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Abandoned Cart Emails

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Check out 6 savvy examples of abandoned cart emails (and why they work!)

Abandoned cart emails are an important tool for any e-commerce marketer seeking to minimise the following (probably all too familiar) scenario: The user is on your site. Their cart is full. They’re on the checkout page and their finger hovers over the “Place Order” button. They pause. And then — boom. They’re gone. Just like that.

It’s an e-commerce marketer’s biggest pet peeve. Cart abandonment leads to billions in lost revenue — with an estimated $260 billion worth of lost orders according to the Baymard Institute. And brands are often left wondering why this happened. What caused this user to fall out of the funnel despite being so close to the finish line? The reasons are numerous, but long checkout processes and frustrating extra costs are among the top culprits.  

So what is a digital marketer to do? One effective method is to follow up with abandoned cart emails that encourage users to revisit their abandoned cart and complete their purchase. And some brands are doing a great job building engaging, persuasive abandonment emails. These six examples rose to the top as best-in-class abandoned cart emails:

1. Casper: “Come Back to Bed”

This cheeky Casper abandonment email does just about everything right. It’s minimal, putting the focus on the big bold CTA button that urges the user to return to their cart. And the “Come back to bed” is amusing, related to the product, and encouraging without being pushy. It makes us wish it was bedtime — and that we had that nice pillow to rest our head on! 

Casper Abandoned Cart Email
Source: Casper

Pro tip: Casper uses this abandonment email to highlight a customer review, savvily leveraging the power of social proof. Positive customer feedback is a great “final push” as you look to encourage a conversion.  

2. Virgin Atlantic: “You’re so close…”

Cart abandonment emails (or booking abandonment emails) are vital in the travel industry, where research shows the customer journey is increasingly long and complex. With 41.7% of travel visitors now taking even longer booking travel than they did just five years ago, bringing them back to buy is a challenge facing all brands in this space.

This abandonment email from Virgin Atlantic is just right — incorporating aspirational travel-related imagery while giving information about the flight this user was so close to booking. 

Virgin Atlantic Abandoned Cart Email
Source: Virgin Atlantic

Pro tip: Because flight prices change so frequently, it’s wise of Virgin Atlantic to mention this risk. Creating a psychological bias for action is a useful tactic in any sort of abandonment email. And considering flights usually only get more expensive as the departure date approaches, this mention might be just what users need to convert. 

3. MCM Worldwide: “You Left Something Behind”

MCM Worldwide Abandoned Cart Email

What a glorious use of imagery here. This email turns into so much more than just an abandoned cart email — and transformed into a lush rundown of this luxury brand from a visual perspective. And it clearly shows what’s in your cart and how you can navigate back to your cart. Even the headline that says “You Left Something Behind” is oddly elegant and direct.

Pro tip: Recommending additional products is a great way to encourage a user back onto your site for more browsing, as this email does with its “You May Also Enjoy” box. Citing other recommended product categories or trending products is another useful addition to an abandoned cart email.

4. Mack Weldon: “Take Another Look”

Source: Mack Weldon

This cart abandonment email from Mack Weldon gets straight to the point. The items in your cart get top billing, taking up a huge chunk of real estate — so that you can get one last look at those boxers before you risk abandoning them forever. Including the “Try On Guarantee” only drives home the point that you might as well head back to your abandoned cart and purchase these boxers — there’s no reason not to!

Pro tip: Mack Weldon makes it clear that these aren’t just any boxers — they’re popular boxers! Everyone wants them, and you’re in danger of missing out on them if you don’t act fast. This is another perfect example of Social Proof, which uses FOMO to nudge users toward a conversion. 

5. Adidas: “Is Your WiFi Okay?”

Adidas abandoned cart email
Source: Adidas

This eye-catching design from Adidas puts the product front and centre, in this case a pair of iconic Gazelle sneakers. Combining this with humorous question for the visitor is a nice touch – Is your WiFi ok? – why else would they miss out on buying these shoes? Adding a little social proof into the mix via reviews and images from real customers seals the deal.

Pro tip: Personalization isn’t just for your website. Noting the rising trend for mass customization, Adidas highlights the customizable options available via its MiAdidas service.

6. Dyson: “All Is Not Lost”

Source: Dyson

We like how this email clearly delineates between sections. You have the brand mentioned in the top white box with encouragement to continue shopping. Then you have your basket clearly laid out below (with another CTA button to continue shopping). And then Dyson lays out the reasons why you should shop at Dyson— both in the short term (“You have stuff in your basket!”) and in the long term (“Dyson offers special services!”). 

Pro tip: Highlighting unique services is a great way to nudge users in an abandonment email. It lays out what your visitors are missing if they don’t convert. See our work with HMV for another example of the value of highlighting unique selling points. 

Abandoned Cart Emails: In Summary

In the words of Dyson, all is not lost if a user abandons their cart. Following up with relevant, engaging email copy is a great way to get them back on your site, back in their cart, and on their way toward a satisfying purchase. Learn more about abandoned cart emails, and onsite abandonment here.

5 Back to School Marketing Ideas

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

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

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

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

Leveraging social proof with Everlane

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

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

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

Thinking big with Urban Outfitters and Champion

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

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

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

Curating product pages with Uniqlo

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

Back to school marketing: Uniqlo back to school campaign

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

Remarketing with Kickers

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

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

Creating interactive campaigns with Elave Skincare

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

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

Making the perfect lead generation form

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How to create a lead generation form that captures quality data at volume

Lead generation forms are deceptively simple. A few fields, a clear CTA and in theory, you should have leads pouring in faster than your ESP can handle. The reality of lead capture forms is very different – in a tiny space of digital real estate, you have to make decisions that mean the difference between getting a valuable new customer and wasted traffic.

We create thousands of lead generation forms every year (in the wake of GDPR, we created 3,000 in a single year), and have captured more than 15 million leads along the way. All this has given us a pretty clear idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Here, we’ll break down the must-haves of a lead capture form that gets you the data you need. We’ve used data from the hundreds of different lead gen forms that we’ve been creating this year to give you guidance on each step of creating a form that converts.

Lead generation form: mobile example

1. Targeting your lead capture form

Creating the perfect lead generation form actually begins with thinking beyond the form itself. The story starts with thinking about who you should be showing it to.

The best way to drive your submission rate up is to be selective about who you’re showing your lead capture form to. We’ve run the numbers and it’s clear that having 3-5 segmentation criteria (i.e. geography, session number and basket value) is the sweet spot for a high submission rate:

Lead generation form tips: Average submit rate by number of segmentation criteria

So what segmentation criteria should you be using? It’s going to be different for every website and depending on what exactly your lead generation form is asking for.

However, there are a few trade secrets we can give away. The first one is cart value. We found that targeting your lead gen form at users depending on whether or not they’d added to cart had a 3 percentage point difference in submission rates.

The second one is inactivity. We found that triggering the appearance of your form based on when your user becomes inactive raised average submission rates from 3.8% to 5.1%. British beauty booking service Treatwell used this successfully last year:

Finally, think about exit intent technology. It might seem a little counter-intuitive, but we’ve found lead generation forms that launch when the visitor is about to leave to have an average submission rate of 6%.

On the other hand, we recommend avoiding the route that many website take in launching a lead generation form the second that a visitor arrives on-site. While the numbers may initially look good, this is an extremely aggressive tactic that we encourage our clients to avoid.

One more thing to think about – consider targeting your forms depending on the traffic source your visitor has come from. This is an important way of ensuring that there’s complete alignment between the reality of the experience and the expectations set by whichever ad, email or post that’s brought your visitor to the site.

Here’s a great example of this from recipe box brand Simply Cook, who targeted lead capture forms exclusively at traffic arriving from Facebook campaigns:

2. Timing your lead generation form

Once you’ve decided who you’re going to target your lead capture form at, you need to think about the right timing for your strategy. There are good times and bad times to put your lead capture strategy front-and-center, so we’ve crunched the numbers to give you an indication of where they are.

First up, we looked at what time of day visitors are most likely to hit ‘submit’ on that form instead of abandoning it:

Lead generation form average submit rate by hour

It becomes clear pretty quickly that:

  • Mornings are pretty erratic for submissions – the immediate pre- and post-commute hours work best.
  • Early afternoon hours can be a good time to pick up on people spending time at their desks
  • Post-commute is a sweet spot – from about 7pm onwards, the submission rates are consistently higher. They dip during the late afternoon, so avoid these periods.
  • Serious night owls seem to love submitting forms. Nope, we don’t get it either.

So now you know how to vary your lead capture efforts across the day – consider applying this to your social media and display efforts that link into this. But what about how this fluctuates across the week? We checked out those numbers too:

Average lead capture form by day of the week

The pattern that appears clearly here is that the later part of the week (Thursday to Saturday) is where you want to concentrate your efforts in order to get the best submit rates.

3. How many fields for your lead capture form?

The eternal question for a lead generation form is how many fields it should include. Too many and you risk putting your visitor off, too few and you’re not getting the data you want.

We wish there was an easy answer. Bad news on this one: there isn’t.

We ran the numbers on hundreds of lead capture forms to contrast the number of fields with the submit rate. What we found confirmed our expectations: single-field lead gen forms have the highest submit rates.

As a great example, this one-line lead gen form from Domino’s helped capture over 50,000 email leads in just one month:

Domino's PIzza example for new visitors

The moral of the story is keep the number of fields in your lead gen form to a minimum. But that’s not the only thing you need to consider when it comes to form fields, and we’ll look at those factors next.

4. The structure of your form fields

Having a lead generation form that captures lots of data is great, but it’s pointless unless that data is clean. Having a database that is gradually filled with invalid email addresses, incorrectly formatted birthdays or 20 different ways of spelling ‘United States’ is a recipe for disaster.

This is where regex validation is critical as part of your forms. This makes it so that data has to be valid in order for your user to be able to successfully submit.

Another option is to consider the use of different types of field, such as dropdown menus. These ensure that more complex data can be captured and processed cleanly, as well we making it easy for your user to complete:

Lead generation form with dropdown menu

Read more about how you can use these in our Product Update.

5. The incentive for your lead generation form

To incentivize or not? It’s the million-dollar question.

Giving away a discount in exchange for signing up to a newsletter is standard for many e-commerce sites, but it runs the risk of giving away margin. So is it worth it?

To help you decide, we reviewed lead capture forms that offered an incentive versus those that didn’t and the results were pretty clear:

With a discount: 5.9%

Without a discount: 3.8%

Worth losing some margin? It’s up to you. However, remember that a discount is not the only kind of incentive available to you. Another incredibly effective incentive mechanism is competitions, where you’re liable to give away much less in exchange for that data. Here’s a great example from Essie:

6. The message on your lead gen form

When you’ve built a beautifully-structured and well-targeted form, there’s the final matter of messaging. Pitching the value that your user will receive in exchange for handing over their data makes all the difference to your submit rates.

When reviewing your copy, keep in mind the following principles:

  • Clarity – be transparent about what your user will receive when they sign up
  • Brevity – cut any word you can, and use bulletpoints if you need to make multiple points
  • Privacy – in an age of GDPR, ensure that your forms are compliant for any users from the European Union

Kiehl’s is a great example of this in action:

Kiehls email sign-up overlay

You’re unlikely to get this right on your first pass – that’s fine. A/B testing elements of your copy is hugely valuable to ensuring that you can optimize over time.

What next?

A strong email database, fed by well-optimized lead generation forms, is a critical commodity to any business. As we’ve shown here, there are some simple core principles that can make a huge difference, but a great deal of ‘what works’ varies from site to site. Rigorous attention to data, thorough testing and good benchmarking are key to making sure you get a steady stream of those all-important leads.

At Yieldify, our lead capture forms average a submit rate of 10% and they go from concept to live in less than two weeks. We’ve helped business likes Domino’s, Marks and Spencer and many more achieve incredible results using our methodologies and we can do the same for you. If you’d like to find out more about how that would look, just request a demo here!

Product Update: June 2019

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What’s new to the Yieldify Conversion Platform this summer

The start of summer sees a lot of updates coming to the Yieldify Conversion Platform. From new tricks to stop comparison shoppers leaving and cleaner ways to capture data, join as we run down the latest targeting and format options available this month on the platform.

New triggers: Click and Hover

Our two new behavioral triggers make it easier to engage with your visitor at the perfect moment, helping them continue their journey onto conversion.

How it works

  • Trigger messages when your user clicks or hovers on a button
  • Trigger messages upon clicks on ‘un-clickable’ elements like images and paragraphs

When to use it

Clicks and hovers are great indicators of user interest, so the possibilities for using it to encourage conversion and even cross-sell are limitless.

One of the most powerful is to stop comparison shoppers in their tracks: as soon as someone selects a product title to copy-and-paste it into their search bar, trigger a message that shows your best price guarantee.

Example of click trigger

Here are just a few more potential uses:

  • Up-sell ‘the whole look’ when someone adds a single item of clothing to their cart
  • Provide extra information on a product when a user shows interest, minimizing the number of touchpoints needed to get them to conversion

Want to see more? Get a demo here.

New format: In-Page Full-Width Banners

As the next evolution in our In-Page Personalization functionality, we’re introducing full-width banners that sit squarely at the top of your page. These ‘stick’ to the top of the screen to remain visible as your user scrolls down the page:

Example of in-page banners

When to use it

In-Page Personalization is becoming increasingly popular with our customers as it’s an effective short-cut to achieving personalized pages without code changes. Here are just a few things you could do with these banners:

  • Announce a flash sale by showing a site-wide banner to all new users
  • Run seasonal promotions on key category or product pages

New targeting: session targeting

The Yieldify Conversion Platform already has a number of targeting options based on how much your user has engaged with your website. You can target visitors based on things such as: the amount of time spent on site, the number of pages viewed and the specific pages they’ve landed on.

What you might notice about all of those options is that they were all in-session options – our new targeting option changes all that. Using Session Targeting, you can target visitors based on the precise number of sessions they’ve had on your site.

This allows you to show different messages depending on your user’s specific session. For example:

Conversion Platform

When to use it

This targeting function opens the door to targeting based on longer, more complex purchase journeys – perfect for sectors such as travel and financial services. Some examples:

  • Target visitors in their second session with more high-level information, saving more detailed or technical information for a user on their third or fourth visit
  • Highlight alternative CTAs (such as call centers or other sources of help) for users taking more sessions than average to convert

Enhanced targeting: geo-targeting at regional and state level

Geotargeting has been a mainstay of the Yieldify Conversion Platform since its launch, but now we’re getting super-granular. You’ll now be able to narrow your targeting to state or regional level.

When to use it

Here are just a few ways you can use this to further personalize your activity:

  • Holding events? Highlight these to users in the area.
  • If you can offer customer support or click-and-collect from brick-and-mortar stores, then highlight this to visitors from eligible locations

New content: dropdown menus

Being able to effectively capture data from your visitors is critical – but it’s only any good if that data is clean. Free-text fields can leave you vulnerable to messy, inconsistent data – with dropdown menus, you can make sure that you gather information in an easily indexed format:

Example of dropdown menu

Even better, it’s so much easier for your user to engage with (particularly on mobile).

When to use it

You can capture pretty much any kind of data you want, but here are a few ideas that our clients have found particularly useful:

  • Collect your user’s birthday month to offer them birthday promotions
  • Give users a simple question to determine why they’re leaving a site
  • Capture product interests in order to personalize your email sequences

Not on the platform yet?

The Yieldify Conversion Platform hosts all this and more. If you’d like to see more about how it could help personalize your website 5x faster than other methods, then request a demo here and our friendly team will be in touch.

For more detailed information and technical instructions, don’t forget to visit our Knowledge Base!

17 Amazon Prime Day 2019 Stats and Facts

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

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

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon Prime Day 2019: What to Expect

And what should we expect from Amazon Prime Day 2019?

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

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

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

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

Prime Day Deals to Know

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

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

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

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

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

Prime Day: A Marketer’s Perspective

What can marketers take away from Prime Day?

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

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

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

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

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


Supercharge your Customer Journey

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

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

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

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

Consider the following stats:

Supercharge your Customer Journey: personalization stats

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

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

So what’s a marketer to do?

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

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

Watch below to learn:

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

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

The Customer Journey Lookbook

CRO Tools: 5 features to look out for

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

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

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

Why CRO tools?

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

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

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

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

Five features to look out for in your CRO tools

1. A data-driven foundation

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

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

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

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

2. Effective segmentation

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

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

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

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

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

3. Seamless A/B testing

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

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

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

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

4. Mobile focus

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

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

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

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

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

5. Fast and easy personalization

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

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

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

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

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


5 Fashion E-Commerce Trends for 2019

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

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

The rise of experiential e-commerce

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

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

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

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

Fashion e-commerce gets personal

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

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

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

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

Mobile becomes the standard

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: free ebook

Instagram leads the way

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

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

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

The sharing economy extends to fashion

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

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

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: in conclusion

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: free ebook

How to survive IRCE: 10 top tips for the year’s biggest e-commerce show

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Heading to IRCE @ Retail X 2019? Here’s our advice for the biggest show of the year

With over 600 vendors and thousands of delegates, you’re wise to seek advice for making the most of your time at IRCE. Here are our top tips for getting the best value out of e-commerce’s biggest show of the year.

1. Know your goals

IRCE will be a maelstrom of options – without a clear agenda of what you want to achieve from attending, it’s easy to go down rabbitholes and end up wasting your time. This is a sizeable chunk out of your diary and plenty of expense to go with it, so make the most of it by knowing exactly what you want to get out of the show. Try making a list along these lines:

  1. Looking for a vendor? List your requirements and research who’ll be there so you know who to talk to – make appointments in advance if you can.
  2. Looking for knowledge? Schedule your talks in advance so you know you’ll make it to each one.
  3. Looking for advice? Re-cap on your key results and objectives so that you can easily benchmark.

2. Do your homework

If you’re looking for solutions at IRCE, you’ll get the most out of your conversations if you already have some knowledge going in. Do your research on your shortlist of vendors and have your key questions planned out in advance – ideally, have at least one conversation with them ahead of time.

3. Plan your meetings in advance

“I’ll catch you there!” quickly turns into “Damn, I just left – are you going to [random evening event] later?” and then “Sorry, already at the airport – see you at eTail?”.

It’s going to be crazy few days, so relying on serendipity isn’t going to do you too many favors – get important meetings booked in advance to maximize your chances of facetime with important connections.

Oh, and you can pre-book your meetings with us right here.

4. Download the app

It’s got the map, it’s got the schedule – what more do you need?

5. Broadcast your presence

Before you go, post to LinkedIn that you’re heading to the show – and keep Tweeting while you’re there.

6. Be comfortable

It’s several days in an air-conditioned hotel – your back and feet will not thank you for this experience. Bring layers for unpredictable temperatures and comfortable shoes for trekking around – invest in a decent bag to make sure all that swag doesn’t give you backache.

7. Be realistic about your swag

Speaking of swag, with over 600 vendors, it’s easy to get a little swag-happy in the exhibition hall:

IRCE swag collection

However, you may regret your decisions after another 6 hours of carrying it all around. So before you pick up another brochure that you’ll never read and will almost certainly leave at the hotel, ask yourself whether you really need it. Also, you might help save the planet a little bit.

8. Be sociable

There will be dozens of events taking place around IRCE and while it might be an exhausting prospect to do even more networking, it’s worth your while. There are plenty of event opportunities that are smaller and still more that don’t necessarily involve drinking, so find one that suits you.

9. Bring supplies

Powerbanks are essential (most of the ones being given away will need charging before they work, ironically). A refillable water bottle and healthy snacks might help you avoid surviving on candy for three days.

10. Play Plinko at Booth #1867

Not even kidding. We’ve created IRCE Survival Plinko, where you’ll have the opportunity to win one of four prize packs that will help you get through your IRCE experience:

  1. Beauty: everything you need to stay looking fresh, even after a few late nights and too much A/C
  2. Health: a pack full of things to get you back on track after surviving on caffeine and junk food
  3. Energy: will help you look and feel like you’ve actually slept
  4. Soul: feel better on the inside when we donate in your name to a good cause

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time at IRCE, we hope you have a great time at the show and get plenty of useful learnings to take home with you. Visit our team while you’re there to learn more about Customer Journey Optimization and how Yieldify can help your e-commerce efforts this year.

B2C Lead Generation: 4 Strategies for Success

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Explore 4 B2C lead generation case studies showing how real companies drive more leads

1. Improving B2C lead generation by addressing privacy anxiety – Scribbler’s plan

Data privacy scandals pose a growing problem to B2C lead generation. Last year, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) led companies around the world to redesign their privacy policies. Multiple privacy scandals at Facebook and incoming legislation from California reflect that privacy is a top-of-mind concern for consumers.

That’s the elephant in the room when you ask a website visitor to opt-in as a lead. However, there’s a simple way of getting around this challenge. Many visitors are often willing to exchange their data in return for something tangible (see our research here) – usually money off or enhanced service. So take a page from Scribbler, which offers a 10% off coupon in return for a subscription:

Yieldify Scribbler B2C lead generation campaign

Remember that if you ask for more sensitive details like a birthday, you’ll need to provide more assurance on how you’ll protect and use that data. Read Scribbler’s full customer journey optimization case study here.

2. Get ahead through personalization like Marks and Spencer

When a marketing tactic is easy to use, it becomes more expensive. Just think about how much Google and Facebook Ads have increased in cost in the past five years. If you’re looking for a new opportunity, pursue marketing tactics that are still considered difficult – like data-driven personalization.

According to our research, most marketers consider personalization one of the most difficult challenges facing them. If you can make it work, you’ll have an advantage in delivering relevant messages that are more likely to convert.

The easier approach is to personalize based on persona rather than attempting to personalize to a 1-on-1 level. If you have high-quality data, go for full personalization.

This is where leading British retailer Marks and Spencer executed effectively. In launching their new website, the team worked with Yieldify to differentiate between new visitors and returning visitors, showing different CTAs in order to make sure that visitors engaged:

Marks and Spencer lead generation case study

By personalizing to the visitor’s sign-in status, this resulted in a 5.4% conversion rate uplift in new visitor registration (read more here).

3. Re-position your newsletter – the Kiehl’s model

Getting your visitor to sign up to a newsletter simply for the sake of ‘staying in touch’ is no longer a good enough reason for someone to share their data with you. To convince today’s consumer to hand over their sought-after information, take the time to enhance and clarify the value that they’ll receive in exchange.

Beauty brand Kiehl’s generated leads through effective positioning of its newsletter as a VIP club, detailing three clear benefits of signing up ahead of the CTA:

Kiehls email sign-up overlay

This applies even if you can’t offer monetary incentives like Scribbler did in the first section – value lies as much in elements like exclusivity or early access, so explore what can work for you.

4. Recruit your customers to gain more leads – an online eyewear retailer’s way

One of your best lead generation channels is your existing customer base. Nielsen research in 2015 found that over 80% of people trust recommendations from friends and family – it’s a huge opportunity that when leveraged effectively, can generate masses of leads.

How can you engage your current customers to generate more leads? Simple: reward them. One online eyewear retailer used a referral program with a simple offer: “Give $5, Get $5 when you refer a friend.”

The results speak for themselves: a 22:1 return on investment. If you have a smaller budget, make the reward for referrals offer to a small segment of your customer base. Find out more about how to leverage your existing customer to acquire new ones in our free ebook.

Want to grow your lead generation program?

If you’re keen to emulate the B2C lead generation success that you’ve seen here, check out our free ebook, packed with examples and detailed advice:

GDPR and Marketing: One Year On

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

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

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

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

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

GDPR and marketing databases: the biggest losers

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

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

GDPR and Marketing Databases

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

GDPR and Marketing: compliance or consent?

What types of businesses were most impacted by GDPR?

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

GDPR and Marketing: impact by size and by industry

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

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

GDPR and Marketing: database regrowth by industry

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

GDPR and Marketing: regrowth by size

How have marketers recovered from GDPR?

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

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

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

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

Thomas Cook Airlines: a GDPR compliant lead generation strategy

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

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

Did the impact of GDPR meet with marketers’ expectations?

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

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

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

GDPR and Marketing: how expectations were met

The impact of GDPR: in conclusion

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

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


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

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

The Pitfalls of Website Personalization: What IT leaders should know

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

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

Website personalization organizational challenges

Source: BCG Global Survey on Personalization

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

How does personalization benefit IT?

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

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

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

What role should IT take in a website personalization project?

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

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

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

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

What are some personalization pitfalls to avoid?

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

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

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

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

Free download: avoiding the pitfalls of personalization

Play along: does your e-commerce website deserve ‘douze points’?

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Take our quiz to find out whether your e-commerce website should be taking home a trophy (or disappearing into obscurity)

In honor of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, we’re offering you the opportunity to find out whether your e-commerce site deserves the coveted ‘douze points’ or the infamous ‘nul points’.

Click to download the quiz below – inspired by your favorite magazine quizzes that told you whether you were more of a Carrie or a Miranda – and find out. While you’re here, don’t forget to read our blogpost on how you can use Eurovision to boost your e-commerce sales

Eurovision e-commerce quiz

Download Quiz

Website Personalization Tools: 5 factors to consider when choosing yours

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

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

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

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

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

What’s Website Personalization?

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

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

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

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

How to Evaluate Website Personalization Tools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources

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

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

1. Managing personalization in-house

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

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

Gartner, 2019

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

2. A managed service from website personalization tools

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

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

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

3. Working with an external agency

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

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

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

Data

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

Website personalization tools: most effective tactics
Source: eMarketer

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

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

This is where you need to evaluate a few things:

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

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

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

Features and Integrations

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

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

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

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

ROI and Time to Value

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Customer Journey Driven

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

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

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

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

Meet the Team: Romain Sestier, Head of Product and Data

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In this new series, we’re sitting down with Yieldifiers across the business to find out more about what they do all day.

Next up: Romain Sestier, Head of Product and Data

What’s your role at Yieldify?

I’m Head of Product and Data, which basically means looking after new product and feature development, as well as the data and analytics team (the two are very closely related).

What did you do before you joined the team here?

I have a background in web analytics – I was previously Head of Professional Services at Content Square and also working in A/B testing at Maxymiser. I also had my own company doing Artificial Intelligence-driven data and analytics work. 

The main thing that comes from that experience is that I’ve always been client-facing, which is incredibly useful in the kind of product role I have now. In an industry where the volume of data can be overwhelming, it’s really important to keep an eye trained on where the real value is: the recommendations and actions that it delivers for a client.

Product and Data sound like pretty separate things – tell us a bit more about the two teams

Well, the Product team is mostly Product Managers (like Moses, who writes stuff like this), who work directly with our Engineering team to scope, prioritize and deliver features such as our recent Campaign History Targeting release. They also continually look for new ways of doing things to keep us as market leaders in CJO.

Most of their job is talking to clients, engineers and our sales and services teams to collect as much feedback as possible about use cases. the role of the Product Manager is really to maintain that stream of feedback, summarize it and determine what deliveries will make the biggest impact, taking into account what’s feasible, where there are gaps in the market and how we can provide innovative solutions.

On the other side, there’s the Data team – they do two main things. Firstly, they answer client requests and prepare bespoke analysis and recommendations. Secondly, they work directly with Product to prioritize pieces of insight in order to productize them and make them available to other clients.

For example, we recently worked on custom insights. We’re always running campaigns on client sites and the biggest questions are usually about the kinds of interactions and responses they generate, such as how long it takes between interaction and email submit. We initially generated this insight bespoke from client to client, but the proximity of the Data team to Product meant that we were able to productize it and deliver it at scale.

It’s this kind of tight feedback loop that means that the two teams are actually much closer as functions than in other companies, ultimately meaning that our clients get much more value.

How has this interaction evolved in the last year?

It’s actually been evolving for much longer than that. Yieldify started in the affiliate space, running bespoke work for clients on a CPA basis. This all changed when we built the Yieldify Conversion Platform, which launched last year. This was Yieldify’s transition into a productized offering, meaning that the Product team became pivotal to delivering and optimizing at scale for all of our clients.

Where is it going to go in 2019?

2019 is going to be the year of Yieldify becoming even more tightly integrated with other parts of the e-commerce marketer’s stack. We already have a number of integrations built for the likes of Magento and dotmailer, but next year we’ll be looking at more marketing tools such as CRMs. The latter means that we’ll be able to leverage offline and historical data in real-time on the site, which is hugely powerful for targeting. 

In addition to that, you’ll see much more in terms of new formats and new triggers for campaigns. We added features such as scroll and inactivity triggering in the last few months, and we’ve got lots more exciting things in the pipeline to come. One of these is in-page campaigns, which allow us to deliver contextualized content with less intrusion, making the customer journey smoother.

How do you think these companies to what other companies in the space are doing? 

Other companies take a very ad hoc approach to dealing with clients, whereas we want to learn as much as possible about our whole client base and re-apply that knowledge universally. We surface industry-leading insights by vertical and have consultants for each one who can rely on benchmarking and the learnings from other campaigns to meet their challenges in different verticals. 

I’d add that what’s also different at Yieldify is the tightly-integrated Product and Services teams. This means that building campaigns takes much less time, allowing us to be more reactive as well as spend more time working on improving the overall user experience.

Why do you think our clients need the kind of data analytics support that we deliver?

I think there are two key things here.

Firstly, there’s time. A lot of our clients don’t have the time or resource to process the sheer volumes of data that they generate onsite. It can be intimidating to even deal with the tools to do so, but our team work so tightly with data that it’s easy for them to extract the valuable insights from these volumes.

Secondly, data’s only useful if it’s actionable. This comes back to time and resource again, and is another key reason for marketers to look to outside help. 

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about data and analytics for marketing? 

The biggest is that more data means more value. Like we mentioned earlier, you have to ensure that you can analyse that data in order for it to be worth something. In addition to that, it’s worth pointing out that not all data is the right data – you have to be able to process and extract what’s valuable.

Secondly, I think it’s a common misconception that you can import a data-driven culture. It really has to come from the inside – and from the top, at that. A lot of companies think that new tools and services bring a data-driven culture with them, but what I’ve seen is that the most successful clients are the ones where the C-level understands and buys into the idea of data use across the whole company.

What advice would you give to someone who’s trying to create that kind of data-driven culture? 

The best thing to do is to start small – one key defined use case is better than trying to do everything at once.

For example, let’s take personalization: it’s good enough to start by differentiating your approach for new visitors and returning visitors. This way, you’ll have enough traffic to measure to statistical significance and prove your concept quicker than if you tried to do something too granular. 

How have you seen the appetite for analytics in marketing change over recent years?

It’s definitely increased, but the quality of requirements has increased too. It’s not just about making dashboards and reporting on key metrics anymore!

Instead, it’s about understanding the big questions like ‘who are our customers?’, ‘why do they visit our site?’ and ‘why do they leave?’. You can see this being reflected by the increasing number of UX-focused analytics platforms and tools on the market.

Where do you think it’s going to go next?

Real-time reactivity is really key. Marketers are trying to maintain a close eye on the performance of every stage of their funnel and react to shifts in it. Black Friday is a great example of this, where marketers were trying to understand behavior over a very short period of time in order to win against their competitors.

The other thing we’ll see is machine learning. We’ve seen this in Google Analytics and in some early out-of-the-box machine learning solutions, so it’s already started. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that complicated – it can be as simple as predicting the users you ‘should’ have so that you can compare that number against what you actually get. The important thing is that you need to be able to react to those insights – machine learning can be an expensive mistake if you can’t.

Overall, I think we’re transitioning from viewing users as transactions to viewing them as long-term relationships. We saw this happen in brick-and-mortar many years ago and now that shift is happening in e-commerce as we view building relationships and delivering value as more and more important.

The ones who will win are the companies who can learn more about their customers than their competitors. This is why Amazon experiments all the time, like it’s done with introducing lots of different elements to its Prime service: being able to experiment fast and continually at low-cost is so important. This is why at Yieldify we focus on being able to work quickly and react to the promotional calendar as well as plan for the long-term. 

Quickfire questions

What do you like best about working at Yieldify?

The culture – even though it’s grown quickly, it has a start-up mindset with lots of opportunities for people who really want to do better and find new solutions to problems.

What’s your proudest achievement since joining?

Closing the feedback loop by building the data team to have a dual role between clients and products.

What was your biggest learning?

My ongoing learning is in the differences between markets (Yieldify has clients in over 10 countries).

Being French and having worked with French clients before, I’ve always seen that every market reacts differently to trends and technologies, but the nuances of this is what’s continually interesting.

It applies as much to marketing cultures as well as consumer behavior. For example, in the US, you have more of a builder culture which looks internally for solutions instead of leveraging partners. In Europe, we’re generally more comfortable with outsourcing. 

Want to know more about what Yieldify can do with your data? Apply for a free demo and we’ll tell you more about the analysis, benchmarking and strategies we can apply to your customer journey. 

#AskYieldify: Google Shopping

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In this series, we put the big e-commerce questions to our team of expert consultants. 

This month, we’re focusing in on acquisition, specifically Google Shopping with Théo Devred, one of our Senior Consultants.

Last month’s edition of #AskYieldify was all about loyalty and lifetime value. This time we’re going back to the start of the customer journey, tackling one of the most popular acquisition channels, Google Shopping.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping as we know it today has come a long way. When it launched back in 2002, it was known as Froogle and since then has been through various iterations. 2012 saw the shift toward a paid advertising model, and from then on it became a part of Google Ads, and another way for retailers and e-commerce brands to advertise their wares.

Google Shopping has come a long way since it’s early days as Froogle and Google Product Search!

Why use Google Shopping?

There are plenty of good reasons to use Google shopping, not least that a visitor who clicks on a product ad is showing high purchase intent,  and many of our clients invest significantly in it. But here’s some data, if you’re not convinced!

Product listing ads (PLAs) have been around for quite a while, but according to performance marketing agency Merkle, these, and other formats such as Showcase Shopping Ads, are the single biggest growth opportunity for online retailers in 2019. In 2018, Adthena reported that Product Listing Ads now drive over 76% of retail search ad spend, but win 85% of clicks:

Source: Adthena Search Advertising Report 2018

Other than the clear opportunity, here are some other reasons Google Shopping has become so popular with e-commerce retailers:

  • Google shopping brings a visual aspect to a text heavy searching and shopping experience. This visual aspect is so key that Google is even testing combining Google Shopping with its image search functionality.
  • The conversion rates are pretty, pretty good compared to text ads – 30% higher!
  • You can show up multiple times in Google SERPs – as a website result, text only PPC and a Google Shopping result.
  • You can start to utilize additional information that you know boosts engagement, such as reviews, prices and promotions

What happens when Google Shopping traffic arrives on-site?

While the click-through rate for Google Shopping PLAs might be pretty compelling, that’s not the end of the story. You need to also be paying close attention to the on-site journey that happens after a user clicks on an ad. Here’s a few trends that we’ve noticed, that you should take into consideration.

  • Mobile: while traffic has continued to grow on mobile, conversions haven’t always seen the same success. Google Shopping Product Listing Ads could hold the key – traffic from mobile product listing ads converts at a higher rate than other mobile traffic, and a higher rate than the e-commerce standard of around 2%, at 3.48%.
  • Landing pages: around three quarters of Google Shopping searches are broad, category searches, yet they land on product pages – this can create a disconnect,  between a broad display of intent, which is met with quite narrow and specific content. This creates an issue for shoppers wanting to continue their journey, making a high bounce rate probable.
  • Conversions: data shows that over 75% of sales via Google Shopping are from users who navigated upwards to the category level away from the product page.

How can I get a better ROI from Google Shopping?

Many retailers worry about getting the most from their paid channels, and Google Shopping is no different. With the above knowledge, and our own benchmark data we’re well positioned to create a strategy to improve the ROI retailers get on Google Shopping.

First things first, you need to segment these visitors by traffic source. Then it’s all about making sure the journey from there is as smooth, seamless and personalized as possible.

A good approach is to focus on creating a more effective landing page that will engage these users as soon as they hit the site, reassuring them they are in the right place, as well as providing them with a clear path to purchase if where they’ve landed doesn’t quite align with what brought them there in the first place.

Shaping traffic using these various approaches can have a big impact on bounce rate. For example, sending Google Shopping customers to a filtered category page can reduce bounce rate significantly, from 75% to 40%.

What are some examples of optimized landing pages?

Below you can see an example of how to optimize a Google Shopping landing page that we created for one of our beauty clients. The visitor has arrived onto a product page, and if they show behavior that indicates they might leave, or become inactive we can re-engage them with a helpful message to help them find their perfect foundation i.e. redirecting them to the category level where they can discover more products and (hopefully) go on to convert.

Google Shopping: beauty example

As well as aiding product discovery, another consideration is the fact that many visitors land on product pages and then bounce. Understanding the reasons for this will help you combat this behaviour. For example, highlighting the USPs of your brand or products is another way you might look to optimize your product page:

Google Shopping example: highlighting USPs

In the same vein, showcasing the fact that a product is a bestseller can induce urgency, and also direct users to discover more products in the bestseller category:

Google shopping example: highlighting bestsellers

Finally you might also want to think about how you can leverage customer reviews. On Google Shopping, customer reviews are displayed when a product has at least three reviews and Google has determined that the information is accurate and relevant.

Reviews can have a big impact on conversion – up to 94% of online purchases are made on products with an average rating of 4 or 5 stars. Carrying this strong message through to your website is a good way to ensure that visitors continue toward conversion based on what brought them there in the first place.

Google Shopping example: highlighting reviews



If you’ve got an e-commerce question you need help with why not #AskYieldify? Tweet us or email us on info@yieldify.com, for a chance to have your question answered by our e-commerce experts.


How these Six Travel Trends are Impacting the Customer Journey

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

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

Six Online Travel Trends Worth Following

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

Travel technology trends

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

Mobile optimization

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

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

Website personalization

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

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

Travel trends: website personalization
TravelUp In-Page Personalization

Voice & Digital Assistants

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

Demographic Travel Trends

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

Baby boomer behavior

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

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

travel trends: reduce abandonment

Millennials and Generation Z

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

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

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

Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse UK

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

Behavioral Travel Trends

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

Last-minute booking

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

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

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

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics

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

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

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

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

Q1 2019 vs. Q4 2018

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

Here are the headline stats:

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

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

When it comes to conversions, timing is everything

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

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: time of day data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: day of week data

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

Week by week, when were the peaks?

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

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

The key takeaways from these Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics

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

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

Meet the Team: Lana Kropyvna, Head of Design

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In this series, we sit down with Yieldifiers across the business to find out more about what they do all day.

Next up: Lana Kropyvna, Head of Design

What’s your role at Yieldify?

I lead the Design team, which is made up of four fantastic designers in London and Portugal.

Together with our Client Services team, we develop customer journeys for a variety of brands – from Domino’s through to Megabus. These innovative user journey strategies help increase conversion rates and sales.

As a team we’re passionate about interaction, behavioral science and technology. We apply research and creative thinking to a human-centered approach, finding ways to improve user experiences via design and delivering intuitive digital experiences.

What did you do before you joined the team here?

I have over 8 years’ experience working on a wide variety of projects with a pretty eclectic collection of brands covering e-commerce, media and finance.

My previous role before joining Yieldify was with a digital design team in a start-up, creating branding and identity projects, web assets and email campaigns. I was heavily involved in developing brand guidelines and communicating them to the teams in EMEA, US, and UAE. This came in very handy when we were rebranding in Yieldify!

Tell us about the part the Design function plays at Yieldify

What we do within the Design team is to create the catalyst between the user’s needs and the technology. We do this by creating a seamless digital experience between the client’s brand and our technical solutions.

How do you think it’s different to what other companies like us do?

All campaigns for our global clients are designed internally by our team, the design of which is usually turned extremely quickly.

I would say we’re different from other companies in the space because of the level of experience that each designer has within the team. Almost everyone in the design team has passed a 3-year milestone at Yieldify – as such we’ve all learned the best practices and ways to apply them in order. It means that we can deliver incredibly quickly, which allows our teams to be reactive to new insights and trends and therefore get faster results for our clients. 

What do you think our clients value most about what you do?

From the feedback we get, I’d say they value our attention to detail and how we translate their brand guidelines into campaigns that integrate really well into their wider marketing. 

As a team, we make it our business to know the client’s brand inside-out, paying close attention to their trends and the message they’re communicating so that we can apply it in our design thinking. Any marketer will tell you just how critical and sensitive it can be to capture the nuances of individual brands at every touchpoint, so it’s so important to have an experienced who can get it right without dozens of iterations. 

How important is the role of design in e-commerce?

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

Does the structure of an e-commerce site bring any particular design challenges?

Shopping online can be a frustrating experience bought on through many factors. The decision-making process, as well as the checkout flow,  needs to be clean, clear and straightforward. Every one of our design solutions has to be on-brand, stand out and give the user a seamless, enjoyable experience. 

What design trends have you seen emerging in e-commerce recently?

There are quite a few. Personalization is obviously key, but so are easier checkouts and payment solutions, seamless integration with mobile. What really unites all of these is delivering a more user-focused approach rather than just a technical solution to a problem.

What trends do you expect to see become more popular?

Digital experiences are evolving and becoming more deeply integrated in the physical world – we’re already starting to see a blurred line between the digital and physical, helping make shopping experiences richer.

Quickfire questions

What do you like best about working at Yieldify?

I love that I get to work with a variety of really great brands. Our work reaches large, diverse audiences and I feel that through what we do, we’re helping to influence the way people behave online.

What’s your proudest achievement since joining?

We recently went through a rebranding exercise where we repositioned Yieldify with a more confident visual identity. Working collaboratively with different teams and launching this to our clients was a very proud moment for both myself and everyone at Yieldify.

What was your biggest learning?

I’d say my biggest learning is that I can’t be everywhere at the same time! I’ve since learned to delegate tasks more, giving further responsibility to other team members and getting more time to focus on my tasks and do them well.

5 Ways Eurovision Can Increase Your E-Commerce Sales

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Eurovision 2019 will be the world’s biggest live music event of the year – here’s how to use it in your digital marketing to increase your sales

42 countries competing for the prize. Hundreds of millions of viewers watching around the world. High probability of at least one ironic metal band, several torchsongs and the over-use of dozens of wind machines. It’s Eurovision 2019.

Whatever you think of this festival of kitsch and soft politics, it’s one of the biggest TV events in the world. On May 18th, nearly 200 million TV viewers across the world (yes, even in the US) will be tuning in to watch the final – so what’s the opportunity for the e-commerce marketer to use it to boost sales?

Conchita Wurst goes low-key as Eurovision's 2014 winner
Conchita Wurst goes low-key as Eurovision’s 2014 winner

What’s the goal?

First things first, let’s unpack why you’re looking to get involved in this charivari of camp in the first place. There are 3 distinct kinds of opportunity here:

  1. Finding customers in new markets – since over 42 countries participate in the contest, audiences are drawn from Austria to Australia.
  2. Mass-market brand awareness – it’s a major event and it gets coverage, even if it’s not to everyone’s taste. You can see this in the kind of brand partner the contest is getting.
  3. Building a witty brand – if you have a tone-of-voice that fits a wry sense of humour or a target market rich on LGBTQ+ consumers, the brand association with Eurovision could be a great one for you to make.

Goal decided? Douze points for you – you can now direct your resources effectively among the below options.

Also, we’re going to assume you’re not an official sponsor of the event (skip to the end if you are). That’ll preclude you from doing a fair few things, so you’ll need to get a little creative. We’re about to go channel-by-channel to explore your opportunities, so grab your national flag and buckle up…

1. On social media

As one of the biggest events in the TV calendar, it’s unsurprising that Eurovision generates a Twitterstorm to match:

According to Brandwatch, there were 1,353,393 mentions of Eurovision online during the first day of the 2018 competition. And the crying-laughing emoji was the most popular Eurovision-associated emoji.

The approach to social media marketing around Eurovision is much the same as any other big event (except significantly more bizarre and with a marginally higher chance of seeing milkmaids appear).

If the goal you chose above was best aligned with the idea of showing off your brand’s charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, then this may well be the low-budget execution of your choice. But here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Make your commentary worthwhile. If you intend to live-tweet the event, know that everyone else is going to be doing it too. You therefore need to bring something better to the party than a tub of hummus and a few RTs. Be prepared with differentiated angles to stand out in a very, very crowded conversation.
  2. Be agile with content. Have your designers and content marketers on standby to be able to take advantage of opportunities in real-time – the Oreos Superbowl Blackout tweet is the shining example of what good content made fast can do.
  3. Listen to the hashtags. Remember that there are going to be multiple hashtags floating around – this year’s official hashtag is #DaretoDream – keep an eye out for the ones that your audience is more likely to be using.
  4. Pay attention to the pre-Eurovision tours and semi-finals. You’ll see every act and get a steer of who’ll be the highlights on the night so that you can prepare your best one-liners in advance and couple it with some pre-prepared content.
  5. Work the build-up. You don’t have to live-tweet the actual final in order to jump on the social media bandwagon – while the conversation pre-event might not have the speculative intensity of the Superbowl, there’s still opportunity to run competitions or pre-event predictions tied back to your brand.

2. On the website

Here’s a good one for those of you seeking to use Eurovision as a means to get more international traffic to your e-commerce site.

If you’ve run your campaigns to garner interest from international consumers, your site is going to need to be ready – and fast. Whipping up local versions of your site in time for May probably isn’t an option, so the best way to react to a spike in international interest is by using website personalization.

This gives you the opportunity to not only identify international traffic arriving on your website, but also offer them different messages to encourage them to continue and complete their online journeys.

A good example comes from French beauty brand Lancôme, who wanted to react to an uptick in visits from Chinese consumers. Using our flexible targeting capability, the brand was able to serve an overlay welcoming visitors using a Chinese language browser with a message that would resonate with them:

A simple execution, but effective and extremely quick – exactly the kind of thing you could use if you’re suddenly seeing a spike in visitors from FYR Macedonia. For more on catering to global e-commerce audiences check out our guide, How to win in global e-commerce.

If it’s less about international customers and more about broad-brush awareness, you could create a special Eurovision-themed homepage or highlight products that might appeal to fans.

However, not everyone turning up on your site is going to be interested in the weirder styling of Austrian popstars, so it may be worth thinking about personalizing your site. The easiest way to do this is with a tool that allows you to read the traffic source of your visitor, delivering Eurovision-themed content to visitors from Eurovision-related campaigns.

A number of our clients have used Yieldify to achieve this sort of experience. For example, recipe box company Simply Cook targeted Facebook traffic using our referral source targeting to deliver a message completely in line with that audience’s needs:

3. In your content

The principle is here is pretty similar to the considerations you’d make in your social media – if you’re going to do it, do it well. Content for content’s sake will easily be lost in a wave of other talking points (like this one):

Ukraine's legendary 2007 Eurovision Song Contest act
Ukraine’s legendary 2007 act (the country will be absent from this year’s contest)
Source: AFP

If you’re going for it, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Go back to your goal. This is where you should start thinking about the specific audience or tone-of-voice you want to strike with your content. This probably isn’t the time for your big international audience unless you’re keen to translate your content into 20+ languages.
  • Data stories work well. Got a story about a spike in Estonian food sales ahead of the final? Spin it – you can be certain that few others will.
  • Think multimedia. This audience is here for a TV competition – break out of the box of static and move to the interactive. Games and quizzes? Absolutely. Videos? The more glitter, the better. Assets that support some kind of drinking game? Yes please.

4. In PR

This is actually one of the easiest ways to generate quick-and-dirty interest off the back of the event, provided your story is strong enough.

In recent years, we’ve seen British bookmaker Ladbrokes garner plenty of earned media through a simple story that combined Eurovision with that other big Europe story: Brexit.

The survey story asked the public – amongst other things – whether they thought Britain should leave Eurovision altogether. The story picked up coverage across national media, promoting the bookmaker’s Eurovision odds:

Ladbrokes Eurovision PR campaign
Ladbrokes’ Eurovision PR campaign

If your goal is broad brand visibility, then this could be the strategy for you. Better still, integrate your content and social media activity into your PR strategy for a multi-channel approach that develops in the lead-up to the event.

5. On email

If you’re using a decent ESP or marketing automation tool, you can target email campaigns at customers who have visited your site before and either made a purchase or gotten close to one.

But is this right for a Eurovision strategy? Maybe. Email marketing can boost your Eurovision campaign activity if one of the following applies:

  • If you have a promotional offer related to the contest. Target this strategically on email and use the time-limited nature of the offer to generate FOMO in the way you would for any other special promotion.
  • If you’re running a competition. Similar principle to running a promo – it’s time-sensitive and can therefore be a good message to push through email.
  • If your ESP lets you segment effectively. If you know that Eurovision would go down like a lead balloon with some of your customers, you need to have this in play. If you have key Eurovision content pages, use email to retarget users who have engaged with them.

…and the winner is

You, hopefully (although our money is on The Netherlands for the actual show). Regardless of what budget and channels you have at your disposal to leverage Eurovision, just remember two things:

  1. What are you trying to achieve with this? If you don’t have a specific goal, you run the risk of not being targeted enough to get cut-through.
  2. What are you bringing to the table? This is one of the loudest, weirdest TV events in the world and it brings no shortage of content and stories – bring something worth it to the party or risk wasting your time.

Got through all of this and still don’t know what Eurovision is? We’re truly amazed you made it this far. We can’t promise that this will help, but we’ll leave you with this concise musical explanation:

Want even MORE Eurovision content? Take our quiz to find out whether your e-commerce website should be taking home a trophy (or disappearing into obscurity)