Tag Archives: online

Survey: What’s The Biggest Challenge For Your Online Business?

what is your biggest business challenge

The mission of this blog is to help our customers and readers. One way we can do that is by creating content that will help you overcome your business obstacles. And one of the best ways to get feedback is to ask questions differently or phrase them differently. That’s what we’re doing in this survey. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may see another survey coming in the not too distant future :). Please take a second to fill out this one field form (and have a great weekend!):

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Survey: What’s The Biggest Challenge For Your Online Business?

How To Transform Your eCommerce Business With 11 Simple Tips

transform your ecommerce business

Online store owners swim in a sea of fierce competition dominated by Amazon and Best Buy, among others. You can’t always be number one. But with a strong desire and the right tools, you can become a leader in your niche. One of the best ways to get to the top is with a powerful content marketing strategy that blows the opposition out of the water. So, what are the secrets of creating and implementing an unsurpassed content marketing strategy that delivers the results you’re looking for? That’s what I’m about to reveal. Why Should You Prioritize Content Marketing Above…

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How To Transform Your eCommerce Business With 11 Simple Tips

How To Create An A/B Testing Research Framework For Faster Iterations & More Wins

online ab testing framework

Here’s the most common problem I see when it comes to conversion rate optimization (CRO): Not putting enough energy into conducting the proper initial research into what to test. One round of user tests, then change the website. One heatmap, then change the website. One cohort analysis, then change the website. This can lead to very bad testing habits. When you are trying to improve your conversion rate, you should do multiple types of research. You should be using: Qualitative methods (e.g., usability testing, 5-second testing, surveys, etc.) Quantitative methods (e.g., heatmapping, cohort analysis, funnel analysis, segmentation, etc.) And of…

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How To Create An A/B Testing Research Framework For Faster Iterations & More Wins

A/B Test Ideas for Fashion Ecommerce Websites

The face of fashion ecommerce is undergoing a change. The transition from a brick-and-mortar store to an online one is accompanied by perennial problems, leading to a high return rate of ordered items.

However, the online fashion and apparel industry continues to adapt to this change through use of new technologies and strategies. Other than adhering to prevalent industry best practices, you can also come up with innovative ideas that can help you attract, engage, and retain more visitors on your website.

Here are 6 ideas on how you can grow your online apparel business while maintaining your brand esthetics. Based on these ideas, you can create variations and run A/B tests on your website.

Cross-Selling Style-Based Combinations

Cross-sell an entire set based on season, style, festival, and others, while providing a stand-out description.

Cross-selling idea for fashion ecommerce
Source: Zalando

You plan to add sneakers with a new design, an offbeat color, and a slightly higher price compared to your current best-seller in the same category. On your website, it would show up in the Shoes and New Launches categories. Other than this, what can you do to have your visitors go for it?

Don’t leave the sneakers alone. Showcase those along with items from other categories with which these can go along well.

Look at what Zalando, UK does. Within each category such as Men, Women, and others, it has a subcategory Inspiration, which includes the Looks of the Week section.

This section showcases a new item with additional items to complete the suggested outfit. Over and above this is the vivid description, which can attract visitors to go for more than they are looking for.

The updates ensure freshness through new themes every week.

The above idea is primarily used for new launches during a particular season; but you can also A/B test and apply it for upcoming festivals, events, and other special days.

What to measure:

  • Increase in % of sales through clicks to the new upselling category link
  • Average order value (because of the new category)
  • Increase in clicks to the upselling category link
  • Increase in the revenue (with this category also contributing to the increase)

Resolving Customer Concerns through Additional Filters

Add sale discount percent and cloth material as filters along with size and other filters within a category/subcategory.

Filters for easy search on fashion ecommerce websites
Source: Lyst

At times, it becomes tricky for your customers when they find the desired apparel item, but not the desired price. The reverse is also a common sight. How do you save them from an endless search on your website pages?

Lyst has addressed this problem to an extent. There are additional, unique filters for its customers to fine-tune their search. In the above screenshot, two of these filters—sales discount and material—are used to narrow down the available options.

What to measure:

  • Pages/session
  • Average session duration
  • Number of visits to the product page as a result of these clicks
  • Total transactions
  • Total revenue due to this A/B test
  • Revenue per visit

Adding Variety to Navigation Options

Add color and designer name as filters along with size and price.

Displaying only red-colored and blue-colored apparel items
Source: Otte NY

While adding size and price filters helps your visitors shortlist and display what’s available for them, having colors as a filter helps them personalize their choices. If this, along with other filters, still leaves the visitors with a high number of displayed options, you can provide more filters, such as designers.

In the screenshot from Otte New York, selecting 2 colors and 3 designers in the New category narrows down the comprehensive product listing to a more manageable 10 products on the screen.

What to measure:

  • Increase in the number of visits to the product page as a result of clicks on new search filters
  • Increase in the number of purchases as a result of the number of visits

Interaction Analytics: Use heatmaps to see if new options are resulting in increased activity on the filters.

Offering Customer Choices through Sale

Allow products to be earmarked by visitors for a sales reminder.

Tagging specific products on a fashion website
Source: Lyst

Do you see the message between two products on the Lyst category page? While it’s good to have increased visitor engagement on your website pages, this message tells the visitors that if price is a bottleneck, then they have the option to “wait and get” what they are looking for. This can encourage them to not only indicate their choices, but also bookmark the website for a future revisit.

While you can go ahead with this idea and A/B test it; on the same lines, you can also go for similar triggers checking with the customers softly if they need any help while finalizing their current purchase.

Note: You should not test similar ideas together. It may make it difficult to attribute your results with the correct idea. Also, excessive triggers and interruptions can lead to unpredictable visitor behavior.

What to measure:

  • Change in the purchase frequency of repeat customers
  • Change in the repeat purchase rate
  • Change in the revenue for specific durations (when the earmarked products go on sale)

Providing Cross-Selling Offers on the Product Page

Share cross-selling offers on the apparel product page.

Cross-selling on a fashion product page
Source: Farfetch

Use heatmaps and past data while planning such promotions. In the screenshot from Farfetch, UK, note the brevity and clarity in the cross-sell message, and the optimum position in which it is placed, as opposed to a “Recommended products” carousel after the product details. Your offer details should not mix with the product description.

Offer similar or complementary products together. Such offers should not distract visitors away from the product page they are on. Instead, the combined value of the products should attract them to go for it.

Note: Amazon makes about 35% of its revenue from cross-selling.

What to measure:

  • Number of products purchased per order
  • Increase in the average order value

Personalizing Visitor Experience on Product Pages

1) Provide the option to view close-ups of items on fashion product pages.

Close-up of a linen coat on a fashion product page
Source: Ralph Lauren

Remember those models on your television screen posing with the latest designer suits, followed by close-ups of the suits from different angles. This idea goes on to mirror the same experience for your customers. The above image from Ralph Lauren shows how visitors on your site can get to see a zoomed-in view when they select a particular section of the product.

What to measure:

  • Pages per session and session duration for product pages providing this option
  • Add-to-cart numbers from products with the new option

Interaction Analytics: Use session replays to see engagement with the feature.

There may not be a direct correlating impact on the revenue as a result of this change. However, increased engagement could mean a better customer experience.

2) Target Categories for Specific Situations

Targeting unique categories in fashion ecommerce
Source: Old Navy

Segmentation based on multiple requirements would just make it so easy for your customers. Here, Old Navy comes up with a standout idea. On the home page itself, size comes into picture right after the gender. For example, Women and Women’s Plus are two categories differentiated on the basis of size. Maternity comes out as another unique category.

In addition, the visitors can also specify their body types to narrow down their search. For example, the Boys category has Husky and Slim as two differentiators.

The category pages continue with the practice, as they ease your search further. For example, the tagline for Women’s Petite says “Specially designer for Women 5’4” & Under.”

What to measure:

  • Time to purchase should go down, as the visitors should be able to quickly self-select.
  • Conversion rate should go up.

Interaction analytics: Engagement should be higher.

Your Turn

By now, these ideas would have created a chain reaction of sorts for you, helping you come up with more ideas to A/B test. So if there’s something that you would want to add or suggest, please share your responses in the Comments section below.

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A/B Test Ideas for Fashion Ecommerce Websites

Design an Insanely Memorable Conference: From Branding to Signage (And Every Detail in Between)

Attendees from last year’s Call to Action Conference

From busy trade show floors to professionally-lit celebrity panels, it seems every marketing brand wants a South by Southwest-style event all their own these days.

But, with so many conferences for your target market to choose from, it’s risky running a large-scale event as a mid-sized brand. It’s the ultimate faux pas to host a forgettable, generic conference, so how can you stand out from the rest and leave attendees smitten?

At Unbounce, we’ve learned that a good conference is a designed experience: your attendees need to feel the effort that went into the event with every single detail. With Call to Action Conference, we work for months to book unparalleled experts and ensure quality talks. But, as an interactive designer here at Unbounce, I’ve learned that the visual branding of your conference, from the typeface to the venue’s wayfinding is just as important. 

This year I’m responsible for CTAConf’s branding and can share that part of our event’s strategy is to stand out. We want you to remember exactly where you were when you heard remarkable speakers on our stage, built important relationships at our after parties and received valuable insights (not to mention cool swag).

In this post I’ll share a behind-the-scenes look at our 2017 branding, and 5 design tips to ensure every event your brand hosts is unforgettable.

CTAConf 2016

1. When branding your conference, prep a solid pitch

To meet our goals this year, our team decided we wanted to create a new image for our event based on last year’s feedback and key learnings. Ultimately, we want to:

  • Increase brand awareness: It’s essential people remember the conference’s name and associate it with us.
  • Deliver a stunning 360 experience: We want to offer an online and offline cohesive experience for our attendees from touchpoint A to Z. Everything should feel integrated.
  • Use resources wisely: We’ve got a large marketing team, and we need to optimize the use of our internal resources to balance time, effort and impact.

If you’ve run an event before and have decided on developing a new visual look (or you’re running your first in-person event), I find it’s useful to start by reviewing last year’s learnings and/or your upcoming conference goals. This review puts everyone on the same page for understanding the reasoning behind your future design choices.

Once you have your art direction concepts ready to present it’s all about how you sell the story of your vision to your key stakeholders internally. People can’t evaluate a design without knowing its intention, so as a designer—or a marketer working with a designer—ensure you use a kickoff meeting to guide your stakeholders with storytelling and a proper visual presentation.

Here’s an example of the presentation I gave to our internal stakeholders around my proposed brand concepts for this year. In this deck I painted a clear picture for everything from concept development to moodboards to an exploration of the Instagram ads:

Pitch deck
Stakeholders pitch deck.

By sharing the rationale behind each concept and putting together some quick explorations I was able to clearly explain my choices. This helped to generate internal buy in for our refreshed look.

This year’s Call to Action Conference is a designed experience you don’t want to miss (and you don’t have to!). You’ve found the blog readers 15% discount — use the code “Blogsentme” at the checkout from May 8 to 12 to join 1,300 of your marketing peers.

When running your branding kickoff, you’ll want to include all stakeholders who have input or final say in the conference’s look and feel. It’s best to get the majority of feedback at the beginning of your design process instead of during execution.

Also, use real content instead of lorem ipsum in the quick explorations of your design. Presenting banners, posters or landing pages with actual words forces you to explore the branding further and will help you present stronger ideas.

2. Details matter: Build a consistent experience

Perfect execution of the visual design for an event falls on the shoulders of the designer, so you’ll want to define the brand guidelines of your conference early and apply these guidelines across every asset. Using a grid system, and agreed upon typography, colors, photographic and graphic styles will help you maintain visual consistency and you’ll increase the learnability of your brand.

Here’s a look at how we planned our consistent visual treatments this year:

Visual treatments
Example of Illustrations and photograph treatment

As you can see, every single detail counts — from the napkins at the snack bar to the precise measurements of the screen on the stage. As we’ve found, if you don’t pay attention to details, your audience will. To catch inconsistencies that don’t make complete sense, we’ve found it helpful to invite people from other teams to review our design and confirm:

  • Is the message clear?
  • Is every asset pixel perfect, with no spelling errors? (When printing massive banners and expensive materials, you can’t afford mistakes.)
  • Is every photograph, illustration and logo in high resolution?
  • Does every asset feel part of the same universe?

When your running an event, start with a massive list of all possible design needs and go from there. Invite people from many different departments who think differently to review and refine.

You’ll often find there are (literally) hundreds of tasks you or your designer needs to work on, so instead of cutting things from the to-do list as you get closer to the event, sacrificing your vision, plan ahead with these design recommendations:

Develop a clear brand guideline document

This offers internal and external direction should other designers or teams need to jump into the project and ensures a cohesive look no matter who helps with design work.

Brand guidelines for CTAConf
Example of logo, typography and color palette guidelines

Create a Creative Cloud asset library

This provides an easy-to-follow, organized structure for files and folders. The libraries are available in every design app and you can even use them when you’re offline.

Asset Library

Use artboards and smart objects in your Photoshop files

Using social channel banners as an example here, having individual artboards for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all in the same document speeds up your workflow. These artboards facilitate fast content replication, ensure cohesive design across platforms and speed up the export process. As a marketer or designer, you only have to modify your smart objects to quickly create completely new banners where needed.

Smart objects

3. Consider online and offline for every attendee touch point

Event organizers and designers must work together to craft an educational and emotional narrative before, during and after the event. This begins online with the conference’s website, landing pages, app and social channels but extends to offline curation: posters, venue wayfinding and swag items.

To plan exciting journeys through physical spaces at your conference venue, you need to jump into your attendees shoes — but also those of the speakers, media, sponsors and staff. This will help you think of every single touchpoint you need to design for, both online and offline. What are the main tasks attendees want to achieve? And how does each step enable someone to get to the next one?

Here are two examples of user journeys we’ve designed this year:

Online:

online journey

Offline:

offline journey

Besides a better understanding of your attendees needs, this 360 approach also indicates where every design element needs to be located and how individual elements can work together in a larger ecosystem.

For this year’s online experience pre-event, we’re promoting CTAConf in our regular owned channels including our website, monthly newsletter, social accounts and blog, but we’re also trying exciting new approaches you can experiment with for your events too. Here are a few we think are especially cool:

  • Lead gen, traffic shaping and rev gen Convertables – we’ve designed overlays to appear on various pages of our site to increase tickets sales and redirect traffic to our conference site.
Convertables
Want to try overlays on your own site? Overlays are modal lightboxes that launch within a webpage and focus attention on a single offer. Learn more here.
  • Personalized banners for all social media channels. These branded banners appear in Unbouncer Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to help promote the event and link to the conference’s homepage.
social banners
  • CTAConf viewfinders and personalized letters. Recently we sent VIP media invitations out with these custom retro viewfinders. Each wheel contains photos that tell a story from last year so potential attendees can get a sense of what’s just around the corner.
CTAConf Viewfinder

4. Make info prominent to strengthen conference awareness

It’s critical to remind attendees what event they’re attending — verbally and visually.

In our case, it’s tricky because our company’s name is not included in our conference’s name — so many people have called the event the “Unbounce conference.” We want to minimize that awareness gap, which is why this year’s visuals reinforce our conference name (yes, those big letters you might have seen on our emails, banners, landing pages or in our our social channels).

Email banner
Here’s an email banner example.

As a conference planner, look for ways to use all design real estate to communicate key info around the event. When is it? Where is it? Who’s organizing? As obvious as it might sound, always include your company and conference’s logos because this is the only way people will begin associating them together. You want these two things to be synonymous.

Finally, look for ways to ensure all the conference details are clear. Make the session titles, speakers, times and locations very prominent, accessible from multiple locations and keep them up-to-date.

5. Integrate design in your event strategy from the start

Designers are a key part of conference creation, so it’s best to involve us early, often, and continuously instead of turning to us as asset generators on a whim. Involve designers from day one to discuss the message and feeling you need to convey with your event. Additionally, ensure designers feel free to explore new ideas for accomplishing goals.

A key part of a successful collaboration is feedback and how it’s delivered so create a process that works for both parties and stick to it as this will strengthen your communication and boost the quality of your work.

As an example, in early designs of our conference, name badges were focused on communicating the attendee’s category (speaker, sponsor or attendee). This was a communicated requirement, but we realized it’s way more important to facilitate personalized conversation at an event, so for the next round of name badges we made everyone’s name prominent and legible. As simple as this example sounds, it illustrates the importance of focusing on the function of assets rather than just the visual.

Overall, avoid telling a designer exactly how to design, but instead, communicate the key goals of an asset.

Tip: Consider gathering feedback from your attendees, too. Gathering instant feedback is a great opportunity to continuously improve your conference design and branding. This year we’re going to run concise face-to-face surveys to dig deeper and understand which design aspects worked or what could be improved. We’ll ask questions like: What was memorable about this year’s design? Was anything unclear or confusing? What was your favorite piece of swag?

Don’t miss this incredible experience

Overall, designing a conference for 1,300 attendees is not an easy task, but when you see every detail connecting to create a delightful experience, it’s totally worth it. Hopefully my tips have inspired you to design your very own large-scale event and pay careful attention to opportunities you have as a host.

As I mentioned, this year’s CTAConf is truly a 360 experience, and you you’ll want to see it with your own eyes. You can join us and your marketing peers on June 25th – June 27th in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. It’s going to be full of exciting takeaways and well-planned surprises. Hope to see you there.

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Design an Insanely Memorable Conference: From Branding to Signage (And Every Detail in Between)

Using Personalization To Increase AOV And Conversion Rates

Dear |FNAME|,

As a valued customer, we’d like to…

For many eCommerce companies, the first personalization project begins with FNAME. We have become really good at personalizing emails because we know that it works. Emails personalized with recipients’ first names increase open rates by 2.6 percent.

Shoppers are more attracted to marketing that targets their interests and purchase patterns. This doesn’t only apply to emails–using personalization in your eCommerce branded store is the best way to build a relationship and keep customers converting.

The more often customers return, the better you become at delivering relevant suggestions and content for them. According to an Adobe study, 40% of online revenue comes from returning customers…who only represent 8% of site traffic. Using personalized recommendations, enterprises can build a stronger, more profitable relationship with their users.

Now is the time to optimize revenue opportunities and become better at selling to the right customers at the right time. Read on to learn how to use personalization to drive up average order value, or AOV.

Importance of Good Data

Personalization doesn’t work if you don’t know anything about your customers. The more relevant and accurate data you gather, the more refined and detailed picture you can draw. Customers are happy to help you get to know them too. 75% of shoppers like it when brands personalize products and offers, while 74% of online customers get frustrated with a website when content that appears has nothing to do with their interests.

When customers sign up on your site or check out for the first time, use this opportunity to collect information. This will help you with informed promotion and planning recommendations in the future.

As your relationship grows, you can continue to learn more about your customers.

  • How often are they buying?
  • What is their AOV?
  • What campaigns have converted for them?

Finally, customers have the most information about themselves. Allowing them to personalize their own experience by sharing their gender or interest information is a simple way to ensure that you aren’t showing them irrelevant information or products.

Customer data can come from anywhere, and it’s necessary when personalizing experiences. In summary, look for the following data points:

  • Location/IP address
  • Channel of entry (social/email/Amazon)
  • New or Returning customer
  • Previous searches
  • Shopping history
  • Shopping patterns (based on parameters such as the AOV)
  • Customer segments (people who are like them)
  • Customer-provided information (gender, interests)

Enabling social logins like Connect with Facebook will also help you get demographic information about your customers, without them having to provide it themselves.

Now that we’ve got a good picture of our customers, we can start personalizing their experience. There’re three main ways to do this—by segmenting, history, or trend analysis.

Personalization by Segmenting Customers

There are several ways you can personalize a customer’s experience even without asking for any information. When customers land on your site, you already know more about them than you might think.

Practical Tips

Use geotargeting to show the correct language and currency.

Right now, I’m in Austria, so Wool and Gang default to Austria shipping rates and are showing me prices in Euros. This reduces concerns international customers might have about shipping abroad or currency exchange. Reducing concerns means an easier checkout experience, which means better conversions.

personalization example wool and the gang
Source

Using cookies to know if a customer is new or returning.

If they are new customers, prompt them with a pop-up module to sign up and get a discount on their first purchase. Welcome them to your site, explain who you are, and save their email addresses for future selling opportunities.

Spearmint LOVE offers 10% off for first-time visitors if they sign up for the newsletter. It’s a little bonus that later helps convert visitors at a higher value.

Personalization example Spearmint
Source

Segment on the basis of individual shoppers vs. wholesalers

“Wholesalers” is another segment of customers who have different needs. Individual shoppers want quick, one-off purchases and may not be as likely to sign in or create accounts on branded sites.

But catering to wholesale clients by allowing them to sign in to receive special discounts and review orders without calling an account management team makes the experience much better for them. Clarion Safety sells industrial grade safety labels. This organization has created a special experience for wholesale customers that allows them to use different check-out options, such as “charge to account.”

Personalization example Clarion
Source

Identify and segment by channel as a source of entry

Different paths signal different intents.

If they found your products through Pinterest, they are looking to browse and are more visual. If they clicked an email coupon, they could be price conscious and should be shown more sale items. Get inside your customers’ brains and show them what they want to see—this will provide you the highest chance of conversion.

Personalization by Previous Activity

After a relationship has been established between you and your customers—whether that’s just through visiting or years of purchasing history—you have information about them from their previous activity. Use this information to customize their experience, and upsell and cross-sell products that are relevant to them.

Practical Tip

Before purchasing, visitors go back and forth with regard to an item when not sure. They might visit the same site multiple times in a week. A surefire way to get them to convert is to show them their recently viewed items whenever they visit your website. If you’re able to offer a discount on products that they’ve viewed multiple times, it might help you seal the deal.

EpicTV combines this strategy with a least purchase amount for free shipping. This means that visitors will usually add something from their recently viewed list just to achieve that perk.

Personalization example Epic TV
Source

When customers are viewing their carts, at that instance, you can use previous searches or purchases to suggest complementary items. Red’s Baby uses this method to suggest accessories for the main purchase and incrementally increase the AOV. I added a stroller to my shopping cart, and this site suggested matching accessories—all under $50. At this instance, suggesting other types of strollers wouldn’t be effective.

Personalization example Red's Baby
Source

Think about what it’s like meeting customers in the real world. The more you see them, the more history you have of them. You might know that they have kids or that they like to play squash on weekends.

This context makes personalized recommendations and upsells easier. Try and replicate this online. Shopping at an eCommerce retailer doesn’t need to be impersonal, and it shouldn’t be.

Personalization by Building Patterns

Taking the time to build a better recommendation engine makes sense and helps generate additional revenue. According to Barilliance and data based on 1.5 billion online shopping sessions, personalized on-site product recommendations constitute 11.5% of revenue through eCommerce sites. That’s a big chunk of revenue to miss out on!  

Practical Tip

To optimize across all customer visits, dive into analytics and look for purchasing patterns. Do shoppers tend to return often if they buy a specific item? Do many shoppers buy a combination of items at the same time? Finding and taking advantage of these opportunities can help drive up AOV.

For example, recommending products that other customers bought helps crowd source the best options. Check out these suggestions by Blue Tomato when viewing an item. 

Personalization example Blue Tomato
Source

Flash Tattoos speaks their customer’s language and makes their Recommendation section fun. “You’d also look good in” is a flattering way to suggest similar products across different styles.

Personalization example Flash Tattoos
Source

If customers have viewed the shipping policy and not purchased, they might be hesitant about shipping costs. Try offering free shipping at a certain cart value to convert potentially cost-sensitive customers. Finding these patterns that expose reasons for cart abandonment helps create a better experience for your customers. They’ll feel like you are addressing their concerns before they even ask!

Final Tips

Now that you’re ready to start personalizing the shopping experience, we’ve got a few final tips for you:

When you’re suggesting or upselling, use your screen space wisely:

Remember the purpose of each screen, and don’t distract customers from completing their purchase. On the checkout screen, the single Call-to-Action should be to convert and pay for what they’ve selected. Cluttering the screen with additional products can reduce your overall conversion rate.

Personalization isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it tactic:

You need to constantly reevaluate your metrics, hypotheses, and experiments to keep getting better at selling to your customers. Don’t be afraid to try things out and get personal! Your customers will love it and reward you for it with higher AOVs.

Over to You

Have more ideas on how to increase AOV and conversion rates with personalization? Send us your feedback and views in the comments section below.


Kickstart_Personalization_Guide_Free_Trial

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Using Personalization To Increase AOV And Conversion Rates

Infographic: How To Turn Browsers Into Buyers

browsers into buyers cro

98% of website visitors don’t convert. That’s right. On average, only 2% of your website visitors convert and drive your online revenue. Imagine if you could increase that number just a little bit. You could potentially increase your online revenue by 50 to a 100 percent or more. But too many people think conversion rate optimization is testing different button colors on landing pages. In reality, it’s so much bigger than that. If you want to better understand the powerful process that it takes to increase your conversion rate, then you’ll love this infographic. It’s a simple visual that will…

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Infographic: How To Turn Browsers Into Buyers

Designing With Real Data In Sketch Using The Craft Plugin

Besides the user’s needs, what’s another vital aspect of an app? Your first thought might be its design. That’s important, correct, but before you can even think about the design, you need to get something else right: the data.

The image shows a preview of a movie app, designed with the Craft plugin in Sketch

Data should be the cornerstone of everything you create. Not only does it help you to make more informed decisions, but it also makes it easier to account for edge cases, or things you might not have thought of otherwise.

If you want to get even more out of Sketch, feel free to check out our fancy new book, “The Sketch Handbook”, with practical examples that you can follow along, step-by-step, to master even the trickiest, advanced facets and become a true master of Sketch.

The post Designing With Real Data In Sketch Using The Craft Plugin appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Designing With Real Data In Sketch Using The Craft Plugin

The 7 Best Ways to Unlock Your ‘Not Provided’ Keywords in Google Analytics

7 best ways to unlock your not provided keywords

Everyone loves a good intrigue. We like to think there is a hidden agenda behind regular, day to day events. This is particularly true in the case with SEOs, many of whom worry that Google is constantly scheming to control the SERPs. Case in point: the ‘Not Provided’ debate, raging since 2013. For the conspiracy theorist in you, the advent of Google Analytics ‘Not Provided’ keywords has likely lead you to assume that the wonder twins are gearing up for a Dr. Evil-esque scheme to destroy the world of online marketing. After all, over the past two years, there has…

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The 7 Best Ways to Unlock Your ‘Not Provided’ Keywords in Google Analytics

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Your Conversion Rates Are Below Average

10-questions-ab-test-blog
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Check and maintain your conversion rates often, just like you would your car. Image via Shutterstock.

A major faux pas I often see with conversion rates is that businesses only seem to to address them when alarms are triggered.

Conversion rates require ongoing maintenance and should be regular focal points in your optimization and marketing efforts. Like a vehicle engine, they should be checked and maintained regularly.

When conversion rates aren’t what you had expected, it’s not uncommon for marketers and business owners to start making knee-jerk tweaks to on-page elements, hoping to lift conversions through A/B testing. While there may be some benefit to tweaking the size of buttons and adjusting landing page headlines and CTAs, there’s a great deal more to conversion optimization.

You must take a scientific approach that includes qualitative and quantitative data, rather than an à la carte strategy of piecing together what you think might be most effective.

Before making any changes to your landing pages, ask yourself these 10 critical questions:

1. Is there an audience/market fit for the product?

Analyzing the market for your product is something you do in the early stages of product development before launching. It’s part of gathering initial research on your audience and what they want or need. When you experience conversion problems, you may want to revisit this.

Use keyword tools, and platforms like Google Trends to discover the volume of interest in your particular product. If the traffic shows a steady or growing interest, then how well does the product in its current form align with the needs of the people searching for it?

Revisit your audience research and review the needs and problems of your customer. Make sure your product addresses those needs and provides a solution. Then look to how you position the product to ensure customers can see the value.

2. How accurate is your audience-targeting strategy?

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as watching hundreds of people visit your product or landing pages, only to be left with empty carts and no opt-ins.

visitors-no-conversions

It’s not easy to figure out what’s holding them back, but one of the first questions you should ask is whether you’re targeting the right people.

You may very well have a great product for the market, but if you’re presenting it to the wrong audience then you’ll never generate significant interest. This holds true for major, established brands as much as new startups.

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3. Has trust been established?

Asking people to hand over personal and financial information on the web requires a huge leap of faith. You need to establish trust before asking them to add a product to their carts and complete the checkout process or even to give you their email address.

One study from Taylor Nelson Sofres showed that consumers might terminate as many as 70% of online purchases due to a lack of trust. People may really want what you’re selling, but if they don’t trust you, then they’ll never convert.

There are several ways to establish and grow trust, which include:

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Testimonials, notable recognitions and brand affiliations help to build trust among prospective customers. Image via ContentMarketer.io.

4. Do customers understand the benefits and value?

For customers, everything comes down to value, which is the foundation of your unique selling positions (USP.) You can’t just convince someone to buy something through conversion tricks like big buttons and snappy graphics. If they don’t understand the product’s value or how it might benefit them, then they have no reason to buy.

You have to communicate the value of your products accurately and succinctly, breaking down what you’re selling to the most basic level so your customer sees the benefits, rather than just the features.

Here’s a great example that I took from Unbounce:

unbounce-lp-benefits

This landing page put a big the value proposition right up front, mixing in high-impact benefit statements that help seat the value with the audience.

5. What is the purchase experience really like?

It’s important to understand the journey your customer has to follow in order to reach the point where they’re willing to convert. While your landing pages or ecommerce site might look clean, the next step toward a conversion could make the whole thing come crashing down.

Providing top-notch user experiences across all devices is imperative, which includes minimizing the number of clicks necessary to complete the transaction.

Complicated site navigation and checkout processes are among the top causes of cart abandonment. Test your conversion paths internally, and consider trying out a service like UserTesting.com to get unbiased consumer feedback on your UX.

6. Where are the leaks in the funnel?

Figuring out where people exit your site can be a good indicator of why people leave —– at the very least, it can help you narrow down where to start your investigation. Working backwards from the exit point can uncover friction points you didn’t even know existed.

Open your analytics and monitor the visitor flow. Pay close attention to where traffic enters, the number of steps users have to take while navigating from page to page, and trace the point where they typically exit.

Chart your own journey through your website while examining the on-page elements and user experience. Be sure to compare visitor behavior with your funnel visualization to determine when a leak is actually a leak.

7. What are the biggest friction points?

Friction in your sales funnel can be defined as anything that gets in the way of a conversion, either by slowing it down or stopping it completely. Some friction points might include:

  • Slow load times
  • Too many form fields
  • Too many clicks to complete an action
  • Hidden or missing information (like withholding shipping or contact information)
  • Poorly written copy and readability issues
  • Stop words
  • Garish design

(For additional insights into possible friction points in your own funnel, this article from Jeremy Smith, posted on Kissmetrics is a wealth of knowledge.)

You can reduce friction on your own site by taking small steps and testing them to see how they alter your conversion rates. Ask as few questions as possible, avoid overwhelming the customer with too many options, aim for clean and pleasing designs and hire a pro copywriter to make a stronger connection through words.

One of the simplest examples of improvement through the removal of friction comes from Expedia.

expedia-split-test
One seemingly insignificant change can have a dramatic impact on conversion. Image source.

By removing the “company name” field — just a single field on the submission form — Expedia made it easier for people to complete the form. That reduction in friction led to a $12 million increase in profit.

Given the size of Expedia and the volume of traffic they see, you could expect to see a lift like this through A/B testing. Changes don’t always being about such dramatic results, but you’ll never know the potential unless you start testing to remove those friction points in your funnel.

8. How do my customers feel about the process?

When you have concerns about your conversion rates, often the best place to turn for insights are the consumers.

Use feedback tools like a consumer survey to reach out to current customers, as well as those who abandoned their carts midway through the shopping experience. Ask them to provide information on why they made a purchase, why they chose not to, difficulties they experienced while on your site, feedback on design, etc.

This approach not only provides quality insight into what could be the likely cause of poor conversions, but also shows customers (and potential customers) that you’re making an effort to improve your site based on their feedback.

9. What does the data say?

Whenever possible, you want to make changes based on the data you’ve accumulated. Don’t focus solely on the conversion metrics of your website; analyze the data from your social ads and insights, visitor flow, bounce rates, time spent on page and more. Let the data drive your actions; otherwise you’re just firing wildly into the dark and hoping to hit your target.

Whether we’re talking about the ROI for content marketing or boosting ecommerce sales, data always matters. When you make changes, measure the new data and monitor those changes against the original. It’s the only way to know if you’re headed in the right direction.

10. How are my competitors selling this?

While I always warn people not to follow their competitors, you should still be aware of what they’re doing to leverage competitive insights garnered from their market research.

If your conversions are plummeting for specific products or services, look to the competition. How are they positioning their products? What are they doing differently to hook and engage the target audience? Draw comparisons and see how they align with the insights you’ve gleaned from your data to determine which elements you should test and improve upon.

Over to you for the questions

Now it’s time to look at your funnel and start asking the tough questions:

  • Do you need to re-verify product/market fit?
  • How accurate is your audience targeting?
  • Does your audience trust you?
  • Do your customers understand the benefits and value?
  • What’s the purchase experience like for the customer?
  • Where are the leaks in the funnel?
  • Are there major friction points killing conversions?
  • What feedback can customers offer about the process?
  • What does your data say about the conversion process?
  • What are your competitors doing right?

Remember to pay close attention to the numbers and make your changes based on data — not assumptions.

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10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Your Conversion Rates Are Below Average