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How often do you purchase the first item that pops up after a Google search without digging into any more details? If you’re from the 21st century, the answer is likely to be never!

Customers have more choice online than ever before and are able to seamlessly research similar products across multiple stores within minutes. Research shows that 90% of people check out a business online before purchasing, so it’s clear that customers are evolving and want to know more about the products they are buying. To compete online it is essential to evolve alongside customers and their propensity to research.

Reviews for ecommerce stores have never been more important with 91% of people reading online reviews while shopping.  One of the biggest issues for ecommerce stores is the obstacles in place around building trust and relationships with their customers. The way a consumer views your brand can hold great power; today, thanks to reviews, it can be the deciding factor when you are competing against a larger store with lower prices.  Knowing how to generate both high quality and a high quantity of reviews can contribute immensely to your future ecommerce success.

5 reasons why reviews should be important to you

1.Competitive advantage

As the ecommerce industry is growing, so are your competitors.  It’s easy to get stuck in a price war you didn’t want to join. An important element to avoiding the race to the bottom, is standing out from the crowd. Reviews build intangible value around your products and services, offering the customers far richer information than just price. Customers are able to find answers to their questions and comfort around quality from reviews, and this additional information and security around the product could be the reason a customer goes with you over a competitor.

2.Building trust online

We mentioned how customers are evolving and becoming more aware of the neverending options within the ecommerce world, however in this great time of growth, consumers are also being told to be more self-aware when it comes to online security. This has made building trust more challenging than ever before.

In a physical store you have the ability to speak with customers and understand how they want to interact with your brand. Do they want help or are they happy to be left alone? You can represent your brand and build trust in the form of a smiling sales assistant who is equipped with all the answers. But how do you replicate this online? Trust is built by personifying your brand, and associating real people and their opinions with your store. Research supports this, showing that 88% of consumer trust online reviews and 84% trust those reviews as much as they do as a personal recommendation.

3.Increase quantity and quality of traffic through SEO

It comes as no surprise that search engine optimisation is a crucial part of any ecommerce strategy. Reviews help increase the volume of traffic to your website, while also strengthening the quality of that traffic. User generated content such as reviews increase and enrich your SEO as reviews are a constant source of new content. The information being shared is up-to-date and most likely in line with what your target audience will be searching for.

4.Online reviews lead to sales

Online reviews increase the quality and quantity of your traffic, build trust and help customers find the answers they are looking for. Therefore it’s little wonder that reviews can ultimately help to support an increase in sales.  Reviews can play a part in several different parts of the consumer’s buying process, strengthening the likelihood of conversion at the end of their journey. Recent studies show that stores who incentivise reviews could increase their conversion rate from 2% to 26.83%.

5.Brand loyalty

The average basket size of a customer that uses a loyalty reward in a purchase is 39% higher than the basket size of a customer that doesn’t. Brand loyalty and reviews come hand in hand, as reviews create loyal customers and loyal customers create reviews.

Your loyal customers are your biggest advocates and are most likely to leave positive reviews.  74% of consumers agree that word-of-mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decisions, making online reviews the modern day version of word-of-mouth. You can incentivise your loyal customers to leave reviews through loyalty points and rewards. In turn, this results in a higher number of better quality reviews throughout your store. This also increases visitor conversions and creates more loyal customers, resulting in increased engagement, retention and customer lifetime value.

We could go on and on, but hopefully the power of customer love and reviews is clear from these five points alone. If you’re looking to build customer reviews into your customer loyalty strategies, then start by considering one of LoyaltyLion’s integrations.

In no particular order, LoyaltyLion integrates with:

Stamped.io

“Stamped.io gives you everything you need to effectively gather and moderate user-content from your customers. Increase interactions and build a community of loyal fans.”

Okendo

“Okendo is the new standard in customer reviews. High-growth Shopify retailers use Okendo to build shopper trust and excitement, showcase customer experiences and compel buying action.”

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“Trustpilot produces a TrustScore for businesses based on recent reviews. Every day, more than 40,000 consumers sign up on Trustpilot.com and every 3 seconds a new review is posted on the community.”

Judge.Me

“Judge.me collects, manages and displays product reviews for you; including in-email review forms, pictures, social push, rich snippets, Google Shopping, All Reviews Page, product groups, and more.”

Feefo

“Feefo makes customers better informed about their buying decisions with authentic reviews matched to transactions, while businesses benefit from trustworthy customer insights.”

To find out more about how LoyaltyLion integrates with review partners, (954) 500-3766 If you’re interested in learning more about the power of reviews and loyalty, check out our LoyaltyLion Academy here.  

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Growing at 13% each and every year, the ecommerce industry is one of the most challenging to compete and thrive in. The good news is,  that no matter the size of your business or your marketing budget, there are strategies and solutions to help you engage and retain your customers and beat the odds.

That’s why we’re excited to launch the LoyaltyLion Academy: a collection of free, online tutorials designed to help merchants use loyalty strategies to tackle the challenges of customer engagement and retention.

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From using rewards to turn one-time customers into repeat customers, to driving customer engagement through loyalty emails, we have a module for every stage of the customer lifecycle.

The LoyaltyLion Academy consists of seven modules but you don’t have to tackle them all in one go – sign up once and you can keep coming back whenever you have a question, or a spare second to learn more about ecommerce loyalty.

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Whether you already have a program in place, or you’re looking for new ways to drive revenue for your store, the LoyaltyLion Academy has been created to help you become the go-to expert in ecommerce loyalty for your business.

Visit the LoyaltyLion Academy to get started!

Guest Post: Build your Shopify brand with these 6 simple tips

This guest post is written by Patrick Foster, a seasoned ecommerce expert with several years of experience under his belt. Today he shares his hard-won knowledge on Ecommerce Tips, a leading blog that looks at every aspect of running an ecommerce business. From marketing to web design, Patrick has you covered. Find the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.

The life of an ecommerce entrepreneur isn’t an easy one. Growing your business from the ground up can be challenging, especially in such a competitive market. But it’s not impossible. With determination and hard work, you can achieve ecommerce success. And of course, it doesn’t hurt to know a few handy tips from someone who’s been there and done that either…

Stay on top of your finances with simple money management

Most Shopify entrepreneurs didn’t go to business school. They’re just everyday people with ambition and passion, so they might not have the financial savvy necessary to stay on top of their business.

Luckily, Shopify makes it easy for you to manage the incoming and outgoings of your ecommerce business. Shopify Payments lets you accept payments from most major banks, and there’s no hidden costs to sting you when you least expect.

And if you find the labyrinthine world of taxes confusing, you can rest easy. Shopify calculates state and country-specific taxes automatically, saving you considerable time and effort.

If you do need some extra money help — download some finance apps and speak to a business advisor. Ecommerce can be a complex financial undertaking, so spend time getting to grips with key metrics like cost of sale, profit margins, break-even etc.

Use the in-built data dashboards to help you find out exactly how much your business is bringing in, and invest more time and money into the kinds of customers who spend with you on a regular basis. Repeat business and long-term customers are essential for a financially sound business.

Take advantage of free and effective CRMs

Staying on top of your customer base should be a top priority when it comes to building your ecommerce brand. Shopify knows the importance of customer relationships, so they make it easy for you to do so. (Thank God).

You might have already heard of Kit, a virtual assistant who helps you increase sales and fine-tune your marketing efforts. But the ecommerce store builder took their CRM capabilities further with the introduction of Shopify Ping earlier this year.

Ping is an all-in-one app that consolidates every messaging channel into one place: Facebook, ChatKit, and more are all readily available to use, saving you time switching between them. And because it integrates with Kit, Ping streamlines all your marketing efforts for easy administration.

Building a brand is all about building relationships, so get chatting and get down with Shopify’s CRM offering to help you scale your business.

Get custom with your Shopify design

Shopify has a wide range of great templates in their Theme Store, with designs to suit every niche. And they integrate with a number of third-party theme marketplaces too, so Shopify users have a huge variety of templates at their disposal.

But for those entrepreneurs who want only the most unique theme for their online store, Shopify lets you submit your own custom designs too. Keep it for yourself or share the love on the Theme Store — it’s up to you.

But if you do choose the latter, it’s a strong way to create a reliable extra revenue source on the side too. Plus, it works great as a marketing tactic to spread the word about your growing business empire.

Either way, a custom store design allows you to have a more unique and fresh aesthetic, and will keep you from looking like any other cookiecutter store out there. When it comes to brand building, being unique is essential, and having a custom theme will allow you to assert your personality.

Invest in a helping hand — but choose wisely

No matter how determined you are, you won’t be able to grow your online store without a little extra help. I’m talking about the plugins and widgets available in Shopify’s App Store. With thousands available and more being added all the time all the time, there are plenty of apps for you to grow your store with.

It has the standard essentials that every entrepreneur needs — 6624566655, abandoned cart solutions — as well as some useful extras too. For example, 469-802-9198 is a handy app that gives shoppers points in return for email signups, product reviews, and more. It’s a great way to gather social proof and build email lists in a natural, organic way.

If you’re building your store from the ground up, these apps give you a perfect head-start into the industry. But they’re also super useful for turning around pre-made businesses —  pick up an existing 5 figure store and really ramp it up to six figures within a year just by choosing few select apps to grow your business.

But with so much app choice at your fingertips, it can be easy to splash out and get anything and everything. So be discerning: identify goals for your business and do your research to find the app that achieves them.

Go seasonal with your selling

The huge profits (and crazy queues) of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (or BCFM to those in the know) aren’t just for brick-and-mortar stores. Ecommerce businesses too can get in on the hype and take advantage of the seasonal spikes in sales.

And it’s not just shopping events like these that your new ecommerce enterprise can benefit from. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July are just a few of the seasonal events that your business can take advantage of for special promotional sales.

But to do this right, you’ll need to prepare well in advance. Create strong, relevant campaigns in the lead-up to the event and spread them across your social, email, and PPC marketing. Create seasonal discount codes to lure customers to your store — you could even create a seasonal competition for a free voucher.

Let Shopify help you grow

Perhaps the best thing about Shopify is that it pushes its entrepreneurs to succeed. Newcomers to the world of online selling can learn a huge deal from Shopify’s Ecommerce University, with courses covering everything from marketing and finance to dropshipping and order fulfillment.

On top of that, Shopify also has a regular podcast series with on-point tips from ecommerce experts, plus a comprehensive blog through which they regularly share vital knowledge and insights. It’s a valuable resource that’s aided by a closely-knit community of fellow entrepreneurs who are always willing to help you out.

It’s a good idea to engage with the community on social media — many Shopify entrepreneurs make a lot of passive income by selling on their Shopify knowledge in the form of videos or online courses. Think about all the lessons and hacks you have learned, and share that with your audience.

Face-to-face meets in cities around the world are also a great opportunity to network with potential suppliers, customers, and investors. Be brave and get out there with your own elevator pitch.

Reach out to Shopify’s 24 hour support team when you have a specific question or problem, but be ready to provide detailed information like screenshots and error codes.

What you get from your ecommerce business depends on what you put into it — you are responsible for your own success. Invest in a select few apps to grow your store, and make the most of the in-built features. But above all, keep your eyes on the prize. Remember why you got into this business and keep pressing on, and you’ll soon reap the reward.

Guest Post: 5 Fail-proof ideas to let your customers talk about you

This guest post is written by one of our integrations, Stamped.io, an app which effectively gathers and moderates user-content from your customers.

Word of mouth marketing is arguably the most desired form of marketing. If you play your cards right, your customers will do all the hard work for you.

That feeling when your existing customers start recommending your product to their friends and colleagues it’s truly priceless.

It just goes to show how much they love your product.

According to a 706-759-1493 by Nielsen, Earned media (aka word-of-mouth) is 92% more effective than all other forms of advertising.

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While some products and services naturally produce chatter, there are always certain things you can do to encourage word of mouth. Although it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Getting your customers’ attention in this day and age when their emails and social media platforms are filled with promotional messages from other companies is a challenge in itself. You could easily annoy them and end up losing a customer instead of adding one.

Your customers have more choices than ever. Price comparison is only a few clicks away. So how do you get their attention?

In this article, we will look at 5 ideas that will get your customers to talk about you to their peers.

  1. Offer something in return

“I don’t want that free item I really like,” said no one ever.

We all love some free stuff from time to time. If it’s something your customers like, they will likely go an extra mile to get it.

Let’s say you want reviews for a certain product. What incentive do they have to write a review for you? Nothing. If they are advocates of your brand, they might go for it, but majority of your customers are not your fans (just yet).

(614) 306-5433 is a great tool for this. It enables you to collect reviews from actual customers and use their words to promote your business. It lets you send emails to your customers automatically and request them to provide reviews for their recent transaction.

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The software also integrates with LoyaltyLion to increase the engagement rate through rewarding points to customers for performing any activity on your website. The activity could be reviews, signups, referrals or anything else.

It’s you who gets to decide the activity and points. Once the customer has enough points they can redeem them with the store for rewards.

LoyaltyLion’s dashboard provides the data to show you exactly how your program is performing. You can see the return you’re getting from all the engagement.

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  1. Jab, jab, jab, right hook

Understanding what excites your customers about your product is very crucial. The best way to do this is by conducting interviews. Just pick up the phone and give them a call.

At worst they will hang up on you, but look at the upside, you could end up getting more customers. It really is a no-brainer for an entrepreneur. You will only need at most 10 interviews to see the patterns.

See how they phrase the story of your product. Get comfortable with them. Don’t be afraid to ask things that have nothing to do with your product.

At the end of it, ask that big question: If you were to recommend this product to your friend, what would you tell them?

In response to this question, they will not only tell you what they like best about your product but also what they would tell their friend if/when they actually do recommend it.

  1. Make it super easy to reach you

 There are so many things your customers could be busy with. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram takes up all their time. Maybe they don’t even glance at the emails you send them.

To remedy this, ask your customers to share their experiences on social media while they’re at it. Are you selling headphones? Give out points to people who tweet a selfie with your headphones and a customized hashtag.

This is a great way to engage people conveniently. All they have to do is take a selfie. When they eventually do post the selfie, their followers/friends will see the post – advertising your brand in the process for free.

Curious souls would even visit your website and depending on the reach of your customer, people may actually buy your headphones.

  1. Ditch the pitch. Tell a story instead

Get rid of that sales pitch that you have memorized. It’s a big turn off. You should instead focus on engaging customer by learning about their needs. When they understand your priority is to really solve their problem(s), they would be more than happy to pay for it.

Storytelling is an art. It is one of the best ways to stay on top of your customer’s mind. There is a fine line between boring story and an interesting one.

Every great story has interesting characters (customers or employees) doing extraordinary things (using your products and services in innovative ways) told in an authentic way (no sales pitches) and reinforced with great visuals.

When you think about it, the concept of storytelling isn’t new, but with the explosive growth of social media and content marketing, the opportunities to tell stories as part of marketing initiatives have become a strategic priority.

Marketers have been telling stories for the longest time. Whether it be through advertising,  in-person brand experiences or through social media. The critical element of brand storytelling lies in fiction writing, which marketers are trained to do.

Here are some secrets of telling the most effective stories — the ones that stay with customers.

Know your audience

If you don’t know your audience, you will likely fail at telling your story. Period.

When I say know your audience I just don’t mean their gender, location, age etc. I want you to know whom they admire, what they aspire to, despise, fear, and cherish.

Understanding your audience at such an intimate level makes creating buyer personas important.

People buy Apple because they buy into the story. Same goes for Harley Davidson or any other cult(ish) brand. There is a community behind it that is very passionate about the product. The story is what they believe in.

Honesty is key 

Even when you’re crafting stories, you need to make sure they are rooted in the reality of your brand, products and industry. Even brand stories adhere to the three primary steps of brand-building: consistency, persistence and restraint.

You brand stories can’t be inconsistent. If they confuse consumers, they will turn towards another brand. They have plenty of options. Be creative and avoid confusion.

Infuse your stories with personalities

Personalities and characters must take centre stage in your storytelling. Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can.

Choose your premise

The premise is the way you choose to tell the story so that you get the conclusion you desire. It’s the delivery of the framed message with dramatic tension and one or more relatable heroes so that your goals are achieved.

Include a beginning, middle, and end

 In case you haven’t noticed, fictional stories follow a structure that includes a beginning, a middle and an end. Make sure your brand stories follow a similar structure.

Establish the story with characters in the beginning. The middle should outline the problems of your characters and present conflicts that get in the way and finally a solution in the end — your product. 

Also, don’t show all your cards at the first attempt. Leave your audience wanting more, and they’ll come back to you again and again.

  1. Tell them how to talk about you

Majority of people are passive consumers — they will use your product, silently form an opinion about it and never really influence other prospective customers.

That’s the reason why you need to explicitly ask for the mention. Be clear what you want, where you want it, and the text to copy and paste.

Change.org does this really well. Once you sign a petition, they take you to a page where you only need to just add a personal message and with one single, click the petition is shared with your Facebook friends. 

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To conclude, getting customer attention is hard. They will only talk about you if they like your product a lot. So, first and foremost make sure you have an above par product with little to no glitches.

There will be times when you will fall flat face down. Your customer would not want to talk to you, let alone recommending your product to others. That’s not a problem. Give it a go again. Try some new strategies.

Finding the right tools and strategies to get them talking can be an extremely engaging and rewarding process. It only requires your time and not a single dime. The return on investment is enormous.

Give the above-mentioned ideas a go and see if they break the ice with your customers. But be warned, these tactics work wonders for an online business, that doesn’t mean the same will translate to real-world situations.

Guest post: Increasing online sales is about more than simple digital touchpoints

We’re excited to share another guest post written by Pete Boyle who is the founder of Have-a-word and chief copywriter for jumper.ai and 8079399338 where he’s seeing just how far Messenger marketing can go and what results it can achieve.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working from my hometown. A place where I’ve spent very little time since leaving at 18 years old.

Despite paying for an office here, I spend a few hours every morning sitting in a coffee shop creating written content. Two cappuccinos in and I’ll usually have an article draft ready.

But when I first arrived back in Coventry, I faced a dilemma.

Do I work in the very nice coffee shop that’s on my route to the office, but is on the other side of the city.

Or do I choose the one that is literally a 60-second walk from my rented workspace?

The obvious answer would be the one closest to the office, right? I mean, it’s simply more convenient.

But there are other deciding factors.

The coffee shop that’s near my office also has a loyalty program. For every 5 coffees you buy, you get one free.

Its competitor on the other side of the city has no such loyalty program.

So which, if you had to guess, is the coffee shop I spend 2-3 hours and ~£10 in every single day?

Smart money is on the one next to the office, right?

Well if that was your bet, you’d be wrong.

I spend a few hours almost every day at the coffee shop on the other side of the city to my office. Here’s why.

Loyalty Programs Aren’t a Fix for Poor Customer Service

There are a few reasons why I spend time in the coffee shop without the loyalty program.

1 – The owner and baristas take an interest in who I am. They talk to me and personalise my coffee based on my career, proving to me that I’m not just another customer.

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2 – Just after they opened I spent 2 weeks visiting family. Every day I was in the coffee shop and, despite them being brand new and hustling to survive, they’d give me copious amounts of freebies. I always had an incentive to go back.

3 – The product is simply better. It’s the best coffee and sandwiches in the city and I’m happy to tell that to anyone who asks.

These guys don’t need a loyalty program because they’re building relationships through killer customer service. It’s something so many brands, both online and in brick and mortar stores, seem to have forgotten.

Many brands focus on just getting a loyalty program up and running, offering incentives to get people to come back and purchase time and time again.

What they forget, is that even the most well-designed loyalty program can’t drive sales in the face of poor service.

Successful stores have a mix of a killer product, awesome customer service, and a well-devised loyalty strategy.

Stop Looking for Quick Fixes

Loyalty programs, when implemented well, can 10X your existing success, but you can’t just implement one and expect to see your business change overnight.

In every area of retail, there’s been too much focus on “hacks”, shortcuts, and quick wins in recent years that’s given rise to a belief that success is just one simple change away.

Everyone’s so busy looking for the next minute change that could revolutionise their business that they’re forgetting the fundamentals.

If you want to grow a successful brand I’d recommend you stop looking at tactics and hacks to improve sales, and instead take a look back in time at how brands operated before the advent of digital channels.

In particular, I’d recommend you focus on improving your customer service.

Customer service and brand loyalty are intertwined.

In fact, poor customer service can torpedo an otherwise successful product.

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Customer service is the key to retaining customers and bringing them back for continued repeat purchases.

Once upon a time it was a simple task. You simply talk to customers and offer an incredible in-store experience for them. But what about in the digital world?

What are the key actions you can take to ensure you’re providing users with a similar experience to the merchants of old? An experience that makes them want to tell their friends, recommend your brand, and continue to buy from you again and again?

The Key to Effective Customer Service in 2018 and Beyond

Over the last few years there’s been a trend emerging in the marketing space changing the way online brands operate.

Conversational Commerce and Messenger Marketing are the new most effective ways to build a strong relationship with your customers because they hit one key need in every market.

Until recently, if you had a question or needed advice when purchasing online you had one option, send an email.

That send would often get an immediate response which looked something like the below.

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A 30-second response to tell people they have to wait 24 hours for a resolution. Hardly ideal, right? And it’s been a major sticking point for consumers.

In fact, a lack of information and being unable to find answers are two of the top ten reasons consumers abandon carts.

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The internet has spoiled consumers. We all want answers to our questions and we want them now. 71% of consumers actually expect an answer to any questions within 5 minutes.

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Speed of response is key in building a great customer experience which, in effect, is the foundation of the loyalty you’re building.

How to Offer Prompt Customer Service

Speed of response is key, but what are the most effective ways of offering speedy, succinct responses to your users?

On-Site Live Chat

Helping user’s whilst they’re on your site is of paramount importance. You’ve got to cut out the 24 hour wait time associated with email and offer immediate feedback and assistance.

Fortunately, there’s a number of tools you can leverage for this.

Intercom / Drift / Zendesk

Three tools which are the powerhouses of on-site live chat.

All of which have a Shopify app or can be installed through other means onto whichever platform you’re using.

These tools are incredible for on site support and traffic shaping. You can segment messages by page to give the most relevant experience. For example, let’s say someone has looked at 4 different products in your sneaker’s section. You could send a message that lets them know of the sneaker sale that’s going on or even ask if they need assistance and kick off a live chat.

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An example from Drift

But of course, the major benefit is having live chat.

Any question someone asks comes through to your support team and can be picked up for immediate responses.

The downside is that you will, ideally, need 24/7 support staff.

You can mitigate this somewhat with saved responses and automated sends. It’s not ideal, but it does fulfil the need for an immediate response.

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As seen in Intercom

A lot of brands like to use these automated responses to direct people to their FAQ section. Simply link the two and the user can get a semi-personalised but thorough answer to the question they asked.

The major downfall of these services though is that they only really offer on-site assistance. If you want to re-engage users whilst they’re not on your site, you have to resort to the tried and true email methods.

This is where Facebook Messenger comes in.

Off-Site Chat

OK, so live chat is great for when someone is on your store and looking for assistance. It’s the perfect solution for those in the consideration or purchase stage of the funnel.

However, if someone isn’t yet aware of your products or has abandoned their purchase, you’ve no way to engage with them except for the commonly used methods.

For awareness, that’s organic traffic generation, advertising, or social media marketing.

For cart abandonment, you’re looking at a run of the mill abandonment email series.

Facebook Messenger is the only service that allows you to effectively leverage Conversational Commerce in these common ecommerce situations.

Out of the box Facebook Messenger isn’t yet perfect for driving ecommerce sales (although Facebook have a nearish), so you’re going to need one of the below tools to ensure you make the most of your Messenger campaigns.

I’ve broken them down by goal type and recommended usage.

General Customer Service and Re-engagement  – Manychat

Manychat is a name almost synonymous with Messenger Marketing right now.

They are one of the key players in the chatbot world, and with good reason. They have some great functionality.

You’re able to create sequences that nurture the user depending on their responses, send pre-written helpful answers triggered by keywords, and more both on site and off site.

Here’s a(408) 279-4436 of the kind of things you can achieve with Manychat.

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If the user clicks “Shop now” they’re then served the below products.

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It’s a great way to ask leading questions that help you understand the customer’s needs and then follow up with relevant products and suggestions.

Cart abandonment – 9892373202

Despite all the tools available to ecommerce pros, cart abandonment continues to be one of the most damaging issues in the industry.

Recart has taken the tried and true email marketing approach for cart abandonment and applied it to the higher engagement channel of Messenger.

Like Manychat you are able to customise responses, triggers, and timing, but it’s generally fully automated. You can set a campaign, let it run for the week whilst you focus on other areas of growth, and then return back to improve.

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In tests pitting(314) 360-3601, Recart found that Messenger is the far more effective channel.

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Top of Funnel Engagement – jumper.ai

jumper is a relative newcomer to the world of Messenger marketing but it’s a tool like no other.

Social media is a key focus for many ecommerce professionals, however, the conversion rates have generally been quite low. You have to get the initial engagement, redirect to your store, have user’s navigate through your purchase journey, and then hope there’s nothing like a delivery fee to dissuade them from completing their purchase.

jumper cuts out a good 80% of that funnel.

You’re able to add an automated Messenger checkout bot to each and every social media update effectively turning your social campaigns into revenue driving machines.

Here’s a look at jumper’s563-544-5212.

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However, what should be mentioned is that whilst this incredibly streamlined journey is key to increasing conversions, it’s really only effective for low ticket items. If you’re selling high price items with a long decision cycle, you’d be better off nurturing for a while through other means rather than going straight in for the kill.

Coupling Messenger Marketing with Loyalty Programs

As mentioned before, customer service is the bedrock upon which loyalty is built.

Without it, even the most effective programs to retain and re-engage users are going to fail. The above tools and methods providing swift responses are, however, also incomplete alone.

They might create a favourable image of your brand, but if you’re not then following up with something that also builds loyalty you’re missing a trick.

Hitting users with incredible service should then be followed with a kick-ass loyalty campaign. One alone isn’t going to be enough to get you through.

 

New Integration: Encourage high-quality reviews with LoyaltyLion and Okendo

Once upon a time, customers would visit a physical store, speak with a shop assistant, and gather all of the information required to feel comfortable in their next purchase. A major challenge for ecommerce merchants is replicating that trust-building exercise online.

There’s no doubt that replicating it is crucial to winning in ecommerce. After all, 73% of customers say they value the content of a review over the overall star rating, demonstrating the importance of information. That’s why we’ve launched an integration with Okendo.

Okendo ReviewUse Okendo + LoyaltyLion to reward customers for providing powerful, content-rich reviews.

By using Okendo and LoyaltyLion together, you can capture powerful customer content by rewarding your customers for leaving product ratings and reviews, customer photos, videos, questions & answers and comments. So what do you need to know about this integration?

Encourage customers to leave different types of reviews
Customer reviews work as an online word-of-mouth tool for ecommerce stores, portraying your store in a more positive, trustworthy and personal way. With this integration, you can reward much more than just written reviews. Award points for customer photos, videos, questions & answers and comments, setting points values according to which actions are the most valuable to your store.

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Build shopper trust and increase conversion
Recent studies show that stores who incentivise reviews could increase their conversion rate from 2% to 26.83%. Your most loyal customers (i.e. those with the highest repeat purchase rates and highest average order values) are the most likely to act as advocates. By using rewards to secure that advocacy, you can open up a more cost-effective channel to acquire new and better qualified customers, driving conversion while simultaneously engaging and retaining existing customers.

Find additional reasons to engage post-purchase
Don’t despair if customers fail to leave a review immediately after making a purchase. Instead see this as an opportunity to engage them a little down the line – for example, on the safe delivery of their item. Update post-purchase emails to include information on how many points a customer can earn for each of the different review types, giving them a reason to return and leave the highest-quality review possible.

Learn more about “Why customer reviews are so important” through our LoyaltyLion Academy, visit our website for more information on our integration with noumenal, or get in touch to find out how LoyaltyLion and Okendo can help you, here. 

(678) 252-8578

It has never been harder to survive in the ecommerce market. “65% of ecommerce businesses fail in the first 18 months” and “90% fail in the first five years”.

Merchants who are proving to succeed are the ones who tend to focus on maximising revenue from their existing customers. Join our CEO, Charlie Casey in his latest webinar with 713-214-5541 and (822) 479-3037 where they discuss how to successfully drive retention, engagement and loyalty at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

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New feature: Introducing referrals for BigCommerce merchants

We’re excited to announce our latest feature for BigCommerce merchants, who can now get started with our referral functionality. In the fast growing ecommerce industry, merchants face significant challenges around rising acquisition costs and customer retention. Referrals offer a cost-effective method of acquiring new customers while engaging and strengthening relationships with existing loyalty members.

Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful and influential marketing tools. A customer that has been referred to your store by a friend or family member is four times more likely to complete a purchase.  Our referral functionality allows loyal customers to refer their friends and family, while being rewarded for doing so. This feature has generated up to $244,000 in referral revenue for LoyaltyLion clients.  

74% of consumers agree that word-of-mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. Your current loyalty members are your biggest fans, so use this to your advantage and incentivise them to refer-a-friend. LoyaltyLion’s referral feature makes it easy for a member to make a referral with a personalised link via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, or email. The feature offers both the existing and referred customers an incentive to make a future purchase, resulting in more qualified web traffic, higher conversion rates and positive brand awareness. Learn more about how you can drive referrals with your loyalty program in our LoyaltyLion Academy. 

The referral feature can be added into your current loyalty program as a new “Refer-A-Friend“ rule . This gives you the ability to customise the existing customers reward and the referred friend’s incentive in the form of shipping or a discount.

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Find out how other LoyaltyLion merchants have seen success using referrals in our case studies below. To discuss adding referrals to your BigCommerce store, 2893913089.

-100% Pure received $244k in additional revenue from referrals: /loyaltylion.com/case-study/100percentpure

-The Chive received 6,800 visitors monthly from referrals: 3147697391

-June and January’s loyal customers brought in 1058 new customers from referrals: 6093441017

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LoyaltyLion’s CEO, Charlie Casey joins in on 602-254-7192 new podcast where they discuss the fast growing industry of ecommerce.

Listen in on Charlie’s journey to creating LoyaltyLion, the successful and unsuccessful innovations that have led to the platform becoming what it is today, and the problems merchants face around retention and engagement in the fastest growing ecommerce industry.

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Guest post: how to combat cart abandonment according to Recart

This guest post is by Pete Boyle, the founder of Have-a-word and content manager / chief copywriter at Recart, an all in one ecommerce marketing solution that helps merchants recapture lost revenue and increase their profits. So far, Recart has helped their merchants recapture almost $100,000,000 in lost revenue.

I remember seeing this video of a kid trying to bail water with a bucket full of holes.

His tactic, whilst admirable, was completely ineffectual.  

He decided the best method of removing the water was to combine both speed and the amount of water he could force into his holey vessel.

The result, obviously, was hilarious.

And yet, whilst we’re all sitting there laughing at this kid’s poor attempts at moving water from point A to point B, there’s a large number of us doing the same.

I cannot tell you the amount of ecommerce professionals I’ve come across who never attempt to fix the leaks in their sales funnels.

They leave the holes as they are and think that throwing more traffic through SEO, PPC, or social media influencers is going to be the most effective method of increasing revenue.

And sure, that can help keep you afloat, but you’re never going to survive stormy weather if that’s your number one tactic.

The most successful stores out there understand their focus shouldn’t be on growing traffic until they’ve fixed the holes in their sales processes.

And as far as holes in your sales funnel go, one is far larger than the rest.

Cart abandonment.

What is cart abondonment? 

Cart abandonment occurs when a potential customer adds a product to their cart, but then leaves your store before completing their purchase.

(405) 521-9966 when a user adds an item to their cart. So, four out of every five items added to your cart are never purchased, meaning you’re losing around $75 for every $25 made.

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Those are some pretty scary numbers, right?

These losses cost the industry trillions of dollars in lost revenue every single year. And yet, most store’s attempts to fix it are pretty ineffective.

They rely on directing more traffic to the top of the funnel.

But spending time, money, and effort on increasing traffic is a high cost, low reward tactic to employ. At least it is when compared to plugging the hole of cart abandonment.

At Recart, we’ve seen just how much can be made through focusing on970-451-1743. Through focusing solely on plugging the holes at the bottom of the funnel and directing our merchants’ attention to the most interested users in their funnel, we’ve helped secure nearly $100,000,000 in revenue that would otherwise have been lost.

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If you want to see your store make more, you have to reduce the rate of cart abandonment. But don’t think this is as simple as activating a simple service to send a few emails. Effective cart abandonment campaigns focus on two key areas.

How to prevent cart abandonment

There are numerous reasons for cart abandonment but you can generally bucket them into one of three areas:

  1. Unexpected costs/actions
  2. Trust (or a lack thereof)
  3. User experience

To prevent abandonment, you’ve got to combat these three areas with preemptive notifications and improved user experience.

Let’s break it down and look at specific fixes for the top problems. According to Barilliance, these are the top reasons for cart abandonment.

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Extra costs

This is an easy fix.

Don’t wait until the final step of checking out to let your users know there’s a $xx delivery fee, extra tax, or some other form of fee.

The best stores out there show you throughout your browsing and shopping experience how much the entirety of your basket will cost.

Here’s an example from8033438616. If you hold your mouse over the bag icon in the top right on any page it’ll tell you exactly how much your cart contents costs inclusive of all fees which makes it easier to justify adding another shirt to the cart. screen-shot-2018-07-25-at-17-52-49

Another method you could use to combat this is to sweeten the deal somewhat.

If you can’t afford to offer free shipping, then consider implementing some form of loyalty program that gives a discount you can stomach on an immediate second purchase.

Buy one get one free offers are ideal for this as you don’t have to foot the bill for delivery, yet should still see an increase in overall AOV.

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Create an account/too long checkout process

The modern consumer is fickle and impatient.

They want what they want and they want it now. However, so many brands are asking for either too much information or are so intent on getting a first time customer on their email list that they end up losing the sale.

When optimising your checkout don’t add in unnecessarily complicated opt-in steps. If you can get users to sign up to further communication without making the checkout process super complicated then great, but if adding in an extra three steps is going to lose you sales you’ve got to get rid of the complex process.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to offer a guest checkout. It’s a simple way to ensure the user gets a quick checkout and doesn’t have to go through the rigmarole of creating a new account.

Here’s how Asos handle this.

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You can see in the above that the user can either sign up by linking their Facebook, Google, or Twitter, or they can forgo this and simply continue to complete the purchase.

I picked Asos because both options are as friction free as possible. As they say themselves, there are no extra passwords or anything that makes the process more complicated than it has to be.

You need to get to this level of simplicity.

Trust

Trust is a huge issue in the world of online retail.

You’re asking someone you’ve never met to take a chance on you and hand over their most personal and valuable information.

Thanks to horror stories of people losing their life savings or having their identities stolen your customers are, understandably, a little cautious with who they give their card details to.

You’ve got to do whatever it takes to instil the trust needed for your customers to take that final step of purchasing from you.

The majority of advice on how to achieve this revolves around simple displays of third party guarantee badges like “secured by Paypal” or something similar.

Whilst this is good, people will generally look to others for an idea on whether a company can be trusted. You should be using trust seals in your product and checkout pages, but also add that human element.

Be sure you’re also using real customer reviews on page to help highlight that this is a great product and the process of purchasing from you was effortless and enjoyable.

However, if you want to go one step further you should be attempting to attract people who have a high level of trust the first time they land on your site.

The easiest way to do this is to help your current customers advertise your brand by incentivising referrals.

If a friend told you about a great store which had the best products and service, you’d immediately want to go and check them out. You wouldn’t need to verify anything in terms of reviews and reports because someone you trust in real life has already vouched for the brand.

If you can get your current customers to advertise your brand, you’re going to see a much higher conversion rate.

Loyalty Lion specialises in building these sorts of relationships and has seen referral programs generate up to $244,000 in referral revenue!

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The above are a couple of methods to lower the likelihood of people abandoning your store. However, you’re never going to be able to prevent 100% of your abandoners from leaving.

If you want to recover as many abandoners and revenue as possible, you have to have a plan B in place. You have to recapture those that fall through the gaps.

The cure for cart abandonment

A retrieval campaign is par for the course in modern ecommerce.

Email has long been the go-to for this. We’ve all relied on email campaigns that are triggered as soon as the user abandons their cart. But as more and more brands are turning to email, we’re seeing the efficiency of the channel wane.

Which is why so many brands are now turning to Messenger. Messenger is providing brands with another direct line to their ideal customers, however, the engagement rates are far superior to that of email.

In testing7199643686 at Recart, we found that Messenger not only has higher engagement rates, but also drives more revenue.

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However, don’t think success is a simple case of moving all your abandonment actions over to Messenger. Before you even think about your cart retrieval messages we have to take a step back.

Your cart abandonment strategy begins, much like your prevention strategy, on site.

For you to have any hope of getting your emails or messages opened, you first have to collect user details and permissions to follow up with them.

Rather than take the generic option of a simple exit-intent popup, I’ve listed a couple of more effective methods for you below. These methods are far more successful at capturing user details and permissions so you’re able to actually send your abandonment messages.

Add to cart popup

A user’s interest in your product is highest when they add it to their cart. This is the point when they’re literally thinking “I might buy this”. And yet, so many brands don’t capitalise on that intent.

Brands depend on the exit-intent popup which is triggered when a user’s purchase intent has dropped to its lowest point. They wait until the user is about to leave the store.

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By switching to an add-to-cart popup we managed to secure 62% of abandoners’ details giving us even more opportunities to recapture that revenue.

Incentivise opting in

This is hardly groundbreaking, but if you want people to take an action, sweeten the deal for them.

There’s two ways to do this.

The first is to simply offer some form of financial reward for option in. For example, a 10% coupon for your first purchase to be delivered via email or Messenger.

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An example from Recart’s720-725-3248 tools.

The second method is to make signing up fun.

No one wants to hand over their email for no reason, but they will if there’s some form of gamification there. Wheelio offer a great example of how to incentivise sign ups with both a monetary reward and gamified experience.

With Wheelio, you can add a Wheel of Fortune-esque element to your store where the user has a chance of winning some form of reward.

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These are just two examples, but you need something to incentivise the user to take action and join your preferred method of direct outreach.

Make it easy and noticeable

This final piece of advice is pretty simple.

If you want people to sign up to hear from you, you have to make the opt-in noticeable and the process easy. As mentioned earlier on, people don’t want to jump through numerous hoops to perform a simple action.

You’ve got to reduce the friction involved in signing up to collect as many user details as possible and ensure you’ve the best chance of recapturing lost revenue.

Some of the best tips for this include:

  • Prominent positioning of your opt-in (or a popup when intent is highest)
  • Make it as simple as possible. Either make use of auto-fill for email details or add a checkbox if possible.
  • Make your opt-in stand out, either through the smart use of colour or by highlighting it in some other way

When you’re collecting the right details of your users, you’re going to need to follow up with some killer messages. So how exactly can you do that?

Top tips for cart abandonment messages

You could go the generic route and simply send the same default text every other brand does with your cart abandonment messages. But you can do better than that. Below are a couple of tips to increase the effectiveness of your cart abandonment campaigns.

1 – Timing and incentives

The accepted advice for cart abandonment messages is to spread them out over a 48 hour period.

Usually you’ll send the first message an hour after they abandon, the seond at 12 hours, third at 24 and a final reminder at 48.

It’s a good starting point, but be sure to experiment with this.

You have a unique audience and product. If you’re selling $10,000 electronics then you might need more messages spread out over a longer consideration phase. A $10 item doesn’t require as much consideration and so might be better to send multiple reminders within a shorter time frame.

Take the accepted methods and adapt them for your own experiments. Timing can play a key part in the success of your abandonment campaigns, you need to find what works for you.

2 – Collaboration

Messenger might get higher engagement, but it’s not a direct replacement for email.

There’s still certain things email is better at that Messenger. Long form content that’s intended to build relationships with your users isn’t the best sort of content for Messenger.  

In those cases, email is still going to remain the most effective channel.

Messenger is great at the transactional, automated content. It shouldn’t take over all your direct mail efforts, but should complement your email campaigns.

You have to use the two in conjunction. One is not superior to the other but they are a collaborative effort at increasing sales.

You should be looking at reinforcing the message you deliver by sending it through both channels in a staggered manner to keep your brand top of mind.

For a good example of this (which isn’t 100% ecommerce sales related) check out Ezra Firestone and Smart Marketers approach.

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You can see it’s the same message delivered through two different channels, but optimised for each. You should be aiming for the same.

3 – Convincing copy

Whether you’re delivering your message through video, text, images, or even verbally one consideration stands above all others in terms of success.

The message.

An effective message works to build desire, allay fears, and persuade the user to take the next step in the purchase journey.

However, it’s a complex goal which requires an article all it’s own to really explore. What I’m going to offer here are some key points and links to other, more in-depth articles that should help round out your knowledge.

4 – Use reviews wisely

Too often ecommerce professional think of reviews as nothing more than something to put on product pages and landing pages.

However, smart brands use them across their sales material. Smart brands leverage user reviews in their direct response emails and messages.

Take a look at the below which I pulled from 2704547242.

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It’s a general review and not tied to any specific product which would make it the ideal lead in to any cart abandonment messages.

Instead of simply saying “you left items in your cart”, you could spin this to say something like, “Peg B. loves her Gearbunch Leggings, don’t miss your chance to join Peg and thousands of other happy Gearbunch fans!”

The user reviews you collect should be used for more than generic product page proof.

5- Understand the medium

Messenger is primarily used on phones for conversational messages between friends.

Having a huge paragraph of text simply isn’t going to work on mobile’s small screens. So yes, you have to cut the copy down, but you also have to consider the kind of message your delivering.

As mentioned, Messenger is primarily used between friends. That means a tonne of emojis, gifs, fun images, and a certain level of colloquial slang.

You should try to include these kind of elements within your own Messenger copy as well.

Just be careful to not overstep the line and lose your professionalism.

6- Frequency and originality are important

You want your brand to remain top of mind for your consumers. You want to message them at times when you think they’re most likely to open, read, and engage.

However, you also want to avoid spamming them.

If you’re messaging them every 5 minutes it won’t be long before they unsubscribe from all your lists and you lose any future opportunity to sell to them.

If you’re leveraging both email and Messenger you want to stagger your messaging so you’re in constant contact with your user without spamming one channel.

However, you also want to switch up the messaging so it’s not only more appropriate for the channel but also so there’s a difference between each message.

If you’re using the same copy and creative on all messages, you’re missing an opportunity. If they don’t respond to one message the first time they see it, there’s little chance they will the second or third time.

So make sure that each and every message is customised, unique, and delivered at the right time.

Check out this guide if you want a complete guide to writing cart abandon messages that convert.

Cart abandonment is a serious issue

Cart abandonment is one of the most costly issues in ecommerce and it’s something you need to focus on solving.

However, don’t focus your actions on vanity metrics that look great on paper but don’t improve your bottom line.

Your cart abandonment campaigns should all be aimed at having an immediate effect on the revenue your store is generating, any other goals means you’re simply wasting your time.

 

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hepatoportal that 91 percent of people read online reviews, and 84 percent trust those reviews as much as they do personal recommendations from their friends and family. There’s no question that online reviews are beneficial to your business, and that’s why we’re launching an integration with Trustpilot.

By using 5865893148 and 760-276-4567 together, you’ll be able to reward your customers for leaving reviews about both your products, and the service you’ve delivered. So what are the three most important things you need to know about this integration?

Customers can earn rewards for leaving reviews
Consumers trust content that has been generated by other consumers more than they trust brand-generated content. The good news is, members of your loyalty program are the most likely to be willing to act as advocates and create that content. With this integration, you can incentivize members to leave reviews of both your store and your products in return for points and other rewards. Rewards are easily configurable and it’s up to you to determine what a review is worth.

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It’s quick and easy for customers to leave reviews
Offering rewards is a great way to incentivize reviews, but the harder it is to do so, the fewer reviews you will get. The key is to make it as easy as possible for customers to engage with your brand and leave reviews. Trustpilot’s review functionality sits inside a customer’s loyalty program profile. This not only makes it easy for them to leave a review anytime they log in, but it also means they can immediately see rewards accumulating as a result.

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There are more opportunities for post-purchase engagement
Customers are most likely to leave positive reviews while their experience with your brand is fresh in their minds. However, post-purchase emails can be a powerful vehicle in encouraging shoppers to return and leave a review at a later date. Update your post-purchase emails to include information on how many points customers could receive if they write a review, giving them a reason to come back and do just that.

Learn more about how you can use loyalty programs to drive reviews in our LoyaltyLion Academy. Or to find out how LoyaltyLion and Trustpilot could work for your store, (419) 396-3727. 

 

Prime Day may bring a seasonal spike, but will it win you long-term loyalty?

Amazon Prime Day has become almost as big a phenomenon as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, rivalled only by Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, which generated $25.3billion in sales in 2017.

With apparel and accessories now surpassing books and music to become Amazon’s second largest category, it’s no wonder that ecommerce brands are feeling the need to compete. In fact, (418) 656-2702, by staging their own one-day sales. Retailers are even capitalising on Amazon’s wording, with nearly half of the largest non-Amazon retailers including the word ‘Prime’ in the messaging around their sales.

Shoppers in turn are responding to this, now viewing the day as a general retail holiday, rather than an occasion reserved just for customers of Amazon Prime, with 39% saying that they’ll look for bargains at other retailers. The introduction of another big discounting occasion in the calendar year may well bring a sales spike, but will it help retailers to win longer-term loyalty?

For 64% of retailers, shoppers acquired during Black Friday and Cyber Monday have a lower lifetime value than shoppers acquired at any other time of year. It’s reasonable to expect the same rules to apply to customers won on or around Prime Day or similar one day sales events. How can you make sure that those customers come back to make a repeat purchase, once the excitement of a sales day has passed?

  • Make rewards available after the first purchase
    Ensure that your loyalty program is designed in a way that allows customers to earn a reward immediately after their first purchase, or for creating an account. Customers who redeem loyalty rewards spend twice as much as those who don’t, so incentivise your newly acquired shoppers to get involved with your program and start the loyalty life cycle as soon as possible. It’s also worth making sure you award enough points for a first purchase or account creation that customers can redeem them on their next purchase, motivating customers to return to your store rather than looking elsewhere.
  • Include your loyalty program in post-purchase emails
    Most retailers will be sending post-purchase emails, whether it’s to say thank you for shopping on the sales day, or to let customers know that their delivery is on its way. Ensure that your post-purchase emails are enhanced to reference your loyalty program. If a customer has become a member as part of their purchase, let them know how many points are available to them and whether they have any rewards available. If they are not yet a member, let them know how many points they could have earned from their purchase, and what rewards that would equate to if they joined. That way, you’re giving them another reason to return before the next big sale.
  • Run a promotion for customers acquired during Prime
    If you’ve already used Prime Day to build excitement around your brand and your best-selling products, consider how you could use another event – such as a double-point week – to extend that excitement further. By making this promotion unique to customers acquired during the Prime Day sale, you not only make them feel part of something special, but you give them more reasons to come back and engage with your brand again. Customers who make a second purchase are over 50% more likely to make a third, so securing that second visit is key.

The jury is still out on the success of Prime Day, both for Amazon and other brands running sales off the back of it. However, the impact on customer loyalty is clear – simply running a sale won’t help you win retained customers that come back and repeat purchase. Ecommerce merchants should think carefully about how to capture the longer-term loyalty of customers that are acquired during a sales event. You can find more tips on how to win long-term loyalty in our new 443-866-7488, which includes 7 free modules designed to help merchants implement effective loyalty strategies.

Podcast: Learn how to increase revenue from existing customers with Charlie Casey and Steve Hutt

LoyaltyLion’s CEO, Charlie Casey joins Steve Hutt, on the (888) 934-0354 to discuss how you can use a loyalty program to increase revenue from existing customers.

Listen to the podcast to find out what the key drivers for loyalty programs are, what you need to ask yourself before you get started and most importantly, what metrics you need to measure success.

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A guide to loyalty and NPS: everything you need to know about customer satisfaction

You’ve heard the age old adage ‘the customer is always right’. Whether you believe this or not, there is no getting away from the fact that the customer’s satisfaction is always the right benchmark when it comes to customer loyalty.

Ecommerce retailers use NPS (Net Promoter Score) to measure how likely customers are to recommend them to friends and family. This gives merchants immeasurable insight into how happy customers are with the experience they’re receiving, and therefore how likely they are to come back and buy again.

How to calculate NPS

In order to calculate NPS, customers are asked to state how likely they are to recommend a company or product to friends and family, using a number between zero and 10.

Responses to this question are then grouped according to:

  • Promoters (customers who answer 9-10)
  • Passives (customers who answer 7-8)
  • Detractors (customers who answer 0-6)

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Your overall NPS can be calculated by subtracting the % of your customers who are Detractors, from the % of customers who are Promoters. For example, if when surveying 100 customers you found that 35% were Promoters, and 15% were Detractors, your NPS would be 20.

Generally, any NPS above zero is considered good, however above 50 is excellent, and if you can make it to above 70 then you could consider yourself world class.

 

Why should you care about NPS?

Reduce customer churn

It’s five times more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones, so being able to identify customers that are at risk of churning is hugely beneficial to ecommerce retailers. However, NPS is also empowering for customers. Research shows that 62% of consumers feel that it’s important to share their opinions on how brands can improve. A net promoter score survey can help you drive retention by showing your customers that you’re listening and open to their feedback.

Encourage positive customer behaviours

Customers are four times as likely to buy when referred by a friend or family member, and 74% of consumers say that word-of-mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. The more Promoters you have in your NPS survey, the higher the likelihood of them making referrals or leaving positive reviews for either your products or your store more generally. An NPS survey also makes it easy to identify those Promoters and reach out to them with incentives to encourage and reward positive behaviours.

Identify changes in customer satisfaction

Changes in NPS give you a far clearer view of which way your customer satisfaction is trending. For example, an increase in Promoters is a positive sign, whereas an increase in Passives or Detractors should be seen as a red flag. This allows you to use direct customer feedback to track the impact of changes that you make to your loyalty program. Changes in NPS can help you evaluate and optimise decisions quickly and efficiently, and with far more than your gut feeling to go on.

 

How can a loyalty program help you boost your NPS?

Implementing a feedback loop

Your loyalty members have already shared their data with you and they are expecting you to be in touch, so reach out to them and implement a feedback loop.  Ask them to give you a score, but also take the opportunity to ask them some more in-depth questions. These are your most engaged customers, so not only will they be honest but they will also be willing to participate. However, if they are not, your loyalty program is a perfect vehicle to incentivise their responses with double points, free shipping or other rewards

Use rewards to respond to low scores

Lower-scoring NPS responses should not be brushed under the carpet. They should be carefully considered and used to drive improvements. However, while you make those improvements, empower your customer service to use rewards as a mechanism to reach out to Detractors. Giving your team the ability to offer them perks such as early access to your next sale or moving them up a subscriber tier, can encourage customers to return to make a repeat purchase and limit the risk of them churning.

Say thank you to promoters

As we’ve already mentioned, your loyalty members are your biggest fans and they are the ones most likely to act as advocates for your brand. Identify those Promoters who have given you a great score and then reach out and ask them to leave you a positive review or referral. Thank them for any positive activity with rewards such as points towards their next purchase. It’s also worth looking out for Promoters who are actively advocating your brand across social media, and ensuring you recognise and reward their support.

If you’d like to find out more about using NPS to drive customer loyalty, (603) 436-9368 and one of the LoyaltyLion team will be happy to help!

Introducing LoyaltyLion’s new SDK – behind the scenes with CTO, Dave Clark

It’s been an exciting year for LoyaltyLion so far! We’ve significantly grown our team, launched our (470) 398-7625, integrated with even more great partners and been nominated for a Loyalty Magazine award. Most importantly however, in the background we’ve completely re-written our Software Development Kit.

What does our new SDK mean for our merchants and partners?

  • Greater flexibility
  • More customization
  • Speed and efficiency
  • Easier development
  • Improved customer experience

We spoke to our CTO, Dave Clark, to find out why the new SDK is so exciting.

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Dave, you and your team have been building on LoyaltyLion’s functionality since the solution was launched. Why was it time for an upgrade?

When we first started building LoyaltyLion we were testing everything as we discovered what was important to our merchants. Over time and with a few inevitable changes of direction, we ended up with a very clear idea of what we wanted LoyaltyLion to be but we couldn’t have gotten there without some technical legacy and debt.

Today, LoyaltyLion has a clear vision and road map and as far as we could see, we had two choices – either continue on with our existing SDK, or re-architect completely with a more modern framework that would make it a lot easier to build the things our merchants want going forwards. It was no small endeavour but an easy decision!

How did you prepare to build the new SDK?

Before we started building the SDK we emailed agencies and developers to ask them what they wanted. Our goal was to create the best developer experience. After all, the faster a developer can customize a loyalty program the quicker it can be launched.

The feedback was phenomenal so a big thank you to all our partners. One thing was clear: the development community finds most software companies challenging to work with.

And what do you think is the most exciting thing about the new SDK?

Our new SDK will pay the greatest dividends in future as we continue to develop, but things should already be feeling quicker and easier to customize.

The key thing is greater efficiency. Now you can customize LoyaltyLion programs as part of your store’s main theme, so there’s no need to use our inbuilt editor. You can also build reusable stylesheet templates to speed up future development, and keep your branding completely consistent with automatically inherited stylesheets.

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You also now have far more opportunities to customize your program, with individual UI components that allow you to improve user experience, for example by showing available rewards on product pages, or adding referral components to post-purchase pages. You can start from a blank slate by disabling our default styles, or you can build your own custom interface using our new JavaScript API.

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We know that one of the biggest challenges for merchants and agencies is time and technical expertise. That’s why we’re going to focus on building extensions that non-techy people and agencies can use to modify things without having to ask for help. That means more drag and drop. It also means using our new modular component-based system to create pre-built templates and themes that merchants can pick during setup and modify later if required.

I’m really excited about where we can take our new SDK. We’ll continue to build in our unique way, focusing on the bigger picture functionality that delivers best practice loyalty for the largest retailers, but building it in a way that makes it just as accessible for smaller, fast-growing stores.

Where can we find out more about LoyaltyLion’s new SDK?

We’ve actually just launched a new developer portal which has interactive previews and other bits to help you plan and implement your program on the new SDK. You can access the portal here.

And is there anything else on the technical side that you’re particularly excited about at the moment?

There’s always something! Right now, it’s definitely our work on 615-443-9842. We’re working with the Shopify Plus team as part of their beta programme, and we’re the first loyalty solution to be pre-installed into Shopify Flow which is hugely exciting. With our integration, merchants will be able to experiment with thousands of unique combinations of triggers, conditions and actions developed just for Shopify Flow. 

Contact us to find out more about our new SDK.

 

 

Meet Magento UK: the evolution of ecommerce as told by Peter Sheldon

(817) 889-8352 is one of the biggest events in the Magento calendar. With a packed agenda, the event delivers real insight into the future of ecommerce. The first speaker of the day, Peter Sheldon, VP of Strategy at Magento Commerce started with exactly that. Here are a few of the key insights from his keynote on the Evolution of Ecommerce.

As Peter outlined, the world of ecommerce is changing and becoming more complex, as the customer journey becomes less linear. The challenge is to create a seamless journey across the five phases of customer experience – awareness, discovery, consideration, conversion and support.

Here are the key trends in ecommerce according to Peter:

Mobile only, not mobile first

With Google increasingly placing weight on mobile speed as a key factor in their algorithm, this comes as no surprise. As mobile usage becomes more prominent across the globe, it’s sad but true that desktop purchases still exist in the volumes they do because of badly executed mobile experiences. Some 40% of consumers still find it easier to shop on desktop, but this will change as progressive web apps become an increasingly important item on the ecommerce agenda.

Experience perfection

Retailers need to focus on removing all purchase anxiety, by delivering perfect information about product, price and anything else that causes concern to a customer. The conventions of what can be sold online are already being disrupted thanks to shoppable content. Today we can be comfortable buying items that we would never have considered purchasing without seeing them first before. A great example of this comes from Houzz, who allow you to use their ‘View in my Room’ functionality to see products in situ before purchasing. Data shows that customers who use this functionality are 11 times more likely to make a purchase. Brands need to consider how they might find innovative ways to answer the questions that consumers didn’t even know they had.

The subscription model is also something we will see continuing to evolve as consumers put even more trust in brands to deliver what they want and need. Even traditional retailers such as Gap are embracing this concept, providing clothes bundles for babies that are sent just at the moment they are likely to have grown out of their existing outfits. This is a great example of a brand that is removing the need for consumers to think about replenishment.

Fast and frictionless

There will no longer be any tolerance for slow and clunky experiences, as smooth and seamless continues to win out. As Peter stated, “the checkout’s obituary is written.” Retailers should consider what they can do to streamline their checkout processes, removing the concept of the form field and providing one touch checkouts wherever possible.  

Conversational commerce will also become more real as Alexa and other similar products change the way we buy. Combining voice technology with machine learning will allow retailers to make low consideration purchases almost unconscious, knowing what customers have bought and in what quantities, and automatically identifying when items need to be replenished.

Post purchase expectations are rising

The services provided by Amazon Prime have become the norm and all retailers will need to meet the same expectations. Forrester research shows that 41% of retailers state their number one priority is improving their shipping capabilities to compete with Prime. Brands need to focus on removing the last barrier to ecommerce – delivery anxiety. Consumers will be loyal to brands that they can shop with without worrying about where their delivery will be left, or what to do if they’re not home.

Peter summarised his keynote by saying that ‘retailers need to win beyond the buy button. Brands should work on retaining their customers in the long-term by ensuring that the first few days after their purchase are as engaging as they can be. From content about how the product was made and how to get the most from it, to invitations to join the community or loyalty program, brands who get this right will see increased repeat purchase, retention and advocacy.

Stay tuned for more updates from Meet Magento UK, or follow the day’s events on Twitter with #MM18UK.

 

How to rewrite your loyalty program emails to drive better customer engagement

With email users receiving an average of 88 emails each day, and six in ten email users saying they receive too many promotional messages, there’s no doubt that we need to tread a little carefully when it comes to email marketing.

Loyalty programs provide the perfect opportunity to capture customer data. However with that comes the expectation that every email you send will be personalised, and relevant. Members can unsubscribe as easily as anyone else, but with these tweaks your customers won’t just open your emails, they’ll look forward to them and act upon them.  

Welcome emails

Welcoming new members into your program might seem like a no-brainer. However, this email sets the tone for the rest of your relationship with that customer so it’s an important one to get right.

Top tip: Make it personal

This is an opportunity to tell customers more about your brand – what do you stand for, what do you care about and what are your values? With 65% of customers saying their buying decisions are based on their beliefs, take this opportunity to show them that you are aligned.

A good example of this comes from beauty ecommerce retailer, 100% Pure, who use their welcome email to remind customers that their products are natural and cruelty-free.

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Top tip: Make it useful

It’s easy to assume that because a customer has registered to join your program, they’re clued up on how they are going to benefit. The truth is, most people will need a reminder. Use your welcome email to fill in the gaps and remind them why joining was such a great decision.

Headstart Shop use their welcome email to outline the different ways that you can earn points, from purchases and referrals to social media likes. screen-shot-2018-06-08-at-10-00-10

 

Top tip: Make it motivational

As well as reminding customers why they joined the program, give them the motivation to take their first action. Let them know how many points they have earned simply by joining, and then give some quantifiable ideas of how they can reach their next milestone.

Dr Axe’s welcome emails not only let you know that you have earned 50 points by creating an account, but also tell you that you only need 50 more to get your first free product, suggesting various ways that you could earn those points straight away.

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Rewards reminders and notifications

908-373-7353. As such, reward reminders and points balance notifications are an important part of your program, giving you a no-nonsense way to encourage customers back to your site sooner.

Top tip: Make it informative

There’s nothing more frustrating for a consumer than being reminded that they have a reward, only to find it difficult to redeem it. Lay out all the information clearly, including what the available reward is, how it can be redeemed and when it expires.

Members of the Vitality healthcare scheme receive clear instructions each time they earn a free Starbucks hot drink.

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Top tip: Make it aspirational

There’s a fine balance to be struck in sending points notification emails to customers who are still a long way from being able to benefit. Monthly statements are sent on a rhythm regardless of the customers’ points balance. However when sending emails reminding customers that they have points or motivating them to use them, ensure that you are only sending to those who are past a certain threshold in order to avoid de-motivating them rather than piquing their interest.

Re-engagement emails

In an ideal world, once a customer has joined your loyalty program your work is done. In reality, some of them will be at risk, having not made a second purchase within an expected timeframe (which varies by industry). Re-engagement emails can help you win back those customers, but they need to stand out from all the other messages hitting their inboxes.

Top tip: Make them feel special

Your re-engagement emails should let your customers know that you value them and it will be worth their while returning to your store. Use these opportunities to surprise and delight your customers with benefits such as early access to new products or unique special offers. Make sure your emails don’t get lost by making it clear in your subject line and email copy that these perks are exclusive and not available to everyone.

Top tip: Make it tailored

The best way to re-engage a customer is to show that you know them. Tailor re-engagement emails with information and offers that relate to products shoppers have already taken an interest in or purchased before.

For example, Peach and Lily bring customers back to their store with emails letting you know that favourite products you’ve purchased previously are back in stock.

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Top tip: Make it seasonal

Christmas, Valentines and Mother’s Day have long been important dates in the retail calendar. But think of all the other occasions and holidays that you could use to get back in touch with customers and offer them a reason to return.

gDiapers used Earth Day as a vehicle to re-engage their at risk customers, offering 20% off their eco-friendly disposable products.screen-shot-2018-06-07-at-11-37-28

Email effectiveness is a growing challenge for retailers as we enter a world post-GDPR. However, loyalty emails perform on average 14 times better than the average marketing emails. If you’d like to discuss the performance of your loyalty emails with one of the team, please (606) 528-5826. Alternatively, check out our 765-370-8840which includes 7 free modules, including 7278477283” which provides an in-depth look into the emails you should be sending. 

Meet LoyaltyLion CEO, Charlie Casey – named one of the 30 under 40 Rising Stars of Loyalty

As if being nominated for the Best Use of Gamification wasn’t exciting enough, we’re happy to share the news that LoyaltyLion CEO, Charlie Casey has also been included in the kid point.

We caught up with Charlie to find out a bit more about his perspective on loyalty:

Why do you think loyalty is such a hot topic today?
To say that the ecommerce boom has shaken up the retail space would be an understatement. Merchants are facing higher and higher acquisition costs as competition continues to increase. But it’s also never been a more exciting time to be in retail as platforms like Shopify are giving more and more people the opportunity to build businesses around the things they’re passionate about. Loyalty is such a hot topic because it can be what differentiates a brand in such a noisy space.

You’ve built a whole business around ecommerce loyalty – why is this so important to you?
Over the years, I’ve watched the high street become dominated by a handful of big businesses who deliver impersonal and generic experiences. We’ve built LoyaltyLion to help ensure that ecommerce doesn’t go the same way. Ecommerce is full of choice and diversity which keeps quality high and prices reasonable and with lower barriers to entry, more entrepreneurs can be a part of it. LoyaltyLion exists to help fast growth ecommerce retailers succeed.

What do you think the biggest misconception existing around loyalty is today?
I think people forget that loyalty is about everything after the first click – it has to incorporate the whole experience. For example, Amazon is winning because they handle logistics so well. In a world where you have to compete with goliaths like Amazon, any retailer, no matter their size can win if they put customer experience first. One of the answers might be adding a loyalty program to show customers you value them, but it could be anything related to experience including improving your returns options.

What are the exciting trends you see emerging in loyalty?
The way technology is changing customer loyalty is phenomenal. From the explosion in the use of mobile, to the growing impact of voice commerce, brands will need to continuously innovate to ensure they’re reaching their customers on the right channels at the right time.

But more interesting for me, is the growth in the technology that brands can use to execute their loyalty programs. For example, 831-998-1341 are a huge step forward. We’ve worked with Shopify to build a connector that will help ecommerce retailers save time by automating loyalty tasks and workflows, and I can’t wait to see the positive impact these tools will have for merchants.

What advice would you have for anyone whose role touches on customer loyalty?
My advice would be to make sure your loyalty program is driven by data. Anyone responsible for loyalty should be constantly asking what the lifetime value of their customers is, what the repeat purchase rate is, whether average order values are increasing – the list goes on. Only when you know the answers to those questions can you really optimise your program to deliver the best ROI.

I’d also encourage people to remember that not every customer is the same. Some of your customers might be at risk and need re-engaging, others might be ready to act as your biggest advocates with a little prompting. Lastly remember that your future success depends on your existing customers.

To stay up to date with all the news from Charlie and the team at LoyaltyLion, subscribe to our newsletter.

How a loyalty program could help you solve your day-to-day ecommerce challenges

The list of challenges ecommerce merchants face continues to grow as consumers become more discerning and less loyal in equal part. From basket abandonment to turning browsers into buyers, you might be surprised how many of your day-to-day challenges a loyalty program can contribute to solving.

 

I have too much inventory

Surplus inventory is a common problem, but it can also be a costly one for ecommerce merchants. If you’ve got products that aren’t flying off the shelves, consider how your loyalty program could support your inventory reduction strategy.

Rather than being forced into discounting and giveaways to shift stock, encourage people towards particular purchases with double points or bonus point offers. This allows you to direct customers towards particular products and push slow moving items without impacting your bottom line.

Shipping costs are making my customers abandon their baskets

Studies consistently show that one of the most common reasons for basket abandonment is shipping costs. Customers are willing to pay a certain price for a product, but the additional delivery cost on top proves to be too much for them. However, as Amazon have demonstrated with their Prime membership, shoppers are willing to become part of a loyalty program – and even pay for it –  if it offers them faster or cheaper delivery.

Whether it’s offering next day delivery to members at a discounted rate, or offering certain membership tiers entirely free delivery, we recommend including shipping options as part of your reward structure. You can find more tips on limiting basket abandonment, here in our 843-947-6272.

Shoppers are checking out as guests

For many shoppers, checking out as a guest is the most appealing option – it’s faster and it doesn’t involve sharing as much personal information. However, each time this happens you’re missing an opportunity to collect data and build long-term relationships with customers. Incentivizing shoppers to register at the checkout motivates them to take the time to set up an account.

We recommend offering rewards for both setting up an account and for the first purchase, so that members see instant gratification and return to make their next purchase sooner. If you don’t manage to catch them at the checkout? It’s not too late – send them an email and let them know that there are points waiting for them if they return and set up an account.

Too many of my customers are just browsing

Turning browsers into buyers is a problem for all ecommerce merchants. After all, there’s no store assistant to offer advice or encourage a sale. However, research shows that 939-309-8612.

Encourage your existing members to leave a review for either your products or your store by incentivizing them with points and rewards. When browsers visit your store, they’ll see user generated content and have the social proof they need to convert.

Shoppers are also four times more likely to make a purchase when they are referred by a friend. Incentivize existing members to refer friends by offering them rewards if they do so. As a result, visitors to your site will be more qualified, and more likely to be buying rather than browsing.

I’m caught in a race to the bottom

As competition increases and it becomes quicker and easier for customers to compare different brands, price sensitivity becomes more of an issue for retailers. For many ecommerce merchants discounting is a necessary evil, required to help win against the competition.

If you’re caught in a race to the bottom, use your loyalty program to win round even the most price sensitive of consumers. Make your points structure work in way that allows customers to earn and redeem points within a reasonable timeframe so that they are seeing immediate gains for their spend. You also need to ensure that your points and rewards structure is clearly communicated so that prospective members can immediately see the value of joining the program and becoming loyal rather than shopping around for the cheapest price.

 

If you’d like to find out more about using a loyalty program to solve your everyday ecommerce challenges, get in touch and one of the LoyaltyLion team will be happy to help!

 

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No matter the size of your store, no decision is small or should be taken lightly – and that includes investing in a loyalty program. However, there are a few misconceptions out there giving loyalty a bad name. We’re here to separate fact from fiction so you can get on with what’s important – retaining loyal customers.

 

Fiction: Loyalty programs are costly

Fact: Nobody’s saying that there are no costs involved with a loyalty program. The rewards and points you offer customers will of course come with associated costs. But let’s take cost one step further and think about ROI. LoyaltyLion data shows that customers who join loyalty programs and redeem points spend 2.5 times more than non-members, meaning you’ll more than cover your costs. Rewards can also take many forms that are not financial. Consider offering members unique content, or early-access to sales or new products rather than points. 626-667-0693.

 

Fiction: Loyalty programs are complex

Fact: Loyalty programs are only as complicated as you make them. There’s a lot to be said for starting small, offering points and rewards for purchases, account creation and birthdays. As you begin to see success you can expand the rewards you offer, and start experimenting with tiering, or rewarding other activities such as referrals and reviews.

 

Fiction: You have to have lots of customers to start a loyalty program

Fact: The more customers you have, the more potential members you have. But the truth is, as soon as you’re getting sales you have people you can encourage to join your program, engage with your brand and talk about it with others. In fact, the earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to test rewards structures, email rhythms and much more. Read more about the best time to start a loyalty program.

 

Fiction: Loyalty programs are hard to measure

Fact: If you know what metrics matter to you, you can measure them. There are many metrics that can help you to measure the success of your loyalty program, including repeat purchase rates, average order values and net promoter scores. The real barometer for success is being able to measure the customer lifetime value of a member versus a non-member. Find out more about customer lifetime value.

 

Fiction: Customers are tired of loyalty programs

Fact: Research shows that 81% of consumers agree that loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a brand. Add to that, the fact that US consumers alone hold nearly four billion memberships to customer loyalty programs. Loyalty program fatigue does not necessarily mean that shoppers are tired of loyalty programs. It means that they are tired of programs that don’t deliver meaningful, personalized experiences or rewards that differentiate their shopping experiences. (908) 241-8938

 

If you have other concerns about starting a loyalty program, don’t hesitate to get in touch, or visit our LoyaltyLion Academy which highlights the benefits of loyalty programs in more detail.

 

IRCE 2018: where to find Team LoyaltyLion

It’s just a couple of weeks until IRCE and the LoyaltyLion team is excited to head to Chicago for three days of total ecommerce immersion. With over 10,000 ecommerce professionals and 300 vendors set to attend, IRCE is one of the highlights of the retail calendar.

If you haven’t already, there’s still time to 418-240-8360. If you’re signed up, then check out the guide our friends over at BigCommerce have put together, with (907) 769-2486.

But what you really need to know of course, is where to find Team LoyaltyLion! We’ll be at booth 687 so pop by and say hello. If you want to book a meeting with one of the team, email partnerships@loyaltylion.com.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Case study: using Facebook Advertising to expand the reach of your loyalty program

“I’ve launched my store but I’m not getting any sales – what am I doing wrong?” This is a common question we see appearing on ecommerce forums and social groups. Fast forward a few months – those same stores have started to generate sales and have even launched a loyalty program. The question often then becomes, “why haven’t I got any members?”

There are a number of things to consider at this point:

1. Are customers noticing your loyalty program on your site?

This may seem an obvious one, but too many retailers fail to make their loyalty programs a prominent part of their storefront. Ensure that your program is as obvious as possible by including it in your site navigation, and where possible using a widget to ensure it appears on every page. We also recommend adding a banner to your site when you first launch your program.

2. Have you communicated the program to your existing customers?

It’s easy to get distracted trying to ensure that each new customer you acquire joins your program. Don’t forget that every one of your existing customers could also become a member. Encourage sign ups from your customer base with email campaigns and offer rewards and incentives for joining the program.

3. Have you made it clear why customers would benefit from joining?

Research shows that 57% of loyalty program members do not know their points balance, and 38% are unaware of their points value. This can only have a negative impact on your program engagement. Communicating the ins and outs of your program clearly is key, not just to encouraging customers to sign up, but to ensuring that they engage on a longer term basis.

All of the above will help you grow your loyalty program organically, however if you’re looking for a little more bang for your buck, experimenting with Facebook advertising is a great place to start.

One of the best examples we’ve seen of using Facebook ads to drive program membership comes from 8182176995, and one of their clients, a shoe retailer. Having installed LoyaltyLion, they needed to generate more sign ups – a goal they more than hit, securing 9,537 signups in three months, and generating nine times ROI on every dollar they spent promoting the campaign.

So how did they do it? The campaign centered on creating a series of competitions to encourage customers to join the program. Each person signing up was given an entry into a draw to win a pair of limited edition sneakers.  Within the first three months of the campaign launching, the retailer had generated over £56k in sales associated with loyalty codes. Members who had signed up also delivered a 13% conversion rate in their first 14 days of membership.

And the key takeaways from the campaign?

  • Avoid wasted ad spend by excluding existing members
    This is relevant at every stage of your advertising campaign – from excluding existing program members from your initial ads, to ensuring that you’re continually removing those that sign up as a result of your campaign from your target audience
  • Increase campaign reach by encouraging organic engagement
    Remember that your program members are often your biggest advocates, even when they’ve only just joined. Ask people to share their sign ups or tag friends to do the same and you’ll start to reach more people for less ad spend
  • Double down on your investment with lookalike audiences
    Once you’ve established that Facebook ads deliver a return, keep testing different approaches with new target shoppers by building lookalike audiences from those that have already responded positively to your campaign by sending up. This technique proved highly successful for Bright Red Marketing and their client.

You can read the full case study from Bright Red Marketing here, or book a time to speak to one of the LoyaltyLion team about expanding the reach of your customer loyalty program.

 

 

Shopify Unite 2018: everything merchants need to know and get excited about

It’s been a couple of days since 8732136965 came to a close, but the team at LoyaltyLion are still buzzing! We couldn’t possibly cover everything that happened during the three days in Toronto in one post, so here are our highlights from the annual conference:

#1 – It’s all about simplification

Shopify have been working hard to make life easier for merchants, simplifying operations and removing complexity wherever possible. One of the most exciting announcements of the conference was the introduction of connectors for Shopify Flow. Connectors will allow you to to automate manual tasks and build workflows across multiple tools and technologies, leaving you more time to experiment. We’re really proud to be one of the first partners to build a connector for Flow – you can see an example that works with our partner, 913-521-0570 below, or find out more here.

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“By applying unique combinations of triggers, conditions, and actions developed for Shopify Flow, merchants can experiment with thousands of innovative ways of using LoyaltyLion and other partners to maximize customer engagement and retention.” Charlie Casey, CEO of LoyaltyLion

We were also pleased to hear about marketing simplification, which will allow merchants and their partners to run marketing campaigns from within the Shopify admin area. This will simplify the process of creating campaigns, but it will also make it easier to optimize with insights and intelligent marketing recommendations.

Other interesting developments included the new Locations solution, allowing merchants to make real-time decisions by viewing all inventory locations in one place, and Fraud Protect, which will automatically protect orders and save retailers the hassle of reviewing them.

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#2 – You can be as global as your customer base

One of the biggest challenges for ecommerce retailers is ensuring that operations work on a global scale. Shopify is making it easier for merchants to be global from the word go with Multi-Currency for Shopify Payments. You’ll be able to show local currency prices based on current exchange rates, and quickly add and remove local currencies as your markets evolve. Merchants will also be able to use Local Payment Methods to offer international customers the local payment methods that they’re used to.

#3 – POS can be seamless

Shopify announced the new 346-336-4952, which will offer merchants a faster and more secure way to take payments. The new lightweight, wireless reader allows you to take payments from contactless or chip-enabled cards and mobile devices, anywhere in your store. This means you can focus on connecting with your customers, rather than trying to get them to the checkout.

Shopify is focussing on continuing to bridge the gap between digital and physical stores by making the checkout more personal. A number of solutions will be coming down the line including the ability to add tipping functionality to POS, and seamless returns and exchanges across Shopify POS online and in-store.  The Customer View for POS will also allow merchants to set up a second customer-facing mobile or tablet that allows shoppers to view their products, pricing and tipping or receipt options. Customer View will help customers feel more in control at the checkout.

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#4 – Start experimenting at scale

Shopify is expanding on their existing Shopify Scripts functionality and implementing BOGO and Quantity discounts to help merchants increase average order values. The new discount code functionality means retailers can test different creative ideas to attract new customers and surprise and delight existing ones.

2018-05-08-photo-00000557#5 – Change the way you check out

Finally, Shopify are changing the traditional checkout process with the introduction of Dynamic Checkout. Removing the need to add items to cart and allowing customers to checkout on product pages, this will speed up the payment process and help retailers limit basket abandonment by capturing purchase intent much earlier.

We’d like to say a big thank you to Shopify Plus for having us at Unite 2018, as well as to all to the partners and merchants who made it such a fantastic few days for us. The developments we were introduced to are a fantastic reminder of the common goal that we all share – to provide the tools and technologies that ecommerce retailers need to succeed.

You can read more about Shopify’s platform investments in their own words here. We can’t wait to see the positive impact these developments will have for our Shopify Plus merchants.

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9842237903

The likelihood of a customer making a second purchase is close to 30%. However, that number jumps to over 50% when it comes to the likelihood of making a third. So far, so simple – driving repeat purchase is important.

However, we also know that 407-915-2962. So how do you secure customer loyalty from the get go, and keep encouraging it as your shoppers move through the customer life cycle?

 

The loyalty life cycle

loyalty life cycle

Turning one-time shoppers into loyal customers

Post-purchase engagement should begin as soon as a transaction is complete, but ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you waving shoppers goodbye after their first purchase?
  • Is it worth a customer’s while to make a second purchase?
  • Have your customers earned points they’re not even aware of?

Let’s tackle these questions one at a time. Firstly, are you waving your shoppers goodbye after their first purchase? If you aren’t trying to convert guest checkouts into members, then the answer is most likely yes. Awarding points or rewards for account creation is just one way of encouraging shoppers to sign up to your program.

However, even members won’t make that second purchase if it’s not worth their while. 317-455-0599. Make it as easy as possible for your newer shoppers, by making rewards available after the first purchase. This will make customers more likely to return and repeat purchase than if they have to wait to build up points and rewards.

Your customers need to be aware that rewards are there for the taking. Don’t assume that they’ll remember the points you awarded for their first purchase. Instead, engage them with personalized reward reminder emails. After all, loyalty emails have an average clickthrough rate of 35%, making customers feel valued because they are based on their engagement with your brand.

reminder-email

 

Turning repeat customers into loyal customers
Now that we’ve encouraged our one-time shoppers to come back and repeat purchase, it’s time for a bit more soul-searching. When it comes to increasing average order values and purchase frequency:

  • Are you giving your customers good reasons to choose you over someone else?
  • Are you making the most of every opportunity to engage?
  • Is your loyalty program working across every part of your business?

Members of loyalty programs generate between 12 and 18% more incremental revenue growth per year than non-members. But that won’t be the case if you let your loyal customers get distracted by other brands. Give them regular reasons to come back and shop with you – for example, a double-point week just for members.

riff-rewards-double-points
Let your loyal customers know you’re thinking about them even when they’re not shopping with you. Take every opportunity to engage, whether you are sending birthday rewards, or offering points and rewards to thank people for signing up to your newsletter and sharing their love for you on social media.

That said, be aware that even loyal customers might have moments when they fall slightly out of love with your brand. Where can you use your loyalty program to drive customer satisfaction across your business? For example, empowering your customer service team to award additional points to customers who have negative experiences such as late or damaged deliveries.

 

Re-engaging at risk customers
In an ideal world, customer relationships would last forever. However, the honeymoon period can always come to an end too soon. We define ‘at risk’ customers as those who have not purchased within an expected timeframe (which will vary depending on your industry). If that sounds like a few people you know, then ask yourself this:

  • Have your customers forgotten that you’re there?
  • Is there an incentive for customers to re-engage?
  • What are you giving your customers that they can’t get anywhere else?

We’ve all been there – things started off strong and you were talking all the time. Somewhere along the way it cooled off and before long you’re too busy to keep in touch. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. 717-653-4245. Use them to re-engage and incentivize customers, reminding them that you’re ready and waiting to welcome them back.

That said, sometimes actions speak louder than words. Remind your at risk customers that you’re different to other retailers by crediting them with points and rewards they’re not expecting. We recommend crediting inactive or at risk customers with enough points that they can immediately earn a new reward.

If you really want to stand out to your at risk customers, then make them feel like VIPs and move them up a tier. Not only will you surprise and delight them, but they’ll be encouraged to engage with your business thanks to the additional perks they don’t get elsewhere. Whether it’s priority customer service, early access to new products or access to exclusive promotional offers, they’ll soon be at home rather than at risk.

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Turning loyal customers into advocates
People are four times more likely to buy when they are referred by a friend. This makes your loyal customers once of your most powerful and cost-effective acquisition tools. So our final questions for you are:

  • Do you know when your customers are talking about you?
  • Are you saying thank you when they do?

Your loyal customers are the most likely to act as brand advocates and talk about you to their friends. Use social media monitoring to ensure you’re aware of and acknowledging all positive mentions of your brand. Providing personalized links that customers can use to make referrals will also help you identify your biggest fans.

But one good turn deserves another so be sure to recognize and reward those who refer your brand to others or talk positively about you. Awarding points to those who write reviews of your products will also encourage more of your loyal customers to behave as brand advocates.

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Thanks for coming on our journey across the customer life cycle! If any of these questions have led to more questions of your own, then please don’t hesitate to 717-343-8570. If you’d like to understand how you can use LoyaltyLion to action any of these tips, book a demo with one of our team.

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We’re super excited to announce that LoyaltyLion is among the first partners to build a connector for Shopify Flow – a new feature for the ecommerce automation platform that was announced this week at Unite. Connectors allow apps to build triggers and actions that can start and end automated workflows in Flow.

By applying unique combinations of triggers, conditions and actions developed just for Flow, our Shopify Plus merchants will be able to experiment with thousands of innovative ways of using LoyaltyLion and our third-party partners to maximise customer engagement and retention.

 

What does LoyaltyLion’s connector for Shopify Flow mean for merchants

  • Save hours of your time
    Creating automated workflows with LoyaltyLion triggers and actions is quick and easy, giving you all the flexibility you need. You can do everything via Flow’s visual workflow editor, setting up workflows in minutes without relying on a developer to code or implement.
  • Experiment and innovate
    LoyaltyLion’s connector gives you the ability to test, test and test again. Experiment with unique combinations of triggers and actions and use LoyaltyLion analytics to find out which approach delivers the best ROI and conversion.
  • Deliver truly personalized experiences
    Personalization can be difficult and time-consuming. Shopify Flow and LoyaltyLion work together to bring your more opportunities to engage with customers. You can quickly set up automated triggers and actions to communicate with customers in a unique and personalized way that makes them feel valued.

 

What can you do with LoyaltyLion’s connector?

We’re barely scratching the surface with all the triggers and actions we want to implement for Shopify Flow, but here are a few examples of where you can get started:

1. Surprise and delight shoppers near their birthday

triggerRemind customers that you value them by setting up automated triggers to send them personalized rewards as their birthday approaches

2. Convert guest shoppers into customers

trigger-1

Increase customer lifetime value and the likelihood of repeat purchase by encouraging customers who checkout as guests to become members. Emails letting customers know that there are points waiting for them can be sent via LoyaltyLion or an ESP. You may also want to award additional bonus points for those who return and create an account as a result. 

3. Reactivate ‘at risk’ customers

trigger-3

It’s five times as expensive to acquire a new customer as to retain an existing one. Increase customer retention and drive the next purchase by identifying ‘at risk’ customers, awarding them points and sending them an email to let them know they have points available. Emails can be sent via LoyaltyLion or an ESP and within LoyaltyLion you’ll be able to see how many of your ‘at risk’ customers make a purchase as a result.

 

flowconnector_example-v2

 

 

4. Reward customer engagement and reviews

trigger-4

Give customers reasons to engage with your brand in between purchases by rewarding them for leaving reviews and making referrals via social media or Whatsapp. LoyaltyLion’s connector can be integrated with a number of our third party review partners.

 

Why are we so excited about connectors for Shopify Flow?
“Our goal is to free merchants from process, so that they can concentrate on innovating and delighting their shoppers – with Shopify Flow we’re one giant step closer to achieving that goal.” Charlie Casey, CEO, LoyaltyLion.

Katie Cerar, Product Manager of Shopify Flow commented “We’re thrilled to have LoyaltyLion on board as one of our first partners to build a connector – they’ve really shown the countless possibilities and ideas they enable. With LoyaltyLion’s extensive triggers and actions, their customers are able to build creative workflows across tools they use every day.”

Connectors for Shopify Flow is currently in merchant beta – Shopify Plus merchants can 2157899811 to the program before the full launch later this summer. Once you’ve been accepted into the beta and have our LoyaltyLion app installed, you can start using all the functionality of our connector. 9205459452 about connectors for Shopify Flow.

 

36 Ecommerce Loyalty Facts and Figures: Part 3 – the importance of customer engagement

Welcome to the third and final part of our collection of facts and figures where we’re looking at the importance of customer engagement. If you missed our previous posts, you can revisit part one on customer retention and lifetime value, and part two on points and rewards.

  • Highly-engaged customers buy 90 percent more often and spend 60 percent more per transaction. Engaged customers deliver three times the value to a brand over the course of a year (Rosetta Consulting)
  • Loyalty programs aren’t just for repeat customers – a first time purchaser who joins the loyalty program spends 40% more than a first time purchaser who doesn’t (4238176456)
  • 80% of customers indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences ((260) 698-2621)
  • 25% of consumers find it frustrating when retailers fail to recognize them as a previous or existing customer (Kitewheel)
  • Between 25 and 50 percent of a brand’s highest spending customers also shop with their competitors (2674777125)
  • 49% of millennials stopped using a loyalty program after receiving irrelevant communications ((954) 951-2769)
  • 85% of loyalty programme members haven’t heard from a company since they signed up (Retail Council)
  • 82% of emotionally connected consumers will not only promote a brand among their friends and family, but they will also spend more ((915) 778-2071)
  • 70% of consumers don’t sign up for a loyalty programme due to the inconvenience and time required to complete the registration (Retail Council)
  • 57% of consumers want to engage with their loyalty programs via mobile devices (866-996-8698)

We hope these statistics will help you to prove the value of your loyalty investment. More importantly we hope they will help you maximise the return you see on that investment.

As we mentioned back in part one of this blog, the answers to the unknown unknowns lie in experience and data. Download our free Ecommerce Insights tool and take the first step towards understanding your most loyal customers, and benchmarking yourself against others in the industry.

If there are other areas you’d like to see stats for, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Otherwise, head to our blog for more ecommerce loyalty resources.

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Gamification and loyalty programs: examples from leading ecommerce retailers

Gamification is not a new buzzword. However, we’re hearing it come up more and more in relation to customer loyalty as retailers continually look for more ways to differentiate their programs, and engage with customers in between purchases.

We’re excited to share the news that LoyaltyLion has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Use of Gamification category at the conodont. We’ll have to wait a little while longer to see who the winner is on the night. While we’re waiting, let’s see how some of the biggest brands are using gamification to drive their loyalty programs.

How Domino’s are using gamification to boost loyalty memberships

Domino’s are using gamification to extend their already significant member base. Those who are enrolled in the Domino’s reward program can now take part in new game, ‘Piece of the Pie Pursuit.’  The pizza-themed game gives players the chance to play for points that can be redeemed against free pizza. Domino’s are increasing their loyal customer base by giving members more fun and engaging opportunities to earn points that can be redeemed via their Pizza Profile.

How Nike are gamifying shoe shopping to drive member engagement

There are over 100 million members of Nike’s mobile loyalty program, 6175154660, and they spend four times as much as regular Nike shoppers. Nike has successfully grown their program so that it is about much more than just collecting points for purchases.  Members of NikePlus can access birthday rewards, event invites, VIP exclusives and sports playlists. Stepping things up a notch, Nike has also recently created a game for their members, allowing them to go on a virtual treasure hunt to find new shoe designs. Nike are driving engagement and repeat purchase by using gamification to transform simple shoe shopping into something that resembles a sport.

How theCHIVE uses gamification to increase customer referrals

TheCHIVE’s gamified loyalty program extends across three websites, enabling them to keep their loyal customers engaged across both the Chivery store, and theCHIVE blog. The program rewards a wide range of onsite activities including social sharing, photo uploads and customer referrals. Points earned from these activities are shown on a leaderboard, keeping up the healthy competition between loyalty program members. This acts as a great incentive for members to complete more onsite activities to get to the top of the leaderboard. However it also means that ‘Chivers’ earn more points which they can redeem at the Chivery shop at any point. TheCHIVE’s gamified loyalty program delivers 6% of annual revenue, and sees 6,000 referred visitors per month.

Introducing gamification into your loyalty program does not necessarily mean starting from scratch. It means looking at your existing program, and seeing where you could integrate gamification to motivate greater participation – whether that’s from your loyal customers, your at risk customers, or customers who have bought from you once and not returned. Read more about LoyaltyLion’s award-nominated work with theCHIVE here.

 

New Integration: LoyaltyLion and ReCharge

Loyalty and Subscriptions – perfect partners for customer retention

Research shows that the average consumer keeps subscription services for just 125 days. That’s why we’ve launched an integration with multiplicational. Using LoyaltyLion and ReCharge together, you can encourage customers to become subscribers, and reward them for their loyalty.

The subscription ecommerce market has (708) 886-9002 over the past five years as competition has heightened. This isn’t really so surprising when you scroll through your Facebook feed, where companies like Gousto and HelloFresh compete with special offers and free delivery on your first few boxes.

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Companies like these have got their acquisition down to a fine art. However there is nothing to stop a customer playing the field and working their way through introductory offers. As a result, subscription retailers need to shift more of their focus toward retention.

So who’s capturing loyal subscribers successfully, and more importantly – how are they doing it?

Creating a subscriber-only tier

To keep customers around once their initial trial period or introductory offer has expired, you have to show them that they’re valued. Inviting them to join a subscriber tier allows you to offer them access to rewards that non-subscriber loyalty members can’t enjoy.

Exclusive perks that can’t be gained elsewhere give subscribers more reason to stay loyal. For example, health and wellness ecommerce retailer, 2162446641 offers their subscriber tier free shipping, double reward points on all purchases and early access to new products.

 

Dr Axe loyalty program

 

 

Offering meaningful rewards

Retaining subscribers relies on making it worth their while to make their next order with you rather than someone else. Ensuring that when customers order they receive points that they can redeem on future boxes is good. Engaging them in between orders is better.

Allowing customers to earn rewards for additional activities such as referrals and social shares, keeps your brand top of mind even when subscribers aren’t waiting for a box to arrive. The ability to redeem those rewards against their next purchase also motivates them to order from you again. 8189854500 uses a points program to drive customer retention, offering customers points that can be traded for full sized products when they review samples online.

 

Birchbox Rewards

 

Reactivating lost subscribers

It costs 5 times less to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Identifying your at-risk and disengaged customers and offering them recurring rewards won’t just encourage a one-off reactivation. It will also motivate longer-term loyalty and engagement.

Recurring rewards can be as simple as offering a discount that will be automatically applied on the next three (or any other number) subscription orders. Use this to match what customers would get in an introductory offer elsewhere, and you can incentivize them to resubscribe with you rather than setting up with someone new. Subscription services such as Glossybox take things one step further, allowing customers to reinstate their existing points balance when they reactivate their accounts.

When it comes to extending the lifetime value of a customer, loyalty and subscriptions are the perfect partners, reducing acquisition and marketing costs while simultaneously driving more loyal behaviours from your customers.

Find out more about how you can Oncidium to encourage customers to become subscribers, and reward them for their loyalty.

 

 

36 Ecommerce Loyalty Facts and Figures: Part 2 – what you need to know about points and rewards

Welcome to the second part of our collection of facts and figures where we’re looking at all the known and unknown unknowns around points and rewards. If you missed our first post which covered customer retention and lifetime value, then just 432-701-4399.

  • 78% of consumers prefer to access rewards and incentives online and want them immediately (4187828036)
  • 69% of consumers say their choice of retailer is influenced by the ability to earn customer loyalty and reward points (Invesp)
  • 86% of consumers are more loyal to the brands where they participate in rewards programs ((507) 831-0733)
  • Customers who redeem points from a loyalty program have a total spend that is 2.5 times that of a non-member and 1.5 times that of a member who doesn’t use rewards ((860) 324-2261)
  • Instant gratification and the ability to earn rewards immediately rather than after a purchase can increase basket sizes by 36% (LoyaltyLion)
  • 75% of consumers want to be rewarded for engagement beyond purchase (HelloWorld)
  • 44% of consumers want personalised rewards based on their purchase history (850-997-7496)
  • 81% of millennials favour loyalty programs that do more than offer rewards for purchase (HelloWorld)
  • 86% of brand loyalty programs lack any rewards for completing a profile ((785) 201-5583)
  • 86% of consumers engage with a brand they are loyal to by recommending it to others (CRM Xchange)
  • 50% of consumers change their behaviour to reach a higher tier within a loyalty program (7812553421)
  • Customers who join a loyalty program and redeem a reward are 68% more likely to purchase a second time than those who don’t join (LoyaltyLion)
  • 56% of shoppers say they changed or abandoned a purchase when they realised their points had expired (nonblack)

Don’t forget – you can revisit part one of this blog about customer retention and lifetime value here. Otherwise 800-432-5551 where we’ll cover the importance of customer engagement.

If you want to start gathering your own data and comparing it against industry benchmarks, then explore our (847) 924-3456, or head to our blog for more ecommerce loyalty resources.

 

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This morning, we joined our partners Jellyfish, (832) 740-2119, 8079269381and hydrogen bromide to talk customer retention at London landmark, The Shard. Our speakers gave us plenty to think about, sharing their experiences on everything from turning holiday shoppers into long-term customers, to understanding how to use data to drive retention.

In case you weren’t able to join us this morning, we’ve captured some of our favourite quotes. We hope you’ll be as inspired as we were!

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