If you’re currently using a ‘one size fits all’ marketing approach for your business – you might want to rethink things. You may not realize it, but your existing clients went through a ‘journey’ – before they decided that you were the best business to meet their needs. Each stage of this journey requires a different marketing approach and you might be missing out on revenue if you’re marketing doesn’t cover each aspect of the ‘buyer’s journey.’ In this guide, we’re going to look at what the buyer’s journey is, and what implications the concept has for your business, especially…
Time flies by! February is already here and artists and designers from across the globe have once again diligently created a potpourri of unique wallpaper calendars to freshen up your desktop. This monthly wallpapers mission has been going on for eight years already and we are very thankful to all the creative minds who challenge their skills and contribute to it each month anew.
This post features their desktop artwork for February 2017.
We have hardly seen through the first month of the year and the internet is already overwhelmed with the advice and trend pieces on eCommerce.
In this post, however, we specifically focus on those trends that can influence eCommerce conversion rates this year. It is important to keep a watch on such trends to keep ahead of the game.
Let’s read through what eCommerce experts are saying.
On-Site Search Optimization
Effective site search is well known for increasing website conversion rates. Weblink’s internal study for 2016 points out that shoppers who use internal site search converted at a 216% higher rate than those who do not.
60% of e-commerce websites do not support searches with symbols and abbreviations.
While 82% websites have autocomplete suggestions, 36% of implementations do more harm than good.
According to Paul Rogers, 2017 will see more and more eCommerce businesses fix and optimize their on-site search in order to increase their conversion rates.
Paul Rogers, eCommerce consultant
I think an area of eCommerce that more and more merchants are starting to address, with a view to optimizing conversion metrics, is on-site search. Many of the clients I work with have upped their game in this area this year, making use of things like self-learning capabilities (via a third-party solution, supporting merchandising), natural language processing (to better understand more complex queries), product / category / attribute boosting and also promoting the use of the function.
In my experience, users who complete a search are considerably more likely to convert. I’ve seen positive results from making search boxes more prominent and more of a core navigation focus (through encouraging more complex queries like ‘search for product, SKU, brand or help’ for example). There are some really good, advanced solutions available for eCommerce stores now that can handle far more complex queries and drive more trade — I really like Klevu for the NLP and catalog enrichment side of things, but Algolia is very strong too.
Using a third-party solution is generally the best route for optimizing search, as the majority of the eCommerce platforms on the market (with the exception of enterprise systems like Oracle Commerce Cloud and IBM Websphere) have weak search technology, some of which are unable to process even the most simple queries.
Amazon Rise Continues
A survey conducted by BloomReach 2015 revealed that approximately half of the online consumers conduct their first product search on Amazon. The survey gives some interesting insights into how and why Amazon continues to dominate American e-commerce market year-on-year.
In fact, the percentage of people who search for a product first on Amazon has gone up from 30% in 2012 to 44% in 2015. Check the graph for numbers on first searches made on Amazon vs. search engines vs. retailer websites.
Andrew Youderian believes that the same trend will continue well into 2017 unless other players are able to build a brand connection with customers.
Andrew Youderian, eCommerce entrepreneur
I think many merchants in 2017—especially those in the U.S.—will see continued downward pressure on their website conversion rates due to Amazon. As Amazon continues to gobble up market share, they are increasingly becoming the go-to place for consumers looking to purchase online. Unless merchants are selling something unique or have a strong brand connection with their customers, it will be difficult to win this battle, and it’s a transition that many merchants haven’t yet made.
The main trend for 2017 is the widespread maturing of the Conversion Rate Optimization industry. It is reminiscent of the usability and analytics industry a decade or so ago. Budgets are on the rise, companies are adopting a structured approach to optimization, and hiring in-house staff for the same.
Chris backs his statement with an interesting study by eConsultancy, according to which over half of companies plan to increase their conversion optimization budgets in 2017. The whole CRO industry will attract attention from the C-suite, he adds further.
The eCommerce industry has been talking about personalization for a while, without much data or fruition. In 2017, I think personalization is going to be the key to more sales from your already existing customers –– i.e. driving up AOV and retention. With so many channels for customers to check out on (and most brands being at least multi if not omnichannel), what will make them checkout on *your* webstore? VIP programs, special discounts, and early access will help to foster loyalty and drive up repeat sales. Plus, you can use this same type of segmentation to sell B2B and wholesale without having to take every single call. 2017 will be about efficiency, and there’s nothing more efficient than getting people who have already purchased from you to buy again, and again, and again.
Throughout the day, the one device that consumes most of our time is mobile. comScore reports that digital media time in the U.S. has exploded recently – growing nearly 50 percent in the past two years, with more than three-fourths of that growth directly attributable to the mobile app.
Since mobile plays a critical role in significantly increasing reach, awareness, and engagement, it is time that eCommerce players start giving it the due attention. Look at the following graph to see how mobile and tablet usage has been increasing over time.
Google has already shown its inclination towards mobile by announcing a “mobile-first” culture. As a result, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is being talked about a lot.
Look to see more merchants adopting AMP and pushing the mobile conversion rate even higher (especially when AMP gets better and more flexible).”
Smarter Buy Buttons
The busy consumer is looking for smarter ways to shop. While he browses his mobile to make a mental to-buy list, he compares the best deals on a desktop for making an informed purchase.
For retailers, there lies an opportunity in this challenge. With the help of buy buttons, social commerce has enabled eCommerce players convert the buyer at the first point of contact – mobile, tablet, desktop, email, Facebook, Pinterest, or anywhere else.
The buyer journey will always evolve and as a result, retailers must, as well. Among the ways I believe eCommerce, in particular, will see change in the year ahead is by the introduction of smart buy buttons. Such buy buttons do not need as many steps to purchase as they have in the past. This will undoubtedly help conversion rates, as well as connect consumers to brands more efficiently and more quickly than ever before. Through the introduction of buy buttons via social media, email, video platforms and other digital avenues, I believe that customers will be able to skip steps they have not been able to in the past. And, as a result, retailers will benefit with stronger sales and customer engagement.
To Wrap Up
Personalization, on-site optimization, the continuous rise of Amazon, conversion rate optimization, buy buttons—eCommerce businesses can use these trends to their advantage in 2017.
Have any of the trends listed above had any impact on your business? Tell us and our readers in the comments section below.
We’ve all been there: you’re sitting in yet another kickoff meeting, tasked with the impossible: find a way to get more conversions from your homepage with less manpower, fewer resources and a shoestring budget. P.S., can you get it done before the end of Q1?
You leave wondering if it’s too late to take the afternoon off and just let the vodkas martinis slowly wash the pain of your work life away:
Don’t give up just yet.
One marketing team used their homepage, existing resources and some savvy know-how to increase conversions on their homepage from 0% to 6%… and you can, too. Read on to find out how (and save those martinis for a victory party)!
The Kiva Microfunds case study
Meet Adam Kirk, Head of Marketing for the US borrower program at Kiva Microfunds, a non-profit organization that connects low-income entrepreneurs all over the world with interest-free loans. Adam explains:
We’ve done just under 3000 loans to date in the US and over half have been to women-owned businesses, over half to people of color and over half to low income households.
Compared to other lenders in the biz, Kiva is impressively over-indexed in these categories — they’re clearly impacting the people who need it the most.
One of Adam’s main key performance indicators (KPIs) for the US borrower program is loan application completions.
His goal: first generate enough leads from the homepage… then drip content that encourages prospects to sign up for a loan.
His struggle with meeting this goal?
We know that when borrowers hit our homepage, they’re clearly interested in Kiva. But a lot of those visitors don’t do anything once they get there: they bounce.
Adam’s team is tiny (as in…it’s just Adam and an intern running all their marketing programs) and support is scarce. Without a ton of engineering resources, tools and A/B testing options, Adam needs to be scrappy about the projects he tackles.
The overlay conversion play
After doing some research, Adam decided his homepage needed a little something extra to give his abandoning visitors a softer step towards conversion.
Use an overlay to focus attention on a single offer and grab email sign-ups for the monthly Kiva newsletter.
What is an overlay?
Overlays appear on top of a page’s content (in a lightbox), focusing the user’s attention on a single offer. They can be triggered on entrance, on exit, on scroll, after delay and on click.
That way, Adam would give visitors a quick next step before leaving and capture their contact information for future follow up (when they’ve warmed up to taking a loan).
Since he was already using MailChimp, he was able to quickly throw together some copy and design to test their free overlay tool on his homepage.
Adam talks about the goal and design of the pop up, laughing:
Well it was pretty ugly. It was just one form field and we couldn’t do any kind of targeting so it literally popped up all the time, after five seconds on the homepage.
To test it, Adam got scrappy and split his homepage traffic 50/50 from a total of 10,000 visitors a month. He then set the overlay live and waited to see if it would make a difference.
Despite the drawbacks, Adam’s experiment worked. From that overlay alone, 3-4% of visitors who would have exited instead entered their email address.
Boom! 150 net new leads from one “ugly” pop-up!
Testing Unbounce Convertables
Adam had reaped the benefits of an overlay, but was ready to start more segmented targeting, so he decided to give Unbounce Convertables a shot. He explains:
I had already shown how the first overlay worked despite its simplicity, so I figured, why not do something now with actual logic behind it.
With the same goal in mind and an arsenal of design and copy in his back pocket, Adam got his Unbounce overlay live in only five minutes.
Since his goal was to provide value by giving abandoners an easy next step before they leave, he set the overlay targeting to appear on exit to new visitors only. This ensured that users would only ever see the overlay once, and that it’d only be presented to people who were getting ready to exit (some visitors to their homepage were likely ready to take action).
Here’s what his overlay looks like:
Screenshot of the Kiva Micrfunds Homepage Convertable
Of people trying to leave the Kiva borrower hub, Adam’s team is now capturing 6-7% of them. That’s 3x the conversions from what the original overlay provided.
It doesn’t end there. Adam now uses the thank you page (also an overlay) to shape his traffic to the Kiva community.
Showcasing a smiling business owner, the goal of the thank you is to put a face to the loan and entice potential borrowers to click through and read more:
Screenshot of the Kiva Microfunds Post-Confirmation Thank-You
From farmers and foodies to artisans and app developers, the Kiva community is filled with real-life success stories of Kiva-funded entrepreneurs.
Screenshot of the Kiva Microfunds Community Page
The results from traffic shaping?
We’re still testing! But I’m pumped to see what we can do next.
Adam and his team at Kiva were able to stretch their existing resources, time and manpower to generate some pretty impressive conversion results — all with overlays.
So next time you’re in a kick-off meeting, tasked with the impossible, think of Adam’s success and remember:
What do conversions, your homepage and vodka martinis have in common?
The answer is VICTORY.
Psst. Already a customer? Log into Unbounce now and start using Convertables at no extra cost. You can use the same drag-and-drop Unbounce builder to drive conversions on both your campaign landing pages and your website!)
When I first visited Paris, it took me a while to get oriented and put together a route using the official map of the Paris metro. That’s all it took to spark the flame inside me to redraw it according to an entirely different set of principles. The goal was extremely ambitious, but why not try?
In this article, I will attempt to describe the principal solutions involved in the development of my own version of the Paris metro map.
Blogging is a powerful B2B content marketing tool. But many B2B content marketers aren’t getting anything close to its full effectiveness. So they conclude that blogging doesn’t work, or at least that it doesn’t work for their business. In fact, you could be reaping massively higher traffic, leads, and sales with a well-constructed blogging strategy. By the end of this guide, you’ll know why blogging works and how to create, implement, and measure a blogging strategy that will work for you. First, though… 1. Why Blog at All? Blogging regularly can lead to more traffic, more leads, and more sales….
When working in a team, we focus so much on the work, that we often forget that we all have something in common. Something that is so obvious that we underestimate it: we all are human beings. And well, if we want to grow as a team and get better at what we do, we should embrace this fact more. In fact, I just came back from a week-long team retreat where we had team activities, team games, and sessions and discussions about how we can achieve just that.
So, you want to give your projects some extra love? With Valentine’s Day coming up soon, we’ve got a fresh new set that consists of a delicious selection — just like a good box of chocolates. Take a peek, and you’ll find icons especially tailored to e-commerce projects (such as shopping carts and price tags), but also some more versatile motifs like a love letter, calendar, and even a WiFi sign that sends off some lovely vibes.
There are two ways to do marketing. Throw money at ads and gush out content hoping some sort of ROI will be made. Build a loyal audience that is constantly tuned into what you have to say, where every campaign you embark on is instantly received and propagated by that audience. Think about it this way. When your typical PC manufacturer creates a device with a new and interesting feature, they have to spend millions on ads to get it out in front of consumers. All Apple has to do is whisper that something is coming, and the whole world…
The bounce rate is the percentage of people, who landed on your website, but instead of browsing further they exited your website. This metric can be important to certain websites as it gives you an idea about the first impression of your site. It tells you if your landing page meets the expectation of the visitors who landed there. If your Bounce Rate is high, you can suspect that something is wrong either with your landing page or your sources of traffic. You can calculate the bounce rate with this formula: A concrete example Let’s say, that you have a…