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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3 social media tactics to increase your online vitamin sales

3 social media tactics to increase your online vitamin sales

Taking vitamins might sound like a mundane, routine task.And one would think that it is a category that stays pretty steady in terms of sales. But actually, did you know that online vitamin sales are growing like crazy? In fact, in 2019, online vitamin sales grew more than 40%!

It may or may not surprise you to learn that most people buying vitamins online are millennial women. With that in mind, online vitamin retailers have learned to meet their audience where they already are—on social media. More than ever before, online vitamin marketers are using social media channels to grow their audience and their business. Read on to learn the top three social media tactics to develop a strategy, grow your audience and increase your online vitamin sales.

1. Use Instagram.

This sounds simple because it is. If you want to boost your company’s online vitamin sales, promoting your products on Instagram is essential. When adults ages 18 to 24 (which is the main audience buying vitamins online) were surveyed, 71% of them said they use Instagram. That creates a huge audience to whom you can introduce your product.

Plus, many vitamin companies have partnered with Instagram influencers who tout their product on their personal pages. When your audience sees popular celebrities posting about certain vitamins, they’re much more likely to purchase. Although it can be expensive to pay a celebrity and/or an influencer to rep your vitamins, there’s a good chance it’ll completely pay off—and then some. 

That being said, many vitamin brands (and brands in general) may not have it in the budget to pay for big-name influencers like celebrities and sports icons. That’s why nano influencers are on the rise.

Unfamiliar with nano influencers? Nano influencers are people on Instagram who have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers. Over the past year, nano influencers have become the most popular influencer segment for brand collaborations. Brands say they prefer collaborating with nano influencers over top-tier influencers because it’s much more cost-effective and because they feel that it creates a much more authentic bond between the influencer and their audience. In addition, nano influencers are much more likely than top-tier influencers to both adhere to brand requirements and engage with their followers.

2. Be responsive.

Even before you’ve built a noteworthy following on Instagram, it’s important to be responsive to your followers. Engaging with them will help grow your audience tremendously as it shows potential followers that your brand is engaged and active.

Then, once you’ve accrued a good following on Instagram, it’s vital to keep up the engagement and make your followers feel like they’re part of your brand. When people write positive reviews and comments on your brand’s page, be sure to respond with a heartfelt “thank you.” When people ask questions on your brand’s page, be sure to answer as soon as possible to keep them interested.

Finally, when people write a complaint on your page, definitely don’t ignore it. Monitor each complaint and address it. Immediately respond with something like, “Thank you for your feedback. We are working to resolve this right now and we’ll get back with you shortly.” It’s true that your company’s social media person might not know about a certain vitamin’s side effects, or whatever the complaint might be. But it’s crucial that this social media person talks to the most appropriate person for the issue and then responds quickly. It’s also important that this response is visible publicly. This shows that your company tackles criticism head-on and chooses to make the situation right. On the contrary, if you ignore criticism, it can cause major damage to your vitamin brand.

3. Give a great offer to increase engagement and brand loyalty.

The point of marketing your vitamins on social media is to sell more of them, right? And what better way to do this than with a great, enticing offer?

Vitamins can get expensive, and people want as many discounts and offers as they can get. That’s why many vitamin retailers give their audience the opportunity to buy vitamins (at a discount) directly from a post on social media. They might make an Instagram post that says something like, “Want to ward off a cold this season? Our Vitamin C tablets have been shown to help boost immunity, along with offering many other benefits. And now, for a limited time, when you click the link in our bio, you can buy a month’s supply! Plus, enter code VITC20 at checkout for 20% off your order.” This makes it convenient for your audience to buy with just one click — and also enticing because of the offer.

Many vitamin brands have also found success with this recipe: Write a blog post that includes an offer, post it on your website and then promote/link to this content on your Instagram. This not only gives people access to your offer, but it also gets people more familiar with your brand by having them land on your website.

In addition, this is a great opportunity to upsell. For example, if someone ends up on your website because of your social media post about Vitamin C, offer them three bottles for the price of two, or a great price on a companion vitamin. This goes beyond simply creating an offer; it also creates a new (and hopefully lifelong) customer.

Conclusion

When it comes to selling vitamins online, developing a social media strategy is crucial. It leads to more engagement, more awareness and then, inevitability, more sales.

To learn more about how InteractOne can help you improve your vitamin brand’s social media presence, contact us today.

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You’re Losing Sales: Digital Payment Methods Customers Now Demand

You’re Losing Sales: Digital Payment Methods Customers Now Demand

Payment trends seem to evolve from year to year as new paying options emerge and trend. As a webstore, you need to find the right payment choices for your shoppers. By limiting your company to one or two payment methods, you are losing potential customers and sales. To successfully increase your purchases, your company should make it as easy as possible to conduct a transaction with customers by offering multiple payment methods. In this guide you’ll learn about the digital payment trends your eCommerce business needs to offer in order to meet customer expectations and demands.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Payments

Within the last couple of years, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments have been increasing in popularity. Even though this payment trend is more common between individuals, some companies have added it to their webstore as an alternative paying method. You’ve no doubt heard of or used one of the most popular peer-to-peer payment apps, PayPal. P2P companies like PayPal give customers a 1-click version of checking-out, facilitating a faster and easier way of completing a purchase. Many shoppers prefer this option because all their card, billing and shipping information is conveniently all in one place. 

P2P Combined With Payment Installment Apps

A few years ago payment installment apps like Afterpay and Klarna became a paying option on popular apparel and accessories eCommerce sites. Many apparel webstores allow P2P payments with payment installment apps. Payment installment apps allow the customer to pay for their purchase over a period of time by splitting their total payment into equal parts. Many online users are actively looking for stores that include payment installment apps. Recent studies have shown that shoppers are more likely to purchase and add more items to their cart if payment installments are an option. Customers like the notion of buy now, pay later. 

InteractOne worked with the Fawn Shoppe to create an excellent combined peer-to-peer payment system with a payment installment app:

Peer-to-peer payments are not for every company and customer. For example, some sites have experienced issues with hacking associated with their P2P systems. If you do decide to implement peer-to-peer payments, as a company it is your responsibility to build trust and to ensure the safety of your customers’ private information by having proper data privacy. We will discuss later some key elements to look out for when setting up data privacy.

Digital Wallets or Contactless Cards

As an eCommerce company, your brand will want to remove as many steps to create an easier and faster check out process for your customers.That’s where digital wallets and contactless cards come to play. Some popular digital wallets and contactless cards on the rise are Apple Wallet, Amazon Pay, Shop Pay and G Pay. These digital wallets and cards are the one-stop app for customers to enter all their card information. Just like peer-to-peer payments, some shoppers prefer this payment method because it is a 1-click check out process. Whenever a customer checks out with a digital wallet or card, the site redirects shoppers to the digital wallet’s app or website to complete the purchase. Once shoppers finish on the digital wallet app or site, they are automatically prompted to finish and review the transaction on the eCommerce  site. 

Our client, Kabayare Fashion provides a great example of having multiple digital wallets for customers to choose from:

Debit or Credit Cards

The most popular payment method, with 47% of online shoppers claiming it as their preferred payment method, are debit and credit cards. Many shoppers still prefer to manually input their card information into the system because this is the method they are most familiar with it. Debit and credit card companies that most consumers use are VISA, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. It is a given in the minds of customers that your company will accept debit and credit card payments. These are ‘table stakes’, the bare minimum. If you are hesitant to implement the peer-to-peer payment system or digital wallets and contactless cards, you can always add a payment installment app to go with debit or credit card payments to be able to conduct business with a larger, more diverse audience.

Payment on Account

For brands that cater to business to business (B2B) stores, Magento Commerce has introduced a Payment on Account feature. This feature is an offline payment method that allows B2B brands to make purchases up to their specified credit limit. Companies can use Payment on Account globally or per account. When you use Payment on Account as your payment method, there will be a message that displays to indicate the status and information of the account like this:

Data Privacy

Customers are looking to purchase from companies that have a large focus on data privacy. Finding a site that has the proper data privacy can be tricky, but many users are avoiding sites that say “not secure” in the URL. Protecting shoppers’ credit cards and shipping information is the most important element for digital payments. If your webstore doesn’t have proper data protection, you will lose a wide range of potential customers. As payment processing and eCommerce technology continue to advance, it is the company’s responsibility to ensure proper data protection from cybercriminals. To protect your customers’ information, follow the EU’s General Data Protection Privacy Act (GDPR) and the Second Payment Services Directive (P2D2.) The GDPR and P2D2 have rules and regulations that govern how companies of all sizes process and transfer an individual’s personal data. Violating the GDPR and P2D2 rules and regulations come with tough penalties like fines up to 4% of the brand’s total global annual turnover.

Mobile-Friendly Payments

In 2019, studies have shown that eCommerce stores have had a 25.5% annual growth rate with it expected to grow to 44% by 2024. With consumers increasingly using their mobile devices to make purchases, your brand needs to optimize its site for mobile-friendly viewing and payments. So how does a company have mobile-friendly payments? There are many ways to optimize user-friendly payments on mobile devices including clear call-to-action buttons, a secure network and auto-fill billing and shipping options. InteractOne can further help you improve your eCommerce’s mobile site or app.

Conclusion

Your company has many digital payment options to choose from, and it is your responsibility as a business to find the best paying method for your customers. If you are unsure of what payment choices work the best for your eCommerce, consider doing a series of A/B tests to help determine the optimal combination of payment options. Many payment companies have free trials and refund policies for companies wanting to expand their paying methods. For help understanding and implementing the best digital payment choices for your company, contact us today.

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Standing Out in a Crowd: How to Market Your Pharmaceuticals

Standing Out in a Crowd: How to Market Your Pharmaceuticals

When marketing pharmaceuticals, doing so online is a great strategy. In fact, in 2020, pharma marketers will spend $3 billion on digital advertising alone. Simply put, pharma companies can no longer rely on brand name recognition and print advertising to drive their sales. They must pivot to create a remarkable presence online.

However, with almost all pharma companies heading this direction—and with differentiation between existing products getting smaller—how do you ensure that your pharmaceuticals make an impact in the digital world? Keep reading to learn the top three most effective strategies for marketing your pharmaceuticals online—so they stand out from the competition.

Tap in to the biggest trends in pharma marketing.

The digital world is huge—and some pharma marketers aren’t sure where to start. Research tells us that the hottest current trends in pharma marketing strategies involve videos and social media. Posting videos on your website and on your social media channels is crucial for growing awareness of your product and therefore your sales.

However, just posting frequently isn’t enough. Once the videos and social media campaigns have launched, it’s important to keep a close eye on interactions and conversions in order to keep people engaged with your pharma brand.

Another growing trend to implement when marketing pharmaceuticals online is to go easy on the branded content. In fact, unbranded content is becoming even more powerful. For example, if you create a website about a specific condition—without even mentioning your products by name, but instead giving general information—consumers can relate to the story and facts you present on that site. Once they’re drawn in this way, pharma companies can then give a subtle nod to their product. This informs your audience about your product by pulling on their heartstrings, not shoving it in their faces.

If you can combine all three of these ideas—videos, social media and unbranded content—you have a recipe for success online.

Lead with the problem, finish with the solution.

Many pharma companies begin their online marketing with their product name and what it does. Then, they end up back pedaling to get to the problem with which their customers are struggling. Along the way, it’s easy for customers to get lost and thus lose interest.

One simple (but powerful) way to avoid this is to lead your online marketing with the problem. For example: “Does mild exercise cause you to have trouble breathing?” or “Do your legs feel tingly when you wake up?” That way, customers feel an instant connection and continue reading (or watching or clicking) to see what solution your product can offer.

Especially when marketing online, where space is small and people have limited time and small attention spans, it’s important to pique your customer’s interest right away. This problem-first approach easily lends itself to many digital mediums—banner ads, e-newsletters, videos, websites, social media posts and more.

Use specific analytics and keywords to come up first in search results.

The pharma space online is congested, to say the least. Someone searching for a pharmaceutical solution to their specific problem is faced with countless pages of search results that are all promising a great solution.

However, your pharma company can stand out simply by using a few keywords to position your solution at the top of search results. First, analyze existing search results to find commonly-searched keywords. Then, create digital content with those keywords included. Next, be sure that your unique content is published on websites that have high traffic and good reputations in the pharma world. Finally, optimize your content until search engines rank it on the first page.

Conclusion

With pharma marketers spending more and more on digital advertising each day, it’s never been more important to ensure that your pharmaceuticals stand out online. By following these top three tips, you’re on your way to successfully differentiating yourself from the competition—yielding unmatched results in your brand awareness, brand loyalty and profits.

To learn more about how InteractOne can help you improve your pharmaceutical marketing online, contact us today.

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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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How Magento Meets the Unique Needs of Nutraceuticals

How Magento Meets the Unique Needs of Nutraceuticals

When it comes to powering online nutraceutical sales, choosing a great eCommerce platform is vital — but it also can be daunting. There are so many platforms — Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, Demandware and more. How do you know which one will best suit your needs? For many companies, Magento is the clear answer.

As a certified Magento partner with a rich history of nutraceutical work, we are in a unique position to speak to the distinct Magento benefits that support a nutraceutical company. Keep reading to learn all about the features and functionalities that set Magento apart from the competition.

What is Magento?

Magento is the world’s number-one eCommerce platform for open commerce innovation. Magento is part of Adobe Experience Cloud; offers industry-leading Cloud solutions; works hand-in-hand with the world’s biggest retailers, brands and branded manufacturers across B2C and B2B eCommerce industries; and is recognized as a global power. Every year, Magento handles more than $100 billion in gross merchandise volume.

What are the benefits of using Magento?

Magento offers a host of incredible features for selling nutraceuticals online.

  • Multi-store, multi-site: Magento allows users to create and power many sites from one dashboard, controlled from one admin user interface. This is a huge advantage when it comes to multi-national and multi-site selling. Many nutraceutical companies that use Magento gain major efficiencies by leveraging the multi-store / multi-site feature to control their site(s) from one admin panel and instance while selling on websites for many different brands or countries. Many of Magento’s top competitors don’t offer this feature. These other platforms  force their merchants to create separate sites for selling in different countries or brand segments.

  • Page Builder application: Magento eCommerce provides a Page Builder application that allows users to create content by using drag-and-drop pre-built controls. For eCommerce site managers, this means that there is no coding required. For developers, it means they will use content types to customize Page Builder in order to meet the end user’s needs. With a tool like Page Builder, the cost (and time required) to create new product pages and maintain existing content can be dramatically reduced because code no longer needs to be written.

  • Segmentation: Creating customer segments allows users to target shoppers with unique, personalized marketing and promotions. When used properly, these customer segments can be very powerful tools for increasing engagement and brand loyalty. Magento provides a rules engine that gives administrators the ability to write conditions based on customer purchase history and profile data. For example, a rule could be written to display banner ads featuring the benefits of “subscribe and save” options for customers who purchased something more than three times in a six month period. Using  segmentation, nutraceutical websites can be more effective at building recurring orders.

  • Promotion / content staging and scheduling: Promotions and content changes on the Magento eCommerce platform can be staged for review and testing by site administrators before they are scheduled for public display. This is an extremely useful feature when preparing for large holiday events that entail multiple content changes and promotional rules. For example: Using this tool, users can work to create all of the content and promotions needed for a Black Friday event and then provide links to co-workers and stakeholders that allow for a full preview of how the site will look and function on Black Friday. Then, users can schedule the go-live time for all of the promotions and content changes — so they don’t need to be up at midnight on Black Friday to “flip the switch” and push content changes live.

  • Product bundling: The Magento eCommerce platform offers several product bundling features that provide great flexibility for offering kitted or bundled items with options and discounts. By using the product bundle feature, users can offer supplements with different options for sizes and flavors. This is a unique and powerful feature, as it allows shoppers to choose all of the varieties they need to put together an assorted bundle of products from one page.

  • B2B features: For nutraceutical manufacturers and distributors, Magento offers a full suite of functionality for commonly-required B2B features. Some of these features include companies (organize users, credit limits and catalog by company), credit limits, catalog permissions, pricing by customer group or company, requisition lists, quote requests and user hierarchy / account permissions. These out-of-the-box B2B features dramatically lower customization costs, decrease the time to market for new Magento Commerce B2B websites and lower the total cost of ownership.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform for online nutraceutical sales, Magento stands out. When used properly, this feature-rich platform gives a great deal of competitive advantages over other platforms for nutraceutical websites.

InteractOne is a longstanding, certified Magento partner. To learn more about the power of Magento and how it can power your digital presence, contact us today.

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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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