How to drive revenue from abandoned carts

Reasons to abandon are almost as unique as your customers. Maybe it wasn’t exactly what they were looking for. Perhaps it was more expensive then they were expecting. Or they hadn’t seen how much shipping would cost. They may have added items to their cart with no intention to buy or accidentally closed the tab.

Whatever the reason, every single one of these customers is
still an opportunity.  

The average rate of cart abandonment is around 76%. This means, for every 100 customers walking through your virtual door, 76 are leaving without making a purchase. You wouldn’t accept this in a brick-and-mortar store, so why put up with it online?

Not just for ecommerce

It’s important not to think of abandoned cart programs as
only applicable to B2C or ecommerce brands.

Abandoned browse emails can be used in a very similar way. For a B2B brand or service consider what your high intent actions are. Whether it’s filling in a form or viewing a pricing page, you can create abandoned browse emails to capture any of those who drop off without completing an action.

Program your abandoned carts

Abandoned carts or browse emails should be the backbone of your marketing strategy. Ultimately, it’ll help you recover more lost revenue and convert more visitors.

While the sound of a ‘program’ may feel complicated, the abandoned cart is a simple follow-up email. Browsers are reminded after exiting the window where they added items to their shopping carts.

But, to set this up, a couple of technical steps are necessary.

Integrate

Integrating your ecommerce store or CRM with Engagement Cloud is essential. Through this, Engagement Cloud will know when a shopper abandons your site. This action will trigger your abandoned cart or abandoned browse program. The program, built in Engagement Cloud, will send these emails to your contacts every time they fail to complete your desired action.

Build

Building your program is quick and painless, thanks to the product development team at dotdigital. Engagement Cloud comes fully equipped with over 30 pre-built programs, ready and waiting for you to switch on. Among these, you’ll find the abandoned cart and abandoned browse.

You can create more complex or specific abandonment programs in Engagement Cloud’s easy-to-use program builder. And, with our connectors like Magento and Shopify, you don’t even need to build a program. It’s ready and waiting for you to switch on in your account.

Create

Once your program is in place, you need to create the email you want to be sent to your contacts. Depending on the program, it may be one email, or it could be three. But your design will also be dictated, in part, by the strategy you adopt.

All the best, most successful abandonment emails are using one or more of these tactics to achieve its goals.

Don’t fire out discounts every time

We know it can be tempting to include discount codes, but
don’t send them out every time someone abandons an action on your site.
Shoppers are savvy and they’re clocking onto this tactic.

Instead, consider factoring in some stipulations:

  • Where does the shopper fit into your RFM personas? Are they Champions, Loyal or Need nurturing? These are the perfect targets to offer discounts. For your Champions and Loyal segments, you’re rewarding loyalty. Need nurturing customers will receive the incentive they need to tip into your Recent category.
  • How much are they spending? What’s the complete value of the cart they’ve abandoned? Consider offering discounts for carts worth over $100. Or make the code conditional on spending over $50.
  • Optimize the potential spending power of your new subscribers or members by offering them a discount on their first purchase. By stating it’s on their first purchase, you’re also setting expectations, so they know not to expect repeat discounts, every time they abandon a cart.

US wine subscription company, Winc, offer money off first orders, but only for first-time buyers. With a clear understanding of the value of its proposition and knowledge that shoppers tend to buy more than one bottle in an order, this email prompts new shoppers to take the first step on their journey with Winc.

Keep it super simple

The best thing about abandoned browse emails and abandoned carts is that they don’t have to be complicated.

Actually, the simpler they are the better the impact they have. Why over-complicate the message? All you’re trying to do is push them to complete their purchase, so packing the email full of additional items or CTAs reduces its impact.

Beardbrand personalized abandoned cart

Beardbrand makes its CTA big, and bold, and impossible to miss. The brand also adds a sense of urgency with its phrasing ‘reclaim your cart!’. The body copy of the email emphasizes this further, explaining the cart is about to expire. With a clear time pressure and a clear spotlight being shone on a single product, the reader feels compelled to complete the action.

Use social proof to tip them over

Social proof is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. According to reviews platform, Feefo, 95% of people are influenced by reading reviews.

Adding social proof elements to programs like abandoned carts or browse can help you convert first-time visitors or uncertain buyers.

Adidas abandoned browse

Adidas tap into its audiences’ fear of missing out, and desire for anything unique and personalized with this abandoned browse campaign. By adding a CTA to customize they’re giving shoppers even more incentive to resume their browse. Combined with its incorporated reviews, the reader is really inspired to return to the site.

Give them a reason to choose you

80% of consumers are willing to pay more or try a new brand if they offer a better customer experience.

You’ve already captured the shopper’s attention. They’ve been on your site, signed up for an account or subscribed to your newsletter. They’ve even gone as far as to look at a specific page or add items to their cart. But now, you need to show them why they should choose you, over your competitors.

Whisky Loot abandoned browse

While you may not think these programs are the place for this, Whisky Loot, a whiskey-themed subscription box, did just that. Using an abandoned browse email, it perfectly demonstrated the brands fun and quirky personality. It even addresses key issues that may have stopped the customer from completing their purchase. Overall, the email leaves readers smiling and thinking, ‘yeah, I will treat myself’.

Keep the revenue rolling by reviewing your abandoned carts

The strategy behind your abandoned carts or browse emails is essential.

To keep this program driving revenue, it’s important you
keep a close eye on it. If you see your ROI stagnating, it’s time to change it
up.

Never be afraid to be different and try something new. How
else are you going to stand out from your competition? Make every experience as
unique as your customers.

In the immortal words of T.S. Eliot: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”


Suggested reading

Product recommendations blog suggestion
B2B automation blog suggestion
Social proof blog suggestion

The post How to drive revenue from abandoned carts appeared first on dotdigital blog.

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How Does the Local Algorithm Work? – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by JoyHawkins

When it comes to Google’s algorithms, there’s quite a difference between how they treat local and organic. Get the scoop on which factors drive the local algorithm and how it works from local SEO extraordinaire, Joy Hawkins, as she offers a taste of her full talk from MozCon 2019.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hello, Moz fans. I’m Joy Hawkins. I run a local SEO agency from Toronto, Canada, and a search forum known as the Local Search Forum, which basically is devoted to anything related to local SEO or local search. Today I’m going to be talking to you about Google’s local algorithm and the three main factors that drive it. 

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about when I say the local algorithm, this is the algorithm that fuels what we call the three-pack here. When you do a local search or a search that Google thinks has local intents, like plumbers let’s say, you traditionally will get three results at the top with the map, and then everything below it I refer to as organic. This algorithm I’ll be kind of breaking down is what fuels this three-pack, also known as Google My Business listings or Google Maps listings.

They’re all talking about the exact same thing. If you search Google’s Help Center on what they look at with ranking these entities, they tell you that there are three main things that fuel this algorithm. The three things that they talk about are proximity, prominence, and relevance. I’m going to basically be breaking down each one and explaining how the factors work.

1. Proximity

I’ll kind of start here with proximity. Proximity is basically defined as your location when you are searching on your phone or your computer and you type something in. It’s where Google thinks you are located. If you’re not really sure, often you can scroll down to the bottom of your page, and at the bottom of your page it will often list a zip code that Google thinks you’re in.

Zip code (desktop)

The other way to tell is if you’re on a phone, sometimes you can also see a little blue dot on the map, which is exactly where Google thinks you’re located. On a high level, we often think that Google thinks we’re located in a city, but this is actually pretty false, which I know that there’s been actually a lot of talk at MozCon about how Google pretty much always knows a little deeper than that as far as where users are located.

Generally speaking, if you’re on a computer, they know what zip code you’re in, and they’ll list that at the bottom. There are a variety of tools that can help you check ranking based on zip codes, some of which would be Moz Check Your Presence Tool, BrightLocal, Whitespark, or Places Scout. All of these tools have the ability to track at the zip code level. 

Geo coordinates (mobile)

However, when you’re on a phone, usually Google knows your location even more detailed, and they actually generally know the geo coordinates of your actual location, and they pinpoint this using that little blue dot.

It knows even more about the zip code. It knows where you’re actually located. It’s a bit creepy. But there are a couple of tools that will actually let you see results based on geo coordinates, which is really cool and very accurate. Those tools include the Local Falcon, and there is a Chrome extension which is 100% free, that you can put in your browser, called GS Location Changer.

I use this all the time in an incognito browser if I want to just see what search results look like from a very, very specific location. Now these two levels, depending on what industry you are working in, it’s really important to know which level you need to be looking at. If you work with lawyers, for example, zip code level is usually good enough.

There aren’t enough lawyers to make a huge difference at certain like little points inside a given zip code. However, if you work with dentists or restaurants, let’s say, you really need to be looking at geo coordinate levels. We have seen lots of cases where we will scan a specific keyword using these two tools, and depending on where in that zip code we are, we see completely different three-packs.

It’s very, very key to know that this factor here for proximity really influences the results that you see. This can be challenging, because when you’re trying to explain this to clients or business owners, they search from their home, and they’re like, “Why am I not there?” It’s because their proximity or their location is different than where their office is located.

I realize this is a challenging problem to solve for a lot of agencies on how to represent this, but that’s kind of the tools that you need to look at and use. 

2. Prominence

Moving to the next factor, so prominence, this is basically how important Google thinks you are. Like Is this business a big deal, or are they just some random, crappy business or a new business that we don’t know much about?

  • This looks at things like links, for example. 
  • Store visits, if you are a brick-and-mortar business and you get no foot traffic, Google likely won’t think you’re very prominent. 
  • Reviews, the number of reviews often factors in here. We often see in cases where businesses have a lot of reviews and a lot of old reviews, they generally have a lot of prominence.
  • Citations can also factor in here due to the number of citations. That can also factor into prominence. 

3. Relevance

Moving into the relevance factor, relevance is basically, does Google think you are related to the query that is typed in? You can be as prominent as anyone else, but if you do not have content on your page that is structured well, that covers the topic the user is searching about, your relevance will be very low, and you will run into issues.

It’s very important to know that these three things all kind of work together, and it’s really important to make sure you are looking at all three. On the relevance end, it looks at things like:

  • content
  • onsite SEO, so your title tags, your meta tags, all that nice SEO stuff
  • Citations also factor in here, because it looks at things like your address. Like are you actually in this city? Are you relevant to the city that the user is trying to get locations from? 
  • Categories are huge here, your Google My Business categories. Google currently has just under 4,000 different Google My Business categories, and they add an insane amount every year and they also remove ones. It’s very important to keep on top of that and make sure that you have the correct categories on your listing or you won’t rank well.
  • The business name is unfortunately a huge factor as well in here. Merely having keywords in your business name can often give you relevance to rank. It shouldn’t, but it does. 
  • Then review content. I know Mike Blumenthal did a really cool experiment on this a couple years ago, where he actually had a bunch of people write a bunch of fake reviews on Yelp mentioning certain terms to see if it would influence ranking on Google in the local results, and it did. Google is definitely looking at the content inside the reviews to see what words people are using so they can see how that impacts relevance. 

How to rank without proximity, prominence, or relevance

Obviously you want all three of these things. It is possible to rank if you don’t have all three, and I’ll give a couple examples. If you’re looking to expand your radius, you service a lot of people.

You don’t just service people on your block. You’re like, “I serve the whole city of Chicago,” for example. You are not likely going to rank in all of Chicago for very common terms, things like dentist or personal injury attorney. However, if you have a lot of prominence and you have a really relevant page or content related to really niche terms, we often see that it is possible to really expand your radius for long tail keywords, which is great.

Prominence is probably the number one thing that will expand your radius inside competitive terms. We’ll often see Google bringing in a business that is slightly outside of the same area as other businesses, just because they have an astronomical number of reviews, or maybe their domain authority is ridiculously high and they have all these linking domains.

Those two factors are definitely what influences the amount of area you cover with your local exposure. 

Spam and fake listings

On the flip side, spam is something I talk a lot about. Fake listings are a big problem in the local search space. Fake listings, these lead gen providers create these listings, and they rank with zero prominence.

They have no prominence. They have no citations. They have no authority. They often don’t even have websites, and they still rank because of these two factors. You create 100 listings in a city, you are going to be close to someone searching. Then if you stuff a bunch of keywords in your business name, you will have some relevance, and by somehow eliminating the prominence factor, they are able to get these listings to rank, which is very frustrating.

Obviously, Google is kind of trying to evolve this algorithm over time. We are hoping that maybe the prominence factor will increase over time to kind of eliminate that problem, but ultimately we’ll have to see what Google does. We also did a study recently to test to see which of these two factors kind of carries more weight.

An experiment: Linking to your site within GMB

One thing I’ve kind of highlighted here is when you link to a website inside your Google My Business listing, there’s often a debate. Should I link to my homepage, or should I link to my location page if I’ve got three or four or five offices? We did an experiment to see what happens when we switch a client’s Google My Business listing from their location page to their homepage, and we’ve pretty much almost always seen a positive impact by switching to the homepage, even if that homepage is not relevant at all.

In one example, we had a client that was in Houston, and they opened up a location in Dallas. Their homepage was optimized for Houston, but their location page was optimized for Dallas. I had a conversation with a couple of other SEOs, and they were like, “Oh, well, obviously link to the Dallas page on the Dallas listing. That makes perfect sense.”

But we were wondering what would happen if we linked to the homepage, which is optimized for Houston. We saw a lift in rankings and a lift in the number of search queries that this business showed for when we switched to the homepage, even though the homepage didn’t really mention Dallas at all. Something to think about. Make sure you’re always testing these different factors and chasing the right ones when you’re coming up with your local SEO strategy. Finally, something I’ll mention at the top here.

Local algorithm vs organic algorithm

As far as the local algorithm versus the organic algorithm, some of you might be thinking, okay, these things really look at the same factors. They really kind of, sort of work the same way. Honestly, if that is your thinking, I would really strongly recommend you change it. I’ll quote this. This is from a Moz whitepaper that they did recently, where they found that only 8% of local pack listings had their website also appearing in the organic search results below.

I feel like the overlap between these two is definitely shrinking, which is kind of why I’m a bit obsessed with figuring out how the local algorithm works to make sure that we can have clients successful in both spaces. Hopefully you learned something. If you have any questions, please hit me up in the comments. Thanks for listening.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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The importance of spelling (and the value of typos)

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? What about a rsoe? According to this article on the BBC, spelling typos like this could slash your online sales in half. In total, it is believed that such inaccuracies could be costing UK markets millions in lost online sales every year.

Why is keeping on top of spelling errors important?

  • It limits the chances that your message will be misunderstood
  • It reflects your credibility, intelligence, and readability
  • And it indicates that you care about how you do business

What’s your first impression of a brand whose website is filled with poor typography, spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes? You’re horrified. You’ve never purchased anything from them before. And if the quality of their language is poor, who knows what their products are like. You’re likely to dismiss that brand an move on to another site. This can be devastating for business.

It’s all about crdeibility

In recent years, web users have become more savvy at sussing out a credible website from one that is likely to take their cash and run. This has raised the standards across the web as businesses scramble to create a strong, professional impression. Your website is often the first point of contact for customers and is responsible for revenue. It needs to come across as trustworthy and knowledgeable.

What’s key is a high standard of language – the ability to communicate with consistent grammar and spelling so that it doesn’t become jarring to the reader and make them question their time on the site. Bad grammar dissolves credibility and can kill a brand, so don’t fall foul of any superfluous commas or double negatives.

If you let the standards drop in this area – even if visitors don’t suspect that you’re phishing for their details – they will still start their online relationship with you doubting the quality of your operation. Sometimes that’s all you need to do to lose the sale.

Remember, you’ve only got 15 seconds to capture the reader’s attention.

Tips to avoid errors

Slow down. The fast-paced world we live in dictates that we’re ‘always on’. Doing too much in a short amount of time isn’t always best. Never send anything without going through it with a fine-tooth comb.

Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking may result in you making more spelling errors. Think about it: your brain has to refocus after switching to a new task. Try completing one thing before you move on to the next.

Get a second pair of eyes. Getting someone else to proofread your work helps you identify any spelling or grammatical errors you couldn’t spot yourself. Before you send that customer email or publish that important landing page, nudge a colleague to review it and feed back. It may take more time, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Double-check the facts. Misspelling a place name or getting someone’s profession wrong can have negative consequences. For example, if you’re applying for a job and misspell the company’s name, you won’t get the job. Mistakes like these can undermine someone’s identity and offend an entire audience. What’s more, it makes you appear unprofessional and amateurish to customers. Don’t run that risk: Attention to detail means everything.

SEO – an indicator of national literacy?

There’s another interesting side to the debate.

With a growing concern over the basic literacy skills of school leavers, it’s no surprise to find keyword research littered with misspellings (that receive just as high search volumes as the actual phrase).

Moreover, this can create conflicts for your SEO strategy and conversions: I.e. do you go with the realistic approach and try to optimize toward some of these misspellings? (This risks a dent in your conversions.) Or do you just accept that your target audience is made up of the most literate customers?

In our view, it’s worth a compromise. Simply including the incorrect phrase within your strategy will increase the chances of ranking for the term and increasing traffic. But you need to be clever about it.

Consider adding the phrase to an image’s alt text once or twice as this will include the phrase within your website without being obvious to the user. Remember, once or twice – having the front of the site full of correct spellings and the back of the site full of misspellings will be identified as a scheme to trick the search engines and could negatively affect your ranking. Make no mistake, content errors do harm your brand and SEO.

Finally, please excuse any misspellings!

Regardless of the strategy you undertake for your SEO, it’s worth being vigilant for errors of any kind, from spelling to dead links to scripting issues. Despite a high level of traffic, any faults with your website can result in a loss in conversions.

And if you do make an error, own it

Owning your blunders can be a great form of PR. Sometimes pointing out an error you’ve made, and making a joke of it, makes you more credible to customers. All you need to do is to master the art of ‘oops’.

Want some copywriting inspiration? Check out our killer guide here.

The marketer's guide to copywriting - Part 1

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Kindness as Currency: How Good Deeds Can Benefit Your Local Business

Posted by MiriamEllis

“To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.” – Taisen Deshimaru, Buddhist philosopher


A woman stands in a busy supermarket checkout line. The shopper in front of her realizes that they don’t have enough money with them to cover their purchase, so she steps in and makes up the balance. Then, when she reaches the checkout, her own receipt totals up higher than she was expecting. She doesn’t have enough left in her purse.

“No problem,” says the young clerk and swipes his own debit card to pay for her groceries.

A bystander snaps a photo and posts the story to Facebook. The story ends up on local radio and TV news. Unstructured citations for the grocery store start crackling like popcorn. National news takes notice. A scholarship foundation presents a check to the clerk. When asked how he felt about it, the clerk said:

“Personally, I think it’s undeserved attention. Because she did something so good … I felt like it was my responsibility to return the favor.”

In the process, if only for a moment in time, an everyday supermarket is transformed into a rescue operation for hope in humanity. Through the lens of local SEO, it’s also a lesson in how good deeds can be rewarded by good mentions.

Studying business kindness can be a rewarding task for any motivated digital marketing agency or local brand owner. I hope this post will be both a pick-me-up for the day, and a rallying cry to begin having deeper conversations about the positive culture businesses can create in the communities they serve.

10+ evocative examples of business kindness

“We should love people and use things, but sadly, we love things and use people,” Roger Johnson, Artisan

As a youngster in the American workforce, I ran into some very peculiar styles of leadership.

For instance, one boss gruffly told me not to waste too much time chatting with the elderly customers who especially loved buying from me…as if customer support doesn’t make or break business reputations.

And then there was the cranky school secretary who reprimanded me for giving ice packs to children because she believed they were only “trying to get attention” … as if schools don’t exist to lavish focus on the kids in their care.

In other words, both individuals would have preferred me to be less kind, less human, than more so.

Perhaps it was these experiences of my superiors taking a miserly approach to workplace human kindness that inspired me to keep a little file of outbreaks of goodwill that earned online renown. These examples beg self-reflective questions of any local business owner:

  1. If you launched your brand in the winter, would you have opened your doors while under construction to shelter and feed housing-insecure neighbors?
  2. If a neighboring business was struggling, would you offer them floor space in your shop to help them survive?
  3. Would your brand’s culture inspire an employee to cut up an elder’s ham for him if he needed help? How awesome would it be if a staffer of yours had a day named after her for her kindness? Would your employees comp a meal for a hungry neighbor or pay a customer’s $200 tab because they saw them hold open a door for a differently-abled guest?
  4. What good things might happen in a community you serve if you started mailing out postcards promoting positivity?
  5. What if you gave flowers to strangers, including moms, on Mother’s Day?
  6. How deeply are you delving into the season of giving at the holidays? What if, like one business owner, you opened shop on Thanksgiving just to help a family find a gift for a foster child? You might wake up to international fame on Monday morning.
  7. What if visitors to your community had their bikes stolen on a road trip and your shop gifted them new bikes and ended up on the news?
  8. One business owner was so grateful for his community’s help in overcoming addiction, he’s been washing their signage for free. What has your community done for you and how have you thanked them?
  9. What if all you had to do was something really small, like replacing negative “towed at your own expense” signs by welcoming quick stop parking?
  10. What if you, just for a day, you asked customers to pay for their purchases with kind acts?

I only know about these stories because of the unstructured citations (online references to a local business) they generated. They earned online publicity, radio, and television press. The fame for some was small and local, for others, internationally viral. Some activities were planned, but many others took place on the spur of the moment. Kindness, empathy, and gratitude, flow through them all like a river of hope, inviting every business owner to catch the current in their own way. One easy way for local business owners to keep better track of any positive mentions is by managing and monitoring reviews online with the New Moz Local.

See your online presence

Can kindness be taught in the workplace?

In Demark, schoolchildren learn empathy as a class subject. The country is routinely rated as one of the happiest in the world. At Moz, we have the TAGFEE code, which includes both generosity and empathy, and our company offers internal workshops on things like “How to be TAGFEE when you disagree.” We are noted for the kindness of our customer support, as in the above review.

According to Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki, people “catch” cooperation and generosity from others. In his study, the monetary amount donors gave to charity went up or down based on whether they were told their peers gave much or little. They matched the generosity or stinginess they witnessed. In part two of the study, the groups who had seen others donating generously went on to offer greater empathy in writing letters to penpals suffering hard times. In other words, kindness isn’t just contagious — its impact can spread across multiple activities.

Mercedes-Benz CEO, Stephen Cannon, wanted employees to catch the kindness bug because of its profound impact on sales. He invited his workforce to join a “grassroots movement” that resulted in surprising shoppers with birthday cakes, staff rushing to remote locations with spare tires, and other memorable consumer experiences. Cannon noted:

“There is no scientific process, no algorithm, to inspire a salesperson or a service person to do something extraordinary. The only way you get there is to educate people, excite them, incite them. Give them permission to rise to the occasion when the occasion to do something arises. This is not about following instructions. It’s about taking a leap of faith.”

In a 2018 article, I highlighted the reviews of a pharmacy that made it apparent that staff wasn’t empowered to do the simplest self-determined acts, like providing a chair for a sick man who was about to fall down in a long prescription counter line. By contrast, an Inc. book review of Jill Lublin’s The Profits of Kindness states:

“Organizations that trade in kindness allow their employees to give that currency away. If you’re a waitress, can you give someone a free piece of pie because the kid at the next table spilled milk on their foot? If you’re a clerk in a hotel, do you have the authority to give someone a discounted rate because you can tell they’ve had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?”

There may be no formula for teaching kindness, but if Zaki is right, then leadership can be the starting point of demonstrative empathy that can emanate through the staff and to its customers. How do you build for that?

A cared-for workforce for customer service excellence

You can find examples of individual employees behaving with radical kindness despite working for brands that routinely disregard workers’ basic needs. But, this hardly seems ideal. How much better to build a business on empathy and generosity so that cared-for staff can care for customers.

I ran a very quick Twitter poll to ask employees what their very most basic need is:

Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents cited a living wage as their top requirement. Owners developing a kind workforce must ensure that staff are housing-and-food-secure, and can afford the basic dignities of life. Any brand that can’t pay its staff a living wage isn’t really operational — it’s exploitation.

Beyond the bare minimums, Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 Survey of 7,300 executives, HR experts, and employees highlighted trending worker emphasis on:

  • Flexibility in both hours and location to create a healthy work/life balance
  • Ethics in company technology, practices, and transparency
  • Equity in pay ratios, regardless of gender
  • Empathy in the workplace, both internally and in having a positive societal impact with customers

It’s just not very hard to connect the dots between a workforce that has its basic and aspirational needs met, and one possessing the physical, mental and emotional health to extend those values to consumers. As I found in a recent study of my own, 70 percent of negative review resolution was driven by brands having to overcome bad/rude service with subsequent caring service.

Even at the smallest local business level, caring policies and initiatives that generate kindness are within reach, with Gallup reporting that SMBs have America’s happiest and most engaged workers. Check out Forbes list of the best small companies of 2019 and note the repeated emphasis on employee satisfaction.

Kindness as currency, with limitless growth potential

“I wanted a tangible item that could track acts of kindness. From that, the Butterfly Coin emerged.” Bruce Pedersen, Butterfly Coins

Maybe someday, you’ll be the lucky recipient of a Butterfly Coin, equipped with a unique tracking code, and gifted to you by someone doing a kind act. Then, you’ll do something nice for somebody and pass it on, recording your story amongst thousands of others around the world. People, it seems, are so eager for tokens of kindness that the first mint sold out almost immediately.

The butterfly effect (the inspiration for the name of these coins) in chaos theory holds that a small action can trigger multiple subsequent actions at a remove. In a local business setting, an owner could publicly reward an employee’s contributions, which could cause the employee to spread their extra happiness to twenty customers that day, which could cause those customers to be in a mood to tip waitstaff extra, which could cause the waitstaff to comp meals for hungry neighbors sitting on their doorsteps, and on and on it goes.

There’s an artisan in Gig Harbor, WA who rewards kindnesses via turtle figurines. There are local newspapers that solicit stories of kindness. There are towns that have inaugurated acts-of-kindness weeks. There is even a suburb in Phoenix, AZ that re-dubbed itself Kindness, USA. (I mentioned, I’ve been keeping a file).

The most priceless aspect of kindness is that it’s virtually limitless. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be quantified. The Butterfly Coin idea is attempting to track kindness, and as a local business owner, you have a practical means of parsing it, too. It will turn up in unstructured citations, reviews, and social media, if you originate it at the leadership level, and share it out from employee to customer with an open hand.

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The 10 hottest topics to focus on when planning your eCommerce Expo itinerary

Taking place over two days, this year’s eCommerce Expo is going to be bigger than ever. There’s going to be more talks and more insight than one person can handle. Unfortunately, one person can’t be in two places at once, and with over 100 sessions in 12 theatres, it’s going to be impossible to catch everything.

So, what key topics should you focus on, that is going to make a real difference to your business?

We’ve put together a short round-up of what we think the hottest topics will be this year. Covering every critical challenge and opportunity that lies ahead, we hope this helps you make the most of your time at the Expo. It may even you a little extra time to stop by our stand and say hello!

1. Optimizing email is essential

Email automation ecommerce expo

Any article that you read arguing that email is dead is wrong. Plain and simple.

In fact, email marketing is only getting stronger, now generating an ROI of $50 for every $1 spent. Email is still the majority of customers’ preferred method of communication with a brand. For an ecommerce brand, email is a vital part of your ecosystem. It covers marketing, transactions, and customer service.

But, with the average customer using so many channels and unique devices, keeping up with demand can seem impossible. Overcrowded inboxes are common and cutting through the noise feels futile. That’s why optimizing your email performance is essential.

Whether you’re introducing channels to compliment email or creating consistent messaging: optimization is key. With a whole theatre dedicated to automation, email and multichannel, it’s a must-not-be-missed topic.

Top talks

⭐ Gavin Laugenie 🗓 25 September 🕒 15.40 – 16.05 📍 Marketing Automation, Email & Multichannel Theatre

⭐ Actionable insight to enhance your email marketing 🗓 25 September 🕒 12.35 – 13.05 📍 Marketing Automation, Email & Multichannel Theatre

2. Let data influence your decisions

Data decisions ecommerce expo

We’ve already highlighted the massive returns email achieves. But how does that equate with the idea that GDPR has made email marketing harder?

Research shows that GDPR has made consumers more aware of how their data is being used. Rather than making them reluctant to hand over personal information, it’s proving the opposite. Customers are happier to hand over their data in return for a unique and personalized shopping experience. So, don’t let GDPR put you off collecting it at every opportunity you get.

Data is your secret power. The most successful marketing strategies rely on data to influence decisions, and that’s exactly what you should be doing. Rather than feeling fear and dread when it comes to data, this is your opportunity to let it empower you. Your opportunities to connect with customers will flourish when you learn how to make your data work harder for you.

Top talks

⭐ Building consumer understanding through data-driven insights 🗓 26 September 🕒 13.50 – 14.15 📍 MadTech & Data Driven Insights Theatre

⭐ Don’t let GDPR kill your marketing strategy 🗓 26 September 🕒 10.50 – 11.15 📍 MadTech & Data Driven Insights Theatre

3. Realizing the power of reviews

Reviews ecommerce expo

The ever-increasing ecommerce landscape has made it easier for competitors to pop-up at the drop of a hat. As a result, differentiating your brand is now more difficult.

With 94% of shoppers checking reviews before they buy, it’s time we all realized the power of reviews. Consumers trust the feedback of their peers over the promises of a brand. By incorporating reviews into your marketing, show your brands’ openness and integrity. Giving shoppers the power to make informed decisions drives conversion rates and helps you gain valuable insight into your customers.

It’s time to tap into this and make reviews an integral part of your marketing.

Top talks

⭐ 5 simple steps to building a successful review strategy – by Ted Baker 🗓 25 September 🕒 12.40 – 13.05 📍 Customer & Personalization Theatre

⭐ Turning insight into action – how to get more from your customer feedback 🗓 25 September 🕒 11.25 – 11.50 📍 Content & Social Strategies Theatre

4. Personalization

Personalization ecommerce expo

1:1 experiences are essential for the modern consumer. It’s what they demand in exchange for shopping with you, and it’s what keeps them coming back to you.

From basic first name personalization and behavior targeting to advanced external dynamic content and liquid script – a little can go a long way. Key to delivering these unique experiences is knowing how to use the data at your fingertips.

Ecommerce brands have been leading the way on this front for quite some time but, it’s important not to rest on your laurels. You must keep learning, trying, and testing to discover what works with your audience and what drive results.

Top talks

⭐ Innovating through content personalization: data-centric strategies to transform customer experience 🗓 25 September 🕒 11.25 – 11.50 📍 Customer & Personalization Theatre

⭐ How to improve online customer experience…even on a small budget 🗓 26 September 🕒 15.05 – 15.35 📍 Customer & Personalization Theatre

5. Cracking the content code

Content marketing ecommerce expo

Let’s face it, few of us are actually trained copywriters, yet copywriting is what we do. Whether it’s email, web, blogging, or social, you’re expected to produce it all.

But you don’t have to be a wordsmith to be a content creating genius. From videos to podcasts, graphics, and physical collateral, you’re trying to achieve two key things with every bit of content you produce:

  1. To grab the attention of your customer
  2. To create a connection with your audience that keeps them coming back

Storytelling has been at the core of content marketing since its advent. With people spending more of time on channels like Instagram and Snapchat, telling an engaging brand story is essential.

Top talks

⭐ Five-second rule: grabbing your customer’s attention quickly 🗓 25 September 🕒 14.20 – 14.45 📍 MadTech & Data Driven Insights Theatre
⭐ It starts with a song: connecting with Kobalt’s community through content 🗓 26 September 🕒 15.05 – 15.35 📍 Content & Social Strategies Theatre

6. Nailing the experience

Happy customer experience

Optimizing customers’ experiences is essential for ecommerce brands. The better their experience, the better they convert.

The smoother the journey, from browsing to payment, the more likely customers are to return. In fact, they’re 86% more likely to repeat a purchase. You know the importance of personalization to the customers’ experience, but to keep them loyal, you need to go way beyond that. Consistency is key.

Optimization can come in many forms. To most tech-savvy shoppers, mobile optimization and customer service is vital. 24/7 access to customer services through online chat or social media is essential. It’s leading to a significant change to both marketing and customer service roles. The two roles are beginning to overlap and merge.

Ecommerce has been leading the way, embracing customer experience roles as intermediaries between marketing and customer service. But, to keep customers coming back, you need to get ahead of the game, and the best way to do so is to check out eCommerce Expo’s UX and CRO Theatre.

Top talks

⭐Customer journey hijacking: the hidden problem that’s causing your millions! 🗓 25 September 🕒 11.50 – 12.15 📍 UX and CRO Theatre

⭐ The evolution of ecommerce: how the psychological foundation of consumer behavior evolved and redefined business requirements 🗓 26 September 🕒 11.10 – 11.35 📍 UX and CRO Theatre

7. Scaling your brand

Business growth

Ecommerce is open for business. Anyone with an idea and a business model has the power to create the next big thing. But, with giants such as Amazon already dominating the field, the idea of growing your brand can feel daunting.

But this doesn’t have to be the case.

The digital landscape has helped even things out. New tech and access to social media has made it easier for anyone to scale quickly. All you need is the proper inspiration – and you’ll get plenty of that at the eCommerce Expo.

Top talks

⭐Gorillas & unicorns: unlocking brand growth through technology collaboration 🗓 25 September 🕒 12.00 – 12.25 📍 MAdTech Innovations Theatre

⭐ How to achieve fast, sustainable growth in ecommerce 🗓 26 September 🕒 13.15 – 14.00 📍 Keynote Theatre

8. Expanding your market

International expansion

Maybe scaling isn’t your only goal? Maybe you’re looking to expand beyond your geographical location.

The best thing about living in the digital age is that our ambition is limitless. Once upon a time, trading in a new country meant finding premises abroad and setting up shop there. That cost a great deal of time, money and manpower. Technology has helped us break down these boundaries. We know it’s possible, which leaves us with the question of where to start, and how do we ensure our ventures are a success?

Top talks

⭐ Localize to thrive: providing a seamless localized offer 🗓 25 September 🕒 15.05 – 15.35 📍 Cross Border Theatre

⭐ Cross border ecommerce success: the key steps for effective international expansion 🗓 26 September 🕒 11.30 – 12.00 📍 Cross Border Theatre

9. Prepare for the future

Future of ecommerce

When it comes to the future, there are a lot of scary phrases and hypotheses bouncing around. Buzzwords like AI, Bitcoin, and blockchain are everywhere lately, but what do they mean and how will they change the way we work?

When will the robots take over?

We’re already starting to see AI trickle into our day-to-day lives at work. It’s powering features such as chatbots and product recommendations. These are already making a positive difference to customer experience. Blockchain is improving brand transparency and cutting down on marketing ‘middlemen’.

Advances in technology aren’t slowing down, so preparing for them is key.

Top talks

⭐ AI, chatbots & their use for eretail and marketing 🗓 25 September 🕒 15.05 – 15.30 📍 MadTech Innovations Theatre

⭐ Blockchain in delivery – future or fad? 🗓 25 September 🕒 15.40 – 16.10 📍 Delivery & Fulfilment Theatre

10. Get ready to go headless

Ecommerce voice recognition

As consumers get used to shopping through apps, smart voice assistants, and in-store interfaces, ecommerce platforms must work harder to keep up.

Whereas most traditional commerce platforms are only designed to deliver content in the form of websites, headless platforms use APIs to deliver content to any screen or device. This is more flexible, adaptable, and offers endless customization and personalization options.

At the moment, Amazon is once again leading the way when it comes to going headless. Traditional commerce solutions can’t achieve the Amazon Prime-like experience 60% of consumers. It’s imperative you start planning to go headless to keep providing customers with the experiences they desire.

Top talks

⭐ Headless ecommerce – the platform revolution 🗓 25 September 🕒 12.40 – 13.05 📍 Omnichannel Theatre

⭐ How to deliver results by going headless 🗓 25 September 🕒 15.05 – 15.30 📍 Omnichannel Theatre


Keep reading

Ecommerce B2B blog
Ecommerce social proof blog

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Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotdigital.com

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Today, I’m going to show you 15 of the top SEO affiliate programs. If you have an audience or are building one in the SEO and digital marketing space, these are proven programs that will help grow your passive income.  Here they are, broken down by types for your convenience.        Services OutreachMama – Yep, shameless … Continue reading “SEO Affiliate Programs That Have Recurring Commissions”
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Reblogged 2 months ago from www.outreachmama.com

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So this just happened… Gary Illyes of Google dropped a link building bomb on Twitter. It looks like he received an unsolicited link building email and went nuclear on the guy – making sure Google’s algorithm considers his list of 700 sites worthless (allegedly). Have you ever received an unsolicited email like the one Gary … Continue reading “Link Builders Have Ruined Everything (Again)”
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Reblogged 2 months ago from www.outreachmama.com