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7 E-Commerce Conversion Optimization Tactics To Help You Cut Down Ad Spend

As of last year, approximately 81% of people in Australia shopped online. By 2021, this number is projected to reach 22 million people.

The average conversion rate for ecommerce businesses ranges between 1% and 2%, with global figures standing at 2.58% for 2019 Q2.

This means that building an ecommerce business and making it sustainable, won’t be an easy task. Aside from determining what products to sell and how to source them, enticing visitors to your site with paid advertising takes time and dedication.

Marketers are investing in digital campaigns in an attempt to boost revenue, with the digital ad spend projected to reach approximately $8 million this year alone.

That being said, advertising can only encourage them to visit your online store. In an increasingly competitive business environment, digital advertising saturates the ecommerce realm and can only do so much to convince unqualified leads to convert to loyal customers.

In this article, you’ll find seven conversion optimization tactics that can help you reduce your advertising spend and drive new customers through your conversion funnel.

But first, let’s dive into the fundamentals:

Understanding Online Store Conversion Rates

To accurately reflect your ecommerce conversion goals, you need to define the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that your business will use to determine your success.

A conversion rate refers to the percentage of website visitors that complete a desired action. Strictly speaking, ecommerce businesses define their conversion rate as the percentage of website visitors who purchase products from their online stores. However, other metrics include:

  • A visitor adding products to their cart
  • A visitor adding an item to their wish list
  • Social media shares
  • Email signups
  • Any other KPI your brand finds valuable

7 E-Commerce Conversion Optimization Tactics

Here is how you can most of the increasing traffic and increase your conversion rate, without increasing your ad spend.

1. Use High-Quality Images And Video On Your Product Pages

Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, consumers can’t touch or feel products on your ecommerce page. This can discourage purchases – especially if your website displays low-resolution images.

Here, displaying detailed, high-resolution product images and videos can help customers visualize your products better and increase your conversion rates. Pictures, after all, speak a thousand words.

When designing images for your product pages, try to cover the following:

  • Give the customer a clear understanding of what it is, and exactly what they will get (functional images)
  • Help the customer understand how to use it (explainer images).
  • Help the customer imaging themselves using it (lifestyle images).

To see a fantastic example of all three – check out

2. Tweak And Test Your Ecommerce Checkout Process

If your checkout process is too long or too complicated, you risk losing a large portion of potential purchases and website traffic to confusion.

Here, you must test your website checkout process using A/B tests to tweak the process based on your customers’ preferences. With over 60% of companies stating that A/B testing is crucial for conversion rate optimization (CRO) – if you’re still thinking about it, you are already lagging behind.

For starters, you can limit what can be typed into specific fields to make it easier for customers to complete the process.

This way, when a consumer fills in their credit card details, they are already aware of the format they need to fill it in. This helps make it easier to read and harder to mess up.

To optimize it further, digital wallets like PayPal Express, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay allow buyers to sign in with their account information and pre-populates their credentials for them.

Not only do these optimizations help to make checkout faster, but it also helps to reduce the risk of errors when processing payments.

3. Personalisation

PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook highlights how the online consumer experience is becoming progressively personal as brands customize their offerings to focus on personal preferences and purchasing patterns.

If your store has an extensive suite of items for sale, you might find that wish lists, custom preferences, and tailored recommendations for consumer goods such as clothing can help customers sift through the plethora of options available to help and shorten their decision-making.

90% of leading marketers even go as far as to say that personalisation contributes to their profitability and helps to shorten the path to purchase.

The good news is that marketers today can leverage ample consumer data and personalise their conversion funnels to align with prospects’ location, buying behavior, and preferences. Here, a personalisation engine is key to ensure you can achieve this at scale – and thus develop a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and wants. If you’re not at a scale where a personalization engine makes sense, try out Messenger funnels which will allow you to take a personal approach with a big tech budget.

The bottom line? People love personalised experiences and will appreciate your brand taking the time out to cater to their preferences.

4. Hidden Costs

One of the single biggest causes of checkout abandonment is unexpected fees and costs appearing at the payment stage. Most notably, shipping fees.

In our experience, having to pay for shipping is one of the biggest bugbears for consumers (together with delivery time). If possible, consider including the cost of shipping in your product prices. If that isn’t possible, then we recommend setting a FREE shipping level around about your average order value, and making shipping options and costs transparent as early as possible.

You can also try techniques like exit intent popups on the cart that offer free shipping in exchange for purchase today.

5. Provide Valuable Content

Advertising can only go so far to build intrigue around your products and services – and get people to check your offerings on your website. Therefore, the more value you can provide your consumers on your website, the more likely they are to complete purchases.

Not only does this include product copy, but it also refers to the use of blog content to build authority within your niche, inform consumers on your products, and engage your target audience.

If you use a merchant-provided copy for your product descriptions, consider making a shift to a more personalised copy that connects with your buyers, and sells the product instead of simply describing what it is.

Educational content – that offers consumers the quickest solution to their problem – will ultimately also help to increase your website’s organic SEO traffic. Start with your home page and product pages with the following focus:

  • Prioritize on the benefits of products instead of their features
  • Leverage selling points in customer reviews to back claims
  • Emphasize UVPS (unique value propositions) of your brand
  • Make the returns and refund policy transparent from the get-go

The effective product copy can help customers visualize the benefit of buying your product and the value it will add to their lives.

6. Provide Product Testimonials If Applicable

According to BigCommerce, 92% of customers make it a point to read online reviews before they make a purchase.

Familiar with the phrase, ‘Facts Tell, Stories Sell’? It was coined by Anthony Hill to describe how narrative merchants used to connect with consumers through stories they can relate to. Product testimonials go beyond just listing down the benefits of a certain product. Testimonials (be sure to use real ones!) can do wonders to build credibility and trust with consumers.

Consequently, 92% of online consumers read reviews and testimonials for a business before making a purchase. Similarly, 88% of consumers trust online endorsements as much as personal recommendations.

So if you want to prove the genuineness of your platform, entice your current and past buyers to leave you with reviews for your business, products and services.

7. Show Security Badges

One of the biggest fears consumers face when shopping online is releasing their credit card credentials when checking out – and for a good reason! Only recently, KrebsonSecurity learned of the sale of four million stolen credit cards tied to security breaches at restaurant chains.

When online shoppers view security badges in open display, it reassures them that their credit card details are secure and confidential. It also helps to reduce cart abandonment and improve your eCommerce conversions – because they guarantee to keep online transactions safe.

Here are some other ways you can make your e-commerce platform safer for customers:

  • Install SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) at checkout and across your website
  • Display small images of credit card logos such as PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard to reassure customers that you use customer-trusted payment solutions. As of now, 47% of online shoppers in Australia use credit cards to buy products online.
  • Ensure you have an active account with companies providing your security badges. Avoid adding the images if you aren’t secure

Key Takeaway

Last year Auspost forecast that by 2021, 12% of consumer spending would be conducted online. However, online ecommerce in Australia saw this take effect in March 2020 – and it’s only expected to go up from there.

The key takeaway here is that the conversion game doesn’t necessarily end after a successful campaign. In fact, it doesn’t end when you cement your reputation in the ecommerce realm, either.

It is an ongoing process, with small tweaks in your e-commerce platform not only boosting your bottom line but also helping you optimize your back-end conversion rate. Given that you now have a baseline average conversion rate for your e-commerce site, you can better allocate your advertising spend to entice new sales.

As your eCommerce Growth Partners, we recognize that optimizing store conversion rate is a critical enabler for scaling your business. Having battle tested just about every conversion rate tactic there is, we’ve developed a comprehensive 135-point conversion assessment and a unique proprietary template for Shopify that routinely puts our customers in the top 0.5% of all online stores by conversion rate.

If conversion rate is an issue for your store, contact us today about our audit and site elevation services, and together let’s get your store putting more dollars back in your pocket!

How To Identify Your Next Product & Launch With Confidence – Messenger Case Study

With today’s giant marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and AliExpress, it’s easy to find new product ideas to add to your brand. If you’re just getting started out, doing the basic research is all you need.
However, if you already have an active brand, there’s a big gap between a promising high-selling product on Amazon and a knock-out success for your own business.

The best way to validate your ideas is to chat with your existing customers. What better way to leverage your customer relationships? Why not get nearly 5000 past customers to tell you exactly what product they want to buy next, as happened for one of Beyond Points’ customers! In this Case Study we explore exactly what techniques we used and how you can sleep better at night knowing your next product will be a winner!

How to Find Potential Products

There is a wealth of knowledge online that can kick start your product research. Most gurus in the eCommerce space will show you how to use existing tools to identify hot selling or in-vogue products, determine their profitability, figure out how to make them better, and then find a supplier.

We’ve listed out some of our favourite tools as well as tips for early stage product research below.

5 Tips & Tools for Early Stage Product Research

  1. Find ideas for hot selling products by looking on Amazon, specifically best seller rankings and search position. Our favourite tool for taking a lot of the leg work out of this is Black Box by Helium10
  2. Triangulate these ideas by checking out similar products on eBay and AliExpress. Great tools for this are WatchCount and AliShark
  3. Test the profitability of your shortlisted product to see if they have enough volume and margin to give you ample opportunities to spend on marketing and traffic generation. Helium10 also has some great tools here, but Jungle Scout gets our tip purely based on the amount of data they’ve collected over the years.
  4. Make sure you’re on the right side of the search trend by checking your main keywords in Google Trends and Merchant Words
  5. Figure out when the main problems with existing product are by downloading and comparing reviews. Again, a great tool is Review Downloader by Helium10.

We don’t wish to take anything away from these tools & techniques, because they’re great resources. However profit in eCommerce doesn’t come from selling more products to more people. Profit comes from comes from increasing your customer lifetime value.

Quite simply, you must discover what your existing customers need, and then make the exact products they want to buy from your brand

How to find products your customers are desperate to buy

Using the tools outlined above is absolutely no guarantee that your product selection resonates with your niche. If it doesn’t make sense for your brand it won’t compel your existing customers to dig out their credit card.

With potentially substantial sums of money on the line to acquire inventory, how much better would it be to know your customers will take action before you start production?

Such was the conundrum for one of our customers recently. They came to us with a variety of ideas, but like most brand owners, product managers and store owners, wanted more certainty around their selections.

They wanted to:

  • 1)   Identify which product(s) their customers wanted next
  • 2)   Make sure their customers would buy that product from their brand, and
  • 3)   Build list of engaged customers hungry for the product to launch!

Having deployed Messenger-based surveys several times in the past, Beyond Points knew just how to help. In this article we share our approach, results, and make recommendations on how to get the best results from product research surveys.

Why Messenger for Surveys?

Firstly, let’s take a quick look at why the chat channel is a better resource than more traditional survey methods.

Customer Communication has changed. Today, the majority of people prefer to have short conversations on channels they are already using to chat with family and friends, often several times a day.

While building surveys using tools like Survey Monkey is a lot more sophisticated than it used to be, conducting research inside Messenger is the closest thing there is to having a conversation over the phone. In many ways it’s much better.

For one thing, you can conduct it at scale with no resource cost, yet still get meaningful results in just a few hours. In our case, we ran the survey over 7 days, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do a ‘flash survey’ if you wanted to get even more rapid feedback.

Perhaps more importantly, building a Messenger bot survey allows you to probe deeper on specific topics depending on the customer’s answers.

Lastly, because the conversation can take place at a time and pace comfortable for your customer, you get amazing completion rates.

With that background, lets dive into the case study.

How we constructed the Conversation

Our client actually had a LOT of questions to ask. Quietly, we had concerns given the depth and variety of information sought. The survey would take user commitment to complete and we had doubts whether a sufficient number of customers would get all the way through.

In the end we settled on 10 questions (which is still a lot for Messenger). We knew the key to getting a high completion would be keeping it light, so each question was brief and easy to scan-read.

It’s also important to understand that a Messenger conversation is not quite like a real face-to-face conversation. After sending a chat message, there are any number of things that can distract them from reacting to your responses. For that reason, weaving in some clever logic to politely nudge them along is critical to getting high completion rates.

We designed the survey to be highly modular, with timeouts that triggered reminders if questions went unanswered. These gentle nudges helped to keep the conversation moving forward.

Despite the channel’s meteoric rise, not everyone will want to engage with your brand on Messenger. To support our customer’s more traditional audience, it was decided to send a Survey Monkey request to email subscribers, as well as the chatbot survey to their Messenger subscribers.

The Results

Email to Survey Monkey

82,000 Subscribers
520 Surveys Completed

Broadcast to Messenger

13,217 Subscribers Messaged
3988 Surveys Completed

The results were nothing short of sensational, & shows once again the incredible engagement level for brands who leverage the new era of chat marketing!

With a contactable list only 1/5th the size of the email audience, the Messenger survey delivered over 8X the number of completed surveys!

Putting it a different way, Messenger subscribers were 50X more valuable than email subscribers for getting actionable product research insights!

Perhaps better still, of the 4616 people who chose to enter the survey, a staggering 3988 (86%) completed all 10 questions!

With live statistics presented on our customised Chat Marketing dashboard, the client was able to watch the data unfold in real time {we’ve blanked out some parts to protect the client’s valuable insights }..

Most importantly, the combination of closed questions, multiple choice and freeform text (with some basic semantic analysis), provided outstanding clarity to the client on the best choice of products going forwards.

Closed Questions Multiple Choice
Semantic Free Text

Our 5 Tips for Running a Successful Messenger Product Survey

  • 1)   Structure your questions so that later questions drill in deeper based on earlier answers
  • 2)   Design the quiz in a modular way with good tagging so you can trigger reminders and keep the conversation moving forwards
  • 3)   Keep each question short and carefully test your text for readability
  • 4)   Use a mix of closed questions, multiple choice and free text to ensure you get clear results
  • 5)   Incentivise entry to encourage as many people as possible to take part

Did the Survey Meet the Objectives?

Our client has come away with 3 key insights & assets

  • 1)   Absolute clarity on the stand-out product that over 60% of their customer base stated they wanted to purchase!
  • 2)   A new list of products to explore in 2020
  • 3)   An engaged list of customers who are eagerly awaiting the next product release!

Ask Your Customers

With time, brand reputation, not to mention capital on the line, releasing new products is risky.

The value of engaging customers in product research cannot be overstated. Aside from the clarity this Beyond Points client now has, they were able to take rapid action to get production underway for their next product in record time.

Perhaps just as importantly, their customers feel heard and accounted for.

Ask yourself, how much more eagerly will these customers now share the news with their friends, engage in future offers and contribute to reviews and other user generated content to build social proof?

Because Messenger is a familiar, near real-time conversation medium, it represents an unprecedented channel of getting engaging customers and getting their feedback.

If you’re looking to expand your product line, asking your existing customers in Messenger is a great way to sense-check your ideas and pick the best match for your niche.

Plus, you’ll be building a rich launch list poised to go viral the moment you release (or even pre-release) your product. You’ll never need to feel the pain of long-term storage fees from a slow moving product, or have to run soul-destroying fire sales ever again!

Want to discover the details of how we leveraged the Product Spotlight for this client?

For a full breakdown, including conversation design, structure and more details of the amazing results, tap below to get the full Case Study via Facebook Messenger.

Not Everyone’s Your Customer: How to Target Your Ad Campaigns to Achieve Stronger Returns

What separates the pros from everyone else when it comes to Facebook marketing? The ability to identify your target audience. Here’s how to do it.

Too often advertisers make the mistake of being too general with their audience targeting.

The problem is that this wastes your precious advertising dollars because the ads are shown to people who’ll never buy your product. Targeting can make all the difference to ads that deliver return on ad spend and ads that just burn your marketing budget.

A little history on audience targeting first. The Cambridge Analytica Scandal with Facebook and it’s misuse of personal data has resulted in scrutiny over data best practices. Prior to this, the power of dynamic audience targeting on Facebook was in the hands of advertisers who could be incredibly specific about who they were speaking out to in their ad beyond their own CRM databases. Advertisers could control targeting on a deep level reaching other peoples audiences without difficulty. Historically, the data was gathered from information users supplied like birthdays, interests, jobs and location. Advertisers supply data and the data points captured with users engagement on posts and pages and of course third party commercial (data) suppliers.

Today, third party data has been eliminated for audience targeting on Facebook to protect privacy. In addition, this year Facebook introduced CBO, (Campaign Budget Optimisation). CBO effectively manages the ad budget using AI to show the best ad, match the right product with the right audience and creative and show it to the right audience while avoiding audience overlap. These changes are significant for advertisers. Facebook pretty much has thousands of data points on users all over the internet thanks to it’s pixel tracking technology. Is this only new to Facebook? No. Google has employed optimisation methods for at least 10 years and we’d assume it’s safe to say most people are now familiar with cookies. Google is also on the leading edge of machine learning. So fundamentally these large social platforms are huge data sources with complex data profiles based on users interactions, whereby they now predict future behaviour and probably know more about each of us than probably we know about ourselves, whether we like it or not! 

So what does this all mean? Essentially machine learning and AI are changing audience targeting, determining who and why our ads are shown in a fundamental way. It works in basic terms by measuring the reaction, responses and engagement by people the ad is shown to to determine if the ad is relevant for the suggested audience. This is good and bad. When it works the results are great however on the downside, if the ad is not well received, it impacts delivery often in the first 48 hours thanks to signals received from the tracking pixel. Essentially the ad stops working. No amount of money you throw at it will help, it’s simply time to get more creative or do a better job at understanding how to match content with the right audience. 

Targeting is the key to a better ROI but it’s not singular. The creative and the product matched to the audience are also key. And don’t take our word for it. This example shows just how effective targeting can be:

Jesus Film Project (JFP) wanted to grow a database of new subscribers. With a new landing page, they were able to generate leads at 24 cents per lead. 

What’s more, these leads were a very close match to JFP’s target market. They were young (77% under 35 yrs old), 88% were from the US, and they were engaging with the content, as demonstrated by open rates over 50% and click through rates over 25%. 

All this came about because of intelligent targeting – the more specific you can get with your targeting, the lower your cost per lead becomes. 

Now we do know the Jesus Film was a huge project and it’d be hard to compare to considering they mapped 35 years of sub brand culture and mapped 9 audience personas. And let’s face it, religion gets attention. So don’t expect any marketing agency to be able to promise 24c leads with today’s ad costs rising. Nevertheless, it serves to show the effort they went to to understand the target audience served them well.

Despite the obvious benefits and abundant case study success stories, Social Media Examiner says that 62% of small businesses believe that Facebook ads don’t work for them.

Poor targeting is a big culprit. However to target well, you must know your avatar. Your ideal customer in other words. 

With the right targeting means you generate a better ROI for your campaigns. Without it, you’re just throwing money away on ads that don’t produce results.

Remember, not everyone can be your customer. 

With these tips, you’ll be able to work out who your audience is so that you can create much better, targeted campaigns.

Tip #1 – Start With Your Existing Customers/Fans

Use the information that your existing customers provide to target new customers.

You can see key demographical data, such as:

  • Where your customers live
  • Age ranges
  • Gender
  • Common interests

This is all the information that you can use to create a targeted campaign. Facebook offers a tool called Lookalike Audiences that allows you to target ads based on similar audiences to the data that you already have in your CRM.

Leverage it to get your ads in front of people who fit your customer profile but aren’t yet in your system.

Tip #2 – Understand the Differences Between Hot, Cold, and Warm

Not every lead you target falls under the same umbrella.

Some of your ads may target people who’ve engaged heavily with your brand already. Others may target people who haven’t even heard of you yet.

These are two completely different audiences and you need to treat them as such. Sending an ad that pushes for a sale to someone who doesn’t know your brand will result in rejection, for example.

That’s why it’s crucial to know the differences between hot, cold, and warm leads:


These guys already know your brand and may have bought from you already. These are the people that you’ll target with sales offers because they’re already at the bottom of your funnel.


This audience hasn’t even heard of you before. That means they’re going to need a little warming up before you can make any offers to them. Ads that target this audience need to focus on engagement and education.


You’ve already had a few conversations with these leads but they’re not ready to buy yet. At this point, you’re targeting this audience with information about your product’s benefits. You may also share some case studies and testimonials.

You need to target each of these lead types with a different campaign. Hitting them all with the same information at once results in leads falling out of your funnel.

Tip #3 – Leverage Google Analytics’ Conversion Reports

Google Analytics’ Conversion Reports highlight where your traffic comes from and allows you to pick out trends.

Click on Conversions, followed by Multi-Channel Funnels. Then click the Top Conversion Paths and select the Source Path option.

Finally, choose Landing Page URL Path as your Secondary Dimension.

You’ll get a report that shows where your website’s audience comes from and what path they take through your site. You can also alter the date range to get data from the last few months.

What you’re seeing here is a rundown of your target audience’s interests. You’ll see the websites that they visit before they come to yours. Plus, you’ll see the content that they check out once they’re on your website.

Compile this information into lists of related brands, interests, and groups. You can then use it to create saved audiences that you’ll use in your ad campaigns.

You’ve gone beyond targeting the basic interests you may have picked up from your CRM here. You’ve created more intensive targeting based on specific actions that visitors to your site take.

Targeting For Improved ROI

The key takeaway here is that throwing an ad out to everybody isn’t an effective way to market your business on Facebook or anywhere for that matter. Not everyone wants to hear from you or has potential to be your customer.

There are some great aspects you can dive into on platforms like Facebook that allow you to get super granula. You can tap into recent buying behavior, use your own customer buying data, get smart about life events such as birthdays and holidays. Creating custom audiences to exclude is also smart. Why sell to someone who just bought from you unless it makes perfect sense in a cross sell or upsell sense. Leverage the lookalike functionality, that means data of your own customers or page engages to create similar new audiences. You can get specific by location and age. The list goes on.

Truly understanding who your brand is reaching out to is going to be vital to lowering your ad spend as ad inventory gets more scarce. Know your avatar! You need to know where they hang out, what they are most likely to enjoy and where you can find them. More brands are using social media and messaging apps and hundreds of thousands come on board each month. So know the niche your ads belong in and your CTR and conversions will be reflected. 

Appropriate targeting leads to stronger returns on your campaigns, so invest the time on the front end.

And at Beyond Points we don’t just build the strategy, we consider ourselves experts at audience targeting. Over time we build a clearer picture, optimizing results and ensuring brands are delivering the right message at the right time to the right person. Need help? You’re welcome to schedule a strategy session with our team today.

How to Combine Chat Marketing & Email to Skyrocket Your Holiday Season Sales

The holiday seasons are the prime time for ecommerce sales. An omnichannel strategy that uses email and chat marketing may be what you need to give your sales a boost.

According to data shared by WordStream, 80% of holiday shoppers check the web before they make a purchase. 

Better yet, a third say that online ads and promotions lead directly to them making holiday purchases.

The point is that the holidays represent one of the strongest sales periods for your ecommerce store.

That leaves a simple question:

Which strategy works best for getting your products in front of more shoppers?

Some may stick with the tried and tested email marketing techniques they’ve used for years. Others may adopt chat marketing in an effort to boost sales.

But what if you could use them together?

The Big Misconception

So many people see chat marketing as a way to replace email marketing. They cite the larger open and response rates to make the claim that email marketing isn’t effective anymore.

That’s not the case.

The big misconception here is that you can only use one or the other. 

But the truth is that an omnichannel marketing campaign will get your store in front of more people. Plus, it will help you to guide potential customers through your sales funnel even faster.

The end result?

More sales made faster as a result of combining chat marketing and email. 

You just need to know how to do it. Here are four examples that will help you to create a powerful strategy for the holiday seasons.

Example #1 – Collecting Accurate Data Via Chatbot For Use in an Email Campaign

The traditional email marketing campaign goes a little something like this.

You advertise a lead magnet to your target audience. People click on the ad and get prompted to enter their details in a form to get the magnet. Those details go into your CRM and you plug the lead into an automated email campaign.

That’s fine when all of the data’s accurate and up-to-date. But user errors can result in the lead never getting contacted.

Furthermore, many may decide against sending their details across once they see the form they need to fill in.

This is where chat marketing comes in.

With a chatbot, you’re able to gather customer details instantly at the point when they express interest. You can also program your bot to ask leads to confirm the data that they send across.

This means more accurate data and fewer leads getting cold feet. As a result, your email campaigns reach more people, which results in more sales.

Example #2 – Use Chat Marketing to Encourage Email Subscriptions

What happens when somebody comments on a Facebook post?

In most cases, very little happens. You may get  new follower who get post updates, and may like your page at some point.

But this moment of engagement you gives you an ideal opportunity to start a conversation.

You can use a chatbot to make contact with the new follower from the moment that they comment. 

That bot could then ask the follower if they wish to subscribe to your newsletter. It can even ask about the specific topics that the follower has an interest in.

From there, you can send targeted newsletters via email to move those followers through your funnel. And because you contacted them via chat first, they know that these emails will contain relevant information for them.

This means they’re more likely to open them, which gives you an opportunity to make offers based on their interests.

Example #3 – Lead Nurturing

Many potential customers need a little nurturing before they’ll make a purchase.

When you combine email and chat marketing, you’re able to approach this nurturing on two fronts.

With email, you can send more detailed information over an extended period to keep your audience engaged. For example, you could share valuable insights and content that helps the user remember and trust your brand. You can also use email to share important documents that help with a potential purchase.

With chat marketing, you can be more detailed and spontaneous to a customer’s enquiry. A chatbot can handle FAQ that the customer may have. Plus, you can program it to pick up on words on questions that could trigger a specific conversation flow to solve the customer’s enquiry instantly.

For example, let’s say your ecommerce store sells clothes and you have a customer who has questions about picking a size.

The chatbot could handle the basic questions related to the sizes you have in stock. It could then deliver a size chart as well as a coupon to incentivise a purchase. If the customer doesn’t purchase right away, no harm done. Your chatbot can tag the user in your email program and arrange to send out new season’s lines to re-engage them.

You’re providing information on two fronts, which moves the customer closer to making a purchase.

Example #4 – Creating More Personalised Campaigns

We touched on the importance of personalisation in our second example. Your chatbot can ask about specific topics of interest, which can feed into an email marketing campaign.

And according to data from Infosys, personalisation has a huge effect on buying decisions. In a survey, they found that 59% of people say that receiving personalised information influenced their choices.

BabyCentre UK highlights how this works in practice.

Their chatbot uses Facebook Messenger to quiz parents about their specific needs. It then delivers basic tips and tricks via Messenger while also triggering emails based on those needs.

From there, they can make specific offers based on those pre-identified needs.

Chat marketing allows you to build engagement with a lead long before they receive any emails. You can then use the data collected to ensure they receive targeted emails based on what they tell the bot.

Chat Marketing and Email in Tandem

The main message here is that you don’t have to think in terms of one or the other. While chat marketing is a new and exciting tool, email still has an important place in your marketing strategy for long-term engagement.

And when used together, you’re able to target leads with more relevant information on both channels. Ultimately, that leads to faster lead nurturing and more sales.

The critical piece of this multi-channel approach is keeping your CRM up to date on both channels to enable multiple touchpoints without mixed messages or spammy campaigns. 

Beyond Points can help you leverage chat and email to create a powerful omnichannel marketing campaign.

To find out more, message us now to schedule a strategy session.

How to Turn Bricks to Clicks: Killer Strategies for Leveraging your Physical Store & Web Stores for More Sales

If you operate both a physical shop as well as a web store you have a huge strategic advantage over people selling in just one location.  In this article we show you how to maximize it.

Consumer behaviour is in a constant state of change.  Demographics, purchasing needs and price points are just some of the factors that influence how consumers choose to research and make purchases.  Broadly, you’ll probably hear that millennials prefer to use physical stores as a ‘showrooms’ while preferring to make purchases online. Gen X’ers are the opposite, preferring to browse online but then buy in store.  People buy clothes in store, but tech online. And so it goes.    

We should address some home truths though.  While online shopping has shown consistent growth for the past decade, over 90% of all retail purchases are still made in store. Plus, more in-store shoppers purchase additional items than they do when shopping online.  That means that if you have both a physical AND online presence, you have a powerful strategic advantage over competitors offering similar services on a single channel.

The new game is not about cannibalizing your in-store revenue, or undercutting your own prices to compete with online sellers.  It’s about maximizing your leverage across both channels to greater share of wallet. Its about ensuring you’re front of mind when customers make their next purchase, whether online or in-store.

So, how can you capitalize on your multi-channel presence?

Here are six killer techniques.

#1 – Leverage Chat-to-Store Marketing

Having a special promotion or sale in store?  The key to success is ensuring sufficient awareness.  Most stores leverage print media, TV or Radio to get the news out.  The problem is, people are constantly bombarded with this kind of marketing.  

Instead, think about leveraging organic visits to your web store, Facebook page, instagram etc to capture attention.  But put a strong call to action in your message to bring them into a Messenger conversation to tell them more about the event, the deals and why they need to visit.  

Just the act of stepping through a conversation in Messenger (with the help of a bot to automate it) is more memorable than a fleeting commercial.  But go one step further. At the end of the conversation, give them an exclusive coupon, ticket or image they need to present in-store to get ‘the best’ deal.  People love exclusivity! Amplify it with Facebook Ads to a targeted audience, and its many times more effective (and cheaper) than traditional above-the-line advertising. 

#2 – Exploit Store-To-Chat Promotions

Not everyone wants to buy in-store.  They may have come in to browse for ideas, try a few things on, or just get an idea of price.  Plus, as we outlined above, many people prefer to research in a physical store but buy online. 

Make sure they leave your shop with a reason to buy from you online. 

You should build this into your in-store advertising. For example, you could have posters, flyers etc in your store that advertise exclusive online discounts.  Again though, don’t just direct them to your home page. Attract them into a Messenger conversation.

The resulting conversation will educate the customer about the deal, the benefits of owning the product, and provide that all-important feeling of exclusivity.  Having taken these steps, ask yourself how likely are they to purchase a similar product from another store when they’re seen the item in your shop, chatted about it in Messenger and then been offered your exclusive deal?

Best of all, you now have the customer in your online audience to reach out to again in the future, building you a ‘free’ audience for Strategy #1!

Technique #3 – Do More With Post-Purchase Print

Taking a sale anywhere is great.  Taking sales that lead to more sales is even better!

Think about all of the physical items that someone takes from your store that aren’t direct advertising materials. Your product packaging, shopping bags, receipts / dockets and even your price labels are open spaces ripe for engaging the customer when they get home.  

QR codes have become commonplace. Almost all smartphones have native QR scanners built-in now, yet there’s something surprisingly intriguing about them.  People love scanning them, especially if they can get access to the best deals, insider news, or exclusive early access to new releases. 

Think about how you can ‘gate’ these deals, encouraging social sharing, Facebook followers or user generated content. Do that, and you’re well on your way to exploding your online community from in-store visits!

Technique #4 – Wrap it!

Many brands wrap their delivery vehicles, and business owners often brand their cars as a ‘free source of awareness. 

Like post-purchase print materials, include a QR code in that wrap with an accompanying message that builds intrigue. For example:

“Chat with us online to get access to exclusive deals and discounts.”

Somebody who sees that may whip out their phone to scan the code. As soon as they do, Messenger opens up and you’ve started a conversation.

Have some fun with it.  Why not wrap your staff?  Get a QR printed on the back of staff shirts that says ‘scan me for the best deals’!  Apart from breaking the ice with the shop assistant, how much more memorable is that experience?  You can deliver a deal for redemption right there in-store, ask them about their visit later that day, and even educate them about your season’s offers from the comfort of their post-shopping armchair.

Technique #5 – Chat For Reviews

Reviews are the lifeblood of online sales.  But are you aware of just how much online reviews are influencing your in-store visits?  Did you know that over 50% of people say they frequently read reviews before visiting a store?  A massive 72% of people read reviews before purchasing from your online store.

Whether your customers purchase online or via your physical store, following up after purchase to get feedback leading to review is more important than ever. Quite simply there has never been a more effective way to encourage reviews than through the Messenger channel.  Whether you’re seeking ‘internal’ reviews on Shopify or ‘external’ reviews on Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor etc, your bot can get you more social proof that can lead to more in-store visits and higher online conversion.

Technique #6 – Keep Selling After Hours

Your brick & mortar stores close at night, but your online store is open 24/7.  

Make sure people know they can explore what you have to offer even when the ‘closed’ sign is hanging.  Have you thought about adding a poster to your door directing them to your site? Or better yet – a QR code to open up a chat?

What about your on-hold message?   People HATE being on hold, but they need their questions answered, so why not direct them to your chatbot?  Most customers will appreciate the option and jump straight online to talk to you. The real-time responses they get from your chatbot deliver a far better service experience than waiting on hold. Plus, they’re now in your Messenger subscribers and may be open to further offers down the line.

Just a quick note on Live Chat here.  While your chatbot can and should handle the majority of simple enquiries, it is imperative to have a real person on-hand to jump in and provide instant responses. More to the point, your live agents can answer enquiries and encourage people to visit the store for a personal experience, communicate with in-store staff to expect the visit and get the items ready for a speedy transaction. How about that for an experience?

From Physical to Messenger

The purpose of these tips isn’t to replace your brick and mortar store with online sales.

It’s to show you what’s possible if you use the physical and digital in tandem. Your physical marketing materials give you a great opportunity to pull customers into your online funnel, and visa versa.

And once they’re in your Messenger flow, you’ve opened a dialogue that can continue whether they’re in-store or not.

All you need to do now is develop a chatbot and create a chat marketing conversation flow.

If that sounds intimidating, you can rely on Beyond Points to help.

We specialise in using Facebook Messenger and chat marketing to increase retail sales. We’d love to talk about how we can help you to implement these techniques.

Schedule a strategy session via chat to get started.

Beyond Live chat – The 90 second Live Chat Rule to Beat Your Competition

Chat marketing is gaining momentum as the new era of marketing, and there’s a reason why. Online brands using Messenger and website chatbots are able to have many simultaneous conversations, providing faster & better service to their customers. The latest tech is helping brand reduce support costs while at the same time increasing store conversion. After all, the reason for having an online site is to enable a transaction to take place between the brand and their ideal customer.

Website chatbots are not new. In fact, you’ve probably interacted with live chat on a website without even realising its powered by a bot. However, the new era of tech is making it easier than ever for brands to deliver exceptional live chat experiences. Instant filtering to human sales agents together with customer re-engagement across multiple channels is now available inside a single chat ecosystem.

So, what’s the big deal and why should brands be paying close attention?

LIVE CHAT when done well converts and builds relationships. Every website store needs to get this right.

In this article, we’re going to discuss

  1. What is Live Chat?
  2. How does a live chat work?
  3. What are the benefits?
  4. Is live chat a real person?
  5. How to get results with Live chat

What is Live Chat?

Live chat is customer service software that provides the ability to respond to a customer when they visit your online store. Well executed live chat experiences leverage a chatbot to handle frequent questions and basic enquiries. It then instantly connects a human sales agent when the customer needs additional help. The combination of programmed and live conversations help move the customer towards the next action, increasing site conversion and customer satisfaction.

How does Live Chat Work?

Live chat software offered in a SaaS business model is by no means new. Since 2002, early live chat implementations were often associated with big brands where people expected only top-level service, such as global banks and insurance companies. Nowadays its available in dozens of languages and a common tool on eCommerce sites.

Traditionally, Live Chat has two separate interfaces, one for the customer and another for the sales agent. Customers typically experience it as a chat box widget at the bottom right corner of a website. The brand’s team members see a separate interface on a web portal or mobile app showing the active conversations and current chat thread.

The application traditionally allows pre-programmed, or ‘canned’ responses, allowing one-to-many conversations to take place at the same time. Unfortunately, customer’s experience of chat widgets can prove to be a letdown. Most of us have experienced the frankly woeful response “We’re sorry, nobody is available right now to assist you, BrandXYZ usually responds within 24 hours and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.”

Worse they tell you to call them when they are open. Sigh!

The magic starts where well-trained staff can jump in as soon as the customer has a query. This is what’s changed with customer expectations and live chat tools.

What are the Benefits?

Image courtesy of Salesforce – The future of sales.
Image courtesy of Salesforce – The future of sales.

Today’s consumers expect instantaneous information thanks to the development of mobile. As frequently quoted by global ecommerce expert Ezra Firestone, mobile shoppers are growing at a massive rate, 69% of all online sales are made on mobile.

Brands should anticipate that mobile consumers shop on the move and brands therefore need to be responsive. People shop while they walk, commute, party, get fit, relax and work. Whether we like to admit it or not, as consumers we have short attention spans and seek instant gratification. We are also easily distracted from our online activities by Ads, app alerts and real-world interruptions. Studies show if a person meets any friction while visiting an online store, they are likely to leave and never return. Nobody has time to wait.

It is therefore critical for brand owners to provide a frictionless online experience, as well as tactful way to re-engage customers who have been lured away before being able to complete a transaction.

This is where Live chat kicks in, handling standard enquiries such as, stock queries, sizes, shipping, pricing and passing to a human where necessary. Whether connected to a bot or a human, if the customer can’t get the information they need in real-time, it is deemed a bad experience. Conversely when done well, live chat can significant increase store conversion.

When properly executed, live chat results in:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Higher conversions on your online store
  • Word of mouth sales through referrals
  • Opportunity to collect valuable customer data to grow relationships
  • Opportunities to offer cross sells and upsells
  • A well-educated customer more likely to purchase

Is live chat a real person?

The question really to ask here is does the customer feel your LIVE CHAT response is serving their needs? A litmus test is when the customer naturally transcends to the obvious next point in the conversation without doubting who is on the other end. Whether it be an automated, pre-programmed bot message or a human, the engagement is remembered by the user as a good experience and naturally progresses to the next step.

However, it’s vital a real person is available for that moment when a customer has a query which cannot be answered instantly by the pre-planned conversation chatbot. This is when good training and product knowledge really makes a competitive difference too! When someone is well trained, they can close out the conversation and help instantly. Web stores are open 24/7, which means a brand expert should be available 24/7 to answer customer enquiries.

Having a real person available to chat closes the gap of physical and virtual shopping. Brands who offer an engaging experience are trusted, remembered and shared more by their customers. After all, people want to buy from real people too.

The evidence is clear consumers see chatbot as a way to get answers fast. Digital marketer, Neil Patel shared on stage at Conversations 2019 that Chat is responsible for 28% of his own sales.

So yes, if you’ve got live chat widget on your site a person needs to be available to respond.

How to get results with Live chat

Image courtesy of Salesforce – The future of sales.
Image courtesy of Salesforce – The future of sales.

Well executed chat marketing strategy, call it Live Chat, should begin with a chatbot to handle frequently asked questions (FAQs) and predictable enquiries. This enables instant service for the customer while at the same time mitigating ticket load on trivial enquiries.

When selling high-ticket items, the bot should be engaged to ask qualifying questions designed to funnel real potential customers directly to a human sales agent. Sales agents need to be trained to quickly understand the chat thread, seamlessly picking up from where the bot left off. Chatbots are now a key component of your sales force. Just like any sales person, language, tone and brand voice matter. Messenger offers a more personalised approach to continue the conversation. It’s worth noting the list below of key points to do and not to do to get optimal results from Live Chat.

In addition, to deliver great results in Live Chat you need a good platform. There are many widgets and SaaS products but by far our favourite tool for Live chat is ManyChat. ManyChat allows tighter integration as a CS tool, offering brands insights to deliver personalised service or offers. Customers will enjoy a seamless experience. It’s the ecosystem for chat, it’s more than Messenger Marketing. At Conversations 2019 one of the many updates was the iOS app is now available enabling live chat for iPhone users, coming soon to Android too. At Beyond Points, we’ve had great success using ManyChat live chat across our customer’s accounts to build brand trust and grow revenue.

The average response time by online chat is 90 seconds. Beat this and you’re ahead of your competition. Compare average response times on other channels below.

Customer service agents are assigned a chat with a tracking to ensure the query has been handled. In the latest updates, the service agent is now able to re-engage the customer into a bot flow wherever relevant. Bot-to-human interactions like this provide rapid, helpful service & build trust with the customer ahead of a potential purchase.

Do not be overlook the importance of properly implementing a well thought out live chat strategy. Alarmingly, Simplr recently conducted a study that shows 93% of brands have poorly implemented live chat. For the majority of brands, poorly implemented chat services are bleeding the brand in lost sales and may even be doing long term brand damage through poor service.

The Live Chat To Do’s list.

  1. Respond in 90 seconds or less.
  2. Send omni-channel push notifications to your live agent
  3. Allow site visitors to engage with a human
  4. Transition ‘service’ staff to sales agents and ensure they are well trained on your product or service
  5. Ensure coverage is 24/7, and your peak demand shopping times are well covered to not delay responsiveness
  6. Use smart responses to re-engage – people get distracted. Come back to the conversation and offer more value!
  7. Be the guide by providing alternative solutions if you can’t help with their particular need
  8. Be human! Engage like a real person 🙂

Live Chat What NOT to do.

  1. Don’t send an automated reply saying ‘sorry nobody is there right now to help, we’ll be back in 24 hours’
  2. Don’t make the customer repeat themselves between the bot and the live agent
  3. Don’t be impersonal
  4. Don’t make the customer wait while you deal with another customer at the same time
  5. Don’t keep the responses long between your chat – hence why this is LIVE chat.
  6. Don’t take longer than 5 minutes to transition to a human
  7. Don’t force people to email or ‘call the office during working hours’

Live chat is the cream of customer service and can be leveraged by every brand.

According to Forrester, data reveals site visitors leveraging Live Chat are 2.8x more likely to convert than those that don’t. Further, Intercom revealed that one reply makes visitors 50% more likely to convert, 2 replies makes them 150% more likely to convert, and 6 or more messages with a prospect or customer can increase conversion rate by 250%.

Incase that’s not convincing enough as to why every online store should pay attention, the latest global statistics show that 87% of smart phone users are using messaging apps, with 3 billion people predicted to be using messaging apps every day by 2022. Live chat enables your brand to service this growing user base 24/7, facilitating cost-effective Human to human (H2H) marketing.  Serviced well, Live chat will be a major differentiator for successful brands in 2020.

It’s time for your brand to beat the competition and become one of the 7% of online stores successfully implementing live chat to grow sales.  👉 Contact Beyond Points today if you would like help to implement a winning live chat strategy.