Category Archives: ecommerce

2017 eCommerce Predictions

By | ecommerce | No Comments

Before we finally call it quits on 2016, Digital Operative thought it would be beneficial to seek out some of the predicted trends for the coming year.  Absolunet inc. recently put out an in-depth report that touches on a few predicted trends in eCommerce for 2017 and we decided to turn it into an infographic. So without further ado… Your 2017 eCommerce Predictions:

2017 eCommerce Predictions

All stats brought to you by Absolunet inc.

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!

 

W3 Awards 2015 Ecommerce Websites

Digital Operative Wins W3 Awards for Ecommerce Websites

By | agency life, awards, Digital Operative, ecommerce, magento | No Comments

Digital Operative has kicked off its award season with two (2) Silver W3 Awards for its ecommerce websites for GSI Outdoors and Soccerloco, both in the same consumer category and powered by the Magento commerce platform. Both of these awards were earned by the teams involved and the individuals who worked hard at every phase of each project. Congrats to the DO team and our client partners.

GSIOutdoors.com

GSI Outdoorsview website

Soccerloco.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soccerlocoview website

About the W³ Awards:

The W³ Awards honors creative excellence on the web, and recognizes the people behind award-winning sites, marketing programs, social content, mobile site/apps and online video. In honoring the best of the Web, the W³ Awards is the first major web competition to be accessible to the biggest agencies, the smallest firms, and everyone in between. Small firms are as likely to win as Fortune 500 companies and international agencies. In its tenth year the W³ Awards received over 5,000 entries from Ad agencies, Public Relations Firms, Interactive Agencies, In-house creative professionals, Web Designers, Graphic Designers and Web Enthusiasts.

EcommercePlatforms

6 Necessary Platforms For eCommerce Success

By | ecommerce | No Comments

As the eCommerce industry continues to grow exponentially and digital commerce becomes increasingly complex, marketers are on the lookout for anything that might make their job a little bit easier. Whether it be simplifying the optimization process or more accurately targeting potential customers, there are many platforms available to maximize your ROI. Rather than sorting through all of your options, we’ve done the work for you and created a list of platforms necessary for your eCommerce success!

Image via: marinsoftware.com

Image via: marinsoftware.com

Marin Software

Powering marketing campaigns in more than 160 countries, Marin Software is a cross-channel performance ad platform used to measure, manage, and optimize advertising expenditures across web and mobile devices. With its single dashboard and control panel, users are able to more easily manage search, social, and display campaigns, saving time and ultimately resulting in better decisions. Marin’s sophisticated advertising cloud technology helps its users improve financial performance by targeting profitable audience segments based on consumers’ recent buying signals on search, social, and display.

TL;DR: Why should you use Marin Software?

Marin gives advertisers an aggregate view of ad spend before, during, and after each campaign through making it easier for you to strategically plan your next move and gain valuable insights about your audience.

Image via: https-marketing.adobe_.com

Image via: https-marketing.adobe_.com

Listrak

For retailers looking to expand their email marketing campaigns, Listrak is the platform to turn to. Listrak is the king of all email marketing, it helps your business create email marketing campaigns that will engage customers and drive sales across channels through its single, integrated digital marketing platform. In 2012, the Ispos Interactive Reid Report stated that 91% of consumers use email once a day and 66% have made a purchase based on an email they received, which just highlights the fact that email marketing campaigns are still alive and kicking in the digital marketing realm. Listrak is a great platform to help your business enhance your email marketing opportunities.

TL;DR: Why should you use Listrak?

Listrak helps marketers maximize the ROI of digital marketing campaigns. Its sophisticated platform assists you with capturing, interpreting, and using your customer data to grow your business and really click with your customers.

Image via: jduminy.free.fr

Image via: jduminy.free.fr

Criteo

Criteo is the global leader in performance display with over $430 billion sales transactions and 740 billion ads served in 2014. Criteo works with internet retailers to serve personalized online display ads to consumers that have previously visited the advertiser’s website. Generating millions of high quality leads everyday, Criteo can help your eCommerce business succeed by generated ads that are consistent with the products and services that your customers are searching for, increasing your ROI and helping you understand your audience better.

TL;DR: Why should you use Criteo?

Criteo’s retargeting technique helps advertisers succeed by focusing on high value customers most likely to convert. By measuring the return on post-click sales, Criteo makes ROI transparent and easy to track.

Image via: https-blog.optimizely.com

Image via: https-blog.optimizely.com

Optimizely

With clients such as Disney and Starbucks, Optimizely is certainly making a dent in the website optimization industry. Optimizely is an easy-to-use website optimization platform that provides powerful A/B and multivariate testing. Users are able to test variations of their websites on live traffic and gather immediate, valuable results. Utilizing Optimizely will help you realize the power of data driven decision-making and will further help your company reach their goals.

TL;DR: Why should you use Optimizely?

Optimizely provides marketers with actionable data based on multivariate and A/B testing as well as visitor insights. This makes it easier for marketers to make data-driven decisions to increase engagement, interactions, and conversions.

Image via: reflektion.com

Image via: reflektion.com

Reflektion

Hoping to create a more personalized shopping experience for your online customers? Consider Reflektion – a predictive analytics platform provider that helps retailers improve customer conversion rates. Offering personalized site search and product recommendations, Reflektion recognizes the importance of each individual shopper’s experience. By focusing on each respective customer, Reflektion’s clients have seen a 26% average increase in revenues. Perhaps the best part of Reflektion’s services is that they are able to transform your commerce system without any large-scale changes to your website and will have you up and running in a week!

TL;DR: Why should you use Reflektion?

By presenting your customers with personalized site search, product recommendations, and mobile compatibility, Reflektion increases your ROI while simultaneously improving customer experience.

Image via: techcrunch.com

Image via: techcrunch.com

Monetate

Employed by some of the best known brands in the world such as Godiva and Best Buy, Monetate helps its clients increase sales by delivering personalized customer experiences that drive customer conversion rates. Monetate’s comprehensive product suite allows marketers to identify your most profitable customer segments and deliver personalized shopping experiences for them across all channels. In addition to personalization, Monetate’s optimization and merchandising services make it easy for you to drive online revenue and react to your customers in real time.

TL;DR: Why should you use Monetate?

Monetate allows marketers to create, test, and deploy an unlimited amount of personalized digital experiences with little need for IT resources. Basically, Monetate helps brands grow revenue faster by being faster.

eCommerce is booming and we want you to be prepared! Check out any of these sites to help you achieve eCommerce success and drop us a line if you need help with any of your conversion optimization needs!

 

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.

US #1 in global Ecommerce

US #1 in Global eCommerce rankings

By | ecommerce | No Comments

A.T. Kearney’s Global Retail E-Commerce Index is basically the olympics of the e-commerce world, and this year the United States brought home the gold. The index determines the top 30 countries for e-commerce in the world. Of course, large countries like the United States, China and the United Kingdom have a significant advantage simply because of size, but the index also recognizes smaller countries with promising markets and growth potential.

The index considers nine factors including: macroeconomic factors, consumer behavior, technology adoption, infrastructure and potential for growth. The 2015 Index named the United States the world’s largest e-commerce powerhouse with a $238 billion market. America’s 15 percent online retail growth from 2014 knocked China into second place, followed by the U.K., Japan, Germany and France. The list also welcomes Mexico, Spain, Austria, and Saudi Arabia to the top 30 ranking this year — these are some emerging markets to watch as they continue to establish themselves as e-commerce leaders.

The report also identified four common themes in e-commerce practices around the globe that have the biggest effect on business strategy, channels, and customers. Internationalization allows businesses to explore new markets without physically being present in said country. Online shopping is becoming increasingly secure and common, meaning shopping online and on mobile devices is trending upwards. Another indicator of growth is the rise of initial public offerings (IPOs) and the success many companies have celebrated as a result of going public. Furthermore, the world is connected — meaning as long as people continue their internet addiction, e-commerce will continue to boom. Lastly, the trend for balance is surprising beneficial. Business aren’t closing up brick-and-mortar stores to be online only. E-commerce companies are exploring expanding into physical stores and vice versa. Consumers like to physically experience items before they invest, yet online shopping is hard to resist because it’s oh-so convenient. People want the best of both worlds — online and physical — meaning businesses should want to provide that duality for their shoppers. Remember, the customer is always right — give ‘em what they want.

Some of the most popular online shopping categories include electronics, apparel, books, and tickets. Household items and groceries are the least commonly purchased online items.

The moral of the story here — there’s always room to grow. If your business is ready to improve its e-commerce, give us a shout. We’d be happy to discuss the possibilities surrounding your company’s relationship with the digital world.

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.

Digital Marketing Tips

This St. Patrick’s Day Make Your Business More “GREEN”

By | digital marketing, ecommerce | No Comments

This Saint Patricks Day, use the luck of the Irish and turn your business more “Green.” No, we’re not talking about using things that are more environmentally friendly (although we hope you are doing this anyways), but rather making your business more money.

Since we are only a few days from St. Patricks day, we thought we’d use the all mighty three leaf clover as a comparison and tell you the three things you should be doing today to make sure that you are increasing your ROI and seeing more of that “green.”

Important Digital Marketing Tactics of 2015

Set Objectives and Define your KPIs

It is imperative that you set objectives that are “SMART” — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time specific. You need to ensure that you have a plan and and strategy in place so you are able to achieve your goals in a certain period of time. This comes with defining your KPI’s. Do you know what your key performance indicators are? Do you know what you should be looking at? It all comes from setting your objectives and achieving those KPI’s one goal at a time.

Plan Ahead

It’s never too soon to start planning for the future, including the 2015 holiday season, email updates for new promotions and product launches. Start with an organized plan, including calendars and new ideas for campaigns you can launch during your busiest time of the year. Don’t be that guy…or girl, that waits until you are in the holiday season to start creating a campaign you are hoping to make viral. Use any chance you get to think about the future.

Because not only will you have to create a campaign, but you will also have to launch it through email, social, paid media, retargeting pools…etc.

Use Analytics

This may sound like a no brainer. But, just because you have analytics set up on your site, doesn’t necessarily mean you are using it to it’s full potential. You should be tracking shopping behavior of your consumers and have Google Tag Manager (GTM) installed. Do you want to know what buttons are being clicked on, or how your site is being used? This is your best option. GTM can be used to track how links on your website are performing.

When you plan ahead and set your objectives, you are easily able to use your Google Analytics to review your KPI’s and ensure you are hitting your goals. Alvaro Martinez, Director of Digital Marketing states, “If your KPIs are aligned with your Business Objectives, you’ll be able to measure the most meaningful analytics to drive intelligent, educated marketing decisions and #LMS”

If you need help achieving your KPI’s or planning ahead for the 2015 holiday season, drop us a line. We’re ready to make 2015 the most “green” year your business has seen yet.

2014 Holiday Sales Recap

Turkey is Cooking, Pies Are Baking and Consumers….They’re Shopping!

By | ecommerce, holidays | No Comments

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now a thing of the past. Now we need to talk about Thanksgiving day sales. As more people begin to shop online at earlier times, we see a slight decrease in brick and motor sales and a surge in ecommerce sales.

This was the first year that many retailers actually opened on Thanksgiving afternoon, to give those that wanted to shop an upper leg. This caused the increase in sales on Thanksgiving day and a slower pace of shopping for most retailers on black Friday.

What were Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday sales?

Adobe reported that “Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday set new [online] sales records with $1.33 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively.” IBM said that Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday e-commerce was up over 2013. On Thanksgiving day this was a 32 percent increase as compared to Thanksgiving day on 2013.

What Were Cyber Monday ecommerce results?

E-commerce revenue was up 15.4% on Cyber Monday 2014 compared to Cyber Monday 2013, making it the biggest day in US online shopping history. Easily shattering the previous record set just three days ago, on Black Friday.

But, Why would sales be up and AOV be down?

IBM explains this slight reduction in average order value due to shoppers becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.

Mobile sales vs. desktop

And, as we predicted earlier this year – mobile device sales were up. Substantially. On Thanksgiving Day mobile devices drove 52 percent of all internet traffic. This is the first time in history that mobile ecommerce sales outweighed desktop sales. And On Black Friday 34.69% of all online sales were purchased via mobile.

What does this mean for the future of ecommerce?

We have seen such a big increase on mobile sales, not only for the holiday shopping but throughout the year. So launch your 2015 year with a strong email campaign, since email marketing generated 27.3 percent of online orders for Black Friday and 23.9 percent on Cyber Monday…it is only going to increase next year. Start building your lists…NOW!


If you need any help with your 2015 planning, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

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