October Orange Report

October Orange Report

October 2020 ORANGE REPORT

For this month’s Orange Report, we’re sharing a few of our best and most recent blogs that speak on all things Magento, eCommerce, and Digital Marketing. Like always, we encourage everyone using Magento to make the most of its functionalities by incorporating the very best Magento extensions and news.

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Everything you need to know about eCommerce, digital marketing, and Magento.

How to Make the Most of the Media on Your Product Pages

Your product pages must look their best so customers will be engaged to make a purchase. Here’s how your product page media (images, videos, gifs, graphics, etc.) will make that initial connection. 

Creating Customization Through Search, On-Site & Email

Modern customers are more complex and demand better experiences from merchants. Here’s how you can use Magento to create a personalized Customer Experience that will identify and speak to specific demos and groups of customers.

The Beginners Guide to Creating Brand Guidelines

If you don’t know who exactly you are how will future employees or customers know? You must be the one to define your brand. Here’s how you can build a great brand guide today.

How to Optimize Your Homepage Design

Your eCommerce website’s homepage is your digital storefront. And just like your physical storefront, it needs to be welcoming, well designed and easy on the eyes. Here’s how to make it happen.
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. Hubspot 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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A Robust User Review Platform Is the Key to Promoting Your eCommerce Store

A Robust User Review Platform Is the Key to Promoting Your eCommerce Store

Turn Your Customers into Your Multimedia Team with User Reviews, Product Photos, and Videos

User reviews are paramount in the world of eCommerce, both on-site and off-site. Just consider the statistics: 95% of shoppers read product reviews while they’re browsing your store, and 72% of your customers won’t make a purchase if they can’t find any reviews of a product you offer.

And that’s only considering  the brand lift and product authority that user reviews bring to your site. There are also a myriad of additional benefits that come along with a robust user review platform, from search engine optimization improvements, to free on-site multimedia content. In this blog we’ll show you how to turn customers into your own personal multimedia team and how to optimize their content.

User-Generated Reviews Equal Free SEO

Every user review posted on your site is essentially a miniature blog post or product article in the eyes of Google. While public reviews aren’t generally featured high in SERPs with as much authority as an actual, professionally-written product blog or article, they do bring some additional SEO benefits to table.

If you do a bit of keyword research, you’re bound to find that some of the most popular search phrases for the majority of your products are from users searching for reviews directly on Google. I.e. a large subset of shoppers are searching for your product keywords with included long-tail phrases like “user reviews”, “product rating” or “comparison”.

A well-populated user review platform on your site functions as a self-sustaining SEO tactic for targeting such traffic organically.

The More Photos and Videos, the Better

Quality multimedia content does wonders for your eCommerce store, both in terms of user experience and SEO. Users want to see their products in every optional color and configuration, from every angle, in every type of lighting. Moreover, they want to see real-world pictures and videos of their products beyond the generic stock media they can find on the manufacturers’ (and your competitors’) sites.

Beyond what your customers want to see on-site, product images and videos should be an integral part of your off-site content strategy. What’s the first thing a huge percentage of your shoppers do when they come across a product they like? They swipe over to Google Images and go browsing for additional product media. When that happens, you want your product pages to be the click-through for as many of the top Images results as possible.

Ideally, you’d be able to publish a multimedia showcase for every one of your products with unique, high-quality photos and videos. Unfortunately that’s not practical unless your store only offers a handful of boutique products.

So instead, you can utilize your customers and turn them into your guerilla multimedia team. Offer them deals and incentives for posting reviews with pictures and videos, hold “photo of the day” contests on social media for some of your most popular products. If you are going to go down this route, we recommend working with a marketing firm that has experience handling interactive engagements. The web isn’t the wild west anymore. There are legal restrictions around what you can ask of and reward your customers with. Please consult an experienced team to prevent potential public legal nightmares.

How to Generate More Reviews

Follow up After Your Customers Make a Purchase

Obviously your store should be sending follow-up emails to paying customers, asking if they are satisfied with their purchase and offering customer service. That’s one of the first steps to customer retention. Those follow-up emails should also include a way for customers to leave a review as easily as possible.

Include a custom form in your post-purchase auto-responder emails that allows users to write and submit a review straight from their email apps. You want to eliminate as many pain points as possible between the user sharing their thoughts and submitting them in the form of a review.

Your review form should also include a built-in file uploader for product photos and videos. The photos and videos they upload, combined with the generally keyword-rich written content of their reviews, will amp up your on-page SEO every time a user hits “submit”.

Offer Deals and Incentives

Streamlining the product review process is great and all, but you’ll still find that most of your customers simply can’t be bothered to spend the time. That’s why you have to sweeten the pot by offering discount codes and coupons. You can even make your customers feel like they’re getting paid directly for their reviews by offering a small gift card.

As an added bonus, slipping small discounts and gift cards into your customers’ inboxes is a strategy that can more than pay for itself via increased customer retention. With the free SEO content you receive out of the deal, it’s also essentially the cheapest content creation strategy that your marketing money can buy.

Respond Publicly and Productively to User Reviews 

Finally, give your store a trustworthy voice by responding to your customers’ reviews. Never leave a negative review unattended. Respond professionally to every negative review and address all of the user’s concerns.

Offer to resolve the issue as generously as possible. Remember – you’re not just writing to one customer, you’re writing to every future customer who browses your store. You want those customers to know they can rely on your products and your customer service.

Additionally, respond to positive reviews periodically. Congratulate customers on their purchases, say you’re happy to hear they’re enjoying their products, and always offer an easy way for them to get in contact. It’s another easy way to increase the likelihood of customer retention while publicly exemplifying your store’s proactive customer service department.

User Reviews Are a Major Rung on the Ladder to On-Site Authority

Building a robust user review platform is a long-term strategy that will help establish your eCommerce store as an authority in your niche. If you’re looking for additional ways to grow your on-site review platform organically, or you’re looking for some more advanced tools to manage and streamline the whole process, get in touch with the experts at InteractOne.

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How to Create Amazing Browse Abandonment Emails

How to Create Amazing Browse Abandonment Emails

Most users come and go when they visit your website. As a webstore, you may notice them checking out different landing pages, products or information, or you may even witness them adding items to their cart and then abandoning. Once they leave your site or their cart, it is not the end. They are not forever lost to the ages. You have the tools to reconnect with these customers and bring them back to complete a purchase. We’ve already discussed the ins and outs of cart abandonment emails, but now we are diving into a topic not as well known — browse abandonment emails. 

What is Browse Abandonment?

Browse abandonment is where a customer visits your site, views different landing pages and products, but ultimately doesn’t add anything to their cart or make a purchase. These users end up leaving the site. 92% of consumers who visit a site do not purchase on their first visit. Abandoning your webstore isn’t the end. You can bring them back by implementing a series of browse abandonment emails that will help remind them of who you are and the products they viewed. But before sending off these emails and reconnecting with visitors, you first must collect the visitor’s email address. Without their email address, you have no way to track their actions on-site or add them to an email list. There are many ways for users to input their email (pop-ups, creating an account, etc.) as well as CTA tracking, but that is perhaps another topic for its own blog. For now, we’re going to assume that you have the email addresses of the browse abandonment customers we will be discussing.

Know Your Audience

Before sending off browse abandonment emails, you must know your audience. Knowing your audience is the first step in creating anything for your webstore. If you do not know your audience, how are you going to market or sell to them? When it comes to browse abandonment emails, you do not want to send these emails to everyone on your subscriber list. This action would feel inauthentic and confuse many viewers. You wouldn’t want to get an email about your ‘recent website browse’ if you hadn’t visited the website in months, would you? Consumers such as people who have never purchased, loyal customers, one-time purchasers, shoppers who show interest in a specific product or users who viewed a particular item are perfect candidates for browse abandonment emails.

Implement a Series of Emails

Sometimes one email isn’t enough to persuade shoppers to come back to make a purchase, but sending a second reminder can encourage shoppers to return. And, a third follow up would be advisable but you do not want to bombard your customers’ inbox. So, depending on your brand, there is no set number of emails that you should send out. For years companies practiced typically sending only two browse abandonment emails. But each brand and its audience is different. If you want the best number of emails, you need to A/B test this email campaign to see how many people open more than two reminder emails. If you do decide to stick with only two, send the first one 2 hours after they left and the second one 24 hours after abandonment. And again, you can A/B test the times you send out these emails to match your customers’ behaviors.

Use the Appropriate  Subject Lines

Subject lines are the first element people see before they open any email. These lines persuade customers to open it. Subject lines are typically eye-catching, a hint of what is in the email, short, include a sense of urgency and persuasive. Just like any other email, you want to use the right subject lines on your browse abandonment emails. 

Subject lines that get over 52.79% open rate are:

Did you see something you like?

We saw you checking us out

Recommended just for you

Typically subject lines that are 40 characters or less do better than ones that have more characters. You can add emojis (only one or two) as well to add some fun and personalization.

Personalize the Emails

70% of shoppers prefer personalized emails over emails sent to all subscribers. Consumers like it when companies take that extra step of adding elements that they would enjoy. It also helps the brand feel more authentic to them. Essentially, they want to know if the person behind the emails they receive cares about what they want and what they think. Browse abandonment emails are the perfect opportunity to include a personalized experience. While creating your browse abandonment email campaign, include the items they viewed, similar products and their name (This can be done by dropping tracking Cookies on their computer while browsing). Also, remember to keep these emails on-brand as well. You want customers to recognize your company even through personalized emails.

Keep it Simple

Just like cart abandonment emails, you want to keep your browse abandonment emails simple and straight to the point. You do not need to include additional information like promotions, sale items, other brands, store news and other information. Don’t include cross-selling messaging. Instead, keep it to the point of reminding them of what they are missing out on. These emails need to have a catchy headline, images of the products they viewed or similar items, a call to action and possibly a discount code. A discount code is not necessary but does entice customers to shop before the offer goes away. 

Target does an excellent job of keeping their browse abandonment emails straight to the point with a catchy headline and call to action while upselling at the same time:

Upsell

Never miss out on the opportunity to sell even more products. You do not need to only have the items they viewed on these emails. Browse abandonment emails are the perfect opportunity to upsell other products on your site. Upselling will also help when you are sending these emails to new or potential customers who do not necessarily know everything you sell. You can show items that complete an outfit, similar products and items with similar price points.

Every webstore needs to send out browse abandonment emails. There are even more tips and ideas when it comes to creating these types of emails. The best way to know what is right for your company is to work with a knowledgeable marketing team that understands all the moving parts and technical assistance that comes with creating browse abandonment emails. If you are ready to improve your webstore, social media, email campaigns and more, send Interactone a message today.

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Content Strategy Tactics for Your Apparel & Accessories eCommerce

Content Strategy Tactics for Your Apparel & Accessories eCommerce

Increase Your Sales, Customer Retention, SEO, and Brand Loyalty with On-Site Social Platforming.

Bringing shoppers through the virtual doors of your automotive web store is one thing; turning your traffic into paying, repeat customers is far more than half the battle.

Creating an actively engaged community within and around your web store ensures that you have a steady base of users signing on to browse your products month after month. More importantly, an active digital community holistically optimizes your website for eCommerce by improving your brand authority, customer loyalty, SEO, and social networking outreach.

The Importance of User Engagment 

In the world of eCommerce, increased user engagement translates to increased sales conversions. Essentially, every second that a user spends browsing your website is another opportunity to convert them into a paying customer.

Populate your site with unique content to engage with, integrate some social media features so users can socialize while they browse, then sit back and watch your time-on-site stats climb.

Just as important as the increase in average user on-site time are, the branding benefits you’ll enjoy when you integrate engaging content with social platforming. Quality content makes your site an authority figure on a given automotive niche, while social platforming makes your store the virtual garage in which all your gearhead customers hang out and talk shop.

Establishing a Dialogue with Your Shoppers

Content is meant to be commented on, and social platforming was intended to be a two-way street. 

Take an active role in responding to user comments, questions, and reviews. When users write comments on your blogs and social media posts, jump into the conversation. When they post pictures of their cars and components, comment back and compliment their rides. Doing so personifies your store as an active member of the car enthusiast community, which will do wonders for your branding efforts.

Most importantly, when users post product questions or unsatisfactory reviews, respond professionally with an informative post that addresses all of their concerns. If one user has a product question or negative experience, chances are that other users are concerned with the same issues.

Public comments from your store not only address the specific shopper you’re responding to, they address the unwritten concerns of every shopper who lands on that product page.

How to Build a Community Around Your Automotive Aftermarket Shop

  • Comments and Commentary Everywhere 

Bring your product pages to life with prominent sections for user comments, product questions, and reviews. You want to separate yourself from the myriad of aftermarket shops that feature generic car parts with only a spec listing and stock photo.

Your product pages will become authoritative, with written posts addressing the most common product questions and concerns. All of that quality content will be supplemented by an abundance of user-generated content related to the product.

Google will reward your efforts with improved SEO rankings. Shoppers who land on the page will be more likely to stay on-site and convert into sales.

  • Create a Blog and Integrate It

A site blog can be the centerpiece of your brand and webstore. It’s a hub where all of the best content you post across the web is aggregated. For your shoppers, it’s the water cooler they gather around whenever they sign on to shop for car parts.

An effective eCommerce blog will have a mix of content. Tech articles related to the automotive niches you serve are a great way to showcase your products while adding to your on-site SEO. Insider updates about your shop are a great way to establish a more personal connection between your brand and customers.

Recurring content series such as a shop project car, real-world automotive event coverage, or a product comparison series are all great ways to keep your shoppers tuning back in.

  • Tune Your Shoppers in on YouTube 

YouTube is an especially useful marketing tool when it comes to automotive aftermarket retailers. Whether you’re selling ceramic wax spray or performance exhaust headers, shoppers want to see (and often hear) their aftermarket accessories in action, ideally showcased on the same make and model of vehicle that they drive.

Whether you build a full-blown channel to make your automotive shop famous or you simply use YouTube as a glorified hosting platform, it’s an invaluable tool for creating product videos to showcase on your blog and landing pages. After all, 72% of shoppers prefer learning about products through videos as opposed to written content.

  • Use Social Media as a Megaphone 

Cross-post your content to all of your social media channels. A steady stream of posts will significantly increase your social media outreach over time, and every post is essentially free advertising for your store. Additionally, every social media post is an opportunity to interact with your shoppers in the comment threads. Doing so consistently will further improve your brand awareness and authority.

  • Engage and Interact 

As mentioned above, meaningful customer engagement and interaction are paramount. From the little questions that shoppers post on low-traffic product pages to the headline content you showcase on your blog and social media pages, be pervasive with your user engagement. Treat every comment or reply that you write like a unique piece of professional content capable of adding to your overall branding and marketing strategy – because it is.

Conclusion

Creating a user-driven community around your website won’t happen over night. You have to integrate the framework into your overall content strategy, then grow your on-site community over time alongside your blog and social media channels.

However, once you do have a vital community integrated around your web store, you’ll have a long-term sustainable platform to amp up your marketing ROI. You’ll also have a reliable customer base clicking through your content (and checkout lanes) every day.

Of course, if you ever need help turbocharging any stage of the automotive eCommerce process, get in touch with InteractOne and let’s talk shop.

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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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Making the Most of the Media on Your Product Pages

Making the Most of the Media on Your Product Pages

Product pages are important for all eCommerce stores. These pages hold all your products and allow customers to add these items to their cart to hopefully then make a purchase. You want your product pages to be at their best, so customers will want to make a purchase. As a webstore, your product pages will be composed of many media options (images, videos, gifs, graphics, etc.) That’s why to keep your eCommerce at its highest potential we created this guide of the best ways to optimize the media on your product pages. 

Create Desktop & Mobile Versions

You will have desktop and mobile customers, so you need to make both versions of everything on your website. Images, videos and graphics need to be 640px or smaller for mobile devices and 1008px or greater for desktop computers. Also mobile users prefer to see images in a square since it is easier to see and looks more cohesive.

Use High-Quality Images & Videos

For videos while it may be tempting to use 1080p, it does slow down your website significantly. That’s why you should use 720p with a low frame rate of 24 or 25 frames. For images, use a consumer DSLR camera, a natural light source, a white sweep, a steady surface and a camera tripod. This will allow for high-quality and consistent images throughout all your product pages.

Guarantee That the Video will Play

A common issue many users have with a website is that the video does not play. Before posting you must test and preview the site to make sure it plays. Users like to see videos play within 2 seconds and if it doesn’t about 5.8% of users will abandon the video. Larger video sizes create slower loading sizes, so compress your videos to keep them short to stay within that fast loading speed time.

Use Video Transcription

This helps customers and Google understand the content on your page. Writing and inputting a video transcription can increase your SEO efforts.

Use White Background

Images, videos and gifs with a white background make your products pop, look consistent, save time and money on editing, easily reuse and replace the background on any image and many Marketplaces like Amazon and Google Shopping require it.

Have the Right Dimensions

Many website domains like Squarespace recommend images to be 50KB or lower in size and 1500-2500 pixels wide. Animated gifs will slow down a site if it is 1500 pixels wide. It is best to keep them under that size and to format it based on how big you want it to be on your webstore. Videos should be around 1MB to 2MB.

Use the Correct Format

Images or graphics need to be jpeg, png or gif (pdf, docx, psd and tiff will not work). For videos, you can embed them to your site from YouTube or Vimeo or upload them as mp4, ogv, webm or webvtt. 

Our design and marketing teams work with our clients on a regular basis to review their media, improve their UX/UI and help A/B test the site media and improve conversion rates.

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Taking Your Automotive eCommerce Store to the Real World: A Guide to Offline Marketing Tactics for Online Auto Retailers

Taking Your Automotive eCommerce Store to the Real World: A Guide to Offline Marketing Tactics for Online Auto Retailers

When you run a website and social media channels and have digital marketing campaigns running alongside them, it can be easy to feel like you live and work completely online. But as you fine-tune your automotive eCommerce shop’s digital presence, you also need to ensure you don’t lose sight of your shop’s physical, offline marketing presence. 

This blog provides guidance on traditional real-world marketing for automotive eCommerce stores that want to grow their audience.

Inject Your Brand Into the Real World

This may sound old-fashioned with all the sophisticated technology at our fingertips nowadays, but simple branded products and advertising still go a long way. Car-related accessories like keychains, glove box tools, tire valve stems, stickers and vinyl that has your web store’s branding on it are all great ways to start injecting your automotive brand into the real world.

Beyond those basics, branded clothing and accessories such as T-shirts and caps are also effective means of promoting your store on the streets. Brands benefit greatly from their supporters sporting their logo, especially at relevant automotive events. However, this kind of advertising is only as good as your branding, so ensure you have a strong logo before you make this investment. If you haven’t already, invest in a graphic designer to get your logo and branding up to scratch and to make sure it will translate well to these mediums.

Get Your Shop Involved in Your Local Car Scene

Put your store in front of people who are actively looking for automotive accessories by going to local automotive events and immersing your brand in your local scene. Whether you’re sponsoring or simply attending, having your brand at special events, parts swaps, races and car shows, both big and small, enables you to get to know your community and build brand recognition and credibility. It can also be lucrative, particularly if your automotive web store specializes in performance aftermarket—as we all know, track car people buy lots of car parts. Start by looking up what’s happening in your area and contacting them to see how you can get involved.

Start Small with Cars and Coffee

If races and shows seem like an investment you’re not quite ready for, don’t worry; there are plenty of smaller-scale but still-worthwhile events for your automotive store to have a presence at. Car-and-coffee meetups, local cruise-ins and amateur car shows all provide valuable in-person brand awareness at a grassroots, community level. While not as flashy as the large events, they can still be valuable in getting your brand name and image out there. Also, remember that sponsorship doesn’t necessarily have to entail a financial investment. Think about products or services you could offer in lieu of cash for events, competitions and charity fundraisers.

Move on to the Big Shows

Once you’ve warmed up and gotten some experience showcasing your brand at the smaller events, it’s time to get involved in the bigger car shows and custom car parades. An on-site presence at an event like Cavalcade of Customs or annual new car Auto Expos will give your brand a chance to showcase your logo and display and distribute your branded marketing content. You could also potentially gain media mentions if you’re a sponsor. These larger professional events require a different marketing approach, however, which is why it’s best to start small with local events and build up to them.

Tie It All Back into Google to Improve Your SEO

Whatever actions you take offline, make sure your brand can be found online, by driving traffic to your eCommerce store. Include your website address in all of your real-world promotional efforts, and set up a free Business Profile with Google My Business to claim and update your store’s information. This will also improve your local ranking on Google, which is crucial for making sure your business comes up in search results on Google Maps.

You can also improve your SEO by starting or sponsoring an event on Facebook for free social media advertising and then tying that back into Google Events, and blogging about the event in order to hit Google News.

Conclusion

These are just some of the ways you can take your automotive eCommerce store into the real world. For a more comprehensive solution on aligning your digital and physical presences, reach out to InteractOne’s team of experts.

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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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Creating Customization Through Search, On-Site & Email

Creating Customization Through Search, On-Site & Email

The modern customer is more complex and demands better services from merchants than ever before. This evolution has pushed merchants to continually identify ways of making their products and services resonate with the purchasing behaviors of their modern customers. At the center of this development, customer experience personalization is providing a means of tailoring eCommerce stores to appeal to specific groups of people. One of the ways of achieving this higher level of tailoring your engagement efforts more towards smaller persona sets isby using eCommerce onsite personalization tools to deliver a personalized experience when customers visit your store.

On-Page Customer Personalization

On page customer personalization involves tailoring web pages of your eCommerce store to appeal to specific groups of customers. This could include tailoring content of a landing page to attract a specific audience  or adjusting the checkout page to offer discounts to another group. Onsite features like CMS banners, dynamic content, product recommendations (cross-sells and up-sells), segmentation and custom automation paths keep your customers engaged while at your store.

CMS Banners – These banners allow merchants to display images and blocks of personalized content to specific customer segments. And, they can be scheduled for a particular period, depending on the goals to be achieved.

Dynamic Content Offers – This feature involves using geographic and demographic data to personalize offers for each customer. A merchant can dynamically change an entire content section to make it more relevant and appealing to a group of customers. For example, a sports apparel store would not want football gear content being displayed to female audiences. Similarly, they would want a specific tennis racket displayed only for audiences interested in tennis.

Product Recommendations – The feature allows merchants to include related products, up-sells, and cross-sells for the customer to add them quickly to the cart. They are excellent at encouraging additional purchases and ensure that products get more views.

Shopping Cart Price Rules – This feature allows merchants to offer discounts and promotions to specific customer segments. For instance, new customers may get a one-off discount of 20% off their first purchase while recurring customers get a 15% discount on their cart total.

Customer Personalization on Search Results

Personalization of the Search results page ensures that the search results show products that reflect the filters visitors select or have previously searched for. When customers perform a search on your online store, they expect more than just the product they’re searching for. . Instead, they expect that each click will offer them an experience custom to their taste.

Machine learning allows store users to include targeted and personalized content like buyer’s guides, user-generated content, and blog posts that improve the quality of search results.

Look at the keywords your customers use to Search for products using search ads and other methods to dynamically show site content that matches the search intent of the customers.

Email Customer Personalization

Email personalization is a strategy that uses the subscriber’s personal information to produce more targeted emails by giving individual treatment to each customer. The process involves personalizing the content to appeal to the receiver and appeal to their buying behavior. A personalized email is written in a way that it provides relevant and timely information. It could also include the customer’s name, personalized subject line, content, imagery, and more.

Apart from personalized email, eCommerce merchants can also send personalized text messages to their customers (with customer permission). SMS creates a one-off messaging platform to create a loyal customer base by sending personalized messages like happy birthday wishes and recommendations to new products based on their purchase history.

These messages are effective in engaging customers and showing them that they are valued.

Providers of Onsite Personalization Services

eCommerce merchants typically use a suite of different providers and features to power all of these unique personalizations. This will usually depend on factors like webstore host platform or the kind of personalization features a brand is looking to implement. Some of the popular providers include:

Magento – Magento offers native features like onsite banners and promo codes that personalize experiences for customers. It provides the necessary starter features for small businesses and those starting with eCommerce.

Listrak – Listrak provides personalized email services to boost sales in an eCommerce store. This includes product upsell recommendations based on customer browsing and purchasing behavior on the site.

SLI Systems – SLI personalize the search experience of your online store to include predictive results that appeal to your customers. This helps to convert more customers, sell more products, and engage more shoppers.

Celebros – Celebros is a great provider for personalized search results. They help you improve your search result page and tailor it to the kind of customer visiting your eCommerce store.

Nosto – Nosto is excellent for an onsite personalized related product, upsell, and cross recommendations. It is a great provider for robust enterprises with a vast catalog and large customer base.

Bottom Line

The modern-day customer is attracted more to brands that show they care and offer unique experiences. Onsite personalization tools are designed to bridge the gap between what a customer expects when they visit the site and what they get. This way, customers become more engaged and likely to make a purchase. Given the importance of customer personalization to the success of an ecommerce store, you need to ensure you are doing it the right way. If you would like to discuss improving personalization on your site, fill out the form on our contact page to schedule a conversation with our eCommerce experts..

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