Getting customers to purchase on an e-commerce site is a challenge. It would help to convince them that your product would meet their needs and get them to trust your brand. The more you can make the shopping experience personal for your customers, the better.
Personalization is critical for enhancing client loyalty, generating return visits, and increasing revenues. Customers are more likely to convert and complete a transaction when they encounter suitable material based on previous experiences with your website.
An e-commerce recommendation system uses machine learning algorithms. It pinpoints products most likely to appeal to each customer based on their past browsing and buying behavior. Recommendations are integrated into your website or app in various ways,
The principle behind the recommendation system is simple: you try to offer your visitor something that he will like and buy. There are methods for making recommendations for individuals, including:
For example, Amazon’s “customers who bought this item also bought” section is a product recommender. Similarly, Netflix’s suggestions are based on its recommendations algorithms. Spotify recommends music according to your previous listening behavior.
The main aim of a recommendation system like Argoid is to match users with the right products and lead them down the path of making a purchase. This post will explore the importance of e-commerce recommendation systems and how they can increase sales for your online store.
The recommendation system is vital in increasing users’ satisfaction and business success as a shopping platform.
If your e-commerce website offers many different products, recommend those related to the one a customer has just bought. Customers want to feel that their shopping experience is personalized, and showing related products is an excellent way of doing this. Using an e-commerce recommendation system will allow you to do this automatically so that every customer gets recommended relevant products.
A recommendation system can help you get creative with your homepage. If you’re offering a new product, then why not use your homepage as a place to feature it? You can also feature products that have been bought together. This will cause customers to spend more time looking at the items you’ve chosen.
Shoppers abandon their online carts for several reasons: high shipping costs, unexpected fees, poor website layout and usability, and lack of trust.
You can offer recommendations to help shoppers find what they’re looking for faster. You can create urgency with time-sensitive offers or sales. You can make sure your web pages load fast, and your check-out process is seamless. You can follow up with customers who abandon their cart by offering a discount code if they complete the purchase within the next few days.
Customer loyalty is one of the most critical facets of any e-commerce business. The lifetime value of a customer who engages with you is much higher than someone who makes a one-off purchase and never returns.
It means your marketing campaign can be more effective, and it means they’re more likely to recommend you to their friends and families.
Recommendation systems are a great way to show relevant products or services to your customers, encouraging them to return to your site. Thus, increasing the likelihood that they’ll make another purchase.
Product recommendations are one of the most effective ways to increase conversions and reduce bounce rates, more so if you’re trying to attract new customers. By showing them the products they’re most likely to be interested in and purchase, you’ll have a much better chance of converting them into customers than by showing them your entire catalog.
A relevant product recommendation system will learn from user behavior and display those products which are most likely to be of interest. This can be done with machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
A personalized product recommendation system helps an e-commerce store recommend products to customers based on their likes. This will allow the store to increase sales and e-commerce conversion rates.
In e-commerce, it is essential to have a tool that can efficiently and effectively improve customer engagement. E-commerce recommendation systems generally work on the idea that when a customer buys product A, they are likely to buy product B or C. These systems suggest relevant products or services to customers based on their search history, past purchases, or cart content.
Building a recommendation system is a great way to increase your ecommerce store’s average order value. A recommendation system uses historical data and predictive modeling to learn what products are most likely to be purchased together or provide the best customer experience.
Recommendations are a very effective way to increase average order value because they give shoppers additional products that interest them. For example, if someone purchases a pair of shoes from your store, you can use a recommendation engine to suggest complementary products, such as socks or shoelaces.
E-commerce recommendation systems can analyze your data and connect you with users with similar buying habits. This makes it easier for you to advertise your products. With a recommendation system, you can focus on sales and increase revenues.
Global retail ecommerce sales are exploding.
According to Statista, worldwide e-retail revenues are projected to grow to a jaw-dropping 4.88 trillion US dollars by 2021. Sounds good, doesn’t it? You can almost taste the money.
However, to get a bite of the cherry is not easy. These days online retail strategies change fast. It’s hard to keep up. New tools, new strategies, and new technologies are now required to be successful in this fluid marketing landscape.
Here are five trends to keep tabs on if you want to win and bring home the bacon.
Here we go…
Augmented Reality (AR) is changing retail and the way people buy and sell.
Retailers now use cutting edge phone technology to allow customers to see how items they want to buy would look like in their homes or offices.
Not sure how that nice-looking couch would look like in your lounge?
You can now use an app to position it wherever you want in your living room and see it in the exact context of your room living room. Amazing!
Such apps have three major benefits.
Houzz has an app that lets you take rooms in your house and then place multiple products within them, virtually, from a selection of 500,000 product images. The best part? People who used the app were 11 times more likely to buy.
Hop onto the ecommerce augmented reality train before it’s too late. Your business will be better for it.
The rapid adoption of smartphones and increase in internet penetration rates in emerging markets is turning e-commerce retail into a global market.
Your company’s customers are longer just in your backyard, they’re all over the world.
According to a report by Credit Suisse, total annual ecommerce sales across Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey could reach up to USD$3.5 trillion and impact companies across multiple sectors, including retail, finance, security, and technology.
Brands are taking advantage of this lucrative global opportunity by using powerful ecommerce solutions like Shopify.
Such POS systems support multiple foreign currencies for ease of shopping for local shoppers and have local currency selectors within their storefront themes.
Sometime in 2017, mobile checkouts reached 52%, overtaking desktop checkouts for the first time.
We now live in a mobile-first world. Because of advancements in mobile payment technologies like fingerprint and facial recognition, more and more people will enjoy the convenience of mobile checkout.
With Google, Samsung and Apple doubling their user base and installing sophisticated advancements in their payment technology, mobile checkouts are projected to reach 70% of eCommerce traffic by the end of 2018. The mobile train is gathering even more steam and savvy brands are profiting from the development.
For instance, 10% of Starbucks U.S. orders were done with their Mobile Order and Pay app. The payment method was so popular that in February, mobile orders flooded staff and created unheard of wait times.
It’s time to take advantage of the phenomenal rise of mobile checkout.
Voice search is the future of SEO. In fact, it’s already here.
Its impact on SEO has set off a domino effect on internet marketing. The arrival of voice search has changed internet marketing forever.
According to Google, by the year 2020, more than half the searches will be voice searches. And, with over 30 million voice-first devices in US homes and one billion voice searches per month as of January 2018, there’s no stopping the voice search avalanche.
What does all this mean for ecommerce?
Three key things.
Clearly, voice assistants will have a huge role to play in ecommerce in the coming years.
With the typical consumer using five or more connected devices daily, omni-channel marketing continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.
Statista reports that by 2020, the installed base of Internet of Things devices is forecast to grow to a staggering 31 billion worldwide.
The buyer journey is no longer linear. Prospects now start their buyer journey on one channel and end it on another.
Selling across channels or device is no longer a side dish — it’s now the entrée. From brick and mortar stores to blogs, from online forums to mobile apps, intelligent brands follow consumers everywhere to boost their sales.
Here are some the approaches to take note of:
To satisfy today’s sensitive customers need for total convenience and get results, adopt a sharp omni-channel strategy.
Trends Matter: Jump In On The Act
These topics are trending for a reason.
They’re making headlines because experts agree they’re the next big thing. Pick ones that make sense in your industry and deploy them now rather than later.
Be a smart early adopter brand so you position your enterprise for growth. If you’re sluggish in your approach, your competitors will quickly jump in — and zoom past you on the ecommerce highway before you know it.
So ride the wave today. Your bottom line will be all the better for it.
According to his cheeky wife’s baseless claims, Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy, is an irresistibly handsome dude. He helps SMBs rapidly grow their income and impact through actionable long-form content that ranks high, builds authority, and generates tons of leads. He is a contributor to top blogs like Crazy Egg, Search Engine People, Techwyse, AWAI, and more.
Shopping online is a different beast than shopping in a store. If you run an e-commerce business, you likely look for ways to improve your bottom line and keep your business growing from one season to the next. While there is a ton of advice out there about how to accomplish this, sometimes going back to basics is the best choice available.
By the year 2021, experts predict retail e-commerce sales will hit $4.5 trillion worldwide.
The three-second test asks you to put yourself in your customer’s place. What is your impression in the first three seconds on your website? Do you immediately know where to go and how to take action, or is the layout frustrating and clunky? By putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, you will see your site through their eyes and make any structural changes necessary.
Although different experts cite different lengths of time, three seconds is a good middle-range number, so aim to make that impression in that time span. If your visitors hang around longer than three seconds, that is a bonus.
Home in on the product or products you’re selling. If someone lands on your homepage, they should immediately know what you sell and get a feel for your company philosophy. If your product is fun and lighthearted, your overall design and the way you present your product should reflect that.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your company story and history — both of which are important — but when a visitor searches for a specific product on your site, they often just want the quickest route to completing their purchase. Don’t distract them with other information at this point.
Pinpaper Press is a good example of putting the focus on the product. They sell different types of wrapping paper, so a gift wrapped in cute paper and tied up with a bow is the focus of their homepage. They keep their content simple with a big, bold call-to-action button that reads, “GET STARTED.”
Users in different countries prefer different types of payment options. Globally, credit cards are the preferred way to pay, but in China and Western Europe, users prefer a digital payment system, and in India, they appreciate cash on delivery. If you want your e-commerce business to be truly global, offer a variety of ways for your customers to pay.
For example, do you take cryptocurrency? If not, this is an option you should look into. Some companies will convert your cryptocurrency to cash, if your concern is how to spend the cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. Ultimately, you may choose to stick with other payment options, but don’t overlook new methods of payment or other options that might appeal to a wider market.
It’s important to clearly show site visitors what is on sale and what your specials are. If you offer seasonal-based products, then ensure you highlight those during the proper season. If the focus is more on a discount or free shipping, highlight that instead. Online consumers are savvy. They love a good deal and will hunt around for a site that gives them the best price and most perks.
Note how the Amish Outlet Store highlights their June savings for consumers, explaining the different ways people can save money based on their payment method or purchase amount. They also show a couple of pieces of furniture the site visitor might save money on to further entice consumers to shop their June savings event.
Customer experience (CX) is a vital part of whether consumers stay on your site and return to it for future purchases. Since 86 percent of consumers say they’ll pay a bit more for a better CX, focus on making your CX the absolute best possible. That starts the minute the consumer lands on your page, and goes all the way through how you follow up after you’ve made the sale.
CX is about more than how your site looks — it is also about how your site makes consumers feel. That includes everything from how easy your site is to navigate to how well you execute an order. To test the experiences consumers have on your site, do polls and get some beta testers to try out various aspects of ordering from your website. Make any necessary improvements along the way.
Consumers prefer live chat over other methods of contacting your company. More than 50 percent say they’d rather use live chat than a telephone for support or to ask a simple question. They even prefer live chat over email and social media for communication with companies. Live chat shows you’re engaged with your customers and ready to fulfill their needs.
Petplan offers customers several options on how to contact them. While the focus of the landing page is on starting a quote on pet insurance, you’ll also notice a chat bubble in the bottom right you can click on at any time for a live chat. Also, if you click “start my quote,” you go to a page to fill in information, and to the right is a box with options for how to contact Petplan, including live chat as one option.
Consumers are a lot more likely to purchase from someone they feel they can trust. Put a face and philosophy behind your business. If you belong to any groups or have certifications, such as through the Better Business Bureau or an industry organization, be sure to list those at the bottom of your landing page.
The more site visitors feel they know you and have a guarantee you’ll fix anything that goes wrong, the more likely they are to give you their hard-earned dollars. If you want to keep those same visitors coming back again and again and get them to tell their friends about your business, ensure their entire experience is positive.
Creating a personalized experience for your site visitors is important. Anything you can do to make things as specific as possible for those you’re trying to reach will improve your chances of gaining new customers. There are many different methods to personalize their experiences. Collect data from them, and greet them by name, for example.
Wine.com ships quality all over the country. They personalize the site by state, showing you approximate shipping times or if they ship to your ZIP code. You just choose the drop-down menu at the top of the landing page to set it to your state and see which wines are available to you, as this can also vary by state.
It costs five times more to gain a new customer than to keep a customer you already have. Current customers are also more likely to re-order and spend more on average. It makes sense to focus on turning your customers into the most loyal fans you’ve ever had. As a bonus, they will spread the news about your great customer service, and word of mouth will continue to grow your biz.
There are several ways to accomplish this feat. Outstanding customer service is a start, but you should also develop a customer loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat purchases or referrals.
If you want your e-commerce store to be the best it can be, never stop improving your processes and offers. Continue to look at your store through the eyes of your target audience. Over time, your site should offer new features and improve old ones, constantly changing, growing and becoming better than the year before. Only with this type of dedication will you see success and overcome the competition in the marketplace.
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.
Looking to market your eCommerce store? While external campaigns are certainly important, what you do on your storefront matters just as much. Here are some tips.
Picture this – a new store has opened up in a nearby shopping center, and you trundle over to have a look. The moment you step through the door, you’re immediately turned off. It’s immediately clear whoever owns the store doesn’t really know what they’re doing.
The sales staff are pushy, rude, and lack knowledge about what they’re selling. The store’s barely maintained, with bad lighting and a general lack of maintenance. And the products look shoddy and poorly-designed.
You probably wouldn’t ever shop at that store again, right?
Now imagine what that store might look like as a digital storefront. Poorly-written or barely-present product descriptions, a lack of product photos, and so on. It’s more common than you’d think in eCommerce. You need to make sure your storefront doesn’t look like a dive – and the first step in that is to ensure you’re including certain marketing elements.
You might think that people browse digital storefronts very differently from how they browse physical ones – but that belief isn’t entirely correct. Let’s say, for example, someone’s shopping for wallpaper for a new house. They’ll probably examine several different options, and maybe even look at flooring or kitchen appliances, as well.
By including a Related Products option, you’ll equip your storefront with the ability to imitate how people browse in brick-and-mortar locales, and greatly increase conversions as a result. You might also want to consider incorporating Category navigation, as well.
Occasionally, people go to a store knowing exactly what they’re looking for – but not knowing exactly where to find it. In a physical store, they’d go to a sales rep and ask them. In an eCommerce store, that’s not really an option – which is why you need a search bar. Allowing people to do a keyword search in your store will make it way easier on your customers – and the more pleasant you make things, the likelier they’ll be to return.
61% of customers read online reviews before they commit to a purchase, and leads with access to both reviews and Q&As are 105% likelier to convert. That’s huge – and it means that if your storefront doesn’t allow customers to submit reviews, there’s a good chance a large portion of potential leads will instead go to a different store that does.
Here’s a great example on the Home Depot website:
By allowing customers to post reviews, you’ll provide a window through which your most loyal visitors can tell everyone else how great your brand is. Not only that, you’ll generate a ton of free, searchable content. And if you decide to post video reviews, you could dive into using YouTube as a marketing platform – and maybe even make a bit of additional money through it, too.
You’ve doubtless heard that old cliche that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Especially in eCommerce, it holds true – people remember 80% of what they see, and just 20% of what they read. That means that no matter how good your product descriptions are, if your photos are low-quality, you’ll lose out on business.
Here’s another good example of product photos on the Home Depot site:
Hire a professional photographer to capture some beautiful snapshots of your products. Trust me, it’s worth the cost. It might also be worth your while to look at a few competing storefronts to see how they present their own product photos.
Lastly, make sure you optimize them, too – you might be surprised how many potential leads you could bring in through image searches.
56% of mobile searches are made with local intent – and the majority of those searches end in a purchase. Especially if you have a physical storefront, your digital store needs to include information such as your address, home city, phone number, and so on. This also makes it easier for customers to contact you if they’ve a question about a product or service.
Marketing campaigns are important – but you need to make sure you’re optimizing your storefront, too. Incorporating the above elements will not only make for a better overall experience, but also help you rank better on search engine. And by using a platform like Shopify or Magento, you can incorporate everything here with ease.
Christina Coons is a professional digital marketer at Northcutt, an inbound marketing agency. She specializes in e-commerce, social media, and public relations, and spends her days helping brands succeed online.
You’re really relying on those conversions, but they just aren’t coming in. You poured your soul into building your site, and you feel as though you’re offering something that people would genuinely want to purchase. So why aren’t they making transactions with you? You could be killing their trust without even knowing it. With so many scams on the web, people are hesitant to hand over their personal information to companies that don’t appear to be trustworthy. Are you guilty of making any of these eCommerce mistakes?
You could have the best web copy in the world, but if you’re presenting potential customers with cell phone quality images of your product or service, it undoubtedly makes you appear shady. Clean graphics and high quality photos will always translate as more professional. If you’re offering something like a digital download, you may not have any images of a physical product to show. In this case, make use of high quality stock images that are relevant to your site.
People want to know how secure your website is. Make sure everything is hosted on a secure connection (https) and place all of your security seals in plain sight. If you have your website regularly monitored for malware or protected against malicious attacks, place seals from those companies in the footer of your page. Customers love seeing the Verisign seal before they attempt to make a purchase. They want to know your site is safe.
How do they know there’s a real person and a legitimate business behind your eCommerce site? Create a comprehensive “About” page that lists the names of the people behind your brand, and links to their personal profiles. If your company has a physical address and a phone number, place them here. Encourage them to investigate you on other outlets, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. They’ll be able to verify your identity, which will give them peace of mind.
What happens if they’re dissatisfied with their purchase? What should a customer do when they want to return your product or cancel your service? People aren’t willing to gamble with their money. If you don’t provide them with a trial, they may not have a clear idea of how their purchase will work for them. Offer your buyer a guarantee. If they’re unhappy after a certain period of time, offer them a refund. They’ll feel more comfortable buying if they know that in the end, they won’t be stuck with something they don’t want.
While plenty of legitimate businesses exist on the web, eCommerce is drastically different from traditional commerce. Without a physical storefront, people have more questions they want answered. They want to know who is behind the website, and that the business is being run by someone reputable. Keep an open door, and be easy to contact. Always utilize customer feedback to make your eCommerce website a thriving business.
Emily Burgess is an avid blogger who enjoys writing about all aspects of improving a business, be it marketing, customer service or training. Emily is currently sharing some of her ideas at Course Guru – experts in the field of online education. Personally, she’s a great fan of foreign languages.
Take a second to think about your favorite site to shop online. Then go to waybackmachine.org and see how it looked 3 years ago. I’m willing to bet things have changed a lot.
With e-commerce, trends change rapidly, especially this day in age. If your business is going to keep up, you may want to look into these six hot trends.
Shopping at your desktop computer? So 2010. Over the past few years, the number of people that shop on iPads, iPhones, and other devices has increased exponentially. Your website needs to be prepared for the numbers to get even higher. But what exactly is “responsive design”? To keep it simple, it’s a website that looks good, no matter what device it’s on. By upgrading to responsive web design, you’ll avoid having multiple websites. Search engines hate when companies have multiple websites for the same e-commerce purposes.
Technically, having quality information (a.k.a content) to sell your product has always been important. But you used to be able to use lower quality images, videos, and descriptions, as long as your competitors were too. Not anymore. Hi-res images, large videos, and descriptions that really capture a potential buyer’s interest need to be implemented. Businesses are starting to catch on to the importance of quality content marketing, and those old sub-par practices are becoming increasingly harder to get away with.
According to Mashable/Vocus/Gartner Research, 50% of web sales will occur via social media by 2015. Social media will make your business grow, there’s no way around it.
Infographic provided by Vocus.
Barkbox, Woobox, and NatureBox are three different companies. One sells dog toys and gadgets, one sells marketing apps, and the other sells nature snacks. But they all have two things in common – they’re subscription based, and successful. Expect to see more and more of these types of companies popping up throughout 2014.
A lot of online shop owners don’t know their site’s bounce rate, average visitor duration time, and more. Frankly, this surprises me, but shop owners are quickly catching on. If you look at this information and all of your stats are good – then that’s awesome, and you’re doing something right. If your stats are not good – don’t fret. These numbers will help you recognize if you need to change your site’s design, work on page load times, increase your social media presence, or a number of other things that could help you drive more sales.
It’s a fairly simple concept, but many businesses still don’t do it. To battle the consumer’s ever-increasing need to have something as quickly as possible, more businesses will be offering options such as free 2 day shipping. Or maybe even delivery drones, right?
Ben is a writer from Upstate New York. He works with Web Payment Software, a company that offers affordable mobile payment options for businesses of all sizes. Connect with him on Google+.