AIAIO: Our Blog

AIAIO: Our Blog

The pulse and reviews of Alexander Interactive

Posts Tagged ‘Ecommerce’

Brick and Click: The Importance of a Total Customer Experience for Luxury Brands

Certain brands are deemed luxurious for a reason. It could be their dramatic designs, the top of the line materials with which they are created, or the company’s compelling history… or maybe it’s the pricing. Whatever the case, luxury brands have made their mark in the brick and mortar market and are increasingly looking to do the same in the digital realm. According to the latest McKinsey report, “Over the past five years, online sales of luxury goods in the global market have grown four times faster than offline sales- an annual growth rate of 27 percent.” Although an impressive feat, many luxury brands are now asking themselves how they can keep people coming through the door, while simultaneously driving online traffic.

“The pervasive belief was that luxury shoppers, with their discriminating taste and preference for high-priced goods, wouldn’t buy expensive things online,” says a 2014 McKinsey report. But with the increasing amount of consumers at all price points finding online shopping to be easier, how can luxury brands utilize both brick and click stores?

Here’s how we think they can do it:

  1. Take Advantage of Being ‘Offline’ – While dramatically overstated in customer relations, the phrase ‘people value unique experiences’ rings especially true when it comes to luxury fashion stores. Brands should use concrete retail stores as an additional marketing tool and capitalize on the ability to create physical, interactive experiences. Many consumers want to touch, feel, use and try on luxury products before reaching the final purchasing stage. These touch points (literally) are often what drive consumers to stores in the first place. Recognize these desires and take advantage.
  1. Construct a Compelling Digital Experience – These days, it’s almost too easy to create a responsive website. For luxury brands to truly stand out digitally, their website not only needs to fulfill expectations, it needs to surpass them. Executing the basic functions while immersing the consumer in a compelling digital experience is key to succeeding online.
  1. Engage with Consumers on a Social Level – No, we’re not talking about a dinner date. Interacting with consumers through social media can propel brand awareness and draw new consumers to the luxury lifestyle. “Each brand needs to strike a balance between exclusivity and inclusiveness,” said Brandwatch analyst James Lovejoy for the New York Times. Once luxury brands find a way to relate to their consumers through social, they’ll notice a upward shift in awareness, response, and loyalty. These positive outcomes result in none other than increased traffic in stores and online.
  1. Remain Seamless – This tip should come as no surprise to successful e-commerce companies. Seamless retailing requires integrated operations. From social, to digital, in store, and beyond, luxury brands must remain universal in all aspects of the business. “Consumers have heightened shopping expectations,” says Forbes. “71 percent expect to view in-store inventory online, and 50 percent expect the ability to buy online and pick up in store.” Synching operations to one unique harmony will leave luxury brands at the top of brick and mortar and online markets.

As strictly online retailers emerge and middle grade brands succumb to the pressure of the digital age, it’s imperative for luxury brands to stay on top of their consumers needs and wants both online and in store. With endless possibilities offline, a unique digital experience online, and an open pathway for communication between the brand and consumer at all times, brands cant afford anything but a fully seamless experience for their customers.

Ecommerce

Is Your Site Encouraging Shoppers to Finish Purchases or Abandon Ship? 

Since the dawn of the internet, shopping has gone viral. Literally. Whether it’s the never-ending stream of coupons arriving in our email inboxes, pop up ads taking starring roles in our social media timelines, or phrases like “flash sale” and “discount code” coming up first in search results, online shopping has become part of our daily routine. The act of online shopping, more accurately deemed e-tail, has transformed the way eCommerce websites are created, run, and measured. From design, customer service, messaging, and overall feel (whatever that means), shoppers evaluate these sites like ferocious lions waiting for the next kill, AKA sale. For sites to truly escape the rough seas and win over shoppers, they need to follow a few simple steps. Here are some do’s and don’ts for keeping your website afloat in a sea of options.

Do Research, Research, and More Research: Learning everything and anything there is to know about your shopper may seem a little extreme but it’s essential to running your site effectively and efficiently. Shoppers value the complete experience; pinpointing exactly what it is that experience entails allows for more flexibility when it comes to design, messaging, and positioning. McKinsey even goes as far to say that, “customer experience is becoming a key source of competitive advantage.”Research in all aspects of a website makes for a well-rounded experience and a happy consumer.

Don’t Neglect the Essentials: According to KoMarketing, the three most important things first time visitors want to see on a homepage are contact information, products/services, and an “about us” section. 44% of website visitors will leave the page if there’s no contact information or phone number. And after reaching a company’s website via a referral site, 36% of visitors will click on the company’s logo to return to the homepage. These statistics seem obvious, but hundreds of sites fail to succeed everyday because they’re missing these vital bits of information. Remember the basics and you’ll be smooth sailing.

Do Design for THEM: Today, good design, leads to good business. We’re in the ultimate era of technology and with that comes the ultimate stage for design. According to a 2015 study by Adobe, when given a 15 minute window to browse content, 66% of people would rather read something beautifully designed then something plain. Pictures aren’t loading? Goodbye. The website itself isn’t loading? See ya. Sloppy layout? You’re outta here. Design-driven companies recognize that while data is important to success, people really just like pretty pictures. Simple as that. So be sure to execute your design to perfection or you’ll see your shoppers leave with nothing but an empty cart.

Don’t Go Overboard: These days, websites don’t require flashy pop ups, outrageous graphics or over the top messaging. As long as you stay on point with your brand and keep the focus on making the shopper happy, you’ll forget all about the days of automatic homepage music and animated cursors.

Do Focus on Data: “Organizations need to move to a cycle of continuous delivery and improvement, adopting methods such as agile development and “live beta,” supported by big data analytics, to increase the pace of innovation,” says consulting firm McKinsey. In short, change is good. Companies constantly need to evaluate their sites to make sure they’re meeting the needs of their consumers. If the data reveals an issue, fix it and move on. Evolving with the times means utilizing data to propel your business in the right direction. But innovation can only happen if there is a willingness to make changes.

Don’t Forget the Cell Phone: In a recent study published by comScore, mobile devices now account for nearly 2 of every 3 minutes spent online. This means more shoppers browse websites in the palm of their hand then on their desktop. To make sure your shoppers understand the goal of your site as well as what  products and services are offered, it all comes down to messaging. Communicate value in your messaging and shoppers will spend less time looking for details and more time purchasing the goods. And the same design tip applies to mobile: make it simple, make it sleek, and make it responsive.

In conclusion, Ai’s UX designer Francia Sandoval stresses the importance of entry points and expectations. “Sites need to provide clear journeys for their consumers. If someone can’t find the item they’re looking for in the first place then there’s a big issue with navigation and site structure,” says Sandoval. Additionally, users need to know what’s going to happen next, especially in the shopping cart. “Nothing is worse than filling out your information and then discovering you have 7 more steps to go through to accomplish your goal.”

Ecommerce

When a Great eCommerce Experience + Unique Business Model Led to Magic

In an attempt to change the entire eyeglass industry, Warby Parker has achieved what few companies have ever attempted, let alone succeeded to do: give the power to the people. Driven by a completely consumer-based business model, the minds behind Warby (Neil Blumenthal, Dave Gilboa, Andrew Hunt, Jeffrey Raiderand) were dedicated to perfecting their users’ experience from start to finish. This idea that the user comes first is is one that drives the entire Ai team, and what makes us particularly drawn to the brand. Well, that and the fact that they make stylish, inexpensive, and downright fun (to buy and wear) eye wear.

Escalating to the top of a $28 billion industry less than a decade after its establishment in 2010, Warby demonstrates it’s focus on catering to customers from the first touch point by sending customers five pairs of glasses to try on for free. Recognized by Fast Company as 2015’s most innovative company, Warby’s business approach backs up its winning title. From designing their glasses in-house, embracing nontraditional marketing channels, addressing customers directly, and selling their products for the strikingly reasonable prices, Warby far exceeds the normal e-commerce transaction, especially within their industry.

As Wired author Marcus Wohlsen puts it, “[Warby Parker’s] customer service seems to be conducted by real people, not robots or, even worse, people trained to act like robots,” in the 2014 post “Is Warby Parker Too Good To Last?” Powered by giving customers exactly what they want, the company ultimately sacrifices their own money, time, and control to fulfill such a unique business model. But the strange reality is that it actually works. Just last year investors valued the company at $1.2 billion. Yeah, it’s working alright. 

With such a unique foundation, Warby has seen a huge backing from millennials. This is due in large part to what many companies lack according to Accenture: a connected shopping experience. In a recent study put out by the consulting group, delivering a seamless shopping experience requires a presence at every stage of the process, meaning retailers must integrate their operations. Luckily for Warby, they’ve been doing this since the beginning. In an interview with Slate, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby David Gilboa stated, “We’ve taken a very hands-on approach, to ensure that we’re getting the best quality, and that we’re working with partners whose values are aligned with ours. That requires a lot of hand-holding, a lot of flying all over the world, but we think that that’s worth it.”

Another thing that sets Warby apart from its competitors is the company’s global awareness about the lack of adequate vision care. According to the company site, 703 million people currently live without access to eyewear. Working by the buy one/give one approach, Warby makes a monthly donation to their nonprofit partners (primarily VisionSpring) which in turn covers the cost of thousands of glasses. So far, that number is well over 1 million. Fun fact: people love companies that give back (We’re looking at you, Toms). According to a 2013 study by Nielsen, 46% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that have ‘giving back’ programs.

So blame it on the free delivery and returns, blame it on the one-for-one style giving, or maybe blame it on the fact that Warby Parker stands as the first ever e-commerce site for eye wear, whatever the decision may be, you can’t deny the magic of this incredible company. Come close to this unique business approach, and you just might find yourself at the head of a skyrocketing start up, leaving companies in the dust unable to look the other way.

Ecommerce

Millennial Consumers Vs Gen Z: Should Brands Plan Now?

For brands and marketers everywhere, earning the Millennial consumer is without a doubt a key goal. Millennials, or anyone born between 1980 and the late 1990’s, are over 80 million strong and, according to a study put out by Accenture, spend over $600 billion each year. Millennials were the first digital generation and engaging with them was truly a unique experience from any of the previous cohorts before them. Earning their consumer dollar has been a test of adaptability and willingness to go digital.

As brands have adapted to appeal to these Millennials, is it time to start concerning themselves with Generation Z? It absolutely is. Despite their youth (the eldest members of this generation are just arriving to college and the youngest are still in grammar school), Gen Z is enormous. They make up 25% of the population and appealing to them effectively is and will continue to be a completely different ball game.

What worked for Millennials: Reaching them on mobile. Millennials are EXTREMELY attached to their mobile devices. In fact, Forbes found that a whopping 79% of Millennials were introduced to new brands via digital advertising and 71% of those surveyed felt that these mobile ads provided better options than they previously knew. Those numbers are huge!

How Gen Z is different: Gen Z’ers are don’t spend as much time on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter so mobile ads in these sorts of verticals will fall flat with this group. According to an AdWeek survey, this generation is much more likely to spend time on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and other visually led social platforms than Millennials were. In addition, they are drawn to one thing: video, video and MORE video. Simply being in the digital space will no longer work as well as it had, unless content has video components.

What worked for Millennials: Brand Advocacy leading to loyalty. According to Nielsen, 85% of Millennials trust recommendations from people they know and 70% trust consumer opinions online (Hello, outlets like Yelp and Glassdoor). As brands turned to new means of advertising like influencer and experiential marketing as well as sponsored blog content, they found a way to reach their targets.

How Gen Z is different: Gen Z doesn’t feel this same loyalty. They were truly born into the connected era; a majority don’t remember a time before smartphones existed. According to research put out by Ernst & Young, that ease of connectivity and instant gratification has created an environment in which Gen Z expects to be catered to as they expect brands to know that they can price and comparison shop. They expect to be engaged immediately or they are gone.

What worked for Millennials: Many Millennials were born into peaceful and prosperous times. While they were budget conscious, especially as they entered the workforce through the recession, security has made them much more comfortable with spending on non-necessities.

How Gen Z is different: Gen Z was born into a very different and tumultuous set of circumstances starting from the 9/11 terror attacks through the recession that began in 2008. Due to these sorts of massive experiences during formative years, Gen Z tends to be much more risk averse. This trickles into their spending: according to Accenture, Gen Z is much more likely to only make purchases for items that fulfill needs.

Clearly there are some similarities with the two generations (looking at you, technology!) but they also have very distinct differences. The two force brands to move further into the digital space. As more members of Gen Z ascend into college and the group enters the workforce, brands will have to continue the path Millennials led them to: get creative online and in the social space or get left behind.

Ecommerce

Please, Alexa, I want some more (or “How do I compete with Amazon?”)

Ecommerce Voice Ordering

And…boom. There it is.  About an hour ago Mothership Amazon sent me an email announcing they had activated voice ordering for my Amazon Echo. It’s here, and perhaps a bit faster than I even imagined in my blog post from 2012 on the future of ecommerce. Back then the story went:

Alex: Siri, my wife said we need diapers.
Siri: You probably mean the Size 3 Swaddlers for Nina.  Lesters.com can have them to you tomorrow for $20.  Shall I order them?
Alex: Yes, and have them send a gift for my wife.
Siri: They recommend this bracelet to go along with the earrings you bought her last year for your anniversary.  Shall I add them to the order?
Alex: Yes, thanks.
Siri: Forever in your service, Alex.

 

It appears Amazon’s offering will be just that easy: “Alexa, re-order laundry detergent” and it shows up on your doorstep 2 days later.

Why does this matter to the rest of us in the ecommerce industry? Because hidden in this experience is the answer to the question, “How do I beat Amazon?” Your retail business only survives and only wins if you make the experience of ordering from you dead easy, dead simple, AND AN ABSOLUTE DELIGHT.  If you don’t, you won’t be here in 3 years.

I’m not saying you need the latest voice recognition technology (though it certainly couldn’t hurt).  But you do absolutely need an online ordering experience that is tailored specifically to your customers, that requires zero training, and is fun to use.

Amazon competes in a completely un-level playing field for most parts of its business. You’re probably not going to match their purchasing power, their distribution network, the number of Prime users, and a whole host of other things they do better than the rest. However, the user experience design of your retail website can be specially designed for your products and customers, and that’s how you can compete with one-size-fits-all Amazon.

For the moment, I’m going to ask Alexa for that present I promised my wife back in 2012.

 

Ecommerce

Come see us at IR Focus Design+Mobile!

What’s the most exciting thing to do in Orlando? Duh! Visiting Ai’s booth at the IR Focus Design + Mobile Conference!

We are at booth #300 — stop by, say hi, and talk about all things digital, Disney, or whatever else is on your mind.

Booth#300

While you’re at it, check out our founders Josh Levine and Alex Schmelkin and attend their talks on Monday. Josh gives you the rundown on the good, the bad, and the ugly in Ecommerce design and Alex teams up with Sharon Rodriguez, VP, Strategy at MetLife, to discuss the central role mobile plays in the now and future of MetLife’s consumer offerings.

Have fun, be safe, and always use the buddy system.

Ai

12 Tips on Creating a Safe Online Customer Shopping Experience

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the following Thursday are just days away… Holidays are right around the corner. We’re not looking to change the world here at Ai, but we do want to play our part in making this upcoming year a safe, secure and profitable one. That being said, have a look at an article I recently wrote which was published in the B2C Marketing Insider.

12 Tips on Creating a Safe Online Customer Shopping Experience

“84% of polled Internet shoppers don’t think that online retailers are putting enough effort into protecting customers” (Forrester Research, Inc)

The E-commerce holiday shopping season is upon us and online retailers are busy implementing new shopping features, social campaigns, analyzing their test results, and redesigning their funnels from browsing to checkout.

The experts are out in force: Focus on usability! Optimize your product page! Come up with brilliant holiday promotions! Study the shopping trends! Yeah! Yeah?

No. Don’t waste your precious and ever-dwindling time focusing solely on usability and Ui improvements. Bottom line: If you don’t have your customers‘ trust and confidence, you won’t convert–regardless of all the improvements that your testing results indicated you should make.

This holiday season, make it a priority to ensure that your site is providing your customers with the sense of safety and security they are longing for in their shopping experience. Use our tips below to ensure your customers spend their precious time deciding which product to buy from your site, rather than then if they should even buy from you at all.

Prominent Contact Information

Contact information should be prominent and in a consistent place within your header and footer so that your customer knows where to go when they have questions or encounter issues. Display both phone number and email address so that your customers can contact you in the manner of their choosing.

Privacy Policy

Include links to your privacy policy on all transactional pages. The ubiquitous footer link is a good place to start, but too often overlooked. On transactional pages, make sure you have it prominently called out in the body of the page, above the fold. Spell out pieces of your policy as needed. For example, when asking for an email address, state your email usage policy right next to the field. Best Buy says this perfectly “Best Buy does not sell, rent, or trade your personal information to third parties”. Clear, blunt and to the point. As it should be.

Don’t Hide Costs

Transparency in shipping costs and delivery times is key – especially come holiday season. Be sure to provide all of the actual costs up front, including shipping, handling, and sales tax. These can have an enormous impact on the final price. According to OneUpWeb, 95% of customers want to know the exact cost of the order before proceeding into checkout. There is no better way to put the kibosh on a potential sale than to withhold additional costs until later in funnel.

When the user can expect to receive their package is enormously important as well, especially to shoppers cutting it tight during the holiday season. Show this information as early as possible as well. This is actually a deciding factor when it comes down to those final few days. Shoppers are willing to pay a premium as long as you can provide them with the security that it will arrive on time, as promised.

Return Policy and Shopping Guarantee

Shoppers want to know what their recourse is if their item arrives and is damaged, the wrong item, or just simply not what they wanted. Be sure to clearly spell out your return policy so there won’t be any surprises later. Do you have a shopper satisfaction guarantee? Nice! Again, place this prominently above the fold, and inspire your shoppers with confidence that they can’t make a wrong or irreversible decision.

Anticipate Their Concerns

Be mindful of the various sensitive touch points throughout the purchasing process.  Address concerns before they even arise. If you expect your customers to share private and personal information with you, you need to address the reasons why you need the information at the appropriate times.

  • A “We 100% guarantee your safety” link right next to the checkout button, and in checkout header that leads to a DHTML popup with your 100% satisfaction guarantee inspires confidence and keeps the user in the funnel.
  • “We will not share your email with anyone.” next to email field lets user know you aren’t going to sell their email address.
  • “Shipping details” tied with product, in cart and checkout, makes user aware of costs and availability early and often.
  • You can always change your order later” when tied to a call-to-action removes some of the hesitation associated with doubts on whether to commit at that exact moment.
  • Don’t be afraid to invite phone calls. A sale is a sale. Including “Prefer to checkout over the phone? No Problem. Call us at…” at the top of your checkout give shoppers a sense of security even if they don’t plan on calling you.

Apply the Human Touch

Ten other sites may sell the same product, at the same discounted price, and have the same safety features in place. Differentiate yourself by emphasizing a personal touch and telling your shoppers that you completely understand their concerns. Give them that warm and fuzzy feeling that they are in good hands by hitting the emotional aspects of shopping.

Using the right tone and personality makes a difference. It is comforting for a customer to see “Please don’t hesitate to call us with any concerns or questions. Your security is our sole priority.” compared to a simple link to the Help Section. Instill confidence in your customers by speaking to them like human beings, rather than unique visitors, throughout the shopping process.

Your “About Page” and Value Proposition

Part of converting the customer is making them feel confident that they are in good hands. The ‘about page” is an often overlooked part of creating a secure shopping experience.

Are you family owned? Are you quirky? Are you a huge company that started off with two people in a garage? Do you donate a certain portion of profits to charity? Don’t let “About Us” be one paragraph of fluff about commitment to selling great products. Shoppers will see right through this. Be yourself. Shoppers have a greater sense of confidence knowing that they are at a real store run by real people.

Make a Good First Impression

Visual design has a huge impact on new customers feeling safe. Shoppers will form an opinion of your company within five seconds of seeing your home page. Want them to feel safe, and not think you are a fly-by-night outfit? Invest in design. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be award-winning, gorgeous visual experience. The site’s design need to give an instant sense of credibility and trust to visitors. Even though customers may not be entirely conscious of it, good design inspires confidence.

Performance & Stability

A slowly loading page, a site that’s down, or obscure programming error messages can raise instant doubts in the shopper’s mind. It is likely they are in comparison shopping mode, so if they were to leave one site and arrive at a site that loads slowly, or not at all, then the experience comes to a quick end. If they see errors and messages they don’t recognize, they will doubt your professionalism and whether their information is safe on your site. A solid technical implementation is as important as a great design.

Badges, Tigers and Seals Oh My

Seals of approval from TRUSTe or Better Business Bureau Online are widely recognized, but remember that a seal is only a graphic; it can be counterfeited. To be sure, make sure you link to the certifying agency’s site that profiles the merchant information. Also, avoid the Times Square approach putting eight different seals on your site. It diminishes the effectiveness. If you really feel the need to bombard 8 seals on there, all I ask is that you use the animated graphics. At least your savvy visitors can get a laugh.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Be sure your site has been thoroughly reviewed and that there are no misspellings or grammatical mistakes. They may seem tiny, but they will immediately cast your professionalism in doubt.

Security Through Social Validation

Social validation is a proven factor in influencing how people purchase products, and it’s no different when it comes to influencing why they should shop at your site for these products. Customer dialogue, reviews and interactions (regardless of what is being discussed) brings instant credibility to your site. People want to know that other people shop at your store. They want to see activity and not just take your word for it.

Now more than ever, privacy is a huge customer concern. Between Facebook privacy issues, Google ego-searching, and countless ads aggressively targeting hackers and screaming identity theft shoppers are only getting increasingly more sensitive and aware of the how, why, and when their sensitive personal information is used.

As online retailers, it is our responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable shopping environment for the customer, both online or off. The most successful businesses are able to instill confidence in their customers, and adding a relatable human touch. They develop a trusting, ongoing relationship with their customers to ensure repeat purchases and loyalty.Look folks, lets not forget – it’s the holidays! Do your customer and your bottom line a favor by letting them focus on giving rather than worrying. So you better be good for goodness sake.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce predictions

This morning I enjoyed re-reading Clifford Stoll’s 1995 Newsweek piece, Why Web Won’t Be Nirvana.  While 15 years later most of his observations on information overload and the lack of content curation abound, how delightfully wrong he was in predicting the failure of “cyberbusiness.”

Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping—just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn’t—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

It appears our industry has done a fine job addressing all of Stoll’s concerns, save for thankfully not making stores obsolete (and arguably positioning great multi-channel retailers even stronger because of their web businesses).  We certainly can point and click for great deals.  I don’t remember ordering an airline ticket in the last 10 years and not doing it online.  OpenTable can almost always snag a last minute reservation for me at the latest NYC hotspot.  While their usability leaves a great deal to be desired, web-based contract negotiation tools drive billions in global procurement.

And speaking of a “trustworthy way to send money over the Internet,” while we haven’t yet found nirvana, in 2009, $209.6 billion was spent by consumers typing credit card numbers into a white box on a website.  People trust sending their money over the Internet.

Sure, we lack nuanced salespeople in our digital world.  That saleswoman who tells me I look fabulous in that suit will never lose her job to ecommerce.  But we sure do come close to the same results.  On more than one occasion we’ve all experienced that bizarrely efficient and shockingly accurate “others who purchased” recommendation, and went for it.  Dynamic personalization is the salesperson of the future, and she’s being implemented today in almost all of our modern ecommerce work.

It sure is easy to criticize Stoll with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, and most unfair not to offer ecommerce predictions for 2011 and beyond of my own.  Stay tuned to this page in the coming weeks.

Ecommerce

Why Redesign?

So you’re probably thinking to yourself right now, “Why Redesign?”

Gosh. Funny you should think that, because it just so happens I recently wrote a little piece on that exact subject, as a featured blogger on Building43.com.

Redesigning a website is a daunting task.  Budget, deadlines, resources, features, content, platform changes, brand perception, SEO implications – the list of challenges is a long one.  The potential impact website redesign has on your organization is as enormous and critical as the process.  Will conversion go up or down?  Will your new site attract more visitors or will traffic drop off?

If you want more detail on the topic, take a look at a deck from one of my presentations at Internet Retailer’s Web Design 2009 conference, Charting the Successful Redesign — A True Story About an Agency and Client Partnership. It gives a detailed account on the site redesign, specifically what led to the decision and the steps we took to execute it. It does NOT go into pancakes and the secrets behind achieving a remarkable fluffiness. Lets just make that clear from the outset.

Charting the Successful Redesign of an Independent Ecommerce Small Business — A True Story About an Agency and Client Partnership

Ecommerce

What will Promoted Tweets mean for ecommerce?

The news that Twitter is getting into the advertising business has exciting implications for companies ready to harness real-time conversations for ecommerce activity.

Companies with products and services to sell will be able to tap into the immediacy of conversations on Twitter and provide targeted offers in real time. Frustrated with a travel booking? Post a tweet and watch as a travel agent enters your tweet stream. Bouncing around ideas on which shoes to buy? Watch an ad for Zappo’s appear at the perfect moment.

If executed well, it’s the kind of advertising that consumers might admit to enjoying. More relevant than display ads and less intrusive than mobile, Promoted Tweets–once the kinks are smoothed out–could be downright useful.

Consider: C.C. Sabathia of the New York Yankees pitches another great game and completes his no-hitter. People (including, probably, this author) are tweeting rapidly about the feat, starting in the middle innings and hitting a crescendo around the end of the game. As the volume hits its max, Steiner Sports (an Ai client) inserts ads into the chatter: “Buy Sabathia’s game-worn jersey from his no-hitter! Get details now.” Instantly thousands of people are tuned into an item that might appeal to them at the moment of its maximum appeal. It’s search marketing for conversations.

Twitter’s conversations are essential, of course, and Promoted Tweets will have to be obvious without being intrusive. With the right execution, though, they will be huge.

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