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Does your website work on Mobile?

Does your website work on Mobile?

If the above picture looks like your website, you need to read this! If your website does not work on mobile, it does not work!

  • 56% of all consumer internet traffic is now from mobile devices
  • Mobile traffic is growing at a rate of 53% each year
  • E-commerce sales will reach 500 Billion by year 2018
  • Mobile retail sales have increased 25% year over year
  • 81% of top search engine results are mobile friendly
  • 48% of consumers start their buying process at a search engine
  • 33% of consumers start their buying process at a branded website
  • 72% of consumers want mobile friendly websites
  • 62% of millennials feel that online content drives their loyalty to a brand

The statistics don’t lie. If you are a retail or manufacturing B2C business in 2017 and you do not have a mobile friendly website, you are losing. In order to win the the smart-phone era your retail website must be mobile friendly, if not mobile targeted. The fact is your customers are now finding and judging your business more than ever based on your internet presence. If you have an old and outdated or non mobile friendly website almost 3/4 of your potential business is being lost to a competitor who has a better web presence.

Now lets talk about your brand. It is proven that your brand strength now impacts your search results and your customers engagement and loyalty to your business. If you are using a shared ecommerce platform or a 3rd party selling platform, you are not building your brand, you are paying to build someone else’s, possibly your competitor in the future. If your website does not strongly represent your brand and engage users with it, you are once again, statistically losing money.

The cold hard fact is, you are losing $$$ and negatively impacting your brand by not being mobile friendly. You get what you pay for.

This day in age, up to 50% of your business can be driven by your internet presence. If you are not investing in ecommerce and branding at the same or greater level than you are in your retail brick and mortar, you are making a mistake. Would your brick and mortar store have a good retail presence if you spent only 100 bucks a month on rent? The answer is no, unless you are renting space in Siberia where no customers will ever find you anyway. Think long and hard about where you want your business to be in the next 3-5 years and how your brand and technology will impact your business, then ask yourself what area of your business you should invest in?

Need to find out if your website is mobile friendly or not? Google has a tool for it here: https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly

Here is an example of a website by another company that is not mobile friendly:

Look familiar? Contact XLEcommerce. We are here to help you!

For comparison here is an example of an XLEcommerce mobile friendly website in Google’s mobile friendly test:

Statistics from:

www.smartinsights.com

www.internetretailer.com

searchengineland.com

searchenginewatch.com

E-Commerce Conversion Rate – 10 Cheap & Easy Ways to Improve

E-Commerce Conversion Rate – 10 Cheap & Easy Ways to Improve

10 Cheap and Easy Ways to Improve Your Website’s E-Commerce Conversion Rate

Odds are, if you are reading this, you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in e-commerce conversion rate optimization for your website. Heat maps, eye tracking, focus groups, A/B testing, and a dedicated team of marketing analysts and UI/UX designers may be a bit out of your league. That’s OK, there are some simple things you can do which can make a big difference in your bottom line.

  1. Make your landing pages look good: Trust is a big part of conversion. In order for your online customers to feel confident purchasing from you online, you need to have a trustworthy landing page. Get rid of anything out of date or unprofessional. You all know what we mean: that big red/bold/Arial text you typed on your home page, those flashing animated yellow gifs, the low quality photograph of your dog. Follow the example of the top e-commerce retailers, and make your landing pages look like a business your customer can have confidence in. Build your brand trust!
  2. Use calls to action: Make it easy for your buyers to know where to click to get to where they need to go. Think of the banners on your website as greeters in your store. Make your graphics say, “welcome to our store, let me help you, follow me” without actually saying it. “Shop Now”, “Learn More”, and “Click Here” buttons do actually work, use them but don’t overuse them. Once again, if your web page is full of flashing yellow “click here” animated gifs….refer to number 1.
  3. Streamline your navigation: Think of your website like your brick and mortar store. You wouldn’t let your customers walk through your back room, right? Make sure you have organized “aisles” and “departments” on your website that customers can easily surf through.
  4. Add unique expert content: Great unique content is not only good for SEO and getting people to your site, once they are there it helps build trust. Brand trust has a great effect on conversion. People will buy from your company because they like your company. A great way for people to get to know your business is to tell them stories about your passions, products, and experiences. When your prospective customer sees you as an expert, they will be more confident clicking the buy now button.
  5. Cut down your product list: Believe it or not, sometimes more products on your website can actually deter conversions. If you give the customer too many options, they may not be able to make up their minds. Think about turning off your low margin/low volume products.
  6. Remove barriers from checkout: Get the bare minimum amount of information you need to complete the sale from the customer, and nothing more. You can always seek additional information and follow after the sale is complete. Customers don’t want to jump through hoops to get the sales process moving, so if your fraud protection settings are too high or you have too many check boxes for newsletters or add on items in your checkout process, you could be losing out on sales.
  7. Use product reviews: Product reviews are a huge part of getting the customer to click the add to cart button. If your products have no reviews, your customer may not buy. It is OK to write your own product reviews, as long as you are up front about it. Encourage your customers to write reviews for you by giving them an incentive to do so. Have you thought about creating your own video reviews?
  8. Make returns easy: We all know returns are a hassle, and no one likes them. Not you, not the customer. New customers always have the question of “what if my order isn’t right?” Don’t give your customers a reason to not buy from you. Outline a clear return policy that makes things easy for your customer if things go wrong. They will feel more confident that if the worst case scenario happens with their order, you will back it up.
  9. Give simple shipping options: Most retailers are afraid to loose money on shipping costs. Often to combat this they show every shipping option under the sun. Customers want simple, so give them just a few options at checkout. Usually you will win some and lose some when using flat rate shipping. Remember, you can always adjust your shipping rates as you go after you gain a true knowledge of what your actual shipping costs are.
  10. Answer your phone: This is the #1 way to increase the e-commerce conversion rate of your website, and something most do not factor in calculating their online conversion rates. Many times first time visitors to your website will pick up the phone to call you. This is where you can beat out the big box stores. Make sure to provide a phone number on your website. Talk to your customers on the phone, maybe even take their order over the phone the first time, then you can turn them into an online buyer after they trust you!

Need more help optimizing your e-commerce website for conversion, contact us at https://www.xlecommerce.com

 

Ecommerce Website…How Much?

Ecommerce Website…How Much?

Ecommerce Website…How much Should I Spend?

A loaded question with a variable answer: it depends.

We receive many calls and emails from owners of businesses large and small asking: “How much should I invest in my ecommerce website?” Our usual answer to this question is with another question: “That depends, what is your budget?”

Sometimes the non-tech savvy buyer thinks our sales engineer is just trying to get a number they can work over the customer for, that is not the case at all.  It really does depend on many variables. Our team is here to help your business.

For the most part, we look at your solution in terms ROI (Return on Investment) by meeting business goals instead of price. Of course one of those business goals is usually to make money. Many businesses have other measurable business goals as well, such as increased market share, improved brand recognition, lowered expenses, etc. In order for our team to determine what will give you the best ROI, they need to know what your investment level is. Let’s work through two examples to illustrate this:

Example 1: Bob’s Start Up

Bob gives us a call and lets us know that he has just opened a small store in a medium density commercial area with limited traffic. Rent is cheap and it’s a great place to start for him. He wants an ecommerce website but doesn’t know where to start.

Bob answers our budget question with the usual, I don’t know…you tell me what it should be. So we answer with our usual question, what are your business goals. Bob again says, I don’t know, you tell me, what is everyone else doing?

This tells us right away, that Bob needs a lot of help. That’s OK, that is what we are here for. We have some great, entry level, ecommerce packages that we can slide Bob right into and get him up and running quickly. With any luck he will be happily selling on into the future, and that does happen.

But what Bob should really do right now is also invest in a little bit of business consulting and allow us to work with him to develop a marketing plan and projections based on his business goals. Spending a few hundred to a few thousand up front can save a business tens of thousands in the long run. We keep it simple for Bob, we touch on a few advanced metrics, but focus on initially steering his new business in the right direction without over complicating things. Knowledge and training going in can help a business owner avoid costly pitfalls.

Now that Bob has a marketing plan and business objectives, can we tell Bob what his budget for his website, online marketing should be, and what ecommerce website solution he needs to get the best ROI for his business. Based on his projections we determine a good goal is to supplement his limited in-store inventory with a larger selection online, drive store traffic, increase special orders, and add 50,000 per year in store sales. Initially we would tell Bob that his budget needs to be about 10% of his goal as a starting point, or 5,000 dollars per year for his e-commerce platform; to save money he can do his marketing himself by hands on SEO, event marketing, word of mouth, and setting up a computer on his sales counter for customers to browse in-store.

  • Goal 1: Increase online and in-store sales by $50,000 per year
  • Goal 2: Supplement limited brick and mortar inventory with special order availability

A two year Gold Level XLECommerce ecommerce package is a great fit for Bob’s business, along with a little extra consulting, marketing help, and one on one training time.

  • Total Investment: $9,276
  • Initial Return: $100,000
  • Long Term Return: $150,000
  • Brand Reach: 300,000 people
  • Total ROI: 250,000 Dollars
  • Total Marketing Spend per Dollar: 4 cents

Example 2: Linda’s Two Location Medium Box Brick and Mortar

Linda requests a meeting in our office and flies in to visit us. She has been in business for quite some time, and ready to take the business from a profitable medium size two location box store and spread its wings online with a national reach. She is still a “small business” though, we are not talking multi million dollar budgets with the likes of top big box players.

She has been down this road before and has prepared an RFP (Request for Proposal) according to the following business goals:

  • Goal 1: Initial first year sales goal of 500,000 based on a variable of 5% of current in store sales
  • Goal 2: Increase online sales by 20% year over year for the next 5 years.

Based on that we recommend she budgeted $50,000 per year for her ecommerce website and professional services. Driving the sales growth will require a $50,000 per year digital advertising budget, spread across SEO, Social Media, Paid (PPC/PPM), and Email Newsletters. She will support this with POS marketing in store and current event marketing that is already in place.

Her 500,000 dollar investment in ecommerce and marketing over the next five years is roughly 13% of her projected sales and will yield her over 3.7 Million in revenue.

At an average sale of 150 dollars, this means that she has attracted close to 30,000 additional customers during that time period whom she can re-market to. If each of those customers has a CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) of $450 (on average she can get each customer to come back three times) that is an additional 13 Million in future revenue for the lifetime of her business. Further, the platform and marketing she has put her brand in front of 15 Million people over that time.

So by following the RFP budget based on solid projections we have the following proposal for Linda:

  • Total Investment: $500,000
  • Initial Return: $3,700,000
  • Long Term Return: $13,000,000
  • Brand Reach: 15,000,000 people
  • Total ROI: 16.7 Million Dollars
  • Total Marketing Spend per Dollar: 3 cents

Based on this information we would suggest using our XLECommerce Enterprise Level ecommerce website package as a starting point and invest in additional integrations and customization to automate processes and meet business goals. We would also suggest heavy investment in content development and optimization, merchandising, and A/B testing. To back all of this up, our engineers would put together additional dedicated servers with a CDN (Content Delivery Network).

Summary

You can see that having a strong plan and a larger budget can lower your marketing spend per dollar and increase your ROI.

Bob, as a startup guy, does pretty well. His spend per dollar for e-commerce sales is less than than the costs of selling on eBay or Amazon. Even if he makes some newbie mistakes and misses his goals by 50% he is still OK and in a safe zone of return. His investment in consulting has paid off by going into his new business with a tactical plan of attack. His choice of a managed package has freed his time to focus on meeting new customers.

Linda has knocked it out of the park and now has a solid foundation in ecommerce on which to build on. If she keeps up her hard work and continues to invest in the future, her long term results will be exponential.

Of course, both of these are just hypothetical examples. Your investment in your ecommerce website is truly what you make of it. Your mileage per dollar will vary. We consistently see that those that spend the time working with our team the most in training, merchandising, SEO, and content development do better than those that sit back and expect their new plant to grow without watering it. There are no big secrets, building a new business or expanding your existing business takes hard work. We are here to work alongside you to meet your goals!

Click here to learn more or schedule a demonstration/consultation.

Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?

Have you been dragging your feet on a mobile version of your site or upgrading to a responsive template design?  If you have, you are not mobile friendly and it could affect your traffic and sales in the future.  Beginning April 21, 2015 Google will begin incorporating your sites mobile-friendliness into its ranking algorithm.

If your answer to the question in this articles title, Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?, is no, then you need to take some immediate steps to move in that direction.  Here at OBN we have approached mobile in a few different ways over the years.  We have always known that mobile would be the preferred interface of customers in the future, and since 2008 have taken steps to optimize our solution for mobile users.  Aligned with the likes of Amazon and Ebay and other major retailers, the OBN approach to mobile has been to develop mobile specific website versions and designs.

17% of firearms retailer website traffic comes from a mobile device.

Our Basic and Gold level solutions have the option for a mobile version of the website.  This slick little add on not only changes the way the site is viewed on mobile sized devices automatically, it also allows for a complete mobile specific website and interface customization.

Our legacy (V5 and below) Ultimate level platform has always had an included mobile version.  Some users may not have turned it on yet, but if you haven’t, you should. The new OBN CloudCommerce V6 Ultimate level platform has two native mobile options.  It can utilize the embedded mobile site, or choose from a selection of responsive e-commerce templates.

The time has come to make sure you have a mobile plan, not only for your users ease of navigation, but also for SEO.  As this is now a ranking factor, your site will be left behind if you do not make the appropriate accommodations.  If you aren’t sure of your websites status, Google provides a tool to check your website here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

If you need  help implementing a mobile solution contact us today and we will get you moving in the right direction.