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Using Mobile Marketing to Boost your E-commerce Website

Considering the sheer number of people that use their smartphones in order to surf the Internet, it is no surprise to discover that mobile marketing should really form an integral part of your approach to building your e-commerce brand. Remember, failure to market yourself to this considerable proportion of Internet users can only hamper your attempts to really establish yourself online.

However, in order to do this you do need to spend some time thinking about how to market to them because clearly you want to get the best ROI possible. So, here are five methods that can make life that little bit easier.

1. Make sure your design is responsive.

This is the absolute key, your e-commerce website needs to have a responsive design or else you are going to ruin the experience that the individual is going to have when they check out your website on their smartphone. A responsive design means that the website is going to work beautifully for them and if they are able to navigate, then they are going to be able to buy from you and that is what you want is it not?

2. Use mobile advertising.

There are various avenues to explore when it comes to using mobile advertising and that is obviously going to then have an impact on how smartphone users come across your website. It is always best to consider trying to set aside a reasonable sum of money for this part of your marketing simply because of the returns that you are able to generate in response to this specific form of advertising. Spend time getting to know companies that specialize in this type of marketing as they can help you to build an effective campaign from the ground up that will generate results.

3. Use social media.

Social media is perhaps the main reason why people go onto the Internet via their smartphones, so you want to take advantage of this and make sure that you have built your social media presence right from the very beginning. You should already have all of this set up since it needs to be a central part of your entire marketing, but keeping that point to one side just now, there is a very real need for you to be able to link your social media profiles to your website so that smartphone users can move between the two without any problems. The social media websites are already optimized for mobile users so it is just a case of making sure that they can go from point A to point B.

4. Email marketing.

When we talk about email marketing we are actually being rather specific as we mean marketing that deals purely with it being mobile friendly. Now, you need to capture their addresses by getting them to sign up to your newsletter as you cannot just go ahead and spam people since that is only going to annoy them and really get their back up and that is hardly going to lead to you generating a number of conversions.

However, making sure that the marketing emails that you send out are able to be seen on smartphones and that they can then take the appropriate action is going to make a huge difference to your conversion rates. The people that have signed up for your emails are already showing an interest in what you are doing so they are going to be primed to buy.

5. Remember your content.

Finally, you have to remember your content and there is a very real need for it to convert and this applies even if you are not focusing on mobile marketing. However, people on smartphones are not willing to spend hours trawling through your content so you have to get it right to the point and make sure that they understand what you are saying instantly. It looks horrible when they have to go through line after line of content as they are going to lose interest so even if you do love to write makes sure that you do not go on and on as that is going to be counter-productive for you.

So, there you have it, five ways in which you can help with your mobile marketing and making sure that you boost your e-commerce website. Now, we are not saying that this is going to be a fool proof way of increasing your sales as you still need to make sure that the items you are selling is up to scratch. However, that is all on your own back but do not be afraid to use the services of a company that specializes in Internet marketing and especially mobile marketing because this part of the market is just getting bigger and bigger and there is every chance that you could be losing out on a considerable amount of money if you do not take the correct course of action.

Bandwidth: Just What Exactly Is it?

When looking at Internet connections you will often come across one term that a number of people are perhaps slightly unfamiliar with. That term is ‘bandwidth’ and yet understanding it is perhaps going to be a bit easier than you imagine.

Now, if we go back in time slightly the idea of bandwidth would refer to a number of different things but, of course, we are just talking about the Internet as that is our main cause for concern. In actual fact, when it comes to choosing your Internet connection, this is something that you need to take into consideration so that you do indeed end up with the correct connection that is capable of  dealing with whatever you are going to be doing.

To be honest, we could go ahead and provide you with a rather complex explanation but there is every chance that it would only further confuse people and not actually answer the question. So, here is the simplified version.

Bandwidth refers to the actual volume of information that can be transferred within a set period of time. That period of time is per second and the higher the bandwidth number then the most information and data that can be transferred within a single second.

What this means is that if you have an Internet connection that has a low bandwidth then it is going to take considerably longer for say a video file to be transferred or downloaded than it would do if you had an Internet connection with a higher bandwidth.

Understanding its Stats.

If you are now looking at your own Internet connection and wondering what your bandwidth is then the figure you should look out for is going to be written along the lines of 60 Mbps or perhaps as 60 Mb/s. What this figure would translate into is that you have a bandwidth that allows for 60 million bits of information (megabits) to be transferred in a single second.

Now, here is another thing to take into consideration when you are looking at bandwidth. The higher the number then the higher the price so you have to understand what your budget is going to be before you go ahead and sign up to any contract. Furthermore, the amount of bandwidth that you actually need is going to depend on what you plan on doing with your Internet. If you are just going to be sending emails and not really using media then a lower bandwidth is going to suffice. However, if you are looking at streaming movies, downloading songs, playing games or anything else that requires a lot of information to be passed between connections, then a higher bandwidth is always going to be better.

Think about the bandwidth issue and compare it to a stream. A stream is small and can only allow a certain amount of water to pass through it. That is the same with lower bandwidth. However, if you have a river then the volume of water that can pass through it at the same time is considerably greater as you have increased the capacity.

The bandwidth issue is even more prevalent when you have a number of people using the same Internet connection because if you find that you are battling and things are starting and stopping due to different people going online together then that is because of the bandwidth. If this is the case, then you need to increase it so as more people can connect without running into problems.

But here is one final important point that we need to mention.

Say you have an Internet connection where the bandwidth is measured at 50 Mbps. If you are the only person using the Internet connection at that time, then you have the entire 50 Mbps to your own self. However, if another person also comes online and tries to download something else at the same time, then you no longer have all of the 50 Mbps. Instead, that measurement is going to be shared between both of you so you may then notice a difference in the speed at which you are able to download and it is going to take considerably longer.

In other words, you have to spend time thinking about your entire Internet usage in order to make sure that you have the correct amount of bandwidth for your needs. How many people are going to be connecting at any given time? How are you planning on using the Internet? Will you be downloading files or is it just for simple browsing? Understanding all of this and talking to an expert regarding bandwidth and Internet usage is going to make a difference and make sure that you do not run into problems in the near future.

Bandwidth is easier to understand than you think and yet, get it wrong, and your time on the Internet is going to be compromised.

Some Key Points for Those E-Commerce Product Pages

Now we know that e-commerce is massive business and that so many companies are making a fortune from their online store on a daily basis and that is pretty cool. The Internet is the biggest market to have ever existed, but of course with that comes a problem in that it also means that it is home to the biggest amount of competition.

We could go on about strategy and sales techniques but that is not our business. Instead, what we are going to focus on is the layout of the product pages as the way in which they are designed and appear to the customers is going to have a profound effect on the chances of them going ahead and actually making that purchase.

1. Deal with the images.

You need to be able to catch the attention of the visitor to your page and the best way of doing this is by using large and clear images for the products. You do not want the visitor to have to strain their eyes to see what they will be buying and another tip is to make sure that they can zoom in on various aspects so they can see every tiny detail.

You will often find that a customer is going to make their decision as to whether or not they want to purchase something just by the image so if it is too small and grainy, then you are just making life harder for yourself.

2. Where possible give a 360 degree view.

This follows on to the point regarding the images but you should really look at providing a 360 degree view of the product wherever possible. This is going to really replicate the way in which they would view a product in real life and it gives them a better idea of what they are spending their money on.

3. Have a strong call to action button.

Any page needs to have a strong call to action element to it if you are serious about converting those visitors into buyers and in this instance we are talking about a strong button whereby they can purchase the item or add it to their basket.

This button has to really stand out so they are feeling drawn to clicking on it as that is often the most difficult part to get through from a sales perspective. You certainly do not want them to have to hunt for the section where they can add it to their basket as that is not going to help you in the slightest and that is why you will tend to see the button close to the image and near the top of the page so they feel drawn to it.

4. Make sure people can trust you.

This point fits in with the increased fear that people have regarding fraud via the Internet. We love to see logos of companies such as TrustE, Comodo, BBB and many others as it makes us feel safer and believe that we can go ahead and make that purchase without having to be concerned for our safety.

This is something that you really do need to work on by getting yourself verified and adding them to the product pages. By doing so, you will see a marked increase in the number of sales that you achieve simply because people feel that they can buy with confidence.

5. Show the discount price.

If you are selling something at a discount, then make sure that your product page is set up so that it shows the original price and what people are then saving. This is going to compel the individual into taking action when they see that they are getting an absolute bargain and they will also want to act fast as they will believe that they are going to miss out and have to pay the higher price if they are not fast enough.

6. Make sure the description makes sense.

Finally, when it comes to the product description then make sure that it is easy to find and, most importantly of all, that it actually makes sense. You want to have it written for the normal everyday person and have a short summary close to the image with a fuller description further down the page. Breaking it up into easy to digest sentences will avoid swamping the customer with information at the one time allowing them to better understand the product and then make a decision as to whether or not they want to make that purchase.

Now, we are not saying that these are all of the points that you need to take into consideration when you are going to be launching your e-commerce website but they are certainly things that you have to think about just to make the pages clearer than before. The design and layout is so important so think carefully about the placement of everything before you launch your website.

How Responsive Web Design is Capable of Boosting your Profits

webfoot-responsive-websiteYou may very well be familiar with the concept of responsive web design whereby your website becomes easy to navigate if you are using a smartphone. Well, even though Google now insists on you having this version if you do not want to be hit by a ranking penalty, there are still a number of other reasons as to why you should seek to use this kind of web design for your business. However, we are going to focus on one key area here, how it is going to be able to boost your profit.

1. It shows you care.

The first reason why it is going to boost your profits is because research has shown that 48% of individuals who were surveyed said that if a website was not effectively mobile ready then they were of the opinion that the company did not care about them. This then made them feel as if they should go elsewhere to a company that wanted their message to be read by everybody and anybody. In other words, virtually 1 in 2 people would go elsewhere with this damaging your profits.

2. The statistics do not lie.

According to an Econsultancy survey report, 62% of businesses that were polled saw a rise in their profits simply by introducing a responsive web design. Now, this is no coincidence and indeed it shows the power and we are not even talking about a slight increase in their profit margins either as the average was an increase of more than 60%.

3. Some companies report a higher increase.

While over 60% sounds impressive, what is even more impressive are the figures that were attained by some companies just by introducing a responsive web design. For example, reported an increase of 169%. Think Tank Photo saw an increase of 180% and their sales via mobile devices, which also includes tablets, were actually higher than those by a desktop or laptop computer. However, the most impressive statistics comes from O’Neil clothing where they saw an increase of over 300% on Android devices and over 112% on Apple devices after introducing a new responsive web design.

4. Brand awareness is going to increase.

We have shown how companies report a huge increase in their sales just by making sure that their website has a responsive design included in it, but other studies have shown that it is not just the profit margin that is going to increase but also general awareness of your brand. Indeed, a study conducted in the UK showed that, on average, there was an increase in brand awareness of some 30% and that is important. Why is it important? Simply because if people are aware of you existing then they are more likely to buy from you at some point in the future.

5. Mobile usage is only going to increase.

There is a reason why Google have introduced changes to the way in which they rank websites when searches are carried out via a mobile device and that is because of the fact that they are aware of the increase in the number of people using these devices. Just as you were aware of the way in which you needed to have a website due to missing out on a huge market called the Internet, the exact same thing is happening with responsive web design and your website being viewed on mobile devices. If you miss out, then you are going to be losing a lot of business.

6. Conversion rates are increasing.

When we talk about conversion rates, what we are referring to is the number of people that actually purchase something on a website per 100 visitors. Now, it is impossible for you to get anywhere near 100% as that just does not happen and you might be unaware of just how low the percentage actually is. However, conversion rates with both smartphones and tablets are catching up with conversion rates for laptops. The latest stats showed that laptops generally converted at 3.11% while tablets were 2.59% and smartphones 1.01%.

What we are trying to show here is that there is a real need for you to be aware of why you must have that responsive web design for your business because you are missing out on a huge percentage of the market and those individuals will just go to your competitors. Now, we are not saying that you will have the same percentage increase as the likes of O’Neil, but generally speaking there is no doubt that your sales will increase and, as a result, so will your profit margin.

This is an area that is rapidly evolving and with us becoming ever more reliant on this type of technology, and the way in which we are always on the go, there is no doubt that not taking advantage of this would be an absolute sin.

Can Your Design Actually Prevent You Making Sales?

webdesignWe are all used to hearing that the correct web design is going to really make or break your website and that is something that cannot be disputed. However, right now we are going to look at another point that should be taken into consideration, can your design actually prevent you from making sales?

This in itself is an interesting question as it is a point that is often overlooked and that in itself is wrong. To be fair, we are talking more about modern designs rather than things that were the norm a number of years ago and it is all linked to the ever increasing number of tools that are available to the average designer.

Perhaps the main issue is that design can, at times, get in the way of functionality and that is where the problem can develop. It is all fair and well having a nice looking website, but if people are unable to get to where they want to go, or do what they want to do, then is there any point to it in all honesty?

There is also this constant belief that you must have a website that is ‘cool’ and this is one thing that can often get in the way of producing a website that is actually capable of converting and leading to sales. Now, is that not a bit crazy for the focus to be on having something that looks nice rather than having something that actually makes you money?

So the question now is, what designs actually cause an issue?

Too Much Animation.

Using animation on a website is something that has become more popular, but our advice is certainly that less is more. The problem with animation is that it can slow down a page and also act as a distraction. You want people to be able to browse without having them sitting there wondering what is going to happen next and that is a major issue with using animation. We are not saying to avoid it completely, but just think carefully about what it actually does add to your website.


Trying To Be Too Clean.

Another issue is when the designer is trying to be too clean with the website. Now, the last thing that we want is to have a website that is all over the place and messy, but the problem with trying to be too clean is that it can often lead to things being hidden such as the navigation. People really do not mind seeing a menu bar on a website. In actual fact, it is expected to be there so hiding it away just to make something look more minimalist should not be high on your list of priorities.


Having No Actual Call To Action.

One part of the design that can often be missing, and this is the crazy part, is that there is no actual call to action on the website. This really is just madness because you want to have something up there that will tell people that they need to take some kind of action whether it be to contact you, make an appointment online, or to complete that sale. If this is missing, then your website becomes just an information portal and that is one major reason why it will not then convert.


Having A Website That Loads Too Slowly.

The final point we are going to make is that if your website loads too slowly, then you have a major problem. It has been shown that a one second delay in your website loading can result in a drop in conversions of 7%. The difficulty here is that you never know which browser or device the person is going to be using and you also have no idea how powerful their computer is. What this means is that you could be making life so much harder for yourself by trying to be too clever with your site making it very heavy and slow to load. Just look at it this way, if it is slow to load, then people will simply click off and go elsewhere and you then have absolutely no chance of converting them.

Basically, what we are saying is that there are several important factors that must be taken into account when you are designing a website and do not allow yourself to be drawn into some kind of competition where your visitors are always going to be the losers. Do yourself a favor and spend some time studying what others are doing and model yourself on their website as there is a fine line between being too boring and too over the top.

Finally, do not be afraid to voice your disapproval of something that your web designer has come up with as it is better doing that than being left with a website that you hate. Remember, if you hate it, then there is a good chance that your visitors will as well and that alone will have a major impact on your conversion rates.