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Sustainable e-commerce: an interview with Frank And Oak

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Sustainable e-commerce is less a ‘nice to have’ and more of a critical component of a retailer’s brand. We spoke to Megan Driver from leading retailer and Yieldify client Frank And Oak about how the team has made sustainability a core part of their e-commerce business.

‘Sustainability’ isn’t necessarily the first term you’d associate with the idea of a successful e-commerce brand. ‘Fast-moving’, yes. ‘Innovative’, sure. But as sustainability moves up the list of consumer priorities, many retailers are following suit. 

Frank And Oak is one such brand. A Canadian clothing company that was founded in 2012, it’s known for making good on its commitments to become a more sustainable e-commerce brand, raising $20 million in 2018 to expand its growth. 

Earlier this year, Frank And Oak partnered with Yieldify to drive website personalization, and in particular, to focus on growing its email database through Yieldify’s email capture capabilities

With sustainable e-commerce still a relatively new concept, the brand needed a stronger email database to nurture and educate consumers about the brand’s differentiated value. 

We interviewed Megan Driver, Senior Manager, Affiliate Marketing & Lead Generation, to tell us more about how the brand has successfully integrated sustainability into its business. 

As a brand that has been committed to sustainable e-commerce since the outset, what’s driving the shift in e-commerce, and retail more generally, toward sustainability?

The decisions made in the fashion industry have a huge impact on people and the planet. Faced with the irrevocable effects of climate change and poor conditions for garment factory workers around the world, more and more companies are recognizing the urgency in the fact that we all need to make a change and do our part. 

This is why we are committed to minimizing our impact by prioritizing recycled fabrics and responsible practices throughout our supply chain to make quality clothing that lasts.  

Can you tell us a bit about how Frank And Oak puts its commitment to e-commerce sustainability and responsible environmental practices into action? 

All of our garments are produced by certified manufacturing partners in Canada and across the globe. Our goal is to use sustainable fabrics and sustainable practices throughout our supply chain.

We started in 2017 with 5% of our products made with sustainable processes & materials, and are excited to announce that this year approximately 50% of our products will be made with minimal impact processes, with a heavy focus on recycled materials to reduce waste.

We use a lot of recycled and organic materials such as Polylife recycled polyester, recycled wool and hemp, and Organic Good Cotton. These are part of our eco-conscious production methods, which include cruelty-free insulation, hydro-less denim (which uses 95% less water than traditional methods) and eco dyes.

A key area for focus in sustainable e-commerce is what happens in fulfilment. Packaging is, unfortunately, a necessary part of any business like ours. They’re made to protect products as they get tossed around in transit or carried around town in busy customers’ hands. Until better solutions come along, we remain diligent in sourcing materials as conscientiously as we can. Our shipping boxes and shopping bags are 100% recycled and 100% recyclable, with our shipping bags 50% recycled too. 

On the brick-and-mortar side, our stores are built conscientiously in partnership with Canadian artisans, using recycled materials and creating minimal waste. When it comes to updating and renovating existing stores, we choose to make as few modifications as possible to the existing space, always reusing everything we can.  

Additionally, by understanding that each community is unique, every one of our stores is conceived with each neighbourhood in mind.

Being environmentally responsible usually comes with being socially responsible – what does Frank And Oak do in terms of CSR? 

One of our key programs has been the Let’s Give a Shi(r)t campaign. North Americans throw 9.5 million tonnes of clothing into landfills every year, when 95% of that can instead be reused or recycled. We launched the Let’s Give a Shi(r)t initiative in December 2018, with the goal of redirecting garments to help eliminate growing landfills and effect positive change. 

It centres around the store – all Frank And Oak stores across Canada now offer customers a place to ethically dispose of their gently used clothing and we’ll match it with a donation of a Frank And Oak item. We’ve also partnered with grassroots nonprofits across the country who work to divert tonnes of textiles from landfills, ensuring they are redistributed to help those in need. During the holiday season last year, we surpassed our ambitious goal of collecting 5000 clothing items, and this is just the beginning. 

Just recently, we launched our newest initiative: the Look Good, Do Good summer sale. We partnered up with WWF and The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. The Look Good, Do Good initiative allows customers to look good while helping the planet by donating $5 from every sale item to this amazing initiative!

What are some of the e-commerce challenges that brands face in becoming more sustainable, and how has Frank And Oak overcome these?

One of the main challenges would have to be in educating the customer on new sustainable materials and the processes used in creating eco-friendly garments. As an e-commerce company, it’s sometimes hard to combine all the benefits of sustainable manufacturing in a condensed and meaningful way. 

Since so many of these are completely new practices, most people have never heard certain terms before and had no idea these materials and technologies even exist. They also lack a complete understanding of the full impact that traditional manufacturing methods have on the environment, and the importance of the decisions some retailers are taking to become more sustainable.

When it comes to e-commerce sustainability, there’s an additional challenge: consumers can’t physically touch the product and see that in most cases this new eco-friendly product’s quality is at par with traditional methods and in most cases, far superior in terms of quality and overall benefits.

Our biggest success to combating this would have to be our new online blog, The Handbook. Through this new content platform, we’re able to really dig deeper and provide more detail into our eco-conscious materials and processes, with great infographics, videos and Frank And Oak’s staple witty humour. 

We can then promote these content pieces in our emails, social media, paid advertising and on our website as a way to entice the user to learn more about why what we’re doing is important and to hopefully, further confirm that real change only happens if everyone takes part.

How does your marketing complement your credentials as a sustainable e-commerce brand focused on minimizing the impact of the fashion industry on the planet?

Ever since day one, our brand has placed a high degree of importance on our branding and we strive to make every new campaign unique, thought-provoking and authentic. By following this set of core values in our marketing, when we made strides as a brand to become more sustainably- focused, we knew these factors would only become more important. 

The Look Good, Do Good campaign I mentioned before is a perfect example, since we were able to combine something as simple as our annual summer sale with an initiative to help clean up our Canadian shorelines. We strive to be as transparent as possible in our marketing and admit our current limitations outright, since we’re only getting started and we are continuously innovating.

What part does Frank And Oak’s eco-friendly mission play when it comes to the online customer journey and how are you planning to improve or optimize this?

From our very first touchpoint with customers, we try to highlight our sustainable e-commerce practices so they know outright who we are as a company and what we stand for. For instance, when users subscribe to our email mailing list, the first email we send them gives them a brief on our sustainable practices.

Our retail locations also have sections in-store dedicated to explaining our eco-conscious process, and on each of our items on our site and on the garment hang-tags (and even printed on the item itself sometimes), we highlight sustainable features. 

We’re striving to make every touchpoint with our customers meaningful while also showcasing our sustainable principles, but we still need more work on this – especially for our subscription box, Style Plan. We offer one of the only sustainable clothing subscription boxes in North America, but many people who know of or have subscribed to our box have no idea it’s comprised of eco-friendly clothing. 

What’s the work that you’ve been doing with Yieldify to contribute to your strategy? 

Because so much of our relationship with the customer is driven by educating them, it’s really important for us to capture email leads at the top of the funnel so that they can be nurtured. A big part of why we started working with Yieldify is their specialism in turning website traffic to email subscribers. They were able to benchmark performance from over 200,000 campaigns to recommend strategies early on in the partnership that have proven success and high adoption rates. 

Frank and Oak interview on sustainable e-commerce

So far, we’ve been running a series of A/B tests to ensure that we’re not only capturing more leads, but that we’re employing strategies that get good ones: valid leads from engaged customers. As you can see on our website, one of these tests offers a discount to first-time buyers: 

We’re currently working with the team at Yieldify to see what happens next in the customer journey for the users that sign-up using this mechanism and seeing what we can improve in order to make sure these users stay engaged.  

Using segmentation strategies such as targeting men and women with different creatives, we’ve captured over 30,000 leads in two months. The rate of capture speaks to the extra effort being worthwhile – whilst most submit rates are around the 4% mark, ours is over 14%. 

This is really just the beginning – what we’re interested in looking at is what happens next. For example, if someone declines to sign-up, how do you re-engage them later on in their journey and get them to reconsider? There are so many possibilities for those customer journeys, and that’s what we’ll be exploring over the coming months. 

What advice would you give to other retailers who are looking to make sustainability a bigger part of their e-commerce offering? 

I would say that going for sustainable e-commerce is definitely a huge business decision, and takes a significant amount of time, internal resources and research. But as we’ve seen, climate change and environmental issues are quickly moving to the forefront of everyone’s priorities, so the time to start making a change in how you do business is now. 

Becoming a completely sustainable company can’t be done overnight, but as long as companies are making small steps now with the goal of one day making that happen, I think that’s the most important learning and advice I can share at this point in time. As retailers, it’s our responsibility to evoke change in our own industry since no-one else can make that impact for us.

Smart E-commerce UX and UI

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What does smart e-commerce UX and UI look like in 2019? Find out this guest post from Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment.

When it comes to user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, there are different opinions and expectations for all online businesses. But what’s the case with e-commerce sites? What are users expecting from your e-commerce UX and UI in 2019? What should you keep in mind when creating or redesigning your site?

Those are some  big questions with a wide range of possible answers based on your industry, customers, specific products, and personal preference. You may enjoy a hamburger menu or loathe them because they hide too much navigation behind a click. Some of us enjoy high-contrast backgrounds, but those could clash with your latest collections’s colors and patterns.

So, diving deep into the user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI) for Ecommerce is going to get tricky. In this blog post we’ll show you some of the most important trends and aspects of e-commerce UX and UI for 2019 so that you can get it right on a big-picture level, and not have to worry about avoiding your favorite colors.

To start with, let’s look at how everything is connected.

E-commerce UX and UI: A Holistic Experience

When we start thinking about the user experience, it’s usually related to our jobs. Designers will think of how the user navigates a site and uses its elements. Marketers often think of the journey people take to make it to a page. Sales will focus on how the user can walk through the buyer’s journey to complete a purchase.

All of these things and more are encompassed in the UX. For e-commerce companies, it’s even more important to remember because the entire experience is wrapped up in your store. E-commerce owners and storefronts should realize that the user’s experience with your brand starts when they first discover you (social, search, and ads are your biggies here), and follows them through to checkout and any post-purchase follow-up..

That automated email you send out thanking someone for a purchase and providing their order tracking is part of e-commerce UX. Going the extra step to make this reinforce your brand by using the same tone of voice, as well as colors and images will have a positive impact on how they remember you.

Put yourself in the shoes of a new customer. Track every step they take to find you and buy from you, then get their product from you and decide to keep it or send it back. Every interaction point along the customer journey is part of the e-commerce UX you’re building. Anything the customer doesn’t like or can find confusing is something to change.

Specific E-commerce UX and UI Elements to Consider

When taking a holistic approach , we must look at a few specific elements that are designed to keep your audience happy no matter where they are in the journey. Your e-commerce UX and UI can’t get in the way, so there needs to be continuity and future proofing when possible. We’ve identified a few elements that can help your audience find you and buy from you.

Voice (and every other) search support

The world is built on search. Unless you’re only selling a single product, it’s likely that your e-commerce world is built on search too. Love it or hate it, customers are going to have to look for you to find you in many cases, and you’ll often get as many people searching your name due to an ad campaign as those just clicking on the ad.

So, search can either be a boon for your business or, if you don’t take time to give search its due, a major pain. Let’s keep you in the positive by looking at a few core elements that your website needs to support in order to capture as much of the search space as possible.

  • Voice: This is the latest search trend to take off thanks to virtual assistants. People will speak to their phone in order to find you and that means your website should be built around the way people speak. Addressing questions how a customer asks them or building landing pages around how people talk about your company is a major benefit. Direct search support also gets a little easier thanks to tools like the Google Cloud Speech-to-Text API.
  • Pictures: Image search is growing somewhat in popularity and is a smart play if you’re on platforms like Instagram. When you’ve got very visual tools and products, or if you’re trying to stand out, searching by images can help you make the biggest impression. Visual search is also great for getting in on people who will window-shop or want a specific look. Google has a custom search API that can help with a variety of structured and unstructured data searching on your site. What we like best about it for images is that it has dominant color support, allowing search to return images of a specific dominant color. Combine that with our next element and you turn your catalog into something easily searchable.
  • Filters: As online stores grow, it becomes harder to find the needle in the haystack. Filters are an amazing way to help customer do just that, especially if they’re not 100% sure of what they want. Filters can help them see what’s in their price range, style choice, popularity, and much more — plus you can build custom tags around styles or anything else you want to add another unique and personal-feeling filter. It is an amazing tool to pair with visual search to let people look for items that fit together. This is incredibly popular with apparel as someone who found the perfect top can match it to a specific color hat or bottom to complete a look.
  • Auto-complete: I might know your brand, but it’s unlikely that I know the exact name of your products. However, I might have a general idea about it. Auto-complete features, or selection proposals, help me out by giving me an auto-populated list of items that I might want. It’ll get me to the product faster and you can include images in these pre-populated results to help convince me to click.

These four aspects of search are all about the e-commerce UX. You make it easier by supporting what the customer wants to do.

E-commerce UX and UI - Triwa

Triwa Watches nails it with a homepage that easily gets to an engaging best-sellers list we found via photo search

The UI side of things is how to make these elements visually appealing and interesting without getting in the way. Icons8 has a phenomenal look at minimalism in 2019 that can be directly applied to your search and site efforts. 

Keeping on-site information accurate

Site content accuracy is key for e-commerce – your website must be accurate or you risk losing out on sales and frustrating customers. 

According to a 2018 study, when a U.S. consumer online encounters an out-of-stock product:

  • 15% go buy something from another store
  • 60% buy a substitute for the same store (a little more than half here will stick with same brand)
  • 10% go to a physical retail store to find the product
  • 15% cancel or delay their purchase

Your website architecture needs help to support the various elements you have to keep track of for your store and warehouse. There are a variety of Ecommerce tools that will help, whether they’re small warehouse management systems or whole platforms like Shopify. If you outsource your fulfillment to a 3PL, ensure they have the platform support you need.

Review your process entirely and see exactly what the customer would need and where they might encounter errors. So, find a way to track and show your current stock, shipping options and dates, costs like taxes, and any other element that could affect if an order is placed and filled promptly.

Showcase this in every way you possibly can so customers don’t get any surprises.. If your site supports chatbots, they can be a perfect place to offer customers the most relevant information such as shipping as well as size charts and color options.

Minimize the fluff, emphasize the important

Get rid of the extra elements that aren’t needed, like hiding out-of-stock products or pushing out-of-season items away. Prioritize what customers need and what they use — things like size charts, color options, and customer reviews — on every page that you can. 


You’ll scratch your head too if you don’t already know what a “121” fit is

If there’s a piece of information that could cause a return if incorrect, such as clothing size, then you must make that as easy as possible to find. It’ll limit those unexpected return and replacement costs.

Give popular elements a place of prominence, both products and content like images, to keep shoppers engaged and moving across your site. If you have stellar photos on each page, then someone will have options to keep shopping if they land on a page with a product they decide against.

Embrace visuals too, because they help tell your story and boost your sales. For instance, one study found that Pinterest users were 79% more likely to buy a product they saw pinned. Other studies looking at a general online audience have found that 96% of consumers say online videos are helpful to purchase decisions and 73% are more likely to specifically buy a product with an explainer video.

After you help them click, take this focus on what’s important to the checkout process. Take considerable time to review your shopping cart and all the steps required to use it, troubleshoot it, and complete the purchase.

The checkout can’t break the experience. 

So, keep it quick, easy, and simple. Don’t ask for more information or account details than you need. This will help you protect your business by engendering trust — some users abandon carts when they no longer trust a site that feels too greedy. Simple and intuitive navigation extends to your entire process, including checkout. If you’re using a recurring payment or subscription, this becomes more important because you’re protecting a long-term investment with each customer.

So, cut out anything that’s not needed in order to get people to complete that sale and accomplish your goals!

Personalize when Possible

Let’s wrap up with an element that depends on your budget and software: website personalization. You want to build something for each individual in order to help them, based on how they navigate your site. There are plenty of small elements you can use based on what other people have done, or you can go the full route of creating custom content for people based on their user accounts.

Personalize where you can, even if it’s just product recommendations based on current browsing or highlighting your most-bought products. The good news is that this is affordable, the great news is that it boosts sales!

Red Stage Fulfillment: personalization via self-segmentation
Red Stage Fulfillment: personalization via self-segmentation

One final note for UI about concerns in personalization is that you sometimes have to go broad to be personal. What we’re thinking about here specifically is the ability to operate the same way across multiple devices. Building for device-independence is tricky, but the payoff can be substantial. When someone gets what they need on their phone after clicking on an Instagram post and buys, then comes back via desktop for support or to track an order, they want things to look and feel the same.

More people are browsing on smartphones than ever before and building for that screen size while not for a specific platform is essential. There’s an accessibility element in this design too that ensures all of your customers can use your site.

In terms of UI design, this means:

  • Support tools that allow your site to be read aloud
  • Add captions
  • Simplify navigation
  • Make visual cues large and distinct
  • Use color combinations that are easy for everyone to read or see
  • Present the same content in multiple ways

If you need further support here, check out the W3C’s page on accessibility, especially its evaluation support.

Accessibility is a wonderful place to end because it leaves us with the right frame of mind. Your e-commerce UX and UI feel like commercial elements but they’re really about speaking to your audience. Connect with them how they need it and make their work (buying) as easy to complete as possible.

When you design with these e-commerce UX and UI elements in mind, it’ll be a significant boost for your site and your sales.

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an e-commerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of e-commerce. He has years of experience in e-commerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.


How to Convert Affiliate Traffic

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

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

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

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

Personalize the customer journey

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

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

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

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

Get the UX and UI basics right

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

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

Lana Kropyvana, Head of Design, Yieldify

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

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

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

Collect visitor data

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

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

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

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

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

The Black Friday Benchmarker

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Want to know whether your Black Friday plans square up to your competitors? You’re about to find out…

When we asked over 400 e-commerce marketers what they feared the most about peak season 2019, the top answer was ‘the competition’.

As we head into the busiest and most important part of the year, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your activity places you favorably against your rivals. Comparison shopping is just too easy these days.

In the below benchmarking tool, all you have to do is answer five simple questions about your plans and we’ll tell you how they compare to your competitors. It takes five minutes and could mean a huge difference to your success this year – good luck!

 
 

In the meantime, you’ll want to make sure that you have all bases covered when it comes to your Black Friday preparation. To make sure you’ve checked every box (literally) download our Peak Season Preparation Checklist for free below:

Peak Season Preparation Checklist

Improve Landing Page Conversion Rates

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

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

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

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

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

2. Highlight customer reviews on your landing page

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

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

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

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

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

3. Show why your offer is unique

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

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

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

4. Emphasize social proof in other ways

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

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

5. Minimize the number of links on the landing page

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

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

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

Your Next Step To Improve Landing Page Conversion Rates

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

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

Peak Perspectives: Philips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

*UPDATE: Find the research report here

How to increase ticket sales: 5 ways to sell more tickets online

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How to increase ticket sales: 5 ways to sell more tickets online

Online ticketing doesn’t have to be difficult – read these guidelines to uncover how to easily increase ticket sales through e-commerce

The secret to selling more tickets online – whether it’s for sports, music, theatre or other events – can be broken down into a few surprisingly simple principles.

What you’ll read below assumes that you’ve nailed the basics when it comes to online ticketing, such as:

  • You’ve done the work to make sure that your site is optimized for search
  • Your email marketing campaigns are set up so that they’re not only GDPR-compliant but effectively nurturing customers both pre- and post-purchase
  • You have effective display and social media campaigns running to target new traffic and unconverted traffic

The basics completed, you’re ready to start thinking about how to increase ticket sales without having to resort to Fyre Festival tactics. Here’s how you can boost your e-commerce ticket sales without having to hire an army of A-list influencers…

1. Personalize from the ground up

82% of US millennials expect brands to have up-to-date information about their preferences – that gives you an indication of how much today’s consumers expect personalization in their shopping experience.

When it comes to online ticketing, personalizing your e-commerce website is critical to not only increasing ticket sales, but also cross-selling and delivering an effective post-purchase experience.

So where do you get started? While personalization is something of a buzzword, many marketers are intimidated by the amount of data, resource and skill it takes to apply it. The good news is that this is a total misconception.

The key is to start simple and build up. You don’t have to have a perfectly integrated stack of marketing tools and complex datasets at first – you can begin simply by differentiating the experiences for new and returning visitors. It’s easy to do and relies purely on in-session data, so no need for a complex set-up on the backend.

Another way to increase tickets sales through personalization is through using behavioral data. At Yieldify, we worked closely with award-winning London festival We Are FSTVL to do just that on their website. The simplest – but incredibly effective – initial executions triggered when the user was about to leave the site:

Online ticketing: Ticket sale campaign We Are FSTVL and Yieldify

This use of exit intent technology drew the user’s attention to a key message at the most relevant part of their journey. Not only did this kind of work achieve a 65% increase in conversions, but it also drove 73% growth in their leads database.

2. Continually differentiate your offer

Selling more tickets online means taking some lessons from the retail sector: evolve your offering often in order to keep it fresh and engaging.

Tickets are often a high-consideration purchase that require a good deal of nurturing from first touch to conversion: event ticket sales tend to peak at the start and end of the sale period, with a slump occurring between these two stages.

One answer to this online ticketing challenge is in adopting ‘mini event’ techniques to continually interest your consumer. You could try some of the following:

  1. Early Access Events: Discounted tickets that are available for a limited time to those who have signed up for your newsletter.
  2. Early Bird Events: Discounted tickets that are purchased during a specific window of time.
  3. Lock In Your Tickets for Next Year: Sell advance tickets at a discounted rate. Make them available physically onsite, but also sell tickets online or via an event ticket sales app for maximum convenience.

Building a calendar of these offer-based events from launch through to the last-minute will give you reasons to continually engage new and returning visitors.

3. Go beyond the ticket

Where increasing ticket sales is the number one priority, it’s not the only way to drive pre-event revenue. Bundling your tickets with other value-add elements can help you secure higher sales before the event as well as create more choice for your potential customer.

Firstly, consider the types of ticket packages you have on offer. Tiered access is a staple of any event – just think about how much concert revenue is made from pre-show meet-and-greets – consider how your event tickets could be packaged with additional perks.

As anyone who runs events knows, concessions are a pivotal revenue-driver – take the opportunity to see how effective bundling can help you cross-sell these long before doors open. Drink tickets (used effectively by We Are FSTVL) or deals on travel and accommodation are some of the most common.

4. Create scarcity

There is no event more desirable than a sold-out one – the harder a ticket seems to get, the more people want it. Just ask anyone in the queue for Hamilton.

In short, if you want to sell more tickets online, you need to make it so it appears that you’re already selling lots of tickets online.

The way to do this is through using social proof – showing your visitors what other visitors are doing in order to encourage them to follow suit. It’s so popular that Viagogo uses it in not one, not two, but three different places on a single event page for BTS:

Online ticketing: BTS event page on Viagogo showing use of social proof
Social proof appears in the top-right corner showing how many people are viewing the event
BTS event page on Viagogo showing use of social proof
On the same page, this widget indicates how many tickets remain for the event
BTS event page on Viagogo showing use of social proof
Finally, individual ticket types that have few left are marked with a ‘last available’ message

Proof if any was needed that social proof is a tried-and-tested mechanism for selling tickets. The good news is that you don’t need to be at the scale of a Viagogo in order to implement it – you can use FOMO tools like this.

5. Use referrals

One of the best ways to get more customers is to leverage your existing ones. Referral marketing is basically another form of social proof: according to a Nielsen study, recommendations from friends remain the most credible form of advertisement for consumers.

When it comes to selling more tickets online, there are a number of ways to go about this:

  • Provide ticketholders with referral bonuses in the form of additional concessions such as drink tokens or preferential access
  • Continually deliver interesting, engaging content for your ticketholders to share across social media (just as long as it’s not an orange tile)

Contests are also a useful way to show social proof. By making your tickets seem elusive and unattainable, you can increase their perceived value and desirability. Like the mini-events, contests are also often shared widely, helping from acquisition perspective as well as a conversion one.

In conclusion

When it comes to online ticketing, you have several options at hand once you’ve mastered the basics. Here’s what you need to remember:

  • Personalization doesn’t have to be difficult (particularly when it looks like this) – start small
  • Timing is everything – have a plan for keep each week of campaign activity new and differentiated
  • Bundling is critical to the cross-sell and it helps give a better impression of choice
  • FOMO tactics are much easier to deploy than you might think – and they’re heavily used for a good reason
  • The ticket sale is just the beginning – use your new customer to acquire new ones

This is the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible when you can do in order to incrementally increase ticket sales – try some out and see what they can do for your event!

5 Ways to Increase Conversion Rate

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

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

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

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

Analyzing the Customer Journey

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

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

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

skyn ICELAND: increase conversion rate with product recommendations

Test and learn

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

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

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

Assess Page Design

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

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

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

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

Highlight Your Selling Points

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

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

Montblanc increase conversion rate by highlighting USPs

Use Social Proof

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

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

Ready to Increase Your Conversion Rate?

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

5 ways to prevent comparison shopping on your website

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Comparison shopping is one of e-commerce’s biggest problems – here’s how to solve it

Comparison shopping is the scourge of the e-commerce retailer. It’s now easier than ever for a shopper to compare thousands of products and prices in just a few clicks, abandoning your beautifully-optimized site in seconds for pastures new.

Of course, all these comparison shoppers have a major impact on your bottom line. Your revenue and return on acquisition spend can be hard-hit when your traffic goes elsewhere for their final purchase, so what’s the secret to stopping comparison shopping behavior?

To find out, we went straight to the source: tips websites for comparison shoppers! We went to sites like moneysavingexpert.com and lifehack.com to uncover the hacks and tricks that comparison shoppers follow to hunt for the best prices. And then we found ways to fight back.

Overall, it turns out that halting comparison shoppers in their tracks doesn’t have a single, silver-bullet solution. Success against comparison shopping means employing several long-term and short-term strategies – here goes…

1. Got a guarantee? Make it clear!

Let’s start with one of the key comparison shopping tips from Money Saving Expert:

Product price comparison tip from Money Saving Expert

What’s really happening here? This tip is at the core of why comparison shopping is such a big deal: a consumer is rarely sure when they’ve found the best offer.

This uncertainty is what keeps them searching for hours and employing increasingly complicated hacks – they’re never quite sure if there’s another, better offer somewhere out there.

This is our first fundamental of preventing product price comparison – make it crystal-clear that the best price is right in front of your user.

Here’s how Australian retailer HobbyKing did this. When a user highlighted a certain product, Yieldify’s click trigger read this behavior and served a best price guarantee message:

HobbyKing price comparison example

Read the full story here (and more on that click trigger later).

Of course, this depends on actually having the best price for the product that you’re selling! If that’s not necessarily the case for you, don’t worry – there are other tactics at your disposal. Read on…

2. Comparison shopping isn’t just about price

There’s much more to the e-commerce experience than product price comparison. While it’s the major one – and there are dozens of product price comparison sites to attest to that – it’s far from the only element that your potential customers are weighing up.

If you’re looking to stop a comparison shopper in their tracks, you need to consider what else they might evaluating about your product. Here’s another example from Money Saving Expert:

Comparison shopping advice from Money Saving Expert

The key thing to take away from this tip is that even while your comparison shopper is searching for good deals on price, they’ve still got lots of other considerations in mind. Trustworthiness and security (if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is), delivery costs and times, and returns policies – these are all things your price comparison shopper is also looking for.

So, if you don’t necessarily have the ability to promote a best price guarantee, consider what else you can highlight instead.

3. Use social proof, and lots of it

Social proof comes in many, many shapes and sizes – and they can be your best weapons against comparison shopping.

First up, there’s the use of social proof as a means of creating a sense of urgency – a common conversion rate optimization tactic that’s particularly powerful here. This is all about making it clear to your shopper that the offer you’ve put on the table isn’t going to last forever – if they delay, they risk missing out.

Another way of using social proof for this purpose is to show stock levels – a common tactic used in the travel industry to encourage bookings.

But social proof has another dimension. In the last section, we talked about the other things that comparison shoppers consider outside of price. One of them was security and trustworthiness – this is where social proof comes to the rescue again. This time, it’s in two key forms: customer reviews and trust badges.

Let’s look at reviews first. These are an incredibly powerful way to assuage any concerns over safety and security that might have come up in section 2. Showing reviews through platforms like Trustpilot and Yotpo are easy ways to show your comparison shopper that your site and your service are legitimate. More on that here.

Trust badges are those seals of approval and verification that get conferred on you by third parties that carry authoritative weight. These could be award logos or even star ratings – the key is to have ones that your customers will recognize and then strategically place them in the journey.

4. Engage cart abandonment strategies

Your e-commerce comparison shopper is not dumb. They know what you’re up to and they’re more than ready to put the work in. Unfortunately for you, this means that they’re often willing to play a long game in the hope of discounts:

Comparison shopping tips from moneysavingexpert.com

This tip inevitably encourages a cringe from an e-commerce marketer. Comparison shopping means that your cart abandonment strategy might be working against you!

So what do you do?

There’s no easy answer – if you’re running an email remarketing strategy that involves discounting, then you’re probably doing so because it’s working. So should you reconsider because comparison shoppers have figured you out? Not really.

There are smart things you can do to identify comparison shopping behavior on your website. Our favorite way to do so involves some tell-tale clicking:

What you’re seeing above the age-old ‘tell’ for comparison shopping: highlighting the name of the product so that it can be copy-pasted into the search bar. We’ve all done it.

This is where you can use smart tools to react to this behavior. Our new click trigger (what you saw earlier on the HobbyKing website) allows you to spot this behavior and react to it. In HobbyKing’s case, it enabled them to show a best-price guarantee. However, you could just use it to better identify price comparison behavior in order to re-shape your strategies around it.

5. Can’t beat comparison shoppers? Join them.

Despite everything we’ve just said, facilitating product comparison can actually be a good thing.

Hear me out – there’s a merit to recognizing if comparison shopping is inevitable for your category, because you can pre-empt that behavior.

Showing a best-price guarantee is actually the simplest way of doing just that – you’re acknowledging that product price comparison is important and owning that conversation. However, let’s remind ourselves that comparison shopping isn’t just about price. Reviews, stock levels, quality indicators and features are just as important.

If you’re able to offer your shopper the opportunity to compare and contrast these facets of different products, you’re keeping that evaluation process on your site. Here’s an example of how WooCommerce allows you to add comparison tables to your site:

WooCommerce product comparison widget

You’ve pre-empted the temptation to compare and contrast – congratulations!

So, that brings us to the end of our recommendations on how to identify and prevent comparison shopping. The general theme is to acknowledge that comparison is a natural part of decision-making and that defeating it lies in making that process easier for your shopper. Comparison shopping happen because of consumer doubt and insecurity – incorporate that thinking into your customer journey.

5 Back to School Marketing Ideas

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

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

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

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

Leveraging social proof with Everlane

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

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

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

Thinking big with Urban Outfitters and Champion

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

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

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

Curating product pages with Uniqlo

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

Back to school marketing: Uniqlo back to school campaign

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

Remarketing with Kickers

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

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

Creating interactive campaigns with Elave Skincare

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

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

Making the perfect lead generation form

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

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

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

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

Lead generation form: mobile example

1. Targeting your lead capture form

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Timing your lead generation form

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

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

Lead generation form average submit rate by hour

It becomes clear pretty quickly that:

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

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

Average lead capture form by day of the week

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

3. How many fields for your lead capture form?

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

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

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

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

Domino's PIzza example for new visitors

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

4. The structure of your form fields

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

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

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

Lead generation form with dropdown menu

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

5. The incentive for your lead generation form

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

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

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

With a discount: 5.9%

Without a discount: 3.8%

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

6. The message on your lead gen form

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

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

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

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

Kiehls email sign-up overlay

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

What next?

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

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

Product Update: June 2019

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What’s new to the Yieldify Conversion Platform this summer

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

New triggers: Click and Hover

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

How it works

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

When to use it

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

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

Example of click trigger

Here are just a few more potential uses:

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

Want to see more? Get a demo here.

New format: In-Page Full-Width Banners

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

Example of in-page banners

When to use it

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

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

New targeting: session targeting

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

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

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

Conversion Platform

When to use it

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

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

Enhanced targeting: geo-targeting at regional and state level

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

When to use it

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

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

New content: dropdown menus

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

Example of dropdown menu

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

When to use it

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

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

Not on the platform yet?

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

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

17 Amazon Prime Day 2019 Stats and Facts

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

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

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon Prime Day 2019: What to Expect

And what should we expect from Amazon Prime Day 2019?

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

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

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

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

Prime Day Deals to Know

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

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

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

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

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

Prime Day: A Marketer’s Perspective

What can marketers take away from Prime Day?

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

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

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

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

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


Supercharge your Customer Journey

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

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

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

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

Consider the following stats:

Supercharge your Customer Journey: personalization stats

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

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

So what’s a marketer to do?

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

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

Watch below to learn:

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

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

The Customer Journey Lookbook

CRO Tools: 5 features to look out for

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

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

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

Why CRO tools?

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

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

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

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

Five features to look out for in your CRO tools

1. A data-driven foundation

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

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

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

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

2. Effective segmentation

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

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

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

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

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

3. Seamless A/B testing

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

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

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

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

4. Mobile focus

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

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

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

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

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

5. Fast and easy personalization

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

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

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

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

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


5 Fashion E-Commerce Trends for 2019

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

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

The rise of experiential e-commerce

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

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

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

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

Fashion e-commerce gets personal

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

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

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

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

Mobile becomes the standard

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: free ebook

Instagram leads the way

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

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

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

The sharing economy extends to fashion

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

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

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: in conclusion

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: free ebook

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

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

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

1. Know your goals

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

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

2. Do your homework

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

3. Plan your meetings in advance

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

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

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

4. Download the app

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

5. Broadcast your presence

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

6. Be comfortable

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

7. Be realistic about your swag

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

IRCE swag collection

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

8. Be sociable

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

9. Bring supplies

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

10. Play Plinko at Booth #1867

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

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

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

B2C Lead Generation: 4 Strategies for Success

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

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

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

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

Yieldify Scribbler B2C lead generation campaign

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

2. Get ahead through personalization like Marks and Spencer

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

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

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

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

Marks and Spencer lead generation case study

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

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

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

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

Kiehls email sign-up overlay

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

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

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

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

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

Want to grow your lead generation program?

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

GDPR and Marketing: One Year On

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

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

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

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

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

GDPR and marketing databases: the biggest losers

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

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

GDPR and Marketing Databases

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

GDPR and Marketing: compliance or consent?

What types of businesses were most impacted by GDPR?

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

GDPR and Marketing: impact by size and by industry

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

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

GDPR and Marketing: database regrowth by industry

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

GDPR and Marketing: regrowth by size

How have marketers recovered from GDPR?

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

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

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

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

Thomas Cook Airlines: a GDPR compliant lead generation strategy

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

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

Did the impact of GDPR meet with marketers’ expectations?

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

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

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

GDPR and Marketing: how expectations were met

The impact of GDPR: in conclusion

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

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


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

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

The Pitfalls of Website Personalization: What IT leaders should know

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

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

Website personalization organizational challenges

Source: BCG Global Survey on Personalization

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

How does personalization benefit IT?

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

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

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

What role should IT take in a website personalization project?

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

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

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

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

What are some personalization pitfalls to avoid?

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

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

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

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

Free download: avoiding the pitfalls of personalization