How to Create an E-commerce Website in 15 Minutes

Want an E-commerce site but worried you’re not tech-savvy enough to make it happen on your own? No worries. With user-friendly platforms like Wix, you can have an E-commerce website up and running in as little as 15 minutes. With its drag and dro…

Want an E-commerce site but worried you’re not tech-savvy enough to make it happen on your own? No worries. With user-friendly platforms like Wix, you can have an E-commerce website up and running in as little as 15 minutes. With its drag and drop features and artificial design intelligence (ADI) tool, Wix makes it easy […]

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We Estimated the Effect COVID-19 Has Had on E-Commerce Traffic

Our models show the e-commerce traffic industries experienced in 2020 compared to an estimate of what they would have seen in absence of a pandemic.

The post We Estimated the Effect COVID-19 Has Had on E-Commerce Traffic appeared first on Monetate.

As the economic effects of COVID-19 continue to unfold, the data science team at Monetate analyzed how our clients have been impacted by changing consumer behaviors. At Monetate, we deliver data-driven, personalized customer experiences to the e-commerce websites of medium-to-large-sized businesses across a wide variety of industries.

In this post, we’ll take a look at how e-commerce traffic has changed for particular industries over the last two months as public awareness of COVID-19 increased.

To accurately estimate the independent effect of COVID-19, we modeled our clients’ weekly page views, accounting for general trends and seasonal patterns in their site traffic, and included Google search popularity data to quantitatively estimate how COVID-19 awareness approached its saturation point in the general public.

Web Traffic Changes by Industry Vertical

Our modeling allows us to produce statistically significant estimates of the precise effect COVID-19 has had on our clients’ web traffic. As we would expect, the effects varied by industry. Some industries have been impacted more than others, some not at all, and some have even seen an increase in web traffic that can be attributed to the pandemic.

The hardest-hit industries come as no surprise: social distancing behavior has had a significant effect on travel and event service companies. Booking sites (grouped under travel services above), road-side assistance services (same), vacation cruises, ticketing services, and resorts and hotels (grouped under lodging, in pea green) have all experienced a 16-21 percent drop in traffic. Even luggage and bridal retailers saw fewer visitors with an estimated loss of 13-15 percent.


Note: Noticeably absent for our list of industries affected by COVID-19 are apparel and fashion. Although we are beginning to see signs that these industries will be affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, at this point it is too soon to state with confidence what extent the early effect we’re seeing is directly attributable to COVID-19, rather than simply natural variation in the data. As the economic strain continues to be felt around the country, we’ll be monitoring the situation closely and look forward to sharing updated results about the apparel and fashion industry as we have them.


The following graphs show the web traffic these industries experienced in 2020 (red line), along with an estimate of what they would have seen in absence of a pandemic (the dashed blue line), and we also include the prior year’s data for reference (the pink line).

The first week of March was clearly the inflection point in the United States. On February 29th, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. Just under two weeks later, President Trump extended this state of emergency nation-wide. During this period, Americans began to realize the gravity of the situation and changed their consumption behavior to reflect their increased concern about large gatherings and travel.

Our web traffic models allow us to estimate what the level of traffic for these industries would have been in February and March of 2020 without the effect of COVID-19 influencing consumer behavior. More precisely, for each client we fit a linear model that includes terms for significant monthly effects as well as a term for public concern about COVID-19, represented by the popularity of Google searches for “coronavirus.” Errors in this model are represented as a “SARMA process (Seasonal Autoregressive Moving Average), which accounts for periodic, lag, and spike effects in the time series. Fitting such a model results in an estimate of the independent effect that COVID-19 has had on traffic.

By subtracting this effect out of the time series of true page views, we estimate what the page views would have been without the impact of COVID-19. 


As we can see in the plot of average effects above (titled Industries Impacted by COVID-19), some retailers actually experienced a surge in traffic related to COVID-19. We estimate COVID-19 led to a 13 to 15 percent increase in traffic for some retailers in both faith and firearms industries. With students home from school and more people working remotely, home office and children’s arts/crafts supply retailers saw a significant increase in traffic as well, with an estimated percent change of 17 and 28 respectively.

e-commerce traffic COVID-19

People are also looking to fitness equipment retailers to help them beef up their home gyms. And as the market fluctuates, many are seeking out personal investment resources to stay informed and manage their finances. There was also a very large increase in traffic to retailers of vegetable seeds and gardening tools and supplies. These e-commerce sites saw an average increase in traffic of around 45 percent.

Whether your company has been impacted positively or negatively by the COVID-19 event, there are a variety of ways to optimize your customers’ experience in a data-enriched manner to mitigate the impact of falling demand, or better handle the influx of new visitors to your site. By weaving this data into your onsite experience, you can better act on a customer’s intent, providing better-optimized experiences for optimal engagement and higher conversion during these oscillating times.

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NRF 2020 Recap: Introducing Personalized Commerce

Last week’s NRF big show in NYC was a great way to kick off the first year Kibo, Certona, and Monetate are operating as a single personalized commerce cloud (Missed our announcement? Catch up here) — we’re so excited to show how powerful the combination of order management, ecommerce optimization, and personalization can be in…

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Last week’s NRF big show in NYC was a great way to kick off the first year Kibo, Certona, and Monetate are operating as a single personalized commerce cloud (Missed our announcement? Catch up here) — we’re so excited to show how powerful the combination of order management, ecommerce optimization, and personalization can be in a future-proof, flexible platform.

First, I want to congratulate all of our ecommerce clients on wrapping up a fantastic holiday season and for working with us to develop an integrated, personalized commerce roadmap. We have some powerful 2019 client stats to celebrate:

  • Over 150 million orders processed
  • More than $300 billion in revenue influenced across the Kibo Group
  • We now have 950+ brand clients focused on delivering relevant, personalized experiences to customers

At NRF, we highlighted several expansions in personalization capabilities that our clients implemented for Q4 2019: DICK’s Sporting Goods worked with Certona to launch a new sports bra fit finder on their site, while GameStop replatformed their ecommerce experience in time for the holiday season. 

We were also thrilled to announce Taco Bell’s new personalization capabilities on their app, offering menu item recommendations to guests. Using machine learning and AI technology, the app will show users the most relevant menu items, promotions, and content based on their individual preferences, past dining history, location, weather, and restaurant-specific menus and pricing.

On the convention floor, I found it invaluable to spend time at the show with the savvy retailers and other thought leaders who are focused on connecting every element of the commerce experience with seamless backend technology to deliver personalized customer experiences in real time. 

In particular, many of the NRF attendees I chatted with were focused on gaining value and efficiency across the customer lifecycle. They are looking for easy-to-use, future-proof ways to bring AI into their teams’ day to day workflows. They’re also thinking about the intersection of new privacy and data laws and personalization — an area our product and engineering and strategist teams are all hyper focused on.

Another NRF highlight I’m thrilled to announce is that Kibo was a finalist for “Vendors in Partnership,” a new group that shines a light on all the great technologies that help retailers run and grow their commerce business. The honor is particularly meaningful for us because clients, prospects, and other vendors get to vote; it’s the “People’s Choice Award” for Vendors. 

Our head of partnerships accepts the “VIP” finalist award

Thanks again to all of our clients and partners for supporting us in 2019. We can’t wait to share more of what’s to come for Kibo in 2020, including expanded client events across the globe. 

Andrew Koperwas is the senior director of product and client marketing at Kibo.

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Monetate Retrospective: Holiday Season 2019 (and What to Do Next)

The holiday magic was in the air this peak shopping season. Despite industry worries about sluggish sales, more people than ever shopped over the holiday week that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. NRF reports that 189.9 million Americans shopped during this time, 14% more than in 2018 (165.8 million). And this year also…

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The holiday magic was in the air this peak shopping season. Despite industry worries about sluggish sales, more people than ever shopped over the holiday week that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. NRF reports that 189.9 million Americans shopped during this time, 14% more than in 2018 (165.8 million).

And this year also proved that holiday shopping has gone cyber. While Black Friday commanded headlines for decades, online sales are taking over. Early tallies show that the US had the biggest Cyber Monday ever with $9.4 billion in sales. About $3 billion of that spending came from smartphones. 

The shopping journey is obviously more complicated than a few days and two channels. Brick-and-mortar store sales on Black Friday dropped 6.2% compared to 2018, according to data from ShopperTrak. However, the firm also notes that foot traffic in stores increased 2.3% on Thanksgiving Day compared with last year. So, while people prefer to buy online, they still like to shop. Similarly, “buy online pickup in store” (aka BOPIS and click-to-collect) also increased for the holiday weekend by 43% over last year, and delivered 64% more value in store than sales from non-BOPIS shoppers.

With so many elements to connect, it’s important for retailers to understand what works and how to give customers a positive experience in the process. Personalization can be a cornerstone of a successful holiday weekend. With a 2x increase in session volume for this year’s holiday shopping weekend over last year, we had plenty of our own data to analyze in order to provide some insights. 

There’s a lot of good news for brands. We found a big increase in the use of personalization overall, and as a result, Monetate clients saw improved YoY conversion rates and order values. 

Here are a few highlights from our clients’ holiday seasons:

  • US Conversion Rates were 5.6 times higher for pages with Monetate personalization compared to non-personalized pages.
  • UK Conversion Rates were 3.2 times higher for pages with Monetate personalization compared to non-personalized pages.
  • Average Order Value increased 54% for US shoppers exposed to Monetate personalization
  • Average Order Value increased 11% for UK shoppers exposed to Monetate personalization
  • Monetate also found that retailers grew the use of personalization by more than 200% from 2018 to 2019 across the US and the UK. This includes growth across segmented experiences, Individual Fit Experiences (one-to-one personalization) and Majority Fit Experiences (dynamic testing).

We also looked at cross-device and customer identification rates (aka the “cold start problem”). Monetate did find that over the Thanksgiving weekend, our clients identified just over one-third (35%) of their visitors across desktop and mobile compared to only 23% visitor identification last year, which is a great improvement. But do the math in reverse and that means 64% of visitors weren’t identified. Our UK clients increased their ID rates but tend to have slightly lower match rates overall due to a different approach to privacy protections. 

As we’ve highlighted in the past (see the full post here), using AI-enhanced personalization allows brands to create unique strategies for “small slice” audiences. For example, we found that retained holiday shoppers from a year ago are very loyal and actually spend more even than regular shoppers come next holiday season. This relatively small group are a perfect example of a group that deserves a marketing strategy to identify and personalize a campaign that will keep them coming back next year, growing the group over time.

[Looking for more holiday shopper research? Download this report from the Monetate data team.]

The good news is that clients can increase their match rates with Monetate and identify more of these small but valuable audiences that are likely to come through over the holiday season. You can collect your Person ID (unique identifier assigned to an individual) either onsite, or through clickthrough. The onsite method can be utilised by using a JS variable or a cookie triggered on sign-up or users log in and / or at checkout. 

The clickthrough method uses the query parameter that includes an identifier, set up by your ESP. The value in this parameter is unique and tied directly to a person which means that you can stitch this ID to the Monetate cookie. This will give you the connection you need to bring match rates up and create more one-to-one personalization using IFEs.

We know that holiday planning for 2020 starts now, and it’s the insights we get that help us chart a successful season next year. Now’s the time to analyze what works and chart a course for an even bigger holiday shopping season in 12 months.

Phil Lee is a senior strategist on Monetate’s client success team.

The post Monetate Retrospective: Holiday Season 2019 (and What to Do Next) appeared first on Monetate.

Getting Started with Homepage Personalization

Some retail brand leaders (particularly towards the more luxury end of the spectrum) have traditionally viewed their site homepages as highly curated canvases — much like the front window display of a store. I’m an artist myself, so I’m very sympathetic to the concept of a unified brand aesthetic. However, these brands are limiting their…

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Some retail brand leaders (particularly towards the more luxury end of the spectrum) have traditionally viewed their site homepages as highly curated canvases — much like the front window display of a store. I’m an artist myself, so I’m very sympathetic to the concept of a unified brand aesthetic. However, these brands are limiting their ability to convert more customers and increase revenue by not personalizing the homepage experience.

Personalization really is the key to unlocking the most revenue from your homepage. I know that every marketer (and technology partner) seems to have a different definition for personalization… and that’s a topic for a future blog post. It can mean dynamically updating a homepage banner based on previous purchases, or serving a recommendation slider with products relevant to a specific visitor. For marketers still building the case for homepage personalization here, let’s focus on 1-to-1, AI-driven personalization and how retailers are using Monetate to increase revenue.

Why homepage personalization works + a case study

Monetate customers use what we call “Individual Fit Experiences” to deliver personalized homepages to their site visitors. This method uses both first- and third-party data to inform individualized content decisions — meaning that each site visitor receives a unique combination of the variants determined to be most likely relevant to them. 

This is different from something like an A/B test, where it’s certain that a random section of your target will see a less relevant experience. In fact, Monetate examined data from over 2 billion personalized experiences in order to learn how manual methods perform compared with their AI counterparts. Our finding? Individual Fit Experiences succeed 4X as often as A/B tests.  

[Read more about AI-enabled testing here]

To illustrate why, let’s look at a real-world example where I’ve only removed identifying features about the brand. A current Monetate customer and well-known retail and ecommerce brand (with a top-down culture of viewing the homepage as a work of art) decided to launch a personalization pilot to compare personalized performance with the one-size-fits-all approach.

With executive buy-in achieved and a goal metric (click-through) set, the next step was establishing how to personalize the homepage. Should they create variants specific for genders or product lines or something else? We ultimately decided to create variants across four of these, including the traditional curated homepage as a “control”, and let the Monetate Personalization Engine decide what visitors would see. 

Key results? After 14 days, the Individual Fit Experience drove a cumulative +26.42% lift in click-through from the homepage. Using Monetate, the marketing team was also able to get insight into which categories our AI-powered engine determined were most influential to assign traffic to our goal metric, and this will help them plan future strategies.

How to start with homepage personalization

As you can see, running a successful homepage personalization pilot can be done with minimal variants and the data you already have. If you’re ready to get started, here are some additional tips from my work with leading retailers:

  1. Start small. Most homepages already include a wide range of persona-specific products. Using an Individual Fit Experience to update what content is above the fold can be incredibly effective, and it doesn’t require any additional resources.
  2. Trust the engine. This isn’t the typical “If you bought this, show this” type of experience, and we have proven results. With a clear goal, you just need to let the engine learn and make the right decisions. Remember that you’re still in control of all the variants.
  3. Bring data. Monetate’s Individual Fit Experiences can make decisions out-of-the-box based on context it can “see” but your first-party data can also ensure visitors are getting the perfect experience.

Greg Giletto is a Senior Platform Consultant at Monetate. Austin Rochford, Monetate’s SVP of Data Science, also contributed insights to this article.

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40+ Ecommerce Marketing Stats for 2020 Planning

In order to create strategies to maximize sales and drive impact, your team needs an understanding of ecommerce trends and data. Below are important metrics as they relate to conversion rates, add-to-cart rates, and personalization. Utilize this information to help craft your 2020 marketing plan and personalization tactics.  Let’s take a look at the 50…

The post 40+ Ecommerce Marketing Stats for 2020 Planning appeared first on Monetate.

In order to create strategies to maximize sales and drive impact, your team needs an understanding of ecommerce trends and data. Below are important metrics as they relate to conversion rates, add-to-cart rates, and personalization. Utilize this information to help craft your 2020 marketing plan and personalization tactics. 

Let’s take a look at the 50 ecommerce marketing stats you need to know now.

Customer Acquisition

  • Ninety-five percent of all purchases in the UK are projected to come via ecommerce by the year 2040. 
  • Mary Meeker’s most recent trend report cites phenomenal 22 percent YoY growth in digital advertising spend for 2019.
  • Email is a valuable tool for ecommerce sites. About 70 percent of users who visit a site for the first time from an email will return within a 60 day timeframe. Forty-eight percent will return within six days.
  • Eighty-three percent of all email visitors make a return visit, while those who enter via social media channels have a likelihood of returning that is below 75 percent.
  • A lack of content relevancy generates 83 percent lower response rates in the average marketing campaign. 
  • 43 percent of ecommerce traffic comes from Google organic searches. 

Add-to-Cart Rates 

  • In Great Britain, add-to-cart rates are 15.98 percent and in the US add-to-cart rates are 10.21 percent.
  • Tablets have the highest add-to-cart rates globally (11.87 percent) and in the US (12.20 percent). However, in Great Britain, add-to-cart rates are higher on desktop (16.55 percent).
  • Add-to-cart rates are higher for those who use multiple devices – 73 percent compared to 12 percent.
  • 61 percent of shoppers say they have left a transaction behind due to added costs such as shipping fees. 
  • Another 34 percent say they’ve abandoned their carts because it was too difficult to create an account. 

Conversion Rates & Purchase Rates

  • In the US, conversion rates are 2.57 percent and in Great Britain, conversion rates are 3.81 percent.
  • Conversion rates are performing best on desktops (3.90 percent) globally. 
  • 61 percent of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. 
  • In the US, desktop conversion rates are 4.14 percent and in Great Britain, desktop conversion rates are 4.97 percent.
  • Relevant product recommendations can play an important role in conversions. Clients who click on a recommended product are 70 percent more likely to make a purchase than those who see a product recommendations, but do not interact with it.
  • Return sessions for those who left a recommended product in their cart are 45 percent more likely to convert.
  • Almost half of survey respondents noted that they had made an impulse purchase as a result of a recommended product. 85 percent of these were happy to have made that purchase.
  • Loyal customers are more valuable to retailers than first time customers. They convert at rates 4x higher.

Average Order Value

  • Average order values are $107.36 globally, $118.17 in the US, and $71.86 in Great Britain.
  • Average order value from organic searches is $79.01, while AOV from direct website visits averages at $112.01.
  • Desktop users have a higher average order value with $128.08 globally, $135.07 in the US, and $86.47 in Great Britain.
  • AOV increases by as much as 33 percent when customers buy or add recommended products to their carts (compared to those who see the product recommendations and do not interact with them).
  • Average order value is $86.47 on mobile globally.
  • AOV is 38 percent higher for those who return to a site after making a purchase from a recommended product than those who did not.
  • Cross device customer journeys are more valuable to organizations. Average order value increases from $115 to $130 when customers shop across devices.

The Compounding Effects of Personalization

  • Conversion rates doubled for consumers who are exposed to three personalized elements, compared to two personalized elements.
  • Companies see a 55 percent increase in leads when increasing their landing pages from 10 to 15. 
  • Add-to cart rates improved by 74 percent when comparing the second and third personalized pageviews.
  • By the 10th personalized webpage, conversion rates skyrocketed to 31.6 percent and add-to-cart rates increased to 65.2 percent.
  • Cart abandonment rates improved when users were exposed to personalized webpages. After two personalized webpages, it dropped to 82.6 percent and by the tenth personalized webpage, it dropped to 58 percent. By the 20th, it dropped to below half (40 percent)

  • Seventy-eight percent said that they will not even react to a retailer’s offer if their interaction is not personalized.
  • Eighty-eight percent of shoppers say that they are more likely to make a purchase from an organization who delivers a personalized experience across devices.

Personalization Strategies for Organizations

  • Eighty-six percent of companies who are seeing a high return on their investment (2x or more) are investing at least 21 percent of their budget into personalization efforts.
  • Companies that exceeded their revenue goals in 2018 were 25 percent more likely to have financial specific personalization initiatives in place.
  • About 60 percent of marketers struggle to personalize content in real time, but 77 percent believe real-time personalization is crucial. 
  • Seventy-nine percent of organizations that exceeded their revenue goals had a personalization strategy in place. 
  • Sixty-six percent of marketers say one of their biggest struggles with personalization is securing the internal resources needed to execute their strategy.
  • Ninety-three percent of organizations who had an advanced personalization program in place grew their revenue. 0 percent experienced a decline in revenue.

The Next Step for Businesses

The ecommerce industry has been affected by disruption with emerging technologies and trends. Despite all these changes, customers continue to look for a personalized experience across their platforms. Monetate and our personalization experts can help you deliver a best-in-class customer experience in 2020.

The post 40+ Ecommerce Marketing Stats for 2020 Planning appeared first on Monetate.

The Complete Guide to Selling on the Walmart Marketplace in 2019

The Walmart Marketplace won’t ever be the new Amazon, but that’s doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for retailers. We’ve seen Walmart scale… > Read More
The post The Complete Guide to Selling on the Walmart Marketplace in 2019 …

The Walmart Marketplace won’t ever be the new Amazon, but that’s doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for retailers. We’ve seen Walmart scale... > Read More

The post The Complete Guide to Selling on the Walmart Marketplace in 2019 appeared first on Retail Performance Marketing Blog - CPC Strategy.

Thank You + Brooks Bell’s Best of 2018

It’s January 3, and if you’re like us, you’re already heads down at your desk and neck deep in emails. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a minute to reflect on the previous year. In November of 2018, we quietly celebrated 15 years of being in business. When Brooks Bell was founded, experimentation was in […]

The post Thank You + Brooks Bell’s Best of 2018 appeared first on Brooks Bell.

It’s January 3, and if you’re like us, you’re already heads down at your desk and neck deep in emails. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a minute to reflect on the previous year.

In November of 2018, we quietly celebrated 15 years of being in business. When Brooks Bell was founded, experimentation was in its infancy. But despite all the changes we’ve experienced since then, one thing remains true: it is the opportunity to connect with so many interesting people that are solving big problems for their business that makes our work worthwhile. Thanks for walking with us.

A look back at some of our big moments from 2018

Winning like Winona

In January, our Founder & CEO, Brooks Bell, was recognized as one of 25 women who rocked digital marketing in 2017. Later in the year, she was also announced as a Southeastern Finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. 

We also celebrated 2017’s record-breaking growth, were recognized as Optimizely’s North American Partner of the Year, and we garnered our local business journal’s Best Places to Work award.

Getting Lit with Illuminate

Fun fact: We originally built Illuminate to help us better manage and iterate upon our clients’ tests. Over time, we got so much great feedback, that we decided to make it available to everyone this year.

Now, with a successful beta launch under our belt and even more new features being added to the software, we’re excited to see where this new endeavor takes us in 2019.

F is for Friends, Fun and…Fear?

In October, things got a little spooky around the office and it had everything to do with Scott, our Director of Sales, who decided to channel his inner Ellen Degeneres for the day (much to our colleagues’ horror). Watch the video if you dare.

Making Bacon for our Clients

Back in 2014, we set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal to achieve $1 billion in projected revenue for our clients. By the end of 2017, we’d reached $500 million. And this past December, we hit $1 billion. (cue ::gong::)

But we’re not resting on our laurels. We’ve set some aggressive goals for 2019, with a focus on personalization, and we’re pumped to get to work.

Brooks Bell takes the Bay Area 

In September, we officially opened the doors to our San Fransisco office. This decision came after years of working with clients on the West Coast and our desire to work even more closely with them. And with the Bay Area’s rich history of innovation, we can’t think of a better place to help more companies push their boundaries through experimentation.

Still Clickin’ 

Last May, we hosted our annual Click Summit conference. We might be biased but this remains one of our favorite events as it’s filled with meaningful connections and seriously impactful takeaways. 2019 marks our 10th Click Summit, and we’ve got big plans. Request your invite today.

2018 on the blog

 


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E-commerce Abandonment Rates

There are few key performance indicators that everyone focuses on for an e-commerce store: conversion rates, average order value and the number of monthly visitors. These metrics translate into money…

Please click on the title to read the full artic…

There are few key performance indicators that everyone focuses on for an e-commerce store: conversion rates, average order value and the number of monthly visitors. These metrics translate into money...

Please click on the title to read the full article!