Showing posts with label web analytics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label web analytics. Show all posts

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, August 17, 2016

If You Think Data Is Important For Ecommerce, You’re Only Half Right

Data is the foundation of sound ecommerce business decision making. But data alone is relatively useless.
“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” ~ Daniel Keys Moran
For data to be an effective tool for your business – driving investment, ROI and profitability – it needs be analyzed in reference to your objectives. Consequently, it’s data-driven insights, not data alone, that allows for strategic business planning and revenue growth.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything.” Ronald Coase
Gaining Data-Driven Insights
It’s imperative to have best-in-class industry analytic tools to gather robust yet detailed data. But it’s also critical that you have business and data analysts, or implement qualitative interpretive software (I’m still a fan of the former) to gain actionable data-driven insights for your marketing channels and your business as a whole. For example, do you know:
  • Which webpages are converting the most visitors and why?
  • Which products offer the greatest cross-sell opportunities and where?
  • Which tactics (e.g. print ads, SEO, PPC, email) are driving the most qualified traffic to your website and what does the consumer decision making journey touchpoint funnel look like?
  • Which email subject lines are resulting in the highest open rates and why?
  • How can you optimize your visitors’ journeys to give them exactly what they want as efficiently and digestibly as possible?
  • Which value propositions and copy do users find most engaging and compelling and why?
  • How much indirect traffic and revenue can be attributed to your mass display brand awareness campaigns?
  • Where should you start investing, where should you stop spending and what should you be testing to optimize your marketing mix?
Making use of data-driven insights, not opinions or theories, to make better decisions is by no means a new concept:
It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the data. It biases the judgment.” ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Room to Grow
That being said, challenges and concerns about a lack of effective data-driven insights are common and marketers are feeling the pressure. According to only 40% of marketers think their company’s marketing is effective and while more than 75% of marketers believe measurement is important, just 29% believe they’re doing it well. Furthermore, only 44% of marketers say their marketing departments have a great deal of influence over their organizations overall business strategy.
Successful ecommerce companies provide an exceptional, frictionless and positive end-to-end customer experience. To do this, marketing needs the data to interpret to make effective data-driven decisions at every touchpoint of consumers’ decision making journey. Ultimately…
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of
mouth is very powerful.” ~ Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO

Friday, May 15, 2015

SaaS Metrics: How to Calculate Your Quick Ratio

Investors have been embracing SaaS businesses in a big way in recent years. One of the biggest reasons is the promise of stable, recurring revenue over an indefinite period. This is in addition to the huge opportunity presented by a rapidly growing appetite by businesses and consumers for cloud-based software solutions. If done right, a subscription model can increase the total amount of revenue earned by software companies and, by extension, investors while also providing users with ongoing value.
But with this increased attention from investors, SaaS companies now find themselves needing to be fluent in a number of KPIs not normally used in non-subscription software businesses. In addition to customer lifetime value, monthly recurring revenue and churn, another indicator has emerged to gauge the long-term viability of SaaS companies: the quick ratio.
Described by venture capitalist Mamoom Hamid at this year’s annual SaaStr conference, the SaaS quick ratio compiles data in a way that helps to determine if a company is likely to be a profitable investment. As an example, Hamid used this metric to help make a decision about investing in Slack, which had a high quick ratio and then proceeded to grow to over $10 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) in just 11 months.

Determining Your SaaS Quick Ratio

The SaaS quick ratio stems from an accounting concept which measures a company’s short-term liquidity by comparing assets and liabilities. For the quick ratio, however, the “good” SaaS metrics that indicate recurring revenue growth are measured against “bad” metrics that eat away at recurring revenue. Specifically, the sum of upgrades (expansions) and new acquisitions are measured against the sum of cancelled contracts and downgrades (contractions):

Quick Ratio Formula

Unlike measuring churn or MRR alone, this ratio can be telling for SaaS businesses who may post strong MRR growth or low churn but have significant underlying weaknesses. In one example Hamid presented, a company looked like a viable investment based on its expansion MRR. However, when churn was taken into account like the quick ratio does, it was clear that while expansion MRR was high, it was merely keeping the company afloat and net MRR was quite low.

Quick Ratio Graph

Things to Consider

For a SaaS company to be considered a viable investment, investors tend to set a benchmark ratio of 4. In other words, the company must average over 4 times as much MRR added in a given period than MRR lost. Above that rate, companies have relatively good prospects for continued recurring revenue growth and are likely to be good investments.
For the best results, the ratio should be examined over different time periods to account for periodic variations. While in one month businesses may fall below the benchmark, a quarterly comparison may indicate substantial growth. However, if your SaaS business is consistently failing to achieve a ratio equal to or above the 4 benchmark, you may want to consider looking into product fit or better facilitating customer success.
Companies must also consider which stage of their lifecycle they are in before calculating their SaaS quick ratio for investors. Similar to churn, the ratio is irrelevant for start-ups in their first year of business who have many new customer acquisitions locked into contracts. This will only lead to an inflated ratio and subsequently, an inaccurate evaluation of your company.
The quick ratio ensures SaaS companies looking for investment can’t hide behind good churn or customer acquisition numbers alone. To achieve a SaaS quick ratio of 4 or above, companies need to make sure they are applying strategies that acquire, retain and upsell customers. Of course, there’s more that goes into an investment decision than just one metric. But a good quick ratio is a good indication to investors that your service is in demand and you have a solid process in place to successfully scale.

Jason Kiwaluk
Director of Ideation

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Once a Leader, Yahoo Now Struggles to Find Its Way

James Best Jr./The New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo has been one of the most-visited sites on the Internet since its glory days as a Web portal. Yet as the rest of the Internet moved on to social networks and mobile devices, Yahoo has failed to keep up.

That became painfully clear Tuesday when Yahoo’s board abruptly fired its chief executive, Carol A. Bartz. She focused on bolstering Yahoo’s online media and original reporting, but neglected to develop the new social networking tools, video services or mobile apps that people now prefer to use. In that way, the tale of Yahoo’s misfortunes is not just one of management woes, but a vivid illustration of the transition from Web sites that publish professional content to a new digital world dominated by mobile phones and sites where the users are the content creators.
Yahoo’s problems are shared with another Internet pioneer, AOL. Both astutely capitalized on the first huge shift in how people read — moving online from paper — but they failed to follow Internet users and advertisers to cellphone screens and social networks. Both companies have tried to become media companies. Meanwhile, the next generation of companies, like Google and Facebook, have happily satisfied the demand for information and entertainment — not by creating content but by building mobile and social networking services that attract users and, increasingly, valuable advertisers.
“Yahoo hangs on to the pieces that made it a giant years ago,” said Shar VanBoskirk, a digital marketing analyst at Forrester Research. “It assumes people will come to its Web site, and what users are looking for now is a much more syndicated experience that allows them to go to mobile devices and co-create content.”
As the way people use the Internet changed, she said, Yahoo and AOL “hit the wall and didn’t continue to evolve as the rest of the market did.” Yahoo’s sites, like its home page, e-mail service and sites for finance and entertainment, still have a huge audience — 177.6 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore — second only to Google’s but more than Facebook’s. But while Yahoo’s traffic has flattened, both Google and Facebook are growing in popularity. And people spend about half as much time on Yahoo as they do on Facebook.
Advertisers are chasing what they say is more profitable prey — users of smartphones, video sites and social networks, and the companies that cater to them. Yahoo has always led in one of the most important corners of the advertising marketing: display ads, those that show images and video. But Facebook and Google are closing in on Yahoo, in large part because they can offer advertisers more personal information about users.
Yahoo’s slice of the display advertising pie has shrunk for three years in a row, according to eMarketer, a digital-marketing research firm. Last year, its share of display ads was 14.4 percent, compared with 12.2 percent for Facebook and 8.6 percent for Google. But this year, Facebook will surge ahead of Yahoo with 17.7 percent to Yahoo’s 13.6 percent, eMarketer predicts. And by next year, Google will have nearly caught up to Yahoo, too, with 12.3 percent of display ads compared with 12.5 percent at Yahoo and 19.4 percent at Facebook.
“Yahoo still has an enormous amount of traffic,” said David Hallerman, principal analyst at eMarketer. “But more and more ad buys are being made in a more targeted way.” Advertisers are attracted to information that Facebook has about a user’s friends or Google has about a user’s search queries, he said.
Mr. Hallerman compared Yahoo and its audience to the mass-circulation magazines of the 1960s, like Life and Look. Those publications were done in by the shift among advertisers to magazines aimed at specific groups like celebrity news or golf. “The idea of a portal trying to be everything to everybody is outdated,” he said.
Advertising executives also criticized Yahoo for the shortcomings of its advertising technology as well as executive turnover that meant that every few months, ad agencies had to teach a new Yahoo executive about their accounts. “When you look at Yahoo, there’s a lot of distractions,” said Christian Juhl, president of the Western region at Razorfish, a digital ad agency owned by the Publicis Groupe.

Friday, August 19, 2011

How Social Media Marketers Can Make the Most of Monitoring Tools

There is more than one way to monitor and measure social media outreach and online campaigns, and companies must find the right setup for them. Looking at how marketers are using monitoring tools and what benefits come from certain options can give companies insight into what works.
In June 2011, RSW/US and Web Liquid surveyed 237 senior US marketers for the “Marketers & Social Media Monitoring Survey 2011” to learn about their monitoring habits. By far, the most popular social media monitoring tool was Google Alerts, as 46% of respondents said they were using it. Radian6 was also popular, with 7% of responses, as was Meltwater Buzz, with 4% of responses.
But just monitoring and collecting the data is not enough. Marketers must use the information they collect to make changes in the business in order to really make the most of these tools. The marketers surveyed by RSW/US and Web Liquid mentioned several ways they used the collected information. Of the respondents, 28% said they use social media monitoring data to influence communications strategy, 19% use it for customer service enhancements and 15% use it for media planning.

Ways US Marketing Executives Are Using Their Social Media Monitoring Data to Make It Actionable, June 2011 (% of respondents)

A separate study from Relevancy Group looked at the management of campaigns across multiple channels, including email, print, mobile and social. The study found there were multiple benefits of using a single campaign management suite, which allows companies to aggregate the data they collect, communicate it throughout the organization and coordinate on next steps.
This May 2011 survey found that using such a suite improved the targeting and relevance of campaigns for 63% of respondents. Additionally, respondents cited benefits such as measuring campaigns across channels (54%), reducing marketing production and execution costs (54%), and deploying campaigns across channels more rapidly (50%).

Benefits of Using a Single Campaign Management Suite According to US Marketers, May 2011 (% of respondents)

These two surveys show that tracking social media initiatives and campaigns is the first step, but needs to be followed by actions influenced by the information collected. Additionally, whether a company works with a single campaign management suite or not, working collaboratively across functions and channels helps connect the dots after a campaign is complete and makes the most of what a company discovered throughout the process.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Seven Performance Metrics that Matter Most

In an era of constantly evolving technologies and platforms, companies need a bulletproof game plan for measuring their digital marketing programs. But standing in their way is a big challenge, according to Digital Impact: The Two Secrets to Online Marketing Success, a new book written by eMarketer CEO and co-founder Geoff Ramsey and Vipin Mayar, EVP of McCann Worldgroup.
“Digital marketers today are drowning in metrics, but they don’t know which ones are important or how to connect the dots in a meaningful way that will drive marketing performance,” said Ramsey.
Marketers are desperate for a clear, comprehensive and effective set of metrics and measurement systems for driving marketing performance.
Digital Impact makes a bold proposal: There are only seven metrics that are critical for performance measurement across digital channels. While countless other metrics are available to marketers, these seven are the ones that marketers should seek to master.
Qualified Reach, or Qualified Visits: Qualified Reach is the one critical metric that every marketer should use—specifically because it captures two important dimensions that no other single metric does: both quantity (number of individuals) and quality (the users have performed a desired interaction, which in turn suggests a degree of interest or intention on the part of the consumer). Depending on the channel, the specific metrics marketers use will vary, but the emphasis is always on actual behavior—a far different approach than typical measurements of raw reach and frequency.
Clickthrough rates: Clickthrough is the most commonly used metric by online advertisers. Although it is still relied on too heavily, and in inappropriate ways, CTR should continue to be used as a diagnostic metric for direct response initiatives—however, it should not be used as a primary metric.

Select Metrics Used by US Marketers to Measure Interactive Marketing Performance, March 2011 (% of respondents)

Brand perception lift: This metric is calculated by determining the change in brand perception among defined audiences, with the results compared to those of a control group that was not exposed to the messaging.
Engagement Score (ES): This is a special set of integrated metrics that captures the degree of magnetism of the content or ad. Based on a flexible value point system, the ES works across all digital media, from videos and mobile apps to microsites and social community platforms.
End Action Rate: End Actions represent the action taken by a user; it is often also referred to as a conversion activity. An End Action can be a sale, a lead generated, a download, a video view, a form completion, and so on. It is the end goal of the content or advertisement and is a critical metric for determining the effectiveness of the campaign.
Efficiency metrics such as cost per click, impression, lead, order, engagement and so on: These metrics represent the efficiency of a marketing program. Are goals achieved in a cost-effective manner?
Return on investment (ROI): ROI is a critical financial metric representing the value created by your marketing. Digital Impactsuggests ROI methodologies for each of six online channels that are built on the principle of incrementality. This is a forward-looking concept and especially helpful when determining ROI of new media. All marketing, whether it is offline or online, should be measured to determine an incremental improvement in some critical consumer activity, such as acquisition, retention, loyalty, key perceptions or sales.
“The right metrics and measurement framework will allow you to prove your worth in both the short-term and the long-term,” Ramsey said.
For more information on Digital Impact: The Two Secrets to Online Marketing Successclick here, or sign up for eMarketer’s webinar, “The Secrets of Online Marketing Success, sponsored by LivePerson.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cookiepocalypse: Implementing New Law Drops Use by 90%

ICO website traffic impact of cookie opt in by Vicky Brock

This one is going to run and run. I'm predicting that anyone in digital is going to be an expert in cookies by the end of the Summer. And not the nice baked versions either, sadly.

Imagine a 90% drop in website visitors that are willing to accept a cookie from your website. be tracked through your analytics tool? Or your advertising targeting? Or your third party shopping basket? Ouch.

That's what happened with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) implemented the new law with existing technology, over 90% of site visitors declined to accept a Google Analytics cookie, thereby disappearing from their analytics.

Whilst the powers-that-be have allowed a year for industry to figure out a way to implement the new 'daft by European standards' cookie law, its impact is dramatic, as illustrated by the graphs obtained by leading web analytics expert, Vicky Brock (@brockyvick), under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

Perhaps this is a portent of doom for anyone that relies on multiple cookies for tracking, customer service, analytics, advertising. Oh, wait, that's everyone?

The effect is pretty chilling, especially for all those data-reliant real-time advertising and data exchanges who are reliant on free and easy access to this information. Click on the graphs below for the larger versions:

ICO website traffic impact of cookie opt in by Vicky Brock

ICO website traffic impact of cookie opt in by Vicky Brock

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Facebook tries to counter user decline claims

mark-zuckerberg-facebookFacebook is countering yesterday’s news that itsoverall growth is slowing and that its presence in North America is declining. The site Inside Facebook reported Facebook lost about 6 million members in the U.S. and 1.5 million members in Canada during the month of May.

“From time to time, we see stories about Facebook losing users in some regions,” Facebook said in a statement to VentureBeat. “Some of these reports use data extracted from our advertising tool, which provides broad estimates on the reach of Facebook ads and isn’t designed to be a source for tracking the overall growth of Facebook.”

Facebook also said it was “very pleased” with its overall growth and that more than “50 percent of active users log on to Facebook on any given day.”

Inside Facebook’s report said Facebook was still growing in members throughout the world but not adding users in better-established markets like the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Russia. The gains reportedly are coming from countries like Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines, where Facebook was introduced later.

Because Inside Facebook’s estimates were based on an advertising tool, it’s certainly possible they were off. But when it comes to a story like this, it’s hard to know how accurate either take is. Facebook’s statement on the matter is not a flat-out denial, but it certainly doesn’t want to admit losing members in well-established markets and will likely never share that sort of data with the public unless it has to.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Facebook Page Managment Giant Buddy Media Acquires Social Ecommerce and Analytics Provider Spinback

Buddy Media, the largest Facebook Page management company, has acquired Spinback, a provider of social ecommerce and analytics solutions for Facebook Twitter, email, and blogs. Spinback’s technology will allow Buddy Media to allow its clients to better track how social sharing of links to products and services drive sales.

This acquisition of both the team and technology follows our predictions that expensive Facebook Page management services are becoming commodified by companies offering free products, so the Page management industry needs to explore new revenue streams by expanding into ad buying or ecommerce through partnerships and acquisitions.

Buddy Media got an early start in the industry, helping brands market themselves on Facebook since the Platform opened in late 2007. At time, there were few powerful Page management tools, let alone free ones, and brands didn’t have any experience and therefore needed helped. Since then, Buddy Media has signed some of the world’s most prominent brands, grown to over 170 employees, and raised $38.3 million, including a massive $23 million Series C round in October 2010.

Now, though, solid free tools and Page tab app suites are proliferating and brands are gaining the experience necessary to require less hand-holding with day-to-day Facebook Page operation. More brands are still shifting marketing focus towards Facebook, but commodification means the Page management industry’s largest companies will eventually need to seek additional revenue streams if they want to keep growing, or even avoid shrinking.

The most obvious expansion area is facilitating Facebook ad purchases by their clients — a lucrative business where they can license tools or charge a percent of the growing Facebook ad spend of big brands. The other is ecommerce, where they can also license Facebook ecommerce storefront and analytics solutions.This appears to be just what Buddy Media plans to do with Spinback, its first full-fledged acquisition.

Spinback’s two main offerings are EasyShare, a product and purchase social sharing widget, and EasyTrack, which provides analytics on this sharing and the sales it generates. These technologies will allow Buddy Media to inform clients about what social channels are driving sales, what products are being shared most frequently and creating the most revenue, and who are the most active and influential customers and customer segments.

Spinback has signed over 20 retailers as clients since it launched in October 2011, with clients seeing an average increase in incremental revenue of $2.10 per Facebook wall post, and a conversion rate of 10.9% for Facebook shares leading to purchases. The five-person company’s founding CTO, Paul Boutin, was formerly the founder and CTO of Payvment, the most popular Facebook ecommerce storefront application.

The acquisition will allow Buddy Media to attract more retail and ecommerce clients, and offer a wider range of services to Spinback’s and its existing clients. It will also protect it from commodification as brands mature from establishing a Facebook presence to attaining a healthy return on investment in social.

via insidefacebook

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