Month: November 2020

Digital Branding

5 eCommerce Marketing Mistakes to Be Aware of in 2020-2021

With all the marketing efforts and spent resources on getting an eCommerce store to sell more, you surely wouldn’t want to repeat the calamitous errors of others. In this post, we’ll introduce you to the 5 things to be on the lookout for, bring up which mistakes not to repeat, give tips, and mention what you should get your hands on for your own online store if you haven’t up to this point.

1. Optimize your product images

If you know at least something about search engine optimization, you’ve most likely heard that page load times matter. A lot.

Not only is a slowly loading page terrible in terms of SEO (hint: Google won’t rank well a backpedaling page that takes forever to open), but it also causes terrible bounce rates. Users hate wasting their time waiting for the page to load. They get angry when this happens and leave the site.

Why am I bringing this up? Images are responsible for slowing down a page in way too many cases. Thus, being a marketing specialist, do what you can to optimize your eCommerce site’s speed. Consider implementing caching tools, perhaps, turn to your developers for this one as the best-fit tools to use will differ from one eCommerce platform to another.

If you fall short of techy background, try starting with manual image compression and opting for progressive image formats (these are, for instance, WebP or JPG). 

Below is a screenshot from a product page on the official Philipp Plein eCommerce store. As you can see, the site uses pictures of “weight-friendly” JPG format in the gallery. Plus, I ran a page speed test with a free tool just for fun, and this product page (although it has 5 high-resolution images in the gallery) loads in as little as 5.2 seconds which isn’t that bad.

Product gallery image type on the Philipp Plein website  Screenshot taken on the official Philipp Plein website

2. Add user-generated content widgets from socials

Using cross-posting as leverage is a wide-used marketing strategy. So why not solve several problems with one action?

How? By hooking up user-generated posts to your eCommerce website. You’ll enhance your social presence, grow your audience, enrich social media content, make existing clients who make the posts happier, and give other shoppers some inspiration to get your products.

A great example of such a UGC widget is the “Share How You Wear It” section available on the product pages on the official Reebok website. Clients are allured to make posts on personal social media pages, posts should feature the product that they’ve bought and tag the official @reebok account. If these simple terms are met, the person gets a chance to make it to the gallery.

User-generated content widget with client social media posts on the Reebok website  Screenshot taken on the official Reebok website

3. Get the most of your customer reviews

No matter how hard you try to persuade your potential customers to buy something, the words of those who have already purchased the product are still going to be more convincing. This is why it’s vital to not overlook the reviews that your customers give. Even more so, being a marketer, you should put in some effort to encourage people to leave reviews and to react to them too.

A hint here is to enhance your order delivery confirmation emails or communication. Add a short link to the feedback form on your website’s product page and offer several percent off for the future purchase or some other sort of perk to reward the person if they take the time to write a comment on the product they’ve bought.

From a technical perspective, the feedback section itself can be as fancy as you want. A good idea is to place a review summary prior to the specific client comments, this can assist users who are browsing the item in making quicker conclusions.

To provide you with an example of proper implementation and use of client feedback, here’s how customer reviews look like on the official Maybelline New York website. We see a star rating at the top of the page, the number of reviews (43) takes the user straight to the reviews if clicked. The section has a neat summary, every reviewer’s short personal data, and comments are seen.

Product reviews as seen on the Maybelline New York website  Screenshot taken on the official Maybelline New York website

4. Start using personal product picks

General “recommended products” sections are a deal of the past. Pitching items that the person may actually like and making such product choices based on the user’s earlier shopping carts, bought, and browsed items is a whole new thing. It’s a personal approach that everyone should strive for when communicating with clients, even if it’s done via a page on the web (marketers should be aware of that). And this can substantially grow your average check sizes.

This can be reached by getting a hold of modern personal product page functionality. It’s usually artificial intelligence-based, capable of tracking user behavior, and makes bulls-eye item choices that are displayed to the user.

To show you a neat use of this feature below is the “You may also like” product pick example on the official Fendi website.

“You may also like” personalization block on the Fendi website  Screenshot taken on the official Fendi website

5. Create gift finder sections, seriously

As marketers, you must understand the importance of making it easy to sell things. Putting together various guides, collections, and finders that’ll help users make up their minds as they’re in search of what to present as a gift to someone is a fabulous move. You assist your buyers and sell more.

It is considered good practice to place such “Gift Ideas” in the top menu of the online store. Secondly, it makes sense to break down the suitable items by recipient, occasion, or budget. Thirdly, if gift ideas are gathered as category pages, having on-page filters to simplify the search is nice too.

For some inspiration of what this can be like if handled properly, take a look at how the “Gift Guide for Men” is presented on the official Adidas website. As you can see, the guide is assembled as a separate page, furthermore, users can filter the gifts by size, category, product type, color, etc.

Gift ideas section for men on the official Adidas website  Screenshot taken on the official Adidas website

Final Thoughts

To conclude the above, marketers should be on the lookout for the following five mistakes:

  1. Unoptimized images or other factors that negatively influence page load times.
  2. Missing out on user-generated content via social media.
  3. Not using customer feedback properly (which is a mighty and persuasive tool).
  4. Not having your product picks personalized (and people like individualized shopping experiences).
  5. Not having gift ideas or gift-hunting guides up on the store.

We hope that you’ve found this piece handy! If you have any more often-occurring marketing mistakes in eCommerce in mind, feel free to share them in the comments below.

 

About the Author

Alex Husar

Alex Husar, CTO at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Magento migration and Salesforce development services. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to the whole team.

 

Social media:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-husar
https://twitter.com/AlexHusar1

 

 

Local Branding

How To Leverage Your Shipping Strategy To Enhance Your Brand

Branding in the current landscape goes beyond product differentiation and marketing. It is more about customer experience because it goes a long way in making your brand stand apart. People who get the best experiences are bound to be loyal to your business. They tend to stay and also bring others through word-of-mouth recommendations. So you must go the extra mile to enhance their shopping experiences.
While your products, services, and interactions go a long way, your shipping strategy can also make a difference in your brand’s loyalty. Buyers expect brands to excel in terms of shipping options and fulfillment services, so you must make conscious efforts to deliver on these fronts. Here are some ways to leverage your shipping strategy for enhancing your brand.

Be transparent

E-commerce branding is all about building trust and transparency because customers do not transact with brands physically. You need to extend transparency in shipping services along with everything else. Providing clear estimates about delivery dates and sharing the tracking information with customers makes the entire process more transparent and trustworthy. It is equally important to be available if customers have any queries and concerns about their orders. Maintaining transparency around your returns policy also matters because most online buyers would review it before buying. There shouldn’t be any hidden costs for product returns, while you must also clarify whether the customers will need to bear return shipping costs.

Match expectations around speed and cost

E-commerce customers expect fast and cost-effective delivery of products at the click of a button. Your business may have the best products and pricing, but shipping speed and costs can make all the difference to the buying decision. It is vital to ensure that the shipping options you offer match the expectations of buyers on these fronts.

According to experts at Shipping Vegas, collaborating with a reliable fulfillment provider is the key because it determines the speed and cost of delivery. It becomes all the more important for international businesses because sending across products with speed, efficiency, and affordability is a challenge.

Showcase your brand

Another measure that you can implement for empowering your brand at the shipping stage is by showcasing it with attractive product packaging. For most customers, receiving a package would be their first in-person experience with your brand, so it should be impressive enough to make your brand memorable.

Including your brand logo, colors, and imagery in the package creates a consistent and cohesive experience for the customers. Custom packaging also creates brand awareness and drives loyalty and retention in the long run. Moreover, it serves as a cost-effective branding initiative as compared to other strategies that often cost a fortune.

When it comes to achieving success in the e-commerce domain, it can be a daunting challenge right now. A business needs to excel with everything, from product quality to pricing and customer servicing and support. Additionally, a strong shipping strategy can keep a brand on top-of-mind for customers in the long run because it serves as the mainstay of the experience you deliver.

Digital BrandingPersonal Branding

What are 3 Instagram tools you need to keep up with trends?

If you use Instagram not just for sharing your images with a close circle of friends, you need more than just the app itself. Having an engaging IG page is a perfect opportunity for a business to attract new audiences and interested clients. Do you know that in 2020 Instagram hashtags work similarly to SEO keywords that help get your content exposed to more people? It takes some time to research these words, but if you know what Instagram hashtag generator to use, you can easily find the best hashtags that work for promotion. 

The point is that discovering new Instagram tools will help you better your content strategy and make the most of your online business. In this article, you will find out more about tested Hashtag finder, Instagram font generator, and Profile analyzer – keep on reading to learn why these tools are useful. 

3 tried and tested Instagram tools you need in 2020

#1 Toolzu Hashtag generator

If you try google hashtag tools, you’re gonna see many options on the web. But when you start using them, you realize that most of the tools are not convenient. 

Toolzu is a handy tool that lists over 12 million hashtags, and new ones are added regularly. This tool lets you discover hashtags by keyword or with the help of AI-algorithms. You can simply paste a link to any post or upload a picture. 

In front of a hashtag, you can see how intense the competition will be if you use it (the graph Difficulty). For example, if a hashtag is used in millions of posts, the content is saturated, and your post will be among the recently added for just a couple of minutes. That’s why it’s worth to include in your set medium and more niche-specific hashtags. 

The main upper hand of using a hashtag generator instead of the in-app search is that you can copy them instantly. The app does not allow you to do that to click on a hashtag and view the content. 

What are other benefits:

  • The option of mentioning 5 keywords per search
  • Looking for hashtags in any languages
  • Deep analytics on hashtags including top posts

If you haven’t been using hashtags because you were lazy to discover them via the app, use the effortless yet effective way – the Toolzu hashtag finder. The 7-days trial period is free of charge. 

#2 Fonts generator by Bigbangram

It is getting more and more trendy to use other than IG default fonts. Bloggers who write long captions tend to organize their texts better – with bold headlines, highlighted words. Hence, an IG copy turns into a meaningful article. It’s also helpful to add various fonts into your bio description and IG name. 

If you think that to type in a different font, you need to hack the IG app; you are mistaken. The only thing you need is a proper Instagram fonts tool, and I recommend you to check the one by Bingbangram. 

You need to insert or type any text in the Latin alphabet, and it will be immediately converted into a style you choose. The library lists dozens of fonts in various moods – classical, romantic, minimalist, gothic, etc. 

I like most of all that it is possible to preview how a style will look from a phone screen. There is a simulator, and I advise you to check it if you are looking for a fresh font for your name or bio. 

Try fancy characters for your page – the tool is forever free. 

#3 Profile analyzer by Ingramer

 

Finally, I number 3 on my list is the Analyzer of profiles by Ingramer. This tool will be helpful for those who are growing and looking for some ideas on the accounts of their competitors. Sometimes, spying on strategies of successful accounts helps to get insights. 

What info will you get:

  1. Reals stats, like the engagement rate, to see if the followers are active and the content is interactive
  2. Best-performing content that will help you to get what kind of media your audience consumes better
  3. Top hashtags that you can also try in your captions
  4. Posting schedule that you can consider when deciding what time is better to post to get more interactions

All in all, you need to collect the list of the popular accounts in your niche and paste their names into the Analyzer tool. After, you can use the data to adjust your IG posting and content strategy. 

Conclusion

Having all the mentioned above tools at your fingertips will help you expand the reach of your content, create more eye-grabbing text, and apply some of your competitors’ techniques. Services like Toolzu, Ingramer, Bigbangram are widely-used by influencers, digital marketers, and business people. Do you want to try them too? Hurry up – more people want to see your content. 

Digital Branding

3 Steps To Improving Your Paid Digital Marketing Campaigns

Digital marketing campaigns are always a delicate balancing act. You want to squeeze as much value out of each dollar you spend. Which is why most of us prefer to use strategies that capitalize upon methods that are more organic and produce a greater return on investment. While approaches such as email marketing can be versatile and simple, sometimes you have to go with a more direct method.  

Paid digital marketing has been known to have something of a negative reputation. However, when done correctly it can be a versatile tool. It can be used to produce swift results, support other marketing efforts, and build engagement. That said, it’s not always easy to know strategies to employ. 

Let’s take a look at a handful of good practices for your paid campaign. What tools can you use to keep your goals on track? Where should you be placing your resources? With some additional effort, you can start to see some serious improvements in your paid practices.      

1. Take Care with Your Keywords

One of the main problems companies tend to come up against during their paid marketing campaigns is ineffectual keywords. Not only can choosing the wrong words or phrases result in poor results, but you’re also going to be spending more money than you need to — especially if you’re using a pay per click (PPC) approach. Therefore, it’s important not only to choose your keywords carefully, but to review them throughout your campaign to make changes where necessary. 

Using a keyword planning tool such as Google Adwords is a good start. But you shouldn’t be relying upon it. The problem here is that your competitors are likely to also be using the same tools, so to simply pick from these lists can find you diluting their effectiveness. Such tools are usually best used as a jumping off point. They give you insights into the keywords that are popular in your niche and among your demographic. Use this data as you would any other analysis, and combine it with your own insights and expertise in the subject to find keywords and phrases that other businesses may not have yet stumbled onto.

Don’t forget that the information you gather during this paid campaign can also inform your more organic marketing later on. When you provide data on successful keywords to an expert in SEO they can use this to help formulate a strategy that improves your rankings. Think of your paid campaign not just as a standalone project, but another tool in your expanding arsenal.    

2. Use Your Socials

Your social media can be one of the most effective marketing tools you have at your disposal. This applies to both organic growth and your paid marketing campaign. There is a lot of discussion surrounding whether paid advertising on social media is effective or not. As always, you can’t expect to throw out some marketing copy on your socials and expect the boost you’re paying for to do all the leg work. Its success comes down to how you use it. 

  • Be Relevant. This is the big one. The audience you’re targeting on social media probably aren’t the same people you’re seeking to gain from other methods. Your analysis should have made that clear. Not only that, but there will also be a disparity between who you’re targeting on Facebook as opposed to who you’ll pinpoint on Instagram. These are all likely to be very different people who respond to separate ideas and approaches. Make certain that the content you present — the images, the text, the product — is relevant to the social channel you’re advertising through. 
  • Have Clear Objectives. On both Facebook and Instagram, you have the opportunity to set preferences for your paid campaign goals. This can be to reach a certain demographic, improve engagements, widen your reach, among others. In order to use these correctly, you need to be specific about what you’re hoping to achieve. The tools that these platforms provide are really useful, but you also have to be vigilant about whether you’re using the right tool to suit your overall objectives.
  • Create a Schedule. Like most marketing tools, social media is a scalpel rather than a grenade. Specify your ads to appear on the schedule that matches your demographics’ period of highest engagement. You should already be using a social media management platform for your regular posts, and the best of these also provide insights into user engagement. Use this data for your paid campaign.    

3. Go Multimedia

Paid digital advertising has something of a reputation for being boring. That, or suspicious due to it’s overly commercial approach and intentions. The thing is, everyone you are pitching to with your paid campaign will be made immediately aware that these are marketing posts. Therefore you need to give people a fresh reason to engage with your paid marketing content. 

Be varied in your approach and use a mix of media; videos, blogs, podcasts, images. Yes, you are advertising to your demographic, but you should also be using this as an opportunity to provide them with something they consider to be of value.    

Videos are one of the most versatile ways to approach this. It is most frequently at the top of lists of effective marketing tools. Create something entertaining and informative that features your product or service. Demonstrate how what you do makes a difference to your consumers, and give visual and audio cues to engage with your call to action. There is the added benefit that you can make money from YouTube videos, too. By building up enough engagement you can use this passive income to offset your paid marketing costs.      

Wrapping Up

Paid digital marketing may not have been your first choice of approach, but it can produce valuable results. By taking a few additional steps to optimize your keywords, and use the variety of digital tools at your disposal, you can make a significant impact. 

Digital Branding

When Should Your Startup Expand Into New Verticals

Growing a startup into a successful and viable long-term business is the goal of every entrepreneur. Expanding your idea from a single concept into an expansive business with multiple different revenue streams and geographic distribution is a fun and exciting challenge. Exploring new verticals is an excellent way to grow and protect your business from market fluctuations and changes; diversification is the key to success.

Finding the right time to move into a new vertical can be challenging, though. Move too soon and you risk overextending yourself, but move too late and you risk your business stalling. In the following article, we’ll provide you with some advice on how to find the best time to move your business in exciting new directions.

Expanding Vertically

Vertical expansion is the process of moving your business into a new field, with the goal of diversifying your operations, risk, and revenue streams. When executed at the right time and into the right areas, vertical expansion can take your business to a whole new level, complementing and synergising with your existing business operations.

Aaron Babb, Director of Aevum Health had this to say on the importance of expanding his business, even when he was in a comfortable situation – “New verticals relating to new markets or revenue streams are an incredibly powerful business growth technique that allows for expansion without significant additional costs. In a small to medium-sized business often your biggest issues are cashflow. Seeking out and finding new verticals allows for additional revenue once set overheads have already been established boosting business cash flow.” 

Test the Market

As most startup entrepreneurs will know, not every idea is a golden one. Some things appear great on paper, a sure-fire path to success, but once they are moved into the marketplace they fall apart. Testing your idea for vertical movement is important to not only evaluate whether it is a viable idea that the market will accept, but also if the timing is right. 

Gary Vaynerchuck, prolific social media magnate and business advisor has this to say on testing the market “If you’re worried you won’t be able to communicate your idea to the existing market, maybe your idea needs some rethinking.” 

A small market test may demonstrate that while the move is something your customers are ready for, your business isn’t in a place to make the move with the attention and focus required.

Get the Timing Right

Timing is everything when it comes to expanding your business into a new vertical. If you make the move too soon into your startups’ lifecycle then you risk derailing your core concept by spreading your resources too thin. If you make the move too late, though, you risk being too heavily integrated into the core business platform. Keep vertical expansion constantly in your plans, regularly assessing when the best time is to move forward without diverting mission-critical resources, but while you are still small and agile enough to move and adapt into a new area.

Identify the Motivators

One of the most important questions to ask yourself when considering moving your business into a new vertical is why you are doing so? Identifying the motivations behind the move will help you to thoroughly assess whether now is the best time to be making a change.

Tim Ferris, author of the 4 hour work week “The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?”

If the motivation for exploring new business avenues is the wrong thing, then you risk the idea falling flat. Vertical expansion should be done at a time in the business when you have a solid footing in the core business vertical and have maximised your current potential. If the motivation for expanding into a new vertical is because your competitors are doing so or you are just looking for a new challenge then the timing may not be right.

 

Moving your startup into a new vertical will almost certainly be harder than it was launching the idea initially. When a business is just starting it can afford to be much more dynamic in its movements and decisions. It can also afford to make mistakes and recover from them with relative ease. Once a business has been established, pivoting into a new vertical is much more difficult as you have to carefully balance the existing business operations, staff, and customers while trying to launch something new. The cost of failure is much higher, but the benefits of success are too. Identifying the right time to make the move is critically in boosting the chances for a successful expansion.