I am still writing stuff, but it’s mostly for work and it’s in Swedish so nothing to share here. But anyways, here’s a piece I did on e-commerce trends for 2018. Enjoy!
Doing some really cool and fun work now for the Swedish sneaker brand Eytys at the moment. I’ve helped launch their new website that went live yesterday, so I know I’m partial but look at it? It’s gorgeous.
I attended the fair Ecommerce Stocholm the other day, a business fair for people working within the e-commerce industry. I was there for work myself, recruiting to Beyond Retail’s talent network so I can’t say I participated that much in any other activities. But from what I saw and overheard it was what you usually get. That’s not what this post is about though. Regardless of what I learned or did not learn from the event, the only thing I’m taking with me is that the organizers and the participants were mostly men. I did a quick calculation based on the bookings (note: I was being generous in my calculations):
Men choose men. Women choose men. It’s not competence based – that’s the patriarchy. So it’s not that I’m surprised, but I am still disappointed. Because in my personal life I can choose what people I surround myself with and the situations I am in, in work I most often can’t.
PS. I didn’t get a response.
This year has not started out strong blog wise for, but I though I’d post a few thoughts on what’s ahead for 2016. In short, we will see much more money invested in digital marketing. That means all areas: Search, Mobile, Social, Display and Video. This is just a few areas that I think will be most important. Brief, but important – the ones that have the biggest impact on your online business. Now’s the time to think about how this can integrated into the digital marketing strategies, instead of doing it halfway through 2016.
Mobile’s continued dominance over desktop
The dominance of mobile traffic is now a fact. In 2016, we’ll see a continued strong growth in mobile use (which Mary Meeker’s pointed our in the annual mobile trends round-up). To no surprise, the use of mobile marketing will continue to be one of key trends to follow in 2016.
Creating personalized content
The only way to make consumers engage and interact with your content is solution based personalization. Making this effort, you can expect an increase of sales, higher interaction (time spent on page) and more happy customers. The key is that you take the time to research your consumers’ needs. This may well begin by drawing out buyer profiles and knowing consumer demographics, and behavioral preferences. One size does not fit all.
Understanding micro targeting
Targeting niche audience sizes and making use of data led advertising tools bringing in more effective results from campaigns. Targeting has evolved a lot in 2015, so it comes as no surprise that businesses are making targeting strategies more elaborately than ever. Speaking of personalization, I mean.
Being global, not local
You competition is no longer just local. Most online businesses sell their goods world-wide just a click away. You need to optimize for your key markets, find your customers where they are and look for new, innovative solutions to satisfy their needs. Wherever they are. 2016 is not the year to think small because no one else is.
Paying for Social
We might still think that our personal, social networks are just that – personal. But this is no longer the case. Brands and companies is already treating Facebook and Twitter like the great paid channels that they have evolved into, finding their customers where they interact with each other and share their personal interest and preferences. Targeting them has never been easier – “social” will now become an even larger piece of the bought digital budget.
Increasing digital marketing budgets
Over the past few years online marketing has grown more and more competitive, a trend that will continue in 2016. Companies are expected to spend $10 billion more on all areas of digital marketing than they did in 2015.
A few weeks ago Emelie Fågelstedt wrote a piece for Internetworld about online shopping behaviours, and how Sweden based companies can fit on a global market, with much more competition. I said a few things on it (but it’s in Swedish). Here you can read the full piece!
This season is actually the first I’ve tried doing online marketing campaigns for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was fun, so I thought I’d share my results. I did a few different campaigns for different objectives, working especially with email marketing and Google’s (text) Ads. One of them was a simple 3 for 2 discount on all products with a unique promo code.
And the results? I was surprised to see that the conversion rate increased by 1.5%. So did the traffic. And the revenue. We barely lost any profits since the offer just topped of our regular multi-buy offer (no scam, obviously). The weekly turnover doubled. First, for the week ending with Black Friday. Then, the week starting Cyber Monday. Why? Because we managed to reach both old and new customers with an offer just as good for both segments. We reached our loyal customers who likes our stuff and wants more, we reached spontaneous shoppers who like a good deal and we caught the ones who missed out on Black Friday, and have them come back for Cyber Monday. Or for more, it seems. Because the very best part is that the traffic and sales continue to increase steadily. Did I mention that these two days were part of a holiday email marketing series? This means that we keep offering good news and offers. So far so good.
Here’s a very brief list of what I did:
Integrated both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in a series of holiday newsletters (that was of coursed cross-posted in all social media) and scheduled them for 23.59. I also set up reminder automations for unpoens (a bit risky, but worth it if you’re usually non-spammy)
Separate, branded campaigns promoting the offers and adding a text add-on on all campaigns scheduled only for Black Friday Cyber Monday.
Overlay/pop-up with the offer for all new visitors, not coming from any of the sources above and offering them even better deals if they sign up for newsletter.
Even if you don’t have a big budget, I’d definitely suggest to spend it on limited offers like these. They drive traffic and they convert like crazy. We’ve had similar deals before – we even have a permanent multi-buy offer that’s pretty generous to begin with. But people buy, because they want to buy. And they want to wait until Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, then Cyber November. That’s what marketing does. Another post of how to keep (and care for) your customers after the holidays is coming up.
The Swedes and the internet is a yearly report that documents how Swedish people use the internet and how it affects their lives. As a Swede, it’s really interesting to read and you can view the English summary here. Will post my own thoughts and reflections as soon as I’ve gotten through it!
A long, long time ago I blogged that I would put together a Pinterest strategy and here it finally is! This post is mainly about the content of your Pinterest account; the what’s, when’s and why’s so to speak and not much about the promoted pins. Not at all actually but here we go!
So, you got the basics done. You have setup an account, verified your business and maybe even created a few boards. Now what? First – take a moment to think about your business. What are you selling?
69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have an intention of doing some online shopping too. That said, you need to see this as an opportunity to create brand awareness and the ability for customers to browse and get inspired on a massive scale. It’s your online store front for potential customers, browsing to buy.
Pinterest is a fantastic medium to really express what your brand is about but this also means that you need to be able to visualize the products you’re selling. That does not mean pinning product pictures from your online shop. Instead, you should target your potential customer’s interest surrounding your product. Create boards that focus on a specific theme that is related to your brand, and in a context that inspires people.
Below is two screenshots of Tshirt Store‘s Pinterest page and I thought we’d go through it a bit. (Disclaimer: I manage this page).
Tshirt Store’s Pinterest has got a lot of boards, above is just a few of them. All boards are created with inspiration from the collections that we’re currently selling in stores and online, including all our brands, artists and collaborations. “Fruity Stuff” is a reference to a popular pineapple print we sold last season, and “POP” mostly consists of different Smiley/emoji references – and Smiley is one of our collaborations. We pin our own products from our site, but we also cross-post re-pins and posts with our other social accounts to share inspiration. A very important note is that you always need to credit the original pinner/url, that’s just good manners.
Tshirts (and some streetwear) are our main online business of course but we’re not posting our product pictures, or even our own brand imagery. We are adding some of our own content, pinned from the online shop, but mostly we’re repinning other content with witty, young, pop-culture references that correlate with what we are selling/and producing ourself. Basically, we are pinning what we want to be. By putting ourself in that context, it associated our own products with the same.
Other things you can try
To conclude: Pinterest should be easy and fun. The frequency is not as important as with other channels, but be consistent and don’t do excessive pinning all at once. Start out small and see what works for your specific brand. Measure the amount of traffic, time spent on page(s) and conversions on your page. Keep in mind that all the images you pin from your own channels should have relevant alt-tags (including your brand, product name and/or product category) and of course a good landing-page to strengthen your SEO. If you upload images through Pinterest – name them properly.
This morning I signed up for a Skillshare trial after Mailchimp tweeted about it. I’m already a huge fan of Mailchimp so my expectations were set pretty high. Skillshare on the other hand, I first heard of today. Their mission is “to unlock the world’s creativity”, and they’ve built up an impressive library of video tutorials taught by creators from around the world. Mailchimp’s addition is of course within the fields of email marketing, but when I signed up I was presented with literally hundreds of other options. I saved a lot of videos for future reference, but I also did do one course immediately: Top Google Local Search Rankings by Christine Maisel.
Mastering Google+, local pages and Google My Business have always been a struggle for me. With my attention span it’s just too many different things for me to sort out. The biggest issue has been the local businesses: an endless mix of stores, franchises, closed businesses and duplicates that someone else owns the rights to. But now I think I’m finally beginning to grasp how to tackle it, at least where to start. So thank you Skillshare and Christine!
As I’ve written before, the buyer’s journey is not a linear process and customers’ expectations and demand are only getting higher. Our customers are constantly connected. If you’re a brand with an online business, you need to learn how to deliver and reaching out at just the right time whether they’re looking to learn, discover, find, or buy. Because thanks to the mobile availability: we want things right, and we want things right away. In other words, we now turn to our mobile devices to act out on a need.
We’ve all got an endless supply of information literally on our fingertips and it allows us to make well-informed buying decisions long before we even interact with the brand behind the product. And customers are not just getting information on their phones, they are making decisions: exactly what to buy, where and for how much money they’re willing to spend. This decision making process can be both extremely short and long; at home, on the go or even in stores, but it’s almost always there. 93% of people who use a mobile device for research go on to make a purchase. New numbers from Google says that 50% of consumers who makes a local search on their phones end up visiting a store within the day, and 18% of those searches leads to a purchase within the day. And when in stores, 82% of smartphone users turn to their devices to help them make a product decision – and nearly one in four change their mind while waiting in the checkout line after doing so.
What can we learn from this? Online brands need to be present in the exact right moment of the decision making process.You should start seeing this as an opportunity to connect with a potential buyer. What information do you need to provide to be able to answer these questions: ‘What’s the best choice? Can I afford to buy this? Is it worth it?’
In 2015, e-commerce is all about relationships: service, shipping, visibility and personalization. From now on, measurable success in an e-commerce business will rely on finding new ways to reach, engage and keep your customers happy. Staying one step ahead of these shifts, and your competitors, will help lead to both retention and revenue. There are a few things I see in the digital landscape that will continue to have massive effect on an e-commerce business as a whole, and if you do not have them in place now, you must start thinking about the how. In other words: they’re not even trends anymore, but necessary for your business’ growth:
This has been on the top of everyone’s to-do-list for a few years now, so this will be no news: your site needs to be mobile-friendly. A good mobile experience is a huge part of the buyer’s journey – more consumers spend time researching products and making a decision to purchase on mobile devices than ever before. One third of e-commerce purchases are happening on mobile devices. Firstly, being visible in Google’s index, having clear navigation allows your customers to move between the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the buyer’s journey with ease. The customer is both savvy and demanding, and wants instant access to information. If someone is not satisfied with their browsing and/or shopping experience, they’ll simply move on to the next ranked page in the Google results. Google’s mobile-friendly label will have even more impact. Google will start to take the responsiveness and ease of use of your mobile site into account for rankings. No matter how good your SEO or marketing is, if you’re not mobile-friendly, you will lose valuable ground.
E-commerce merges with brick-and-mortar aka The Omni-Channel Experience
Online shopping behaviour is not a linear process. As a retailer, you must be consistent and accessible across all channels, at all times. This means that your online brand experience must be consistent with all other marketing and purchasing channels – social networks, online stores, and brick-and-mortar stores. It’s clear, every channel your business appears on needs to be optimized and maximized. To have an integrated approach to social content in your channels is no longer optional – it’s crucial. Consumers expect not just a cohesive, unified brand experience across channels, but also the ability to segment different parts of this singular buyer’s journey through multiple platforms.
Shipping and Delivery
Growing bigger online means having the small luxury to ask “can we keep up with order demands?” – the key word being demand. The online shopper is demanding because they know they can shop at any time of the day, from anywhere. Your online shop must be able to meet these demands, or you’ll end up losing their business. A good system to gather and sort overnight or early orders must be seamless to ensure you’re able to fill those orders as soon as possible. If you can’t compete with this, you need to find other ways to stand out from your competitors. Good value, loyalty programs or excellent customer service. Always be transparent.
I know this all sounds theoretical, so I will post a few simple examples of how to implement this in your day-to-day operative work, as well as your digital strategy.
Working as a web manager for a single brand is most often a quite lonely position, which is why it’s nice to come out and meet other people in the industry. You learn that you often struggle with the same issues, although you have completely different brands, customers and markets. This is why I reached out to Stutterheim‘s e-commerce manager Diego, because they have done some really amazing work. He replied almost instantly (as us online people tend to do) and yesterday I paid them a visit at their amazing office in Sofia, Södermalm. It turned out to be a really nice, exciting meeting and I learned a lot. It’s so easy and so rewarding, and all it took was an email and two chocolate chips cookies from Fabrique.