9 Best Ecommerce Metrics to Track to Boost Your Sales
Starting up an online store is pretty effortless today. With convenient and inexpensive ecommerce solutions like Shopify, Magento, or Wix, anyone can create a clean-cut online store — even without coding skills — in a couple of hours. But few businesses can ultimately hope to square off with global retail giants like Amazon or eBay. One reason is ineffective and non-scalable business processes. Ecommerce profitability correlates strongly with a seller’s forethought and flexibility. Setting pricing, adding loyalty programs, choosing promotions, managing stock items — the more you control the details, the more predictable your revenues are. The best way to get the information you need to manage those details is by choosing the right metrics to monitor. In this article, we’re going to explore them and give you some practical optimization tips. How to determine which metrics matter for your business Your store’s size and the stage you’re at in its lifecycle will inform which specific metrics you need to pay the closest attention to. As an example, for a small store just starting out with a relatively low number of clients, it may be too early to obsess over average order value or customer lifetime value. On the flip side, for ecommerce giants that launch expensive advertising campaigns and spend millions handling sales and marketing teams, all types of “returns on” metrics may be key to consider. Choosing your “just-right” set of ecommerce indicators comes from experience. It’s neither a good idea to confine the number of metrics to one or two, nor to track several dozen benchmarks without a clear strategy. Likewise, poor analytics drawn from inaccurate data won’t provide enough information for you to make smart business decisions. Before you dive into the “universe” of ecommerce metrics, track where your store’s performance currently stands using the items below: Website traffic Total number of conversions Operational expenses Ad expenses Abandoned purchases These are the minimum data required for calculations. With these figures, you can define 3 groups of metrics: Gross (e.g. revenue or profit) Mean values (e.g. an average value of the order) Percentages (e.g. returns on advertising expenses) What are the key metrics for retail ecommerce? The nine indicators listed below fit any type of online retail business, regardless of size or industry. You can calculate these metrics as soon as you're done reading this article using Google Analytics or your preferred data reporting tool Total Sales (and Total Revenue) Revenue is the income from selling goods and services. In financial reports, it’s often referred to as a “top line” indicator. Revenue fluctuation reflects the pace of business development and proves that your company can generate profit, making it good for investment. In terms of accounting, sales may be either equal to revenue or simply one of its components if you have additional revenues from supplementary operations. Overall, this metric is a strong high-level indicator of growth and stagnation for your store. Conversion Rate (CR) A conversion is when your lead takes a specific desired action that you’re tracking. Store owners can treat conversions as certain events, such as a click on the “Book a call” button or filling in the contact form. In ecommerce, conversions most often mean the act of purchasing. However, the “total” conversion consists of several subsequent actions, each of which can be monitored separately: Adding an item to the wishlist Adding an item to a shopping cart Proceeding with a shopping cart to a checkout Finalizing payment Conversion Rate is calculated as the number of conversions to the total number of online store visitors. It’s a good metric to judge how relevant your website traffic is. You may have many unique visitors, but if the majority of them leave without a purchase, start investigating your ad targeting and lead generation to make improvements. Average Order Value (AOV) AOV shows how much your leads spend on a single purchase, making it a good indicator for use in revenue predictions. All else being equal, growing traffic will positively influence your total income. But what's more important, AOV shows how commercially successful your product assortment is. If the dynamics for an average order value are negative, it’s time to review your product assortment and pricing strategies. There are some common tactics to increase AOV, and most target actions in the checkout: discounts, upselling, cross-selling, free shipping, and others. You can track checkout actions as well to get an even more complete picture and improve your AOV. Purchase Frequency This metric shows how many times an average customer buys something at your online store within a given period of time. To have meaningful value, you should calculate the metric for a considerable time frame — like six months to a year. Purchase frequency shows the share of repeat customers, as well. If the indicator is greater than 1, it means every lead makes more than one purchase in your online store, on average. Customer Retention Rate (CRR) Aside from acquiring customers, another big issue for ecommerce businesses is retaining them. That’s because nurturing existing clients is much cheaper than gaining new ones. The higher the retention rate is, the fewer expenses a company will need to impose to maintain and increase revenues in the future. You can use various techniques to re-engage online store visitors, with email marketing being one of the most popular retention channels. Create a sequence of nurturing emails or refer to drip campaign examples, e.g. ones by Snov.io, and send out interesting mass emails to clients. These may be assortment updates, reminders, special offers, or exclusive deals. The goal is to keep leads engaged and stay top of mind to drive sales. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) CLV shows how much revenue a lead generates during their entire history as a client. In other words, this is a predicted sum of money that a customer will spend on products or services. CLV is closely connected with returns on acquisition expenses. If the lifetime value doesn’t cover and (ideally) exceed acquisition costs, the business won’t be profitable in the long term. You can determine CLV in a couple different ways: 1. Cohort analysis Divide your clients into groups with similar characteristics, e.g. upon the time they made the first purchase. Then, calculate the average revenue per user, per every cohort. 2. Individualized CLV Rather than calculating aggregated indicators, you can measure CLV for individual customers. This method requires more time, yet is more precise. Cart Abandonment Rate This metric shows the share of uncompleted shopping deals. An abandoned online shopping cart means your customers picked out items but left the website without purchasing them. Obviously, the higher the rate is, the more potential revenue you’ll lose because of an unclosed funnel. Users may be unable to complete the purchase due to technical issues, e.g. when the link to the checkout page doesn’t work, or due to the nature of goods. So, it makes sense that online stores selling luxury items have, on average, a higher cart abandonment rate than grocery stores. Although it’s impossible to reduce this metric to zero, keep it at 40% or lower and you’ll be in decent shape. Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) ROAS shows the overall effectiveness of ad campaigns. It is usually calculated for different ad groups to compare the ratio of revenue and costs to earn it. ROAS less than 1 (or 100%) means a company loses money, as it spends more to acquire customers than it earns from them. Cost per Acquisition (CPA) CPA shows an average cost associated with a single conversion. CPA differs from ROAS in that it doesn’t take into account the money a company earns due to a conversion. Consider an example. An advertiser launched 2 ad campaigns and set a budget of $1,000 each. The first campaign resulted in 10 leads and $1,500 revenue, and the second yielded 10 leads and $2,000 revenue. The two campaigns will have equal CPAs ($1,000/10 leads = $100 per lead), but different ROAS (150% and 200%, respectively). Do you need to track all these metrics? It’s up to you which ecommerce metrics to track. Most of them are interrelated or complementary, so if something goes wrong, you’ll notice the issue anyway. For example, if CRR increases over time, the lifetime value and average order value will most likely increase as well. Or, at least, they won’t worsen. Small retailers that don’t run regular ad campaigns can neglect some indicators, e.g. CPA or ROAS. But as you reach a mid-sized level or plan expansion, it’s better to put analysis back on track and monitor all nine metrics. Ecommerce metrics: important questions to ask What’s the most important KPI for online retailers? Every business comes up with a unique set of KPIs, ultimately. However, CLV and Average Order Value are the top 2 metrics to monitor for the majority of retailers. How to increase conversions on an ecommerce website? First, use responsive styles for your online store. Make sure all images are well-optimized so that they look good and don’t worsen website loading speed. It’s also advisable to implement an online chat and a callback option. In the end, planning and development are impossible without frequently assessing performance. The nine metrics we’ve disclosed are basic for the majority of retailers. With these, you’ll see the big picture and have the intelligence to make informed business decisions. This is a guest post from Yulia Zubova, Outreach Specialist from Snov.io. [subscribe]
BigCommerce Analytics: The key metrics you need to grow
Growth is a key goal in any entrepreneur's mind. But if you’re not paying attention to the right signals, you could be stuck spinning your wheels. The big decisions you make about your business should be informed by specific metrics that show its health in different areas. Each area has its own performance indicators. Analyzing the right ones — and doing it with the right tools — lets you actualize what’s working and what isn't. As business management master Peter Drucker once said, “What’s measured, improves.” In this article, we’ll cover five key metrics that BigCommerce stores should definitely be tracking in order to fuel growth, why they matter, and how to track them. So, without further adieu, let’s jump into the data. 5 key metrics you need to grow 1. Add to cart rate What is add to cart rate? The total percentage of visitors to your store who added at least one item to their cart while browsing. Why is it important? Tracking the add to cart rate helps you get a strong overview of both your store layout and the appeal of your products. When looking at this metric in Google Analytics you can use it to deduce: How well your products stand out to visitors If your site design and marketing help promote certain products How attractive your store offerings are overall With this data, you can make changes to your store, switch up your marketing for specific products, or even cut supply to create demand for specific products. You could also try product recommendations and personalization to help improve the add to cart rate on your store. 2. Cart abandonment rate What is cart abandonment rate? How many of your visitors added items to their cart and left the store before completing checkout and making a purchase. Why is it important? Cart abandonment could stem from a handful of issues. A slowdown of the checkout process, lower prices being offered for items elsewhere, or even requiring shoppers to make an account before buying are all potential obstacles that cause visitors to leave their carts behind. Knowing how often this occurs can help you streamline your checkout process by pinpointing common dropoff points. To reduce cart abandonment, you’ll want to make the checkout process as intuitive and trustworthy as possible. 3. Customer lifetime value What is revenue per customer? The amount generated from a single customer during their entire relationship with your business. Why is it important? Understanding the lifetime value (LTV) of each customer is critical for your decision-making process. It tells you how much you should spend on attracting new customers, shows you which kind of customers to target, and gives you a benchmark to spend on retaining highly valuable customers. Once you’ve calculated the LTV for your customers, you can also pinpoint which of your products high-LTV customers want more of, and promote the ones with the highest profitability. 4. Conversation rate What is conversation rate? The number of visitors who took a specific action on your store (typically making a transaction) divided by the total amount of sessions then multiplied by 100. Why is it important? Tracking this rate helps you measure overall performance and activity on your website. It also helps you gauge if your store is set up so you meet your sales targets. And best of all, when you improve your conversion rate you’ll also automatically improve your revenue generation. Conversion rate is a flexible metric as well in that you can choose which specific customer action you want to track. It could be subscriptions, purchases, newsletter signups, coupon redemptions, or anything else you want data on. 5. Pages per session What are pages per session? The average number of pages a visitor reaches on your site during a session. Why are they important? It’s a great tool to determine how engaging the pages on your store are. Users may find certain pages due to sheer interest and captivation, then move on to recommended ones if you set your design up well. Depending on how long you can engage a single user, you can create deeper connections and drive more revenue. How to track key metrics for your ecommerce store Analyzing your data with the right tools is just as important as knowing which metrics to prioritize. As a BigCommerce user, you have a few options for where to see the metrics we’ve listed above. Ecommerce Analytics from BigCommerce BigCommerce’s Ecommerce Analytics comes included in every BigCommerce plan. Ecommerce Analytics offers Store Overview reports, Real-Time reports, Marketing reports, and Orders reports, along with other more in-depth information like Abandoned Cart and Abandoned cart recovery reports. These can offer a good baseline of reporting for your store, but to get high levels of customization and 100% accurate reporting, there is another solution. Littledata Advanced Google Analytics integration for BigCommerce You can view data through Google Analytics, the most widely used analytics platform, and ensure accurate sales and marketing data across the user journey with Littledata’s Google Analytics plugin for BigCommerce. Adding Littledata’s platform to your BigCommerce store enables you to track ecommerce events like product list views, adds-to-cart, all checkout steps, and orders/refunds. Tracking these along with each step of the customer journey is not only critical to calculating the metrics listed above but also gives you a truly complete picture of your store’s health. The Littledata app works with many themes as well, including headless setups, and utilizes more robust tracking than a GTM implementation. You can add the other apps in your data stack onto Littledata’s app as well, including services like ReCharge for subscriptions. Conclusion Your store’s health depends on your ability to track key events and metrics that offer insight into your customers’ behavior along with the success of your product offerings and marketing initiatives. The five metrics we shared above are among the most critical to monitor for your store, as they provide actionable insights that can help you tweak your store and promotion methods to drive greater revenue. Remember, though, that your data is only as good as the tools you’re using to report it. Whether you use BigCommerce’s in-built reporting tools or Littledata’s Advanced integration for BigCommerce, make sure that you’re getting a full picture of your customers' behavior and using accurate data to make decisions on the future of your store. This is a guest post from Rithesh Raghavan, Director at Acodez, a Digital Agency in India. Having a rich experience of 15+ years in Digital Marketing, Rithesh loves to write up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the world of IT and software development.
11 Ways to Increase Customer Retention for Ecommerce Stores
Customer retention at its simplest is the ability of a business to keep its customer base loyal. It’s also a vitally important metric — one that businesses rigorously track to see if their customers rebuy the same products, resubscribe to the same services, or continue to engage with their brand one way or another. But, keeping current customers happy is not easy — just ask an ecommerce store owner! Businesses lose significant revenue every year when customers jump ship to competitors. Why customer retention is crucial A good customer retention strategy helps a business create a solid plan for increasing customer value and nurtures the sales funnel. Focusing on customer retention can yield many benefits. Here are just a handful: Bigger growth potential - you need customers engaged and interested in your offerings to grow your business, including new products and services. Lower customer acquisition cost - always remember it costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep your current customers happy and buying. Higher customer lifetime value - making relentless efforts to retain customers creates an emotional bond that strengthens the buying relationship, which will result in a more engaged customer base. The “wow” factor - a satisfying customer experience can help boost word-of-mouth marketing, since 87% of customers share their good experiences with others. Of course, you need a well-planned, long-view strategy to nurture your customers and build strong relationships that achieve these benefits. Below are 11 highly effective strategies to help you build a customer retention plan that will boost loyalty and drive revenue. 1. Educate customers about your business One of the best things about ecommerce is that your customers’ relationship with your business is almost completely online. So, they’ll likely be more receptive to hearing about your products and services via online promotion. Not every customer, particularly first-time buyers, will be aware of what your business is all about. Likewise, their loyalty will depend on how much they know about — and trust — your brand and products. Your website, social media pages, and ecommerce store should have accessible, high-quality content that: Explains how your products are used Demonstrates their benefits Answers customers’ frequently asked questions For example, this online mannequin seller went to great lengths in making sure their website is packed with detailed information, including product specifications, reviews, a detailed company history, shipping information, their lowest prices guarantee, bestseller lists, and FAQs. All their current promotions are displayed strategically, and they even have a “Why Buy From Us” page. To excel at educating new customers, follow these basics: Keep it simple by writing your product information so it’s easy to understand. Use unique strategies for your buyer personas which vary in age, preferences, and buying behavior. Start blogging to provide education and value to customers while also explaining your products and services. Hold webinars to answer buyer questions, demonstrate how your services work, and gather user feedback to make improvements. 2. Optimize your website for user experience Now that you’ve taken steps to boost your content and educate your customers, it’s time to enhance their user experience. This goes beyond basic information — it’s all about making your online store user-friendly, easy to navigate, and memorable, which will win customer loyalty. Using one of the top ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify or BigCommerce, is the best way to achieve this. They’re designed for flexibility and offer the plugins you need to optimize your online store. To optimize your store even further, you could enlist the help of expert User Exerience (UX) and User Interface (UI) designers to shape specific elements of your website and improve its navigation. A UX designer is responsible for making sure your website will function the way it should, while a UI designer designs the appearance of your website. A great user interface and user experience both have a huge impact on any visitor’s buying decision. Just how big, you ask? Consider this: It only takes about 0.05 seconds for visitors to form an opinion about your website (and whether they’ll stay or leave) 88% of visitors are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience 75% of online shoppers admit to making judgments on the credibility of a business based on its website design The key to making a strong first impression is to always optimize, optimize, optimize. Here are a few extra things you can do to make sure your new and current customers will have a great experience navigating your site: Minimize pop-ups by only using exit pop-ups to reduce cart abandonment rate. Simplify your check-out process (this is critical!) Reduce the steps customers need to take before making a purchase (i.e. use shorter fill-out forms and minimize clicks for completing transactions.) Ensure your site loads in five seconds or less. Optimize your site design for mobile devices, as most traffic comes from them. Highlight pieces of content that are dynamic and of high quality. 3. Build a strong social media strategy According to a data collected by Statista, almost 92% of US marketers in large companies use social media for marketing purposes. These big companies spend a huge chunk of their marketing budget on paid social media ads. Source: Oberlo Facebook and YouTube are the two most popular social media platforms in the world right now. On just these two alone, you can share new products and establish a brand culture by engaging in conversations with potential customers. Whether you’re working with a social media marketing agency or running campaigns yourself, keep these strategies in mind to harness the full power of social media: Showcase your personality. Don’t just post content for the sake of it. Build a brand persona that makes it easier for potential customers to remember and recognize you. Use hashtags, mentions, and direct comments to monitor your customers. Hashtags serve as “identifiers” associated with your ecommerce store. The ultimate goal is to make your unique hashtags as popular as the brand itself. Form collaborations. Team up with a social media influencer your audience loves or another brand from your industry that isn’t your competitor. Collaborations can expose your store to new audiences and will also strengthen your credibility with loyal customers. Share content created by your customers. Positive feedback from your satisfied customers acts as social proof for potential buyers. Encourage your happy customers to share pictures and videos featuring your products to their social media, tagging your brand. Wild, a sustainable deodorant maker in the United Kingdom, regularly shares their customers’ Instagram photos featuring the product. This is a great example of user-generated content marketing. Just make sure you’re not violating any social media privacy policies. To be on the safe side, always let the account owner know you’re using their content. 4. Provide multiple delivery options Customers always love more options and convenience — especially when it comes to delivery. Many ecommerce stores provide same-day or expedited shipping options for customers who want to receive their orders as soon as possible. For example, this online lingerie store offers free shipping for orders over $80. That’s pretty common, right? However, they also offer free international shipping on orders over $150, as well as same-day shipping if you place your order before 4 PM EST (not including holidays). They even have a discreet shipping option that makes the package safe to ship to home or work. Making these options available will make your customers feel like they’re truly cared for. You can also consider expanding options for returns and payments, as well. 5. Incentivize customer referrals Putting together a customer referral program brings two benefits with one action; it attracts potential customers and rewards your current customers. In terms of sales potential, referral programs can be significantly more valuable than other strategies. And they’re not that expensive, either! In fact, 54% of businesses say it costs less than other marketing channels. Take for example this amazing customer referral program by self-showing rental company Showmojo. This is how it works: They give their customers a referral link When a new user signs up with that link, they immediately save $50 The customer who originally referred them also gets a $50 credit if the referral stays with ShowMojo for 45 days The customer gets another $50 credit if the referral stays with ShowMojo for 145 days Customers can repeat this referral process as many times as they’d like Source: ShowMojo By rewarding both a current and new referral customer, you build a stronger bond with both, thus increasing loyalty. 6. Use targeted and personal marketing campaigns Personalization has always been one of the strongest marketing tactics, and with good reason — the effects of putting out a more personalized message are long-term. In fact, 70% of consumers say a company’s understanding of their personal needs influences their loyalty. So, simply using your customer’s name or making that extra effort to collect more personal information can make your advertising copy, push notifications, or email campaigns more effective. Below are simple yet powerful examples of personalized marketing you can try to boost customer retention: Display personalized offers to returning visitors Change store navigation based on visitors’ preferences Send personalized emails or notifications based on customers’ behavior Sort recent products by level of interest Recommend product categories based on browsing behavior Remind shoppers of recent engagements Suggest complementary products or show product recommendations 7. Offer excellent customer support Studies have shown that only 1 out of 26 ecommerce customers will complain if they’ve received bad customer service. The other 25 will most likely just leave without saying anything. Source: SuperOffice So, if you want to acquire and retain customers, ensure you offer them the stellar support they need. What are some of the ways to improve your customer support? Build a customer care team for inquiries, complaints, and clarification. Streamline your order fulfillment processes to reduce common problems. Actively listen to customers so you can identify issues and create a solution. 8. Start a customer loyalty program Starting a customer loyalty or reward program is as straightforward as customer retention gets. Through cashback, discounts, and other perks, you’re incentivizing customers to do business with you. Some of the effective loyalty programs that you can include in your customer retention strategy are: Exclusive deals to loyal customers Exclusive lifetime membership Coupons Cash-back offers Welcome gifts to new shoppers Rewards points for redeemable products or perks When launching a loyalty program, make sure to only adopt personalized programs that make the customer appreciate your brand. 9. Don’t just engage for the sake of it Engaging with customers becomes more real to them if you show the desire for genuine interaction. Effective communication is the hallmark of brand loyalty. Communication can be encouraged by sending text messages, surveys, and social media invites to your customers. You should also provide information on other ways they can reach out to you, but make sure you’re willing to answer those messages. Place social media icons and integrate a chatbot on your store website to make this process easier. 10. Learn more about your most loyal customers To understand more about loyal customers’ average spend and frequency of store visits, most marketers use the Recency, Frequency, Monetary (RFM) model. The metric establishes consumer behavior using those three quantitative measures to determine how customers behave when navigating through a store. Using the RFM model, you can rank a customer on a scale of 1-5. The most valuable customer is the one with the highest score in each category. 11. Use a subscription model Following a subscription (or recurring revenue) model is becoming increasingly popular in many industries, not just ecommerce. Source: Subscribed Institute Subscription models can come in many forms, and have gained traction across a wave of industries, from coffee to fashion and beauty. If you are going to commit to a subscription model, you should prepare to track key touchpoints of your website in a different way so that you maximize the value from your most important subscription metrics. Conclusion Retaining your customers boils down to one crucial goal: making your business the obvious choice for customers over anyone else. That means you should always be willing to try new approaches — as long as they help keep your existing customers coming back. Remember, it’s easier to make current customers happy than to look for new ones. What are the steps you’ve taken to make sure your customers are loyal to you? This is a guest post from Burkhard Berger, founder of Novum. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on novumhq.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.
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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.
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