Online Marketing

Op-Ed: Pumpkin Spice Lattes Aside, It’s Time to Get Serious

Op-Ed: Pumpkin Spice Lattes Aside, It’s Time to Get Serious

Let’s Skip the Buzzwords and Talk Turkey about Holiday

by Amy Madonia

We are all too familiar with the big trends in ecommerce, the latest buzzwords like mobile, omnichannel and big data that roll off our tongues and into our roadmaps, our strategic plans.

But what do the buzzwords du jour really mean for the next era of ecommerce? How do we translate them into action and benefit for our customers and our sites? I know we’re already Pumpkin Spice Latte’d out and as retailers, we are totally sick of talking about holiday, but it’s here. It’s time to get serious.

Let’s just take mobile, for example. We pick up our phones something like 135 times a day. We still sit on the couch at night, but now we channel surf and mobile surf at the same time, either on phone or tablet (or both). The attention we used to give to one task is split in three, and our patience is splintered even further. Is it no wonder that even with m. sites, adaptive design and responsive, smartphone conversion rates are still the lowest of all devices?

The Mobile Experience Has To Improve
This holiday will surely see the highest traffic on smartphones yet. Still, browsing behavior will far outstrip purchasing behavior on phones. To get conversion rates up, the mobile experience has to get better across the board. As an industry we have to convince customers that our sites are up to par (both from a U/X and security standpoint) in order to earn their trust. Trust that if they start a transaction, they will be able to finish it – quickly, successfully and without frustration. This season, is the best we can do is provide the shopping tools and browsing experience that will help them convert elsewhere? If that’s the best we can do, given code freezes and low wage and income growth, then let’s at least make the best, most efficient, smartest decisions we can make for our businesses. It is go time.

Which brings up another question – how will we know? How will we know if we are servicing our customers’ mobile browsing expectations well enough that our customers actually do transact elsewhere, on another device? How can we tell if all those disparate sessions and devices are actually one customer?

Cross-Device Measurement
Enter stage left: cross-device measurement. Which is getting better, thanks to Google Analytics User id and session unification, apps, the resurgence of CRM and third party attribution analytics technology. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. You need a good dev team, a good analytics person and a good measure of paranoia that if you don’t master this cross-device measurement beast first, your competitors could beat you to it. At the very least, you can beat last-click disease and start looking at different attribution models for your data. It may be more work, but the additional view on your channels adds dimension to the picture of what your customer is actually doing and where they are coming from.

Creating The Best Customer Experience
While the latest buzzwords come and go with the season, it’s important not to lose sight what we are trying to achieve: the best customer experience for our brand. That’s really the crux of what will gain customers’ trust and help us earn that conversion. A great experience, regardless of the device, is really what will bring high tickets, loyalty and all the benefits and spoils of a wonderful holiday season. So I put down my Pumpkin Spice Latte and pick up my Flat White and I say – Cheers to that!

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 2/16

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

8 Spring Cleaning To-Dos for E-Commerce Marketers via Clickz:  Spring cleaning isn’t meant to be all fun and games, but these tasks can help you vastly improve your e-commerce program. So get your chore list ready!

Fixing E-Commerce Measurement’s Data Black Hole via Advertising Age:  As packaged-goods companies move more seriously into e-commerce, they’re finding big holes in their data resulting from online sellers failing to provide sales stats to measurement companies like Nielsen and IRI. A batch of tech startups are trying to bridge that yawning divide. Their solution: tracking e-commerce receipts via consumer panels.

3 New Twitter Ad Features for Ecommerce Merchants via Practical Ecommerce: Twitter recently launched three new features that extend the platform’s usefulness as a marketing tool for ecommerce merchants. The features are group direct messages, video, and quick promote advertising.

Nike’s SNKRS App Puts a Shoe Store In Your Pocket via engadget: Those of you who are Nike die-hards will be over the moon when you see the company’s most recent venture: SNKRS, an app that brings the ultimate shoe shop right to your smartphone. If you’re used to ordering from Nike’s website, the SNKRS application is set to make you feel right at home, but here, the content is, as expected, much easier to access. Like placing an order, for instance, which only takes a couple of taps to get through the checkout process and have the sneakers on the way to your doorstep — as a bonus, everything within the app ships free via ground method.

Google Analytics: Creating a Custom Dashboard for Ecommerce via Practical Ecommerce: The good people at Practical Ecommerce give us a step-by-step guide on how to create your own Google Analytics ecommerce dashboard.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 2/9

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

How to Make More Effective Use of Social Media in Your Ecommerce Strategy via Entrepreneur: As we move into 2015, it will become increasingly important for brands to ensure they are utilizing social media in order to succeed with e-commerce. Yet, many brands often continue to make the same mistakes when it comes to integrating social media with e-commerce. Among the most common mistakes that many companies make is thinking that a presence on a social media platform, such as Facebook or Twitter, is enough to attract customers. It must always be kept in mind that socializing is the primary reason that most people choose to participate in social media networks. Shopping is secondary. The best way to take advantage of social media is to deploy it for enhancing the customer’s shopping experience rather than vice versa.

Twitter Reaches Deal to Show Tweets in Google Search Results via Bloomberg Business:  Twitter Inc. has struck a deal with Google Inc. to make its 140-character updates more searchable online. In the first half of this year, tweets will start to be visible in Google’s search results as soon as they’re posted, thanks to a deal giving the Web company access to Twitter’s firehose, the stream of data generated by the microblogging service’s 284 million users. Google previously had to crawl Twitter’s site for the information, which will now be visible automatically.

Why Food E-Commerce Startups Are Becoming a Hot Opportunity via Inc:  It’s hard being a food business. The barriers to entry and layers of bureaucracy are many, especially if you work with a large distributor such as Whole Foods. But a food e-commerce startup? That’s a hot opportunity. Food trends suggest overworked Americans increasingly want to eat well on a budget, and the more conveniently they can get this food, the better. So they’re either turning to food delivery startups like Blue Apron or upstart online grocers like Instacart.

The Billion-Dollar #ECommerce Company You Know Nothing About via Fast Company: Zulily has defied the conventional wisdom—marketing to moms, sticking with flash sales, evading Amazon. Can it defy the doubting investors who think it can’t last?

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 12/29

Happy Holidays from the entire Acadaca family! Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past holiday week:

How Mobile Helps Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers via eMarketer: Mobile helps shoppers get started on holiday gift purchases prior to entering a brick-and-mortar. A September 2014 study found that looking up store information such as hours and location was the top way US digital shoppers would use their smartphone while holiday shopping, cited by 78%.

Crunch Time for FedEx and UPS as Last-Minute Holiday Shipping Ramps Up via The New York Times: The New York Times featured a great inside look at how FedEx and UPS battle distance, weather and the clock for the holiday shipping ramp up.

Twitter Users Can Now Track Tweet Impressions, Engagement Numbers Right In The iOS App via TechCrunch: Twitter has expanded access to its analytics data, introducing the ability to view your “tweet activity” on mobile. In the latest version of Twitter’s iOS application, a new feature allows users to tap on a “View Analytics Details” option from any tweet’s detail page in order to see data related to that post, including total impressions, engagements and more.

Here Are the Brands Whose Follower Counts Were Hit Hardest in Instagram’s Spam Purge via Adweek: National Geographic, Nike, Adidas and Forever 21 were among the top 100 Instagram accounts that saw their follower counts pummeled after Instagram deleted fake and inactive accounts. Not even Instagram was safe as its own account lost the most of any brand—18.9 million followers, a 30 percent drop down to a new total of 45.3 million.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 12/22

The news and headlines that grabbed our attention in the last week:

The Future of Ecommerce Will Focus on Creating Experiences via Entrepreneur: With an enormous increase in both shopping on mobile devices and online purchasing traffic, retailers are in a much larger and more competitive landscape to sell their products. To stay on top of minds, social integration has become a major focus for retailers looking to reach consumers in real time.

These Were The Top 10 Most Popular Searches On Google In 2014 via Techcrunch: Each year, Google releases a list of the topics that we’ve collectively searched for the most over the past 12 months.

Google Shopping May Go Deeper Into E-Commerce With “Buy Now” Button To Challenge Amazon via Marketing Land: Google has approached retailers about creating a “buy” button for its online shopping site that would be similar to Amazon’s popular “one-click ordering” feature, according to people familiar with the discussions.

How to Measure 2014 Holiday Ecommerce Marketing via Practical Ecommerce: U.S. online retail sales generally grew throughout 2014. And many Internet merchants have enjoyed increased holiday sales so far. Nonetheless, smart businesses always look for ways to improve, and knowing if your holiday marketing worked or is working is a good place to start searching for new or better opportunities.