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Top 2023 resources on customer

Best customer resource in 2023.
Learn more about customer to improve your e-commerce strategy.

  • 13 Customer Service Skills You Need to Provide Memorable Customer Support - Go beyond help desk software and call scripts to get to know the 13 skills that are needed to deliver great customer service. From active listening to improvisation to resilience, here's what you need to know to develop customer service skills for you and your team. More
    Topics: provide, skills, memorable, reps, need, customers, customer, skill, solution, brand, support, service, product.
  • 13 Ways To Increase Your Ecommerce Sales This Holiday Season - Here are a few ways to generate the best ROI for your ecommerce businesses in preparation for a holiday frenzy.
    Topics: marketing, customer, sales, website, season, ways, customers, early, increase, offer, holiday, ecommerce.
  • 14 of the Most (& Least) Successful Brand Extensions to Inspire Your Own - Hailee Steinfeld is mainly known for her acting chops, but her singing abilities bolster her esteem as a performer and stretch her brand to more audiences and fans. And just like her venture into music, companies often extend their brand to develop new products in industries where they don’t have any market share.
    Topics: products, customers, successful, line, market, food, customer, brand, inspire, extensions, extension, company, product.
  • 16 Great Examples of Welcome Emails for New Customers [Templates] - We've all heard this maxim, "First impressions last," so we are aware how important it is to strike a good impression.
    Topics: brand, email, welcome, help, thank, great, onboarding, templates, emails, examples, customer, product, customers.
  • 17 Apps to Improve the B2B Customer Experience - Building and optimizing your tech stack with the best B2B marketing integrations improves the customer experience and streamlines operations.
    Topics: customer, team, marketing, experience, data, hubspot, sales, teams, b2b, business, apps, integration, improve, customers.
  • 19 Omnichannel Experience Examples from Top Brands - This post was originally published in July 2022 and has been updated for relevancy on Nov 29, 2022.  Front and center in any conversation about commerce are the words personalization, omnichannel, customer-centric, and experience-driven. Today’s brands (if they are paying attention) are taking note of how customers interact with their brand, and how the brand makes them feel to optimize the customer journey. Shoppers crave experience, and the way to get to an optimal experience (and the conversion), is to collect and act on the data.  The numbers (from the mouths of actual shoppers) help tell the story:  Purchase frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single channel, and the average order value is 13% higher for omnichannel vs. single channel  Customer retention rates are 90% higher on omnichannel vs. single channel  Ninety-eight percent of Amercans switch between devices on a daily basis  Source: Clout Brands  The experience plays out in any number of ways, dependent on customer preference; do they want to shop entirely online and pick up in-store? Do they prefer the in-store experience but engage with an app during the buying journey? Do they want suggestions of other products of interest based on their purchases? Maybe they enjoy building up points towards offers and promos? Brands have more power than ever to meet the shopper where they are.  I don’t know about you, but I love a good app. The food kind, yes, but for these purposes, the digital kind just as much. I’m not attached so much to the in-store experience, but when I do shop in the physical realm, I like an app to play well and merge the two worlds with the end game being my convenience and confidence in the brand.  When I enter a store, I like to know where I stand in my loyalty program, any possible offers directly loaded to my account, and similar deals in-store to online – no surprises. Nothing like the frustration of finding out a deal on my favorite shampoo is only available online when I sign up for delivery.  Today’s brands are embracing the omnichannel experience and reaping the rewards: more conversions, lower bounce rates, and maintaining a healthy Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), to name a few. And how do they do that? By investing in the omnichannel experience. Here is a selection of brands raising the bar on creating differentiated experiences… 1. Best Buy The leading electronics retailer does a few things well in the app space to refine the omnichannel experience.  It’s easy to navigate and uncluttered, but packs relevant information in a well-balanced flow, with the shopping cart always within sight at the top. I can set my store by allowing the app to pin my location, or easily change stores with a tap.  Shoppers have options for checkout with curbside pickup, or of course add to cart. A particularly helpful feature is the ability to locate a product at a different store and have it shipped to the designated My Store, or have the option to pick it up where it’s available right now for pickup today.  Other convenient features include deep deals of the week on frequently purchased items like smart TVs and laptops, and seasonal sales for Back-to-School events or the high volume sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  2. Disney Experience App For those Disney lovers out there (I’m a big fan of Moana, anyone else?), downloading the Disney Experience app makes the most of any family vacation to the Magic Kingdom or any one of their attractions and parks.  Through the dedicated app visitors are able to create a plan before entering their park of choice  and use the app during their visit to engage with more of the attractions. There are many conveniences accessible through the app such as the Disney Genie to track your itinerary and make reservations. A built-in guide to make the most of your experience pre-visit, and discover more of what’s available based on your interests or the age groups within your family. Showtimes and hours are listed daily by park on the app so you won’t miss a minute, and for some select attractions access the virtual queue prior to the park opening to get a jump on the day. With the sheer size of the parks and attractions and the high volume of visitors each day, Disney helps true fans navigate the experience with customizable features based on preference - a sure way to encourage repeat visitors and loyal fans.  Disney tracks and acts on multi-generational preferences with the ultimate goal of winning lifetime omnichannel customers:  The most critical outcomes of Disney’s pivot to providing STEM toys will be an increase in customer lifetime value (CLV) for Gen Z customers, which will be seen through the lengthening of connection between on-screen content and in-person purchases.   Source: Ivey Business Review  3. Crate & Barrel Home goods retailer Crate & Barrel is responding to the call for streamlined omnichannel experiences regardless of channel in ways involving payment and pickup. The retailer is expanding payment options with digital wallet and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) adoption. From an omnichannel perspective, Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) was widely adopted during pandemic restrictions and has not waned since in-person restrictions were lifted. Customers clearly like the convenience, speed, and peace-of-mind of picking up their items curbside.  4.  CVS A pharmacy favorite for many, CVS expanded their app to include many shopper conveniences. I’m able to see what prescriptions are on auto renewal and ready for pickup, or schedule delivery. I get a clean look at my loyalty rewards status, including what deals are available that week. With a tap the deal is added to my loyalty account and will appear at both in-store (both live and self-checkout kiosk) and online checkout. For those preferring the in-store experience, any CVS location allows customers to print out loyalty program coupons at a kiosk, and  select locations offer self-checkout.  5. Walgreens Another worthy pharmacy omnichannel example is the digital offering Walgreens built for their customers. To deliver a more convenient pharmacy experience, they launched a mobile app enabling customers to refill their prescriptions by scanning a barcode on their medication with a smartphone.  Customers can also access their prescription history, easily change pick-up locations, and set a pick-up time. While not groundbreaking, it’s a prime example of how pharmacies can and should be thinking about how to improve their customer omnichannel experiences. 6. DSW Shoes! Handbags! Accessories! DSW has it all, including the deals. The dedicated app in my experience has been just as well-organized and friendly as the in-store experience. Again, well thought out flow of information, and plenty of personalized offers. I’m reminded of how far I have to go to reach the next membership threshold (for even deeper discounts), and my coupons are front and center with a gentle reminder to BUY THE SHOES. I can easily change my store, and when in-store I have the option for self-checkout. Simple and satisfying, like all shopping experiences should be. 7. Dunkin' Donuts Go ahead, treat yourself to some Dunkin’. The app reflects the branding and feel you’ll see in-store, plus the meaningful extras like joining the loyalty program for freebies, and the ability to order ahead and skip long lines. They also do a great job with imagery tantalizing their fans with what’s on the menu. They offer equally satisfying experiences in-store for those who want to kick back or work, but for those on-the-go the omnichannel customer conveniences are there for those who want them.    8. JCPenney JCPenney gets high points when it comes to omnichannel examples by offering Buy Online Pick Up in Store (BOPIS), and also offering returns on online purchases in-store (cross-channel returns). They’ve also brought their online experience in-store by having their website accessible at POS. JCPenney team members use it to check inventory at other locations and place orders. These investments add up to a better, faster, more convenient experience wherever their customers are.  9. Macy's A well-known retailer headquartered in Ohio, Macy’s is a standout among the more traditional department store formats who successfully weathered the retail storm by incorporating more digital assets into the customer experience. They’ve made significant investment in their app for easier product discovery and checkout, and they’ve also invested in smart fitting rooms in-store complete with wall-mounted tablets for customers or associates to scan items for availability across locations. Another feature of the in-room tech allows a shopper to “complete the look” with access to reviews and product recommendations. The investment to scale their omnichannel experience shows in the numbers: their digital sales were up 12% in 2021 and were up 36% over 2019. 10. Meijer Meijer is a leading grocer in the Midwest. They offer food, clothing, electronics, home goods, toys, and a broad selection of craft beer, wine, and liquor. Talk about one-stop shopping. As a loyal Meijer customer, I have their app and I am an mPerks loyalty member. Their in-app functionality directly affects the omnichannel customer experience.  Each week I  “clip” digital coupons based on my purchases (personalization),  with the option of curbside pickup or delivery. One of my favorite features on the app is all my receipts are stored by date, and I have a clear picture of how much I’ve saved over a time to the cent. If for some reason I need to return an item I don’t need to find a paper receipt, the app recalls it for me. Notice how clean and personalized the interface is; their physical stores mirror this aesthetic down to the color palette and coupon layout.  Omnichannel eCommerce Made Simple Boost brand loyalty and scale your business with unified commerce experiences across every consumer touchpoint. Go to Omnichannel Solutions 11. REI As an avid outdoors fan, REI is the place to go for everything I need to enjoy myself with the best equipment, developed by people who’ve been there. By joining the co-op for a nominal fee, I’m a lifetime member with exclusive access to discounts and promotions.  With this membership, I feel as if I’m a part of something special. REI takes a clear stance on sustainability and stewardship; for example, they’ve consistently run a social proof campaign at the holidays to encourage people to #get outdoors,  instead of shopping on Black Friday. Their stores are closed on the sought-after, controlled chaos of the shopping holiday, to give their employees back the time to enjoy outside. Clearly walking the walk, REI.   Their app offers in-store pickup or cart checkout for ease, and I get a sneak peek at their Garage Sale events for co-op members only. Their blog is worth the time; so many testaments to loving the outdoors, and a full schedule of in-store events and trips designed for all season sports and an active lifestyle. They have a customer for life. The level of omnichannel customer service is well balanced from in-store experts to chat, to a dedicated customer service number, depending on customer preference.  12. Target Retailing behemoth Target continues to go all in on the omnichannel experience with exceptional results. Their Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) usage increased exponentially during the height of pandemic restrictions (nearly 500%)  and has remained a top priority for the retailer.  Customers enjoy the convenience of ordering basics online and having the order fulfilled and loaded into their car by Target team members in under 2 hours from time of order placement. BOPIS is seen as a safer option for customers who have limited physical capabilities and may not be able to lift heavier items into a vehicle without injury. A win for accessibility for all.  13. Teilor A global luxury jeweler since 1998, Romania-based Teilor needed more of an omnichannel experience to connect with customers given pandemic restrictions. The traditional in-store experience had to be rethought. Elastic Path was eager to help them transition the experience with the expertise of systems integration partner Orium, formerly Myplanet.  Managing three child brands across numerous catalogs, and expansion into multiple locations required a simplification of sorts onto a single platform using Elastic Path Pre-Composed Solutions (™) for a quick launch.  Read their case study for more of the Teilor omnichannel story.  14. Ulta You may have heard of this beauty giant in the retail space, offering live demos from hair and makeup stylists. What I love about the app experience is how I can get the same treatment from wherever. They have a virtual beauty assistant of sorts, where I snap a pic with my phone and see how a bronzer or lip gloss shade will look on me prior to purchase. It’s like being in-store without messy testers. I can schedule an appointment at my nearest location, and as you can see from the screen grab, they keep me informed of my purchase history across channels.  15. Verizon I know many have mixed feelings on phone carriers, but I do enjoy the Verizon in-app and in-store omnichannel experiences in equal parts. The few times I’ve been in a store, I’ve had great service and not felt pushed to buy add-ons I don’t need. That might be luck, but for the in-app experience it’s been consistently helpful and easy. From the app I can manage and order existing and new devices, chat with the help desk, get deals and offers, and make changes to my account like Auto Pay.  A particular feature has also strangely pleased me. In my settings I can set a name of what I like to be called. It’s touching (and a prime example of personalization), to open the app and see first thing, “Hi, Em.” Well done, Verizon. You got me.  16. Dick's Sporting Goods With about 600 stores in the eastern U.S., Dick’s also owns Golf Galaxy, and operates specialty stores True Runner and Field & Stream. Where Dick’s gets their omnichannel wins are through the in-store experience in how they equip their team members. Referred to as an “endless aisle” experience, associates have handheld devices to assist shoppers with real time inventory and product information.  17. Sierra Trading Post If you know this company, much like another name in their retail family, TJ Maxx, you probably know that its shoppers are price-conscious. It’s a key driver in their value proposition. To deliver on this proposition just as items are tagged in store with a comparison price, the same information is available for online shoppers. Additionally they offer Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS),  consistent pricing across channels, a shared cart across devices, and three ways to contact customer service: phone, email, or chat.  18. Apple They’ve essentially written the book on omnichannel experience and making the path to purchase as seamless as possible across channels, and while they were at it, revolutionized the way we access and purchase music. From talking to an expert live in-store, to chatting online and purchasing for contactless delivery, they’ve reimagined the commerce experience. They were industry leaders in launching Apple physical locations that allow customers to interact with their products live before purchase - Apple stores set the bar for in-store discovery. After initially browsing and asking questions, shoppers are free to either purchase in-store or complete the purchase from any device.  19. Amazon  As long as we’re talking about behemoths, I’d be remiss not to include Amazon. They’ve set the bar for eCommerce best practices, but have not let the in-store experience fall by the wayside given there is appetite for it. With their Amazon Go stores they’ve expanded the physical store to connect with the online experience by enabling zero contact checkout. For those Whole Foods shoppers, in-store checkout is connected to your Amazon account to access discounts and create more opportunities for personalization with product discovery. You may have also seen Amazon pop-up stores in airports and shopping centers using the Amazon Go model, for those busy travelers on the go. As omnichannel experiences become more relevant due to customer demand, look to Amazon as a thought leader in the space.   This is by no means a complete list, but it does give you an idea of how much the best omnichannel retailers (big and small) are investing in omnichannel. It’s no longer a nice to have, but a must to stay competitive. Looking for more insights? Check out our guide to Implementing an Omnichannel Strategy.
    Topics: customer, app, stores, experience, instore, pickup, omnichannel, customers, store, examples, online, brands.
  • 190 ChatGPT Prompts Marketers Should Use - ChatGPT is generating a lot of buzz in the marketing industry, and if you're a marketer, you're probably wondering how to use the technology to its full potential.
    Topics: chatgpt, prompts, marketing, product, write, marketers, list, service, generate, customer, email.
  • 20 Artificial Intelligence Statistics that Marketers Need to Know in 2023 - The world of artificial intelligence and machine learning is expanding, and marketers should pay attention. AI is being implemented in nearly every industry to improve business processes, and the data surrounding this tech are staggering.
    Topics: marketing, intelligence, customer, service, used, know, artificial, respondents, statistics, need, marketers, ai, market.
  • 3 Easy Steps to Build Your Brand Promise [+ Examples] - A brand promise is more than a tagline. It's a way to show customers what your brand can offer that no one else can.
    Topics: examples, company, offer, audience, promises, create, build, brand, help, inspire, steps, promise, customer, easy.
  • 3 Reasons Online Marketplaces Benefit Entrepreneurs — and Should Be Protected - No matter what products you sell or which customer segments you court, online marketplaces can and should be an important part of your growth strategy. They're important to entrepreneurs as individuals and our economy as a whole.
    Topics: economy, entrepreneurs, small, consumers, important, benefit, customer, online, shop, protected, marketplaces, reasons, support.
  • 4 AI Controversies Marketers and Brands Should Avoid - Artificial intelligence is a hot topic, and a recent study shows over 61% of marketers have used AI in their marketing activities. By now, you've probably heard all the ways AI can assist you in crafting and executing your marketing strategy, but are there any drawbacks?
    Topics: ai, customers, content, used, controversies, data, human, brands, process, avoid, marketers, marketing, customer.
  • 5 Challenges Marketers Face in Understanding Audiences [New Data + Market Researcher Tips] - As customer behavior constantly changes, marketers face an ongoing challenge to keep up with their audiences. Personalization and need fulfillment are essential to the success of any marketing campaign, and failing to understand what your customers want could result in lost revenue for your business.
    Topics: data, tips, face, market, target, customer, audience, challenges, campaigns, understanding, researcher, content, marketers, success, audiences, social, marketing.
  • - In this article, learn more about what remarketing is & remarketing strategies you can use to increase your ecommerce conversion rates.
    Topics: rates, customer, site, ads, increase, strategies, visitors, products, pages, remarketing, conversion, product.
  • 5 Ways Ecommerce Businesses Can Keep Their Customer Data Safe - Data security in ecommerce is of utmost importance if you want repeat customers. Here are five ways to help ecommerce businesses keep their customer's data safe.
    Topics: businesses, data, customer, ways, safe, users, ecommerce, security, access, information, customers, companies, business, using.
  • 5 Ways the AI Revolution Can Help your Ecommerce Business - Here's how to apply aspects of the AI revolution to your ecommerce business.
    Topics: ecommerce, ai, businesses, chatgpt, data, customer, models, using, help, ways, product, tools, personas, revolution, business.
  • 5 Ways to Improve Checkout Process - This is an update to a previous blog published on October 13, 2022. As we approach the busiest shopping season of the year, it’s critical to review all aspects of the shopping experience. Your goal is to make the experience as seamless, quick, and convenient for your customer every step of the way. One of the key areas of the shopping experience is checkout. We joined with payment provider and Elastic Path Payments partner Stripe, for a webinar based on recent findings from a Stripe and Edgar, Dunn and Company study regarding best checkout practices in North America. The webinar asks the critical question, “Is Your Cart Black Friday Ready?” We were joined by Kevin Flynn, Retail Industry Lead at Stripe for his insight into how best to create checkout experiences to meet customer demand and expectation. From a pool of the top 200 eCommerce businesses across the U.S. and Canada, the study found 96% of the companies surveyed had at least FIVE basic checkout errors. They include deficits in the following areas: Checkout Form Design Localization Mobile Optimization Buyer Trust Security Let’s dive into the challenges and the solutions presented in the webinar surrounding each key area… Checkout Form Design Here we see an alarming insight into the shopper experience. As many as 1 in 5 eCommerce shoppers would abandon a transaction if it took more than one minute. Challenges within the experience from the study tell us that as much as 56% of checkouts took longer than three minutes to complete. In addition to timing issues, another point of friction comes from unspecified error messages causing the shopper to abandon the transaction altogether. So how do you address this customer pain point that dramatically affects conversion rates? With easy design solutions: Support Auto Complete. As the shopper types in address or region information, allow for an auto-fill function to shave off a few seconds on the clock.   Format credit card blocks. Make it as easy as possible to enter numbers, expiration date, and the CVC security code.   Offer to save the card details. As easy as a check box, it will save time and convenience for the next visit your shopper makes to your site.   Specify the roadblock. Is it an expired card? Have they left off a number from the security code? Be upfront and clear with messaging so the shopper knows exactly what to fix to complete the transaction. Localization Payments are not created equal in the shopper’s mind. How we pay is dramatically influenced by where we are in the world. “Just as cultures differ around the world, so does the way we pay. There will be some kind of different aspects that will be reflected in payment method.” Kevin Flynn, Retail Industry Lead, Stripe From credit cards, to bank transfers, to digital or mobile wallets, the preferred payment method varies depending on geography. For instance, 40% of shoppers surveyed outside the U.S. and Canada prefer to pay with a method other than a credit card. As many as 15% of shoppers in European markets abandoned a transaction because their preferred method of payment was not available. Localization of payments is fundamental to completing the purchase. Your customers expect it. The great news is that country specific payment options boost conversion rates. Instances where customers offered optimal localized methods saw a 40% boost in incremental sales. Kevin points to methods with an uptick in popularity beyond the traditional credit card, such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). The alternative, installment-based payment method is largely popular in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, and is gaining traction across North America.   Shopping Cart & Checkout Solutions Ensure your Customer Feel Connected Up Until the End of Checkout Go to Checkout Solutions Mobile Optimization The world has clearly gone mobile. The study tells us that 56% of eCommerce traffic occurs on a mobile device. Maybe not surprising to today’s brands and retailers, but let’s look at just how mobile optimization and payment is tied to conversion rate from the shopper’s view. An overwhelming 62% of surveyed shoppers said it’s either “very” or “extremely” important that sites be mobile friendly. Front end developers need to be aware of this statistic as they format sites and the fact that abandonment rates on mobile are twice that of a desktop. The shopper's expectation is to complete the experience through checkout entirely on a mobile device. Surveyed results give us more context about the rising star of payments: Mobile Wallets. Branded options such as Google, Apple, or Samsung Pay are widely preferred across Asian and European markets, with the payment option picking up steam across North America. What are the critical points behind mobile optimization to improve conversion? Offer mobile payment or digital wallet options. Auto resize the screen specifically for a mobile device. Enable a one-click, mobile-first intuitive experience. Buyer Trust & Security The final two areas covered in the webinar are around shopper trust and security. As Kevin points out, buyer trust and payment security is a delicate balance. While customers want a rapid checkout experience, they want personal information safeguarded in the process. One of the easiest ways to alleviate shopper stress around personal security is to allow the customer to check out as a guest. Card information and personal details are not stored in the guest checkout experience as they would from a password-protected account. Additionally, Kevin shares a social media checkout option. With this alternative, shoppers trust a social media platform where their personal details are stored in a profile, and in many cases, this type of checkout expedites the process down to a single click, once the account is connected to the cart. Survey data tells us that brands are not supporting this option: Ninety percent of eCommerce brands in North America did not allow social media checkout options; those numbers were slightly lower globally with 77% in the Asia-Pacific region, and 85% in Europe not providing the experience.   In the North American region, 18% of brands did not allow guest checkout, while Asia-Pacific regions came in at 32%, while Europe came in at a slightly higher 41% not providing a guest checkout experience. Related to buyer trust, there is a learning moment for brands. If there are issues within an order such as incorrect quantities or a forgotten discount code, shoppers want to rectify the situation from a single screen or an order summary, without the hassle of scrolling back through multiple screens. According to survey results, as many as 22% of North American eCommerce sites did not offer an order summary option, with Asia-Pacific coming in at 15%, and Europe rounding out the findings at just 8%. The message is clear from consumers: make it easy, fast, and convenient or expect cart abandonment. Meet Your Customers Where They Are There are many critical findings to consider as you prep your eCommerce business for Black Friday and the holiday season. Interested in seeing the webinar in its entirety? Or check out the Black Friday Checklist we’ve compiled to meet customer demand and drive revenue during the largest shopping weekend of the year. 
    Topics: checkout, experience, improve, shoppers, payment, ecommerce, mobile, customer, ways, shopper, north, trust, process.
  • 7 Essential Characteristics of Entrepreneurship - What makes a successful entrepreneur? Explore the top characteristics of entrepreneurship that separate the best from the rest.More
    Topics: business, entrepreneurship, need, entrepreneur, customers, essential, help, support, customer, entrepreneurs, characteristics, products, develop.
  • 8 Data-Backed Recommendations for Social Media Marketers in 2023 [Insights from 1,000+ Professionals] - Social media trends change fast.
    Topics: video, service, media, databacked, consumers, content, recommendations, insights, strategy, social, customer, marketers, professionals.
  • 90% of Online Businesses Fail in Just 4 Months. You Can Avoid the Same Fate By Using These Strategies. - It's not catastrophizing when we think about potential failure; it's in fact a chance for any business to precisely see any outcome and prepare in advance.
    Topics: heres, support, avoid, customer, business, need, fail, reasons, marketing, customers, online, potential, businesses.
  • A Complete Guide to Ecommerce Email Marketing in 2023 (+ Examples) - New to ecommerce email marketing? This guide shares an ecommerce email marketing strategy to drive higher CTRs and sales.More
    Topics: customer, examples, purchase, complete, product, good, marketing, ecommerce, offer, customers, guide, emails, list, email.
  • A Crisis of Disconnection: Three Workplace Trends Slowing Business Growth [New Data] - This post is a part of The Crisis of Disconnection, a thought leadership series examining the latest research and insights to uncover how businesses can meet their growth goals, even amidst unprecedented changes to the way we work.
    Topics: growth, crisis, business, systems, customer, slowing, teams, data, sales, disconnection, businesses, trends, say, workplace.
  • AI Marketing Automation: What Marketers Need to Know - Artificial Intelligence continues solidifying itself as a crucial tool within the marketing industry, especially regarding automation.
    Topics: send, customers, ai, service, data, know, personalized, marketing, automation, need, marketers, customer.
  • AI Marketing — The Complete Guide - ChatGPT has entered the chat, bringing the resurgence of the conversation around artificial intelligence (AI) and marketing.
    Topics: customer, complete, help, ai, team, customers, guide, media, marketing, email, content, marketers.
  • - Today, we’re taking a look at some of the top AI statistics worth knowing in 2023. You don’t have to be a tech enthusiast to have an interest in artificial intelligence. Over the years, AI has become an increasingly commonplace… Continue reading AI Statistics: The Top AI Stats You Should Know in 2023 (With Infographic)
    Topics: companies, intelligence, customer, statistics, artificial, using, ai, report, billion, infographic, business, know, market, stats.
  • Best Customer Data Platform Companies - Imagine having a bunch of puzzle pieces scattered in different places — that's not very helpful. If you put them together, they tell a more cohesive story. 
    Topics: data, cdps, best, available, cdp, customer, pricing, platforms, marketing, tools, platform, companies, different.
  • Big Data for Small Businesses: How To Leverage Big Data for Big Results - Big data for small business may sound like an oxymoron, but big data is just as necessary for small businesses as it is for large corporations. By leveraging big data for your small business, you can discover meaningful insights that put you a step ahead of the competition.
    Topics: results, data, customer, small, insights, customers, leverage, businesses, big, business, analytics, provide.
  • Businesses Still Can't Nail Effective Communication [New Data] - Whatever your niche or industry, there's no debate: Effective communication —both internal and external — is critical to your company's success. With more technology available than ever before, you’d think it would be easy to master.
    Topics: companies, cant, communication, data, work, businesses, project, customers, effective, team, communicate, customer, thorough, nail.
  • CDPs, CRMs, and DMPs: What’s the Difference + Which is Right for You? - Access to relevant information is, without a doubt, the number one requirement for making good business decisions. For this reason, most companies use tools that help them gather and analyze customer data.
    Topics: difference, cdp, dmps, crms, whats, customer, platforms, customers, information, right, cdps, crm, data.
  • - Businesses of all sizes rely on email marketing to not only reach their existing audience but to widen their reach and attract more customers.  But with so many different email marketing campaign tools on the market, all promising success and… Continue reading Campaigner Review: What Does This Marketing Platform Have to Offer?
    Topics: customers, marketing, campaigns, features, email, campaigner, platform, example, different, customer, sms, review, does, offer.
  • - If you're a retailer and don’t yet have an SMS marketing tool to plan and execute your SMS campaigns, now's the time to start looking. Otherwise, you might risk getting left behind!  CartFox is one such SMS marketing platform. But… Continue reading CartFox Review: Can This SMS Marketing Platform Boost Your Sales?
    Topics: sms, sales, platform, youre, review, cartfoxs, service, customer, marketing, support, cartfox, messages, boost.
  • Causal Research: The Complete Guide - As we grow up, all humans learn about cause and effect. While it’s not quite as nuanced as causal research, the concept is something our brains begin to comprehend as young as 18 months old. That understanding continues to develop throughout our lives.
    Topics: youll, research, guide, business, develop, variables, customer, study, know, causal, marketing, complete.
  • - In North America alone, false refund claims made to ecommerce retailers accounted for a staggering 29% of fraud losses in 2021. On top of that, chargeback fraudsters often use false identities to make other claims. By combining both fraud types,… Continue reading ClearSale Review: Will It Protect You From Fraudulent Refund Claims?
    Topics: merchants, claims, fraud, fraudulent, ecommerce, chargeback, online, customer, protect, risk, clearsale, review, businesses, refund.
  • Composable Commerce in a Nutshell - The world of online shopping is constantly evolving. In the past few years poor customer experience and sluggish page loads caused by monolithic platforms have accelerated the need for better flexibility and the ability to create a more personalized customer experience. For many, embracing Composable Commerce has filled this need. In this blog I’ll break down the fundamentals of a Composable Commerce approach, the benefits it brings to modern eCommerce businesses, and what businesses it’s most suitable for. Composable Commerce Explained Composable Commerce enables digital teams to launch and continuously optimize digital commerce experiences by leveraging best-of-breed solutions composed together into a complete, business-ready solution. With a Composable Commerce architecture, teams are enabled to build their tech stack with best-of-breed vendors based on the present needs of the business, and gives them the ability to scale in the future with additional integrations. This approach empowers marketing teams to work at the speed the business demands without heavy reliance on their IT department.  How Does Composable Commerce Work?  Composable Commerce requires a MACH architecture. MACH stands for Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless. If you've been researching the concept of Composable Commerce, you've probably come across the term "headless commerce." So what's the difference?  Headless commerce is a software architecture that separates the UI (frontend) from the business logic (backend).  This approach provides control and design freedom over the frontend not found with traditional monolithic commerce platforms. Composable Commerce is a more comprehensive approach that encompasses headless commerce. It uses the flexibility of headless solutions to benefit your business.  Composable Commerce is an API-first architecture. All the parts of the system work independently, which allows merchants to plug in or unplug separate solutions as needed. This gives them the freedom to build a tech stack tailored to their unique business needs.  Is Composable Commerce Suitable for All Businesses? Gartner forecasts that organizations that embrace a Composable Commerce approach will outperform their competitors by 80% by 2023. But is Composable Commerce suitable for all businesses? With a composable approach you can start with small progressive steps, leveraging existing elements of your ecosystem, and slowly build out your tech stack to include new best-of-breed vendors based on your current needs. The beauty of this approach is the flexibility it brings. It gives brands the freedom to pivot and experiment with new functionality quickly and without risk. That makes Composable Commerce a great option for complex use cases by allowing brands to pick and choose the capabilities they require. As a business grows, the system can easily support multi-channel, multi geography and multi-brand. This means that Composable Commerce is suitable for any online business, be it B2B, B2C or D2C. Business Benefits of Composable Commerce Today brands still believe that migrating to a composable approach is difficult. However, the value of this approach is breaking down these barriers daily through: Lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Investing in Composable Commerce is usually a larger investment at the start, the significant cost benefits are seen in the long run by reducing development time and cost, and increasing the efficiency across teams. That being said, there are business-ready options for brands looking to adopt a Composable Commerce approach like Pre-Composed Solutions™, which combine core commerce capabilities, partner integrations, and key customizations so you can launch fast and customize on demand ​​Ownership of frontend optimization. Composable solutions grant marketers flexibility and independence from the IT team to make changes on the frontend. They can add unlimited content on a highly customizable frontend layout and change it to match customer expectations, often in a no-code environment so merchandising teams have complete control to make quick and easy optimizations to provide a standout experience for their customers. Flexibility and agility. Today, the sales process happens across multiple channels, and companies that sell across the web, mobile devices, and different social media platforms, need a scalable and flexible commerce solution. Composable Commerce gives brands the flexibility to implement new experiences across multiple touchpoints fast and at scale. How Composable Commerce Boosts Revenue  The adoption of Composable Commerce gives brands the opportunity to focus on providing their customers with the best customer experience (CX). This approach lets brands create a unique CX that fits their customers' needs and directly translates into customer loyalty, increased conversion, and higher revenue. According to a Gartner’s survey of CIOs and top managers, companies with high composability expect revenue growth of 7.7% in 2022. Businesses with low composability, by contrast, expect revenue growth of just 3.4%. Composability is essential to any profitable digital commerce strategy, especially into the future. It gives businesses the freedom to innovate and add high-end services quickly. The Bottom Line Composable Commerce is all about giving brands the flexibility and means to rapidly transform their tech stack, operations, and growth based on their current business needs and digital commerce strategy. This frees your merchandisers from the headaches of waiting on IT teams, instead allowing them to focus on creating and optimizing revenue generating experiences for your customers.  One of the most significant blocks to moving from monolithic systems to modern Composable Commerce is the belief that your only choice is to create a frontend stack from scratch. Luckily, this is no longer the case.  Vue Storefront Frontend as a Service provides eCommerce businesses with a one-stop solution to build efficient build-to-launch storefronts in one place with one tool. Switch from a monolith legacy solution to a Pre-Composed Solution™ for Multi-Touchpoint Experiences made up of Vue Storefront, Bloomreach and Elastic Path to supercharge your customer experience, regain your flexibility, and boost the revenue.  How to start? Watch the on-demand demo (no slides, no pitch) to see the solution for yourself:
    Topics: customer, frontend, composable, nutshell, approach, flexibility, brands, teams, business, commerce, gives.
  • Customer Personas: What Are They and Why You Should Care About Them -  This blog was originally published on June 6th, 2011 and has been updated for context and relevance on November 18th, 2022.  When you think of “personas” – what comes to mind? Are personas profiles of hypothetical customers that marketing invented? Or, are personas developed from customer surveys asking what they want and don’t want from your website? Are they segments of your web visitors? The answer to all the above is a resounding no.  What are Customer Personas? Personas are fictional characters based on actual observed behaviors of real users that a UX (User Experience) professional experiences in the field, talking one-on-one with users. These customer profiles are a composite of this qualitative research, and are typically presented as 1-2 page documents. How To Identify a Good Customer Persona  A good persona description is not a list of tasks or duties. It's a narrative that describes the flow of someone's day, as well as their skills, attitudes, environment, and goals. A persona answers critical questions that a job description or task list doesn't, such as: Which pieces of information are required at what points in the day? Do users focus on one thing at a time, carrying it through to completion, or are there a lot of interruptions? Why are they using this product in the first place?  Where are they hanging out on the Internet? Instagram? Reddit? TikTok?  How are they spending their free time?  Income level?  What are their common frustrations?  Education level?  Life Goals?  What a Customer Persona is NOT A persona is not a demographic profile, a market segment or a summation of survey data. Rather, a persona is a combination of data modeled from ethnographic and behavioral user research, as well as narrative.  The term persona often gets clumped together with market research (surveys, focus groups, etc), and though they are not the same thing, market research can certainly complement persona studies. Ethnographic Research 101 Ethnography is a qualitative method for collecting data often used in the social and behavioral sciences. Data is collected through observations and interviews, which are then used to draw conclusions about how societies and individuals function. Ethnographic research is looking at behaviors in order to understand the "whys" and build around them. Observation is key, because what people do and say can be entirely different things. For example, a small business owner may report that she does not use paper anymore - all her record keeping is electronic. But if you look at her home office, you may find binders full of printouts of Excel reports and invoices. EP Product Experience Manager (PXM) Merchandise Every Unique Commerce Experience, Without Custom Dev Work Go to EP PXM Ethnography: The Cure for the Common Customer This is why ethnography, or fieldwork  is a powerful tool. Think of Dr. Jane Goodall, famed English primatologist who was the first to observe chimpanzees making and using tools; a trait or behavior up until that point was thought of as distinctly human. Great insight comes from interaction and observation. There are three primary techniques for gathering data for persona development: Interviews - think less Jimmy Fallon and more Larry King, Oprah, or a client relationship with a healthcare professional. These sessions are one-on-one, and are more like in-depth conversations full of probing questions.  Fly on the Wall - more observational, where the interviewer may accompany the interviewee for a “day in the life” and ask questions.  Master & Apprentice - where the interviewee teaches the interviewer a system they use or common tasks they perform.    The Benefits of Customer Personas  Personas can be really helpful for design and development planning. We’re often so focused on requirements we forget who's actually using the system. Personas: Identify opportunities and product gaps to drive strategy Provide a quick and cheap way to test, validate and prioritize ideas throughout development. Give focus to projects by building a common understanding of customers across teams. Help development teams empathize with users, including their behaviors, goals, and expectations. Serve as a reference tool that can be used from strategy through to implementation When Should You Create Customer Personas?  Persona development should ideally start prior to any strategy. They are most effective when used to inform a strategy, that is, to hone in on specific opportunities to improve, innovate on, or fill other gaps, and are critical to have before making any significant changes to an existing project, or kicking off any innovation projects. Q: What does the persona research and development process look like? A: You begin with a research process that includes:  Participant and research requirements gathering Recruiting and planning the study Conducting user research interviews Analysis and synthesis of interviews Creation of the persona profile   How Should Customer Personas be Applied?  Personas are primarily developed to help determine where there are opportunities and areas for improvement in a website or application's experience. This can guide the feature set and validate your UI design decisions. You may also find value in sharing your persona data with web marketing teams to apply to A/B tests and email campaigns, your web analytics team, customer service / sales organization and even to guide your personalization strategy.
    Topics: development, care, persona, personas, users, experience, customer, strategy, data, used, research.
  • Email Automation: How to Set Up Automated Workflows [Data] - Without email automation, your marketing team misses major opportunities to nurture and engage your target audience and contacts.
    Topics: email, trigger, contacts, workflows, automated, customers, emails, set, automation, customer, contact, data, workflow, marketing.
  • Everything You Need to Know About Behavioral Segmentation [+ Examples] - Do you ever ask yourself why you act the way you do? Like why you venture out during a snowstorm to get an iced coffee? 
    Topics: marketers, customers, users, behavioral, based, brand, customer, segmentation, examples, behavior, need, journey, know.
  • - When picking a site builder—whether for ecommerce, blogging, or a business website—you must decide if you want the simplest interface possible, or perhaps something that provides a more complicated infrastructure with improved control. Fluid Engine and Editor X are in… Continue reading Fluid Engine vs Editor X (Nov 2022): Choose the Best Site Builder
    Topics: x, engine, fluid, choose, customer, month, nov, vs, site, best, advanced, plans, builder, wix, squarespace, editor.
  • Here's What Really Builds Customer Loyalty in the B2B Industry - While experience loyalty has been around the B2C world for decades, the B2B industry is now catching on that delighting customers doesn't build loyalty. Here's what does.
    Topics: b2b, digital, heres, industry, buyers, business, customers, experience, really, customer, loyalty, create, payments, builds.
  • How AI Will Revolutionize the Future of Business, According to HubSpot's CMO - Artificial intelligence will change how businesses operate. At this point, that statement won't surprise you.
    Topics: businesses, cmo, hubspots, ai, according, work, data, help, future, business, customer, employees, product, leaders, revolutionize.
  • How AI Works: The Basics You Need to Know - Artificial intelligence technology has come a long way since the days of IBM’s Deep Blue, a computer designed to play chess against humans. Nowadays, AI software can improve existing workflows, predict customer behavior, and do much more.
    Topics: realtime, using, human, know, works, data, processes, technologies, customer, technology, basics, need, ai, information.
  • How Benefit Segmentation Will Take Your Marketing Campaigns to the Next Level - If you're a fan of HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Methodology, you probably understand the importance of customer success. In fact, 70% of businesses with growing revenue prioritize customer success as "very important." So, if you want your business to succeed you must make sure your customers do, too.
    Topics: segmentation, customer, phone, different, airbnb, marketing, ford, customers, benefit, product, level, value, campaigns.
  • How ChatGPT Is Taking eCommerce To The Next Level - ChatGPT, introduced to us last November, is one of the most trending topics we hear about today.  With its ability to communicate in a unique conversational tone, this powerful resource revolutionizes the way eCommerce businesses operate from their marketing to their customer service.  What is ChatGPT? ChatGPT is a chatbot that is empowered by generative artificial intelligence and machine learning to communicate with users via virtual assistant using natural language processing. This latest endeavor was brought to us by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab focused on developing AI for the benefit of humanity.  Because it’s made accessible to the public, people have used it for writing essays, computer code, legal briefs, and even engaging in philosophical conversation.  For those in eCommerce who are looking to incorporate technology in their business strategy, look no further. As users start to get more familiar with this technology, they’ve come to realize that ChatGPT’s capabilities go beyond helping writing essays and answering questions; it's a tool that can help businesses operate that's easy enough to use without a background in technology.  So, how can anyone get their hands on ChatGPT? Here’s how it works: First things first, set up an OpenAI account with an email through their website. Once you’ve read and accepted the terms you can start communicating with the language model through the OpenAI website or mobile app– it's that simple.  That being said, how can ChatGPT be useful in eCommerce? Here’s three ways you can leverage ChatGPT to boost your business. 1. Content Creation ChatGPT is the ultimate blog tool. When given a prompt, it uses its learning algorithm to generate text from its large volumes of stored data, or, record of past conversations that is continuously developing thanks to its machine learning system. Retailers can use this valuable resource when looking to create high quality copy for emails, social media, blogs, and even demos.  Want to dive into Elastic Path Commerce Cloud? Try out our free trial and let us know what you think. Start Free Trial 2. Customer Service and Order Management One of the best features of ChatGPT is its ability to personalize each interaction. This helps retailers enhance their customer engagement by addressing questions and inquiries in real-time with human-like text. ChatGPT can tailor its responses based on the customer’s order history and preferences, leading to an increase in sales and customer satisfaction.  Furthermore, with its ability to learn from its past interactions, ChatGPT can also be used for order management. If a customer needs to modify, track, or cancel their order, ChatGPT streamlines these processes making it easier for the customer and the retailer. However, its inventory management capabilities are enabled by a second step. To optimize order management, ChatGPT can be integrated with additional data sources through an API. These may include ERP systems, CRM platforms, inventory management software, or any other relevant business applications.  An example of this type of integration is DHL’s innovative approach to better their customer service. DHL, an American logistics company, developed a chatbot powered by ChatGPT that handles their customer support and can provide quick updates on shipment status, package tracking, and delivery times.  With ChatGPT supporting order management, businesses can ensure that their customers’ needs are met and their orders are being fulfilled in a timely manner. 3. Product Management Another possible use case is product merchandising. With ChatGPT and an integrated data source, online retailers can shorten the time it takes to upload their product catalogs by having the language model write detailed descriptions on each product taking brand tone and search engine optimization into consideration. From there, it's able to connect customers with products that work for them.  For example, a customer could ask, “I need a new refrigerator from XYZ brand. Do you have any in stock?” ChatGPT uses its algorithm to process the customer’s inquiry and sort through the store's catalog. It then puts together a list of XYZ brand refrigerators available, with product descriptions and prices in a matter of seconds. A real-world example of this is reported by The Wall Street Journal; Instacart is looking to add ChatGPT to their mobile grocery app in hopes of a better UX. With this integration, Instacart’s newly synced search engine can answer users’ food-related inquiries, with customized answers such as recipe ideas, ingredients, or healthy meal recommendations.   The machine learning aspect of this technology allows it to continuously improve over time making product management quicker and more accurate every time ChatGPT is leveraged.  What does this mean for businesses?  The sky's the limit. AI-based, machine learning technologies, like ChatGPT, present endless opportunities for businesses to evolve and foster innovation. Companies should consider how integrating ChatGPT into their processes can affect the experience they deliver to their customers.  From marketing to customer service the benefits of this new technology are vast and the possibility of AI changing the way we conduct business becomes more of a reality each day.  Are you ready to take your business to the next level?
    Topics: product, technology, businesses, taking, level, chatgpt, order, customers, machine, customer, learning, management, ecommerce.
  • How E-Commerce SMEs Can Keep Up With Evolving Consumer Behaviors - For SMEs especially, to continuously invest in new strategies every 8-12 months is counterproductive and a roadmap to bankruptcy.
    Topics: customer, online, behaviors, service, ecommerce, consumer, uae, services, experience, evolving, market, consumers, smes.
  • How Ecommerce Businesses Can Beat Rising Ad Costs and Build Resiliency in Times of Economic Uncertainty - Find the ideal offer model for your eCommerce business to be resilient in the face of economic and industry shocks.
    Topics: costs, offer, offering, customer, customers, ecommerce, beat, model, product, rising, free, businesses, purchase, ad, value.
  • How Marketers Can Still Thrive in a Recession [Data Analysis] - When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Right?
    Topics: brand, thrive, customers, data, social, marketing, customer, help, marketers, recession, content, brands, analysis.
  • How Online Retailers Can Recreate the In-Store Experience and Drive Sales - Customers are prioritizing experience when it comes to online shopping, and to meet those expectations, business leaders and entrepreneurs need to focus on these two things.
    Topics: retailers, online, consumers, conversational, customer, experience, instore, feel, support, customers, commerce, shopping, recreate, sales, drive.
  • How These 3 Small Businesses Innovated Their Way to Massive Success (and How You Can, Too) - Here's how a few business owners are embracing new strategies and tools to thrive in the new era of digital commerce, and what you can learn from them.
    Topics: lead, customers, way, stellar, customer, small, business, experience, businesses, abogados, examples, latinos, video, online, transform.
  • - Accepting a payment online is easier than ever before. Whether you’re a retail shop with a simple website, or a startup ecommerce store interested in accepting online transactions, there’s always room to expand your business with help from online payment… Continue reading How to Accept Payments Online in 2023
    Topics: accept, customer, online, payment, credit, payments, processors, processing, processor, card.
  • - While trying to improve conversion rates for an online store, you often hear about A/B testing, speeding up the checkout, or displaying customer reviews. But what about testimonials? They’re like online reviews, except your business has more control over them,… Continue reading How to Add Testimonials to Your Shopify Store (Updated for 2023)
    Topics: shopify, reviews, updated, testimonials, testimonial, video, business, customer, store, customers, add.
  • How to Avoid Poor-Quality Traffic Sources and Get More From Your Customers - Improve your bottom line for your ecommerce business by avoiding low-quality traffic sources.
    Topics: youre, customers, sources, attract, source, traffic, higherquality, product, quality, customer, order, cancellations.
  • How to Build an Ecommerce Brand in a Crowded and Competitive Industry - Following these strategies will help your ecommerce brand succeed amidst the competition.
    Topics: customer, youre, successful, brands, spend, competitive, pricing, good, industry, brand, product, ecommerce, succeed.
  • - Managing a business is hard. Equally challenging is growing it. Many entrepreneurs are weighed down by time-consuming tasks that take them away from what they need to do to expand their brands.  That’s why a good CRM is essential for… Continue reading How to Choose a CRM For Your Business in 2023
    Topics: business, choose, free, crms, customer, need, sales, plan, customers, features, crm.
  • - The market for live chat software is predicted to increase to $1.7 billion in 2030. Couple this with LiveChat’s own studies that show that “customers expect to chat online with businesses,” and the takeaway is clear: failing to provide this… Continue reading How to Choose the Best Live Chat Software for Your Business (2023)
    Topics: live, chat, choose, features, tools, customer, business, customers, month, chats, support, software, best.
  • How to Easily Manage Customer Data Across Multiple Apps - Wouldn’t it be nice if customer data management were easy? Are you longing for a world where your contact’s email, conversion date, and who on your team spoke with them last are readily accessible?
    Topics: create, sync, records, customers, easily, management, multiple, youll, manage, data, apps, customer, business.
  • How to Get Buy-In from Some of the Top Marketing Leaders: 3 Execs Discuss What KPIs Matter to Them - Whether you're creating a new content campaign, launching a YouTube series, or revising your social strategy, you're going to be asked the same question by leadership before getting their support: "How will this impact our company's bottom line?"
    Topics: matter, revenue, marketing, kpi, customers, execs, kpis, brand, discuss, leads, buyin, customer, leaders, youre, pipeline.
  • - Looking for a complete ecommerce checklist that will help you to grow your online business? Look no further. You’ve built your ecommerce store, found customers who enjoy your products, and accelerated operations, until…you hit a plateau. At some point, every… Continue reading How to Grow Your Online Business In 21 Steps – The Complete Checklist
    Topics: brand, social, grow, checklist, marketing, steps, business, products, customer, online, youre, complete, customers.
  • - How to maximize profits on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
    Topics: cyber, black, holiday, send, retailers, strategies, maximize, marketing, bfcm, customer, customers, audiences, purchase, profits.
  • How to Perfect Personalized Marketing with the Help of Your Data Warehouse - Today, the bar for personalized customer engagement is higher than ever.
    Topics: data, marketers, personalized, warehouse, key, perfect, customer, teams, activation, help, marketing.
  • How to Write a Case Study: Bookmarkable Guide & Template - Earning the trust of prospective customers can be a struggle. Before you can even begin to expect to earn their business, you need to demonstrate your ability to deliver on what your product or service promises.
    Topics: include, business, need, study, bookmarkable, template, customer, service, product, case, guide, write, work, customers.
  • How to Write a Great Value Proposition [7 Top Examples + Template] - Your company's value proposition is the core of your competitive advantage. It clearly articulates why someone would want to buy from your company instead of a competitor.
    Topics: write, service, proposition, services, products, help, business, product, customers, value, template, customer, examples, great.
  • Is Live Shopping Right for Your Business? - As technology drives shopper experiences, brands must look for new and innovative ways to reach the customer and make a connection. What is live shopping? Live shopping has its origins in Asian markets, and is fast becoming a staple in North America. You may also hear it called live stream shopping, social shopping, streamable shopping, and live commerce. The popularity of live shopping experiences comes from in part the entertainment value. Most feeds are hosted by an influencer or internet celebrity, and sometimes include movie or TV industry celebrities of a select country who are endorsing the product or brand. As the host introduces the product, attendees have the ability to ask questions in real time and engage with other people watching the feed. Links are available to purchase the item or items without leaving the streaming service or app. In short, any product becomes a shoppable ad. Who are the Leaders in the Live Shopping Platforms Space? Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch are often mentioned platforms currently supporting the live experience; however Amazon, NTWK, TalkShop, the Bambuser app, PopShop, and TaoBao are fast becoming live shopping platforms with a following. Here are a few key livestream shopping statistics regarding live shopping and its growing buzzworthiness: Live video will be used for more than half of all shopping by this year People are spending an average of $500 per purchase on live-streamed items The most popular categories to shop include clothing, beauty products, and home Would a Live Stream Experience Augment Your Business? It depends. Consider the following:  If you’re trying to reach a particular generation such as Gen Z or Millennials, you may want to consider offering a live shopping experience. It’s an excellent way to reach new customers who are craving both the social engagement or community of a live feed, and who consider influencers a form of social proof, instilling confidence in a brand or product.  Do you have an existing presence on social media today with an influencer marketing budget and a plan? Investing in social commerce is a segue into live shopping experiences. Customers who follow you across social networks may be expecting or excited to see live stream shopping available and eager to buy with one click. Maximize Social Commerce in Your eCommerce Strategy How will you use social eCommerce to your advantage? For more resources on what’s trending and what the future holds, check out our resources on the Future of eCommerce. Look into the Future Mastering Live Shopping With Multiple Geos, Brands, or Catalogs  If you have certain complexities with your business, live shopping feeds can work in your favor. If you have multiple brands under one umbrella, you sell your products in different locations or perhaps multiple countries, you have an opportunity to create customized, even personalized content.  By Geo or Region  A livestreaming commerce feed helps target particular markets with tailored content for the region, such as content for North American versus European markets, or broken down by regions within a country. It’s also possible to offer personalized content based on your customer data, such as by invitation only sales or new product launches for loyal or rewards program customers.  By Brand Let’s say you’re an apparel retailer with multiple brands. A live feed shopping experience helps you refine the message to your audiences. You may distinguish the event by any number of customer segments or products such as outdoor apparel and accessories by season, footwear, or children’s clothing. Each feed can additionally have its own influencer closely aligned with the brand who resonates with those customers and builds consumer confidence.   By Catalog  Consider the possibilities of creating net new catalogs with the information you’ve gleaned from a live feed. You may discover from engagement during the feed that your customers have an interest in overstock items or a post-holiday refurbished items event. You can then take that information and build a specific catalog based on real customer demand.  Post Show Offers Benefits of the live feed extend out to the post-show experience. Consider an offer to attendees only such as a percentage discount or free shipping after a certain spend. For those who missed the event, consider a follow-up email describing what they missed. As I’ve mentioned before in blogs, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), is a powerful marketing tool when creating customer engagement and driving conversion.  Knowing that your audience has interest in the product offering already is a leg up in conversion - you already know they intend to buy, it’s a matter of how much they will spend, and what you can do to increase AOV.  Use Live Shopping to Differentiate  As brands compete for market share, you’ll need every tool to set yourself apart from the competition. Another advantage of live shopping feeds is the low barrier to entry. Anyone interested in selling a product or service with an internet connection can in some way create a feed or shoppable opportunity.  Even if your brand is not backed by an influencer shopping app at present, you still have the tools readily available to experiment with live shopping and scale according to your business plan. 
    Topics: experience, brands, consider, feed, live, business, customer, right, shopping, multiple, product, social.
  • - Understanding LiveChat pricing is crucial if you’re planning on investing in this popular chat-based customer service tool for your company. Like many innovative chat options, LiveChat comes with a range of packages to choose from, to ensure companies of every… Continue reading LiveChat Pricing: The Complete Guide for 2023
    Topics: access, guide, complete, livechat, customer, chat, team, service, pricing, support, plan, tools.
  • - In today’s LiveChat vs Olark review, we’re looking at some of the core features and functionalities of two of the most popular tools in the live chat marketplace. In today’s customer service landscape, live chat is becoming an increasingly popular… Continue reading LiveChat vs Olark: A Simple Guide for Beginners
    Topics: chat, send, guide, simple, beginners, olark, livechat, agent, features, team, support, vs, customers, customer.
  • - In this LiveChat vs Zendesk comparison, we’re examining two popular tools for delivering valuable messaging-based support to customers. Here’s everything you need to know. Today’s LiveChat vs Zendesk review looks at the functionality and features of two popular solutions from… Continue reading LiveChat vs Zendesk: Which Chat Tool is Best?
    Topics: service, chat, help, agent, livechat, tools, best, features, business, vs, tool, customer, zendesk.
  • - Now that ChatGPT has been tried by almost every person in the ecommerce business, machine learning is becoming more and more normalized. It’s also a lot more accessible to small and medium business owners. Want to understand what machine learning… Continue reading Machine Learning in Ecommerce: Benefits and Examples
    Topics: data, business, products, human, ecommerce, based, customer, machine, examples, benefits, behavior, learning.
  • Marketing Without a Budget? Use These 10 Tactics [Expert Tips] - With a recession looming, many brands are tightening up their budgets, and often, marketing is one of the first ones to go.
    Topics: tips, tactics, media, audience, budget, free, social, community, expert, customer, content, way, marketing, customers.
  • Meet the Ecommerce Merchants Who Chose Maropost Over Shopify - And Won - Founded in 2011 by Ross Andrew Paquette, Maropost was a company that quickly rose to become a prominent marketing and customer engagement provider
    Topics: shopify, grow, customer, won, ecommerce, marketing, meet, help, maropost, businesses, merchants, platform, chose.
  • My Top 6 Learnings From NRF 2023 - The NRF (National Retail Federation) Big Show is an annual event where retailers and industry experts come together to discuss the latest trends and technologies in the retail industry. Our team was thrilled to be back in attendance for this year's event - meeting partners, prospects, and clients to discuss what the year held in store for them and the key trends and initiatives they would be focusing on.  This blog will summarizes my top 6 learnings based on sessions, meetings, and conversations across the show floor.    Composable Commerce Is Mainstream Some leading retailers have already adopted a Composable Commerce solution. It is firmly in the plans for a significant portion of retailers as the flexibility benefits and economic impact on a retailer's bottom line are being realized and poised to be more critical in a year that looks ripe for a slowdown. Economic conditions mean that shorter planning cycles and the need for flexibility in technology will be paramount to the success of retailers. A Composable Commerce approach allows for the easy addition, testing, and change of customer experiences based on data rather than intuition or what is sold in package. This approach is crucial as retailers must be able to pivot quickly in response to changing customer preferences and channels and can no longer afford to wait for 6-10 months to implement a new solution for something like Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS). A case in point is the rapid adoption of generative AI, such as Chat GPT, in retail (yes, some of this blog post's intro was written by Chat GPT). The widespread adoption of a Composable Commerce approach allows retails to be more nimble. With the ability to add capabilities quicker, a three-year roadmap is no longer sufficient. Retailers must build 12-18 month roadmaps with stopping points for evaluation and adjustments. They also acknowledged that the right technology could enable them to take risks, move quickly, and partner with the right companies to drive success. What do these shortened planning cycles mean for retailers plans in 2023? Retailers will not go through the long process of replacing all their technology but will instead layer on new capabilities to add value and drive down operating costs. This will be especially important in the face of economic uncertainty.   To learn how your brand can get started with replacing core functionality with a Composable Commerce approach, chat with us today. Get in Touch ROI Focus on Tech Investments:  With the increased attention from capital investors on ROIs, the focus has also made its way down to retailers' operations. While Composable Commerce delivers faster and more efficient ROIs for any future technology investment for retailers, a perceived downside of Composable Commerce is the level of tech sophistication needed to manage it. The plumbing becomes very complex for some retailers left to manage their Composable Commerce solution. Learn more about how your brand can overcome this obstacle with the assurance of a trusted ally, read more about Composable Commerce XA™. What is clear is the benefit of the modularity of a Composable Commerce approach: new AB testing, new PIM to ease workflows, adding a pop-up experience, etc., becomes infinitely more accessible. Faster time to market also means retailers can pilot things live and continue evolving to meet their customers' expectations. To learn more about how Composable Commerce can benefit your bottom line, check out our TCO Guide. Brand Identity and Authenticity as Key Strategic Pillars The focus on customer experiences was also highlighted as a key trend in the industry. Building on its momentum as a trend from last year's conferences, brand authenticity and identity is crucial to gaining and retaining customers as it becomes increasingly important that a brand shares a customer's values. Particularly with Gen Z now able to vote with their wallets as their spending power increases.  Recommerce is one of the ways brands incorporate sustainability into their brand identity. This is relatively new, with only 24% of top brands in one survey already operating a recommerce offering. For example, Mattel's American Girl Doll hospital ensures any markings remain on a doll that is brought into the hospital, guaranteeing that a child's meaningful personal relationship with their American Girl doll remains intact. Nike's sneaker robot restoring customers' shoes as another crucial customer touchpoint in their overall experience with the brand emphasizing their commitment to sustainability. Innovative experiences like these continue to grow in importance as brands focus their strategies on establishing a brand identity that mirror's what their customers care about and expect from retailers.  Unified Commerce is Table Stakes and Has Replaced ‘Omnichannel’ Plans Omnichannel retail has been at the forefront of retailers' plans for a few years now. At this year's NRF event, it was evident the promise is now a reality. Brands have begun focusing on unified commerce as a core tenant of their strategy. What is unified commerce? Ensuring that product, customer, inventory, etc. data is shared in real time across each of the channels to provide a single experience for customers as opposed to the linked but still separate experiences of an Omnichannel due to the lack of ‘one version of the truth’. The importance of delivering a unified,contextually relevant shopping experiences to customers where they are is proving to be a consistent driver of success.    Another discussed topic in several sessions was the brick-and-mortar store associates as brand ambassadors. An exciting trend addressed at the event was the need for retailers to adapt to the gig economy. Allowing their store ambassadors to get up to speed and deliver an outstanding customer experience has technology at the center of this quick enablement. This furthers the point made by a few retailers - technology adoption should enable their business and not just adding new technology for sake of it.   Metaverse Hype - Here to Stay?  Speaking of new technology, the metaverse was discussed as a hot topic at Shoptalk 2022. There were significantly fewer mentions at NRF this year, but that does not mean it is dead in the water. Retailers have learned that selling NFTs to mimic the formula of their brick-and-mortar store in the metaverse does not lead to success.  The barrier to entry is still high, with one device per customer, and the need to invest in a headset has kept a full-fledged mass adoption out of the mainstream for now. For now, it's worth keeping an eye on how this evolves as there does seem to be value in having brand presence and keeping the possibility of it being another growing social ‘channel’ but is by no means a central strategic focus for any of the retailers at the event. Payments: The Pace of Change is the Only Constant Two key highlights here are real-time payments & wallet adoption in the US. Real-time payments beyond the merchant liquidity benefits are on the customer side. Gen Z expectations are instant transactions, rather than waiting a few days or weeks for a pending transaction impacts their bank balance.  Wallet adoption is another story to keep an eye on. While it is a larger piece of the puzzle outside of the US, there are clear benefits for customers and retailers of using a One-Click checkout solution like EP Payments to deliver increased checkout conversion, higher revenues, and better customer experiences. Chat with us today to learn how EP Payments can help ensure your customers have a frictionless checkout and payment experience. 
    Topics: brand, customer, retailers, store, customers, adoption, commerce, learnings, technology, composable, nrf, experiences.
  • - The Lithuania-based online supplier of prefabricated wooden buildings, Pineca, is launching an online store in the Netherlands. This is the company’s second expansion within Europe in this year. The company is already active in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal as well. The Pineca Group was founded…
    Topics: customer, netherlands, company, launches, portugal, market, online, wooden, range, pineca, markets.
  • Reputation Management: How to Protect Your Brand Online in 2023 - Reputation management happens on online review sites, social media, and in the news.
    Topics: customers, business, brand, reputation, customer, reviews, protect, management, review, help, online.
  • Sampling Marketing — The Complete Guide - Oh, samples, the small gifts that help justify any Costco membership. You can get everything from a warmed pizza bite to a smoothie to hand lotion, all in one pass-through. And don’t get me wrong, this strategy is an incredible tactic that can increase sales, in some cases, by as much as 2,000%. But there is much more to the sample marketing strategy than just enticing snacks and perks.
    Topics: free, complete, customer, sample, marketing, guide, customers, zoom, users, try, product, sampling.
  • - There are many different order fulfillment solutions available for ecommerce businesses, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this article, we'll compare ShipBob and Amazon FBA, two of the most popular options, to… Continue reading ShipBob Vs Amazon FBA: Which Is The Best Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Solution?
    Topics: solution, amazon, products, businesses, inventory, fba, customer, best, fulfillment, shipping, vs, ecommerce, order, shipbob.
  • - In today’s Shippo review, we’re taking a behind-the-scenes look at a popular shipping and fulfillment service for today’s growing ecommerce market. As an all-in-one shipping solution for management, partnerships, label printing, and insurance, Shippo aims to provide business owners with… Continue reading Shippo Review (2023): An Easy-To-Use Shipping Solution For SMB Merchants
    Topics: solution, fulfillment, service, shippo, access, tools, review, platform, merchants, labels, support, customer, smb, easytouse, shipping.
  • - Shop Pay Installments is a payment solution offered by Shopify that lets users buy more expensive products without leveraging credit card debt. Below, you’ll learn about the benefits of Shop Pay Installments for businesses, how it works, and how to… Continue reading Shop Pay Installments — Everything You Need to Know
    Topics: shop, payment, customer, need, shopify, paid, payments, know, customers, installments, pay, usd.
  • - Shopify and Amazon are two of the biggest ecommerce platforms in the world. So, integrating the two could unlock a wealth of benefits for online merchants.  Cue the Shopify Amazon integration. With this integration, businesses can quickly expand their reach,… Continue reading Shopify Amazon Integration – What Do You Need to Know?
    Topics: amazon, customer, sales, youll, integration, need, know, fees, shopify, products, fulfillment, product.
  • - Shopify needs no introduction. Since its founding in 2006, the platform has become the leading online store builder. Its name is dropped in nearly every eCommerce article, and for a good reason – Shopify makes selling online simple. Its many… Continue reading Shopify vs Medusa (2023) – Can Open Source Ecommerce Compete with an Industry Giant?
    Topics: shopifys, store, vs, products, features, shopify, online, benefits, plan, need, medusa, comparing, customer, key.
  • - Ecommerce software provider Shopline is expanding into Europe. The Singapore-based company is launching a European headquarters in London. It raised 182 million dollars last year in order to accelerate its global expansion. Shopline is a website builder for online merchants. With its customizable themes, sellers can quickly launch their website.…
    Topics: customers, shopline, uk, media, social, brands, company, launches, website, ecommerce, customer, platform.
  • Take Your Business to the Next Level With Subscriptions - Paul Chambers is a digital marketing and subscription economy researcher with over two decades of experience in the industry. Paul created his own networking event– SubSummit, to bring together founders at every stage of the subscription model journey and help them grow and expand their businesses.More
    Topics: level, subscription, paul, shopify, subscriptions, businesses, subscribe, customer, value, business, model.
  • The 16 Best Abandoned Cart Emails To Win Back Customers - Abandoned cart emails are an essential part of an email marketing strategy — especially if you’re serious about boosting sales.
    Topics: email, best, cta, customer, text, cart, emails, purchase, abandoned, customers, items, win.
  • The Beginner's Guide to Brand Pillars - Marketing and branding have been around for centuries. But brand pillars are a newer idea.
    Topics: company, experience, brand, identity, customer, pillars, customers, beginners, values, pillar, guide, purpose.
  • - The best AI chatbots are a fantastic way to enhance your customer support strategy, by giving your customers a means of self-service. Studies show over 60% of consumers prefer an automated self-service solution to interacting with a human agent these… Continue reading The Best AI Chatbots for Amazing Customer Service
    Topics: best, chatbots, amazing, ai, customers, plan, service, bots, month, chatbot, range, customer, bot.
  • - The best POS system for grocery store selling will allow you to manage transactions and track inventory more effectively in a brick-and-mortar store. Today’s POS technology has grown increasingly impressive, making it easier to combine inventory management with customer loyalty,… Continue reading The Best POS System for Grocery Store Selling in 2023
    Topics: best, online, need, shopify, pos, store, tools, grocery, customer, system, management, selling, range.
  • - The best Shopify Plus apps provide business owners with a phenomenal way to take their store’s functionality to the next level. While Shopify offers a range of amazing features as standard, the app marketplace ensures innovative entrepreneurs have endless scope… Continue reading The Best Shopify Plus Apps to Enhance your Store
    Topics: shopify, apps, marketing, month, access, store, tools, free, best, email, plus, features, customer, enhance.
  • - The best Shopify subscription apps help busy entrepreneurs to rapidly process repeat payments from a range of customers. If you sell software, online courses, or anything else which requires consistent weekly, monthly, or annual payments from clients, these apps will… Continue reading The Best Shopify Subscription Apps for 2023
    Topics: app, best, tools, subscription, subscriptions, shopify, customers, customer, apps, plan, transaction.
  • The Complete Guide to Empathetic Marketing - Successful empathetic marketing is about connecting your audience and your brand. That doesn’t mean just throwing ads at your audience. It means creating truly valuable assets — content that serves customers’ needs and addresses their most significant pain points.
    Topics: customer, complete, empathy, audience, brand, customers, guide, needs, marketing, product, content, empathetic.
  • The Future of Social Media [Research]: What Marketers Need to Know - Social media has changed considerably since the MySpace days, and it's part of a marketer's job to stay on top of its advancements.
    Topics: consumers, chatbots, tiktok, media, search, need, marketers, customer, users, social, research, know, future, influencers.
  • The SMS Marketing Trends to Watch in eCommerce - As tech trends move towards customer demand and the adoption of an omnichannel experience, the technology consumers use to move through the buying journey becomes quicker, less intrusive, and is most likely done from a mobile device.  So much of our lives pass through a mobile device; think of all the business you transact on your phone over the course of a day, let alone the conversations you have over apps or SMS texting.  Retailers and service providers are paying attention to that behavior and are eager to create commerce experiences that align with how the average consumer goes about their day - without the need for extra steps, or a method outside of what is considered comfortable. Think about how fast text messages are read: 90% of text messages are read within 180 seconds. Talk about a captive audience.  In this blog, you will learn what SMS text messaging for eCommerce looks like, and the top reasons why brands should be using, or at least exploring, their role in the buying journey. Keep reading to learn all about the latest SMS marketing trends that could take your eCommerce strategy above and beyond. SMS Marketing Trends to Get On Board With: SMS texts fulfill may different use cases. They can be used in many different areas of your eCommerce strategy, such as to: Remind a customer to make a payment Alert for when an order is ready for pickup Notification of when new inventory is available  Offer special discount codes or coupons  Follow up on a customers cart Let’s dig a bit further into the latest SMS trends we’re seeing in eCommerce to better understand how you can adjust your strategy and take advantage of these use cases. 1. SMS Texts Reduce Cart Abandonment When looking at a distinct number to equate with cart abandonment rates you may see a range of numbers from as low as 50% to as high as 90% based on product or industry. Regardless of where the numbers fall, cart abandonment is a major roadblock for most retailers.  Consider what a simple SMS text (and offer) can do to mitigate the issue. Here’s an example:  Notice the tone is casual given the medium, and they’ve offered Mike a code for 10% off if he completes the purchase within one day.  Source: Messageiq.io 2. Send Payment Confirmation Source: semaphore.co  For this example, notice how the template is set up for personalization. Of course it makes sense to provide the item, order number, and amount, but a field for first name personalization avoids any confusion from the shopper and adds a personal touch to capture their attention.  Want to learn more about Composable Commerce Essentials? Explore Composable Commerce here 3. Alert Customers to New Inventory   Source: appikon.com  New stock is always something to talk about. If your customer is on a waiting list for a particular item, text is an easy alert with a call to action. Taking this a step further, you could create a promotion for your loyalty customers on new items, and use a text message with a link to send them straight to a customized landing page that gets them browsing (and buying) immediately.  4. Use SMS to Request Payment  Here’s an example of a lender requesting payment via text. The instructions are clear with options to pay by phone or pay via text. Some companies may also provide a link within a text to a payment page.  Source: Repay.com  5. Facilitate Customer Service Conversations Most shoppers today don’t want the hassle of having to call an 800 number for service. While a chat bot helps in these instances, you may use text for order detail clarification. Here’s an example of a text conversation I had with a customer service rep from an eyewear company:  Notice in the conversation how the rep said the question was also sent via email. This is a great example of reaching your customer in ways they feel most comfortable. Since eyewear needs to be precise with prescriptions, measurements, and add-ons, the company wants to clarify any information or fill in the blanks on necessary requirements. They also took the time to make a recommendation for my lenses which I appreciated given I have a strong prescription. I can personally attest the order came in perfect condition, just as I ordered.  What Are the Benefits of SMS Text in eCommerce?  Now that you’ve seen a few examples, what are the benefits of using text in your eCommerce platform?  In a world of instant gratification lovers, your brand will be a star. Make the most of the anticipation and use text messages to provide delivery updates.  Find and engage with new customers with an opt-in text message. It’s also a great way to engage with loyalty customers when offering exclusive deals or events.  Cut long call center queue wait times by providing help via text.  Boost sales when facing cart abandonment issues, or use it as a tool to back a deep deal with urgency.  A Few Tips to Consider:  Remember to always get consent before engaging with any customer over text. It may be a service agreement check box or an opt-in message. With so many mobile packages on the market, you want to make sure your customer agrees to the messaging, especially if it may cost them in the end on their plan.  If you are operating in the U.S. you also must follow guidelines from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that requires businesses to obtain consent before sending any text messages,  provide a disclosure with the scope of the messages (what you will be communicating via text), and include an opt-out clause. If you don’t comply with these guidelines you risk fines. Always check for guidelines affecting the country or region you are doing business in as rules can change.  When is the best time to send marketing text messages? That depends on where you are and what you’re sending:  Under TCPA U.S guidelines, businesses may text consumers between the hours of 8 AM and 9PM, or what are considered normal business hours.  For promotional texts, it’s common courtesy to send them within normal business hours on Tuesdays through Thursdays. Avoid Mondays and Fridays since they are close to the weekend.  Give a fair amount of leeway for targeted sales and events. For a Saturday sale, try to text as early as Thursday but not as late as Saturday morning. 
    Topics: customers, send, service, provide, sms, trends, text, customer, ecommerce, marketing, messages.
  • The State of Social Media in 2023: How You Can Build Communities, Drive Sales, and Go Viral, According to 1,000+ Social Media Managers - There's no two ways around it: Social media is hard.
    Topics: platform, best, customer, drive, communities, platforms, according, brand, content, sales, state, marketers, social, build, viral, managers, youre, media.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Service Level Agreements (With Help Desk SLA Examples) - Whether you're working with a new customer or another department at your company, one of the most critical steps for alignment is creating a service level agreement (SLA). However, you may be wondering, "what is an SLA and how do I write one?"
    Topics: goal, goals, level, customer, ultimate, help, agreements, desk, marketing, examples, sales, guide, agreement, leads, service, sla.
  • This Founder Launched an Ecommerce Company After a Frustrating College Experience. Now, Its Shipping Times Rival Amazon Prime's — and It's Dominating This Key Area Jeff Bezos Never Did. - When Alex Zhou moved from China to the U.S. to attend Kansas State University in 2007, he couldn't find his favorite foods from home — and it inspired him to start online Asian marketplace Yami.
    Topics: products, yamis, founder, zhou, yami, strategy, amazon, sustains, space, growth, asian, customer, ecommerce, customers.
  • Tired of Customers Abandoning Their Online Shopping Carts? Here are 7 Foolproof Strategies to Improve the Checkout Experience - Here are seven tips to improve ecommerce checkout impact, including making costs and fees clear upfront, offering multiple payment options, making the online checkout button easy to find, and ensuring the user has a secure checkout experience.
    Topics: online, experience, options, strategies, improve, foolproof, add, process, checkout, pay, payment, customers, customer, cart.
  • Use These Two Tactics to Make Your Customer Experience Stand Out in 2023 - With the start of a new year, SMBs continue to look for ways to stand out over the competition in 2023- — and these two practices can do just that.
    Topics: teams, sales, marketing, customer, right, business, crm, smbs, stand, things, outreach, data, email.
  • Using Your Customer Base to Crowdfund, Rebrand, and More - Bird & Blend Tea Co. founder Krisi Smith wanted to bring fun tea blends to the UK., and gathered quite a following in the process. In this episode of Shopify Masters, Krisi shares how she built her customer base around students and tourists, getting their support to help fund retail expansion and rebrand the company.More
    Topics: try, customer, using, started, private, list, know, group, base, business, idea, rebrand, crowdfund, tea, tell.
  • Website Redesign: An 8-Step Checklist to Achieve Your Marketing Goals - Undergoing a website redesign can be an exciting time, as you’ll have a fresh chance at capturing a new market for your business. Since it can be a big project, we’ve compiled a checklist of things you need for your website redesign to achieve all your marketing goals.
    Topics: 8step, business, goals, customer, doing, website, need, achieve, marketing, important, metrics, redesign, websites, checklist, design.
  • What is Customer Acquisition? A Complete 2023 Guide - If you want to grow your business consistently and profitably, you need to think of customer acquisition not as an outcome but as a process. Here's an in-depth look at how to calculate customer acquisition cost and seven strategies to test. More
    Topics: email, complete, acquisition, customer, content, guide, ads, marketing, customers, brand, online, business.
  • What is Customer Journey Analytics - A customer doesn’t just mindlessly purchase a product or service. They go through an entire journey, from discovering your brand, to purchasing your product or service, to sometimes recommending it to someone else. 
    Topics: points, help, analytics, data, user, map, journey, pain, customer, customers.
  • - Accepting cash for your products during in-person interactions is easy. Customers pick a product, hand you their money, and you deal out some change if need be. This physical exchange is quick, simple, and easy to understand. But when it… Continue reading What is Shopify Checkout? Everything You Need to Know
    Topics: customers, click, customer, customize, shopify, order, know, payment, page, need, image, checkout.
  • What is a Persona?: Everything You Need to Know - Social Media Sara starts her day scrolling through TikTok. She is an avid fan of podcasts and handles social media strategy at her company.
    Topics: marketing, business, personas, persona, need, data, know, customer, media, help, buyer, customers.
  • eCommerce Search Engine Providers - What’s the Best eCommerce Search Engine? Last year, retail eCommerce sales exceeded $1 trillion for the first time in history. Clearly, consumers expect to find goods and services online. For your brand, meeting that consumer expectation means having a strong eCommerce search engine. Leading eCommerce search engines help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for with minimal effort, and give you insights into what your buyers are searching for. Site search is a powerful capability because a strong eCommerce search engine will fuel positive customer experiences. Positive customer experiences mean more business and repeat customers, and that means more revenue. Learn more about eCommerce search solutions and the best eCommerce search engines on the market. What Are eCommerce Search Engines? An eCommerce search engine is a specialized search engine that helps customers find products on your digital storefront. A strong eCommerce product search engine is able to interpret the search queries of your customers. If a customer types “dress” into your digital storefront’s site search box, your eCommerce search engine should give them products that fit that description. Note that an eCommerce search engine is different from a general search engine, such as Google. Google crawls the web to give information related to a search query. An eCommerce search engine exists specifically for and on your site and directs customers exclusively to products that you sell. How Does Choosing the Right eCommerce Product Search Engine Help You? Having a strong search engine included in your digital commerce experience comes with benefits that improve your customers’ experiences and your brand’s business. The benefits of an eCommerce search engine include: Improved customer experience: Consumers are able to find what they’re looking for, as their searches are answered fast with relevant results Site search enables eCommerce personalization, giving customers a shopping experience unique to their desires and habits You can collect more data on your customers, which helps you better target consumers in the future Customer conversion rates improve, and your business makes more money. In all, a strong eCommerce search engine helps you offer customers relevant products and improves the likelihood that they’ll purchase. eCommerce Site Search Solutions: Must-Haves As you evaluate eCommerce site search solutions, some functionalities are a must. Scalability Your eCommerce solution must be able to weather the  up-and-down nature of an online marketplace. At times, overall traffic will surge. At other times, searches for specific items will increase. For example, if you sell home maintenance equipment, people are much more likely to search your site for snowblowers in November than April. The eCommerce search engine you use must manage the highs of traffic and data without crashing your site or giving your IT department fits. Faceted navigation and filters  eCommerce search engines exist to move your customers closer to purchase, which means giving them the ability to search for products that have their exact specifications. To find the right product, customers want faceted navigation and filters. An effective eCommerce search engine will have visual cues that help customers narrow down to desired categories such as price, size, color, and more. Natural language processing (NLP) When customers type a query into your search site tool, they aren’t likely to put in the full, technical name of a product. Instead, they may search for “nike running shoe” or “red polka dot dress.” Natural language processing (NLP) is able to recognize a brand name or product specification and display products that match customers’ desires. NLP is integral to an eCommerce search solution because if a customer types “nike” into your search bar, they don’t want to see Reebok. If they search for “red shirt,” they don’t want to see green pants. If your customers’ language can’t be processed to produce appropriate product recommendations, they’re more likely to toggle to a third-party search tool that could route them to one of your competitors. No Zero Results The last thing you want is for consumers to search your website and your search engine provider to display to them absolutely nothing. Being given zero results causes consumers to bounce to a different website. A strong eCommerce search engine should show consumers relevant results for any search, not a blank page with nary a product. Artificial intelligence AI is significant to the present and future of eCommerce search engines. AI is especially important to providing highly personalized services and giving customers a fast, friction-free experience. Make sure your eCommerce site search solution has strong AI capabilities. Just like any partner in your eCommerce solution, a site search vendor needs to align with your business needs and goals and integrate well with your existing system. Get hands on with an Elastic Path Free Trial Start building the commerce experience your unique business demands with a free Elastic Path Commerce Cloud account. Get in touch with us and we will setup a Free Trial store for you for six weeks. Sign up for a free trial 12 Best eCommerce Search Engines Deciding on an eCommerce search solution isn’t easy. Learn about 12 eCommerce search engines that can help move your customers closer to purchase.   1. Algolia Headquarters: San Francisco, CA Website: algolia.com Overview: Algolia’s search as a service model indexes clients' sites to make for a simpler search task. The benefits include easy implementation and the ability to make changes quickly as needed. Algolia is known for their expertise in advanced search functionality, which is especially useful for catalog management. Algolia’s instant-on integration is available with Elastic Path’s Integrations Hub. Watch this demo to see how Algolia can be quickly and simply integrated into your digital commerce solution.   2. AddSearch Headquarters: Helsinki, Finland Website: addsearch.com Overview: AddSearch is known for a flexible, easily integrated product. Small business owners in particular turn to AddSearch because of its moderate cost and strong customer service.   3. Advanced Commerce Headquarters: London, United Kingdom Website: advancedcommerce.io Overview: Advanced Commerce’s GrapheneHC eCommerce platform includes a strong product search tool. GrapheneHC helps brands answer any search query and provide relevant results through intent recognition. GrapheneHC avoids null search results through predictive text, a synonym library, redirects, and a strong reporting tool.    4. Azure Cognitive Website: azure.microsoft.com Overview: Azure Cognitive Search is the only cloud search service with built-in AI capabilities that enrich all types of information to easily identify and explore relevant content at scale. Azure Cognitive Search provides an indexing and query engine and stores search indexes that brands create and manage. Azure Cognitive Search also has a query language for composing simple to complex queries.   5. Bloomreach Headquarters: Mountain View, CA Website: bloomreach.com Overview: With applications for content management, site search, page management, SEO optimization, and role-based analytics, Bloomreach is a central location where everyone who manages customer experience can come together to drive positive business outcomes.   6. Constructor.io Headquarters: San Francisco, CA Website: constructor.io Overview: Constructor prides itself on helping brands optimize site search for more than just relevance, instead viewing its eCommerce search engine as a product discovery tool optimized for business results. Constructor allows brands to personalize their entire product discovery experience with autofills and recommendations that target specific users’ shopping habits. Compared to other tools, Constructor gives brands strong control over exactly what shoppers see when they type in a given query.   7. Coveo Headquarters: Quebec, Canada Website: coveo.com Overview: Coveo provides search optimization for eCommerce applications, websites, and workplace enablement. Coveo’s solutions plug into any system, regardless of tech stack. You can start from scratch or use their pre-built integrations. Coveo’s users tend to be pleased with its analytics capabilities.   8. Google Cloud Search Headquarters: Mountain View, CA Website: cloud.google.com Overview: Google is a well-known market leader in search. Google Cloud Search builds on the powerful searching capabilities of Google and gives the customers of brands like yours to search websites and product catalogs. Google Cloud Search helps get customers to products by offering relevant search suggestions.   9. Handshake by Perficient Website: perficient.com Overview: Handshake is a modern Search Connector Framework that takes the guesswork out of getting content to index. Handshake manages connections, content, metadata, and permissions on a schedule. Handshake also provides a user interface that helps business users create connection pipelines.   10. LucidWorks Headquarters: San Francisco, CA Website: lucidworks.com Overview: Founded in 2008, LucidWorks initially provided support and consulting services for the Apache Lucene/Solr open-source search project. Currently, LucidWorks is the largest supporter of open-source search industry-wide. LucidWorks offers search, discovery, and analytics solutions from two platform products.   11. Sinequa Headquarters: New York, NY Website: sinequa.com Overview: Sinequa’s search optimization expertise applies to large organizations with complex information layers such as government agencies. Sinequa scores well in the marketplace for a smooth integration process.   12. Yext Headquarters: New York, NY Website: yext.com Overview: Yext offers customized search and discovery experiences based on natural language processing and AI. Yext’s real-time search analytics provides additional insights into what users are searching for,  and the questions they’re asking. Yext is known for strong, multi-format support capabilities. Choose an eCommerce Search Engine That Provides You Lasting Solutions Having a strong eCommerce search engine is essential to digital commerce success. Options abound, so evaluate your brand’s digital maturity and commerce goals before selecting an eCommerce search engine. Also remember that a robust, intuitive site search functionality is only part of what’s required to deliver customers an extraordinary shopping experience. Whether you’re choosing an eCommerce search engine or adding other digital commerce architecture, a Composable Commerce solution doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out Integrations Hub from Elastic Path for a library of no-code, instant-on integrations that reduce the time and cost of implementations so you can get live faster and vastly reduce your TCO.
    Topics: customer, site, ecommerce, business, search, engine, commerce, customers, providers, strong, product.
  • “Hacking” The Social Commerce Experience With Edge Checkout - Like many tech trends that originate in China, social commerce seems promising for U.S. brands. However, given the economic pressures of late 2022 and 2023, some social giants like Meta have dialed back their investments in native social commerce channels. Even so, the growth of this medium is far from over. According to eMarketer, social commerce sales grew 34.4% in 2022, with a projected growth of 20% (to more than $107 billion) by 2025. With the addition of new data privacy changes from Google and Apple, many marketers have been hesitant to depend on third-party customer acquisition channels, doubling down on building and nurturing their own customer databases. The growth of social commerce may seem at odds with the need for commerce brands to capture more first-party customer data. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.  It is possible to experiment with social commerce channels, without giving up control of your customer data. But first, it’s important to understand how U.S. consumers are using social commerce. The short version: many are browsing instead of buying in-channel. That leaves plenty of room to improve the social commerce experience and acquire long-term customers. How U.S. Consumers Use Social Commerce Today Most U.S. consumers use social commerce for discovery, and then complete the transaction on the merchant’s website. Surprisingly, almost three-quarters prefer to check out on the brand site. A major reason why customers aren’t converting on social media is trust.  According to Accenture, 49% of non-social buyers are concerned about purchase protections and returns, while 41% don’t trust the social platforms themselves with their data. Similar data shows that even one bad experience prevents shoppers from making repeat purchases: 66% were unlikely to make another purchase on social media because of the difficult return process.  If you drill down into how consumers act on specific channels, you’ll notice a lot of engagement across the board. These signals show us that social commerce continues to be a strong brand building and engagement tool for merchants, even if customers don’t convert directly in-channel. According to Comscore, in 2022 consumers had 153% more engagement on retailer and brand-sponsored content on Facebook and 175% increase on Instagram.  Other platforms outside the Meta umbrella are getting in on the action. TikTok saw an explosive growth in views, which were up 407% from 2020 to 2022 for U.S. retail and consumer packaged goods brands. A majority of these TikTok users (86%) also visit Amazon, explaining Amazon’s growth as both an ad platform and search engine. Pinterest introduced a shopping API for merchants to sync catalogs to the platform, personalization advancements to surface more relevant results for users, a hosted checkout feature, and more. Get hands on with an Elastic Path Free Trial Start building the commerce experience your unique business demands with a free Elastic Path Commerce Cloud account. Get in touch with us and we will setup a Free Trial store for you for six weeks. Sign up for a free trial How To Play In Social Commerce Without Giving Up Customer Data All of this activity goes to show that social commerce isn’t going away, especially as an awareness channel. With that said, nobody wants a repeat of social advertising 1.0, which nearly wiped out many D2C brands with its excessive customer acquisition costs. Brands were originally willing to trade off customer data for the transaction. While customer acquisition costs were low, you could build a business that way. But unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. Let’s look on the bright side. It is possible to “hack” most social commerce experiences and still hold onto your customer data. More importantly, doing so improves the customer experience by reducing friction at the point of purchase, so customers don’t have to take the action of coming to your website after gaining awareness of your product on social. Let’s look at how this could work. Shoppable links and landing pages embedded into your brand’s profile, posts or ad units are one approach. These direct the customer to the exact item and variation they’re browsing, removing friction. Or, if the item they’re browsing is out of stock, edge checkout enables you to send an opt-in SMS or email directly to the customer, maximizing conversions once the item becomes available again. Ultimately, owning your own customer data and maintaining control of the digital experience is a good thing for privacy and customer trust, as well. Remember how customers don’t exactly trust social shopping? Brands that establish trust with customers — whether that’s through compliant opt-in marketing, making good on their fulfillment, returns and exchanges, or maintaining excellent customer support — stand to benefit most.  Trust is the beginning of any great relationship. From there, your brand has a better chance of getting to know your customer and serving them better, more personalized recommendations based on their preferences. To sum up, it is possible to use a flexible, API-first commerce approach to experiment with social commerce platforms, while keeping interactions within the four walls of your brand. We looked at shoppable landing pages and edge checkout experiences as two examples, but the possibilities are truly endless. The ultimate goal is to remove friction between the customer and the merchant. Doing so creates a better experience across the entire customer lifecycle — from order, to fulfillment, to returns/exchanges, to loyal repeat buyers.  
    Topics: experience, brands, growth, customers, checkout, trust, data, consumers, edge, commerce, customer, hacking, social.