3 Tips for Ecommerce Sellers to Grow Sales on Amazon Prime Day

July 12th, 2019 Comments off

3 Tips for Growing Your Sales on Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day – it’s like Black Friday in the middle of summer, minus the turkey leftovers and holiday deadlines. This year as in the past, Amazon will offer its Prime members “a 2-day parade of epic deals” on Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16. And if 2018’s numbers are any indication – more than 100 million Prime Day products sold and an estimated 3.6 billion in sales – this year’s Prime Day Event promises to be another record-setter.

However, nowadays the Prime Day shopping frenzy isn’t limited to Amazon. Large, well-known competitors such was Walmart, Target, eBay and many other retailers have jumped on the Prime bandwagon by figuring out how to reap the benefits of this Amazon-invented buying holiday on their own sites. For example:

  • Starting July 15, Target will hold a major 2-day sale, with deals to include 40% off furniture and 30% off appliances.
  • Walmart has yet to divulge details about its upcoming deals, but its midsummer promotion runs July 14 through 17, so it bookends Prime Day. Walmart also teased a few major online-only deals on Dyson vacuums and HD laptops that will go live on July 14.
  • eBay’s July 15 “Crash Sale” was created in response to a past Amazon.com Prime Day site crash. Like Walmart, eBay extended its sale period with events starting as early as July 1. On July 15, eBay will offer doorbuster savings on top brands, but will also launch new deals every day through July 22.

But how exactly does Amazon’s Prime Day event translate to success for a regular ecommerce seller? Research shows that Amazon’s Prime Day creates a “halo effect” – a phenomenon where shoppers looking for deals on Amazon instinctively seek out great deals on other sites, too. This can absolutely include smaller e-commerce sellers … like you.

Here are 3 tips to help you attract shoppers to your site this Prime Day.

Tip #1: Create an Amazon Coupon for your Amazon listing. Since Prime Day is all about price discounts and great deals, sellers can bring extra attention to their product listings on Amazon.com with a great coupon offer.  Products with coupons include a highlighted “coupon” label showcasing the discount being offered.  This is a great method to ride the coat tails of Prime Day sales without having to participate in the Lightning Deals process, including the $500 Amazon fee to participate.   Important!  Coupons must be submitted at least 48 hours before the offer becomes active, so make sure you submit the coupon by Saturday, July 13 for coupons to be live by Tuesday, July 16.

Tip #2: Create a flash sale promo on your site. Offering a product at a deep discount appeals to shoppers’ competitive streak, because everyone loves catching a good deal! For your own flash sale, consider an item selling quickly on other sites. Or take advantage of your page analytics to see which products in your cart routinely get viewed but not purchased. And be sure to alert your customers via email and social media shortly before the sale starts.

Tip #3: Optimize your Google Shopping campaign on Prime Day. If shoppers cannot find the deals they want on Amazon.com, they’ll turn to Google to find them on other sites.  Make sure your website appears at the top of the listings in Google with an optimized Shopping campaign.  First, using the “view search queries” tool in the Keywords tab, scrub out keywords that have not generated a sale in the last 30 days. This action will allow you to spend more money on keywords that are producing revenue.  Then review your conversion stats: increase bids for those keywords that are producing sales and lower bids on those that aren’t.

The Bottom Line – Amazon Prime Day Can Increase Sales for All Sites

Make the power of Prime Day work for you! Pay attention to what the major retailers are doing to tap into Amazon’s event, then optimize your own online store with sales promotions and discounts on top selling products to take full advantage of Amazon Prime Day fever.

5 Reasons You Need to Add New Content to Your Facebook Business Page

March 25th, 2019 Comments off

Over the past several years, Facebook has emerged as one of the most viable digital tools for marketing your business. The first step, of course, is to start your own Facebook business page. If you’ve already got that, then you’re one step ahead of the thousands of businesses that have yet to realize the marketing potential of social media.

But simply having a Facebook business page isn’t enough—you’ve got to keep it consistently updated with new content in order to remain competitive and continue to grow your customer base. Here are 5 reasons why you should always be striving to add new content to your Facebook business page on a consistent basis.

1. Improve Engagement With Your Target Market

Today’s consumers want much more from the companies they do business with besides good prices—they also want an engaging experience, either online or in a brick and mortar location. Obviously, Facebook is meant for engagement, so not using it to its full potential would be a huge mistake.

Engaging with your target audience through various posts gives you the chance to improve brand recognition, as well as learn more about your target audience, specifically their wants and needs. This is extremely valuable information that costs you next to nothing to acquire.

2. Improve Brand Awareness

As mentioned above, your Facebook page also serves to improve brand awareness—but only if you stay in the forefront of consumer’s minds. Consistent posts will achieve that goal.

3. You Can Grow Your Target Audience

The people who are already following your page are essentially part of your business’ Facebook community. And, they have friends and family members that might also like your page but haven’t visited it yet. But all someone needs to do is share one of your posts or tag their friends in a post, and you’re suddenly reaching more people without any effort. It’s essentially free marketing and advertising—it works, so long as you keep adding new content.

4. Improves Search Engine Visibility

Your posts can be an ideal way to drive traffic to your site or two specific product pages. Use keywords in your posts, and they will be read by major search engines. This will serve to improve your own site’s relevance and improve its rankings in search engine results.

5. You Will Remain Competitive

Today’s digital landscape is an extremely competitive one. You need to consistently add new content to your Facebook business page in order to remain competitive, and possibly gain an edge over your competitors.

On the Internet, as it always was and continues to be, content is king. Keep your content fresh and engaging, and you’ll be better able to achieve your business goals and optimize your ROI.

Categories: Marketing for Ecommerce Tags:

4 Techniques to Improve Mobile Checkout

December 13th, 2018 Comments off

The average cart abandonment rate is 69.89%. Of the number of people that make it all the way to checkout, 25% will leave without completing their purchase.

Whichever way look at it, that’s a sizeable number of lost customers and revenue. What’s more, the situation is even worse on mobile. Overall ecommerce conversion rates usually lag around two percentage points behind desktop.

So how can you go about recouping some of those sales?

Top companies have cut down their checkout abandonment rate to around 13%. And the simple truth is there’s nothing particularly complex about the tactics they’ve used.

By avoiding a handful of common mistakes, and making a few minor tweaks, you should be able to bring your own rate to a similar level.

1. Slash the Number of Steps to Complete a Transaction

If you look at Crutchfield’s checkout process, you’ll see that customers only need to move through three stages to make an order. It’s worth attempting to achieve the same number of steps (or even less) with your own checkout process.

Crutchfield’s checkout process is made up of only three steps.

 

There is one caveat, however. On mobile devices, it’s better to fit all information into one screen-sized page. If that means more than three pages, then it’s a trade-off that’s usually worth making.  Making customers scroll up and down can add unnecessary friction to the buyer journey.

2. Minimize Unnecessary Page Elements

During the checkout process, you have one aim – to close the deal. Checkout pages are not the place to promote your upsells and cross-sells. What’s more, unnecessary page elements, that might cause a customer to click through to another area of your site, should be minimized.

This is especially the case on mobile, where space is at a premium and it’s easy to accidentally tap the wrong button.

Simply Hike removes all unnecessary elements including the menu and footer. It just leaves the logo, performance indicator and phone support.

Some online retailers, like Zappos, have gotten rid of everything! If you want to go down that route, however, testing is a must!

If you need to include extra information, do so in the form of toplayers (top-of-the-page pop-ups) that will open a new window when clicked.

3. Make the Most Important CTAs Easy to Click

Or, even better, place them strategically while making them easy to click.

Scott Hurff created a “Thumb Zone” map that shows the spots to avoid when deciding where to place your crucial elements. Ensure you avoid the hard-to-click areas.

Use Scott Hurff’s “thumb map” when designing your pages.

 

What’s more, remember that visitors use their left hand to operate their mobile devices 30% of the time. Also, keep in mind that left-handers constitute around 10% of the population.

So don’t put everything on the right-hand side of the screen!

Which hand do you use for your smartphone when you drink a coffee or eat a donut?

So how do you put these points into practice? We recommend you follow three tips:

  1. Avoid placing elements you want users to tap in the upper part of the screen. Follow the “thumb map” above”
  2. Make all tappable elements, like buttons or form fields, screen-wide.
  3. Make sure your CTA buttons are colorful and stand out.
  4. Don’t force users to tap precisely on checkboxes when subscribing to a newsletter or agreeing to the terms and conditions — make the whole line tappable (if they tap on the instruction, for example).

4. Offer Guest Checkout First

Enable guest checkout and place the CTA strategically. Unless 90% of your users are returning shoppers, the guest checkout button should be one of the first options during the checkout.

At Asos.com you can choose whether to register or simply continue to checkout.

 

Here’s a pro tip. Copy Spring and ask for an email address before letting a user proceed. This way, you can reach potential customers if they do abandon their cart during checkout.

Conclusion

If there’s one thing you should take away from this post, it’s the simple maxim that “less is more” when it comes to customer checkout.

You want users to undertake one (and only one) action – and that’s to complete the purchase! Anything that prevents them from doing this should be dropped!

And, as always, don’t forget to test the results of all the tweaks you make. While these tips will set you in the right direction, consistent testing will enable you to find your own winning mix!

Are you looking for more ideas to grow your ecommerce conversion rate? I bet you do! If I bet right, you should get our Ultimate 115-point Ecommerce Optimization Checklist which we use with our clients to dramatically increase their conversion rates and sales.

About the author:

Pawel Ogonowski

The Ecommerce Optimization Guy who helps 7 & 8-figure online retailers get guaranteed revenue uplifts in a dev-free way. To get more of Pawel’s content subscribe to Growcode’s Ecommerce Optimization Blog and Bite-size Ecommerce Optimization on YouTube. Connect with Pawel on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Categories: Marketing for Ecommerce Tags:

7 Online Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

October 12th, 2018 Comments off

Online marketing can open up your business to a whole new world of customers, drive your sales up, and even help you connect with buyers on a deeper level. But what happens when you’re doing it all wrong? Read on to find out how these seven online marketing pitfalls could end up costing you dearly.

1. Not Making Use of Ad Targeting

With online ads, like social media promotions, you can reach tens of millions of people, but the wider you cast your net, the more it will cost you. What you need to focus on is maximizing your ad dollars and that doesn’t mean overspending. It means making the most of the money you do spend. Geo-targeting your ads to reach only the users who have access to your products, or targeting the age groups your product is geared towards will give you more revenue for your ad spend. Plus, it will save you from wasting money on users who are very unlikely to become customers.

2. Undervaluing Social Influencer Promotions

While traditional ads are excellent and the targeting feature makes them much more lucrative, discounting social influencer marketing is a big mistake many small businesses make. If you are careful in selecting an influencer with a large and engaged fan base, who already has the audience you are specifically looking to target, and whose content is in line with your business, you can see a real impact with social influencer campaigns.

3. Buying Fake Social Followers

Investing in black market services to help boost your numbers almost always backfires on brands. Even if your following is high, users can see when engagement is low – and so can Google! This may actually blacklist your website or social channels and decrease the confidence users will have in your brand. Smaller, more engaged audiences always outperform accounts with tons of followers and minimal interactions. Some brands also turn to automated commenting with bot services, but again, this will hurt your business more than anything else.

4. Not Offering Enough Rewards

Customers can have a hard time trusting a new brand on the market. Offering rewards like free shipping, discounts, or other limited promos can encourage your potential client base to give you a try. It’s also great to reward loyal customers so they continue to share your brand with others. Long-term, rewards work in your favor.

5. Not Providing Content

Whoever said users don’t want to read much online was sorely mistaken. Users actually prefer to connect with brands online and engage with them prior to making a purchase. Providing quality content can increase your connection to your potential consumer base and encourage customers to trust your brand more readily. Your content doesn’t need to be excessively lengthy. Choose quality over quantity and make sure everything you post adds value to your website and your reputation.

6. Not Engaging with Followers

Posting great content to your website and social channels is a good start, but you have to go the extra step and connect with your users on a more personal level. When followers comment, you should interact with them. This is your chance to reply, ask another question and really start a conversation with them. Opening up communication with your fan base can boost your engagement and encourage new followers.

7. Not Tracking Your Social Successes and Failures

Whether it’s promotions or social influencer campaigns, you need to keep track of conversions. This way, you will know exactly which ads are working and which aren’t. Some techniques work well in theory, but in practice, may not be right for your particular business. You need to find out which promotions work best for your brand and avoid wasting money on ads and campaigns that aren’t converting into revenue for you. You should also track the page views and shareability of your content to find out what your audience wants and appreciates.

Seller Confessions: My Biggest eBay Fails

September 24th, 2018 Comments off

Nobody wants to lose money, but even the most experienced eBay seller makes mistakes.  Here are three of my biggest eBay fails.  Read and learn.

 The Trader Joe’s Nightmare

About 8 years ago, I bought $1,000 worth of Trader Joe’s sea salt caramels to sell on eBay.  I’d never sold food before, but I looked them up, and they were in demand.  I soon realized that I had purchased too many.  Before I knew it, summer arrived, and I had stacks and stacks of these tasty treats sitting in my garage.  Although we were still getting orders, they were melting in transit.  People were not happy.   Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait until winter to get rid of them because they had an expiration date.  We started eating sea salt caramels for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  What else could we do?  I gained five pounds trying to get rid of those suckers.  Eventually, I gave the rest away as presents.  Remember: If you’re going to sell food, always check expiration dates, and be careful buying items that cannot be shipped in hot weather.  Lesson learned.

The Shoe Emergency

Many of our biggest fails involved shoes.  Years ago we did not understand the importance of inspecting preowned shoes before listing them.  Shoes can look brand new but may fall apart the first time they are worn if they have been sitting in a closet for years.  For example, some manufacturers produce soles that do not stand the test of time and will disintegrate or even split in half if they get old.  When we first started selling on eBay, we listed a pair of name brand clogs.  The woman who bought them worked at a hospital and thought they were an amazing deal!  Unfortunately, the first time she wore them to work, she left a trail of rubber wherever she walked.  The soles were literally disintegrating all over the emergency room.  Uh, oh.  Instant refund.

The Fashion Fiasco

In another instance involving shoes, a buyer purchased a pair of beautiful designer heels.  She wore them to work with her favorite outfit.  A few minutes after she got to work, one of the heels fell off – the entire heel.  So embarrassing!  She hobbled around the office for the rest of the day.  Luckily, she thought it was funny.  We quickly issued a refund, and offered to send her a pair of shoes for free.   We now know the importance of closely inspecting all preowned shoes before listing them on eBay.  In addition, we have purchased a one million dollar insurance policy that covers us if anything goes wrong with the products we sell.

Selling on eBay is an adventure, but, like anything, it does come with some risks.  Luckily, each of these fails taught me an important lesson and made me a more successful seller!

 

About the Author

Miriam Otto is an eBay blogger and credentialed teacher with 13 years’ experience selling on the site.  She was a frequent guest on eBay Radio and has participated in eBay seller panels and projects.  Her blog, The eBay Life, is an all-in-one resource for eBay sellers.

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