50 Ways to Get Sales With Dropshipping

Want more sales on your store? In this ebook, we share the best tactics that the top online stores use to grow their sales. You will finally know the real secrets only successful store owners know about getting sales online. Dropshipping just got easier.
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You daydream about building your first store for months. Maybe even years.

“I can do this. I can’t do this. No.”

“I CAN do this.”

And so you finally get started.

You sign-up for Shopify and start building your first store.

You install the Oberlo app and choose from an extensive selection of great products to your store.

And after a couple weeks, you hit the Publish button.

You did it!

You just launched your first business.

But a couple days pass and the sales don’t come.

Maybe you created a $5 Facebook ad, got 50 people visiting your store but no sales.

Or you asked an Instagram influencer to give you a shout-out only to find out their 100,000 followers were probably fake.

I know the feeling.

I’ve been there.

But I’ve also breathed that sigh of relief after getting my first sale.

I’ve felt the excitement from having the first $1000 day.

And I remember the feeling you get when someone bought your $100 3-product bundle.

That’s why I wrote this ebook.

To help you get the financial results you deserve.

To give you that feeling of excitement and accomplishment when you land your first sale.

This ebook isn’t for the faint of heart though. You’re not going to be able to finish it in a day.

And that’s totally okay.

You can pick and choose the sections that make the most sense for your business. And come back to finish the rest when you have more time.

I also want to be honest about some of the tactics in this ebook. Some of these marketing ideas will be things you’ve never heard of or thought about doing.

And others will be in your face obvious. You’ll probably give me an eye roll. I apologize in advance.

I wrote this book with beginners in mind but added a few intermediate and advanced tactics to keep things interesting and to level you up faster.

I visited thousands of online stores to give you the best examples. Most weren’t included, they just didn’t make the cut.

I chose to highlight brands who do things differently so you can see how to better serve your audience as you grow.

A lot of the online stores in this ebook take marketing to the next level.

I wanted you to see their stores for yourself to get you thinking like a million dollar store owner. Even if you’re currently a zero dollar store owner.

If you’re in a rush to get the good stuff in this ebook, go through the dropshipping tips and expert sections for all the categories. You’ll find hidden gems in all of them and they can work well as a whole.

You’ve got everything you need know about making sales with dropshipping within these next sections.

By sharing my tactics with you, I’m investing in your success.

All I ask is that you do whatever it takes to make your dreams come true.

Stick it out during the lows. And help others succeed during the highs.

If you have questions about marketing, getting your first sale or building your first online store, you can contact Oberlo’s customer support team or you can contact me directly.

Happy reading!

Facebook Advertising: The Complete Guide to Facebook Marketing 2020

Facebook advertising is the world’s most powerful advertising platform. According to Statistica, they currently have over 2.7 billion monthly active users. That makes Facebook the most popular social media platform in the world. In other words, this is where your brand needs to be. Whether you monetize your social media posts, create profitable ads, or retarget store visitors, Facebook is one of the most profitable social networks for online retailers.  Facebook’s targeting options are the most comprehensive allowing marketers to reach specific audiences to ensure they reach the right customer. Many have been able to reach their desired customer while generating a profit when marketing for ecommerce on Facebook.

Facebook Marketing Example

When customers visit Style Saint a pop-up appears offering them $10 to connect with Facebook. The Facebook login benefits store owners a number of ways. It makes logging into the brand’s website easy for customers. This is great for store owners who want to simplify the checkout process. Facebook is more trusted than an online store a customer is visiting for the first time. A customer might not want to receive emails from the shop. But best of all, it gives the store owner access to that customer’s Facebook data to better market to them. The downside to this is that not everyone has a Facebook account, which is why on their pop-up Style Saint also includes an email opt-in option.

How to Master Facebook Ads

There’s been a growing trend of stores creating video ads on social media. The style of video ad that’s become increasingly popular among ecommerce store owners are the Business Insider style videos. They often get great engagement, they’re easy to follow, text is short and sweet and the videos typically last a minute and a half. Brands are using these types of videos to explain the benefits of their products, the problem their product solves while showing off their product’s features.

Esther includes a ‘Message Us’ on Facebook icon on all their product pages. This has two benefits. First, it allows customers to have their product questions answered in chat which is often preferred over email which often has a longer response time. Second, it allows retailers to send Messenger ads to those customers in the future. See our tools sections to know how to add a Messenger icon on your store.

If you’ve never had a customer before, you can learn your customer demographics through Facebook. You’ll need to create a series of ads where use different sets of interests to determine who your audience is. Maybe the audience for your meditation bracelets aren’t people who meditate. Instead, you might discover that they’re interested in yoga, bohemian wear, or the environment. You won’t know which audience responds to your product the most until you test it. You’ll want to keep all the details the same such as location, age, gender, except for the interests. After you’ve narrowed down interests, you might narrow down location, age, gender or other key traits of your target market.

When targeting your audience, create a Facebook ad with World targeting but exclude Canada, USA, U.K. and Australia. You’ll likely find audiences with world targeting that you wouldn’t have marketed to otherwise. Most people market to the United States and neglect smaller markets. However, from personal experience we’ve discovered highly profitable markets from countries we’ve never even heard of. You’ll also want to have separate ads created for USA and Canada, U.K. and Australia. This will help lower your Facebook advertising costs. However, it’ll also prevent the World ad from biasing towards the biggest countries since they won’t be included.

Start with interest ads, when you get enough data (100 users in a custom audience), test lookalike audience for visits, lookalike audience for add to cart, and eventually, lookalike audience for purchases.

Experiment with ads. Most people create a Facebook ad that fails and give up. The reality is even stores making 6 figures have ads that fail miserably. Sometimes, ads are created and work well at first but fail overtime. The first ad I ever created back in 2013 failed so miserably I was ashamed to tell my boss. My second ad I ever created ended up converting really well. But if I had given up like I wanted to, I never would’ve succeeded. Even when you’re successful, you’re going to have a few bad ads. Experimentation is everything when it comes to Facebook advertising.

Direct your traffic to a product page. Your ad won’t be nearly as effective if you direct the traffic to your homepage. When creating an ad, you want to have a picture of a product and then direct to a landing page where to sell that exact product. Customers don’t want to browse your website to find the product in the ad. Keep it easy for them. You’re going to have to create ads for different products to find out what your bestsellers are in the beginning.

Your picture is everything. One of my best converting ads was for a car cleaning product. I had read online that a red-orange color contrasts well against Facebook’s white and blue background. So I found an image of an angle of a red-orange sports car. It converted at 4 cents a click. And we know it was the image, because when we kept the copy but changed the image it didn’t convert nearly as well. You also want to limit the amount of text on the image. I usually opt for no text. Also, use lifestyle images. Having your product photo on a white background won’t convert nearly as well as a lifestyle image of someone using it.

Ignore the $5 ad rule. A lot of experts say to create $5 ads. You’d be lucky to get a sale from one $5 ad. Very few achieve anything more than that. If your product costs $24, create a $24 ad. Price match your ad to your product price. You’ll be more likely to get a sale from a higher ad budget while staying on the conservative side. It’ll give you a better chance of finding the right audience. Also, remember this: no million dollar brand spends $5 on ads. It’s okay to start small. But the reality is you’re going to have to spend money on ads to make sales.

To master Facebook ads, you need to come up with a compelling offer. You might have  ‘Buy two, get one free,’ ‘50% off’ or ‘only $19.99 + Free shipping’ offer that drives customers into purchase. If your customer is interested in the product, the offer can help encourage the click through. Offering something for free like shipping or a BOGO offer can help drive the sales. Avoid doing free plus shipping offers as Facebook has been known to crack down on those.

Focus on sales. A lot of new store owners will obsess over how many likes or shares their ad got. Vanity metrics don’t matter. Sales matter. As a store owner, your Facebook advertising goal is to increase sales not increase likes.

When it comes to scaling your ad, you’ll need to create a second ad. A lot of new entrepreneurs may increase the budget in a big way only to have fewer conversions. If you plan on increasing your budget, increase it by 10-15% at a time to ensure it stays optimized. If you go from a $5 ad budget to $500, you may break the ad. Instead, focus on creating a second ad with a similar demographic.

Retarget your audience. This can be a money-maker. But you need to have some stable traffic for it to work well. If you’re on a budget, you can drive traffic for free by marketing on social media, creating unique content and tagging influencers and more. The retargeting ad is typically cheaper and will usually perform well. You can also create Facebook ads catered to your store’s customers since they’re proven to convert. Avoid exhausting this audience with retargeting ads as they’re your most profitable audience. To learn more about retargeting, check out the retargeting section in this ebook.

Facebook Marketing Tools:

Facebook marketing tools like Kit help automate your Facebook marketing. You can use it to create Facebook ads, retargeting campaigns, and post on social media. The app will send reminders regularly to ensure that your marketing is always running to help you generate sales growth.

Shopify’s even created other Facebook marketing tools like it’s Shopify Facebook Channel app where you’ll be able to create a Facebook shop tab, sell products on Facebook itself, and where customers can buy products without visiting your website.

Messenger Channel is another Facebook marketing tool by Shopify. The messenger app that allows store owners to sell their products to customers via instant messenger. As Facebook Messenger ads grow in popularity this app will prove to be more important to the Facebook marketer. As of right now, customers can use the app to track purchases, view shipping details and communicate with brands easily.

Another one of the most popular Facebook marketing tools is Storeya. It’s a tool that imports your store onto Facebook so that customers can shop directly on Facebook. The app also includes a tool where fans of your pages can promote products to their friends to enable exclusive deals that require a minimum number of users. With over 160,000 users using this app, it’s worth checking out if you plan on marketing on Facebook.

Facebook Messenger Remarketing is an app that does retargeting ads through Facebook Messenger. The app uses a chatbot to help recover abandoned carts. It has a higher open and click through rate than email.

Facebook - CartBack Facebook Messenger

Ripl turns your images into a video. You can add text to your video that moves into the screen to create a more engaging ad. This is a great app to use if you don’t have the budget to create video content and have lifestyle images that would look great in video format.

Facebook marketing

Facebook Power Editor makes it easy to manage multiple ads. The Facebook advertising tool even lets you create custom reports, edit your ads, and more.

Text Overlay is a Facebook marketing tool that tells you how much text is on your image. Facebook doesn’t allow text heavy images. Ideally, you should use an image with no text to receive an OK rating which will allow your ad to run normally. The more text added to your image the less effective your ad will be. You can use this tool before creating an ad to ensure that your image won’t interfere with the ad’s effectiveness.

Facebook advertising

Ads Manager App is an important tool for store owners who regularly run ads on their store. It allows them to view Ads Manager on their mobile devices. That way you’ll always know how your ads are performing and if there are any issues with them. With the app you can track ad performance, modify your ads, budgets and schedules and more.

Facebook Page Barometer tells you about your Facebook fanpage’s performance. You’ll know the patterns within your organic reach and whether or not your page’s activity is increasing and by how much.


Likealyzer is a tool that tells you how well your Facebook fan page is doing. Simply search for your fanpage on the platform and you’ll learn where you can improve. The tool tells you how you can improve user engagement, which Facebook features or tools you don’t use enough, what the overall impression a user may have when visiting your fanpage and more.

Facebook - Likealyzer

Facebook Advertising Resources:

Facebook Influencers:

Facebook Ads ExpertAkiva Leyton, marketing manager at Falcon Marketing LLC shares, “My number one tip for growing online sales with Facebook ads would be to utilize Facebook’s custom audience creation feature. The most powerful feature in my opinion is their ability to create lookalike audiences based on client email lists. Essentially, you can upload a list of your clients emails to Facebook, and Facebook will match any affiliated emails to accounts of users, and then gather important information about each customer such as interests, pages liked, events attended, and much more, to compile a lookalike user that is your business’ perfect customer. Once you have this lookalike user you can create custom audiences with varying ranges of similarities to your perfect customer, ensuring that your target audience is truly relevant to your business since they are similar in some way to your current customers.”

Facebook Ads ExpertAshton Spatz, VP Communications of Haley Miranda, recommends, “When starting a Facebook advertising plan for your online business, it’s easy to just jump in and go right for the Conversion objective and ignore the larger process. While ad hoc conversion ads can certainly be effective, their potential for success grows even more when your targeting is smart and precise. It’s important to speak to your buyer at the right time in the sales funnel. For example, your Facebook ad is more likely to convert to a sale if you serve impressions to users that have already displayed an interest in a particular product by visiting the product page on your website or watching 95% of your video about a particular product. Leverage the sophisticated audience tools that Facebook offers to target these groups. You can even take it one step further by beginning your Facebook sales funnel with Brand Awareness and engagement campaigns. Then re-market to those users driving them to your website. Then hit them with the conversion campaign!”

Facebook Ads ExpertJonathan Alonso at uBreakiFix shares, “As a general rule you can assume that about 80% of your ads will not perform well. Without increasing your budget you are able to test as many different ads as you want. Swap images, copy and the call to action in order to find the ads that produce results. Keep these performing ads running, pause the low performing ads, replace them with new ads and repeat. Being systematic about this process is the key to success with Facebook ads.”


Facebook Ads ExpertScott Marquart, Founder and President of Stringjoy Guitar Strings, shares his best tip, “The biggest hack I’ve found to having a successful Facebook ad campaign is to utilize long-form video that presents your brand in a personal, relatable way. Even just having somebody sit in front of a camera (or even an iPhone) and talk about what you do, why you’re better than your competitors, and why you love waking up every day and coming to work, can work wonders. Don’t be afraid of going in depth, and don’t fret too much about video quality, we’ve had ad campaigns with eight minute videos that are pretty rough around the edges vastly outperform shorter, more polished videos—in fact, I would say that’s the norm for us.”

How to Monetize Forums and Facebook Groups for Business

According to Entrepreneur, 20% of Americans recommend their favorite products in forums. Whether you’re marketing in Facebook groups, popular forums within your niche or creating forums within your website, you can build and grow your brand by engaging with customers in forums.

Approximately 33% of marketers choose to market their brands on forums to reach a bigger audience within a specific niche. You can choose to run ads on highly targeted forums or sub-categories to boost brand awareness. If you choose to promote your product without running ads be sure to add value by answering questions, giving detailed information about a niche and being helpful to community members. The goal is to create a sense of community by building relationships with the members of the group without an aggressive sales push.

Forum Example: Oculus is an example of an online store that created its own forum. With over 100 pages of active and daily discussion, the popular VR and gaming forum excels at educating its customers while allowing their customers to engage with one another. They regularly post announcements with bug updates, new features and polls. It allows them to keep their customers informed while also allowing them to master market research when creating new products. Customers can also interact with each other or ask each other questions. This helps build a community with their members which indirectly helps build brand loyalty.


What is a Facebook Group?

A Facebook Group is a place for group communication where people on Facebook can share or discuss common ideas or interests. A Facebook group can be created by any Facebook user. This group of people interact based on a shared interest, to express their opinions around a common cause, issue, or activity. People on Facebook Groups are commonly seen discussing posting comments, sharing photos, or other similar content. Facebook Groups can be private or open to everyone to allow members to join freely.

Facebook Page vs Facebook Group

Since first being implemented, Facebook Groups have undergone many changes. In the very beginning it was possible for anyone who could see your Facebook profile to see what Facebook Group you were part of. Now, those open forums are called Facebook Pages. These are created by companies, celebrities, or brands that help to facilitate communication with their audience, and act as a platform where they can share interesting content for their Facebook followers. Only the administrators are the ones that can post to these Facebook Pages.

Something unique about Facebook Pages that Facebook Groups don’t have are Page Insights. The Page Insights allow the administrator of the Facebook Page to see what level of activity they are receiving over a period of time. This activity is also represented in graphical format. The graphical representation allows for a better understanding of how the audience is receiving the content the administrator is posting. These analytics are not offered to Facebook Group managers, mainly because Facebook Group insights are based on a small, selective group of people, rather than a larger, wide-scale audience.

How to Use Facebook Groups for Business

You can use your Facebook Groups and your influence on Facebook to promote your products and services. Facebook Groups can especially be helpful to position yourself, to find new customers, and to keep up-to-date with matters that concern your business or brand. If you join Facebook Groups relating to your niche, you’ll be able to use your platform as a way to support and market your business.

An advantage you could have by joining Facebook Groups is that you’ll get access to the conversations and discussions that are taking place there. These Facebook Group insights will help reveal opportunities where you can demonstrate your knowledge or expertise in areas relating to your business. Answering the questions and interacting with the Facebook Group users will help spread valuable resources, and give you a platform to communicate with your target audience. Additionally, you can also share a helpful blog post, or mention your own products and services.

Marketing through Facebook Groups can be very powerful because it’s highly targeted. People post questions which you can directly answer, increasing your credibility and becoming a useful resource for them for future references. If you tend to provide them solutions on a regular basis, you’ll be able to increase the trust in your brand and business. You can also use these searches and questions to gather FAQs and create original content for your target audience.

Forum and Facebook Group Tips:

Share expert knowledge about the topic. Help the people in the group. And when you do finally post your product make sure it’s relevant to the thread topic. Be so helpful to members of the community that they genuinely become excited about your products when you finally mention your brand. Aim for at least 1 to 2 months of value based communication in the group and forum before you start posting products. However, if you join a buy and sell Facebook group, you can start selling the same day. The audience of these groups is different and people expect to find products to sell on those types of groups.

Promote your products in Facebook buy and sell groups. Be sure to contact the admin and read group regulations before posting the products to avoid getting banned from the group. By following the guidelines of the group, you can work on promoting your products long-term which can help boost sales overtime rather than a one time boost.

Be picky about the type of group or forum you post in. If every post seems like spam and has no engagement, you likely won’t be able to generate a profit from the group. Focus your efforts on quality groups. How many members does the group have? Is post engagement high? What type of posts do they like the most? How can you incorporate your product into a post they’d like and engage with? These are just some of the questions you should consider before joining a group. You can also create a spreadsheet with the forums you’re active in to help you keep organized.

Start your own forum. You can add your own forum to your online store with apps like Muut. By hosting discussion on your website, you can build a community for your online store. You can allow customers to share product photos, ask product questions to other customers and nurture your customer relationships. As it’s hosted on your online store, you’ll have more control while being able to be transparent about issues. You can monetize your forum by having an Announcements or Sale section where you post the day’s discount codes, special offers and promotions. Also, by having your own forum you could even get organic traffic to your website for the search queries and optimized user generated content. This helps customers looking for a deal get access to it easily.

If you run a Facebook page, you can now link your Facebook group to your fan page. By linking your group to your fan page, you’ll increase the group’s visibility. The Facebook group allows you to build a community among your fan base where your customers and fans can ask questions and share ideas. You’ll still need to promote your group to grow its membership, but your customers are more likely to discover it if it’s linked to your page.

When selling via Facebook groups, make sure that your pictures are captivating. Use customer photos or Instagram friendly photos to show off your product’s best features. The picture is what’ll sell the product in these groups so avoid having a product on a plain white background.

When writing copy for your product post mention key details that’ll help sell the product. Is it new or used? How many do you have available? Use scarcity if possible. Mention the product price to avoid sticker shock. Add a link to the product page.

Don’t meet in person to sell your product. Many buy and sell groups allow people to sell their products in person. As an online retailer, you can tell those interested in buying your product that you only do online transactions, especially since you’re not carrying inventory. If you do need to sell in person, meet in a public place, avoid inviting people to your home to pick up or view the product.

Join multiple groups and forums. Your best chances of success will require that you spread yourself out online and become an active member of several groups. Aim for groups with big audiences and high engagement, instead of several small groups. The practice of being an active community member will take time, dedication and relationship building to increase your chances of monetizing your brand. You’ll need to be active by responding to messages once you start selling items.

You can hire a community manager or promote one of your most active members to admin. If you have a customer support rep who’s looking for more work, this is a simple task they can take on. This doesn’t need to be a full-time or even a paid gig. However, you’ll need someone to commit a few hours each week to build natural, authentic and ongoing conversation on your forum. He or she will also need to monitor the forums to ensure no one is violating the terms of service. They’ll also need to be equipped at converting a visitor into a customer when it makes sense.

Forum and Facebook Group for Business Tools:

Muut is Shopify app allows store owner to add an ecommerce forum to their online store that matches their branding. The ecommerce forum allows you to see who’s currently online, the latest comments, your feed of discussions that you’re part of and trending topics. It costs between $45 and $120. As such, you’ll likely want to use this forum if you have a high traffic store getting hundreds of thousands or millions of visits each month. This app works best when you have a constant flow of traffic to ensure high engagement on the pages. With this app, you can also allow customers to comment on product pages.  

Facebook group

Trello is a tool you can use to organize and track your forum activity. You can create boards for all the forums you’re active in. And add notes for each one depending on what the impact of each was. Did you get free traffic on your site for one of your posts? Did you convert a sale on your forum? Tracking it will allow you to understand what type of content performs best so you can improve your marketing strategy on the platform.

Facebook groups for business

Google Sheets can be used to keep your forum activity organized. You can create lists of forums and groups you’re active in. And update the lists to include how many posts you did per day/per week and the results of it.


Forum and Facebook Group for Business Resource:

Social Media Examiner’s 9 Ways to Use Facebook Groups for Business is a great blog post on how you can market your online store via Facebook groups. You’ll learn about where to post your products within Facebook groups, how to showcase your niche expertise and how to test the market before launching a new product.

The Ultimate Guide to Remarketing with Facebook and Google

An online store typically converts about 2% of its visitors. With retargeting, you could win back more of the 98%. Retargeting works because of a psychological principle known as ‘mere exposure effect’ which essentially means that the more a person is exposed to something, like your product or brand, the more comfortable they become with it. Thus, making it more likely that they’ll buy the product or from your brand. Using Facebook or Google ads, you can add a cookie or a piece of code to your online store.

This piece of code allows you to remarket to customers on Facebook if you add a Facebook pixel or on websites that use Google ads if you run Google ad campaigns. When a customer visits your website but doesn’t make a purchase, your ads will show up online provided that you pay for retargeting ads. Retargeting ads are highly effective performing 10x higher than display ads because they’re highly personalized.

Retargeting Example: The Bay runs retargeting ads on Google. When a customer adds a product to their cart, they’ll retarget them on various websites monetizing with Adsense. They’ll even show other relevant products from the same collection to help encourage the purchase. If an item is on sale, they’ll mention that the price has been lowered in the retargeting ad to win the sale.

Remarketing and Retargeting Tips:

Multi-product carousel ads can be very effective in a retargeting strategy. If a customer previously visited your store, you can show them the products they left in their cart. By showing them several products they already recognize, you’ll be more likely to attract customers with the product they’re most interested in.

Segment your audiences in the ad. This will vary depending on whether you advertise on Facebook or Google.  For example, a person who read your blog post but didn’t land on a product page has a different experience than a person who visited your product page. When a person visits a product page and adds the item to their cart but doesn’t complete checkout, you can retarget them showing the product they added to their cart. As they liked the item enough to add it to their cart, they’re more likely to purchase that specific product if retargeted.

You’ll want to limit overexposure on your ads. Nancy at Shoelace recommends, “I would suggest splitting up your audience by time frame to takes your visitors through a sequence of retargeting ad experiences after they leave your website. This gives your visitors engaging content to interact with and give another outlet to tell your brand story.Retargeter recommends showing about 17-20 ads per user per month.

When starting out, focus on retargeting add to carts first. Those who’ve added items to their cart are more likely to buy from you than those who didn’t even view a product. Since visitors don’t usually convert on the first visit, you’ll have a better chance of converting them the second time around.

Consider retargeting your blog traffic. If you’ve built up your blog around your niche, you’ll start to get free traffic from search and social media. While the user may be more interested in the blog content instead of browsing your store, if the lead is qualified they could become a customer. When retargeting them, show them your best selling product. When I tried this on my online store, I had a 9x ROI. See the blogging section in this ebook to know how I drove traffic to the page when my store was only 2 days old.

Give them a reason to buy the second time around. You could offer a discount code if you think they abandoned cart because of the product cost. Offering free shipping if the shipping rates for your store are high may help win back the customer. However, if you offer these type of deals add an element of urgency. For example, ‘Get 15% off. Offer expires within 24 hours.’

Retarget your store’s customers. You can upload your customers’ emails into Facebook and create a special retargeting list for those who’ve already purchased from your store. These ads work great for upselling products to your customer base, signing up for a loyalty program, or promoting your referral program. Since they’ve already purchased from you in the past, they’ll be more likely to buy from you again.

Add a burn pixel. A burn pixel stops showing a customer who ended up converting remarketing ads. Once a customer purchases from your store, you don’t want to keep retargeting them with the same ads, as it’ll waste your budget while lowering conversions.

Consider retargeting visitors for 180 days. You’ll want to show them different ads during this period until they convert. However, at least in my experience as a store owner, it’s the length that converts the best.

Remarketing Tools:

Retargeting on Autopilot by Shoelace is the most popular retargeting app on Shopify. They’re even one of Facebook’s Marketing Partners. If you’re struggling to create your own retargeting ads or want to outsource your retargeting ads, their experts are trained to deliver retargeting ads that convert. They can create ad sequences to better optimize your sales funnel to land the conversion. It even integrates with email marketing software by retargeting customers after an email is sent out. They’ve recently introduced product review ads that showcase your product reviews, a customer quote and your product to increase your conversions with social proof.


Kit can be used to automate retargeting campaigns. The app allows you to easily set up your Facebook campaigns and will run the ads for you on your behalf.Remarketing

Facebook Messenger Remarketing adds a ‘Send to Messenger’ checkbox on your product pages so that you can retarget customers via Facebook Messenger. If the customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t complete their purchase, they’ll be sent a message on Facebook Messenger. The messages are sent 30 minutes and 24 hours after cart abandonment.


Web Browser Push Notifications by FirePush allows you to remarket to your registered customers with push notifications. You can send timely push notifications when a customer abandons their cart to help recover lost sales. You can even include a special discount to customers to recover the abandoned cart. When a customer abandons their cart, three push notifications are sent with the app.


Remarketing Resources:

Case Study: How 100% Pure Spent $110k on Retargeting Ads with Shoelace to Make $1.8M in Sales looks at the effectiveness of retargeting visitors who ‘viewed a product.’ It mentions the funnel they used to generate nearly $2 million in sales. It also shows the difference in the type of content presented in the first couple of days and the end of the first week.

7 Retargeting Case Studies That’ll Boost Your Current Campaigns analyzes retargeting campaigns by Mazda, eBags, Bebe Store and more. Each section breaks down the key takeaways so you can apply the lessons to your own business.

Retargeting Influencers:

Retargeting Expert - Ellen DunneEllen Dunne, Kit’s leading retargeting expert shares, “Get your Facebook pixel placed and set yourself up to do retargeting campaigns on Facebook before you start running any kind of customer acquisition ads. This will get you more value out of that ad spend because each visitor will get added to your retargeting audience. Retargeting campaigns convert well and are cost-effective, because they re-engage shoppers who have already shown an interest in your store.”

Retargeting Expert- Nancy ThichNancy Thich a remarketing expert at Shoelace says, “…Retargeting is just one part of their marketing strategy. I always recommend merchants focus on their top of the funnel traffic and find the right target for their brand. This does take a bit of time to get right but this is really important. If you drive Batman fans to a Superman site, no matter how much retargeting you do, your return won’t be great. And don’t forget to take a look at your store as well. Top reason visitors drop off before making a purchase is because of shipping costs and because they’re “just browsing”. So I would definitely recommend installing a product review app to help with the decision making as well as showing total costs including shipping to avoid any surprises.

How to Make Money with Instagram Marketing

Instagram is the most important social network according to 32% of teenagers. With over 1 billion monthly users, mastering Instagram marketing can prove to be a powerhouse for your online business. About 26% of Instagram users make over $75,000 a year making it great for marketers. Instagram recently celebrated the milestone of 1 million advertisers. This number is expected to grow over time making now the best time to start advertising on the platform. About half of all Instagram users follow at least one brand on the platform while 60% of users have discovered new products through the app.

Instagram Example: Letterfolk, a letter board brand, runs a creative yet consistent Instagram account. Their Instagram account consists of letter boards with funny, inspiring or everyday slogans in different settings.

Whether it’s a letter board celebrating a child’s first day at school or engagement photos, their letter boards are shown off as people celebrate milestones. They show the versatility of the letter boards by showing them on bookcases, on walls, held in photographs, on desks and more.

It’s not just a piece of decor. It’s almost like the letterboards are an extension of life’s little and big moments.

Instagram marketing

Instagram Tips:

Post content like an influencer in your niche would. Influencers amass large audiences with stunning pictures of themselves or awesome pictures of products they love. If you pay close attention to how they place certain products on backdrops like marble countertops or how they pose with apparel, you’ll quickly realize that there’s a proven way to take pictures. There’s a certain aesthetic that does well on Pinterest. Niches all have different styles. Here are a few Instagram accounts to use as inspiration: Go Pro, Dynamite, Tous Jewelry, MVMT, and Tiffany & Co.

Analyze how brands Brands like Bauble Bar and Lavish Alice use their Instagram accounts to highlight their brand qualities and share product photos. The best brands often use a mix of items being used or worn and the product in a lifestyle shot. It’s not uncommon to see quotes, videos and other varieties of content to have a diverse selection of posts.

Lavish Alice, for example, includes their customers’ Instagram images on their product pages. This helps customers see other looks for the same outfit. By seeing different styles of how it’s worn, it provides context for how and where Lavish Alice’s products can be used, subtly communicating how you’ll feel when you’ll use it. It tells a story and helps prospective customers see real people enjoying their products improving social proof and trust. It proves to their potential customers that people not only love the product but they love it enough to share it on social media.

Instagram - Lavish Alice

Kelly Mindell’s Instagram account is vibrant with color, positivity and unique DIY inspiration. She promotes her products with quirky, one of a kind images that suit the product’s fun personality. She sells DIY products such as balloons, costume pieces, iron on patches and more. The vibrancy of her Instagram is consistent throughout her store’s website which you should consider doing for your own online store.

Instagram - Studio DIY


Keep your image quality high and consistent. Instagram is the platform for beautiful images. Include your product in lifestyle shots to build your brand. Avoid using pictures of your product on a plain white background because this doesn’t typically fit well with Instagram’s aesthetic. What’s the common theme of your Instagram pictures? You can post minimalist style images, vibrant and quirky images or black and white with a color pop for your product. Create an image branding guide to help you maintain a high level of consistency throughout your branding. In the guide, include the fonts you’ll use, color scheme, image style and more.

Work with influencers. Finding a profitable influencer is hard. This is because many accounts have fake followers so the audience pool is smaller than it seems. And big audiences by themselves aren’t enough. They need to convert their audience into buyers. Make sure you send influencers samples of your most popular products since it’s already proven to sell to increase your odds of conversion. You can use tools like Recliq to find the best Instagram influencers. These type of tools make it easier to find profitable influencers as you can leave reviews about your experience.

Reach out to influencers and offer them your product for free in exchange for a picture. This will help you build social proof on your own Instagram account. You can use their quality pictures for your ads, and access to their audience. Make sure you get a written agreement and build out your Instagram account with their pictures. If they ask for payment, simply move onto the next influencer. After contacting several influencers, you’re bound to find a few who are interested.

If you’re on a tight budget, convince Instagram influencers to be your affiliate. This will allow you to only pay them a percentage of each sale. You’ll need to offer a sizeable commission as the average influencer makes around $300 with each sponsored post.

Engage with people in your niche. Top brands all grew their accounts by liking, commenting and following relevant people within their niche. When starting out, you’ll likely need to spend a couple hours each day engaging with people on Instagram to build your following. Avoid using bots as it violates Instagram’s Terms of Service. Don’t forget to engage and respond to people who comment on your page.  

Encourage your customers in post-purchase communications, to use your hashtag and Instagram handle when posting their product pictures.  By building out your hashtag, you can have a great collection of customer photos which can be shown on your store’s website to show your potential customers.

Post Instagram Stories. You’ll want to be consistent with your posting of Instagram Stories to ensure that your brand always stays at the top of your customer’s minds. If you get your Instagram account verified, a cool feature is that you can link out to your store. For example, if you feature a product in your Instagram Story you can add the product link so that customers can buy the exact product.

Make sure you create a business account instead of a personal one. You can pull your store’s information from Facebook while also including shoppable links. In addition, you’ll get access to data insights for engagement on your page.

Aim to have at least 11 hashtags in your first comment when posting images on Instagram. I usually post between 25-30 hashtags though. The more hashtags you can add, without exceeding the limit, the greater number of people your post can potentially reach. Hashtags are one of the best ways to promote your content for free.

According to Latergramme, the best time to post is 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST and Wednesday tends to be the best day.

According to TrackMaven, the Mayfair filter gets the most engagement. No filter comes in second.

Instagram Tools:

Later is an Instagram scheduling tool. It optimizes your posts based on the best times to post for your specific audience. You can add multiple images to a single post. It features Linkin.bio which allows you to have a shoppable Instagram feed so you can drive more sales from Instagram. The tool even allows you to repost other pages’ content. Later has several other features and also works on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Instagram - Later

Shoppable Instagram Galleries allow store owners to create Instagram galleries on their website. When a customer clicks on the link in your bio, they can find the Instagram post with their favorite product. If there are several products such as several models wearing different pieces of clothing, each item on your store is tagged to a product page so customers can easily access the products they love. It allows for a seamless customer experience while also helping increase conversions by showcasing all the products in the image. It also helps remove the hassle of constantly changing the link in your bio with every new post.

Instagram - Shoppable Instagram Galleries

Repost is a great Instagram tool for those who want to repost other pages’ content. For example, if you sell dog products you might repost images of other dogs on your Instagram account to grow your followers. You can also repost images that are relevant to your branding. It helps you keep your page active without you having to take or upload your own pictures.

Hootsuite allows you to save your time by automating your social media posts. You can easily schedule posts on the platform for Instagram and other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It allows you to easily manage all of your social on one platform simplifying the process of posting on your accounts.

Instagram - Hootsuite

Power Editor is an advertising tool where you can manage and create Instagram and Facebook ads. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, you get access to powerful tools where you can narrow your targeting, zero in on your demographics, retarget customers on Instagram and more.

Instagram - Power Editor

Icono Square is an Instagram analytics tool and influencer sourcing tool. You can find relevant influencers within your niche to collaborate and promote your products. With IconoSquare’s analytics product, you can measure your follower growth, track how many followers you gain and lose each day, and understand where your customers come from for better marketing opportunities. You’ll also see which hashtags are getting you the most attention, the best times for publishing, and a seriously powerful media management tool. You can also schedule your Instagram posts and manage multiple accounts simultaneously.Instagram - IconoSquare

Boomerang is an Instagram tool where you can turn pictures into a loopable video. The piece loops so you can keep watching the same clip over again allowing you to create unique posts. You can find the app within Instagram’s Stories section.

  Instagram - Boomerang

Instagram Resources:

Oberlo’s How to Hack Instagram Marketing: 60 Instagram Tips You Should Know is where I share some of the best tactics on how to market on Instagram. This guide was made for beginners and shows the step by step way to use Instagram and market successfully on the platform. It’s one of the most in-depth Instagram articles you’ll find online.

Acceleration Partner’s 3 Ways Affiliates Can Monetize Their Instagram Channel dives into how you can ask your affiliates to monetize their Instagram accounts. You can use the strategies in this blog to reach out to Instagram influencers to become affiliates.

Photo Slurp’s Instagram Marketing Examples is a great resource for those looking for inspiration in the type of content they should be posting on their social media. You’ll see how ecommerce stores style their products, what type of posts they include and how to inject personality into your Instagram profile. You’ll see examples from top brands like Ipsy, Cluse, BeardBrand and more who all carve out their own unique personalities on their brand pages.

SelfStartr’s 15 Instagram Marketing Tips to Spread Your Ecommerce Brand Like Wildfire is a great blog post that covers every aspect of Instagram marketing from hashtags to maintaining a color scheme. The post is vibrant with images and infographics to educate you on Instagram’s popularity, how many hashtags your posts should include and more.

Neil Patel’s 4 Easy Ways to Generate eCommerce Sales from Instagram dives into how to make money with Instagram account. You’ll learn the exact types of posting you should be putting out to build an audience you can promote your brand to.

Oberlo’s How to Do Instagram Influencer Marketing educates users on which tools you should use to find influencers, how to market on Instagram, and how to get influencers to promote your brand. You’ll learn how to find quality influencers and how to build strong relationships with them.

Instagram Influencer:

Instagram Expert - Matt SmithMatt Smith, the Founder of Later, shares his advice for those looking to get started in influencer marketing. He says, “When you are looking for Instagram influencers to work with there is a few things that we’ve learned. First, the right audience matters more than the size of their following. For example, micro-influencers (with 5k-50k followers) may not have the massive following of some celebrity but are going to give you a much higher ROI because you can target influencers that are more focused on your ideal customers. Think quality of followers over quantity, the perfect influencer is someone whose followers largely represent your ideal customers.

Second, you want to make sure the influencer has a good relationship with their followers, if they are hawking some random product every other week their followers are less likely to trust their recommendations. Trust is the most powerful part of this relationship and if the influencer doesn’t have the trust of their followers, just keep moving.

Finally, you want that post they are going to share about your product or brand to be as authentic as possible. Do your best to give that influencer a top notch experience so they are more likely to post about you. If you can surprise micro-influencers with a custom gift or product, they will often post about it in return. This content is gold for your business because it’s authentic. You want influencers to be posting about your brand because they genuinely love your product, not just because it was free.”

Instagram HeleneHelene of Helene In Between shares, “My number one tip for anyone looking to grow is wind up on the explore page. The way to do that is by increasing your likes and comments. My suggestion for this is to write a caption that asks a question or begs to be given input. This way, people will engage and react whenever you post.


How to Create a YouTube Channel

YouTube is the second largest search engine. With one billion hours of videos on YouTube this is one of those marketing channels you wish you started using sooner. The average mobile user spends 40 minutes watching YouTube videos showing a high level of engagement. How to video searches keep climbing up. Creating tutorials is one of the most popular types of videos you can create.

While it can be hard to stand out on the platform, only 9% of American small businesses market their brand on the platform. You can give your brand a competitive advantage by marketing on YouTube. This can be done by creating how to videos, vlogs, interviews, webinars, screencast videos or product reviews. You can choose to monetize your channel with Youtube ads, links to your products or both. Product links can be added in the video description to drive potential customers to your online store.

Example: Luxy Hair, a Shopify merchant, grew quickly because of their YouTube channel which has over 3 million subscribers. Their channel features hair tutorials featuring their hair extensions without over-selling it. In their description section, they include a link back to their website so that people watching their video can buy their extensions easily. They create stunning YouTube thumbnails with beautiful hairstyles to encourage click through. Pay close attention to how they name each video. They don’t use clickbait headlines but use language that would still encourage people to watch to learn more.

The Steps to Create a YouTube Channel:

  1. Create a YouTube Channel: To have a YouTube account you will need a Google account. This is because YouTube is a Google company. If you have a Google account go to youtube.com and click “sign in” in the upper right-hand corner. This will lead you to the same Google sign-in page as your Gmail account.
  2. Upload a Profile Photo: Adding a profile picture helps people to find you on YouTube. If you are an influencer a high quality headshot will suffice but if you are a brand your logo or recent artwork is great to add as your profile and cover images.
    Oberlo YouTube Profile Pic
  3. Add Links for Traffic: Your YouTube channel can be a great source of traffic to your website so be sure to add links to your website and social media profiles so your customers can easily find as much information about you as possible.
  4. Optimize to be Found: Just like on your website, you can optimize your content on YouTube for search. This includes researching the right keywords to use and placing them in the title of the video, within the description and using tags to get found. Remember YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world so you need to make sure you optimize your videos as much as possible.
  5. Start Creating Great Videos: Then you need to create videos to grow your channel. In order to start creating videos you will need to research topics, choose the right format of videos for your audience, and post high quality videos consistently for your audience to interact with them.
    Create Consistent YouTube Videos
  6. Video SEO: Finally, once you have started to build some great content, make sure to optimize it for both YouTube and Google Search as both search engines can send lots of traffic to your channel.

Tips For How to Create a YouTube Channel:

Most successful YouTubers grew in popularity because they created content with other YouTube influencers. You will need to grow your following a bit before you can work with influencers. You’ll likely need to partner with people at the same level as you. If you have one thousand subscribers, you’ll want to partner with other YouTubers who have a thousand subscribers.  

Focus on creating valuable content that educates and entertains.You can add a link to your products, of course, but your content shouldn’t be a video sales pitch. If you’re selling makeup products, you could create makeup tutorials. If you sell hair extensions, you’ll likely create hair tutorials. Lootcrate often shares Theodore Tusk, a puppet, doing unboxing videos. Good Morning Mythical creates funny videos to build their audience while adding links in the description to their online store where they sell t-shirts, mugs and more.

When starting out, some choose to post a new video every single day. You’re competing with other channels who’ve been around for years. Building up a collection of high-quality videos will give you a better chance of being found on a saturated platform. As your channel grows, you can decrease from daily videos to weekly videos to ensure that the quality stays high. However, keep in mind that running your online store should be the focus so if you can only post once a week in the beginning that’s fine too. The goal should be on consistency such as posting every Wednesday. You should publish videos consistently without affecting the video quality.

Stay true to you. Avoid copying the style of other YouTube influencers. Focus on creating videos that play to your strengths. If you’re funny you could create funny videos about your niche. Dollar Shave Club regularly creates funny videos promoting their grooming products. They’re typically short, commercial length videos packed with a comedic punch. If you’re really experienced within your niche, you might want to educate your audience on things they might not know. House of Fraser has YouTube videos featuring makeup looks by beauty expert Charlotte Tilbury whose products they feature on their online store. You don’t always need to bring an expert into the video. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to be the expert.  Deliver video content in a way that works well with your brand’s or your personality.

Keep your videos short. On average, the most popular YouTube videos are around 4 minutes and 20 seconds. According to Wistia, videos around one to two minutes in length can hold 75% of viewers compared to a five minute video which only holds 60%.

Tell your viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel in every video. By getting people to subscribe to your channel, they’ll be notified every time you create a new video. This allows you to build your audience, remarket to former viewers and eventually sell more products.

Learn from other YouTube influencers. What do the most successful YouTubers have in common? Do they share a video length? Do they create videos in the same style? Does every top YouTubers’ video look a certain way? How do they communicate their ideas? What’s the difference between a channel with 10,000 subscribers and one million? You could find hints at how to succeed on YouTube by watching others’ videos.

Market your YouTube channel. Adding a YouTube link to your store isn’t gonna cut it. There are millions of videos on YouTube, making it hard to stand out on the platform if you don’t do your own marketing. If your videos provide value, eventually the audience you share it with will share it with their own followers. But you need to take the first step in your video’s promotion.

Alternatively, if you don’t have the time or resources to create your own YouTube channel you can sponsor YouTubers. By paying their fee, your products can be featured in a YouTube influencer’s video. The fees will range depending on the size and clout of the YouTuber. You can use platforms like Makrwatch and Peg to find YouTube influencers.

Optimize your YouTube content. YouTube is owned by Google so treating your channel the way you’d treat your store’s SEO strategy is a pretty safe bet. Add keywords to your video title. Write a unique video description. Tag your videos. Follow trends. Upload the video’s transcript. Link back to your online store. Use Canva to create attention grabbing YouTube thumbnails.

YouTube - Canva

Some store owners choose to turn the comments off on their videos. While it’s true that YouTube trolls can be harsh, the reality is people genuinely want to engage on YouTube. One of the most easily overlooked elements of Youtube is the vibrant and active community. Your business won’t fall apart because of a few bad comments. Find the truth in the negativity and use it to create better content for your audience.

Equipment to Create a YouTube Channel:

Every successful channel has their own great equipment that helps them create a world that subscribers love. When you are planning your YouTube content you should take some time to research possible video equipment that you may need. A few popular equipment categories that brands may need to create high-quality videos include:

  • Microphones: A shotgun microphone is the most commonly used microphone by vloggers and YouTubers. They can easily be mounted on any camera with a pop shield to create an even better sound. 
  • Lighting: LimoStudio, Diva Ring Light, and Stellar’s Ring Lights are the popular light choices for many video influencers.
  • Editing Software: When it comes to editing software, most YouTubers use Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro X which are easy to use and have great resources online to onboard you.

YouTube - Adobe Premiere Pro

How to Create a YouTube Channel Tools:

Channel Pages: If you’re looking to partner with relevant YouTuber influencers, you can post your opportunity in Channel Pages. This allows you to grow your channel quickly as partnering with relevant YouTubers can help increase your brand presence and number of subscribers. This YouTube tool also allows you to partner with brands for sponsorship. However, if you’re creating a YouTube channel to promote your store, you’ll want to make sure you partner with brands that complement your business, not compete with it.

YouTube - Channel Pages

YouTube Keyword Tool: You can use this tool to optimize your videos for keywords. You can choose the keywords you want to rank for, the language, and the country you’d like to rank for. You’ll end up with a list of relevant keywords that you can base your YouTube videos around. If you sign up for their pro account, you can view search volume, Cost-Per-Click (CPC), and Adwords competition. You’ll also get up to 2x more keywords.

YouTube - Keyword Tool

AudioJungle: You’ll likely want to add music during parts of your YouTube video such as an introduction, a transition or at the end of the video. You can buy royalty-free music on AudioJungle that allows you permission to use their music in your YouTube videos. You can easily sort through the best-sellers to find the best music for the video.

YouTube Audio Jungle

Social Blade: Social Blade offers you YouTube analytics. By typing in the channel name into the search box, you can view the analytics of any YouTuber. You can view your grade, subscriber rank, video view rank, whether views have gone up or down within the last thirty days, their estimated earnings, and more.

YouTube - Social Blade

YouTube Creator Hub: YouTube’s Creator Hub offers different levels of support based on the number of subscribers your channel has. Those with under 1K subscribers can learn from the Creator Academy and manage their channel with the creator studio. Those with between 1K-10K subscribers can join a Creator Day and learn from other creators. They can also attend meetup events. Those with over 100K subscribers earn an award, gain access to exclusive events and receive a partner manager.

YouTube Marketing

YouTube Resources:

YouTube Creator Services Directory is a directory where you can find experts who offer services like content strategy, monetization, and audience development. You can sort by Creator Type, Regions, and languages.

YouTube Creator Academy offers courses on topics like ‘Foundations of Success,’ ‘Earn Money on YouTube,’ and more. This resource is great for those just starting out to learn more about how to succeed on YouTube.

How to Start a YouTube Channel That People Want to Watch takes a look at what it takes to building a successful YouTube channel. From capitalizing on trends to putting in the work, this article covers all aspects that go into building a YouTube audience.

7 Ways to Leverage YouTube Marketing to Improve Sales takes a look at how to grow your YouTube channel. The article even includes ecommerce brands who’ve built YouTube followings that you can use as inspiration.

16 Easy Ways to Get More Views on YouTube gives you great ideas on how to grow your audience in the ever changing world of YouTube and video. These 16 tips to increase video views on YouTube can help your channel grow without you having to spend any money at all.

11 Powerful YouTube Analytics to Help You Grow Your Channel walks you through all the analytics reports that you need to plan your video strategy in the future. YouTube analytics is so important as it can show you the videos that people enjoy or don’t enjoy, and where the majority of your audience is so you can post videos when they are awake.

YouTube Influencers in Ecommerce:

YouTube Expert - Kevin Caron

Kevin Caron started his YouTube channel in 2006 growing it to over 51,000 subscribers. He shares, “Treat YouTube like social media because, well, it is. I spend time every day answering questions and responding to comments. That has helped me build community. Include a call to action at the end of each video. Viewers have just finished and are, if only for a moment, free to do something else. I want them to like my video, subscribe or visit my site, so I ask.  Be consistent when you upload new videos. I upload every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. MST People know this and the consistency has really helped keep viewers engaged.”

Michelle Phan started out as a beauty YouTuber. Her channel, which currently sits at over 8 million subscribers, eventually evolved into a business venture: ipsy. Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service that lets beauty lovers try out samples of different products that they may not have otherwise tried on their own. It’s no surprise that ipsy’s YouTube channel boasts over one million subscribers and is worth several hundred million dollars.

Mimi Ikonn built out her Luxy Hair brand by creating amazing hair tutorials. The channel boasts over 3 million subscribers. It’s the perfect example of how to build content around your brand without overselling your product. Throughout all their social platforms the content is built around beautiful hair and how to style yours like it. It’s no wonder their brand became such a huge success.

Fastest Growing YouTube Channels:

You might be looking to grow your channel fast through organic means. This means really understanding your target audience and tailoring your content exactly for them. Below we highlight four fast growing channel, outlining how they pinpointed what their audience truly wanted. You can use their success as your brand’s YouTube benchmark for growth.


PewDiePie subscribersPewDiePie, or Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, has 101 million subscribers and makes mainly video games videos. PewDiePie uses his humor to win the attention of many different demographics who really enjoy the games he plays. He has been the top subscribed channel for many years by creating consistent humorous content.

Niki and Gabi

Niki and Gabi SubscribersNiki and Gabi are 21 year old twins, that vlog about their unique life experiences among other things including makeup, songs and fashion. With 8.9 million subscribers they are taking over the world using their diverse personalities. Identifying that their unique experiences could entice their audience they have corner a market that is hard to replicate.

Alissa Violet

Alissa Violet SubscribersAs a 20 something year old living in LA, Alissa Violet is a model who shares her life experiences with her 3.9 million subscribers. Starting out on vine, Alissa moved to YouTube as it was a better fit for her content. She immediately became a hit through her outspoken and unparalleled personality. She is known for the hit saying: Can I get a HOOYAH!

5 Minute Crafts

5 Minute Crafts Subscribers5-Minute Crafts is a DIY channel that creates videos around different topics like survival skills, life hacks, and magic. With 60 millions subscribers and around 10 other YouTube channels to maintain this amazing company helps people around the world be their better selves.

How to Crush It on Google AdWords

Google Adwords is advertising network that allows business owners to buy ads on Google search results pages, YouTube videos, and partner websites.

For ecommerce business owners, there’s two AdWords placements you should focus on first: search and Google Shopping.

Search, allows business owners to place ads on search result pages. For example, if you’re a retailer selling running shoes, you can have your text ad appear as a search result at the top of the page whenever a customer searches “buy running shoes”.

As an advertiser, you choose which keywords you want to bid on, what you want your ad to say, and how much you want to spend. What this means for you as a store owner is that you can target and show ads to people showing high intention. Someone searching “buy running shoes” is much more qualified and closer to making a purchase decision than simply targeting someone with an interest in running or running shoes.

Google AdWords allows you to insert your brand and products right in the middle of a customer’s buying journey, and right before they decide where they buy and what they will buy.

Google Shopping is similar to search, in that you bid on keywords, but instead of appearing in a search as a text ad, your ad appears as a product listing. Product listing ads usually appear along the top and in the upper right hand side of a search results page.

They also appear under the “shopping” tab within Google. Unlike search, Google determines when your ad shows up and for what keywords, depending on your product, site and bids. You can tell Google which keywords to remove your product listing from, once your products begin to appear in Google Shopping searches. To set up, you provide Google a product feed through the Google Merchant Center and then create the Google Shopping ad in AdWords.

Google Adwords Example: Reitmans is an example of a brand who markets their products on Google Shopping. Customers may stumble onto the brands products by searching keywords like ‘dresses.’ If they like the style of products they can search for products for the specific brand. Google Shopping acts as a discovery platform for customers searching for specific products. Thus, giving brands like Reitmans with countless products under their brand name more visibility. The only downside to Reitmans Google Shopping ads is that some products don’t show product images which could lower the effectiveness of the ad, especially considering how important it is for customers to see clothing before they buy it.

Google Adwords Tips:

Start small: Before deciding on a bunch of keywords to target, start with the lower competition and long tail keywords. These keywords are usually more specific and have a smaller search volume. However, this means you’re more likely to show up for these searches and spend less while doing it. Starting small also means testing. Begin by testing a few keywords and slowly scale your budget and number of keywords you’re targeting, once you begin seeing some traction.

Your brand name: If you find your customers are searching for your store and brand name on Google, you want to ensure you’re bidding on your brand name. Branded keywords usually convert very well and it ensures you’re the first result every time a customer is looking for your store or more information about your brand.

Use Ad Extensions for search: If you’re bidding on keywords for search, use AdWords’ Ad Extensions, which help your ads stand out more as well as provide the customer more information. Ad Extensions such as adding a callout, price, reviews, location and phone number can help with your click-through rate on your ad.

Use negative keywords: Negative keywords tell Google which keywords you don’t want your ads to appear on. Why would you do this? For a few reasons. The first is to prevent your ad from showing on a keyword that simply isn’t profitable. If you’re finding your ad is appearing frequently for a keyword but it is not bringing in any sales, you may want to add that keyword to your negative keywords list to improve your return on investment. Secondly, you might appear for a search that’s actually irrelevant to your product. If I’m selling sunglasses and my ad is showing for the search “drinking glasses” I probably don’t want to appear in that search since I’m not selling that kind of glasses.

Optimize your landing page: Depending on the keywords you’re bidding on, you may want to first create unique and contextual landing pages for each keyword. This helps ensure that the landing page is congruent with the ad. Next, you’ll want to optimize the landing page by constantly testing different copy, images, and placement of elements while your campaign is ongoing. If your ad has a high click-through but low conversions, the landing page might need to be improved.

Track everything: Imagine running a Google AdWords campaign alongside other different marketing strategies you’re testing, getting sales, and not knowing with 100% certainty if they’re coming from Google AdWords or somewhere else. The great thing about Google AdWords is that when a sale comes from one of your ads, you’re able to attribute it to Google AdWords using Google’s conversion tracking tag. Setting the tag up in your store is very straightforward and it allows you to measure the effectiveness of your ads, as well as your return on ad spending.

Google Adwords Tools:

Google Shopping is where you can find apps that sync your store’s products with Google Merchant Center. You can easily list your products on Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads in only a few clicks.

Google AdWords is where you can create Google Ads. This tool includes a number of powerful features such as Keyword Planner, Adwords Editor and more.  

Clever Ecommerce allows you to launch all of your products onto Google ads in only a few clicks. This tool helps you better optimize your ads and simplify Google marketing. You can even use this app to create remarketing campaigns.

SEMrush is a tool that analyzes a large scope of pre-click data for your Pay-Per Click ad campaigns: Discover the right keywords, find your competitors’ examples of search and display ads, and analyze the most popular ads within your store’s niche.


Google Adwords Resources:

The Ultimate Guide to Google Shopping is an ebook that covers what Google Shopping is, how it works, how to set it up and more.

Guide to Google Keyword Planner for SEO runs through the fundamentals of using the Keyword Planner tool to help you find the best keywords for your ad campaigns and SEO strategy.

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Opportunities in Adwords educates you on the basics of Adwords from breaking down the terminology to showing hacks for various features.

Google Ads Experts:

Bob Herman, co-founder and president of IT Tropolis, shares, “Adwords advertisers should utilize Google’s Audiences feature to upload and target a list of previous customers. Targeting previous customers will result in a lower cost per acquisition (CPA).”



Selling on Pinterest: How to Master Pinterest Advertising and More

With over 300 million monthly active users, Pinterest proves to be a great place to market your brand. Pinterest has 2 billion monthly idea searches showcasing how much of a powerhouse the platform is. A sweeping majority of active pinners have planned (93%) and made (83%) purchases because of Pinterest. Product pins are quite popular on Pinterest, with users pinning about 2 million product pins each day.

The best part about Pinterest is that 83% of people would rather follow their favorite brands instead of celebrities on Pinterest. It’s the second highest source of referral traffic (5%) for Shopify store owners. For social media marketers, it’s a paradise. 

Selling on Pinterest Example: Forever 21 is one of the most popular brands on Pinterest. With over 450,000 followers, the brand surely understands how Pinterest works. Forever 21 has boards for all the types of products they sell from activewear to home. Each board includes a main image that has the category name written on it such as ‘swim.’

Each board includes hundreds or thousands of products. The high volume of pins in each board makes it more likely that someone will follow it, find it and enjoy browsing through it. They even include a board for things they don’t sell like food which also helps improve their chances of being found on Pinterest since food and recipes are really popular. Their pins include keywords like ‘chiffon fabric’ and ‘short sleeves’ to optimize for Pinterest’s search.

Pinterest - Forever 21

Pinterest Marketing: What is Pinterest?

Pinterest can best be described as an online pinboard, that’s used for collecting visual pieces of multimedia, mostly images. It’s like a virtual board where you can find and curate images and videos. What makes Pinterest different from other social networks is that the intent here is the discovery of other people’s content, and not particularly storing your own.

Pinterest is full of inspiring, actionable ideas that come from all over the web. People can add anything they like from any website using the browser extension and the save button. Once you add a pin, other people will be able to see the pins you added in their home feed and search results. Pinterest isn’t just limited to people though. It’s very common to see businesses with a Pinterest marketing strategy. Businesses can create their own pins, which can help them to highlight products, to build brand awareness, and to increase sales. What’s more is that, businesses can also create boards, which can then be organised by product category, interest, or any other seasonal topics that relate to the business.

If you take a look at Pinterest’s gender demographics, it’s quite clear that Pinterest is more popular among women than men. Even though more than 50% of the new signups on Pinterest are men, 66% of current users are women, between the age group of 25-54. The best time to post on Pinterest can be related to the user habits of mothers, who tend to use Pinterest actively in the evening, or later at night. It’s much more popular over the weekend and during after work hours.

Best time to post on Pinterest

What is Pinterest Used for?

So, what is Pinterest used for? Mostly, people are using Pinterest to find and save new ideas. These ideas could range from new recipes, some interior decoration tips, fashion inspiration, or anything else you’d like to save. Each individual “pin” represents an idea that you’ve stored (in multimedia form), a description, and a link that directs back to the image’s online source. By clicking on the pin’s URL, you can find more information about the idea and the source.

Different people use Pinterest differently. Some use it to search for things that they’re interested in, some to browse their home feeds to find new ideas, and some to get inspiration from other people’s feeds. It’s simple, when people like what they see, they save the pin to their own boards, or click on the the URL to learn more, or to shop.

But how more can small businesses use Pinterest? Small businesses can use Pinterest marketing to popularise their products and grow their consumer base. Pinterest being a highly visual based medium, gives businesses a chance to engage with their consumers by sharing images and videos. If you’re a small business, or an unfamiliar brand, Pinterest marketing can help generate or improve your online presence. If you join Pinterest as a business and work toward generating a Pinterest marketing strategy, you’ll be able to set metrics to see what content from your website is most popular on Pinterest. You’ll get to know more about your customer base, and about the people that are engaging with you and your brand. All the visual content that Pinterest supplies can surely help generate ideas for your marketing strategy or to understand marketing trends. Interestingly, you can even get Pinterest marketing, or Pinterest advertising tips from Pinterest itself. So, feel free to go through the visual content and brainstorm ideas that inspire you.

At the end of the day, Pinterest, along with other social media channels help to create brand awareness. This can possibly lead to an increase in leads, and better engagement with customer base.

Pinterest Marketing: Pinterest for Business Tips

Use buyable pins. Buyable pins allow Pinterest app users to buy products on their mobile device. This allows you to sell on Pinterest for free. Users will be able to buy products from your Pinterest page without having to visit your website. Pinterest doesn’t take a percentage of the sale but you’ll still need to process your order and handle customer service like you would from any of your customers. You can use the Shopify app featured in the tools section to easily create buyable pins.

Use rich product pins. They help make your pins shoppable by including real-time pricing and stock availability. You’re also more likely to be found via rich product pins because you’ll be added to Pinterest’s own curated feeds. Rich pins ensure that users have the most updated information about your product when they see your pin.

As a store owner, you can promote your pins. By advertising on Pinterest, you can increase your pins’ visibility and get more repins, clicks and purchases. You can use Pinterest’s ad platform to improve your brand awareness, increase traffic, engagement and sales. You’ll want to promote your best performing pins or products to better your odds of getting the kind of engagement and sales you desire.

Make your pins tall. If pinning on Pinterest you’ll want to make sure your images are vertical rather than square or horizontal. If you’re pinning a blog post, you likely need to create a vertical graphic and add it as an image in the post to be able to pin it. The best Pinterest image size is 600 px by 900 px. However, you can make it longer to increase your image’s visibility.

Pin the product page. The worst thing for a Pinterest user is to find a product they love only to not be able to find it when they click the link. If you remove the product from your store, remove it from your Pinterest account. If you’re pinning a blog post and include products on it, make sure to add the product link clearly in the beginning to make it easy for your customers. Once you’ve pinned products to your boards, test them to make sure the product links work and are easy to navigate.

Incentivize pinners to buy your products with a discount code. While Pinterest advertising can be a big source of traffic it doesn’t always convert well. Having a discount code can help encourage customers to take the leap and make the purchase. You can do this by having a pop-up discount code or an exit-intent one. Keep in mind that many users may be visiting from mobile so you’ll want to minimize the number of popups and slider apps you use.

Create boards that aren’t directly related to your products. If you only pin your products, you might miss out on the ability to grow your Pinterest page. Create boards that complement your products. For example, if you sell wedding dresses, you could create boards around wedding photography. The wedding photography board won’t drive sales for you. However, it may help you land new followers for your wedding dress store. Lifestyle posts work really well for many fashion retailers.

Optimize your Pinterest pins and boards. Make sure you include researched keywords in your descriptions and boards. Use keywords people would search for such as ‘dresses 2018’ instead of ‘girly things’ which users may not search for to find a dress. You’ll also want to have a business account so you can add your verified link.

Regularly update your content on Pinterest. While Pinterest can seem like a set it and forget it platform – it isn’t. Treat it the way you would Facebook with constant and regular active. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. You’ll want to remove old pins with broken links and add new products. You’ll want to add pins to every board you create on at least a weekly basis.

The most popular Pinterest categories are food, DIY, home decor, women’s fashion, quotes, fitness, humor, travel, technology and hair/beauty. If your store isn’t in one of these categories you’ll want to find a way to incorporate these categories into your Pinterest page as long as it’s complementary to your brand.

Add some text to your images. Whether you add the board name for your board’s main image or text for a quote or infographic, it can help capture attention. While a picture can tell a thousand words, sometimes the constant flow of images can cause users to scroll past your image. However, if you have one word on an image it can help stop a scroller for a second to take a look.

Comment on users’ pins. Like other social media platforms, you’ll need to be social. When leaving a comment make sure to add value. Don’t tell people to follow you back. Or to buy your products. Focus on talking about the pin itself. Did someone post a cool infographic with interesting statistics? Talk about it. Did someone share a really cool top you love? Let them know you think they have great taste in fashion.

Make sure your boards share a unified style. For example, having one board for all the products on your store is difficult to navigate and won’t perform as well as a board for specific product categories. If you have a board called ‘dogs’ no one wants to see a cat picture in it. Stay true to the board name.

Browse your Pinterest analytics. You’ll see how many impressions you’ve received, how many unique visitors, your top pins from the last 30 days, and more. By knowing what your best pins are, you’ll be better able to understand why some pins perform better than others so you could create pin better products and content for the platform. It’ll help you understand your audience and followers better. If you notice that people are constantly pinning a certain style of product, it’ll allow you to add more of those type of products to your store so you can increase your sales.

Use zoomed in images. According to Track Maven, a close up of lips is more effective than showing a person’s entire face. If you’re selling beauty products, showcasing the specific lip color zoomed in allows Pinterest users to see the color detail better which may increase conversions. Top brands tend to pin zoomed in pictures that don’t show the picture in its entirety. For example, instead of showing an entire plate of food, you show ¾ of the plate. Nordstrom did this on 90% of their pins and they have over 4 million followers.

Pinterest Marketing Tools:

Better Coupon Box is an app that allows you to grow your social media followers for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and build your email list. The app works by offering a special discount code to customers in exchange for the social media follow. By increasing your social following, you’ll have more chances to remarket to those customers in the future while also potentially landing a sale with the discount code offer.

Pinterest - Better Coupon Box Beeketing

Outfy is a great app for automating your social media posting. When you add a product to your store it automatically gets pushed out onto your social media pages such as Pinterest. If you’ve got great lifestyle images, this can work well for you. You may need to make some small edits to your descriptions to ensure that it’s optimized for click through.

Pinterest - Outfy

Canva can be used to create Pinterest images. You can choose to use their templates made specifically for the Pinterest platform. This is a great tool for those looking to create designs quickly that look professional.

Pinterest - Canva

Pinterest Marketing Strategy Resources:

Pinterest Success Stories is a great resource where you can learn from the success of brands who’ve successfully grown because of Pinterest. You’ll learn what they did to increase their sales through promoted pins, product rich pins, and more.

Top 10 Brands on Pinterest by Social Media Delivered has a list of 10 popular brands on Pinterest you can learn from and model your Pinterest account after. You’ll learn what it takes to have millions of followers by studying these brands.

How to Master Twitter Marketing

With 330 million monthly active users, Twitter marketing is essential for promoting your ecommerce store. On average, Twitter users follow at least five brands on the social network. What’s even more impressive, is that 37% will buy from the brands they follow. Four out of every five Twitter users have mentioned a brand in their tweets. Thus, showing that Twitter users aren’t brand averse. The platform itself allows strong two way communication between users and brands. Over half of all Twitter users have taken action such as visiting a website after seeing a brand being mentioned in a tweet. The average brand responds to a customer inquiry on Twitter within an 1 hour and 24 minutes.

Twitter Example: ASOS is an online retailer who crushes it on Twitter. They share a variety of posts ranging from pictures of their clothing to promotions. Their brand has two other Twitter accounts due to their extreme popularity. ASOS Here to Help is their customer centric focused account where they respond to customer inquiries. They’ll recommend other great products if a product is sold out. They respond in different languages. Customer photos get retweeted on the account. Negative customer comments receive a calm and carefully thought out response. They also have a Twitter account specifically for menswear.

Twitter - ASOS

Twitter Tips:

Many brands use social media as a way to offer better customer support. It allows them to respond to customers in real-time. Getting a hold of a brand via email can sometimes take up to 48 hours. However, on social media, the response time is usually much faster. Customers will tweet at your brand and you’ll receive a notification on your phone that allows you to respond immediately. There’s a 19% lift in customer satisfaction from customers when brands have an active Twitter account. You’ll meet your customers’ needs if you respond to their tweets within the hour.

When my store was only a day old, I was desperate to grow my sales. I wrote quote articles that focused on a specific niche influencer. I then shared the article on Twitter tagging the influencer. Not only did they share the content but I drove free qualified traffic to my website. I had a Facebook retargeting ad running which allowed me to monetize my Twitter traffic, on day two, on a tiny new store budget.

Write short posts so you can include a few hashtags. Hashtags are the best way to be found on Twitter – and they work. As your social following starts growing, you’ll start getting new followers and customers by using hashtags. Use a tool like Hashtagify to find the best hashtags each time you post. If writing blog content, share it on Twitter. If you mentioned influencers in the article, tag them in the tweet. If they’re a mid-sized influencer, you’ll have a chance of getting retweeted.

Retweet positive tweets and customer photos. When a tweet is negative, respond to it calmly and respectfully. An angry customer can become a loyal one if you listen and meet their needs. It’s not game over after one complaint.

Post lifestyle photos on your account. Pictures of your product on a white background likely won’t perform well. However, lifestyle shots of your product can. If a customer posts a product photo on Instagram, share it on Twitter. Let it be seen on all your social platforms. When tweeting the customer photo, tag the customer and add a link to the product page. Without the link customers won’t be able to easily buy it. Find products by browsing hashtags. For example, if someone is looking for recommendations on where to buy a dress for a party, you can reach out to them and recommend your store if you sell dresses. You can use hashtags such as #needadress or #recommendationsneeded to find people who are looking for advice, a product or a tool. Since users are asking for recommendations, they’ll likely value your suggestions.

Your Twitter profile should have a mix of product posts and value driven posts. Having between 20-25% of product posts and 75-80% of content, engagement or value driven posts is likely the best way to build up your page. Keep in mind that this 75-80% does include you responding to customer inquiries and engaging with customers.

Make your Twitter profile presentable. Have a profile picture whether it’s a logo, a picture of yourself or a lifestyle shot. You’ll also want to have your bio and link included. Make it easy to understand what your business does by reading your bio. For example, ‘We sell the latest trends in fashion’ or ‘We sell the cutest dog accessories around.’ Your username should be reflective of your brand name. Keep in mind that usernames need to be short.

While this isn’t ecommerce specific, it very well could be. A Twitter user created several viral posts by showing off her newly done nails in a weird way. She posed her nails with food and weird products. When her nails were painted pink, she showed it off by holding a piece of ham. When her nails were bright orange, she paired showed it off while carrying orange scissors. Her nail color matched the products she posed with. Most people don’t typically show off newly manicured nails this way which is what made these posts so viral. How can you show off your product in a non traditional way to grab attention? Experiment. Try pairing your products in unusual settings or with unusual products.

How to Get Twitter Followers

There’s no doubt about the power of Twitter and the impact it can have on your business. It can help you generate leads, increase your brand awareness, and build connections with your customers and users. But before you get to reap the benefits, you need to make sure you have Twitter followers, or that you’re taking steps to increase your Twitter following.

If we’re looking at the account with the highest Twitter followers, Katy Perry takes the lead with 109 million followers. That’s a huge following. The account with the second highest Twitter followers belongs to Justin Bieber with 106 million followers, and the next in place is Barack Obama with 103 million Twitter followers. Given that all these people are world famous, it can obviously be hard to reach such numbers, but you can still take some steps that will increase your Twitter followers, and help your account and brand grow as a result.

All strategies to increase your Twitter followers can broadly be categorised into the following:

1. Making sure that the content you’re tweeting is not only interesting but is also informative and valuable for your Twitter followers This way you’ll have higher chances to get your content retweeted and shared.

2. Follow for follow strategy. This is when you follow others so that they can follow you back on Twitter.

3. Making sure your tweeted content gets seen.

4. Promoting your Twitter account. If you’ve got a blog, don’t forget to place the logo of your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on your blog.

If you want to look deeper into how to get Twitter followers, check it out here and learn new ways to increase your Twitter followers.

Twitter Marketing Tools:

Manage Flitter is a tool that provides you features such as being able to sort your twitter followers, find quality new twitter followers, discover when your twitter followers are online, know who has unfollowed you, manage multiple Twitter accounts and more.

Twitter - Manage Flitter

TUNS is a Twitter tool where you’ll receive notifications every time someone unfollows your brand. This allows you to resolve issues with customers if they unfollowed after you spoke with them. By knowing who unfollowed your brand, you may start to notice patterns and analyze your twitter followers better. Maybe you get unfollowed after tweeting too much or for posting a bad tweet. Once you know the reason why your twitter followers are leaving, you’ll be able to work around those ways and figure out better ways to increase your twitter followers.

Hashtagify allows you to find the best hashtags. You can enter a keyword or niche and you’ll be provided a list of relevant hashtags you can use in your post. You can also find the top influencers for those hashtags, the most common hashtags for specific keywords, and more. You’ll also see what the most common languages are for the hashtag usage which could give some insight into locations to target in your marketing.

Twitter - Hashtagify

RiteTag gives you immediate feedback on whether or not that’s the best hashtag to use right now. It’ll inform you if too many users are using that hashtag right now which would lower visibility, whether a hashtag is good for being seen over time or if it’s too unpopular. It’ll even tell you when there are new trending hashtags that are relevant for your post.

Buffer can be used for scheduling your Twitter posts and viewing analytics. You can add up to 10 posts at a time for free. After your Twitter post has been added, you’ll be able to see how many clicks it had and other engagement such as retweets. It’ll even tell you what your top posts are. Once you know this, it’ll help you understand what your twitter followers like and want, and how to get more twitter followers. 

Twitter Marketing Resources:

Hubspot’s 10 of the Best Brands on Twitter will help you understand what a successful Twitter account looks like. By knowing what the best of the best are doing on Twitter you’ll be better able to manage your account successfully.

Shopify’s The Small Business Blueprint to Marketing on Twitter is a free ebook that details how to create your Twitter account, how to build your Twitter audience, how to advertise and sell on Twitter and more.

How to Make Money with Snapchat Marketing

Snapchat has been growing in popularity making it a great channel for marketers. The app has approximately 203 million daily active users proving that the platform has a worthwhile audience. While many marketers have shied away from Snapchat in the past, approximately 70% of millennials are on the platform making it a great app to reach that demographic. Snapchat users under 25 tend to be highly active users of the platform, logging on over 18 times a day and spending more than half an hour daily doing so. What’s more is that Snapchat ads are viewed up to a million times per day. Recently, Snapchat advertising  options have been expanded for brands, and there are now options available to make purchases through the app.

Snapchat statistics

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is one of the most popular popular social media platforms. It is both an Android and iOS app. The app is based on the concept that any pictures, videos, or messages you send or receive are available for a short time period. After this period, they disappear and are no longer accessible to view.  

Snapchat grew in popularity because of it’s unique selling proposition: the content posted on the platform disappears after someone watches it. The platform also popularized watching videos vertically instead of turning your phone around to watch it.

Snapchat Stories has several unique and fun features such as Lenses which are essentially face filters. They also have geofilters where you can tag your videos and pictures based on your location. If you’re hosting an event, you can create a custom geofilter that people can use to tell their friends about where they are.

When it comes to Snapchat marketing, brands can also do Snapchat takeovers. This is when either an influencer takes over your Snapchat account or when you takeover theirs. For example, if an influencer takes over your account they’ll be posting content on it as if it was their own account. You can set guidelines that they need to follow. However, these are usually successful as the influencer usually tells their audience to check out your Snapchat as they’ll be on that account for the day.

Example: Chubbies Shorts is a great example of how to run your Snapchat account as an ecommerce retailer. They regularly post funny Snapchat videos that feature their shorts without overselling them. There’s no ‘buy our shorts’ sales pitches. They’ve chosen a soft marketing approach instead. Their shorts tend to stand out in their videos because of how they’re used. For example, in one Snapchat Story, a man is wearing American flag shorts with a formal black blazer, white dress shirt and tie. Naturally, it captures attention.

Why Should I Use Snapchat?

Snapchat was initially all about sending pictures or videos privately, in a person-to-person channel. These snaps would last for a few seconds, after which they would be gone forever. But now you can use Snapchat for a range of different tasks, including instant messaging, live video chatting, creating avatars, and also for sharing photos and videos with a story mode that can be seen by all your followers. Snapchat has also recently introduced a feature called “memories”, which allows you to save your snaps and stories to a private area accessible to you. Other features include the ability to send money through an integration with Square Cash, create stickers that are city-specific, add filters and AR-based lenses to snaps, and showing your live location on a world map.  

Snapchat Tips

Snapchat is a great platform to tell stories about your brand. It’s all about your Snapchat marketing strategy.  The best performing Snapchat accounts tend to have funny comedy sketches and are light hearted and playful. While you can incorporate your products, it should be more about the brand story than the product one. How can you incorporate your products into a story. For example, with Chubbies Shorts, they created the story of everyday life with a funny twist. The shorts were almost like a background character – always present but never mentioned. You’ll want to make sure you have a good content mix to ensure there’s diversity in your content

Share your Stories on YouTube. Not as original content but as a short compilation video of your best Stories. This allows you to reach another audience who may not be on Snapchat, and drive new people to follow you on the account and buy from your store. For those struggling to build up their Snapchat following, this is probably one of the most effective ways to do this.

Add art to your Snaps. For Halloween, Sour Patch Kids doodled costumes onto their candy. They asked people to screenshot their favorite costume. With screenshots, Sour Patch Kids is able to measure the level of engagement on their account. Shonduras is another example of a user who added art to their Snaps. When on a trip to Disney, he doodled pictures of Disney characters onto his Snaps. You can also add emojis to your Snaps. If you’re looking for the meanings of Snapchat emojis, check them out here.

Experiment. When it comes to Snapchat marketing, there are so many ways you can experiment with your Snaps and Stories. By presenting your product in different ways when starting out, you’ll find which way resonates with your audience. Maybe funny videos work great for your brand. Or a daily mini vlog to educate your users. You can play around with emojis and drawings to determine the best way to capture your audience’s’ attention.

Let someone take over your account. If you have access to a popular Snapchat influencer, giving them access to use your Snapchat account for the day could do wonders for your Snapchat marketing strategy. They can promote your brand on their account and direct people to yours. With a takeover, the influencer has access to use your Snapchat as their own. Work with them to create the most effective way for a takeover. You can have them wearing your products while showing their day in the life or get them to create some fun content for your brand. If they’ve built a successful following, trust that they know what their doing. While you can have some recommendations, you should also have confidence that they can manage your account well. You can also takeover Snapchat influencers’ accounts as well. Be sure to plan this out well in advance if you have a special event, sale or new product you’re launching.

Track your Snaps. Check to see how many people opened your Snap, took a screenshot, left a reply, and the number of times your geofilter was used. You should also save your Snaps to determine which types of content were most effective. By using the data, you can improve your Snapchat marketing strategy to continue creating better content.

Snapchat Advertising Costs 

If you’re looking to advertise on Snapchat, here’s a breakdown of Snapchat advertising costs at each level of their ad platform.

Snap Ads

The recent offering from Snapchat includes Snap Ads. These are mobile video ads that can be best explained as 3-10 second full-screen vertical video ads. Snapchat users can swipe up while the ad is playing in order to watch a longer video, to read an article, to get redirected to a website, or to install an app. These Snap Ads pop up between friends’ stories, between Snapchat’s stories or publishers’ stories. The interesting part is that the swipe-up rate for Snap Ads is 5X higher than that of the average click-through rate for ads on other comparable social platforms.

A popular success story of Snap Ads, that Snapchat itself published, is that of Now 61. Now That’s What I Call Music! relied on Snap Ads to promote its 61st edition of the Now! series. With their Snap Ads campaign they reached a shocking number of 3 million people.

The Snapchat advertising costs for Snap Ads start at around $3,000 per month in ad spend, which doesn’t include the agency fee, or the cost to create the creative that you would run as the ad.

Sponsored Lenses

Snapchat is known for its lenses and face filters. With the introduction of Sponsored Lenses users can play around with the filters and interact with the ad.

The most popular Sponsored Lenses till now was that of Taco Bell, which they created for Cinco de Mayo. This Snapchat advertising decision worked out in their favour and they received a shocking amount of over 224 million views. The average user played with the filter for around 24-seconds before they shared it with their friends. It was also named the top campaign in the app’s entire history (till now).

Their Snapchat advertising costs are estimated to be around $750,000 for the filter that lasted 24 hours. Other popular brands that have used sponsored lenses famously include L’Oreal, Budweiser, Fox TV, Malibu Rum, Michael Kors, Gatorade, and many more.

The Snapchat advertising costs for Sponsored Lenses vary from day to day.
Sunday – Thursday: $450,000 per day
Friday and Saturday: $500,000 per day
holidays and special events: $700,000

Nationwide Sponsored Geofilter

Another new offering from Snapchat includes Nationwide Sponsored Geofilters. McDonald’s had the first one that focused on their well-known tagline ‘I’m Lovin’ It’. The main purpose of these Sponsored Geofilters was to allow brands to communicate with their local Snapchat users directly, while not having to focus on the ‘where and when’ of their users.

The Snapchat advertising costs for Nationwide Sponsored Geofilters is currently not known but it is estimated to be about one-fifth of the cost of Sponsored Lenses.

Snapchat Discover

When it comes to Snapchat advertising costs, the Snapchat Discover ads are the most expensive offering. They’re usually reserved for publishers or big brands like Lionsgate and MTV.

Snapchat also recently revealed that Cosmo, which is one of their leading publishers, gets several million views per day from their Snapchat Discover feed.

The Snapchat advertising costs for Snapchat Discover start at $50,000 per day.

Snapchat Marketing Tools:

Snapchat On Demand: For those looking to create geofilters, this is Snapchat’s very own tool to help you create and upload them. You can add your own design or choose from one of Snapchat’s templates. You can pick a time and set the parameters of what areas your filter reaches. Afterwards, you can submit the geofilter for review to Snapchat which usually only takes about a day. Some brands choose to add their name and logo somewhere in the design so that they increase their brand recognition.

PepperFilters: This is another Snapchat geofilters brand. You can start from scratch or choose your own template. There are over 100,000 graphics to choose from ranging from animals, food, beauty products and more. You can also choose from a range of fun fonts such as Brusher, SF College, and Grand Hotel. There are also fonts with a glow effect.

Snapchatters: This tools helps you find the best people to follow on Snapchat. They hand-pick some of the best people to follow on the platform. As a marketer, reaching out to relevant Snapchat users can work part of an influencer marketing strategy or with an account takeover day.

GhostCodes: GhostCodes is great for finding Snapchat users by name or category. Categories include sections like business, fitness, news, vlogger, beauty, pets and more. If looking to find a Snapchat influencer to partner with GhostCodes does show how many followers each person in the category has.

Snapchat Resources:

Oberlo’s The Ultimate Guide to Snapchat Marketing details why you should be on Snapchat as a store owner. It also outlines how to use the features within the app, Snapchat Marketing tips and how to measure your Snapchat marketing success.

Shopify’s Snapchat Marketing: The Key to Discovering and Engaging Your Most Loyal Fans dives into how to master Snapchat marketing. Snapchat had many marketers struggling to find ways to make a splash on the platform. Fortunately, this article breaks down how to market on Snapchat through content marketing and by using geofilters and other features.

Snapchat Influencer:

Spencer Butt, Social Media Host & Content Producer at Shopify, helps store owners on Shopify’s Snapchat. Shopify’s Snapchat series Business Buddies shows his process of building and running an online store from scratch where store owners can learn by following along. His best piece of advice for store owners is to ‘treat the platform like a vlog. Snapchat users love the feeling of having a conversation with the person they’re watching; being spoken with instead of to instead of at. So build up that trust and humanize your brand by talking to them. Show them the behind the scenes process. Offer discount codes too. If you think of it more like content marketing instead of as a direct sales pitch it can go a long way.’

Todd Endres, a social media manager, recommends Snapchat Geofilters he says “It’s a fairly basic concept that can yield great name recognition, but I was surprised how few actually employ it. The practice consists of designing a Snapchat filter that you then upload to their website. You pay for square footage as well as the length of time it remains active. I encourage my clients to try and get their entire event floor for whatever they’re doing but it can add up if the area is large. Simple designs are encouraged and easy, great way to get easy engagement!

How to Make Money Answering Quora Questions in 2020

Quora has 200 million monthly users making it a great sales channel to tap into with your marketing. Quora is a platform where users can pose questions and others can answer. As a marketer, you can pose questions you’d like to know more about people within your market. You can also ask questions if you can’t find good content on a topic you want to write a blog post about. However, it’s also a great source of driving traffic. This isn’t necessarily the place to share your product links. But it’s a great place to share your blog content. And if you’ve read up on our section on retargeting, you’ll know how to monetize your free Quora traffic.

Quora Oberlo PageQuora Marketing Example: Oberlo has a Quora business page. On it, we answer any Oberlo related questions people may have. Several people at Oberlo engage on the platform as we all have different specialities where we can better help our users. If you have a co-founder or a small team of employees who specialize in different areas within your niche, have them all take part in your brand’s Quora marketing for an hour a day. If you’re ever stuck, while building your store, you can ask a question and someone on our team will repond to it on Quora. When looking at our Quora page, pay attention to how members of our team answer your questions. And pay attention to who’s answering your question. Marketing should never lie in one person’s hands, your whole company should be working together to help customers and promote your brand.

What is Quora?

Quora is a platform where people ask questions, that are open to answers from the community of Quora. It was co-founded in 2009 by Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever. In the initial years it was mostly being used by people who were familiar with the Silicon Valley scene. However, in only a year it started getting recognized by a few news stories, and slowly started gaining popularity. You can use Quora to drive traffic to your ecommerce site, to understand topics better, and to familiarise yourself with issues that concern your brand or business.

ecommerce jobs quora

The thread of Quora seems to be popular because of the user-generated content and the distinct mode of interaction. You can find all sorts of questions being answered on Quora, including categories such as travelling, journalism, finance, philosophy, and many more. Today, Quora is an open platform for people to ask all sorts of questions and receive all sorts of answers too.

What is Quora Digest? 

Quora Digest is an email sent to you by Quora, which consists of questions and answers that Quora determines you to be interested in. These answers that you get are based on your interests, people you follow on Quora, and also popular or trending answers. Most people receive the Quora digest a few times per week, or some even receive it everyday. It’s loosely based on what Quora assumes that you will be interested in, if you’ve subscribed to it.

Quora digest questions are highly tailored to your interests on the platform. If you think you are receiving unrelated Quora questions and answers you can pay more attention to what you visit on the platform to understand why you receive this topics.

Why Should I Care About Quora? 

It’s not unusual to see marketers using Quora to build their expertise on different subjects that relate to their business. With Quora, marketers get access to 200 million monthly visitors, which is a pretty great place to be when you’re talking about your business or activities that concern your business. There’s a possibility that your customers or target audience is using Quora, and they may also be using the platform to ask questions that are related to your brand or business. It’s a good opportunity for you to answer any questions or to clear out confusions about your business, brand, products, or services.

If you keep an eye out for your Quora presence and manage it timely, you’ll be able to improve your online reputation, as well as increase your authority and popularity. This will also increase your chances of being found by search engines. Maybe there’s also a chance for you to use Quora to answer some in-depth questions that your target audience is confused about. Take this opportunity to provide detailed answers that satisfy their needs, by adding in visuals or links that you think will be helpful for them.

There’s no denying that Quora has long-term potential for your business. In order for you to reap the maximum benefits, stay consistent in your interactions.

Is Quora Reliable?

Yes and no, Quora answers are as reliable as the person who is answering the question. It is important to check who they are, their history of answering questions before now, and if you can fact check their information through another credible source. This is especially essential if you are looking to Quora to answer a personal or critical question for you.

How to Use Quora to Make Money

Depending on if you are a business or individual there are two ways that you can make money using Quora. In order to do either one though it is important to build your social brand on the platform so that users can trust your answers. You can build this brand through posting answers on the platform. Every day 3,000–5,000 questions are asked and these questions need answers. If you have experience in a certain field you can answer questions and start to build your reputation. Once you have spend some time answering Quora questions you can then start to earn money with Quora.

Start Quora’s Partner Program. If you are an individual you can earn money through Quora’s partner program. With this program you earn money when you publish questions on their platform. Depending on how many pageviews your Quora questions get you earn money. More views = more money. Quora questions and answers earn them money through advertising so the more impressions on a page, the more advertising spend Quora gets.

Create a Business Profile. Having a Business profile on Quora means that potential and actual customers can ask you questions at any time on the platform. How can you earn money by having a Quora business profile? You can earn money on Quora this way as you are answering real questions that could be the difference between a customer spending money with you or your competitor. Not only this but Quora will show your business profile bio beside each question that you answer, giving you more brand exposure.


If you are a dropshipper you can earn money dropshipping on Quora through providing thorough information about how the products you sell can solve a user’s problem. Following Quora’s terms of service you can promote your products in a useful way to those on the platform sending traffic to your online store. You knows you could even get a few ideas for new products from the platform.

Tips for Answering Quora Questions:

When I market on Quora my strategy is always to comment early and take up as much space answering the question. That means, I check the Answer tab within a niche category first rather than my feed. Now when I say take up space I mean two things. First, I mean write out a comprehensive answer that spans a few paragraphs. Second, I add a visual component such as pictures to take up the space. The last thing I always do is add a link to a relevant article I’ve written where a person can learn more information about the topic. That way, I’ve added value first, I stand out second, and I drive traffic third.

You can always partner with someone to help each other out. There’s two ways you can do this. First, you can ask someone with a different IP address to post the question you want answered. This allows you to add a link to a piece of content you’ve just written in case no one is asking about the topic. Second, you can take turns upvoting each other’s content. While you could get a couple people within the same IP to upvote your content, if too many people do it it’ll likely get flagged.

Use Quora as a blog resource. Coming up with blog ideas after you’ve been running it for a few months or years is hard. You can check out Quora to see what people are asking about within your niche. This way your brand always has fresh content. However, you also see the common questions people within your niche ask. This will help you become more educated within your niche while better understanding the needs of your customers.

Include your brand name and link in your bio. You should disclose who you’re affiliated with to ensure transparency. If you’re always sharing links to the same brands but don’t list it in your bio, people will catch on. It’s better to be upfront about what you do than to hide it. Quora users will notice.

Marketing Apps QuoraAnswer questions people send you. Once you start answering Quora questions people within the category will start requesting your answer to their questions. If you don’t know the answer, you don’t have to respond. However, it’s always a great way to build relationships with Quora users by answering the questions they send you. You can even download the app and answer questions while you are on the go!

Answer questions that have high upvotes. The higher the level of engagement a question gets, the more likely you’re to get eyes on your answer. Keep in mind that it’s much more competitive too. So you’ll need to bring your A-game to deliver the best response possible on the platform.

Have a positive answer. One of the best things about Quora is that questions often rank high in search results. So your answer could show up in Google searches for years to come. If you publicly bash a competitor and forget about it, eventually they could see it. Stick to answering the question in a positive light. Don’t say anything you’d regret saying. Also, avoid using Anonymous to put down your competitors, it makes it obvious that that’s what you are.

Create a Quora page for your business. As you build authority within your niche, you may notice more people comparing your brand to others within Quora’s platform. By having a page on the account, you could be proactive about how you position your brand on Quora, respond to brand related questions and avoid  the spread of misinformation about your brand.

Analyze your data. Which answers received upvotes? How many views did your answer get? Did you get shares? Pay attention to the patterns of your best content. Are they all from a popular category or are the answers more comprehensive? The more you dive into the data, the better understand how to grow your reach on the platform.

The more you put into the platform the more you’ll get out of it. If you’re constantly answering Quora questions multiple times a day, eventually you’ll move up in the ranks. While it can take a bit of time to build authority, you can become a ‘Most viewed writer’ within a category by consistently and regularly posting content on the platform. This will help your brand over the long-term as that means you’re more likely to get clicks on the content you share.

Resource on Quora Marketing:

Quora for Business is where Quora answers all of their common business questions. If you plan on running Quora ads, it’s a good resource to check out beforehand. Questions about brand safety to ad related questions have been answered by the brand.

How do I get more views on my answers on Quora? Is a thread on Quora where over 60 people have shared their personal experiences with getting views on the platform. You’ll find the strategies that actually work from people who’ve achieved results.

How to Master Reddit Marketing in 2020

As of October 2019, there are 430 million Reddit users. Redditors have joined and created over 853,824 subreddits on specific topics. As an online retailer, you can join subreddits or create your own for your niche.

While Redditors don’t like being marketed to, you can succeed on the platform by providing value. Notably, the average Reddit shopper spent $52.96 from brands they found on the platform making it a great platform to make money.

If you spam product links in every subreddit, you’ll likely find Reddit marketing doesn’t work for you. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great avenue for building your brand. You can build a brand presence by engaging in the community. It could be as simple as making your username your brand name. It’s not a direct sell but it keeps the brand name at top of mind. If you’re looking to find people who share a passion for your niche, you’re likely to find a vocal community on Reddit. However, brands like ThinkPup, successfully gained sales by posting a link on a subreddit.

Example: Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, held a Reddit AMA about ‘becoming a spacefaring civ.’ He conversation on Reddit was meant as complementary content for his Mars presentation at SpaceX. While he has a link to his SpaceX brand, the content he provides throughout the AMA is more value based than a sales pitch. He mentioned talk of SpaceX rockets like Falcon 9 while still engaging with the question. He was also able to answer technical questions because of his vast experience within the space industry. Elon Musk’s AMA shows that Reddit is a great platform for public relations. While SpaceX has an online store that can help make the brand money, he instead focused on a topic that would be of interest to users.

Reddit Digital Marketing Tips:

Reddit is unlike other platforms. It’s not a place to spam your links. Its members love certain types of content like funny content such as memes, Ask Me Anything sessions (AMAs), inspirational content, and questions. When approaching the platform, especially as a new user, adding a link to your blog post, even if answering a question isn’t going to work. You’re likely to get shadow-banned. Meaning you’ll be banned and won’t even know it. Focus on providing value. Engage with the audience. Get to know members of the subreddit. Become an active member first. Avoid ‘marketing’ on Reddit focus on a public relations approach instead.

Be active in a relevant subreddit. If you run a yoga store, the yoga subreddit is your best bet. You can post pictures of yourself doing complex yoga poses. Or host an AMA where you answer any yoga related question from personal experience. Answering questions people post can also be helpful. You’ll want to be active at least once a day, every day so that Redditors become familiar with you. The more you engage on the platform the more post and comment karma you can build up.

Pay attention to what type of content gets engagement in your subreddits. You’ll want to model your posts after these. If funny content gets the most upvotes in the subreddit, you’ll want to share funny content. If AMAs get the most upvotes, then you’ll want to do one of those. Before you even start engaging on the platform, look at the patterns in the type of content people like. Does one post get noticeably more comments than another? What is it about that post that drives the engagement?

If you use your brand name as your username be mindful of what you post. If you post something negative or critical of another user, you can get downvoted. You might not even realize what you’ve posted is spammy, negative or inappropriate until it’s too late. If you’d rather not take the risk, you could come up with a generic name instead. When posting on Reddit ask yourself, ‘is this comment a positive representation of the brand?’

Add your store link organically. When a redditor asked a question about why beef jerky is so expensive, the founder of Bridgford Jerky explained why it costs more. Someone asked if that person can offer a Reddit discount which led to the special discount for Reddit users. It also helped Bridgford Jerky generate some serious cash.

By the time you start selling on Reddit, you should have an active Reddit account. Hundreds of post and comment karma. Active on the platform for at least six months. Engaging daily on it. Providing value in every post. And when you do start selling on it, you’ll need to make sure you still continue that value based approach.

Avoid solely advertising on Reddit. If you feel like your product might do well on the platform, you can try it out to test it out for yourself. However, on average, most advertisers find Facebook or Google ads to offer a much better return for their business. Ads on Reddit can get downvotes as well and that’s something to watch out for. On the plus side, you can get upvotes on your ads but this can be rare.

Reddit Marketing Tools:

Reddit Enhancement Suite is a chrome extension that Redditors use. It offers features like a never ending Reddit feed so you don’t need to click on the next page. You can view images without leaving the page you’re on. You can even view the total votes a Reddit post has received.  

Reddit Marketing Resources:

Shopify’s How to Make Your First $1000 with Reddit Ads explains how someone spent $400 to make over $2200. About 15% of their customer base comes directly from Reddit showcasing Reddit’s mega potential for store owners. The exact strategy of how sell on Reddit is explained in easy to follow steps.

Shopify’s How I Built an Online T-Shirt Business and Made $1248.90 in 3 Weeks shares how Tucker Schreiber made 18 sales through Reddit marketing. You can read through his post to find other great information on how he launched his first store and made his first few sales.

How to Make Money with Influencer Marketing in 2020

For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, businesses end up making about $18 making it a profitable way to get sales. Social media is one of the most popular ways to discover new products. Enter influencer marketing. Your customers likely have people they follow. Whether they like the type of content they post or the way they style themselves, there’s something special about influencers that helps them generate massive followings. When you’re starting out, influencers can help elevate your brand’s social following to higher levels in a short period of time.

Influencer Marketing Examples: AX Paris uses influencers to grow their sales. Using the hashtag #axparis, you’ll find influencers who share their affiliate link with their fanbase. Notably, influencers also use the hashtag #ad to clarify that they receive compensation for the post. In fashion, influencer marketing is effective because it allows customers to see what an outfit looks like on. Since they know what it looks like on the influencer, it helps build enough trust that they become more likely to purchase it. If an influencer, who is typically attractive, looks amazing in an outfit, fans may be more likely to purchase a similar outfit to get the same look. Influencer marketing acts as a social proof to help drive the sale.

Influencer Marketing Strategy Tips:

Rates don’t mean much. Expensive influencers aren’t always better. Sometimes they cost $400 for one post and you end up with 0 sales. Other times it costs $25 for one post and you make $150 in sales. Ideally, your best bet is who the audience is. A dog fan page will likely convert well if you sell dog products. However, a top influencer wearing your leggings might result in zero sales. It’s not about how expensive an influencer is but how targeted their audience is. To determine the effectiveness of an influencer you could reach out to other brands who’ve used the influencer, view reviews and testimonials on an influencer marketing platform and more.

Influencer marketing alone won’t help you. You should also be building your social pages and turning someone from your brand into an influencer. Who says you can’t be an influencer? It’s likely more effective too. Building a brand around you as a person who shares the same interests as your audience humanizes the brand. You can create video content for YouTube or Instagram Stories. Share expert tips for your niche. Post pictures of yourself wearing or using your products.

When it comes to payment, there are two types of payment influencers will take. You can either pay them in cash or you can give them the product for free. It can be harder to find quality influencers who will promote the product with an affiliate link and no payment. However, it is possible to find them. We usually offer free products if we’re building a new store and want to build up our social proof. We’ll give influencers free products so that we have attractive pictures of people using our product to add on our social media and our store. It keeps our costs lower too.

Be skeptical of follower count. New entrepreneurs always get so excited to find out that an influencer with 1,000,000 followers is sharing their product for only $200. They think to myself, ‘this post is going to make me rich’ And then they end up with $250 in sales which means you’ve just run into the negatives if you take product cost into account. I’ve fallen for it when I was starting out. There are a lot of fake followers on top influencers’ accounts.

It’s a numbers game. Most social media accounts didn’t get built by one influencer. They got built by hundreds or thousands of influencers. There are brands who have teams devoted to working and partnering with influencers. If influencer marketing is the best way for your brand to make money, you’re going to approach a lot of people. Some will agree to your terms, some will require negotiation. Some will convert, some won’t. The more you start working with influencers the better you get at knowing who’s worth working with and who’s not.

Hint: pay attention to the influencers’ comment section. Do the comments seem real? Are fans engaged? Are the comments generally positive? Are sponsored posts about the person or the brand?

Don’t exhaust the audience of your influencer. One of the biggest mistakes I made was doing weekly posts with the same influencer because it kept bringing in money. I switched up the type of products. Created unique graphics for every post. And added a whole lot of variety in the type of content they shared. But the audience effectiveness started lessening after about six months. It just wasn’t sustainable anymore.

Let your influencer add their own style to their posts. We once had an influencer stick her tongue out while wearing our apparel. I almost didn’t use the post on our social media because I felt like it didn’t suit our brand. But it ended up getting a positive response from our audience and resulted in more product sales. Sometimes you don’t know what’s best until you test.

Influencer Marketing Tools:

BuzzSumo is a social media tool that can tell you what type of content has received the most social shares. You can also search by ‘author: (name)’ to find the best performing content by influencers within a niche. If you plan on having guest posts on your blog, you can reach out to influencers who typically create highly engaging content to create content for your brand. Or if you plan on creating an article listing experts within a niche, you can shoutout the most popular influencers in hopes of getting high social shares from them for being featured.

Klout is a tool that ranks experts and influencers within the niche. For example, if you enter the keyword ‘yoga’ you’ll find who the most active influencers are under yoga. You can then reach out to those experts to partner with them on campaigns. The closer a person’s score is to 100, the better the influencer.

Upfluence is an influencer search engine. You can search for influencers based on keywords, social media metrics, web traffic and more.

Onalytica offers two key influencer tools: discovery and management. You can find influencers based on their marketing channels, location, audience size and more. Their influencer management tool is perfect for brands who work with a high number of influencers to better determine who your rockstars are, the content they’re sharing for your brand, and more.

Tapfluence is a database of influencers you can contact to reach a bigger audience. You can browse a database of 50,000 influencers. You can sort influencers based on the personality of their audience, their interests and more. You can choose your influencer based on 35 characteristics such as gender, age, location, education, language and more.

Social Audit Pro is a tool that audits Instagram profiles to tell you how much of their audience is real and fake.

Influencer Marketing Experts:

Sam WormserSamantha Wormser, the owner of The Salty Twig, has amassed over 17,000 followers. Her advice for becoming an influencer: “I think that creating beautiful and compelling content is the best way to attract an audience and is step one in becoming an influencer. Finding your own personal aesthetic and style will allow you to carve out your own niche, rather than copying how someone else edits and looking like just another influencer prototype. Another piece of advice to grow your following once you have a foundation of great content is to engage with other bloggers, creatives, and budding influencers who share similar types of content and who’s content inspires you. Once you start liking and commenting and engaging with other influencers and creators, you’ll get more visibility on your own profile and will start to grow a following.

A challenge for me has been to not only grow my following, but also grow overall engagement, which is a key factor in brand collaborations. It requires a lot of patience to do both and you can’t expect growth overnight. It’s frustrating to see other people purchase followers, but ultimately I believe this will hurt them in the long-run as purchased followers do not transfer into engagement and brands can see through it. Engaging with other influencers who post similar content and who are about the same size in following has helped me grow over time.

I think the best perk of being an influencer isn’t one specific collaboration for me, but the fact that I get to work with some of my favorite brands that I’ve loved for years and receive product to post about and then get featured on their social media accounts too, which shows me they really like the content I am creating.”

heather monahanHeather Monahan is a business expert, mentor, and speaker. She shares, “Stay committed to your vision and where you see yourself going and don’t let anyone deter you. The amount of naysayers and negativity I faced was shocking to me.  When I began my initiative to empower others through my social handles I had no idea the backlash I would face.  The worst of it came from a woman I worked for at the time before I went to work for myself.  She let me know she didn’t like my personal brand, wanted me to shut it down and did all that she could to make my life miserable to force my hand.  By staying committed to my vision and moving forward I was able to stand up to the bullying I faced and forge ahead.  These were not easy times for me as I had been at the company for 14 years but pushing forward and not backing down made me stronger than ever and my reach on my social handles grew and empowered me further.  Ultimately, she fired me.  Getting away from the negativity has allowed me to take off and enjoy the best professional growth I have ever had.  Removing negative people from your life is like cutting an anchor off of your foot, you position yourself to take off.” Her best perk? “Becoming the Brand Ambassador for Perry Ellis’ female clothing line Rafaella!”

Samuel ScottSamuel Scott, a global marketing and technology speaker and The Promotion Fix columnist for The Drum, says “The real issue to address is not how you can gain 10,000 followers but why 10,000 people should follow you. There is not a magic wand or some secret to gaining a following. You know the secret to becoming an “influencer” (although I hate that term)? Be influential in the real world. Who has the most followers? Musicians, pundits, successful business people, athletes, celebrities, and politicians. Be influential and people will naturally want to follow you.

It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is easy. One key is publicity. Do something amazing, and get the relevant media to talk about it. Get news articles written about you. Contribute a regular column to a publication. Get interviewed on television. Speak at major conferences. Publicity is a traditional marketing tactic that can help in the digital world.”

Influencer Marketing Resources:

How to Do Instagram Influencer Marketing by Oberlo teaches store owners how they can master influencer marketing. It guides you from building your own following to finding the right influencer to grow your sales. You’ll learn how to connect with influencers and how to analyze the success of your campaigns.

10 Influencer Marketing Campaigns to Inspire and Get You Started with Your Own by Hubspot details 10 examples of influencer marketing campaigns. You’ll see how top brands utilize influencers in their marketing through video marketing, social media posts, referral programs and more.

How to Drive Traffic with Push Notifications in 2020

What are Push Notifications?

Whether you add push notifications on an app for your store or your website, they can be a great way to re-market to customers. Push notifications can be used to alert customers of discounts or sales. It can also be used to retarget customers who’ve abandoned their cart. Push notifications are also a great way to update customers when you add new products or create a new piece of content. You can personalize push notifications by targeting locations or reminding customers of the specific product they added to their cart. According to Localytics, 65% of customers are more likely to return to an app or website within 30 days when push notifications are installed. And about half of all users opt in to receive them and do find push notifications to be useful.

Web Push Notifications Example: According to Mofluid, Walmart used push notifications on their app. Walmart typically sent notifications to  customers items when they showed interest in a product which likely means added to cart.  They also personalized the notifications based on the person’s location. Push notifications were also sent to inform customers of promotions.

Push Notification Tips:

The timing of when you send push notifications matter. For example, if you push a remarketing message to someone who abandoned their cart, the sooner you send it the better. Aim to push the first abandoned cart message within 30 minutes to better convert it. If you send an abandoned cart push notification a week later the customer has already likely forgotten the product or the site they found it.

Personalization can easily be done with push notifications. If you want to remarket an abandoned cart, mention the exact product they abandoned. If you’re hosting a meetup in a local community, send a push notification to that location to let them know about your event.

Don’t over do it with the push notifications. Sending one after cart abandonment, a weekly one for a blog post or a special sale on your store is okay. However, if you’re sending push notifications every day or multiple times a day, you’re likely going to have that person opt-out of it. Save push notifications for worthy events. Like the big sale you’re hosting this weekend. Or a really great blog post you just released. However, by sending a push notification at least once a week, you can keep your brand at top of mind which can help build customer loyalty over the long term.

Keep it short and simple. Having a push notification like ‘Hurry! 50% off dresses TODAY only!’ is more effective than ‘Looking to buy a new dress? Look no further! Get 50% off dresses at (Store Name) today only!’ The shorter your text the easier to read. Get straight to the point.

Create a sense of urgency. Using words like ‘hurry,’ ‘now,’ ‘today only’ help drive customers into clicking on your push notification. Without urgency, customers may not feel the need to click on it.

Mix up your push notifications. One day you might offer ‘50% off a certain collection’ but on another day you might offer a ‘Buy One Get One free’ promotion. Feel free to add in a few great articles in the mix too. By having a variety of notifications, you become more likely to reach a wider range of customers with different needs.

Shopify Push Notification Tools:

Fire Push is the most popular push notifications app on Shopify. It allows you to recover abandoned carts, increase sales by up to 30%, and send targeted messages to your customers. You can send promotions and discounts or recommend products to customers while you sleep. Your first 1000 pushes are free each month.

Push Owl helps remind customers of their abandoned carts by sending push notifications. You can also send notifications that offer customers discounts or alert them of items back in stock. The notifications work on both mobile and desktop.

Aimtell helps drive more customers back to your website with push notifications. Each push notification sent can be tailored based on pages viewed, items purchased, location and more.

Web Push by AAAeCommerce Inc is a push notification tool that can segment your audience to send them personalized notifications. Each notification can be personalized to better re-engage your visitors.

Web Push App

Push Alert can help boost your store’s sales by 30% by recovering abandoned carts, alerting customers of price drops and back in stock products, and re-engaging customers after they leave your website. The app is free for the first 3,000 subscribers.

PushAssist is a push notification tool where you can easily recover abandoned carts without needing a customer’s email. It allows you to retarget customers to turn them into loyal ones. The free app also helps increase your store’s revenue.

Better Coupon Box is a tool you can use to reach out to your customers whenever they are browsing your website. You can connect with customers even without having their email address allowing you to reach a greater pool of store visitors. It’s great at converting abandoned carts, and capturing lead information.

Better Coupon Box

Push Monkey automatically sends push notifications to those who abandon their cart. The app can also send promotions and discounts to new customers to encourage more sales. And you can keep customers informed with the latest brand news with push notifications. This app is free.

PushFlew is a push notification app that allows you to reach your customers no matter what website they’re browsing. It also lets you re-engage them after they’ve abandoned their cart so that you have a chance to recover it. Store owners can earn more revenue through occasional push notifications set by this app. It can also grow your pageviews and store traffic. They have a free plan up to 500 subscribers.

Push Notification Resources:

11 Reasons to Start Using Web Push Notifications covers why you should have push notifications on your website. Article examples include: push notifications allow you to reach customer even when they’re not on your site and more.

The 7 Most Creative Push Notifications We’ve Ever Seen shows you how you can stand out with your push notification marketing strategy. You’ll see examples of push notifications with emojis, a personal heart-warming touch, an engaging question and more.

How to Write a Blog that Boosts Sales in 2020

Many store owners decide to start a blog but fail to follow through. Why? Starting a blog is hard work. But fortunately, it can pay off. Building up free organic traffic will allow you to build a more profitable business. According to Hubspot, companies that published over 16 posts a month averaged about 3.5x more traffic than those who posted under four times a month. Hubspot also noted that companies with active blogs tend to have 97% more inbound links than those who don’t. Blogging can drive more traffic to your store which you can convert into loyal customers.

Example: An Organised Life is a great example of an online store that has a successful and ongoing blog. Their blog features the same black and white minimalist look as their products. When you browse their blog you’ll notice how their imagery incorporates products in a subtle but effective way. Their blog content is mostly about organization which complements their product line of notebooks, planners, and calendars. They don’t publish daily but it’s consistent and engaging. What they show in their blog layout is the importance of visuals. Their visuals take up a lot of space while their title is subtle. When visitors view the blog post itself, they’re immediately captivated by stunning visuals. The blog font is small which adds extra emphasis to the pictures. Each blog post incorporates product images keeping it product focused.

How to Write a BlogPost: Blogging Tips

Create a set of guidelines to set the standard and tone for your blog. Make them clear so qualified writers can follow them while maintaining the integrity of your brand. When writers contact you regarding freelance or guest post opportunities, you can help ensure a high level of quality as you have the guidelines for the blog writing in plain view.

Growing your blog is hard work. Make your blog profitable by running Facebook retargeting ads. For one of my stores I was able to have a 9x ROI by retargeting blog traffic. These type of ads are also a lot cheaper than most Facebook ads and have a great return. When my store was two days old, I was pumping out content with quotes from niche influencers. It would be a list of ‘Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from (influencer). I’d then share their content on twitter and tag them. Since they were relatively medium sized influencers, most of the time they’d retweet it and share it across their social media. As a result, I gained free traffic. All I had to do was monetize it. That’s where the retargeting ad came in. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to make a blog profitable. That’s how we got our first couple sales on on our store.

Your blog should have a lot of content added regularly but you don’t have to do it all yourself. If your goal is to pump out content about 4 times a week but you’re a solopreneur, you’ll need to find guest writers. You can create a posting on Craigslist looking for guest writers or interns who will write for you to gain experience or reach a bigger audience. You can also reach out to niche influencers and offer a backlink in exchange for the guest post. Since blogging is time consuming, having others create the content for you allows you to grow your traffic while you focus on customer service and marketing.

Update your blog posts every four months. Remove outdated content and add some new content to improve your posts. Make it your aim to keep your blog writing up to date. Since it’s an updated version you can share it with your audience. It’s great for SEO and your customers will love that you’ve kept your content fresh. When I post an updated article on social media I’ll write something like ‘UPDATED: (blog post name).’

Optimize your blog content for keywords. What type of niche content does your customer search for? Use tools like Keyword Planner to help you find the right keywords to optimize your content for. Use keyword research to help you build a strong blog foundation.

When thinking about how to write a blog post, don’t focus solely on lead generation articles. Retention articles tend to be more profitable and valuable to your customers. For example, if you own a running store, you’ll want to create content that helps customers become better runners. The longer they stick with running, the more likely they’ll keep buying running-related products. You’ll still want content to bring in new leads such as ‘Top 10 Running Shoes to Buy in 2018’. But retention articles can also bring in new leads through customer loyalty. Your blog should have a mix of content which has different purposes. Balance out the number of lead generation articles with retention articles to serve different purposes and reach different readers.

Make your blog visual. Add images, infographics and videos throughout the blog post. If you’re creating a list post, you’ll want to have a graphic for each section. If your blog post is really long, you’ll want to ensure that there’s quite a few graphics to break up the text and make it an easier read for your customers.

Promote your blog content. Most people write blog posts and share it on social media. However, the more you promote your content, the more clicks you’ll get. If promoting on social media, you’ll want to make use of hashtags. You’ll also want to get backlinks on relevant articles that might find your blog post valuable. So you might promote your content by doing guest posts and linking out to your article. Or you could reach out to the people or brands mentioned in your article.

If you go through writer’s block or get too busy running your store, you can find freelancers for your blog writing, or ask your customers if they’d like to contribute a guest post to your blog.

Most store owners either don’t have a blog or have an obvious lack of dedication to the blog they have. The reality is sometimes store owners set unrealistic expectations about the volume they can produce. You’re a store owner! You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. So no, as a solopreneur, you probably won’t be able to write one blog post a day while working a full-time job. A full-time content creator probably couldn’t even pump out an article a day without being exhausted by it. Set a realistic expectation. If it ends up being one blog post a week, commit to it, it’s better than nothing at all.

Once your blog starts taking off, many store owners fail to respond to comments. The comment section of your blog still counts as customer service. By responding to comments you can strengthen your relationship with your customers. Treat it like an email or social media post. And answer everything, unless it’s spam.

Cater the blog topics to your customer. When customers email you, what are they constantly asking about? I don’t mean product related questions but niche focused. For example, if you sell dresses, customers may ask questions about what accessories look best with a dress they like. Use this as a way to build out your product collection and your blog as a source of qualitative research. You can share different looks, styling tips, and lifestyle themed content to add various dimensions to your blog. By creating blog content around your common customer inquiries, you become more likely to build your blog’s audience.

How to Write a BlogPost: Blogging Tools

Headline Analyzer: This blogging tool helps you write better headlines. When you type in your headline, the Headline Analyzer will give you a score out of 100. It’ll also let you know what type of words (common, uncommon, emotional, power) you’re using to help you balance out the blog title. If you’re looking to create attention grabbing or clickbait headlines, this is the tool you should use.

Answer The Public: This blogging tool is great for sourcing blog topics. All you need to do is type in your niche name into the search box. Then, a list of blog topics in the form of questions will populate. For example, if you search ‘fidget spinners’ you’ll get topics like ‘How fidget spinners are helpful’ and ‘which fidget spinners are safe.’ You can use these types of topics for your blog content in the early stages to build out your organic ranking.

Keyword Planner: When you’re thinking about how to write a blog, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to help you determine the right keywords you should be using to optimize your blog content. You’ll see the average monthly searches and how competitive it is. If you plan on running ads to your content you can even look at their suggested bid.

BuzzSumo: Buzzsumo is a great blogging tool as it allows you to view the most popular content on other blogs. You’ll see how many shares each piece of content had on each platform. You can also view backlinks, sharers, and share the content. Whether you’re looking for blog topics based on popularity or trying to understand what type of content your competitors share, you’ll gain access to the perfect amount of data.

Long Tail Pro: Long Tail Pro is the blogging tool that helps you find profitable keywords. You can calculate keyword profitability, view competitiveness score and more. Long tail keywords tend to be easier to rank for giving your business a better chance of ranking higher in the searches.

Hemingway App: Hemingway App tells you what your readability score is. This can be a very useful tool, especially when you’re learning how to become a writer. Most publications have a Grade 6 reading level. The lower the reading level is the more likely it is that you’ll reach a wider audience. For those with customers who aren’t fluent in English, a lower reading level makes it more likely that they’ll understand what you wrote. The higher your reading level, the harder it is for the average person to read. For example, Grade 6 reading level is good but Grade 10 reading level is bad. At least for blogging.

Buffer: Buffer is a great scheduling tool for bloggers because it allows you to share your content on your social media accounts. Buffer automates social media sharing so you can set the time you want content shared on your platforms. The analytics are also helpful as it tells you how many clicks and shares each post got to help you better understand what performs best.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics allows you to analyze your content’s data. It allows you to see your traffic, bounce rate, average time on page, page value and more. You can also view your most popular keywords.

If you’re interested in getting to know the other ways you can use Google Analytics, check out this blogpost.

How to Write a Blog Resources:

Oberlo’s Ecommerce Blogging covers why you should start a blog. You’ll learn tips to create great content such as how to use other blogs as inspiration. If you’re stuck coming up with blog topics it’ll teach you how to come up with ideas. And you can also learn tricks on how to drive traffic to your blog and how to monetize your blog.

Oberlo’s How to Create a Content Strategy dives into the steps to take to create more high-quality content. You’ll learn the easiest strategy for content so that you always have new content out.

How to Grow Your Blog to 100,000 Visitors in Less Than a Year is a great blog post that details how you can grow your blog. It details how many words your post should be, what to include in your blog post and more. Apply the strategies from this blog post to your own store’s blog.

How to Write 5 or More Articles a Week and Not Burn Out is a great article for those who’d like to see big results from their blog traffic. The more content you create, the more content that gets indexed. Thus, making it more likely that people will find it. This article helps teach you how to avoid writer’s burn out so that you can reap the rewards from consistent content output.

How to Write a Blog Post: A Simple Formula + 5 Free Blog Post Templates helps you learn the different formats for writing a blog post well. You can even use their templates to format your own content. The blog offers suggestions to ensure you write a blog post that captures your audience’s attention.

Blogging Influencers:

Denver Prophit Jr, President of StrikeHawk eCommerce Inc., shares his top 10 tips for store owners,

1. Empower consumers with freemium information. If you sell office supplies, set-up a video tweet schedule with 120 second teasers directed to your blog to help people get organized.

2. If your products are consumables, implement recipe rich snippets and build a library of recipes that sell your consumables. This also is true for any retailer related to food including kitchen appliances.

3. Use Taxonomy and Ontologies that match your buyer personas. Nothing is more boring than wading through details when you’re just trying to sell something fun. Make the power feel they’re going to be the next hipster in the NOW.

4. Use Automation! There are services out there that will help you plan your content schedule and post them to social media at optimal times of the day!

5. Keep your navigation structure SIMPLE. If your buyer personas read left to right, navigation at the TOP and to the LEFT. Opposite for Right to Left readerships.

6. ENCOURAGE user generated content! Be the “Dear Abby” and be a thoughtful listener and let your customer do the ‘talking’ in your webspace. User forums are a great example. You may then measure the effectiveness of a product launch.

7. Integrate Instagram from your customers who tag with your branded hashtag. Everyone loves to be a braggart with their new purchases. Maybe they’re showing off a new outfit they purchased from your online retail store?

8. Use consistent virtual live video streams. There are even software out there that will help you automate. Just show up and smile pretty! Customer focus groups, Ask the Engineer, etc.

9. Form content alliances! If you sell organic plants and someone else sells planters, you both win! Be the guest blogger in your strategic alliance.

10. Build your personal branding FIRST! This means detailed social media profiles, getting out on camera and photo, authoring blog posts. There’s a whole wealth of information in psychology about human recognition and trust. Ray Kroc used to work the kitchen and register in the early days of his franchise empire.”

How to Write a Blog: The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Blog

As a refresher, here are some do’s and don’ts that you can keep in mind as a checklist when writing a blog.

When Writing a Blog Do…

Know your focus

When you’re starting out with blog writing, you must know who you’re planning to write for. Ask yourself who your target audience is, and what they’re interested in reading about. Keep their interests in mind and make sure your content is catered to their needs. The secret to becoming a great content writer is not just knowing what your readers want, but also passing on that information to them in a way that they find most valuable. Find your focus, and become an expert in it.


Remember to link to other blogposts and websites that contain information that you perceive to be valuable for your audience. Not only will this bring a boost in your clicks, but it will also help improve your blog’s search engine rankings.

Share your content

So, you’ve figured out how to write a great blogpost, but how is your target audience going to find out about it? Share your content. Whether it’s social media sharing or email marketing, don’t forget to spread your content across different marketing channels. Remember, sharing is caring.

Respond to comments

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to communicate with your readers by replying to their comments. Sure, you don’t have to respond to spam, but make sure to respond to other comments. It helps to build a relationship with your readers, which is mighty useful for your brand.

Include meaningful images

Images help to create a feeling on your blogpost. Add images that are not only relevant, but that also visually stimulate your readers and add personality to your blogpost Enhance your brand image by adding images that rightfully  represent you and your content. If you’re looking for further blog design inspiration, check it out here.

When Writing a Blog Don’t…

Be unrealistic

Know what you can and can’t do, in terms of blog writing. Especially if you’re a solopreneur. You know your schedule the best, so see how often you can post and stick to it. Streamline your process, and always keep an eye out for opportunities to improve.

Make grammatical errors

And if you find a grammar mistake on your blogpost, (or if one of your readers informs you about it) correct it immediately. If you want to create and manage a specific type of image, you’ll have to take your blog content seriously, and that includes the grammar.

Be Negative

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be honest when reviewing something in your blogpost, but generally refrain from bringing any personal grievances into your blog writing. It doesn’t work well with your audience and they’re quick to pick up on the negativity. Try to be inspirational, positive, supportive, and work on building a community around this feeling.

Limit your word count

Don’t limit yourself to a word count. If you have something to say, express it fully, and don’t worry about how many words you’re using. Readers (and search engines) tend to prefer blogposts that are longer and more descriptive. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to keep rambling on about nonsense, but as a general rule, keep your blogposts as descriptive and purposeful to your readers as you can.

How to Master Your Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing still continues to be a powerhouse. According to Econsultancy, approximately 75% of companies agree that email produces a good or excellent return on investment. Statista expects that the number of email users will continue to rise – to 2.9 billion – by 2019. Email marketing is a proven converter.

When you email customers with personalized offers you improve your odds of conversion. The cost of running email campaigns is lower than advertising which can make email marketing very profitable for your store.

Example: Adore Me has a great email marketing strategy. They’re an amazing example for creating email campaigns. From their subject lines to their email copy, every aspect of their email campaigns are carefully thought out. Past subject lines have included: “DROP EVERYTHING. Your customized picks are here” to “YOU’RE ON THE LIST.” Each email shares a similar format. Their emails mention free shipping, how much money you can make if you refer friends, a great limited time offer – usually 50% off, and links to their showroom, story, collections, and store.

To build their email list, when a customer first visits their website they’re asked to take a quiz to create a more personalized experience. Once customers have taken the quiz they’re automatically enrolled in their email subscription where you’ll regularly receive new offers. Since they have personalized details about the customer now, they can offer a better experience in their emails. For example, including their name in an email, showing products they’d like based on their tastes.

Email Marketing Tips:

Think critically of all the ecommerce emails you’ve ever received. Why did you open it? Why did you click through to the store? It could be an interesting blog topic that you wanted to learn more about. Or a product that looked really cool that you’re interested in buying. Test out different layouts to see which your customers prefer. Try an email with a few products listed, one focused on blog content, or a mix of products and content.

Be creative in how you build your email list. Funneling your customers through a quiz where they’ll receive a personalized recommendation may help build your list faster. You can also host a giveaway or a contest with a prize so enticing that it markets itself. Printables, ebooks or downloads can also help build your email list. Standard list building practices like welcome or exit intent pop-ups can also be helpful. You can also collaborate with other brands through joint webinars to grow your email list. In each email, you can ask your customers to refer a friend which could also help build your email list. By boosting the number of qualified emails your store has, you’ll be more likely to convert them into paying customers. But make sure you’re building the right list rather than just a big list.

Once you’ve built your list, you’ll want to create email subject lines that encourage opens and click throughs. Unbounce noticed that subject lines used flattery, were unexpected, used statistics, and were personalized tended to have the highest open rates surpassing industry standards.

email personalization statistics

Segment your email list. Present different offers to different audiences. A loyal customer should receive a different email than someone who hasn’t opened your emails in a long time. Reward loyal customers with exclusive deals. Focus on re-engaging customers who haven’t opened in a while. You’ll might want to segment your list based on their purchase behavior, demographics, the offer that landed them onto the list, their location, and more.

Email your customers. If your customers have opted-in to receive more marketing information from your brand, email them! Let them know when you’ve added new products, have a sale or share content they’d love. It’s easier to retain your customer by email than to try to get new email sign-ups to buy. You’d be surprised at how many people have email lists and fail to send emails.

Add social sharing buttons or a ‘Email to a friend’ link to your emails. There may be customers who may want to share a promotion with their friend, partner or family member who’s looking for what you’re selling. Adding these types of buttons makes it easier for a customer to share with someone while helping increase your brand’s exposure.

Collect emails with a pop-up. Pop-ups can be annoying for some users so presenting them with the right offer can help increase the likelihood that they’ll opt-into your list. You can use an exit intent pop-up like Wheelio which allows customers to spin to win a discount after entering their email address. The tool can also help lower abandoned carts.

When presenting your offer to your customers make sure it’s compelling. For example, exclusive discounts for email sign-ups, first access to new products, or a free product guide can be enticing for a customer. Avoid using language like ‘free email updates’ because let’s be honest all company updates are free. And it doesn’t appeal to a shopper as well as a discount or product related offer would.

Optimize your store for opt-ins. Having a pop-up when a customer enters or is about to leave your store can help boost email opt-ins. According to Sumo, welcome mats and list builder opt-in forms convert at 2.6% or higher. You might also want to include an opt-in form in your blog content or have a scrolling opt-in on your blog. Having a downloads page where you include downloadable content requiring email opt-in could also be helpful. For example, if you sell phone cases your downloadable content could be screensaver designs.

Email Marketing Tools:

Soundest allows you to send 2,000 emails to your customer base each day for free up to 15,000 a month. This is a great email marketing tool for new store owners who still have a small list and are on a strict budget. You can create campaign booster, abandoned cart and welcome emails to increase your store’s sales and build your relationship with your customers. You can create email campaigns simply by clicking products on your store. It also allows you to create email split tests.

Wheelio is a great example of an exit-intent email opt-in form. It entices customers to opt-in by gamifying getting discounts by making it a fun experience for customers. After a customer enters their email, they can spin to win a discount. For my online store, I’m able to easily track under Shopify’s discount section how often people use the discount. It has also built our email list so we can continue to market to that customer in the event that they decide not to use the discount.

When it comes to email marketing tools for opt-ins, you could install Privy on your Shopify store. The app helps capture customer emails with exit intent popups, bars, banners and more. The app integrates seamlessly with your email provider to ensure no email gets lost along the way. Privy also includes targeting features such as device, shopping cart behavior and country so that you can deliver your customers a personalized email.

Better Coupon Box allows you to offer a coupon to customers via popup if customers opt-in via email and follow your brand on social media. Once customers follow the steps, the discount code appears allowing them to save money on their purchase. Those looking to build out their social media following, in addition to their email list, might choose to install this app instead of an exit intent pop-up. The ‘Get Discount’ button is directly on the product page making it visible for those who plan to purchase an item.

Email Resources:

Hubspot’s 15 of the Best Email Marketing Campaign Examples You’ve Ever Seen shows how different brands are retaining email subscribers with creative emails. While not strictly ecommerce focused, you’ll find interesting ideas on how you can position your email campaigns. For example, if you run a social commerce online store, you might want to check out the charity: water example.

Kissmetrics’ A Beginner’s Successful Guide to Email Marketing goes over all the tips and tricks you’ll need to know when building your first email campaign. From the importance of getting permission to segmentation, it’s a great read for those just starting out.

Buildfire’s 14 of the Best Email Marketing Examples that Work is another great piece of content that gives you practical examples to use as inspiration for your campaigns. It helps you visualize the possibilities of what you can do within the email marketing realm. Check out the Bonobos example if you run an online fashion store – it’s brilliant.

Email Marketing Best Practices From Email Experts:

Brandon Wright of Thought Lab shares, “One of the most frequently overlooked areas of ECommerce marketing are transactional emails. Transactional emails are the order confirmation, newsletter confirmation emails that are typically generated automatically from a user action. These emails have open rates of 70% and click through rates of 17%. Compared to 15% and 3% for bulk Ecommerce marketing emails. Transactional emails also generate more revenue than typical emails $.75 vs $.13.”

Claudia Montez, founder of Isabelle Grace Jewelry, recommends, “We use our social media channels and email newsletter to give our social media followers and current customers fun deals they can get excited about. We connect with our current customer base by offering our e-newsletter subscribers exclusive JUST4ME discounts. Every week, we put one of our pieces on a special JUST4ME discount and advertise it in our newsletter and to our social media followers. Not only has this resulted in new purchases from existing customers, but it has also helped us really grow our email list.

Alexa Engelhart, email strategist of Power Digital Marketing, recommends personalizing emails. She says, “It can be something as simple as including someone’s name in the subject line or body copy to something a little more complex, such as sending them an automated email as soon as they run out of your product and giving them a coupon code and reminder to buy more. Other forms of personalization that help generate exceptional email results include: sending them emails on their birthdays, sending them ideas of products or services they may like based on their purchase or browsing history, and sending special offers or news updates based on where they live. A little personalization can go a long way when it comes to email marketing.

Adam Watson, Director of Hollywood Mirrors, shares his experience with exit intent pop-ups. He says, “My number one email marketing tip is having an exit intent pop up on your website with a tempting offer. Around 98 to 99% of website visitors leave your store without purchasing or leaving their details. It is imperative as they are about to leave your store you can grab their email address to build a relationship or offer them a tempting offer such as a discount code so they stay and purchase. Once the customer enters the email signups I recommend using an introductory email with a series of newsletters to keep the customer entertained with valuable content and they make comeback and purchase.We have split tested with and without pop-ups and conversion rate increased by 30% and email signups increased by 98%.”

How to Write an Ebook that Drives Product Sales

Ebooks are a great marketing idea to showcase your expertise, to collect leads and to provide value to your customers. While you can choose to publish and charge for your ebook on Amazon, it can also be useful as a freebie to give your customers in your niche. For example, if you sell tea accessories, you might want to create an ebook about desserts made with tea or how to host a tea party. By requiring an email to download the ebook, you can remarket to your readers to sell your products.

Example: Ninja offers free recipe books for the blenders they sell. If you’re dropshipping blenders or other kitchen appliances that are used to make food, you can create a recipe ebook that you give to customers with their purchase. The ebook offers a few benefits. First, it makes customers feel like they’re getting more things for one payment. Second, it helps encourage customers to use the product more. If a customer uses their blender more, it’ll be likely that they’ll need to buy a second one in the future. Or maybe they’ll recommend the one they use to their friend.

Ebook Writing Tips:

Survey your customers first. Ask your customers if they have any questions about your niche, how they use your product and if they have any creative uses for it. Are they struggling to master something? Do they need help finding multiple uses for your product? Are they looking for creative DIY ideas on how they can use your product? Be sure to include their issues by solving their problems within the ebook. If survey responses are low, offer an incentive such as a discount, a gift card to your store or a small free gift.

Treat your free ebook like a New York Times best-seller. Hire someone to design your ebook cover. Have someone edit the ebook to remove any typos, ensure that it reads well and that it answers questions customers would have. You’ll also want to market your ebook to ensure that it does its job of collecting leads and growing your customer base.

When it does come to marketing your ebook, you’ll want to cast a wide net of targeted readers. First, send a free copy of it to your customers. You’ll also want to promote it on social media. Maybe host a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA). Or run a Facebook ad to it. You can even add it to Amazon as a freebie. Make sure you have a link to your website in the ebook so that readers know that you’ve created it.

You can monetize your ebook in a few ways. For example, you can remarket to those who gave you their email address in order to receive the ebook if you have a shorter sales cycle. Or create seasonal ebooks where you should how to style your current product collection, if you’re in fashion, with accessories, jewelry, coats and more. Add clickable links. You can also add special discount codes in the ebook to track how many customers have purchased from your ebook. This can help you determine if creating more ebooks is worthwhile. You could also charge for your ebook if you decide to sell it on Amazon. While the goal is to monetize your store, there’s nothing stopping you from also monetizing your content.

Here are a few lead magnet ideas: If you sell fitness products you can create an ebook on ‘The Complete Guide to [Crossfit].’ Makeup? ‘Top 100 Fall Makeup Looks.’ Hair extensions? ‘100 Wedding Hairstyles You’ll Love.’ Games? ‘The Secret to Winning [Game Name] Every Time.’ Home decor? ‘100 Christmas Decoration Ideas.’ Lingerie? ‘How to Keep the Spark Alive in Your Marriage.’ If you need more ideas, you can survey your audience and ask them for suggestions.

Suck at writing? Your ebook doesn’t have to be word intensive. Make it visual instead. Use short sentences to list the products used in images. Add pictures of products or show each step in picture format. If you have design skills, you can do it yourself in Photoshop or Canva. Or hire a graphic designer online.

Ebook Creator Tools:

Grammarly is a grammar editing tool you can use to improve your writing. It’ll fix up to 400 types of mistakes from spelling errors to verb tense. If you hire a writer for your ebook, this tool is also handy for catching plagiarism.

Hemingway App can also be used as a grammar tool. However, a cool feature it has is scoring your content’s readability. A readability score tells you the grade level of your writing. For ebooks and web content the lower the grade level, the easier of a read it is for the average person. Aim for Grade 6 or 7. Keep in mind some of your customers may not understand English well. Write an ebook that anyone can read and understand.

Google Docs is the tool where you should write your ebook. Anyone who’s ever written in Word has probably experienced losing everything if they don’t save compulsively. And auto-save doesn’t always work. Google Docs saves the original draft and edits you make. Plus, it’s free. No Word or Pages needed.

Freedom App isn’t a writing tool but a productivity one. When you write long form copy, there’s a good chance you’ll get distracted. A lot. Writing is mentally exhausting. It uses your entire brain to master the perfect combination of creativity and grammatically correct writing. You’ll likely want to check your email or social media once you start getting restless. By using a tool like Freedom, sites of your choosing will be blocked during the time you set. This allows you to hammer out your ebook. And get shit done.

Canva can be used for creating your ebook cover. If you’re looking for a template based tool or have limited design skills you can use Canva. You can even buy stock photos for your ebook for only $1 per image making it one of the lowest stock photo prices around.

Photoshop offers more advanced features but is best suited to professional designers. You can create more visually stimulating ebook covers with this tool but it’s advised that you have some experience using the tool before trying to design a book cover using it.

99 Designs is the site you can use if you have absolutely no interest in designing your own ebook cover. While they’re a bit pricier than most professional design services, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of amazing covers. The cheapest package costs $389. However, you get 30 different designs to choose from for your ebook cover. Since many judge a book by it’s cover, you’re better off having a well designed ebook cover.


Smart Blogger’s 21 Dumb Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your First E-Book is a great ebook resource to help prevent you from making common mistakes new authors makes. It touches on everything from collecting leads, how to avoid writing a really bad ebook, and how to think like a publisher.

Content Bistro’s 42 Easy and Effortless eBook Ideas for the Time Starved Entrepreneur is the perfect ebook blog post for coming up with ebook topics. The blog post lists all the types of ebooks you could create for your niche. From ‘The Top 10 (niche) Hacks for (type of person)’ to ‘ # Ideas for (niche)’ you’ll find 42 great starting points for your ebook idea.

Copybloggers‘ How to Write a High-Quality Ebook in 30 Days outlines the steps by day on how to write an ebook in 30 days. You’ll learn how to plan your month around preparing, writing and editing your ebook.

Webinar Hosting Tips and Tricks for Online Retailers

Hosting webinars is a great idea for high cost or complicated products. As a store owner, you can host your own or be a guest on a partner’s webinar to provide more value, generate leads and build a relationship with your registrants.

Webinars are a great way to humanize your brand and explain how your product works. It’s typically done live allowing your audience to ask questions. It also helps create a sense of urgency as live events pass and those who don’t attend miss out on key information.  

You’ll want to plan your webinar so that you leave time at the end to answer customer questions. Answering questions allows you to connect with your customers, provide them with value and resolve their problems, concerns or objections. According to Content Marketing Institute, approximately 60% of marketers are regularly hosting webinars as part of their content strategy.

Example: Hollister, a Canadian medical company, creates medical products like wound and skin care products, ostomy products and continence care products. They regularly host webinars for their audience. Webinars include ‘Managing the Wound through Bioburden Continuum’ which is hosted by Andrew Applewhite, MD. The webinar is relevant as they sell wound-related products which makes it a perfect fit. Since most of the consumers buying wound-related products are likely working in the medical field, it makes sense to have a medical doctor host the webinar.

Tips on How to Host a Webinar

Most marketers spend about three weeks marketing their webinar to ensure high turnout. It’s recommended that you send a reminder email the day before the webinar so that it stays at the top of the registrant’s mind. You could also send a second email the morning of the webinar.

Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to host webinars according to ReadyTalk. On average 40-50% of webinar registrants end up attending it. However, Brafton believes the best webinar days are Wednesday and Thursday. According to Webinar Ninja, the best day varies. However, they found that second and second to last day of the week perform the best.

The focus of the webinar should be on educating your customers and providing them value. You could feature your product at the end of the webinar. For example, if you sell hair extensions, you might use your hair extensions in a hair tutorial webinar and send everyone a link so they can buy your product – the hair extensions- at the end of it. However, you could also incorporate your products into your webinar. For example, if you’re selling a Christmas tree, you could create a webinar on Christmas Decorating. In your webinar you can show the exact steps for decorating your tree and then have an offer for the tree at the end or even throughout the webinar.

Pick the right topic. Since the focus on the webinar is education, what types of education based questions do you get asked more than anything else. Do people ask you for advice on how to use your product (if it’s complicated) or create different looks (beauty, fashion)? For example, if your best selling product is a blender, you might host a webinar where you show how to use the blender while making different recipes. You might present a bonus offer of a free recipe book. At the end of the webinar, you might sell the blender and a discounted upsell for the blender such as glasses if you taught them to make smoothies.

Following up after a webinar is most important step. Send an email out to everyone with any bonuses you’ve promised and the link that you promised. However, after your webinar is over you should be following up between 3-6 times depending on your webinar content. If someone didn’t attend live, you should follow up with them too.

Know if your market is right for webinars. For example, you might be able to pull off a beauty webinar on makeup tips. However, hosting a webinar on fidget spinners probably won’t work well. Business to business products such as medical supplies or  dentistry equipment might also sell well via a webinar. Keep in mind that webinars work can work well for high cost products or if you want to sell high volumes (that a business can afford).

To promote your webinar, you can run Facebook ads to your targeted group of people. You might want to try a video ad where you offer a few tips and let them know that they’ll learn more at the webinar. You’ll want to make sure the sign-up link is attached to the ad. If you’ve been building up an email list, you can send the sign-up link to your list to encourage attendance. Consider adding a section on your website for new site visitors to find and visit. You can also run a retargeting ad for those visiting your site encouraging them to sign up for your webinar.

Develop a format and rehearse before the big day. Treat it like a keynote at a conference. You wouldn’t go up there and wing it immediately after creation. You’d practice in front of a mirror. Or friends. You might do the entire presentation over and over again twenty times. To get it right. To make it perfect.

Invest in equipment. If you use your laptop’s microphone it’ll likely be difficult to hear or sound echo-y to your listeners. Buy that quality microphone (see our tools section). Use a great webcam if you’ll be on screen. And choose the right spot so that people can see you clearly if you’re on camera.

Ask for feedback throughout the presentation. It can be hard listening to another person talk for an hour. Loop them into the conversation by asking them questions every 4-5 slides. You might ask if they have any questions at that point or have a question prepared for them to answer to gauge more information about who attends your webinars.

You can also do automated webinars. These are webinars that are pre-recorded. You could still hop on the webinar to do the Q&A component to answer the customer queries though. However, automated webinars can allow you to do more webinars more frequently. You can have more time slots for your webinars this way to reach a bigger audience at the time that works best for them. It also works great for an international audience.

After your webinar has ended, evaluate. Did it generate sales? Was the webinar feedback positive? Did attendees find it valuable? Were there any technical issues that you could prevent in the future? How could you improve it to make it better?

Webinar Hosting Resources:

Shopify’s How to Host Webinars That Attract Clients is a great article on how webinars can bring you more customers. You’ll learn how to host a webinar, tools you should use, and how to promote your webinar to grow your number of registrants and attendees. Keep in mind that this article if for client based businesses like agencies. However, you’ll still find value in it.

Smart Blogger’s How to Run Your First Webinar (With No Skills, No Stress, No Budget) details her experiences with running webinars from her first epic webinar fail to her tips on how to run your webinar like a pro, Mary Jaksch.

Webinar Software and Tools:

Webinar Equipment: You might want to invest in a great quality microphone such as the Blue Yeti USB Microphone on Amazon. To ensure that only your voice gets picked up by the microphone, you might want to invest in a Dragonpad Pop Filter. Pop filters help minimize the sharp consonants like Ps and Ts and soothes out the hiss sounds from the Ss. If your laptop is an older model with a low quality camera, you can invest in a great webcam like the C920 Webcam by Logitech.

Envato Presentation Templates can be used to make your presentation look cleaner. If you won’t be in front of the camera, you’ll likely be doing a slideshow presentation. If you’re on a budget you could use the presentation templates from PowerPoint or Keynote. However, if you have a budget to spend and want a professional presentation, you could choose from hundreds of great designs on Envato.

GoToWebinar is the webinar platform of choice for bigger brands. You can have up to 5000 participants in your webinar. However, pricing starts at $104 for 100 participants. The features for this tool outperform Google Hangouts and Skype. You’ll be able to send automated emails, polls, track sources, have an easy registration process, view analytics and more.

Webinar Influencers:

Corey Ferreira, content marketer at Shopify, hosts ecommerce webinars regularly. You can watch his How to Quickly Start a Profitable Dropshipping Store to see an example of how a webinar runs. Pay attention to how he markets after the webinar ends. With his experience running webinars, he shares ‘After your webinar is over, keep marketing to the previous attendees through a series of drip emails. The marketing shouldn’t stop after you’ve sent one email. Your webinar helps build up your email list. Maintain the customer base by continuing to send relevant offers or new webinars for different products.’

How to Create Behind the Scenes Footage

Showing behind the scenes footage for your ecommerce store helps humanize your brand and allows your customers to get to know the person or people behind the company. Even if you don’t manufacture your own products, you can do founder interviews where you share your niche experiences. For example, if you sell yoga apparel, you might talk about how yoga has helped you and why you started your brand because of it. It’s important to let your customers know that there’s a real person running the brand to help build trust and strong customer relationships.

Example: Dynamite, an online clothing retailer is an example of a store who showcases behind the scenes blogs of their company. Recently, they featured one of their interns’ stories about life at the company and a day in the life of their employees. They’ve also shown behind the scenes pictures of their employees partying during the holiday season to show off the company’s fun side. They’ve hosted all of their behind the scenes content on their corporate website and even created an Instagram account for it. However, feel free to share yours directly on your store’s website on blog posts, about us sections, or a special behind the scenes page.

Behind the Scenes Tips:

Relate to your customers. If you sell clubbing clothes, showcasing pictures of your employees partying at a club during the holidays isn’t inappropriate. It shows that you have the same interests as your customers. If you sell fishing equipment showcasing employee photos of impressive fish catches is relevant and might interest your audience. The goal of behind the scenes content is to show your customers you’re just like them.

Have fun with it. Unless you’re selling a very serious product like funeral caskets, you’re allowed to showcase your silly side. If you create videos of your employees working on cool projects, it’s okay for them to make a mistake or make a silly face. Show that you’re human. You don’t need to have a serious video or corporate photos with you in a professional suit. Humanize your brand – just have fun with it.

Use different types of content. Create videos, write blog posts, and take pictures. It doesn’t have to be a high-quality production where you hire a team of videographers to produce this content. If you’re on a budget stick to pictures and behind the scenes details in blog content. As your brand grows, invest in a quality camera that you can record videos with.

Want to monetize your behind the scenes footage? If you show pictures of a photoshoot from an upcoming collection, let customers pre-order the items. You can pre-promote your items this way. If you own an apparel company, and you’re interviewing someone at the company to get an inside look, if they’re wearing items from your brand, you can add links to the product pages of what they wore in the video. Always include a call to action at the end of your content.

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and your website are great places to share your behind the scenes content. Occasionally sharing a look behind the scenes, customers will have a better insight look into who you are.

Show off key employees. The person running your company’s social media should be incorporated in a video. It let’s your customers know who they’re talking to. It gives them a chance to put a face behind a message. And bond with your brand. You might also want to include the company founder, the product curator, or brand personality.

Have a casual setting. You can show off behind the scenes of a photoshoot. Or your employees hanging out on a couch talking about how they choose the best products for customers. The casual setting helps make your brand more approachable. Human.

Behind the Scenes Tools:

Equipment: You can use the highly rated Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera for videos or pictures. Video editing software like Camtasia, Apple iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro CC can be used to edit your video content.

Backdrops: If you plan on doing behind the scenes interviews, you might choose to buy a backdrop. This is particularly a good thing to have if you dropship and run your business from home. You can choose from different styles and patterns to ensure that your video has a professional look.

Canva: If you plan on creating a slideshow video of your behind the scenes images, you can use Canva to resize the images based on the social platform you’re sharing them on. You can also add text or graphics to your images with ease making it user friendly. Keep in mind that this is an images tool not a video tool.  

Behind the Scenes Resource:

Vimeo’s How to Make a Behind the Scenes Video discusses the benefits of behind the scenes content. It also recommends four types of content that you should include on your website: team-building, progress, funny and personal. Flight Media shares how to approach the four types of content to help you humanize your brand.

PetaPixel’s 6 Tips for Effectively Shooting Behind the Scenes provides tips like ‘know when to be invisible’ and ‘be ready to move fast’ to guide you through what it really takes to create behind the scenes videos.

How to Use Content Curation to Grow Your Business

Content curation can save your business a ton of money as creating your own content all the time can be costly. The cost of hiring freelancers or in-house content creators can quickly add up. That doesn’t mean content creation isn’t important. It is. It’s just that you can also effectively curate content for your audience.

What Is Content Curation?

Content curation is when you share content created by others. This can include sourcing another brand as the creator of an infographic you include in one of your blog posts or sharing another brand’s blog post on social media.

Only 5% of brands admit to not doing this, showing that content curation is a really common marketing practice. Why are brands curating content? Over 50% of marketers have said that it has increased their brand’s visibility, web traffic and more.

Content Curation Examples

1. Fetch

Online retailer Fetch curates content on its social media pages. On their Instagram account, they’ll share other people’s pet photos. With curated content they were able to grow their audience size to over 6,500 followers on Instagram. The curated content is mixed with their own custom images to add some diversity to the mix. Curated content allows you to post more content frequently. If you post a few times a day you can skyrocket into the tens or hundreds of thousands, especially in the pet niche.

content curation examples

2. Homesense

Homesense, a popular Canadian home decor brand, curates content on their Pinterest account. On Pinterest, every pinner is expected to curate content as sharing your own content alone can result in an account suspension for spam. Brands like Homesense curate content that matches their branding. The posts you see in the picture below have a mix of their own content and curated content. However, the style of posts all seem similar to one another making it a great content curation example to emulate. 

content curation examples

3. Sujan Patel

Entrepreneur Sujan Patel is an example of a Twitter user who curates content for his feed. He uses content curation tools like Quuu to find and schedule content. You’ll find a mix of relevant articles about marketing, SEO, and business on his feed from various brands. As he runs his own businesses as well, he shares blog content from his own companies as well. However, he supplements with curated content to ensure his feed is always active with fresh content. 

curate content examples

10 Content Curation Tips

1. Curate Funny Videos and Pictures

On my personal brand’s Facebook page, most of our content is curated. We share funny videos and pictures about our niche. We grew our Facebook page to have over 50,000 fans using this strategy. The reality is when we created our own content it performed well. But it doesn’t perform nearly as well as sharing someone else’s content. Some people make great content that we’re happy to share. We always credit the brand linking out to their page, even if they’re within the same niche. It hasn’t hurt our sales one bit and it’s definitely helped them. Content curation actually helped grow our sales too.

2. Create and Curate Content

Have a blend of your own content and curated content. No one wants to see sales pitches every time they go on social media. That’s the fastest way to get unfollowed. So have fun with your brand. Share some positive videos, motivational quotes or other cool content that would be relatable for your niche. When you do post your own products customers will likely not be annoyed by it.

3. Curate Content for Your Specific Audience

Know your audience. Is your niche more likely to prefer entertaining videos or thoughtful blog content? If you regularly share blog content and it gets low engagement, that’s a sign that you should probably try something different. From my experience with marketing on Instagram and Facebook, video usually drives the highest number of followers and engagement such as shares, likes and comments. So when executing your content curation strategy be sure to include videos. 

4. Don’t Curate Offensive Content

Don’t offend your audience. There’s no shortage of content you can curate. Be mindful of what you’re sharing. You might think you’re sharing an article from an inspirational person in your niche. However, if you’re new to the niche, you might not know that the person isn’t respected in the industry. This may upset your audience. Avoid posting content that makes fun of certain types of people as it can turn some people off. Be sure to train your freelancers and employees about acceptable content curation practices in your niche to ensure this rule is followed.

5. Monitor Your Competition’s Content

Monitor your competition. What type of content do they share that works well? Aim to share the same type of content. If they’re regularly posting uplifting content, focus on trying it out with your brand. Don’t just share the same content they do as people will notice and it won’t work out favorably for you. Share a similar style but different content.

6. Have a Mix of Content

Mix up your posts. It can be overwhelming to scroll through a feed and only see videos. Not everyone wants to watch a video all the time. Have some quote pictures, some funny pictures, videos, blog content, customer photos and more. Your social media should be balanced with different types of content.  

7. Give a Bit of a Teaser

Add your two cents. When sharing other brand’s content, you’ll want to explain why you’re sharing this. You shouldn’t say something like ‘I’m sharing this because..’ Instead, ask a question to your audience or mention why it’s great. For example you can write something like, ‘Check out this yoga article. Can you do the 11th pose?’

8. Be on Brand

Stay focused. Having a consistent style for your content is a great way to build your audience. Stick to content that’ll be appreciated and enjoyed by your audience. If you share a mud race graphic for your meditation bracelet store, it’s not necessarily the right audience for that. By being consistent with your type of content, customers will be more likely to stay a fan of your page over the long haul.

9. Mix Up The Brands Whose Content You Share

Don’t always share content from the same brands. Mix it up. Different brands create different content. If you constantly share the same brand’s content, you’ll find that more people will start to follow that brand instead of you. By mixing it up you become a content curator. Finding the best content for your customers.

10. Schedule Your Content

Schedule your content. Automating your content curation can be an easy way to keep your social media pages active without you having to add content constantly. Using a tool like Buffer you can add up to 10 posts at a time, per social platform for free. This allows you to group your marketing activities together to give you more time to work on driving your sales growth.

Content Curation Experts

marsha kellyEntrepreneur Marsha Kelly curates content on Pinterest, she shares, This year we doubled our traffic by focusing on Pinterest and using Tailwind to curate content. Pinterest has grown dramatically and is now profitable for most niches, not just food, in fact, ours is in a B2B niche. By using Tailwind Tribes, groups of topic-specific collaborators, with 50% of curated content created by others we generated thousands of additional page views and generated sizable sales increases.  Tailwind has created groups of collaborators called Tribes, in which we all share each other’s Pins to interested viewers in our niche. The dashboard is user-friendly and you set up a queue that automatically pins content at the optimized time for maximum engagement. This allows you to easily set up hundreds of Pins with curated content at once.

alexander lewisAlexander Lewis, Co-owner of  Lewis Commercial Writing, says, People follow curation platforms because they trust the taste of the curator. Before you begin sharing content, it’s helpful to first establish the angle you’re going to take. Your taste will distinguish your content from every other — so it’s worth setting in stone. Put it in writing. Form a connection with your favorite creators. If someone’s content seems like a great fit for your curated platform, contact the creator to say so. This opens the conversation. You can ask them who they look up to. Their answer may open your eyes to new people to follow and curate. Plus, if they like your platform, they may promote you in front of their audience. Finally, think about retention. What are you doing to maintain the long-term interest of people seeing and sharing your content? Do you have an email list or other means for viewers to subscribe to your content? If not, your audience can disappear as soon as your favorite social media platform tweaks an algorithm.

Content Curation Tools

1. Sniply

Snip.ly is a content curation tool that allows you to add your own message and link to the content you curate. For example, if you share someone’s blog post, there will be a popup on the screen where you can drive traffic back to your blog or store. This allows your brand to stay at top of mind while your followers to browse other websites you share.

2. Tailwind

Tailwind is a content curation tool for Pinterest users. On the platform, you can join tribes where other bloggers share their content that you’ll be able to repin. You can also share your own content so that other bloggers can curate content that you’ve created.

content curation tools

3. Zest

Zest is another content curation tool for marketers who are looking for content to curate. You’ll find a ton of articles on topics such as social media, marketing, business, and other B2B topics. The team manually reads each article to ensure that the quality of the content is high so you know you’re always curating great content. 

content curation tools

4. Feedly

Feedly is one of those content curation tools where you can save articles to read later. This is great for those browsing several websites at once to choose from at the time of curation. The tool even organizes your curated content into sections.

4. Pocket

Pocket is another content curation tool where you can view content later. Once you’ve selected several articles you want to read, all you need to do is add it to Pocket and it’ll be saved for you.

5. Twitter Lists

Twitter Lists are a great content curation tool if you know who to follow. You can follow top influencers within your niche and add them to a list. If they regularly share content, you can source your content from those followers. Then, you can share those posts on your own social media by retweeting them or adding them to Buffer if you plan on sharing them on other social platforms as well.

6. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo can be a great content curation tool. You’ll be able to search by keyword or website to find the most popular content with the most shares. You can choose the most shared articles to add to your own social media to build out your pages.

7. Quuu

Quuu is one of the most popular content curation tools. You can use it to both find content to curate and to share your own content. The content integrates with social media automation tools to allow influencers and brands to share your content with their followers. You can also be the brand or influencer who uses Quuu to curate content for your own social channels.

content curation tools


Content curation is a great way to fill up your social media feeds and supplement your own content. Top brands curate content regularly to ensure their social channels stay active. There are several content curation tools where you can find great content to share and where you can promote your own content to be curated. If you own a small business, content curation can be a cost-effective strategy that allows you to scale your business, grow your followers, and generate sales.

How to Start a Podcast for Ecommerce Store Owners

Podcast listening has had steady growth of about 10-20% each year with over 51% of Americans having listened to a podcast at some point.

Podcasts are a form of content marketing. If you’re camera shy or don’t have strong writing skills, you may choose to build your audience with a weekly podcast, though daily ones are more likely to grow fast. As with other forms of content marketing, the goal is to provide value to your listeners. Podcasts work well for non-visual niches. For example, you probably wouldn’t teach makeup tutorials this way. However, if you sell a productivity journal online, you might focus your weekly podcasts on the topic of productivity.

Podcast Example: Of a Kind is one ecommerce brand that has created a standout podcast. Their podcast includes episodes on their top product picks, dating, how to make jewelry and more. The company’s two founders run the podcast together. Occasionally, they have special guests.

A podcast might not be profitable in the traditional sense. However, it helps humanize the brand. It’s also a great way to find new customers who might not have heard of your brand. Talking about issues or topics that affect your target audience can help liven up your podcast. It’s not meant to be a sales pitch.

Podcast Hosting Tips:

Your podcast should be centered around your niche. If you sell fashion, you might have a podcast about celebrity fashion, trends or what to wear for special occasions (date night, Valentine’s Day, etc). Or if you sell backpacks, you might have a podcast about travelling. Remember: the podcast doesn’t need to be product specific it just has to be relevant to your niche.  

Decide the format of your podcast. Do you have a co-founder or employee you can do the podcast with? Or you could do an interview with experts from your niche if you run your business alone. How long will your show typically be and how often? Do you have the resources to have a daily podcast? Or is a weekly podcast more manageable for your team?

Batch your podcast episode production together. Most podcasters release a new episode each week but they don’t record them weekly. They may have one day where they record several episodes. They then spend a few days editing those episodes. And they add a finished episode each week having optimized their time effectively. Be sure to commit to the schedule you start with. This will allow listeners to expect your podcast at the same time each week.

Promote your podcast. You might include podcast episodes on your blog so people can listen to it directly on it. Feel free to include a written transcript on your blog too for those who’d prefer to consume the information that way. You can hire someone on Fiverr to transcribe podcasts affordably. Add your podcast to iTunes and other aggregators like Stitcher so that you can tap into the audience on that platform so you can reach more than just your customers. You might even create a Facebook group or community for your fans to have conversations about your niche, get ideas for podcast topics and promote your content to. Don’t forget to ask listeners to rate and review your podcast to get more eyes on it. It’ll help give your brand more social proof.

Focus on building relationships with your listeners. Even if you don’t have high listening stats, you’ll want to strengthen your relationships with people who listen each week. Whether you get an email or a question on social media, get to know what they’d like to hear more about on your podcast. The better you serve your audience, the more likely they are to keep tuning in.

Be mindful of sounds. Whether it’s about adding intro and outro music or the sounds in the recording room, listeners will notice them. Have pets and children away from your recording studio. Use soundproofing if necessary. You might also want to add sounds throughout your podcast. For example, if you have a meditation podcast, you might add calming wave sounds to your podcast to relax your listeners.

Before you record your first podcast, rehearse. Have a list of questions and topics that you’ll talk about. Record your first conversation with your co-host and listen to the playback together. After you’ve recorded a few podcasts, it’ll come across naturally. But rehearsing when you’re new allows you to practice what to say, what not to say and you’ll see the areas you need to improve on.

At launch, you’ll want to have a few episodes available for immediate streaming. This helps drive more downloads to your podcast as your listeners will likely download all of them. Whereas only having on podcast keeps your downloads limited to the number of listeners you have. People excited to hear your podcast will likely be most excited at launch which will help give your brand more traction with it. It also makes your podcast seem less ‘brand new’ to those who stumble on it.

If you recommend links or websites on your podcast, be sure to add them all to your blog. This allows your listeners to find all the resources you mentioned in one convenient place. It also drives traffic to your blog with each listen.

Podcast Hosting Tools:

Audacity is a popular podcasting tool that allows you to record and edit your podcast. The tool is free making it a great choice for those starting out as it’s open source.

Skype is a great podcasting tool you can use if you’re hosting with someone from a different location. You need to make sure your mics are on and you need to have both people open Audacity so that it records both of your voices. On Audacity, you need to set your guest’s settings to Stereo Mix whereas your settings should be on your external mic.

Facebook Live is great if you want to livestream your podcast. This is great for those of you who want to reach an even bigger audience. With Facebook Live, you can tap into your audience who want to watch the conversation. You can then take the audio and add it to your iTunes. And you can have a written transcript of it available on your blog. That way your content gets repurposed in three different ways to grow audiences from different channels.

Auphonic is a post production podcasting tool that helps balance the levels of various sounds whether it’s your speaker or music you’ve added. It also helps reduce hum sounds and more.

Free Sound is where you can find free sounds. It’s like a Creative Commons sound database which is perfect for those on a shoestring budget.

Blue Yeti is the external microphone most podcasters recommend. The $129.99 microphone fits within most budgets while providing high quality sound. You’ll want to add a pop filter with your microphone purchase for an even crisper sound.

Audio Jungle is the source for audio sounds and music. If you’re planning on creating your own intro, you’ll likely want to purchase the rights to stock music or sounds for your podcast.

Podomatic is where you can host all your podcast episodes. The tool syncs up with iTunes and Google Play so you can have your podcasts on those platforms. They also have an analytics feature so you can view data on your listeners such as where their from and their level of engagement. With this tool you can also embed your podcast on your website.

Garage Band is a tool you can use to edit your podcasts. You might edit out pauses or moments where your words stumble. You can also add your intro and outro music to your podcast in an editing tool.

Smart Podcast Player is Pat Flynn’s podcasting tool. It’s specifically designed to encourage binge listening from your listeners to keep them on your website even longer. It allows you to capture emails, customize the look, encourage social sharing, and more.

Calendly is a tool you can use to schedule appointments. If you host interviews with new guests each week, you might use this tool so that they can find an available time within your calendar without having to email you back and forth.

iTunes Connect is where podcasters log in to submit their podcasts on iTunes.

Resources on How to Start a Podcast:

How to Start a Successful Podcast (For Under $100) covers how podcasting works, why you should start a podcast, what you need to get started and how to record your first episode.

The Top 30 Business Podcasts to Listen to Now includes 30 business podcasts that you should be listening to. While you can use these podcasts to learn more about how to be a better entrepreneur, you should really focus on what these podcasts have in common. What separates the best podcasts from the good ones? Try to find the commonalities from the best podcasts so you can create a top rated podcast.

How to Start a Podcast: Pat’s Step by Step Podcasting Tutorial dives into Pat Flynn’s personal experience with creating a podcast and the impact it’s had on his business. His podcast has had over 37 million downloads which makes this podcasting tutorial worth checking out.

How to Create a Fashion Lookbook Customers Love

An online magazine or fashion lookbook is a form of content marketing that can help build excitement around your products. Online magazines are most popular within the fashion industry. Lookbooks showcase lifestyle shots of models wearing clothes from your store. Top retailers usually include them. Some brands use lookbooks as a teaser for the upcoming fashion season. They also help your customer better visualize your products. It lets them see your apparel styled and in a different setting to allow you to imagine the possibilities if you were to wear it. Lookbooks are great piece of content that can be shared to build greater brand awareness and reach a bigger audience.

Fashion Lookbook Example: Net-A-Porter is an online retailer who also has their own online magazine. While most retailers offer their lookbooks or digital magazines for free, this brand charges a fee and delivers it right to your door. The magazine has a large reach and is sold in stores and online. Their magazine covers stories on relevant topics such as beauty and celebrities. They also include lifestyle images of models wearing their apparel and editorials.

Fashion Lookbook Ideas and Tips:

Images play the biggest role in lookbooks and online magazines. You’ll want to have a mix of lifestyle shots and products laid out like a traditional magazine spread. Model photos shouldn’t be with a plain white background as that can make the lookbook boring. Having models in different poses in different outdoor or indoor settings will allow enough variety that customers will want to flip through other pages. Feel free to have fun with the types of photos you include in your fashion lookbook like Of Mercer does.

One Tribe Apparel created an internationally sourced lookbook. Their lookbook includes their products worn by people from 6 continents, 16 countries and 21 locations. You don’t need to hire a photographer to take your pictures for you. You can use influencers to take photos for you. Their lookbook includes a clickable map where you can choose which country you want to view pictures from. Once you land on a country’s section, you’ll find outdoor pictures with models wearing the apparel. However, the images are balanced with short story-like quotes. Overall, it creates an interactive experience while showcasing products in a different light.

Have an engaging layout. Unless you have strong design skills, stick to using a template for your lookbook. A template will help ensure that the look of your online magazine is up to today’s standards. Think of how an online magazine or standard fashion lookbook typically looks. Not all pages have the same layout. If they did, the lookbook would be a bit boring. Have fun with the style.

Include links. Many of the lookbook creators in the tools section below allow you to add links using words like ‘Shop this look’. If you have different products on each page of the lookbook, link out to all the product pages. You can also add a ‘Want the whole look?’ section with a link to all of the products ready for checkout. This can help make the shopping experience easier for your customers while also monetizing the lookbook and increasing average order value.

Add a section for different trends. Fashion is all about trends. Many customers enjoy shopping by trend. If the romantic look is in season, you might have a few pages of your lookbook devoted to floral or feminine apparel. Your lookbook can be as long as you want it to be. Have a few different sections devoted to the latest trends so that customers can better visualize different trends and looks.

Add a section on ‘Top 10 Picks.’ Customers love seeing lists. They’re easy to process. And they’re fun to look at. Choosing your top ten best selling products for your Top 10 Picks makes it more likely that customers will want to buy those items. The art of product curation can be a challenge but if you let the data make the decision for you, you’ll get better results. If your store hasn’t had a sale yet or you don’t have data on what your bestsellers are, the focus should be on getting sales not on creating a lookbook.

Add editorials if you have the bandwidth. You don’t need to write articles for your lookbook especially if you’re short on time or resources. However, adding a few editorials can increase the amount of time on page your readers spend on your website which can improve your ranking in search. It shows Google that people enjoy staying on your website. You’ll still want to have a bigger focus on visuals instead of written content. However, a few pages of written content can help with search.

Create a new lookbook seasonally. Some retailers choose to create a lookbook each season while others might combine Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. Do what works best for your brand and with the resources you have. You’ll want to be consistent with how often you create and share your look book.

Be cautious about using celebrity photos. Many lookbooks or online magazines include sections on celebrities using their quotes and images. Many reputable photographers take celebrity photos meaning that they can and likely will take legal action if you use their images without their permission. When it comes to images, stick to images you’ve taken yourself or images you have permission to use.

Add social sharing buttons. Allow customers to share your lookbook. You’re investing a lot of time into creating one. The goal should be on increasing your reach. The more people who visit your lookbook, the more likely you are to generate sales through it. If customers like your lookbook they’ll likely want to share a page or two with their friends. Make sharing easy! And don’t forget to share it on social media.

Online Magazine Maker and Tools:

Flipsnack is an online magazine creator. If you run an online fashion store you can easily turn a pdf into a lookbook on your store. You can make the lookbook interactive by adding links, rich media and an internal navigation. If you change your product collection each season, you might use a lookbook to tease customers about the new inventory that’ll be coming in. You can also use a lookbook to mix and match items in your store to create new outfits or looks for your customers.

Joomag is a online magazine maker that allows you to make digital newsletters and magazines. You can choose from over 300 templates in over 12 categories. Interactive content like videos and music can even be added to your online magazine. Slideshows can also be created within your lookbook. Pricing starts at $39 a month.

Calameo’s online magazine creator allows store owners to create publications in advance. You can even schedule the release date. You’ll be able to add interactive content from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion or Soundcloud. Data can also be viewed to better understand who your readers are and to determine it’s performance. You can add a widget of your magazine on your website. But don’t worry your publication can be hosted on your website. They have a free plan where you can add up to 500 pages to your publication with a maximum storage of 15GB.

Fashion Lookbook Resources:

How to Make Free Digital Lookbooks for Your Brand covers whether or not a lookbook makes sense for your business and how to create one. It mentions the components of what you’ll need from premium images to free a Lucidpress account.

How to Create a Powerful Lookbook and Get More Customers details what a lookbook is, the psychology behind them, their major benefits, and how to create one. From design guidelines to what you should include in them this article covers it all.

How to Write Great Product Copy and Product Descriptions

Your copy has the power to convince a total stranger to buy something from your store. From the way your describe your product to the way you use words to drive urgency, your words can move customers into action. Copy shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s just too powerful. Avoiding product descriptions or writing generic taglines won’t do your business any good. Learning how to be an effective copywriter is essential in the world of ecommerce. Words, pictures, products and relationships. Those are the four main ingredients to running a successful online store. If any of of them isn’t of the highest standard, the brand begins to fall apart. Fortunately, we’ve compiled some of the best examples and tips so you can learn from the best.

Product Description Example: Beachbody is probably one of the best examples for copywriting. While they sell some of their products in stores, they also sell fitness DVDs online. Pay attention to how what words they use to describe how they’ll solve your problem.

For Core de Force an MMA workout DVD, it says they’ll ‘Knock out the belly fat in 30 days.’ If a person has belly fat, this can be a very enticing offer. This one sentence is a play on words since MMA fighting has ‘knock outs.’ However, the sentence also mentions how little of a time commitment it is to solve their problem. It’s only 30 days. And they understand that their audience is likely trying to eliminate belly fat and add emphasis to that problem area. Even their call to action uses the same language from that first sentence. The CTA reads ‘YES! I want to knock out the belly fat!’ If you know you want to eliminate belly fat how can you say no to that offer. However, as you scroll through the product page, you’ll see the effectiveness of the copy. You’ll also notice how they enlarge the font for words they want to add emphasis to. With copy like ‘How good are the results? PRETTY. DAMN. GREAT.’ It captures attention. The copy is also effective because of their use of imagery which complements the copy. While your copywriting needs to be on point, you need to make sure that all of the aspects on your product page are working together cohesively.

Product Description and Copywriting Tips:

Frank body effectively uses copy throughout their product page. Their product description solves a problem ‘chapped, flakey lips’ and unveils the result from using their product ‘soft, plump pout.’ However, they also make use of copywriting on the product’s About Me and Inside Me sections. In the About Me section, the product is given it’s own about me detailing what the thickness of the lip balm is, what it does, why it’s better than competitors, and it’s multiple uses. The Inside Me section details the ingredients in a unique and fun way.

PooPourri has an awkward product. Naturally, when you sell a product of that nature you’ve got to make it humorous. And that’s what PooPourri does with their copy. All of their product names either have the word ‘bum,’ ‘potty,’ ‘crap,’ or some other variant in the name. Under product details, they use a variety of play-on words to make the copy more playful. By injecting humor and playfulness into the product, it helps make customers less embarassed about using a product like this. The copy is also aligned with the company’s branding.

Modcloth is one of those online retailers who you can always count on for fun copywriting. Take a quick look at how the brand describes this sweater. They use words like ‘snuggling,’ ‘coziness,’ ‘super-soft’ and ‘comfortable’ which all work together to create the exact feelings you want from a sweater. They also use alliteration with ‘comfortable….cocoon of coziness.’ The copy is playful and fun which works well within the fashion niche.

Tipsy Elves is another example of playful copywriting. Their copy plays well with their products of ugly Christmas sweaters. This product in specific is a sweater that allows you to play an interactive drinking game. In the first sentence, the product description clearly states the key benefit of this sweater, ‘…it’s fun for the whole party!’ If you’re attending a holiday party and want to liven it up or need help breaking the ice, this sweater will likely do the trick. It even talks about some of the honest challenges you’ll face with this sweater but ends on a positive note,  ‘ …as the game goes on, it will become increasingly hard to hit and hopefully that means everyone is having a blast!’

Bed, Bath & Beyond channels a strong and diverse vocabulary for their copy. For a holiday themed shower curtain, they used words like ‘bright,’ ‘bold,’ ‘festive’ and ‘glorious.’ These words all have positive connotations and in combination they showcase the product in a fun light. While shower curtains aren’t a very exciting product to write product descriptions, this brand shows that you can still create great copy around any product.

The best copywriters don’t just whip something up without doing their homework. Whenever I write product descriptions or do a bit of creative writing, I often have several websites open. When I wrote the category copy for Burst, I wanted the copy to be playful so I used several idioms, rhymes and puns. I share the exact sites I used in the tools section. When it comes to blog content, I usually do a lot of research before hand. For some of my articles on Oberlo, I browse hundreds of ecommerce stores to get the best examples to use. It’s that level of detail and effort that separates the best content from the worst content.

Make your content easy to read. When writing product descriptions, I usually stick to a short paragraph of 3-4 sentences and a few bullet points. Having only bullet points limits the amount of personality you can inject into your description. Having a bit of a write-up can help create a positive experience around the product the customer is about to buy. It’s also a chance for your brand to shine!

Focus on the benefits. What’s the main thing a customer gets from your product? Will it make her happier? Will it solve his problem? Does it make life more fun? Whatever your customer is going to get out of this product, you need to make that the focus in your copy. If it solves a pain-point, empathize with their desperation to solve this issue. If it brings a sense of joy, inject playfulness into the copy as you write about how their life will be enhanced. Your product features aren’t as important as what it does and how it’ll make your customers feel.

Use emotion. Online stores can use scarcity and urgency to compel customers into actions. Words can do that too! Use words like secret, unbelievable, magical, missing out, and trustworthy if you’re trying to create an emotional response from the reader. Here you’ll find more high emotion words.

Focus on what a customer gains. A lot of time people focus on what a customer loses. For example, ‘buy three, save $10’ is focused on the customer’s loss. Instead, it should be ‘buy two, get a third free.’ With the second example, the customer gains something with their purchase. Even if the value is the same, the customer is likely to find the gain more valuable.

Copywriting Tools:

Idioms is one of my favorite tools to use when copywriting. If you’re writing about a certain product you can use an idiom to make the writing more fun to read. Many are common expressions you may have heard before that people use in their everyday conversations.

Words to Use is another amazing copywriting tool that helps you find great descriptive words for your copy. Their website features words for various niches such as clothing, jewelry, beauty, and pets. You can browse their words to enhance your copy. For clothing, you’ll find words like ‘romantic, boho chic, and glamorous’ which can be used in different product descriptions.

Rhyme Zone can be used if you’re writing fun copy. While product descriptions doesn’t typically include many rhymes, you may choose to include it on certain products. All you need to do is type the word you’d like to rhyme and you’ll find a list of suggestions. You’ll want to make sure that the rhyming word you choose makes sense in the context of your copy.

Copyscape is a plagiarism checker tool. If you hire freelancers, want to ensure your content isn’t copied or want to double check for duplicate content, this tool is great.

Keyword Planner is Google’s keyword tool. When you type in a keyword, you’ll learn what the monthly search volume for that word is. If it’s too low, you can browse a list of other recommendations on the same page. You’ll see each keyword’s search volume and competition level to know if you can rank organically for it.

Hemingway App is a tool I regularly use for readability. On average, copy should be written at a 6th grade level. If you write at a much higher level than that some of your readers might not understand what you’re saying. Your content needs to be readable. The app highlights which sentences are hard to read and very hard to read. It also gives a few grammar suggestions.

Word Counter is a copywriting tool I use for SEO. You can add the link to competing websites to find out how many words are on their webpage. While word count isn’t necessarily a factor in SEO, comprehensiveness is. If you write blog content on your store, you should look at the word count of the top 5 websites for the keyword you’re trying to rank for. Whichever has the highest word count is the one to beat.

Headline Analyzer is a tool that indicates how compelling your headline is. The closer to 100 the more compelling your headline. This works great for stores that sell impulse buy products or want to clickbait their fans to visit their website.

Grammarly is a grammar tool. It corrects typos, grammatical issues, punctuation and style. Before you add content to your website be sure to run it through grammarly to ensure you don’t have any major issues in your copy.

Product Description Resources:

How to Write Epic Product Descriptions that Sell details why you should write product descriptions, how to find the right words for your copy, and tips for product descriptions. It also includes a few examples of some of my favorite product descriptions on popular online stores. If you’re looking for a product description template, you’ll find the exact format I use to write product descriptions on my stores.

20 Inspirational Examples of Product Page Copy contains a list of 20 examples of amazing product descriptions. You’ll find examples from a variety of niches which will show you how different copy needs to be for different audiences.

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley is one of the most popular copywriting books frequently read by content marketers and professional writers. Handley’s book walks you through how to write better, easy to remember grammar rules, content tools you’ll love and more.

16 Website Personalization Tricks You Need to Try

According to Aberdeen Group, 75% of consumers prefer having personalized messages and offers from brands. About 88% of consumers state that they’re more likely to buy from stores that offer a personalized experience. Creating a personalized experience can help drive more customers back to your store and increase your sales. You can personalize the shopping experience by retargeting customers with products they’ve added to their cart, offering a free gift on their birthday, showing them products in their size only, recommending products for them based on their search history and more.

Example: JustFab is an example of website personalization. They take the boring process of personalizing the customer experience and turn it into a fun quiz. They’ll show pictures of what type of shoes you like, show celebrity pictures to better understand your style, ask you questions about your shoe size, heel preferences, and more. Customers don’t even realize it until the quiz is completed that they just gave JustFab enough information for true ecommerce personalization. They’ll now only see products in their size and with their preferences. On a customer’s birthday, they even receive a special discount.

Ecommerce Personalization Marketing Tips:

Disney offers its customers a more personalized experience. If you sign up for an account, you’ll be greeted with a ‘Welcome (your name)’ on their website. Their online store is also personalized by location. For example, if you’re in France, you’ll land on a French version of their website. They also have a Personalization Shop where you can include your name on apparel, phone cases, art, watches and more. You can choose different colors, characters, and items. This level of personalization is great for kids as you can place their name on their belongings so that they have a sense of ownership.

ASOS personalizes their store by simplifying the process of picking the right size. Customers can add their weight and height on a product page and find the size that customers like them bought. The brand’s tools factors in refunds of sizes to help determine the best choice for the average customer of that size. See our personalization apps to find size tools.

Get to know each customer. Long forms can lower conversions but getting insight into who your customer is can help you do a more personalized marketing to your audience. Simply knowing your customer’s name allows you to welcome them on your website by name. Or sending them a special birthday offer or freebie can help make them feel important on their special day. See our personalization apps below to know how to do this. Personalization allows you to give your customers a tailored online shopping experience.

Recommend products to your customers. Having an ‘If you like this…’ or ‘Recommended for you’ section on your website can help boost sales. Do you offer a similar styled product that a customer would like that complements the product they’ve already bought or one that’s sitting in their cart.

Segment your audience. The data your email provider gives you can probably segment your email list with buyers vs non-buyers, buyers of certain products, repeat customers, top spenders and more. Rather than emailing your entire list of subscribers, send tailored emails to each segment group to create a more personalized experience. An email is more likely to resonate with a customer if it’s relevant and highly targeted.

Show customers a list of their previously browsed items. Amazon has this feature on their store. Sometimes customers need a friendly reminder of what they were recently looking easily compare and contrast in order to make the right purchase.

Retarget customers who add items to their cart but don’t purchase. By showing them an ad with the items they added to their cart, you create a personalized experience that typically results in more abandoned cart recoveries. On average, about 8% of customers recover their abandoned carts but with a retargeting ad that number jumps to 26%.

Offer special deals based on the location they’re in. For example, if someone is in the United States you could let them know that you offer free shipping to the US. Check out the section on personalization apps to find tools that can do this. However, be sure not to show this offer unless people can access this deal as it can frustrate customers. On Amazon, if you live in Canada and visit Amazon, you’ll be directed to Amazon.ca. It allows you to pay in your country’s currency. It also allows you to browse products that ship to your country. If a Canadian were to visit Amazon.com they may be disappointed to find some of the products don’t ship to their location. Tony Bianco adds a popup before redirecting its customers to an international version of their website to offer pricing in their currency and to offer lower international shipping rates.

Fashion Bunker helps create a personalized experience with a notifications tab with the day’s offers. While not all offers are personalized, first time visitors are presented with offers that repeat customers aren’t. The notifications are presented on the top of their website with notifications on a envelope shaped icon. Depending on the demographic, many associate notifications with personalization as they’re only conditioned to receiving personalized messages on social networks.

Send a ‘come back’ email to customers who haven’t purchased from your store in a while. You’ll want to re-engage them with a VIP discount code, free gift or special offer.

Send a thank you note. You can send a thank you note with every package or send it after the purchase. A thank you note is a personalized and effective way to build a relationship with a customer. Thanking them for making a purchase makes them feel appreciated. Be sure to include their name, tell them that you hope they enjoy their product, and sign it as the founder or other member of your company. It’s this personal touch which could help you grow your repeat customers. Keep in mind that this is easier to do when you have a small customer base. It can be hard to offer this level of personalization as you scale but you can always get your support team to help out.

Offer special discounts based on where they came from. For example, if someone came through a referral link, you could have a pop-up appear saying ‘here’s 10% off thanks to your friend Amanda.’ Check out our personalization apps section to find a tool that does this.

Send push notifications from your website to remind abandoned cart customers that they left something in their cart. The notifications appear on your visitor’s computer shortly after cart abandonment after they’ve left your website. By mentioning the exact product a customer was looking at, the push notification is specifically tailored to the customer. Thus, making it more likely that they’ll end up checking out the notification and completing their purchase.

Keep in mind that a lot of the personalization features offered often require a customer to create an account with your store. Asking for a customer to create an account during checkout can lead to cart abandonments. However, not asking for it can lead to fewer account creations. Ultimately, gamifying the process with a quiz or using personalization apps can help make the process of account creation more enjoyable from a user experience perspective.

Personalization Apps:

Personalized Recommendations is a great Shopify app that allows you to offer personalized product recommendations based on a customers’ behavior and purchase history. You only pay for the app if it generates sales for your store. Customers can experience personalized recommendations by viewing cart recommendations, their recently viewed products and more.  

Happy Birthday Email is an automated email that wishes your customers a happy birthday. It captures your customers’ birthday information on your website. On your customer’s special day, they’ll receive a discount code that they can use to buy themselves a little birthday gift. Each code is uniquely generated so that customers can’t share the code or use it multiple times.

Discount Ninja is a personalization app that offers discounts to customers that can be customized based on what the referral source is. For example, if your visitor comes from Facebook, you could offer a ‘FACEBOOK’ discount code for that specific user.

Discount Ninja

Segmentify is an ecommerce segmentation tool that uses artificial intelligence technology to help store owners increase conversions by personalizing the shopping experience per visitor. You’ll be able to send personalized offers and product recommendations by targeting each customer at scale. Based on a visitor’s past and current behavior on your website, you can tailor the shopping experience in real-time by recommending relevant products, sending them web-push notifications, exit-intent popups, personalized emails and much more.

website personalization

Retail Rocket’s product recommendation platform allows you to offer your customers a personalized experience. You can trigger personalized emails based on customer behavior on your store. The tool also features behavioral pop-ups which have been known to convert up to 10% of store visitors.

Zen.Ai Product Recommendations is another product recommendation app that you can install on your Shopify store. The app works on a pay per performance basis meaning it’s free unless it’s helped lead to sales which is great for budget-conscious entrepreneurs. Customers can easily find their recently viewed items, top picks chosen for them, and more.

Currency Converter personalizes the shopping experience by showing customers the cost of goods in their local currency. This allows them to have a better grasp on how much their products will cost without having to do tricky mental math or waste time converting prices themselves. The app doesn’t actually convert the payment and you’ll still accept payment in your store’s local currency. You can add up to 5 currencies for your store.

Optimizely allows you to personalize your store in countless ways. You can show customers new products based on their previous shopping experience. You can also present different products based on where your customers are in the world. This tool allows you to target customers based on the weather, their abandoned cart history and more.

Personalization Resources:

15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Personalization helps store owners understand the importance of personalization. It allows you to see how personalization can help grow sales, improve customer satisfaction, and how easy it is to stand out from your competitors who may not be making the most of personalization on their stores.

7 Ways to Boost Conversions with Personalization uses case studies to show you how to offer a more personalized experience while improving your store’s conversion rate. You’ll see examples from brands like Zumba and specific results from their personalization efforts.

Personalization Influencer:

Adam Selsby, Founder and CEO of Treatail, shares, “The next level of personalization is based on a consumer’s perceived value at a point in time. Product recommendations based not just on what they bought in the past, but what they would buy right now at a given price. There are terabytes of data about consumer shopping habits trying to figure this out. Or you could let the consumer simply tell you. That’s how Netflix does it. You rate movies.. They learn what you “value.” Then they make recommendations based on what you told them. If there was no rating, the recommendations would be half as good. Just like product recommendations based on what you bought, not what you value.

11 Best About Us Page Tips and Monetization Tricks

According to Blue Acorn, those who visited a website’s about us page were five times more likely to make a purchase. They even spent 22.5% more than those who didn’t visit the about us page during their visit. About Us pages help your customer better understand who your brand is while helping you earn their trust. This could be why they spent more. According to KoMarketing, 52% of site visitors expect to find the company’s about us page on their homepage. About us pages help you introduce your brand to your customer. You can share your mission and show off your team to humanize your brand and bond over your similar values. Customers want to see the reflection of who they are in your brand to build a deep, emotional connection with your brand. Some of the best brands not only know who they are but also deeply reflect and represent their market.

About Us Page Example: Estee Lauder uses vintage images to tell its brand story. The vintage images help showcase that the brand is established and has been around for a long time giving it more credibility. They include links to different pages where customers can learn more about the founder of Estee Lauder, the personal story of inspiration for why the brand was started, and more. What Estee Lauder does differently than most stores is that they include a ‘Shop the story’ section where customers can add three popular products to their cart that are featured in the story. By monetizing their about us page, they improve their chances of having increased sales.

About Us Page Design Tips:

Focus on the why. Why did you start the brand? Why do you sell the products you sell? Simon Sinek has said, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.’ Your why can help you build rapport with your customers. If they’re passionate about the same niche as you, they’ll be more likely to relate to you and your brand making them more likely to buy.

Humanize your about us page. Add pictures of yourself or your team. Make your about us page about your customer and include them in your page – share why you appreciate them. Share personal stories about why you’re passionate about your store niche to bond with your customer.

Include a mission statement. Essentially, your mission statement explains why you do what you do. In a short and sweet statement, you can explain what your brand stands for.

Many top brands add a product page link or product links directly on their homepage. Since most people who visit the about us page are likely to convert, adding a link to a product collection can help ease them into your sales funnel while optimizing your page.

Imogene + Willie tell the story of their brand’s creation on their about us page. It humanizes the brand by putting a focus on the founders’ relationship. It dives into how the two met, went their separate ways, eventually joined forces, fell in love and built their brand. As your brand grows in popularity, you may start to notice your customers’ curiosity about the founders. Letting customers get an inside look into who you are can strengthen the customer relationship. People build relationships with people. Not brands.

Mahabis monetizes the about us page by adding buy now buttons throughout the page. The button is vibrant and attention grabbing. While the button brings you back to the product page, if you were to implement this, take it a step further. For example, if there’s a picture of your product in the picture, direct your buy now button to the exact product page rather than a collection. Or move the customer directly to the shopping cart with the item already added.

Spy Guy sells products in an industry that can be seen as unethical. They sell products so that you can spy on people. However, they use their about us page to explain who their audience is, why they buy these products and why you should buy from their brand. Their about us page helps assure customers with their purchase by explaining the necessity for the products on their store.

Avoid the wall of text. That means, your about us page shouldn’t be long form copy. Add pictures. Incorporate some design elements. Make it easy to read or scroll through. Store visitors shouldn’t spend more time on your about us page than they do on a product or collection page. Give them enough information to build customer trust. But not so much that they feel like they’re reading a novel.

Think of the design elements. Some brands include timelines others include graphics that match the company branding. Browse through some of your favorite online stores. How do they present their about us pages? What do their pages look like? Feel free to use similar features if it makes sense for your brand. Your about us page needs to represent who your brand is. The visual components are just as important as the written ones.

Your about us page doesn’t need to be limited to your company bio or mission statement. You can also include pictures of customers wearing your products, press you’ve received, job postings for your company, where your products are made, who your team is and how to contact them, and more.

About Us Page Tool:

Buy button: Shopify allows you to embed buy buttons to any website or blog. But you can also use it within the pages of your own website. You can monetize your about us page by adding Buy Buttons for your best selling products. I’d recommend adding three of your best performing products to this page. If you have much more than that it can make the decision process difficult for a customer. If you’ve had a few sales already, check your data under ‘Reports’ in your Shopify store to determine your best selling products.

Shogun: This Shopify app allows you to drag and drop different elements for various pages on your online store. You can use this tool to reimagine your About Us page rather than having a plain white page.

About Us Resources:

Oberlo’s Best About Us and Shipping Information Page Templates details the text you can use as a starting point for your about us page. You can modify the copy anyway you wish. It’ll help you come up with a few ideas on what to say in your about us page.

Hubspot’s 10 About Us Page Example That Are Probably Better Than Yours includes a mix of about us page styles from various brands. You can use these about us page design examples for inspiration.

How to Get Referral Traffic to Your Online Store

Referral traffic is traffic that comes from outside of organic search. By building out your referral traffic, you can increase the amount of traffic your store receives. Whether it’s a link from an article your product was featured in or a flow of traffic from a viral blog post from your store, referral traffic can be monetized.

You can build referral traffic a number of ways. It can come from a featured product roundup, a guest post, an inclusion from a niche and more. Getting backlinks from relevant niche blogs can also help increase referral traffic. Advertising is another method for building up referral traffic. You can use Facebook ads, Google ads or a popular ad network to bring in new traffic.

Example: Amazon has grown to the ecommerce giant it is today partly because of its referral traffic. It has an affiliate program where affiliates can share a link to Amazon products on their website, blog or on social media. Amazon only pays a small commission in return for the sale keeping its advertising costs lower. Many top blogs monetize their content by sharing affiliate links to Amazon products meaning Amazon gets traffic from high authority websites. However, it’s more cost effective to have free referral traffic than affiliate referral traffic. Amazon also builds their own referral traffic by sharing product links on social media. They also reach out to publications regarding brand news and updates where a link back to their website is shared.

Referral Traffic Tips:

Reach out to blogs and publications. You can ask to have your products shared in listicles or for a product review. You’ll likely get a backlink to your product page. This can help boost the authority of your own store. But even if you don’t you’ll receive free traffic from their audience to yours. Also, if the publication has a really high authority, sometimes other publications republish their content giving you even more free content.

Write guest posts. What are the top blogs and publications for your niche? Ask to write a guest blog for them. Often times, they won’t let you add a link to your site within the content. You probably won’t even be able to write about your brand. However, you’ll get a link to your site in your author bio. And when you have a great piece of content, people do click the link to learn more.

Always have retargeting ads running. You can’t always predict who will share your product, store link or blog content. With a retargeting ad, you’ll always be monetizing your traffic. If your referral traffic source sends qualified traffic, showing your products in a retargeting ad will be relevant to the audience. Since they’ve already visited your store, they’ll likely recognize the brand or products making them warmer leads. Since browsers don’t always convert on the first visit, the retargeting ad can help land the sale.

Start an affiliate program – check out our affiliate program section for more. You can have affiliates drive traffic to your brand for you. By paying them a commission, you reduce advertising costs as you only pay for the lead that converts. Allow your affiliates to market your products on their blog, social media pages and more to reach a greater audience. You can even give them graphics and banners to help them lure in more customers.

Social media should be one of your biggest sources of referral traffic. Too many brands post customer photos or product photos without sharing the link to the exact product. Make it easy for your customers. Always add a link. You’re more likely to have a customer buy a product if the link is in plain site than if it isn’t. Most people don’t want to browse an entire website to find a product. Seriously, always add a link.

Tap into social bookmarking sites. While many aren’t as popular as they once were, social bookmarking sites can be a worthwhile channel for promotion. Sites like Reddit get a ton of traffic. You can’t be overly promotional in how you present your brand though. Redditors hate marketers. If you want to build your referral traffic, you can do it by providing value. Engage in the sub-Reddit for a couple of weeks before posting your link. Then, host a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) where you provide value to the group. At the end of it, add a link to your store. By this point, you should’ve engaged enough that it shouldn’t come across as spam.

Comment on the right blogs. While many view this tactic as outdated, if done right, it can prove to be effective. Keep in mind, that many comments with links get triggered as spam or get deleted by the blog. However, if you add value and share a link to a relevant page, it can help you grow referral traffic from that website. Keep in mind that it probably won’t count as a ‘do-follow backlink’ though.

Get backlinks. If you’ve written a high-quality article, find other blog posts on the same or similar topic. Contact the publication asking for a link back to your article. You’ll need to offer something in return. Maybe it’s a link back to another blog post they’ve written. Or an in-depth guest post for their blog. Most people will ignore requests for backlinks. So you’ll need to offer something worthwhile. However, a backlink can build your referral traffic. And help boost your ranking in search. To monetize this traffic, make sure you have the retargeting ad running like mentioned earlier.

Post in Facebook groups. Share your blog content in Facebook groups to build your referral traffic. If the content is relevant to the audience, it’ll likely get a few clicks. If you keep sharing great content everytime, you’ll build more referral traffic from Facebook. You shouldn’t spam you article in every Facebook group. Group moderators will notice. Share different articles in different groups at different times. If they allow you to sell products in their group, you can also get referral traffic to your product pages.

Reach out to influencers. Influencers can be a great source of referral traffic. Most influencers require a form of payment to share your content. However, for some you may be able to get referral traffic from their audience by providing them with a free product. You’ll need to make sure they include a link in the description, post or bio depending on what marketing platform they’re on.

Referral Traffic Tools:

Google Analytics is the best source for tracking your online store’s traffic sources. Under acquisition, you’ll find your Referrals under All Traffic. Here you’ll see which websites are bringing in the most traffic to your store. For many of you, it’ll likely be social media like Facebook or Pinterest. If you reached out to publications, you’ll find traffic from those sources too. The thing to notice is how much traffic each platform is bringing to you. If one platform outperforms the rest, focus on increasing the amount of traffic from that source. For example, if it’s Facebook, post on Facebook more frequently. Always linking back to your website. If you’re really active on a platform but get little traffic after a few months of effort, stop engaging on the platform. Focus on high traffic platforms instead.

Alexa allows you to quickly view your referral track but also monitor the referral traffic of other brands. If you go to their ‘Browse Top Sites’ section and add your website, you’ll find information about your website. You’ll see the Global Rank (lower numbers are better). You can view which countries your brand is most popular in. Or how engaged your visitors are. You’ll also see the top keywords for your website. If you subscribe to Alexa, you’ll get even more in-depth information. If you use the tool for competitive research, you can look at the referral traffic for other brands. Focus on getting traffic from those platforms since they’re already proven to drive traffic.

Shoelace isn’t a referral tool. However, as a retargeting tool, you can monetize your referral traffic with it. Retargeting ads tend to be cheaper than traditional product ads. If you receive referral traffic to your blog content or a non-product page of your store, visitors may never see your product. If your referral traffic brings in qualified leads, who are interested in your niche, presenting them with a relevant niche product is likely to convert a few of them.


How to Increase Your Referral Traffic by 77% in 90 Days is a great guide for intermediate store owners, though beginners looking to level up will likely find value in it. It recommends guest posting and explains how to find relevant blogs to guest post on using Google search in really easy steps. It also mentions a list of do-follow blogs where you can get a backlink back to your content.

9 Surefire Ways to Generate Massive Referral Traffic walks you through nine different techniques you can use to drive strong referral traffic. It lists using Quora and Yahoo Answers to get free referral traffic and other techniques like content curation, hashtagging and more.

SEO Optimization Tips and Tricks for Ecommerce

The search engine optimization (SEO) industry is still growing in popularity and is worth an astounding $65 billion. SEO helps stores rank in search engines like Google. With Google being the most visited website in the world, ranking high in search can bring your online store a ton of free traffic you can convert into sales.

SEO can be broken down into two key components: on-site SEO which includes:

  1. Technical SEO
  2. SEO optimised content

And off-site SEO, which includes:

  1. Link building mostly but also could include.
  2. Public Relations
  3. Online Branding
  4. Guest Posting

On-site SEO can include tasks such as adding keywords to your titles, images, and url, adding multi-media such as images and videos throughout your content, internal linking, and updating your content regularly with new information. Using an SEO checklist can help you keep on top of all these activities.

Link-building is the process of reaching out to other websites of, ideally, higher domain authority to link to your website. Both components play an important part in the ranking of your content.

Example: Rogue Fitness is a great example of an optimized website. Their product categories often rank first in search under keywords like ‘weightlifting shoes.’ They focus primarily on on-site SEO. While product pages aren’t as easy to rank in search results, Rogue Fitness optimizes those pages too. For example, if you look at one of their shoe’s product pages you’ll notice they link out to the shoe for women and other shoes within the category. Internal links help lower the bounce rate on a website. Their product page also has reviews which help improve the ranking of it because new content is always being added to the same page.

SEO Optimization Tips – On-Site:

Kaufmann Mercantile optimizes their store for search with gift guides. While some choose to create blog content for gift guides, you can also create them as a product collection. Gift ideas are often a highly searched topic for various categories. This brand notably keeps the gift guides active year round to avoid losing authority for the search terms. Customers can find gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, For Him, For Her, Father’s Day and more. For example, a title tag ‘for him’ might be called ‘Gift Ideas For Him.’ The great thing about organizing gift guides this way is that every time you add or remove an item in the collection, Google re-crawls the page to see it’s been updated. Whereas a blog post, may not be updated as frequently.

Keyword research is an important part of SEO. You can use SEO optimization tools like Keyword Planner to find keywords. All you need to do is enter a keyword like ‘shoes’ and a list will populate of relevant keywords you can optimize for. The SEO optimization tool also lists the competitiveness of each keyword. Low competition keywords will be easier to rank for than high competition keywords. For product pages, you might choose to optimize for one keyword since there’s such little content on the page. However, for blog posts you might optimize for as many as 7 different keywords depending on the blog post length.

Optimize your website for keywords. Online store owners need to optimize their product pages, product collections, and blog posts. For product pages, you’ll want to include keywords in your product title and in your product description. For product collections, you’ll want to include some copy describing the collection so that you can rank organically for it. Your blog posts should be optimized to rank for 3 or 4 relevant keywords.  You do this by incorporating the keyword in at least 1% of the copy but under 2%. There are SEO optimization tools you can use to ensure you’re hitting the right percentage. You can use Google Keyword Planner to determine the best keywords to use.

Content freshness is when you update an older article to remove outdated content and add newer relevant content. Doing this to your older content helps you rank better in search. It’s best to do content freshness on your best performing articles. You’ll want to update your content every 3-4 months. If you don’t blog on your store, you should consider doing it as it can drastically help your website rank better. If you’re against blogging, you’d need to update your website often. New products need to be added regularly and old products need to be removed as well.

Make your meta titles and descriptions actionable. While it’s always great to have them optimized for keywords, you also want to optimize for clicks. Why should people click your link in search? For example, The Bay ranks high for ‘women’s pumps’ their meta description reads, “The hottest high heels, sexiest stilettos, prettiest pumps and cutest kitten heels can be found at Hudson’s Bay.” Who wouldn’t want to click that if they’re searching for new women’s pumps? For titles, listicles like ‘12 Ways…’ work really well for blog content. For product pages, the best titles are usually keyword optimized. Avoid giving your products names like ‘Sandra Heels’ which people wouldn’t search for organically.

Never change the URL. Changing the URL can cause broken links from sites that have given you backlinks. Be mindful of how you name your URL when creating it. For example, adding a number to your URL can be a bad idea. If you update a listicle with more sections the number will change and your URL will be outdated. Aim for a keyword focused URL. If you do change the URL be sure to use a 301 redirection so that you can keep some of the ranking power and backlinks from the previous page.

Add internal links. On blog posts, you can add links to product pages. On product pages, you might add recommended products. Your internal links need to make sense for the user to encourage them to click other pages of your store. Internal links can lower bounce rates. A bounce rate is a single page visit where your visitors leave without looking at other pages on the site. The closer to 100 the worse your bounce rate meaning that people are leaving your website after visiting that page. The goal is to have a low bounce rate under 40%.

Every so often monitor your store’s page speed. Large image sizes can slow down your page speed. It’s important to use resizing tools to compress big images to ensure faster speeds. You also don’t want to have too many apps on your homepage slowing your website down. Some store owners add several pop-up apps which can slow down the page speed on your website.

Avoid duplicate content. Many store owners often have duplicate content on their product pages. They’ll add the exact same sentences to every page for a special promotion. Add unique content on every page.

SEO Optimization Tips – Off-site:

Submit your sitemap to Google so it can be indexed and crawled. Google crawls your online store to monitor if any changes are being made to pages.. Shopify stores already have a sitemap created. It works if you don’t have a password protected store. You need to submit your sitemap to Google  The more you update your store (freshness, adding new products to a collection, etc), the more often Google will visit your website.

Distribution plays a huge role in SEO. If you aren’t driving traffic to product pages, blog content or collections Google likely won’t rank it high. You need to do your own outreach so that Google recognizes your store’s popularity. Driving traffic doesn’t need to be through paid ads though it makes sense to do that for product pages.

Have a strategy to get backlinks. You’ll want to reach out to relevant niche blogs to trade backlinks with them. On average, most people link out to other blog content or the homepage. By writing blog content multiple times a week, you increase your chances of your content being found and linked out to. Adding your own statistics or experiments increases your chances of getting linked out to. Ideas are more likely to be copied but facts and results could be referenced.

Add more value to your content than your competition. Whether you elaborate on a topic in greater detail or create a more comprehensive list of ideas in a blog post, you need to focus on learning from the competition. Who is ranked first for the keyword you want? What are they doing in their content that you aren’t? Does the product collection they rank for have more products? Or do they get more traffic? What backlinks do they have? Is the quality of the content they create better? Learn what they’re doing and do a better job than them.

SEO Tools:

Plug In SEO is an SEO optimization tool that helps you better optimize your online store. You’ll be able to check your image ALT tags, quickly assess what SEO problems your store has, monitor speed, and more. They also have a premium version which allows you to edit titles and descriptions and more. With over 1000 5 star reviews and 86,000 store owners using this tool, this product is a clear winner for your SEO needs.

Shopify App Plug In SEO

SEMrush allows you to analyze a large scope of pre-click data for your PPC campaigns: find keywords to target, see examples of search and display ads used by your competitors, and analyze the most popular shopping ads in your niche.


Keyword Planner is Google’s popular keyword tool. When browsing keywords, you’ll be shown other relevant keywords you could rank for. You’ll see how competitive the keywords are and what the search volume for those keywords is.

Website Speed Test by Pingdom is a tool that helps you determine your website’s load time. Site speed is an important part of SEO. The faster your website loads the better the customer experience and therefore you’ll likely rank better. All you need to do is add your website’s URL in the box. Once the test is done, you’ll see your performance grade, load time, how much faster your site is compared to others, and more. There will also be grades for specific performance insights that indicates how you can improve your website’s speed.

Image Optimizer optimizes your images for Google search. You’ll be able to change your image alt tags easily using their default template.

Shopify SEO App: Image Optimizer

Product Reviews allows you to add review scores to your search engine results.

Shopify SEO App: Product Reviews

SEO Manager tracks and helps to manage 404 errors. The app keeps your 404 errors under control by identifying your broken links and automatically fixing them. The Shopify app helps you maintain the ranking of your webpage after an ecommerce platform change.

Shopify SEO App: SEO Manager

Moz offers its customers an all in one tool that include site audits, keyword research, link building and insights on page optimization. Their tool crawls your website to report any issues or broken pages.  

Screaming Frog is a tool that crawls websites to better analyse onsite SEO. The tool will help you easily find broken links and duplicate content, improve your page titles and descriptions, and more.

Ahrefs helps you monitor the competition and determine how to outrank them. You can easily learn the keywords your competitors are ranking for and discover who links out to their website.

SEO Optimization Resources:

Build and Submit a Sitemap guides you through the steps in submitting your sitemap on Google. The page even includes guidelines to follow when submitting it.

5 Essential E-Commerce Rich Snippets for Your Store is a great starting point in learning how to get rich snippets for your store. While rich snippets are still fairly new and not well understood, ecommerce websites have been successfully getting their product rating, price and more listed on their search results.

Ultimate Guide to Writing Meta Descriptions guides you through the process of writing meta descriptions for the pages of your website. You’ll learn what a meta description is, why they’re important, and how to write one.

SEO Experts:

Sarah Leeds, SEO Manager of Intermarketing says, “Keyword research is still vital to optimising a website. However, with developments in the way we use search engines, such as voice search, it’s becoming more conversational and less about targeting specific keywords. Keyword research will help you identify the topics that engage with and grow your audience. SEO today is more focused on the user, so it’s important to keep them front of mind. If your content engages with your customers and answers their questions, it’s likely that search engines will see it as relevant too.”

Michael Pomposello, cofounder of Blue Polo Interactive, recommends, “My #1 SEO tip is to partner with influential bloggers in some way to get them to talk about and link to your brand. So many people shy away from this great approach because they associate this approach with dead blackhat tactics like paying for links from bloggers and “guest blogging” on awful sites that exist solely as a pseudo link farm. Becoming friends with bloggers in your space has genuine marketing benefits that extend well beyond SEO and that’s why this is such a great approach. The powerful link will help your rankings in a way Google approves of and your brand is exposed to an audience of people in your niche through the voice of someone they trust.

Jaimyn Chang the SEO expert behind BoominAgency says, “The best thing e-commerce owners can do for their site is invest in site speed, an easy check out experience, and a readily available customer support that’s easy to reach. All of these things directly impact the customer experience. Consumers who shop online want things quick. They not only want their products shipped quick, but they also want their questions answered quickly too.The best part is that Google’s algorithm has been evolving over the years to reward sites that invest in these areas. Site speed has been a hot topic lately, and for good reason. Another big thing for e-commerce that is less directly related to rankings is doing more with the pages you have. Investing in eye tracking software and other conversion optimization software can help make you less dependent on rankings. If you can raise your overall conversion rate for all channels, you’ll be a lot better off than your competitor who is solely trying to outrank everyone.”

Jordan Brannon, President & COO of Coalition Technologies, shares “Search users express their intent through keywords and keyword phrases. Developing your site navigation and site content to specifically plan for different intentions common to your customers will help you rank higher and convert search traffic better. Too often online retailers focus on addressing only one type of search intent, either because that’s what their competitors do, or because that’s how they describe their products.”

How to Make Money Running Contests And Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are one of the best marketing ideas if you’re looking to build up your email list, social following or your store’s brand presence. According to Hubspot, approximately 33% of contest entrants agree to receive information from brands allowing you to remarket to those customers to land the sale. The best time to host a contest are June and November with the best campaigns lasting between 25 and 60 days.

Example: Showcase’s online store features a contest and giveaways page that customers and followers can enter. For most of the giveaways, customers are required to follow/like the brand’s page, invite friends, or retweet. The contest ends when the brand’s social goals which are clearly defined on the website are reached such as 10,000 likes. In return for winning the contest, participants have a chance of winning products from specific flyers, collections or as listed on their page.


Giveaway Contest Ideas and Tips:

Advertise your contest. According to Hubspot, those who used paid advertising for their contest received 10 times the entrants. This can be beneficial if you’re looking to grow your grow your email list or social following as you can continue to remarket to them after the contest has ended.

If posting the contest on social media start the post with ‘GIVEAWAY ALERT:’ or ‘CONTEST ALERT:’ in all capital letters. It captures attention as people scroll and it’s proven for boosting social engagement.

Offer a runner-up prize. The winner of the contest wins the big prize you’re promoting. However, let everyone who entered win something as well. It can be as simple as a special discount for entering the contest or a gift card for a small amount that can only be used on your store. It could even be a free plus shipping product. The runner-up prize when done correctly can drasticly boost your store’s sales. When sending the email for the runner up prize make sure you have a captivating subject line like ‘(Brand Name) Contest Winner’ or ‘Congrats! You’ve won the (Brand Name) Contest!’

Run your contest on your website. Some choose to run their contest on social media. However, if you host the contest on your website then you’ll be able to retarget them with products from your store. Contests help drive traffic and engagement. You can use tools that’ll help increase your social media following so that your contest still helps you achieve social goals. However, the contest details and entry form should always be exclusively on your store’s website. Use social media to drive traffic to the landing page though. Add your Contest page to the top navigation of your website for maximum views.

Make your contest viral. Many contest tools allow you to give entrants entry points for following you on social media. While getting new followers is great, you also want to expand the reach of your contest without investing money. Look for contest tools that also allow you to refer friends for points. By getting your customers to refer their friends to the contest, they’ll likely share it with those who have similar interests as them.

Pick the right prize. Giving away a free $20 bracelet won’t be as effective as giving away a gift basket of your best selling products. It might be a good idea to do one medium sized prize and a couple of small prizes to make people feel like they have a chance of winning. Give a prize that’s relevant to your brand, products and niche. Sell the prize as well as you’d sell the product. After all, it is the product.

Create urgency on your contest page. You can add a countdown timer for the end date of the contest. If you add a countdown timer make sure that it’s only used in the final seven days. If it shows that a person has 3 weeks, it doesn’t create urgency.

Promote your contest. Send an email out to your list and former customers. Share the contest on all your social media accounts. If you have a budget, spend it on ads. Use the contest tool to improve your audience reach. Share your contest on giveaway sites by searching ‘giveaways + [country].’ Fill out the forms for the most popular countries your key target audience is in.

Look into the contest and giveaway laws for each country your contest runs in. For example, some states or provinces might need to be excluded from the contest. Make the contest eligibility clear on the contest page. Citizens of those areas will likely be used to the exclusion.

If the contest campaign is successful, run another one using the list you’ve used before in a few months. With each contest, you’ll likely notice that your audience size gets bigger with each contest. Especially if you continue marketing to your growing list.

Contest and Giveaways Tools:

ViralSweep is a great contest, sweepstakes and giveaways app. By running contests with this app you can grow your email list and social media following which can lead to increased sales over the long-term. The app allows you to collect emails, offer points for social engagement such as comments, likes, website visits and more. If you have a retargeting ad running with the website visits option, you can immediately remarket to the contest entrants before the contest ends which could potentially grow your sales. When it comes to choosing a winner all it takes is a simple one-click. ViralSweep also includes a template for rules so that you can ensure that your guidelines are legal.

Rafflecopter offers the full package when it comes to running contests. Their Premium package offers email integration for top email providers, social media entries, entries for friend referrals, analytics, unlimited giveaways and more. They have a free version of their tool with limited features which is perfect for those starting out.

Gleam is a great contest tool that allows you to set up contests quickly. The Shopify app integrates with several social networks, Disqus comments, and includes viral share. You’ll also be able to build your email list.

Contest and Giveaway Resource:

25 Creative Facebook Contest Ideas You Can Use Today lists some quirky contest ideas you can use for inspiration for your contest. From taking photos using your brand’s products to caption contests, this list covers a wide range of contest ideas. Keep in mind that the easier it is to enter the contest, the more entrants you’ll likely get. Ultimately, you need to decide what your contest goal is to determine what type of contest you should run.

How to Create an Affiliate Marketing Program

According to AM Navigator, in the United Kingdom, affiliate marketing has an ROI that amounts to $15 for every $1 spent. PRWeb states that at one point approximately 40% of Amazon’s revenue came from affiliates showcasing the power affiliate marketing can have on a brand. Retailers have noticed a conversion rate of 5% from visitors directed by affiliate links. The hardest part of building an affiliate program is finding affiliates who can drive converting traffic to your store. Yet store owners have a powerful ally in their loyal customers who can be rewarded for their referrals. Store owners can also reach out to affiliate marketers to cast a wider net of affiliates for their program.

Example: MVMT’s online store earns a portion of its revenue from its affiliate program. On their affiliate program page it details the key information you’d need to know as an affiliate. It lists the payout for each item you sell, theirs is 10% commission. It mentions the referral period of 15 days which means that the individual needs to buy from your link within that period. You’ll also find information on how much money you can make based on your daily sales. For example, by selling one product a day a MVMT affiliate can make $405 per month. But if they sell 100 per day, they can make an astounding $40,500 each month.

MVMT Affiliate Marketing Program Campaign Screenshot

How to Create An Affiliate Program

If you want to run your own online store affiliate program you have two options. You can create an affiliate program in-house or use affiliate software to create the affiliate marketing program. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages which we will talk about later in this chapter.

Create Your Online Affiliate Marketing Program

  1. Set Your Goals: You should set some goals to achieve with your online store affiliate program will help to achieve these goals. Do you want to achieve a certain revenue figure or traffic metric? Maybe your affiliates will also be influencers and you plan to grow your brand. It is important to have clear goals so you can measure your success.
  2. Determine Your Commission: Next set you commission level so affiliates know what to expect when they make a sale. Will you work on percentages or dollar values? How often will you payout? These are important questions to answer before you start to find affiliates for your program.
  3. Figure Out Tracking: Will affiliates need to send people to your site through tracked links, or will you use software to track traffic to your website from affiliates? Tracking is super important as without it you can run into problems with affiliates where they might make more sales than you are aware of and you cannot pay out correct amounts. This will lead to affiliates leaving your online program and you could get a bad reputation.
  4. Terms and Conditions: Terms and Conditions are guidelines for your affiliate to follow. This helps ensure that the quality of traffic your affiliate sends is high. It also helps prevent your website from being penalized for black hat marketing tactics. Provide suggestions of the types of methods customers can use for sending traffic such as referring friends or creating ads, videos or blog content.
  5. Find Your Affiliates: Finding affiliates can be the hardest thing to do if you don’t know who you are looking for. Once you have thought about the types of affiliates that you want to use you can start to think of where you can find them. Will you advertise your online store program, post on affiliate networks, look into social media affiliate groups? There are many ways to find affiliates so don’t get dissuaded if your first campaign is not fruitful.
    Affiliate Marketing
  6. Affiliate Program Marketing: Affiliates will need marketing collateral before and after they join your program to motivate them. Think about what material affiliates will need in order to choose to work with you and to continue working with you when they experience a drop in sales.
  7. Affiliate Best Practices: Even though you want your affiliates to promote your products you want to keep your brand quality so you need to ensure that affiliates are promoting you in the right way. This could mean providing videos or webinars for your affiliates to educate them on new products.
  8. Tiered Affiliate Program: As your online store affiliate program grows you can look at introducing a tiered system where once an affiliate reaches milestones for the number of products sold or amount in sales made, offer them a higher commission. Ultimately, money is the motivating factor for most affiliates and they’ll be more motivated to send you quality traffic if you pay them what they’re worth. Make sure that your commission structure is profitable so you don’t start to lose money when you pay out more commission.
  9. Affiliate Retention Plan: As more affiliates join your network you will need to spend time enticing them to stay. Ensure that affiliates feel valued by providing giveaways and promotion to top sellers and bring extra value by launching new products to affiliates before other channels. The extra perks that you provide could be the difference between an affiliate choosing you over a competitor.
  10. Affiliate Successful Tracking: How will you know if your affiliate marketing program is worth it? Work out your cost per affiliate gained to plan how much you can spend on finding new affiliates. Try identifying affiliates who are not earning and reach out to offer help. Maybe you can build an affiliate community where top performers lend a hand helping those struggling to achieve sales. Overall you need to work out if your online store affiliate program is worth the money you have invested in it.

Advantages of In-House Affiliate Marketing Programs:

4 Pros and Cons of In-house Affiliate Programs

  • Commission Payments: You get to control your commission structure, not a third party network that increases the amount of commission you payout.
  • Better Product Knowledge: By working directly with your affiliates you can educate them on your USP and who your target audience is.
  • Leverage More Offers: Having close communication with your affiliates means that you can share time-sensitive offers with them quickly leading to more successful promotional campaigns.
  • Control Over Program: An in-house online affiliate program is great as you can control every aspect of it, from commission structures, terms and conditions, and so much more. 

Disadvantages of In-House Affiliate Marketing Programs:

  • Affiliate Payments: Having an in-house affiliate marketing program means that you need to track and pay every affiliate for every sale they make. This takes time and resources that you may not have at your disposal.
  • Reporting Success: Like with every part of the business you will need to report on the success of your online affiliate program. This means you need to set up tracking and pull reports for both your company and affiliates quite regularly.
  • Overseeing T&Cs: As you are solely reliable for the policing of your affiliates you need to oversee their activities and make sure that they market your product according to your terms and conditions. This can be time-consuming but is vital to the success of your brand.
  • Affiliate Sourcing: You need to be constantly on the lookout for new affiliates to replace the ones who leave your program so that you can guarantee a certain level of revenue every month.

So creating and maintaining an online store affiliate program can be challenging but definitely has its upsides also. But maybe you don’t have the time or resources to manage your own affiliate program now. That’s okay because you can use a third party affiliate marketing program provider to manage yours for you. Here are some affiliate marketing program tips that will help you set up your online store affiliate program with the use of external software.

Affiliate Marketing Program Tools:

If you’re looking to build an affiliate program for your store you might want to try Refersion. It allows you to build your own custom program, register new affiliates in a few simple steps, and easily access data on affiliate performance. You can even encourage your customers to sign up for your affiliate program to grow your affiliate database quickly. You can pay multiple affiliates at the same time via PayPal – one of the most popular payment gateways.

Refersion: Affiliate Tracking App

FriendBuy helped popularized the ‘Get $15’ section you see on so many ecommerce sites. Their plans start at $99 a month which is fairly steep for new store owners so I’d only recommend this tool if you’re generating more than $20,000 in revenue each month.

FriendBuy: Customer Referral Program

Commission Junction is a tool you can use to find affiliates. You’ll be connected to some of the best-performing affiliates around. You only need to pay for customers who’ve bought through an affiliate link. However, the fees can be high.

Commission Junction: Online Affiliate Network

ShareASale is another tool you can use to find affiliates – it’s the one I use for my store. You’ll need to pay a one time fee of $650 to have access to the network, which can be steep for new store owners. You’ll also need to pay a 20% transactional fee and at least $25 each month. However, all your affiliates are prescreened. And you only pay the 20% fee if the traffic they send converts. It’s a great way to find high-performance affiliates.

ShareASale: Affiliate Marketing Program Provider

LeadDyno allows you to launch your own affiliate program. You’ll be able to use their database of bloggers and influencers to find new affiliates. Tracking your affiliates’ performance is simple and each affiliate will have his or her own dashboard. Pricing starts at $29 a month making it affordable for new entrepreneurs starting out.  

LeadDyno: Shopify Affiliate Marketing App

Affiliatly is an affiliate tracking app you can use to help you manage your affiliate program. It allows you to set up your own affiliate program with ease so you can increase your sales. You’ll be able to track orders from affiliates, manage affiliate payments and more. Pricing starts at $16 a month which is great for those on a budget.

Affiliatly: Shopify Affiliate Tracking App

Referral Candy is an affiliate program where customers can refer visitors to your website. You can choose to pay customers in cash or with a coupon. Email reminders can also be sent on the platform to remind affiliates who haven’t been bringing in sales. The tool is easy to install and use. Pricing starts at $49 a month.

Referral Candy: Shopify Referral App

Affiliate Marketing Program Tips:

You need to work with your affiliates closely especially in the beginning to ensure that they’re successful. By giving them the right tools to succeed, you can generate more revenue for your business. You might have affiliate newsletters, competitions, and a leaderboard so that your affiliates can get excited to promote your brand. It also gives social proof that success is possible. Affiliate programs are not for the faint of heart. This isn’t a set it and forget it model. You need to stay in touch with your affiliates to make sure they keep reaching their financial goals through your program.

Get your customers involved. Encourage customers to refer a friend for a cash incentive. You can choose to include a flyer in each package you send to your customers about your affiliate program. If you dropship goods, you can email each customer after they place an order to sign up for your affiliate program. Including a link to your affiliate program in every email you send out with a headline such as ‘Earn $10’ can pique curiosity. Those looking to make money may refer their friends to earn commissions. Since customers are already familiar with your brand they can share their personal experiences with friends and family which helps boost conversions.  

Soludos uses the FriendBuy app listed in the tools section for their affiliate program. Customers who refer their friends or audience, get paid $15 for every sale they land. To entice the new leads to sign up through their friend’s link they get a 15% discount. Loyal customers who regularly promote your brand can be rewarded for their constant promotion. You can also lure in influencers by offering payment for every paying customer they bring instead of paying their flat rates. You’ll want to set a high order value when setting your page up to ensure that your business remains profitable with each sale.

Soludos affiliate program with FriendBuy app

LeChateau encourages customers to sign up for their referral program with a chance to win a $2000 shopping spree. All a customer needs to do is refer their friend, who then needs to sign up for their newsletter while also receiving a 15% discount. On the bottom left corner of their website, they include a ‘WIN $2000’ tab to entice customers to click the link. Once customers click it, they’re redirected to a landing page where they learn how they can have a chance to win a shopping spree. Since email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to grow your sales, this strategy is easy for your affiliates to do, while also focusing on the long-term growth of your online store.

If you’re struggling to get affiliates, you can use coupon affiliate sites like Coupon Craze or Ebates to share a discount code for your customers while paying a commission to the brands. You’ll need to pick discounts and affiliate rates that allow you to stay profitable. You need to be making more than a couple of dollars after the fees have been paid to ensure that your business has long-term growth.

Coupon Craze is great for affiliate coupon sales

Don’t depend on affiliate marketing. While affiliate marketing can help boost your sales, it’s often not enough for you to be passive with other marketing strategies to grow your store. You also need to take the steps to improve your store’s optimization to ensure that your affiliates can easily convert the traffic they send you. On average, affiliate sales bring about 10% of your company’s revenue.

Master & Dynamic is an electronics brand selling headphones and speakers. They recently partnered with Audible to offer their customers 2 free audiobooks with purchase. While it doesn’t explicitly say this, Master & Dynamic may be an Amazon affiliate promoting a relevant offer to their customers. If you’re looking to make a second stream of income through affiliate commissions while promoting your products, this could be a clever way of doing it. An audiobook may be an enticing offer for those who are buying headphones which may help compel them into purchase. You could find relevant offers which would help promote your products while making a commission off your purchase. You would need to disclose affiliate links to your customers to ensure transparency.

Affiliate Marketing Resources:

How to Get Started with Ecommerce Affiliate Marketing details what affiliate marketing is, how to find an affiliate, how to convince an affiliate to promote your brand, how to determine your affiliate’s commission, and more.

How to Use Affiliate Marketing as a Sales Channel for Your Business mentions affiliate networks you can join to have your products sold by affiliates. It also gives suggestions on how to build your own tracking system with Shopify apps and a few other affiliate marketing program tips on how to create an affiliate marketing program.

How to Get a Product Review That Converts Customers

A product review can help validate your product’s popularity. When customers see hundreds of reviews on a website, they feel like they can trust your brand. Before a customer goes ahead with a purchase, they’re likely to read a review. About 77% of customers read a review before making their purchase. According to Marketing Land, 90% of people say that their buying decisions, whether or not they buy your product, are influenced by the reviews they read. So if your store has positive reviews, you can land more sales. But getting reviews isn’t a one time thing. You need to constantly reach out to your customers to grow your store’s reviews. About 73% of shoppers don’t find reviews older than 3 months to be relevant.

Example: Sephora is one of the most popular beauty online stores. Their high number of reviews prove this. One of their newest products a Just Peachy Velvet Eye Shadow Palette has received over 800 reviews and 40,000 loves. They include all reviews to their website even the negative ones. When a customer reviews a product, the reader can easily see the customer’s age, eye color, hair color, skin tone, and skin type. If a customer with similar details rates it positively, a potential customer may purchase the product because it’s likely it’ll look good on them. Customers can easily sort to only read reviews from their beauty matches to get the best understanding of whether or not a product is a good fit for her. Reviews can even be sorted by most helpful, newest, oldest, and rating level. Customers can even view looks from their beauty matches for those looking to see photos of the product being used.

Product Review Tips:

Ask your customers. Asking customers for review is the most effective way to get reviews. According to Search Engine Land, about 70% of customers will leave a product or business review when asked to. So whether you send them a quick email after they’ve received their product or have an app do that for you, you can grow your product reviews from customers simply by letting them know you’d love one.

You can also reward customers for a review. For example, if you have a loyalty program you can offer a discount, points or small gift card in exchange for the product review from your customer. This can help incentivize customers to leave a review.

Use an app that automatically adds positive reviews and contacts your support team if it’s anything lower than a 3 star. This will give you a second opportunity to resolve your customers’ issue without damaging your reputation. You’ll need to make sure that you offer that customer a great solution that helps ensure you deserve a higher rating.

Add photo reviews. Photo reviews are one of the most effective reviews around. Seeing a picture of a customer with the delivered product allows potential customers to have set expectations. You can even contact those customers and ask for their permission to use their product photos for your social media or advertising. Photo reviews helps you gain social proof that your brand is reputable and delivers great products.

Don’t write fake reviews. You’re trying to build a brand. Trust in building that brand is important. If you have 10 reviews and no followers on social media, it’s gonna look fake. Avoid deceiving people. If you haven’t made any sales yet, your focus shouldn’t be on getting reviews but on getting customers. Once you start getting customers, that’s when you can focus on building up your reviews.

However, you can borrow reviews from AliExpress. While customers won’t mention your brand they will be able to offer insight into the product. This can be helpful for encouraging customers to take a chance and buy the product. The more information you can share about the product the more likely a customer is to buy it if it’s right for them.

Use an app that optimizes reviews for search. Getting a rich snippet helps make your product link more enticing to browsers. When a customer sees a review rich snippet it’ll show your star rating on the product. The more reviews you get on a product, the more likely you are to get a review rich snippet.

Encourage customers to leave reviews on your website when they post externally. There are so many platforms where a customer can leave a review. Social media, Google and review sites are just some of the popular places where customers leave reviews. If you notice your Instagram or Facebook are flooding with customer photos, contact those customers and ask them to leave their photo review on your website. Offer them a small free gift as a thank you for the review, even if it’s just a discount code with their name on it.

Offer free samples. You can grow your reviews when starting out by offering people free samples. You can ask them to take a picture with the product and ask them to leave a review if they were happy with it. Ask them to give you feedback on the product directly as well. Do they like the look and feel? What would prevent them from buying that product? Would they buy several of a similar product?

Make leaving a review super easy. Some apps allow you to enter your review in your email and it automatically posts it on your website. This makes the review process hassle free for a customer.

Ask for a review shortly after a customer has received their product. If you contact the customer six months or even a year later, they may not be as excited about the product as they were when they first received it.

Product reviews can also be from professional product reviewers. There are many product blogs that write product reviews for brands and share them with their audience. Some of these product review bloggers offer giveaways to their audience for a chance to win your product. Others give an in-depth look into the exact product you sell. Either way, it’s a great way to tap into a new audience. While generic product review sites may have bigger audiences, niche review sites offer a more targeted audience for your brand.

Product Review Tools:

Product Reviews by Shopify is a product review app that allows you to quickly see all your reviews in one spot. The review is optimized for search and will show the products star rating and number of votes in its Google listing. The app matches the font and design of your theme to ensure a consistent look.

Product Reviews Add-on by Stamped is an extension of Shopify’s product review app. It offers a great selection of features. Customers are able to leave their product review directly in their email making it easy for them. You can easily track which customers will be getting emails about writing a review. Positive reviews can be posted on Facebook and Twitter as posts to showcase why customers love your brand. It even has an AI feature that checks to see if the feedback matches the star rating. When customers leave 1 or 2 star reviews, they’re redirected to an apology page where you can add a discount code to win back a second chance.

Judge.Me Product Reviews sends customers emails to help you grow your reviews. Customers can leave their review directly in their email. You’re free to customize the review emails anyway you want. You can even blacklist customers who’ve already left reviews. The app runs quickly so customers can view reviews faster. Customers can even leave photo reviews. Store owners can reply to customer reviews to thank customers or offer a solution.

Photo Reviews by Loox is a customer photo review app. Reviews with customer photos can help increase conversions making this a great app for social proof. Emails are sent out to get reviews in an automated process. You’re free to customize the app’s color scheme, email timing and more. You can moderate reviews to choose which get posted. It even has a rich snippets integration to help your rating appear in search results.

Product Reviews by Appsonrent is a review app that simplifies getting online reviews. You can view all your reviews on the app with ease. You can even reply to your customer’s reviews.

Smile by ShopPad allows your customers to rate your products with emojis. This is great for brands looking to be a little bit different. If you’re selling to Gen Z or millennials this app may be a way to get them engaged and leave a product review.

Yotpo Social Reviews claims to be able to help store owners generate 3x more reviews than any other review app. They’ve partnered with Google, Facebook and other social networks to help you retain more customers. The app is optimized for search and will also help boost your conversion rate. Customers can add their own photo reviews. Your product will show its star rating and number of reviews when you run Google ads. Your customers can even push their reviews and photos on Pinterest. You can respond to your reviews on this app too.

Ali Reviews by FireApps allows those who dropship to import AliExpress reviews. That way customers can see the reviews of those who’ve ordered that specific product. This is particularly useful for new store owners who haven’t built up any real customer reviews. While the reviews won’t be store specific, they’ll be real reviews for that product from that supplier.

Product Review Resources:

Hubspot’s 19 Online Review Sites for Collecting Business & Product Reviews lists 19 different websites who will review your product or business. Not all of the sites are good for dropshippers so use discretion. However, you can also look up other product review sites on your own to find someone who will review your product to their audience to give you social proof. When I’ve sent products to product review sites in the past, we were able to get a few sales and grow our social media following from it.

Co-Marketing and Partnership Marketing Tips and Tricks

Partnership marketing is a great way to grow your brand’s audience size by tapping into another brand’s audience. Whether you help promote each other’s brands or work on a shared project together, partnerships can be an effective way to market your business. Some online retailers might design products in another brand’s style. Others might give links or shoutouts on their store’s website and social media properties. A partnership marketing strategy can help reduce marketing costs as you both help one another grow using your own channels. By choosing the right partner, you can grow your customer base, increase your sales and offer great product selection to your customers.

Co-Marketing Example: YOOX partnered with Disney for a special collection on their online store. The brand sells clothing, jewelry, shoes and bags, making Disney a great partner choice. The Disney collection complements the brand without the two being in direct competition. The collection includes Disney posters, a blue Beauty and the Beast skirt, tops with the rose from Beauty and the Beast, Minnie Mouse socks, an Ariel crossbody bag and more. The product price points are high, likely due to the cost of the licensing agreement from Disney. However, Disney lovers may be attracted to the brand’s collection. The brand partnership helps drive a new type of customers to the YOOX brand. This helps increase brand awareness too.

Partnership Marketing Tips:

Partner with a brand your customers would love. Your partnership should be logical. Partner with a brand whose products complement yours without being in direct competition. For example, if you sell sunscreen you might partner with a sunglasses brand. Or if you sell apparel you might partner with a jewelry or shoes brand. The partnership should be mutually beneficial. Find a brand that has a strong, positive reputation.

Taylor Swift is constantly partnering with brands as an influencer but also as her own brand. She’s currently partnering with TicketMaster to help her fans get access to her tickets. She noticed that scalpers were purchasing her tickets only to sell them to fans at a higher price. Her partnership extends beyond this. Her online store also showcases her partnership. On various product pages, she mentions if a product qualifies for Taylor Swift Tix. When customers buy products on her store, it can help boost their spot in line to buy tickets. She even encourages increasing your average order value to boost your spot even higher.

Dahlia believes in partnering with bloggers to reach a greater audience. They have an easy to fill out form on their website where bloggers can share their name, website, birthday, and message to the team. Dahlia will then rotate their bloggers every three months while still offering events, discounts and giveaways to their network of bloggers.

PopSockets features collaborations with several brands and artists. For example, they have licensed Pokemon popsockets that they sell. While most of their products cost $10, their partnership products cost $15. This is likely to cover the costs given to the artist or for the licensing. However, it can also help make the pop sockets seem more valuable. A Pokemon pop socket has a higher value than a floral one made by the brand. The higher perceived value can help entice the customer to purchase it.

JCPenney’s partnership with Sephora is done in an interesting way. They include Sephora in their top navigation. However, when a customer clicks on the Sephora tab, they can buy anything from the Sephora collection directly on JCPenney. This allows for one stop shopping. However, it also works great if you have multiple stores. If you have stores in complementary niches, you can add a link in your top navigation to it or you can add the product inventory directly to your website.

Link out to your partners. When forming a partnership, you can link out to other brands on your website. You might choose to add a link with the brand’s name on your top navigation or if they sell amazing products in a category you don’t you could link out to it. For example, Just Fab links out to ShoeDazzle, Fabletics, and Fabkids. While it’s possible they all share a similar owner, your partnership can still be presented this way.

Make sure you both sign a written contract for your partnership to ensure that the guidelines are followed. Whether you both need to post about your partner online a certain number times a week, send emails regularly, keep a link in the top navigation or other guidelines, get it in writing. If your partner doesn’t uphold their end of the contract, you can immediately end it. Make sure that you both know what the perks are for working together as partners. And make sure you get treated like a partner and not just a promoter.  

Help your partner out. A partnership isn’t just about taking it’s also about giving. If you want to continue your partnership for years to come, you should meet with your partner biweekly to discuss partnership promotion ideas. Whether you post on your social accounts for their sale or send an email out driving traffic back to their store, there are many marketing activities you can do to grow your audiences.

Partner with blogs. A blog partnership can help your brand grow its audience. When partnering with a brand, remember to treat them as a partner and provide value to them as well. They can include your products in their blog posts. You can promote their relevant content via email or other online properties, even if it’s not always featuring your products. Make sure that you both provide an equal amount of value to one another.

You can even create a brand around partnerships. For example, subscription boxes are a great way to partner with brands. Each month you provide your customers products they’ll love. While you could include your own products in your subscription box, you could also include other brand’s products as well. Cratejoy promotes subscription boxes. You could include your subscription box on the platform. Or you can reach out to subscription boxes to have your products included on theirs. You can even add a small flyer in some boxes offering a free gift with purchase if you don’t want to give your product away for free.

Create content together. Not all partnerships are about selling products. For example, if your brand is raising money for cancer research, you can partner with another brand to create content in support of your cause. You might choose to create a short online course on how to prevent cancer and use the money for the course to donate to charity. See our corporate social responsibility section to learn more about how your brand can give back.

Ask your customers which brands they love. After you’ve figured out brands they love, you can reach out to that brand regarding a partnership. Aim to find a partner who has a similar number of followers as your brand’s page. Has their brand partnered or collaborated with other brands before? Build a relationship with the brand first. You might do this by responding to their posts on social media or linking out to their content occasionally. After about a month, you could contact them regarding a partnership.

What can your partnership entail? Social media posts, adding their flyer to your customer’s packages, links to one another’s websites, links via email, public relations partnerships, creating a product together, sponsorships, affiliate links, content creation and more.

Partnership Marketing Resources:

Co-Marketing Agreement by Association of Corporate Counsel is a sample 7 page document that you can use to create your agreement. Be sure to read the document carefully. Remove or include sections to the agreement as needed to cover the specific details that make the most sense for your and your partner’s brands.

Shopify’s Co-Marketing: How to Reach More Customers with Strategic Partnerships discusses the benefits of partnership marketing. It also guides you through the steps of how to find and create the right type of partners. They even include an email template you can use to reach out to potential brands for comarketing opportunities.  

How to Find Trending Products to Sell Online

Finding trending products is an important part of running an online store. You need to know what items will be popular before they peak. By ‘catching the wave’ you’ll be able to make money from growing sales rather than from the product’s decline. Every niche has its own trends. In 2020, we’re seeing the continued rise in athleisure, shapewear, posture corrector products, smart devices, and more. In fashion, there are new trends each season for apparel, accessories, and shoes. When it comes to choosing niches in 2020, you’ll want an evergreen niche with ever-changing trends so you can build a long-term business that generates a ton of sales from winning products. It’s not about making the trend the niche.

Find Trending Products Example:

Missguided has a shop by trend section on their website which allows you to see the season’s hottest fashion trends. Since it’s currently spring, you can see their spring trends which include florals, frills, embroidered clothing, and more. Since they regularly update their trends each season, you can continue to check in to see what other trends you’ll need to jump on.

find trending products missguided

Product Trends Tips:

Suzy Shier is a great example of a brand who divides their products into trends. On their store’s top navigation, a trends section is visible. Want work wear? Florals? Vacation shop? Whatever is the hottest trend within the fashion industry at that moment will be found on that section of their online store. Customers who love a certain pattern or style will likely find products with a consistent look which can help improve the user experience.

To find trending products, you’ll want to look at the product order volume on the Oberlo marketplace. If you notice a product has over 1,000 orders, it’s possible that it’s a trending product. You can then cross-check with a tool like Google Trends to determine if the product is trending upwards or downwards. If there isn’t enough data it could be because it’s a new product or because there isn’t enough search volume. When choosing trending products for your store, you should check a few sources to ensure it’s the best fit.

Not all products trend the same way. For example, a seasonal product may have spikes during a certain time of year while a new product might not show dips and only an upward growth. When choosing products you’ll want to ensure that if there are seasonal dips that you have other seasonal products that’ll drive your store’s growth during that time.

When looking at lists of the best things to sell look at the date. If the article was written over 6 months ago with no updates, it’s likely not 100% reliable. You’d need to investigate whether the products in those lists are still accurate. At Oberlo, we’re constantly updating our trending products lists to ensure you always have the best information on product sourcing.

Choose niches that regularly have new trends. If you choose to base your niche around a singular product you risk losing momentum within the niche. However, having an evergreen niche that constantly changes trends allows you to capitalize on new trends while still ensuring your business lasts over the long term.

If mainstream media is talking about a trend like what happened with fidget spinners a couple years ago, it’s already too late. You’re now going to see the rapid decline of the product. The goal is to find the trend before everyone else starts talking about it. The goal is to start selling online a trend as it’s gaining momentum but before it reaches its peak. 

Trending Product Tools:

Google Trends is the most popular tool for finding trends. You can browse their Featured Insights which give you a look at what’s trending in the world right now. If you’re trying to figure out if a product or a niche is worth tapping into, you can search the exact keywords to find out if the niche is trending upwards. You can look up data from as far back as 2004 to show you the patterns over the years. If you see a cyclical pattern, it’s likely that the product is seasonal especially if it always peaks and dips around the same time each year. If the product has been trending upwards it’s likely worth adding to your store and start selling. If you look at data from the past 12 months, you might not be able to see whether or not the product is trending upwards as it can often be pretty flat. Aim to look at historical data from the past 5 years or from 2004 to really get a picture into whether it’s a trending product or not. You might want to check this article, where I share all my best Google Trends hacks to skyrocket your business.

find trending products with google trends

Ecomhunt is a popular product curation website. They’re in the know about the latest trending products. And considering they cater to the ecommerce community, they definitely know which products will sell. This website is a must for any online retailer looking to add the best-selling products to their store. So if you’re looking to find trending products, you might want to check out this list.


Trend Hunter is a popular website that lists trends for various niches. You’ll find trends for sub niches within fashion, jewelry, gadgets, home and more. If you browse through a few of the articles while cross checking with AliExpress or Google Trends, you’ll find quite a few products you can add to your store. Some of the trends are general ideas while others are more product focused.

Instant Product Evaluator Tool is a tool to help you evaluate whether or not you’re planning to sell a good product. You list your product idea and answer a series of questions about your product which helps guide you in whether or not its the right product to sell. It asks questions that’ll require you to do your research. Questions like ‘What is the potential selling price of your product?’ are asked in the short survey. After you finish answering the questions, you’ll receive an answer via email.

Product Trends Resources:

12 Website Design Ideas for Ecommerce in 2020

Top retailers are constantly pushing boundaries and innovating on their store design to build a trustworthy brand that drives high sales growth.

Your website design plays a huge role when it comes to customer trust. If your website looks unprofessional, out of date, or has blatant spelling errors it can prevent customers from buying on your store. While you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to create a trustworthy store, you do need to invest in time. There are steps you can take to ensure your website is up to today’s standards which you’ll find in the tips sections. However, when it comes to website design you shouldn’t stop there. You also need to think about optimizing your online store for conversions.

Website Design Ideas Example: Phix Clothing has a unique website layout. While a top navigation is often most intuitive for most consumers, they’ve chosen to add their navigation on the left hand side. Another remarkable difference between Phix and the average ecommerce brand can be found on the product page. Their Call to Action (CTA) is found on the bottom of the page. Not above the fold. For a customer to find the ‘add to bag’ button, they need to browse ultra large product images that show great detail. After they’ve scrolled through the images, they’ll find a large black add to bag button with a striking contrast against a white background. While we don’t know how well this page converts, it may be a great split test experiment to run.

Website Design Ideas and Tips:

Dannijo has a non traditional product page. Above the fold, the product page looks standard. It includes pictures, copy and an ‘Add to Bag’ button. However, below the fold, you’ll find a product collection. Typically, retailers put 3 or 4 recommended products. However, Dannijo has 35 different products listings on the product page. That allows customers to stay on the same page after adding an item to their cart. While we can’t confirm if it has helped boost average order value, it’s definitely an experiment worth trying.

Good As Gold has a unique product collection page. While customers browse photos, they can hover over an image to find product details. You’ll see details like price, available sizes, whether or not it’s sold out and the product name. This helps ensure that customers are ready to purchase by the time they get to the product page. They’ll know if their size is available and if the price matches their expectations.

Muse optimizes their store by having a ‘Add to Cart’ button on their homepage. While most store owners only have add to cart buttons on the product page, you can add it on other pages that receive a high number of traffic. Muse putting the CTA on the homepage is likely due to a high number of people landing on that page. Similarly, Estee Lauder added ‘Add to Cart’ buttons on their About Us page. Jeffree Star Cosmetics allows customers to add an item to their cart from the collections page. After an item has been added to cart, a pop-up appears asking the customer whether they want to continue shopping or head to their cart to begin the checkout process. When working on your website design, remember to optimize for ‘add to carts’ on the pages with the most traffic. Otherwise, you could be losing money.

Dick Moby simplifies online shopping with swatches. While color swatches are typically found on product pages, this brand also adds them to product listings pages. So while a customer is scrolling through the images in a product collection, they can hover over different colors before landing on the product page. While it might reduce the number of eyes on a product page, it does help qualify the customer earlier on. When a customer hovers over colors, they change. However, once a customer presses down on a color they’re directed to their product page where they’ll be able to make a purchase.

Marc Wenn has a unique product page design. When a customer scrolls, the product images change, however the product details and add to cart button stay static. This may help with conversions as the CTA stays above the fold despite scrolling.  

Ksubi has a unique look for their FAQs page. You can list your questions and answers in plain text on an FAQ page. However, the page will likely be long making it harder for a customer to find the answer to their question. Their FAQ page is divided into 9 sections including placing orders, returns & exchanges, international orders and general. Within each section, customers will find questions and answers to the most common questions the brand receives. A customer needs to click on the section for a dropdown to appear. This helps create a cleaner look.

The Home Depot has a Track Your Order feature on their store. This feature allows customers to track their purchases online with ease. It also helps minimize the number of customer support inquiries. Including a feature like this on your store can allow your customer to get an immediate response on their tracking inquiry improving customer satisfaction. See the tools section to find a Shopify app that can do this on your store.

Make use of modern design principles. You’ll want to keep your design simple. And make sure your layout is intuitive. Does your website look like an ecommerce site? While it can be great to push boundaries to stand out, it can also be harder for your customer to navigate. The way your product page flows should be what customers are used to. The add to cart button should contrast with the background, even if the customer doesn’t speak the language your site is written in.

Make sure your images look professional. Invest in quality stock images. On average, lifestyle images work best as banner photos. Avoid stock photos that look cheap. There are many great free stock photos on Burst, Shopify’s collection of quality images made specifically for store owners. However, not all free stock images are made equal. Some images can really bring down the reputation of your brand. Avoid cheesy images. Or images that have dated graphics.

Keep your website up to today’s standards. You’ll need to resize large images to ensure you maintain a fast page speed. If you’re on Shopify, you won’t have to worry about your site crashing. If you’re not shopping, you might want to make the switch before Black Friday to ensure that your website doesn’t crash on the most important day of the year.

Make sure your contact information is visible on your store. Many dropshippers avoid having contact information making it hard for customers to contact you. If a customer realizes they can’t contact you before a purchase it can make your brand seem less trustworthy. You need to be accessible to your customers.

Website Design Tools:

AfterShip is a great order tracking app used by thousands of Shopify stores. Customers can track their packages on their own without having to contact support about it. Updates are made regularly so customers are always in the know.

Shopify Themes are a great way to liven up your website’s design. If you’re starting out, you could still make a free theme look great with some of the other tools on this list. Ideally, you want to pick a theme with an intuitive look with the navigation bar on top instead of the the side. My go to free theme is Minimal but any of those Shopify themes work fine. You can easily sort through themes based on the niche your store is to ensure your website design matches your audience. You’ll find themes for clothing and fashion, jewellery, toys and games and more. You can also browse based on collections such as minimalist, fun and lively, great for large inventories and more. Themes are also categorized by price, number of products, layout style, product page features, marketing tools and more.

Hey Carson is a full service ecommerce company. Their team of ecommerce experts can help store owners of all levels complete small tasks. With a 9.92 out of 10 rating customers tend to be happy with the level of service the team brings. They’ve worked with over 6000 store owners to deliver tasks such as adding social media buttons, adding a second product image with hover, installing a custom font and more. Single tasks start at $79 USD but you can also pay for a monthly unlimited tasks for a $249 a month fee.

Burst is Shopify’s free stock photo site. Finding the right images for your website can be a bit of a challenge especially if you’re on a budget. Many of the products used in Burst’s stock photos come from Oberlo’s top suppliers. You’ll find pictures for various popular niches such as phone cases, fitness, fashion, jewelry, pet, and more.

Creative Market offers a selection of fonts, graphics, templates and more. Whether it’s time to update your logo or improve the branding on your social media, you’ll find the accessories you need to upgrade the look of your store and marketing materials.

Shopify Experts is a database of experts who can help build up your online store. Their database of experts specialize in one of five areas: store setup, store design, development, marketing, and photography. When hiring a Shopify expert, you can choose someone based on your needs and budget. You can also browse the Shopify Experts Directory if you’d prefer to choose one yourself. There are experts for each major timezone to ensure you can find someone within your hours of business.

Website Design Resources:

30 Amazing Examples of Ecommerce Website Design lists 30 examples of stores who have strong design skills. The stores on this list are what you should try to make your store look more like. Many are Shopify stores meaning you’ll likely find the same theme within Shopify’s database. Pay attention to what the stores all share in common. Use those commonalities when designing your own store.

14 Essential Tips for Improving Your Web Design delves into tips to ensure your website redesign is a success. It covers what type of content to remove from your website, features to include and implement, how to improve your navigation while sharing which tactics are outdated.

10 Best Practices to Improve Your Ecommerce Website covers how to increase usability with great product photography, product selection, and intuitive navigation. It also details how to increase visibility with search engine optimization, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, etc. The article also mentions how to increase your conversions with A/B testing and effective copywriting.

Data Analysis: How to Analyze Data for Your Online Store

Your store’s data can tell you a lot about your customer and the health of your business.

Until you do data analysis, you won’t know if your business is actually profitable. It can also educate you on the types of products your customers like best. This can help you make more educated decisions when it comes to product creation or curation for your store. When it comes to data analysis, you can find answers to almost every business question. From how much revenue did we make this quarter to where is most of our traffic coming from, analyzing your data can be an insightful process. It’s not just about knowing what the data is, but more about knowing what to do with it. And we’ll share a few tips in this section to help you better understand Shopify’s reports.

Examples of Data Analysis Reports:

Shopify: On Shopify, you can view your data for free on the dashboard under Analytics. Here you’ll find total sales, conversion rate, average order value, traffic sources, and more. You can also find Reports on sales, acquisition, customers, behavior, marketing, finances and your own custom reports can be created. If your store sells exclusively on Shopify, the report will cover all your data.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a powerful data tool for store owners. It can tell you how many viewers are on your site in real-time and what they’re viewing. The data tool also educates you on your customers’ overview such as how much traffic your store is getting and the time each visitor spends on each page, what the bounce rate is, the gender and age of your customer and more.

Tips for Analyzing Data:

Context plays a huge role in data analysis. Typically, you’ll want to compare growth year over year to best understand if your numbers are good or bad. While you can do month over month comparisons the reality is that many products have seasonal trends which could drastically affect your numbers on a month to month basis. With year over year comparisons you can see if your traffic and sales are higher or lower than the same season of the previous year.

You’re not always going to understand the data. Sometimes you’ll have a low sales day and you won’t know what caused it. It could’ve been that a competitor spent more on their ads that day or some other external factor which you have no control over. You can make hypotheses about it, and test those hypotheses based on actual information.  

Perform split tests. A/B testing can help you improve and better optimize your online store. Whether you want to test which main image gets the highest purchases or which subject line gets the most open rates, split testing allows you to improve your store using data. Keep in mind that the results need to be significant to warrant a change.

Pay attention to ‘Top products by unit sold’ in your Shopify Analytics dashboard. This report tells you what your best sellers are. While some store owners might want to drive sales to other products to round out the sales on their store, you need to focus on your best sellers. If one to three products are outperforming the rest, that’s a good indicator that you need to invest more money into ads for those products. And you need to scale fast. By delaying the growth of those products, you give competitors an opportunity to catch up to you. And in the end, it’ll make your ads less effective while increasing your costs. You need to go all in with your best sellers.

When it comes to Visits by Referrer on your Shopify Reports, it’s a good indicator of where you’ll find your best traffic. Most store owners invest in Facebook ads which usually puts Facebook at the top. However, sometimes you’ll notice you’re getting traffic from other sources that you aren’t marketing on, like Pinterest. If you find other sources of referral traffic that you didn’t initiate, it’s a good indicator that you might want to try investing more time in driving traffic from those channels.

For First Time vs Returning customers, the ratio varies per industry. For example, if you sell makeup or consumable goods, the number of returning customers should be high. However, if you sell mattresses or one-time products, the number of returning customers will typically be low. A trick I like to do to boost returning customers is to send a VIP email within 24 hours after their purchase offering a special VIP discount to buy more products from our store.

Data Analytics Tools:

Data Export allows store owners to export their data into a spreadsheet. You may use this tool to export data to give to a freelancer, accountant or someone else you wouldn’t want to give access to your store log-ins to.

Analytics Buddy is a Google Analytics data extraction tool that imports into your Shopify store. If you’d prefer the convenience of viewing all your data in one place, this app is a great choice.

Compass is a tool that tracks over 30 different ecommerce metrics. You can view reports on acquisition, revenue, and more to determine your store’s true performance.

Lucky Orange offers store owners features like heatmaps, live customer recordings, and polls to learn more about who your customer is. With heatmaps, you’ll see where customers click on the page the most to ensure there aren’t any visual distractions. With customer recordings you can view how customers navigate your website to better understand their shopping process. And you can run polls to ask customers questions easily on your website.

Customer.Guru is a tool that calculates your net promoter score. After a customer receives their product or communicates with customer support, you can send an email out to them for feedback. You can use your net promoter score to educate you on how to proceed in improving your business using customer data.

Data Analysis Resources:

Shopify Analytics is Shopify’s resource on how to understand Shopify’s reports, how to export them, and what you can track on your website. You’ll also find a section on Google Analytics to help you set it up for your store.

Optimize Smart’s 6 Data Drill Downs for Improving Ecommerce Product Sales breaks down the data you should be analyzing. It covers how to find the most profitable locations, how to find your most popular product categories, and more so you can improive your store’s sales.

The Beginner’s Guide to Analyzing Shopify Reports and Analytics breaks down the difference between reporting and analysis, how to know what to look for in your data analysis, and the breakdown of what each report tells you.

How to Take an Amazing Product Image in 2020

Product photography is an essential part of the decision making process. A high-resolution product image, taken by you, allow you to set the context for the purchase, and help to create the atmosphere for buying from your brand specifically. That is why the product image is one of the most important parts of your product page. It not only shows the customer what the product looks like, but also how they should feel after they buy it.

Words alone can not accurately describe a product. So, when it comes to product photography, it needs to be great. However, while ecommerce product images are a must, a product photo can also enhance your online store in other ways. Whether it’s a sketch of the components of a product or a banner image on your homepage, images play a huge role in helping your customer convert.

Product Image Example: Pretty Little Thing regularly updates their website with captivating imagery. Their homepage shows off the brand’s creativity with vibrant images of models displayed. PLT plays around with color in their images. Their clothing always pops against the colors within the image adding great emphasis on it.

Some images include borders around them to add greater emphasis to that photo. The backgrounds for the model photos are also attention grabbing whether they use a solid hot pink or a graffiti covered wall as a backdrop, the pictures have a high level of attention to detail that makes them so striking. The images on the website are also consistent to the style found on Instagram creating a unified look across their assets.

Product Image Tips:

Why should you take your own product photos if you dropship? Even dropshippers can benefit from their own product photos. Savvy customers and competitors can reverse search your product images from AliExpress to find out who’s selling the same products. This can put you at a competitive disadvantage. Also, some images aren’t of a high enough quality or have logos that are hard to remove making it difficult to promote those products. Taking your own product photos can be beneficial in these cases.

BioLite makes good use of images throughout their online store. You’ll find product sketches next to product categories when you hover over the top navigation. More importantly, you’ll find sketches on the product page. Under Full Features and Inside the Tech, product sketches are used to explain the parts each product has. You’ll learn the name of each part and what that part does. However, it’s numbered in the drawing so you can clearly understand what part of the product it is. The sketches break apart the product so you can sit how it all fits together. Product images can help simplify complicated products.

Esqido takes their product photos to the next level. On their product page, they show a before and after slider. The person in the before image isn’t using their eyelashes and the person after is. It takes a plain image and adds an interactive element to it. Customers can move the slider back and forth to see the full difference with and without the artificial eyelashes. This can be a powerful way to show the impact of your product.

(NSFW: lingerie, exposed body parts): Third Love uses images to help customers know whether or not is right for them based on their breast shape. On each product page, there are sketches of topless women with various breast shapes. If a customer finds a breast shape that matches theirs on that product page, they’ll know if it’ll look right on their body. This helps make the online shopping experience easier on the customer who would traditionally try it on in person to determine how it looks.

Boden shows their product photos when customers use the search bar on their store. If a customer is searching for a specific style, they’ll be able to see what the style looks like before landing on the product page.

360 images can help a customer see all angles of your product. This works well for products that have little details at different angles like shoes or backpacks. If a product image or video doesn’t showcase the little details, it might be a good product to have 360 images of. You can export the images into a gif format using one of the tools below to create the effect using your smartphone!

Zoomable images are a must in ecommerce. A customer needs to be able to look at product photos in greater detail. Many Shopify themes have image zoom embedded into the theme allowing you to offer this feature on your store at no extra cost.

Take pictures of all angles. Zoom into the detail. Accentuate texture and detail at close-up levels so your visitor can get a sense for how a product will feel on their body or in their hands. One product photo isn’t enough for your customers. Don’t forget to include a picture of your product being used. For example, if you have a picture of a t-shirt on a white background, you’ll also want to have one being worn by a model.

Remove the logos from product images. Sometimes when you import supplier images into your store, the image has a logo in the top corner that you need to remove. Fortunately, Shopify now allows you to remove the logo out of the image directly in the backend using the Photo Editor.

Make sure you have a lot of whitespace. Unless, you’re adding lifestyle products to your store, you’ll want to make sure that your product photo has white space around it. Ideally, you should have your product photos on a white background. If they’re on a colored background or a gray background, remove the background from the photo.

Lifestyle ecommerce product photos can convert really well on product pages. We’ve tested them out on our store and they outperform photos of products on plain white backgrounds.

Enhance your product image. If you do end up taking your own product photos, consider using image enhancing tools like Photoshop. You’ll be able to play with the color, effects, and look of the image using various tools. If you need to clean up bruises on models, you can use Photoshop to make those corrections.

Product Image Tools:

There are a lot of things you can do to images to make them more captivating. From image resizer tools to full suite photo editing, here are 6 photo editing tools to help you create amazing product images.

1. Photo Resize by Pixc

Photo Resize resizes your product photos to make them into the standard ecommerce square shape. The first 400 images you run through Pixc’s app are free which is great for new store owners or those with smaller inventories. It resizes all your photos to the exact size to ensure a consistent look on your store.

2. Retail Ready Photos

Retail Ready Photos removes the background on your product images. Whether you took your own photos at home or don’t like the background of your supplier’s images, this photo app helps create a cleaner look. A professional graphic designer will guarantee that image backgrounds are removed within 24 hours.

3. Loox

Loox is a customer photos app that allows customers to add their photos to their product reviews. Customer photos are a great way to build social proof on your store. They also help show off different looks and product uses. It helps fill out the image collection for your product pages so customers can know what to expect when they see your product. Customers will be able to see what your product looks like without digital enhancements.

4. Photoshop

Photoshop is an image editing tool where you’ll be able to improve the appearance of your photos. You’ll be able to remove the background on your product image. Or edit out bruises on models. When it comes to Photoshop there’s no limit on what the tool can do to enhance or change your photos. It can even be used to create t-shirt mockups, gadget mockups, jewelry mockups, etc. 

5. Arqspin

Arqspin is a 360 spin product photography tool. With it, customers will be able to see your product from all angles. Customers can also move products around to see the product’s entire details.

6. Burst by Shopify

Burst is Shopify’s very own stock photo site. You’ll find images for the most popular niches. The stock photo site also has pictures of Oberlo products you can use for your store. Whether you need pictures of enamel pins, phone cases or people, you’re sure to find quality images on Burst. The best thing about Burst is that you can automatically add any image from it within Shopify’s backend.

Product Image Resources:

15 Product Photography Tips That’ll Make You More Money dives into the game-changing tips that’ll help ensure your product photography is up to today’s standards. From choosing the right camera to creating different looks, you’ll learn the tactics photographer’s use to make sure their images look great.

The Photographer’s Toolkit contains a list of all the types of products you’ll need if you plan on shooting your own photography. If you’re new to photography, the images of each product will help you see what the product looks like. It also clarifies what each tool does.

10 Stock Image Websites You Need to Know is a list of the top ten most popular stock image websites where you can find free stock photos. If you regularly write blog content, or like updating the images on your website, you’ll find a great collection of image sites here.

Reverse Image Search: With an image search engine, you can sort through and find a great selection of images you can use in your online store. By learning how to search images on Google, you’ll be able to find images labelled for reuse that you can use to for your logo, website banner, blog post, or even your Facebook ad.

Product Image Influencers:

Rachel Jacobs, Head of Content at Pixc, shares “For anyone shooting product photos, our top tip is to use a white background and natural lighting. A white background draws attention to the product and won’t clash with other colors. Natural lighting from an indirect light source, such as a bright spot near a window, will result in consistent, high-quality photos, particularly for anyone on a limited budget.

How to Lower Your Abandoned Cart Rate

Over 77% of shoppers abandon cart while shopping online. Shoppers abandon cart for a number of reasons. They could be just browsing, price comparing, surprise charges at checkout, or forgot to complete their purchase. As a store owner, it’s your responsibility to help minimize the number of abandoned carts and to recover as many as possible. An abandoned cart doesn’t signal the end of the customer-store relationship. Even if a customer doesn’t provide you with their email address, you can still reach out to them to recover their cart through retargeting ads or push notifications.

Abandoned Cart Example: Daily Steals works to recover abandoned carts with email marketing. Their subject reads ‘We saved your cart for you’ which serves as a gentle reminder that you abandoned your cart. The language they use makes it seem like they’ve done you, the customer, a favor by ‘saving’ your cart. When a customer opens their email up, there’s a strong red block with white text that reads ‘There’s something in your cart’ in all caps capturing strong attention. There’s a picture of the product to help remind you of what it was you abandoned. In the same strong red, there’s a call to action button that reads ‘Return to Checkout’.

Tips to Lower Your Abandoned Cart Rate:

You need to know why your customer abandoned. If you don’t offer free shipping, are your shipping costs too high? If so, you might need to change your product pricing to add free shipping or lower your shipping rate. Do people from the same country always abandon? Or maybe you had higher than usual cart abandonments for a couple days and need to fix your settings. For example, if you remove an abandoned cart recovery app from your store it can prevent customers from checking out. It was one of the most expensive mistakes we’ve ever made. So be sure to change your settings if you remove an app.

Avoid including hidden costs in your checkout. For example, if a customer sees a price as $29.99, they’ll be disappointed to find out that it ends up costing more with tax and shipping costs added. This works for promotions too. Sometimes brands will have a promotion telling everyone that they offer free shipping today only. However, when a customer checks out they realize that the free shipping offer excludes their country or region. Issues like this can result in cart abandonment.

When sending abandoned cart emails, keep the focus on the abandoned cart recovery. Have one clear call-to-action(CTA) to complete their purchase. Avoid having links to social media buttons or attention grabbing colors on anything other than the CTA.

Always have abandoned cart campaigns running. Whether it’s a retargeting ad that you constantly pay to recover your add to carts or an automated abandoned cart email customers get sent out soon after abandonment, you need to make sure that the campaigns don’t stop. It may cost money to have these campaigns run but they can also be profitable.

If you’re sending out abandoned cart emails, constantly split test to improve the conversion. From my personal experience, Facebook retargeting ads work best on my store. However, if you’re starting out and don’t have enough room in your budget to invest in even more Facebook ads, then you need to invest your time. The time investment will be on creating an abandoned cart email that works. It’s not easy. I’ve created a few highly profitable email campaigns but always struggled at converting abandoned carts via email.

That said, if you do have the budget, invest in Facebook retargeting ads. They’re able to convert customers who don’t even fill out their email on the checkout page. That means you’re able to reach even more people with your retargeting campaigns. Be sure to check out our retargeting section.

Offer a small first-time customer discount. I usually start with a 10% discount. However, the highest I’ll go is 15%. Don’t offer the 15% discount to every customer. Offer it only to customers with certain shopping cart values. For example, if a customer has $75 in their cart and your average order value on your store is around $30, you might offer a 15% discount because they’ve spent more than the average user. Keep in mind that offering discounts can cause customers to expect them every time. Use them sparingly.

If running a Facebook retargeting ad, you’ll want the picture to be of the product. But remember to also include a product picture in your emails as well so customers can remember how much they love the look of the product or at minimum trigger the memory of why they wanted to buy it.

On your last abandoned cart email to your customer, use scarcity and urgency. Let the customer know that there are only a few items left. You might even use a countdown timer in your email to let them know when your discount code offer expires. Avoid giving the same discount code to everyone because then it won’t expire. If you have a unique generated discount code per customer, the customer will see that their offer did expire. Then, they’ll know they need to act fast in the future.

Personalize the experience. From showing the exact product they’ve abandoned to using their name in an email, customers are more likely to respond favorably with personalization. Telling a customer they’ve abandoned a product without showing it doesn’t drive the same level of urgency. Using a customer’s’ name shows that the email or ad is personalized specifically to that person.

Abandoned Cart Tools:

Kit can be used as an abandoned cart recovery app through its retargeting function. When a customer adds an item to their cart and abandons, using the Shoelace app within Kit allows you to reach customers even if they haven’t given you their email. The app is able to recover more abandoned carts than the average abandoned cart email.

Recart is the only app that allows you to send retargeting campaigns via Facebook Messenger. However, you can also use the app to retarget with push notifications.

Abandoned Cart Reminder sends customers an abandoned cart recovery message when your store’s browser tab isn’t active. It helps encourage customers to go back to the page to complete their purchase.

PushOwl is a push notifications app that can help with abandoned cart recovery. Customers need to agree to push notifications when the pop-up appears on their first visit. Then, if the customer abandons their cart, they’ll receive push notifications to complete their purchase. No email address needed!

Abandoned Cart Resources:

How to Recover Abandoned Carts Easily details what an abandoned cart is, why you should recover them and how to recover abandoned carts. It also talks about the steps you can take to lower your abandoned cart rate.

11 Smart Tactics to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment shows you how you can find where the issue that’s causing cart abandonment. It also mentions the importance of limiting surprises at checkout, offering free shipping and other great abandoned cart tactics.

How to Crush the Competition with Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis is essential in ecommerce. While you might brush it off by focusing on your customers, the reality is: your competitors are watching you. When you post asking for a review of your store, they’ll discover you. When you start growing your following on social media, they’ll pay more attention to you. Over time, they’ll start monitoring what your best-sellers are. They’ll look for patterns in the type of content you post on social media. Competitors will even notice what pages you include on your store, how you write your copy and what you do differently. How do I know? Because that’s exactly what I do. I always know when a competitor has a new successful ad. And that’s when I jump in to sell the same product. If you want to succeed over the long haul, competition monitoring should take place regularly.

How to Write a Competitive Analysis

In order to carry out a good competitive analysis, you must keep in mind the importance of being objective, and of conducting a thorough, in-depth research. A competitive analysis will help you to recognize what works and what doesn’t work for your competitors, and how you can figure out ways to thrive among them. As a guideline, you can keep the following factors in mind to carry out a competitive analysis:

Know Your Competitors

The competitor analysis framework begins with knowing who your competitors are. This list of your competitors can include businesses that you consider to be your main competitors, however may also include such businesses that indirectly compete with your business. This part of the competitor analysis can also include information about companies that are planning to enter the market in the near future. Once you have the list of competitors, it’ll be easier to see the areas you need to focus on the most and where your biggest challenges may lie.

Know the Product of Your Competitors

This step of the competitor analysis framework involves an in-depth analysis of the products or services offered by your competitors. To be precise, it includes an understanding of the features of their products, their values, and who they target. Look closely at how your competitors are marketing, what platforms they’re using and what seems to be working out for them. If possible, try to understand what your customers think of your competitors and how they rank or value them.

Know the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Competitors

One of the most important parts of putting together a competitor analysis in marketing is to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. It’s extremely important that you objectively judge your competitor’s products and services as if they were your own. If you see your competitors growing rapidly, try to understand what it is about their product or service that’s pushing their growth forward. Keep an eye open for opportunities to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.

Know the Strategies and Objectives of Your Competitors

Observe what your competitors are doing. It’ll be hard to figure out exactly what your competitors are planning, but look at multiple factors including their marketing, how they are advertising, their customers, the distribution channels they are using, and whatever else you can observe or find out. Analyze through observation what their strategies are.

Know the Market in Which You Function

To carry out a thorough competitor analysis, you need to not only analyze the competitors, but also have an understanding of the current market, and what the potential of your product is. Try to understand if the demand is increasing or is rather flat. This will help you to understand the competition levels you’ll face. If the market is breaking into smaller sections, maybe you’ll find a specific niche that interests you, that you can look into in the future.

A perfect competitor analysis template is hard to find. But looking into how you can understand your surroundings, will help you plan and shape your present and future decisions in the presence of the competition.

Competitor Analysis Tips:

Browse the best-sellers for stores in your niche. Some online stores don’t have a best-sellers list. However, for many Shopify stores you can add “?sort_by=best-sellers” in the url to find them for each category. Saavy store owners are now blocking those URLs as well though so it won’t work on all stores.

Add items to your competitors’ carts. This will typically trigger their retargeting ads or abandoned cart emails which will give you deeper insight in how they market their brand. You’ll see patterns in how they present products, their word choice and their marketing strategy.

Browse the pages of their online store. Do they have an active blog? How do they present their About Us page? What type of information do they include on the product page? Do they use the supplier’s images or do they take their own? Analyze every detail of their store. You might not know how well something converts or not, but it might be worth testing out on your store.

Read the comments on their social media. What type of comments do they get? Positive, neutral or negative? Use the negative comments to your advantage and do the opposite on your store. While it can be tempting to leave negative comments on a competitor’s social media or write a negative review online, avoid doing this.

Use SEO tools to find out which keywords your competitors rank high for. You’ll want to create content around these keywords so you can drive more traffic to your store. You can also use tools like BuzzSumo to see which articles get the most social shares so you can write more content like that on your store.

Pay attention to which social networks your competition is and isn’t marketing on. If they’re focused on Facebook and Instagram but not Pinterest, you might have a competitive advantage to start marketing on Pinterest if you sell a very visual product. You definitely want to be on the same platforms your competitors are on. However, you also want to find little online nooks where there’s a greater opportunity for your brand to monetize.

Use price comparison websites to determine how your competitors price their products. While you won’t always want to compete on price, it can help you understand the price range to sell your products at. Keep in mind that with dropshipping you will never win the price war, you’re not the manufacturer or the only seller.

Competitor Analysis Tools:

Google Alerts is a tool that sends you email alerts when news about your search term appears. For example, if you add your brand name as an alert, you’ll be notified when new content online with your brand name appears. This can include brand reviews, news articles or mentions in publications. However, you can also use Google Alerts to tell you about your competitors or even your niche. This will allow you to always stay informed about what’s going on in your industry and who’s saying what.

BuzzSumo is a competitor analysis tool that allows you to see the best performing content in terms of social shares. You can use the tool to see your brand’s best content and your competitors. If you’re planning on creating content for your store, you can use your competitors’ data to plan out the type of content you should be adding to your blog. You can find inspiration for blog ideas this way.

Social Mention is a social tool that gives you insight into your competitor’s social media. Type in your brand’s name and search. You’ll find information like whether social media posts about the brand are typically positive, neutral or negative. You can even view the brand’s mentions in real-time. Top users, keywords, and hashtags are some other key information you can learn about your competitors.

Website Grader is a competitor analysis tool that grades your website. You’ll receive a grade for store. It’s based on a number of factors such as performance, mobile, SEO, and security. It grades everything from pagespeed to mobile responsiveness and more. You should aim for a score above 90%.

Alexa is a competitor analysis tool that tells you what a website’s global rank in the world is. The closer you rank is to the number 1 the better. You’ll be able to see which countries the brand is most popular in. You can also learn the store’s bounce rate, daily time on site, top keywords, and backlinks.

SpyFu is a competitor analysis tool that let’s you see who’s ranking for specific keywords while also seeing how much they’re bidding on it. It’ll show you your competitors’ most profitable keywords so you can better optimize your campaigns.

Competitor Analysis Resource:

Competitive Monitoring: How to Build a Strategy in 4 Steps shares a four-step system for competition monitoring. It helps you figure out which competitors you need to monitor, what to monitor, which tools to use, and encourages you to do it.

How to Master Ecommerce Quiz Marketing in 2020

In 2016, LeadQuizzes users had an average conversion rate of 33.6% getting leads through quizzes. Quizzes are a great way to get new store visitors into your sales funnels making it a top of funnel marketing strategy. Many of the top ecommerce brands use quizzes to learn more about their customers to better personalize the shopping experience. They use the information that the customer shares to provide a more personalized experience. After completing the quiz customers are often shown products they’re likely to want to buy. Quizzes can also be used to build your email list so that your brand can continue to remarket to those customers over the long term. According to Buzzsumo, 84% of the most shared content on Facebook are quizzes. Thus, making it worthwhile to try out.

Marketing Quiz Questions Example: Buzzfeed is a popular blog that brands can create quizzes on. You can create quizzes or gif driven content in their Buzzfeed Community. You can’t do an overt sales pitch as your account can be banned from the platform. You can also check out Buzzfeed’s Brands page where their writers regularly feature brands in quizzes. For example, recently several makeup brands were featured in a ‘Which Makeup Brand Has the Most Instagram Followers’ quiz. Brands like M.A.C Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Benefit, and Smashbox were included in the post. Buzzfeed users could guess which brand has the most followers. If users guess wrong, they can retake the quiz to find the right answer. However, with every brand they choose, they’ll learn how many followers the brand has. While these types of guest posts aren’t likely to land direct sales, users may decide to follow those brands on Instagram. Over time, the brand recognition may lead to increased sales.

Marketing Quiz Tips:

True & Co uses a quiz to sell its bras. When a person visits their website, they’re asked to take a quiz to find their best fit without a fitting room. The first question asks about the current fit of the bra straps, with three bullet points to choose from. Then, users are asked about the shape of their breasts. There are drawings included so that users have a clear understanding of what each shape really means. Quiz takers then are asked about their favorite bra and are able to choose from a range of top brands. Users are then asked a few more questions about colors and padding. When certain bullet points are selected, tips pop up on the screen to educate the visitor. If a user skips a question, a popup appears to let them know they need to finish it in order to move forward. Towards the end, users are asked to share their birthday so that True & Co can reward customers on their special day. Then, to get three personalized bra recommendations users need to fill in their email address and a password to create an account.

Shoe Dazzle encourages users to complete a quiz to give them a style profile with personalized recommendations. All of the quiz questions revolve around while style shoe you’d wear. There are three shoes shown to users at every question to get a better understanding of your style. After shown shoes, each person is shown different celebrity pictures to better understand the person’s sense of style. Users are also asked about their shoe size, age, clothing size, and heel height to better personalize the experience. To complete the process, they’re required to enter their name and email address. However, beside the email opt-in box is their offer for $10 shoes for signing up.

Luxy Hair also forces customers into taking a quiz in order to personalize their experience and to match them with the right product. Store visitors first need to choose their hair thickness. Then they need to choose a hair color which will lead them to a product page.

The most important part of a quiz is it’s title. It needs to be compelling enough to drive a person to spend a few minutes answering questions to get their results. If you look at brands like Fabletics, Just Fab or even browse the Buzzfeed Quizzes section, you’ll quickly learn what works. Just Fab entices users with ‘Get Started’ which immediately leads them into their quiz. Whereas Buzzfeed often uses quirky headlines that capture attention.  Keep in mind that they use quizzes for different purposes. With Buzzfeed, most of the headlines are abnormal which is why people click on them which helps them grow their traffic. Recently, they shared ‘Buy a Bunch of Clothes from Nike and We’ll Reveal Which Disney Princess You’re Most Like.’ I literally have no idea what the connection between Nike and Disney is but I’m sure Nike landed a few sales this way. Quiz takers are forced to choose products from Nike collections. While there isn’t a link to the website, customers can clearly see where all the products come from and may choose to buy something they saw on the quiz that they loved. Your title needs to make sense for your audience. If your audience is comparable to Buzzfeed’s you’ll want to have some unique attention grabbing headlines for your quiz. If you’re trying to create a funnel on your ecommerce store, you might use ‘Get Started’ or just start right into the quiz when a customer chooses a certain collection page.

You can run a bunch of different type of quizzes. The most popular type is the Personality quiz. An example of this would be ‘Which (keyword) are you?’ You can also run knowledge quizzes such as ‘How much do you really know about (topic)? Both can be really effective. Feel free to do a combination of the two types of quizzes to know which resonates best with your audience.

Show off your personality. Customers who take quizzes want to be entertained. Make it a fun experience. Have some quirky questions like ‘If you were stranded on a desert island, which item would you want the most?’ It doesn’t have to be a serious quiz. Keep it light.

Make sure each of the choices has images. The most effective quizzes use photos for all the multiple choice answers. People respond to images more than words. And feel free to have fun with the pictures you choose. They don’t all have to be product focused. Mix it up.

When it comes to quiz length you usually want to keep it to 7-8 quiz slides. However, on the last slide you might use this as an opportunity to get more information from your customer such as their size, birthday, full name, email address and any other key information you’ll need to personalize their shopping experience. Keep the last slide brief so that customers can get their results quickly.

Quiz Marketing Tools:

Fyrebox allows you to create quizzes on your store. There are five types of quizzes you can run: multiple choice, true and false, scenario, open ended, and mostly as. If you’d like to run a quiz like Shoe Dazzle where the quiz leads to a product or collection page, this app allows you to do just that. You can also run competition quizzes for contests where everyone wins a voucher to your store by entering their email address. This app is $39/month.

PickZen is a product recommendation quiz app. After customers answer a series of questions, they’ll be recommended a personalized set of products. The process of creating a quiz is automated and store owners are able to create questions based off of product tags. The quiz can be customized to include pictures or make changes to product categorization.

Quiz Marketing Resources:

9 Personality Quiz Examples by SnapApp shares nine fun examples of personality quizzes. Each quiz has a takeaway where you’ll learn a tidbit from the strategy of running a personality quiz. You can also model some of your questions after the ones listed in the article.

What Are Flash Sales: A Complete Guide (With Examples)

Flash sales are a popular marketing tactic to help drive sales for your ecommerce business. If you run a brick and mortar business or an online store, you’ll likely find yourself running this tactic to generate many purchases in a short period. 

For example, countdown timers are a popular flash sales tactic used to give customers a fear of missing out. This fear usually compels them into action. And then an impulse purchase is made. You can also offer exclusive items, or a shortterm release of a product like Disney does when they release movies from the vault for special anniversaries. 

What Are Flash Sales?

Flash sales are a type of sales promotion that marketers run in a short period of time. For example, an online retailer might do a two-hour flash sale to boost weekend sales. The retailer might send out an email or post on social media to let people know about the promotion.

With a flash sale, you might offer a steep discount. Since you only run them for a short period, you’ll sell through inventory quickly. And since the time allotted is capped, you won’t risk losing too much money by offering a bigger discount.

Flash Sales Examples

1. Yoins

One of the flash sales examples you can learn a lot from comes from Yoins. Yoins channels both scarcity and urgency on their webpage. When you first land on their page, they include a pop-up that highlights their 72-hour flash sale on their website. Their flash sales page lists their deals of the day to create a sense of immediate urgency. Their countdown timer also creates a sense of urgency, showing the limited time a buyer has left. Underneath each product, it lists what percentage of the product has been sold. Items with a smaller quantity of products are likely to compel a customer to buy now due to the limited inventory available. 

flash sales

2. Choies

Choies is a great flash sales example with a promotion on the homepage. When you land on their main website, a “Super Flash” banner shows up above the fold, sharing that you have less than an hour to check out the products that are on sale. The banner includes an arrow with an aggressive “Shop now” message to create a sense of urgency for this flash sale. When you land on their Super Flash page, you’ll find discounts of as little as 18% to as high as 55%. And the products were already priced with a market value, so customers gain massive savings.  

choies flash sale

3. Best Buy

For Leap Day, Best Buy decided to host a flash sales promotion on their website. However, as you can see from the image below, the event is happening on Leap Day itself. So, they’re giving customers a heads up about the major Flash Sale event coming soon to this page. They even entice shoppers by mentioning what some of the Flash Sale deals will include. For example, customers looking to buy a laptop can save up to $300 on open box Macbooks.

flash sale deals

7 Flash Sales Tips to Create Urgency and Scarcity


1. Create a Limited Time Offer

Limited time offers work well for driving urgency. When hosting flash sales, you typically don’t want them to last more than a week. However, the shorter the sale, the more urgency your business creates. This flash sales tactic may not work well for brands with small audiences, so if you’re just starting out, you may need to spend more time promoting. Some brands host weekly flash sales, where they present new offers each week. Others host weekend flash sales, which can last two to three days. And some brands go for the all-in one-day flash sale. When customers see that a sale ends in less than 24 hours, it can drive them into purchasing from your business faster. 

2. Use Captivating Copy to Drive Action

The right words can be a powerful tool when running flash sales. You can create a sense of urgency and scarcity with words. ‘Only 2 left,’ and ‘limited quantities remaining’ help encourage impulse buys with scarcity. I usually like to stick to numbers rather than vague quantities, though. The number should be under 3 for scarcity to work well. For urgency, you might use words like ‘Sale ends in 24 hours’ or ‘today only.’ Also, consider adding keywords such as ‘Shop now’ to provide a clear call to action to all of your flash sales. This will only help further the action of your browser to help turn them into a buyer. 

3. Use A Countdown Timer

Countdown timers can work well on stores. I use them on my online store. When we’ve removed the countdown timer app off our store, we noticed an immediate drop in conversions. It was drastic. So we added it back on. From personal experience, they work well. We usually sell impulse buy products, and the added element of urgency works well with many niches. Some say that the effectiveness of a countdown timer goes down over time. This theory could be true for some brands that use a countdown timer for an extended period. So be sure to limit your countdown timer for the few flash sales you run during the year. Don’t use this tactic year-round to help improve its effectiveness on your business. 

4. Host Flash Sales Events

Host a flash sales event on your website. Having a link to a Flash Sales section on your website can add emphasis to specific products. If every product from your store is in that section, it won’t be nearly as effective. Unless, of course, you run very few flash sales promotions. However, if you’re planning on keeping a single page for it, choose ten products each week that you include in that section. 

Some brands like QVC choose one product each day called ‘Today’s Special Value’ where the product is highly discounted, and the offer expires within 24 hours. This tactic not only keeps people coming back each day to check out the new daily deal but also adds an element of urgency each day so that if someone wants to buy that product, they need to buy it today.  They even include a countdown timer on the product page for when the sale on that product ends.



5. Add A Back In Stock Feature

Add a ‘Back in Stock’ section to your online store. When you add products that were previously sold out into a ‘back in stock’ section, customers may be more likely to buy the product. Back in stock means that the product was so popular it sold out. And so a customer knows that if they want to buy it they need to act fast or it may sell out again. Not knowing if it’ll keep coming back in stock can give them a fear of missing out, causing them to act fast. 

6. Incorporate A Last Chance Section

‘Last chance’ sections can also be used as flash sales events. Typically retailers who purchase bulk inventory use last chance sections to clear out their inventory. However, even a dropshipper can use this section to their advantage. Are there products that aren’t popular enough to keep on your store? You can add them to this section to test if an additional boost of urgency is worth keeping on your main store or if it’s time to remove it from your website. You can also add items from the end of the season, such as selling winter coats right before your spring collection comes out. 

Lulu’s offers a steep discount on its Last Chance collection. The products featured in this section are often the last couple left in inventory. Since the products are heavily discounted, it’s considered final sale meaning customers can’t return or exchange them. However, with prices falling from $78 to $17, the flash sales event on this page is likely captivating enough – at least from a pricing standpoint. 

last chance sale

7. Use Flash Sales Apps

You can use flash sales apps to show your customers how many people are viewing your product at the same time. This method works effectively if you’re driving traffic through ads as it’ll show a higher number of people on the page. Be sure to double-check the flash sales apps you install. For example, some countdown timers reset from zero. If a customer sees this, they may realize that the tool is artificial. Thus, your flash sale will seem artificial instead of an actual limited-time promotion.

8. Monitor the Flash Sales On Your Website

When you run a flash sales event, and you have a large audience, you need to monitor your site. You’ll want to ensure that the website is working well. You may want to monitor that people are checking out smoothly. You may want to take a look at real-time numbers to see how they’re faring. And then, once the flash sale is over, you want to determine how successful the promotion was. 

9. Ship Out Products On Time

With flash sales, people often impulse buy purchases. Flash sales shoppers often want to receive their products as soon as possible. So, if you find that your team is overloaded with orders to process, you may want to bring in a temporary freelancer to help process the orders. Otherwise, you may find yourself receiving a large number of emails from customers requesting their delivery status. 

10. Make Sure You Have Enough Products

On the one hand, you want to sell out of inventory during flash sales because it proves it’s popularity. On the other hand, you want to make sure you have enough for everyone who wants to buy so you can generate as much money as possible during your promotion. Mastering the art of finding the perfect balance takes a lot of experience. You may want to test out a sample size audience through an ad to determine a product’s popularity. That way, you’ll know how much inventory you’ll need to sell out of it. 

5 Flash Sales Apps to Install On Your Website

1. Hurrify

Hurrify is the most popular flash sales countdown timer on Shopify. You can add this flash sales app to any product page to create a sense of urgency. Scarcity can also be added to the app by letting customers know how many are left or how many products have already been claimed. 


2. Fera Social Proof

Fera Social Proof is a flash sales app that creates a sense of scarcity. It shows customers how many customers are viewing a product at the same time, which shows customers how popular your product is. It can also help drive customers into a purchase when they realize how popular a product they’re looking at is. When running flash sale deals, you’ll want to have this app in place to help drive further sales. 

flash sales app

3. Countdown Timer Bar

Countdown Timer Bar has a countdown timer bar that appears on the top of your website to notify customers of flash sales. If you host storewide sales, this can be a useful tool to help create a sense of urgency and alert customers of the promotion going on.

flash sales tool

4. Smart Scarcity Countdown

Smart Scarcity Countdown Timer is a countdown timer app to notify customers when a flash sale ends. As customers see the timer move, it drives them into an impulse buy. The flash sales app comes in different styles that you can modify to match your store better.

countdown timer app

5. Shopper & Stock Counter

Shopper & Stock Counter is a flash sales tool that helps customers experience a fear of missing out. This Shopify app helps drive them into action. Customers will be able to see how many people are currently viewing the product and how many units are available in stock. If you’re sending a high volume of traffic to a specific page, this can help create a sense of urgency as other customers may be viewing the same product.

scarcity and urgency


Hosting flash sales can help drive immediate purchases from customers. The element of urgency can help compel a casual browser and turn them into a buyer. The most effective limited-time promotion events are short in length, such as up to 72 hours. However, they can be as long as a week in some cases. Using some of the flash sales tactics above, you can experiment with this sales promotion strategy to sell through more inventory, in a shorter amount of time.

Will you be running flash sale deals on your website? Let us know!

How to Nail Your Store’s Pricing Strategies in 2020

The pricing strategies you implement can have a major effect on the success of your store. Pricing a product is a bit more complicated than simply inputting a random number. There are a number of factors to take into account when pricing your products: cost of goods, cost of advertising, business expenses, psychology of numbers, and more. As a new store owner, you may find you need to change your prices if you aren’t getting enough sales. If you price too low, some may question the quality of your product. If you price too high, a competitor’s product may seem more appealing. The goal is the price at market value which you can determine based on what other brands in your niche are selling products for.

Pricing Strategy Examples: Everlane has a Choose What You Pay section on their product pages.

Customers can choose from three price options. Each price point mentions how much profit the company will make from the purchase and what they’ll be able to do with it. Some customers will choose the lowest price point to get the best deal. However, loyal customers may choose a higher price point in order to support the brand’s growth. While we don’t have exact data on what most customers choose, it’s an interesting idea and experiment to run on your store.

Types of Pricing Strategies and Tips:

Understand your pricing tiers. If you’re trying to sell an expensive product put it next to products that are even more expensive. For example, if you’re selling three mattresses. Often times customers will buy the item priced in the middle. People don’t usually want the cheapest product but they also avoid buying the most expensive one. So they’ll opt for the mid-priced item. Having the price difference helps them make a decision even though the products are similar.

Jessops has a ‘price match promise.’ Their policy indicates that they’ll match the pricing of any retailer online or in store. Not only will they price match if a customer finds a better deal, they’ll also change their pricing if they find a competitor offering a better price. They tagline reads, ‘We won’t be beat on price.’ While this strategy may work for some brands, it can be risky when dropshipping. Since dropshippers buy from a manufacturer, the manufacturer will always be able to offer the lowest prices making it hard for a dropshipper to compete. So avoid making promises you can’t keep.

Shop Missa is unlike most ecommerce brands. The key difference: most beauty products are sold for $1. While they likely manufacture their own products, the low cost of goods is their competitive advantage. Customers looking to find affordable products will likely turn to a site like this to buy their beauty essentials. They include a free shipping threshold of $35 to ensure that their business is sustainable. However, it also helps increase their average order value since they have a low product cost.

When pricing products $19.99 is more compelling than $20. Even though it’s only a one cent different, the number is more compelling. When people read the number they see that it’s in the lower price range of the teens instead of the twenties which can also make the product seem more affordable.

Price at market value. If you’re dropshipping products from AliExpress, you won’t be able to compete on price. But customers pay for more than just the product. They also pay for the employees running the business like customer service. Customers are usually willing to pay market value for a product they love. You can determine market value by analyzing the product prices of the most popular stores the average consumer shops at.

Offering bundles is a great way to make more money. While you’ll offering a small discount to bundle the products, you’ll make a bigger profit because of the volume you’ve sold. The customer feels like they scored a great deal and you earn more making it an all around win.

Free + shipping is a popular pricing strategy among retailers selling low cost products. If your products cost under $2 like a phone case or a small piece of jewelry, you might have a ‘Free’ section on your store. If you ship via ePacket the item will typically only cost a couple of dollars to ship. On average, the cost of goods for these products are under $5. The average retailer charges $9.99 for the cost of shipping. The customer feels like they scored a deal because the product was free. However, this can be deceptive as the product isn’t really free and the shipping cost isn’t actually as expensive as some claim it is.

You’re able to change your prices as time goes on. For example, if your products are priced too low you might get more sales. However, you might realize you’re not actually making any money after bills are paid. Making money is the most important part of running a business. If you’re not making money, you’re a volunteer. Change your prices accordingly. Same goes if they’re priced too high and you’re not making sales, you’re gonna have to lower it.

Be mindful of your language. The words you use around your pricing can have an impact. If you charge for shipping, you might want to mention words like ‘small $5 flat rate.’ Or if you’re bundling products you might use words like ‘save $5.’

Take into account all of your costs. The product cost is one of many. You also have to pay your monthly Shopify fee, cost of employees (or you if you’re a solopreneur), taxes, marketing and advertising costs and other business expenses. While you might be tempted to price your products at a lower price, if you price too low you might not make enough to cover your expenses and generate a profit.

It’s also a good idea to focus on what average order value you’d like to have. What’s the current average order value for you store? Now, think of products you can bundle together to increase the average order value while still ensuring a high profit. Focus on growing your sales within each transaction by increasing the odds that your customers will spend more per purchase.

New Product Pricing Strategies Tools:

Oberlo profit margin calculator is a tool that helps you calculate the margins your store has. You can also determine your profit. The tool allows you to input either your Cost, Margin, Revenue or Profit. You need to fill in at least two of them to find the answer to one of the options.

profit margin calculator

Product Upsell is an app by Bold that helps you make more money through upsells and cross-sells. You can use to the app to help you increase your average order value on your store to ensure a higher profit per customer.

Product Pricing Strategies Resources:

Oberlo’s Pricing Strategy for eCommerce details why you should know how to price your products, examples of pricing strategies for store owners, and more.

Entrepreneur’s 10 Pricing Strategies That Can Drastically Improve Sales covers unique experiments and case studies around pricing strategies. You’ll learn about the importance of context when pricing products, how to price similar products and more.

How to Get Sales with Neuromarketing

Psychological marketing uses consumer behavior and consumer psychology to better position products and marketing campaigns.

By understanding the processes customers use to select, buy, and use products, we can create marketing campaigns to attract customers and products to satisfy their needs and wants. Why customers buy and why customers buy your products is usually influenced by their psychology and behaviour. There are several psychology and consumer behaviour tactics that online stores can employ to attract customers and help them make a purchase decision.

Neuromarketing Examples and Tips:

Price anchoring: Price anchoring uses the bias customers have when seeing a high price first, before seeing a lower price. Marketers use this when running sales. For example, we’ll see something like an original price that is crossed out ($120), with a much lower sale price under it ($39.99). The anchor price helps us believe the product is worth much more than it is, making the sale price seem that much more appealing.

Loss aversion: People prefer avoiding losses more than acquiring equivalent gains. For example, science has observed that for most people, it’s better to not lose $20 than to find $20. What this means for retailers is that it’s better to describe to customers what they lose if they don’t buy your product, rather than explaining what they would gain. This can be done in product descriptions, ad copy, and in your email marketing.

Risk reversal: Before a customer makes a purchase decision, a lot of questions go through their mind. “Can I trust this store? What if they don’t send the product? What if I don’t like the product?”. You can ease customer fears by reversing the risk. Put the risk on yourself instead of your customers. The most common ways to do this are with money back guarantees, free returns, and quality guarantees.

Fear of missing out: The fear of missing out, or “FOMO”, is the social anxiety people feel when they think they will miss out on an opportunity or event. For shopping, there’s usually the feelings of FOMO when there’s a sale ending soon, limited quantity of an item they want available, or a new trend that their friends are participating in. As a store owner, this means using things like scarcity and urgency, as talked about earlier, to entice customers to take action.

Social proof: Have you noticed that when a video has a lot of views you’re more likely to watch it? Or when an articles has a lot of shares you’re more likely to share it yourself? This is social proof at work. We often look to the actions of other people, or the masses, to determine our behaviour. As store owners, we can leverage this to get more customers to trust our brand, and purchase our products. Some of the ways are including share counts on product pages, displaying reviews of your product on the product page, and showing images of customers using your product.

Impulse: Many of the purchases made online today are low effort, don’t require a lot of thought, and are made quickly. Store owners can use impulse buys to help increase their average order value. For example, encourage customers to add an additional relevant product to their cart at checkout or in a follow up email. Alternatively, you can suggest similar or recommended products on the product page itself.

Compliance: or “Foot In The Door” is the idea that starting with a small ask, and building up to larger asks/favors, makes it much easier to get the other person to say “yes” than simply making the big ask immediately. For example, in 1966, a study done by Freedman and Fraser had people go door-to-door, asking residents if they could place a large sign on their front yard in support of safe driving. A majority of residents declined. However, when Freedman and Fraser asked people to sign a petition to support safe driving first, and a few weeks later, asked to place a large sign on the front yard of the people who signed the petition, a majority complied. The small initial ask helped with the second more intrusive ask. You can do this with your marketing when trying to sell more expensive products.

Emotional Marketing Tools:

FOMO is a social proof app. It shows customers who else has bought products from your store, how long ago they bought and where they’re from. Customers who see the pop-up on your store will realize how popular your store is. It can help give your brand a boost and some social validation to help you generate more sales.

Hurrify is a countdown timer app that uses a combination of scarcity and urgency to help drive customers into an impulse purchase. When customers see a timer counting down they feel more pressured into making a quick decision. If they generally like the product and price, they’ll be more likely to purchase.

Neuromarketing Resources:

Emotional Persuasion 101: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Use It dives into the psychology of emotions. It breaks down how your customers make purchasing decisions to allow you to better market to them.

5 Psychological Design Tactics That Make Brains Tick and Visitors Click covers the five ways you can improve your design using color, by limiting options, humanizing the brand and more.

12 Sales Promotion Examples and Ideas

Most online stores include a sale section where customers can score the best deals. There are a group of rebels, though, who choose to never put any of their products on sale, who never use sales promotion as part of their marketing strategy.

But for most store owners, sales help you convert better. There is a lot of psychology on how to discount your products. For example, offering a buy one get the second 50% off may be more effective than a higher discount on one product even if the price value is the same.

Why? Because the perceived value isn’t the same. Also, the layering of discounts can be more valuable to a customer than one big discount. For example, offering a second discount on a product that’s already been marked down may be perceived as more valuable than one discount of the same total value. So, running a sales promotion can be a powerful way to increase sales.

What Are Sales Promotions?

Sales promotions are a set of marketing initiatives aimed to bring an increase in the trial, usage, or sales of a product or service. 

Sales promotion techniques include money-off vouchers, BOGOF (buy-one-get-one-free) deals, free shipping, and other non-recurrent selling efforts that aim to attract customers. Often limited in time, sales promotions create a feeling of exclusivity, help to generate sales, and keep customers coming back. They can also be an important tool for ecommerce stores that want to branch out to new markets or maintain a steady flow of customers in the off-season.

Sales Promotion Examples

1. Threadsence

Pre-marketing a product can help it launch successfully. Threadsence has a ‘Presale’ section on its online store to promote products before they launch. They test their products online before selling them in brick and mortar stores. It helps customers feel like they got early access to great products. This works really well for those who sell in brick and mortar stores and online. For example, you can do a presale online to test the market and launch the product in stores if it performs well. It also works well for dropshippers if you want to test products to determine their popularity.

2. Warby Parker

Ecommerce stores are waking up to the benefits of running a try before you buy sales promotion. This is when you provide customers with an option to try products out before they are charged for them. A popular example of an online store offering try before you buy sales promotions is Warby Parker. The spectacles retailer allows consumers to try five pairs of frames for free, choose and pay for the ones they like, and send the rest back. There’s no charge on shipping, and customers get five days to decide which frames they’d like to keep or send them all back. If you’re planning to run a similar sales promotion on your store, consider offering free shipping and returns to make it a no-brainer for potential customers. With people aged 25-34 being the most likely to buy through this type of promotion, offering try before you buy services can help you attract the attention of millennial shoppers.

warby parker try before you buy

3. easyJet

One of the most effective ways to increase your average order value is cross-selling. You can offer complementary and interesting items to consumers before, during, or after the purchase. An alternative to conventional cross-selling is to provide a product or service that is only available when customers buy something from your store. Take a cue from the airline company easyJet, who offers airport lounges, resort transfers, parking, and more at a discounted price to its customers. The fact that something is only accessible when you purchase another product makes it exclusive and scarce, enticing more people to buy.

cross-selling sales promotion easyjet

Sales Promotion Tips:

1. Divide Your Sales Section by Discount and Product Category

Otte New York divides its sale section by discount. All their sale products fall into either 30% off, 40% off, 50% off, or 70% off. Customers looking to find the best deal will likely check out the items with the higher discount first. Keep in mind that Otte also divides the sale section by product category to allow the customer to quickly find a deal on the type of product they’re looking for. Having a combination of price and product category helps cater to different types of customers: those looking for a deal and those looking for something specific.

2. Run Daily Deals With a Time Limit

Ript Apparel has a Daily Deals section on their website. Each day, they present three new products at a discounted price. They use urgency to drive their sales as they expire within 24 hours. By hosting a sale each day, it helps encourage people to keep coming back to the site to find a great deal. By changing the products each day, it keeps the content fresh, so people want to go back the next day.

3. Create Urgency With Holiday and Sales Promotion Icons

On Miss Selfridge’s sale section, their best selling items have a ‘Selling Fast’ or ‘Black Friday Offer’ icon on it to help create urgency. If you have items on sale, adding an icon for your best-sellers can help boost the performance of your sale. Since the products are already deeply discounted, it gives it an extra push to encourage the sale from the customer as customers may experience a fear of missing out (FOMO).

4. List Expected Savings Beside The Product’s Price

H&M approaches their sales section differently than most brands. At the right of the product photo, there’s a filter that tells you how much you’ll save if you buy that product. You can get an idea of total savings both in number and in percentage form. While this is the most commonly used sales promotion method, it may be worth testing out on your own store.

sales promotion tactics

5. Offer a Student Discount

Ryder offers a student discount as their sales promotion: 10% off. You can pair up with a student discount card to attract students to your brand. Getting your brand featured on the card can be difficult if you’re starting out. However, once your brand starts to grow in popularity, you increase your chances of being included. The great thing about marketing to students is their extensive network of friends who they can promote your brand to when showing off new purchases.

6. Showcase All Sales Promotions in a Single Place

Victoria’s Secret includes a ‘Today’s Offers’ tab on the bottom middle of their website. Customers can scroll left or right to find out what the daily deals are. It sometimes includes the free shipping threshold, discounts on specific collections, bundling deals, limited-edition collections, and freebies with purchases on certain products. This allows customers to learn of all the promotions in one place.

7. Experiment With Free Plus Shipping  

Daily Steals has a free plus shipping section on their website. While some advertising platforms may not allow you to run free plus shipping ads, for now, you can still have the section added on your website. Keep in mind that the shipping cost needs to be realistic for the customer. Charging $19.99 for shipping a pair of earrings is too high. Also, free plus shipping methods can appear deceptive since the product cost isn’t actually free but incorporated into the shipping cost. However, Daily Steals shipping costs seem pretty legitimate. When testing various products, on average, the shipping cost was $4.99. Unfortunately, when it comes to your product margin, free plus shipping products can eat away at them pretty quickly. Ultimately, testing out its effectiveness on your store will let you know if it’s worth having.

8. Offer Rebates On Certain Items

Wrangler ran a sales promotion where you could buy two pieces of their shirts or jeans (worth a minimum of $14.95) per piece and get a $10 rebate back-by-mail. Online stores use rebates as a sales promotion tool to sell units of a specific item. When you offer a large rebate on a product, it can encourage customers to buy that item, even if you have listed it for a higher price than competing businesses. Also, when shoppers arrive at your store, they will probably check out items that are not rebated. Overall, it can be a good idea to test this sales promotion and see how consumers respond to your offer.

free plus shipping sales promotion techniques

9. Leverage a Combination of Sales Promotion Techniques

Giving your customer a product discount doesn’t need to be exclusively a cash reward. You can offer free shipping, a buy one get one (BOGO) free deal, a percentage discount such as 30% off, or a price discount such as $10 off. You need to determine which works best for your audience. Or you can also do a combination of them, such as free shipping, percentage discount, and the occasional BOGO deal. However, a free product may be more enticing than a product discount because they gain something.

The length of your sale matters. If you always have a sale running on the same products, your urgency won’t be effective long-term. You can host a sales promotion on your website that still features different products. Or run a sale on a different collection each week. However, if you’re always running the same promotion on the same products, you may eventually lower its effectiveness. Aim for under a week. If it’s a long weekend, you can run a three-day sale.  If you want to create urgency, create a sale that lasts 24 hours.

Sales Promotion Tools

1. Free Gifts

Free Gifts by Secomapp allows you to create special offers on your store. For example, if you want to run a Buy One Get One (BOGO) promotion, you can use this app. You can also run promotions such as ‘buy (product) get 50% off (another product). Or buy a product and get a free gift. During the holiday season, you might offer a ‘free gift’ with the purchase such as a bracelet, a low-cost product. You can also run promotions such as ‘buy 3 get one free’ or ‘spend $150 and get a free gift.’ When it comes to running a sales promotion on your store, this is one worth considering.

sales promotion tools

2. Spin-a-Sale

Spin-a-Sale is an exit-intent discount spinner. Your visitors who fail to purchase as they exit will receive a pop-up that says spin to win a prize or discount to entice them into purchasing. It’s almost like a surprise sale for the customer browsing the site that day. They won’t be able to trigger the spinner every time, which helps create urgency when they do see it pop up.

spin a sale app shopify

3. ULTIMATE Countdown Timer

ULTIMATE Countdown Timer by Sellify helps create urgency on your product pages. If you’re running a sale on your store, a countdown timer can help drive more conversions by showing that the sale ends soon. Getting customers to buy at your sale price is easier when they see a countdown timer as it can make them experience a fear of missing out. 

sales promotion strategies countdown

4. Bold Discounts

Bold Discounts by Bold is one of the best sales promotion tools for Shopify websites. It allows you to run daily deals, add a countdown timer to create urgency, and schedule sales for special occasions, holidays, and more at $14.99 a month. The app also provides you with an option to place sale images, icons, or a content block on items when they are on sale (final sale, sale, etc.). Scheduling allows you to automatically activate sales at the right time to get the most out of your promotions. 

5. Student Discount Sites

Remember the student discount idea? UNiDAYS, Student Price Card, Student Advantage Card, and International Student Identity Card are a few of the most popular discount programs for students. Students purchase cards for a low price to get discounts from the most popular brands. If you’re looking to target a younger crowd, this may be a great way to find your target audience.


Juicy sales promotions are hard to resist. However, you shouldn’t just throw rewards and discounts all over the place. Analyze your goals, brand, product value, and customer profile to come up with a winning strategy.  To key to success with promotions is to come up with offers that have a high perceived value while keeping your profits in check. If you start with a clear objective, a firm understanding of your margins, and a willingness to test, you can most effectively use a sales promotion (or two, or three) to increase revenues and boost customer loyalty.

What’s your favorite sales promotion strategy? Let us know in the comments section below.

11 Social Proof Examples For Your Online Store

Social proof is an important part of running an online store, especially for new store owners. By having the external validation that real people are using your product and sharing their photos, customers feel more confident making purchases through your store. Most Americans (70%) admit to looking at reviews before making a purchase proving the importance of social proof. And most teenage YouTube subscribers (70%) trust the YouTube influencers opinions more than a celebrity. This helps show that the everyday person can appear more credible than a high profile celebrity.

Social Proof Example: Brighter White masters social proof by having influencers take pictures with their teeth whitening products. All the influencers in the pictures have ultra white teeth. Their Instagram account also shows before and after results from a 7 day period to show the drastic change users showcase after using the product. They also add their logo in photos so that customers know it’s not stolen from another brand and so other brands don’t claim it as their own.

Social Proof Marketing Tips:

If your brand does influencer marketing, having a page where you post all your customer photos can help give your brand credibility. Anine Bing includes celebrity photos on their press page. Their customers include high profile celebrities. Having pictures of customers on their website helps validate their store’s popularity. While most brands add customer photos to social media and product pages, feel free to create a page just for customer photos.

If you sell a proprietary product such as a skin care line, having a quote from a doctor, dermatologist or other skin care expert may help give your brand credibility. It’ll help build customer trust. Are there key figures or experts in your niche you can reach out to for a testimonial or quote for an blog post? Do your research and reach out to them.

Collaborate with popular influencers on social media. Fabletics partnered with Demi Lovato to create a line of fitness apparel. Fans of Demi Lovato who love fitness apparel may think ‘if Demi Lovato likes Fabletics maybe I should too.’ That’s social proof in effect.

Skinny Teatox grows their social proof by having a before and after section on their website. They include pictures sent by customers of their weight loss. They’ll even disclose information such as whether or not the person exercised for full transparency. Customers may then be motivated to drink the tea for weight loss because they see that it works.

Your social media pages can be a huge boost in social proof. For example, if 50,000 people follow your brand on social media, it shows customers that your brand is popular and worth following. And buying from. If you have no followers, customers may be weary of your brand. Make a conscious effort to grow your social media following, through ads and engaging content, as it can help increase your sales over the long-term. And when you hit milestones on your social media accounts like 10,000, 50,000, 100,000 or 1,000,000 thank your fanbase for the support. Offer a special discount for a one day sale as an appreciation or a free gift with purchase.

Create a brand ambassador program. Whether you use social media influencers or loyal customers for the program, it can be helpful in boosting social proof. Your brand ambassadors will actively promote your brand on their social media in return for a commission in sales. You’ll not only grow your revenue, but your brand awareness will also grow. Social media users will see your brand being promoted on several pages making them realize how popular your brand has become.

About 86% of female shoppers find product recommendations from friends or niche bloggers more trustworthy than from celebrities. Tell your customers to share their purchase with a friend and offer a commission for any purchases through their referral link. And reach out to niche bloggers that are well-respected in your industry – they can be your greatest allies. Best part: you can do all of this with a new entrepreneur budget.

Grow your customer reviews. Product reviews show that people are buying and loving your product. You can use an app (see our list of tools in the review strategy section) to help automate the process of getting product reviews to grow them quickly and organically. The more product reviews you have on your store, the more likely you are to convert the store visitor.

Getting verified on social media can also help give your brand social proof and credibility. If you want to get verified on Twitter, you can fill out a form online. Twitter usually responds within a couple of days. To get verified on Facebook, you can complete steps on your business’ page settings.

Having a press section on your store can also help boost social proof. When customers see that top publications are featuring your brand or products in their magazines or blogs, it helps give your brand more credibility. Reach out to publications to feature your products in their publications. Focus on relevant niche publications to get qualified traffic.

Have no customers? Offer influencers a free product for a picture of them using it and sharing it with their audience. If you aim for influencers with under 2,000 followers you have a better chance of landing someone who agrees to it.

Social Proof Tools:

Social Proof by SpurIT shows customers how many people are currently viewing your product. It also mentions how many products are left which helps make your products look more popular. If you’re running ads to your product page, it’ll help boost the social proof as you’ll likely have quite a few eyes on the product page throughout the duration of the ad. If there are only a couple of products left for customers to purchase and several people on the product page, it can help drive more customers into purchase.

Loox is a photo reviews app that showcases customer photos. Written reviews can be convincing but photo reviews showcase products on another level. Showing customer reviews with pictures show that not only are others buying your product but they also love it enough to share a picture – and the product looks great. When customers see these types of reviews, they’ll be more likely to buy that product from your store provided that the review is positive.

FOMO is a social proof marketing app. When a person visits a store with FOMO installed a popup appears on the store showing recent purchases on your store. It shows customers the product bought, which city it was bought in and how long ago someone bought it. Social proof is creating because it shows customers are actually buying from your brand. And the time inclusion shows that your store is so popular that purchases are being made right now.


Oberlo’s  Social Proof: What It Is and Why It’s Great for Marketing details how you can gain social proof through reviews, blogging and influencers. It also includes examples of brands like Daniel Wellington and Amazon who use social proof to grow their brands.

ConversionXL Social Proof: What It Is, Why it Works, How to Use it shares opinions from experts who share their take on what is social proof. They share social proof examples and the types of social proof.

How to Make Money Marketing on Deal Websites

Posting on deal websites seems counterintuitive. Why would a brand want to add a special discount on a deal website and lower their profit margins? The reason is simple: to get the customer into your funnel. Once someone becomes a buyer, it’s much easier to convince them to become a repeat customer.

Some customers look on deal websites such as Groupon or eBates to find great deals from new and popular companies. Those type of deal websites act as discovery marketplaces allowing customers to buy products from brands they haven’t heard of before.

Other customers choose to look up special discount codes online. In fact, about 57% of shoppers won’t buy without a coupon code first.  If they don’t find one, they might pay full price. Or they might not buy at all. You can reduce the risk of them not buying at all by taking the initiative to post on deals’ websites. You can offer the standard discount of 10-15%. It doesn’t need to be the world’s greatest deal. But it can help boost your sales over the long-term.

Example: Versace has added their perfume on deal websites like Groupon to help drive more sales. Their perfume is discounted at 41% off. The original price of $118 is crossed out and a new price of $69.99 is shown. Notice how the original price is an even number but the discounted price ends in 9. This is done intentionally to make the original number look much higher than the new discounted price. As it’s on a deal websites, copy like ‘limited time remaining’ and ‘# viewed today’ and # bought’ can help create a sense of urgency to propel customers into purchase.

Online Deals Websites Tips:

Create different discount codes for different websites. This allows you to better track which sources have been generating the most revenue for you so that you can invest more resources into it. Without creating unique discount codes, you may see that you’re getting more traffic but may not know the true value of those leads. You’ll also be able to optimize your listings better by knowing which sources don’t convert as well.

Create a sense of urgency. With deal websites, you need to give people enough time to find your listing but also have a deadline to create urgency. You should aim to update your listings at least once a week with new promotions, deals or discount codes. By updating weekly, you increase your chances of being found while creating urgency.

Compile your own list of deal websites. Are there blogs within your niche that you can promote your discount code to? Reach out to them to have your products featured while including a discount code to encourage customers to buy. You can also look for popular deals marketplaces and add that to your list as well.

Coupon codes work well in dropshipping. Even though you can’t compete on price, you can position your products to appear affordable to your customers. Offering a 50% discount on a product can capture a customer’s attention.

Make sure that you’re still profitable. Offering a discount code to popular deal websites is a great way to sell higher quantities, however, it can also eat into your margins. Is your store still profitable after offering a discount? Did you take into account your Shopify fees, marketing costs, product costs, shipping costs and more? Make sure your products are priced appropriately to offer great discounts.

Best Deal Websites and Tools:

Fiverr can be a great place to find someone who specializes in submitting discount codes. The fee typically starts at about $6.10 USD. If you’re on a budget, you can manually fill out forms to some of the other websites on this list. I’ve personally landed sales through deal websites added by a Fiverr freelancer.

RetailMeNot is a website where consumers can find discount codes, gift card deals, and more. Retailers can submit their store’s discount code to the website. You can also add your online sale to the website and the expiration date.

Promocodes.com allows store owners to add their coupon codes to the website. You need to mention your store’s website, the promo code, a description and the expiration date.

Mighty Deals is a website where you can submit your deal. You’ll need to fill out a form indicating your sales, users/customers, how long you’ve been selling and other key information.

Kinja is another website you can submit your deals to. Their email address is listed on the webpage so you can email your deal, discount code and promotion details to them directly.

Money Saving Mom is a website for moms looking to save money on products. You’ll need to provide your product details, discount code and other details. Not all submissions are accepted though.

Like a Coupon features businesses on their website. You can share company details to encourage them to feature your brand. You’ll also need to provide your deal or discount code for the posting.

Voucher Ninja requires new businesses to contact them before including them. Afterwards, you’ll be able to submit your deal or discount code, add an image and an expiration date.

Groupon Merchant allows you to sell your products on Groupon. If you dropship products, you’ll want to ensure you have your own professional product images to increase your chances of being included. Some products from AliExpress are included on their website.


Deal Websites Resources:

Clark’s 10 sites to find the best discounts this holiday season showcases a list of websites you can add your products to that are popular among consumers.

Hongkiat’s 32 Coupon Sites for Shopping Deals and Bargains includes a list of some of the biggest and most popular deal websites.

How to Use Product Bundling to Increase Average Order Value

The average order value allows you to see an average of what people spend when they shop on your store. You can increase this by cross-selling, upselling, product bundling, having a free shipping threshold and other marketing tactics. In Q1, the average order value for online retailers was approximately $82.5(USD). While your average order value varies based on the average price point of your products, you should actively be trying to increase it. By increasing your average order value, you could increase your profit. If a customer already has their credit card out, it’s easier to upsell them at that moment than it is to try to get them to shop with your brand a second time around.

Example: Sephora grows the customer’s average order value in two key ways. First, they require that customers make a minimum purchase to get free shipping. If a customer is only a couple dollars away from free shipping, she may buy a low cost product to get free shipping. The second tactic they use is for their loyalty program. Customers can reach a higher rank in the loyalty program if they spend a certain amount of money. Repeat customers are informed of how much money they need to spend in order to reach the next level. Each level has its own set of perks which may entice a repeat shopper into placing a larger order to gain access to those perks.  

Product Bundling Tips:

Greats offers discounts for bundle purchases. Customers who purchase two pairs of shoes at the same time get a 10% discount. If they purchase three pairs of shoes, they receive a 12% discount. The discount offered is low but is a nice perk for those who can’t decide between two products. It encourages them to purchase more with a financial reward. It also helps the store owner make a higher profit off the customer.

Suit Supply requires a minimum spend of $500 to offer customers free shipping. This is notably much higher than the average retailer. The main reason for doing this is to encourage customers to buy their higher end products and suits. However, they also have suits under $500. The pricing of the products is interesting as well. The suits under $500 tend to cost $429 and their ties cost $75 which would bring you to just over $500. They planned this intentionally to sell more ties.

Tattly automatically boosts their average order value by giving customers a set of 2 tattoo instead of just one. While a customer likely appreciates the bonus tattoo with their purchase, it helps the retailer make more money. The average tattoo on their website costs around $5-$6 retail. If they sold the tattoos individually that same price tag would likely be too high. However, if the cost was sold at $2.50-$3 for the one, the profit margins would be too low for the business. By product bundling every tattoo, they make more per customer. Notably, customers need to spend $50 to receive free shipping. Having a conditional threshold is another way Tattly helps increase their average order value. When customers see the cost remaining that they need to spend to receive free shipping, they may go back to buy more tattoos.

Death Wish Coffee created a Bundles page to boost average order value. They created a bundle of 20 single serve coffee cups, a gift set, and a chemex with coffee set. By bundling these items, they help boost their sales. However, the fact that they created a page with bundled deals adds emphasis to these products which are also listed on the coffee product listings. Creating a page of bundled deals can help customers who are looking for a better deal for more products. My only recommendation for Death Wish Coffee would be to create bundled deals with the same product. If a customer prefers the ‘strongest coffee’ product, they’d likely want to buy more of it. By bundling 2 or 3 bags together, they can increase their average order value. Product Bundling  works well for products if its the same product for items such as food, drink, beauty products and other perishable products.

Au Fit Fine Linens boosts their average order value with a Gift Registry. Their product collection ties in well with the wedding market. They promote their registry as a ‘Wedding and Gift Registry’ to tap into that market. They even have a Newlywed Starter Kit which includes a list of the type of products they can add to their gift registry. You can see the gift registry apps available on Shopify in the tools section below.

NSFW (sex toys store): Ann Summers includes an offers page on their website with their latest deals. Typically, their offers are focused on boosting average order value. For example, they’ll have a Buy One Get One Half Off deal on lingerie. Customers will also find the brand’s Clearance section on this page. You can also recommend clearance products as an upsell when customers make a purchase on your store. The product costs are typically lower making it an affordable buy for your customer. If you carry inventory, it’ll help clear out old inventory so you can make room for newer inventory.

John Lewis has one of the most elaborate Gifts sections in ecommerce. While gift guides aren’t directly tied in with increasing average order value, they can be. John Lewis has gift guides for him, her, and important people in your life such as parents, grandparents, children and more. Say you’re buying your presents online for Christmas. It’s much easier to browse the John Lewis website for all the members of your family. Since the gifts section is so elaborate, customers can easily buy gifts for all their loved ones in one place. Thus, making it a one stop shop. If the customer does browse several gift guides, they may be likely to buy gifts for their entire family on one website rather than searching around on multiple sites. Thus, the average order value is raised per customer.

ColourPop encourages customers to buy more in a unique but effective way. On their store, they include a section with different looks. There’s a video tutorial on how to achieve the look. However, below that it includes every product needed to complete the look. No pop-ups appear when a customer adds an item to their cart. This is great because it allows customers to add several items to their cart quickly. This can help boost average order value as customers wanting to complete the exact look can buy all the products for it with ease.

Barnes & Noble offers discounts for bulk orders. Discounts are available if customers order 50 or more copies of the same book. Online retailers can offer similar discounts to boost average order value on various products. You’ll need to find the right number that works well for your store. Typically 3-4 works well for bulk purchases for the average consumer. However, if you wholesale your products to another business you might offer discounts for 50 or more of the same product.

Creating a loyalty program can help improve average order value. You can gamify the experience to keep customers hooked on shopping at your store. For example, like McDonald’s does with their Monopoly game each year. Every time a customer purchases from your store, you can award them points. The more points they earn, the better the perks they receive. If a customer knows they only need a few more points to reach the next perk, they’ll be more likely to buy more from your store provided that the perk is worthwhile.

Upselling products at checkout can also help improve average order value. For example, on our store, we offer a free product if customers order 3 or more from a product category. If customers have already bought two items, they may be compelled to buy a third to get a free product. We usually get a few of these upsells each day so they have been quite effective on our store.

You can also show customers cross-sell items on the product page. These are items that the customer may be interested in if they purchase a specific product. For example, if they buy something battery operated, you might cross sell batteries with it.

Product Bundling Tools:

Free Gifts by Secomapp is average order value app that can boost sales by offering your customers gifts on certain products or gifts on cart. If you’re looking to offer BOGO deals, or giving a free gift with a minimum purchase, this app is worth checking out. You can choose from a wide range of promotion deals that you can share with your customers. For example, ‘Buy X, Get 30% off Y,’  ‘Spend between $100-$300 – Get a free gift’ and more.

Gift Reggie is a gift registry app. Customers can add products to their gift registry with ease using Gift Reggie. Gift registry apps work best for general stores or stores within a niche like home and kitchen with an extensive selection of products. Pricing starts at $5 and this app has a 30 day free trial.

Spin-a-Sale is a gamified discount app. While it’s main objective is to help reduce abandoned carts, it can help increase average order value. If a customer added several items in their cart and abandoned because of a high price, the app acts like a discounter on those purchases. And even if it’s only one product, it still beats 0. It starts at $4.99/month.

Free Shipping Bar educates your customers on your shipping rates. If your goal is to increase average order value you likely need to set a free shipping threshold. On average, you want the threshold to be 2-3x the price of the average product. For example, if your average product is $50 you’ll want it to be $100. If you’re average product is $25, you should set it at $75. You’ll need to set up your shipping rates in Shopify and use this app to easily tell customers what your shipping rate is.

Cross Sell is an app that adds a ‘You may also like…’ section to your website. This will show your customers other recommended products on your product page. You can customize the app to match your theme. And it starts at $9.99 a month.  

Product Upsell is an app that upsells your customers at checkout. It’s much easier to convince a customer to buy more at checkout than it is to convince a new customer to buy. By upselling your customers you can increase your average order value with little work. This average order value app starts at $9.99.

Product Bundling Resources:

10 Ways to Increase Average Order Value covers ten ways you can improve your store’s average order value. You’ll learn how to get a higher volume of sales by giving customers gift cards, maximizing limited time deals and promoting savings with bulk orders.

6 Easy Tips to Increase Your Online Store Sales dives into how you can increase your average order value after you’ve made a purchase with email marketing. It also covers when you should upsell, cross or even downsell.

Product Bundling Expert:

Steve Jones, founder of Cross Sell, says “Unless you’re building an outfit or accessorizing a larger item with compatible must haves, it can be difficult to develop a cross-selling strategy. We always suggest that Merchants should work on their most popular products first and curate the associated cross-sells rather than leaving it to an algorithm. Whilst  most of us don’t have the budget for a professional photoshoot, we do have the ability to curate a showcase of products as cross-sells on the product page. Don’t worry if some of the cross-sells you select are more expensive than the product being viewed, just curate a desirable showcase as if you’re putting together a photoshoot. Your customers will hopefully buy in to your vision and you’ll start to see some of your curations turn up in customer orders.

Best Retail Gamification Marketing Examples in Ecommerce

Retail gamification is an ecommerce trend that won’t be going away anytime soon. Online retailers will need to continue creating interactive experiences for their customers to drive more sales growth on their stores. While it may seem like just a game, gamification apps have proven to increase leads and sales for many retailers. Whether it’s a spinner app offering a discount with exit intent or an interactive quiz that leads customers to a personalized product, retail gamification helps engage customers and lead them to action.  

Gamification Examples: Sand Cloud uses a spinner app with exit intent. When a customer moves their mouse towards closing the browser tab, the spinner appears on their store. Customers are required to enter their email (allowing Sand Cloud to remarket to them) to spin the wheel. When the customer spins the wheel, they’ll receive a discount such as $5 off, 15% off, or 20% off. The spinner is usually fixed so that the customer always gets a discount off the product so that they’re incentivized to make a purchase.

Tips for Gamification in Business:

Loyalty programs are a great way to create a gamified experience for your customers. They allow your customers to engage in actions in order to win points. Points can be used to achieve different prizes. You’ll want to offer enough little prizes in between to continue making the loyalty program engaging for customers. For example, on Sephora, when customers meet the minimum purchase, they’re giving points however they can also get free samples. The free samples acts as a little bonus for each purchase. As customers earn more points through purchases they can reach higher levels of VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) where they can get even better perks such as free shipping or free makeovers. The loyalty program hooks customers into wanting to make more online purchases.

Quiz marketing is often done by top brands to gamify the personalization process. Retailers don’t typically have enough data about new customers to personalize their products towards them. That’s what makes quizzes so effective. Customers engage in a fun quiz before entering the online store so that the only products they’re shown are in their size and based on their sense of style. Brands like Fabletics use this tactic with great success.

Contests can be a fun way to gamify the shopping experience. If there are challenges or steps the customer needs to complete in order to potentially win a prize, it can keep the customer engaged. Contests where customers could earn more points by entering each day are a great way to keep the contest and brand at top of mind.

Exit intent gamified apps are growing in popularity. Many brands are gamifying the shopping experience by requiring customers to fill in their email address to receive a discount. Be sure to set the discounts at a price your business can afford. If you offer too steep a discount that could eat away at your product margins affecting your business long-term. These apps work best for new stores struggling to get conversions on their store.

On store surveys and polls can be a fun and quick way to gamify your store. You can have a daily poll on your store where you ask your customers questions to better understand them. Your polls should focus on answering questions to curate better products for them. For example, ‘Which neckline do you prefer?’ or ‘What’s your favorite color dress?’ Let them have access to see the results of the poll as most people would be curious to know where they stand.

Regardless of how you gamify the retail experience, you need to make sure you always do the following: make it easy, winnable and trackable. The easier it is for customers to complete the interactive activity the more likely they are to start and finish it. It needs to be winnable. If customers lose when they play, they may feel discouraged and shop elsewhere. Trackability is important too as it lets your customers see how much progress they’ve made and what they need to do to reach the next milestone.

Gamification Marketing Tools:

Spin A Sale is a spinner app that offers customers a discount when they show intent to exit your website. Your store visitor needs to add their email address in order to spin the wheel. Once they spin the wheel, the spinner will land on a discount code which the customer can use for their purchase. This gamification app can be used to increase conversions.

Points, VIP, Referral Programs requires customers to collect points in order to win perks. They can earn points through purchases, social media following, customer referrals, and more. In return, customers can redeem their points for discounts, freebies or gift cards. This loyalty program gamification app can help increase the number of repeat customers your store has.

WooHoo is an exciting email pop-up where customers can play to win a discount after entering their email address. Once you click the ‘Start Game’ button a random generator chooses what discount code your customers get. You can even add text such as ‘Offer expires in 15 minutes’ to create a sense of urgency.

Fyrebox Games and Quizzes is a gamification app where store owners can create quizzes, puzzles and a hangman game on their store. You can use the games as a way to build leads, learn more about your customers or entertain them. Quizzes can lead customers directly to a product page. You can modify colors, choose from 9 languages, and more.

Gamification Marketing Resource:

6 Examples of Retail Gamification to Boost Engagement and Sales by Shopify showcases the six examples of when retailers created a gamified experience for their customers. You’ll learn how Victoria Secret’s Pink app where customers can play games, enter contests, create looks with their product collection and more.

How to Improve the Customer Experience in 2020

Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes to offer them an incredible customer experience is essential. When you look at your website from a visitor’s perspective, you might notice that your banner graphic doesn’t look professional, your copy has typos or  your images don’t really pop. This can really take away from their shopping experience.

Does your website look and feel as professional and trustworthy as websites that sell similar items, from a customer perspective? Looking at your online store objectively  helps you  improve your store’s weaknesses points which can lead to increased customer trust and increased sales.

Who is your customer? What do they like? What types of products do they need? What type of content do they read or watch?

Ensure that you cater your brand to your customers. You need to have a customer understanding of their needs. And as a store owner, you need to prioritize their needs. Getting feedback on the customer experience to know how to better serve them allows you to create a customer centric brand. The better your customer experience, the more likely it is that they’ll keep returning to your store.

If you don’t have customers, you won’t be getting feedback from them. So your approach should be on determining who your audience is. In our Facebook ads section, you can learn more about how to find your audience with data. So feel free to jump ahead to that section next.

Example: Steve Jobs former CEO of Apple has said, “we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and ask: What do we want?” It’s a big part of what led to Apple becoming one of the most popular brands with strong customer loyalty.

Customer Experience Tips:

Harvey Nichols gives their customer support team a better name: Stylists. The Stylist’s job is to help the customer hunt down the right item. If they’re stuck, they can use the form. On the form, they’ll share their name, email and phone number and their question. The form is tied to the exact product. So if a customer is looking for accessories to pair with a specific dress, the Stylist will know which dress needs the accessories.

Regularly read the emails your customer support team receives – are there any issues that keep coming up? If your customer support team is large, you can ask them to send you a list of the general concerns and feedback. Similar complaints can be grouped together and unique ones can also provide better clarity into your customers’ needs. After understanding the main issues your customers are having, focus on finding the solution for them.

If you don’t have customers yet, you can get their feedback by adding a live chat on your website. Visitors can chat with you to ask questions about the products. You might also learn what issues they’re facing. For example, if someone asks your live chat for a discount code, it’s possible that your pricing is too high. And if you have high abandoned carts but no sales, this can help you understand what changes need to be made.

Email your customer list once every 6 months-1 year. Ask them how you can improve their shopping experience on your website. Let them know you’ll listen. Then, consider making changes based on their feedback. Add products they’d like to have. Find a new manufacturer or supplier if they’re unhappy with the product quality. Improve your product copy based on feedback you receive from customers to be more transparent.

Show your customers appreciation. Write personal thank you cards when they order from you. Offer them VIP deals. Surprise repeat customers with a free gift for fun if they hit a minimum purchase threshold. You can access this data on your most profitable customers in Shopify’s customer reports. The more you give to your customers, the more you’ll get back from them. Be grateful to the people who’ve believed in your brand and helped make you a success.

Solve your customers’ burning problems. Are there relevant problems within the niche that have yet to be solved? How can you improve your product to solve other problems? But it even goes beyond the products themselves. Maybe your competitors don’t offer free shipping or don’t respond to customer inquiries. The problem you solve might be more about customer service accessibility rather than the product itself.

Do what your customers do. Do your customers attend certain events? Are there experiences that they like trying? Do they spend their time on certain Facebook groups or forums? Be where your customers are. Listen to what potential customers’ complaints, issues and passions are. Get to know them without the intent to sell. The more market research you can do, the better you can serve your own customers.

Respond to your customers in their language. If you can speak multiple languages or are really handy with Google Translate, respond to customer inquiries in the language they’re sent in. Most brands tend to either ignore comments in foreign languages or respond in their own language. However, exceptional customer service means communicating with your customers in a language they’d understand. If you’ve ever visited Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World Resort, you’d know that Mickey regularly says hi and communicates in different languages. It’s this level of attention to detail in customer service that makes Disney one of the best brands in the world.

Engage with your customers beyond just broadcast channels. Whether it’s through live chat, Facebook messenger, or through other social media outlets, get to know who your customers are. If you notice regular engagement from certain customers, build relationships with them by responding to their messages.

Create buyer personas. Many top brands have one buyer persona that they focus on targeting. However, your customers are likely much more diverse than that. Have several different buyer personas that you select products for, create content for and market to. Your customers have different needs that you should be trying to meet, don’t lump them all into the same category.

Add a ‘Share Your Ideas’ section like The Iconic to let your customers decide what features or perks your brand should offer. Other customers can upvote the ideas they like to encourage your brand to take action sooner.

Analyze your customer data. What countries, cities and states do most of your customers live in? How do they navigate your store? How many times did they visit your website before making a purchase? What pages do they tend to look at before finalizing their purchase? By looking at your customer data you’ll be able to make strategic decisions to help you better serve them. Whether it’s offering lower shipping rates to popular countries or improving your site navigation, data will allow you to improve your shopping experience.

Focus on improving aspects of your store based on customer interaction and how your customer navigates it. You can improve your product selection based on customer search inquiries. You can turn off pop-ups on mobile devices if they’re intrusive. Hiring a stellar customer service representative who will go above and beyond to meet the demands of your customers can also help you better understand your customers and strengthen your relationship with them.

Most entrepreneurs believe in giving their customer a great experience. However, customer service isn’t only the entrepreneurs’ or customer support team’s job. You’ll have other public facing staff that also need to ensure they offer a spectacular experience to customers. Maybe it’s an employee representing your company at a tradeshow, the content marketer on your blog or the person improving your store’s navigation. Each person at your company should be responsible for offering your customers the best online shopping experience. It’s your responsibility as a store owner to ensure they’re trained well for it.

Telling your employees or virtual assistants to offer great customer service isn’t going to make them offer great customer service. You need to set guidelines and provide examples of what exceptional customer service means. For example, you could provide a guideline for response time for social media inquiries (such as within the hour). Hold a meeting where you ask all your employees to help compile a list of things each person could do within their role to improve the customer shopping experience. Each week have employees share examples of things they did to go above and beyond. By doing this each week, you can start raising the bar for excellent customer service across all employees.

The biggest mistake store owners make when it comes to customer service is trying to win the argument. You’re not going to. The customer isn’t always right but that doesn’t mean you tell them that they’re wrong. Giving a refund is better than getting a chargeback. Losing one sale is better than losing that customer.

As your online store starts growing, customer support teams start automating their service. We’ve all gotten that canned response email that doesn’t solve our problem. Personalized customer service should never end. Treat your 1000th customer like your first. Answer each email personally. Give them the exact answer to their question. Your customers are giving you their most prized possessions: their attention and their money. The least you could do is spend the time to answer their exact question.

Customer Experience Tools:

Peek User Testing is a great free tool where someone critiques your new online store, both desktop and/or mobile versions. Unlike your close friends and family members, these users will be honest and point out issues that you should change. If you recognize that their feedback is valid, focus on fixing it immediately. You can pay a small fee to receive a more in-depth review of your website from an objective third-party to better understand how you can improve your store.

Foresee is a customer experience analytics tool that top brands like the Disney Store use. You can add a survey pop-up to your store that randomly shows up at different points in the shopping experience and to different customers to get a better understanding of what your customers think of their shopping experience. You can also use their digital replays to watch your customers browse through your online store to get a better understanding of how your customers navigate your website.

User Echo allows you to host a customer forum where your customers can upvote suggestions so that you can prioritize their needs. It also allows you to add a live chat and help desk so that you can provide more efficient customer service to your customers.  

Qualaroo is a real time feedback platform used by Shopify and Groupon that allows you to target specific audiences based on a variety of parameters so you can understand who your web visitors are and what prompts them to make decisions. You can create cart abandonment surveys to understand why people aren’t converting, brand discovery surveys to understand where visitors are coming from and more.  

Lucky Orange is a customer analytics tool that allows you to view customer recordings of their shopping experience on your website and heat maps. You can view the customer experience for those who converted and those who didn’t to better understand what helps increase conversions on your store. With the recordings, you’ll view the entire shopping experience before checkout where you can view which pages your customer browsed before purchasing or exiting your online store. Lucky Orange’s heat maps can also help you understand where your customers click and how they navigate your website.

Hot Jar is another great tool for understanding customer browsing behavior. You can view click heatmaps to know where your customers are clicking on your store pages. For example, if you notice that most of your customers are clicking somewhere other than a buy now button you’ll know where to remove the distractors on your product page. Like Lucky Orange, you can also view visitor recordings. This allows you to see how customers are navigating your website. You’ll learn from watching several videos if there are any changes you need to make to improve the customer navigation experience. You can also find data which will help you improve your store’s online forms, run feedback polls, and more.

Survey Monkey is a great tool for both new store owners and experienced entrepreneurs who are looking to survey their customers to better understand their needs. You can have surveys sent out after your customer makes a purchase or a few weeks after they’ve received their product to find out what they thought about their shopping experience. You have the freedom to ask any question you’re interested in knowing the answer to. Creating multiple choice questions makes the survey easy and fun for your customers to help give you the feedback you need.

Usabilla allows you to improve your user experience and increase conversions with their customer feedback tool. You can add a Feedback button on your website that allows your customers to leave store feedback with you at anytime. You can also create exit surveys, choose from a range of targeting options and easily analyze the feedback your customers leave.

Google Analytics allows you to get an inside look at who your customers are. When it’s installed on your store, you’ll learn your customer’s gender, location, age, interests, browsing behaviors and more. This paired with Shopify’s reports can be an eye-opening experience for store owners.

Medallia allows you to calculate your net promoter score to help understand how satisfied your customers are. A Net Promoter score is a number provided that tells you how likely your customers are to promote your brand. Detractors are unhappy customers who aren’t likely to promote your brand and may be damaging to it. Passives are those who are neutral to your brand but aren’t loyal. Promoters are your raving fans who actively promote your brand, make repeat purchases and love your products.


Userlike’s How to Identify Customer Needs and Expectations is a great resource that allows you to better understand how a customer’s wants, needs and expectations can help influence their purchase behavior. It highlights how to collect customer feedback, ways to gain insights into customer metrics and more.

Omnistar’s 8 Ways to Improve Ecommerce Customer Experience helps you understand ways to make your customers more loyal by improving the customer experience. You’ll learn how to enhance the customer checkout process, how to personalize the customer experience and ways you can improve the shopping experience for your customers.

Search Engine Watch’s Guide to Google Analytics Demographic Reports: Age, Gender, Interests takes a look at what type of insights Google Analytics provides you with and how to make sense of it. This is a great resource for beginners who are looking for a basic understanding of Google Analytics demographic reports.

Shopify’s How to Build Buyer Personas for Better Marketing dives into why you should create buyer personas, the details your personas should include, how to research your buyer personas, and more.

Dummies’ How to Analyze Customer Data for Data Driven Marketing discusses the different segments your audience belongs to. It then details how to measure results.

Disney Institute’s Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service  details what Disney does differently in terms of customer service. You’ll learn the strategies and guidelines Disney uses to ensure that the thousands of Disney employee offer the best customer service experience every time.

Customer Service Influencer:

Gary Waterfield, owner of Waterfield Designs, tells us “I encourage all my employees to treat customers as if they’re friends and family. All employees pitch in to handle customer e-mails during including me. Direct contact with customers helps us all stay connected to what matters most for our company. We answer all e-mails within one business day. We keep our chat feature live during business hours so customers can get quick answers to their questions while they’re on your website. We answer all queries made through social media quickly. If we see a pattern of customer queries happening repeatedly, we add information information to our website to address the question. We thank every customer with a hand-written note that accompanies his or her package. Buying one of our products is a person choice that we appreciate, so we let them know so in an equally personal way. We sell exclusively online, and love interacting with our customers. In the early days, it was mostly by phone, and now it’s primarily via chat and e-mail. I enjoy this part of my job because it gives me a chance to get honest feedback from folks who have taken a chance on buying one of our products. I don’t give my team metrics like how much time they should be spending with a customer, or selling something to every customer they interact with, etc. For us, it’s very simple— understand the customer’s request and help them resolve it. Period.

Karen Hendricks, Customer Service Manager of Dot It, shares “Brainstorm the top 25 questions your customer service team gets asked via phone or live chat and create an FAQ page on your website that includes those questions. This way, customers can easily find the answers they’re looking for online instead of having to call in. Better still, make your FAQ page searchable!



Craig Handley is the CEO and Co-Founder of ListenTrust, a bilingual call center for English and Spanish agent services with a focus on strengthening the person-to-person connection to improve a customer’s experience with a client’s brand. He shares, “People are a company’s greatest asset, so online retailers should have a live person available to answer customer questions. The current digital sales culture is changing the customer journey and they want their questions answered quickly by a live person before purchasing. The secret sauce is the human connection; it makes a huge difference in the omnichannel sales experience.

David Rowley, VP of Customer Experience at Jive Communications said, “There’s something special and very personal about assigning one specific rep to a customer. Allow them to follow-up post purchase and during different promotions or events. Having a personal relationship with someone can bridge the gap between ‘just another company,’ and ‘my friends over at…’.”

How to Get Press Coverage for Your Online Store

One of the most effective free marketing ideas is to get the media involved with your brand. Whether you choose to write a press release or respond to media inquiries about your product, getting featured in a magazine, blog or media outlet can help boost your brand’s profile. You’ll gain referral traffic, brand credibility and potentially sales by being featured in a major publication. When partnering with the media, you need to ensure that your product is the right fit for their audience to maximize your sales potential.

Example: Fabletics features a press section on their online store’s about us page. Their brand has been featured in Elle, People, Instyle, and more. When you click on the outlet, the article feature shows up on the right side to prove that they’ve been featured as social proof. When customers see that top media outlets have covered the brand, it helps build brand trust and credibility. The quality of press features also helps build clout.

Press Coverage Tips:

Know where your customers are. Which blogs or magazines do they read? Don’t guess. Ask. You can create an online survey to ask your customers what publications they read. If you notice many read the same magazine, contact that magazine and ones like it to include your products. Don’t just choose popular publications hoping for the best. Do your research. And have a targeted approach in selecting publications. Approximately 44% of journalists would prefer receiving press releases from businesses in the morning. Tuesday tends to be the best day to send press releases but you’ll get a higher response rate if you follow up with each reporter between two to three times.

Build a media list. A media list is a list of publications and reporter’s contact information. When you want to get publicity for your brand, you’ll be able to find their contact information easily. It helps keep your list of contacts organized.

Build a relationship with reporters. Follow them on social media. Respond to their social media posts. Give just as much as you get.Even when you’re not looking to be featured, let them know you’re willing to help them if they ever need anything. You shouldn’t be pitching them all the time. And you shouldn’t dive into the pitch on first contact. Ask for their advice about a topic on the industry. Focus on getting to know the person before selling your brand to them. It’s a long-term approach but it’s the more effective one to get featured in major publications.

Send personalized emails to each reporter. Copy and paste emails with name changes can result in accidental errors like addressing the wrong person or company. You’re asking a publication to feature your product for free the least you could do is a bit of homework to determine why you think your product would be a great match for their audience. Also, do your research and send it to the right reporter.

Send free samples. When emailing publications always mention that you’d be happy to send a few free samples for them to try out. It can help pique their interest as seeing the product in person can help them determine if it’s the right fit for their audience. Be sure to send the package out yourself. Include a handwritten note. Make sure the box is professional. If you dropship that means you should order the samples to your home rather than shipping directly from the manufacturer. After they’ve received the samples, follow up with them to determine if it’s a match. Not all publications will want to feature your products after receiving a free sample but it drastically increases your odds if you do.

When contacting reporters give them all the information they need to write about or feature your product. Quotes about the product benefits or about why the brand was started can help a journalist craft the story around your brand. Reporters are busy. Give them all the information they need in one shot to avoid back and forth conversations.

Follow up with the journalist three days after sending your press release or email. When you do, ask if they need any other information from you. Keep it casual. If you ask if you’re being featured, you may frustrate them. Especially if you did a cold pitch. No reporter owes you a favor. They feature brands and products that are relevant, unique or provide value to their audience. They tell the story in a way that benefits their own publication. They loyalty lies in their publication, not your brand. Don’t contact them multiple times about the feature unless asked by the reporter.

Be responsive. If a reporter emails you asking for more information. Respond immediately. Don’t wait a week to get back to them. Reporters have deadlines to meet. They can move onto another brand if you don’t respond fast enough.

Master media monitoring. When you’re working with multiple publications, regularly monitor brand features. You can use tools to help you find out which publications you’ve been featured in. Or really search the internet for new features.

Show off your features. If you’re featured in top blogs and publications add it to your press page. It helps give your brand social proof. As your brand receives more features, it shows customers that your products are worth talking about. Especially if featured in a publication they love and trust. It also shows that you’re a legitimate brand.

Press Release Distribution and Press Coverage Tools:

HARO is the best free tool to gain free PR for your business. On the website, you’ll need to sign up for their email list. You can choose the category that best suits your business or the ‘General’ list to see the entire list of requests from the media. It allows you to work with reporters who are currently working on a relevant article to share your brand’s story or products. You’ll receive emails three times a day, five days a week with requests. Top media outlets like Huffington Post, Forbes, and Entrepreneur regularly use HARO to find businesses and entrepreneurs for their stories.

Google Alerts is a media monitoring tool. Sign up to receive notifications for your brand name. When your brand name is featured in a publication, Google will send you an email alerting you of the feature. This tool is great for those who regularly get featured in publications. Not all features will result in an email notification.

PR Log is a free press release distribution tool that you can use to share your press releases to a bigger audience. You’ll need to create an account. If you want to reach an even bigger audience, you can pay a fee to boost the visibility of your press release.

24-7 Press Release is another free press release distribution website you can use to promote your press release. Their database includes over 30,000 people which can result in strong visibility for it. To boost your press release distribution, you can pay a one-time fee.

Press Coverage Resource:

How to Get Free Media Coverage covers everything from media kit templates to tips for getting press coverage. You’ll learn what it takes to land that coveted feature.

Hubspot’s How to Write a Press Release includes a template you can follow to create your own press release. You’ll be able to see an actual example of a press release to better visualize the different components of each one.

Public Relations Experts:

Daniel Buchuk, Director of Communications of Bringg, shares two tips, “1. Short email pitch: don’t send lengthy releases or long emails, rather send 2 lines with an overview on what the news story is and ask whether they’d like to cover it first. And two, Piggy-back of industry story: be quick to approach the right reporters in your industry as soon as a story breaks and offer quotes from the CEO as a ‘thought leader’. In the meantime, work on those quotes so you have approved commentary ready to be showcased as part of a bigger story.”

Diana Villegas, PR Manager of InnoGames, recommends “Think of ways your company can reach its customers in various ways. For us we noticed that B2C gaming journalists preferred gaming updates with rich content. To facilitate this process, we created InnoGames TV (a monthly video podcast hosted on YouTube). This gives journalists additional assets to use while writing their story which they don’t have to download and can just embed to their website. For us it creates an additional source of content which we can push to the media.

Whitney Heins, Public Relations Director of Weaving Influence, tells us her four strategies, “1. Social Stalk. Target a few media contacts that really reach your audience and follow them to get familiar with their interests and work. Then comment, like and share about once or twice a week. Public relations is all about relationships and this tactic helps build rapport and get on their radar. Then when you pitch the media contact they should recognize your name. It’s also a good idea to call out certain posts they may have made in the pitch.  2. News jack. Media are always looking for different angles on a hot story or trend. Take advantage of this by quickly offering up your expertise in a popular area. In the pits include why you are an expert or worthy of commenting and an example of what you might be able to say. Be sure to be available to them ASAP. 3. Media match. PR is kind of like dating. You need to make sure you have a good match of interests. So make sure you know what kind of stories the media personnel before pitching. Call out why you think the media’s audience would benefit from what you have to offer. 4. Make it newsworthy. You don’t need to rent a stage or cater food to create an event—you just need someone with something to say. Find a hook with something visual and good interview subjects—and then send a media advisory. Get emails from traditional online searches and save them in a spreadsheet for future uses. Then you have your own database—no expensive subscription required!”

How to Create a Profitable Loyalty Program

A loyalty program or VIP Club is a great way to increase sales, strengthen customer relationships and incentivize your customers to keep coming back. You can create your loyalty program using a third-party app or by sending emails to your list. The objective of the loyalty program should be to get repeat sales by retaining your customer base. Acquiring new customers can cost 5-10 times more than retaining one. Customers who’ve already purchased from your store tend to spend about 67% more than new customers. Not only is it more affordable to keep a customer, it’s also more profitable.

Example: Lego created a VIP Loyalty Program for its fanbase. Customers earn points with every Lego purchase they make. Those signed up for the program will have early access to buy new products before the general public. Special offers are also given throughout the year exclusively to members. New members also get a free lego keychain upon registration. The only downside to the program is that children tend to be the key target demographic, however, only those over 18 can sign up for a membership.

Loyalty Program Tips:

Automatically enroll customers into your loyalty program. Asking people to sign up for your loyalty program will keep your numbers low. However, if you automatically enroll all your customers into your loyalty program, you make them feel special. On our online store, we send them an email after they’ve made their first purchase welcoming them into our VIP Club. They’re given a special discount count, only for VIP members that they can use on all future purchases to save money. We typically send an email within 24 hours and it’s drastically increased our repeat purchases for our store.

Your loyalty program should have some sweet perks. While you do want to increase your sales, you don’t want your only club perk to be an amazing discount. You might also offer a free gift on a customer’s birthday. Or an exclusive contest for VIP members only. Giving first access to new products can be an incentive for joining your program. You could even offer exclusive tutorials for your niche. For example, if you sell makeup, hair care or fitness products, you could create special how to videos for your VIP members. If the perks of your loyalty program aren’t compelling enough, your customers likely won’t stay in it.  

Make it easy. Making it impossible for customers to achieve their reward targets can be a loyalty killer. Let them get a small reward with every 3 to 4 purchases with a few surprises in between. Offering a free small gift with a fourth purchase can be a nice incentive that motivates them to keep making more purchases. You can also have a medium priced gift at the 10th purchase. And increase the prize value with purchase. If you make the milestones easy to achieve and frequent, you’ll likely help build stronger customer loyalty.

Using a loyalty program app allows customers to easily track their perks to determine what they’ve achieved and how much further they need to go to. This can help keep them motivated as they make more and more purchases on your store. You might want to include a rewards balance, points per product, FAQ for your rewards program, and more. You can even include a competition to show who’s reached the highest level of your loyalty program to receive exclusive points.

Some brands like Suzy Shier charge for their loyalty program. For Suzy Shier, they charge $25 per year for a card. While it may be pricy for the occasional shopper, those who buy from the brand regularly may feel compelled to buy the card for savings. At one point, they had a birthday bonus where if you get 50% off on your birthday which meant that if you bought two items for the same price it was almost like getting one for free. However, they eventually changed this birthday bonus to create something more sustainable.

Monitor your program’s profitability. Is your average order value higher? Are you making a profit despite perks, freebies and discounts? Do you have more repeat purchases than you did before? Can you afford to keep running the loyalty program the way you have been or do you need to make changes? You’re going to have to crunch some numbers. If you’re getting more sales but losing money overall, it may be time to rework your loyalty program. You need to find the balance between customer retention and profitability. Don’t shut down your loyalty program if it’s generating sales, focus on reworking it to improve your company’s financial health.

Promote your loyalty program. You might include a page about it on your online store, on the top navigation, or regularly send emails out to your customers with special offers. However, if you’re not regularly promoting your loyalty program to your customers, they’re eventually going to stop buying from your brand. Loyalty program emails don’t need to be every week, however, at least once a month you should have an exclusive offer for your VIPs. Keep your VIPs in the loop about how many points they have when you send your personalized emails.

Use your loyalty program as a way to get more data on your customer. When a customer signs up for your loyalty program offer bonus points for filling out their details. You’ll already have their address, email, and name because they’re a customer. Use this as an opportunity to learn more about your customer. What’s their birthday? Use this to offer them an exclusive bonus on their birthday. Think of what type of information would be valuable for your loyalty program and ask your customers for it. Think of what type of products would be valuable to your customer. If your customer previously bought shoes from you, don’t try to sell aftershaves or perfumes and expect a high adoption rate. Instead, find related items like socks and accessories.

Keep in mind that when having a loyalty program that you still need to remain profitable as a business. If you’re dropshipping there’s no point for breaking even. You didn’t buy any inventory you had to sell. You should always be making a profit. Other things you’ll need to look into are the lifetime value of your customer with your loyalty program or cost of retention. Each brand’s loyalty program will yield different results. If you find your loyalty program isn’t profitable either change it or end it. You need to look at your numbers regularly to make sure it’s actually working for you so be sure to look into the data each month.

Loyalty Program Tools:

Loyalty Points by Bold is a points program where customers earn points to buy products. You can assign different point values for all your products. Adjusting customer points, adding an expiration date to the points, and offering bonus points can all be done in the app.

Smile.io Points, VIP, Referral Programs by Smile.io allows store owners to create a customer referral program, reward customers with points while offering rewards to the best customers. Customers can rack up points to receive discounts, free shipping or gift cards. You can also reward customers on their birthday and for sharing your store on social media.

Retention and Loyalty Program by S Loyalty is a loyalty program that allows design and program customization. You can offer rewards such as discounts and free shipping. You can increase the value of points for a special weekend promotion. Urgency can even be created with limited time points and discount codes.

Rewards and Referrals by Swell allows your customers to earn points liking your brand’s Facebook page, minimum spending amounts, and for buying multiple products. Customers can then redeem points to receive discounts and free gifts.

Loyalty, Rewards and Referral by Loyalty Lion offers a system that can reward customers for a variety of behaviors such as social media engagement, birthdays, subscribing to your email list, and buying products. You can reward customers with discounts, free products, free shipping and more. It even integrates with reviews apps to offer points for leaving a review on your store.


How to Create a Kickass Loyalty Program shares the exact email I use when sending out loyalty emails. This email template has generated thousands in repeat sales from our customer base. We typically send the email used within 24 hours of a purchase being made as we automatically enroll customers into our loyalty program with one purchase. The email has a 42.6% open rate and a 9.6% click through rate. If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to check out the email I use.

Loyalty Program Expert:

Mike Trakalo of Bold Commerce shares, “Your program needs to be easy to understand. Most online shoppers have the attention span of a toddler, which means the relationship between how points are earned and what rewards they’ll receive needs to be easily understood at a quick glance, or they’ll immediately move onto the next thing. Not only does it need to be easy to understand, it has to offer your customers something they actually want.”

How to Master Social Responsibility in Business

In a 2016 survey, 64% of CEOs were committed to investing more into their corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. While CSR is a great way to give back, it has other benefits as well. Employees of companies with a social responsibility, or a purpose, stay at the company 20% longer and are 50% more likely to hold a leadership role at that company. It also helps boost employee morale. Many brands incorporate a CSR by donating a percentage of sales to a cause. We’re starting to see an increase in online stores donating to charities related to wildlife, animal rescue, health causes and nonprofit entities. However, CSR is also about providing equal opportunities to everyone who applies to your company. It’s about ensuring you have a diverse team. Some brands choose to go ‘green’ by recycling, turning off the lights when not in use, or having a bike to work program. Corporate social responsibility is about using your brand’s influence to create a better world, for everyone in it.

Example: Michael Kors has a corporate social responsibility program called Kors Care. They’re currently working to fight world hunger. They also raise money each year for a charity called God’s Love We Deliver which helps feed people with ‘life-altering illness.’ Their brand’s cause has a singular focus on helping combat hunger which allows them to help make a greater difference. For your own brand, you can choose to have a singular focus if you want to make a big impact. Or you can choose to donate to several causes to reach a more diverse audience. The focus should be on which makes the most sense for your brand and which best relates to your customer base.

Socially Responsible Marketing Tips:

Pick the social cause that resonates with your customer base. About 90% of consumers say they’ll boycott a company whose corporate social responsibility isn’t aligned with their values. What are your customers passionate about? You can send a quick survey with 3 or 4 suggestions to choose from to help pick the right cause for your brand. To come up with 3 or 4 suggestions, ask your employees which causes they believe in. If your employees are passionate about your brand, they may have some great suggestions.

Try different ways of incorporating your social responsibility. Tom’s donates a pair of shoes to those in need for every pair of shoes purchased. That means, every customer who purchases from them directly helps another person in need. To do something like this, you’d need to price your products at a higher retail price to accommodate the cost of the two products. However, Tom’s strategy is also a powerful marketing tool as it shows the impact each customer makes with a single purchase. It can also help increase higher average order value for those who are passionate about the cause.

Disney practices social responsibility through its philanthropy and with a focus on the environment. In 2016, they donated over $400 million to nonprofit organizations. They also donate millions of books to schools. When it comes to the environment, they are currently reducing the emissions and are striving to reduce it by 50% by 2020. They’re also focused on conserving water, reducing waste, and more.

Camilla donates $1 for every order made on their store. While $1 may not seem like a lot, it gives two healthy meals to someone in need.

Apple includes a list of links for their social responsibility on the footer of their website. From accessibility to inclusion and diversity, they practice social responsibility in a number of ways. Their accessibility page includes a video and a video transcript for those who are hard of hearing. Their products are also inclusive. For example, the Apple Watch tracks number of pushes made in a wheelchair instead of steps for those who can’t walk. They also include progress reports for their environmental projects. And showcase how their company is diverse with employee stories.

Promote your corporate social responsibility program. When you donate a large sum to a charity, contact the media and let them know. If your cause is tied in with an awareness month, host a sale where you donate a portion to charity and share it on social media. For example, if your cause is to help combat breast cancer, in October which is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, host different sales and promotions where you’ll donate a percentage to charity. You might even add a free breast cancer awareness bracelet with purchase for your customers. Send an email out to your customers to let them know about the cause related sales.

Style Saint showcases their social responsibility on their product listing pages. When a customer hovers over a product photo, they’ll see how the brand is socially responsible. You’ll see the number of ethical hours paid for that product. It also mentions the number of sustainable yards of fabric that were created. Lastly, it lists the number of gallons of water saved. The product page also lists these details. Even the product descriptions mention how sustainable the materials are in the description and why they’re a better option over more common fabrics.

Volunteer your time. While financial donations are always appreciated, showing that your brand also takes the time out to get out in the trenches for a cause shows how much you care. Take pictures showing your volunteer work to share on social media. Let customers know how you donate a percentage to the cause.

Social Responsibility Tools:

Seed the Change helps ecommerce brands start a corporate social responsibility program. If your brand wants to be environmentally conscious, the brand plants a tree for every product sold on your website. Each tree planted costs your brand 60 cents. Brands using this service have seen a 35% conversion rate boost. It only takes about 10 minutes to have this up and running on your store.

How to Improve Customer Satisfaction in 2020

Surprise and delight is the way brands show appreciation for their customers on a whole other level. It’s about giving more than you get. It’s also about having fun, showing honest appreciation and doing whatever it takes to put a big ol’ smile on your customers face. If a customer is happy with how you deal with them, it’s going to improve customer satisfaction. Whether it’s giving a bunch of freebies or celebrating their most important day (birthday), customers love it when brands surprise and delight them.

Customer Satisfaction Example: The Body Shop constantly runs promotions to improve customer satisfaction. They regularly run Buy 3 Get 2 Free promotions. While this helps increase average order value, the freebies play a huge role in making the customer happy.

The psychology behind getting something free or getting more than what you paid for can have a positive impact on the customer. In addition to having these promotions regularly running on their store, they also offer products at discounted prices while offering free shipping. The combination of all these incentives helps improve the shopping experience because customers feel like they’re getting a great deal. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction.

What is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction for a business is a measurement used to understand the degree to which customers are satisfied with a product or service. There are a range of different methods that are used to measure customer satisfaction levels, which include customer satisfaction questionnaires, customer satisfaction surveys, or other quantifiable data collection methods.

The concept of measuring customer satisfaction is to understand how customers as a group feel about their interaction with the brand or business.

Measuring customer satisfaction is important for identifying who the dissatisfied customers are. If a business doesn’t know who the unhappy customers are, they won’t be able to tackle issues related to why customers churn. If your business is losing more customers in comparison to the new customers that it’s acquiring, the future success of the business will be at risk.  

Why is Customer Service Important?

Customer service is inevitably linked to brand reputation. In a business, the people or department that is responsible for customer service is normally dealing with issues or inquiries coming from the customers that relate to the business. There are a number of reasons why every business needs to keep the goal of consumer satisfaction in mind. Those in charge of customer service communicate with the customers directly, handling their inquiries and issues. Since customer service is directly in touch with the customers, consumer satisfaction can also be linked to them. The primary aim of customer service is to increase customer satisfaction levels. Let’s take a look at some key reasons why customer service is important, and what customer satisfaction levels tell you about your business.

  • Building a Brand Reputation: The goal of a customer service team is to ensure that consumer satisfaction is high. Without meeting this goal, it would be hard for the company to make profits. If customer satisfaction levels are managed, there’s a higher chance that your business will get positive reviews. A good brand reputation is necessary to survive in a competitive market.
  • Customer Retention: Customer retention is a good customer satisfaction measure. Businesses do better not only when they’re getting new customers, but also when old customers keep returning. If consumer satisfaction levels are managed, and the customers are kept happy, they will keep returning to the same brand.
  • Fewer Complaints: If your customer satisfaction levels are high, naturally you will hear fewer complaints. Proactively managing your consumer satisfaction levels will lead to a long term benefit of less issues to deal with, and fewer complaints from the customer’s side. Businesses that invest in the management of their consumer satisfaction are in a better position to manage them once any complaints arise. For instance, if you’re friendly and understanding while dealing with customer complaints, there’s a higher chance that customers will end up feeling satisfied.
  • Online Reputation Management: If your customer satisfaction levels are high, this will eventually also benefit your online reputation. For instance, if customers interact with your brand on social media platforms and leave positive messages about your business and brand, new or potential customers might stumble upon these messages or positive feedback and perceive your brand in a good light.
  • Building Trust: Great customer service will help build a trust between you and your customers, that you’ll be able to build a community around. Successful customer service deals with customer inquiries ranging from products, services, complaints about shipping, refunds, and many more issues. The way these complaints or inquiries are dealt with, plays a huge role in determining the success of a business. That’s why it’s no surprise that great customer service leads to an increase in sales.

Improve Customer Satisfaction Tips:

Wanderlust + Co uses the element of surprise with their $20 Mystery Box. They send their customers a box valued at $50, $75 or $100 retail for only $20. The catch is that you don’t get to choose what’s in the box. The products are curated by an employee. It’s great for customers who want the element of surprise. However, it’s also great for companies who have purchased physical products they can’t sell to move their inventory.

Jck Trend surprises and delights customers by giving 3 free samples with any purchase over $10. Customers tend to love freebies. And they typically also like trying new products. The minimum purchase helps increase average order value. However, it also incentivises the purchase. It’s also a nice surprise when customers receive their package to find a few bonus goodies in there.

Sephora is the master of surprising and delighting customers. On a customer’s birthday, they give two free small gifts. On my birthday, I received a lip gloss and a blush in a flattering color. If you pick it up in store, there’s no purchase required for the free gift. However, if you purchase online you need to make a purchase on your birthday month to get the freebies. Also, customers are regularly given points based on their purchase. Those points are automatically given and can be used to get freebies, makeovers and more. Sephora is all about freebies. It’s an opportunity to let customers try out new products while making customers happier. Almost every purchase a customer makes is eligible for a few free products. And the best part is that customers are able to choose the products they want rather than being given them at random. The ability to choose the samples helps improve the customer experience.

Some top brands like Amazon improve customer satisfaction by roleplaying with customers via their support team. It’s not just about responding to their questions or concerns but also about having fun with them. Some brands choose to talk like pirates or pretend that they’re superheros. Doing this, creates a memorable experience for the customer. While it may not work with every customer, if an opportunity presents itself to roleplay, have fun with it.

Zappos an online fashion retailer regularly surprises customers in a way that has nothing to do with their brand. They’ve sent pizzas to customers just because. When it comes to surprise and delight it’s not always about doing something that’s aligned with your business. You can also think outside the box to show your customers that you care about their needs. Even needs outside your area of expertise.

Treat your best customers different. A lot of retailers focus on giving customers discounts. However, that’s not really what surprising and delighting your customers about. It’s about making them feel special. It’s not about what’s in it for you. You might offer your best customers first access to new products. Or give them a small gift as appreciation during the holidays without waiting for them to purchase. You might write a personalized card thanking them for their constant support and brand love.

Tap into your customers’ emotions. Surprise and delight is about making your customer feel super overjoyed. The element of surprise can create a very positive experience for your customers. Whether you ship all your repeat customers a free gift out of the blue. Or hand deliver a package so it makes it out to the customer in time for a big event. Focus on going above and beyond. Your customers have given you their money, it’s up to you to give them an unforgettable experience.

Tools to Improve Customer Satisfaction:

Happy Birthday Email is a fun way to surprise your customers on his or her birthday. On their special day, you’ll be able to send them an email offering a free gift with purchase or a special birthday discount. After a customer places an order on your store, she’ll  receive an email where she can fill out her birthday.

Shopkeeper Gift Cards offers customized gift cards with different looks. Your customers will be able to choose from gift cards with different styles and designs. There are designs for any occasion such as Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, housewarmings and more. Customers can then customize the gift cards with their own messages.

Free Gifts by Secomapp is a great app for upselling but also giving your customers perks. You can offer buy one get one free deals (BOGO), free gift with X dollars spent, or discounts on other products when certain products are purchased.

Resources to Improve Customer Satisfaction:

6 Ways to Surprise and Delight Your Customers covers all the ways you can surprise your customers. From giving freebies to writing handwritten notes, going above and beyond to make your customers happy is essential.

5 Brands That Surprised Their Social Media Fans dives into how some brands really know how to surprise and delight their customers. Some created exclusive products for their favorite fans while others sent awesome packages as a thank you.

10 Ways to Make Customers Fall in Love with Your Business shares tips on how you can improve customer satisfaction. From the steps you can take to treat your customers better to improving your listening skills, you’ll know the fundamentals for improving your relationship with customers.