5 effective strategies to increase customer engagement for online retailers

The retail landscape has evolved massively: only a few years ago, retailers were producing a standardized product set for consumers who weren’t used to a large product range. But today’s retailer faces a consumer who is spoiled for choice, knows about the market’s transparency, and demands an excellent customer experience.

Power has shifted from the retailer to the consumer. Brands have to find ways to catch the attention of their target consumers, especially online, where competitors are only a click away. Engagement is key to transform them into loyal customers without loosing them on the way. Achieving this, though, is becoming more difficult in the ever-changing ecommerce landscape.

In this blog, we’re going to reveal five effective strategies to increase engagement and conversion. We’ll expand fully on one of them; if you’d like a breakdown of all five, download our partner ebook here.

1. Creating quality content at scale

Merge content and commerce to connect with your audience and boost sales. Contribution by Styla.


Promotions and discounting are an important part of the customer buying cycle, but most retailers agree that it’s becoming a race to the bottom. However, the alternative, creating high quality content at scale which engages and drives higher AOV and repeat purchases, can be a huge challenge. But it doesn’t have to be – here’s how to overcome the bottleneck of creating great content that converts.

With dwindling conversion rates, increased media spend, and new competition every day, the customer experience has become one of the most important features for brands and retailers. They key element of an extraordinary digital shopping experience is engaging content that creates brand recognition, brings value to the customer, and inspires them to buy.

Why?

Because your audience’s main exposure to your company is through the content you share. So, it’s no surprise that in 2018 more than half of B2C marketers have used content marketing successfully to create brand awareness, build credibility, educate audiences, foster loyalty with existing customers, and more (Content Marketing Institute, 2019).

So, why are some brands not building loads of engaging content? The answer is simple yet significant: because most brands do not have the right content production process in place.

Simplify the content production process

Historically, ecommerce platforms have had very limited content creation capabilities. Plus, all the pages across the website would usually need to be built by a developer, which would’ve been prohibitive if you had a small team or didn’t have a lot of resources to spend with your agency.

Even brands with larger development teams and big budgets struggle to build enough content to keep up with the appetite for today’s consumers.

A study by Accenture shows that two-thirds of content executives feel burdened by content production. Two-thirds of content executives feel burdened by content production and even less prepared to manage enormous amounts of content than in previous years (Accenture, 2017).

So, to create high-quality content at scale, the production process needs to be as short and simple as possible. This means reducing manual work across departments and utilizing technology at scale.

Don’t have your creative team spend days with the production of pixel-perfect layouts for all devices, or your IT team building them. Use automation technology to make these processes quicker and easier.

With a no-code content management solution in place, digital content experiences can be built with a few clicks and automatically optimized for all different devices. All without any IT effort. So, implementing the right technology simplifies the content creation process and makes it scalable.

How Holland & Barrett overcame the content creation bottleneck

Health and beauty brand Holland & Barrett has over 1,300 stores where all staff have gone on extensive product training to make sure they can help customers find the best products for their specific needs. Holland & Barrett understood that to create this superb in-store experience, they needed to provide rich content on their site that educates the consumer about their products in a fun way.

The challenge they faced was their content creation bottleneck; even though they have a large team of developers they could not produce enough content efficiently due to limitations in their tech ecosystems. While they wanted to be able to produce landing pages weekly, they were only able to create one landing page every six weeks.

By implementing Styla’s Content Experience Engine within 10 days, Holland & Barrett has now managed to increase content production by 90%, while decreasing production costs by 85%. The team can now easily create custom landing pages that inform customers and inspire them to buy with confidence.

Checklist for converting content

Keep the shopping cart close

When building rich, editorial pages for your shop, make sure the shopping cart is integrated into the assets, so customers can buy directly from the experience and not get redirected.

Variety is the spice of life

Create a range of different content types for different stages of the customer journey:

  • Personalized content on the homepage
  • Bespoke campaign pages
  • Enhanced category pages with content
  • Enriched product detail pages

Use data to inform content strategy

Look at Google Analytics to see what customers are searching for on your site. You can also use it to identify popular search terms or questions that could inform what type of content will have the biggest impact.

The welcome party

Use social and email marketing to engage an audience in a more personal way and get them to your site. Make sure to drive the traffic to custom campaign pages rather than the homepage or generic category pages to ensure more conversions.

Final thoughts

Creating meaningful content is not an option anymore but every brand’s responsibility. Consumers have an insatiable appetite for relevant content and this is an area where the most competitive brands are innovating to fulfill consumers’ demands. Keeping up with them is vital and manageable if you have an optimized content production process and the right tools in place.

2. Revolutionize the customer journey

Understand customer intention; adapt and impress.

Contribution by FACT-Finder.

3. Create personal journeys that captivate the customer

Get tactics on how to use data to enhance the customer experience, plus see how a brand is getting this spot on.

Contribution by dotdigital.

4. Engaging the customer outside of the buying cycle

Capture the attention of online shoppers with VIP clubs and surprise and delight.

Contribution by Antavo.

5. An army of brand ambassadors

Find out how to drive business growth via satisfied customers. Contribution by Mention Me.


Get your hands on your free ebook here. Jam-packed with insight, learn how to successfully engage your customers at scale.

The post 5 effective strategies to increase customer engagement for online retailers appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from blog.dotdigital.com

How to increase online engagement

During a recent webinar hosted by Gavin Laugenie, Head of Strategy and Insight at dotdigital, and Chris White, Senior Partner Manager at Styla, a poll revealed that high bounce rates on websites and landing pages are one of the biggest challenges marketers are facing.

This can be for numerous reasons, from a lack of planning or consideration of website design, to a lack of relevant and inspiring content conveying your brands’ message.  It’s preventing visitors from converting and damaging your bottom line.

To stop this from happening, it’s important that marketers create shopping experiences which are relevant, exciting, and make it as easy as possible for customers to complete their purchase.

Tactic #1 – Create stunning content

Web page design

Three seconds is all a consumer needs to absorb the visuals on your web or landing page and decide whether to stay or not.

In the Amazon-age we live in, online retailers need to work harder to differentiate themselves. The best way to do this is by creating unique digital experiences and curating engaging product stories that Amazon can’t. Using a consistent mix of eye-catching visuals helps to guide visitors down the page and clearly tell your brand’s story.

To keep your returning visitors engaged, these pages need to be updated regularly. Unfortunately, the process, from planning through to development and implementation, can often be a slow one. An automated design process that takes minutes to update will help you maintain a high level of engagement and encourage new guests to browse. This is where Styla is here to help.

Tactic #2 – Shoppable content  

Shoppable content

Connect content and commerce by delivering branded content
with relevant product information.

Help your customers mentally commit to their purchase by populating your content with important product details. Making your page directly shoppable significantly shortens the path to purchase and improves your conversion rate by 3.5x.

After successfully driving shoppers to engage with your ad, social, or email campaign, you don’t want to leave them with choice paralysis. Most failures to convert are caused when they can’t find the product or service information that they want. Including shoppable content prevents this from happening.

Including user-generated content will increase your conversions even further. But, as your designs need to be updated regularly, you also need to keep your content fresh to ensure new and returning customers alike are staying engaged.

Tactic #3 – Segmentation

Segmentation

After taking the time to design and regularly update your content you need to ensure you’re successfully driving visitors to your page.

Hitting the Mark 2018 found that 66% of brands still aren’t segmenting their audiences. By segmenting your audience, you can get a clearer picture of their likes and interests, which will improve the relevancy of your content. The more relevant your content, the more inspired customers will be to act.

When building your segments, it’s essential you fuse your
implicit and explicit data. This includes data gathered directly from the user,
such as through a preference center, and behavioral data like online browsing
habits. Using advanced segments really brings your communications to life.

By targeting your segments, you’ll be delivering the right message to the right person, in the right context.

Tactic #4 – Personalization

Personalization

Further increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by personalizing your customer engagements.

The conversion rate for personalized emails are 6x higher
than generic emails. After all, who doesn’t like content specifically designed
and chosen to meet your unique needs?

Hyper-relevant content, such as abandon cart emails are proven to drive results. 50% of users who engage with abandon cart content go on to complete their purchase. But, the impact of these communications would be significantly reduced if customers were directed to generic product grids, once again emphasizing the importance of creating visually appealing and shoppable landing pages.

Personalization drives a response from audiences, but the relevancy
of your landing pages is was makes them act.

Put it into action

Using rich content across all stages of the customers’
journey helps you build stronger relationships with them. This, in turn, helps
you pave the way to purchase and customer retention.

To learn more how to put these tactics into action, check out our webinar: 4 tactics for increasing online engagement.

The post How to increase online engagement appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 10 months ago from blog.dotdigital.com

Follow these best practices to increase newsletter sign-ups

For your email newsletters to be effective, you need to reach a wide audience and appear relevant to all of the people in it. But the first step is to convince people to join your mailing list, by standing out in the sea of online marketers.

Opt-ins

Opt-ins are the gold standard of increasing sign-ups: they give your target audience the ability to choose whether or not to sign up for your email newsletter. They also provide you with numerous ways to lure people in, including:

  • On-page opt-ins: this option prompts site visitors to sign up while they’re browsing a page on your site.
  • Slide-up opt-ins: this opt-in slides up from the bottom of a website. It is minimally intrusive, can be displayed on every page, and gives the site visitor the option of closing it or responding.
  • Pop-ups: Popovers are everywhere, and for good reason—they work! With the right online tool, you can customize these pop-ups and decide what pages they appear on, when they appear and who they display for. They can take on many forms, including:
    • Standard pop-up stating the benefits of joining the list
    • Incentivized pop-up
    • Discount-led pop-up
    • Shopping cart-abandonment pop-up, encouraging the user to create an account

Remember, it’s important that no matter what type of opt-in you use, you should provide your subscribers with a double opt-in option. This means they not only opt in when they see the initial offer, but also they receive an email confirmation that they want to receive your newsletter.

By doing this, you are ensuring a loyal online newsletter reader who is more likely to remain subscribed and engaged. Additionally, it will reduce the number of people marking your email newsletters as spam.

Landing pages

Often, a potential subscriber wants to see what you have to offer before they make a decision to sign up for your email newsletter. You can create a landing page that’s specifically designed to show users what the benefits are for subscribers.

One of the best aspects of the email-specific landing page is you can direct all external traffic to this page, whether they are from web searches, social media, blogs, or another source. Keep this page short and sweet and let people know what they will be receiving in their inbox. Examples of what you can offer them include:

  • Coupons
  • Weekly tips
  • Product reviews
  • Interviews with experts
  • DIY/how-to guides
  • Anything else you include in your newsletter

Whether users are directed to these email-specific landing page or to other parts of your website, be sure to have call-to-action (CTA) buttons on every page. Doing so means you don’t miss out on any potential subscriber, no matter where on your site they’re browsing.

Offers

You can increase the number of sign-ups you have simply by giving potential subscribers special offers. These offers come in many forms and can be introduced on a range of platforms (e.g. your social media accounts), such as:

  • Coupons
  • Courses and webinars
  • Content downloads, such as whitepapers
  • Contests/sweepstakes
  • Rewards
  • Surveys
  • Referral offers

The key to online newsletter effectiveness is to be creative and use the technology at your disposal. The more distinctive you make each of these methods, the more successful you’ll be in gathering those engaged subscribers.

Check out our free list acquisition cheatsheet for more advice on collecting email addresses for your database.

The post Follow these best practices to increase newsletter sign-ups appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 3 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com

The Local SEO Playbook To Increased Visibility And Customer Acquisition

Columnist Thomas Stern discusses five essential components of local optimization that increase online exposure and drive offline traffic to brick-and-mortar stores.

The post The Local SEO Playbook To Increased Visibility And Customer Acquisition appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 3 years ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

​The 2015 Online Marketing Industry Survey

Posted by Dr-Pete

It’s been another wild year in search marketing. Mobilegeddon crushed our Twitter streams, but not our dreams, and Matt Cutts stepped out of the spotlight to make way for an uncertain Google future. Pandas and Penguins continue to torment us, but most days, like anyone else, we were just trying to get the job done and earn a living.

This year, over 3,600 brave souls, each one more intelligent and good-looking than the last, completed our survey. While the last survey was technically “2014”, we collected data for it in late 2013, so the 2015 survey reflects about 18 months of industry changes.

A few highlights

Let’s dig in. Almost half (49%) of our 2015 respondents involved in search marketing were in-house marketers. In-house teams still tend to be small – 71% of our in-house marketers reported only 1-3 people in their company being involved in search marketing at least quarter-time. These teams do have substantial influence, though, with 86% reporting that they were involved in purchasing decisions.

Agency search marketers reported larger teams and more diverse responsibilities. More than one-third (36%) of agency marketers in our survey reported working with more than 20 clients in the previous year. Agencies covered a wide range of services, with the top 5 being:

More than four-fifths (81%) of agency respondents reported providing both SEO and SEM services for clients. Please note that respondents could select more than one service/tool/etc., so the charts in this post will not add up to 100%.

The vast majority of respondents (85%) reported being directly involved with content marketing, which was on par with 2014. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of agency content marketers reported “Content for SEO purposes” as their top activity, although “Building Content Strategy” came in a solid second at 44% of respondents.

Top tools

Where do we get such wonderful toys? We marketers love our tools, so let’s take a look at the Top 10 tools across a range of categories. Please note that this survey was conducted here on Moz, and our audience certainly has a pro-Moz slant.

Up first, here are the Top 10 SEO tools in our survey:

Just like last time, Google Webmaster Tools (now “Search Console”) leads the way. Moz Pro and Majestic slipped a little bit, and Firebug fell out of the Top 10. The core players remained fairly stable.

Here are the Top 10 Content tools in our survey:

Even with its uncertain future, Google Alerts continues to be widely used. There are a lot of newcomers to the content tools world, so year-over-year comparisons are tricky. Expect even more players in this market in the coming year.

Following are our respondents’ Top 10 analytics tools:

For an industry that complains about Google so much, we sure do seem to love their stuff. Google Analytics dominates, crushing the enterprise players, at least in the mid-market. KISSmetrics gained solid ground (from the #10 spot last time), while home-brewed tools slipped a bit. CrazyEgg and WordPress Stats remain very popular since our last survey.

Finally, here are the Top 10 social tools used by our respondents:

Facebook Insights and Hootsuite retained the top spots from last year, but newcomer Twitter Analytics rocketed into the #3 position. LinkedIn Insights emerged as a strong contender, too. Overall usage of all social tools increased. Tweetdeck held the #6 spot in 2014, with 19% usage, but dropped to #10 this year, even bumping up slightly to 20%.

Of course, digging into social tools naturally begs the question of which social networks are at the top of our lists.

The Top 6 are unchanged since our last survey, and it’s clear that the barriers to entry to compete with the big social networks are only getting higher. Instagram doubled its usage (from 11% of respondents last time), but this still wasn’t enough to overtake Pinterest. Reddit and Quora saw steady growth, and StumbleUpon slipped out of the Top 10.

Top activities

So, what exactly do we do with these tools and all of our time? Across all online marketers in our survey, the Top 5 activities were:

For in-house marketers, “Site Audits” dropped to the #6 position and “Brand Strategy” jumped up to the #3 spot. Naturally, in-house marketers have more resources to focus on strategy.

For agencies and consultants, “Site Audits” bumped up to #2, and “Managing People” pushed down social media to take the #5 position. Larger agency teams require more traditional people wrangling.

Here’s a much more detailed breakdown of how we spend our time in 2015:

In terms of overall demand for services, the Top 5 winners (calculated by % reporting increase – % reporting decrease were):

Demand for CRO is growing at a steady clip, but analytics still leads the way. Both “Content Creation” (#2) and “Content Curation” (#6) showed solid demand increases.

Some categories reported both gains and losses – 30% of respondents reported increased demand for “Link Building”, while 20% reported decreased demand. Similarly, 20% reported increased demand for “Link Removal”, while almost as many (17%) reported decreased demand. This may be a result of overall demand shifts, or it may represent more specialization by agencies and consultants.

What’s in store for 2016?

It’s clear that our job as online marketers is becoming more diverse, more challenging, and more strategic. We have to have a command of a wide array of tools and tactics, and that’s not going to slow down any time soon. On the bright side, companies are more aware of what we do, and they’re more willing to spend the money to have it done. Our evolution has barely begun as an industry, and you can expect more changes and growth in the coming year.

Raw data download

If you’d like to take a look through the raw results from this year’s survey (we’ve removed identifying information like email addresses from all responses), we’ve got that for you here:

Download the raw results

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 4 years ago from tracking.feedpress.it