Last week, we teamed up with our tech partner, Yotpo, on their latest event: ‘How D2C Brands Can Win in 2021‘, featuring GoPro and Jaybird. Here we share the key takeaways along with some insights of our own.
Session 1: 5 eCommerce Predictions For 2021 From The Experts
Yotpo’s first speaker, Ariel Bubb, Marketing Events Manager at Yotpo, kicked off the event with 5 predictions that every D2C brand needs to know when mapping out initiatives for the rest of 2021.
These were as follows:
Prediction 1: Legacy Retail Brands Will Launch D2C Channels
While stores were closed, large volumes of consumers ventured over to eCommerce and, frankly, they liked what they saw. According to research by McKinsey, 20% of consumers tried a new digital shopping method and 80% intend to continue shopping that way.
Ariel predicts that we’ll see shoppers crisscrossing between online and offline experiences over the coming months. However, it’s worth noting that while eCommerce sales might dip slightly as stores re-open, eCommerce will remain a primary shopping channel for most consumers.
These changes in shopper behaviors have encouraged many brands that exclusively sold products through retailers, to now utilize eCommerce to sell directly to consumers. For example, last year Heinz launched a new D2C offering, Heinz-at-Home. This catered to shoppers reluctant to go into stores or unable to secure delivery slots with the country’s major supermarkets.
More brands are expected to follow suit in 2021, especially those within the food and beverage sector.
Prediction 2: SMS Marketing Will Become The Top Relationship Builder
With lockdowns a common occurrence, many consumers are rightly staying at home. However, this means that they are relying more than ever on mobile communications to stay connected.
In fact, SMS marketing contributes approximately 20% of overall revenue for eCommerce brands according to Yotpo. Therefore, more and more brands are beginning to integrate SMS within their marketing strategies, alongside paid acquisition, social, and email.
In the example below, our (Yieldify’s) client StickerYou integrated SMS into their email lead capture strategy. They offered an additional discount incentive if the user signed up for text messages too.
In 2021 we expect to see more clients utilizing SMS capture strategies in conjunction with our on-site behavioral tracking. This will allow them to send out hyper-personalized text messages that are far more likely to result in product sales – maximizing ROI on their SMS marketing efforts.
Prediction 3: Google Shopping Will Be A Secret Weapon
A study by Microsoft Corp suggested that consumers generally start to lose concentration after about eight seconds – an all-time low.
With this in mind, early touchpoints in the customer journey such as Google shopping results and reviews will be increasingly significant to brands.
For reviews, in particular, the exposure during the search phase makes it even more critical for brands to source and surface the highest quality reviews possible.
Ariel predicts that 2021 will see brands become more proactive in their approach to customer reviews. This centers around thinking more carefully about the questions they need to ask reviewers in order to generate higher-quality answers that can be used to aid conversions.
Prediction 4: Subscription Models Will Become The New Normal
Over the last year, many brands have explored the concept of subscription models in a bid to secure incremental revenue over longer periods of time. However, the pandemic has exacerbated consumer demand for these services.
According to Couponfollow around 20% of consumers purchased subscription boxes just to have those products available to them during the pandemic, with clothing boxes and meal kit boxes ranking highly.
Subscription models are expected to continue rising in popularity throughout 2021. However, Ariel predicts that they will, crucially, become more integrated and optimized across brand marketing channels.
Prediction 5: AI Will Supercharge Conversion
During the pandemic, online shopping habits increased and so did consumer expectations.
According to a survey of 1,000 US adults by Epsilon and GBH Insights, 80% of consumers expect personalized experiences from retailers. This makes sending generic email blasts and funneling visitors to a single landing page redundant.
We couldn’t agree with Ariel more. In fact, Yieldify has invested heavily in our industry-leading testing and machine learning capabilities for 2021 to maximize revenue opportunities for our customers.
The key component here is behavioral tracking. Through that, we can identify the micro-moments throughout the entire customer journey where website personalization will carry the most impact. This allows brands to achieve the holy grail of presenting users with both timely and relevant messaging.
Session 2: Discovering New Audiences For Your Products
Up next were the headline speakers, Jeffrey Orange, Sr. Manager, Product Management at GoPro, and Charlotte Holbein, Ecommerce Manager at Jaybird. Below are our highlights:
The Pandemic Has Created New Use Cases
For Jaybird, their audience is largely made up of professional athletes. However, the past year has broadened the definition of what being an athlete entails. For example, their audience was mostly runners, but now there are athletes from other sports, alongside consumers more generally interested in sport or being athletes in their own worlds.
GoPro similarly saw their audience broaden from being primarily live-action sport content creators. Amid lockdowns, live streaming, vlogging, and blogging became extremely popular use cases for GoPro cameras.
At Yieldify we have also seen our clients’ audiences change and a prime example of this is Piedmontese, a steak brand. The pandemic shifted their audience from predominantly ‘foodies’ and steak lovers to everyday consumers that simply wanted healthy and tasty meat amid stock shortages. To hear more about their story, click here for the full webinar recording.
Yotpo Reviews Can Help Uncover New Consumer Insights
GoPro gave the example of their Smart Remote launch. Surprisingly the product reviews indicated a higher interest from consumers than the brand even anticipated. As a result, the brand invested more into making similar products available to meet this fresh consumer demand.
For Jaybird, a lot of their product feedback and reviews center around the fit of the earbuds they sell, which is extremely helpful for new product development. Additionally, they ask reviewers for their primary activity to help potential customers easily filter reviews based on their own use case.
Product Pages Can Be Tweaked to Replicate In-Store Experiences
This is a challenge that we have seen come up time and time again for our clients and prospects alike. In fact, it’s especially true for D2C brands or legacy retailers moving into eCommerce for the first time.
In Jaybird’s scenario, they tackled this challenge by embedding reviews and user-generated content alongside enhanced feature visualization. This allowed consumers that couldn’t see, touch, or feel products, to connect with people that have experienced the product first-hand.
Another great example of solving this challenge is our client Kiehls, a beauty brand known for its generous in-store sampling service.
Tasked with reflecting this USP on Kiehl’s website, Yieldify developed a corner notification strategy that triggered for visitors with basket values between €75 and €89 and offered two XXL samples and three sachets once they reached the €90 threshold.
The campaign was exceptionally well received by users, creating a 74% uplift in conversions and 4% higher average order values.
Yotpo’s Key Takeaways
- Reviews can be an important source of feedback for your product. Jaybird learned that their product needed to have a range of fit options to meet customer needs, while GoPro discovered an entirely new persona.
- Jaybird did many user tests to perfect their product page, and in the end, even with the most detailed product information, customers still wanted reviews to validate their decision.
- Both brands have been able to use reviews and UGC to personalize their messaging to subcommunities that use their products.
Session 3: How GhostBed Earned A Shopper’s Trust With Product Pages
The final session was presented in an immersive format by Justin Risso, Enterprise Customer Success Manager at Yotpo, featuring a live teardown of one of GhostBed’s product pages.
Coincidentally, at Yieldify we feature a similar format in our popular webinar series, eCommerce Under the Microscope. You can check out past episodes via our Youtube channel. We particularly recommend our social proof episode as a great follow-on from this blog post.
Justin did an amazing job at dissecting the strategies in play on GhostBed’s site and here are our favorites:
1. Featuring Trust Badges And Awards To Inspire Consumer Confidence
First up is a tried-and-tested tactic that is fairly self-explanatory. Essentially, trust badges and awards capitalize on the ever-growing power of social proof, psychologically influencing consumer purchase decisions.
The perfect demonstration of the effectiveness of this approach is the following campaign by our client The Healthy Chef.
The brand achieved a 93% uplift in revenue by simply leveraging a corner notification that displayed their excellent 5-star rating.
2. Utilizing Scales To Replicate The In-Store Experience
This is a particularly clever tactic, especially in the example of buying a bed. Beds, and any furniture for that matter, are high-value items that are extremely personal to the individual. This often requires higher consideration and longer purchase cycles.
The scale essentially imitates the ‘What kind of sleeper are you?’ conversation you would have with in-store reps. Which allows the consumer to immediately determine whether or not the bed matches their requirements.
As a result, the consumer feels more confident in their decision, making them more likely to make a purchase. There’s also the added benefit that accurate expectation setting reduces the likelihood of costly product returns.
3. Leveraging User-Generated Content To Provide Social Proof
Building on our last point, user-generated content such as Instagram posts is also extremely effective when trying to replicate the in-store experience. At Yieldify we not only leverage this on product pages, but also via campaigns throughout the entire customer journey.
By embedding social media posts, brands can show images or videos of consumers experiencing the product in person and their honest first impressions. For pure-play online retailers, this creates a showroom-like experience for prospective buyers, but arguably in a more relatable way.
The icing-on-the-cake here is that every single post is a free-of-charge third-party endorsement. This means that the ROI for any resulting conversions is through the roof!
4. Utilizing Smart Filters To Match Users To The Most Relevant Reviews
Our final favorite is actually a Yotpo product feature, but it was so impressive we had to mention it!
Smart Filters let customers filter out reviews by topics, customer attributes, and use-cases that they are actually interested in.
Using artificial intelligence, these topics are automatically selected according to their prominence in reviews and showcased on-site in a dynamic display.
This creates a more authentic brand experience and peer-to-peer discovery for new customers, supercharging conversion rates and revenue results.
Yotpo’s Key Takeaways
- If you’re selling a product online that customers might prefer to see and feel in-person, then you need to create a product page that earns their trust and shares information that helps them make a satisfied purchase.
- Ghostbed does this incredibly well through trust badges, awards, trial periods, and, of course, testimonials from both customers and experts.
Everyone knows eCommerce is booming right now, that’s a given. However, 2021 is a crucial time for brands to not only sustain the growth from 2020 but build on it.
The simple solution? Create stronger customer experiences online.
Maybe for you, this involves pursuing SMS marketing, Google Shopping, subscription models, reviews, or even AI. The opportunities are vast!
Ultimately, the key is to remain agile and switch up your strategies and technology stacks to continually adapt to changing consumer behaviors.
Found this recap interesting? There’s more to come! You can sign-up for future Destination Online events by clicking here, and of course, we have our own Yieldify event listings which you can view here.
Additionally, if you would like to explore how Yieldify works with Yotpo to increase conversions by ~29% you can request a demo and our team will be in touch.