Eight E‑Commerce Trends Worth Watching in 2019
E-commerce is more effective, and accessible, than ever.
E-commerce has grown rapidly, and 2019 promises to see even bigger gains. But it’s also changing rapidly, and staying on top of current trends will be key to success.
Multi-channel marketing, at all levels, will become more and more important. As consumers become comfortable with technologies like browser-based push notifications and personalized ads, they’re beginning to ignore the channels they dislike and focus on the ones they enjoy. Marketing channels that are rich in data will be important as they’ll guide you to which marketing methods are most effective for which segments.
As the push to reduce the friction between contact and conversion becomes more urgent, multi-channel shopping will rise to prominence in 2019. Multi-channel campaigns will need to be designed to cater to either the urgent need for a product or to put it aside to consider later, depending on the type of consumer. As a result, channels will need to offer both more information and the ability to buy immediately, and will need to A/B test different approaches to different segments for maximum effectiveness.
Despite the concern over how much data we’re sharing, consumers have also come to expect more and more personalization, and not just in product and recommendations. Consumers want options to receive news of deals and alerts to price drops in ways they can tailor to their needs and urgency. Informing your clients quickly of new customization and personalization options will also be extremely important.
E-commerce will grow across all platforms.
Tying into the desire for convenience, automation will continue its rise at all levels, including the informational and transactional. This will be especially true in the B2B sphere, where automation will be particularly important in informing clients of invoices due, checks cashed, items shipped, and services renewed.
However, the “human touch” will be essential in some interactions. Customer service, in particular, is becoming more highly valued across all industries, especially for concerns or complaints. Use automation for the convenience and ease of your customers, instead of yourself.
The subscription model is increasingly popular across all industries and products. Subscription models work best when they remove a task from a customer’s to-do list, and the customer can stay carefully informed of the path their products take through your system.
Especially for niche e-commerce operations, affiliate marketing will be a key part of their efforts to offer value to their customers. Effective affiliate marketing to clients through established marketing channels will offer more value and bolster customer loyalty, and will even be expected by customers who trust the judgment of niche merchants.
Pop-Ups And Events
E-commerce is popular for convenience, but shoppers occasionally want to shop for pleasure or to handle the goods as well. Pop-up shops and events allow e-commerce companies to have a physical presence and meet customers face to face, which will also support digital advertising and lead generation.
E-commerce is a rapidly transforming field and the overarching trend will always be one of change. However, tracking and staying on top of trends is key to maintaining a good foundation of any business. To learn how we can help support your e-commerce goals, sign up for a live demo
Top 5 Marketing Tools for E‑commerce Sellers in 2019
E-commerce means customers can buy anywhere, on any platform, any time.
E-commerce is rapidly growing, but that makes it more competitive. Going into 2019, using the right tools will be crucial. Get set for success with these five.
Analytics is often the most crucial piece of any marketing initiative. While metrics allow you to measure the effect of a campaign, they also serve as a feedback loop to shape future campaigns. A/B testing, open rates, and other forms of data will tell you what works and what doesn’t, while also allowing you to build out segments of customers to focus your marketing efforts. If you’re just starting in e-commerce especially, 2019 is the time to begin building up your data infrastructure; it’ll lay the foundation for success.
Email marketing, when carefully targeted, can be profoundly effective. Often, email marketing campaigns fall short because they’re too broad; emails are sent to a global list of customers, or even just an overly broad segment of them. The “shotgun” approach to marketing, where a message is sent to the broadest audience possible, simply doesn’t work outside of some very limited contexts and specific industries. If you’re not trying to sell burgers to everyone, why are you taking your marketing tactics from McDonald’s? Instead, your email campaigns should be tightly focused, giving your best customers the products they’re most interested in.
E-commerce starts at the tip of a customer’s finger.
Push notifications, especially browser-based push notifications, are powerful marketing tools. By offering customers the choice to opt-in, they identify themselves as the most engaged. Furthermore, notifications that are sent through the browser, instead of a mobile app, will work on laptops, phones, and tablets alike, allowing you further reach and the ability to collect more data. From there, you can develop more detailed segments as they click on what you push out and as you test and apply the data you’ve collected. By reaching your most dedicated and interested customers, you can convert casual browsers to loyal fans and curiosity seekers to dedicated buyers.
Affiliate marketing is often a good strategy, simply because it’s increasingly hard, if not impossible, to be all things to all customers. Often, successful e-commerce businesses focus on one product or range of products, so if, for example, you sell advanced, carefully-designed bike helmets, you need to let somebody else sell the lights, the mirrors, the repair kits, and so on. Affiliate marketing both helps you direct your customers towards the best, most useful products and keeps your customers aware of your business while supporting other companies you respect.
Finally, retargeting will be key in 2019. The old axiom that it’s cheaper to keep the customers you have than find new ones is particularly true now. Retargeting, which is engaging with customers who’ve visited your site or bought from you before, is a useful way to both keep your customers and expand your base. By anticipating their needs, or prompting them to revisit an abandoned cart or subscription, you can build up your numbers.
To learn more about how push notifications are a crucial marketing channel in 2019 and beyond, see a live demo in seconds.
The 6 Types of Content to Include on Your E‑Commerce Site
Is your product high-quality and useful to your customers? If so, this is a good start and vitally important, but it’s not enough to scale your e-commerce business. You also need the right website content to promote and sell your products.
Below are six important website content components and what each piece entails. We also discuss knowing your target audience as this is key to developing effective website content.
Writing for Your Target Audience
Before you start crafting your e-commerce website content, you need to know your target audience. Without a deep understanding of your targets, your content will fall flat.
If you do not know your target audience, start by researching some of the below traits:
- Pain points (your product should solve these problems)
Incorporate your findings into your content writing so that it is more personalized to your audience. This will help create more trust and lasting connections (aka loyal customers and sales).
1. Product and Category Pages
Your product and category pages are highly important, and they should represent your company’s high standards and be optimized for your visitors and the search engines.
Use high-quality, professional product photos. To increase sales, showcase your products with lifestyle images. For example, if you sell fashion, display people wearing your clothes in their everyday lives. If you sell coffee mugs, take shots of women gathering socially enjoying their mugs or people feeling energized in the morning with a hot cup of coffee (in your mug of course).
The key with your images is to evoke an emotion and allow visitors to easily imagine what their life would be like when purchasing your products.
Optimize your product content by using keywords in your category and product descriptions. Use keywords that describe your products but that are not highly competitive. Focusing on long-tail keywords (tan plaid wool women’s scarf vs. plaid scarf) is a good place to start as they aren’t as competitive and will help you rank higher in the search engines with less effort.
2. Branded Content
Branded content helps your visitors connect to your message and story, which increases sales.
Start with a mission statement that defines why you sell your products, what your overall goal is, and what you stand for. Add “about” content (via an “About” page) that explains your company history and tells a story of why your business is so important to you.
This branded content humanizes your brand which helps break down the initial skepticism internet users feel when approaching e-commerce websites.
3. Customer Testimonials
You can tout the greatness of your products all day, but this will never replace the power of unbiased customer testimonials. Reviews provide social proof that your products live up to your claims.
Allow your customers to add reviews below your products. Encourage this by asking happy customers to leave positive feedback.
4. Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t let your consumers leave your online store with unanswered questions. Include FAQs on delivery, shipping, returns, refunds, customer service and any other topic your customer may ask about. To find out what your customers’ top questions are, install a live chat function on your website and/or ask your customer service team to monitor communication and pick out any frequently asked questions.
5. Product Guides
Product guides are not a necessity, but we recommend adding them to enhance the viability of your products. This could include everything from product uses and manuals to assembly instructions for highly technical product
6. Push Notifications
Push notifications are a valuable component of a comprehensive e-commerce marketing strategy. These short, punchy messages provide quick, real-time content notifications from your website no matter where your subscribers are surfing on their computers.
Use push notifications to keep customers updated on your latest discounts and product notifications, encourage repeat purchases and send company updates. And with 100% deliverability and high click-through rates (10-40% depending on the industry), these little content pieces can draw a lot of traffic and potential customers to your site.
Consider adding these content pages and messages to your website to encourage engagement and boost sales.
Push notifications are a low-cost, effective content tactic that yields high returns by attracting more customers and increasing sales for e-commerce stores. If you want to try website push notifications, test drive a campaign for free for 30 days to see how it performs. Start your free 30-day trial right here.
How to Build an Attention-Grabbing E‑Commerce Site
Even the smallest operation needs a great e-commerce site.
Boosting your e-commerce business starts with having the right website. And there’s much more that goes into it than just being on the web. Here’s what you need for an e-commerce site that turns heads and increases sales.
Put Design First
It starts with what’s under the hood. Your site should be designed from the ground up to be easy to use with a minimum of “friction.” Friction, in this context, means users should take as few steps as possible from seeing a product to buying it. Your site should work well on both full browsers and mobile browsers, should have easy-to-access buttons customers want to click, should have an effective and easy to use search engine, and should interact with payment apps like PayPal, where applicable. And also remember disability features, so any user can easily navigate your site. The easier your site is to use, the more likely customers are to use it. If you’re using a pre-designed platform, test it thoroughly and ask for customer sites so you can see how it works “in the wild.”
Have Appealing, Direct Visuals
Once the back-end is done, you can polish the front. Your site design should reflect your branding, but should also limit clutter. Think of it like your online store’s front window. What do you most want new customers to see? And don’t forget, you can and should have tools in place to reconfigure it for returning customers and browsing shoppers, so they can see things they’re most interested in first.
Retail or entirely online, e-commerce is the future.
Use SEO Best Practices
With SEO, the question is simple: What do people enter into search engines to look for the products you sell? Remember that Google’s algorithm, while complex, is a computer, and that information needs to be organized in a way a computer can understand. So use SEO terms not just in your website copy and URL, but as part of your image descriptions, in H3 tags, and also remember to use variations of terms and use them naturally. “Black hat” SEO doesn’t just drop you in the Google rankings, it turns off customers too.
There’s a multitude of ways to personalize your site for each customer, depending on what you know about them. If, for example, they come to your front page via a specific search term, you can use site automation to present items they might be interested in as the first thing they see. As you build loyalty with them, you’ll learn more about their interests through surveys, order history, and other interaction and can continue to segment and personalize.
Keep In Touch
Finally, give customers options to keep in touch, such as web-based push notifications. Remember this takes multiple contexts: For example, one list they might sign onto makes them part of your exclusive club, getting first access to preorders and sales. Another might offer them useful information, such as when their product ships or when new firmware upgrades or accessories are available. Offer multiple ways for customers to stay in touch with you, or so you can stay in touch with them, and they’ll keep coming back. To learn more about browser-based push notifications, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
The Complete Guide to Using Push Notifications for Your E‑Commerce Business
Push notifications go where your customers go.
E-commerce is the present and future of retail, wholesale, and everything in between. On some level, it makes sense, as anybody who’s had to laboriously fill out an order form, file an invoice, write a check, and wait for it to arrive at the store via mail can tell you. Using modern information technology and communications to file, send, and pay for orders is simply a matter of efficiency for most businesses.
That’s why there are at least 110,000 e-commerce sites active on the internet and doing a meaningful degree of business. As behemoths like Amazon expand into even more industries, it’s going to open up more opportunities for smaller e-commerce companies, whether they sell directly to customers or other businesses. And as traditional big-box retailers like Wal-Mart push physical retail into a variety of different e-commerce-like directions from in-app ordering to pick up items to same-day delivery of essentials, it’s going to build out the infrastructure available to all e-commerce companies, as well. The day is not so far away when a franchise location for a store is also its delivery distribution center and its delivery pickup location. Even stores like Starbucks, which can hardly ship you a latte, have been revolutionized by apps that let customers order while they walk to the store, grab their coffee, and walk out.
Reach customers no matter where they are.
The other side of the coin for many businesses is that with so many businesses chasing so many opportunities, standing out in e-commerce is difficult, at best. The back end of e-commerce is relatively simple, and even the staidest industries have at this point computerized their order forms and payment systems. Selling online is no longer novel, no matter what business you’re in. To stand out in e-commerce, you need powerful marketing that lets you segment, personalize, and communicate one crisp, urgent idea to your customers, and that’s where web-based push notifications can make a business stand out.
What Are Push Notifications?
At their most basic, push notifications are small bits of data that are sent directly to customers and users on the platform of their choice. If you receive a text message, for example, the alert you see on your lock screen is technically a push notification. This data can be quite literally anything that fits into the character limit, and some notification systems support “rich” notifications that let you push out images and videos.
Web-based push notifications are slightly different, though, from the notifications you receive on your phone. First of all, they’re not automatic. Instead, users opt into receiving them by clicking “allow” on a small drop-down window that can appear on any page on your website. This makes them a much more focused marketing channel, as instead of pushing blindly, the way most apps on your phone do, you’re pushing to an audience who specifically wants to hear from you.
Whether B2B or B2C, push notifications are powerful tools for any business.
Secondly, they’re tied to your web browser, not your device. If you opt in to push notifications on Chrome, for example, any device you own, where you’re logged into Chrome, will get that notification. This means web-based notifications can reach tablets, phones, laptops, desktops, and any other device that both supports the browser and its notification system. This also rewards focus, concision, and thoughtful delivery. Push notifications are best for clear, urgent ideas that your customers absolutely need to know, right now, no matter where they are.
What this means is that browser-based notifications are targeted marketing tools right from the beginning, and as you form a stronger connection with your customers, you can segment them further still. So, how do you tap into that power to form that basis?
Push Notifications And E-commerce Marketing
To begin with, there’s the obvious advantage of being able to promote directly to the people who care about it the most. One of the biggest challenges of any marketing effort is ensuring that the majority of your audience is interested in your message, and web-based push puts that front and center. When first working on a push campaign, ask yourself what most appeals to your customers. What do they buy? When do they buy it? What buying patterns do they engage in?
No matter which platform, push notifications reach their customers.
To that end, your push campaigns should be built around the idea of exclusivity, that the customer is a member of an exclusive club. Deals and sales that you run should be available only to people who sign up for push notifications, and you can either run exclusive sales separate from your usual discount marketing strategy, or run them as an extra percentage or coupon on top of your sales. If you don’t run sales, instead make certain aspects of information part of the exclusivity; customers can be the first to know a release date and preorder a product, or they can be the first to know a major update is coming and plan accordingly. Remember, value is not just about money but also about time; if you can save a customer either with your browser-based push, your customer will be very, very happy.
As you get to know your customers better, you can begin to segment and take different approaches depending on their needs. If you pay close attention to companies like Amazon, you see that they do this in a number of different ways, the most basic being pairing items and following up to see if you’re interested. But that’s just one way to use push notifications in e-commerce:
- Offer sales on new accessories, subscriptions, and other items that enhance the products your customers buy.
- When an order is complete, ask for feedback, to ensure customers know they’re being heard.
- Push out information about different creative and unique ways your customers are using your product.
- Alert customers to abandoned carts and incomplete orders.
- And don’t forget to be industry- and customer-specific. Ask yourself what you sell, what your customers are interested in, and think of all the different ways they can intersect.
And as useful as push notifications are for sales, that’s not the only way they can be used to help your customers. They’re also powerful for keeping customers.
Push Notifications And Customer Retention
Another aspect of push notifications is they can be used for any urgent or compelling bit of information a customer needs to know. One of the most basic examples of this is shipping notifications; many customers want to know when their product is on the way, and push notifications are a handy way to give them that information quickly, simply, and directly. If you sell products with a subscription, customers can configure an alert to tell them when they need to renew. Or, if a customer has set up an ongoing order that’s automatically fulfilled, you can alert them that the order is about to go through, or that the invoice has cleared.
Reach any customer, anywhere.
Nor is that the only approach you can take to customer retention. For example, especially with industrial products or other content along those lines, documentation, and information is often key to keeping those products up and running. Pushing out crucial updates your customers need, such as links to new user manuals, product safety materials, and alerts that a new firmware upgrade or overall improvement is available is both useful to the customer and keeps you at the front of their mind for when they need other products.
Informational push is only limited by the information your customer needs. If you sell products that need regular care, you can set up push campaigns that let customers know maintenance milestones are coming due, with handy links to any supplies they might need to keep their purchase in top shape. If your businesses works on an appointment basis, you can use push as an appointment reminder or confirmation, complete with a handy link that lets your customer click and place the appointment in their calendar. If your business offers pick-up, you can use push to let your customers know their order is ready. Restaurants can push a sudden open table out to their biggest fans. Movie theaters can push changes in schedule. If there’s anything your best customers want to know, push is the best way to let them know it.
Be in the right place, with push notifications.
This even applies to potential customers. They can sign up for push alerts for webinars or product demonstrations, set price alerts for products they’re interested in, or anything else you know potential customers are most interested in. Ask yourself what they’ve found most engaging, and offer it in push form.
As you can see from the above, browser-based push notifications are powerful, flexible tools in e-commerce. And they’ll only become more important as e-commerce keeps growing, and even retailers built around physical locations and foot traffic are developing e-commerce tools to help them grow and change. The future of commerce is both highly connected and highly electronic, and meeting your customers where they want to be will be fundamental to any sort of e-commerce success. With push notifications, you can go where they are, tell them what they need to know, and bring them to your storefront, with just a few words and a link. Ready to tap into the power of push? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
How To Target Discounts
Who doesn’t love a deal?
Everybody loves a deal or, at least, that’s how the traditional thinking in marketing goes. And it’s true, to a point, but there’s an unspoken addition to that statement. Everybody loves a deal on something they can actually use. That’s a bit trickier, but fortunately, it’s never been easier to pull off, and targeted discounts are perfect for browser-based push notifications.
What Are You Selling?
Before you push out any discount, of course, you should follow the best practices. To wit:
- A coupon or discount shouldn’t compromise profits.
- It should be substantial in some way; for example, 5% of $5000 is a lot more money that 10% of $50.
- Ideally, there should be a dollar amount tied to it.
- It should encourage a new behavior, like trying out a new product or buying from a new company.
In other words, don’t make up a discount and push it out. Design something that makes sense and will have genuine value to your customers.
What Are Your Segments?
The next question to explore is which segments value which products. A grocery store promoting a sale, for example, might send out a deal on a steak to a customer who tends towards the carnivorous, while a vegetarian would get a good price per pound on beans highlighted. A general sale is, well, general. Push notifications thrive on specificity and ideas, so while your customers can have both the beef and the beans, if they want them, it’s about getting them in the door in the first place.
It’s a great price. But do they want it?
What Have They Bought?
Another important aspect of targeting discounts is looking at past purchasing behavior. Customers who fairly consistently and regularly buy a product are easy enough to anticipate, but it’s also worth looking at customers who are a little more unusual. Sometimes there are interesting behaviors in the buying patterns, and it’s worth trying to get into the head of each segment a little bit and determine what makes the most sense to them, as a customer, to buy.
Do They Need Another?
That said, there is one pitfall for targeting discounts, and it’s one everybody’s run into, particularly with heavily automated discount targeting systems like those at Amazon. You make a big, expensive purchase, like a car, a phone, or a game console, and the robot asks you if you’d like to buy a second one. This is, of course, just silly and your customer will have a laugh, and while it’s embarrassing, it’s a minor missed opportunity.
But it can get much worse; ask anybody who’s had an embarrassing malady at the drug store, and has to quickly tuck a long sheet of coupons for treatments for that embarrassing malady in their bag or pocket. That is a bit more than just a missed opportunity, and your customer is going to remember it for far longer than you probably want. So, especially when automating, make sure that the recommendations are logical and tasteful; it’s a small touch that yields big dividends.
Ready to see what happens when smart personalization meets the urgency of browser-based push notifications? Get a free trial of Pushnami!
Should You Push A QR Code
You find them in the environment… but how about in your notifications tray?
The humble barcode has come a long way since it was first introduced to consumers in the 1970s. It’s cheap, it’s simple, and as phones have proliferated, a more complicated version called a QR code has started to make its way into modern life. Easily scannable with an app, and readable off a phone screen, a QR code can be a useful marketing tool. And with rich notifications, you can push one out. But how often should you combine these two marketing channels?
Does It Scan?
When using QR codes, you need to take a customer-focused approach. One of the big problems with the QR code fad we all remember is that it essentially expected users to whip out their phone every time they saw a sticker or found one in a magazine, fire up a custom app, scan the barcode, and then go to the website or download the app or whatever other action. That’s too many steps, and unsurprisingly, only the hardest core of customers bothered.
But notice where we do see QR codes. They’re popular with digital ticketing, you often find them at the entrances of stores, and in other applications where the user presents the code to someone else. This is the right application because it’s designed around the customer‘s convenience. It makes life easier for them in some way, by putting a coupon at their fingertips, by speeding up the line to enter somewhere, by giving them a receipt to scan for a return instead of digging through their bags and wallets. And in those situations, pushing a QR code is the smart move.
You find them in the paper, but how about in your push strategy?
Here’s an example of QR codes done right. Let’s say you’re a local coffee shop looking to boost foot traffic during the afternoons. You’ve got a solid base of regulars on your push list, and the majority of them are mobile-first users of your notifications. So, if you’ve got the scanner in your store in the first place, you could push out a free upgrade on their coffee size as a rich notification, with a link that directs them to a page with the code on a mobile-optimized site as well. Just have them scan the code and place the order!
Another example might be in-store pickup of an order. You push out a code, again with a link to a page with the code, and use the code as an extra layer of verification along with photo ID. Or if you’re a concert venue, fifteen minutes before the show you push out a ticket code to everyone who bought a ticket.
The key here is to think of QR codes as one of the tools in your marketing toolbox and to use them to make life easier for your customers. If you anticipate their needs and think about how they can use these codes, it’ll make doing business with you easier, and show that you appreciate them. It may not be a tool you use all the time, but it’s one worth keeping handy. To see the power of push in action, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
FOB Shipping Point And Push
Who’s responsible for the goods?
One of the most important aspects of modern commerce, especially e-commerce, is logistics. And browser-based push is a useful tool behind the scenes, allowing you to automate bits of data that your customers need to know immediately, like when an order has shipped, when it has arrived, when an invoice has been paid, and so on. But one specific point, “free on board” shipping, is particularly important, and push is particularly useful there.
What Is FOB Shipping?
“Free on board” shipping, or FOB shipping, is an important concept that marks the exact moment something stops being in your inventory and starts being in your customer’s inventory. The problem is that specific point is “right when it leaves the shipper’s loading dock.” This has a number of impacts, the most important being if something happens to the goods in transit.
FOB shipping marks the exact point your customer’s insurance kicks in for those goods, so if the goods turn up wrecked, leaving aside your customer service kicking into gear to make it up to them, they need to speak with their insurer about the matter if there’s more to recover. This makes documenting exactly when the goods trade hands particularly important, especially in B2B or industrial commerce and shipping, and push is an ideal tool.
Always know where the goods are.
Pushing FOB Status
There are a number of technical ways you can incorporate push into FOB notifications, and it shouldn’t be your only tool. Ideally, your push notification will include a link offering documentation of the exact day, time, location, and bill of goods being shipped to your customer, which can also be emailed or texted. But it’s important to use both for your sake and your customer’s.
We’ve all experienced an insurance claim from the customer end; but for an insurer, it’s a detailed investigation where they try, as closely as possible, to determine who had what in what condition at every step of the way, from being packed in a box to being loaded onto a truck. The more data your customer has to offer the insurance company, the faster the investigation will go—and the less aggravation you’ll have to deal with if they do have to initiate a claim. More information means that claims may be settled more quickly.
Of course, most of the time, the goods show up in pristine condition, which brings us to the other purpose of FOB notifications: Peace of mind. Knowing that the goods have shipped is useful up and down your customer’s business. The receiving department can know what’s coming in; the accounting department can work on the invoice, and so on. In fact, there are quite a few automated systems on your customer’s end that might rely on FOB notifications, so you can settle the mind of your customer without even picking up the phone.
FOB shipping is a fundamental part of many accounting practices, and if you’re shipping physical goods, it’s something you need to help your customers track. Browser-based push makes that simple, easy, and uncomplicated for everyone involved. To see just how push can help, sign up for a live demo of Pushnami!
Browser Push Notification Types Part One: Transactional Push
Transactional push tells him his room is ready before he dings the bell.
Have you ever had Lyft push a message to you detailing when it will arrive? Has Amazon alerted you that your package has shipped? Has Facebook told you that a post is doing well? Then you have experienced a ‘transactional’ push notification. Part one of a four-part series on the types of push notifications, this post discusses transactional notifications, including what they are, why they are used, and your best practices for using them.
What Are Transactional Notifications?
At its most basic, a “transactional” notification is simply a time-sensitive heads-up, as described above. Your users have told your site they want to know when a certain action happens, so they opt-in to be contacted when it does.
As the name implies, “transactional” notifications tend to be applied to situations where goods and services are changing hands, especially when there is time pressure like deadlines or shipping dates. Take a ride-share app. Once you ask for a ride, you will get notifications that your ride is on the way, your ride is almost there, how much your ride was when you arrive, and possibly a request for a rating. These notifications will include a lot of useful data like driver name, car license plate, total cost, and so on.
Sometimes the transaction has not happened yet. Hotels, for example, might use transactional push to remind users that their rates are about to rise and to book a room now. Still, the rules hold; informational, clear, and useful are the gold standard for transactional push notifications.
When does that train you bought a ticket for arrive? Transactional push will tell you.
When Should I Use Transactional Notifications?
A good rule of thumb is that whenever you are exchanging money or vital information, transactional notifications are worth offering. This can be fairly prosaic stuff; your credit card was charged, your order shipped, your subscription will expire, and so on. However, it does not have to be just about the money; a pet shelter may alert fans that a new dog is available to adopt, for example.
The best place to find where transactional notifications will help is to ask your users directly and to look at how they use your site. Whatever they are spot-checking is usually where a transactional notification can help.
- Be transactional whenever there is a transaction, especially a time-sensitive one. Shipped packages, paid bills, and other financial data all deserve notifications.
- Do not just think in terms of money. What do your users most often look at on your site, call to confirm about, or otherwise ask for data on? What is time sensitive to them or for you? Can a notification fill this role for your users and save them a little time?
- Put vital information first. Amounts, identifiers, addresses, names, and other things people need to know right away should be front and center. The copy should be friendly and on-brand, but also to the point.
- What will be the frequency of notification when users opt-in? Will buying a product trigger a flurry of alerts?
Just how you use transactional notifications will depend heavily on the business that you do. They may make up the majority of your strategy, or you might only send them very occasionally. Think of them as a useful service, giving your customers important information so they do not miss out. Want to see how Pushnami can make your business more efficient? Get a free trial today!
How to Boost Ecommerce Sales by Leveraging Browser-Based Notifications
Can browser-based push notifications drive e-commerce? They absolutely can. It is a question of how you use them, and how they make sense for your business. Let’s take a look at why push notifications are the best choice for ecommerce businesses, and then dive into six effective push marketing strategies to boost sales.
Why Use Ecommerce Push Notifications?
One of the first questions businesses ask is: “Why? Don’t I have an app for that?” The answer is, not quite.
The key value of browser-based push for e-commerce is that it does not rely on a single platform or on a specific app. Your customers do not have to download anything, and they do not have to jump through hoops. All they have to do is decide they want to hear from you, and browser-based push takes care of the rest, sending the alert to their laptops, their tablets, and their phones. It is a simple, direct method that your most loyal customers can easily sign up for and use.
Furthermore, it is an incredibly useful tool for your customers. Well-designed push notifications will let them sign up for alerts for sales when specific products are refreshed or drop in price, when new items are added to a product line, when firmware updates and other items are added to their products, and in a host of other situations. They are one of the most powerful tools you have for your most loyal and highest-spending customers.
The Trio of Uses
There are three core uses of browser push notifications in ecommerce: Location-based updates, relevant offers, and shopping cart abandonment. Push can help you address all three of these, but it is a matter of understanding how, why, and when you use them.
Relevant offers would seem, at first, to be the most obvious. You have a sale, let everyone know, right? But it can go much, much deeper than that. Segment your buyers and see how and why they shop from your site. Some are “subscribers,” who buy a certain product or products from you on a regular basis. Some are bargain hunters who constantly visit your clearance section or check your prices for comparison. Still others look for the newest thing. Use push notifications to send each segment the most relevant offers.
Location-based updates can often be ignored by online-based businesses, but that’s a major oversight. If for example, you sell cold-weather gear, customers in regions with a snowstorm coming will likely be interested in buying a new parka. Consider putting together a list of factors for your segments that will trigger a push, from weather events to local elections.
Finally, there is shopping cart abandonment. A large percentage of customers will bail on their cart at the last minute. A simple notification a few hours or a day after the cart was abandoned can drive down this statistic to a shocking degree and should be standard on any website with a cart.
These are not the only ways to use push, of course. These are just the starting point. Now, let’s take a look at six actionable strategies your ecommerce store can carry out to maximize its conversion and customer service potential.
6 E-Commerce Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales
If you run an e-commerce store, it’s likely you have an arsenal of strategies you rotate to feed into your marketing funnels. But, with so many tactics to choose from, it’s challenging to figure out how to boost ecommerce sales without requiring hefty resources.
1. Trust Signals
Since 46% of Americans have fallen victim to credit card fraud in the last five years, your website visitors will arrive skeptical and afraid to enter their credit card details. To quell their concerns, add trust signals to your site.
Here are a few ideas:
- Display security badges that represent the software you use on your site (Norton, BBB, Verisign, TRUSTe, etc.) Tip: Add the trust signals close to the checkout buttons and next to where customers enter their credit cards
- Make sure your website security certificate is up to date
- Add customer reviews to product pages and a few on the homepage
2. E-Commerce Push Notifications
With a high 10-40% click rate, push notifications have become a tactic of choice for marketing-savvy e-commerce brands.
Use ecommerce push notifications to send company updates, special discounts, and promotions. Increase clicks and conversions by personalizing your notifications (cater to consumers’ personal interests and behavior).
3. Branded Content
Branded content helps your visitors connect to your message and story, which increases sales.
Start with a mission statement that defines why you sell your products, what your overall goal is, and what you stand for. Add “about” content (via an “About” page) that explains your company history and tells a story of why your business is so important to you.
This branded content humanizes your brand which helps break down the initial skepticism internet users feel when approaching ecommerce websites.
4. Social Media
Engaging with customers in a more informal environment like social media allows them to connect with your brand and solidify their relationship with you. This boosts sales because it builds trust (see last section) and helps consumers feel more comfortable buying from you.
One of the top platforms for e-commerce is Instagram. Its highly visual interface is perfect for showcasing beautiful product images that can attract more people to your brand and products.
5. Use Lifestyle Images
Let’s say you sell running sneakers and you want to increase sales for a particular model. You can use two images for your media:
#1: Your running sneakers set against a white background
#2: That same pair of sneakers on a person who is running against a beautiful background (green hills, ocean, hiking path, etc.). The person is also sweating but appears to feel empowered and enjoying an amazing running high.
Which image do you think would speak to your consumer more?
The second one will pull on the heart and evoke an emotion, allowing the consumer to envision what it would “feel” like to use your product. Positive emotion = more sales.
Note: Product images against white backgrounds are effective for showing the product’s aesthetic appeal and features. But, featuring lifestyle images will boost sales by enhancing your image set.
6. Focus on Customer Retention
Existing customers make up 65% of a company’s business.
Dedicate some of your resources to win customers back and make them repeat buyers. Strategies like promotions for existing customers, loyalty programs, and personalized emails will encourage repeat purchases and customer loyalty.
Push Smarter, Not Harder
These high-return, low-cost marketing strategies to boost sales can help your store yield higher revenue without putting a large dent in your marketing budget. Browser push notifications can play an important role in e-commerce companies of all sizes. Ready to discover the true potential of e-commerce push notifications? Sign up for a live demo of Pushnami today!