Too sexy for your software?

Are you too sexy for your software?Why e-commerce businesses should opt for smart instead

In my 15 years of creating software for e-commerce businesses, I’ve seen the industry change a great deal. Lately, I view most e-commerce software falling into one of two distinct categories — sexy and unsexy. Inevitably, the flashy side of selling seduces transfixed business owners toward tools they must have to “attract” customers, such as beautiful websites, custom-fit applications, artificial intelligence, trending social media apps, marketing automation, and the like. Because owners are convinced they need all this customer-facing software in order to sell online, they put tremendous business resources toward the sexy.Why #online businesses should shun sexy software until they've mastered smarter systems @ParagMamnani Click To Tweet

But here’s the rub: The unsexy, “boring” side of the business is what owners actually use to run the company. In fact, without it, they are sure to fail. Among dozens of other important tasks, this is the software that allows them to Continue reading

User Research: Too little, too late?

User Research: Too little, too late?How this neglected and abused role is really the secret savior of modern business

Looking around at job boards, I see two trends in the area of user research:

  1. More businesses are hiring for this role and skillset
  2. Most companies fill this position later in their lifecycle

We live in a world where user research must be a priority and appear earlier both in a company’s lifecycle and in a product’s lifecycle. Very similar to other tacit roles like product management and UX design, companies assume that the skill or function gaps of the position are being covered with overlapping roles from other departments. Take Product Management, for example. Before a company hires their first Product Manager, they assume the engineering, marketing, and executive teams are performing all the core Product Management functions. Somehow, this disparate group is expected to handle the wide ranging functions of a Product Manager, but it often falls short to the detriment of the entire company.Given their importance, why do user research roles show up at larger companies too late? #Unify Click To Tweet

Most of us know the unfortunate reality of using a product that was designed with user experience as an afterthought—it’s just no good. But that’s exactly what results when a designer gets their first crack at improving the experience only when the product is in the final stages of engineering instead of when it’s in first-draft or just a fledgling idea. Of course the product will be lackluster, even after the designer wages a harrowing yet futile battle to make it useable and beautiful. Continue reading

Keep Calm and Jingle On

Keep Calm and Jingle On5 quick wins for a successful holiday season

By now, your holiday marketing plan is likely up and running, but with competition at an all-time high, consider a few of these effective strategies from Bronto‘s industry partners to give your efforts an extra boost.

Use Your Post-Purchase Data
Make it as easy as possible for your existing customers to come back and purchase again,” says Robert J. Moore, Head of Magento Analytics. “More than any other prospective customers, you know who these people are and what they like, such as product types, price points, and even what time of day they shop. Use this data to create special promotions and announcements that cost you very little to deliver but can have a major impact on your sales.”

Target Lapsed Customers
“The holidays are the best time to target your lapsed customers,” says AgilOne’s Laura Corbalis. “Identify everyone who hasn’t bought from you in over a year, and send them a holiday-focused ‘We miss you!’ message with a special deal. These customers are familiar with your brand, so sending them something that beckons them back can be a very quick win.”

Read more.

Holiday Planning: Your November Checklist

Holiday Planning: Your November ChecklistIt’s go time!

November is already here, which means two of this biggest shopping days of the year are quickly approaching: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now’s the time to take your planning from September and October and put it all into action. This month, focus on launching some key campaigns to prepare your customers for the holiday season and get them to your checkout!

Read on for more tips about the campaigns that will make the most out of your holiday shoppers. Continue reading

Email Marketing Made Easy: Part 3, Retention

http://www.webgility.com/webinars/2016-07-28-webinar-email-campaigns-that-drive-revenue-on-demandHow to exceed customer expectations and keep them returning for more

Hopefully you’ve been able to acquire new subscribers and convert them into buyers, but the work’s not done. Now you’ll want to keep the conversation going with these new customers, grow loyalty, and increase repeat purchases.This is where post-purchase series messages and post-purchase messages come in. Post-purchase series is exactly what it sounds like—it’s a series of messages that are automatically triggered when a purchase is completed. The goal of this series is to enhance the customer experience, so think of these messages as the voice of your customer service department. To show real value to the customer, it’s key to know the strengths and weaknesses of your brand and anticipate their needs based on your purchase data before you write post-purchase messages.Retaining #ecommerce #customers is easier than you'd think. Here are simple ways to keep 'em coming… Click To Tweet

For example, you may ask them if they’d like help setting up a complex piece of equipment, suggest a complementary product, or check in on whether or not the product they bought was sized appropriately for them. Other added-value follow-up messages can include a thank you coupon, a helpful list of top selling products, a review request, or maybe even ask them to refer a friend. Again, think of every interaction with your customers as being a chance to spread your brand voice. Continue reading