Showing posts with label online retail sales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label online retail sales. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Curious Case of Ecommerce Buttons: A Best Practices Guide

Ideally, all aspects of your ecommerce experience drive shoppers towards a conversion. Depending on your business and the point in the sales funnel your prospect is, your conversion goal could be to get individuals to enter contact information, finalize a sale or share a promotion.
Whatever your goal is, the final hurdle to get a conversion is getting a user to hit a button to actually take some sort of action. And when it comes to helping nudge your customers to finally click that button, I’ve put together a few best practices to follow.

Find the Right Call-To-Action

Your call-to-action needs to clearly state the action that customers are about to take. Use unambiguous, active language on and around your button that reinforces the value to expect. If you leave anything open to interpretation or use words that imply extra work or more commitment on the part of the shopper, they’ll have more hesitation and are less likely to convert.
So, do use words like “see”, “give”, “get” or “reserve” as they demonstrate momentum and will encourage individuals to continue. A study from HubSpot showed that from a list of action words, “Click here” and “Go” actually had the highest conversion rates. Alternatively, words that can have the opposite effect include “download”, “submit” or “register.”
Additionally, shifting from second person to first person can also have a considerable effect. A study by Michael Aagaard, Unbounce’s Senior Conversion Optimizer, demonstrated how changing a call-to-action button from “Get your free template” to “Get my free template” resulted in a 90% increase in conversions.

Colors Matter

With online shopping being so visual, it makes sense that color can have a huge impact on conversions. For starters, certain colors can have drastically different connotations from country to country. For example, while yellow signifies jealously in France, it can mean bravery or wealth in Japan. Purple is considered a color of mourning in Thailand, while the Western cultures tend to view it as a symbol of royalty. So, it’s important to pick colors that carries positive sentiments, keeping in mind that you may have to use different colors for different countries. It’s also important to keep colors consistent in your ecommerce experience and on brand.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to button color. Every customer segment is different so experiment to see which colors create the highest conversion rates for your business. As UX Dilemma points out, the best way to bypass the different associations that can occur with each color and each culture is to emphasize the button with a color that contrasts the other colors on your page.
Image source: Bright Hub

Pay Attention to Your Fonts and Button Shape

In addition to being a contrasting color to the rest of your page, UserTesting Blog says that buy buttons should appear large enough on your page so that customers can easily pick it out, but not so large that it appears obnoxious on the webpage.
You also need to avoid hard-to-read fonts and all-caps. The lack of letter variation in all-caps actually makes reading it more difficult. Follow these simple guidelines of formatting a call-to-action button by using a rectangle shape, having clear boundaries and borders and using white space around the buy button. Vitally, make sure all of your spelling and grammar is correct! These can cause a great deal of hesitation in shoppers and cause them to not hit that button.

Create Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your ecommerce buttons. One case studyfound that creating a sense of urgency helped increase sales by 332%.
There are lots of ways to create a sense of urgency including limited-time discounts, communicating that only a limited amount of stock is available or adding countdown clocks to the end of a sale. Use words such as “now” and “today” to reinforce this sense of urgency.

Find What Works for Your Ecommerce Store

There’s obviously a lot more that goes into optimizing your checkout than just the button. But it is the final barrier, so you need to do everything you can to eliminate any risk of hesitation. Be mindful of the particular needs and desires of your target market to help your buttons convert. And be prepared to test different combinations to see what works best for your ecommerce business.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Getting your Ecommerce Store Ready for the Holidays

The holiday season is an extremely hectic time for ecommerce companies which is why it’s essential to get an early start on planning well before the pandemonium starts.
A 2014 study by Statista showed that nearly 20% of annual retail sales can be attributed to the holiday season and as much as 30% of an individual retailer’s total revenue. With consumers consistently spending more money every year, you’ll want to ensure that your company is well-prepared to capitalize on as much of that market share as possible.

From Black Friday until Christmas, ecommerce revenue can increase anywhere from 50% to 100% above normal, with peak earnings usually occurring near the end of November. While Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday (the second Monday in December) are the most profitable dates in North America, there are other notable dates you’ll want to be mindful of as well, like Singles Day or Diwali, if you sell globally.
So with that in mind, here’s how you can maximize on holiday conversions this year.

1. Speed Wins the Race

The first thing you’ll need to be prepared for is a higher volume of traffic on your website. More people visiting your website or product pages can cause server latency, slowing load times. While a few extra seconds might not seem like a big deal, it makes a big difference in ecommerce. If a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you could lose up to 40% of your potential buyers.
Use Google Analytics to see what your holiday traffic looked like a year ago and make the necessary adjustments with your IT team to ensure your digital infrastructure is durable enough to withstand the pressure.

2. Go Mobile or Go Home

Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard about the importance of providing a great mobile experience. But there’s a good reason why it’s being talked about so much. In 2015, mobile commerce was responsible for nearly $13B of holiday ecommerce revenue. Year-over-year, the growth of desktop purchases has been slowing down while mobile has been accelerating. Plus, consumers are using mobile devices to research products and services, and it won’t take long for them to bounce to one of your competitors if their experience isn’t quick and easy.

3. Tell Them a Fireside Story

If you haven’t added content marketing to your bag-of-tricks, the holidays are a great time to do so. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional ads, and it generates triple the amount of leads.
Though a broad term, content marketing involves videos, images or written-text to reach, engage and provide value to customers. The more of these elements you can leverage, the better — it can give your SEO rankings and social engagement a boost which, in turn, enhances your brand awareness and social proof.
There are a variety of ways you can put a holiday spin on your blog, social channels and email campaigns. Gift guides, last-minute shopping ideas, winter tips, year-in-reviews or even a holiday message from your CEO or founder can spark positive emotions with your audience, compelling more people to choose your brand over the competition.
The more styles and channels you can leverage, the higher your reach will be. If you need additional inspiration, here are 100 content ideas courtesy of Social Media Today.

4. Reward & Profit

Ecommerce is competitive, so you shouldn’t be pulling any punches. If you don’t have a loyalty program, now is a good time to implement one. The chances of selling to a new customer is between 5% — 20% whereas the probability of selling to a previous one is 60% — 70%. Not to mention the fact that 87% of your shoppers want you to have one.

5. Unleash the Emails

Don’t be shy with email marketing this holiday season to keep your products top of mind. Depending on your customers, use your content marketing pieces or let your offers do the talking.
Cart abandonment emails are critical too. Seventy-five percent of the peoplewho abandon their purchases initially had the intent to buy, so a follow-up email might be exactly the nudge they need to finish what they started. If that’s not enough to convince you to ramp up the emails, consider this: a third of your customers will complete their purchase if prompted by an email.

6. Take it Personally

Personalization has been a major ecommerce trend over the past couple years, to the point where consumers are now expecting it.
Ecommerce companies need to make every effort to ensure that relevant product recommendations are being made based on the previous buying habits of each individual customer, especially during the holidays!

7. Embrace the Chatter

When the holiday blitz begins, customers are going reach out to you for information in their preferred way. Expect more phone calls, email inquiries, messages on your social channels and chat requests.
Monitoring as many of these channels as possible can make a huge difference. If you can’t allocate the resources to provide a quick response 24/7, clearly state the hours or the response time in which customers can expect to hear back from you. An eConsultancy report revealed that 83% of customers required some kind of support while buying online, so don’t let your inquiries fall on deaf ears.

8. Lock it Up

Last, but certainly not least, there’s the matter of your website’s security. An increase in sales likely won’t be the only thing you encounter over the holidays. In 2015, one out of every 67 digital transactions was fraudulent. Moreover, from Thanksgiving to December 31st, that activity increases by 8%with significantly large spikes taking place on Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
To mitigate charge backs resulting from “friendly fraud,” ensure that your company’s contact information is clear and concise, especially on invoices. The easier it is for your customer to contact you, the less likely they’ll be to call their payment provider to have their payment reversed.
Additionally, contacting your customers to confirm larger purchases (or any purchases that may be raising red flags) and consulting with your compliance team to make sure prevention techniques are optimal will keep your naughty list to a minimum.

Don’t Make It a Stressful Time of Year

The holidays should be a joyous time for both ecommerce customers and merchants. With nearly $70 billion in sales in 2015 in the U.S. alone, online sales are only expected to grow as consumers become more comfortable shopping online and digital experiences continue to improve. By planning early and leveraging some of these tactics, you’ll be in a strong position to drive home as many conversions as possible and grow revenue, giving you more reason to celebrate and be merry!
originally posted AUGUST 29, 2016 on paymotion

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Credit cards make a comeback

Lead Photo
The payment forms consumers use to make their online purchases will shift over the next five years as debit card use declines and more consumers pay with credit cards and online alternative payment services like PayPal and Bill Me Later, according to a new payments forecast from Javelin Strategy & Research.
“The Online Retail Payment Forecast 2011-2016” anticipates that the percentage of e-commerce transactions (including travel purchases) completed using debit cards will decline from 30% this year to 21% by 2016. Javelin says there are two primary reasons for the shift. First, the Durbin Amendment that went into effect this fall limits the amount the larger banks that issue most of the debit cards in use can collect in transaction fees. Debit card issuers, in turn, are changing their debit programs in ways that are likely to sway consumers away from using their debit card accounts to pay online, such as by increasing use fees and eliminating free checking, Javelin says.
Second, consumers responding to the slowly improving economy are putting away their debit cards in favor of credit cards, which Javelin says consumers view as safer than paying with debit because credit cards are not linked to a bank account. The report is based on survey data taken from a panel of more than 2,300 consumers in August and also an analysis of U.S. government data.

Consumers returning to credit cards could spell good news for e-retailers, as consumers spend more per transaction when paying with credit than debit. Javelin says consumers spend an average of $82.09 per purchase when paying with a credit card compared with $58.29 when paying with a debit card. Javelin forecasts consumers will use major credit cards for 45% of total online transactions in 2016, up from 40% today. The use of store-branded credit cards will increase from 5% today to 6% in 2016. The use of prepaid cards or gift cards will increase from 8% to 9% over the same period and the use of alternative online payment systems, like Google Checkout andPayPal, will increase from 17% to 19%. The rest of the transactions will be conducted with debit cards.
Javelin says 49% of consumers have used an alternative online payment system at least once in the last year, up from 46% in the 2010 survey. The research firm says such systems will account for $82.0 billion in payment volume in 2016Consumers say the primary reasons they choose to use alternative payment services for e-commerce transactions are so they can buy from merchants that don’t accept credit or debit cards (43%), because the services offer greater protection from fraud or misuse of personal information (39%) and because they enable shoppers to keep their identities private (29%).
Javelin forecasts that the U.S. e-commerce market will grow 7.5% annually through 2016. It estimates that online retail and travel purchases will total $444 billion in 2016, up from $309 billion this year.  The growth, Javelin says, will come from an increase in the number of online shoppers and their frequency of purchase. It forecasts that 87% of consumers will buy online in 2016, up from 74% today. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Retail Becomes Fastest-Growing Mobile Category

As smartphones become more mainstream, mobile is becoming more pervasive in all aspects of consumers’ lives. And online shopping is quickly becoming a popular activity.
Mobile content tied to services like travel, dining and movies—more established mobile categories—is still on an uptick, but online retail experienced the largest increase vs. 2010, with 95% growth in the number of subscribers accessing this content year-over-year in September 2011, according to comScore. That works out to 21.2 million mobile users, 17% of whom accessed mobile retail sites almost daily. Twenty-eight percent did so at least once a week while 55% reported one to three times per month.

Change in Mobile Content Categories Accessed by US Mobile Subscribers, Sep 2011 (% change vs. same period of prior year)

Among those surveyed by comScore, the leading mobile retail activity was finding a store location, performed by 33%. Twenty-one percent compared product prices and 20% looked for coupons or deals. Smartphone users in a Hipcricket survey followed a similar pattern, but with higher involvement. Nearly half had researched prices on a retailer’s mobile site and more than a third had looked for coupons and promotions.

Retailers should not only be prepared to provide the content that mobile searchers seek, but also on the platforms they use. According to comScore, smartphone users in general favored browsers over apps (48% vs. 26%) with iPhone users being the most likely to use apps; only 4 percentage points separated browsers (40%) from app users (36%) among iPhone owners. To reach the broadest shopping base, retailers would be wise to offer both modes of access.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

GameStop digital sales increase 59 percent in third quarter


Video game retailer GameStop said in its third quarter 2011 sales and earnings report today that digital sales have grown by 59 percent.
The company launched digital distribution, iDevice and gaming tablet businesses earlier this year and says they are significantly contributing to its gross margin expansion. Console digital sales rose 63 percent, while PC digital sales grew 51 percent. Investment in digital and emerging businesses is part of a long-term strategic plan the company has developed over the last three years and GameStop chief executive Paul Raines said during today’s earnings call it will supplement GameStop’s retail business this holiday season.
GameStop reports total sales for Q3 2011 were $1.95 billion, up 2.5 percent compared to $1.90 billion in the third quarter of 2010. However, lower than expected sales of new software, which Raines attributes to cash-strapped consumers, led to a 0.6 percent decrease in total company comparable store sales. The company expects comparable store sales to range from flat to 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. Net earnings were also down for the third quarter, $53.9 million compared to $54.7 million during the same time period last year.
On a positive note, Raines says he is expecting a good start to the holiday season thanks to strong sell-through of new title releases in November like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which recently broke sales records by earning $775 million in five days for publisher Activision Blizzard.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WalMart offering streaming video rentals on its website via Vudu

Vudu, Wal-martRetail giant Walmart is now offering customers the ability to rent streaming movies on its website.
The company announced Tuesday that its website will have full integration with movie rental service Vudu, which Walmart acquired in February 2010. In November, it began allowing customers who purchased DVDs from Walmart to stream the movie through Vudu.
“One of our key priorities is to provide one seamless shopping experience for our customers and to help them shop the way they live their lives today.  This means we’re bringing together everything we are from our stores, our brand, and our footprint with the power of eCommerce, mobile technologies, etc.,” a Walmart spokesperson told VentureBeat.  “With VUDU now integrated into, we’re providing customers more access to enjoy digital entertainment in a variety of ways — on their terms.”
Unlike streaming competitor Netflix, Walmart will have movies available the same day they are released on DVD. Also different is the pricing structure. Walmart will charge $1 to $5.99 per movie for rentals and won’t offer an unlimited  subscription option. The pricing plan is similar to Apple’s business model, which lets customers rent movies for $4 or buy them for $14.
The company told Venturebeat that Vudu has tripled its customer base since December 2010. Yet, attaining the most customers isn’t necessary for financial success in Walmart’s case. With Vudu, the company has plenty of opportunities to sell merchandise from its retail store along with digital rentals, and ultimately boost its profits.
The Arkansas-based retail company has previously tested getting into the movie rental business. Its DVD-by-mail service, which cost about $13 to $17 per month for two or three titles, ended after the purchase of Vudu.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Copious raises $2M to help turn social capital into cash

Copious cofounder and COO Jonathan Ehrlich
Social marketplace Copious opened its doors for business Wednesday, helped by $2 million in seed funding.

The site plans to facilitate commercial transactions by letting individual buyers and sellers expose their social capital on Facebook and, later, Twitter, Tumblr and other sources. In other words, if you have a lot of friends on Facebook, your friends there effectively vouch for your identity on Copious.

“That will give me a huge amount of comfort that you are who you say you are,” said Copious cofounder and operations chief Jonathan Ehrlich. “That transparency should make the experience a lot more engaging, trustworthy and better for both buyer and seller.”

Copious joins the growing ranks of socially-driven commerce startups. Groupon is the big fish in this pond, with $713.4 million in revenue in 2010 and a $750 million public offering planned for later this year. Other startups, such as Egg Cartel and Yardseller, also attempt to bring a social dimension to commerce. Facebook is likely to be adding payment features, having recently started a subsidiary called Facebook Payments.Meanwhile, eBay has a social dimension — with buyer and seller reputations — but has been struggling for years to make that system work effectively.

Product listings on Copious will include information about the seller's social networksTo use Copious, you log on using Facebook Connect. The site, which has a Facebook-esque light blue theme, lets you browse buyers or shop for goods. For each item offered for sale, Copious displays a meter — it looks like orange cellphone signal bars made out of person-like icons — that shows the strength of your social connection to the seller. For instance, if you’re friends with someone who is friends with the seller on Facebook, it might show five bars — or only one bar for someone who’s not in your social circle at all.

To facilitate connections, Copious will let sellers offer incentives to buyers, such as $5 off a purchase if you follow them on Twitter or share the product listing with your own followers. That, the founders hope, will help encourage relevant product recommendations — even if you’re not looking for something.

“One of the great things about the early eBay was this idea of serendipitous discovery,” said Ehrlich. “You’d go there to buy a pair of shoes and wind up buying an Elvis toaster.”

Ehrlich wants to help bring back the era of spontaneous Elvis toaster purchases by making it easier to find sellers with the kind of stuff you’ll find charmingly quirky, or quirkily irresistible, and he hopes that social connections are the way to do that.

The site will launch with little more than a selection of handbags for sale. That’s because, Ehrlich said, handbags are something people are passionate about, there’s a lot of variety, and you need to trust that the seller is not trying to sell you something counterfeit. These are all things Copious can help with.

The founders hope sellers will shortly offer a wider variety of products.

The company plans to integrate Twitter and Tumblr social networks soon after launch and is working to incorporate eBay reputations as well.

Serial entrepreneur Jim Rose is the chief executive officer for Copious, and Rob Zuber is the company’s chief technical officer. Copious has eight employees in all and is based in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.

Foundation Capital led the investment round, with Embarcadero Ventures, the BlackBerry Partners Fund, Google Ventures, and angel investors. The advisory board includes two Facebook employees, Javier Olivan and Alex Schultz.

Photo credit: Dylan Tweney, via VentureBeat

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

AmEx, Patch Partner To Serve New Users


Going after Groupon and other deal providers, AOL's local news network Patch has partnered with American Express on a similar service.

The alliance will rely on Serve, a new digital payment and commerce platform developed by the credit-card company. By the fall, users should be able to sign up for Serve accounts via hundreds of Patch's hyper-local sites.

Officially part of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, Patch's Deals platform launched in select communities earlier this month. It lets users redeem local steals, as well as transact with local merchants via the American Express network.

Through the partnership, local merchants will be able to post offers online more easily. Consumers will have the convenience of redeeming offers at the point of sale.

Patch and Serve will offer users an even stronger connection to their communities and the businesses in their area," commented Warren Webster, president of Patch Media. In addition to the editorial content on its more than 800 sites, Patch provides a platform for local businesses to connect with target customers.

Featuring over 850,000 small business listings, the network represents a growing threat to Web heavyweights like Google and Yelp. Both have aggressively sought to corner the local advertising markets.

Serve accounts will include a co-branded card, which can be used to redeem local merchant deals offline -- meaning no coupons to print or codes to remember.

In partnering with Patch, Serve hopes to dramatically expand its consumer reach to millions of users in Patch communities nationwide.

"Our collaboration with AOL's Patch increases the scale and reach of the Serve platform and helps bridge the divide between online commerce and offline deals," stated Dan Schulman, group president of Enterprise Growth at American Express.

ComScore expects the group-buying market to triple to $3 billion this year, Yon Nuta, the research firm's product head said last week during OMMA Social. According to Nuta, Groupon's audience has grown 250% from a year ago, versus 182% for rival LivingSocial.

Apple Now Worth As Much As Microsoft, HP And Dell … Combined

If you look at how Apple fares on the public markets today, compared to other tech powerhouses, you’ll notice that the Cupertino computer giant is currently valued at roughly $301 billion, which is close to the sum of the market cap of three of its closest rivals: Microsoft(~$200.3 billion), Hewlett-Packard (~$72.8 billion) and Dell (~$29.3 billion).

Market cap is of course just one metric – and arguably not even the best one – to make comparisons between companies. It is, nevertheless, a most excellent trend barometer and a simple way to compare valuations.

To be frank, I’m not sure this is the first time Apple’s equity value has come this close to the combined value of Microsoft, HP and Dell, but it’s most definitely the first time I’ve noticed. And while we’re at it …

It’s been a little over a year since Apple passed Microsoft in market cap (they also turned out to be more profitable than the Redmond software company last quarter).

That was a pretty big deal. And then the next 12 months happened.

Today, the difference in market cap between Apple and Microsoft is approximately $100 billion.

That’s more than the combined worth of Research In Motion, Nokia, Netflix and eBay.

Or: $100 billion is the sum of market capitalizations of Amazon and Adobe.

Or: $100 billion is only $15 billion shy of Intel’s total market cap.

As for Microsoft, they’re in a rough patch. The company that boasted a market cap of around $400 billion 10 years ago (compared to Apple, which then hovered around $8 billion) saw IBM edge past them for the first time in 15 years just a few weeks ago.

Both IBM and Microsoft currently boast a market cap of around $200 billion.

And now the next 12 months will happen.

(Image via Flickr user jpctalbot, used with permission)

Apple image
Location:Cupertino, California, United States
Founded:April 1, 1976

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple… Learn More

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Location:Redmond, Washington, United States
Founded:April 4, 1974
IPO:March 13, 1986

Microsoft is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. Additionally, the company has… Learn More

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Location:Palo Alto, California, United States

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly referred to as HP, is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA. HP is one of the world’s largest information technology companies and… Learn More

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Location:Round Rock , Texas, United States

Dell develops, manufactures, and sells personal computers and other computer-related products including servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, computer peripherals and televisions. Learn More

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