Behavioral targeting for ecommerce: your step-by-step guide

Behavioral targeting drives offers that resonate with the individual, anticipate their needs, and save them time. And that means more click-throughs, more conversions, and a happy marketing team.

But with all the behavioral data available, how can you tune out the noise and target customers effectively?

We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to get you started.

1. What does behavioral targeting mean to you?

Customers’ actions (and inactions) online can be used to infer their preferences, lifecycle stage, and place in the buying journey. So you can provide the most appropriate type of content and personalization based on the individual’s interests.

How you use this information will depend on your products and customer personas.

You’ll need to think about:

  • what behaviors do you want to target? – Frequent browsing? Carting certain types of products?
  • who are the customers that exhibit this behavior? – What are their passions and motivations? Where are they in the building journey and customer lifecycle?
  • and what content is most valuable to them right now? – A coupon? A reminder? A product recommendation?

2. Work out what data you need

Once you have an idea of the behaviors you want to target, you can start collecting the data you need to make it happen.

This will include some of the following:

  • Pages the customer browsed
  • Products the customer carted
  • Products the customer purchased
  • Categories the customer browsed
  • Content the customer consumed
  • When and how often the customer visits

For these behavioral targeting insights to feed into your marketing efforts, you’ll need a system that collects and coordinates data from as many customer touchpoints as possible – including your ecommerce website, mobile apps, and ESP.

Behavioral targeting

3. Get to know your customers

The next step is to capture the visitor’s email address. This opens up a whole new channel for behavioral targeting communication.

When a new visitor comes to your online store, you can present a data capture in response to their actions. For instance, displaying a registration form only after the visitor has viewed two product pages, and personalizing the offer to match the categories they browsed.

Behavioral targeting

Target customers with the right content

Once you have the right data in place, you can segment customers according to their behavior, interests, and lifecycle stage.

These segments can be used to send targeted bulk emails, refine triggered email programs, personalize web content, and even target customers via social media.

Below are some common ways to use behavioral segmentation. If you’re stretched for time, it’s a good idea to start with basic product-based segmentation and expand from there.

Experiment with product segmentation

Behavioral data can be used to build lists of customers who are interested in certain products, categories, or brands.

For instance, a tool store might have customers who are very loyal to a particular manufacturer. With behavioral segments, the retailer could send brand-specific newsletters and shopping recovery emails – so that customers get recommendations for products that are compatible with their existing gadgets.

Product recommendations

Segment by customer journey

It makes sense to show different types of content depending on customers’ lifecycle stage – whether they’re a new visitor, new customer, regular shopper, frequent visitor, or lapsed shopper.

For instance, you might use a coupon to convert frequent visitors who haven’t yet made a purchase. But this is a less appropriate strategy for frequent purchasers, where discounts could reduce the value of an order that would have taken place anyway.

Segment by engagement

Try varying your emailing cadence to match each shopper’s level of engagement.

Where customers are very engaged but didn’t yet make a purchase, you could send a browse abandonment series combined with more frequent bulk emails.

For occasional visitors, a steady flow of bulk emails might be more fitting.

Refine your real-time marketing

Segmentation can be used to fine-tune your triggered email strategy.

Imagine you’re already sending a browse abandonment program, but want to use a new program for customers looking for Christmas deals. Rules can be set so that regular customers receive the standard browse abandonment email, while customers who browsed lots of holiday deals receive the new festive program.

Behavioral targeting

Combine with personalized content

Segmentation allows you to send the right type of content to different audience groups. Dynamic content is the key to tailor that content to the individual.

For example, marketers can use segmentation to vary the frequency of bulk emails depending on engagement. Then include personalized product recommendations in those emails, based on each shopper’s browsing history.

When you combine segmentation with real-time personalization, content is both relevant and compelling.

Personalized content

Always test and monitor

Behavioral segmentation makes a lot of sense. But avoid making assumptions about your audience. Some shoppers might be receptive to all your marketing, so consider sending the ‘generic’ content to some subscribers to see how it performs.

It’s important to regularly monitor segments to see if they’re performing as you hoped. If a segment isn’t generating as much revenue as expected, it could be time to alter the composition of the group, or change up your marketing tactics for that audience.

5. Choosing the right technoloy

It’s tricky to implement behavioral targeting if your data sits in inaccessible silos.

Luckily, there are straightforward ways to connect up your data pools, even if you aren’t ready for a big data integration project.

Dedicated personalization platforms sit between your ecommerce system, ESP, and CRM to collect behavioral targeting data in real time. This data can be used to automatically segment customers and deliver personalized content across web and email.

If you’d like to find out more, join Gavin Laugenie, Head of Strategy & Insight at dotdigital, and Alistair Milne, Personalization Consultant at Fresh Relevance, as they show you how to take control of your customer data to drive revenue, improve customer experience, and strip it back to basics.

Register for the webinar here.

The post Behavioral targeting for ecommerce: your step-by-step guide appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

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

The post The 10 hottest topics to focus on when planning your eCommerce Expo itinerary appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 3 months ago from blog.dotdigital.com

8 ways to improve the SEO of your ecommerce website

Did you know that 93% of
all online experiences start from a search engine? Not to mention, 37.5%
of the traffic
to ecommerce websites comes from  search, as revealed by SEMrush. That’s a
sizeable chunk that cannot be ignored.

Let’s suppose a prospect is
searching for a product that you provide. How do you think he or she will  find your site? Via  a search engine. The only catch is that your
ecommerce site should be ranking high in the search results because 75% of
people will never scroll past the first results page.

All this brings us to SEO, the key to ranking your website higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and boosting your revenue. So, without further ado, let’s walk you through 10 practical ways to improve your SEO:

1. Hunt down the right keywords

The right keywords
aren’t always low-hanging fruit, easily available and ready to be used in your
content. If anything, these take some digging around. Aim to find long-tail
keywords that can assist you in ranking high for niche-specific topics. A
long-tail keyword is a term that consists of three or more words.

These keywords
attract a narrowed down target audience. For example, if you have a store that
sells pet accessories, don’t target ‘pet accessories’ as the keyword. Instead, use
a long-tail keyword like ‘pet accessories under $100.’

Think along the lines of user queries. Try to be specific and type in conversational queries for finding out the right keywords. If you find keyword research difficult, consider working with an SEO Marketing Agency.

2. Create blog content

Blogging for your
ecommerce site is the recipe for SEO success. Research confirms that companies
that blog get 434% more indexed pages than those that don’t. Hence, you shouldn’t
just incorporate keywords in your web content and product descriptions only.
Instead, you should also write blog posts around the long-tail keywords that
you research.

While you’re at it, create engaging meta descriptions for each post that you write. Meta descriptions are small descriptions that show under a blog post’s title in the search engine. An attention-grabbing description will urge readers to click on your content and read it, driving leads your way.

3. Fix site errors

Site errors can
negatively impact your  SEO. For
instance, a 404 error code tells Google and other search engines that the page
doesn’t exist. Therefore, it doesn’t index it.

Use tools such as Screaming Frog to unearth website errors. This free tool scans your websites’ links, CSS, script, images, and more from an SEO lens. Following the examination, Screaming Fog delivers a summary of the errors, missing header tags, duplicate pages, etc. Once you get a hold of these errors, correct them quickly to boost site usability, which can help to improve your conversion rate.

4. Pay attention to site speed

In 2018, Google confirmed
that speed was an important ranking influencer. Besides impacting your ranking,
site speed also affects user experience. Slow speed will discourage a visitor
from spending time on your website, culminating in an increased bounce rate and
poor SEO results.

Research estimates that a second’s delay in page load could lead to a loss of $2.5 million in sales annually. Moreover, 53% of mobile users abandon a site when it takes longer than three seconds to load.

To this end, take steps to improve your site’s speed. Use tools like Web Page Test to find out your ecommerce site’s page load speed. Then, take steps to improve load speed, for example, by optimizing your images to reduce their size.

5. Reduce the architectural depth of your site

Your site’s architecture
reveals its structure – the way it branches out. For instance, the home page
goes to the product category, which then leads to a sub-category. This may dive
further into other pages.

However, in-depth
choices can confuse the reader and minimize site usability. Such a setting also
buries a smaller category section. The best way to design your site
architecture for enhancing eCommerce SEO is to construct a horizontal
architecture, which limits the vertical depth of pages.

Try to develop a shallow site architecture where pages are located in one or two subcategories. In this way, Google is able to crawl and index your site quickly and easily.

6. Encourage social traffic to your ecommerce site

Interactions on
social media can help drive branded search your way while increasing your
visibility. As you grow an engaged presence on social, you will develop an
active community of fans, which can drive good traffic your way.

In fact, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the three leading social platforms that contribute 90% of all social traffic to websites and blogs. With the increased traffic and engagement via social, you can boost your site’s authenticity, which takes your SEO game up by a notch.

7. Take care of on-page SEO

On-page SEO covers
optimizing your site’s pages for search engines optimization. One of the main
steps here is mentioned above: writing compelling meta-descriptions with the
keyword in them. Additionally, use click magnet words in your title tag as Backlinko
suggests
. For example, try ‘X% off’ or ‘lowest price’ for boosting
your click-through rates (CTR).

Similarly, add click-encouraging words in your product descriptions as well. Try words like ‘items on sales’, ‘free shipping,’ and other such words to maximize CTR. Lastly, for your blog content, create awesome content with 1000+ words and add your keyword 3-5 times throughout.

8. Pay attention to local SEO

86% of consumers
take to the internet to search for a local business. Consequently, you need to
pay attention to local SEO to show up in your prospect’s search. To this end,
set up a Google
My Business
account. 

This account will
log your business’s details into Google’s database and shows your store in
local search results. Next, try to get some local links to your site, also
known as backlinks. You can get backlinks from review sites and listings such
as Yellow Pages.

Any coverage from
local news outlets, magazines, PR releases, and other local websites and media
can also give you backlinks. These links boost your search engine ranking by signaling
to Google that you are authentic and known in your area.

Final thoughts

Improving your
ecommerce SEO demands work. However, it’s worth all the effort and time you
invest in it, and it will help you with your long term strategy goals To
quickly recap, focus on local and on-page SEO, rectify any errors on your site,
and use keywords in your content.

The post 8 ways to improve the SEO of your ecommerce website appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 5 months ago from blog.dotdigital.com

7 ways to boost ecommerce emails with social proof

So, what if there were a way to increase email conversions and improve customer experience – all without changing anything about the product or the price? Social proof uses readily available content to boost ecommerce emails, without the need for discounts or elaborate creative.

Why you need social proof

Social proof is the phenomenon where we
imitate others in order to make the right decision. When you crave an outfit
you just saw on Instagram or choose a busy restaurant over the quieter one next
door, you’re experiencing the effects of social proof.

This isn’t just a psychological tactic to
influence shoppers. Research shows that consumers see social proof as a key part
of the buying process.

Here, we’ll explore two types of social proof you can use to improve the performance of bulk and triggered emails:

Peer social proof

When making a purchase, consumers look for
unbiased sources of information such as ratings,
reviews
, and photos of real people
using the product. This is also called user-generated content (UGC).

For shoppers, ratings and reviews are a
crucial part of the buying process. 61 percent of customers look for product
reviews when making a purchase, while more than half (56 percent) find star
ratings helpful, and 29 percent want content from other customers.

Brands and retailers can help customers make better, faster decisions by including user-generated social proof in emails.

Wisdom of the crowd

When faced with a lot of options, we prefer to
follow what other people like us are doing.

You can use popularity messaging (e.g. ‘50
people bought this today’) to highlight what fellow customers are viewing and
purchasing. This adds urgency, informs shoppers what’s trending, and makes
stock more desirable.

Popularity messaging doesn’t require users to generate content for you – you can let the data speak for itself!

Here are some easy ways to enhance ecommerce emails with social proof.

1. Triggered emails: build trust with star ratings

Shoppers often abandon their cart because they aren’t ready to make a final decision. Triggered cart and browse abandonment emails are an opportunity to reduce purchase anxiety by including star ratings from existing customers.

Above is a great example of how social proof
can add value to shopping recovery emails without hugely altering the creative.
Star ratings fit in naturally alongside other essential information like
product imagery and delivery cost. Including the number of ratings adds another
layer of trust.

In a small space, Glasses Direct provides customers with a wealth of information to feel confident about completing their order.

2. Triggered emails: reassure shoppers with product reviews

Customer reviews go one step further than star ratings, giving detailed information about a customer’s positive experience of your product. Shoppers can more easily come to a smart decision when they know how your products perform in real life.

This example from Emma Bridgewater shows how reviews can complement vital product information and nudge customers towards completing a purchase.

3. Triggered emails: increase urgency with product popularity

You can harness the effect of social proof in
triggered emails even without user generated content. Popularity messaging uses
readily available browse and purchase data to show what other customers are
doing in real time.

This reassures recipients that your products
are proving popular, and increases urgency by indicating that the item may sell
out.

Cottages.com uses viewing data in booking abandonment emails to ensure that customers don’t miss out on their desired property:

Bulk marketing emails are the perfect occasion
to keep customers informed about your top-rated items. This builds trust and
shows shoppers that you care about providing them with the best quality
products.

For added impact, suggestions can be filtered by the recipient’s favorite category, as in this great product recommendation email from Bed Bath & Beyond:

5. Bulk emails: drive engagement with customer reviews

Bulk marketing emails can have lower
conversion rates than triggered messages, as they are not a direct response to
customers’ actions on your website. This means you have to work harder to
persuade customers to click through.

Providing brief customer reviews in marketing emails can spark the interest of customers who weren’t actively shopping for your products. Here’s an example from Molton Brown:

6. Bulk emails: encourage urgency with trending products

Highlight trending items with popularity
messaging to build trust in your products.

This has a two-pronged effect of tapping into
consumers’ fear of missing out (“What if the product sells out?”) and desire to
follow a consensus (“Other people are buying it, so it must be good!”)

In this email, VioVet adds urgency with messaging showing how fellow customers are interacting with the products right now:

7. Bulk emails: Inspire shoppers with social media content

Social media feeds let shoppers see your
products in real-life situations, so they can make an informed decision.

User-generated images appeal to customers’
emotions: shoppers can imagine how they will feel once they own your products.

Social media feeds can also encourage micro
conversions: While recipients might not be ready to make a purchase, they could
be persuaded to follow your social channels for more inspiration.

This email from LaRedoute makes shoppers feel part of a tribe by encouraging them to share their style:

Getting started with social proof

To get started, you’ll need to use a trusted ratings and reviews provider to collect customer feedback. Make sure that you have the right tools to incorporate ratings and review content, popularity data, and social media feeds into emails in real time.

For maximum impact, incorporate social proof
on your website to inspire shoppers at every stage of the journey. Consider
using a dedicated real-time marketing platform to provide a joined-up customer
experience without investing too much resource.

Download
The Retail Social Proof Barometer
to discover five types of social proof shoppers look for when making a purchase
decision.

The post 7 ways to boost ecommerce emails with social proof appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 6 months ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Ecommerce marketers, do you really need SMS?

SMS marketing provides brands with the opportunity to craft an immediate personal relationship with customers, but many are yet to incorporate the channel. With consumers running the game when it comes to tech adoption, those that act fast will stake a claim in the mobile inbox – leaving others at the back of the queue.

Today’s empowered consumer challenges us to provide exceptional brand experiences. Each interaction needs to be packed with all the contextual relevancy and personalization we now receive in our digital lives. Moreover, consumers are fully aware that they leave data breadcrumbs everywhere they go. And they expect them to be used to make their experience better.

To keep up with on-the-go consumers, marketers (firstly) need to utilize powerful technology and leverage the right data. Secondly, they need to compose brilliant, meaningful messages that compel customers to act fast. Adding complementary channels to support your email marketing efforts means you can reach the right customer through their most relevant channel. At dotmailer, we think this omnichannel expansion starts with SMS.

There’s no better way to reach every customer than by bringing together the two giants in communication: SMS and email marketing automation. More than 5 billion people will own a mobile by 2019. Plus, eMarketer expects total US retail mcommerce sales will grow a further 32.7% in 2018. And with email boasting a healthy £38 return for every £1 spent, the numbers paint a healthy picture for investment. Both mediums provide much more bang for their buck compared to, say, paid media, giving you back valuable resources to spend as you see fit.

Combining these two push channels nurtures that all-important 360° customer view. Plus, you can add relevance and granularity to your strategy when you tailor your engagements to the individual. Choosing a tech provider with SMS baked in means you can add the channel to your strategy with ease – and scale quickly.

We’ve put together this free guide that shows 6 prime use-cases for the SMS in ecommerce, along with some ideas for your first foray into omnichannel marketing.

Download the free guide.

 

dotmailer’s integrated global SMS service works in 156 countries, helping you amplify your automation strategy with timely and contextually relevant communication. Check it out for yourself!

Want to see what you can do with SMS? Take a quick demo.

 

The post Ecommerce marketers, do you really need SMS? appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

6 ways to target ecommerce customers with SMS and email

SMS marketing provides brands with the opportunity to craft an immediate personal relationship with customers, but many are yet to incorporate the channel. With consumers running the game when it comes to tech adoption, those that act fast will stake a claim in the mobile inbox – leaving others at the back of the queue.

Today’s empowered consumer challenges us to provide exceptional brand experiences. Each interaction needs to be packed with all the contextual relevancy and personalization we now receive in our digital lives. Moreover, consumers are fully aware that they leave data breadcrumbs everywhere they go. And they expect them to be used to make their experience better.

To keep up with on-the-go consumers, marketers (firstly) need to utilize powerful technology and leverage the right data. Secondly, they need to compose brilliant, meaningful messages that compel customers to act fast. Adding complementary channels to support your email marketing efforts means you can reach the right customer through their most relevant channel. At dotmailer, we think this omnichannel expansion starts with SMS.

Multiracial hipster friends couple having fun with smartphone in subway train – Urban relationship concept with young people watching mobile phone in city underground area – Bright desaturated filter

There’s no better way to reach every customer than by bringing together the two giants in communication: SMS and email marketing automation. More than 5 billion people will own a mobile by 2019. Plus, eMarketer expects total US retail mcommerce sales will grow a further 32.7% in 2018. And with email boasting a healthy £38 return for every £1 spent, the numbers paint a healthy picture for investment. Both mediums provide much more bang for their buck compared to, say, paid media, giving you back valuable resources to spend as you see fit.

Combining these two push channels nurtures that all-important 360° customer view. Plus, you can add relevance and granularity to your strategy when you tailor your engagements to the individual. Choosing a tech provider with SMS baked in means you can add the channel to your strategy with ease – and scale quickly.

We’ve put together 6 prime use-cases for the SMS/email partnership, along with some ideas for your multi-channel campaigns:

1. Shipping/updates

Using automation to deliver a dual-channel transactional strategy is the best way to keep customers up-to-date with their purchases and deliver exceptional customer service. If you’re using an ESP like dotmailer, you can trigger SMS messages – like dispatch alerts – using the SMS service. Automate your key transactional communications through your email provider to keep all your analytics in one place.

2. Customer feedback surveys

If you’re looking for a quick way to gauge the experience your customer has received, a quick SMS survey could be just the ticket. Get feedback on your transactional emails by asking customers to reply with a number between one and ten. Quick, easy and informative!

3. Reminders and alerts

Slotting SMS extensions into your automation programs enables you to deliver emails and SMS at appropriate points along an individual customer’s journey – but at mass scale. Appointment reminders and expiry prompts are just two examples of SMS notifications that you can automate.

4. Personalized offers/marketing campaigns

In a recent survey conducted by Narvar, US online shoppers from every age group from 12-65 admitted to preferring to receive text messages over push notifications from retailers regarding their orders. The story runs parallel in the UK, with 67% of  internet users aged 18-34 stating they like receiving relevant brand offers and promotions via SMS.

Offer-led messages are more likely to strike the right chord with customers if they’re carefully considered and well-timed. Consider this use case: An existing customer browses and ‘favorites’ a sale item on your website; she leaves the website without buying, so your automation program triggers an ‘abandoned browse’ email to the customer to remind her of product she’s flagged – you could also include the date that your sale ends. If the customer doesn’t return after a chosen period, delivering an SMS to reminder her that her favorite item will soon be full price might just do the trick. You could even offer the customer an exclusive SMS discount to bring them over the line.

5. New product updates

Got a new mobile app or an upgrade to your service? These brand landmarks are worth telling your customers about and an SMS could be the ideal way to spread the good news. If you’re communicating your new app, including a CTA link to a download page helps the recipient instantly get the goods.

6. Loyalty

VIP customers deserve VIP treatment. They already feel affinity for your brand and, in some cases, may be true advocates who are sharing the positive experiences with their peers.

Loyalty reward emails containing time-sensitive content are often best backed up with SMS reminders. Updates about new points earned or those that are due to expire are a good way to show that you know and respect your customer; Think too about optimizing the conversion period for valuable customers with SMS alerts about exclusive sales access.

dotmailer SMS

SMS is an effective marketing tool that enables you to cut through the noise when other channels can’t. 54% of US retailers plan to expand their unified commerce (omnichannel initiatives) over the next 18 months, the top answer for those surveyed. It’s never been more important to get ahead of the competition.

dotmailer’s integrated global SMS service works in 156 countries, helping you amplify your automation strategy with timely and contextually relevant communication. Check it out for yourself!

Want to see what you can do with SMS? Take a quick demo.

 

The post 6 ways to target ecommerce customers with SMS and email appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Boost your ecommerce success with dynamic pricing

The goal of every single ecommerce retailer is to find a solid way that leads them to improve their business. Personalized and segmented emails, delivering a great user experience and customer support, publishing good performing ads… The list goes on. All of these efforts have a great impact on the success of an online business. But in this article, we would like to tap into a mysterious area – having an effective pricing strategy through dynamic pricing to boost ecommerce success.

While dynamic pricing is not a completely new approach, ecommerce retailers have been using it more of late. Most of them were randomly optimizing their prices and changing them manually based on internal decisions. However, because of the increase in online price competition, and thanks to greater market intelligence and sophisticated dynamic pricing software, ecommerce retailers have realized the importance and the impact of dynamic pricing on their businesses.

What is dynamic pricing?

In basic terms, dynamic pricing is a pricing approach that enables you to set flexible prices by taking into account your costs, desired profit margins, the demand of the market and your competitors’ prices. In other words, you’ll be able to set the optimal price at the right time in response to real-time demand and competition status, while taking into account your business goals.

Why is dynamic pricing important?

The most apparent case is retail giant Amazon, who changes and updates its prices every 10 minutes and increased its revenues by 27.2%. Another big player, Walmart, adopted dynamic pricing and changed its prices 50,000 times a month. Using this pricing model, its sales jumped by 30% in 2013.

Dynamic pricing also lets retailers have additional and valuable insights on industry trends. Ecommerce retailers can apply different price limits and analyze price elasticities before deciding the optimal product price. A great way of testing and optimizing your prices is through paid ads. For example, Google Shopping provides instant data on how online shoppers are responding to your new price. You can analyze conversion rates, impressions, CTRs and margins after changing prices. By making continuous tests, you can find the optimal price.

The benefits of using a dynamic pricing strategy are abundant: improved margins and revenues; better conversion; control on the market; personalized prices based on season, demand and demographic; and presence in price comparison engines. As such, your prices always stay competitive and optimized in the ecommerce market.

Dynamic pricing use-case scenarios

If you are managing an ecommerce store, you should seriously consider adopting a dynamic pricing model with the right technology, since it has a significant impact on business success.

Here are some proven dynamic pricing use-cases that you can face in your industry:

  • Demand-based pricing

If the general or seasonal demand for your product is at low level, then you have to eliminate the excess stock in order to get rid of the extra costs. The most common practice is to drop prices as low as possible to increase sales.

On the other hand, if demand is high in the market (it can be a seasonal effect or instant hypes), it would be great to increase your prices for the purpose of boosting profits.

So in a nutshell, demand-based pricing lets you benefit from demand fluctuations in the market like increasing prices when demand is high or when your competitors’ products are out of stock.

Identifying your competitors’ out-of-stock products – through a competitor price monitoring tool, Amazon Bestseller, or tracking Google Trends – would give you great insight in understanding market demand and the most popular products over a certain time period.

Moreover, ecommerce retailers can apply a dynamic pricing strategy for some seasonal opportunities that occur during the holidays or shopping frenzies.

  • Time-based pricing

Time-based pricing is a dynamic pricing approach which enables ecommerce retailers to optimize their prices based on certain times of a day, month, year or the lifespan of a product in the market.

Different to demand-based pricing, as time is the core element rather than instant hypes in demand, the time-based pricing model is more predictable.

Let’s go through some real examples. The most popular industry using the time-based pricing approach is airline ticket providers. You should definitely notice that airline ticket prices are much higher in holiday seasons when compared with a regular season in the year.

Time-based pricing also works well if a product is outdated. Electronics brands use this strategy to increase the demand for an old version of a product. Whenever Apple releases a new version of a product, the price of an old version is marked down for the purpose of attracting more customers.

Through time-based pricing, you’ll always be aware of market trends as well as what your rivals are offering. With that intelligence you can always know where and when to decrease or increase your prices.

  • Competitive pricing

There are hundreds of competitors in the market and they adjust their prices continuously. That’s why you should also monitor them and take actions based on the pricing competition in the market.

If you deny your competitors then you won’t know if you’re priced too high or too low among them. That lack of information causes you to detach from the market.

In that scenario, you’ll face low conversion rates or slim margins which harm your sales and business growth. This is because your competitors are acting competitively and are more aware of market trends.

Do you know why?

The statistics show that majority of online shoppers compare prices before finalizing their purchase by visiting at least 3 online stores. Moreover, most of them name price as the very first criteria for their purchasing decision.

In a nutshell, because of price competition in the ecommerce space, online pricing becomes one of the key elements that influences the purchasing decision. So, retailers should be very attentive with their management and optimization.

Think about a scenario in which one of your competitors applies discounts and undercuts your pricing. With dynamic pricing, you can automatically react to its discounting strategy and regain your competitive status again.

Your prices may be too competitive when compared to your closest rival. So, even an increase of 10% or 20% won’t harm your competitiveness in the market. To grab at this opportunity, you need fresh competitor intelligence and dynamic pricing. By investing in both, you will be able to retain your competitiveness and increase your profit margin.

How to ‘really’ apply dynamic pricing to your strategy?

As mentioned above, Amazon is a huge fan of repricing!

Now let’s see how to apply this smart strategy!

Having tons of data is great. But, the crucial thing is to convert data into actionable insights. Fortunately, there are dynamic pricing and repricing software in the market that help you to generate recommendations from the data that you’ve collected from competitors. Then, the technology lets you calculate optimal prices through repricing rules that you’ve set based on your competitors’ prices, market demand and costs.

Once the optimal price rules are set, then you can enjoy the rest! The repricing engine works all day and your prices will be changed according to the fluctuations in the market and, of course, based on the rules that you’ve set. With the mix of competitive intelligence and repricing ability, your business can gain a seamless competitive advantage in the market. As you’re able to react to every single move in the market, your prices will always stay competitive or optimized.

Let’s give an actual example:

There are two different retailers competing in the same category:

  • The first retailer named ‘Great E-Commerce Retailer’ is selling all types of products from almost every category (electronics, home & kitchen appliances, fashion products, sports products,… the list goes on…)
  • The second retailer named ‘Super Sport Retailer’ specializes in the sports category.

Then, imagine that these retailers are competing harshly over price in the ‘football shoes vertical’. To take advantage of repricing technology and find the most optimal price, the below rule for Super Sport Retailer can be set;

My prices for every product under ‘football shoes category’ should be 10% lower

+

than ‘Great E-Commerce Retailer’

+

but they should be at least 15% higher than my costs

After setting this rule and assigning it in the repricing engine, ‘Super Sport Retailer’ will always have competitive prices in the football shoe category that won’t veer lower than its costs.

Repricing in ecommerce is key to remain competitive and grow your business online.

So, what are your thoughts on dynamic pricing and repricing? Have you ever tried it on your ecommerce store? If yes, what are your experiences? Please don’t hesitate to share all of them with us at Prisync.

The post Boost your ecommerce success with dynamic pricing appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

10 winning automations for B2B ecommerce

B2B ecommerce sales will experience explosive growth in the coming years, eclipsing the revenue generated from B2C markets. Just think about the average value of a business order when compared to that of a consumer. And yet, B2C brands seem to dominate digital channels, harnessing the power of marketing automation to reach the right customer, with the right message, and at the right time.

In this year’s Hitting the Mark, B2B brands scored 26% below their B2C counterparts across all criteria. With their global ecommerce worth set to reach an eye-watering $6.6 trillion by 2020, B2Bs need to put their foot of the gas.

Email still remains the most popular tactic employed by B2B marketers, perhaps down to the returns on investment: £32 for every £1 according to the DMA. To take their ecommerce to the next level and capitalize on this predicted growth, companies need to digitalize their marketing activities and adopt smarter tactics.

Marketing automation is the answer. B2B companies can dissect the lifecycle of their customers and create powerful, data-driven programs to complement every stage of the buying journey.

Food for thought:

  • Make context the source of everything you do
  • Define your audiences
  • Blitzing your contacts with emails is a dead end
  • Content is hot right now

1. Welcome program

The welcome program is widely considered by industry professionals to be the most important automation in the marketer’s armory. Its importance rests on one single factor: the initiation of the customer relationship and the ability to influence future perceptions. Whether you’re onboarding a new client or introducing your brand to prospects, the welcome program is your vehicle to drive a positive relationship from the start.

In your welcome program, you’ll need to:

  • introduce your brand and its USPs
  • ask for preferences to tailor the customer experience
  • set expectations and reinforce any special benefits of signing up: i.e. exclusive content

2. Nurture Program

Nurturing prospects into customers – and customers into repeat-buyers – is the essential ingredient of business growth and success. From the moment an assistant registers interest to when a c-level buyer signs on the dotted line (and beyond), nurturing contacts is a non-stop marketing effort that delivers the goods. This is the ‘right people, right time’ element of your marketing mix.

When scoping out your nurture program, consider the following:

  • Product-specific information, i.e. promotional and editorial
  • Base this on your web insight, preferences and where customers are in the buying cycle
  • Set-up of various newsletter automations, per category and audience segment for example

3. Abandoned browse program

A prospect’s browse behavior is a great indication of where they sit in the buying cycle – viewing a price page might suggest a high intent to purchase, for instance. Triggering an email off the back of this action could spur the prospect to return to the website and review the pricing page again – they might even book a demo, request a sample product or buy from you.

Best tactics to lure web visitors back:

  • Ensure the email is 100% on brand and reflects your website
  • Include some inspirational content that’s relevant to what the subscriber was browsing
  • Recommend the right product or service based on the data you hold

4. Abandoned cart program

The cart recovery program is a tried-and-tested quick win for B2Bs, delivering sensational results every time. It’s a simple triggered campaign to implement and is proven to get deals over the line. This is due to the hyper-targeted nature of the communication – you’re nudging prospects who, having dedicated time to place items in their cart, have a very high propensity to buy. Not sending these emails is throwing money away. Madness!

Top tips for an effective B2B cart recovery email:

  • Send the email within 24 hours of the abandoned action
  • Pull in product details and imagery to contextualize the message
  • Direct subscribers back to their cart with an eye-catching call to action that’s above the fold

5. Aftersales program

The post-purchase period is a delicate timeframe where expectations hang in the balance. Overdelivering on your promise will keep customers happy, while falling short can jeopardize your retention.

Being super-attentive to new customers will build enthusiasm over the products or services they’ve acquired. In the long term, this level of care can abate churn and generate brand advocacy.

To deliver a smooth aftersales journey, you should:

  • thank customers for purchasing with you over a competitor
  • ask for a product rating and review of the service experienced by customers
  • be transparent. From once an order is placed right through to delivery and usage, it’s important to provide relevant information that adds value to the customer experience

6. Upsell Program

There’s an art to upselling and it’s wise to be subtle in your approach. As is often the case with many email programs, the devil is in the data. Pushing random products to contacts after they’ve purchased could cause them to unsubscribe and makes for an altogether unpleasant email experience that could tarnish the business relationship.

Tailoring the experience on the other hand can boost a customer’s lifetime value and keep them in your good books.

To get the balance just right:

  • promote complementary products or services that will enhance a customer’s account and improve their business processes
  • base these recommendations on past-purchases, web behavior and preferences
  • be customer-centric, offering contact details should subscribers want to discuss a particular product or feature over the phone

7. Replenishment program

This program isn’t for every B2B. Brands that sell products with a short lifespan will need to ensure their customers’ stocks are replenished. An effective way to remind them is to enrol contacts onto a replenishment program – this would work particularly well for stationery brands that supply their clients for monthly or annual events, for example.

Employing this program will depend on both your business and the products/services you offer.

If it’s relevant to you, don’t forget to:

  • calculate the frequency of purchase based on the needs of customers
  • use a loyalty scheme to make replenishment worthwhile to clients
  • offer more for less: it might be an idea to inspire customers to bulk-buy at a reduced cost

8. Loyalty program

Inspiring loyalty is a must, as failing to make customers sticky can have serious consequences for business continuity. Unhappy customers, even indifferent ones, will move through the funnel at a quicker pace – eventually there won’t be enough business coming in to compensate for clients slipping through the net.

To generate loyalty among customers:

  • award them with bonus points or a special gift every time they buy
  • invite them to exclusive events that will add value to the business relationship
  • offer perks that incentivize them to spend more or upgrade their package

9. Lapsed customer program

Sustaining engagement is a challenge faced by many businesses. But customers that drop off the face of the earth aren’t lost forever. You should try, at the very least, to win them back and rekindle some brand love. Simple re-engagement programs are tried and tested sources of revenue – and every B2B should be implementing them.

Top tips:

  • Nudge dormant contacts with an attention-grabbing subject line (i.e. ‘We Miss You’) and reveal the content they’ve been missing out on
  • Ask these subscribers whether or not they’d like to continue receiving emails from you
  • If after several attempts contacts remain inactive, perform a health-check of your database and filter them out – this should improve your deliverability

10. Data-driven program(s)

Conceptualizing email campaigns off the back of data is a winning tactic for B2Bs. Why? Because extracting powerful insights from customers will deliver more targeted emails, inspiring readers to engage and buy with you.

Examples include messages (triggered by geolocation) promoting a specific event or store sale that’s relevant to the individual; another would be a triggered email following up a form submission or demo request. In both cases, the high level of relevancy exhibited in these campaigns will tap into readers’ emotions and spur action.

When planning your data-driven programs, think about:

  • context: will subscribers realize who you are, what you’re saying and the reason why?
  • relevancy: does the content pair perfectly with the context of the message?
  • calls to action: don’t waste time. It’s all about captivating the audience at the right moment – send them somewhere and get them to do something.

 

Want to see some killer examples of B2B automation? Download the full guide to find out more.

10 winning automations for B2B ecommerce

 

The post 10 winning automations for B2B ecommerce appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

What top ecommerce experts love about Magento 2

While some were intrigued by new tools and improved content structures, others seemed reluctant to join the bandwagon. After all, Magento 2 was a significant departure from the original version. Many weren’t prepared for such a big leap, which is why there are so many ecommerce websites still powered by an older version of this platform.

From today’s perspective, it’s safe to say that Magento 2 managed to push the entire ecommerce industry forward. This is one of the reasons why we wanted to engage the community of Magento experts and learn their opinions on this platform. If you continue reading, you will learn what top ecommerce experts have to say about Magento 2 when we asked them to tell us what they loved about Magento 2.

“More powerful than you think”

Many individuals believe that Magento 2 is overly complicated – at least until they try the platform themselves. Other ecommerce platforms are doing an excellent job of marketing their user-friendly features. As a result, inexperienced online store owners become overwhelmed once they decide to try one of those platforms. Magento seems to be doing the opposite. It appears overly complicated at first, especially since it involves working with highly-trained professionals, however anyone can master Magento 2 with a little bit of effort.

Here is what Ryan Street, a trainer at Magento Commerce, says:

Magento is a robust and complex platform. Many times, I receive questions about ‘Can Magento do this?’ More often than not, I am able to tell clients that Magento has their requested feature right out of the box. This usually comes as quite a surprise to many of them. Magento 2 is more powerful than you think.

“Magento has no competitors in the market”

Only a couple of years ago, there were a few powerful ecommerce platforms. However, the competition grew quickly and now there are currently more than a dozen heavily-marketed platforms battling over each and every online store owner. However, we often forget that Magento is one of the oldest platforms in the market.

The most significant limitation to ecommerce platforms is their flexibility. We believe that Magento is an example of freedom in design and development to other platforms. The truth is that you have unparalleled freedom with Magento 2 as you can design an online store of your own custom design and implement features found nowhere else.

Take a look at this quote from Miguel Balparda who is a senior Magento developer:

In my opinion, Magento has no competitors in the market. Shopify, for example, is a fine platform but it’s not as flexible as Magento. Other platforms are also easy to use, but the flexibility of Magento can’t be compared with any other platform at the moment.

“A Magento 2 website can grow with you”

When choosing between different ecommerce platforms, scalability is one of the most critical factors. This is easy to understand since every online store owner wants to know that their website can easily grow, but you might be surprised to know that scalability is one of the biggest strengths of Magento 2. The newest version of this platform brings dramatically improved performance while reducing server load. At any moment, online store owners can work within their website’s backend without affecting the performance. Powerful design features make this process as effortless as it can be.

Rebecca Brocton, a Magento 2 developer and project manager, recently spoke on this matter:

If you are serious about ecommerce, growing your business, and having a scalable website that can grow with you, then the first choice has always been Magento.

“Issues can be identified and fixed quickly”

Support is of the utmost importance when it comes to any ecommerce platform. Unlike traditional websites, technical difficulties can greatly impact any online store. Every second an online shop displays an error or becomes inaccessible means losing a potential customer, but this can be avoided by having a reliable support team or a dedicated community of users.

As you surely know, Magento 2 is drastically different from the original version. This change didn’t happen overnight. Instead, many developers all around the world have had prepared for this step. Today, there are armies of highly-skilled develops that can help you resolve technical issues in no time.

This is what Sean Breeden, a certified Magento developer, says:

So much effort has gone into the development of Magento 2 that I do recommend it for store owners. Magento 2 has a much larger community than Magento 1 in the beginning, which means that many of the problems that are encountered will be identified and fixed quickly.

“Great built-in functionalities of Magento 2”

Even though other ecommerce platforms can be a fantastic solution for small online stores, Magento is the only platform with incredibly capable functionalities that are built into the system. Different platforms offer premium-priced extensions to make up for this but Magento 2 brings it all at once, right out of the box.

Eugene Zubkov is a senior Magento develop with years of experience under his belt. Here is how he feels about built-in functionalities of Magento 2:

One of the most significant advantages of Magento are numerous helpful built-in functionalities of the platform. After installing the system, we get a fully-functional store with multi-currency, localization, a lot of store views, marketing, and reports.

“New improvements and new functionalities every few months”

Security and implementation of advanced features are what concerns every online store owner. Upgrading to Magento 2 is a complex process that takes meticulous planning and execution. However, this is also a vital and rewarding process. One of the most important reasons to make this leap is the constant and rapid development of this platform. After upgrading to Magento 2, you can be sure that you have access to the latest security patches and newly introduced features. Luckily, upgrading to a new incremental update within Magento 2 is as easy as it gets.

Check out what Nestor Gonzales, a developer with 12+ years of experience, says about applying updates within Magento 2:

The main selling point of Magento 2 is that it’s easy to upgrade because the upgrades are extremely simple with the new releases every quarter. It’s going to be like a new store with improvements and new functionalities every few months.

“Sheer amount of customization possibilities”

Online shoppers don’t care about the technology that is powering ecommerce websites. Instead, they are focused on visual design and user-oriented features. Magento 2 is diverse as it gets when it comes to visual design as this platform thrives on customization.

You will hardly find two Magento 2-powered online stores that look and work the same way – even if they use the same template. With a bit of effort, inexperienced online store owners can experiment with different layouts without sacrificing functionality and performance. The truth is that Magento 2 can be used to create an optimized website for just about any purpose and business model.

Josh Cameron, who is a Magento developer and consultant, recently stated:

Personally, I think the sheer amount of customization possibilities is a huge factor. Businesses can fine-tune Magento to fit their business model, instead of the other way around.

Final thoughts

There isn’t a better way to learn about an ecommerce platform than to see what experts have to say. You can find thousands of Magento 2 experts in every corner of the world, which is the ultimate proof of this platform’s capabilities. Make sure to use their knowledge and to engage with the vibrant community of Magento developers and users.

 

Uwe Weinkauf is the CEO of MW2 Consulting, experts in Enterprise Application Development, eCommerce, IT Outsourcing, and IT Operations that delivers valuable solutions for global business needs. 

You can learn more about MW2, discover dotmailer’s Magento integration, or follow Uwe on LinkedIn.

The post What top ecommerce experts love about Magento 2 appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com

How to use your email marketing software to prevent ecommerce fraud

From local newspapers to Facebook’s global network of two billion users, your campaigns can be seen by nearly every person in the world. Need to target flannel-wearing lumberjacks in Washington? Done. How about cat-loving motorcyclists in Texas? Easy. But with so many eyeballs on your marketing, it’s bound to draw the attention of some bad people; people trying to defraud your company. If you’re like most marketers, the thought of fraud has never even crossed your mind. And why should it? Your goals are aligned with increasing revenue, promoting customer delight, and improving your brand’s image. Fraud couldn’t possibly impact these metrics, right?

Unfortunately, the effects of ecommerce fraud can creep into every department, including marketing. Your revenue goals will suffer due to chargebacks and associated fees. Your customers’ satisfaction will drop as they’re forced to endure longer review times. Even your brand’s image could deteriorate from a public’s perception that your site facilitates fraudulent activity. When viewed in this light, perhaps it’s easier to see why you should pay closer attention to the fight against ecommerce fraud. So how can you continue to reach, and even exceed, your marketing goals while also helping to prevent fraud? Your email marketing software may hold the answer.

The email address

If you’re running an email campaign, then you already have one of the most valuable data points in the fight against fraud: an email address.

In the 46 years since the first email was sent, email marketing has evolved from a simple method of communication to a sophisticated system for connecting, engaging, selling, and, yes, protecting your business from fraud. In fact, when fraud rates are compared to other marketing channels such as ads on Facebook or Instagram, customers who come via your email marketing are four times less likely to be fraudsters, according to data from Riskified, a leading eCommerce fraud prevention company. You can thank the old reliable email address for this.

For years, fraud-prevention professionals have been using email addresses as a form of identity verification. They know that certain characteristics of an email address are typically associated with higher risk customers. For example, the age of an email address can be helpful in understanding whether your customer is a known and trusted member of the internet community or a swindler. Tools such as emailage exist to help you quickly recognize an old friend from a new enemy. And while the age of an email is important, so too is the provider, as some are safer than others.

Gmail, for example, requires each user to verify their identity, which makes it a less likely choice for an individual committing a crime. Also, the naming convention of the email can be a strong indicator. If you notice an address that looks odd or resembles a keyboard smash like asdf123@gmail.com, proceed with caution, as this can be a sign of a charlatan waiting to strike. When taken together, the email age, provider, and name can help you separate a customer from a thief.

Promotions

Customers love promotions; fraudsters don’t.

You’ve learned about the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. The four Ps are what drive customers to consider your product and, ultimately, purchase. But one of those Ps – promotion – can also help you avoid fraud.

We often think about promotions as a way to advertise a product or brand, quickly sell inventory, and create loyalty among new and existing customers. Promotions also happen to be extremely effective at verifying legitimate, loyal customers. As a matter of fact, ecommerce transactions that don’t include a promotional code are three times as likely to be fraudulent as transactions that do include a code, according to Riskified. Why? Because when a fraudster is using someone else’s credit card, he doesn’t care about entering a promotional code to save money.

So when you’re designing your next email campaign to promote the launch of a new product, consider creating a unique promotional code to accompany it. Not only will your customers thank you, but so will your fraud prevention team.

Behavioral tracking

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

In marketing, the more you know about your customer and their behaviors, the better. Well, the same is true in fraud prevention. Thankfully, many email marketing platforms automatically capture and store behavioral data about your customers through the use of cookies. One important piece of data your marketing system captures is the pages your customer has viewed and the order in which they have viewed them.

Pageviews, and, more importantly, the order of the views, can be vital in differentiating a customer from a crook. Just like your legitimate patrons have buying journeys, so do your fraudsters. While a faithful shopper will typically compare prices and read reviews resulting in a lengthy pageview history, fraudsters will not waste their time learning about your products. Instead, they will quickly go to your site’s product page and purchase the highest value item. So next time your fraud team is scrutinizing an order, share that customer’s pageview history with them. It could determine whether a loyal customer gets their goods or a fraudster’s attempt at a quick take is thwarted.

Bringing it together

By leveraging what’s already available in your email marketing software you can fight ecommerce fraud while improving your performance metrics.

Reviewing your database’s email addresses, including promotional codes in your email campaigns, and tracking the behavior of your customers are all effective ways of using your emailing platform to increase revenue while also fighting fraud. And, sure, it’s easy for us marketers to turn a blind eye to fraud, as on the surface our goals are rarely aligned with preventing it. But when you realize the impact fraudsters can have on your marketing efforts, it can quickly change your view. So before you get started creating that new marketing campaign, consider implementing some of the suggestions above. Hitting your marketing goals could depend on it.

This post was written by one of dotmailer’s partners, Riskified, a technology company focused on leveraging data and innovation to ensure brands are always one step ahead of online fraudsters.

The post How to use your email marketing software to prevent ecommerce fraud appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com