Optimizing your eCommerce Site for Mobile to Boost Sales

Optimizing your eCommerce Site for Mobile to Boost Sales

Optimize eCommerce for Mobile

In 2019, mobile phone users utilize their devices in many more ways than just communicating with someone on the other end. Today, individuals often also surf the web and shop on the go using mobile devices. This is why it is vital to have an eCommerce website that is completely mobile-friendly. Optimizing your business website for mobile commerce is an absolute necessity if you want to capture the growing number of individuals who use such devices to shop online. Here are some tips on how you can optimize mobile eCommerce as a way of boosting your sales.

Get Rid of Invasive Ads and Pop-Ups

Websites with frequent pop-ups, opt-ins, and ‘special offers’ are a nuisance for users because they inhibit attention to the core tasks of browsing and shopping. It is also important to note that Google considers invasive on-site ads and pop-ups as part of the causes of poor user experience. The implication, in this case, is that Google will most probably ensure that your eCommerce site is not part of the results that appear after a particular search, making it harder for people to find your site. Eliminating invasive ads and pop-ups from your company’s website optimizes it for mobile devices, which increases the potential of realizing more sales.

Prioritize Fast Site Load Times

The last thing that online shoppers want to encounter whenever they visit your eCommerce website is delays due to site loading times. Buyers who experience the frustration of lengthy load times on your website will move on to competitors. If your site loads various pages fast, it will not only encourage existing and potential customers to stay longer, but it will also increase the probability of realizing conversions.

Some of the approaches you can use to improve the load times for your company website include implementation of AMP protocols, optimization of images, use of a caching plugin, and limiting the amount of content on the pages of your site. Remember that the internet is full of online stores and for that reason, individuals who shop using mobile devices will always have options to choose from if your website is not fast enough.

Avoid Bulky Content

While it may be true that online shoppers want to know just about everything about your products and services before making a purchase, it still doesn’t mean that they want too much information. Bulky content that includes way more information than is necessary makes it difficult for mobile users to make a decision about whether or not to buy your product, a significant setback for your enterprise. Strike a balance between too much information and not enough by providing only the  necessary details for online shoppers, as this promotes readability on mobile devices and will eventually improve sales.

Consider Responsiveness and An Attractive Web Design

Investing in mobile eCommerce when your company website is not compatible with mobile devices does not make sense. Compatibility is a necessity if you want your online store to boost your sales. For instance, you may realize that your site looks great on your desktop, but inappropriate for mobile devices for various reasons including difficulties clicking on certain elements, loss of some information, loading challenges, and more. If your website does not meet your expectations and those of your customers when you visit it using your phone, you should consider a redesign to enhance the appeal and responsiveness of that site. Mobile-friendly website designs directly improve user experience, which allow you to extend the reach of your online store.

Redesigning your website to be more mobile-friendly may call for the involvement of an expert, but the investment is worth it because the end result will promote increased sales and  profitability. If you need more information on ideas for optimizing mobile commerce to increase sales, contact us today!

5 Key Reasons to Integrate Your ERP With Your B2B eCommerce Platform

5 Key Reasons to Integrate Your ERP With Your B2B eCommerce Platform

Integrate ERP

Regardless of your business’ market niche, software integration is inevitably one of the major drivers of efficiency. This is why for many companies, including those in the eCommerce space, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software suites have quickly become a standard tool for managing a business.

However, many existing ERP solutions function separately from some of the most common eCommerce systems, leaving the purchasing process outside of an otherwise tightly integrated network of software.

This article takes a look at five key reasons why it may be worth the financial investment and IT effort to integrate your ERP with your eCommerce platform—but first, we’ll hit the brakes and get into the basics of ERP for the uninitiated.

What Is ERP?

ERP—a shorthand for Business Process Management Software—is a system of fully integrated software for managing most or all aspects of a business. Rather than having many entirely isolated databases, trackers, and tools, a functional ERP seeks to share data across each aspect of a business in real-time. All aspects of a business can utilize an ERP: sales can access data from project planning, marketing can look at sales results immediately, and development can check on manufacturing to target inefficiencies—all from the same interwoven ERP solution.

While this may sound great, many eCommerce platforms are often built in isolation from this internal system, in part because they are customer facing. From a continuity and simplicity standpoint, this is a major missed opportunity. Let’s take a further look at several major reasons why efficiency for any business doing heavy online sales means integrating ERP with eCommerce platforms:

Organizational Readiness

Rolling your eCommerce platform into the fold of your ERP creates a major opportunity for organizational readiness. With eCommerce data available at a glance for all departments, each sales teams can react to changes in customer behavior—fast.

Why get caught flat-footed? Integration between ERP and eCommerce keeps everyone on the same page, even during periods where market circumstances are changing fast.

Full Access to Important eCommerce Data From Anywhere In the World

B2B eCommerce differs from consumer-facing sales in a major way: it requires hands-on attention between your business and prospective clients. These are inevitably niche products and services, that often require ongoing support. So empowering sales representatives and troubleshooting staff with data at all times and places is an incredible tool to leverage. If a customer has an issue that inevitably ends up interwoven with the eCommerce side, having support staff have the answers to their questions straight from their mobile device even while attending to a customer in person is crucial.

Accounting Stays Consistent

Accounting is rarely a one-size-fits-all process, even while working within the same market niche. Fully integrating ERP with eCommerce simplifies the process and gets it much closer to a level of true standardization. Full integration results in fewer mistakes, faster results, and much less time spent on manual data entry.

Simplified Processes

One of the stranger things about doing business in the digital era is how complex all of these systems often are. Before ERP systems became prominent, employees spent massive amounts of time training on multiple software suites, and yet more time dealing with bugs and mistakes between these isolated systems. Integrating your eCommerce platform with your ERP suite cuts down on yet another source of this type of problem. Your business will spend less time on training and more time focusing on some of the more important tasks at hand.

Making Your IT’s Job Easier

Not only does integrating ERP and eCommerce platforms cut down on the various patchwork solutions IT normally has to come up with to connect databases, but it also centralizes security.

IT no longer has to monitor multiple separate systems, instead having firewalls and other security measures in place across the entire integrated system. Less total working hours are required, and a single security pass gives a boost to every aspect of your business.

These points are just the beginning of how integrating eCommerce platforms with ERP can streamline the hard work that props up a top-tier B2B company. Interested in learning more? Don’t hesitate to contact us at InteractOne today.

Strategies for Product Page Optimization

Strategies for Product Page Optimization

Product Page SEO

Optimizing your product pages with well-researched and thoughtful content that speaks to your target customer can have a big impact in terms of visibility and sales. Fortunately, there are a variety of tips and tricks your eCommerce business can employ to make your products stand out in a world of similarity. Begin this process by trying to understand your customer as much as possible, and then try the tips we’ve listed below to effectively optimize product pages.

Do Your Research

Don’t make the mistake of targeting completely generic keywords associated with your products – you’ll be missing out on an abundance of terms that may assist with organic traffic. Instead, research how your customers search for solutions to problems or products that you offer. Start by Googling phrases and don’t hit enter – review what Google suggestions appear in the search box or interview your customer service staff (or customers directly) to better understand their journey in finding your products. Answer the Public is also one of our favorite search insight tools to help generate content ideas for the next steps in optimizing product pages.

Embrace SEO Best Practices

Once you’ve established which phrases customers search for in relation to your products, incorporate them into your product page and surrounding content. Aside from the required product details, all content on the product page, including images and video, should explain how and why that product solves problems and improves the lives of customers. Highlight features and benefits, lifestyle improvements and how-to style content with whatever media your demographic best consumes.

Title Tags and Meta Descriptions  

Typically your page title and meta descriptions are the first messages customers see when your product appears directly within a search results page. Understand that often times customers arrive to your products via different avenues, but fine tuning the messages that customers see will help you stand out from the proverbial meta tag templates that have grown in popularity for the sake of automation. If it’s worth putting on your site, it’s worth doing right.

For more SEO tips and tricks, check out 3 Ways Merchants Can Improve SEO.

Rich Snippets  

Rich Snippets are typically set up within your template and forgotten about, but recently we’ve seen module updates or lack of attention result in broken snippets. Google is also making use of more markup as the search landscape evolves, especially in the travel and food industry in recent months. We recommend auditing your markup every few months to ensure the basic product schema (SKU, title, price) as well as additional snippets, such as reviews and ratings, are identified properly.

Internal Linking

This is more about providing multiple pathways to your products than optimizing the actual product page, but it’s important to note that the more links you include to specific products across your site increases the importance of said products to both customers and search engines. Don’t go crazy, but link to specific products from relevant content within your blog, cross-link between similar or complementary products, highlight popular or new products from your homepage, categories, or custom landing pages. The key here is relevancy – create journeys to your products from multiple touchpoints in an effort to lead customers to the ultimate answer to their questions or problems.

Supporting Content

In addition to the on-page product descriptions and content, more popular or profitable products are worthy of additional content in the form of blog articles, press releases, case studies, testimonials, influencer reviews, or additional how-to and review videos. This shareable content should all link directly back to the product page and, again, target specific answers to questions or problems that the product helps to solve. This kind of supporting content will educate your audience about your products and brand, as well as provide links back to the product page.

Implementing SEO best practices and making sure you have the SEO basics in place will also help you succeed in other marketing initiatives.  If your website is not accessible and your content is not relevant or, if your page doesn’t display well on mobile, you will be penalized. Fortunately, InteractOne is skilled and experienced at SEO implementation for eCommerce. For more details on SEO and how we can help get you going, please contact us today.

Magento 2.3.1: What’s New?

Magento 2.3.1: What’s New?

Magento 2.3.1

Like many people in the Magento community, we’ve been waiting for the release of Magento 2.3.1 since its arrival date was teased at the MagentoLive convention in Australia back in February. Now, that wait is up. Magento 2.3.1 was released on March 26 and includes merchant tool enhancements, infrastructure updates, performance boosts and more. This marks the first major incremental update to Magento version 2.3.x.

This release includes over 200 functional fixes to the core product, over 500 pull requests contributed by the community, and over 30 security enhancements, so unfortunately, we can’t discuss them all. We are going to highlight some of the most promising updates that Magento 2.3.1 has to offer, but if you’re searching for more detail or want information on a specific improvement, read the release notes here.

Here’s what’s new:

Page Builder

The new Page Builder functionality within Magento will allow merchants to customize web pages without writing HTML or CSS. Features will include:

  • Drag and drop content creation
  • Content block editors
  • Live previews and updates to your design
  • Form editors for data collection

See Page Builder User Guide and Page Builder Developer Documentation for more information. This feature is only available on Magento Commerce.

Inventory Management 1.1.0

The Magento Multi-Source Inventory (in short MSI) allows merchants to manage all inventory sources without any third-party extensions or platforms. In this update, multiple new features have been added after multiple requests from the Magento Community Hub. See Inventory Management Release Notes for more information about specific fixes, but see below for a few improvements.

  • Improved Support for Elasticsearch and Inventory Management. This community-developed feature means that all site searches now return correct products and quantities when Elasticsearch is used as the search engine. As of this release, this will be the default option from Magento 2.3 moving forward.
  • Distance Priority Source Selection algorithm (SSA) option. When enabling this algorithm, merchants can reduce fulfillment costs by shipping orders from the closest inventory locations. This option utilizes address geocoding through the Google Maps API to assess which delivery route is the shortest. See Manage source selection algorithms for more details.
  • Enhancements to mass inventory transfers. This process has been optimized to improve speed and reduce locking during transfers.

Merchants Have the Ability to Set Resizing and Compression Requirements

Previously, when merchants uploaded product images larger than 1920 x 1200, Magento automatically compressed and resized the image. With this update, merchants can set requirements for resizing and compression as well as target width and height and compression quality.

Updates to Bundled Extensions

This release of Magento includes extensions developed by third-party vendors like Amazon Pay, dotdigital Engagement Cloud, and Vertex. More specifically,

Amazon Pay:

  • Added multi-currency support for EU and U.K. merchants. See Use multi-currency for an introduction to using this new feature with Magento 2.x.

Dotdigital Engagement Cloud (formerly dotmailer):

  • Support for Marketing preferences has been added to the customer account dashboard area.
  • If enabled, the customer consent text in the customer’s account dashboard area is now displayed as the general subscription text.
  • The abandoned cart and automation process now benefits from a retry function if contacts are pending in dotdigital Engagement Cloud.

Vertex:

  • Added support for B2C VAT.
  • Added support for configurable logging.

Magento Shipping Updates

New features for Magento 2.3.1 include:

  • Shipment Cancellation: You can now cancel a shipment that has not yet been dispatched by accessing the shipment and clicking Cancel Shipment.
  • Portal Access via Magento: You can now access the Magento Shipping portal directly from Magento using the Magento Shipping credentials that are stored in your Magento instance.

Don’t Already Have Magento?

Updates like this one prove that Magento is constantly making strides and aiming to be the best platform out there. If you need more information on how it compares with Shopify and BigCommerce, check out this comparison guide. For additional questions or assistance with Magento, please contact us.

Magento for B2B eCommerce

Magento for B2B eCommerce

Magento B2B

Fact: 93% of business-to-business buyers prefer to purchase online, with self-serve information, direct from vendors. As trends change and eCommerce continues to grow, B2B customers now desire (better word: demand) a B2C shopping experience. Luckily for merchants, Magento has been hard at work creating the ideal platform for online B2B sales and have made massive updates to the platform in 2017 to stay ahead of coming advancements in the world of eCommerce.

Since its 2017 update, Magento has emerged as a fresh face and ideal candidate for B2B organizations looking to simplify their processes and work more effectively. For those still unsure of what Magento has to offer to B2B companies, we’ve compiled a list of just a few of the great features the platform offers.

The Benefits of Using Magento for B2B eCommerce

Designed to Drive Growth

Magento is chock-full of features that have been designed specifically to elevate B2B sales success. Streamlined workflows are already in place upon installation, meaning that administrators can effectively handle quote requests and pricing negotiation without a hitch. Users also have the option to create custom catalogs and price lists to send to specific clients and companies.

Additionally, you can integrate Magento with any ERP, CRM, or backend using extensive API’s and off-the-shelf extensions, and drive recurring revenue with frictionless ordering and reordering of common purchases.

The Stats

Without any sort of statistical analysis, it’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t when it comes to B2B eCommerce. Luckily, Magento has publicized some eye-catching numbers that are sure to pique any B2B organization’s interest:

  • $101 billion in sales in digital commerce in 2016
  • 51 million consumers worldwide who purchased from Magento Merchants
  • 260,000 total merchants (and growing!)
  • 30% faster sales growth for merchants than any other platform

Corporate Account Management

With Magento, B2B companies gain access to a host of self-service account tools and some of those tools are ideal for organizations who sell to corporate accounts with numerous buyers. Magento merchants can submit requests for company accounts, arrange buyers within a hierarchy to match business structure, and designate super-users to manage a company’s account.

Beyond these features, companies have the freedom to map company profiles in order to meet a variety of needs. Whether a business wants to break up clients by teams, regions, or any other method, Magento can support those goals. Companies and buyers all have their own permissions and roles assigned to them in order to ensure that everybody has access to what they need (and nothing more).

Personalized Quoting

Countless B2B companies rely on quoting for a massive portion of their work. Thanks to Magento’s effort to configure their B2B functionality, B2B clients can request quotes from their cart and even from previous orders. Sellers have the option to offer quotes to everyone or set parameters based on things like purchase size, dollar thresholds, etc.

Merchants have the freedom to configure quotes any way they’d like. From expiration dates to comments, names, and adding or deleting products from a quote, Magento allows administrators the time they need to do the work that keeps a business running.

Encourages Speedier Purchases

Magento implements a variety of methods in order to drive clients to check out and make purchases quickly. B2B administrators have the option to enter SKUs that clients are interested in so that Magento can automatically notify customers when that inventory becomes available. Clients are also free to upload CSV files during their buying experience to make completing the order process quick.

Customers Can Pay on Credit

Previously, buyers could only complete transactions with Magento Merchants through PayPal or credit card payments. Following the Magento 2.2 update, though, clients are now free to utilize a payment on credit option if necessary. Merchants, of course, retain the ability to configure the credit options for their store and create purchasing conditions that work for them.

For merchants interested in offering credit payments to their clients, setting limits on who can pay on credit and when is easy. It’s also simple to adjust minimum and maximum order limits and restrictions for certain geographical areas.

If you’re interested in learning more about utilizing Magento for your B2B company, contact us today. We have extensive knowledge in the realm of B2B eCommerce and are eager to speak with you and address your concerns about implementation and growing your business effectively.

What is the Best eCommerce Platform for My Automotive Accessories Site?

What is the Best eCommerce Platform for My Automotive Accessories Site?

Selling auto parts and accessories requires a platform that can handle a complex database, even if you don’t adhere to ACES/PIES. Year/Make/Model lookup is just the start since some parts are universal and other parts might fit a subsection of vehicles. Platform choice touches on many big questions that you will need to consider: How important is your current branding? Do you have brick and mortar retail locations? Do you have dealer rates, regional restrictions, or installer relationships to factor in? What about legacy system integrations?

 

Auto-specific eCommerce Providers

An automotive-focused platform can sometimes be a great fit, sometimes not.

The Pros:

  • Built to handle make, model, year and cross-referenced fitment.
  • Provides a design template that accommodates part and fitment lookup.
  • If no customization is needed, and you like the design and functions, then cost of ownership can be lower than with a more full-featured platform like Magento.

The Cons:

  • Pre-packaged, custom themes don’t offer much design flexibility.
  • Coding practices can be questionable and can lead to bugs and glitches as new versions of supporting technology conflict with the themes.
  • Most of the solutions available are older technology and closed environments, with little to no option to add custom features.
  • Similarly, pre-customized themes or platforms can make it difficult to adapt the site to the needs of the business. In fact, often you’ll need to adapt your business practices and selling ability to the capabilities of the site.
  • Most options are a shared shopping cart solution, so you have all the same features and functionality as everyone else on that platform, making it hard to find a competitive advantage.

Our Take:

Auto-specific eCommerce platforms provide an industry-targeted viewpoint that is helpful when creating a small, niche online store. However, we’ve found that these platforms often silo your growth, constrain personalization and limit brand flexibility.

 

Saas Platforms Like Shopify or BigCommerce

In contrast to Magento Open Source and Commerce, Shopify and BigCommerce take care of site hosting for merchants. These platforms target merchants who lack design experience and need an easy-to-use website builder. Smaller or niche merchants can find great success on these platforms, although automotive eCommerce stores still require some level of customization or add-ons.

The Pros:

  • No design experience is needed.
  • There is a consistent cost profile, month to month.
  • Software patches are included in fees.
  • It is easier to administer.

The Cons:

  • Apps available for popular customizations like year, make, and model may require customization, which can get expensive, and development options are limited to the module developer.
  • There are ongoing annual or monthly fees – whether or not you are making changes.
  • You don’t own your own website.
  • SAAS platforms do not support large catalogs (500K+ SKUs), and Enterprise-level versions can become very expensive compared to the base-level fees.
  • Some desirable features, such as faceted navigation or additional product attributes, aren’t available out of the box.

Our Take:

It comes down to your current scale and your growth expectations. SAAS platforms can be the right answer until you outgrow them or until you decide you need some site customizations. Still, Shopify, in particular, has become more flexible (for a SAAS) and can handle a surprising amount of traffic and level of transactions.

 

Magento

Magento is the most widely-installed and one of the most respected platforms in the eCommerce community. We have been a Magento partner since 2008 and have experience building automotive eCommerce sites on Magento. We know it really well.

The Pros:

  • Magento sites are highly customizable and functionality can be added via extensions.
  • Certain features (like back-end data integration with a PIM or some sort of advanced order management or keeping track of selected vehicles) aren’t available on Shopify or are harder to configure than on Magento.
  • You own the site and can migrate to another platform (if needed) with less cost and hassle.
  • You are able to choose development and hosting partners that best suit your needs and budget.
  • You have the ability to evolve the functionality on your site as need demands and budget allows.

The Cons:

  • The ongoing cost of ownership is higher than it would be on SaaS or auto-specific platforms so merchants who plan to achieve at least $2 to $3 million in sales may want to consider other paths.
  • Concerns and costs go hand in hand with managing site security, hosting, and ownership of your website code.

Our Take:

Overall, one of the greatest things about Magento is the ability to grow as your business grows. The fact that Magento is an open-source platform allows you to start with more basic features and capabilities than SaaS or auto-specific platforms (such as product attributes and the ability to use any payment gateway you wish) as well as a great design, and then the ability to continually add new features as your site grows. The site is entirely yours and the platform is a great fit for merchants who desire growth and flexibility above all else. Cost of ownership out of the box is higher, but if you want to evolve a site on a solid platform that will grow over time and add features as budget allows, Magento is a great choice.

Want to Learn More?

If this article has piqued your interest and you’d like to learn more about alternatives for your business, please contact us to schedule a no-obligation discussion about your situation and what the best solution for your business might be.

How Mobile Use Has Affected SEO

How Mobile Use Has Affected SEO

Mobile Use SEO

Search engine optimization is the key to getting potential customers to see your brand when they search online. In the old days you just had to include a few keywords, but the rise of mobile devices has made it so people don’t search as much on desktop computers as they do on the phones they carry around. In fact, 3 out of every 5 searches happen on mobile, so mobile far outpaces desktop as the number one method of searching. Though it may not seem like a huge difference, mobile search results are actually quite different from desktop search results.

People Don’t Click Like They Used To

Jumpshot Digital Intelligence recently gathered data on how many Google searches included organic clicks, ad clicks, and no clicks at all. Those statistics were then compared between mobile searches and desktop searches. When you look at the two sets of data side by side, there is a huge difference in the number of organic clicks on desktop vs on mobile devices. For desktop users, the change from 2016 to 2018 was nominal. However, mobile searches showed a much larger change, with an increase in no clicks (56.1 to 61.4 percent) and ad clicks (3.9 to 8.9 percent) while organic clicks showed a significant decrease (40.1 to 29.7 percent).

So the question is: why? When users search something related to shopping or a product, the first several results will be ads and possibly a carousel at the top with the products they’re looking for. Chances are users won’t scroll past that to see any of the natural search listings.

The other problem is with informational searches, which often get filled with Google’s own answer box for direct questions as well as ads and embedded YouTube videos related to the question asked. On a desktop monitor with a larger screen, you may be able to see past the layer of ads and answer boxes, but users on mobile devices are commonly looking for instant answers, so the first few results commonly grab their attention first. So, how can you get around that to ensure you’re properly targeting searchers?

Step Up Your Game

Though it may seem intimidating to be competing with paid ads, there will always be value in optimizing content and technology to target searchers. There are a few ways to improve your search rankings that don’t include spending money on Google Ads.

Win the Answer Box

Getting into the answer box guarantees that you’re the first thing that users will see in their search results, and also ensures that you will be the first thing they hear if using voice search.

Get Cracking on Informational Content

Most searches on mobile devices are informational. Additionally, as seen above, most mobile search-result clicks go to an ad, or garner no clicks at all. Therefore, adding informational content to your site will result in more visits to your site.  

Establish Authority

The same informational content that gets you more clicks also boosts your authority. Quality content will sometimes be shared, and that improves your chances of being featured in someone else’s blog or social media posts.The authority obtained from these actions is critical to winning the coveted and necessary first organic listings, which are now commonly in the middle of the page (immediately following the ads and answer boxes).

Mobile Optimization is Crucial

If you can get people to come to your site, you don’t want them immediately leaving due to poor layout or slow load times. Ensure that your site has been tested on mobile devices and so that you are in the best position possible to shrink the mobile visit-to-conversion gap.

Be in the Top 3

In the end, you should at least be aiming to be in the top three positions on search results. Once users find what they’re looking for, they’re not going to search anymore, so you have to be the search result that gives them what they’re looking for. If you’re looking for more information or need assistance with SEO, contact us today.

Transforming Your B2B Landing Pages to Unlock New Leads

Transforming Your B2B Landing Pages to Unlock New Leads

B2B Landing Page

While B2B eCommerce has rapidly grown and evolved in recent years, one trend remains the same: successful landing pages are often the key to capturing leads. Business-to-business (B2B) sales can be trickier than business-to-consumer (B2C) sales because B2B sales typically involve complicated products, multiple stakeholders and a customer who may be wary about committing to a purchase. But this doesn’t mean B2B sales are impossible—it simply indicates that carefully developed landing pages are crucial to moving prospects down the path to purchase.

When creating landing pages, you need to remember that you’re not selling your product to just anyone. You have a target audience in mind, and you need to gain their contact information. With a good landing page, you can introduce your product to your target audience and also potentially get their contact information by offering something of value such as a white paper and a contact form.

To get the most out of landing pages, you can’t put just anything on them. You need a strategy in order to optimize these pages so that they are as effective as possible. Here are a few strategies you can use:

Focus on the Content

Start with the purpose of the page, then curate content to fit that purpose. This might be your only chance to draw someone in, so you need to get your message across instantly. A bold headline, strong subheading, and powerful call-to-action is the perfect combination to entice site visitors from the start.

Ultimately, the goal of a landing page is to walk the customer through the purchase process. Build brand awareness by giving a general overview of the company’s services or products, discuss the features and benefits, and then drive conversions by adding a call-to-action or contact form that makes them click. Additionally, include anchor navigation so the page appears more digestible. This could be in the form of a menu or drop down that follows the visitor as they scroll through the page.

Triple check the content to make sure there are no typos, then send it to another member of your team and have them look it over and add their perspective. If you’re not a great writer, consider hiring someone to do it for you. Writing a great landing page is about clearly communicating the benefits of the product or service, and formatting it in a pleasing, digestible way.

Keep it Simpleand Get to the Point

One mistake that some merchants make with their landing pages is trying to do too much. According to Nielsen Norman Group, 57% of visitors’ time spent on a page occurs above the fold (and 74% is spent on the first two screenfuls). If every single statistic about the services or products are included, not only will it overwhelm website visitors, but they’ll give up and leave the site without getting a clear picture of who the brand is and what they do. When creating a landing page, focus on the most important aspects of the product/service, and then use that critical information to develop the page layout. Be sure to keep it simple—a headline, visuals, copy, lead form, and call-to-action. B2B customers want clear explanations and answers in the least amount of words possible. Remember, the goal is not to close the deal, but to gain their permission to continue the discussion.

Make Use of Images and Videos

When creating a landing page, make sure it is not simply a large wall of text. A great way to change things up is to include relevant images, charts and videos. According to MDG Advertising, 67% of online shoppers rated high quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision. With that kind of importance, be sure the images you are using are of high quality and, if possible, avoid cheesy stock images. To do this, consider subscribing to a reputable stock photography service such as Shutterstock.

Videos are a great way to lengthen the time that visitors are on the site, and can sometimes convey more information about the brand than text can. If including a video on the landing page, make sure the thumbnail is visually compelling and well-aligned with the content. If there is no thumbnail or the thumbnail is uninteresting, prospects won’t click. Also, be sure to either include some sort of wrap-up for the video or consider adding the video script beneath it. If they don’t have access to headphones, don’t have time to watch a video, or something else, make sure they won’t miss the main message.

Split Test

Finally, it’s hard to know if the content on the landing page is going to be effective. This is why split testing and tracking the results is vital. Split testing works like this: create two versions of the landing page, with differences in content and presentation. When someone enters the landing page, they are randomly shown one of the two versions. By tracking the results of each page, you can see over time which version performs better. Then apply what you’ve learned, and repeat the process making  changes and testing some more.

Always Look for Ways to Improve

The key to optimizing B2B landing pages is to always look for ways they can be improved. Sometimes, small changes like adjusting your title, adding in some more images, or changing the call-to-action results in tremendous results. If you need assistance with your B2B eCommerce site or are looking to polish your landing pages, contact us today.

Mobile Checkout: From A Pain Point to an Opportunity

Mobile Checkout: From A Pain Point to an Opportunity

mobile checkout

As more and more people are using their phones to access the Internet, and do their shopping, a mobile-first strategy has become more important than ever. eCommerce is all about convenience, and for many years, many merchants struggled to conceptualize an efficient, streamlined checkout process that converted customers rather than sending them away.

One of the goals for every business is to eliminate the path-to-purchase pain points of your customers. For mobile-checkout, it’s crucial to analyze these pain points and quickly correct them before customers turn to your competitors to satisfy their needs.

Why Mobile Checkout is a Pain for Both You and Your Customers

Mobile checkout isn’t just a pain point for your customers, it’s also a headache for the merchant. There is a lot of thought that goes into creating a checkout system: which shopping cart software to use, how to handle credit card processing, and how to track and ship orders. Even if you manage to navigate through these waters and provide your customers with a usable mobile checkout process, it’s not always the best it can be.

Perhaps a customer reaches the checkout process and they find that it loads incredibly slowly. Or, they see that the forms they are required to fill out are lengthy and complicated. Maybe they make a mistake, and they can’t figure out how to go back or reverse their mistake. There are plenty of problems that a customer can face with the mobile checkout system, and each one can cause the customer to abandon the cart.

How to Fix Your Pain Points

Luckily, once you identify the issues in your shopping cart, it isn’t too hard to improve your mobile checkout experience and turn it into an asset for your business.

A good first step is to add a simple progress bar at the top of the checkout window to help assure customers that the process is not too long.

Additionally, you can implement an auto-complete feature for the mobile checkout. This will save your customers some time by auto-filling some of their information and will most often save customers the hassle of typing on a small screen with an even smaller keyboard.

Finally, make sure you add a final confirmation page to the end of your mobile checkout process, if you don’t already have one. This will allow your customers to review the items in their cart, make sure they input the correct payment and shipping information, and be reminded of how much they’re being charged. This significantly reduces the chance of customer complaints about their order or payment method.

Turn Your Pain Point into an Asset

If you can make some small changes to your mobile checkout process, it will produce large results. Suddenly, something that was driving customers away is now bringing them back. Customers love it when they are able to easily use a website from their phone, especially when it comes to buying something.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can improve your mobile checkout process or embrace mobile-first strategy, please feel free to contact us at any time.

How to Keep Your Magento 2 Site Simple

How to Keep Your Magento 2 Site Simple

Magento 2 Simple

As Magento 1 end of life draws near, we are receiving a lot of buzz from potential clients who are considering taking the plunge and diving headfirst into a Magento 2 site migration. As we go through the project scoping process for these potential customers, we have noticed a recurring theme that we feel we should address: over-customization and the overuse of extensions are the silent killers of countless Magento sites.

What’s important to understand about customizations and extensions is thatwhile in theory, they seem beneficialthey are often hindering the success of your site. We are finding many small and medium-sized (SMB) merchants that have sixty plus extensions and ten customizations, plus core hacks, on Magento 1. These merchants are forfeiting much of their budget that they should be spending on digital marketing just to keep their unstable Magento site running. Also, this over-customization is causing site-load and other performance issues which hurts SEO and overall user experience.

We must also note that some merchants who have migrated from Magento to a SaaS platform are performing much better than they were on Magento. We have been perfectly transparent about this when scoping projects for potential customers. Magento is powerful and a great fit for many, but not for all.

With Saas platforms, customization is harder and the monthly cost for 3rd party apps makes it easier to understand the long term budget ramificationswhich, as we are realizing, is actually a blessing in disguise for merchants who are prone to overload their site with every new feature that comes along. This is why a lot of the time these platforms are working better for SMB merchants; in many ways, Saas platforms limit the ability for the merchant to over-customize and over-complicate the eCommerce experience.

As we work with new prospects on migrating to Magento 2, we are trying to help them limit the number of customizations and extensions they are using. We start by taking a step back to rethink the actual business processthis means asking the hard questions like, “Is this customization really needed? Do you really need an ajax add-to-cart extension? Quick shop? Quick view?” Do these added features really justify the long term maintenance expense? The answer is most often not.

Magento 2 has all of the tools that most SMB merchants need to provide a great shopping experience: product video, shopping experience and payment options. The M2 theme is optimized for the shopping experience, so merchants don’t need to invest much in an overly-customized user interface. For SMB merchants migrating to Magento 2, we recommend leaving out “the nice to have” features and instead focusing on the minimum viable product. See how the site performs for a few months and then ultimately decide which features to add. You might be amazed to find that you have improved SEO and site conversions just by using the out-of-the-box features included with Magento 2. Paring everything back and avoiding unnecessary customizations may be the greatest improvement a Magento merchant can make.

If you are finding yourself with a site that is over-customized and over-complicated, contact us today or visit us at interactone.com. We can help.