Tag Archives: B2B e-commerce

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!

Get our free B2B marketing automation guide (.pdf):


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

Marketing automation tip: Creative Co-Op case study



 


Use marketing automation to impact your bottom line.

Whereoware recently developed an innovative, highly-personalized Closeout campaign for Gift & Home company Creative Co-Op.  Retailers were shown items of interest to them, at a time when they most likely needed to restock.  The successful Creative Co-Op closeout campaign has resulted in revenue increases across the board:

  • closeout item boost: 255% month-over-month increase in closeout items sold in the first month of the campaign
  • non-closeout item boost: 84% of items purchased from the campaign were non-closeout items
  • …and much more!

Introducing the 2012 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Project

Here at Whereoware, we deal with all sides of B2B business – sales, marketing, development, and more – and a big portion of that business deals with lead generation. Since this area is such a hot topic for most B2B companies, we all know how important demand generation programs can be.

Have you ever wondered which demand-gen channels your peers find most successful? Will they be spending more or less on leads next year, and for what channels? These aren’t questions that have easy answers, but our friends over at the research firm Software Advice have recently launched a survey to tackle this very important area of marketing. If you are a B2B marketer, you’re invited to participate. We geeks love data, so of course, we’re chomping at the bit for this one!

Continue reading.

Web tip: 3 reasons to keep your website content fresh

Consumers get excited as movies cycle in and out of theaters, new items are added to restaurant menus, and the latest generations of gadgets premiere. All of these things spur excitement by providing something new for consumer consumption.

NEW StampThis ‘excitement’ can be translated right to your website. In fact, SEOmoz shares that some SEO practices recommend adding between 20-30% new pages to your site each year, in an effort to maintain ‘freshness’. Need more of an excuse? These three factors should encourage you to switch up your web pages:

  1. Seasons
  2. Sales & Bestsellers
  3. SEO

Think that your company is unaffected by these three issues? Think again.

Seasons change

The seasons change, and holidays with them – so why doesn’t your site?
Continue reading.

Marketing automation tip: getting the most out of your offline leads

Get the most out of your offline leads –
learn how with our free whitepaper!




Were you a pro at ‘Go Fish’ as a child? The game is a great model for sales: after all, when a tradeshow is over, you want to be the one left holding the most business cards. But if you don’t have time to turn all those cards into prospects, racking up contacts won’t put you any closer to securing sales.

Marketing automation provides a solution. It streamlines sales activity, allowing reps to focus their time on only the most promising leads. But how effective is marketing automation at converting these leads into customers? This question was at the heart of the World Market Center (WMC) Campaign, executed by Whereoware on behalf of Evergreen Enterprises. Using automated data collection and email, the leads that entered Evergreen’s WMC showroom were sent a series of follow-up emails. This whitepaper assesses whether the WMC campaign was successful in converting Evergreen’s leads into customers.

Get the whitepaper and learn how to get the most out of your offline leads!

Web tip: make your website easier to navigate

People navigate the web in different ways. Some may be accustomed to typing out the full URL of a desired site, while others may navigate entirely via Google at this point. Similarly, on websites, some people may be more comfortable using drop-down menus; others may scan sidebars for clues as to where their desired products are located. Still others are drawn automatically to the search bar, no matter where it’s located.

Customers are going to come to your website in many different mindsets, from many different angles, and it’s important that you’re ready to direct them regardless. One way to do this is to ensure you have multiple access points to important areas of your website.

What does this mean?

Continue reading.

Web tip: the Whereoware e-com brief

We recently took stock of a number of our Gift and Home B2B clients. Along the lines of the Dow Jones Index, the E-com Brief provides a benchmark for overall online activity in the Gift and Home industry. Take a look and see what we found!

The measurements

To qualify for the E-com Brief, companies must have annual online B2B sales of $500,000 and have had an active website for over a year. This removes the volatility associated with new sites and gives a better view of B2B e-commerce trends within the Gift and Home Industry as a whole. In order to get a better picture of trends over time, we compared revenue and traffic numbers from these customers in Q1 2011 versus Q1 2012. Our results are illustrated below.

The brief

ecom-brief2

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Google Analytics tip: identify top product categories for top profit

At its core, e-commerce is about maximizing profit. Knowing which products are most profitable and/or most popular can help you to make more informed decisions about both your website and product lines. The new version of Google Analytics makes it simple to find the information you need.

GA-OrderByRevHow to:

  1. Log in to Google Analytics.
  2. On the left hand side, select ‘Conversions’.
  3. Click on ‘Ecommerce’.
  4. Select ‘Product Performance’ from the drop-down menu.

Continue reading.