Tag Archives: B2C e-commerce

Web Tip – Growing your email list with popovers

Most businesses achieve continuous sales growth year after year by nurturing existing relationships with customers and acquiring new customers through engagement and outreach. A robust, accurate email list is the foundation of nurture/acquisition efforts in the digital space.

But developing, maintaining, and especially, growing an email list is not easy. Popular ways to grow your email lists online include contact us opt-in forms (often on a contact us page), newsletter opt-in forms (frequently in the header or footer of the homepage or multiple pages), or opt-in forms trading value (in the form of a discount, white paper, demo, etc.) for the site visitor’s contact information. Today’s blog post features an email acquisition strategy that you’ve likely experienced as a consumer: the popover.

Aren’t popover’s muffins?

No, not that popover! A popover (sometimes called a pop-up window, a lightbox, or an overlay) is an advertisement or webform that appears on a web page, often times requesting an email address or other information, in exchange for an incentive. Popovers appear on top of website content, not in a new window.

Popovers are popping up more frequently. According to the 2013 Email Market Study from Experian Marketing Services, the number of marketers using pop-up windows on their website to collect email addresses increased 107%, more than doubling from last year.”

Our partner Silverpop backs up this claim, “we have seen 200-400% lifts in web form submittals via popovers.” When implemented with the user’s experience in mind, popovers are an effective way to capture email addresses and supplement your other email acquisition strategies.
Continue reading Web Tip – Growing your email list with popovers

Optimize Your Customers’ Online Experience

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Need to sell more online?

You’re in safe hands – online business is our business. We know better than anyone that it’s not always easy. It takes more than a cool website or an awesome email to optimize sales.

The key to killer sales is optimizing your customers’ entire online experience.

The statistics speak for themselves:

  • 167% increase in website ROI for websites launched with an integrated email program.
  • 64% of dissatisfied site visitors will go someplace else to shop next time.

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Industry Online Benchmark

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Curious how your online business measures up to your peers?

Whereoware compiled data from our home décor, lighting, and furniture customers to provide an industry benchmark of major online indicators you should be tracking, such as:

  • % of total customers that visit your website
  • % of total customers that order online
  • % of total sales that are completed online

Web tip: using live chat to connect with your customers

WT---Customer-serviceAre visitors to your website spending a lot time on product pages but not purchasing? Or perhaps your abandoned cart rate is higher than you’d like. Customers with unanswered questions could be a reason.

A 2013 LivePerson Connecting with Customers report said “83% of consumers consistently needed some type of support during their online journey.” Even more frightening for retailers, 48% will abandon the site if they don’t receive it within a five minute timeframe. Live chat, which saw a 24% rise in usage from last year (Forrester), may be the solution.

It’s the preferred method for customer service with 57% of customers preferring to use live chat rather than the phone or email (LivePerson). Plus it helps visitors feel comfortable purchasing. One study showed chatters are 7.5x more likely to convert (BoldChat) than visitors who don’t chat. So, it helps your customers make purchase decisions and has the side benefit of boosting your conversion rates! What’s not to love? Continue reading.

Silverpop how-to: setting up a birthday email program

faithThis week we welcome a guest post from one of our Senior Online Marketing Managers, Faith Albers. Faith is Silverpop Certified and played an integral role in setting up the PaperStyle.com campaign that won Silverpop’s Crawl, Walk Run Programs competition. Here, she shows you the easiest way to set up a birthday campaign – even if you’re not collecting birth dates!

Hopefully you already have a “Birthday” field in your database. If you haven’t been collecting birthdays, don’t worry – it’s not too late! Start collecting birthdays on your email sign up form or email preferences form. You can always send an email asking the subscriber to share their birthday. Here’s an example from B2C Retailer, Mud Pie:

Mud Pie birthday email

Setting up the actual birthday campaign takes 4 easy steps: Continue reading.

Marketing automation tip: Abandoned Cart email examples

AC-ColonialOne of the most effective targeted campaigns a company can run is Abandoned Cart. As we explained in our whitepaper, “Abandoned Cart Emails: the facts, the data and the how to,” Abandoned Cart emails target shoppers who added items to their cart, but did not complete a purchase during that visit. Customers who receive personalized, targeted emails like this are more likely to return to the website than customers sent generic blast emails. They are also more likely to complete their order.

In fact, recent Whereoware client data showed that Abandoned Cart emails sent on behalf of our B2B e-commerce clients saw an astonishing 59% open rate and 10% conversion rate. That’s 23% higher than the average open rate for other types of triggered emails, and 97% higher than the average open rate for blast emails. Conversion rates for Abandoned Cart emails are even more impressive: Abandoned Cart emails convert 150% more than other triggered emails, and 233% more than regular blast emails. The message is clear: you can’t afford NOT to do Abandoned Cart emails! Continue reading.

Silverpop how-to: using web tracking to drive dynamic content

michelleThis week, we welcome a guest post from one of our Senior Web Marketing Managers, Michelle Graves. Michelle is Silverpop Certified and works with some of our most high-profile clients. Here, she walks us through using website behavior to create relevant personalized emails.

Nowadays, there’s no excuse for one-size-fits all email marketing. There are tools that make it easy to identify online user behavior right down to the topic or page they visited. With this type of information at your fingertips, it’d be silly NOT to target emails towards customer interests!

Think about this concept in your own life: would you rather a store employee help you find clothes in your size and style, or just haphazardly throw all sorts of garments in your cart? This is a light-hearted example, but it’s representative of a larger pattern. Automated, targeted messages have become all the rage for one crucial reason: your customers like them. Continue reading

Marketing automation: a how-to guide

robotIt’s been demonstrated again and again that automated emails are much more effective than normal emails.

You’ve heard the statistics, with some companies seeing open rate improvements as high as 49%!

Armed with this knowledge, you’re eager to move past blast mailings, but you’re not quite sure where to begin.

With our many years of experience helping both clients and ourselves to optimize + deploy automated, behavior-triggered emails, we’re happy to help.

Download our free How-To guide, “5 simple steps to improve your marketing automation skills,” and you’ll be ready to automate your own B2B or B2C emails in no time!

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Get our free B2C marketing automation guide (.pdf):

 

Web tip: our 5 favorite e-commerce websites

rochelleThis week, we have a guest post from Whereoware’s Creative Lead + Front End Developer, Rochelle Pennington. Rochelle has been a web designer and front end developer for 5+ years, and has helped the Whereoware team design and develop more than 50 websites for our clients.  Over the years, she’s picked up a few tricks of the trade, and she knows how to spot a good design when she sees it. Here, Rochelle provides a round-up of some of her favorite e-commerce websites:

Barneys1. Barneys New York (http://www.barneys.com)

Barneys.com features a beautiful, bold product detail page design that online shoppers don’t normally get to see. Tall product images are no longer off-limits; Barneys flaunts its large photography, and includes highly relevant upsell content around the main product.

Hiding non-essential content
, like the product description and specs, removes clutter and allows consumers to focus on the important stuff (like pictures and the “buy” button!). They keep the important information up above the fold, making it super easy to purchase.

2. United Pixelworkers
(http://www.unitedpixelworkers.com)

I love the UnitedPixelworkers.com website because it proves that an e-commerce site can be light-weight and responsive. Since it is content-light and contains only necessary product information, the site is able to load quickly, minimizing wait time for customers. In addition, the site’s advanced design allows for it to be responsive to customers’ own devices.

Rather than directing mobile or tablet visitors to a mobile site, the United Pixelworkers site is designed in such a way that the same exact website can adapt to all different screen sizes. The site’s layout is not dependent on the device, but rather on screen size, with all page content able to shift to fit in smaller screens. In terms of information, the website provides only what is actually necessary – cost, shipping, in-stock status, a description, and an image. This is true on both the mobile and desktop sites. This kind of minimalism makes it easy for customers to navigate, find what they want, and ultimately purchase.

UPworkers

United Pixelworkers also does something that we don’t see much of on other e-commerce sites: product availability (in-stock, out of stock, running low) is graphically represented, with a nifty bar for each product variation. The bar is shaded to represent the remaining inventory; if a product is out of stock, the words “out of stock” appear in the bar rather than shading.This achieves two ends: giving this kind of information to the customer early in their shopping experience sets expectations, and decreases the feeling of frustration they’d potentially get after adding an out-of-stock product to the cart. In addition, seeing a very limited amount left in stock may be the final impetus a customer needs to make a purchase. Pretty clever!

JCrew3. J.Crew
(http://www.jcrew.com)

I find myself shopping on J.Crew’s website…a lot. Besides having great products, one of the reasons I’m so loyal to them is because they make it easy for me to spend my money – not so great on my wallet, but awesome for them!

J.Crew offers PayPal as an alternate secure payment option, which is fantastic for customers who are wary about giving away credit card information. In addition to being secure, it’s also fast and convenient because customers aren’t asked to enter their billing information again and again.

Another thing J.Crew does well is to provide a clean website design (minimizing distractions) and well-organized products. Viewing all products within a parent category would normally return an endless sea of content, but J.Crew does a great job visually breaking up product thumbnails into their respective subcategories.

4. Sugarpova
(http://www.sugarpova.com)

Sugarpova.com is the youngest site on my list, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. Sugarpova’s product detail pages have many things in common with Barneys’, so you can probably guess that I’m a big fan. Just as with Barneys, simple page layouts, large imagery, and minimal copy let products shine.

Sugarpova

The minimalistic design is carried over to the shopping cart and checkout pages, featuring an easy one-page checkout process that keeps a running tab of all information the customer has entered in the right-hand column. This website just makes online shopping a breeze.

WestElm5. West Elm
(http://www.westelm.com)

West Elm is another one of my favorite retailers. If you step inside of one of their brick & mortar stores, you’ll find yourself in an insanely detailed showroom, and it’s not hard to imagine a few (or all!) of their products inside your home.

WestElm2West Elm stores achieve this by showing you their products in their natural environment (i.e., your living room and bedroom). They do the same thing online, too.On their website, they offer up alternate product images* almost anywhere they can, including on the home page, category landing pages, in the quick view, and even on thumbnail rollovers. Being able to view product in context can make purchasing online less intimidating, so why not allow customers to do so at every opportunity?

While eye candy encourages customers to stick around, providing faceted search filters will help them make easier buying decisions. Faceted search is when the user performs a simple search using a keyword or two, then narrows down their search results by selecting the appropriate checkboxes or drop downs (sorting by price points, color, material, etc).

*Side note: including high-quality, professionally directed photography is an absolute must. Your website may be the only opportunity you have to make a good impression on potential (and returning) customers, so I highly recommend investing in exceptional silhouetted and/or environmental photography.

There are many factors I didn’t get to list that make a successful e-commerce website, but I’ll save those for next time!

What is your favorite e-commerce website?  Why?

Whereoware & Creative Co-Op support independent retailers with innovative closeout email marketing campaign

WASHINGTON D.C., January 04, 2013 – Gift & Home company Creative Co-Op recently developed an innovative Closeout marketing campaign in conjunction with digital agency Whereoware. The campaign matches individual retailers with specific items they previously purchased, and gives them first choice when these items move to closeout. The timeliness, as well as a focus on personalized product recommendations, led to a 255% month-over-month increase in closeout items sold in the first month of the campaign.

The campaign stemmed from Creative Co-Op’s desire to maximize closeout revenue in a way that would also benefit its independent retail customers. Whereoware used behavior-based marketing automation to meet this goal. Emails are sent when a retailer’s purchase history matches items placed on closeout by Creative Co-Op. In order to target these individuals, the campaign scans sales data from retailers who have recently purchased product; if any of these purchases include items currently on closeout, an automated email is sent to notify the individual retailer that these products have now been moved to closeout.

Retailers shopping for Creative Co-Op products saw benefits immediately. The campaign’s targeted personalization meant that the retailers saw only items they previously purchased. The time constraint (90 days) ensured that they would receive these personalized reminders at a time when they most likely need to restock. Additionally, the campaign’s focus on closeout products meant that retailers got first access to familiar products at a cheaper price, while simultaneously lessening the competition they would face from discount stores buying closeout product at lower prices.
Continue reading Whereoware & Creative Co-Op support independent retailers with innovative closeout email marketing campaign