1. Monitor Top Categories and Product Pages in Real Time Using Google Analytics
Google analytics real-time reporting is an excellent feature that online store owners should take advantage of in these holidays. Having the ability to see web traffic in real-time is always helpful especially during important holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holidays. E-commerce store owners expect more than usual traffic in those days and this tool acts as a surveillance camera.
Ashraf Chohan, a senior performance analyst at UK government digital service wrote an article, “Making the most of real-time data,” which described how to utilize this feature and make the most out of it.
2. Use Google Analytics to See Your Stores Real-Time Internal Search Terms Data
Internal search is an ideal source for e-commerce store owners to understand customer needs. The keywords which buyers or prospective buyers enter while browsing an e-commerce store are the true representation of their purchasing intent.
If you can track which search terms customers are entering in real-time won’t it be excellent? This post describes how to achieve that, please read to find out details.
3. Local SEO for The Holidays and Google Analytics for Local Storefront
Local SEO uses local ranking factors like name, address, phone number, business hours, business category, customer reviews, photos, attributes (offerings like “Has Wi-Fi” and “Offers outdoor seating”) to rise to the top of organic search results. If you are a local E-commerce store owner these SEO tips curated by Moz staff Miriam Ellis are for you.
As Google Post is pretty new I’ve included a screenshot here from luxury fashion company Coach’s Google posts to give you a sense
Now, if you have a storefront and you are running local inventory Google shopping ads then you must set up Google Analytics for your storefront. The local storefront is a Google-hosted page that showcases products you have in a store close to the user.
Google analytics will help you to understand how many users are clicking for directions, where are they from? what kind of device are they using? how many times are they clicking to call? etc.
4. Tools to Optimize Email Sending With Email Delivery Services
Email marketing is one of the influential marketing media for e-commerce stores so it is important to make sure the email delivery service is safe and sound. The following tools are vital to ensure that.
Litmus – It’s a powerful tool to preview your email in 70+ apps and devices, validate that your links, images, and tracking work properly. It also tests your email’s load time, spam testing, email analytics and more. People use several different devices and email clientsthese days so it’s crucial to make the email template looks good on all devices.
Email Subject line & Preview Text Checker – This is another handy tool from Litmus to test email subject lines and preview text in 15+ email clients, check this out along with this helpful post on subject line data and email engagement by Sendgrid which is a popular cloud-based email delivery platform.
Sender Reputation Check Tools – An email sender reputation is a score that an Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns to an organization that sends email. By keeping an eye on your engagement (opens, this is not spam (TINS) Rate, etc.) and reputation (spam complaints, spam traps, unknown users, etc.) metrics you’ll get a good picture of how your emails are being received by subscribers.
Outlook SNDS ( Smart Network Data Services) and Google Postmaster are two great tools offered by Microsoft and Google to check sender reputation. Sendgrid covered more in this article.
Return Path’s Sender Score is another tool to know sender reputation. According to MailChimp, a reputed email marketing tool, Sender Score aggregates from 60 million mailboxes at a variety of ISPs, spam filtering, and security companies.
Here are couple other tools to check sender reputation Cisco Talos, Reputation Authority, McAfee Trusted Source
Gmail Tabs Check and Litmus Scope – Gmail Tabs is to check which Gmail tab will your email appear under and Litmus Scope is to create a clean, web-based version of an email, with desktop and mobile previews.
5. Text/SMS and Web Push Notification Best Practices
Text/SMS marketing is a strong media to reach people. We carry the phone everywhere. Most of us begin and end our day looking at the phone, and according to Entrepreneur.com, the open rate for an SMS is nearly 98% while it’s 20 to 30% for Email. So to better equip yourself with SMS marketing check out Twilio, a cloud platform for building SMS, voice and messaging application that shares useful tips
Another interesting material on this topic is curated by Mobile marketing associationwhich is a list of SMS/Text marketing case studies from around the globe. It’s a must-read for a mobile marketer to get smart ideas and apply to their businesses.
Web push notification is another marketing media which is increasingly becoming popular. It is comparatively new but being properly utilized it can bring a lot of value to the business.
There are 2 kinds of push notifications Web push and App push. Here is a fascinating Web push VS App push data shared by Mobify, a rich progressive web app (PWA) platform. It’s clear from this data that Web push has more possibility to increase revenue than App push.
Mobify shared 20 use cases (promotional and non-promotional marketing) to take advantage of Web push notification, this 27 pages PDF file is full of resources and best practices, so please take a look.
6. Google Shopping Insights, Google Trends, Google Display Benchmarks, Speed Scorecard, Test My Site, Consumer Barometer, Display Benchmarks, Market Finder
Google is a big data owner and the tools they share are very data-driven so take advantage of these 7 mighty Google marketing tools to explore shopping trends across the U.S and globe.
Majority of the store owners are already familiar with Google AdWords and its best practices so I am not saying a lot about it here. However, check out these two companies for excellent AdWords tips PPC HERO and KlientBoost. They have a team of experts who serve clients from different verticals and always apply standard as well as creative practices.
I am sure most of you are already familiar with or heard about these other Google marketing tools – Google Search Console, Google Optimize, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio, Google Survey. Being properly integrated these tools can provide a wealth of information and take your business to the next level. It can get really complex so double check and make sure they are properly integrated.
Loves Data’s Benjamin Mangold is an expert on all those things! See this video and subscribe to his youtube channel if you like
7. A/B Test to Lift Your Sales and Profit
A/B test helps an e-commerce company generate actionable, revenue-driven data by running experiments. So prepare smart A/B testing plan, detailing which creative, which copy, which customer group, in which time zone and when? etc. to test across all digital channel.
Check out this excellent article by split testing firm Widerfunnel, it elaborates how to use pricing psychology to motivate your shoppers
And here is another article where it says about creating emotionally relevant marketing experiences for your shoppers, check it out
Here is a real-life example of a multivariate twitter post, Google Analytics expert Paul Koks used 3 different phrases and 3 different times for the same post, see the result:
User interactions were different. Paul’s Google Analytics articles are full of resources like this one “20 Ecommerce Segments to Improve Your Customer Insights”, subscribe to his blog if you like.
8. Speak to Web Hosting Company, Consult Technical Team, Explore Site Monitoring, Heat Map, and Log File Analysis Tool
If you are a small e-commerce store talk to your web hosting or SaaS e-commerce platform and technical team to avoid any kind of website down issues during the peak time.
Test your website performance with tools like Webpagetest.org, which has options to test the site from different locations and on different browsers. The credit for this brilliant tool goes to Google engineer Patrick Meenan.
Google’s Lighthouse is another powerful tool to measure and optimize website speed.
If you have a medium to large size business, you will want to talk to your hosting company, technical team, and exploring website monitoring tools like New Relic, SOASTA, Smart Bear, Pingdom etc. which are great to stay vigilant on website technical issues and traffic.
Use Heat Map tool. They are used to show where users have clicked on a page, how far they have scrolled down a page, or used to display the results of eye-tracking tests. It’s more visual and this data can be used to improve web pages. Some reputed heat map tools are Crazy Egg, Hotjar, and ClickTale. Browse online and choose one.
Log file analyzer is a powerful tool to investigate when, how, and by whom a web server is visited. It can give you valuable insights about how search engines, like Google, Bing etc., crawl your site. In this context, Screamingfrog, DeepCrawl, Botify are well-recognized log file analyzing tools. Of course, there are other options in the marketplace, do your own research and pick one of them.
Consult technical and marketing team to make sure your website, hosting and CDN, inventory management, payment & shipping integration, ERP and CRM, email marketing, PPC marketing etc. everything related to your e-commerce marketing is functioning properly.
9. Weather Forecasting, Holiday Travel & Competitors
It’s vital to keep a close eye on the weather which can significantly impact both physical and digital storefront businesses. Due to the weather condition, you may need to open/close early, based on your business category you may need special protection to store your products, the weather might affect your inventory and shipping etc.
So, be ready! Consider both internal and external audiences, modify promotions based on weather forecasts, It’s always good to have a backup marketing plan in case the weather goes wrong.
People travel, ship gifts across the globe, share gift certificates, and exchange paper and online coupons during the holidays. As tax and shipping costs vary from place to place prepare your holiday offerings and promotional messages keeping this in mind.
If you have traffic data from previous holiday seasons analyze it carefully to see if any of those reasons affected your business.
It’s wise to monitor competitor marketing activities and industry trends to discover new opportunities. Competitors might try a new marketing media, they might add or drop a specific product line, are they complying all recent marketing trends? etc. So keep an eye on your competitors. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz should be considered for competitive analysis.
10. Social Media, Customer Service, Easy Return, and Post Purchase
Social media is important for all store owners. The companies like Socialmediaexaminer, Buffer, Sprout Social are constantly offering rich resources on social media from regular to advanced topics, such as social media ad & remarketing, segmenting users, social media analytics etc. So, check them out and get yourself familiarize with tips specific to e-commerce stores.
Stellar customer service, timely shipping, easy return, collecting review, post-purchase relationship these are all associated with the success of a business. Check out Narvar’s blog and resources section to get inspiring ideas on that stuff. They serve large companies and always generate marketing articles in collaboration with renowned experts so explore their articles.
I hope businesses regardless their size and platform (Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, SAP Hybris, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, IBM WebSphere Commerce, Oracle Commerce, PrestaShop, BigCommerce, Yahoo Store, Amazon Webstore, Squarespace Online Store, Custom platform etc.) will find something helpful in those 10 tips. It is a contribution in a field of infinite possibilities.
If you are looking for an e-commerce consultant to handle your digital marketing project or to consult on your e-commerce SEO, I would love to talk. Please use this contact form to send me your project details.
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