Holiday Round-up: The best of 2016 Holiday Stats

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Holiday Stats 1024x681 Holiday Round up: The best of 2016 Holiday Stats

The 2016 Holiday Shopping season ended with much buzz a couple of weeks ago and now retailers and analysts are slowly coming out with exact figures pertaining to sales and related activities that happened over the nearly 2 month long extravaganza. Overall the situation looks very pleasing for retailers as consumers gave them exactly what they desired – lavish spending. The National Retail Federation released overall sales figures for November to December period and it stood at $658.3 billion which is 4 per cent higher than what it was in 2015.

Either because of the freezing weather or the holiday traffic jams, malls and physical retail stores did not quite see the excitement witnessed by online retailers. The 2016 holiday season saw $91 billion in online sales between November 1st and December 31st up from $82.5 billion the same period in 2015. 57 out of the 61 days of the season witnessed over $1 billion of single day sales. Cyber Monday became the highest grossing sales day ever for online retail in US history when it clocked $3.45 billion in single day online sales. 86 per cent of the revenue generated during the Holiday season came between the 1st of November and 20th of December.

On a year on year basis, 2016 witnessed a 12 percent rise in the number of online transactions conducted during the holiday season when compared to 2015. 21.3 % of all holiday spending was transacted online and is a huge increase when compared to 2015’s figure of 15.4 %.

Over 50% of web visits to online retailers came from smart devices like smartphones and Tablet PC’s. Together they generated $28.43 Billion dollars in revenue which is 23% more when compared to 2015. Tablet PC’s were able to drive in $9.2 billion in sales and 9 percent of overall online store visits while smartphones drove in $19.3 billion worth sales and 41 percent of store visits. Desktop PC’s accounted for $63.1 billion which was also 12% higher when compared to 2015 figures. However the share of overall sales is tipped in favour of Desktops as they garnered a 69 percent share of the overall sales.

Amazon was the undisputed leader in the ecommerce holiday sales records this time as well. Over the period, Amazon had 38 percent of the entire ecommerce market under its belt and no other retailer even came close to matching them.

Digital Transformation: Creation of a New World Order

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Blog 1024x729 Digital Transformation: Creation of a New World Order

Today we are witnessing an increasing shift across the world where people are transitioning into a digital economy from the internet economy. The digital economy is driven by consumers who are more empowered than ever before thanks to the high penetration of devices and networks amongst themselves. Consumers have access to multiple options and their decisions today are influenced by their networked peers. Enterprises too have a plethora of opportunities to mine into this vast digital economy to learn more about consumer behaviour and target them with better options and improve bottom line profits. It is to be noted that such a large digitally connected ecosystem did not exist 5 years ago when most of business decisions were driven by human thoughts which though intelligent often fail to consider all parameters of market conditions and technology driven business models were in their inception stage. However times have changed and successful business models have emerged after evolving tremendously from their initial days of digital infancy.

Today’s digitally powered businesses rely on insights that are derived by deep rooted analysis of consumer behaviour, brand sentiment propagation and consumer engagement. Organizations that fail to embrace digital will find their progress stalling and in a matter of years, they would face similar situations faced by companies like Kodak when they failed to move with time.

If we have a closer look at how global players are achieving success with Digital Transformation, it is easy to identify the core pillars of their efforts to bring about this transition. They are

  • Mobility
  • Big Data
  • Cloud Computing
  • Social Media
  • Automation and Artificial Intelligence

Let us have a brief look into each one.

Mobility

Today mobile devices outnumber computers and have basically transformed the way which brands interact with internet enabled consumers. The race today is to make information available on the internet as mobile friendly as possible so that it becomes easier for consumers to gain access to it anywhere at any time. Even search engines like Google have started to rank pages with mobile friendly content on the higher side because they know the future of internet is going to be driven by mobile and that future has already begun. Everything from online commerce to marketing to workforce management has now become mobile-centric and investments are pouring in fast in this direction.

Big Data

Ever since the internet and networked information access swept across geographies, the amount of digital data that is created daily has resulted in the rise of Big Data technology. Organizations are facing increasing challenges to identify relevant business information from the hundreds of thousands of data silos generated by their technology infrastructure spread across geographies. With big data technology frameworks, it is possible to break this unstructured information silos into valuable business insights. It requires a good deal of analytics and computations for which reliable technology platforms are readily available today.

Social Media

Social Media has made the world a smaller place as far as communication is concerned. It is easier for brand sentiments to take a giant leap or fall into a deep gorge depending on their ability to engage fans and consumers on social media. Analysing sentiments requires identifying and responding to both positive and negative comments, pushing out relevant content to constantly engage readers and much more. It also calls for increased security policies because more and more internet enabled services depend on utilizing social media credentials to create and verify user accounts.

Cloud Computing

Often considered as the fundamental infrastructure of a Digital Economy, cloud computing allows organizations big or small to easily offer digital services without having to worry about computing power or digital asset storage capabilities. It has essentially narrowed the gap between behemoths and newbies when it comes to offering a reliable and glitch free digital service and on a close observation, you can see that nearly all disruptors in the digital world are utilizing cloud computing infrastructure for their IT needs rather than investing in building  their own IT infrastructure in-house.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

Automation coupled with Artificial Intelligence is seen as the future of workforce enablement. It doesn’t mean humans are less important, but technology enabled solutions can assist people to do their jobs faster and better with less scope for erroneous decisions. Workloads can be easily managed and with the evolution of artificial intelligence, it is easier to mimic human reactions for scenarios and thus create 24X7 working environments that are self-sustained.

Digital Transformation is an inevitable part of today’s business world and we wanted to help our customers embrace this huge transformation in the best way possible. We were one of the pioneers in online commerce solutions and our expertise positions us to be the forerunners in enabling digital ecosystems for our clients. MCFADYEN DIGITAL is committed to deliver end-to-end digital transformation services to our clients that will help them transform into leaders of the Digital Economy.


McFadyen cybersecurity in ecommerce 1024x1024 Cyber Security and eCommerce in 2017: 4 areas you should invest to strengthen your defence

2017 is here and the ecommerce sector is looking towards a bright future this year as well according to predictions. In the US alone total average spend on ecommerce per customer is expected to be $1804 which means that the industry is in for huge strides. The rise of mCommerce as covered in one of our previous blogs is another hot area for innovation and investments as far as ecommerce companies are concerned. But we decided to focus on something that is even more important for ecommerce companies in 2017 – Security Threats.

For long cyber threats have plagued enterprises with digitally enabled platforms and ecommerce is no exception. Newer technology deployments have added more convenience for the end shopper but at the same time opened up new avenues to exploit for security threats. We throw light into 4 areas in ecommerce companies that will witness cyber exploits in full throttle for 2017:

Internet of Things (IoT)

Today a good majority of ecommerce companies utilize IoT enabled frameworks to handle their warehouse management and logistics operations. With superfast connectivity and razor sharp sensors, businesses trust such systems to carry out critical tasks and reduce human intervention. However such automated systems can be vulnerable as sensors are not yet equipped to thwart unidentified intrusions into their control hardware. To bring down costs, organizations often rely on cheaper connectivity options and this increases vulnerability of sensors exponentially.

Deliberate brand devaluation

In the era of digital marketing and social media, brands are finding it hard to appease their social savvy customers. On top of that, cyber fraudsters are now busy tarnishing brand images on social media with fake reviews, sentiments and comments. Brands that do not monitor their social media sentiments are easily prone to such schemes and even competitors hire agencies to bring down reputation of established brands with fake sentiment creation. 2017 will witness more of such attacks that focus on core brand values such as trust and customer relations and ecommerce companies need to be well aware of this threat.

Compliances and Regulatory Pressure

Governments across the globe have been cracking down on internet enabled businesses such as ecommerce and asking them to abide with local compliance rules and regulatory policies with their data assets. In order to achieve this compliance, many a times, organizations are forced to offer transparent data exchanges for authorities to monitor their transactions and these windows can easily be exploited by cyber fraudsters.

Cyber-attacks as a service

The heading might sound funny, but there exists a good number of criminal syndicates who break into technology ecosystems with large daily transactions such as ecommerce if they are paid to do so. Their attack modes range from Denial of Service to hijacking of enterprise networks to stealing customer data to name a few. In 2017 it is forecasted that such syndicated would form new partnerships globally and create even stronger cyber-attack frameworks to target digital transactions on the internet.

2017 will undoubtedly witness greater investments in cyber security by ecommerce companies globally and if you are an ecommerce organization looking to strengthen your security our 4 picks are the right areas for you to start.

5 best practices to help your eCommerce site win big in 2017

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McFadyen ecommercebestpractices2017 1024x1009 5 best practices to help your eCommerce site win big in 2017

2016 was an exciting year of growth for ecommerce just like it has been in the past couple of years. Consumer spends were favourably in line with expectations for much of the year and broke expectations with the onset of the Holiday season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday together accounted for close to $7 billion in sales revenue. Let’s keep the stats aside as you might have already been accustomed to quite a few by now. There is no doubt in the fact that 2017 will witness even bigger sales events and online sales will eat away a good majority of physical store sales all across the globe. On this note, the biggest challenge facing ecommerce companies is to prepare their website for sales in 2017. In terms of traffic management, shopping frequencies, user sessions, etc. 2017 is poised to be of far greater magnitude than 2016.

We have gathered info about some of the best practices you can adopt for your ecommerce website to stay competent in the boom and ensure your consumers are happy every time they visit your online store. Here are our top picks:

Robust technology platform

If your ecommerce site is running on legacy systems, then you need to definitely draw up an action plan to get it replaced with a scalable and robust modern day ecommerce platform. Hiring in an expert ecommerce consulting company to rephrase your entire technology architecture without altering your business models is the best option if you are unable to make the digital transformation in-house. An industry standard ecommerce platform will ensure that all your marketing and business logic would flawlessly be implemented to provide the best shopping experience for your visitors.

Optimize checkout

In one of our previous blog posts, we had detailed down on essentials of a great ecommerce checkout process. Cart abandonment rate is one parameter that you should focus to decrease and gradually eliminate from your business model. 2016 saw several ecommerce websites report that in cases 90% of their shoppers left their site on the checkout stage simply because it wasn’t optimized to provide them a hassle free purchase. The solution would be to design multiple checkout workflows and conduct A/B Testing and other proven quality analysis to determine the best checkout process for your ecommerce store.

Personalization

If you think you have enough personalization based on user preferences, we have bad news for you. Consumer choices change in a matter of seconds. The more data an ecommerce system is able to collect and analyse, more is the personalization options they can offer to consumers. This is to be treated as a continuous process that always evolves based on feedbacks. Personalizing consumer interactions with easier navigation, better targeted promotions and smart marketing will greatly influence purchase decisions.

Managing feedback content

Today almost all ecommerce sites offer customers a choice to leave reviews and comments on their purchases. But most of the sites do not attempt to engage customers further after they have submitted their reviews and ratings. With smart marketing tools, your marketers can gain deep insights into how consumers are generating positive or negative sentiments for their purchases and helps them engage in better conversations which ultimately leads to new sales requests.

Intuitive delivery

Delivery is the area where the customer actually comes in contact with his purchase for the first time. As such there is a tremendous opportunity for ecommerce companies to improve brand loyalty at this stage. Making the fastest delivery alone isn’t enough to gain confidence from shoppers but providing a wholesome delivery/pick-up experience is the key to winning hearts. Allowing consumers to select favourable delivery time slots, offering them choices to change delivery addresses after despatch, etc. are just some of the ways you can help consumers feel happy about the overall delivery experience.

So there you have it folks, our top 5 picks in best practices to help your ecommerce site win big in the New Year. Stay tuned to our blogs for more such exciting tips.

5 tips to drive more sales on mobile screens this holiday season

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McFadyen SalesViaMobilescreen 1024x1024 5 tips to drive more sales on mobile screens this holiday season

Black Friday 2016 witnessed more than $1 Billion of single day sales happening from mobile devices alone. So now marketers know that mobile is no longer a second priority channel for their campaigns and tweaking the campaigns with a mobile first approach can seriously land them with better ROI. So the question now is how do you plan your marketing strategy to capitalize on traffic generated from mobile phones? Or in simple terms, how do you convince mobile shoppers to spend more on your site during the holidays? We have handpicked some strategies that will help you connect well with your mobile shoppers and here they are:

Email Marketing

Emails are still rated as one of the best ways to draw in an audience or potential buyers for an ecommerce website be it both app or mobile based shoppers or PC based shoppers. If you have purchased online from multiple sites, then check your inbox and you will see campaign mails from at least one site every day. The emails are primarily intended to convey a sales message for you to check out some latest offers or a promo sale or some shopping promos that may be of interest to you. You only need to ensure that your campaign emails are mobile friendly as a good majority of them are now opened from mobile phones. Keep an eye out on opening rates, sales leads generated and other marketing trackers to evaluate your strategy and bring improvements or major changes if necessary.

Be gentle with your push notifications

Push notifications are the best way to lure in buyers form their smartphones to your shopping site or app but very often marketers make the mistake of aggressively sending out push notifications to users all the time. As it is said, too many cooks spoil the broth, shoppers would get annoyed if you constantly send notifications on their mobile phones. This could turn worse if you send out notifications about events or promotions from which the customer might have already made a good purchase. The same happens when they constantly receive notifications about sale of items they never want to buy. To avoid situations like these, customize your push notifications as much as possible and send them out on calculated frequencies. Find out from the customer about the notifications he or she would love to hear about and target them with only those. The more subtle and personalized you become with your push notifications, greater will be the conversion into actual sales.

Be creative with your campaigns

Marketing is ultimately dependent on creativity to freshen up consumer minds. With technology embedded marketing tools, modern market analysts are able to receive a huge chunk of info about buyers both existing and potential. To further monetize this knowledge, you need to come up with creative ways of expressing your brand’s products or services. The occasional refresh in your creativity should extent to both the content you push out to your customers as well as in the selection of channels for pushing out the content.

Feedback analysis and refinement

As with any marketing mechanisms, you need to collect feedback about your mobile marketing campaigns. This could be automated data collection using state of the art marketing software or through app ratings surveys or feedback emails and many more mediums. You also need to track metrics such as conversion rates, open sessions, share frequencies and much more.

Deep Linking

When you are redirecting user’s courtesy an email campaign or a landing page, then try linking them to a specific landing page on your mobile website or mobile app. This way you can better organize content on mobile specific screens and entice users when they visit the page.

Mobile commerce is here to stay and as stated in one of our previous blogs, it is going to reshape digital commerce in more ways than what retailers can imagine. So with smart marketing, ecommerce companies can capitalize on this tremendous opportunity and monetize customer visits as much as possible.


McFadyen holiday Shopping 1024x682 How to convert first time buyers into long term buyers this holiday season

It’s reaching midway into December and online retail is witnessing an explosive sales cycle. Black Friday 2016 alone accounted for $3.34 Billion in single day sales across the US and Cyber Monday witnessed $3.4 Billion in single day sales. Experts have opined that the last quarter of every year is fit to be called the equivalent of child birth for retailers especially online retailers, because most of them arguably witness more than 30% of their annual sales happen in just under a month during the holiday season. It is also the time when they acquire tons of first time buyers with attractive holiday promotions. But many often ecommerce players fail to capitalize on these new leads generated during the holiday season and subsequently a good majority of first time buyers never return again to shop from them.

We believe this is because marketers at such online retailers fail to create an effective sales framework where the intention of the holiday campaign is to create loyal customers rather than bring in a slew of one time shoppers. Considering the huge advantage of technology inspired automated marketing channels available today, it is nearly a fatal mistake to target both new buyers and existing buyers with the same set of campaigns in the form of email, print, social media and other marketing channels. Engaging first time buyers is crucial to convert their first time impression into marks of loyalty. Here are some tips for marketing folks at ecommerce companies to drive repeat sales from first time buyers after the holiday season:

A great user experience         

So your email and social media campaigns have borne fruit and leads start to pour into your online store. The biggest factor that determines how well leads are converted into actual buyers is the ease with which they can navigate on your website and how fast they can finish the checkout process to buy an item they loved. Keeping this experience hassle free involves a great User Interface on both computer screens and mobile screens, seamless information access, secure and easy checkout processes with popular payment facilities and above all, a scalable technology architecture that is able to handle huge spikes in traffic.

Data Collection

New customers arrive from different sources and as far as online retailers are concerned, it is quite easy to track the source of each sale through analytics. It is essential to collect vital customer info causing minimal or no inconvenience to first time buyers. Through registration process and geo tagging, it is easier to determine geographical location and thereby understand demographics of shoppers.

Data analytics

So now that you have decided to collect data in as many ways as possible, the next question is what do you do with this data? It’s simple -This data should be utilized for further connecting with those buyers after they have made their first purchase on your website. It’s similar to the cross selling and up selling practices that retailers follow but here the suggestions should be as precise and focused on the customer as possible. With analytics, you can determine their shopping patterns, their most searched items, their preferential price ranges for products, etc. This will help you guide them to new purchases with better offers thereby improving their brand loyalty on your site.

Targeted campaigns

Once first time buyer lists are available, marketers should prepare a separate set of campaigns to inform them about how great your website the rest of the year. Educate them about how long term shoppers have rated you as the best and direct them to sign up for exclusive benefits such as cashbacks, premium membership packages and much more.

Feedback Surveys

Online retailers should thrive to be as customer-centric as possible. On that note, it is essential to know how shopper’s especially first time shoppers felt about their experience. A simple survey or a dialog box asking shoppers to rate their buying experience right after the transaction step is over would be the basic feedback survey that you could use. And don’t just ask users to take the survey without giving back something in return. Say offer an X% discount for their next purchase if they complete your survey and you have the double benefit of getting closer to customer hearts and guaranteeing a second sale with the discount coupon.

So there you go folks, our 5 step guide to help marketer’s convert 1st time buyers into loyal shoppers. However it is important to keep in mind that your biggest asset is your existing list of loyal buyers and you should never drop your focus on them. Their word of mouth and social media signals promoting your brand is the biggest drawer of new shoppers to your website. Feel free to connect with us to learn more about how your digital strategies can be aligned to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.


 

McFadyen Consumer Experience 1 Why a data driven Consumer Experience strategy should be on your to do list?

Consumer Experience or CX is now the new norm of business growth. Be it offline or online business, the experience offered by a brand or a store at all their points of sale decides the future of their business model. And for creating the best CX, you need tons of data to analyze. Forbes has pointed out in a recent study that in nearly 3 out of 10 organizations, data driven CX has taken customer satisfaction to new heights thanks to well informed decisions. Forbes arrived at the results after surveying over 350 executives across the globe engaged in different levels of organizations in multiple industry domains.

There is no scarcity for data today as consumers generate data in truckloads every minute. Here is an interesting snapshot of what happens in an internet minute or 60 seconds of internet time:

McFadyen Internet Minute 264x300 Why a data driven Consumer Experience strategy should be on your to do list?

2.4 million search queries on Google, $200K plus sales on Amazon and other such facts from the above infographic sheds light into the huge pile of data that organizations can drill into to derive insights about consumer behavior, their shopping preferences, frequencies, average spends, etc. to name a few. Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 just went by and their analysis sheds light into tons of consumer data as well.

The consumer has willingly released such volumes of data into the internet and they know that you as a brand can easily access the data. So they would expect a good amount of personalization in the experiences they come across. As an organization, you should be able to capitalize on this data and utilize it to meet customer expectations at all touch points. Any delay would help competitors to pounce on your market share and attract buyers with better shopping experiences.

Data Driven CX is not something that is managed and accounted for by the CMO or his team at an organization. It is a collective effort. Marketers struggle with outdated or unorganized data streams where customer data flows in randomly from different systems such as Website, Email, CRM, Social media, etc. On top of these, there are platform and device information silos like visits from desktops and mobile devices out of which mobile devices have further classifications in terms of OS, screen size, etc.

The biggest challenge that many organizations face in implementing a data driven CX strategy is the lack of integration between teams. A smooth CX requires data systems, technology infrastructure and smart people who can complement each other and deliver a single and consistent experience. Ideally businesses need to keep track of whose doing what and the ultimate goal of an integrated consumer experience. There is no point in blaming each other within an organization for a failed consumer experience as the consumer is least bothered about what happens inside your office.

For businesses, it is time to transform their customer experience to stay relevant in the highly competitive market. Seeking expert advisory to transform digital touch points is the best option available for business today to enable a data driven CX ecosystem. With over 2 decades of unparalleled service in the digital transformation space, McFadyen Solutions is rightly positioned to help your business to deliver its full potential. Drop us a message and we will be glad to assist you.


McFadyen Email Marketing with Videos 1024x1024 This holiday season make your email campaigns livelier with videos

“Target will open its doors at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Best Buy stores will open an hour earlier at 5 PM and Walmart will start a Black Friday event at 6 PM on Thanksgiving and most stores are open 24 hours.” This was a CNN News feed in Facebook on the eve of Thanksgiving. It indicates only one thing – Welcome to the holiday season folks. 2016 is coming to an end but the grand shopping season is just beginning.

It’s that time of the year when people head out to their old folks, meet up with their buddies, watch their favorite movies, travel like never before and most importantly spend on shopping like crazy. The National Retail Federation expects American consumers to spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday season. That’s like $650 Billion worth of sales opportunity for retailers in just a time span of 50 days or so.

Now comes the big question to retailers! How do you capture the most of this opportunity?

A single marketing or promo video embedded in your email campaign for the holidays holds the key to winning consumer hearts this holiday season. Video is the best way to bring out your marketing messages to consumers in all forms of digital media be it mobile phones, computers, television screens or even on city billboards and movie screens. Need some confidence boosters? Check out some interesting statistics about video marketing below

  • And Adobe study pointed out in 2015 that 51.9 % of marketing professionals worldwide selected Video as the form of content that had the best ROI.
  • Revenue growth rate of video equipped marketing strategies outran non-video strategies by nearly 50%
  • Nearly half of internet users search for videos about a product or service before making a buying decision
  • Consumers who view videos are 1.81 times more inclined to spend on a purchase when compared to non-viewers

Using these stats as a base, we clearly believe that email campaigns for the holiday season from retailers should definitely carry a video message embedded in it. Today there is enough tech available in the market that offers the best video experience in each medium after identifying the email client you consumer is using.  Sometimes all you need to do is include a static image in your email with a play button on top of it which directs the user to a YouTube or Vimeo channel where the video is uploaded.

And you don’t have to shoot a professional ad of your offering to embed in a promo email. Even a smartphone with a pretty good camera would do the job for you. The video may be a tip on how to use your offering in a better way or hidden benefits or comparisons or anything that users are required to know about your product or service.

Videos in emails have created some fantastic results for marketers globally. Some have reported as high as 65 percent increase in click-through rates and lowered unsubscribes by as much as 26 percent. Your Thanksgiving emails may be already out but the holiday shopping season has just begun. So there is enough time to shoot some fabulous videos and use them in your email campaigns. Do share your success stories as well to inspire more marketers to follow this trend.

The rise of mCommerce this shopping season

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2016 witnessed yet another sensational Black Friday and Cyber Monday saga as shoppers splurged record sums of money across retail channels both offline and online. Let’s keep our focus to the eCommerce side where 2016 saw some records being rewritten. Primarily those records were for eCommerce transactions via mobile phones or to be more specific mCommerce. There were reports suggesting that many online stores were ill equipped to handle the huge peak in mobile traffic and consumers were frustrated with low grade mobile sites but when you look at sales percentage, Adobe reports that nearly 36% of all online sales revenue for Black Friday 2016 came through mobile phones.

McFadyen mCommerce 300x300 The rise of mCommerce this shopping season

Though PC’s drove more sales, the traffic volume was higher from mobile screens 55 percent of traffic to retail sites were from mobile screens. Tablet PC’s occupied only a fraction of the mobile traffic and the competition was predominantly between iPhones and Android powered mobile phones. Black Friday 2016 also witnessed for the first time that mobile sales revenue alone surpassed $1 billion on a single day.

For retailers, this is a wake-up call as their reluctance to offer crispier mobile experiences to shoppers will cost them dearly in market share. If you were to ask us for the exact areas to focus on, in order to deliver a seamless cross channel experience for your shoppers, the below would be our picks:

  • Responsive websites
  • Light weight mobile sites
  • Shopping Apps across all popular platforms
  • Mobile centric marketing campaigns via emails

As days pass by the shopping season is only going to get hotter and online retailers who haven’t drawn up elaborate plans for mCommerce need to catch up with their app engineers or software vendors to put some great mobile experiences in place.

Try A/B testing to build the best buyer persona for your business

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McFadyen AB Testing of Buyer Personas 1024x852 Try A/B testing to build the best buyer persona for your business

Buyer Personas are an essential part of both digital and conventional forms of marketing. As a marketer, creating a buyer persona is the first major task that needs to be on your to-do list when you are entrusted with marketing products and or services for the brand or company that employs you. If you take the case of any successful organization in any business domain, they would have executed at least one strategy based on buyer personas. If you are still not convinced, then have a look at the following statistics about buyer personas.

  • Targeted persona strategy increases sales leads by 124%
  • Email campaigns using buyer persona targeting has witnessed twice the open rate and 5 times more click through rate
  • 55% growth in organic search traffic

We can publish even more statistics but assume that you are already convinced with these. The bottom line is that buyer personas enable you to think from a customer’s mind and identify what is the best way to connect with them. No more guesswork and assumptions but a solid set of 3 or 4 buyer personas that will define more than 90% of your consumer base. So far we have been speaking about getting more leads or closing more sales with perfect buyer personas. The question now is how do you select the perfect buyer persona for your business? The answer lies in another marketing arsenal – A/B Testing.

If you thought A/B testing was just used for deciding on the perfect landing pages or email campaigns for promotions, then you are mistaken. A/B testing allows you to take data supported decisions on how incremental changes can improve performance of an entire system be it landing pages or email campaigns or in this case even the selection of your buyer personas.

With A/B testing you can steadily improve the quality of your buyer personas. In simpler terms it will help you to fill areas of your buyer persona where you experienced uncertainty. Let us take an example to point out the real benefit of using A/B testing for your buying persona.

Consider yourself to be in charge of marketing for a new digital product launch for a commercial bank. The product is a new insurance package for which the bank wishes to see a good number of subscribers in a short month. You start with building the ideal buyer persona for the product. Assuming that all studies point out to fear as the number one motivation of your potential customers to buy the product. Fear for their lives or for their loved ones who might be affected due to lack of insurance facilities, etc. Your buyer persona is created with fear as the central theme and you decide upon a marketing campaign centred on this single reason. If it clicks then you will receive a tremendous amount of positive response and lead generation becomes a piece of cake. However if your perception of customer’s priority is wrong, then your efforts have a big chance of ending up in vain.

Here is where A/B testing comes into picture. Take the above scenario or persona as A and consider another scenario where buyers are willing to spend on insurance products for another cause say for tax savings as B.  Now you have 2 valid cases to test. A proper A/B testing can give you tons of info to arrive at a decision. The information includes but not limited to

  • A or B, Which is their main motive?
  • Positive language or negative language! Which clicks best with your customers?
  • Does promo schemes such as discounts or coupons or limited deals draw their attention?
  • Do they react more to the benefits of A or to the benefits of B?

The list will go on but the ultimate result is that you will get quantifiable information on whether Plan A or Plan B is the perfect marketing campaign for the product. The one that witnesses more sign-ups or subscriptions will answer each of the above questionnaire and you can quickly summarize your results to arrive at an informed decision.

So there you have it folks, the perfect way to build your buyer persona. A/B testing can surely create drastic changes in your efforts and prevent marketing budgets from skyrocketing as it helps to avoid wrong decisions at the right time.

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