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Ecommerce store owners are all fishermen by nature. Marketing managers and webmasters spend time, money and effort getting new customers to the checkout page. Each marketing channel is a new fishing spot, and to make sure each trip is successful, they buy new equipment and read lots of manuals on how get more people to buy.
Some of the advice, guides and tools are good. Lots are not. This creates a ‘bathroom wall’ effect of information on how to make more money with ecommerce and how to get more customers quickly. It’s tough to wade through all of the noise.
There are a few strategies that are growing massively in popularity for 2017 because they focus on converting traffic on the site. These are so successful because they interact with the area of opportunity, the customers on your site.
There is a catch though. Not all of these tools are appropriate for every ecommerce website. Here’s what the major ecommerce websites are using for tools and which audiences and products they work best with.
The trick to live consultants
Online chat is still one of the most efficient tools for establishing communication between an ecommerce site and it’s visitors. But it goes a bit further when the right communication is used. A live consultant may ensure that a visitor has the feeling of personal attention, almost like they are in a real store. Giving all of the necessary information about a particular product in real time give this effect.
If the consultant is a good salesman, they may be able to encourage the shopper to buy a product they might not have without the conversation.
This might seem basic, but there is skill to live chat and consultant systems. Here are a few tricky factors:
Finding, hiring and paying additional staff to cover website chat is still considered a questionable investment. It’s also tough to train the consultant with the right knowledge they need to fully champion the position and products.
Quality of Conversation
The actual conversation both from the visitors and the consultant only results in a positive experience if it’s positive and the consultant is able to help 100% with the customers needs. We’ve all had a bad experience with a chat support rep right? Waiting for a long time, only to find out they don’t understand what you need.
Most chat widgets appear without any flow to the website itself and in some cases, block information on the website. Chat widgets also seem to pop up randomly as you browse through the website, leaving the user to click to get rid of the widget.
Chat windows exist on most retail sites as just one more icon of clunky functionality that no one uses, or frustrates visitors. Interestingly, for retailers where online chat is in place, it is used by 0.03% – 0.1% of the site’s total visitors. Almost 93% of them would make a purchase without the chat box.
2. How Almost Everyone Fails At Product Recommendations
The idea of this tool is to give the website visitor a recommendation to purchase something they are interested in while visiting the site. But most sites miss recommending a product that actually relates to one that they’ve already bought, or relates to a product that they are viewing now on the site.
Most sites I’ve seen will only intelligently recommend a product after the site has collected a good amount of data on the visitor. This typically fails the user because he has either already moved on from that purchase or site, and the retailer has lost the opportunity. Lack of using visitor behavior patterns is a big miss in this category for retailers. And to use this data, retailers only have to pay attention to the visitors behavior. Websites already have the data, they’re just not using it.
3. Let’s Benjamin Franklin Method Popup Widgets
Popup widgets have evolved into one of the most helpful, effective ways to motivate website visitors to purchase. Popups don’t cost anything additional either, and when used right, can dramatically increase sales on a website.
At minimum, a well placed popup can collect emails and grow the database. A strategically placed popup can also work at the end of the funnel, and convert into more sales on the site. But this can only happen if the site follows this procedure:
A popup must be displayed at the exact right time and no more than once during a browsing session.
The offer must actually be motivating. It only works if you base the offer on real knowledge of the visitor’s activity on the site.
The offer should be short and be made loud and clear. No bait and switch or vague messaging.
A delay between the time you collect the email from a popup, and when you send an email offer should be no more than 15 minutes (we’ve tested it).
These popup practices are considered top of the line marketing for ecommerce retailers, but will need to be tested and tested again over time. Tested by a group of ecommerce stores, these strategies have helped sites increase sales by 15%-20% with existing customers. It also helps grow the lead database by collecting emails consistently.
4. How To Send Magic Triggered Emails
Triggered mailings still are the most logical and successful conversion tool. They allow online retailers not only to increase loyalty of their site visitors, but also convert cold leads into purchasers and motivate those who already made a purchase to make a new one.
Trigger email is also a great tool to understand how good the online store using it is at fishing for customers. These are the most common bad practices surprisingly still used by most retailers:
e-mails do not contain products which were of interest to each recipient;
e-mails are sent with no connection to the website activities of each recipient;
e-mails are sent too often;
e-mails do not contain any call-to-action or motivation for the recipient.
Emails sent like this not only decrease conversion, but may also completely kill visitor loyalty (ad fatigue) – and it is surprising that such disrespectful marketing is widespread practice among online retailers.