithms, so this should make your business more visible online.  But, there are challenges to managing multiple stores as well. We’ll show you how to overcome these challenges and use a multi-store approach to improve customer experience, increase traffic and make more sales.  Top challenges of managing multiple Shopify stores Perhaps the biggest drawback to the multi-store approach is that it makes managing your inventory and orders more difficult. Customers placing orders on the same pool of items from different sources can lead to confusion, delays and errors.  Another issue is that manually creating multiple sites and duplicating content when necessary can be a very time-consuming process. This is more than just frustrating — it pulls you away from all the other tasks you must complete to keep your business running smoothly.  Top Apps for Managing Multiple Stores The two challenges described above can both be addressed with a quick trip to the Shopify App Store.  With the SKULabs and Shogun add-ons, managing inventory and content for multiple stores is much easier.  SKULabs The SKULabs dashboard is designed to be especially intuitive and help users keep track of their inventory, orders and shipments for multiple channels. If you use solutions other than Shopify to sell your products (Amazon, eBay, etc.), SKULabs allows you to review the activity of those channels and your multiple Shopify stores all from the same place.  Other notable SKULabs features include low inventory alerts for preventing stockouts and barcode scanning for fast and human error-free inventory data entry.  Image source: Shopify Shogun Anyone can use Shogun’s large library of web-building elements and drag-and-drop interface to quickly create their own custom landing pages, product pages and blog posts. Shogun also has a Sync feature that’s quite useful for multiple stores — with Sync, you can copy a page from one store to another with just a single click.    Image source: Shogun Multi-store Shopify best practices In addition to taking advantage of these apps, you should keep the following best practices in mind when managing multiple stores: Consolidate customer support: Just as it helps to manage all your inventory from the same place, it helps to manage customer support for multiple stores from the same place, too. That way, it’s easier to monitor performance and ensure there are no support tickets slipping through the cracks.  Analyze your audience and discover new niches: Google Analytics andsimilar reporting tools can tell you a lot about the people who visit your store. With this information, you can determine which groups of people make up your core audience. If you’re popular with a certain group, you should consider creating a version of your store that’s designed just for them.  Pay attention to SEO: To make the most of the multi-store approach’s SEO benefits, be sure to include the keywords associated with each version of your store (for example, “California dry cleaning” might be targeted by a national dry cleaning service’s California site) in headings, page titles, image alt descriptions and any other area that’s picked up by search engine algorithms.  Managing Multiple Stores for Multiple Countries A multi-store approach is especially effective for businesses that attract a large amount of interest from international buyers.  Seventy-five percent of consumers who don’t speak English prefer to buy products in their native language, and 59% rarely or never make purchases on English-only stores.  There are many tools available for automatically translating the language used on your site to whatever’s used in the browser settings of the visitor. This is convenient, but these translations often contain errors. Machine translations may be mostly accurate — they just can’t process the context that’s required to get everything right.  While it does take more time and effort to develop manually translated versions of your site for the different regions you serve, this will provide a better experience for non-English speaking visitors and help you generate more international sales.  CRO Tips for Shopify and Shopify Plus Setting up multiple Shopify stores is an excellent method for conversion rate optimization (CRO). Using the following techniques will increase your conversion rate as well: Optimize for mobile: Since 2016, mobile devices have been a more popular way to browse the internet than desktop computers. If your site isn’t fully responsive, which means it automatically adjusts to the type of device that’s used by the visitor, you’re missing out on many potential conversions.  Maintain performance: Most visitors will only wait a few seconds for your site to load before they move on to one of their other options. Mobile users are particularly impatient — the majority of them will only wait three seconds for your site to load. High-end performance allows you to keep people on your site long enough to make conversions. Offer free shipping: The most attractive offer you can make to potential customers is free shipping. In fact, simply shifting the shipping fee to the price of the product in order to offer free shipping should lead to a significant improvement in your conversion rate.  By combining a multi-store approach with the above CRO techniques, you can jumpstart your conversion rate and set your business up for both short-term and long-term success. Shopify tracking for ecommerce success Of course, CRO is no good if you're not consistently tracking what's working (and what isn't). Luckily, Littledata's Google Analytics app fixes your Shopify tracking automatically, so you have accurate marketing attribution and shopping behavior at your fingertips (including ecommerce events like adds to cart, removes from cart, checkouts and more). You'll also get full access to data audits and ecommerce benchmarks so you can know exactly where your store stands among the competition.   Adam Ritchie is a writer based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He writes about ecommerce trends and best practices for Shogun. His previous clients include Groupon, Clutch and New Theory.

2020-04-08

How to engage returning visitors on your Shopify store

As a store owner, you’ve probably already heard the arguments for engaging returning visitors. You know that it costs 25 times more to win a new client than to win repeat business. You know that increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can boost your sales by 25% - 30%.  And you’ve also heard that returning visitors are more likely to add products to the cart, complete the purchase, and even spend more than first-time visitors.  The problem? How do you ensure that it all happens on your site? How do you engage returning visitors and convince them to continue buying from you?  [subscribe] In this guide, I’ll show you 5 strategies that will help you engage returning visitors and strengthen their connection with your store.  Before we dive in, let’s take a look at how Shopify stores typically engage visitors.  The state of visitor engagement on Shopify stores  Close to the end of 2018, we conducted a research study to identify the level of visitor engagement among Shopify stores.  We were pleasantly surprised that 62% of stores use at least one engagement strategy. Brilliant! The most popular strategies include popups, live chat, and social proof notifications.  But we also discovered that the majority of stores do not use these strategies to their full potential.  For example, 76% of the stores we researched fire off a popup immediately after a visitor lands on their site. At the same time, we know that timing and segmentation can multiply conversion rates and drive more signups.  Similarly, for many stores, a live chat is nothing but another customer service channel. Yet, those who use it as a sales tool tend to report better results and conversion rates.  To maximize your potential to convert returning visitors, try out these 5 strategies: Strategy #1. Acknowledge the returning visitor This is a simple trick that can drive conversions. When setting up your call to action, acknowledge the person’s return visit, and use it to engage them with your brand.  Medium, although not an ecommerce brand, does this wonderfully. Take a look at the popup example below. Note how candid the company is about its intentions. After all, since the visitor has been on the site before, why not openly ask them to create an account?  A similar strategy in ecommerce would involve creating a “Welcome back” popup, acknowledging the return visit and offering value to the visitor.  Strategy #2. Evoke the returning visitor’s curiosity When you think about it; engaging returning visitors is as challenging as ensuring that anyone visiting your site for the first time wants to buy from you.  Now, it’s true; returning visitors don’t feel anxious about buying from you anymore. But because they have bought from you before, it’s also harder to fire up their interest. At the same time, it’s that same interest that can keep them engaged with your store… Luckily, there is a way to do it – Evoke the shopper’s natural curiosity. You don’t have to do much to achieve it, either. Ask a returning visitor about themselves, for example. This will naturally make the person’s antennas go up. They might think whether you’re asking because you know something about them they don’t know. And that natural curiosity will engage them with your offer.  (Note, whether they’ll convert will rely on the offer, of course. But the curiosity will get them to notice.) Here’s a popup using this strategy to get a visitor to read the rest of the offer.  Strategy #3. Create special offers for returning visitors only Another powerful strategy. This one, however, relies on you showing returning visitors how much you care about them and their repeat business.  In this strategy, the goal is to engage those visitors by rewarding them for their loyalty.  How, by creating an offer - a discount, typically - that applies to them only, and rewards them for their subsequent purchase.  PureCycles, for example, displays a popup offering a hefty 15% discount for the next purchase.  But your offer doesn’t have to involve discounts, of course. At Wisepops, we've found offers to attract the highest engagement. Still, you could offer access to exclusive product lines before anyone else is able to purchase those. Or even the ability to purchase products that will never be released to the public store.  The key is to offer returning visitors something unique for them, something they can’t get unless they do come back to the site over and over again.  Strategy #4. Run a contest aimed at returning visitors Contests are one of the most popular ways of engaging visitors. They’re fun, promise getting something in return, and offer you a chance of your brand going viral.  But what if you run a contest designed for returning visitors only? What if you advertise it as such, and present it only to people who visit your site for the nth time?  I’d imagine they’d be quite intrigued by the concept (and engage with it immediately, at that.) Native, who uses Littledata's Google Analytics connection, ran this time-limited contest on their site, promoted with a clever Shopify popup.   Strategy #5. Show returning visitors the downside of not buying from you The final strategy works particularly well on visitors who tend to sit on their purchase. Instead of completing it, they add products to the cart, then wander off, contemplating their next action.  It happens all the time, sadly.  One way to engage them and gently “push” towards the sale is by showing the downside of not acting now.  Gaiam, for example, uses a simple scare tactic. The site tells visitors how popular a product is (one the shopper is thinking about buying), and how likely it is to sell out before they get it.  Many hotels and travel sites use a similar strategy to convince visitors to act now in a similar way. They display the current interest in a given property or a room to evoke fear in visitors and push them to act. Trust your Shopify tracking This isn't technically in the top 5 strategies, but it's perhaps the most crucial part of the shopper re-engagement process. Tracking your returning visitors tells you exactly which of your marketing channels are working (and which are not), which campaigns are converting, and the re-engagement methods (email campaigns, etc.) that work best for your store. Without proper tracking, you're stabbing in the dark. Unfortunately, many Shopify merchants rely on the broken tracking of Shopify's native analytics or the incomplete attribution in Google Analytics. Have you experienced these data discrepancies between Shopify and GA? They can be extremely frustrating, especially since they have a negative impact on your decision-making. [note]Here's why your Shopify data doesn't match what you see in Google Analytics[/note] Luckily, Littledata provides an ideal solution. Their Shopify app, which automatically fixes your tracking. That means accurate data for shopper behavior, marketing attribution and more. [tip]Get a full month of accurate data — try Littledata free for 30 days[/tip] Not to mention, the app offers daily data audits and ecommerce benchmarks, so you can know exactly how your store stacks up against similar products. Wrapping up Returning visitors offer an incredible business opportunity. They are far more likely to buy and spend more on their purchases at that.   However, to increase those repeat purchases, you need to engage returning visitors and keep them close to your brand.  All that’s left is to start implementing the ones you liked the most in your store.  Good luck!   This is a guest post by Greg d’Aboville, Head of Growth at WisePops, a popup app. Greg has helped major brands like Fender, Nissan, and Skechers maximize lead generation strategies and 10X their results.

2020-03-19

4 pricing optimization strategies for Shopify subscription stores

The subscription ecommerce market has an estimated worth of $12B-$15Bn. What’s more, 2018 was the year in which the highest amount of capital was invested into subscription box businesses. Fast-paced growth and yet-to-be-discovered niches attract numerous big retailers and new market entrants. To stay ahead of the competition, you must utilize pricing power to the fullest extent. Luckily, we’ve gathered four pricing optimization strategies for your Shopify store. But before jumping into that, let's figure out why the subscription business model is attractive to online retailers as well as shoppers. [subscribe] What makes people subscribe? People have recurring needs. Instead of shopping for everyday products over and over, they use subscription services that deliver everyday needs to their doorstep. While big retailers apply this model mostly on consumer goods, an increasing number of SMBs utilize it to send subscribers a selection of enjoyable lifestyle products to be discovered. The lifestyle products range from a french press to a book, from candles to clothes, and so on. From a retailer point of view, this model reduces the risks arising from uncertainty. SMBs often have a hard time estimating business costs and profits accurately, whereas subscription stores do not face uncertainty problems thanks to their steady customer base and stable costs. [tip]Trust your subscription tracking with the ultimate ReCharge guide for Shopify[/tip] More and more retailers either switch to this model entirely or apply it on certain products in their assortment. So, what’s a good pricing strategy to outshine the competition? 1) Measure Willingness to Pay (WTP) Willingness to pay is the maximum amount of money people are willing to give up in exchange for your products. Before setting the price of a product, measure WTP. Charge a price in line with customer expectations to substantially increase the likelihood of purchase. Surveys are the easiest way of measuring WTP, and they grant you a chance to get to know your audience better. Ask the value-adding qualities of your service and find out customers’ pain points: "Please rank order the product features below according to the value you see in each" "Which product feature(s) do you think should be improved?" Keep up the good work and improve the negative aspects identified by customers. Perhaps more importantly, customers will be happy to know that their ideas are appreciated and taken seriously. It’ll increase the chance that they refer your subscription store to their friends, and referrals are far more effective than traditional marketing channels. In turn, offer referral discounts to enhance customer loyalty. Out of WTP research, you'll obtain multiple price points around which people are clustered. The following step is to utilize that data to divide your target audience into several segments. 2) Offer a variety of options and pricing Naturally, people differ in their WTP for a product. Now that you've segmented your audience based on shoppers' WTP, it's time to target each segment at different price points. For example, if you sell lifestyle subscription boxes like Birchbox, make boxes of varying quality and charge more for high-quality ones. Tiered pricing structure entices both price-sensitive and luxury customers to subscribe to your boxes. WTP changes over time, but it’s impossible to conduct WTP research frequently. Instead, test different price points to see if they yield better results. Note that even though fewer people buy luxury products, they can generate higher profits. Since high-end buyers don’t look for cheap prices, provide them a truly premium service quality. When it comes to commodity goods, however, no one wants to pay extra money for toothpaste. If your Shopify store specializes in everyday essentials, offer competitive prices. Which brings us to our next point... 3) Track competitor prices Millennials are financially worse off than older generations, and it's reflected in their shopping behavior. Price is the most influential factor  when US shoppers decide where to buy a product. Thanks to the transparency of online prices and ease of using comparison shopping engines, shoppers effortlessly find the cheapest deal for their everyday needs. The only way to appeal to a price-sensitive and tech-savvy audience is by offering the cheapest deals for commodity goods. That's why you have to track competitor prices. You can try manual tracking, but the results won't serve the purpose. By the time you finish collecting competitor prices, the data will be irrelevant. Prices change far more frequently than we could track manually. Another option is building an in-house pricing engine. Since it'll only belong to you, you can customize it according to your needs. The important thing to note here is that the software requires maintenance. You'll devote a lot of time and resources to software development, and the expenses will keep coming up. And finally, you can use pricing SaaS with a monthly fee. Your activity is limited to the standardized service the company offers, but you don't spend hours on software development and maintenance. It's more affordable than maintaining an in-house engine. 4) Make use of predictive analytics Predictive analytics is a technique to predict future outcomes based on historical and real-time customer data. What does it mean for a subscription ecommerce store? You know that customer retention is far more important than customer acquisition. Returning customers account for more than 40% of US revenue even though they make up only 8% of all online visitors. What does it have to do with predictive analytics, or pricing to start with? Costs increase over time. Since you can’t sell at a loss, you have to increase prices. But price increases come at a cost. It’s highly likely that a portion of your customers will leave when faced with a price increase. Before making major changes in your pricing structure, use predictive analytics to determine which customers/segments will likely to churn after an increase. Don’t alienate the most price-sensitive customer segments with an increase. A small profit is way better than no profit. Final Words Subscription ecommerce is gaining popularity among online retailers. To stay ahead of the competition, retailers must utilize the power of pricing. Implement these optimization strategies to gain and maintain a competitive edge: Measure Willingness to Pay and take it into account when pricing Provide multiple products at different price points to target each segment Track competitor prices Make use of predictive analytics And of course, track with accuracy – the data never lies, and tools like Littledata's Shopify app for Google Analytics (or Segment) also help optimize your pricing strategy. With better data, you can price better!   This is a guest post by Betül Parlak, Inbound Marketer at Prisync, which helps ecommerce companies increase sales by tracking prices automatically from any marketplace around the world.

2020-02-27

Top 10 post-holiday Shopify marketing strategies

Organizing your ecommerce marketing strategy following the holidays can feel like going to the gym after finishing a marathon.  You’ve just survived the craziness of holiday marketing, an extra high volume of orders, and the early January returns and exchanges. Come January, your marketing muscles are still pretty sore.  However, Q1 is ripe with opportunities to plan new strategies for slower seasons. Here are our top 10 post-holiday marketing strategies for Shopify merchants:  Take advantage of the “fresh start effect”  The “fresh start effect” is a phenomenon that suggests people are more likely to take action on their goals during a time that marks the start of something new (i.e. the start of a new workweek or new semester). Of course, it also includes one of the most powerful “fresh starts” of all: the new year. Encouraging customers as they work toward their goals with renewed gusto is one of the best ways to do this. The key is positioning your products as a way to help customers achieve their goals.  Here are some examples of how brands have successfully tapped into the fresh start effect: 1) Post-holiday mail marketing by Pact and 100% Pure Both Pact and 100% Pure used email marketing to encourage customers to work toward their New Year’s resolutions. Both brands highlighted how their products can actually help customers more easily achieve their goals. Take a look at the following subject lines and see if you notice a pattern: Let’s highlight some of the words that appear more than once in these subject lines:  Start New Year 2020 Change Using words in your subject lines that are connected to the idea of starting over (a fresh start) is a simple but powerful way to increase the open rate of your emails after the holidays.  2) Resolution blog posts by Veestro and Thought Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Even if you didn’t, there’s an excellent chance many of your customers did.  Create content related to how to set or maintain resolutions related to your products, and tap into the fresh start effect in a memorable way. In addition, these posts are designed to be shareable, which means more exposure for your brand.  For inspiration, check out the resolution articles by Thought and Veestro.  3) Playful social media posts by Pura Vida Starting over doesn’t have to be serious. Pura Vida used their Instagram feed after the holidays to drum up excitement for the new year while managing to keep the tone light: 4) Humanize your brand with post-holiday personal content Personal content, such as an end-of-year reflection, is more expected following the holidays than during other times of the year.  Personal content reminds customers that your company is made up of real people, just like them. This type of content is especially beneficial for smaller companies, emerging companies, or startups because customers love to support entrepreneurs.  Sharing something personal can be scary, so steal some courage from the founders and entrepreneurs who’ve done it before you.  5) Passion Planner’s “Letter from the CEO” This frank letter to customers shares both the highlights and the “lessons learned,” such as “You can’t please everyone.” And the letter ends with a genuine thank you to all of Passion Planner’s loyal fans.  6) Skully’s Beard Oil’s Instagram gratitude post Skully’s Beard Oil  is another brand that took the after-holiday opportunity to share something personal with customers. They posted a candid shot of the founders with the following message of gratitude:  Start marketing for Valentine’s Day Last year, shoppers set a record for Valentine’s Day shopping at $20.7 billion spent. While the holidays are probably your real high-traffic days, Valentine’s Day is a huge sales period for ecommerce. Don’t wait until the week before the 14th to start marketing for Valentine’s Day. Start now! Here are some creative ways to use the post-holiday time to prep your customers for Valentine’s Day purchases:  7) Create a special “Valentines Day” category in your shop Make it easy for customers to choose a Valentine’s Day gift from your store by creating a special product category. This whittles down the choices customers have from your whole store to a single page of items.  Not only does this reinforce the idea that your products are good Valentine’s Day gifts, the reduced number of options paradoxically makes customers more likely to purchase.  For example, take a look at how Kate Spade has designed its Valentine’s Day category. The fashion brand goes a little further to call the category a “gift guide.”  8) Implement a home page Valentine’s Day banner Start reminding website visitors that your products make good Valentine’s Day gifts with a home page banner. Hopefully, they’ll remember your store when Valentine’s Day arrives, or maybe they’ll purchase in advance.  Man Crates has already launched its Valentine’s Day home page banner:  9) Capture Valentine’s Day search traffic with Google Ads You might not be able to compete organically with global brands for high-converting searches like “Valentine’s Day gifts for husband,” but you can siphon some of that traffic with paid advertising on Google.  To make your ad dollars count, don’t send traffic to your store home page or a product page. Instead, create a specific landing page for your Valentine’s Day ad. This way, there’s no disconnect between the ad copy and the landing page.  For example, check out how Minted connected their Google ad to a dedicated, Valentine’s-Day-specific landing page. Here’s their Google ad:  And here’s their landing page: 10) Use similar strategies for other Q1 and Q2 holidays If you find that a strategy was successful for Valentine’s Day, try repeating it for other holidays or events that take place in the first half of the year.  Here are some holidays and events to be thinking about: The Super Bowl (February 2) The first day of spring (March 19) Easter (April 12) Mother’s Day (May 10) Memorial Day (May 25) Father’s Day (June 21) You can also review the list of fun “national days” in 2020 to find days that might be hyper-relevant to your brand. Accurate tracking for marketing attribution The most effective marketing strategy is one that enables better decision-making for your Shopify storgae – accurate tracking for marketing attribution. Littledata's Google Analytics app for Shopify allows you to connect your data from Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Google Optimize and Refersion (affiliate marketing) so you can easily and accurately track the source and channel from which your shoppers arrive at your store. [subscribe heading="Try Littledata free for 30 days" background_color="green" button_text="Get Started" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/get-free-trial"] Wrap up: Plan for the slow season  As you roll out the immediate post-holiday marketing strategies shared here, we’ll leave you with one final way to leverage this time: planning for the slow season.  For most ecommerce stores, the slowest sales period is during the summer months. People are preoccupied on vacation, customers have more time to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, and the summer doesn’t have any major commerce periods like Black Friday Cyber Monday.  That’s why ecommerce merchants should plan ahead, building marketing strategies to boost sales and brand awareness during slower months.  Fortunately, the post-holiday period is the perfect time to start planning for summer.   This is a guest post by Krista Walsh of Electric Eye. Krista is a copywriter for ecommerce small businesses. Her writing and messaging strategies help her clients speak to their customers’ values and emotions for more sales.

2020-01-31

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

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