7 Simple A/B Tests to Improve Your Apparel & Accessories eCommerce Site

7 Simple A/B Tests to Improve Your Apparel & Accessories eCommerce Site

No matter how much time and resources you devote to building the most modern, most user-friendly apparel eCommerce website, there are always going to be features that can be improved upon. That’s where A/B testing comes in. 

 A/B testing comes down to making small adjustments to your website until you find the combination that resonates most with your audience. This means that there are few “ah-ha!” moments; with A/B testing it’s all about baby steps. But be patient, let the testing data inform you, and you will reap serious rewards. 

 Whether this is your first attempt at A/B testing or you’re already on a never-ending quest for ways to improve your eCommerce site and increase sales conversions, here are seven simple A/B tests to try for your apparel eCommerce site.

Show your product or show how it’s used?

Of course, you are going to feature your products with great, high-res images, but what’s the best way to display them? Do users want to see your clothes in action on a model, or simply against a solid background? There’s a good chance your shoppers will want to see your apparel in both types of images, as Patagonia demonstrates below, but A/B testing will tell you if one product image type resonates with your audience more strongly than the other.

Product Videos

Every single bit of research and data shows that video is the future. Even the most crisp, beautiful high-res images have limitations. Video is as close as apparel merchants can get to bring their product to life, short of having customers physically hold the clothing or footwear in their hands. If you haven’t yet fully committed to product videos, start with a few for some select products and see how they perform. If you already have product videos, test out an auto-play option and add captions to make it accessible and to catch the eye of customers surfing your site with their sound off.

List View vs Mosaic

It’s the job of your website to make it as easy as possible for customers to find the right product. But, what’s the best way to organize your products visually? For some products and industries a grid view is more successful. For others, a mosaic produces better results. Try A/B testing the visual layout of your product pages and compare the user engagement for a list view versus a mosaic view.

BIGGER calls to action

Customers should never have to search for what they’re looking for on your pages. It should always be fairly obvious where they should go for what they need. If they can’t find where to check out or add to cart then your site is failing. Those are the two most important elements of your store and when it comes to those CTAs, bigger is better. But what design, color scheme, and wording on your buttons work best? Test it out.

Feature Contact Information

It may seem like something small, but adding your contact information can have a big impact on your conversions. Relationships are built on trust, and customer/merchant relationships are no different. Customers want to know how to get in touch with you if something goes awry. Try prominently listing your email address, phone number and (if applicable) physical location across the top of your site and see if your conversions are boosted.

Static Image over Carousel

Carousels have fallen out of favor in recent years. Testing has shown they can often be distracting to customers, causing them to overlook details that merchants are often trying to get noticed, such as sales and new products. Apparel eCommerce shoppers also crave control, which auto-carousels remove. So if you’re using a carousel (banner slider) at the top of your pages, try swapping that out for a static hero image with a single, clear proposition, as Unif has done. You may find that one bold image and message resonates more than a flurry of images and options.

Highlight a Price Reduction

If you’ve recently reduced the price of an item, make sure your customers know about it by showing them visually. But what’s the most effective way to show them? That’s what you need to test. Perhaps it’s a ‘slashed’ price, different colored text like L.L. Bean uses on their website, or an icon on the product image. There’s only one way to find out which works best for your site: A/B test it.

What to Prioritize With A/B Testing

You can avoid costly mistakes with your A/B testing if you know what to prioritize. Here are some things to do and keep in mind as you begin.

Test Your Most Profitable Pages First 

Start where the money is. Begin testing on the pages that bring you the most traffic and the most money to build on that success.

 Assign A/B Testing to a Single Person 

Give one person on your team the responsibility of A/B testing management, implementation, monitoring, and reporting. The term “too many cooks in the kitchen” definitely applies to A/B testing. Keep things simple and empower a single person to handle these aspects.

Don’t Forget About Mobile 

Perform A/B tests on both mobile and desktop. Results for mobile can be 180 degrees from results you see on desktop. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other.

Start Big 

Begin by testing the larger elements on your pages; hero images, purchase buttons, product descriptions. Don’t get bogged down with testing the smaller elements until you’ve tested the larger elements and improved those first.

Test a Single Element at a Time 

Select one element at a time to test, otherwise, your results are going to be skewed and you won’t be able to determine what elements that are being tested are affecting the page.

Our team has a lot of experience in A/B testing to determine the most profitable outcome for apparel eCommerce websites. If you’re ready to get the absolute most out of your apparel eCommerce website, contact us — we’ll be happy to assist you.

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7 Ways to Strengthen Your Apparel & Accessories Brand

7 Ways to Strengthen Your Apparel & Accessories Brand

Having a strong brand or brand presence is crucial to having a successful eCommerce business. But what is the best ways to build your online brand? Here are  seven techniques that your company can use to strengthen your brand.

Communicate Your Brand’s Value

Prospects are on the hunt for clues as to whether or not they can consider shopping from your brand. They look for some type of value or perspective that they agree with. Value doesn’t just have to do with the products themselves or even the product price but instead encompasses all areas of your business like customer service, innovation and employees. You can also build your brand by supporting a specific cause.

Nutraceutical has a great example of explaining their brand’s value on their about us page:

Stay Consistent

Customers should be able to recognize your brand immediately. Between the copy, design, images and videos, every element your company uses should match your brand’s value, tone and aesthetic. That’s why tools such as a company brand guide are so important. So your team know the rules of the road as it were.

Establish a Social Media Presence

Social media isn’t for every brand, but it can help strengthen your brand’s credibility and awareness. Right now there are 3.6 billion social media users. Having a social media presence will also help you build a community of followers and supporters who can refer others to your business.

The Fawn Shoppe has a successful social media presence that not only has a large following but stays true and consistent to who they are as a brand:

Know Your Audience

A successful business relies on converting your potential customers in your target audience. To do this, you must know what your customers need or are looking for. Once you know what they need or want, you can craft your business strategies and mission statement in the most effective way.

Know Your Marketplace

While it is important to know your audience, you should also know your marketplace. A marketplace is the area where commercial dealings occur. Since the internet is a wide, vast area, you need to find your market niche — clothing, sports, medical, etc — and advertise there. While you are researching your audience, you need to research your competitors as well. As we mentioned, through research, you will discover things about your customers like demographics, geological location and other characteristics. While researching your competition, you will understand how they do business like how they treat customers, prices and brand design. Once you know this information about your competitors, you will want to have the same or better standard than them.

Highlight the Best You Have

This is where you display why your customers need your product and how it will benefit them. Here you answer product, price, promotion and place.

Product

Whether you sell clothing, kitchenware, sports equipment or anything else, you must have a clear vision of what your product or service is and why it is unique from others. This is where you let customers know all the best attributes of your products, how it will make their lives better and why it is different from anything else they have bought. You will focus on products heavily on your product pages and social media through copy, videos and images.  

Price

While determining the price of an item is more for internal knowledge, it is important to understand it to strengthen your brand. Price decisions must include how your price will impact supply, profit margins, demand and market strategies. Also, think about price elasticity of demand, the responsiveness of customers when a product’s cost changes, because it does affect the next two p’s. 

Promotion

Once you have your product and price picked, it is time to think of the promotions that revolve around it. Promotion does not always mean a discount or offer, but it also means how you plan on showcasing a product whether it be in a lookbook, advertisement or collection.You will want to promote on your website, social media, emails and any other marketing materials you decide to use. 

Place

Now that you have the product, price and promotion, it’s time to place the product somewhere. For your company, you will place your products on your website, emails, advertising and social media if you use it. By placing the product in multiple places, you have more chances of converting existing and prospective customers. Not all users will make a purchase, but the engagements and impressions will help your brand tremendously. 

Learning Express Toys and Gifts lays out a great example of the four p’s by highlighting its top toys and best sellers under the trending tab:

Continue to Promote

Quality products will only get you so far. Promoting your business on an ongoing, consistent basis will strengthen your brand’s presence overall. Show who your brand is, what you  sell and why, plus any other relevant information through social media, emails, events and offers or discounts. Be your company’s brand ambassador.

Conclusion

If you strengthen your brand, your company will flourish for many years to come. There are many more ways to create a stronger brand presence, and a knowledgeable marketing firm can help you achieve it. For ways on how InteractOne can help your company, contact us today.

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‘GLUE’ (Giving Little Unexpected Extras), Could Be Your Stores’ Key to Success

‘GLUE’ (Giving Little Unexpected Extras), Could Be Your Stores’ Key to Success

How many times have you received a package in the mail that had a special surprise that made you smile? Maybe it was free merchandise, or gift wrapping you hadn’t asked for, or a personal, handwritten thank you note. 

As we say, a little goes a long way, and can be a huge driver of customer loyalty. That’s why Giving Little Unexpected Extras, or GLUE, is a strategy that works for many eCommerce businesses—and it could work for yours too. GLUE entails going slightly above and beyond expectations—not enough to break the bank and ruin your profitability, but enough to delight customers and build a sense of loyalty that turns one-time shoppers into long-term customers.  

There’s a spirit of generosity to GLUE that obviously bodes well for the holiday season, but which could—and should—be applied year-round. Here are six ways you could Give Little Unexpected Extras to your apparel web store customers into the New Year. 

 

  • Offer Personalization of Products
    Customized products tend to grow in popularity around the holidays, but they can also be enjoyed year-round for birthdays and other gifts. Turn your products into unique, memorable gifts by offering personalization options.

    This could mean offering embroidery of recipients’ names on clothing items like jackets or shirts, or allowing customers to choose their own unique colorways on items like shoes. Personalization options can be limited to certain high-value products or when customers reach a certain value threshold with their orders.

    Anya Hindmarch has a whole Bespoke collection, including bags, accessories and face masks that can be personalized with embroidered initials. Luggage brand Away offers stylish monogramming of their bags and suitcases for an additional fee, with options for placement, style and color of up to three letters. 
  • Give Affordable Branded Gifts or Special Merchandise
    As we said before, a little goes a long way! Stand out from many brands by including small branded gifts, samples or merchandise with orders. This could include anything from stickers, pins or pens, to tote bags or face masks. With so many options available it comes down to what makes sense for your brand, and also your budget.

    Make it economically viable by including gifts only with certain value orders, or for a limited time only. Include a note encouraging the shopper to share their purchase on social media—that way you get maximum return on investment. You could also sell this special merchandise. As your store builds a devoted following and sense of fandom in your community, branded merchandise becomes particularly covetable and encourages a sense of collectibility.

  • Make Charitable Contributions
    We’ve mentioned before how important it is to consumers today to support brands that they feel are making a positive difference. Make your customers feel like they’re part of your philanthropy or ethical commitments by supporting causes you all care about when they shop with you.

    Savvy brands nowadays are donating a percentage or set amount from the sale of certain items or sales from their entire inventory to charities or organizations they have partnered with or identified as important and relevant to their values. Some brands like Toms and Bombas are also donating items, where possible. Even savvier brands make sure to communicate their charitable commitments on their website as well as on their packaging, such as Nike, with their shoe boxes that tell their customers “you helped plant a tree,” or Allbirds, who has an all-in-one shoe box and mailing box for their sustainably made shoes. Make a difference and make your audience aware of where you stand, and build a loyal following in the process.
  • Provide Extra Support
    Have extra customer service on deck to ensure that your store goes above and beyond the norm and exceeds customer expectations. All too often shoppers are greeted by badly programmed chatbots or made to wait in a long line on the phone, while being reminded that their call is “important.”

    Instead of telling your customers that you appreciate them with an automated message, show them with warm, human interactions via phone, email, chat and direct message. Provide plenty of options for assistance—Everlane has a note on their product pages saying “Want this item today? Text us.” As we all know, actions speak louder than words, and customer service remains a powerful way to demonstrate that.

Conclusion

The season of giving doesn’t only have to occur once a year. Make a habit of giving your apparel web store customers memorable moments and you’ll find your apparel web store benefits too. Talk to us today about implementing any of these ideas and Give Little Unexpected Extras to your customers into the New Year.

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Landing Page Ideas Apparel Webstores Overview

Landing Page Ideas Apparel Webstores Overview

Once a customer visits your site, and no matter what page they land on you have three seconds to get their attention and persuade them to stay. Any landing page your apparel webstore creates is a building block of a successful website. Depending on what you sell, organizations you support, your story and other relevant information, you can have many landing pages. While you no doubt know about homepages, product pages and About Us pages, brands sometimes overlook the other pages that can build their brand and help customers navigate through their site. In this guide you’ll learn about the eight landing pages apparel webstores often overlook.

Brands & Designers

As an apparel webstore, you will house many different brands and designers. Customers will search for these specific brands and designers, especially if they are luxury, trendy or sustainable brands. That is why having a brand or designer-specific landing page is important. On this page, you will need to call out all of the brands and designers you carry. While designing this landing page, there are many different ways you can lay it out. Some companies decide to list their brands alphabetically while others list out based on categories. 

If you are looking for a design that is simple yet efficient, check out how the Fawn Shoppe sorted out their designers landing page:

Campaign

Landing pages do not have to be permanent. Instead, you can have temporary landing pages that go up during a specific campaign or time period. Whether these campaigns are for  holidays, collections, seasons, contests, giveaways or events, campaign-specific landing pages will reinforce your campaign messaging when they welcome visitors to your website. Social media, text messages and emails are all tools that can be used to drive visitors to your site and greeting them with an informative landing page will set you up for success. These landing pages can have multiple elements within them, depending on the details and specifics of your campaign. For example, holiday campaigns include many elements, especially if they are working with a charity, having a contest or participating in Black Friday. While creating these pages, don’t forget to stay on-brand, as well as match the campaign’s look. Build your campaign-specific landing pages with consistent design, imagery, video and copy. For more information on how to create a brand guideline to help you keep up with consistent design and copy elements, check out this guide.

Customer Service

Customers are your top priority. Your whole goal is to make them happy. The best way to answer any questions or concerns or to stay in contact with your customers is with a customer service landing page. In many cases, you may confuse a customer service landing page with a FAQ landing page. Typically, a FAQ page is a small section of your customer service landing page that answers your shoppers’ most asked questions. However, FAQ sections do not always answer all their questions, that is why you must have a thorough customer service page to help go into further detail of how to find their answer or how to contact you. The customer service landing page will also encompass shipping and order information, exchange and return policies, size guides, contact information and careers. While you can place the call to action to get to these pages anywhere on your webstore, many companies keep it at the bottom of their homepage. You can also link to your customer service page throughout your website.

Clearance or Sale

It is common knowledge that many customers cannot get enough clearance or sale items. To make the experience for clearance shoppers easier, having a clearance or sale landing page is ideal. While creating this page, make sure to include filters and customization options. This allows your customers to have an easy time navigating through all your clearance. The more customization filters and options you include like size, color, brand, etc, the easier it will be for your customers to find what they want.

Best Sellers

Just like people searching for clearance items, many people are also looking for the most popular items on an apparel webstore. A Best Sellers page is a great opportunity to post about trends, reviews and fashionable items. Customers want to see what everyone else is wearing and buying. Including a Best Sellers page will help connect with these specific shoppers and giving them a landing page where they can browse the top items on your webstore is paramount. 

Kabayare Fashion lays out its Best Sellers page very well by including filters and keeping the design simple:

New In Stock or Trending

If you want your customers to be aware of new inventory, a New In Stock or Just Released landing page will help bring awareness to your shoppers. This also allows customers to see that your apparel shop is modern, a brand that keeps up with trends and popular items. Plus, if you have existing and repeat customers, this helps them know when you have new products. Not many webstores include this type of landing page, so if you do, you will stand out compared to many of your competitors.

Account

You cannot forget about an Account landing page, especially if you want customers to keep coming back to your website to track their packages, leave reviews, buy gift cards or sign up for reward programs. This landing page is crucial especially when discovering your customers’ email address, name and phone number. Once you have this information, you can target brand awareness, membership or subscription emails to customers who do not sign up for email. Also, an Account landing page is a customer service portal. Your customer service landing page is for the general public while an Account landing page is specific for each customer. An Account landing page will have a login screen or sign-up screen. From there, your members type in their information to reach their account. In their account, you need to have sections like order information (current and past), profile information (name, address, phone number, etc), billing information, payment settings and any other relevant information.

Additional Pages

There are a few other pages that many companies forget. Other pages that all websites should include are terms of use, sitemap and privacy policy. These types of pages fall under more technical aspects because they help with SEO, copyright and other legal information. While most shoppers never view these pages, as a business, you need to have these pages available and up to date just in case. Typically, the call to action for these landing pages is at the bottom of your website. 

Now that you know what pages to include, it is time to start creating them. While many websites have easy to use and free templates, they can be lackluster, not functional and off proportion. These pages can be very ineffective if not designed by someone with experience. A lackluster design can directly affect your traffic and ‘time on site’. The design of a webpage is not just about ‘making it look pretty’. If the colors and segments aren’t balanced, then visitors don’t know where to focus. We do not want this to happen to any webstore. That’s why Interactone is here to help. We have a team of knowledgeable and experienced marketing and design experts who understand the ins and outs of creating any type of landing page or marketing initiative. If you need help honing down your landing pages, social media, emails or other marketing efforts, give us a call today to learn how we can help you.

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Padawan Series: Social Posts Your Brand Should Implement

Padawan Series: Social Posts Your Brand Should Implement

On average, users spend 144 minutes on social media daily. The platforms most visited are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. While having social media is not essential for every brand, you do have more opportunities and places to reach potential and existing customers if you are active on social media. As an apparel and accessories brand, there are many types of social media posts you can add to your account that can gain more followers, brand awareness and purchases that we will go over in this guide.

Lifestyle Shots

Social media users love seeing apparel lifestyle shots where people or items are in a scene over laydowns. These types of images feel more authentic and relatable to people. But, also remember that you can publish laydown posts by incorporating fun design elements like text, stickers, gifs, etc. Lifestyle images give you the opportunity to get creative at photoshoots. This is the moment where you get to direct models or influencers to pose or act a specific way. If you do not use models or influencers, set up a scene that looks realistic for product photos. Make sure to bring a shot list that includes social media ideas for every photo shoot. It is better to plan your social calendar at least one month ahead of time, so you have time to create, design and write every post. 

Even though Schuler Shoes only sells shoes, they still manage to create lifestyle shots of their product by putting them in a scene that many people can relate to:

Sustainability and Inclusivity

Right now, the apparel and accessories world is all about sustainability and inclusivity. Many sustainability supporting organizations are calling out many fashion brands due to the damage they are doing to the environment and how unethical their work practices are. Some fast fashion companies like BooHoo are under fire right now, especially since many of these brands do not have safe factories, are environmentally wasteful and create clothes mostly for small, petite people. As a business, you do not want customers to label your brand like this. That is why you will want to share any sustainable brands you sell and show a wide range of people, whether they are models, influencers or regular people on your social media.

National Holidays

Who doesn’t enjoy a fun national day? It gives us that extra excuse to dress-up, take photos or try something new. These days are not just for everyday people. Businesses can work these national days into their social media marketing as well. There are a ton of trending national holidays that you can post on that revolve around or can relate to apparel and accessories. Holidays like National Handbag Day, National White T-Shirt Day, National Lipstick Day, National Wear Red Day, etc. work great and have already established and well-followed hashtags. You can find a list of national holidays on the National Day Calendar. While creating these posts, you can get creative with the design. Add festive symbols, stickers or words that go with the holiday. For example, flag stickers or emojis on the 4th of July or snow, bells and lights around Christmas. Schuler Shoes added simple graphic elements on National Nurses Day that are effective and promotional at the same time:

Insta Stories and Facebook Stories

Stories are popular on Facebook and Instagram. Audiences love the valuable, engaging and creative content that comes from these posts. They also enjoy that stories involve more interactions over just leaving a like or comment. It’s the perfect area to add interactive buttons, stickers, music, questions, links to products, etc. Also, remember that on Instagram, you cannot link to anything on your news feed. However, you can link to as many products or blogs that you want on Insta Stories. The more engaging you are, the more chances you have of people following your accounts, interacting and shopping with your brand.

Authentic Influencers

Influencers are not for every apparel and accessories company, but if you already have or are willing to add influencers to your social media campaigns, then you can gain more followers on your social media pages. 78% of businesses implement influencer marketing with it to continue to grow every year. And this year alone increased influencer marketing substantially; however, customers are looking for authentic influencers instead of celebrities or high profile influencers. Micro-influencers and nano influencers are gaining popularity with consumers since they relate more to users. For more information on these types of influencers and how they can help your social media marketing, check out this guide.

Community Engagement

Without your community of followers, your social media would not go very far, and you would essentially have no one to market to. Whether you have a plethora of followers or a small handful, there is always room to gain more. Users on social media are looking for brands, companies and people that make a connection with them. Brands that do not relate or connect to an audience lose followers quickly or are slow in gaining new ones. You can make this connection by engaging with the community. Respond to comments, follow similar brands, react and like users’ posts and create posts about how you are helping the community. The more you show that you are part of your targeted audience, the more social media users will want to follow your company. 

Engaging with the community also means answering questions that come through on posts. The Fawn Shoppe gives thorough explanations and apologies whenever things go wrong:

Announcements

Social media is a great place to drop any exciting news or announcements about your brand. In many cases, if you have a stronger social media presence compared to email subscribers, it will be one of the main ways people will know about any announcements you make. And even if you have more email subscribers, not all your social media followers subscribe to your emails, so to keep everyone in the loop, it is best to post on social media as well. Things like new collections, collaborations, brands, offers, events and grand openings are perfect to post. 

Seiko does an excellent job of taking advantage of Facebook to introduce a new product they have by including links and a detailed description:

Contests

People love winning things, and social media is a fun and interactive way to host a contest. Whether it is a simple tag yourself or submit a photo or story, many of your current followers and potential followers will jump on board. If you are growing your social media presence, make sure to include in the rules that for valid entry, they must be following your page. Before creating your contest, decide on the prize, the ways to enter, disclaimers/rules/regulations and meet with your company’s HR team or legal team. The best way to make sure your contest goes smoothly is to work with a company or agency that has implemented many successful contests or giveaways.

Conclusion

Depending on your brand, audience and products, you can publish many other types of social media posts. Any time you start a social media page, there is a lot of creating, monitoring, tracking, responding, researching and improving that goes with it. Trends constantly change, and each platform adds new features throughout the year. While you can plan, post, watch and change elements on your own, it is an added step that takes more knowledge, time and effort. Take the stress off by working with a team of experienced professionals who have worked with many high profile clients. At Interactone, we have years of social media experience and understand everything that it takes to create a successful page. For more information on how we can help your company, shoot us a message today.

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Is Your Fashion eCommerce Store Holiday-Ready?

Is Your Fashion eCommerce Store Holiday-Ready?

We’re coming up to a busy time for online shopping, and this year is shaping up to be bigger than ever, as customers start hunting for promotions early. A study by Yotpo in August 2020 revealed that nearly 40% of customers planned to start holiday shopping in September, October or November, and 20% claim they’ve already started. 

The overall eCommerce conversion rate is up 6% from last year, and daily online fashion and accessory sales are up 10% year on year for early August, according to another study. So clearly people are in the mood to shop! 

Capitalize on this moment by making sure your eCommerce store is up to standard. Here’s a checklist of tips for how fashion eCommerce websites can prepare for and make the most of the holidays.

Create a special holiday promotion page

51% of online shoppers consider “free products and buyer perks (secret sales, free shipping, promo codes)” as “the best ways for brands to show they care,” according to a new global study. Show your customers you care—and get that holiday buzz going—by creating a special web page for your holiday promotions. This could spotlight deals on specific products, or it could focus on exclusive access or the introduction (or reintroduction) of rare or high-demand products. Focus your promotions on where you’ve done well and where you want to improve. If you want to increase items per order, consider offering a bundle deal. Regardless, ensure you have a solid inventory of your most popular items. And consider organizing these products into new categories like “gifts for women” and “gifts for men.”

Promote your upcoming sale or special

When you’ve decided what your holiday promotion is going to be, ensure you share it widely through social media, emails and paid advertising. Generate a sense of urgency by communicating the limited nature of your promotion. This means communicating the end date of your sale, or the limited availability of particular styles that you won’t be repeating. Well-designed timers and countdown clocks on your holiday promotion page can be a great way to add a sense of urgency and increase conversions.

Collect email subscribers by offering early access to sales

Turn one-time shoppers into long-term customers, drum up excitement and grow your mailing list all at the same time. Nurture leads with content that builds excitement and tells your brand story. Your emails could count down days to your sale, hype up particular products or even drop hints about what special offers will be available. Promote this special newsletter-only content on your social media by letting your followers know that by signing up they will get access to exclusive information and offers.

Offer gifts with gamification

Stand out from the crowd by offering a range of different gifts, for example a different free item with a certain dollar-amount purchase every day or hour. A timer on your website could indicate to shoppers how long they have left to make the purchase in order to get that gift. You could also offer certain gifts only with certain items that you’re trying to push, or present an array of gifts that the shopper simply chooses from at checkout.

Take care of any overlooked areas of your website

Optimize and streamline your cart and ensure everything is in working order. Ensure that your website can handle increased traffic, that your navigation is in shape and that all of your pages are optimized for mobile. Your search bar should always be highly visible and well configured, but in the high-traffic holiday season it’s more important than ever. Make the most of past and present popular keywords to drive shoppers to important products. And, of course, be ready to offer and promote gift cards and gift wrapping on your holiday promotion page, on product pages and at checkout.

Get your abandoned cart strategy ready now

Not all shoppers will commit to buying straight away—some may browse your products for a while and then leave, others may get as far as adding products to their cart and then exit your website. That’s why you should have a series of both browse abandonment emails and cart abandonment emails ready to go, so that you can win these people back. A series of well-timed emails with short but compelling copy in the body and subject line will help you to convert any browsers into buyers. This is another opportunity to create urgency by reminding of the limited nature of your promotion.

Have a solid post-purchase communication plan

Get ready to welcome your new customers with great emails after they’ve made their first purchase. Introduce a loyalty program that rewards customers any time they make an additional purchase, and share your compelling brand story and content to keep them engaged and invested in your brand. Also make sure you follow up with first-time purchasers to ask about their experiences. Encourage them to review the products they bought on your website, and ask them to follow your social media channels.

Continue to nurture your community

Engagement is more important than ever, so don’t neglect your core community. Keep engaging with your audience as you normally would, while also driving home your holiday campaign. This will be an unusual holiday season with emotions running high as people reflect on the challenges of the year, and their purchases will likely reflect that. Consumer behavior might be unpredictable these holidays, but remain consistent with your brand and provide messages that resonate, reflect and inspire.

Spruce up your homepage

A special holiday-related landing page is important in this very competitive time for eCommerce, but not all of your shoppers will see it. Many people still go straight to the homepages of stores they’re interested in shopping at, so it’s important that this part of your website is not overlooked in your holiday overhaul. Ensure your homepage is up to date and includes all of your holiday specials and announcements. For more advice, check out our recent blog about how to optimize your homepage design.

Conclusion

Getting your eCommerce store holiday-ready requires a juggling act of creating and maintaining content for your website, emails and social media, and this needs to excite and engage customers both old and new. InteractOne is well versed in managing these needs and can help you with every step of the process. Reach out to our team to put your holiday goals in motion today.

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How to Engage Your apparel Audience with an Email Newsletter

How to Engage Your apparel Audience with an Email Newsletter

There are many ways to engage with your apparel web store’s audience, from sharing content on your social media channels to creating your own compelling website content. You’re likely already doing these things, but are you missing one of the other very useful and engaging marketing tactics? 

Email newsletters are a great avenue for fashion eCommerce brands to keep their customers engaged and informed without waiting for them to come to their website or social media channels. Newsletters help brands stay top of mind, establish authority and, of course, notify readers about new or interesting products and promotions. 

However, despite all of these useful qualities, email newsletters can sometimes be overlooked because they can seem like a lot of work, or that they’re hard to get right. But like any kind of marketing, there are tactics you can follow and metrics you can use for measuring your success, including the number of subscribers, open rates and click-through rates.

Use your brand voice and keep it consistent

The best fashion eCommerce newsletters are imbued with the brand’s voice, which is then maintained and developed over time. Some brands find value in letting other staffers take over their newsletter temporarily (similar to an Instagram takeover), but regardless of who writes it, your newsletter should keep a consistent tone.

Athleisure brand Entireworld has a great newsletter that is fun, casual and inviting. Their welcome email is filled with original GIFs, funny copy and even a video of their founder. Importantly, the newsletter stays true to the tongue-in-cheek tone they’ve established across their website and social media.

Devise a content strategy and schedule

Instead of cramming all types of content into the one email, keep it simple by focusing on one topic or kind of content per email. Establish a schedule with different content focuses for different days of the week or month, allocating promotional emails to certain days and informative/educational emails to other days. You want to avoid overwhelming your readers with too much content all at once, which could send them clicking elsewhere.

Once you’ve decided on your schedule, stick to it, whether it’s weekly, bi-monthly or monthly. This will benefit your brand in a number of ways. It will create a sense of urgency and expectation for your latest release, help you maintain top-of-mind status with your audience, and avoid the spam folder. (On that note, be clear on your newsletter sign-up page about when and how often your subscribers can expect to hear from you.)

Be informational as well as sales-driven

Your email newsletter is a valuable sales-driving tool, but it should also offer content that adds to your brand and engages your audience on an informative or entertaining level. Marketo suggests a balance of 90/10: 90% information, 10% sales material. This is because consumers get tired of constantly being told to “buy buy buy.” Customers want to also learn how to style apparel and accessories, how they’re made, and who else wears and enjoys them.

Aim to strike a balance, with the idea that less is more when it comes to hard selling. You’ll likely see your informative content compelling people to click and buy. Use one main, clear call to action to direct readers to check out your latest products, promotion or content on your website.

Feature unique content

Unique content can be a strong impetus for subscribers to sign up, so try including special newsletter-only content such as backstories on designs and the inspirations behind them, or behind-the-scenes content such as outtakes from photo shoots. Be sure to include alt text on your images, as not all people enable images in their emails, and therefore they might not see what the image is. This is particularly important if your CTA is in your image.

Service-style content or advice can also be greatly appreciated by subscribers, for example, styling advice, garment care advice, or information on how to increase longevity of products made with special materials. This kind of useful content can help your brand become a trusted source of information, beyond simply a source of clothing.

Include newsletter-only offers

There are still a lot of people who don’t care about unique content, and just want deals. Newsletter-only offers are a great way to build your brand’s email list and entice people to sign up and then keep opening your emails—just be sure to mention them in your subject lines! When word gets out about these special offers (either from you or your subscribers) others will also be encouraged to sign up.

Special offers could include first looks at new collections, first dibs on sales, and subscriber-only sales or discount codes. You could also feature special competitions with unique rewards, only for subscribers. However great your offers may be, there will always be some people who want to unsubscribe for whatever reason, so be sure to make it easy for them to do so. Again, don’t risk getting sent to the spam folder!

Establish a connection with your audience

Customers who have a strong attachment to a company spend 23% more than average consumers who don’t have that attachment. That’s why it’s important to nurture your customers with this special content that connects with them and reminds them why they follow your brand and signed up for your email newsletter.

Inboxes are more personal terrain than your website or social media, so you should feel free to talk to your audience more personally in your newsletters. Bring personality and connectivity to your brand through playful and engaging content. This will help you establish longevity with your customers.

Reformation does this well with their eye-catching imagery, lively copy, and by featuring their followers in a special section of their newsletter, called “You guys being wild in Ref.” This includes photos that customers have posted to social media of themselves wearing items by the brand, and further encourages and deepens that valuable sense of community.

Conclusion

Our marketing team works with a range of fashion and apparel clients on a regular basis to help improve and optimize their eCommerce email marketing campaigns. Want help developing and distributing your brand’s email newsletter? Contact us for strategy consulting and support with technical integration and execution.

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Four Pop-ups Your Fashion Webstore Must Deploy

Four Pop-ups Your Fashion Webstore Must Deploy

Pop-ups get a bad rap, but that’s when they’re overwhelming, unhelpful and irrelevant. Those kinds of pop-ups can cost you customers, as they get frustrated by the interruptions and invasive shopping experience and swiftly leave your web store. What’s more, Google can also punish your site if it’s deemed to provide a poor user experience by displaying pop-ups that cover up crucial information, or arrive too quickly. 

However, when they’re used correctly, pop-ups can be very beneficial, helping to grow your audience, drive sales, improve your customer experience and guide the customer journey. According to BigCommerce, the 10% highest-performing pop-ups have a conversion rate of 9.28% on average. That proves there’s a lot of value to be found in the humble pop-up. 

If your fashion web store isn’t using any pop-ups, now is the time to get started. Here are four kinds of pop-ups, with examples of how you can utilize them on your apparel eCommerce website.

Greet your customers & grow your email list

A pop-up upon first visit to your homepage is a great way to greet your new visitors and make them feel welcome. Think of it like how you greet customers in your physical retail store: providing a warm welcome into your space. When this kind of pop-up is combined with a newsletter sign-up CTA and a discount, it can be an excellent method for growing your email list (which might otherwise languish in the footer of your homepage).

Pop-ups that offer a tangible financial incentive perform well, as they often prove irresistible to shoppers. Often they read something like this: “Welcome! Subscribe to our email newsletter and receive 10% off,” or “Stay in the know and receive 15% off your first order.” Even if you don’t offer a specific discount, it can be beneficial to mention that an offer will be available in the future for those who enter their email address. Aerie opts for this approach, with the following message: “SIGN UP FOR EMAIL! Get an exclusive offer when you sign up, plus insider access to even more offers, new arrivals, style tips and more.”

Discounts for first-time buyers have become de rigueur in fashion eCommerce—to the point where brands now stand out if they don’t serve pop-ups featuring some form of this offer, according to the website Glossy, so it’s wise to try it as part of your marketing. And if you’re concerned about coming off as aggressive or potentially overwhelming your prospective customer, you could try an extended timed pop-up that appears only after the visitor has been scrolling or had the website open for a number of minutes.

Drive sales

While the above “welcome” style of pop-up certainly helps to drive sales, there are more direct approaches that your apparel eCommerce brand can take, if that is your top priority. One way that pop-ups can drive conversions is by announcing a sale starting at a certain time, using an animated ticking clock or a countdown to build excitement and provide a compelling visual representation. Uniqlo has an interactive pop-up that presents the opportunity to obtain one of three types of discounts, with the CTA inviting visitors to “Spin to reveal your offer.”

Another tactic is to share a special discount code that’s available for a limited time only or that’s available only on certain popular products. For example: “Save up to 50%, today only,” with a CTA that takes them to a unique sales page.

To achieve even more success with these pop-ups, use personalization to speak to the visitor in a compelling way. Acknowledge and welcome first-time visitors and provide a concise introduction to your brand; and welcome back returning customers and encourage them to check out your newest offerings that have been added since their last visit. Regardless of whether you want to steer them toward hero pieces or new collections, ensure you have a clear CTA that compels them to click. And when you do so, use micro copy below the CTA to tell users what will happen when they click the button. For example: “Clicking ‘yes’ will open another page.”

Improve your customer experience

Sometimes your sales are ticking along nicely and you want to ensure it stays that way. Nurturing your community of customers can take many forms, from customer service to social media and email marketing, but it can also take place in pop-ups.

On your website, install pop-ups that are helpful, educational and supportive. One tactic for achieving this objective is to provide timely and relevant information, or offer personalized help for shoppers who may have questions but not a burning desire to initiate contact with customer service. A simple, friendly and polite pop-up that reminds customers of your store’s extensive size chart, FAQ and/or virtual assistance can go a long way in increasing their trust in you and your products, and build credibility. Meaning, they’ll recommend you to their friends.

The copy should be simple, cheerful and helpful, for example: “Need help with sizes or styles? Chat with a stylist!” or, “Wondering about how to style this look? Talk to a stylist!” or even more simply: “Talk to a stylist.” This could be accompanied by a CTA button that launches a chatbox with one of your customer service and styling associates, or directs visitors to another page in order to connect.

This kind of pop-up works best when it’s delivered as a delayed pop-up, after the visitor has been on a product page for a while. Perhaps they have selected a size and color option of the product, but not added the item to their cart yet. In this case your pop-up would also work toward combating exit intent and cart abandonment.

Guide the customer journey

This form of pop-up is perhaps the most innocuous of all, but no less important. Simple pop-ups that occur when a visitor adds an item to their cart may seem standard and uncontroversial, but they are still worthy of calling out for the crucial UX function they perform. “Added to cart,” “Edit cart,” or “Checkout now” pop-ups all serve to show your visitor that their action was completed and that they are progressing through their shopping journey. Like the “sign up and get a discount” pop-ups, they are very commonplace, yet if your store goes without them it runs the risk of standing out for the wrong reason.

Make your customer’s journey clear and straightforward. Show them their cart’s status, including the number of items and total dollar amount, to allow them to continue shopping without having to leave the page to check their cart’s status. You could add “Continue browsing” to this pop-up message for that purpose. And most importantly, for these and any other kind of pop-ups you install, make sure they work on mobile, as this is how most of your customers are visiting you.

Conclusion

It should be noted that all of these points are subjective, and different websites have different needs and styles. For best results, you should always A/B test to find out what works best for your brand. But generally speaking, pop-ups have become everyday tricks for the vast majority of savvy eCommerce websites, so your web store could likely benefit from utilizing at least one of the above kinds of pop-ups.

InteractOne works with a number of fashion and apparel eCommerce brands to build pop-ups into their websites, with amazing results. If you’d like assistance  with building pop-ups into your website, set up a time to talk with us about how we can help you.

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Must-Haves for Your About Us Page

Must-Haves for Your About Us Page

An apparel About Us page is important, as it allows customers to see the people behind your products. Anyone can sell a garment, but modern customers want to shop at stores that align with their values and have fashionable or trendy clothes. Creating an apparel webstore About Us page is tricky. There are many moving parts and sections that go into building a good one. While some companies keep their About Us page simple and straight to the point, others go all out. Instead of spending hours trying every method under the sun, we’ve applied our years of web design experience to create a list of must-haves every apparel site About Us page should have.

The Importance of an About Us Page

An About Us page is crucial for every brand, business and website to have. This page is where users understand the voices, people and faces behind the site they are viewing. An About Us page also gives you more credibility, trust and content for Google to analyze for SEO purposes. This landing page is the one place where you can highlight the biggest selling points of your eCommerce business. The overall goal for your About Us page is to leave a strong impression on your customers for them to feel about shopping and engaging in long-term business with your company.

Tell Your Story

If you do not know where to begin your apparel About Us page, the first step should be to tell your story. While writing the story of your brand, answer questions like: 

  • How did you start? 
  • Why did you start? 
  • What were some successful and unsuccessful steps along the way? 
  • How long have you been in business? 
  • How have you helped others? 
  • What does your company value?

If you have a brand guideline, you can pick up the majority of your story from there. The more you explain your story, the more authentic and credible you are. You will also want to keep the verbiage on this page in your brand’s “voice”. 

There are many ways to showcase your company’s story. Some brands like the Fawn Shoppe keep their page simple:

While other brands like Schuler Shoes, add pictures, designs and a timeline:

Include Links & Call to Actions

Never miss out on the opportunity to include links and call to action (CTA) buttons on any of your pages, including your About Us page. Internal links and calls to action redirect your customers to other pages on your site. This gives your customers more opportunities to see your products and other pages you want to highlight. More people visiting other pages can boost your engagements and impressions. For apparel companies, the links and CTAs you will want to include are social media, emails, product pages, careers, blogs and frequently asked questions. 

Highlight Your Sustainability Efforts

You’ve probably seen fashion sustainability problems all over the news. Many apparel companies are responsible for adding more harmful waste on our planet. Second to oil industries, clothing and textile companies are one of the largest polluters in the world – producing 20% of the world’s waste per year. Fast fashion brands like Boohoo and Shein made headlines this year as a means to show customers and other businesses that apparel stores need to change. Consumers are actively searching for brands that support sustainability. They want to see how you are helping the issue, what organizations you partner or support and how they can help through shopping with you. While we have mentioned them in a few other blogs, United By Blue is an online apparel firm that has committed to remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product purchased. Your About Us page is the perfect place to showcase all the ways you are contributing to saving the environment. This section will explain sustainable brands or collections you have as well as organizations, nonprofits or charities that you work with. If your company has any special programs or initiatives like recycling older garments or specific sustainable fabrics, you will mention it here as well. For more help on honing your sustainability efforts, check out this guide.

Explain Your Values

For many apparel brands, sustainability efforts coincide with their values, but there is so much more you can add. Your brand’s values are the ethos that drives your brand. All companies need to explain their values on their About Us page. This allows customers to see if they have aligned values. You can further define your values by showing any social causes or organizations that you support. Many consumers are looking for brands that support not only sustainability but accessibility and diversity as well. Seiko does an excellent job at highlighting their accessibility efforts:

There are many ways to share your values with visitors to your website. Schuler Shoes breaks theirs down to a second About Us landing page where they discuss the projects they support, their mission statement, vision and values:

Express Why Your Apparel Webstore Over Others

While you do not want to come off overly confident or rude, you do need to express why consumers should shop from your apparel webstore over others. In this section of your About Us page, you will let customers know why you are the expert in your field. Facts, business history, sustainability, inclusivity and unique product details or safety will be top factors  to mention. You are promoting yourself, but you want to stay humble and on-brand at the same time. Refrain from including competitor names and items and always stay respectful. 

Include a Gallery of Images or Videos

Since you are selling apparel and accessories, many of your customers will want to see what your items look like on real people before they purchase. Therefore, your apparel brand can flourish if you include a gallery of images or videos of your models, influencers or past customers wearing your garments. There are many ways to implement this idea on your About Us page. You can sprinkle these photos throughout the page, or you can have a section or carousel dedicated to showing off your products. Since inventory changes, you will want to update your images or videos after an item sells out. On each image or video, make sure to include a link to the item, so if customers show interest, they can head straight to the product page. Creating a photo or video gallery can take loads of time and knowledge on specifications and file types. A credible marketing agency can help you size and place everything so the results look professional and on brand.

Use Testimonials

Testimonials and reviews add more credibility and trust to your customers. This gives your company an extra boost on why customers should shop with you over other similar businesses. While choosing which reviews or testimonials to include on your About Us page, try to keep it to three separate captions that are short, give positive feedback and relate to your values or quality. Apparel brands that decide to add these reviews to their About Us page typically place them on the bottom or sides of the page. Make sure to preview and test out the best place to add these.

There are many moving parts on an About Us page that need constant monitoring and updating. While you can do it on your own, it will take a lot of time, effort, knowledge and testing. At InteractOne, we have a team of professionals who have been working and implementing the information on About Us pages and more for many of our high profile clients. So before you spend many hours and dollars trying to create the perfect About Us page for your apparel site, contact one of our members to make the job easier.

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Increase Conversions on Your Apparel Web Store with User-Generated Content

Increase Conversions on Your Apparel Web Store with User-Generated Content

When you launched your eCommerce website, you no doubt envisioned your brand developing a loyal audience. If you’re indeed fortunate enough to have customers who are so happy with your products that they talk about them on social media, forums, review websites and blogs, you have an opportunity that needs to be capitalized on. 

User-generated content is defined by SproutSocial as “content created by a brand’s user,” which can be “anything from images to videos to blog posts. The user could be a brand’s customer, site visitor or social follower.” This content is extremely valuable to your business because it’s basically one shopper telling another that your products are worth spending money on. 

As we’ve outlined before, engagement on social media builds trust. User-generated content helps brands achieve trust by demonstrating evidence of value through social proof. This helps you increase traffic, engagement and conversions on your eCommerce website. Read on for tactics for how you can do this by utilizing user-generated content.

Feature your customers via social media posts

Posts on channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are the main types of user-generated content that brands can leverage. They could include selfies and other images of customers wearing your products, unboxing videos and review videos. By reposting customer content on your own social media channels and featuring it on your website on a dedicated page, you open your brand up to many more potential customers.

Some brands choose to give their customers a nickname when they repost their audience’s content, for example, Réalisation Par. When they post a photo of a customer wearing their clothing they call them “Dreamgirl.” When it comes to Facebook, try to share users’ posts that have viral potential—videos are great in this instance. And with Twitter, make sure you share images as well as glowing written reviews, as visual content really stands out on the platform.

Start a hashtag campaign

The key to creating a successful hashtag campaign is to be clear and engaging. Make it easy and fun for your audience to participate and they will be much more likely to engage with your hashtag. It can also help to have something that incentivizes and motivates your audience to engage. That’s why hashtag campaigns that also involve a giveaway or some form of competition are so effective. Another thing to keep in mind when creating a hashtag is simplicity. Choose a hashtag that people can spell and read easily on their phone. Too many letters or multiple words in a hashtag will scare off users and cause plenty of posts to go unnoticed due to misspelling. A hashtag such as #LoveYourOutfit may sound great in a marketing meeting, but in execution it could cause problems. How does the hashtag look without capitalization, which many users won’t attempt? #loveyouroutfit will look like a mess of letters when seen in a social media timeline. Where as #LoveYou is much simpler and still applicable. Brevity is the soul of wit, especially when it comes to hashtags.

You can also try a competition where all the customer has to do to enter is post a photo with your chosen hashtag, and where you declare a winner at the end who gets an exclusive item as a prize. Make the terms and conditions clear, including how you will pick the winner (for example, pick at random, or pick the one that achieves the most likes), and a clear end date for the competition. The legalese that’s required for these types of competitions is important to get right and it can be tricky to do so. That’s why we recommend partnering with a firm that has experience in implementing and monitoring digital contests.

Ask customers to answer questions in a Q&A

Set up a question and answer (Q&A) page or section on your website, and ask your customers to answer questions about your products. This is a tactic that has helped Amazon become the eCommerce juggernaut it is today, as Q&As are effectively FAQ for each product. The more questions your page can answer without the shopper actually having to contact your customer service, the more likely they will be to convert. In a study by Aspect Software, 69% of millennials said that they feel good about a company when they’re able to resolve an issue on their own.

You can ask your audience to answer questions via your social media channels, your newsletter, in pop-up ads on your website, and via email after they make a purchase. You could also have pop-up ads on your website that offer a discount in exchange for their feedback.

Encourage customers to share photos in their reviews

Shoppers can be distrustful of models or paid advertising, because nearly everyone has had the experience of  ordering products online only to find they don’t live up to expectation. Often, in the case of apparel, it doesn’t fit as expected. But when a customer is able to see a product in a natural environment—in another person’s home, or on someone with a similar body to them—it can make all the difference, and be the tipping point to purchase.

So when you enable product page reviews, be sure to enable—and encourage—photos in reviews. Yotpo is a reliable service that we often use when building customer reviews and Q&A sections for our clients’ websites.

Share blogs that feature your products

Much the same as reposting satisfied customer selfies and review videos, sharing positive reviews and articles by bloggers that feature your products will do wonders for reinforcing your brand. By showing that a person or publication considered you worthy of writing about and that they took the time to share your products on their platform, you will gain even more trust and credibility.

Acknowledging your press and reviews on your website and social media also shows that you’re paying attention to what’s being said about you and that you care about feedback and criticism. Engagement is more important than ever nowadays, so prove that you’re active and open to it.

Get high-profile customers to take over your social media

Social media takeovers can help build trust and engagement, which leads to increased conversion rates. Often they are done with high-profile social media users, or influencers, as a way to grow followings and social clout, but they can also be done by employees as a way to share more behind-the-scenes content. However, if you’re looking to gain traffic and conversions, you’re best to go with someone with a following themselves. Read our recent blog about the rise and power of nano-influencers, which are a more affordable type of social media influencer you could utilize here.

Set a clear framework on what is expected in terms of timing, types of content and the number of posts. Will it be just Instagram Stories or grid posts as well? Or will you stick with Facebook or Twitter, or another platform? Whichever you choose, be sure to communicate clear guidelines on your brand’s do’s and don’ts.

And finally, use a third-party social monitoring platform such as Hootsuite to keep an eye on all of your pages, assets and interactions. This means you won’t have to be manually checking all of your platforms constantly, which will save you time and provide more analytics to make your reporting easier.

Conclusion

Developing an effective social marketing program takes experience, strategy and lots of fine-tuning. At InteractOne we work with our clients to review and improve their social strategies to increase engagement and conversion. If you’d like to learn more about how to utilize user-generated content to grow your audience and sales, please get in touch.

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