E-COMMERCE

WHAT WE LEARNED AT IRCE 2017- E-MAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICES

Some tips and tricks…2 of 3

I hope you enjoyed last week’s post where we talked about Social Media best practices that we learned at IRCE.  There was so much good information that we decided to create a series of blog posts to share all that we learned, with you!

Do you recognize the monkey in the pink banner in this picture?

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If you have dealt with e-mail marketing campaign tools before, you will recognize this as the MailChimp monkey!  They are a prime example of not only a great partner for your marketing campaigns, but also of great marketing.  They displayed this banner as you walked into McCormick Place for this year’s IRCE and everyone knew it was the MailChimp monkey – loved it!  So how do you get to this level of brand recognition?  Here are some tips we think will help get you on your way:

E-MAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICES:

This week we are focusing on marketing best practices. Together with last week’s tips on social media you can increase your exposure and reach out to your customer base via all channels. Whether you are a large or small company, we feel these tips will help you streamline your e-mail marketing efforts:

  1. Email Policy: Make sure you clearly communicate your policy regarding email addresses. Many customers will not give their email address if they think there is a chance that you will sell it. If this is not your policy, make sure they know their address is safe with you.
  2. Only send a few relevant emails: Sending too many emails will convince your customers to opt out. Sending irrelevant emails will quickly lessen the open rate. Define a maximum number of emails for each customer per month and make sure that the content adds value to their experience as your customer
  3. Create customer segments: Segment your customers by products purchased or viewed, profile information, demographics, etc. Segmentation will allow you to target email campaigns to ensure content, promotions, or new product launches reach the right customers and increase your open rate. Higher open rate usually translates into higher sales.
  4. Tie all emails to a trackable campaign: Campaigns will help you analyze each email blast and determine its ROI, click through rates, why it worked, why it didn’t and what can you do to improve the next email.
  5. Be professional: Send professional emails that represent your brand. Enough said. Don’t undermine your business.
  6. Engaging subject line: Don’t write the subject line as an after-thought. It has to be of interest to the recipients so it convinces them to open it. Also, don’t do a “bait-and-switch” and deceive them with a title that doesn’t match the content. Credibility is the key here.
  7. Design your email templates accordingly: Keep in mind mobile responsiveness and the ability to read the email without distorting the format in a smaller window such as the email preview window. Use HTML colors and text instead of an image.
  8. The goal is to funnel traffic to your website: offer many different links within the email, for different reasons. For example, links to articles, demos, new products, etc., that will drive traffic to good content on your site.
  9. Avoid the “click black hole”: If the user clicks, make sure you send them to a place that makes it easy to convert the click into a sale. Don’t send them to the home page. The page they land on needs to be an extension of the message in the email and contain the relevant information they clicked on in the first place.
  10. Tie it all together:  Try to recap your social media posts, blogs, and newletters in an email for the week. Link back to the content from the email, but only if it will provide value to the customer.

Using Magento for your e-commerce store? Did you know that your Magento Store supports MailChimp Campaigns?  Ask us and we can help you get it installed and configured for you!

We hope that you found these tips useful. If you have more tips of your own or would like to comment on any of ours, feel free to comment below. Stay tuned for next Thursday when our blog series continues with part 3 of 3: Mobile Commerce Best Practices we learned at IRCE.

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crimson Agility Team

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USING MAGENTO 2 TO COMMUNICATE BRAND IDENTITY

As a business owner, your brand is your identity. Twizel Goods, provider of sustainable clothing, approached Crimson Agility with a very specific mission. The owners wanted their e-commerce site to not only function perfectly, but to also beautifully represent the brand and vision they had worked so hard to hone.

For Twizel, clothing should be crafted with “care, quality, and humanity.” The focus is not on cheap and easy goods, but instead on ensuring the way the goods are created and distributed supports a healthy and vibrant planet. Understandably, a company with this global mission needs a site that will represent its identity completely.

When we began to build Twizel’s e-commerce site, we knew a Magento 2 platform could align with the vision Twizel had in mind. We followed these three principles to create a site that aligns with Magento best practices, responsive web design (RWD), and Twizel’s vision.

COLLABORATION

Like most companies, Twizel had a specific brand image in mind. The Magento 2 platform allowed Crimson Agility to reflect that brand in Twizel’s e-commerce site. In order to do this effectively, our e-commerce engineers worked directly with the design firm that Twizel contracted to create its brand. This collaboration allowed us to get a clear vision for the style and layout of the site while providing the opportunity for us to influence the design in a way that allowed Magento 2 features to shine through.

Based on the feedback and input we received, our team was able to create a Magento 2 custom theme that aligned with the vision Twizel had in mind. In addition, our team was able to positively contribute to the theme design by sharing and implementing ideas that demonstrated how the Magento 2 features and functionality meshed with their vision. This partnership of Twizel’s team and Crimson Agility’s Magento professionals resulted in a site that perfectly suited the Twizel brand identity.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY (RWD)

As a company with a visual product, the visual aesthetic of the e-commerce site is very important. Ensuring the Twizel vision translated to smartphones and tablets was especially important with the growing trend in online retailing towards mobile. Our team created and tested the Twizel Magento 2 site to work seamlessly across a range of devices. We wanted the site to operate perfectly and look great on laptops, tablet, and smartphone screens. Responsive Web Design (RWD) was a critical success factor and at the forefront of theme design at all times. We thoroughly tested the site across a range of monitor sizes to ensure the site functioned as exquisitely on a smartphone screen as it did on a large desktop screen. This included validating style, layout and functionality across a variety of web browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, iOS and Android. Nowadays, this is critical for any e-commerce site, considering mobile devices makes up 65% of all digital media usage. Your user is mobile and so your site needs to be too!

THE TWIZEL STORY

It was important to Twizel that their site be an extension of their vision, ideas, and philosophy as it relates to sustainable clothing and how we live – this was done in large part through beautifully captured high-resolution photographs that tell the “story.” We worked with Twizel to make certain that the images on each page told the story of their company, products, and partners. We were careful to balance the impact of large high-resolution images with high-performance.

Check out Twizel Good’s custom Magento 2 site at http://www.twizel.com/

CRIMSON AGILITY RECOGNIZED BY MAGENTO COMMERCE AS A MAGENTO 2.0 SOLUTION PARTNER

We are excited to announce that Crimson Agility has been recognized by Magento Commerce as one of the first Magento 2.0 Trained Partners. A Magento Professional Partner, Crimson Agility completed the necessary sales and technical training to validate its knowledge in selling, implementing and supporting the latest version of Magento Commerce’s industry-leading eCommerce platform.

The new Magento 2.0 platform empowers brands, retailers, and businesses across retail B2C and B2B industries to quickly and cost-effectively deliver engaging omnichannel shopping experiences. The Magento 2.0 platform also offers enhanced performance and scalability, new features to boost conversion rates, and business agility and productivity improvements.

“We’ve started talking to businesses about upgrading or migrating to Magento 2.0. The growing enthusiasm and excitement about this new version is well deserved,” says David Baier, Crimson Agility’s Vice President of Services Delivery. “The state-of-the-art and re-designed architecture allows businesses greater flexibility, more control, and faster performance. With Magento 2.0, we are confident that Magento will expand its adoption amongst small businesses and the leaders in online retailing”.

To be recognized as a Magento 2.0 Trained Partner, Crimson Agility’s development and sales staff had to complete extensive training and testing on the new platform, demonstrating competence in the new version of the popular eCommerce platform. The firm is now qualified to work with new and existing clients on implementation of the latest version of the Magento Commerce eCommerce platform. Learn more and schedule a complimentary assessment from the Crimson Agility team.

About Crimson Agility:

Crimson Agility is a full service Magento services firm with an in-depth knowledge of the Magento platform and e-Commerce, a broad set of design, development, integration and marketing skills, as well as years of industry experience and successful implementations. Learn more at https://www.crimsonagility.com.

Read the Press Release at PRweb.com

3 WAYS TO ACCELERATE YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS USING THE MAGENTO PLATFORM

Online businesses continue to go through transformations in their quest to provide exceptional shopping experiences to customers across all channels and devices. Businesses that are looking to provide an exceptional customer experience turn to the Magento platform, an e-commerce platform that can help drive more customer traffic and repeat purchases to your site. Magento is the #1 e-commerce platform when it comes to reliability, flexibility, and growth and it can help accelerate your online business in the following 3 ways:

  • Engaging Shopping Experience: The Magento platform can help boost your customer traffic and purchases by offering:
    • Personalized content – Website content based on your customers’ profiles, online behavior and purchase history.
    • Responsive, mobile-friendly design – Deliver the same shopping experience across all channels and devices anytime, anywhere.
    • Search & Navigation – Drive fast and easy product discovery through precise, relevant search and product filtering with layered navigation.
    • Better merchandising – Improve product merchandising with multiple images, videos, recommendations, ratings and reviews.
  • Customer Loyalty: The Magento platform can help you improve shopper engagement, incentivize repeat purchases, and reward your high-value customers by offering:
    • Rewards points – Customer rewards for activities such as registrations, product reviews, and new customer referrals.
    • Gift registries and “wish lists” – Bring new shoppers to your site to purchase from gift registries and wish lists to help increase sales.
    • Gift cards – Convenient gift option can help increase sales and encourage repeat purchases.
    • Exclusive events – Recognize your high-value customers with private sales and other exclusive shopping experiences.
  • Fast Deployment: The Magento platform seamlessly integrates with third-party solutions, can be deployed in any environment, and is backed by a vast network of experts, like Crimson Agility, that are ready to help you. Magento can quickly and cost-effectively build a site that is unique to your business by offering:
    • Customizable platform – Customize your site quickly and easily with a platform that offers flexible, configurable features with a wide range of extensions.
    • Complete design control – With Magento custom themes, you can completely control your site design and easily create variations for new brands, markets, and campaigns.
    • Flexible deployment – Choose any deployment option to match your business needs, including cloud, managed hosting, and on-premise.

Once you are ready to make the switch to the Magento platform, the key is finding a knowledgeable, reliable partner that can help you with your Magento migration. Crimson Agility is a certified Magento silver partner with an in-depth knowledge of the Magento platform, along with a broad set of design, development, integration and marketing skills, and years of industry experience and successful implementations.

If you are looking to re-platform your website to Magento, we invite you to schedule a complimentary assessment with one of our Crimson Agility professionals today!

5 E-COMMERCE TRENDS THAT COULD IMPACT YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS IN 2016

As we enter 2016, many online business owners are taking stock of what the dynamic force that began to transform their businesses at the start of the new millennium has in store for them next.

Only then can they make the necessary changes to their online businesses so that they can stay ahead of the curve, and make 2016 their most profitable year yet. Here are 5 e-commerce trends that could impact online businesses in 2016:

  1. Mobile is the name of the game. The writing, as they say, is on the wall: With every passing quarter, shoppers are making more mobile purchases. Making your ecommerce site “mobile friendly” is no longer recommended; it’s required to remain competitive.
  2. Multi-channel shopping is the “middle” name of the game. Selling products on one site once was considered the “purest” way to develop an e-commerce presence. But the reality is, shoppers continue to turn to multi-vendor websites to compare and contrast products. Listing your products on sites like Amazon and Etsy obviously will take time, but it’s a time investment that should pay dividends in terms of raising your online profile and enhancing your bottom line.
  3. Online shoppers clamor for online loyalty programs. Once the domain of brick-and-mortar stores, loyalty programs enjoy nearly universal appeal. E-commerce sites that want to gain a competitive advantage are developing programs that reward shoppers for return visits and especially multiple purchases.
  4. The pop-up “grows up.” Back in their “adolescent” days, pop-ups were derided as loud, pesky and intrusive. But many e-commerce sites have found a way to successfully, and quietly, use this tool to gather the information they need: create a pop-up that seeks an email address in exchange for a free product or service. After one appearance, the pop-up rarely, if ever, returns.
  5. Real-time analytics prove their worth. Whether pictures take too long to load or customers continually experience problems at check-out, nothing compares to being alerted to ecommerce problems immediately so that they can be remedied. Real-time tracking could be the true “game changer” for online businesses, separating those who profess to embrace a superior customer service experience from those who actually deliver it.

With so many e-commerce trends on the horizon for 2016, you’re bound to have questions about how to best position your online business so you can fully capitalize on these trends. Let the experts at Crimson Agility assist you. We invite you to schedule a complimentary assessment with one of our Certified Magento Professionals.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A RESPONSIVE E-COMMERCE WEB DESIGN

As a large segment of e-commerce shifts away from traditional desktop and laptop computers and toward mobile devices and tablets, it is becoming imperative to incorporate responsive web design (RWD) into your e-commerce strategy. Your customers want to be able to have the same great experience whether they are working from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

The best way to make this happen is to ensure your Magento site employs a responsive web design for e-commerce. With 9 out of 10 customers expecting a consistent experience over multiple contact channels, a responsive Magento site tends to lead to an increase in conversion on mobile devices and tablets, happy customers and repeat business.

If your Magento site is not responsive today, you could be missing opportunities for 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50% of your site visitors.  Review your analytics right away and determine the percentage of your site’s visitors using mobile devices.

Making your Magento site’s appearance and functionality the same across all devices is a growing expectation of your customers, but there are several other important reasons for having a Magento responsively designed theme for your business:

  • There are over 1.2 billion people accessing the web via mobile devices today, and roughly 27% of total U.S. e-commerce spending will come from mobile devices in 2015.
  • In order to rank higher in Google mobile searches, it is necessary to keep the content of the site true to form. Low quality mobile pages that add excess loading time lose out in Google searches.
  • About 40-60% of traffic is mobile, meaning that ranking lower in Google searches can be crippling to your e-commerce goals. A mobile-friendly site is critical to maintaining your hard-earned search rankings.
  • Responsive Web Design (RWD) means there is one theme to manage.  Managing one theme/domain is significantly easier than having to manage separate ones for each platform. Users on a tablet, smartphone, desktop and laptop will all have the same shopping experience, which means they will be comfortable with the functionality and will likely continue to return to your site.
  • The improvements in mobile e-commerce and the growing popularity of mobile devices have driven this tremendous growth and are shaping the expectations of consumers.

By updating your Magento theme to a responsive design, you will maximize site traffic leading to improved conversions and mobile-friendly customer experiences, as well as gains in mobile SEO and search rankings.  A well-designed responsive Magento site will help take your e-commerce business to the next level of success and efficiency.

If you are looking to make your website mobile-friendly and responsive, we will ensure that your new mobile-friendly responsive design (RWD) aligns with your brand and vision to maximize your online presence. We invite you to schedule a complimentary assessment today with one of our certified Magento professionals.