What B2B Customers Want and How to Give It To Them

What B2B Customers Want and How to Give It To Them

B2B businesses currently find themselves in a very unique and sometimes, precarious position. B2B clients are beginning to look more and more like B2C clients. B2B clients love the ease of shopping and researching in the digital world but they also want a personal touch. In the same way that B2C customers want a personalized message and the assurance that they can pick up the phone and speak with someone in customer service, B2B customers are now demanding the same thing. But as a B2B company, how do you provide all of this? In this blog we’ll be exploring what B2B customers want and how to deliver it to them.

What Do B2B Clients Want?

The New York based firm, Accenture Interactive, released a study in 2019 of more than 2,000 B2B buyers and sellers which showed that 80% of frequent B2B buyers have changed suppliers at least once in the previous 24 months. The main reason B2B businesses gave for this switch was the lack of attention to their needs and a ‘failure to connect digital strategies with the human side of the buyer supplier relationship”.  When polled, price remained the most important factor (27%) while coming in a close second was the importance for a wide range of products (25%) and customer service coming in a close third (22%). Simply put, B2B clients are looking more and more like B2C customers. So, how can B2B companies capitalize on this?

 

How to Satisfy B2B Clients

Technology

Technology is at its best when it is utilized to make brands more human. Not just in their messaging but in the accessibility. By analyzing your potential and target clients you can begin to craft a marketing message that speaks directly to them and their unique needs. There are no doubt unique pain points and uncertainties in whatever industry(s) you’re targeting. Use this data to answer the question, ‘what roadblocks do decision makers have in front of them?” Whatever that may be, begin to craft a message and a story around that. The most important thing to remember about B2B customers is that you must create content that speaks to actual humans, not companies or titles.

Be Authentic

Authenticity goes a long way in a world filled with marketing hype. Modern customers see right through the tried and tired, ‘we’ve been doing this for 30 years,’ kind of messaging. As a brand, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Don’t get in the habit of self-censoring. This will lead to marketing campaigns and messaging that are stale, dull and lacking in the humanity that customers want. Speak honestly about your business or industry. That doesn’t mean you have to be self-denigrating, but being honest about your industry as well as the struggles you share with your target audience will go a long way in connecting with them on a deeper level.

Be Accessible

It takes more than just marketing and messaging to make your B2B brand more accessible. You actually have to BE more accessible. Social media, chat pop-ups, prominently displayed contact info and links are also a great way to make your brand more accessible to customers directly on your eCommerce site. 

You also must have an actual human behind these digital tools to field these messages and notifications and reply to them. B2B customers want to know that they can get in touch with an actual person if they end up becoming a customer or client of yours and the first step is having people and processes in place to receive and respond to their initial messages. Human interaction and digital tools need to work hand-in-hand if B2B companies want to excel in the modern marketplace. Being available and being human are what B2B customers are looking for.

Conclusion

With the needs and behaviors of the B2B customer shifting, it is up to B2B companies to evolve their processes, messaging and capabilities to meet these needs. Otherwise they will be defeated in the marketplace by B2B companies that  can meet those needs. If you’re interested in improving your B2B eCommerce business and website, then contact us today.

Recommended Extensions for Your Email Marketing

Recommended Extensions for Your Email Marketing

Your email marketing strategy  needs to focus on building customer loyalty, increasing your conversion opportunities, boosting customer acquisition and raising brand awareness. With so many vital requirements for your email marketing requirements, it’s important to take time to investigate which email platform not only connects best to your eCommerce store, but which ones are uniquely equipped to handle your needs. In this blog we’re going to take a deeper dive and explore our  recommended solutions for email marketing.

Emarsys

Emarsys is an innovative, plug-and-play marketing platform that virtually eliminates the need for IT overhead and allows for a seamless flow of data between your eCommerce site and the Emarsys platform. This support allows for your Magento data to automatically be put to work creating automated, multi-channel campaigns with trigger responses based on a wide range of customer actions and data metrics.

Benefits

Reduce data management tasks:

Merchants are empowered to manage all their marketing activities from a single platform by unifying shop data with Emersys’ campaign data. This will give merchants a better understanding of their customers and allow them to create more engaging omni-channel campaigns.

Natively triggered mapped events & Intelligent personalization

With Emarsys, the extension’s data collection scripts allow for merchants to monitor every customer interaction with your Magento site to gain a more complete understanding of your customer’s habits over time. Customer’s activities will also trigger external events such as transactional emails or an automated omnichannel campaign. By mapping the interactions customers have with your site, merchants are empowered to connect with them with context-sensitive content and create offers that are truly personalized. This will help you remain top-of-mind for your customers and increase conversions.

Listrak

Listrack for Magento offers a solid range of customizable options, designed to broaden the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Listrak is able to work beyond your eCommerce site and become fully integrated with your mobile and social channels. It is through this omnichannel connection that Listrak’s robust reporting tool is able to give merchants a wider range of customer data, enabling merchants to produce highly personalized, seamless marketing campaigns that engage buyers across a multitude of touchpoints.

Listrak may be one of the pricier email marketing solutions on the market but it is also much more feature rich and most email marketing tools alone. Listrak is ideal for larger businesses who want to consolidate their marketing channels on to one platform.

Benefits

All-in-one data location

Listrak provides merchants with an all-in-one data portal that pulls from multiple customer and campaign data sources, including social channels.

Automated Recurring & Lifecycle Messages

Automated timed messages are sent to past customers to re-engage them with your store and encourage continued buying. These automated messages can be created from a single template, from which personalized messages are inserted before distribution.

Integrated Product Reminders

Shares targeted content across all consumer channels to connect with customers via product alerts and recommendations via website, social, mobile, and email marketing. These reminders can be based on a customer’s left pages, or an abandoned shopping cart purchase, with a timed personalized message to remind them of their last interaction with your webstore.

Back in Stock and Inventory Alerts

With Listrack you can automatically reach out to customers when the product they desire is now back in stock and available. Listrak will sync up the customer’s profile with the product and send personalized emails if the product is delayed or discontinued.

Bronto

The Bronto Marketing Platform is another drag-and-drop cloud-based email marketing automation software. Bronto was designed to compile all customer data in one place, allowing merchants to create customized campaigns and send targeted messages through multiple channels, such as email, mobile or social media. The Bronto dashboard provides insights that enable simple monitoring and outreach towards customers in all stages of the selling lifecycle, from acquisition to conversion. The Bronto Marketing Platform is intended for mid-size to-large, multichannel retailers due to its ability to control multiple storefronts from the same account & dashboard. The Bronto email app also easily integrates with Bronto’s pop-up and coupon manager apps to provide even more advanced customization options.

Benefits

RFM Metrics & Importing Information

Recency, Frequency, and Monetary-Value metrics regarding purchase history are used to identify target groups within your customer list. This, along with the ability to import past purchase information, with entire order history and product details,  provides in-depth customer information perfect for creating effective marketing campaigns.

Support for Multiple Stores

Bronto allows you to adjust the map data and configuration settings between each webstore you manage, all from the same account dashboard.

Automated messaging

Bronto will allow merchants to automate the distribution of a wide range of messages, based on each unique customer’s current spot in the life cycle. These include: cart abandonment messages, coupon codes, product recommendations and wish list reminders.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing solutions on the market today. It’s another drag-and-drop platform that makes it easy to design and distribute emails, giving merchants complete control over subscriber profiles & campaigns. Mailchimp also boasts an impressive native analytics and reporting feature that is ideal for merchants who want to generate ‘ad hoc’ reports.

Benefits

Segmentation & Automation

When it comes to marketing automation, MailChimp can automatically segment customers based on conditions, including; purchase history, sign-up date, demographic information and much more.  Allowing merchants to target and manage customer groups based on a wide range of factors. With these segments created, merchants can then begin targeting segments with specialized messaging and an automated workflow. For example, Mailchimp can be used to re-engage dormant subscribers or lapsed customers by creating a win-back email series using custom triggers that meet the unique needs of their business.

Personalized Recommendations & Messaging

The automization of Mailchimp extends to the individual personalization of its messages too. Merchants are able to generate unique email messages with product recommendations, based on each customer’s previous purchases and pages visited. Email autoresponders can also be triggered by special events such as a customer’s birthday, lack of activity over time, recommendations after purchases, abandoned cart reminders, and more.

DotDigital

DotDigital (formerly dotmailer) Engagement Cloud is the platform of choice for businesses seeking to engage customers across all touchpoints. Users can connect customer data, surface powerful insights, and automate intelligent messages across email, SMS, social, and more.  This extension enables a seamless integration between your M2 store and your dotdigital Engagement Cloud account. Engagement Cloud for Magento ensures your subscribers stay in sync, and your key customer/retail data is available in Engagement Cloud to empower your email marketing.

Benefits

Marketing Automation

DotDigital’s Omnichannel automation empowers merchants to connect with visitors and customers over a wide range of channels, including Email, SMS, social re-targeting, Google ads, push notifications and web chat. Through these messages merchants can reconnect with visitors and customers to revisit abandoned carts and campaigns.  Welcome, post purchase and birthday messages are just a sample of the automated marketing pieces that can be programmed to connect with clients, leaving merchants free to direct their energies elsewhere.

Commerce Intelligence

RFM-Modeling within DotDigital creates commerce personas for website guests and then empowers merchants to ‘watch’ how contacts move through the customer lifecycle. This way, you can track your most important metrics with customers and crosssell and upsell with best sellers, highlight ‘most viewed’ as well as also-bought product recommendations.

Klaviyo

Klaviyo’s is a favorite amongst the developers and solution specialists at InteractOne. Its power lies in its segmentation and targeting. Klaviyo’s web-tracking system uses specific browsing behavior to segment visitors so they receive tailored ad campaigns and emails based on their on-site activity. Klaviyo will help you identify the visitors to your site: who looked but didn’t buy, who is a frequent visitor, who hasn’t visited recently, who left their cart full without purchasing, etc. Then, you can implement a campaign designed around the visitors’ site-specific actions.

Benefits

Automation

Klaviyo’s automation and interface are pleasant and easy to use. This tool makes setup enjoyable while driving improved results. Automate prospect and customer communications using customer lifetime value, lifecycle stage, and other metrics to make messaging relevant and timely.

One Click Integration

Klaviyo was designed to virtually eliminate the need for traditional marketing tools such as spreadsheets. The software was designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing tools and pulls data from Salesforce, Magento and Shopify. It also offers an Open API, allowing merchants to build custom integrations.

Ease of Use

Klaviyo is built from the ground up to be easy to use. The solution comes with a WYSIWYG editor that enables you to create compelling emails without a struggle. Also, there are multiple responsive email templates that are optimized for all types of devices including mobile devices.

If you would like to discuss your customer and prospect emailing requirements, we would be happy to help you choose the correct platform for your needs. Just drop us a line.

What’s Next for Tech? PWAs, Headless eCommerce & Cryptocurrency

What’s Next for Tech? PWAs, Headless eCommerce & Cryptocurrency

Continuing with our ‘what’s next’ series, this week we’re going to be taking a look at some of the newest forms of technology that are impacting the world of eCommerce.

In case you missed Part 1 of our series, “What’s Next for AI, Machine Learning and Data” or Part 2, “GDPR and CCPA FAQs“, click the links to read all about how these topics are changing the game in 2020 and beyond.

PWAs

With mobile traffic surpassing desktop traffic —  60% of all current traffic is now coming from mobile devices — it is crucial for merchants to provide the best mobile shopping experience to engage their audience. Even though mobile traffic is growing, conversion rates are not. With mobile traffic only accounting for only 16% of total conversion. It is because of this gap that Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) were developed. In short, a PWA is a website made to look and feel more like an app. Users will browse a PWA just like they normally would, on their browser, with a URL, but the experience they receive is one more akin to an app. All of this without having to download and install the app itself. Some of the most popular and effective PWA’s currently in use are Starbucks and Uber. They each give the user the full app experience and usability straight from a mobile browser. Google reports that when an ecommerce store switches to a Progressive Web App, they generally witness a 20% boost in overall revenue, with conversion rates on mobile doubling in some cases. Any new and existing webshop must consider delivering their services, not just as a standard online store, but as a Progressive Web App. Magento and BigCommerce currently offer PWA extensions/apps designed to deliver a next generation shopping experience to an increasingly mobile, world wide customer base.

Headless eCommerce

In recent years the ‘future of eCommerce’ has been touted as headless eCommerce. A headless browser is basically software-enabled browsers that offer separate user interfaces. Depending on the circumstances, merchants are able to automate various actions of their website and monitor their performances. When working under command line instructions in a headless browser there is no GUI. Through a headless browser you are able to test web pages and view several elements such as font family, dimensions, web layout and more. In the past, eCommerce sites operating on Magento or Shopify would have their back-end and front-end tightly integrated. But after the introduction of headless architecture, the front-end and back-end are now separated with both working independently. As a web designer there are a number of benefits for going headless. PHP code, complex JavaScript and widgets are no longer in use, making the HTML easier to understand. The HTML page could also be served statically, reducing the load time by a significant margin. And from an eCommerce perspective, the path to purchase is expanded. When operating on Magento, merchants would see a clear performance boost with a headless browser as the static elements of a page would be loaded quicker than with the dynamic elements being loaded lazily through Ajax.

Alternative Payment Methods

Ecommerce transactions used to be limited to credit cards and bank accounts and Paypal. But all that has changed. Now, digital payment methods have become more varied and ubiquitous. And as these digital payment methods continue to evolve, so must your processing abilities in order to keep pace. In the coming years more and more customers will come to your site looking to do business and armed with alternative payment methods. It will be up to you to have a payment gateway that meets your short-term and long-term business goals while also meeting your customer’s needs for security, convenience, functionality and price. 

Mobile Payments

Mobile Payments are a rapidly growing trend in the eCommerce world. There are a number of mobile payment apps that allow users to send money from their phone directly to other users or to digital merchants or directly to a cashier at a brick-and-mortar store. For brick and mortar locations, these transactions are enabled through the use of near-field communications (NFCs). It’s estimated that ⅓ of consumers are now using their NFC-enabled phones for contactless payments in stores. A customer’s phone will communicate and be verified with an NFC-enabled card machine via a close-proximity radio frequency. A customer’s mobile phone only needs to be within a few inches of the checkout terminal in order for the transfer to be completed. This exchange is nearly instantaneous and is more streamlined than the chip/PIN technology that most transactions are built upon.

Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, CashApp, Venmo and Zelle are among the most popular mobile payments apps available. Each comes equipped with their own unique security settings and the ability to connect and process a wide range of credit cards.  There are a number of current Magento extensions that offer flexibility and the ability to process these emerging mobile payment methods. Braintree and Stripe each offer merchants the ability to process Android Wallet, Venmo, Bitcoin and Apple Pay payments.

Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin continues to influence the macroeconomy, and pretty much everybody believes (or wants to believe) that digital currency has an extremely bright future. With that in mind, more and more industries and businesses are incorporating this technology into their eCommerce marketplace and order functionality.

There are numerous benefits of Bitcoin, including zero-fee fast transactions that are processed within a couple of seconds. Operations performed in the cryptocurrency network are immediate because they don’t have to pass through any instances like banks and settlement organizations. And while credit and debit cards are dependent on third parties that charge transaction fees, Bitcoin is free of those restrictions and charges.

Magento 2 CopPay Payment Gateway is a specialized plug-in allowing store owners to integrate the CopPay payment system into Magento 2-based websites. Leveraging the extension, registered CopPay merchants get the ability to easily accept cryptocurrency from their customers with no hidden costs and no additional fees. Customers can pay for their orders in cryptocurrency while merchants store owners receive payment either in crypto or converted to fiat currency. Braintree, Stripe and Bitpay all offer similar Bitcoin support to Magento merchants.

Conclusion

Stepping into new technologies can involve a higher level of risk and reward. Risk, because of the cost associated with unknowns and potential failures. Rewards, because early adopters can attract large amounts of business if properly leveraging the new technology to create a greater user experience. Don’t just implement new technology because it’s new. Instead, do the research to see if it’s possible to substantially improve your shopper’s experience with new technology.  If the gains are foreseeably substantial, then it may be worth the risk.

To learn more about how to integrate these extensions and technologies into your eCommerce site, contact us today.

What’s Next for Privacy? GDPR and CCPA FAQs

What’s Next for Privacy? GDPR and CCPA FAQs

Having taken effect on January 1st of 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is widely regarded as one of the most expansive privacy laws in the United States to date. The CCPA places limitations on the collection and sale of a customer’s personal information, while also providing certain legal protections when it comes to that same personal information. But the CCPA isn’t just a US version of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While you won’t have to start all over if you’re prepared for GDPR, that doesn’t mean you have all your bases covered for CCPA.  

In this blog we’ll be covering the basics of the CCPA, how it compares with GDPR and some of the FAQ’s that have arisen around each and their implementation in US businesses working domestically and internationally.

Who does the CCPA apply to?

The CCPA applies to any business that satisfies one or more of the following conditions:

  1. Does business in the state of California
  2. And satisfies one of the following criteria:
    • Annual gross revenue in excess of $25 million;
    • Alone or in combination, annually buys, receives for the business’s commercial purposes, sells, or shares for commercial purposes, alone or in combination, the personal information of at least 50,000 consumers, households, or devices; or
    • Derives at least 50 percent of its annual revenues from selling consumers’ personal information.

The biggest differences between the GDPR and CCPA lie in the scope of the application, the extent of collection limitations and the rules around accountability for breaches and challenges for non-compliance. In this chart, you’ll see some of the subtle, but important differences between the GDPR and the CCPA.

GDPR CCPA
Scope

Protects EU residents from companies located inside or outside of EU.

Covers the processing and collecting and application of personal data.

Protects CA residents and applies to companies with >$25mil in revenue, derives 50% of revenue from customer’s personal information or processes info on >50,000 residents

 

Covers the collection, processing and sale of Personal information.

Personal Data/Information Defined as any information relating to a person, including publicly available data. Defined as information that relates, describes, or can be linked directly or indirectly with a person or household.
Rights to Access/Disclosure Requires businesses to inform customers of the rights at the point of collection. Requires businesses to inform customers at or before the point of collections as to the categories of Personal information to be collected and the purposes of collection.
Opt Out Customers may request the restriction of any type of personal data. Businesses must provide notice of opt-out rights and provide consumers the right to opt-out of sale of the PI, but not the collection of it. They must provide a ‘Do not sell my personal information’ link on their home page.
Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) Requires a DPIA for any processing likely to risk a subject’s data rights. No DPIA is required but it is the responsibility of the business to implement and maintain security measures appropriate to protect a customer’s information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this apply to businesses not located in California? 

A business does not need to be located in the state of California to be subject to CCPA. This means any business that is ‘doing business’ via online transactions with California residents or has employees that live in the state.

Can companies be fined for non-compliance?  

The private right of action in the CCPA is limited to data breaches. Under the private right of action, damages can come in between $100 and $750 per incident per consumer. The California AG also can enforce the CCPA in its entirety with the ability to levy a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 per violation or $7,500 per intentional violation.

I don’t think we really collect personal information. Does the CCPA apply? 

CCPA has an extremely broad description of what constitutes personal information. If you collect resumes for job postings, your website tracks cookies or if you have a ‘Contact Us’ form on your website you are collecting personal information.

Is there an exemption for B2B businesses?

Sort of. B2B Companies are given a limited reprieve from complying with each of the requirements of the CCPA when it comes to the transactions and communications with other organizations, companies and government agencies. Personal information that is collected in the course of B2B communications or transactions from or about an employee, owner, director, officer or contractor of a business or government agency is exempt from most CCPA requirements. But this exemption will expire at the end of 2020. Even if your B2B company is not selling business contact information you still need to determine to what extent the information you collect for marketing purposes must comply with CCPA.

How to cover your bases?

The CCPA requires companies to keep detailed records of all personal information categories dating back to January 1, 2019. You should begin to inventory all the data you have collected since that date. You will also need to update your privacy notices and add a “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link to your home page.

Additional Resources for Business Owners

Magento also provides an excellent, more detailed guide to making sure your site is GDPR and CCPA compliant. It is available here.

For an even greater in-depth review of the CCPA law, please consult this great article from the National Law Review.

While the CCPA has some restrictions that currently limit it to the state of California, there is little doubt that it will have reverberations across the US and the world. California is, after all, the 5th largest economy on earth. With something as complicated as this new law and as important as your business we recommend that you consult with your attorney to confirm if CCPA applies to your business before taking action on compliance.

What’s Next for AI, Machine Learning and Data?

What’s Next for AI, Machine Learning and Data?

The next decade could very well be defined by the continued proliferation and advancement of AI and Machine Learning and the data that process collects. Assuming that occurs, it certainly means that AI will have a major impact on all aspects of business. How will that all play out? Only time will tell. But there have been a number of recent developments in these fields that are blazing a trail toward rapid changes across the digital eCommerce landscape. Let’s take a look at a few of these developments.

Automated interactive personalization

In the modern world, consumers are inundated with hundreds, if not thousands of ads every single day. And as consumers continue to get barraged with messaging, they are going to become fatigued, if not completely unaffected by seeing generic ads. To combat this occurrence, AI-powered personalization will become more prevalent and grow in importance. Customers decide very quickly—in a matter of seconds—whether they like your marketing message. Provide something relevant and personal and you’ve got a satisfied customer. Miss the mark, however, and they’re gone. While many companies have been able to personalize with a few product lines or segments, most still struggle to scale this personalization across all the ways they engage with customers. Done right, personalization enhances customers’ lives and increases engagement and loyalty by delivering messages that are tuned to, and even anticipate, what the customers truly want. These personalizations for the customer translate into financial benefits for the companies who succeed in this effort. Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent, lift revenues by 5 to 15 percent, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30 percent.

What is needed to execute this personalization pace at scale is the right automation technology. Assembling and operating a marketing-automation tech stack, however, can be a challenge. Magento extensions such as Klevu, dotDigital and Listrak have already begun this endeavor. By driving site search, on-site personalization, email, and remarketing. But it is going to be more of an SOP and a necessity as time goes by. Advances in technology, data, and analytics will soon allow marketers to create much more personal and “human” experiences across moments, channels, and buying stages. Physical spaces will be reconceived to include these new personalizations and improve the consumer experience. The new customer journey will be supported far beyond a brand’s front door. AI has been at the forefront, helping companies automate the ways in which they personalize their interactions with customers, thereby enabling companies to scale their operations. Examples of how AI and deep learning impact the customer experience include automating the removal of backgrounds in product images as well as automatically enabling videos originally shot in landscape mode to be delivered in portrait mode, which greatly improves the viewing on mobile phones.

Building a scalable, yet personalized customer experience remains at the heart of what every brand desires to create in the 2020’s. Experiences that harness the power of rich media, whether in the form of images or videos, are a significant driver behind this success. However, business and technology executives need to think through the complexities and implications of these efforts, at both a technical and customer impact level. Doing so, and doing so early on, will enable a more seamless delivery of the campaigns and experiences they desire.

Data & Analysis

Data analysis has changed dramatically since the start of the century and that evolution has only become more rapid and pronounced as we advance into the 2020’s. If you’re operating an eCommerce store, and/or employing any of the AI/Machine Learning developments we just discussed, you’re no doubt dealing with tens of thousands of points of data. Data that is now no longer relegated to just numbers. Data is now music, images, videos, downloadable files and more. Data is large, dispersed and in multiple formats. So, how will you organize and implement this data into your digital sales efforts in the future?

Cloud-Based – As data sets become larger and larger it will become more difficult to run the massive amount of necessary calculations on your local machine. This will create an entire market of cloud-based data services that, simply put, make analysis faster.

A/B Testing with AI – As we recently covered on our blog, A/B testing is only going to grow in importance and the technology being developed and in some cases already implemented is going to be more efficient and effective at A/B testing than any web designer or marketing manager. By way of review, A/B Testing is the altering of elements of your site to different, random visitors. These elements can include, but are not limited to, variations in the content, colors, images, copy, Calls-to-Action, and even prices. It is through A/B testing that you’re able to come up with the optimum combinations of website elements that will keep visitors engaged and making purchases. But rather than having an employee analyze the site, select which elements to alter and test, analyze the data and choose which tested elements to keep and which to remove, AI will be taking over all of these steps. There are already extensions like HiConversion that are currently available that will automatically run its own A/B tests to your pages, changing the elements based on visitor behavior. It will then provide recommendations based on these continual and evolving A/B tests. This AI-driven A/B testing will only become more advanced and more standard as the decade progresses, leaving fewer elements of your UX/UI to guessing or to the discretion of your team. Your real-world customers and website visitors are your greatest teachers and AI will learn directly from them more and more.

Smarter Marketing – But what to do with all of this customer information you’ve gathered? Quite simply, put it to work retaining your customers. With the personalization information you’ve received and the on-site data you’ve collected you can, for example, set up automated messages to reach segments of your customer base, no matter where they may be: Remind visitors of the contents of their abandoned cart via email, show them display ads that tie directly to pages that they’ve visited via remarketing, and use your A/B testing programs to deliver the most appealing and effective User Experience possible once they’ve returned to your site.

Check back next week for the second installment in our ‘What’s Next’ series, where we will be discussing Progressive Web Apps, Headless eCommerce and more.

Magento Commerce & Security Update Now Available

Magento Commerce & Security Update Now Available

Magento Commerce & Security Update Now Available

January 14th marked the date that Magento made Magento Commerce 2.3.4 available to all current Magento Commerce customers and partners. Magento Commerce and Open Source 2.3.4 will become generally available on January 28th. This release includes necessary updates to quality, security and platform technologies. Including:

Page Builder Upgrades

Magento has upgraded Page Builder to provide merchants with more control over product merchandising and PWA Studio compatibility to bring the easy content editing of Page Builder to PWA Studio-based storefronts.

Adobe Stock Integration

Built through Community Engineering, Adobe Stock is now integrated into Magento so users can simplify their creative process and streamline workflow by adding high quality media assets to website content without leaving the Magento Admin.

Live Chat powered by dotdigital

In the latest update to their Vendor Bundled Extension, dotdigital now provides Live Chat capabilities to give merchants the ability to exceed expectations, increase conversion rates, and keep customers coming back with real-time engagement. All Magento 2 customers will be given access to one free live chat agent seat, without the need for a full dotdigital Engagement Cloud license.

Summary

Magento is encouraging Commerce customers to take advantage of the early, pre-release access and to take this additional time to evaluate their latest patch, begin upgrading and remain secure in advance of general availability. 

January 14th also marks the availability of Magento Commerce 2.2.11 and the latest Security-only patch, 2.3.3-p1. The Magento 2.2.11 release marks the final supported software release for Magento version 2.2. Magento 2.2 will no longer receive security updates or product quality fixes now that its support window has expired.

To stay up to the minute on all the latest Magento updates and upgrades, sign up for the monthly Orange Report and get all of this, and other, vital eCommerce information delivered directly to your inbox.

Recommended Solutions for Powering Reviews

Recommended Solutions for Powering Reviews

Product reviews have revolutionized the way consumers make purchase decisions with nearly 95% of shoppers reading online reviews (Power Reviews Internal Data) before making a purchase.  Reviews are not just a way for consumers to gather information. They have become a key form of shopper engagement. In a recent study Northwestern University partnered with Power Reviews, to understand how reviews impact buyers’ behavior. Their research provide some very compelling insights to the powerful effects that reviews have on customer’s purchase decisions.  The results of their study can be seen here.

Given the incredible importance of product reviews, it’s imperative that merchants choose a review solution that meets your business needs and provides the functionality required to thrill your shoppers and give them every reason to purchase from your site.  Given our support of many different online merchants, we at InteractOne have been afforded the great opportunity to work with a wide variety of reviews technologies currently offered in the eCommerce space. These are our three favorite recommended review solutions.

Yotpo

Yotpo provides a great many features and pre-built integrations at a reasonable price.  Here are some of the great features provided by Yotpo:

  • Reviews
  • Question & Answer Functionality
  • Multi-Channel Content Generation
  • On-Site Widgets & Galleries
  • Google & Facebook Integration
  • Advanced Content Management
  • Widgets & Emails Customization
  • Multiple Domains Support

Some of the key features that we love about Yotpo are the widgets and automation tools they offer for post purchase follow-up.  Using these tools, you can setup Yotpo to email customers that have purchased a product and offer them an incentive (coupon, rewards points or gift card) for leaving a review.  We’ve personally seen how these incentives prove to be invaluable for encouraging buyer participation and building a robust database of product reviews. In addition to the great features for post-purchase followup, Yotpo also offers many other valuable marketing tools such as Question & Answer software, designed to help merchants increase customer engagement and grow their brands.

Power Reviews

Founded in 2005 Power Reviews is a veteran stalwart in the product review space.  Aimed more at the Enterprise market, Power Review offers a feature rich toolset including: 

  • Rates & Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
  • Influencer & Sampling
  • Visual & Social
  • Intelligence Suite
  • Customer Experience

While having many, if not all of the features of Yotpo, Power Reviews is not as focused on strictly providing feature value.  Being a little more costly, they typically serve larger enterprises as they help leverage customer data to gain business insights and mine value from their current customer base.  For example, Power Reviews is able to help merchants identify and work with influencers to create buzz, with the ultimate goal of turning customers into mystery shoppers who then are in a position to uncover valuable product insights.

TrustPilot

Focused more on business-level reviews than on product reviews, TrustPilot is a great tool for gathering overall purchase experience feedback and displaying that feedback to shoppers.  Niche sites that sell a very specific type of product (ie. trade show display media) can be better served by a reviews software like TrustPilot. This is because their shoppers are not as concerned with product reviews as they are with overall reviews of the company that is actually  selling the product. TrustPilot excels in this area by offering merchants the ability to reach out and gather post purchase business reviews, manage those reviews and display them onsite. For example TrustPilot allows you to filter the reviews shown on-site, per interest area or star rating.  

Another key feature of TrustPilot is that it allows online users to browse reviews for all of its customers on its website portal at https://www.trustpilot.com/. Being a TrustPilot customer therefore comes with the added benefit of being featured on their public facing website where many shoppers go to review businesses by category before making a purchasing decision.

In addition to offering the business-level reviews and the public portal, TrustPilot can also power product level reviews by allowing you to use their service to cover all your business’s reviews & ratings needs.

Summary

With this blog we’ve covered just a few of our favorite tools for powering reviews, however  there are many other customer reviews tools and options not listed here that might be a perfect fit for your business.  What’s important is that you understand the key role reviews play in the online purchasing decisions of your shoppers and choose the right tools to empower reviews.  At InteractOne we’ve had the privilege of working with many online merchants to choose the right reviews tools, improve conversion and grow their business. Give us a call or fill out our contact form and let us help you grow your business by improving customer reviews.

Top 5 Must-Have eCommerce Marketing Tools for 2020

Top 5 Must-Have eCommerce Marketing Tools for 2020

Digital marketing for an eCommerce company presents a wide variety of challenges. The opportunities for revenue-generating inbound traffic are seemingly endless with new additions regularly. It’s no surprise that many businesses become overwhelmed with the complex, time-consuming work required to implement and optimize the right types of campaigns to contend in their industry. Not all businesses have the resources for a digital marketing specialist or a social media manager, nevermind a full-blown data analytics team.

There are a myriad of options for marketing tools to assist beurgening eCommerce firms. We’re going to exclude Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google/Bing Ads which are known necessities. For this list, if forced to choose just 5 tools to market an eCommerce business in 2020, here are the selections:

#1: Mageworx – SEO

Mageworx is a popular SEO module that currently works with Magento and Shopify platforms. They offer a full suite of add-ons (that do cost extra) to help merchants optimize their website for maximum traffic. The add-ons include faceted navigation landing pages, canonical URL settings, schema markup, and much more. Improve your site’s indexation and rankings with this advanced SEO module.

#2: SEMrush – SEO, Reporting

SEMrush is an excellent tool that can be used for both research and maintaining a site crawl campaign to assist with ongoing search engine optimization. It can be used for keyword and competitor research, as well as a checklist of necessary on-site improvements including, but not limited to, broken links, duplicate content, slow page load times, and broken images. SEMrush is our favorite SEO utility but there are several other valuable SEO tools available for eCommerce marketers to utilize.

#3: Klaviyo – Email

Email is an extremely important revenue-generator, especially in eCommerce. Klaviyo’s automation and interface are pleasant and easy to use. This tool makes setup enjoyable while driving improved results. Automate prospect and customer communications using customer lifetime value, lifecycle stage, and other metrics to make messaging relevant and timely.

#4: GoDataFeed – Feed Management

Google has made their shopping results, also known as product listing ads, extremely prevalent for commercial queries. The bottom line is that if you’re in eCommerce and not in Google Shopping, you’re leaving money on the table. 


A great tool for feed management is crucial to maximizing revenue, it creates the ability to provide necessary product data from an eCommerce website to marketplaces like Google Shopping. Manual feed management can be a challenge unless your product catalog is very small. GoDataFeed not only saves your team a ton of time, it also helps optimize your feed(s). Modify and enhance thousands of feed attributes in seconds with a powerful and easy to use rules engine.

#5: Hootsuite – Social

Managing an eCommerce company’s social media strategy and understanding what is moving the needle can become a complex enterprise. Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows a merchant to schedule social media posts, track how people engage with posts, manage multiple accounts from one dashboard, and much more. Rather than switching back and forth between different social media accounts trying to do everything throughout the day, a merchant can get it all done at one time with this great tool.

Make the Most of Available Tools

There is a wide range of tools available to online marketers— this is only a glimpse of some of our favorites. The key is to start with a few of the essentials, master them, and then start exploring others. By doing this, marketers and merchants can learn which tools provide the most value, and which ones they prefer over others.

If you’d like to learn more about online marketing and marketing tools that can help your eCommerce business, please contact us at any time.

Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

The marketing world is in constant motion, always evolving and ever innovating. And as the calendar turns to a new year we here at InteractOne have taken a look into the future to see what innovations and trends will shape the digital marketing world in 2020.

Personalization

As online customers continue to be inundated with generic ads, AI-powered personalization will become more important. Customers decide very quickly—in a matter of seconds—whether they like your marketing message. Provide something relevant and you’ve got a curious website visitor and perhaps a long-term customer. Miss the mark, however, and they’re gone. Customers still want to feel like they relate to your company and AI-powered personalization can go a long way towards accomplishing that. Sending out generic blasts to your contact list isn’t going to cut it in 2020. AI-powered personalization can help you to segment your contacts and website visitors into specific groups based on data, interactions, and behaviors. This allows your marketing team to customize an omni-channel campaign that has a cohesive message. A message that has determined by your customer’s needs based on their interactions with your site and tailored to their location on their sales journey.  

Content

Content marketing will still be king of the castle in 2020. It isn’t going anywhere, but perhaps some of its long-standing practices are. Quality over quantity and diversification will be what drives traffic in the new year. Even though video content is the belle of the ball, it’s not the be-all-end-all. When planning out your content calendar, don’t just put all of your eggs into the ‘video’ basket. People still read blogs, people still download white papers, people still engage in interactive content like quizzes or image filters (when brand-appropriate). Blogs and other long-form written content will still continue to be vital to your SEO. But don’t create content simply for the sake of creating content. You must ensure that it’s of quality, on-brand and speaks to your target audience. If your blog or video doesn’t help solve a problem or answer a question that your target audience has, then what good is it to your brand? Develop a content calendar and stick with it, you won’t see improvements in SEO, lead gen and traffic overnight, but steadily these numbers will increase with your commitment to a diverse quality content calendar.

Voice

It’s estimated that by the end of 2020 45%-50% of all search will be Voice Search. As of today, according to Google, 20% of all Google search queries now take place via voice search, with 71% of all mobile users between 18 and 29 utilized the voice assistants on their smartphones. Brands are already beginning to incorporate more voice technology into their digital offerings. Magento recently announced a new integration will allow Magento merchants to offer their customers a more personalized and streamlined experience the moment they start their Amazon/Alexa shopping journey, including re-orders, wish lists and delivery notifications. InteractOne was also selected by Amazon to be a partner on beta testing for this innovative integration. You can read more about that here.

Consumer Privacy

While there is a large segment of the population that is more than okay with their voice-activated assistants listening in on their every word, awaiting commands, there is a growing percentage of the population that don’t want their activity monitored in any way. Especially their clicks and searches. The use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) is on the rise, increasing more than 185% in North America since the beginning of 2018. Through a VPN a user can scroll through websites fairly anonymously. The VPN changes the user’s IP address to a different, often randomized location. Meaning that your carefully built cookies, ad trackers and remarketing campaigns aren’t able to continue to connect with VPN users who visit your site. With the continued decline in public trust in entities such as Facebook and Google thanks to their repeated privacy-related faux-pas, look for individuals to take privacy matters into their own hands in 2020 and beyond. Since there will be a growing number of visitors to your site who are surfing anonymously through a VPN or a web browser that blocks ads and trackers (like Brave) you won’t be able to rely on the fact that your remarketing campaigns will continue to follow the user around the web. It is up to marketers and content creators to create powerful, memorable content that will connect with users when they interact with your brand. This connects back to the importance of having great and meaningful content. The only chance you have to capture the contact information of these visitors is through your content, making your content strategy even more important.

Testing

A/B Testing is quite simply the most effective and efficient way to improving your website and to create an improved shopping experience. While you have invested heavily in the UX/UI design of your website the only real way to know what works and what doesn’t is to test it with the general public. Thanks to the fact that there are a number of great Magento extensions specifically designed for A/B testing (HiConversion, Optimizely, Apptemize & AB Tasty) it’s easier than ever to test everything on your site from prices, to CTAs, to page design and color scheme. To learn more about A/B Testing check out our recent blog.

Marketing continues to evolve at warp speed. It’s imperative to adapt and evolve with new marketing trends to stay competitive and retain high-quality customers. Setting an intention to learn and integrate new innovations will help set your company apart from the rest of the herd. To get started implementing these cutting-edge technologies into your eCommerce site and marketing plan contact us today!

How to A/B Test Your Magento Site to More Conversions

How to A/B Test Your Magento Site to More Conversions

If you’re hoping to reach a higher level of performance with your Magento website then you need to put it to the test. An A/B test, that is. While it’s very important that you work with UX/UI experts to create a great shopping experience, you’ll find that even the best user interfaces can be improved with A/B testing. A/B testing is one of the most cost effective and efficient ways of figuring out what actually works on your eCommerce website and how best to connect with your target market. Because, what works for some websites and brands may not work for you. And if you don’t put it to the test, how will you know?

In this blog we’ll cover why A/B testing is essential, the basics of A/B testing and the best Magento extensions for A/B testing.

Why A/B Test?

You have a lot invested in your Magento store and it’s only natural to want to get the absolute most out of it. And while you have invested heavily in the UX/UI design of the site as well as your own internal testing, the only results that truly matter are real world results. By implementing A/B testing and analyzing its results, you can determine what does and doesn’t connect with your website’s visitors. For example:

  • Pricing – A/B testing different levels of pricing can provide you with a better understanding of the prices your customers are actually willing to pay for your products. It is estimated that merchants are missing out on 5%-15% of profits because of imperfect pricing and unfavorable free shipping thresholds.
  • Calls to Action (CTAs) – Altering the copy, font, colors, and even button designs can help you learn what CTAs your visitors will respond to. You may find that visitors will respond to a CTA about dwindling available inventory, but respond less to CTAs about sales offers and price reductions. You may have a higher conversion rate with a Green, ‘Order Now’ button rather than a Red ‘Order Now’ button. The only way to find out is through A/B testing.
  • Page design – You may have the most informative and interesting content on the web but you may also have a page that is not skimmable to visitors. By testing with different page layouts and monitoring the bounce rate and the time guests spend on your pages, you can determine the ideal page design for visitor retention and conversion.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing has become quite the buzzword in recent years but it can be most simply described as creating two or more versions of a webpage and measuring the results to make improvements to the site and ultimately earn greater conversions and revenue. The alternate A/B versions of your site can include, but are not limited to, variations in the content, colors, images, copy, Calls-to-Action, and even prices. Through creating alternate versions of webpages and monitoring the activity you’re able to improve the overall quality of your website and increase conversions. It is through A/B testing that you’re able to come up with the optimum combinations of website elements that will keep visitors engaged and making purchases.

With the example below, 50% of visitors are shown Page A and 50% of visitors are shown Page B. Whichever version proves to feature elements that result in greater visibility, reduced bounce rates, increased conversions and more time-on-site is the superior page design and those elements should then be shown to 100% of visitors.

Best Magento A/B Extensions

A/B testing is not a native feature in Magento.  While there are many different methods and technologies available for powering A/B testing, below are a few of our favorites.

  • HiConversion – The HiConversion extension was built based on the idea that your real-world customers and website visitors are your greatest teachers. HiConversion will run its own A/B tests automatically to your pages, changing the elements based on visitor behavior. It will then provide recommendations based on these continual and evolving A/B tests. It’s a great extension because, simply put, it chooses a winner faster through the automated testing of multiple variables.
  • Optimizely – This extension focuses on personalization and web experimentation. It features an easy-to-use visual editor that allows users to safely and simply run multiple experiments on a single page. Optimizely is also one of the industry’s leading CRO platforms and it offers far more than website A/B testing including messaging platforms and mobile apps, allowing you to customize the entire customer experience from a platform that can grow with you as your conversion optimization needs expand.
  • Apptimize – This is an extension built for mobile-centric brands. Apptimize allows users to A/B test personalized experiences, cross-platform experiments and more all through a data system specifically programmed for mobile data. Merchants can monitor how behaviour on mobile affects decisions made on web and vice versa. Or, how server-side changes impact the front-end mobile experience.
  • A/B Tasty – This reasonably priced, drag-and-drop app is incredibly easy to work with. In addition to standard features like split and multivariate testing options, heatmaps and conversion optimization tools, A/B Tasty boasts a unique funnel testing feature that allows merchants to experiment with changes across multiple pages inside the sales funnel.

Conclusion

A/B testing your Magento store is critical to better understanding your customers, increasing your conversions and improving its overall usability and functionality. There are a number of excellent extensions available to your site in the marketplace.  To learn more about any of these A/B test extensions and how to optimize your ecommerce store, contact us today for a free consultation.