Posts by: Cat Millar

How to Convert Affiliate Traffic

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Affiliate marketing is a popular way for brands to drive traffic to their site — but too often affiliate traffic is treated like any other traffic stream. In this blog we take a look at what marketers need to do differently.

As we’ve learned over the years, affiliate traffic is just a bit different. This traffic comes to your site in a unique way via third-party publishers — so converting affiliate traffic needs a unique approach.

The growth and importance of affiliate marketing for e-commerce brands is undeniable. 81% of brands and 84% of publishers already leverage the power of affiliate marketing, and spending is on the rise. For example, a study from Forrester shows that in the US spending is increasing 10.1% each year, meaning it could reach $6.8bn by next year! So now is a great time to give a little more thought to improving the customer journey for your affiliate visitors.

The bad news? The average affiliate marketing conversion rate is around 0.5% to 1%, which of course isn’t particularly high. The good news is that there are ways to make the most of this traffic stream and covert it into lots of paying customers. Here are a few strategies that can help…

Personalize the customer journey

You’ve done a great job of driving affiliate traffic to your site. Now what?

The best brands identify where this traffic has come from, and then create a personalized customer journey to drive these visitors toward conversion. Let’s look at an example of how that could work.

Consumers today are hungry for discounts, and today that means coupon affiliate sites are a key part of many affiliate marketers’ strategy. Typically running in partnership via an affiliate network, such as Rakuten, coupon and vouchers sites represent low hanging fruit when it comes to optimizing the customer journey. Why? Because you already know the what motivates this traffic, and so you can tailor the journey to meet their price-sensitive behavior. Even better, you know the specific offer that tempted them to visit in the first place, so you can mirror this message on site:

Serving reminders of why visitors came to your site in the first place as they navigate through it is a powerful way to encourage conversion. Here at Yieldify we’ve seen this type of multi-touch tactic deliver better results than simply serving a reminder once upon arrival, particularly at key points in the customer journey such as checkout, where it’s adding value for these price-sensitive consumers, by making sure they don’t miss out on the deals they searched high and low for!

Get the UX and UI basics right

How your site looks can make a massive difference in terms of converting any visitor, not just affiliate traffic. As our own Head of Design, Lana Kropyvana puts it:

“People buy with their eyes. If something doesn’t look good, users won’t be interested in it – end of story. There’s a furious competition online for everything, so good design is the key to a successful user journey.”

Lana Kropyvana, Head of Design, Yieldify

But where to start? Well the pages your affiliate traffic are likely to land on are as good a place as any, first impressions count after all! Here’s what you should look out for:

  • Above all, be clear: As we discussed in the previous point, carrying your message through from your affiliate sites helps minimise confusion, and lets visitors know they’re in the right place.
  • Be attention grabbing: eye-catching, on-brand hero imagery can help direct visitors to the focal points you want them to engage with
  • Sell yourself: highlighting why users should buy from you, based on where they’ve arrived from is another great way to encourage conversion

Even better if you can test out tweaks and changes to your messaging to really get an understanding of what works best for your affiliate traffic. Simple changes can have a big impact, as shown by Megabus, who tested their messaging at every stage of the customer journey, driving a conversion rate uplift of +7.5%

Collect visitor data

Despite the fact that your affiliate traffic may be slightly further down the funnel than a brand new visitor, the reality is that the majority wont convert. But that doesn’t mean this traffic should goto waste.

Ensuring you have a smart lead capture strategy implemented means you’re able to collect data on your affiliate visitors, even if they don’t convert, and continue to market to them via your other channels, such as email.

For affiliate visitors, consider targeting your forms depending on the source your visitor has come from. This is an important way of ensuring that there’s complete alignment between the reality of the experience and the expectations set by whichever ad, email or post that’s brought your visitor to the site. Read more on this topic in this blog post.

And on that note, we’ll wrap things up – we could fill multiple blog posts with our tips on lead capture (given we’ve captured more than 15 million for our clients!). Whatever approach you take, the key thing to think about when it comes to your affiliate traffic is how you can better personalize the journey, to drive more conversions, or leads from this traffic source.

Ready to get started? Book your free demo to learn more about how we work with leading brands to drive more value from their affiliate efforts.

Improve Landing Page Conversion Rates

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Improving landing page conversion rates is one of the best ways to grow your marketing results – here are five ways to do it!

Improving landing page conversion rates will help you make the most of the resources you’re pouring into generating traffic. Whether through SEO, advertising, email or social media make sure you convert as many of those website visitors as possible with these five simple tips.

1. First up, know your baseline conversion rate (and benchmarks)

Before you start making improvements, you need to know your current landing page conversion rate. This will enable you to compare yourself to industry benchmarks to see where you need to get to, as well as help you measure improvements on your way there. You can find your conversion rate by checking your website analytics, or if you’re using a landing page tool, the native performance stats.

Depending on your industry, sub-vertical, location, seasonality, and other factors, conversion rates will vary. But benchmarks are a useful way to get an idea of where to aim for when it comes to improving landing page conversion rates. In 2018, the average e-commerce conversion rate globally sat at 2.86%, yet during peak 2018 we saw conversion rates ranging between 5 and 10% depending on device. That’s a big difference, but if you’re looking at your data regularly you can start to build a picture of what to expect, and your areas for improvement.

2. Highlight customer reviews on your landing page

According to an industry study, “97% of consumers read reviews before they make a purchase.” Why not make it easy for customers to get access to testimonials by featuring them directing on your landing page?

You need to reassure prospects that they are making a good decision to join your email list or buy when they land on your site. By quoting the ratings and comments of real customers, you establish trust and authenticity, and prospective new customers can more easily imagine buying your product.

In the e-commerce industry, Simply Cook‘s home page features customer reviews reliably and independently sourced via Trustpilot. This is a good example of how customer reviews from other websites can factor into your marketing.

Improve landing page conversion rates with customer reviews
Simply Cook uses reviews on its homepage

It’s important to think about how you display customer reviews at each stage of the customer journey, and test what works depending on acquisition channel. For example, will showing the number of 5 star ratings be more effective than showing the overall rating, or should you focus on UGC. Unfortunately there is no right answer, but you can read more about how you can collect, test and learn from customer reviews in this blog post.

3. Show why your offer is unique

Emphasizing customer reviews is powerful. However, they are not your only tool, and they are not always relevant. What if you are promoting a brand-new product? You may not have any reviews yet. In that case, you will need to come up with a different approach. One idea is to build your content to emphasize what’s special about you. Afterall, you only have a few seconds once a visitor lands on a page to capture their attention, so make it count.

Here are a few suggestions to help you tease out the unique aspects of your offering:

  • Guarantees: whether you offer this based on price, satisfaction or something else, think about how you can stand out from the crowd. Saddleback Leather do a great (and pretty humorous) job of this with their ‘They’ll fight over it when you’re dead’ 100 Year Warranty.
  • Options and add-ons: do you offer a special service or optional add-on? Make sure your visitors know about it! Luxury goods retailer Montblanc chose to highlight services visitors wouldn’t get elsewhere to drive conversions to exiting visitors, but this could equally be incorporated into a landing page:
Improve landing page conversion rates by highlighting your USPs
Source: Montblanc case study

4. Emphasize social proof in other ways

In addition to customer reviews, there are other ways to demonstrate the concept of social proof on your landing page. Here are two ideas to get you started:

  • Expert Endorsements: Are there famous people who have used your product? If so, feature them on your landing page. For example, if you get your products reviewed in one of Wire Cutter’s guides (e.g., The Best Digital Photo Frame), you are more likely to be perceived as trustworthy.
  • Customer Number: If 10,000 people have already bought the product, mention that fact! For example, BlackSocks.com, an e-commerce company that sells black socks and other clothing, uses the copy “Over 60,000 happy customers” on their homepage. They could use this accomplishment to generate leads on a landing page.

5. Minimize the number of links on the landing page

The whole point of a landing page is to focus the prospect on converting. But if the landing page is filled with links to other parts of your website, prospects are likely to get distracted from their goal. It’s not a good idea to remove all navigation links because this practice tends to be discouraged by Google.

Instead, we recommend using a minimal number of navigation links and relegating them to the bottom of your landing page. For instance, a study of 5,000 landing pages by Crayon found that the most common links on landing pages are: your company logo, your privacy and contact information, and your About page. Anything more than that is too much.

If you have a navigation bar in place, consider removing it. Yuppiechef, an e-commerce store selling kitchen and home products, “removed the navigation bar from a registration page and increased landing page conversion rate from 3% to 6%,” according to a study by ConversionXL. Assuming 10,000 monthly visitors, that would be 3,000 additional conversions per year.

Your Next Step To Improve Landing Page Conversion Rates

We’ve seen that it’s sometimes doable to double landing page conversion rates. But depending on how much work you need to do, that may be putting the cart before the horse.

Before you even cross that bridge, your first step is to make sure customers aren’t just bouncing from your website — and if they are, you need to find out why and fix it. For help solving that problem, check out our guide on How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate.

Peak Perspectives: Philips

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Ahead of the launch of our retail peak research next week, we speak to Roel Overgoor, Global Digital Marketing Manager D2C at Philips.

Next week we’ll launch the findings from our new research looking at retail peak. Having surveyed over 400 UK and US marketers to understand what we can expect from Black Friday and the holidays in 2019, we also caught up with marketing leaders in the industry to get their perspectives. In this interview, we were joined by Roel Overgoor, Global Digital Marketing Manager D2C at Philips, to discuss his predictions and plans for the holiday season.

Hi Roel, first of all, it would be great if you could tell us a bit about peak planning at Philips?

So for peak we divide it up between what is centrally planned, organized and activated and what is activated and planned in the markets. For both aspects, we’ll start in summer, so pretty early! The first conversations and planning discussions for Black Friday, for example, kicked off in June. (Editor’s note – to give you a sneak peek at the research, 77.4% of retailers have started planning by August!)

As to what it involves, first we look at our proposition and our assortment for the holiday season. Then over July and August, we connect with the different markets on the actual planning, marketing budgets and forecasts.

It sounds like it can be quite complex, especially with lots of different markets. How do you prioritize what you need to do?

First, it’ll be the proposition we want to have, and then the level of discount, together with our assortment offering. That’s the basis of the campaign and therefore needs to happen first. After that it’s really about forecasting demands and getting all the stock levels and planning in place. This ensures we have enough time for the last step; the actual execution of bringing Black Friday to life on our platform and in our marketing. The advertising and the activation part is really the last piece and that can be done from September onwards.

I’d be interested to know what you think future holds for shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, especially, now we have things like Prime Day from Amazon?

I think there will be more! Indeed, days like Black Friday are already a big deal for our industry. Maybe in the future, every brand will try to claim its own day and moment. I think these types of activities will become almost always on. There’s always an event or type of day you can jump on as a brand or manufacturer. It used to be only the traditional moments, which weren’t specific to an industry or a market place, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s, that sort of thing. But now, brands are creating their own, so there’s a lot of opportunity.

Have you seen any impact from days like Black Friday and Prime Day on the traditional holiday shopping season?

Yes, during the holiday season we have noticed an impact. People are anticipating those big moments in the shopping calendar. Many retailers probably see a slow down in sales leading up to it. For example, if your normal growth rate is around 60%, in the weeks leading up to the Black Friday it can drop to like 20 or 30%, for example. Now Black Friday is getting so well known and consumers are so used to it, they’ll just postpone their purchase until the offers start.

Do you think that we’ll see any differences this year versus last year, or do you have any peak predictions you can share?

Other than generic trends such as mobile, and then the fact that days like Black Friday have become more well-known and mainstream across all industries, a big difference is the fact Black Friday will be pretty late this year. It’s really close to the holiday season compared to last year when there was still a gap between Black Friday and Christmas shopping. Based on this I anticipate that we’ll see a move toward consumers doing their Christmas shopping during Black Friday, as it’s so close together.

Aside from the shortened shopping time, what other challenges will you be contending with this peak season?

As a manufacturer, the sales we do ourselves are closely linked with really building a relationship with the consumer. Via a reseller or our retailers, we don’t really get that one-to-one relationship, so that’s always our main goal when we sell ourselves. So for example, ahead of Black Friday, offering visitors a chance to ‘pre-subscribe’ or opt-in via email so they come back to us on the day.

It’s a big reason why we sell anyway, especially during Black Friday, as for us it’s a bit newer than the pureplay e-tailers. We are looking to build up our data and get insights into how valuable these consumers are compared to our ‘every day’ new visitors.

So when you get these visitors and new traffic to your e-commerce site, are there any specific tactics you’re using to increase this data collection or increase conversions?

Yes, of course, so I’ve already mentioned the option to pre-subscribe to grow your base, for the people that are anticipating Black Friday. You can also use tactics like countdown timers and flash sales. But when it comes to the products and the assortments we carry, we’re steering more towards a subscription-based offering. 

A lot of our products naturally allow for a subscription model, so you already know that you can follow up. So, we’ll focus more on that side, products like the OneBlade razor, or toothbrushes with replacement brush heads than say, an air-fryer.

In the future, what would be interesting for us, at least, is to learn to which extent we can use Black Friday on Market Places and on platforms outside of our own webshop. We are in control of what we sell of course, but to what extent can we influence what happens with our brands and products during Black Friday on all the other places that we are being sold?


We’ll be releasing the full findings of our peak season research next week*, but until then… why not grab a sneak peek at some of the key insights to help you with your planning? Download your copy of our free Peak Season Preparation Checklist below:

*UPDATE: Find the research report here

5 Ways to Increase Conversion Rate

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Happy with your conversion rate? If not, read on for five top tips…

In the world of e-commerce, a conversion can mean many things. It can mean a customer has signed up for your webinar. Or subscribed to your email list. Or, of course, placed an order on your website.

The tough news? The average conversion rate is somewhere around 1% and 3%. So as you can imagine, finding a way to increase your conversion rate by even half a percentage point can be a massive boon for your online business.

But how do you increase conversion rate? This is the question on the mind of every digital marketer — and luckily there are more and more conversion rate optimization tools out there that are helping brands increase rates and take their online business to a new level. Here are a few ways they’re pulling this off

Analyzing the Customer Journey

One of the best ways to increase your conversion rate is through an analysis of the customer journey. Creating a customer journey map can help you identify things like: What’s working? What isn’t? And most importantly, where are users falling off in the journey and failing to convert? More and more powerful analytics tools are out there to help you answer these questions. 

Once you know the drop-off points in your customer journey, you can get to work fixing them and hopefully driving more conversions. For instance, maybe you want to offer a promotion to users on the order page to give them that final push toward conversion. 

Pro tip: Recommending products along the way during the customer journey is a great way to boost conversions. Beauty brand SKYN Iceland did just that and ended up seeing over a 7% increase in conversion rate. 

skyn ICELAND: increase conversion rate with product recommendations

Test and learn

Don’t find out your changes or messaging doesn’t work after launching it to all of your potential customers. Instead, rely on A/B testing. This form of testing allows you to test out quick yes or no questions about your campaign or site and get answers quickly. You can then apply these learnings to increase your conversion rate.

For instance, maybe you want to know if your CTA button should be red or blue. You could launch a blue CTA button to half of your users, and a red button to the rest of your users. Then see which CTA button drives more conversions and opt for that design! 

Pro tipA/B testing is valuable anywhere  — so make sure you test on mobile in addition to desktop and tablet versions of your site. Megabus A/B tested its customer journey optimizations to understand which tactics and messages resonated best with its visitors

Assess Page Design

Did you know 75% of consumers judge your website by its design? That’s right — it matters. So if you feature strange design choices or distracting imagery, you could lose credibility in the eyes of potential customers. 

There are lots of different best practices to consider when it comes to the UX and UI of your website, from the homepage to checkout. If you’ve mapped your customer journey, this will help you prioritise the changes you want to make. If you already have an idea of your problem areas, then download this guide to e-commerce design, where we take a look at the best examples of homepage, navigation, product pages and more!

Pro tipTrust psychology. One psychological principle to live by is the Law of Pragnanz, which posits that humans prefer simplicity to busy design. By this law of simplicity, you might find that you increase conversion rate when you emphasize white space, simple typography and bullet points to cleanly organize the information on your website. 

Use design principles to increase conversion rate by making it simple for your visitors!

Highlight Your Selling Points

Who is your audience? What are they looking for? How can you convince them that you fulfill their needs and provide value? Do this by outlining what you provide in clear, value-driven terms. Test different wording and ensure the design elements of your site show your brand in its best light. 

Pro tip: Highlighting unique services is a great way to convince customers of your value and drive more conversions. Luxury retailer Montblanc emphasized their unique premium services to stand out from the crowd — and drove a 41% uplift in conversion rate. 

Montblanc increase conversion rate by highlighting USPs

Use Social Proof

Sometimes simply writing convincing copy isn’t enough to increase your conversion rate. With social proof you can leverage the psychological principle that causes humans to fear missing out — though you probably know it as FOMO. Social proof shows a user the popularity of a given product, which raises their urgency to buy while also raising their trust in that product’s quality. 

Pro tip: You can take social proof even farther with time-of-day targeting. For instance, maybe you want to show users your campaign around lunchtime. Well soak.com did this in tandem with powerful dynamic social proof — and saw an 11% uplift in conversion rate among lunchtime browsers.

Ready to Increase Your Conversion Rate?

Increasing conversion rate doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re using the right technology and tactics. Put faith in data and empathize with the user — so you can fully understand what will convince them to take that final step toward conversion.

5 Back to School Marketing Ideas

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As Prime Day rolls around, it’s time to move on to the next big marketing event of the summer: back to school shopping!

If July is all about Prime Day, then August is time to really focus in on the next big summer event: your back to school marketing. Sure, the kids might not be too excited about this development, but e-commerce brands should be. Whether they’re browsing for deals on back to school supplies or seeking out that head-turning first day of school outfit, consumers see August as a chance to engage with their favorite brands. So it’s a great time for you to deliver relevant campaigns for parents and students alike.

The average family spends $70 on back to school supplies — slotting it in second place behind the winter holidays as the biggest spending season of the year. But when does back to school shopping peak? Google Trends data suggests searches start in August and spike toward the end of the month. And e-commerce is the choice for 45% of back to school shoppers, with more and more retailers seeing online as the primary way to reach consumers.   

So what are some examples of back to school campaigns that earn top honors from us?

Leveraging social proof with Everlane

Fitting in at school is tough. And what better way to empathize with that feeling than to use positive social media buzz in your back to school marketing? In Everlane’s back to school email campaign, they use the psychological concept of social proof to highlight how “people are talking” about their stylish selection of backpacks:

Back to school marketing from Everlane
Everlane’s back to school email campaign

Tip for top marks: Drum up FOMO and cut down on cart abandonment with Dynamic Social Proof, giving visitors real-time insights into the products others are interested in.

Thinking big with Urban Outfitters and Champion

Heading back to school is an aspirational time. It’s a chance for new beginnings, new goals, and a new attitude. Urban Outfitters teamed up with Champion for their “What Do You Champion?” campaign, which channeled this positive feeling and urged students to dream big and stand by their values. This is a powerful headspace — and the best back to school marketing highlights this emotion as September rolls around. 

Back to school marketing: Urban outfitters and Champion
Urban Outfitters and Champion

Tip for top marks: Working with “influencers” like Urban Outfitters did in this campaign is a great way to get social media talking. Fittingly, 72% of brands planned on increasing their social media investment for back to school 2018. Once you’ve got this traffic on-site, think about how you can link content and commerce, to push these users toward purchase.

Curating product pages with Uniqlo

Make it easy on your back to school shoppers by placing all of your deals and relevant products in one easy-to-navigate place. Uniqlo’s Back to School Basics did just this. And in addition to putting a selection of back to school-appropriate clothes on this page, Uniqlo goes the extra mile by giving style advice for the new school year. 

Back to school marketing: Uniqlo back to school campaign

Tip for top marks: Direct visitors to your curated landing page with a subtle notification triggered when they land on-site, or help them discover the specific items they are looking for with a quiz!

Remarketing with Kickers

Once you’ve got customers on your site, the goal is to keep them there! Remarketing is a powerful tool that should be top of your back to school marketing wish list! A staple of the back to school world in the UK, Kickers worked to spot and stop abandonment behaviour by offering users leaving the site a little something extra:

Tip for top marks: Don’t stop with a great offer. Also tell your users why your brand is different. Turning consumers toward the unique services your brand offers is a great way to drive engagement. For example luxury retailer Montblanc highlights its unique premium services, driving a 41% increase in conversion.  

Creating interactive campaigns with Elave Skincare

Back to school can be an exciting time. Why not tap into that excitement with some interactive back to school marketing? That was Elave Skincare’s idea with their creative back to school skincare competition, where users had the chance to win three skincare collections after following their Twitter account.

Tip for top marks: highlight competitions you’re running as part of your back to school marketing on your site using a Floating Button. See how nail care brand Essie targeted new visitors with a competition using this tactic to boost entries and its customer database.

17 Amazon Prime Day 2019 Stats and Facts

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Amazon Prime Day 2019 is right around the corner. Here’s everything you need to know about the shopping holiday!

In less than a month (on July 15th in fact) Amazon Prime Day 2019 will once again excite shoppers with plenty of can’t-miss discounts and promotions. As always, there will be plenty of tactics e-commerce marketers can learn from, but ahead of the big day here are some key Amazon Prime Day stats you should know.

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Results

First up, what can we learn from Prime Day 2018?

1. The most popular Prime Day ever. Prime Day continues to get bigger every year, and in 2018 Amazon reported that they sold over 100 million products during Prime Day 2018.

2. Eclipsing Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Prime Day really is “Christmas in July”, with Prime Day 2018 once again outshining these popular holiday season consumer bonanzas in terms of sales.

3. Amazon’s own products rule Prime Day. Some worldwide bestsellers included Amazon heavyweights like the Fire TV Stick and Echo Dot.

4. The Echo resonates. Prime Day was another chance for Amazon’s Echo devices to dominate the smart-home product market, of which Amazon now owns a 75% market share.

5. The launch of Prime Day Launches. Prime Day isn’t just a good time to gain new Amazon Prime subscribers. It’s also become a time for Amazon to premier new products. Last year some new Echo products made their debuts around the time of Prime Day and some are likely to this year as well.

6. A whole lot of Whole Foods deals. Amazon made the most of its new Whole Foods acquisition, offering deals in the brick-and-mortar stores. The bestselling Whole Foods product last year? Organic strawberries.

7. What else did people buy? Parents made the most of Prime Day 2018, snapping up over 500,000 toys. Not to be outshined, pet moms and dads bought 190,000 pet products. According to Amazon.co.uk, 287,000 items of clothing, 400,000 beauty products and 48,000 lawn-and-garden products were also sold.

amazon prime day 2019: what did people buy last year?
What did people buy on Prime Day? Source: Percy Group

Amazon Prime Day 2019: What to Expect

And what should we expect from Amazon Prime Day 2019?

8. Prime Day becomes Prime DaysLast year, Prime Day extended to 36 hours. Rumor has it this year could go as long as 48 hours long.

9. Pre-Prime Day sales. Even if Prime Day 2019 goes longer than ever, Prime Day has stretched for weeks in the past, with sales being launched well in advance of the day itself. In fact, the Echo Show (2nd gen) is already $65 off.

10. Will it go off without a hitch? Last year some customers were disappointed to see the Amazon website crash at the outset of Prime Day. Still, this glitch didn’t slow down Amazon from having an enormous day of sales.

11. Ripples across the shopping landscape. Not to be outdone, past Prime Days have encouraged retailers like Target and Wal-Mart to offer their own special days of rival deals. Look for that to happen again in 2019.

Prime Day Deals to Know

Which products and product categories will Amazon be focusing on this Prime Day?

12. Electronics will once again take the lead. While you can get a good deal on just about anything on Prime Day, past deals and early discounts indicate that Amazon will once again focus on marking down smart home products, kitchen gadgets, robotic vacuums and other high-tech products.  

13. Apple enters the game. Amazon is now an authorized seller of Apple Products, so we may see markdowns on Macbooks and iPads.0

14. Gamers rejoice. Gaming products, such as premium gaming laptops and handhelds, have been significantly discounted in the past. As the gaming industry only grows, look for more of the same.0

15. Cooking up deals on kitchen products. Last year, the top-selling non-Amazon product during 2018 Prime Day was the Instant Pot. It’s actually been a great performer for the past three years, likely encouraging more sales and incentives on other kitchen gadgets.

Prime Day: A Marketer’s Perspective

What can marketers take away from Prime Day?

16. Mobile is the move. Prime Day continues to become more of an event on mobile, with the Amazon app being among the most popular across-app stores.

17. More deals, more conversions. In 2018, conversion rates on Amazon increased by 4.5%, up to 11.7% on the Monday of Prime Day. This number could spike even higher in 2019 assuming the servers hold up to all the traffic this time. Savyy retailers cashed in during 2018 Prime Day, running promotions at the same time to benefit from the Prime Day ‘halo effect’:

amazon prime day 2019: 2018 saw a boost in traffic for many retailers
Traffic on Prime Day vs. the average. Source: SimilarWeb

Shoppers around the world are already getting primed — and for good reason! Prime Day 2019 is already shaping up to be another game-changing day of deep discounts. Do you have plans to cash in on Prime Day this July?

As you begin to lock down plans for your own peak trading season, make sure to sign up to our mailing list for all the updates as we publish our latest resources. We’ll be sharing data, tips and tricks to help you get the most out of 2019.


Supercharge your Customer Journey

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Learn how to harness the power of predictive analytics to personalize the customer journey in this webinar.

Understanding the customer journey and how this evolves throughout a customers lifecycle is key to creating a data-driven personalization strategy that gets results.

In this webinar we join forces with customer analytics experts Custora to take a look at how predictive analytics and personalization can be combined to grow revenue and improve customer lifetime value.

But first, lets take a quick look at why you might want to do that!

Consider the following stats:

Supercharge your Customer Journey: personalization stats

From this, we can see that personalization is in high demand – from customers and from marketers. Yet expectations are not being met, because personalization can be pretty hard to implement (in fact it’s rated among the hardest marketing tactic to implement, aside from artificial intelligence and machine learning)

Not only that, but new privacy regulations such as the GDPR, and a greater awareness of these among consumers, means that marketers need to be more careful with which data they use, as well as how they collect it.

So what’s a marketer to do?

Great personalization is based on great data, so having a better insight into what the data you already have means, naturally leads on to more powerful personalization, and better customer journeys.

In this webinar we take a look at a few different stages of the customer journey, and how predictive analytics can help feed great personalization.

Watch below to learn:

  1. More on why predictive analytics and personalization are more powerful together.
  2. How to create and use personas and segments effectively for personalization
  3. How to identify high-value segments, and personalize their customer journey
  4. How to predict and prevent customer churn

Want more on optimizing the customer journey? Check out our other resources for free guides, case studies and more, or download the lookbook below for a bitesize guide to creating personalized customer journeys:

The Customer Journey Lookbook

CRO Tools: 5 features to look out for

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Finding the CRO tools that work best for your e-commerce site can be a challenge. Here are 5 tips to put you on the right path.

In this blog we’ll unpack what you need to be looking for when it comes to CRO tools.

The customer journey can be a long and winding road. Along the way there are twists and turns — and hopefully not too many speed bumps. Think of conversion rate optimization (CRO) as the process of improving this journey so that you can better drive customers toward a conversion. The conversion rate optimization tools help you eliminate any detours that prevented conversions — and they ease the twists and turns on the path, making the customer journey as smooth and seamless as possible.

Why CRO tools?

To answer why CRO tools, first let’s talk about why we need CRO (conversion rate optimization). Put simply: You get more conversions. Visitors become leads, and leads become paying customers. Simple as that.

But a broader benefit of effective conversion rate optimization is the sense of control it gives a marketer. You can finally begin to understand those enduring “why?” questions at the center of your brand experience. Why are customers falling out of the funnel before converting? Why are customers who do X convert but customers who do Y leave your site without a purchase?

Effective CRO is – and always will be – centered on providing a more cogent, logical and overall pleasant customer journey. (In fact, we’d argue that CRO is actually evolving to CJO – Customer Journey Optimization)

Once you can answer these questions, you can begin to solve for crucial problems in your customer journey, improve the experience for your customers and — of course — drive more conversions.

Five features to look out for in your CRO tools

1. A data-driven foundation

Understanding the customer journey shouldn’t be a guessing game. Finding a tool that leverages your existing data and makes it easy to parse and understand is essential for effective conversion rate optimization.

And with more channels and devices than ever, there’s more data to analyze regarding each customer’s journey. Using tools that help you map your customer journey will give you an understanding of things like the mobile experience and the channels users might be navigating via to get to your site – a crucial first step toward optimizing for conversions.

CRO tools: customer journey mapping is a key tool
Customer Journey map examples

Further reading: organize your data and know which sources to use and more in this guide to creating a customer journey map

2. Effective segmentation

How do different parts of your user base behave? For instance, are certain users filling up their shopping cart, but abandoning this cart before checkout? Finding a CRO tool that segments based on this behavior is the first step towards personalized marketing that delivers relevant messaging at the right time.

Maybe once you segment those users who abandon their cart before converting, you can instead deliver a special promotion to them that helps encourage a conversion — turning cart abandoners into paying customers.

Behavioral segmentation will also help you focus your efforts, as some visitor segments will be worth prioritising over others. For example, while your returning visitors might be less numerous than your new ones, on average they have the highest average order value:

CRO tools: look for behavioral segmentation capabilities
Source: Meet Your Visitors

Further reading: get ideas on 7 ways to segment your visitors in this guide to behavioral segmentation

3. Seamless A/B testing

The best conversion optimization tools make A/B testing a seamless process. If, for example, you’re running a test where the A group sees your existing landing page and your B group sees a new landing page that features adjusted graphics, you don’t want to be tying up IT resources to build and launch this new page.

Continuous improvement and analysis is a cornerstone of a successful e-commerce marketing program – allowing you to make decisions based on scientific data, learning constantly about what makes your customers click, sign-up or buy. It allows you to zero in on elements of the customer journey and optimize the key touch points, conversions and micro conversions by showing the right message to the right person at the right moment, all of which is knowable with good data.

Using CRO tools that enable you to quickly tweak your UX helps you uncover valuable insights about your customer journey at a faster rate so that you can launch improvements in no time.

Further reading: for more on A/B Testing, check out this guide.

4. Mobile focus

Any CRO tool you use must understand the modern customer experience. This journey is mobile-driven and non-linear — so your CRO tool must give you the insight needed to make such a modern journey as frictionless as possible.

The linear path belief likely springs from the outdated information of mobile’s poor conversion rate. Because mobile historically converted at a lower rate, it wasn’t worth our attention. It was a starting point in the journey and unthinkable for anyone to convert on such a small screen.

It’s certainly true that whilst traffic continues to increase across mobile devices, conversions aren’t keeping pace. But here’s the important thing: mobile conversion rates are increasing, and will only continue to do so as the way we shop develops further.

CRO tools: look for mobile focus
Share of conversions across mobile, desktop and tablet in 2018

Further reading: debunk Mobile and M-commerce myths with this guide.

5. Fast and easy personalization

Once you’ve gained an understanding of your visitors, mapped their journey, and prioritized your target audiences it all comes down to the execution.

One of the top CRO tactics in any modern marketers arsenal is personalization. But Personalization has always been kind of a drag – most platforms take months to get up-and-running and then demand hours upon hours of skilled time in order to execute. In fact, 30% of marketers rate personalization among their most difficult executions (it’s up there with machine learning).

When assessing your CRO tools, take into account the involvement needed from your IT team, as this will have a big impact on the velocity of your CRO program. The more you can launch and test, the faster you’ll be able to improve your customer journey (and your conversion rate). Look for tools that can integrate easily with your current stack, and deliver on personalization without the fuss.

Further reading: learn why 2019 really is the year of personalization in this guide to personalizing the customer journey.

And that’s it! Don’t forget to check out the further reading recommended for each of these 5 features, and if you need a little help getting started let us know.


5 Fashion E-Commerce Trends for 2019

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Which fashion e-commerce trends are taking off in 2019?

In 2019, the internet is a consumer’s first stop when looking for the latest fashion. So it’s no wonder fashion e-commerce is a fertile space for game-changing trends that set the tone for other industries. And in such a crowded, competitive space, the top brands are doing everything they can to innovate and stay at the front of the pack. Now that we’re almost half way through 2019, here are some of the top fashion e-commerce trends to emerge.

The rise of experiential e-commerce

One of the biggest challenges in fashion e-commerce is the rate of returns. After all, online shoppers are tasked with finding clothes that fit even though they don’t have the opportunity to try these clothes on before buying. Online shoppers already tend to over-order to ensure they find the right size, and there’s a growing trend driven by social media to “snap and send back” whereby consumers buy simply for the purposes of posting an #OOTD (Outfit of the day) picture on Instagram, then return the item(s).

While some have taken extreme measures to tackle the latter issue, such as online fashion giant ASOS’ plan to block serial returners, there are other ways brands are innovating to fix the fit challenge.

To meet this challenge, brands are now investing in solutions such as augmented reality technology that enables shoppers to “try clothes on” in virtual fitting rooms, and fit tools that harness the power of big data to recommend the best size. Brands are also focusing on doing a better job at highlighting customer reviews, as well as surfacing fit information on product pages. These innovations are making users less reliant on brick and mortar stores and are reducing returns by up to 50% .

M&S showcase an average fit score based on customer ratings and reviews

Fashion e-commerce gets personal

Understanding customers is the first step toward offering them the right product at the right time. With more data and tools available to understand the customer journey, brands are doing a better job of creating a shopping experience that is personal and relevant to a user’s preferences.

It’s believed that 75% of consumers prefer it when brands offer personalized messaging, offers, and experiences. In the same way that Netflix recommends shows based on past viewing habits, fashion brands are doing a better job of offering relevant clothes and accessories based on previous purchases.

Don’t have enough data to do this? Innovative fashion retailers are borrowing from the beauty industry, creating a value exchange via consultative quiz content to help visitors discover the right products for them.

Fashion e-commerce trends: Ouidad
Ouidad shapes blog traffic via a ‘curl type’ quiz

Mobile becomes the standard

We live in a mobile world. With smartphones in their pockets at all times, more and more users are browsing and making purchase decisions on their phone rather than in front of a laptop. This reality is making an impact in fashion e-commerce — and it’s time for brands to keep pace.

Many brands have started to make their websites more mobile-friendly, offering optimized page layouts for easier scrolling. And while offering a good purchasing experience on mobile tends to be the hardest piece of the puzzle to get right, stores are making it easier for users by storing payment information, or integrating with payment providers so that buying that new dress you’ve had your eye on can be accomplished with just a tap of your screen. For more tips on mobile (and a few m-commerce myths debunked) check out our guide on the topic.

Fashion e-commerce trends: free ebook

Instagram leads the way

Anyone interested in fashion e-commerce trends should be paying attention to Instagram. The photo-sharing social media platform is quickly becoming the central hub for branded fashion content and powerful user-generated marketing. In the fashion industry, it can be difficult to build trust. By turning to influencers, fashion brands can gain endorsements from trusted product curators who boast massive followings.

Not only that, but retailers could learn a thing or two from Instagram when it comes to shopping on mobile. The app has made the customer journey to purchase easier than ever with a native payment integration into the app.

Fashion e-commerce trends: instagram checkout
Zara’s Instagram Checkout

The sharing economy extends to fashion

Services such as Airbnb and Uber leverage technology so that it’s easier and cheaper to book a place while traveling or to move from point A to point B. This ethos is now extending to the fashion industry, where the sharing economy is making it easier than ever for consumers to get expensive looks affordably, either through renting or swapping outfits.

While the idea has been around for a while, with services such as Rent-the-Runway catering to designer tastes, it’s Chinese consumers that are taking the concept mainstream. In a competitive economy, China’s post-’90s generation rents outfits to keep up with fast-changing trends. And since formalwear isn’t a key category in China, spend is focused on casual wear.

Fashion e-commerce trends: sharing economy
Source: Vogue Business

The impact on fashion e-commerce is dramatic. Brands can offer users great outfits without having to worry about wholesaling or manufacturing. Instead, they can simply focus on providing an easy-to-navigate customer experience. It’s no wonder such accessible and affordable models are taking their place among the top fashion e-commerce trends.

Fashion e-commerce trends: in conclusion

The major trends in fashion e-commerce revolve around novel solutions to enduring difficulties in the industry. By leveraging powerful technology, fashion brands are finding ways to mitigate the downsides of shopping online and are instead creating assistive, seamless experiences that inevitably lead to more conversions.

At the heart of great fashion e-commerce lies an empathy for the consumer. Understanding the journey they’re on — their goals, their preferences, their values — and then using tools to create an experience that adjusts to that journey is taking fashion e-commerce to new and exciting places. 

Fashion e-commerce trends: free ebook

GDPR and Marketing: One Year On

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As we approach the first anniversary of the regulation’s staging date we uncover the (surprising) impact of GDPR on marketing.

This time last year, marketers were waiting with bated breath to learn the impact of GDPR on marketing as it came into effect on 25th May 2018 across the EU. But while the weeks pre-GDPR saw 1000s of column inches dedicated to worst-case scenarios, the story since then has been less clear. One year on, we decided to investigate – and the results were a little surprising.

To understand the impact of GDPR on marketing, we surveyed 250 UK marketers in the lead-up to the first anniversary of the regulation’s staging date.

Overall, the story that emerged is a pleasant surprise – marketing databases have successfully recovered to 93% of their pre-GDPR levels.

But within the data lies more stories of struggle and areas for improvement – recovery has been hard work because the losses were at first pretty substantial. Read on to learn which industries were the biggest losers, which recovery tactics proved most popular (and successful!) and who still has work to do when it comes to mitigating against the impact of GDPR.

GDPR and marketing databases: the biggest losers

Perhaps the most surprising takeaway here was that more than one-fifth of marketers surveyed (21.6%) claim that they did not lose any of their email databases due to the impact of GDPR  (including, unsurprisingly, all the legal businesses surveyed).

The picture wasn’t so rosy for everyone else. The average marketer lost 23% of their database, and more than one-third lost more than 30%.

GDPR and Marketing Databases

The majority of marketers saw losses due to taking a proactive approach toward consent, such as deleting contacts to ensure compliance. However, consumer action, such as choosing to opt out, also had a sizeable impact, with over 40% of marketers citing this as the main reason for database depletion post-GDPR:

GDPR and Marketing: compliance or consent?

What types of businesses were most impacted by GDPR?

The sectors who lost out the most were Travel & Transport, IT & Telecoms and Finance.

GDPR and Marketing: impact by size and by industry

But the good news is that they fought back. Within this group of hard-hit businesses, a trend toward greater database recovery emerged. For example, the media industry and IT/telecoms industry saw +27% and +29% regrowth respectively.

For some sectors, the picture is now better than ever: retail saw some of the best database regrowth since last year, reaching 101% of its pre-GDPR database size. Travel & Transport is the one industry that has the longest way to go, with travel marketing databases at 74% of last year’s levels.

GDPR and Marketing: database regrowth by industry

This pattern of the hardest-hit being the best-recovered continued as a trend in business sizes. Larger businesses generally lost a greater proportion of data last year, on average losing 29% of their contacts, but have recovered at a rate of 24%. In comparison, businesses with less than 100 employees have only recovered by 18%.

GDPR and Marketing: regrowth by size

How have marketers recovered from GDPR?

While recovery is not yet complete for many, efforts to date have yielded positive results. Particularly evident from the study is the diversity of data-capture tactics utilized. The high regrowth rate achieved by some of the hardest-hit, such as larger businesses, was driven by the usage of a wide range of strategies, from loyalty programs to content optimization, as well as more traditional approaches such as competitions and incentivized newsletter sign-ups.

Romain Sestier, VP Product and Data at Yieldify, said: “The results of the study really confirm the trends that we’ve been seeing amongst many of our clients over the last year: recovery from GDPR is completely achievable if you employ a smart and diverse range of strategies.

“We’ve created nearly 3,000 lead capture journeys in the last year, resulting in over 2.6 million new email leads for our clients’ CRMs – and even better, these contacts are usually far more engaged than those that were lost in May last year.”

Thomas Cook Airlines was one of the first of Yieldify’s clients to prepare for GDPR by incorporating explicit opt-in into its Save My Booking functionality. This was designed to mitigate against booking abandonment by offering exiting users the option to save their booking for later by entering their email address and explicitly opting-in to re-engagement:

Thomas Cook Airlines: a GDPR compliant lead generation strategy

The business had previously sent booking recovery emails without explicit opt-in – a strategy that would no longer have been valid under GDPR.

This strategy succeeded in re-engaging visitors at high risk of being lost from the booking funnel, putting them on a journey towards conversion. The GDPR-friendly approach also surfaced key learnings: whilst send volumes were smaller, the open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates were significantly higher.

Did the impact of GDPR meet with marketers’ expectations?

Before GDPR came into effect, while there was a lot of speculation, there was no definitive answer as to what the impact on marketing would be. This lack of clarity was reflected in the expectations marketers had around the impact of GDPR…which turned out to be pretty inaccurate.

Despite the scaremongering around email marketing and ad personalization in particular, many marketers were still unpleasantly surprised: one-third (32.40%) and a quarter (24.4%) respectively said the impact was worse than predicted.

In contrast to this, the impact on other areas was better than expected, on average 25.5% of marketers said that the impact on overall acquisition, website personalization and single customer view was better – or much better – than expected.

GDPR and Marketing: how expectations were met

The impact of GDPR: in conclusion

This time last year, marketers were heading into the unknown – but our data shows largely positive results when it comes to the efforts being made to rebuild email databases in a post-GDPR world. While the strategies to date have worked well for some, there are still areas for improvement when it comes to the GDPR and marketing.

The focus now should be on making up for lost time by employing a smart range of data collection tactics to ensure you’re performing in line with the industry benchmarks outlined above. And if you need a hand with that, we’re here to help. We’re offering one month of free email capture to new clients, click here to request your free demo today.


This research was conducted by Censuswide, an independent market research consultancy, with 250 UK marketers who have access to an email database. Fieldwork was carried out between 09.05.2019 – 13.05.2019.

Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society. All survey panellists are double opted in, which is in line with MRS code of conduct and ESOMAR standards.

The Pitfalls of Website Personalization: What IT leaders should know

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Website personalization is now essential in today’s e-commerce landscape, but when it comes to success, marketing isn’t the only team involved.

Much has been written about how personalized marketing, and within this website personalization, can help marketers and drive commercial gains. But in today’s competitive landscape, the truth is that marketing is rarely the only team involved in getting personalization up and running, never-mind making a success of it. And nor should it be – personalization is more than just a marketing challenge, it’s an organizational challenge, and a complex one at that:

Website personalization organizational challenges

Source: BCG Global Survey on Personalization

Resources, roadmap, cross-functional co-ordination, and an inability to test and learn rapidly are just some of the barriers to personalization facing organizations today. Fortunately, IT teams are well placed to help marketing, and the wider business, overcome many of these issues. So how can IT teams get involved in rising to these challenges, and why should they care?

How does personalization benefit IT?

While personalization has long been seen as the preserve of the marketing team, attitudes are changing. In fact, 30% of IT professionals rank delivering real-time personalization as one of the most exciting opportunities of the next three years.

IT and personalization
Source: Adobe Digital Intelligence Briefing 2018 Digital Trends in IT

If we take a look at some of the top challenges to achieving personalization, then it becomes clearer as to why IT leaders are so excited. First up, resources – a tool that enables marketers to easily make front end changes to the website frees up resource in IT, freeing up time to focus on other priorities. Provided implementation is light, this ability to easily make changes to website also helps solve the issue of testing velocity. While traditional A/B tests might take a long time to set up, reach significance (and at the end of the day not actually reveal that much of value), testing changes via a website personalization tool can validate hypotheses and help prioritise a testing and development roadmap, increasing the time spent on meaningful experiments and site changes.

What role should IT take in a website personalization project?

Again, lets come back to the challenges within implementing personalization successfully. Aside from organizational barriers, one of the most oft-cited is data:

Barriers to website personalization goals for IT teams and the wider organization
Source: eMarketer

IT are often the gatekeepers of an organizations data, and while marketers may  have the technology they need to build and launch successful personalization programs, IT are the team that can help improve performance better by ensuring that all divisions of the organization, from personalization in marketing to customer support and product development are all on the same page when it comes to data.

From a more practical perspective, IT are also well versed in assessing technology and how it will integrate with the existing stack. According to Gartner, 35% of organisations’ technology budget will be spent outside of the IT department by 2020. IT is now pivotal across the organization in helping select the right tools, as well as driving value from those tools once implemented.

What are some personalization pitfalls to avoid?

As we’ve seen so far, personalization can get complicated, especially as it can involve so many stakeholders. So what are some pitfalls that IT in particular should be looking out for?

One of the top concerns for any IT professional is safety. Issues such as data breaches, technology failures and downtime have risen to the fore as the technology landscape has become more complicated. For e-commerce businesses in particular, downtime means revenue lost, and depending on the size of the business this can potentially run into the millions. At the extreme end, it’s estimated that one hour of downtime on prime day last year cost Amazon between $72 and $99 million dollars. Ensuring that your website and any integrated technologies such as personalization tools can cope with challenges such as large volumes of traffic during peak trading periods is an important consideration for IT.

Connected with this idea of safety is the importance of assessing the implementation and integrations involved with any personalization project. How long will it take to get up and running (and when will this start to drive value?), as well as the resource it will take to actually start your website personalization journey, are all questions that IT should have involvement in.

We’ve outlined more on the particular pitfalls IT should look out for in this short guide. Click below to download your copy, and learn more about the top three pitfalls IT can help your organization avoid, and what they should look for within each.

Free download: avoiding the pitfalls of personalization

Website Personalization Tools: 5 factors to consider when choosing yours

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Website personalization tools are becoming an essential part of the e-commerce marketer’s technology stack. Here’s what to look for when choosing yours…

Website personalization tools have been the hot topic now in marketing for a few years, and the interest shows no signs of waning any time soon. At the end of last year we spoke to 200 marketers about their plans for 2019, and despite the fact many marketers rated website personalization as among the most difficult strategies to implement, it topped the list of priorities for the year ahead, just behind customer feedback and customer journey mapping. 

And it’s not just marketers who are demanding website personalization. When users visit your website, they expect content that is engaging and relevant to their needs. In short, they’re looking for a personalized experience that delivers just the right message, at just the right time. 

One of the biggest challenges when implementing a website personalization strategy is selecting the right tool for the job. Not only do you have to consider what you want to achieve with website personalization, but new privacy regulations, such as the GDPR are adding to the challenge of which datasets you can actually use.

If you’re choosing a website personalization tool for the first time, or looking to upgrade your existing stack, this blog will cover what what you need to know.

What’s Website Personalization?

Before we delve into the must-have features of a website personalization tool, it’s helpful to define exactly what we mean by personalization. There are a lot of different definitions out there, and these have evolved over time as technology has advanced.

Today, we can define personalization as follows: aiming to deliver a tailored message to a user at a particular point in their journey. This is usually achieved with two things: your data and your website personalization tool.

Here at Yieldify, we see personalization as an evolution of conversion rate optimization (CRO), but not the end of the story. A good website personalization tool will allow you to optimize multiple parts of the onsite experience, applying the concept of personalization to the whole customer journey, rather than just one or two touchpoints.  

Now let’s take a look at how to evaluate website personalization tools, before jumping into more on the factors to consider when choosing yours.

How to Evaluate Website Personalization Tools

Personalization has come a long way since the classic Amazon personalized product recommendations, and website personalization tools come in many flavors – which is why it can be so difficult to select the right one for your site! Content Management (CMS) and Marketing Automation tools are also starting to offer some simple forms of personalization, adding further complexity. Here we’ll focus on website personalization software designed specifically for the job.  

Before investing in a website personalization tool, you should know what you you’re seeking to accomplish. Do you want to show product recommendations? Collect email addresses? Use contextual data to show social proof? Or segment, and select data to pinpoint the right messaging for the right customer?

Knowing what’s needed prior to purchasing a platform or software saves money, minimizes frustration and maximizes marketing benefits. At this point, your first step should be to make a list:

  1. Your goals for investing in a website personalization tool
  2. The tool’s ‘must-have’ features
  3. What are you prepared to compromise on?

With your specifications in hand, you’re ready to start searching the marketplace. There are few good ways to see what your options might be:

  • Use a tag-monitoring plug-in such as BuiltWith to visit sites similar to yours to see which tools they’re using
  • Talk to your stack: ask your existing partners which website personalization they integrate with 
  • Visit third party review platforms such as G2Crowd and Capterra to check out which tools have the best write-ups

Ready to start your search? To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled our top 5 factors to consider when it comes to website personalization tools…

Resources

Before you even start looking at website personalization tools, evaluate your internal resources. Marketers cite lack of internal knowledge and expertise as one of the biggest challenges in implementing a successful personalization program. Not only that, but as different tools come with different service models you’ll need to find one that aligns with your needs.

Any technology investment is only as good as the use you’re able to make of it, so having the right people in place is really the key to a successful implementation. You have a few options here…

1. Managing personalization in-house

Having someone internally who will take on the responsibility of driving your website optimization and personalization roadmap is the ideal, but finding this person can be a challenge both from a skills and budget perspective. In fact, 61% of companies report that resources for personalization are limited or not available due to lack of time or budget.

“Marketing’s lack of digital, technology and data analytics skills is often cited as a major impediment to personalization efforts.”

Gartner, 2019

Really consider whether your team not only have the insight and expertise to run a personalization project, but the capacity! If it’s going to be a challenge then consider the following option…

2. A managed service from website personalization tools

A partial, or fully managed service can help fill the skills gap often seen with personalization. Additionally, this option opens up the possibility of gaining insights and best practices from across the vendors client-base.

Ensure you’re clear on how much support you think you’ll need – it’s a good idea to ask your vendor for examples of how they service other clients of your size, with similar goals, if you’re unsure, or take a look at case studies showcasing how they’ve worked with other clients, and what they’ve achieved.

This option is probably one of the safest if you’re unsure you’ll be able to manage a personalization project fully internally, as both you and your vendor will be invested in ensuring you get the best value from the technology.

3. Working with an external agency

The third option, and somewhat of a ‘middle ground’ when it comes to the level of expertise it brings to the table, is to work with an agency. Traditionally agencies have been more focused on conversion rate optimization than personalization, so you probably won’t find the level of knowledge you’d get with a vendor services team.

They often have established relationships with preferred providers – so this may also narrow the field, and is of course an additional cost to factor in. As the agency model becomes increasingly complex across marketing as whole, how to select the right agency partner for personalization could fill another blog post entirely!

Whatever option you go with, being honest about your capacity to deliver on the implementation of whatever website personalization tools you choose is an important factor to consider from the outset.

Data

Aside from resources, one of the biggest obstacles to personalization is data. Just take a look at this chart form eMarketer:

Website personalization tools: most effective tactics
Source: eMarketer

Nearly two thirds of marketers in 2019 rate data-driven personalization as difficult to achieve, more-so than any other marketing tactic. But does it have to be so difficult?

Many marketers are hung up on ‘1-to-1’ personalization, but with the vast quantity of data now available, achieving this can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. The important thing then to consider is being able to access the right data that you need to achieve the desired result.

This is where you need to evaluate a few things:

  • How accessible is your data – it it siloed across the business or all in one place?
  • What’s the quality of the data like?
  • Can you use it for the purposes of personalization?

Bringing together data that is siloed across your business, and may not be of the best quality, or even legally usable may not actually be the best option if you’re looking to get a personalization project up and running quickly.

For website personalization, luckily you have other options! You’re able to take advantage of a rich data source (your website) so ensure that the tool you choose has the ability to segment, target and trigger your campaigns based on visitor behaviour. Which brings us nicely on to the next thing to look out for…features and integrations.

Features and Integrations

As we discussed earlier in this blog, personalization means a lot of different things to different people. This is where you again need to go back to your goals for your website personalization project, and think about the functionality you will need to achieve them.

Here are a few features you might want to consider adding to your checklist when it comes to selecting a website personalization tool:

Depending on your goals you might want to look for other options too, for example if acquisition if a big deal for you, is there a lead capture function? This also raises the question of integrations i.e. how does the tool fit and share data with your existing stack such as:

  • Your Email Service Provider (ESP)
  • Your CRM
  • Your CMS
  • Your customer reviews platform
  • Payment providers
  • And more!

ROI and Time to Value

There has been a lot written on the business case for personalization:

“Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent, lift revenues by 5 to 15 percent, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30 percent.”

McKinsey, Marketing’s Holy Grail: Digital Personalization at scale

But what about when it comes to proving value for your business?

One of the biggest challenges in demonstrating the success of a personalization project, is not only showing a positive return on investment, but showing this impact in a timely fashion. When speaking with website personalization tools ensure you’re asking how long it takes to get up and running from a technical perspective, but also how long it will take to start seeing value.

This is where working directly with your website personalization tool, rather than an agency or in-house can have huge benefits. The best website personalization tools will come with a tried and tested methodology and should be able to provide you roadmap for success.

For example, here at Yieldfy we are lucky to have data from over 200,000 visitor journeys, and so our services team can apply insights from this data to our new clients, helping ensure they prioritise the right campaigns (we’re so confident in this that we guarantee you’ll have your first journey live within 14 days!). Having a partner that can offer a solid plan for success will save your time and money in the long-run, typically we see an 80% reduction in time clients are spending developing and running personalization tests.

Customer Journey Driven

Finally, we couldn’t finish without mentioning the customer. At the heart of it, personalization is all about putting your visitors and customers at the centre of what you do. Here at Yieldify we believe that successful personalization is part of the wider discipline of Customer Journey Optimization (CJO).

CJO is all about using a data-driven approach to improve the whole customer journey rather than personalizing just one touchpoint. When evaluating website personalization tools, choosing one that can help you do this means finding a partner that can offer:

  • Customer journey mapping or analysis: understanding the touchpoints you need to optimize is the first step toward creating a personalization plan that will have real impact
  • Benchmark data: so, not only looking at your own customer journeys, but comparing to your peers and competitors to give you a guide to what you can achieve and expect
  • Strategic guidance: based on your objectives and goals (long-term and short-term) what are the best tactics to prioritize?
  • Continuous optimization: the ability to evolve and improve your personalization strategy over time, based on data

And that’s it! Your 5 factors to consider when choosing a website personalization tool. We hope you’ve found it useful, but if you still have questions then we recommend you check out our free guide to Personalizing the Customer Journey, or take advantage of our free consultation service.

How these Six Travel Trends are Impacting the Customer Journey

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Learn how these 6 technology, demographic and behavioural travel trends are impacting the online customer journey.

Understanding travel trends is essential to improving the customer journey in an increasingly competitive, but booming market. In the United States alone, domestic and inbound travelers generated almost $2.5 trillion in economic output in 2018. Internationally, the travel industry has seen remarkable growth over the last few years, much of which has been driven by the rise in online travel sales. Yet the rise of the online travel market has transformed the landscape completely, altering the traditional value chain forever. For marketers looking to capitalize on the growth of travel online, understanding consumer behaviour and the customer journey toward booking is imperative.

Six Online Travel Trends Worth Following

For travel marketers today understanding the current travel trends and customer journey is essential, but with so much change it can be hard to know what to focus on. If you want to build a travel customer journey that converts, the below technology, demographic and behavioural trends are worth noting.

Travel technology trends

Technology has always been a big part of the travel industry. From the first airline computer reservation system launched back in the early 1960s by IBM and American Airlines, travel has grown to be one of the most significant e-commerce verticals. Yet, like others, it hasn’t always stayed on top of the technology trends impacting the customer journey. So what are the need-to-know travel trends driven by todays technology?

Mobile optimization

Smartphones have become an essential part of traveling. For Americans, more than 70% of all travelers claim to “always” use their smartphone while on travel. Why? Smartphones give travelers easy access to researching activities, attractions, restaurants, shopping centers and directions in areas they are unfamiliar with. What does this mean for you? Your website absolutely must be optimized for mobile devices. Some businesses have even focused totally on mobile, such as HotelTonight, an accommodation booking app that takes advantage of the location-based nature of mobile browsers, as well as tapping into the rise in last minute booking behavior (but more on that later!). Recently acquired by Airbnb, it’s clearly doing something right.

HotelTonight capitalizes on the travel trend toward mobile and last minute booking
Source: HotelTonight mobile app

Website personalization

As the digital marketing world continues to evolve, the opportunities to personalize your website and marketing are unlimited. According to Infosys, customer surveys indicate that roughly 31% of all shoppers wish their visit was much more personalized. In fact, 71% of all consumers express some frustration regarding impersonal experiences while buying online.

In-destination context, data points and other insights can be utilized to help trigger targeted messages at exactly the right moments in the travel customer journey. For example, online travel agent TravelUp used behavioural data to target new visitors in research mode with a personalized ‘Fly Now Pay Later’ payment offer. This personalized experience drove a +5.24% uplift in conversion (read the full case study here!)

Travel trends: website personalization
TravelUp In-Page Personalization

Voice & Digital Assistants

Voice and digital assistants, also known as Artificial Intelligence (AI), are another rising travel trend to take note of. In fact, 1 in 3 travelers now utilize AI to research, book, and explore travel options before and after they arrive at their intended destination. As a customer journey tool, these features help provide customers with perfectly integrated automated support that gives their experience a personal touch.

Demographic Travel Trends

Understanding the demographic trends impacting travel is another key tool when developing your customer journey strategy. How different generations behave, and their preferences will determine how you market to them, so let’s take a look at 2 key groups.

Baby boomer behavior

Baby boomers continue to focus on leisure travel. Boomers travel primarily to spend time with family and friends (57%), relax (49%) and to get away from everyday life (47%). In the US, up to 49% of boomer travelers look to stay domestically, with Florida and California being the most common destinations. Those who look to visit both domestic and international locations (47%) tend to favor the Caribbean/Latin America and Europe. Boomers, while no longer the largest traveling demographic, are among the highest spenders; on average spending $6,395 on travel. So how can ensure your website caters to this lucrative group of travelers?

Reducing abandonment, and securing the booking with this group relies on understanding why they are choosing to exit. For specialist travel insurance provider StaySure this meant recognising when their visitors were struggling during the purchase funnel. They were then able to serve a click to call option for visitors who preferred to complete the quote with an advisor:

travel trends: reduce abandonment

Millennials and Generation Z

Millennials, and increasingly Generation Z are becoming the new target audience when it comes to online travel trends. These younger travelers are more likely to combine a leisure trip with a purpose in an attempt to increase the value of their expenditures. Not only do these generations rely on social media for travel inspiration, they also post their reviews on the same platforms – learn how you can leverage this on your website to build trust in this blog post.

Thanks to a “living for the moment” mentality (think: YOLO), roughly 49% of these travelers take last-minute vacations, often influenced by pop-up deals and flash sales. Given the price sensitive nature of these travelers, loyalty can be difficult to come by. Sam Willan, General Manager at youth travel company StudentUniverse, makes a compelling argument as to why it’s still worth focusing on building loyalty with millennials and Gen Z travelers, despite their fickle nature.

A repeat booker costs half as much to acquire and returns 2.5 times in income”

Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse UK

See more insights and travel trends form Sam in the presentation below:

Behavioral Travel Trends

Finally, let’s take a look at some changes in travel research and booking behaviour that are key to the customer journey.

Last-minute booking

In total, roughly 60% of travelers are prone to last minute travel plans. In 2019, more than half plan to take more last-minute weekend trips to maximise their free time. A solid website personalization strategy will enable you to take advantage of this trend, allowing for tactical promotion of sales and offers that help capitalize on these impulse buys.

Inspirational content focused on short-haul, last minute trips can help capture interest at this early stage in the customer journey. Not only that, but with 80% of travelers saying that this kind of informative content actually influences their final decision, it sets you up for success down the line. As visitors show strong intent to buy, showcasing reviews from similar types of travelers is another great way to secure the booking with these micro-trip travelers.

And that’s our top 6 travel trends to take note of in 2019! Wan’t more ideas on personalizing the travel customer journey? Get our bitesize guide featuring 3 examples of personalization in action.

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics

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What’s the story so far for e-commerce?  Check out our Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics to find out!

2018 saw retail and travel e-commerce go through a dramatic period of change. Challenges such as Brexit and GDPR hit the UK market, while Amazon continued its dominance in the US.

Now that we’re a few months into 2019, we decided to look back at the data to understand what e-commerce brands need to know when it comes to traffic, conversions and adjusting their strategy for the rest of the year.

We’ve crunched the numbers from more than 400 million website visits to 180+ e-commerce websites to bring you the story so far via our Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics round-up!

Q1 2019 vs. Q4 2018

First things first – how has 2019 performed so far versus 2018? We compared Q1 2019 to our Q4 2018 e-commerce statistics.

Here are the headline stats:

As you might expect, there was a drop in traffic and conversions after the peak shopping season. Conversion rates were down too, the average conversion rate in Q1 was 1.78%. On the bright side, average order values increased. This is likely due to the fact that Q1 2019 is less discount focused than Q4.

A key takeaway for e-commerce marketers is the need to make the most of the traffic you do get during less busy periods. When you don’t have seasonal offers or discounts to tempt visitors to convert you need to ensure your abandonment recovery strategy is en pointe. Read our guide on 5 simple steps to save an abandoned cart to get some tips on improving yours!

When it comes to conversions, timing is everything

When it comes to successful e-commerce marketing time of day and  day of week can have a huge impact on the outcome of your efforts to optimize the customer journey and drive conversions. We decided to take a look at average traffic and conversions to get a better understanding of consumer behaviour. Here’s what traffic and conversion rate looks like by hour of day:

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: time of day data

Notice that traffic grows from 8am onwards, peaking between 5pm and 8pm as consumers finish the working day. Conversions peak at two key times – 12pm, so lunch time, and at 6pm.

What does this mean for marketers? Well, it presents an opportunity to personalize throughout the day to reflect the different stages in the journey your customers might be at. For example, employing social proof at lunchtimes or in the evening works well to convert shoppers as they’re already in this high-intent frame of mind.

This is exactly what soak.com did with a campaign utilizing time of day targeting. It used Dynamic Social Proof to create a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) among mobile users who would otherwise have been casually browsing at lunchtime. The notification showed how many other users had browsed the product in the last 24 hours, indicating popularity:

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: soak.com social proof example

With bathrooms being a high-consideration product with a long purchase cycle, this moved a high-funnel browser further down the path of purchase. As a result, the campaign generated an 11.2% conversion rate uplift in the target group.

Another day, another dollar (if it’s a Saturday)

As well as the time of day, it’s important to track customer behaviour across different days of the week. Our Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics show that Saturdays (followed by Fridays) see the most conversions, but Sundays actually see the most traffic.

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: day of week data

What does this mean for e-commerce marketers? Think about what else you can do to nudge your visitors toward purchase – on a Saturday this might involve creating urgency, while on a Sunday, when visitors are in browsing mode, you might need to help them discover the products that are right for them via personalization and recommendations.

Week by week, when were the peaks?

While Q1 is not as busy as Q4 when it comes to e-commerce shopping holidays, there are a few to take note of. Here are a few of the key dates to keep in mind:

  • Weeks 1-2: we saw increased traffic and conversions across the first two weeks of the quarter, likely thanks to the January sales!
  • Week 5: we saw conversions spike at the beginning of February and hold pretty strong until week 7 (the week of Valentine’s day!). This shows the importance of getting ready for this first peak of the year.
  • Weeks 11-13: Toward the end of Q1 traffic increases, but conversions didn’t tell the same story. What else can you do to convince visitors to become customers?

The key takeaways from these Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics

The statistics and trends we’ve examined here highlight a few opportunities for marketers to improve the customer journey going into Q2 and beyond. Here are a few things to try:

  • Test and learn what works during peak while traffic is high, so you can apply this during quieter periods
  • Ensure you’re collecting as much data as possible from these visitors so you can remarket to them, and personalize next time they visit
  • Delve into the data behind performance based on time and date – you could learn valuable lessons to improve your strategy!

Why trust matters when marketing financial services

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Three take-aways from our webinar on building trust and marketing financial services

Marketing financial services has always relied on building trust and loyalty with consumers. And this is something that many financial institutions and banks used to be able to rely on, but today’s fintech revolution has seen established brands face a wave of disruption. New, innovative online and mobile-first services built around delighting customers have transformed financial services, and consumer expectations. How then can brands build trust with consumers in this new online, mobile-first world?

In order to understand more about why trust is so important when it comes to marketing financial services online we joined forces with Trustpilot, the worlds most powerful review platform. In a live webinar earlier this month Jessica Fisher, our EMEA Services Director, joined Trustpilot to dissect the findings of their recent research into how 1000+ global consumers find trust when it comes to financial services products.

Here we’ll share some of the key take-aways from the webinar, or you can scroll on down and watch it all for yourself!

Why is trust important when it comes to marketing financial services?

Success for financial services providers is no longer guaranteed by being a familiar name. Across every financial services niche, consumers are being offered a huge variety of products and services by disruptors focusing on a better customer experience and personalization of services. That’s why its vital that finance marketers now focus in on how they can build trust with consumers.

The decline in consumer trust in financial services is still evident, even a decade on from the financial crisis. Consumers are 50% more likely to say their level of trust in financial services has decreased rather than increased over the last three years (30% vs. 20%).

So if trust is on the decline, where do consumers find it? There are two key channels – your website, and word of mouth. The website was rated top among all channels when researching finance related products with 68% of consumers rating it ‘important’ or ‘very important’. Combined these two things become a powerful tool for marketing financial services products.

Marketing financial services via your website is key for 68% of consumers

How can financial services marketing incorporate trust?

We go into more detail in the webinar (which you can view at the end of this post!) with 6 key steps to building trust along the finance customer journey. But here is a sneak peek at a few of our top rated tips to build trust via your financial services marketing strategy.

1) Focus on the journey

The key to building trust is a better customer journey. Many financae brands focus heavily on acquiring new customers, while spending less time on creating a customer experience that builds trust once these customers arrive on-site. Building trust with new visitors who know little to nothing about your brand is a challenge, but with a data driven approach it’s possible.

In the below example from Argos Pet insurance the brand analyzed each step of the funnel to understand the stages that could be targeted. Through testing, it was able to identify the different actions that could improve engagement and encourage users to the next step.

2. Help consumers decide

Sometimes, when it comes to complex financial products, users might need a little help. Regocnise this based on behavioural data, and point them in the right direction. For example, a visitor might want to speak with an advisor to finish their quote or application, so if you can identify when they’re struggling you can serve them a notification or overlay with this option. Here, insurance company StaySure targeted exiting visitors with the option to click to call, and saw 23% of these visitors go on to complete the quote process via phone.

3. Unlock digital word of mouth

Social proof is a powerful psychological tactic that can be utilized in many ways online to improve the customer journey. But when and where should you use it?

Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all answer to this question. Focus on understanding the users and their motivations at the point in the journey you’re working to optimize.

For example, with upper funnel visitors on a finance site highlighting ease of completion can be a great way to move visitors further along. Once visitors are closer to the end of the funnel, then this messaging might change to focus more on reassurance, so here is a perfect place to test out the impact of reviews.

Finance customer journey
Use reviews at the lower end of the funnel

Want more tips? Watch the full webinar below, or check out our guide to optimizing the finance customer journey which features three ways to create a better customer experience for your online visitors.

Easter E-commerce Tips

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Easter e-commerce is expected to see 19% growth between 2018 and 2022. Capitalize on the opportunity with these tips to help make your spring marketing strategy a success.

2018 Easter E-Commerce Trends

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2018 made up 9.6% of all sales. In fact, March and April of 2018 saw e-commerce sales totalling more than $18 billion. Analyzing and understanding what these trends mean can help marketers understand the opportunity and pinpoint the best strategies for conversion rate optimization, so let’s take a look at some Easter economics.

Easter Economics

Experts predict shoppers to spend an average of $151 each on Easter-related items. In fact, 2018 showed us that roughly eight out of every ten adults make plans to celebrate Easter. (For those who are not planning to celebrate the holiday, Easter sales still help increase seasonal spending.)

Easter e-commerce trends for 2019
Source: NRF

Of those Easter consumers between 18 and 34 years of age, 85% are expected to celebrate Easter in 2019. (Additionally, 80% of 35- to 54-year olds and 74% of those 55-years and older are also expected to celebrate Easter based on previous stats.)

With consumers looking to personalize their traditions, e-commerce provides an easy way to research and retail the products they want. For many shopping for the holiday, Easter planning typically begins at least one week prior to the actual celebration. (In fact, Easter shopping has traditionally reversed downward trends previously observed around February each year.)

Easter-Specific Trends

Easter celebration trends help e-commerce marketers and business owners to identify the specific reasons consumers visit their sites. For example, 65% of consumers shop for Easter items based on traditions. However, 31% of Easter shoppers are inspired by seasonal sales or social activitiesStore displays attract 22% of Easter sales; exclusive products inspire another 21% of shoppers to buy. Finally, retailer events attract 11% of Easter shoppers.

What inspires easter shopping?
Source: NRF

Easter Marketing Strategies

It’s clear Easter e-commerce represents a huge opportunity for retail marketers, so here are three Easter marketing strategies that will help boost your e-commerce potential this year.

1. Organize an Easter Egg Hunt

An Easter Egg hunt brings out the inner child in everyone. What better way to increase traffic, boost sales, and cater to younger consumers looking to celebrate Easter?0

To create your own digital Easter egg hunt, start with thinking about what types of “eggs” you can hide throughout your site as well as the rewards when consumers find them. For example, hide egg photos in some of your less visited pages. Share hints on email and across your social media channels to encourage your subscribers and followers to visit your website.

The reward for locating each egg or a number of eggs could mean your visitors receive a promo code or discount on certain items found on your e-commerce site. This gamification element helps drive engagement with easter traffic, capitalizing on visitors who are Easter celebrants and those simply looking for seasonal sales.

And it doens’t have to stay online. Marks and Spencer were one of the first brands to utilize Instagram stories to host an egg hunt within it’s flagship Singapore store, brining together the online and offline worlds to drive engagement with their followers and visitors.

Easter e-commerce egg hunt example from M&S
M&S Singapore used Instagram to bring a digital egg-hunt to life in-store

2. Holiday personalization

Personalization comes in many flavors. Depending on the products you sell, your Easter marketing strategy may include various ways to personalize and customize consumer purchases. For example, personalized Easter eggs have long been a popular gift for spring. But how can you bring this idea of personalization to life on your e-commerce website?

Thorntons offer customizable, personalized eggs. How can you apply this to your website?

One of the easiest ways to deliver website personalization is via self-segmentation. Holidays tend to mean gifts, and from Easter baskets to a new spring wardrobe, Easter is no exception. Asking dwelling visitors if they’re shopping for themselves or someone else, re-engages them and makes it easy to personalize their journey.

Another tactic is to highight your unique personalization services to your visitors. This is something luxury brand Montblanc does successfully around key holiday periods – and year round!

Highlighting it’s free services such as engraving, embossing, gift wrapping and more helped the brand boost conversions significantly with different visitor segments. The campaign shown below generated a 41.4% uplift in conversions (read the full case study to learn more!)

Montblanc offers personalization and customization to visitors

3. Easter Urgency

Another powerful tactic to try as part of your Easter marketing strategy is to create a sense of urgency. This works well for any event with a natural deadline such as Black Friday, Christmas or your own sale periods.

Ensure you’re tying together your email campaigns with the experience the visitor gets when they arrive on-site. If you have a one-day sale happening, put this front and centre. Try a countdown timer to add to the feeling of urgency we get when we see time passing by. Adding an animated element to this is proven to drive more conversions, as we found with ticketing company We Are FSTVL.

Social proof is another great way to induce urgency. There are many ways this can be incorporated into your website to give consumers the confidence they need to buy (read this blog from Yieldify’s consultancy team to learn more!)

One proven conversion optimization tactic in this area is to use Dynamic Social Proof to show how many other people are looking at a particular product online. But even within this, it’s important to A/B test what works best for your audience. Bathroom retailer Soak.com found that social proof worked best when its visitors had time to browse and consider their purchase at lunchtime. As consumers look to partake in some spring DIY it’s worth trying out this tactic to see how it impacts your conversions.

Easter e-commerce: Social proof can drive urgency

Do Your Homework

E-commerce marketing can be a challenge, even for experts. If you’re struggling with developing an Easter marketing strategy that will help conversion rate optimization, help is at hand. Download our Easter E-commerce tipsheet today to get 5 more conversion rate optimization ideas for your customer journey this spring season.

Meet your visitors: ecommerce segmentation statistics

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When it comes to creating personalized customer journeys, understanding your visitors is key. One way to achieve that is via segmentation.

There are many different ways to segment your visitors, but your ability to create, and then personalize for these segments relies on data. Not only that but knowing which visitor segments represent the biggest opportunity will help you prioritise your personalization strategy, ensuring you’re not wasting time and resource on ‘personalization for personalization’s sake’. In this blog we’ll take a look at the type of data you might want to take a look at, sharing our benchmarks for 4 common visitor segments that should be familiar to every e-commerce marketer.

So, who are they?

We’ve aggregated these stats from over 30 billion data points to bring you insights on 4 crucial visitor segments for e-commerce:

  • New visitors
  • Returning visitors
  • Returning customers
  • Loyal customers

Personalizing for these four visitor segments is the first step toward an intelligent personalization strategy that focuses on the right data, to deliver the right message at the appropriate point in the customer journey. Let’s take a look at which segment has the highest conversion rate, and which drives the most revenue, and more, read on to see what we found…

Which visitor segment drives the most traffic?

When it comes to deciding on your perosnalization priorities, and segmentation strategy, is bigger, better? As we can see from the below chart, new visitors make up the largest percentage of traffic, and our data also shows that this holds true across both retail and travel.

Source: Yieldify data

What this means is that, on average, only around 8% of your visitors have bought from you before. So should discount them when it comes to your segmentation and website personalization strategy? Probably not, but we’ll explore why you might not want to miss out on them later in this blog. First, what else do we know about these new visitors?

“Only 8% of your visitors have bought from your website before”

Well, when it comes to devices, desktop visitors are the most likely to be new (62%). This falls to around 50% for mobile and tablet, where users might already be familiar with you, and driven back to your site via paid search, email or social (all of which drive more traffic on mobile than on desktop, as shown below):

Source: Yieldify data

Taking into account this data, and the fact that modern customer journeys are rarely linear when it comes to device usage demonstrates the importance of developing strategies that work across mobile, desktop and tablet, and continually testing what works best for each.

Another thing to think about here is the fact that most marketers are still strongly focused on acquisition. Our State of CJO report revealed that more than half of marketers are dedicating more than 60% of their time and resources on acquisition rather than retention, and this split is reflected in the visitors we see on the average e-commerce site.

How do different visitor segments compare when it comes to conversions?

Well, now we can reveal why you should never discount the loyal customer group, despite the fact they account for just 4% of traffic on the average e-commerce site. This group has the highest conversion rate of all your visitors, with a conversion rate of 31% in Retail and almost 34% in Travel.

Here’s how conversion rate stacks up across our 4 visitor segments:

Source: Yieldify data

What we can see is that a loyal retail customer, for example, is 8.5x more likely to convert than a new visitor.

“A loyal retail customer is 8.5x more likely to convert than a new visitor”

For travel, we can see that returning visitors and returning customers have a slightly higher propensity to convert than for retail. This is perhaps because this segement has invested more time in researching a more complex purchase or are being driven by urgency around the availability of inventory or their trip timelines.

And how about average order values?

Conversions lead us on to average order values, obviously, these can differ quite a lot between Travel and Retail, but we can see similar trends when it comes to our visitor segments.

Source: Yieldify data

Returning visitors spend the most on average ($62 for retail, and $309 for travel) and if you remember what we saw for conversion rate, this group had the lowest conversion rate for retail at 3.2%. This may indicate that repeat browsing and research leads returning visitors to purchase more, or higher value items.

“Returning visitors spend the most on average – $62 for retail, and $309 for travel.”

Loyal customers had the lowest AOV across retail and travel, but buy more regularly and have a higher chance of converting as we have seen. This might indicate that campaigns focused on increasing AOV, such as cross-sell or up-sell, should be a priority for this segment if you’re seeing the same trends in your own data.

Which visitor segments drive the most revenue?

There were a few differences when it came to revenue per segment across retail and travel. For example, in Travel less revenue came those who had purchased before (i.e. loyal customers and returning customers) compared with new and returning visitors, who were responsible for 82% of revenue.

Source: Yieldify data

This is not so surprising given what we’ve already learned about these visitor segments in regards to average order value, and the size of the segments themselves. Retail saw slightly more revenue from these visitor segments, with previous purchasers responsible for 28% of revenue

“New visitors represent the largest percentage of revenue, accounting for 40% within retail and 44% in travel”

Given the longer customer journey within travel, and the fact travel purchases are less frequent, this lack of revenue from previous customers is perhaps not so strange. However, remember that we saw much higher conversion rates for returning customers versus returning visitors for both retail and travel, indicating there is perhaps a missed opportunity here to tailor the customer journey better.

What are the average bounce rates for these visitor segments

So far we’ve look at how the different segments behave when it comes to purchase, but what about if they just leave? Looking at average bounce rates for the 4 visitor segments we noted a correlation between loyalty and bounce rate:

What this tells us, is that campaigns focused on reducing bounce rate should be focused primarily on new visitors, who are likely less familiar with your brand and so more likely to leave. Think about how you can highlight your USPs to re-engage them before they leave. Another consideration is device – bounce rates were lowest on desktop and highest on mobile, suggesting there is still some work to do optimizing the mobile customer journey.

Conclusion

Stats like these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning more about your visitors via segmentation. As you gather more data, map your customer journey, and benchmark your performance, you’ll be able to create a more detailed picture of how your visitors behave and spot the opportunities to improve their experience.

Want more data and insights like this? Check out our other resources.

Segmentation for e-commerce ebook

#Journey2019: An interview with James Boyle from Flight Centre

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With #Journey2019 just around the corner we’re going behind-the-scenes with our amazing speaker line-up. Today we talk with James Boyle from Flight Centre.

Hi James, thanks for speaking with us today! Can you tell us a bit more about you and your role at Flight Centre?

Yes sure. My role is Head of Performance Marketing for Flight Centre UK. I’m responsible for driving traffic and enquiry conversion through the site through our performance-based channels such as PPC, SEO, Display Retargeting, A/B Testing, and anything offline also that’s performance-based, so it’s a really varied and hands-on role. I’ve been working at the company since 2016, found my groove pretty early on, and work with a great team.

Essentially I am a digital marketer at heart, and although no two days are the same, my main focus is to ensure we get the best return on investment across our performance-based channels.

Nice, and how did you end up where you are today?

Primarily my background has mainly been in travel, I was working in the retail property market for a while prior to Flight Centre, but I quickly found that I really missed travel. Before that, I worked for an airline, Virgin Australia, in a similar role, so e-commerce focused, and prior to that, I lived in Edinburgh, working for the tourism board VisitScotland.

There’s a lot of similarities working at an airline, then in tourism, then where I am now at an online travel agent, but there’s also a lot of differences as you can imagine. At Flight Centre, we have 80+ retail stores, and we have a huge depth of product, we’re selling airline tickets, we’re selling hotel products.

In my past roles it was all about achieving a direct booking with the airline, or inspiring people to visit a particular location. It definitely helps with the learning curve being exposed to different organizations, and I can’t think of a more exciting industry to be in that travel.

And speaking of where you are today, can you tell us a bit about Flight Centre?

Flight Centre was founded in Australia, as part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, we’re a very large business – something that a lot of people usually find surprising if they’re not familiar with us.

We specialize in a variety of areas, but primarily in tailor-made holidays. As mentioned we’ve got 80+ stores in the UK, right across the country, so if there’s a busy high street we’re not too far away! We entered the UK market in the mid-90s and have expanded significantly over the last 20 years.

As a business a key differentiator for us is our people, we have a huge focus on driving customers in-store, so we can tailor make any holiday they need. There may be a view that travel agents are a thing of the past, but there’s so much choice now and everyone is so busy I think that’s changing. An example recently, I booked a trip to Oman, and it was somewhere I was not familiar with so having someone on hand to help me with the trip saved so much time when it came to research.

This really is a huge asset for our business, we get so many reviews from customers shouting out the individual consultants. The fact that in the last 12 months we’ve seen our Trustpilot score go from 8.8/10 to 9.7/10 is a testament to our people and is something we’re really proud of.

You’ve talked a bit about what differentiates Flight Centre as a business, what would you say are the key challenges in travel?

The thing that comes up the most for us, and particularly in the work we’ve done with Yieldify, is optimizing for the full customer journey. I think as consumers we now have such high standards when it comes to our experiences with brands, and this applies to travel but also to any industry.

This is especially true online, given how quickly technology develops, that as a business we need to ensure we’re giving the best experience of whatever touchpoint the customer has interacted with us via. And with Flight Centre this can be via live chat, phone, email, in-store, and more –  it’s a big challenge for any brand to ensure consistency across all those touchpoints.

This is particularly important for travel, as there’s not as much brand loyalty. Consumers have gotten used to booking flights and accommodation separately and will book activities either just before they leave or in-destination. Building loyalty is about really tapping into the customers’ needs at a deeper level, visitors can use metasearch, but we can provide a fully tailored trip, with personalized recommendations from someone who’s been to that destination multiple times.

And how are you going about understanding your customers and how their expectations are changing?

It’s really interesting, we kind of started this process last year, thinking about what we could do around the acronym CJO, Customer Journey Optimization, that Yieldify has popularized. So we’ve been working a lot more closely with our CRM teams, and making sure we’re analyzing the right data, as well as assessing every single touchpoint that a user can potentially come into contact with us both on our website and with our brand.

It’s been a lengthy process, but we want to ensure users are getting consistency, in terms of their brand experience, at every point in the journey. This ties back to the challenges a lot of brands have, particularly around organizational silos. We’re fortunate at Flight Centre that, for example, we have operations in the same meetings as marketing so we can quickly get a gauge and feedback on what’s working with the customers. This really helps in terms of the feedback loop and that we’re all thinking outside our own headspace, and more in line with the customer.

Are there any companies that you see as really meeting the level of experience that customers expect today in travel or other industries?

I think it’s the names that come up again and again at industry events, and also from my own experience, so the likes of Booking.com, where I usually have a seamless booking experience. I really like the convenience they offer and flexibility, they’ve nailed it.

Then for me, it’s really a lot of companies outside travel, particularly in retail. A really good example for me because they have that high street presence, as well as an online presence, is Argos. It again comes back to that level of customer expectation, people are ordering from the likes of Amazon so you need to compete with that. I think I ordered something from Argos recently, it wasn’t even next day delivery, it was same day delivery for something I ordered at midday. It’s that kind of level of service, as a brand that’s a huge advantage. I really like the way they give you the flexibility, either pick up your item via click and collect or get it delivered.

Finally, can you give us a bit of info about your session at Journey 2019 and what you’re looking forward to on the day?

Sure, so I’ll be joining the travel breakout panel session alongside Loco2 and Thomas Cook Airlines, so it should be a really good discussion. We’ll hopefully go a bit deeper into some of what we’ve discussed today actually and I’m looking forward to hearing what the other speakers have to say! These sessions are also great as a networking opportunity with like-minded professionals facing similar challenges.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Sam Willan from StudentUniverse as I’ve learnt a lot from his team while working on Yieldify so will be great to see his presentation. As for the rest of the line-up, it’ll be exciting also to see what we can learn from other brands not only in the travel space but in retail. I’m actually gutted I’ll be missing the retail breakout session with John Lewis and Oliver Bonas which is at the same time as my session, so hopefully, I’ll be able to get some notes on that!

Thanks James, looking forward to next week!

If you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket to Journey2019 then check out the full line-up here to plan your visit, and we’ll see you there!

https://try.yieldify.com/travel-journeys

Campaigns of the Month: February 2019

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Check out the Campaigns of the Month for February 2019!

How NEST Fragrances helps visitors discover best-selling products

Leading fine and premium home fragrance brand NEST Fragrances wanted to help website visitors discover its world of luxurious yet approachable fragrance collections, here’s how they did that with Yieldify…

Alex Gold, Head of Beauty, Luxury & Lifestyle – Client Services & Strategy

“The sensory nature of fragrance means that visitors can be in need of further guidance when it comes to navigating and discovering products online.

Social proof is a powerful way to build trust with these consumers and can be utilized across the customer journey. NEST has already incorporated social proof into its site, for example, by allowing visitors to sort by best selling, and displaying customer reviews at the category level.

Utilizing Yieldify’s sticky campaigns functionality NEST Fragrances was able to take this further. A ‘Best Selling’ message was added to relevant product pages to ensure that this message was carried across the customer journey.

The campaign has already yielded positive results, driving a 30% uplift in conversion on mobile, and now the brand is A/B testing messaging to hone this further.”

Alexandra Gold, Head of Beauty, Luxury & Lifestyle at Yieldify


How Borough Kitchen drives awareness with returning visitors

Borough Kitchen sells everything the home chef needs for the kitchen and table. Not only that, but Borough Kitchen also offers London Cook School classes, which visitors can book via the website.

As an extremely popular option that sells out quickly, Borough Kitchen wanted to ensure returning visitors were aware of the new Cook School class calendar. Here’s how they did that with Yieldify.

Alice Ribton, Customer Success Manager, Yieldify

“We utilized a subtle floating button format to inform visitors of the new Cook School calendar. The campaign was targeted to particular pages on the site: the homepage, new-in and the gift guide, and displayed to returning visitors.

Appearing at the left-hand side of the screen, users had the choice to interact further – clicking the button opened a ‘Book Now’ CTA to drive users to the calendar.”

Alice Ribton, Customer Success Manager at Yieldify

Want more examples and inspiration? Check out our ebooks for insights on everything from personalization, to psychology, and more!

5 marketing testing methods to optimize the customer journey

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There are many marketing testing methods out there, but what should you try?

For the best results when optimizing the customer journey, marketers need to be analyzing and adjusting their methods and customer touchpoints constantly. Testing your marketing will help you achieve so much more with what you already have by assessing and continuously improving based on data. There are many marketing testing methods out there, but what should you try? Let’s go over some key types of marketing testing you can use on your e-commerce site.

A/B Testing

A/B testing compares two variations of the same item to determine which variation produces the best results. It can be used at a variety of points in the customer journey: calls to action, landing pages, email subject lines, web page layouts, length of copy and more.

For instance, if you wanted to test the click-through rate (CTR) of a call to action (CTA) button, you could vary the button colour, making it appear either blue or red for site visitors, to determine the colour that gets the highest CTR.

With a discount offer you could test what amount appeals to customers and results in a better conversion rate: £5 off or 10% off? Or you could even test if you need to be giving discounts at all, like beauty brand skyn ICELAND who tested a $5 discount verus brand USPs (click here to find out which won!)

Marketing testing for e-commerce
skyn ICELAND tested a discount versus USP message, guess which won?


Tip: Don’t change multiple elements of an item during an A/B test. If you’re testing a CTA button’s colour, don’t change its size or font as well. Keep it simple, otherwise you won’t know which change is producing the best results.

Multivariate Testing (MVT)

Multivariate testing applies a test to a number of elements at the same time to work out the best combination of elements or what specific elements are contributing to better results over others. Rather than testing two significant variations, you can make subtle changes to a variety of elements on one web page and test it against other versions of the same web page to see how these subtle changes interact with each other and the customer.

Marketing testing: MVT
Source: HubPages

In an email, you may test two slightly different templates, a simple version with one CTA and one hero image and a complex version with two CTAs, and a brief message and no images, to see which one produces the best CTR or conversion rate.

Tip: MVT is more advanced marketing testing and therefore useful for highly trafficked sites, as you can get meaningful results fast.

Content Testing

Evaluating your content in detail will help determine whether you’re getting the best out of it. When creating a landing page, email or social media post, it’s important to ask yourself if it works for your target audience. Question elements of the content such as clarity of intent, the layout’s white space, the logo’s prominence, the number of images, accessibility and purpose.

You can also test how you’re delivering the content to your audience – is it at the right time, via the right channel, at the appropriate moment in the customer journey? For example, on social media, a lot of engagement happens at the weekend, yet many brands focus on posting content during the week:

Marketing testing: social media

Tip: Keep a pitch, offer or headline the same when testing and just alter the copy, CTA, layout or image. This will illuminate what elements work well together for your customers. To measure success, look at traffic, and conversions from content, two basic things that should increase for a successful test.

Geotargeted Testing

Geotargeting delivers content to a customer based on their location, determined via their GPS, Wi-Fi or IP address. Using geotargeting you can test whether providing location or culturally specific content drives results using this particular personalization. You could experiment using geotargeted banners, providing local offers or redirecting customers to a translated page based on their IP address.

Beauty brand Lancôme Canada tested out a similar concept by creating a version of it’s lead gen campaign to serve different audiences based on language rather than location.

Using Yieldify’s flexible targeting capability the brand was able to serve an overlay welcoming visitors using a Chinese language browser with a message that would resonate with them.

For more on catering to global e-commerce audiences check out our guide, How to win in global e-commerce.

Tip: You should use a generic control that could apply to all locations when testing the conversion results of geotargeted content.

Usability Testing

Usability testing determines whether your website or app is clearly and efficiently usable by your target audience. There is little point in having a website with stylish design, striking images and balanced white space if information intended for your customer journey is not clear.

Marketing testing: UX and Usability
Source: MockPlus

This type of marketing testing requires you to evaluate user experience and there are numerous ways to carry it out. Researching what appeals to your target demographic could help with design. Paper prototype testing would allow you to assess an invited user completing a task on your website, initially constructed as a step-by-step process on paper, before you create it digitally to see how efficient part of your customer journey is. You could even interview users to receive feedback to show you what does or does not work for them.


Tip: Usability testing is useful when implemented prior to launching a new marketing asset, as it could save you time and money in the long run if you get it right first time.

Case Study: A/B Testing

Megabus used A/B testing to observe which tactics and messages produced the best results across their customer journey to drive urgency in-session, secure bookings and recapture abandoning visitors.

In one instance, highlighting benefits of ‘At-seat power’ or ‘Free Wi-fi’ was compared with a control to see if this had a positive impact on conversion rates. By adapting the format and triggering for mobile because of what they learned through A/B testing, Megabus achieved a 3.2% uplift in conversion rate versus the control group.

Megabus: e-commerce testing
Megabus: A/B tested the customer journey

Conclusion

In a highly competitive e-commerce environment, you need to keep evaluating all elements of your work to make sure they not only look good, but that they drive results. Huge rewards are to be gained by incorporating this kind of analysis into your customer journey optimization strategy, particularly when it comes to e-commerce. Get an overview of testing ideas for your customer journey to solve challenges like cart abandonment, lead capture and more in our free tipsheet: download yours here.