Social Media and Content Marketing Case Study: Stylerunner

Stylerunner is an Australian online business specialising in women’s activewear. In the past three years, it has seen sales figures skyrocket, growing by a whopping 1736%. This is supremely impressive considering Australia’s limited market, and even more so when you consider that Stylerunner was launched in October 2012, and was a two-person operation. In the five years since, they have become the #1 women’s sportswear store in Australia (Stylerunner now have 64.1% of all online activewear sales in Australia).

Immediately, what is most familiar to most visitors on Stylerunner is its unassuming, almost typical e-commerce store layout. This goes to show, simply, that having a fancy and unique design is often not necessary for success. Much of Stylerunner’s success has been attributed to their clever social media and content marketing strategies, over more “traditional” aspects of digital marketing. In this article, we’ll further explore this strategy Stylerunner employs.

A Strong Social Media Presence

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In a short amount of time, Stylerunner has amassed 549k followers on Instagram, and 47k likes on Facebook. This is a staggering social media following, but it also begs the question: how did they get there?

Unsurprisingly, founder Julie Stevanja asserts that Stylerunner’s success is largely attributed to a building a strong social media presence early. At this time of writing, their Instagram account has over 12,000 photos uploaded – for its five years that its been around, this would mean that they have uploaded an average of six pictures a day. This is no mean feat when you think about it: a quick glance through their Instagram reveals that each picture posted is high-quality and purposefully crafted for their target audience. This success from their Instagram marketing plan is apparent when you see that Stylerunner’s posts often enjoys a high level of engagement from their followers.

Indeed, Stylerunner’s Instagram feed functions like a “mood board” of sorts, where appealing pictures are curated from different products and brands. This meticulously created Instagram feed is a great way to entice their target market into purchases, and also establishes them as authorities in the women’s activewear market.

Building Relationships with Influencers

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Stylerunner is known to consistently maintain their relationship with influencers on Instagram by gifting them with free products or by reposting their fitness photos. This further solidifies Stylerunner’s position as a leading destination for women’s activewear, and also extends their reach with the support of influencers. In many cases, Stylerunner does not even pay for these “partnerships”. They simply repost pictures of their customers who use the hashtag #Stylerunner or have the official Stylerunner account tagged in their photos. This means promotion is essentially free – many Instagram users are more than happy to use hashtags if it gives them a chance to be “featured” on a popular social media feed.

As Daniel Wellington has showed, a solid influencer marketing strategy is essential in many markets today – with the help of influencers, their business grew to $220M in revenue in just a year. Influencer marketing is especially important when you are in niches such as, but not limited to: Fashion, Grooming & Beauty, Sports, and Hobbies. However, it would be wise to exercise a degree of caution when utilising influencer marketing, as guidelines for transparency are much more stringent today than they used to be.

A Dedicated Content Marketing Plan

Triple-White is Stylerunner’s online magazine, dedicated to fitness, fashion, health and beauty, and tech. Stylerunner has created an entirely different domain for their content marketing efforts. With the wide range of topics and substantial content on the website, it is easy to see the aggressive content marketing strategy at play. The site also serves as an effective sales funnel – articles on fitness and fashion frequently promote products sold on Stylerunner.

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In addition to these style and fitness topics, Triple-White also dedicates a fraction of their writers’ efforts on healthy recipes, tech gadgets and apps, celebrity interviews and their workout routines. Writing about these topics do not usually allow for promotion of their activewear products, but they do it nonetheless. The reasons for doing so are simple. Writing about a wide range of topics that appeal to your target demographic helps in many ways:

  • Generating organic search traffic from long-tail keywords, and consequently, traffic to Stylerunner (via sales funnels)
  • Establishing Stylerunner as an authority site for activewear, style and fitness, and health – in the same demographic
  • Generating traffic via social media shares and likes, with the potential for good content to go viral

If you do not already have one, a content marketing plan is absolutely essential for e-commerce, for the reasons listed above.

Conclusion

Often, it can be too easy to get caught up in SEO/SEM strategies, and on-page optimisation in order to generate traffic and revenue. While they should still be the bread and butter of any e-Commerce business, it could be worthwhile to implement a highly aggressive social media and content marketing strategy. One of the main benefits is that this could greatly boost your  brand name and recognition much more effectively than SEO-related plansm which tend to have you aiming for product or industry-related keywords. When you have a brand name as recognisable as Stylerunner, you no longer have to worry about being at the mercy of Google and their ever vacillating search algorithm.

Interested in implementing a digital marketing strategy for your e-Commerce business? Web Design Market has all you need to succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape. Contact us today for a free quote!

How Google’s AMP Project is Affecting Your Business Online

Needless to say, most of our online business comes from Google’s organic search results (SEO). With the ubiquity of online browsing on mobile devices, Google now wants to achieve a consistent standard to apply to web pages when delivering content to any mobile device and tablet, ensuring that pages load elegantly and instantaneously.

How did they achieve it?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source framework launched by Google in February 2016. This framework changes how Google evaluates our SEO rankings by placing a higher priority on mobile performance. While there has been a huge focus on adapting websites for the limitations on mobile (high data costs, slow loading times, and poor content rendering), mobile browsers have, until AMP, lacked the benefits of a dedicated framework.

In order to reach this goal, Google has developed a new web page format – which is basically a simplified version of HTML  dedicated for mobile devices. By allowing the most performant design patterns and imposing restrictions on resource-heavy Javascript, AMP pages are dramatically faster than the average HTML page found on the web today.

With their determination to further improve loading speeds, Google uses server-side rendering of AMP elements to cache page contents on Google servers. This will allow the content in pages to reach the browser as quickly as possible. This strategy appears to be coming into fashion, as there are currently over two billion AMP pages online, on over 900,0000 domains internationally.

If you think that AMP only focuses solely on smaller devices, you are wrong. AMP will load in any modern desktop browser as the project’s own website is coded solely in AMP. This is a leap forward for mobile optimisation and theme responsiveness, as there is now a provision for mobile experiences that uses a discrete code, removing content that is redundant on small screens.

AMP and E-Commerce

Since we’ve established that websites that implement AMP have an SEO advantage on Google’s organic SEO, you might be wondering— how else can your eCommerce store benefit from AMP?

The biggest advantage that AMP shares with both media channels and eCommerce is speed, since faster loading sites will simply gain better opportunities to generate sales.

In this context, you could dramatically lower your online store’s loading speed for mobile by adopting a streamlined framework, your competitors could be reaping huge rewards over your clients. Imagine if your online store is making $100,000 per day: a one second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5m in lost sales every year (Kissmetrics).

Moreover, it is also possible to create AMP versions of Shopify pages through the API. Some of the apps in the Shopify App Store have also successfully leveraged this technology to provide a conversion service for clients.

AMPing up for the future

Henceforth, it is likely that AMP will see growth worldwide, given that Google has announced during a recent developer conference (AMP Conf) , that AMP will be applied over the search engines of Baidu, Sogou, and Yahoo Japan.

The open-source framework continues to build its impetus, and more plans for improvements are on the way, including third-party log-in and support for eCommerce analytics.

If you are worried about lacking behind the competition, or would like to know more about this issue, Web Design Market can certainly help with your digital marketing strategies; we have proven results from a large variety of clients. Contact us today for a free quote!

Amazon is coming to Australia: Five tips to prepare your business

With plans to begin operating in Australia by the end of 2018, Amazon’s arrival heralds a new era for Australian e-commerce and retail. Long established as an e-Commerce juggernaut, Amazon’s instantly recognisable brand name and their formidable logistics abilities are expected to pose a major threat to many retail stalwarts in Australia – household names such as Woolworths, Myer, Coles and Kmart are all gearing up for battle. It is clear that the majority of brick-and-mortar retailers in Australia will be feeling the brunt of Amazon’s arrival  – with retail sales projected to experience a significant decline in the coming years. However, what is less certain is how Amazon will affect the e-commerce landscape in Australia.

At Web Design Market, we are dedicated to helping our clients grow and expand their businesses on the online front. Amazon’s expansion Down Under will no doubt change our clients’ businesses in many ways. This article therefore serves to help business owners understand the impact of Amazon’s arrival, and also how they can prepare for a more competitive online retail landscape.

Understanding the Amazon Threat

AmazonThreat

Currently, many Australian businesses are either unaware, or unfazed by Amazon. In Commonwealth Bank’s recent Retail Insights report, it was found that only 70% of retailers were aware of Amazon’s plans for Australian expansion. Of this 70%, only 14% had a strategy ready for the challenge ahead of them; this means that less than 10% of retailers in Australia are adequately prepared!

This is very worrying when you consider the changes that are likely to come about as a result of Amazon’s arrival. To put the threat into perspective, let’s look at some facts and figures. Market research by Slice Intelligence has shown that Amazon is absolutely dominating the online retail market in the United States: In 2016, a whopping 43% of all online retail sales were done via Amazon –  total net sales of $136 billion in 2016.  And that’s just in the United States.

In Germany, Amazon’s second largest market, retailers such as Zalando and Otto are now far behind while Amazon holds 13.1% of the e-commerce share. German retailer Otto now comes in second, with just 3.8% of the e-commerce market share.

As a consultant for Amazon Australia was recently overheard saying, “[Amazon is] going to destroy the retail environment in Australia“. As brash as that statement sounds, how true is it? What, exactly, would happen to the Australian retail and e-commerce landscape when Amazon arrives? Analysts and experts can only predict the full extent of the impact, but here are some things we are certain of.

1. Prices will fall

Amazon’s arrival means that many products will become cheaper. We expect Amazon to undercut local retailers for their products – as they have been known to do so in the past. The online giant will no doubt be willing to post losses in exchange for gaining a foothold in market share, which will also likely lead to price cuts at other retailers as they try to stay competitive.

2. Expectations for shipping and order fulfilment will change

Amazon is known for its Prime service – with free shipping on millions of items that can be as fast as two hours to certain locations. This will make a massive difference in the expectations of consumers in retail. Amazon’s supply chain management and level of automation in their logistic systems is unparalleled – smaller businesses in Australia may soon find it hard to compete with Amazon for Prime products that customers can receive on the same day, and with free shipping.

3. Organic search traffic will be ‘siphoned’ by Amazon

The Amazon domain name is one of the most trusted and authoritative on the internet. Amazon’s arrival means that smaller, newer e-Commerce retailers will suddenly have to compete with a website that dominates organic search results on Google. For local e-Commerce businesses, this can be very worrying, especially if they do not have a solid SEO/AdWords strategy in place. Many businesses may see a dip in organic traffic with Amazon dominating the front page of Google.

Five Tips to Help You Compete with Amazon

With the three points outlined above, it is not hard to see how many Australian businesses will struggle under Amazon’s enormous power. However, there are certainly effective strategies that business owners can put together at the moment that may allow them to maintain their competitiveness. These are five actionable strategies that we would recommend to all e-Commerce businesses in Australia. These five strategies will help you start preparing for Amazon’s inevitable arrival such that you won’t be severely affected when the time comes.

1. Create an Amazon Seller account

AmazonFBA

As the adage goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Amazon’s arrival is bound to create some tough competition, so why not start selling your products with them? Amazon’s Seller program makes logistics a breeze. The Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) program gives sellers the ability to ship their products to a fulfilment center, where Amazon will handle shipping, tracking, and returns. This may mean lower overheads for you, since Amazon will most likely be able to fulfil orders at much lower shipping rates. Products sold through the FBA program also have free Prime shipping, which is enticing to customers shopping on Amazon.

In addition, selling your products on Amazon means a much greater exposure to your target markets. Amazon’s global reach means that your product can easily be introduced to a global market.

2. Focus on building relationships with customer service

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Amazon is a massive corporation, and its size and scale means that they are unable to provide personalised customer service. There is bound to be a more corporate, robotic feel to their customer support. What a smaller business can do, then, is strengthen their brand identity by creating meaningful customer relationships. There are many ways to do this, and some creativity may be required, but one actionable task that every business can start with is to improve communication via social media channels: respond quickly to customer enquiries, and keep your customer base in the loop with updates, promotions, and deals.

Businesses should now focus on going above and beyond in customer service – overdelivering on their promises. Stellar customer service and a strong brand identity are essential to creating an audience of loyal customers. Ultimately, this will help you stay competitive with Amazon more than anything else. Loyal customers purchase directly from you, and are also likely to spread positive word-of-mouth if they’ve had a good shopping experience. A smaller business with a reputation for fantastic customer support is likely to stick in consumers’ minds. The key here is to ensure that your customers feel like you care about them as a brand. A commonly-known fact is that customer retention is often much more profitable and cost-effective than customer acquisition, so keep this very important point in mind.

3. Create and market a customisable product

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Something as simple as engraving your customer’s name on your product could be enough to keep them from jumping over to Amazon. Allowing your customers to customise and personalise your products is a great way to differentiate yourself from other competitors in your niche. Introducing personalised products have proved to be an effective strategy for boosting sales, and your customers are much more likely to recommend your products to their friends and family because of the “uniqueness” that your brand offers. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to push your customers in the right direction – encourage them to share their customised products. You should also consider having “templates” set up for customisation, as it may be less daunting to a customer if they don’t have to create an entire design from scratch.

An under-looked benefit of introducing personalised items in your niche is that you can often glean valuable insights on consumer preferences – for example, if a particular colour combination for your customisable dress-shirts is doing especially well, you may consider introducing it as a mainstay in your product line.

4. Become an “authority” in your niche with content and email marketing

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One thing that Amazon lacks is dominance over niche markets. Their strategy of dominating the entire online retail space means that they will never be considered a premier/specialised retailer for any specific type of product. This is where you can come in: users who tend to make more careful purchase decisions would prefer to buy from a specialised website with good product recommendations and a wide selection. Therefore, by focusing on your specific niche and providing relevant and valuable content, you can establish thought leadership that will pay dividends in the long run. Content marketing is especially effective in this regard; for example, you can provide value to your audience on your social media channels by sharing informative and relevant content. We would also suggest incorporating other tasks in your content marketing strategies, such as writing regular blog posts, creating infographics and editorials, and regular email newsletters packed with interesting and creative content. Remember to show off your expertise in your field/market, and your brand could potentially go viral with the right content.

By establishing yourself as an authority in your niche, you can build a loyal online following that will trust your product selection and recommendations, and also return to you for repeat purchases.  Here are some examples of successful content marketing campaigns that may give you some ideas.

5. Offer free shipping and attractive promotions

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This last tip is the most obvious, but should not be underestimated. Many argue that free shipping is essential to surviving in today’s online retail environment – if you do not offer free shipping on all or selected products on your e-commerce site, you may quickly find throngs of online customers moving on to a platform that does – case in point, Amazon.

However, we understand that this is not suited to all businesses. Perhaps you have products that are costly to ship. You can still adapt, however, by providing attractive discounts and deals, or by offering super-speedy shipping. The key here is to provide massive savings or value that you think would be enough to retain customers.

Conclusion

To the average business owner, it may be very daunting and scary knowing that Amazon’s arrival in Australia will bring about massive changes. However, we strongly believe that a solid marketing plan can overcome many of the challenges ahead. We hope that this article has helped you better understand the threats many businesses are about to face, and how they can adapt to it. This article was not intended to be the be-all-end-all of competing with Amazon, but rather, a quick primer on the many strategies that businesses can explore to strengthen their brand in the face of an e-commerce Goliath.

In this regard, Web Design Market can certainly help with your digital marketing strategies; we have proven results from a large variety of clients. Contact us today for a free quote!

AfterPay, zipPay, zipMoney, OpenPay, Sezzle: Choosing the Right “Buy Now, Pay Later” Program for Your Online Business

With the recent introduction of “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) solutions in Australia, many businesses are now scrambling to integrate these programs with their online front. While these services can be very beneficial for increasing sales revenue, there are now enough options out there that merchants can be confused as to which would best integrate with their business. This article will analyse the different “buy now, pay later” programs that are currently operating in Australia, with a detailed breakdown of each service.

Why integrate “Buy Now, Pay Later” services? 

Layby payment options have existed for a long time in brick-and-mortar stores, but this often carries significant risk for the retailer. This is where BNPL services come in: companies such as ZipPay provide customers with an alternative payment option: they can decide to pay for their online purchases over a period of time. For example, with AfterPay, customers pay with fortnightly instalments. These services are usually integrated with your online store, with the option to use them at checkout.

The main benefit of such services is that they have the potential to substantially increase your sales revenue. As has been the case since the advent of e-Commerce, the more checkout options are available to the customer, the better your web conversion rates will be. Compounding on this simple reason is the fact that these new BNPL payment options can lead to a significant difference in a customer’s purchase decision – many merchants who have integrated AfterPay have seen an increase in their Average Order Value. At the same time, these service providers take on the risk for the timed payments, and charge the merchant a small fee for their trouble.

Afterpay vs zipPay vs zipMoney vs OpenPay vs Sezzle

With that in mind, now comes the tricky part for many merchants: deciding which service to use. Understanding the pros and cons of each service is crucial, as each service has differences that make the choice significant enough to affect your online business.

 At the moment, there are five companies offering Buy Now, Pay Later solutions in Australia:

Afterpay

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Afterpay gives customers the option to pay two weeks later, and in four fortnightly instalments – the first instalment payment is immediate for first-time users and for orders amounting to $500 or more. Instalments are charged directly to the customer’s credit/debit card, and Afterpay charges a $10 late fee for instalments unpaid.

 

Integration

Afterpay offers integration with many e-Commerce back-ends: Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Neto, IslandPacific, Infinity, Futura4Retail, and Commerce Vision. Integrating Afterpay with these platforms is relatively easy. For example, integration with WooCommerce simply involves installing a plugin.

After integration, the option to pay with Afterpay appears on your product pages, like this:

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In addition, Afterpay has a technical support team of specialists who can easily assist you with integration and maintenance.

Costs

 Merchants

Afterpay charges 30 cents per transaction, plus 4-6% of the order value. This is higher than credit card companies and most other BNPL services.

Customers

On the other hand, customers do not pay any fees or interest for their purchases.

ZipPay and ZipMoney

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ZipMoney

ZipPay and ZipMoney are affiliated companies that offer very similar interest-free BNPL services, but with some basic differences.

For one, ZipPay functions like Afterpay, charging a small percentage of the total order value to the merchant. The difference here is that ZipPay is designed for smaller purchases (under $1000), while ZipMoney is targeted at merchants and retailers who sell more expensive products and services (such as educational courses, digital cameras, furniture etc). ZipMoney allows for purchases up to $10,000, which is significantly higher than with ZipPay. Therefore, the fee structure and procedure for these two services differ significantly.

ZipPay has no fixed instalment payment plan, which means a customer can choose to pay via weekly or monthly instalments. Customers are required to pay at least $40 a month for their purchases.

Integration

Both ZipPay and ZipMoney are easily integrated with e-Commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCartel, and more. In addition, as with most of these new BNPL startups, ZipPay & ZipMoney have a technical support team ready to assist retailers with integration.

Like Afterpay, the option for ZipPay/ZipMoney appears on your product page like so:

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ZipPay and ZipMoney: Note the price difference between these two items.

Costs

ZipPay:

Merchants

ZipPay charges 15 cents per transaction, plus a 2-4% commission fee to its merchant, which is noticeably lower than AfterPay.

Customers

ZipPay is interest-free for customers; however, they will have to pay a “maintenance” fee of $5 if they have an outstanding balance at the end of each month.

ZipMoney:

Merchants

ZipMoney has comparatively stringent requirements for merchants – to be eligible, they are required to have had a revenue of at least $500,000 for the last financial year, and must be in operation for 12 months or more. In addition, ZipMoney fees vary based on the interest-free period chosen by merchants. For example: A merchant who chooses to integrate ZipMoney on their webstore with a 3 month interest-free payment plan is charged a 3% fee, and 6 months of interest-free payments would incur a 5% fee, and so on.

Customers

Unlike ZipPay, ZipMoney charges the customer an interest rate for purchases. Also, ZipMoney customers are subject to credit checks, while services like Afterpay do not require any.

OpenPay

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Openpay is a relatively new BNPL startup – at the time of writing, their service is offered on a small handful of online retailers. The service shares many similarities with AfterPay and ZipMoney/ZipPay, and can be thought of as having a combination of features of the two. OpenPay has a purchase limit of $10,000, and also allows for a longer financing term of up to 12 months.

Integration

Currently, OpenPay only supports integration with WooCommerce and Magento. Since the startup is relatively new, we can expect integration with more e-Commerce platforms in the near future. From what we’ve found, payment options with OpenPay appear only upon checkout:

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Costs

Merchants

Openpay does not reveal the fee structure for their service; at the moment, they determine rates based on the type and size of your business.

 

Customers

OpenPay offers interest-free payments for customers. However, late fees apply, and customers have to pay a nominal fee of $2-3 for long-term financing options.

Sezzle

 sezzle

Sezzle is a Minneapolis-based company founded in 2016, with their services currently used by around 700 online retailers. In November 2018, Sezzle lined up a $100 million line of credit from investment firm Bastion, so expect further growth from this startup.

Integration

Currently, Sezzle supports integration with Spotify, WooCommerce, Magento, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, with plans to add Big Commerce and 3D cart to its list soon. At check-out, consumers who are first-time Sezzle users will fill out their details, after which Sezzle will determine their creditworthiness based on the bank account, cash flow, fees charged and so on.

Costs

Merchants

Sezzle charges 6% + 30cents per transaction. For each transaction, the merchant receives the full payment upfront, unless otherwise agreed. As Sezzle is a US-based company, transactions are processed in USD, and currency exchange rates will vary.

Customers

Sezzle offers interest-free payment plans with four instalments; the first payment is charged at checkout, with the remaining payments charged every 2 weeks. However, a $10 fee applies to failed payments, as well as a $5 fee for rescheduled payments.

The Breakdown

Service Provider

Payment Plans Merchant Fees e-Commerce Platforms

Credit Line

AfterPay

Fixed; four Fortnightly interest-free payments 30cents plus 4-6% of total order value WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Neto, IslandPacific, Infinity, Futura4Retail, Commerce Vision

Up to $1200

ZipPay

Flexible (weekly or monthly); interest-free payments, minimum $40 a month 15 cents plus 2-4% of total order value

WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Neto

Up to $1000

ZipMoney

Three-month guaranteed interest-free payments

Varies depending on interest-free period (e.g. 3% for 3 month interest-free)

WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Neto

Up to $10,000

OpenPay Interest-free payments, small fee for long-term payments (up to 12 months) Varies, by consultation WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento

Up to $10,000

Sezzle 4 interest-free payments spread over 6 weeks  6% + 30cents per transaction WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Big Commerce (Coming Soon), 3DCart (Coming Soon)

Conclusion

At the moment, ZipPay and Afterpay are the most commonly used BNPL services in Australia. While Afterpay charges a substantially higher fee on their services, they feature a wider range of integration options with e-Commerce platforms, and are now accepted at a wide variety of major retailers and webstores, such as Big W and Myer. OpenPay is currently heavily focused on offering their payment plans at physical stores, but this could change soon as they hope to expand their portfolio of online merchants. Sezzle is an emerging player in BNPL services; while mainly used by US-based retailers, Australian retailers could benefit if they are looking to capture North American customers.

With all that has been said, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for your e-Commerce business: this depends on several factors such as your product offering and target market/demographic. We hope this article serves its purpose as a quick primer on this new component of e-Commerce that is quickly becoming essential to improving sales. If you are interested in integrating a BNPL service with your online business, why not contact us today for a free quote and consultation?

7 Ways to Reduce Cart Abandonment

Why are your shopping carts not converting? According to Baymard Institute, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned.

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Needless to say, shopping cart abandonment is a big problem. Why do shoppers leave without paying? There are a few possible reasons:

  • Presented with unexpected costs – 56% of shoppers claim that unexpected costs is the reason they leave without completing their purchase. When they decide to checkout, they were most likely presented with additional fees and charges that weren’t listed on the product page, therefore, the product doesn’t seem as hot to them anymore.
  • Website crashed or was too slow to load- Many online retailers host their websites on poor performing servers, leading to slow website loading and crashes. If this is the case, you would want to switch to a reliable web host to sell your products.
  • Price presented in a foreign currency- It is really important that you display, or provide the ability to show, what the cost will be in the shopper’s local currency. This will help save your customers’ time and hassle of wondering what the exchange rate will be and how much it is actually going to cost them. As most online retailers are now accepting international orders, it is important to keep up with the competition.

Methods to help make your checkout more effective:

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1. Show Images

Clear thumbnails of the actual items will provide a clear picture to customers.

2. Display Security Logos

The Statistia study showed that 17% of shoppers don’t purchase because they are concerned about security. In a test published by Get Elastic, an online retailer found that by placing a security badge on their site sales increased 4-6%.

3. Make Editing the Cart Easy

Shoppers don’t want to be locked in to the checkout page. If they made a mistake in their selection or need to edit it for some reason make sure it’s easy for them to do so.

4. Offer Different Payment Methods

Consider offering payment by Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Paypal as well as other payment solutions depending on the audience and demographic. FreshGigs reported a 15% increase in their checkout process simply by enabling the option to pay with American Express, which wasn’t offered out of the box with their payment processor.

5. Avoid Registrations

One of the biggest turnoffs in some checkout processes is being forced to register on the website in order to complete the purchase. A study by User Interface Engineering showed a 45% increase in customer purchases when forced registration was removed from the checkout page.

6. Offer occasional Free Shipping

A Deloitte study found 69% of shoppers are more likely to shop with online retailers who offer free shipping.

7. Offer Price Guarantees and Refunds

Offering a price guarantee you give the shopper confidence and peace of mind to the shopper’s experience.

Many online retailers are losing money daily due to cart abandonment. By implementing the techniques mentioned above, you can get more shoppers to complete your checkout process the first time. Also bear in mind that there will always be cart abandonment, hence, your goal should be directed to increase sales instead of converting every lead. Good luck!

Contact us for more information on e-commerce development. As a full-suite digital agency, we can set up your online business or implement improvements that will optimise your customer’s online shopping experience.

References:

Baymard.com. (2017). 37 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics – Cart & Checkout Usability – Baymard Institute. [online] Available at: https://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate.

2016, O. (2017). Shopping cart abandonment rate by industry 2016 | Statistic. [online] Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/457078/category-cart-abandonment-rate-worldwide/.

6 Top SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Look out for these common SEO mistakes you might be making. If you’re looking to revise your digital marketing strategy, little improvements can go a long way to drive higher traffic to your site and increase ROI.

  1. Incomplete On-Page SEO

Often, there are many small things websites can do to fine-tune on-page elements, which from the perspective of Google, build up your site quality in tangible ways.

This includes quality web copy, which features relevant information and keywords, presented in a way that is easy to read and scan. Perhaps more overlooked elements include page titles, meta descriptions, and image tags.

  1. Ignoring UX

Your website functions as shop front and shopkeeper – not only do first impressions matter, how it interacts with customers after that will help or hurt the journey towards conversion. Prioritizing User Experience will aid with both conversions and SEO; a website that is fast-loading and easy to navigate is a basic foundation for a user to want to spend time reading, browsing, clicking around, shopping.

Though it’s still largely a mystery how Google measures bounce rate, it’s acknowledged that how long a user spends on a website and how much they engage with the content will affect its quality rating, and eventually, its ranking.

  1. Ignoring Mobile Responsiveness

As we’ve covered before, the future of retail lies in mobile-ready online shopping experiences. Google has also started experimenting with mobile-first indexing, which will prioritize websites with mobile versions when it comes to rankings. If you haven’t haven’t already, start placing more focus on optimizing your website content for mobile platforms, or risk being left behind in the dust. Ensure that your navigation, text and image content are presented the way you intend them to across mobile and desktop platforms — by making your website responsive or dynamic.

  1. Not Using the Right Keywords

A good rule of thumb to live by for SEO — for small businesses — is the more specific, the better. Driving traffic to your website isn’t the be-all, end-all of SEO; higher traffic does not necessarily result in conversions.

It can be easy to fall into the habit of optimizing for broad, generic keywords. While this option has its place if you have a certain purpose for doing so, optimizing by using lower-traffic phrases that are specific and also lower in competition (‘long-tail keywords’) can often lead to higher conversions.

Avoid stuffing keywords into your content — not only does this make you articles sound unnatural, Google also has algorithms that will look out for content that might sound like spam.

  1. Not Optimizing for Local Search

While it seems basic, an often-overlooked part of SEO is using region-specific keywords. If you’re offering goods or services in a specific city or region, avoid global keywords. How Google takes into account local search is a bit muddled and complex, but for small businesses offering a good or service, using local rather global keywords is a best practice for driving both traffic and conversions.

As always, include those keywords in page titles and meta descriptions. It will also be helpful to list your business on local business listings, as well as search engines related to businesses, e.g. Google Places and Bing — these will link back to your website and aid in search rankings.

  1. Not Using Analytics to See What Converts

Analytics is not only important for measuring results as you go along in your SEO strategy – it’s also important as a starting point to assess where you’re doing well and where you have opportunities to improve. Using tools such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster can allow you to set objectives, monitor objective results, and figure out which areas are worth it to focus your efforts on.

Interested in driving more traffic to your website and getting more conversions via SEO? Contact us or fill out a form to enquire about our SEO packages or for a thorough website audit.

Opportunities in Mobile Marketing for Small-to-Medium Businesses

The verdict is in. According to a report by Newstore, retailers have been slow in shifting their attention to mobile marketing and sales. This, in spite of an industry-wide consensus that the future of retail rests with our smartphones.

What does this mean for small-to-medium sized businesses? Newstore scored businesses by a few categories: Mobile Experience, Search and Share, Personalization and Engagement, Path to Purchase, and Fulfilment. For small-to-medium sized businesses, these parameters are useful in evaluating whether your digital marketing strategy has placed enough priority on mobile readiness.

In the past few months, increasingly more discussion has turned to the opportunities for growth in mobile marketing.

The ubiquity of mobile internet usage means that consumers are looking up information, browsing, and researching products on their smartphones. Thus, it’s important to not only consider the transactional journey of the consumer but also the complete experience. This ranges from having a mobile-friendly website with rich content and an easy path to purchase, to considering your Google mobile rank or the accessibility of your contact information and location.

Main Takeaway

At the core of it, the gaps that currently exist for mobile marketing points to opportunities to take advantage of the difference between how users consume media on smartphones vs. on their desktop. With even major retailers lagging behind on fully taking advantage of this trend, it’s prime time to rethink whether you’re giving enough attention to mobile advertising and marketing.