Padawan Series: Email Marketing Best Practices For Apparel & Accessories

Padawan Series: Email Marketing Best Practices For Apparel & Accessories

The use of direct mail marketing decreases every year with brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as  eCommerce stores. Businesses are increasingly opting for the more affordable, faster, and more effective route — email marketing. As an apparel and accessories webstore, email marketing is one of the main ways you promote your brand. As you know, email marketing involves sending out commercial emails to existing and potential customers as a means to communicate important details about your products, webstore, social media and any other relevant information. It’s the most direct way to keep in touch with your prospects and customer base. 

No matter how many fans or followers you have on social media, you don’t ‘own’ those contacts. The average social media post will organically reach less than 1% of your followers. Whereas with email marketing, you ‘own’ those contacts. Assuming their email address is still active, you can be assured that your eblast will reach their inbox, giving you the opportunity to make a connection and a sale. In this guide, you will learn how to make the most of your email communications. Read on for the four best practices when using email marketing for your apparel and accessories eCommerce business.

Personalize Emails for Targeted Audiences

Your apparel webstore needs to have personalized emails to target specific audiences. When we say personalized emails, we don’t mean to send out individual emails, hand written to each customer. Instead, these personalized emails in most cases include welcome emails, standard promotional emails, seasonal emails, newsletters, post-purchase emails, cart abandonment emails and re-engagement emails. Each one of these email types has a specific layout and purpose. For example, cart abandonment emails target customers who placed items into a cart, but never completed the purchase. By sending out a cart abandonment email, you are reminding customers of your site and the products they wanted. Plus if you add an offer, they are more inclined to finish purchasing. 

Personalized emails also work as a means of developing a deeper connection with your customers. Customers prefer personalized emails based on their demographic, geographical location and items they prefer. By skipping out on sending a mass email to every subscriber, your customers most likely will open more of your emails which then leads to more conversions, instead of them throwing it away or unsubscribing. You can customize emails to your customers by checking out your CRM data to learn what your customers are looking at and what they are possibly interested in. 

Keeping up with all the different types of personalized emails can be confusing and time-consuming, especially when working with a large customer database and a CRM like Salesforce. That’s why we recommend working with a marketing firm that understands the different types of emails and when to send them.

Review Your Mail Schedule

Timing is everything and that is particularly true for  email. You have to reach your customers at the right time or you risk losing them forever. Cart abandonment emails work well to drive traffic because it prompts the customers to complete an action they already began. The popular clothing company, ASOS, provides an excellent, straight-to-the-point cart abandonment email:

Another example is scheduling emails around specific holidays like the Christmas season, Cyber Monday, back to school and more. Also, remember that customers unsubscribe from brands that send out too many emails. Most companies send out about two to eight emails a month to their subscribers, depending on the brand and testing. Testing is crucial to this process as well. You don’t want to scare off subscribers with too many eblasts but you also want to stay top-of-mind for them. We’ve spoken at length about the benefits of AB testing your website (here and here) but these same principles apply to your email schedule as well. Test different release schedules on random portions of your contact list to see what frequency solicites the best response.

Monitor Email Performance

What’s the point of having email marketing if you don’t know how well your emails are  performing? An email performance report will show you what sections have the highest and lowest conversion rates. From there, you can then decide what needs to stay and what needs to change.. 

Many email providers can view your open and click rates. If they notice your emails are not being opened and engaged with, your reputation as a mailer can plummet, which could result in being kicked off the platform. To avoid this from happening, here are three approaches that you should keep in mind:

  1. Use special messaging to reactivate customers.
  2. Reduce the number of emails you send to these customers.
  3. If recipients aren’t opening or clicking on your email, remove them from your list. 

Dropping subscribers from your email list maybe concerning, but it will actually  boost your mailer reputation. If you notice that you are unsubscribing many users, make sure to have a marketing plan to find new potential customers. Monitoring email performance is a tedious task that can be confusing and frustrating, especially if you’re also evaluating any A/B tests you’re currently running. There are many Magento extensions that help monitor your emails as well as do A/B testing. Email tools like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, dotDigital and Listrak are a few places where you can monitor and A/B test your email marketing. 

Revise Future Emails

Email marketing involves a ton of testing and trial and error. When you first start sending emails, it may be hard to know what will and won’t work for your customers. Throughout any email marketing campaign, you will learn what customers click on. From there, you grow and adapt to what they want to see. You also need to remember that customers’ interests are constantly changing. So, a Call To Action or content (video, images or written copy) that worked before doesn’t guarantee that your customers will continue to show interest months down the line. 

As mentioned before, A/B testing your email performance is key to understanding what works for your company. While reviewing your results, you need to take note of every feature that isn’t working and replace it with a new element that may better connect with your audience. This applies to every element of your emails including CTAs, graphics, promotions, copy, images, layout, subject lines and preheaders. By constantly revising and building upon improvements, you should have an email design and release schedule that fits your brand and connects with your customer base in a real and measurable way.

The potential of gaining new customers through email marketing is limitless, but there are a number of steps and requirements every company must go through to send out any emails. The best way to stay on top of your email marketing is to use one of these recommended extensions or work with a knowledgeable marketing team. To learn more about how to implement these strategies and increase online sales, contact us today.

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How to Integrate Omnichannel Marketing in Your Magento Site

How to Integrate Omnichannel Marketing in Your Magento Site

Omnichannel marketing is a revolutionary way of connecting with  customers. It offers a seamless experience to customers regardless of their choice of the medium or social media network. Omnichannel involves the use of multiple marketing channels to create a unified experience for the customers. Under this marketing approach, a seamless message is created that adjusts to the behavior and needs of the customers through the sales funnel. When integrating this approach to marketing in your Magento site, several factors apply:

Make Your Website Mobile-friendly

Omnichannel marketing combines both online and offline channels. For this reason, your website and eCommerce store should be ready for various devices, including mobile. With 79% of smartphone users making a purchase with their phones, a mobile-friendly site is likely to make more sales. When you optimize your website for mobile, you get to access customers on both desktop and mobile channels.

Identify Channels Your Customers Use the Most

Part of creating an omnichannel marketing channel is knowing which channels will generate more positive results. You should not jump from one channel to another with the hope of increasing customer interaction. Instead, identify and invest only in the channels your customers use the most. For instance, Facebook is an excellent choice for millennials and gen X adults while Instagram is more ideal for Gen Z adults. Linking your website to the appropriate channel will ensure you get the most from your efforts.

Engage the Whole Team

Omnichannel marketing is an all-inclusive approach to marketing. You cannot succeed if part of your team is not invested  in the strategy. Ensure that every team member is on board with your strategy, while putting the needs of your customers at the forefront. Engaging team members from all departments allows you to gather appropriate data and understand the contributions of each department. On one side, the product development team will provide adequate information about your products. On the other side, marketers will be sharing  this information via your site and other means and collecting customer data for better service provision.

Match Content with Marketing Channel

The content that you post on any specific channel should be relevant and appropriate. For instance, photos do well on Instagram while long posts work perfectly with Facebook. You can use influencer marketing videos to market your Magento site on TikTok or YouTube, and provide longer text-based content on email newsletters and blog posts. A common mistake that business owners make is replicating the same content across the channels. On the contrary, you should ensure that you make the most of the different channels by providing relevant content.

Remember that a big portion of the omnichannel strategy relies on the power of personalization and targeting. You need to achieve a deeper level of personalization for each group of customers. When crafting the message, make sure it fits the customer profile data, their shopping behavior, and campaign engagement.

Implement Shoppable Posts

One of the latest features that has proven effective in omnichannel marketing are shoppable posts. Shoppable posts are now common on social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Instead of the traditional as that would direct people to your site to complete the purchase, shoppable posts allow customers to make a purchase directly on social media, removing multiple steps and clicks. This provides for a much more streamlined Checkout process that removes many of the steps previously required to facilitate a purchase. Taking advantage of this new content  allows you to increase sales through social media sites.

Segment Your Audience

The success of an omnichannel marketing approach in your Magento site will depend on how well you understand your audience. Each audience segment is looking for something specific. Consequently, different messages will  appeal to different groups. Make sure that you segment your customers before conducting lead generation for your website. This should be based on factors like customer data and triggers. The more data you have about your customers, the better your message will appeal to them. Some of the factors you may consider when segmenting your audience include gender, loyalty, geo-location, and previous engagement. You can then determine the most appropriate channel to use with each customer segment.

Provide Cross-Channel Customer Support

Customers expect the same level of efficiency and customer support across all your platforms. If your live chat support is effective but your Facebook chat is inactive, you are limiting your company’s availability and it could be costing you customers. In fact, a third of customers consider switching companies when they experience bad customer experience. To ensure success in omnichannel marketing, your brand must be  consistent across all your active channels. Both your social media messages, live chat, or email support should provide the same level of experience. Allow your customers to call your company or interact on a personal level to provide that extra personal touch.

Bottom Line

Integrating omnichannel marketing in your Magento site involves passing messages to customers across the various channels. Apart from making your site mobile-friendly, you will also need to take advantage of social media and other platforms. Most importantly, ensure that the content you provide is appropriate and ideal for the channel being used.  Talk to our Omnichannel Marketing Experts today and learn how to integrate omnichannel marketing in your magento site.

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How Voice Integration Will Boost Your Digital Marketing Efforts

How Voice Integration Will Boost Your Digital Marketing Efforts

The field of digital marketing continues to evolve with the introduction multiple forms of new technology. As voice technology becomes more readily available, experts have speculated how it will affect the various digital marketing platforms. The possibilities of this technology in the future are yet to be fully understood as voice search is only now beginning to become a favorite tool among customers. With voice assistance devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Echo becoming popular, brands need to take advantage of this technology to remain relevant.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search simply refers to voice recognition technology, which allows people to conduct online searches by speaking into a device. The device could be a smartphone, smart TV, computers, remote control, or home assistant devices. Since customers no longer have to type what they are looking for in their devices, this approach is considered faster and more convenient.

Successful voice marketing involves understanding how people use voice recognition technology to search for items and knowledge. As this technology continues to evolve, eCommerce brands will need to understand how their customers are using voice to search for products. Voice customer analytics is a good place to start as it shows the phrases and choice of words popular among the customers. Using this data to integrate voice interactions in your digital marketing efforts will earn you a competitive edge over others.

Why Brands Need to Adopt Voice Strategies

Webstores need to adopt voice in their marketing strategy because it is a popular emergent technology, which is expected to only get bigger and influence more of how customers interact with businesses. For instance, the Alexa Magento capabilities allow online store owners to keep track of their sales and store performance. You can simply ask Alexa to provide you with a weekly business summary, a report of the orders placed during the month, summary of best-selling products, and more. You can also create an Alexa customer service using Alexa for your Magento site for better voice interactions with customers.

The benefits of voice technology to customers cannot be overemphasized. Not only does voice technology drive more traffic to your site, but it also improves customer experience and helps your brand stay ahead of the competition. Both Google Assistant and Alexa can differentiate between voices, allowing brands to gain insights about users. Consequently, brands can create more personalized messages and content to improve the customer experience. The more personalized the content is, the more customer interactions become natural and seamless.

A voice search strategy is also important in preventing customers from finding your competitors easily. When you optimize your websites, you will have the chances of prospects finding you on search engines. Your SEO strategy becomes more competitive and you will be able to attract more prospects. As much as this technology is still in its nascent stages, businesses that have started using it report improved results.

How to Optimize for Voice Search

The rise of voice search is expected to revolutionize SEO and significantly affect digital marketing. When optimizing your eCommerce site for voice search, you will need to use conversational language and emphasize featured snippets. Using authoritative and informative content and transforming text search into long-tail questions are also crucial.

When optimizing your website for voice search, frame your content in the way people speak when performing the search. Your product listing, FAQ and landing pages should be optimized for voice search. Typically, people tend to speak in complete sentences when performing a voice as opposed to shorted or summarized queries when typing. While text searches focus on specific keywords, voice searches focus on conversational level language. Instead of optimizing “best hotel in New York,” your voice optimized content should be “what is the best hotel in New York.”

Currently, Google is prioritizing featured snippets that answer questions promptly and accurately. This means the more accurate your featured snippets are, the higher will be your ranking on search results. Creating informative and authoritative content gives you an edge on voice search results. Some of the consideration you should have include:

  • Use of natural-sounding language
  • Provision of concise answers to questions
  • Creating queries into question phrases
  • Targeting long-tail keywords
  • Focusing on action queries
  • Thinking about user intent
  • Keeping your website fast, secure, and mobile-friendly
  • Tightening up your local SEO schema
  • Completely filling out Google My Business Profile

How We Can Help

Implementing voice strategy in your marketing can prove to be a huge challenge, no matter your level of experience in the world of digital marketing. At InteractOne, we ensure that your content marketing reflects the needs of your customers. Before integrating voice interaction, we consider whether your target customers are smart-home enthusiasts, your content experience is valuable with voice, and the likelihood of the marketing efforts succeeding via voice.

When it comes to voice search optimization, there’s a lot to manage from search intent to local SEO. While implementing a voice search strategy is the first part of the equation, making sure it works is crucial. With all the opportunities the new technology is bringing, you will need to work with an expert in digital marketing. If you are stuck on how to make your digital marketing strategy more dynamic and diverse, we are here to help.  Let’s start a new project together!

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UPDATED: The Best Live Chat Practices for Your eCommerce Site

UPDATED: The Best Live Chat Practices for Your eCommerce Site

For many eCommerce merchants, their website’s live chat function is one of their primary means of communication with customers. This can be attributed to the fact that most people prefer chat over other means of communication, such as calling or email. With 65% of millennials and Gen X using chat as the main mode of communication, brands that offer this means of communication on their website appear more attractive. As technology advances, “chatbots are now becoming a norm.”  In fact, it is estimated that chatbots will be capable of replacing the customer support clerk within a decade. This is attributed to their capability of answering common customer queries and directing customers to relevant web pages for more information.

Although chatbots are designed to complement live staff, understanding the qualities of effective customer services is critical. The following live chat tactics will help eCommerce merchants provide customers with a great online experience. The tips are applicable to both websites using live support staff and those using chatbots to improve customer experience.

 Visibility is Key

One of the most important aspects of live chat is its visibility. If customers can’t immediately see this feature while they are shopping, chances are they won’t search it out. In order to be easily detected, the window should be in the bottom right corner of the page with some sort of bright icon that is easy on the eyes yet readily seen. Even better, reach out to the customer first!

Automate the first message to communicate with the customer before they run into an issue – that way they immediately have a helpful resource at their disposal. Visibility also means that live chat should be available on every page in the same spot. However, make sure you have clearly indicated whether the customer is chatting with a bot or human.

Respond Quickly

Replying promptly is the most important function an eCommerce site’s live chat can serve. Quick response times showcase a businesses’ ability to be attentive and professional in handling customer issues. An easy way to ensure that your live chat is speedy is to set up an automated response for initial contact. To ensure that this is followed by a swift follow up from a real representative build in push notifications that will notify your customer representative staff whenever a new chat has been initiated. This way, shoppers will be engaged immediately and be attended to as quickly as possible.

The natural language processing (NLP) capability helps in automating the chat processes. Even when your customer service agents are busy elsewhere, the bots ensure that the customer gets the same satisfaction they would when chatting with a real person.

Ask Questions

Understanding exactly what information a shopper is searching for via the live chat feature is the key to properly solving and answering their question. Usually, issues like product finder, offer notification, order status check, and simple customer service queries can be handled by a chatbot. But for customers and questions that a more personalized service, a human representative will be needed. To get a full scope of the issue, instruct your live chat representatives to ask plenty of detailed, pointed questions at the beginning of the interaction to understand exactly what the issue is. Being thorough at the start of a conversation will help save time for both the representative and the customer later on.

It is always important to be transparent with you clients by letting them know whom they are interacting with in the live chat. Provide a way they can reach a human agent if they do not want to chat with a bot. This could be a button where the customer can press and start a conversation with a human agent. When the customer transitions from a bot chat to human chat, it provides closure and builds more trust.

Avoid Robotic Responses

An eCommerce merchant should sound professional, but also like a human being. Sounding too robotic will give the impression that there isn’t a person on the end of the line, which will leave the customer feeling isolated. Even a chatbot should be friendly and have human appeal. Greet the customer warmly as they sign on and consider personalizing it with their name. Ask how they’re doing and how you can help them. Maintain a friendly tone throughout the interaction to keep that personal touch.

Any chatbot must have access to adequate customer data. Remember a chatbot is as smart as the data you feed it. For more advanced conversation abilities, the chatbot must have access to  data about your customers and your brand. Be sure to maintain a tone of voice that properly reflects your brand. If you sell high tech gadgets and tools, you may be slightly more professional than an eCommerce store selling makeup or jewelry. The more personalized a customer finds the conversation to be, the more satisfied they will be.

Know When to Escalate

A customer will usually seek the help of live support when they cannot get the ‘answers’ they are searching for on your site or from the bot. When they do, the live chat representative should do everything in their power and capability to fix the customer’s issue. However, it is important to know when to escalate to a supervisor, IT professional, or alternative department. Have customer service policies in place that encourage employees to communicate this to the customer and assure them that help is on the way – if you take too long or leave them hanging, they are more likely to abandon their cart or seek out a different merchant altogether.

“Is There Anything Else I Can Help You With?”

A good chatbot will perform all the basic customer service tasks of an e-commerce website. They include collecting customer data, handling online transactions, upselling products, and providing access information. Other tasks include providing user feedback, offering quizzes, and giving personalized recommendations. However, getting more information from the customer is equally important and may require the intervention of a human representative.

 Every time a customer seeks service from a live chat representative, they should confirm that they have solved the customer’s problem. Once this is complete, they should ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” The customer may have additional issues to discuss and it should be the live chat representative’s goal to provide a comprehensive customer service experience. Even if the customer doesn’t have additional questions, it highlights the eCommerce merchant’s commitment to superior customer service.

Ask for Feedback

Once the customer confirms they have no other concerns, an eCommerce merchant should present them with a poll or request comments on the interaction. This type of direct request is a great way for an eCommerce site to gain valuable feedback and continue improving their live chat service. The process can be automated using a good chatbot with a conversational user interface. The data collected will be useful in improving customer experience and the overall service provided on your e-commerce website.

For more tips on how to create the optimal live chat experience for online customers, contact our team of experienced eCommerce professionals today.

Communication Channels Fashion Brands Must Embrace

Communication Channels Fashion Brands Must Embrace

These days consumers are online like never before, which means that now is the time for brands to hone their internet-based communications. This requires going beyond traditional email marketing to embrace newer channels that consumers are using, such as video chat and social media. Engagement and availability is key; if your fashion, apparel or accessories brand isn’t utilizing new tools for talking to your customers, you’re probably missing out. 

Brands need to meet consumers where they already are. For some, this can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. First, you need to consider the tools at your disposal. Read on for five often-underutilized communication channels your brand should be using to engage customers.

Text Message

Many fashion brands have been slow to adopt text messages as a form of communication with their customers, with concerns about being perceived as too pushy. But now that 96% of American adults own a cell phone (according to Pew Research), text messages are increasingly being seen as an excellent way to engage customers. Texts have an average open rate of 93%, compared to emails, which have an average open rate of 25% (according to Inc). With most of us receiving a glut of marketing emails from brands every day, it can be easy to see why texts might be more easily noticed.

The key is to be tactful: provide clear opt-out information from the beginning, and don’t bombard your customers with multiple texts all at once. Try using texts to inform customers about restocks of specific products they’ve expressed interest in, or already purchased, via your website. Send them promotions such as personalized, limited-time discount codes and offers. Brands that are really concerned about coming off as too pushy could try the same approach that Toronto-based jewellery brand Mejuri uses: they don’t initiate any conversations with customers. Instead, they allow consumers to text them with any questions about products, and they respond in a timely manner, so the focus is on the customer’s convenience.

Web Chat

Whether powered by artificial intelligence or human employees, web chat can be another powerful tool for fashion brands. Allowing customers to engage with sales associates or stylists via chat and ask questions about your products in real-time while they browse can be a simple but effective way to drive both engagement and sales. Research from Forrester found that customers who interacted with web chat were 2.8 times more likely to make a purchase.

While AI-powered chatbots can be useful for simple questions and issues, sometimes these services can suffer from their lack of humanity. Web chats with real staff members offer that human element where nuances in language are perhaps more able to be understood, and the personal element of retail shopping is retained. Fashion brands like Modcloth, Nordstrom and Warby Parker all benefit from their live chat services, which provide personalized service that retains the brand’s voice in a way that’s natural and conversational.

One-On-One Video Calls

Styling and wardrobe consulting has always been a huge part of the fashion world—one that will never simply go away overnight, no matter how many apps or algorithms are created. Consumers value the personal human element of fashion retail customer service, which is why it translates so well to the web. Department stores like Nordstrom and independent fashion stylists such as Allison Bornstein and Julia von Boehm are providing styling services via video calls, and now more brands of all sizes are getting on board—and yours should too.

It’s really just about extending your retail experience into your online offering, minus the physical interaction of clothes (or shoes or jewelry) exchanging hands. Video calling is a great way to introduce customers to a collection either pre- or post-purchase. The same demonstrations that are given in-store can now be done online. This allows for more dynamic product demonstrations than simply viewing static product shots on-screen, and enables questions and answers to be delivered in real-time, satisfying customers just as quickly.

Social Media

Its constantly evolving nature may feel burdensome to learn and incorporate, but social media can be extremely rewarding for fashion brands seeking to engage more with their customers. Apps like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok enable brands to tell stories in entertaining and exciting ways and bring their products to life in animated videos, slideshows, GIFs, memes and more.

Fashion brands such as Guess and PrettyLittleThing are utilizing TikTok by creating interactive “challenges” where customers interact with and customize their clothing, and by sharing engaging behind-the-scenes content. Instagram is also being embraced in unorthodox ways by brands—even legacy fashion houses such as Chanel, who recently hosted a live-streamed music performance on their Instagram Stories.

Brands who succeed on these channels do so by using them to build community and inspire creativity, not simply push their products. It’s these memorable moments that brands create that make them stand out and gain loyal followers.

Digital Seminars

Social media and video conferencing services like Zoom are also increasingly being utilized by savvy online fashion brands eager to engage their audiences in real-time conversation. This can mean brands inviting consumers into conversation with them on Instagram Live, or doing live-streamed video conferences with industry peers and collaborators. They can facilitate conversations on everything from brand-specific matters, to broader issues facing the fashion industry.

New York designer Mara Hoffman has hosted some informative conversations about sustainability and new projects and products with her collaborators and partner organizations on her Instagram Live in recent weeks. French luxury brand Chloé has also been hosting discussions with a curated selection of creative women (or “#ChloeGirls”). These kinds of web-based discussions can help to establish your brand as more approachable, engaged and expert in its field. It can also help to introduce your brand to a wider audience.

Conclusion

Whether or not your fashion brand is already using the communication channels above, there’s a good chance your customers already are. Join them and build your community together. If you’d like some guidance on how to effectively build out your communications offering, please reach out to our team today.

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Poor FAQ Pages Are Costing You Sales. Here’s What You Must Include

Poor FAQ Pages Are Costing You Sales. Here’s What You Must Include

A Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page is an important part of any fashion eCommerce website for a multitude of reasons. (By the way, when we refer to a “fashion” webstore, we’re really including anything a consumer might put on their body, including clothes, shoes, jewelry and other accessories. These techniques apply to all of these.) Beyond addressing common customer queries, a well-written FAQ page will have a positive effect on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results, while making your web store more searchable. It can also reduce some of the burden on your customer service employees and be a proactive way to prevent customer complaints, by spelling out everything your shoppers need to know. A great FAQ page can even make your brand come across as more transparent and trustworthy, as it can help you share your knowledge and expertise in the industry. 

Each brand needs to use their judgement as to what is appropriate for them and their customer, but there are common topics and tactics when it comes to fashion brands’ FAQ pages. 

Here are some tips for how to create your fashion eCommerce website’s FAQ page, followed by a list of common questions it should include, and some key takeaways.

Reinforce your brand

Often the FAQ page is seen as a place to simply share questions and answers, but it’s also an excellent place to reinforce the brand story or mission that you’ve established on your homepage and About page. Shoppers click on your brand’s FAQ page because they have specific questions about your brand or the products or services you provide. A good FAQ page will help them get to know and understand your brand better.

For example, sustainable fashion brand Vetta’s core brand offering is a capsule collection, which allows shoppers to get 30 outfits out of five dynamic pieces. They answer the question “Can the five pieces really make 30 outfits?” to alleviate any customer concerns about the veracity of this claim. Similarly, outdoor brand North Face includes questions about their Company Background on the meaning behind their name and what their logo represents, to reinforce their brand’s narrative.

Categorize your Q&A

Brands that want to cover many questions and answers on their FAQ page might want to consider implementing a FAQ database so that topics can be easily searched and categorized. Adding drop-down folders and/or a search bar also makes for easier navigation. Search bars tend to be favored by larger brands that are asked many varied questions, but most fashion brands will find a handful of categories sufficient for their needs. Footwear retailer Zappos is one such example: they divide their FAQ into sections including “Returns”, “Shoes/Brands,” and “Payment Information.” They also include broader categories like “Across the Board,” which encompasses fabric care, gift cards and more.

Another large fashion retailer that does this is Levi’s, who combine their FAQ and Help information on one page with sections dividing common queries about accounts, orders and shipping. They also don’t format their FAQ as questions, even though the page is labelled as such. Instead they position the queries as statements, with headings and body copy. Either questions and answers or statements work, depending on the tone your brand wants to convey.

Showcase your expertise

Your FAQ page is also a great opportunity to boast about your unique materials, products, design techniques and other innovations. You can go into more detail here than on a product page, where minimal copy is key.

Sustainable brand Christy Dawn showcases their unique offering well on their FAQ page, explaining how their use of deadstock fabrics contributes to the differing sizes of their products, and why some of their items that are dyed with plant-based pigments can bleed dye when they’re washed. In their trademark friendly, down-to-earth language, they gently reinforce the special care that some of their items require due to these idiosyncrasies, which are also outlined on the individual product pages for full transparency.

Make it SEO friendly

The importance of clarity in your FAQ page cannot be overstated, as this is a crucial page for your brand in terms of SEO. So while you are taking pains to continue to speak in your brand’s language and sing all of its fine, unique qualities, you also need to ensure there is straightforward, simple information on the page that will answer your customers’ common queries.

Remember, it’s not just humans that are finding and reading your FAQs. With the rise of voice search and AI-driven personal assistants, many people are finding your FAQs with the help of artificial intelligence. So be sure to share your information in simple terms that can be easily parsed, and link to other pages on your website where applicable.

Have fun with it

While your FAQ page does need to be clear enough to be parsed by search engines, it shouldn’t be so simple that it loses all personality. Your FAQ needs to reflect your brand and its voice, so be sure that everything you write here is given the same attention to detail in terms of tone, even if you are basing it off of the mostly generic list below.

Youthful online retailer Dolls Kill includes questions about things like fees and student discounts in the same witty, rebellious tone of voice that you see all over their website and social media. For example, they start the answer to the question “Can I work or intern at Dolls Kill?” with another question: “Are you a bad ass?” Before getting into more practical issues of location and qualifications, and linking to their careers page.

Where to start

We’ve provided a number of specific suggestions and IRL examples of best practice FAQ page tactics, but you still may be asking: “where do I start on an FAQ page project”. Well here are some common questions to include in your FAQ page:

  • What are your shipping options? 
  • What is your return policy? 
  • Where is my order? 
  • Can I change my order after it’s been placed? 
  • How do I know what size to order? 
  • What do I do if I receive a defective order? 
  • Where are you based? 
  • Who started this brand? 
  • Is this brand sustainable? 
  • Where do your materials come from? 
  • How can I contact you?
  • Can I work for you?

Get these developed for your site and you’ll likely think of a few others that are specific to your business.

Key takeaways:

These days many fashion retailers are selling face masks for shoppers to wear to help stop the spread of COVID. It should be noted that no medical or legal claims should be made in your FAQs unless they have been shared or expressed by professionals from these fields. Link to any reputable sources where appropriate.

It’s impossible to answer every person’s potential question, so provide a link or means to contact you or your team with any questions that are not listed on your FAQ page. This could come in the form of a message form on the page, listed contact information, or a link to a separate contact page.

As your brand, the industry and the world evolves, so should your FAQ page. It may be helpful to keep note of customer queries as they come in through your various communication channels, and take time to regularly assess and add to your FAQ page to keep it relevant. An up-to-date FAQ page is essential to ensuring your customers remain satisfied and consistent shoppers with your brand.

For help with FAQ’s or any other site maintenance or optimization efforts, please feel free to reach out to us via our contact form.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Apparel & Accessories Conversion Rates

7 Ways to Improve Your Apparel & Accessories Conversion Rates

Monitoring the performance of your apparel and accessories store is crucial to understanding the most and least successful elements of your website. You need to track the micro conversions of every feature on your site including page scrolling, detail-to-cart ratios, checkout steps, and other various engagement actions across your website. The goal is to have high pre-purchase conversion rates that ultimately lead to a purchase. Achieving higher conversion rates takes time, research and testing. To help, here are seven ways to improve your apparel and accessories eCommerce conversion rates.

Test Different Call to Action Variations

Call to action (CTA) buttons are crucial for a successful webstore. You can find CTAs throughout emails, social media, digital ads and the website. In most cases, the call to action is a simple button with written copy that describes an action like Buy Now or Add to Cart.  Testing these buttons are often overlooked, but they’re typically one of the first aspects to test in a new conversion optimization campaign because of the exponential results more engaging CTAs provide. These variations can include experimenting with design, copy and placement of CTA buttons. When it comes to design, don’t be afraid to test different colors, sizes and fonts. Customers do have a viewing preference when looking at the design of any element on your page. Your CTAs should stand out, be easy to read and display front and center. For example, the investment in changing the Add to Cart button in the example below paid for 6 months of CRO work in 2 weeks:

When changing the copy of your CTA, stick to verbiage that causes shoppers to complete an action like buy now, shop now, add to cart and reserve now. Creating a sense of urgency and having a clearly implied result of what will happen is better than catchy phrases trying to be unique.

Create a Sense of Urgency

A sense of urgency lets shoppers know they only have a limited amount of time to purchase whether the item is low in stock or if a sale is ending soon. By creating an action, you are allowing customers to complete it. Action verbs work well in CTAs, emails, advertisements, social media and discounts. Your copy should have a customer wanting the product or deal by using action verbs like buy now, shop now, reserve now and save now. Many apparel and accessories webstores also use countdown clocks for special discounts to encourage shoppers to purchase before the time runs out.

Upsell Other Products

For apparel and accessories webstores that want to see more conversions on product pages or even at check out, upselling and cross-selling your other merchandise is a great opportunity. Similar to that impulse buy that many brick-and-mortar retailers use at the ends of aisles and check out, upselling your other items can potentially keep shoppers engaged and possibly purchase more products. Many customers prefer to see products that fall under similar price ranges and style or combinations that complete the look. Instead of manually mapping related products within your catalog, there are search and personalization tools like Klevu and Nosto that add merchandising functionality to upsell and cross-sell products. Understanding and using tools like these can be complex and take loads of time, so it’s important to work with a knowledgeable marketing firm that can help keep your site merchandising running efficiently.

Offer Various Payment Options

The ultimate end goal of any eCommerce store is for the customer to make a purchase.  It is tremendously frustrating to succeed at all the tactics necessary to get customers to add products to the cart only to see them leave or abandon their carts. Every customer has their own reason for leaving, but in some cases, you can offer an easier path to purchase with different payment options.


The traditional payment gateways to pay with a credit card aren’t going anywhere any time soon, but there are more convenient options growing in popularity. Payment options like PayPal and Amazon Pay attract customers who prefer the 1-click type of payments since all their card information is already stored in one area, also making them more secure. Another rising payment option that popular stores use is payment installment apps or extensions like Klarna, AfterPay or Sezzle. These payment installment apps let customers pay for their purchases in equal parts over a specific period of time. Research has shown that 44% of users would have abandoned their cart if payment installments weren’t an option and 68% of shoppers increase their average order value if they can pay through installments.

Improve Your Page Load Speed

The more technology advances, the faster everyone wants websites to load. If your apparel and accessories site takes over a couple of seconds to load, you will be losing potential customers.  Increase the number of purchases and your conversion rate by improving your page’s load speed. Your company can accelerate your page’s loading time by reducing image sizes, eliminating unnecessary HTTP requests and using browser caching. Apparel sites are also very media heavy, so utilizing a CDN such as Fastly or Akamai has become standard practice to help with site performance. Newer options such as Magento’s PWA themes provide a lighter weight site for faster load times and also more mobile-friendly features to help increase customer lifetime value.

Optimize Your Mobile Site

If you don’t optimize your webstore to be mobile-friendly, not only will your conversions drop, but most likely your sales will as well. Mobile traffic now accounts for over 50% of traffic, so a site that renders great on mobile devices is vital. Responsive themes are the standard these days, but also consider additional mobile optimization, as Google now uses mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the content from the mobile version of websites for indexing and ranking. Having an optimized mobile site will help you rank higher and reach a larger, more diverse audience. For tips on how to help format a mobile-friendly webstore, keep reading here.

Utilize Google Analytics

Even though we recommend working with a knowledgeable marketing team when it comes to reading, understanding and improving your conversion rates, there are free analytics tools that can help you learn more about your webstore’s traffic. Google Analytics lets you analyze your website’s data to help you make steps closer to smarter business decisions. This analytics tool helps you understand your site and its users to help evaluate the website’s performance. Once it has evaluated your webstore’s performance, it provides and connects insights to help improve your site. Even though Google Analytics has many tools to read your website’s data, it doesn’t have everything you need to optimize your website to its fullest potential. Marketing firms will have additional tools like heat mapping utilities to help you better understand your conversion rates and how to improve them.

Conclusion

These are just seven ways to improve your webstore’s conversion rate. There are many other ways you can increase your conversion rates like including customer reviews and playing around with your content. A good marketing firm (like InteractOne) and analytical tools or extensions can help you better understand and learn different tips on how to improve your conversions. To better understand what your apparel and accessories eCommerce needs to improve its conversion rates, contact us today.

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Social Media Tactics Proven to Increase Traffic to Your Webstore

Social Media Tactics Proven to Increase Traffic to Your Webstore

On average, mobile users spend about 1.5 hours on social media a day, and due to COVID-19, consumers are spending more time on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. With users spending almost two hours a day on some type of social media platform, there are plenty of opportunities for your apparel and accessories brand to stand out and make a connection with users. 

As social media traffic has increased so has the reliance on eCommerce sites for apparel and accessories brands. Now’s the perfect time to sync these assets towards a single goal. In this guide, you’ll learn how to better utilize social media platforms to increase traffic on your apparel and accessories eCommerce website.

Invest in Influencers

A few years ago the term “influencers” began to gain traction in the marketing world. Today, influencers play a significant role in social media marketing. An influencer is a social media personality, who’s status and large following can influence or persuade potential customers to buy a product or service by promoting or recommending items on their social media accounts. Influencers like Kylie Jenner, Chiara Gerragni, Jeffree Star, and Roman Atwood can be found on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. 

We know that finding authenticity in social media can be hard especially when using influencers. Influencer marketing isn’t for every company because it can be expensive when executed correctly and disastrous when done wrong. That’s why we recommend influencer marketing to fashion companies that are edgy and youthful with an engaged audience. We also recommend working directly with experienced marketing firms who have influencer knowledge and connections rather than trying to find and employ them on your own. When creating a brand deal with influencers, make sure to determine KPIs and assess ROIs and that your social media campaigns such as brand awareness targets an audience or a specific product

Increase Your Number of Shoppable Links, Posts, & Ads

For a more direct method of increasing traffic to your apparel and accessories eCommerce store, try implementing shoppable links, posts, and ads. A shoppable post, link, or ad will show up on a customer’s timeline and allows users to buy products directly. These tactics can be very effective because they can be hyper-targeted toward demographics of interest, geographic region, and personal taste. Shoppable posts, especially on Facebook and Instagram, provide customers with a 1-click option to check out merchandise and connect them to your site. Anytime you use a shoppable post, you will need to include some type of call-to-action like buy now or shop now. This social content does not just help you stay connected with existing customers, but also expands your reach to attract new customers.

Shoppable links, posts, and ads do not have to be just for one item. Shoppable links give you the opportunity to upsell multiple products or even completely-styled outfits. While shoppable posts and ads on Instagram and Facebook have been an option for some time now, recently Pinterest has also joined in with their new ‘Shop’ tabs. These shop tabs have the ability to connect with your webstore and accurately display all in-stock inventory empowering customers to find specific items by typing what they are looking for while surfing Pinterest.

Be Present on Instagram & Pinterest

Just like influencer marketing, Instagram and Pinterest marketing is not for every company. However, if your brand does decide to use Instagram or Pinterest to market your products, then you’re opening yourself up to a potentially wide and diverse audience. Pinterest and Instagram are the most visual and shoppable out of all the social media platforms. They give brands the opportunity to offer purchases and direct users back to your webstore.

To fully utilize Instagram, you should follow trending hashtags or hashtags that resemble your company’s brand or image to reach a bigger audience. Also, remember to include call-to-actions like shop now or buy now on your posts to entice customers. Since you cannot add links on Instagram posts, make sure to either include them in your bio, Insta-Stories, or shoppable posts. 

As we previously mentioned, to get the most out of Pinterest join the new Shop tabs, so customers can directly purchase from your in-stock inventory. Pinterest also empowers apparel and accessories brands to create fashion boards and paid advertisements to display on existing and potential customers’ news feeds. 


Promote Contests & Giveaways

Contests and giveaways have been shown to be useful when attracting new customers. However, they can also come with legal challenges if you do not properly explain the rules, requirements, and disclaimers. We recommend partnering with a marketing firm that is familiar with the pitfalls and peril of contests rather than trying to run and manage one yourself. 

Maximize SEO

Maintaining an active social media page can potentially boost your traffic even if users are not arriving at your webstore from a social channel. This is because having active social channels can increase your SEO rankings.

Profiles Rank in Search Engines Results – Your social media profiles aren’t just confined to social media; they also rank in search engine results. They are prominently visible in branded search results, often on the first page. So your brand can increase your search engine visibility and drive more traffic by creating social media profiles and optimizing them.

Local SEO – Social media also affects your local SEO efforts in a few ways. As you already know, your NAP (the name, address, and phone number of your business) plays an important role in local search rankings. If you maintain consistent NAP information across all of your listings and website, Google will consider your business as more credible. And that can boost your rankings in local search results. Which makes it crucial to use the same NAP information across your social media profiles, local listings, and website. Additionally, some social media platforms let you geo-tag your Stories and posts. This is a great way to gain more visibility among a local audience, helping you expand your reach.

Conclusion

These tips are all great social media tactics to increase traffic on your apparel and accessories eCommerce store. To learn more about how to connect your Magento webstore to your social channels or to find out how InteractOne can help you use social media to increase traffic on your webstore, contact us now.

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The Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization, Landing Page Strategies & more in the June Orange Report

The Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization, Landing Page Strategies & more in the June Orange Report

June 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.

SIGN UP FOR THE ORANGE REPORT

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

The Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

While there are a number of risks and costs that come with optimization testing, for many companies, CRO is the single best thing you can do to increase your revenue.

Six MORE Apparel & Accessories eCommerce Webstore Strategies for a Post-COVID World

If your apparel and accessories eCommerce site has hit a bit of a lull here are six MORE strategies to boost your site visits and get more conversions.

CRO Testing is Expensive, but Worth It

Conversion Rate Optimization. No doubt you’ve heard of it by now but if you’re still not running tests on your website in order to improve your conversion rate… Why not? 

Case Study: Medals of America Magento 2 Site Build

InteractOne provided an entirely new Magento 2 website to Medals of America that resolved their performance issues by cleaning up the backend of the site and eliminating unnecessary extensions.
Six MORE Apparel eCommerce Webstore Strategies for 2020

Six MORE Apparel eCommerce Webstore Strategies for 2020

Last week we began sharing  ways you can improve your apparel eCommerce website that are both unique to the needs of that industry, and appeal to the eye of apparel customers. The more we got to thinking about it, the more we realized that there were well over six strategies that you consider implementing. Which is why we’re back with part 2 on this topic. In this blog we’ll be breaking down six MORE apparel-focused eCommerce  strategies you can implement to improve the user experience and ultimately improve your conversion rate. 

And don’t forget to check out Part 1.

Question and Answer

Much in the same way that Customer Reviews add transparency  and authenticity to your brand and products, so does a Question and Answer section. You’ve no doubt seen the Q&A section on Amazon product pages and it’s there for a reason; they work. No matter the product description or reviews on your product page there will always be very specific questions potential customers will have about your apparel or accessories. Their questions could be about fit, material, shipping, user experience, anything at all. The Q&A section gives a platform for these questions to be posed and for yourself as well as customers to answer them. For questions posed to your company, this is a great opportunity to showcase your customer service capabilities, product knowledge and openness. For questions posed to current and former customers about their experiences with your product(s), think of it as another form of Customer Review. Getting a fellow customer’s honest feedback about your product will make potential customers more secure in their purchasing decision and less uncertain about engaging in business with you. Making room on your product pages for a Q&A section is a must.

Recommended Accessories or Pairings

No eCommerce site should ever miss an opportunity to upsell and the apparel industry is certainly no exception. Whether you’re selling a dress that pairs with a great pair of shoes and earrings or you’re selling a sports jersey with a newly available matching team hat, customers are often searching for a complete look and you should be prepared to give them the option to purchase it. How you present these recommended accessories and pairings is up to you (and perhaps the niche you serve). They can exist on the product page, you can offer them in a pop-up, or they can be presented just prior to checkout. If customers pass up the opportunity to purchase your product’s accessories and pairings then these recommendations would make for a perfect follow-up email offer. 

Customer Reviews

We broke down the benefits of customer reviews and shared our favorites in great detail back in January’s blog but this has become such a hot topic and powerful tool that it’s worth repeating. Customer Reviews will benefit your apparel site in numerous ways. For one, they reaffirm your brand. Even the greatest product description ever written can’t compete with a customer review. A customer review makes your products and your company more authentic and accessible. Shopify has revealed that 63% of customers are more likely to convert after seeing reviews. Reviews give your brand transparency and build trust with your customers.  Good reviews, bad reviews, no problem! Even if you only had exclusively positive customer reviews the modern apparel customer is too savvy (or maybe cynical) to believe they are all legit.

 The Greatest Product Description Writer ever.

So, even negative or average reviews add authenticity to your brand and page, and serve as useful tools to your merchandising and customer service teams (particularly if you have taken the time to thoughtfully respond to negative reviews – which you absolutely should do).. Customer Reviews are shown to increase conversions by as much as 63% and research shows that 70% of customers look at reviews on products and stores before making a final purchase. To take a deeper dive on customer reviews check out our recent blog.

A More Mobile Friendly Website

Is your webstore as responsive and as mobile friendly as it can possibly be? If your answer is anything less than, ‘absolutely’ then now’s the time to upgrade it. Mobile eCommerce accounted for more than 67% of all digital sales in 2019. And improving the mobile capabilities of your site could have a direct impact on your brick and mortar location too. 65% of all US shoppers look up price comparisons on their phone mobile device while in a physical location. So not only could your unresponsive mobile site be costing your sales digitally, it may be costing you sales in-store.

Free Returns

As a merchant it’s your job to remove as much uncertainty about your brand and product as possible. We discuss Transparency in greater detail in Part 1 of this blog and this topic is related to that. The greatest uncertainties associated with purchasing apparel online comes from the worry, ‘will this fit me?’ and, ‘will this look good on me?’. And while no product description or customer review can answer that question for an individual, you can remove doubt as to whether that individual will be stuck with a purchase they are unhappy with. By offering customers a no-hassle, free return policy, you’re showcasing your own belief in your own brand and products and improving their overall experience. Whether the customer ends up keeping your apparel or returning it, either way they will be much more likely to continue doing business with you if you have made this process as easy as possible.

Free Delivery

As a merchant it’s your job to remove as much uncertainty about your brand and product as possible. We discuss Transparency in greater detail in Part 1 of this blog and this topic is related to that. The greatest uncertainties associated with purchasing apparel online comes from the worry, ‘will this fit me?’ and, ‘will this look good on me?’. And while no product description or customer review can answer that question for an individual, you can remove doubt as to whether that individual will be stuck with a purchase they are unhappy with. By offering customers a no-hassle, free return policy, you’re showcasing your own belief in your own brand and products and improving their overall experience. Whether the customer ends up keeping your apparel or returning it, either way they will be much more likely to continue doing business with you if you have made this process as easy as possible.

No matter your kind of apparel and accessories and no matter your target audience, if you’re looking to improve your conversion rates, traffic and your customer’s shopping experience these webstore strategies are a great place to start. 

Check out some of the apparel and accessories work we’ve completed for Medals of America, Fawn Shoppe, and Massif and let us know if you’d like to schedule a conversation.

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