Posts tagged: eCommerce

Social Media For eCommerce Sites

In an effort to educate clients and strategic partners, I’ve started a series of blog posts dedicated to answering “frequently asked questions” we receive about interactive strategy, web design and development, search marketing, and social media.

Questions like “what is search engine marketing?”

In this post I’m addressing another common question which came from a call I received last week.  During the conversation, at one point, the caller said (not in so many words):

“I just don’t get social media.  I mean, I don’t use it, but I know there must be something to it…Can I actually generate orders for my e-commerce site using social media?  If I can, I’ll use it (social media).  If not, then I’m just not interested in it.”

Fair enough.  However, after a bit more Q&A, it was clear the real underlying issue was his e-commerce website wasn’t generating [and converting] enough traffic into orders.

Besides optimizing his search marketing initiatives, we discussed the possibility of integrating Facebook social plugins into his website to increase his referral traffic (for starters).

Many people often overlook this option, but using social plugins makes it very easy for visitors to spread the word about your business and/or product through their already “well-established” networks on Facebook.

Facebook Social Plugins

Social plugins are simple tools that can be dropped into any website, which when deployed can drive deeper engagement on websites using Facebook Likes, Recommendations, and Logins.  Facebook has even showcased some case studies that demonstrate spectacular increases in referral traffic using these social plugins.

The following are my top three Facebook Social Plugins, in order of importance and priority, for any e-commerce site looking to increase referral traffic and ultimately sales from this channel.

The Facebook Like button

The Like button lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile with one click.  Implementing it on your product pages allows your visitors to tag the page with a “Like” which then shows up on their Facebook wall and their friend’s news stream. If you don’t yet have the Facebook Like button implemented on your product pages, this should be a priority.  Just like you optimize your site for SEO, you need to let visitors “Like” your key landing pages.

Facebook Recommendations

The Recommendations plugin gives users personalized suggestions for pages on your site when they might like.  You can test it for your website here.  It works even if you haven’t yet implemented the Facebook Like button because its based on what your Fans are already sharing on Facebook.

Facebook Login

The Login Button shows profile pictures of the user’s friends who have already signed up for your site, in addition to a Login button. While e-commerce websites have not been quick to adopt Login, it’s such a good fit.  Why?  Site visitors are more likely to log in with their existing Facebook account on an e-commerce site than create a new account.

Obviously, there’s a lot more to successful social media and Web marketing than the above, but it’s a good start, can be implemented quite easily, and has the potential to improve your bottom-line.

P.S. If you found these tips useful, check out our free guide, 9 Ways to Turbo Charge Your Online Marketing.

About the Author

Mitch Fanning is VP of Strategy & Business Development for Fruition Interactive. Mitch has spent 11 years working with businesses of all sizes, from global brands to some of Canada’s fastest growing web start-ups ranked in the PROFIT 100.

Photo credit: SocialCommerceToday

Your Web site’s got traffic. Now what?

So you’ve taken the plunge. You’ve invested your time, money or both in creating new traffic for your Web site. Maybe you’ve done some Search Engine Optimization on your site, started a Google Adwords campaign or been effective at using Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media to drive traffic to you and increase your visibility.

Now what?

What do you want all those new visitors to do?

If you’re in business you probably want those new visitors to become your customers (and if you’re a non-profit you want them to become your donors, your volunteers or your advocates). You want them to convert.

And the key to converting your visitors into customers is having a strong and effective Call To Action on your site.

What’s a Call To Action? It’s an invitation to your site’s visitors to take the next step towards becoming your customers (what that step is is going to depend on your business and your sales process).

So what makes a strong and effective Call To Action?

[Read more…]

Why Web site usability matters

Screen shot:

At Fruition, we talk a lot about Web site usability and good online user experience. It’s kind of what we do around here. But as a business person, why should you care about whether your Web site is clean-looking and easy to navigate?

It’s about conversions

Increasing your site’s conversion rate is the easiest and most cost-effective way to generate new leads and new revenue from your site. Period. You don’t need to spend a dime on driving new traffic to your site  to generate additional revenue if you can increase the number of your current visitors who become customers. And the payoffs can be huge.

Let’s take, for example, a site that gets 20,000 unique visitors in a month. There are a lot of sites that do this kind of traffic. If we can increase their conversion rate — the percentage of those visitors that become customers — by 1%, that’s 200 new customers a month.

What’s the lifetime value of a customer to your business? For a lot of our clients, that number is in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. And what would you spend to increase your sales by $200,000 a month?

So how does Web site usability factor into this math?

[Read more…]

3 tips for small business social media success

eCommerce TImes is running a useful series of social media tips for small businesses. Among the tips:

Social media are growing increasingly intertwined. Twitter and LinkedIn can be tied together so that your tweets automatically show up on your LinkedIn news feed. YouTube — and just about all other sites with content — have links accompanying every article, video or photo to share across multiple platforms. So if you have a decent video camera and the wherewithal to create a series of instructional videos, you can post them on YouTube and share them on your Facebook page and your LinkedIn profile to drive viewers’ attention to the videos.

The piece hits the basics adequately enough, but falls short in some key areas. You’ll want to do more, for instance, than just monitor what people are saying about your business in social media circles; you’ll want to engage with people who are talking about your business via social media.

via E-Commerce News: SMB: Socializing the Storefront, Part 2: Navigating the Scene.

Mobile Online shopping starts to take off

Our friends at Usability Sciences have been doing a lot of research on Mobile eCommerce (that’s shopping on your iPhone or Blackberry or what have you). What they’re finding should give eCommerce companies that haven’t optimized their sites for mobile pause — lot’s of people in key demographics are shopping online using their phones:

Looking at age, here is the breakdown of those who purchased through their phone in the last 6 months:

Mobile purchase categories by age

Clearly, if your target demographic is in the 25-44 age range you want to have your site mobile optimized.

Now, methodologically, there is some room for doubt here — the sample group is self-selected and that group  may skew towards people who are more likely than average to do stuff like shop with their phones.

via Volume 40 – Shopping Online Mobile – Alive and Very Well Part II – May 2010 | Usability Sciences.

Mobile Banking Set to Soar – eMarketer

According to eMarketer’s latest report,  “Mobile Banking: Financial Services Firms Look to Cash In.”

Several forecasts predict that by 2015, 50% or more of US mobile users will be conducting transactions from their mobile devices.

You’d have to assume that Canadian adoption numbers would be even higher than in the US, which traditionally lags us in consumer banking technologies.

The full report, “Mobile Banking: Financial Services Firms Look to Cash In,” also answers these key questions:

  • How many consumers already use mobile banking? How many are interested in trying it?
  • How many financial institutions are using the mobile channel? What is the extent of their mobile offerings?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges in mobile banking?

via Mobile Banking Set to Soar – eMarketer.

Is the Click Still King?

eMarketer asks. “is the click still King?” noting:

Despite widespread recognition that the click-through does not measure the full effect of an online ad […] and calls for better branding metrics, many marketers still rely on the easy-to-track click as their top performance metric.

What’s really interesting is that when you ask marketers what they think they should be measuring, they say “ROI” — they’re just not actually measuring it.

I think the issue is that a lot of businesses don’t know how to measure or track online ROI — so they default to measuring the top-line thing their analytics reports give them: clicks and visits.

I know that’s definitely true for our clients (before they start working with us, that is) and one of the biggest aha moments we have with most clients is when we help them determine a set of Key Performance Indicators for measuring Return on Investment and put in place analytics software to track them.

via Is the Click Still King? – eMarketer.

Small businesses are using social networks to become bigger

The Economist has a sweet little primer on social networking for small business this week. The piece has a couple of great case studies and identifies this critical success factor:

A survey of 1,000 heavy users of social networks and other digital media conducted in August 2009 by Razorfish, an advertising agency, found that 44% of those following brands on Twitter said they did so because of the exclusive deals the firms offered to users.

A special report on social networking: A peach of an opportunity | The Economist.