Surveys help brands and retailers realize the customer experience through their shoppers’ eyes. This type of insights from mystery shopping survey questions is essential for those wanting to drive more profits and meet the demands of their customers.
The problem is many businesses don’t have the appropriate mystery shopping program set in place to collect customer data. Consider how mystery shopping is supposed to work.
Undercover agents fan out to test corporate assumptions, employee customer service coaching and training and current CX initiatives. Over time, reliable, high-value insights lead to concrete steps to improve store conditions and service.
Disruptive innovations follow.
Customers visit more and spend more, and the brand’s reputation and revenues grow. Reliable, high-value insights: this is where most programs break down.
Without enough of the right kind of data, retailers draw the wrong conclusions, overlook big problems, and make costly mistakes. Instead of creating a virtuous cycle of improvement, they spin their wheels and get nowhere.
To get the results you want out of your mystery shopping program, you need to know which questions to ask and the best way to ask them. You need the right people shopping your stores.
Here we’ll share 35 sample mystery shopping survey questions and explain the most brand-appropriate and cost-effective way to tackle these surveys:
Designing an Actionable Mystery Shopping Survey: 3 Areas to Focus on In Store
Your mystery shopping survey questions should reflect the entire customer journey. This means you need to uncover even the smallest problems and opportunities to yield data, bucket and analyze over time to reveal subtler issues and growing trends.
Survey responses should be easily quantifiable, leaving little room for assumption. Yes/no or multiple choice questions are best. Open-ended questions can be used, but only to allow mystery shoppers to share observations in support of structured responses.
In-Store Cleanliness & Appearance Questions
None of these details will escape your customers’ notice. Any one of them could affect a customer’s decision to purchase and/or return to the store. Store managers should check these items during routine inspections.
However, mystery shoppers deployed to multiple locations over time help ensure all of your stores consistently meet brand standards.
Was the parking lot generally clean?
When you walked up to and through the store entrance, was it clean and well maintained?
Did you notice any worn or damaged signs in the store?
Did you notice any areas that needed attention?
Was the restroom clean, well stocked, and working properly?
Were the aisles clutter-free, with room for two or more carts to pass through?
Employee Behavior Questions
If employees aren’t meeting your brand standards in all locations and at all times, you haven’t achieved brand consistency—a key driver of customer loyalty. Recurring or widespread issues may suggest the need for training refreshers or updates.
When you entered the store, did an associate acknowledge you within 30 seconds?
Approximately how many other customers were in the store while you were shopping?
When you were greeted, what was said?
Did the associate/team member smile?
Did the associate/team member ask what you were shopping for today?
Did the associate/team member offer you help?
Did the associate help you find the product by escorting you, or by giving you directions to find it on your own?
Did the associate/team member recommend other products you might like?
Did the associate/team member give you his/her undivided attention?
Did the associate provide helpful information about the product?
Was every associate you encountered upbeat and friendly?
Were any associates/team members inconsiderate or rude?
Did any associates/team members go above and beyond to serve you? If YES, what was his/her name and department, and how did he/she go above and beyond?
Did all other associates/team members you encountered or passed smile and greet you?
Did the associate/team member provide a pleasant closing comment (“Have a good day,” “Thanks for shopping with us,” “Thank you,” etc.)?
Did the cashier greet/acknowledge you when you reached the counter?
Did the cashier ask if you found everything you needed?
Did the cashier mention the loyalty/rewards program by name during your transaction?
If you’re not a member, did the cashier ask if you’d like to join?
Did the cashier mention the invitation for the customer/guest satisfaction survey at the bottom of the receipt?
Did the cashier thank you at the end of your transaction?
If you had more than 2 bags, did someone offer to help carry them out?
Path to Purchase Questions
Are your products or procedures, or the pace of your operations, discouraging sales? Responses to questions like these will shed some light.
Was every item you wanted to purchase available? If not, please list the unavailable item(s).
Were you able to find the style and size you were looking for?
Did all perishable foods (salads, sandwiches, etc.) appear fresh?
How many registers were staffed when you got in line?
Was there at least one (1) express lane open?
Were there less than three (3) customers in line? If not, did anyone call for additional help (to manage the line or open another register)?
Once you reached the counter, how long did it take to complete the transaction (get your receipt)?
The Most Important Question of All: Who Will Mystery Shop Your Stores?
Great customer experiences aren’t born in the C-suite. They’re built on feedback from customers—people who are genuinely invested in the brand.
The most unforgettable in-store experiences stay in lockstep with customer priorities and expectations, and they reaffirm and fulfill the brand promise. Traditional mystery shopping relies on input from dispassionate observers. But this approach has big downsides.
Not only is the traditional mystery shopping model cost-prohibitive and tough to scale, but professional mystery shoppers are easy to spot. These shoppers don’t have a stake in improving your brand.
That’s why no one is more qualified to mystery shop your stores than your own customers. They’re a perfect match for your ideal customer.
They observe and report on everything in the context of their own history with the brand. These shoppers also tell you what they see and how it impacts them (objective and subjective combined).
Not only do your shoppers love providing improvements to benefit them directly, but they will enjoy knowing their voice is heard by brands giving incentives and better in-store experiences.
Imagine getting a comprehensive, holistic view of the customer experience in one fell swoop. Scaling easily without draining your revenue.
Strengthen loyalty by empowering your own customers. It’s a practical solution to a longstanding problem and more brands are catching on.
Everybody talks about how to improve their email marketing strategy, and to be honest, many have focused on this for some time.
Even for the most senior digital marketers out there working in ecommerce, you’ve probably read dozens of articles about email marketing–so, why read another one?
The scene of email marketing is constantly changing.
This shouldn’t surprise digital marketers, but instead, always make you hungry to learn more. Consumers are so used to email marketing strategies that they ignore branded emails in their inbox much more quickly.
In fact, Mail Chimp found the average email open rate for ecommerce businesses in March 2018 averaged around 15.66% in the U.S. Further, all industries owned a collective 20.81% open rate.
But Epsilon data found the total industry average to be much higher just a few years ago in Q3 2016 with a 34.1% open rate.
What was once marketing channel powerhouse is now something many businesses struggle with in 2019.
Still, some brands are absolutely killing it with email marketing.
And to that point, we know email marketing still works. However, you have to put in the effort to stand out from your competition, which is why we’re here to help.
Here’s eight tips for ecommerce brands to improve their email marketing strategy in 2019:
1. Use Dynamic Content to Personalize Emails
In years past, personalizing an email with someone’s name was a big deal. Now, that’s the very least you could do with personalization marketing efforts.
Today, each of your emails should include personalization in more than one of the following places:
Take Campaign Monitor as an example. In one of their promotional emails, they decided to test whether changing the images in their email to match the location of the recipient would make a difference. They created images for recipients in the U.S., U.K. and Australia and then tested these emails against a location-agnostic visual
As a result, their click-through rate increased by 29% with that simple of a personalization fix. You can also use dynamic content to personalize emails based on customer behavior and interests.
For example, a clothing brand could tailor their emails to the gender of the recipient or their past browsing history. If a subscriber browses your site for women’s clothing, don’t send them promotional emails highlighting men’s shoes.
This kind of dynamic personalization levels up your email marketing strategy and captures the attention of your audience.
2. Get Email Addresses Before the Checkout
In the past, the main place to get new subscriber email addresses was after a purchase.
Numerous ecommerce stores have opt-in email features right at checkout to get you add your email to their newsletter or promotional lists.
While this is still a viable email marketing strategy, what if you could get a potential customer’s email before the checkout process This would allow you to capture even more leads and to increase your potential for sales through email marketing. Here’s a few tips to try:
Offer Content: Provide content that’s relevant to your audience to easily collect email addresses for future promotions. For example, a company selling kayaks could offer a free guide to the best places to kayak. Your customers give up the email for the guide and you can now send promotional content.
Offer Discounts: Everybody loves a discount and many will give up their email to save. You’ve seen this strategy before in the sometimes comical: No, I don’t want to save money on my next order, pop up. This tactic has become very popular for ecommerce brands by offering a quick 20% off just for signing up through an email–mostly because it works.
Interactive Pop Ups: Another way to offer incentives and spark engagement is through interactive sign ups. This pop up allows you to win over new customers (and get their email address) with the chance to spin the wheel and win some discounts.
Product Availability Notifications: Get shoppers’ emails by allowing them to submit it when a product is out of stock or even running low on availability and want to be notified. This helps get more emails before checkout so potential shoppers turned away from unavailable items still can be involved.
3. Use Transactional Emails to Win More Conversions
We all know that transactional emails (order confirmation, shipping confirmation, etc.) get opened more than your average marketing email.
Are you using these transactional emails to the full? Check out what Nordstrom does at the bottom of their order confirmation emails:
This upsell attempt is based on products that the user looked at but didn’t buy, and is a fantastic example of how to get more out of your transactional emails.
How can you do the same?
First, include more than just the transactional information in your email. Add some personality, and give the customer a chance to see your brand’s fun side.
Next, go for the upsell. Use dynamic content as discussed above to personalize recommendations for this particular customer. You know what they bought already, so you have a good head start in knowing what they might like to buy in the future.
Lastly, you could try for a referral. Skillshare does this with their transactional emails.
By including some of these elements, you can win more conversions from your transactional emails.
4. Segment by Interests & Buyer Type
Segmenting by interests is a must nowadays. Almost every other ecommerce brand already does this, so you need to be on board.
But, what about segmenting by buyer type? Each customer is unique in the way they make purchase decisions. Here are some ideas of how to segment by type of shopper:
High Average Order Value: Do you have some customers whose average order value tends to be higher than others? Tempt them with product bundles and packaged discounts.
Discount Shopper: Some shoppers go weak in the knees for a good discount. If you see a pattern with some shoppers who only make purchases when your products are on sale, make sure you send them special offers or clearance sale updates.
Exclusivity: A sense of exclusivity is a powerful purchase motivator. If you have a limited-time product or a special V.I.P. offer, make sure you let these customers know first. Get them to sign up for a special mailing list that sends them exclusive offers before anyone else.
5. Create Triggered Email Campaigns
Triggered emails win at the end of the day. In fact, a WebFX infographic stated they get 70% higher open rates than normal email marketing efforts.
Here are two types of triggered emails that you can add to your email marketing strategy:
Loyalty Emails: Your customers love to be appreciated. So, why not remind them of a special milestone, such as the anniversary of their first purchase from you? Celebrate brand milestones with your customers like the sock brand Bombas.
Promotions for Returning Shoppers: Imagine that a customer who made a purchase a while back has come back to browse on your site, but doesn’t buy anything. That could be an excellent trigger to send an email their way. You can remind them of the great products you’re offering, update them on new or featured products or give them a special discount.
6. Improve Your Abandoned Cart Emails With Visuals
Abandoned cart emails have been around since the beginning of time, which means it’s high time to spice yours up! One of the best ways to make your abandoned cart emails stand out is by including visuals.
After all, a customer may not remember exactly which product they had in their cart or why they wanted it in the first place. Tailor your abandoned cart email with pictures of the product they were planning to buy.
Homeware brand Fab does this with their abandoned cart emails to get you interested again with a simple, but fun message.
Of course, the visuals in your abandoned cart emails can also be a way to show off your brand personality. For example, Black Milk Clothing does a fantastic job at sending abandoned emails to its customers to tug on their heart strings.
Where can you go wrong with cute puppies to win back customers?
7. Introduce Replenishment Emails
For some ecommerce brands, you know exactly when your customers are going to run out of the products they’ve purchased. This is the perfect time to send them an email to remind them it’s time to fill up on whatever they’re about to run out of.
Besides being extremely precise as to how long you have left to replenish, this email is also personalized by using the name of the dog (because, let’s face it, they’re more important). Even the CTA button is personalized!
Creating replenishment emails is a great way to win back previous purchasers with your email marketing strategy.
8. Use Emails to Get Reviews & User-Generated Content
Another essential part of your email marketing strategy should include review collection. Using the right methods, these kinds of emails can get excellent results.
To add a little incentive, you could even offer a discount on their next purchase. Look at the way Tower Housewares does this with their review collection emails.
Another way to use post-purchase emails is by getting customers to post user-generated content on their social channels. This is exactly what cosmetics brand Lush did with their post-purchase emails.
Again, adding a little incentive also helps motivate users to post those pictures for a chance to win.
At PowerReviews, we believe in making it as simple as possible for brands and retailers to collect as many reviews through a straightforward and easy post-purchase email. Our review collection abilities help businesses increase more authentic and valuable content by making processes short and sweet.
Want to see how PowerReviews can help your business collect more reviews and help you with your email marketing strategy? Talk to our awesome team today!
Take Your Email Marketing Strategy to the Next Level This Year
It’s true, email marketing isn’t something new for ecommerce brands. However, times are changing. If you want to keep engaging your customers and winning their hearts with your emails, you’ll need to keep up with current trends.
Using these innovative email marketing strategies, you’ll stand out from the competition and earn the kind of ROI your brand deserves.
With customer satisfaction falling in retail, it’s tempting to make sweeping changes in your stores. However, consistent minor improvements have as big an impact as substantial changes.
In this article, you’ll learn 15 ways to improve customer satisfaction.
There’s no need to completely revolutionize your stores, but instead, make consumers bigger fans of your brand. If you do this correctly, you’ll get customers coming back to your retail business.
Let’s dive in to these 15 tips to improve customer satisfaction in retail:
1. Justify the Sale With Social Proof
Recent research from Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman shows shoppers buy 95% of the time due to emotional reasons, not rational. After they have bought, they want to justify their purchase with logic.
They need to convince themselves and the important people in their lives that they’ve made a smart choice. Often testimonials get used in the sales process.
Happy to hear that. We'll let the team know. Enjoy your meal and flight. -Alex
To take this to the next level and improve customer satisfaction, provide a printed sheet of testimonials or other social proof. Shoppers can then use this information to justify their decisions.
2. Give Shoppers a Gift & Surprise Them With Another One
When you give shoppers a gift, you activate their reciprocity reflex. This reflex was described in Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It is triggered when you give people something for free, and causes them to feel obligated to do something in return.
Giving gifts is a long-established way to boost sales. However, an experiment in restaurants has shown a way to get even better results.
For example: give shoppers a gift, then return a few minutes later with a second one. Waiters who gave diners a mint and then returned unannounced and gave a second mint saw a 23% increase in tips.
3. Take Notes
There’s a valuable lesson in the self-help classic How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Everybody is the hero of his or her story. In other words, everybody wants to feel important.
For example: your staff can make shoppers feel like they matter by valuing what they have to say. Staff show they think customers are important by paying attention and taking notes when shoppers are speaking.
4. Train Staff to Handle Disgruntled Customers
The key to handling upset customers comes from that same Dale Carnegie rule about people. People want to feel important.
Sometimes employees handling the initial complaint can make the customer feel valued and solve the problem. At other times, the only way your staff can do this is to escalate the issue to a senior employee.
When they do this, they should take care not to offend the customer further.
It’s not in human nature to be empathic toward someone when they attack us. That’s why you have to train staff to solve the problem for the customer even when under fire.
5. HaveStaffTreatCustomers as the ‘Boss’
When employees see themselves as working for you, they might not feel that they owe you something other than the work they are paid to perform. Teach employees a new mindset: they are president of their company, a professional services firm.
They work for themselves. You are simply their first, best client. In that scenario, customers will benefit from excellent service and your employee will push to increase their quota.
On one hand, you want the experience customers have in your stores to be consistent. After all, you create your brand through these experiences.
However, you want to come up with ways to customize the customer experience. Target did just that recently, they deployed a beacon technology at their stores to engage customers personally while they browse the aisles.
Before you can get to where you want to be, you need to know your starting point. Surveys allow you to track your progress, identify problems and create a frictionless customer experience.
9. Teach Employees to Be More Service Oriented
Have you ever gone into a store and asked one of the staff to help only to have them tell you it is not their job?
Don’t make the same mistake in your stores. Train employees that everyone is in customer service. If they cannot solve the customer’s problem, they must walk the customer to the person who can.
@TMobile@JohnLegere I swear T-Mobile has THEE best customer service. Every time I call they are patient and I feel important, like my business matters to them. They ALWAYS solve my issues. No attitude. Thanks for your help today Samanthalei!!!!!!!
In many cases, buying decisions are influenced indirectly. When shoppers are in the toy aisle, the person who chooses what to buy is the child.
Are you engaging and delighting this sort of indirect buyer?
Few things are more frustrating for shoppers than long lines. In many stores, several checkouts are often not even open.
Why not turn your manned checkouts into self-serve checkouts? Have a staff member available to help people when they purchase and let customers immerse themselves in a ‘wait free’ experience.
If your shoppers have to stand in line for a long time, why not engage them? Business is all about building relationships, not blasting people with marketing messages.
Why not hire a magician, a comedian or even a musician to provide some entertainment during this time? Just keep it consistent with your brand and entertaining for your customers.
Remember that emotions are responsible for purchasing decisions, a good experience while waiting can lift spirits and improve their overall customer experience.
13. Establish an Employee Mentorship Program
Why not set up an employee mentorship program?
Many retailers fail to tap into the knowledge and experience of their senior staff. Each week, a junior employee can meet up with a senior team member. In their time together, they can review performance and even bond.
Employee bonds are crucial for moral. It’s one of our most basic needs, we love to be a part of something and feel accepted.
14. Use Customer Relationship Management Software
I’m sure that you use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software in your store. There are many options ranging from the inexpensive Contactually to the enterprise-class Infusionsoft.
Did you know that your CRM can help you manage customer experiences, not only customer data? Consider this example:
Your CRM alerts you that a regular elderly shopper has not come to the store for a few weeks. Your employees call her and say, “Hi. I noticed you hadn’t been in our store for a couple of weeks. I wanted to offer you a ride.”
Listen to what she says before you respond. If she has not been in because she fell, you could send her a gift. If she’s in good health, you could offer her a coupon that will be valid in the next seven days.
What she will remember is that friendly store that cared enough about her to check on her.
15. Identify Potential Pitfalls
Here’s one final tip to improve customer satisfaction–use a mystery shopping company like Journey IQ. There’s a core benefit you get from hiring a mystery shopping company–an unbiased outsider’s view on how shoppers experience your store.
Not only do you get unbiased opinions, but you push your current customers through better mystery shopping experiences. You essentially get your customers involved with the company so their efforts feel important toward your common goal.
Additionally, you’ll save a ton on these type of expenses with incentives versus paying mystery shoppers outright. Want to learn more? Contact our team today!
Is your Instagram marketing strategy actually resulting in sales?
If the answer is “no” and you’re in the ecommerce space, it’s time to do some soul-searching.
Because to say that business is booming on Instagram would be a massive understatement.
According to Instagram themselves, 60% of users rely on the platform to research and discover products. As a result, retailers and ecommerce brands alike are treating Instagram as a sort of extension of their existing storefronts.
Instagram’s status as a hub for ecommerce sales doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, either. Just look at the ‘gram’s new ad types and features such as checkout on Instagram as proof of that.
The good news? Given how much the platform has evolved and grown, now’s a prime time to rethink your Instagram marketing strategy. For brands primarily interested in scaling their sales from social media, we’ve highlighted eleven actionable Instagram marketing tips below.
1. Stick to a Product-Focused Content Calendar
First thing’s first: what the heck should you post?
As noted in our guide to social commerce, product-related posts are among the most popular types of content on Instagram.
Although brands obviously want to avoid spamming their followers, they also shouldn’t be shy about showing off their products.
As cliche as it may sound, it’s all about presentation. You’re not going to get much traction from simply posting bland, lifeless product photos.
Instead, consider how you can highlight what you’re selling in stylish settings. For example, IKEA showcases their products in a sort of real-world shopping window.
Beyond photos, videos should most definitely be part of your Instagram marketing strategy as well. Eye-catching and entertaining, anything from mini-commercials to loop-able, Boomerang-style videos are fair game.
Even massive brands such as Swatch publish playful, engaging video content to show off their products.
The takeaway here is that product-related posts should be central to your Instagram marketing strategy. Although they shouldn’t necessarily be the only type of content you publish, brand shouldn’t be afraid of self-promotion.
2. Make Your Creativity & Voice Count
The sort of “gold rush” mentality of scoring sales on Instagram means that brands are often facing crowded competition.
To break through the noise, you need to use creativity to your advantage. Brands that are capable of carving out some sort of niche or trademark are often the ones that score significant follower counts.
And the more followers you have, the more opportunities to sell. There’s obviously no “right way to make an impression on your followers, but let’s look at a few examples.
Color is a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) way to grab someone’s attention on Instagram. The example above is a great instance of a color-specific collage from Skullcandy.
The brand cycles through different color schemes periodically, making for an aesthetically pleasing feed that keeps followers guessing.
Another popular tactic for making an impression on Instagram is humor. Whether it’s a meme or clever caption, people will generally appreciate funny content as a sort of “break” from traditional sales messages.
Brands should strive to find their trademark and voice on the ‘gram sooner rather than later. For the sake of doing just that, here’s a quick sample of Instagram marketing tools to step up your creativity:
VSCO: the gold standard for Instagram editing, including a variety of filters and style options
In-Shot: perhaps the most popular video editor for Instagram, boasting features such as music and speed control
Canva: this free editor makes it a cinch to create image macros, memes and text-based posts tailor-made for social media
3. Couple Your Posts With the Right Hashtags
Hashtags and Instagram go hand in hand. That said, their function isn’t totally understood by brands who try to spam them.
Hashtags not only enable new followers to discover your content but also encourage others to share posts related to your brand. For example, a brand-specific hashtag is a must-have for ecommerce brands.
Look at how Rifle Paper Company uses their own #riflepaperco hashtag.
Although these tags are admittedly niche, they highlight an extremely specific audience that’s willing to engage with brands. Digging through these sorts of hashtags is a smart move for brands who want to narrow down who they should target and sell to.
Beyond looking at what tags your target audience is using, you can use free Instagram marketing tools such as All Hashtag to brainstorm even further.
There’s some debate over how many hashtags is considered “ideal.” Although Instagram limits posts to 30, using that many tags can certainly feel akin to keyword stuffing which isn’t a good look for brands.
Generally speaking, you’ll notice that major brands tend to take a “less is more” mentality. Experiment with tags and make a point to take on at least one beyond your branded tag if possible.
4. Curate & Promote User-Generated Content
This is a big one.
Again, customer photos are pure gold from a marketing perspective. Filling up your content calendar with user-generated content is one of the best ways to sell your product and brand at large to Instagram’s audience.
Discovering these photos “by hand” is possible, albeit time-consuming. Digging through hashtag mentions and asking manually for permission for each and every piece of UGC isn’t exactly efficient, especially if you have followers posting customer photos on the regular.
If you want to feature UGC as part of your Instagram marketing strategy in a way that’s scalable, you’ll need a curation tool like the PowerReviews Social Collection.
Our Social Collection abilities removes the legwork of spotting UGC in the wild and enables you to share it without asking for permission from individual accounts over and over again.
5. Sell With Instagram Stories
If there’s a type of content that’s dominating Instagram right now, it’s Stories.
Stories offer brands a ton of creative freedom in terms of promoting products. Want to post an off-the-cuff selfie? A polished product photos with a specific call-to-action? Stories allow you to do both, all the while putting your brand front-and-center in your followers’ Instagram feeds.
For example, ShopDisney encourages followers to swipe up via Stories “see more” feature which takes users directly to a product page.
Meanwhile, MeUndies has a dedicated Stories feed for showing off their user-generated content.
Bear in mind that there are tons of new features and stickers consistently being rolled out for Stories. It’s smart to stay up to date with these new features so you can be fresh with your client base.
Check out how Hot Topic uses the open-ended question sticker to ask followers what they liked best from a recent fashion showcase.
On the other hand, look at how Stok uses a quiz sticker to pick their followers’ brains on what they like about their products. This not only drives engagement, but shows you’re all about community, conversation and learning about what your customers want.
Evolving your Instagram marketing strategy means keeping up with these features to come up with more compelling Stories in the future.
6. Create Instagram-Specific Landing Pages
Instagram only offers brands a single, precious bio link to funnel traffic directly from the platform to your website.
Don’t let this real estate go to waste.
For example, don’t just publish a general homepage link in your Instagram bio. Doing so limits your ability to assess the behavior or your social traffic or the ROI of your Instagram marketing strategy. Oh, and you’ll want to make sure that your destination pages are optimized for Instagram’s mostly mobile user base.
This is exactly why many brands promote Instagram-specific landing pages or, at the very least, mobile-optimized landing pages. The benefit here is two-fold: you create a seamless shopping experience for visitors and have an opportunity to measure how well your Instagram followers convert.
For example, Pura Vida’s Instagram bio link promotes a page dedicated to new arrivals. When we click through, we’re introduced to a landing page that’s scrollable with easy-to-click buttons.
Here’s another example from the Container Store, with large, clickable images and scroll-friendly interface.
If nothing else, make a point to track the clicks and conversions rated to your Instagram bio link. Notice that both brands above use Bitly links which can help you understand the behavior of your Instagram traffic in addition to Instagram’s native analytics.
7. Promote Your Most Popular Products Via Instagram Ads
Once you’ve gotten a handle on your organic Instagram marketing strategy, paid ads shouldn’t be too far behind.
Allowing you to target specific audiences and scale your promotions, Instagram’s ad platform is worth exploring for ecommerce and retail brands in particular.
We highly recommend our Instagram sizes guide to learn the proper dimensions for all formats–organic or paid.
One brand who is using Instagram Stories ads really well is Saint Chic. The company does a wonderful job showcasing the power of Stories ads and their ability to reel users in with great content.
Additionally, you can use your top-performing Instagram posts or products as the basis for an ad to ensure that it performs well. Here’s an example from Milly which uses a product carousel, consisting of photos that actually came from their Instagram feed.
Working with influencers allows brands to put a human face to their brand while also introducing themselves to totally new audiences. Check out even big brands like Skechers rely on influencer relationships to promote their products.
Brands are working with influencers of all shapes and sizes to engage with customers. To streamline and scale your ability to foster influencer relationships, consider how the PowerReviews Influencer and Sampling Suite could help.
We have a massive network of shoppers, advocates and influencers to help you launch a product sampling campaign that will not only boost product awareness across Instagram, but also generate more reviews or even visuals for your product pages.
We help uncover relevant influencers to shout-out your product without requiring extensive outreach on your part.
9. Rethink Your Posting Frequency
To maximize your potential sales from Instagram, it’s important for brands to post on a regular basis.
This means posting at least daily rather than treating Instagram as a sort of secondary platform. Additionally, staying in the good graces of the Instagram algorithm means publishing when your audience is most engaged.
While engagement rates differ based on your business’ location and industry, this data from Sprout Social can give you a general idea of the “ideal” times to publish content.
And yes, the process of posting daily might seem daunting. This is especially true if you’re regularly trying to cover ground on Instagram Stories too.
Rather than scramble for new content, it’s common practice to brands to stick to particular themes for the sake of organizing their content calendar. Here’s a sample content calendar for inspiration:
Monday: Post a meme
Tuesday: Regram a customer photo
Wednesday: Promote your latest story
Thursday: Regram a customer photo
Friday: Post about your upcoming sale
Saturday: Ask followers how they’re spending their weekend
Sunday: Post a product photo
This snapshot of ModCloth’s feed highlights what a diverse content calendar looks like in action. This also serves as an example of the creative freedom you have in terms of your Instagram marketing strategy.
10. Promote Your Instagram Anywhere & Everywhere
Rather than hide your Instagram from potential customers, you should make your presence loud and clear.
For example, let’s say you already have a sizable Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest following. Cross-posting your content and tailoring it for other networks is totally fair game. For example, here’s an Instagram post from Urban Decay.
Your brand’s website is also a place to promote your Instagram through social buttons, hashtags and customer look-books. ThinkGeek’s Instagram showcase is a great example, and again highlights the importance of curating user-generated content.
If you have an engaged email list, sending out Instagram-specific newsletters or promos can help grow your following.
And if you’re a brick-and-mortar business, don’t neglect promoting your Instagram to customers in-person. These business cards from Vistaprint showcase are a great example of that.
This might seem glaringly obvious, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.
As you grow your Instagram presence, you’ll find more and more customers sounding off with questions and suggestions.
And hey, that’s a good thing.
For example, Instagram can be used as a customer support channel to answer your followers’ questions to help them decide on a particular purchase.
As a result, Instagram is yet another platform to gather feedback and understand what people want from your brand. These valuable insights can help improve your products and fine-tune your Instagram marketing strategy at large.
On the flip side, you can also use your customers’ favorite features and product details to your advantage on Instagram. One of our features was built just for this reason.
Product Pulse gives brands and retailers a look at the common words, adjectives and sentiment at the product level by analyzing your review content.
Does your new line of backpacks fit a laptop well even without a compartment for it? Does the strap tend to break after heavy use? Use these insights to improve products and take the common promoters to use for marketing material.
And with that, we wrap up our guide!
What Does Your Instagram Marketing Strategy Look Like?
Selling through Instagram is arguably easier than ever for brands.
Granted you understand the landscape of the platform.
Hopefully these Instagram marketing tips provided some insight and much-needed inspiration on what it takes to use Instagram to drive sales. Following these steps along with the help of tools like PowerReviews, you will build a strategy to acquire new customers and show love to the ones you already have.
Ecommerce has quickly become one of the most lucrative and prospective industries for aspiring business owners around the world. But as ability to sell products to a global consumer base makes it easier to drive sales, the challenge of creating customer loyalty increases.
One of the recent online shopping statistics shows just how enormous the ecommerce world is as each business tries to acquire a portion of the 2.48 trillion-dollar cake. And to build a world-renowned brand from the comfort of your home is one of those modern-day perks that wannabe entrepreneurs are quickly trying to capitalize.
But yet again, you’d be mistaken to think the road to ecommerce success is not laden with obstacles and pitfalls.
At the center of long-term ecommerce success lies in your ability to generate repeat business through smarter customer retention strategies. After all, that’s how you inspire customers to come back to your site by creating emotional relationships customers have established with your brand.
And as you already know, acquiring a new customer costs a lot more than nurturing an existing one. I It’s smart to focus on keeping your current customers happy and satisfied so it’s easier to find new ones.
To give you better insights on how to do this, here are the six most-effective ways to build customer loyalty and propel your ecommerce business forward:
1. Never Compromise on Product Quality
First and foremost, there’s no compromise when it comes to product quality.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a drop-shipper or if you’re manufacturing and selling the products–today’s modern customers expect nothing but stellar quality for the money they’re dishing out.
In fact, a huge survey by Zendesk concluded that as much as 88% of online shoppers consider product quality to be the foundation of brand loyalty.
For you, this not only means that you need to be clear and transparent about your products and features. Instead, you need to deliver the specified item in the condition it was advertised every single time.
Fail to do this and you will lose shoppers forever. Even worse, the news of the subpar quality of your products will spread like wildfire across through industry word of mouth, alienating potential customers in the process.
Increase your product quality through the help of analysis tools like Product Pulse. Not only can you get product-specific insights, but Product Pulse allows you to find issues with your items that are mentioned regularly throughout your reviews content.
If your customers tell you there’s something wrong, make sure you listen. Use their insights from reviews to get a better understanding of where you can improve.
2. Welcome Every Customer With a Friendly Message
There’s nothing like a friendly greeting and a small discount to put a smile on the face of your shoppers. And to get people coming back for more, it’s smart to consider a personalized marketing strategy to speak directly to your individual customers.
Welcome emails and popups are excellent at achieving this and much more, but only if you offer something of true value to the customer. This is your opportunity reel in new customers with deals and discounts.
But this also gives you the chance to surprise repeat customers with tailored promotions and special loyalty bonuses. Remember that shoppers love being a part of a tribe and a customer loyalty group where they know the brand cares about them,
You need to have a special incentive for every type of shopper–new, old, loyal and the customers that only drop by once a year. Incentivize people to keep coming back and to become your brand advocates by getting them to subscribe to your email list.
Here you make the promise of future discounts and special deals that will allow them to save money. That said, keep in mind that the key to email marketing success lies in personalization.
Be sure to tailor your email copy to the customer rather than sending out template messages nobody will want to read.
3. Monitor the Online Chatter & Act Accordingly
One of the most important elements–if not the most important–of long-term success in the competitive ecommerce landscape is knowledge.
Knowledge equals power, and for a number of reasons. First off, knowing everything about your target demographic as well as your competitors gives you the edge to make cost-effective decisions.
Secondly, monitoring online chatter in real time gives you the power to tailor your approach on the go and capitalize on the latest trends. This is why successful brands in the ecommerce industry use in-depth social media monitoring tools to track brand mentions, engagement and all other statistics vital to their long-term success.
You can use this information to create detailed reports about your shop’s standing in the industry. Then tailor your offering to the exact requirements of your demographic.
Today’s social monitoring doesn’t even need the ability to mention or tag a brand. Instead, businesses are finding opportunities to engage playfully just by monitoring the use of their company name.
Imagine how your customer loyalty rates will skyrocket if you knew exactly what people were talking about, giving you the tools to surpass your competitors in the process.
4. Emphasize User-generated Content
Another tried-and-tested method that builds customer loyalty is user-generated content. People trust other people. In other words, they are much more open to buying from brands that have passed social proof than those trying to push hard sales or ads.
The truth is that nobody will ever believe the stories you’re telling if there isn’t a substantial number of satisfied customers to back them up. With that in mind, it’s time you started prioritizing user-generated content in order to boost transparency and trust.
Create a solution to all of the essential customer needs and be sure to post user-generated images, stories and product reviews to improve the reputation and credibility of your brand.
This will help inspire customers on the fence to make the decision to buy your product. Complement these content types with an engaging tone of voice and strive to maintain regular communication with your audience.
Customer loyalty starts with a brand who wants to and is willing to show off their awesome shoppers.
5. Make It Easy for People to Communicate With You
Brand-consumer communication is one of the pillars of good ecommerce nowadays. As modern customers’ expectations grow, many want their favorite brands to be easily reachable at all times.
Some customers might not be in a hurry, and wouldn’t mind waiting a few hours for you to respond to their emails. Other customers want to get in touch with you right now via chat (website and social media). This means that you need to be online and ready to respond in a matter of seconds.
Additionally, shoppers have questions about your products. And for the most part, unanswered questions lead to more cart abandonment.
Make sure your reviews provider offers questions and answers software that not only takes up minimal space on your product pages, but also quickly shows shoppers answers to common questions.
But also don’t forget about the customers that want to talk to a customer service agent in real time. This has companies increasingly integrating comprehensive chat systems into their processes.
Creating such an omni-channel communication strategy might be a bit taxing on your customer service department, but it will nonetheless prove instrumental in building a customer loyalty relationship between you and your shoppers.
6. Be the Brand People Know & Love
Finally, keep in mind that good branding always wins the day. The ecommerce industry is a saturated playing field.
In fact, this market accommodates to as many as 24 million stores around the world. So for the growth-oriented businesses, double your branding efforts to separate from the competition.
How else will people remember if you don’t have a unique visual identity and a memorable brand persona? Always try to make a compelling and trustworthy connection with your customers to win their trust.
At the same time, invest in quality visuals, content and storytelling. Then you’ll give customers something to hold on to and become your loyal brand followers. Do this to become an inextricable part of their lifestyle.
In the modern Ecommerce world, success is built on the foundation of recurring business. Instead of spending a fortune trying to replace the customers that leave you, focus on maximizing customer lifetime value through these solutions.
Throughout the process, you should have no problem future-proofing your ecommerce brand for years to come.
Effective product page designs are essential to the success of your ecommerce business.
Here’s a fun fact: Statista data predicts by 2020, over 2 billion people worldwide will be purchasing goods and services online.
The numbers are increasing exponentially, up from just 1.5 billion digital shoppers in 2016.
At the same time, this rise in demand has caused an increase in competition, and a decrease in conversion.
By showing real people using their product, Glossier lets users feel like they’ve been able to try the product themselves. This is critical for a driving a moving and authentic feel to the product page design.
2. A True Size & Fit
Especially for apparel brands, it’s important that people feel secure in their purchase. They need to know whether or not this product is going to fit them, without being able to try it on.
To improve conversions on your product page–and significantly limit product returns of wrong size orders–it’s important to include product page designs that clearly show the true fit of your products.
Let’s see three ways that The North Face does this with their product pages.
First, they include the measurements of the model in the pictures and give the size jacket that she’s wearing. It might not seem like much, but it gives the extra details needed when making a purchasing decision.
Next, they include a helpful pop up that allows users to find their perfect size for this particular type of product. This chart allows shoppers to pin point exactly the size and fit to nail down the right jacket.
Lastly, as part of their review section, they include other customers’ ratings on the fit and the sleeve length of the jacket. Everyone knows brands all have various sizes and fits, and in apparel, you have to be exact for your online shoppers.
The Review Snapshot from PowerReviews gives customers more confidence in their buying decisions and helps limit the dreaded, costly returns.
By including detailed pictures with the model’s measurements, an accurate sizing chart, and a rating system for fit and feel, you can give your customers the confidence to purchase your products knowing that they’ll fit right the first time.
3. Questions & Answers to Remove Doubts
No matter how good your product descriptions are, people will probably have some questions.
If you find that people are frequently asking the same or similar questions, why not include a Q&A section for your product page designs?
This will help remove any doubts that people have before they purchase. It also makes it easier for people to get answers, since they won’t even have to leave your product page to do so.
The mattress brand Leesa does this with the FAQ on their product page. Everyone has questions, so why not use your community of shoppers and your own customer service team to provide the answers to purchase-blocking questions?
4. Keyword-Optimized Text
Including keywords in your product page helps users find what they’re looking for quickly, and also helps your product pages rank on search engines. Following the best practices with SEO for ecommerce is essential to get pages to appear in the rankings.
Ideally, you’ll want to aim for long-tail keyword phrases that include various words. For example, instead of Men’s Sneaker, aim for a more specific keyword like Men’s Trail Running Sneaker.
Once you’ve chosen the right keywords, here’s three places you should put them:
URL: The product page URL should have just your main keyword.
Title (H1): The name of your product should be optimized to your keywords and your H1 should include it.
Description: Within your product description, include your main keyword and even try to add related keywords for context.
All this being said, remember not to stuff your product page with keywords. Never add them where they don’t sound right, since this could lead to problems for your website down the road.
See how shoe brand Manitobah Mukluks uses keywords skillfully through their product description? This helps their brand rank organically and also uses unique content that the search engines look for when ranking products.
5. Navigation Tabs to Keep Your Pages Clean
While it’s important to have the right amount of information on your product pages, it’s just as important that your product page designs remain clean and visually appealing.
In other words, don’t clutter your page with text and buttons.
A great way to remove clutter from your product pages is by using navigation tabs. That way, people can click to open a tab and read more, but the page still stays clean.
The women’s underwear brand Knix does this with their product pages really well. There’s not a ton of text at arrival that makes it overbearing to read and buy. However, their navigation tabs allow those who want more product information to easily click and find it.
Some of the most important information to include here is the fit, care instructions and even product quality so shoppers know your materials. The best part is the clutter is removed by clean navigation tabs at the bottom right.
These customer reviews need to be displayed prominently in the product page. One retailer doing this well is Zappos, which showcases the reviews clearly at the top.
Next, you’ll need to display real reviews that specify what your users are looking for in the product. For example, Zappos takes their reviews and displays the most helpful positive review alongside the most helpful negative review.
We already know that 85% of shoppers specifically seek out negative reviews and even typically don’t trust companies with only 5-star rated products. Here we can see Zappos use their reviews to include separate star ratings for comfort and style.
Since shoppers specifically seek out negative reviews, take a lesson from Zappos and display both sides. This actually helps build buyer confidence in your reviews and avoids the “too perfect” product review, which always comes off inauthentic.
Another way to take your reviews one step further is to organize them by topic, like Leesa does in their reviews. This helps people find exactly what they need and right away.
7. User-Generated Visuals for Ultimate Social Proof
While displaying reviews is a great way to build trust in your products (and improve your product page conversion rate), including pictures and videos from real users has an even bigger impact.
In fact, 88% of online shoppers specifically look for visuals submitted by fellow users. The result? After finding user-submitted photos and videos, 65% of shoppers will be more likely to trust in the product.
Check out how furniture brand Wayfair does this by featuring reviews that include real-life user-generated content to drive trust and authenticity in their product page designs.
Need help collecting more visuals for your reviews? PowerReviews’ Visual and Social Suite allows you to add a content gallery of real-life visuals posted by your users either on your website or on social media.
This collection ability could collected by encouraging a branded hashtag to use for your products on social or even by running a product sampling campaign. Whatever your needs, PowerReviews can help–big or small.
So, why are product suggestions considered an essential product page design element?
It’s not just because everyone else is doing it.
Product suggestions help you increase the total amount spent per purchase by giving people great ideas for what to buy. But they also help move shoppers along with the product they’re already looking at to encourage the buy.
Fitbit skillfully includes suggestions in the product page design and is a great example of how to get buyers to add more to the cart. When looking at the product page for the Fitbit Versa, you’ll find suggestions for accessories towards the end of the page.
This is useful to the customer, since not everyone likes the band that the Fitbit comes with and will be eager to spice things up with a new band.
Then, below the recommended accessories, there is a “You might also like:” section, which includes products that can be used in conjunction with the original product.
You can do the same by pairing products that work well together, or by including items that are frequently purchased together on the same product page.
May the Best Product Page Designs Win
Ecommerce is a growing world, and you’re a part of it. If you ace the design on your product pages, constantly adapt to new customer needs and put value on authenticity, you’ll be able to take an even bigger piece of the pie home.
While people love the convenience of shopping online, they also see the disadvantages. That’s why you need to make your online shopping experience just as good (if not better) than shopping in store.
To that end, apply to above tips to create truly fantastic product page designs that capture people’s attention, give them the information they need without overwhelming them and help them put real trust in your products.
Then, your product page design will live up to its full potential.