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Did you see that video? Have you heard that song? Have you done that challenge?

These are all questions you may hear from friends, family or colleagues on any given day.

Answer “no,” and you’ll likely be considered out of the loop or out of touch.

And that’s no good.

As humans, we naturally want to be a part of things, to know what’s going on, to be connected.

Therein lies the value of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) marketing.

It’s a technique that has immense power and can help your brand stand out in even the noisiest of industries.

In an era that’s sometimes referred to as “the attention economy,” FOMO marketing can be a real game changer.

It also helps you strike while the iron is hot and convert a larger number of leads so that they don’t slip through your fingers.

Now let me break FOMO marketing in detail and explain how to fully utilize it.

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The Psychology Behind FOMO Marketing

A 2013 study defines FOMO as, “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.”

I think that nails it.

FOMO marketing taps into a simple yet primitive desire to be in on the action, to be “in the know.”

No one wants to be left out, after all.

Missing out is a universal fear that goes back thousands of years.

To be out of the loop puts a person at odds with the group.

It creates social friction and could even be a threat to survival back at one time.

So it’s easy to see why inclusion is a priority for people.

“FOMO is characterized by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing,” the study adds.

In our hyper-connected world with endless status updates, breaking news and events unfolding in real-time, there’s a pervasive anxiety that we may miss something important.

And this fear is only heightened by social media.

In fact, 56 percent of people are afraid they’ll miss out if they don’t stay on top of what’s happening on social media.

It’s a particularly big concern for younger people.

Eventbrite even found that 69 percent of millennials experience FOMO.

“For millennials, FOMO is not just a cultural phenomenon, it’s an epidemic, writes Eventbrite. “In a world where news feeds and social media broadcast what friends are experiencing, the fear of missing out propels millennials to show up, share and engage: a driving force behind the experience economy.”

FOMO marketing acknowledges this fact and uses it as leverage to capture the attention of consumers, get them to react and ultimately buy.

Using FOMO Correctly

Before I dive into the actual ways to use this strategy, I feel I should point something out.

FOMO marketing should be used responsibly.

The thing about FOMO is that its impact lies largely in its ability to trigger negative emotions.

A study from Citizens Relation found:

  • 39 percent of people felt envy
  • 30 percent felt jealousy
  • 21 percent felt sad or disappointed

Feeling like they’re missing out can create a real sense of unease for people.

So you need to have the right intention when formulating your approach.

Today’s consumers are smart and savvy and can usually sense whenever a brand is trying to deceive or manipulate them.

Being over the top with FOMO marketing where you try to deliberately trigger unpleasant emotions can end up backfiring and drive a wedge between you and your customers.

So you need to use it correctly.

Here’s are some ways to do that.

1. Show That Something is in Demand

As of writing, it’s winter, and the weather is chilly.

So naturally, there are a lot of people looking to escape the cold by heading south to Florida.

Here’s an email I recently received from Airbnb a few days after checking out vacation spots there.

It lets me know that there’s currently a high demand in the Vero Beach area and that searches have increased by more than 44 percent since similar dates last year.

If someone didn’t jump on it right away and secure a vacation rental, a great opportunity may be lost.

Or at the very least, they may end up having a lot fewer options and paying more money.

Showing that something is in demand encourages people who have some level of interest to continue exploring and take action.

Knowing they may lose out if they delay can provide motivation to make a purchase.

2. Show That an Offer Won’t Last

Urgency is one of the most common scarcity tactics and can be highly effective.

It’s also an excellent angle for FOMO marketing.

Realizing that the clock is ticking and there’s only a finite amount of time to take advantage of an offer can be a strong incentive.

That’s something that meal replacement brand Soylent does well.

On this ad, customers see that they can save 35 percent, but they have to make their order by the end of the week.

If someone waits too long, they’ll miss out.

However, to encourage maximum participation, he also offers people the option of reserving their spot for a later time if they’re too busy at the moment.

I find that most people really take notice of this, and it greatly increases their chances of converting.

Setting a deadline for a sale can also work.

In this case, web development platform Wix is offering 50 percent off but has a clear deadline of December 20.

Another idea is to create a “countdown” where shoppers can see exactly how long before a deal expires.

You don’t want to be manipulative about it, but having a shelf life to an offer can effectively trigger the FOMO reflex.

3. Show How Many People Are Buying

Say that someone is interested in your product.

Perhaps they’ve browsed your site, done some research, and think it could potentially solve their problem.

But they just can’t quite get over the hump.

Letting them know that other people are buying, and better yet, how many people are buying can provide some strong motivation to proceed with their purchase.

Here’s an example of a clothing company putting this into action.

When prospects are browsing their clothing line, they’ll see the specific products that other customers recently purchased.

So it must be legit. Passing it up means they’re likely missing out on something great.

Often, this is just the extra little bit of motivation someone needs to complete their order.

4. Use Exclusivity

As humans, we love exclusive offers.

There’s something about having access to discounts and deals that others don’t that gets our blood pumping.

It makes us feel special.

So it not surprising that exclusivity is a big part of FOMO marketing.

Creating offers and positioning products in a way that only certain people can access them can have a huge impact.

Take this promotion for example.

Besides earning a 15 percent off coupon, those who sign up will receive exclusive offers as well.

In addition to overcoming the fear of missing out, this can instill a sense of loyalty in many customers.

They’ll be grateful that you’ve given them perks that the general public doesn’t have access to, which can be a big selling point.

5. Offer Limited Time Free Shipping

People love free shipping.

Nine out of ten consumers say free shipping is the top-most incentive to shop online more, and orders with free shipping average around 30 percent higher in value,” Invesp explains.

So, of course, it’s enticing when shoppers can receive free shipping on their orders.

In many cases, it means the difference between abandoning an online shopping cart and going through with an order.

Luckily, FOMO can become part of this equation where you offer free shipping but only for a limited time.

When there’s a specific deadline, people are far more inclined to proceed with their order than if there wasn’t a deadline.

This particular offer guarantees free shipping until the end of the year.

6. Offer a Discount to Early Purchasers

A common promotion for many sports teams is to give away a free t-shirt, hat or bobblehead to the first 1,000 or so people who come to the arena or ballpark.

It rewards attendance and encourages people to get there earlier.

This is yet another form of FOMO marketing that you can use in your own promotions.

While it may not be feasible to give away of a ton of free merchandise as sports teams do, it’s a concept you can still implement.

Here’s a great example from a restaurant that gave the first 100 customers to use their app 50 percent off of their order, a free drink and a free cupcake.

It’s a pretty sweet deal.

Assuming the offer is enticing enough, this can be a huge incentive.

Knowing that it’s only available to a select number of people encourages quick decision-making.

Rather than thinking it over and maybe returning later, they’re more apt to complete an order right away.

7. Leverage Testimonials

Testimonials are one of the most tried and true marketing techniques of all times.

They rely on a very simple premise of having current customers validate your product or brand.

And it factors in heavily to the overall FOMO strategy.

At the end of the day, testimonials let prospects know that other people are already using your product and they couldn’t be happier about it.

Therefore, prospects should take action so they don’t miss out on the benefits.

Here’s an example of a brand selling “The Shakur Shades,” created in the style that Tupac Shakur used to wear.

Potential buyers can quickly see testimonials along with actual product photos from satisfied customers.

8. Install an Exit-Intent Campaign

In all transparency, I do not like “popups.” Nonetheless, there are marketers who espouse their use and have benefitted from them.

When used responsibly, they can be used to point prospects to valuable offers they may not be aware of.

And they can definitely increase conversions.

One particular type of campaign that ties in brilliantly to FOMO is the exit (or exit-intent) campaign.

Conversioner defines this as, “a message that displays to users as they are attempting to navigate away from your site.”

Here’s an example of Danish bag company, Helm using an exit-intent campaign to encourage visitors to sign up for their .

Here’s another that offers an opportunity to win the bag of their choice.

If someone was about to leave your site, the exit-intent campaign would present them with the opportunity to receive 10 percent off of their first order.

So theoretically, a person could go from being a squandered lead to a cash paying customer.

It’s just a matter of providing them with a bit of motivation.

While it won’t work on everyone, studies have found that a good percentage of people are receptive to exit-intent campaigns.

In fact, Danish traveling company Hojmark Rejser was able to increase the number of offers they sent to customers from 1,300 to 2,300 in a season by using this strategy.

The key is to include offers with genuine value and perform A/B testing until you find the perfect copy.

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Conclusion

The fear of missing out is nothing new. It has primal roots.

But it has been magnified by the Internet and social media.

We live in a day and age where everyone seems to know what everyone else is doing at all times.

While it’s often a source of anxiety for many people, it can also be a powerful marketing tool.

There are several ways to use FOMO marketing to rise above the noise and connect with consumers.

The eight techniques covered here should help you do that in an ethical manner so that you can make the most of your leads and get more of them to take action.

Can you think of any other FOMO marketing strategies to reel in customers?

The post FOMO Marketing: How to Use Fear of Missing Out to Drive More Sales appeared first on Sleeknote.

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Every cloud has a silver lining. Even if your visitors end up on a 404 page, you can make something good out of an almost bad shopping experience.

Every now and then, I see humorous error messages that aim to turn frustration into fun. But why should you stop there?

Often associated with disappointment for online shoppers, 404 pages are still highly underused by e-commerce marketers.

An optimized 404 page can help visitors stay on your site, sign up for your , and even become customers.

And the best part is, you can start converting more visitors on your 404 pages today with a few minor improvements.

In this article, I’ll share seven of my favorite strategies used by top e-commerce brands to increase signups and sales, and how you can optimize your error pages for higher conversions, too.

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1. Display Your Most Popular Products

Whether it’s down to a misspelled URL, a broken link, or a product page that doesn’t exist anymore, 404 pages are still a part of your online store.

If a visitor ended up there, it means that they showed an interest in you and they tried to reach a certain page on your site.

And if it’s an e-commerce site, chances are they were looking for a product they might consider buying.

Now, can you see the sales potential here?

A disappointed visitor, who just found out that the product they liked isn’t there anymore…

What can you do to calm them down (and win their hearts back)?

Suggest something else.

Unlike a sold-out product page, it’s difficult to make personalized recommendations on 404 pages.

In this case, your most popular products give you the your upper hand.

Here’s how Urban Outfitters uses 404 pages to their advantage:

First, they inform you with a minimal GIF in their style:

Then, they display their most popular products with compelling visuals and price information.

The page is spacious, so popular products easily catch the visitor’s attention.

Instead of directing the visitor back to the homepage, they give them a starting point. And if many people purchased these items, chances are they’re worth checking out. (Notice how social proof works here, too.)

Another approach is diversifying product categories and adding the items you want to promote manually.

Take this example from One Kings Lane:

Instead of drawing an automated list of best-sellers, they suggest items they’ve picked manually for this page.

If you want to do something similar for your online store, you can even tweak the copy to focus on how you took your time and handpicked them to give the visitor a more exclusive feeling.

What I like the most in this example is how they include heart buttons to help you add the items quickly to your wishlist. Even if the visitors don’t buy these products right away, you can help them enter the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey and, even better, retarget them later.

2. Guide Your Visitors with Categories

Let me tell you the one thing that I hate the most about 404 pages: Getting no guidance at all.

I stumbled upon this 404 page a few days ago:

No direction, no link, no navigation… No guidance whatsoever.

What do you think I did next?

I closed the tab and never returned.

And this is the last thing you want your visitors to do.

As explained in the Strategy #1, suggesting a list of curated products to visitors gives them a good starting point.

But if you want to guide visitors in an even more gentle way, you can ask them to start with category pages.

For one, it’s easier for the visitor to take the next step with product categories. If they were looking for a dress before landing on a 404 page, for example, they can easily move forward by clicking a related category.

Here’s an example by Missguided:

When you visit a page that doesn’t exist anymore, Missguided “gets you back on track” by suggesting you to start with one of the main product categories.

(You can make this 404 page even stronger by adding “Sale” as a category. After all, who can resist a good discount?)

Another option is to make the transition from error to shopping even smoother for the visitor.

Birchbox offers you two paths:

If you get lost, they help you find your way back. And they only ask you one question: Are you interested in male or female personal care products?

Simplifying the suggestions is a better option than listing all the product categories you have on your site. Pick the ones that perform the best or divide them by gender, and find out what works better for your online store.

3. Help Visitors Find What They’re Looking For

Sometimes users will land on your site knowing exactly what they want to buy. (And isn’t that the best type of customer, anyway?)

Recommending individual products or product categories as the next step is a great idea, but make sure that you support recommendations with a search bar.

Giving your visitors the ability to search the product or the feature they have in mind is (almost) a guaranteed way to help them find the page they’re specifically interested in.

And that means a higher likelihood of conversion.

Check this simple 404 page design by Need Supply Co.:

It’s clean and neat, and the search bar is the central feature of the page.

Notice how they also support the search option with recommended products—in case you don’t know what to search for.

What I suggest is taking a more mix-and-match approach here.

Combining multiple strategies and supporting them with one another will strengthen your 404 page and improve the user experience.

Ted Baker knows this well:

Using a search bar, product categories, and handpicked items, the company makes sure they cover every position the visitor might be in.

(Note: You should be mindful while combining these strategies. You don’t want to confuse visitors with too many calls-to-actions and multiple directions.)

The focus of your 404 page also depends on the type of business you’re running.

If you own an e-commerce site selling technical products and if your customers are usually informed about what they’re looking for, you can make the search bar the focus of attention on your 404 page.

If you’re a fashion e-tailer, it might be a good idea to prioritize selected categories or best-sellers on the page.

And if you’re selling hard-to-categorize or high-end items, you might want to handpick the products you want to put on display (and even rotate them monthly.)

4. Offer More Than Products

When you run an e-commerce site, it’s quite normal to give all your energy (and attention) to your product pages.

But keep in mind that your visitors won’t always be looking for a product you offer.

There might be several other reasons why people visit your site—getting after-sales support, asking for product information, submitting a complaint or giving you a praise, or simply having a chat with you on any matter that is important to them.

If you ignore these possibilities and get too salesy on your 404 pages, you might scare those visitors away.

Give your visitors a chance to reach out to you, whether it’s a customer service request or the reason why they’ve ended up on a 404 page (which might give you a chance to fix it.)

Look at this example by Harvey Nichols:

The company prefers a simple and text-based design. They include links to the homepage, product categories, contact information, and other relevant pages (such as delivery, return, or careers).

Harvey Nichols doesn’t assume that every site visitor comes with an intention to buy. Instead, they try to be helpful.

How can you take this example and make it even better?

Rather than simply listing your contact information, you could create a “Get in Touch” campaign that only shows on certain pages (including 404) using our Connect with Visitors feature. This way, you’ll both help your visitors with their problems and collect valuable leads.

If you’re offering product support, user guides, or a store locator on your site, they can be good additions to your 404 page, too.

Just like Bang & Olufsen:

If you have any other pages on your site that have a high traffic volume (for example, a quiz or a blog post that received lots of attention), you might consider adding them to your 404 page, too.

Who knows? Maybe it’s the page visitors are looking for.

5. Collect Email Addresses

If you’re already collecting email addresses on your e-commerce site, you must know that offering an incentive can significantly boost your signup conversions.

In a recent consumer study, more than 80% of the participants reported that they sign up for email lists in order to receive special offers and discounts.

Offering a coupon on your 404 page can ease the frustration of your visitors and motivate them to continue shopping. Plus, collecting their email addresses gives you a second chance to make a better impression with , and bring visitors back to your site.

Here’s how ban.do uses an email signup form on their 404 page:

The page is quite simple—fun illustration, informative copy, search bar, and email signup form.

Sure, this might work. But you can always do better.

The problem, here, is that I can’t see the connection between the error I got, the search bar, and why I should join their email list…

I like the incentive (10% off) but I would be more willing to sign up if they showed me some top-selling products and gave me a real reason to claim my discount.

If you want to keep your 404 page simple, you can still improve it by customizing the copy in a way that communicates regret and compensation.

You can change the signup form copy to something like: “Let us make it up to you with a special coupon code.”

It’s a strong incentive to sign up and make a purchase. Plus, it evokes curiosity.

A better example comes from Vero Moda:

Their 404 page follows a logical order. First, they inform you about the error you got. Then, they suggest running a search or looking at their recommended product categories: “New In”, “Trends”, and “Great Offers”.

And if you want Vero Moda to inform you about what’s new, trending, or on sale, then you can sign up for the email list. Plus, you get £5 off. What more can you ask for?

The flow makes sense to the reader and gives them multiple actions t0 choose from—without overwhelming the visitor with too many messages.

6. Optimize Your 404 Page Copy

I’ve seen so many error pages putting the blame on the user by saying things like: You must have clicked a wrong link, taken a wrong turn, made a typo or so on…

You can almost feel someone rolling their eyes and judging you behind the screen.

Another common practice I see is redirecting 404 pages to the homepage. But this might scare the visitor away if they don’t understand what just happened.

That’s certainly one way of doing it. But you can easily optimize your error page copy to give the visitor an explanation, reduce frustration, and guide them to something better.

Check this example by Beauty Bay:

First, they explain why you get this error code and reassure you by saying “Never fear, chances are the product or article you were looking for still does exist.”

Then, they show you the ways to find what you were looking for. (And they consider that it can be something other than a product.)

Lastly, they suggest you some trending items, in case you want to continue shopping from there.

It doesn’t take much effort but you can see how they try to connect and empathize with the visitor to ease their frustration.

Another position you can take on your 404 page copy is humor and Vinomofo does it so well:

Using Liam Neeson’s famous lines from the movie Taken, the company tries to cheer you up and create an understanding.

It works for Vinomofo because this tone is consistent with their overall voice. Of course, this may not be an option for every e-commerce business out there, but you know your visitors better.

You can always find something that resonates with your audience and tweak your error page copy based on that.

(Going back to the Vinomofo example, I’m a bit disappointed that they didn’t guide me to a product page or offer a search option after taking the pressure off.)

7. Get Creative

Maybe you can’t write bold or funny 404 messages on your site, but you can still get a little creative.

This next one is, by far, my favorite. And it’s not because they just wrote something funny or used a cute GIF.

They actually went the extra mile.

So this is what you see when you end up on a 404 page on the Tattly website:

You actually find a hidden product.

Isn’t that smart?

And it gets better. When you click the “Press for Magic” button, it takes you to a special product page:

The product description reads: “It’s only accessible if you land on our Error 404 page. Aren’t you glad you got a little lost?”

I surely am!

This is a good example of getting creative on 404 pages because it’s fun and catches attention. It also creates an exclusive feeling by letting you know that you unlocked something not everyone can easily access.

Tattly knows their products and the audience so well. When I reached out to Cristina Gómez, Tattly Design Director, she told me,

"Tina, our founder, loves it when 404 pages are joyful or fun, and at Tattly we love injecting fun into whatever we can. Hiding a product on our 404 page seemed like the best way to bring the Tattly spirit to a normally mundane page on a site."

So how you want to get creative depends on your business and customers but I’m sure you can come up with something even better, if you’re willing to take that extra step further.

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Conclusion

I visited more than 150 e-commerce sites while looking for examples for this article.

You’ll be surprised to know how many big brands are underusing their 404 pages. There are so many hidden opportunities; so much lost potential revenue.

404 doesn’t necessarily have to mean exit.

That’s why I wanted to share how you can learn from the better examples and start helping visitors stay on your site, collecting their email addresses, and even converting them to customers—with only minor improvements.

Which strategy is your favorite? Have you recently stumbled upon any good e-commerce 404 pages? Let me know in the comments below.

The post We Looked at 151 E-Commerce 404 Pages. Here Are 13 of The Best Examples (2019) appeared first on Sleeknote.

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Perception is reality. This classic line asserts the idea that however you perceive something is how it really is.

Reality is subjective and ultimately decided by the person experiencing it.

It’s a concept that can be applied to many facets of life. And fortunately for marketers, e-commerce is one of them.

A product’s intrinsic properties don’t really matter, nor does the cost to create it. What truly matters is the customer’s perceived value of the product.

If they believe it’s valuable, they’re more willing to buy it. If they don’t think it’s valuable, they’re likely to pass.

Perceived value is pound-for-pound one of the most important concepts for brands to understand because it affects two critical areas—pricing and conversions.

For this post, I’m going to discuss why perceived value is such a big factor in e-commerce and some actionable ways you can use it.

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A Classic Study on Perceived Value

Just over a decade ago, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the California Institute of Technology performed an experiment involving a wine taste testing.

A person was given two different types of wine. They were told that one costs $5 and the other costs $45.

But in reality, they were the exact same type of wine, only the pricing was different.

What happened?

People got more pleasure (as proven by brain scans) from drinking the $45 wine than they did from drinking the $5 wine and thought that it tasted better.

They perceived the $45 wine as being of higher quality than the $5 wine.

Head researcher Baba Shiv says, “The part of the brain that experiences pleasure will become more active when the drinker thinks he or she is enjoying the more expensive vintage.”

So in this regard, changing different factors (in this case pricing) can literally alter a person’s experience and actually affect real quality.

This goes to show just how big of an impact perceived value can have.

Capitalizing on this Phenomenon

This presents a tremendous opportunity for e-commerce brands.

Making some key adjustments means that you can increase perceived value without having to actually change anything about your product.

“Usually, customers are unaware of the factors involved in pricing a product or service, such as the actual or estimated costs of production,” Investopedia writes. “Customers rely on the emotional appeal of the product or service and their evaluation of the benefits they believe they will receive.”

Using the right techniques allows you to potentially charge more, while at the same time maximizing conversions.

Here are some of the best ways to do that.

1. Improve Design Aesthetics

The second someone lands on your e-commerce store, they form an impression of your brand.

Create a positive impression, and your perceived value will increase. Create a negative impression, and your perceived value will diminish.

And whether the impression is positive or negative largely boils down to design.

“A negative emotional reaction to some aspect of the design lowers the perceived value of the site and makes people abandon the site—often within a few seconds,” says Senior User Experience Specialist at Nielsen Norman Group, Aurora Harley. “On the other hand, if we like what we see and the page matches our expectations, we assign a high value for the website and its products or services.”

So improving design aesthetics is one of the most straightforward ways to increase perceived value.

But what exactly constitutes as “good” design?

For one, you’ll want it to be crisp, clean and organized.

Dollar Shave Club does a great job at this with their product pages.

It has an uncluttered feel that naturally draws people in.

Professional, eye-catching images are another key component. You want the pictures to “pop” and stand out.

Superfood subscription box Daily Harvest is a company that uses beautiful product images with their healthy shakes.

Just look at this one for their Acai + Cherry smoothie.

It uses a strong yet simple color palette, which looks amazing.

If your e-commerce store currently falls short of the mark, it’s usually worth the investment to redesign it so that it’s on the same level as these examples.

That right there can have a profound impact on perceived value.

2. Raise Product Price

As I mentioned with the wine tasting experiment example, pricing is one of the core elements of perceived value.

Generally speaking, people associate more expensive items as having more value.

And there’s a very simple reason for this.

“Markets in which people are not completely sure of how to assess quality, they use price as a stand-in for quality,” writes social psychologist Robert Cialdini.

I know that I do this all of the time on a subconscious level.

For instance, if I’m comparing two similar products from different brands, I tend to think that the higher priced product delivers more quality.

It’s just a natural reaction.

So I highly recommend experimenting with product pricing.

A study by MIT and the University of Chicago did this with a standard women’s clothing item. They offered the item at three different prices— $34, $39 and $44. What they found was that it sold the most at $39. Twenty-one units were purchased at $39, while only 17 units were sold at $44 and 16 units were sold at $34.

So in this case, the cheapest price actually sold the least.

This is a simple example of how tinkering with pricing and charging a bit more can potentially increase conversions and revenue.

Of course, you need to be realistic about it.

You wouldn’t, for example, want to charge $30 for a roll of paper towels.

But there’s a good chance that you could raise your price slightly and make your product seem more desirable. The trick is to find the sweet spot and roll with that.

This brings me to my next point.

3. Use Charm Pricing

People are accustomed to seeing many products with prices ending in “99.”

Something costs $4.99 rather than $5, or it’s $9,999 rather than $10,000. It’s an old school technique known as charm pricing and is based on the psychological concept that people perceive “odd prices” as being lower than they actually are.

And there’s a sound body of evidence that suggests charm pricing is effective.

Online sales platform Gumroad experimented with this a few years ago and found that this technique had a significant impact on their conversions.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

The conversion rate is noticeably higher across the board.

That’s why so many brands use it, like LifeStraw.

And the double hammock from Tanmit.

My point here is that using charm pricing in conjunction with increased pricing can take conversions to their highest possible level.

4. Emphasize Quality

At first glance, it may not always be obvious just how great a product really is. This is especially true when people are shopping online and can’t physically touch it.

Another big part of increasing perceived value is making quality a point of emphasis.

Does your product source high-end materials that go above and beyond what your competitors offer? Does it have a superior level of craftsmanship that can’t be found anywhere else?

Let your customers know about it. You don’t need to scream it from the rooftops, but casually working it into your copy should be helpful.

Take this landing page from minimalist wallet provider Infinity Wallet for example.

They succinctly highlight the unique features of their product and subtly point out that it uses high-quality nylon knit elastic.

Much like Bellroy, they also offer a side-by-side comparison of their wallet versus the average wallet so customers can get a feel for its size and how unique it is.

It doesn’t need to be anything over the top, but emphasizing quality and pointing out what makes your product special should raise its value level and motivate a higher percentage of people to purchase.

5. Convey Authenticity

Conversion optimization platform VWO performed an experiment to measure the impact of using authenticity as a selling point.

It was a simple A/B test involving men’s watch company Express Watches.

Many consumers were anxious about buying watches online out of fear that they would mistakenly buy imitation Seiko watches rather than originals.

So VWO changed one small detail on the landing page.

They switched a graphic from saying “Never Beaten on Price” to “Authorized Dealer Site” for Seiko watches in hopes of conveying authenticity.

Here’s what the original control version looked like.

And here’s the modified version.

The changes are nothing dramatic, but adding a trust badge led to an amazing 107 percent spike in sales.

This shows that there’s definitely a link between demonstrating authenticity and increasing perceived value.

So this is something to consider when approaching your branding and copywriting.

6. Leverage Influencers

Having an industry influencer validate your brand can send your perceived value soaring. If someone your customers know and trust give it a thumbs up, it means it must be solid.

This doesn’t need to be a celebrity per se, it just needs to be someone easily identifiable by your audience.

That’s something SugarBearHair Vitamins does by joining forces with beauty and fashion blogger Anastasia Karanikolaou.

They switched a graphic from saying “Never Beaten on Price” to “Authorized Dealer Site” for Seiko watches in hopes of conveying authenticity.

Here’s what the original control version looked like.

They had her feature one of their products on her Instagram account, which had 3.2 million followers as of early 2019.

Anastasia Karanikolaou isn’t a figure that the general public is familiar with, but a good chunk of beauty and fashion enthusiasts know about her.

And that’s what’s important.

You don’t need to shell out big money for celebrity endorsements. Often, it’s sufficient to reach out to industry influencers and have them vouch for your brand.

7. Point Out That a Product is Worth More Than You’re Charging

A $100 value for only $75. This is a type of deal that many shoppers are accustomed to seeing. It’s a technique that relies upon selling a product for less than the actual value. And it’s something that many people are receptive to. Customers may feel okay about buying a product for $75.

But knowing that it’s valued at $100 lets them know that they’re getting a great deal. You’re creating the perception that they’re getting more for their money, which is very appealing.

But here’s the thing: You need to be careful when using this technique. If you’re not careful, you can come off sounding like a sleazy infomercial. So be subtle about it.

8. Embrace Social Responsibility

VoucherCloud makes an interesting point that social responsibility equals value.

And I couldn’t agree more.

In our current climate, many consumers prefer to do business with brands that are socially responsible.

VoucherCloud even found that 50 percent of people aged 40-44 are willing to spend more on products from socially responsible companies.

While this may not have been a huge deal 10 years ago, it’s a big deal now.

Social responsibility is a common trait that some of the world’s top companies share.

Just think of all the success ethical apparel provider TOMS has had. They’ve grown into a $400 million dollar empire, largely because of their “one for one” concept where they donate a product to someone in need for every purchase made.

Most people love backing companies like this, and it increases perceived value.

While weaving social responsibility into a brand’s core business model and product line won’t be viable for all companies, it’s certainly an angle to be aware of and can work in some cases.

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Conclusion

Gustave Flaubert once said, “There is no truth. There is only perception.” I think that’s a quote that sums up perceived value perfectly.

At the end of the day, good marketing is about conveying value to customers. Do that and you’ll be in a position to boost conversions and overall revenue. And as we’ve just learned, there are several ways to accomplish this.

Everything from web design optimization and adjusting pricing to being authentic and socially responsible can increase perceived value. It’s just a matter of finding the right combination and letting customers know that making a purchase is worth it.

Which aspects of a product do you feel contribute the most heavily to its value?

The post How to Drive Online Sales by Using Perceived Value appeared first on Sleeknote.

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Price is of the utmost importance to consumers.

In fact, it’s the number one factor determining where Americans shop—87% say that price is very or extremely influential.

Consumers also shop where they want to nowadays, whether it’s through an app, browsing online, via social media, etc.

They can also check prices via Google Shopping and price comparison sites like NexTag.

The point is, shoppers are smart so you have to be, too.

That’s why I’m about to share with you the best of these pricing strategies to help you grow your e-commerce business.

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1. Set an Uber-Specific Price

If a consumer’s purchasing decision is based on logic, a specific price works better.

By specific I mean, for instance, $319.76, as opposed to $299 or $300.

According to a University of Florida study, consumers think that stores make rounded prices artificially higher. Hence, they are less likely to tap that call-to-action (CTA) button.

You may have just chosen a random price; too high for what the product is actually worth.

Take a look at the exact prices of these HP products:

Specific prices work particularly well in categories such as tech. It’s not an emotional decision where the only logic is, “That’s cool. I want that. I’m gonna buy it.” People surmise that the price has been calculated by adding together the sum of the product’s parts.

In the above example, that means all of the individual pieces of hardware inside a desktop computer.

Even if your average consumer doesn’t know exactly what they are…

They know, it’s not just a made-up number.

So, use this logic-based pricing strategy, if your product is practical in nature e.g. electronics, tech, tools and so on.

2. Choose Values with Fewer Syllables

A person perceives a price to be lower if it has fewer syllables.

Research from Clark University found that even if two prices are the same length, e.g. $27.84 and $28.15, the longer the price phonetically, the higher it seems. Which would be $27.84 in this example, despite it being the lower price. It’s strange but true.

TopShop, for example, uses simple, round numbers, which thus have few syllables:

For TopShop, they don’t need to be specific, as customers make emotion-based purchases at their store. Customers can process these numbers quickly and come to a purchasing decision quickly.

For this reason, you may want to experiment with round values for your online store. If you went through all of your prices, counting every single syllable, well, it would drive you mad.

A simple way to reduce the syllable count for emotion-based purchases would be to just round off the values.

3. Lure in Customers with a Loss Leader

Imagine your local supermarket advertises disposable barbecues at a ridiculously low price. It’s so low, the customer feels like they’re robbing the supermarket blind. The supermarket is seemingly losing profits on this product…

But, they are still the puppet master, tugging on the customer’s strings.

Because they know that they will make big profits on all of the tasty steaks, beer, salad and the rest, that the customer buys along with the barbecue.

That’s a loss leader.

This is such a great pricing strategy that Amazon does it in an epic way every year. Global sales reached an estimated $4.19 billion on Prime Day 2018.

And they can make up for any losses by generating more Prime members in anticipation of the day…

Who then spend more than the average customer in the long-term.

To create a loss leader of your own there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Have low-priced items lure customers in, then hit them with upsells and cross-sells.
  • Or like Amazon, use a loss leader to generate long-term customer loyalty.

Essentially, this pricing strategy is popular because it’s so effective.

4. Use Visual Cues for Sale Items

You’d think everybody would be doing this by now. Oddly enough, they’re not.

Lots of online stores think projecting a cool vibe with their minimalistic color schemes is more important than basic conversion tactics.

But that’s now always the case.

Eighty-four percent of marketing, creative and tech professionals believe that design-driven companies are outperforming their competitors. The moral of this story is, the way you utilize design is key.

Using a visual contrast between sales prices and original prices, via color or size, for example, magnifies the difference.

Take a look at how Happy Socks does this:

They use red to emphasize the price drop. And even slap the reduction percentage on there in a big red circle. You cannot miss this offer.

There’s no doubting that visuals have an effect on the subconscious mind. So, use them to increase conversions on your product pages.

5. Display a Product’s Registered Retail Price (RRP)

This sends a clear message to the consumer…

Look at what you could have been paying.

You can persuade visitors to make a purchase by emphasizing the stark difference between the regular retail price and your competitors’ offers.

TJ Maxx has made an entire business out of selling designer brand fashion at a fraction of the regular price. And they aren’t afraid to show it:

They show the RRP of $34 directly under their price.

If you wish to do something similar, approach this strategy with caution. It doesn’t mean that you should start pricing all of your products way lower than your competitors. When your products are already cheaper than the RRP, then be sure to display it proudly.

6. Place an Expensive Item on the Left

You need to organize your category pages carefully.

Pawel Ogonowski at Growcode says,

A well-designed category page will build engagement and drive conversions, encouraging visitors to click through to individual product pages and buy.

A great way to put this strategy into action is to place your more expensive items on the left. Because once a consumer sees an expensive item, anything after that seems like a great deal. And they will be more willing to part with their money.

Here’s an example from home furniture company, The Modern Shop:

Boom! You’re hit with a $2,000+ price tag straight away. The bedside tables that follow all cost much less. Therefore, customers are more willing to pay $600-1200 because at least it’s not $2,100.

7. Show the Equivalent Daily Price

When you display the equivalent daily price next to the regular price, the item the consumer was considering doesn’t seem like such an expense. This is comparable to how you might offer monthly financing options for high-ticket items.

Research into this strategy has also shown that reframing a price in terms of a common expense, such as the price of a cup of coffee, has the same effect.

As with any tactic, you can put your own unique spin on it depending on the nature of your brand.

Subscription service, HelloFresh does this brilliantly:

When you get to the checkout stage, you pay a lump sum for a week’s worth of food. Yet, as you can see, HelloFresh reframes the price as the cost per serving. Framing the offer as $7.49 per serving seems reasonable, while the weekly total comes to $95.87. Which is considerably less appealing.

Depending on the price of your product, you can show its inherent value to the customer at just pennies per day.

8. A/B Test Your Prices

A/B testing is a great way to increase conversions.

It’s the second most popular CRO method after customer journey analysis.

Try tweaking your prices to see what would be most profitable for your store overall.

One site selling exercise guides split tested their price with fascinating results. Their course previously sold at $19.95 (the control price). They wanted to see if an increase to $29.95 (variation 1) altered the number of purchases. The difference in the number of buyers was minimal:

Thanks to this A/B test, the site made 61.67% more revenue by increasing their price to $29.95.

You may find that slight increases or decreases to your prices make a huge difference to your bottom line.

9. Offer Similar Products at Slightly Different Prices

Have you ever gone out for ice cream and not known which flavor to pick? There are just so many that it becomes stressful.

Barry Schwartz describes this phenomenon in his book The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More.

He argues that Americans have so much choice that they get “decision-making paralysis.”

So, if visitors to your site face a bunch of similar products at the same price, what are they going to do?

Bail.

Obviously, you don’t want that.

To avoid that from happening, reduce the impact by assigning slightly different price points to similar products.

CVS does this for their wide catalog of products:

The above are two very similar products. Yet, 20 cents set them apart. This encourages the visitor to make a choice, which may have been difficult if it wasn’t for the price difference.

Price can be the differentiating factor that encourages consumers to make a purchase in cases like this.

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Conclusion

Price is essential to a consumer’s purchasing decisions. But modern shoppers are savvy. If your price isn’t good enough for them, they can just look elsewhere.

However, you can’t keep reducing prices if you want a successful e-commerce business. You have to employ intelligent pricing strategies to ensure your sales continue to grow.

Show consumers that your price reflects the value of your product. Turn them into loyal customers with cheap prices. Use psychological tactics to convince consumers that, in fact, your prices aren’t so high. Make sure your offers are imprinted into their subconscious.

Do all of these things and your sales will increase. Start by experimenting with either specific or rounded values depending on whether your products require logic-based or emotion-based decisions.

Which pricing strategies are you using for your online store? Leave a comment below.

The post 9 E-Commerce Pricing Strategies to Increase Online Sales appeared first on Sleeknote.

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Picture this: You visiting your favorite retail store. The employees already know what you like the most, what suits you best, and what you’ve been eyeing for a long time.

Simply put, they know you well enough to make your purchase easier.

In real life, you may call it an exclusive shopping experience. But in e-commerce, you can treat every visitor like an exclusive customer—thanks to e-commerce personalization.

And online shoppers expect personalization.

According to a recent report by Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies who remember them and provide relevant offers. Further, 83% of them are also willing to share their data in exchange for a personalized experience.

Personalization makes customers feel special and improves their shopping experience.

And that means loyal customers and high conversion rates for your online store.

Today, I’ll show you 7 of my favorite e-commerce personalization strategies used by top e-commerce brands and how you can easily improve your conversions, too.

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1. Create Personalized Homepages

Homepages are the front door to your online store.

Now that your potential customers are already at your door, it’s up to you to greet them in the best way possible.

And personalization is the key to that.

Unlike brick-and-mortar shops, online stores have the possibility to get to know their visitors closely even after one visit—thanks to cookies.

If you’re collecting cookies on your e-commerce site, you already know so much about your potential customers. Why not use this information in their next visit and improve their shopping experience?

Boozt knows this well and uses cookies to remember my interests and preferences.

This is what I saw when I first visited their site:

An e-commerce homepage targeting all three product categories and displaying offers for everybody.

Then, I clicked the banner to explore the women category and browsed around a bit.

In my next visits, whenever I typed boozt.com in the address bar, they automatically redirected me to the “women” page and displayed only relevant offers:

I don’t see the main homepage that is targeting everybody anymore because the company knows that I’m interested in that particular category. So they take me directly there, without any distractions.

The same holds true for the country information. When I tried selecting the United Kingdom on the top bar, they remembered my choice and took me to the right store every time after that.

Personalizing your homepage is a simple trick, yet it helps the customers find their way easily in each visit.

Visitors can focus on the category they’re interested in and shop without any distractions. It means a better shopping experience for them and higher conversions for you.

Editor’s Note

MeUndies have mastered personalizing their homepage based on where users are in the marketing funnel. To learn more about how they’re converting more visitors, read our post “9 Strategies MeUndies Used to Grow 1,583% in 3 Years (Case Study).”

2. Offer Personalized Guides

Wouldn’t it be great to offer a personal shopping assistant for every customer? But that would probably break the bank, right?

Luckily, if you’re running an e-commerce store, that’s not the case.

Providing on-site assistance to your visitors with quizzes, and size and style guides are effective ways of helping users make better buying decisions.

What if you remembered the results of those quizzes and personalized your product suggestions based on them?

That’s exactly what Topshop does.

After I answered a few questions about my taste, style choices, size, and budget, Topshop created a personalized wardrobe for me:

Here I can view my highly personalized product recommendations that fit my budget and my size.

And it gets better. My wardrobe is regularly updated with new products and Topshop informs me about them through email:

It’s like having a store designed only for you… How much more personal could it get?

(In case you’re wondering, Topshop uses a third-party tool, called Dressipi for the wardrobe.)

The ASOS app goes one step further with personalized recommendations.

In addition to suggesting products according to my preferred styles and brands, they recommend me products based on my browsing and shopping history:

What I like the most about these examples is their approach to personalized guides.

They do more than simply offering one page of size charts. They actually help me develop my style and discover new products based on my preferences and previous activities.

And of course, I will be more likely to buy something out of the items that suit me better, rather than a long list of products I won’t ever be interested in.

Even if you’re not in fashion, you can still create quizzes to learn more about the users’ favorite brands or product groups. Remember their choices and guide them better with personalized recommendations.

3. Display Recently Viewed Items

Sometimes I casually browse through a company’s products (especially when there’s a sale) but not with a strong urge to buy them.

Even though I trust my visual memory, I don’t think I can remember all the product pages I’ve visited…

And it’s a shame. Because if I visited a product page, it means I’m interested in it. So at this point, I could use some help from the store.

And the help I need came from Zalando:

When I visited the site again, I noticed the “Recently viewed” section on the homepage, displaying the products I checked the last time.

With a strong call-to-action, “Pick up where you left off”, the company reminded me about the items from my last session and invited me to reconsider them in a subtle way.

Personalizing the homepage based on my previous sessions, the company helps me have an uninterrupted shopping experience. Plus, they increase my likelihood of buying those products.

And as I scroll down a bit, it gets better.

Instead of only recommending similar products, they suggest me new brands to explore, based on my recent browsing activity.

This way, they help me discover more items I can like from a wide range of product categories. And it means more sales and more conversions for the company.

4. Personalize Product Pages Based on Location

Whether through cookies or by asking the visitors, most e-commerce sites know where their visitors are coming from or where they want the products to be shipped.

Why shouldn’t you use this valuable information to provide more accurate results for the users?

Customizing product pages based on location is a simple adjustment yet it improves the shopping experience.

And there are many different ways you can use this information and be more relevant to your visitors.

Here’s an example by Allbirds:

When you choose the US store from the top menu and visit a product page, this is what you see.

The currency is, of course, US Dollars and the size information is based on US shoe sizes.

But if you’re browsing from the UK, the size information changes into UK sizes:

This is a good example of location-based personalization because the company anticipates the problems of their visitors.

If you’re an online shopper, I’m sure you already know the trouble. You have to look for size conversion charts for every product category if you’re shopping from outside of your country.

Nobody enjoys that.

If you’re shipping to multiple locations, make sure you stay relevant to the visitor. Keep the cultural or seasonal differences in mind. After all, you wouldn’t want to suggest winter jackets when it’s 29 degrees in Australia, right?

Using geo-targeting, you can also display relevant campaigns based on the user’s location.

Here’s how Rosemunde informs visitors from the US and nudges them to shop:

5. Create Special Campaigns Based on User Behavior

No two visitors are the same.

Users who land on your site for the first time and your returning visitors have different needs and questions in mind.

Why offer both of them the exact same thing, while you can easily personalize your on-site messages?

Not every visitor becomes a customer on the first visit.

So you can offer first-time visitors an incentive to sign up for your and help them visit you again.

Here’s how My Best Book collected email addresses by offering visitors a 10% discount on their first purchase:

(By the way, this campaign converted 22% of their website visitors in one week. Not bad, huh?)

If a visitor is already a subscriber, you might want to personalize the message for them, instead of showing them another signup form.

This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your popular products or current promotions.

Here’s an example of how it might look like:

Exit-intent is another well-known example of behavior-based campaigns.

The idea is to capture visitors when they’re about to leave and convince them to take an action (usually to complete the purchase or sign up for an email list.)

Here’s how minimum collected leads with an exit-intent campaign by offering a special discount:

(In case you’re wondering, this campaign converted at 37.4%.)

It’s not only individual pages you can customize according to the user. You can also personalize your on-site messages and display highly relevant campaigns.

And I can easily say that personalized campaigns work.

6. Get Personal in Email Marketing

I’m sure you know by now that email is one of the most effective channels for e-commerce marketing.

In fact, email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent.

Hopefully, email is already a big part of your marketing strategy. Adding personalization into the mix, you can make even more out of your emails.

Here are four simple personalization tactics you can start using in your email strategy:

i. Personalize Email Subject Lines

Companies are fighting in users’ inboxes to get noticed.

So how do you get your emails opened in such a competitive arena?

Yep, you got it right: By personalizing your .

According to a study, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. And what we mean here is getting on a first-name basis with your subscribers.

Check this example by Curioos and see how they directly address the recipient:

(Note how it also evokes curiosity.)

And here’s how Chubbies successfully uses personalization in a confident way:

Both examples are more likely to be opened because they talk directly to you and makes you want to learn more.

ii. Celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries

What can be more personal than someone’s birthday?

Celebrating company milestones, birthdays, and anniversaries with your subscribers is a great way to show appreciation and re-engage your email list.

Adding a little incentive on top of celebration, you can nudge your subscribers to shop again.

Here’s an email you might get from kikki.K for your birthday:

A nicely designed birthday card with a $10 voucher.

And they don’t leave it there. Under the birthday card, they also recommend products “they think you will love”:

Then the email is concluded with clear instructions of how and when you can redeem your voucher.

Everything you need in a perfect birthday email.

If you’re not asking for birthday information during signup, here’s a smart way of doing it later:

Chubbies add this little note to the footer of every email they send. They invite you to share your birthday information in their humorous style. And they make it obvious that there’s something in it for you.

Evoking curiosity and promising an offer. Who can resist that?

iii. Send Emails Based on User Behavior

So far I’ve talked about personalizing pages and campaigns based on user data and behavior.

If you’re already tracking visitor behavior on your e-commerce site, you can use this information to send more targeted emails to prospects.

Here’s an example Rikke found recently.

While she was browsing Frank Kern’s site, she decided to check out a video. Shortly after watching the video, here’s the email she received:

Using URL tracking, you can follow the actions visitors take on your site and follow up with them via email, just like in the example above.

There are countless ways you can use behavioral marketing for e-commerce that goes beyond paid ads.

You can send highly targeted emails to website visitors, based on what they search for, which items they check out or add to their wishlist, and many more.

Combine them with urgency and scarcity, and you will have high-converting emails.

iv. Re-Engage Inactive Leads

Personalization is not only a clever way to grab attention or show appreciation, but it’s also an effective tool to win back old customers.

I assume you can already see who hasn’t purchased anything from you in a long time or haven’t clicked and read any of your emails.

Using that information, you can easily create an email campaign for inactive leads and win their hearts back.

Check this email we recently found in our Gmail account:

The personalized subject line and the curiosity-evoking question immediately got my attention.

So I clicked the email and this is what I saw:

HomeAway sent us this re-engagement email since we haven’t booked or read their emails in a while.

The email gets more personal and continues with tailored recommendations.

But I think this email is still missing one important element: An incentive.

They could have added a special discount code to win us back and gave us a reason to visit their site again.

(I’m sorry, HomeAway, we’ll continue being inactive for now…)

7. Make More Personal Recommendations

You probably know the importance of product recommendations for e-commerce by now.

According to a study by Barilliance, personalized product recommendations account for almost 31% of e-commerce revenues and they have a significant effect on conversion rates.

Suggesting similar or complementary items on product pages is almost a must-have for e-commerce site now.

But how can you make more personalized recommendations without being pushy?

Incorporating product recommendations into your emails.

My favorite tactic is using product recommendations on abandoned cart emails.

Just like in this example by Fabletics:

At first, it looks like any other abandoned cart email. A strong headline and a compelling visual is followed by a list of my abandoned cart items.

But as I scrolled further down, I saw this section:

They added personalized product recommendations based on my cart items.

I obviously liked the items I added to my cart, so I’ll most likely be interested in these products, too.

(Also, notice the personal touch and the friendly tone they added to the copy. Loved it.)

With this email, they can convert the abandoned cart. Plus, they can sell even more.

You can use a third-party tool like addwish to incorporate personalized recommendations to your emails.

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In 2009, Andy Fallshaw and a few friends crowded around a kitchen table in Bells Beach, Australia to design a wallet.

Through no fault of its own, wallets had become, for want of a better term, broken. With the rise of slim tailoring in the early 2000s, they had become unsightly; “massive hunks of leather that bulged uncontrollably from pockets,” to quote Fallshaw. (Source.)

A year later, the release of his product signaled the birth of Bellroy: a company that helps people carry their everyday items with greater simplicity and ease.

Bridging the gap between style and functionality, Bellroy has carved out its own niche in the fashion industry, earning its rightful name as an e-commerce innovator which offers “the best men’s wallets you can buy.” (Source.)

I recently spent a month reverse-engineering Bellroy’s marketing strategy. And today, I’ll share 7 unconventional strategies you can use to get more traffic and higher conversions for your online store. (Strategy#4 is my favorite.)

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While writing this guide, I found a LOT of amazing strategies that I couldn’t include. So, as a bonus, I’ve compiled a swipe file of Bellroy’s best marketing materials, 2 bonus strategies, and more. (Plus, toolkits for other multi-million dollar brands like Harry’s, Casper, Man Crates and others.)

Strategy #1: Model This Black Friday Marketing Strategy for Your Next Holiday Campaign

It’s no secret that Black Friday is one of the busiest times of the year for any e-retailer…

And it’s one of the most profitable.

In fact, according to one recent report, the average adult drops $483.18 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone.

So, it’s no surprise then, that many online stores—Bellroy included—get creative with their Black Friday marketing come holiday season.

While writing this post, I saw a Facebook lead ad from Bellroy teasing a subscriber-exclusive promotion they were running for Black Friday.

When I clicked on the ad, Bellroy redirected me to a dedicated landing page, promoting a “Black Friday Subscriber Exclusive.”

In their copy, they opened a curiosity gap by teasing a one-day only promotion. Here’s an excerpt:

After entering my email address, I got an email with the subject line, “Psst. Don’t miss our Black Friday gift.”

A day later—incidentally, on Black Friday—I got another email with the subject line, “Your Black Friday gift awaits—don’t let it disappear.”

There are a few things going in their email that are worth highlighting:

  1. Animation;
  2. Copy; and
  3. User experience.

Let’s look at each briefly.

i. Animation

Bellroy have become known for their use of visuals on their product pages. And, as luck would have it, their emails are no exception.

Take their Black Friday email, for example. In it, Bellroy included a GIF that flashed up the amount of credit they were offering for multiple currencies.

One reason they might have done this was to ensure that all readers could relate to the offer.

For instance, if you’re American, $24 Australian Dollars (AUD) is harder to grasp than if it were in American Dollars (USD). Without a frame of reference for another country’s currency, it’s difficult to know whether you’re getting a good deal, meaning you’re unlikely to take action.

To remove any ambiguity, Bellroy cleverly frame their offer for each currency they accept to make it easier for potential buyers to relate to (and hopefully, take action on).

Interestingly, it’s not just in their emails that they’re doing this; it’s in certain display ads too.

Framing is everything. Don’t leave it to chance.

Action item. Use GIFs to grab readers’ attention, and promote offers in multiple currencies.

ii. Copy

Bellroy’s Black Friday email has great copy. But there’s one section worth highlighting more than any other.

Beneath the GIF we looked at above, Bellroy writes…

And it’s clever, because Bellroy create urgency to justify why they’re running the promotion, and it gives us a compelling reason to make a purchase.

Editor’s Note

It’s worth mentioning here that giving a reason for a discount—any reason, for that matter—is always better than omitting one (even if the reason is obvious). To learn more about discount strategies, read Rikke’s article, 9 Discount Strategies You Can Use Today (Without Hurting Sales).

After Bellroy justify why they’re running the promotion, they explain how the offer works:

And it leaves nothing to the reader’s imagination.

Beneath these three statements is a P.S., where Bellroy invite readers NOT to forward the email to friends, knowing, of course, that this is exactly what will likely happen.

Bellroy’s playful use of reverse psychology in their email copy.

Much like little hinges swing big doors, micro-tweaks to your copy move more orders. Don’t leave it to chance.

Action item. When running a promotion, explain how readers can claim their offer, step-by-step, to reduce confusion. Bonus: think about how you can encourage referrals. You don’t have to use reverse psychology like Bellroy do in their P.S., but it might help.

iii. User-Experience

After explaining how readers can claim their Black Friday discount, Bellroy include a call-to-action (CTA) in the email.

When I clicked “Shop Now,” Bellroy auto-applied my credit (much like how MeUndies do for listeners coming from their podcast sponsorships).

When I added an item to my cart and checked out, Bellroy deducted €15 and showed me how much I’d saved. (Note: Bellroy chose Euros as my preferred currency because I’m in Sweden and they don’t accept Swedish Krona.)

While their competitors bombard their visitors with Black Friday reminders, Bellroy create exclusivity.

Buying discounted goods from them was a right reserved ONLY for email subscribers. In fact, when I tried to get a discount ON Black Friday, after pretending I wasn’t on their list, Bellroy said no (and rightfully so).

What I love about Bellroy’s strategy is that it isn’t limited to Black Friday. You can use it for ANY holiday. Christmas. Easter. Martin Luther King Day. You name it. The possibilities are endless. Get moving.

Takeaway. Generate demand for holiday promotions BEFORE you need it. Drive traffic to a dedicated landing page, grow your list, create as much buzz as possible, and then give your buyers the exclusivity they deserve.

Strategy #2: Use “The Life Force 8” to Maximize Ad Conversions

There are two things you need to know about Bellroy’s marketing strategy.

One, 23.80% of their overall desktop traffic comes from display ads.

And two, they leverage three marketing angles in their ad copy.

But it’s not just any three marketing angles— these are angles that build on what are known as The Life Force 8.

In his book, Cashvertising, Drew Eric Whitman outlines eight biological desires we all have:

  1. Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension;
  2. Enjoyment of food and beverages;
  3. Freedom from fear, pain, and danger;
  4. Sexual companionship;
  5. Comfortable living conditions;
  6. Being superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses;
  7. Care and protection of loved ones; and
  8. Social approval.

Bellroy appeal to three of the above angles in many of their top-converting display ads.

Let’s look at each briefly.

1. Being Superior, Winning, Keeping up with the Joneses

To all intents and purposes, Bellroy’s core offer is slim leather wallets for men. And after browsing their site for a few minutes, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

But when you take a look at their paid advertising, it’s clear that they’re marketing to a segment within that segment. Specifically, fashion-conscious marketing executives.

Why?

Because, generally, it’s a market segment that can and will happily pay more to fulfill the above innate desire to be superior.

You can see Bellroy appealing to superiority in ad copy, from inviting buyers to “Look the part…”

…to naming the product itself “The Executive Wallet.”

Interestingly, the products Bellroy promote in the above ads and other similar ones, are also some of their more high-end items. Coincidence? Maybe. But with ad copy like the above, it’s hard to disagree with.

2. Freedom from Fear, Pain, and Danger

“Positioning is not about creating something new and different,” write Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book, Positioning. “It’s about manipulating what’s already in the prospect’s mind. It’s about bridging the connections that already exist.”

One thing that’s in the mind of a Bellroy customer is the fear of losing their valuables when travelling.

Bellroy recognize that, and with the information in mind, position their travel collection as a remedy to that fear in many of their ads.

…to naming the product itself “The Executive Wallet.”

When you click “Learn More,” Bellroy redirect you to a product page with copy that reassures and reiterates the above solution….to naming the product itself “The Executive Wallet.”

Not only are they following best practice in terms of message matching (i.e. ensuring their messaging is consistent, from their ads to their landing pages); but they’re also freeing their customers from pain, while positioning their product as a solution in the process.

3. Care and Protection of Loved Ones

Have you ever regretted making a purchase? Of course you have. You’re not alone; we’re all guilty of it from time to time. Buyer’s remorse, as it’s known, is very real. Oftentimes, we buy something expensive only to convince ourselves later that we shouldn’t have bought it.

But what if your purchase benefited a cause greater than yourself? How would you rationalize it then?

While researching this post, I saw an interesting Facebook carousel ad from Bellroy. Take a look at the ad copy:

Knowing that caring and protecting loved ones is an innate emotional trigger, Bellroy frames their offer as benefiting others rather than the individual. How? With the sentiment, “Helping yourself helps others, too.”

“Need we go on?” they ask.

No. That’s as good a reason as any to buy.

Takeaway. Use one or several of the above Life Force 8 angles to inspire marketing angles in your paid advertising. Pro tip: use Facebook’s Dynamic Creative to test different angles against one another.

Strategy #3: The Marketer Magnet Method: How to Rank a Product Page Position #3

Using a tool like Ahrefs, we can see that Bellroy rank for several high-volume commercial-intent keywords. But the one I want to focus on here is the keyword “slim wallet.”

At the time of writing, Bellroy ranks position #3 for that term. But they also have a whopping 396 domains linking to the relevant product page (339 of which are do-follow).

How are they doing it?

Well, one approach, intentional or not, is what I call “The Marketer Magnet Method.”

I’ve written about it before, but it bears repeating because there are NO limits to its usage.

As a reminder, “The Marketer Magnet Method” involves approaching marketing in such an interesting way that marketing blogs can’t help but link to you.

(Yes, I’m aware that’s exactly what I’m doing now. Pretty meta, huh?)

It might be using a quiz to turn visitors into buyers, like Beardbrand. Or using a thank you page to survey visitors, like Harry’s.

But that’s only the beginning.

Bellroy has links from authority sites for many aspects of their marketing—including ones you might not have considered.

Take their above-the-fold content, for instance.

Unlike their competitors, who highlight their products’ benefits through images, Bellroy go a step further and show their products’ value using an interactive slider.

Many marketing blogs have praised Bellroy for it, including giants like HubSpot.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Whether it’s how they’re using animation in their explainer videos (Source: Smashing Magazine)…

…how they’re being innovative with the user experience (Source: eConsultancy)…

…or even how they’re using scrolling on their site (Hongkiat)…

Bellroy has earned their fair share of backlinks for marketing that is so original, marketers can’t help but write about it.

Takeaway. Take a look at your marketing. What are you doing that’s original or uncommon in your industry? We grew tired of seeing GIFs in marketing emails, so we created our own. Marketers took notice, and we got a few links for doing so. Don’t get discouraged if you’re a small business; standing out is often easier than you think.

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Download Bellroy’s Marketing Toolkit

While writing this guide, I found a LOT of amazing strategies that I couldn’t include. So, as a bonus, I’ve compiled a swipe file of Bellroy’s best marketing materials, 2 bonus strategies, and more. (Plus, toolkits for other multi-million dollar brands like Harry’s, Casper, Man Crates and others.)

Strategy #4: How to Market to the Affluent (Hint: It Doesn’t Involve More Ad Spends)

It’s always interesting to see how big brands use their email footers.

It’s prime email real estate after all, and it shouldn’t be wasted (though if often is.)

While writing this post, Bellroy’s email footer caught my attention because they’re doing something I haven’t seen before.

Take a recent promotional email I received. In it, Bellroy had many calls-to-action (CTAs). But there was one that caught my attention more than any..

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Customer trust has always been a big deal. But Vanessa Mitchell, a senior journalist at CMO, says it’s more important than ever.

Customer trust is a key brand differentiator that can make or break a business. It’s integral to a company’s self-perseverance and long-term sustainability. That’s why it’s something that brands need to take seriously.

One area where customers are particularly vulnerable is when they’re giving out personal information. If mishandled, it can make them victims of identity theft, which can affect their finances, create stress and take an emotional toll.

Trust badges (or trust seals) are a way brands are put their customers at ease. But do they really work? Will trust badges make customers feel more comfortable handing over sensitive information online and increase your conversions and sales?

I recently did a TON of research to answer the above questions. And today, I want to share with you my findings. Plus, how you can use them to inform your marketing strategy.

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Payment Security Concerns

Shopping cart abandonment is an issue that plagues many e-commerce stores. Barilliance reports that on average, brands lose 75 percent of sales because of this. And in some industries, the average shopping cart abandonment is as high as 83.6 percent.

One of the main reasons for this high average is concerns about payment security. Statista found this was the primary reason that 15 percent of US digital shoppers abandoned their shopping carts in 2015.

That number grew to 19 percent in 2017, according to the Baymard Institute.

And this is totally understandable. Data security has been a huge problem as of late. It’s nearly impossible not to hear about a recent data breach in the news. Just look at how frequently data records are lost or stolen, according to Breach Level Index.

It’s over 6 million records every day and 71 every second. That’s crazy! No wonder people are little skittish about forking over their personal information. Any carelessness on the company’s end and they can wind up in big trouble. Highly sensitive payment information can end up in the hands of cybercriminals, opening a huge can of worms.

So consumers want to know that any company they do business with is following online security best practices and their payment information will be safe.

If there’s any doubt, a good portion of online shoppers simply won’t go through with the transaction. And this goes beyond online payments. Many people aren’t comfortable with sharing personal information on sign up pages, information portals and so on.

Trust Badges as a Solution

To combat this problem, more and more companies are adding trust badges to their sites.

“A trust badge is a symbol placed on your website that ensures your visitors that the page is legitimate and that all their data is collected through secure third-party service providers,” Omniconvert explains.

“The trust seal company that agrees to place their badge on your website confirms that your business is authentic, therefore users know that all processes taking place on your website are safe and secure,” they add.

With just a glance, consumers know that you’re taking measures to keep their information secure, which helps your brand appear more trustworthy.

Here’s an example of trust badges in action.

If there was any doubt as to your company’s level of online security, a trust badge should put it to rest. Or at the very least, reduce a customer’s anxieties.

Do Trust Badges Work?

Sure, trust badges look good and add an air of professionalism. But do they have a legitimate impact? The answer is yes.

Numerous studies have found that there is a positive correlation between trust badges and increased conversions and sales.

One involved New York-based digital marketing agency Blue Fountain Media. They performed a simple A/B test on their sign up page to see what effect adding a Verisign trust badge would have.

Here’s what the original page looked like without the Verisign trust badge.

And here’s what the test page looked like with the Verisign trust badge.

The result? Far more people trusted the second test version with the trust badge, and it led to a whopping 42 percent increase in sales. Their data found that this simple change helped visitors feel more confident about providing Blue Fountain media with their personal information.

Another example is Virtual Sheet Music, a company that provides downloadable sheet music for piano, guitar, violin, and other instruments. The company initially used a Verisign trust badge but removed it due to contractual agreements.

When this happened, they experienced a noticeable drop in sales. But once they put the trust badge back on their site, conversions increased by 31 percent. Virtual Sheet Music then went on to switch to an EV SSL Certificate, which resulted in an additional 13 percent in sales.

Yet another study involved solar energy solutions provider, Clean Energy Experts. Adding a Verisign seal to their information portal helped them boost conversions by an astonishing 137 percent.

While I can’t say that every single brand will experience a dramatic lift in conversions by adding a trust badge, it’s clear that many companies do see a positive impact.

If you’re experiencing issues with shopping cart abandonment, aren’t getting the conversions/sales you want and generally want to build more trust with customers, this is a great way to do it.

How Big of an Impact Do Trust Badges Have?

Actualinsights* asked study participants two key questions to see how big an impact trust badges had.

Here’s the first question.

As you can see, over 60 percent of consumers didn’t make a purchase simply because there were no trust badges. Apparently, they still had a significant amount of doubt regarding a brand’s security measures when trust badges weren’t present.

Here’s the second question.

A whopping 75 plus percent of people didn’t buy because they didn’t recognize the particular logos. This shows that it’s also important to use the right trust badges—ones that people recognize.

Failing to include them or using the wrong ones can be a potential deal breaker.

Trust Badges Are Especially Important for SMBs

I should also point out that trust badges tend to be more important for SMBs than much larger businesses. Companies like Amazon, Target and Best Buy are already large, well-established brands. People already know who they are, and there’s a fairly deep level of built-in trust.

However, SMBs aren’t as well established. People may have never heard of a particular SMB, making it more difficult to gain their trust when providing sensitive information. Therefore, it’s the smaller companies that usually benefit the most by adding trust badges.

Which Trust Badges Work the Best?

Here’s the thing. It’s vital that you choose the right trust badges on your site. With so many different options available, you want to be sure to use the ones customers feel the most comfortable with.

So how do you know which trust badges to use? To find out, there are a few studies that I’d like to highlight.

One is a bit old from actualinsights* back in 2011, but it offers some nice data. They performed a study that asked consumers about 20 different trust badges and which ones they recognized most.

Here are the specific ones they tested.

And here’s a heat map indicating which ones consumers recognized the most.

Looking at these results, we can tell that the following had the best recognition:

  • McAfee
  • Verisign
  • PayPal
  • Better Business Bureau
  • TRUSTe

A separate study by The Baymard Institute in 2013 asked respondents, “Which badge gives you the best sense of trust when paying online?”

Here’s a graph of what they found.

There’s quite a bit of overlap with the study from actualinsights*, and they also found that McAfee, TRUSTe and the Better Business Bureau were well recognized and trusted. They also found that Norton (which at the time was powered by Verisign) was the most trusted of all.

A final study by ConversionXL had similar findings.

They found that the top trust seals were:

  • PayPal
  • Norton (now powered by Symantec)
  • Verisign
  • Google Trusted Store
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Mastercard/Visa
  • TRUSTe

Put all of this data together, and some clear leaders emerge.

(Note: the Google Trusted Store program was closed in 2017.)

Therefore, these are the trust badges that I recommend the most at the moment.

While their popularity and trustworthiness could certainly wane in the future, it’s clear that people feel comfortable with brands that use these particular trust badges.

As ConversionXL points out, the more familiar a badge is, the more likely consumers are to perceive the site that’s using it as being secure.

In other words, you don’t want to associate yourself with some no-name company that no one has ever heard of. That can end up doing more harm than good.

Instead, you’ll want to stick with the big names that have strong reputations.

When to Use Trust Badges

E-commerce stores have the most to gain. Any time you have customers who must provide their payment card information to complete a purchase, it’s important that they feel comfortable with your security. Trust badges are a great way to reassure them when taking payment.

As I mentioned earlier, this can be huge for reducing shopping cart abandonment and encouraging customers to complete transactions. It’s also important from a general security standpoint.

Website security is a big area of concern these days.  The sites that emphasize security and take measures to protect visitors have an advantage of others who are more relaxed about it.

Google has even confirmed that Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is now a ranking signal. Backlinko explains that domains with HTTPS tend to rank higher than those with just HTTP, which is evident with this graph.

So it’s not a bad idea to add an SSL trust badge to your site so people know that you’re using HTTPS.

Nearly everyone can benefit from this. Finally, there’s the matter of privacy.

Facebook made major headlines about their privacy issues in 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation was also enacted in the same year, which dictates how companies within the European Union (or those doing business with companies within it) handle customer data. This means that privacy is something that’s on many people’s radars.

So it’s not a bad idea to let consumers know that you’re taking adequate measures to protect their privacy. TRUSTe is one of the best trust badges for addressing that.

Where to Place Trust Badges

There are two main places you’ll want to add trust badges. One is the checkout page.

This helps people who were considering abandoning their shopping cart get over the hump. It creates trust at an incredibly important time and increases the likelihood that a customer goes through with the transaction. Usually, you’ll want to place them right near the checkout button. That way, a shopper’s eyes will naturally gravitate toward the trust badges.

The other is on landing pages when you’re asking for personal information.

Remember that it’s not just payment card information that people are wary of sharing. It’s anything that can lead to identity theft. Their name, address, social security number, and even medical information can potentially be used by cyber-criminals. But you can set their minds at ease by strategically incorporating trust seals whenever you’re asking for sensitive information.

For landing pages, I generally recommend placing them within close proximity to the call-to-action (CTA). However, you’ll probably want to perform some A/B testing to see what the optimal location is.

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Conclusion

It’s understandable that many customers are cautious when giving out personal information online.  A growing number of data breaches have put them on edge.

Whether it’s their payment card information or simply their name and address, many need some coaxing before they feel comfortable, especially when dealing with a brand they’re unfamiliar with. And that’s where trust badges come in.

There’s no denying that they have a positive impact on conversions and sales and are great for quelling the fears of consumers. Multiple studies have proven this. The long-term boost in revenue should justify the investment. So I definitely recommend experimenting with them.

Are you more likely to make a purchase from a company that uses trust badges?

The post We Researched the Impact Trust Badges Have on Conversions and Sales. Here’s What We Found appeared first on Sleeknote.

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Imagine a friend comes over to help you put together flat pack furniture.

You’re grateful for their assistance, but you say to them, “While you’re here, can you just take a look at…”

Well, your e-commerce customers are just like that friend. Meaning, you want to get the most out of them while you have their time.

In other words, when you have them, there, in your hands, you should do your darndest to get them to spend more. Because increasing your average order value (AOV) means you can increase your profits—without having to lure in a bunch of new customers.

So, today I’m going to share with you 11 lesser-known strategies for increasing your AOV…

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1. Offer a Monogramming Service

People are willing to spend more on custom or personalized products.

They work particularly well as gifts and you will see sales rise around the holidays.

This kind of thing is big business.

By 2021, the global personalized gift market is predicted to reach USD 31.63 billion.

You can get in on the action by offering the option of a monogramming service at an added cost.

Luxury fashion brand, Burberry, does this for many of their items:

Note that they market this service for gifts that are, “Designed by Burberry, personalized by you.”

To increase your AOV, offer personalization as a specialist service or as an add-on at the checkout stage.

You could also offer custom designs or custom features to up the average spend.

For instance, most sportswear companies, such as Converse, now sell custom sneakers at a higher cost:

Customers want the option of personalization with a monogramming service or similar.

That’s why the market is worth so much.

So, why not give customers what they want and increase AOV while you’re at it?

2. Create a Personal Shopper Bot

When you go into a brick and mortar store, sales assistants always approach you.

It can be a bit annoying. But, let’s be honest, sometimes you genuinely need some assistance.

The same is true for online stores. In e-commerce, sales assistants are available via live chat. The great thing about live chat is that customers are 4.6 times more likely to convert after live chat support. And they spend 60% more on average.

That is a huge potential increase in average order value.

You can use AI for live chat by offering a customer service bot or, even better, through a personal shopping assistance like Sleeknote’s Guide Your Visitors.

Outdoor clothing brand, The North Face, has a bot to help customers find the perfect jacket:

You could create a similar bot that genuinely helps customers. And at the same time recommend upsells and cross-sells to increase AOV.

3. Offer a Minimum Spend Discount

Pretty much every e-commerce store offers free shipping nowadays. I’m not saying you shouldn’t offer free shipping. That would be silly. But it’s less of an incentive for customers to increase their spend as it’s so ubiquitous.

You should try something a little different like offering a minimum spend discount, too.

For instance, you get half off pizzas with a minimum spend at Papa John’s every Tuesday:

Big name retailers are also fans of the minimum spend discount.

British e-commerce store, Very, for instance, offers 10% off when you spend £100 or more in their home and garden section:

An even better method is to feature your discount in a promotional campaign. It’s a non-invasive but constant reminder to make a higher purchase. And an excellent way to get customers to purchase more products on average.

4. Display Free Shipping Progress

You know by now how important free shipping is. Fifty-seven percent of shoppers cancel their orders if shipping costs are too expensive.

But how do you get people to take advantage of your free shipping offer and up your AOV…

Don’t just say customers get free shipping when they spend X amount. Instead, show them just how close they are to your free shipping threshold.

Here’s an example from Barnes & Nobles’ online store:

Shipping is $4.99. But I only need to add $5.50 to get free shipping. So, I might as well make another purchase while I’m here.

That’s the customer thought process.

Show customers exactly how much more they need to spend and they will more than likely add further items to their cart.

5. Offer a Free Gift When Customers Spend More

This is another way to incentivize a higher AOV. It’s unique, because how many businesses give out freebies? Very few. And customers dig a freebie. Free gifts are one of the most popular holiday promotions among shoppers:

Customers want value for money. Hence, a free gift makes them feel like they are getting a good deal … even if they spend more.

MyProtein runs promotions where they offer a free gift in exchange for a minimum spend:

They provide free gifts on top of other promotions. Which makes the deal super appealing.

6. Create a Tier-Based Loyalty Program

Generic loyalty programs are already fantastic for boosting your AOV. Most businesses see an AOV increase of 13.71% from their loyalty program customers. A rewards system helps you form a relationship with customers. Thus, encouraging them to return and spend more.

Tier-based loyalty programs add extra exclusivity and encourage an even greater spend. Everybody wants to be a VIP, sauntering through velvet ropes, after all.

Luxury retailer, Nordstrom, has a special loyalty program called The Nordy Club. (Source)

Customers earn status based on how much they spend. As their status goes up they reap more and more benefits. Benefits include things like invites to events, vouchers and early access to products.

You could do the same by rewarding customers that spend the most at your online store.

The easiest way to do this would be to offer bronze, silver and gold status to loyalty program customers. Doing so guarantees an increase in average order value because it gamifies the shopping experience, inviting customers to move up to the next level.

Editor’s Note

Online retailers MeUndies have mastered using “ascension ladders” in their marketing. To learn more, read “Strategy #2: Create an Ascension Ladder to Increase Retention” from 9 Strategies MeUndies Used to Grow 1,583% in 3 Years (Case Study).

7. Create a Cashback Program

What’s better than earning loyalty points? Earning cold, hard cash.

Kohl’s Reward Program is extra:

Earning $10 for every $50 you spend is mighty appealing.

Kohl’s CMO, Greg Revelle, says,

Our hope is that the new Kohl’s Rewards program will allow us to do three things: connect with new customers in a different way, deepen the relationship with customers and simplify Kohl’s value proposition.

Obviously, they hope to increase average order value, too, but they can’t just come out and say it.

You can steal Kohl’s idea and create a digital wallet, in which loyal customers can store their cashback rewards. There are many types of loyalty program out there. You just need to consider which is most likely to increase average order value.

8. Provide Finance Options for Expensive Items

Not everybody can afford that flashy piece of tech or a brand new sofa. They might want such an item but can’t pay for it off the bat. But providing the chance to pay in installments can increase sales by 40%.

By offering financing options, you can increase your average order value over time.

Apple does this for items such as their Apple Watches:

They combine financing options with further selling tactics. Offering $50 in gift cards makes the proposal enticing. And they add a sense of urgency to the deal by offering it for a limited time. Clearly, Apple knows what they’re doing.

And you can do the same by suggesting installment plans on your more expensive items.

9. Sell Small Add-Ons that Amount to More Revenue

How do you get people to purchase more items from your store?

As you already know, you have to target impulse buyers with cross-sells. And cross-selling is a big deal.

Did you know that Amazon generates 35% of its revenue through its recommendation engine?

Crazy.

But you don’t always have to recommend high-ticket items to your customers. Instead, tempt them with small add-ons.

The Perfume Shop, for instance, let’s you add gift wrapping to your order for just £1-£1.50:

Because the deal is so cheap, it’s likely to attract a lot of customers.

If you sell furniture, you could recommend an accompanying care kit. Or, if you sell shoes, you could recommend shoe polish and so on. Naturally, extras like these increase average order value. And collectively, each additional purchase can add up to big revenue.

10. Bundle Products into “Starter Packs”

This is slicker than your average cross-sell. Naturally, bundles give customers the opportunity to purchase your products at a lower price than buying them individually.

Putting together a “starter pack” is even better. It introduces people to your brand and is the first step in building customer loyalty. And just as important, it encourages customers to increase their spend from the get-go.

See how this Spanish food store, The Tapas Lunch Co., offers a paella starter pack that even includes a free gift:

You can get creative with this idea and build different types of cross-sell packages. Your existing customers, for instance, don’t need a starter pack. But they may want a more advanced pack that provides them with upgrades on their previous purchases.

Thus, you are able to target individuals at different stages of the customer lifecycle.

11. Recommend a Matching Product for Their Partner

Single people avert your eyes…

Because it’s about to get really cute up in here.

Why use one e-commerce selling tactic when you can use two?

MeUndies combines cross-selling with emotional selling via their matching pairs program:

They even go in for the upsell by providing a subscription service. That’s smart. And emotional e-commerce can increase repeat purchases by 80% and customer retention by 58%.

You can emulate MeUndies’ unique proposition by recommending complementary products for loved ones, such as partners or even the whole family.

Go in for the emotional sell to win big.

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Conclusion

Increasing your average order value is vital for revenue growth. Forget the trials and tribulations of trying to attract new customers…

And get customers to spend more with you while you have them there on a platter.

Traditional tactics such as upsells, cross-sells and free shipping etc. work beautifully. But in a competitive environment, you need to take advantage of more unique strategies to give you the edge.

Now the question is, which AOV-boosting strategy are you going to try first?

Pick at least one that appeals to you and put it into practice.

Which average order value strategies are you using for your online store? Leave a comment below.

The post 11 Personalized Tactics to Increase Your Average Order Value appeared first on Sleeknote.

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Product pages are the heart and soul of your e-commerce store.

Think about it for a moment. All those emails you send, campaigns you create, ads you pay for…

Everything you do, in fact, is to convince your visitors to land on your product pages—hopefully, with an intention to buy.

But products pages are not really the end of the customer journey. They’re only the beginning.

As of Q3 2018, only 2.42% of e-commerce site visits converted into purchases.

So, if you’re driving traffic to your product pages, but it’s not converting into sales, this article is for you.

Today, I’ll share 11 of my favorite product page optimization strategies used by top e-commerce brands. Plus, how you can easily implement them on your online store.

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Make the Most of Customer Testimonials

When was the last time you bought something without checking how many positive reviews it got?

Unless you’re an outlier, the chances are pretty low.

According to research, almost 95% of online shoppers read customer reviews before making a purchase.

The same study found out that displaying reviews on your site can increase conversion rates by 270%. Crazy, isn’t it?

Displaying customer testimonials on your product pages can drive a lot of sales. But how you display them can also affect your conversion rates.

Highlighting your favorite flattering reviews is one option. But there’s always something more you can do to guide your visitors.

Remember, the reason you put those reviews there: To help your potential customers.

To do that, try making your testimonials relevant and easily readable, to help them even more.

Want to learn how? Here are my favorite methods.

1. Add Personal Details to Testimonials

To make the most of testimonials, display them in a way that visitors can get the most value (and help) out of them.

One way to achieve this is to provide personal details of the reviewer.

This way, your visitors can more easily relate to the commenter and get a clear idea of the product.

Take this example from MeUndies:

They don’t only display the reviewer’s username, but also personal details, such as location, gender, age, height, and weight, which may have an impact on how you enjoy the product.

It also helps the reader develop a liking for the reviewer. Here, you can compare the commenter to yourself and decide if their comments are relevant to you.

Birchbox takes this one step further and lets you filter the reviews:

If you’re interested in this skin product, you can filter the reviews by shades and only read the comments you need, based on your skin tone.

Not all feedback is equally valuable for everybody. Try giving visitors more information so they can decide what’s more relevant to them.

2. Make Reviews Easy-to-Read

If you manage to get long and detailed customer testimonials, kudos to you.

The more in-depth the product reviews, the more value it provides the reader.

But let’s admit it: Not everybody has the time to read through all those long reviews. (Especially if they’re not about a complex or high-end product.)

Sometimes, customers have a lot to say. And you should always let them speak their minds.

Instead of cutting them short, find a way to make your reviews easier to read for the visitor.

Here’s how Glossier does it successfully:

Adding a “Bottom Line” to all customer reviews, the company makes sure that you get the point, even if you don’t have time to read the whole text.

Yay or nay. Sometimes it’s that simple for the visitor.

3. Leverage User-Generated Content

One of the coolest buzzwords of the last decade, user-generated content, is a great source of social proof.

In a survey by TINT, 80% of the respondents agreed that user-generated content makes marketing more authentic—and authenticity is a huge driver of sales.

In fact, Photoslurp found user-generated content is five times more likely to convert when compared with branded content.

Adding user-generated content to your product pages is not only a way of displaying social proof. Content created by your customers can also help guide your visitors better.

Think of it as a more creative and visual type of customer feedback. It makes the reviews more personal and relatable.

Let’s take a look at this example by Wool and the Gang:

Due to the nature of the company’s products (knitting kits), it’s important for visitors to see the end result in real life.

The company gets visual aid from actual customers to display their end products.

(Notice the headline “Made by the Gang” and the feeling of belonging it evokes.)

They also make it clear how you can be a part of “the gang” by using their hashtag or uploading your pics to their site.

Going one step further, you can also offer an incentive for your customers to create content for you.

Here’s how ThinkGeek does that:

They ask for customer pictures in exchange for a chance to win a $100 gift card.

If you need an easy way to connect user-generated content with your e-commerce site, you can try a third-party tool such as Olapic.

Showcase Your Products

Picture two online stores selling the same item: One with unfocused and blurry product pictures, and the other with clear and high-quality images.

Which one are you more likely to buy from?

I think I can guess the answer.

In online shopping, the inability to see the product with one’s own eyes is an obstacle for visitors. That’s when you need to step in and help as much as possible.

Displaying your products in a better and clearer way can improve conversions and decrease the likelihood of returns.

Here are my favorite ways to do this.

4. Create Product Videos

A video is probably worth more than a thousand words.

According to Google, almost 50% of Internet users look for a product-related video before visiting a store.

Why not offer visitors a product video when they’re on your online store?

Using videos is one of the most realistic ways to display your products. Whether it’s an explainer video or a product close-up, it gives you a chance to describe the item as vividly as possible.

Everlane does this well on their product pages:

If you’re in fashion or selling products that need more visualization, use videos whenever possible.

Giving detailed product information is a great practice; showing the product in action is even better.

Seeing the item in relation to an actual person can make it easier for visitors to visualize. It also helps them make more informed buying decisions.

5. Use 360-Degree Product Images

I know, not all products are suitable for little runway videos or close-ups.

Luckily, there’s always a smart way you can display your products in detail.

And my favorite method is 360-degree product images.

Well-written product descriptions can tell a lot, but 360-degree images can explain the product in a much quicker way (and from all angles).

Check out this example by Away:

6. Show Products In Action

Even if you can’t use product videos or 360-degree images on your online site, you can still find other ways to display your products in detail.

One great way to do this is to show your products in action.

Displaying your products in real life makes it much easier for the visitor to picture them.

Let’s look at this example by Bellroy first:

When you scroll through Bellroy’s product listing pages, you’ll see a little button that reads “Show Inside.” When clicked, you can see what you can fit into that specific wallet, together with a short description and visualization of the items.

And it gets better.

When you visit one of their product pages, you’ll see a “Size Comparison Tool” which allows you to compare the wallet to several items that you are certainly familiar with: Credit card, passport, key, iPhone or Dollar Bills.

Knowing the struggles of online shoppers, Bellroy successfully solves this common problem and helps visitors picture the product in real life situations.

Warby Parker has another solution to this problem:

Instead of only displaying the product in isolation, they also give you the option to see how their glasses look on the model’s face.

And when you move your cursor on the image, you can see the glasses from different angles and have an idea about how it might look on your face.

How cool is this?

Provide Clear Shipping Information

You got your visitors interested in your product with great customer reviews and creative visuals.

They’re now in the next stage: Considering to purchase.

There’s one huge element that influences visitors’ buying decisions at this stage and that’s shipping.

According to a study by BigCommerce, shipping cost and speed are influential factors in determining where people shop.

At this stage, visitors want to see clear and detailed shipping information. If they meet any bad surprises during checkout, they’ll most likely abandon their carts and never return.

Here are two smart ways how you can provide better shipping information on product pages and how you can use shipping to increase revenue.

7. Give Estimated Shipping Dates

When people shop online, they want to know when they’ll receive the delivery.

And they want to get their items as soon as possible.

Providing an estimated delivery date will help visitors make better and faster buying decisions.

The more precise you are, the easier it is for visitors to know what to expect.

Avoid using a confusing language, such as “2-5 business days”. Instead, focus on the date that they’ll receive the item.

Be careful, though. Overpromising can turn into disappointment if you fail to deliver on the expected date.

One thing you can do to keep this in check is to ask for partial address information in order to provide a more accurate guess.

Here’s how Man Crates does that:

Entering your zip code in the box, you can learn when to expect your delivery. (Notice how they offer an alternative e-card option if you need the item earlier.)

When you scroll down a bit, the company also tells you how exactly the item will ship.

Fewer surprises. Happier customers.

8. Promote Free Shipping

The two magic words of e-commerce: free shipping.

Now, you know that shipping options are highly influential in buying decisions.

So much so that 60% of consumers are likely to abandon their carts when free shipping is not an option.

But free shipping isn’t just an incentive to complete the purchase. It also helps the customers spend more.

In fact, in one retail study, 9 out of 10 consumers said that free shipping is the number one incentive to shop online more.

Offering free shipping can increase both your conversions and average order value. But in the end, they both mean higher sales revenue.

One thing you need to be clear about is how and when customers qualify for free shipping.

Instead of simply listing your shipping policy, give visitors more information. For example, add a little message on your product pages if the item they’re browsing already qualifies for free shipping.

Here’s how Beauty Bay does that:

The company provides free shipping to Denmark for orders over 170 DKK. When I visit this product, which costs more than that, they nudge me with this little message.

If I buy this product, I don’t have to think about shipping costs. Now I know that and I’m more willing to add it to my cart. Quite rational.

What if visitors don’t qualify for free shipping yet?

Then you gently remind them about it. Just like ASOS does here:

Simply remind visitors what they need to do to get free shipping on product and checkout pages.

If you’re willing to go one step further, suggest to visitors related products they can add to their carts in order to meet the free shipping minimum.

For example, you can easily create a campaign that looks like this:

Increase Your Average Order Value

Getting more orders is one way of reaching a larger sales revenue. Increasing the value of those orders is another.

If a visitor is already on your product pages and considering making a purchase, there’s a good chance that you can sell them more or higher-priced products.

And that’s exactly what we know as upselling and cross-selling.

Upselling and cross-selling, however, are two big strategies. And there are many different ways you can use them on your product pages to increase revenue.

Today, I’ll share two of my favorites that you might have overlooked. They’re simple but highly effective.

9. Upsell One-Time Products with Subscriptions

The most traditional upselling method is recommending the visitor a more expensive product alternative.

But there are better and more profitable ways to upsell.

Turning one-time purchases into subscriptions on your product pages is one of the smartest upselling strategies.

By upselling with subscriptions, you can increase the lifetime value of your customers.

Instead of a one-time order, you can get regular payments and potentially gain loyal customers.

But how do you convince visitors to make such a big commitment?

For this upsell strategy to work, you need to be clear about the benefits of choosing the subscription model. If you don’t give visitors a good reason to become a long-term customer, they wouldn’t be willing to spend more.

Check out how Beardbrand upsells on their product pages:

When you visit a product page, the company offers you two options: One-time purchase or Auto-Restock & Save.

Take a closer look at the second option now.

Notice how benefit-oriented the text is, rather than simply saying “Subscribe.”

Instead, they clearly talk about the benefits: Getting auto-restocks, saving money, and free shipping (which we just praised.)

The subscription option is written in bold and capitalized, and displayed in sharp contrast with the first option. It’s much more noticeable and attention-grabbing.

10. Use Subtle Language to Cross-Sell

Cross-selling, in simple terms, is suggesting visitors complementary or related products.

When used in moderation, cross-selling can be a highly effective e-commerce marketing strategy that improves sales revenue.

But it can start getting really annoying if you ask visitors “Would you also like to buy this and that?” over and over again.

The visitor is already interested in one of your products at this stage. There’s no point at scaring them away with hard-selling, right when they’re about to buy something.

The key to cross-selling is, actually, how you frame it.

Take a look at how Firebox cross-sells without being pushy or intrusive:

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I think we can all agree that finding and buying gifts for men is tough.

Another pair of socks, or a new gadget they’ll never use, just doesn’t get them excited.

Jon Beekman recognized this problem (having got one too many pairs of socks himself).

That’s why, in 2011, he borrowed $1,000 from his wife and created a site to help people find the perfect gift for their loved ones.

Today, that site, Man Crates, is one of the fastest growing companies in America, with a staggering growth rate of 4900.2%. And what was once a three-team operation running out of a garage is now a 50-person company with multiple distribution centers across the U.S.

I’ve had my eye on Man Crates for months now, and they keep surprising me with new ways to engage their audience and create memorable experiences for both gift-givers and gift-receivers.

So, I decided to follow in Sam’s footsteps and reverse-engineer Man Crates marketing strategy to learn exactly what they’re doing to grow their business (and how you can too).

Let’s get started.

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Download Man Crates’ Marketing Toolkit

I found a LOT of amazing strategies while writing this post, but I couldn’t include them all. So, as a bonus, I’ve compiled a swipe file of Man Crates’ best marketing materials, including 5 bonus strategies and the full video of Matthew’s unboxing experience. (Plus, toolkits for other multi-million dollar brands like Harry’s and Casper.)

Man Crates Marketing: 9 Unique Marketing Strategies You Need to Know

For many, myself included, giving gifts is just as exciting as receiving them (if not more).

You want to find that perfect gift that shows your loved one just how much you care, but it isn’t always easy.

Beekman and the team at Man Crates has done more than recognize the above problem and solved it. In fact, they’ve gone one step further and redefined what it means to buy the perfect gift for a loved one.

When it comes to gift-giving, Man Crates know that it’s not just about the buyer’s anticipation for giving the perfect gift. Rather, it’s about their anticipation for finding it (and in many cases, buying it). So, they’ve built anticipation into each stage of the buyer’s journey to create a memorable buying experience. And, as we’ll see through the post, it works like a charm.

Here’s how they do it.

Strategy #1: Use Search Intent to Inform Your Landing Page Copy (and Increase Sales)

From the moment you enter the front page, Man Crates reassures visitors that they’re in the right place.

The call-to-action (CTA) is clear:

Find the perfect gift.

If you scroll further down the front page, you’ll find that there’s little sales copy anywhere pushing people to buy a product.

Why?

Because, if you scroll further down the page, you’ll notice that much of their copy emphasizes gift-giving. Further, there’s little, if any, CTAs to buy their products.

There’s a good reason for this.

If we look at their organic keywords, we can see that Man Crates ranks for several variations of “gifts for men” and “man crates.”

As you can see, the search intent is not a specific gift or product, but an idea about a type of gift.

With that in mind, Man Crates match their users’ search intent as much as possible. They know that’s what visitors are looking for, so that’s what they give them when they arrive on their site for the first time.

And with 64.34% of their traffic coming from organic search, it’s a sound strategy. (Source.)

It’s important to mention here that we usually exclude branded terms when going through a site’s organic report because they doesn’t reveal much about how the site’s acquiring customers.

But with Man Crates, it’s hard to determine whether the term “man crates” applies to Man Crates the brand, or man crates, as in, crates for men.

For instance, if you Google “man crates” and look at Google’s related terms, you’ll see searching also looking for best man crates, homemade man crates, mini man crates and more. Meaning, there are different types of man crates that aren’t limited to Man Crates product line.

Just take a look at this product line from NetFlorist:

Man Crates don’t assume that people who search for man crates know about their products and are ready to buy.

That’s why the focus on their front page is on helping visitors find the perfect gift, before asking them to make a purchase.

No fuss. No confusion, No salesy “buy now” buttons. Just a low-commitment CTA to check out their products.

Takeaway. Identify which keywords drive the most traffic to your site, and the search intent behind these keywords. Are your visitors looking for how-to guides, gift ideas, or specific products? Whatever it is, incorporate this into your site’s front page copy to meet your visitors where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Strategy #2: Use Visual Storytelling to Build Anticipation

Your product pages are probably the most important pages on your site.

If you don’t position your product right on these pages, your visitors won’t buy.

Man Crates have added a unique strategy to all their product pages to build anticipation and convince prospects that they’ve found the perfect gift.

It’s storytelling.

Take the product description for Man Crates’ Slumberjacks product, as an example:

It’s not your average product description; Man Crates wants you to feel just as excited about this product as they are.

The story is highly-visual and builds anticipation because prospects can visualize their chosen man using the product (even though he might not be chopping wood on a daily basis).

As famous poet and civil rights advocate, Mary Angelou, once said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The story (fictional or not) isn’t just a fun way to explain the details of the product. It also helps prospects remember the product. (Source).

Just think about Rosa Parks on the bus. We remember her because of the bus story and not for all the other activist work she did.

(Plus, it gives you a few pointers to impress your man with when you give the gift. “Did you know that flannel dates back to 17th century Wales?” That ought to give you a few bonus points.)

Takeaway. Tell stories about your products to make them more unique and memorable. Have fun with it and make sure your stories align with your brand’s voice.

Strategy #3: Tease the Unboxing Experience to Reduce Cart Abandonment

If there’s one strategy Man Crates have nailed it’s teasing the unboxing experience.

Man Crates promote the unboxing experience as a huge part of the gift-getting experience (more on this later). And they’ve found two clever ways to build anticipation during checkout.

First, Man Crates have a delivery estimate feature where you enter your zip code, and they tell you when your package will arrive.

(When you get a date for the arrival of a package, that’s when you start getting excited, right?)

It’s a great way to personalize the shopping experience and build anticipation. But it’s also practical for visitors who are shopping for gifts last minute and need to check if it will arrive in time.

Second, and probably my favorite addition, is the package preview.

I mean, “a sealed wooden crate with a laser-etched crowbar.” How cool is that?

By showing prospects what the package will look like upon delivery, they tease the unboxing experience and also reduces the likelihood of cart abandonment.

The more anticipation you can build through your entire funnel, the easier it will be to turn visitors into customers.

Takeaway. Think about unique ways you can get prospects excited about your product. Maybe it’s a preview of the package like Man Crates. Maybe it’s a short video of a customer using the product. Or maybe it’s something else. When people are excited about a product, they want to buy it. It’s that simple.

Free Downloadable Bonus

Download Man Crates’ Marketing Toolkit

I found a LOT of amazing strategies while writing this post, but I couldn’t include them all. So, as a bonus, I’ve compiled a swipe file of Man Crates’ best marketing materials, including 5 bonus strategies and the full video of Matthew’s unboxing experience. (Plus, toolkits for other multi-million dollar brands like Harry’s and Casper.)

Strategy #4: Personalize the Buying Experience with Pre-Written Notes

You probably guessed it…

…I wanted to buy a man crate after looking at their product pages.

Unfortunately, they don’t ship to Denmark (sad face).

So, I decided to get our developer, Matthew, who lives in Minnesota, an extra Christmas present. (You can see his reaction in Strategy #5).

This is Matthew. (Don’t ask about the glitter beard):

To personalize the shopping experience during checkout, Man Crates gives you the possibility to include a personal note.

This isn’t new.

What is new is if you’re not a copywriter, or simply don’t know how to express your feelings on a postcard, Man Crates will do it for you.

With their personal note generator, you can choose who the receiver of the gift is and generate a pre-written message for them.

This is not just for fun. It’s yet another trick to build anticipation and get people excited about giving the present. Plus, the pre-written messages is a great way to reduce friction during checkout.

Here’s the one I chose for Matthew:

Takeaway. Offer customers a chance to add notes to their orders? Inspire them to choose a pre-written message. This will help create a memorable shopping experience, making customers more likely to return to your site in future.

Strategy #5: Create a Share-Worthy Unboxing Experience

When you get a gift, the unboxing is a big part of the gift-getting experience.

Imagine getting a present that’s not wrapped…

…it’s just not as exciting, is it?

Man Crates know the importance of this and have transformed the unboxing of their products into a memorable, fun, and share-worthy experience for any man receiving a man crate.

I decided to get Matthew the Slumberjacks and the Saloon Nuts Mini Crate, and asked him to film the unboxing experience.

Here’s him unboxing the Slumberjacks…

…and the Saloon Nuts Mini Crate:

Editor’s Note

Get the full unboxing video, plus 5 bonus strategies and other goodies here.

When you create share-worthy unboxing experiences, you generate a LOT of brand awareness.

Just like Matthew, many other Man Crates customers film the unboxing experience and post it on YouTube. (The videos people share of their unboxing experience also serve as reviews and social proof which Man Crates can repurpose on their site.)

Just look at what comes up when you search “Man Crates” on Youtube:

Three out of the top five results are reviews from customers sharing their unboxing experience.

Granted, we don’t know if any of these videos are sponsored, but I noticed something interesting when watching Matthew’s video…

…Man Crates encourages customers to share their experience on social media by adding a small call-to-action (CTA) to the lid on each gift:

They make the process of sharing your experience look easy, and they tap into people’s feeling of wanting to “show off.”

In his book Contagious, Jonah Berger discusses how businesses can create virality around their brand and product. He uses the term social currency, which means that consumers share content as a way to “buy” the interest of their peers.

You can capitalize on this by creating content that’s unusual or remarkable to stimulate a discussion among consumers.

Just look at Man Crates. They create a unique unboxing experience that drives anticipation and curiosity.

Watching someone open a man crate, makes you want to try it out for yourself to see if you can evoke that same feeling in the person you’re giving a gift to.

It’s a good way to build referrals and virality into your marketing.

Takeaway. Consider how you can create a memorable and share-worthy unboxing experience for your product. The more unique and interesting it is, the more likely people are to share it. You can also send free samples to influencers and celebrities and ask them to share their unboxing experience.

Strategy #6: Improve Customer Retention with Personalized Gift Reminders

While researching Man Crates, one question came to mind:

How do Man Crates survive out of gift-giving-seasons?

Surely, their sales spike during Christmas and probably around Father’s Day as well. But what about the rest of the year?

I decided to look into this, and I found something interesting.

When you buy something online, you normally see a thank you page when you buy something.

Man Crates is no exception. But this is what their thank you page looks like:

They invite customers to set up reminders for special occasions and use a 10% discount as an incentive.

This is a great way to use reciprocity. Give something, get something.

Also, how often have you forgotten an anniversary or a birthday and had to rush out to find a last-minute gift?

I know I have.

Let me just show you what happens when you click through.

First, you choose what man in your life you want to set up a reminder for.

I chose my dad.

Then you enter his name.

My dad’s name is Tommy and look what happens when I move on:

His name is incorporated into the copy making it super personal.

Now, Man Crates have an occasion to send me a personal email: my dad’s birthday.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Here’s how they ask you to set up another reminder for Father’s Day:

“HECK, YEAH”

Instead of asking customers if they’d like to set up a second reminder for Father’s Day, they ask a question you most likely won’t say no to. (You wouldn’t set up a reminder for your dad’s birthday if you didn’t appreciate him, right?)

This is clever marketing because answering a question like this seems like a smaller commitment than agreeing to set up another email reminder.

When you click through, you get an overview of your reminders for this person and you can add more for other occasions.

When you confirm you get a final overview, and the option to set up reminders for other men in your life.

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