Displaying items by tag: Business

 If your life hasn't changed drastically in the last few months, prepare for it to be only a matter of time. The Covid-19 virus will affect everyone (perhaps the only exception is the confined participants of a reality show).

From a professional point of view, your habits will change, your company will be put to the test and what is left of the year will be different.

With few exceptions, we will all go through a period of low sales, clients will disappear due to insecurity with the economic scenario and financial adjustment.

 

Your company needs digital marketing now more than ever and this you must do to adapt


 You might also be interested : Adaptation or bankruptcy: Strategies that ecommerce should apply in times of pandemic


And what is the situation of Marketing in all this history?

It continues to be extremely important, but it is time to adapt quickly, because in this crisis, there is no point doing more of the same. At this point, we have to think on two different fronts:

- What should I do to mitigate the problems now?
- How should I act today to avoid future losses?

 

 

The acid test for your brand is now

There is a natural tendency to talk about Content Marketing with a strong focus on its predictability and its metrics. In a quiet moment, that makes perfect sense.

But we are not living in a quiet moment!

Of course, monitoring visits, conversions, CAC, etc., is still extremely important, but this is the time to open your eyes a little and target something that has a great impact on the future of your business: how do you is your brand facing the current situation?

Your brand will be tested and this goes way beyond the marketing department. The way you treat your employees, your communication errors, your correct actions and the decisions you make to help society is being observed.

 

 And what can and should the marketing department do?

* Change your content for information that helps the immediate needs of people and calms them. There is surely some knowledge, in your area, that can help with this. Here at Andromeda we are investing in content about Home Office and texts like the one you are reading now.

* Stay close to directors to publicize positive actions to combat the virus and prevent messages that could be interpreted as opportunistic from being published on behalf of the company.

* Closely monitor the evolution of the local and global scenario.

* Evaluate all the ways the company can help at this time. In this article, for example, you can find information about Home Office. Also, we have written articles the last few months dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs.

 

 These are just a few essential examples for your brand to navigate this turbulent period and emerge with a positive reputation in the future. And of course helping others which is always the right thing to do.

 

And the generation of demand?

Well, the first step is to accept reality: the current moment will be scarce for almost all of us, that is, there is a real risk that your goal will not be reached.

On the other hand, it doesn't make sense for us to stand still. Sellers are counting on us and throwing in the towel is not an option! It is time to get creative and take advantage of every possible opportunity.

If you already have a content strategy in place, your funnel traffic will likely not suffer much impact, which will already guarantee visibility and potential customers. The problem will be to convert these leads into customers, since nobody is sure of closing new deals.


You might also be interested :  Link Building : Definitive strategies to Grow Brand Authority


This is where marketing comes in. Some examples:

- Use the informational content, already mentioned in the sales process, to reduce the anxiety of the leads. One tip is to ask marketers what their biggest fears and objections are, and create top-of-the-funnel content to help with that;

-  Examine the main objections right now and create middle and bottom funnel materials to get around them. Here you can use sales enablement materials, case studies and webinars;

- If it is within your means, offer discounts or special payment conditions for a while, until everything calms down. Although this action may not guarantee income, it can at least guarantee the maintenance of your clients;

- Reverse part of your paid media strategy from the bottom to the middle of the funnel, this will accelerate the generation of leads and, at the same time, are actions that can be carried out with marketing and sales automation.

Actions like these will ensure that the loss is not so great, as your sales team will be better prepared to deal with customer insecurity and help them make the best decision.

 

Preparing for the future

The advice we have given so far is to help you make the most of an extremely negative situation and reduce its impact on your company. Luckily this moment will pass and we have to be ready to return with everything.

Something that surprised us at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic was that the large number of companies that depend on events to generate demands was evidenced.

In some cases, we saw entrepreneurs commenting that more than 60% of their leads are generated at events.

For many companies, paid media is losing momentum right now, because:

-  Ads are generally focused on a bottom funnel.
-  People's buying intentions are very low, especially in B2B.

 

These two factors are specific, since the construction of your brand, reputation and audience lasts over time and will not cease to exist now. Therefore, routine marketing activities should not stop.

As we noted above, facing the litmus test to make your brand useful, relevant, and help others will not only help you survive this crisis, but will create a permanent positive impact. When everything calms down, you can bet it will help you do business!

The audience you are building over time is not going away either. Your top-of-the-funnel content will continue to be useful and sought after by people, whether in the office or in isolation.

 

Yes, there will be a fall, but it probably won't be that bad, and it's temporary too! So far, Andromeda Computer's traffic has fallen 6% on average.

That is, even if leads are not turning into customers now, at least you continue to generate them and your content is helping people who, in the future, will be better able to do business.

If you are one of the people who does not sleep at night due to event cancellations, I suggest that you start investing in creating your own channels.

It's no wonder so many companies are investing in podcasts, newsletters, and blogs today.

 

Take care of your team

Moments of uncertainty are complicated for everyone and, professionally, they require great effort and sacrifice. If you have a team, it is your responsibility to help them get through this.

So never stop paying attention to the physical and mental health of your team.

Asking them to not only keep doing a good part of the routine, but also face pressure from salespeople, come up with new strategies in a sensitive setting, produce more and more content, etc. can be extremely exhausting.

To complicate matters, everyone is probably already working in isolation, which helps with anxiety for many people and can further damage work and emotional exhaustion.

Hold frequent meetings, preferably with the computer camera on, always available to help and always ask how they feel.

If you are not a manager, pay attention to your co-workers, because we are in a moment of physical isolation does not mean that we should also isolate ourselves socially. Send messages, make quick video calls.

We are living in a unique moment, that is true, but we can take comfort in the fact that, at least, it is temporary.

Published in Digital marketing

email_marketing_strategies.png 


If you’ve already got your first online store or landing page promotion set up, the next step is to get it in front of an audience. Because unfortunately, most people won’t just find you by random happenstance. (“If you build it, they will come,” doesn’t apply to online marketing. Sorry Kevin Costner fans.) The next step of the game—and the most effective way to grow your online business—is to build an email list of interested prospects.

This can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re starting with nadda single person in your database. But it doesn’t have to take years to get a sizable number of subscribers. There are some easy steps you can take today to grow your email list much faster.

Despite what you may have heard from some of the marketing Nostrdramuses over the years, “email is most definitely not dead.” (Seriously, an article like this one has popped up every year since 2007. It’s been over a decade—maybe we should all stop planning the funeral?) The truth is that email is still one of the best ways to reach customers online, especially if you’re a small business. And it delivers some of the best ROI out of all the marketing channels out there.

Email marketing ROI

Source: The Emma 2019 Email Marketing Industry Report


 

 

Unlike SEO (which can be competitive and complex), social media (which can be wildly inconsistent), and online advertising (which can cost mucho money), email is practically made for marketers. It’s straightforward, predictable, affordable, and easy to use. And with email, you can build relationships that turn one-off customers into repeat business.

 

But first—you need to start building that email list. So let’s get started.

 

5 Steps to Build Your Email List from Scratch

  1. Get an Email Marketing Tool.
  2. Create an Offer You Can Exchange for Email Addresses.
  3. Build a Landing Page, Popup, or Sticky Bar to Collect Emails.
  4. Advertise Your Email-Gated Offer.
  5. Start Sending Regular Emails to Your List.

 


Step 1. Get an Email Marketing Tool

Email List

 

Before you start building your list, you’re going to want to sign up for an email marketing tool like ActiveCampaign, Campaign Monitor, or Mailchimp. These are some of the most popular pieces of software for not only building and sending emails to your customers, but also collecting and organizing your email list. (Because trust me… you’re not gonna want to keep track of all this on an Excel spreadsheet.) The initial costs for these tools are very low—and all of them offer free plans or trials that make it easy to get started.

Once you’ve chosen a tool, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how it works. Each platform is slightly different, but some of the first steps you’ll want to take include…

Create Your First List(s) – You can organize the emails you collect into groups called “lists.” To start out, you may want to create a “Master” list where you can put all email addresses, a “Customers” list for people who have already bought from you, and a “Prospects” list for people who have shown interest but haven’t yet made a purchase.
Import Any Existing Contacts – If you already have some emails that you want to add to your new database, now would be the time to do so. You can set up your existing email contacts in a spreadsheet to import them all in one go. Remember, these are folks who need to have expressly agreed to receive emails from you per privacy laws.
Set Up Tags/Segments – As email addresses come in, you’ll be able to tag leads based on how they entered your database, and send segmented emails to more specific groups of customers or prospects. To start out, you may want to create tags for segments like “Landing Page Leads,” “Newsletter Sign-up Leads,” and other entry points so you know who signed up where.
Create an Email Template – These email marketing tools aren’t just for organizing your list—they’re also for sending emails. Get familiar with the different templates, and try designing and sending out a test email from your business.

 

 

 

Step 2. Create an Offer You Can Exchange for Email Addresses
Now that you have a tool to collect email addresses, the next step—and possibly the most important part of this entire process—is to figure out how the heck to convince prospective customers to actually give you their emails.

The traditional approach here is to put some sort of “Subscribe” button on your website’s homepage or blog and ask visitors to enter their email address. But have you ever actually filled one of those things out just… because? (No, thank you.) Most visitors skip over a form like that entirely because there’s no real compelling reason to give up your email address in the first place.

An email address is someone’s personal (and private) contact information. Most people aren’t just going to type it out onto any old website, all willy nilly like that. You’ve got to offer up something genuinely valuable in exchange.

That’s why it’s a good idea to take some time and brainstorm what your business can offer that’ll convince visitors to give up their email address first. Because getting the right strategy here will help you build an email list much faster later on.

If you’re wondering what most other marketers do, here are a few of the most common ways to get a visitor’s email address…


 

 


Offer a Coupon or Discount Code

Offer  a Coupon or Discount Code

MeUndies and other ecommerce brands often offer discounts in exchange for email addresses.

 For ecommerce, one of the easiest ways to get a shopper to give you their email address is to offer them a coupon or discount in exchange. This is the most straightforward approach—but it’s also usually the most expensive. “Get $10 Off Your First Order” or “Get Free Shipping” can be powerfully persuasive for visitors… you just need to make sure you factor those expenses into your cost-per-email-acquisition.


 

 


Offer a Free Tool or Resource

Offe  a Free Tool or Resource

 SaaS companies like Later use free resources to collect email addresses.

 The other common way to build an email list fast (especially if you’re in SaaS) is to create a free resource and gate it with a form. The key here is that it has to be something your audience would find useful that also aligns with your business expertise. So, for example, if you run an online pet store, you might create a free guide all about “How to Choose the Perfect Leash for Your Pet.” Or if you run a hair salon, you might create a “How to Cut Your Hair at Home” guide for customers staying at home during the pandemic.


 

 


Run a Sweepstakes, Giveaway, or Contest

Run a Sweepstakes Giveaway or Contest

 This example of a giveaway run by Fat Stone Farm and Webistry helped bring in over 15,000 leads. Click here to see the full story.

People love free stuff. There’s something about sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests that just appeal to our lizard brains. (“Why yes, I do want a chance to win a lifetime supply of mayonnaise. Where do I sign up?”) You could even consider setting up ongoing sweepstakes like this one from Fat Stone Farm to collect customer emails on a weekly basis.


 

 


Set Up an Email Newsletter

Set Up an Email Newsletter

An example of a newsletter by Toast to help restaurants during COVID-19.

 I know I said earlier that people never sign up for newsletters “just because,” but they will sign up if you give them a compelling reason to. You can offer a newsletter as a way for folks to hear about your latest products or curate content based on what might be important to them during COVID-19. (This strategy works particularly well in B2B, where you can use a newsletter to share stories of how your other customers are navigating the crisis.)

Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the approach that makes the most sense for your business. You may even want to test a combination of these two approaches to build your list faster. For example, check out how this baby food brand brought in 14,000+ email subscribers in less than a year using both coupons and a free guidebook. (You may also want to look into other creative ways to generate leads, such as free webinars, templates, quizzes, and online tools.)

A word of caution—be careful with any emails you collect for purposes other than marketing (like when someone places an order on your website). With regulations like GDPR in place, you’ll want to obtain explicit consent from your visitors in order to send them promotional emails.


 

 


Step 3. Build a Landing Page, Popup, or Sticky Bar to Collect Emails
Next, you’ll need to create a landing page or popup (or both!) to start collecting emails for your list. These will be the spots where you display your offer and ask customers to enter their contact information.

  • Landing pages are great if you have a juicy offer that needs some explanation (like a free resource).
  • Popups are perfect for short and to-the-point offers (like discounts or coupons).
  • Sticky bars are good for adding onto the top or bottom parts of your existing storefront or website for quick offers (again, think discounts, coupons, newsletters).
    Creating a landing page or popup is pretty simple.. (You don’t even have to get your hands dirty with HTML or CSS—which is super helpful if you’re not a developer like me.) Get started with one of our lead-generation templates and customize it using the drag-and-drop builder to match your brand and offer.

Creating a landing page or popup. (You don’t even have to get your hands dirty with HTML or CSS—which is super helpful if you’re not a developer like me.) Get started with one of our lead-generation templates and customize it using the drag-and-drop builder to match your brand and offer.

 

 Build a Landing Page Popup or Sticky Bar to Collect Emails

Some of the lead-generation templates you get with Unbounce for collecting email addresses.

 You’ll want to connect the form on your landing page or popup to your email marketing tool, and then test it out to make sure everything is hunky dory. Hit publish when it’s ready to go, and you’ll be ready to start building your list.


Active Campaign Integration

In Unbounce, it’s easy to set up your landing pages, popups, and sticky bars so all new leads get routed directly into your email marketing platform.


 

 


Step 4. Advertise Your Email-Gated Offer
Now, it’s just a matter of directing visitors towards your offer. There are a few different ways you can do this, depending on what type of offer you set up in the previous step…

Use Popups and Sticky Bars to Promote the Offer on Your Website

use creative popups chubbies 

An example of a discount offer popup by the clothing store Chubbies.

 If you already have a lot of visitors coming to your website, you can set up a popup or sticky bar to get people’s attention and promote your offer. You can set these to show up (or slide down) on any high-traffic page of your website, including your homepage. Advanced targeting options let you time ‘em so they only appear when you want them to—like when a visitor is exiting the page without purchasing anything, for example.


 

 


Post to Your Blog or Social Media Channels

 

 

If you already have an online audience on social media (or via a blog), you can use these channels to organically get the word out about your offer. This is a great way to connect with your existing audience and turn social media followers into email subscribers so you can reach them more directly.

“But wait, why do I need the emails of people who already follow me on social media?” I hear you asking. The sad truth is you only reach a small portion of your audience with organic posts on most social media platforms. (For example, according to research done by Hootsuite, the average reach of a Facebook post is only 5.5%.) Getting directly into your prospect’s email (where open rates are typically above 20%) is far more valuable than relying on organic social impressions.


 

 


Set Up Paid Ads to Drive Traffic

 Shopify Facebook Ad

An example of a paid ad on social media for a free resource by Shopify Plus.

If you don’t already have an online audience and you’re truly starting from scratch, you may want to try investing in some online ads. Lots of brands use social ads on Facebook and Instagram to promote their free resources or discounts that get customers in the door. Think of this as an investment—once you have a list of emails, you’ll be able to reach out to these customers directly (for free).


 

 


Step 5. Start Sending Regular Emails to Your List

 Start Sending Regular Emails to Your List

An example of an automated welcome email from HubSpot.

 Once the ball starts rolling, you should start seeing the email addresses come in from your offer. Don’t worry about waiting until you cross a certain threshold of subscribers before you start sending emails to your list. Instead, build a personal relationship with those initial subscribers and get feedback from them on what types of emails they would like to see from your brand. This will help you create an email strategy that resonates with your audience as it continues to grow.

It’s also a good idea to set up automatic email nurtures that go out to new subscribers and to begin scheduling promotional emails on a regular basis. If you’re consistent, your list is much more likely to be active and engaged.


 

 


Build Your Email List 
Once you have the email addresses for your customers (and prospective customers), you’ll be able to easily let ‘em know about your latest products for sale, landing page promos, and store updates. 

Get started today by checking out some of our lead-generation templates. Just contact us 

Published in Digital marketing

ECOMMERCE_STRATEGIES.png

 

 

The coronavirus pandemic has upended plans all over the globe in the past few months — from events and vacations to marketing calendars and revenue forecasts.

As Robert Burns wrote in a poem more than 250 years ago, “The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew.” For many, that has never felt more true.

In general during the coronavirus, ecommerce seems to be in a pretty good spot. After all, shoppers that can’t go to a brick-and-mortar may turn instead to online shopping. But of course, it’s not that simple.

Factor in economic uncertainty, which you can see reflected in stock market performance, and a shift away from many of the activities we typically enjoy (looking at you, Travel), and the impact on brick-and-mortar retail sales as well as online sales varies widely by vertical and even by business.

 

As patterns begin to emerge in response to news events of this nature, it will be imperative for companies to learn from these scenarios so they can sustain growth even in times where COVID-19 has uprooted people’s lives. These patterns will help provide leading and trailing indicators to those trying to understand how people will respond as developments continue to play out at different times in different countries.  Scott McKenzie, Nielsen’s Global Intelligence Leader

 

This piece will examine some of those short-term (ecommerce coronavirus) patterns and offer some suggestions on how online retailers can adapt to shoppers’ new priorities. We’ll also look at how to prepare your brick-and-mortar, if you have one, for life after coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Ecommerce Sales Trends

Here are some interesting ecommerce coronavirus data points from ShipBob’s daily updates:

Baby product sales have surged online, with 237% week-over-week increase and a whopping 1,197% month-over-month, as of March 30, 2020.
Food and beverage ecommerce is up almost 26% MoM and 20% WoW.
With somewhat mixed results, toys and games are down 54% MoM, but up 93% WoW.
Apparel, jewelry, and electronics are all down.
In an interview with Retail Dive, Doug Stephens said that luxury brands who hadn’t yet fully embraced ecommerce would be one of the biggest-hit sectors, and that fear of viral contagion could also have a negative impact on the resale market.

Ecommerce and Coronavirus: The Impact

Ecommerce has proved itself essential in days of social distancing and shut-down storefronts. But some consumers have unfortunately found themselves with less or no work as a result of shelter-in-place orders and closures of nonessential businesses, and economists have estimated the U.S. unemployment rate may reach 32%. Others have tightened nonessential spending due to worldwide economic uncertainty.

It’s difficult to predict the full impact of the coronavirus on online sales growth rates overall, but what is sure is that results won’t be consistent across the board. It will depend on niche, changing shopper behavior, and how much longer communities are asked to socially distance — among other things.

 

Let’s look at some of the trends we’ve seen so far.

1. An influx of online shopping.
Between conforming with social distancing guidelines and accounting for brick-and-mortar store closures, shoppers — based on ecommerce sales numbers — seem to have taken much of their business online. Listrak reports a 40% increase in ecommerce revenue since the U.S. declared a state of emergency.

Sales in some verticals are way up, even leading to some product shortages…but that’s not true across the board.

In some states in the U.S., mandatory shut-downs of nonessential storefronts just went into place last week. This may lead to a larger uptick in ecommerce for some verticals.

 

2. Ecommerce delivery and supply chain concerns.
While increased demand is better than the alternative, there is a concern that supply won’t be able to meet it. Disruptions to the supply chain — beginning in China in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak — have impacted the availability of inventory and delivery times.

Signs are good, as China begins to recover, that a return to normal may be under way. But for ecommerce businesses in the U.S., they may still have more challenges to contend with, particularly in terms of fulfillment, before the volatility settles.

 

3. Pausing ecommerce orders.
A growing number of shelter-in-place orders are halting fulfillment and distribution of some non-essential products, further complicating the situation for some ecommerce companies. Victoria’s Secret and Reformation have both halted their ecommerce operations at this time due to the still-spreading coronavirus.

 

4. Amazon freezes FBA shipments for non-essential items.
To meet the increased demand of necessities like medical supplies and household staples, Amazon confirmed on March 23 that it would be prioritizing the shipment of those types of products to its warehouses. Other product categories getting the go-ahead include baby products, health and household, beauty and personal care, grocery, and pet supplies.

That leaves shipments of other goods delayed for up to a month. An Amazon spokesperson credited the change to efforts toward easing logistics pressures and keeping employees safe, according to an article in CNET. Third-party sellers on Amazon will be hit particularly hard — those with products outside of the categories deemed “essential” will not be able to use FBA, Amazon’s fulfillment services.

 

5. Online stores are diversifying products.
In the face of rapidly changing consumer lifestyles and shopping habits, businesses are finding the need to pivot quickly to stay competitive in today’s landscape.

Some ecommerce sellers are adding soaps and other hygiene products, medical supplies, or various DIY or self-care related products to meet consumer demands. Others have had to change their delivery models to offer curbside pickup, or offer digital versions of their products/services to avoid shipping and fulfillment altogether.

 

6. Rise of purchasing groceries online.
Social distancing, the hassle of dealing with crowds and lines, and frequent inventory shortages have been increasingly frustrating people out of the grocery stores and onto the web. Online grocery delivery services are booming, acquiring new customers even outside their previous majority demographic.

A survey from mid-March 2020 found that one-third of those interviewed had used online pickup or delivery services for their grocery needs in the past seven days, and 41% of those were using that service for the first time.

 

7. Increase in coronavirus-related ecommerce stores.
The rise of SaaS ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify have lowered the barrier to entry to sell online — and that’s a positive thing for retailers providing quality products to their customers.

Unfortunately, with the rise of the coronavirus, some sellers quickly stood up online storefronts to sell products they claimed could protect against or cure the virus — claims that are unfounded and completely unsubstantiated by medical professionals.

 

 

Ecommerce + Coronavirus: Adapting Your Store
If coronavirus has negatively impacted your sales or your ability to conduct business as usual, all is not lost. While the impact of coronavirus on consumer preferences and demands may last beyond the virus, life will return to normal — even if it’s a “new normal.”

In the meantime, here are nine tips for adapting your ecommerce strategy in this changing world.

 

1. Contact your manufacturers.
As we’ve discussed, there are a lot of factors at play here. You may see a surge in demand on your online store; you may not — but, either way, supply could become an issue.

Talk to your manufacturers about where they stand on production and how they anticipate coronavirus impacting their business. You can’t plan for what you don’t know, so do your best to be as informed as possible about all aspects of your supply chain.

 

2. Search for alternative providers.
When coronavirus first appeared, it was largely centered in China — which is also where many sellers source their products. This did cause inventory shortages for some sellers who were unable to find alternate suppliers.

There is evidence that China is slowly but surely returning to business as usual, but other countries are feeling the strain (including the U.S.). Having a few different options to lean on as the situation evolves globally can help you mitigate risk.

 

3. Conduct a customer needs evaluation.
Think about your target or ideal customer groups — what’s their current situation? Are they working from home, serving on the front lines as essential workers, or furloughed/laid off? What are their particular needs and concerns right now?

Once you better understand their current needs, you can assess your readiness to meet them. Consider whether you currently have the inventory to support their needs or if you should consider pivoting to better serve them.

CBD for Life did this by adding (CBD-free) hand sanitizer to its product line, saying in an email to customers, “We originally created our hand sanitizers to support our sister dispensaries during this unprecedented time and we are now making them available to everyone.” (They’ll also be making donations to hospitals, first responders, and essential businesses.)

 

4. Shift towards an at-home audience.
One of the most obvious impacts of coronavirus is the increase in spending much more time at home than usual. Think about how you can shift your strategy to better serve their needs, or even delight them in these stressful times.

Restaurants are a great example of this. Since they’ve had to close their dine-in services, they have ramped up curbside pick-up and delivery services to make ends meet and keep customers fed.

On the ecommerce side, some stores have begun stocking new items and/or featuring collections of existing products that are more relevant to many people’s day-to-day lives now — specifically, staying at home. Son of a Sailor, a shop focused on gifts like jewelry and other accessories, has a product collection page of “Boredom Busters” featured on their homepage.

Shift_towards_an__at_home_audience.jpg

 

 

5. Embrace new sales channels.
One of the consequences of people being asked to stay at home is, of course, a large decrease in brick-and-mortar foot traffic — or even shop closures. This is a great time for brick-and-mortars to start an online store if they don’t already have one or, if they do, to double down on their online presence and digital marketing.

 

6. Update product pages.
In times of uncertainty, you want to make sure to communicate with your customers if any of your services will be changing.

Coronavirus has presented a situation that may cause supply chain issues, even on a per-product basis — and if that’s the case for your business, keep your product pages updated so your customers know what to expect. You may learn that certain products will be out of stock for a while, that shipments are taking longer to reach their destinations, or some of your products are selling out more quickly than usual.

This is all important information for your customers to have as they shop your store. Be transparent and provide as much information as you can. By managing expectations, you’ll be more likely to have satisfied customers — even if you are experiencing a slow-down in service.

You can even outsource this to a freelancer for efficiency.

 

7. Have a data mindset and people focus.
One of the biggest keys to a successful business is being able to recognize and fill the needs of a certain subset of customers. Even in the face of today’s global situation, that fact remains the same.

Luckily, our connected society offers so many opportunities to collect data. Use it to your advantage and observe the difference in customer behavior. If you focus on meeting their needs as they are today, you’ll be better equipped to weather the storm of uncertainty.

 

8. Be smart about PPC advertising.
It stands to reason that with more people at home, there are more Google searches going on — and some are turning to ecommerce for products they would have previously purchased in person. But other verticals have seen a decrease in traffic.

It makes sense to consider PPC if you’re not already doing it, especially if your store has items that are relevant to the change in our lives due to coronavirus (including things to entertain kids stuck at home) — but it won’t be right for every business.

Make sure to watch your data closely, and adjust your bidding strategy if necessary. If you see that certain times of day have much lower conversion rates, reduce your bids for those times to save money.

 

9. Find opportunities for a special offer.
Economic uncertainty, layoffs, and lost jobs may increase price sensitivity in some shoppers. Consider offering a special discount across your store or on specific items that may have higher demand. If consumer spending in your store is down, discounts could be a good way to draw shoppers back.

 

10. Create an undeniable loyalty program.
It’s been said numerous times in countless retail blogs that most retailers can bank on 80% of their future profits being generated from just 20% of their existing customers. The current times are no different, in fact, it’s now more important than ever to ensure that you’re recapturing your existing customers and encouraging their loyalty! This is where a powerful, data-driven loyalty program comes in. Customers are currently more active than ever online and rewarding them for shopping with you right from purchase #1 is the perfect way to keep them coming back.

By using a loyalty program that encourages your customers to repeatedly shop with you, you’re not only ensuring the longevity of your business, you’re also ensuring that your customers feel appreciated and valued. Promote customer satisfaction by creating a loyalty program that rewards customers for completing certain actions, like giving points when they first sign-up so customers are closer to redeeming their first reward, or even creating exclusive rewards that are only available in May to help re-engage your existing customers with your loyalty program.

Singapore-based lingerie retailer, Our Bralette Club, has mastered this with a generously comprehensive rewards program, the ‘OBC Peach Party’, that is sure to delight all of their customers. With VIP tiers and a wide variety of generous rewards, customers are able to claim and redeem rewards such as $5 off a purchase or a free tote bag with their order. Our Bralette Club is even offering a 20% off coupon code to encourage their customers to continue shopping online during lockdown and beyond.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and even go COVID-19 specific with your rewards program, just make sure you’re keeping tabs on it! If you find that customers aren’t really redeeming your rewards, it could be a good opportunity to the communication of your loyalty program, edit your rewards, change up your emails, or even look at what other businesses are offering at this time.

 

 

Preparing Your Online Store for After Coronavirus
In addition to adjusting your current strategy, you’ll want to take steps to ensure a quick recovery when we return to business as usual.

 

1. Prepare for a building demand.
An article published on Entrepreneur.com suggests that, based on what’s happening in China, “the post-coronavirus economic recovery might be faster than we expect.”

Some verticals, particularly those that saw decreased sales during the pandemic, may see a huge resurgence in demand once consumers begin to return to everyday life. Make sure you’re prepared so you’re in a strong position to bounce back quickly.

 

2. Address technological shortfalls.
For brands who are seeing a slowdown, this is a great opportunity to evaluate your tech stack without worrying as much about disruptions.

Look closely at your ecommerce platform, integrations, and marketing to make sure you’re ready for the return of shopping as usual. Improving your site’s SEO, ensuring page speed, and optimizing your checkout experience are just a few of many beneficial ways you can spend your time to set yourself up for future success.

 

Conclusion
The bottom line is that no one can predict exactly what will happen; the magnitude of impact from coronavirus truly is, to use a word many people are quite sick of at this point, unprecedented. No longer does anyone have the choice to be fully proactive — we all have to react in real time to changing information and situations around the world.

Now is the time to make small adjustments in response to the shifts in shopper needs and behavior, while also preparing for a return to normal. Above all, stay positive and think strategically, and you can help your business weather the storm.

 

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Thursday, 07 February 2019 17:21

10 Tips to Increase Conversions

 Content, brand stories, and social media have been dominating marketing conversations for years now. 

 

Big brands are creating whole platforms of content that may or may not even feature their products. Social media is exploding with businesses that don’t advertise any other way. And it’s all moving a mile a minute.

It makes a small business wonder if any of this applies to them. Can a small business use social media or content marketing to help boost their brand, or is it just for the big guys?

The truth is, small businesses need to brand themselves to stand out, too. They can harness the power of content, social media, and email marketing to boost their own conversions.

Here are a few suggestions on how to launch a successful online marketing campaign as a small business.

 

Branding Your Small Business

You’re probably not the only real estate agent or online origami paper store out there. So how do you make yourself stand out from your competition?

Before you do anything else, think about who you are as a business and what you provide that makes you unique.

There are a number of ways to do that. Let’s look at a few.

 

1. Creating a Brand Story for Your Small Business

Like I said before, before you do anything else to boost your small business brand, you need to figure out just what that brand is.

Who are you?

What’s your story?

 

These are important questions to answer if you want to stand out.

Did you know that Millennials are more likely to pledge their loyalty to a brand if they have a clear story and a mission? They want to create change in the world and they want their brands to do the same.

One of my favorite brand examples is Dove personal care products. In 2004, they began The Real Truth Behind Beauty campaign to change how we think about beauty standards. They now sponsor programs that teach body confidence in kids and offer free resources for parents to do the same.tipsforconvertions1

When it comes to small business branding, I offer this example: I have an architectural client who specializes in sustainable building and spiritual spaces. I’m leveraging both of those aspects of her business to build a brand story centered on wellness at the individual, community, and environmental levels.

 

2. Branding Through Excellent Service

Email marketing platform Klaviyo held a summit discussing best practices in ecommerce. One thing they stressed was standing out through good customer service.

When you create enough value, people are willing to pay what your products are worth. You can find cheap items anywhere on the Internet; what’s rare is amazing customer service.
–Steve Deckert, Co-Founder at Smile.io speaking at Klaviyo:BOS

Addressing customer issues quickly and anticipating their needs will brand you as a quality business and earn you customer loyalty. Not doing so will chase your customers away.

In fact, according to Salesforce, 50 percent of consumers will switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs.

 

3. Branding Through Design

We’ve all seen how effective branding through design can be. It’s why Victoria’s Secret wraps your purchases in that distinctive pink tissue paper and your Shutterfly photos come in that bright orange envelope.

When the tissue paper sticks out of your bag and the envelope sits in your mailbox, everyone knows where you shop; that you belong to a tribe.

Come up with your own unique feature that speaks to your small business brand. Maybe it’s the color of your shipping boxes, or maybe it’s a certain border you use on all your Instagram posts. Whatever it is, make it as identifiable as that pink paper.

 

Content Marketing for Small Business

You probably know you need some kind of blog to get your business ranked on Google. You may even know you need to choose the right keywords and place them throughout your site. But there’s so much more to content marketing than that.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the key differentiators between an okay small business content marketing campaign and a great one.

1. Diversification

You’ve got a blog and you contribute regularly. You’re even doing your research to find out what your users are reading and what kinds of keywords will work best. That’s great!

You may be seeing some life from your efforts, but are you seeing the results you expected? You might be seeing a whole lot more if you diversified your content marketing portfolio.

Much like your retirement portfolio, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, or you risk losing money if something goes bust.

To diversify your content marketing strategy, consider other ways to publish your content. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

2. Video

YouTube has just over 1 billion users logged in per month. That’s a lot of eyeballs for your business. Look at what kinds of content businesses in your space are creating. Is there something you could offer?

How-to and unboxing videos are very popular. If you can create useful content for your users via video, you may be able to attract more users to the top of your funnel.

If you want to see an example of this done well, our friends over at Zaius recently launched an excellent video series called Marketing Unboxed, where they analyze how popular ecommerce companies are converting customers and increasing brand loyalty.

Since their target audience is ecommerce marketers, this is a great way for them to attract just the right leads to their content.

tipsforconvertions2

 

3. White Papers, eBooks, and Infographics

Offering any of these types of content helps you establish authority, which we’ll explore more deeply in the next section.

White papers and eBooks let you speak more deeply on a topic and offer real insights to people who are looking for advice.

One bonus with these types of longer-form content: you can “gate” them with an email capture form.

Request an email address from anyone who wants to download, and you’ve suddenly got a lead with real interest in your area of expertise.

On the flip side, infographics help you break up a lot of information into more snackable statistics that users can then share via social, or cite in their own content.

 

4. Podcasts

Podcasts are incredibly popular around the world, with South Korea leading the way. Particularly if your customer base is younger, podcasts are a great way to reach potential customers, and reach them beyond your own borders.

tipsforconvertions3

 

5. Other Types of Content

Of course, the kind of content you create is all going to depend on your audience and your business. Depending on who you are, you can experiment with comics, GIFs, or Spotify-like playlists.

The key is to tap into your audience’s needs and preferred method of consuming content

tipsforconvertions4

 

EAT

EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness; something talked about often at Klaviyo’s Ecommerce Summit.

When a person searches for information online, they’re usually looking to solve a problem. They want content from sources they can trust; sources that have some authority and expertise on the topic.

If you can show that through your content (white papers, videos, blog posts written by leading experts), then you can gain followers and convert them into customers.

By the way, potential customers aren’t the only ones looking for these traits in brands. Since 2015, when Google released their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, we’ve known that the search engine has put a lot of emphasis on EAT as a measurement of good content.

 

Social Media Marketing for Small Business

Once you’ve got great content, it’s all about getting it out on the right channel. Some brands would place social media marketing in its own category, but I see it as an essential part of your content marketing overall.

After all, 68 percent of American adults still use Facebook, according to Pew Research.

Using the right social channels to promote your content and products can bring more shoppers to your site. For instance, if you’re a beauty brand, like Sephora, Instagram is a great way for you to showcase beautiful images of your products.

tipsforconvertions5

Again, keep in mind who your audience is. I managed a parenting site whose user base was mainly millennial moms. For them, Pinterest is everything, so we boosted our Pinterest posts and saw a pretty nice gain in social traffic.

 

Metrics

For the longest time, most businesses were looking at pageviews as their only benchmark of a successful campaign. And if those pageviews weren’t hitting the target, they blindly wondered what they could do about it. So came the death of many a content marketing campaign.

There’s so much more to metrics than pageviews, though, and there’s so much you can learn in the process:

If you’re tracking video, for instance, what is your complete rate (the percent of viewers who complete the video)?

At what point in the video do viewers start to drop off?

tipsforconvertions6

For white papers, it’s not all about how many people downloaded it. How many people got to the email field and then bailed?

For blogs, how far did people scroll down a post before they left? How many other pages did they view after the initial post, and what link brought them there?

How many people have linked back to your infographic or shared it on social media?

And don’t forget conversion rate. How many conversions did you get against all of those other metrics?

These are all important metrics when it comes to small business content marketing. Because, let’s face it, your blog post and your video aren’t going to get the millions of views, likes, and shares that the big guys command. For you, it’s all about quality of views, and how many ended in a conversion.

 

Email Marketing for Small Business

Email marketing is so much more than sending out the occasional discount coupon or business update. Let’s look at some of the ways you can use email marketing to stay top-of-mind with potential leads and convert them into regular customers.

1. Newsletters

Email marketing is still a big deal. In fact, email marketing outperforms social media marketing, if you can believe it.

tipsforconvertions7

Email newsletters are a cost-effective way to stay top-of-mind with customers, and how you use them depends on your business.

Shops (online or otherwise) might feature new products or announce a sale. Content businesses might feature their latest posts.

The point is, the emails you’ve collected through purchases or sign-ups aren’t sitting idle. And as long as you’re giving your subscribers content that they find relevant and useful, you’re likely to find yourself with repeat customers.

Not sure how to get your own email newsletter started? Check out our email newsletter design guide.

 

2. Personalization

Personalized service is as old as commerce itself. Everyone loves being greeted by name at the bar as the bartender hands them their favorite cocktail. So, too, do online users love being greeted by name, with purchase suggestions. Why do you think Amazon does so well?

Leverage the power of personalization, not just on your site, but in your email campaigns as well. According to Campaign Monitor, 26 percent of emails with a personalized subject line are more likely to be opened.

Use email automation software to send emails at various stages of the buyer journey. If they purchased something from you in the past, use their buyer preferences to generate suggestions for similar products.

Here’s a great example. Shutterfly knows I buy holiday cards every year. So they’ve already (in September) started hitting me up with offers, even including my name in the subject line. At the very least, I’m going to check out the site to see what kind of designs they have this year.

tipsforconvertions8

 

 

3. Quick Responses

Automated software can also help you respond to new subscribers or customers quickly. If someone gives you their email, don’t wait to thank them. Do it right away!

Send your latest newsletter, a discount coupon, or even a friendly welcome message that invites them to check out your latest and greatest.

According to Experian, emails triggered in real time are 10 times more likely to result in a transaction than those that are batched.

Here’s one I got from Starbucks right after I signed up to their newsletter. It’s simple, with just a few links to helpful information. Honestly, I would have added a call to action to find my local Starbucks or take advantage of a sale, but it gets the point across.

tipsforconvertions9

Conclusion

So, can small businesses take advantage of content, email, and social media marketing?

Can creating a brand story for your small business help extend your reach and win you new and repeat customers?

The answer is an improv comic’s go-to motto: “yes, and.” Yes, and it’s all about tailoring these tools to meet your needs and the needs of your customers.

  

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Published in Digital marketing
Saturday, 19 January 2019 21:46

Online Stores: Advantage for business

onlinestoreandromeda.png

 

Benefits of doing business online

You don't have to run your entire business over the internet to benefit from online business opportunities. Small businesses might only need an email address to communicate with their clients, customers and suppliers electronically. Other businesses might use their website to conduct their entire business online.

The many benefits of online business include:

  • global access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • improved client service through greater flexibility
  • cost savings
  • faster delivery of products
  • increased professionalism
  • less paper waste
  • opportunities to manage your business from anywhere in the world.

Customers may prefer to visit your website to find out about your products and services, instead of visiting you in person. They will also expect to see your website address and your email on business cards and other promotional materials.

Online business opportunities

How you manage your business online will depend on the products or services you offer. You may be able to use the internet to:

  • run an online shop
  • manage your suppliers
  • communicate with your customers, and get their feedback on your business
  • offer services online
  • allow customers to make reservations or appointments online
  • manage your finances, such as online banking, tax and employee pay
  • research competitors.

Future opportunities

Keep in mind that your business, as well as the variety of online tools available, is constantly changing and evolving. While you might not plan to have a website immediately when you start operating, it's still a good idea to think about whether you will need one at a later date and what you will use it for.

When you are planning the online aspects of your business, you should:

  • research your competitors and other businesses that use online tools
  • decide what aspects of online business will benefit your business
  • review your budget to work out what you can afford
  • familiarise yourself with any laws and regulations that will apply to your online business activities
  • consider your requirements, including what software you need and what types of computer equipment you need to run it
  • plan for risks, such as computer viruses, scams, data theft and loss of or damage to hardware
  • think about what training you or your staff might need
  • be realistic about the time and budget you will need to manage the online aspects of your business.

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