By Amanda Walters
June 10, 2013
ZippyCart’s Shopping Cart Software Reviews will help you find eCommerce solutions that provide tools to help in engaging your audience.
When you embark on setting up your business, or even if you are simply focusing on growing your brand, you need to make sure you are engaging your audience. Without engagement, you cannot truly know your audience, you cannot see where you are going right or wrong.
The obvious way to engage is socially. You can get started on building this up yourself; exploring and experimenting are key. If you are setting up a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn page, make sure you have engaging content to post before you start focus on engaging your audience. If you already have your social networking pages set up, this will not be a problem. Use the tools within these to find out who your online audience is, you can then begin tailoring the content you send out in order to get the feedback and growth you desire.
In order to make money from these mediums, you need to have in the region of approximately 10,000 likes/followers, or a smaller target audience that is extremely motivated to spend on your product. Once you have grown your quality followers, you can set up a content marketing strategy. This should be insightful information that will bear relevance to your target audience and keep them engaged in your brand. It is not just about selling your product, you want to appear trustworthy and interesting while being a useful source of information that people can come back to.
Once you have achieved a greater following you will need to make sure you have the correct tools on your website in order to convert traffic into sales. If you need help with your feature lineup, ZippyCart’s comparison chart and expert ecommerce software reviews can help online merchants find the tools they need by reviewing the best shopping cart solution for their needs.
Over a period of time, you will be able to follow analytics to learn when your audience is most likely to click on your links. From these stats, work out how to best to structure your content and achieve a higher click through rate. You can also find out what type of images your audience prefers and how to keep your engagement levels up.
Facebook and Pinterest are the leaders when it comes to making money from your social networking pages. Also, through the use of content targeting, Facebook allows you to essentially split test between males and females, people in the UK versus USA and so on.
Interactive content and applications are fantastic, as they give greater flexibility to explain or engage your users. Interactive content can be as simple as an interface to link images and text together, or as complex as a 3D product configuration, allowing on-line customers to customize products in real-time.
Not only will engaging your audience bring about greater traffic, conversions, but also enable you to enhance your products from the feedback you get.
Guest author Amanda Walters is a journalist, blogger, poet and an artist. Having written for various websites including Huffington Post, DailyWaffle and having her concrete poetry work exhibited at university events in the UK. She loves to network, working with an array of clients including You The Designer and dhub, as well as attending events across the UK.
By Glen B
June 3, 2013
What steps do SEO Specialists need to consider for the 2nd half of 2013?
The year 2012 was one heck of an exciting and thrilling ride for all Search Engine Optimization Specialists as the challenge of keeping website SEO strategies Panda Proof is a top priority. The year 2013 has welcomed ecommerce website entrepreneurs, web designers and developers, and internet marketing specialists with more challenges for ecommerce growth. People are increasingly not limiting themselves to only desktop PCs and laptops, but enjoying other mobile devices like smartphones, android phones, and tablets, as well. What are the best SEO tips and what steps do SEO Specialists need to consider with these developments in technology and as well as in search engines in mind?
Here are some of the Best SEO Tips for 2013 ecommerce.
- Track your SERP ranks, evaluate your backlinks, and research for new possible keywords.
The most important task in SEO is creating a background as to where your website is in terms of SERP rankings, quantity and quality of backlinks, list of strategies done so far, and new possible keywords that you can work on. Tools like the Google Analytics, Google Webmasters, Google AdWords Keyword Tool, SEO Powersuite Rank Tracker, and any spreadsheet software can already help you fulfill this step. By way of creating a solid background as to where your website is in terms of rankings, it paves way to developing smarter strategies and decisions that improve the website traffic and increase website leads.
- Decide on what to do with the data that you have and put it to action.
The data that you have coming from the tools that you use will only be just plain data when you do not do anything about it. Translate the data into knowledge, process the knowledge into an insight, develop strategies to create actions for the insight that you have, and evaluate results. Check on how your traffic increased every time you publish a new blog entry and evaluate what sorts of blog entries your audience engage themselves more into (reviewing on traffic scores and bounce rates will help you out on this).
- Improve your website content, most especially the information you write on your product pages.
The Product Title, Product Image description and alternate text, and the product description when optimized will not only help increase search engine rankings on the keywords you are using but as well as help increase interest from your audience that may lead them to buy the product.
- Use high quality product images.
More and more ecommerce website owners are now aware about providing the best product images in their websites because it affects the purchasing decisions of their audience. However, high quality product images may also mean huge-sized images that may slow down the website speed. To make sure that this does not happen, it is best to use images with sizes that are exact and not assign a code to increase or reduce sizes. A jQuery product gallery plugin is also helpful in creating a professional look to the images that you provide, and too, this will allow you to place different faces of the product to let customers see it on different sides. Online shopping tools also have the ability to allow customers to see the product image in a better view by zooming in and out. Whatever your budget suits you, for as long as it does not affect the quality of your website, it will be good enough.
- Increase the number of internal links by providing links to the weaker pages to the more important pages of your website.
This allows a stronger link flow which becomes more engaging from the customers’ point of view. One example is adding recommended links in product pages to other pages related to that product.
- Update your website or your ecommerce website’s blog with fresh and relevant content.
Fresh and relevant content also means having to endorse tools and other products similar to yours which you think will be interesting and helpful to your readers. This also helps you gain trust from other relevant websites and eventually link to your posts as well.
Some back linking techniques are really good in terms of positioning your website in SERP, well, quicker than you can. However, you need to be wary about some tools and services as these may also affect your website in a major way once search engine updates are made available. Keep in mind that SEO tips work best when you make your audience the priority (making sure that they are informed through optimizing your content and your entire website) than getting ranked in search engines.
Do you have an 2013 SEO tips to share?
Guest author Glen B is a part of the NetiDnow.com team which seeks to provide an ecommerce website builder to help business owners to create a website in minutes using a drag and drap interface.
Finding your target audience is an important step in setting up an online store!
By the ZippyCart eCom team
May 29, 2013
Do you run an online store? Thinking about starting one up? Ok, great… who’s your target audience? Please don’t give an answer like ‘all age groups 18-55’. If your answer is something this vague, you may need help with How to Find the Target Audience for Your Online Store. You can’t target everyone. That would be an impossible task that requires too many marketing dollars. You need to define your audience and narrow it to your specific niche… that’s what we call finding your ‘target audience’.
It’s very important to find your target audience early in the game. No matter how well you’ve set up your store or how amazing your product is, you can’t sell effectively if you don’t know who your target audience is. There are many factors that play into finding you’re the buyers for your specific market. We mentioned age group earlier but here are a few more, of the dozens more to consider…
- Geographical Location
- Academic Qualification
- Technical Capability
- Family Size
I’m citing these essential factors to make you aware as to how the traits of a target audience may vary from one niche to another. The one major benefit of figuring out your target audience is to be able to focus your marketing dollars and sell your products to those people who are actually interested. You can’t sell everything to everyone… you’ll go broke with too broad of a marketing campaign.
There are several huge benefits in determining who the target audience for your online business actually is. When you know your target audience really well and understand how they may think, it’s easier to reach out to them and figure out which platforms are right for your sales efforts. Knowing your target market also helps build brand loyalty and an appealing online reputation. You’ll be able to reach out and socialize with them in a way that’s appropriate and fun… which also increases sales, in the long run.
These strategies will put you in a better position to showcase yourself as an expert. In turn, your target audience will be attracted to news and posts from experts in their field of interest.
When you want to figure out the target audience for your online store, one surefire way of getting started is to have a closer look at your current customers or the existing customer base of your established competitors. Your best customers or the core target audiences actually come from your existing customer base. Study them… get to know them. You can reach out to them via email, social media and online surveys among others. The more you study or analyze your current customers, the more knowledge you’ll again about the kind of audience that will benefit your online business the most.
With the results of this study, you can also create the profile of an idea customer for your online store. By knowing the persona of your ideal customer, you can build an image in your head. Whether it’s the content on your e-commerce website, your email newsletters, social media or your blog, you’ll be able to communicate with the specific group of people that constitutes the target audience for your online business. It’s then when you can create a highly focused marketing campaign to maximize conversions.
Don’t sell everything to everyone just because seems a lot easier. Find your target audience, and watch your loyalty and profits soar. After all, the easy path is not the right path, most of the time.
By Andrew Lisa
May 27, 2013
Good software makes all the difference when it comes to invoicing.
Invoicing is something that every business has to do and almost every business owner dreads the most. While collecting money is great, the process by which you collect it takes valuable time and energy away from improving your business and working on your strategy. A slip angers clients and messes up your numbers. This is why everyone needs invoicing pointers!
Your books have to be straight, but does keeping them straight have to be a nightmare? Follow this guide to taking the pain out of invoicing.
Get Good Software
There are places in your business where you can use to cut corners. Your accounting, bookkeeping, and invoicing software isn’t one of them.
Get stable, reputable software that automatically tracks what’s going in and coming out. That’s not to say that it has to be expensive. Major corporations need to spend big money on big software packages. You may not. You can probably afford a good program, or even get started with free online software that’s fairly comprehensive, like OutRight.
Your eCommerce site and invoicing software should be fully integrated.
Get Started with an Integrated eCommerce Company
The firm you hire to build your Web site and online store should work seamlessly with your invoicing software. PinnacleCart, CoreCommerce, and BigCommerce are all great shopping cart software that offer full integration with payment processors like PayPal, Google Checkout, Amazon Checkout, and QuickBooks.
Keep track of your inventory, sales, expenditures, and invoicing by starting with an eCommerce software that makes it easy and intuitive.
Establish Policies and Articulate Them Up Front
You want to be paid after doing work for a client. Occasionally, you’ll encounter a client who can’t or won’t pay on time, who will make frivolous disputes, or will be difficult to get in touch with after the job is done.
By establishing clear policies written in plain English that the client sees and signs off on before the work is started, you can save yourself a headache and potential confrontation down the road.
Don’t presume you’re going to remember the minutia of any transaction with the passage of time. By making notes, it’ll jog your memory when it comes time to bill, when it comes time to pay taxes, and — most importantly — if any client disputes arise in the future. This is one of the simplest invoicing pointers that people forget!
Do Your Invoices a Little at a Time
There are few things more daunting than facing a mountain of invoices you absolutely can’t put off for another day. By taking care of them in small batches as they come in, you not only avoid a pileup, but ensure accuracy by recording your transactions while they’re fresh.
Clean books and good client billing can be the thing that keeps a business afloat during lean times. Bad invoicing can sink an otherwise strong enterprise. Take the grind out of one of the most tedious parts of any business by setting and following good invoicing practices.
What are your favorite invoicing pointers?! We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Guest author Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about a variety of online business issues, including how to improve reviews.
Photo1 courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo2 courtesy of Renjish Krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Every member of your work force should have basic, professional customer service skills!
By Wayne Baumgartner
May 20, 2013
Perhaps the most valuable service or product that any business can offer is its customer service. Through the client, a business grows, expands, and succeeds. This means that customer service skills should be required from all staff members, regardless of their position within a business.
While your entire workforce is responsible in helping the customer reach their goal, to the best ability, it is the sole duty of an individual representative to ensure consistent and effective handling of the customer. There are several customer service skills that can be incorporated into your staff that will make or break a loyal relationship.
Initially, you must always be ready to handle both complaint and compliment positively. For the most part, complaints are the most popular topic of conversation, but it is equally important to know how to react to a compliment.
- For the best customer retention, put yourself in their shoes
Consider what the customer wants from you. Empathize with them. How do they feel? Can you relate yourself to their situation? The practical thing to do here is to humanize yourself while still representing your business. In most scenarios, the customer simply wants you to listen to them… and that takes good customer service skills. Rather than offering a variety of solutions, they want you to listen to their particular scenario – because it’s what they know right now.
You must also be able to give the customer control of the situation to enable their confidence in you. Help them trust you. How can you help them help you? One of the best questions you can ask your customer is: “What can I do to resolve this situation?” Rather than simply saying: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do,” go the distance and listen to their solution. Can you compromise? Are they reasonable? When the customer feels they have charge, they are often far easier to satisfy.
- Right what they feel is wrong
Argument is never the direction to go. You shouldn’t try to convince them that there is nothing wrong or they’re making too much of a situation. Instead, bust out your customer service skills and focus on righting what they feel is wrong and keep your existing customers on-board. It’s well-known that customer retention costs an online business owner much less than customer acquisition does so, think about how your customer may feel at the end of the conversation. It is up to you to define what it is that makes your business strong by keeping the customer satisfied. You must build your business and online reputation in a positive and proactive way that will carry beyond one single interaction.
- An ongoing relationship will increase customer loyalty
Following up afterwards is perhaps one of the most powerful of all customer service techniques. Issues don’t often get resolved as soon as the headset goes down, and not all feelings of satisfaction are established immediately.
A simple call can make all the difference in any situation. If there’s been an issue previously, they may be encountering it again. It is up to you, as a representative for your business, to ensure their ongoing satisfaction and customer loyalty. It’s an ongoing process that never ends and satisfaction comes from knowing that your business is always there for them, through the good and the bad.
Customer loyalty and strong relationships are developed through good customer service skills. It’s vital that all employees have them at some time or another in their career with an online business. And while customers will often call with complaints, when you treat them with respect, they’re likely to call back with compliments as well.
Guest author Wayne Baumgartner is a small business owner who takes care of customers using old fashion customer service skills and specializes in one industry -headsets!
By Mary Weinstein
May 13, 2013
Every sales quarter, CPC Strategy conducts a study on the top shopping channels, including Google Shopping on seller metrics such as traffic and revenue. For Q1, Google shopping traffic almost doubled.
CPC Strategy’s 2012 Ecommerce Industry Report compares Google Shopping against rival shopping engine Amazon Product Ads. It analyzes the sales data of more than 200 online retailers with a buying power of more than $5 billion.
- Google Shopping conversion rates dropped for the fourth straight quarter, decreasing from 3.0931% in Q4 2011 to 2.4018% in Q4 2012, a YoY decrease of 22.35%.
- In Q4 2011 Google Shopping was sending merchants 79% of the traffic Amazon Product Ads was sending. In Q4 2012, Google Shopping now sends merchants nearly double the traffic that Amazon Product Ads does, 96.08% more.
- Google Shopping was on average 32.77% more cost-effective for merchants during Q3 and Q4 2012 than Amazon Product Ads.
To read more, feel free to head over to this Q4 CSE Rankings article
Google Shopping is a shopping engine which warrants merchant attention. An increase in traffic such as we seen from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013 is just another reminder of how important the paid campaign is for online marketers.
Guest author Mary Weinstein is Content Manager at CPC Strategy, with extensive experience in all things Ecommerce, comparison shopping (CSE) management, Google Shopping and digital marketing. A NY native, Mary spends her time discussing CSE strategy with online merchants, hiking and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
By the ZippyCart eCom team
May 7, 2013
Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are growing their active users count by millions. The number of active users on Facebook has totaled up to 700 million while Google+ has 300 million of them. Twitter is also not far behind with around 200 million active users.
Certainly, social media is unavoidable!
As the owner of an online store or an e-commerce business, you too have a serious responsibility to leverage the potential of social media. By integrating social media into your overall marketing plan, you can quickly gain an extra edge over your rivals and make more profits. Fortunately, most of ZippyCart’s top ecommerce solutions software choices come along with built-in social media managers, making things easier for you. (Just check in on our shopping cart reviews for more info on that.)
But before you jump onto the social media bandwagon, you really need to know how you should go about using social media networks, what you should do and what you should avoid doing.
If you want to take your e-commerce business to the next level by using social media marketing to your benefits, given below are some of the most important do’s and don’ts to make yourself aware of.
- Do Have an Active Presence
Regular activity is the very first thing that you need to keep at the top of your mind. If you post updates to social media networks only when you want, appear for a week and then disappear for a long stretch of time, you are giving your target audience a good reason to throw you out of their minds. They’ll forget about you very soon. Your followers count will never increase.
Most of the e-commerce business owners think they don’t have enough to post to their company’s social media pages. Come on, a lot of things keep happening to your small business. If you get yourself a little creative, you’ll have lots of things to post, share or tweet about.
- Do Focus on Variety
‘Variety is the spice of life’ – this applies to your social media participation too. Your audience is certainly hungry for useful information and updates, but they appreciate variety more than anything else. So, remember to share links, pictures, infographics and videos among others.
- Do Listen More and More
To achieve success with social media as an e-commerce or online business owner, you also need to be an avid listener. Social media marketing is not for talking about yourself or your products without showing any concern about what your audience has to say. In fact, you should try to listen as much as possible to find opportunities you can use to your benefits.
- Don’t Oversell
Remember, the more you sell, the less you’ll sell. After all, social media is not for selling products or services directly. Social media marketing or participation is all about building relationships, engaging the target audience in conversations and creating advocates for your brand. Constant blatant promotion will not get you anywhere. If you are posting 10 updates in a day, for example, talk about your products just 1-2 times. No more than that!
- Don’t Forget to Respond!
As a smart e-commerce business owner, you should never make the mistake of overlooking people who take the time to converse with you. When people want to interact with you, it’s your opportunity to respond to what they are saying, showcase your expertise and establish relationships.
- Don’t Get Personal
While participating at social media, you’ll come across with different types of people and comments. Always bear in mind not to get too personal with anyone or share your personal beliefs on political or religious issues. By getting personal with these sensitive issues, you can easily harm your reputation.
Also, don’t get too heated, sarcastic or even affectionate in your responses to comments, reviews or online dialog. Remember that everything you or your employees say will reflect back on your company… and people will remember the ‘bad’ much longer!
With these tips and the built-in social media managers that are found in all of the ecommerce solutions software that are found in ZippyCart’s favorites and ecommerce platform reviews, you’ll be on your way to a balanced social media life in no time!
Blogging is a great, free way to attract traffic to your online business!
By the ZippyCart eCom team
May 1, 2013
There are many ways that you can attract traffic to your online store. What you need to figure out is… which are the most effective ways to generate more traffic from your niche market? Sure, building an attractive online store with a good e-commerce solution (aka shopping cart software) is the most essential first step in bringing traffic your way, but there are many steps that follow. Some e-merchants choose to go for paid advertising, SEO and promotion for increasing traffic but there are other options that are free. One of the best ones is having an online blog attached to your online business.
In case you didn’t get the memo, attaching a blog to your online store is thought to be one of the best things you can do to attract more traffic for free. Setting up a blog isn’t a tough nut to crack either. In fact, a blog set up usually comes standard with most of the e-commerce solution software featured in the Zippy Cart Top Picks.
What’s more important, however, is that you know how to use your blog to drive more website traffic and attract the type of audience that will convert to sales.
Below are some of the most useful tips on how to use a blog to attract lots of traffic to an online store.
Focus on Keywords
This is where the game of SEO begins. Before you start writing content for your blog, you should choose the right keywords to optimize for the needs of your online business. It’s those terms that will attract search engines and rank your site for people who are searching in your marekt. What are the main keywords that you would like to target? If you don’t have a good idea (and even if you think you do) you should check-out tools such as GoogleAdWords and see what they say.
In terms of choosing SEO keywords, you should remember to be neither too broad nor too specific. You need to focus on those keywords that you think have a fair search volume and are less competitive as far as ranking at the top of search engines is concerned. Also, find ways to insert them properly into your blogs, so they flow well and make sense.
If you spend adequate time on keyword research and use them properly in your blogs, you should see the effects increase your traffic!
Create Top Quality Content
While it’s essential to focus on SEO, you can never achieve success until you pair it with top quality content. To make your e-commerce blog work really well, identify the target audience and figure out what they want to read about. It’s only when you know what they want that you can offer content to solve their day-to-day issues.
Creating top quality, relevant content for your blog is a time consuming task and can chip away at precious work hours. Consider hiring a professional blog writer for this task so you and your specialized staff are free to look after other important tasks.
Quality blogs work when they’re frequent and consistent. Once your target audience becomes aware of your e-commerce blog and start liking the quality of content, they’ll want to visit over and over again. That’s exactly where you need to be consistent with your publishing schedule. Remember, the audience is hungry for top quality information. If you publish great content on a consistent basis, the first-time visitors will soon become regular visitors (i.e. prospects) and will share you content through their social media market, as well.
An editorial calendar can help you schedule blogs in a manner that makes sense with your market. With an editorial content calendar, you can plan all your content topics in advance, have them completed in time and make them go live exactly when you want. That’s how you’ll have a consistent publishing schedule.
Do you have any questions or comments? Please let us know in comments.
Offering a variety of image tools and great product images will help boost your sales!
By Ricky Tsao
March 27, 2013
Years ago, I was a Planogram team member for a Target. My whole job was to influence the customer’s purchase decisions by placing and displaying products in a certain way. From signage to posters, display shelves and in-store advertising, Target put the utmost care and attention to how products are shown to customers. This tactic is used in all major brick-and-mortar retailers throughout the world, as well as in the e-commerce market.
Image Manpulation Features and Tools
In the e-commerce world, we use product images to influence our customers. Due to their inability to touch, smell, see, and hold a product like you would at a physical retailer, image is the only way an online customer can interact with your product. Because of this limitation, it’s important to make sure your e-commerce solutions software provides a variety of appropriate features and tools that will make your images standout. eMerchants need to make-up for the absence of the real world purchase by giving them every angle and zoom they could possibly want from a product image.
Quality and Size
The size and quality of the image have a direct correlation to how the buyer sees the product. For example, if you are selling chocolate, a hi-def, crisp image of a chocolate will help give the buyer a feel of freshness, quality ingredients, and value. Small blurry pictures will make the buyer feel the chocolates are stale, untasty, and boring.
Make sure online shoppers can enlarge the product image they’d like to see.
Naturally, a high quality image have a much higher influence to the buyer than smaller low quality images. Therefore, make sure the e-commerce software you are using have options to show large, hi-def quality images. It should provide ways for you to organize your products, display thumbnails, and let your customers see enlarged high resolution images.
Say you have a very simple product, such as a book. Do we put on a gleaming photo of the book and consider it done? No. You want to have different ways for your customers to see your product. Just like in the physical world, you want your e-commerce software to offer options to have multipe image perspective of your product. A good way to show off the many perspectives of your book is to have photos for front cover, back cover, and numerous inside pages. If you are to sell clothing, you should have three or more photos showing the front, back, and side. It will also be helpful to let the customer see different colors. Bottom line: always give your customers multiple perspectives to see the product in order to simulate reality. The e-commerce software you are using should have features to let you display different perspectives of your product.
Image tools help increase sales!
In order to push the limit on simulating reality, we use technology to add features such as rotation, zoom and magnification. For example, if you are to sell electronics such as a laptop or camera, an image rotation will be helpful.
Zooming in let’s the customer see product details.
If you are to sell clothing, magnification will be perfect so it can show the fabric in detail. Other options such as side by side comparison would also be ideal in a clothing e-commerce site. The bottom line is to recreate the shopping experience as if the customer is at the retail store physically.
We list below some minimal image manipulation features your e-commerce software should provide:
- Supports image magnify, zoom, lightbox, and enlarge
- Generates thumbnails and catalog page images automatically
- Ability to resize images on the fly
- Control image placement on product and catalog pages
- Create photo galleries
- Display / hide images with a mouse click
Because you have many high quality images and image manipulation features, you need to make sure your e-commerce hosting solution can serve data fast. The options available out there is Virtual hosting vs Dedicated hosting.
Most small to medium-sized sites use virtual hosting, where a number of Web sites reside on the same server. Large and/or busy sites usually can’t share server space because the volume of Web traffic from many sites would quickly overwhelm the server. If your current hosting solution contacts you about your wesite being too busy, look for an e-commerce solution that offers dedicated hosting.
E-commerce is serious business with heavy hitting competitors so you need every advantage in encouraging your customers to purchase. One of the best ways is to provide image features that can help your customers see the product. Make sure the e-commerce software you are using has the appropriate tools and features to show off your specific product line. By using your e-commerce software’s image manipulation tools, you can fully engage your users to see and feel your product, leading to increased revenue and profit for your company.
Remarketing targets online shoppers based on traits such as demographics, purchase history, and viewing history.
By Ricky Tsao
March 20, 2013
A lot of small to medium businesses consider paid advertising for their online marketing purposes. Typically, an SMB would use a service like Google AdWords. However, the reality is that it can cost a lot to get enough conversions (number of sales, or goals, divided by visits) so you may want to look at other options if you’re just getting started.
Depending on your niche market, it may be very expensive to pay for keywords that fit your online business. If you can’t pay the high prices required, the volume of search turnout can be very low, making it a bad marketing investment. In order to compete with similar and more established eCommerce stores in the same market, you may have to be more creative.
This is where Google Analytics Remarketing strategy comes in. Remarketing is a behavior-targeted feature that targets consumers based on traits such as demographics, purchase history, viewing history, and other second-order activities. This serves to increase conversion rates and sales. In other words, it let advertisers display their ads on the Google Content Network, to users who have already visited their website. The main goal is to serve these ads to many of these users because they already have an interest in the product or service that the advertisers are offering. The chances of an online shopper clicking on your ad and converting are much higher given their previous interest in visiting the advertiser’s site.
How it works
The key component that makes remarketing a success is that your target audience has already shown interest in your product or brand and has visited your site. When they do, a cookie file will be put onto their browser, which adds them to a re-marketing list. When they visit other web pages where Google ads are used, your ad campaign will appear on those designated Google ad sections. So say you sell jeans. If a customer were to visit your web store, ‘Zippy Jeans’, they’d be cookied based on what they browsed or items that were added to their cart but then abandoned. Later, they Google ‘jeans’ and go to another web page that talks about jeans. If the key words and other information match, your Zippy Jeans ad will appear on their page. This reminds them of your presence, any ad campaigns you have going on, and can increase the connection between you and your customers. It’s branding at its finest.
Yes, you can target your users by the pages they visit. If they mostly visited Zippy Jean’s section on boot-cut dark denims, you can choose to create a re-marketing list based on that preference which targets them specifically. Later, when they visit other e-commerce pages that deal with keywords such as boot-cut or dark denims, once again, your ad will appear.
You can also throw different ads at customer who just browsed a little bit of everything and left quickly. You can track these customers and maybe give them a special online coupon special to entice them in shopping at your store. Buy one get one free? 50% off? It’s up to you. But the strategy is simple; you can track customers and tailor your ads to them through interest-based traits.
Ninety-six percent of site visitors leave and miss the user actions that marketers want them to take. Seventy percent of shoppers abandon their shopping cart without checking out. What if you can literally follow them throughout the internet and entice them to come back to your site? With re-marketing and Google Analytics, you can deliver ads targeted at specific user interests shown during their previous visits to your site. It also let’s you create a variety of unique and precise lists in order to develop more flexible and relevant ad campaigns. From recent visitor lists to abandoned shopping carts, customer locations to sequence of visits, you can follow your customer base throughout the web and entice them to come back. As a result, you turn missed opportunities into new business.
By Kinjal Adeshara
March 11, 2013
“Ecommerce” will continue to be a buzz word in 2013 and while this comes as no surprise, what needs to be seen is what will be the trends that will power this domain. Ecommerce will definitely evolve as it did in the past years but this evolutionary process is going to accelerate.
- More Personalized Services
No, personalized services may not something that is fresh or unique but, this is going to be a continuing popular trend. The focus, however, will be on offering as personalized a product or service as possible. There are new technologies that will monitor and analyze the buying pattern of consumers to bring forth some startling revelations as far as consumers buying decisions are concerned. This will help you personalize the content to suit the specific needs and requirements of your target audience.
- Ecommerce will align with Mcommerce Again this is a trend that we are witnessing, but this alignment will happen far more seamlessly this year. Your site will need to be mobile compliant, that’s a given, but that’s not something that will have you laughing to the bank. What your future buyers will look forward to is a better, more intuitive and highly engaging shopping experience that makes shopping a largely interactive process. They are looking to form a deep connect with the product or service they want to buy and they will expect this from an integration of web and mobility.
- Augmented Reality The adoption of this technology will come of age this year and the years beyond. The first trend that I mentioned was that Ecommerce will become more personal, well it is this technology that will play an important role in bringing this about. So, the next time you are moving through a particular store, don’t be surprised if you start getting information about the store, the various products it has on offer and the various offers on the same; all this, as you keep moving through the different parts of the store. 2013 will be shopping at its finest yet.
- Cross Channel Targeting of the Same Consumer Right, you have a product and you believe that an SEO campaign is the best fit, as far as its online promotion is concerned. Well, while SEO is important, this kind of thinking will have competition in 2013 as you will be forced to target your consumer through various marketing channels. Yes, it will be the same consumer, but you will be keeping at him, from all directions. So, yes, there will be an SEO campaign that will be launched, but also of importance will be a presence on social media, and you of course wouldn’t want to miss out on targeting him through his mobile device. Integrated marketing campaigns will be the name of the game.
- More focus on Social Network Integration Can’t miss out on this one can we? There will be more and better social network integration than ever before. As we keep using social media for marketing our products and services, we are getting better and better at it. Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter keep getting better and better and new ones like Pinterest allow us to explore new avenues for establishing a social media footprint for business benefit. The integration of social media with an Ecommerce solution will become even more intensive and incisive in 2013. What’s more, with the plethora of options on hand, you will be hard pressed to choose the one that suits your needs and requirements best
- Customization of Products and Services – Consumer in Charge Heard about ‘Web-to-Print’, ‘Design your own T-shirt’ etc.? These are all examples of the kind of solutions that put the consumer in charge of the designing and customization process of the product that he/she wants to buy. Yes, customization was, is and will always be important to sell products and services, but now the merchant will increasingly allow the target consumers to tailor make the product, as per their specifications. Ecommerce as its stands will never be the same again.
- Content What you say, will become even more important this year. As competition increases and the need for accurate information become even more paramount, the significance of content will keep getting bigger and bigger. The presentation of your content in terms of form, style, tone and facts will decide whether the sales of your products and/or services increase or remain stagnant or for that matter go down.
- Think Global but Go Local Even if you are targeting a global market, the focus will still be on thinking ‘local’. Niche oriented Ecommerce will rule as people will keep looking for products and services through local search. So, even an enterprise level organization will need to ensure that its marketing is focused on specific locations/regions; if they want they can target different markets with different campaigns, with each campaign keeping in mind the needs, interests, preferences and buying behavior of the local population.
- Responsive Ecommerce You have heard of responsive design (it will be huge in 2013), but as an online business owner, what you also need to take note of is responsive Ecommerce. All eMerchants will need to quickly respond to the needs of their target consumers and if they cannot, they will need to adapt to the changing demands of the market to respond as their consumers expect them to.
- Keep it Simple At the end of the day, the lesser the complications, the better you can control a particular process. So, Ecommerce will become more compartmentalized, where merchants and marketers will not try and do a lot of things, but will want to do a few of the things perfectly. As can be imagined, each aspect of Ecommerce is going to be consumer focused and it’s upon the merchants to identify which is that collection of strategies that will help them zero in on a profit generating Ecommerce campaign.
Guest author Kinjal Adeshara is a web enthusiastic and blogger who interested in all things, software, web design especially ecommerce website development. She is also work with Rightway Solution which is offshore Software Development Company. She loved to write articles and shares new, exciting and informative content with users.
By the ZippyCart eCom team
March 7, 2013
In order to keep up with the changing consumer demands, the techniques of marketing also change their course. As the owner of an online business or an e-commerce store, you may have heard about ‘inbound marketing’, as opposed to outbound marketing. But do you know what inbound marketing is and how it is more beneficial for online stores?
If not, let us go into the details briefly so that you know what these marketing techniques stand for and you can make a well-informed decision when it comes to connecting with the modern-day consumer.
What’s Outbound Marketing?
This is a marketing technique which deals with advertising via paid media. By embracing this method, you advertise your products via promotions, billboards, TV spots, radio spots, banner advertisement and press among others. This form of marketing stops delivering results as soon as you stop spending those dollars. Additionally, as the times change, consumers have little or no trust in billboards or TV spots. There’s a fundamental shift in the behavior of consumers.
Outbound marketing has become an old marketing technique, which is fast giving way to inbound marketing
What’s Inbound Marketing?
As the new way of connecting with consumers, inbound marketing makes use of the internet, social media, and search engines. Inbound marketing is blogs, newsletters, online video and other content driven techniques. It’s about connecting with the target audience on a personal level, winning their trust and building relationships. In short, it’s a two-way communication channel.
How many times have you muted, fast-forwarded or left the room for commercials on TV? According to stats, 86% of people who watch TV ignore or skip television commercials. Direct snail mails have also lost their weight, as very few people even open items that are obviously advertisements. Today, direct mails are considered to be waste of time, postage and paper. Consumers’ behaviors are changing!
Inbound marketing is a clear leader and the best option for most online store owners. It offers a better way of connecting with the consumer, requires a much small monetary investment, and brings opportunity to the customer through a two-way dialogue. Inbound marketing technique gives people more control over what type of information they want to receive, which makes them better consumers.
Inbound Marketing is Better for Online Sales
Since you now understand the difference between inbound and outbound marketing, it should be easier to see how inbound marketing can work for SMB merchants and e-commerce store owners who want to promote their products in a meaningful way, sell more and increase sells.
Inbound marketing is the most effective tool in the hands of marketers or small business owners who want to earn the target audience’s trust, build genuine relationships and engage them in a way that they are ready to buy from them and become their loyal customers. That’s why the quality of leads that you generate through inbound marketing is way better.
By creating engaging and educating content (i.e. content marketing, an inbound marketing technique) and delivering the same through various social media channels, SMBs and online store owners are able to earn consumers’ attention, rather than buying their attention. Inbound marketing is better for online stores because it costs less while providing you a better ROI. The days of intrusive advertising and annoying marketing techniques are almost over, as inbound marketing takes over and revolutionizes the way customers buy.
Take a little time to build some unique content and work on your inbound marketing. You’ll see the results in the success of your online business.
The most important factor in the eCommerce path to success – navigation and design:
By Paul Rufus
March 4, 2013
On a regular basis, I’m asked to evaluate a prospective clients’ e-commerce store. Often they are frustrated by lower than expected conversion rates or declining sales.
Question number one tends to be something along the lines of why have you designed and built your e-commerce store? Question two: So, why have you made it so difficult for users to actually buy from your site?
A research reported released by Brand Perfect on online shopping habits and consumer opinion in both the UK and United States revealed the biggest irritations when shopping online and what would make them abandon their purchase.
It makes for interesting reading.
For online shoppers in the UK, 67% of over 1,500 respondents said that pages or product images were slow to load and that was the top reason they’d abandon a purchase. In the US this figure is 51%.
A significant proportion of factors relate specifically to the user experience on the site. Site navigation and difficulty finding products was referred to by 50% of UK respondents. 40% of UK respondents cited too many steps to purchase, with a further 34% saying that having to register caused irritation. Poor design accounted for 29%, while 20% mentioned the site’s payment process.
Brand Perfect says that bricks and mortar retailers should invest more in design expertise when embarking on digital services for their customers, to maintain brand consistency across online and offline activities, and to have the expertise on hand to properly consider user experience.
In the report, Gerry Leonidas, a senior lecturer with the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication at the University of Reading emphasised the importance of designing an effective user experience is essential for developing a successful e-commerce store:
‘Even in well-established brands that enjoy considerable trust by consumers, an online experience that is inconsistent, unintuitive, or off-brand will either turn people off online shopping, or lead to abandoned browsing and purchasing’.
This is further underlined by research from ’I Spy Marketing’ that pointed to a number of key success factors for e-commerce stores. The most important – navigation and design:
‘75% of consumers say they would not continue to shop on a website which was difficult to navigate or poorly designed’
What can retailers (and website designers and developers) do to ensure that the shopping experience is better for customers? In my opinion the feedback from US-based respondents is not difficult to implement (in order):
- Ensure the site is easy to browse and navigate (61%)
- Ensure the site is secure (59%)
- Make sure the site loads quickly and functions properly (52%)
- Fonts should be clearly legible (44%)
- Site should be well designed (43%)
- Mobile and tablet versions should be as easy to use as the main website (42%)
- Site should link to the users account and enable quick shopping (28%)
- Site looks and feels authentic (26% – I believe this links with the well designed observation above)
The price of not taking notice of what consumers are telling us and making it difficult for consumers to make a purchase? They’ll simply go to the next website on Google and buy it from there.
Guest author Paul Rufus is responsible for marketing and business development for Yetti, a cloud-based e-commerce and content management platform.
Have you ever considered having a favorite star promote your brand through a tweet?
By Susan Delly
March 1, 2013
Social media has long proven itself to be an effective way for online business owners to keep in touch with their shoppers and increase sales and revenue in doing so. Aside from the basic tweeting and promotion, however, what can you do with it? One of the underground trends that you may not have considered is hiring a celebrity tweet.
You heard me right. You can pay a celebrity to tweet about your brand / current sale / hottest products / etc. Or if you’re lucky, you might get one to do it for free!
It makes sense, right? Tweeting a product is just another way for celebs to make a buck promoting and placing products or to thank vendors for sending them free stuff. With Twitter in the game now, SMB eMerchants are given an opportunity to use celeb endorsements in a way they may not have been able to afford before. (Tweets can run anywhere from $100 – $10,000, depending on the celeb.)
Is this type of promotion good for my business? Do paid celebrity tweets work?!
Possibly. Experts tend to agree that you may see good short term benefits from a celeb tweet but, it’s not a good strategy for repeat or long-term marketing. When going over the possibility for your online store, there are a few things for you to consider so you can judge your potential success.
- Evaluate your target audience and think on which celeb they may identify with and be following. If you sell women’s fashion, consider a Kardashian. If you are a sports dealer, look towards Mike Tyson. If you just wrote a new book, consider an established author in your genre.
- Check the tweet stream of your preferred celebrities and make sure they’re not crowded with obvious promotional tweets. Fans will catch on quickly if paid tweets have saturated a healthy Tweet stream.
- Think on the celeb’s reputation and if it works with your company’s personality. We all know gossip and controversial celebs can catch a lot of media and their tweet may bring a lot of traffic but, you need to decide if your company may be hurt or benefit from the association. Likely, if you just use them one time, you’ll only see a positive impact but that’s a decision you’ll have to make.
- Look at the number of followers your potential celebrities have and compare that number to the amount they charge per tweet. Is it worth it to your business?
- Consider your marketing budget and decide if it can support an experimental tweet. Some companies have had good conversions off of celebrity tweets. If you choose wisely, you could see a lot of short term success with it, too.
Celebrity tweets give you an interesting way to reach a new pocket of consumers and some fresh traffic. Plus, they’re fun. Think of the top 5 – 10 celebrities that have an audience that may overlap with your online store’s audience and then give their agents a shout to see if they’re open to a little Twitter promotion for your brand. Or, for smaller business… try smaller, more personal celebs. Send your local and upcoming celebs a message or gift them the product you’d like them to try and simply ask them to give you a shout-out. They may do it for free because they’re cool or because they like the free gear. You never know until you try!
Who are your favorite celebs and do they offer promotional tweets? Have you tried this marketing method? We’d love to hear your comments below.
Page 1 of 1612345»10...Last »