Make-Over tips for your Marketplace

Marketplaces, either physical or online, customer attraction and engagement are a must. Marketplace owners spend lot of money upon creating website, functions, features and more but if it lacks the basic functionality of customer engagement, then you may lose upon your potential customers. Customer engagement encourages visitors to keep browsing through your online marketplace and keep returning for more. Below are few things you can try to boost your marketplace attractiveness and customer engagement.

Go Live With Your Customers

Provide visitors the option of Live Chat on your marketplace website. It is a quick and simple way to interact with your visitors. It gives you the chance to answer your visitor’s queries immediately converting them as your customer. It increases their ability to make quick and definite purchases from you. And it also allows your visitor to stay longer which increases your websites creditability among search engines. With instant response and help available through the Live Chat option more visitors will like to shop on your marketplace.

Make Your Visitor = Customer = Friend with Social Media

Social Media is an amazing platform that can help you reach out to multiple demographics sitting in one corner of the world. It comprises of networks that link strangers to various businesses, individuals and more. Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook are few of the resources with huge potential to display promotional messages, offers, discounts and new products launch and more.

Go Blogging

To get top position in search results you need to get noticed online One of the way to reach there is by publishing informative blog in regular intervals. Blogging enhances the customer’s experience while browsing through your marketplace. Blogs can deliver facts about your marketplace, its products, new product launch and tips on how to make the best deal. By this you will get instant traffic and instant engagement all in one go.

Breaking News with Newsletters

Newsletters are weekly or monthly emails that provide your customers with the essential highlights on products or new products. It includes attractive captions, images and short content to attract its subscribers and visitors. Newsletters with its promotional offers and special discounts are another way of engaging more customers.

Touch of Personalization

Reach out to specific customers like working business persons and college students or men and women, kids special with personalised messages and product suggestions. With this your customers feel delighted and thus it becomes a perfect way to get attention and hold on to them.

False Discounts Is Giving A Bad Reputation To Your Marketplace

A well reputed brand claims that being digital (selling online) is now a way of life and not just a channel for sale. If you notice today’s marketing strategies of marketplaces it is clearly visible that online retail influences buying habits on a daily basis. And the demand for products from such marketplaces is growing every day. But what influences consumers to come back for more? Is it service? Quality? Or discounts?

Survey says “The Indian e-commerce business is projecting a jump of up to $45 billion by 2021. Close to 240 million people are forecast to purchase products online by 2019.  56% of the population is under 30. 80% of online traffic is mainly from mobile phones.

The truth about Marketplace discounts

According to reports, complaints and interrogations, a new survey has revealed that marketplace retailers are quoting discounts on products with base prices higher than their MRP. This issue was brought to the notice of Department of Consumer Affairs who created Local Circles, an online network and a community, after which the Ministry sought inputs from local citizens for useful solutions. Local Circles conducted survey which had more than 8,000 respondents from around 200 districts.

The founder of Local Circles, Sachin Taparia said, “Many citizens have complained in multiple local circles that sellers at e-commerce sites tend to inflate the MRP of the product so that the discounts offered on them could look attractive to the buyers.” He further added, “Many shoppers tend to look up products based on discounts and end up falling in the trap only to find that the MRP on the actual product received was lower than what was listed online.” Some consumer stated that when they tried to mention in reviews that there were discrepancies in the MRP of products, some of the leading ecommerce companies rejected their reviews.

The results of the survey was

  • 41 percent of the surveyed claimed to have experienced this discounting malpractice on online retail platforms.
  • 34 percent of the consumers said they weren’t sure of this.
  • 25 percent respondents said they hadn’t experienced it.

Consumers also suggested many solutions to overcome this problem,

  • Display of a product image with actual product MRP and packaging.
  • Marketplace platforms must obtain a legal contract from their retailers stating they will be blocked from the website in case they inflate prices above MRP.
  • And, in the event of a request for a refund from consumer on account of MRP issue, the full amount paid should be refunded to consumer bank account instead of offering shopping credits within the website.

Do You Know What Your Ecommerce Customers Really Want From You?

Ecommerce retailers are forced to re-evaluate their ecommerce selling strategies because Global consumer E-commerce sales are expected to reach 1.92 trillion dollars this year. In the US, e-commerce sales this year will top $350 billion for the first time. To successfully survive and compete in market, e-commerce businesses must first understand what consumers really want from ecommerce markets. “It’s been said that there are 3 kinds of marketers and how they deal with market trends:

  • Marketers who let it happen,
  • Marketers who make it happen, and
  • Marketers who wonder what happened.”

(Forbes – Brand and Marketing Trends for 2015)

Customer behaviour has changed dramatically since brick and mortar stores to online shopping. Power has shifted in favour of consumers who now demand a broad array of choices, fair prices, high quality, and convenient shopping experience.

Consumer wants to research online

“Online research doesn‘t just lead to online purchases, it‘s also critical in leading to purchases through other channels and in driving traffic to physical brick and mortar outlets.” – PwC

Today’s consumer goes online to research, find, review, and sometimes complete their purchase experience too. 80% of all shoppers conduct online research before they buy electronics, computers, books, music, and movies. 60% of shoppers globally conduct research online before buying clothing, footwear, toys, health and beauty products.

 Consumers buy on the channel of their choice

Though consumers purchase from the same retailer, they want to buy products across more than one channel / mode. This growing trend of multi-channel shopping has radically changed the way consumers shop. This gives a benchmark for consumer delivery experience that retailers should achieve.

 Consumers know more than sales representative.

E-commerce consumers have the tools to search, analyze, and decide what is the most suitable option for them, anytime at their convenience. This means they have more control over what to buy, who to buy it from, comparison websites, and all the other options offered to them.

Consumers want not only options, but more options.

Today’s marketers are presented with an opportunity to provide consumers with more choices, improving and streamlining the shopping experience. By this they can drive more revenue from new purchases and repeat business that comes from satisfied loyal customers.

Check these 5 Best Ways To Promote your New Online Store

A brand new online store is often deserted. Visitors don’t know the website, its products and services. If at all they know, they don’t get the confidence as it is new. Online websites which appear beyond 20 search engine results are not much visited. To generate website traffic, improve website ranking, conversions, sales and profit you need advertising. SEO and content marketing are other ways to generate traffic to your website but you need to be patient as it takes time to let your business grow. But if you need immediate traffic to your online business, you will need to do some sort of promotion, and you will almost certainly have to pay for it.

  1. Traditional Advertising

Promotional forms likenewspaper, magazine, other print media, radio, television, and direct mail are traditional forms of advertising. They are geographical oriented and works best for a specific region. Traditional advertising drives good traffic when you offer a discount in the ad. Traditional advertising in the past was relatively expensive and ineffective, but now they offer plenty of opportunities to drive website traffic to your new online store. Direct mail can be a productive and cost-effective way to attract customers.

  1. Pay-per-click Ads (PPC) on Search Engines

Pay-per-clickis the most powerful advertising to opt for. PPC advertising is a thing where search engines display your website ad on a search engine results page and you pay when someone clicks on your ad and lands on your website.Search engines will try to match your website ad with interested shoppers so that the advertiser and the shopper have a good experience. To accomplish this, the search engines uses ranking model to decide which ads to show for a given search query.Google AdWords is one of the leading PPC model. Bing Ads are also available. While using PPC,you will have to try a few keywords and ads, spend some money, and through trial-and-error find the most effective ads for your online store.

  1. Digital banner Advertising

Digital banner Advertisingcould help related seller to drive web traffic to its online store. All you need to do is find important websites or online publishers in your industry niche and place your ads there with their permission. For example, if you are selling sports shoes, you might try an ad on Sports utility and accessories website. These ads charge a cost-per-thousand impressions or a flat rate for a given time period, say a day, week, or month.

  1. 4. Advertising through Social Media

Social media platform drive a significant amount of highly qualified traffic to your online store. They also offer some form of paid advertising but are less competitive and less expensive than search engine PPC ads. They have good demographic information as they know their users well.Similar to PPC ads, social media advertising also needs a few trial ads to determine what works. You can try following social media platforms for your online ads. Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Twitter ads, LinkedIn advertising, Pinterest Promoted Pins, Reddit advertising, StumbleUpon ads.

  1. Internet video advertising

One of the fastest growing advertising is Internet video advertising.  It’s because making a video commercial easy to make and attracts more audience. It can be made with a good smartphone and free video editing software available online. Also, Internet video ads are of good value and can be less competitive and less expensive than other online options. Video platforms like YouTube, Hulu are performing well towards online business.

Google will restrict Mobile Pop-Ups Ads from January 10, 2017

History of Google’s algorithm changes and product announcements has always kept usability as the priority in its modifications.Google announced its impending crack down on mobile pop-up ads earlier this week.The major reason behind it was to enhance the user experience. The hardest hit from this announcement was on businesses that rely on advertisements as a primary source of revenue.

Google’s smack down includes the following:

  • When the user navigates to a page from the search results, showing and popup that covers the main content.
  • When the user navigates to a page from the search results, displaying a pop up ad that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • When the user navigates to a page from the search results, using a layout where the entire portion of the page is covered by pop up ad and the original content is underneath the ad.

Google’s new way in Mobile Search Results ranking.

  • In 2014, Google included a “mobile-friendly” label for search results that were optimized for mobile platforms, where text is readable without zooming or horizontal scrolling and links are spaced well to reduce the chance of mis-tapping.
  • In 2016, Google has found that 85% of mobile search results were optimized for mobile. As a result, the search engine is stopping that label, and introducing new mobile-specific ranking criteria.
  • And now, pages with mobile pop-ups probably won’t be ranking as highly when these new algorithmic changes take effect on January 10, 2017.
  • Pages that show more pop ups provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.
  • Not all pop-ups are created equal, so there are some specifics around which types of pop ads Google considers to be disruptive to the user experience. Some are legally required — like ones used by liquor companies that verify the user’s age — so they won’t impact the page’s rank.

Get ready for the new changes by practicing the following.

  • Remove pop up ads unless they’re required by law. Example of pop up ads required by law: Age verification, Usage of cookies.
  • If your business relied upon ad revenue, then figure out where that money is going to come from now onwards.
  • Start generating revenue without obstructing the user experience. Make something valuable for the user.
  • Find new ways that optimizes your page for mobile screens to increase search engine rank.

Source : Hubspot.


Why Google Thinks Responsive Design is the Best Choice?

Responsive design for websites consists of the same URL address and the same HTML content – it just adapts and gets re-proportioned based on the viewer’s screen size. Which means if you open a link from your mobile phone and then reopen it on your desktop, it’s going to be a same consistent experience either way.

As per Google, few things responsive design does really well.

  • For beginners, it saves resources when Googlebot crawl’s your website.
  • Rather than crawling multiple websites, the Googlebot can go to one place which increases efficiency and helps Google index more content.
  • Responsive design also helps Google’s algorithms more accurately assign indexing properties to a piece of content without needing to check two places.
  • A responsive website takes less time to maintain because you don’t have multiple pages for the same content.
  • No redirection of users is required based to other URL’s on their device, which speeds up the load time of your website. Faster websites lead to more conversions.

Google advices to avoid using flash video and other un-playable content types on mobile website which causes a slow loading mobile website. Google also says that you may not need to fully redesign the website now to comply with Google’s requirements for mobile-friendly sites. What you do need to do is move your existing site, blog or landing pages to a mobile friendly platform quickly because every day that your site isn’t optimized for mobile is a day that you’ll lose traffic. Estimates of mobile search volume vary by industry, but one thing researchers have seen is that businesses with mobile-optimized websites triple their chances of increasing mobile conversation rate to 5% or above.

In addition to ensuring that the website loads properly,also look after

  • The font is big enough for mobile.
  • Considershort length of your forms on mobile devices.
  • Visitor’s behaviour exhibit on mobile devices differs from that of desktop viewers, so begin to adapt your content strategy accordingly.

Modernizing website to be optimized for all visitor types, devices screens make it a better experience to shop and meet the needs of perspective customers, reduces friction on your website, and will ultimately lead to more conversions and revenue for your company. These changes are actually very good for Google users and marketers alike.

Give your Facebook Ads a better headline

To explore one of the best targeted Ad creations, you can log on to Facebook. With almost 1.3 billion daily users, Facebook is one of the best engaging platforms. Facebook’s targeting options make it easier for the marketers to get ads in front of the people that marketers really care about. But it’s upon the marketers to do the convincing part. And just for this we are suggesting marketers few details to pay close attention.

A Facebook users’ decision to take action on any Facebook Ad will be totally influenced by the strength of the Ad headline. It should be memorable, eye-catching, and above all, clear. After all, it sets the tone and expectation for everything to come.

Customized headline

Customize the headlineto make your Ad more personal and engaging. The headline can often be the last thing Facebook users read in order to understand exactly what you are offering.

Clear headline

Over 3 million posts are published every minute on Facebook. You must try for a level of headline clarity that isn’t easily glossed over.

Concise headline

Always aim to keep Facebook Ad headline short, sweet, and to the point. Facebook advices that Ad headlines must fall between 25-40 characters in length to maximize engagement. Focus should be on creating something that is easily understood and value-oriented.

Question yourself.

Ad headline in the form of a question is a great way to grab a Facebook user’s attention and draw them in to get the answer. In fact, research from Social Influence about declarative-statement headlines found that headlines in the form of questions received 150% more clicks than statement headlines. Not to mention, these questioning headlines received 175% more clicks if the question included the word “you.”

Commanding headline

An effective Facebook Ad headline can also start by commanding or action you want people to take upfront. This will help you keep things clear, concise, and actionable, while still being compelling.

Show benefits in the headline.

Another strong technique for Facebook Ad headlines is showing users how the offer benefits them. Now-a-days, people don’t want to be sold products aggressively; insteadthey want to know how your product will benefit them. This is a better way to drive clicks and conversions than listing the features.

Headline that creates curiosity

This concept refers to the gap between – what we know and what we don’t know. Social media platforms and newspapers are filled with headlines that make us want to learn more, and these headlines take advantage of the curiosity gap that convert more clicks.

Whether it’s a news article or a Facebook Ad — headlines will play a huge role in making people to read your content.If you use a poor headline, it does not matter how hard you work over your content because your content will not be read.

Source: Internet, Hubspot.

Do you want to Acquire New Customers? Use Emails.

In Ecommerce business, finding new prospects and converting them into customers can be difficult. You need a continuous flow of new customers to grow your business. To achieve this you need all your marketing tools and tactics to be in place. Say you already have them; you have good ideas to entice your prospects based on the marketing channel, offer, time of year, and other factors. Maintaining these rates may result more visitors and therefore result in more customers and greater overall revenue. A good strategy is to segregate your visitors based on behavior and send different messages at different frequency to them. Then the focus should be to get the most quality visitors to your website and then use the marketing tools and tactics within your plan to maintain or improve conversion rates.In this post, we will explore few ways to use email marketing to acquire new customers.

Re-engage with lapsed subscribers.

If you have subscribers that have stopped responding to your emails, then group them. Revisiting lapsed subscribers and reengaging with them is an easy first step in building your acquisition pipeline. It’s about getting subscribers back to your website to browse, see what’s new, and hopefully purchase.Always look at the open and click statistics for your email subscribers.

Renting an Email List

Renting email list can be challenging. It involves good knowledge before using this method for acquiring new customers. However, renting an email list can provide huge potential customers who are ready to check your company.Renting email list can come from different sources like companies and their manager or owner. The owner of a rented email list retains control of the email addresses and does not disclose them to the company. The owner on your behalf will send your message to its list for a fee which is usually an amount per one-thousand email address (CPM, cost per thousand). The recipients of such emails have opted in to receive information or advertisements from other organizations. The benefit in this is that renting provides access to subscribers of another organization.The more specific and closer email list you get, the more expensive it is, which results the higher response rates.

Email List Licensing

Licensing an email list is more expensive than renting it. Licensing gives you access to the data like names and email addresses of the subscribers so that you can freely contact them for a set period of time (usually 1 year) and have control over the data during that period. Again the recipients of such emails or calls have opted in to receive information or advertisements from other organizations.

Complementary Sites that help in Co-branding

Search for opportunities to share your product’s advertising with complementary websites that are not your direct competitors, whereby your website would market to their subscribers, and vice versa.

Are you ready with web pages that convert? If not, you are wasting money on Advertising

One thing that we note in every social media based ecommerce group discussion is a question “How to advertise effectively to get more customers?” or “How to use AdWords for better conversion?”Most of the time people are asking wrong question, and thus they get wrong answers too. Wondering how? It’s because, before advertising, always make sure pages will convert. This one important aspect is left out while making all the efforts to convert customers.

It’s easy to sell products by spending upon online marketing daily, weekly or monthly. But do you know most of the time you get poor results not because of the poor advertising but because of poor landing page. No entrepreneur should spend upon advertising or pay-per-click ad if its visitors are targeted to poorly designed pages. Instead visitors have bad impression upon your website and may not prefer to visit back in future.

How to find whether your website pages are poorly designed?

  • Minimal representation of product in the ad copy.
  • Visitor is directed to a page which represents very little about that specific product.
  • The landing page is poorly designed which is not at all appealing to the eye.
  • Weak layout and elements that are distracting users to leave the page.
  • No call-to-action button in the landing page for the consumer to take action. Whereas you took all the effort and spent money to send people to that page.
  • Slow loading website and inner pages. Do speed testing of your website with Google’s free tool ‘Pingdom’. This will show you which pages or scripts or elements are bogging things down.
  • Lengthy product names plus too-technical. Be concise, and use simple, straight forward words.
  • The product title is not a description and description is not your title. Give apt details that sell product.
  • Poorly formatted pricing.
  • Bad images.
  • Not giving attention to customer reviews. These days if visitors don’t find customer reviews on a product page, they go somewhere else to find the reviews and thus bounce to another website.
  • Make some urgency.Limited availability of a product, limited time deals and social proof leads to the overall urgency one feels when considering a purchase.
  • Always be honest about what the product does and what it doesn’t do, if necessary, and use words everyone can understand in your description.

Once you make sure that all the above points are met, test and analyse whether the website is working properly. After that test your bounce rate too. If there is a decrease in bounce rate that means people are interested in buying your products. And then turn on your ad campaigns with a low budget initially and keep close attention until you touch your targeted conversion rate.

Updates: Google’s Changes in Ad Words, Prioritizes Mobile Search

  • Source: Performance Summit 2016.
  • Spokesperson – Sridhar Ramaswamy – Google’s senior vice president of Ads and Commerce.
  • Keynote Announcement – “The shift to mobile is not something that is happening. It has happened. Google has a whole new vision for AdWords and Analytics for a mobile-first world.”

The Changesto the AdWords platform

The keynote topic in Google’s announcements was more about mobile computing and smartphones. Also included that 50 percent of searches on Google are from smartphones. For websites using Google Analytics, gets over 50 percent of traffic from smartphones and tablets. So, while Enhanced Campaigns 2014 were for the desktop world, these new changes are for mobile. Following points were noteworthy to match up the new changes in text ads.

Google has expanded text Adscharacter counts by removing the right side ads in search results. Now all the ads will appear in the main search column either above or below the organic listings.

  • Titles will expand from 25 characters to 30 characters.
  • Descriptions will expand from 35 characters to 80 characters.
  • No input of Display URL. The root-level domain of the destination (final) URL will be extracted and set as the display URL, automatically.

The main focus of the entire change is that, now the ads will look like organic results with much better design and feel from top to bottom. This will surely increase its click-through-rates and thereby increase Google’s revenue. In the matter of fact, beta testers of the new text ad format have already seen up to 20 percent higher Click throughRate.Responsive Display Ads will also have minor changes with major impact. Google will automatically design display ads. All you need to do is provide headlines, a description, an image, and a URL. This feature will help many small advertisers who cannot afford design resource but on the other end large advertisers may have a negative effect in their looks, style, branding, color scheme and more.This willmotivate more newbie advertisers to take advantage of the Google Display Network and also becomes a boon to content publishers who relyon AdSense revenue.

There are also Bid Adjustments for each device Type like desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles.

Also introduced“Promoted Pins” in Google Maps. Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to location. Search the same store, the same map look with brand logo pin upon their physical store location.“Promoted Pins” will likely become increasingly common and successful for future advertisers.

As per Google’s announcement’s the text-ad changes will likely occur by year-end 2016. The other features will probably launch this year or next year.