Nov 27
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Increase Your Holiday Conversions on Retargeting Tuesday - BMT Micro

The time has come where consumers break out their wallets and spend, spend, spend. Black Friday is here and Cyber Monday is right around the corner. The cyber weekend is a huge event and, this year, the competition will be fierce online. As we mentioned in our blog last week, Black Friday is changing and is beginning to go digital. But, Cyber Monday still ranks as the heaviest spending day of the year with more than $2 billion in desktop buying last year. According to ComScore, consumers spent $4.8 billion online during the four days after Thanksgiving. But what’s even more interesting is that people actually spent more on the two days following Cyber Monday than they did on Black Friday. These two days have also made the top 10 heaviest spending days almost every year since 2008.

It has become clear that online shopping peaks are spreading further into the week, with sales remaining steady on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This day has been defined by Criteo as “Bounceback Tuesday” and also defined by Adroll as “Retargeting Tuesday.” The basis of the shopping day is to reinforce Black Friday and Cyber Monday efforts by retargeting shoppers who have abandoned a site. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday the average cart abandonment rate is around 80% and only 5% of shoppers return to convert. But in 2014, sales across all key retail categories were 159% above the average on Retargeting Tuesday. This mean that there is a great number of shoppers who are highly engaged, warm leads that are waiting to be re-engaged, and targeting this traffic is exactly what Retargeting Tuesday is all about.

Due to the high search volumes over Thanksgiving weekend, advertisers are provided with a huge pool of cookies on shoppers with a clear purchase intent. This makes retargeting that much more effective and minimizes the need for additional clicks by shoppers that have been researching products. Retargeting allows businesses to reintroduce themselves to shoppers and is a great way to get your brand repeatedly in front of your online visitors. When it is used correctly, retargeting enables businesses to connect with users on a more personal and in-depth level which results in higher conversions and ROI. In fact, shoppers who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert. By targeting shoppers near the bottom of the sales funnel, retargeting matches interest with intent and directs shoppers back into the purchase path.

Businesses have a huge opportunity to engage shoppers through personalized and relevant online advertising during the holiday season especially on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Retargeting Tuesday. As we mentioned before, data collected by ComScore Inc. from the 2014 holiday season shows that Cyber Monday was the largest online spending day. An estimated $2.9 billion in US ecommerce sales are expected to take place on Cyber Monday, which would be a 7.4% gain from $2.7 billion a year ago. Following Cyber Monday, Retargeting Tuesday was ranked the second, Green Monday was the third and Black Friday was the fourth-largest online spending day of the 2014 holiday season. So in order to get the most out of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday efforts, Retargeting Tuesday should be a focus this year.

Retargeting Tuesday is the perfect time for businesses to motivate shoppers to remember their brands. Furthermore, it helps promote a business after post-Thanksgiving shopping days by driving delayed shopping decisions and preventing lost revenue from shopping cart abandonment.

For more retargeting & personalized marketing tips check out our following blogs:
Remarketing
Personalized Marketing Trends

 

Nov 20

Black Friday is Changing

Posted by BMT Micro

Reading Time: 3 minutes

    Black Friday is Changing - BMT Micro

Thanksgiving may be an American holiday, but the day after Thanksgiving (also known as Black Friday) has become a huge shopping day all over the world. But recently things have changed and Black Friday has began to diminish in importance for shoppers. This is due to the fact that major retailers have started offering deals online right after Halloween in order to get a jump on their competition and drive more holiday sales. In fact, only 45% on consumers plan to shop on Black Friday at all.

Some retailers have caught on to this trend and are not even opening their store doors on Black Friday. REI (an American outdoors specialty store) made big news recently by announcing its decision to remain closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year. Instead, REI is encouraging their customers to get outside but also reminds them that their website is always open for shopping.

Even Asda (the British supermarket chain owned by Walmart and credited with introducing Black Friday to the UK in 2013) has announced it would not be part of Black Friday due to “shopper fatigue”. Andy Clark, Asda CEO, stated, “customers have told us loud and clear that they don’t want to be held hostage to a day or two of sales.” Based on this feedback, the company decided to invest £26 million of savings for consumers across the season rather than a one-day of sales.

So is the beginning of an end to the longstanding holiday tradition?

According to Kathy Allen, senior director at the National Retail Federation (NRF), “Black Friday is not dead, but it’s definitely different – I don’t think it will ever die, but it has to change because customers are changing.” People aren’t shopping in stores. Instead they are doing their Black Friday shopping from the convenience of their home by shopping online. 57% of people even said that they would rather shop online over battling the masses waiting in line for stores to open on Black Friday. It is becoming quite apparent that online shopping is becoming the go-to strategy among consumers for holiday deals.

But just because shoppers are going online, does not mean it will be easy to convert them even with holiday discounts. With the increase of online shopping on Black Friday, there are two critical issues that a business will need to address when preparing for the holiday rush:

Website Performance
Your website performance is cruciaul at this time of year. It is important to make sure your website can cope with extra traffic over the Thanksgiving-Black Friday period. It is essential that your business provides a fast, intuitive shopping experience to stay ahead of your competition.

Third Party Resources
Many online businesses rely on resources provided by 3rd parties to help facilitate their sales. These resources can range from a website hosting company, payment services providers, shipping and distribution. If you are expecting to see a major increase in sales during the holiday season, it is a good idea to give these 3rd parties an advance warning to ensure they can provide the resources you need.

If you are a vendor of BMT Micro and you are planning a Holiday promotion, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your business needs this holiday season. Black Friday is changing and here at BMT Micro we are well aware of the increase in demand and traffic our vendors will experience with the holiday rush. We offer a quick and uncomplicated e-commerce solution that will result in fewer abandoned shopping carts over the Thanksgiving-Black Friday shopping period. Our system can be used to setup many different discount schemes, and our experienced customer service staff is here to give your customers a great shopping experience. Furthermore, we have already taken the steps necessary to ensure that we are able to maintain our services at the highest level and our vendors are able to get the most out of their holiday season.

 

Nov 13
Reading Time: 4 minutes

  Prepare For a Very Digital Holiday Season - BMT Micro

The holiday season is the most important and profitable time of year for an online business. The last quarter is the time where businesses see an increase in the number of orders and the average order size. And as we’ve mentioned in one of our previous blogs, some online businesses make up to 40% of their yearly revenue in the last quarter alone. But holiday shopping is starting to change. According to NRF, almost half of holiday shopping, consisting of browsing and buying, will be done online: average consumers say 46 percent of their shopping (both browsing and buying) this holiday season will be conducted online, up from 44 percent last year. Which means businesses need to be prepared for a very digital holiday season.

This checklist should help prepare your business and cover most of what you need to know.

Decide which holidays you want to participate in
The last quarter of the year is packed with holidays and nearly every week in November and December have a holiday an online business can participate in. However, trying to participate and prepare for all of the upcoming holidays would be madness. So the first step for any business is to familiarize yourself with the upcoming holidays and decide which ones make the most sense for you to participate in. If your business hasn’t made this decision yet, or if this if your first time doing a major holiday promotion, we recommend only choosing to participate in two or three holidays (i.e. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas).

Plan out your return policy and additional payment options
There is a chance your business may want to reconsider a few policies in light of the holiday season and to stay competitive. Many businesses will offer more flexible exchange policies and extended returns. But you will need to take into consideration if this is a smart move for your business based on the impact it can have on sales and your already established policy. Make sure to display this information on multiple pages on your site to ensure customers are aware of your policies.

Now is also a great time for an online business to consider any additional payment methods. Offering multiple payment methods can lead to a nice bump in your conversions and can also attract a larger audience to your business.

Determine which ad channels you want to focus on
The ad channels you choose to market your promotions is one of the most important parts of preparing for the holiday season. Marketing campaigns have a lot of components to be effective and need to be in alignment to achieve any sort of success. As we have previously mentioned, it is a good idea to prepare and plan marketing campaigns ahead of time since it’s impossible to be too prepared for the busiest season of all.

Update your homepage
Make sure that anyone who visits your homepage in the days leading up to the holidays knows about the deals you are offering. You can do this by adding relevant banners and calls-to-action. If you want to take it a step further, consider adding a countdown clock to build excitement and a sense of urgency.

Make sure your customer service is prepared for the holidays
It is likely that the holiday season will be when your business receives the most questions from customers. Customer service is vital to the success of an online business, especially during the holidays. In order to provide a fantastic customer service experience, having a quick response time is crucial. It is also important to make sure your customer service staff is being courteous and respectful in their responses at all times. Make sure to take the time to properly train workers before the holiday shopping season hits to ensure they are confident in their roles when things get busy. Another thing you can do to save your staff some time is to prepare a few canned responses for frequently asked questions.

Track Everything
Without properly tracking your efforts, you will always be guessing the true success of your marketing efforts. If your business hasn’t already set up Google Analytics or a similar analytics program on your site, now is the time. It is also important to understand how to use campaign specific tracking to better manage the results of individual campaigns and ad channels. Setting this up will allow you to start monitoring your campaign results so you can modify your promotions while they are active to ensure success.

The holiday season is a great opportunity for your business to learn from mistakes, failures, and successes. The lessons you learn are worth more than any amount of revenue you make during this period. This is why it is so important to track everything and focus on what worked and what didn’t. Preparation, planning and starting earlier rather than later, are all key factors to a successful holiday season. Furthermore, having everything in place will reduce your stress and make the season go more smoothly.

Here at BMT Micro we can also help better prepare your business for the quickly approaching holiday season. Our system can be used to setup many different discount schemes, offer multiple payment methods to your customers, and our highly trained customer service staff is here to assist your customers with the ordering process. We offer Marketing services as well, so please feel free to contact us for more information.

 

Nov 6
Reading Time: 3 minutes

    Boost Your Sales with psychological pricing - BMT Micro

It isn’t easy to price your product or service and it’s a place where a lot of businesses get stuck. Many businesses are starting to realize that it is not enough to be the cheapest anymore. The funny thing is, as humans, the reason we purchase something doesn’t always depend on whether the price is reasonable. Luckily for businesses, there is a strategic way to price products or services to influence people when making a buying decision. By using psychological pricing tactics, a business can build an effecting pricing strategy that increases profit and sales.

Psychological pricing is the act of pricing your product or service so that it appeals to customer’s emotions rather than their logic. It is a tool that businesses can use to subconsciously increase the chances that a customer will actually make a purchase. This tactic takes advantage of a customer’s emotional response to certain price points and uses unusual pricing conventions to make products or services seem significantly cheaper than they really are. Furthermore, when businesses take advantage of these pricing tactics, they begin to effectively boost their sales and conversions.

Conditional Pricing – The Power of the Number 9
Apparently ending prices with the number nine is one of the oldest tricks in the book and it is proven effective. According to research from the journal Quantitative Marketing and Economics, prices ending in nine were able to outsell lower prices for the same product. This study compared women’s clothing that were priced at $35 versus $39. They found that the clothing priced at $39 outperformed the lower price of $35 at an average of 24%.

Anchoring
The anchoring effect is basically when a customer makes a decision based on the first piece of data they see. So you start by creating a focal point, such an a initial price for an item. The initial price functions as a primary reference point when new data is introduced, such as a lower or higher price. As an example, a business might price a premium product at $100 and a standard option at $79. A customer’s decision to purchase is heavily influenced by referring back to the more expensive, initial price of $100.

Fragmented Pricing
It’s easier to evaluate how much you are getting out of “only” five payments of $19.99/month than a $99.95/year subscription. Seeing prices in small fragments makes a price more attractive to customers even though they average out to around the same cost. It all comes down to the fact that it is easier for customers to imagine spending less than $20 a month rather than paying a $100 lump sum.

Removing the Dollar Sign
It has been proven that prices marked with dollar signs reduce customer spending. Customers see a dollar sign and a sudden pain creeps into their mind when they realize they have to spend money. But the simple hack of removing the dollar sign reduces this pain and has increasingly become popular, especially in restaurants. A study by Cornell University even found that people spent significantly more, when the prices on a restaurant’s menu were displayed numerically without the dollar sign, rather than in traditional dollar and decimal form. This proved that removing the dollar sign manipulated customers into spending more money. Basically without a dollar sign, there is no reminder to a customer that they are spending money so they are more likely to indulge

Although, while this tactic may be effective in a restaurant setting, many believe that removing the dollar sign from online products is not a wise choice. Why? It can lead to confusion for customers. So instead of removing the dollar sign, another psychological tactic that online businesses can utilize is to reduce the font size of the dollar sign. This will help digress customer’s attention from the idea of spending money.

Font Size
The size of prices also plays an important role in price perception. Marketing professors at Clark University and The University of Connecticut found that customers perceive sale prices to be a better value when the price was displayed in a small font rather than a large and bold one. Surprisingly, this is something that many marketers get wrong too. Bigger isn’t always better and studies show that displaying prices in a smaller font will convey the perception that the price is smaller.

If your business is looking to effectively boost sales and conversions, try experimenting with different psychological pricing tactics for the new or current products you are selling. Doing so can help find a price point that will increase your sales and conversions. Remember, great products and services are priced on purpose and ultimately make the difference between a sale and a “no sale.”