Posts by: Marianne Wright

The Complete Guide to STP Marketing: Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning

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What is STP marketing and what role does it play in boosting conversions and revenue? We look at the Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning framework illustrated by real-life examples.

Segmentation targeting positioning marketing is a core concept in modern-day marketing. Without it, marketing campaigns would be generic, have little to no personalization, and overall would not be able to convert at a level most businesses would deem effective.

Let’s delve into the intricacies of the STP Model and see how implementing this framework into your eCommerce business can yield amazing results.

Table of Contents:

1. What is STP marketing
2. The STEP formula
3. Benefits of STP marketing
4. STP marketing example: The Cola Wars
5. How to build an STP marketing strategy

What is STP marketing?

STP marketing is an acronym for SegmentationTargeting, and Positioning – a three-step model that examines your products or services as well as the way you communicate their benefits to specific customer segments.

In a nutshell, the STP marketing model means you segment your market, target select customer segments with marketing campaigns tailored to their preferences, and adjust your positioning according to their desires and expectations.

STP marketing model: segmentation, targeting, positioning

STP marketing is effective because it focuses on breaking your customer base into smaller groups, allowing you to develop very specific marketing strategies to reach and engage each target audience

In fact, 59% of customers say that personalization influences their shopping decision and another 44% said that a personalized shopping experience would influence them to become repeat customers of a brand.

STP marketing represents a shift from product-focused marketing to customer-focused marketing. This shift gives businesses a chance to gain a better understanding of who their ideal customers are and how to reach them. In short, the more personalized and targeted your marketing efforts, the more successful you will be.

The STEP Formula

If you are looking for a simple way to remember and summarize the STP marketing concept, the acronym STEP is extremely useful:

Segmentation + Targeting Equals Positioning

This formula clearly illustrates that each segment requires tailored positioning and marketing mix to ensure its success. Let’s take a closer look at each of the three steps in the STP marketing model.

Segmentation

The first step of the STP marketing model is the segmentation stage. The main goal here is to create various customer segments based on specific criteria and traits that you choose. The four main types of audience segmentation include:

  1. Geographic segmentation: Diving your audience based on country, region, state, province, etc.
  2. Demographic segmentation: Dividing your audience based on age, gender, education level, occupation, gender, etc.
  3. Behavioral segmentation: Dividing your audience based on how they interact with your business: What they buy, how often they buy, what they browse, etc.
  4. Psychographic segmentation: Dividing your audience based on “who” your potential customer is: Lifestyle, hobbies, activities, opinions, etc.
4 types of market segmentation

Targeting

Step two of the STP marketing model is targeting. Your main goal here is to look at the segments you have created before and determine which of those segments are most likely to generate desired conversions (depending on your marketing campaign, those can range from product sales to micro conversions like email signups).

Your ideal segment is one that is actively growing, has high profitability, and has a low cost of acquisition:

  1. Size: Consider how large your segment is as well as its future growth potential.
  2. Profitability: Consider which of your segments are willing to spend the most money on your product or service. Determine the lifetime value of customers in each segment and compare.
  3. Reachability: Consider how easy or difficult it will be for you to reach each segment with your marketing efforts. Consider customer acquisition costs (CACs) for each segment. Higher CAC means lower profitability. 

There are limitless factors to consider when selecting an audience to target – we’ll get into a few more later on – so be sure that everything you consider fits with your target customer and their needs.

Website personalization targeting criteria | Yieldify

Positioning

The final step in this framework is positioning, which allows you to set your product or services apart from the competition in the minds of your target audience. There are a lot of businesses that do something similar to you, so you need to find what it is that makes you stand out. 

All the different factors that you considered in the first two steps should have made it easy for you to identify your niche. There are three positioning factors that can help you gain a competitive edge:

  1. Symbolic positioning: Enhance the self-image, belongingness, or even ego of your customers. The luxury car industry is a great example of this – they serve the same purpose as any other car but they also boost their customer’s self-esteem and image.
  2. Functional positioning: Solve your customer’s problem and provide them with genuine benefits.
  3. Experiential positioning: Focus on the emotional connection that your customers have with your product, service, or brand.  

The most successful product positioning is a combination of all three factors. One way to visualize this is by creating a perceptual map for your industry. Focus on what is important for your customers and see where you and your competitors land on the map.

Perception mapping example
A perceptual map of popular clothing retailers

Benefits of STP marketing

If you aren’t already convinced that STP marketing is going to revolutionize your business, we’re breaking down the key benefits that STP marketing has over a traditional marketing approach.

Because STP focuses on creating a precise target audience and positioning your products/services in a way that is most likely to appeal to that audience, your marketing becomes hyper-personalized. With personalization:

  • Your brand messaging becomes more personal and empathetic because you have your customer personas and know exactly whom you’re talking to;
  • Your marketing mix becomes more crystalized and yields higher return on investment because you’re no longer wasting budget on channels that your audience simply ignores;
  • Your market research and product innovation become more effective because you know exactly whom to ask for advice and feedback in the development phase.

Yieldify’s recent research shows that eCommerce leaders are adopting personalization at an unprecedented rate – 74% of eCommerce sites now claim to have now adopted some level of personalization strategy. Their reasons?

Fifty-eight percent found that personalization helps increase customer retention, 55% cited conversion and 45% found that personalization actually helped minimize the cost of new customer acquisition

Website personalization motivators

Finally, STP marketing levels the playing field. The framework allows small businesses and startups to find success in their niche markets when they normally wouldn’t have the reach to compete with the larger whole-market businesses in their industry.

STP marketing examples: The Cola Wars

STP marketing has been around for a long time – and it has been effective for just as long. We’re going to take a look at a real-world example of STP marketing so you can see how it has worked historically in increasing conversions and revenue.

Back in the 1980s, when Pepsi-Cola was trying to claim some of the market share from Coca-Cola, Pepsi used segmentation to target certain key audiences. They focused on an attitude and loyalty segmentation approach and divided the market into three consumer segments:

  1. Consumers with a positive attitude to the Coke brand who were 100% loyal to Coke.
  2. Consumers with a positive attitude to the Pepsi brand who were 100% loyal to Coke.
  3. Consumers with a positive attitude to both brands, with loyalty to both, who switched their purchases between both brands.

Pepsi had always focused their marketing efforts on the third segment, as it was the most attractive and had the highest return on investment. Focusing on customers loyal to Coke was considered a waste of time and money, as they were unlikely to change their purchasing habits.

However, that all changed with the launch of New Coke in 1985…

STP marketing example - Cola Wars 1985

The new iteration of Americas’ favorite beverage missed the spot with a lot of loyal consumers, so Pepsi swopped in. In fact, as Mental Floss points out, “Coke’s headquarters received upwards of 1,500 calls a day, up from the usual 400, with virtually all of them complaining about the change.”

Sensing the change in consumer sentiment, Pepsi began targeting loyal Coke drinkers. The rival brand also refocused its positioning – Pepsi started drumming up the fact that Coca-Cola, supposedly, changed its classic Coke with New Coke to resemble more the taste of Pepsi. Their marketing campaigns were brutal (well, in today’s terms at least):

That same year, Pepsi announced a 14% spike in overall product sales. Pepsi was able to use STP marketing strategies to increase their market share and convert Cola-loyal customers to Pepsi-lovers.

How to create an STP marketing strategy: The full STP model

We covered the three stages of the STP marketing model, looked at the benefits and examples of this approach. While this provides you with an excellent overview of the concept, we want to get into the detail of creating an STP marketing strategy that serves your business.

Below you will find 7 steps to creating a solid marketing strategy using the full STP model.

1. Define the market

The global market is far too big and far too vast for anyone – even the biggest corporation with the most resources – to address. That’s why it’s important to break it down into smaller chunks and clearly define the part you are going after.

Typically, to evaluate your business opportunity, you will need to define your TAM, SAM, and SOM: Total Available Market, Serviceable Available Market, and Serviceable Obtainable Market.

Addressable market - TAM, SAM, SOM

Think of it as an iceberg. The very top peeking from under the water is your SOM – that’s the portion of the market that you can effectively reach.

SAM is is the portion of the total available market that fits your product or service offering. Whereas TAM is the total available market, in other words, “the overall revenue opportunity that is available to a product or service if 100% market share was achieved.”

For example, back when Airbnb was starting to pitch investors, they used the TAM, SAM, SOM model to explain their business potential. Their total available market (TAM) then was valued at $1.9 billion dollars and included any type of accommodation that travelers were booking worldwide.

Airbnb TAM, SAM, SOM

Because their service offering was targeted more at the budget travelers who were using online booking engines to find their stay. In this case, the SAM was valued at $532 million dollars. Lastly, their SOM came in at $10.6 million dollars and signified the revenue obtainable for Airbnb.

Similarly with a consumer product, we can look at Diet Coke and say that its TAM would include the total beverage market. Its SAM would narrow it down to soft drinks, and SOM would zero in on the carbonated sugar-free drinkers out there.

There are several routes you can choose when defining a market. You can do so by:

  • Industry classification (agriculture, retail, transportation, etc.
  • Product category (apparel, health and beauty, food and beverage, etc.)
  • Country (United States, United Kingdom, etc.)

2. Create audience segments

Now that you’ve adequately defined your target market, it’s time to segment it using geographical, demographic, behavioral, and psychographic variables. 

Each segmentation variable helps you tap into a different aspect of your audience and when you use them in unison you can create niche segments that really make an impact on your overall marketing effort.

For example, if you split your serviceable obtainable market into men vs women (demographic variables) you are still left with a pretty broad audience segment. However, if you start layering other segmentation variables on top, you can create a precise audience that you can make the biggest impact on.

Perhaps you go after women (demographics) in the United States (geographics) who prefer to spend money on luxury products (psychographics) who follow you on social media or have visited your website in the past (behavior).

Behavioral segmentation benefits - Engagement levels

As you can see, this layering method creates a hyper-focused audience segment that allows you to create an extremely personalized experience. And as we mentioned before, personalization has a huge impact on the success of your marketing efforts.

3. Construct segment profiles

When you’ve landed on your viable market segments, it’s time to develop segment profiles. Segment profiles are very similar to your ideal customer personas but they act as subsets of your main persona – they are detailed descriptions of the people in each segment

Describe their needs, behaviors, demographics, brand preferences, shopping traits, and any other characteristics. Each profile should be as detailed as possible to give you and your business a good understanding of the people within each segment. This will allow you to compare segments for strategy purposes.

4. Evaluate the attractiveness of each segment

Cross-referencing your findings with available market data and consumer research will help you assess which of your constructed segments can bring in the biggest return on your investment. Consider factors like segment size, growth rates, price sensitivity, and brand loyalty. 

With this information, you will be able to evaluate the overall attractiveness of each segment in terms of dollar value.

Audience segment evaluation - attractiveness factors

5. Select target audience/s

Now that you have detailed information on all of your segments, you need to spend some time deciding which ones are the most viable to use as your target audiences. You’ll need to take into account your overall business strategy, the attractiveness of the segment, and the competition that exists in that segment.

The best way to determine the most viable segment is by performing cluster analysis. Quite a complex and technical topic on its own (check out this guide to get more insights), clustering in the context of eCommerce segmentation means using mathematical models to identify groups of customers that are more similar to one another than those in other groups.

Cluster analysis for segmentation

Your ideal audience segment is one that is both large and still growing, and you are able to reach with your marketing efforts. You’ll also want a segment that aligns with your business strategy – it makes no sense to focus your efforts on a segment of men in Australia if you are phasing out your menswear and don’t offer free shipping to Australia. 

6. Develop a positioning strategy

Next, you need to develop a positioning strategy that will give you the best edge to compete in the selected target audience. Determine how to effectively position your product, taking into account other competitors – focus on how your positioning can win the largest amount of the market share.

There are several positioning strategy paths you can follow:

  1. Category-based positioning – This calls for determining how are your products or services better than the existing solutions on the market.
  2. Consumer-based positioning – This calls for aligning your product/service offering with the target audience’s behavioral parameters.
  3. Competitor-based positioning – This is a pretty straightforward approach that calls to prove you are better than competitor X.
  4. Benefit-based positioning – This calls for proving the benefits that customers will get from purchasing your product or service.
  5. Price-based positioning – This calls for distinguishing based on the value for the money people get when purchasing your product/service.
  6. Attribute-based positioning – Competitors, price, and benefits aside, this calls for zeroing in on a unique selling proposition that makes your product or service stands out from the rest.
  7. Prestige-based positioning – This calls for proving that your products supply a certain boost in status to those who purchase.

7. Choose your marketing mix

The last and final step in this long and winding process is to actually implement your strategy. For that, you will need to determine a marketing mix that will support your positioning and help you reach the target audience(s) that you’ve chosen.

A marketing mix consists of the so-called 4 Ps: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion:

  • Product takes into consideration factors like variety, quality, design, branding, features, packaging, services, availability, convenience.
  • Price takes into consideration factors like pricing strategy, list price, penetration price, premium, discounting, payment methods, credit terms, payment period.
  • Place takes into consideration factors like channels, coverage, location, inventory, logistics, trade channels.
  • Promotion takes into consideration factors like advertising, public relations, social media, sponsorship, influencer marketing, content marketing, product placement, sales promotion.

A carefully-curated marketing mix will ensure business success. However, if you do leave gaps in it, all the precious work you did at the previous stages might go to waste.

Determining marketing mix - the 4Ps of marketing

Here’s an example to illustrate a poor marketing mix: Let’s say you want to sell a luxury skincare product to women in their 40s.

Your goal is to position it as a high-end addition to their skincare routine that targets concerns related to mature and aging skin. So you invest in print marketing and get your product featured in a couple of popular women’s magazines that skew towards the 30+ audience. You also make sure to price the product accordingly so it indicates the luxury category.

However, your packaging is cheap and poorly designed, while the product itself is sold in drugstores.

This inconsistency, which isn’t aligned with the overall positioning strategy, will prevent you from reaching your target audience in the first place; those who get reached will experience dissatisfaction resulting in negative word-of-mouth, which will eventually make your sales slumber.

Conclusion 

Using the STP process, businesses can identify their most valuable customer segments and create products and marketing communications that target those customers. This helps you create engaging, personalized marketing campaigns that convert visitors to customers at a high rate. 

If you want to use clever segmentation and behavioral targeting methods in your eCommerce marketing strategy, get in touch with Yieldify and we’ll be happy to help!

STP marketing FAQ

What is STP in marketing? 

STP marketing (Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning) is a three-step marketing framework. With the STP process, you segment your market, target your customers, and position your offering to each segment.

What is an example of STP?

The most classic example of STP marketing is the Cola Wars of the 1980s. Both Pepsi and Coca-Cola used STP marketing to increase their market shares after the introduction of New Coke.

What are the 3 steps involved in STP marketing?

The three main steps within STP are: Segmenting your market (segmentation), identifying your target market (Targeting) and deciding on how you will position your brand (positioning)

The Complete Guide to EDM Marketing

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EDM marketing complete guide

Never heard of EDM marketing? You’re probably not the only one. In this blog post, we seek to define how EDM marketing differs from regular email marketing campaigns, and illustrate with real-life examples.

In 2020, 306.4 billion emails are sent and received every day worldwide. Almost everyone in the world has an email address and email marketing continues to boast the highest ROI, making email marketing strategies essential for your business’s marketing efforts.

Email marketing ROI chart
Marketing channel ROI ratings

If you’re already using email marketing – and more importantly if you aren’t – EDM marketing is the next logical step to improving your marketing efforts.

What is EDM marketing? EDM marketing, or Electronic Direct Mail marketing, is a marketing tactic used by companies to target a large group of potential customers and focuses on building relationships to increase overall sales.

At its core, EDM marketing is all about delivering your offer via e-blasts. But upon closer inspection, we see that it is much more complex than a regular email marketing campaign.

Electronic Direct Mail marketing encompasses multiple media channels including printed marketing materials, social media, text message marketing, and even out-of-home (OOH) advertising to reinforce and retarget the message of your campaign.

Let’s dig into the ins and outs of EDM marketing and how you can implement EDM campaigns into your marketing strategy.

First up: What exactly is EDM marketing?

EDM marketing is all about strategically building a list of potential customers that you can connect with by sending out engaging email communications to the different segments of your list. It allows you to engage directly with your customers – both potential and existing – to build relationships, drive conversions, and foster brand loyalty.

As mentioned before, however, EDM marketing is more than just email marketing.

An EDM marketing strategy uses various forms of media – email, social media, printed materials, text messages, out-of-home, and more – to help build your list and convert people to customers. By using other forms of marketing communications, you can reach potential customers and reinforce the campaign message. (We’ll go into more detail below)

The versatility and flexibility of Electronic Direct Mail marketing mean that it can work for almost any business. Whether you are running an eCommerce business, a service-based business or even a non-profit, EDM marketing can help you increase your conversions and grow your email list.

Lead capture solution for eCommerce - Book a Yieldify demo now!

EDM marketing vs email marketing: What’s the difference?

You may still be asking yourself what the difference is between EDM marketing and email marketing – both use emails to build a list and grow conversions so understandably they seem very similar from the outset.

While an email marketing campaign is just that – sending emails through a third-party provider in hopes that those emails convert customers – an EDM campaign is much more complex.

A fully-fledged EDM marketing campaign starts with e-blasts but follows up with retargeting ads to capture those that have seen the email, a supporting social media campaign, and even billboards or printed ads in magazines.

EDM marketing vs email marketing

These supporting marketing campaigns build on the message that was first sent out in the email and each works as one of the many needed brand touchpoints that will help to convert prospects into customers, and one-time customers into repeat customers. 

The marketing Rule of Seven states that a potential customer needs to “see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you.”

An EDM marketing campaign helps you reach those seven touchpoints by creating a comprehensive marketing strategy that goes beyond simple email communication as you do with email marketing.

The benefits of EDM marketing campaigns

While a lot of the benefits of using EDM marketing are similar to those you get when using email marketing, the main difference is that multi-channel targeted campaigns generally show better results than standard email marketing campaigns

Saves time and costs

Both EDM and email marketing are extremely cost-effective – once you have your list, you can email them at quite a low cost based on a schedule you set out for your business. You can create beautiful emails using templates or the skills of an in-house design team at a fraction of the cost of creating a traditional mailer.

Time is also saved because you can do everything in-house without needing to turn to a printer or delivery service to get your message to your audience.

Builds trust and increases conversions

Being able to speak directly to your audience is one of the ways that a business can build trust with its customers – and email marketing is the most effective way to do this.

In fact, BCG study found that, for millennials, trusting a brand is second only to loyalty discounts in importance when choosing which companies to support. And a 2019 study by Edelman found that 62% of consumers are loyal to brands they trust, with another 51% stating that they would advocate for brands they trust. 

Brand loyalty chart

One of the greatest elements of EDM marketing is that you are working with a list of people who have given you their direct permission to contact them via email. They have opted-in to receive your communications, so you know that they are interested in hearing from you.

Because of this, they are more likely to engage with the content that your business sends. This allows you to build trust with your audience by sending them timely and engaging emails. And by building trust, you will be able to convert them into a paying customer.

Enables advanced personalization

EDM marketing campaigns give you the opportunity to highly personalize your email strategies based on how you segment your audience – more on that later!

Because of this, your business will be able to connect with your audience on a more authentic level, offering them information that is actually useful to them. No more sending out an email to a global audience promoting free shipping within the United States – with proper audience segmentation you can accurately address the different sections of your audience.

Traditional email marketing is all about gathering leads and trying to build a relationship with them. EDM marketing takes it one step further and tries to leverage the valuable information you have already collected to improve how you market to your target audience members.  Personalized communications are just one way to improve the customer relationship.

Lead capture solution for eCommerce - Book a Yieldify demo now!

7 steps to building a foolproof EDM marketing campaign

If you’re ready to implement an EDM marketing campaign, you’re in luck – they start quite simply, and then expand as time goes on. There are 7 steps to implement EDM marketing in your business, and the process starts much like a simple email marketing campaign.

Step 1: Choose an email service provider

If you already have an email service provider (ESP) of choice, then you’re ready to move to Step 2 – congrats! If this is the first time you are implementing any kind of email marketing in your business, you’re going to need to find an email platform that works for you.

ESP integrations

If you are implementing EDM marketing campaigns, we suggest moving away from a simple spreadsheet and investing in an email marketing software – features like list segmentation, autoresponders, automated workflows, and analytics alone make it worthwhile.

There are a lot of great options out there, and you will need to do a bit of testing to see what works best for you. Thankfully, most email marketing platforms offer you some kind of free trial – VerticalResponse gives you 60 days, while ActiveCampagin gives you 14 days and Constant Contact has a 30-day trial. Both MailChimp and Sendinblue have “free forever” plans with limited features for smaller list sizes.

You’ll want to ensure that whatever platform you choose, you have the ability to segment your list and to send automated email campaigns that are triggered by parameters that you establish.

Step 2: Build your list

The success of any email or EDM marketing campaign lies with your list of leads. You want to ensure that the names on your database are legitimate and that you are consistently cleaning your list (most software can help you with this!).

If you’ve been in business for some time, you should consolidate all of your contacts into one list. Pull contacts from email accounts, your eCommerce and CRM platforms, and your existing email list. 

If your business is new and you are building your list from scratch, you’ll need to spend some time coming up with an email list building strategy.

  • Create a lead magnet – A 30-day trial, a 10% discount code, an interactive quiz – all of these work well in enticing your audience to sign up.
  • Offer multiple ways for your audience to sign up – Use lead capture forms, embed forms in your content, implement floating action buttons, and more to effectively collect email addresses on your website. 
  • Have a dedicated page for lead capture – Create a strong lead capture page and link to it from your social media profiles, ads, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Don’t forget offline – You can use your physical stores and other physical presence to get people’s emails into your database.
Lead capture page | Yieldify

When building an email list at scale, there are some best practices you can follow to help improve the effectiveness of your strategies. Here are the key ones:

  1. Laser-focus your targeting – If you are an eCommerce store that sells cookware to avid bakers, it doesn’t make sense to target people who only show interest in dining out.
  2. Choose your triggers carefully – Consider the different times that your lead capture form can trigger: In exit, on timer, on scroll, on inactivity, etc. Determine how you can layer them to effectively capture the most leads.
  3. Personalize when you can – This is an opportunity to segment your list even further and deliver a personalized experience that will resonate with your audience. Use dropdown menus and radio buttons to gather additional data on your subscribers.
  4. Limit the use of CTAs – Instead of overwhelming visitors with too many calls-to-action, limit how many CTAs you have on a page or on a form. This will definitely lead to more conversions.
  5. Be transparent about your intentions – Be clear about what information you are asking for, why you’re asking for it, and how it will be used.
  6. Keep your forms simple – In general, the longer the form, the fewer submissions you’ll receive. So keep your forms as short and simple as possible. 
Lead capture form - Dropdown menu

Step 3: Segment your list

Once you’ve built your list, it’s time to start segmenting. To be able to send your subscribers the most targeted, applicable content for them, you need to segment your list accordingly. If you are having a sale on women’s dresses, it doesn’t make sense to inform your male subscribers.

How you segment your list will depend on your objectives and the information that you have collected from your audience. There are four types of segmentation you can apply:

  1. Demographic
  2. Psychographic
  3. Geographical
  4. Behavioral
4 types of market segmentation

Demographic segmentation is the “who” of market segmentation. It looks at identifiable non-character traits like Age, Gender, Ethnicity, and more. For example, demographic segmentation might target customers based on their income, so your marketing budget is wasted on targeting people who cannot likely afford your products.

Psychographic segmentation is the “why” of market segmentation. It looks at your customers’ personalities and interests like Hobbies, Life goals, etc. It can be harder to identify this set of demographics, but they can be incredibly valuable in your marketing efforts.

Geographic segmentation is the “where” of market segmentation. It is incredibly easy to group your customers via physical location and it can be done in several ways: Country, Region, City, Postal code.

Behavioral segmentation is the “how” of market segmentation. It may be the most useful of all for eCommerce businesses. It does need some data to support it but most of this can be found on your website. The segments available include Spending habits, Browsing habits, Loyalty to brand, and more.

Behavioral segmentation benefits - Messaging accuracy

Segmenting your list lets you address your customers’ needs, market directly to them, and send effective emails every time. It’s integral to an EDM marketing strategy.

Step 4: Create your email campaign

This is it! You’re ready to create your campaign and send an email to your list. Depending on which email platform you went with, the steps to create your campaign will differ slightly. But there are some key email marketing tips you can use when building your campaign:

  • Ditch the technical jargon – Speak directly to your audience in a language they can relate to.
  • Make your emails pop with visuals – Break up large blocks of texts with images.
  • Write a catchy subject line – Your subject line is the most important part of your email because it determines whether or not people see your email.
  • Stick to your brand – Be consistent in your email design, tone of voice, sending intervals, etc.
  • Don’t get sneaky with your unsubscribe button – Anti-spam laws are no joke, so be sure to have a visible unsubscribe button or link in the footer.

If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to the types of email campaigns to send, these are great options for eCommerce businesses:

  • Special offer announcements
  • New arrivals / Product launches
  • “We miss you” type emails to lapsed customers
  • Holiday specials
  • Re-orders / Back-in stock notifications
  • Sale reminders
  • Introduction to your brand and USPs
Ecommerce email marketing examples - The Bakerista and Quip

Step 5: Set up your autoresponders

Take advantage of autoresponders to help you automate your email communications. Autoresponders are emails that are sent automatically to your list based on the triggers you set within your email platform. Triggers can be:

  • A specific action, like when someone opts into your list and a welcome email is sent.
  • Timed release, like a week after signing up to your list, a discount code is sent.

If you’re looking for ways to include autoresponders in your EDM marketing campaign, try some of the following:

  • A birthday greeting
  • Bills, receipts, shipping confirmations, and other transactional emails
  • Product recommendations
  • Content built around visitor behavior on your eCommerce website
  • Abandoned cart reminders
Ecommerce email marketing examples - Aerie and Everlane

Step 6: Enable tracking

If you are running a marketing campaign of any kind, you must be tracking your results. Without analytics, you can’t fully understand how your campaigns are impacting your marketing objectives. Here are some of the key metrics you should be tracking for your EDM marketing campaign:

  • Open rate – How many people open your email.
  • Clickthrough rate (CTR) – How many people click on a link in your email.
  • Click-to-open rate – Compares the number of unique clicks to unique opens.
  • List growth rate – How many new people subscribe from your list.
  • Email sharing rate – How many people are sharing your email.
  • Unsubscribe rate – How many people unsubscribe from your list.

Most email platforms will be able to give you this information – coupled with Google Analytics, you should be able to track all the metrics you need to measure the success of your EDM marketing campaigns.

Step 7: Run complementary marketing campaigns

Depending on your goals, complement your electronic direct mail campaign with campaigns on other media channels, such as remarketing pay-per-click ads, social media posts, SMS remarketing, web push notifications, print advertising, or other offline strategies.

For example, if you’re promoting a new product launch and you’ve sent an email blast to your list, you can follow it up with targeted social media ads, SMS reminders on launch day, as well an advertisement in a magazine.

Let’s look at the “Back in Stock” email example from Blanqi, a nursing and maternity brand. Blanqi sent a promotional email to let their customers know that their popular Girl Shorts were back in stock.

EDM marketing campaign example - Blanqi

From there, Blanqi continued to adjust its eCommerce merchandising strategy and used a website hero image that promotes the Girl Shorts. It also served a “Welcome” lead capture overlay with radio buttons to be able to segment subscribers based on their needs.

EDM marketing campaign example - Blanqi

The brand also ran paid social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, as well as social media influencer sharing to get the word out.

EDM marketing campaign example - Blanqi

And finally, Blanqi sent out another email to subscribers who had shown interest in both postpartum and maternity clothing that highlighted some of the ways you can style the Girl Shorts.

EDM marketing campaign example - Blanqi

By creating these multiple touchpoints and segmenting their list so they are reaching their target audience, Blanqi ensures that their customers and potential customers are aware that the Girl Shorts are restocked and on sale.

You are creating multiple touchpoints where you know your audience will be so that you can reach them more than once. The email is just the starting point.

In conclusion

EDM marketing is a continuous effort to build a personalized brand experience through your marketing. It is all about creating trust and building relationships that convert with your customers. 

If you’re unsure of how to get started, feel free to connect with our team and we’ll be able to offer you tailored lead capture and email remarketing strategies to boost your revenue and customer loyalty. Also, check out our Daily Steals case study where we managed to get over 125,000 additional email subscribers and increase conversions by 4%.

Daily Steals case study | Yieldify

EDM Marketing FAQs

What is an EDM in marketing?

EDM marketing is an acronym for Electronic Direct Mail marketing. It’s a marketing tactic used by companies to target a large group of potential customers and focuses on building relationships to increase overall sales.

Is EDM the same as email marketing?

Both EDM marketing and email marketing use emails to build a list and drive conversions. However, traditional email marketing mainly involves sending emails through a third-party provider in hopes that those emails convert customers. A fully-fledged EDM marketing campaign is much more complex. You may start with e-blasts but follows up with retargeting ads to capture those that have seen the email, a supporting social media campaign, and even billboards or printed ads in magazines.

11 Best Resources To Learn About eCommerce Merchandising

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Ecommerce merchandising resources

Looking to learn more about eCommerce merchandising? We handpicked 11 merchandising resources for all types of learners: from online courses to books and webinars – find one that suits you the best!

Most marketers would say that working through their eCommerce merchandising strategy is quite an exciting time. It means you are taking the steps to improve your business model, increase your revenue, and grow a loyal customer base.

The art of displaying products and offers on shelves to increase sales has long been a staple of retail stores. E-commerce merchandising is a relatively new concept in comparison, but it has quickly become just as important for digital stores as it has been for brick and mortar.

We’ve rounded up the best eCommerce merchandising resources, including online learning courses, books, and workshops that will help you create a winning eCommerce merchandising strategy that works for your business.

Best merchandising courses online

1. Fast Track Retail Buying and Merchandising. This beginner course introduces you to the specialized terminology, concepts, jargon, and acronyms of merchandising. This Udemy course will give you a full picture of how everything ties in together to help you fully understand the complexities of the buying and merchandising cycle in your business.

2. Shopify Compass’ store design courses. Shopify has a series of courses in its Compass program (formerly known as Shopify Academy) that can help you create a stunning eCommerce experience that converts visitors into loyal customers.

The first course – How to Design Your Online Store (with Zero Design Experience) – will guide you through the principles of designing an eCommerce website. You will ensure you are designing for your target audience and will also learn how to create your own visual brand.

The second course – Introduction to Strategic Store Content – will teach you how to leverage strategic content to give your online store the strongest ROI. Lessons include learning how to optimize your website using best practices, and how every page on your website can work to lead potential customers through checkout.

The third course – Product Photography for eCommerce – focuses on the importance of product photography for eCommerce websites and teaches you how you can create your own low budget product photography. 

Ecommerce merchandising resources - Shopify Compass

3. The Art and Science of Buying and Merchandising. With this 7.5 hours long online course available exclusively on Business of Fashion (BoF), you will gain a general understanding of the buying and merchandising functions in your business.

Taking this course you’ll get advice on how to use your data along with your instincts to make big business decisions. Finally, you’ll get a look into best-in-class companies and how they execute their buying and merchandising strategies.

4. Retail Management – Merchandising, Distribution and Marketing. While this free course available on Alison focuses mainly on brick-and-mortar stores, the first half of the course has some great lessons that can easily be applied to eCommerce websites. In Module 1, you will learn how to set price points, the basics of visual merchandising, the principles of design, and how to effectively design to attract customers. 

5. Product Styling for a Higher Revenue. Presenting your products in an appealing way in a big part of effective merchandising. Skillshare’s course will teach you how to create visually stunning images that are presented in a way that supports your brand story. Learning how to style your photos gives you the solid foundation you need to create beautiful images that convert.

Best merchandising books

6. Online Visual Merchandising: Structural Elements and Optimization for Apparel Web Stores. Written in 2014, Online Visual Merchandising is one of the first texts about how merchandising can be used in the digital world. Taking an academic angle, this book focuses on apparel online stores, but the lessons learned can be translated into any eCommerce website. 

7. Upstart!: Visual Identities For Start-Ups & New Businesses. If you are just getting started and you have yet to create a visual brand identity for your eCommerce business, Gestalten’s Upstart! is a great place to go for inspiration. This book showcases a range of visual identities that have been created by new businesses and start-ups and is a great way to find inspiration for your own visual merchandising.

Ecommerce merchandising resources - Upstart!

8. The Ultimate Visual Merchandising Handbook. While this whitepaper on visual merchandising is written with retail stores in mind, 90% of the content is easily translated into the eCommerce world. The Tips and Tricks chapter is very applicable and offers some great takeaways and the How-To Measure VM Strategies provides a very interesting take on how to track and measure the success of your visual merchandising initiatives. 

9. The Elements of Visual Merchandising. Another book that focuses mostly on brick-and-mortar stores, The Elements of Visual Merchandising has a lot of wonderful takeaways that can be applied to an online store. The Importance of shopping environment is one section to take note of – how can you create an eCommerce shopping environment that keeps your customers coming back? And the section on creative applications can help you to understand just how far you can go to entice your customers.

Best merchandising webinars and conferences

10. NRF NXT’s 2020 Digital Conference. This annual conference is the biggest retail eCommerce and digital marketing event. Happening virtually on July 20-22, 2020, the NRF NXT conference is known to focus on merchandising strategies as well as other salient topics for eCommerce businesses. This year’s session on end-to-end execution for AI results and creating growth through experimentation will have direct implications for any digital merchandiser.

11. E-commerce Merchandising Informational Webinar. The University of Vermont offers a 4-week intensive course on eCommerce merchandising and this pre-recorded webinar gives you insight into the course but also into the basics of eCommerce merchandising, the current trends in eCommerce merchandising, the 3 biggest issues eCommerce merchandisers face, and a few tips and tricks to get you started.

In conclusion

While eCommerce merchandising is still a new field and the resources available are working to catch up to the times, there are a lot of great places you can get your information from. And most importantly, a lot of the content that has been created over the years for retail merchandising still rings true. Don’t be afraid to take what works for your business and leave the rest behind. Good luck!

6 Must-Have eCommerce Merchandising Tools

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Best eCommerce merchandising tools | Yieldify

Struggling to choose from the variety of eCommerce merchandising tools available on the market?

We’ve narrowed it down to 6 must-have technologies that will help you scale your eCommerce site to new heights. These tools can help online retailers improve marketing campaigns, customer experience, improve average order value and more.

Merchandising is essential in the eCommerce world. Effective merchandising helps lead potential customers through the buyer’s journey and aims to convert them into loyal customers before they bounce to a new website.

With a solid merchandising strategy, you can influence potential buyers’ purchasing decisions, which helps you increase revenue, reach sales targets, and make lifelong customer relationships. However, even the strongest merchandising strategy needs technology resources to be fulfilled.

In this article, we’ve rounded up 5 amazing eCommerce merchandising tools to help you kickstart your merchandising efforts:

1. Hotjar
2. Yieldify
3. Hawksearch
4. Shutter Stream
5. AstraFit
6. Guided shopping

6 must-have merchandising tools for eCommerce

1. Hotjar – heatmaps and behavioral analytics

Heatmaps are arguably the most powerful way to visualize and understand what your customers are doing on your website. And Hotjar, the industry-leading heatmap and behavior analytics tool, is a great addition to any merchandiser’s tool belt.

Hotjar provides a variety of ways for eCommerce marketers to optimize their website merchandising strategy. Using their heatmaps tool, you can visualize the clicks, taps, and scrolling behavior of your website visitors. This allows you to see the areas most browsers tend to focus on, as well as the ones they overlook.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hotjar

The most common use case is to see how far down your page customers actually scroll. If you have placed important information at the bottom of the product page, such as customer reviews, 360º product close-up video, or – god forbid! – your “Add to cart” button, but your heatmaps show that only 15% of visitors scroll down to see it, it’s a good indication to move that crucial information above the fold.

Hotjar also allows you to make session recordings. You will be able to see in real-time how potential customers are interacting with your eCommerce store. This all but eliminates the guesswork and lets you see exactly what usability issues they may face and what areas of your website are working for you and what areas you need to focus on to improve customer experience.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hotjar

HotJar can be placed across key areas of eCommerce sites to gather data on the key steps within the eCommerce funnel. For example, you can place heatmaps and set up session recordings on a category page to review click through rate of product placement. You can then repeat this process across different product lines.

Alternatively, you could place these on a specific product page to see how product descriptions are performing, are the complementary products you’re cross selling having the right impact? You can review session recordings to see if you’re keeping the customer’s attention

Lastly, Hotjar enables you to gather more feedback and understand what your potential customers want to achieve when visiting your website with their feedback polls feature. You can target questions to customers anywhere on your page to gain valuable information on what is and isn’t working for them on your eCommerce website.

For example, you can ask how the visitor came across your website, what motivated or prevented them from making a purchase, or how to generally improve the website experience. See more Hotjar poll examples here with lots of them focusing on eCommerce.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hotjar

HotJar Alternatives

If HotJar doesn’t seem like your thing there are plenty of alternatives that can help eCommerce sites improve their user experience. If you want to review some alternatives check out the below

  1. Smartlook
  2. Mouseflow
  3. UserZoom
  4. FullStory

2. Yieldify – personalized customer journeys

Personalization is key to any strong eCommerce merchandising strategy. You need to make your customers feel like their shopping experience is tailored to their needs, much like a salesperson would in a retail store.

Yieldify is a fully-managed website personalization solution focused on creating highly-converting eCommerce customer journeys. When it comes to merchandising, Yieldify’s solution is multifold:

  1. First, you get a powerful audience segmentation engine, which allows you to create and target specific customer segments based on demographic, geographic, technographic, and real-time behavioral data.
  2. Once you decide who you’re trying to reach, Yieldify’s CRO experts deploy a variety of well-timed campaigns for every step of your customer journey: From lead generation at the awareness stage to dynamic social proof at the moment of purchase, and beyond.
  3. Using behavioral triggers, Yieldify’s personalization engine allows you to deliver tailored messaging based on real-time customer behavior, such as interaction with specific product categories or pages, shopping cart value, site searches, and more.
  4. Yieldify’s team of designers elevate your merchandising strategy by implementing cohesive brand imagery and style in all the interactive elements used to enhance the customer journey.
Yieldify fully-managed solution

To see more about how Yieldify can help you improve your eCommerce merchandising strategy and turn more website visitors into buyers, check out their case studies here.

3. Hawksearch – next-level product search

Effective search is an essential element of your merchandising strategy. You want a search tool that is simple, functional, and easy-to-use. But that is the bare minimum of what your search needs to achieve – with Hawksearch, it can do so much more.

Hawksearch is a powerful merchandising tool that delivers the right content, at the right time, and allows you to create the best user experience possible. With Hawksearch, your product categories can be applied as search filters, and be displayed based on the search results page.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hawksearch

You can also add a layer of personalization to search results, to highlight products based using location, weather, past purchases, and more. And finally, you can use the power of machine learning to identify relevant recommendations to show potential customers to upsell and cross-sell based on their behaviors.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Hawksearch

According to AddThis, 84% of eCommerce sites don’t actively optimize or measure their on-site search. This in itself presents you with a quick opportunity to improve user experience and convert browsers into buyers.

A study by eConsultancy showed that while the average conversion rate across all websites measured at 2.77%, site search users converted at 4.63%. Whilst we can always try and guide users through websites there will be nothing quicker than effective site search.

4. Shutter Stream – 360º product photography

For eCommerce websites, having excellent product photography is a big part of online merchandising. In retail stores, it’s easy enough to display your products – customers can pick up, examine, and try on products in person. Online, you need to make sure that your product images are high-quality and appealing to entice potential customers to buy from your website.

Product pages are one of the most important pages on an eCommerce site, images make up a huge part of that. According to a study by Etsy, about 90% of surveyed shoppers believe the quality of eCommerce images were very important when deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

Shutter Stream creates software and hardware for eCommerce product photography that is designed for users of any skill level. The goal is to help anyone and everyone create high quality still and 360-degree product images in-house instead of needing to hire a professional photographer.

Ecommerce merchandising tools - Shutter Stream

Shutter Stream Photography Software integrates image composition, camera control, image editing and image processing tools into a single standalone application that helps to automate and batch process standard imaging tasks.

5. AstraFit – virtual fitting room

If your eCommerce website is selling clothing, then let us introduce you to your newest employee – AstraFit. The smart assistant you never knew you needed, AstraFit helps to create a personalized shopping experience by advising potential customers on product sizes and helping them to pick the best fitting clothing.

AstraFit is a must-have merchandising tool in that it gives you a virtual fitting room right on your site by allowing them to see how garments fit their unique figures, by providing them with an easy to understand description of how the garment will fit and feel, and giving them a personalized fit score for each garment they look at.

6. Guided Shopping

Research has found that 83% of shoppers need support during their online journey. Providing a guided shopping experience can come in many forms, from simple chatbots and quizzes, to virtual shopping assistants, or via a tool such as Shopware.

This is a simple but very effective tool to have within online merchandising strategies. Guided shopping helps you keep customers’ attention, promote specific product lines, push relevant products, and can also help cross selling by showing what other customers also purchased.

A great example of this can be seen below from Sephora which provide users with a quiz to help guide their experience and quicken product discovery.

Once users are finished with the quiz they are provided with specific products that can fulfil their needs. This leads to effective product placement in quiz search results, will be a more engaging format than simply searching for products, and provide a unique shopping experience. You can see an example results page below.

Conclusion

No matter what your eCommerce niche is, online merchandising is something that you need to implement into your business. A strong merchandising strategy can help you increase your revenue – for example, one study found that personalized product recommendations resulted in a conversion rate that was 5.5 times higher.

Being able to implement a merchandising strategy is not without its obstacles, so finding a good merchandising tool that simplifies processes along the way is priceless.

Yieldify eCommerce case studies

Next ? 11 Resources to Learn Merchandising From

How to Create a Winning eCommerce Merchandising Strategy

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How to create a winning ecommerce merchandising strategy | Yieldify

Wondering how to create a winning merchandising strategy? Read our blog post to learn about 7 surefire merchandising strategies to boost eCommerce sales.

Often associated with brick and mortar stores, a solid merchandising strategy can make or break your eCommerce store.

If you’ve never given thought to how your eCommerce store is organized, how you present products to customers, or how potential customers move through your online store, now’s the time to dive in and develop your eCommerce merchandising strategy.

Building a strong merchandising strategy is key to increasing your conversions and sales. It helps you determine which products are most likely to be purchased and whether or not the customer has a good experience while shopping.

Merchandising strategy quote

There is a wide variety of merchandising strategies you can employ in your eCommerce store – different strategies will work better for different business models. Read on to learn how to start creating an eCommerce merchandising strategy that is designed to increase revenue.

7 eCommerce merchandising strategies proven to boost sales

Every element of your eCommerce store plays a role in creating an effective merchandising strategy. How these elements interact with each other adds another dimension to your strategy. From your homepage and product pages to menus and checkout process, you need to be aware of how to optimize each element.

When it is boiled down, the purpose of merchandising is to grow your revenue by increasing sales, increasing average order value, and creating loyal, repeat customers.

Here are seven ways that will help you to create a bulletproof merchandising strategy and move the needle on the most important business metrics:

1. Understand your customer journey

How do your customers find their way to your eCommerce store? And once they find their way to your store, what do they do next? Deciphering your customer journey will give you valuable data on how to interact with different customer personas and ensure you are connecting with them at the right time, in the right way.

Mapping your customer journey involves gathering data and thinking critically about how your customers currently engage with you, but the end result is invaluable when creating an effective merchandising strategy.

Download eCommerce engagement map | Yieldify

A customer journey map is a diagram that outlines the steps that a customer takes when engaging with your company. The more touchpoints a customer has, the more in-depth and valuable the map becomes.

Think about how your customers are interacting with your brand: Do they follow you on social media, subscribe to your newsletter, find you via a search engine? However they arrive, every interaction they have with you is an integral piece of information that will help you shape a merchandising strategy that effectively reaches your target customer.

2. Shape traffic accordingly

Once traffic arrives at your eCommerce site, it is important to funnel it to the right places.

More often than not, the first customer touchpoint with your online store will be the homepage. It is important to ensure that your homepage layout is optimized for conversions as this will set the stage for how your potential customers navigate and interact with your eCommerce store.

Keep your design simple, photography effective, and copy straightforward. A study conducted by GoodFirms found that 84.6% of people believe that crowded web design is the most common mistake made in the web design industry.

Ecommerce web design mistakes

Basically, you need to Marie Kondo your eCommerce website. Make use of white space, and most importantly, don’t pull customers in different directions – give them one, max two focal points above the fold.

A great place to guide their attention is to new collections, best-selling products, or an eye-catching sale section that highlights current discounts and promotions.

Your website navigation should be simple, clear, and easy to understand. Think of this as the map to your website – if new visitors can’t figure out how to locate things they want, they will bounce.

Ecommerce merchandising strategy - Homepage

You should have categories and subcategories that are descriptive and a menu logic that is easy to follow. You can also add product images to your main navigation categories to really drive home what it is that they can expect on each category page.

Finally, make sure your search bar stands out and easy to use. According to a survey conducted by InstantSearch, customers that use site search are 3x more likely to complete a purchase on an eCommerce website. Think about using clear language when labeling your search bar and implementing an autocomplete feature to help customers find exactly what they are looking for.

Higher conversions from sessions with search

3. Personalize the experience

In 2020, consumers no longer want shallow, one-off experiences with brands they purchase from. Instead, data shows, more than 60% of modern consumers expect brands to connect with them.

Knowing this, more and more brands are adopting certain personalization strategies to create bespoke shopping experiences for their customers. The best way to do this is to leverage your data and use it to create unique customer segments that you’ll be able to target with personalized offers and messages.

4 types of market segmentation

Quite often, eCommerce marketers look at demographic and geographic factors, such as age, gender, physical location, family status, etc. to craft personalized copy and use selective photography to appeal to a particular segment:

  • A clothing store could choose to highlight their sale on parkas for someone living in New York while a Los Angelite will be served with an offer for swimsuits;
  • A tourism company can change their website hero image to reflect romantic SPA getaways for two vs. family-friendly travel packages;
  • A bank can have multiple microsites with services for a specific age group (student loans vs. retirement plans).

Less popular, but arguably more effective are psychographic and behavioral segmentation. With psychographics, retailers can target customers based on hobbies, values, lifestyles, and more. Behavioral segmentation enables brands to divide their audience based on previous purchasing behavior or real-time interactions with the eCommerce store.

For example, you can look into their previous purchases, purchase frequency, favorite product categories, average order value, and more to create a personalized experience through the touchpoints they are served.

To tie it back to merchandising, you can serve overlays that highlight more expensive luxury goods to customers whose AOV is usually high. Alternatively, those who tend to purchase fewer or cheaper products can be served with cross-selling product recommendations to increase their basket value.

Ecommerce merchandising strategy - Cross-selling

4. Grow the shopping cart

A higher volume of transactions and more items per transaction directly correlate to an increase in profits. A strong merchandising strategy helps you optimize your website to allow for more purchases with a higher value.

Cross-selling is a technique we’ve already mentioned before. It’s designed to get customers to spend more by purchasing related or complementary products. To make the most of cross-selling, you should present related items on your product details page to pique the interest of your customers.

Upselling is another technique that gets customers to spend more by purchasing an ungraded or premium version of what they already have in their shopping cart. Here’s how our client Petal & Pup cleverly used checkout progress bars and product recommendations to boost the shopping cart value.

Ecommerce merchandising strategy - Upselling

5. Generate excitement

Never underestimate the power of a sense of urgency. Merchandising strategies that focus on generating excitement understand that when something is limited edition, seasonal, or low in stock there is a general sense of necessity.

For example, Starbucks’s seasonal drinks are a perfect example of generating excitement. Millions of people wait every year with bated breath for the release of the Pumpkin Spiced Latte – only available for a limited time, this seasonal favorite is a big moneymaker for the coffee chain.

Impulse buys, new arrivals, seasonal items, limited edition, special items, and rapidly growing segments are all different ways to drive excitement. Our client Linenhouse used real-time social proof to indicate how many people viewed a particular product in the last 24 hours, thus showcasing it’s a popular and in-demand buy.

Linenhouse social proof campaign | Yieldify

6. Strengthen your brand image

Strengthening your brand might seem more like a marketing strategy than a merchandising strategy. But enhancing a brand through merchandising looks very different: It focuses on strategies that highlight the quality, service, price, variety, delivery, and presentation of your products.

If you are looking to increase your brand image for merchandising purposes, consider exclusive product offerings, highlighting your USPs and special offers like free shipping and returns, a money-back guarantee, or an extended warranty.

Exit intent overlay - Free shipping | Yieldify

7. Defend your turf

Unless you’ve found an untapped niche, odds are there is some competition in your eCommerce space. By using a turf-defending merchandising strategy, you are actively maintaining and protecting your market share against competitors.

Usually, these strategies take the form of aggressive pricing and promotion strategies. Because this can dig into your margin, we suggest taking an equally proactive but less aggressive approach to defending your turf.

You can leverage customer reviews or testimonials by placing them on the homepage as well as product pages to show potential customers why you are the best choice in the industry. You can also use a variety of trust badges to instill faith in your customers.

Ecommerce merchandising strategy - Customer reviews

In conclusion

Spending the time to build a strong merchandising strategy is a worthwhile investment. Let’s remember once more the 7 merchandising strategies that are sure to boost conversions and revenue:

  1. Understand your customer journey
  2. Shape traffic accordingly
  3. Personalize the experience
  4. Grow the shopping cart
  5. Generate excitement
  6. Strengthen your brand image
  7. Defend your turf

You will need to spend time to determine which strategies work best for your eCommerce business – the above seven strategies can be mixed and matched in an endless variety of configurations. But when you finally land on the perfect strategy, you will see an increase in revenue.

Next ? 5 Must-Have eCommerce Merchandising Tools

How Trust Badges Can Boost eCommerce Conversion Rates

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How trust badges boost eCommerce conversions | Yieldify

A trust badge could be the key to increasing your eCommerce conversions. But what is it and how can you use it to your advantage?

trust badge is a badge or seal that you place on your website that is meant to instill trust in your potential customers. Trust badges are traditionally visible during the checkout process, but a new trend of placing them directly on the home page is gaining traction. 

These trust badges let website visitors know that your page is legitimate and that any data they share will be collected through secure third-party service providers. Because the trust seal company has agreed to place their badge on your website, customers will know that all the processes taking place are safe and secure. 

Free trust badges by Yieldify
Get a free pack of trust badges from Yieldify. Click image to download!

Usually, trust badges denote security features that keep credit cards and other private information safe. These badges come in different shapes and sizes and signal different things to potential customers. 

Social proof solution for eCommerce - book a Yieldify demo now!

The best types of trust badges

There are five main types of trust badges that you can add to your website. Each one has a different meaning and is used for a different purpose – you can use all five types of trust badges on your site simultaneously, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve.

1. Guaranteed Safe & Secure checkout badge

Arguably the most important type of trust badge, the secure checkout badge is the seal given when you sign up with a company that provides an SSL certificate. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protects the internet connection and the information that is shared across that connection.

Safe checkout trust badge | Yieldify

This badge indicates that your checkout process can be trusted: the information is encrypted and your customer’s credit card information is safe and secure. This kind of trust can help to improve your conversions.

There are many safe checkout badge options, but the most trusted and recognized badges quickly let your customers know that your site can be trusted. Possibly the most well-known SSL badge is from Symantec – you may recognize them better as Norton, VeriSign or LifeLock. You can also get trust badges that are recognized the world over from PayPal and Shopify. 

Data security will always be one of the biggest concerns for online shoppers, especially when credit card details are concerned. Adding trust badges, such as the Verisign trust badge can help build customer trust.

Safe Checkout Badges are most effective when displayed near your “Add to Cart” buttons and on your checkout page

2. Free shipping and free returns trust badge

Introduce feelings of trust and safety in your customers with a “Free Shipping” and/or “Free Returns” badge. By letting your customers know that they can receive and return any products ordered without any additional fees, you take away some of the perceived risks of ordering from an online store.

Free shipping trust badge | Yieldify

This badge has more flexibility in placement and can be used effectively in an array of places across your website. We recommend having a Free Shipping and Free Returns badge on all “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” pages. It can also be effective on your homepage – consider adding it to your header – and on your Frequently Asked Questions page, or a dedicated Shipping and Returns page.

Gaining the trust of your customers is incredibly important. By offering free shipping and free returns, you are letting your customers know that not only do you believe in the quality of your products, but you also value their happiness and satisfaction above all else. 

This trust badge is a perfect accompaniment to a Money-Back Guarantee Badge, if you are choosing to use one.  

3. Accepted payment trust badges

When people see a recognizable brand, it helps them feel more confident – that’s why accepted payment badges are so effective. When you have Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and PayPal badges as your payment options, you boost the level of trust in your website with just a few logos.

Accepted payment trust badge | Yieldify

A study conducted by ConversionXL found that when people are familiar with a brand they have a perception of security. “For the most part,” the study said, “greater familiarity also meant a greater feeling of security.” 

You can place these buttons in the footer of your website, and you can also have them listed on your payment page.

4. Third-party endorsements

These trust badges are all about showing that your business is credible – because these programs usually involve an application and review process, they signal to people that you are an established business. If you can’t think of any third-party endorsement badges, think about the Better Business Bureau Accredited Business and Google Customer Review badges – two of the most trusted examples.

Trust seals for eCommerce | Yieldify

A third-party endorsement badge does take more work. As mentioned earlier, you need to submit an application, be reviewed, and approved before you can add the badge to your eCommerce site. 

But the extra work is worth the extra payoff as these badges can have a drastic impact on your conversions. Think about when you shop on Amazon – you look for highly-rated items with lots of reviews and even an Amazon Best Seller badge if you can. Think of these third-party badges in the same way. They signal to your customer that others have had a great experience buying from your online store. 

These badges are usually placed in the footer of your website and should be more prominent than the accepted payment badges.

5. Money-back guarantee badges

Possibly the most effective trust badge of all, the money-back guarantee badge all but completely eliminates the fear and perceived risk of buying a product or service online. While this doesn’t address any of the technical security issues, it does let potential customers know that you have their best interests in mind.

Money back guarantee trust badge | Yieldify

This is a free trust badge, you can make it yourself so that it matches your branding, or you can find a free downloadable version online. 

If you can use money back guarantee badges, you should display them loud and proud.. You want to make sure that every single customer sees it and takes note. It should be in the same places as your Safe Checkout Badge – near the Add To Cart button and the Checkout button. 

Can trust badges improve your conversion rates?

In the digital world, it is normal for people to be wary of online shopping – we’ve all heard the horror stories of people losing their identities, their cash, and more simply buying a product online. 

When someone comes to your eCommerce website for the first time, they are being introduced to your brand. If they have never interacted with your brand before, this is their introduction to your business. You want to ensure that they know your eCommerce website is a safe, secure place. And of course, you want them to complete their purchase.

On average, 75% of potential customers who visit an eCommerce site abandon their cartsTrust badges may be the answer to battling shopping cart abandonment

Cart abandonment rate by industry | Yieldify

There are a variety of reasons why almost three-quarters of customers don’t complete their purchases – this study from the Baymard Institute outlines the major factors.

Almost 1 in 5 respondents said that they didn’t trust the website with the credit card information and that is why they abandoned the checkout process. With 18% pointing to the lack of trust in an online store, it’s clear that building that trust is an integral part of increasing your conversion rate.

A survey conducted by Econsultancy asked consumers the factors that influence their trust when shopping from an online retailer they don’t know very well.

There were a lot of different elements that played a role in building trust, but the most important factor was having trust badges displayed on the website. A whopping 48% of respondents said that trust badges reassure them that the site is secure and trustworthy. 

Trust badges statistics | Yieldify
48% said trust seals are crucial in building trust on eCommerce sites

The same survey found that 76% of respondents said trust seals affected their sense of trust in a website. Another 61% said that they had not made a purchase because there were no visible trust badges or logos when they went to a website. 

If you run an online business trust badges tend to be a quick and easy way you can showcase website security. For eCommerce businesses ensuring customers are comfortable paying online is vital to their success and growth. As the data above shows, they can make quite a big difference.

Which trust badges inspire the most trust?

Each trust badge has its pros and cons, but all of them have been shown to increase trust and conversions. So how do you know which badge will be the most effective for you?

With regards to online security and safe checkout badges, the brand that you choose has a large impact on how much reassurance it gives to your customers.

In a study conducted by CXL, the three most recognized branded trust badges for safe checkout were McAfee (79%), Verisign (76%), and PayPal (72%)

Trust badges heatmap | Yieldify
Data: ConversionXL

Brand recognition is important, as it is correlated with the logos that give customers the most reassurance. Once again PayPal, Verisign, and McAfee topped the list (in that order). The results show that the gap between the recognizable brands and the others is considerable.

Most recognizable trust logos | Yieldify
PayPal, Verisign and McAfee are the three most recognizable trust logos

If you are in a position to offer a money-back guarantee, it is one of the most powerful trust badges you can implement. Visual Website Optimizer put a “30-day money-back guarantee” badge on a site and saw a 32% increase in sales over an 11 day period. Let that sink in: it took less than two weeks for VWO to see their sales increase by more than a third after adding a free badge to their site. 

Free shipping badges and offers have been shown to increase sales by as much as 90%Red Door saw a 90% increase, 2BigFeet saw a 50% increase, and Comscore saw a 16% increase once they’ve added free shipping trust seals on their websites.

The best solution is to use a few trust badges together. That will have the biggest impact on your conversion rate. Crunch the numbers to find out which badges are most cost-effective for your business. 

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Where do you put trust badges?

Trust badges can be used throughout your website but will have the most impact where users may still have initial doubts about purchasing from you or are required to give personal information.

For example, placing secure checkout badges on the payment page of your website will show users you can be trusted with their data and their transaction will be safe.

If your product has won any awards this is, of course, the best place to put those trust badges.

Your homepage is also a great place to put trust badges to instil overall confidence and trust in your brand. New users who are searching for your brand will most likely land on this page so it will be important to showcase reviews, awards, or any other badges here.

For eCommerce websites, you have a lot of options when it comes to trust seal placement with potentially all the above options being relevant.

Trust tends to be tested the most when a customer is about to make a purchase. So the checkout page naturally is very important.

CXL looked into customers’ observational patterns when they were preparing to make online purchases, and it turns out they are quite similar. They search for quick reassurance.

You’ll notice the pattern is pretty much the same across each checkout option, they scan the page looking for quick reassurance they can trust the website and continue with the purchase. So you need to make sure they are easily visible during the micro-moments where trust may waver.

Free trust badges you can add to your eCommerce site today

There are many options when it comes to trust badges. Some of the most esteemed badges don’t come cheap – McAfee Secure, for example, starts at $15/month but scale up as the size of your store grows. 

Shopify trust badges

If you have a Shopify eCommerce store, then this app available through the Shopify App Store is the perfect addition to your website.

With this app, you have access to 670 different accepted payment badges in a variety of design styles. You can easily drag and drop your trust badges to your product pages. If you’d like to have the badges in more than one location on your site, you can upgrade to premium and have your accepted payment badges on your cart page, homepage, and the footer.

PayPal trust badges

If PayPal is one of the ways you accept payments, their free trust badges are a perfect way to start increasing your conversions. 

With downloadable PNGs as well as source code available, you can have a PayPal badge up on your eCommerce store today. They have three different types of badges available:

  • Return Shipping is On Us
  • Backed by PayPal
  • Support Small Businesses 

Convertful trust badges

With 60 free badges that cover 6 major sales objections, Convertful’s free downloadable PNG badges are great for any eCommerce store. Each badge comes in five different styles, so you can find something that works with your store’s design.

Convertful looks at the problems that customers identify that lead them to abandoning their carts and tailor their badges to solve those problems.

Badges include:

  • Free Shipping & Free Delivery to combat those that feel the extra costs are too high.
  • Express Checkout to avoid losing the 35% of people who abandon carts when they have to create an account.
  • Secure Payments for those worried about sharing their information online.
  • Fast Shipping & Delivery for those worried about slow shipping times.
  • Money-Back Guarantee to instill trust in your product and services.
  • Payment Options to list the variety of payment options you accept.

TrustLock.co trust badges

TrustLock.co has over 120+ free website trust badges that you can use on your eCommerce store. You must link back to their homepage to use them for free, but that is a small price to pay for a somewhat recognizable badge.

The free badges include:

  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
  • Guaranteed Safe Checkout
  • Fully Secured SSL Checkout
  • AES 256-BIT SSL Secure
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee 
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • Free Shipping
  • Credit Card Processor Logos
  • PayPal Logos or Stripe Logos

The free badges do not have the TrustLock logo featured on them. To access badges with the logo you need to pay for a premium account, which costs anywhere from $9 to $20/month. 

In conclusion

You have approximately five seconds to build trust with your potential customers.

Make sure to leverage trust badges on your website to quickly build trust with your customers, improve your conversion rate and ultimately increase sales.

Not having trust badges on your website is simply a bad idea.

Trust Badge FAQs

What is a trust badge?

trust badge is a symbol or icon placed on your website that ensures your visitors that the page is legitimate and all processes are safe and secure.

Where do you put trust badges?

Trust badges can be strategically placed throughout your website to help increase conversion rates. For example, on your homepage, product pages, during the checkout journey & payment page.

Do trust badges work?

Numerous studies have shown that trust badges can increase conversion rates. For example, In one survey 48% said that trust badges reassure them.

The 10 Best Shopify Alternatives for Businesses Big and Small

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Shopify alternatives | Yieldify

There are hundreds of Shopify alternatives on the market that are worth considering. Let’s look at 10 of the best eCommerce platforms for every type of business.

The most popular eCommerce solution currently on the market, Shopify has over 820,000 active online stores around the globe. It’s the Google of eCommerce platforms. But just because you’ve heard of Shopify, doesn’t mean it’s the best platform for you and your business.

Table of Contents
1. Shopify Alternatives For Beginners & Start-ups
2. Shopify Alternatives for Mid-sized Businesses
3. Shopify Alternatives for Enterprise level businesses
4. What’s the right solution for you?

Maybe you are just starting and want to put in the research to make sure you get the platform for your business. Maybe you are looking for a more affordable option. Maybe you are considering switching from your current Shopify site to another more flexible platform.

Ecommerce platforms comparison matrix | Yieldify

Because there are so many Shopify alternatives on the market, it can feel overwhelming – where do you even begin? We suggest you begin with this list.

Top 10 Shopify alternatives

We’ve pulled together our list of the top Shopify alternatives in the market. From eCommerce platforms that are very similar to Shopify to those that offer something completely different, we’re going to break down each solution to help you make sure you choose the best platform for your business.

Shopify alternatives for beginners and startups

Big Cartel

Perfect for smaller eCommerce businesses, Big Cartel has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from their competitors but at a lower price point (starting at $9.99). They even have a free plan if you have less than 5 products, but keep in mind that Big Cartel has a maximum of 500 products for any site on their largest plan, which costs $29.99 a month.

While Big Cartel has gorgeous, responsive designs, with real-time stats and promotional tools, it can be difficult to grow with their limited product listings.

Shopify alternatives - Big Cartel | Yieldify
Website built with Big Cartel

Prestashop

If you are on a tight budget, Prestashop is a great option. The platform itself is free, so you will only have to cover the cost of your domain name and hosting.  

When compared to Shopify, Prestashop has fewer themes, templates, and overall features. However, it has the best usability we’ve seen from a free platform. It charges no additional transaction fees, has unlimited products, supports international sales, and abandoned cart details.

Shopify alternatives - Prestashop | Yieldify
Website built with Prestashop

You can also opt for some of their premium add-ons that allow you to take your eCommerce site to a whole new level. They also have Prestashop experts you can hire who can help you customize your site with a minimal initial investment.

Shopify alternatives for small to mid-sized businesses

1. Squarespace

Known first and foremost as a website design tool, Squarespace introduced its eCommerce solution and became a great all-in-one Shopify alternative.

If you use Squarespace, you know you’ll have a beautifully designed website. They also have a host of different options to help you with your eCommerce journey. From a wonderful checkout experience and unlimited product listings to social media integrations and a backend inventory management system, Squarespace has become a real competitor in the eCommerce world.

Shopify alternatives - Squarespace | Yieldify
Website built with Squarespace

Squarespace does have a limited amount of payment options – you’ll need to use Stripe, PayPal or Apple Pay. Their price point is also higher when you compare to their direct competitors (Wix, Weebly, and Webflow, for example) but it is still reasonable. The Business plan is the first tier with eCommerce and costs $18/month and the Commerce plan – that has all the eCommerce features – costs $40/month.

2. Selz

A platform targeted at small business owners and entrepreneurs, Selz gives you many different ways to sell your products (digital, physical and services). From using their widgets and social media integrations to creating your online store with their website builder, you have a lot of flexibility with how you sell your products. 

All plans have unlimited products and storage, but prices increase for the number of users on your account – Basic costs $29/month for 2 users, Standard costs $59/month for 5 users, and their Advanced plan gives you 15 users and costs $199/month.

Shopify alternatives - Selz | Yieldify
Online store theme from Selz

One of the greatest advantages of Selz is its proprietary payment processor. Available in 60 countries, Selz Pay lets you accept payments without any additional fees. They also have a robust blogging feature, helping you make the most of your SEO.

3. Ecwid

If you already have a website set up and you’re looking to start selling a product, Ecwid is a great option.

An eCommerce widget that can be used on almost any website, Ecwid is an affordable option and is easy to set up. While this might not be the best option if you are looking to grow a huge eCommerce business, it has enough features to keep up with its competitors – you can sell digital goods, access unlimited bandwidth, and take advantage of real-time shipping rates.

Their free account lets you sell up to 10 items. For $15/month, you can add 100 products to your store, and their unlimited account is only $99/month.

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Shopify alternatives for enterprise-level businesses

4. BigCommerce

One of the most reliable Shopify alternatives, BigCommerce has over 95,000 live sites currently running. If you are looking for a user friendly, versatile, scalable eCommerce platform, BigCommerce is a great option.

They offer customized shipping options, which is key for the majority of store owners. Their checkout experience is also highly customizable. From the steps that lead a customer through checkout to the background images, you have control of every element.

Shopify alternatives - BigCommerce | Yieldify
Website built with BigCommerce

Prices start at $29.95/month for their Standard plan. It is important to note that their plans come with a yearly sales threshold. When you reach a certain number of yearly sales you’ll be moved to a higher plan.

With 600 product variants, no transaction fees, and some of the best eCommerce SEO integrations, BigCommerce is worth a second look.

5. WooCommerce

If you are using WordPress to build your site (or like the thought of building your store on WordPress), WooCommerce is a great option. WooCommerce is a plugin that can be added to any WordPress site and it is completely free. Because WooCommerce integrates with WordPress, you get more control over your WooCommerce website compared to Shopify. But you will also need a bit more knowledge to create your WordPress site.

You’ll have access to both free and paid themes and beautiful products and checkout pages, and you can also sell services with WooCommerce. This is perfect to make your online store fit your brand. You also can take advantage of product ratings and reviews to boost your on-page SEO, and unlimited products, images, and galleries.

Shopify alternatives - WooCommerce | Yieldify
Website built with WooCommerce

6. 3Dcart

Brimming with features, 3Dcart is another great Shopify alternative for creating your eCommerce site. With support for over 70 different payment gateways, unlimited product listings, abandoned cart emails, coupons, basic SEO tools, drop shipping, track, and more, 3Dcart is still competitively priced.

From $19/month for their Startup account, to $229/month for their Pro account, 3Dcart also boosts no additional transaction fees. They also offer in-house web design services if you need some assistance to make your eCommerce site stand out.

7. Volusion

A worthy alternative to Shopify, Volusion has been on the scene for two decades. To date, they have processed over $28 billion in sales.

A big reason why Volusion is a top choice with store owners is that many of their amazing features are built into the dashboard. They have many of the bells and whistles that you’d expect from an eCommerce platform. But there are also a few key features that make them stand out from the pack.

Shopify alternatives - Volusion | Yieldify
Website built with Volusion

Their one-page checkout decreases the number of abandoned carts, meaning you won’t need to use their live and abandoned cart feature as often. They have built-in social media management along with tools that make it easy for you to sell on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. 

They even have an option that allows you to process phone orders right from your dashboard. Volusion has no added transaction fees and monthly fees begin at $29, while their Business plan costs $299/month.

8. Magento

Extremely scalable and customizable, Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform. They recently expanded their offerings to become fully hosted making them even more competitive with their industry peers.

While you will need more developmental support to get your store up and running on Magento, they have a host of amazing features to take advantage of. These include integrated checkout, payments and shipping, instant purchase, site search, international transactions and currencies, and much more.

Shopify alternatives - Magento | Yieldify
Website built with Magento

One of the biggest reasons to choose Magento is the limitless possibilities there are when it comes to customization. Because you have access to the source code, you or your developer can edit and modify the software as you see fit.

Magento is free, but consider the additional costs you will incur to set up and maintain your site. This is especially relevant if you are hiring a developer

Which Shopify alternative is right for you?

This question gets a bit tricky because it depends on your specific needs.

  • If you want to grow your store to the biggest it can be, BigCommerce is a great place to start.
  • If you are looking for an all-in-one solution, Squarespace can give you a well-rounded blogging experience as well as an eCommerce solution.
  • If you are looking for a cheaper option, Big Cartel’s free option is available.
  • And if you are looking for more flexibility, Magento and WooCommerce are the way to go.
CRO for eCommerce stores - Get a Yieldify demo

Shopify Alternative FAQs

? What can I use instead of Shopify?

You can use any of these instead of Shopify. BigCommerce, 3Dcart, Volusion, Squarespace, Big Cartel, PrestaShop, Magento, and WooCommerce.

❓ Is there a free alternative Shopify?

The best free alternative to Shopify is PrestaShop. The platform is free, but there are some add ons that you will have to pay for.

? Who are Shopify competitors?

10 of Shopifys biggest competitors are Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Volusion, PrestaShop, Squarespace, Wix, 3dcart, Big Cartel and Weebly.

Are you ready to take a Shopify alternative out for a test run? Be sure to take advantage of the free trials offered by each eCommerce platform. 

Customer Journey Lookbook | Yieldify

Shopify Academy: The Free Online Training Course [Overview]

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Shopify Academy Course Overview | Yieldify

Looking for some free e-commerce courses to up your game? Shopify Academy is a popular online resource used by newbies and seasoned entrepreneurs alike.

Shopify Academy is a free series of online Shopify training courses taught by industry leaders and experienced entrepreneurs. Featuring 13 courses in total, each Shopify Academy course tackles a different challenge faced by e-commerce business owners. These range from e-commerce SEO to dropshipping, email marketing, and more.

The best news? All 13 courses are completely free! Anyone can simply sign up for a free Shopify Academy account and access the training sessions and on-demand courses. (Note: If you already have a Shopify store account, this will be a separate account with a separate login.)

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at each course:
1. Goal Setting
2. SEO Training for beginners
3. Google Ads for eCommerce
4. Grow your business with Instagram
5. eCommerce Email Marketing
6. Creating a print-on-demand business
7. Product Photography
8. How to design your Shopify Store
9. Getting started with Shopify
10. Facebook Ads For Retention
11. Facebook Ads for Acquisition
12. How to make money from your hobbies
13. Dropshopping 101

Shopify Academy Course Overview | Yieldify

Shopify Academy course overview

1. Goal Setting with Daymond John

If you are struggling to plan for your long-term success, this Shopify Academy course is for you. Taught by the fashion mogul turned Shark Tank investor, Daymond John, the course is designed to teach e-commerce entrepreneurs how to set achievable goals.

In particular, Daymond John’s course will teach you how to run your business through a goal-oriented mindset, set measurable and impactful goals and develop business relationships that last. You’ll learn:

  • How to understand the importance of setting the right kinds of goals and how to structure your goals productively.
  • Ways to stay on track and reach your goals through daily actions.
  • How to understand your failures and use them to set goals that work.
Shopify Academy Daymond John course | Yieldify

2. SEO Training for Beginners Course

The importance of a strong e-commerce SEO strategy can’t be underestimated. When your SEO is working for you, customers come into your online store organically through their searches. This means your customer acquisition costs are much lower compared to running lead generation campaigns on paid advertising channels.

The SEO training course is taught by Shopify’s Experimentation Lead, Cassandra Campbell, who is responsible for building Shopify’s SEO strategy. This course covers the basics, making it great for anyone just starting out with their SEO. You’ll learn:

  • How to conduct keyword research (including tools and strategies to use).
  • How to structure your website and incorporate keywords into your website copy.
  • Tips for creating a successful backlink strategy for your business.

While SEO can help you organically reach the top of Google, getting your ads seen first on Google is another challenge that Shopify Academy tackles. In this course, you’ll learn from Daniel Patricio, a Shopify business owner who took his small online store and turned it into a 6-figure business.

The course will take you through the basics of Google Ads, giving you a tour of Google Ads Manager and showing you how to effectively set up Search Ads, Display Ads, and Shopping Ads. You’ll learn:

  • How to set a budget for your campaign.
  • The process for launching your first ad campaign.
  • How to effectively use retargeting ads.

4. Grow Your Business with Instagram

There is no denying the importance of Instagram for e-commerce businesses. Users check the app multiple times a day and are engaging at an exponential rate, making it the perfect place to grow your brand and create a connection with your audience.

With over 16 million followers across her channels, Gretta Van Riel teaches Shopify Academy’s course on everything Instagram. From building a sales funnel to making the most of every post, Van Riel uses real-world examples to ensure you get the most from this course.

Ultimately, the goal of this course is for every student to walk away thinking about Instagram, not as a social network, but as a business tool. You’ll learn:

  • Tips to attract new followers and engage with your audience.
  • How to build an Instagram sales funnel.
  • How Instagram and email can work together for your business.

5. E-commerce Email Marketing 101

The host of popular marketing podcast NerdMarketing.com, Drew Sanocki, teaches this Shopify Academy course on email marketing. This course covers the importance of a business-owned channel to reach your audience – an email list.

Considered as one of the most helpful courses in Shopify Academy, you will first discover the email marketing essentials. After this will be more advanced frameworks to automate your email marketing, saving you time and money. You’ll learn:

  • How to set up your email service provider account.
  • How to automate your email marketing to make an impact on your bottom line.
  • Proven tactics and templates to convert subscribers into buyers.
Shopify Academy Drew Sanocki course | Yieldify

6. Build a Print-on-Demand Empire

If you’re planning to work with print-on-demand services, who better to learn from than Adrian Morrison? His print-on-demand business has surpassed seven figures in sales and he’s taught thousands of entrepreneurs how to build their print-on-demand businesses. You’ll learn:

  • What goes into a print-on-demand business.
  • How to create your branded print-on-demand products.
  • How to grow your print-on-demand business to create your empire.

7. Product Photography for E-commerce

Did you know that over 67% of consumers say images are very important when making purchasing decisions? If you haven’t already spent some time investing in excellent product photography, Shopify Academy’s photography course is for you.

Taught by Jeff Delacruz, founder of Products on White Photography, this course gives you insight into how to plan a shoot and quickly shift to achieve the best photos possible. You’ll learn:

  • How to plan the perfect photoshoot.
  • The art of using what you have at home to create great low/no budget product photography.
  • How you can use product photography to grow your business.

8. How to Design Your Online Store (with Zero Design Experience)

Stephan Peralta, founder and creative director at Sovi Creative, has spent over six years supporting brands in his e-commerce agency. He leads Shopify Academy’s course on designing your online store.

Working through the first principles of e-commerce design, you will ensure that you’re designing for your audience. Then afterward you will tackle brand identity and watch it come together when you design your Shopify store. You’ll learn:

  • The 3-step framework for designing a successful shop.
  • How to create a brand through logos, color schemes, and more.
  • How to choose a theme and customize it using the Shopify theme editor.
CRO for Shopify stores - Get a Yieldify demo

9. Getting Started with Shopify Course

If you’re looking to start a Shopify store, this is the right course for you. Entrepreneur and e-commerce guru, Samantha Renée, takes you through how to set up your Shopify store and work towards your very first sale.

This course helps you set your store up for future success – saving time and money by doing it right the first time. You’ll learn:

  • How to become a Shopify expert.
  • How to add products to your store, and accept payments.
  • Tips for launching a successful Shopify store.

10. Facebook Ads for Beginners: Retention and Loyalty Training

Get introduced to Facebook Ads Manager in this course led by Ezra Firestone. You will be guided step-by-step through creating your first Facebook ad campaign and then learn how to create a retargeting campaign that leverages those that have previously visited your website.

From there you’ll work on a customer loyalty campaign to show your current customers some love. You’ll learn:

  • How to navigate Facebook Ads Manager.
  • The ins and outs of retargeting campaigns.
  • How to read and interpret Facebook Analytics.
Shopify Academy Ezra Firestone course | Yieldify

11. Advanced Facebook Ads: Customer Acquisition Training

Ezra Firestone is back for the advanced Facebook Ads course provided by Shopify Academy. In this deeper look into Facebook ads, you’ll go beyond nurturing your current customers and learn how to bring in new customers to your store. You’ll learn:

  • How to create a new customer acquisition campaign.
  • The ins and outs of interest-based targeting.
  • How to analyze your analytics to make decisions about how and where to spend your money.

12. Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

If you have a homemade product that you are looking to turn into a full-fledged business, learning from the Kular family is a great place to start. Therefore, it’s recommended to take this course before you open in order to get a better understanding of how to start and run your business.

From preparing cooking kits for her daughters to having Jaswant’s Kitchen products on the shelves of grocery stores across North America, you will follow the steps the Kular’s took to grow their product from selling to friends to an e-commerce powerhouse. You’ll learn:

  • How to create a basic product and get it in front of customers quickly.
  • Tips to develop a shipping strategy.
  • How to successfully launch a product.

13. Dropshipping 101 Course

Dropshipping is a great way to build an e-commerce business. If the logistics have kept you from taking the plunge, then Shopify Academy’s course taught by Corey Ferreira is a great place to start. For example, he took his side hustle and grew it into a 6-figure business.

In this course, he shares his mistakes and biggest challenges, giving you the road map to navigate the most common pitfalls of dropshipping businesses. The big takeaway from this course is to focus your business on your evergreen niche and to essentially ignore trends. You’ll learn:

  • How to find the ideal product to sell.
  • The way to identify and target the right audience for your product.
  • How to reinvest your earnings to grow your business.

Closing Thoughts

Shopify Academy was ultimately designed to help e-commerce entrepreneurs build online stores and turn a profit. With hands-on walkthroughs, experienced instructors, and an entire business template library, it is one of the richest e-commerce training resources online.

Ultimately, despite the courses being free, the quality of the instructors and the real-world experiences that they share make these courses a sound investment of your time.

E-commerce marketer's guide | Yieldify

Shopify Academy FAQs

❓ What is Shopify Academy?

Shopify Academy is an online series of Shopify training courses taught by industry leaders and experienced entrepreneurs. There are 13 courses in total each focusing on different challenges eCommerce business owners will face.

? Is Shopify Academy free?

Yes, Shopify Academy is a free training series for beginners. You’ll learn how to up your first Shopify store to marketing ideas, and effective product photography.

? Is Shopify easy to learn?

Shopify is relatively easy to learn even for beginners who want to run a standard eCommerce store. The free training courses will cover everything you need to know, and they have a support team on hand to answer any questions.

Everything You Need to Know About Lead Capture Pages

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Lead capture pages cover image | Yieldify

When running a marketing campaign, where do you send your leads? To your homepage, or maybe to a subdomain on your homepage? If you’re not using dedicated lead capture pages, you’re missing a golden opportunity.

Think of your homepage as your information hub, the encyclopedia of your business – every piece of information that a person could want about your business can be found there.

When you’re running a marketing campaign, sending your leads to your homepage can be overwhelming and confusing. They are looking for specific information on a specific feature, product, item, or event. That’s where lead capture pages come in.

Unlike your homepage, a lead capture page has one end goal – provide information to customers to entice them to provide you with their data and nurture the relationship between your business and your potential customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

? What is a lead capture page?

A lead capture page is a specially-designed landing page whose sole purpose is to capture information about your leads: name, email, phone number, etc. This information is collected through a lead capture form and used to help you build a relationship with your leads. The end goal is to convert them into customers through your marketing funnel.

? How do I make a lead capture page for free?

There is software available that can help you create lead capture pages for free, such as Typeform, Mailchimp, Leadpages, and Simple Lead Capture.

Lead capture solution for eCommerce - Book a Yieldify demo now!

How to Build a Lead Capture Page

1. The ask

Determining what information to ask from your customers might seem like an easy question with an easy answer. At first. In reality, it is a complicated formula based on a variety of factors.

When you create your lead capture page, determine the campaign goals and what information you will need to gather from your customer to reach those goals. You want to ensure you can collect all the necessary information, without overwhelming your customer.

Here’s the catch, single-field lead generation forms will generate more leads, but longer forms are more likely to generate qualified leads. When a customer is willing to take the time to fill in 5+ fields, the more likely they are to buy.

Urban Outfitters took the risk with a five-field lead capture form for its Rewards program, including email address, birth date, and style preference. In return, people gain access to UO’s member benefits – a high-value offer that justifies the big ask.

Lead capture page | Yieldify
Urban Outfitters’ five-field lead capture form

Admittedly, a form of this length can be offputting for first-time users. This is where segmenting your traffic based on new and returning visitors makes sense. It enables you to serve the most appropriate lead capture format and get the highest conversion rate possible. You could also segment based on demographics or even behavioral factors.

2. The give

Now that you know what you’ll be asking your customers to give you, you need to ask yourself what you are willing to offer in return. Designing a highly converting lead capture page requires that you give to your leads as much as you are asking of them.

Giving your customers a discount for signing up for a newsletter is standard practice for many e-commerce sites. But is it right for you? You’ll need to run your numbers and see if your bottom line can handle a 10-15% discount.

We reviewed lead capture forms that offered an incentive versus those that didn’t, and the results were clear-cut: Lead capture forms with a discount had a 5.9% opt-in rate compared to a 3.8% opt-in for those without a discount. So ask yourself if a 2.1% increase in opt-ins is worth it for your business.

Lead capture page | Yieldify
Matcha Source offers 10% off first order in exchange for name and email details

It’s important to remember that a discount isn’t the only valuable thing you can offer to your potential customers. Think about what they put value in and see if there is something you can create that will make them feel like giving you their email address is worth it. Creating a competition, contest, or quiz are all great alternatives with much lower overhead that still allow you to capture the same data. According to LeadQuizzes, the average quiz has a 31.6% lead capture rate.

Upon opening a new location in Los Angeles, skincare brand HeyDay used a giveaway to incentivize customers to submit their email through a lead capture page. They’ve also boosted their social media following by promising a bonus entry to anyone who follows the brand on Instagram.

Lead capture page | Yieldify
HeyDay’s lead capture page

3. The position

Where your email sign up form is placed on your lead capture page is a design choice, but it is also a key element in the success of your lead gen strategy.

As a general rule, your form should always be above the fold. Above the fold refers to the section of a website that is visible without any scrolling or clicking. A customer is most engaged with your page content above the fold meaning you should be using this space for your most important information.

If your offer needs more explanation – if, for example, you’re selling an event or special service – then it is best to use your lead capture page to get into the details of your ask. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have a lead capture form above the fold. It just means you should also have one under the fold after you’ve gone into the details of your ask.

You can also turn to other elements that can help you capture leads on your landing page. At Yieldify, we implement various lead capture formats so get the best results for your e-commerce lead generation campaigns: from overlays to pop-ups, push notifications, float buttons, in-page personalization features, and more.

Lead capture page | Yieldify
A lead capture campaign featuring Yieldify’s float button

4. The CTA

The importance of a strong call-to-action (CTA) shouldn’t be underestimated. Your lead capture page is only as powerful as your CTA.

Customers have come to expect CTAs – they function as transitions for customers and prompt them to take immediate action. Customers seek out CTAs to lead them on the path of least resistance. Make it easy for them by creating a prominent CTA with an engaging tagline.

Gone are the days of “click”, “submit”, and “subscribe”. Instead, inject some power words, personalization, exclusivity or actionable verbs into your CTA. Try blending elements from a couple of categories to create personalized, engaging CTAs like “Get my Discount” or “I Want to be an Insider”.

Lead capture page | Yieldify

5. The copy

Like any webpage, your lead capture page should have captivating copy that clearly explains everything your customer needs to make an informed decision.

Start with an attention-grabbing headline that encourages customers to keep reading. Include your unique value proposition in your headline. Remember, you don’t have the same real estate on a lead generation page as you do on your homepage. From the get-go, you need to get right to the point – your headline should let your customers know exactly what it is they are seeing.

Your copy should be clear and concise, from the headline through the body copy. Make sure you clearly outline what your customers will receive when they sign up and use bullet points whenever possible to keep the copy readable.

Lead capture page | Yieldify
Shavekit’s lead capture page features customer reviews

You can also include customer testimonials or reviews to build trust and infuse your products with value and credibility in the eyes of your customers. Here are several creative ways that Shavekit and Mum&You utilize social proof in different ways.

Lead capture page | Yieldify
Mym&You’s lead capture page lists awards and recognitions

6. The nitty-gritty

Privacy Policies. It goes without saying, but in the age of GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and CASL it is essential to ensure that your forms are compliant for users in the European Union, the United States, and Canada. Know your target audience and take the time to make sure your forms and email practices are all compliant.

Page Navigation. To keep your lead gen page as simple and streamlined as possible, remove your page navigation from the top and the bottom of the page. You want to remove all possible distractions from your end goal—capturing their data. Keep the page laser-focused. Remember, the only link to click should be your CTA.

How to Build a Lead Capture Page for Free

  1. Typeform. Designed for respondents, Typeform’s free lead generation forms are beautifully designed and mobile-ready. You can brand your form customized colors, fonts, and images, making sure your page connects with your other brand touchpoints. You’ll also receive an email with each new lead so you can action your responses quickly.
  2. Simple Lead Capture. Called the “simplest and fastest lead capture page publishing platform”, Simple Lead Capture is a simple-to-use, professional point and click page builder. Without the need for coding or design work, Simple Lead Capture lets you build lead capture pages in just a few minutes.
  3. MailChimp. Known predominantly as email software, MailChimp also offers free account holders the ability to create lead capture pages using their templates. You can create a page that highlights a product, offers a free download, or holds a contest.

Alternatively, you can always get in touch with us! Yieldify offers 360° campaign execution, meaning we will strategize, create and implement your lead capture campaign taking care of the copy, the design, and the functionality behind it as well.

Lead capture solution for eCommerce - Book a Yieldify demo now!