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Smithers are excited to confirm E-PACK Europe will be returning for a second year, this time heading to Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 28-30 April 2020.

E-PACK Europe 2020 will cover the full landscape of the evolving e-commerce packaging market. The annual cross-industry conference provides a platform to discuss technical challenges for the e-commerce packaging industry in terms of functional designs and protection, innovative and cost-effective packaging solutions, new business opportunities, case studies from leading brands & retailers, advancements in materials and technology and more.

As the first conference of its kind in Europe, focusing on technical discussions around leveraging the packaging industry to fulfill the growing e-commerce market, E-PACK Europe will again support the packaging industry in the transition from in-store packaging to e-commerce packaging. This event will provide a platform for the packaging supply chain to discuss challenges and solutions in e-commerce packaging.

Packed with first-hand experience, leading brands and retailers will be sharing their insights, best practice and lessons learned on their e-commerce packaging journeys, E-PACK Europe provides the perfect platform to stay ahead of the latest trends and developments in the e-commerce packaging market. Through a mix of case studies, interactive panel discussions and thought-leadership, the experts will help you to find solutions to your problems.

With over 200 professionals in attendance last year, including representatives from H&M, IKEA, VF International, Mattel, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, AB InBev, Zalando, Ferrero, Mondelez International, John Lewis, Tetra Pak, DHL and more, this is the place to be for anyone working within this evolving sector!

E-Commerce Nation readers can receive 10% off their ticket with discount code EPACK20ECN. Just enter this code at the checkout to save.

Find out more and book now

The post E-Pack 2020 appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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What is Growth Hacking? In this article we explain what growth hacking is, how to apply it to grow your idea and I’ll tell you several success stories of companies that have used it.

An Introduction to Growth Hacking: The Instagram Case

Did you know that Instagram wasn’t always Instagram? The germ of this application emerged in 2010, and it was called Burbn. A geolocation app, very similar to Foursquare, whose main objective was for users to check-ins at the places they visited. It also allowed you to share images or leave reviews of a particular site.

The problem?

The app had users, but no one checked in.

What most users did was take pictures and share them. So the founders behind Burbn decided to fine-tune the application and focus it on what users really liked. Thus, Burbn became an app with which to convert photos. And the rest is history. This is growth hacking at its finest.

Seen this: What is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking arises from the need for startups to grow their business with scarce resources.

Take the case of a traditional company, already more established than a startup (and with more budget). If they want to be known, they will hire a marketing specialist to carry out:

  • Short-term marketing actions: such as paid campaigns on social networks or AdWords.
  • Medium/long term marketing actions: As SEO or actions aimed at creating brand image

However, this strategy is not valid for a startup. Why?

  • They do not have budget for short-term campaigns.
  • They don’t have time for long-term campaigns.
  • If they don’t make themselves known quickly, they could be gone in a few months. Your product or service, on many occasions, is not even validated, so you are not invoices, hence the Growth Hacking arises.

We can define growth hacking as the set of strategies that a business carries out to grow very quickly, and with very limited resources.

How would we define a growth hacker?

A growth hacker is a person focused on the growth of users of a product. You will have to be in constant search of ideas and actions with which to achieve the scalability of a product.

What attitudes would define it?
  • Analytical Mentality: You will have to constantly monitor the behavior and opinion of users, to reorient the product/service and actions to promote it.
  • Creativity
  • Domain of tools and software
  • Agility
  • Open mind

Attention! Although it will always help, growth hacking is not a marketer to use. Your functions will not only be to launch campaigns, but you will have to get your hands dirty, analyze and know very well the product you want to sell.

Another good example of growth hacking: The case of Dropbox

It´s easier to explain growth hacking with examples than with definitions. And the example of Dropbox illustrates very well what this type of strategy consists of.

When Dropbox was launched, there was a strong investment in short- and long-term marketing. Techcrunch sponsored articles (this is not cheap, I assure you), Adwords campaigns, PR campaigns…

And what about this?

The conversion wasn’t too high, and Dropbox saw its conversion costs go up to a staggering $388 per conversion. Almost nothing.

Thus, they detected the main problem: People don’t get up in the morning thinking: “I need an alternative to USBs”. Banners and landings did not work as they should, and advertisements on search networks attracted that particular audience, but did not generate demand.

On the other hand, they realized that when a user used Dropbox, he liked it and tended to share it with his acquaintances. How did they analyze this?

Through:

  • Customer surveys
  • Tests A/B in landing pages
  • Tests onboarding
  • Strong investment in analytics

With all this information, they were able to analyze the situation and react in time. And they changed the focus. They stopped spending money on AdWords and began to encourage the user to do the promotion work and share the tool.

How?

By creating a referral program to attract new users. If you shared the tool with an acquaintance (and they created an account) you gained extra storage in your account,

They managed to go from 100,000 to 4,000,000 users in 15 months. 35% of the registrations came from referrals, and 20% from shared folders.yes: All this was based on a good product. If the product hadn’t been up to the task, analytics, campaigns and everything else would have mattered. Your product is at the heart of any growth hacking strategy.

And one last success case: The WhatsApp case

The founders of WhatsApp created this app with a very clear objective: to create a tool with which you can communicate with your acquaintances without advertising through.

Instead of investing in marketing (they never have) they decided to create a really useful product for users.

They were lucky that the conditions that their growth were conducive. But also:

  • They designed an app valid for all types of phones and platforms
  • It was cheaper than sending SMS
  • Onboarding is very simple
  • An effect was created Word Of Mouth

Growth Hacking: How to Create Your Strategy in 6 Steps

First of all, a point. A Growth Hacking strategy should have one main objective: to create a product that falls in love.

once this is clear, let’s see what steps you should take to achieve this objective.

Step 1: Define a segment. Your person buyer.

The person buyer is the archetype of your ideal client. To define it well, you will have to study your potential client well and create as broad a profile as possible.

To do this, you will have to take into account sociodemographic data, but also understand their online behavior (what social networks they use, how they communicate, what digital media they read…); personal (who they relate to, what their hobbies are, where they like to go out…); professional (what their professional level is, how many hours they spend working…).

Some of the most popular technology companies were born with a very clear person buyer:

  • Uber: San Francisco Tech Community
  • Tinder: Fraternity Girls
  • Stripe: Developers with very little time
  • Etsy: Young artisans

If you know your person buyer well, you will be able to customize your product as much as possible to fit what they are looking for.

Step 2: Validate channels

Once we know our buyer well, we will have to know how to get to him. What are the most appropriate channels to establish a relationship? Where and how should we advertise? In order to know, we will have to test.

Testing in channel validation

We will have to test in different formats and with different types of content.

  • We will be able to generate valuable content in different formats: articles, videos, ebooks, infographics, webinars, etc.
  • We will be able to make Ads campaigns
  • We will be able to reach agreements with influencers to help us promote our brand.

As we have mentioned before, in a startup environment we will not have the budget to invest in expensive marketing campaigns. One way to reduce costs is to use templates, coupons or design tools.

And where do we find them? We can turn to:

Buzzsumo: It allows you to detect the relevant content for your audience and the outstanding influencers of your sector.

Envato: A marketplace for the sale of predefined templates to create videos, infographics, landing pages…

Unbounce: One of the best tools to create landing pages with which to boost your conversion.

Shutterstock: A bank of paid images with millions of templates. It’s great for creating content such as infographics, banners or ebooks.

Step 3: Activate your users

At all times, you have to work for your visitors to perform an action and convert.

  • Subscribe to a newsletter
  • Download an ebook
  • Register
  • Request a free trial
  • Request a demo
  • Make a payment

How do we do it?

  • Subscribe to my communications: Communications understood broadly. We can talk about newsletters, push notifications, contacts through Facebook Messenger … It is a “free” channel with which to reach the customer. For people to subscribe, sometimes we will have to give them an incentive.
  • Downloadable: If we create valuable content, we can offer it as a download and ask the user for some data in return. In the future, we’ll be able to use that data to contact him. Push Notifications: Widely used by mobile apps. We can use them to warn of a promotion, to announce a new article…
  • Free tools: We can create an independent tool or a functionality integrated in our product or service. The key is that it’s free. It will allow us to activate users and make a detailed segmentation.
  • Freemium Services: We will offer a series of functionalities for free.

The importance of onboarding

Onboarding is key to activating users. When we talk about doing well onboarding we mean giving the customer the necessary tools to adapt to your product/service as quickly as possible and in a simple way.

How will we do it?

We will have to design actions aimed at optimizing registration, product testing and upgrading.

The usual resources in this step are videos, tutorials, a guided process, chats or chatbots.

Examples of activation and onboarding: Canva

Canva makes things very easy for users who want to register and start working with this tool.

allows you to make a social connect and register with your account on social networks.

Here’s a video tutorial about the tool.

Afterwards, you will be able to see a tutorial that is shown on the tool itself.

Finally, it encourages you to share the tool in networks.

Examples of activation and onboarding: Tumblr

The Tumblr onboarding process is as follows:

You are asked to register with a very short and simple form. They recommend a username.

They then take you through a guided process to set up your tool.

Finally, they show you a tutorial to create your first publication.

Examples of activation and onboarding: Wordable

In Wordable they do it in the following way: They allow you to sign up with one click or using Google. You can access a 24 hour trial. The installation process is super simple. You can synchronize content with Drive. Useful tools: UserlaneUserlane is a very useful tool to improve the onboarding process in any platform. It allows you to create guided processes for any type of online product or service.

Step 4. Retention.

It’s no use activating users if we can’t hold them. Therefore, we will have to develop actions aimed at:

Get a second visit

That pay for the service

That do an upgrade

To do so, the most common resources are:

  • Email marketing
  • The push notifications
  • The remarketing
  • The marketing automation: We can segment users based on their behavior patterns or sociodemographic aspects. We will design automatic communication flows and offer a personalized value to each user. Some tools: Intercom, Mixpanel, HubSpot, Drip.
  • Chatbots: Chatbots are AI software that work automatically, without a human being behind it. Some very useful uses of this type of tool are to get feedback, to help a customer, to remarket or to get leads. Some tools: Chatchamp.
Step 5. Itera.

This is always not a step in itself, but something we will have to do continuously, taking into account the results we are achieving. And, in Growth Hacking, iterar always goes through the same thing: Improve our product. The user has to fall in love with the product.

Step 6. Measure continuously

Measurement is basic to growth hacking. In fact, it makes no sense to do all this if we are not measuring results and acting accordingly.

We can measure in two different ways:

Analytical Measurement

Analytically, we can measure several aspects: We will measure the capture actions (using UTMs or tools such as Branch). We’ll measure user behavior. We will need to identify which factors are key at each stage and design specific KPIs. Some tools: We can use tools such as Google Analytics, Hotjar or Mixpanel, we will look for what they call the moment “Aha! We can define it as the indicator (or indicators) that determine when a user becomes a loyal user. Some examples:

  • Twitter: When a user follows 30 people.
  • Facebook: If you make 7 friends in the first 10 days.
  • Dropbox: If you have at least one file in your folder.

Measurement by customer feedback

And how?

You can offer something in return, such as discounts, free trials, early access to premium features, money or valuable content. what tools can we help with for feedback? surveys: Typeform, Wufo, Ninja Forms, Google FormsLanding pages: UnbouncePush notifications: Qualaroo

Chatbots: Manychat, ChatchampAccelerators: Facebook Lead Ads, LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Growth Hacking: 4 Rapid Growth Techniques

We’ve already talked about what growth hacking is. And that, in growth hacking, the most important point is always going to be the product. Our entire strategy should be aimed at analyzing the behavior and opinion of our users to improve our product.

The analysis and improvement of the product is a constant process. We will never reach that moment when we remain static and stop evolving. However, there will come a time when our product or service is powerful enough to power it in conditions. This is how you enter the growth phase. When that time comes, there are four forms of growth integrated into your product that you can use to reach many people, quickly and at low cost. And they are as follows:

Incentive Systems

This strategy is to provide an element of value to your user, to get traffic, leads or new customers. An element of value that doesn’t always have to be monetary (although sometimes it is).

Some example:

  • Cabify gave you a discount for your next trip for every friend you invited and who installed the app.
  • N26 paid €15 into your account for each friend who registered and used their N26 Mastercard.
Affiliate Program

In these types of programs, companies pay users who promote their brand and attract new users and customers.

To help them in their promotion, the company offers them “assets”, such as banners, email templates, predefined social media publications, videos, discount codes…

It’s easier to explain with an example:

  • Shopify: Shopify has an affiliate program that enables new users to create an account in Shopify (and use it). Let’s say I have a blog specializing in ecommerce. The process would be as follows:
    • I would sign up as a Shopify affiliate. Shopify gives you a custom URL to “track” any user that comes from your blog.
    • I can create an article talking about Shopify, or ecommerce platforms, in which I encourage my readers to use Shopify, and provide them with a link to create a new account. This link will be my personal affiliate link. If the user enters through this link, creates an account and starts using Shopify, Shopify will pay me a commission. If you want to create your own affiliate program, you can use tools such as ReferralCandy or Tapfiliate.
Brand creation

Yes, before or after we had to reach branding. A strategy that usually works in the medium/long term and that, if we are not careful, we can go out of price.

But there are systems to create a brand in a cheap way and with little effort.

The affiliate programs or incentive systems mentioned above are a great way to promote virality and give impact to your brand. Why not make your product advertise itself?

This was taken into account by brands such as WordPress, YouTube or Sniply. Let’s see their examples:

  • Sniply: Sniply is a content healing tool. Allows you to integrate a CTA into any content we share (either from your own URL or from another URL). If you don’t pay for the premium version, Sniply includes its logo on every CTA you share. Voilà! Your product will be advertising itself without you having to do anything.
  • WordPress: This platform allows you to create your website using your own domain or, if you do not have it, using the subdomain example.wordpress.com. Free branding.
  • YouTube: When you embed your videos, the YouTube logo appears on the video.
APIs

The APIs are application programming interfaces.

In short: they allow you to create applications based on the code of a third party. A third could be Twitter, Facebook, Google or many other platforms. And the API marketing is something real that can help you a lot in your growth hacking strategy. What do we use the API marketing for?

  • Connectors
  • Message Publishing
  • Remarketing
  • Automation
  • and more

We’ll look at some cases where APIs can help you grow. (Keep in mind that increased online regulation is leading to more and more captured APIs that offer fewer options over user data).

Connectors

One of the clearest examples of how to use an API to grow. By using a connector, you can speed up the registration process in your application. So when a user arrives, you can allow them to sign up using their Google Account or Facebook, for example. This will strengthen the connection and give us access to certain user data and certain permissions (we repeat, yes, this is increasingly captured by large platforms).

Bots

Bots are another great API application. They are computer programs that allow you to perform repetitive tasks automatically. An example of their practical use are bots that automatically follow people on Instagram, or those that send predefined direct messages to new followers on Twitter. Some bots you can use are Instazood or Tweetfull.

Task automation

The existence of open APIs from third parties allows you to automate processes. A very good example is Zapier. This tool allows you to synchronize all kinds of applications and create “if this…then that” style rules. In other words, we can tell Zapier that every time something happens, there will be a reaction. This tool allows you to integrate more than 1,000 apps (Google Drive, Trello, Gmail, Asana, Slack, Facebook Pages… and many more) Zapier synchronizes with the APIs of each of these platforms.

Amplifiers

The amplifiers are tools based on APIs, which help us increase the impact of an action. For example, the “Pay with a tweet” (what we would call a “social locker”). I publish an infograph on my blog and, in order to access it, I ask the user to share this publication on Twitter. This doesn’t mean anything to the user, but it helps me generate virality and get more out of my content.

A conclusion about Growth Hacking

The Growth Hacking is not simply a combination of tools or techniques. It is a way of working that combines:

  • Creativity
  • Analytic
  • Feedback
  • And, above all, a good product

The post What is Growth Hacking? Description, strategy and success stories. appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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Paul, a 24-year-old musician from France, is the founder of Ishihara Design – an online store that sells t-shirts, hoodies, and other products with ’80s-inspired designs.

What’s so special about it?

The fact that the great majority of the store’s sales comes from the US – one of the world’s biggest markets, which has always been a tempting target for European sellers. And rightly so, as US retail e-commerce sales are estimated to reach nearly $561 billion by the end of 2019. Who wouldn’t like to have a share of that pie, right?

Apparently, Paul has found the fork to that e-commerce pie. The store that he launched just last year and is managing on the side of his day job as an English teacher, is estimated to soon exceed $15’000 in revenue.

So, we sat down with him to find out his secrets, lessons learned, and tips for other sellers on how to enter the market that every entrepreneur has their eyes on.

When targeting the US makes sense (and when it doesn’t)

For Ishihara Design, focusing on the US market from day one was a no-brainer. The store sells vaporwave and future funk-inspired clothing, which are big trends in the US right now. ”Besides, these trends originally come from the US, so obviously, this market was my first choice,” the store owner explains.

Paul’s online store Ishihara Design that was inspired by vaporwave and future funk.

Nowadays, most new movements are born online, which allows anyone – regardless of their location – to discover and follow trends coming from the other side of the world. In the case of Ishihara Design, the founder noticed that retro vibes in music and fashion are becoming increasingly popular across the USA, and decided to use the momentum and launch his business. 

”Because of its online origins, there was a great deal of transparency when it comes to the evolution of that style,” Paul says. Being aware of how the style has shaped and changed over time helped him create timely designs that spoke to the specific niche at that specific moment.

”Of course, trends continue to change. Therefore, it’s important to follow local trendsetters on social media, as well as ask customers for feedback and reviews,” he suggests. Shoppers from the target market can be a great inspiration for new products and designs.

Finally, asked when targeting the US doesn’t make sense, Paul says: ”I would not try to enter the US market with a geo-dependent niche product. For example, Americans probably wouldn’t buy Bastille Day-themed products because France’s Independence Day just isn’t really relevant to them. In such a case, I’d save effort and money and stick to the local market.”

Fair enough.

What are American shoppers like?

Do US shoppers differ from those from Europe? According to the owner of Ishihara Design, they do. 

”Americans, in my opinion, are on top of the ”food chain” when it comes to online shopping. They’re early adopters when compared to Europeans who are more conservative and reserved. And I’m not only talking about being open to new products but also to marketing Americans generally seem to be more receptive to different marketing tactics.”

That’s true. For example, stats show that Americans click on ads twice as often as Europeans. US customers are also quite open to email marketing – 61% are willing to receive promotional emails at least once a week. Europeans, on the other hand, are more concerned about their online privacy, which recently paved the path to the GDPR regulation.

Atop of that, Americans are also used to more aggressive marketing than Europeans. For example, advertising calls-to-action such as ”Shop now” or ”Buy now” are sometimes perceived as too aggressive in Europe, but are effective in the USA. 

Norwegian Air’s ad after Angelina Jolie announced her plans to divorce Brad Pitt.

”Another example – newsjacking, when brands jump on a breaking news story to generate media coverage and social media engagement. Europeans are quite sensitive when it comes to tactics like this, but Americans seem to be okay with that” – Paul has observed

While Americans are ready to take in more ads and marketing, they also have high expectations when it comes to online shopping:

First, they want fast (and free) shipping. Amazon Prime has set the standard by offering free delivery in two days or less on millions of items, and now shoppers expect quick delivery from other sellers as well. ”Basically, the only way for European sellers to meet these expectations is to find a reliable order fulfillment partner across the ocean. I work with Printful that has fulfillment centers on both coasts, so they can ensure fast delivery within the country.”

And second, they want good prices and discounts because compared to European shoppers, Americans are much bigger deal hunters. ”Flash sales, promotions, offers – everyone who sells to the US should do them,” Paul concludes.

The legal aspect of entering the US market

Complying with local laws and regulations is probably the scariest part when entering a foreign market. And the US doesn’t make following the rules easy at all, as different states can have different laws to comply with.

For example, the US has no national sales tax – different states have different sale taxes. If you’re based and ship your product from outside of the USA, this doesn’t affect you. However, if you hold your inventory in a warehousing center in the USA, use a local dropshipper or even if you have an US-based affiliate – someone who sends customers to your store and earns a percentage from sales – you have to charge sales tax from your customers in that particular state.

That is, if you keep your store’s inventory in a fulfillment center in California, you have to charge a sales tax – 7.25% – from customers who shop from and/or ship to California. Shoppers from New York, on the other hand, would not have to pay this tax.

”If you’re not ready and willing to go into US taxes and laws, I would strongly recommend choosing a local partner that would take care of these things for you. Printful, for example, keeps track of new regulations and laws, then instructs their sellers on what changes they should make on their side. They can ask you to update your tax settings, review your designs to make sure they don’t infringe copyright, etc. That really saves time and gives you peace of mind.”

Key lessons learned

To sum up, here are some key takeaways:

  • Unless your product is geo-dependent, the USA is a great market to target. 
  • Do your homework! Get to know your target audience, the culture, and shopping expectations of your target market.
  • Build your business on a trend – use the Internet to discover and follow them.
  • It’s okay to use more aggressive marketing to sell to US shoppers than you’d use to target European customers.
  • Make sure you meet your US shoppers’ demands for good deals and, even more importantly, fast shipping – partner up with a local order fulfillment partner to be able to provide that.
  • When choosing a local partner, never lower your standards. Always choose the best option, even if it costs a little more than the others. There’s a good reason behind your standards, and you should never compromise them.

The post Looking to enter the US market? Here’s what you should know appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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Now in its second year, B2B Online Asia is the ONLY event where CDOs, CMOs, and Heads of eCommerce and Digital Marketing from manufacturing and distribution meet and learn, and build a true community.

B2B Online brings together 150+ Heads of eCommerce, digital and marketing from Asia’s leading manufacturers and distributors to provide solutions to all of your digital transformation challenges whilst benchmarking with the best of the best. With an agenda dictated by leaders in the industry sharing real-world case studies, and the most disruptive eCommerce and digital marketing content, B2B Online Asia is designed to give you actionable insights to grow your business, faster.

For more information on the event, download our agenda here: https://bit.ly/2xMOpf8. Enjoy a 10% discount when you use code ECN10 upon checkout!

Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter with the hashtag #B2BOnlineAsia

I want to attend #B2BOnlineAsia2019

The post B2B Online Asia 2019 appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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Following in-depth research with previous delegates and senior retailers, the 2019 conference agenda will address the key challenges facing board-level executives in the UK Top 500 eCommerce and multichannel companies over the next 12 months.

Senior retailers from big-name brands will share their visions for the future, how they see their strategic initiatives translated into practice and how they are implementing new technology across the business.

IRC 2019 will blend collaboration, innovation, and expertise; creating a powerhouse of ideas to enable you to plan your strategic priorities for 2020 and beyond.

Here are Internet Retailing Expo‘s highlights:

Watch the highlights from IRX 2019 - YouTube

Workshops

Hear from the companies who have led, delivered and assisted significant projects for globally-renowned retailers, brands and services in these hands-on, practical, training focused sessions.

Roundtables

The IRC Roundtables have been crafted to allow open and intimate discussions enabling retailers the room to debate and discuss the most pertinent issues their jobs demand.

I want to attend #IRC2019

The post Internet Retailing Conference 2019 appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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Content marketing has been gaining strength over the last few years, and many e-commerce use it as a tool for recruitment, conversion, and loyalty.

And when we talk about content marketing we mean at a general level, it is not necessary to stay in the articles of your blog (which also). Videos, webinars, podcasts, ebooks… And, of course, to give the greatest diffusion to these contents.

If you are using email marketing as part of a content marketing strategy, you will know that the issue you use can be decisive. If it’s not attractive enough, recipients won’t open your email. And if they don’t open your email, all your work will end up in the trash (or in the spam folder).

In this article, we’re going to give you a few short, practical tips for writing bulletproof topics that incite click.

Use numbers

You must have seen it. Numbers are very common in promotional email subject lines.

But there is one thing you may not have thought about: Not all numbers are valid for the subjects of your emails. Or, at least, there are numbers that are going to work better than others.

Why is that?

  • Let’s say you write an article in which you give the reader a few steps to follow in order to do something. That is to say, an article that will require a certain effort on the part of the reader if he wants to put into use what you are teaching him. In that case, a low number will work better, as it will make things easier for you. No one is going to want to read: “How to create a perfect email in 50 steps”.
  • Instead, let’s say you write an article in which you offer value to the reader (like this one you’re reading right now, for example). In this type of content, high numbers will work better, because they let the reader know that you are offering more value. Much better “20 tricks to optimize your email marketing campaigns” than “3 tricks to optimize your email marketing campaigns”.
Beware of the words you use

Copywriting is important. And, although there are no fixed rules, we can tell you that there are words (or practices in general) that can harm your results.

What bad practices do you have to avoid?

  • Use words that imply free: free, 100% free, and so on. We are so overloaded with promotional emails that users no longer trust this type of email.
  • CTAs that force you to take immediate action: buy, call now, contact. Don’t force the user to do things that require too much effort. Invite him to learn more, and he will decide whether he wants to know more about your business or not.
  • Bad customization: Including your username in the subject line is great. Until it fails. If your database is not in good condition, do not send this type of items (or risk a user receiving “Hello, [NAME]. We have a discount for you!”).
  • Misused emojis: You have to be careful with emojis. They’re a lot of fun and can push your CTR, but they can also load your business. Let’s say you say: “Take part in our contest and get two for 7€”. In case there is any problem and your emoji is not seen, the matter loses all sense. That’s why it’s always better to “Participate in our raffle and get two burgers for 7€ ”.
The number of characters counts

Remember that the character limit of your subject is quite limited. Desktop computers typically display 60 characters, and mobile devices between 25 and 30.

So where are your subscribers going to see your emails for the first time? Will they be watching their mobile as soon as they wake up? Or will they be on their laptop?

If you don’t know, you’d better optimize your business for both possibilities. Studies show that the ideal subject is between 61 and 70 characters, so it may be a good choice to start there.

But if you’re still in doubt, the next point is going to come in handy:

Do your own A/B tests

In ECN we give you advice applicable to all types of companies, but each sector and each business is a world. Therefore, any self-respecting marketing professional should draw their own conclusions through A/B tests.

Most email marketing tools offer you the possibility to do your own A/B tests. Here at ECN we analyse Benchmark Email, a very good option for your email campaigns. In fact, you can read in his blog an article on how to do A/B tests in your email affairs.

The post How to Optimize Email Subjects in Your Marketing Campaigns appeared first on ECNE-Commerce Nation.

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For a long time, cloud computing was seen to be something that only very large business would invest in, and smaller companies would not benefit from. However, recent statistics suggest that it is now that case that 96 percent of businesses now use the cloud in some form or another. This means that smaller companies have become a major user of cloud services, in fact, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are set to spend around 40 percent of the projected $141 billion cloud spending in 2019. 

One of the most popular cloud services providers is Amazon Web Service (AWS) – many SMEs choose to work with AWS due to its flexibility and a full range of services. If you are thinking of making the move to the cloud, AWS could be the perfect way to do it. Of course, at the same time, it is important to understand the needs of your business are issues such as storage and infrastructure so that you can make the right decision for you.

In this article, we take a look at seven reasons that your small business would benefit from using Amazon Web Services. 

1. It can reduce infrastructure costs

AWS only charges you for the services that you are actually using – this means that you can either reduce or entirely eliminate the costs associated with infrastructure and hardware. And don’t forget that it also means that the costs of management and system administration are taken away from you, meaning that in the long term it is far more cost-efficient than any kind of in-house setup. 

2. Your business can run directly from the cloud

If you want to be able to run your business from the cloud, AWS offers the optimal solution. SMEs can run their operation from the cloud by using services such as document sharing and desktop visualization to ensure the whole process is simple and easy. Any staff member with access to a PC or virtual desktop can access applications, documents, and resources from anywhere in the world. This can have a huge variety of benefits. 

3. The service can be managed for you

Some small businesses are unwilling to commit to the cloud because they believe that doing so requires lots of specialist technical knowledge and maintenance. In fact, this does not need to be the case at all. 

Many providers offer a managed AWS service which takes away some or all of the technical complexities of making it work for your business. 

“Managed AWS Services allow organizations to embrace agile and DevOps methods without placing the burden of infrastructure management on technical and delivery teams. AWS customers typically see infrastructure costs reduce and dev productivity increase with the support of our team of certified AWS engineers.” – AWS specialists, Wirehive.

The system is usually very flexible, so you can choose to either completely outsource the technical side of the operation 24/7, or just rely on specialist engineers for more complex aspects.

4. Very easy application hosting

If you host your applications in the AWS platform it can make the whole profession of deployment and management very simple. It also allows for extremely efficient scaling, load balancing and monitoring. This can be vital for small businesses that operate in fast-paced industries and need to keep up with the pace of change.

5. Ideal for ecommerce businesses

AWS is renowned as a cloud services provider that offers excellent use solutions for companies focused around ecommerce and online sales. Of course, the speed and reliability of the website hosting is an important factor here, but there are other issues including the effective and efficient management of transactions. 

For example, integrating the Amazon Merchant account technology makes it extremely easy to manage orders without the need for human interaction or support. 

6. Flexibility and cost-effectiveness

The cost of data management for small business can become very expensive and inefficient when managed in-house. Not only is it costly to have your own storage, but the challenges involved in managing them can be complex. When using AWS storage, SMEs only pay for the amount they need, making it highly cost-effective, as well as having the easy flexibility to scale up or down as the market requires.

7. Cheap data migration

Remember that migration of servers, data and application is also cheap and simple when using AWS. Far more so than when this is something that your organization would need to manage in-house. 

The post Seven reasons your small business should use Amazon Web Services appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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Where is e-commerce heading to? What does a successful digital business need? Two of the central questions at DMEXCO on September 11 & 12. Exhibitors, speakers, and the community will provide the answers and solutions. Ticket sales have started. Thereby DMEXCO itself sets a clear statement on mobile commerce.

All key players and opinion leaders from marketing, innovation, and commerce will gather on September 11 & 12 at DMEXCO 2019 in Cologne to set the digital agenda of tomorrow today. More than 1,000 international exhibitors, including about 150 start-ups, and over 550 top speakers make it the community and place to be for the digital business.

Clear focus on successful E-Commerce

Conversational and voice commerce, omnichannel, experiential and social commerce – the list of virulent trends is a substantial part of DMEXCO. Set up to find answers on which topics, trends, and technologies determine the successful marketing of online shops or digitization at the point of sale.

On the Expo market leaders and global players such as Adobe/Magento, Amazon, Instagram, Oxid, PayPal, Pinterest, Shopify or Shopware, as well as promising newcomers present solutions and innovations, that take today’s business and commerce into the future.

During the Conference, more than 550 industry personalities will share 250+ hours of valuable knowledge and discuss the relevant topics on nine stages. Over 150 Seminars and WorkLabs allow decision makers to update their knowledge, exchange experiences and find new ways to boost their business.

The right contacts and decisive impulses

More than ever, DMEXCO is a community. To inform and prepare in advance, the platform DMEXCO.com offers 365 days of networking and dialogue, education and inspiration. Its content, consisting of articles,  podcasts, and whitepapers, deals with current challenges, recommend solutions and links visitors and exhibitors throughout the year.

To do so, the new DMEXCO app is serving from now on as a guide and networking tool – before, during and after the event. It helps to create a personalized agenda for the visit, allows immediate networking by scanning each other’s badges and gives exclusive access to DMEXCO community content and partner offerings. Important: It contains your digital ticket. Thus DMEXCO 2019 itself has arrived in mobile business and commerce.

Be part of it! Get your ticket to the future of e-commerce now!

The post DMEXCO 2019: Futurize your e-commerce appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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Personalizing the customer experience with big data has been identified as one of the top six 2019 e-commerce trends by OECN . To do this you need trust. The DMEXCO Board have identified ‘Trust in You’ as a key theme for EMEA’s leading tech summit, September 11 & 12. Dominik Matyka, chief advisor to DMEXCO comments:

“As users, we also need to trust that companies in the digital economy will treat us and our data with respect and responsibility.”

Trust is one of the key challenges that runs across all the future trends for 2019. In this article, we cover:

  • Consumer skepticism
  • Building trust through transparency
  • Data Era – what next in personalisation
  • China best practice: mobile, omnichannel marketing, building trust
  • Voice Commerce
The consumer has become skeptical about online platforms

Customer trust in e-commerce platforms is at the heart of this move into this new era of data and needs to overcome any consumer skepticism towards technology companies, brought about by fake news and other online platform scandals. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in technology has shown a precipitous decline, showing an overall drop in 16 of 28 markets surveyed.  The USA (-19pt) and France (-18pt) were the biggest drops with Germany (-9pt) showing a less dramatic decline.

In his contribution to Forbes, Harley Finkelstein, COO of Shopify and speaker at DMEXCO 2019, wrote “It’s on retailers to earn consumer trust in the old-fashioned way-by adding value to their experience, not just pushing products.”

Building customer trust through brand transparency

The customer needs to be at the centre of any commercial enterprise and gaining their trust is certainly adding value to their experience. A recent Pega survey revealed that 69 per cent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that handles their data transparently.

Hema China takes the technological lead

In the world of food, the Chinese consumer is very skeptical after the baby deaths scandals through contaminated milk. Hema supermarket, owned by Alibaba, is a great example of how tech and consumer trends towards more mobile and multiplatform use have been captured by the company to provide use of mobile a seamless and trustworthy online/offline experience for the customer. Customers can use the app on their mobile phone to scan and check products in the supermarket. The information is absolutely transparent as the QR code displays the origin of every product, where it was made, where it came from as a guarantee of quality and way to build consumer trust. This is enhanced in the offline world of the supermarkets with appealing displays and opportunities to taste while you shop, which are customer experiences that are rapidly distributed into social media. Omnichannel marketing has been maximized to provide the customer with all touchpoints. Delivery to the home is guaranteed within 30mn (in a 25 km radius) and payment is cashless through Alibaba pay as Hema integrates the real and online experience with the mobile phone as a lynchpin. Gabor has also been experimenting with this in Europe. It is no longer revolutionary but the Hema app maximises on data collection to store buying habits and make buying suggestions to the customer as well as recipe suggestions.

Amazon has been collecting customer data and individualizing product offers to customers for a long time and well ahead of European companies in terms of the range and possibilities it can offer. Amazon’s greatest asset has been its data but not all experts agree that the focus is on building consumer trust through transparency. Mark Steier a digital blogger comments  “But it is precisely this asset that the platform is handling irresponsibly. A strange ecosystem has developed around the reviews. You could even call it a review mafia.”

Data tech increases personalization potential

In 2019, marketing will go a step beyond individualized advertising based on product purchases to communicating around individual habits, e.g. reminding a customer that their batteries may need changing or that it might be time to order more cat food. Seeing real benefits can motivate the customer to keep opting in and build trust in an e-commerce platform.

Will the customer trust voice commerce?

In the PwC report on the impact of Voice assistants on consumer behaviour in the USA, already further ahead than Europe, trust has been established as a key barrier to adoption. In the survey:

  • 46% said “I don’t trust my voice assistant to correctly interpret and process my order”
  • 45% said “I don’t trust or feel comfortable sending payment through my voice assistant”

Voice commerce, chatbot customer service has been a buzz for a while now but are customers using it?  Have you moved to voice?

To find out more on all of these e-commerce trends, at DMEXCO, there will be over 500 speakers to inspire you and over 150 Seminars and Worklabs that will help you in your decision and over 1,000 exhibitors to show you how it works. The best way to stay informed is through the new DMEXCO App where you can download your ticket, access opinion leading information and stay in touch with the community.

Get your ticket now!

The post DMEXCO sees Trust as key in today’s Big data e-commerce world appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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Retailers across Asia Pacific are coming to grips that though consumer trends share similarities across the world, the success of certain strategies varies greatly from country to country across the APAC region.

For example, findings from the 2019 iVend Retail global survey of shoppers revealed smartphone shopping having a 59.8% uptake among Australians who like to shop on the go. This statistic jumped to 90.4% for consumers in the Philippines, where most consumers access the internet via mobile phone. At the same time, Australians were more discerning with their purchases with 89% utilising their mobile to webroom, while consumers in the Philippines who preferred this convenience accounted for just 67.6%.

A good example is Singapore where the opportunity for omnichannel growth depends upon a better understanding of consumer attitudes towards the online and offline experiences.

On the online front, Singapore accounts for 89% of all cross border transactions in the Asia Pacific region, an attractive figure that incentivises the e-commerce capabilities of retailers to become faster, more reliable, and secure to earn consumer trust and grow their market share. Paired with the ASEAN Agreement on e-commerce signed on the 12th of November 2018, governments across Asia are working towards improving the infrastructure and accountability for online transactions.

An overview of Singapore’s diverse E-Commerce landscape

On the offline front, a 0.1% increase in rent rates was followed by 7.5% increase in the vacancy rate for retail space in Singapore. However, department stores have managed to stay ahead by curating merchandise and introducing focused and targeted retail experiences, resulting in profitable results. This shows that consumers in Singapore prefer depth to breadth in their offline retail engagements.

As further studies show that balancing communication and convenience with omnichannel efforts resonates differently across the globe. The myriad of possibilities causes the dilemma of analysis paralysis for retailers where the best tool for the job might not be obvious. To get a clearer picture, we will examine the 3 key age demographics of shoppers around the world; Gen Z (18-24), Millennials (25-42), and Gen X (43-54), and share effective approaches to engage them.

Gen Z (18-24)

With an estimated spending power growing between $29 and $143 billion, Gen Z are digital natives born into a world already connected by digital technology. They expect mobile-friendly touchpoints and sales channels from the brands they engage. Being constantly bombarded with online ads, and closing them just as quickly is a reality they have grown up with, they know they are always being sold to.

We have seen retailers benefit by shifting from celebrity endorsements to influencers with authenticity to give them credence, as a study shows that 77% of US teens prefer ads with “real people in real situations”. Members of Gen Z like to get involved, retailers that encourage user-generated content will get more traction among Gen Z and their peers. Gen Z seeks true brand connection with brands that express and become an extension of their lifestyle.

Millenials (25-42)

Millennials are a fascinating bunch, and a topic of contention among many retailers which comes as no surprise, with spending power projected at $1.4 trillion in 2020, they are poised to be the most powerful consumers in the next 10 years. This generation has grown along with the Internet. With 75% of purchasing decisions influenced by Instagram, and Millennial parents seeking parenting advice on social media, retailers need a healthy presence on social media.

Our advice for retailers wanting to capture this demographic to offer relevant offers and personalised deals both offline and online will attract the attention of Millennials. Growing up with brick and mortar stores, offline retail experiences are an important component, shopping becomes a social excursion for them where they seek VIP experiences and retail innovations.

Gen X (43-54)

Gen X is recognised, but not given attention, with 54% feeling the frustration of being ignored by brands. They are also not given enough credit. Though Gen X saw the rise of the Internet later in their years, they spend more time on social media than Millennials weekly. They might be outnumbered by Millenials and Gen Z, but they have a significantly higher average income

In our experience, ignoring traditional media is a common mistake we see retailers make. Traditional media still maintains significant reach for Gen X, and Gen X ranks the highest for brand loyalty, and thoroughly researches their product before committing. Retailers who creatively utilise rewards and loyalty programs and give them the ability to learn more about the product through websites or knowledgeable employees gain an advantage.

Hier user numbers on a platform do not translate to engagement across all age groups

Approaches across all demographics

From our studies, we concluded that consumers prized convenient transactions as the base foundation of their omnichannel experience, and it had to be equally supplemented by a loyalty/rewards infrastructure, hassle-free return policies, and ease of pickup and delivery, followed by and transparency in product explanation and usage. With that in place, comes the directed efforts towards age demographics.

Convenience is only the beginning. Retailers need to be personable and honest in the representation of their products in their offline experiences, and their social media presence. They need to be proactive in always being relevant to the lifestyles of their consumers through timely communications and understand their needs as individuals.

Convenience helps to start the conversation, trust is what sustains it

Image credit: Isaac

The post Understanding the retail generation gaps – GP 6a – CitiXsys appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

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