Category : Marketing
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.
How to optimize your Shopify conversion rate for fashion ecommerce
Fashion consumers are buying more online than ever have before. In fact, Forrester even predicted the number of worldwide online fashion buyers will surpass 910 million in the next two years, making fashion & beauty the largest ecommerce industry overall. Naturally, like any industry with a slice of the ecommerce pie, fashion is dynamic — continuously changing the way products are presented to shoppers and innovating in order to stand out among sky-high shopper expectations. This effects marketing, sales and every stage of the buying funnel. And that's not even mentioning social marketing, with growing social commerce and the meteoric effect that influencer marketing has had on fashion ecommerce. Bottom line: with the landscape only growing larger, how can your Shopify store rise to the challenge and compete with top fashion ecommerce sites in 2020? 1. Know your KPIs In October 2019, to help stores compare their marketing and sales performance with others in their industry, our team at Littledata came up with several benchmarks for fashion and beauty stores based on industry data. Check out some of the more interesting KPIs for fashion stores: After surveying 455 stores a few months ago, we found the average conversion rate for Style and fashion was 1.3%. What's a good conversion rate? Anything more than 2.6% would put you in the best 20% of Style and fashion stores we benchmark for conversion rate, and more than 3.6% would put you in the best 10%. What's a not-so-good conversion rate? On the other hand, a conversion rate (both mobile and desktop) less than 0.5% would put you in the worst 20% of style and fashion stores, with less than 0.2% placing you among the worst-performing stores. How do you compare? If your store has a conversion rate between 0.5% and 2.6%, then your store is average compared with this benchmark. With less than 0.2%, your fashion store is certainly underperforming. 2. Optimize your store for conversions To give your store a better chance at converting visitors, have you tried: more attractive product displays improving the checkout process ensuring your product pages load and respond quickly Thankfully, tools like Enhanced Ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics can help you identify where your potential blockers lie. But even before getting too deep in the data, it's important to look at the basics — are there areas for quick wins and easy improvements? [subscribe] Let's take a look at 3 areas: Navigation OROS is a terrific example of simple, clean navigation that makes it easy for shoppers to find what they're looking for. As you can see, OROS's main sidebar menu is organized by apparel type. Product pages They also nail it with their product pages, with pricing and reviews front and center, plus prominent descriptions and features listed below. Shopping experience Buck Mason creates a seamless shopping experience, with simple filters and a "quick add" feature where shoppers don't even have to be on a product page to add an item to cart. If you like an item, you can simply select a size from the image and it adds it to cart. Features like this create an enjoyable experience for shoppers, which helps boost retention and encourages repeat purchases. 3. Create a smooth checkout process More often than not, customer checkouts serve as a "checkpoint" for stores in terms of measuring shopping experience. If your cart abandonment rate is low and your checkout completion rate is high, it's fair to assume your CRO efforts are succeeding. However, many stores find themselves performing below par. Luckily, there are a number of helpful tools to smoothen your checkout process and give yourself the best possible chance for completing the highest number of purchases. First, Littledata's Google Analytics app fixes tracking automatically for Shopify stores. Your customers won't be the the only ones checking out with confidence — with the app, you can track shopper behavior and ecommerce events with accuracy and ease. Shopify apps like CartHook also help the checkout and post-checkout process run smoothly for shoppers. With customizable one-page checkouts and post-purchase upsells you can set up with one click, tools like CartHook can help maximize your conversion rate at the end of the funnel. [tip]Littledata's advanced Google Analytics connection for CartHook helps you accurately track every sale, refund and checkout step in your Shopify store.[/tip] What if you sell by subscription? CRO (conversion rate optimization) for subscription stores works similarly, in that on-page optimizations are where you'll get the most ROI. Where subscription CRO differs is how you measure conversions. Crucial metrics for subscription stores include: churn rate (the rate at which your customers drop their subscription) AOV (average order value per subscription box, etc.) CLV/LTV (customer lifetime value, which requires a different type of calculation) Tools like Littledata's ReCharge connection help you not only optimize conversions, but accurately track them. Are you drawing more new subscribers? Are you retaining your current ones? Are you convincing subscribers "on the hinge" to stay on for an extra month? [tip]Get accurate tracking for repeat orders with the ultimate Shopify ReCharge guide.[/tip] Shoot for repeat customers Box of Style, a Shopify customer and user of the Littledata ReCharge connection, is a popular fashion & beauty brand that uses a unique subscription system. They offer boxes with exclusive seasonal clothing styles for women, which are delivered to your door four times per year. Subscribers can choose a "pay as you go option" in order to pay quarterly, or they can pre-pay for one year: Just below their add to cart button, the company has added a "what's inside" section to their product pages, giving shoppers a glimpse of what they're getting: The brand's modern web design, simple navigation and transparency give shoppers every opportunity to subscribe to a box. Like many subscription brands, the company offers the option to save money per box by pre-paying or paying annually. 4. Get Shopify reporting you can trust Unfortunately, Shopify tracking within the Shopify analytics platform is not the most reliable system for merchants. And while Google Analytics' robust, free platform is widely used and filled with helpful features, data traveling from Shopify checkouts to your GA account is a broken system. Thankfully, we built a better way. With Littledata's Google Analytics app for Shopify stores, the tracking is fixed automatically for your store, from marketing attribution (including connections for Facebook Ads, Google Ads, affiliate marketing, etc.) to buying behavior. With fixed tracking and accurate reporting, you're free to focus on what you do best – promoting and selling your products to fashion aficionados online!
6 things Shopify merchants need to know about SMS marketing
Marketers understand why it’s critical to target customers with the right message at the right time. For product marketers and ecommerce managers, SMS is an increasingly essential part of multi-channel marketing — especially with a mobile-first online retail market. In this article, we’ll summarize 6 benefits you may not know about SMS marketing. We’ll also outline how to use SMS effectively for better lead acquisition, closing rates and customer loyalty for your Shopify or Shopify Plus store. By the end, we hope you’re ready to integrate SMS marketing right away! 1) SMS is one of the most immediate channels available SMS (a.k.a. text message marketing) is perhaps the most direct route to customers when it comes to D2C marketing. With a 98% open rate and a 5x click rate compared to other channels (such as email marketing), SMS is a more casual and less threatening channel for customers. Not only do standalone SMS campaigns have a high success rate and proven ROI for Shopify merchants, but they also enhance and support other marketing channels like email and social marketing. As mobile shopping activity continues to rise, shoppers expect to receive offers, discounts, consultations and other promos through mobile messaging. 2) SMS can help you recover lost sales Merchants not utilizing SMS as part of a mobile marketing strategy are missing out on building direct relationships with customers. As a result, this could mean sacrificing sales. Littledata found that, on average, nearly 60% of mobile shoppers abandon their carts before completing checkout. [subscribe] Many of these incomplete checkouts may be due to unanswered questions. And while automated messaging may not solve these barriers to purchase, it can certainly reengage shoppers through incentives or simple reminders to complete their checkout. 3) SMS helps you better understand your customers You can learn more about the purchasing behavior of your customers by studying back-and-forth conversations. For example, SaveMySales is a performance SMS marketing app that offers a dashboard showing customer conversions from which merchants can track trends, like commonly asked questions or concerns preventing them from purchasing. This type of insight helps merchants understand the customer journey (and blockers) their customers face, which can lead to better Shopify conversion rates. 4) SMS will increase customer engagement SMS marketing can help you directly build 1:1 relationships and trust with your customers. Shoppers appreciate messages that make them feel valued or special, especially when messages include personalized responses from real humans that solves their barrier to purchase. Whether shoppers are casually browsing before a first-time purchase or they are returning for a repeat purchase, shoppers are more likely to buy when they experience a level of brand trust. 5) Full-service SMS marketing for Shopify merchants SaveMySales is the only human SMS marketing solution that acquires subscribers, sends messages, and replies back to shoppers. By combining AI with the world’s best live agents, the company has created the most personal marketing channel ever. The platform drives up to 20% increases sales for Shopify stores by answering questions, providing suggestions, offering deals, and up-selling. Some of the best features include but are not limited to: Building SMS marketing lists - the Opt-In Pop-Up enables brands to quickly acquire SMS subscribers from their website Abandoned checkout recovery - brands can recover lost sales by connecting shoppers directly with a live agent that can answer questions and remove barriers to purchasing Interactive SMS campaigns - brands can rapidly build a subscriber list and talk to thousands of shoppers at once with beautiful, segmented outreach We recommend Shopify stores use SaveMySales as part of their ecommerce multichannel strategy for engaging with shoppers at every stage of the purchasing funnel — not only because it’s a proven method, but also because it offers the peace of mind shoppers want. 6) Without proper tracking, it’s all for naught While you’re building this high-converting engagement channel for your brand, for Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants, one thing matters just as much as engagement — tracking each step of the customer journey. Luckily, Littledata’s smart analytics app for Shopify connects your store data to Google Analytics or Segment, and tracks every event, from casual product page clicks to final purchase. It's automatic tracking our merchants can trust. If you're on Shopify Plus, check out an enterprise plan to get a dedicated account manager to help with data setup, reporting and optimization. Thinking into the future SMS marketing is becoming an increasingly essential channel as a direct line of communication to get in front of shoppers, recover lost sales, understand customers, and increase customer engagement. SMS can be used as part of a multi-channel strategy for engaging with customers at each stage of the customer funnel to help increase conversions and ROI for your Shopify store. We recommend using SaveMySales to build the most personalized SMS marketing strategy that will impress your customers and help them build a relationship with your brand. This is a guest post by Cindy Le from SaveMySales, a performance SMS marketing app for Shopify and Shopify Plus stores.
5 best Shopify apps for Instagram ads and sales
When it comes to social profiles, most ecommerce marketers choose to highlight their products on Instagram. But how can you turn your Instagram marketing into consistent sales growth for your online store? Instagram gets over two times the engagement on photos versus all other social platforms. You’ll also find that more than one in three internet users interact with social media to find more information on a brand or product. Due to this, ecommerce stores are turning to Instagram for not only engagement but also for launching ads. This process is made simple by connecting an Instagram profile with Facebook, making it easy to convert the Instagram profile into a business one. This allows you to launch ads on Instagram, while all the data is directly connected to your Facebook account. Once you’ve created a promotion you have the ability to send it to your Instagram profile, your website, or your Facebook page. You can also create Instagram promotions directly from Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform. Some of the benefits of Instagram advertising include scalable pricing, control of who you’re targeting, and instant ads. As with Facebook Ads, you can define the goals by reach, traffic, and brand awareness. Gone are the days when Instagram was used just for engagement, it’s now a frontrunner for sales. Below are the apps that we’ve chosen based on rankings and reviews. 5 best Shopify apps for Instagram ads So here they are: the top 5 apps. If you're using Instagram to market your brand, these can help you increase sales and customer lifetime value. Much like our previous post where we dug into 15 Shopify apps that would help you increase AOV, we’ve taken the same approach to look into 5 Shopify apps that can help you increase your sales and deliver results. We searched for top-ranked apps to give you the best tools and ensure your ecommerce site is using Instagram to its full extent. 1. Instagram Shop by Snapppt Quick pitch: Shoppable galleries, UGC, find influencers & build communities Snapppt is a free, Instagram approved app that allows you to make your Instagram feed shoppable. That’s right, shoppers can now buy directly from your Instagram feed - now shoppers can instantly click on a pair of earrings they thought were great and buy them. An example would be South Beach Swimsuits, in the image below you can see how within the photo you can view the product displayed and shop for that item directly from Instagram. Snapppt also gives brands the ability to track their customers from the point of seeing an Instagram image all the way to checkout. While Instagram is testing out their own checkout, called simply Checkout, we still think Instagram shop is a better fit for Shopify stores. It's a must-have for brands looking to add to their sales pipeline. Happy scrolling! 2. Kit Quick pitch: Run better Facebook ads Kit is an official Facebook Marketing Partner that integrates with Facebook and Instagram. Kit's been owned by Shopify since 2016, so obviously it's a great fit for any Shopify store looking for smart automation! What is Kit? It's a virtual marketing assistant that can manage your Facebook Ads, Instagram ads, social posts, and email marketing to help you drive sales. Need help creating discount codes and targeting customers? Kit is really helpful with that - all you need to do is communicate via SMS or Facebook Messenger. Just type in some commands and Kit will be ready for duty. It also works with other Shopify apps like Yotpov and Venntov. Kit will make your life easier when it comes to managing ads and can even help you generate reports for sales. Hire an assistant or get a free assistant with Kit? Tough choice, big reward. 3. Google Analytics by Littledata Quick pitch: Google Analytics app with Facebook Ads & ReCharge connections Littledata's Shopify app fixes your tracking automatically and gives you accurate data. Once you install, all you have to do is connect your Facebook Ads account using our Facebook integration. Using that Facebook integration, we'll show you the real ROI of your Instagram ads - and connect ad performance to buying behavior, like adds-to-cart and recurring purchases. That’s right - since your Instagram ads data is found in Facebook Manager, all you need to do is connect Facebook Ads and you’ll get that data imported right into your Google Analytics account. Simple, right? That’s what we thought as well. After you connect, that data will be seamlessly pulled into your overall ecommerce tracking, so you can see if your Instagram promotions lead to purchases and conversions, or just a lot of ‘window shopping'. [subscribe heading="Connect Instagram Ads to Google Analytics" background_color="grey" button_text="free trial"] 4. Vantage Quick pitch: Automated Facebook & Google Ads for Your Ecommerce Store Vantage uses your Shopify data to help you better target and retarget audiences based on customer interests, behavior and purchase history. For example, if you sell sports clothes and health vitamins, you can automatically run Instagram ads aimed at people who are interested in health, vitamins and sports apparel. This makes sure that your ads are seen by the optimal shopper. Vantage helps Shopify merchants understand shopping behavior using insights from your store. It allows you to personalize content using highly targeted and automated Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads, all of which Vantage integrates with. It also auto-optimises, so you won’t waste money on ads that aren’t performing well. It will reallocate your budget so that you're focusing on the right channels and best placements. Vantage allows you to target ads based on demographics, interests, as well as online behavior - leading to even better results for your Instagram ads. With more successful ads you’ll be able to bring more people to your site and your Instagram page. 5. Stamped.io Reviews Quick pitch: Get product reviews, site reviews, photo/video reviews and Q&A Stamped.io Reviews takes your customers words or content and uses it to increase your sales. It’s an easy three-step process as you can search Instagram for the photos you want to add to your gallery, tag them with items from your store and showcase those by creating a gallery. You have complete control over the contents of the gallery, which can includes images that are posted by customers. As people are interacting with your Instagram feed or the gallery on your site or blog they are able to see the products in one place instantly. This also allows for a smarter marketing strategy as you’re using user content to your advantage to drive traffic. All of these Shopify apps add something special to make sure that your Instagram is performing at its best. They can lead you to a more successful marketing strategy due to smarter ads, ad cost analysis, and a directly shoppable Instagram feed. Let’s remember that Instagram has 58% more engagement than Facebook and 75% of Instagram users take an action after seeing an engaging post. You don’t want to miss out on those numbers, so optimise your Instagram for success today!
How to provide multilingual customer service for ecommerce
Ecommerce is on the rise around the world. Both individuals and companies can create online sites and sell their products without retail storefronts. Studies have shown that eight in ten European internet users perform online purchases through some form of ecommerce storefront. This trend shows no signs of stopping, especially in the younger demographic and millennials. However, online business carries its own share of problems and conundrums to resolve. Even if you implement ecommerce software through a platform like BigCommerce or Magento, you will still have a lot to plan for. International customers are likely to contact you with wishes to buy your products. Even if you implement a multi-currency ecommerce solution like Shopify, the problem is that many people still won’t speak your native language, whatever it may be. Multilingual customer service and user experience (UX) can amend that shortcoming. Let’s take a look at what you can provide for your customers when it comes to multilingual customer support and enhanced UX overall. Benefits of multilingual UX Before we dive into multilingual customer service for ecommerce, let’s take a look at the benefits regarding the process. After all, every upgrade or addition to your site should bear some form of positive outcome. According to CSA Research, 75% of worldwide customers prefer buying online goods through sites with their languages featured as an option. This number is too high to ignore, so let’s take a look at several benefits of implementing multilingual support on your ecommerce website. Better customer engagement Just over 26% of internet transactions on the global level take place in English language. This fact is even more alarming when you take the global number of internet users into account. Providing a multilingual ecommerce storefront will allow for better user engagement globally. People from different corners of the world will be much more likely to use your site to order goods and spread positive word of mouth about your practices. Higher ROI Return on Investment (ROI) is on every ecommerce website owner’s mind – and for good reasons. Hiring professional translators or outsourcing your localization through Pick Writers and their translation services reviews costs money. However, the return on investment connected to the initial expense is tremendous. Mobile ads which lead to online stores fare 86% better if they offer localized marketing content to their readers. No business model will save you from the simple fact that people like to be met halfway when languages are concerned. Good SEO ranking Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a huge role in how your site is perceived through search engines and their algorithms. Google has modified the SEO algorithm to detect and promote websites which offer accessibility and original content above all else. This means that implementing a multilingual approach to your ecommerce will lead to resounding success, especially if you pursue more global languages such as Chinese, Russian and German. Multilingual customer service in ecommerce As with any addition to an ecommerce website, multilingual support should come in stages. Let’s take a detailed look at how you can implement multilingual customer service into an existing, live ecommerce website. 1. Research popular languages and demand Every industry has a certain target demographic which makes it tick. The same goes for children’s toys, books, car equipment or anything else. In order to pinpoint the perfect languages for your website, you should take a look at supply and demand in the industry. Scour through popular competition and their websites. Ask your existing customers about their preferred language offering through email surveys. Do anything you can to eliminate unnecessary languages and add any which might be out of the usual plethora of French, Italian, German and Spanish. 2. Work with an international shipping company Since you plan on expanding into international waters, you should look for shipping companies which can meet your clientele’s demands. International shipping companies come in two varieties; some focus on sea transportation while others (more commonly) prefer air shipping. Look for the best international shipping options in your country and see if you can settle for a mutually-beneficial contract. After all, there is no point in shipping internationally if you don’t break even at the end. 3. Site translation and localization As we’ve mentioned before, site localization should be done in-house or outsourced to a professional translation service. Outsourcing is especially viable if you intend to offer multilingual support in numerous languages not only in content but customer support as well. Add new languages in waves and don’t overreach. You have all the time in the world to slowly and methodically add languages one by one and gauge the public interest in doing so. [subscribe] 4. Machine-learning chatbots In the early days of your website’s multilingual customer service, you can rely on chatbots to get things done. Chatbots are AI algorithms designed to provide rudimentary customer support and learn as they go along. Some of the better quality chatbot algorithms can be found in the app stores for platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento. These prolific ecommerce support websites also offer numerous plugins which can make the transition into multilingual services much easier and user-friendly. 5. Hire or outsource support agents There will always come a moment where your chatbots won’t be able to deliver on their promises. This is especially possible in their early days, while they are still unaware of the customers’ patterns on your website. In order to offer full customer service despite this shortcoming, you can hire full-time agents or virtual assistants to act as support agents. With some rudimentary training, these employees and freelancers can help you deliver multilingual customer service without you personally speaking the languages. 6. Ongoing product description support Multilingual customer service is a long-term commitment. Each product you publish on your ecommerce website will have to be updated with corresponding descriptions and texts in each language. This raises the question of whether you should hire full-time translators or stick to on-demand freelancers. Make the choice that works best for the volume of products you intend to publish. 7. Create and emphasize feedback channels Ecommerce or not, you will want to talk to your customers on a constant basis. Create dedicated a dedicated email address for feedback and comments. Collect data from your chatbots and have human support agents go through them. Gather feedback constantly, and make sure that your customers know that every bit of criticism is welcome. That way, you will always have an insight into how well you are doing your job. You will also know whether or not you should refocus your multilingual customer service efforts one way or another. Conclusion Whether you opt for DIY localization or assisted ecommerce development with a platform such as Shopify, you should always do it on demand. Never assume that a language is necessary on your website by hunch alone. Add new language support options on a constant basis but back those actions up with research and feedback as you go. Only then will you strike the perfect cord with your audience and find a middle ground that works for both parties. This is a guest post by Kristin Savage, a freelance writer with a special interest in how the latest achievements in media and technology can help to grow readership and revenue. You can find her on Facebook and Medium.
Optimising your ecommerce store for the mobile-first index
In March 2018, after a long digital drumroll of anticipation, Google announced that it was rolling out mobile-first indexing. What does this mean for your SEO? In short, if your ecommerce site isn’t optimised for mobile, you’re losing out on a huge source of traffic. Source: Google After much research into the way people are now interacting with search engines, the conclusion is that there has been a marked shift towards mobile. In typical Google fashion, what searchers want, searchers get. So, it was decided that mobile would be a top priority. But how dramatic has this turn towards mobile been? The answer is definitely substantial enough to warrant this new shift in Google’s priorities. According to this Statista report, in 2018, 52.2% of all web traffic comes through mobile channels. While that is indeed significant, it is not the most telling fact about the current state of mobile traffic. What is even more noteworthy is the steady pace with which this form of traffic is increasing. The same Statista study shows a rise from 50.3% the year before, which built on 35.1% in 2015. This is not a trend which is fly-by-night. As you already know, when it comes to eCommerce, the success of your business depends on keeping up with search engine best practices and ranking criteria. These best practices can help you boost your ecommerce search traffic. With this in mind, you simply cannot afford to ignore mobile-first. Before I tell you how to adopt this for your eCommerce store, it’s necessary to explore what mobile-first indexing entails. Let’s dive in. What is mobile-first indexing? In a nutshell, mobile-first indexing refers to a method of search engine ranking that makes use of the mobile version of websites to organize SERP items. Google looks for relevant data to decide how best to answer the questions their searchers are asking. If the army of crawling bots find relevant information on your site, you may be moved up the ranks. In the past, Google rankings were based on desktop versions of websites. With mobile-first, the move is towards crawling and indexing mobile sites, rather than their desktop companions. This means that websites must be responsive and suitable for use on mobile, or mobile versions must have the same comprehensive content as the desktop. If you are breaking into a cold sweat as the realisation dawns that all your SEO efforts have been concentrated on your desktop site, take a deep breath. As Google has said, the move is gradual, and will not happen without notification in the Search Console. If they deem your site ready for the move over to mobile-first indexing, you will receive the following notification: Source: Google It’s important to note at this point that the Mobile-first index is not a separate index. Google continues to only have one index, as it always has. The shift means that the mobile version of websites will be prioritised, rather than being a move towards an additional type of indexing system. But how can you optimise for this change? 3 key steps to mobile optimisation 1. Switch to one responsive website As Littledata recently outlined on this blog, moving to responsive web design can be a very good move. What is this responsive design I speak of? Quite simply, it refers to web design that works well across a range of platforms. It prioritises user experience to ensure that the person interacting with your site is able to navigate it with ease, regardless of which device they use. A major perk of this is that whomever is in charge of the upkeep of your store does not have to monitor two (or more) different versions of your site. They have one site to take care of which will, if intelligently-constructed, work for an optimal user experience. If you do prefer to keep things separate, make sure that you pay attention to the mobile version of your site, rather than it merely acting as a subsidiary of your desktop site. As we will look at in step 3, it’s not a given that your SEO efforts will migrate over to the mobile version without some cognisant intervention on your part. 2. Get speedy Hopefully, page loading speed has already been a major priority when it comes to your SEO efforts. Sales in the eCommerce sphere are highly dependent on being able to keep your shoppers engaged and open for conversion to a sale. If your page does not load quickly enough, your customers will not stick around. Note: Check out these case studies on HubSpot for examples of how the speed of your site can affect your profit margins. When it comes to mobile-first however, page load speed is even more integral to your success. It is most certainly a top priority for Google in terms of how they allocated their ranking positions, and should be for you too. Luckily, there are numerous methods to both test and increase your page load speed: Start by looking at what Google’s very own Search Console has to offer. Through their Webmaster Lab Tools, you’ll quickly be able to see how well your site is performing and whether you need to step up your game. Third party tools such as Think With Google can be excellent accompaniments to other Google Analytics tools when it comes to deciphering how your site is faring. Ensure that your web design is not slowing down your whole operation. If you don’t have the technical knowhow yourself, get a developer to run an audit to see if your server speed, content configuration, or baseline coding is placing any obstacles between your users and an instantly-loading page. [subscribe] 3. Ensure your SEO tactics are still powerful If you have spent a lot of time and energy ensuring that your desktop site is fully ”SEOd”, make sure that your efforts carry over into the mobile iteration of your eCommerce store. Here’s a very brief checklist: Is all that beautiful content you created crawlable in the mobile version of your site? Those titles and descriptions that you put so much effort into? Make sure all your metadata carries over! Is the mobile version of your site verified with Google’s Search Console? Some final tips As an eCommerce shop owner, your concerns are not only getting customers to your site, but ultimately converting them. When it comes to mobile, there are specific trends that CROs are highlighting when it comes to transforming your customers into paying ones. In this comprehensive analysis by Shopify, they take an in-depth look at a study done by inflow on Mobile Conversion Optimization Features used in Best-In-Class Retailers. What is particularly useful in this report is what they refer to as a don’t and a do in terms of what is currently leading to optimal conversion rates for eCommerce business owners. As a parting gift, I’d like to share these two insights with you as ways to bolster your own efforts. In summary: Say no to hero slider images. In-depth research into mobile conversion rates has illustrated that customers are less than moved by them. Usher in the age of the top navigation menu. A relatively unused feature in the eCommerce world, all the data is pointing towards its efficacy in terms of mobile conversion rates. The takeway... Point 1: Don’t panic. Google will notify you if they’re switching you over, and will prioritise sites they deem more ready. Point 2: Start thinking with an on-the-go mindset. Make sure your store’s UX for mobile is as streamlined as possible. Make sure that your SEO efforts have carried over. Point 3: Don’t stop at optimising your mobile site for traffic - optimise for conversions too. Understand what will compel mobile customers to a sale. Good luck! This is a guest post by Charlie Carpenter. He is the co-founder and CEO of Kite. He is a mobile advocate with over ten years of industry experience. After working for large and small agencies for many years, he co-founded Kite; a software solution for print-on-demand, zero inventory merchandise, and personalised photo print goods. As well as an entrepreneur, Charlie is a seasoned product strategist with experience of various types of digital projects which include: Responsive and Adaptive Websites, Mobile & Tablet Apps, Hybrid Apps, Cross Platform App development. You can connect with Charlie on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter.
Getting started with Universal App Campaigns
With 3.8 million apps available for Android users and 2 million apps in Apple's App Store, it can be tough for an app developer to stand out among the competition. But with Google's Universal App Campaigns (UAC), developers have an opportunity to market their mobile apps with targeting options based on audience demographics and behavior. It all happens automatically -- as long as you set up the campaigns correctly. In this post I take a look at how you can put machine learning to work for you, using the power of Google’s Universal App Campaigns. Campaign set up Getting started with a UAC is relatively easy. The three steps are to identify an audience, ensure conversion tracking is set up correctly, and relevant text, video, and images are available for the campaign. The two major actions for UACs are to find new users who will install the app or those who will perform an action inside the app, such as making an additional purchase. One the UAC is set-up, it is eligible to show on Search, Display, YouTube and the Play Store. The initial setup is straightforward. The advertiser only needs to provide four lines of text with images and with machine learning, Google decides which combination to show to a particular user. Goals When you consider goals for your UAC, the install action is an obvious one regardless of the app category. Targeting options includes people who are likely to install the app or who are likely to install it and perform in app action. It is up to the advertiser to determine what a valuable action looks like and ensure conversion tracking is set up before launching a campaign. In-app actions, or goals, or can be either success actions or proxy actions. With a success action, the app user makes a purchase inside the app, upgrades the service, or signs up for a paid subscription; something that generates revenue. Assuming success actions happen at least ten times a day with users, the system has enough data to identify and target the right audience for your UAC. If volume of success actions is low, there is not enough data for machine learning to make decisions. In that case, the advertiser can identify a proxy action which is a behavior that is likely to lead to success action. An example of this is someone who added payment information to upgrade service but did not follow through with upgrading. Or it could be tracking which of your users share incentives with their network. Advertisers need to think carefully about what a proxy action truly is. When it it is too early in the funnel, it includes people who are less likely to convert and not a good representation of those who will later perform a success action. If a mid funnel behavior is identified as a proxy action, rather the the top of the funnel, it may better represent people who are closer to converting so it is more likely to later result in a success action. [subscribe] Conversions Setting up and collecting conversion data is a crucial piece to success because these campaigns look at past searches, browsing behavior, and other apps used to determine who is most likely to convert. Before launching a UAC, ensure this conversion tracking is set up correctly or your will not be measuring goals that matter. For e-commerce sites, the primary conversion is clearly to drive revenue in the form of an in-app purchase or perhaps subscriptions. With luxury retail, it is especially important to have conversion recording correctly because of the multiple touch points. And Shopify users can use the Littledata reporting app to gain even more insight on the user journey through that platform. Measurement and optimization There are immediate metrics to monitor - app installs and in-app purchase - but there are also long term considerations such as the customer lifetime value (CLV), that should be part of your overall strategic marketing plan. A single user who makes a purchase provides direct revenue. If they refer someone to your app, that is considered indirect revenue. The first number is clear-cut revenue and easy to measure. The second is one that you determine based on your internal data, meaning what type of behavior and interaction with customers generally leads to a sale. The value of both of these actions contribute to the CLV. Lifetime is the length of time they interact with your app. If they install the app and use it to buy things over the course of a year, then stop, their CLV time period is one year. Once you have identified your CLV, use this value to set your target CPA and optimize it based on performance. Decide what you are willing to pay for a success action and what you will pay for a proxy action, knowing that number will likely change over time. As data comes in from your UAC, you can compare the lifetime value of your different customers through segments. Segments help you uncover those customers who purchase every couple months compared to those who only make an initial purchase. Those the make multiple purchases represent segments with a higher value. Drilling into data with segments allows you to see who gives you the best return for your investment. This level of detail helps you identify how much you paid in your UAC for to acquire each type of customer so you can adjust accordingly. Review what you paid initially for the type of users that you bring in and compare that to their lifetime value. Are you investing your budget in a UAC that brings in users that generate recurring revenue? When you bid strategically based on a lifetime value, you are not overly focused on short-term transactions. It is less expensive to keep a customer than to acquire a new one so you want to think in those terms. What next? Decide on UAC goals that make sense for the purpose of your app. What should users do in addition to downloading the app and what behaviors indicate they are getting close to a conversion? Gather assets - text, video, and image - that are enticing for users and ensure conversion tracking is setup properly. Without proper conversion tracking, you miss out on the data you need to determine success. Monitor performance of your campaigns, and if you run an ecommerce site, track a wealth of data with the Littledata app. Think about the CLV and optimize your campaigns to reach the right users rather than any users. Your bottom line is generating revenue so keep that in mind with every UAC. With careful planning and well managed campaigns, your app can stand out in a crowded marketplace.
The end of the ecommerce 'thank you' page
For two decades, the ecommerce customer journey has stayed roughly the same. Customers browse, add to cart, checkout, and then see a page confirming their purchase: the 'thank you' page. That last step is changing, and this is no small change as it threatens to break how many sites measure purchases. Ecommerce stores that stop using a final 'thank you' page without adjusting their analytics setup accordingly are in danger of getting inaccurate purchase data, or even losing track of shoppers altogether. [note]Check out these 9 essential elements of a high-converting landing page from our friends at Sleeknote.[/note] In order to help our customers get ahead of the curve, we've gone through a number of test cases to find short and long term fixes to this issue. But first, a little history. In the old days... In the early days of ecommerce the biggest barrier during checkout was trust. Retailers paid to be certified as ‘hack-proof’ and customers wanted to make quite sure when and how their money was taken. Fast forward twenty years to today, and in the developed world most consumers have transacted online hundreds of times. They are familiar with the process, expect a seamless user experience, and confident that when they click 'buy' their payment will be taken and the products delivered. Online shoppers are so confident, in fact, that an increasing number we observe don’t even bother waiting for that ‘thank you for your order’ page. That page is becoming redundant for three reasons: Almost every checkout process captures an email address to send an order receipt to, and the email acts as a better type of confirmation: one that can be searched and referenced. Seriously, when was the last time you opted to ‘print the confirmation page’ for your records? Many retailers are forced to compete with the superb customer support offered by Amazon. This includes refunds for products that were ordered in error, and quick handling of failed payments. So from a customer's perspective there’s little point in waiting for the confirmation page when any issues will be flagged up later. Which leads to the third reason: as retailers improve the speed of checkout, the payment confirmation step is often the slowest, and so the one where customers are most likely to drop out on a slow mobile connection. This is no small issue, as mobile revenues are expected to overtake desktop revenues for ecommerce businesses globally this year. What does this mean for ecommerce sites? The issue is that for many sites the linking of sales to marketing campaigns is measured by views of that ‘thank you' page. In the marketing analysis, a ‘purchase’ is really a view of that 'thank you' page - or an event recorded on the customer’s browser with the sale. If customers don’t view the page, then no sale is recorded. If you have ever been frustrated by the lack of consistency between Google Analytics and your own payment/back-end records, this is the most likely issue. A dependency on viewing the 'thank you' page brings other problems too: a buggy script, perhaps from another marketing tag, will block the recording of sales. This is another source of the type of analytics inaccuracy which the Littledata app combats automatically. [subscribe] How to adjust your ecommerce tracking The short-term fix is to tweak the firing order of marketing tags on the 'thank you' page, so that even customers who see the page for fractions of a second will be recorded. Sites with a large number of marketing tags will have the greatest room for improvement. But in the long term, as this trend continues, the analytics solution is to link the marketing campaigns to the actual payments taken. This removes the need for the customer to see any type of 'thank you' or confirmation page, and also removes discrepancies between what your marketing platform tells you was purchased and what actually got bought. This is known as server-side tracking. The good news for those of you on the Shopify platform is that our Shopify reporting app does this already - and solves a lot of other analytics problems in one install. For those on other stores, please do contact us for advice. The Littledata team has worked with ecommerce businesses to set up integrations with Magento, DemandWare and numerous custom platforms. Not only can we help fix your analytics setup for accurate tracking, but our app then automates the audit and reporting process for all of your sites going forward.
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