How to create a seamless cross-channel customer journey with call tracking

When consumers jump from online to the phone, it can be a frustrating experience. But it doesn’t have to be.

The post How to create a seamless cross-channel customer journey with call tracking appeared first on Marketing Land.

Have you ever started the purchase process online for a complex product like a mortgage or healthcare then had to call the company to get questions answered?

Usually, it goes like this: Fill out forms online then get stuck. Call, then repeat everything you put in the forms. Get transferred, repeat everything again. Find out you got transferred to the wrong rep, throw your phone across the room, pour a glass of wine and buy something nice for yourself on Etsy instead of doing grown-up things. 

While it may seem this like this is done to intentionally torment you, the cause is usually an inability to pass data from online to offline realms. Here’s how you can create a seamless online-to-offline experience for your customers. 

How call tracking platforms can help

Buying journeys are increasingly digital, but over-rotating to online self-service can be a major source of frustration for consumers who need help sorting out a complicated purchase. Many times, they are going to want to pick up the phone to talk to a person.

In fact, Invoca research conducted by the Harris Poll found that in considered purchase categories like healthcare and home improvement services, over a quarter of consumers prefer to complete transactions over the phone. 

The danger comes when you play bury-the-phone-number to force people into a digital-only transaction — when a company only has automated communications and no option for human interaction, more than half of consumers (52%) feel frustrated and nearly one in five actually (18%) feel angry. That’s probably not the experience you are looking for. 

When companies do encourage consumers shopping or researching online to call, they can run into different issues and new ways to frustrate them. When a customer goes from clicking your ad, hitting your website, to calling your business, that often creates a data gap with two primary effects:

  1. The call center has no context for the call, making it more difficult to provide exceptional service.
  2. Marketing loses track of the transaction and has no data to optimize the customer journey. 

This is where you need a call tracking and conversation analytics platform to bridge the gap. It’s a critical piece of the martech stack for any company that makes sales, sets appointments, or gives quotes over the phone. Call tracking and conversation analytics platforms can not only analyze what’s happening on the phone to classify calls and identify conversions, but they also track the digital journey that leads up to a call so marketers can get both attribution data and customer journey insights that allow them to optimize cross-channel buying experiences.

Here are just a few ways you can use call tracking platforms to create a seamless cross-channel customer journey.

Route calls to the right place the first time

If a potential customer finds your company online and they are calling to make a purchase, you don’t want to route the call to a customer service rep. This not only wastes the customer’s time, but it also burns up valuable call center resources getting them to the right place. You can improve call conversion rates and ensure the best possible experience by getting your callers to the right destination quickly.

There are three common methods of routing calls with a call tracking platform that can help accomplish this. You may end up using one or all of these, depending on your level of routing sophistication and customer needs. 

Routing with call treatments

Call treatments are one of the simplest methods of call routing and it can be accomplished with a call tracking platform or in your telephony system. You can route by asking a caller to respond to a question using key presses, usually something like, ‘for sales, press one. For customer support, press two’. 

Location-based routing

If your business has multiple locations, you can also route calls based on the location of the caller. This can be accomplished via the callers’ area code using your telephony tools, but this poses a risk of improper routing since people frequently keep out-of-area phone mobile numbers long after they have moved.

Using a call tracking platform, however, you can present each caller with a unique local number (based on their IP address, not their phone’s area code) on your website or search results to make sure they get to the right location. Some call tracking platforms can even use tag-based tools that will automatically identify and replace all of your phone numbers on a given web page so you don’t have to do it manually. While online users are all presented with unique phone numbers for tracking purposes, they are still routed to your desired existing phone numbers. 

Route calls with combined data sources

The most advanced flavor of call routing uses a combination of digital data captured by a call tracking platform, third-party demographic data, and/or your own first-party data that lives in your CRM or other internal sources. Invoca’s call tracking platform accomplishes this through three features in the platform called custom data, enhanced caller profiles, and lookup tables.

Custom data is the umbrella name for any data captured by Invoca that fall outside of standard UTM parameters or required integration IDs. Custom data fields are customizable to your business and typically include information like customer IDs, product SKUs, and shopping cart cookies.

Enhanced caller profile data is third-party demographic data matched to the caller. Examples of this include age, home location, and homeowner status. Lookup tables enable you to upload first-party offline data using a match-value captured by an Invoca custom data field. By tapping into these rich sets of data, you can dynamically route callers to the best destination, eliminating call transfers and key presses often associated with calls to businesses.

Unify your online and offline data sources

To avoid data gaps that can cause a fragmented buying journey, you need to unify your online and offline data sources. Easier said than done, right? This isn’t always a simple task, but call tracking platforms that are integrated with other data sources and martech platforms can help you accomplish this. 

Call tracking platforms enable marketers to tie consumers’ digital journey data to phone calls using online data collection and trackable phone numbers. By unifying this information in the platform, you can analyze digital and call data in one place. Many marketers who use call tracking also use integrations with their analytics platforms like Google Analytics and Adobe Experience Cloud to analyze, unify, and take action on data in one place.

Using the Invoca platform as an example, here’s how the data is captured and what it means for you. In the call report, you can see all of your inbound calls and call volume trends at a glance. Clicking on a specific call brings up the call details where you can see a unified view of all digital and offline data associated with that individual call. You’ll see information about the call itself like key presses in the IVR system, call duration, and the full recording of the call. This data is valuable to help segment your calls, such as sales versus support calls, and to understand your standard call metrics.

You’ll also get detailed information specific to each caller like their name, caller ID, and demographic information such as age and home address. You will also get customer journey data like ad exposure and webpage visitation. You can think of this as cookie or campaign data. For example, you can see exactly which paid search campaign and keyword led to a call. By tying the digital campaigns to the offline call action, you can now understand which campaigns are driving valuable phone calls. 

Lastly, Invoca is able to analyze conversations and identify call outcomes in real time. Outcomes could include actions such as submitting an application or purchasing a product. 

By using a call tracking platform to route your calls and unify online and offline into rich call profiles, you can get actionable insights to help you make more informed marketing decisions that can help create a friction-free multi-channel buying experience. 

Learn more ways to create a seamless cross-channel customer journey in the Call Tracking Study Guide for Marketers.

The post How to create a seamless cross-channel customer journey with call tracking appeared first on Marketing Land.

Make your remarketing more effective and less annoying with call tracking data

If your customers frequently purchase on the phone, you might be sitting on a goldmine of remarketing data.

The post Make your remarketing more effective and less annoying with call tracking data appeared first on Marketing Land.

It’s estimated that most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. That’s a whole lot of opportunities to acquire new customers, and just as likely, annoy the everloving snot out of thousands of others. When you use remarketing to stay top-of-mind with customers, you’re walking a fine line between drawing in potential customers and infuriating your audience. Remarketing can and does work, but only if you can put customer experience above short-term vanity KPIs. Here’s how to do it and how to make the customer’s experience better using call tracking data.

Remarketing, retargeting, and why people hate it

What’s the difference between retargeting and remarketing? Remarketing is your overall strategy of reconnecting with customers and prospects after they have interacted with your brand. This could be a combination of email, paid digital media, direct mail and more. Retargeting refers to the cookie-based ads used to remarket to people after they have left your site on other sites as part of an ad network, such as Google Display Network ads. 

Your typical non-marketer consumer may not know these terms or the inner workings of remarketing. They just know them as ads that seem to follow them everywhere they go after visiting your website, and they have some good reasons to hate them. 

Ads are out of context

Have you ever been shopping for some kind of martech product and then get retargeting ads for it on your favorite hockey blog? If you’re a marketer, you probably just sigh and nod your head in shame that someone’s doing it wrong. Displaying ads out of context is one of the big reasons why consumers feel like they’re being “followed” by you. It sticks out like a sore thumb because it’s just the wrong place and the wrong time. However, if you can contextualize your remarketing, the ads will seem natural and do what they’re supposed to do — keep your brand top-of-mind. When you see ads for the hockey gear you’ve been shopping for on the hockey blog and email automation on marketing industry websites, you nod your head in approval and think “YEAH, these folks know what they’re doing!” Then you buy that 12-pack of pucks and call back that martech SDR who has been hounding you for the last six weeks. Mission accomplished! 

Your ads are absofreakinlutely everywhere, forever

The more times someone sees your ad, the more likely they’ll remember you, right? That might be the case, but they’ll probably be remembering that they’d like to strangle you. A study performed by Skin Media and RAPP Media aimed to find out how this repetitiveness affects consumers. In the study, they found that people think that seeing a retargeted ad five or more times is “annoying,” while seeing it ten or more times makes them “angry”. Not the experience you’re looking for. More than half of the visitors polled said that they may be interested in the ad the first time they see it, even though only 10% report making a purchase as a result of seeing a remarketed ad. Think carefully when you are setting your frequency caps and make sure you are not inundating (and annoying the hell out of) your customers with ads. 

Getting retargeted for stuff you already bought

Step 1: Buy a new power drill. Step 2: See millions of retargeting ads for the same darned drill. Step 3: Scream at your computer “GAWD, fix your suppression, dummies!” The average consumer may also find this rather inept, but more likely, they’re going to be turned off by it. Proper post-conversion ad suppression makes your marketing much more efficient and saves your customers from the agony of being reminded of their purchase for six weeks, or worse, seeing an ad with a lower price than they paid and making them feel conned. 

How call tracking data can make the remarketing experience better

Particularly in the post-cookies age we live in, where the use of third-party cookies for remarketing is being smashed by new regulations and browser-level cookie-blocking, using every source of first-party data you have at hand for remarketing is critical. If your business gets a lot of sales inquiries from inbound phone calls, your remarketing picture gets even muddier. A potential customer may have navigated to your website and clicked on a page or product before calling you and either asking a question or ultimately making a purchase. Either way, you are left with a data gap that leaves you open for making bad remarketing decisions that will annoy your customers and waste your marketing budget.

You can bridge this data gap and get your hands on precise first-party data for remarketing by using a call tracking and conversational analytics platform. When your customers call you, they are literally telling you what they want and how they talk about it. To feasibly classify customer conversations into useful digital datasets, you need an automated system that can understand what’s being said and accurately derive meaning from it. Your call tracking platform should be able to accomplish a few things: 

  • Automatically determine the outcome of inbound phone calls 
  • Predict and classify call type (e.g. sales call, service call, etc.)
  • Collect digital journey data such as UTM, keywords, and GCLID
  • Push marketing intelligence collected from calls to your martech stack in real time

With this type of functionality, you can fine-tune your remarketing campaigns without doing a lot of heavy lifting.  The data can be fed to your DMP and/or ad network to automate the process in real time. And when you understand the nature of a call, you can optimize your media for higher ROI, which can be particularly helpful when you are nailing down the next best step in your marketing, whether that be retargeting ads for someone who did not make a purchase, or suppressing ads for someone who did. You can also use call data to feed to Google’s automated bidding algorithm to adjust your bids according to what is (or isn’t) happening on the phone. 

Conversational analytics tools like Invoca’s new Signal Discovery take this to a new level of precision and granularity, as they can help you find out things about phone conversations that you don’t even know to look for. Over 56% of marketers have no idea what’s said during the calls that they drive or what the outcomes of those calls are. It’s a big data gap that marketers shouldn’t have to live with. “Conversations are overflowing with insights that don’t always see the light of day outside the contact center. As a result, many companies are missing out on opportunities to create a more consistent and positive customer experience across human and digital touchpoints,” said Dan Miller, lead analyst and founder at Opus Research. 

Signal Discovery solves this issue by enabling marketers to quickly gain new insights from tens of thousands of conversations and take action on them in real time. From there, you’re able to drill down into each topic to understand caller behavior and then create a “signal” that Invoca will listen for in future calls so you can see exactly when a specific topic is discussed and can automate your marketing based on this data. No more guesswork, no more risky call assumptions.

With all this data, you can make your remarketing efforts more targeted, relevant, efficient, and above all, less annoying. 

Get the Call Tracking Study Guide for Marketers to learn more about how to use call tracking data to improve your remarketing strategy. 

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Email Marketing 101: Optimizing For Higher Conversions

Exceptionally popular among digital marketers, email marketing is an age-old strategy that still effectively helps businesses convert their prospects as well as engage with their customers. If used methodically, it can offer a massive return on investment. Used inefficiently, and email marketing can be a waste of time and money. Since email marketing strategies can…

The post Email Marketing 101: Optimizing For Higher Conversions appeared first on Blog.

Exceptionally popular among digital marketers, email marketing is an age-old strategy that still effectively helps businesses convert their prospects as well as engage with their customers. If used methodically, it can offer a massive return on investment. Used inefficiently, and email marketing can be a waste of time and money.

Since email marketing strategies can be such a hit or miss depending on the execution, the quality of the leads and email list, and plenty of other factors, it becomes imperative to meticulously optimize your email campaigns for maximum email marketing conversion rate. Following these tips can help you boost your email click-through rate and meet your conversion goal: 

Always Use A Landing Page

an example of a perfect landing page tied to your marketing campaign.

Don’t just send people to your website and expect the magic to happen. A good email marketing campaign should be tightly bonded with a relevant landing page. This will vary for different types of emails. For instance, abandonment emails should ideally lead the person to where he left his cart. When email recipients arrive at this page, it should be clear what you expect them to do. This will significantly reduce the bounce rate on your landing pages.

Landing pages are also your opportunity to offer incentives such as deals and ungated content, which can help you convert faster. They also offer the chance for personalization and for converting email subscribers for a specific or targeted offer. If your email directs readers to a generic site that doesn’t deliver a tailored experience or has nothing specific to offer, they’re not going to be enticed. You don’t have long to grab them with an offer before they inevitably click away.

Create A Persuasive Subject Line

persuasive subject lines in email copies.

It’s important to get creative when thinking of a subject line so as to ensure that it isn’t just clickbait, but persuasive enough to encourage readers to open your email. You want to appeal to their curiosity when the email lands in their inbox, otherwise there’s every chance they might skip to the one that catches their eye. 

Always be specific and direct with your customers, and never overpromise. Keep subject lines short, and try to use human psychology to come up with actionable, trigger words that make readers click. 
This article offers a great guide to creating a subject line to encourage opens. It discusses the need to avoid spammy words like “make money” or “winner”. It also highlights how you can use emojis to evoke an emotional response and pop out in an email inbox.

Use Visuals To Grab And Retain Attention

using visuals to grab and retain the attention of readers

Visuals can be vital to your email campaign. People respond incredibly well to visuals, and they are proven to significantly improve engagement and average conversion rate. In fact, a study has shown that adding images to any communication can result in a 650% higher engagement rate than text-only posts which is much higher than the average email conversion rates.

Take your chance to catch the eye both in the email itself and within the landing page. You can experiment with emojis, stock photos, illustrations, GIFs, and more. And you don’t need someone to generate these for you as you can get them for free from online image banks. Alternatively, there are also free tools available that can help you create stunning graphics. 

Below is a brilliant example of an email that provides a clear call to action and also makes use of appealing visuals to convey the desired message. 

an example of emailer from pizza hut

Different colors evoke different emotions and can help convey your brand message effectively. Do you want to instill excitement among your readers? Colors such as red can create this buzz. Do you want to give the feeling of elegance to your email? You should use colors such as white and black. 
Color psychology is important to your visuals; get more insights on how color choices can help you increase conversion!

Use An Effective Call To Action

While it sounds obvious; the importance of clearly stating what you want your readers to do can’t be stressed enough. People respond to calls to action; it adds a level of clarity and encourages them to go through with a purchase or at least move further down the sales funnel. 

Make sure your CTA is powerful, clear, short, and actionable. Apart from this, personalized CTAs have proven to improve conversions by over 200%. So, dig a little deeper, and customize your CTAs based on parameters such as your readers’ location, interests, demographics, etc. to grab readers’ attention and get them to take the desired action. Here’s an example of a CTA that truly stands out:

example of CTA of VIEW DEAL on Amazon local

Create A Sense of Urgency And Scarcity

This is one of the oldest techniques in the book. Creating a sense of urgency can help you convert better by encouraging readers to take action quickly. For instance, if you are offering a particular deal, you can have it for a limited time and add a countdown clock in your email to emphasize the urgency.

Scarcity is another great trick. If you’re using a promotion, why not offer a discount code which only the first 100 customers get to use? These methods give people the feeling that they are getting an exclusive offer while encouraging fast action.

Take a look at the below example. The messages ‘Online Only’ and ‘Hurry, ends Wednesday’ create a sense of urgency as well as the exclusivity that drives readers to go ahead and make their purchase quickly. 

example of email that creates a sense of urgency to make visitors buy

Make Your Emails Personal

If you collect customer data that help you know them better, you can send them more relevant emails that they would readily open and enjoy reading. You can target your readers based on their location, demographics, interests, whether they are a prospect or loyalist, and many other parameters that can help you tailor your email content better. 

This can be as simple as having someone’s name appear in the email. People feel more connected to a brand when it addresses them as a person, and hence are more likely to respond. 

Below is a snippet from an email from Just Eat, that uses a customer’s name to draw their attention.

screenshot of a snippet from an email from Just Eat

Focus On The Frequency Of Emails

frequency of email marketing campaigns

People often get annoyed and tend to unsubscribe if they are constantly receiving promotional emails. Therefore, getting the frequency right is essential to engage with your audience and maximize conversions while keeping the unsubscribe rate within control. 

This article talks about how different the ideal email frequencies can be when it comes to different industries and also highlights the various factors that can help you decide the ideal one for your business.  Since there is no ‘One size fits all’ solution, you need to base your email frequency on factors such as the goal of your campaign, your customer purchase lifecycle, your audience segmentation, industry best practices, etc. All you need to ensure is that your emails add value while achieving your campaign goal.The frequency of your emails is something you can A/B test to figure out what works best for your conversions.

Check Open Rates And Email Deliverability

Email addresses that have been collected don’t necessarily have value. If an email address isn’t in use, you may as well remove it from your database as there is no chance of it leading to any positive outcome. All it will be doing is skewing your campaign results. Smart email validation services can crawl the internet and data from email providers to see if the address on your list is active and in use.

Another figure to pay close attention to is the open rate. If your campaign has a high open-rate, but a low conversion rate, it could be time to tweak your email design and copy.

Split Test All Important Elements 

split testing email marketing campaign elements

Split testing is your best friend as a marketer. It is your opportunity to compare and figure out what works for your readers and business. You can split test elements as simple as the graphics on your landing page or within an email, or the way you have worded your CTA. If one variation is getting you a significantly higher conversion rate than the other, you’ll be sure about implementing the change. 

So, draw data-backed hypotheses, run effective tests, and use the insights you collect to optimize your email marketing campaigns for conversions. Split testing allows you to understand what works for your specific mailing list and whittle down your marketing efforts.

Optimize Your Campaigns For Mobile 

optimizing email campaigns on mobile

More than 50% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. If your emails are not optimized for a responsive design, you could be missing out on engaging with over half of your audience. 

If you don’t optimize for mobile viewing, you can see why people might click away. Text can become difficult to read, and things can be formatted incorrectly, which makes your email look unprofessional.

The image below shows how responsive design can make it easier to see the content, with no awkward squinting to see the smaller text. 

difference between scalable and responsive emailer designs for mobile

With these handy tips, you are all geared up to optimize your email marketing campaigns for conversions, So, get the ball rolling, create delightful emails that engage better and convert faster. 

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Important Ecommerce Metrics To Track For Increased Conversion Rates

It’s important to understand that metrics simply show symptoms, and different symptoms become visible through different metrics. Tracking these metrics can help you uncover different behavioral trends on your website. To understand how ecommerce metric tracking can help increase average conversion rate, let us study them by taking an example of company “X” that sells…

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It’s important to understand that metrics simply show symptoms, and different symptoms become visible through different metrics. Tracking these metrics can help you uncover different behavioral trends on your website. To understand how ecommerce metric tracking can help increase average conversion rate, let us study them by taking an example of company “X” that sells 2 products: one for $1 and the other for $100. 

Conversion Rate

A conversion is any desirable activity performed by a visitor on your site. From an ecommerce business’s perspective, conversion is checkout. 

Conversion Rate = Number of Checkouts/Number of Unique Visitors

If you have an average of 1000 visitors to your site on any given day, and 50 of them become customers, your conversion rate is 5%. Optimizing for conversion rate will make more visitors into paying and returning customers and help you:

  • Convert more of your current visitors, which is more cost-effective than acquiring new visitors
  • Generate more revenue at the same cost

Since you are already paying in some way to acquire traffic to your website — through PPC, SEO, Email, etc — it would be a great idea to convert more of those visitors into customers. It brings you more revenue for each dollar spent on acquiring traffic.

It made sense.

However, let’s say, company X conducted an A/B test on the product page and this is what was found:

breakdown chart of results of A/B test on an ecommerce product page

Average Order Value

Sometimes it may so happen that revenues can drop because of a dip in conversions among high paying customers. To avoid such obstacles and tackle them, Average Order Value is what you should be tracking. It’s a direct indicator of what’s actually happening on the profits front.

Average Order Value(AOV) = Total revenue/Number of Checkouts

Comparing AOV against Cost Per Order gives a great idea of the profits you make on each order. Consider your Cost Per Order (shipping costs etc.) is $1 and your AOV is $10, giving you a profit of $9 per order. By increasing AOV by 10% to $11, you stand to gain an additional profit of $1 per order.

There are a lot of simple ways to help you bump up the AOV of your ecommerce business:

Set a Bar for Free Shipping

The first tip is to offer free shipping on purchases which are slightly more than your current AOV.

value proposition of free shipping during cart checkout

I say ‘slightly’ because free shipping is a tricky subject. You’ll end up increasing the AOV, but the additional shipping charge could reduce the total number of transactions. In fact, there’s a lot of research to suggest that the lack of free shipping is the biggest reason behind cart abandonments. A/B test between completely free shipping and one that is free after a minimum order value, the metrics to track closely are AOV, the number of sales, revenue, and cart abandonment rate.

Offer Discounts on Minimum Purchase

So you are planning to extend that generous 20% flat discount to clear all your dead stock? Improvise. Tell them they will get the discount on a minimum purchase of $50 or $100 or whatever figure sufficiently makes up for your lost margins in giving that discount. Give some, take some.

discount vouchers for your next purchase

Give Limited Period Offer

Shoppers tend to procrastinate and mull purchase decisions. To continue the ‘special discounts on minimum purchase of 50$’ tip, adding a limited duration to the offer can create a sense of urgency among visitors and encourage them to buy more in one go. For example, ‘Get 40% off on all products’ might motivate the visitor to browse the products. But when you say ‘Get 40% off on all products for next 2 days’, it compels them to act right away.

the influence of limited period offer on average order value of ecommerce store

Try Volume Discounts

Offer discounts on bulk purchases of the same product. Paperstone, an office supplies company, used VWO to launch a bulk discount deal on its website. It ran an A/B test and found the bulk discount deal increased its average order value by 18.94% and revenue by 16.85%.

discounts on volume purchases of products on ecommerce store

However, remember that you have to determine the right discount value that helps you acquire a new customer, and at the same time, doesn’t throttle your profit margins.

Upsell

Upselling, if implemented intelligently, is a great way to increase the value of an order. If a visitor is eyeing that 320GB Windows 7 laptop, just throw in the gleaming photo of that 500GB Windows 8.1 laptop on the side. Simply put, upselling is offering a similar but more expensive variant of the product to the buyer.

product recommendations on amazon product listing page

However, don’t try to maximize every transaction, and throw in random products just because you have them. Don’t be like one of those aggressive salespersons trying to sell the entire catalog to someone who hasn’t even made their first purchase.

Cross-sell

Purchasing that 500GB Windows 8.1 laptop? Would you need a laptop bag with it? Or perhaps a USB drive?

cross-selling on amazon ecommerce store

This is precisely what cross-selling is known as – soft selling complementary or additional products to your customer base. Studies show that cross-selling, even though it has always played second-fiddle to upselling the former is 20 times more effective than the latter. What you need to keep in mind is that the suggestions need to be relevant. A person buying a laptop will need a laptop bag, not necessarily a DSLR.

Offer Package Deals

A package deal or a combo offer is a cool way of selling two or more related products at a discounted price through your online shop. It’s a convenient way to increase customer spends, to move your slow-moving goods, and most importantly grow your average order value. The Hut offers a pretty smart discounted price on clothing bundles. Going with the stereotype that most men don’t enjoy shopping, and prefer to get all their stuff quickly, The Hut’s offer is well-targeted.

package deals for complete outfit options on fashion ecommerce store

Incentivize the Purchase

Always give something to the customer, and they will merrily return the favor. Whenever they make a purchase, either offer them a great loyalty program, cash-backs, or anything that is redeemable on their next purchase of minimum order value. For instance, you can give a $5 cashback offer on their next purchase worth $40, or a free gift voucher worth $10 on an order above $60, points for purchasing, and so on. This works two ways. One, customer satisfaction, and second, repeat purchases.

Apart from ensuring a second-time visit and fostering customer loyalty, this increases the order value. Customers tend to buy more in order to experience that all-important gratification that comes after having bought something for free (intended oxymoron). It’s easy – see how Paperstone increased AOV by 18.94% using A/B testing

Revenue Per Visitor

Again, it may so happen that lesser people end up purchasing on your website as a result of bumping up the minimum order value for free shipping, even though it successfully increased your AOV. Your revenue could take a hit harming your profits while still showing a higher AOV.

If company X tracks AOV alone, it could make the company blind towards conversion rate resulting in a revenue sheet like the one below:

breakdown chart of revenue per visitor for an ecommerce store

Revenue Per Visitor (RPV): Revenue Per Visitor combines both Conversions and AOV to give the whole picture. RPV is deceptively simple – it tells you how much revenue each unique visitor is driving. The trick here is to understand RPV from a different perspective.

We already know that,

RPV = Total Revenue/Total Unique Visitors(checkouts)

So we can rewrite the RPV equation this way: RPV = (AOV x Conversions)/Total Unique Visitors

And since (Conversions/Total Unique Visitors) = Conversion Rate

RPV = AOV x Conversion Rate

What’s the most important thing for any online ecommerce store? Revenue. For revenue, you need traffic. Once you are able to attract traffic, increasing revenue is a two-dimensional process:

  • Convert more visitors into paying customers (Conversion Rate)
  • Increase customer-spend per conversion (AOV)

RPV involves both these dimensions leaving no blind spots. If there’s a drop in RPV, it could be due to:

  • A sudden increase in visitors without any buying intent (drop in conversion rate): Check if there has been any recent marketing, such as email marketing activity that brought a lot of unqualified visitors with low buying intent. Use segmentation to understand what channels are bringing the right traffic.
  • Customers are buying less of high-value goods and more of low-value goods (drop in AOV): Consider using a recommendation engine.

Now, after going through all of these metrics and recommendations, Company X may wonder why use only unique visitors and not total visitors (unique and returning). 

Of all first time visitors to an ecommerce site, 99% won’t make a purchase. The typical buying cycle involves a visitor first visiting your site to check out the products, leaving to compare prices elsewhere, consulting a few friends, reading reviews and eventually a trip back to your site for the purchase (if at all a purchase decision is made). There could be even more steps involved here.

Using total visitors bloats up your metric denominator considerably, resulting in small figures and giving you less credit than you otherwise deserve.

This is not to say it’s a bad practice, just sub-optimal. (In fact, if for some reason, you are getting many orders from repeat buyers it might even make sense to use total visitors instead of unique visitors.)

Using ‘unique visitors’, on the other hand, paints a real-world picture of what’s happening with your users, who are, of course, unique.

Surely you track some metric/s that help increase your brand’s conversion rate! What metric/s have you found most useful to track, and why? Getting your perspective as a practitioner would be invaluable.

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Less is More: Why Providing Your Customers with Fewer Options Will Increase Your eCommerce Sales

You know the drill: You arrive home after a long workday, curl up onto your couch, and turn on Netflix to find a movie or show to lose yourself in. You end up spending what feels like hours browsing and reading various synopses, but still can’t decide what to watch. By now, it’s late, so…

The post Less is More: Why Providing Your Customers with Fewer Options Will Increase Your eCommerce Sales appeared first on Blog.

You know the drill: You arrive home after a long workday, curl up onto your couch, and turn on Netflix to find a movie or show to lose yourself in. You end up spending what feels like hours browsing and reading various synopses, but still can’t decide what to watch. By now, it’s late, so you give up and decide to just go to bed instead. 

Sound familiar? 

If so, then you’re not alone. In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz claims that the abundance of options that we’re confronted with on a daily basis paralyze us and cause us to put off making a decision. 

On top of that, having more options causes us to be less satisfied with the decision that we end up making because we keep thinking about everything that we missed out on (the opportunity cost a.k.a. buyer’s remorse). 

The famous Jam Experiment proved this. Here’s what happened: Psychologists, Iyengar, Jiang and Huberman, went to a grocery store and offered one group of customers 24 different types of jam. To another group of customers, they only offered six different types of jam. 

In the end, the study with 24 jams attracted more people but resulted in far fewer purchases. To be exact, 30% of people bought jam when there were only six to choose from, and just 3% of people bought jam when there were 24 on display. 

But it doesn’t stop there: Having fewer options has also been proven to boost happiness, decrease buyer remorse and increase the probability of repurchase

One study by Shah and Wolford found that providing more choices helps to boost sales…up to a certain point. After a certain number of options, you’ll reach a point of diminishing returns. Here’s a graph from the study that demonstrates that:

graph from the study by Shah & Wolford depict more number of options boost sales

So how many options is too many? That answer will depend on your business and audience. The only way to find out is to test. 

Reduce Decision Fatigue to Increase Conversions 

Research has found that “decision simplicity,” which is “the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options,” is key to driving conversions and increasing customer retention. 

One obvious way to increase decision simplicity is to offer your customers fewer options and reduce the number of products in your eCommerce store. But decision simplicity goes far beyond that. 

Read on to find out a few other ways that you can reduce your customers’ cognitive load, boost decision simplicity…and increase eCommerce sales.

1. Have Just One CTA

You’ve probably heard this one before, but your emails and landing pages should have just one main call-to-action. 

Not convinced? 

NameOn, a Scandinavian e-tailer, noticed that they were losing a third of their customers just before checkout. They reviewed their checkout process and found that they had nine calls-to-action on the cart page. So they created another variation with just one CTA on the page, which directed shoppers to checkout. In the end, the page with just one CTA performed 11.40% better, leading to $100,000 more in yearly sales.  

Here’s yet another example: Whirlpool created an email campaign that had one primary CTA directing their customers to their rebate page, along with three other secondary “Learn More” CTAs. 

But Whirlpool wanted to find out if the secondary CTAs were distracting the recipients from the primary CTA. So they created another variation with just one primary CTA and no secondary CTAs.

Can you guess which email performed better? That’s right: The email with only one CTA had a 42% higher click-through rate

That’s because, with several calls-to-action on the page, it’s easy for people to get distracted and confused—even if your main call-to-action is the one that stands out. 

So consider eliminating secondary CTAs or anything that distracts from your main call-to-action-whether it is your checkout pages on your eCommerce website or your email marketing campaigns. Think of one specific action that you want your email recipient or website visitor to take, and make that crystal clear. The more that you have segmented your audience, the more personal you can get and the easier this will be. 

2. Bundle Your Products

Product bundling is when you sell several complementary products together, generally at a cheaper price than it costs to buy each product individually. 

It tends to work because not only do your customers feel like they are snagging a good deal, but it also reduces their cognitive load. Instead of having to browse through your entire store and choose each product individually, the products are already selected for them. 

Dollar Shave Club is one example of an eCommerce brand that does this well:

bundled product options available on Dollar Shave Club

3. Provide Social Proof 

Have you ever seen a line outside a restaurant and subsequently felt an urge to eat there? If so, then you know the importance of social proof. 

As you may already know, social proof is the psychological phenomenon whereby one’s decision is influenced by other peoples’ opinions or behavior. 

To add social proof to your store, you’ll need product reviews. You could also add “Best-seller” tags to your top-selling items. Or you could show user-generated content (photos taken by your happy customers), like the mattress brand, Casper, does on their homepage.

social proof on the homepage of Casper.com

Knowing that other people have purchased and been happy with your product will encourage your shoppers to make a purchase as well and feel more confident in their decision.

4. Provide Personalized Choices

Rather than presenting your customers with a bunch of random options and asking them what they want to buy, instead try presenting them with just a few handpicked or personalized options. 

In a post-purchase email campaign, the online retailer, Indochino, picked out three different shirts that matched the suits customers had just bought and then promoted them as a bundle.

post-purchase email sent from Indochino.com

Each email increased the brand’s revenue by 540% compared to their normal promotions. It worked because it presented each customer with just one highly personalized and simple offer. It didn’t make them have to think. 

If you don’t have that data to go off of, you could have your website visitors take a quiz to find out more about what they’re interested in. For example, the glasses and prescription eyeglasses company, Warby Parker, encourages their website visitors to take an eight-question quiz to find out what type of glasses are best for them. 

online quiz for buying eyeglasses on Warbyparker.com

Once the quiz is complete, they then provide them with a curated selection of glasses based on their answers.  

a curated selection of products on warbyparker.com

5. Simplify Your Website

It’s not only about how many options you provide your customers; it’s also about how you present them. 

Take a look at Bellroy’s homepage, for example.

homepage for bellroy.com
example of product layout on Bellroy.com

Notice how they don’t overload their website visitors with information and products right off the bat. Rather, just below the fold, they display their best-selling items, and below that, they show the different product categories, making it easy for their shoppers to find what they need. They still offer a variety of choices, but they present their products in a way that makes the shopping experience enjoyable and effortless. 

In addition to a beautiful, whitespace-friendly design, you should also make sure that your website is easy to navigate and use. As Bellroy does, categorize your products in a way that makes it easy for your shoppers to find what they’re looking for. 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes; you could also think of your products that complement each other and categorize them together. 

6. Compare Your Products 

Don’t you hate it when you’re browsing a website and can’t figure out what you want to buy because you don’t know the difference between the products? For example, take a look at this Bose product page for headphones:

feature & detail comparison on product page of bose.com

A little confusing, don’t you think? It would be much clearer if they had a comparison chart showing the difference between the headphones. 

See how Apple does it, for instance:

product comparison of Apple mac models

Shoppers can pick the products that they want to compare and then compare them, feature by feature.

Bottom line? Make it very clear what your product features and benefits are. If you have products that are similar to one another, then create comparison charts, like Apple does, that clearly define the differences between them.

7. Offer a Killer Guarantee 

One of the problems with shopping online is that you can’t touch or try out the product. There’s more pressure on the decision-making process since you often don’t really know what you’re going to get, especially if it’s a first-time purchase. To reduce the pressure your shoppers are feeling, try offering them a return policy and guarantee that’s hard to refuse. For example, you could offer free shipping on returns and a lifetime guarantee. Or, as Warby Parker does, you could allow your customers to try out your products before committing to a purchase.

offer banner for products on warbyparker.com

But all of that aside, it’s also a hassle to return products. One survey found that 27% of shoppers dislike purchasing online because they don’t want to have to deal with returning it if it doesn’t turn out right. 

One way to address that is by creating a video that shows your potential customers how easy it will be to return the product if it doesn’t turn out right.

8. Highlight Certain Items in Your Store

There’s a reason why brick-and-mortar stores have displays in their windows. By showcasing certain products, they’re more likely to grab people’s attention and pull them inside. 

The same goes for your eCommerce store. Highlighting certain items in your store, like your best-selling products or recently added items, is effective because it draws attention to certain products, helping to make the decision-making process easier for customers. Here are a few badges that you could add to your products: 

  • Top-rated 
  • Best-seller 
  • Recently Added  
  • On Sale
  • Limited Edition 

In particular, highlighting your best-selling or top-rated items also works because it adds an element of social proof. You could simply display a “Best-seller” tag next to your most popular items or you could devote an entire page to your best-sellers. 

Amazon even has individual pages devoted to its best-selling items in each category:

bestselling items listed on Amazon.com

You could even get more specific with product badges and tell your visitors exactly what your product is useful for. For example, if you sell a variety of different jackets, you could add product badges to each jacket that tells shoppers what type of weather the jacket is best suited for (ie: freezing cold weather, torrential downpours, tornado-like wind).

9. Provide Them With Support 

According to eConsultancy, 83% of shoppers need support during the buying process. And they expect to get it quickly; 48% of shoppers will abandon the site if they don’t get the help they need within five minutes. 

So how can you provide them with that support? Make sure that you have a live chat installed on your website—and that it’s manned by personnel from your organization. You should also have your phone number prominently displayed on your site, so people know how to reach you.

Recap: Easing Customer Decision-Making to Increase eCommerce Sales

Your shoppers are overloaded with options on a day-to-day basis. Having many choices might attract them at first, but it will often result in decision paralysis and buyer’s remorse. 

To prevent this from happening, reduce your customers’ cognitive load and provide them with a limited number of options. Follow the 80/20 rule: Focus on the 20% of your products that are generating 80% of your sales…and get rid of all the rest. 

Also, remember that reducing cognitive load isn’t just about reducing the number of options you offer your customers; it’s also about making the shopping and decision-making process as easy as possible for them. 

To that end, increase “decision simplicity” and: 

  1. Have just one primary CTA. 
  2. Bundle your products that go well together so your shoppers don’t have to go around looking for them.
  3. Provide social proof of previous happy customers.
  4. Personalize the choices that you offer your customers; if you aren’t sure what they’re interested in, have them take a quiz to find out! 
  5. Simplify your website, so that it’s easy to navigate and find things.
  6. Provide comparison charts for your products that are similar to one another. 
  7. Offer a killer guarantee so that your customers don’t feel as much pressure on their buying decision.
  8. Try grabbing your customers’ attention by highlighting certain items in your store with product badges. 
  9. Provide them with as much support as possible during the buying process. 

And whatever you end up doing, be sure to test to find out what tactics are most effective for your store and audience. 
If you do all of that, then you’re sure to reduce your customers’ cognitive load, ease their decision-making process⁠, and most importantly, increase eCommerce sales.


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Evergreen Principles of Persuasion To Increase Ecommerce Conversion Sales

Imagine there’s a cupcake fair in your community, and you’re dying to relish a good, heartfelt Red Velvet cupcake. Of the many counters selling an exotic range, only two of them offer the kind you want – Counter A and Counter R. While Counter A has an animated bunch of customers digging into its delicacies…

The post Evergreen Principles of Persuasion To Increase Ecommerce Conversion Sales appeared first on Blog.

Imagine there’s a cupcake fair in your community, and you’re dying to relish a good, heartfelt Red Velvet cupcake. Of the many counters selling an exotic range, only two of them offer the kind you want – Counter A and Counter R. While Counter A has an animated bunch of customers digging into its delicacies and has a banner saying “last 20 pieces left,” Counter R adorns a deathly, almost funereal look.

Which one would you go for? If you’re thinking of Counter A, you’re not alone.

A study was conducted in 1975 where researchers wanted to know how people would value cookies in two identical glass jars, one of which had 10 cookies and other only with two. While everything remained the same, they found out that people preferred cookies in the near-empty jar more than the one filled up to the brim. This is precisely what the principle of scarcity states. It defines that people tend to give more value to objects which are practically scarce as compared to the ones available in abundance. When applied to the field of marketing, scarcity, along with urgency, can make for a potential weapon to significantly increase ecommerce conversion sales and revenue thereafter.

Principles of Persuasion – Scarcity and Urgency

Below mentioned are some examples of how different ecommerce websites creatively use these principles of persuasion – scarcity, and urgency – to their advantage.

1) Stock Scarcity

Displaying your stock meter on the ecommerce product page is always a good conversion practice. Not only does it ensure that there are no last-minute heart breaks for the customers, but it also speeds up the buying process. A user might be convinced to make a purchase, but they might not always be willing to buy products right away. They might want to compare the prices of their selected items on other sites, look for discount coupons, the right payment options or may simply forget about the products — thanks to the myriad distractions of the web.

Look how ModMomFurniture flashes a message stating ‘Only 3 items left’ on one of its product pages.

principle of stock scarcity on modmomfurniture.com
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Boticca too uses the same trick. It urges its existing and potential customers to complete their purchase right away to grab the last piece before the stock runs out. The use of an active call to action like ‘Act’ helps drive immediate action and increase conversions.

principle of stock scarcity on boticca.com

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2) Size Scarcity

Imagine you head to a shop to buy a pair of denim jeans only to find out that the last piece in your size has just gone out of stock. Old story? Well, if it can happen in the retail stores, it can definitely happen online as well.

Informing the buyers when a particular size goes out of stock is similar to killing two birds with one arrow. Not only does this help to inform the online shoppers that a particular product is unavailable, but works as a positive reinforcement as well.

See how Jabong, a leading ecommerce site, represents the unavailable size in grey.

correct size unavailability on Jabong.com
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Zappos goes a step further and even shows how many items are left in a particular size and color combination.

product size and color combination on Zappos
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3) Time-Bound Purchase for Next Day Shipping

If you are already offering next-day delivery, then ‘time-bound purchase’ won’t cost you any additional resource. You just need to inform your customers how many hours/minutes they have to complete their purchase process to qualify for next day delivery. Here, you can also offer free shipping schemes as well. Time-bound purchase strategy primarily solves two purposes – it makes customers more proactive towards completing their purchase process within the specified period and eliminates confusion as to when their purchased items will be delivered at their doorstep.

Zappos once had a permanent banner placed on its homepage and landing pages informing its customers that they need to place an order before 1 PM to qualify for next-day delivery.

next day free shipping banner on an ecommerce store.

Amazon, on the other hand, shows the exact number of hours/minutes within which a customer must complete their purchase process to get their order delivered the very next day. 

timer countdown for watching movies on Amazon
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Arguably, it’s one of the best conversion rate optimization tactics as well.

4) Make them see other buyers

Two women fighting over the same item of clothing in a fashion store is not just a devil’s mind’s fictitious construct; it’s actually a trick to prompt sales. People are much more inclined towards buying something when others desire them too.

Booking.com is an excellent example to quote here. When you look at a property at Booking.com, it shows exactly how many people are checking out the same property in real time. Social proof typically helps create a sense of urgency in the minds of shoppers.

number of buyers for property on booking.com
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Hotels.com even gives you information about how many people are viewing properties in a particular city. A modal box pops opens and shows you your virtual competition/companions.

modal box on hotels.com to show the number of users in a city.

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5) Limited-Period Offer

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a legitimate one. It is the anticipated regret of not being able to seize an opportunity. A limited-period offer works precisely the same way. It makes the offer look so tempting and fleeting that one is compelled to take the opportunity before it’s gone.

Amazon dramatically uses a running countdown to show how long the sale will last accurately.

countdown on Amazon.com to highlight the duration of a sale.
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MakeMyTrip.com shows an alert when the last few discounted airline tickets are left in stock. See how they use color psychology here to instill urgency. The use of the color ‘Red’ is not a mere coincidence, it’s associated with energy, increased heart rate, and often used in clearance sales.

alert notification on MakeMyTrip for discounted tickets demand.
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5) Limited-Time Discount on Abandoned Cart Items

Offering limited-time discounts on abandoned carts is a great way to use the urgency principle to re-market products. However, the risk here is not to overdo it. Doing this too often can affect how people perceive your brand and may be compelled to think twice to buy products from your ecommerce store in the future.

See how Miracas offers a 5% discount to abandoned carts to get them back on their site and complete their purchase process although their offer stands valid for the next two days only.

discount on abandoned carts on Miracas.com
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6) Shopping Cart Item – Sold Out

Seeing some items disappear from the cart works as a reality check for users – urging them to buy the rest of their selected products before they too run out of stock. See how Snapdeal shows a ‘Sold Out’ message next to items in the cart to prompt urgency.

sold out notification on cart on Snapdeal.com
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7) Limited-Period Free Delivery

Well, this is quite similar to limited-period offers. The desire to avail free delivery and not paying any additional shipping costs can plausibly offset a visitors’ tendency to procrastinate the purchase. This can further aid to a good user experience as well.

sold out notification on cart on Snapdeal

8) Special Discount Hours

A two-day or a weekend sale has its own charm. But, a special discount hour can be more useful in galvanizing excitement. Zivame sent out this mailer to its subscribers to build up craze for its hour-long sale.

special discount hours on Zivame.com
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9) Last Chance Emails

E-mails informing subscribers about last day of sale is another great way to get more attention. This is how Myntra makes use of Orange color to drive action on its website.

big weekend sale on myntra.com
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According to color psychology, just like red, orange too has an aggressive feel and creates a sense of urgency to take the desired action and boost ecommerce conversion rate.

Principles of Persuasion – Rules Beyond Scarcity and Urgency

Summing from everything mentioned above, conversions indeed are all about persuasions. And, they are just not restricted to scarcity and urgency, there’s so much more to explore and adhere to. Here, in this section, we’ll highlight the other four principles of persuasion and their relationship with ecommerce conversion rate optimization.

Reciprocity

The entire idea of reciprocity states that human beings by nature feel obligated to offer something in return to others for the favors they’ve received from them. They feel that it’s a gesture to show their gratitude – to make others feel special. This is exactly what happens in the world of ecommerce marketing as well.

As an ecommerce site, it’s always a good idea to offer your customers with something good that they’re obligated to offer something in return. It doesn’t have to be anything hefty, but just a discount coupon, early access to a new product or information that’s highly insightful and useful. In return, your customers may provide something that helps your brand scale up, either in terms of conversion rate enhancement, more product sales, drive traffic to your ecommerce site, and more.  

Commitment

This simply defines the concept of selling by involving. Meaning, make users feel they’re an integral part of your community. If you give them the liberty to share their thoughts and opinions about your brand, products or services, they’re more likely to become your loyal customers and even advocate your brand on social media platforms. 

Start small and you’ll see that once your customers begin committing to your brand, they’ll willingly help you achieve your business goals – increase sales, website traffic, and customer base as well. Commitment, in a nutshell, is nothing but the basis of a loyal relationship with your customer.

Authority

The essence of authority runs on the principle of trusting someone with whom you engage in business with. Meaning, if a person comes to your site, they confide their trust in you – to offer them nothing but the best. For example, if you’re a website that sells baby products, but there’s no certification to show that your products are safe for babies, your visitors are more likely to bounce off. On the other hand, if your website re-assures your visitors by showing them all the necessary certifications, they’ll trust your brand and even make purchases. 

The rule here states that if you look confident and successful, people are more likely to pay attention to your brand, engage with it and even become loyal customers.

Social Proof

One thing that this principle teaches us is that social proofing has the prowess to skyrocket your sales. All you need to do is figure out smart ways to brand yourself that people start advocating your brand. Use the right tactics such as showcasing the number of people who’ve bought your products. This gives customers a sense that you’re a brand that they can confide into.

example of social proofs on product page on ecommerce store
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Liking

One of the key elements to the principle of liking is to have something in common with your audience. Meaning, finding the right path to connect with your customers to grab their attention and make like you in every manner possible. 

A smart way to leverage liking in terms of marketing is to point out what your business has in common with its audience. For instance, if you’re an ecommerce site that sells fishing gears, a photo of your company’s CEO wading in a stream can instantly help build a sense of liking amid the site visitors. 

In its essence, liking is nothing but a way to build a strong relationship with your existing and potential customers, to further enhance your ecommerce sales conversions and grow exponentially.

Three Golden Rules to Cohere

So, before you set out to use any of the rules as mentioned above, adhere to these three golden rules

1) Don’t Expect ‘Scarcity’ to Create a Lot of Demand

‘Scarcity’ or ‘Urgency’ work as two of the best ways to motivate customers and quicken their buying process. But, they only work wonders if a customer is already convinced to make the purchase. They may be great procrastination killers, but they do not guarantee demand generation. If you go back to the initial example, it’s only when you’ve decided to buy a cupcake that you start considering whether to choose option A or B. If you’re not convinced that it’s Red Velvet you want to have, you’ll definitely not make an effort to choose any of the options at hand.

2) False Urgency can Backfire

Urgency is a subtle art and sounds oxymoronic as well. But, don’t go about faking urgency as it can whiff off your customers right away. Be honest. Don’t try to get rid of the stock that won’t move by flashing messages like ‘hurry, only last two pieces left.’ Customers will not only easily catch your bluff, but will also start questioning your genuineness. This can, in turn, also ruin their shopping experience. 

3) Don’t Overdo It

Even if you’re using the scarcity principle in all earnestness, don’t overdo it. You don’t need to employ all the practices with multiple countdowns breathing down a customer’s neck as you’ll end up being a pushy, shady, and untrustworthy brand in the eyes of your customers. Moderation is the key. However, testing gives you better insights as to what will work best for your brand and enhance ecommerce conversion rate.

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How Mooresville Kept Visitors on Site Using Persona Based Targeting

One of the most common struggles for a destination is how to appeal to visitors with wildly different interests. With persona-based ad campaigns you can separate these visitors and send them to different landing pages, but how do you continue to speak to their specific interests as they explore the general site? Using Bound, the… Read More

The post How Mooresville Kept Visitors on Site Using Persona Based Targeting appeared first on Bound.

One of the most common struggles for a destination is how to appeal to visitors with wildly different interests. With persona-based ad campaigns you can separate these visitors and send them to different landing pages, but how do you continue to speak to their specific interests as they explore the general site? Using Bound, the Visit Mooresville team created a homepage experience customized for each of their three target personas.

With the website address of racecityusa.com, you might guess that Mooresville, NC is best known for being a racing town. However, the area is also a popular destination for travelers with an outdoor interest, and is packed with gorgeous wedding and reunion venues as well. As the Visit Mooresville team planned their 2019 spring and summer ads, they decided to target three key personas. Each persona, (racing, outdoors, and wedding interest) was sent to a different destination page aligned to their interests.

The Visit Mooresville team wanted the homepage to also reflect each persona’s interest. They used Bound to change multiple elements of the homepage to show articles and user generated content relevant to each persona. 

Wedding Interest

 

Racing Interest

 

Outdoor Interest

 

They found that while the racing interest group was the largest audience, the outdoors group engaged best with the personalized content, with an 18% clickthrough rate on the outdoors articles.

In addition to improving clickthrough rates, the personalized sections helped keep visitors on the site. From March to mid-August the homepage averaged a 68% bounce and a 61% exit rate. For visitors seeing the persona-specific content, this dropped to a 31% bounce rate and a 29% exit rate. These visitors also had more than a 200% increase in overall pages per visit and time on site.

By updating a highly trafficked page to create more relevant content for their ad personas, the Visit Mooresville team has continued to increase their website engagement and the value of their ad spend.

 

Interested in creating a better website experience for your ad personas?  Contact Us:

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Conversion Rate Optimization and the Travel Industry: 11 Questions with CRO Expert Danielle Schwolow

We sat down with Danielle Schwolow, Senior Growth Strategist for Multiplica US, a full-service digital marketing agency that offers optimization, analytics, and UX/UI services for the travel industry. Danielle’s been named a “woman making waves in ecommerce” by Ecommerce Magazine and will be co-host of an upcoming webinar with Monetate [register here]. She specializes in…

The post Conversion Rate Optimization and the Travel Industry: 11 Questions with CRO Expert Danielle Schwolow appeared first on Monetate.

We sat down with Danielle Schwolow, Senior Growth Strategist for Multiplica US, a full-service digital marketing agency that offers optimization, analytics, and UX/UI services for the travel industry. Danielle’s been named a “woman making waves in ecommerce” by Ecommerce Magazine and will be co-host of an upcoming webinar with Monetate [register here]. She specializes in creating data-driven digital optimization and personalization strategies for big brands, particularly in the travel and hospitality industries, that increase conversion rates, improve the user experience, and grow revenue.

What are the biggest trends in conversion rate optimization (CRO) that travel websites should pay attention to?

DS: AI has and is changing the way digital marketing teams create their conversion rate optimization strategies. Every brand wants to provide exceptional experiences to their customers and win bookings with the least spend… this is obviously easier said than done, but AI is making it much less difficult than it used to be. Having tools like AI that are capable of getting those results are obviously crucial to your business’s success.

What’s the most frequently misunderstood thing about CRO? 

Travel marketers and digital specialists often assume that there is just one big experience that will revolutionize the way users engage with and ultimately convert across their website. Conversion rate optimization is meant to be a series of ever-evolving experiments — not one-off experiences — that continue to improve the customer experience over time. Continual improvement means running multiple experiments in parallel across device types. There is no one test that wins them all. 

How do travel websites versus other types of ecommerce sites (like retail) differ when it comes to conversion rate optimization? 

The customer journey for someone travelling is much different than a traditional ecommerce experience. Travel websites have to accommodate users who have multiple factors influencing their decision-making. Rather than considering a single product or purchase, as in some retail sales funnels, travel users have to consider multiple decisions when booking: When will I leave? Where am I going? When will I return? What am I doing on my trip? Where will I stay? How will I get around? (And the list goes on…) They have so many more factors to take into account as they move through the funnel, which is why travellers take much longer to purchase and to plan their trips.  

What are the most important things that all travel and hospitality websites should be testing? 

Retargeting is a commonly overlooked testing segment. The returning user may or may not know what they are looking for, but retargeting can help them pick up where they left off. Users are often frustrated by having to type in long search queries identical to the the search queries they previously searched within the same session just by going back to the home page. Something as simple as storing the user’s search history within the same session (and for some time after) can improve click-through rates by double digits. 

What’s the best result you’ve ever seen from personalization? 

Actually, the upcoming webinar we are doing together with Monetate showcases one of our cruise clients and their AI use of retargeting based on destination; it yielded some of the most positive results across the board we’ve seen with personalization. The user experience that resulted from plugging in the AI to power our personalization efforts for this client is exceptional, and what’s so amazing about this experiment is that it just continues to evolve and get smarter everyday. This means the client, Celebrity Cruises, is benefiting from a kind of ongoing, continuous conversion rate optimization as the AI keeps personalizing the content in real time. It’s pretty cool stuff.

How can travel marketers move from simple A/B or MVT testing to a more sophisticated personalization strategy as competition among travel brands becomes more intense? 

Having a testing strategy that makes sense for your team and your resources is essential for entering the personalization arena. You have to realize your strengths and weaknesses as a brand and as a team. All too often big brands jump into personalizing without realizing that they need a strong team along with the tool they are using to execute personalization, and all of this should be supported with a testing structure to make things run smoothly. All of our optimization teams, for example, have at the very least a dedicated project manager, UI/UX expert, strategic lead, developers, QA tester, and an analytics expert, and everyone follows a proven testing process throughout the project.   

What do travel brands not understand about the customer experience? 

I think sometimes travel brands (and potentially all marketers!) will get so caught up in achieving their own goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that they forget about the goals, needs, challenges, and desires of the customer. We see this a lot in end-of-funnel testing when brands try to guide users to create an account in order to checkout or book a trip; they get it wrong when they show too many required fields to the user and ask for too much information. It’s clunky and can annoy users. who don’t want to be bothered at this point by filling out a lot of unnecessary fields. 

When we test this type of experience with travel clients, one of our biggest winners time and time again is showing users the option to create an account by simply entering a password during checkout. By not forcing them to log in with long form fields or to create an account reduces friction, prevents cart abandonment, and improves the overall customer experience.

Is there an analytics or data skill you recommend all travel marketers try to master? 

Mastery is a strong word; to get the most out of your efforts, I would advise travel marketers to have useful skills that can be applied to everyday situations that make their lives easier and the teams run more smoothly. For example, hover over an element on your website and left or right click (depending on your mouse) on “inspect element.” You can now edit the element, and it’s only visible on your computer. This is what developers use to find bugs and such. But marketers can also use it to manipulate various elements on the website without getting their dev teams involved. It’s just a nice quick workaround to have in your wheelhouse. Say you want to see a different text or change a button color… You can simply do this instead of burdening your creative or dev team with minor tasks.

It’s already holiday travel planning season prep time for many travelers. Any trends or tips for this season on how travel websites can capture more holiday bookings and increase online revenue this season? 

One of the biggest trends this holiday season will be multi-touch retargeting. For example, if you know the user is interested in a particular product, you can showcase this to the user via retargeting by placing it on the homepage, recently searched, or even at the top of their search results. Making it easy for the user to engage with the products that interest them in the least amount of clicks as possible will always be a big conversion rate winner, holidays or not. 

How do you determine the success of an optimization project? 

Before we begin an experiment, we always ask ourselves, what is the goal(s) and how will we measure success. We establish clearly defined KPIs, and they are often tied to the control and the variation to determine overall impact. We take into account what we need to achieve our goal, and how long will it take. Once we know what we want to achieve and have a clear strategy for performance tracking throughout the process, we can set up overall measures of success. 

What are the biggest challenges travel brands face in conversion rate optimization, and how can they solve them? 

Lack of data or poor data, lack of a clear strategy, and a fragmented marketing stack are three of the biggest challenges I see with travel marketers. I discuss this in greater depth here, but, in short, don’t bite off more than you can chew when optimizing. If you want to run five experiments a month, for instance, but your team doesn’t have the resources to support this and make it all worthwhile, then start a bit smaller and keep your goals simple. Be smart, deliberate, agile, and data-driven when you’re scaling your optimization strategy, and recognize when you need to bring in additional resources to support it. 

Danielle Schwolow is a Senior Growth Strategist for Multiplica US

The post Conversion Rate Optimization and the Travel Industry: 11 Questions with CRO Expert Danielle Schwolow appeared first on Monetate.

Time to Get Personal

As a destination marketer, one of your main challenges is turning your website visitors into destination visitors. Before a visitor comes to your destination they compare you their other options. During this research phase, you tailor your ads to match their interests, you utilize search engine marketing tools to make sure your advertising and social… Read More

The post Time to Get Personal appeared first on Bound.

As a destination marketer, one of your main challenges is turning your website visitors into destination visitors. Before a visitor comes to your destination they compare you their other options. During this research phase, you tailor your ads to match their interests, you utilize search engine marketing tools to make sure your advertising and social content is targeted to their search results, and you hope these visitors click through to your site to consume and engage with the top content you’ve created.

But what are the best practices in turning these online visitors into destination visitors?

Leading destination marketers from Explore Branson, Elkhart County, Indiana, and Visit Williamsburg believe website personalization is a cost effective way to turn their website visitors into destination visitors. In Time to Get Personal, these three destinations highlight some of the ways Bound’s personalization solution has helped them stand out amongst their peers and convert their online visitors into destination visitors. Some of their results include the following:

  • Explore Branson has seen a 560% increase in e-newsletter sign-ups by using a personalized pop-up targeted to different website audiences.
  • Elkhart County, Indiana used Bound’s A/B testing capabilities to increase travel guide conversions by 253%.
  • Visit Williamsburg used Bound to maximize the value of their paid media campaigns. ince targeting paid media visitors to the website with personalized landing pages, they have seen a 41% increase in time on site.

Read more in this report to learn how these destinations got these results and to see if now is the right time for you to explore personalization for your destination’s website.

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The post Time to Get Personal appeared first on Bound.

The A/B Testing Guide to Surviving on a Deserted Island

The secluded and isolated deserted island setting has been used as the stage for many hypothetical explanations in economics and philosophy with the scarcity of things that can be developed as resources being a central feature. Scarcity and the need to…

The secluded and isolated deserted island setting has been used as the stage for many hypothetical explanations in economics and philosophy with the scarcity of things that can be developed as resources being a central feature. Scarcity and the need to keep risk low while aiming to improve one’s situation is what make it a […] Read More...