I know you’d much rather be with customers than creating or updating your website 😉, but this digital stuff allows you to connect with more customers more often. Did you know????
💸 Australians are among the biggest
Ecommerce spenders globally avg.
spend in 2021 @ $2700.
Foundation Plugins ️️️🛠️
Making sure you have a great foundation is key to the digital customer experience. Here are some foundation tools and plugins that will make your website creation and growth easier:
Filter Search plugins allow your customer to filter products by categories, attributes and product tags, etc: Woof for WordPress users (Free or Pro $39) and Product filter & search for Shopify users ($19/ month).
City of Sydney Reboot Series 🗣️
I get asked every week, almost daily, “how do we grow our traffic?”
I work with a wide range of retailers, from Butchers, to Bakers to Candlestick makers, earning anything from a few thousand dollars to $10 million-plus. The answer is always a question:
What is your conversion rate?
You see, there is no point driving traffic to a website that isn’t converting. It’s like renting a store, paying for the fit-out, spending lots of money on local advertising and ignoring the customers when they walk in.
💬 Brands spend just $1 on conversion rate
optimization (CRO) for every $92 spent
on customer acquisition (Econsultancy)
Conversion rates vary, across the 100’s of retailers I work with, the good performers convert at 2% +
WARNING RANT COMING: On average instore conversions are at 30%, food retail at 90%, digital converts at 2% which clearly shows we are getting are doing something really wrong with this digital stuff.
Conversions Rate Checklist ✔️
1. Imagery: Good product images get 30% more conversions. If you don’t have a graphic design team or you’re flying solo, here’s a quick canva hack to make your imagery more consistent.
2. Product Page Copy: Write in the “voice of the customer”, look at your reviews, listen to your customers in-store and use their language on your product descriptions. Often we get very creative OR technical with our product descriptions; your product or service pages are your store.
Check out Oodie Product descriptions, for a great example of how it should be done.
3. Simple checkout: Reducing the number of fields on a form from 4 to 3 can increase conversion rates by 50%. Is your checkout simple? – too many buy options can be a distraction.
City of Sydney Reboot Series 🗣️
Email marketing is the most cost-effective marketing channel returning about $38 for every $1 spent. Having worked with more than 1000 retailers in the past year, it’s also one of the most underutilised tools.
1. Welcome Email Series 📧
- Email 1 – a thank you email, which creates awareness.
- Email 2 – “about us” which drives consideration.
- Email 3 – is all about the purchase that creates conversion.
2. Abandon Cart Series 🛒
You spend all that time and money trying to get customers to your cart, and then, according to Baymard research, 69.57% will abandon it. This is why the abandon cart series is essential.
3. Lifecycle Emails 🔁
These are regular emails sent weekly, fortnightly, or monthly to remind your customers that you exist.
Effective email strategy should include:
- A killer headline (Killer Headline Suggestions)
- Engaging preview text
- Short paragraphs
- Social proof
- Clear call to actions (the number of emails I get that don’t have a buy button or a book button literally drives me insane!) – it’s like having a meeting with no agenda or no outcome, we’ve all been there, and we all know it is a complete waste of time!
Easter and Mother’s Day is slowly creeping up, and it’s time to start planning your email campaigns!
City of Sydney Reboot Series 🗣️
I am pretty honored to be selected by the City of Sydney & The NSW Government to pull together a series of FREE webinars focused on digital skills, growing customers, and brand. The 9 webinars will provide inspiration, practical tips and examples for retail and hospitality owners, startups, creatives, and professional services.
The lineup is insane, and I am so grateful to friends and colleagues for giving their time to educate and give back to small businesses. What I personally love about this panel is that we have an extremely diverse group of great minds and thinkers (it’s not just about culture or gender). This is what a diverse and inclusive panel looks like and sounds like!
Clover Moore – Sydney Lord Mayor
Naomi Simson – Red Ballon, Shark tank
Melissa Browne – Best Selling Author & Financial Educator
A. Professor Wayne Quilliam – Award-Winning, Indigenous Artist
Mya Nichol – Instagram Expert & Coach
Sandradee Makejev. – Founder St Frock, Top people in Ecomm
Sina klug – Founder of Nutie, Small Business Covid survivor and thriver.
Tim Doyle – Founder Eucalyptus, ex Koala
+ me (Kelly Slessor) running 3 sessions on all things digital.
Think of the last time you visited a new restaurant, beauty salon, hairdresser or bought a pair of jeans from a brand you generally don’t buy from. What was the process you went through?
If you are like most of the population, you probably searched on Google, read a few reviews, and then made your decision to buy or not to buy.
In fact, 91% of us read reviews, and 84% trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation. Because online reviews are your word of mouth, it’s that water cooler conversation or that phone call to your all-seeing all-knowing Auntie Anne asking for “the best place go or “where to buy”…..
Online reviews absolutely drive our behaviour, YOUR conversions, and YOUR revenue. In fact, the average customer is willing to spend 31% more on a retailer that has excellent reviews. So whether you are a multi-million dollar brand or a one-person band, here are 3 things you can do to make the most out of your reviews;
1. Display reviews on your product page
Integrating reviews on your product page psychologically feeds people’s desire to emulate other people’s demonstrated behaviour.
3. Make it easy…..keep it simple
If you don’t have an automated platform or a large team, then simply ask your customers for reviews. I recommend getting customers to review you on Google My Business (it’s great for increasing your rankings on Google) and then copy and paste the reviews across all channels.
Last week, I talked about the future of retail with Brian Walker, Abhishek Vohra, and Matthew Craig. We discussed omnichannel, the metaverse, reverse engineering digital to the physical world, and the need for the physical space to be more purposeful. My question always is – Are retailers, shopping centres, and investors spending time talking to the next generation about the future of shopping, OR are we basing future decisions on historic requirements?
Let’s be honest we all want to know how well the shop, restaurant, or bar next door is performing? So here are all your E-commerce benchmarks. From email KPIs to cost per acquisition, see how you stack up!
1. EMAIL PERFORMANCE
According to Campaign Monitor, the average email benchmarks for all industries are:
- Average open rate: 21.5%
- Average click-through rate: 2.3%
- Average unsubscribe rate: 0.1%
- Overall conversion rate: 2.2%
The brands I work with that are outperforming these targets do the following;
1. Use thought-provoking headlines, “Must-haves this Summer”, “Top 5 reasons to…”
2. Make Call to Actions really clear, not having a clear Buy Button on your email is like a meeting with no agenda, action items, or purpose… a waste of time.
3. A/B split test your email campaigns so you can see which copy and headlines attract more open rates; it can increase your email marketing ROI by as much as 37%. Here’s one I prepared earlier……
2. ABANDON CART RATES
You spend all that time and money trying to get customers to your cart and then, according to Baymard research 69.57% will abandon it. The main reasons people leave your cart are; extra costs (shipping, taxes, fees), the checkout process is too long or too complicated, or no guest checkout. To reduce the leakage;
- Test your user experience make sure it’s quick, easy and straightforward– use autofill and only ask them the necessary fields needed at cart (2-3 things).
- Implement an abandon cart series- this allows the customer to have another chance to purchase that product as they are busy and have a million things to do.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA SALES
- Engagement rate per post – 0.08%
- Overall social media conversion rates – 1.0%
If you compare overall social conversion rates to email rates, you can see why building your own database (first-party data) is much more lucrative.Stalking tip: you can check your competitor’s or other brands’ ads by going on their Facebook page, clicking page transparency, and then ad library.
4. CONVERSION RATE
For me, this is the most important metric (after customer happiness of course) currently across the brands that I work with it’s sitting at around 2%. According to Smart Insights the UK is sitting at 4%, so there is a lot money being left on the table.
HOW TO SMASH YOUR TARGETS
Each year a bunch of experts make predictions for the year ahead – some data-based, some just made up. But for those of you that know me, you know I am a total data geek, so last year I worked with Elisa Choy – the founder of Maven Data – to analyse the significant trends for 2022. Elisa is one of those people, so smart, that I secretly use Google to translate after speaking with her.
The report analysed PETABYTES of data, from the world’s online content using A.I open sources to determine what customers want, what they are saying, what investors are focusing on and what companies are building. We tested 25 trends and can predict which trends will move the market in the next 12 months.. (if you would like an overview of the report please email me). Here are my top three outtakes for 2022, based on the key areas that will grow your revenue
1. Live Shopping Goes Global.
Rose Keen, Econsultancy:
“Up until now, live commerce has struggled to gain a foothold outside of Asia. This appears to be changing with shifts in consumer behaviour and the arrival of new technologies and specifically social media app functionality supporting its wider adoption.
“The coming year will likely see more brands experimenting with live commerce as part of an omnichannel strategy. One interesting trend is the leveraging of internal talent as Livestream hosts.”
2. Personalisation REPEAT
I talk about this every year and each year we move a little closer towards it. As someone who has developed a personalised AI shopping platform, Shop You, and someone that passionately believes that we are all unique individuals (not algorithms) and digital should respond to you, not the other way around, I believe we will see a huge shift in personalisation this year.
The challenge has always been data and with Google making changes, first-party data (customer data collected by you) will become even more important.
With data comes insights, and with insights comes the ability to provide deeper personalisation. SO in 2022 think about the data you are collecting; how can you ensure that it’s not just about the first name and email address. As you collect data, ensure you are providing value in return and constantly ask you and your team the question – what’s in it for them?
3. Click and Collect
According to Insider Intelligence, Walmart generated $20.4 billion in sales through click and collect last year. As you can see in the chart, Australia continued to grow. There are a few reasons why we love to click and collect so much, mainly around speed, cost, and convenience. Retailers that don’t have click and collect functionality will be passed over for retailers that do. Therefore, Click & Collect is going to be big part trends for 2022.
And now for the real experts…
As school holidays come to an end, I am juggling the children and work, oh… and that never-ending feeling of guilt I am currently sitting writing this while at the Sushi Train with my boys, so I asked them for their predictions/ trends for 2022:
1. Covid is going to end.
That is the best prediction I have heard so far this year!
2. Shops will launch on the metaverse.
If you haven’t read my article, here it is.
3. The government will develop a fund for reopening small businesses.
Digitally educating SMEs is something I am extremely passionate about and I believe that government bodies need to invest in digital education to create sustainable growth in retail
The best way to grow digital is to know digital. If you have committed to a year of growth and want to know more about my 6 week program (kicking off on the 15th of Feb), you will be joining some amazing retailers and hospitality providers. Click HERE to discover more!
Ecommerce Conversions for Christmas 2021Continue reading
This video was posted on YouTube. Kelly Slessor reviews the Best Ecommerce Platform for small businesses. Kelly Slessor is an Ecommerce coach and digital marketing expert passionate about helping retailers and small businesses grow online.
What is an Ecommerce Platform?
An ecommerce platform is a software program that allows businesses to manage their operations online, such as website, marketing and sales. Ecommerce platforms enable you to develop your business without any specific skills. These platforms have many powerful ecommerce functions to make setting up your business online as easy and successful as possible.
There are over 300 ecommerce platforms. Choosing the best ecommerce platform for your business can be a difficult decision. There is no perfect ecommerce platform. The best ecommerce platform is one that will successfully deliver the outcomes and objectives you set for your business. It’s also based on what your business needs. For small businesses looking to sell online, below are the top platforms.
The best ecommerce platforms
Here are the 6 top ecommerce platforms for small businesses. These are some of the most user-friendly and affordable solutions.
- Shopify – best for startups and beginners
- Wix – easiest to learn and build
- BigCommerce – top enterprise solution; best for large-volume sellers and multichannel selling
- WooCommerce – best WordPress ecommerce option
- SquareSpace – simple, beautiful and minimalist templates
- Weebly – ideal for brick & mortar/online stores; easy and cheap all-in-one option
Shopify is among the most common and popular ecommerce platforms. This platform is rated highly and reviewed as excellent. Many small businesses use this platform because it is designed for niche markets. It’s an all-in-one platform that has many features to help build your online store. Shopify is one of the most recommended ecommerce platforms for anyone who is starting. However, the cost is not cheap. Considering all the costs, this is one of the more expensive options for small businesses.
Price: Free trial for 14 days; Basic plan from USD 29 per month, package that offers the most starts at USD 299 per month.
“Shopify is better than any other platform we’ve played with, and we’ve played with them all.” – Johnathon Bayme, CEO of Theory11.
“We’ve been able to build something in 3 years that a lot of brands haven’t actually gotten to in 10 years.” – Chioma, Cee Cee’s Closet NYC.
If you’re looking to build a complete website with an online store but don’t want the whole package, Wix is the way to go. This platform is the best overall website builder for small businesses. It’s straightforward to use and gives you total creative control. In addition, it’s a powerful site builder as it doesn’t skip out on ecommerce features. Such as order tracking, automated sales tax and abandoned cart recovery. Unfortunately, since it’s a website builder, it doesn’t have as many powerful ecommerce features as Shopify. For example, you can’t sell across multiple channels.
Price: USD 18 per month; the most advanced plan starts at USD 38 per month.
“Wix offers an excellent drag-and-drop site builder to create small websites. There are 100s of free templates available. Wix provides its own web hosting as well as domain names (free and paid). The App Market makes it easy to add extra functionality such as photo galleries or ecommerce.” – Armin Pinggera, Tech Guru at WebsiteToolTester.
Given the name, this platform is mainly for big enterprises like Microsoft and Toyota. It takes the same functionality as other platforms and scales it up for complex stores and massive traffic. BigCommerce lets you to connect over 400 additional tools and platforms for your ecommerce needs. Through this website platform, you can sell on multiple platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Facebook. This platform is ideal for scaling your business. The downside is that it can get expensive quite quickly, and there is a steep learning curve. It is not beginner-friendly.
Price: USD 29.95 per month; Pro plan starts from 299.95 USD per month. If you pay annually, you can get a 10% discount.
“On BigCommerce, we are saving a significant amount of money on development and overall platform costs. More importantly, we now have an extremely agile environment that can change quickly to meet our business needs.” – Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer of Skullcandy.
“When mapping out our growth, we felt that BigCommerce was going to be much more customisable than other platforms and set us up for massive growth.” – Antonio Kaleb, Ecommerce Architect of LARQ.
WooCoomerce is a free WordPress plugin. It’s easy and quick to set up, and it comes with many ready-to-go features. However, this software requires you to have a WordPress site. WooCoomerce allows you to transform your WordPress website into a functional ecommerce store. The great thing about WooCoomerce is that everything is customisable, even the costs. Additional extensions and features will require some payment.
Price: Free; for additional extensions and features, it costs from USD 29 per month.
“No other ecommerce platform allows people to start for free and grow their store as their business grows. More importantly, WooCommerce doesn’t charge you a portion of your profits as your business grows.” – Chris Lema, chrislema.com.
“WooCommerce’s greatest strength is its extensibility. There’s very little I can’t build with WooCommerce. Given enough time and resources, WooCommerce can finely be tailored to even your store’s most niche feature.” – Kathy Darling, kathyisawesome.com.
If you want more creative control, Squarespace is the platform for you. In addition, Squarespace works well for stores that don’t have a lot of products. If you’re looking for a simple and affordable website platform, Squarespace has it all. Squarespace is best known for its most beautiful and simple templates with stunning imagery. Pricing is relatively low and affordable. To be able to sell products on your site, you need to be on a Business Plan. However, there is a 3% transactional fee. To avoid this fee, you have to subscribe to either the Basic Commerce plan or the Advanced Commerce plan.
Price: AUD 35 per month; the Advanced plan starts from AUD 61 per month.
“Squarespace has a better blogging tool and better support than most competitors. They offer 100+ flexible templates that fully adapt to mobile devices. While it’s been massively improved in recent updates, getting used to the platform can take a while due to a few usability issues.” – Robert Brandl, Founder of WebsiteToolTester.
Weebly is a popular choice for budding small businesses looking to set up their own online business without prior experience. It’s beginner-friendly and budget-friendly. In addition, Weebly offers the essential tools needed for a functional store without all those flashy extra bits that might confuse you. Users can create a free plan if they don’t require a custom domain. Weebly gives a streamlined user interface that beginners can use without any problems. Since it’s much cheaper than other platforms, there are some limitations. For example, you cannot sell across multiple channels, limited customisation and weak SEO support.
Price: Free if no custom domain; AUD 7 per month (billed annually); the Performance plan costs AUD 30 per month (billed annually).
“Weebly isn’t as flexible as Wix and it isn’t as sophisticated as Squarespace, but it’s easier to use than both. What sets Weebly apart from its competitors is its simple, clear interface.” – Steve Benjamins, Founder of Site Builder Report.
Other ecommerce platforms
The above platforms may not be for everyone. However, there are more options available. These can include:
- Ecwid – all-in-one platform, free plan available
- GoDaddy – quick to set up
- Big Cartel – mainly for artists and other creatives
- Volusion – good inventory features and analytics, but expensive
- Magento – expensive, but most expandable; most suited for larger businesses