Before a customer buys a product online, they want to know everything about it. In fact, they want to see the products or services in use.
After all, seeing is believing.
Sure, photos are great to give consumers an idea of what your product looks like. But some details are better explained via a video. Nothing works like an engaging video to showcase your product and tell your prospects why it is so great.
For instance, photos of a bag can showcase what it looks like.
But on video, you can see how many things it can hold, how many different pockets it has on the inside, and so on.
With video marketing, you can also boost your sales. In fact, over 60% of shoppers said that online videos inspired them to make a purchase.
If you run an ecommerce store and are looking for strategies to get ahead of your competitors, you’ve got to take note of the video marketing trend. It can be a boon to accelerate your business growth.
In this post, let’s take a look at how you can leverage videos for ecommerce marketing.
When it comes to leveraging videos for ecommerce marketing, the first thing you need to know is what kind of videos you want to produce.
Let’s take a look at some different types of videos you can create to market your online products:
You can give users a demo of your product and explain each feature in detail via videos. Tutorial videos can be a great way to familiarize people with your products.
You get the opportunity to show your target audience the value your product offers and why they should buy it.
Take, for instance outdoor grill company, Weber’s YouTube videos. When they launched their new SmokeFire grill, they released a series of videos explaining to users how to start their grill, clean it, and maintain it well.
Image via YouTube
When people buy products, they want to make sure that they’re investing their money in a trustworthy brand. When you have a familiar face or an influencer is endorsing your brand, it can help win their trust.
It’s like piggybacking on their reputation.
Through influencer partnerships, you can reach a targeted audience.
Here is an example of how the adventure gear company, Sierra Designs, collaborated with professional backpacker, Andrew Skurka, to promote their products.
Image via YouTube
One of the best ways to advertise your online products is to shoot product close-up videos. They can show your products from different angles to give users a feel of the product.
Want inspiration for videos of product close-ups?
Take a look at Apple’s YouTube page. For most of their new products, they have around a minute-long close-up video that showcases their products more clearly.
Image via YouTube
Great storytelling can move people and bring out emotions in them.
Story-based videos can be a powerful tool to showcase your brand values and appeal to your audience. These kinds of videos are not about directly selling your product but capturing a lifestyle or a feeling.
For instance, a German supermarket corporation, Edeka, came out with an emotional ad to convey the spirit of Christmas.
Image via YouTube
In the ad, an elderly father is very disappointed when his children convey the message that they won’t be able to come home for Christmas.
In the next scene, the children are seen rushing back home when they receive his funeral invitation. However, they reach home to find out that their father is still alive. He tells them, “How else would I have been able to get you all together?”
The ad ends with everyone spending time together at the dinner table and enjoying themselves. Without selling their products or brand, Edeka manages to establish an emotional connection with the audience with this ad.
If you have a new service or product, explainer videos can help communicate the core concept well. For instance, Microsoft uses an explainer video with infographics to explain how their Azure Cloud solution works.
Image via YouTube
Now that you have an idea of the kinds of videos you can create to promote your ecommerce business, let’s move forward.
While leveraging this ecommerce trend, keep the following tips in mind:
Before you start making your video, ask yourself what the true purpose of creating it is. If you are clear about your key performance indicators (KPIs) from the onset, it will help you determine the kind of video you want to make. In addition to this, it will also help you measure the effectiveness of your videos.
For instance, it’s better to make an influencer ad to drive sales or make your video viral. On the other hand, an explainer ad might be more suited to drive brand awareness.
Regardless of the type of video you’re creating, make it a point to highlight your USP.
After watching the video, users should know the benefits of using your product and why your product is better than those of your competitors.
Your video script should communicate the idea for your ad in a concise manner. Typically, you have 60-90 seconds to capture your audience’s attention. So, trim out any bits that are repetitive or uninteresting.
After viewers have seen your video, what is the next course of action that you want them to take?
Visiting your website, subscribing to your content, or buying your product — whatever it is, communicate it clearly.
Even the most engaging videos need a prominent CTA.
It may seem obvious, but if your ecommerce videos don’t have a CTA, you might not get drive engagement or sales.
Videos are a dynamic medium. They allow you to see a product in action and even view it from different angles.
What’s more, you can get a feel of the product along with all the details before you buy it. If you are an ecommerce marketer, you need to leverage video marketing. Use the tips mentioned above to create interesting content to promote your ecommerce business.
Do you have any questions regarding ecommerce video marketing? Please feel free to ask them in the comments section below.
A business to many (B2M) model is unique in the ways they utilize web design to reach both segments of their audience. Some choose to create a main landing page with separate areas for business and consumer customers. Because of the many needs of B2M companies, there are some specific trends in design that come to the forefront each year.
The latest report from the Small Business Administration shows there are about 30.7 million small businesses in the country. There were 433,000 startups but 400,000 closures. The fact that openings and closings are almost equal shows that businesses have to be on top of their game if they want to survive in a highly competitive, global economy.
No matter what type of business you run, it’s smart to stay on top of trends in online marketing. However, for a B2M business, it’s even more important to know how best to serve both sides of your firm. Here are some trends we think you’ll see in 2020 and beyond that apply to B2M models specifically.
Even though you may have a single website to serve both consumers and other businesses, it is important that you have separate areas to address the needs of each unique audience. There may be some services and products that overlap both segments of your customer base. However, there are likely at least a few areas that are different.
Amazon is well-known for its consumer offerings and has been studied by many marketing experts in an effort to repeat its e-commerce success. However, it also offers a variety of business services. One way that Amazon meshes the two is by offering a separate area listing the many business services and partnership offerings. Note the lists of different ways business owners can work with Amazon or how you can start your own business.
You’ve likely noticed more and more sites going away from a grid design to a more free-floating layout. This trend applies to any type of website and not just business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). It is an evolution in the way online browsers work and shows that sites are current on technology and understand the trends. An asymmetrical layout gives you a lot of flexibility to mesh both your B2B and B2C offerings.
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is what you offer that none of your competitors do. Good design embraces your UVP and puts it in front of your audience. It doesn’t matter who your audience is. It’s important to communicate why they should choose you over any other brand. Including your UVP in large type or a video or some other feature on your landing page is smart for any business model.
McGraw-Hill Education serves educators and school systems as well as consumers (students). Their landing page highlights the types of textbooks and services they offer, but then it also has an area for teacher and professional development. They present their UVP above the fold with the words “We combine learning science and the art of teaching to empower success.” It’s their mission as a brand and shows where their focus is no matter which audience they’re serving.
Have you noticed the half and half screens popping up on some websites like Born & Bred in recent months? The new design trend basically takes the screen and splits it down the middle. The two halves are related and yet separate at the same time. This is a perfect design for a B2M business that serves two distinct audiences. Expect to see this design trend crop up often in 2020.
For companies that sell products, offering bulk discounts to businesses is one way they serve their B2B customers while still selling to the general public. Ordering more than a certain number of a product triggers the discount. Many companies also offer points reward systems to their repeat customers or allow businesses to set up automated orders so they can set it and forget it when it comes to supplies.
Quill’s website meshes their consumer and business sides into a cohesive unit. However, as the user shops, they see that ordering a certain quantity triggers a discount. The site also puts information about their rewards program near the top of their landing page.
Buffer’s 2019 Social Media Report shared that 85.5% of marketers publish some type of video content. Your website is the perfect place to share this content and educate your buyers about what you have to offer. Those consumers who buy from you might not realize you specialize in business services. Yet, some of those people may start their own businesses this coming year. On the flip side, business owners may not realize personalized products you carry for individuals but might be interested in making a purchase for their own household.
Educate your audience about what you do and what you have to offer. Videos are a quick and easy way to share information about your brand’s story.
No matter what type of business you run, your calls to action make a difference in your conversion rates. For B2M businesses, CTAs might be particularly important for a B2M model to guide and direct the correct users to the right areas of your site. A strong CTA uses action words and doesn’t hide what will happen when the user clicks on the button. Test different words to find the ones that resonate with your specific audience.
idc-Automatic offers garage door installation and repair to homes and businesses, serving many different people. Note their strong CTA on their home page that reads “Learn About Our Repair Team.” This is information that applies to both business owners and consumers as they’ll want to know the experience of those working on their garages.
Dark mode web designs have a modern edge. You probably noticed with one of the recent iOS system updates that you now have the option to choose dark mode or light mode. Many web designers are copying this as more and more people use mobile devices to access the Internet. Create a site that adapts automatically to the settings on the user’s phone and thus shows them your site with their own personal preferences. You can also offer a manual setting to view in dark or light mode.
While it’s impossible to predict every web design trend 2020 will bring, business owners can certainly look at trends at the end of 2019 for some clues. Technological advances also impact how you should present your site to visitors and what additions might have the most impact. Some things stand the test of time, such as writing strong headlines, keeping your audience in mind and adding CTA buttons. The rest is a matter of testing what works with your different buyer personas and finding some common ground between your B2B and B2C customers.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
We live in an always-online world. Brands are no longer distant entities merely supplying customers with products. Now companies have personalities of their own, and the line between customer service and marketing is thinner than ever before. The customer experience is more than just getting customers to spend their money, it is about the before, during, and after a sales journey. Customers want to feel heard, to have their questions answered, and to have a personal connection to the brand. This does mean brands are working harder than ever to be top in the customer’s eye.
The customer is sought after and companies are constantly vying to get customers to engage. Customer engagement is when companies encourage their customers to interact with the brand in some way. This engagement could be anything from a customer sharing a picture of a product or a written review of an item they recently bought. While some customers will engage without an effort from the brand, a customer engagement strategy is much more effective and will net a brand more engagement.
No one enjoys talking to a robot, and most people would prefer conversing with a real human. Customers are looking for a personal connection to the companies in their lives. Customers want to feel like they are dealing with another person rather than a business. It doesn’t matter what industry a company is in, be it banking or activewear, humanization is essential. Thankfully, making your brand more human is not as hard as it sounds.
One simple way to add a human element to your company is to highlight a personality from within your ranks. This person should be passionate about your organization and a robust neutral communicator as they will be an interactive face of your brand. Have this person talk to customers in a variety of formats such as blogs, videos, or on social media. Simply by putting a human face to your brand, customers will feel more connected.
Talk to your customers like friends and don’t be afraid to throw some humor in the conversation. According to Turku PET Centre, University of Oxford and Aalto University, have found that social laughter releases endorphins and promote the establishment of social bonds. This means laughing at something together creates a connection between people. This will help customers see that your company is not just interested in selling products.
All of this humanizing makes a customer feel more comfortable interacting with your brand. Talking to someone you know is easier than talking to a stranger. By adding a face to your brand, customers are more likely to engage.
Everyone likes to win something, especially if it cost nothing. Brands can easily take advantage of how good winning something feels by hosting contests. This is very commonly done on social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. For example, host a photo contest on social media where customers are tasked with creatively showing a company’s logo with a prize for the winner. Add a hashtag relating to the contest to keep track of all the pictures and decide a winner. You will be amazed at by what customers can come up with. By giving customers a specific goal with a potential reward, they are more willing to engage.
You might not think that APIs, application program interfaces, have anything to do with engagement, but they can make the difference in several small ways. The definition of an API is a set of functions that allows one application to talk to a different application. This brings features from one program to another, often combining for a better experience.
Live chat is becoming the preferred customer service medium. A recent study showed that 42% of customers prefer to live chat over other types of customer service. Live chat might sound daunting to add to your site, but that’s where APIs come into play. Many companies, such as Zandesk, offer APIs that include live chat interfaces. Having the customer service method customers prefer means they will be more likely to use the service. Customers interacting with customer service is a form of customer engagement.
The highest form of customer engagement is buying a product. When it comes time for a customer to enter their payment information on an online store, it should be as easy as possible – APIs to the rescue again. By working with APIs from Venmo or Paypal, you can easily integrate simple payment methods into your site. By working these APIs into your website, the checkout process will be even more straightforward.
Customer engagement is something every business strives for, but it isn’t hard to achieve. By talking to your customers like friends, hosting creative contests, and making things as easy as possible, you are cultivating customer engagement.
Not so long ago, the phrase “content marketing” meant a quite different thing. Perhaps a decade ago, useful content marketers were good writers. They wrote good blogs, articles, and webpage copy. While this is still true today, “content marketing” means something more inclusive. Besides just writing, the best content marketers can also create video, infographics, and podcasts. The most in-demand of these new skills is video. But why?
In the past decade the digital marketing landscape has been drastically altered. People have begun phasing out traditional laptop and desktop computers in favor of mobile devices when they want to search the web. After all, it’s much more convenient to simply pick up the smartphone everyone has attached to their hand.
Another way the industry has been altered is that digital technology is much more affordable in the current market versus at any other point in history. With no boundaries in how or when people can interact with content, success relies heavily on delivering your company’s message in a way that customers prefer it.
That is where video marketing comes in.
To understand how important video marketing has become, you only need to look at the numbers. According to an infographic shared by HubSpot:
Another survey saw that major online retailers saw an increase in conversion ratings to as much as 9 percent when they began incorporating video into their marketing strategy.
Nine percent may not seem like an incredible amount at first glance. Yet when you think about the fact that 9 out of every 100 viewers purchased the product, that’s amazing. Imagine if a single video produced conversions at this rating and had one million viewers? That’s 90,000 conversions.
But why do customers prefer video content over written content and how can you leverage this to help your digital marketing efforts succeed?
Customers are more likely to remember a video they watched versus a blog they read. This is largely because videos appeal to all the senses in a more realistic, memorable matter. By using a combination of written or audio content, visuals, and a range of audio, the customer can hear and see the message presented versus simply seeing words on a screen (with or without attached graphics).
Something many marketers don’t think about is the fact that some of their audience may not be proficient readers. This may not hold true for certain sectors, such as B2B or luxury products, but the average product meant for the average person reaches farther than college graduates.
While an article may be hard for some individuals to understand, a video using speech instead of words is easily digestible – regardless of reading level.
Remember how we mentioned earlier that more people than ever are turning towards mobile devices? See, there was a reason for it. With more people using smartphones or tablets to access the web you need content which performs well on those devices. That would be video.
Not only does video perform great on mobile devices but it also works well on traditional laptops or desktops. No matter how your audience chooses to access your website or social platform, your videos will be presented in a high-quality, unaltered way.
Your company’s message becomes more realistic when paired with a relevant, inspiring video. The video could be based upon a lifelike scenario which resonates with your buyer persona, or it could be your message paired with music which compliments the message. Not only are consumers more likely to relate to your company’s brand when presented through video, they are also more likely to remember it.
Experts estimate that 92 percent of people who consume videos on mobile devices share them with other people. That is only 8 percent shy of every mobile user and the highest share ratings of any mobile content.
Just like the world of written content, not all videos are created equally. Some perform significantly better than others, because they are designed better. If you’d like to create videos which are valuable to your consumer base and more inclined towards being shared or even going viral, check out the following tips:
All these things combined equate to higher conversion ratings for your business. While written content still has a place in the digital marketplace (and always will), video marketing is the chosen format of the future. If you aren’t already allotting some of your time, effort, and resources towards this sector, now is the time to do so.
A Few Actionable Insights For Online Marketing Conversions
Actionable insights about marketing for your business are quite important as each one will give you more ways to convert sales. You must ensure that you have taken steps to convert as many sales as possible. You may follow the steps in this article to ensure that you have the most sales converted through your site. The site you have built will sell to your customers quite easily when you have built it for the purpose of selling efficiently.
No one will find your site or visit it if you have not kept it updated. The greatest sales technique you will ever use is updating your site in a way that will help you customers believe that you’re still in business. The business will improve over time when you are using a number of different things to keep the site modern. You may change the artwork, add new pages and alter the home page to ensure that your guests see something new every time they visit you.
You must have an eCommerce section that your customers may go to, and you may direct them there every time they come to the site. The ads that you have created may take customers directly to the place where you sell your wares, and they may have a look at the things they believe they should buy from. Imagine that you have a number of products to sell that your customers are unaware of. They will come to your site because the ecommerce site is easier to manage.
The site must solve problems for customers, and each of them will be solved when your customers come to see you. They are shopping with you because the ecommerce site you have sells all the right items at the right times. The sales of useful items to your customers will convert them more quickly. You are helping your customers take a look at their lives to solve problems that they have had for some time, and each person who is making a change to their live will buy from you because they trust you. Setting yourself up as an expert in the field is important for your overall perception.
The information the you share with customers on your site is quite important as it helps them make decisions about each purchase they should make. There are many people who are shopping on your site because you have told them what they need to know about buying from you. Informed consumers will buy from you more often, and they will feel much better about their purchases. You are cutting down on returns, and you will have customers coming into your site who believe that they may help themselves once they have read your literature.
The site must be easy to navigate, and you will find that setting up the site with help from an expert programmer will give your customers a simpler way to move about the site. They are shopping with you because they believe that you have given them the finest choices for each problem they have, and they will move from one page to another without any problem. You will find that there are a number of people who will come to your site because they know precisely where to go. They will make their purchases faster, and they will feel more comfortable with each purchase.
You must ensure that your product catalog is updated often, and you will find it quite simple to keep your catalog fresh. The catalog will be easier for everyone to use because they will see new items that they are not familiar with. The products that you sell will be simpler for your customers to understand when you are adding new items. There are quite a few people who will comparison shop because they believe that the comparison shopping is better for than anything. They will buy from you because your selection is quite large, and they will learn quite a lot about your business in the process.
You must carry as many different products as possible, and you will find it simple that to partner with more people to sell. You may speak to someone who sells products that you should carry, and they will help you ensure that you have products that your customers want. You may take input from your customers because they will help you learn what you must carry. They know what they want to buy from you, and you will build a large catalog that everyone wishes to shop with. Your life will improve, and you will feel as though you have a large client base that has options they did not have before.
The advertising you are creating for your business must include the newest products that you are selling. The ads must feature anything that you have recently added to the catalog, and you will notice that each new ad is an easier item to use than what you carried before. Your customers will be intrigued by these new items, and they will want the products you have added because they are perceived as the best in the industry.
Your website will convert a number of sales every day using the tips above. You must take action as soon as possible, and you will find that your site may improve in seconds. You will prevent your customers from missing out on the items you sell, and you will make a site that is easy to navigate. Navigation is a large part of your plan, and you may take customer input to ensure that everyone on your site finds what they need easily.
If content is king then conversion is queen – and she’s the one who wears the trousers.
eCommerce sites rely on conversions – without conversions at the point of checkout, they’re unable to stay in business. So what can eCommerce sites do to pick up as many conversions as possible? Here’s how to turn full carts into final sales.
Bringing customers to your site is the easy part. In fact, eCommerce sites have access to a whole host of online marketing techniques, from social media marketing and SEO campaigns to pay-per-click advertisements, affiliate marketing and influencer outreach. Turning those visitors into paying customers is the hard part. In fact, the average conversion rate across all eCommerce sites is cited as between 2-3%, with many experiencing rates as low as 1%.
Sales is a numbers game, and even more so when it comes to eCommerce. For eCommerce marketers, there are two options when it comes to boosting revenue – increase the number of visitors or increasing the odds of them making a purchase. But driving traffic can be expensive – especially if you rely on advertisements. That’s where conversion optimization comes in.
Conversion optimization relies on making ongoing amends to your site to improve its conversion rate, allowing you to increase sales without having to bring in more visitors. Marketers can make changes, track the impact on their conversion rate, and then roll back anything that doesn’t improve it. The beauty of this is that it’s a series of constant, cumulative gains – like compound interest – that will continue to add value in the future, even if you stop iterating and improving.
For larger sites, even a small increase in the conversion rate can lead to substantially higher revenue. For example, if a site has 10,000 visitors a day and a conversion rate of 1%, an overall increase to 1.1% will lead to 10 extra sales per day and a whopping 3,650 extra sales across the course of a year.
With over 12 million eCommerce stores online at the time of writing, it can be hard to find an average conversion rate. It tends to vary from market to market, region to region and industry to industry. That’s why instead of comparing your conversion rate to other companies, it’s a better use of time to compete against yourself. Instead of trying to reach a conversion rate of 2% because it’s an overall benchmark, aim to improve your existing rate by a fixed amount.
For many, conversion rates can be confusing, and it’s not uncommon for people to overlook them. Some CEOs will be so worried about picking up website visits that they’ll forget about what comes next. Statistics like overall visits are often referred to as vanity metrics – they look good on paper, but they don’t affect the actual performance of the business.
Instead, smart marketers focus on a range of metrics, from the softer metrics (such as website visits, social media follows and time on site) to the harder metrics (such as conversions, email signups and other actions). By getting an overall view of how people are using your website – including where they’re coming from, where they’re landing and what they’re doing next – you’re able to make business decisions based on facts and data.
It’s easy to see how improving the conversion rate of your eCommerce site can add a huge amount of value to your company, but not everyone has the time or the skills to do it. While the basic concepts of conversion optimization can be taught and learned, it can take a significant time investment – and time is often a luxury for busy executives.
Of course, time is money, and so you can always hire someone to do it for you. Look at it as an investment in the future – it’s in the best interests of your business to monitor your conversion rates, and there are plenty of things you can do to get started. Here are just a few of them.
With increasing numbers of mobile shoppers (6% growth year-on-year in the United States alone), mobile optimization has never been more important. In fact, one study found that optimizing for mobile can raise revenues by up to 157%. Some search engines penalize sites that have a poor mobile experience, which is reason enough to ensure that you’re fully compliant, but it’s also easy to see how clunky navigation and a poor user experience will put mobile shoppers off from making a purchase.
According to Kissmetrics, 28% of shoppers will abandon their shopping cart if presented with unexpected shipping costs. In fact, it’s the single biggest cause of shopping cart abandonment, ranking above having to create a new account, security concerns and confusing checkout systems. While offering free shipping might sound expensive, the reality is that the profit you’ll make from those extra customers is likely to more than pay for it.
Avoid overwhelming customers with cluttered designs and big chunks of text before they can see the purchase button. Mix it up with images and videos (most consumers prefer to watch product videos instead of reading about them), and use written content sparingly. Remember, additional content can be hosted elsewhere – such as on an integrated blog site – so that the information is available without cutting into your conversion rate.
Split tests use scientific principles to determine what’s most likely to encourage visitors to make a purchase. Simply put, your website can automatically serve up either your regular page (the control) or a variation (the test). By changing one element at a time – such as the colour of a button or the image you use – you can see whether the variation improves your conversion rate. If it does, you can set the test page as your new default and move on to something else.
It’s not uncommon for people to visit a store, to add something to their basket and then to leave before checking out. By analyzing the performance of different pages – and their bounce rates in particular – you can find out what’s causing them to leave. Common cart abandonment issues include slow load times, functional problems, high postage costs and added tax, and each additional step in the checkout process can cause people to leave before they finalize their purchase.
Nearly 70% of consumers rely on reviews when making a purchase, and allowing visitors to post them on your site will provide unique content to feed search engines, too. In fact, even negative reviews can lead to sales – people are naturally wary of something that seems too good to be true, because it often is.
Conversion optimization can be an effective way of increasing revenue and overall profit, and it has the advantage of continuing to add value over time. This runs in sharp contrast with increasing your ad spend, which will drive more traffic in the short term but will stop as soon as you lower your budget.
Remember that just because you have a strong month in April, it might not be the same in May. It’s vital to monitor your conversion rate over time and to keep an eye on long-term trends, and to be aware of any external factors – such as seasonality or a sudden spike in demand – that could influence your data.
Conversion optimization is a long-term process, and it requires a long-term commitment. But once you start to witness the results, you’ll be hooked. After all – nothing is perfect, and there’ll always be something else you can do to make a difference. Test everything, measure everything, and act on what you learn along the way. Your conversion rate will start improving in next to no time.
Alek is responsible for the visual communication and user engagement at EuroVPS. He is passionate researcher of human psychology and always looking for a way to innovate and implement new experiences by challenging the established design patterns. Books lover, explorer by nature and full Law of Attraction practitioner.
Although chat boxes are sometimes seen as cumbersome and old school, there is still a place for them in your website design. A well-placed chat box allows your visitors to chat with you in real time and lets you address any concerns so you can provide up-to-the-minute customer service that will put you ahead of the competition. Live chat is considered helpful by 90 percent of consumers.
It is important the chat box is approachable and functional. There are a few rules of thumb that will help you add an approachable chat box. Here are the elements that work well and some examples of effective chat boxes.
Your chat box should be very easy for your site visitors to find. Many will not automatically expect you to offer this customer service feature. If they don’t see the chat box when they visit your site, they may just assume you don’t have one.
Take a page out of the book of Host Gator. Host Gator offers a live chat button right at the top right of its website. The icon with the blue background and a conversation bubble combined with the words “Live Chat” makes it clear you can talk if you have a question about hosting.
Takeaway: Mark your live chat link clearly and make it easy to find.
Some software and plugins will slow your server down and might aggravate the user with the snail’s pace. You’ll want to create an approachable chat box that doesn’t bog down your server and frustrate your user.
One example of a chat box that works fast can be found on Best Buy’s Geek Squad page. It only offers service to those with a subscription plan for the Geek Squad, but getting help is just a click away, and the software loads quickly and scrolls fast. It also offers an option to phone in if you prefer.
Takeaway: Choose chat box software that won’t slow down your website and is user friendly.
There is nothing more annoying to a user than being in the middle of a chat box session, clicking on a link and suddenly losing the entire chat. You then have to go through the entire story again with a new customer service rep, more often than not.
Warren Cat offers a live chat feature at the bottom of its page. You click on the button that says “Chat Live Now,” and a new window pops up with your chat box. This alleviates the concern of navigating away from the chat box accidentally because the chat box takes up a full window.
Takeaway: Seek out chat box software that opens in a new window or at least offers a warning before the user accidentally navigates away.
Web designs can bet boring when they look similar. But there is no hard and fast rule that your chat box has to be boring. You can certainly add a little branding, personality and fun to the process.
Host Excellence does a good job of creating a fun chat box that draws your attention. It is located in the right sidebar and features an animated arrow that points at a CTA button that reads “Start Chat Now.”
Takeaway: A chat box doesn’t have to be dull. Add your own personality to the feature.
Offering a support area on your website can help visitors know exactly how to access your live chat feature without cluttering other pages with buttons. The support link should appear in all the pages of your site so navigation is simple for site visitors.
One example of a site with an attractive live chat box on its support page is iDriveSafely.com. Note how there is a simple FAQ on the left and a live chat button on the upper right that is easy to find. Site visitors are also offered other options for support, such as email or phone.
Takeaway: If you don’t want to put the live chat button on every page of your site, then offer a dedicated support area where the live chat box can be accessed easily.
Your chat box should be visually pleasing. There should be good contrast between text and background so responses are not difficult to read. Ideally, the chat box will integrate with the colors and design of your website.
One example of a website with a nice chat box is Shopify. If you click on its “Chat With Us Now” button, the page will scroll down and you’ll be asked to share your Shopify domain. If you don’t have one, you can simply click the words under the “Authenticate” box that read “Don’t have a store?” You will then be taken to a box that matches the overall look of the Shopify site but is simple, with text that is easy to read.
Takeaway: Your chat box should mesh well with the overall look of your site, and there should be a nice contrast between background and text.
A chat box is still a smart way to offer another level of customer service. It can make your site more interactive and help customers experience personal service. This can mean the difference between them choosing to do business with you or choosing to do business with a competitor.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
What’s your website’s best selling point?
You might be thinking it’s the quality or price of your product, how your website is designed, or an effective landing page. While all these things certainly contribute to a sale, there is one feature that will put your business ahead of many others.
That feature is testimonials.
Testimonials are customer reviews of your business, product or service. It sums up your customer’s experience while working with you. It also adds validity to the promotional language you’re using on your website because it’s coming from someone who doesn’t make a profit from your sale.
Testimonials add authenticity and worth to your website for a number of reasons and can really help with website conversions.
Social proof is always an effective weapon for your website. It shows new users that others have trusted and recommend your business. Testimonials offer social proof to new visitors.
Customers don’t always trust businesses. But they do trust other people just like them. That’s why testimonials work as social proof. Customers who have the same problem went to your company, and their problem was solved. Potential customers relate to that person who left a positive testimonial on your website.
PSD to WordPress uses its testimonial page to connect to new customers. The first thing you’ll notice is a big, high-quality photo of the customer who wrote the testimonial. Pictures of other customers help new ones relate on a human level. Words don’t have the same effect as another person’s face.
The customer also goes into great detail about how helpful the creative team of the company was. This positive quote with the friendly picture is a 1-2 punch of social proof.
Testimonials can be extremely beneficial when they’re used in an impactful way. Choosing where you place your testimonials can boost engagement. That’s why you should place a testimonial next to your call-to-action.
Utilizing a testimonial near a call-to-action is exactly what dapulse does. In fact, its testimonial is above its call-to-action. This means you have no choice but to read it before you create an account. The testimonial nicely leads users into the opt-in box by giving them a positive experience that reassures them they’re making the right decision.
Dapulse included a few things with its testimonial that makes it more impactful. One thing it did was include a picture of the person giving the testimonial. Once again, this is important because it builds a human connection between the user and the person who wrote the review. Next to the picture is that person’s company logo. This establishes the reviewer as an authority figure who needs to rely on this company.
Both the photo of the person and logo make the testimonial more meaningful. They allow new users to trust your company.
Testimonials boost your site’s worth because they share a customer’s experience with your company. The customer tells the story of what it was like to work with you. They’ll also share how well they liked your product or service.
This story is meaningful to potential customers. They want to see how your company helped other people just like them. Make sure you give former customers an opportunity to share their story.
You can accomplish this by making it very simple to write a testimonial. CJ Pony Parts’ website has a button at the top of the page labeled, “Write a Testimonial.” Anyone who has worked with the company can very easily write and submit their review of the company.
CJ Pony Parts also shows the number of testimonials that have been written. This number is a type of social proof. It shows new customers that 256 people have felt so passionately about this company that they’ve taken the time to write a positive testimonial. It shows the amount of user engagement, which is always a good sign for new visitors.
Testimonials boost your site’s worth by increasing user engagement and letting customers share their experience with your company. Both have a positive impact on your business.
Testimonials can make users trust your company. They can reassure them before they choose to make any kind of commitment. Simply put, testimonials increase conversions. They especially increase conversion when they’re placed where users can see them. Placing testimonials high on your website leads to a 64.53% increase in downloads.
ChowNow places two types of testimonials at the top of its page. One is a quote about its service. That quote sits on top of a video. New users will be curious to see what that video consists of after reading the quote. The number of clicks on the video most likely increases due to the addition of the testimonial.
Put your testimonials front and center so customers can see them and choose to take action.
The customer is more than always right. They’re your entire business. Use their reviews and testimonials to ensure positive experiences for new customers.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
In today’s digital landscape we’re surrounded by great experiences that incorporate nuanced ties between design, branding and marketing. While this is true, it’s also pretty fair to say that there are far too many digital marketers who just don’t get this yet that are causing use to drown in downright dreadful online experiences. Hopefully like me you find this incredibly painful (even if you’re one of these folks who just don’t get it!).
While beautiful design can be a great center piece and starting point for users experience with your site and brand, many people truly underestimate the power of simplicity, white space and more importantly transparency in creating a great experience that turns visitors into quality leads and customers.
At the end of the day many people fail in their design because they lack the framework for success in defining what questions their target audience needs addressed. This can vary widely from business to business but I wanted to share an example from my world, home security that I think many people can relate to their business.
In my case and most likely any other consumer facing home service model it boils down to 3 things:
In this case I’m going to use the query “Jacksonville Home Security” (I live in Jacksonville, FL). In Google this brings me back the regular set of paid, organic and mixed local results. Here’s a quick glance at 2 results that easily showcase how transparency with a guided, methodical approach makes all the difference:
While the site looks fairly good lets evaluate it basic on what our visitors are really looking for. They don’t really address their value directly outside of riding on the ADT brand which is fine – they have the added benefit of great branding behind them.
Now they do provide that they have value of saving you some money in providing a “Free” system (you’ll see later on that this is really not a value, almost everybody in the space is providing a free system!) along with an extra $100 off. They also address question three with this in showing the equipment you’ll be getting too.
When it comes to cost, however, I’m left completely in the dark on this without navigating to a separate page. Beyond this their isn’t even a quote option available, I can only get called back. Even when I click the pricing guide, I’ve got to scroll way down to the bottom of the page to even see that plans start at $36.99!
Now this one is pretty good, right off the bat I know exactly how much it costs, some of the equipment I’ll be getting and hey I know who GE is – value of the system based off brand!
Outside of this they do some other great things like having the Norton and TRUSTe symbols that scream out “Hey you can trust us”. They even give the option for people to get a quote if they are getting a different type of system. If the person is still not convinced they have more things down the page like customer testimonials that build value along with a lookup of “How Safe is your Neighborhood” that shows you just how bad crime is in your area.
Overall this is an absolutely excellent experience and does a great job of overcoming any objections I have. The design is by no means the Mona Lisa of websites but it doesn’t need to be because its upfront in what the consumer is looking.
Mike Wilson is a marketing analyst with Safe Choice Security, a Jacksonville Home Security Company providing GE Home Security systems featuring award winning monitoring from Monitronics.
If you haven’t had a moment to take a look at the new Visitor Flow section in your Google analytics account take a moment and take a look at it. Google has recently released a new feature that shows you the flow of traffic through your website utilizing visual tools, awesome. You can see how a visitor enters and how the interact with your website directly which can bring a boat load of value when trying to determine website efficiency.
“So we are releasing “Flow Visualization” in Google Analytics, a tool that allows you to analyse site insights graphically, and instantly understand how visitors flow across pages on your site. Starting this week, “Visitors Flow” and “Goal Flow” will be rolling out to all accounts. Other types of visualisers will be coming to Google Analytics in the coming few months, but in the meantime, here’s what you can expect from this initial release.”
The new visitor flow visualization tool in Google Analytics allows you to see the point of entry of a visitor and how they navigate through your website.