micro-influencer bunting

Micro-influencers: 4 Reasons You Need Them In Your Marketing Strategy

You might not immediately consider micro-influencers when you embark on your first influencer marketing campaign. They have smaller audiences – typically in the region of 10,000 or fewer followers – when compared to more well known influencers. You’ve likely never heard of most of them, but if you look a little closer, you’ll see that there is much for marketers to be excited about.

Micro-influencers have a dedicated following and far better engagement rates than their macro-influencer counterparts. They’re becoming increasingly in demand, and for good reason.

Here are four reasons why you should be using micro-influencers in your marketing strategy.

1. Micro-influencers make your brand look authentic

Micro-influencers are seen completely differently to celebrities or macro-influencers. When a celebrity posts sponsored content, the public’s reaction is often of distrust or cynicism – people often just don’t believe that the celeb uses the brand they’re promoting. They have all the money in the world to buy whatever brand they want, right?

Micro-influencers, on the other hand, carry a far superior level of authenticity, and their audience listens to them. They’re often experts or enthusiasts about their particular niche, and their opinion, therefore, holds more weight.

Ultimately, micro-influencers are regular people like you and me.

no_border

This beauty influencer @IFEBOB has a relatively small following of just under 23,000 followers, but is a makeup artist and expert in her field. This makeup tutorial is done in collaboration with a makeup company with links to the products she used. While this is a sponsored post, it doesn’t really feel like one – her opinion is trusted, and people can see how great the products look on her. Her engagement for this post was 41 likes per thousand followers.

2. They have higher audience engagement

Engagement is so important in influencer marketing campaigns. If an influencer gets tonnes of likes, comments, questions and shares on their posts, it’s a good indication that people care about what they post.

And that’s the great thing about micro-influencers. Believe it or not, they typically have much higher engagement rates than large-scale influencers. Just look at the research by Markerly, below.

Comments and like rates decrease dramatically as an influencer grows in numbers of followers.

beauty influencer

3. You’ll save money with micro-influencers

These great engagement rates also mean you get a lot more bang for your buck. According to the agency Hello Society, micro-influencer campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than macro-influencers campaigns, and therefore more cost effective, too.

Micro-influencers typically cost far less than celebrity influencers, who can charge eyewatering fees in excess of $250,000. Some celebs, such as Kylie Jenner, are estimated to charge a whopping $1 million per sponsored Instagram post. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are more likely to charge somewhere between $150 – $1000.

However, be aware you may not have rights to use the content in other places, and you may be charged to use the image in other marketing.

4. They’ll use their creativity to make your brand look good

We know that blatantly promotional posts aren’t as effective as they used to be. As influencer marketing grows, it’s important to find new ways to capture followers’ attention and imagination. Instagram is overflowing with celebrity sponsored posts that look – and are – completely staged. Let’s not forget Scott Disick’s Instagram fail, where he copy and pasted the Bootea marketing team’s message on a post to his 20+ million followers. Eek!

Micro-influencers love having creative control, and are much more likely to put time and thought into your joint campaign. A survey by Crowdtap found that their favourite projects are the ones that allow them creative freedom. Allow your influencer’s ideas to lead the way – they’re content experts after all, and have built their following through their carefully crafted content. Look beyond social posts and consider other types of content, such as videos, interviews, tutorials, or top tip articles.

Specsavers recently launched a microinfluencer campaign, where they featured social media influencers on their website wearing their favourite pair of glasses. They allowed the influencers to explain their choices, letting them show their personality with a link to their chosen glasses.

specsavers micro-influencer marketing
specsavers influencer instagram
influencer fail

To wrap up…

Research has found that 82 percent of consumers reported they were highly likely to follow a recommendation from a micro-influencer. They’re trusted, have higher engagement rates, are cost-effective and love the chance to get stuck into a creative project.

When it comes to deciding between a micro or macro-influencer, you might just choose the micro-influencer, after all.

To find out more about how to get started on your next micro-influencer campaign, get in touch: hello@bunting.com

By: Bunting 15th August 2018 Tags: , , , ,

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Website Personalization: Why Marketers Can’t Afford To Ignore It [infographic]

website personalization infographic

By: Bunting 14th August 2018

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influencer marketing

Influencer Strategy: 5 tips to create a successful marketing campaign

Influencer marketing has exploded.

No longer do brands reach out exclusively to celebrities for endorsements. Now, they look to influencers: bloggers, thought leaders, and social media stars who have built their following through their carefully curated content.

Influencers are masters of their personal brand. They know their audience, and connect with them by delivering value. People scroll their feeds to be entertained, educated or to feel connected.

Given the respect they command, it’s no wonder a single promoted post from an influencer can cause a product to sell out in a matter of minutes. The earning potential for businesses is huge, and that’s why 65% of brands plan to increase spending on influencer marketing this year.

But, as with all great things, there are of course downfalls and things to avoid. Influencer marketing fraud is becoming increasingly problematic, with brands unknowingly paying for the services of influencers with purchased followers.

Here are our top tips for crafting your lucrative influencer strategy:

1. Choose your influencers carefully

influencer bunting

The influencer you choose needs to be the right fit for your brand and audience. Marketers are no longer looking to the influencers with the most followers but, rather, the people with the audience most aligned with their brand.

Likewise, influencers are protective of their image and reputation – and are unlikely to work with a company they don’t feel fits with the ethos of their personal brand.

Micro-influencers – those with fewer than 50,000 followers – are more in demand than ever, and for good reason. They have a targeted group of followers, not to mention are more affordable. They often have a very dedicated, niche following, and typically have higher engagement levels than that of influencers with large audiences. In addition, they may put out fewer sponsored posts, meaning their audience has a different degree of trust to that of large-scale influencers who heavily use sponsored posts.

You might even want to incorporate your in-house experts or even customers into your influencer strategy – a great option for those with a low budget.

2. Do your research

With influencer marketing fraud on the rise, it’s important to do your due diligence. It’s not uncommon for a brand to pay an influencer huge sums of cash for a social post sent out to to thousands of fake followers. In fact, a recent study on influencers and marketing spend found that 12% of UK influencers bought fake Instagram followers in the first half of 2018.

Look beyond followers to engagement – look at the interactions on their posts. What kind of conversations are taking place? This will give you an insight into the authenticity of the audience.

There are tools that claim to be able to algorithmically detect fake followers. These tools can help you look out for things such as large overnight follower spikes that can ring alarm bells.

3. Be creative

creative influencer

We’ve all seen the myriad sponsored social media posts with an influencer showcasing a product in some way with an accompanying #ad hashtag. But there are so many others ways to create content collaboratively and stand out from the crowd. Influencers love having creative freedom. In fact, a survey by Crowdtap found that for most influencers, their favourite projects are the ones that give them creative freedom.

Work with your influencer to create something special. Consider videos, interviews, tutorials, live Q and A sessions or top tips articles. If you’re a food brand, it could be sharing a much-loved recipe, or if cosmetics is your thing, a tutorial on the latest makeup or skincare trend. What content would your audience enjoy? How about your influencer’s audience? Whatever you do, make sure the content is relevant, provides value, and doesn’t come across as spammy  or overly promotional.

4. Try and be as authentic as possible

You’re legally required to state when a piece of content is sponsored, so you need to work harder to overcome consumers’ cynicism when it comes to promotions. This is why it’s so important to choose an influencer who fits with your brand values and ethos, and why the content you create needs to avoid being too salesy. A post which effectively states ‘buy this’ just won’t cut it, and while you may get a few more sales, it risks harming your brand’s reputation. Be sure to identify a clear brand voice and guidelines for your content in your influencer strategy.

5. Set clear goals and measure

There are a host of reasons why you might want to use an influencer: raising brand awareness, loyalty, or raising sales of a specific product line. Regardless, you’ll need to set clear KPIs for what you want to achieve.

Influencers can provide value in ways that are not easily measured, such as raising brand awareness amongst a new audience. That being said, you do need to find ways to measure the impact of your campaigns.

Some ways to measure impact include:

Traffic – request that your influencer uses tracked links so you can measure the traffic driven to your site.

Conversions – Likewise, by using trackable links you should be able to detect conversions that came directly from an influencer campaign.

Social media stats – measure the impact on your social media followers and engagement.

Mentions – are people talking more about your brand? Use tools like Mention to see if conversations around your brand are increasing on the web.

That’s all for now folks…

So, we all know influencer marketing is a hugely hot marketing tactic right now, and you might want to dive in straight away. But do remember it’s so important to get that influencer strategy nailed before launching your first piece of content. Don’t forget to do your due diligence, plan effectively and strategise how you and your chosen influencer will work together.  Importantly, have fun!

We hope you enjoyed the tips in this article. Good luck on your influencer strategy endeavours and let us know how you get on!

By: Bunting 8th August 2018 Tags: , , , ,

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How to create urgency messaging like Booking.com

We have all been influenced by urgency messaging at some point in our lives. Ever purchased that dress you somehow convinced yourself you needed as there was free next day delivery for one hour only? Booked a swanky hotel because it was 15% off the standard rate and only 1 room left? Yes, we thought so.

We are now in a world where we have access to almost anything we need, at the touch of a few buttons, with numerous websites selling similar products. As a result, we are spoilt for choice, and retailers are feeling the pinch.

Companies are always looking for ways to raise sales, and creating urgency is an effective method of converting your visitors into customers. In this blog we will show you how to  break through your visitors’ mental hurdles to purchase, such as overthinking and waiting too long. Urgency encourages consumers to act quickly, and can often result in increased order values and conversions.

Time limited offers

It is well known that putting time limitations on offers are more effective than allowing them to be open ended. Injecting urgency in your website by notifying your visitors how long is left on the offer encourages them to make the decision there and then. Countdown timers can be used on offers such as free next day delivery, or discounts off purchases. A recent survey found that 71 percent of respondents residing in suburban areas would prefer free home delivery service ahead of free click and collect. If you choose to promote free delivery, be specific to your customers about when the item will arrive. Research has shown that stating the exact time you can expect your item to be delivered is clearer than stating the delivery speed (in days, hours etc).

You can A/B split test different variations of the offers, such as text, position and colours to see which are the most effective at boosting your conversions.

Scarcity Warnings

Scarcity techniques, such as highlighting to customers which items are low in stock, ranked first in the most successful e-commerce marketing personalization techniques worldwide as of June 2017. Results show that using scarcity warnings provide an average uplift in revenue-per-visitor reaching 2.9 percent.

We have all experienced that dreaded feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out), and your customers feeling that they’re going to miss out on that last item in stock is no different. Showing limited stock levels not only activates the fear factor in your customers, but also lets them know that their chosen items might not be available for much longer if they don’t act soon.

Social call outs

Urgency can also be created by showing consumers call-outs highlighting how popular the product they’re viewing is, based on other shoppers behaviour.

This feature can be added to your product pages using simple pop up boxes showing how many times items have been viewed or purchases in the last 24 hours, or even how many people are also viewing the item right now.

Showing consumers how popular a product is, heightens its desirability and therefore increases the probability of the product being added to basket. It is worth noting though, this could backfire if your product has had very few purchases!

Social Recommendations

You can create urgency using social recommendations by showing visitors notifications of how well products have been selling that hour, day or week. An alternative would be to feature a list of products which are selling fast on your homepage. This shows to consumers not only that your website is popular, but also creates urgency for them to purchase one of the best sellers before they all get snapped up!

Using colours to promote urgency

Booking.com is king when it comes to using colours to promote urgency on their website. Our bodies are hard wired to change our behaviour when we see different colours. Red is often associated with anger, importance but also love. Orange, whilst having some of the same energising aspects as red, does so in a slightly safer degree. Orange is a good way to add excitement to your urgency messaging with less severity. Green is seen to be a softer colour, and naturally represented as a safe colour, especially when placed next to the stimulating colours of red and orange.

 

As always, we highly recommend that you split test your colour choices to find out which works best for your site…however, there is a reason that red is most commonly used!

And finally…

Adding some urgency to your website encourages shoppers to take the actions you want them to, and has been proven, when used correctly to increase your conversions. We would always recommend that you split test any changes you make to measure the impact.

Need some assistance in getting your real time urgency messaging set up? Let us help!

Bunting offer a free months trial for our customers, so you can see the results for yourself.

By: Charlotte Halkyard 20th June 2018 Tags: , , , , , , ,

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How to increase sales with personalization

The benefits of website personalization are huge, so here are a few of our top tips on how you can increase sales with personalization.

A 2017 report by EConsultancy states 62% of companies are undertaking some form of personalisation in their marketing activity, and 44% personalize through their websites.

Product recommendations are nothing new. The majority of ecommerce stores are using recommendations at various points on their site, and there is a good reason for that.  Just ask Amazon – almost a third of its revenue comes from product recommendations. When website personalization tools such as relevant product recommendations are used well, the result is increased sales, improved bounced rates and order values and of course, happier and more engaged customers.

Smart Segmentation

Making sure that your segmentation efforts are targeting the right groups is vital. Targeting demographics such as gender, location and age groups is good, however companies are now stepping up their segmentation game in order to increase their sales.

Behavioural based data is a huge window into your customers interactions with your site. Amazingly, only 48% of marketers are currently using this data to increase sales. An example of a prime segmentation group that is sometimes overlooked but would respond extremely well to targeting would be ‘buyers who have visited your site more than once but who have not yet purchased’.

Let’s get social

Don’t underestimate the power of social influence when it comes to shopping.

A powerful way to showcase your products and inject a dose of social proof is to show your own customers using and wearing your products. After all, recent research by ION reveals 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.

Inserting social proof into your product pages and recommendations showing customers how many views an item has had, or what is selling well, creates a sense of urgency and encourages your customers to purchase there and then.

Reward your VIPs

Personalization not only increases sales, but also offers so many opportunities for customer retention…which is great considering Gartner’s Group research states 80% of your future revenue will come from just 20% of your current customers!

Rewarding your customers for their loyalty, not only keeps them happy, but also encourages them to keep you at the top of their list of retailers. Plus, happy customers are more likely to recommend your business to their friends. More recommendations…more sales!

Consider offering rewards which are pertinent to your business. Free delivery is a highly effective offer, resulting in typically 30% higher conversion rates, because well, who doesn’t love a freebie? You can also consider early access to new sales, or offers off their next purchase.

There’s no place like home!

Each customer landing on Amazon’s home page will be taken on an entirely different experience to the next. Visitors are presented with a shop window tailored to their interest’s or based on their previous purchases, and importantly, the product recommendations are always relevant.

Make sure your homepage is also personalised for each visitor. Consider banners and products related to their favourite brands, and display trending products pertinent to their interests…nothing loses a customer’s attention, and their custom, like a list of products that are completely irrelevant.

Next steps…

Econsultancy reports 93% of companies are seeing uplift in conversion rates as a result of website personalization, so you really are missing a trick if you’re not already using website personalization to increase your sales.

All these tips can be implemented really easily with our personalization tool, Bunting.

Fancy a free trial? Get yours here! See for yourself how the tips in this article can increase your sales.

By: Charlotte Halkyard 18th June 2018 Tags: , , , , , ,

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GDPR and Bunting: What You Need to Know

25th May 2018 will no doubt be marked in the diaries of many a marketer.

It’s the date that General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, and all companies using EU citizens’ data need to comply. The new law regulates how businesses collect, use and protect the personal data of consumers, and hefty fines will hit those who don’t adhere.

Superseding the old Data Protection Act, the GDPR applies to personal data – and this time the definition is broader, referring to any data that can be used to identify an individual, including IP address.

We’re GDPR compliant

At Bunting, we use on-site shopping and behavioural data to personalize and improve the customer experience on websites. The majority of this data is not personal, but we do sometimes process a small amount of personal data such as email addresses. We only collect data that is necessary to perform the function of the tool.

Since last year, we’ve been preparing for the new regulation and working with our data protection lawyers. We’re fully GDPR compliant, having changed our internal processes as well as making important changes to the Bunting tool.

In our view, GDPR is a good thing, and has been worth the effort. It will allow consumers to control the usage of their personal data, meaning more rights that will force better practice in the industry. 

GDPR will put pressure on marketers to make their communications truly relevant, and, importantly, to get consent when necessary. Pre-ticked boxes will be a thing of the past as consumers can actively choose which marketing communications they want to receive.

What do companies need to do?

We recommend working with data protection legal professionals to do a full audit of the data flows within your organisation.  The ICO has some very clear guidance to follow on what you need to do.

Importantly, you’ll need to document how you comply with the GDPR, and you must establish your legal basis for using personal data. In some cases you’ll always need to rely on consent (such as email communications); in others, you may be able to rely on legitimate interests. 

From an ecommerce perspective, you must display a clear privacy notice detailing how and why you collect personal data. GDPR states it should be concise, written in clear and simple language, and easily accessible. Gone are the days of convoluted small print!

Check with your vendors

Bunting will be amending existing contracts with customers to include GDPR clauses, and Bunting users can find out here how to comply when using the Bunting tool. We recommend speaking to your vendors to ensure they are compliant, too, and get it in writing.

Amend your processes


You’ll need to make sure you’re compliant with the 8 Rights of Individuals under the GDPR – such as the right to access or rectify personal data. If you’re a Bunting customer, you’ll be able to implement your customers’ rights easily through the Bunting platform. Find out more about how to comply with the 8 rights here.

Get in touch…

While GDPR no doubt brings challenges, we do believe this to be a turning point in the industry which will ultimately lead to better, more focused marketing.

The Bunting team are happy to help with any of your questions. Contact us at gdpr [at] bunting [dot] com

By: Bunting 9th February 2018 Tags: ,

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4 Ways to Boost Conversions this Christmas with Personalization

It’s that time of year again.

The high street is busy, and with online shopping expected to return higher revenues than ever before, your site is likely to be busy, too. But will it convert well? We all know that an important way to ensure visitors are engaged is to make their shopping experience personal – but how can we do that at this chaotic time of the year?

Here are our 4 suggestions for raising sales and order values this Christmas season.

1. Stocking fillers

christmas-stocking
A great way to boost sales and order values this Christmas is to use ‘stocking fillers’ – smaller, lower priced items that could be used as a gift (be it the genuine or joke variety!). Stocking fillers are often bought impulsively in-store, so why not try replicate this in your online store? One way is to create a list of ‘trending’ or best-selling Christmas gifts under a certain price on your homepage. You could also display them on your cart page to up order values, along with personalised cross-sells.

2. Give first time visitors what they want

Delivery costs matter. And they matter even more during the Christmas shopping season, when many visitors are ditching the high street, and buying from multiple stores across the web. A great way to do this is to target first time visitors with a minimum spend offer of free delivery.

This adds the benefit of making a great first impression to shoppers who may turn into repeat customers after the holiday season. You could take this a step further and add a coupon for the January sales, incentivising new customers to return to your store.

3. As it’s Christmas … why not give away a free gift?
chrismas-present

A great way to increase order values and to strengthen your brand image, is to offer a free gift in return for a minimum spend. This gift can even be personalised to be brand-specific, depending on the customer’s favourite brand. Bonus points if that gift can be something festive or appropriate for the season.

This is likely to work best with returning visitors, as you’re essentially rewarding them for their loyalty. And, by making them feel like VIPs, they may well become brand ambassadors.

4. Create a gift inspiration section of your store

Let’s face it – many  people shopping for presents online will often have a browse for ideas before they’ve even decided what kind of gift to get for someone.

If your store is the type that sells items that could be given away as gifts, why not launch a gift inspiration section? Allow your visitors to then filter categories to personalise this section and gather ideas for that perfect present. You’re likely to see increased sales as a natural consequence.

~

So, good luck with the seasonal shopping frenzy, and stay tuned as we’ll be giving away some more ideas for raising sales in the coming weeks.

Like the sound of any of these ideas? Get in touch with the Bunting team to discuss how we can personalise your e-commerce store this Christmas.

By: Bunting 10th December 2017

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6 Tactics to Create Urgency and Win More Customers

Urgency. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book – and it’s arguably never been more useful in eCommerce.

Shoppers are faced with more choice online than ever before. With multiple websites selling similar items, choice paralysis has never been a greater threat.

With this in mind, merchants need to employ conversion raising tactics to help their visitors turn into customers. In this article, we’ll look specifically at creating urgency.

Urgency works by breaking through your visitors’ mental hurdles to purchase, such as overthinking, waiting too long, or even allowing distractions to get in the way. It causes customers to act, and act quickly – which often translates into a healthy rise in conversions and order values. But how can you actually put urgency techniques into practice?

Here are 6 ways you can do this.

1. Scarcity warnings

It’s no new technique, but scarcity warnings do work. Research has shown that something in short supply is perceived as being more appealing than the same item in an abundant supply.

Being told there is only a small number of items left of a product you’re viewing is also a sure-fire way to activate the fear factor (fear of missing out, in this case). But it’s also helpful, notifying shoppers that the product they’re interested in might not be available for much longer.

Amazon uses scarcity warnings well

Scarcity warnings can be delivered in different ways, such as a simple message in the product details. An even more noticeable way to bring this to your audience’s attention is a non-intrusive pop-up detailing the low stock levels.

Do be wary though. Scarcity warnings should only be used genuinely. Your visitors are likely to shop around before deciding to purchase, and they will know if your scarcity warnings aren’t the real deal – causing more harm than good.

2. Social call outs



Another way to bring in an element of urgency is to show call-outs pertaining to other shoppers’ behaviour. This can be done on product pages by telling your visitors how many people have viewed or bought an item in the last 24 hours (or other set amount of time).

The social factor can increase the desirability of the product, and the urgency factor comes through by showing the product’s popularity in real time. Popular products are, of course, the most likely to sell out.

Be careful, though. This can be counterproductive if a product has had very few purchases!

3. Time sensitive free delivery

It’s well known that a quicker or free delivery option is most effective when available for a limited time.

You can inject some urgency into your pages by notifying your visitors how long they have left to qualify for free delivery, and AB test different colours and text to see which are most effective. 

Do note that it’s important to be specific about when the item will arrive. Research has shown that stating the exact time you can expect your item to be delivered is clearer than stating the delivery speed (in days, hours etc).

4. Clock timers

Using count down timers is one of the best ways to bring a sense of urgency into your site.

Time sensitive sales, discounts or promotions are an obvious way to raise conversions. Think of free shipping if you purchase today, or 50% off for the next 6 hours. They obviously work best when the time frame is no longer than a day.

A countdown timer ticking away the remaining time can be a powerful visual reminder and a good way to spur your visitors to action.

5. Use Colours that Promote Urgency

Booking.com uses the colour red to help create urgency

We all know that colours have an impact on our behaviour. We’re hard wired to see green as a safe colour, and view red as the colour of danger, or love. Yellows and oranges can also evoke feelings of caution.

It’s highly recommended to split test the colours you use in your urgency messaging and find out which colour works best in your store. It’s no surprise that red is used most often.

6. Social recommendations

There are numerous ways to bring more social proof into your site with added urgency. One way is to show best sellers on your homepage with a notification of how well these products have been selling that day. Best sellers from ‘the last hour’ can also give the impression your store is really busy.

This brings a sense of urgency by showing that certain products are hot right now, and a message suggesting they are ‘selling fast’ can further create a sense of urgency.

Finally…

To sum up, injecting a bit of urgency into your pages will help spur your shoppers to take the actions you want them to. Do approach with caution, though, and make sure any urgency messaging is used sincerely. We’d also strongly advise split testing any changes you make to measure the impact. Good luck!

Looking to get some urgency features on your site?

Real time urgency messaging can easily be set up with Bunting, and provide great opportunities to help your visitors convert.

To find out more, contact us.

By: Bunting 7th July 2017 Tags: , , ,

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How to Win eCommerce Conversions With Personalized Content Marketing

Last Friday was National Chocolate Cake day (apparently).

I mention this for no other reason than it reminded me of a great piece of e-commerce content marketing by the much-loved chocolate brand, Cadbury.

Cadbury isn’t a brand usually associated with baking. But, a central feature of the Cadbury website is a rather tasty looking recipe section. It’s a chocolate lover’s paradise, showing how to make dreamy delights such as the decadent chocolate cake below.  It even allows you to create a ‘shopping list’ with a link to buy all the ingredients (which, of course, includes many Cadbury products).


This is just one example of a fun and clever way to foster a positive customer relationship, providing shareable ideas, and excellent material for email marketing campaigns.

But is content marketing necessary for e-commerce?

In a word – yes. Research from the Aberdeen group found the average conversion rate of sites with content marketing is five times higher than that of sites with none.

And the rewards extend further. According to research from Demand Metric, customers feel a closer connection with brands that create content. As for SEO, since Google updated its algorithm, content is now an essential part of ranking well on the search engines.

So what makes really good content?

Marketer Neil Patel sums this up nicely:

“Create content people want to share, whether that’s because it’s funny, powerful, interesting, or newsworthy”.

He then goes on to say:

Personalize the experience whenever and wherever you can.
Tell a story that people can relate to.
Teach your audience something.
Adapt your content to new and different platforms.”

There are so many ways to create content, and of course it depends entirely on your customers and what they want. It’s likely you’re already publishing content of some kind, but does it resonate with your customers? If you don’t know, ask them.

Here are some ways top e-commerce brands are using content on their sites.

Tutorials

There are few types of content as useful and engaging as product tutorials. Maybelline has a ‘make up trends’ section of their site, showing their visitors how to create on-trend makeup looks, with handy product recommendations at the bottom of the page to ‘create the look’.

Ideas for Products

Knowing your target market can give you ideas for how they might like to use your products in different and perhaps even quirky ways. A brand that does this well is furniture giant, Ikea.

They have an ‘ideas’ section of their site, filled with highly visual articles for home inspiration, but also helpful and handy ideas on a range of home-related subjects, such as storage tips.

Ikea states that it doesn’t believe in a ‘perfect home’ but rather a home ‘where everything looks the way you want it to, works the way you need it to, and just generally makes you feel good…’. The folk at Ikea understand the emotional impact one’s surroundings can have, and position their content as a way to inspire and create happier people who enjoy their homes. In doing so, they create and nurture a positive connection with their customers.


Video


Of course, video can be used in a multitude of ways. And for eCommerce, there’s no better place to start than product pages.

Research suggests that conversion rates can rise by as much as 80% when you get high quality video onto your product pages. It shows products in a vivid way from multiple angles, and captures the essence of your products in a way that photos simply can’t replicate. It’s certainly worth trying out.

Telling spellbinding stories

Everyone loves a story. Crafting your brand or your product’s story – and filling your site with content around that story – is a delightful way to engage your visitors in a far more emotional way than a typical e-commerce brand.

As for the results? You’ll see customers who buy more.

Research by Origin looked into how stories affected sales. One of their studies was a test of two product pages of identical products on a wine selling website: one product page with the winemaker’s story vs a page with wine tasting notes. Which page won? The page with the story saw an impressive 5% more sales. And not just that, but shoppers who saw the story were willing to pay 6% more.

Is there a way to incorporate storytelling into your site?


Making your content personal

As we mentioned earlier, content works best when it’s personal. So how can you put a personal touch on the content you create?

Recommend relevant content

Once your visitors show an interest in a particular theme, product or category, you can recommend related content so they can learn more, be entertained more, or whatever it is that your brand’s content does best. The more (good) content your customers consume, the more they’ll connect with your brand.

You can also recommend content based on previous purchases – a perfect guide to go with their new product, for example. Or, you can suggest content to visitors based on what they’re currently looking at (enjoyed this how-to guide? Here’s another you might like!)

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Whatever you choose, good quality content will help your eCommerce brand in various ways. Make it shareable, make it engaging, make it personal. Your customers will thank you.

 

By: Bunting 3rd February 2017 Tags: ,

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5 Personalization Ideas to Beat the January Blues, and Sell More

It’s January. It’s back to work after the festive rush, and things are certainly slower. Selling off stock in January sales may bring in some bargain-hungry shoppers, but conversions are generally lower as consumers feel the pinch after the last quarter’s spending.

This isn’t all too surprising. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now such large events that many retailers report of an inevitable festive ‘hangover’, with sales suffering in the following Q1.

Luckily, we’ve got some ideas for how to tackle the challenges of the new year with personalisation. We believe there are loads of opportunities in Q1.  Let’s take a look.

Tip 1: Bring back festive shoppers

The good news is that the new year brings with it an abundance of new data to utilise. 

It’s likely that you acquired many first time customers during the Christmas shopping period. Unfortunately, due to the time of year, these visitors are unlikely to return so soon – but could you offer something to shoppers to drive them back to your site, and encourage another purchase?

By using order data you can set up targeted email campaigns for January, thanking new customers for their festive orders, and sending incentives to return. This could be a free New Year gift (think about relevant themes), a discount coupon or some helpful content based on their purchases.

wallpops-free-new-year-gift

Wallpops.com offered a free new year gift to returning shoppers as an incentive to purchase again.

Tip 2: Optimise repeat purchases for customer retention

Acquiring a new customer costs a business somewhere between 5 – 10 x more than selling to an existing customer. With that in mind, now is a good time to look over your data from the last year, and look at patterns in repeat purchases.

Looking over the data, can you find the optimal number of purchases needed before your shoppers become loyal customers? For example, in some stores, a shopper is statistically more likely to become a loyal, repeat customer if they have purchased on 4 different occasions. Therefore, their loyalty is likely to remain after the 4th time they order.

If this is the case, you can nurture that relationship to ensure a visitor has purchased 4 times by segmenting visitors by their number of visits, and presenting targeted discounts and coupons for their first 4 visits (obviously, the exact number may be different for your store).

By this point you’ll have helped reach that optimal level of purchases to ensure trust is sufficiently built.

Other ways you can do this include loyalty schemes – rewarding customers for repeat purchases. This could include free content, first peek at new product lines, offers or free merchandise.

waitrose-70-off-first-5-shops

Waitrose offered discounts for the first 5 orders to increase customer loyalty.

Tip 3: Use crowd data to show recommendations relevant to the season’s themes

For users landing on your site, a great way to promote engagement is to show products which are currently hot: ‘trending products’. These are recommendations that show what other visitors are viewing, or buying, the most.

A great way to do this is to filter recommendations by themes. For example, what do we associate with January? Health, New Years resolutions, new opportunities. If your product inventory allows, and you can filter your trending products down to a seasonal category, you may just see a great increase in engagement and conversions.

amazon-new-year-res-recommendations-two
You can take this a step further and show trending products from the last hour. It’s a way of showing your visitors what’s on trend in real-time, and has the added benefit of making your store look really busy – and more social proof can never be a bad thing.

amazon-new-yesr-res-recommendations

Amazon knows health related products sell particularly well at this time of year, and their homepage recommendations reflect this.

Tip 4: Drive increases in average order value to make up for lower sales

It’s a no-brainer to fill your site with highly relevant product recommendations that update in real-time. At this quieter time of year, it’s worth considering filtering those recommendations to display the items that bring a higher return. Products that bring low returns can be filtered out, leaving the focus on items that will help increase your bottom line.

To further increase the effectiveness of recommendations, optimise their appearance by testing number and size. Try hiding ‘zero reviews’ on the recommendations that don’t have any reviews yet (0 star products don’t look appealing). A/B testing will help determine the best way to present recommendations.

In addition to upsells, make sure highly relevant cross-sell items are available on the checkout page, too, or on your ‘add to cart’ page.

Other ways to raise order values are package or bundle deals, and offering a free gift for a minimum spend.

saltrock-screenshot-free-mug

Saltrock increased AOV with a free piece of merchandise.

Tip 5: Make your content a conversion creator

Creating relevant and engaging content for your customers is great for many reasons: it establishes your brand, improves engagement levels and also provides fertile ground for targeting visitors based on their choices of content.

It also means that at a time of year when people aren’t buying, you can still drive traffic to your blog, and use content for your email marketing campaigns. Fill your emails with engaging content based on your customers’ interests, and embed with relevant product recommendations.

And of course, remember: creating content is pointless if no one is reading it. Find ways to capture email addresses with capture forms on your site.

And that’s all, folks…

So, we hope you found some tips that you can put to use in your Q1 campaigns. If you need some help along the way, Bunting‘s tool can easily implement the ideas discussed in this article. Happy personalising!

By: Bunting 13th January 2017

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