We've now delivered over 10 billion interactions - clicks, sales and much more - with shoppers all over the world. Here are the top 10 e-commerce tips we've developed from all that data.
When Yieldify first took shape in 2013, little did we know that four short years later we would have delivered over 10 billion interactions on websites across the world.
Those clicks, sales, leads and much more have given us a pool of data and a wealth of experience that all add up to one thing: great insight into e-commerce strategies that convert.
So we thought that the occasion of reaching this milestone should be a point at which we share the wealth. Based on that data and experience, here are our top ten e-commerce tips - enjoy!
1. Focus as much on new customers as potential customers
Most businesses focus much of their e-commerce strategies on converting new visitors - but did you know that for a conventional retailer, less than 0.00003% of visitors become a regular customer?
There is a huge, often neglected, opportunity here. Work on getting your new customers to become loyal customers, finding out what it takes to get them to make that crucial second purchase and continue their journey with you.
2. Don't expect discounts to drive loyalty
Offering discounts is the ultimate 'quick-win' e-commerce tip if you can afford to take the hit on your margins. But the thing to remember is that while discounting can significantly increase the number of visitors purchasing for the first time, it's not always the best strategy for driving lifetime value.
Why? The customer that's more motivated by discounting is likely less engaged with your brand, less aware of your differentiators and less interested in the great service you provide - their focus is on the price tag. With that in mind, it's hardly surprising that the customer enticed through the door by the discount isn't necessarily going to keep coming back if you can't keep offering them price incentives.
Across the lifecycle, having the right message is just as important, if not more so, than your discount. We saw this in a test with Steiner Sports, where we split-tested two incentives: 20% off and 15% off. The winning variant was actually the one with 15% off - but we had added dynamic content that showed the visitor the last product they had browsed, making the message more personal even though the discount was smaller.
3. Get ahead of exit intent
Using exit intent technology to catch your visitor at the point of exit with a compelling message is a powerful tool.
However, your chances of driving conversion double if instead of launching a message when your customer goes to exit, you make an intervention that makes their journey more relevant and seamless before they show exit intent.
Of course, this is a little bit more complex and requires more commitment to testing - but the results are likely to be worth the effort.
4. Email remarketing is essential
There's always going to be a significant proportion of your visitors who just aren't ready to buy: this segment gets bigger if your products are high-value or if you're in a market where comparison sites can lead browsers into long decision-making processes.
The best of our e-commerce tips for this is email remarketing - following up on your abandoning visitors with reasons for them to return can increase their likelihood to purchase by up to 5%, according to our data.
5. Focus on your core
Do for your website as you would do at the gym - if you don't work on your core, then you'll never get your best possible result. In e-commerce, getting your core customer journeys right provides a much larger return on investment than tactical campaigns. After all, a 5% increase in overall performance is much more valuable than the same increase for a tactical campaign.
The proof is in the numbers - we regularly see core campaigns accounting for over three-quarters of all the site-wide conversion uplift driven by onsite remarketing.
6. Don't ask for a lead too quickly
Asking a brand new visitor to your site for their email address within seconds of arrival might be like asking someone for their number immediately after saying 'hi'. At best, it's less likely to be successful - at worst, it comes across as aggressive and off-putting.
The key is to wait until your new visitor has had time to engage with your site and understand what it's about; you'll then have a much better likelihood of being able to capture their details if you ask them once they're in a place to make a more informed decision. This way, you can easily double your lead conversation rates (based on our calcuations) compared to if you asked visitors on entry to your site.
7. Align your test length with your purchase cycle
Core campaign testing length should be aligned to your customer purchase cycle for best results. If your customers typically purchase in six-week cycles, then make sure that your test runs for at least six weeks - any shorter and you'll likely to skew your results.
8. Message and timing beat creative
It's a staple of A/B testing that encourages you to test whether the photo of the Golden Retriever or the Labrador sells insurance better. Of course, the creative for your campaigns merits careful consideration and testing - but we find the results to be quite marginal.
Our data shows that in order to make a real impact on conversion, your tests should focus on the message you show and the timing at which you show it.
9. Never assume that your message gets read
Don't assume that your finely-crafted USP messages, such as free delivery, returns or trust signals, are being read by visitors. If you want them to get seen, you'll need to put the appropriate ones right under their noses.
Our tests show that if you highlight these messages on an overlay campaign at the right time, you can increase conversions by up to 31% for those visitors exiting pre-checkout. Check out how luxury brand Harrys of London highlighted their USP messages to encourage their customers to convert:
10. Know when to be aggressive
Our data shows that conversion rates can be improved by 4x when messages are shown later in the user journey.
As a general rule, knowing when to be aggressive with messages - and when to hold back - is important for generating the best conversion improvement. If you know that your visitors require a few sessions before deciding to purchase, then showing important messages on the first session may be less effective - they'll simply forget and your important differentiator will gather dust.
How many of these e-commerce strategies do you have running on your site?
We can help you get them up and running - our team are experts at understanding visitor behaviour data and using it to create strategies that increase your conversions. Get in touch and we'll show you how we can help.