Tips and tricks about marketing and online store optimisation. Learn how to attract new customers and grow your sales.
The modern digital seller is spoilt for choice when it comes to starting an online business. While there’s a lot to choose from, figuring out what to sell is the tricky part.
The modern digital seller is spoilt for choice when it comes to starting an online business. The problem is figuring out the best products to sell.If you’ve come here hoping to see a list of things you can drop ship, you’re going to be disappointed.Instead, we’re going to discuss how you yourself can find something people want.
Let’s make this clear at the start - being an eCommerce entrepreneur isn’t always sexy. The online market is already flooded enough with cheap garbage.The top selling products on eBay are usually electronics. The top selling products on Amazon are usually cheap clothes. The best products to sell online are already being sold online. If you can’t re-invent what’s already there, you need to think of something else. The more a product is in demand, the harder it will be for you to be seen in that market.To find something that will sell and really be noticed, you need to get a little creative. You’re going to have to start on the other end of the scale.Think small.
A niche is a small section of the population that are actively engaged or involved with one topic. The keyword here is small. By selling a product that is desired by a certain niche, your marketing efforts are easier. It’s much simpler to establish market dominance and create a top-selling item.Being a niche seller makes you a master of one thing, rather than ‘kinda ok’ at lots of things. When you are seen as a pro at one thing, everyone in that niche sits up and pays attention to you. By selling the best possible product, you create a long lasting and reputable online brand.Let’s look at Overdrive Straps. They sell guitar straps. Yep. Guitar straps. Nothing but guitar straps. And they sell online only. Being able to focus on the development of one product (rather than a whole product range) has let the company become the go-to strap company for guitarists of all levels, including some pretty big names. By creating the best product they possibly can, they’ve created a top selling product. In doing that, they’ve become masters of an industry.
Brent Hinds of Mastodon and his Overdrive strap
Some musicians currently using Overdrive Straps are Mastodon, The Smashing Pumpkins, A Perfect Circle and The Mars Volta. By creating a quality product and focusing on a small niche (professional musicians), growth has come quickly and easily. Word of mouth marketing has taken care of itself. With big names showing off their work, Social Media and Social Proof is a breeze!Using a similar concept when looking for the best product to sell online means it will be quicker for you to start making a profit and easier for you to scale up your business as it grows.
Shipping and handling is a nightmare as it is. By selling a product that is simple to ship, you save yourself a lot of headaches in the form of returns.
Not everything that we buy, we absolutely need.I’d rather spend $30 on a nice bottle of whiskey than buy myself new socks for winter.I need one but I want the other. People behave irrationally and our levels of consumer debt attest to that. Buying online comes with a certain level of anonymity. Being anonymous removes the guilt from impulse buying and may even justify it. The best product to sell online is one that a buyer considers an affordable luxury. Not often is ice cream portrayed as something healthy or beneficial to someone’s fitness. Instead, it is marketed as a ‘luxury’, a temptation or even an obsession.
By understanding the temptations and obsessions of certain demographics, you can sell a product that people find satisfaction and validation by indulging in. Quite often, people shopping for products that are ‘guilty pleasures’ are impulse buyers.Finding a product that is seen as a luxury, guilty pleasure, a rare purchase but an emotionally satisfying purchase can be a goldmine.
Melbourne, Australia, is known for its awful looking seats on the train system.
Yet someone has taken this pattern, put it on a t-shirt and is selling it online.
The target audience? Any Melbournian that’s used the train system. Such an original idea has drawn the attention of FM radio and prime-time TV broadcasts - the kind of publicity that can’t be bought. Uncle Reco is another innovative Australian brand that’s selling online. They’re best products are unique, to say the least.They’ve taken imagery and memories from the early 2000’s and put it on clothing - in a vulgar, yet humorous way. Coolabah cask wine was just about the first alcoholic drink for every Aussie teenager under the age of 18.
Take the unique cover art that everyone recognises, change some of the imagery for copyright purposes, put the image on a t-shirt and dress and start selling it online. Suddenly you have a product with a target audience of any Australian between 18 and 35. The best selling product is often a novelty, an ‘inside joke’.
Want to try this for yourself? Think of things that were familiar to your demographic or location growing up. Food, public transport, movies, pop culture in general. Just be sure to change imagery or wording enough for copyright purposes.
And sell a service.By offering a service as well as a product, your brand becomes more valuable to your target consumer.
Schmidt's Knives offer high-quality kitchen knives, as well as a mail-in sharpening service.
If there is some kind of maintenance or repair required for what you’re selling, offer that service. This enables you to make money from your time and not just a product. People that already own a product similar to yours become your target customer.Consider the following:
If the product you sell is something people usually only own one of, offer a service that disposes of the old one. (Mattresses, furniture, clothing, cutlery).Want to keep it online? Offer your time as a service, in the form of audits or some kind of consulting.
Still, haven’t found your best product to sell online?
Mark Santer, Besthomegadget: "We've worked with several smart home re-sellers, and I strongly suggest to focussing on quality and trends when choosing products to sell. Also, a wise seller should commit to the following two things before going into the market: keyword research to identify demand and competitors research to identify the difficulty of entering the market".Still can’t think of a best selling item? Check out Reddit, it can be a goldmine for entrepreneurial minds:
Products posted in here are things that consumers truly appreciate and want.
Finding the best products to sell online isn’t an easy task. It requires an investment of time to see what people want. Get creative, put on your Entrepreneurial hat and you’ll soon find yourself doing things that no one has done before!
Follow the 9 points in this step-by-step guide to see how to start an online store. See how to make an online store with absolutely no money or technical knowledge. Find the best ecommerce platform to build your online store and discover the easiest way to build your own online boutique and start making money. Read now
The main goal of a return policy is to build trust. A simple, helpful and generous return policy gives customers peace of mind and keeps them coming back for more!
Your Ecommerce return policy probably isn’t the most exciting part of your online store.It is, however, something that’s required by law. Even if you’re selling on a marketplace like eBay, Bonanza, Etsy or other sites like Etsy, you’re required to have some kind of return or refund policy. For all its advantages, online selling comes with some concerns on behalf of your buyer. The main one being that,your customer can’t hold, touch, see or feel what they’re buying before they own it.A generous returns policy means that your buyer can commit to a purchase, knowing that if it’s not perfect, they can return it, exchange it, or even get a refund.Little things like this add up to really impress your customer and ultimately make them a return buyer. It also does wonders in optimising your conversion rate.That being said, you won’t make money if people are constantly returning your product ‘just because’.So now we’re going to take a look at how you can build a transparent ecommerce returns policy - one that will benefit not only your customer but also your business. In this article, you will learn:
Using return policy samples and real-life examples, you’ll see how to craft a returns policy that builds trust between you and your customer.
All good ecommerce stores (and retail stores, too) should have the following 3 policies on display.
A returns policy is an outline where you inform customers about your return and refund process. It clearly tells your customer what they can and can’t return and for what reasons. It also states an approximate timeframe for their return or refund to be handled.In almost all countries, it’s a legal requirement that any kind of merchant offers a way for a customer to return, refund or exchange a product. Even digital products in digital stores!It’s essential that a customer is informed about the ways that they can do this.
By telling your customer they can return their purchase, you increase your chances of creating a lifetime buyer and brand advocate.
Too many return policies are in place to protect the seller by simply confusing the buyer. Some may even not have a refund policy, but is that entirely legal?Let's take a look.
Depending on where you reside and the laws of that state, territory or country, yes, it’s legal.But it’s a terrible idea.Why?Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You’re about to buy something from an online store. You then see that if the product doesn't work as described, you can’t return it. Would you then buy that product?Probably not! But if you’re still wanting to implement a ‘no return and no refund’ policy, you need to be aware that the rules vary all over the world.
Return and refund policies on products, digital or physical, online or retail, are not required in the US. There are however individual state laws that require specific notices when you have a ‘no returns policy’ or ‘no refund policy’.
Do you want to learn more about return and refund policy in your state? Click here to find out more.
In the European Union, you don’t have a choice. You are required by law to accept refunds and returns on all products - physical or digital. EU consumer law states that:‘a trader must repair, replace, reduce the price or give you a refund if goods you bought turn out to be faulty or do not look or work as advertised.If you bought a good or a service online or outside of a shop (by telephone, mail order, from a door-to-door salesperson), you also have the right to cancel and return your order within 14 days, for any reason and with no justification.’Click here for more information about consumer law in the European Union.
Before preparing a return policy for your own store, it’s important you see what others are doing. It will help you to understand what some common and industry standard procedures are. Here you will see how a non-existent return policy can become the cornerstone of a successful ecommerce brand. There are many businesses out there that pride themselves on a lifetime warranty. Even if that may not be a fit for you and your products, you can learn a lot by taking a look at how these brands approach their return policy. Below you fill find x examples of the best return policies:
RedOxx is well known for their return conditions, warranty and return policy. Let’s take look at a sample of their return policy:‘The Red Oxx Lifetime Guarantee is completely transferable for life. Covered are all bags and accessories made by us (both custom and mass produced), at any time in our history, regardless of how they were obtained – gifts, second-hand store, eBay auctions, hand-me-downs, custom work and modifications done by Red Oxx, etc. Our “No Bull” Lifetime Warranty is, in a word, unconditional!’Very generous! Straight away we can see how this is appealing to the customer. But what can you learn from this if you don’t have a lifetime warranty?RedOxx also goes on to state:‘We will always foot the bill for return shipping –your item will be returned to you via UPS Ground (U.S.A.) and USPS Priority International (outside the U.S.A.) return shipping paid by Red Oxx. ‘What can I learn from Red Oxx's unlimited return policy?Unable to offer a lifetime warranty on your product? No sweat, you can still earn your customer’s favour by paying for their return shipping.
Socks are normally something very personal. They’re a cheap commodity and if they’re damaged, you throw them out, get another pair. Darn Tough socks want you to know that you can return their socks - anytime, for any reason, even if you’re not happy with them. Worn or unworn, damaged or undamaged.Their returns policy has 2 different procedures:
What can I learn from Darn Tough’s outstanding return policy?Keep your policy simple. A returns policy can be confusing by nature. Don’t make it any more confusing that it has to be.
Glossier is a New York-based women’s skincare and cosmetics company. With millions of online sales each year, how do they handle returns?Their returns policy is simple. No fancy confusing words, nothing that will scare off a buyer, turning them into a reluctant buyer.Take a look at the sample below:What should I do if I receive the wrong product?If you received a product different from the one that you ordered, sorry about that! Please contact us at gTEAM@glossier.com and we’ll be sure to get you the Glossier you ordered!’You’re reading something written by a human, not a lawyer that’s out to pass the problem back to the customer.What can I learn from Glossier’s easy and simple return policy?A return or refund policy should build trust. By talking like a human, to a human, in simple, plain English, you’re doing just that. A simple return policy will also help you to expand into foreign markets where English is not your customer's mother tongue. When you keep your language simple, you
Ok, you have seen some of the best examples of return policies from small and medium enterprises. Now we’re going to take a look at how the heavy-weights of the ecommerce industry manage their returns and refunds.Even as a small ecommerce seller, the way the big businesses do business can help you learn and grow in many ways - not just with your return policy!
These 4 websites cater to nearly 80% of every single online transaction.Amazon and eBay are marketplaces and have an overall blanket policy on returns that all sellers must acknowledge. WooCommerce and Shopify are independent platforms, with no set rules. Let’s take a look at how they’re all different.
eBay is a marketplace that sells items from independent sellers. It’s a requirement of each individual seller to create and implement their own return policy. If you sell on eBay, you should create a return and refund policy yourself.However, the eBay Money Back Guarantee states that regardless of the seller's individual policy, a product can be replaced or have their money refunded if:
eBay has a much more detailed account of their own Money Back Guarantee in more detail.Take this into consideration when creating your eBay return and refund policy. No matter what you do, eBay can get involved and overthrow your own policy if they think it’s not fair.
Just like eBay, Amazon is also a marketplace. Therefore, it specifies that all sellers must individually create their own returns policy. But just like eBay, Amazon has its own policy that applies to all transactions that happen there.Amazons Seller Return Policy states:‘Items shipped from Amazon.com can be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment in most cases. Some products have different policies or requirements associated with them.Third-party sellers must either provide a return address within the United States, provide a prepaid return label, or offer a full refund without requesting the item be returned’If you’re a third-party seller on Amazon, it’s up to you to make sure that your policy is honest and fair. Keep in mind, too, that many Amazon sellers speculate that a fair and quick returns policy can help improve your Amazon SEO. The fewer returns you have, the better chances you have of winning the buy box.
WooCommerce and Shopify are independent platforms that you use to build a website on. Neither Shopify or WooCommerce offer an overall return or refund policy that you must follow Instead, it’s up to you, the seller, to create and implement a return or refund policy that suits your business. Remember that you will be subject to consumer laws relevant to your state, country or territory. Interested in using WooCommerce or Shopify to build your web store but not sure which one is best? Have a read of our article:
So now you’re aware of what a returns policy is and why you need one - plus, we’ve seen some inspiration from the best ecommerce stores and their return policies.It’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of making one yourself. The reason your brand has a refund and returns policy isn’t just because of law.It’s to make sure your customer feels safe.It’s to build trust between you and your customer so they don’t feel they’re going to get ripped off.Here we go with our 8 simple steps:
A beneficial returns policy is worth its weight in gold for marketing.
In the return policy example above, we can see how Red Oxx make their policy a cornerstone of their marketingVeteran founded, owned and operated, all bags have a ‘no bull’ lifetime warranty.This is one of the first things you see when you land on their website. Straight away you know that no matter what you buy from them, it'll have a lifetime warranty.They place their selling point on the front page so immediately build that trust.You may not offer a lifetime warranty on your products. You may offer 5 years, 10 years, 30 days. Regardless, if you create a policy that truly benefits the customer, show it off. Make it an integral part of your branding.
If your returns policy isn’t something that you want to include in your marketing, at least make it easy to find.A link in the footer of your web store means that everyone has easy access if they want it.
Outdoor Research makes it easy for everyone to find their returns policy
Any experienced ecommerce seller will tell you that a lot of sales are lost on the product listing page. This can be for a wide range of reasons.One of these reasons may be because a buyer doesn’t wholly trust your brand or your store.Advice: Avoid this problem by placing a link to your returns policy right under your ‘add to cart’ button.
If someone is reading your policy, they’re reading it because they want to buy and they have the intent to buy. But they need to see that little bit of trust to get them over the line.But if your return policy is littered with words like ‘must’, ‘required, ‘not responsible for’, you’ll have the opposite effect.
A sample of vocabulary not to use in your returns policy
Words like this, especially when trying to build trust, scare people. They make you seem as if you’re wiping your hands clean of any problems. You sound like you’re refusing to help your customer after they’ve given you your money.Does that sound like a good way to build trust, repeat business and a buyer for life? Yeah, not really. ‘We’re sorry you’re not in love with your purchase. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your order number within 30 days of receiving your product, we’ll take care of the rest’...sounds a whole lot better than…‘RETURNS ARE ACCEPTED 30 DAYS AFTER PURCHASE. EMAIL RETURNS@SHOPLO.COM WITH ORDER NUMBER’Be a person, not a jerk.
As mentioned earlier, an honest and somewhat lenient returns policy can build a lot of trust with your customer. Remember K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Stupid.Your returns policy will be complex by nature, but don’t make it any more confusing that it has to be. These are all the main problems and situations that your quality returns policy should address. Solve these problems and you’re well on the way to creating a happy customer.
If you have staff fulfilling orders or dealing with customers, make sure they know your returns policy inside out. A good habit is to have one person handle a return from start to finish. This reduces the chances of ‘crossed wires’ and other communication problems.Ensuring that any staff are fully aware of your returns policy means that they’ll spend less time handling returns, and the entire process is smoother for all parties involved.
We all make mistakes. You may very well make a mistake that upsets and angers a customer at some point and that’s perfectly ok.And, naturally, you’re going to go out of your way to solve the problem that you’ve created. One way to turn a negative experience like this into a positive is to absorb the financial cost of such mistakes.Let’s say for example: The customer orders the wrong size dress. Of course, your lenient returns policy lets them exchange the dress for the correct size. However, your returns policy also states that they must send the incorrect size back to you before you send out the new size. A simple concept and not unreasonable.But what happens if it is, in fact, you that sent them the wrong size? This isn’t necessarily something that you’d write in your returns policy, but it’s still something to have in mind.Solve this situation by sending them the correct size via express post, without waiting for the incorrect size to be returned. This is your mistake, something that has happened outside of your return policy and therefore, your customer may be quite angry.By absorbing the cost of your mistake and showing good will to solve the problem, you increase your chances of turning an upset customer into a return customer.
Every business is different. There isn’t a single return policy template out there that will fit your brand, without you having to alter it. Each template needs to be custom made to fit your brand, your product and your business model.
By now, you’re clear about 2 things
This last problem can be solved by visually representing how your return policy works.Look at the example below:
Uboots visually show off their returns policy
Using a graphic or some kind of flow chart, your customer can see how the return process works. One more simple step in the process of building trust!
Creating a return policy is one of the most powerful ways to provide your customer with a safe and better buying experience.
It may test your personal writing skills, but a stand-out return and refund policy can not only help you sell more but make your brand name more memorable.
Above everything else, remember:
If you address the points we’ve mentioned here, and reference some of the great return policy examples we’ve included, you’ll create something worth bragging about!What are some of your favourite return policies that you’ve seen? What are some of the worst return policies you’ve seen?Let us know in the comments!
Your ecommerce conversion rate is a good indicator of the health of your brand. You can have all the traffic in the world, but if you're not converting that traffic into paying customers, then your leaking money. Click here to see what a good conversion rate is and find out how optimizing yours puts more cash in your pocket.
How to improve your store's visibility in Google? Learn about SEO essentials fo ecommerce and rank higher in serach engines.
The numbers are as following.
Of course, the more attractive to search engine algorithms your page is, the higher it will rank in SERPs and the more visible it will be to people. It’s worth playing this game, isn’t it?
The first place to start with SEO is on your ecommerce website itself. Search engine algorithms look for several factors when they crawl through each page of your site. The most important ones are listed below.Site structureIf your site is structured well, all pages and subpages will be easily found by search engine crawlers.KeywordsSEO is pretty much based on keywords. Finding out what words searchers use to find online stores similar to yours is the key to success. After doing a profound research you’ll have a list of relevant keywords in your hand. You can then start the optimization process which basically means placing keywords throughout the whole website. The main keywords should be used in titles and repeated naturally in the content, others should be placed in image tags and meta descriptions.Page URLEnsure that each URL is SEO-friendly, which means that it should include the main keyword that the page is targeting. What is more, remember to keep an URL address brief, descriptive and relevant - a visitor at a glance should be able to tell what the website is all about.Alt-text of imagesSearch engines don’t read images, they read alt-text instead. You should use alt-text to help engines better understand the meaning of an image and what it represents. While describing an image, don’t forget to use some of your focus keywords.Title tagTitle-tag should define a site’s content in a concise and clear way. You should keep it short, max 50-60 characters. Be sure to include at least two of your most important keywords along with your brand’s name.Meta-descriptionsMeta-description is a short paragraph which is displayed under a title tag on SERP. The optimal length of a meta-description is between 150-160 characters. While creating a copy be as much creative as you can. A boring description can decrease a click through rate and bring you less visitors.ContentContent on your store website if optimized well can make a huge difference when it comes to making your business more visible in search engines. The keywords are one of the most important factors when it comes to your content optimization. You should pick only the most relevant ones and use them throughout the whole website.Internal linksInternal links - links that point to other pages of your site - are an important part of on-page SEO. They help search engine algorithms to crawl through your site, indexing each page as they go.
Off-page SEO techniques involve building links from other parts of the web to your site. In the past, ecommerce site managers would scatter links to their site all over forums, directories, and comments sections, as well as buy links on other sites. These link building techniques are penalized by search engines these days, which means that you need to take a different approach.Current off-page SEO techniques focus on building relationships, not links. It’s better for you to reach out to your customer base through social media. If you create entertaining content and share it with your followers on Facebook and Twitter, the customers you are interacting with may share the content on their blogs or in other communities - this way links will be created naturally.Want to learn more about SEO? Download free ebook 'SEO essentials for Ecommerce' here.
Promoting your fashion brand online is more than the occasional Tweet or Instagram story. Before using social media, there are a few more simple things that you can do to get your brand seen. By starting a well-planned promotional campaign, it's easier for your brand to be seen and your clothing to be bought.
Were you a fan of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’? When it comes to promotion of you fashion brand, you may need to be just as vicious as Meryl Streep's Oscar-nominated performance. Whether you’re selling screen-printed army shirts or intricate evening gowns, a measurable and effective promotional campaign is essential for boosting your fashion brand.Today you're going to see:
By the end of this article, you'll be empowered to go out there and get eyes in front of your brand.
It sounds like a no-brainer, right? A central website where you can base all your activities around and build your brand image.Time and time again, many brands start selling on a marketplace and believe that's enough.While that may work for Kanye, chances are it won't for you.
It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket (we’re looking at you, Etsy sellers).If you’re already selling on a marketplace, a lot of the hard work is already done. You've already got traffic, you're building a following and are probably already moving some product.
Building a clothing brand is so much easier (and more efficient) if it's based around an independent web store.
This website is where you brand lives, it's where visitors can discover who you are and really build a relationship with you.Selling on marketplaces and your own website it called 'multichannel selling' and it's a powerful way to get your product seen by more people.
An ideal eCommerce platform for a clothing design brand is one that can handle a wide range of variants. The same product in different sizes and colours, for example.Bonus points go to a platform with versatility. A platform that lets the user update the homepage to show off new arrivals and collections is going to make your life easy. Shoplo ticks all these boxes. Our client base is built on fashion brands. We’re constantly finding new ways to accommodate and educate fashionistas of all kinds.
Simplicity and elegance combine on the MOIESS homepage by Shoplo
Let me get this out of the way early in the piece:
Don’t abuse social media by only promoting yourself.
No one is going to follow your brand if all you do is use social media to sell your products. Remember the social side of social media.
Yeah Bunny entertain their fans with clever videos
Social media plays many roles in the world of ecommerce, but it's best for getting your brand seen by more people.
Ryan from One Tribe Apparel found that using exclusive discount codes and giveaways were a great way to grow their social media following. But not just any kind of giveaway.
We started doing co-brand giveaways where we would team up with other brands in our niche and do a giveaway through our social channels. We'd promote it and help each other grow our followings.
This kind of cross-promotion is a double edge sword. Not only do your followers increase, but you know they’re high-quality engaged followers.
An example of One Tribe’s joint giveaway with Cordalife.
Engaged followers mean that they're interested in your brand and that it’s not just a generic throwaway account that’s followed you. Once you're growing your following this way, it’s important that you’re posting interesting, relevant and engaging content. If you’re boring, you’ll lose those followers as quickly as you got them.
You have less than 7 seconds to capture someone’s attention when they first land on your web store.Therefore, the more you treat your customers like goldfish, the more you will sell.Maybe.
Ok maybe not like a goldfish, but if you treat customer like you only have a few seconds of their time, you will see more sales.
As the marketer and designer for your brand (yes, you’re in marketing and design now), your mission is to make your brand memorable.
Make sure people will remember your brand after only being on your web page for 10 seconds.
Here are a few ways you can give your brand personality:
Words and imagery are everything in your online store. You don’t shouldn’t cut corners on product photography, so don’t do it with words. Good copywriting does a lot of things to help define your image and make your brand memorable.
AppSumo make their tone of voice well known as soon as you arrive
Bonus: Echo your witty and unique writing into your product descriptions.
Custom packaging is a great way to make your brand memorable for first time buyers as well as web site visitors.By using custom packaging, your customers are more likely to share photos of their new purchase amongst their social media followers.
This is content that you can then reuse on your own webpage. This is called social proof' and it's seen as incredibly important for small brands in the beginning.Quality packaging also has other benefits.You only get a chance for one first impression. For an ecommerce brand like yours, this moment happens when your buyer first lays hands on their purchase. Make sure that your packaging and presentation echoes your branding.
Don't do this:
Look at those previous photos and ask yourself the following:
By using product photography as per the first image, you answer all those questions and become more memorable.
Having a page that tells your story is nothing new. But most pages are quite boring. Liven it up a bit. Have one page dedicated to your story, your goals and mission and another page dedicated to your team.
Firstly, it’s not good to send traffic to a page that doesn’t exist. But if people are accidentally going to get there, you may as well make the experience memorable for them, like MailChimp do.
You’re reading a Shoplo blog right now. By providing an educational and informative blog, we’re building trust with you. We discuss things that are happening in your industry and how they affect you. By reading this, you’re starting to trust us. This is the exact point of this blog. The overall goal of our blog is to educate and inform to the point where readers trust the brand enough to make a purchase.So that’s great for a Software company like us, but what about a clothing design brand?
Inverse Culture uses their blogs to entertain their following.
Kiran from Sydney-based streetwear label Inverse Culture explains that blogging can go beyond building that emotional rapport and help the technical side of things.
Blogs provide visibility for any website by being easier to find on Google. The more high-quality blog posts you drop, the better your organic SEO will be. Once you add keyword research in to find hot topics - you can really supercharge your traffic for the exact type of people you want.
The Inverse Culture team don’t stop there when it comes to delivering content for their followers. A link in the main nav bar will take you to a ‘Curated Playlists’ section where potential buyers will find - exactly that. A collection of Spotify playlists.
We have a deep passion for hip-hop, so it allowed us to creatively build amazing playlists between all our other business duties.It also enabled us to take our fans on a journey - the type of journey we would experience when hearing our now favourite DJ-sets - you hear familiar songs, classic songs you forgot about & music you've never heard before but you need it in your life.
The Inverse Culture team have, in one foul swoop, found another way to build a rapport and trust with their customers. Leveraging mutual passions.
‘People don't forget people who recommend them awesome music - if you find something in one of our playlists that you LOVE, we know we have the foundations of a brand advocate right there, it's that mutual love.’
Check out the favourite tunes of the Inverse Culture guys here.
Simple, clear and concise product photography has its place - on your product page. But look-books are what actually sells your gear. Look-books are an age-old feature with the overall goal being to sell a look and inspire shoppers.
Look-books show off your outfit in a natural and organic environment.
Reykjavik District shows off their products out in action.
Look-books invoke an emotional response from buyers. They convey a ‘feel’ or a ‘vibe’ by putting the products in an environment where they take centre stage. A well-designed look-book excites a viewer and can gently usher them toward the checkout.Max from A Hume Country Clothing says they get extra value out of their own imagery.
By allowing blogs and news publications to use our imagery on their own websites, we can acquire links from a variety of authoritative websites, which improves our overall organic visibility.
Email marketing has long gone hand in hand with eCommerce. It is a direct path into the face of people who have expressed an interest in your brand.
A change in consumer habits clearly proves that online shoppers are immune to in your face advertising.
says Maria Wachal from Freshmail.
Email marketing gives fashion brands a tremendous opportunity to create personalised customer experiences focused on the needs of individual customers. The email format facilitates fostering relationships with subscribers that drives conversion and sales.
Want to know more about increasing your ecommerce conversions?
Read the article:
Building an email list is no easy task, though. Boxes on your web page with text along the lines of ‘Subscribe to our newsletter and stay on top of all our latest news’ really isn’t too convincing. Would you sign up to that? Instead, look at other ways to obtain an email address. ‘Enter your email address to get 10% off your first purchase’ for example. This way, you get the email address you want and increase your chances of getting a sale.
Numbers can be scary. Scarier than words sometimes. But data and statistics play a huge part in your growth and development. These numbers give you an insight into what’s working and what’s not. “Using data in the running of your business means you’re no longer relying on instinct to make decisions about your business, and it can reveal insights about your business that you might never have considered before,” says Sarah from Neatly.io.
Data from Google Analytics and Facebook’s Audiences can tell you what your visitors are interested in beyond the products they’re looking at, so you can create a marketing message that really resonates with them and is more likely to convert them.
Data is a rollercoaster ride you need to be on.
Being ‘data-driven’ like this is a fantastic trait to have when it comes to planning for your brand. It can show where you’re growing fastest and gives you a yes or no answer about meeting your KPI’s.Here are some things we pay attention to when looking at our traffic in Google Analytics:
These are some simple ways that data and traffic influence the way our brand develops.You may feel like your Instagram following engages with your promotions more but do they really?Look at the data.If it points to Facebook being your main driver of traffic, you clearly know where to invest your energy. That being said, following your gut instincts has some benefits, too. History often repeats itself. You may know that you have more followers on Instagram, but everyone that followers you on Facebook it more engaged with what you post. Data doesn’t necessarily show the behaviour of lurkers!It’s not hard to strike a balance between going with your gut instincts and letting your numbers guide you. This is a great guide to letting the numbers and your gut influence you on equal levels.
Good media coverage starts by figuring out where your ideal customers spend their time online. What blogs and magazines they read, which social media networks they frequent and who influences their decision making. Another big step is figuring out your Unique Selling Point, or USP. This is essentially the reason that someone should buy something from your brand, rather than your competitors.One all these things have been established, Kristin from Creative Development Agency says it’s time to reach out to outlets with a well-crafted pitch.
Once you know who your core customer is and what makes your brand newsworthy, then you'll be able to draft a pitch that resonates with a specific magazine or blog's readership. Keep your pitch limited to fewer than 400 words, including five to seven benefit-based bullet points, a short bio, and a link to a look-book. Never send attachments.
Kristen has gone so far as creating a free course on how designers can get media coverage for free. The Squash the Competition with PR. The FemFounder.co Chief Blogger put this together to see smaller brands take advantage of opportunities that usually go unseen.
Good PR can help produce more leads, website traffic, email subscribers, and sales. Additionally, it can help position someone as an expert to help book speaking engagements, land larger media opportunities, and more.
When starting out, your energy and enthusiasm are the most important traits to have. But be sure not to bite off more than you can chew.
Aiming too high is a great way to lead yourself to disappointment and frustration.“Most people have an idea that if they can just get one mention in a big name like Vogue that it will skyrocket their brand to the top”, says Elijah of Powerful Outreach PR.
The best way to prove this to the big fish is by feeding all the small ones first.”
Once you’ve achieved a few small victories, you naturally start to grow and evolve.“By starting small, you will have much more success, sooner. You will slowly seep into the scene until the point where some of the bigger writers will start to think – “Where have I seen these guys before?”
Armed with this new information, we encourage you to do out and see what works for you. Let us know what works for you, or any other tips you can add! Was Anne Hathaway better in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ or 'Bride Wars'?
Product feeds are one of the most over-looked and under-used features of ecommerce. They can throw your products all over Google and many other sales channels. Not sure what a product feed does or how it can help you? Read this article and see how an XML feed can do all the hard marketing for you. Learn more.
Not many online sellers know what product feed is.But here's a fun, visual way to answer the question 'What is a product feed?'Imagine that one day, you bump into your good friend Google (who knows a lot of people).You begin telling him about this great new product you’re selling. You’re talking, but Google just stands there smiling back with a dumb look on his face.That’s because Google is deaf. He doesn’t understand English or any spoken language for that matter.But he does speak .xml.So to get your good friend Google to tell all his friends (that he has a lot of) about your new product, you need to talk .xml.If the .xml is the language you speak to Google, your product feed is the message that you give to Google to share with all his buddies. Essentially, a product feed is a form of marketing automation that your ecommerce company can leverage.As you may see, this article is all about product feeds and how the related to your online store. Today you will see:
Every wondered how the internet magically knew you looked at a product and then advertised similar products in front of you on various pages?That magic is a product feed.
A product feed, sometimes known as a data feed or product data feed, is a .txt, .xml or excel file that contains all the data of the products you're selling.The information in this file is sent to Google, Facebook, price comparison sites and many other websites.Many other marketplaces & shopping channels reference a web store’s data feed, typically to communicate which products it will display.Below is a visual representation of what a product feed is:
One word: Multichannel.Going multichannel, that is, selling in multiple channels, is of the utmost importance to spread your brand name.Product feeds make it easier for you to present your brand name and your products in multiple sale channels.Product Comparison Search Engines are an often overlooked sales channel.And guess what.They also speak .xml.Product feeds are the technical document that tells Comparison Search Engines all the details about your product. Therefore your XML feed needs to be accurate and detailed.If a customer is browsing a Product Comparison Search engine and is looking at your product next to a competitor's, it pays to have as much information on show as possible.This in-depth information may be all that's needed to convince the customer to buy with you over your competitor.Below you can see a screenshot from NextTag, one of the oldest Product Comparison websites online.
When used correctly, product feeds provide you with increased traffic, brand recognition and sales from customers that are ready to buy your goods or services.Your product feed provides information from your store to sales channels so buyers can easily find your products.
Further along in this article, you'll see how to generate a product feed by yourself and upload it to the relevant sales channels.This can be a time consuming and delicate process. It's also very simple to make a mistake and skew all your data - and lose half a day's work in the blink of an eye.It's much easier to save your time and avoid mistakes by generating a product feed automatically and having it instantly uploaded to the relevant sales channels.
Product data feeds are used in a variety of places.Those sales channels include:
What is a Google Shopping feed?Virtually every search for a product goes through Google. Google will use your data feed to see if there are any products it can display as a result of a search in a product listing ad (PLA).Below is an example of how Google Shopping can use your product feed:
We recently discussed Facebook and using it to advertise.Facebook will reference your data feed to create Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs). These ads are tailor-made depending on the content that a Facebook user likes or has recently shown interest in.
Price Comparison Engines will call upon your product data feed when a user wants to compare your products against others.Below is an example of product being listed on a price comparison website via product feeds:
Google is just one website that will track your behaviour and place ads in appropriate places of appropriate products. Product data feeds are used to do this.
Websites like Amazon, NewEgg, eBay and Walmart are marketplaces. They will automatically call upon your XML feed and use it to list your products if they're relevant to a search.Below you can see how Amazon searched multiple product feeds and multiple categories:
Whether you make your own feed using a spreadsheet, or you automatically generate your own product data feeds, it's worth taking note of what goes into creating one.Each product should have the following attributes: (* = optional)IDA unique, identifying number. Usually an SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)LabelThe name of the product that will be displayedURLA link to the product page*Image URLA link to the main image that will be displayed (restrictions vary)*QuantityThe amount available (When quantity = 0 a ‘fallback’ will take its place’*PriceMust be a numeric value*GenderMale, Female, Unisex*Fallback URLWhen the quantity of the product is 0, this product will take its place
Nowadays, most feeds are ‘live’. That is, you do not manually have to update them. Feeds are usually refreshed many times a day.If you sell out of one product early in the morning, that product will immediately be made unavailable in all your sales channels immediately.A live product feed also updates attributes that you change. If you change an attribute, that change will be applied everywhere your products are placed.For example, in your ecommerce platform, you might change the label (name) of your ‘Antique Ruby Ring’ to ‘Vintage Ruby Ring’.With a regularly refreshed feed, that name will be changed everywhere the product is presented.
So you have your product data feed set up and ready to go. Here are a few little tweaks to make sure Google shows your products rather than the competitions.
Google reads left to right. Google sees words at the beginning of the title as more important than those later on.Put the most important words (ie, your SEO keywords) first. Brand, Gender, Product, Color, Size, for example. Max. 70 characters.
While it is cute to start a description with a witty comment or remark, that won't do you any favours in terms of search results.Product descriptions are weighted similarly to titles. Most important words first, but not a copy of your title. Google will 'punish' you for this.If you'd like to know more about the finer points of creating Product Descriptions that convert, read the following article:How to Write A Product Description That Sells (+4 examples) (read now)
The internet is constantly growing and changing so product feeds are becoming more and more important to make sure that your products are everywhere they can be.In this article you saw:
The world of eCommerce is only going to grow more and more competitive so a well planned and optimised product feed is essential to get on top and stay there.Do you use a product data feed in your ecommerce store? What are some of your tips for product feeds?Let us know in the comments!
Bing Shopping Ads? Who uses that! Google is where it's all happening. Which is precisely why you should use Bing Product Ads to spread your brand's name.
Sure, the numbers are nothing like Google, but have you seen the numbers?
Image from bing
The information in the above image also takes into consideration Yahoo and AOL searches, which use the Bing engine. Even so, this is still a lot of traffic to advertise to!Not only are Bing Product Ads usually cheaper, you have finer controls to target your audience as well as the ability to target mobile devices over desktops.So let's walk you through the process of setting up a Bing Product Ads campaign.
Firstly, head to the Bing homepage and click ‘Sign up for Bing ads’.
Enter your email address to see if you can create a Microsoft account with it. If you can, click ‘Next. If not, choose the ‘Create new email address’ option.Follow the on-screen instructions and you’ll soon get to the screen below.
Here you have the option of importing your Google Adwords data. That would be very convenient, but it would not make the most of the features that Bing has to offer. So let's do it the long (and correct) way. Click 'Option 3: Skip this step' and hit continue.Then hit 'Skip' when requested for billing information. We'll get to all that after.
Now, you should be on this screen. Select 'Tools' then 'Research Keywords'.
And you should now find yourself here.
Just like a Google Ads campaign, you're going to be bidding on words that will make your ad show up.And just like a Google campaign, the words you choose can make a massive difference on the overall effect of your campaign.Of course, the words that are mostly likely used for products are the most expensive, as they are the words buyers most often use when they want to buy something. Supply & demand.If you're an experienced campaigner and you can devote some time and energy in homework, you can use certain words to attract customers while they are still in the 'browsing','research' or 'window shopping' phase. But for the purpose of this blog, we will focus on attracting people that we know want to buy a product like the one we are selling.In both situations, though, it pays to do a little research. And that's what we're doing now.So let's say I'm selling jewelry that I make by hand and sell. I'm going to make my keyword 'buy jewelry'. That phrase has buying intent. The person typing that query wants to buy it and they're the kind of people I want to see my ad.Here, we can also use some advanced options to see data from a specific country, great for fine-tuning your campaigns. You can also take it a step further and see how often specific terms have been searched for on a Desktop, Tablet or mobile.
There is a lot of information here! This one area where Bing outshines Google!After searching my term 'buy jewelry' I'm presented with a table of results.
Now remember - because we searched for 'buy jewelry' and simply not 'jewelry', the 'Last month searches' isn't of too much interest to us.The CTR and average CPC are what interests us the most. It shows us what term generate clicks and how much those terms cost us to associate our ads with that word.Bing themselves have a great video on why generic terms don't do as well as attracting customers compared to more specific terms. We have our term much more specific by adding the word 'buy'. We may have overall fewer people that see our ads, but the people that do see our ads are more likely to buy.The Bing team have also just developed the nifty little Keyword Planner Tool.
To use this tool, click 'Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category'.
In a similar way to keywords research, you will search for a term. You're then presented with 'ad groups'. Ad groups are a unique way in which Bing Product Ads associate keywords with other keywords.
''Campaigns are made up of one or more ad groups. Each ad group can be based on a theme of the campaign, and it's a good idea to have your ad group's name reflect its theme. For example, if your campaign's goal is to sell men's clothes, you might have ad groups such as "Dress shirts," "Coats and jackets," and "Spring sale."Later, I will put my keyword 'buy jewelry' in an Ad Group called 'jewelry'More info about Ad Groups can be found here.
Now, you want to create a new Campaign.Click 'Campaigns' in the top menu bar, then click 'Create a campaign' further down the page.
The goal of our Bing Product Ads Campaign is to sell some products, so we want to click 'Conversions in my website' as the main goal of our campaign.
Name your campaign so it is easy to keep track of.
Options for daily or monthly spending limits let your money go further and give you tight control over your spending.If you select 'Let me choose specific locations', this will allow you to target users in a certain geographic location. This is a great tool to use if you're trying to tap into a new market. Advertising in specific locations, coupled with other marketing techniques (like holiday promotions) can be a great way to attract customers in a new area.When you're ready, click 'Save & go to the next step'.Remember the Ad Groups from earlier? Well, this is where they come in. We will create our own Ad Group and place our own ad word in there.
In the top left, enter your website URL. Bing will take a quick look at the vocabulary on your website and suggest other Keywords that may help you. Underneath, enter the name of your Ad Group (something simple for your first campaign) and then enter your keyword that has buying intent.Underneath, enter the name of your Ad Group (something simple for your first campaign) and then enter your keyword that has buying intent.Bing will then suggest some other keywords related to your word. Bing's suggestions may be slightly skewed if you're using a keyword with buying intent. You may find some relevant ones to add into your group, but remember, this is a very quick way to go through your advertisement budget.Click 'Save & go to the next step.On the next page, click '+ Create Ad'.
This is where you will enter the content that your Ads will display.Bing offer 2 kinds of ads. Standard Text Ads and Expanded Text Ads.The steps for both are quite self-explanatory. Enter the URL of the product or category you're advertising, Both titles and the ad text. You can even add a custom URL for mobile devices. Cycle through the preview buttons to see how your ad will look on different mediums.Bing have a very good article on how to best lay out your ads. A lot goes into this part of your ad, so take your time and do your research on what works for Bing expanded Text Ads. More general information about both kinds of ads can be found here.Once you're done designing, click save to close the Ad design window. Ad extensions are a great tool, but something we'll save for another day.Click 'Save & go to the next step'.
In this window, you will select how your advertising budget will be spent. Think of it as an auction. Your keyword bid is the maximum price you are willing to pay each time your ad is clicked, but the actual cost may be much lower. If your bid is not higher than the competition, your ad might not get displayed in the top ranking search results.The expectation of an ad campaign varies. So for the purpose of this example, we will use Bing's suggestion of a 20EUR per day budget.How much you bid for your ad to be placed somewhere depends on a few things. We talk more about it here in our Google Adwords blog.Long story short, you need to figure out how much of your profit per sale you want to spend as well as your conversion rate.
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More help (directly from Bing) about fine-tuning your bids specific for your required goal can be found here.For this example, we can afford to spend $2.25 per click.For your first campaign, we suggest taking a conservative approach. Fine tuning and analysis of each spend can go a long way to helping you get the most of your ads.Once you have selected your budget and bids, click save.
You will be taken back to the home screen and you will see an overview of your current campaign.
To make your ads go live, you need to set up a payment method. As highlighted in the above picture, we haven't done so! Click 'Add a payment method now'.The next page will walk you through setting up your payment methods. Please be aware that as a new customer, it may take up to 72 hours for your ads to go live.Now your Bing Product Ads campaign is set up and ready to go! Like most things in advertising, it pays to analyse and adapt if need be. Keep a close on on your budget and see if your advertising campaign is making a dent in your sales, or just a dent in traffic. Adding keywords to you Ad Group may take your money further, too.Bing Product Ads may come in second to Google Ads, but it is a search engine that is quickly gathering pace and can still get your brand in front on many a new customer!
In order to stay on top of your eCommerce SEO, you have to constantly monitor the market and be willing to adapt how your site is put together and runs.
This is essential for pleasing the folks at Google, MSN, Yahoo and the like.It's also necessary to ensure you're providing the best user experience possible, to accommodate a global visitor base and the zillions of different devices in use out there for performing product research and making purchases.Here are 6 solid tips for keeping the search engines and their end users happy.
The Cohort Analysis is designed to tell you a bunch of buying data about the demographics you service onsite: who they are; where they tend to spend most of their money; what expectations they tend to have; and ultimately how best to retain them once they've made an initial purchase. This option can be accessed from your Google Analytics account by navigating to Admin/View/Reporting/Audience and then finally selecting the Cohort Analysis.Hey, data literally makes the world go round. The poor become rich, and the rich become richer based on how well they read and employ the data given to them. Getting your hands on this information means you can better target your Adwords and other forms of advertising to the right people, leading to happier search engine users and more sales onsite.
A full analysis of your customer base will help you sell more efficiently.
Onsite navigation should be focused on two major goals:
Your online storefront is your “store”. Ask yourself this: If you walk into a restaurant today and have to repeat your order to the waitress 5 times, are you really going to come back? When it comes to navigating your site, customers want it to be seamless. Easy navigation means they're not going to bounce after 30 seconds; leading to better SEO markers and more online sales.They want to plug their search queries in and immediately find relevant results. They want to have practical filters in place when searching so they can make it even faster to get the results they want. Finally, they want in-depth product descriptions on the sales page, both written summaries and bullet-style lists for the product features and specifications.Last, but certainly not least, you need to have a flawless inventory system that displays real-time expectations to the customer. Don't say you have it just to get the sale, unless you know you're capable of delivering in the promised time. This goes double for ensuring out-dated products are removed from your lineup so customers aren't brought to your site via search engines with the promise of something you no longer sell.
Quality navigation will help keep your customers happy and your page listed higher in search results.
Content Display Networks are nothing more than a carefully constructed network of fast servers lumped together to provide your visitors with the fastest load speeds possible. CDNs are offered by all the big names out there including Rackspace, CloudFlare and the like. Amazon even provides a great CDN service called Amazon CloudFront. Virtually all are easy to set up.Most providers will offer rates based using either on-demand pricing (for smaller sites that don't have much international traffic), per gigabyte (for larger sites), and per-request pricing (obviously for even larger sites).This might seem like an unworthy expense if you're already paying mega bucks for a dedicated server. However, considering the pricing flexibility you get from a CDN, it quickly becomes an investment when the site gets overloaded (think “holidays” and special sales) and your server starts haemorrhaging) – which is not good for SEO either.
We all know the importance of product images, offered at multiple angles for the user to select and view from. Videos are equally important to the buying experience. Not autoplay videos mind you, leave those to your competitors!With complete product descriptions and multiple high-res images to support your products, the only thing left is to give the customer a chance to see the product in action, or at the very least, allow them to see a video slideshow of various live images of the product.For best results include:
Video creation so easy, so include a video of the product on its product page
The AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project is an open source initiative toward providing mobile users with most seamless onsite web experience possible. Not all mobile customers have the luxury of lightning fast hardware and multi-gigabyte browsing speeds when they're on the move. AMP helps to solve this problem by simplifying your site code and scripts – then Google gets involved and caches the mobile working version of your site to allow pages to load even faster on mobile devices.AMP webpages include:
Check out the AMP project here.
Over 50% of sales are made on a mobile. Make your store mobile-friendly.
Split testing has been around in sales and advertising since before modern language existed. If you're not getting the sale, something's wrong with either the pitch or the product – or both. For most webmasters, effective A/B testing is far easier with a paid platform that makes changes and rotating your content a point-and-click affair. Of course, there are free services available in this category too.Until you're sure of what's working most effectively, always have at least two versions of each of your sales pages in place to find that sweet spot. It should go without saying that navigation, possible THE most important factor in SEO and profits, should also be split tested to start in order to find what's working.Check out this Mashable list of recommended A/B testing platforms you can use to improve conversions.
The eCommerce landscape is constantly changing. You need to constantly read, research and adapt to those changes if you hope to make a dent in any online market in the coming years.About the Author:Ivan Widjaya is the owner of the award-winning entrepreneurship blog Noobpreneur, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.
Your First Google Adwords Campaign- a great way to boost some sales and raise some awareness about your brand. It's easy to get some fast cash or burn some!
The concept is - sellers pay money for their website to be listed at the top of search results based on words associated with their products. This can be an overwhelming success for a brand if done correctly. Done incorrectly, you will waste a load of money and have very little to show for it.Have a look at some of these numbers from a recent survey:
But we can make your first Google Adwords campaign be much more effective if we think of it as an investment rather than an 'advertising expense'.Put off buying the new computer for a little and sink that money into Google Adwords. What's a new iMac worth, $1500USD? Take 1/4 of that and use it as a rough AdWords budget.I’m not saying that your first Google Adwords campaign will work better the more money you throw at it, but if it’s set up correctly and your overall target is to boost sales, then it may lead to more than just a new computer.
For this example, we are going to be a small seller that makes and sells handmade men's boots. Tough, durable, waterproof boots for winter, hiking, trekking, all things like that.
You sell design, make and sell shoes. Your most popular item sells for $100 but it costs you $50 to make. That means you have a $50 profit. Pretty simple math! But there is some more!Here's a tricky question - What is your conversion rate? Your conversion rate is the percentage of people that buy a product in your store.If 1000 people visit your store and 10 people buy something, that's a conversion rate of 1%. Again, simple math.Your Shoplo store can easily tell you what your conversion rate is.Most other eCommerce platforms should be able to as well.For this example, we willassume that people coming to our store have buying intentions and want to buy a good pair of shoes right now (we'll discuss more on this later). For 100 people that visit our store, 5 commit to a sale. That's a conversion rate of 5%. 1 sale every 20 visits.
Want to know more about increasing your ecommerce conversions?
Read the article:25 Ways to Optimize your Ecommerce Conversion Rate (read now.)
To figure out if you can afford to be associated with a certain word, you need to know Maximum Cost per Click (Max CPC). That is, how much can you afford to pay for a single click into your store. In this example, we will see if your Max CPC is in the ballpark of Google’s estimated CPC for a keyword. For example, if your max CPC is within a dollar or so or an estimate CPC, there's a high chance that you can use that keyword and make some money.Now a difficult question - what percentage of your profits are you willing to allocate to your AdWords campaign? With a solid pricing structure, you should be able to allocate at least 20%. For the sake of this example, we will allocate 80% of our profits to our AdWords campaign - $40.Your product sells for $100 and you make a $50 profit. You’re willing to spend $40 on an Adwords campaign to get a sale. Every 20 clicks, you have a sale.
$40/20 visits = $2
This means you can spend $2 on an AdWords click and still make a profit.This is of course, provided your conversion rate stays the same.Don’t go looking for keywords just yet. We need to figure out your daily budget. And remember we’re taking baby steps first. There is no need to go pouring so much money into a daily budget. To analyse if our calculations are working, we need a few clicks. With as little as 10 clicks a day on your ads, we can see if our conversion rate is accurate.Remember, the $2 is the MAX CPC, not the amount that we will spend. Therefore, depending on our keyword research, a week-long campaign may be significantly less!So we need to do some.
As we’ve mentioned in Bing Adwords Blog, the best keywords to search for are those with buying intent.You will be paying for people to click your ads, so you want to make sure the people that click on your ads are in ‘buy mode’ and not ‘research mode’.We have had a lot of success putting the word ‘buy’ first up in our keyword. Someone wanting to know the price or specs of a product wouldn’t search for ‘buy X product’.Cue up Google’s Keyword Planner. This little toy lets you look at words or phrases people also search for when they search something. It’ll also tell you the volume, trends as well as how much it costs to advertise on a certain word- which is exactly what we want to know!
Click ‘Search new keywords using a phrase, website or category’. Time to use our keywords with buying intent! Also, think like your buyer. What would someone search for if they wanted to buy the kind of thing they sell?
Keep everything else as it is. Don’t go fiddling with things you don’t understand!Click ‘Get Ideas’ and you’ll be presented with your list of results.
Note: If your Max CPC is lower than the price for these keywords, it's not all over! You need to increase profit margins or up your conversion rate. In any situation, it’s always good to do both.What’s the first thing you notice? Have a look at some of those prices. What was ourMax CPC? $2. So we can afford to use all of these keywords.But which ones?‘Buy shoes online’ has a lot of traffic, but we won't want women looking for heels to click our link. Same with 'buy mens shoes'. We don't want someone looking for formal shoes clicking on our link.‘buy winter shoes’ is good but the traffic isn't exactly crazy. Same with 'buy handmade shoes'. 'Buy mens boots' is cheaper, accurate and still has a lot of traffic. Let's use that one!Before we run with it, it’s always good to know thy enemy!
A little healthy competition never hurt anyone. So why not check out what everyone else is doing?Keywordspy is one of our favourite tools for this. Plus, it’s free for what we’re doing!
Head over and make your free trial account. Select ‘keywords’ up the top, select your country as you did in the Keyword Planner and enter the keyword that we chose earlier.
Your result is some pretty impressive data! What we’re interested in is under the ‘Ads’ tab. Click there and you will see a list of ads that are being used on the same keyword as yours.Check them out, have a look at the vocabulary in them, how they are written and if the keywords actually appear in the ads. To please Google, you should have your keyword present in your ad.With this page open, head back to your Google Ads Campaign. On your list of keywords, click the blue arrow to the right-hand side.
Once you’ve clicked your blue button, a side menu will open up.Here, you can change the bid range. Remember out Max CPC? That number was the maximum we would spend for a click. But we won’t always pay that amount. Because the price is based on bids. Bids are based a complex systembut well explained here.Now Google will suggest the amount that we should spend for a max bid on this word. Because this is how Google makes money, it's going to want us to spend as much as possible.Dial in the Max CPC that we calculated.Now we see how many clicks Google thinks we will get and the maximum amount that we’ll spend in a day. Once all this shows off the numbers look good, click ‘review plan’.
Next up we have this screen. This is the performance forecast of your ads.The white vertical line toward the right of our graph can be dragged to the left. You’re now changing your CPC. See how the estimates of impressions, clicks, average position and even CTR change? The ‘Keyword’, ‘Device’ and ‘Location’ tabs up the top will all give you detailed estimates about who willclick your ads and on which device they will use to do so.Do some experimenting. Increase your max bid and daily budget to see how many more clicks this could get you. Remember, don't get too ahead of yourself, we're only spending what we can afford!When done here, click ‘Save to account’ on the top right and you’ll be presented with a screen asking you for details about your campaign name. Enter the name (perhaps ‘first campaign’) and enter the daily budget (which we calculated earlier). Hit ‘Save & continue’ and in a few moment, your ad will be saved.Click ‘Create ads for your new campaign’ even though we won’t be doing that just yet!
So far, we’ve found the best possible words to associate with. We’re not spending too much, and we know what we’re advertising. So someone who wants to buy our stuff finds our ad and clicks on it. What page are they going to go to?We still need to convert them into a sale!This is why you need to make a custom landing page for every single ad you run. Here is a great read on not only why but also how to make great landing pages for your Adwords campaigns.If you’re having 1000 people come into your store and having 20 people buy something instead of 10, that’s a conversion rate of 2, and imagine how much of an impact that could have on your next advertising campaign! So, make sure your landing page is spot on.Time to get creative!
Back in Google Ad Words, under ‘Campaigns’, click ‘Ads’ and then ‘+AD’. We’re going to actually make the first ad! The template that opens up is the template of an ‘Expanded Text Ad’.Since you only pay when people click on yourads, they should fulfil 2 very important roles.
They also play another role. Well written ads with a high click-through rate (CTR) increase your AdWords Quality Score, which lowers the cost per click of your keywords. Your ads will directly affect how much you pay per click for each of your keywords. Great ads will lower your costs.There is no easy way to write an ad as changing one word can throw out the balance of the entire ad. There are however some good tips to keep in mind:
Here is what we came up with for our baby clothes!
When you’re happy with your writing, click ‘Save ad’.
Now that you’re back here, we have to pause the ad for a moment. Click the green circle then click ‘Paused’.
Now, click on the ‘Ads’ tab up the top and click your keyword.
Click the dropdown box, click ‘phrase match’ and click save.
Initially, Google sets this to broad match, which means it will show your ad if anyone has your keywords in any order in a search. For example, ‘Gentlemens club boots freeloaders to buy more space’. Obviously, not relevant to your boots.Exact match is the opposite. Someone has type ONLY your keyword into Google for you ad to show up. Phase match means someone can search for ‘where can I buy mens bootsin Melbourne’ and your ad will appear.Just one more step!
Now we need to put some code in the ‘thank you for your purchase’ page of our eCommerce store. In your Shoplostore, you can easily customise the thank you page. This option may vary depending on your eCommerce platform.This will help us keep track of how many people visit our site from ads and which of those people convert into customers.Click on Tools, and then ‘Conversions’.
Now, click ‘+ Conversion’ and then click ‘website’.Enter a name that’s easy to follow. ‘Baby Clothes Ad Sale’ for example.We know our product sells for $100, so enter that as the value of conversion.Click ‘Save and Continue’
Now this little piece of code is our Conversion tracking! It will keep us informed about how many people that click our ads commit to a purchase. In your eCommerce platform, you need to go to your ‘thank you’ page and edit it. Paste this code in there.Phew, done!The ‘Tracking status’ will say ‘unverified’ after a day or so, then it will change to ‘reporting’.Now is the really super mega hard part.Waiting.Yep, nothing is going to happen in the next few hours, maybe even the next day. It's scary, I know, you’ve put all this money, time and effort into making your first set of ads, and there's no immediate reward.
Want to know what to do in this time? Have a read of this great checklist of what to do during your first Google Adwords campaign.So there you have it!In a few days, your first Google AdWords campaign should be up and running.After your budget is spent, spend some time analysing what has just happened. A simple analysis of your first campaign can almost be as valuable as the campaign itself. There is a lot to be learned from it. Where do you go right, where did you go wrong? What will you do differently during the next campaign?Good luck in the world of Google Adwords and be sure to let us know how your first Google Adwords campaign went!
Don't know how to write a product description that will actually get you sales? Learn to get your products seen with SEO minus the sales talk. Find out how.
The simple act of saying 'thank you for your purchase' is an incredibly powerful way to show a little customer love. This appreciation leads to your customers loving your brand and much more. Read this step-by-step guide to see 10+ examples to learn how to write a thank you note and show a little customer appreciation.
How does your brand say ‘thank you for your purchase’? Wait, don’t tell me... ‘by giving them a fantastic product'.That’s what people who don’t truly appreciate their customers say. And you don't want to be one of those brands.A simple thank you for your purchase note is a great way to show gratitude and delight your customer. Not to mention, you also ensure that you’re remembered for going above and beyond.Anyone can set up a generic ‘thank you for your purchase’ email to go out when a sale is complete. But genuine personalisation is what makes the difference.Whether it’s a friend, customer or client, a handwritten thank you note can make anyone feel special.Combine a thank you note with some branded custom packaging and you've got a first impression that cannot be better.It's small gestures like this that keep your customers satisfied and buying from you again and again.In this article, you’ll learn:
Let's take a look at a few reasons why simply saying thanks can bring your brand so many benefits.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” ― John F. Kennedy
Many of us wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for the help and guidance of others. Even more so when you’re selling a product - your brand wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for your customers. When your customers know they make a difference to your brand, it empowers them. It increases their emotional investment in you.How does this benefit you?Your customer values your brand more and because of this, they're more likely to buy from you again.A little ‘thank you for your purchase’ note is unexpected, it goes against the grain of buying something online. Traditionally when you buy something online, you pay for your purchase and you get what you pay for.It's uncommon that a buyer receives genuine gratitude - that is, something more than an automatic email.There is very little gratitude in the online shopping realm. But a personalised thank you note is a guaranteed way to bring a bit of that traditional ‘ma and pa store’ appreciation into your online store. Store owner Jordan explains:'We saw a massive change in numbers when we started sending out thank you notes. People came back and bought from us again. As we're trying to create a brand people want to associate with for the long run, this was such a valuable move'. The Etsy marketplace is another community where sellers thrive in customer service. They provide fantastic buying experiences for their handmade products.Many other craft sites encourage sellers to do the same. Sellers find success by adding some kind of personalized, handwritten thank-you.This makes it easier to get your customer to buy from you again.In the example below, you'll see a handwritten thank you note that Amazon Fresh sent a customer.
If Amazon can do something like this to show their customer appreciation, you can do it, too.In the next section, you'll see how customer appreciation helps drive more sales. But that's just one way to drive more revenue on a marketplace.If you want to discover more tactics on creating a successful Etsy brand, read the following article.
If you’re reluctant to spend the time and effort into sending out thank you for your purchase notes, consider it an investment. Just like Facebook Ads and other advertisement investments, you can get a good ROI if you plan accordingly. Thanking a client for their business pays off in the long-run.Ask yourself the following?
Now, ask yourself:
By thanking a customer for the purchase, you’re investing time in delighting your customers.This makes them feel special. The end result is your customer having a much higher lifetime value with your brand. A happy customer is one that will convert easier and may even become a brand advocate.Unless you send out hundreds of orders a day, taking 90 seconds per note isn’t going to destroy your business.Let’s take a look at the benefits of saying thank you for your purchase:
Basically, everything good for a business comes when you thank a customer for their business.But let’s expand on these points a little more:
How often does a hand-written birthday or Christmas card put a smile on your dial? Your customers have that same ‘aww’ feeling when they receive a ‘thank you for your purchase’ note from you. They’re even gladder they made their purchase with you and talk about your brand to their friends.
Customer engagement means that your customer is paying attention to your brand. The more your customers engage with your brand, the more they are invested in it. Customer engagement is also the main driving force for customer loyalty.
When your customer is loyal, they’ll come back and buy from you again. A loyal customer is willing to buy from you again and willing to spend more on a single purchase. ‘First impressions last’, so by making your first experience a memorable one, your customer will come back.
Social proof is the idea of people sharing pictures of your product on social media pages with their friends. Your well-designed product next to the handwritten thank you note will increase the likelihood of your customer sharing a photo of their purchase on social media.So regardless of what you sell, the benefits of a simple thank you note are clear.Let's take a look at some of the best practices when writing a thanking a customer for their support.
There’s a handful of important things to remember before putting pen to paper. But none is more important than this:
By referring to your customers' interactions with you as ‘business’, 'patronage’ or just an 'order', you make them feel like a number, a statistic.Think about it for a moment - what other phrases sound a little sterile and cold?
By using phrases like this, you alienate your customer and imply you’re only happy that you have their money.Rather than a thank you for your business in your note, try:
Business = business transaction
Support = relationship
What else do you need to know when writing a thank you for your order note?Do:Don't:
Remember: Focus on the thank you itself, not on the materials it’s written on or the potential sale you’ll get.
Below, you can see a thank you note from the team at Xfinity. Nothing branded, nothing fancy, just a plain simple card that says thanks.
But even the most stunning stationery means little if you don't get your 'thank you for your business' wording correct!Ready to learn how to write a thank you note?
Thank you card wording can be a little tricky.But luckily, you’re going to see the separate elements you need to use to create the perfect thank you note.Use the following guide to create a thank you for your business sample letter that you can use over and over again.
First things first, you need a greeting. Always always always use the person's name.
Saying thanksGet the point of the message out as soon as possible.
This is the part of the message that will take you above and beyond - writing something extra personal and specific to that buyer - without getting too creepy.
The personalisation in your thank you for your purchase note should be noticeable, honest and relevant in order to really hit home.
Finish things off with a casual yet friendly sign off.
Of course, each element needs to be fine-tuned for who you’re sending it to. A ‘thank you for your purchase’ letter isn’t going to work when you’re trying to thank someone for their business advice.Take a look at the following thank you for your business quotes to see how all these elements can create the perfect thank you note:
Now that you’ve seen the important parts of creating a thank you note, it’s time to learn how to put it all together!Remember these examples are exactly that - examples. Each note will have to be tailored to you, your brand, your product and who you’re writing to. Feel free to copy/paste these and use them as your own thank you note template!
“Dear Mike,Just thought I’d send you a quick note and say thanks for shopping with us. The products you’ve bought - beard oil and shampoo - are a killer combination. I’d love to know what you think. Once again, thanks for choosing us, if you’ve got any feedback, I’m just an email away.Cheers-Phil “
“Dear Peter,Our recent conversations have made me feel more in control and comfortable with the direction of our brand. Thank you so much for your help.We’re looking forward to working with Sublime Manufacturing for the foreseeable future.Bring on 2018 and go Wildcats! -Phil“
“Hey Crystal,I just saw that you've recently stocked up on some of our products. Thanks a lot, I'd love to know what you think of everyone once you've had a chance to try it all!Also, for being such a great first-time buyer, here's a little something extra: Use the code CRYSTAL15 to get 15% off your next order with us.Thanks once again, looking forward to hearing your feedback!-Phil“
“Dear Paul,Thanks a lot for placing an order with us. You've picked one of my personal favourite shirts. It's my go-to formal shirt and looks great with a dark coloured sports jacket.I'd love to hear your thoughts once you've got your hands on it!Thanks once again!-Phil“
“Hi MikeJust following up on your recent purchase with us. There are plenty of brands out there that do something similar to us, but we're ecstatic that you've decided to choose us.Thank you for your support!-Phil"
“Hey Steve,I just wanted to take a moment of your time to thank you for continually choosing us. A recent look at the books proved that your guys are one of our most frequent (and loved) repeat customers. I'm looking forward to more of this in the future.-Phil“
So now that you know how to write a thank you note for a variety of situations, let’s take a look customer appreciation beyond the note!
Perhaps you’re already seeing the benefits of sending a thank you note. If so, take your game even further by doing something else to bring value to your customer!
As mentioned earlier, you will need to invest some time if you’d like to send a thank you note to every customer. But that time spent delighting your customer is an investment that will see them coming back and buying from you again. Once you have your generic ‘thank you for purchasing’ note established, you will spend less and less time writing.
What makes your note special is that it’s quick and to the point. Less than 50 words is an ideal way to push the love home quickly.
Don’t forget that the point of this is to build a relationship with your customer. Being too sales-ey is a major turn off. Avoid using branded letterheads if you really want to get that ‘authentic’ vibe!
No one is ever happy with their handwriting - that’s a fact. You’ve no doubt heard people say ‘I can’t write on the card, my handwriting is awful’. But when writing thank you notes for your brand, imperfect handwriting is what’s important. It’s the handwritten part that adds character and charm.
If you’ve spent a lot of time and effort on your branding, you’ll probably have some fancy letterheads or some kind of branded stationery. But rather than jumping straight toward the fancy letterhead, consider using just a simple piece of notepad paper. You’re trying to build a relationship here, and if your attempt at building that relationship is branded, well, it’s a little too ‘sales-ey’!If you’re certain that you do want to put in something branded, consider a few branded stickers. Take a look at the example below to see how Buffer gave us some real customer appreciation!
Buffer send out a little thank you pack to anyone that’s involved with their #bufferchat and sure enough, we got our pack, too!
It doesn’t take a lot of effort from you to make your customer smile. In doing so, you’ll delight your customer and cement a place in their mind as a great brand to be involved with.Going out of your way to make your customer feel appreciated is something worth investing in!Do you regularly send out thank you notes with your purchases? Leave a comment below to tell us what you think of the concept!
Giving your customer a fantastic buying experience means making sure that your checkout process is as smooth as possible. WooCommerce and Wordpress offer many options but not all of them are built the same. In this article, you will see how to set up the best WooCommerce payment gateways for your online store
There are many ecommerce platforms out there, but WordPress and WooCommerce are the premiere platforms to build an online store. There are also loads of WooCommerce payment gateways that let you accept customer payments, but all have their limitations.Your customers don’t want limitations though. When they find that perfect product, service, or another offering in your store, you don’t want to leave them hanging when it comes time to pay. And it’s not as simple as enabling PayPal payments. You have to consider things like geography, transaction fees, security features, and so on when assessing your options. The following guide to setting up WooCommerce payment gateways will cover everything you need to know to navigate this delicate part of ecommerce, including:
Don’t let all that hard work on your ecommerce site go to waste. Take the time to research and do a payment gateway comparison first.
Surprisingly, it’s not what you intend to sell through your WooCommerce site that can stop visitors committing to purchasing items in their shopping carts. After all, they entered your online store for a reason.No, instead, it’s the experience while making a purchase that can lead a visitor to abandon it entirely. There’s so much at stake when you leave visitors to browse your online store and manage their own purchases. This means that it's important your online store is set-up to have the best conversion rate it possibly can. One way to do that, it to think long and hard about the WooCommerce payment gateway you decide to use.The following list of considerations will help you narrow down the choices and get you closer to finding the perfect payment gateway solution for your WooCommerce website.
There are a surprising number of free WooCommerce payment gateway extensions available. That said, none of them are free to actually use. Before you consider any other factors, first consider what it’s actually going to cost you to process payments through your chosen gateway. Here are some of the costs you’ll need to factor in:
WordPress and WooCommerce may be free to use, so you might not be in the habit of considering tools that cut into your profit margins. However, when it comes to a payment gateway, there is no such thing as free. Be sure to take some time to think about how those additional costs will affect your overall profits and cash flow.You may need to adjust product pricing to compensate for the security and efficiency that comes from using a payment gateway.
If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely using WooCommerce to power your online store. While there are WordPress payment plugins available, it’s best to start your search for the best payment gateway with WooCommerce extensions. For starters, these extensions were made specifically to work with WooCommerce, so you know you won’t run into trouble with plugin compatibility. And, if you hit some problems along the way, each comes with a thorough set of documentation as well as support from WooCommerce:
Also, most WooCommerce payment gateways are made by all the biggest names. If you can get everything you need from one source, why bother spending time looking around elsewhere?
There are two users whose experience you will need to consider:
First, look at how easy the gateway is to set up.
If you’re a business owner hoping to go the DIY route, you’ll want to look for WooCommerce payment gateways built for you. As for the end user, this depends on how exactly you want to customise the checkout experience for them.
Configurability should be an important consideration. This ensures your users still get an optimal experience even if you’re not the one controlling it.
You may be surprised to learn this, but not all payment gateways are handled the same way. Therefore, the best payment gateway for you will depend on your business model. You’ve probably even encountered this in your own purchases as a consumer. In general, they can be broken into the following types of payment gateway:
Now, if you’re nervous about the user’s experience being disrupted, you may want to stick to Offline and Integrated payment options. That said, there is a tradeoff. By accepting payments from your WooCommerce site, you become responsible for implementing all security and Payment Card Industry (or PCI) compliance protocols to keep your customers’ financial data safe. So, you have to decide what is most important to you.
In a Statista survey from 2017, they found the following payment methods to be the most popular among global consumers:
Although the specific breakdown of preferred payment methods may differ based on your site’s particular audience, this data does clearly indicate that there is a good mix of payment types consumers want to see. Credit cards and electronic payment methods like PayPal are definitely a must. Debit cards, COD, and bank transfers would also be nice to include if you find that your visitors want them.
Have you ever heard of a merchant account before? Some payment gateway providers require you to have one before you can start collecting payments. A merchant account is an account you set up with a bank that allows a business to collect payments by credit or debit card. You’ll be charged various fees for using one (as you also will when using a payment gateway). However, a merchant account typically comes with more insurance against things like payment fraud and chargebacks, which is why some sellers choose to have one.Now, not every payment gateway requires you to have a merchant account. Instead, they will deposit payments into an account within their own system, which you can then shift over to any other account you want. Without a merchant account, you have more control over when you have access to your funds and where they are deposited. As a result, though, you will have to pay a higher processing fee as the gateway provider is now in charge of holding funds on your behalf.
Most WooCommerce payment gateways have some sort of restriction on which countries they will accept and process payments on behalf of. So, the first thing to check is that your home country is on their approved list. Then, you’ll want to see if they accept payments from the majority of countries you conduct business in.There is also the issue of location-related taxes to consider. For instance, the VAT or GST tax does not apply in every country. If you need to be able to collect this tax on payments, make sure it’s an included option.
This goes hand-in-hand with the location factor. Not every WooCommerce payment gateway will accept payments in any global currency. So, again, use what you know about your business and your customers’ demographics to decide what exactly you will need from the payment gateway.
It’s headlines like these--“Hackers target e‑commerce sites to swipe payment data”--that scare consumers away from online shopping. And with good reason. When developers fail to take the necessary precautions to protect the ecommerce sites they’ve built, it puts everyone at risk. If you want to increase consumer confidence, you need to ensure security is prioritized at checkout as this site has done:
For many online vendors, security is one reason why they decide to outsource payment processing to the payment gateway provider’s website. So long as the payment gateway abides by the rules of PCI compliance and secures their payment processing portal with firewalls and encryption, your customers’ data should be safe. That said, there’s nothing that says you cannot do the same on your own site. In fact, even if you do outsource payment processing, your website should still have an SSL certificate, malware, and other security measures in place. This will prevent unnecessary security breaches from occurring.
The last thing to think about is the performance of your WooCommerce payment gateway. After all, if your visitors aren’t willing to wait more than a few seconds for a web page to load, there’s no way they'll wait any longer when it comes to the final step. So, you need a payment gateway that will get them through the process and accept their payments quickly and easily. As for what you can do to speed things along, make sure you’re using a WooCommerce hosting service that’s built to handle the activity associated with high volumes of traffic. This will keep visitors moving speedily along until they get to the point where your payment gateway provider takes over. Then, make sure your payment gateway provider seamlessly integrates with both WooCommerce and WordPress. This will keep your server from having to process additional HTTP requests when an API becomes involved.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to look at what your options are. Keep in mind that you do not need to find that one perfect Goldilocks of WooCommerce payment gateways either. Ideally, you will find one that offers the most options and best experience for your users. You can then fill in the gaps with others if you feel they would encourage more visitors to buy something on your site. Here are the 5 best payment gateway options for WooCommerce and everything you need to know to make a decision:
The WooCommerce Authorize.net plugin is a great payment gateway if your goal is to wow a global customer base with how convenient and easy your checkout process is. You will keep customers on the site, process all major credit or debit cards, and create a more convenient experience with features like saved payment information, smart mobile keyboards, and subscription options.Cost:
Gateway Type: Integrated Payment Methods: All major credit and debit cards as well as eChecks.Geo: They accept payments from all customers worldwide.Security: The WooCommerce authorize.net plugin is a PCI compliant payment gateway. As such, they also require you as a user to have an SSL certificate installed on the site prior to installing the gateway.Get the Extension
The first thing you should know about Stripe for WooCommerce is that it is a developer-first platform. Even with a WooCommerce extension for integration, the process of using the Stripe payment gateway will go much more smoothly in the hands of a web developer. That said, if you do end up using this, get excited about the simple (and low cost) fee structure as well as its mobile-friendliness (if you have a lot of customers on the go).Cost:
Gateway Type: Integrated Payment Methods: Stripe accepts payments from all major credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, as well as some local payment options (like China’s Alipay). Geo: Stripe accepts over 135 currencies from 25 countries and will automatically convert currencies based on your user’s selection.Security: Stripe is PCI compliant and also requires users to have an SSL certificate installed. Get the Extension
The best PayPal plugin for WordPress is Braintree. Although you could use a plugin that allows you to accept just PayPal payments, you’d be severely limiting yourself. With Braintree, a PayPal-powered service, you can accept PayPal payments along with a whole host of other options in WooCommerce. As an added bonus, it comes with anti-fraud protection. Braintree, WooCommerce and Paypal are a killer combination and without a doubt, Braintree is the best PayPal plugin for WordPressCost:
Gateway Type: Integrated. Payment Methods: Braintree processes PayPal, all major credit cards, Venmo, digital wallets, as well as ACH debit cards.Geo: Accepts payments from over 45 countries and in over 130 currencies.Security: The Braintree WooCommerce payment gateway is encrypted and, upon signing up, you also receive anti-fraud tools built in your platform. Get the Extension
As you can imagine, having a well-recognized and trusted name like Amazon attached to your checkout process goes a long way with your customers. Not only does the brand recognition put them more at ease in terms of completing the payment process, but the process of checking out will also feel very familiar. If your ecommerce site is new and you’re looking for leverage, Amazon Pay is a great choice. Cost:
Gateway Type: Integrated. Payment Methods: Since this syncs to the user’s Amazon account, they can use any payment methods configured there. These include all major credit and debit cards, U.S-based bank payments (cheque), or an Amazon store credit card. Geo: Amazon Pay only works in the following countries: Denmark, Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the USA.Security: Amazon offers PCI compliance and fraud protection for both the buyer and merchant. An SSL certificate is required in order to use this payment gateway. Get the Extension
Interested in having someone else handle the security side of payment processing? 2Checkout is the payment gateway for you then. And even though this is a hosted payment solution, 2Checkout keeps the checkout process on your site within an embedded iFrame that you can customize to your liking. Cost:
Gateway Type: Hosted, but inline (meaning it shows up in an iFrame). Payment Methods: 2Checkout accepts a wide variety of payment types: credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, bank transfers (including international), and Payoneer MasterCard.Geo: 2Checkout is available in over 200 markets and offers 87 currency options as well as 15 languages. Security: Because 2Checkout offers a hosted payment gateway option, all security will be taken care of by them. PCI compliance and fraud protection are covered. Get the Extension
Braintree and Stripe are 2 of the best payment gateways for ecommerce. They’re easy to set up, easy to use, and they just work. When considering Braintree and Stripe for WooCommerce, it’s worth noting a few things:
Braintree allows you to accept Paypal whereas Stripe doesn’tStripe allows you to accept Alipay, whereas Braintree doesn't.Of course, when looking at the Braintree vs Stripe battle in close detail, there are a lot of differences that will affect your decision. At the end of the day, the winner depends on the type of business you run and what your customers prefer, not necessarily what you prefer.
What’s nice about using WooCommerce extensions to power a payment gateway is that they almost always have a WordPress payment plugin attached to them. Without a direct integration with WooCommerce, you may have to deal with configuring APIs, plugin conflicts, as well as other issues that could keep the gateway from seamlessly integrating with your site. Thankfully, though, there are many WooCommerce payment gateways that work right within the platform. For example, Stripe has one and it’s called WooCommerce Stripe Payment Gateway.
Using this free payment gateway extension and plugin, let’s quickly walk through the process of setting up a payment gateway in WooCommerce. Step 1Log into your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to Plugins > Add New.
Locate the Stripe plugin. Click the Install Now button and then hit Activate. Step 2 Sign up for a Stripe account.
Once you’ve activated your account and configured all your settings, return to WordPress. Step 3Under your WooCommerce settings, you will now see various options for Stripe Checkouts (in addition to the default checkout options WooCommerce gives its users).
Stripe settings enable you to activate Stripe checkout, and then customize things like the look and messaging in checkout, activation of customer account saves, and so on. The other Stripe settings pertain to the various countries in which they are accepted. If you have users in countries like Belgium (Bancontact), Germany (Giropay), China (Alipay), or you simply want to allow for Bitcoin payments, you will have to activate each option separately.And that’s it! So long as you have a checkout page designated for your WooCommerce site under WooCommerce’s Checkout settings:
And you’ve enabled all of the payment gateways you want to be included in that checkout:
You are ready to start accepting payments for your store.
If your goal is to build a beautiful and high-performance digital storefront, you can’t do any better than building it with WordPress and WooCommerce. Of course, as we’ve seen, the default settings within each may not be ideal for your online store. However, there are extensions and plugins built to deal with any solution you might possibly need--especially something as delicate as processing customer payments. If you’re hoping to give your customers a stellar experience from the moment they enter your site until the time the payment has been processed, use WooCommerce along with one of the feature-packed WooCommerce payment gateway extensions above. In no time at all, you’ll have a fast, easy, and secure way to accept customer payments for your online business. So, now that you know more about WooCommerce payment gateways and how they work, do you feel more secure in using them in WooCommerce and WordPress? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
ow and when did Pokety start? Where did the idea of animals showing cheeky gestures hidden beneath a pocket come from? A t-shirt with a cat peeking out
How and when did Pokety start? Where did the idea of animals showing cheeky gestures hidden beneath a pocket come from? A t-shirt with a cat peeking out of a pocket from an American brand called Rip’n’Dip was the inspiration that sparked the idea of our brand. I decided to create some friends for the little fellow. This is how Veronica the Llama, Richard the Rabbit, Christopher the Fox and Stephen the Unicorn came about. Each of the characters has an individual personality, so you can easily find your favourite partner in crime. You won’t find a cat in our store, that’s unique to the one and only Rip’n’Dip. Why did you decide to start your own brand? I have many passions and dreams, so it’s only natural to follow them. Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to open my own shop, but I’ve dabbled in many things before getting to where I am now. When I was 19 I started my own line of hair accessories, then I managed a film studio. After that, I started a second-hand store, until I finally designed my first line of t-shirts for a band I was a part of at the time. After that, I created another line of t-shirts, until one day I started making these pocket lurking creatures. I think that was around 2015. Success for me is a collective of small things that give you the power to wake up in the morning and continue working hard.
Success for me is a collective of small things that give you the power to wake up in the morning and continue working hard.
Please tell us more about the beginning of your brand. Do you remember your first sale, what it was and how you felt in that moment? I sold my first t-shirt before I even made it. I drew up the design of the animal and posted it on my Facebook page. It caught on very quickly. It’s a great feeling when you don’t have to beg your friends for likes, but they actually write to you to tell you that they like what you do. For me, that was a sign that it’s going to be alright. In the first month, I prepared the first batch of t-shirts and went with Lucas (my boyfriend) to a fashion fair (Grand Bazar, Dom Braci Jabłkowskich in Warsaw). I didn’t know how to set up the stand, so I took my dad’s painting easel (it was covered in paint) and we used that to put up signs saying ‘Look in the pocket’. I also took an old Ikea clothes rack that rocked a little so we had to hold it still. We dragged in a few boxes with the t-shirts and can you believe we sold half of those? I couldn’t believe it. It was one of those moments where you feel like Kate Winslet and your Leonardo DiCaprio is standing just behind you and you are sailing together towards the horizon. It was honestly magical.
You run both online and retail shops in Warsaw, Cracow and Wroclaw. Your T-shirts can be found in many fashion fairs. Which of these mediums works best for you?I’ve tried a lot of things. Retail shops, pop-up shops, setting up stands in fashion fairs and markets etc. This year I officially got out of retail. The t-shirts are quite a low-cost item and it wasn’t very profitable. I decided that it’s time to cut out the middleman. Pop-up shops are definitely the best solution. We can get the right product in front of the right person at the right place and time. Fairs and markets are alright, but you need to try them out and see which ones have your target audience. I believe that you need to try a lot of different things in order to build a reliable offline calendar. I show up at fashion fairs at least once a month and definitely recommend this medium. By having direct contact with the customers I can get a lot of feedback and a little inspiration. The channel that definitely provides the most income is the internet. Here you also need a good grasp of where and how to show yourself. We also regularly invest in paid promotions. I gain the most satisfaction from my online shop pokety.eu and my DaWanda store.
The Pokety online store is built with the classic 2.0 template. See more templates and create your online store here.
Would you rather have complete control and create the design of your online store from scratch? You can do all that and more - see what else is possible with anonline store with Shoplo (see now).When did you realise that the brand actually has potential? I have no business education at all, so I didn’t make any calculations, forecasts or budgets - which I now regret, as that would have been useful. I just followed my intuition. At our first fashion fair, our customers asked ‘Will we see you next month?’ and without even thinking about it I said ‘Yes!’ I knew that if people wanted my product, I had to give it to them. I also had this feeling in my bones that it was worth it. After 3 years, no, I don’t regret anything, however, I know that as a business I’m only just beginning. I keep learning from the creature that is Pokety and I feel my knowledge and experience guiding me. It’s a great feeling of satisfaction.How many people does Pokety employ at the moment? How many in the beginning and how many now?
We’re not a massive factory, but a small project workshop. Therefore everything goes slower and everyone gives a lot. In the first month, I was by myself with some help from my boyfriend Lucas. I made the designs, took the t-shirts to the tailor, I ironed the prints onto the t-shirts (I didn’t have any professional equipment at the time), I ironed the t-shirts and packed them. I took the orders, talked to customers and postage purchases the post office.Lucas and I spent sleepless nights before fashion fairs, making as many t-shirts as possible. He also patiently handled the iron. Weekend mornings, he would pack all the heavy containers, bring them to the fairs, keep me company and help me pack up. His help is invaluable! When I went back to my old routine, working in my room on the ground floor, I’d move the t-shirts from my bed to the piano, onto the ironing board and back to the bed throughout the day. When there was no more space in my room, my mom ‘threw me out’ to my grandparent's place, where they had a spare room. That was a beautiful time in the history of Pokety, my grandparents welcomed me open-heartedly and thanks to that I was able to spend more time with them. Now I have my own, slightly bigger workshop. I have a few trusted companies involved in the project, they support us with their services and products. Everybody knows what they are doing. My mom plays a massive role, she has always supported Pokety and helped as much as it was physically possible. So is it safe to say that this is a family business? Where do you get the ideas for new products, what inspires you? The brand was created to bring people joy. Each of the characters is original. The projects are not perfect, however, as I don’t think perfection is what our customers expect. They have fun walking around with Vojtek the Bulldog and Veronica the Llama if someone's getting on their nerves they can always show them what’s inside the pocket and have a laugh. I get a lot of messages that the shirt makes their day, or that a kid really wants one or a group of teenagers need to have the shirts in matching colours with a different pocket creature. It’s times like these that I really feel that what I’m doing has a purpose. These messages really keep me going! The inspiration for new characters comes to me randomly, I will be going down the escalator and it will just pop into your head ‘I’ll draw a panda called Margaret’. Sometimes my fans will help me come up with a name, they love being part of the creation process. They also inspire me to design something new. Just quietly, I’m thinking about creating a snake. How’s it going to look with hands? No idea. But it will definitely be barefoot.
Where are the biggest costs of having your clothing brand? I think the biggest cost is promoting the brand, ads, AdWord campaigns, working with influencers and other paid promotions. Each time we go to a fashion fair it costs us. The stand costs a pretty penny and the t-shirts and relatively cheap. We have to sell a lot of them to make up for the cost and so that we earn something. How did you start selling your products abroad? When and why did you make this decision? Which countries generate the most sales? I’m only just starting to sell abroad. I thought long and hard about this and how to sell abroad. Every now and again I would have customers from all over Europe, placing orders via email. Some people export the t-shirts to their countries and promoted them among the younger audience in that region. I decided to start with Germany and DaWanda really helped me with that. I got my first orders and a dose of motivation. I also got through to some German influencers, who showed Pokety to their fans. This also got me into exploring that market. What differences can you see between managing your business on the Polish market and on the German market? The ads are definitely more expensive in Germany. More competitions means the prices keep going up. I see a lot of potential in selling in Germany, the people take kindly to the idea and give the brand the benefit of the doubt. I still treat Poland as my main sales point and want to keep the brand local, so I’m not planning on taking selling abroad any further. Who is the target audience of Pokety?After 3 years I’ve gotten to know them pretty well. They are mainly girls in the ages between 13-19. A bit crazy, positive and in-tune with current trends. The t-shirts I have are unisex, so they are a bit oversized. They go with many different looks, especially urban, comfortable and cool. I’m lucky that my target audience uses the internet so much. Because of this, they are more likely to leave likes and comments that don’t spare emotion. It’s possible that this is the main reason for the large number of fans on Facebook. They are great customers, very positive, we always talk very informally. I do that on purpose, I want them to feel like they are our friend. I do everything I can so that every one of our customers gets as much care and attention as possible, so I respond to all our emails myself.
Almost 57k fans on Facebook, 20k followers on Instagram. Tell us, please, how did you manage to get so many fans on social media? Do you have some sort of a special way of handling your social media? That is quite a big number and I’m very happy about that. For the first two years, I mainly focused on our Facebook page. I created Facebook campaigns to reach more potential customers. Right now though, I’m more focused on creating well-fitted ads rather than gaining new fans. Regular post do not create nearly as much traffic as a promoted post. Facebook’s limitations are something I’m well aware of. When it comes to my approach, I know that social media is key to gaining and maintaining customer relations, too.
When it comes to my approach, I know that social media is key to gaining and maintaining customer relations
Social media is a great tactic to attract customers but there are plenty more. Discover 49 other ways to increase your sales. Grab your copy of the free ebook '50 Ways to Make Your First Sale' (download now).
Do you think that a well-run Social Media page can have an impact on sales?It does have an impact, just not always on sales. Every good post creates positive energy and what goes around comes around. As I mentioned previously, paid promotions are key to success on social media, so it’s worth educating yourself on the subject.Online courses about Facebook Marketing were very helpful and there are plenty of them, so everyone can find the one that suits them best. Education helps you avoid making common mistakes and wasting your money on unsuccessful promotions. It also helps you lower the cost and increase the ROI. I highly recommend educating yourself about PPC advertising.
Education helps you avoid making common mistakes and wasting your money on unsuccessful promotions.
Do ask influencers for help?
Not so much anymore, but in the beginning, they helped me a lot. Many of them are very warm and engaged people who do their job very professionally and with a lot of passion. Stylizacje, Olciiak, The Oleskaa, LittleMooonster96 and Banshee are a part of our history and in many ways, they believed in me. I’m sure that with such an attitude they will achieve a lot for themselves and others. All of their achievements they worked on themselves, I admire that.How does Shoplo help you in daily business management? I can only say great things about Shoplo. From the moment I first came across your ecommerce platform, I was amazed at the simple collaboration and possibilities to grow. In the beginning, I needed a lot of help and received plenty. The mail support was fantastic and anyone with the support you offer can accomplish even the most challenging tasks. The clear panel makes life so much easier and the order processing time much quicker. The add-ons to generate courier labels and invoices proved very handy. I also use an app to create my newsletter. When I want to cheer myself up, I use an app to see where my customers are from on a map. I see very few blank spots and that really makes me feel better. Being able to manage more than one language version on the panel is also very useful. I use both a Polish and an English version of my shop and they both work flawlessly for me. There are so many add-ons, I’m sure anyone one will find something for themselves. Shoplo is constantly growing and improving and that’s important to me. If something isn’t available, I know that you are working on it and it will be available shortly. I find Multichannelto be a very interesting idea, I know that synchronisation with Allegro and DaWanda will really make my life easier. Shoplo is with me every day and I await the day I have the time to manage my shop on my phone. A few of my friends also have Shoplo store that came from my recommendation. I like feeling that you care as much as I do, this is why I’m with Shoplo.
I like feeling that you care as much as I do, this is why I’m with Shoplo.
What do you think is the biggest success of your brand?I guess everyone defines success differently. For me, success is a collection of the positive, but minor things, the things that motivate you to get up in the morning and do something. The lead up to Christmas is so stressful but it shows how many people want my t-shirts and that they want them now!There is always someone who waits for their delivery, and when it finally arrives, they take a pic of the t-shirt and share it on the internet. They proudly show it to their friend, then wear it for as long as it can be worn. A few times I’ve seen someone wearing my t-shirt on the street. I feel so happy when my friends send me pictures; ‘Look! A backpack with your unicorn in Warsaw!’ I get a lot of pictures of happy people in their t-shirts. The other day a girl bought my t-shirt for her grandparents. I was very moved by that picture because I saw the happiness that the unusual gift from their granddaughter put on their faces. My fans and customers give me so much love. Sometimes when the power goes out, I connect to the backup supply and we keep going. I think it’s the passion and the family atmosphere we create that makes people like us. We are just a large clique of friends and that’s our ultimate success. Can you tell us anything about your plans for the future? Pokety is a project built with passion, which has been kept quite local. I want to build more brand awareness and make sure the products are of the highest quality. It’s no secret that I have a lot of ideas in my head, so maybe one day I will start a new project alongside of Pokety. Fingers crossed!
Thank you for the chat and a massive amount of motivation! We will keep our fingers crossed for Pokety to keep doing what it’s doing!
For Gosia, an online store at Shoplo is one of her 2 main sales channels. Are you thinking about starting your own online store? Try it out today with no payments and no commitments. Open your shop completely for free! Try an online store at Shoplo (start now).
Any questions to ask us or Gosia, the owner of pokety.eu? Let us know in the comments! We'll get back to you ASAP!
Not sure how to find a niche? for your online store? The first step in building a successful eCommerce business is to actually define it. While you shouldn’t make niche market research harder than it is, it’s important to not rush the process. Here are 3 proven methods to will help you find the best niche market.
So you’re looking to start an eCommerce business...Congratulations! The first step, the one that will put you on the path towards making your first sale, is the biggest step of them all... how to find a niche.Look around you. Wherever you are right now, look around. What do you see? For me, I see a nearly endless assortment of profitable niche markets.From my view at my desk, I see wall art, coffee tables, computer chairs, accent chairs, a microphone stand, a desk, and some headphones, just to name a few. Now I’m not saying these are all great niche products to sell, but there’s a good chance that whatever is around you, can assist you in finding a niche.In this article, you will learn:
Before we dive in, let's make sure you're up to date on the niche definition.
In the world of ecommerce, a niche is defined as a specific segment of the market where there is high demand and low supply. This is also known as a niche market.When starting an ecommerce venture, your success relies heavily on solving the problem that a specific niche market has.
Niche marketing is the process of concentrating all your marketing energy on a small, well-defined segment of your target audience.This niche marketing definition is worth keeping in the back of your head. It's also worth noting that there is a big difference between finding a niche and niche marketing. Marketing your product to your niche is not niche marketing.
Now that you're clear on definitions of what you are and are not doing, let's get started learning how to find your niche.
If you're not sure how to find a niche, one of the first steps in is choosing a niche in a structured and well-planned way… it’s also the biggest point where we see people get hung up. While you shouldn’t make finding a niche market harder than it is, it’s more important to not rush the process. Getting involved with a trending niche might make you some money in the short to mid term, but it won't help you create a long-term brand that people want to be emotionally invested in. To give you a little background, my very first eCommerce store started making money within 24 hours of going live. I made a sale for $485 the FIRST night that my store was able to accept orders. Now, I’m not telling you this to show off. I'm not saying you can decide to open an online store and start making money the same day. I’m telling you because I want you to know the secret to my niche selection method. The same secret I used to make over $3,000 of sales in just over three weeks drop shipping. People are often shocked when they hear this because it sounds like I just threw together an online shop and starting making money through luck. But the truth is I spent A LOT of time researching my niche market prior to launching my online store.Before my store launch, I did a ton of market research in order to have the best chance of success once I was ready to launch. There was one reason that I made $485 within hours of launching. It was because I figured out how to find a profitable niche that fit specific criteria.
Niche selection can make or break your eCommerce business. When establishing how to find a niche, you should look for niche markets that meet 3 certain criteria. Now, following these 3 criteria is not necessary to finding a profitable niche market, but from my personal experience, it will yield the most consistent results.Before we look at the criteria for a profitable niche, it’s important to know why are niches important and the differences between two types of niches: The bad (non-profitable) niches and the good (profitable) niches.A good niche:
A bad niche:
Now that we know what makes a niche product good and not so good, let's take a look at finding a profitable niche product.
The price of your product will go a long way in determining how your niche market takes to your product.The average product price should be $200 or more.This may come as a pretty bold statement - $200 is a lot of money for some people to spend online.That's is because when you establish your pricing, your average profit margin should be about 20% of the gross revenue.The same amount of time will go into processing an order for $20 as it will for processing an order for $200 or $2,000. If you’re going to be doing the work you might as well have a chance of making some real money on each sale!
If you want to make money, you need to sell expensive items. Expensive niche products sell better.
Still not sure how to find your niche? Sell a product that's over $200.Not that complicated, right?
Next, I tend to select eCommerce niche markets that appeal to upper-middle-class families and individuals. That is because products that appeal to ‘discount’ niche markets tend to require much more interaction with the customers while yielding their fair share of complaints and returns.On the other side of that, products that appeal to luxury markets will bring your customers that expect to receive lots of individualized attention, resulting in more work for you. Part of what makes a profitable niche ‘good’, is it requires as little effort, while generating the most sales possible.
Don’t start a drop shipping business with a niche that requires a lot of individual attention with your customers.
When finding a niche, look for products to sell online to single people or families with disposable income who are used to shopping online and comfortable making large purchases over the internet.
Once again, expensive niche products perform better.
What kind of computer or cell phone do you have? Is it the same kind of brand as your last one? Chances are if you own a Mac, the next computer you buy will also be a Mac.Why? Brand loyalty.When selling online, you want to avoid selling products that customers already have brand loyalty for. I like to pick niches where the customer doesn’t care what brand they buy, so long as the item looks and functions the way they want it to. When the customer does care about a brand, for instance with sunglasses, it is usually hard to be approved by major suppliers like Oakley or Chanel. Plus, it’s hard to convince people who are looking for a specific brand to shop generic instead.
Let’s say I live on a lake and I decide I want to get into stand-up paddle boarding. I know I need a paddle board and a paddle but I have no prior knowledge of this sport or what brands are well known. I can care less what company makes the board as long as I can find some good reviews and the price is right.This is a great example of a niche product to sell online.
The average cost of a stand-up paddleboard and the paddle is over $700, the average customer does not care what brand they are buying.
What's more, this sport is part of an obscure niche, and is likely to appeal to the upper middle class that would be purchased with disposable income.
Now that you know what makes a niche good and highly profitable, it time’s for the fun part: searching for a niche. These 3 methods are highly effective for researching and finding a niche that’s good for any business model, but especially drop shipping!
Before you can test different niches for profitability you need to take some time to think of niches to test. This doesn’t mean you think about it on the ride to a friend’s house, you need to block off some time and focus on brainstorming ideas. If you're after some great niche market ideas, sit down and make the time to concentrate.When first brainstorming profitable niches for online stories, make a list of at least 50 popular niches that fall into the criteria above: pricing, target market, and brand loyalty. To brainstorm new ideas, I often think of things that I’ve recently bought online. As well as asking family and friends what they’ve recently purchased. Also, think about what you’ve bought in the past. Think about all your family and friends and what they have in their houses.Write everything down, even if it seems questionable at the time. I then take this list and begin running them through my “lenses". Tons of niche markets are profitable, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into them.
Competition - Scout out other stores and see what products are over-saturated. You don’t want to sell those, no matter how niche they are.Loyalty - Don’t go for a niche market or product that is dominated by a national brand(s).Pricing - It’s easy: the higher the price of the products, the greater your profit margin will be!Weight - Shipping is expensive but a winning combo is a high-priced product that has low shipping weights. Returns - Don’t pick a product with sizing and style preferences, that will test your return and refund policy.
When people pick their niche they often fall into one of two categories. Either people choose a very common niche idea or obscure niches, ones that are too ‘out there’. The common niches are often over-saturated. Leaving you in a highly competitive marketplace that you’ll struggle to thrive in.The other mistake is choosing an outlandish niche. Something that is very specialized, making it very difficult to make consistent sales without a ton of extra work. Again, if you research properly you’ll see that popular niches like this feel more like a boutique than an automated business (the kind that will give you freedom).The real way to excel at drop shipping is to pick a niche market that is just outside the box. A niche product example:
My best selling product ever was a portable ice maker.
If you think about it, this is just barely outside the box. Not as common as a refrigerator, but not as UNCOMMON as a walk-in deep freezer for a restaurant. Finding that nice balance early on makes picking the niche market a much easier process.
Amazon is the world’s biggest retailer and they sell pretty much everything under the sun. That’s what makes it one of the best places to find your niches and the products that are "red hot".
Amazon is especially great to help you find a niche market that is super specific. Even better is you can choose “Best Sellers” from the navigation bar at the top of the page just under the search box and see what's currently selling best. There’s no way you can’t find a niche on Amazon, or at least have a good brainstorming session browsing the site.
Amazon’s “Best Sellers” page is updated hourly making it a solid resource for profitable niche selection!
Still unsure how to find a niche? Be patient and go through the process again and again.Finding a niche market is the most important factor that goes into building a successful online store. The good news for you is it is only getting easier to research and test the profitability of a niche product before you start building your store. So get creative, do your research, and get started building a successful online store!What's a niche idea that you've had? Struggling to find a profitable niche? Let me know your ideas in the comments!
There’s been an odd misconception floating around the world of marketing and sales as of late… For some reason, many entrepreneurs, business owners, and
There’s been an odd misconception floating around the world of marketing and sales as of late…For some reason, many entrepreneurs, business owners, and “thought leaders” seem to think that it’s no longer necessary to focus on optimizing the prices of their products.Giving the benefit of the doubt to these individuals, the spread of this misconception may be due to a misunderstanding of the idea that most modern consumers place an increasing amount of value on factors like customer experience and the level of service and support companies provide them.While this is certainly true, that doesn’t mean that optimising your pricing strategies has little to no bearing on the success your company experiences.
On the contrary, the more this misconception spreads, the more important it will become to have a proper pricing strategy in place. In other words, since many other companies within your industry may inadvertently be neglecting their pricing strategies (and instead focusing on other aspects of their service), you may stand to benefit from focusing on this more basic aspect of your business.(Of course, this isn’t to say that the other aspects are any less important. The point is you shouldn’t ignore your pricing strategy in favor of other areas.)In this article, we’re going to discuss:
Before we dive in, though, let’s take a moment to discuss why it’s still incredibly important to optimize the prices of your ecommerce products.
As we said, although price isn’t the only factor consumers consider when making a purchasing decision, most consumers absolutely do pay attention to price whenever they’re about to open their wallets.Case in point, 80% of consumers say competitive pricing is the most important factor for driving purchasing decisions. And, even if they believe it isn’t the most important factor, nearly half of consumers rank pricing among the top three factors influencing their purchasing decision.
From a business standpoint, your choice of pricing strategies and tactics have a number of far-reaching effects. Implemented correctly, your pricing strategy of choice can provide for maximum profitability across the board - from your most expensive to your least-valuable products. On the other hand, a poor approach to pricing can be incredibly detrimental to your sales numbers, your profit margin, or both.With all this in mind, let’s take a look at the most effective pricing frameworks used by many successful ecommerce companies today.
We’ll get into the more “down and dirty” pricing tactics used by both on- and offline companies a bit later in this article.Before we do so, though, we need to discuss the overarching pricing frameworks and philosophies that essentially inform how and why you may choose to implement the tactics we’ll talk about in a bit.Let’s dive in.
Cost-Based pricing is perhaps the most common and well-known pricing frameworks in existence.(Speaking in general terms, cost-based pricing is typically how most “outsiders” assume companies price their products.)Essentially, cost-based pricing is the process of marking up a product (by either a percentage or a dollar amount) over the manufacturer’s or supplier’s initial price - whether for the product itself, or the cost of the sum of the product’s parts.Cost-Based pricing can be broken down into one of three different types:
Markup pricing considers the difference between the price a company sets for an item and the original cost of that item to the company.The formula for markup amount is as follows:
(Selling Price) - (Original Cost)
Taking this a step further, markup percentage is then measured using the following formula:
(Markup Amount) / (Original Cost)
For example, if the price you pay your supplier comes out to $10 per unit, and you want to sell the product for $15, the markup amount would be $5:
($15 Selling Price) - ($10 Original Cost)
The markup percentage for the product would be .5, or 50% of the original cost:
($5 Markup Amount) / ($10 Original Cost)
Working backward, you’d then know that you’d want to markup the prices of your products by 50% in order to sustain this pricing model.Margin pricing takes markup pricing a step further, and looks at the actual profit margin of a given markup percentage for an item.To determine your optimal margin percentage, you first need to calculate your gross margin:
(Selling Price) - (Cost of Goods Sold)
You’d then take this number and divide it by the Selling Price of the item, and multiply this number by 100:
(Gross Margin) / (Selling Price) x 100
Using the example from above, your gross margin would be $5:
($15 Selling Price) - ($10 Cost of Goods Sold)
Your margin percentage would then be 33.33%:
($5 Gross Margin) / ($15 Selling Price) x 100
Again, working backward, you can use margin pricing to determine what your actual profit will be per unit sold (rather than total revenues). (A quick side note: Though not exactly a topic for discussion within this article, it’s important that you understand the difference between Markup and Margin Pricing, as confusion in this area can lead to major unexpected losses down the road.)Planned-Profit pricing requires companies to determine how much profit they intend to generate overall by selling a specific product, then fix the price of each individual unit accordingly. The formula for planned-profit pricing is:
(Cost) + (Desired Profit Margin Per Unit)
So, if a clothing company intends to make $10 per sale of a specific t-shirt, and each shirt costs the company $2 to purchase (or have made), the planned-profit price would be $12 ($2 + $10).As for whether or not to use cost-based pricing in your own business, it’s important to consider the pros and cons.First, the benefits:
However, there are definitely some major drawbacks to cost-based pricing, as well:
Overall, cost-based pricing may be a decent way for fledgling ecommerce companies to get started, but it’s typically not sustainable in the long run. Not only is it company-centric by nature (a big no-no by today’s standards), but it also forces companies to operate in a vacuum of sorts - which, of course, is not how things work in the real world.Dynamic PricingAlso referred to as market or competitor-based pricing, dynamic pricing is the process of using industry standards to set prices competitively - but such that increased profitability is ensured, as well.While getting started with dynamic pricing can be done manually, your first order of business should be to invest in software that allows you to:
The manual part, of course, is understanding what data to collect - and what it all means. Regarding your industry, you’ll want to know the average (mean) price of a specific product, as well as the most common price and mid-range price for said product. The case may very well be that you don’t necessarily need to undercut your competitors; you might simply need to offer a price that’s a bit lower than that which most companies offer the same product for.You’ll also, of course, want to take into consideration the profit margin you hope to attain, as well as the overall revenues you hope to generate, by selling the product in question. Completely undercutting your competition might lead to an increase in your sales numbers, but if you aren’t making as much per sale as you’d hoped, your sales numbers are a moot point.Another important factor, here, is your store’s reputation. Reason being: the better your rep, the more flexible you can be with your dynamic pricing. For example, take a look at the following screenshot:
Notice how much higher Foot Locker has priced the same running shoe? Being the popular sneaker depot it is, there’s little doubt the company still generates a ton of sales at this higher-than-average price - a feat which almost certainly couldn’t be accomplished by a smaller brand.At any rate, once you’ve determined the price at which you want to set your products, you want to keep a close eye on your conversion rates and revenues, as well as on fluctuations within the market that will dictate the need for a change in your pricing.(It’s called “dynamic pricing” for a reason, after all.)The benefits of dynamic pricing are as follows:First of all, it allows you to find the “sweet spot” in terms of sales and profit generated. In other words, you won’t be undercutting the competition to make more sales (and sacrificing profits in the process), and you also won’t be losing sales by unintentionally setting your prices too high.Additionally, dynamic pricing allows you to increase your prices when doing so is deemed acceptable to - or, at least, expected by - the consumer. Simply put, as the average price of the product in question increases, you can feel free to increase the price at which you offer the product accordingly.Still, dynamic pricing does come with a few downsides and/or pitfalls to watch out for.Firstly, implementing dynamic pricing can be time- and labor-intensive - not to mention costly. As mentioned earlier, you’ll almost certainly need to invest in a software solution that allows you to analyze industry trends via automation and other assistive measures. Moreover, dynamic pricing, by nature, isn’t a “set it and forget it” type deal; you’ll need to stay abreast of changes within your industry at all times - or find yourself losing out to your competitors immediately.Another thing to consider is that price fluctuations - whether up or down - can cause hesitation among your customer base. At best, switching up your pricing too often may cause consumers to wait until the price of a product goes back down before they purchase it from your store - even if this means waiting ad infinitum. At worst, doing so might cause your customers to begin distrusting your brand altogether - causing them to move on to one of your more steady competitors. Finally, dynamic pricing can potentially cause price wars to break out among you and your competitors. In turn, everyone involved will begin a “race to the bottom,” which will essentially decimate profit margins across the board.While typically used by companies within service industries (such as airlines and hotels), dynamic pricing can be utilized to success by ecommerce companies, as well - as long as it’s approached cautiously and strategically.Above all else, the main thing to consider when implementing dynamic pricing strategies is to do so within a set of defined parameters (such as minimum and maximum prices, and a maximum amount of changes in a specific amount of time). In doing so, you’ll be able to make changes to your products’ prices as necessary without the risk of falling into one of the aforementioned traps.Value-Based PricingValue-Based pricing is the process of setting prices for your products based on the value of said product from the customer’s perspective.In other words, with value-based pricing, your goal is to determine the exact amount of money your customers would be willing to part with in exchange for a specific product.As value-based pricing is, of course, a more customer-centric undertaking, you’ll want to first develop and consult your customer personas. In addition to basic “on-paper” demographic data (such as income level, occupation, etc.), you’ll also want to dig deep into the psychographic and behavioral aspects of your customers, such as:
Once you’ve determined these factors, your next step will be to determine exactly how your products fit these expectations.For example, take a look at the following Google Shopping results for a search for “Chromebooks”:
For individuals looking for a simple word-processing laptop, that $749 Pixelbook is way too expensive. Sure, it has extra features and all; but if these features don’t matter to the customer, then there’s no reason to spend an extra $500+ on a more advanced machine.At the same time, this doesn’t mean that all Chromebooks should be priced in the $700 range. Needless to say, the more affordable, stripped-down versions would not be nearly as successful if that were the case. The point, here, is that the $150-250 price range matches the amount of money those looking for a basic laptop are willing to spend.Another area to consider when implementing value-based pricing is the value your company provides your customers outside of the actual product being offered. For example, if you offer top-notch customer service, money-back guarantees, and other such services that go well beyond what your competition offers, you certainly want to factor that into the cost of your product.(Again, though: You need to be sure this additional service is seen as valuable by your target consumers - otherwise they won’t be willing to pay extra to receive it.)Now, the major issue with value-based pricing is that value is almost entirely subjective to the individual consumer. As we alluded to earlier, those who don’t value touch-screen capabilities would have no interest in purchasing the $750 Chromebook; on the other hand, there are certainly many consumers out there who would consider $750 to be an incredible bargain for a touch-screen laptop.
(Source / Caption: Case in point…)
That being said, the final step in implementing value-based pricing is rather ongoing, in that you’ll need to test and tweak a number of different variables until you get it just right.Obviously, you’ll need to tweak your pricing depending on how your products sell over a certain period of time. But, unlike with dynamic pricing (in which you change your pricing based on changes in the market, your competition, etc.), here you’ll want to do so based solely on your target customers’ expectations. While industry averages and like will certainly play a role in your customers’ expectations, it’s more important that you pay attention to the perceived value of your products in the eyes of your customers in order to find your “sweet spot” for profitability.As mentioned earlier, you’ll also want to continue improving the supplementary services you provide along with your product offerings, as well. You might, for example, find that a competing company is selling a similar (or even the same) product for 10% more than your company does - and also offers free two-day shipping for said item. All other things being equal, it could well be that this extra offer is what enables your competitor to successfully sell the product for more than your company does. Finally, you’ll also need to make the appropriate changes to your marketing content so that the value you provide to your customers (through both your products and your services) is crystal clear. The better able you are to differentiate yourself from your competition, the more valid your higher prices will be in the eyes of your customers.
It’s probably clear by now that value-based pricing is the way to go for ecommerce companies looking to reach next-level success. There are a few reasons for this:First, it allows you to meet your customers’ expectations in terms of pricing and, of course, the value you provide them in exchange for their hard-earned cash. In other words, value-based pricing allows you to offer your products at a price at which your customers aren’t just willing to pay - but at which they’re happy to pay.Additionally, value-based pricing allows you to justify your pricing in a way that matters to your customers. In contrast to the way this works for cost-based pricing, since you’ll be explaining the added value that’s being passed to the customer, they’ll likely be much more receptive to increases in your prices over time.Finally, value-based pricing allows you to be lean in terms of product and service development, in that you’ll be aiming to include only those features which your customers will find valuable. In essence, adopting this framework could not only lower your costs of doing business, but can actually transform the way in which your organization operates overall.Now, as with the other strategies we’ve mentioned so far, value-based pricing does have a few downsides.For one thing, much more research is involved in order to be successful - and this research needs to be ongoing. You’ll not only need to stay ahead of your competitors in terms of the value you provide your customers, but you’ll also need to keep ahead of trends in terms of what your customers actually value in the first place. As this data can fluctuate rather quickly (quite literally with the weather, in some cases), you need to stay on top of this at all times.Also, as mentioned above, value is subjective to each of your individual customers. The more your customer base varies in terms of persona, the more work you’ll need to do to ensure that you offer products that each of them will find valuable in the first place - and the more work you’ll need to do to ensure you meet each of their needs in terms of pricing.Overall, though, adopting a value-based pricing framework is your best for experiencing massive amounts of success in the modern customer-centric world of ecommerce (and retail in general). By pricing your products in a manner that consumers deem 100% fair, you stand a great chance of keeping your current customer base on board - and generating a ton of new business, as well.Pricing Tactics to Help Your Ecommerce Company Sell MoreAs promised, now it’s time to get into the more “down and dirty” pricing tactics you can implement in order to persuade potential customers to make a purchase - and to get your current customers to buy even more.A quick note: The point of explaining these tactics is not to help you “fleece” your customers or anything like that. One way or another, the goal of these tactics is to showcase the value your products provide your customers - in turn making them more likely to make a purchase.That said, let’s dig in.Premium PricingPremium pricing is essentially the opposite of the process of undercutting the competition:Rather than offering a given product at a lower price than your competitors, premium pricing dictates that you offer your product at a price that’s higher than expected.You’re almost certainly familiar with a number of companies that implement this strategy, such as:
Now, to be sure, the value of these products do match their quality - for the audience being targeted by the company in question, at least:
(Source / Caption: I can tell time for free by looking at the sun, thank you very much…)
When implementing premium pricing, of course your main concern is going to be marketing to consumers who aren’t afraid to spend a little more cash. Additionally, though, you want to be sure that your product truly is, in fact, more valuable than your competitors in one way or another; simply jacking up the price isn’t going to fool anyone.Using premium pricing tactics can have a number of benefits to your company:
The downsides of implementing premium pricing include:
All that said, done well, premium pricing can lead to major growth for your company. It just makes sense: if customers are willing to pay more for a specific product, let them.Logic- or Emotion-Based PricingWhile logic- and emotion-based pricing are polar opposite tactics, we’re going to discuss them within the same section, here.Logic-based pricing works on the premise that consumers will assign specific value to individual features of a given product - meaning they’ll expect to see a more specific price for the product, overall.
(Source / Caption: Think “The Price is Right” prices”)
Take the following laptop, for example:
That $681.96 price tag, believe it or not, is almost certainly much more attractive than, for example, $675.99, for the simple reason that it doesn’t seem arbitrary. In other words, because it’s such a specific number, most consumers are likely to see it as representative of the cost of sum of all the parts of the product.(This, perhaps, is as close to consumers will get to caring about the cost of producing a product.)Emotion-based pricing, on the other hand, works on the premise that, sometimes, minor product specifications simply don’t matter to the customer as much as the feeling the product provides them.
Chances are, most customers who plan on purchasing this aren’t going to care much about how much it cost to commission the painting, have it mass produced, etc. Additionally, the fact that watercolor paints cost less than, say, acrylics, likely won’t factor into whether or not an individual buys this product. All they know is, it makes them happy, and it costs $28. Done and done.Simply put: Whether you’re able to implement logic- or emotion-based pricing depends solely on the type of product you offer. If the product provides some sort of functional value, logic-based is the way to go; if the product provides more aesthetic value, go with emotion-based pricing.Price AnchoringPrice anchoring is the practice of showcasing your more valuable items first, then pointing your customers toward similar products that are lower in price.The purpose of doing so is to play on the consumer’s “sticker shock” upon seeing the price of the more valuable item, so that they are more easily able to come to terms with the price of the lower-priced item.To use Grey Goose as an example yet again, it’s common practice for liquor stores to place the more expensive vodka (“top-shelf liquor”) at eye level, and place the less-expensive brands on sequentially lower shelves. In doing so, customers will typically see the ~$75 bottles first, leading them to base the perceived value of the lower-shelf liquors according to that upper-echelon price. In turn, they’ll typically be happy to spend $30 on a lower-quality bottle of vodka of the same size.Another method that may be more effective in the ecommerce realm (since consumers can typically sort items by price as they wish when browsing a store) is to showcase your products’ original prices (or their MSRP) along with the current price at which you offer them.
By presenting the current price along with a higher original (or, at least, previous) price, you can essentially make the customer feel as if they’re saving money by making a purchase. Now, again, the point here isn’t to “trick” your customers into making a purchase. That said, you don’t want to:
Additionally, it’s also important to remember that, as we spoke about earlier, many people will actually want to buy your higher-priced items. In other words, you don’t want to just use your premium-priced products as bait for price anchoring, as doing so may end up costing you a massive amount of profits in the long run. The takeaway, here, is that price anchoring is less about changing the actual prices of your products, and more so about shifting the way you present these prices. Optimize the way you do this, and you’ll make your customers feel like they’re getting a deal every time they make a purchase from your store.Loss LeadersThe final pricing tactic we’ll discuss in this article is the use of loss leaders.A loss leader is a product sold at an incredibly cheap price (usually at a loss, as the name implies) in an effort to get customers to purchase complementary items that are much more profitable for the company.A few common examples of loss leaders include:
In the case of Gillette, the company sells the actual razors for an incredibly low price, knowing that its customers will need to buy replacement blades at regular intervals - which is where the company makes the majority of its profits. In similar fashion, computer printers - though still rather pricey - aren’t all that profitable for companies like Canon and Epson. But, as you surely know, customers will certainly need to purchase dozens of ink cartridges over the years in order to actually use said printers; again, this is where profit is made.Video game systems, such as the Xbox and PlayStation, are also expensive to produce - and Microsoft and Sony don’t make much from each sale. However, these companies are able to recoup their losses and make profits through software licenses and live services.As these examples illustrate, loss leaders should typically relate - and even be dependent on - another product you offer, so as to ensure that your customers make this additional purchase. Even better, as is the case with razor blades and ink cartridges, it helps if the supplemental products are consumable, requiring the customer to make repeat purchases over time. Finally, while the loss leader may be expensive to produce, the supplemental product should be the exact opposite: cheap to make, and highly-profitable.However, it is possible to use loss leaders to get customers to purchase unrelated products that are more profitable. A common example is milk in a grocery store: while stores don’t make all that much off of said product, most consumers will typically end up buying more once they set foot inside the store. That said, using standalone products as loss leaders can lead to acts of “cherry picking,” in which customers consciously go from store to store bagging up these products on the cheap - and not purchasing anything else.So, again: If you’re going to implement this tactic, your best bet is to do so with a product that all but guarantees those who purchase it will come back for more in the future.Wrapping UpBy now, we hope you have a pretty good idea of which pricing framework will work best for your ecommerce company - and which on-the-ground pricing tactics you’d be able to utilize successfully.It may even be the case that one framework might work best for the time being, and that you’ll be looking to evolve to a more involved process as your business starts to grow. While, as we’ve said, certain frameworks are objectively more sustainable than others, you may want to try each one before you settle on what works best for your company.As for pricing tactics, you should now have a pretty good understanding of the best practices for each - as well as an understanding of when these tactics simply won’t be effective. The main thing to keep in mind is not to “force” the use of any of these tactics if doing so doesn’t make sense for your business; not only will they not work in the first place, but your customers will see right through your attempts - and will begin not to trust you.Have you used any of these frameworks or tactics in your own ecommerce business? We’d love to hear how it’s been working out for you. Let us know in the comments section below!
You’ve only got a couple of seconds to grab a new website visitor and convince them not to leave if you want to generate a sale. When you’re focused on
You’ve only got a couple of seconds to grab a new website visitor and convince them not to leave if you want to generate a sale. When you’re focused on seconds, every red flag or positive website sign is magnified, because customers don’t have time to waste. You need to be seen as a trusted, reliable store.While most businesses focus trust-building efforts on landing pages, there’s one vital spot you can’t skip: The About Us page. So, say hello to (your) About Us page template and guide to ensuring your store is at its best.Your About page is a common location that any customer can go to at any point, especially if they have questions about how to contact you or what your values are. This means it is a potential location of convincing any potential customer that you won’t steal their cash or give them a product they wouldn’t wish on the worst of their enemies.If they don’t trust you, a new customer won’t buy from you. The About page is also a common destination for customers at any point in the buyer’s journey, even those who’ve already gone through the funnel. Repeat customers are the most valuable to any business, and this section allows you to nudge them each time they consider a purchase.It’s time for your store to focus on building trust so you can generate the sales that keep your business growing.So, if you want to improve and need a little help, keep reading. You’ll see an About Us page template with help on sections that should be displayed in this order:
By the time you finish this article, you will have learned:
Review Your Ecommerce BasicsAbout Us Page Template
The best way to start your journey through building customer trust is by reviewing what is already on your website. This practice gives you a list of what’s already there and helps you determine what is missing or needs work.Start with some of the basics, such as having your contact information on every page (especially important on the About Us page). This makes a perfect header or footer and enables your customers to reach out if they have a problem. A phone number also helps you present your business as a legitimate one, not just an amorphous online company that might just as well have 1 or 1,000 employees.
This also gives you a chance to help customers make a decision, like pointing them to that About page where you answer common questions. It is an especially good place to list the guarantees and promises you offer because these are core to your ability to be a good ecommerce partner.Your sales pages need high-quality photos of your products. Presenting people who use your products, in photos or videos, is a smart way to prove what you say about how they operate and how much people enjoy them. It’s a good idea to include a few of these throughout the About Us page, priming customer to consider a purchase as they read about you.Demonstrate Your Existing TrustAbout Us Page Template
Trust badges are another must-have. Trust symbols show that you’ve been authenticated by a trusted company, typically a credit card issuer or customer protection company. Most guides will suggest you add them to your website, especially in your product, shopping cart, and checkout pages.We believe they’re especially important for your About Us page.Trust badges give your customers a sense of security when it comes to the way you handle their data. They also increase conversions. They can cover a wide range of actions and activities on your website, including privacy, notifications, payment methods you accept, industry certifications, awards, and more.The About Us page allows you to make a general case and share all fundamental information about your company in order to build a comprehensive picture of how trustworthy external groups see you. There are a few ways to include this on your page:
One final note about your site is to encrypt it with Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), the secure version of HTTP. If your site isn’t secure, browsers will notify your visitors and it can send them fleeing from your sales pages.
Everything you look for in a website or ecommerce store when you want to shop should be found on yours.Tell Your StoryAbout Us Page Template
Trust starts with honesty, including your brand. Every company has a personality because the people behind it do. If you try to scrub this away, you can make your company feel less personal, which makes it harder to trust.The About Us page is the perfect location to demonstrate your personality. Tell the story of your store or brand’s creation the same way you’d talk about it with friends or business partners. We also suggest you be as up-front and open as you can be. Share what makes you different, including some of the struggles or joys that your founders had during their lives.You want to demonstrate a clear identity and personality, so people know what’s important to you. If a customer connects with these qualities or personality aspects, they may be more likely to buy from you. We think it’s a promising idea to start here so that you have a clear definition of who you are. This gives your team a place to return to when they try and showcase that personality across product descriptions, sales copy, images, and colour. Your website should have the same voice as your social media posts and marketing. It’s okay to double-up on the same images and to share your own blog post.Without going all Norman Bates à la Psycho, put yourself in your mum’s shoes and see if you like what your company stands for and how it shows that.When people feel like they’re buying from a person, they’re more comfortable. As you make them more comfortable, you become more trusted through the sales funnel.Colour Is Important TooYour company colours say a lot about your business, even if you don’t mean them to do that. A quick online search will find a wide range of articles and infographics discussing human colour associations. Here’s a quick distillation of that for an ecommerce store:
If your logo is very detailed, you can also get away with moving between multiple colour sets. These combinations generate different feelings about your company or the promises you make. Match those feelings to different pages where a specific message is needed.
Try using a black-and-white logo on pages where you need significant trust, like your About Us page. It’s also useful for FAQs, blog-like pages with explanations or How-To’s, and pages that describe your service or product use instead of being focused on pushing a sale.Shift to a red-focused logo on sales and contact pages to push people to connect, purchase, or join your newsletter.Planning and decision-making have different feelings associated with them. Your site can use different colours to encourage the actions you want taken next.Get Engaged on SocialAbout Us Page Template
Social is the chief area for you to post, comment, and otherwise act to become known and become trustworthy. Your potential customers will look to social in order to judge who you are and the service you provide.A simple Facebook or Twitter widget that showcases your interactions and recent posts is an easy and effective way to showcase your and your clients’ social media activity on your About page.Happy tweets and Facebook posts that recommend a product are gold. Roughly 85% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. There’s nothing that says you can’t highlight those in a section on your About or any other page.If you want to keep things simple, just write a header of “See What Our Customers Are Saying About Us” and then use a carousel of screenshots to flip through some of your most positive reviews. It’s an easy win.There are side benefits of maintaining a social presence. Social makes it easier to keep contact info, pages, FAQs, and of course that About Us page up to date. Social customers will ask questions or want links to these. That's a healthy reminder to clear out the cobwebs regularly.Bonus Tip: Social Has Its Own About SectionOne important note about social efforts is that your profile must remind people about who you are and what you stand for. Every profile page on a social account is a mini-About page. Treat it like that and showcase who you are here too.
Providing location information helps in giving your social profile a more genuine feel. Think of how you display your address as well. Reading it, we’re inclined to think that a real person lives in a city like Knoxville or London, while an amorphous business lives at a PO box.Show How Your Products Make Life EasierAbout Us Page Template
The final piece of trust is highlighting content that is designed to let the customer know that you’ll actually help them achieve what you claim you will. Product demos, how-tos, explainer videos and articles all demonstrate the value of your product and can show it in action.Use a combination of content types that all focus on a single value proposition or benefit and present these to your visitors. Link to them on your About Us page in order to keep the customer moving forward to learn about products and then buy them. It’s an important part of your sales funnel.
Seeing is believing, so help them see and believe.With our About Us page template, you can use galleries and subheaders for images or videos related to the current product. Link directly to the videos or pages that make it easiest to see your products in action.Demonstrating your products in action is always a smart move, even if the videos feel like an old infomercial. Getting customers to do the demonstrating for you comes off as extremely authentic. And, it makes a bigger splash with those looking to buy from you for the first time.Set Your ConditionsAbout Us Page Template
The last section to discuss in our About Us page template is the terms of your store. While it’s a smart idea to have a specific page that discusses all of your terms, there are likely ones worth mentioning on this page too.
Look for terms that fit in with your existing narrative around trust, such as an explanation of how you manage payments or use personal data that may be collected. You can also direct users to “Learn More” with buttons or links to go to the full terms page. This section is especially important for specialty shops. For instance, if you sell mince pies, then you’ll want some information on how they’re shipped and how fresh they’ll be. You can also note when your seasonal items are offered or if customers should expect some delays.Highlight important information that you need to provide to set the proper expectations.Review Your Page ASAPThe final check for your About Us page template and your overall site is to run through it like a potential customer would. Start from an ad or social post and go straight to a landing page. Add a product to your cart or shop some more. This may show you that you need better search bar placement or a row of related products along the bottom. Finally, move through the shopping basket and purchase process.Whenever you have a question, jump to the About page to see if you can find an answer. If you can’t, it’s time to update your About Us page template with that answer. It’ll improve your ability to respond to customers and solve many of the concerns people have that might cause them to leave.Again, verify that you’re being upfront about everything as the customer moves through the purchase process. Hidden fees or terms, shipping costs, taxes, and more should be clear. Being honest engenders trust. Fine print should be legible and only used if you need it. These details are important for your About information, but they can seem shady even if nothing is wrong.Be Trustworthy, Then Prove ItThe about us page template outlined above only work if you’re an honest company. Trust falls apart when you upset people or deliver poor-quality products. It also evaporates when you’re a jerk. Don’t be one.Review company practices and policies as well as product quality to make sure you’re being honest about value and what you represent. Then, and only then, will you be able to benefit from the practices talked about above:
Those are some of the best tools to get you started on the right path. Here’s one final question to help you think about this on a larger level: What’s the one thing a company can do to earn or lose your trust?Let us know in the comments below.
Among all ecommerce players, increasing conversion rates is a common struggle. With the sheer number of brands competing in the same industry, this challenge becomes much more troublesome.
Among all ecommerce players, increasing conversion rates is a common struggle. With the sheer number of brands competing in the same industry, this challenge becomes much more troublesome. The fact that the time spent on mobiles is much higher than that on desktops has made ecommerce players recently shift their focus from desktop to mobile. Well, they have to be where their audience is.
This is what mobile conversion stats across industries look like:
You can use this stat as a benchmark for your industry and work toward increasing your mobile conversion rate. If you are way behind these numbers, don’t be disheartened. According to a forecast by BI Intelligence, there’s a great opportunity to convert your mobile visitors and increase your mobile conversion rate.
The above revenue projection points to an opportunity for all ecommerce players. This projection gives information on worldwide retail ecommerce sales from 2014 to 2021. Now you must be wondering how can you leverage this opportunity to boost your mobile conversion rates in your highly competitive industry. Well, there are few elements and steps that you can include to boost conversion by encouraging your mobile visitors to buy more.
There are some smart quick fixes that can help you convert your mobile visitors and increase the mobile conversion rate. But before that, I’d suggest that you start from the basics, and that would be moving beyond the app vs web war. There is multiple research pointing in many directions, but you can experiment what is working for you and make a wise choice. Research conducted by Criteo shows that mobile apps close deals faster with consumers compared to mobile sites. People also view 4.2x more products per session by using apps compared to mobile sites. Apps also push more people down the sales funnel, with 3x higher conversion rates compared to mobile sites and 1.5x more conversions per session than through desktops.
If you are catering to your mobile audience only through mobile web, that’s good too. Just refrain from making your mobile website look like these. Now, let’s have a look at few elements that can change the conversion picture for you.
Providing your visitors with simple navigation options is non-negotiable. When building the structure of your navigation bar, remember that you not only have to help the mobile visitors find what they’re looking for, but also provide space to explore other options. Here a few ways you can make your navigation simple:
There are many different ways to lay out your navigation
Each one has their pros and cons. Read about them here:Often, making few changes to your website navigation can bring in astonishing conversion results for you. Harvard Business Services had a similar experience. Get some quick learning points from this case study. Focus on making small, incremental changes over time, not lots of huge ones.
Writing a product description is not just stringing together groups of words to describe your product or service, but also encourage your visitors to make a purchase. Remember that you are trying to sell to a potential client who is reading it, so you can’t go wrong with it. Keep in mind that not all your prospective and current customers may be experts in your industry.
It’s more or less similar to long-form and short-form content. The bottom line is that a well-written product or service description relates to the visitors, explains how it can resolve their problem, and ultimately makes them want to purchase the product. Here’s what you can try:
If you think you’d need some help in writing your product description, this post by Kissmetrics is a must read.
Having clear CTAs is vital for any website. It’s especially true for ecommerce where you are trying to move your visitors down the conversion funnel as soon as possible. CTAs help you create a seamless user flow and guide your users toward the purchase.Here are some quick tips that can help you get started:
Imagine this—someone wants to buy a product from your app/website, but they don’t, just because they have a question and don’t have a way to get an answer.That doesn’t sound pleasing, right?Quick fact check: Even if your website is informative, some customers may still have questions while they’re shopping. So you need to be there to answer those questions. Thinking what to do? Below are some suggestions.
This is especially important if your company sells products that need some extra guidance. Although your product descriptions may be accurate, it’s possible the customer won’t understand the terminology used.
Yes, there’s no harm in some self-praise, especially when it’s going to help your visitors to convert.
This clearly indicates that nearly 90% of people trust a stranger’s opinion online as if it were coming from their close ones. Furthermore, 39% of people say they read product reviews on a regular basis, and only 12% of customers say they don’t check online reviews.Before moving forward, visitors want to know what others are saying about your brand. While they may not blindly follow the advice, it can definitely make a difference What you can do here, is encourage customers to review products they’ve purchased and display these reviews on your website.Below is an example showing how Johnston & Murphy does the same on their ecommerce site:
Customers share personal stories about the uses of the products they purchased and the reasons for recommending them (or not). This helps them get more shoppers to convert and complete their purchase process.
It’s often observed that consumers tend to buy more when you offer them a free shipping. After all, who doesn’t like freebies? When NuFACE offered free shipping incentive to its customers, their orders increased by 90%. Moreover, the company’s average order value (AOV) also increased by 7.32%.
Trust plays a significant role in every step of a user journey. If your target audience doesn’t trust your brand, they won’t visit your website. And even if they land on your website, they might not purchase from you.
The benefits of adding Trust Badges are well highlighted by a number of case studies available online. These badges might include adding trust symbols such as VeriSign or Symantec SSLs. We know that people want to feel secure when shopping online and that’s why , trust badges can directly impact on reducing abandoned cart rate and increasing sales. See how Uptowork saw a significant increase in its sales with the McAfee trust badge on its checkout page.
Imagine this—someone wants to buy a product from your website, but they can’t because you don’t accept their preferred payment method.This should never be the reason for you to miss out on conversions.While I realize some credit card companies may charge you higher rates than others, it doesn’t mean you should restrict payment options for your customers. Try to accommodate as many people as possible.While I’m not suggesting you need to accept cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, you should be accepting every major credit card, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and so on. Furthermore, you should even offer alternative payment options such as PayPal, Apple Pal and Venmo.You need to offer as many options as possible for your customers. Finally, it all comes down to convenience. The more options you offer, the greater the chance you’ll appeal to a wider audience. Don’t assume everyone wants to pay with the cards you accept if that selection is limited.While deciding these payment offers, you must also consider which payment methods which are relevant to the country where your target audience lives.Assume people will find a similar product elsewhere, where their preferred payment option is accepted, which will crush your conversion rates.
The below-mentioned survey stat highlights that one of the main reasons for abandoned cart and incomplete purchases is a long checkout process.
Understand that your visitors have already invested enough time in finalizing the products they want and researching about those products. The only thing they want at this point is a quick checkout. And if you surprise them with long checkout forms now, then don’t blame them for leaving. Make your checkout process as crisp as possible to reduce the chances of abandoned carts. Here are some helpful time-saving features:
The following is a good example from Lowe’s:
Maintaining the ability to connect with shoppers is an extremely important tool in content marketing.
Having a blog is not a mandate, but is definitely a recommended option. Blogging helps you build organic traffic, build authority, improve SEO, and definitely generate more organic leads. Having well-written blogs can help you attract people who potentially might have the problem you solve and introduce your business to them, build an image of authority in the field, and get their details to use for further marketing (usually through email). It provides the kind of information that is available 24*7 and can be referred by your visitors at any point in time. A blog also reduces your efforts in terms of solving a common problem for your visitors and potential customers.However, having a blog is advisable only if you have concrete resources to invest and the patience to wait for this effort to flourish.
Establishing an emotional connection with your visitors is essential for any any form of marketing. While the use of descriptive language is only a part of the equation, the other half involves creating an emotional connection, or an inspiring need or want in a consumer.For example, describing a little black dress isn’t enough; marketers need to take things one step further, providing a potential buyer with a linguistic adventure detailing what kind of feelings such a dress may offer.A dress by itself isn’t necessarily exciting, but imagine the experience of attending a glamorous event in the aforementioned dress, for example, can be the missing piece of the puzzle a shopper needs to click “Add to Cart.”Psychology tells us that emotional connections are paramount in influencing buying decisions.
You know your business the best, but there’s still room for improvement when it comes to knowing your visitors. And that’s the reason I’d never recommend that you blindly copy and paste any of the tips mentioned above. Some of these may or may not work for your ecommerce store. You should never miss out on the testing part. Test everything and see what works for you. Ensure that your mobile a/b testing is not based on assumptions, but on data. Test, track, analyze, and implement what works best for your conversion rate.