Build a YouTube “How To” Channel to Turbocharge Traffic to Your Automotive Webstore

Build a YouTube “How To” Channel to Turbocharge Traffic to Your Automotive Webstore

Traditionally, home DIY mechanics and weekend garage warriors always kept a trusty shop manual on their workbenches. Even today, Haynes and Chilton still publish comprehensive maintenance books for virtually every make and model.

However, most gearheads have long left their printed shop manuals by the wayside. Nowadays, you’re more likely to find a smartphone or tablet lying on the shop manual’s former garage pedestal, with the screen open to a YouTube playlist of vehicle maintenance and aftermarket installation videos. 

YouTube is ubiquitous in today’s aftermarket automotive world. Car enthusiasts constantly tune into the platform for everything from customized car showcases to racing coverage to basic aftermarket installation and repair guides.

The latter can be a goldmine for your automotive eCommerce store.

Why Your Store Needs a YouTube Channel

One glance at the stats should convince you: video consumption accounts for over 80% of all Internet traffic, and users spend an average of 2.6 times as long on pages with embedded videos versus those without. 

YouTube is essentially a second incarnation of the Google search engine at this point – the majority of users looking for any type of video content search for it on YouTube, mostly by default. If your automotive store isn’t on the platform, your site is essentially invisible to a huge swath of the market.

Going beyond the surface, there are a myriad of additional benefits. Properly embedded, relevant videos can add a ton of SEO juice to your product pages. That’s doubly true when you’re posting unique video content and Google begins to categorize your site not just as another generic web store, but as an authority in the automotive aftermarket world with a library of quality videos to back up your products.

How to Build an Automotive YouTube Channel 101

  • Brainstorm a Personality for Your Channel

Whether you’re writing content for your store’s blog, product pages, social media channels, or video scripts, your content should maintain an effective and consistent voice. Obviously, what that entails will heavily depend on your unique brand and personality.

For example, you could create a series of purely technical how-to videos with straightforward narration and easy-to-reference tips like tool lists and torque specs. Jegs does a great job of this style in their installation and product videos.

On the other end of the spectrum, you could create a lifestyle-focused channel that showcases products and how-to guides with a lot more flair and personality. American Muscle is a good example of this style with their videos showcasing custom car builds, exhaust sound clips, and generally more creative content.

  • Handpick Your Hot-Ticket Products

Obviously it’s not practical to produce a video for every single aftermarket product you offer. You have to carefully choose the products that will benefit the most from a video showcase to maximize the return on your investment of time and money.

One way to do that is with some good old keyword research. Identify which products receive a large volume of searches alongside related DIY terms like “how-to”, “installation”, “guide”, et cetera. You should also research your competition to see which product videos of theirs receive the most traffic, then capture some of their thunder by publishing your own video highlighting the same product.

A third method of research is to engage directly with your customers. Read their reviews and product feedback, search Google and automotive forums for direct information on the aftermarket brands and products they’re most interested in. Use that research to choose which products to highlight, then use your video to address the most common questions and issues that shoppers bring up.

  • Get Your Videos Seen

The biggest barrier of entry to the YouTube spotlight is the sheer number of videos that are out there. Over 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute! That’s a lot of competition for attention.
However, if you take it one step at a time – consistently publish quality videos with relevant formatting, SEO, and meta content – your channel will begin to naturally climb up the ranks to the top-tier of YouTube. Of course, you can always throw in some paid advertising or clever viral marketing to shift your channel into a higher gear.

Examples of Automotive Sites That Are Doing It RightWhy Brands Partner with Nano and Influencers

We already mentioned American Muscle and Jegs for the quality of their YouTube channels. Now let’s take a look at how those companies integrate their channels with their product pages.

American Muscle makes their product videos immediately visible by placing them directly in their product image galleries.

A shopper who is interested in the product has instant access to a product review, showcase, and/or installation guide. That keeps them from leaving the store to seek out the content elsewhere, which makes them far more likely to refrain from cross-shopping or changing their mind.

American Muscle does another clever thing with the videos on their product pages by including transcripts. Below the fold of the page they embed the full-sized video so shoppers can watch it straight on the page without a popup or external link. Beneath that is a transcript of the video which provides ample opportunities for additional keyword targeting.

Jegs does something similar with their product pages. They don’t go so far as to post full transcripts, but when available they always include a full-sized video embedded at the top of their product specifications. As mentioned, that keeps shoppers on-site and far more likely to complete a purchase.

It’s a Long Road to the Top

If you want your automotive store to compete with the aforementioned big dogs, you’ll have to use every wrench in the digital toolbox to get your site to the front pages of the Internet. Whether it’s YouTube, Google, product aggregators, or social networks, there are a lot of web shops all clamoring for their spot in the limelight.

Building a quality YouTube channel for your aftermarket eCommerce store is one of many major steps in the right direction. If you need help navigating the rest of the way to the top, InteractOne can help you turbocharge the marketing engine of your website so you reach the summit ahead of your competition.

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How to Diagnose and Solve Bounce Rate Issues on Your Automotive Aftermarket Site

How to Diagnose and Solve Bounce Rate Issues on Your Automotive Aftermarket Site

Traditionally, bounce rates in the automotive aftermarket world may have referred to hydraulic suspension kits on low-rider cars, or the spring rate curves on a set of coil-overs. Nowadays, automotive web stores have a different bounce rate to consider: the rate at which users “bounce” off of your page immediately. 

Put simply, high bounce rates are bad: every bounced user is a potential customer that is lost back into cyberspace, likely to search engine page results (SERPs) that link to your biggest competitors. You also get hit with SEO penalties that lower your page ranking.

Use this guide to identify the issues causing your automotive web store to have a high bounce rate, fix the problems, and keep your traffic from flowing straight down the road of Google to your competitors’ sites. If you need more of a primer on bounce rates in general, check out our Bounce Rates 101 blog

 

Solving the Most Common Bounce Rate Issues in Automotive Ecommerce

Naturally, aftermarket automotive sites are subject to all of the usual bounce rate rules as discussed in our aforementioned 101 blog. However, there are also some common issues that tend to plague automotive shops specifically.

  1. Incorrect Part Numbers

The Problem

Many shoppers find parts numbers on OEM and aftermarket manufacturer websites, then copy-paste those numbers into Google. (It’s way more convenient than trying to search by the name of the part and navigating a myriad of filter options.) If your product listing doesn’t match the part number anchoring your page, all of those users are going to click their “back” buttons immediately with a bad taste in their mouths.

The Solution

You’ll have to open up the hood of your website and get the correct part numbers posted. Double-check the parts numbers with the ones listed directly on the manufacturers’ sites. If you pull your product information automatically from a database, you should probably look into using a different database before inaccurate product info drags your site down in the SERPs even further.

  1. Inaccurate Product Images

The Problem

An even more common issue is using inaccurate or generic product images. If a user is shopping for a cold-air intake and they see a picture of a catalytic converter pop up, they’re most likely going to bounce regardless of whether or not the rest of the product listing features accurate, quality information.

The Solution

It’s not feasible to post a specific image of every single aftermarket component you sell – that would practically be a full-time job just keeping up with a single make and model. Tiny, inexpensive components such as connectors, fasteners, and gaskets are bound to be given generic images.

However, that’s not the case with your big-ticket items. When a user is shopping for a $1,000 exhaust system or a $2,000 set of wheels, they definitely want to see multiple unique, high-quality images of the product before they make a purchase. They certainly don’t want to see a generic press image of their vehicle, much less an image of a completely different component.

Update the pictures with high-resolution images straight from the manufacturer’s website, or if you have the product on hand, snap a few unique photos of it yourself. That’ll go a long way to keeping users on the product page, as well as improving the overall quality and authority of your website.

  1. Sold Out or Discontinued Parts

The Problem

Online shoppers are generally an impatient bunch. If they’re searching Google for a specific aftermarket car part, it’s probably because they’re ready to make a purchase. If the product in your listing is sold out or discontinued, those shoppers are likely going to bounce in frustration.

The Solution

There are a few things you can do if you can’t get a product stocked. One option is to update the listing to prominently feature related products from other brands that fit the same make and model – that will potentially keep the user shopping on your page and encourage them to look into other products.

If it’s a highly searched product that has a lot of traffic bouncing off your site, you can try addressing those users directly with a short written post at the top of the product page. Explain the reason for the out-of-stock status – put it in the manufacturer’s court by saying you’re actively working with them to get the product restocked.

For discontinued products, apologize to shoppers and explain when and why the product was discontinued – the idea is that you want them to realize the product will be unavailable to buy from your competitors before they click their “back” buttons. Then, put together a curated list of related products with images that link directly to the product pages.

Putting a Damper on Bounce Rates

Chasing down the source of bounce rate issues can feel like a game of Whack-A-Mole – you resolve one page, get the traffic flowing, then out of nowhere another page is repelling search users like a trampoline.

If you want a more comprehensive and permanent solution, or you simply need help exorcising a particularly stubborn bounce rate demon, let the experts at InteractOne take a look under the hood of your website. We’ll resolve any issues and optimize your content along the way so your site has the horsepower advantage in the race against your competitors.

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Eight keys to Successful Fashion eCommerce Store Product Pages

Eight keys to Successful Fashion eCommerce Store Product Pages

Product pages are key for fashion eCommerce websites because they are generally where customers decide to either make a purchase or leave your website. Therefore, it’s crucial that brands do everything they can to get them right and to keep visitors on-site and shopping.

These pages should provide all of the information that customers need to know about your products, so they must include well-written product descriptions and quality photos—but that’s just the beginning. If you really want to showcase your products and increase your conversion rates, you’ll need to pay attention to the details. Read on for eight keys for creating successful fashion eCommerce product pages. 

 

  • Use a variety of photos
    It might seem easier to stick to either modelled or flat lay (bird’s-eye view) photography, but it’s wise to use both types. Using a variety of photos that are well lit, high quality, and that employ different angles and contexts helps you to minimize customer concern. There’s nothing to hide when the customer can see all sides of the product!

    WP Standard is one brand that depicts their products well, in a range of settings that reflect their shoppers’ realities—or aspirations. The product page for their Vintage Tote Bag includes photos of the bag by itself (with a zoomable function when your computer cursor goes over it), as well as photos of the bag being worn in various settings, and close-up images of the bag with belongings inside it. This allows the shopper to picture themselves with the product.

  • Make variants abundantly clear
    When you offer color or pattern variants of a product, include this information on both the product category page and the product page. Small color swatch buttons alongside each product thumbnail image on your category page are a great way to clearly communicate the options to your shoppers. A note like “more colors available” or a more specific mention of the number of color or pattern variants is also ideal.

    Our client, Sam Villa displays the options available for their shears by size and type (right- or left-handed) via clearly marked buttons. These options are visible on both the category page and the product page (where there are also photos available of all options), making it easy for shoppers to immediately see the variants on offer. WP Standard displays their variants slightly differently—including photos of different colorways of the product on the same product page, so all the customer has to do to view their options is keep scrolling.

  • Include a size chart
    With sizes varying wildly brand to brand, even the most confident shoppers can encounter uncertainty about the size they need. Size charts that are specific to your different product styles can be very helpful in increasing conversions and reducing the amount of returns your eCommerce store has to deal with.

    On each of their product pages, Big Bud Press includes a link to their size charts, which utilize color, illustrations and notes about different styles and how their measurements were taken. They also include a link to their model size guide, which allows customers to view photos and measurements of various models and the sizes of the brand’s clothing that they wear. This is a unique visual offering that enables customers to assess which size they need based on viewing different body types and discerning which model most closely resembles their body type. It’s something the brand is able to do as they regularly work with the same models—if that’s something that your brand also does, it could be a great way to cultivate shoppers’ trust, as well as a sense of community.

  • Keep product descriptions concise and relevant
    When writing product descriptions, consider the most important features or elements of the product, and put those front-and-center. Think of it like a news story—you want the most crucial information right away, so if that’s a special sewing technique, collaboration or inspiration, be sure to include that prominently. You can always go into more detail later on.

    Think about what can be conveyed with an image versus what can only be conveyed via text. For example, it might be hard to capture the comfort level of a pair of shoes via photo, but you can share information about supportive innersoles or special technology in the product description.

  • Reaffirm your brand’s voice and mission
    Whether your brand’s voice is young and witty or angled at a more mature, serious audience, it should shine through in all of your product descriptions. Youthful online fashion retailer DollsKill excels in letting their colorful style come through in every product page, sharing all of the necessary details of the item while keeping the tone of the copy lively.

    Never pass up an opportunity to reaffirm your brand mission. United By Blue does this well, by including the following taglines at the bottom of every product page on their website: “Every product purchased removes one pound of trash,” and “Sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing.” They also include information about the environmental effects of the materials used in that product. This reminds shoppers of the brand’s point of difference and encourages them to click “add to cart” to support their mission.

  • Be clear about costs
    “Unexpected costs” is one of the leading causes of cart abandonment, so the earlier you can communicate, and provide explanations for any additional expenses such as taxes or shipping, the more likely you are to convert visitors. Don’t wait till the cart—put this information on your product pages.

    This also applies to any free shipping, free returns or bundle deals you offer—include that information on all of your product pages, near your “add to cart” button. Transparency is key throughout the eCommerce process. Show your products exactly as they are, and communicate costs clearly up front, and you will gain loyal, repeat customers.

  • Have a simple, well-positioned CTA
    When it comes to your call to action, be mindful of both the clarity of your CTA and the positioning of your CTA button on the page. Something like “add to cart” or “buy now” is all you need—keep it simple.

    If your product page runs long because it includes a lot of photos and information, consider adding a second “buy now” or “add to cart” button at the bottom of the page. That way your shoppers don’t have to scroll all the way back up to the top of the page again after taking in all of the product details.

  • Consider a unique or minimal design
    Don’t be afraid to buck the trends and try different product page designs to let your products shine. Los Angeles brand 69 centers their products with large, animated thumbnails that showcase their commitment to modern experimentalism.

    This brand’s homepage also doubles as their product page, showcasing their inventory with vibrant, clickable photography that changes as your cursor moves over it. Aside from this, the page remains static and minimal, with a clean off-white background and a simple sans-serif font. It’s eye-catching and effective in showing exactly what they’re about.

As you can see, product pages are about a lot more than just photos and copy. These are just some of the considerations you should take into account. For more, please get in touch with us.

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Padawan Series: How to Take Your Apparel Brand Online

Padawan Series: How to Take Your Apparel Brand Online

Today, eCommerce is more important for brands than ever. With physical limitations in place for the foreseeable future, having a strong online presence is crucial. 

Your eCommerce platform needs to accurately reflect your business and its values, as well as your services or products. But it also needs to adhere to industry standards. With Google Search recently announcing it will be favoring websites with great UX, now is the time to translate the positive experience your customers have with you and your products into a positive user experience, or UX, on your website.

Fortunately, we are all in “an environment where imagination and technical ability, not wealth, are the only barriers.” That means if you’re driven and committed to succeeding online, you can. 

Here are six actionable tips for how to take your apparel brand online.

Choose a clean, simple design

For a strong first impression, choose a clean, minimal theme for your website. This makes it easier for customers to immediately identify your central product(s) and ethos. If your brand already has a visual identity in terms of colors, patterns or textures, these should be incorporated into your website’s design. This is key to creating a positive brand experience. It also gives your returning customers the assurance that they’re in the right place. New customers will feel confident when they see this consistency across your website, social media pages and in photos of your operations. With this consistency, you’re sending a visual message that this same commitment to quality translates to your products or services. A streamlined homepage also ensures a faster load time for your website, which is another crucial element of good UX, especially when considering the fact that 57% of visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Have a strong logo and high-quality photos

Make it clear who you are by putting your logo front and center on your homepage. It should be high resolution and scalable for mobile. Test your website on as many different devices as possible—on desktop and mobile, as well as tablets and Android and iPhone devices. This will help you identify and minimize any bugs. It may sound obvious, but by taking the time to brand your eCommerce store consistently and clearly, you’re ensuring it communicates the same level of professionalism that you have in every one of your client interactions. Represent your products and services well with clear, high quality and relevant photos. Clients will be much more likely to place an order if they know exactly what they’re getting. If you can, invest in original photography, instead of stock photography. It’s another way to stand out among your competitors, and adds a personal touch.

Be mindful of your SEO

Alongside your quality photos, you’ll need descriptions of your products or services. These should be short and sweet, and employ sound SEO tactics. Try to strike a balance between natural language and industry terminology. You want to attract people who are looking for your services and products, but not drive people away who may be unfamiliar with the lingo. Whatever you do, don’t go overboard and jam a bunch of jargony search terms in a sentence. Google can and does punish websites that try to trick the system with keyword overload. So remember, like your visual design, clean and simple is key.

Have an awesome ‘about’ page

Clients and customers want to know and trust the people behind the brands they’re supporting. They are searching for brands whose values align with their own. This doesn’t mean you need to divulge your life story on your website (unless it’s relevant to your business). But a few personal touches can go a long way in garnering loyal clients. Let them get to know you by adding an ‘About’ page to your eCommerce platform, and share a bit about who you are and what you do. We recommend adding staff photos and short biographies for your ‘higher profile’ employees.

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly

Nowadays we use our cellphones for almost everything, so you can be sure a lot of your clients will be coming to you that way. More than half of online shoppers make purchases using a mobile device, so while you spend hours sharpening your desktop site, ensure you also pay attention to how it scales, and optimize each page for mobile. Users who have a negative experience in your mobile store are said to be 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future. So try to ensure your mobile site loads as smoothly and quickly as possible. An effective, simple and cost-effective way to do this is by implementing a Progessive Web App (PWA) to your mobile site, which replicates the app experience on a mobile browser, for a fraction of the cost and commitment of a Native App. Learn more about PWAs in our recent blogs.

Keep track of your analytics

Once your website is up and running, keep track of its performance via analytics, and adjust where necessary. Not getting many visitors for a certain product or service? Try adjusting your SEO in that area by researching the latest popular search terms and updating your copy. Ensure you keep your website up to date with any new services or products you add, and consider adding these to your homepage, for visibility. It pays to check in regularly on how your website is performing. Consider making a calendar reminder for yourself to look at your analytics. Keeping your SEO strong will help keep your business strong, too.

Conclusion

By taking the time to get the basics right, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful eCommerce platform for your apparel business. Represent your brand online as you would in-person—with your unique style, care and attention to detail. If you’d like some extra help with taking your apparel brand online, click here to speak to a member of our team.

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Padawan Series: Content Strategy Tactics for Your Apparel & Accessories Brand

Padawan Series: Content Strategy Tactics for Your Apparel & Accessories Brand

Your apparel and accessories eCommerce’s main communication with customers is through your webstore’s content. Content encompasses all the digital assets (written copy, images, graphics and videos) created for a brand whether it is for your website, social media, text messages or emails. Consumers prefer companies that have content that not only is memorable but adds some type of value to their lives. Having a successful and efficient content strategy will put your brand a step above your competitors. In this guide, you will learn different content strategy tactics to improve your apparel and accessories eCommerce.

Create a Content Marketing Funnel

It’s best to have a content marketing funnel that will guide you and your customers. A content funnel visualizes the process or journey that potential customers go through while making a purchase decision. This content marketing funnel splits into three main sections: the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel. Each section has a specific purpose and action that it pushes your customers to perform.

 Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

The top of the content funnel is where you grab your customers’ attention. The main focus of the TOFU is to show brand awareness and increase site traffic. To show brand awareness, you’ll want to include content with value that answer questions or solve problems. The main content of this section of the funnel includes blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media updates and infographics. As a way to increase site traffic, your company needs to consider implementing email marketing and social media marketing to gain a wide range of customers.

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

Once customers know your brand and have received some type of free value, it’s time to convert them into a lead. The middle of the funnel is where your company focuses on lead generation and building a deeper relationship with your customers by creating content that educates and informs. You can build trust by sending personalized emails to your shoppers. Educating and informing customers can come in many forms like offers, your brand’s story, shipping or return guidelines. The type of content you will use in this section of the funnel includes white papers, ebooks, reports, studies, quizzes, webinars, guides and emails.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)

The bottom of the funnel persuades leads to complete a purchase. Conversions through a paid service or product by using personalized content is the main focus of the BOFU. It takes more than just building a relationship with your customers to gain a sale. The BOFU is also where your webstore should utilize discounts and offers to convert shoppers into leads. Customer reviews, promo codes, discounts and demos are types of content you will see in this section of the funnel. 

Once you have a solid content marketing funnel, you will have an easier time reaching a larger audience. Creating a successful content funnel can be tedious and time-consuming, that’s why we recommend working with a marketing firm that understands and can implement an efficient content funnel.

Focus on Value

Focusing on value is where you understand where your customer is coming from and what they are looking for. Simply put, you need to understand what they ‘value’. This is the first step in building a deeper connection with your audience. Instead of sending out emails and posts that are promotion-heavy, create content that can help your brand gain credibility. One of the ways your eCommerce webstore can focus on value is to tell interesting stories through customer reviews, videos and influencers using your products. By creating an interesting story about your apparel company, you are allowing customers to relate and build a deeper relationship.

Keep Content Concise, Compelling and Impactful

Your apparel and accessories brand will communicate with your customers through content. This communication needs to include all aspects of your brand, any discounts or any other relevant information. The best way to communicate to your customers  all the elements your company needs to display is by keeping your content concise and compelling yet impactful. Users don’t want to spend too much time trying to find the product or information they are looking for. Ideally, they want the information in 30 seconds of less. However, this doesn’t mean you have to abandon creative assets. Instead, your brand needs to have a way to create content that is memorable and fun but still has an impact on your customers. You’ll want all your content to persuade shoppers to purchase. 

Schuler Shoes has a great example of content that is concise, compelling yet impactful:

Create Shoppable Social Media Content

Shoppable social media content can give your company an additional channel from which to make  sales. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest allow customers to shop for products from the original post. Just as a reference of how powerful shoppable posts are, over 130 million users tap and shop on shoppable Instagram posts per month. While creating any type of shoppable content on social media, you need to include clear call-to-action like buy now or shop now. Also, include enticing and memorable written copy, videos or photos. We know that social media isn’t for every company; however, if you want tips on how to improve your social media platforms, keep reading here.

Use Email Marketing Personalization

80% of customers are more likely to complete a purchase from a company that offers personalized experiences. A great way to offer your customers this personalized experience is through email marketing personalization. Creating a personalized email doesn’t mean you have to individually design every email to cater specifically to each customer. Instead, you can personalize an email’s content based on demographics, geological location and what the customer has viewed or bought in the past. Emails like cart abandonment and seasonal themes or promotions work well with personalization. These types of emails not only give customers a personalized experience but also give them an action to complete. To make email marketing easier, you can work with a knowledgeable marketing firm or utilize one of the many email marketing extensions that can help you manage your emails and their performance.

Improve Customer Service

Content doesn’t end with social media posts, emails and your website, instead, it also boosts  your brand’s customer service. The outcomes, whether it is a positive or negative interaction, of your brand’s customer service affect how shoppers view your company. 78% of consumers have backed out of a purchase due to negative customer service. So how does an apparel webstore have great customer service through content? In general, customers want content that answers questions on multiple channels including mobile, emails and social media. The answers to these questions shouldn’t take long and should in turn help the user. Studies show that 40% of customers want information, answers, offers and deals from chatbots. These chatbots give them automatic answers without having to wait a long time for real customer service representatives to solve any of their issues. 

Conclusion

Your webstore’s content encompasses many different elements of your company. These were just some of the content strategy tactics to help improve your apparel and accessories eCommerce. There are many more ways that content can help your brand increase traffic and sales. To discover the best content strategy tactics for your company, contact us today.

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Padawan Series: eCommerce and Pharmaceuticals: Popularity, Benefits and How to Get Started

Padawan Series: eCommerce and Pharmaceuticals: Popularity, Benefits and How to Get Started

As a pharmaceutical manufacturer or distributor growing your brand online is vital. In fact, eCommerce has never been more popular or more important for a business. But why is e-commerce so necessary, how do you make sure that it’s effective and how do you get started? In this article, we’ll explore all of this and more.

Why do you need eCommerce for your pharma brand?

eCommerce is growing in popularity every day for all industries—and for the pharmaceutical industry, this couldn’t be more true. The current size of the online pharmacy market is valued around $50 million, and it’s projected to reach upwards of $170 million in the next few years. Currently, online prescription orders account for about 25% of pharmaceuticals sold in the United States—and that number grows every day.

What’s the benefit of eCommerce for consumers?

The age group that’s most likely to purchase medication online is 35 to 44-year-olds. This demographic is busy with spouses, kids, pets, jobs, friends, family and recreational activities. As a result, they choose to purchase many products, including medication online. In addition, older demographics are increasingly more comfortable with technology and thus more interested in buying medication online too. This popularity is increasing for the following reasons.

Convenience: For many people, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get to a local pharmacy. That’s why they rely on the quick push of a button on their phone or computer to order their medication. It’s quick and simple.

Less exposure: Older demographics are more likely to seek out ways to reduce their exposure to sickness, especially now during the COVID-19 outbreak. Ordering their medication online—instead of going to the store—is a much safer option for them.

Auto-ship: Having medications on auto-ship takes having to remember out of the equation. It’s automatic, it’s one less thing to worry about and people are way less likely to miss their important meds.

Privacy: Buying medication online eliminates the embarrassment that can come from purchasing certain meds in person.

What’s the benefit of eCommerce for you?

When selling pharmaceuticals, there are countless benefits of having everything available online for your business. Here are just a few.

Data, analytics and metrics: When customers purchase medication online, you now have access to some of their personal information. Over time, this data can be compiled so that you can learn more about each customer and your overall customer base. For example, analytics can show each customer’s purchasing behaviors, demographics and more. Companies can then use this digital data to improve their marketing, stock their shelves more effectively and better engage with customers.

Less competition: When people visit a pharmacy, there are lots of options on the shelf—and many of them may have the same active ingredient as your product but can  also be less expensive. This can cause your brand to lose market share. However, by selling online, there’s less blatant competition at the time of purchase.

Lower shipping costs: When companies can produce medication in one single location and then send it directly to consumers—instead of paying for multiple regional warehouses to stock the products—the shipping costs become exponentially lower.

Build Relationship with the Customer: For manufacturers and distributors, having an eCommerce presence allows you to eliminate steps in the distribution process, each of which carries a cost.

How can you ensure that your company is ready for e-commerce?

As a pharmaceutical manufacturer, distributor or retailer, it’s important to jump on the eCommerce bandwagon sooner rather than later. If you’re only selling vitamins and supplements, this is a relatively simple process. Just list your products online and allow people to buy them directly from your website.

However, if you sell prescription products, things are more involved. You’ll need to be sure that you’ve built a verification functionality into your site and have a process for authenticating all purchases.

No matter what type of pharmaceuticals you’re selling, it’s crucial that you have all product information readily available on your website. Nutrition facts, labels and any other pertinent information need to be obvious and easy to follow. This will help keep you out of hot water in terms of the many legalities of pharma.

How should you get started in the e-commerce world?

You might be reading this and now know about the importance of eCommercebut what if you have no online webstore? Don’t panic.

The first step to take is to develop a website that’s eCommerce friendly. There are many platforms from which to choose (and we can help you with this). Once you have your e-commerce website up and running, you have to figure out how to get people there! This is done by focusing on solid SEO practices and creating social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), as well as ongoing  email campaigns. These tactics will make people more aware of your brand and get them more engaged with what you offer.

Conclusion

With more and more people needing the convenience, safety and privacy that online pharma can provide, it’s no wonder that e-commerce sales increase every day. And when pharma companies know how to effectively sell online, they’ll reap the benefits for years to come.

To learn more about how InteractOne can help implement and grow your pharmaceutical eCommerce initiatives, contact us today.

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SEO Checklist: What to Fix to Drive Sales

SEO Checklist: What to Fix to Drive Sales

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a huge role in how a website ranks on search engines and how well existing and potential customers can find your webstore and its products. There are three types of SEO categories that companies need to focus on: technical, on-page and external. Each one of these types has multiple steps and related suggestions for creating an optimized website.  If you follow the steps in this checklist you’ll be on your way to improved SEO, better search rankings and more traffic to your site.

Structure Your Content

Since content is the main communication between a brand and a customer, it is crucial to create valuable content whether it is copy, videos, graphics or call to actions that are concise, memorable and impactful. On average, consumers leave a page within ten seconds unless the website includes a clear value proposition. Your content needs to focus on value by understanding who your customer is, where they are coming from and what their interests are.  Valuable content isn’t the only aspect your brand should focus on. Google analyzes all content on your website whether it is copy, images and videos. If structured correctly, search engines can easily understand your site content. For effective on-page SEO, you need to keep your site content skim-friendly by using headlines, subheadings, graphics and images. Users should be able to find the information they are looking for fast and efficiently.

Use and Strategically Place Keywords

Keywords play a huge rule for your on-page SEO. These keywords help your existing and potential customers find your site and your products organically on search engines. Don’t just go placing random keywords all over your content pages. It’s important to do keyword research on your targeted audience. While doing this research, keep in mind their demographics, geological location and what their interests are. There are many keyword search extensions and tools that can narrow down your search like Spyfu, Google Analytics and SEMRush. (If you’re lacking the resources or know-how to do this sort of research we recommend working with a marketing agency.) Once you know your keywords,  you can begin to strategically place them throughout your webstore.

Titles 

Using your main keyword in your titles on blogs, product pages, landing pages and homepages is a must. It is one of the first places your customer will find your site, page or even product. You will want to place your top keyword in front of your title. While working on the title of your page, you will also want to add title tag modifiers. Title tag modifiers are words or phrases that help your page rank for loads of long-tail keywords.

First 150 Words

Search engines like Google heavily focus on the first 150 words of your web page. The first 150 words need to include your main keyword at least once. You can also include a few of your other minor keywords. However, remember to not overuse your main or minor keywords in the first 150 words or the rest of your piece. If you’re attempting to shoehorn your keyword(s) as much as possible into the body of your content it will be obvious to your readers (and to the search engines) and make the content less readable. Distribute them sparselessly throughout the page and site..

H1, H2 and H3 Tags

Heading tags are the tags you use to size your title and subheadings. This allows your readers or shoppers to know the layout of the web page or article. While using heading tags, you will want to keep them as organized as possible and use relevant keywords. Even though these tags don’t make a huge contribution to your search engine rankings, every element helps.

Include a Meta Description

Meta descriptions describe or summarize the contents on your page for search engine ranking benefits. Here’s an example of what a meta description looks like from Fawn Shoppe, a brand that InteractOne worked with:

You want your meta description to be helpful to your customers by using your keywords to help build the context of your content. Each page on your webstore must have a unique meta description that ranges from 50 to 300 words.

Use Synonyms and LSI Keywords

While doing your keyword research, you will have one main keyword and multiple minor keywords. Instead of oversaturating your main keyword, you are going to want to use synonyms of that keyword or latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords. LSI keywords are terms related to the main keyword that help search engines like Google to more deeply understand your webstore’s content. There are many extensions that your company can use to find the proper LSI keywords to use like LSIGraph. For ranking purposes, you will want to use your main keyword a couple of times and then add synonyms throughout the content. For better help on finding synonyms or LSI keywords that work best for your eCommerce, work with a knowledgeable marketing firm who knows the ins and outs of SEO marketing.

Optimize All Images to Include Alt Attributes

Any webstore’s images play a role in on-page search engine optimization. Since your website will prominently feature images, it is important to optimize all the site’s images to include alt attributes. Alt attributes help search engines identify the content on a web page. It is also the perfect opportunity to include your keywords. Optimizing your company’s images doesn’t just end with the image itself but also includes the image’s file name. When you are saving an image, name it with words and keywords that describe the image. Alt texts and file names further explain to search engines what it is and what your website is about.

Customize Your URLs

The first element of your webstore is the URL. It is that address that customers access your website from. Even though search engines can index non-customized URLs, customizing your URL is the perfect opportunity to include keywords and context of what the page is about. Including keywords in your URL can improve your organic click-through-rate (CTR). As you already know, organic CTR is the percentage of users that click on the search results. The CTR also influences a brand’s ranking on search engines. Also, keep in mind that recent studies show that URLs that are short rank the best on search engines. These shorter URLs are normally rich in keywords that help search engines evaluate what it is about.

Include External and Internal Links

To help gain a higher ranking on Google and other search engines, your brand needs to build a trusted site. You can build a trust-worthy webstore by linking trusted, well-referenced websites to your company’s site. These outbound well-referenced website links are known as external links. External links can display on blogs, social media, about pages, frequently asked questions pages and more. Search engine optimization experts recommend linking five to eight authoritative sources on your blogs. To drive more traffic to different pages on your webstore, your site must include internal links as well. Internal links are links that take a user to other pages on your website. You can use internal links (also known as cross-links) on blogs, social media and other pages throughout your site. If you are posting on a blog, SEO experts recommend linking two to five different pages on your site. It is also important to use keyword-rich anchor text when you use external and internal links.

Kabayare Fashion provides an excellent example of including multiple internal links on their Returns and Exchanges page:

Conclusion

For a successful on-page SEO strategy, you must implement each of these tactics. Each one of these steps, when working in tandem, will create a stronger, more desirable site in the eyes of search engines. Each one of these elements on their own won’t necessarily increase your webstore’s ranking; however, marrying all the aspects will create a business that will organically increase traffic. You have to figure out the best SEO tactics alone. Contact us today to learn how we can help increase  your traffic through search engine optimization.

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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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Fashion and the Art of the Cart Abandonment Email

Fashion and the Art of the Cart Abandonment Email

Even the most successful web stores suffer from cart abandonment, which is the term for when customers go through a portion of the purchase process and then leave the website before completing checkout. There can be any one of a hundred reasons why a customer abandons their cart. Sometimes it’s intentional, but sometimes carts are abandoned by accident, because the website timed out or crashed, or the shopper accidentally closed the browser.

According to Bolt, the average cart abandonment rate for clothing is 40%—which is more than the cart abandonment rate for home, tech and fitness combined. HubSpot points out that only 19% of the top 1,000 eCommerce companies engage in any kind of shopping cart abandonment recovery, yet 50% of customers who frequently abandon their carts will complete their purchase when prompted to. So it’s clear that eCommerce websites should be sending cart abandonment emails, otherwise they’re leaving money on the table. Read on for six tips for successful cart abandonment emails for fashion eCommerce websites.

Timing is everything

Contact your customer at the right times. Do this by setting up a series of automated cart recovery emails, or what’s known as a drip campaign. For example, you could set your system to send your first cart reminder email one hour after abandonment, then a second follow-up email a few days later, followed by a third email, perhaps with a promotional discount, a few days after that.

The discount could be a percentage off the product price, free shipping or a bundle deal—it’s up to you. You may want to try waiting to send the first email three to five hours after initial cart abandonment, if one hour after feels too soon. This timing is also something you could A/B test. You’ll never know what kind of timing your customer base responds to best unless you test it. However, it’s important to not become too predictable with your cart abandonment deals, otherwise your customers could learn to wait for coupons to arrive before revisiting their cart and making their purchase. (We’ll be covering A/B testing more, later on in this blog.)

Personalization is key

Make sure your emails are set up so that they specifically reference the product that was abandoned in the customer’s cart. They should include the product image, name and price in the body of the email, and directly reference the product they left behind in the email subject line. They should also address the customer by name—this makes it feel more tailor-made and personal. The more personal your email, the more likely it is to succeed.

You may also choose to have your system set up to trigger an email to one of your sales associates at the same time, so that when your shopper is recovered they can be assisted through the sales process by someone with all of the necessary details. This might only be necessary for larger purchases, B2B companies, or a product that requires customization.

AB test different tones

Witty, straightforward, or somewhere in-between? You need to explore all types of angles in your subject line copy in order to see which tone works best for your brand, but above all your cart abandonment emails should match the tone of your other marketing efforts.

You could try a straightforward subject line like “You left something” or “It looks like you forgot something”, but subject lines that include the product the shopper was looking at—and address the shopper by name—are ideal. For example, “[Name], your new favorite [jeans] are almost gone!”

Humor can also be effective—Adidas used this angle: “Is your Wi-Fi okay? Maybe your browser crashed when looking at [insert product name here].” Australian brand BlackMilk Clothing used this line: “Where’d you go?! That gear in your cart is lonely :(” You could also try the tactic of addressing the customer as if they didn’t intentionally leave the products in the cart, by having copy that says something like, “We can’t send you your [product] yet, because you haven’t completed the purchase…” You won’t know which tone will work best with your particular customers until you start testing some out.

To learn more about A/B testing, check out our recent blogs, “7 Simple A/B Tests to Improve Your eCommerce Site” and “How to A/B Test Your Magento Site to More Conversions”.

Assuage Their Concerns

Common reasons for cart abandonment include slow delivery and concerns about the quality, fit or price of the clothing. If you can follow up and reduce or eliminate these concerns, you’ll be more likely to convert this visitor into a customer. Start by promoting your delivery options, including speed and price. If you are able to offer free shipping, be sure to make this very clear in your follow-up emails.

You could also include copy that highlights the product quality, or shares positive customer reviews of that product. This could be as simple as having a subject line like: “There are ★★★★★ products in your cart!” Or you could include the number of product reviews and the average rating alongside the product name and photo in the body of the email. You could also offer a discount, as suggested earlier. And of course make your return policies clear, to relieve any concern the customer may have about being stuck with an item that’s not right for them.

Do Special Themed Emails During Holidays

Customers who abandon carts during or approaching holidays would likely benefit from holiday-themed emails that offer limited-time deals. For example, you’ll want to include messaging that refers to expected shipping times and also limited supplies of stock in emails that are sent a few weeks before Christmas. Everyone knows there’s only so much time to put in an order, so this could be the nudge many customers need to get clicking and complete theirs.

Keep Testing

Along with the tone of your email body copy and subject lines, you’d be wise to A/B test variations on design, sending times and Call To Actions (CTAs), to see what works best with your audience. Different CTAs to try could include “resume your order”, “complete your purchase”, “check out now”, “restore my cart” or “complete checkout”.

You might also like to try highlighting just the highest-rated or most popular product the customer left in their cart, instead of trying to sell multiple items at once. One eye-catching, recognizable product image might be enough to convert that customer. You can then tailor your copy to talk about that product and what’s made it so popular—and how popular it is, to play on the FOMO aspect (or Fear Of Missing Out, which is a huge driver of sales). You could also include a recent customer review of the product, for an extra push. Test and keep testing until you find what works best for your brand.

Conclusion

Cart abandonment email strategies are a lot like traditional retail sales strategies—they require trial and error. So don’t be afraid to keep testing and tweaking your strategy until something sticks. For help on narrowing down your options and choosing a successful strategy, talk to our team today.

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Padawan Series: eCommerce and Pharmaceuticals: Popularity, Benefits and How to Get Started

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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