Category : Marketing
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 usedDemonstrates their benefitsAnswers 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 experience75% 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.Make use of visuals. Captivate your audience by creating engaging videos, images and infographics.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 linkWhen a new user signs up with that link, they immediately save $50The customer who originally referred them also gets a $50 credit if the referral stays with ShowMojo for 45 daysThe customer gets another $50 credit if the referral stays with ShowMojo for 145 daysCustomers 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 visitorsChange store navigation based on visitors’ preferencesSend personalized emails or notifications based on customers’ behaviorSort recent products by level of interestRecommend product categories based on browsing behaviorRemind shoppers of recent engagementsSuggest 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.Give customers an easy way to reach you, or try using a contact center.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 customersExclusive lifetime membershipCouponsCash-back offersWelcome gifts to new shoppersRewards 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.
Build a website that your marketing and legal teams will both love
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 perceptionCurb decision fatigue with data-based product recommendationsCreate FOMO and feelings of exclusiveness with limited-time and limited-quantity offersCombine bestsellers and frequently-bought-together items to create good bundles and upsellsEverybody 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.https://giphy.com/embed/5WkqT5t0V3DCAeBsju You guess if I'm exaggerating or not. What causes the inability to decide? The main culprits could be: Information overloadLack of informationFearing 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. #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 shippingBuilt-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 hotcakesLow 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.https://giphy.com/embed/it8307a0XxlVS 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 togetherCombine store-wide best-sellersOffer 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 seasonAllow 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.
Top 7 rule-based audiences for ecommerce marketing
Rule-based audiences are customer groups or segments derived by customer activities. It sounds simple, but rule-based audiences can be a game changer -- and too many DTC brands miss out on the basics of this powerful type of customer segmentation. In ecommerce, rule-based audiences can be made using transactional activities (checkout date, coupon applied, etc.), marketing actions (email opened, promotion entered, etc.) or even product details (eg. type of product, color or type purchased). Ecommerce companies use the intersection of these events to group customers for the purpose of reporting, remarketing, targeting, and other customer enrichment activities. But one size doesn't fit all. Let's take a look at the top rule-based audiences and how they are used in ecommerce marketing. Benefits of rules based segmentation There are a number of benefits to deploying rules based audience recipes in your business. Whether you are a small-to-medium sized business, fast-growing startup, or have been around the block for some time like Littledata customers Dr Squatch and Rothy's, audience recipes are the building blocks for broader, innovative ways to segment your customers. Rule-based audiences can help you increase customer retention while improving product visibility in the crowded ecommerce marketplace Powerful tools like the Adobe Experience Cloud have highlighted rules-based personalization and audience building as a core part of their feature set. As they put it, "With rules-based personalization, you’re in the optimization driver’s seat." We agree, but with traditional enterprise tools that type of personalization can get really expensive. The good news is that brands using a modern data stack don't necessarily need to shell out for Adobe. Rule-based audiences can now be used by any ecommerce store, no matter how big or small. Here are some of the key benefits: Increase personalization through tailor-made product marketingImprove existing products and/or servicesIncrease upgrades and product upsellingEnhance profitability through the targeting of high-value customersIncrease retention with automation and buyer stage recognitionFurther marketing reach of customer types for remarketing, targeting and look-a-like audiencesEnhanced visibility and reporting of customer cohorts for tracking new acquisition and customer lifetime value Rule-based segmentation results in a hyper-personalized approach to directly influencing your customers’ experience. The ability to be attentive during each stage of the customer’s lifecycle allows for a better understanding of what drives good and bad experiences. Recipes for the top 7 rule-based audiences There are tons of different audiences you can build, but 7 always come up for successful DTC brands. In our case, we call them recipes, as they are the right number of ingredients to profile your customer base. X and Y in these examples will depend on your particular business: what you sell, how you sell it, and how often it makes sense for an ideal customer to come back and make a purchase or referral. Audience NameRecipe⭐️ First Time PurchasersCustomers who have made their first purchase in the last [X] number of days⭐️ Repeat PurchasersCustomers who have made at least 2+ purchases in the last [X] number of days⭐️ High SpendersCustomers who have made a purchase with order value greater than [$Y] in the last [X] number of daysAbandoned CheckoutsSite visitors that have added items to their shopping cart, but have not purchased in the last [X] number of daysBargain HuntersSegment of customers that have applied a promotional code on more than 1 purchase in the last [X] number of daysRecent BuyersCustomers who have made a purchase in the last [X] number of days⭐️ Inactive CustomersCustomers who have not made a purchase in the last [X] number of months*Additional segments include Loyal, Cancelled Customers, Location-based, Personalization (age, gender, preferences, income) Three audiences you should build today, with downstream activation examples All of these types of segmentation are potentially useful, even transformational, to your business. So where should you start? Today I will focus on the four most common and effective audience recipes that can generate immediate value to your store’s ability to identify, engage and enrich your customers’ experience. As highlighted above, those are: First-time purchasersInactive customersHigh spendersRepeat buyers To make things even clearer, we'll even combine High spenders and Repeat buyers into a high-LTV segment: your best possible customers, big spenders who are also loyal to your brand. 1. First-time purchasers First Time Purchasers are a good starting point for audience segments. The ability to identify these customers early will pay big dividends into maturing their relationship with your brand and products. Also, first-time customers are always the most likely to engage with your content (for example, opening welcome emails or sharing on social media), which ends up increasing the return on your investment and the potential for longer life cycles. How to Create a Welcome Email Template via Omnisend How to identify? Utilizing Littledata's order event tracking from your Shopify store, you can identify Order Completed in the last [X] number of days with a Customer Created event in the same time frame. How to activate? A great opportunity is through personalized welcome emails. By connecting to your ESP (eg. Klaviyo, MailChimp, Iterable) and building a customized message to all first time customers can be the first step to long-standing customer relationships. 2. Inactive customers Inactive Customers are a great win-back opportunity to gain customers back that have been inactive (or not purchasing) in a particular period of time. When a customer has been deemed inactive it’s too late to start formulating a strategy on returning them to your active customer pool. Instead building a strategy to identify, entice, and track appropriately is a must in any customer-focused business. Drive Repeat Purchases To Your Shopify Store With Automated Emails via Privy How to identify? Utilizing Littledata's order event tracking from your Shopify store, you can identify customers who have (at one-point) had an Order Completed event and with no purchase activities in the last [X] number of days. How to activate? Winback or revive email campaigns catered towards time-sensitive discounts, hyper-personalization (reference specific product categories a customer engaged or purchased in the past), summaries of product improvements, and membership benefits are effective strategies. Utilizing your current ESP, SMS, or retargeting platform alongside these customer groups can push once-active customers to return. 3. Repeat buyers & high spenders Repeat Buyers & High Spenders are the backbone of your business. As the tenured marketer would attest: “It’s easier to keep a happy customer than to find a new one”. Building customer loyalty requires a business to deliver on what is promised and to do so with their highest-value customers in the right channels and messaging. How to identify? Utilizing Littledata's order event tracking from your Shopify store, you can identify customers that have completed Order Completed events and total purchase count, purchase total, and revenue collected, during a [x] period of time and [x] number of times. Google Analytics users can also export data based on specific custom dimensions for LTV: Littledata – Lifetime Revenue Littledata – Purchase Count Littledata – Shopify Customer ID How to activate? There are several options here, including email and SMS (texting). SMS is a great tool to continuously engage with your customers. Invitations for users to sign-up for a loyalty program to provide exclusive offers or to release product updates can come simply through a users’ most desirable medium - their phone. With SMS boasting a +95% open rate, it's the most effective way to have a two-way connection with your customer and showcase value-added services. For Littledata's Shopify Plus customers, the most popular platforms for this type of engagement are Yotpo and Loyalty Lion. Technology for activating rules based segmentation Leveraging modern technology furthers the ability to do so repeatedly and with best-in-class platforms. Here are two examples of leaders in that space: Segment (sometimes called Segment.com) and Hightouch. Hightouch Hightouch syncs the data from your data warehouse to the tools your business relies on. It’s called operational analytics and it allows customers to leverage their existing technology (ie. your data warehouse) to pipe customer data to downstream platforms for activation, engagement, and other business activities. Since Littledata's no-code event collection is captured downstream in your Google Analytics platform, customers can leverage that same data when it is stored in their data warehouse. Modeled inside the platform with out-of-box SQL logic, segments can be then pushed automatically (and scheduled) to deliver on the intended goals. In fact, that's one of Hightouch's taglines: No scripts. No APIs. Just SQL. Segment Segment is a customer data platform (CDP) that integrates cohesively with Littledata's no-code event collection. Segment allows customers to integrate data from a catalog of sources (including the Shopify source, maintained by Littledata) and activate to destinations for customer engagement, activation and reporting. Inside the platform there are features that allow customers to create personas or audience segments, deploy functions, and build out layers of automation to seamlessly leverage their platforms’ source data. [tip]See what's new in Littledata's Shopify source for Segment, including more consistent product properties and enhanced Personas matching [/tip] Littledata Littledata is designed for the modern stack, whether you're using just a couple of tools such as Google Analytics and Data Studio or a whole modern data pipeline (eg. Segment, Fivetran and Redshift). If you're using a Shopify or BigCommerce checkout, you can use Littledata's analytics connectors to capture complete sales and marketing data and send it downstream. It's the easiest way to ingest the data you need to create enriched audience personas, and the only way to get 100% accurate ecommerce data automatically with extensive, ongoing development efforts. Not sure which tools you need? Book a demo with our data experts to discuss your analytics plan.
The Shopify merchant's guide to reducing cart abandonment
For many Shopify stores, it's an all-too-familiar question: why do online shoppers decide last-minute not to buy a product? Whether you're on Shopify or Shopify Plus, shopping cart abandonment is a serious issue. But surprisingly the main reasons for visitors and even current customers abandoning their carts (ie not making it all the way through your checkout flow) are actually shared by many merchants. On the plus side, so are the ways to reduce cart abandonment! Cart abandonment is not a mystery. While not every reason a shopper abandons their cart is within your control, some things are in your hands. When your cart abandonment rate is high, there are active steps you can take toward minimizing it. [tip]Download the Shopify merchant's guide to reducing cart abandonment for free[/tip] Maybe you've spotted lower checkout completion rates on mobile, or maybe it's a cross-device issue. Maybe it's a significant issue for paid traffic, organic, or both. But first, let's explore cart abandonment from the ground up: What it is Why it matters Why it's a crucial metric, not a mystery What causes cart abandonment? While there’s no quick answer, carts get abandoned for a variety of reasons — although a lower abandonment rate tends to reveal a more intuitive customer experience and a more trustworthy store. Many shoppers may browse your store in hopes of finding a hidden discount, to compare prices, or to see how your product stacks up against similar products. Some shoppers might even be building a wishlist for the future, with no intention of purchasing right now. For this type of shopper, there’s not much you can do to compel a purchase. This means your focus should be on the shoppers who are willing to buy but haven’t, maybe due to a website element or step in the checkout process that sent them scurrying away. As part of the same cart abandonment study, the Baymard Institute conducted a survey of over 4,500 US adults asking why they abandoned their purchase after passing the add-to-cart stage: Many of the factors above can be countered by making tweaks to the checkout process. (We cover as many as possible in our free cart abandonment ebook.) For example, let’s take the second most prevalent response — the site wanted me to create an account. By offering a guest checkout option where an account is not necessary, this 28% group would be one step closer to a purchase, helping you avoid an abandoned cart. How can you improve your checkout experience? Industry lingo like “streamline the checkout process” is often thrown around, but what does this actually mean? What are the parts of your site that eliminate friction in the checkout process rather than causing it? More specifically, we’re referring to the step after a user adds a product to his or her cart. Optimizing add-to-cart rate is, in itself, a separate stage in the purchase funnel that we have discussed before. In any case, here are a few things to consider for a better checkout experience... [subscribe heading="Don't wait to reduce cart abandonment" background_color="green" button_text="Download our free guide" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/cart-abandonment-ebook"]
Updated Facebook Ad Costs to Google Analytics connection
As part of Littledata’s focus on Facebook Ads data this year, we have rebuilt our Facebook Ad Costs connection to be more dynamic and more robust. If you've been asking how to track Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads in Google Analytics -- or doing cost imports manually with Google Sheets and other tools -- your life just got a whole lot easier. Littledata's new and improved Facebook Ad Costs connection automatically imports cost and campaign data from Facebook Ads to Google Analytics, giving Shopify merchants an unbiased view of multi-channel marketing attribution, user journeys and real ROI on PPC campaigns. The Facebook Ads to Google Analytics connection now has added functionality including: Handles up to 100,000 active Facebook Ads, imported daily to Google Analytics Interprets dynamic campaign parameters Imports up to 90 days of campaign history on the first import Works for both Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads Import multiple Facebook Ad accounts to one Google Analytics property Import one Facebook Ad account to one multiple Google Analytics properties Recommends improved campaign URL parameters when none are given Of course the core functionality remains the same: easily pull campaign details and cost data into GA from your FB Ad accounts. Thank you to our customers who gave feedback to help improve the connection -- we couldn't have done it without you. The updated Facebook Ad Costs connection is available on all paid plans at no additional cost. Start a free trial today and start analyzing your campaigns more accurately.
How to manage multiple Shopify stores without sacrificing conversions
Even if you only run one business, that doesn’t mean you should only have one Shopify store. Indeed, there are many reasons why you may want to start using multiple Shopify stores for your business: Remove obstacles from the buying process: If you have a large inventory, customers may need to navigate through cluttered menus or click through multiple category pages before they can find the product they want and place their order. Breaking your inventory up into different stores removes friction from this process and makes it easier for customers to purchase products from you. Create a personalized experience: If you sell to many different areas, developing a unique online storefront for each location allows you to create a more personalized experience for your customers. By peppering the sales copy on your sites with local references and colloquialisms, you’ll be able to catch the visitor’s attention and stand out from the competition. Improve SEO: With the more streamlined and personalized experience that the multi-store approach provides, customers are encouraged to stay for longer periods of time. The average amount of time visitors spend on your site carries a lot of weight in search engine algorithms, so this should make your business more visible online. But, there are challenges to managing multiple stores as well. We’ll show you how to overcome these challenges and use a multi-store approach to improve customer experience, increase traffic and make more sales. Top challenges of managing multiple Shopify stores Perhaps the biggest drawback to the multi-store approach is that it makes managing your inventory and orders more difficult. Customers placing orders on the same pool of items from different sources can lead to confusion, delays and errors. Another issue is that manually creating multiple sites and duplicating content when necessary can be a very time-consuming process. This is more than just frustrating — it pulls you away from all the other tasks you must complete to keep your business running smoothly. Top Apps for Managing Multiple Stores The two challenges described above can both be addressed with a quick trip to the Shopify App Store. With the SKULabs and Shogun add-ons, managing inventory and content for multiple stores is much easier. SKULabs The SKULabs dashboard is designed to be especially intuitive and help users keep track of their inventory, orders and shipments for multiple channels. If you use solutions other than Shopify to sell your products (Amazon, eBay, etc.), SKULabs allows you to review the activity of those channels and your multiple Shopify stores all from the same place. Other notable SKULabs features include low inventory alerts for preventing stockouts and barcode scanning for fast and human error-free inventory data entry. Image source: Shopify Shogun Anyone can use Shogun’s large library of web-building elements and drag-and-drop interface to quickly create their own custom landing pages, product pages and blog posts. Shogun also has a Sync feature that’s quite useful for multiple stores — with Sync, you can copy a page from one store to another with just a single click. Image source: Shogun Multi-store Shopify best practices In addition to taking advantage of these apps, you should keep the following best practices in mind when managing multiple stores: Consolidate customer support: Just as it helps to manage all your inventory from the same place, it helps to manage customer support for multiple stores from the same place, too. That way, it’s easier to monitor performance and ensure there are no support tickets slipping through the cracks. Analyze your audience and discover new niches: Google Analytics andsimilar reporting tools can tell you a lot about the people who visit your store. With this information, you can determine which groups of people make up your core audience. If you’re popular with a certain group, you should consider creating a version of your store that’s designed just for them. Pay attention to SEO: To make the most of the multi-store approach’s SEO benefits, be sure to include the keywords associated with each version of your store (for example, “California dry cleaning” might be targeted by a national dry cleaning service’s California site) in headings, page titles, image alt descriptions and any other area that’s picked up by search engine algorithms. Managing Multiple Stores for Multiple Countries A multi-store approach is especially effective for businesses that attract a large amount of interest from international buyers. Seventy-five percent of consumers who don’t speak English prefer to buy products in their native language, and 59% rarely or never make purchases on English-only stores. There are many tools available for automatically translating the language used on your site to whatever’s used in the browser settings of the visitor. This is convenient, but these translations often contain errors. Machine translations may be mostly accurate — they just can’t process the context that’s required to get everything right. While it does take more time and effort to develop manually translated versions of your site for the different regions you serve, this will provide a better experience for non-English speaking visitors and help you generate more international sales. CRO Tips for Shopify and Shopify Plus Setting up multiple Shopify stores is an excellent method for conversion rate optimization (CRO). Using the following techniques will increase your conversion rate as well: Optimize for mobile: Since 2016, mobile devices have been a more popular way to browse the internet than desktop computers. If your site isn’t fully responsive, which means it automatically adjusts to the type of device that’s used by the visitor, you’re missing out on many potential conversions. Maintain performance: Most visitors will only wait a few seconds for your site to load before they move on to one of their other options. Mobile users are particularly impatient — the majority of them will only wait three seconds for your site to load. High-end performance allows you to keep people on your site long enough to make conversions. Offer free shipping: The most attractive offer you can make to potential customers is free shipping. In fact, simply shifting the shipping fee to the price of the product in order to offer free shipping should lead to a significant improvement in your conversion rate. By combining a multi-store approach with the above CRO techniques, you can jumpstart your conversion rate and set your business up for both short-term and long-term success. Shopify tracking for ecommerce success Of course, CRO is no good if you're not consistently tracking what's working (and what isn't). Luckily, Littledata's Google Analytics app fixes your Shopify tracking automatically, so you have accurate marketing attribution and shopping behavior at your fingertips (including ecommerce events like adds to cart, removes from cart, checkouts and more). You'll also get full access to data audits and ecommerce benchmarks so you can know exactly where your store stands among the competition. Adam Ritchie is a writer based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He writes about ecommerce trends and best practices for Shogun. His previous clients include Groupon, Clutch and New Theory.
How to engage returning visitors on your Shopify store
As a store owner, you’ve probably already heard the arguments for engaging returning visitors. You know that it costs 25 times more to win a new client than to win repeat business. You know that increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can boost your sales by 25% - 30%. And you’ve also heard that returning visitors are more likely to add products to the cart, complete the purchase, and even spend more than first-time visitors. The problem? How do you ensure that it all happens on your site? How do you engage returning visitors and convince them to continue buying from you? [subscribe] In this guide, I’ll show you 5 strategies that will help you engage returning visitors and strengthen their connection with your store. Before we dive in, let’s take a look at how Shopify stores typically engage visitors. The state of visitor engagement on Shopify stores Close to the end of 2018, we conducted a research study to identify the level of visitor engagement among Shopify stores. We were pleasantly surprised that 62% of stores use at least one engagement strategy. Brilliant! The most popular strategies include popups, live chat, and social proof notifications. But we also discovered that the majority of stores do not use these strategies to their full potential. For example, 76% of the stores we researched fire off a popup immediately after a visitor lands on their site. At the same time, we know that timing and segmentation can multiply conversion rates and drive more signups. Similarly, for many stores, a live chat is nothing but another customer service channel. Yet, those who use it as a sales tool tend to report better results and conversion rates. To maximize your potential to convert returning visitors, try out these 5 strategies: Strategy #1. Acknowledge the returning visitor This is a simple trick that can drive conversions. When setting up your call to action, acknowledge the person’s return visit, and use it to engage them with your brand. Medium, although not an ecommerce brand, does this wonderfully. Take a look at the popup example below. Note how candid the company is about its intentions. After all, since the visitor has been on the site before, why not openly ask them to create an account? A similar strategy in ecommerce would involve creating a “Welcome back” popup, acknowledging the return visit and offering value to the visitor. Strategy #2. Evoke the returning visitor’s curiosity When you think about it; engaging returning visitors is as challenging as ensuring that anyone visiting your site for the first time wants to buy from you. Now, it’s true; returning visitors don’t feel anxious about buying from you anymore. But because they have bought from you before, it’s also harder to fire up their interest. At the same time, it’s that same interest that can keep them engaged with your store… Luckily, there is a way to do it – Evoke the shopper’s natural curiosity. You don’t have to do much to achieve it, either. Ask a returning visitor about themselves, for example. This will naturally make the person’s antennas go up. They might think whether you’re asking because you know something about them they don’t know. And that natural curiosity will engage them with your offer. (Note, whether they’ll convert will rely on the offer, of course. But the curiosity will get them to notice.) Here’s a popup using this strategy to get a visitor to read the rest of the offer. Strategy #3. Create special offers for returning visitors only Another powerful strategy. This one, however, relies on you showing returning visitors how much you care about them and their repeat business. In this strategy, the goal is to engage those visitors by rewarding them for their loyalty. How, by creating an offer - a discount, typically - that applies to them only, and rewards them for their subsequent purchase. PureCycles, for example, displays a popup offering a hefty 15% discount for the next purchase. But your offer doesn’t have to involve discounts, of course. At Wisepops, we've found offers to attract the highest engagement. Still, you could offer access to exclusive product lines before anyone else is able to purchase those. Or even the ability to purchase products that will never be released to the public store. The key is to offer returning visitors something unique for them, something they can’t get unless they do come back to the site over and over again. Strategy #4. Run a contest aimed at returning visitors Contests are one of the most popular ways of engaging visitors. They’re fun, promise getting something in return, and offer you a chance of your brand going viral. But what if you run a contest designed for returning visitors only? What if you advertise it as such, and present it only to people who visit your site for the nth time? I’d imagine they’d be quite intrigued by the concept (and engage with it immediately, at that.) Native, who uses Littledata's Google Analytics connection, ran this time-limited contest on their site, promoted with a clever Shopify popup. Strategy #5. Show returning visitors the downside of not buying from you The final strategy works particularly well on visitors who tend to sit on their purchase. Instead of completing it, they add products to the cart, then wander off, contemplating their next action. It happens all the time, sadly. One way to engage them and gently “push” towards the sale is by showing the downside of not acting now. Gaiam, for example, uses a simple scare tactic. The site tells visitors how popular a product is (one the shopper is thinking about buying), and how likely it is to sell out before they get it. Many hotels and travel sites use a similar strategy to convince visitors to act now in a similar way. They display the current interest in a given property or a room to evoke fear in visitors and push them to act. Trust your Shopify tracking This isn't technically in the top 5 strategies, but it's perhaps the most crucial part of the shopper re-engagement process. Tracking your returning visitors tells you exactly which of your marketing channels are working (and which are not), which campaigns are converting, and the re-engagement methods (email campaigns, etc.) that work best for your store. Without proper tracking, you're stabbing in the dark. Unfortunately, many Shopify merchants rely on the broken tracking of Shopify's native analytics or the incomplete attribution in Google Analytics. Have you experienced these data discrepancies between Shopify and GA? They can be extremely frustrating, especially since they have a negative impact on your decision-making. [note]Here's why your Shopify data doesn't match what you see in Google Analytics[/note] Luckily, Littledata provides an ideal solution. Their Shopify app, which automatically fixes your tracking. That means accurate data for shopper behavior, marketing attribution and more. [tip]Get a full month of accurate data — try Littledata free for 30 days[/tip] Not to mention, the app offers daily data audits and ecommerce benchmarks, so you can know exactly how your store stacks up against similar products. Wrapping up Returning visitors offer an incredible business opportunity. They are far more likely to buy and spend more on their purchases at that. However, to increase those repeat purchases, you need to engage returning visitors and keep them close to your brand. All that’s left is to start implementing the ones you liked the most in your store. Good luck! This is a guest post by Greg d’Aboville, Head of Growth at WisePops, a popup app. Greg has helped major brands like Fender, Nissan, and Skechers maximize lead generation strategies and 10X their results.
Subscribe to Littledata news
Insights from the experts in ecommerce analytics
Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores
Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment