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.

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.

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.

18 Practical Ideas for Ecommerce Personalization

A common question for users experimenting with ecommerce personalisation is this:

What personalisation should I use on my site?

Personalisation is limited only by the imagination, however, it always helps to get hold of some some tried and tested ideas to play with. It’s important to note, however, that what works for one website won’t necessarily work for your site. Therefore, you need to split test your campaigns to measure their success.

Here are 18 personalisation ideas to help raise conversions.

 

1.  Try welcoming new visitors with a non-intrusive pop-up or call-out. Assure them of your customer support and let them know of any sales.

2.  Turn your loyal customers into brand ambassadors! Why not reward your frequent buyers with a special offer, a sneaky peek at new product lines or a free gift?

3. Tailor your website’s banners and featured products to your visitor’s interests. Relevance is key.

4. Why not welcome back returning visitors with a personalised message? This is mimicking the friendly approach of a shop assistant at a bricks and mortar store.

5. Remind visitors of products they’ve previously browsed. They may still be interested, and by helping them with reminders, you’re likely to benefit too.

6. Capture email addresses of visitors abandoning their cart with a “want us to email your cart to you?” message. 

7. Send abandoned cart reminders with personalised similar item recommendations – this may help the shopper to find what they want.

8. Support indecisive shoppers with a pop-up directing them to your FAQ or live chat. By helping users find answers to their questions, you’ll likely see more conversions.

9. Help prevent exits by offering a time sensitive discount or free delivery when the user shows intent to leave the site. This can work particularly well for visitors who have never purchased.

10. Show new products relevant to a visitor’s price and product preferences or favourite brands. This is a great way to re-engage returning visitors.

11. Increase first time visitor sales by offering a free gift with their first purchase.

12. Content can help make a sale. Fill your email campaigns with personalised content such as webinars, ebooks or blogs to entice visitors to return to your site.

13. Engage international visitors by displaying a reassuring welcome message showing that you support and deliver to their country. Bonus points if you can do this in their language.

14. Encourage repeat purchases (where relevant) with product replenishment reminders.

15. Display ‘trending products’ on your homepage. Spark interest in products by showing what’s currently popular.

16. Send a personalised ‘we miss you’ email to re-engage old customers, with a discount, free delivery coupon or other incentive to return.

17. Display product suggestions based on shopper’s season or weather conditions.

18. Engage your PPC visitors by displaying content relevant to the keyword term they searched for.

Phew! So there you are. Feel free to give these suggestions a go, and see if they work for you.

If you need a tool to help you implement these ideas, then Bunting‘s website personalisation platform can carry these out with ease.

How to Use Website Personalization for a Killer Homepage

First impressions count.

And when does this matter most? When a visitor lands on your website’s homepage.

It’s the shop window of your store. A place where visitors’ eyes will browse quickly, and decisions to stay (or go) will be made within seconds.

So, making the most of this space is, quite simply, essential to the success of your store. A great way to make your homepage engaging and meaningful is to personalise it around each shopper – whether they’re a first time or returning visitor.

Unfortunately, for many online retailers, the homepage is often the most generic page on their site. In short, this means they are losing out on significant opportunities to raise conversions and improve their visitors’ experience.

Here are some tips for getting started.

Adaptive call to actions convert better

brand attic pop up

Brand Attic use a sign up pop-up to visitors who have not subscribed

A mistake that websites often make is a static call to action that doesn’t take into account who is viewing the page. Did you know that personalised call-to-actions convert 42% better than non-personalised ones? (source: HubSpot).

A good to way to get a shopper to engage with your brand before purchasing is offering helpful content on your homepage. Getting people to subscribe to your blog means they are more likely to buy from, and engage with your brand in the future.

But what if they’ve already signed up? Segment these visitors, and use the space available for a different, relevant call to action (perhaps, ‘get a customer account’ or ‘watch our explainer video’), depending on what is pertinent to your business.

Personalise your homepage to build trust

Make sure you welcome your visitors. Is it their first time on your site? If so, greet them, assure them of your contact details and an available FAQ if they need it. This is the online equivalent of a bricks and mortar shopkeeper greeting their customers with a friendly smile. And it can easily be done with a non-intrusive pop-up or header.

athome inthecountry deliver uk

For international visitors, lack of trust is the biggest barrier to buying. For these visitors, there’s no quicker and easier way of instilling trust than assurance that you support and ship to their region. If your visitor is in France, for example, then clearly display your custom and shipping policy for France. Add a flag of their country on the homepage, and show them your customer support details.

Bonus points if you can do this in their language.

Recommendations aren’t just for product pages

Your homepage shouldn’t be all about you. It should be about what your customer loves.

Use the data at your fingertips to recommend items your visitor has previously shown interest in. This could be recently viewed (but not bought) products, abandoned items, cross-sells to previously purchased products, or even product replenishment (‘buy again’), if appropriate. Personalised ‘new in’ products related to the visitor’s interests can also work well.

Your homepage should reflect the season … or weather

If we look at this fashion store’s homepage, we can see they have cleverly adapted the homepage content to their visitor’s geolocation.

very-personalised-homepage blog

Very.co.uk use geolocation targeting effectively

By updating this in real time, the store is offering products relevant to the visitor’s current weather conditions. This can also work well for season. Your visitors, depending on what hemisphere they’re in, will be in different seasons – so you can personalise your homepage products around their location.

In order to do this, you need to have the analytical capacity to know exactly where your visitors are coming from. This is something that can be done on a shopper’s first visit.

Inject the Power of Social

First time visitor? It’s commonly known that showing what others are doing can motivate your shoppers. By displaying ‘trending products’ (ie. products that are currently being viewed frequently, or that are selling well) you can engage visitors and kick-start browsing.

Even better, you can personalise this list to show trending products within your visitors’ favourite brands or product categories.

 Finally…

The most important thing to take away is this: your homepage shouldn’t be all about you. It should be a refection of what your customer loves, and it should engage your visitors from the moment they arrive. Making your homepage relevant to each visitor means a better experience for them, which will translate into more conversions for you. As always, if you need help implementing any of these tricks, a tool like Bunting will do the hard work for you.

Happy personalising!