At 3dcart, we’re always writing and sharing tips on how to effectively market your store, but sometimes the best way to learn is by example. In our new “Merchant Marketing Spotlights” blog series, we will be looking at fellow 3dcart merchants that successfully leveraging social media, and content marketing to grow their brand and land more sales.
Merchant Marketing Spotlight: CAROLEE Jewelry
WHO: CAROLEE offers premier jewelry collections that reflect a contemporary woman’s lifestyle and the finest in quality, prestige and sophistication. Carolee jewelry collections span from sleek and modern sterling silver, to classic and colorful pearls, to fashion-forward seasonal trends. CAROLEE is sold in major retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Lord and Taylor and Dillard’s.
With over 4,802 likes, CAROLEE actively engages their fans on Facebook with fun contests, relevant posts and fan-only discounts.
Here are a few tips we can take-away from their effective Facebook strategy:
TIP 1: Create an well-designed header image
TIP 2: Use timely events and news to create engaging posts:
TIP 3: Share behind-the-scenes pictures and updates
CAROLEE actively enages fans and followers on Twitter promoting their sales, along with fun brand-building tweets.
TIP: Don’t just push our sales messages. Send personable and fun tweets that users would want to RT
As a high-end jewelry brand, CAROLEE ‘s products lend themselves perfectly to the visual-sharing network Pinterest. CAROLEE takes advantage of Pinterest’s fashion-obsessed users with fun Pins and ‘Pin It To Win It” contests.
TIP: ‘ Pin It To Win It’ Contests are a great way to promote social sharing. But remember to Pin an image that explains the contest so users can easily find the rules and participate.
TIP: Pin more than just your products. Your pin’s should reflect you brand’s personality not just its inventory.
Happy Cyber Monday! Since its inception in 2005, Cyber Monday has been online retailers favorite and craziest day of the year. Experts predict that consumers will spend more online today than any other day of the year – an expected $1.42 Billion. As the below infographic shows, consumers are going to be scouring social media to find the best deals which means merchants need to leverage their social communities to share their virtual-door-buster deals.
Here are some last minute Cyber Monday promotion ideas:
Promote your deals with images & text - Post images on Facebook and Twitter of your products on sale today, but also test text-only messages to see what kind of message your audience responds to best
Post promotion images on Pinterest – Pin your most visual-appealing deals to Pinterest and make sure to mention the price!
Promote your posts on Facebook – Today would be a great day to pay $5 to Facebook for a post that reaches more of your fan’s wall
Hold a contest on Twitter – Retweet a tweet that mentions your Cyber Monday deals for $10 off your Cyber Monday purchase
63% of US shoppers plan to do a majority of their Christmas shopping online this year, according to a new study by LivePerson. And another study by eConsuatancy found eCommerce to be more popular than high street shopping. But how can you ensure your store converts as many as these eager shoppers as possible?
Studies show there are factors that set merchants apart and have proven success in converting more users.
Marketing Ideas By The Numbers:
Offer Free Returns:
- 60% of UK consumers will not even consider making a fashion purchase online unless they can return unwanted items without being charged.
- 41% buy several sizes of the same piece of clothing online to check the fit, and then send the others back.
- Other reasons given for returning items included item not fitting (43%), the feel of the material (25%) and style (15%).
- 12% say they never buy online due to concerns about finding the right size, while 61% are often deterred for this reason.
- 60% say they won’t consider buying online unless returns are free.
- 55% of online shoppers expect free shipping on every order
- 85% of ecommerce sites will offer free shipping promotions specific for the upcoming holiday season
- 30% of retailers said they would offer free shipping earlier than they did during the 2011 holiday shopping season.
- 20% of consumers say free shipping is the most important factor in where they shop online in 2012. 19% of consumers say they’ll pay full price, if retailers offer free shipping.
Use Social To Connect:
- 70% of shoppers using Twitter to get product reviews
- 75% turning to Facebook to look for discounts
- 73% using Pinterest to research ideas.
Update Product Photos:
- 67% of consumers saying that the quality of a product image is very important in selecting and purchasing a product
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business that has an image show up in local search results
- 53% of customers value the quality of a product image more than ratings or reviews
Use Email Marketing Strategically
- Targeted subject lines improve open rates – 53% said they opened an email because of a showcased offer
- Men over ag 55 are more likely than their younger counterparts to have made a purchase because of an email message
- 87% of those receiving retailer emails open the messages
- 80% of online shoppers and 71% of in-store shoppers say email offers influence them to buy
Make Checkout Easy
- 84% of ecommerce sites support express checkout
- 66% of ecommerce sites offer guest checkout (34% DON’T!)
- Only 9% of checkouts are 3-step vs 54% 4-step and 33% 5-step
Steve Jobs had a distinct vision for how he wanted Apple’s retail stores to look and feel. Wood floors, modern furniture and tall glass windows are the touch stones of Apple’s highly successful retail stores and it is this kind of customization that has helped Apple build its brand.
3dcart’s web stores put the same power of customization in your hands and allow you to create a shopping experience that is in line with your company’s brand. You can control every aspect of the buying process. While hardwood floors and glass windows might not be an option for a web store, 3dcart gives you more than 50 templates to choose from and each template is 100 percent customizable.
On the other side of the coin, stores like Pinterest, eBay, Amazon and Etsy put your products in front of millions of eyeballs but allow minimal control of the shopping experience. This valuable exposure should not be eschewed simply because of a lack of customization. Apple-o-philes might remember that while Jobs was a bit of an auteur as far as retail goes, he still allowed his products to be sold in Best Buy stores. Jobs understood the fundamental business truth that increased product visibility translates to increased sales.
If there is one truth to be gleaned from the Apple example, it’s that multichannel selling can be a great driver of sales. Selling through Pinterest, eBay, Amazon and Etsy can drive volume while also leaving the door to “your universe” open by maintaining a dedicated, customizable 3Dcart store.
But your selling strategy shouldn’t simply end with putting your products in multiple locations. Maintaining different web stores with different brands can help you attract different demographics. The customers who shop on eBay are not necessarily the same type of customers who shop on Etsy or Pinterest.
According to comScore, 68 percent of Pinterest’s users are women and the average user spends about 16 minutes on the site. Compare that with eBay, whose users are about 56 percent male and spend more than an hour on the site, on average.
Maintaining separate web stores with different experiences can help you please different types of customers who value different aspects of the shopping experience.
Selling in more places gets your products in front of more customers. Companies spend billions of dollars advertising just so that they can put their product in front of consumer’s eyes for a few seconds. Fortunately, 3dcart easily integrates with Pinterest and other web market places without charging billions of dollars.
Our guest post today is from Sangram Kadam, Co-Founder of Ordoro. Ordoro is a software platform that helps ecommerce merchants manage everything they need to do after an order is placed in their shopping cart. The Ordoro web-app is used by online merchants to manage orders and to keep stock levels in sync between their webstores and marketplaces.Ordoro also offers shipping label printing, dropshipping and inventory management.
Not necessarily. Having dozens of social sharing buttons looks cluttered and can be visually overwhelming to your readers and customers. Too many options can scare away or distract even social users. So how do you decide which ones to add?
You need to ask yourself three questions:
What social platforms generate the most traffic/sales?
Like everything else in online business, you need to measure your social efforts. From looking at your store or blog’s analytics, you should be able to tell what platforms are the most profitable for you by looking at the traffic generated from each platform. Make sure to also take in to account the time on site, pageviews and obviously conversions (if you have conversion funnels set up in your analytics).
Just as beneficial as knowing knowing the social platforms that work best, knowing what platforms don’t work is key to choosing the right social buttons. Focus your users attention on the sharing of valuable networks by eliminating the option to share on networks that won’t generate value for you.
Who are you customers?
While understanding what works now is an important element, it is not the whole picture. You may be just getting started and not have the history to work off or you know from studies and research that one social network is working for your industry, but you haven’t seen the benefit yet. Just as important as measuring existing social efforts, is knowing the platforms- who uses them and how.
For example, if you are selling fashion, you shouldn’t ignore Pinterest (even if you haven’t seen Pinterest traffic yet, there is great potential). If you write tons of great content on your company blog, don’t ignore Twitter – it’s an information sharing machine! Once you understand each platform, who uses it and how they use it, you will start to see the networks that are right for your company. The below infographic does a great job of giving the typical profile of each network.
Where am I?
Make sure that the buttons you choose are networks that your company can connect with them on. But don’t ignore a social network that meets the other two criteria just because you are not active on it. After measuring your efforts and researching the platforms, you need to consider amping up your engagement on the social networks that rose to the top.
We shared a ton of tips and tricks in Monday’s webinar ( if you didn’t get a chance to attend check it out here) We went over SO much in fact, that we wanted to share some highlights.
Here are 5 social resources you can’t miss:
Wisestamp: Promote Your Social Accounts In Email
Promote your store’s social accounts in your email signature with Chrom Plugin wisestamp. Wisestamp automatically embeds a social signature in your emails. Wisestamp is easily configured allowing you to customize what social accounts you want to show, how they look and even add your own website in your signature.
Tweepi: Build Your Twitter Following:
Tweepi allows you to easily follow Twitter users in bulk, follow back users who are following you and unfollow users who do not reciprocate. There are many tools similar to Tweepi, but most on par with its service demand payment. My advice though is NOT to go crazy with following & unfollowing too much bulk activity can cause Twitter to ban your account ( especially if you are not actively engaging followers). To be safe, I suggest following/unfollowing 50 users a day. That;s enough to build you base quickly and not trigger any alarms at Twitter.
Klout & Topsy: Find Experts
A great aspect of Twitter is the ability to connect with experts in your industry, press and other influential figures to your business. Klout & Topsy are two great resources to help you find those individuals. Klout ranks a person’s social influence and gives you topics that those users a influential on. Through Topsy’s expert search, you can type in keywords related to your business and interests and it will show you a list influential Twitter users.
Findpeopleonplus: Expand Your Circles
If you are looking for people to add to your personal Google+ Circles ( brand pages cannot circle users that have not circled them), then there are 3 sites you need to check out http://www.findpeopleonplus.com, http://www.recommendedusers.com & http://www.group.as. In addition to finding other G+ users to connect with, you can register your own account under keywords to expand your visibility.
Circle+: Easily Add To Circles
Circle+ is a Chrome extension that allows you to easily add Google+ profiles listed on ANY webpage to your Google+ circle like the sites above. When you connect Circle+ to your Google+ account, it first collects a listing of your circles and adds them to a dropdown box so you can choose which circle you would like the profiles to be added to. The according to its description in the Chrome store, “It then scans the current page you are on for Google+ Profile IDs and tries to add them to the given circle. Once it is able to do this it will give a listing of every person that has been added (by image and name.)”
Thanks to all who attended the webinar this Monday. Below is the recording for those that didn’t get a chance to attend:
Email marketing is becoming more and more social. If you need proof just check out GetResonses’s infographic below!
Users sharing a store’s email is a merchant dream, but its not just going to happen out of the blue, users need a reason to share. Its important to make it easy and enticing for users to share information with friends, both on social networks and through email.
So what can you do to help your email marketing spread across the social universe?
1. Include social links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ ETC
You should make social sharing convenient and simple as possible. Link to social networks within your emails and include icons to grab their attention
According to M Booth and Beyond, consumers consult different information sources for different types of purchasing decisions. Their infographic shows what source of information consumers turn to for each product category. While obviously not comprehensive enough to be conclusive, their findings can definitely help you focus your marketing efforts on the platforms that matter most to your business.
2011 was a big year for social media. Search giant Google entered their social platform G+ into the ring, Facebook and Twitter both rolled out new features for users and brands, Linked.in released their IPO – and that’s just the start of it. WHEW!
Check out this awesome video showing the increasing power of social media in 2011!