Game of Thrones (GoT) is not just a TV series to entertain, but the greatest masterpiece of excellent plot twists. We lived and breathed every single scene and got attached to each character.
Through 8 years, watching 8 seasons, it feels like we’ve been growing old with our favorite characters. By witnessing their personality development, we, sometimes, see ourselves reflected in their lives. Apparently, GoT is a fantasy made with the fabric of reality.
GoT left us many deep lessons and wise thoughts about life, leadership, and business that we believe are valuable and benefit all of us. In this article, we bring you 9 of the biggest lessons in GoT so that you can have a different perspective about what you’ve already seen.
1. Build your reputation
Although House Lannister appears in the series as one of the biggest villains, they teach us the greatest lesson in business about reputation.
“A Lannister always pays his debt”- GoT fans learn this lesson from House Lannister by heart. A Lannister not only pays for his debts, but he also pays well for it. By always paying for those who help, Tyrion Lannister can even get support from people who don’t know him or even hate his family name.
It proves that power and wealth aren’t everything. To gain trust from others (even from people who hate you), you need to build a high reputation.
It’s so relatable to business. Your reputation definitely won’t make you more sales. But it will help you gain trust from your investors, partners and customers which will be the strong foundation to grow your business in the long term.
The eCommerce market is already full of entrepreneurs who keep breaking their promises to customers. They never provided the highest quality they claimed to be. Sooner or later, people lose trust in them and eventually, their business fails.
If you aim to build a decent brand, reputation must be your first and foremost priority.
2. Make business decisions based on numbers, not feelings
The Iron Bank is quite different from the rest of the parties in GoT. They don’t make alliances, they don’t choose any side in the war. All they care about is if their investment makes profits.
Tycho, the representative of the bank, has once said to Stannis Baratheon: “Across the Narrow Sea, your books are filled with words like ‘usurper’ and ‘madman’ and ‘blood right’. Here, our books are filled with numbers“.
They don’t give a sh*t about who is the true heir of the Iron Throne. The Iron Bank only cares about what the number says when it comes to investment.
In a normal perspective, we see things as they’re right or wrong. But as an entrepreneur, the important thing is your profit. Without profit, your business can’t thrive.
Making wise business decisions means standing in the grey area where you don’t choose to be completely right or wrong. Emotions should be set aside for logical thinking does it work.
The most reliable information source you should trust when making a decision is your reports. Numbers don’t lie. They will tell you exactly what to do for your business’s sake without telling stories that you want to hear.
3. Negotiate when you fail to fight
While the whole world considers fighting as the most powerful and necessary skill to survive, Tyrion proves the opposite thing: he lives well without the ability to fight.
Tyrion is a dwarf. Obviously, he has no advantage in combat. Weapons are not designed for people in his size. But every time he faces a life-and-death situation, he always finds his way out by dealing with his enemies or successfully getting help from others, with his extraordinary negotiation skill.
Tyrion and Jorah on the way to Meereen
In combat, only the person who survives is the winner. But in a negotiation, everyone is the winners and no one must die. That’s the power of negotiation.
Business is much similar to fighting, you beat your competitors or you put an end to your business. However, there would be times when directly fighting with each other only causes damages for both.
For example, when you and your competitor are fighting a price war. Every time you offer a cheap price, your competitor would make the price even lower than that.
The competition goes on until both of you can’t afford to reduce the price anymore. Even if you win in this competition, you lose your profits. Apparently, no one wins.
In this case, instead of fighting, a negotiation to set a stable price would be wiser and more beneficial for both of you.
Always keep in mind that there is another way to win without fighting, which is negotiating.
1. Treat your followers with respect to gain their loyalty
Daenerys Targaryen is one of the greatest leaders in GoT because she breaks the traditional way of ruling. While others rule by creating fear, forcing their citizens to obey, Daenerys frees her people and gives them choices to follow her.
Daenerys freed slaves in Slaver’s Bay
A true leader knows that he/she can’t force people to follow. Even if you can do so, your followers won’t stay with you for long.
By giving your members choices to make, you are letting them know their opinions are valuable and they are respected. As a result, they will treat you back with respect and loyalty.
2. See the potential in followers and give them opportunities to do what they do best
Jeor Mormont, the former Commander of the Night’s Watch, is also an admirable leader in GOT. He saw potential in his followers while others didn’t and gave them the right position to develop their skills.
While everyone in the Night’s Watch underestimated Samwell due to his inability to fight, he knew Sam’s value was not in his muscle, but in his knowledge. Therefore, he kept Sam in the Night’s Watch as the steward of Maester Aemon to let him learn from the old Master.
Samwell Tarly at the Night’s Watch
The success of a team can’t be decided or achieved by the leader only. It needs the whole team to work on together. The more each member can contribute, the higher chance the team can succeed.
The leader must take responsibility to make sure his/her members are all doing their best for the main goals.
By understanding your member’s strengths and weaknesses and giving them the right to do what they are good at, you can bring the best in them and let them and contribute to the team’s final goal.
3. You don’t need to be a natural-born leader to lead
Daenerys was not the heir of the Iron Throne until her brother died and she took the responsibility to reclaim the Throne.
Jon Snow was always a bastard and people underestimated him until he showed his ability to lead.
Sansa was taught to be the wife of a prince, but she learned to become the head of Winterfell.
Lyanna Mormont had to lead her House when she was only a little girl.
All of them are not natural-born leaders. Sansa and Daenerys are not expected to lead their house and they didn’t even know how to fight. Most of them got no support from their followers in the first place. But they all stand on their own feet, fight all their way to becoming greatest leaders.
They teach us that you can become a good leader and even a great leader regardless of your age, your gender if you can learn and grow from failure.
“Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”
Tyrion had lived his life with full of humiliation, discrimination, accusation for crimes he didn’t do, just because he is a dwarf. Despite all the cruel names people threw at him, he never gave up on himself and never let those words bother him.
There are always reasons for rude people to mock or despise you. Many choose to hide their imperfections, some even hate themselves and live a miserable life.
To not let others hurt you, you need to embrace yourself first. From the moment you accept all the goods and bads of yourself, there is nothing left for others to make fun of you. How would they feel if you give them a slight smile instead of angry or shame after they call you with ugly names? We bet they wouldn’t feel fun anymore.
2. Live a life of purpose
Daenerys Targaryen might have died after her first husband’s death if she had no desire to become the Queen of Seven Kingdom.
Arya Stark could have not made it a faceless man without her thirst to revenge.
Throughout 8 seasons, they have grown up and survived after tons of challenges. They keep on living despite all the pains they suffered to pursue their purposes.
A purpose motivates us to become better every day. We complete yourself, sharpen our skill set, learn as many lessons as possible, do things that others can’t, to achieve our goals.
A clear and consistent purpose will keep us moving forward on the right path and living a meaningful life.
Above are only 9 most valuable lessons we find in GoT. We believe with different perspectives, you may see different lessons that are valuable to you. No matter what they are, they all help us prepare for the big war to come in our life. Last words, winter is coming.
After researching to find the best practices in product bundling, we realized the work of combining different products into one bundle is just like cooking a meal. With the same components and ingredients, the taste can be completely different depending on each cooker. That’s why everyone knows about product bundling, everyone uses it but only a few are successful with it.
Cooking and product bundling both require more sophisticated skills than just mixing things together. However, creating the right bundle is so much easier to become a chef. We’re not going to teach you how to cook like a chef, but we’ve made a cooking recipe to help you create not only just-right bundles but also bundles that customers can’t say no to.
Before jumping into the recipe, let’s spend a few minutes to see why you need bundling products.
A right product bundle must benefit both sellers and buyers
There is one thing that online sellers should learn from chefs. To keep customers coming back, chefs must care about their dinner’s satisfaction. And the customer’s satisfaction is decided right after the first taste. Therefore, they can’t afford to serve low-qualified dishes.
Some online sellers only focus on selling as many as possible but forget the only thing that matters is customer’s satisfaction. Product bundling, of course, is a sales strategy. But it must benefit customers first. When customers are happy with the value they are provided, they will be more willing to spend their money.
When product bundles are made with the customer-oriented mindset, buyers are served with many benefits.
Receive more value than expectation: The main dish makes you full, but the side dishes enhance your appetite for the meal. When customers visit your site, they are looking for a solution to their issues or a pleasure to make their life better. Bundling products is a way to offer them a complete solution or a greater pleasure and bring them what they even haven’t thought about.
Improve shopping experience: When products are tied together as a package, customers can buy multiple items at once without spending their time finding them elsewhere. It’d be a big plus if customers are able to remove one item from your bundle and make it more affordable for them.
Save shipping fee: As a buyer, have you ever completed an order then found you want to buy one more? But you didn’t want to pay twice for the shipping fee so you just decided not to buy. If you had found what you want sooner, you’d have probably ordered them all. That’s how product bundling helps saving shipping fee for your customers, simply put, having more items in one order instead of buying them separately and paying the doubled shipping fee.
Get a good deal: Many sellers choose to add a small discount to their bundles to motivate customers to spend more than they first intend to. This, of course, also benefit customers. They can buy a pack of multiple products at a more affordable price and save some money.
For online sellers
Some may simply think product bundling is just a way to increase sales volume. It is, but not all. Besides making more sales, product bundling can benefit you more than that.
Sell more without cutting profit
Big brands don’t trade off profit for more orders. Instead of giving discounts, they increase their AOV with product bundles. Best Buy, one of the biggest retailers, offers multiple complementary products at every product page.
The additional items are ones that perfectly use with the product customers are viewing. By bundling one main product with 2-3 complementary items, they have easily increased the value of each order.
The key point here is knowing what products should be combined together. We will discuss more on this later.
2. Clear slow-moving inventory
When tying multiple products together, you’re boosting impressions of all the bundled items. This is extremely helpful when you want to clear slow-moving stocks. By attaching with high-traffic or best-seller product, slow-mover will get more attention so probably be bought more.
3. Promote new products at the least cost
There are several reasons that make product bundling is a great way to promote a new product.
Promoting a new product is always difficult because customers are not sure if your new product is good enough to try. It can even be considered as a risk. However, you can take advantage of the authenticity of your existing products to lower the risk. By bundling a new product with a best seller, you are telling customers that your new product is as qualified as the other.
By doing so, you can show up your new product in front of many potential customers. If they’re interested in it, they’ll more likely click the product to learn more information about it. Such a smart way to drive traffic to a new product, right?
A cooking recipe to make product bundles
The image of a chef carefully choosing each ingredient, cooking them at exact portions, temperature, etc. to make a perfect meal is inspiring for anyone who sees it. That’s just how online sellers should do product bundling. Being inspired by that, this recipe is to help you create product bundles in the way a chef cooks a meal. Now, it’s time to jump into the recipe.
Step 1: Choose “ingredients” for your product bundles
Just like cooking, you need to the right “ingredients” for your bundles first. There are 5 types of product bundles and depending on the type you choose, the bundled items will be different:
Complementary product bundles
This is the most common and easiest bundle type for any online stores to use. Complementary product bundles contain products that can be used together. Side products are added to help customers to fully use the main one.
The additional products that you’re going to add to your bundle would decide how much your customers will love your bundle. This is the time when you think of how to deliver more value than the customer’s expectation.
The bundle below from Best Buy’s has 3 side items: a magnetic charging cable, a screen protector and a sports band. They are perfectly matched with the being viewed Apple Watch.
Another example, Downlite Bedding bundles pillows with pillow protectors, making a perfect match to increase order value. Customers only have to pay 10 dollars more to keep their pillows clean. With that bundle, the brand successfully increases their order value and earn $45k+ more.
Note: If you are a data-driven decision maker, you can create your bundles based on the insights from your order history. From old orders, check if there are any products that are usually bought together. Then you can simply create bundles of those items.
2. Products that have the same theme
In cooking, all the dishes which are served in the same meal should follow the same theme (foods from the same region for example). This rule is also applicable to product bundling.
This type of bundle is quite similar to the previous one. However, it’s not just about products that can be used together, but products that would give a specific result when they come together. This type of bundle is ideal for cosmetic and fashion brands where the products need to be combined well to have a beautiful makeup look or outfit.
It includes 4 products that Kylie had used in her VMAS event. It set the expectation that buyers can have the same makeup look like Kylie’s. This bundle fastens the decision-making process because it’s already a complete set for a specific makeup look. Customers won’t need to select one by one or worry if their choices go well together.
Outdoor Voices is also doing the same to offer its customers a complete outfit. But they don’t tie 4 products into 1 fixed bundle like Kylie Cosmetic. Instead, they give suggestions at the bottom of the product page and allow customers to add any of the additional items. This way, their bundles are more flexible. In case customers don’t want any of them, they can easily deselect it.
3. More of the same/similar products
Some times, there are products that can only be used alone. For this type of products, you can simply create a bundle of 2-3 similar items.
If you are selling low-priced products like phone cases, this type of bundle is perfect for you to increase your order value. You can add different variants of a product into one bundle to suggest customers to buy all of them at once.
Another interesting bundle from Poo~pourri, they pack 5 pocket-sized bottles into 1 box so that customers can try all their scents with a much more affordable price.
4. Bundles with gift cards
Bundling physical products with a gift card is used commonly in holiday seasons when the demand for buying gifts is high. This type of bundle is a no-brainer option and work for any product.
Or, you can even bundle multiple gift cards in one as well.
5. Incentivized bundles
The four types above show you different ways to make a valuable bundle for customers and sell more without cutting profit. But if you can make your bundle a great deal, you can even make a boost in sales. Customers love a great deal!
For example, Tyfoto is offering a discount of $15 for those who buy 3 lens filters at once. This can be considered as a quantity discount as well.
By adding a slow-mover in the same bundle with a popular one and add a small discount, you can increase AOV and clear your stock at the same time. Or you can also create buy-one-get-one bundles where samples of new products are given for free so that you can promote new products directly to most potential customers.
Step 2: Calculate each ingredient, don’t overdo!
A common mistake of most online sellers when creating doing product bundling is they focus only on the total price. Some add too much to their bundles and make it pricey for their customers. Remember that the purpose of bundling products is to bring more value to customers, not to sell them everything you have. Your bundle’s price shouldn’t be too much higher than customers’ budgets. 25% higher than your current AOV is a good start so that you can be sure your customers can afford your bundle.
If you are selling products with different price ranges, don’t pair cheap items with premium products or services. The 2 types of products target 2 groups of shoppers. By mixing them together, the value of the premium item can be lowered but the whole bundle is still expensive for the other group of shoppers.
Step 3: Turn on your cooker, mix it up!
In our example above, there are 2 ways to display your product bundles:
Create a new product which contains smaller items inside. Customer can buy your bundle just like they buy a normal product.
Offer side-products when customers view the main one.
If you choose the first way, from your store backend, add a new product as you normally do. The product description should be clear about elements that are packed together inside. The price will be the sum of each element product. This way, you don’t need any tools or apps to create your bundles.
We highly recommend you choose the second option, just like the way Best Buy is doing. By profiling your bundle when customers view each element product, it will get more attention, compared with the first way. More importantly, shoppers are able to deselect 1 or more items from your bundle to make it more affordable and suitable for their needs.
Best Buy has a technical team to code and customize their bundles. But you don’t need a whole team for that. An upselling app like Boost Sales can be as helpful as Best Buy’s team.
A cross-sell offer is created by Boost Sales
The cross-sell offer feature in Boost Sales app allows you to create a bundle in 3 steps:
Add an offer’s name and message (the message will show along with your bundle. Make it as much appealing as you can).
Choose products to add to your cross-sell offer
Add a discount price (optional)
By saving the offer, you are successfully creating a bundle and ready to serve your customers your well-done “meal”.
Step 4: Receive customers’ responses and make it better
It’s understandable if your bundles don’t work immediately. But you can make it better over time.
First, to see if customers respond positively with your bundle, you can analyze its conversion rate and compare with your other bundle. If you use Boost Sales for your product bundles, you can watch the conversion rate of each bundle from your app dashboard.
Second, A/B test to find which type of bundle works best for your customers. Things that you should A/B test are:
The message of your bundle
The number of side-products in your bundle (You can also test with the same main product, which side-product is best to combine with)
Types of discount (percentage discount or fixed price discount)
Over to you
That’s the end of our “cooking recipe”. Product bundling is not just a sales strategy but it’s a way to tell your customers how professional you are and how much you care about them. This also distinguishes yourself from your competitors and other brands. The more value customers get from you, the more they will remember and return.
Think of yourself as a chef who always tries to create the best dishes. This way, you can bring more happiness to your customers and so, make more sales.
Why do people buy? And, why do they do it online? When customers visit our online store to buy, we don’t always know the key underlying buyer motivations that lead to their purchase.
Usually, we only uncover certain hints by the product category they’re looking at, the number of items they want to buy, and the size or color they’re planning to get. Other than that, we are blinded until customers take action.
There are many reasons why customers will spend their money with you. If you want to sell more, learning the determinants of buyer motivation is key to get more customers past the checkout process.
So, how do you uncover this buyer motivation? Why is it important to understand why people buy?
In today’s guide, we’ll provide the latest and most important studies about buyer motivation and what you can do to refine your eCommerce process and strategy to intensify people’s drive to convert.
What is Buyer Motivation?
Behind every purchase, there is an underlying buyer motivation. It relates to the feelings, thoughts, and instincts that can result in a buyer’s desire to purchase an item.
Buyer motivation, also known as buying motive, is a combination of people’s emotional and factual states that drives their urge to purchase. These are also the set of psychological factors that influences their eventual decision of a particular product.
Understanding buyer motivation is crucial for eCommerce stores to craft a highly targeted marketing campaign. No matter how amazing your marketing or product is if a customer has no driving motivation to buy from your store, you’ll end up with no conversion.
To understand it better, we have to start by looking at how a buyer progresses in making an eventual purchase decision through the stages of the buyer’s journey. Let’s closely examine these stages to determine how they impact buyer motivation.
Uncovering what stage a customer is in the buyer’s journey will help you able to nurture that customer toward the most crucial stage: purchase. Every stage of the buyer’s journey reveals deep insights as to what factors will influence their buying decision.
In general, a buyer may pass through 6 distinct stages:
(i) Awareness: the first time potential customers hear about your store.
(ii) Interest: the customers get interested in your brand and offerings.
(iii) Consideration: the customers evaluate your products to match their requirements.
(iv) Purchase: the customers commit to purchasing your product.
(v) Post-purchase: the customers decide how they feel about their purchase.
(vi) Re-purchase: the customers may become interested in buying more from you.
Every stage will reveal different classifications of buyer motivation. This will help you discover the real driving forces why customers buy products from your online store and not anywhere else.
Classification of Buyer Motivation
There are different types of buyer motivation but all comprise of mental and physical behavior that helps an individual to decide what, when, from whom, where, and how much to purchase.
They can be grouped according to the two main classifications:
Product Buyer Motivation: This refers to the influences and reasons that encourage a buyer to select a specific product over other choices. These could either be a physical attraction (e.g. product’s size, shape, color, etc.) or psychological attraction (e.g. social prestige brought about by the product).
Patronage Buyer Motivation: This refers to the considerations and reasons that prompt a buyer to buy a product from a specific brand over other stores. In short, brand preference is the most underlying motivation for purchasing a product.
These two main classifications can be further subdivided into the following:
Product Buyer Motivation
a) Emotional Product Buying Motivation: A buyer is driven by emotions when deciding to purchase a product. A decision is done without careful thinking or logical reasoning (e.g. prestige, comfort).
b) Rational Product Buying Motivation: A buyer is driven by logical reasoning or careful consideration when deciding to buy a product. A decision is made through conscious motives (e.g. safety, durability).
Patronage Buyer Motivation
a) Emotional Patronage Buying Motivation: A buyer patronizes a brand without any conscious reasoning (e.g. appearance of the site, recommendations from others).
b) Rational Patronage Buying Motivation: A buyer patronizes a brand through careful consideration (e.g. low price, wide selection).
Motives Why Customers Buy
As we’ve seen in the classifications above, there are many complexities in a customers mind when deciding to purchase.
We can summarize them into 6 motivations why customers buy a product:
Desire for Gain: Most potential customers will generally consider this as their primary motivation. People want to purchase something because they want to be in possession of a product. There’s a direct or indirect financial gain (e.g. buying company stocks).
Fear of Loss: People may purchase in anticipation of a financial loss (e.g. insurance).
Security and Protection: There’s always a need to feel safe and secured. For example, people buy safety lockers to safeguard their belongings against theft.
Comfort and Convenience: People buy because they want their lives to become a lot easier and more stress-free. For example, products like washing machines, pillows, cushion beds are brought about by the desire for comfortable and convenient living.
Pride of Ownership: There’s also that sense of prestige by just possessing a product. For example, people with luxury cars are seen with high stature.
Suitability: Because people have varied needs, they’ll look for products that match their current requirements. For example, a buyer will only choose a single bed sheet if he/she has a single bed.
How to find Buyer Motivation
Now that you understand how the mind of your customers works when deciding which products to buy, let’s take a look at the ways on how you can uncover buyer motivation.
There’s a rich hub of audience engagements that will help you see underlying buyer motivation. But, there are so many of them. To simplify the process, ask yourself the following questions to help you discover buying motives:
1 – Where is your traffic coming from online?
Knowing where your customers found you online is one of the crucial elements on how you can determine what buying motives they possess. Start by identifying which acquisition or marketing channels you get the most volume of traffic from.
Depending on what analytics platform you’re using, acquisition channels are usually grouped by paid search, organic search, affiliates or referrals. For example, Google Analytics already has a Channel Report that provides a general view of each of your channels perform. Simply go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Below is a sample dashboard that you will see:
What you need to pay attention to: Look at the ‘Transaction’ column and see which of the channels have the most number of completed purchases.
However, the ‘Ecommerce Conversion Rate’ is a more important metric for you to focus on. This is the percentage of sessions that resulted in a purchase transaction. Some channels will give you a high volume of transactions, but not always the best conversion rate. For example, let’s examine the figures below:
Organic Search is the channel with the most completed transactions. But, it doesn’t have the highest conversion rate. In fact, it’s a far cry from Paid Search’s 0.88% conversion rate. What does it mean for you? Why not focus more on your marketing efforts on Paid Search? The quality of traffic is richer here compared to other channels.
Also, ask yourself if you want incentives you can give to those you acquired from Paid Search to get past the checkout process. You also need to make strategies as to how you can improve the conversion rates from other channels. Why do you have a 0% conversion rate from Referral sites? Can you use discounts and coupons to entice these audiences?
2 – What are the demographics of your customers?
The social characteristics of your customers are also important sources of buyer motivation. Demographics like age, gender, and location will automatically give you some insights as to who and what your customers are and their possible motives of buying.
Using Google Analytics, the Demographics report will help you determine what age and gender your customers are. The sample report below will help you identify which age bracket where you get most of your traffic from and compare it to those who made a purchase. Do you have more millennial customers? If yes, why not tweak the tone and aspirational messaging of your campaigns to make sure millennials easily relate to them?
On the other hand, the Geo Location report can help you locate your customers by country, region, and city. Where are your customers mostly situated? Their location will give you ideas on which cultural and social references to use when engaging with your audience.
3 – What products are they browsing mostly?
Evaluating the performance of each of your products is also crucial in understanding buyer motivation. How many times a product is viewed by your visitors? What types of visitors are browsing your mostly viewed products?
These type of data will help you tweak you determine if your product page is designed to attract your visitors according to their buying motives. If you see that there’s a high bounce rate in a particular product page, it means that the product page doesn’t match your customers’ buying motives.
Google Analytics Product Performance analysis will unlock how your visitors are engaging with your product pages. Plus, this will also give you insights as to their shopping behaviors: cart-to-detail rate and buy-to-detail rate. Go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance to get a sample report below:
Pay attention to the following:
a) Cart-to-Detail Rate: Product adds divided by product detail views.
b) Buy-to-Detail Rate: Unique purchases divided by product detail views.
4 – What are the interests of your customers?
Are there specific interests, hobbies or topics that your customers share? Their common interests will also help you understand where they are coming from. It’s important to know what makes your customers pleased.
This way, you’ll know how to attract and sustain their attention during their buyer’s journey. If you don’t know what sparks their curiosity, you will lose them along the way or worse, they won’t even notice you.
To discover their interests, just simply use Google Analytics’ Interest Report. Go to Audience > Interests. Then, a report similar below will appear:
5 – Are they looking for discounts or redeeming coupons?
Are your customers asking for discounts? Do you have internal promotions or coupon codes? If yes, do you know the redemption rate? Your promotions, discounts, and other similar deals will give you a hint as to what your customers’ buying motives are.
For instance, are they really choosing your store versus your competitors because of your huge discounts? You can also learn if your promotions are attractive enough or not. This will help you tweak your promotions in the future by learning what types of discounts and promotion really drive your customers to conversion.
There is a section in Google Analytics that focuses on this reporting. Just simply go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Marketing. This will prompt you to choose between the following:
Internal Promotion: Determine how your internal promotions performed in terms of views, click, and click-through-rates.
Order Coupon: Know how your order-level coupons performed in terms of revenue, transactions, and average order value.
Product Coupon: See how your product-level coupons performed in terms of revenue, unique purchases, and average product revenue per purchase.
Affiliate Code: Learn how your affiliate sites contributed to your eCommerce performance in terms of revenue, transactions, and average order value.
How to apply your findings in eCommerce actions
Marketing or any type of promotion is only effective if it reaches the correct audience at the right place and timing. Now that you understand and know how to look for buyer motivation, you’re now ready to apply what insights you’ve uncovered.
1- Segment your audience according to buyer motivation and acquisition channel
You’ve all learned earlier that your customers’ decision-making process is a complex ordeal. Because of complexity, there are many underlying buying motives that drive them to conversion. This is why targeting your audience with the same message will just lose your efforts.
It is important that you’re able to segment your audience according to their buying motives and then adjust the way you engage and communicate with each specific segment. You can also pair each buying motive with a specific acquisition channel.
For instance, those acquired from ‘Social’ channel and who are motivated because of fear of loss can be grouped together. If you see that there’s high traffic from Social but with 0% conversion rate then maybe you’re not using their “fear of loss” to your advantage.
FOMO (fear of missing out) is a psychological trigger that explains why people are anxious if they feel they’re left out. You need to increase your FOMO triggers so that your potential customers will be urged to take action as soon as possible, else they will miss out on purchasing a product.
You can manipulate the inventory level of a product to boost FOMO. Headlines like “2 items left” will push shoppers to make a swift action to buy. The Stock Countdown feature of the Countdown Timer app will help you show the scarcity of a specific product.
2 – Maximize customer value per product
If you have underperforming products, you need to understand why it’s that way. You want to know what types they are. For example, if you have accessories with low performing sales, you need to make sure you are upselling them to your high performing items to promote them to your buyers.
A great example is how Zappos carefully planned to do some upselling items that might stir the interest of their shoppers. The recommended products are based on the current product their customers are viewing.
Use the machine learning technology from Boost Sales to automatically design relevant items based on your visitors’ browsing behavior.
3 – Use demographics and interest to match promotions
There are certain demographics and interest groups that can be enticed with different kinds of promotions. Others like discounts or coupons, while some love freebies. Determining which particular groups will respond to the different types of promotions will help you target the right people with the right incentive.
For example, Blackhair & Skincare made $5,600 in more than 1 month using Checkout Boost. What they did was to target loyal customers with a popup discount offer to motivate them to buy more and complete their purchase.
Motivating Shoppers to Conversion
Because our customers are your lifeblood, it is pertinent that you put them always at the core of your operations. Now that you know that there are different types of buyer motivation, you can now better plan your marketing strategies based on specific buying motives.
The key is to invest time and effort uncovering your buyer motivation. Once identified, you can now make data-driven business decisions that will surely drive customers towards the end of the buyer’s journey.
With a growing number of stores, more and more budding entrepreneurs want to start selling online with Shopify. Why is it a popular eCommerce platform? Is it right for you? If yes, how to sell on Shopify?
Working with a lot of store owners over the years, I’ve heard their stories when they first started setting up their Shopify store. It’s true that it’s much easier for non-technical people to start creating a Shopify store.
However, it’s more than that. The entire process involves many details that can overwhelm you. Good news — this Shopify guide will help you navigate how to sell on Shopify so you can start the ball rolling and focus on scaling your store next.
If you’ve been researching into the best eCommerce software, you’ve probably stumbled upon Shopify. It’s expected because it’s one of the most popular platforms with shopping cart software.
Shopify is a hosted platform, an all-inclusive software built to create online stores. It’s basically a one-stop shop offering everything that you need to sell online — it incorporates the hosting, order management, and anything needed to for a ready-to-sell online store, within a couple of hours.
As of today, there are more than 800,000 active Shopify stores in the world, generating more $100 billion worth of sales.
Because it’s an all-in-one solution, Shopify is mostly recommended for those who want to focus more on the selling part, rather than the technical aspects of creating an online store.
Moreover, Shopify is one of the best choices for small and new businesses as it provides convenience for those who are just starting up, especially if they have little to no coding knowledge. Although, even those with a coding background still prefer to use Shopify to minimize technical labor and focus their efforts into selling and marketing their products.
How much is Shopify?
Aside from its easy-to-use interface, Shopify is highly popular because of the low startup cost associated with it. But, how much will you shell out to sell on Shopify?
Shopify pricing ranges from $9/month to $299/month for its regular plans. The good thing is there are no contacts for you to sign or any other transaction fees, except for paying on an external payment gateway. If you commit to paying an upfront one-year or two-year plan, you can save 10% or 20%, respectively.
Depending on the features you need, you can choose which of the 3 above plans will be most suitable for your requirements. If you are small and medium business, we suggest you start with the basic plan. This will allow you to understand your needs as you go along.
The good thing is you can change your plan later on. If you start big but you realize that it’s too much for you, then you’re just wasting money. You can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time, so there’s no rush on getting the advanced plan.
What is Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus?
Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus are different types of solutions, specifically designed for varied business needs. Here are their differences:
Shopify Lite is a $9/month plan that allows businesses to sell on Facebook and chat with their customers on Messenger.
Shopify Plus starts at $2,000/month. It is designed for enterprises that want a completely scalable platform. Because it’s an expensive enterprise-grade solution, it’s highly customizable depending on your needs. Plus, you’ll have a dedicated support team to help you launch with a 24/7 priority support.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sell on Shopify
Now that you know Shopify is the most suitable eCommerce platform to start your online store, you’re ready to take action.
Here are the basic steps on how to sell on Shopify and get you a highly converting store in no time:
1. Set up your Shopify account
Shopify is built for technically challenged individuals. It’s, by far, one of the easiest platforms to add products, create discounts, and process orders — and it all starts by getting and setting up your Shopify account.
The first step on how to sell on Shopify is to register an account on Shopify.com. Then, sign up in a matter of seconds. For starters, begin with a free 14-day trial first. It won’t require a credit card to sign up successfully.
This will allow you to test and play around the tool before shelling out some money. The account will be automatically canceled at the end of the trial’s duration; activating it requires a purchase plan.
Your store name is important at this point. You will receive this error message below if your store name has a duplicate. Your Shopify store name will become your primary domain, but you can alter your domain name as you please. We will discuss this in the next step.
Once you’ve created your Shopify store credentials, you will be prompted to answer if you’re already selling or not. If you’re already doing business, you will also be asked for your current revenue.
The first two questions above will branch out to several questions that you need to answer before you can proceed. You have the option to skip this part, but it’s better if you answer it truthfully so Shopify can recommend the best course of action to take.
Either you answer or skip the first step, you will already be required to add your default business address in the next section:
After your store is created, you will see this admin panel below. Congratulations! You’ve just set up your first Shopify store!
The homepage will prompt you to either: add product, customize a theme, or add domain. As a beginner, we recommend you add your domain first. Let’s cover that on the next step.
2. Enter a domain address
A domain is a URL that links to your website, such as beeketing.com. It is what customers will type when they look for your store online. In Shopify, a primary domain is given to you like the domain name that visitors see in the address bar while they browse your website.
As a default setting, your primary domain is written as examplestore.myshopify.com, but you can purchase a different custom domain or connect a custom domain that you already own. You can choose your root domain or a subdomain as your Shopify store’s primary domain, but you can have only one primary domain.
If you choose to buy a new domain, you can go to Bluehost or GoDaddy. If you have a unique company name, you can choose this as your domain name. But, sometimes availability of the domain name will prevent you from doing so. Here are some characteristics of a perfect domain name:
Short and easy to recall: Choose an acronym or a word with less than 10 characters so that people can quickly remember it.
Easy to spell out: Keep away from using punctuation marks like a hyphen. Also, look closely for repeated letters.
Keyword relevant: Keep in mind the relevant keywords that people will use when they’re searching for you online. This will give them the idea on your products even before they enter your site. Plus, it will also positively impact your SEO ranking later on.
3. Select a Shopify theme
Your Shopify theme is what your customers will see when they visit your store. Thus, choosing an attractive and highly functional theme plays a crucial role in making sure that you’re conveying a professional, engaging, and high-quality store.
In Shopify, you have the flexibility to do the following:
Customize your own theme: You are in control here. Shopify will provide you with a basic but functioning look and feel but you have to plan, create, and optimize your Shopify store from the ground up.
Select a pre-designed theme: Shopify has a large selection of both free and paid themes via Shopify Themes.
You’ll be confronted with a dilemma between saving money with a free theme or investing in a sleek design with a premium one. While being economical is not a sin, a premium theme will give you access to more functions and features so you can make your Shopify store stand out.
For example, Testament is a premium Shopify theme ideal for stores with large imagery and featured collections. This will surely help you captivate your audience.
Remember, you also have to check how your design will look both on desktop and mobile. Some texts and images will vary how they appear on mobile devices. Make sure that you have a fully responsive Shopify store for a seamless shopping experience.
4. Add products
Now that you’ve got a sleek and good looking Shopify store, it’s time to focus on what really matters on how to sell on Shopify: your products. You can’t be an online store with anything to sell.
This step is probably the most time-consuming portion but it really requires your full, undivided attention. Your products are what will generate your revenue. Without a highly curated product selection, your potential customers won’t convert.
On your Shopify admin panel, just click on Products to manage your inventory. You have the options to:
Manually add a product: If you have less than five products, manually adding them won’t be such a burden. You will need to fill out product details like product name, description, type, etc. You will also have to manually upload the product images.
Import products by CSV file: If you have a huge inventory, bulk upload products by importing CSV file is a better alternative to manual uploads. Here is Shopify’s official guide on importing products with a CSV file.
Find products to sell on Oberlo: If you’re eyeing to be a dropshipping business, you will never have to worry about shipping, packaging, or holding inventory. You just need to connect to Oberlo and it will help you find and add products directly into your Shopify store.
5. Install apps to support and expand your business
Shopify is very flexible and easy to customize. With a large number of Shopify apps, you can extend the functionality of your online store for you to sell more and grow faster. An app will help you enhance your Shopify store and embrace new technology trends to help you keep up and survive the eCommerce industry.
Just like themes, apps or plugins come in two forms: free or paid. For Shopify stores, you have infinite access to 2600+ Shopify apps as of today. From marketing, sales, inventory management, reporting, analytics — there are many different apps that you can use to help your Shopify ready to scale and grow.
6. Market your business and optimize for conversion
Time flies, doesn’t it? You’re already at the end of this Shopify guide. Hurray! You’re now ready to promote your Shopify store and get your first customers lined up.
Our last step on how to sell on Shopify is marketing and optimization techniques. Marketing will help you drive a steady flow of traffic into your site, but you also need to make sure that you continue to optimize your site to increase your conversion.
If you are unsure about how you can get people to start talking about your store and optimize it, here are some best practices that we’d love you to try:
Build your email list: Even with the explosion of new digital media, email marketing is still one of the most vital channels for online stores. Strategically place an email subscription form on your website to capture visitors. Once captured, you can nurture them into paying customers.
Advertise on social media: If you are serious about growing your Shopify store, then investing in paid ads is inevitable. Two of the most go-to social media platforms by savvy marketers are Instagram and Facebook. Here’s a guide on how to advertise on Facebook or advertise on Instagram.
Improve your product page: It’s not enough that you get people to visit your site, your ultimate goal is to get them to buy. Make sure that you optimize the product page so that your visitors will be compelled to convert as soon as possible.
Boost Sales allows your Shopify store to automatically create upsell and cross-sell offers on your product page. Upselling and cross-selling techniques will help you maximize the average order value by recommending products that your visitors are most likely to buy.
You’re ready to sell!
There are many all-in-one eCommerce software solutions out there, but Shopify store continues to be on top of its game. From inventory administration, order management, and anything needed to help you create a powerful online store, Shopify will build that for you within a couple of hours.
With no coding skills necessary, Shopify has helped thousands of established entrepreneurs out there who have started building their Shopify store from the ground up.
This basic tutorial should be enough to help you get started, but you will probably have more questions while setting it up yourself. Don’t worry then, because you will always discover things yourself while seriously working on it, and find support in Beeketing Blog with tutorials, tips and tricks to boost sales on Shopify stores.
Would you prefer a product that is unheard of and no one’s interested to buy over a highly demanded item with good reviews?
I think any rational person knows the answer to that: one will always choose the latter.
But, what’s the reason behind this? This is because people are mostly drawn towards something that other people are clamoring for.
This is exactly what social proof is all about. If you’re wondering how you can use social proof to propel your sales, then you’re in a treat today.
This guide will show you the basics and types of social proof to help you better understand the concept. But more than that, we’ll help you navigate how you can apply social proof strategies into your eCommerce site to boost sales.
What is social proof?
The term social proof first appeared in the 1984 book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, authored by Robert Cialdini. It states that we determine what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct.
Whether it’s about how fast we drive on a specific road or how we peel an unfamiliar fruit, we first understand the actions of those around us before deciding what to do.
In other words, the principle of social proof views the people’s tendency to see an action as more appropriate when other people are doing it.
The 1960s elevator experiment is a classic example of how social proof is at work. Basically, an individual will copy what a group of people is doing inside of the elevator. For example, if the group faces the back of the elevator, then the individual will likely copy it and do the same thing.
Why use social proof in eCommerce?
In the eCommerce industry, social proof is used in an attempt to influence the behavior of buyers, especially those who are unfamiliar with a brand, by displaying obvious clues (e.g. customer reviews) that others have purchased from a specific online store before.
Social proof also provides a convenient shortcut for shoppers who are deciding what products to buy by simply looking at how others behave. Shoppers want to know if a product is worth enough to purchase. The more people purchasing a product, the more potential shoppers will be encouraged to purchase it too. This is why social proof is a great conversion driver.
In a Consumerist study, almost 70% of online customers rely on recommendations from other people before making any kind of purchase. This is echoed by a case study from Reevoo which saw an increase in revenue by 18% when the social proof is applied by online stores.
What are the types of social proof?
Any good feedback you receive for your business or product is a form of social proof. Generally, it’s an endorsement from your previously satisfied customers. However, it’s not limited to this.
There are many forms of social proof that you’ve probably never thought of before. Here are different types of social proof:
How to use social proof
Now that you’re familiar with social proof and its different types, let’s take a look at 12 ways and real-life examples on how you can use social proof in your eCommerce store:
1 – Leverage a product’s high demand
A highly demanded product is a sign that a lot of customers are satisfied with it. This is the very foundation of social proof. We automatically assume that people have a good reason for purchasing a particular product. This is even more magnified if there’s a huge number of purchases made for that item.
If you have a product with a high number of orders, don’t be modest about it. Display how many people have purchased it. Your potential customers will certainly start considering that product if they see that a large number of customers have purchased it already.
Alternatively, you can also take advantage of your products’ popularity by simply creating a ranking of your bestselling items. You can display them via your homepage or create a bestseller landing page to showcase your most popular products.
Social Proof Example: Amazon showcases its highly demanded products with its Amazon Best Sellers page. The bestselling items are ranked according to the most number of orders. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a landing page.
2 – Increase urgency by displaying scarcity
Displaying a product’s scarcity is an alternative way to tell customers that your product is so highly popular that it’s likely to sell out soon. A low inventory level automatically triggers the FOMO (fear of missing out) psychology. FOMO states that people become anxious if they feel that they are being left out or missing something.
If your potential shoppers see that a product’s supply is limited or low, they will start thinking that a lot of people are ordering it. They will also begin considering to purchase it because they don’t want to find it out of stock soon.
Social Proof Example: The “Only a few left!” call-to-action right below the product name and price used by Sugarcane Market is a great way to get visitors to check them out.
The Stock Countdown feature of the Countdown Timer app will help you show the number of items left in stock for a particular item. You can show this scarcity strategy either on the product page or checkout page.
3 – Show specific product reviews for each product
Customer product reviews are definitely one of the most popular types of social proof. 61% of customers read product reviews first before buying a product. But, instead of just randomly displaying product reviews, it’s more effective if you display the real customer reviews for a specific product.
If the review is for a specific water bottle, then it should be displayed on that specific water bottle’s product page. This will help your shoppers to understand more about the product they are interested to buy because specific reviews are being shown.
Social Proof Example: Argos only display the specific customer review for a product on the product page. To do this, you can collect authentic product reviews from your customers and display them on a specific product page using Bazaar Voice.
Also, make sure to highlight the key points of customer reviews and then group them together to help your shoppers quickly know the real sentiments of previous customers by simply looking at the grouped reviews.
For instance, you can create two main groupings: ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’. This will split the reviews into positives and negatives. You can then categorize the reviews based on main points like if a product is easy to install then create a sub-group title in your ‘Pros’ list to group them together.
Social Proof Example: Sonos perfectly summarizes its customer reviews by dividing them into two groups: Pros and Cons. The ‘Pros’ list contains all the positive reviews and similar sentiments are grouped together in a sub-category that best describes the reviews.
Implement this kind of powerful social proof by using Power Reviews. It allows you to divide reviews into positive and negative section and then aggregate similar reviews into a specific sub-category.
4 – Display on-site activities
Aside from using the number of purchase orders, you can use other on-site activities to increase your social proof. On-site activities are the actions that your visitors do whenever they are viewing your site. These actions could be browsing, adding items on their carts, or simply clicking the wish list button.
You can do the same thing with your eCommerce store. Here are some on-site activities that you can display to your online store:
Number of people who are browsing a product
A person who recently viewed an item
Number of wish lists for a specific product
A person who recently wish listed an item
Social Proof Example: Tendencia Wood displays a corner popup telling visitors that 43 people have viewed the similar product they are currently looking at.
Beeketing actually offers an app that can specifically add this type of social proof to your store. It has a social proof feature that allows you to not only display a popup of the number of people who viewed a specific item but also the number of add-to-cart orders.
5 – Use social media numbers
Important social media numbers like the total number of followers are a good way to display social proof. Your social media presence is one of the things that potential customers look at to validate if you’re a legitimate seller or not.
Aside from your social followers, you can also show the number of social shares for particular products or contents. People are more likely going to prioritize to check out products or read contents if they see that hundreds or thousands of people shared it.
Social Proof Example: Taloon displays social media share count on the product page.
6 – Don’t forget about customer satisfaction ratings
Written reviews are important because they give potential shoppers an in-depth discussion about the product they’re about to purchase. However, there are also shoppers who are highly visual. This is why enabling ratings as a way of reviewing a product is also essential.
There are many types of customer satisfaction ratings. They usually come in a 5-point scale (5 being the highest) which are a lot quicker to grasp compared to a written review. You can use numbers, stars, percentage, thumbs up, hearts, and a lot more to visually display your 5-point rating scale. The idea is, the more people giving a 5-star rating for a specific product, then the more people will be inclined to try that product as well.
Social Proof Example: AO displays a 5-star rating on the bottom of a product page. It also shows how many users in a specific star. You can steal this social proof example by using the WP Review tool. It is complete with different rating scales like stars, circles, and a lot more.
7 – Share important milestones
A very fast way to build social proof in your store is by simply sharing important milestones that you have reached. It’s not that you’re bragging but sharing your milestones is a way to thank your customers and the people who helped you achieve them.
The following are important milestones that you can share with your audience while at the same time increasing your social proof:
Reaching an X no. of customers
Reaching an X no. of orders
Reaching an X no. of subscribers
Reaching an X no. of app downloads
You can display your milestones on your website’s homepage or ‘About Us’ page. Plus, it’s also a good idea to share these milestones on your social media account. Encourage your followers to repost so you can reach more audience too.
Social Proof Example: When Piktochart celebrated its 5th anniversary, it hosted a giveaway contest on Twitter to encourage retweets from its followers. The tweet included a picture displaying the number of users and purchases they’ve reached within 5 years.
8 – Exhibit customer testimonials
Because customer testimonials are genuine reviews made by real people, this automatically provides credibility and trust to your online store. A testimonial is a persuasive marketing strategy because it validates your product’s authenticity from the feedback of people who have tried and tested it before.
In fact, 74% of online shoppers say that they trust an online store with honest testimonials. There are many ways you can showcase your customer testimonials. Here are the most popular ones that you can use to increase social proof:
Quote testimonials: Usually, quote testimonials are snippets taken out from a customer review or survey feedback. These quotes summarize the principal idea without the need to show the entire feedback or review. You can simply add quote testimonials on your homepage sliders or on the bottom of a product page.
Social Proof Example: Poo-Pourri adds an automatic slideshow of quote testimonials on its homepage.
Video testimonials: Aside from written testimonials, you might also want to consider video testimonials as a social proof strategy. Video testimonial immediately stands out because shoppers can see real people talking about you. You can upload video testimonials through your store or even share them on social media to reach more audience.
Social Proof Example: Obagi has a dedicated page showcasing video testimonials from their past customers who have seen real results using their products.
9 – Showcase employee testimonials
Your employees are people too and they are the best people who can testify about the legitimacy of your online store. This is because they see first-hand how your products are made and how your online store operates.
Your goal is to make a healthy and happy working environment so that your employees will be your own brand ambassadors. This will help you build trust in your potential shoppers. In fact, employee reviews are one of the most trusted (16%) sources of product information.
So why not showcase your employees? You can add employee testimonials by interviewing your staff about how your products are produced and managed by them. You can also show behind the scenes footage and share their stories while at work.
Social Proof Example: The Chief of Product from Casper shared a testimonial of how they produced their products. Plus, they also recorded a behind-the-scenes video of the production.
What is the most important thing that makes a successful online business?
Is it the beautiful store UI/UX that you spend days and nights on coding? Or a catchy name makes your store stand out from the crowd? Probably. They are undoubtedly necessary but just subsidiary elements of a successful online store. The only thing should be the center of your business is your product. Since no matter how beautiful your store is or how much effort you put in your marketing strategy, people won’t spend their money on “meh” products. So if you start out your eCommerce journey, invest your time to find product ideas that sell.
This is definitely not an easy task. You will eventually find yourself desperate when you can’t come up with any good ideas. We understand how struggling it is. That’s why we created this list of 15 ways for eCommerce store owners to find product ideas. It contains all the tried-and-true methods that have been used by many successful stores, which are:
Start with what you have
Look around the Internet and your community
Think outside the box
Let’s jump into each of them right now!
Start with what you have
Before finding product ideas somewhere else, let’s start with things within you.
1. Follow your heart, follow your passion
Isn’t it awesome if you can do what you love every day? Running a business isn’t just about finding a product to sell, but it’s a path with hard work, headaches, risk, etc. In order to overcome a bunch of struggles ahead, why don’t you start with your passion right from the beginning? Passion would fuel your motivation throughout the long and tough journey.
If you need inspiration, take a look at Michelle Phan’ youtube channel. From a passionate young girl who did make-up tutorial videos on Youtube, she now has her own cosmetic brand – Em Cosmetic. The questions for you are: “What really interests you?”, “What can keep you doing all the time without getting bored?”. Finding the answers for these questions will help you find the right product you should sell.
2. Solve your own pains or problems
Demand creates its own supply. That’s why there is never a useless product. The question you should ask yourself is “what problem should be solved to make my life better?”. Since every supplier is also a consumer, it’d be easy to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you can provide a product that can actually make your life better, those who have the same problem with you will want it too.
Charmaine, the store owner of Back hair and skin-care had a serious problem with hair loss for years. But all product she had tried didn’t work for her. Then she decided to make an organic shampoo herself to treat her hair loss problem. The products worked so well that she started selling it online. Her products later became really popular in her country.
3. Do what you are good at
To survive in the business world, you’d better have competitive advantages. If you have deep knowledge or are expert at a specific field, don’t waste your strength. Let’s say you do best at creating handmade items. How about selling them to people who love adding uniqueness to their lives but don’t have such skills like yours? Josh, the founder of Cedar & Sail, enjoys making and building things since he was a little kid. In the beginning, he started with selling handmade concrete planters, then expanded his product category into home decor.
Look around the Internet and your community
Ideas can come from anywhere in your daily life. It can be the huge and endless resources of the Internet for you to dig as deep as you want or a simple social event that happens right in your hometown. Keep your keen eyes on everything around you, you will never end up out of ideas.
4. Ask Google
Google, of course, is the most powerful search engine where you can find your answer for most questions, including “what products should I sell?”. But to have a more precise answer backed by data, you should get familiar with Google Trends. Basically, Google Trends illustrates the interest trend over time of a particular keyword you put in.
What makes Google Trends so useful is that it allows you to compare the volume of multiple search terms at a time. This feature can be taken advantages when you have more than one idea in mind and are not sure which one is better. By knowing which one has a greater interest, you can make your decision with more confidence.
Let’s say you have two ideas, that is, homemade food and handmade jewelry. You can use Google Trends to compare their popularity. Here is the result you may get:
But that’s not enough, homemade food is still general, you may need to narrow it down a bit. Luckily, Google Trend suggests related queries with “homemade food” that also provide more insights into the market. It seems that “homemade pizza sauce” has the highest demand but “homemade food for pets” is also a potential niche that’s worth your consideration.
5. Keep updated with trends on social media
Social media is a powerful source for you to find product ideas. If something is trending, the first place it goes viral is social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
On Instagram, they already have a search tab where all trending images and videos are displayed. You can make use of topic channels right at below the search bar to see more specific content.
Like Instagram, Twitter also has smart recommendations. Based on topics you have chosen when you first signed up with Twitter, it will suggest more trending related posts in Search tab.
Tip: While scrolling down your feed on any social media platforms, you may notice sponsored post from other stores. Visiting those stores may give you some ideas as well.
6. See what’s trending in big marketplaces
It would be a big mistake if giant marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba are not listed here. There are two things that make them go-to places to find product ideas: the huge number of products and buyers.
With hundreds of millions of products being published and sold, there is literally nothing you can’t find in Amazon and Alibaba. In addition, with 279 million active users and 278 recorded orders, what’s trending in Amazon and Alibaba is trending in the online market. That’s why their product rankings are so valuable and insightful.
Let’s get started with Alibaba, a well-known and the largest online wholesalers. In their homepage, they categorize products into different types and rank them with “hot selling” or “top search” labels. By which, you can see what types of products have higher demand.
They also have eCommerce Buyers’ Zone where you can browse products from one-stop suppliers. You can get your products customized and delivered without dealing with multiple service providers.
Amazon has a long list of departments. In each department, there are also smaller levels for you to browse and find your niche.
Tip: Take a look at Amazon’s Best Seller page to see which products are in the trends. They categorize this page into 5 different tabs, which are:
Best sellers: most popular products based on sales.
Movers & shakers: the biggest gainers in sales rank over the past 24 hours
Most wished for: products most often added to Wishlists and Registries
New releases: best-selling new and future releases
Gift ideas: most popular products ordered as gifts
This page will keep you updated and never running out of product ideas.
Besides the above giants, you can refer to other marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy.
7. Know what’s going on globally with online trendspotting sites
It’s surely helpful for eCommerce store owners to know and see trends in different regions in the world, especially when you target customers outside your country.
The most practically helpful site we found is TrendHunter. They have ranking charts for products in each market such as Fashion, Tech, Lifestyle, etc. that are updated daily, weekly and monthly. Besides, they filter hundreds of thousands of ideas and distill to valuable customer insights reports. In other words, they already make the research for you.
One of the biggest and most active communities is Reddit, where people discuss almost every topic you can think of. Therefore, it is an amazing resource for you to find product ideas. There are a bunch of sub-communities inside Reddit itself and ones we find helpful for finding products ideas are Buy It For Life and Shut Up And Take My Money. You will definitely be amazed by the insights you get from these sub-communities.
Buy It For Life has 565k subscribers where people talk about durable, high-quality products. They not only share their favorite items but also ask for suggestions from others. If you can provide something that meets those requests, you will at least win in this community. Also, if you have a specific niche in mind, you can learn more about it from discussions in those posts.
Shut Up And Take My Money is another interesting community where you will get inspired by the most creative products all around the world. For example, the candle with the smell of freshly signed divorce papers went viral on this community because of its humorous content. The product is nothing special but the short tagline content has generated word-of-mouth.
How about getting some ideas there and apply for your products?
9. Keep an eye on local community events
Remember the time when Donald Trump went on the presidential election? In order to protest against him, many print materials with Trump image have been produced and become trending. Trump toilet paper is an example. There will be countless events that will happen in your local community. Each event will be an opportunity for you to create and sell trend-following products.
A hack that has worked all the time is importing popular abroad products to your local market. People love unique and exotic things. Out-of-the-ordinary things from another continent will bring your customers the sense of a new culture, a new lifestyle. Your products will be different from the rest of the market and hopefully, there is no competitor.
11. Bring brick-and-mortar products or services to the digital world
Sometimes, you don’t have to find a totally new product, just make an existing one easier to buy online.
Let’s say your local specialty is so good that people from neighbouring areas always want to try. But due to the distance and traffic, they can’t visit your area quite often. How about selling your local food online so that everyone can easily purchase? Your online store will be a channel to distribute brick-and-mortar products.
12. Serve the fan clubs or communities you are in
If you are a member of a fan club, why don’t you start selling something within your community? It’d be easier to serve a market that you have a deep understanding of.
Mark, the founder of Anime Printed has done that so well. He successfully sells anime merchandises for anime fans who love Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball as he does. Eventually, he became one of the most successful Shopify store owners.
13. Follow eCommerce experts
A shortcut to get valuable insights without spending much time of research is following eCommerce experts such as Beeketing, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc. These big names can be either eCommerce platform providers or app developers who have large number of users. With real data in hand, their annual reports of trending products are trustworthy and valuable for you to find a perfect product to sell.
14. Make use of product reviews
One smart way to find product ideas is reading reviews from existing online stores. Consumers usually leave reviews in 2 cases: terrible experience or extremely good experience. In both cases, there are so many things you can learn.
Customers leave bad reviews due to bad experience. After filtering out all the bad words or the angriness customers put in their reviews, you can see the real problem behind their unhappiness. What you should think about is a solution to fix that problem with your product. In some cases, customers even tell the sellers what should be improved to fix the problem. Isn’t it great that you can learn from other’s lessons without paying the price?
This is an example of a negative-but-insightful review – Source: Amazon
With positive reviews, you should dig deep into them to find what makes a beyond-expected experience and try to replicate it in your products.
This strategy is extremely helpful if you are going to sell a commonly used product and have tons of competitors. By collecting both good and bad reviews, and making necessary improvements, you will be able to build your competitive advantages and win your market.
Think outside the box
15. It doesn’t have to be a physical product
You don’t have to tight yourself on any boundary. In case you haven’t known yet, digital products are pretty common in online businesses. They can be software, mp3 files, videos files, etc. which are downloadable or streamable. Digital products are definitely worth considering due to the low overhead cost. At least you don’t have to care about the cost for inventory or shipping cost for digital goods.
NoiseAsh is an extremely successful example of selling digital products. They build software and hardware audio tools for the entertainment industry. If you are able to build technology tools just like the store..
With the vast selection of products and services online, shopping has never been so easy and convenient. You can definitely find any products or get your needed services with just a simple online search. But is it really that simple?
While this huge option seems to be a positive trait, online shoppers may find it hard to discover the perfect products when faced with too many items to choose from. This slows down their decision-making process, thus, hurting your conversion directly.
Just take for example when you search for women shoes on Walmart, you’ll get this result:
There are 149,427 available shoes, excluding premium brands, to choose from. That’s just one online store. Now, imagine if you search it on Google. This can be particularly overwhelming for many online shoppers.
This overwhelming feeling is called the psychology of overchoice. Today, you will learn more about how and why too many choices can affect the decision-making process of shoppers and some practical tips to simplify your shopping experience and avoid customer overchoice.
The psychological process of overchoice
The principle of overchoice, also known as choice overload, explains that having many available choices at once negatively affects the decision-making process. If shoppers have access to too many equally viable options, it becomes overwhelming for them to decide because of the variety of potential results and risks associated with picking the wrong choice.
But, don’t get us wrong. Choices are actually very essential for customers. In a study about the number of choices and buying behavior, it was found out that having no other choice results in no purchase. At first, having more choices leads to more purchases. But as the number of choices goes up, people tend to get more confused, pressured, and ultimately ending up with dissatisfaction.
A proportion of subjects who bought any pens as a function of the number of choices available. Source: avnimshah.com
The freedom to choose is vital, but too much of that can also lead to adverse effects. Presenting shoppers with many available options can result in decreased motivation to make a purchase and reduced satisfaction after a choice is made. Overchoice makes it difficult for people to decide and will eventually end up leaving your site without a purchase.
When less is more: reducing choice overload
Every additional choice demands more additional time and effort to evaluate a product. Thus, the key to providing options to customers is to find the perfect number of choices and provide other interventions to overcome irrational decision biases.
Generally, online stores can reduce choice overload by following these rules:
Limiting available choice alternatives
Providing support tools to guide decisions
Simplifying and organizing choices
Timing choices to speed up the decision-making process
The main idea of the above rules is to follow the “less is more” principle. You want to lessen all areas that complicate the shopping experience and reduce anything that provides too many alternatives.
How to reduce customer choices to increase the conversion rate
While there are individual biases to overchoice, there are different ways to minimize the overwhelming task of deciding what to purchase when your customers are faced with many choices.
The following are “less is more” best practices that you can steal and apply on your online store:
1. Reduce CTAs
The call to action (CTA) is a very crucial element to any webpage. It prompts your website visitors to take a specified action. CTAs are usually displayed as buttons or hyperlinks, such as ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Subscribe Now’ to tell visitors what to do next.
With the lack of a clear CTA, visitors won’t have a clue on what necessary steps to take which will most likely push them to leave your site without converting. On the other hand, having multiple CTAs one a single page may confuse your visitors, causing them to make no choice at all.
Aside from making your CTA clear and eye-catching, it is important that you switch from multiple CTAs to just one per landing page. This will ensure that you are not overwhelming your customers with so many actions to take all at once.
A study concurred this when 3 CTAs were reduced to just one, they saw a 64% increase in conversion.
Traditionally, most eCommerce stores want to add or extend their product offerings because of the assumption that shoppers demand as many choices as possible and that people have varied preferences.
But, interestingly, recent evidence shows that more and more customers are requesting fewer choices. For instance, a Forester Research survey revealed that customers are foregoing unlimited choices for more curated choice, where sellers handpick possible choices and suggest a limited option.
A classic study echoed this when Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper performed their famous jam experiment. They wanted to find out if the number of product variations would affect conversion rates. The field experiment presented consumers with either a stall of limited (6 flavors) or an extensive (24 flavors) selection of different jam flavors.
The stall with more jam flavors attracted more customers, 60% in contrast to 40%. But what’s interesting is how the two stalls performed in terms of sales conversion. The stall offering just 6 flavors of jam had a 30% conversion rate compared to the 3% of the stall with 24 jam flavors.
What it means is that while you can attract a lot of traffic because of extensive product lines, a high conversion rate won’t be guaranteed. Offering fewer product lines means you have well-curated products. Thus, reducing the overwhelming cognitive decision and increasing your chances of conversion.
For example, a food company wanted to reduce the complexity of its product portfolios by analyzing the complexity of its product offerings and determining what consumers did not consider to be valuable offerings. Over the next several years, the company anticipates lowering the cost of goods sold by up to 7% while increasing its sales by up to 2%.
Product titles are essential conversion drivers because they help shoppers to decide what products to purchase. Writing complicated and lengthy product titles could jeopardize your sales. In fact, 20% of purchase failures are caused by unclear or complicated product titles.
With this, you want to ensure that your products titles are named and formatted appropriately with the right length. This will increase the chances of getting discovered by potential shoppers which means a higher possibility of getting more people to convert. While there’s no right number of characters in a product title, we recommend being brief but concise. It means that you have to be as descriptive as possible without having to write a lengthy title.
In fact, making sure that you optimize your product title with the perfect length will help you get 51% more clicks. As a rule of thumb, you can follow the policy requirements given by your listings. Amazon, for instance, has a clear policy of using 50 characters maximum for product titles as a general rule. You want to stay under those characters but we recommend you go just below 30% of the maximum.
When writing your product title, you can follow this basic format:
Variant / Color / Flavor
Size / Quantity: size refers to the size chart (small, medium, large) or unit of length (centimeter, inch) for clothing or accessory. Quantity is the number of units in a bulk package
Keywords: what an average searcher will type to search for a product
Here are a few product title illustrations from Amazon:
Product Title Format
Brand + Line + Size+ Product Type
Sabatier Precision 14-Piece Stainless-Steel Knife Block Set
Brand + Pattern + Product Type, Amount
Spiegelau Authentis Collection Burgundy Wine Glasses, Set of 6
Brand + Model Number + Product Type + (Color/Pack Size)
Sharp LC-20E1UB 20-Inch LCD Flat-Panel TV (Black)
4. Offer fewer discounts
Sales promotions are particularly helpful if you want to drive immediate conversion. But, often we see too many eCommerce stores offering multiple discounted products. You’ve probably experienced this first hand. Have you checked your emails lately? If not, open your email and just see how many online sellers offering different products with the same little discounted price all at once.
Offering shoppers with too many insignificant discounts don’t only make too much customer overchoice, it won’t provide much value for your customers. We’re not saying you avoid giving discounts at all. In fact, we encourage you to offer discounts but in moderation. It’s not about the quantity of offered discounts but the quality of the discounts, meaning bigger discounts are more significant and valuable than a thousand small price cuts.
For example, Indochino ran a test on its email promotions by skipping their weekly email batch-and-blast and substitute a simple yet highly targeted email by just sending a recommended bundled promo of 3 products to previous customers based on their recent purchase.
This simple email resulted in a massive 540% increase in revenue per email compared to their regular sales promotions. Source: marketingsherpa.com
5. Add time pressure
In a study investigating the effect of time pressure on consumer choice deferral, it was found out that in the absence of time pressure, customers are likely to make trade-off comparison, making the selection decision more difficult and resulting in choice deferral.
However, if time pressure is added, the decision-making process becomes easier and faster. Thus, the choice of deferral has been decreased. For instance, online stores offering nominal discounts to provide customers with an incentive to purchase can add time pressure by setting an expiry to their discounts. The limited amount of time will encourage shoppers to make a choice faster.
You can easily add time pressure and increase a sense of urgency by creating limited-time offers. Checkout Boost has a countdown offer feature which allows you to set a countdown timer to your discounts or sales promos.
Drive your shoppers to make purchase decisions immediately when they are faced with choice overload by enabling a countdown offer which urges them to take advantage of a promo before the time runs out.
6. Conduct proper product categorization
While too many product choices can lead to overchoice, a research found out an exception — if shoppers know exactly what they want, they actually want to have a greater number of available products to choose from.
Although you wouldn’t exactly know if the customers have the idea of what they are looking for, you can still be offering a large assortment of choices without resulting to choice overload. What you can do is to provide your visitors with clear navigation and categorization of your products. This will enable them to discover the right products based on their preferences while reducing the likelihood of overchoice.
Review your current product categorization scheme and make sure that the right products are categorized the right way. You can create a new product category for products that are better grouped together like peanut butter and jelly.
Be complementary: Like the soda and chips scenario above, think of product categories that are better when they are grouped together, like fruits and vegetables or shoes and bags. For example, Wolf & Badger has a single category page for kitchen and bathroom products.
Offering the right choice
Customer choice overload is a common challenge shared by a lot of eCommerce stores that could potentially affect conversion rates. When customers are presented with too many options at once, they become overwhelmed and undecided, pushing them further away without converting.
Unfortunately, there is no exact science as to the number of offerings that can be presented to a customer as individual preferences vary. The good news is: there are simple tweaks that you can immediately implement on your site to reduce overchoice, such as limiting the choice alternatives and simplifying your website.
Bear in mind that conducting split testing and making continuous improvements are key ingredients to help battle customer choice overload and push them to conversion as soon as possible.
Breakups are unfortunate but they happen. As of March 21, Mailchimp announced heartbreaking news for Shopify stores. It will no longer be in the Shopify App Store and its integration with Shopify will discontinue on or before May 12, 2019.
This decision will abruptly impact a lot of Shopify stores that depend on Mailchimp’s email marketing automation service. Uncertain about this change or what it means to you? What’s your next step?
If you’re worried about your future email marketing campaigns, you don’t have to scrap your email marketing ideas all at once and get back from scratch. Mailbot is one of the best MailChimp alternatives if you wish to switch to a new email marketing tool.
But before you look for MailChimp alternatives, let’s understand more about this sudden pull out from Shopify and what it really means for your online store. This will give you more perspective as you consider alternative email marketing tools out there.
Why MailChimp and Shopify are breaking up?
Like any relationships, differences cause the breakup. Both Shopify and MailChimp have shifted their goals and pivoted their business directions. MailChimp cited that they have pulled from the Shopify store because of Shopify’s update on their data sharing provision that could negatively impact MailChimp’s business and their customers.
This data sharing provision is from Shopify Partner Program Agreement that requires Shopify apps to synchronize their customer information captured on merchant’s online stores and email opt-out preferences. MailChimp refused to accept these terms because they felt that this could jeopardize their users’ privacy.
On the other hand, Shopify responded that MailChimp’s refusal to respect their Partner Program Agreement made them not to shy away from making the tough decision of cutting ties with MailChimp. They also added that they won’t put their merchants’ trust at risk. All the data captured on behalf of their merchants will still belong to those merchants and not Shopify’s.
What it means to your Shopify store
While MailChimp has identified several workarounds for their existing Shopify clients, they all require manual interventions. The idea of an email marketing solution is to automate the process and not to create more arduous tasks on your end.
Shopify said that there are no immediate changes for merchants that are currently using MailChimp. However, while there are no unexpected changes to be made, you should already be preparing to look for an alternative email marketing app that integrates well with Shopify. This will ensure that you have a smooth merchant experience in Shopify and any latest release or developments are covered.
Mailbot: Best Mailchimp Alternative
The keyword for an email marketing automation tool is ‘automation’. You want a reliable tool that suits your business needs even without exerting much time and effort. As Shopify store owners, MailChimp could no longer provide that same level of service and convenience for you.
For one, if you will continue using MailChimp as your Shopify store email marketing service, you need to do manual interventions from time to time. Second, you won’t really be sure if everything is in accordance with Shopify specifications. Any updates from Shopify won’t be real time. Lastly, again you’re investing to automate and not to give you more worries and headaches.
To help you accomplish more even by working a little less, MailBot is one of the perfect MailChimp alternatives. It is a well-tested and time-proven email marketing service that gives you more value for money. Aside from advanced automation and easy Shopify integration, you can create email marketing campaigns depending on your needs: boost conversion, enhance customer loyalty, or increase customer retention.
Let’s see how Mailbot can help you with your email marketing needs:
1 – Boost conversion
With Mailbot, you can set up highly targeted email marketing campaigns by sending personalized emails automatically triggered based on specific customer behaviors and actions or draft and schedule pre-made marketing campaigns instantly every week. This allows you to connect with your email leads and drive them to buy from your online store.
The power of Beeketing Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help you build email campaigns beforehand. Here are two Beeketing AI-powered email campaigns to boost your conversion:
New Arrivals: The Newsletter Bot will create an email campaign promoting your newly arrived products to your email subscribers.
Site-wide recommendations: Mailbot helps you identify what your customers are interested in based on their browsing behavior and sales history. This will help you send out personalized emails with product recommendations that your customers are more likely to buy.
2 – Enhance customer loyalty
Email marketing is also designed to build and foster customer relationships and Mailbot is one of the MailChimp alternatives perfectly engineered to help you establish and grow a long-lasting connection. Mailbot has various features that will delight your customers and keep them from coming back, here are some tools you can use:
Happy Email: Automatically send a welcome greeting to your newly signed up email subscribers to make them feel cherished. You can also send a thank you email to your customers 30 minutes after their first order.
Reward Coupon: Make your most valuable customers happy with an enticing reward coupon. This will not only delight them but will also entice them to come back to your store and buy more.
3 – Increase customer retention
It’s hard enough to get customers to email opt-in so make the most of it by making sure that you have an email marketing strategy to prevent them from churning away. There will be times where customers will slip away or become dormant, your job is to make sure that you keep that relationship alive. Mailbot has customer retention strategies in place:
Sales return: For those customers who haven’t returned for 30 days, you can send them a reminder email containing the products they are interested to buy.
Buy again: If you have products that are bought in cycles, you can send an email to target customers who buy periodically just in time when their inventory is low and they’re ready to buy again.
Sales nurturing: Based on your customers’ browsing and sales history, MailBot is designed to nurture your visitors who are not buying or those who have abandoned their carts to bring them back to your site and retain them as customers.
4 – More value for money
Accessing MailChimp full email marketing capabilities and features can be challenging for your marketing budget, especially for small and medium businesses. MailChimp premium subscription is at $199 per month plus $30 for every additional 1,500 to 2,500 subscribers.
Mailbot, on the other hand, offers one of the most affordable MailChimp alternatives. You get the value for money with its $19 per month pricing for small businesses with less than 1,000 email contacts and $49 for medium-sized businesses with 10,000 subscribers. Any addition of 10,000 customers will just cost you with $50 extra.
Your newly found email partner
MailBot is a perfect email marketing solution for Shopify websites that need new MailChimp alternatives. With its very flexible customer segmentation features, you have the power to send out highly targeted email marketing campaigns so you can focus on growing your online store, increasing your customer loyalty, and retaining valuable customers.
A visitor lands on your website and then immediately clicks the exit button — Oh no! It’s the dreaded bounce. It only takes about 0.05 seconds for visitors to decide whether they like your eCommerce site enough to stay or bounce away.
Given that bounce rate is a common phenomenon, eCommerce stores have leveled up on their engagement by grabbing their visitors’ attention from the moment they enter their site.
This effort to enhance customer experience has led to a marketing discipline which helps to reduce bounce rates — eCommerce personalization.
Today, we will tackle how the apprehended high bounce rates can be solved using eCommerce personalization. If you think that your bounce rate is rising, we will help you re-evaluate your website and equip you with the best personalization techniques to display tailored fit messages and provide individualized experience to your visitors.
Before we proceed to personalize your site, let’s understand first about bounce rate, why you need to pay attention to it, and what causes it anyway.
What is a bounce rate? Why does it matter?
A bounce happens when a visitor lands on a website and then slips away without interacting further with it. Your bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your website after viewing only one page.
According to Google Analytics, a site-wide bounce rate is defined as the “percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds.”
A high bounce rate signals that there’s something off-putting on your site. It could also tell you that you might be attracting the wrong audience to your site. If you have a high number of bounces, this directly impacts your conversion rate. The more people leaving your site, the fewer people you have left to convert. This means less revenue for you.
What bounce rate is acceptable?
The truth about an “acceptable” bounce rate is it’s always contextual and subjective. There are many areas to factor in, such as industry, products, competition, etc. Each eCommerce website has different objectives and goals, so what may be acceptable to one site may not apply to another.
But, if you are looking for industry benchmarks, bounce rates generally fall between 46% – 65%. Here’s a full benchmark comparison by industry:
But, in reality, a good benchmark to an acceptable bounce rate is always lower than what you had before. What’s alarming is when you see a rising number of bounce sessions. This needs to be understood and addressed as soon as possible.
Why visitors are bouncing away
A rising bounce rate is an obvious sign that your site has off-putting elements or underlying issues that you need to address. A bounce is triggered by a number of reasons and situations. However, it principally falls down to the following implications:
The quality of the website: If your site is unpleasant, uninviting, and technically flawed, it drives visitors to leave. These include slow loading page, broken links, poor design, poor navigation, low-quality contents, etc.
The intent of the visitor: If the site’s purpose and what the visitors are searching for do not match, they are driven away to seek other contents. This also reveals hidden problems like possible bad backlinks from referral sites and misleading headlines.
The completion of a goal: If visitors have already obtained the information they need from other sites.
What is eCommerce personalization?
The term eCommerce Personalization refers to the process of dynamically displaying tailored fit messages and customized experiences to an individual. This process is done by using and analyzing personal data like demographics, buying behavior, and browsing history to uncover patterns relevant to visitors.
This makes eCommerce personalization a sound business choice because it helps online stores to anticipate and address customer expectations. In fact, 33% of customers have stopped their relationship with a company with insufficient personalization.
Benefits of eCommerce personalization
Here are some of the advantages that you can enjoy when you apply to when eCommerce personalization:
Better conversion – 86% of customers say personalization is critical in their purchase decisions.
Increased sales – 40% of shoppers are more likely to increase their purchases from a website with personalization.
How can eCommerce personalization reduce bounce rates?
So, how can it help in preventing visitors from bouncing away? In a study by Deloitte, 48% of customers reported that they would be willing to wait longer in order to receive personalization such as personalized product or service.
Using the principle above, websites experiencing high bounce rates between 40% to 70% can reduce bounce rates by more or less 20% to 30%.
Let’s do the math:
If 48% of your 40-70% leaving customers are willing to wait if personalized experience is offered, you can significantly reduce your bounce rates by roughly 20-30%.
7 Ecommerce personalization techniques
Gone are the days when personalization was just about addressing a customer by name. Today, savvy marketers and sellers practice the following eCommerce personalization strategies to deliver exceptional online shopping experience:
1 – Personalize your homepage
Personalization should start at your homepage. When visitors land on your website, you should already be able to grab their attention with relevant messages and direct them to the products that might stir their interests. Personalizing your homepage can help you uplift sales by 7%.
You can have a personalized homepage by dynamically changing its contents and appearance to match the type of visitor: returning or new.
Remember, your new visitors are not familiar with navigating your site. Complex and confusing navigation could potentially drive them away. Make sure that your visitors know where to go next. You also need to make new visitors feel welcome and get them acquainted with your site as quickly and easily as possible.
For example, Uniqlo has a welcome popup message to make their new visitors feel at home. It also includes a sweet discount to catch its visitors’ attention. You can steal this welcome popup using the Better Coupon Box tool from Beeketing.
Since new visitors are not familiar with your products, you can also show your popular items or trending products at the homepage to get them acquainted with what you have to offer just like what Adidas did with its homepage below.
Your returning customers will be also delighted if you recognize them when they get back to your site. Thank them for visiting you again. Tell them you’re thrilled and maybe delight them with a reward as a token of appreciation.
For example, Zalora offers a site-wide discount to its returning customers.
2 – Offer browsing history
A user’s browsing history is an essential eCommerce personalization technique that you can offer to your visitors. Amazon, the eCommerce giant, is famous for employing this strategy. What’s interesting is when your return and log back into its site, a ‘Browsing History’ link is in its navigation menu.
Offering your customers’ browsing history makes their online shopping more convenient than ever because they already have access to the products they are most likely to browse again. This cuts the time of browsing for different links. Thus, speeding up their path to conversion and can help you lift sales by up to 10%.
3 – Display dynamic contents and messaging
Every traffic coming into your site has different motivations and goals for visiting. It’s a big no-no to display the same type of content to different types of traffic. If you do this, you are not stirring your visitors’ interest because they cannot relate to your contents.
A successful eCommerce personalization starts with a great understanding of your visitors. Your contents and messaging must adapt your visitors’ persona, intentions, interests, and likings. For instance, if you want to offer a coupon code to a visitor, you can personalize the copy or call-to-action of your popup coupon based on what the visitor is currently browsing.
A great example is how Zalora dynamically changed the call-to-action of its discount offer. A visitor browsing men’s t-shirt is displayed with a 300-off on men’s shirts too.
4 – Improve your product pages
Your product pages are designed as a sales pitch model to tell your visitors more about your products, their benefits and features, and why they’re worth it to buy. Thus, personalizing your product pages is an essential part of eCommerce personalization.
Here are two tips to personalize your product pages:
Display supplementary or complementary products
27% of customers said that they want to get personalized product recommendations so it’s important that you showcase supplementary items that your shoppers might be interested in.
For example, Overstock has a “Coordinating Items” section at the bottom part of its product page so whenever a shopper browses a bed, complementary items like bed sheets and pillows are displayed.
The demonstration effect
Showing what other people bought alongside the product they’re currently viewing can also help you optimize your product page. For instance, Radiant Life has “People who purchased this product also purchased” section at the bottom of a product page to recommend more items.
5 – Targeted cart recommendation
Aside from the product page, also a great area to offer personalized recommendations is at the cart page. In fact, 92% of customers want to be recommended with products when they are viewing the cart page.
Suggesting relevant items at the cart page can help you increase your average order value. You can do this by applying upselling and cross-selling strategies. The shopping cart is a good touchpoint to upsell and cross-sell more products by using the visitor’s browsing activity and cart items.
The Personalized Recommendations tool from Beeketing enables you to upsell or cross-sell suitable products on the shopping cart page. Here’s how it looks like:
6 – Exit-intent triggers
An exit-intent offer can be displayed when a visitor is about to click the exit button. This can help you grab your visitor’s attention and momentarily stop them from bouncing away. Timing when and what offers would be displayed is a good customer experience booster because it’s real-time and personalized.
The exit-intent technology from Checkout Boost can help you automatically trigger an exit-intent offer that will pop up right before a customer is about to leave your eCommerce store. You can also use exit-intent technology to capture email addresses.
For example, Brooks Brothers display an exit-intent message to drive visitors to sign up.
7 – Incorporate a live chat
In eCommerce Personalization, real-time customer interaction and customer service like live chat are also vital. The main purpose of a live chat is to help visitors with their questions in real-time without having to email or call.
You can offer a live chat on your site by using Facebook Chat by Beeketing. This type of live chat is much more personal because your visitors can use their Facebook Messenger accounts to instantly start an interaction with you.
Plus, it’s beyond giving them fast customer service. 33% of people who use Messenger to message a business actually want to know more about a product and make a purchase. With Facebook Chat, your visitors have a way to communicate with you and even help them browse products just like below:
Getting it personal
A rising bounce rate is one of the many predicaments shared by many eCommerce website owners. It’s a bit of a headache to see visitors coming into your site but then quickly fly away without a trace.
While there are various reasons why visitors bounce, the key to reducing eCommerce bounce rates is to understand your people’s intentions of visiting and to check the quality of your site. That’s only when you can create a more meaningful and engaging customer experience through eCommerce personalization.
An effective eCommerce personalization should put the person at its core. Ecommerce stores must primarily cater to the customer first before focusing on making a sale. By making the customer at the center, you are making it easier for them to look and purchase the products they want in their own pace and timing. In turn, this helps you drive them to conversion quickly and boost your sales further.
You spend a lot of time and money driving high-quality traffic to your online store and pushing shoppers to add an item to their cart — but what happens when they leave your site without completing a purchase? Why are your visitors not converting?
It’s hard enough to get visitors to your site but what’s even more frustrating is to see shopping carts being abandoned by your visitors. What’s the reason behind cart abandonment?
Today, you’ll understand the reasons why shoppers push the add-to-cart button without purchasing. We’ve also outlined how you can reduce cart abandonment so you can maximize every traffic opportunity and drive more people to conversion.
What is cart abandonment
Cart abandonment occurs when someone adds something to their shopping cart online but then leaves the website without successfully completing a purchase. Any item that goes into the cart but never makes it through the transaction is regarded to be abandoned by the shopper.
You can determine your cart abandonment rate by simply tracking the number of visitors who have added items to their cart but drop out of the process before completing the purchase. Using an analytics tool like Google Analytics, you can already see the progression of your visitors to the sales funnel and pinpoint the number of cart abandonment.
Cart Abandonment Rate: Percentage of visitors who added items to their carts but left the site without proceeding to checkout.
Your cart abandonment rate is an important metric that will help you understand how your sales funnel is performing. It will show you the number of purchase intent but with unsuccessful completion. But most importantly, a high cart abandonment rate may signal some underlying issues in your eCommerce store, such as poor user experience or broken sales funnel.
Thus, if you reduce cart abandonment in your site, you are directly improving your site’s conversion rate, leading to more sales and revenue for your eCommerce store.
Why shoppers abandon their carts
While every eCommerce site is different, here are some common challenges faced by many online stores that lead to a high cart abandonment rate:
As a result of these cart abandonment reasons, the following are some of the implications that can be applied to online stores:
Some shoppers use carts as a means for research, organization, and price comparison without really the intent of purchase. They research and organize their desired items for future purchases. They also use this to wait for the prices to get lower while checking the cart from time to time.
Some people put items in their shopping cart just for entertainment purposes, boredom or enjoyment seeking. These shoppers were just browsing and mostly cannot afford to purchase their products of interest or they don’t have a real intent to buy the items at that time.
A lot of shoppers expect eCommerce stores to offer price promotions or have lower prices than physical stores. They also check if the shipping fees are too high or the discounts are too low.
Perceived uncertainties refer to shoppers feeling that the risk of purchasing a certain product is high. These risks include security risks like stealing personal and credit card information, non-delivery of items, and the lack of credibility of the eCommerce business.
Transaction inconvenience includes the complexity of the shopping process, lengthy registration forms, unexpected costs like shipping and handling fees that are not revealed in the product page, out of stock product information, technical glitches, and non-availability of other payment methods.
Pre-decisional conflict is defined as the hesitation between buying and non-buying decision which might likely result in shopping cart abandonment.
The math behind reducing cart abandonment
If shoppers are leaving after adding products to their carts, this might indicate the various reasons that we have cited above which have serious implications for your online store.
If you are near or above the 70% cart abandonment rate, you are at very high risk of losing potential sales. You need to create a plan to reduce cart abandonment and prevent this from happening in the future.
The first step in addressing your cart abandonment issue is to create hypotheses about why visitors are abandoning their carts. Examine how your current state of cart abandonment and determine the improvements that you can implement.
To optimize your shopping experience, here are some best practices that you can use to reduce cart abandonment and drive more buyers past the checkout process and successfully through conversion:
1 – Simplify and speed up the checkout process
An overly complicated checkout process and lengthy registration form to fill out are two of the most dreaded combination of high cart abandonment. Complicated and lengthy checkout turn away potential customers from completing a purchase. Optimizing your checkout process leads to more completed orders. This directly translates to more sales for your eCommerce store.
Complicated design elements and unnecessary details tend to distract and slow down your shoppers on their path to purchase. They will also most likely to cause glitches or errors. Your checkout should be intuitive, seamless, and effortless enough for shoppers to move past the cart and complete their transaction. Your registration form should also be practical and functional, removing all unnecessary fields.
You can add a checkout progress bar to serve as a visual indicator of where your customers are in the checkout process. It helps relieve your shoppers’ possible impatience since they have an idea if they’re near to completion.
For example, Topman has a checkout progress bar to illustrate a simplified and seamless process.
2 – Offer guest checkout or social sign-in
Shoppers tend to get frustrated when you require them to register at the checkout. Research from the Baymard Institute revealed that 34% of shoppers abandoned their carts because they are forced to register an account.
While encouraging your visitors to register is a good lead generation strategy, it can also impact your cart abandonment rate because of their unwillingness to perform the additional step. To address this, offer a guest checkout or a social sign-in option. A guest checkout will help your shoppers complete their purchase more conveniently without the need to create an account.
Alternatively, you can also offer your visitors with social sign-ins like registering using their Facebook accounts. This speeds up the registration because they won’t have to fill out lengthy forms which your visitors are impatient to do.
A great example is how Firebox offers a separate sign-in option for new customers with a guest checkout and Facebook sign-in selection.
3 – Build trust and authenticity
Your online store’s credibility and authenticity play a major role in instilling trust and confidence in your shoppers’ decision-making process. They always want to make sure that you are a reputable and legitimate online store. This is because they share their personally identifiable data with you. Moreover, money and financial information will be involved.
You can build your website’s credibility by displaying visible trust signs. In a survey, the most trusted security badges are the following: Norton (35.6%), McAfee (22.9%), and TRUSTe (13.2%). Here’s the full list:
You can also provide reassurance to your shoppers by adding social proofs in your websites such as honest testimonials and positive reviews from your previous shoppers. It was found out that 74% of shoppers trust a business more with positive reviews.
Aside from that, you can also display social proofs by displaying a popup message telling your visitors that other customers are also looking at the item they’ve added in the cart or that a recent purchase was made for the similar item.
For example, Sales Pop enables you to display checkout notifications to tell your shoppers the number of people who have completed checking out in the last 24 hours and numbers of items left in stock.
4 – Be straightforward with shipping and other unexpected costs
Shoppers hate surprises, especially if they mean more additional money to spend. Anything that is higher than what your shoppers expect to pay is definitely a bummer for them. What would you feel if you found out a hefty shipping charge at the checkout process? Isn’t that frustrating?
It is better to be upfront with your shipping charges and other related costs like taxes and delivery fees so that you can already set the expectation of your shoppers. Remember, your visitors do a price comparison. It feels like they’ve been cheated on or manipulated if unexpected costs will suddenly appear at the end of the checkout page.
5 – Rescue abandoning visitors with exit-intent technology
Before your shoppers click the exit button, abandon their carts, and leave your site empty-handed, why not rescue them on-site? Employing an exit-intent technology can help you salvage your abandoning shoppers.
An exit-intent tool enables you to detect visitors when they are about to leave your website without successfully completing their purchase. Once it detects abandoning visitors, an exit-intent message will popup to prevent them from leaving.
You can make it more compelling by displaying an exit-intent offer of a compelling discount or freebie. This will allow you to reduce cart abandonment and drive them to proceed to checkout. You can use Checkout Boost’s exit-intent feature to grab the attention of your leaving customers and entice them with a powerful exit-intent offer that convinces them to stay and complete checkout.
6 – Increase the sense of urgency
You’ve found out earlier that people are just browsing and not in a hurry to purchase a product even if they’ve added an item to their cart. While you cannot force their hand to purchase, you can definitely influence that by increasing a sense of urgency to your offers.
You can heighten the urgency on your cart page by triggering the law of supply and demand. You can do this by using quantity-related scarcity and time-related urgency. If people feel that items will be out of stock or discounts will run out of time soon, then they are more likely to complete their purchase immediately.
For example, you can add a countdown timer to your sales discounts to increase your shoppers’ sense of urgency. The Countdown Cart tool has a countdown timer that helps you drive hesitating shoppers to purchase as soon as possible to take advantage of the juicy discounts and promos before the time runs out.
It also has a quantity-related trigger called ‘stock countdown’ display the limited quantity of items that are left in stock. This will increase the perceived value of your products and motivate your shoppers to make immediate purchases.
6 – Consider offering additional payment gateways
25% of customers reported that they have abandoned their cart due to the lack of a preferred payment method. If you want to reduce cart abandonment, then you should offer at least two to three different payment methods to provide your shoppers with good alternatives.
Aside from debit and credit payments, you can also offer non-traditional payment gateways such as PayPal to accommodate your digital buyers.
A variety of payment gateways can help you cater to a wide number of shoppers and prevent them from abandoning their carts due to lack of preferred payment channel.
7 – Compare your store with the competition before shoppers do
Prior to making a purchase, shoppers visit at least three websites first to look for the best deal they could avail. So before they compare you with your competitors, why not compare your products yourself?
Shoppers normally only look at the most essential comparative points such as product price and features. When you present these comparisons yourself through a comparison table, you are in control of the conversation.
For example, if you offer a more expensive product compared to your competitors, you can highlight your competitive advantages as the most noticeable section of your comparison table. This way you can explain further why purchasing your pricier product will return more benefits than buying a cheaper item.
A comparison table at the cart page can help you cut the chase by eliminating the product comparison stage. And since you are in charge of the dialogue, you can feature your product as the best choice, just like how InMotion compares its offer versus other hosting services:
8 – Send cart abandonment emails
If all things fail and your visitors still abandon their carts, you can still drive them back to your site by using cart abandonment emails. Sending cart abandonment emails to visitors who leave your store without finishing their purchase can help you remind them of the items they left.
You can also make your cart abandonment emails to be more compelling by offering discounts to drive your visitors back to your site and complete their transaction. You can conveniently set up an automated email to recover abandoned carts using sales nurturing feature of Mailbot.
Mailbot can help you send trigger-based personalized emails using your visitors’ browsing history. It helps you track those who abandoned items on their cart and then send them with an automated cart recovery email.
Before you leave…
If your visitors are leaving your site after adding products to their cart, this might entail some underlying reasons why shoppers leave their carts like unexpected costs, excessive payment checks or complicated navigation.
With our best practices above, you can reduce cart abandonment, increase your conversions, and earn more sales by as much as 35%.