Category Archives: Marketing

Hemp oil, CBD chemical formula, Cannabis oil in pipette and hemp seeds in a wooden spoon, Medical herb concept ( Hemp oil, CBD chemical formula, Cannabis oil in pipette and hemp seeds in a wooden spoon, Medical herb concept

Selling CBD on Shopify becomes harder as FDA gets stricter on edibles

“Can I sell CBD on Shopify?” is a question better asked sooner rather than later. Some CBD E-Commerce merchants invest a lot of time and effort only to become disappointed with the payment processing options available or getting reported as illegal. As 2019 ends, FDA clarifies its strict stance on edible CBD sales. FDA also issued official warnings to 22 CBD merchants offering CBD oil, among other edible products. Some CBD merchants turn to Spree Commerce looking for marketing flexibility as well as cheaper and more versatile payment methods, including recurring payments for subscription sales.

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Mailchimp Ecommerce Abandoned Cart Spree Commerce

Abandoned cart recovery with Mailchimp Ecommerce

Most online stores are losing revenue by leaving orders behind. When a customer adds products to the cart but doesn’t complete the checkout, that order is lost. Mailchimp Ecommerce automates sending out email reminders with the abandoned cart contents and tracks all recovered sales in a dashboard. It also comes with several other automations and email marketing tools. 

 TL;DR: It’s basically free money with hardly any dev work. Just install it and watch the recovered orders roll in.

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promoting a product from your online store effectively

5 proven strategies for promoting a product

Email Marketing

Behind organic search, email has proven to be the second-most effective way to gain customers. Building up your SEO and improving your organic search results can take a while, but email can be effective immediately.

You don’t need to dedicate the majority of your time to writing and sending emails to individual customers. Make it easy on yourself and use your transactions to collect a customer database, and contact them all as a group. There are many factors that will play into the effectiveness of your email campaigns, such as frequency and content, but this is a proven strategy that you can begin almost immediately.

Social Media

The impact social media has on e-commerce is growing almost every day. Since it transcends platforms (desktop, mobile, and tablet) most users check in many times per day, it’s easy to see why. And the best part about them? They’re FREE.

With that being said, not taking advantage of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (a rapidly-growing force in e-commerce marketing) and more, will cause you to miss out on countless opportunities, opportunities that your competitors will be sure not to ignore.

We strongly recommend you set up various accounts for your business if you haven’t already, and post to them with consistency and relevance. It’s not just a great way to gain new customers, but to have your current ones buying again and again.

Blogging

Maintaining a blog is a proven strategy for driving traffic to your site. It helps with your SEO and keeps your website active in order to capture the attention of shoppers. Certain products may warrant a blog just to announce its arrival, or tell its story. It doesn’t have to be overly wordy or detailed, and not every item needs this special attention, but when well-executed, it will help drive sales.

Being active in blogs doesn’t always mean you have to do it yourself. Whatever your industry, it’s practically guaranteed that someone is writing about it. If your new product is deserving of a wider audience—for example, a new Little League bat that’s been proven to drive the ball 5% further—then reach out to these bloggers, and see if they’d be interested in covering your story.

Use Buy Buttons

The best ways to take advantage of points two and three? Insert a buy button directly into your blog, tweet or post. Promoting your product across all mediums is great; giving them away to buy right then and there is even better. Your e-commerce website provider should give you a way to easily copy buy button code, so you can simply drop it into your third party site/profile.

Use a Contest

Giving shoppers a way for them to win your hot new item is a proven strategy for generating buzz. Plus, contests are easy and affordable. This is where you can get creative, as there are all kinds of contests you can use to create a giveaway.

The contest can be specific to your items/industry, like Eggo’s giveaway for the most creative recipe using Eggo waffles. Just be careful, as there as many “don’ts” for contests as “dos.” Make sure the timeliness, message, and steps to enter or win are clearly thought out and executed.

make the most of your e-commerce marketing budget

How to stretch an Ecommerce marketing budget

Take Advantage of Social Media

Count this tip as a double: Social media is key to harnessing today’s shoppers. And the best part about it? Setting up a social media account is completely, 100% free. If you haven’t set up Twitter and/or Facebook accounts for your company, we highly recommend you do so, as Facebook is the number one source amongst social profiles for sending shoppers to websites. Posting to these accounts is a great way to turn customers into a community, and create a legion of brand ambassadors.

Setting up Pinterest and Google Plus won’t hurt either, as Pinterest especially is making a huge impact on e-commerce. If you’ve heard not-such-great things about Google’s foray into social media, well you’re not wrong. However, it will help with your google search engine optimization, so even if you don’t see a lot of action on your Plus page, it’s still worth it to post there regularly.

Improve SEO

Speaking of SEO, there is a multitude of different things you can do to improve this vital aspect of your business. The concept of SEO amounts to where you appear on a list from a search engine, the most common and most important one being google. Do a quick search for terms that should trigger your business’ appearance in the results.

Is it at or near the top of the list? No? Then you’ve got work to do. If you need help identifying these key terms, try a service like Google Adwords. This will show you the terms that you should optimize in order to drive traffic to your site.

You’ll also want to check out your website’s mobile experience by bringing it up on your smartphone and/or tablet. If your site doesn’t look clean (text/images are compressed, links are broken, etc.) then you’re going to get penalized by search engines, and you’ll be pushed further and further down the list of results.

Content Marketing

Playing a huge part in the role of good SEO is content marketing. Make sure you’re updating your website content regularly, as search engines reward sites for fresh information. If you’re having trouble coming up with new products/content to put on your site, try running a blog that will be of interest to your shoppers.

Do it Yourself

You’ll notice pretty much everything we’ve mentioned you can do yourself, and most of it is absolutely free. It’s important to recognize your limits, but there’s plenty that can be done without hiring outside help or paying for expensive services.

If you hit a roadblock, google is just about the best tool out there for finding step by step instructions on the aforementioned services and advice. If you hit a snag, don’t worry, it’s almost guaranteed someone’s been there before and provided instructions for people going through the same thing.

effective call to action for e-commerce

5 tips for effective Call to Action

What is a Call to Action?

A Call to Action, or CTA, is a link or button designed to catch the shopper’s eye, in an effort to get them to click on it. The action is designed to benefit the site owner and/or the revenue of the business. The most common example of this is a “Buy Now” button.

Here are some tips that will make your CTAs more effective, and will help you increase your revenue.

Use a Button

In this blog, you’ll notice the “link” and “button” used interchangeably. That’s because a button can be a link, but a link is not necessarily a button. A plain text link is not nearly as effective as one that’s in the form of a button. So, be sure to use a Buy Button to close your sale, and use buttons wherever else you’d like to draw customers’ attention.

Create a Sense of Urgency

When customers feel that they only have a limited amount of time to seize an opportunity, they’re often more inclined to make the purchase. For example, if you have certain merchandise that you’re trying to move, a “Buy Now—Sale Runs Until Midnight Only” message will be more effective than the generic “Buy Now” link.

Keep the CTA “Above the Fold”

“The Fold” defines the point of a webpage where a visitor would have to scroll down to look further. Casual shoppers may never scroll down to see more, so you may have the greatest CTA in the world, but it won’t be effective if customers don’t see it, and you’ll lose out on sales. Instead, grab the attention of your shoppers by keeping it above the fold, so it will be seen by all.

Hero Images Make Great CTAs

Hero Images can be used as massive CTAs. A hero image is a large banner image, placed prominently on a webpage. This study shows that the first image seen, often the hero image—assuming the site is designed in this manner—receives 84% of all clicks.

Take advantage of these attention-grabbing images by linking them to a product or category of products within your website.

Try out Different Colors

There’s no single color that works best. That’s because the effects will often depend on how it coincides with the look of your site, and every site is different. So, try different colors, and be sure to record the results. Eventually, you’ll see what color CTAs work best for you, and will be able to capitalize on the increased conversions.

Use Black Friday email campaigns to boost sales in your e-commerce store

Black Friday email campaigns that boost sales

Another Black Friday is just around the corner and—likely—another record-breaking holiday sales season will come with it. Email campaigns are a proven way to effectively announce sales and boost profits. But what should you send? Take a look below for some ideas to use for the holiday season.

The Sale Announcement Email

We’ll start with the simple one first: Make sure your customers know you’re having a sale, and what it is, because you can bet your competitors will. Keep it simple. Everyone loves sales, so you’re subject header can just be “50% off Everything!” It will almost guarantee you that shoppers will at least open the email to find out more.

The Free Gift Email

Everyone loves free right? Including a free gift if customers hit a certain dollar amount is a great way to boost the average sale amount. If a customer has spent $90 and is $10 away from earning a free gift, they’ll likely spend that extra ten dollars to hit the target.

 

Again, the subject can be simple. “Free” will almost always get someone interested. You can also spin this so it doesn’t seem so salesy, and being that Black Friday is around Thanksgiving, in the body of the email you can include something along the lines of “Our way of saying thanks,” or “Our way of giving back during the holiday season.”

The Extended Sale Email

Black Friday sales don’t have to end on Fridays. If you’re in e-commerce—and you’re reading this blog so I’m assuming you are—the sale can last all the way to Cyber Monday. Last year, retailers brought in over $2 billion on the Monday after Black Friday.

Not everyone gets around to shopping on Black Friday. They may have missed the boat and will jump out of their seats when they see your “Extended 40% Sale off EVERYTHING” email.

The Black Friday Giveaway

This is similar to philosophy to the “Free Gift” email—people love free stuff and rewards. Giveaways and contests are a great way to inject more life into your sales than those of your competitors.

The terms of the giveaway or sale will be up to you. One common strategy is to offer your customers a chance to win a gift to your site for every purchase they make. Or, you can guarantee a small prize—say a $5 gift card— for any purchase, with a chance to win the Grand Prize, such as a $1K gift card.

The Humor Email

Do you know what people like almost as much as free stuff? Funny jokes. Announcing your sale in a way that J.Crew did last year is a great way to get a leg up on competitors and their potentially similar sales.


You can also include jokes specific to your business or industry. For example, if you’re in the clothing business, a post-Thanksgiving email featuring your stretchy pants might not be a bad idea.

Rember that your email marketing campaign should be a part of the entire Q4 sales and marketing strategy. Read more on how to prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Holiday season here.

email marketing tips for ecommerce

How to make email marketing work for you

Marketing emails can be a great tool to boost sales. But to do so, you have to do it right. What do I say to my customers? And just as importantly, when do I say it and how often? These tips will make sure you’re emailing the right way and will help you take your business to the next level.

Content and Relevance:

This isn’t Lord of the Rings and one email does not rule them all. In other words, what’s relevant to some customers won’t connect with others. For example, if you sell clothing, sending your male customers a coupon for a sale on ladies’ underwear is not going to get you very far. Worse yet, it might make the impression that your store specializes in women’s apparel and have your male customers looking elsewhere.

Tracking your customer information, such as gender and age, will help you send targeted emails, which will, in turn, increase your open rate. Tracking sales information will help you target as well. The above example was pretty simple, but what about a business that doesn’t make it as easy as splitting up your customers into a 50/50 (emails for males, emails for females) group?

If you sell a wide variety of items, such as pet supplies, it would make sense to track customers’ sales. If Susan has spent a year buying nothing but cat toys, would it make sense to send her information on a sale for all goldfish products? Probably not.

Keep in mind, there are times when it makes sense for you to send customers information about the stuff they don’t typically buy. Keep this in mind for the holidays, when customers aren’t necessarily shopping for themselves. Speaking of appropriate times…

Timeliness:

When to send an email is just as important as what to send. The sooner you send an order confirmation, the better. The longer the customer goes without receiving that confirmation, the more apprehensive he or she will be that something went wrong with the process.

Likewise, a shipment confirmation will also placate any fears that the order is NOT on the way. With the confirmation, include a realistic time that the customer can expect to receive the package, such as 3-5 business days.

Lastly, an email asking the customer how he/she likes the product is a nice way to wrap up the sale. It shows that you care that your customers receive their products as they wanted when they wanted. Schedule this for a couple of days after the long end of your confirmation (using the above example, send the email on day six or seven). If you send this email too soon, it will have customers thinking they should have received it by now and something went wrong when in reality the item is still on its way.

As far as emails that are intended to have customers buy again, research shows there are certain times that will lead to higher purchase rates. Monday through Wednesday, as well as Sunday, have proven to be the best days to send your sales emails.

On top of that, there are certain times of day that correlate with higher purchases as well. During the workdays, as well as during commutes home, have proven to be the best times to reach out to customers.

Frequency:

This last point is key, and can also be tricky to manage correctly. Email too often and you risk annoying the customer, who will in turn likely tag your emails as spam. Not good. Go too long without contacting your customers and you risk them forgetting about your company and going with a competitor. Also not good.

There’s no all-encompassing guide to point to that will provide best practices for all businesses, but as a general rule, you don’t want to email your customers more than once a week (with the exception of the aforementioned post-transaction confirmation emails), and you also don’t want to go more than a month without sending out your email campaign.

Hitting that sweet spot of perfect frequency will often depend on your business. For example, if you work in a subscription business, you’ll want to time replenishment emails with the frequency of the customers’ needs. If he/she buys dog food once a month, a reminder to place the order every three weeks would be appropriate, to give the customer some leeway and provide time for shipping. This way, the food will be there by the end of the month and Fido won’t go hungry.

Tools that Can Help

When you’re starting out, you can probably manage many of these tasks on your own. But what about when you’re handling 100, 500, or 1000 orders per month? Using an email service like MailChimp or Klaviyo will help. Coupling one of those services with a tool that can automate the process will allow you to easily and efficiently communicate with your customers.

ecommerce brand's SEO

How to increase your brand’s SEO

SEO has been something of a buzzword lately. But what is it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is described by Wikipedia as “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.”

What that means for a business owner is, whatever search terms that resonate in your industry, you want to be at or near the top of the listings that appear whenever people put that term or phrase into Google. The more people that see your site, the more people will shop on it, and the more shoppers you have, the more sales you’ll get.

Follow these tips to maximize your SEO to see your webstore’s traffic spike, and the sales roll in.

Identify Keywords and Phrases

You need to figure out what key terms and phrases you want to trigger your appearance in a search. For example, if you’re a high-end shoe retailer, then you’d probably want to have an appearance when customers search for “High-end shoes.”

Maybe you’re not ready to take on Nordstrom’s or Barney’s (the first and second results to appear on Google when you enter that phrase) and you still do a high volume of sales inside your physical store. In that case, your location can help you drive customers to online and offline sales, such as “High-end shoes in Pennsylvania” or more specifically, “High-end Shoes in Philadelphia, PA.”

Content-Driven Traffic

Whatever you determine to be key terms and phrases, maximize their use through fresh and engaging information on your web store. Running a blog is a great way to keep new content on your site. One thing you don’t want to do is force these keywords into the content. It has to seem natural, as it will turn off readers/shoppers, and will be recognized as a forced attempt at maximizing SEO by the search engines.

The more fresh content you have, the more traffic will come to your site. And, again, the more traffic you have is the more opportunities you have for sales.

Share on Social Media

Whatever new content you have, be sure to share it on any and all social accounts that you have associated with your store. These are just more channels for you to attract traffic. Sharing on Google plus, specifically, will directly help your ranking on Google’s search listings.

Blogs, news about your company, and new/featured products are the kinds of things that you want to share with your community. Social media is having more and more of an impact on e-commerce, so start sharing now.

ecommerce product description guidelines

Ecommerce product description best practices

You can have the best products in the world, but if you can’t communicate that quality effectively, how are customers going to know? And, more importantly, how will they feel comfortable clicking that “buy” button? Here are some tips and advice that will help you seal the deal.

Show Don’t (Only) Tell

We’re not here to tell you NOT to tell the story behind the product (in fact, look at the next point) but don’t ONLY tell. Include multiple high-quality images of your product. Show different angles, viewpoints and elements of your goods.

Remember, you’re selling online. Your customers don’t have the option to hold and feel and get comfortable with the item they’re about to buy. So do your best to recreate that in-store feeling by providing big, beautiful images of your goods. Provide 360 degrees worth of angles or, even better, make it a gif.

Tell The Story Behind the Product

Your business has a story, and so does your product. Tell it. For inspiration, check out Huckberry’s blog, the Journal. There is a reason why the men’s outdoor goods retailer Huckberry,  is described as “equal parts store, magazine, and inspiration”,

You don’t necessarily need to include such in-depth descriptions on every product, (you don’t want to get too wordy) but new and/or featured products deserve extra attention and are worthy of a story behind their production.

Emphasize Uniqueness

Your competitors are going to have similar products, but there’s something about your inventory that makes you different. Whatever it is—the design, the manufacturing process, the price—make sure you emphasize this in your descriptions. If your customers don’t know why your products are better/different, what’s to stop them from going to the competitor next time?

Include an Obvious Call to Action

You’ve got the customer interested. They’ve looked at the product images, read the story behind the product, and really like what they’ve seen thus far. Now it’s just a matter of sealing the deal. You can push the customers over the edge by simply providing a “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button within the page that features your product description. If they’ve made it this far, they’re already interested. Turn the opportunity into a sale with a strong call to action.

Allow Customers to Easily Share their Experience

If your customers have a positive experience shopping with you, they’ll be willing to share your product with their friends and family. Now they won’t write a blog about it, but if you provide simple buttons to like, tweet, pin and/or share, it will open their friends’ and followers’ eyes to your brand.

Word of mouth has always been a great sales/marketing tactic. Social media has given the opportunity to spread the message faster and to a wider audience than ever before. Take advantage of it!

The Bottom Line

You’re going to have competitors; it’s unavoidable no matter the industry. But you can set yourself apart with unique and effective product descriptions. Making that sale is the first step to turning a customer into a “brand ambassador.” Once they see why you’re the best option for them, they’ll keep coming back—and sharing with their friends.