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How to secure online shoppers during the winter hibernation

Posted by David Simmons
19
June 2017
How to secure online shoppers during the winter hibernation
We're almost at the halfway point of 2017 and two weeks into winter. This means that for the next three months or so, your customers will be more likely to snuggle up and buy goods online rather than brave the cold to make their shopping runs.

A recent study by YouGov has shown that in the colder months of June, July and August, these hibernating (or 'buy-bernating') Aussies who have the internet at their fingertips contribute to a significant spike in online sales.

Let's face it, the last thing anyone wants to do is to trudge outside in freezing temperatures to do the weekly shopping, not when it can be delivered to your doorstep in reasonable time at a competitive price.

The YouGov survey shows that comfort is a priority for shoppers in winter as over one-third of customers spend more on products for the home.

Additionally, 39 percent of customers say they invest in home furnishing and décor during the cold months, while 31 percent are buying home entertainment systems, media and technology items to keep themselves occupied whilst tucked up indoors.

The survey also revealed almost two-thirds of Australians plan to stay in during the colder months and 42 percent will shop online more often during this time.

So, what can online retailers do in order to tap into this buy-bernating market which accounts for almost half of the population?

Here are a few ways you can gear your platform to capitalise on the influx.

1. Offer your customers winter discounts

Everyone loves a bargain, and with the huge number of customers lurking for the best buy online discount codes will be your best friend.

Try some themed codes about the season to get your customers in the mood for buying.

Discount one or two winter products such as mugs, blankets or scarves to let the customer know that you're thinking about their comfort.

Plus, it's almost the end of financial year (EOFY), so if you need to move some stock why not combine your winter sale with an EOFY sale. Buyers are always looking out for deals to come around the end of the month, so make sure you get on the bandwagon.

2. Theme your website for the season

We know that visual cues and great design are always important, however a bit of a seasonal adjustment can really take your site to a new level.

An easy way to remind a customer that it's cold outside and that they are better off buying indoors, is to incorporate the 'chill factor' into your marketing collateral.

Designs featuring snowflakes, blue tones or people wearing warmer clothes serve to remind the customer how much cosier it is where they are.

Thankfully it isn't difficult to make these kinds of simple changes. If you have the animated header tool add in some winter looking images, add in some images or content on your home page or Bloomtools offers a suite of website design solutions that can spruce up your website to match the season

3. Tailor your marketing

Your customers will be looking for certain things during their 'buy-bernation' period.

Homewares and electronics are on the top of shopper's wish lists during Winter, so now is the perfect time to capitalise on the spike with clever marketing collateral.

Whether your strategy is focused on Google ads or email campaigns, the use of analytics and sales figures to push your most popular products is essential.

They key here is to anticipate what your buyers will be inclined to grab whilst rugged up at home. In short, encourage them to treat themselves!

Posted in: Ecommerce   Comments

Heatmaps to record website viewers actions

Posted by Tracey Voyce
12
June 2017
Heatmaps to record website viewers actions

Bloomtools is working with HotJar to help website owners know exactly how their site visitors are interacting with their websites.  It is just another way, you can take away the guessing game on what people actually do on your website.  And what changes you need to make, to get more conversions/people taking action on your website.

With HotJar you can:

  • Get an overview of Heatmaps of how visitors interact with your website (what common areas they click on, where they scroll) to find out what areas you need to fix, move, or enhance to get better results. 
  • Record individuals activity on your website, where their mouse goes, what they click, tap and navigate across pages.
  • Set up conversion funnels, to track entry and exit of site visitors.
  • Carry out feedback polls, on people as they visit your website to get to understand what they want.
  • Collect deeper insights from your site visitors with surveys.
  • Carry out your own user testing.

And doing this with your Bloomtools Internet Strategist / Consultants they will help you understand the data and make some decisions on making improvements to your website's layout, design and future enhancements.

This is the best tool for anyone who is thinking about doing a re-design on their website, to really know what areas of their pages they need to keep and areas you need to change.  By running this for 3 months prior to your design, you will gain enough data to make some informed choices on what you need to do.  But also we have a number of clients whose websites are more a vital component of their business, that keep it on full time to continue to monitor the results over time.

HotJar - helping you make decisions on data vs opinions.  

If you are interested in running this on your website and would like your consultant to help you analyse the data - contact them to take you through the process, and cover the monthly investment for you.

 

 

Posted in: Website Design Internet Marketing Lead Generation   Comments

Additional Payment Gateway option for Shopping Carts

Posted by Tracey Voyce
18
May 2017
Additional Payment Gateway option for Shopping Carts

Afterpay is the modern day of the layby, but unlike the old laybys, you can get delivery of your purchase right away.  Afterpay allows shoppers to pay for items in four simple instalments and you the merchant to be paid immediately.

What it mean for the Ecommerce Merchant

  • An increase in conversions:  Helps you get customers that may not have made a purchase due to cost. 
  • Increase in Average $ spend: Helps your customers spend more, as it removes the need to pay for it all upfront
  • Overall increases sales revenue
  • Zero fraud or credit risk.  Afterpay assumes all end-customer non-payment risks for every transaction
  • Doesn't cost your customer any more money.  No interest.  Fees only appear if their automatic payment is unsuccessful.

How it works

Like any checkout process, your client selects their preferred payment method (often our e-commerce clients have the standard Visa, Mastercard as well through another payment gateway provider eg. Paypal). 

Then, the site will send your customers off to Afterpay to organise the payments, over four equal instalments with their nominated debit or credit card.  This process is simple with no lengthy forms and best of all they will get instantly approved. 

Afterpay makes money by charging:

  • Retailers a fee for use of the Afterpay payment platform
  • Customers late fees if they don't pay their instalments on time.

Other popular questions:

  • Is it trustworthy:  Hundreds of the top retailers are using it online here in Australia and overseas.  Cue, Country Road, OfficeWorks, Adairs, Booktopia (see a merchant list here)
  • What Cards do they accept: At present Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards.
  • Is there a purchase limit:  For debit cards, the maximum you can spend is $500.  In regards to credit cards, Afterpay calculates a limit based on what it knows about your account (NB/ After pay does not have access to your credit history)
  • What are the Late payment fees:  $10 Late payment fee, and $7 on top of this if you still haven't paid it in a week. (as at May 2017)

If you are keen to get Afterpay running on your website through your Bloomtools Shopping Cart, please call your Bloomtools consultant as we are a certified Afterpay e-commerce provider and can connect quickly to your Afterpay account, as well as 7 other major Australian Payment Gateways.  

Posted in: News Ecommerce   Comments

Six Tips for Writing Engaging and Results Driven Content for our Online Shop

Posted by Tracey Voyce
10
May 2017
Six Tips for Writing Engaging and Results Driven Content for our Online Shop

SMALLER companies think it is hard to compete against bigger players for the spotlight in a heavily saturated online market, but there are several ways they can greatly improve their chances.

One of the keys to getting seen, if not the most essential key, is content. Well-planned and carefully niche-targeted content will always stand a better chance of being noticed, and ultimately draw traffic to your website and revenue.

Here are seven crucial tips from industry professionals for developing the right kind of content for your online shop and website.

1. SOLVE A PROBLEM, OFFER A SOLUTION

Nine times out of ten: when people want to solve a problem, the first place they will look for advice or direction is on the internet.

Every single internet user wants to do something, know something, go somewhere or buy something, and companies should be trying to meet these 'wants' through the content they produce.

If any company can offer a visible and comprehensive solution to a customer's needs, it will likely be rewarded by increased traffic, reviews, transactions, click-throughs and social shares.

For E-commerce, this is super important.  For anyone looking to buy something, they are often looking to solve a problem... whether it be a dining table to work in their small kitchen or an eyeshadow that works on mature eyes.  Think about your target market and what problems they may have to solve.

2. MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO BUY WHAT YOU'RE SELLING

The content on your home page, contact page and specific product pages should appeal equally to two types of people: those who want to buy your product quickly, and those who want to do thorough research beforehand.

Ensure there is no shortage of 'calls to action' on your site. Buttons urging customers to 'Buy now', Learn more' or 'call us now' can complete the customer's experience and encourage them to take action.

The cardinal rule of having an online shop is that everything should be streamlined, and the way your website is set up should allow people to feel comfortable when parting with their money.

3. ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO TRUST YOUR WEBSITE

A common challenge faced by online shops is that their websites don't have enough information on the product or rather, they think someone is going to give them money with relatively no questions asked.

The greater detail you give about your products, the more likely people will trust you enough to buy them. Spare no details about the materials used, the product's features, its functionality, its size or nay other important points.

Make sure customers have everything they will need to know to make an informed decision, including adding client reviews and showing your physical address and contact phone number.

Showing that your website is secure is also a must. Ensure your customer service policy is clearly worded and visible at every stage of the buying process, and remind consumers that the product they are buying is legitimate using authentic reviews.

4. DO YOUR SEO RESEARCH TO SEE WHICH KEYWORDS YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE USING THE MOST

This goes hand-in-hand with offering customers a solution through content. Consider the fact that Google has countless SEO tools and measurements by which businesses are ranked, and use only the words or phrases you think your own customers would use the most when they are searching.  Often the product names we have in our industries are not the same as what your future buyer will call it.  

According to Google, an internet user's habits boil down to four key motives as mentioned earlier: they want to 'do, know, go or buy'.

Do your research to see exactly what keywords your customers are using the most, and what kinds of questions they are asking, through a reputable SEO service provider like SEMRUSH.

It's important to fill in your SEO Tabs for the products listed in your shopping cart (in the backend of your website for your each of your inventory) because this is what Google will look at first. If you do one for each of your products, you will multiply your results by covering multiple search terms.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you can also start by offering rich extras to your product such as video tutorials, checklists, infographics, interviews and blog feature articles.

5. PICTURES TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS AND VIDEOS A MILLION

For selling products, make sure your product images are clear, and if needed to be shown from different angles.  For many of our clients, having an image of the product in use or placed - increases sales.

For content in the rest of your website, when was the last time you looked at a popular online article that didn't have a picture, video or infographic to go with it?

Content that is complete with extras including good imagery, video content and graphics will be far more popular than content that isn't.

Plus, enriching in this way opens several new publishing avenues, particularly on social media, through channels including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.

Be careful not to go overboard and aim to find the right balance between rich content and plain copy.

6. MARKET TO A SPECIFIC NICHE, PERHAPS ONE YOUR COMPETITORS AREN'T CONSIDERING

If you were to write a list of the people who would be interested in your products, it might reveal a variety of demographic profiles including different industries, personal interests and age groups, for example.

When you make the list, it will become easier to work out your best niche markets to target online, keeping in mind that they might not all be ones your competitors are chasing.

Here are some things you might want to consider about your niche market:

  • Who are they? This relates to their industry, demographics, interests, location, needs etc.
  • What other websites would they visit?
  • What are their challenges, and which ones can you solve?
  • If you were the customer, what would you be searching for to solve these challenges?
  • What unique benefits do you have to offer?

Once you've done your research on these questions and others relevant to your business, write your content based on the answers. Create an online advertising campaign which will draw attention to these markets and keep building on them.

The internet is moving at such a speed, the same as technology, devices are changing, so does users expectations, and lessons we learn.    Your Bloomtools consultant will be able to review your ecommerce website and online shop and give you direction on what would be the best improvements to work on your website.

Posted in: Ecommerce Internet Marketing   Comments

Zoning in on your Viable Niche

Posted by Tracey Voyce
1
May 2017
Zoning in on your Viable Niche

In a competitive market place, it is interesting to note how some businesses do so much better than others in their industry.  And what we often see, these businesses do so well because they focus their energies into sub-niches.  Versus trying to compete with their competitors who are trying to be everything for everyone.  This works whether you are selling a product, or service, B2B and B2C.

We especially see this being an extremely effective strategy online...

A niche is a specialised and select segment of your target market, it is so important to understand what your niche/s are in order to effectively engage and communicate with your audience. 

Zone in and engage

If you sell fishing gear, don't just have your website sitting there as a massive marketplace for all fishermen. Zone in on some sub-niches, have detailed and specific sections of your website so that you can promote material relevant to a targeted group of people and all of their needs will be met in one place.  These areas maybe the ones you are most passionate about, or see there are less competitors in these markets, or an area that gives your business a good return on.

Understand your Audience

It is amazing how much money and time people spend on things when they are passionate about it or they have a problem. So if you sell fishing gear, you have a niche market of enthusiasts that you can engage with special loyalty offers, tips and guides on how to catch the best fish, what's hot in fishing spots and fishing competitions. However you also have a niche market of fishing first timers, you would engage this market by providing informative content around products and tools or weekly tips and tricks. 

Understanding your audience - means you know who they are and what they need, and hence you know how to spark the online conversation with them and at their different stages.  If you are unsure, start talking to your clients in these markets and ask them what they want to know, need, what they often search for and who they follow to get some ideas.

Provide value

You need to be able to help your potential customers solve their problems and answer their questions. Therefore you cannot simply sell something, you need to also produce and provide informative and quality information, advice and helpful services. This develops your businesses credibility, develops goodwill and loyalty and reassures buyers that you will be there to help.  

What are the Niches in your business markets, and sub-niches within?  How could you attract them more on your website, through your email communication, offers and online advertising?  Our clients that work this out, often have a much better result online than those who aim to be everything for everyone in a greater target market.

Contact your local Bloomtools Consultant to chat about how you can better understand what your businesses niche is, and how you could engage them better online. 

Posted in: Ecommerce Internet Marketing Lead Generation   Comments
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