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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!

17 Amazon Prime Day 2019 Stats and Facts

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

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

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon Prime Day 2019: What to Expect

And what should we expect from Amazon Prime Day 2019?

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

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

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

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

Prime Day Deals to Know

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

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

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

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

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

Prime Day: A Marketer’s Perspective

What can marketers take away from Prime Day?

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

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

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

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

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


CRO Tools: 5 Must-Have Features to Look Out For

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

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

The customer journey can be a long and winding road. Along the way there are twists and turns — and hopefully not too many speed bumps. Think of conversion rate optimization (CRO) as the process of improving this journey so that you can better drive customers toward a conversion.

The conversion rate optimization tools help you eliminate any detours that prevented conversions — and they ease the twists and turns on the path, making the customer journey as smooth and seamless as possible.

CRO for eCommerce stores - Get a Yieldify demo

Why CRO tools?

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

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

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

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

5 features to look out for in your CRO tools

1. A data-driven foundation

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

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

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

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

2. Effective segmentation

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

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

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

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

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

3. Seamless A/B testing

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

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

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

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

4. Mobile focus

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

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

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

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

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

5. Fast and easy personalization

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

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

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

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

CRO for eCommerce stores - Get a Yieldify demo

5 Fashion E-Commerce Trends & Analysis for 2020

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Which fashion e-commerce trends are taking off in 2020?

In 2020, the internet is a consumer’s first stop when looking for the latest fashion. So it’s no wonder fashion e-commerce is a fertile space for game-changing trends that set the tone for other industries. And in such a crowded, competitive space, the top brands are doing everything they can to innovate and stay at the front of the pack.

Now that we’re almost half way through 2020, here are some of the top fashion e-commerce trends to emerge.

The rise of experiential e-commerce

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

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

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

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

Fashion e-commerce gets personal

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

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

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

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

Mobile becomes the standard

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: free ebook

Instagram leads the way

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

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

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

The sharing economy extends to fashion

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

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

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: in conclusion

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

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

Fashion e-commerce trends: free ebook

B2C Lead Generation: 4 Strategies for Success

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

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

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

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

Yieldify Scribbler B2C lead generation campaign

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

2. Get ahead through personalization like Marks and Spencer

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

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

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

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

Marks and Spencer lead generation case study

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

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

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

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

Kiehls email sign-up overlay

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

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

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

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

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

Want to grow your lead generation program?

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

GDPR and Marketing: One Year On

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

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

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

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

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

GDPR and marketing databases: the biggest losers

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

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

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

GDPR and Marketing: compliance or consent?

What types of businesses were most impacted by GDPR?

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

GDPR and Marketing: impact by size and by industry

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

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

GDPR and Marketing: database regrowth by industry

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

GDPR and Marketing: regrowth by size

How have marketers recovered from GDPR?

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

GDPR and marketing

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

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

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

Thomas Cook Airlines: a GDPR compliant lead generation strategy

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

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

Did the impact of GDPR meet with marketers’ expectations?

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

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

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

GDPR and Marketing: how expectations were met

The impact of GDPR: in conclusion

This time last year, marketers were heading into the unknown – but our data shows largely positive results when it comes to the efforts being made to rebuild email databases in a post-GDPR world.

While the strategies to date have worked well for some, there are still areas for improvement when it comes to the GDPR, marketing, and future data governance strategies.

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


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

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

The Pitfalls of Website Personalization: What IT leaders should know

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

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

Website personalization organizational challenges

Source: BCG Global Survey on Personalization

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

How does personalization benefit IT?

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

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

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

What role should IT take in a website personalization project?

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

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

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

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

What are some personalization pitfalls to avoid?

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

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

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

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

Free download: avoiding the pitfalls of personalization

#AskYieldify: Google Shopping

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

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

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

What is Google Shopping?

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

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

Why use Google Shopping?

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

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

Source: Adthena Search Advertising Report 2018

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

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

What happens when Google Shopping traffic arrives on-site?

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

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

How can I get a better ROI from Google Shopping?

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

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

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

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

What are some examples of optimized landing pages?

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

Google Shopping: beauty example

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

Google Shopping example: highlighting USPs

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

Google shopping example: highlighting bestsellers

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

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

Google Shopping example: highlighting reviews



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


How These Six Travel Trends Are Impacting the Customer Journey

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

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

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

Mobile optimization

Smartphones have become an essential part of traveling. For Americans, more than 70% of all travelers claim to “always” use their smartphone while on travel. Why? Smartphones give travelers easy access to researching activities, attractions, restaurants, shopping centers and directions in areas they are unfamiliar with. What does this mean for you?

Your website absolutely must be optimized for mobile devices. Some businesses have even focused totally on mobile, such as HotelTonight, an accommodation booking app that takes advantage of the location-based nature of mobile browsers, as well as tapping into the rise in last-minute booking behavior (but more on that later!). Recently acquired by Airbnb, it’s clearly doing something right.

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

Website personalization

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

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

Travel trends: website personalization
TravelUp In-Page Personalization

Voice & Digital Assistants

Voice and digital assistants, also known as Artificial Intelligence (AI), are another rising travel trend to take note of. In fact, 1 in 3 travelers now utilize AI to research, book, and explore travel options before and after they arrive at their intended destination. As a customer journey tool, these features help provide customers with perfectly integrated automated support that gives their experience a personal touch. On the other hand, you can use AI to automate various customer care tasks. In this case, you will need to focus on good image segmentation techniques so that your model can learn its tasks more effectively

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

Baby boomer behavior

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

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

travel trends: reduce abandonment

Millennials and Generation Z

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

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

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

Sam Willan, General Manager, StudentUniverse UK

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

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

Last-minute booking

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

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

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

Travel Customer Journey FAQs

?️ How micro moments are reshaping the travel customer journey?

Travel micro-moments start as soon as people have the idea of a holiday. There are 4 main categories dreaming, planning, booking, and experiencing. This means that travel brands need to be present for each micro-moment to earn and re-earn each user’s consideration, in each micro-moment they have.

? How many touch points are there in the travel customer journey?

There can be hundreds of different touchpoints in the travel customer journey due to the amount of research and the time it takes for customers to book their holiday. From finding the right location, flights, accommodation etc. there will be many touchpoints.

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics

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

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

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

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

Q1 2019 vs. Q4 2018

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

Here are the headline stats:

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

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

When it comes to conversions, timing is everything

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

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: time of day data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics: day of week data

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

Week by week, when were the peaks?

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

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

The key takeaways from these Q1 2019 e-commerce statistics

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

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

Meet the Team: Lana Kropyvna, Head of Design

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

Next up: Lana Kropyvna, Head of Design

What’s your role at Yieldify?

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

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

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

What did you do before you joined the team here?

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

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

Tell us about the part the Design function plays at Yieldify

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What trends do you expect to see become more popular?

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

Quickfire questions

What do you like best about working at Yieldify?

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

What’s your proudest achievement since joining?

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

What was your biggest learning?

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

Easter E-commerce Tips

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Easter e-commerce is expected to see 19% growth between 2018 and 2022. Capitalize on the opportunity with these tips to help make your spring marketing strategy a success.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2018 made up 9.6% of all sales. In fact, March and April of 2018 saw e-commerce sales totalling more than $18 billion. Analyzing and understanding what these trends mean can help marketers understand the opportunity and pinpoint the best strategies for conversion rate optimization, so let’s take a look at some Easter economics.

Easter Economics

Experts predict shoppers to spend an average of $151 each on Easter-related items. In fact, 2018 showed us that roughly eight out of every ten adults make plans to celebrate Easter. (For those who are not planning to celebrate the holiday, Easter sales still help increase seasonal spending.)

Source: NRF

Of those Easter consumers between 18 and 34 years of age, 85% are expected to celebrate Easter in 2019. (Additionally, 80% of 35- to 54-year olds and 74% of those 55-years and older are also expected to celebrate Easter based on previous stats.)

With consumers looking to personalize their traditions, e-commerce provides an easy way to research and retail the products they want. For many shopping for the holiday, Easter planning typically begins at least one week prior to the actual celebration. (In fact, Easter shopping has traditionally reversed downward trends previously observed around February each year.)

Easter celebration trends help e-commerce marketers and business owners to identify the specific reasons consumers visit their sites. For example, 65% of consumers shop for Easter items based on traditions. However, 31% of Easter shoppers are inspired by seasonal sales or social activities. Store displays attract 22% of Easter sales; exclusive products inspire another 21% of shoppers to buy. Finally, retailer events attract 11% of Easter shoppers.

Source: NRF

Easter Marketing Strategies

It’s clear Easter e-commerce represents a huge opportunity for retail marketers, so here are three Easter marketing strategies that will help boost your e-commerce potential this year.

1. Organize an Easter Egg Hunt

An Easter Egg hunt brings out the inner child in everyone. What better way to increase traffic, boost sales, and cater to younger consumers looking to celebrate Easter?0

To create your own digital Easter egg hunt, start with thinking about what types of “eggs” you can hide throughout your site as well as the rewards when consumers find them. For example, hide egg photos in some of your less visited pages. Share hints on email and across your social media channels to encourage your subscribers and followers to visit your website.

The reward for locating each egg or a number of eggs could mean your visitors receive a promo code or discount on certain items found on your e-commerce site. This gamification element helps drive engagement with easter traffic, capitalizing on visitors who are Easter celebrants and those simply looking for seasonal sales.

And it doens’t have to stay online. Marks and Spencer were one of the first brands to utilize Instagram stories to host an egg hunt within it’s flagship Singapore store, brining together the online and offline worlds to drive engagement with their followers and visitors.

M&S Singapore used Instagram to bring a digital egg-hunt to life in-store

2. Holiday personalization

Personalization comes in many flavors. Depending on the products you sell, your Easter marketing strategy may include various ways to personalize and customize consumer purchases. For example, personalized Easter eggs have long been a popular gift for spring. But how can you bring this idea of personalization to life on your e-commerce website?

Thorntons offer customizable, personalized eggs. How can you apply this to your website?

One of the easiest ways to deliver website personalization is via self-segmentation. Holidays tend to mean gifts, and from Easter baskets to a new spring wardrobe, Easter is no exception. Asking dwelling visitors if they’re shopping for themselves or someone else, re-engages them and makes it easy to personalize their journey.

Another tactic is to highight your unique personalization services to your visitors. This is something luxury brand Montblanc does successfully around key holiday periods – and year round!

Highlighting it’s free services such as engraving, embossing, gift wrapping and more helped the brand boost conversions significantly with different visitor segments. The campaign shown below generated a 41.4% uplift in conversions (read the full case study to learn more!)

Montblanc offers personalization and customization to visitors

3. Easter Urgency

Another powerful tactic to try as part of your Easter marketing strategy is to create a sense of urgency. This works well for any event with a natural deadline such as Black Friday, Christmas or your own sale periods.

Ensure you’re tying together your email campaigns with the experience the visitor gets when they arrive on-site. If you have a one-day sale happening, put this front and centre. Try a countdown timer to add to the feeling of urgency we get when we see time passing by. Adding an animated element to this is proven to drive more conversions, as we found with ticketing company We Are FSTVL.

Social proof is another great way to induce urgency. There are many ways this can be incorporated into your website to give consumers the confidence they need to buy.

One proven conversion optimization tactic in this area is to use Dynamic Social Proof to show how many other people are looking at a particular product online. But even within this, it’s important to A/B test what works best for your audience. Bathroom retailer Soak.com found that social proof worked best when its visitors had time to browse and consider their purchase at lunchtime. As consumers look to partake in some spring DIY it’s worth trying out this tactic to see how it impacts your conversions.

Do Your Homework

E-commerce marketing can be a challenge, even for experts. If you’re struggling with developing an Easter marketing strategy that will help conversion rate optimization, help is at hand. Download our Easter E-commerce tipsheet today to get 5 more conversion rate optimization ideas for your customer journey this spring season.

#AskYieldify: How to Build Customer Loyalty and Improve Retention

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Customer loyalty and retention | Yieldify

In this series, we put the big e-commerce questions to our team of expert consultants. This month, we’re talking customer loyalty and retention with Mark Murray, Yieldify’s Head of Travel.

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

Why care about customer loyalty?

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

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

Yet, despite these oft-cited statistics, marketers are still pretty firmly focused on acquisition, with more than half in a recent survey stating that they spend 60% or more of their time and resources on acquisition. But some marketers are coming around to the idea that it’s not all about acquisition, by digging into their own data to understand the value of loyal visitor segments.

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

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

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

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

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

How can brands leverage customer loyalty to drive conversions?

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

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

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

Skyn Iceland: building loyalty and lifetime value with personalization

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

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

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

How can I build customer loyalty as a luxury brand?

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

For instance, a luxury department store tested out placing a points-led message front and center to drive uptake of its loyalty program. However, the analysis revealed that this ‘push’ style message was not having a positive impact.

With this learning, the brand was able to quickly update the format of the messaging to act more as a reminder, giving users the choice to interact if interested, rather than forcing the message on them.

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

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

Building customer loyalty and improving retention aren’t just about customer loyalty programs. It’s about providing value and driving engagement, fortunately, there are lots of ways you can do this.

Post-purchase is the perfect opportunity to point users toward other content or channels you want to highlight, such as social media platforms, as you can then build a much more regular rapport with them.

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

Interestingly, post-purchase can also be a great moment in which to secure loyalty scheme membership. At this point in the customer journey, you have enough data to make a pretty compelling and personalized offer to your audience.

One technique we have used successfully is by dynamically populating messages with how many points visitors could earn, based on the purchase that has just been completed. A recent campaign with a travel brand drove uplifts of +5% in conversion rate by showing this alongside USPs.

Building loyalty and lifetime value in travel

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

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

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

This is something that should potentially be done after the booking is complete and before they travel, that way you can be assured they’re rating the booking process and experience of your site, rather than the holiday itself!

Introducing In-Page Personalization from Yieldify

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In-Page Personalization

Our biggest launch this year will revolutionize your personalization strategies

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

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

What is In-Page Personalization?

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

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

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

In-Page Personalization example on retail mobile device

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

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

Who is it for?

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

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

In-Page Personalization displayed on the NEST Fragrances website

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

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

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

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

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

And here’s another example from award winning OTA TravelUp.

TravelUp In-Page Personalization

Sticky campaigns allowed TravelUp to situate a ‘Fly Now Pay Later’ message seamlessly and in context across all devices – anchored to the ‘book now’ button on the booking page. This was initially shown to all visitors who reached the booking page, based on the hypothesis that this behavior demonstrated high intent and that conversion would, therefore, be likely. 

However, the results told a different story, and so TravelUp sought to learn from this. With the flexibility of the Yieldify Platform, the targeting for the campaign was quickly adjusted to include only new users, this time with the hypothesis that the ‘Fly Now Pay Later’ message would be more attractive to those visitors in research mode, who had perhaps not yet saved up to book their flights. With the adjusted targeting, TravelUp proved its hypothesis correct – new visitors in research mode were more likely to convert when shown this sticky campaign. The message drove a +5.24% uplift in conversions among this target group.

How does In-Page Personalization work?

It works in two very simple ways:

1.Sticky campaigns

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

2. Embedded campaigns

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

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

Why bother though?

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

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

David Gomez, Insurance Director at AllClear Travel

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

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

How do I get In-Page Personalization?

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

To find out more, request a free demo.

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

Meet Your Visitors: E-commerce Segmentation Statistics

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

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

So, who are they?

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

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

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

Which visitor segment drives the most traffic?

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

And how about average order values?

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

Which visitor segments drive the most revenue?

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

Source: Yieldify data

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

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

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

What are the average bounce rates for these visitor segments

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

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

Conclusion

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

Want more data and insights like this? Check out our other resources.

Segmentation for e-commerce ebook

#Journey2019: An interview with James Boyle from Flight Centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks James, looking forward to next week!

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

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

Campaigns of the Month: February 2019

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Check out the Campaigns of the Month for February 2019!

How NEST Fragrances helps visitors discover best-selling products

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


How Borough Kitchen drives awareness with returning visitors

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

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

Alice Ribton, Customer Success Manager, Yieldify

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

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

Alice Ribton, Customer Success Manager at Yieldify

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

#Journey2019: An interview with Sam Willan from StudentUniverse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks Sam!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Remember, this is business as usual

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gone in 60 seconds

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

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

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

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

 

Segment your audience

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

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

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

However, don’t just focus on the romantic.

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

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

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

 

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

Offer a little guidance

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

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

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

It’s not all about gifts

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

 

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

Get your visitors to fall in love with you

Valentine’s is an opportunity for e-commerce stores to start the year off right. Take advantage of an increase in traffic to test out which messages and tactics work best to drive conversions and improve the customer journey. 

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