5 Tested CBD Marketing Agency eCommerce Tips and Tricks

Use our CBD marketing agency tips and tricks to successfully and purposefully break into this growing market rife with opportunity.

According to Market Watch’s 2020 study, the global value for the CBD marketplace will grow to over $1.2 billion by 2024, up from 2019’s value of $311 million. Some optimistic analysts predict even higher growth. Still, a CBD marketing agency would advise any new brands to prepare for challenges. For instance, startup companies need to focus on product differentiation in a competitive marketplace. Also, many consumers still don’t really understand how CBD might benefit them or even exactly what it is.

Consider some informed CBD eCommerce tips to help inspire a robust, effective, and safe marketing plan.

The CBD marketing agency guide for eCommerce

Even though CBD comes from cannabis, it’s not psychoactive, like THC. Also, unlike THC, another cannabis extract, the 2018 Farm Bill made CBD legal federally and in most states. Studies have offered support for claims that it can help relieve a range of health issues, including seizures, migraines, insomnia, inflammation, poor appetite, and anxiety in both people and animals.

With all of these benefits, it’s important to understand that the growing popularity of the product and ease of entering the market have generated plenty of competition and more than a little scrutiny from the government.

Five ways to improve CBD product sales

These five CBD advertising and marketing suggestions can help a new or struggling CBD business meet competition and stay out of trouble with regulators:

1. Define the Product’s Market

It’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all solution for CBD advertising because businesses might deliver their offers as pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, pet, or other kinds of products. That’s why it’s important for businesses to map out specific benefits they hope to promote. Then, they can offer this solution to the best audience.

For instance, one company may promote a high-grade pharma product to help reduce seizures. Another brand may have a topical solution to ease skin flareups. Still, another business may offer pet supplements that they promote to help reduce anxiety or joint issues in aging dogs.

Obviously, these very different products will need specific buyer personas and marketing approaches. They may also need to meet different standards for the sorts of claims that can be made to stay within legal restrictions for medical vs. consumer advertising. Mostly, it’s helpful to market to people with problems the product might solve and not just look for consumers with an existing interest in CBD.

2. Explore Alternative Programmatic Advertising for CBD

Programmatic advertising refers to buying ad slots with bids on an automated system. They can benefit marketers because they keep a lot of information about their audience. That allows advertisers to use very specific attributes, like age, location, or even past viewing habits, to select who will see the ads. Obviously, this kind of advertising can offer value to CBD advertisers who understand their market.

Some of the most common platforms that use this kind of bidding platform include Facebook and Google. These are mentioned because they’re familiar to most marketers. At the same time, these and other common  platforms impose restrictions on the way companies can promote any cannabis product, including CBD.

As a note, these kinds of platforms tend to get associated mostly with internet marketing. It’s also possible to find programmatic advertising for TV, radio, and other kinds of media.

Either alone or with the help of a CBD marketing agency, businesses can also explore some programmatic advertising advertising platforms that offer more flexibility for both products and the way companies advertise them. As an example, Cannabis Creative, a marketing agency. mentioned that Facebook and Google account for a large share of total advertising spend on programmatic ad platforms. At the same time, other paid platforms still attract very large audiences can can open up less-restricted promotions on such large and well-known outlets as ESPN, USA Today, and Politico.

3. Remain aware of legal and platform CBD advertising restrictions

Even though CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive effects that some people may associate with cannabis products, it hasn’t been legal in most places for very long. Brands need to take care to conform with marketing regulations, both at the federal and sometimes, at different state or local levels. In order to maintain accounts with various marketing platforms, companies also must take the time to understand the terms of service. And sometimes, these can prove hard to understand because the language isn’t direct.

Avoiding legal problems

According to Bradley, a media law firm, the growth of consumer protection regulations has paralleled the overall expansion of the CBD market. As an example, both the FTC and FDA have sent warning letters to companies that didn’t exercise enough caution when making claims that their products could treat various medical issues.

As a general rule, neither CBD packaging design or advertising should not:

  • Mention specific diseases
  • Cite dubious sources to backup explicit or inferred claims
  • Use words like treat, cure, or prevent
  • Guarantee results

Obviously, marketers need to promote potential benefits in order to attract the attention of customers. Doing this well without attracting negative attention from the government takes some craft and attention to only linking to or mentioning credible studies or professionals. For instance, it’ might be fine to claim that a CBD cream may help soothe skin but not that it cures eczema.

Notice that the page for a pet product called Calming Chews does not feature another mention of that benefit. The list of features simply talks about the product’s purity, that it doesn’t contain THC, and that it was grown organically. It also mentioned that the product was tested in a lab for safety and effectiveness, but it never says what it was tested to be effective for.

Further down, they offer some vague language that says the product combines CBD with some calming herbs. They’re implying their benefits, but they’re probably avoiding a direct statement to remain in compliance. That’s why startups may want to work with experienced marketing agencies and even media lawyers to ensure they understand the dynamic legal environment.

Avoiding service violations on advertising platforms

While businesses need to prioritize staying out of legal trouble with regulatory agencies, they also need to focus on maintaining their advertising accounts. As recently as late in 2019, Huffington post published an article about Facebook’s “secret” CBD ban. Marketers found that Facebook had terminated their advertising accounts for violating terms that were hard to even know existed.

Apparently, Facebook didn’t have any specific, public policy at the time about CBD. At the same time, they apparently did have an internal policy. It’s just that even first-time offenders of this policy had accounts completely terminated. Meanwhile, other advertisers who may have just been lucky at first, found ways to promote landing pages with topical CBD products; however, they didn’t specifically mention CBD in the ads. The pervious statement was not intended as advice but just an example to illustrate the caution.

As a note, the Pinterest terms of service for paid ads specifically prohibit products with CBD. Other platforms, including Instagram, Google, and YouTube, also have complex terms. In any case, before using any marketing platform to promote CBD products with paid advertising, it’s important to do some research or work with an experienced CBD marketing agency to ensure compliance with platform rules that can change at any time, not be well documented, and may even not get enforced exactly the same way each time.

4. Benefit from social and content marketing

The section above mentioned that many advertising platforms for social sites have restrictions or even outright bans on CBD products. These same rules don’t necessarily apply to the kinds of social posts that aren’t promoted via the advertising platform on the site. Social Media Explorer said that many CBD advertisers had managed to fare very well by using content, inbound marketing, and non-promoted social posts.

These are some examples of tested tactics to promote within this strategy:

  • Create informational videos: Even with all the buzz about the Farm Bill, lots of people really don’t know the difference between non-psychoactive CBD, THC, and other cannabis substances. Even if some of these consumers do know, they may not realize that CBD might offer a solution for some issue they might have. While it’s still wise to take care when making claims, an informational video that uses credible studies and sources to back up the benefits that some people say they’ve experienced should work well.
  • Brand ambassador programs: Lots of eCommerce platforms create a program that helps reward loyal customers for spreading the word about products they already buy and love. Typically, the brand ambassador will get a unique that they can use if they mention the product, and if somebody else buys, the loyal customer will get rewards the can use for discounts or free gifts. This sort of word-of-mouth advertising generally works very well and can prove much cheaper than paying for ads anyway.
  • Influencer marketing: Social influencer refers to people who already have a targeted audience on various social platforms. Depending upon the product, good influencers might work within the fitness, health, beauty, or even pet care niche. Having them demonstrate or even mention a brand can provide new companies with a lot of name recognition and a boost for their own social platform.
  • Try multiple platforms: With social marketing, it’s not possible to target as precisely as it is with programmatic ads. Still, content and even CBD packaging design can work to attract the right audience. At the same time, it’s probably best to consider the pros and cons of various social sites to see which ones have the most receptive audience. For instance, Twitter users tend to be younger than Facebook users, while Pinterest is known for attracting a lot of women. While short videos may perform well on Instagram and Facebook, YouTube has a reputation for more engaged viewers for longer videos. While it’s important not to get spread too thin, it’s also a good idea to focus on a few platforms to see which combination yields the best results.
  • Build connections: These days, consumers do turn to social platforms both to research products and even to get help with customer service. It might sound trite to say this, but some businesses still ignore comments about their brands or even direct messages. In order to benefit from social media, companies need to engage. In addition to monitoring messages and their own pages, brands can use software that will monitor any mentions of their brands to help them make timely responses.

Develop the best content mix 

After deciding to attract attention with content, it’s also important to select the right mix of content types. The platform, target audience, and many other factors might determine which kind of content works best for each particular situation. Common examples of content for social media, business blogs, and even outreach posts include text, graphics, and videos.

Digging even deeper, some CBD companies have enjoyed success with long-form white papers and even live webinars  and podcasts. Some potential topics might include: 

  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • A discussion of the difference between CBD and THC
  • The history of CBD use
  • An interview with an authoritative guest

Actually, consider any topic that might interest the target market. While a company may want to avoid associating benefits with any specific medical conditions, exploring that medical condition from another angle should still attract the right sets of eyes. For instance, prudent marketers may never want to suggest that CBD is guaranteed to relieve anxiety.

Still, they might produces sponsored videos with stress-relief meditation, yoga poses, or breathing exercises and then incorporate a call to action that leads to a landing page. They can clearly associate their product with stress relief without guaranteeing results.

It may also help to vary the length and format of various types of content for different purposes. As a simple example, short, to-the-point videos may help engage people on social sites. A long and more thoughtful video might help close sales on a business blog or YouTube.

5. Maximize eCommerce site conversions

The previous tips will help CBD marketers attract a targeted audience to an eCommerce site. Of course, the final ingredient to maximize sales means taking steps that will ensure those site visitors convert into customers. According to BigCommerce, average eCommerce sites expect conversion rates of no more than one to two percent. If the right tactics can increase conversions to better than average, they’ll translate into better marketing returns and of course, increased revenues and profits.

  • Respond to abandoned shopping carts: Automated tools can send emails to people who have signed up but failed to click the buy button. A discount coupon or special promo code for first-time buyers will motivate some of these almost-buyers to return to their cart.
  • State the unique selling proposition on each page: Within the confines of legal verbiage, make sure customers understand the benefits they can expect from the product. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to let customers know about return policies and other considerations that might hold them back.
  • Highlight CBD packaging design: As with marketing messages, CBD packaging design can be tricky. Since all new customers see is a photo of the package, companies need their design to create a great first impression and clearly illustrate what the product is, such as a supplement or beauty product. At the same time, SmashBrand mentioned some potential federal and state legal requirements for packaging. In any case, clear images of a aesthetically pleasing and legal design will help build customer trust.

Selling CBD products in a growing but competitive marketplace

Before engaging in any CBD advertising, businesses need to clearly define potential benefits of their products and in turn, their target market. Once that’s done, the retailer can find the best marketing platforms with both legal and platform restrictions on advertising in mind. While programmatic advertising can rapidly increase exposures and sales, some of these paid advertisers have restrictions on CBD marketing, so it’s important to choose carefully and also consider inbound, content marketing as an alternative to only relying upon paid ads. Finally, make sure to tailor both packaging design and the sales pages to maximize conversions and conform to regulations for cannabis products.

Mostly, CBD businesses have a great opportunity to enter this growing market. By marketing aggressively but safely, marketers can stay out of trouble with regulatory bodies and build trust with an expanding audience.

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3 Common eCommerce Marketing Myths Busted

eCommerce Myths Busted: Failing to market, account for all costs, and to seek help can lead to eCommerce marketing failures.

For this latest episode of eCommerce Marketing Myth Busters, it’s time to dispel some notions that are quite common to new sellers. Any experienced product marketing agency has encountered sellers with these untrue or half-true notions. They create obstacles to success that prove much easier to overcome early instead of later. Sadly, buying into these myths can cause online ventures to fail, even when they were based upon a sound business idea.

Three eCommerce marketing myths 

To get started with eCommerce on the right foot, learn the truth about these three eCommerce fictions:

1. If it’s on the internet, buyers will find it 

Most of the large eCommerce platforms make it simple for non-technical people to either set up stores and create listings. At the same time, just having products listed on the internet will not guarantee sales or even store visitors. That’s true even for retailers or direct to consumer advertising agencies with great prices, products, and service.

MarketingSignals put the reasons for eCommerce failures into two categories:

  • Poor search engine visibility: Either the new store has no visibility in the platform’s search engine or in such major search platforms as Google. Generally, it takes some time to get noticed by these search engines, so nobody can expect a high ranking at first.
  • Lack of effective marketing: New stores often start out with low search visibility, so they need to grow an audience through social media, blogs, paid ads, or even offline marketing. Internet stores need a sound marketing plan as much as they need products and a platform to sell them on. 

About two out of three failed online retailers offered one of the reasons above as the reasons they closed up shop. Other less-common reasons for store failures included running out of cash and an ability to profit on sales made.

The truth: Just building an eCommerce site and failing to market it almost never works.

2. Free shipping

Certainly, listings with free shipping have grown pervasive on plenty of eCommerce websites. Some platforms even give these listings preference in their search engines. Savvy sellers and even buyers should know that shipping costs money. If there’s no separate shipping cost, then that cost was built into the purchase price.

According to The Atlantic, seeing shipping charges at checkout ranks among the most common reasons that buyers abandon carts. At the same time, sellers who fail to either charge for shipping or pad their prices to make up for free-shipping offers will risk losing money.

Free shipping offers have been touted as a popular way to increase sales. As a caution, The Atlantic article illustrated the example of Etsy. The site used to offer the most visibility only to their most popular sellers. They changed to giving some preference in ranking for free shipping and found overall conversion rates dropped.

After this change to the way Esty ranked listings, some of their previously successful sellers struggled. To cope, many Etsy merchants compromised by offering free shipping for minimum orders, hoping they could absorb the cost with higher revenues per sale.

The truth: Sellers need to factor shipping charges into their overall costs one way or another.

3. Sellers have to work alone

Success with online sales takes more than just developing or sourcing good products and then finding an online venue to sell them on. It’s also critical to account for all of the costs involved to the business, including shipping, marketing, and overhead. Sellers need to find their market and learn to appeal to them through targeted marketing. Once shoppers find the store, listings need to entice them to push the Buy button.

Here’s the good news. Startups owners can seek help from experienced people in all of these disciplines. For example, Shopify says that every six months, one out of three of their merchants seek assistance from a Shopify Partner.

The Shopify Partner Program helps connect merchants with individuals that can identify and solve common problems. For other platforms or even a dedicated business site, it’s also possible to find an experienced consumer marketing agency that can help.

The truth: A lot goes into running an eCommerce business, and smart sellers know when to seek help.

What’s the Truth about eCommerce marketing?

Plenty of online sellers had leveraged their hobbies or past business experiences into successful eCommerce stores. Of course, eCommerce marketing also offers physical store owners a great way to expand their marketplace beyond their town or even country. The global online marketplace has topped $4.5 trillion and is expected to keep growing, according to Shopify. There’s still lots of room for savvy sellers to grow a new internet business.

While plenty of shoppers enjoy the selection, convenience, and prices they can find online, it isn’t always easy for a new store owner to attract them because the opportunity to profit has also attracted plenty of competition. It also takes money to source, market, and deliver products to customers, and sellers need to account for all of their costs. On the positive side, even new sellers can find the right assistance to start managing all aspects of their business the right way from the very first day.

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Don’t Get “Gooped”: Credible Health and Wellness Marketing Tips

Outlandish health claims make trouble. Health and wellness marketing needs quality content and credible distribution channels to develop long-term trust.

Since there’s even a Netflix show about Goop, the wellness company has gotten a lot of attention. Founded by Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop has also attracted more than a little criticism for making questionable claims about the efficacy of its products. Not judging, but some of their natural remedies include jade, sexual-wellness eggs and psychological-energy sprays.

Actually, according to NBC Newsthey were once judged and had to pay $145,000 to settle a California lawsuit for making unsubstantiated health claims. To avoid getting lumped with Goop by today’s savvy consumers or even worse, legal authorities, consider some examples of other businesses that can inspire an effective and authentic health and wellness marketing campaign.

Authentic, credible health and wellness marketing

 In contrast to Goop, Sophie Scott serves as the editor-in-chief of BALANCE, a trusted wellness publication from the U.K. She was quoted in Forbes as saying they worked hard to establish credibility. She understands that many people have lost trust in her industry and doesn’t blame them. For one thing, BALANCE focuses upon prevention, so it’s not as easy to document effectiveness than it might be for a company that promoted remedies.

At the same time, she believes that during these stressful times, people need the practical and effective information that her publication offers more than ever. As an example, she mentioned that stress alone causes $1 trillion in global productivity losses every year. In addition, the worldwide wellness industry is estimated to have a worth of $14 trillion, so it’s obvious that lots of people are seeking these kind of solutions. 

Taking a page from BALANCE, these are some ingredients of their success as a credible and successful healthcare marketing agency and publication:

  • Focus upon factual information: It’s important to ensure that all messaging contains only well-researched and factual information. For instance, BALANCED earned a Wellspoken Mark, given to health and wellness companies that adhere to high standards for only making honest claims. No business wants to be accused of Goop marketing tactics, so take care to only promote proven substantiated benefits.
  • Develop a high-performing marketing strategy: BALANCE charges for printed magazines, but they don’t just rely upon hard-copy distribution. They’re also very active with their content on such social networks as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They have a website, Balance.Media, a podcast, and even promote live events. One example of a past live event that’s creative and relates to their ongoing mission was a live saxophone spin class.

What can a healthcare marketing agency learn from BALANCE about distributing content?

While BALANCE covers a broad range of topics in their publication, they’re not really in the business of promoting their own products. Instead, they use their publication to research health and fitness ideas and in the process, often advertise other companies. Because they’ve gained credibility with their audience, they might serve as a perfect publisher to attract a growing supplement, fitness, or skincare marketing agency.

At the same time, health and wellness manufacturers and distributors may want to develop their own marketing platforms, perhaps both online and offline, so BALANCE can serve as a great example. As another example, Casper produces mattresses, and they began publishing their own print magazine, Woolly. Newer businesses might decide to keep their content online but take something away from the idea that a credible wellness publication can also serve as a great place to promote their brand.

Find a niche and establish credibility

To get started, it’s best to find a niche and establish credibility there first. As an example, MyFitnessPal maintains a blog that features articles about diet, exercise, and diet-friendly recipes. They use the blog pages to insert promotions for their newsletter, apps, and other products. Sometimes, in turn for great content, they offer bylines to topic experts.

As an example, a fitness trainer provided an article about easing into weight training. The trainer’s credibility comes from his experience as a college athlete, power lifter, an advanced degree in Exercise Science, and co-ownership of a gym. At the end of the piece, the blog inserted a promotion for relevant features in their app and prompted readers to download it. This serves as a good example of using relevant, valuable content to attract and audience and then taking the chance to market to them.

A wellness business doesn’t need or want Goop marketing

Goop certainly gained some attention from their marketing tactics and perhaps, their celebrity owner. It’s not the kind of publicity that a legitimate healthcare marketing agency would suggest for any company that wants to earn a reputation as credible and authentic. Instead, develop high-quality content that doesn’t rely upon outlandish claims and then find distribution channels with the sort of reputation you want your brand to associate with.

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DTC Marketing Subscription Box Tips to Move Your Brand

How successful DTC marketing companies use flexible plans, content, and pricing to attract and retain their valued customers.

To improve returns on direct to consumer advertising, why not consider a subscription model? After all, it can help improve your company’s typical customer experience by offering convenience and discounts. At the same time, it’s likely to dramatically increase retention. Find out how to add recurring revenue to your D2C marketing plan in order to enjoy faster and more sustainable growth.

How to maximize subscriptions to your DTC marketing plan

Look at a popular example of a company using direct to consumer advertising for a subscription service. According to Core DNA, a D2C marketing agency, Dollar Shave Club enjoys an incredible 50 percent retention rate after 12 months. Even after two years, that figure only drops to 25 percent.

Combining an outstanding retention rate and recurring revenue fueled their rapid growth. Look at the example of Dollar Shave Club and some other successful DTC companies to gain some inspiration.

Flexible subscription options can overcome objections

Since Dollar Shave Club engaged in DTC marketing, they could offer some flexible options that may have contributed to their retention rate. For instance, they have a “Not-So-Hairy” option that lets customers skip months. It’s interesting to note that they tend to take in more transactions on the second month than the first one. Customers might already have blades for the current month, and this option can overcome that objection.

In any case, it’s always a good idea to figure out the market’s possible objections and pain points. Adding in some flexibility to help maximize benefits and prompt quick purchases can help attract more reluctant shoppers.

Subscription pricing tactics to reduce competition

Because Zuora provides subscription apps to online retailers, they’ve paid attention to the effectiveness of various pricing strategies. In Zuora’s view, competing on the price of a basic subscription may be inevitable for some products. Their best advice to a product marketing agency with stiff competition may be to keep prices as low as possible for the first subscription. Then try to maximize revenues with possible upsells.

Of course, they also offered the example of T-Mobile. Instead of solely competing by price, the mobile carrier was one of the first to sell their services without requiring a contract, which helped them double their subscriber base within three years.

They still have subscribers who pay monthly fees for services, and often, for extra insurance and to pay off their phones. After getting a phone, many customers also decide to add a tablet or accessories. Their strategy provides an example of a company that offered more flexibility in order to maximize customers and the potential for upsells.

Consider using content for marketing DTC subscriptions

A more traditional consumer marketing agency may suggest using mostly paid ads to gain brand recognition and attention. In particular, a startup marketing agency could advise very new brands that they need to sell products as quickly as possible to start driving revenue. That can work; however, a lot of companies have enjoyed success by using an inbound, content-driven marketing scheme to attract their audience.

Some companies even start with content before they ever offer their products by subscription. As an example, Glossier sells beauty products directly to consumers. The founder, Emily Weiss, started with a beauty blog and strong social media and video presence that offered insights about celebrity beauty rituals. Her content strategy also allowed her to connect with plenty of online influencers.

Only after the blog attracted 15 million views each month, Ms. Weiss decided to develop her beauty company. By that time, she already had a huge, loyal audience. Even better, she had gotten to know her market very well.

Other brands do it the other way. They begin their product brand and then develop online and in some cases, offline content. Popular kinds of online content include blogs, videos, and even webinars. For offline content, businesses might sponsor such relevant events as demos, classes, tables at festivals, or booths at trade shows.

Benefit from loyal customers and brand ambassadors

Word-of-mouth marketing still performs very well. By offering a referral program, a DTC subscription business can recruit an army of brand ambassadors from its own satisfied customers. Also, the nature of recurring revenue can make it easier to entice customers to spread the word by offering them recurring discounts or rewards every time their recruit’s subscription charges them.

And since recurring customers can offer businesses a high lifetime value, it’s worth an investment to keep them. Loyalty programs can motivate customers to stay subscribed by providing them a way to earn discounts, reward points, or free gifts every time they get an order.

Work to create the best customer experience with subscription plans 

Of course, customers enroll in subscription plans to enjoy convenience and discounts. Businesses should learn about their customers to deliver the best possible experience and overcome potential objections. Some succeed by offering very simple options to maximize efficiency and avoid overwhelming people. Others provide a variety of plans to try to satisfy different kinds of customers. Finding the perfect balance may require some testing and surveys.

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Is the “Paradox of Choice” Ruining Your eCommerce Site?

According to the paradox of choice idea, offering too many choices can stress out customers, reduce conversions, and detract from business.

The “paradox of choice” phrase comes from a marketing book and a Ted Talk by Barry Schwartz, a well-known psychology professor. On the surface, having plenty of choices seems like a very positive thing. Dr. Schwartz thinks this idea often backfires because people get so overwhelmed by having a great number of choices that they may fail to make any decisions at all.

Online shopping offers consumers an almost unlimited range of choices. Recently, businesses have taken a look at eCommerce marketing to find out if having so many options benefits buyers and sellers as much as they might have thought. As with most marketing questions, it can depend upon the business, market conditions, and unique marketing strategies.

Can offering fewer choices make eCommerce marketing more profitable?

The recent experience of many restaurants can illustrate the idea that offering fewer choices might provide businesses with benefits. Though they’re not typically thought of as traditional eCommerce businesses, a lot of dine-in restaurants had to publish online menus and offer to-go orders because of social distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

To simplify ordering and eCommerce web development, they considered the fact that a few items generally generated most of their profits and sales. Thus, they often trimmed menus and featured only their most popular meals.  More than a few restaurants decided to maintain their limited menus even after they reopened because they found smaller menus move improved efficiency more than it turned away customers.

During the outbreak, restaurants needed to run as efficiently as possible for a number of reasons, including restrictions on capacity and problems with supply chains. As time passes and things return to normal, some of these places may add back more items to their menus. However, while they need to remain very lean and agile to cope with the outbreak, many have decided that reducing frills and choices solves a lot of problems. Particularly for businesses that need to trim budgets and run as lean as possible, the notion of offering fewer items has obvious merit.

How fewer choices might increase conversions

To see why limiting options won’t always reduce sales, consider one study from a Columbia University psychology professor. Dr. Iyengar set out a tasting table in a grocery store with 24 different jam flavors. That table attracted 60 percent of the shoppers who passed by. Later, she reduced the selection to to only six flavors and attracted only 40 percent of the customers.

At the same time, she enjoyed conversion rates of only three percent when she offered 24 flavors and thirty percent when she only offered six. Even though she attracted fewer tasters to the table, she sold a lot more jam when she limited choices. In response, Dr. Iyengar agreed with Dr. Schwartz’ idea that offering too many options might lead to information overload. She believed more customers turned away because so many choices made them feel fatigue or even stress.

How does the paradox of choice impact online sales?

An Amazon marketing agency might also keep this in mind when deciding on how many products to offer or even if Amazon will provide the best platform to focus on. Who hasn’t started shopping on Amazon at one time or another and found so many options that nothing ever got ordered at all?

According to BigCommerce:

  • Amazon already sells more than 12 million products.
  • Amazon lists over a million products in the home improvement category alone.

At the same time, some channels enjoy fairly low conversion rates. For instance, only two percent of Echo owners have used their device to order products. Maybe this audio-only device doesn’t lend itself so well to an eCommerce platform with so many choices.

DTC companies and distributors may want to also consult with a Shopify agency to see if they would have a better opportunity marketing with their own distinct shop. Most third-party sellers also use other platforms, so testing more than one option appears prudent. Even then, new sellers should probably consider starting with only a few products. As they grow, they might slowly and carefully expand their offerings and even remove some low-performing products.

Finally, trying to become all things to all people can make it difficult to remain efficient. Meanwhile, offering a few, well-chosen options makes it easy to deal with inventory, customer service, and sometimes even eCommerce web development. Businesses with fewer products might not attract as many prospects. Still, if they can balance a lower number of visitors with high conversion rates, lower operating costs, and fewer hassles, maybe they can use this tactic to increase profits.

What can the paradox of choice tell you about your customers?

Of course, some companies thrive by offering lots of interesting choices. For instance, having lots of creatively named ice cream flavors has appeared to serve Ben & Jerry’s very well. Lots of fans of this company can’t wait to taste the latest creation.

Still, Dr. Schwartz cautioned that providing too many choices might lead people to take shortcuts that will prompt them to pick something that they believe is good enough instead of taking more time to find the best solution. He also said people with too much freedom of choice may have extremely high expectations and that increases the risk of disappointment.

Perhaps offering lots of flavors works for Ben & Jerry’s because selecting ice cream doesn’t require a big investment. Also, the company’s been very creative about their release strategy and devoted themselves to building customer trust. With the jam experiment, customers were first introduced to an unfamiliar brand. A more expensive and durable kind of product may also take a bigger risk.

Is less more for eCommerce marketing?

The choice of how many products to offer and which online platform to use can depend upon many factors. These might include the type of product, overall marketing goals, and the company’s market audience. Still, any business that’s struggled while trying to appeal to as many people as possible might consider narrowing its focus to see if they can gain more attention from a smaller market.

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10 Amazon Algorithm Hacks to Accelerate eCommerce Marketing

Amazon’s algorithm cares about relevance, conversions, and customer experience. Here’s how to boost your eCommerce marketing to get Amazon pages right.

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, TechCrunch announced that Amazon had already taken over about half of the entire eCommerce market. During the outbreak, eCommerce spiked. Larger and recognizable online brands gained the lion’s share of that boom, so it’s easy to imagine that Amazon has retained or even increased its position as a market leader.

If, like so many others, you’ve decided that joining Amazon is a lot easier than trying to beat them, make sure you employ the best tactics to gain as much visibility and as many sales as possible. Begin by understanding how the algorithm works and the Amazon marketing hacks you can use to benefit from that knowledge.

Ten Amazon marketing hacks to help ensure your products gain exposure

Actually, Amazon only has three core ranking factors. They based these upon their intimate knowledge of what it takes to sell well on their platform. Improving these will help you gain more visibility and earn higher revenues:

  • Conversion rates: Higher total sales and higher sales per visit can help win favor from the Amazon algorithm. Of course, more sales and profits benefits you as well. 
  • Relevancy: Amazon needs to see product pages as relevant to searches and also-bought and also-viewed suggestion boxes. People who want what you’re offering will be able to find you, further increasing your chance of making sales.
  • Retention and customer experience: Having repeat customers, a good number of mostly favorable reviews, and a low defect rate can help you find favor with Amazon’s ranking scheme. They’re signs that you’re satisfying first-time buyers well enough to turn them into loyal customers.

Of course, most businesses set eCommerce marketing goals that will help them attract and retain customers. To use Amazon marketing services to meet these goals, consider these ten tested tips:

  1. Optimize product listings: Clear images, engaging, informative text, and a completed product page can keep customers on the page longer. They’re more likely to consider you credible enough to buy from. Bounce rate, time spent on page, and of course, sales all factor into the algorithm.
  2. Encourage social interactions: Make sure customer questions get answered and try to encourage reviews. You should never pay for reviews, but you’re certainly free to ask for them. Having more social interaction also gives you user generated content that can feed Amazon’s algorithm and even help you rank well in other search engines.
  3. Price right: Amazon makes it incredibly easy for shoppers to compare prices. You need to make certain you’re either competing on price or making it clear why some aspect of your product makes it worth more than seemingly similar products that cost less.
  4. Craft good titles: Optimize your product title by including search terms and product and brand names. You should strive to maximize both clarity and relevance. Your title needs to encourage buyers to click while also letting the search engine understand the nature of your product.
  5. List product features: If you list your product features with bullet points and additional search terms, you’ll make it both user- and search-friendly. A list makes it easier for buyers to quickly figure out if your product meets their needs.
  6. Fill in the specification section: Amazon provides this section for such important information as size, weight, and color. Completing it provides customers with information in a fairly standardized form that they’re used to. It also shows Amazon that you’re diligent.
  7. Carefully consider categories and subcategories: Some people browse by category and subcategory. By choosing the right ones, you’ll have a better chance to get found both by searchers and browsers.
  8. Spend time choosing search terms: You can find some research tools that will help you uncover the types of search terms that shoppers may use to find products like yours. Avoid frivolous or subjective terms while including as many potentially relevant terms as possible.
  9. Provide excellent customer service: While Amazon cares about sales and conversions, they also care about returning customers. Your attention to quality, prompt shipping, and other aspects of customer service should help you enjoy better reviews, repeat customers, and a better rank.
  10. Become an Amazon Prime seller: Amazon Prime members now outnumber non-Prime shoppers on the site. Naturally, they give more exposure to Prime sellers. You need to apply and in some cases, work your way up to getting accepted into the program as a third-party seller. 

Why spend time on your Amazon product listings?

While Amazon has plenty of shoppers, it also attracts fierce competition.  It might seem like you need to spend a lot of time in your product page to get it right. Many sellers invest in an eCommerce marketing agency to help them get started. After all, a well-crafted product page can complement your excellent service and high-quality products to keep producing sales for years in the future. As you work to improve the way that Amazon’s algorithm views your pages, you will also improve your chances to sell more products and grow your business.

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