It seems that the number one thing on every retailer’s mind is how to get more sales and boost revenue. Different meetups and conferences are just some of the ways you can learn about the newest industry tips and tricks. So no wonder there’s always such high attendance at the IRCE – Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition – every year.
The IRCE 2017 brought together eager minds that are ready to learn and knowledgeable experts who are ready to share their experiences and wisdom. Some of us from Printful were there and now we have a few things to share with you. Keep reading to learn about the 5 marketing tactics you must try for your store in 2017.
Here’s what we know for sure: the biggest trends so far are mobile-friendly interface and per-son-al-i-za-tion.
eMarketer predicted that 35% of all retail ecommerce sales in 2017 will come from mobile devices
Getting the right content to where the consumers are
As a retailer, you don’t always know where a consumer will find product information while shopping. Making sure that the right product content is available wherever, whenever, and however, consumers shop is crucial.
Christian Santiago, the guy responsible for bringing brands to Google Manufacturer Center, shared his knowledge of getting detailed product content to show up in Google searches:
“The best performing [CPG – consumer packaged goods] companies are pushing the boundaries of the “perfect page” online by providing rich product information and content…which give consumers all they need to know at the point of purchase.”
First off, product content is being consumed across the web which means your site needs a strategy. Second, a path to purchase isn’t always a straight line – most start on Google, but end up somewhere else. Captivating and detailed content helps your products show up in Google searches.
Speaking of content, your homepage needs to say the most important thing in the first view. Who are you? What do you sell? Is there a social cause that your brand supports? Your customers need to be able to understand your product without having to do any research. It should come to them naturally. It’s important you display that info right at the top of your page, especially if your domain name is not self-explanatory, because
45% of customers/website visitors don’t scroll down. They just look at the first screen.
Look at Startup Vitamins’ example. Here’s a comparison for you – first is a 2013 version, and the second is their current one.
It was quite the update! Their product copy is clear, informative, and worded according to their brand. You can now see the product right away and the CTA is clearly visible and so are the shipping rules and sizing info. The lighter background gives their page a more startup feel.
When it comes to your store, try to predict what your customers’ needs are. Usually, those are size options, product descriptions and photos, CTAs, reviews, social proof, price, quality, and shipping info.
Present the info to them on a silver platter – the more tabs they need to click to find out about your products, the more likely they are to get lost and never convert.
We all know Pinterest – the friendly social media platform where we’ve built our dream life and pinned so many inspirational quotes that we’d be embarrassed if anyone saw them. (Thank god you can make those boards private 🙂
And it’s possible that because we use it on a daily basis, we’ve completely ignored the fact that it’s an amazing selling channel as well. Ever watch those yummy cooking videos or quick makeup tips? Those people are up to something good!
Video packs a powerful call-to-action punch. And with increased power on mobile, consumers are uploading and viewing more videos than ever. Pinterest, which bills itself as a destination of discovery, expanded video search and recommendation functionality to help brands sell directly through the site using video. They increase conversion and leave a far more lasting impact than static images.
55% of people on Pinterest want to find or shop for products on the platform.
While other platforms primarily offer video views, Pinterest coupled promoted video with featured Pins below the video.
Now the 67% of people who say videos on Pinterest inspire them to take action can experience your brand and then simply click below to do more with your products and services. You can even retarget everyone who saw your video with a follow-up campaign to really hit your message home.
Get those influencers – try micro-influencer marketing
The power of social media influencers is not dictated solely by fan volume and flash. Relevance, authenticity and a unique point of view distinguish a brand when the content is curated for a specific audience. Behold: “micro-influencers”, a subset of social personas that can inspire a more loyal following, trust and thus more impact and lasting value. These micro-influencers will move the needle for your brand and cost a fraction of what you would pay a mega-celebrity.
It turns out that once a social media influencer reaches a critical mass of followers, audience engagement actually begins to decrease.
There is a clear downward correlation between follower sizes and post likes.
A good tool to try out is Markerly – an end-to-end influencer marketing solution dedicated to connecting brands with real people to deliver authentic and successful brand affiliations.
Create your marketing network by selecting the best online influencers for your industry and brand. They’ve done the research and gathered the people, it’s up to you to select your team.
Go mobile or go home
Mobile shopping is very different from desktop shopping. And retailers that understand the difference enjoy a competitive advantage.
One of the key speakers at IRCE this year was Mary Beth Laughton, Senior Vice President of Digital at Sephora. Mobile is Sephora’s fastest-growing channel with the vast majority of its traffic coming from smartphones. Sephora achieved this by leveraging the power of mobile to deliver an immersive retail experience. They’ve created the ultimate mobile experience not only letting you shop around but also educating you through tutorials, personalizes makeup looks you can try on and appointments you can schedule with a single click.
But mobile is not just using the browser on your phone. Have you considered creating an app for your store? We live in the app age (planet of the apps, anyone?), and creating an app for your store is no longer rocket science. There are a variety of tools (check out Shopgate) to choose from that can help you build the perfect product showcase catalog.
We carry our phones with us 24/7 – emails, texts, push notifications are all your best friends when it comes to reaching your customers. Don’t ignore the mobile trend, it’s your opportunity to get closer to your customers and stand out from the competitors.
Personalization to the max
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that we all like to be considered as individuals, not just a group that’s been targeted. Companies don’t always go for the individual approach, and that’s why we stay loyal to the brands and services who make us feel special. You can sort of already tell where I’m heading with this – personalization matters.
Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (eg., offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests.
With that said, how do you personalize your website and where would be the best place to start? We gathered some insights at IRCE and created a basic checklist for you to follow – the first baby steps in personalization if you will.
- Start with geolocation. Most brands do it and although it’s a very easy trick, shoppers appreciate being told that you ship to their country.
- Currency. Currency conversion can be a nightmare. If a shopper has to do it manually, they’re more likely to leave your page and never purchase anything. You don’t want that.
- Say my name. Are you doing email marketing? (If you’re not, you should be. Check out this blog post to get ideas). Personalize the generic “Hello [Name]” message to a more friendly “Hey, Elina”. There are a bunch of tools for this, but MailChimp is always a safe bet.
- Create personas. Group your customers based on their common traits so you can personalize content for each group. Your first personas don’t have to be complex – divide them into age groups, gender, purchase amount, or location. Moosejaw, an outdoors adventure equipment store, shared the different personas they’ve created for their customers at IRCE. They currently use six that have been developed over the years.
So, there you have it– the most valuable lessons we learned at IRCE this year. Start your planning now and make some changes before the holiday season is here. If you already do these things share your experience with us in the comments below!
Remember that we’re on this journey with you and have a lot of things we’d like to implement from the list above. The conference was great for generating new ideas for us and we’re excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Are you?