How a human voice can increase your website sales
by Toonimo Apr 28, 2015
When it comes to your retail website, if you can’t capture your visitors’attention –and keep it from search to purchase –good luck growing your revenue. And on top of that, there are only so many ways that you can design a website. Standing out in a sea of competitor sites is a challenge. So how do you make sure your visitors are engaged enough to spend the time finding what they need, then following through to complete their purchase, quickly and easily? Consider adding a digital concierge to your website. It will not only capture your visitors’attention, but efficiently move them through the buying process as well, with personalized messages tailored to the user. The digital concierge is like a personal shopper, complete with a warm, human voice that helps your customers navigate through the layers of your website to find exactly what they are looking for. And the best part? Our research shows that this small addition will change the paradigm of your online customers’experience. It keeps visitors on your site more than 20% longer and potentially boosts your sales by nearly 10%. Here’s how it works. As soon as someone visits your homepage, they have the option to listen to a quick overview of your site told by a friendly, human voice. Then, as they are directed to what they are looking for, the same digital concierge explains and compares product features. This gives real life context to help your customers better understand the product, thus helping them make the best buying decision. For example, if your site sells computers, the average customer probably doesn't know the difference between levels of RAM or why they may need a certain chip speed.  Or if your site sells bicycles or exercise equipment, your customers might not understand what scenarios would require a larger tire or a why they might need a treadmill monitor that not only measures heart rate but pulse as well. The dynamic presentation layer, in the form of a friendly human voice, will explain why. And because it is customized to your site, it works on any system with any product. Once your site visitor selects a product, the same friendly voice can walk them through the check-out process by explaining things like shipping and promotions, and continue to answer any questions until the purchase is complete. So consider adding a dynamic presentation layer solution to your site as the key to helping your customer’s make better purchasing decisions and provide an overall more satisfying user experience.  You’ll not only increase sales, but also unify the customer experience across all of your marketing efforts by using the same voice as your video ad or tv commercial and add that personal touch often missing in the digital space....
Introducing New Site Features to Your Customers
by Toonimo Feb 19, 2015
  For some of us in the tech world, when introducing a new product or feature in our business, we envision ourselves getting up on stage in a black turtle neck and jeans and delivering a captivating state of the art, multimedia presentation ala Steve Jobs. Most of us however, do not receive such fanfare. When you work hard on developing a new feature or product,  you want to make sure your customers not only see it, but that you are able to generate a sense of excitement about it as well.  It can be a challenge to introduce your new feature effectively. You do have a few options for bringing attention to certain features on your website both onsite and offsite.  Sometimes an onsite pop up is all you need while other times a combination of strategies is preferred. It really depends on your website, your audience and the feature you are announcing. Here are a few ideas for effective ways to introduce your new site features to your customers: On site strategies: Interstitial Pages - Interstitial ads are boxes or pages that pop up at site launch and are a sure way to get your customers’ attention.  The user needs to close the ad in order to return to the website homepage in the background, so chances are they will read it.  You can also link to the feature on the ad to take users directly to the page.   The interstitial idea can also be used to create a more indepth “help screen” at launch which can provide further details or instructions on how to use the new feature. Homepage ads - You can announce new features by placing ads on certain standout places right on the homepage. Hello Bars, which are banners along the top of the home page stand out, particularly if they are in a bold color. You can write something attention grabbing such as “Hey, check out our new features” and then link to the page. Badges or call to action buttons can be placed anywhere on the homepage and include short text or an image that links to the new feature. Again, enticing text (“click here to see our new feature”), bright colors or an eye-catching image (a big question mark for example) will draw the visitor in to seek more information. Stand out content blocks - You can strategically place content or an ad for your new feature  in the margins or within a banner or image slideshow that exists already on your homepage. Interactive Guides - A text-based, audio visual or animated website walk through  can guide your website users to the new features and explain or demonstrate how to use them. How-to Videos - A how-to video embedded on your homepage can introduce the new feature and demonstrate how to use it. Offsite strategies: Email blasts: Numerous Marketing Surveys have found that email marketing is the most effective digital marketing tactic and that it delivers the best ROI (return on Investment). You can announce the feature to your mailing list, write about the benefits and make sure to include a link. This will also get customers that aren’t already on your site to pay a visit and hopefully increase visits and sales. Social Media announcements: Use social media to create a buzz about your new features. Announce the new features, share videos and most importantly, link your website. Get your audience excited and involved by using one or a few of the techniques above to draw attention, guide and demonstrate your new website features....
Tweaks to Increase E-Commerce Conversions
by Toonimo Dec 08, 2014
  Let's start with a simple e-commerce related question: What would you prefer; site that is driving traffic by the truck loads but is not necessarily converting or a site that has a decent flow of traffic, but that traffic is converting? Hopefully, option two was the overwhelming response. As attractive as a high volume of traffic may be, if it's not converting, then it might as well not exist. It's like a store getting a lot of window shoppers but no one is actually interesting to buy. Low conversion rates could also mean that there are issues on the site involving usability, clarity of message, or design causing the consumer to abandon without making a purchase. Many e-commerce site owners make the mistake of investing significant resources into driving traffic to their site without following through to actually investing in onsite conversions. Often this is caused by a misconception that optimizing the conversion process and creating a strategy is complicated, time consuming, and costly. Tightening a conversion funnel, and focusing the user experience requires some time but it could be a few weeks. Even in that brief amount of time, the conversion rates should begin to increase. Keep in mind every change that is made needs to be tested. Sometimes a change can be as simple as changing the color, layout or font size. Changing these variants, produced and 11% increase in sales for major brand, Laura Ashley The next step in tweaking the e-commerce site is to identify where the majority of the traffic is coming from. As consumers move to mobile, it would be wise to optimize the site for mobile consumption. Customers want to navigate on a site that is designed to offer them the best experience possible. Too many choices Overwhelming shoppers with too many choices can distract and confuse shoppers. Reduce the number of options in the dropdown menu to the bare minimum. It's easier to have subcategories than to offer too many in one long menu. Product pages and images should offer user the ability to zoom in and out of the product. This encourages users to engage with the product. Clearly, this feature should also be available for mobile devices. Shipping and return details should be clearly stated. There is no room here for misunderstandings. Checkout process. This is the one place where an e-commerce company should not be cheap. Customers do not want to feel overwhelmed at this stage of the purchase.  Implementing a virtual agent to walk the consumer through the process is a great tool enables a smooth transition during their purchase, provides a sense of security and confidence in the purchase, and in turn   increases the conversion rate. Another option at this stage of the funnel is to have a live chat feature. Implementing these tweaks is not complicated and the return can be quite astounding. Remember, traffic is only as good as the number of conversions. Know your audience and tweak the site accordingly....
5 Things Customers Expect From Your E-commerce Store
by Toonimo Nov 30, 2014
According to Quora, by mid-2014 2014,110,000 e-commerce sites were registered in the United States. What does that mean for your e-commerce business? It means that competition is fierce and your e-commerce site needs to live up to customer expectations. Especially during the holiday season, which started with Black Friday, online sales grew by 8.5% from alst year. With this kind of growth, your e-commerce site can't afford to fail. Here are 5 things customers expect from your e-commerce store, don’t disappoint them! 1. SPEED The loading time of your site is crucial. Today, people expect and demand instant gratification. A slow loading site will drive customers away, in search for another comparable site. A recent Kissmetrics study concluded that even “a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions." For the sake of clarity, “if your e-commerce website makes $100,000 a day, a 1 second delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year”. Loading time counts! 2. Free Shipping and Promos Once a customer arrives, make sure that it's filled (but not crammed) with promotions. The initial visit by a customer is like "window shopping."  So offering limited time promotions, like giving a discount that is only good for today, encourages customers to make take their online shopping navigation a bit more seriously. Adding a countdown timer of when the sales will end, gives customers an extra sense of urgency,which can increase conversions. Customers love free stuff! So, when possible add a small gift or coupon for their next purchase to give them a reason to return. The holiday season is ideal for these giveaways, since customers are looking for good deals and free things, make a deal even better. In today's highly competitive e-commerce market, free shipping is something every business should be giving. There's almost no reason to make customers pay for receiving their package in a timely manner. 3. Customer Service By now, it should go without saying that excellent customer service in the e-commerce industry is expected by all consumers. Not only is it a necessity, but it's also an excellent way to establish trust with customers, even in the digital space. Today, consumers don't appreciate automated responses, they are looking for a brand that adds a personal touch along their digital journey. Perosnalization is the new form of bridging the digital barrier with customers and every e-commerce can easily integrate this tactic. By including personalized emails, chat features, or with a virtual agent, the e-commerce site can strengthen the customer relationship to the brand. In addition to excellent customer service, the FAQ page should be easily accessible, simple to understand and offer concrete value, leaving no room for any customer to feel dissatisfied with the site. 4. Social Media Links In today's hyper- social digital space, social media is the new form of communication with brands. Social media buttons should be visible, live, and easy to use. Many customers will actually search social profiles to see if a brand is active and engaging with its customers before making a purchase. Keep your channels active by offering content that is valuable. Each channel has a distinct style, so cross posting without respecting each platform will show some brand weakness and lack of understanding. Take the time to learn the ettiquette of the platfom. A good way to add value is to share content from other brands or relevant articles from within the industry. Not every post should be brand centered. A great feature that can add social value is to encourage customers to share that they just completed a purchase from your e-commerce site. Many brands are integrating this feature now and enables a brand to leverage every customers social network . People love to share what that they like, so let them share their shopping experience with their social media circles. Social media links can increase visibility and engagement. In some cases, active social networks will bring sales. 5. Pricing Shoppers don’t like surprises unless it’s a fabulous discount at checkout! Provide as much information on the product as possible as well as the full pricing. Ensure that your site can accept as many forms of payment as possible, including the safety secure payment badges to gain trust with customers. These five tactics are becoming the new norm for e-commerce sites. Take the time to do it right. ...
What is content personalization & How to use it?
by Toonimo Nov 26, 2014
  Personalization of the web is the ability to show the most relevant content to targeted users at the right time. If implemented correctly, personalization solves many usability issues and can drastically increase customer satisfaction and conversions. Today, with all the technological advancements, web personalization is a growing trend that many brands are integrating into their markeitng strategies. Personalization tools are becoming easier to use, so much so that many marketers are able to manipulate the process alone with minimal web work, especially with the abundance of plugins on Drupal, Wordpress or other platforms. Personalization can be categorized and segmented according many categories. The main data sets often include, geography, previous onsite visits, repeat visitors, and other behavior patterns. There are 3 types of user experiences that are easily personalized. Content corresponding to consumers meeting certain predefined criteria Modifying page structure for specific users. Clearly, this style of personalization needs to be thoroughly tested before implementation. A user who experiences a clear change in site design may question the validity of the site. Using personalization to trigger related, valuable content to the user. While personalization offers many advantages to digital brands, the ability to change the rules requires consistent monitoring to allow marketing teams to test, iterate and refine their strategy until achieving their goals.   Personalization means integrating all aspects of the sales funnel to carefully craft a site to yield optimal results. An ideal personalization plan integrates information architecture, usability and content strategy into its planning to enable modification and testing before launching. The two most common ways to come up with a personalization strategy. 1. By understanding core business issues, brands can use existing content to implement a strategy that responds to and solves the basic pain points of the target audience. 2. Audience segmentation creates niche data groups and enables a brand to provide rich,high value content to these predetermined targeted markets. As mentioned, successful personalizaiton means investing in constant testing and tracking of the campaign, with a keen focus on refining the process along the way. Google provides excellent tracking data with their free Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Problems with Personalization If a site is heavily investing in a sophisticated personalization strategy, the bandwidth necessary to create a seamless, high quality user experience, can have adverse affects on the loading speed of the site. Carefully monitoring load times and refreshing rates is important during the pre-launch phase. A site that is slow in responding could actually detract customers. As a final thought, a critical component to executing a successful personalization strategy, requires that a site is populating its site with high quality content that offers value to the consumer at all points of the sales funnel. Web personalization is the quickly becoming a valuable marketing tool that many online businesses are adding to their digital strategy. By executing a carefully planned and well crafted strategy, brands can expect to see an increase in customer satisfaction and growth in converting customers....
Guided Selling: What is It? Does it Work?
by Toonimo Nov 25, 2014
  Today, the abundance of choice can make buying the most appropriate product overwhelming to consumers.  Fueled by the hyper stimulation of relevant product options, the consumer often leaves without anything. What can a company do to prevent customer confusion and increase conversion rates? Online brands can implement a unique customer experience called guided selling. This process helps potential buyers refine their decisions based on offering the products that best fulfills their needs and guides the buyer towards completing the purchase process. Guided selling involves asking customers a series of targeted questions about preferences relevant to specific products, like basic needs, usage, and previous experience with the product. Like a helpful salesperson, the software leads the consumer through the purchase process by assessing their needs and directs them to information and products that best meet the criteria.  A good example of guided selling would be this women's clothing website which offers simple pictures to get personalized, user data to refine product options. With a few simple clicks, the user has enabled the site to locate the most suitable products and, at the same time, increase the conversion potential. Mobile  With the growing mobile usage, guided selling has gained significant popularity particularly since the smaller screen limits the amount of text that can be placed on a screen. The one-click or swipe gesture is ideal for guided selling since the user can simply click their way towards locating the best products. For companies, mobile guided selling offers an additional benefit of providing the company with rich, valuable data that can easily be used later to create a personalized shopping experience.     Virtual Agent An alternative guided selling option is to integrate an onsite virtual agent. This agent is able to navigate consumers through the site by responding to various pre-determined triggers. Strategically positioning an agent can help sites increase conversions and reduce consumer confusion during the decision making process. Below is an example of an onsite virtual agent positioned to guide visitors through their online journey. Sample Onsite Animation Guidance[/caption] The ability to guide users through a site in such a highly targeted manner, provides companies with tremendous conversion potential. Guided selling allows the consumer to control their navigation experience. By shifting control to the consumer, the brand is able to reduce confusion and perhaps even increase conversion rates. Search tools A third option of guided selling is using the classic search box filter. The primitive, yet effective, selection process enables the consumer to control their shopping experience but involves a more tedious process. Consumers today are quickly losing their patience with sites that require infinite clicking that still result in unqualified or irrelevant product discovery. To alleviate this potential problem, guided selling can be more effective if it is merged with consumer-specific data. Together, these two features can create an superior customer experience with the highest conversion potential. Offering the optimal consumer experience means that a company should focus on responding to the selling preferences of each user. Delivering tailored product offerings will bring about a boost in conversions while relinquishing full control of the sale process to the consumer. Is guided selling relevant for every site? Are there alternatives that we didn't mention? Let us know below. ...