How to get more conversions on your E-commerce site

Clothing & Apparel, E-commerce, Web Tips

Today, online shoppers are highly informed on the products they want to buy. Getting them to chose your product over someone else’s has and always will be the key to a successful business. So how do you convince your potential customers to buy your product?

One successful way has been to offer coupons or discounts on the item, which is usually a one-way street. The customer gets what they want, and you may never see or hear from them again.  The best approach in this situation is to ask for their email address, while offering them a discount in return. So, how do you know when to ask the question? Right when they enter the site? No, that would more likely turn customers away, and people don’t like popups to show right away, especially if they frequent your site. There is a smarter way to make this happen, and I’ll show you the FREE tools to do it, and with little, to NO coding knowledge required! Seriously, your 16 year old nephew Justin could do this.

Let’s get started

The first step is to head over to www.sumome.com and watch the video on how their plugin works. The code they supply you can be easily added to the <HEAD> of your website. If you’re using Magento/NRO you can add it under System>Configuration>Design and look for the HTML Head section (see below).

SumoMe code screenshot

Once it’s in, save it and head to your Home Page. You’ll have a little blue box to the top-right side of your website. Click it, and Sign Up for an account. From there, you can click on the Sumo Store, where they offer some other cool additional plugins. The one we want here is the List Builder. If you open the List Builder, you’ll see the green “settings” option. In there you can change things like the color of the popup, what text is displayed, and more. Here is where you’ll put your amazing copy such as “Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll give you 15% off your order!” or “Get 15% off your order by entering your email address below”

Now for the cool part

You’ll also have the ability to change the Timing of the popup. For our use, we’re going to pick “Smart” with a frequency of 2 Minutes. This can be changed of course, but what it’s doing is saying that if the visitor is on your site for more than 2 minutes, then allow this popup to be shown. Now the “Smart” setting is really cool but very simple. When the visitor moves their mouse outside of your webpage (let’s say they want to close their browser window), the popup displays which gives you a greater chance of converting that visitor to a customer.

So where do the emails go?

You have the option to connect with a third party service, like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, to not only collect these email addresses, but also to assign them to a list for your weekly newsletter, or to automatically send out a coupon for that 15% off you promised them. Alternately you can download the email list from the plugin as a CSV file, to import into Counterpoint’s Customer Connect, or any other service you might use.

Hooray for more customers!

At this point, you’ve got a free tool that provides an easy way to convert a visitor who may be on the fence about purchasing a product from your online store, and it took you all of 15-20 minutes to setup, right? And it’s a benefit to you because you get an email address to add to your fun-tastic newsletter, and possibly drive more sales through that as well! It’s a win-win (and I don’t use that term lightly)!

By the way, if you haven’t already signed up for our newsletter, now’s just about as good a time as any. We provide free tips, like this one, and many other including social media tips, new retail technologies and more!

The Rise of Omni Channel Retailers

Clothing & Apparel, E-commerce, Retail

Consumers increasingly embrace digital technologies and devices in all stages of their buying journey. Digital is integrated with off-line shopping behaviour and retailers are being advised they should look at omni-channel retailing.

In his recent blog post on Econsultancy, Darren Hitchcock defines omni-channel retailing as “an integrated sales experience that melds the advantages of physical stores with the information-rich experience of online shopping”. It’s, among others, about building bridges between online and offline.

While omni-channel retailing is still relatively new for most retailers, it gets more attention as consumer behaviour keeps changing and retailers gain a single customer view, integrating customer and shopping data with behavioural profiling, preferences, etc. To see what possibilities it offers, exploring the possibilities and doing some tests might be a good idea, as long as it’s relevant. However, it all depends on the individual context of the retailer: the market, the types of products, the profile and behaviour of customers etc. Obviously, what your multi-channel shopper wants is essential when you start.

There are many tactics and ways to provide a more integrated shopping experience. While some have been proven, others are fairly new. In his blog post on Econsultancy, Darren Hitchcock explains five ways to embrace omni-channel retailing.

5 omni-channel retailing trends and ideas

1) Making use of social media

Peer-to-peer communication is one of the most effective ways to sell something. Brands using social media and social communities are stepping out of the traditional advertising model and allowing customers to help build the brand through their own discussions and recommendations. Social is definitely part of an omni-retail shopping experience as experiments in stores prove (for instance, displaying ‘likes’ on small screens near the actual products).

2) Integrating customer reviews

Like social media, reviews are powerful advertising tools. Shoppers tend to trust the experiences of their peers more than brand advertisements. Companies are beginning to take advantage of the growing mobile trend to make reviews and product guides available in-store. Customers can access this information while they shop and use it to help make purchasing decisions. Being able to read reviews and see detailed product information while shopping creates a comprehensive buying experience that can help drive sales.

3) Use digital means to personalize physical shopping

Consumers enjoy a personalized shopping experience. Being greeted by a trusted associate at a favourite store, having someone remember their buying preferences and being shown what they want rather than sitting through generic sales pitch all make shoppers more likely to buy. Some stores are rolling out apps that help their employees accomplish these things with each customer. Other apps deliver information about in-store sales and events to customers as they shop. This is one of the applications the retailing industry is testing most.

4) Technological advances in-store

As technology becomes more powerful, businesses will be able to offer more detailed, personalized shopping recommendations. In-store stations that allow customers to interact with the products available for sale can collect important information about things such as clothing size and buying history, allowing retailers to deliver comprehensive product guides to each individual consumer.

5) Merging social and local

Location-based social media like Foursquare and Facebook Places allow businesses to use social channels to market to local customers. These services link mobile users to their friends via “check-ins,” showing who has stopped where and any comments they had about the experience. Businesses looking to get in on the action can offer coupons, sales alerts, messages about important events and more, delivering advertising and information to shoppers as they go about their daily routines.

The evolution towards an integrated physical, digital, mobile and social shopping experience is just starting. Retailers are increasingly moving towards cross-channel customer experiences. It’s interesting to see what’s happening and what works. In the end, using closed loop marketing with a single customer view across all marketing and shopping channels, provides the insights and data you need to experiment.

Again, it’s about integration around the customer.