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.

How to Up Order Values with ‘Stocking Filler’ Product Recommendations

With the Christmas shopping season in full flow, it’s worth considering some new ways to boost sales and order values. This Christmas, a new Bunting feature is available – ‘stocking filler’ recommendations that can be filtered by price, allowing you to promote smaller, lower priced items.

Stocking fillers are often bought impulsively in-store, and these on-site recommendations provide a similar opportunity; letting shoppers grab a few smaller items on their way through your store. Splashing these recommendations at various touch-points can be a great way to increase conversions and order values.

One way is to create a list of ‘trending’ or best-selling Christmas gifts under a certain price on your homepage. By serving up an added bit of social proof, you’ll increase your products’ desirability by showing what’s hot at the moment. You could alternatively display them on your cart page to up order values, along with personalised cross-sells.

stocking-filler-recommendations

How to do this with Bunting

To do this, go through the usual process of inserting your recommendations in your desired place. Right click and go to ‘settings’.

bunting-price-filters

Here, you’ll find options to choose the maximum (or minimum) price for your displayed products. Make your choice, set an A/B test, and watch the results come in!

screenshot-results-1

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Happy experimenting, and let us know how it goes!

Not a Bunting user? Found out more about our award-winning e-commerce personalisation technology here.

4 Creative Ways To Drive Sales With Product Recommendations

Product recommendations are nothing new. Huge numbers of ecommerce stores are using them somewhere on their site, and rightly so.

When used well, recommendations raise conversions and order values, improve bounce rates and result in happier, more engaged customers. Just ask Amazon – almost a third of its revenue comes from product recommendations.

However, many stores limit their use to upsells and cross-sells on product pages. While this can be great, there are so many potential uses of recommendations to drive sales and engagement.

Let’s run through some ideas here.

1. Trending products … NOW

You can immediately engage visitors landing on your your site by displaying the products currently being viewed or bought the most – “trending products”. Using the power of social here is a great way to generate interest, and these products are statistically most likely to be purchased at that point in time.

h n m trending product recommendations
But how about taking this a step further and showing trending products from the last hour? Or from that morning or evening? It’s a way of showing your visitors what’s on trend, and could be an incentive to come back to see what’s trending at a later time that day. This also has the added benefit of making your store look really busy – hurray!

Trending products work particularly well on your homepage and category pages. And, given that your visitors will choose to stay or go within 3 seconds, this is a important space to engage visitors.

 

2. Make your newsletters relevant

We all know that an appealing newsletter is a great way to re-engage your customers and bring them back to your store. And this works best when your newsletters are personal. A newsletter relevant to the reader’s interests is shown to have higher click through and conversion rates.

Netflix product recommendations email

A great way to do this is to inject personalised product recommendations into your newsletter. For returning buyers, you can display recommendations relevant to their browsing behaviour and/or favourite brands. And for newbies, you can display your currently trending products. The content of Netflix’s newsletters is based around the customer.

Bunting makes newsletter recommendations easy, and you can be sending your personalised email recommendations within minutes.

3. Get social with product recommendations

A powerful way to showcase products and inject a dose of social proof is to display your customers using, enjoying or wearing your products. This flips the standard studio image and shows your product in a new, more personal light (whether an Instagram filtered light fits well with your brand, however, should be considered!).

product recommendations fashion

Why not show your trending products as a set of Instagram shots or Twitter pics? Use the photos to then link to the item’s product page. Fashion store Missguided show their customers’ Instagram shots on their homepage, and then allow a closer look with a link to the branded items in the photo.

product recommendations fashion 2

Getting a brand hashtag is a great way to create a brand-loyal community in the social sphere, and this gives you all kinds of options for live feeds and social proof on your website, too.

4. Personalise your hero image with a product recommendation

Your homepage hero image is a great space to showcase a product in a vivid way (large images convert well) and thus generate interest. How about personalising this image based on the visitor demographics or behaviour?

By showing a hero shot related to the visitor’s favourite brand you can really drive engagement and reduce friction in enabling visitors to find products they’re interested in. Link the hero shot to the product page of the item and then make sure alternative products recommendations await them.

Over to you…

As always, run split tests to see what works, and get creative. Try to think of ideas that will work for your brand and store. A tool like Bunting will help to collect and analyse the data required to implement your recommendations and ensure they are accurate. Happy recommending!

A Bunting Product Recommendations Software Case Study

See how Australia’s top lingerie retailer increased AOV by 9.6% with product recommendations

Personalised product recommendations have an undeniable impact on shoppers’ buying behaviour. One only has to look to personalisation pioneers, Amazon, who can attribute a third of their revenue to recommendations.

This week we’ll look at how one of Bunting’s great clients, Bras N Things, used recommendations to raise their average order values.

The challenge

 

Long established as Australia’s leading lingerie fashion retailer, Bras N Things wanted to step up their online customer experience in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Despite being a super successful household brand with 175 stores throughout the country, Bras N Things understood the evolving digital environment and the importance of implementing an effective personalisation solution. Bunting was chosen to deliver personalised product recommendations with a key goal being to maximise average order value.

The solution

 

  • Similar product recommendations were placed on product pages, to help shoppers find products that matched their preferences. These were split tested against their own inbuilt recommendations to see which solution was the most effective and to calculate ROI.
  • Persuasive social accolades such as ‘most viewed’, and ‘best seller’ were placed on recommendations to increase urgency, social validation and entice visitors to click on recommendations and make a purchase.
  • ‘Customers also bought’ cross sells were placed on the cart pages with the intention to raise order values.
  • The number of recommendations to be displayed = 5.

 

Results

  • 9.6% increase in Average Order Value
  • 3.5% increase in visit duration
  • 3.3% increase in product views
  • 2.4% increase in visits

Bras N Things saw a big return on investment with Bunting’s solution clearly outperforming their own inbuilt recommendations. Average order value went up significantly, and Bras N Things customers showed a higher level of engagement with the site, with product views and average visit durations increasing. Delighted by what they found, Bras N Things  now employ personalised recommendations based on real order data throughout their site, as well as in their newsletters.

Want to try it for your store? Try a 30 day free trial of Bunting to see how product recommendations work for you.