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Product Update: Q4 2019

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What’s new to the Yieldify Conversion Platform this quarter?

As we near the end of 2019, it’s time to recap a few of the many updates we’ve added to the Yieldify Conversion Platform over the last few months. 

From new ways to recapture abandoning visitors and keep your customers in the loop, to functionality that improves data collection and cleanliness, join us as we run down the latest features and formats now available.

Web Push Notifications

With the arrival of Web Push Notifications, we’re diversifying the channels you can use to re-engage your visitors after they’ve left your website.

How it works

  • When your visitor has opted-in via a Yieldify campaign, Web Push Notifications can then appear at any point in their online experience, creating a brand new re-engagement channel to encourage visitors to return and convert. 
  • In diversifying your touchpoints, you can look forward to an average open rate of 95%. Compared to other re-engagement channels such as display and social, Web Push has much higher visibility and engagement rate, with a 40% opt-in rate.

When to use it

You can use Web Push Notifications to drive traffic to your website around new product arrivals and promotions. For example:

  • Promote new products or ranges to certain segments
  • Reminders of start and end dates for sales and promotions
  • Send visitors a discount code and reminder when it’s close to expiry
  • Anything else you want to promote to your visitors!
Web Push Notifications

Add to calendar

Add to calendar is another nifty way to help your visitors stay on top of the latest product releases and key dates in your calendar.

How it works

  • This feature allows users to add an event to their calendar by clicking on a CTA. This functionality enables you to drive urgency by reminding users of key dates, times and more. 

When to use it

  • Help visitors be first in line for new product launches by adding a reminder to their calendar
  • Let users save the date of upcoming promotions or sales so they don’t miss out
Add to calendar
Add to calendar: allow customers to subscribe to upcoming product release notifications

Checkboxes and radio buttons

Effective personalization relies on actionable data, and this starts at the point of collection. 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 clear idea of how to improve the process, which we’ve done by adding new radio button and checkbox options to lead capture capture campaigns.

How it works

  • Add a checkbox or radio button to your lead capture campaign

When to use it

Both these new options allow for greater variation in the design of your lead capture campaigns, and make it easier for users to provide information, increasing the likelihood of form completion. Because the data collection can be restricted to predefined options, the data collected is error-free and easily segmentable.

One of the most powerful ways to use these new data collection options is to collect user preferences alongside their email, so that your follow-up and future campaigns can be more personalized. For example, you could:

  • collect information on the visitor’s gender
  • product preference
  • or any other segment you wish to create.

Marks and Spencer used this functionality to support promotional activity, creating competition entry forms for both onsite and in-store use. The forms utilized the radio button format to collect data on the gender of visitors, and the checkbox to provide a GDPR-compliant opt-in to marketing communications, supporting lead generation efforts across channels.

Multi-stage Campaigns

Sometimes when collecting data or displaying information to a user it can be difficult to get your message across in one campaign – especially on mobile where real estate is limited. We’ve created multi-stage campaigns to solve this challenge.

How it works

  • You can now have multiple format types at multiple stages of your campaign, similar to a multi-step form. 

When to use it

Multi-step campaigns allow you to split your campaign into stages to avoid bombarding users with too much information. It also improves the customer experience by showing the next stage only after the user shows interest. This functionality has multiple use cases:

  • Highlight a promotion, then show more details once a user interacts
  • Create tooltips that display further information upon interaction e.g. what’s included in a premium vs. economy ticket.
  • Gives you the ability to A/B test how different formats perform so that you can drive better results

Here’s how a three stage multi-step campaign might look:

Multi-step campaign

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!

Customer Journeys 2020: US vs. UK

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How have marketers in the US and UK been optimizing the customer journey in 2019, and what’s in store for 2020? 

Our second annual State of Customer Journey Optimization report, published last month, takes a look at how marketers are tackling customer journeys, and how these plans will evolve into 2020. For the first time, we split the data into segments, examining how different verticals (retail and travel) and markets (UK and US) are approaching things differently. In this second blog post in a series of deeper dives into the research, we’re taking a look at the differences between marketers in the US and UK markets.

The State of Customer Journeys in the UK and US

One of the most striking findings from the overall data was the rise in satisfaction with customer journey optimization. We saw the same trends in both the UK and US, but there were a few areas where US marketers were more satisfied. 

This is interesting because last year US marketers were less satisfied than UK marketers. Here’s where US marketers made gains in 2019:

customer journey satisfaction

Last year, more than one third of US marketers were dissatisfied with their multichannel CJO efforts, compared to just 16% who said the same in the UK. This suggests that US marketers have made a good deal of progress with their customer journey strategies in the last year.

What customer journey tools do marketers use in each market?

In the overall results Marketing Automation and Website Personalization both featured high on the agenda for marketers in 2019. We saw the same when breaking down the results by market, but slightly more US marketers claimed to be using these strategies.

Customer journey tools

The two markets also diverged slightly when it came to their approaches to data. In the US marketers placed greater importance on artificial intelligence (AI) and testing, while in the UK the focus was more on data analysis via tools such as Google Analytics and Data Management, perhaps due to the implementation of data privacy legislation such as GDPR in the EU.

Customer journey tools

Challenges facing UK and US marketers

In the previous blog, we saw skills and privacy were areas that were troubling travel marketers, and we saw the same topics dominate when it came to the different markets. The US was unexpectedly perhaps, a lot more concerned than their UK counterparts about privacy regulations impacting CJO. This is perhaps due to the fact that the UK has already experienced GDPR, and had to get processes in place as a matter of business urgency:

Customer journey challenges

As new privacy regulations such as the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) come into effect from January 2020, the time has come for US marketers to ensure privacy is a foundation of their CJO strategy.

When it comes to matters of skills and people, both markets are under pressure but in different ways:

Customer journey challenges

The UK is facing a major skills shortage, which will likely not be helped by geo-political issues such as Brexit. Related to the skills shortage is a real pressure on time and resources, with 30% rating this as a challenge versus 23% in the US. Where the US does have issues is in ownership of CJO, and by extension the problem this raises with working across internal silos.

Finally, like our travel marketers, the US marketers have money on their mind. There was a much bigger concern about demonstrating ROI with 35% seeing this as a top challenge, versus just 28% in the UK.

What’s next for 2020?

So what does 2020 have in store for the customer journey? We saw quite a few differences between the UK and US when it came to planned 2020 investments. The top areas in the US for investment are tools and skills – is a little surprising  when remembering that skills were rated a bigger challenge in the UK. The UK seems to be planning to plug the skills gap by working with consultancies and agencies, with 44% planning this versus 30% of US marketers.

Customer journeys: 2020 investments

For 2020 customer journey tools and strategies marketing automation came out top for the UK (47% plan to use it), while customer feedback remained a priority for the US (45% plan to use it). 

The markets diverged in relation to website personalization – this is a higher priority in the US with almost 40% planning to use it in 2020 versus 35% in the UK. In preparation for personalization, US marketers were also more focused on understanding their data via tools like Google Analytics.

Customer Journeys: 2020 tools

What else will 2020 bring? Well, if 2019 was the year marketers began to crack CJO, 2020 could be the year they start to master it. Just 30% of UK and 25% of US marketers are doing more than 75% of what they’d ideally want to when it comes to the customer journey, meaning there’s lots of room for growth.

For the full report, featuring insights on the overall trends, and retail and travel click here.

CCPA Compliance for E-Commerce

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The California Consumer Privacy Act arrives in January 2020 – here’s a brief guide to compliance for e-commerce companies

For e-commerce companies, CCPA compliance should be high on your radar for 2020. Like the General Data Protection Regulation (better known as GDPR) in Europe, it stands to make a huge difference to how you communicate with your customers. This article sets out the basics around what the new Act means and how to prepare your business for it.

Disclaimer: this post doesn’t constitute legal advice – seek professional legal counsel to ensure that your activities are compliant!

What Is CCPA?

The Governor of California signed Assembly Bill 375 on 28 June 2018. The California Consumer Privacy Act, also known as CCPA, will take effect on 01 January 2020.

CCPA focuses on data protection rights for consumers – however, it does not only apply to businesses physically located in California. CCPA protects the right of Californian consumers, regardless of state borders. So regardless of where your business is based, if you have customers in California you need to consider the impact of the new rules.

Retailers and CCPA: key implications and requirements

What does CCPA compliance for e-commerce really mean? Here are the basics of what the Act outlines:

  • When a California resident requests what personal data is being stored by an applicable business, the company will have up to 45 days to respond. The response must include a full record in order to be considered compliant with CCPA.
  • A California consumer will be able to opt out of sharing or storing their personal data with a business that provides the data to any third party.
  • A California consumer has the right to know what data was purchased, whom it was shared with, and which business it was purchased from.
  • Any California resident can request that any of their stored personal information be deleted.
  • For California residents under 16 years old, businesses are required to provide an “opt-in” function.
  • For California residents under 13 years old, a parent or guardian must consent.
  • California consumers cannot be penalized by a business for exercising their rights in accordance with the CCPA.
  • Businesses are required to offer California consumers easy-to-see opt-out options, such as a “Do Not Sell My Information” button, on their website.

Determining If CCPA Applies To You

CCPA applies to businesses that meet certain criteria. This includes:

  • Any business that sells to California residents and generates more than $25 million in revenue each year
  • Any company that receives or shares the personal information of more than 50,000 Californians
  • Any company that derives at least half (50%) of its yearly revenue through the sale of the personal information of California residents

For the most part, this means that small businesses are currently exempt from having to deal with CCPA compliance. While this may change in the future, larger companies are presently the only businesses that need to prepare for the CCPA staging date.

CCPA vs GDPR

CCPA is very similar to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) passed by the European Union in 2018. The good news is that companies that are considered GDPR compliant will not need to change much in order to meet with CCPA compliance requirements.

CCPA is slightly more stringent thanks to its broader definition of personal information. However, there are many options out there to help a company implement compliance requirements before the January 2020 timeframe.

Consequences for non-compliance

The Attorney General and California court system are prepared to execute several different consequences for non-compliant businesses.

  • Unintentional violations can result in fines up to $2,500 each.
  • Intentional violations will each warrant a $7,500 fine.
  • Fines are assessed per person or account.

Fines add up quickly. Often, if a violation is present with one consumer, it is present with others.

To estimate potential financial damages, you could multiply the number of your California consumers by $7,500. For example: if you have 25 California customers. Those 25 customers multiplied by $7,500 means you could face up to $187,500 in fines based off the discovery of a single consumer’s violation.

These penalties can seem scary – so what do you need to do in order to avoid them?

Key steps for preparing for CCPA compliance

Here are the key steps for retailers preparing for CCPA compliance.

Audit data collection and management processes

A thorough evaluation of how your company collects and manages personal information is essential.

Deep-diving into where you store your consumer data and how you use it is essential to preventing intentional and unintentional violations from costing your business thousands in fines.

You should also examine the data you collect from third-party sites; third-party vendors should provide a CCPA Compliance Certificate on request to ensure data you receive will not result in damages to your company in a lawsuit.

Plan for consumer requests

Under the CCPA, you have up to 45 days to respond to personal information data requests from California consumers. You need to have a plan in place to quickly tackle these requests. This may include hiring personnel to address these matters efficiently and within the requirements of the law. Data extraction tools, response formatting, and a thorough understanding of the law will also be required.

Prepare for future regulations

Many experts believe the GDPR and CCPA are just the beginning of the data rights battle. California is simply the first state to take consumer data rights seriously enough to enact legislation. Future regulations are highly likely as more states become further involved with the data rights of consumers.

Bracing for impact

It’s hard to know exactly what to expect when CCPA hits – but there are some predictions that we can make based on GDPR.

First of all, you’re likely to see your email database take a hit. Here’s how much of their addressable databases marketers lost when GDPR came into force in 2018:

Read more here

However, there’s a silver lining here. Recovery from these losses was actually pretty quick. One year after the regulations came in, databases had successfully recovered to 93% of their pre-GDPR levels.

How did it happen so fast? Here’s another lesson we can take for CCPA compliance. The below were the top strategies used by businesses to recoup their databases – a greet steer for those looking to 2020:

January 1st will mark a new watershed for privacy regulations in the US – any preparation you do now will pay dividends in the short-term, and prepare you well for the evolutions in data privacy yet to come.

Email marketing for E-commerce

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Email marketing for e-commerce: ‘Tis the reason for the season! Learn how to supercharge your holiday email campaigns in this guest post from Marilia Dimitriou, Creative Writer at Moosend.

The holidays have always been the best time to reach your customers with amazing offers that will incentivize them to put more items in their carts and skyrocket your sales.

To win the war of seasonal shopping, e-commerce stores need to use email marketing and marketing automation to reach their subscribers and give them something more than the usual newsletter or the weekly offer.

Holiday emails need to be big and loud to inspire your potential shoppers to buy and turn them into happy customers.

To use seasonal email marketing the right way, increase your conversion rate and benefit from the holiday blast, we are going to take a look at some useful tips to jingle bell rock your way to the top.

Now let’s take a look at four tips to create the perfect seasonal emails for your store

1. Get into the Holiday Spirit

To come up with successful seasonal emails you need to fully embrace the holiday spirit and turn it into an amazing message. Whether you are creating Halloween or Christmas emails, you have to make the theme of your email stand out.

For instance, the perfect Halloween email must be able to take Halloween’s spooky spirit and turn into an amazing offer that your customers will be glad to take you up on.

Here’s an amazing example from American Eagle that fully embraces the Christmas theme and delivers a solution to one of the most difficult holiday tasks: buying presents your family and friends will like!

Source: American Eagle

Seasonal emails that have stunning visuals will attract your customers’ attention and give them more reasons to make a purchase to celebrate the holiday.With a nice holiday pun, a great offer and free shipping, American Eagle’s campaign is here to save Christmas!

And to make your emails into massive conversion bombs, you should take care of the post-click step that will drive them further down your sales funnel. All you have to do is to sit down and create a landing page that will amaze your audience.These pages will influence the efficiency of your emails and determine whether the potential shopper will make a purchase or not.

If you want your landing pages to work miracles, the should be able to continue your subscriber’s email experience rather than offer them a completely different one. Also, to save time you should consider using a landing page builder to put your holiday ideas on digital paper faster.

2.Subject Lines That Rock

To turn the holidays into your store’s most wonderful time of the year, you need to focus on the click-through and open rates of your wonderful email marketing campaigns.

After all, if you don’t have the numbers, then you won’t be able to reach your KPIs and goals.While the body of your email will play a major role in converting more customers, you should first focus on creating the perfect email subject line for it.

Subject lines are more important than the entire email itself since they are the first thing your subscribers will see when they check their inbox. Subject lines like “Sales” or “Holiday Sales” might not give you the numbers you desire.

So what do you do?

As with your email copy, you should make your subject line holiday appropriate and appealing to boost your open rates. Here is a creative idea from Stocksy United:

The Christmas emojis are the perfect fit to make the subject line more appealing to your audience, whereas the words “almost!” and “spend and save!” are meant to add urgency to the message. To increase the impact even further, Stocksy connects their subject line with the theme of their email. Take a look:

Email marketing example from Stocksy

With a subject line that delivers on its promises and visuals that correspond to the holiday theme perfectly, Stocksy has the perfect recipe to amaze their subscribers.

3. Kiss Cart Abandonment goodbye

Cart abandonment is an ongoing issue that e-commerce stores need to deal with, regardless of the holiday season. But as your traffic spikes across the peak season, there’s a lot more to lose when it comes to Christmas cart abandonment.

Your potential customers might not be ready to make a purchase or  find shipping costs too much. These are just two reasons why cart abandonment has become a major revenue loss issue, here’s a few more:

Email marketing: cart abandonment

To win back your visitors, you need to plan your email remarketing strategy carefully and give them more reasons to stay than leave you for your competitors.

Here is where marketing automation comes in to assist your email remarketing attempts. With marketing automation, you can set up automated workflows that will be triggered when a customer abandons their cart, minutes or even days after the initial abandonment.

Especially during major holidays like Christmas where shopping can turn into a battlefield of deals and offers, getting potential customers to buy from your store rather than your competitors’ can make a huge difference.

However, to power up your remarketing endeavors, you should send your cart abandonment campaigns as soon as possible. So to reduce your cart abandoners and kiss cart abandonment goodbye you have to create irresistible emails with offers that will make your potential customer’s hesitation go away.

Here’s how Kenneth Cole does it:

Kenneth Cole Email Remarketing Example

4. Send Your Emails at the Right Time

When it comes to sending successful holiday email marketing campaigns, you should come up with a schedule to roll them out at the right time.
Finding the best time to send emails will maximize your open and click-through rate and lead to more conversions and sales.

Email marketing: best time to send
Source: Venngage

The easiest way to deliver your seasonal emails is to set up an automated workflow that will be triggered days before or after a specific holiday.

Giving your potential customers what they need, the moment they need it will better motivate them to click your CTAs and turn them into loyal customers who will buy all year long.

Email marketing for ecommerce: Takeways

Seasonal emails are the perfect way to skyrocket your sales in a time where consumers are most likely to spend more than any other time of the year.

To send successful holiday campaigns, you need to create the best content and subject lines, pay attention to detail and deliver a post-click experience that will amaze even the most difficult shoppers.

So what are you waiting for?

Start sending your seasonal emails now and in no time you’ll see your holiday sales go through the roof.

About the author:

Marilia is a Creative Writer working for email marketing software Moosend. Her passion for writing has made her find new ways to combine the art of Creative Writing with SEO Copywriting. When she’s not writing articles, you’ll find her spending time on her drabbles. 


Travel Customer Journeys 2020

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How have marketers been optimizing the travel customer journey in 2019, and what’s in store for 2020?

Our second annual State of Customer Journey Optimization report, published last month, takes a look at how marketers are tackling customer journeys, and how these plans will evolve into 2020. For the first time, we split the data into segments, examining how different verticals (retail and travel) and markets (UK and US) are approaching things differently. In this first blog post in a series, we’re taking a look at what travel marketers have been up to.

The State of Travel Customer Journeys

One of the biggest takeaways from the report overall was that 2019 was really the year that marketers started to crack customer journeys. But can we say the same for travel marketers specifically? The travel customer journey after all is much different to retail, so we wanted to understand if this was reflected in their approach.

One of the first things that jumps out is that, yes, travel marketers are satisfied with their approach, but a little less so than retail, or the average. However, it is interesting to note that of those who are satisfied, Travel marketers are more likely to be ‘very satisfied’ compared to retail, with 45% ‘very satisfied’ with their conversion rate, for example, compared to 38% who said the same in retail.

Travel customer journeys: conversion rate

Travel marketers were also more likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with their ability to action insights from the travel customer journey, with 44%, versus 36% in retail, or 39% overall.

Travel Customer Journey Tools

So if travel marketers are more likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with their efforts, it seems they are getting something right when it comes to the tools they are using. What are the top travel customer journey tools?

In 2019 the top three tools for travel marketers were Marketing Automation, Website Personalization and Data Analysis. The focus on marketing automation is one that we saw across the board, but Travel marketers are more likely to be using this tool, with nearly half (48.8%) versus 43% in retail, or 45% overall.

Travel’s other focuses fall in line with this trend toward automation – they are also much more likely to be using AI and Machine Learning. The other area of difference is testing – travel are more likely to be running MVT and A/B testing programs. This focus on testing and automating the travel customer journey perhaps explains the different levels of satisfaction we noted earlier in this blog.

Travel Customer Journey Challenges

So, we’ve got a pretty good idea of the current state of play, but what about heading into 2020? We wanted to understand the biggest challenges facing marketers, and how these have evolved over the last few years.

In travel, the top three challenges were privacy regulations (such as GDPR), demonstrating ROI and then followed by a few other concerns:

Travel Customer Journey Challenges

The travel industry’s issues with privacy regulations aligns with research released earlier this year that found travel was the industry most struggling to recover its databases one year on from GDPR. Compared to retail, 38% of travel marketers rated this as a challenge, versus just 26% retailers, and 31% overall. 

The greater concern travel has with demonstrating ROI is perhaps due to the more complex nature of the customer journey versus something like retail, making tracking success difficult. Just 28% of retail marketers expressed ROI as a challenge, coming in at #6 overall, versus 36% in travel and the #2 spot.

Travel Customer Journeys 2020

So how will travel marketers overcome these customer journey challenges in 2020? We tool a look at where marketers plan to invest their budgets and the tools they plan to use. The biggest takeaway from this data is that CJO is now very firmly on the agenda – just 1% of Travel marketers have no plans to optimize the customer journey in 2020, down from 15% of marketers who said the same going into 2019.

Here’s what else they’ve got planned…

Travel customer journey investments for 2020

As we can see from the data above, Travel marketers are much more focused on investing further into technology and tools, while they’re also more likely to invest in external specialists. The specific tools travel marketers plan to invest in are Customer Feedback, Marketing Automation and Customer Journey Mapping, which broadly aligns with what we see overall.

What else will 2020 bring? Well, if 2019 was the year marketers began to crack CJO, 2020 could be the year they start to master it. Just 23% of travel marketers are doing more than 75% of what they’d ideally want to when it comes to the travel customer journey, meaning there’s lots of room for growth.

For the full report, featuring insights on the overall trends, UK and US markets and retail, click here!

Avoiding Black Friday: New Strategies for Peak Season

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Avoiding Black Friday - advice for retailers

As a retailer, deciding whether to avoid Black Friday or Cyber Monday is tough. Here’s how to figure it out.

Avoiding Black Friday is a decision that few retailers dare to make. For decades, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been one of the most important days in the retail calendar – last year, 137 million people spent more than $850 billion during the sales.

However, the race to the bottom driven by discounting has started to provoke a backlash from some retailers. An increasing number are avoiding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, opting to protect their brands and margins through more creative campaigns. This is particularly true for the newer breed of pure-play e-commerce companies, where 22% are opting out of Black Friday.

Even among those who participate, a growing number have evolved their Black Friday strategies in order to cope with increased competition and challenged margins. Rather than one-day sales, many are turning the holiday into multi-day campaigns that start early or run in phases.

As a retailer, you stand a crossroads – here’s how to decide whether avoiding Black Friday is right for you, and what to do if you decide to #optout.

Is Black Friday right for new customer acquisition?

If new customer acquisition is your priority, Black Friday can appear as an obvious choice. But is it really all it seems?

First of all, timing is critical. Most companies plan their Black Friday strategy months in advance – according to our research, over 75% of retailers start their preparation before August. This means that your decision needs to be made early if there’s much chance of success.

If you still have time to consider your options, consider that this is a seriously expensive time to be acquiring new customers. Competition for clicks will be fierce, and the cost with it.

This brings us onto our next consideration – if you’re investing in traffic, it’s only worth it if you have confidence in your conversion rate optimization. With every click costing more, your site needs to be ready to ensure that you see return, with cart abandonment strategies in place to catch every potential new customer.

If you feel confident that you can get a good return on your ad spend, there’s one more thing to consider. One of the biggest issues that retailers face is how to retain those new customers once Black Friday is over. That’s for a good reason – you’ve just scooped up a large number of discount-hunters, who are likely to repeat that behavior again.

Conclusion: Black Friday isn’t quite the new customer bonanza that it might first appear to be. You not only need to be able to spare a healthy budget, you need to be confident that your conversion and retention strategies are healthy.

Should you follow your competitors?

You know your customer base. This also means you likely know who your prime competition is. Understanding their strategy may help you determine yours – but is it wise to follow the crowd for Black Friday?

A good first step is to run the numbers and do a little spying – so we made it a little easier. You can use our handy Black Friday benchmarking tool below to see what proportion of e-commerce businesses are taking part and what their strategies will be:

 

If you’re concerned that your competitors will be stealing your market share during Black Friday, use data from years past to query just how much you might have to lose by opting out.

If you’re still unsure after balancing the numbers, remember that avoiding Black Friday isn’t really an either/or question after all. So if discounting stands to hurt you, you can simply choose to participate in a different way.

You could, for example, focus your Black Friday promotions on delivering value through free delivery, added loyalty credit or even free gifts instead of discounting. You could also leap ahead of the pack and start campaigns early to take advantage of the many millions of shoppers who’ll be researching their potential purchases ahead of time.

Conclusion: if your competitors are likely to be taking the leap but you’re unsure if your numbers stack up, try a Black Friday strategy less focused on discounting.

Does Black Friday fit with your brand?

In recent years, Black Friday has been held up as a negative symbol of consumerism. The images of crowds fighting for bargains in big-box stores aside, for many Black Friday is seen to encourage excessive spending on things we don’t necessarily need.

Whatever your opinion is on the matter, it’s important to consider this perspective when deciding whether Black Friday blowouts really fit with your brand.

An increasing number of retailers have decided to make avoiding Black Friday a conscious part of their marketing strategy. In 2015, outdoor equipment giant REI announced that it would no longer participate in Black Friday sales. It actually didn’t open at all during the event, urging employees and customers alike to #OptOutside.

In fact, REI not only encourages employees to spend the day out in nature instead of shopping – it pays them for the time off. The movement included over 834,600 Tweets and 12.5 million Instagram posts, showing that avoiding Black Friday can generate great momentum.

Even if your brand doesn’t necessarily suit making a big moral stand around Black Friday, there’s always a question about whether discounting is right for your brand. In a more subtle act of avoiding Black Friday, Everlane participates in fundraisers during the holiday. As it consistently offers products that are roughly 60% less than their original price tag it made little sense for it to discount. Instead, it collaborated with Surfrider Foundation and donated more than $250,000 to help clean up beaches.

Conclusion: Avoiding Black Friday is an opportunity to make a statement about your brand – but be creative with it.

What to do if you’re opting out

Deciding to avoid Black Friday can be a bold choice – so what should you do if you opt out?

First of all, be ready to capitalize on organic traffic from visitors expecting to see Black Friday deals. If you don’t have discounts ready for them, what can you do to capture them instead? Consider offering value-adds in exchange for email sign-ups or highlighting other time-limited campaigns.

Secondly, consider piggybacking on Black Friday by running campaigns in the week before the big day. Our data shows that the weekend before Black Friday is a major ‘pre-peak’ in traffic, so consider what you can offer to those early-bird shoppers before everyone else gets in on the game.

Finally, think about what your Black Friday narrative is going to be. A great deal of your customers will expect discounts – don’t leave them puzzled. You need to build a great story around why you’ve chosen to opt out of Black Friday, like REI did. More than shying away from a big event, it’s an opportunity to build your brand and make a statement.

Infographic: Customer Journeys 2020

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Uncover how customer journeys have evolved over the last year and learn what 2020 will bring in this infographic…

Now in it’s second year, our State of Customer Journey Optimization (CJO) report examines how marketers are approaching the challenges associated with creating seamless customer journeys online. This year’s edition reveals some surprising shifts in marketer confidence and satisfaction with their customer journey efforts and the new challenges they’re facing.

Some of the key findings include:

  • 2019 marked a watershed moment for marketers understanding and optimization of customer journeys. We saw significant shifts, particularly in the optimization of customer journeys across multiple channels, which was up to 88% versus just 62% in 2018.
  • Over half of marketers (56%) are now realizing more than half of their customer journey ambitions. This progress was reflected across multiple areas of the discipline – satisfaction with conversion rates grew from 61% in 2018 to 85% this year.
  • Overall, customer journeys are now a near-universal priority: only 1% of marketers said they had no plans to work on them in 2020 (a drop from 15% in 2018). 
  • Marketers now have a much greater level of confidence in defining customer journey optimization (CJO) as distinct from conversion rate optimization (CRO) or personalization – 95% were confident doing so, compared to just 65% in 2018. 
  • When it comes to tools, it is all change. In 2018, having the right tools was ranked among the top three CJO challenges facing marketers – in 2019, this dropped to fifth place, indicating ground gained in the hunt for the right stack. 
  • For the coming year, there’s a clear pivot from a need for technology to a need for skills, as marketers cited ‘sourcing staff with the skills required to make sense of customer journey optimization efforts’ as their top CJO challenge overall, up from fourth place in 2018. 

Check out the infographic below for more insights into customer journey optimization heading into 2020, or download the full report here.

Infographic: Customer Journey Optimization 2020

Best Social Media Platforms for E-commerce

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Run an eCommerce business and worried about floundering social media accounts?

Simply having a social media “presence” isn’t enough. Social media and e-commerce are striving to crack social commerce (or s-commerce) and have made good strides. But what social media networks should you be on?

Here are the best social media platforms for eCommerce it’s worth developing your presence on…

In this blog we’re going to cover the following:
1. Using Facebook for eCommerce
2. Using Instagram for eCommerce
3. Using Pinterest for eCommerce
4. Using YouTube for eCommerce
5. Using TikTok for eCommerce
6. Summary

As social media has become one of the quickest ways to connect with a large audience of potential customers, marketers and brands have followed. In fact, studies have found that roughly 223 million people use social media platforms in the US alone. (Looking to connect internationally? Currently, we’re at about 3.2 billion social media users worldwide).

Brands can use social media to meet a variety of goals, but with a whole host of platforms out there, which should e-commerce marketers seek to focus on? Based on the below chart, you might think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are the places to be.

Social media for e-commerce
Source: eMarketer

However, while the user numbers we just mentioned, and uptake by marketers looks positive, it’s important to consider how each platform can help drive growth for your e-commerce site – beyond simply raising awareness.

While Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are all popular social media platforms, when we look at them through an e-commerce lens, the story is a little different:

best social media platforms for e-commerce: referral traffic
Source: eMarketer

We can see that the top social media platforms driving referrals to e-commerce sites are in-fact Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. So now, let’s take a look at what each of these social media platforms has to offer the e-commerce marketer.

Best Social Media for E-commerce

Connecting with your customers on social media is a great way to build relationships, attract interest, and encourage them to invest in your products or services. By focusing your marketing efforts on a select few social media platforms, you can design a campaign that yields a high return on investment (ROI) without spreading yourself too thin.

For this blog post, we’ll take a look at investing in a marketing strategy that addresses the top three referral sources: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Facebook for E-commerce

Facebook is, without question, the world’s most used social media platform. The sheer scale of the Facebook audience makes focusing on this platform key to driving potential customers to your e-commerce site.

Best social media platforms for e-commerce: Facebook e-commerce audience size
Facebook User Stats

Unlike some of the social media sites we’ll look at, Facebook is not as focused on creating a shopping experience within Facebook itself. The real area it excels is targeted advertising, and this has seen it become an essential part of many e-commerce customer acquisition strategies.

With a vast array of age, gender, interest and location data available, virtually any business can find new potential customers by building custom audiences and retargeting existing website visitors, or leverage their existing customer data to find lookalike audiences i.e. new visitors who are similar to their best customers.

Instagram

Instagram (also owned by Facebook) offers e-commerce marketers an attractive way of marketing products due to its highly visual nature. It also allows users to tag businesses in their own posts to help promote products they find relevant.

With around 104.7 million users, the Instagram audience is nothing to be sniffed at, and the site has some of the most advanced social commerce features among the leading social platforms. Two of the most important are Instagram Shopping and Instagram Checkout.

Instagram Shopping (or Shopping on Instagram as the platform calls it) give e-commerce brands the ability to ‘create an immersive storefront’ to help Instagram users explore products with a single tap. Brands can share products through their own posts and stories, creating a clickable tag that takes curious visitors to a product description page featuring further information.

Take a look at the example below from M&S (one of the first UK brands to test Instagram Shopping) to get an idea of the customer journey from Instagram to the M&S e-commerce site:

Best social media platforms for e-commerce: Instagram e-commerce example from M&S
Source: M&S

Instagram Shopping is now available across a wide range of markets globally and is a great way for retailers and travel brands to showcase their products to an engaged audience.

The other feature from Instagram worth mentioning is Instagram Checkout – launched in 2019 it’s still in beta phase, but seeks to bring the shopping experience to the Instagram platform without the need for users to leave for another site.

Pinterest for E-commerce

Pinterest may not be one of the top three social media platforms. However, it certainly ranks among the best platforms for those with an e-commerce agenda. Known for its wide range of creative, aspirational and product-based posts, Pinterest has aligned itself well with the customer journey. And although it has slightly fewer users than other platforms (around 250 monthly active users), it more than makes up for that with its ability to link social media and e-commerce, with 93% of this audience using the platform to plan their purchases.

best social media platforms for e-commerce: pinterest e-commerce
Source: Pinterest

One feature that Pinterest offers that is particularly interesting for e-commerce brands is rich pins. Pinterest rich pins provide users with links, references, and product recommendations for achieving certain looks, décor objectives, recipes and project designs.

Pinterest e-commerce - Pinterest Rich Pins
Source: Pinterest

For those who are looking to target Pinterest audience, specifically women aged 18 through 49, Pinterest makes for an ideal social media platform. And when you look at the proportion of referrals that Pinterest drives compared to other platforms, Pinterest e-commerce doesn’t yet get the credit it deserves for the influence it has over consumers.

Source: Pinterest

4. Using YouTube for eCommerce

YouTube is the most popular video platform on the internet, so it should be no surprise this is one of the best social media platforms for eCommerce. The video-sharing platform has a reported 2.3 billion users worldwide as of 2021 (Statista, 2021).

Whilst you may think YouTube is mainly for funny videos and falling down “YouTube” holes if used correctly it can be a vital part of an eCommerce social media strategy. You’ll see some of the biggest eCommerce brands in the world with their own dedicated channel, regularly posting and it’s for a good reason too.

68% of Youtube users will watch videos to help inform and make a buying decision. Whilst, Seventy-five percent of shoppers agree that YouTube enhances the traditional shopping journey by delivering unexpected inspiration.

So not only is this channel great for building brand awareness, but it could also help convert new customers through providing useful visual content.

YouTube make take longer to see results vs the other social channels mentioned as you will need to build your audience. One way you can quickly do this is by collaborating with Influencers.

If we take GymShark as an example, you can see the majority of their videos contain sponsored athletes who have a social following in their own right. This would be one way you can start to build brand awareness.

To focus on the conversion aspect of things, if you can produce in-depth product video reviews or breakdowns this can help nudge buyers forward. By showcasing how your product can be easily used to address pain points and solve customer problems you’re making the purchase decision easier and help drive more online sales.

5. Using TikTok for eCommerce

TikTok has exploded in popularity over the past few years and shows no signs of going anywhere soon.

Where it was once just a place for teenagers and silly videos, TikTok is now a place where businesses can effectively sell products to TikTok users.

TikTok has focused a lot on rapidly developing an e-commerce capability that taps into the growing popularity of social commerce and product discovery. Brands can now easily sell on here just as they can on Facebook and Instagram.

So, it’s probably no surprise that brands have taken notice of a growing user base with an ever-improving eCommerce offering. InQ2 of 2021, global spending on TikTok jumped to $525 million.

Now if you’re a small business you may be thinking you have no chance of competing with big brands and their big budgets. You’d be wrong.

Because of the way TikTok’s algorithm works, if you are able to create content that takes off (goes viral), it can gain the same level of, perhaps, even more, attention as the top brands on the platform.

And that just what BlendJet did.

BlendJet used TikTok’s Discover page and search to identify fitness and foodie creator accounts to collaborate with on a campaign. This involved the creators developing organic video content featuring recipes using the product.

The creators developed a “Things TikTok Made Me Buy” and “Live Hack” style videos showing the BlendJet device as an alternative to a bulky blender. They even had these videos as promoted as Spark Ads.

The results?

Blendjet’s strategic interest-based targeting strategy, strong creator partnerships, and use of TikTok’s Spark Ads directly helped its campaign reach more than 28 million impressions, 407,000 clicks and 12,000 conversions with a click-through rate of 1.43%.

The main takeaway from this, which is also similar to YouTube is, it’s key to identify creators that closely align with your brand and give them the freedom to develop authentic and share-worthy content.

Social Media + E-Commerce = Social Commerce

By investing your marketing time and effort in the right social media platforms, your e-commerce business can grow exponentially. Utilizing platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook in your strategy can encourage users to feel like a part of your e-commerce business and connect in a way that was missing before.

There is, of course, lots more to learn about social commerce as it grows in importance and the platforms continue to develop new features. If you are interested in taking a deep-dive into social commerce, and how it can help you grow your online business, this guide is a great place to start.

Social Media eCommerce FAQs

Which social media platform is best for eCommerce?

The best social media platforms for eCommerce are, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube & TikTok.

What is the role of social media in eCommerce?

Social media plays a large role in online marketing as it can be used to help establish a stronger web presence, generate leads, and increase traffic by both organic and paid means. Social media channels can also be used to provide customer service support.

How does social media affect eCommerce?

Social media can have a big effect on eCommerce performance. Research from Yotpo found that eCommerce websites that have a social presence have 32% more sales on average than stores that don’t. So if you’re not on social media you’re missing out on some great opportunities.

What is meant by social commerce?

Social commerce refers to the use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms as a medium to promote and sell products and services.

How effective is social media to the process of eCommerce?

Social media can be very effective as part of an overall eCommerce strategy. It can help generate leads and traffic very easily, and can also provide customers with another way of contacting your customer service department.

How to Increase eCommerce Average Order Value (AOV)

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How to increase average order value | Yieldify

Get more from your e-commerce website visitors with these four tips on increasing average order value (AOV).

Today’s digital world means that e-commerce one of the best ways to sell products or services. But as competition heats up, and acquisition gets more expensive, it’s worth taking a few lessons from the offline world when it comes to increasing your average order value (AOV).

Utilizing tried and tested marketing concepts such as cross-selling, upselling, loyalty programs or product bundling on your website is a powerful way to increase your average order value significantly.

In this blog we’ll cover the following on AOV:
1. What does AOV mean?
2. Why Is Average Order Value Important?
3. How To Increase Your Average Order Value
3.1 Cross-selling
3.2 Upselling
3.3 Loyalty Programs
3.4 Product Bundles
4. Summary

What is the meaning of AOV?

Before we jump into the tactics you can try to increase average order value, let’s take a quick look at how to define it.

What is Average Order Value (AOV)? Average Order Value is an e-commerce marketing metric that measures the average amount customers spend on your website per transaction. Also referred to as basket value, it is a clear indication of how much customers are willing to spend on your products or services.

How to calculate Average Order Value (AOV)? Average Order Value can be easily calculated using the following formula:

Total Revenue / Total Number of Orders = AOV

For example, your e-store has a total revenue of $2,100 for the month of September, placed via 100 different orders. This means your AOV of $21. If your store is looking to drive revenue growth, increasing Average Order vs simply increasing the number of orders is one way to go.

Why Average Order Value is important?

Apart from the obvious goal of increasing the amount each customer spends with you, why should you be focusing on increasing average order value? One big reason is customer loyalty, which is strongly linked with AOV:

  • Your top 10% of customers order 3x more per order than the rest.
  • Your top 1% of customers order 5x more than the rest.
  • After 30 months of loyalty, customers spend 67% more than their first purchase.

So really, driving up your AOV is linked with the strategic goal of increasing customer lifetime value (CLV). Let’s take a look now at some tactics that can help you accelerate your customer base to start performing like this top 10%.

How do I go about increasing Average Order Value?

1. Offer choice with cross-selling

We’ve already mentioned cross-selling, upselling, bundling and more, but how are they different? In this first section we’ll seek to answer:

  • What is cross-selling?
  • Why cross-selling works?
  • How cross-selling can be applied online?

Amazon is well known for its innovation in the product recommendations space, seeking to show visitors complementary items based on the product they are viewing. This tactic is a form of cross-selling, since Amazon is offering related items in an effort to increase their average order value. Here’s an example of the items it recommends when looking at a tent:

How to increase average order value | Yieldify
Source: Amazon.com

When done right, cross-selling is mutually beneficial for you and your visitors. You offer additional value by surfacing products they might need, and in turn, average order values increase.

Why does cross-selling work? It’s all about choice. Customers like having choices, but too many choices can actually be bad for sales. Providing visitors suggested products based on their shopping cart or what they’re currently looking at offers them more relevant choices, which may help them ultimately make the best decision on which product to buy.

Here’s another example from beauty brand Skyn ICELAND:

As part of its Customer Journey Optimization strategy, Skyn ICELAND incorporates recommended products into the customer journey to increase average order value.

A campaign targeting visitors purchasing Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, utilized Yieldify’s flexible targeting feature to recommended a complementary product. This resulted in a +23.1% uplift in conversion rate and boosted order value by 14.94%.

2. Customize or upgrade options through upselling

Customization is another way to help increase your AOV. One way to do this is through upselling. But, first things first…

What is upselling? Upselling occurs when you persuade a customer to increase the value of their purchase, typically through customization or upgrading. It’s similar to cross-selling, but different in that you’re trying to increase the money spent on an individual product or item rather than recommend additional ones.

For example, L.L.Bean has been upselling backpacks for years. For a small fee, you can personalize your backpack with your name or initials. As a buyer, you can opt for one of several choices in text, color and font — which makes your backpack 100% unique.

How to increase average order value | Yieldify

Another great example of upselling comes from the world of food delivery. Domino’s Pizza created a ‘stretch and save’ campaign to encourage returning visitors to increase the value of their order. In order to protect margin, this was tiered based on cart value.

How to increase average order value | Yieldify

3. Increasing AOV via customer loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to make repeat purchases easy and encourage customers to continue to buy from you: It not only helps you promote products but also helps you to foster ongoing customer relationships.

Often, loyalty programs include discounts. Discounts can often appear at odds with increasing profit margins when they clearly take away from the sale’s value. However, studies have proven that loyalty members spend roughly 120% more than new customers do every year. So offering a small discount can actually work out more beneficial in the long run, especially if you use a spend threshold.

You don’t always need to offer a discount either, many brands are turning toward recognition-based loyalty programs instead of a more traditional points-based approach.

One such example is Marks and Spencer Sparks scheme. As well as discounts to increase average order value the brand offers priority access to online sales, as well as other perks like in-store events and charity donations. While this is a more long term approach toward building customer relationships to increase average order values, it’s worth looking at alongside more short term tactics.

Increase average order value with a loyalty scheme

4. Complete solutions with product bundles

Customers enjoy feeling like they’ve made the best investment for their money. One way to give them this experience is through product bundling or bulk-buy packages.

Product bundles help provide your customers with a complete package solution. The implied value savings often encourage customers to make a single, larger purchase instead of lesser individual ones. This can save shoppers time since they don’t have to research each various item, even if they are all on your site somewhere. 

The important thing is to flag bundling options at the relevant moment in the customer journey. Take this example from Australian menswear retailer M.J. Bale:

How to increase customer value | Yieldify

Multi-buys are a key product category for the brand, particularly shirts and suits bundles. To improve the customer experience the brand highlighted the most popular bundles to visitors browsing these categories, driving an increase in conversion and allowing the brand to also increase average order value.

In summary

These are just a few ways that you can increase average order values on your e-commerce site. In order to identify the most effective route to take, you should first ensure you have an in-depth understanding of your visitors so that you can apply these tactics at the most relevant point in the customer journey.

? What is average order value (AOV)?

Average Order Value is an e-commerce marketing metric that measures the average amount customers spend on your website per transaction.

❤️ Why is average order value important?

Average order value is a very important metric as it represents the average amount of money a customer spends with you when they make a purchase. A falling AOV could spell trouble, whereas if your AOV is increasing it’s normally a good sign!

? How do you increase average order value?

Some easy ways you can increase your average order are:
1. Cross-selling
2. Upselling
3. Offering customization
4. Customer Loyalty programs
5. Offering product bundles

For more on increasing average order value check out this short guide:

How to Maximize ROI With Cart Abandonment Emails

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Cart abandonment isn’t a problem – it’s an opportunity. Here’s how you can use cart abandonment emails to re-engage abandoning visitors and maximize your ROI.

Cart abandonment – it’s the worst, isn’t it? We certainly couldn’t find any fan pages for it on Facebook, and a cursory Google of ‘I love cart abandonment’ brought back absolutely nothing of relevance.

When your customer abandons cart, it can feel like they’re teasing you – putting the prize right before your eyes, only to cruelly snatch it away at the last second. But with around 75% of visitors abandoning their shopping carts, the feeling can become all too familiar.

Cart abandonment rate by industry | Yieldify

Not only is it damn frustrating, but it is also costly for your business. It’s estimated that abandoned carts are worth $4 trillion a year to retailers.

Even if you divvied up this purported $4 trillion between every retailer, that’s a fair chunk of cash for your business. But here’s the good part – if you’re willing to get smart about it – more of that cash is destined for your bank account than your rivals.

It’s worthwhile quickly getting some perspective on the whole cart abandonment issue. Not everyone who abandons their cart is intending on making a purchase in the first place. However, vitally, a fair amount of them are genuinely thinking about buying (if not straight away): research from Business Insider suggested that 63% of abandoned cart revenue is potentially recoverable.

As a result, cart abandonment isn’t a problem – it’s a huge opportunity. Just think, if you could recover just a third of that 63% of revenue, you’d be laughing all the way to the bank.

Why do visitors abandon your site?

Before we look at getting your customers back, it makes sense to look at the reasons that cause cart abandonment in the first place. It’s clear that website visitors rightfully despise unexpected costs and, as you’d expect, they’re prone to just browsing and shopping around.

Cart abandonment reasons | Yieldify

Along with these fairly obvious reasons for cart abandonment, there are a host of user experience issues – from navigation down to payment problems – which cause visitors to leave without purchasing.

So, as well as fixing some of these UX problems and being upfront with all your costs, is there you much else you can do to re-engage your visitors that are abandoning cart?

Well yes, there’s plenty. These days there are a fair few ways to maximize your ROI by making your visitors reconsider leaving their cart behind. From giving them a reason to stay on your site in the first place with personalized exit-intent overlays to tempting them to come back with cart abandonment emails.

As you clicked on this blog, first and foremost you probably want to hear about email remarketing – so let’s get to it!

Cart abandonment emails

Abandoned cart emails, cart abandonment emails, basket abandonment emails, email remarketing… Call it what you will, but how do the emails actually work? And should you be using them?

How does email remarketing work?

At its most basic, email remarketing is used to send an email to a user who has abandoned their basket. This email could give the visitor a reminder or maybe feature an offer, but ultimately the aim of the game is to give them a reason to return to your site and convert.

You can do a bunch of smart stuff with your emails to increase the likelihood of conversion, from sending them in batches to using clever design.

Should you be using cart abandonment emails?

The results make a compelling case. Cart abandonment emails have been shown to increase purchases at a rate that’s 19 times higher than traditional promotional emails.

The mixture of personalized, relevant content that’s still fresh in a visitor’s mind means that cart abandonment campaigns are far more effective at re-engaging users.

A SeeWhy study revealed that 75% of new visitors abandon with intent to return at some point. With this in mind, doesn’t it make sense to give them a reminder or incentive to come back?

At Yieldify, we’ve seen email remarketing produce top results for clients across every vertical. From 66.2% open rates in the cosmetics industry, to 30% conversion rates for a home and garden eCommerce retailer.

There’s no reason your eCommerce site won’t see these kinds of returns – cart abandonment emails could well be the key ingredient to maximizing your marketing ROI.

So, we’ve shown you how well cart abandonment emails can work, the next step is to figure out how should you go about using them. To get you started, we’ve quickly summarized some of the basic best practices below.

Top tips for cart abandonment email

1. Make them mobile-friendly

Data shows that 42% of emails are now opened on a mobile device. This means one thing for your emails – always make sure they’re mobile optimized! Otherwise, your cart abandonment emails will be practically unnavigable for more than half of your customers.

Email opens by device | Yieldify
(Data via Litmus)

2. Clear pricing

Unexpected costs are the main reason for your customers to abandon in the first place, so don’t go making the same mistake twice. Your pricing, including shipping and returns, must be expressly clear in your email. If you’re offering a discount, apply this to the basket to entice your customer with the improved price.

3. Time to perfection

From half an hour to a day, retailers like to play with the timing of their email remarketing to see what works best. Results show that usually the sooner you send your email, the better.

But don’t take this for gospel, test what works for your brand. Emails close to the time of abandonment generally work as they’re fresh in the customer’s mind. However, for more expensive items they’ll probably need longer to consider making a purchase.

Your timing may also be dependent on how many emails you intend to send, which brings us to our next point…

4. Send multiple emails

Don’t forget, visitors who have abandoned basket are essentially warm leads – so treat them accordingly. A sequence of drip emails is a good way to nurture your visitor and to help push them down the funnel.

Sending multiple emails works: sending a second cart abandonment email has been shown to bring a 54% lift in revenue.

N.B. If you’re sending your cart abandonment emails in a drip sequence, don’t offer your incentive until the final email. You may well be able to convert your prospect beforehand by pushing other content such as a simple reminder or by emphasizing our USPs. By leaving that incentive (eg. 10% discount or free delivery) till last, you won’t cut into your margins unless you really need to.

5. Sense-check your subject line

Your open rate is going to largely rely on your cart abandonment email subject line. Ambiguous or ‘clever’ subject lines aren’t really needed here.

Stay true to your brand’s tone of voice, but whether you’re sending a reminder, inciting urgency or offering an incentive – make it very clear what the email contains.

6. Slick design

Your abandoned cart emails’ success will lean heavily on their design and layout. Here are a few key tips.

Make the email design consistent with what your user expects from your brand, and purchasing online in general:

  • Incorporate your website branding.
  • Show the products a visitor has added to cart or the products a visitor has shown interest in.
  • Make the email look like a checkout page.
  • Make any drip email sequences consistent in look and feel.

Your cart abandonment emails really should be a continuation of your visitor’s onsite experience. In terms of usability, ensure it’s as easy as possible to make a purchase directly from the email. This means things like linking through to your checkout page and, if you’re offering one, automatically adding discounts to your onsite cart.

7. Welcome your user back on site

Again, this is all about consistency and giving your customers a coherent customer experience across channels.

By linking your email remarketing with onsite remarketing you can create a full-circle customer experience. Essentially you can target visitors based on their onsite behaviors both when they’re browsing and once they’ve left with targeted emails.

When your user returns to your website via email remarketing you can then welcome them back onsite with messaging relevant to the email’s content and take them directly to where they want to go. By creating this coherent loop we’ve seen customers increase conversions by up to 13% in comparison to just using onsite overlays.

Bonus tips

Scarcity & Urgency – scarcity is a psychological sales principle as old as time. We’re all more likely to buy something that’s running out. Apply this to your email remarketing to incite urgency and give your customers fear of missing out.

Incentive – a 10% discount on their cart abandonment campaign saw Yieldify’s client, a leading home and garden brand, get a 30% conversion rate. If you don’t want to damage your margins pushing existing relevant offers or your brand’s USPs. However, an incentive such as a discount or free delivery will usually see a greater boost in conversions.

Social proof88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 90% read online reviews before visiting a business anyway. Do the leg work for our customers and by providing some social proof with customer testimonials and reviews in your emails.

To sum up…

You put heaps of time and money into getting traffic onto your site in the first place… You then spend endless hours optimizing your onsite experience… Don’t let cart abandonment spoil all your hard work.

Try to shift your perspective and see it as an opportunity, not a problem. By using cart abandonment emails and other cart abandonment solutions to re-engage and convert just a small percentage of the visitors who’ve left your site you can maximize ROI and smash your revenue targets.

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 by 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 lead capture forms here.

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

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? Find the research report here

How to Prevent Slow Ticket Sales: 5 Ways to Sell More Event Tickets Online

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

Slow ticket sales are never a good thing. Thankfully, learning how to increase ticket sales for an event doesn’t have to be difficult. Read these guidelines to uncover the strategies you need to easily increase ticket sales through eCommerce.

The secret to avoiding slow ticket sales and 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 an 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.

In this article, we’ll cover the following tactics
1. Personalization
2. Differentiate
3. Going beyond the ticket
4. Creating scarcity
5. Using referrals
6. Conclusion

Here’s how you can boost your e-commerce ticket sales without having to hire an army of A-list influencers…

5 surefire tactics to increase ticket sales online

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 ticket sales through personalization is through using behavioral data. At Yieldify, we worked closely with the 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:

How to increase ticket sales | 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 requires a good deal of nurturing from the 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:

  • Early access events: Discounted tickets that are available for a limited time to those who have signed up for your newsletter.
  • Early bird events: Discounted tickets that are purchased during a specific window of time.
  • 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. This is especially great if you’re looking for tips on how to increase performing arts ticket sales, as you can pair new offers with news and announcements, such as adding to the lineup, or revealing details about the venue or artists.

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 choices 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 to increase average order value. For marketers wondering how to increase ticket sales in sports, tiered access will already be a staple, but extra add-ons like food and drink may be a new avenue to explore.

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.

The team behind We are FSTVL not only sell tickets online but also uses an effective combination of VIP ticketing plus upsells to maximize their profit in advance.

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:

How to increase ticket sales | Yieldify
Social proof appears at the top-right corner showing how many people are viewing the event
How to sell more tickets online | Yieldify
On the same page, this widget indicates how many tickets remain for the event
How to increase ticket sales | Yieldify
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 the 2018 Word of Mouth Report, recommendations from friends and family are two of the top three most relied-on sources of information about products 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.

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 and are a very useful example of how to increase performing arts ticket sales, creating buzz and popularity. This can help from an acquisition perspective as well as a conversion one.

3 Potential Reasons For Slow Ticket Sales

We mentioned some assumptions at the start of this article that can definitely contribute to slow ticket sales if you haven’t addressed them already. Below we’ll go into a bit more detail.

Your pricing strategy is wrong

Obviously, you want to sell out. But if you price your event too low, it won’t matter if you sell all of your tickets — your profit margins will plummet. And pricing too high means you risk hosting a near-empty event. So how do you find the sweet spot for ticket prices?

Now of course you will want to sell out. However if your ticket prices are too low selling out wont matter, and your profit margins may not even exist.

Vice Versa pricing too high and you risk having an empty event.

Is it possible to find a pricing sweet spot? Possibly, but it will take a bit of analysis. Below are two easy first steps.

  1. Work out your fixed and variable costs, and how much money you want to make when the event is over.
  2. Compare previous years performance and ticket types. I.e VIP tickets sell best, did you need to do some last minute discounts?

Based off your analysis you should be able to spot some room for improvement in your pricing strategy.

If any discounts got a good response last time, you may want to do more this year. If any special ticket types sold quickly (VIP etc) can you add more this year? Can you charge more for these?

Forgetting about the competition

Whilst your event will be the center of your universe potential buyers will be considering their options.

Are there bigger or better things happening around the same time?

This doesn’t have to be a like for like competitor either. Think about any sporting events that could take people away from yours.
Think about all the other event options people have, take a look at the cost, and again see if you need to adjust yours.

You need to take into account all the other options for where people could be spending their time.

Evaulate the compeition as fairly as you can. Don’t just discount for the sake of it. If you feel your even offers more value, (location, line up etc) then your higher price will be accepted

The eye of the storm

Events typically see a quiet time in between when tickets first go on sale and as the event gets closer.

Event organisers may have a great plan for these two peak periods but can often neglect the quiet period. So don’t.

Make sure you have set some budget aside to market your event during this time. Whether its on social media, some more email blasts or other forms of advertising.

In conclusion

When it comes to increasing online ticket sales, 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 keeping every 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!

Avoiding slow ticket sale FAQs

? How do I get more ticket sales?

Ensure you have the right price set, and consider introducing tiered pricing (e.g VIP). Ensure you also offer early bird tickets. Take a look at our 5 strategies for more ideas.

?️ How do you avoid slow ticket sales?

To avoid slow ticket sales you can offer incentives, such as early bird tickets at a slightly discounted rate. You could also sell tickets cheaper online than on the door. Finally, ensure you have a promotional plan laid.

? How can I sell event tickets quickly?

There are many ways you can do this, for example, you could offer discounts on large group purchases of tickets. You could have special deals to members of groups related to your event. You could hold flash sales on your website.

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 marketing testing method 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.

Comparison Shopping: What is it & 5 Ways to Prevent it

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Comparison shopping is one of eCommerce’s biggest problems – here’s how to solve it.

Product price comparison shopping is the scourge of the eCommerce retailer. It’s now easier than ever for a shopper to compare thousands of products and prices in just a few clicks. Thus, 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? Let’s start by looking at what it entails.

What Is Comparison Shopping?

Comparison shoping is common practice undertaken by consumers where they compare the price of multiple goods from multiple retailers before making a purchase decision. Price is frequently a deciding factor and comparison shopping is especially popular for purchases of higher-value goods and services.

How to prevent comparison shopping

To find this 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

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 eCommerce 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.

In the below example from one of Yieldify’s clients, LinenHouse, the brand has showcased its other decision-making criteria and display them prominently below its product categories. By focusing on other benefits such as the free shipping threshold, 14 day free returns policy and their Australian brand heritage – the consumer is encouraged to look beyond simply price.

Comparison shopping example | Yieldify

Essentially, if you don’t have the ability to promote the best price guarantee, consider which other proof points you can highlight instead. This is where clear brand USPs, displayed in the right place, can really help differentiate your brand offering.

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. It is 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. It’s 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. In the above example for a home and garden eCommerce brand, your eye is drawn immediately to their 5* ratings which provide reassurance. 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.

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 eCommerce 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 is 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 product 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:

Comparison shopping | Yieldify

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.

Comparison Shopping FAQs

❓ What is comparison shopping?

is a common practice undertaken by consumers where they compare multiple goods from multiple retailers before making a purchase decision. Price is frequently a deciding factor and comparison shopping is especially popular for purchases of higher-value goods and services.

? What is the purpose of comparison shopping?

The main purpose behind comparison shopping is attempting to find the best deal on a product or service.

? How does comparison shopping help the consumer?

Comparison shopping helps consumers make informed buying decisions by comparing price and other factors across a number of different potential suppliers. Consumers may also factor in information such as customer reviews, quality of service, levels of expertise, and the overall customer experience when weighing up which brand to choose.

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 the nail care brand Essie targeted new visitors with a competition using this tactic to boost entries and its customer database.

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!