Getting Started With Personalization: 5 Tests to Try for a Quick Conversion Lift.

Getting started with personalization can be daunting, with seemingly endless tests to try for that all important conversion uplift.

Getting to grips with the machine learning technology required to implement personalization can also feel like an intimidating task.

But it shouldn’t.

Firstly, it’s important to establish your goals. What do you want to achieve with personalization? Is it an increase in conversion rate? Or improved average order value?

Once you have a tool that clearly reports real time data back to you, then you can make decisions on who you want to target, and with what content, to achieve those goals. Are you struggling to convert new visitors, for example, or increase orders from traffic coming from a certain region?

At this early stage, it’s always helpful to look at tried and tested experiments that have worked for others. Here are 5 quick win tests to give you some inspiration.

1. Increase first time visitor sales with exit intent messages

First time visitors are, unsurprisingly, the hardest to convert.

They have no loyalty to your brand. They have no past purchases to benchmark for quality. They’re hesitant to buy from you, and are likely to shop around. An exit can often signal the last time you’ll ever see them.

How can you make an impression on these visitors?

A great way to engage first timers and give a little nudge to stay, is to trigger an exit-prevention light box. This message will trigger when visitors attempt to leave the store with an incentive of your choice.

As an example, WallPops.com engaged their first time visitors with an incentive-to-stay pop-up. It increased orders by an impressive 12%.

How to do this

With a tool like Bunting, it’s really easy to set up this test. ‘Increase first time visitor’ is a pre-made template, that can be clicked and installed straight away. You can choose what kind of incentive to use to pique your visitors’ interests, such as free delivery, or a % off discount (NB: your store must have a coupon code to do this). Or even better, split test both, to see which incentive works most effectively.

Don’t want to give out discounts or free delivery?
Worry not. An alternative here could be an ‘email me my cart’ message, or ‘sign up for our newsletter before you go’. This gives you opportunities to re-market to these visitors with personalized emails based on their browsing history.

2. Raise average order value with triggered messaging

A common way to raise order values is to offer an incentive to raise the value of a customer’s cart. One that works well is to offer something when a customer exceeds a certain spend. This could be a free gift, or free delivery.

This can be targeted to specific users – for example, you might only want to target visitors who have purchased from you several times, to reward them for their loyalty.

In addition to displaying this offer on your homepage, you can also trigger a reminder message to your visitors when their cart reaches a certain amount. It will then ask them to increase their order value in order to get free shipping. Saltrock surfwear did this well. They triggered a message when the value of a visitor’s cart exceeded £20, letting them know that they would be entitled to free delivery if they increased their order to £30.

How to do this

With Bunting, you can easily set up this test by creating a pop-up light box. Once the content is created, you can set the trigger to target visitors that match a certain criteria.   You can select the condition type ‘value of cart’ under ‘shopping cart metrics’. Then, specify the order value you would like to target, such as $20. Finally we recommend you run a split test, and then you can measure precisely how well the experiment performed.

3. Product recommendations on product pages

Recommendations are an indispensable part of any e-commerce store, and rightly so – machine learning algorithmic recommendations undoubtedly raise your conversion rate and average order value.

Of course, they help customers find what they really want. But they also help your team by freeing up precious time spent manually creating recommendations. A good tool will let you set up recommendations that require zero coding, so they can easily be set up by anyone on your team.

How to do this

With Bunting, it’s a case of drag and drop (and thankfully, no coding).Simply paste the URL of any product page, and the tool will generate accurate recommendations on every product page. Of course other pages such as the homepage or cart page can also be selected. Choose carefully where on the page you’d like the recommendations to be. We recommend above the fold, and in the case of product pages, we suggest the closer to the main image the better. 

4. Raise visitor sales based on geolocation

Research frequently shows that many retailers are missing out on opportunities to attract and convert visitors from certain regions.

Your international visitors are less likely to trust your store than a local website, so it’s essential to earn their trust through your site’s offering. Have a look through your site – are any areas displaying messaging that is not relevant to your international visitors?

Looking at the Adventure Direct site, we can see the messaging is aimed at the UK market, and is presented to every visitor regardless of location. This may actually damage overseas orders. With Bunting you can dynamically change the website text to show different messaging to your overseas visitors.

How to do this

Any part of your website can be changed to display messaging and imagery that is relevant to that particular audience. With Bunting, you can change any part of the page for this segment. For example, it will let you edit website text and even include a merge tag, which will display the visitor’s country/region name, wherever they are.

Welcome pop up for overseas visitors Another great little feature to impress your overseas visitors is to trigger a welcome pop-up. This can assure your visitors of your custom, that you deliver to them, or can display your international contact details.

5. Cross sells on the cart page

The recommendation best known to raise order values is the mighty cross-sell. These are algorithmic recommendations for products that complement the product/s in the cart.

Cross-sells are based on real time order data, meaning they’re the products statistically most likely to be purchased in conjunction with the item/s in the cart. They help visitors find useful or desirable products and, in doing so, not only raise orders but help you build better relationships with your customers.

How to do this

To start with, it’s worth trying cross sells out on your cart page. A good tool will allow you to drag and drop your recommendations into place. Importantly, we recommend for your first attempt at cross selling to target visitors who have converted at least once before. This is because sometimes cross-sells can take first time buyers out the flow of purchase and serve as a distraction.

 

Measure your results

We cannot stress enough – when getting started with personalization, test everything.

Many tools don’t allow for split testing, meaning you’re left without the important insights you need to build on and improve your personalization campaigns. So, run an A/B test with each experiment, and look at  the impact on conversion rate, but also revenue increase, abandoned cart rate and the number of page views.

We hope some of the tests in this article have given you some ideas for your own campaigns. Good luck!

Want to know more about personalization, and how to get started? Contact Bunting for a free review of your website, and to chat with an expert.

By: Bunting 24th February 2017 Tags: , , , ,

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The New Google Update for Pop-ups: Is Your Site Ready?

On the 10th January, the ever-evolving Google search algorithm will change.

The big change in a nutshell? Google will now punish sites that use intrusive pop-ups or ‘interstitials’ on their mobile websites by lowering their search ranking.

Do take note, that this is only affecting mobile sites. So, you won’t need to make any updates to your desktop site.

Also, the update isn’t something to be too worried about. Google launched an update last year that gave preference in its search results to “mobile friendly sites”. This update is a natural extension of this, and one that isn’t difficult to work with. 

The tricky part is determining what is meant, exactly, by an intrusive pop-up. Let’s summarise what you can and can’t do when it comes to pop-ups.

These pop-ups are not OK: 

–  A pop up that covers the main content of the page.

–  Pop ups that are difficult to dismiss (can you clearly see the cross?).

–  Using a pop-up that is similar to the style of the above-the-fold part of the page.


These pop-ups are OK

– Pop-ups and banners that, in Google’s words, use a “reasonable amount of screen space”, and that can be dismissed easily. If in doubt, the app install banners provided by Chrome and Safari are safe to use and meet the new guidelines.

– Pop-ups that notify visitors of some kind of legal requirement. For example, cookie regulations or age verification. These should be at the top of the screen and not obscure the entire page.

Here’s a handy image from Google that illustrates acceptable pop-ups:

google-pop-up-guidelines

What about Bunting’s pop-ups?

Using pop-ups is a key part of our tool, and we all know how engaging pop-ups can be when used to personalise the customer experience.

Our advice is this:

When creating pop-up content, to play it completely safe, you can disable pop-ups for mobile devices. To do this, when you’re in visitor targeting, select ‘device used is equal to computer’. This will prevent mobile devices seeing the pop-up.

targeting-tool-equal-to-computer

A great alternative to pop-ups is displaying Bunting’s message bars on mobile. These can present a personalised message to users at the top or bottom of screen. They’re definitely not intrusive, and easily dismissable – keeping your customers, and Google, happy!

All in all, the new update is nothing to lose sleep over. By following our tips above, your site should be fine. And for our users, make sure you log in to your Bunting account to make any required changes!

By: Bunting 2nd January 2017 Tags: , , , ,

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Ecommerce Optimisation: What you really need to consider for Q3

So we’ve made it half-way through the year which, to ecommerce folk, means we’ve reached Q3 of 2016.

We’ve seen a lot and learned a lot this year, with surprises along the way.  So, given what’s happened so far, what should you be considering for the next quarter?

1. It’s time to get video savvy

video toys r us ecommerce

The first half of the year has shown that customers are demanding more content rich and visceral shopping experiences. They don’t want just a mere photo and description. Vivid and detailed product descriptions are no doubt helpful, and beautiful product photography is great, but this doesn’t quite capture the essence of your products like high quality video.

Product tutorials, and demos can work well on video, and can also provide shareable material. A bit of creativity can go a long way. Look here for some video ideas.

2. Reputation marketing is more important than ever

Social proof is now a complete expectation, and affects both online and in-store purchasing. Google research shows 8 out of 10 people use a smart phone in store to consult reviews whilst shopping. Online, many shoppers won’t buy a product that doesn’t have a review, and they may go to an online store elsewhere that displays a good number of reviews.

Reputation marketing tools allow you to directly respond to customer feedback and manage interactions. Negative reviews can be turned into positive experiences with the right response. It’s also worth trying to incentivise your customers to leave a review – higher number of reviews translates into more trust in both your products and brand (unless, of course, reviews are largely negative!)

3. Customers are less patient


baby phone angry

The expectations of customers are changing rapidly, and this applies to online customer service more than anything. Online visitors have less and less patience when it comes to finding answers to questions – and if their answers can’t be found easily, why should they hang around?

Customers also might want a bit of advice and assurance about which product suits their needs. Live chat is the best current solution to this, and, from a vendor point of view,  is a worthwhile investment. Consider this: Live Chat has the highest levels of customer satisfaction at 73%, compared to 44% over the phone.

4. Get ready for the big online shopping days

cyber monday

It’s well known that events like Black Friday are huge opportunities to drive traffic and sales. Cyber Monday yielded $3 billion last year in the US, but the biggest day online was Singles Day in China with Alibaba making over $14 billion alone. It’s predicted that these days will only get bigger, and new event days are popping up.  It’s worth preparing for these days significantly in advance, with a targeted and personalised marketing campaign, and ensuring your site is well prepared for the weight of extra traffic. Other events to consider in this next quarter are Back to School Sales, Summer Clear Outs and significant days within your country or culture.

5. Personalisation is hitting the mainstream

homepage personalisastion

85% of marketers are now using personalisation across campaigns (source: Researchscape/Evergage), with personalisation typically showing conversion increases of 19%. There is no doubt that delivering personalised experiences is necessary to keep up with the competition, as customers similarly expect their onsite experiences to be relevant to them. Interestingly, most marketers rate their personalisation efforts as no higher than a ‘C grade’, so clearly work needs to be done. With a large proportion citing lack of technology as a factor, tools like Bunting will undoubtedly make the process easier.

So…

As we head into the next quarter of the year, it’s worth thinking about what we’ve learned so far, and how this information can help optimise your site. Making these changes now will no doubt help prepare your store for the winter buying rush in Q4 (But we won’t talk too much about that yet..!).

By: Bunting 1st July 2016 Tags: , , , ,

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6 Easy Ways to Reduce Ecommerce Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is an often overlooked stat.

In essence, it tells you the rate at which visitors are leaving your site after viewing one page. Sometimes this is ok – a visitor may be looking for information, find it, and then leave. Job done.

However, as is too often in e-commerce, a high bounce rate can indicate that visitors are not engaging with your conversion funnel, and that there is something fundamentally wrong with your site’s offering.

So what should you be expecting?

Well, in retail, industry averages lay between a 20-40% bounce rate (source: Kissmetrics).

A quick look in your Google analytics account will show your site’s bounce rate, and, importantly, which pages have the highest bounce rate. This may be an indication that those pages need optimising.

Let’s look at some ways to reduce your bounce rate and see visitors engage more with your site.

1. Help visitors find what they want – wherever they are

For visitors landing on your homepage, ‘trending products’ recommendations are a great way to get shoppers engaged and finding popular items. For the user landing on one of your product pages?  They should be greeted with recommendations related to the item they’re looking for to help them navigate through your site and find what they want.

And of course, your search navigation should be clearly visible at the top of the screen and ideally be fixed, so that it scrolls as your visitors look through your pages.

LiveChat
This, along with a help/FAQ section, should be enough to deal with customer queries, but sometimes a customer has a question
you didn’t even know existed. A live chat function can be great here and can help build a positive, helpful image of your brand.

2. Make sure your call to action is doing its job

What do you want your visitors to do? It’s well known that a clear call to action is essential, whether it’s ‘buy now’ or ‘add to cart’ or ‘download ebook’. Importantly, it needs to be the right colour, wording, in the right place and, crucially, mobile optimised.

bunting demo cta

After testing, it was found that green was the best converting colour for the CTA here

Split test different colours and wording to see what works. Even just changing the colour can make a big difference. By using heat map software (see below), you can see where visitors are engaging with your site and if work needs to be done.

heat map

Heat maps can show you where users are interacting with your site (and where they are not).


3. Don’t go overboard with text

It cannot be stressed enough: write your important messages in as few words as possible.

wall of text

People prefer to digest text in small chunks, and a wall of text is a common reason for visitors bouncing. Break text up into chunks, headings, subheadings, bullet-points, and add images.

4. Don’t go cheap on web design

Web design and trust go hand in hand. If your site doesn’t look the part then visitors are likely to become suspicious, and won’t hang around.

baddesign

This dated design with inconsistent fonts, colours and image sizes does not instill trust.

Check out Adobe’s colour wheel to see what colours go well together. Try to be consistent with your use of fonts and limit the number to two per page. Make sure image dimensions are consistent, too. And try to avoid ‘busyness’ – your site should be simple and clear.

Don’t be cheap when it comes to design. Your site needs to look good if it is to be perceived as professional.

5. Check your messaging

If your users are landing on your site from search, then make sure your site meets their expectations. As an internet user, there are few things as frustrating as landing on a site that doesn’t match the search or meta description.

By having dedicated landing pages specifically related to key terms, you’ll find visitors have a vastly improved user experience, making it easier to find what they need.

6. Prevent exits

 athome inthecountry case shotExit prevention messages are activated by analysing user intent, and provide an effective way to entice your user to stay. Particularly with first time visitors, an offer or free delivery can be an effective incentive to stay and continue shopping. However pop-ups can be seen as a nuisance, so pay attention to design and messaging, and test everything.

Over to you

An ecommerce website that ensures it caters for all its users’ needs should see itself rewarded with a lower bounce rate and higher site conversions. Using an effective split testing tool will help you effectively measure the changes you make. This article contains a small selection of techniques you can use – our tool Bunting is packed full of proven conversion raising techniques which will easily help lower your bounce rates. Good luck!

 

 

By: Bunting 11th March 2016 Tags:

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