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Customer Reviews – a reality check

The New Zealand Commerce Commission is investigating online retailers who they claim have manipulated customer reviews and testimonials in

“…conduct that was liable to mislead consumers by creating artificially positive impressions…”

NZ Commerce Commission website

What actions constitute “misleading consumers”?

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eCommerce

4 simple (yet effective) ways to drive traffic to your eCommerce site

In eCommerce, the amount of traffic that comes to your site is going to determine your overall success. After all, if you don’t have anyone coming to your site, you can’t possibly generate any sales.

Unfortunately, launching an eCommerce shop is easier than ever these days — and people know it.

As a result, the competition is only getting tougher, and standing out enough to convince people you’re the brand they should trust is proving to be just as difficult.

In fact, 61% of marketers claim that generating traffic and leads is their top challenge, and only 22% of businesses cite satisfaction with their conversion rates.

So, there seems to be a lot of work to do.

But driving traffic to your online store doesn’t have to seem impossible.

In this post, we’ll share with you some of the best ways to generate more traffic (and high-quality leads) to your eCommerce shop.

So, let’s get started.

Evaluate Your Current Traffic

The only way you can successfully drive more traffic to your eCommerce shop is first to determine just how much traffic you’re currently getting.

One of the best ways to do this is to sign up for a free Google Analytics account and connect it to your online store so all sorts of helpful data, including site traffic, can be tracked and monitored.

Audience Overview

Audience Overview

If you go to Audience > Overview, you can get a great idea about how much traffic your site sees on a regular basis.

Also, check out metrics such as:

  • Users
  • New Users
  • Sessions
  • Sessions per User
  • Pageviews
  • Pages/Session
  • Average Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate

And this is only the beginning.

If you really want to gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ purchasing journey, learn how monitoring cross-channel reports in Google Analytics can reveal how people behave as they switch between eCommerce channels.

You can also check out tools such as SimilarWeb and Alexa to learn about not only how much traffic your eCommerce shop sees, but how popular your site is, where site visitors are coming from, and what search engines people use to find you.

Alexa Traffic Ranks

Alexa Traffic Ranks

How to Drive More Traffic to Your eCommerce Shop

Now that you have a good idea where your site stands in relation to others, and how much traffic you’re currently getting on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis, it’s time to look at ways to ramp up your efforts to get more.

1. Invest in Google Ads

One of the fastest ways to drive more traffic to your website is to pay for it. And it just so happens that Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is an easy way to do just that.

Create ad campaigns that display in Google search results whenever someone searches for a term related to your ad.

Google Ads

Google Ads

When someone sees your ad and realizes you offer what they’re looking for, they’ll click on your site and check you out.

Not only will you get paid for every click your ads receive (yay for site monetization), you’ll reap the benefit of the added traffic.

And, since the person clicking your ad saw something they liked, the chances of them making a purchase once on your site are much higher than someone who just happened to come across your website.

2. Ramp Up SEO Efforts

Understanding the role SEO plays in driving traffic to your site is crucial to your success.

If you don’t focus on SEO, you run the risk of two things happening:

  1. Showing up in the wrong results. You might rank well in Google search results, but if it’s in results that have nothing to do with your online store, no one will click to visit. And even if they do, they’ll abandon your site immediately when they realize you don’t have what they need.
  2. Not ranking well. You might show up in relevant search results, but if you haven’t done your keyword research, chances are high you’ll end on page 2, or 3, or worse. Since 95% of all web traffic goes to those on Google’s first page, you’ll have no one clicking on your site to visit.

If you notice that your eCommerce conversion rates are low, check out these SEO best practices that will help you show up in the right search results so better leads land on your site and buy:

  • Include keywords in your online shop and blog content
  • Externally link out to authoritative sites
  • Create a Google sitemap so your online store indexes properly
  • Add keyword rich product descriptions to all images
  • Include detailed meta descriptions
  • Internally link to your own website, so Google indexes everything you have

And lastly, optimize your eCommerce shop for speed and performance.

Monitoring your site’s desktop and mobile speed is easily done using Google PageSpeed Insights.

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights

See how fast your pages are loading and receive recommendations from Google for optimizing further.

After all, even a 1-second delay has the potential to derail your site’s conversion rates by as much as 7%.

3. Submit Guest Posts

It’s likely you know who your biggest competition is.

And, while it’s natural to want to beat them when it comes to traffic, conversions, and sales, sometimes it’s a good idea to network with your competition too.

One great way to expose your brand to a broader audience, and drive more traffic to your site, is to scope out industry leaders in your field and ask if you can submit a guest post on their website.

Doing this does many things:

  • Gives you the opportunity to offer their audience a solution they may not have
  • Shows people you too are an industry leader
  • Gives you a chance to include backlinks to your website within the content
  • Nets you an author profile that links back to your website
  • Allows you to interact with a new customer base in the comment section and on social media when the post goes live and people engage

Although guest posting is a time-consuming thing, the benefits you receive are tremendous – including the fact that it helps you drive a whole new group of people to your store to buy.

4. Add Video Content to Facebook

We all know that social media plays a vital role in most marketers’ lives.

But what you may not know is how powerful Facebook advertising can be in the digital marketing world when you add video content to your arsenal:

  • By 2020 video ads are expected to account for nearly 80% of all internet traffic
  • Facebook is the number one social media channel for video content, including ads
  • 4x as many customers state they’d rather watch a video about a product than read about it

Amazon

Amazon

If your target audience is found on other channels such as Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, you can expect the numbers to be similar, even if on a smaller scale.

Using social media and video content helps build brand awareness and drive traffic to your online store in ways many other marketing efforts can’t.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a startup looking to build brand recognition, or an established online retailer looking to grow your business, you’re always going to face challenges when it comes to driving traffic to your eCommerce site.

Luckily, there are many ways you can help increase traffic, conversions, and sales on your site.

All it takes is using some of the above-mentioned tips and tricks. Trust us, with enough focus you’ll see your numbers continue to rise, along with the quality of your leads.

abandoned cart email campaign

Reclaiming lost income with an abandoned cart email campaign

Ecommerce is, by its nature, prone to being a slave to usage stats. The most important of these being conversions, or how many people your website can convince to transition from spectator to a purchaser. A little-considered but significant subset of that data is the proportion of abandoned carts.

What is an Abandoned Cart?

Any visitor to your website who goes to the trouble, not only to look at your products, but to add them to their cart, proceed to checkout, but then, for one of several possible reasons, fails to purchase. These prospects have “abandoned” their carts. Most good shopping cart software should track these abandonments, and where possible record contact details for your reference.

These abandoned carts represent a significant portion of “lost” revenue. In an aggregation of survey data the Baymard Institute suggests that on average 68.63% of shoppers are likely to leave their purchases incomplete. That data pulls on a range of studies, some of which estimate the abandonment rate is as low as 59.80% or as high as 78.00% (although, the company reporting the highest rate of abandonment just happens to sell you a product to tract and prevent abandonment). However, whatever way you look at it, a good half the people that express interest in your products might never actually purchase.

An abandoned cart email, or campaign, may save you lost revenue by reclaiming or “remarking” to your prospects, but it also might help you find out how to boost sales and make your ecommerce store easier, friendlier and more profitable by minimising the number of people who abandon your checkout process.

And an abandoned cart strategy is something even some of the largest brands, from Apple to Macy’s, are failing to employ. That’s perhaps because their tone and purpose is hard to get right. Nonetheless, the numbers say they are effective: emails remarking to visitors who abandoned their carts have higher than average open and click rates.

Optimise the User Experience First

The first job is to think about how you can minimise the need for your abandoned cart email or campaign, and that means considering the reasons someone might not complete the checkout process. The common reasons may surprise you.

Answer these questions for yourself:

  • Are your postage, packaging, handling, and tax charges easy to find and displayed transparently?
  • Is your cart requiring users to register before they buy?
  • Is your checkout process cumbersome, i.e., does it have too many steps or prompt for too much personal data?
  • Do you have clear, reassuring refund and privacy policies?
  • Is it easy and obvious how to add and delete items or quantities from your cart?
  • Do you have a valid SSL certificate, are you using the https:// protocol by default, and is your cart showing a friendly ‘padlock’ icon to visitors?
  • Does your site work smoothly; are the buttons and steps clearly marked?

If the honest answer to any of these are “no,” rethinking some of these components might earn you sales, not just from abandoned carts but also from visitors who never get as far as entering their contact details.

In Hubspot’s research, some 41% of people abandoned because of “hidden charges.” Shopify surveyed a range of online stores and visitors to find that 39% of visitors reported leaving a store after experiencing a technical problem like a “crash” or network timeout. Therefore, it’s highly likely it’s not your prices, products or services themselves that are driving people away.

All this means that 80% of abandonment is recoverable, either by improving the technical speed and performance of your site or by being clear and transparent with the process and associated costs of purchase (shipping, tax, etc).

Don’t Beg, Don’t Bully, Welcome Them Back

Once you’re satisfied that the user experience is as good as you can imagine it, then it’s time to start thinking about what to send to your potential drop-offs.

As with any email marketing, being friendly and helpful rather than forceful is key. As suggested above, the open rate on these kinds of emails are often higher than a usual campaign, but that doesn’t mean the best place to start isn’t your subject line. Most successful lines are personalised and even a little cheeky. Some tried and tested subject lines are:

  • [Name], we missed you at [store]
  • [Name], thanks for visiting [store]
  • Did you forget something, [Name]?
  • Can we help you with anything, [Name]?
  • There’s still time for a deal at [store]

or simply:

  • You left items in your cart

The body of the email should: (a) invite and encourage the user to purchase again; (b) offer personal help with their purchase, or the opportunity to provide feedback if warranted. Striking a balance between the two goals of the abandoned cart email may be tricky, but keep them both in mind as you write.

Also keep in mind the disparate reasons that someone might have abandoned their cart:

  • The product is “big ticket” which requires commitment/consideration
  • The shopper may have been distracted, but genuinely wishes to purchase.
  • Some facet of the purchase worried the prospect: price, support, trustworthiness of the checkout process, returns policy, etc.

Use language like “we’ve kept your products safe” or “saved your selection”. If at all possible include the basic details – including a photo – of the product(s) left in the cart. Photos stimulate emotional engagement and remind the reader what they’re missing. For the same reason it is important to contact the prospect quickly after they left, experts suggest no more than 24 hours after your shopping cart detected an abandoned cart. Where possible, link to reviews of the items they’re considering purchasing to reinstate confidence with the product.

After reminding people what they’re missing out on, further emphasise the support they’ll receive now and into the future. Offer a chance to chat with you in person about their purchase by providing a genuine email address and your phone number. Take the opportunity to reiterate the benefits of shopping with you: perhaps you’ve got a great money-back guarantee or the best after-sales support?

Lastly, make sure you have a clearly designed email with a call-to-action – a button that is, after all, the primary purpose of your email – to get your prospect back on your site and completing the checkout.

Sign your email off personally, and include a variety of ways to get in touch in your signature.

Tracking, A Follow Up Campaign, and Incentivising Purchase

Once you’ve built the basics, you can perfect the process by installing tracking code into your button to record that this visit was the result of a remarketing opportunity. Ask your Google Analytics expert or webmaster to show you how.

Next, think about what happens if the email isn’t persuasive enough, and how much those lost sales are really worth? Some marketers recommend following up the first email with a second, throwing in an e-book or free resource, something that costs you little to produce but that will encourage a buyer to commit. Some other added incentive might be useful, giving your prospect a coupon to use to get free shipping or 5% off their order may be enough to turn a prospect into a purchaser. Simply experiment with different deals that suit your budget and make sense for your product.

Steps From Here

  1.    Find out what kinds of funnel reporting you have on your ecommerce processes.
  2.    Ask your webmaster/analytics provider to produce a report on abandoned carts.
  3.    Find out how many of those clients actually left an email address.
  4.    Think about how great it would be to receive just 3% of that lost revenue.
  5.    Optimise your cart to provide the least amount of resistance.
  6.    Write and install some savvy abandoned cart emails
  7.   Test, tweak, and consider what incentives if any are right for your business.

Have you got an e-commerce platform that needs optimising? Get in touch with Creative Agency Secrets and see how we can help.