Black Friday has just been and gone and as things quieten down we’re back again with some fantastic digital marketing news and resources. Just like clockwork. This week we’ll be sharing with you 5 tips on how to drive repeat sales from the industry’s finest, we’ll be telling you how Sephora are rewarding their social media users without having to go private, and we’ll be giving you 5 examples of AI powered marketing tools, as well as a few other things. If you missed last week’s marketing roundup then once you’re done hanging your head in shame head on over here to catch up.
5 Tips for Driving Repeat Sales Online
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been running your online store for 7 months or 7 years, winning conversions is a never ending battle. Abandoned cart rates are hovering towards 70% (68%) these days, so you want to do everything you can to acquire new customers, but also retain old ones. Here are 5 great tips from the sharpest tools in the eCommerce toolbox to help you drive more repeat sales online.
1. Focus on Building Consumer Trust
Glori Blatt at GoGrit says:
“Trust is the glue on a successful long-term relationship, whether it’s between romantic partners or a retailer and their customers, and it also happens to be the natural result of honesty and consistency… Earning a consumer’s trust is the first step to creating a brand evangelist that will share their positive experiences with their friends and family. According to a recent study by Forbes, 81% of respondents indicated that their friends and family directly influence their purchase decisions. That’s an amazing asset to retailers who are able to win consumers’ trust.”
2. Get New Customers from Loyal Fans
“The best way to get more of these perfect customers is to make it easy and worth the effort for these customers to refer their friends. Think about it: their immediate network is full of people just like them, and those are the people who will buy and buy again. There are lots of good products out there to help you manage a referral program. One of my favorites is RewardStream. “The bottom line: the best way to get repeat sales is to get more of the right customers, and the best way to get more of the right customers is to deliberately leverage the network of the customers you already have.”
Sujan Patel at SujanPatel.com
3. Build a Model That Generates Return Sales
Kunle Campbell at 2x eCommerce says:
“[Successful e-commerce businesses] are able to convince existing and first-time customers to return on a fairly regular basis to make subsequent purchases. This is enabled by their business models (as in the case with subscription commerce), the depth of offering in their product catalogues, the products they sell are replenishables, they are able to execute sophisticated 1:1 personalised email marketing that nudges their customers to repurchase and their customer loyalty offers and rewards programs. Although subscription e-commerce businesses fall into this bracket by default, most e-tailers in the apparel vertical also by their very nature expect customers to return at least each season.”
4. Promote Your Product With the Packaging
“There are plenty of other opportunities for people to see your packaging, including the following:
- – Sitting on someone’s kitchen table, coffee table, or office desk
- – Sitting outside the door of someone’s house, apartment, or dorm room
- – Inside a UPS store, waiting to be picked up or shipped out
- – Pictured on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram news feed, likely because their friend has just received something they ordered or their pet is being adorable while playing with the box
…The point is, packaging can be a great marketing tool, because it puts your business’s brand (and hopefully website link) in front of new and repeat customers. This opens the door to lots of new sales.” Thank Kristi Hines at KristiHines.com for that advice.
5. Let Data Drive Your Strategy
Perhaps a more technical piece of advice, Lisbeth McNabb at Digiworks Corp says, “Big Data lets you know how to most effectively engage with your customer and build a relationship over time as you learn what he or she likes and dislikes. Social media provides opportunities for web engagement through conversations in which an unlimited number of potential and actual customers can participate.
Connecting with your customers via your Twitter feed or Facebook page allows them to tell you what they are thinking — and allows you to use that information to tweak your product offering or even expand your target market. It’s a chief marketing officer’s dream come true.” She goes on to say “Each data point tells you something valuable about your customers’ purchasing habits. Leverage client engagement into a source for Big Data through social media interactions. Distributing a coupon or other offer through social media tells you far more than if your customers are clipping newspaper coupons.”
Columnist Joe Goers is claiming that websites are focusing too much on the bottom end of the buying cycle, which is having a profound effect on their SEO success. He claims that the fear of “not ranking” trumps the “let’s give it a shot” mentality and he believes this attitude can limit your results and crush SEO’s creativity. By developing top-of-funnel content and providing educational information, you could potentially rank for specific derivatives of high volume keywords.
He also suggests to take advantage of current events. “For example, recently there was a DDoS attack across many networks, and search volume on this topic skyrocketed. This is a perfect time for a network security company to provide general information on the subject of DDoS attacks (a high-volume, competitive keyword that is difficult to rank for).” Quite a good idea actually.
The thing that people tend to forget is that search engines are used to guide people with questions to websites that might have answers, and many of the users could become your customers. With that in mind, great websites are designed with the customers in mind and to help prospects, which is why you need to provide useful information and unique, compelling content.
B2B websites for example tend to end their content with a call-to-action which is fine if the user is ready to test and buy – but what if they’re not? If you’re honing in solely on lead-gen content, you may be missing a massive opportunity to provide information that educates users, increases awareness of your brand and drives interest. Non-gated assets and general information can help your top-of-the-funnel visitors who could get to know your brand and are more likely to return to complete the journey.
If your website focuses solely on lead generation, then you’re casting a pretty small net out there. Engage with new prospects through educating them. Make sure your website enables your SEO strategy and supports all of your business goals. Ensure your website is aligned with customers needs, not sales team targets.
Sephora Rewards Users on Social Media Without Having to Change Platform
Sephora is renowned for its technical innovations in retail and marketing, and now it’s taking its social engagement strategy one step further by adopting a solution that will reward users with gift cards using social media.
On top of its previous relationship with prepaid commerce solutions vendor CashStar, Sephora will be interacting with its consumers on social media with a bigger play on monetary experiences. Those who have had issues with customer service, or simply loyal customers will be able to receive Sephora gift cards directly through social media applications.
Ben Kaplan. President and CEO of CashStar said, “Sephora has embraced innovation and the powerful use of social and mobile marketing to engage consumers and deliver a compelling omni-channel experience.”
Normally when users go through this process retailers have to “go somewhere private” either to resolve the issue or to give out loyalty perks, but Sephora is hoping to reduce the steps in this process, so as not to lose customers or have communications break down on the way. Their partnership with CashStar will allow them to share e-gift cards directly on whatever social media platform the interaction is taking place on without having to jump to phone or email.
They can even respond on Twitter with the e-gift card and not allow others access. Use of this platform also means that Sephora won’t have to pay for any e-gift cards that haven’t been claimed – they’ll only pay when the gift card has been redeemed, which eliminates extraneous costs.
Since they’re known as being leaders in eCommerce solutions, two of their new features focus on different areas of consumer experience. One helps customers book appointments with a Sephora beauty specialist and the other gives customers help with making purchasing decisions on their own. It’s clear that Sephora are continuing to pave the way for e-tailers nailing customer service globally.
Digital Marketing News
UK Digital Buyers Want Easy, Cheap Delivery
According to August 2016 polling, ease, convenience and cost are the factors that matters most to digital buyers in the UK when it comes to delivery and fulfilment. Over one-third of male digital buyers in the UK that were surveyed by Tryzens said the most important factor when choosing a delivery method was delivery to home or work at any time, 30% of women saying the same thing.
Almost as many women claimed the cheapest option was the most important and almost a quarter of men cared more about saving money than anything else. A quarter of respondents of each gender wanted to be able to specify those delivery times, though. This was the most important delivery option, including set times at work and at home, for 23% of men and women who responded.
Less than 10% of the respondents considered click and collect critical and very few cared to even get into the nitty gritty of shipping options like choosing a specific postal method or company. UK digital buyers make up 89% of all UK internet users, as estimated in October by eMarketer. This number is set to reach 90% by 2020 at a total off 44.7 million. Better start polishing up our delivery options then, shouldn’t we?
3 Examples of the Coolest AI Powered Marketing Software
Without getting all sci-fi conspiracy on you today, this year the level of interest in Artificial Intelligence has increased, partly due to press coverage of Google Photos, IBM’s Watson and Microsoft’s Tay (and a whole bunch of other bots). With so many companies now adoption AI solutions, we thought we’d give you some examples of Artificial Intelligence powered marketing software just to give you the lowdown on its advancement so far.
Machine learning algorithms allow for more efficient multivariate testing. You can test website features and it requires less traffic than traditional testing. The website for Sentient Ascend explains “Our patented AI solution mimics biological evolution, enabling it to quickly learn, adapt and react to determine the best performing design from the building blocks you provide.” There are a few brands on board with this, including the underwear brand Cosabella which has generated 35% more conversions than the control when testing 15 different changes to the category page, product page, cart layout and home page. Nice.
Grey Jean’s Genie
Grey Jean claims that Genie can predict a customer’s next likely purchase with 72% accuracy. Quite scary. But the personalisation platform uses a whole bunch of user data, from offline and online purchases and loyalty programs, to CRM, website behaviour and social media. Income level and demographics are used in modelling the best offers to present to users in the most efficient channel and at the best time.
Deals can be delivered via channels such as push notifications, web, email, social ads and more. The tool can be used for personalisation (if used by a recognised user) or for behavioural segmentation. CEO Craig Alberino told Martech Today that the platform isn’t specifically set up to match offline and online shelves, but offline data is primarily used to assist in its geo-targeting and behavioural profiles.
The company uses DemandBase’s business records alongside some publicly available info such as regulatory filings, newswires and social media in order to profile potential clients. Analysing this unstructured text as well as billions of web interactions from B2B buyers gives the software a good estimation of what prospects might be looking for, through what decision maker and what time.
Users of the software are given an overview of potential clients including some key information like relevant content they’ve published, corporate structure and decision makers. The company website claims “Mapping the relationships between companies is far superior as a predictor of a future relationship between two companies.” It continues “DemandGraph provides companies with a trusted and accurate repository of information which they can use to guide conversations, better predict future business behaviour—and with accurate precision—identify and target their next customer, supplier or partner.” Sounds seriously useful.