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On June 19 & 20, we proudly hosted our third CommerceNOW online event, where 12 amazing marketing, sales, and eCommerce experts shared their knowledge with the audience. Over 1,200 people registered for the event and over the more than ten hours of live-streamed sessions they learned about the latest strategies and tactics for eCommerce, digital marketing, conversion rate optimization, customer experience and more.

This is the first of a series of blog posts where we’ll share the key takeaways from several of the CommerceNOW ’19 sessions. Don’t forget you can also register to watch all of the recorded webcasts here.

 

We start off with two experts whose presentations tackled marketing teams’ struggles with the advent of new technologies like AI, voice, and personalization and the tactics that might, just might, be the “silver bullets” that will lead to robust and lasting success. Their overall takeaway? Make your marketing as customer-centric as possible.

John Collins, Director of Content for Intercom, explained this in his CommerceNOW webinar with two excellent examples of successful companies that leverage the emotional resonance of their content to sell their products: Patagonia and Tesla.

 

Just take a look at the homepages of these two companies’ websites, Collins points out, and you’ll see that they are selling a lifestyle, not just their products. Not only that, their message is clear: they are providing the products that will make their customers’ lives richer and better. Their content then lays out the proof like a road map.

 

Collins’ key takeaways:

  1. Create quality content that meets that sweet spot between search traffic and social traffic. What makes customers happy to share your content?
  • It makes them appear authoritative to their colleagues, and yes, to their boss;
  • It has value that translates to key business moves that translate to better conversions;
  • It has an authentic connection to your brand that clearly demonstrates how your products will make their lives better.
  1. Be opinionated, not just safely neutral, and make sure your customer’s view is through the lens of your brand and products. Showcase the knowledge of your in- house experts and let them share their expertise with targeted audiences —he points out that podcasts are a relatively easy way to do this.
  1. Make your content evergreen, whenever possible. Prioritize timeless topics over the “flavor of the day.” He even recommends leaving blogposts and articles dateless, which leads to greater opportunities for views and shares months and even years later. Evergreen content has more value, Collins says, and is “the gift that keeps giving.”

 

Karl Gilis, the co-founder of AG Consult, echoed Collins’s sentiments in his own CommerceNOW session. Gilis emphasized that tech bells and whistles don’t matter to your company’s success as much as making your customers happy, showing you care about the problems they are looking to you to solve, and essentially “making them the center of everything.”

 

“You need to trigger the hearts and minds of your customers,” he asserts.
A recent Bain & Company survey, he pointed out, showed that 80% of companies said they were customer-centric, but in the same survey only 8% of their clients agreed.

Another Gartner study showed that 95% of companies request feedback from their customers, but only 50% alert their staff of the feedback, only 30% use those insights, only 10% deploy and improve based on the feedback, and only 5% share the feedback with their customer base.

How do you overcome this disconnect between your company and your clients? Gilis offers the following advice:

  1. Stop relying on sociodemographic information and start asking your customers what they want and need. Ask what is convincing them to click on your search result (or not), what converts them from visitors to clients, and what is keeping them as loyal customers. Find out what they need to know, ask them why they will (or will not) buy from you.
  1. Use targeted surveys that ask the right questions at the right time, not in a separate email but strategically positioned on your website. Your Thank You page after an order is placed could include a one-to-two question survey that asks things like “What are you looking forward to doing with your [xyz product]? “Did we answer all your questions today? And if “no” – “What else can we share with you?”. Then, act on those answers, share them internally and with your customers. Be transparent.
  1. Use your website’s homepage strategically. Show right off the bat via clear text and visuals that you know what their problem is and that your product can solve it. Focus on the visitor and the solution they are looking for and how your product will solve it.

 

According to Collins and Gilis, unless your company’s efforts are laser-focused on the customer, their experience, and creating an emotional connection with people, all the tech tricks and algorithms may lead to little but hard work and only average conversions.

Your most essential goals should be creating the emotional connection between your brand and your customers and convincing them you care about the problems they are turning to you to solve.

 

To learn more about the trends, insights and tips & tricks that some of the greatest minds in eCommerce, digital marketing, CRO, and customer experience shared at CommerceNOW ’19, you can sign up here to access all the sessions.

 

The post Make Your Business Customer-Centric – CommerceNOW ‘19 Part 1 appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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There’s a lot of talk in the industry about the proliferation of subscriptions – from software and music to movies and shaving blades. So much so that apparently 15% of online shoppers are enrolled in subscription plans (estimate from McKinsey) – while in the software world, subscription percentages have reached the high 70’s within overall sales.

There is also a lot of talk about improving client lifetime value (CLTV) and about increasing renewal and authorization rates and customer experience. Subscribers are keen supporters of seamless, personalized experiences and if companies do not deliver on those expectations, they will quickly be looking for alternatives.

 

But what happens when the merchants themselves are looking for alternatives, for technology replacements, in order to do just these things: improve CLTV, renewal and authorization rates, customer experience, etc.  To use alternatives as their business needs change, merchants must have control over their subscription data, which includes being able to move some of the data associated with the subscriptions from one provider to another.

In order to ensure business continuity in the case of a technology or payments provider switch, merchants need to pay attention to several categories of data, and understand what rights they have over each data type to get more control over their subscriptions.

 

What types of subscription-related data do I need to pay attention to?

 

In the case of subscription purchases, there are lots of data sets that are implicated. These include subscription-related data such as start date, expiration date, recurring enabled (Y/N), product code, price or price options, and billing cycle units. These also include customer-related data such as name, company name, address, and language, and transaction-related data such as purchase date, payment method used, payment-specific data, order amount/billing cycle value, currency, order reference, next billing date and contract period.

 

Payment methods can be credit/debit cards and other types of payment methods, from PayPal to direct debit. In fact, direct debit is very commonly used for recurring payments; for example, in the UK, nearly half of consumers want to pay for subscriptions with direct debit according to GoCardless.

 

What data do I need to migrate to ensure business continuity?

 

Clearly, you need access to all types of data when you want to switch providers. Some of the data, including customer or transactional data, you may already have in your systems through direct integration or regular imports. We’ll assume here that GDPR and other compliance are already met through proper protections by your company. If you are using a reseller model where your payment provider serves as the merchant of record, the digital commerce or payments provider typically owns the transaction data and, in some cases, co-own it with you, the merchant. If you are using a Payment Service Provider (PSP) model, where you (the merchant) is also the merchant of record for that transaction, then you typically own the transaction data.

 

The difficult part is related mostly to the very sensitive, highly secure payment-related data. I should clarify that neither the merchant nor the payment processor “own” the payment data. This data is only used and stored, and neither the payment processors nor the merchants own it, regardless of the contract or terms and conditions they have in place.

 

Who stores the payment data?

 

In the case of cards, payment data is only stored and tokenized by PCI compliant companies and – evidently – it can only be transferred to a PCI compliant party based on transfer documents to be signed prior to the actual move.

 

In some cases, the subscription management/recurring billing engines that integrate with payment gateways or payment processors have agreements in place for the credit card data to be stored in vaults, so that credit card portability is ensured regardless of the payment gateways or the payment processors. Vaulting is important as opposed to just tokenizing data, as the tokens refer to data stored elsewhere.

In the case of direct debit or PayPal, the data is either linked to a bank account or a PayPal account, which are related to a shopper, and can be subject to local regulations such as GDPR in Europe.

 

How can I, as a merchant, initiate payment data transfer to a new provider?

 

For card data, you need to make a formal request for the transfer and the new selected provider may start a process to validate the risk associated with your sales (statement from the current processors, refunds and chargeback rates, etc.), to validate also the integrity of credit card data via the PCI certification and, ultimately, to get access to the card data via your current provider after transfer documents have been signed by all parties.

 

It goes without saying, a secure environment needs to be in place for the data transfer to happen, as well as a secure transfer, since we are talking about high-sensitivity data. Once the transfer takes place, a series of data consistency and validation tests are performed, with the goal of ensuring that data is mapped accordingly in the new system once imported (more technical details on the import in a future article!). In some areas you, as a merchant, are required, from a regulatory perspective, to create a new mandate with your customers and the stored data can be used to limit data entry.

 

In the case of other payment methods, such as direct debit, things are a bit easier. The SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) mandate is mostly set on the merchant level; hence the merchant is able to switch providers based on that mandate. The good news is that for card-based subscriptions, the merchant-initiated transaction (MIT) will also become mandatory.

Nevertheless, where applicable, prior to any data transfer, you need to sign specific agreements as per GDPR requirements for transfer of personal data to a third party or an international organization ensuring the adequate level of protection.

 

What happens when the current payment processor refuses the transfer?

 

Some providers will invoke several reasons for refusing to migrate card data, mainly that the contract signed by the merchant stipulates the processor has the right to hold the data. As a rule of thumb, you should watch out for this type of verbiage in the contract, and make sure you get the right to transfer data. This is more complicated when the eCommerce/payments provider is the merchant of record, in which case they own the data according to the contract. In the case of the payments service provider model (PSP), the merchant has more control, and the provider needs to only execute the instructions of the merchant and ensure proper protections are in place.

 

Other reasons invoked are that the “transfer violates GDPR”, that it is “against privacy laws”. Essentially, the purpose for which the data is used, even after the transfer, remains the same, and the data should be stored and processed observing GDPR (where the case) and PCI rules. In almost all cases, the reasons offered by the provider for refusing to migrate and transfer data are bogus and generally excuses to hold your data hostage and keep processing the transactions.

 

Other things to consider

 

It’s advisable for the contract to make note how long would such transfer process take (a decent timeframe should be around two to six weeks), how much it will cost (some providers will not charge for this, others will charge around 40 to 80 hours of professional services work) and how much historical data can be imported.  It is best to ensure reasonable terms are in place for a potential future transfer before it is needed because some providers raise needless obstacles that make transfers very difficult, expensive and cumbersome.

 

Also, pay attention to renewal notifications and auto/manual renewal mechanisms that are in place, in order to replicate what worked in the previous system within the new system of your choice. Any payments due by shoppers on the time of the export also need to be accounted for. For example, if a subscription is past due at the time of the export, the merchant would not want to lose that information during the transfer.

 

Bottom line

 

Finally, we believe that payment data portability and control should be supported by every provider, and merchants should be free to choose their providers and not be forcefully locked in a certain arrangement. This is healthy from many points of view: for ensuring business continuity, for not jeopardizing subscription companies’ valuation and – eventually – for offering a better service to the end-customers. Do share below what issues you have encountered when attempting to switch providers and migrate such data.

 

The post Get Control Over Your Subscriptions – Quick Guide on Data Portability and Control appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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Every software or SaaS business starts with a great idea. The founders build upon this idea until it develops into a minimum viable product (MVP). But getting a functional product out there – especially if we’re talking early-stage companies – is just the first step. Then comes the hard work of promoting the product and getting your first paying customers.

Before starting to promote your product, make sure you’ve got the basics covered. Here’s a short checklist to follow:

  • Provide an accurate description of your product
  • Make screenshots available
  • Offer a trial version of the software
  • Create a comprehensive knowledge base to support your customers
  • Be transparent about costs and system requirements.

How you choose to promote your SaaS product depends a lot on which needs it is designed to satisfy, whether it’s B2B or B2C, and which audiences and markets you target. No matter what your product is, though, there are some effective tips and tricks that are easy to implement and will work for any SaaS business out there. Here they are:

Build your content marketing game

No matter what you sell, content marketing can help you out. Let’s say your software meets a very specific need, like subscription management for physical goods. There are people who might have an idea about how to start using your product, but you still have to help your audience understand what it does and why it’s needed. That’s where content marketing comes in. Take a look at Drift, which coined the term ‘conversational marketing.’ The company is constantly creating content to help people understand what its product does and why it’s better than competitors.

But don’t limit your content marketing efforts to just blogging. Your options are endless. Think eBooks, datasheets, webinars, landing pages, infographics, video series, interviews, live videos, workshops—there are so many options out there. You just have to find the ones that work for your audience.

Use content marketing to show people the value your product delivers to them, and keep it timely. If you have a blog that was last updated in 2017, it’s time to reconsider your approach. Why? The reason to invest in quality content is simple—it’s the most important means to generate traffic to your web properties and thus generate brand awareness and leads. Which brings us to our next topic… SEO.

Continuously optimize your Search Engine Marketing

You didn’t think we’d skip the SEO part, did you? One of our shopper surveys has shown that 78% of software buyers discover the products they need through online search. The thing is, there are lots of alternatives for your product out there, and all of them are just a quick Google search away. So you have to do something to stand out from the crowd and rank as high as possible in the search engine results pages. Here’s a shortlist of things to focus on:

  • Have a link building strategy in place – backlinks are a strong signal for Google to rank your web pages higher. How do you get more backlinks? With great content.
  • Keep it fresh: constantly add new, quality content to your website and promote it on the most appropriate channels.
  • Monitor your website metrics – use Google Analytics and whatever other tools you need to determine where your online visitors are coming from, what they do on your website and what content or pages they are most interested in and engaged with.
  • Test various keywords. Constantly optimize your search engine marketing strategy by looking at what keywords are relevant for your business and audience and seek ways to outrank your competitors.
  • Improve the speed, structure (site map, internal links, content pillars, etc.) and user experience (UX) of your website for better search results.
Try paid ads, which are always a good idea

If you know how to get to the right people, ads can work wonders for a business. In the beginning, you should test ads on every channel – social media, display ads, ephemeral content, and videos on YouTube are just a few examples – and pick the ones with the highest conversion rates.

Make sure the content you are promoting is top-notch. Develop really creative ads, original and maybe funny videos, flawless landing pages, catchy banners and more—all your ads should speak for your product.

However, keep in mind that targeting has no universal formula, so you’ll have to test different ads and audiences until you find a winner. You can play around with demographics, ad types and placements, budget, timeframe or release ads based on holidays, to begin with. The numbers will tell you what works, what doesn’t and what to change, so keep a close eye on them!

Submit your product to software download sites

Promote your software by submitting it to popular download sites and directories. You can submit your product for listing even if it doesn’t have a downloadable package (that is, you can submit SaaS web- or cloud-based tools). Next, monitor the traffic you get from review sites and invest time in the ones that really bring you customers. Optimize your profile on those websites, become an active part of their community and answer questions from users.

One of the main advantages of submitting your software to download sites is obtaining more back-links and increased link popularity, which will enhance your website’s page ranking and position in major search engines. This way, you don’t just get more traffic, but also more visibility and customers.

Get your message out to the media

Start by writing and submitting articles to various news websites and sending out frequent press releases. Take advantage of the many websites that offer PR services, including free publishing of press releases. Work with a PR agency if you can’t get results otherwise – the cost will be well worth it if the agency can get you good exposure, especially when you’re just starting up and no one knows about your business yet. Be selective when it comes to the topics of your press releases, though, since people might get bored with irrelevant information and lose interest in your software products.

Also, there are many online outlets where you can publish software-related articles. Set aside some budget for one or two paid contributor articles on high-profile publications. This is an effective way to get exposure and reinforce your thought leadership. As a golden rule, keep a professional tone and avoid self-promotion. Your main goal should be showing readers how to solve a problem, not putting your product on a pedestal.

Consider using review directories

If you’ve already acquired a reasonable number of customers and you’re confident they like your product, listing your software on review directories is an efficient way to spread the word. Not only do 72% of buyers say online reviews are the most important factor in their purchasing decisions, but review directories are also an excellent source of backlinks, traffic, and trust, as some of them have a high domain authority. You should definitely take advantage of this opportunity to expand your audience.

Click here for a useful list of software review directories where you can list your product. Also consider Product Hunt, an online community where people submit products, software included, and users can vote or comment with likes and dislikes.  Remember, though, just listing your product is not enough: ask your happy customers to leave you a (positive) review!

Ask for referrals from your customers

Your existing customers can help you acquire new ones if you ask them to do so. This is not only an affordable marketing method, but also a very effective one. Generating referrals from your customers starts with sparking meaningful conversations with them. This paves the way to turning them into advocates. However, it goes without saying that if your customers are not happy with your brand, they will never advocate for it. So, before implementing any kind of customer referral program, make sure your business always offers a great customer experience – starting with the product itself, through onboarding and on to excellent customer support. As it turns out, word of mouth still works like a charm in a digital world, so make sure your customers speak well about your brand.

Don’t neglect email marketing

No matter what you’ve heard about the “death of email,” the statistics show that active email accounts are expected to hit 5.6 billion this year and 59% of consumers say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. Email may be changing, but it’s not a channel you can afford to ignore.

A newsletter is an easy way to stay in touch with your clients, prospects, and affiliates. Create different campaigns for each segment that you target and always keep your database up-to-date and accurate. You should also consider using marketing automation to keep email and other marketing tactics in sync with how customers actually use and interact with your brand, product or service.

Give affiliate marketing a chance

Have you ever considered leveraging affiliate marketing in your software promotion strategy? Affiliates can promote and sell your software products on their own websites, in exchange for a small commission on every sale. The advantage of this growth strategy is that you pay your affiliates only for results. The compensation may be based on a certain value for each visit (pay-per-click), registrant (pay-per-lead), customer or sale (pay-per-sale), or any combination of the above. Find an affiliate network that’s big enough to support your efforts, preferably a software-focused one, and you’ll be good to go!

Ride the wave of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a marketing trend that’s still going strong. The good news is, this kind of marketing is just as effective for B2B as it is for B2C, if it’s done right. Not only does it gain you credibility, but it also gets you new customers. The key to succeeding with influencers is choosing the right people to work with and knowing how to approach them.

When searching for influencers, don’t look only at their follower count. Instead, try to figure out if their audience matches the one for your product. If you still have doubts, ask them. It’s better to verify from the start that your efforts will be relevant to your target personas. In addition, remember that engagement rates are more important than reach, so working with micro-influencers may bring you a better ROI than expensive campaigns with big-name celebrities.

Tapping into influencer marketing could help skyrocket your brand awareness as well as conversions, as long as you’re not too salesy about it. Just remember to always create quality content (we can’t stress this enough!) together with the influencers you select.

Pack your bags to attend industry events

We’ve already put together the list for you, so there’s no need to do any more research. Attending software and technology-related events is a good way to get your brand out there. Conferences, dinners, trade shows, and product unveilings provide great opportunities to get information about industry trends, grow awareness around your business and generate potential leads. Once you have enough budget, you can also sponsor events and gain significant exposure through speaking sessions or keynote addresses.

To successfully market software, you need to find the tactics and strategy mix that works best for your company. I highly recommend trying out all of these methods. Because every business is different, you need to be creative and patient until you find the best growth formula. To discover even more strategies and tactics for growing your SaaS company, check out the great expert sessions we recorded during our recent CommerceNOW ’19 online event:

The post How to Market Your Software or SaaS Product appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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 Since 2010, Google has included page speed among the most important signals determining a website’s search ranking. Page speed is the wait-time for your site to load that visitors have to endure. On average, eCommerce websites take about 7 seconds to load; the optimal time is around 3 seconds or less.

In this competitive market, where engaging customers to make sales is the top priority, it is crystal clear that if your page speed is mediocre both your traffic and your conversions will suffer.

One survey revealed that 47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less, and that 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds to load. The same survey revealed that 79% of customers would not return to a site with poor performance. Even a one-second delay in page load time can result in negative results:

  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
  • 7% loss in conversions

The faster your page speed, the higher your website will be ranked in Google SERPs—which is important, since many customers will never go beyond the very first page of search results. All of the top-ranking sites on Google have the same things in common: well-optimized code designed for speed, great content, and mobile-friendly design.

Umm . . . Is my website slow?

 

Google offers a free tool, PageSpeed Insights, that will help you figure out if your website is slow, tell you how slow it is, and give you some ideas about how to make it faster. (If you run your website through PageSpeed Insights and you score 100%, you need not continue reading this article—go get a cup of coffee or take a nap, instead.)

The good news: the PageSpeed tool is easy. Simply open it up and enter your website URL into the bar, then click “Analyze.” The finished test will give you a score and a full report for your site and what might be slowing it down for your customers. The only bad news?  A recent update to the PageSpeed insights may have upped the ante for businesses whose scores were previously high.

 

No resting on your laurels: 2018 update affects digital marketers

 

Google’s dramatic core update to the PageSpeed Insights algorithm in late 2018 sent the digital marketing world into an agitated frenzy (although the update does provide a wealth of new information). The new update, Version 5, uses Lighthouse, one of Google’s speed tools, as its analysis engine and also incorporates field data provided by the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) into the tool. Lighthouse computes a website’s Performance Score based on the following metrics*.

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP): Time taken by a browser to render the first bit of content from the DOM
  • First Meaningful Paint (FMP): Time at which the user feels that the primary content of the page is visible
  • Speed Index: Average time at which visible parts of the page are displayed
  • First CPU Idle: (Previously called First Interactive) Time when a page is minimally interactive – most UI elements are interactive, and page responds to user inputs
  • Time to Interactive: How long it takes a page to become interactive – displays useful content, event handlers registered for visible elements, responds to user interactions within 50 milliseconds
  • Estimated Input Latency: Input responsiveness of the application

*Explanations derived from developers.google.com

The bottom line: Tips for speeding up your website

If one compares their before-and-after scores post-PageSpeed V5 update, it is clear that Google is putting more pressure on websites to focus on delivering faster user experiences while being truly mobile-first. Some of the top directives include:

  1. Streamline your design. Avoid cumbersome images, stylesheets, and other pieces of code, since the more elements you have, the more HTTP requests you have the longer it will take your site to load.
  2. Leverage browser caching. Enabling browser caching lessens the impact on your server by pulling resources already cached in a user’s browser. For WordPress pages, you can use a plugin like WP Rocket to enable browser caching and website optimization, for example.
  3. Optimize images. Images can slow down loading time considerably. If not necessary for your audience, make sure to remove metadata, like the camera model and date photo was taken; Keep your image size below 100 KB, if possible; compress images and use JPGs instead of PNGs, if you need to reduce image size even more.
  4. Compress Resources. Minify JavaScripts, CSS, and HTML to reduce the time it takes to download them, which also reduces data usage for your users.
  5. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Leveraging a CDN can improve your site speed by hosting website files across a large network of servers around the world, allowing users to download files from servers that are close to them; it also spreads the bandwidth to decrease page load time.
  6. Configure your server settings. Out-of-the-box server software is not always set up for optimal website performance. Consult with your hosting provider to see how your server for your website can benefit from a “performance tune-up”

Having a fast site is essential in 2019 and beyond—not just for ranking well with Google, but for keeping your bottom-line profits high. Your load times can not only influence how easily users can find you in the first place, but also whether they will stay and make a purchase.

The post How to Make Your Website Lightning Fast (And Why That Matters) appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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Summer is here! You know what that means: time to spend those long, lazy weekends with your nose in a book!

Below are some of our recommendations for the next months for you to delve into. There’s a little bit of entrepreneurship, sales, a little bit of tech and a bit of marketing.

They’re filled with ideas about brand growth, disruption, and thought leadership.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.

Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.

Lost and Founder

Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz, reveals how traditional Silicon Valley “wisdom” leads far too many startups astray, with the transparency and humor that his hundreds of thousands of blog readers have come to love.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness — why some companies make the leap and others don’t.

The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice.

Inspirational When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Daniel H. Pink, the #1 bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human, unlocks the scientific secrets to good timing to help you flourish at work, at school, and at home.

In When, Pink distills cutting-edge research and data on timing and synthesizes them into a fascinating, readable narrative packed with irresistible stories and practical takeaways that give readers compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error?

And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?

What If It Does Work Out?

In What If It Does Work Out? life coach and professional side-hustler Susie Moore offers expert tips and guidance to help you earn an extra source of income by doing something you love.

In her energetic and encouraging style, she guides you through all of the planning stages and potential obstacles, showing how to overcome any hesitation or fear, create multiple revenue streams, and more

Sales Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion.

You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

Never Split the Difference

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz takes you inside his world of high-stakes negotiations, revealing the nine key principles that helped Voss and his colleagues succeed when it mattered the most – when people’s lives were at stake.

Rooted in the real-life experiences of an intelligence professional at the top of his game, Never Split the Difference will give you the competitive edge in any discussion.

Eat Their Lunch

The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition, from Anthony Iannarino, the author of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need and The Lost Art of Closing.

Marketing Building a StoryBrand

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides listeners with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services.

This Is Marketing

Seth Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one compact, accessible, timeless package. This is Marketing shows you how to do work you’re proud of, whether you’re a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation.
No matter what your product or service, this book will help you reframe how it’s presented to the world, in order to meaningfully connect with people who want it.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

In Contagious, Jonah Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

Contagious provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and content that people will share.

Product Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself

In Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself, growth consultant Wes Bush challenges the traditional SaaS marketing and sales playbook and introduces a completely new way to sell products. Bush reveals how your product—not expensive sales teams—can be the main vehicle to acquire, convert, and retain customers.

History tells us that “how” you sell is just as important as “what” you sell. Blockbuster couldn’t compete with Netflix by selling the same digital content, and you need to decide “when” not “if” you’ll innovate on the way you sell. Are you going to be product-led? Or will you be disrupted, too?

Don’t Make Me Think

Since Don’t Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design.

Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don’t Make Me Think a classic–with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated…and best of all–fun to read.

The Lean Product Playbook

The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen is a practical guide to building products that customers love. Whether you work at a startup or a large, established company, we all know that building great products is hard. Most new products fail. This book helps improve your chances of building successful products through clear, step-by-step guidance and advice.

Technology Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms

Hello World takes us on a tour through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us on a daily basis. Mathematician Hannah Fry reveals their inner workings, showing us how algorithms are written and implemented, and demonstrates the ways in which human bias can literally be written into the code.

By weaving in relatable, real world stories with accessible explanations of the underlying mathematics that power algorithms, Hello World helps us to determine their power, expose their limitations, and examine whether they really are improvement on the human systems they replace.

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

William Rosen seeks to answer these questions and more with The Most Powerful Idea in the World. A lively and passionate study of the engineering and scientific breakthroughs that led to the steam engine, this book argues that the very notion of intellectual property drove not only the invention of the steam engine but also the entire Industrial Revolution: history’s first sustained era of economic improvement.

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked

In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today’s products are irresistible. Though these miraculous products melt the miles that separate people across the globe, their extraordinary and sometimes damaging magnetism is no accident.

By reverse engineering behavioral addiction, Alter explains how we can harness addictive products for the good—to improve how we communicate with each other, spend and save our money, and set boundaries between work and play—and how we can mitigate their most damaging effects on our well-being, and the health and happiness of our children.

Pick a few, or read them all! What’s on your reading list this summer?

The post Your Must-Read Books for this Summer appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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Hi, sellers! What’s the one thing you want to work on this month? Could be conversion rate optimization, fighting the taxation hassle, building a scaling strategy, an onboarding plan or maybe finding new marketing strategies for your B2B. Whatever your pain point might be, we’re here to provide solutions in our Industry Buzz, so keep on reading!

We asked top-notch CRO experts to share their proven tactics on how to build a high-converting landing page and they provided us with important and often overlooked advice. So if your landing pages are underperforming, then it’s time to figure out what’s missing. In this article, we’re telling you exactly what you should check.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a never-ending process of testing and analyzing the way shoppers are interacting with your website. But what happens when you don’t know what to test anymore? Well, we’ve got the ideas you are looking for. Our expert’s advice on how to optimize the checkout flow will definitely help you level up your eCommerce business.

Getting your SaaS business idea out there and launching a minimum viable product is only half the battle. If you want your business to thrive, you must become serious about scaling it. And in case you don’t know how to start, we’re giving you some ideas that will help you grow. Just remember there is no silver bullet method in scaling a SaaS business – it takes time, commitment and resources.

Running out of ideas on how to promote your SaaS product is something we’ve all struggled with at some point, but you can always seek for inspiration in the experts. Some of the best B2B SaaS marketers in the industry have shared their tested strategies on how to acquire customers more efficiently. Make sure you bookmark this comprehensive guide for later!

Onboarding is a well-known buzzword these days, especially in the SaaS/software industry. And it only makes sense, since it has a huge contribution to your retention rate. The thing is, the way users are onboarded is changing, the whole process becoming subtler and action-triggered. If you want to actually retain those first users, you should read this guide and take some notes.

Today’s digital commerce businesses are heavily impacted by taxes and financial services. Government taxation as a key component of everyday life is manageable, but having to deal with global locations, multiple financial systems, and countless regulations can seem daunting and overwhelming for businesses going internationally. Our datasheet will help you figure out how to handle the taxation workload to further fuel your expansion.

It’s a little over a year since The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has transformed the way business is being done in the EU. This past year has brought increased public awareness about data protection rights and encouraged transparency around data breaches. However, much more remains to be done to ensure organizations’ full compliance.

Did you miss our killer online event? Well, too bad, but don’t worry, we have the videos to keep you company. You can still register to get access to the knowledge the experts have shared in their sessions and find answers to some questions you might have on your mind. Navigating the trends and best practices of modern commerce is quite a challenge, but our event will give you an idea on how to successfully do that.

How do you tackle growth? We’d love to hear your strategies!

The post Industry Buzz – June 2019 appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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We are very excited to announce today our Summer ’19 product release, which brings merchants an all-in-one solution to ensure business scalability for any type of product and service!

The latest 2Checkout offering includes Advanced Order and catalogue management options for any type of products – digital or physical – enabling your business to rapidly scale, grow revenue streams across channels and optimize digital commerce operations through a flexible all-in-one monetization platform.

This release encompasses updates to the payments, eCommerce, subscription billing, and distribution channels stacks, as well as to tax and compliance services. Our new and improved capabilities help you sell any type of physical or digital product anywhere in the world with smarter payments and an improved experience for both you and your customers.

You can reduce the back-end work and retain more customers with smart subscription management tools, higher conversion and authorization rates, and out-of-the-box tools to grow customer revenue. Keep reading to learn all about the features included in this release.

Advanced Ordering Engines – maximize conversion rates on all channels Inline Cart with a streamlined interface

In 2018 the global average rate of cart abandonment reached 75.5%, costing businesses quite a lot of money. The 2Checkout Inline Cart was created to offer customers a seamless experience that adapts the checkout page to any device. The cart has been designed following the latest user experience and conversion optimization best practices, with a simple and straightforward interface which does not contain distracting elements. Most importantly, the shopper is never redirected to a separate checkout page, as happens with traditional hosted shopping carts.

However, since each industry and business model has distinct needs and customer types, we encourage you to A/B test our various ordering engines and choose the best ones for your business based on data. To help with that, we have also launched a conversion rate optimization (CRO) service that enables merchants to A/B test different ordering engines (like the Inline Cart), without having to invest any of their resources. The 2Checkout CRO team will handle everything, from implementation to tracking and sharing results.

Enhancements and optimizations for ConvertPlus

ConvertPlus, our full-stack shopping cart solution, was built from the beginning using the latest technology and available frameworks for increased conversion rates, security and performance. It includes tools to continuously experiment, allowing advanced customization and any type of integration whether hosted, inline or API complete controls.

Since launch, it has been continuously optimized from look and feel to returning customer logic and display payment methods. You can customize it with various ordering templates and cart flows, form lengths, payment methods based on shoppers’ geolocation, as well as offer buyers the possibility to change the product price and quantity options during manual renewal (for subscriptions).

Subscriptions made simple

You can get an even better understanding of the subscription lifecycle through more detailed reports and at-a-glance information on all aspects of your subscriptions.

You can also increase your renewal rates with our advanced Revenue Recovery Tools, which include renewal attempts before subscription expiration (pre-expiration billing).

  Global Payments with Authorization insights Bancontact

If you sell into the Belgian market, you can now increase your conversion and authorization rates by offering shoppers one of the preferred payment methods in the country! Bancontact is the market leader for electronic payments in Belgium, with 150,000 online transactions per day and a 35%+ total market share in local eCommerce. Adding Bancontact as a payment method for your business will help you access this market faster and increase your customer base.

Payouts

Enjoy the control you deserve with our self-managing payment settlement tools. You can edit your payout details (methods and currencies) from the 2Checkout Control Panel, choosing from several currencies to minimize FX rates costs, or defining minimum transfer limits and more.

Authorization Dashboard

Get additional insights on your customers’ behavior with the expanded 2Checkout Authorization Dashboard and get insights related to transactions performance by payment methods and order types.

Global Tax – from challenge to advantage Tax coverage for any business model anywhere in the world

Today, there are many countries that are enforcing tax computation regardless of Merchant offices. No matter where you sell and what business model you use, you can let us handle your Sales Tax and VAT.

Regulatory Compliance

At 2Checkout we are constantly adjusting our platform to ensure compliance with the latest laws and regulations across the world. We have updated our products to be compliant with the most recent tax and fiscal regulatory changes in the UAE, India, Belarus, and Turkey and we are working on implementing compliance with the upcoming September 2019 Strong Customer Authentication rules (as per the PSD2 Directive) impacting all EU online merchants and the way online transactions are handled.

Performance and Scalability – Grow your Business in an Ecosystem with High Scalability

In a world of high-speed interactions and connections, platform scalability is a crucial determining factor for the success of any eCommerce business.  At 2Checkout we are constantly striving to improve the performance and scalability of our products. Our recent updates in this respect include data center infrastructure upgrades to support growing transaction volumes and improved security and data privacy tools and processes.

Want to find out more about the benefits and how-tos behind the 2Checkout Summer Release ’19?  Join our July 11th webinar to learn all about our latest release straight from our Product Managers.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to learn more.

The post 2Checkout Summer 2019 Release – Optimize Business Performance Worldwide appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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Our partnership with the YieldKit GmbH team dates back to 2016, and it has quickly turned into a success story thanks to their dedication and professionalism.

So we’re very happy that the YieldKit team earned first place in our “Spring is Coming” affiliate contest, becoming the “King of Avangate” and winning a $1,000 Amazon eVoucher. They achieved a 53% increase in sales volumes compared with the previous non-promo period, making them the affiliate with the highest sales volumes during the contest period.

On behalf of the whole YieldKit team, Britta Adrians was kind enough to share with us some insights into YieldKit’s affiliate journey. Find out how the company is handling the current industry changes and much more.

 

1. How long have you been working in the affiliate marketing industry and what’s your main role at yieldkit.com?

My name is Britta Adrians and I am a Marketing & PR Executive at YieldKit GmbH. I am fairly new to the affiliate marketing industry. I started working for YieldKit six months ago.

Coming from the travel industry, this was a completely new chapter for me and I am very happy to be part of the YieldKit team and the affiliate industry. My main role at YieldKit is running the marketing department, with all its duties and responsibilities. This includes planning our trade shows, staff travel, social media channels and employer branding (together with our HR department).

2. What’s your biggest affiliate marketing challenge right now and why?

Our challenges are pretty much the same the whole industry is facing. Coming from a cookie-based tracking environment on desktop and desktop being the main sales channel, we’re seeing user behavior changing drastically with mobile usage and across different channels (eg, mobile app, mobile browser, desktop browser).

On top of that, Apple’s launch of ITP 2.1 limits the ability for cookies to track sales over the long term. Third-party cookies won’t be tracked, and first-party cookies are limited to 7 days. For comparison, the affiliate industry has been accustomed to a cookie lifetime of about 30 days.

Another challenge we faced in the past was the changing allocation of the marketing budget from the affiliate department to mobile and influencer marketing. Those new channels are becoming more and more important for our clients on the advertiser side.

As a result, we developed our very own solutions: YieldMobile and performance-based influencer marketing. Both our advertisers and publishers love our new solutions and we anticipate huge growth for YieldKit with these two additions to the YieldKit family.

3. Name the most successful affiliate project you’ve worked on. What do you think made it successful?

One of the most successful affiliate projects we worked on recently was a major cooperation with one of Germany’s biggest banking providers. In cooperation with our premium publisher, IDG, we developed an editorial campaign where the banking provider was introduced by the editorial department of IDG. The article was monetized through our affiliate partnerships. It was a win-win-win situation for the advertisers (great content), for our publisher (monetization and interesting new content for its users) and us (making all clients happy).

In general, we see a lot of demand for content and editorial campaigns. Our solutions YieldConnect and YieldEditorial serve exactly these needs. With YieldConnect, we create our own “keyword“ campaigns using our publishers’ content (in text). We usually work with keyword lists that we receive from our advertisers (they typically know best from other channels what keywords convert). With YieldEditorial, we present our top clients (advertisers) to our publishers and if they are interested, they create content about them (all performance-based, with special conditions though).

4. Can you tell us three digital marketing trends every company should prepare for in the next two years?

Two big trends we are experiencing right now are a shift towards more mobile solutions and the integration of influencer campaigns. More and more purchases are made through recommendations of peers/influencers and not through advertising alone. Additionally, sales are often made through mobile website or apps, so it is an important priority to further develop our existing mobile and influencer solutions. Besides that, every marketer should keep an eye on developments in tracking technologies.

5. How do you think our network helps yieldkit.com achieve its goals as an affiliate?

Avangate is a great partner in the software and digital goods industry. Their rapport with the industry’s top merchants helps us give our clients a wide choice for their respective target groups.

6. Any advice for affiliate newcomers who are promoting software and digital goods?

Our advice would be to focus on the software and goods you have a lot of knowledge and passion about. When affiliates are highly knowledgeable, they can give better recommendations, create quality content, be more trustworthy and give a higher added value to their readership/customers. That will also give them the opportunity to get higher commissions and unique assignments.

If you want to be one of our success stories too, join Avangate Affiliate Network and make it happen!

The post Affiliate Success Story – YieldKit GmbH, 1st Place Winner in “Spring is Coming” Contest appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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Are you interested in the latest insights and actionable strategies and tactics that can drive your online business forward? On June 19-20 you’ll have the chance to discover them live at the largest online event on digital commerce – CommerceNOW 2019!

CommerceNOW '19 by 2Checkout - YouTube
The third edition of 2Checkout’s flagship online event will once again bring together some of the greatest minds in eCommerce, digital marketing, conversion rate optimization, customer experience and more, to share their experience and knowledge through more than 10 hours of sessions over the two days of the event.

More than six hundred attendees joined us at last year’s CommerceNOW and left with lots of effective ideas and solutions for their online businesses.

This year, you’ll be able to learn exclusive strategies, tips & tricks, and tools to use from well-known industry experts like Dan Martell, Chief Instigator at SaaS Academy, Kate Adams, Sr. Director of Demand Gen at Drift, Alexa Hubley, Marketing Manager at CXL Institute, Email & Digital Strategist extraordinaire Val Geisler, Marketo’s Head of Digital Marketing Paulo Martins, and many more!

2Checkout’s own President and Chief Operating Officer Erich Litch will host the event, starting at 9am ET on both days, and all the sessions will be live streamed for free – so you can attend from anywhere in the world. However, seats are limited, so don’t miss this opportunity to gather ideas, get inspired and boost your business – register now to secure your spot!

 

The post How to Grow Your Digital Commerce Expertise for Free at CommerceNOW ’19 appeared first on Rethink Commerce Blog.

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