Category Archives: digital commerce

Crushing This Holiday Season

5 Tips For Crushing This Holiday Season

By | digital campaigns, digital commerce, digital marketing, ecommerce, PPC | No Comments

Twas the month before December, when all through DO, ALL the employees were working, preparing for Snow (Just kidding, San Diego doesn’t get snow).

With the holiday season around the corner, things will be changing. For better or worse, the holiday season defines the year’s performance for most advertisers. Black Friday seems to start earlier every year so we thought we would share 5 tricks to make sure your digital campaigns are ready for action, without having to swap the turkey for a mouse.

Establish Goals

Define what the goal for each channel will be during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking to drive incremental revenue with similar ROAS, or operate more efficiently with an optimal CPA and similar traffic, having established goals is the foundation for success this holiday season.

Planning, Planning, Planning…Did I mention planning?

If you haven’t thought of ways to capture the incremental holiday traffic, then we suggest a brainstorm with account managers ASAP to lock down a plan. Although there’s going to be unexpected hurdles, having all digital initiatives accounted for on one single calendar can help guide strategy for additional keywords, copy, and campaigns.

Decide On Activation Channel Strategy

Let’s say you were looking to increase revenue while keeping efficiency (We’ll use sneakers as a product example). You could set up an RLSA shopping campaign (paid search) for higher ROAS, highlight the top selling sneakers in the weekly newsletter/blog, and utilize Facebook lookalike audiences to go after new users looking for sneakers. Regardless of the product/service being offered, knowing how each channel will be utilized is imperative to being prepared to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.

Utilize Automation

All digital marketers who value a work/life balance are pros when it comes to automation. Utilize rules to set ads live on certain days. In paid search, use custom labels and rules to have your Black Friday ad turn on at midnight without having to fight off the tryptophan (Just make sure to test the ad and have the ad approved by Google/Bing before pausing in preparation for the big day). There are similar options in the Facebook Power Editor and Ads Manager to make your life just a tad easier.

Don’t Make Decisions Based On Small Data

It’s tough not to look at Black Friday/Cyber Monday performance and make generalizations for the holiday season as a whole. If Black Friday/Cyber Monday didn’t perform as well as you’d like, it’s easy to shift budget around and cut back on spend for the remainder of the holiday season. Although BF/CM are big shopping days, there’s still time to hit your goals with many key shopping days falling between Cyber Monday and New Years. Don’t panic, everything will be alright.

So sit back, relax, and capture the incremental traffic this holiday season (After steps #1-4 are completed)!

Cheers!

 

Etsy & Kite

How Etsy & Kite Add Social Right Into UX

By | apps, customer experience, digital commerce, digital marketing, ecommerce, interactive marketing, social media | No Comments

Social media marketing is more essential than ever in the growing world of digital marketing. As Small Business Trends reported last year, 7 out of 10 consumers prefer a business with a social media presence, which is why companies are continually trying to find new ways to engage in conversation with their audience.

The recent trend is to integrate social platforms and campaigns right into their services, helping them boost engagement and retention in one fell swoop. Instead of trying to come up with the next hit innovation in the field, these two companies are applying the tried-and-tested techniques that consumers love on other platforms, right into their own service for more effective UX.

Etsy Makes eCommerce Social with Crowdfunding ‘Fund’

Fund on Etsy. Credit: Etsy Inc.

Fund on Etsy. Credit: Etsy Inc.

The company that prides itself in connecting creative entrepreneurs with their target customers is expanding into the profitable and viral sensation world of crowdfunding. Taking the idea behind Kickstarter, Etsy hopes that their Fund service will  ““help…sellers [continue to] grow their businesses and create new products. By funding a campaign, buyers can participate in a new product’s journey from initial concept to their front door, while forging even more meaningful relationships with Etsy sellers they care about.”

It’s a genius natural integration that puts the creative marketing aspect right into the eCommerce marketplace, ensuring a full-service venue for their crafty user demographic to reach their strategic goals in the financing and development process. Right now, Fund is in it’s Pilot Program with limited sellers, but if users respond well Etsy hopes to roll out the service to all sellers soon.

Kite is Differentiating Themselves from the Competition Through Integrated Social Marketing

Kite Interface. Credit: Fast Company

Kite Interface. Credit: Fast Company

In the past month, there has been a slew of announcements about new News apps and platforms: from Apple News to Facebook Instant Articles, and the newly announced BuzzFeed News. Among those is Kite, but the difference between this app and the rest is that Kite plans to change the game of searching for reading material by disguising its full service browser-centric service into a standalone social network similar to that of Instagram.

Instead of using algorithms or having users navigate through an infinite amount of search results, the service plans to embrace both types of effective search curation used by other platforms, “social is one and the other is journalistic curation,” Users can follow trusted friends and personalities for easily-digestible reading suggestions from people with similar tastes and opinions they actually care about. It’s the equivalent of getting music recommendations from your credible friend who knows what they’re talking about. The best thing–the app will not redirect you to read in Safari:  it’s a specific browser designed with user-accessibility in mind, focusing on a minimal look that showcases the actual multimedia content right in app because we all know content is king nowadays. They hope to become their users’ primary browser, by focusing on the interactive social marketing approach in selling their service.

Need help integrating your social media platforms into your marketing strategy? Digital Operative can help you come up with the best method to ignite conversation with your audience. Contact our Marketing Team today.

AppleWatch (4)

Apple Watch Review: Good for Marketers?

By | digital commerce, digital marketing, ecommerce, mobile marketing | No Comments

This year on April 24 Apple Watches will take over wrists and ecommerce markets worldwide. Described as the most personal device yet, the watch has features that focus and connect specifically to you. This opens the door for a wide range of new experiences and connectedness. But what does this mean for marketers and businesses? It means the game just got a lot more personal.

Description

These modernized watches allow you to send friends sketches, your heartbeat, and a tap, the watch learns and displays your daily activity, suggests fitness goals, presents you the time, and allows you to personalize your watch through their collection of unique designs. With all of these cool features available, the only downside is that users need an iPhone to use the watch to its full capability.

Great Potential

With Apple Pay, the Watch is changing the way we are thinking about shopping. It’s already available to use with an iPhone, but Apple Pay on the Watch is made for even easier convenience and accessibility to your credit card. When purchasing an item all you have to do is double-click the side button, place the Watch’s screen in front of the scanner, and voila! You will feel a light tap to confirm the payment was sent.

Image via apple.com

Image via apple.com

There is also a lot of speculation about the future possibilities of the Watch. Since you can let your Apple products know where your location is, people are expecting location based marketing to be the next big thing. So if you are walking downtown past a pizza place, you would feel a tap on your wrist of a coupon you could use at this specific restaurant. This is incredible for businesses because phones are usually in your pocket or in the depths of your purse but the watch is always in sight, making the users experience that much more personal.

The Apple Watch adds so much potential to ecommerce since it’s wearable technology, this provides easier access for users and the internet is literally on their wrist. The Watch is always in sight so notifications on promotions or any marketing offers will instantly reach the consumer.

Challenges

With any new products marketers need to adapt their strategy and content to the device. The Watch has a small screen and isn’t used the same way an iPhone or iPad would be used, meaning marketers will have to develop a new plan for the notification’s timing and tone, as well as sizing for their apps or online sites. Marketers and businesses will have to take into consideration that the Watch is constantly being worn; they don’t want to overload the user or make them more dependent on technology, so whether that is lessening the amount of notifications or reducing content, they will need to develop a new perspective for their marketing plans.

Being present on multiple platforms is difficult, but with the potential for businesses on the Apple Watch, it’s definitely worth the extra work. If you’re interested in growing your business’s ecommerce, contact us or check out our marketing team’s services.

Coffee Cargo

Who Needs Starbucks, When You Can Have Coffee Cargo

By | Clients, digital commerce, startup | No Comments

Do you love coffee as much as we do?

We are proud to be working with one of newest clients, Coffee Cargo.

Coffee Cargo is a premium coffee K-Cup subscription service that believes in elevating your daily coffee experience. Each month the Coffee Cargo team hand pick only the best K-Cups to help you discover new premium, rare and best tasting K-Cups – delivered right to your front door.

Subscription boxes of all kinds have been getting a lot of attention lately between advertising, bloggers or celebrities who endorse them. Apparently people really like getting a gift box every month.

All you have to do is subscribe to Coffee Cargo, sit back, kick your feet up and collect your delicious K-Cups every month. Actually, Coffee Cargo is a pretty great gift idea for any coffee lover in your life! You don’t have to buy more than a 3 month subscription,  Click here to give the gift that keeps on giving, month after month.

We love our clients and take a lot of pride in the work we provide for them. Work with us get to know our team and our growing list of clients from LifeProof, Protec, Coffee Cargo, 7Diamonds, and the Outdoor Foundation. Contact Us now and let us get started on your next marketing campaign.

   

apple pay

Apple Pay – Good for eCommerce?

By | digital commerce, ecommerce | No Comments

Last week, Apple made their September announcement. They revealed their iPhone 6/6 Plus and the Apple Watch — read our take on it here. The most fascinating part of these devices though, is that they are going to come equipped with Apple Pay.

What is Apple Pay?

Single touch payment that is stored in your Passbook on the iPhone and Apple Watch. As stated on the apple.com website “Apple Pay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into the devices you have with you every day. So you can use your iPhone 6 to pay in an easy, secure, and private way.”

Photo credit: Apple.com

Photo credit: Apple.com

How To Use it?

With Apple Pay, an iPhone 6 owner will be able to check out at a register by holding their phone up to a wireless pay terminal with their fingerprint on the sensor, activating Apple’s Touch ID technology. Or they will be able to use the online version and click “Apple Pay” at checkout, and a subtle vibration will let you know that your payment was successful.

Photo credit: Apple.com

Photo credit: Apple.com

Why Is Apple Pay Big News?

With the mobile shopping becoming more successful and more of a natural way for people to shop, Apple Pay will make it easier for consumers to buy at their fingertips. No more excuses of not having their credit card at the ready. If you are shopping on your phone you are going to have your credit card available.

What does it mean for ecommerce companies?

 

This could mean many things for ecommerce companies. Maybe it’s where shopping cart abandonment rates start to decrease or maybe it’s going to cause an influx in impulse buying. What about Black Friday Shopping? With last year 39.7% of all online traffic coming from mobile devices — we can almost guarantee that more consumers will shop on their mobile devices with the ease of Apple Pay. Our Director, Digital Marketing, Alvaro Martinez states:

“Year over year Apple users have quickly migrated over to the new iPhone once it becomes available. From an eComm perspective, this year Apple Pay represents the last piece to the puzzle to last years Touch ID introduction. Combined with the fact that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus market penetration will be the greatest of all Apple products, and that Apple Pay is being integrated by a number of merchants, including Macy’s, McDonald’s, Sephora, Subway and Walgreens, its impact could be felt quickly. 

Yes, Apple will now have control over users hardware, software and payment source, but ultimately, consumers will be the ones in control. If they choose Apple Pay in mass, then the merchants will have no choice but to follow.”  

Almost all major credit cards and banks are currently participating and joining forces with Apple, allowing over 220,000 stores to accept Apple Pay (starting in October), with even more stores in cue.

Photo credit: Apple.com

Photo credit: Apple.com

We think Apple Pay is going to be a huge benefit to our ecommerce clients – one thing we know for sure, is that consumers like an easy and seamless shopping process. And that’s what Apple Pay is going to provide for them.

apple announcement

Apple Announcement – September 9, 2014

By | digital commerce, Digital Operative | One Comment

Finally, after months and months of speculation, today was the big day. Apple announced the new iPhone 6/6 Plus and the very first Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch (which is not called an iWatch, contrary to all the rumors) will be available early 2015. Tim Cook says, “This will be the most personable tech piece that we’ve ever created,” mostly because it’s the only actual piece Apple has created that is wearable. Just like an actual iPhone, you will be able to make calls, send text messages, use some apps (Twitter, american Airlines, Starwood, etc.) and keep track of your fitness. Although you have to own a 5 generation iPhone or later to use the Apple Watch, it is the first of it’s kind and may be well worth the wait.

Photo Credit: Apple.com

Photo Credit: Apple.com

 

Topping the list of new and updated features of the iPhone 6/6 Plus is the larger retina display screen, coming in at 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches respectively. It’s also a thinner, rounder, sleeker version than any of the previous 9 iPhones that have come to service. And lets not forget the best feature of the newer generation of iPhones….the front facing camera burst mode. Creating a sort of rapid-fire selfie, so you have multiple shots to chose from.

Photo Credit: Apple.com

Photo Credit: Apple.com

But, why does any of this matter to us at Digital Operative? Besides the fact that we are all tech nerds and like to see the latest and greatest — This new iphone could be of benefit to our clients in the ecommerce space. How so? With the new Apple Pay and a faster processor and internet connection, this could lead to fewer cart abandonments and more instinct purchases…after all with the Apple Pay, you don’t need to go for your wallet or purse to pull out your credit card, it’s all stored in your phone.

 

Ecomm-Survey

2014 Outdoor eCommerce Survey

By | digital commerce, ecommerce, strategy and planning | No Comments

At Digital Operative we work with our clients to build better relationships with their customers at the intersection of commerce, content and community. Our mission is to deliver cross-channel customer experiences that ultimately help our customers’ businesses grow their awareness, engagement and revenue. To help our clients be effective in the the outdoor space, like any other industry, we need research and data. So, our strategy and planning team created a 54 question survey in order to allow us to share valuable insight into the current digital commerce environment within the outdoor industry. Our CEO, BJ Cook states:

“Driving an initiative like the Outdoor Retail Survey is all about garnering a better understanding of how today’s Outdoors & Active Lifestyle companies are seeing their own position within the worlds of ecommerce and digital marketing. We’re hoping to gain participation from the industry’s current and up-and-coming digital leaders to paint a full picture. We see this as a great opportunity to provide insight  and do our part in giving back to the industry.”

All of the data collected and analyzed from this survey will provide outdoor industry leaders and online retailers critical gaps, opportunities and solutions to help their company be agile and responsive to the ever-changing expectations of online shoppers.

Reasons why brands should participate:

  • Insight to outdoor industry trends
  • Clarification to online shopping behaviors
  • Results of the survey before anyone else in the industry has access
  • Opportunities to be industry leaders through founded results

The following subjects are covered:

  • Industry Overview
  • Digital Marketing
  • Target Audience & Demographics
  • Social Media
  • Mobile
  • Omnichannel
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • User experience

If your company is a part of the Outdoor industry and you would like to participate in our 2014 ecommerce outdoor retail survey, Click here. The companies that participate in the survey, will personally be emailed the compiled results before anyone else in the industry has the data.

 

Digital Commerce Revolution Coming to Interactive Day San Diego

By | agency life, digital commerce, Digital Operative, ecommerce, events | No Comments

digital commerce presentation

That’s right! Grab your Molotov cocktails and disdain for industry trends; join me this Friday at Interactive Day San Diego for a session all about Ecommerce. I know, I know. You’re asking yourself how interesting could it be to hear about ecommerce trends and case studies? Not only will we cover all the latest trends and data, but I’ll be joined by Rob Fess, Director of Ecommerce from LifeProof. You know that little San Diego-based brand that rivaled the growth of some of the top internet retail companies and was just acquired by Otterbox? Yes that one. Rob and I will be speaking on the following gold nuggets:

  • Global Commerce Trends in online retail, mobile, social and omnichannel
  • Digital Commerce Opportunities and the Retail DIY
  • Partnering for Success (Retailers + Agencies)
  • 3 Things You Can Do Today to Supercharge Your Ecommerce
  • Bonus … (sorry you need to be in the session for this one)

If any of the above interests you, then get off Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine and buy a ticket.

Puj – Digital Commerce Conversation Series

By | digital commerce, ecommerce, interviews | One Comment

digital commerce conversations with PUJ

Kicking off a new series here at Digital Operative called Digital Commerce Conversations. DCC will be focused on telling the stories of successful entrepreneurs within the digital commerce space and their thoughts on areas like ecommerce, social media, mobile and multi-channel marketing. We’ll be asking them the questions that run through our readers’ minds everyday as well our very own clients. Without further adieu, we bring you Puj; the brainchild of a husband-wife team that is passionate about “simplifying parenthood.” Puj was born out of Ben & Katie Richardson’s garage about 3 years ago. Ben & Katie have been able to overcome a sluggish economy and found momentum with their first product the Puj Tub. The Puj Tub has been the #1 selling product in its category on Amazon since 2011, and is now available in over 600 retailers in 22 countries.

Digital Operative was lucky enough to get a chance to interview Ben & Katie about some of their experience and what to expect in 2013. Let’s recap that conversation with Ben & Katie…

1) What tips do you have for someone starting out with a new ecommerce initiative?

There are hundreds of ecommerce platforms, and they all claim to be the best at what they do. While they all may be similar, there are definitely differences between them and you need to find the one that meets your business needs. Some crucial things to consider are transaction fees, design flexibility, shipping modules, reporting/analytics, and scalability.

Try several different platforms before you build your entire site. Speak to other people that have used the e-commerce platforms. If you build your business on a cumbersome / faulty platform that doesn’t fit your business , you’ll spend your time focusing on the wrong things.

2) How has social media affected your ecommerce business?

Social media consistently drives huge amounts of traffic to our site each month. If you have a product or brand that’s worth talking about, it will spread in the social media. You need to make sure that your site is optimized for social media with buttons that are strategically placed and easy to find.

3) What are three (3) new tools you’re thinking of using in 2013 that could help expand your ecommerce channel?

The first two are quite obvious and aren’t necessarily new: Pinterest and Instagram. Information is becoming more and more visual and these are two platforms that excel in that. The third tool we’ll be using in 2013 is even older than the first two: email. In our opinion, there’s nothing better than an email address because you have the ability to deliver content directly to the recipient. We plan on offering tremendous value to parents throughout the world using this simple tool. (Katie does an amazing job of Content Development – If you’re a parent; her content is truly authentic and original.)

4) What are you looking forward to the most in 2013?

Launching our new products! We’ve been working extremely hard on some exciting new products, and we can’t wait to get them up and running on our e-commerce platform and launching them to the world!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next digital commerce conversations post

Omni-Channel: Unattainable Buzzword or Guidepost to Success?

By | digital commerce, ecommerce, innovation, interactive marketing | No Comments

So you’ve got a client who has a strong multi-channel presence; they have brick-and-mortar stores, a strong ecommerce site that’s optimized for mobile, beautifully designed print campaigns, and a great social media strategy. Now, they’ve come to you to help them connect all the pieces, bring them to that next level integration,  get all the channels speaking to one another in a way that allows them to innovate and create a consistent and connected customer experience across all touchpoints.  You’re going to make them OMNI-CHANNEL!  First of all, pinch yourself, because you’re probably dreaming.

Unless your client is up on the latest trends and buzzwords, they probably don’t even know what “omni-channel” is —let’s be honest, we’re all trying to wrap our heads around it. Additionally, unless you’re dealing with a huge international brand, your client is likely a retailer with some strengths and weaknesses in terms of channels and consumer touchpoints. Some channels may be strong, some may need work, and some are likely non-existent.  These clients are probably more interested in strengthening their weaknesses than in taking on the daunting, seemingly unreachable goal of having all channels seamlessly connected.

In a recent, otherwise well-informed, blog post from bazaarvoice, it was stated boldly —literally in bold font — “Create a consistent consumer experience across every channel, now.”

Right now? That’s easy enough. Done!

The truth is, for most brands that just sounds impossible. If we keep talking about omni-channel in such grandiose terms, we’re going to miss the chance to start taking the appropriate steps needed to help our clients give their customers what they need and want.

Let’s take a step back. What is omni-channel retailing? And most importantly, how do you start helping your clients get there?

Omni-channel is basically an evolution of multi-channel. While good multi-channel retailers create consistent experiences for each of their consumer touchpoints, good omni-channel retailers are able to create single consumer experiences that include several touchpoints, even in a single purchase. For instance, Starbucks has connected their in-store loyalty program with their mobile application. Walmart is also heading the charge, now testing a new feature in an Arizona store which would allow customers to self-checkout with their iPhone. This adds to the many uses of the Walmpart app, which already allowed users to see what’s in stock in various stores, create shopping lists, check prices, etc.

The only way to create these experiences is for the (often completely siloed) channels to share information, and this can present some huge logistical hurdles.  It is important to remember though, that omni-channel didn’t start with the imperative for shared information.  It started with an imperative to create better consumer experiences, and it should continue to be about just that.

It may seem simplistic and reductive of me to suggest that you “start small” or “put one foot in front of the other,” blah blah blah. But in reality, even the largest, most innovative brands started that way.

Think of one interaction that your client wants their customers to have. Maybe it’s just allowing in-store pick-up for online orders.  Work with your client to connect the dots needed to allow this interaction. This alone will probably present several challenges, but at least it represents a clear benefit to both the retailer and the consumer. The retailer benefits from getting online customers in the door to possibly purchase additional items, while the consumer benefits from often free and/or expedited shipping.

Now, repeat with another desired interaction with a clear benefit for the consumer and the client. Once the proper information is shared and the basis is set, ideas that once seemed totally out of reach can actually start to happen.

“Omni-channel” might just be the buzzword of the past year, but the consumer expectation for this type of retailing is growing. As long as you keep it about the consumer and don’t get bogged down in trying to make it all happen RIGHT NOW, it is a lot more achievable that it may have seemed.

If you have any questions about beginning the transformation towards omni-channel retailing, feel free to contact us.

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