Category Archives: Web tip

Web Tip – How to Measure Statistical Significance of Your A/B Tests

This week, we welcome a guest post from our Digital Project Manager, Anna Pleshakova.

 Anna is responsible for behavior-driven email marketing campaigns and strategy for B2B and B2C clients and helping them navigate emerging digital trends. She also works on web development and data integration projects for clients.

As marketers, we always want to be testing to see what creative content fits our audience best. Is it a sneaky subject line that entices email opens? Or a particularly good call to action that gets the click on a landing page?

Multivariate, or A/B testing, is a great way to test and see what works and doesn’t. “Success” can be measured in numerous ways, but the results should be significant. If you’re scratching your head because we lost you at multivariate, read on to learn what A/B testing is and how you can measure the statistical significance of your tests.

Continue reading Web Tip – How to Measure Statistical Significance of Your A/B Tests

Web Tip – 5 Tips to Boost Sales on Amazon Prime Day

Don’t miss out on Amazon Prime Day! This year, Amazon Prime Day begins Monday, July 10 at 6 p.m. and lasts until Wednesday, July 12 at 12 a.m.

It’s time to get your products ready for the busiest shopping day of the year. Today, we’ll walk through five quick tips to optimize your products for Amazon Prime Day.

 

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Introduced in July 2015, Amazon Prime Day boasts considerable discounts on tons of products, like Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Echo speakers, and more.

More than 90,000 TVs and two million toys were sold on Amazon Prime Day 2016, doubling sales from 2015 and receiving the “biggest day ever” praise of one online retailer.

Amazon Prime Day features three types of deals – Spotlight deals, Lightning deals, and Savings and Steals. Spotlight deals are the best deals of the day, and Lightning deals are only available for a limited time. New deals are released every five minutes.

Amazon Prime Day is exclusive to Prime members. To take part in the deals, sign up for a free, 30-day trial (just don’t forget to cancel it afterwards if you don’t want to retain your membership). Continue reading Web Tip – 5 Tips to Boost Sales on Amazon Prime Day

Web Tip – Why We Choose Episerver: Commerce + Content = Success

Whereoware clients, prospects, and industry friends frequently ask about our technology partners, and why we chose them.

Episerver

Today, we’re giving a shout out to our CMS and commerce vendor pal Episerver.

See how Episerver played a part in bringing Whereoware’s vision to fruition, and why the experts are taking notice.

Seeking: A Personalization Partner

As a website design and development agency, Whereoware is always on the lookout for technology partners, platforms, applications, and tools to expand our solutions and capabilities. We have a diverse client base, so we employ a wide-breadth of technical talent and cross-platform expertise, rather than limiting ourselves to just one platform or tool.

Episerver Icons

In 2013, Whereoware was seeking a CMS partner to help bring our vision to life: combining automation, analytics, and personalization to build authentic relationships online.

As brands upped their online game with personalized services and offers (COUGH Amazon), all consumers would expect these hyper-relevant and personalized online experiences. (My shopping experience is so simple on Amazon – why can’t it be this easy everywhere?)

We wanted to bridge the experience gap – helping clients create the same simple, pleasant, personal, and genuine interactions online they achieved offline (and vice versa).

We had extensive expertise in automation and personalization, but were seeking a simple and intuitive, cloud-based platform that’d let us deliver a holistic, personalized user experience from email, mobile, and digital ads, to the e-commerce and content-based websites we built and designed for clients.

Enter Episerver

Whereoware ultimately partnered with Episerver, a global provider of a single platform to smartly manage digital content, commerce, and marketing in the cloud.

Episerver balances commerce and content in a flexible, cloud-based platform. They’re uniquely well-versed in B2B and B2C e-commerce business requirements, and those of Service companies.

Episerver is flexible and agile enough to integrate with our automation platforms and other third-party tools. We also loved that it was exceedingly simple to use; letting marketers drag and drop products or messaging to create targeted product pages, or develop hyper-personal visitor groups, in minutes.

We’ve had considerable success using Episerver to build personalized e-commerce and CMS websites for clients. Check out a sample site from Mud Pie.

In the News

We’re not the only ones praising Episerver recently. Check out what the experts are saying in some recent press below:

2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. The Gartner Magic Quadrant report evaluates 21 providers of digital commerce platforms to provide context and clarity to organizations considering vendors and platforms. Gartner named Episerver a “Challenger” and awarded top marks for the critical capabilities of Agility, Customer Experience, Time to Productivity, and Total Cost of Ownership. Read the full report here.

The Forrester Wave™: Web Content Management Systems, Q1 2017. This report evaluates web content management systems providers based on their current offering, strategy, and market presence. Episerver was included as one of the 15 most significant web content management systems, and categorized as a Leader for its core web CMS extensibility and architecture, testing, and personalization functionality. Read the full report here.

Episerver Graphs

Want More Info on Episerver and Whereoware?

Whereoware is a longstanding Episerver partner. In recent years, we’ve won Episerver’s 2016 North American Ascender of the Year award, 2015 Commerce Site of the Year award, and 2014 Best Digital Marketing Site award. See examples of our work here.

Want to talk about Episerver and Whereoware’s combined capabilities? Reach out to us.

Persona Worksheet – 4 Steps to Actionable User Personas

When you’re developing a content piece, website, or email, your audience sometimes morphs into faceless figures, instead of the real, everyday people you’re trying to reach.



To engage real people, you need to tailor your messages and incentives to be relevant to their individual needs, address their concerns, demonstrate your value, and persuade them to convert (all at an appropriate time in their purchase cycle and without being too aggressive or annoying).

Luckily, developing user personas – mapping out fictional characters representing your core audience – helps you engage individuals with the right approach, timing, and messaging to move them down the conversion path. (Our Persona Worksheet makes mapping our personas easy! Get it below.)

User personas work

User personas help you personalize interactions with your customers + personalization simply works:
Personalization-Stats-Updated

How to build actionable user personas

Identify characteristics that offer insight about customers and factors driving their decision making. The goal is to group similar customer representations together, until you’re left with a manageable number of personas, representing about 80% of your audience (3-5, depending on your organization’s size).

When developing user personas, you must collect actionable information that tells you something about the person, so you can respond to their behavior with persuasive, impactful marketing.

Remember, you’re trying to understand intangibles like motivations, concerns, turn-offs, and position in the buyer lifecycle, as well as tangibles like location, age, and education level, to paint a clear and divisive picture of the different types of people making up your core audience. You must also plan how you’ll identify these personas in your various channels (website, email, mobile push, etc.) to deliver the right content.

Continue reading Persona Worksheet – 4 Steps to Actionable User Personas

Web tip – How to Avoid Product Data Pain

Like OZ behind the curtain, product data files aren’t seen by end users, but power everything: our websites, third-party marketplaces, digital catalogs, fulfillment and operations, and more.

Product data files are integral to smooth internal/external operations, a pleasant end user experience, and sales success. The pitfall is they’re overwhelming and time consuming for marketers to consistently update and maintain across all digital channels.

Marketers rarely maintain just one either. In today’s omni channel world, companies aren’t only selling products through their website, digital catalogs, sales reps, or brick and mortar stores. Now, many brands also sell products on third-party marketplaces, like Amazon, Zulily, Wayfair, Google Shopping, and more.

The third-party marketplaces each require their own product data file. Yet the data in every file must be accurate, up-to-date, and compelling, since this information dictates how a product is displayed and marketed to the public.

Inaccuracies in product data means inaccuracies on webpages, wreaking havoc on site visitors’ brand perception and eroding credibility. In fact, a study from Episerver found that “98% of all shoppers have decided against buying due to errors in a retailer’s site content.”

Luckily, there are tools out there, called Product Information Management (PIM) systems,  that stop this manual product maintenance madness.

Today, we’ll talk through product data challenges, and how a PIM system can revolutionize the product data management process.

How is Product Data Used?

Just about everything a website visitor sees on a product page is pulled directly from a product data file. This Wayfair example below demonstrates a typical product data file, and how it drives the final webpage.

Product Data Wayfair example

Examples of fields that may be in a product data file include:

  • Product category
  • Product name
  • Item number
  • Size specs
  • Images and alternate images
  • Product descriptions
  • Designer
  • Weight and dimensions
  • Shipping options
  • Availability

This data is imported into our website and third-party marketplaces on a regular basis, and automatically changes how information is displayed to end users.

Product Data File Challenges

For too many marketers, product data is housed in multiple formats, with more than one person responsible for managing and updating it.

Perhaps image files are stored on a thumb drive or Dropbox, and product descriptions, titles, SKUs, and more are in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or plain old Excel sheets.

When it’s time to update a product’s images or change its shipping options or availability, for example, it is a hassle to locate and modify the correct product in the correct file in a timely manner. The same challenge arises when the marketer is trying to execute a new promotion and needs to gather a subset of themed items from different files.

Furthermore, marketers need to make sure they keep these data files clean of errors or problematic formatting, or their nightly imports could fail. There are a lot of moving parts, and the stakes are high to keep everything accurate and updated.

Third-Party Marketplace Challenges

Third-party marketplaces further complicate product data file management, because each requires its own data file, formatted in a specific way.

Below, we’ve included a sample product data file for Wayfair and Amazon, and an example of what the end user sees for the product “Kitchen Aid Mixer.”

Product Data on Wayfair and Amazon

If a marketer doesn’t perfectly follow their data spec, the product page will be missing, inaccurate, or incomplete.

Introducing Product Information Management Systems (PIMs)

A Product Information Management (PIM) system centralizes and houses all marketing and technical information for product listings and catalogs in one simple tool.

Marketers can import images, product descriptions, titles, videos, sales sheets, and more into the system for immediate access by team members.

Once in the PIM, products can be searched and filtered, so finding images and assets is no longer a time-consuming struggle. It’s then easily distributed to third-party systems, like websites and marketplaces, supplied to customers, or fed into a digital catalog.

The graphic below is from Whereoware’s PIM system ProductFastLane. We built ProductFastlane with the marketer in mind.

We wanted to make it simple and streamlined to get the data you need to create compelling product pages on your website, run effective campaigns in Google Shopping or Facebook, and get a great ROI out of your third-party market places.

Whereoware's PIM System Product FastLane

We also aimed to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO). Marketers can write and update compelling product descriptions, titles, and other data points in Product FastLane to optimize each product for natural search.

By housing all product data in one secure location, marketers update product details one time and easily distribute it to the website and third-party marketplaces. This saves time and headache, but also ensures product data is consistent and compelling across the web.

Avoid Product Data Pains

Too many marketers live in spreadsheet hell, battling their product data. Yet, this seemingly tedious task is vital to e-commerce success.

Looking for a lifeboat? A PIM system helps busy marketers manage, update, and optimize product data. Spend less time in the data weeds, and more time developing creative merchandising and outreach campaigns to delight customers.

Get more information on Whereoware’s Product FastLane here or contact us for a demo.

Web tip – 5 ways to increase retailer registrations on your website



It’s hard enough to convert traffic on your e-commerce website, but many of our B2B wholesale clients face an additional hurdle: they require customers (retailers) to register with them to shop their website.

A non-registered website visitor can view products, though sometimes even those are hidden, but won’t see product information or certain product details. The registration process allows wholesale companies to vet retailers, without displaying wholesale prices to consumers.

Once the retailer registers and is approved, they receive a login and access to the full website – prices, product details, and frequently, highly customized retailer portals.

The plot thickens! When that same B2B wholesale company unveils a new website, oftentimes their retailers must re-register to gain access to the site. This is a common best practice to protect retailer privacy data. These wholesalers must compel retailers to register not once, but twice!

Having built hundreds of wholesale websites, we know a thing or two about motivating retailers to register. Today, we’ll cover five simple, effective ways to increase registrations on your website.

Can’t miss Invite and Benefits

This is a no-brainer, but make sure you tell retailers to register. The invitation or reminder to register must be easy to find, so place the messaging or call-to-action in a can’t miss location on your site or email.

Continue reading Web tip – 5 ways to increase retailer registrations on your website

Web tip – 4 reasons e-commerce marketers need a PIM system

whereowares-pim-system-product-fastlane-increase-traffic-and-conversionsToday’s e-commerce marketers are rockstars. They’re the Swiss Army Knives of sales. The MacGyver’s of marketing. They’re juggling everything – websites, emails, digital catalogs, third-party marketplaces, paid ads, social media, and more, and making it all look effortless.

Under the hood, it’s everything but effortless. Not only are marketers executing campaigns, they’re also working behind the scenes, managing endless data feeds, APIs, automation tools, and CRM systems to power all their digital initiatives.

Clean and reliable data is the foundation of keeping all these balls in the air. Yet, untangling data on a day-to-day basis is one of the trickiest aspects of managing campaigns.

That’s where a Product Information Management (PIM) system helps. Today, we’ll cover PIM system basics and benefits, and four reasons why busy marketers should add a PIM system to their must-have list.

What is a PIM system?

A PIM system is a lifeline to pull you out of spreadsheet hell. You know what I’m talking about – you’ve got all of your product data in an Excel spreadsheet and product images on a USB drive or Dropbox. You’re checking databases for product inventory, hoping your recurring data feeds don’t fail, or importing product data manually.

There are so many moving parts, it’s enough to give the most competent marketer anxiety.

A PIM System replaces all of these moving parts. It places all your product data and assets in one, centralized system. (An example of Whereoware’s PIM system, Product FastLane, is pictured below.) When you’re managing hundreds or thousands of products, the ability to access, search, filter, and update data in one location and then share it across all your digital channels saves time and headaches.

whereowares-pim-system-product-fastlane

Reduce Data Management Costs

whereowares-pim-system-product-fastlane-reduce-data-management-costsToo often, data is stored in disparate locations and is outdated, or incomplete. When this happens, it takes many man hours to track and check the data – time that is better spent brainstorming or executing the next marketing campaign.

When you have multiple team members handling and relying on the same data, things become hairy fast.

A simple and effective PIM system let’s everyone on your team manage and update standardized data in one place. It streamlines collaboration and reduces organizational costs due to lost productivity.

Improve Data Quality and Reduce Risk Across Marketplaces

Similarly, by maintaining a “master” data standard in your PIM system, you know that everywhere you share your products – whether it’s your website, a digital catalog, or a third-party marketplace – product details are consistent and accurate.

When information changes, you update the system one time, instead of manually updating information on every channel, reducing redundancy and rework.

Many PIM systems, like Whereoware’s PIM system Product FastLane, alert you of incomplete data fields, missing links or images, or other data errors, so you fix them right away. This “second checker” will significantly reduce your anxiety, while ensuring your data is accurate on every channel.

product-fastlane-identifies-errors

Share Consistent Data Across Marketplaces

A brand’s e-commerce website isn’t the only place retailers or consumers purchase products anymore.

whereowares-pim-system-product-fastlane-share-products-with-marketplacesMany brands also sell on third-party marketplaces, like Amazon, Wayfair, Zulily, and more. These marketplaces expose a broader audience to a brand’s products, but each one typically requires a different product dataset, formatted a different way.

These third-party data specs can be built into your PIM system, so all you do is map your data fields to their spec with a few clicks. Since it pulls from one data source, you always have consistent, accurate data across marketplaces.

Increase Traffic and Conversions

Your product descriptions and imagery must grab attention and compel action. A PIM system lays everything out for you, from your product details to important search engine optimization (SEO) fields, like meta descriptions, image titles, and more.

If your SEO data is complete, your site’s placement in SERPs improves, and more searchers find your products.

Free yourself of data headaches: get a PIM system

As more marketers develop data-driven marketing strategies, they need tools and processes to make sure the data they rely on is complete, accurate, and quickly accessible. They can’t spend all day creating, checking, and importing data files.

Clean data is one of the most important weapons in a marketer’s arsenal. Take control of your marketing data with a user-friendly Product Information Management (PIM) system.

Like what you hear? Check out Whereoware’s new PIM system – Product FastLane.

2016 B2B + B2C Holiday E‑commerce Toolkits

2016 Holiday ToolkitsThe moment you’ve all been waiting for… the 2016 B2B + B2C Holiday E-commerce Toolkits are here!

What’s in your toolkit?

1. 2016 E-commerce calendar for 2016 chock full of holiday campaign ideas

2. Holiday Email Inspiration

3. Stats from last year’s sales season, so you can benchmark your performance

4. A bunch of other marketing resources, like email templates, how-to’s, and mobile tips.

5. A recording from our Holiday Readiness webinar, in case you missed it.





Web tip – VR and AR in Marketing

Anna Pleshakova WherowareThis week, we welcome a guest post from our Online Marketing Manager Anna Pleshakova. Anna is responsible for behavior-driven email marketing campaigns and strategy for B2B and B2C clients and helping them navigate emerging digital trends.

When you hear about virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR), you may picture a futuristic, Matrix-type world, or think of video games, like the popular AR game Pokemon Go.

Today, we’ll help you understand the differences between AR and VR, and get you thinking about how you can use both technologies to give your audience a unique brand experience.

VR/AR 101

VR and AR in MarketingVirtual reality is defined as a “computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment, that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.” That’s a mouthful, but think: wearing a VR helmet to transport yourself into another world – be that a different geolocation or a fictional video game world – the possibilities are endless!

Augmented reality is defined as “technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” Think: Pokemon Go using your mobile phone’s camera functionality to superimpose a Pokemon inside your living room.

VR is a more immersive experience than AR. Wearing a VR device, the viewer sees a 360-degree view of content displayed on the screen and can interact with it. AR, on the other hand, incorporates the world around you and adds additional elements.

How Marketers can use VR and AR

Film used to be the most immersive storytelling medium, but even with the high-end TVs, you’re still only watching the screen. VR and AR offer marketers an exciting opportunity to create fully immersive, interactive customer experiences.

You’re probably thinking, “great, but using VR devices requires advanced developer or technical skills, right?” Absolutely not!

In our day and age, both VR and AR are easier to use then you think. For example: with a simple and cheap device like Google Cardboard, you can have a VR experience by inserting your phone into a cardboard viewer, which has two lenses. You hold the viewer over your eyes and explore various virtual reality apps.

6 Reasons to Adopt VR and AR + Brand Success Stories

1. Personalization: both the customer and marketer upload their own content to create a unique form of media, appealing to the customer’s interests.

Retailer Top Shop’s Catwalk Experience, developed by Inition, was a chance to get a sneak peek into London’s Fashion Week. Viewers “sit in the audience” at Topshop’s flagship store and get to see models wearing their favorite brand’s collection walking down the catwalk.

2. Novelty: an early adopter of one of technology’s “latest things” will gain the first movers’ advantage.

Michelle Obama’s VR video (created by the Verge) shows a 360 view of everything the first lady accomplished, now that Barack Obama’s time in office is coming to an end. It presents facts, figures, and stats – the very first VR infographic! This approach to looking at the infographic eliminates distractions and allows viewers to focus on the content.

3. Socialization: customers can save and share their content with others, potentially resulting in viral customer/brand experiences.

Mcdonald's Happy GogglesThe iconic fast-food chain McDonald’s Sweden recently created a virtual reality viewer made from a happy meal box. (Remember we told you VR technology does not have to be complicated?) “Happy Goggles” function similarly to Google Cardboard and allow you to insert your mobile device into the happy meal “headset.” Customers can then share this experience with others via social media – a big win for McDonald’s!

4. Accessibility: customers can use both technologies if they’re not 100% tech-savvy or know how to create their own multimedia products.

Hiking boot brand Merrell’s TrailScape is an immersive VR hiking simulator at their Sundance festival stand. Participants can walk/climb up or down a mountain and must overcome obstacles throughout their journey. The customer just puts on the VR gear, walks around Merrell’s set, and they’re transported to the mountaintop– no technology knowledge required!

Merrell's Trailscape

5. Excitement: inject a playful, fun element into any product or service.

Hotel chain Marriott’s “Teleporter” by Relevent is a VR booth whisking a viewer away on virtual travel all over the globe. Simultaneously, it subtly informs the potential customer that there’s always a Marriott to stay in, wherever you go. This takes a regular photo and/or information booth to a whole new and unexpected level by adding an Oculus Rift DK2 headset and headphones.

6. Mobile friendly: many VR headsets use phones to project the viewer’s content of choice. Behaviors consumers do everyday, like taking a photo, are used to deliver a more immersive experience.

Text100 described an example: “someone browsing a magazine for a watch, can take a small, customized branded insert, place it on his or her wrist and use an in-app camera to actually show exactly what that watch will look like when worn.”

Give AR and VR a Try

It’s important for marketers to stay ahead of technology and try new approaches to engage customers. Though we don’t think you should chase every new trend, VR and AR offer marketers an opportunity to create customer experiences that are impossible with other mediums.

We’ll keep watching to see how inventive brands get creative with both technologies. In the meantime, let us know what you think about the future and potential of VR and AR in the comments!