Sustainability matters to people–particularly to Millennials. A Neilsen poll of over 30,000 people found that 66% of consumers– and 73% of Millennials– are willing to pay more to support companies who commit to sustainable, environmentally-friendly business practices. With Millennials set to overtake Boomers as the largest living generation in 2019, it’s crucial for businesses to pay attention to this growing trend.
In this day and age, it’s more important than ever for online stores to reduce their carbon footprint - not only to use as a selling point, but because it’s the right thing to do for our planet. And let’s face it. From gas-guzzling delivery trucks to layers of wasteful packaging, ecommerce isn’t exactly the most environmentally-friendly business model out there.
Going green may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve been in business for a while. The good news is that the more this trend catches on, the more opportunities there are for online stores to minimize their environmental impact. And this comes with the added bonus of gaining customers’ trust.
So, what are some easy steps your ecommerce business can take to become greener?
4 Live Chat Tips to Increase Customer Loyalty
Think back to your last live chat experience. Was it smooth and user-friendly, or did it leave you wanting to tear your hair out in frustration?
Mine, unfortunately, fell into the second category. I was trying to fund a checking account I’d just opened with a large banking and credit card company. Following the instructions didn’t seem to be working and I couldn’t find the answers I was looking for, so I clicked the live chat button in an attempt to get some help.
Though I didn’t quite get to the point of tearing my hair out, the whole experience had me scratching my head and wondering why on earth they even bothered to call it “live chat.” Each time I typed in my concern, it would link me to the same FAQ answers I’d already looked at. I couldn’t find the answer to my question anywhere, and there was no option to chat with a live person. So frustrating!
I eventually gave up, and a week later, I still haven’t funded my account. I’ll eventually get it taken care of with a simple phone call, but life’s been hectic and I haven’t found the time. (Sound familiar?)
Of course, it’s a little different for a huge bank with millions of customers who need their services to function in life. Frankly, there’s no reason for them to care about inconveniencing a customer from time to time. People don’t have much of a choice but to continue doing business with them.
But in a hypercompetitive market like e-commerce, any delay or inconvenience can be repellent to a customer and can cost you the sale and the relationship. Here are four tips to create a fast, friendly and efficient live chat experience so you can boost sales and form loyal customer relationships.
Ecommerce vendors attempting to keep up with a litany of challenges in practical, technical, and non-tangible realms share a common objective: attracting attention and acquiring customers. Seasoned veterans have adapted organically, watching trends unfold over time. Newcomers scramble to digest a flux of information in a cost-effective manner, hoping to make investments that count.
This third in a series of blog entries establishes the importance of social media behemoth Facebook as a compelling place to market your goods. As with everything, there are pluses and minuses, and everything in-between.
With that out of the way, there is no discussion of advertising in 2019 that does not begin with Facebook. The giant of social media platforms is entering its 12th year as a pastime for a general audience, having started as a fun and easy way to connect with college classmates. Its exponential growth has myriad explanations, and one of them makes Facebook an utterly irresistible place to throw your ad dollars.
It’s called domination.
Monopoly may be too strong a word, but the US Department of Justice is targeting the California-based firm for anti-trust violations. It’s a familiar tune with Facebook stockholders; governments have come after Mark Zuckerberg’s company before and collected big fines. It’s also not news to those in the know. Zuckerberg faced protracted, high-profile litigation when he was accused of appropriating the idea earlier this century from a pair of twin brothers, and was forced to pay them handsomely in a landmark civil settlement.
How the granddaddy of all social media platforms may be your best advertising bet
Whether you’re a seasoned, high-volume ecommerce vendor, or a rookie who’s just starting out, chances are you will devote a significant amount of time toward mapping out an advertising strategy that hits the right balance of effectiveness and affordability. Visual advertising is the go-to for ecommerce; unlike other business models, consumers have little chance of finding you in the traditional ways. Social media—the center of all ecommerce, for obvious reasons—is the most effective method of moving your merchandise.
The name recognition of Facebook is practically indisputable. Though it’s a mix of positive and negative, it seems to be the cyber gathering spot they just can’t quit. With an estimated 2.4 billion active users worldwide, there is little doubt it will be a big draw for small- and mid-sized vendor companies for the foreseeable future.
We’ve already covered the recent shift in ad mechanics Facebook is imposing: The Incredible Shrinking Ad Size. Some businesses aren’t terribly concerned; others fear their strongest attribute to product depiction is its photographs, and if those are scaling down, it may decrease interest among potential customers.
But if the social media giant is still your favorite target for ad dollars, or if you’re still on the fence, here are some relative stats, and ways you can make the platform work for you. The essential difference between Google Ads and Facebook ads are searching vs. direct hits. Paid searches help customers find your site, while paid social advertising hopes to rope in new customers based on a specific product.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but words are powerful, and changes that hit the Facebook platform may be painful.
So say analysts reviewing new policies freshly implemented by the behemoth of all social media, and it could be a gigantic headache for those who write ad copy.
This shift in ad sizes was announced at a recent F8 conference, but the company has been somewhat stealth with respect to public information. Ad revenue is their bread and butter, naturally. And with more than 2 billion worldwide users, they are sharply focused on building a venue for paid advertisers, often at the expense of user experience. Nonetheless, the company continues to tweak its advertising options.
Here’s what’s happening: Facebook feed ads viewed in mobile mode (and let’s face it, few are using full-size computers these days) are shrinking. These “creative restrictions” make the image size and the amount of text smaller, with images reduced to a 4:5 aspect ratio from the current 2:3. Along with that is a text reduction from seven sentences to three – a tremendous drop by any measure.
Prioritizing ad copy words
Though users will be able to access more lines by clicking a “see more” link, the game is now changed. As anyone who has written for limited space platforms knows, the visible text is critical for engagement, and if that text is cut in less than half, it will be more important than ever to employ an economy of words with the most benefit.
With mobile devices already small in scale, that means even a typical one-liner with an inducement – the bread and butter of marketing lead-ins – won’t fit. And that hurts.
Beyond the written word, you’ll be dealing with a shrinking graphical allotment. This will require image redesigns, along with the judgment call on how small to make your overlay text.
The good news is that Facebook prepped for this sea change, perhaps to quell the tide of resistance. Their Video Creation Kit tool allows for a semi-automated process to make it easier through scaled image resizing. The kit also offers more templates that ostensibly provide flexibility to accommodate this curtailed space issue.
The last days of summer are upon us and it is important to take some important self-care tips to make sure you get some proper relaxation. Between work and family, it can be difficult to plan some time for yourself to de-stress your mind. Before the summer ends, give yourself a mental break by creating a peaceful place in your home to mediate. Meditation is a very useful technique to lower your stress levels and become more balanced. This is great for people dealing with anxiety or has to deal with very stressful situations for their profession. Either way, this guide can help create a summer meditation space.
You don’t have to splurge on fancy spa or travel to an expensive hotel to feel like you are treating yourself. Instead, consider turning your space into a peaceful sanctuary at home. A good staycation can still help you feel rejuvenated and renewed with the right steps. You can create a small meditation corner in any room in your home and make it feel calming so you can ease your nerves. Believe it or not, it’s still possible to feel you are on vacation even while you at home.
Start by picking out a corner in your favorite room. This can be any room in your home, it just has to be comfortable. The next step is selecting a few stones to put in your space. Things like amethyst, rose quartz, and others promote good energy to aide in your mental detox. Ideally you want a room with a decent amount of sunlight as well. Consider purchasing a small stand to place stones and a small candle or incense. Pick a scent that is very soothing like lavender. Add throw pillows or even a low-slung chair to get comfortable and for vibrancy.
The last step is the ambiance. If you don’t have a room with good natural light, consider purchasing a dimly lit lamp or add a couple more candles for soft lighting. Consider downloading a meditation or white noise app to help you focus on clearing your mind and finding your personal Zen. Once you’re ready, sit in a comfortable position, take a deep breath and relax. You will finally find the peace you deserve.
Particles is taking a break this week to allow everyone here at Cennos to enjoy one last taste of summer fun over the Labor Day weekend.
We'll be back next week with brand new content you won't want to miss.
Driving sales for underperforming products and services can be a tough task. These products and/or services need additional tactics to help it perform and this is where scarcity marketing. This technique helps move sales for these items based on their rarity. With things so readily available to consumers through online shopping, more and more consumers find value in things that feel more exclusive. So here are several useful tactics for scarcity marketing for your small online business.
Establish Product Availability
It is important to let your consumers know how many items are still available for purchase. The point of this tactic is to establish a sense of urgency to influence consumers to purchase this product or service as soon as possible. If there are only three items left in stock, set an alert on your webpage to let customers know.
Limited Edition & Seasonal Products
Another way to establish a sense of urgency for products is to create special collections. These are products with limited quantity and will not be replenish them once they are sold out. This makes the product feel rare and exclusive which entices potential customers. Seasonal collections are also effective that may only come out during a certain time of year.
Creating a pre-sale offer for exclusive products brings a sense of excitement for potential customers. It can also gauge the demand for your product and bring in sales before the launch. This is also an effective way to show other consumers the high demand for your business as well.
Out-of-Stock Alerts & Low Stock Notices
When your items are out of stock, let your customers set alerts to know when an item is available again. Also let your consumers know when you are products are low in stock so they are more enticed to make a purchase before the item becomes sold out. This keeps a relationship between the consumer to come back for either the same item or perhaps another.
Customers love discounts and they love exclusive ones even more. You can do this by rewarding loyal customers as a follow-up from a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, and following your business on social media. Flash sales are also a good tactic to use as an exclusive short-term sale to attract attention to products as well. If you have a physical storefront, you can hand out invites to in-store patrons who make a purchase.
Consumers are always on their phones so it is vital for any business to develop marketing strategies that target their audience through their devices. Outside of social media, the main thing many users do on their phone is text. For millennial and Gen Z users, communication via texting is more popular and convenient than talking over the phone.
Many of these users do not have a landline so they are always on their phone, receiving and sending out messages. It is common now for many brands to use text messaging to communicate with consumers whether it is updates, discounts codes, or customer service. It is a very simple and effective way of talking to your customers personally and faster to provide better service for their needs.
However, without proper technique and approach, text-messaging marketing can come off as invasive if it done too frequently. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
Creating a Keyword & Auto Reply
First, reserve a keyword that consumers can text you to sign up for alerts and join your SMS marketing list. When someone texts the designated number, they will receive an instant response template called an auto-reply. This is a customized welcome message for every new registered user. This can contain discount codes to engage sales and other helpful messages to create traffic to drive online sales.
Promote Your Marketing List
Make consumers aware that they can sign up for phone alerts when they visit website. You can create pop-up ads to get people sign up and include messaging when consumers make an order online. Develop unique CTA to drive your consumers back to your website. It is important to grow your list organically so you can create a successful marketing list.
Create a Schedule
Don’t overwhelm your consumers with too many alerts. Create a text blast schedule to send consistent messaging that doesn’t annoy the users and makes them return to the website to see new developments. It is important to spread out your messaging and make sure each one has a different message in order not to sound too repetitive.
If you don’t think your business can handle maintaining a strong SMS marketing list, you should consider outsourcing to a third-party. This is an effective approach for companies that are new to this type of marketing strategy and use the help of established professionals that will know how to reach their audience.
There are 2.7 billion people that utilize social media through various channels, connecting them like-minded users and business based on their interests. For businesses, it has become an essential tool in the way they communicate to their consumers. Everything to the images you choose to the captions you write determine a specific tone and voice that is talking to you followers. You have to have a clear, concise vision when it comes to your social media strategy.
Using social media for business differs greatly from using it for personal usage; every post has a strategic push behind it. So, here are a couple of useful strategies to implement in your social media marketing.
Identifying Industry-Specific Hashtags
Hashtags help draw users that do not follow to your page. It is very important to identify popular hashtags that are used in your sector to maximize your overall reach. This is what helps your post land on someone’s explore page or search results easier if they are looking for content similar to yours. It is important not to overuse hashtags that are too board and general so it can reach your target niche audience.
Create a Constant Brand Voice
It is important that your brand voice is the same on all your platforms. You want all your pages to sound like the same person, now three different people. Lay out a clear guideline on specific vocabulary and style that matches your brand aesthetic or vision. Brand voice is what connects you on a personal level to your audience and it is important to maintain a true, authentic tone that forms a relationship with users.