Build a website that your marketing and legal teams will both love
5 Still Effective Tactics to Boost Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Subscribe to Littledata news
Insights from the experts in ecommerce analytics
Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores
Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment