Tag Archives: high

How To Work Out What To Charge Clients: The Honest Version

Have you ever read a post that has left you feeling wholly inadequate because you know you can’t live up to the high standards they lay out? Well, that is how I feel when I read posts about how much to charge my clients.
When Smashing Magazine asked me to write an article sharing my thoughts on pricing my services, I agreed without much thought. But now I sit down to write it, and I’m faced with a conundrum.

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How To Work Out What To Charge Clients: The Honest Version

How To Simplify Networking In Android: Introducing The Volley HTTP Library

In a world driven by the Internet, mobile apps need to share and receive information from their products’ back end (for example, from databases) as well as from third-party sources such as Facebook and Twitter.

How To Simplify Android Networking With The Volley HTTP Library

These interactions are often made through RESTful APIs. When the number of requests increases, the way these requests are made becomes very critical to development, because the manner in which you fetch data can really affect the user experience of an app.

The post How To Simplify Networking In Android: Introducing The Volley HTTP Library appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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How To Simplify Networking In Android: Introducing The Volley HTTP Library

7 Ways to Turn Instagram Into an Ecommerce Purchasing Powerhouse

cup of joes coffee mug

Instagram and ecommerce are logical bedfellows. The brand-audience engagement rates here outperform all of the mainstream social channels, while the visual elegance of Instagram posts are perfect for showcasing people enjoying beautiful products in the wild. It’s lifestyle marketing but without the phoniness of high-concept production shoots – just compelling, evocative imagery wrapped up in authentic social proof. What else could an ecommerce marketer ask for? Image Source So when it comes to branding and engagement, ecommerce marketers have it great on Instagram. Providing audience members with seamless opportunities to make purchases, however, is another story. Researchers have estimated that…

The post 7 Ways to Turn Instagram Into an Ecommerce Purchasing Powerhouse appeared first on The Daily Egg.


7 Ways to Turn Instagram Into an Ecommerce Purchasing Powerhouse

How a Billion Dollar eCommerce Major Achieved More Visits-to-Order Using VWO

About ShopClues

ShopClues is an eCommerce major in India serving 42 million visitors with a global Alexa rank of 431. Backed by the likes of Helion, Nexus and Tiger Global, the five year old ShopClues is already valued at one billion dollars.

We got in touch with Divakar Ravichandran, marketing technologist at ShopClues, to talk about the process they follow, the hurdles they face and the results they’ve achieved.

The Team Behind Optimization

Divakar belongs to the on-site merchandising team and takes care of on-site optimization. While A/B testing and optimization became a core function only four months ago, they were quick to set a goal of optimizing the high traffic and marketing pages. To scale fast they decided to have at least one effective A/B test deployed every week. The rigorous regimen paid off and they were able to achieve a 26% higher visits-to-order from the homepage.

Optimization Becoming a Practice

When asked if he sees optimization becoming a regular practice at the company, Divakar told us that within four months, a set of few minor and two major design improvements have been made live site-wide. It’s a move in the right direction and he is confident that conversion optimization will be adopted deeper and wider into the marketing function.

Process of Optimization

The team is currently focused on optimizing the homepage and the category pages. They act as owners for the homepage while with category pages they collaborate with the respective category managers.

Test 1 – Homepage

Each element of the homepage is carefully tracked for conversion signals and this data then fuels hypotheses and testing. On the homepage, the main navigation bar links were getting a lot of clicks. Particularly, the first link that was ‘Wholesale’. The challenge, they identified, was to send better qualified traffic to the category pages.


Shopclues A/B test control page Screenshot

ShopClues hypothesized that replacing ‘Wholesale’ with other marketing categories (like ‘super saver’ bazaar) and moving it to the left navbar can make the page more visually aligned and help receive better qualified visitors to each of the category pages.


Shopclues A/B test variation page screenshot

Results of Optimization

The new top navbar with the marketing categories now receives 50% more CTR. And as expected, the quality of visits to the categories improved as evidenced by an improvement of 26% in visits-to-order.

Testing Helps Uncover Further Areas for Improvement

Re-positioning ‘wholesale’ also meant the change had to be highlighted to the visitors. For this purpose, the team has displayed a banner that says ‘new’ right next to the ‘wholesale’. This change has since then further improved the CTR on ‘wholesale’ category.

Test 2 – Marketing Category Page

With the category pages, the team obtains data from the analytics team, deploys heat maps where required and sends these reports to their respective managers. The category managers then point out areas that require attention. Based on this feedback the team sets about creating hypotheses, prioritizing tests and executing them.

Here’s an example of how this works in real: By using Visitor Behavior Analysis the team noticed that for one of their promotional categories (Sunday Flea Market), filters like ‘new arrivals’ ‘best selling’ and ‘price sorting’ were getting the bulk of user attention. On-Page Surveys were then used to collect feedback from visitors themselves about these filters. Based on this insight a new test was created where visitors were spared that step in their search. The variation presented visitors with the products that matched the filters upfront in a horizontal display (see below).

Here’s how the original page looked:

Shopclues A/B Test Control Screenshot

And this is how the variation created based on user behavior and feedback looks:

Shopclues A/B Test 2 Screenshot of variation 1

Shopclues A/B Test 2 - Variation Screenshot

The test is still going on but early signs are encouraging with the new page getting 16% higher visit-to-order.

Experience Using VWO

VWO consists of a complete set of tools and features using which I was able to infer how visitors use the site (heat maps, visitor-recordings etc) and even how they feel (surveys). Gleaning insights from these data, I could strategize and easily launch A/B tests, multivariate tests, personalization triggers and more to optimize our funnel. The complete process of “data driven” optimization through this tool is self-explanatory and easy to set-up.

As an enterprise customer, ShopClues could also take the help of our Customer Success Managers. Divakar was kind enough to acknowledge the contribution of the CS team to their optimization efforts:

The response from the team is quick and they are available to discuss tests hypothesis and helps in setting up them effectively. I sync up with my support manager almost every day of the week to plan and optimize things.

The post How a Billion Dollar eCommerce Major Achieved More Visits-to-Order Using VWO appeared first on VWO Blog.

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How a Billion Dollar eCommerce Major Achieved More Visits-to-Order Using VWO

This Cognitive Bias Will Help You Create More Persuasive Landing Pages

PSST: This post was written by Talia Wolf of Conversioner. You can see her speak at the Call to Action Conference in September – so get your early bird tickets now.

While we’d all like to think that we act based on reason and logic, the truth is that we have many cognitive biases that affect our decisions.

Back in 1974, psychologists Tversky and Kahneman were the first to theorize and research the anchoring effect: our tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information presented to us (the “anchor”) to make subsequent decisions.

Take the release of the original iPad for example. After Steve Jobs showed off the high-resolution screen and impressive features, he asked the audience how much they thought this “revolutionary” new device should cost.


“What should we price it at?” asked Jobs. “If you listen to the pundits, we’re going to price it at under $1000, which is code for $999.”

He put a giant “$999” up on the screen and left it there for several minutes.

“I am thrilled to announce to you that the iPad pricing starts not at $999, but at just $499.” On-screen, the $999 price was crushed by a falling “$499.”

Bingo. Because of the anchoring effect, $499 is now considered “cheap.”

Understanding biases like anchoring helps us make sense of our personal decision making process, but it also helps us persuade our prospects and create more powerful landing pages.

Let’s dig into how brands and marketers are currently using anchoring – and how you can too.

Present the most expensive option first

As we saw in the Jobs example, when a higher price is presented first, it becomes the benchmark against which other prices are evaluated.

Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers saw this first-hand when she ran an A/B test for her client’s pricing plans. The original page ordered the pricing from least expensive to most:


Whereas the variation presented it in reverse, starting with the most expensive on the left:


The verdict? The variation took the cake with a whopping 500% uplift in click throughs!

Because people read English from left to right, placing the highest price on the left ensured that people would see it first – making it the anchor against which to judge the price of the other plans. And that made the lower plan seem like that much more of a great deal.

The same effect can be achieved by comparing your pricing schemes to that of competitors. Consider this example by analytics tool Hotjar:


By showing potential customers how much they spend on a monthly basis for using a combination of tools ($265/month) versus how much they could be spending by using their all-in-one solution ($29/month), Hotjar positions itself as the product that offers the best value.

Use anchors to put things into perspective

So much of our decision making is governed by how information is presented. A $40 pricing plan might sound like a lot on its own, but using an anchor can help you put things into perspective for prospects.

Consider this campaign that agency Saatchi & Saatchi put together to collect donations and raise awareness for a worthy cause:


In this example, the image grabs your attention, stands out and makes the immediate connection between the amount we spend on luxury items versus the small amount it costs to donate.

By showing people the amount of money they spend on their luxury items (the higher price) right above the low cost of the donation, they created a campaign that begged the question: “How can you spend so much on fashion but not be bothered to donate?”

Since 50% of our brain’s capacity is geared towards vision, the images we perceive on a landing page affect our emotional state. Images can communicate an idea, thought or feeling much quicker than text and can be used brilliantly with price anchoring.

Beware of negative anchoring

Anchoring isn’t a magic bullet. Sometimes, displaying multiple elements on your page can create an unwanted anchoring effect.

Have a look at the way Buffer displays their pricing plans:


As we’ve already covered, they may want to consider leading with the most expensive plan, but beyond that lies a greater issue. Once you choose a monthly plan, a popup comes up summarizing the amount you’re going to pay.

Suddenly, it isn’t the (reasonable) monthly plan you chose but a yearly payment of $2250.


The initial piece of information I received was $50 per month, but I didn’t get any indication that I was going to be charged annually. The large amount that suddenly appears on my screen comes as a complete shock.

To avoid negative anchoring, Buffer should consider testing the annual price on the pricing page. Why not inform people of the monthly price as well as the summarized annual price? It’d also be a great opportunity to present a discount to those paying for a year upfront.

At the very least, Buffer could test including a note about the annual billing under the call to action button, as on this landing page:


Wrapping it up

There are many different cognitive biases that have an impact on our decision making and purchasing patterns, but few are as impactful as anchoring. When used properly, anchoring can bring you dramatic improvements in your conversion rate.

To use anchoring on your landing page, pay attention to the initial information a customer is presented with when they land on the page.

  • First, set a goal. Which option do you want people to choose?
  • Then set up an anchor. What will make your goal look like the best possible choice?
  • Don’t forget to test, test, test. You want to be sure you’re not inadvertently creating a negative anchoring effect.

Over to you – do you use anchors on your landing pages? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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This Cognitive Bias Will Help You Create More Persuasive Landing Pages


5 Advanced AdWords Strategies You Can Implement Today

Does your competition know about these advanced switches and dials in AdWords? Image by Marcin Wichary via Flickr.

As Google AdWords gets increasingly competitive, we search marketers have to sniff around for treasure.

Sometimes that treasure comes in the form of advanced switches and dials found deep within the AdWords interface – the little PPC campaign tweaks that make your ads more relevant and keep you ahead of the competition.

I’m here to share five of those tips and tricks. Let’s get to it.

1. Test in-market audiences

Ever wonder what Google does with the enormous amounts of data they’re quietly collecting about all of us as we sail through a variety of Google products and Google-tracking-infused websites?

A recently-released AdWords feature called in-market audiences makes use of this treasured info.

The idea behind this feature is to allow advertisers to look beyond demographics and target users who have demonstrated that they’re in the market for a specific product based on their web behavior.

Because Google knows when a visitor is actively researching and comparing products, or clicking on similar ads and converting, they can leverage this data to help advertisers reach potential customers on various sites across the web.

Here are some of the available in-market audiences and where they appear in AdWords:

In-market audiences allow you to leverage Google’s data to target customers who have shown that they’re in the market for your product.

Let’s say you’re a car dealer and you want to market to people whose web behavior has indicated that they’re planning on buying a new car soon. This feature is a great way to get after this audience using a rich volume of Google’s data.

You can (and should) layer in-market audiences on top of the keywords you’re already targeting in your search campaigns.

2. Try out AdWords dynamic ads

Standard remarketing serves up ads without knowing which specific product a visitor looked at on your site.

But Google recently launched the ability to do product-specific remarketing. Especially for retailers, this is a feature worth testing.

With a little help from your friends at Google, you can determine which products people looked at and serve up remarketing ads featuring those very products.

In other words, you can give people exactly what they want.

Here’s what a dynamic ad looks like:

As you can see, I recently checked out some socks on Amazon. Don’t judge.

Now as I hang out elsewhere on the web, they’re reminding me that I looked at this item but never bought it. As you can imagine, this remarketing tactic creates highly relevant ads that convert quite well.

Want to give it a go?

Here’s a detailed guide to setting these up.

3. Customize ads with real-time updates

You know that urgency is an important component of high-performing ad copy, but who has time to constantly run promotions, update coupon codes and tweak ad text accordingly? Not you.

That’s why Google has introduced a handy set of scripts that the layman ad copywriter can understand.

For example, you can now tell Google, “My sale begins today and ends in 14 days, so update my ad copy accordingly every time you show it.” You can even use this strategy down to the hour: “Webinar starts in two hours – don’t forget to claim your seat.”

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

There are many other dynamic elements in the ad you can control, too. Take the example below, where everything highlighted in yellow is dynamic:


You can now encode the product name (ProWhip 300), product detail (5-quart), price ($199) and promotion end date (5 days).

Before this type of customization was available, old school AdWords retailers would have to set up a massive spreadsheet where inventory was cataloged and updated. This way, Google could pull in the appropriate product model, pricing and sale parameters.

Now, you can do this with a teeny bit of code simple enough for us online marketers to wrangle directly within the AdWords interface. The times they are a changin’.

For more information on real-time updates, check out this article.

4. Schedule ads to correspond to your sales bandwidth

There’s nothing more frustrating than paying for leads that have gone cold. So why do we run ads that drive leads at 3 AM when there’s no one there to call them back?

In some businesses, your customer will wait for that call – but others are different. When a lead is hot, it’s hot, and after a few hours have passed, a burning need becomes a passive query at best.

To maximize return on ad spend, some companies use ad scheduling religiously. Check out how a PPC ad scheduling strategy drove a 69% improvement in cost per acquisition.

It’s found under advanced campaign settings and it looks like this:


This is especially useful if, say, your offices and sales team are located in the Netherlands while your prospects loom large in the US. Or if you determine that your audience is more likely to purchase at a certain time of day.

This simple tweak helps you ensure that you only pay for leads that are hot off the press.

5. Don’t let competitors drain your ad budget

Your competitors are clicking your ads – I guarantee it. There’s a golden hack you can employ to keep from paying for these clicks.

The hack? Use IP exclusions.

There’s a trick for how to discover and block your competitors’ IP addresses, precluding them from ever seeing your ads again. And I’m going to teach it to you.

First, you need to determine your competitors’ IP addresses. You may need to try a few different tactics:

  • Find an email from the company. You can locate the IP address by looking at the email header content. This article explains how.
  • Locate the IP address for the company’s domain name. Here’s an eHow article explaining how to do this. Sometimes companies use a different IP address to browse the web than the one their site is hosted on, so this can be tricky. Give it a shot.

Once you have the IP addresses, just scroll down to “IP address exclusion” in your AdWords settings and paste them in. Here’s what that screen looks like:


And voilà. Their IPs are now blocked.

Test your way to better ROI

As with any marketing strategy, not all of these tactics will work for everyone.

Ultimately, most search marketers will tell you to test nearly everything. Because you should.

It’s my hope that across these five ideas you’ve been able to find something inspiring.

Which one of these tactics will you try next? Did we forget any of your favorite tricks? Let us know in the comments.

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5 Advanced AdWords Strategies You Can Implement Today

A Quick Tour Of WordPress 4.0

Today, WordPress has released the first release candidate (RC) for the upcoming 4.0 version. According to the official version numbering, WordPress 4.0 is no more or less significant than 3.9 was or 4.1 will be. That being said, a new major release is always a cause for excitement! Let’s take a look at the new features the team at WordPress has been working on for us.
Further Reading on SmashingMag: How To Speed Up Your WordPress Website A Look At The Modern WordPress Server Stack Secrets Of High-Traffic WordPress Blogs Do-It-Yourself Caching Methods With WordPress Installation Language Since I’ve always used WordPress in English, it took me a while to realize how important internationalization is.

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A Quick Tour Of WordPress 4.0

Laying The Groundwork For Extensibility

The Web has succeeded at interoperability and scale in a way that no other technology has before or since. Still, the Web remains far from “state of the art”, and it is being increasingly threatened by walled gardens. The Web platform often lags competitors in delivering new system and device capabilities to developers. Worse, it often hobbles new capabilities behind either high- or low-level APIs, forcing painful choices (and workarounds) on developers.


Laying The Groundwork For Extensibility

Coding Q&A With Chris Coyier: Responsive Sprites And Media Query Efficiency

Howdy, folks! Welcome to more Smashing Magazine CSS Q&A. It works like this: you send in questions you have about CSS, and at least once a month we’ll pick out the best questions and answer them so that everyone can benefit from the exchange. Your question could be about a very specific problem you’re having, or it could even be a question about a philosophical approach. We’ll take all kinds.

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Coding Q&A With Chris Coyier: Responsive Sprites And Media Query Efficiency


Celebration Of High-Speed Photography

A digital camera, some fast-moving subject, and a bit of knowledge about how to take the best pictures of moving subjects will launch you on the road to some of the most interesting photographs you’ve ever taken. Although some blurring can be effective in communicating a sense of high-speed motion, some photographers want the subject to be frozen in time to get some pretty special photographic effects.
You may want to take a look at related articles:

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Celebration Of High-Speed Photography