“7 Tips To Visually Optimize Your Website” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

“7 Tips To Visually Optimize Your Website” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

With retail ecommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart setting the bar extremely high for website design and experiences, smaller online stores are left behind to constantly make updates to ensure their websites are similarly easy to use. It is absolutely crucial to have a visually appealing website, seeing as 38% of consumers will leave if they find the layout unattractive.  In order to prevent future customers from abandoning your site, here are 7 tips to visually optimize your website:  Include the Most Important Information Above the Fold The content on your homepage that is “above-the-fold” is visible before any scrolling occurs and will be the basis of a user’s first impression, so it needs to be good. Putting the wrong content above the fold may result in a high bounce rate and a loss of customers and revenue.  Pro Tip: According to Wingify, brands should include their logo, contact information, navigation and search bar, current promotions, shopping cart, and calls-to-action above the fold.  Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly Mobile commerce makes up 30% of all U.S. ecommerce, and mobile traffic represents 53% of all ecommerce traffic. If your website does not conform to smartphone viewing, you can easily lose all of those shoppers. In order to make your site mobile-friendly, you will need to:  Choose a mobile-responsive theme or templateStrip back your contentMake images and CSS as light as possibleAvoid FlashChange button size and placementSpace out your linksUse a large and readable fontEliminate pop-upsTest regularly Include Images & Videos Images and videos are great for enhancing the user experience, especially when it comes to showing off your products. Clicking on a website, only to stumble upon...
“Audience Hijacking: How to Prevent Your Online Customers From Being Shoplifted” by Patrick Sullivan via Total Retail

“Audience Hijacking: How to Prevent Your Online Customers From Being Shoplifted” by Patrick Sullivan via Total Retail

Ensuring your website visitors have a positive experience is absolutely crucial for turning shoppers into buyers. But increasingly, the online customer journey is disrupted by pop-up ads, browser plug-ins and extensions designed to redirect shoppers away from your site. More than just distracting, “audience hijacking” can take a real bite out of sales, significantly impacting your bottom line. By some estimates, audience hijacking is costing retailers billions in revenue. Yet, because it’s occurring within the browser, retailers may not even be aware it’s occurring. A Common, Complex Problem How common is audience hijacking? One estimate suggests that between 10 percent and 20 percent of retailers’ shoppers are lured away by competitive offers — or, worse yet, by fraudulent offers. Audience hijacking can take several forms, most commonly injected ads or coupon codes. One concerning trend is the increase in affiliate fraud, where a third party “hijacks” credit for affiliate sales they didn’t make. In addition, there’s also the risk that your customers could be lured away to a phishing site designed to steal their credit card number or other personal financial data. And those attacks can go undetected for weeks or months. So why not simply block all third-party ads, extensions and scripts and eliminate the “threat surface”? The fact is not all third-party elements are problematic — and some may actually be beneficial. Customers are increasingly using third-party shopping apps and tools to find the products they want. You don’t want to miss out on those opportunities. In addition, allowing authorized affiliates to piggyback on your online presence may actually result in sales that you otherwise might not get. Therefore,...
“REDEFINING BLATANT LOCALISM – Elon Buying Twitter Got Me Thinking” by Anthony Pappalardo via Artless Industria

“REDEFINING BLATANT LOCALISM – Elon Buying Twitter Got Me Thinking” by Anthony Pappalardo via Artless Industria

PHOTO: Yes, that’s a Space X Skateboard. As you probably know, Elon Musk and a group of investors bought Twitter to make it a “town square that promotes free speech,” or something. As most people who cover tech or even own stock know, Twitter’s business plan sucks because it doesn’t make money. If you were to ask me who actually used Twitter, I’d break it into the following categories: Media folks Comedians Media people trying to be Comedians Comedians trying to be Media people A bunch of people into sports, art, and things trying to own each other. Some people who just read shit. Oh, and there are some skaters on #skatetwitter, mostly discussing pants or videos and sometimes the pants in videos, and other shit dealing with skateboarding in a mostly positive manner until we disagree and talk some light shit. While #skatetwitter exists, skateboarding mostly lives and thrives on Instagram and YouTube so with many threatening to leave Twitter due to Musk’s acquisition of it, this mostly means nothing in the skate world. Of course, YouTube and Instagram are fucked up but no one is leaving that space because it’s how we connect, find out about things, buy things, and look at things. That’s vital! Who cares who owns Instagram or any platform? Skateboarding needs Instagram! And YouTube! What would happen if they went bankrupt and all that content disappeared? How would skateboarding survive? Well, if Meta pulled the plug on IG and Facebook, it certainly would impact the bottom lines of many companies but the smart ones that capture your data willingly would have deep databases and you’d continue to know what drops...
“Why 2022 is the Year of First-Party Marketing for Retailers” by Ryan Milman via Total Retail

“Why 2022 is the Year of First-Party Marketing for Retailers” by Ryan Milman via Total Retail

With the ad industry phasing out cookies and third-party trackers, data and privacy concerns and regulations taking center stage on a global scale, and a plethora of logistical issues like labor shortages and supply chain backups impacting inventory, retail brands have had to completely rethink how they approach marketing. Despite all of these challenges, however, retail marketers have plenty to look forward to this year. Why? Because first-party marketing has finally come to the forefront and no other industry is poised to excel in this environment as much as retail. First-Party Data = Marketing Gold First-party data has become like gold for marketers looking to provide consumers with the personalized experiences and messaging they’ve come to expect without the creepy third-party tracking that made it possible in years past. And retail brands, perhaps more than any other industry, have access to an abundance of first-party data because they’re so close to the point of sale (POS) — customers share information in exchange for a product. The smartest online retailers know this already, which is why they often ask you to sign up for an account to make a purchase (because it makes it easier for them to build a profile to understand your preferences). Once a customer makes a purchase, the retailer can start to know more about their behaviors, what they’re buying, what other products they might be interested in, etc. Retailers can then capture and use this type of first-party data to build loyalty, future-proof their marketing strategy, and drive revenue without ever having to rely on intrusive tracking that plagues other industries. Related story: Grabbing the Holy...
“How BNPL Can Become Too Much of a Good Thing for Retailers” by Eleanor Ritchie via Total Retail

“How BNPL Can Become Too Much of a Good Thing for Retailers” by Eleanor Ritchie via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by Suppasit Chukittikun Buy now, pay later (BNPL), a modern answer to retail layaway, is having a moment as a key payment option for online shoppers. It’s simultaneously soaring in popularity and finding that celebrity inevitably attracts those who would like to take advantage. BNPL, which allows shoppers to get their goods today while paying in installments, now accounts for nearly $100 billion in global e-commerce transactions, according to the payment processing firm Worldpay. The figure is likely to double soon, the processing firm says — and that’s not counting brick-and-mortar sales. More than 40,000 U.S. retailers provide BNPL options, and Signifyd’s Ecommerce Pulse data shows that BNPL transactions increased 78 percent year-over-year in 2021 alone. The feature is popular for good reason: It means higher order values and conversions for retailers and greater buying power and flexibility for consumers, all of which adds up to increased customer lifetime value. However, this added buying convenience paradoxically offers another avenue to commit return abuse and fraud. Consider the practice of “bracket buys.” Bracketing is a form of potential policy abuse in which a customer purchases several similar versions of the same article of clothing in order to try different sizes or colors. The customer then returns all but one version, an expensive proposition for a retailer. Related story: Could Buy Now, Pay Later Payment Offerings Cost Retailers Security? Someone seeking to buy 10 pieces of clothing on a modest budget with a debit card may not qualify based on the size of their bank account. A low credit limit might hold back a credit card user. However, if the customer can split...
“3 Ways Retailers Can Reshape Their Digital Experience” by Jasmine Guthman via Total Retail

“3 Ways Retailers Can Reshape Their Digital Experience” by Jasmine Guthman via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by the_burtons Retailers and e-commerce players struggled with everything 2021 had to offer, from supply chain issues, delayed inventory, empty shelves, and a scarcity of talent. Based on close work alongside e-commerce and retailers and market observations, here’s how to approach 2022 with smart and tried strategies, with the focus on digital experiences and customer journeys. Large Retailers Would Benefit From Watching the Smart Moves of Smaller Players Agility and being nimble is critical now. Small, local shops have flexed their muscles, freed from larger organizational bureaucracy and red tape, and have adapted to what their customers have needed. Many smaller shops, after an initial freeze, swiftly took their stores digital, allowing curbside pickup or delivery, and engaging with their local customers digitally, whether on an Instagram story or a hyperlocal email campaign. Large retailers could benefit immensely from scaling what has worked well for those they don’t perceive as competitors today — it may turn into fierce competition down the road. Build a Path to Higher Profitability With True Personalization True “one-to-one” personalization isn’t easy to achieve. We’ve all learned that the hard way by now. Nonetheless, it’s unequivocally proven as the go-to strategy for brands seeking differentiation and profitability, especially in the long term. As a retail marketer, one of the most impactful things you can do that doesn’t require a considerable investment or complicated technology is getting to know your customers — and then strengthen your existing tech stack to serve them better (or rebuild it altogether). You want your customers to experience life at MACH speed, and your technology shouldn’t be holding you...