Don’t Forget the Product Content for your eCommerce Products

There are a lot of steps to take when you’re setting up your online store. And as easy as platforms like Shopify make it, it can still be a bit overwhelming. One thing that often gets left in the dust is the product content that goes along with each thing you want to sell. What do we mean by product content? It’s the name, the images, and the descriptions that go along with your product and what you do or do not include can make a big difference in how well your store converts.

Our friends at Salsify recently did some research with over 1,000 online shoppers and what they found was a clear pattern of what it takes to make the sale.

1. Product images: Note the “s” at the end of images. That’s because shoppers prefer to see at least three images of a product before making an online purchase. You’ll want to shoot photos from different angles and for anything where size is a factor, you’ll want to have at least one image of your product in the real world so shoppers can get the accurate perspective. And if you’re not stocking inventory, make sure your suppliers provide you with the right set of images before you launch their products in your store.

Salsify Rule of Three

Source: Salsify.com

2. Detailed product descriptions: When you’re adding products to your store you’ll want to take the time to write a great product description that builds excitement for the product, includes materials that people might care about and the “story of the product” - what makes it awesome and why! Don’t be afraid to bullet out key features of facts.  And in Shopify, you can even preview what this will look like in a search listing and edit it to be more compelling.

(shhhh… we’re starting to build our own online merch store.)

3. Ratings and Reviews:  Shoppers pretty clearly love ratings and reviews. While generating reviews can be a pain, it’s well worth the hassle. To be credible, most online shoppers want to read at least three reviews before making a purchase. Good news, there are lots of good apps out there to help you gather and display reviews for your products in the Shopify App Store , BigCommerce App Store, and around the web.

Klean Kanteen gets it all right!

So, when you’re launching your store or your new product line, make sure to create the product content that actually convinces online shoppers to buy.

May 2017 Upgrades to the Privy popup designer

We get it. For many users, Privy becomes an extension of your brand. So customizing every nook and cranny of your overlays to match the look and feel of your brand is crucial. We're excited to release several huge improvements to the Privy designer. And, in addition to those listed below, you can expect continued enhancements to unlock advanced design techniques for power users.

Check out today's major updates:

Transparent backgrounds in popup formats

This lets you lean on the overlay color and opacity to create a truly "full screen" overlay experience. This is a very sleek look showcasing your message front and center while letting some of your site styling to shine through the background.

Circular backgrounds in popup formats

Sometimes you can't fit a "round peg into a square hole". Or is it, you can't fit a "square peg into a round hole"? Anyways, you get the point. Sometimes you need flexibility around the shape of your overlay. Now, in addition to rectangles, squares and full screen take overs, you can now convert to a circular or oval background shape. 

Font consistency for the form and button elements

Brand consistency doesn't just mean colors and headline font. It means that every letter of text is designated purposefully to match a specific style. Now you can easily set the form input text fonts, and button fonts to be fully consistent with your needs. Comic Sans fans rejoice!

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These changes are all available today, on all plan levels, including the free plan.

Wait, did that work?

Why thank you pages and autoresponders inspire confidence

I’m a proud marketing nerd. So where some people might hesitate to fill out a form, I know what I am getting myself into and am happy to get “future communications” from companies I like in exchange for content or a special offer. But I also know that sometimes forms don’t work correctly. So, when I enter my information and nothing happens I get nervous. (Both that i didn’t actually submit my information and that a marketing manager is blissfully going about their day wondering why they aren’t getting new contacts.)

Here are three easy ways to make sure your new contacts are confident that your form worked:

1. Use a pop-up thank you: There is no more obvious way to know that a form has worked than to explicitly say “thanks” with a pop up. If you’re offering a discount, you can include the offer code in your thank you page and a link to a featured product. If you’re sending people to a piece of content, add a button with a link. You’ll want to say thanks without slowing down people’s ability to move on to their next task.

Thank you pop up

2. Redirect to a piece of content: If you are enticing visitors to your site to sign up for an exclusive piece of content, don’t make them wait once they have completed your form. Send them to that amazing coupon, awesome video or powerful eBook you spent so much time thinking about. Pro tip: If you’re sending them off of your core website (e.g., a pdf file or youtube) have the link open in a new window.

3. Send an autoresponder email with a link or coupon: Even if you’ve done both of the above, I always like to get an email from the business with a more permanent version of the coupon or piece of content that I requested. Your email should speak directly to the offer that someone too you up on both in the body of the email and the subject line.

“Here is your 30% off Coupon”

“Your Copy of Privy’s List Growth eBook”

“Thanks for signing up for my email list”

You get the idea. This way you are reinforcing the message, giving new contacts a permanent way to return to your site, and creating a second positive brand impression.  And you’re not leaving people wondering “did that work?”

Gorgeous, new popup and flyout templates have arrived

The Privy form deisgner is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. Yet for many, time is of the essence. Today we launched tons of gorgeous new templates for popups, flyouts and more.

Included in the new design templates are:

  • Full screen take overs
  • more mobile optimized templates
  • and much more

Check out the template gallery in the designer, and turn these into your own! All templates are available, even for free users.

Four Awesome Hidden Features in the Privy Campaign Designer

The Privy designer is built so you can launch a campaign in under 6 minutes, which is great for anyone just getting started. But with a little bit of effort you can take your campaigns to a whole new level.  

Here are four of my favorite hidden features:

1. Use an image as your background: When I first started using Privy I was just adding images on top of what was already in my design template. But way better than that is using an actual image as your background. Simply go to “Edit Background,” and click “Image” in the popup design step to upload files and choose files for your background. And if you need high quality, free images check out Burst from Shopify or Pixabay.

2. Change the size of your popup:  You can easily resize your popup by once again clicking “Edit Background” in the popup design step and using the sliders to make changes. That way you can take over the whole screen for major announcements like a new product line or an awesome discount.

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3. Automatically center your content. If you’re like me, you like to move the various elements of your campaign around to see what they’ll look like. Sometimes that means things like text boxes and form fields get out of alignment. Clicking “center element” solves that problem automatically.

4. Design a popup without a form:  This is great if you want to announce a new product and get your visitors shopping right away. Simply disable the form in the the “Form” step or delete the element in the design stage. Bonus tip: Include a button that will take visitors exactly where you want them to go.

What are your favorite “hidden” Privy features?

5 UX Mistakes That Will Plummet Your Conversion Rate

Guest Post By Sean McGowan, Codal Inc

If you run an ecommerce site, you probably already know all about conversion rate. The benchmark metric of success for all online retailers, conversion simply describes the act of transforming a visitor into a customer.

But what you might not know about conversion rate is how heavily it is influenced by the UX (user experience).

It doesn’t matter if you have the highest-quality products at the most affordable price—if potential customers can’t seamlessly interact with your site, they remain just that: potential.

So what is UX? It’s a concept that’s hard to define, but obvious when you see it. It’s more than just an aesthetically pleasing color scheme, or an appealing graphic.

UX encompasses how a user thinks, feels, and ultimately acts, when browsing a website or app. A site with excellent UX smoothly guides you to exactly what you’re looking for. It seems to respond to your every thought and whim. It has the answer before you even know the question.

We’ve all experienced sites with fantastic UX. If you haven’t, just take a look at the screenshot of Moody Tongue’s site below. Great UX is easy enough to recognize, but it can often be difficult to understand and implement if you’re not knowledgeable in the field.

Moody Tongue’s exemplary UX design

UX is a powerful tool for conversion, but when wielded improperly, it can have disastrous effects.

A quality UX design company understands this fact. They know that if your ecommerce site has poor user experience design, your conversion rate WILL nosedive. 

To avoid this, I’ve provided a brief list of common mistakes that retailers make when designing their online stores. Paired with each faux pas is a piece of actionable advice, to help boost your store’s conversion rate with quality UX.

1) Getting Too Creative

That isn’t a typo. It may seem counter-intuitive, but too many times designers cripple the UX of a site with needlessly creative design.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for your site to stand out, to make a lasting impression, and to connect with the consumer. But getting too creative often just confuses visitors. When it comes to usability, conventionality is king.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the homepage for Bolden, a design and development company that forgoed convention to showcase creativity, with the result being...less than effective.   

Yikes. To decipher this mess, the user has to navigate to the corner of the page, which then transforms the homepage to read:

It’s certainly a creative design, but it is absolutely poor UX. 

So use standard design practices that users are already familiar with, ones they’ve seen a million times, at all of the other e-commerce sites they’ve visited.

Don’t put your company’s logo anywhere but the top left corner. Don’t link it to anywhere else but your home page. Don’t place your navbar and search bar somewhere the user can’t find it.

Why? Because that’s the opposite of what everyone else does, which will simply confuse the user, worsening their experience on your site.

Stick to standard symbolism: a gear or wrench for settings, three horizontal lines stacked vertically for a menu, a magnifying glass for a search bar.

Remember, online shoppers are fickle, with short attention spans and even shorter patiences. All it takes is one inconvenience, one poor UX design technique, and they’re gone, taking their money with them.

2) Ignoring The Second Most Important Page

It’s common knowledge that your home page is the single most important piece of your website. It's the keystone, the hub, the core of the entire e-commerce experience you want to provide. Your UX design should focus heavily on the homepage.

But another common mistake designers make is ignoring the second most important facet of your e-commerce site: the product pages. Take a look at this egregiously poor example of a product page below.

                                                Poor Product Listing - (Source)

It is the product page, not the home page, that the visitors of your site will spend the most time on. It is thus of the utmost importance that your product pages have flawless UX design.

To begin, that means comprehensive product descriptions. Your product description should answer any and every query a customer may have, from size measurements to warranties.

That’s a significant amount of information, so be sure it’s presented in an aesthetically pleasing, visually digestible fashion. Nobody wants read enormous blocks of paragraphs when they can simply scan for the facts they need to know.

Second, go big on the product photos. Whether its due to higher resolutions or expanding screen sizes, consumers want high-quality, detailed product photos. Don’t forget to offer a variety of shots as well, so that customers can see the product from different angles.

It may not be your home page, but a well-designed product page is a sure-fire way to boost conversion. Ignore it, and your site will suffer.

3) Not Being Transparent Enough

Often times, designers are so focused on the product pages or checkout process, they forget to inject credibility and transparency into the user experience.

These are crucial elements for optimal UX. While ecommerce has skyrocketed in recent years, many people still have qualms with online shopping, fearing scams, fraudulent websites, and the privacy of their financial information.

Being transparent means prominently displaying your contact information, making it simple for a client to contact you with any concerns. It’s also prudent to feature testimonials and customer reviews, to show that real people interacted with your site (and had a positive experience).

It also means not disguising any taxes, shipping and handling charges, or other fees attached to the purchase of your product. Customers don’t want to be surprised when they head to checkout, only to see the price of their item has increased significantly.

4) Needlessly Complicating Checkout

The infographic below shows the most common reasons why online buyers abandon their shopping carts. Shopping cart abandonment is a heavily researched phenomenon in the study of conversion, with over 65% of shoppers filling up their cart, only to exit the page.

                               Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics - Source

Of the top culprits behind an abandoned shopping cart, four of them occur in the checkout process. It is the final obstacle to overcome when converting a visitor to a customer.

Because of this, quality UX design in the checkout process is absolutely crucial.

When tailoring your checkout for optimal UX design, be sure to include the following:

1. A Guest Checkout Feature

Responsible for 14% of abandoned carts, customers want to purchase their product quickly, without the hassle of creating an account and entering personal information.

2. Keep Form-Filling To A Minimum

In a similar vein to the guest checkout feature, your checkout process should avoid asking customers to fill out several forms. Buyers do not want to undergo the time-consuming task of inputting every aspect of their personal info. To create a checkout with better UX design, ask for the essentials only, or even pre-fill the form.

3. Checkout Progress Tracker

To add transparency to the checkout, break down the process into discrete steps, and display what step a buyer is on. Without a progress checker, you risk a potential customer becoming fatigued with the checkout process, and abandoning their cart.

5) Stopping At The Sale

Congrats! Thanks to your well-crafted UX, you’ve transformed a visitor into a customer and boosted your conversion rate. Your design work is done, right?

Wrong. The best UX companies recognize that the customer’s interaction with an ecommerce site is far from over. Do not neglect the functionality of your online store post-purchase.

Let’s start with the obvious: a customer will want to track their package.

Your site should not only provide a tracking function, it should also include a progress bar that can deliver daily updates on the location and status of a package. Be sure to emphasize the statistic the customer cares about the most: the estimated delivery date.

                                                Amazon’s Delivery Tracker

And while the customer has returned to your site to track their order, why not recommend other products that might interest them? Amazon does this masterfully with their “customers who bought this also purchased” feature, and even their simple “buy it again” button.

When you cater to a customer after a sale has been made, you provide a richer experience; that customer is much more likely to patron your ecommerce store again.

Learning From Mistakes

The best ecommerce sites all have one thing in common: well-crafted UX design. No matter the product, the sector, the market you’re tapping—without a stellar user experience, your online store will not perform to its full potential.

Conversion is no easy task, which is why more and more retailers are enlisting a UX design company to bring their store to the next level.

Quality UX is the magic wand that transforms visitors to customers—what’s stopping you from using it?

 

Introducing Cart Targeting for Squarespace Commerce

We're really excited to announce that as of today, Squarespace users on the Privy Commerce or Growth plans can now target specific messages to users based on the value of a visitor's shopping cart. As someone actively working in ecommerce, you know that roughly 60% of carts will be abandoned. You also know that capturing those people with a pop up message or special offer before they leave is critical to growing your business. 

Here's how it works (it's super easy):

When you're building a new campaign in Privy, click on Audience Targeting in the design step. Then choose Cart Value and the amount you want to target based on using the greater than, less than, etc. For example, say you want to target a special message to visitors with $100 or more worth of products in their cart, you would click cart value, greater than or equal to, and type in $100.

That's it. Once your campaign is live only those people will get your message.

Note: Privy also offers cart targeting for Shopify, Weebly, WooCommerce, and Magento.

Additional resources:
Learn more about targeting with Privy campaigns.
Read more about cart abandonment emails here.

Welcome aboard, Josh Mendelsohn!

We're excited to announce that Josh Mendelsohn has joined the company as VP Marketing. Josh is bringing his marketing chops and a lifelong passion for merengue, and SMBs to the table.

Josh, on day one, feeling excited.

Josh, on day one, feeling excited.

As we continue to scale within the SMB ecommerce market, there's no doubt that Josh's experience from Constant Contact and Salsify will be incredibly impactful.

Welcome to the team, Josh!