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#AskYieldify: loyalty and lifetime value

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

This month, we’re talking loyalty and lifetime value (LTV), with Mark Murray, Head of Travel.

In last month’s edition of #AskYieldify we learned all about the power of social proof. This time we’re looking at loyalty and lifetime value, so let’s get started…

Why care about customer loyalty?

There are lots of reasons to look at how you can create customer loyalty, as well as improve the journey for your loyal customers. Here are just a few:

  • “The success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%” – Marketing Metrics
  • “Existing Customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, when compared to new customers” – Modern Marketing

Yet, despite these oft-cited statistics, marketers are still pretty firmly focused on acquisition, with more than half in a recent survey stating that they spend 60% or more of their time and resources on acquisition.

But some marketers are coming around to the idea that it’s not all about acquisition, by digging into their own data to understand the value of ‘loyal’ visitor segments.

At our recent #Journey2019 event Sam Willan, General Manager at StudentUniverse shed some light on why the travel brand is looking to loyalty:

Source: Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse UK speaking at #Journey2019

Sam presented some pretty compelling numbers, demonstrating that for StudentUniverse at least, loyal customers are worth focusing on, summed up nicely by this quote:


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


Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse UK, speaking at #Journey2019

How can brands leverage loyalty to drive conversions?

When it comes to loyalty, one of the first techniques that come to mind is loyalty programs. But driving value from a loyalty program isn’t as easy as setting up a scheme and waiting for the conversions to roll in.
One of the biggest challenges is actually getting visitors to join the program in the first place.

We’ve found that emphasizing the benefits or unique selling points of your loyalty program is one successful tactic to try. A retail brand we work with tested this out by highlighting the benefits of its loyalty program with a corner notification when visitors were about to register as a user. The campaign worked so well that this has now been incorporated as part of it’s registration page.

Personalization is also really important when it comes to loyalty messages. Beauty brand Skyn ICELAND, personalized based on whether a user was new or returning to drive registrations for its newly launched loyalty program:

Skyn Iceland: building loyalty and lifetime value with personalization

Once you’ve registered your users, activating them is the next challenge. Reminding members of their rewards is another way personalization can help drive conversion. In another example from the world of beauty, haircare brand Ouidad serves different messaged to depending on the loyalty level of a consumer.

Ouidad: building loyalty and lifetime value with personalization
Ouidad use different messages for subscribers vs. customers

The brand created campaigns to re-engage lapsing users and reward top customers, driving a high level of engagement and boosting loyalty and lifetime value. Last year, Ouidad loyalty members had an average repeat purchase rate of 54.4% (vs. 29.8% for non-members) and a higher annual purchase frequency.

How can I build loyalty and lifetime value as a luxury brand?

Luxury brands can have a bit more of a challenge when it comes to loyalty programs, as giving away discounts can be seen as detrimental to the brand. As always, it’s important to test and learn to find what works best for your audience.

For instance, a luxury department store tested out placing a points-led message front and centre, to drive uptake of its loyalty program. However, the analysis revealed that this ‘push’ style message was not having a positive impact. With this learning, the brand was able to quickly update the format of the messaging to act more as a reminder, giving users the choice to interact if interested, rather than forcing the message on them.

A more subtle ‘pull’ style message can be more effective for luxury brands

How I can optimize the post-purchase experience for loyalty?

Building loyalty and lifetime value isn’t just about loyalty programs, it’s about providing value and driving engagement, fortunately, there are lots of ways you can do this. Post-purchase is the perfect opportunity to point users toward other content or channels you want to highlight, such as social media platforms, as you can then build a much more regular rapport with them.

You might also want to push users toward your app, as it’s been shown mobile can be a powerful driver of customer loyalty. You could also take the opportunity to incentivise your users further, by offering a discount on subsequent purchases, or in exchange for a referral.

Interestingly, post-purchase can also be a great moment in which to secure loyalty scheme membership. At this point in the customer journey, you have enough data to make a pretty compelling and personalized offer to your audience. One technique we have used successfully is by dynamically populating messages with how many points visitors could earn, based on the purchase that has just been completed. A recent campaign with a travel brand drove uplifts of +5% in conversion rate by showing this alongside USPs.

Building loyalty and lifetime value in travel

What part does customer feedback play when it comes to loyalty?

Customer feedback is an important tool to both create and build loyalty and lifetime value along the customer journey. If you never ask your customers what drives their loyalty and satisfaction, it will be impossible to amplify and recreate this…or know where you’re going wrong.

But when should you ask customers for feedback? Think about this carefully – for example, if you’re a travel brand, asking a user to rate their experience after they have gone on holiday may not be the best time to get online feedback.

This is something that should potentially be done after the booking is complete and before they travel, that way you can be assured they’re rating the booking process and experience of your site, rather than the holiday itself! For more tips on customer feedback and reviews, check out our very first #AskYieldify blog.

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 have your question answered by our e-commerce experts

Introducing In-Page Personalization from Yieldify

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In-Page Personalization

Our biggest launch this year will revolutionize your personalization strategies

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).

New In-Page Personalization from Yieldify – announced worldwide today – sets out to change all that. Here’s how.

What is In-Page Personalization?

In-Page Personalization is – put simply – the ability to add personalization to your website pages without having to touch their code.

The new In-Page functionality pairs with Yieldify’s appropriately-named On-Page Personalization, which includes overlays, banners, Notifications and much more. Where On-Page Personalization is intentionally more prominent, In-Page Personalization is designed to be more subtle. Using the two together forms the backbone of any effective Customer Journey Optimization strategy.

Here’s an example of how it could look on a mobile site:

In-Page Personalization example on retail mobile device

Not sure which bit we’re talking about? That’s exactly the idea. The In-Page Personalization element here is the ‘120 people…’ flag in blue – it has been added in a matter of minutes and will only appear on the site’s most popular products, even then only materializing after the user has dwelled for a few seconds. To your user, it all looks seamlessly like part of your site.

All of this is hosted on the Yieldify Conversion Platform, which gets up-and-running in less than two weeks – a fraction of the time than the multiple months that most personalization platforms demand.

Who is it for?

In-Page Personalization is made for any e-commerce team that wants a fast and easy way to personalize their website – that means it’s great for everyone from retail to financial services.

A great example of the product in action comes from NEST Fragrances, who have used In-Page Personalization to deliver social proof messaging as part of the fabric of their site:

In-Page Personalization displayed on the NEST Fragrances website

The work so far has already led to a 30% uplift in conversion rates:

“With In-Page Personalization, we’re now able to make our website content reactive to our users’ behavior in real-time. With limited resources and bandwidth, it would have been very difficult for us to deliver this on our own. Based on initial results, we’re excited to see where we can take it next.”

Brian Crowley, Director, E-commerce and Digital Marketing at NEST Fragrances

Here’s another example from the award-winning tour operator Leger Holidays, who used in-page personalization to show a message at a late stage in the booking funnel, encouraging users to continue on their journey:

According to our team, using this format on the Leger website meant this message could be anchored right alongside the relevant sections of the form, without interrupting the visitor journey. To date, the results have been impressive, with conversion rates up by +15.7% versus the control group.

How does In-Page Personalization work?

It works in two very simple ways:

1.Sticky campaigns

These are creatives and messages that you can ‘stick’ to almost any element of your page. These will continue ‘sticking’ to that element, no matter where your user scrolls, making them appear completely seamless with the rest of your page content.

2. Embedded campaigns

Of course, not every page design allows that little piece of extra space that you might need for a Sticky campaign – this is where Embedded campaigns come in. These will add your message or creative directly into your page.

Both types of campaign look identical from a user perspective (in that they’ll have no idea this isn’t already a part of your website).

Why bother though?

Since launching this new functionality in beta, we’ve seen an overwhelming response from e-commerce companies across the world. Dozens of clients have told us that this offers an invaluable route out of time-consuming and complex personalization, making fast and agile personalization available to them for the first time:

“Changing elements of our website so that it can be properly personalized used to be one of our biggest challenges – it competed with other priorities and would take a considerable amount of time to get it live. Using Yieldify’s In-Page Personalization has been a game-changer: now it only takes minutes. It’s opened the door to a faster, more agile approach to ensuring our website performs at its best.”

David Gomez, Insurance Director at AllClear Travel

To prove just how easy it is, here’s a quick video that shows you how to put a campaign together:

Here’s where there’s another element that makes all of this pretty special: behavioral triggering. Where many personalization platforms will allow you to invest your time and resource into creating personalized pages depending on cohort segments, Yieldify allows you to take things to the next level by being able to change the appearance of that content depending on in-session behavior.

How do I get In-Page Personalization?

Both In-Page and On-Page Personalization form part of the Yieldify Conversion Platform. As an award-winning product, it specializes in its speed and ease-of-use – you’ll be able to get up-and-running within two weeks, with just a single tag to have your IT team integrate. We’ll take care of the rest.

To find out more, request a free demo.

As part of your demo, we’ll assess whether In-Page Personalization looks right for your website, and then use the time to walk you through our ideas for how it could achieve the best results.

Meet your visitors: ecommerce segmentation statistics

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

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

So, who are they?

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

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

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

Which visitor segment drives the most traffic?

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

And how about average order values?

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

Which visitor segments drive the most revenue?

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

What are the average bounce rates for these visitor segments

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

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

Conclusion

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

Want more data and insights like this? Check out our other resources, or sign up to our mailing list to get the latest straight to your inbox.

#Journey2019: An interview with James Boyle from Flight Centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks James, looking forward to next week!

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

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

Campaigns of the Month: February 2019

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Check out the Campaigns of the Month for February 2019!

How NEST Fragrances helps visitors discover best-selling products

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


How Borough Kitchen drives awareness with returning visitors

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

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

Alice Ribton, Customer Success Manager, Yieldify

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

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

Alice Ribton, Customer Success Manager at Yieldify

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

5 marketing testing methods to optimize the customer journey

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

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

A/B Testing

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

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

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

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


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

Multivariate Testing (MVT)

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

Marketing testing: MVT
Source: HubPages

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

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

Content Testing

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

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

Marketing testing: social media

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

Geotargeted Testing

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

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

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

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

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

Usability Testing

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

Marketing testing: UX and Usability
Source: MockPlus

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


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

Case Study: A/B Testing

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

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

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

Conclusion

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


#AskYieldify: social proof for e-commerce

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

This month, everything you ever wanted to #AskYieldify about using social proof for e-commerce, with Bruno Diogo, Consultant at Yieldify.

In last month’s edition of #AskYieldify we tackled the topic of customer reviews. This time we’re looking at how e-commerce brands can use the concept of social proof to improve the customer journey.

What is social proof?

When we’re unsure how to behave in a situation, we tend to follow the behaviour of others, which psychologists have called social proof. Social proof for e-commerce means leveraging this behaviour to build trust or urgency.

Here at Yieldify when we talk about social proof, we’re usually referring to the feature in our platform, Dynamic Social Proof, that allows our clients to leverage this psychological concept, by showing visitors a the popularity of a particular product.

Social Proof for e-commerce: Kickers example

Another way we use social proof is by surfacing reviews at the right moment in the customer journey (read last months #AskYieldify for more on that!)

Does social proof work?

Research from Harvard University shows that up to 95% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. One of the most powerful ways to target the subconscious is via our tendency to use the wisdom of the crowd to influence our own decisions. In a world full of choice, our subconscious looks for ways to take shortcuts in this decision-making process, and so we trust the decisions of our peers and networks.

That’s great, but again…does it work? Well, according to our data, yes. Yieldify’s benchmark data from over 200,000 customer journey campaigns showed that brands using Dynamic social proof can drive conversion rate uplifts from 6.6%, up to as high as 48.3% per cent depending on the targeting criteria, with the average falling around an 8.5% increase. You can read how brands like Megabus and Kickers use social proof, and the results achieved, in our case studies.

Is social proof real?

There’s been some controversy around social proof recently, particularly within the travel industry where the CMA was concerned some brands were using the tactic to make hotel rooms seem more popular than they were in reality.

To avoid damaging trust with consumers (and indeed the whole premise that underlines the effectiveness of a tactic like social proof) brands need to ensure they are comparing like with like when using social proof. This means being clear about the availability of products within the context of the visitor’s situation. For example, if showing how many others are looking at a particular holiday, ensuring this is for the same dates.

How can I apply social proof to e-commerce?

There are a wide variety of ways to apply social proof to your e-commerce site. One use-case that might immediately come to mind is the use of social proof on travel sites, which have perishable inventory, and so are a natural fit for this tactic. But a word of caution – make sure the social proof tool you’re using is compliant with industry guidelines.

We carried out customer journey benchmarking for one of our travel clients and discovered that while it might seem simple at first glance, there’s actually a range of key moments in the customer journey that brands are targeting with social proof, each with different copy, designs and formats.

In terms of what we learned from this about best practice, social proof should be applied throughout the customer journey, both at the category level and on the product page to drive the best results.

This journey oriented approach, incorporating social proof, is something we’ve tested with Stansted Express, using social proof combined with USP and reassurance messaging throughout the booking funnel. Using multiple messages throughout the journey drove a 120% higher conversion rate than just showing one message.

Stansted Express: social proof for e-commerce
Stansted Express combine social proof with other tactics to optimize the customer journey

What is the best point in the customer journey to use social proof?

It depends. For example, if it’s a high value, considered purchase, then inducing urgency to those users who are simply browsing won’t necessarily work as well as if it’s a lower value, impulse buy. This underlines the importance of testing campaigns, and iterating on them, a negative result from a test isn’t always a bad thing if it can help you refine your strategy.

We saw the importance of this with one of our clients, soak.com, where we noticed that social proof was not performing in line with our benchmarks. We performed some analysis to understand why. Looking at the time of day, and device revealed that the key period when social proof drove a positive impact was around lunchtime, when visitors had time to take in information and make a decision.

soak.com: social proof for e-commerce
soak.com: social proof

From this insight we were then able to launch a version two of the campaign, utilizing Yieldify’s time of day targeting feature. 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.

If you’ve got an e-commerce question you need help with why not #AskYieldify? Next Month we’ll be tackling loyalty and lifetime value (LTV) so tweet us, or email us on info@yieldify.com, for a chance have your question answered by our e-commerce experts.

Can’t wait until then? Our complete guide to customer loyalty features 6 steps to build loyalty and lifetime value, check it out here.

#Journey2019: An interview with Sam Willan from StudentUniverse

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Ahead of #Journey2019, we’re going behind-the-scenes with our stellar line-up of speakers. First up, Sam Willan from StudentUniverse.

Hi Sam! First things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and StudentUniverse?

I’m Sam Willan, and I’m General Manager of the U.K. business for StudentUniverse. I took on that role in October last year – previously I was Head of Marketing. As a marketer by trade, I still very much oversee the marketing strategy – that’s my primary focus alongside a general brand responsibility in the UK.

“At StudentUniverse, in a nutshell, we’re advocates for young people seeing the world.”

At StudentUniverse, in a nutshell, we’re advocates for young people seeing the world. We believe that travel is essential to modern day education. So the core of what we do is offer unique pricing terms on flights and global experiences to a closed user group of students via our proprietary verification technology.

We started out of Boston, Massachusetts in 2000 as a technology company in the travel industry. The aim was to create a simpler and more robust approach to student travel than the traditional Student ID discount system. It worked really well and we launched in the UK back in 2013.

Can you tell us more about your journey to get where you are today in travel?

So I’ve been with Flight Centre Travel Group coming up on 10 years, but I’ve essentially worked in travel all my life! Prior to getting a “real job”, I was doing ski seasons for 3 years, and then after that I joined the real world of travel.

I’ve worked across a variety of functions, from sales consultant on the front line for Round the World Experts, to content management around 7 years ago within Flight Centre. I then moved to be the Marketing Manager at Travel Club, and after that into youth travel with Gapyear.com. I made the move into e-commerce around 2 years ago with StudentUniverse and have been there ever since.

Based on your wealth of experience, it would be great to get your perspective on the key challenges the travel industry is facing now we’re in 2019.

Absolutely! I’m going to ignore the macro issue of Brexit because I think that’s probably at the top of the list for anyone working in travel, or even across other industries.

Product differentiation is always going to be key – we predominantly sell airline tickets and it’s an incredibly commoditized industry. It’s getting harder and harder to differentiate on product level alone, which is where operating in a niche sector is an advantage. There are also some changes in technology standards through IATA that will allow us to look at selling based on specific consumer’s requirements, so really personalizing based on each individual consumer, which is quite exciting.

Then, travel is an incredibly fragmented industry in terms of the user journey to purchase – I’ve read that any given person will visit 38 sites before committing to a travel purchase. Understanding visitors in the research phase versus those with intent to buy can be really difficult to pinpoint. Online, it’s a real challenge to know if they are just looking out of interest or whether they will go ahead and buy in that session.

“You have to contend with the fact that someone could spend 99% of their time researching with you, but if you’re not meeting their requirements at the right moment, there’s no guarantee they’ll transact with you.”

Brand loyalty is another thing that is really, really difficult. The volume of information that’s available for consumers to research is vast. Then you have to contend with the fact that someone could spend 99% of their time researching with you, but if you’re not meeting their requirements at the right moment, there’s no guarantee they’ll transact with you. It’s harder and harder to capture that loyalty as a brand, and specifically within a travel agency environment where you don’t directly “own” the commodity – and have less control over the physical product experience.

That leads on to our next question… how have you seen consumer expectations of online travel change and why?

It’s very similar to trends across every industry – it’s convenience and service that people are looking for. Ten years ago, we absolutely couldn’t tap a button and then have a taxi waiting two minutes later, but that is just the expectation now and everyone else lags behind, that’s no different with online travel. Travel is one of those huge industries that is lagging behind, certainly retail in that expectation around service, convenience and value.

“People are more willing to pay to have that peace of mind. For example, if they’ve booked with us, they want to know that we can support them throughout their whole experience.”

I think people actually value convenience and service over price point. People are more willing to pay to have that peace of mind. For example, if they’ve booked with us, they want to know that we can support them throughout their whole experience. We know, for example, an air ticket might be booked three to four months in advance to secure the best price, but an experience or hotel is something they’ll want to book much closer to the time. So being able to unbundle all these products so visitors can book at their convenience, but still have everything in one place for when they travel – this is where the expectation is going.

Personalization as well – demographic targeting isn’t enough any more. I think the travel industry is as guilty as anyone – it’s segmenting broadly by age and location and similar. And actually when you dig down into it, you can’t segment at that level and be successful: it’s real personalization that people are demanding now.

So who, in your view, is excelling at meeting these expectations?

There’s a couple. Quite a niche example of someone doing something smart is Delta Airlines. They have an airline baggage tracking functionality within their app. It’s a great product augmentation play: they’ve addressed something that’s a bugbear of so many people, a real pain point when travelling. You can track, in real time, where your luggage is, something that has a knock-on effect on the rest of your travel plans, or if you’re a business traveller what time you’ll arrive at your meeting. So it’s kind of a tiny point, but its ability to have an impact on the customer experience of Delta’s product is huge.

Then, it’s probably cliché to mention, but outside of travel, I think Amazon, where they are standardizing returns, refunds, customer service across a range of distributors and suppliers. It’s a really smart way to work and wouldn’t surprise me if we see someone make similar moves within the travel industry, where are so many disparate parts to pull together.

In the not too distant future we’ll see companies looking to standardize terms, cancellation policies, customer service etc., and so be able to address that fragmentation we talked about earlier.

Can you give us a bit of a sneak preview of what you’ll be speaking about at #Journey2019?

So I’m going to be looking at the hot topic of customer lifetime value in a time when loyalty is declining. Certainly, something we’re guilty of is focusing on that cost per acquisition on a single sale basis, and ignoring the lifetime value the customer still has to brands. How we can start to use data to address this, to personalize the customer journey and improve lifetime value?

And finally, aside from your presentation, what are you looking forward to on the day?

Well, the travel breakout session features James Boyle from Flight Centre, so definitely looking forward to that – he’s a really smart and switched-on guy!

Thanks Sam!

If you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket to Journey2019 then check out the full line-up here to plan your visit, and we’ll see you on March 13th.

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

Valentine’s e-commerce tips: create customer journeys that hit more targets than Cupid!

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We’ve put together some Valentine’s e-commerce tips that are sure to have your customers showing you some love.

Ah yes, the season of love. It’s a great time for anyone in a relationship, but an even better time for e-commerce managers, so we’ve pulled together some Valentine’s e-commerce tips, especially for you.

Just like any holiday centred on the gifting of goods, such as Christmas or Mother’s Day, Valentine’s presents a big opportunity. Yet unlike other holidays, Valentine’s Day comes with a bonus. 

Whilst still concerned with finding the best possible deal, shoppers are more willing to part with greater quantities of cash to show their loved ones they care.

The desire to splurge on your partner is so great that Valentine’s Day’s AOV eclipses that of the e-commerce behemoth Black Friday. According to the National Retail Federation consumers are spending more than ever. Between 2009 and 2019 the average amount consumers plan to spend increased by $60.


So how can you make the most of consumers desire to splash the cash this Valentine’s?

Remember, this is business as usual

Whenever a big holiday rolls around there’s no need to re-invent the wheel. There’s sometimes a perceived need to implement fresh strategies, create new approaches and make everything super specific to the impending sale. Most of which simply isn’t needed.

A lot of the general approaches that are so effective on Black Friday also work at Christmas, the January sales, Valentine’s day or any other shopping centred holiday.

Below is a list of a few campaigns that you likely already have the framework in place for and are always successful:

  • Cross-sell the hell out of related products – If people are willing to spend more, oblige them. Give them ample opportunity to add complementary products to their carts.
  • Add free shipping/discount thresholds – Nothing gets people willing to spend more than the promise of a bargain.

Valentine's E-commerce tips: free delivery

  • Provide last-minute options for late shoppers – because there’s always someone who leaves it to the 11th hour

Yes, Valentine’s Day is different and unique, but don’t get caught up thinking you need a completely unique approach. It’s just another holiday and, with a few tweaks, it’s business as usual.

Gone in 60 seconds

As in love, sometimes online shoppers can be fickle. The average shopper checks three different sites before committing to a purchase. A short attention span means a decision on whether to continue or bounce is made within seconds. The latest reports suggest that visitors are so quick to judge that after 60 seconds, you’ll have lost 30% of your traffic.

infographic on valentine's day shopping preferences

So, at best, you’ve got 60 seconds to convince prospects that you’ve got what they want. What’s the best way to achieve this? With a dedicated Valentine’s Day landing page or curated selection of products.

Something which shows those who navigate to your site that yes, you do have a stellar Valentine’s Day selection and yes, there is an offer on certain goods.

Stick some easy navigation buttons and options right there on the landing page and voila, you’ve secured some of that 30% who’d leave within the first minute. Make sure your landing page clearly demonstrates Valentine’s shoppers are on the right site with some cracking Valentine’s imagery. And if they’re on the move, employ a well-timed message to re-engage them with an offer or assistance:

 

Segment your audience

Segmentation has always been the backbone of an effective marketing campaign, it ensures you’re marketing the right products to the right people (whilst also simplifying that path to purchase!).

With Valentine’s you can separate your products by gender, or group by type of buyer. This is a good opportunity to A/B test those calls to actions – does a gender or persona focused CTA drive more clicks and conversions?

Use images to clearly demonstrate the different segments so your visitors know exactly where they need to click. You can also use this space to make smart product recommendations that catch consumers attention.

Liberty valentine's day

However, don’t just focus on the romantic.

Valentine’s Day primarily aimed at couples, but modern shoppers aren’t just buying gifts on for a romantic partner.

This table from Statista shows how much money shoppers spend on family members on Valentine’s Day. You can see that over the years there’s a slight increase in the amount people are spending on non-romantic gifts. 

In 2018 Americans bought gifts for pets, family and even spent $654 million on co-workers:

Valentine's e-commerce tips: gift recipients

 

The learning? Be sure to include items that would be suitable for family members and friends.

Offer a little guidance

If we’re being honest, a lot of people out there have no idea what to purchase on Valentine’s Day. It’s why flowers, chocolates or jewellery always sell well:

 

It may be the thought that counts, but there’s a great opportunity here to help shoppers gain a few extra brownie points by getting a gift perfectly suited to their partner’s needs and desires.

How? Curated content featuring your recommended products can be pushed to those exhibiting the telltale signs of cold feet: exit intent, or extended dwell times. It’s doesn’t even need to be specially curated for Valentine’s, we’ve found directing visitors to bestselling, or trending sections can have a positive impact of conversion by offering a form of ‘social proof’.

Valentine's e-commerce tips: curated gifts

 

It’s not all about gifts

Physical gifts are great, but people crave experiences. Millennials are driving this trend, with 51% saying a shared experience is what they’d most like to receive versus the 40% average. This is perfect if you’re a travel brand or restaurant – everything we’ve said so far can be applied to up those conversions ahead of the 14th. 

 

But what if you’re not selling experiences? A smart way to leverage this trend, particularly as it gets closer to Valentine’s Day, and delivery deadlines become shorter, is to push in-store. Events such as workshops or gift wrapping services work particularly well with the key categories for Valentine’s such as beauty products and jewellery, but you could even do something as simple as pushing your click and collect options.

Get your visitors to fall in love with you

Valentine’s is an opportunity for e-commerce stores to start the year off right. Take advantage of an increase in traffic to test out which messages and tactics work best to drive conversions and improve the customer journey (Need some testing inspo? Download your free checklist here).

If you can successfully include the tips outlined above into your larger marketing campaign, you should have a few new admirers after the holiday season. They won’t be sending you chocolates but will instead offer something far more precious. Repeat business.

Campaigns of the Month: January 2019

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Check out our campaigns of the month: January 2019

How Leger Holidays reduces booking abandonment

Leger Holidays is a leading tour operator offering more than 180 trips to choose from across Europe. Seeking to provide ‘amazing experiences’ to its customers, starting from the moment a visitor begins booking their trip, Leger Holidays worked with Yieldify to optimize the booking process.

“Travel has one of the highest abandonment rates of any industry at around 81%. Part of this is due to the expectation users have around the length of the booking process. In order to combat this, Leger utilized sticky campaigns throughout the booking journey highlighting exactly how many minutes the process usually takes from that point.”

“Using the sticky campaign format meant this message could be anchored right alongside the relevant sections of the form, without interrupting the visitor journey. To date, the results have been impressive, with conversion rates up by +15.7% versus the control group.”

Alex Martinsmith, Campaign Analyst, Customer Success

How Maximuscle leverages social proof to drive conversions

Maximuscle, a leading sports nutrition brand, know that trust is key when it comes to selling health and fitness related products. The brand wanted to leverage the power of social proof, at the right moment in the customer journey to drive conversions.

“Social proof is a powerful psychological principle that can be used in a variety of ways across an e-commerce site. For this campaign the goal was to drive visitors to add to cart at that moment of intent by creating urgency with social proof messaging.”

“The sticky campaign we used was a simple but effective way to do this, and we’re already seeing positive results. In the video you’ll also see that we follow this up with another message once the product is added to bag, notifying the user they’ve qualified for free delivery. This two-phase approach is a great way to move visitors from browsing to checkout”

Stephanie King, Head of UK Retail

Want more examples like this? Check out our Case Studies, and don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list.

Beauty e-commerce trends 2019

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What can e-commerce marketers learn from the beauty e-commerce trends driving a $750bn industry?

As a wide array of industries are disrupted or destroyed by e-commerce giants, the beauty industry has been remarkably resilient. In fact, many are saying it’s going through a massive reinvention — which has put the industry on pace to be valued at $750 billion by 2024. Key to this growth are a number of beauty e-commerce trends that have enabled a diverse range of brands to own the customer journey like never before.

So how are beauty brands owning the customer journey in 2019? Between social media, organic and paid search, and the rise of omnichannel, multi-brand retailers like Sephora and Ulta Beauty, the path to purchase is more complex than ever.

While this complex customer journey presents a challenge for brands, it’s also an opportunity to present unique omnichannel experiences. In short, the growth of the beauty sector isn’t random. New, exciting brands are popping up regularly and launching creative marketing efforts that are becoming the talk of the industry.

Here are a few beauty e-commerce trends to keep an eye on (and learn from) in 2019…

Insta-upstarts take on established brands

Social media has levelled the playing field for brands, making it easier for young challengers to quickly establish a foothold and take on more established industry players. These new direct-to-consumer kids on the block have risen to prominence off the back of unique brand stories.

Glossier, for instance, has grown dramatically over the past few years thanks to a simple but compelling ethos: “The individual should be celebrated.” Many of these new companies are leveraging their ‘newness’ to brand themselves as fresh alternatives to older industry giants.

In response, these same industry giants are evolving. Taking a page out of these new brands’ playbooks and investing in social media influencers who can provide an injection of freshness and authenticity. Or they’re altering their aesthetics, aligning with industry trends to offer more minimal, millennial-friendly, products and e-commerce sites.

Photo: @covergirl/Instagram

Social shopping – is 2019 the year?

Linked with the rise of direct-to-consumer indie brands, is the continued dominance of social media. Monitoring of beauty e-commerce trends show that king among the platforms is Instagram, which many brands have mastered to gather useful user-generated content and compelling visual assets. Even as major social players such as Kylie Cosmetics have taken up a large share of the space, more and more brands continue to invest in building followings. It proves one thing: Social isn’t going anywhere, but will 2019 be the year it pays off, in terms of actual sales?

As shoppable posts on Instagram became available in 44 countries in 2018 the dream of creating a seamless shopping experience on mobile is becoming more of a reality. The number of beauty brands using the functionality will only grow in 2019 as 72% of consumers say they have made fashion, beauty or style related purchase directly after seeing something on Instagram. Stories, in particular, offer an almost seamless way to facilitate e-commerce from content, and beauty brands have taken advantage of this, now representing 38% of Stories posts, ahead of retail (26%), and luxury (21%) brands.

Beauty e-commerce trends: Instagram Stories
Source: Gartner L2

Personalization continues to proliferate

Beauty e-commerce trends are reflective of wider industry trends, but none more-so than personalization. One major reason beauty brands have grown amid e-commerce upheaval is their ability to leverage the inherently personal aspect of beauty shopping, to serve the growing consumer demand for personalization.

Each buyer is different and has different needs. Varied skin types and body shapes lead customers down different paths as they shop for beauty products. When Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty burst onto the scene, one of the major factors in it’s huge success was a product range catering to a wide array of skin types previously underserved by the industry. Brands have taken notice of this demand, and are now celebrating these differences right through from the products they produce to the assistive, personalized customer experiences they create online.

Beauty e-commerce trends: Charlotte Tilbury
Source: Charlotte Tilbury

Online shade selectors, like the above from Charlotte Tilbury, help customers find just the right foundation for their skin. Guided selling tactics such as this, mimic the in-store experience of conversing with a sales assistant, aiding product discovery, encouraging purchases and offer the added bonus of cutting down on returns.

New approaches to building loyalty

With a crowded field making acquisition in beauty harder than ever, building loyalty to retain customers is becoming more and more valuable. Loyalty schemes that encourage retention have long been a staple, for instance, Sephora has remained an industry heavyweight thanks to its effective points-based system. Subscription-based services, such as Birchbox and Cornerstone, have also seen sizeable growth, with consumer appetite for a regular beauty fix high.

But some methods for building loyalty are more abstract. Take, for instance, a newer entrant to beauty e-commerce trends – brands as communities. By leveraging social media to encourage interaction among customers, more brands are creating a tight-knit, communal feel to increase customer loyalty. In this way, a brand becomes part of the customer’s identity, building a more meaningful type of customer-brand interaction. Some are even bringing social to the supply chain, such as Glossier’s leveraging of its online community to crowd-source products, or ColourPop’s showcase of the process behind the products.

View this post on Instagram

Evolution of the Milky Jelly bottle ?

A post shared by Glossier (@glossier) on

Source: Glossier / Instagram

Beauty e-commerce trends: what’s next?

Beauty brands are in a unique position to build strong personal bonds with their customers, and there’s a lot that can be learned from how they’ve done this to date. From optimizing the journey between social and commerce to baking-in personalization across the business there are more ways than ever to connect with customers. E-commerce marketers in all industries have the chance to launch creative campaigns that improve the customer journey. These beauty e-commerce trends give us a taste of where the industry is headed – for ideas on how you can leverage them, check out our Beauty E-commerce Lookbook featuring three examples of customer journeys made personal.

Beauty E-commerce Lookbook

#AskYieldify: customer reviews for e-commerce

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In this new series, we’re putting the big e-commerce questions to our crack team of expert consultants.

First up, everything you ever wanted to #AskYieldify about using customer reviews on your e-commerce site, with Théo Devred, Senior Consultant.

What’s the best way to incorporate reviews into my e-commerce site?

First I’d recommend taking a structured approach to ensure you’re getting the most out of your reviews. We usually begin by running some tests to understand the review formats that work best to drive a positive impact.

For example, you could start off showcasing the average star rating, or some selected quotes:

e-commerce customer reviews from Facebook

Then if you work with a 3rd party reviews platform like Trustpilot, bring this into the mix to see how it impacts conversions across different devices and at different parts of the customer journey.

Finally, keep on iterating. There are so many ways you can present review information, so keep testing to understand what works best for your audience. Something we’ve found super effective is to show the number of 5-star reviews e.g:

Trustpilot ratings for e-commerce customer reviews

Does it matter if I don’t already work with a reviews platform?

No – get creative. While third-party platforms like Trustpilot, Feefo or Avis Vérifiés can provide a level of authenticity and help build consumers trust, everyone has to start somewhere.

You’re probably already sitting on a goldmine of user-generated content you can utilize. We’ve worked with clients to highlight reviews from platforms such as Facebook or Google Reviews, and seen a positive impact from this.

What’s the best point in the customer journey to show reviews?

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

For example, with upper funnel visitors on a travel booking or finance site highlighting ease of completion can be a great way to move visitors further along. Once visitors are closer to the end of the funnel, then this messaging might change to focus more on reassurance. 

 e-commerce customer reviews for finance

For star based rating systems, is there a difference between showing say, a 3-star and 4-star review?

Short answer, yes. As we’ve mentioned, optimizing the customer journey is not a ‘one-size fits all’ approach, and this is also true for reviews. In order to understand which rating levels work best, you should test it out. Here’s an example of how we analyzed the data behind e-commerce customer reviews for a travel brand:

 e-commerce customer reviews analysis

As you can see, the ‘breakeven’ point was just under 4 stars. At this point, showing the ratings actually had a negative impact. So we segmented the approach – for products with a lower rating showing an overlay that directed abandoning visitors to similar products with a higher rating, and continuing to show the star rating for 4 star and above products. This approach saw the conversion rate on lower-rated products increase positively.

How can I get more customer reviews?

Of course, to use reviews on your e-commerce website it’s good to have a supply that is constantly refreshed. Getting reviews can sometimes be a challenge. Success is all about understanding the customer lifecycle, and the most appropriate stage of the customer journey to ask for reviews.

Beauty is an industry that is particularly reliant on consumer reviews for building trust. To this end, we worked with one of our beauty clients to support its reviews program. Using Yieldify’s historical targeting feature we were able to encourage returning customers who had made a purchase between a particular time frame to review their recent purchases. As they navigated through the site returning visitors were targeted with a notification welcoming them back and asking if they’d like to leave a review:

 getting more e-commerce customer reviews

If you’ve got an e-commerce question you need help with why not #AskYieldify? Next Month we’ll be tackling all things social proof so tweet us, or email us on info@yieldify.com, for a chance have your question answered by our e-commerce experts. Or if you can’t wait until then, our guide to applying psychology to e-commerce is a great place to start for ideas on social proof, urgency and more.

Peak performance: Q4 2018 e-commerce statistics [Infographic]

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Expectations for e-commerce going into Q4 were mixed to say the least. See how it all turned out with these Q4 2018 e-commerce statistics.

The outlook for retail and e-commerce heading into Q4 2019 was cautious, with November the ‘worst on record’ for UK retailers, and similar ‘warning signs’ in the US.

Now it’s 2019 we decided to take a look back at the data to understand what happened during key shopping periods like Black Friday and the holiday season, and what e-commerce brands should know when it comes to traffic, conversions and more.

We analyzed over half a million visits across November and December to US and UK websites to understand consumers to understand peak performance. Here are a few of the key insights from our Q4 2018 e-commerce statistics:

  • It started early, with Black Friday driving the most traffic
  • December traffic peaked on the 1st, conversions peaked later
  • Mobile is the device of choice for discovery, and conversion rates are slowly growing

View the infographic below to see all the data and insights!

Q4 2018 e-commerce statistics

Did your peak performance measure up? If not, we’re on hand to help. Book a free Customer Journey Optimization consultation for ideas to get your 2019 off to a flying start!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How we took Yieldify’s branding to infinity and beyond

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In late 2018, we took a look at what we’d achieved as a business. Over 1,000 clients, an award-winning platform and 30 billion datapoints. We’d come a long way.

The problem was that the way we communicated ourselves was lagging a little bit behind. It was time for a refresh of our brand.

Starting the rebrand project

First things first, the message.

Over a year ago, Yieldify began talking about Customer Journey Optimization – we’re proud to be flying the flag for this exciting new practice. In writing extensively about it in that time, we’ve come to learn just how much it resonates with marketers in e-commerce and beyond.

For example, a report we published in late 2018 found that more than 70% of marketers understand the customer journey, but optimizing it still presents challenges. In 2019, we’re looking at a landscape where CJO rises further up through the agenda and starts to becoming an established practice for marketers.

Our challenge was to see whether we could push this further and bring CJO to the marketers who’d never heard of it. We wanted to do this by connecting it to another concept, one much more widely understood and recognised in the market: personalization.

To make CJO easier to understand, we decided to bring personalization directly into our messages. In a nutshell, we now described CJO as ‘personalization across the full customer journey’. In other words, if personalization is a tactic, CJO is a strategy that makes use of it from A-Z.

So in crystallizing our messaging in order to build a visual identity on top, we created a new tagline that would encapsulate this in a simple soundbite:

“customer journeys made personal”

With personalization and CJO now firmly knitted together, we had a solid verbal identity that orbited the idea of the journey. This spoke not just to the kinds of customer journeys that our clients’ customers would take, but the journeys that our teams take our clients on as we help them navigate the new challenges of e-commerce.

We knew that we were looking for amplification and enhancement rather than a complete revolution – our message was being taken to the next level, rather than changed.

Now we could start thinking about how we would translate this visually.

Creating a new logo

It’s arguably the most important piece of a brand identity – or it’s at least the one that everyone notices first. Our logo was over five years old and badly in need of updating for Yieldify’s new phase.

Once again, we started with the journey: we wanted our new logo and icon to convey the idea of progression and movement. The arrow element the formed part of our former logo had done this, but it needed a cleaner and more flexible execution.

We broke down what we were looking for into two constituent parts: an icon and a full logo. Following a few rounds of scoping, we’d arrived at what we were looking for:

The rationale was simple: the subtle arrow directions of the icon gave the journey-centric energy we wanted, creating a sense of movement and momentum. Building out into the rest of the logo, this offered us an important level of continuity while creating an outline that was bolder.

And the atom? We killed it. There are enough SaaS businesses out there with an atom for a logo so we just gave it a 21-gun salute and sent it off to the great icon graveyard in the sky.

Expanding the palette

Continuity being important, we didn’t want to change too much about our color palette. Instead, we wanted to expand our set of colors in order to give ourselves more flexibility as we diversified our marketing activities (and swag collection).

To that end, we added three new accent colors to our palette:

Building a universe

Then we came to what was arguably the most exciting part of the whole exercise: our new mascots and their world.

Before the big unveil, a little context. In recent years, the B2B marketing world has come to better understand that at the end of the day, we’re all still selling to humans. What that means is that the considerations around emotion, brand and engagement that were previously assumed to belong more squarely in the B2C camp have begun to be recognised as just as important for B2B.

For us, that meant that we wanted to build a creative landscape around Yieldify that was imaginative, playful and full of the kind of warmth and friendliness that we believe to be at the core of who we are as a business.

The development of this idea started with a new ambassador – a character that would embody our values, our ambitions and our attitude. After hundreds of Slack arguments over her name, Sky was born:

So, why a female astronaut to represent a marketing technology company? The answer goes back to our central message: journeys. Sky explores and charts new courses not just in this universe, but in others too. On top of that, she humanizes and personalizes the process and the experience the way we do as we work with our clients.

With Sky in place, the rest of our universe began to form around her. A colourful, multi-dimensional landscape of colours and iconography that provided us with a whole new playground of elements to translate across every Yieldify touchpoint. From the popsockets that adorn all of our phones to the 2019 e-commerce calendar that now features an LGBTQ+ alien, we built out a wide range of elements that mean every element of your interaction with Yieldify offers something new:

Yieldify calendar

Launching our new brand

As a business operating in four countries with clients in dozens more, we decided to phase our new brand and messaging rollout in order to make the transition more manageable. With Sky and friends appearing in new materials since the end of 2018, the launch has culminated in today’s launch of our brand new website. We’re all-new for 2019.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions about our new branding. Check our events page to see where you can meet us in the coming year to see it all brought to life (and even take some of the new swag home with you).

Meet the Team: Jessica Fisher, EMEA Client Services Director

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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: Jessica Fisher, EMEA Client Services Director

What’s your role at Yieldify?

I’m EMEA Client Services Director, which basically means I’m here to enable our account teams to deliver for our clients. I take an overarching view of client strategies to make sure that we’re continuously delivering value across the board. 

What did you do before you joined the team here?

I’ve always been based in financial services. I started out in fund management and then moved into marketing, working for Barclays for around five years. I then moved agency-side, where my clients were a number of big banks and financial institutions such as HSBC, Santander, American Express and Capital One. I’ve pretty much worked with most of the UK’s big banks at some point in my career!

All of these roles have covered engagement, customer experience and optimization. That breadth of background – from coding HTML emails to analysis and strategy – gives me a really clear picture of the end-to-end customer experience, which is extremely helpful in making sure that the kind of onsite experience we create at Yieldify is the right one.

How does the client services team work at Yieldify?

The team is split between client facing-account teams, technical services teams who build out and QA all campaigns and then our designers who make everything look beautiful.

The account teams are divided into industry verticals so that we can develop specific industry expertise, trends and benchmarks. Each account team is made up up of consultants, CSMs and Campaign Analysts, who all work together with support from our Data team to analyze everything we see from our clients campaigns and Google Analytics. These insights allow them to view trends and benchmarks, which they then employ to deliver insight, develop strategies and optimize existing campaigns.

What does a normal day look like for you?

….there isn’t one really! In general, my week is focussed on enabling the team to do what they need to do to ensure we’re continuously delivering value.

The weeks usually start the same: getting everything together for the coming week, looking back at the last week’s performance and prioritizing for the coming weeks and months. But as the week progresses, we usually get the odd curveball thrown in, but that’s the nature of being client-facing.

What happens when a new client comes on board? 

As a Services team, our role usually starts long before a new client has even signed the contract. We’re always working closely with our Sales team to transfer knowledge and insights so that potential clients are seeing the benefit of our collective experience from the very beginning of their conversation with us. We also get heavily involved in reviewing websites and proposals to help apply our benchmarks and experience at the coal-face.

We really pride ourselves on getting our clients up-and-running quickly – it’s one of the things that makes us very different to a lot of testing tools out there. While those types of software take weeks or even months to get going, we’re onsite and ready to go within three days. It just means that our clients can start getting results and see ROI so much quicker.

When a new client comes on board, we always start with a review of the overall customer journey in conjunction with what we know about the vertical. At this early stage, we don’t always immediately have all the client’s data to hand, but we always have a back catalogue of knowledge and those benchmarks and trends. Getting started with a new client strategy usually involves starting broad so we can get as much data and insight as possible, which means we can quickly optimize and start delivering value from an insight perspective as well as a revenue one.

It’s an interesting phase because we have a complex mix of clients: some are experts themselves and some are new to optimization, some have the support of analytics teams and fully tagged-up site and others are a one-man-band for all things marketing. That makes it really important to quickly get under the skin of how the client works and educate ourselves on what their needs are. We therefore spend a lot of time educating ourselves on the nuances of the client, their customers and their site.

During onboarding, we also see it as really important to share knowledge in the other direction. Clients will quickly get to know what we do, how we do it and ultimately how it can help them.

Financial services products are usually very considered purchases – can you break that customer journey down into stages for us?

Financial services products are very considered, but there are so many differences depending on the product that there’s really no one ‘journey’ to speak of. 

For example, someone looking to open a savings account is very different to someone looking for a credit card, a loan or a bank account – and lets not even get started on those looking for a mortgage!

All of these are also very different to someone looking at their credit score but having said that, they’re all interlinked and have similarities. For example, someone might be thinking that they want to apply for a mortgage next year, which mean they have a big lump of savings behind them. They might be asking themselves if they’re getting the most from these savings and whether their credit history in good order. If not, they might need to open a credit card to build up a better credit history. They end up looking at several financial products in the journey to a mortgage. 

The reason that the interrelated nature of products is so important is because the finance services industry tends to demonstrate more loyalty than other areas simply due to the complexities of changing and transferring products. It’s therefore always important to discuss how products enable others (wherever possible). For example, those opening savings accounts are usually saving for something, such as a mortgage. Does having a savings account give customer the option of the best mortgages rates? Value props like this are incredibly powerful and also support driving lifetime value

What these journeys all have in common is the importance of trust, reassurance and ease. These messages are key conversion-drivers across all financial products.

Your typical acquisition messages can be rate and enablement-led, but consumers are far more likely to trust affiliates and comparison sites than the banks and insurers themselves, so anything that speaks to getting the best rates through coming direct is always a winner. Reviews, user generated content and third party reinforcement are perceived as the most trustworthy, so where possible bring these in…whilst remaining compliant!

Have you seen the impact of GDPR hit Financial Services?

It’s been interesting to watch because by virtue of being so heavily regulated, the financial services industry has been far more used to the kind of GDPR restrictions than something like retail. Banks will never have completely lost their marketable base like some retailers, but what we may have seen is things like updates to preference centres.

In other verticals like retail or travel, it’s easy to offer incentives to encourage conversion – in finance, it’s usually not an option. What do you find works instead?

This is another area where the regulations around financial services mean we have to operate a little differently to something like retail. It’s not just in terms of how we offer incentives, it’s in the finer details. For example, as a bank you’re not usually allowed to highlight one of your available credit cards over the others, so the usual contextualization tactics of CRO aren’t an option.

I would definitely say it’s crucial to expose social proof through reviews, and employ user reinforcement to drive acquisition as mentioned earlier. That’s in addition to having core strategies centered around reassurance at varying touch points.

The difference with financial services compared to something like retail becomes apparent at the very start of that conversion journey. In finance, we’re much more likely to have standalone landing pages for each product that sit outside of the main site, forcing traffic through the funnel as quickly as possible. These are usually different for each price comparison site and sometimes have dynamic content too. It works in getting expensive traffic through into the funnel quickly. 

Breaking down the conversion funnel, I’d say that at the top you need to focus messages on speed and ease. This is to help set expectations on how long it takes to complete the journey, how many steps there are, how long it takes to get a response, security and how long it might take to access to funds. However, once you have someone in the funnel and more invested, your messages can shift to reinforcing benefits and the ‘reasons why’. 

How does the online journey intersect with offline touchpoints? Do you think the industry is doing a good job of connecting these journeys?

Banks and financial institutions are slowly changing here. 

The industry is definitely doing a better job than it was, but I think the majority of more traditional players will remain behind the retail curve for a while longer yet. You can see progress in things like click-to-call options online, which allow users an easy way to ask questions and get answers quickly without interrupting their purchase journey. 

There is, however, a complete disparity between traditional financial brands and those challengers that have emerged over the last few years. For example, Monzo has gone from 50,000 users in September 2016 to more than 750,000 by February 2018 – that’s a 1,400% increase in very little time. They’ve been able to do this by starting from scratch and not being limited by old legacy systems which can make integrations nearly impossible or  just slow to deliver…when they’re lucky

There’s an interesting angle to think about here that’s not just about continuing journeys cross-channel, but actually making it possible to do more on each channel. The earlier days of digital financial services were full of frustration because you’d reach a certain stage in trying to complete an action online, only to find that you’d have to complete it in a branch or through the post. People want to be able to do everything quickly, which means being able to complete it through one channel rather than switch.

So progress is being made but there’s still a long way to go.

Customer lifetime value in finance is often a very different set-up to other industries – can you describe how? How does Yieldify help with this?

Lifetime value is another one of those things that really differs depending on the product. For example, lifetime value for mortgages can be in their hundreds, whereas bank accounts will be marginal in comparison.

Like we were discussing earlier, the value come through cross-sells, but there will always be some products that are stickier and more valuable than others. For example, bank accounts and mortgages you’ll rarely change – credit cards, loans and saving accounts have much less loyalty. Insurance is very interchangeable.

Quickfire questions

What do you like best about working at Yieldify?

The variety of what we do here, and how that helps me to develop and keep learning. We work with so many different clients across every vertical, all with their own marketing plans and seasonal peaks that we’re always working on something new and often something we’ve never done before.

What’s your proudest achievement since joining?

Seeing the progression of the product, of my team and the accounts we’re managing. Earlier this year, one of my team members managed to grow an account of his to one of our biggest accounts globally. It came from a lot of hard work and was a real team effort… and happy clients mean happy teams and a happy Jessica!

What was your biggest learning?

Always book the day off after the Christmas party.

Want to see more about what financial services brands are doing to improve their customer journeys? Check out this case study from Carte Zero.  

Announcing #Journey2019

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On Wednesday March 13th 2019, our conference returns to London for its second year. #Journey2019 launches today!

Following the incredible success of last year’s #Journey2018, we’re excited to bring our flagship event back to London for a second year.

This time, we’re graduating to one of London’s most iconic venues: The Barbican Centre. We’ll be taking over a number of rooms, including the famous Conservatory, bringing a little bit of summer into Q1:

What to expect

The event follows on from the success of Journey2018, which hosted over 200 marketers in London in March of last year at The Bike Shed Motorcycle Shop. Get a little flavour of what the event looked like in our showreel: 

This year, the event takes place over the course of the afternoon to make it even easier to fit into your busy schedule. Starting from lunchtime, we’ll be taking you through a whirlwind of panels, presentations, roundtables and much more, interspersed with great food and drink to make the networking that much easier.

#Journey2019 features speakers from John Lewis, Flight Centre and more – watch this space for announcements of more speakers and sessions as we go. The full agenda will be updated on the event’s website, along with information about tickets and logistics. 

Mostly importantly, the focus of #Journey2019 is to break with the normal ‘sit and take notes’ approach of most conferences. We’ve all been there – sitting through the 11th presentation of the day and slowly nodding off before spending an awkward coffee break on your phone rather than talking to people.

#Journey2019 is all about upending that approach. The whole day is designed so that you get to meet new people and learn from each other’s experiences as much as you learn from the insights of our amazing speakers. You’ll find activities and roundtables throughout the day so that you get to interact with other marketers in your space – don’t forget a healthy stack of business cards!

5 reasons to attend

  1. Retail and travel-specific sessions. Halfway through the day, we’ll spit the audience into two to join breakout sessions specific to either retail or travel – this way, you’ll not only get access to the most relevant insights and anecdotes from speakers in your sector, but meet more of your peers and learn from each other’s experiences.
  2. An incredible venue. When was the last time your conference venue featured pineapple plants and avocado trees? The Barbican Conservatory will feel like a welcome break in the middle a busy Q1 – and it might even feature some hidden treasures…
  3. Meet new people. Whether you attend with your team or come on your own, we’ll make sure that you’re meeting interesting new people to add to your network.
  4. No bull****. Our speakers will be bringing you actionable insights and real-life experiences, not theory copy-and-pasted from a TED Talk. Take stuff back to the office that you can start working on tomorrow.
  5. There is such thing as a free lunch. The Barbican’s restaurants are on hand to cater food and drink throughout the day, to ensure that you’re fully-fuelled for a day of learning and chatting.

How to attend

Tickets are available for sale now at the Early Bird price of £250. This includes access to the full day’s agenda as well as all food and drink for the day. Hurry – Early Bird rates are only available until January 31st, after which the price goes up to £350. Visit the event website for more details and to buy your tickets.

Yieldify customer? Get in touch with your Client Success Manager for special discounted rates.

Meet the Team: Mark Murray, Head of Travel

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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.

First up: Mark Murray, Head of Travel.

What’s your role at Yieldify?

I head up the Travel vertical at Yieldify, making sure that clients are receiving value through their campaigns and maturing with us to deliver more personalized experiences to their customers.

What did you do before you joined the team here?

A large part of my background has been in working with MVT platforms and consultancy companies. Similar to how we work at Yieldify, this was all about delivering enhanced customer experiences enriched by data, making sure that we target users at the right parts of their journey.

Tell us about the kinds of travel brands that Yieldify works with

We work with a wide range of travel brands across almost every aspect of the industry. 

From train companies like Virgin Trains, Stansted Express and Loco2, to holiday companies like Leger and GolfBreaks, to OTAs like Flight Centre, TravelUP and Student Universe

For Yieldify, travel is one of our most exciting areas of growth. We’ve onboarded dozens on new travel clients over the last year alone as there’s so much appetite in the industry for a solution that can help companies adapt to the challenges of a complex customer journey

They all seem pretty different – do you think these travel companies have anything in common?

Travel is quite a complicated industry: it’s not like retail where your purchases are smaller but more frequent.

When it comes to travel, users need time to think about their purchase – that’s the key challenge that I think most of the brands I’ve listed have in common. It’s about presenting the right message to the user at the right time, knowing whether they’re in research or purchasing mode.

What does Yieldify do for travel companies? 

When we work with travel brands, we’re all about being able to show targeted messages in the customer journey at the right time.

Critically, this doesn’t always involve trying to convert that user in-session. As we’ve just discussed, the customer journey in travel is long and complex, but actually pretty well-defined into key phases. We ensure that our activity is mapped to those different stages and the respective softer conversions that happen along the way.

For example, the goal for one stage could be capturing an email address when a user looks to exit. This means that we can communicate with them at another point in time, or provide trip information to help them decide where to go. It’s once we have that later stage of engagement that we can then run campaigns like urgency messaging or social proof to really push the user and convert.

What are the key trends that travel marketers have on their radar right now?

You can’t talk about travel without raising Brexit.

It’s a massive topic within the UK travel industry, and a lot of our clients are feeling the pressure by consumers not wanting to book until they know where the UK will stand within the EU. Airlines, in particular, are struggling, but on the flipside, we’re seeing that local UK companies are doing quite well with the staycation side.

Looking to 2019, I think we’ll see the first half of the year and maybe beyond focusing on Brexit. We might see some travel companies pushing users to take the opportunity to go abroad before any restrictions, but I think that when (or if!) the UK has an agreement in place, we’ll see a spike in holidays. So where January is usually the key month for bookings, I anticipate there being another spike later on in the year.

Another key trend is responsible tourism. 70% of people now believe that travel companies should ensure help local people and the local economy. I think this kind of sentiment has been reflected in trends such as the huge popularity of shows such as David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet II’. A focus for 2019 will be how to communicate CSR to users on site, through their journey and at destinations as it becomes more important.

Looking at the onsite experience, personalization and mobile are still the two primary focus areas for travel. Mobile, in particular, is an interesting challenge for travel: users don’t like spending thousands of dollars on their phone, but the hours they need to spend researching their major trip means that inevitably many of these will be on mobile. For the marketer, the question remains is how to translate research into purchase in a mobile environment. 

How have these trends evolved over the last couple of years?

In terms of personalization, travel is a little behind the retail sector, but it’s catching up fast. The next stage is being able to send information cross-device so you’re not treating the user as a brand new visitor.

Mobile has a focus on the research phase: 40% of users research flights and accommodation on their mobiles, however when it comes to bookings this falls to 21%. That number’s growing and I think in 2019 we’ll see this keep climbing. 

What do you expect to see next?

Artificial intelligence will become a huge influence on users. Data is getting bigger and bigger each day, but harnessing it effectively to serve the right experiences to users with the right content is becoming key. Ultimately, the only way to deliver 100% 1-2-1 personalization is through machine learning – it may be some way off for many, but I think we’ll see more trailblazers in 2019. 

Quickfire questions

What’s the best thing about working at Yieldify?

The people. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help, which makes it a great environment to work in and a place where we can really go above and beyond for our clients.

What’s been your biggest mistake?

[editor’s note: we pressed Mark on this for some time but he maintains he’s never made one]

What’s your proudest achievement since joining?

Believe it or not, not all of our campaigns work first time: we need to learn and adapt through optimization (that’s kind of the point). One of my proudest moments is taking a client through this journey where campaigns weren’t performing too well, conducting a deep review and analysis of their site and changing our approach with their campaigns. They are now flying high (pun intended) in terms of results and doing really well.

Want to see more about what the best travel companies are doing to make their customer journeys ready for 2019? Check out these stories from Megabus and Virgin Trains

 

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

The 2019 e-commerce marketing calendar

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What are the key dates for e-commerce marketing in 2019? We’ve got the answers…

With $3.4 trillion to play for in e-commerce this year, the Yieldify e-commerce marketing calendar is back by popular demand, and better than ever!

With this year set to see more online shoppers – spending more across more markets than ever – one this is clear…there’s a lot to play for in 2019.

There’s also a mountain of challenges to climb – ‘industry killer’ Amazon will turn 25 years old in July. E-commerce brands will be seeking to finally get a handle on the changes it has pioneered, such as personalization, with 37% of marketers planning to join the 27% already creating personalized online experiences in 2019.

To make sure you’re prepared for everything the next 12 months might throw at you, this year’s edition of the 2019 e-commerce marketing calendar is packed with useful info and our most popular content.

From planning reminders to keep you on track to hit your targets, to facts and stats to help drive your strategy…and lots of themed pictures of cartoon aliens along the way.

And it’s a totally free resource – click below to get your copy of the Yieldify E-commerce Marketing Calendar 2019 and have an amazing 2019!

2019 e-commerce calendar

Need some support with marketing around the key dates featured in the 2019 e-commerce marketing calendar? Why not book a free customer journey optimization consultation to see how we can help.

Our campaigns of the month: December 2018

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Check out our campaigns of the month: December 2018!

Learn how Marks & Spencer and Pacifico Optical are optimizing the customer journey in our Campaigns of the Month: December 2018 edition.

How M&S showcases its award-winning Christmas food

With the ‘golden quarter’ a key period for grocery sales, Marks & Spencer wanted to help visitors discover it’s award-winning selection of food to order.

Building trust with online consumers is so important when it comes to the grocery sector, and even more-so when it comes to one of the most important meals of the year!

With this in mind, Marks & Spencer wanted to highlight a USP and trust-signal to new visitors – the numerous awards it has won for its Christmas products from respected publications. 

We worked together to develop a notification displaying the BBC Good Food and Good Housekeeping Institute logos, with a CTA inviting visitors to shop a curated selection of the winning products.

Charlie Singleton, Head of Retail – Health & Beauty, Customer Success

 

 

 

How Pacifico Optical highlights USPs along the customer journey

The eyewear market has been revolutionised in recent years by the rise of direct to consumer brands like America’s Warby Parker and South Korea’s Gentle Monster.

The key to this success? A smooth customer journey between offline and online – something Australian ‘accessible luxury’ eyewear brand Pacifico Optical recognised and used the Yieldify Conversion Platform to create.

In order to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find their perfect frames Pacifico Optical serve relevant messages at different stages of the customer journey. Visitors are notified of the latest store opening upon arrival, so they know that an offline visit is possible as they browse.

Then, if a user shows more intent to buy, by visiting the product page or cart, but then decides to exit, the brand highlights its free shipping and free returns USPs, giving unsure shoppers a compelling reason to convert.

 

 

The Fireflies 2018: The Winners!

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The Winners of the 2018 Fireflies have been announced

The eleven winners of our first annual awards program, The Fireflies, have been announced! These awards recognize excellence in customer journey optimization among our 500+ customer base across the world and we’re delighted to share with you the amazing work that earned this year’s winners their trophies. 

Overall achievement EMEA: Philips

In 2018, Philips sought to extend its work with Yieldify to personalize journeys across the full customer lifecycle. From growing its email database in the wake of GDPR to increasing customer acquisition, the broadened scope of its campaigns is reflected in impressive results.

Among the key campaigns of the year was the Speedpro Max competition. This competition mechanism meant that only 10 passwords would unlock free products; those who didn’t win were offered a 50% off discount, increasing engagement and conversions.

However, Philips’ activity wasn’t just about driving directly to conversion. This year, the company made use of Yieldify’s new Dynamic Social Proof feature on popular product pages to invoke a sense of FOMO and urgency to purchase. It also introduced new formats such as bottom bars to vary the experience across the customer journey.

The numbers are set to go beyond 2017’s impressive figures, where over 5000 new leads were generated as part of an aggregated 29% conversion rate uplift across all markets.

Overall achievement US: Midwest Sports

Over in the US, new client, Midwest Sports utilized and tested a variety of Yieldify’s targeting and triggering capabilities to gain a better understanding of when and where campaigns are most successful.

The success of the strategy has come from a commitment to detailed testing, driven both by data and behavioral observation, iterating on learnings as the year progressed and data aggregated.

One key example is in learning what kind of content resonated with visitors. Rather than simply defaulting to discounting, Midwest Sports took the approach to test Yieldify’s Dynamic Social Proof feature (showing the number of visitors engaging with a certain product) among other types of content to see what performed best. This strategy led to the development of product alerts and other content focusing on either a social recommendation or expert advice.

A second approach was in testing the timing of engagements – crucial for lead generation in particular, as asking for a visitor’s data at the optimum moment can make a major impact on the chances of conversion. Both mobile and tablet performance improved based on engaging with active users rather than waiting for users to show exit intent.

Best retail campaign: AVON

Avon’s Lip Tattoo Video Ad launched in October 2018, designed to increase engagement and drive conversions, leveraging high-quality brand content

Launched in the run-up to peak trading for Avon, this campaign made excellent use of video content to drive engagement with a key product. Users engaging with the product were shown an overlay where a YouTube embed of the product’s ad showed them a contextualized, lifestyle-driven view of the product: 

The use of a high-quality piece of brand content is particularly important in beauty, where the importance of brand is at its most critical. The initial results indicate an impressive uplift of 20.8%

Best travel campaign: Virgin Trains

Over the course of the relationship with Yieldify, Virgin Trains has sought to learn the right combination of personalized touch points throughout the Customer Journey to improve onsite engagement.

Yieldify partnered closely with Virgin Trains, its Product and Optimization teams and external partners such as Webcredible and Merkle to ensure that every consideration was in place to limit risk and maximize the customer experience.

According to the Virgin Trains team “the Yieldify tool has been really useful for us to message customers in a personalised way quickly. With the promise of extensions and in-page formats in the future, that unleashes an incredible amount of power that we didn’t have before”

2018 saw Virgin Trains work in even closer collaboration with Yieldify than ever before when the team began driving their own campaign creation through the Yieldify Conversion Platform. Over the course of the past few months they have self-built over 100 campaigns, and now see the tool as a crucial extension of their site, allowing them to deliver on their personalization goals.

Best finance campaign: Argos Pet Insurance

The Argos Pet Insurance campaign sought to prevent abandonment outside of the quote funnel through use of special offers. In the course of running the campaign, Argos and RSA were looking to learn how personalization at the start of the funnel would impact conversions later on, and also test how value propositions would move the visitor through the funnel.

The brand was faced with several challenges both inside and outside of the quote funnel. One of the key challenges was building trust for those new visitors looking to ensure their pet for the first time with Argos Pet Insurance.

Through testing, Yieldify and Argos identified that each step of the quote funnel required a different action to improve engagement and encouragement to the next step. This was tested using a variety of triggers and formats, from notifications to full-size overlays on quote abandonment.

 

In the course of running the campaign, Yieldify influenced the introduction of concepts that would later be built into the fabric of the website, such as “X amount of time left” to secure a quote. The learnings gathered could then be utilised across the rest of RSA group to help drive more personalised experiences and reduce funnel abandonment.

The journey of the Year: soak.com

While designed to help drive conversion, soak.com‘s journey had a second objective that was just as important: using the insight to understand how expensive PPC traffic responded to different messages.

The campaign was constructed to ask PPC traffic who were exiting from radiator category pages what they’d been looking for. The overlays included three calls-to-action: the option to shop by style, by room or by colour.

On the one hand, it helped ensure that traffic acquired at a high cost would not be easily lost. In this respect, the campaign continues to help drive conversion rate increase. On the other, it also helped the team at soak.com improve their understanding of their user experience and gauge the success of their PPC campaigns in driving users of high intent.

 

Best GDPR campaign: Thomas Cook Airlines

Thomas Cook Airlines and Condor were one of the first of Yieldify’s clients to prepare for GDPR’s May 2018 staging date by incorporating explicit opt-in into their Save My Booking functionality.

This campaign was designed to mitigate against booking abandonment by offering the user the option to save their booking for later. This had previously sent emails without explicit opt-in – a strategy that would no longer have been valid under GDPR.

The new campaign that incorporated opt-in was first trialled on Condor before being rolled out across Thomas Cook Airlines. It triggered on exit to offer the user the opportunity to save their booking by entering their email address and explicitly opting in to re-engagement.

This campaign succeeded in engaging customers who were at high risk of being lost from the booking funnel, putting them on a journey towards conversion when they would otherwise have been lost. 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.

Best traffic-targeting campaign: Montblanc

With an increasing number of luxury brand consumers coming from markets in Asia, Montblanc needed to adapt quickly to the different nature of cross-border e-commerce.

This campaign was designed for the needs of consumers browsing from India. These shoppers have arrived at Montblanc’s site but would have been unable to purchase key items directly from the site – they would have need to go to a locally-based retailer. This campaign was designed to ensure that these highly-engaged visitors made it through to purchase without being lost along the way.

The overlay that triggered simply asked the question “Interested in buying this product?” and offered two CTAs: Continue Exploring and Shop Online, the latter leading to the local retailer to allow the visitor to purchase.

The campaign has run effectively for over four months to date.

Best AOV campaign: Skyn Iceland

Skyn ICELAND knows that the key to cross-selling successfully is to suggest value-added products that focus on the skincare needs of its visitors.

Working with Yieldify, the brand created a campaign that targeted visitors purchasing Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. Using flexible targeting they were shown an overlay that recommended a complementary product, the Brightening Eye Serum.

The campaign took the form of a notification that appeared at the bottom-right of the screen immediately when the user added Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels to cart.

Skyn Iceland average order value onsite remarketing

Providing more education on why this product would help visitors achieve their skincare goals resulted in a +23.1% uplift in conversion rate and boosted order value by 14.94%.

Best Content campaign: Homair

The goal of this campaign was to leverage a promotional video for a new Homair campsite at Val D’Ussel that had opened a new swimming pool and waterpark.

The campaign targeted users who were browsing the Val D’Ussel page of the Homair website. The campaign would trigger after 15 seconds, appearing as a side tab on the left-hand side of the screen, extending on click to play the full video. 

Knowing the impact the video can make on conversion rates, this campaign made smart use of content in order to enhance the user experience. For example, the initial appearance of the video was discreet: it required a click to extend it and appeared without sound. This ensured that the visitor was given a clear option to engage but also that it didn’t disrupt the user journey if the user wasn’t interested.

The content of the video was also carefully chosen in order to ensure that it added value to the user experience. By delivering information and visuals of the new waterpark that weren’t yet widely present on the main website, it provided an experience that was useful as well as engaging.

Best lifetime value campaign: Maybelline

This campaign brought Maybelline’s major brand campaign to life on the website, leveraging it effectively to drive leads.

The Make It Happen campaign had been launched in 2015, leveraging the brand’s New York history and cultural resonance to appeal to a new generation of independent, free-thinking young female consumers. The huge investment in the campaign stretched across all forms of media, leveraging key brand ambassadors such as Jourdan Dunn and Gigi Hadid.

The massive brand appeal in this campaign meant that using it to its full potential with website visitors held a huge opportunity. In creating an area of the website specific to the campaign, Maybelline’s use of Yieldify brought the campaign’s potential to generate leads to the front and center – literally.  

To date, over 19,000 email addresses have been captured with an estimated lifetime value of $2.6M. This demonstrates the importance of the often-overlooked conversion goal of lead generation on e-commerce websites. While the pursuit of a sale often overrides softer conversions, the success and potential value of the Maybelline execution showed the immense value that can be found in the right lead generation CTA.

Congratulations to all the winners – see you next year!