Online store owners should tweak product, analyze customer data before changing website.

February 3rd, 2015

As the owner of a growing eCommerce business, you’re puzzled over the increase in cart abandonments on your site, even though traffic has shown an increase.

A lot of factors affect that moment when customers decide to leave the shopping cart. For one, they may not complete the order simply because of shipping policies: “Shipping-not-included” can send customers away.

But don’t make changes until…

…you really understand why your customers are not buying your products. Do this by following them on social media, and interacting with them.

Once you truly understand what makes them want to buy, and after those product tweaks, you can make changes to your web pages and relaunch.

An abandonment rate of 68%?

That’s the average percentage the Baymard Institute came up with during their study after following 27 different checkout sites.

Don’t neglect using ‘keywords.’

As we all know, those ‘page rankings’ can reward, or punish, business when keywords are not used properly.

One area that is often overlooked is failing to use keywords in the product specifications.

The payoff comes through speedier page reviews by visitors. In addition, these contextual copy lines that use keywords should also appear near product photos as well.

Keep websites simple…and fast loading.

No one wants to wait for pages to load, particular with unnecessary graphics and video clips. What’s needed is a strategy of intelligent website navigation.

Savvy eCommerce marketers use Google Analytics in order to monitor their web pages as well as shopping cart activity.

Contact us for more information on we can help you build your online store.

5 Keys To Successful Selling Online

January 3rd, 2015

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

“If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house…”

Of course, any marketing professional would argue that just having something good to sell isn’t enough. People have to be told about what you have to sell, and they have to be convinced that it is, indeed, good.

That assertion is as valid today in the online marketplace as it was in Emerson’s day. Unfortunately, many people who endeavor to sell online think that all they need to do is publish a website featuring their superior products, and the the world will beat a virtual “hard-beaten road” to their door. If only it were that easy.

While the internet has leveled the business playing field in many ways, it still requires good advertising copy. To help ensure that you publish ad copy on your website that will lead to more sales, here are 5 keys to great ad copy.

1. Make it about the customer, not you.

Here’s a newsflash for you: Your customers don’t really care about your tag line, your company mission, how large your staff is, or how many locations you have. Don’t get me wrong. All that fluffy stuff about you is fine for creating and building your brand. But when you’re advertising products, all people want to know is what you’re going to do for them.

Here’s a simple way to measure how your copy stacks up against this standard: The more you use words like “you”, “your”, and “yours”; as compared to words like “us”, “our”, or “ours”; the better your copy will be.

2. Make your point quickly.

We live in a world where people are exposed to so much information, they’re are on constant information overload. If they’re not drawn into your message immediately, you’ll lose them. So make your main point within the first two to three seconds of your message.

3. Use a conversational tone.

Equal in importance to making your point quickly is making your point well. The best way to do that is to write advertising copy in a conversational tone. Although people read with their eyes, they digest it through their mind’s ear, as though someone is speaking the words they’re reading. Using short words and short, lively sentences is best.

4. Describe the benefits.

We all know the difference between a product’s features and the benefits it delivers. If you think about it, features fall into the category of being all about you (your product is an extension of you). On the other hand, benefits are all about the customer. And, as we saw in key number 1, ad copy should be all about the customer.

5. Push emotional buttons.

The primary reasons why people buy what they buy are based on emotions. This includes business people. It’s only after they’ve decided they absolutely must have a particular product that they become interested in all the logical reasons to buy. So, before you begin to develop advertising copy, identify what emotional triggers you might pull. For example, if you were selling a skin care product, you’d want to focus on how beautiful your product will make women look, rather than the health benefits of the product. Those health benefits provide the logic that supports the emotional decision to buy.

You might have the best “corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell”; but unless you can entice people to buy, it will all be for naught. Applying these 5 keys to good ad copy will help make that happen.

To learn more about how to improve your online selling success, contact us online or call 1-416-410-9995.

Mobile Commerce Spreads Like Wild Fire in 2014

December 29th, 2014

The internet has greatly influenced how business is conducted nowadays with most people today doing their shopping online. When e-commerce came into being, business men and consumers equally benefited from this new development. Buying and selling of products has since then become fast and easy. With only an electronic gadget and an access to the internet, transactions have now been made possible at the comfort of ones home. However, e-commerce is just a tip of the ice berg. Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is presently taking all the credit for e-commerce since it has brought the market right in the pockets of the retailers and consumers.

With the increased technological developments in handheld devices including mobile phones, tablets and personal computers; shopping is as close to you as your wallet is. These is because a mobile device can easily allow access to the internet from any place and at any time without the need for a place to plug in. The developers of these wireless devices including Samsung, LG, Nokia and Sony Ericson have gone a long way releasing new up-to-standard smartphones and tablets that are enabled to access social networks and emails. This has eventually spearheaded the booming sector of m-commerce.People are now subscribing to m-banking, online purchasing of air tickets, hotel booking and reservations among others using their mobile applications that support m-commerce and mobile advertising. According to a report from inmobi.com, more of these consumers will use mobile commerce in the year 2014. They predicted that there will be a 15% rise in mobile commerce up to 83% in the next three months. This indicates that more and more people are trusting their mobile devices for making transactions. So what are the current trends in mobile commerce that are making it explode? They include:

  • Mobile advertising which is currently becoming very appealing to the consumers. Most entrepreneurs have turned to mobile marketing and with most of the targeted consumers owning a mobile device, it has become the best way to sell a product.
  • Mobile shopping; many businesses have heavily invested in creating mobile apps that will get their customers to buy their products.
  • Emergence of mobile payment services and the widespread use of the same. For instance, PayPal, Google wallet and Payoneer have attracted many buyers and sellers to use their services for their intended transactions.
  • Rise in mobile devices that can be worn like eyeglasses, a watch or a bracelet. The Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Google glass are good examples of this technology.
  • Designing of websites that are optimized for mobile devices is another trend in mobile commerce that is of great importance. This is done to avoid a poor, illegible website on the mobile devices so that the users can not understood what the website is meant for.

Mobile Commerce is still growing and in the years to come it shouldn’t surprise us if most transactions will be automated using your mobile device. It is a future that is indeed possible and we should be ready to embrace it.

For more information on mobile commerce and what it may mean to you, please contact us.

5 Shopping Cart Mistakes That Are Still Being Made

December 24th, 2014

Online shopping has been around for quite some time now. While there has been a long period of trial-and-error to see what works, there are some basic shopping cart mistakes that are still being made even by the “big boys” of ecommerce. Here are the top 5 and how to correct or avoid them:

  1. One screen size doesn’t fit all- In the old days of cyber-shopping, screen aspect ratios were fairly universal. Most monitors were based off of TV sets with a 4:3 ratio. Today, desktop monitors come in several different aspect ratios. People also shop extensively on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. If your page doesn’t look good on all of the devices people are likely to be using, you are more likely to lose sales. Solution: Use a “responsive web design that has somewhat different layouts depending on the device being used. According to some reports, users check their mobile devices 110 to 150 times a day, with some individuals checking around 900 times! With this kind of audience, you need to look your best on their screens.
  2. Long Checkout Procedures- Customers are likely to get frustrated with a lengthy checkout procedure, especially if it forces the customer through “upsell” and “add-on” screens. Trying to increase the sale at every point during the checkout process is tedious at best, sales-killing at worst. It’s like having a perfume saleslady standing next to you in line at the store, spritzing you with every scent she has while you’re trying to pay for your purchase. Some sites loop customers back to screens they’ve already filled out, adding confusion into an already frustrating mix. Internet Domain giant Go-Daddy had the title of “Most Hated Checkout Process On the Web“. Even after streamlining it didn’t seem too much better.Solution: Put your specials, add-ons, and upsell attempts long before the checkout line. Nobody will fault you for trying to make a bigger sale, but they will complain on social media if you hound the customer for it. Make your path to the checkout page straight and simple.
  3. Abandoned Carts- Window shoppers are the bane of any merchant. They browse around, handle the merchandise, then walk away without buying anything. There’s nothing you can really do to stop window shoppers. However, there are people who come to your store with every intention of buying, but abandon the process when surprise! they see the shipping costs finally revealed to them on the last page. Delivery time is another surprise that drives people away. Solution: Keep all of your attendant costs like shipping and handling up front. If an item is likely to need peripherals, make it clear, along with the cost. (For example, some older video game systems shipped with only one controller despite advertisements showing two players.) Also provide a “save for later” option as a gentle reminder for the returning customer of what they were interested in before. Finally, make your estimated delivery times clear and easily seen.
  4. Outsourced Checkout- Customers can feel confused or suspicious if they find themselves suddenly being sent to another site to pay. They thought they were doing business with Company “A” but now they have to pay Company “B”. Some might even think there was a problem in the URL and they’re about to give their personal information to a stranger. Solution: People like to do business all the way to the end with the same person or company. Host your cart on your site. This not only makes the customer feel more comfortable about who they’re doing business with, it also makes sure everything stays “on brand”.
  5. Forced Registration- Having to sign up just for the privilege of shopping at your store is a big turn-off for online shoppers. Having an inbox full of advertisements is a concern for many who are asked to register before they can hand over their money. It’s like forcing a customer to ask permission before you let them shop at your store, plus you’re forcing them to have yet another account name and password to remember. Some places can get away with it. Car parts stores, for example, ease the shopping process by asking if you want to register your car make and model. It makes finding parts easier for future purchases. Most retailers, however, have no real reason to insist on forcing someone to register just to shop. Solution: Get rid of the registration and log in buttons, or just make them optional. Provide a “Guest” option if you like, but respect a customer’s privacy. According to one cyber-shopper, “I’m not here to enter into a relationship. I just want to buy something.”

Internet shopping has been around since 1991.  Since that time it has been the goal of every ecommerce retailer not only to get people onto their sites, but to get them to complete the transaction and make a purchase. If you can avoid these 5 simple mistakes that date back to those olden days, you can convert lookers into buyers. We’d like to help you do that. Contact us today!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year

December 20th, 2014

Should You Avoid Facebook to Sell Online?

December 20th, 2014

As the most popular social media network, it’s almost always a given. To sell online, you must leverage Facebook along with other social environments such as Twitter and Google+ for success.

But it might not be the case for all ecommerce sites.

Based on some brands’ experiences, Facebook is not the priority it used to be. And it may not even be worth the time, effort, and money. Follow along as we look at why this is under debate, and what you should do about it to ensure you keep moving forward.

CopyBlogger and Facebook

As the authority in content marketing, CopyBlogger made news by killing its Facebook page. With 38,000 fans, it was shocking to see.

But in the post, CopyBlogger explains how Facebook had come to offer little value. Despite trying a number of post types, engagement numbers remained low. And to make a long story short, Facebook simply didn’t offer enough value to justify keeping the page.

Thus, they decided to pull the plug on Facebook, rather than wasting time and money in the page or leaving an inferior page up. This allowed them to devote more time and energy to what did work well for them—namely, Twitter and Google+, among others.

Your Situation

The above may not apply to you at all. Facebook could be your biggest driver of success across social media networks.

But this is about more than just Facebook. And the moral of the story is bigger than perspective on how some social networks can work better than others.

The real point here is that you should never put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your social media networks and evaluate a handful that works best for your brand. Add in email and other marketing forms to connect with your audience and sell online.

That’s the real recipe for success. Contact us for more.

American Comfort With Mobile Commerce Is Growing

December 16th, 2014

Your customers are probably already very comfortable with making purchases online. 10 years ago, purchasing products from a website was a nerve-wracking experience, but now its as common as running to the grocery store to buy some milk.

Online security has gotten better, shipping has gotten more efficient and people have become experts at scouring the web for the best deal from a reputable website. Now that online purchases are so common, the next step in e-commerce is beginning. Right now, mobile commerce may seem like it is a fringe market, but soon it will be just as common as online purchases are now.  Your customers will expect you to have mobile commerce options for them.

A recent study by Gartner’s shows just how quickly mobile commerce will become common place. According to the Mobile Commerce Press article ”Interest In Mobile Payment Is Growing Rapidly In The US”

“Gartner’s study predicts that mobile commerce revenue in the U.S. will account for 50% of all digital commerce revenue by 2017. This growth is expected to be powered by the growing attention mobile commerce is receiving and the increased capabilities of smartphones and tablets, as well as the applications they use.”

New technology, like the payment feature on the iPhone 6 will help to normalize the process of making purchases using a phone, and as smartphone technology continues to improve, it won’t be long before everyone with a smart phone feels really comfortable using them to make purchases. If you want to make sure your business is keeping up with commerce trends, please contact us. We want to help your business succeed.

Leveraging Instagram for Your Online Store

October 20th, 2014

Are you making the most of social media for your online store? According to Forbes’ Lydia Dishman, there’s more out there than just Facebook, Twitter, and even Google+.

It appears that Instagram should be high on your list, as well.

Take a look at some stats on this growing social network. We’ll also cover some ways you can use Instagram to boost your online sales.

Just How Powerful Is Instagram?

According to Dishman, Instagram has 15 times more engagement than Facebook. It also beats Twitter and Google+ in this category, based on research from L2.

As a result, brands have embraced the photo-centric social network, as seen in the following stats:

  • 91 percent of retail brands use Instagram to sell online.
  • After Coach took to Instagram and used the #CoachFromAbove hashtag, the brand saw a five-to-seven percent lift in conversion rates and a two percent boos in the average order value.
  • Michael Kors gained 34,000 followers within 18 hours of posting a November 1 ad.
  • Macy’s boosted follower counts by 15 percent, and had a 128 percent engagement rate throughout the next month.

Reaping the Benefits

Using Instagram doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are plenty of simple ways that you can enhance your online store by building your presence on this network.

Simply including product photos can be effective. Try posting pictures of your product in action, so that users can experience your product. You can also ask your audience to post pictures—and respond by placing them on your brand’s Instagram account.

Don’t be afraid to get creative. Post behind the scenes pictures of your company to allow your audience to connect to what you do. You can also run campaigns and contests that spark interest.

Use these strategies to grow your brand and link people to your online store. For more on Instagram and other ways to build your online store, contact us today.

Twitter Announces Mobile Commerce Efforts

October 9th, 2014

Online shopping has become incredibly common place. The kinds of concerns over security and selection that made people hesitate before making a purchase online a decade ago, have all but resolved themselves, and shopping online is now seen as convenient and practical.

Of course it was only a matter of time before social networking sites like facebook and twitter, trying to monetize their free sites, move beyond just hosting ads and start experimenting with ways to add mobile commerce to their sites.

Social networking sites are still early in their efforts to offer shopping directly from their sites, but soon companies who have online sales systems may need to learn how to integrate with sites like facebook and twitter.

According to the Wall Street Journal article “Twitter Tests Mobile Commerce with ‘Buy’ Button,” by Erin McCarthy,

“The social media company said on its blog Monday that it is testing a way for users to buy products on Twitter, and the move is an early step in its plans to make mobile shopping easy and accessible. A small percentage of U.S. users will see a “Buy” button on tweets from Twitter’s test partners, which will allow consumers to buy a product directly from the tweet.”

Its easy to imagine that one day in the not too distant future your online store will need an option for purchases made through social media sites. For now, it’s important to be sure your mobile commerce options are easy for your customers to access.  Please contact us to find out how our shopping cart options for your mobile store will give you a sales advantage. We stay on top of online shopping trends so you can focus on your product and your customer.

Reducing shopping cart abandonment with better product showcase

October 3rd, 2014

One of the major differences between a brick-and-mortar store, and an online store is how the customer interacts with your product before purchasing it. Whether you are selling a physical product or a service, keep in mind that you need to create an inviting and easy to navigate environment for your customer.

Think of your website as your online showroom. Set up at atmosphere that fits your product, include detailed product description, and use only high-quality images. You want to make a good first impression, and you want to be able to really impress your customers. Many shopping carts are abandoned because a customer became too inconvenienced or too distracted by the ecommerce system in place. On the other hand, a positive, and simple ecommerce experience will encourage customers to return to your webpage for future purchases.

Here are some tips to make your product showcase more effective, and encourage clients to return:

Make it searchable: This one is simple. The easier a product is to find, the easier it is to buy. One of the major draws of purchasing from an online store, it the convenience of being able to purchase it from your own home. If it is impossible to find the product, the customer may just have well tracked it down and found it in a brick and mortar store.

 

Make it personal: One of the major complaints about online shopping is how impersonal it is. Allowing the customer to create an account with the company is a good start, but a better solution to this problem is adding a “personalized suggestions” section for each customer, order tracking, online customer service support, or allowing the customers to browse what items are commonly purchased together. Anything to make the customer feel more as if they are being listened to and cared for.

 

Make it fast: Lastly, as was stressed in the earlier paragraph, make sure your site is convenient, and quick. People choose online shopping for the ease, and the speed of making a purchase. There are no lines to wait in, no traffic, no parking, not store hours to worry about—but all this becomes a moot point if the customer struggles to make their purchase. One solution to this is allowing customers to save preferences like their clothing size, preferred credit cards, and multiple shipping addresses.

 

With these tips you should be able to decrease the amount of shopping cart abandonment on your eCommerce website, and gain a broader base of returning clients.