Author: Avran


Why Legacy eCommerce Technology Just Doesn’t Cut it Anymore and How to Upgrade

Posted on November 13, 2019 by


Legacy eCommerce Technology

In the realm of eCommerce, you could take a short nap and wake up to realize the latest cutting-edge technology you’re using has become obsolete. That’s how fast technology is advancing.

Online store owners who set up shop 4 or 5 years ago and haven’t updated their platforms would have already fallen far behind. Running on outdated legacy eCommerce technology amplifies the risk of going out of business. You could be making a killing one day and have your sales drop by half the next if you’re not careful. 

Here, we address the innovations that took place in the last few years, the current trends and the upcoming developments to watch out for. 

Critical Innovations over the last 5 years

eCommerce was born in the 1990s and took a while to grow into what it is today. But there’s whole Grand Canyon between the technology then and now. Most of these innovations happened rapidly over the past five years. Here are 5 of the biggest developments that hit eCommerce in the last few years: 

  • Readymade eCommerce software – Back in the 1990s, store owners had to build their own software which required a whole army of developers toiling away for days on end. But now, with platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify, not only can you build an eCommerce site by yourself, you can also customize it to stand out from the rest.
  • Mobile Shopping – 49% of consumers shop on their mobiles. These handheld devices have become the world’s way to connect, shop, transact, bank, etc. And it is only growing to encompass more and more daily life activities. For an eCommerce store, this means you need to optimize your site for mobiles. If you haven’t done so already, you’re missing out on more than half of your potential business. 
  • Cloud hostingThe world is moving everything to the cloud from business data to personal photos. In eCommerce, cloud hosting means you no longer need to have your own physical server. You can say goodbye to all the problems that come along with managing your own server especially outages and the stress of fixing it.
  • Marketing toolsMany marketing tools have emerged that can be integrated with eCommerce or can be used independently. But these tools greatly support your business and can help you increase your visibility, your SEO rankings, run targeted advertisements, etc. This has enabled small and brand-new eCommerce stores to be able to run with minimal staff and expertise and compete with big names in the industry.
  • E-Wallets and Payment integrationsEasy options to make payments online grew in leaps and bounds on account of the need for seamless transactions. To keep up, eCommerce merchants need to provide a wide array of payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, wallets, net banking, and so on. 

Current Trends 

Here’s a list of 6 eCommerce trends that are currently in play:

  1. Lightning speed – The time it takes for your website to load is a top-ranking factor that determines how much business you’ll get. Customers are quick to jump to a competitor’s site if your site takes time to load. You need to constantly monitor your eCommerce site using tools like Google Insights to ensure you’re running at optimum speed.
  2. Omni-channel shopping – It’s just normal now to start shopping on a desktop, continue on a mobile a few hours later, and check out the next day on the desktop. Google found that 60% of users transition between devices while they shop. So, as an eCommerce store owner, you need to make this transition seamless. It’s imperative that the user’s shopping progress is reflected regardless of which device they pick up next.
  3. Cross-selling and upselling – Cross-selling is a technique in which you display complementary products that the customer might need based on their current selected. For example, if the customer has added a laptop to their cart, products they might need along with it are displayed such as a laptop bag/sleeve, a keyboard, and a mouse. In upselling, products relevant to the customer’s search query that are of better quality, technology or standard are displayed. We’ve mentioned these two popular techniques, however, there are many other ways to increase conversions and revenue that are currently trending.
  4. SEO marketing – SEO grew to be the number one channel of driving in traffic to websites, increasing visibility, and boosting sales. Google encompasses 98.53% market share in India. It’s a competitive struggle to get to the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and staying there is even harder. But in eCommerce, SEO simply cannot be ignored. Companies have realized how much organic traffic can be driven in through SEO. While you need other marketing strategies such as paid, social media, and email working in tandem, you need to dedicate much-deserved attention to SEO.
  5. Chatbots – Chatbots are replacing a significant chunk of customer support as it automates much of the process. This saves time and expenses, all the while providing 24×7 support to customers. It helps redirect customers to the relevant information they need or are most interested in, thereby driving up revenue. Chatbots are easy to implement on an eCommerce site as there are many readymade tools available for it.
  6. Integration of machine learning and AI – From product recommendations to site search functionality, machine learning and artificial intelligence have already been deeply integrated into eCommerce. This has enabled online stores to offer customers exactly what they want when they want it.

Upcoming Innovations to gear up for 

Being prepared for what’s to come will help eCommerce stores keep up in order to survive. But staying ahead of the game and being innovative is what will enable an eCommerce store to dominate the market. 

Voice-assistants

Siri, Alexa, Cortana and the like have become a part of many households and are here to stay. Once we get a taste of voice assistance, it’s hard to go back to a time when it didn’t exist. Such technology will be used to assist shoppers in their journey from beginning to end .i.e., from opening the app all the way to check out.

eCommerce store owners need to start making their sites compatible with voice-assistants. They also need to enhance the shopping experience so that it’s seamless and easy. 

Virtual and Augmented Reality  

VR and AR bring the technology of 3D and CGI into the world of shopping. Customers will be able to shop in virtual stores and also interact with items, products, and salesforce. Customers will be able to see product reviews, details, pricing, and color variants inside the AR/VR world.

The idea of introducing VR and AR technology to eCommerce has already been experimented with and produced great results. According to Gartner, 100 million customers will shop using AR technology (both online and in-store) by 2020. 

Drone-droid deliveries

It was not too long ago when online shopping meant waiting for weeks for it to arrive. Now, customers find it hard to wait for anything above a day or two. Embracing automation one step further, eCommerce will soon see deliveries made by drones in the sky and droids on the ground. 

The delivery will not be limited to the customer’s house address or office address. It will instead be able to pinpoint the live location of the customer and deliver it.

Blockchain technology

Cryptocurrency has been rendered illegal in many countries for its lack of regulations. But the blockchain technology behind it has not been dismissed. It has huge potential in the future and is being enhanced by government agencies all across the globe. 

The technology will bring about a more secure online payment that has the ability to eliminate fraud. It will also help businesses maintain a genuine ledge of all digital transactions. Once online payments become rock-solid in security, we can expect sales to dramatically rise. 

Conclusion: Automation is Key and Data is Critical

On one hand, automation is the future of eCommerce. The more we can automate the better it is for business. 

On the other, data is extremely vital for the success of an online business. Data can show what’s working and what’s not. It can help predict future trends that will lead to better strategies and plans.

But eCommerce stores have a lot on their plate – merchandising, product sequencing, recommendations, payment gateways, security – the list goes on.

As an eCommerce site owner, you need to ensure you give your customers an optimal shopping experience:

  • There should be an option to site search for products they are looking for. 
  • Products displayed should be relevant to the site search or the channel they entered from (search engines or ads).
  • Products should be tagged, categorized, and sequenced to give customers choices of what they’d be interested in. 
  • Customers love recommendations on similar products, other products they may need, what other customers bought, and so on. It’s important to provide that. 

In a brick-and-mortar store, you could leave this up to the store manager and your salesforce. But with an eCommerce store, many of the platforms and tools aren’t equipped to give you control over these aspects.

At Tagalys, we understand the need for technology that will act as a virtual store manager and give you the salesforce you need. Our tool is designed taking into consideration the pain points any eCommerce business faces along with the ever-advancing technology of our world. The tool is data-driven as well so you can be sure it functions on what customers need and want.

We help you increase click-through rates, enable you to have control over what products are displayed, and finally, increase your conversions.

Take control, automate, and run a better eCommerce store. Upgrading to newer technology is well worth the effort. 

Posted in e-Commerce General

7 eCommerce Mistakes Store Owners Should Avoid

Posted on October 19, 2019 by


Taking the world by storm, eCommerce is growing rapidly and slowly ousting long-standing retail outlets. It’s estimated that 1.92 billion people will be digital buyers in 2019, that’s around 25% of the world’s population. 

The business is attractive and lucrative, but eCommerce store owners have their work cut out for them as competition is on the rise. It’s easy to get lost in the mix and this is one of the reasons why 90% of startups fail, including those from the eCommerce niche. 

To be in the 10% that succeed, there are critical things to take care of. Here, we address the mistakes you should avoid in order to run a successful eCommerce store.

eCommerce mistakes

Top eCommerce Mistakes That You Should Avoid

1) Jumping straight in without identifying your audience

You may have the perfect product, an optimized website, and the best user experience. But none of it will matter if you don’t understand your customer. 

Amazon is the go-to shopping portal for customers worldwide. You need to give them a good reason to choose to shop from you and not Amazon. 

To do this, you need to target a specific audience and create a culture of belonging and trust. The best way to do this is to use data! Gather information about your potential customers, understand their interest, whether you provide something they need or something they want. ‘Needs’ solve problems for them, whereas ‘wants’ satisfy their desires.

You can get a lot of insight into your customers by identifying their behavior, patterns, and values. 

There are many ways you can identify your audience. Surveys, competitor analysis, and market research are textbook methods. But you also bank on networking, conversations with experienced folk, and your own experience, knowledge, and intuition. 

2) Trying something new too soon and making things complicated

We all want to be unique and have a website that sets us apart from the rest. But truth be told, customers like familiar settings. While shopping, they prefer to know their whereabouts instead of having to figure it out with every new website. 

Therefore, it’s ideal in this case to stick to the prevailing trend of website navigation, product categorization, and checkout process.

Now, this doesn’t mean to say you can’t try something new or introduce new ideas and technology to your website. It simply means before you try something new, test it out and see how the market reacts. You can do this using a method called A/B testing or you can also run surveys.

Just remember, don’t complicate things for your customers. Make your CTAs and buttons bold and easy to find. From signing up to shopping to checkout, your goal should be to make it smooth and easy. 

3) Not having reliable customer support in place 

Customer support costs money and needs manpower. Many eCommerce stores – especially new and upcoming ones – ignore this factor hoping that when they make enough money, they’ll start providing this service. 

But in reality, great customer support will help you make money and without it, you stand to lose business. It leaves store owners in a catch 22 situation. 

Customers need their queries and issues to be resolved – quickly and cordially, regardless of whether you can afford it or not. 

Before you price your products, you need to factor in the costs of customer service. If you can’t afford it or don’t have resources to dedicate to it, create a detailed FAQ section. You can also set up a chatbot that will handle the basic queries. Anything it cannot answer can be passed on for human intervention. 

Remember, in today’s digital age, having one avenue of contact is insufficient. You should ideally provide multiple channels of support such as phone, email, SMS, chatbot or a form on the website. 

4) Ignoring SEO

SEO has unfortunately got a bad reputation for keyword targeting and stuffing. Many eCommerce stores don’t pay attention to it and chalk it down to ‘rubbish’. 

But SEO is so much more than keywords. The main aim of SEO is to provide users with relevant results and the best experience. You can optimize your SEO by creating a blog to target your audience. However, there are many technical aspects you need to take care of as well. 

  • You need to ensure you don’t have duplicate pages.
  • You need to fix pages with errors like 404. 
  • It’s also helpful if you have a sitemap for the search engine bots to crawl your website easily.
  • You need to analyze and optimize your crawl budget.
  • You’ll need to optimize your page speed and website’s responsiveness.
  • Most importantly, sign up for Google Search Console and Analytics. 

You’ll get insights into your customers – where they come from, how many come, how long they stay on your page, and how many customers leave your site.

You can also see how many make purchases, how many abandon their carts, which pages do really well and which don’t. This will help you fix errors on your site and improve pages and products that need it.

This will give you much-needed data about your customers for free! It’s one aspect you simply cannot afford to ignore.

5) Not being present on social media 

“We’ll get to it. There’s no point of it now.” One of the biggest mistakes eCommerce owners make is ignoring social media. 

Customers love to check social media pages to see if your business is legit. Reviews go a long way in showing customers how great you are. 

As scary as it is to open up your business to reviews, it’s best to have it. If you have a great product and deliver great service, you should have nothing to worry about. 

Plus, customers are forgiving if you have a few negative reviews but have responded and handled it well. It’s fishy sometimes if you have all great reviews. 

One tip here is to keep your social media channels relevant to your company and its products or services. Provide engaging content. Posting for the sake of posting is easily identified and won’t sit well with followers.

6) Haphazard merchandising 

A lot goes into listing products on your website. You need to take care of images, descriptions, pricing, T&Cs, and more. But that’s still not enough. If you haven’t categorized your products well and tagged them so that users can find them easily, it could become very difficult for users.

There’s a lot you can do with merchandising which will not just help increase conversions but increase the average order value as well. 

We recommend using strategies such as:

Merchandising needs an ample amount of dedicated time and resources. But one of the perks of living in the day and age of automation, you can use services or tools that will do it for you. One such reliable service is Tagalys that will optimize your merchandising strategies while eliminating the need for heavy resources and time.

7) Not researching more ways to sell

One way to sell is to display products, advertise your business and get customers. But using just one strategy can fail for many reasons, some of which include:

  1. You can stagnate in the number of customers you get and stump your growth. 
  2. You can enter periods of zero sales if this strategy fails. 
  3. You’ll miss out on peak seasons that need different strategies to reap massive profits.
  4. Customers tend to move fast to the next competitor. You need to constantly find ways to attract new ones and retain existing ones. 

There are plenty of strategies to learn with new ones being born quite frequently. A few of them include:

  • Paid advertisements like SEM and PPC
  • Digital marketing which includes emailers, SEO content marketing, and social media
  • Upselling and cross-selling techniques 
  • Offering freebies and welcome gifts
  • Maximizing on shopping sales such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and Black Friday

These are just some of the strategies to boost sales. A little research can open up a world of opportunities to get more customers.

BONUS TIP – Poor returns policy 

eCommerce sees a high rate of returned products amounting to around 30% of all sales. But out of these returns, not all are genuine. A business can face tremendous loss if they have a high return rate due to the cost of logistics.

However, you can’t ignore your return policy. A recent survey showed that around 17% of shoppers would not make a purchase if the store didn’t have a return policy. And among those who made returns, 96% of shoppers would buy from a retailer again if they had a good returns experience.

While you absolutely must have a convenient return process, you also need to have strict policies in place to ensure you don’t suffer a loss on account of false returns. 

One of the best ways to accept returns is through a form on your website. First, collect data on reasons for returns. Then allow the customer to confirm the return. This gives you much-needed data to develop your returns policy and it also gives you a heads up that a product is on its way back.

The mistakes to avoid also point you in the direction of the steps you should be taking to make your eCommerce store a success! An eCommerce store comes with high demands and high maintenance. You need to be ever-prepared to tackle it all. 

Posted in e-Commerce General

How To Get The Best Of Black Friday 2019 For Your Magento & Shopify eCommerce Business

Posted on October 8, 2019 by


Black Friday 2019

Who doesn’t love Black Friday, right? It’s the biggest shopping event of the year and customers, as well as businesses, focus on getting the maximum out of it. Slowly but steadily, the tradition of pulling an all-nighter at your traditional retail store seems to be fading away. Buyers have shifted sides and holiday shopping, like everything else, is more of an online affair now. 

In the 2018 holiday season, 68% of buyers said they’d do most of their Black Friday shopping on online stores. In contrast to the in-store experience, eCommerce businesses have an added advantage of offering an extended and personalized inventory of goods. It’s not surprising that more consumers are expected to shop online than in stores on Black Friday 2019. 

Around 61% of customers say they’ll shop online on Black Friday 2019 and the spendings are most likely to surpass $12 billion. So, are you ready for all the holiday attention? Here we have compiled some of the best Black Friday strategies your eCommerce business could adopt and smash all the sales records:  

#Smartly Prepare Your Product Listings and Gift Guides:

It’s better to target customers based on their previous buying experience. Having customized product listings that are exclusively created for the sale will improve your conversion. Curating special gift guides may also help your customers get started on their holiday buying spree. Offering discounts on gift bundles instead of individual products will also enhance your overall profit.  

#Deploy the Best Merchandising Techniques: 

For any eCommerce business, there is a lot to cover on the merchandising front. Starting from the basics, you need to adopt the best visual merchandising practices. Ensure a balanced UI of your website that leaves a pleasant expression on the user and drives interest. 

To boost your conversion rates, you may adopt the tried and tested methods of cross-selling and up-selling also. Your customers will be on a shopping extravaganza and luring phrases like “frequently bought together” and “people who bought this also bought” may drive some serious value for you. 

Based on your analysis of customer behavior, you may also employ dynamic pricing to the highly demanded products. All your merchandising woes may be covered by qualified third party software solution providers who could use high-end techniques like machine learning and SaaS for an added benefit. 

#Work on Mobile Functionality and Site Speed:

Most of the Black Friday 2019 buyers will approach your eCommerce website via their smartphones. According to Forbes, around 67% of the 2018 Black Friday digital traffic was driven by mobile devices, up from 61% in 2017. So, as the holiday season approaches, it becomes increasingly important to enhance the mobile functionality of your website. 

For eCommerce businesses, Black Friday all about bringing in more and more customers. Most of the eCommerce experts unanimously agree to this fact – if your online store’s pages are responding slowly, your customers would most likely go buy somewhere else. It is, therefore, advisable to use optimization tools and make your site lightning fast.  

#Push Your Deals and Ad Campaigns Early:

You need to start planning and executing your holiday campaigns early. According to a survey, around 45% of the people start their holiday shopping much before Black Friday. So, it’s better to start creating a pre-sale buzz. You can start your Black Friday campaign by sending out emails about a month early and later communicate deal alerts as the big day approaches. Customized email advertising campaigns for each customer group may also make matters even more appealing. 

#Ensure Maximum Conversion with Site Search Optimization

There is no denying the fact that an optimized site search can be a big savior during the holiday shopping season. While many of your competitors are ignoring it, you can capitalize on it big time. Make sure your search box is clearly noticeable and appropriately optimized to deliver the best search results. 

The best thing about site search is that you can use it to dictate your major merchandising decisions. You can easily influence which products you wish to promote this Black Friday or which ones will appear in searches initiated by customers from specific demographics. 

Features like strong auto-complete function and auto-correct will make matters even more efficient. It’s really straightforward – if your customers can quickly find what they were looking for, there are fair chances that they will buy it soon.

#Prepare for Volumes of Traffic:

Consumers say they’ll spend an average of $502 on Black Friday 2019 shopping (up from $472 during 2018 season). If everything goes according to the predictions, your business’s website will observe a massive traffic surge this Black Friday. And you must be ready to cope up with this holiday boom. It is better to test the capacity of your servers and site performance in advance and not let down customers during the peak deal hours. 

#Retarget your Customers:

Adopting the right retargeting strategies may help you win back the customers who visited your site and chose not to buy anything. By using the appropriate eCommerce tools, you can follow up with those users and push notifications and even other lucrative offers to make them come back. Gaining insights on critical consumer behavior may also help you get prepared for the upcoming shopping seasons.  

#Influence Buyers with Smart Product Recommendations

This Black Friday, your customers will be receiving a lot of product recommendations. You just have to make sure that yours are the best. From the options available, the best one is to choose a powerful recommendation engine

A study from Gartner also estimates that by 2020, such engines will be boosting eCommerce profits by more than 15%. 

You can focus on certain best practices like adjusting your recommendations to highlight the best-selling items, archiving customer’s browsing history to help them revisit lost product pages and so on. What’s so great about personalized recommendations is that they will not only lift your holiday sales but also build long-lasting relationships with users so they might keep coming back. 

#Time-Bound Offers: Urgency May Be a Real Reason to Buy

During the holiday season, customers usually explore around and take time to find the cheapest product. Anyhow, they are completely in the mood to buy. Creating a sense of urgency through limited-time shopping offers, codes and coupons may prompt customers to make quick buying decisions. Moreover, time-bound deals like free or priority shipping may also do the trick for your eCommerce business.  

#Make the Checkout Process Smooth:

After browsing through tonnes of deals, customers generally prefer a hassle-free checkout method. That is why the checkout process of your eCommerce business needs to be seamless. It’s better if you provide easy and well-known payment methods and who knows, they might come back to check out again.  

#Consider the Omnichannel Experience:

Black Friday is all about the best buying experience for customers. Customers might want a blend of both online and offline channels and eCommerce players could utilize it to their benefit. During the 2018 holiday shopping season, a 50% increase in the trend of Buy Online Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) was seen. Even if you don’t have a brick and mortar store, you could open holiday pop-up shops at select locations and get your products in front of customers.  

Final Thoughts: Black Friday is All About Preparation

Black Friday marks the beginning of the shopping season and its influence can be seen in most of the countries around the globe. With proper planning and adequate preparation, your business will not only earn huge dividends but also gain a new and loyal base of customers. Utilizing these merchandising and optimization techniques, and thinking and testing your scenarios in advance will surely help you reap the best sales rewards. 

Tagalys maximizes conversion rate & gives merchants visual control of products displayed in Site SearchCategory Pages & Product Recommendations at their online store. To know more about our solutions and features, get in touch with us now.

Posted in e-Commerce General

Holiday Spending Statistics Every eCommerce Owner Should Know About

Posted on October 3, 2019 by


Holiday Spending Statistics

Analyzing the trends of customers can help eCommerce stores prepare for the big days of the year. The holidays are huge for retailers and online stores but you will miss out on maximizing your sales if you aren’t ready. 

During the periods of slow sales, you should use this time to prepare for the peak season. You can test new tactics, find growth opportunities, build brand awareness, ramp up your SEO efforts. If you build up a solid foundation, when it comes time for the holiday shopping madness, you’ll be able to successfully maximize on it. Remember, you only reap what you sow. 

These top Holiday Spending Statistics can help you get an early start on preparing for the holidays.

Top Consumer Spending Holidays for ECommerce sites 

We’ve picked the top holidays you need to be prepared for based on statistics published by NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Halloween

Halloween is one of the most awaited holidays for kids and adults! From scary costumes and decor to yummy treats and fun celebrations, what’s not to like about Halloween! 

Spends for Halloween 2019 have been predicted to touch $8.8 billion. The top spending categories include costumes ($3.2 billion), candy ($2.6 billion), decorations ($2.7 billion) and greeting cards ($390 million). 

On average an individual will spend $86 on Halloween this year. With every holiday, there are a set of customers who start their shopping well ahead of time and then there are those who wait for the last minute. Here are some recent statistics on customer shopping times:

  • Before September, about 5.8% of people begin their Halloween shopping. 
  • 31.3% of people plan on shopping in September.
  • 43.3% shop in the first 2 weeks of October. 
  • The rest (19.6%) shop in the last 2 weeks of October.

For eCommerce owners, it’s a big shopping event that you can capitalize on. There are a number of industries that benefit from this holiday as customers look to buy pumpkins, candy, costumes, gifts, pet costumes, and home decor. 

They also shop for groceries and supplies for their parties. Lastly, they visit theme parks, haunted houses and other thrilling adventure outings in keeping with the festivities.

Father’s Day 

Father’s Day was not so popular a decade ago. But since 2009, it has been consistently growing into a big special event, shooting up by 70% growth (approximately $6.6 billion) over the years. 

When it comes to Father’s Day, the biggest spenders are consumers between the ages of 35 and 44 years. 

45% of people say they shop for something unique, while a third of them show interest in subscription boxes. 47% of people said they plan on gifting a special outing to their dad. 

The total expected spends for 2019 is $16 billion with an average planned spending per person touching $139. 

Top spending categories include apparel, memorable outings, and gift cards. You can start preparing well in advance to offer customizable options on your products, combo gift sets, and discounts closer to the date.

Valentine’s Day 

The day of love, Valentine’s Day at its peak saw 60% of the American population jumping on board to celebrate it. That number has now dropped to half. Many said it was due to over-commercialization of ‘love’, or they didn’t have anyone to celebrate with, or their interest in the special day just disappeared.

However, those who still celebrate the day spend even bigger amounts than before. Those surveyed said they would spend $161.96 on Valentine’s. And what’s more important to note is that people have broken away from ‘Valentine’s being about a partner, and have expanded it to family, friends, co-workers, classmates and even their pets. 

For eCommerce stores, this is a big plus as the gifting possibilities are endless. While jewelry, flowers, greeting cards, and candy are the traditional ones, many turns to newer gifting ideas such as experiences, vacations, customized gift sets, concert tickets, spa vouchers, and the like. 

Easter 

Easter shopping is fueled by a number of reasons, the top two being to keep up the tradition (65%) and discounts (31%). 

Customers planned to spend an average of $151 for Easter 2019. Eight out of 10 adults planned to celebrate Easter in the U.S., however, those who don’t celebrate still buy Easter treats and also shop during seasonal sales. 

Retailers should focus on mobile, as it was estimated 74% of people will base their purchasing decisions through their smartphones in 2019. 

Easter is a holiday for all ages, therefore, eCommerce merchants can target a wide range of customers. 

Mother’s Day 

Mother’s Day has always stood out as an extra special day to appreciate moms. So shoppers look for something that meets that ‘extra special’ criterion.

In 2019, it was estimated that Mother’s Day sales will touch a record of $25 billion. A whopping 84% of people in the U.S. said they would celebrate the day. The average customer spend is $196 compared to $180 in 2018. 

ECommerce stores shouldn’t miss out on this big day as shoppers are ever ready to spend big-time on the one who gave them life. 44% say they shop for something unique or something that will make her feel loved.

Traditional gifts still do well and include jewelry, flowers, and greeting cards, but there is also a growing trend in new-age gifting. This includes gifting them personal services, electronics, gift cards, apparel, and outings.

Plan your sales and strategies well ahead for this one as Mother’s Day usually brings in a drastic increase in traffic and sales.

Winter Holidays 

According to Google, retail had its largest season ever in 2018 with $853 billion in sales! Winter holidays are the biggest time of the year for shoppers and merchants. Statistics show that 56% of the time was spent on online shopping and 53% of purchases reported were made online. 

There was also a dramatic shift to mobile usage as 61% of online purchases took place through phones. 60% of consumers used a mobile app to shop for the holidays.

Google says that search queries for ‘gifts for’ and ‘gifts from’ start accelerating from as early as the last week of October. This shows that winter holiday shoppers begin planning well in advance. 

The average planned spend per person for 2019 is an incredible $1,007.24, making it the biggest shopping event of the year! 

An interesting fact to note is that last-minute shoppers amount to only 7%, and after-Christmas shoppers are at 4%. The majority of customers wrap up their shopping early and are ready for the season. 

As an eCommerce store, targeting customers before Christmas would be more fruitful than targeting them on Christmas Day itself. 

Gifts that top the list for the holidays include clothing, gift cards, toys, video games, books, movies, food, electronics, and related accessories. Gifting experiences such as cooking classes, spa treatments, tickets to games/concerts are growing in popularity. 

To make the most of these holidays, planning ahead is key! Some of the steps you absolutely must take to make your online store more alluring are: 

  • Optimize for mobile – This should be your top priority as customers are increasingly shifting to mobile shopping on the web or through apps. There has been a growth of over 180% in the last two years for the term “online shopping” through mobiles. Further, a 1-second delay in your mobile load time can bring down conversions by up to 20%. 
  • Make it easy to find products – Optimise your product pages and make it easier for customers to navigate through your site and find what they’re looking for. Here, a site search would be a good idea. You can also use cross-selling and upselling tactics to provide customers with more options they might need or like.
  • Promote your site – You can optimize your site, but if no one comes to it, all efforts will be in vain. You can use different techniques to get your website noticed. Social media ads and Google Adwords and great paid avenues. But you can also promote your site organically through SEO.

Word of advice, preparation makes all the difference. To sum up, for the holidays, analyzing the needs and trends of customers will help you strategize and make the most of these big-spending days! 

Posted in e-Commerce General

US Online Shopping Sales Calendar 2019: Gear Your Store for Maximum Sales

Posted on September 10, 2019 by


eCommerce stores have huge opportunities to boost their sales by incredible margins – that is peak shopping days! There are a lot of important dates coming up that you must mark on your calendars. We bring you the US Shopping Sales Calendar 2019.

31st October – Halloween 

Celebrating all things spooky, Halloween is becoming increasingly popular all around the globe. For eCommerce sites, not only is it a big deal in terms of traffic, but it translates to huge sales and revenue. 

According to NRF, in 2018 in the US alone, $9 billion was spent on Halloween. If you fall into the category that can cater to customers in terms of costumes, accessories, decor, food, candy, and so on, you need to start getting your game together right away!

Ensure you are stocked up, your product listings are pre-prepared and ready to be rolled out. 

Now, in case your business doesn’t align with Halloween at all, you can still capitalize on it by offering Halloween-themed versions of your product or adding Halloween touches to your website. You can also take advantage of social media by posting anything Halloween related! 

29th November – Black Friday 

Originating in the US as a Thanksgiving shopping holiday, Black Friday has made its way around the world. This day is known for notoriously crashing websites because of the explosive influx of customers. 

US Shopping Sales Calendar 2019: Black Friday 2019

Not only do you have to prepare to meet the high demand, but you also need to ensure your online website can handle the rush of traffic without crashing. 

This is a good time to work on your SEO and also run Adword campaigns to ensure you show up in the top results for the right keywords. All marketing efforts should start focussing on Black Friday at least a month or two ahead of time! 

It’s a highly competitive day, so your website needs to function smoothly. Customers will be quick to jump to the next website if yours is slow or hangs for even a few seconds.

Bear in mind, you need to also ensure your product listings are accurate and unique. If you aren’t able to dedicate valuable time to managing product listings, there are tools to help you generate multiple listings in a few seconds.

2nd December – Cyber Monday 

Consider Cyber Monday to be an offspring of Black Friday for the online world. Originally, since Black Friday was primarily for retail stores, Cyber Monday was born to for eCommerce to capitalize on the Thanksgiving holiday. But fortunately or unfortunately, eCommerce has capitalized on both. 

According to Business Insider, online shoppers outnumbered in-store customers on Black Friday 2018.

While it means more opportunity for sales, it also means you need to be doubly prepared to face both days so close to each other. Effective promotion in the form of banners, emailers, messages, Google ads, and content needs to be handled all the way through. For both days, you need to market the best deals to your customers to entice them to buy from you. 

14th December – Free Shipping Day 

Launched in 2009 by Luke and Maisie Knowles, 14th December is a one-day event on which eCommerce merchants offer free shipping to customers with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.

Customers usually shop on Black Friday/Cyber Monday to buy their Christmas gifts in advance at crazy prices. But the majority of customers worry if they’ll receive it on time. 

Free Shipping Day is a great opportunity to gain more customers doing their Christmas shopping in advance. 

US Shopping Sales Calendar 2019: Christmas 2019

Preparing for this day means you need to have your logistics sorted out in order to deliver any orders placed on this day by Christmas Eve. It might be worth it to check out temporary logistics providers to meet the demand of the season.

24th December – Christmas Eve

Nobody should even bother telling you that Christmas is the biggest shopping week on planet Earth! According to Google Insights, 23rd December is the biggest shopping day regardless of what day it falls on.

You can monetize on last-minute shopping if you are ready for it. ‘Where to buy?’ and ‘Same-day shipping’ are the top searches pre-Christmas time.

26th December – Boxing Day

Boxing Day is tricky for online merchants. The truth is that store retailers see a higher footfall on this day and there are reasons for it. Post, Christmas, shoppers are usually redeeming gift cards, making returns, or exchanging gifts. But that doesn’t mean eCommerce can’t take advantage of this day. 

The trick is to set yourself up much earlier. During the previous sales days, you need to think smart and offer gift cards, or coupons and vouchers that can be redeemed after Christmas. Have a good exchange or return policy in place that can help you draw in more customers who received gifts. 

You can use such opportunities to recommend products while they make their return/exchange. Use up-sell or cross-sell tactics to increase your sales during the post-Christmas day as well.

Mark these dates and start preparing for them well in advance. We would recommend giving it 6-8 weeks of prep before the sales date especially for Black Friday and Christmas!

These days open up a huge opportunity to bring in more customers. This is the best time to provide them with a great experience so that they keep coming back for more!

The biggest online shopping season is about to start. Ensure your online store is equipped with the best Site Search, Product Recommendation Engine & conversion optimized category pages, to maximize sales this season.

Posted in e-Commerce General

How to Promote Your eCommerce Website: The Organic Way!

Posted on September 9, 2019 by


Owning an e-commerce site entails so many complexities and site owners soon become pros! But when it comes to gaining organic traffic, many give up because it’s a constant nag that needs to be addressed. It’s not a set-and-forget sort of thing. 

Though it seems like a daunting task, driving in organic traffic is not rocket science. You just need to know what you should concentrate on specific and you’ll get the hang of it.

How to promote your site organically?

Organic traffic is free and it comes through search engines like Google. Therefore, it’s known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Now, many people believe SEO to be a process wherein you match keywords to the user’s search queries, but it is way bigger than that. 

Google is the biggest player in the market, and therefore, the world plays by their rules. Google’s ultimate intent is to be the best search engine for the people. Therefore, it uses hundreds of algorithms to determine which would be the best result to display for the user’s search query. While there are many factors to consider, the main thing to remember here is to satisfy the user and add value to their queries. 

Every piece of content you put up on your website will hold permanent value for your brand in terms of establishing authority, increasing your website real estate value and drawing in more traffic. Therefore, you need to be careful about what gets published and use the right strategies.

SEO and eCommerce sites

Now, SEO is said to have the highest ROI, more than any other marketing campaign in the eCommerce world. Therefore, it is a go-to for many websites. However, with eCommerce, it becomes a whole different ball game since they function under very different conditions and have distinct practices. While other sites can just publish a blog or have pages and pages of content, an eCommerce site has to focus on product listings, while content takes a backseat. 

How to promote your ecommerce store

So here, we’ve broken it down for you and concentrated on the SEO tips that work for eCommerce:

1) Focus on unique product descriptions 

It’s easier to just copy and paste the manufacturer’s description, since writing a unique one for each product is simply not feasible. But these descriptions are the main content of your site and can match search queries which will seriously boost traffic. 

Another great tip is to add the right product tags and attributes to every product. This helps answer basic questions of the consumer on the characteristics of the product.

Use this space to insert relevant keywords but ensure it’s weaved in naturally and not forced. Redundant or bad tactics can seriously damage your SEO efforts. The trick is to keep it as real as possible and it will pay off. 

This may seem like an insurmountable task, but luckily in today’s world, there’s a tool for everything. Using one like Tagalys helps you generate multiple unique product listings in just a few seconds.

2) Link building strategy 

Now, many site owners go out there and just get as many backlinks as they can, without caring if the site is relevant to them or not. This is a black-hat SEO practice and comes with penalties. The right way to do it is to build a solid backlink profile by getting links only from trusted sites. You also need to ensure the link makes sense and is relevant to the reader. 

A genuinely good way to get backlinks is to put out content which people will refer to in their own articles. Statistical articles/reports get a ton of natural backlinks. eCommerce sites have access to such data that tells the world what percentage of visitors abandoned their shopping carts, how many purchased with a credit card, what’s the most popular products, etc. 

Collating it and publishing a report and articles around it builds authority and gets you more visibility as people reference your articles. SEO experts also recommend a time-space between 30 days to 6 months to exchange links. 

3) Internal Linking Strategy 

Interlinking pages and products is a good way to promote more of your site to your visitor. You can prolong the session of the consumer on your website by strategically placing links to other pages of yours. There is no limit on how many interlinks you can have, but ensure whatever you do, it’s relevant and useful for the user. 

4) Optimize your internal search 

Your internal site search is SEO’s little sister and can’t be ignored. Although this doesn’t necessarily promote your site, it works in favor of giving the customer a good experience so that they revisit and recommend. 

A search option is one of the best ways to help customers navigate easily and find the relevant product they want with minimal time spent. You need to optimize your product categories to be more searchable in your site search. You can also experiment with meta keywords and title tags. If it’s all too much, there are site search tools available to help you optimize your internal search results to increase conversions.

5) Dive into technical and on-page SEO 

There are a few steps you can take here. First, if you haven’t already, learn to use Google Analytics and Google Search Console. There are free quick courses from Google available online. These tools are essential to any website and will give you deep insight into how you well your site does in organic results. 

Second, you can run an audit on your site by crawling it using tools like Beam Us Up or Screaming Frog. This helps audit your site and find broken links, duplicate content, missing alt text, etc. You can also keep track of pages with errors through Google Analytics.

Third, ensure you use target keywords, have original content that’s structured according to H1, H2, H3 format. Use custom meta descriptions and optimize your title tags to be around 55 characters. This is because, in search results, anything exceeding this might get cut off. 

SEO, when done right, can massively increase your visibility, traffic, and conversions. It’s a great way to promote your eCommerce site especially since it cost you nothing but a little effort! 

Posted in e-Commerce General

How to Increase Online Sales Fast and Gain Initial Momentum for your eCommerce store

Posted on September 3, 2019 by


Running an online store seems like a lucrative business, and it surely is – if you know how to do it right. Now, there have been instances where very enthusiastic store owners poured their heart and soul into opening an eCommerce website, only to see barely any sales or traction. It’s disheartening when you’ve done everything right – you have great products, good pricing, a smart team of people – but nothing seems to be working! 

Well, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of techniques to use to make your store popular and wildly successful! It’s a matter of identifying different areas and giving the right amount of attention to the ones that can significantly boost sales. 

When implemented right, these tactics will definitely work to increase your brand awareness, the visitors to your site, and boost sales and revenue. 

how to increase online sales fast

Quick Tips to Increase Online Sales Fast

1) Try unsustainable things

At the start, it’s all about getting traction and gaining momentum. How do you get your store noticed? How do you showcase customer reviews on your site if you don’t have enough customers? At the start, it’s not about finding efficient methods or long-term ones. Sustainability takes a back seat. It’s about getting your name out there and getting people to try your products! Here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Reach out to your personal network to see if anyone is willing to try the product and give you a review. 
  2. Send samples to Instagram influencers or celebrities and hope they give you a shoutout. A good bet here is to target local celebrities or those who are particularly interested in a niche product you have. For example, if you’re selling pet products, and you know a local singer who loves dogs, you could always send a few samples and politely tell them you’re looking to expand your reach and would greatly appreciate a little boost from their end. 
  3. Bring your A-game with a nicely worded email and reach out to bloggers or people in your industry to see if they would be willing to mention you in their articles, or write a piece on your story. 

These are just a few ideas. You can brainstorm to get more ideas depending on the type of store you have, the products you’re selling and the story behind it.

2) Delve deeper into SEO 

It’s surprising how many people think about SEO = keywords. SEO is a vast subject and takes time to learn and implement. But the effort is worth it. If not you don’t have the time to dedicate to learning the subject, hire someone who can do it for you. Some of the basics of SEO include 

  • Using anchor text to hyperlink relevant pages
  • Building backlinks from authority websites
  • Using the right keywords with an optimal keyword density
  • Carrying out on-page SEO
  • Having a great title, meta description, and short URL

Now all these SEO tactics have been mentioned over and over again. When you research online, you’ll find SEO to be defined as getting your page to rank by optimizing pages for keywords. In reality, the main principle of SEO is to ensure user satisfaction. This is not something new, it’s been around for years – check out this article by Moz way back in 2013. Though difficult to quantify, Google does have algorithms that are able to predict if the user was satisfied by analyzing bounce rates, click-through rates, etc.

You need to ensure the experience of the user is engaging and interesting. If the user is not satisfied, they will bounce and choose another website. So while paying attention to the basics mentioned above is important, you need to take care of other things that will boost the experience of the user, such as:

  • Optimize the speed and performance of your website
  • Create an easy-to-use interface
  • Make your website easy to navigate
  • Use merchandising techniques to give customers easy access to more related options
  • Speak the truth, don’t sell false claims. It never sits well with consumers
  • Provide visitors with original, useful information that adds value

3) Check your marketing strategy

Sometimes store owners tend to go with the strategy they know well or are at least familiar with. Some may use SEO, some may use Facebook ads, while others may leverage eCommerce platforms like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. But the problem with using what you know is that it may not be the right strategy for the product. 

If you’re selling a product that caters only to moms, you might do well using social media – targeted paid ads, being active on mom groups, and following all the right people. If you’re selling a product that can be easily copied, you need to strategize to blitz the market so that you build your brand quickly and people know you’re the original one. In this case, using SEO may take up to 3-6 months to show results, and by then, you might’ve lost the opportunity. 

You need to analyze your product, it’s target customers and the market effects to find what works best for you. You can even check out online marketing platforms that can help give you the insights you need to boost sales.

Here is a recommended read about 50 simple marketing strategies proven to increase sales online from Ignite Visibility.

4) Online marketplaces

Platforms like Amazon and Etsy are a great way to get exposure for your brand and products. You don’t have to sell exclusively through these platforms. Instead, you can list select products to gain visibility and inculcate interest in customers. Those interested can visit your own site where they can browse the full catalog. 

5) Email Marketing

One of the fastest channels to increase sales is email marketing. Use marketing automation to automate the process and be as personalized as possible.
Welcome your new subscribers – Send at least 3 emails for 14 days from the time a visitor subscribes to your mailing list.
Abandoned Cart – Return customers who have shown interest in a particular product with a unique benefit (free shipping, discount) based on the products they have in the cart.
Post Purchase – Email customers who have already purchased from you and are satisfied with your products and ready to make another purchase.

A must-have eCommerce marketing automation platform is Flashy, they have everything eCommerce marketer needs to increase sales fast (email marketing, marketing automation, intelligent popups, SMS and more).

Wrapping up…

Optimizing SEO, spending money on ads and upping your marketing strategy will be for nothing if you don’t have a well-performing site ready for your visitors. Just like we keep our houses clean for guests, we need to keep our website stores neat and tidy for visitors. Products should be laid out according to the user’s intent. 

Customers like to have easy access to recommendations for related products. Having a site search enabled also works in your favor as it allows the customer to find what they want easily. Implementing this manually might be a bit of a task, which is why there are services like Tagalys, to help you with it. 

We hope after reading this you’ve got all the answers you need to up your game and drive more sales to your site!

Posted in e-Commerce General

Product Page Optimizations to Positively Impact Magento & Shopify Conversions

Posted on August 28, 2019 by


All your efforts in creating the perfect eCommerce site and promoting it through ads, social media, and SEO, they all ultimately lead the customer to your product. The aim of the game is to get them to buy!

While everything else works in driving traffic to your website, it can be fruitless if you aren’t able to convince them to make a purchase. So while listings and promotions play an important role, the onus finally falls on the product page.

Now there are a lot of suggestions out there but they’re more or less the same ideas. We know the basics of product page optimizations – use high-quality images, including more than just one picture, add detailed product descriptions and customer reviews. But even after all this, if you’re not seeing conversions, then you need to step it up and improve your product pages. 

After reviewing what works for our customers, we’ve compiled a list of recommended tips:

1) Bold and clear call to action

The product has to take the spotlight, but your call to action should come next. It should be clear and visible right upfront. If a customer has to scroll to see “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now”, you could stand to lose out on purchases. 

Another thing to bear in mind is knowing where to be creative and where to be straightforward. We know customers just want to buy the product, so simple wording in a legible font works. Adding a CTA “Be special today” to buy flowers can make the customer’s experience unnecessarily complicated. Save the personal touches for other aspects.

An example of a good CTA is illustrated in the image below – a product page. The call to action is a simple “Add to Bag” and prominent. It’s at the top of the page and doesn’t require the customer to scroll. 

hips-and-curves-ecommerce

2) Add bonus benefits

Taking the same example as above, the additional perks such as free shipping and free returns is clearly indicated right under the CTA. This draws the attention of the user and answers the important questions they have in mind: 

  • How much is shipping going to cost?
  • What if it’s not satisfactory? Can I return it?

A study revealed that 9 out of 10 consumers feel that free shipping is the number one incentive when it comes to online shopping. So it needs to be highlighted if you do offer it. 

3) Take care of mobile users

Google has been harping on websites being mobile-friendly for a long time now. And rightfully so! Currently, 60% of visitors access your store on their mobiles first. But it’s not just about having a mobile presence, you also have to ensure the user has a great experience. 40% of shoppers will go to a competitor after a bad mobile experience.

Optimizing your product pages for mobile customers can have a positive impact on conversions. To do so, you need to consider the mobile user interface – how quickly it loads, how easy it is to navigate and how appealing the design is. Apart from this, keep in mind that the user’s screen is much smaller, so content needs to be crisp, short and convey the message quickly.

Threadless has a great mobile-friendly version. When you land on the products page, you get all the options you need neatly fit into the mobile screen.

Optimizing your product pages for mobile customers can have a positive impact on conversions as the majority of people are migrating towards shopping on their phones.

4) Take images and videos to the next level

Well, in the beginning, it was ‘use more than just one image’ to give the customer a good perception of the product. With rapid advancements and so much competition, the eCommerce space has to be innovative. There have been times where a customer may have bought a t-shirt based on an image of the front, only to realize when it arrives that the design at the back is not something they like!

Check out how Away does it with their 360-degree view along with a neat video. You’ll also notice that their call to action stays grounded while the description is movable.

Another tip here would be to show how the product can be used in real-life situations. For example, this is how Fhoca.com depicted a passport holder to show its functionality.

FHOCA-eCommerce

5) Reduce the purchase hesitations and obstacles

On your product page, it’s important to display vital information that the user needs to know. Ask all the right questions and address the main wants and desires of a customer – pricing, discounts, features, shipping, estimated date of arrival, etc. 

But despite this, customers abandon carts and exit the page because they faced a hindrance. To overcome this, a support chat plays an essential role where customers can reach out and have their questions answered immediately. 

You can also add links to tutorials, guides, and FAQs to help the customer address pain problems. 

Wine.com has a well-optimized page that gives customers the discount available upfront. They have links to find pickup locations, contact them or chat with customer support available. They also give options to search and ship to your location.

6) Invest in product recommendations

We know that people now consume information at a very fast pace. So a visitor is not likely to sort through hundreds of items to find one that they like. When a user searches for a product, they like to be given similar options that would interest them. 

Amazon runs this technique at an expert level. They display items similar to the one you searched for based on the journey of other customers. So this gives you more options to find the one that meets your requirements or desires.

Amazon also gives you options of other items you might need to buy along with the main product. In the image below, we see a trolley, covers and an extended warranty. This method of cross-selling helps increase the number of items sold and the average order value.

To do this well, you can use product recommendations from Tagalys that give merchants a variety of options to choose from. Using data APIs, merchants also have the chance to customize these recommendations to ensure it exactly matches the store’s requirements. 

Remember, the job isn’t done after getting traffic to your site. It’s only the beginning. Give your product pages the attention it deserves in order to see a rise in conversions. For more tips, here’s a recommended read.

Posted in e-Commerce General e-Commerce Product Recommendations

Effective Ecommerce Merchandising Strategies that Drive Higher Conversions

Posted on July 29, 2019 by


merchandising strategies

 

Not too long ago, merchandising only meant displaying products in the window, color-coordinating different aisles, ensuring the sales team has adequate knowledge of the products – you get the drift.

But with eCommerce taking the world by storm, merchandising had to be reinvented. No longer do you have a physical store to display a sign in the window to attract a customer. While offline merchandising seems like a whole different ball game, there are many aspects of it that correlate to eCommerce. Taking some of the old and finding some new, we’ve listed out a few ways you could effectively use merchandising techniques to increase conversions for your business. 

 

Pay attention to your home page display 

While your customers may not necessarily land on your home page, the entrance to your business needs to make the best impression. Through data analysis, you can truly know your customer and what they would like. For example, if you’re selling antique furniture, you might want to keep your home page more delectable with a focus on “home”. But if you’re selling funky accessories, you might want to jazz up your page to make it vibrant and fun. Remember what is unappealing to one customer need not be unappealing to another. You need to understand who you’re catering to, for example, a camping equipment site would need peace and calm, but to sell sports shoes, you’d need to keep it young and energetic.

Your home page should display products that would interest your customers. Remember, customers no longer have the time or patience to navigate through a complicated site. Keep things simple, easy to find, and ensure you offer products relevant to them. 

 

Use search results to your advantage

How you configure your site search can make a remarkable difference in your visitor’s experience. Tweaking your results page to display visuals rather than just a text list would give customers a better experience. Apart from that, it’s important to display relevant products in the search results. 

Taking it a step further, offering similar products that might interest the customer in the same price range can drive up your conversion rate and your Average Order Value (AOV) as well. One way you can do this is by showing customers the top-selling products in the same category.

By using site search enhancement services like Tagalys to optimize your site search, you’ll see a boost in conversion rates.

 

Sequencing 

In a physical store, as a retailer, you would arrange your products in a way that would not just be visually appealing, but would also enable the customer to sort through your collection easily. Products that you know don’t sell too well wouldn’t be upfront because you know it isn’t your best. New arrivals, best sellers and trending products would take the spotlight. 

In eCommerce stores as well, sequencing plays a significant role in getting customers to buy. While smaller stores may be able to spend time in arranging products manually, if you have bigger stock or a large catalog, it would be next to impossible. You would need help to automatically sequence products based on different attributes. 

For example, if a customer wants a white long sleeve shirt, your page should be able to display all products that have been tagged with these attributes. Learn about sequencing and the best ways to go about it before implementing it on your site.

 

Personalising experience 

When you’ve been a regular customer at a store, and the staff or owner recognizes you, it’s a feeling all customers enjoy. This is because – be it a restaurant or an apparel store – they know what you like, they know what you bought before, and they offer you discounts and special treatment. Just how do you replicate that in your online store with no support staff?

Ecommerce stores are able to do this by displaying products “Based on your past purchases.” A business should recognize the traits of different customers such as the price point at which a particular customer is purchasing products. What kind of products are they looking for? Are they putting quality over price or vice versa? 

For example, an online grocery store would know the monthly grocery pattern of the shopper based on past purchases. Offering them an option to just buy things from their usual shopping list would enhance their experience as they wouldn’t have to spend time searching for these products every time. 

 

Complementary Products 

This tactic can greatly increase your sales simply because you suggested products that go well with the one the customer is purchasing. Also known as cross-selling, you can prompt the customer to look at other products they might be interested in, or would need with the product they are purchasing. 

For example, if a customer is buying a yoga mat, you can suggest fitness clothes, yoga bricks/blocks, an exercise ball, healthy food products – basically things that go with the other product and complement the lifestyle of the buyer.

 

Here is a recommended read about “5 Ways to Convert More Visitors into Customers Using Geomarketing

Wrapping Up on Merchandising

Developing a strong foundation with merchandising enables you to strengthen the core driving force of your business. You can spend thousands on advertising and getting people to your site, but once there, you need to bring your A-game and deliver! 

 

“Advertising moves people toward goods; merchandising moves goods toward people.” – Morris Hite.

Merchandising is all about presenting the right goods to the right people at the right price. When you get that right, you’ll flip the seesaw bringing your bounce rate down and pushing your conversion rate up.

Tagalys maximizes conversion rate & gives merchants visual control of products displayed in Site SearchCategory Pages & Product Recommendations at their online store. To know more about our solutions and features, get in touch with us now.

Posted in e-Commerce General e-Commerce Product Listing pages

7 Key Automation Ideas for a Successful eCommerce Store

Posted on July 24, 2019 by


Tasks we thought only humans can perform are being taken over every day by automation or robotics. Driving full speed ahead, technology is changing our world with every passing second. But since it draws out personalization, where do we draw the line with automation when it comes to business?

On one hand, customers demand that their experience be smooth and quick. But on the other hand, a lack of personal touch drives them away. 

As your eCommerce business scales, tasks become more tedious and complex and you have more things to handle. It becomes difficult to do everything manually. You’re left with no choice but to automate certain tasks. 

Striking a balance between the two becomes difficult. For instance, while automating customer service with a chatbot, you need to know until wherein the conversation can you let the chatbot run, and where you need to turn it over to a customer representative. The key is knowing where to automate and where to keep it real. 

eCommerce Automation

We’ve got 7 ideas for eCommerce automation that will help you run your business smoothly without compromise to customer relationships.

1) Scheduling sales 

It’s human nature to love a good deal! With so much competition in the market, sales occur quite frequently now, and to top it off, stores let customers know that a sale is coming up in a few days or a few hours to build momentum! 

If you have price changes coming up – be it a small promotion or a gigantic sale – you need to predetermine the time period and the discount rate and automate the process. If you have a big enough store, it’s simply impossible to manually tweak prices when you want to go on sale. 

Once you automate the process, when the sale goes live, price changes are automatically rolled out. Flow by Shopify is one such tool that enables you to do this. This saves you a ton of work and brings down error rates.

2) Rolling out new products 

When you launch a new product or range of products, you not only have to handle putting it up on your website, but you also have the tasks that follow – publishing them on social media and other marketing and sales channels. Automating this process will save a ton of time and reduce the manpower required. This will help you bring down costs and also free up your schedule to focus on more important things.

There are tools available that allow you to preload your new products and have them automatically published on your store’s website, while it also rolls out onto all your sales channels. But remember, as much as we want to automate, when it comes to social media and emailers – it’s best to add a bit of personalized touch in them. You can try out tools like IFTTT that allow you to market products on multiple channels in a single go.

3) Managing out-of-stock products 

When you have a large catalog, it becomes hard to track inventory. There are apps that will allow you to automate inventory as well. When it comes to out-of-stock products, however, things become a bit more complex. Your marketing and advertising teams need to know not to promote these products until their back in stock. 

Imagine a potential customer sees an ad on Facebook for a product they are interested in, but when they click on it, they find out it’s out of stock. Not only do you lose a potential customer but you also wasted your advertising budget. 

So we think automating this area would make your business more efficient. When a product goes out of stock, it will automatically be unpublished and your teams would be notified so that they can pause promotions. Tools like Ecomdash and Contalog can help you manage inventory.

4) Reduce cart abandonment

Customers abandon their carts for various reasons. While for some it’s a personal habit to window shop and not to spend money on things they don’t need, for others, it’s because they realized they weren’t getting a good deal. No express shipping, surprise shipping rates, and complicated checkouts are some of the main reasons potential customers abandon the shopping journey. 

You can automate certain things in this stage of the journey to give the customer an extra push to buy. By adjusting prices during checkout and adding the reason – such as buying a combo, buying a certain quantity, discounts already applied – will give the shopper a sense that they are getting a good deal. You can also have discounts automatically applied to certain customers that have been tagged as “subscriber” or “gold member”.

Apart from this, if you are shipping globally, it goes without saying, showing the customers the rates in their own currency makes things much simpler. You wouldn’t want them doing calculations and conversions to figure out how much it’s costing them. 

Today there is a bunch of apps that have automated email features to send out reducing cart abandonment emails in order to save you time, and one of the most effective ones is an all-in-one marketing platform Growave. Its automated emails work as a reminder to purchase things that customers liked or will need in the future. For example, if your store’s visitor viewed any items and put them in a wishlist but never actually bought it, Growave will send a friendly reminder email about the items he liked. Those emails have a high rate of openings and usually turn a one-time visitor into a customer.

Growave is the all-in-one marketing platform that helps Shopify brands reach their audience, engage users and increase conversions with ease

5) Automating Payment Options 

What would we do without payment gateways? From only being able to use a credit card online, now we can shop with debit cards, internet banking, wallets, and so many more options! But not all options are available to all customers and all locations. 

You can automate your checkout to show and hide payment options to customers based on their device, location and order history. This makes it simpler for the customer and gives them options that make it easier for them to complete the transaction. Here too, Shopify’s Flow does the trick well.

6) Fraud Prevention

Compared to the chances of online fraud, shoplifting was much easier to contain. Customers, as well as businesses, face problems of fraud. 

Luckily now there’s a way of tracking it automatically. The market runs aplenty with anti-fraud products like Subuno, Riskified, and Signifyd. While scammers might be smart, you can be smarter. By using indicators and risk analysis automation, you can identify high-risk orders. This can be done by checking IP addresses, past patterns originating from the order location, customer behavior, and more. 

You can also automatically notify the security team to review the transaction. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of reverse charges and transaction disputes. This not only saves you money but also safeguards your brand image.

7) Identify and tag customers

It’s not an easy task to figure out which customer likes what. Through analytics tools, you can find out quite a few vital details about customers that will help you tailor your advertisements and enhance their experience. But it does require work on your end to identify and categorize customers. 

Well no more! It’s time to start automating these tasks. Based on a customer’s search, their source of origin, their time spent, their purchase history, their payment choice, etc., you can have them tagged into different segments. A tool like Metrilo can help you tag customers easily, and therefore, identify their needs so you can cater to them more efficiently. At the end of the day, as a business, the most important task is to keep the customer happy from start to end – with the goal of having them make a purchase and be a returning customer.

So there you have it! 7 ways you can automate parts of your business so that it runs smoothly. But wait, we have an added bonus! While there are so many things that can be automated in an eCommerce store, there’s one crucial thing we can’t leave out. While listing your products, you can’t spend hours on end arranging them and figuring out what’s best-selling, what’s trending, and which customer would like what! It’s simply not feasible and if you want to be successful, it’s just not an option to do it manually. There are services like Tagalys that use predictive technology to sort through your site and optimize your categorization and sequencing of products. This helps tailor and enhance your customer’s experience leading to a higher conversion rate.

It might take a bit of time to adjust to automation and you need to make sure everything works fine. We suggest you try it out in stages rather than implementing everything in one go! 

Once you’ve got these steps in place, you’ll have so much more time to focus on other things – like keeping that personal touch with customers! 

Posted in e-Commerce General