What is the Future of Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a crucial part of any marketing activity. It encompasses visual and written materials, such as videos, pictures, blog articles, social media posts and more. Whether you’re trying to boost your sales or to grab the attention of your audience and redirect it towards your business, content should play a huge role in those processes. That is so, because in order to convey your message to your customers, you need to communicate with them. And any form of communication involves content creation. Read more


A Successful Online Store: The Essentials

It is safe to say that online shopping has become more popular than ever and businesses all over the world are adapting to the new ways by opening their online stores. Did you know that online shop users in Europe in 2019 were 53% of the population? Therefore, since more and more people are shopping over the internet, the software for online shopping has also improved in the past few years. There are countless features and platforms, which can help you set up your online shop.

That being said, there are still some mistakes retailers make when it comes to creating the perfect website for their business. Some online shops have unnecessary features, which often are neither helpful for the consumers, nor enhancing the web design. Furthermore, business owners often insist on applying pretty, but unuseful themes to their online shops, which hinders the UX (user experience) and could significantly influence the number of purchases.

Therefore, we decided it’s best if we shared some of the essential features of successful online shops, so that you can ensure your business’s online store is on the right track. So, whether you’re just starting to plan the design of your website, or you already have a developed online store, stay tuned, because we think those tips will be useful for you.

via GIPHY

The Must-Haves

We agree that with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to select the right elements for your website. Furthermore, if you make a mistake when deciding what functionalities to include in your online shop, it can definitely have an impact on its whole performance and on the number of potential leads, which you might have otherwise attracted.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are some features and characteristics that your online shop simply cannot do without. Keep reading and feel free to jot some of those down, so you can easily implement them to your business’s online shop.

  • Various Payment Methods

We’re jumping straight to the payment methods, since that can be a major decision influencer when it comes to online shopping. A great number of people have considerations when it comes to putting their card details on the internet. There are diverse concerns connected to paying online. Probably the biggest of them is the fact that if a website lacks mechanisms, which can protect its consumers from hackers, then the users can become fraud victims. And since there are dozens of similar stories on the internet and on the news, it falls on the business owners to ease their customers’ concerns. One of the easiest ways, in which you could do that is by providing your clients with multiple payment options. Furthermore, even if your customers aren’t cautious of theft or hacking, they still might have a favorite (or a more convenient to them) payment method. It goes without saying that if you fail to elevate their unease or if they can’t find their preferred way of paying, your clients will most probably bounce off of your website and straight into your competitor’s. Therefore, it’s important to walk the extra mile and include more than one payment option to your online shop.

Some of the popular payment methods on the internet are: Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal Express, Bitcoin, Dwolla and net eChecks.

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System

Even if you are operating a small business, you can’t possibly manage to get everything done, no matter how many hours you spend at the office. Therefore, businesses often prioritize major projects and important business goals (which in many cases have tight deadlines). And we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with that, you should strive to grow your business successfully, after all. However, you definitely shouldn’t neglect the relationship between your brand and your customers. Not only because it’s rude and you may lose some of them, but also because you can gain returning customers and brand advocates by supporting a healthy trust-based connection with your clients. Therefore, it may be wise to research what CRM systems are available and appropriate for your business. Although different customer relationship managers have multiple features, the three main tasks that you must be able to accomplish when using one are:

  1. To receive automatically logged transactions and messages from your customers, which reached out to you via your website’s contact form.
  2. To target different groups of customers and offer them content according to their interests and demographics, diverse price range and even audience-specific email newsletters.
  3. To be able to communicate with your customers and have a history of all of your conversations.
  • Analytics Platform

Even if you put all of your effort into driving traffic to your webpage or promoting products so you can boost the sales, there’s always the unfortunate chance of not accomplishing your goal. When this happens, the best thing you could do is to go through your reports and track the performance of each tool that you have used in your campaign. This will allow you to make the necessary changes so that everything goes smoothly in the future. You can only do so, however, if you’ve been analyzing your website’s (preferably all of your online communication platforms) performance and recording the findings. Although there are multiple options for integrated analytics software, one of the most popular platforms out there is Google Analytics. No matter which platform or software you settle on, you must access it regularly and keep track of the findings. By doing so you will be able to easily track the sources of your traffic and thus you’ll know where to concentrate your efforts in order to acquire even more. Furthermore, you will not only be able to assess which of your communication platforms performs best (email, social media, your blog, etc.), but you’ll also learn some of the key characteristics of your clients – such as demographics, interests, behavior on your online shop and more.

via GIPHY

  • Easily Accessible Shopping Cart

By having a cart summarization on every page of your online shop, you’re ensuring that your customers can easily manage their shopping list. What we often see in good online shops is a brief summary (it’s usually displayed in the top right corner of the page, however it’s up to you where you decide to visualize it) of the cart continents. It kind of looks like a receipt and some business owners use this space to include a preview of:

  1. Тhe total number of products, which have already been added to the cart
  2. Тhe total price of the products
  3. А button, which is linked to the checkout page
  4. А quick access to the users dashboard

This could be very helpful when it comes to gently reminding your customers they still have to pay for the items in their card. Furthermore, other features, which you could include when it comes to the shopping cart preview, are the option to compare products with one another (if it’s applicable for your business) as well as a “wish list” option. You could encourage your clients to add products they desire to their wish lists and then run remarketing campaigns offering discounts on those same items. Furthermore, you could also display the wish list on each page of your online shop (or on a specific page only, for example on the checkout page) and thus teasing your customers into buying the products they so much want.

  • Strong Hosting

Fingers crossed, that it all goes well and as planned and you get a lot of traffic coming into your online shop. After all, there is no such thing as too much traffic, unless of course your hosting provider isn’t strong enough. In that case, you are sure to get slow loading pages, freezes and crashes along with the traffic. And you should definitely not let that happen, because according to wetopi.com, 47% of website users expect any webpage to load in under two seconds and if that fails to occur, then your customers will bounce straight off of your online shop. Therefore, when deciding on the hosting provider for your business, opt for the one, which has an uptime guarantee (no crashes or slow loading). Furthermore, ideally your hosting provider will keep backups of your data and will ensure the cyber security of your website and your customers.

Important Points To Take Into Consideration

So, now that you know what are the absolute essentials for any online shop and (hopefully) you’ve implemented them (or you’re at least panning to), you can go on adding extras and making your business’s website even more attractive. Keep in mind that although your online store can handle itself without all of those features and elements, implementing them will make it truly amazing. Furthermore, by going through those points and optimizing your website according to them, you are ensuring to stay on top of your competitors.

Moreover, if you provide high quality experience for your clients, you will undoubtedly see more sales and traffic to your webpage. This becomes obvious when we take a look at intechnic.com’s article, which talks about how a well-designed user interface could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to a 200%, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%. If you want to improve your UX optimization and achieve such results, keep reading.

  • Be Specific and Ordered

When creating your category pages, you need to do so in an ordered manner. Keep in mind what kind of people you’re creating the content for. You need to figure out what are the characteristics of your niche and what are the best ways to target your audience. You should carefully select the products that need to be displayed on your website and categorize them accordingly. You need to organize and group your goods in a way which will provoke engagement and interest in your customers. Furthermore, pay attention to your wording and make sure that your categories encompass the full spectrum of your business and clients alike.

  • Have A Clean UX

The pages of your online shop have to be easily navigable by your customers. As we’ve already mentioned, UX is of main importance when it comes to conversion rates and overall client’s decision making (whether or not to buy a given product). Therefore, you should definitely keep your interface clean and ditch the pretty but complicated design that you so much liked. You need to create your online shop, so that it is extremely easy to use throughout every step of the online shopping. Furthermore, you need to design your pages so that they help you guide your customers from the landing page, through the product pages and (the goal) to the checkout section of your website.

via GIPHY

  • Cross-Sell

Having your own online shop gives you the privilege to offer cross-selling deals to your customers. This is a great way to boost your sales and showcase the full spectrum of your offered products. You could offer related goods to those your clients have already added to the cart, or you could implement special discounts on similar items. One of the best cross-selling examples can be found at Amazon. So when you’re feeling lost on ideas, feel free to have a browse through it and gain some inspiration for your online shop.

  • Have Strong Copies

If you want to improve your search engine ranking (and you should, unless your page appears first) you need to have good content on your online shop. Don’t just copy the manufacturer’s description of the items you offer. Think of an original, fresh way in which you could illustrate the benefits of your products, instead. Your writing style should be in accordance with your audience’s interests and demographics, so that it adds value and persuades them to add this product to the cart. Moreover, by including relevant metadata on the appropriate places in your website and having content which speaks to your customers, you’re taking big steps towards making your business’s online shop SEO-friendly.

  • Include High Quality Visuals

Everyone loves a good visual and so do your customers. By adding attractive visuals to your online shop, you are ensuring that your conversion rates get higher, according to cloudcart.com. Therefore, you need to choose the images that present your products in the best light. You could even include videos of your products in action, just don’t forget to display those visuals, so that they don’t hinder the UX you have established. Furthermore, you need to think how all of those images look together. Do they compliment each other, or are they completely different in style and therefore make your online store look scrambled and fragmented?

  • Have Internal Linking

It is a very good idea to link product and category pages to one another inside of your online shop, especially when it comes to SEO. If you establish those links, this boosts your page authority, thus making it rank higher in the search engine results pages. Furthermore, through linking core products and other relevant categories to one another you are multiplying the chance of selling those items to the ones interested in them. That is so, because no one will click on the link if they weren’t intrigued by its continents.

via GIPHY

Craft Your Brand Personality

If you implement all of the above mentioned features and elements, you are sure to have an online shop which is quite well optimized in terms of UX. However, simply having a well designed and optimized online shop isn’t enough. If you want to attract new customers, boost sales, drive more traffic to your website, or in other words, grow your business in the digital world, you need to create and implement a marketing strategy.

Furthermore, you need to build the image of your brand and execute the strategy according to your company’s values and beliefs. As cloudcard.com suggests, you need to think of your brand as a real, living person, who has specific characteristics, a specific attitude towards the surrounding world and who behaves according to a specific culture. Once you figure out what your business’s culture is, you can establish true, personal connections with your customers.

Furthermore, your brand personality plays a huge role when it comes to consumers’ decision making process. For example, on the one hand, if you show that you are truly passionate about a given product the consumers will probably buy it from you. On the other hand, if your competitors didn’t put any effort into showing their excitement over the same product, the consumer will once again prefer to get that item from another retailer.

So make sure to research your audience and understand what their pain points are, as well as what they are passionate about. Once you have that knowledge craft your brand story, so that it corresponds to the values your desired customers may have. Furthermore, through it, you need to be able to influence your customers on an emotional level. Establishing a good brand-customer relationship ensures that your clients will be loyal to your brand.

Another point that you should consider is your brand’s Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and Unique Selling Proposition (USP). In order to be able to execute great UVP and USP you need to conduct an in-depth competitor analysis. Know what your strengths are in comparison to your rivals and communicate them to your customers.

At the end of the day, you should definitely plan your long-term branding strategy, in order to stay on top of your competitors. Have meaningful interactions with your clients and follow your company’s culture. Don’t skip on optimizing your online shop and continue striving to grow your business in the digital world.

If any or all of those points make you feel overwhelmed or lost on ideas, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you with every step throughout your digital journey. Markception’s team will work alongside you so we can create your success story together.


A Digital Marketing Agency or an In-House Marketer

Let’s face it, nowadays, being on top of your marketing game is simply essential. With so many businesses beginning their digital journey and setting foot online for the first time, being able to execute excellent digital marketing campaigns becomes a much more valuable skill. Furthermore, with the high competition amongst brands and companies, having a marketing specialist on your team might help you get ahead of your competitors. And since that’s the thinking of many business owners (and they are absolutely right), the hunt for skilled marketing professionals is becoming obvious.

If we take a look at what digital marketing actually is, we’ll see that it’s a combination of a number of online marketing tools and current market trends, which are dynamically changing on a daily basis. Social media and email marketing, SEO, paid online advertising, content marketing, and even your business’s website – all of those things are a part of the digital marketing world. The goal of an online marketer is to convey your brand’s message to the right audience (through using the above mentioned tools) and guide your customers on their way to the check out page on your website, all the while making it a pleasurable experience for them.

 

via GIPHY

So, if you own a business you need to keep up with the trends and (if you haven’t yet) think about your marketing strategy. There are three paths you can take here. First – you can dedicate some of your free time, sign up for a bunch of online courses, roll up your sleeves and get to creating your business’s marketing strategy. Your second option is to hire an in-house marketing team (or a marketer, depending on your budget). And last, but not least, you can get in touch with a digital marketing agency. We’re going to look closely at each of your options and explain what benefits and flaws you may encounter when choosing either of them.

Do it yourself

If you’ve decided to go solo and take matters into your own hands, we need to let you in on the biggest problem that you’re going to have (or should we say not have) – and that is time. In order to execute quality marketing campaigns you need to have time to prepare for them. And we weren’t joking when we said you’ll probably need to attend a course or two on digital marketing. Today, even if you have a natural ability to market, there’s always some new tool or feature that you must know about. Furthermore, you should be implementing those new features and trends to your marketing strategy right as we speak. Well, technically, as you read this, which brings us to our next point and it is multitasking.

If you’ve never done marketing before, this new duty will certainly require you to multitask, because you’ve already established a schedule, which works for you. Therefore, you have a specific way of going through the week, you have specific activities planned for each day and you’ve probably scheduled every minute of your days, so that you can achieve the planned goals for your business. However, once you need to also come up with a marketing strategy, implement it and analyze it, so that you know you’re not hindering your business at the very least, it suddenly feels like a ton of effort and you might even get a bit overwhelmed.

via GIPHY

Furthermore, even if your business has active marketing channels – such as social media profiles, email newsletter or a blog platform, you still need to consider ways in which to enhance your marketing presence. As we already mentioned, you need to keep track of the constantly changing trends and you need to mind the fact that since Covid drove many businesses online, you’ll probably have more competitors in the digital world than before.

So, if you ask us, we believe that in order for you to be truly focused on your business goals and move forward with growing it, you cannot possibly juggle between social media, updating your website banners, answering emails from clients, creating content for your blog and executing online ad campaigns. We couldn’t put it better than wisworld did:

Because at the end of the day, time is money, and while you spend hours and hours on marketing, you’re losing time during which you could be delivering products or services.

Not to mention that besides pursuing your career you need to also pay attention to your mental health and practice good life-work balance.

Hire an in-house marketer

Your second option for optimizing your business’s performance in the digital world is to hire an in-house marketing team. Well, it depends on your budget whether it will be a team or a single person, to be exact. You need to provide monthly salaries to your employees, remember this fact when you are deciding whether to hire one specialist or a whole team of marketers.
Just keep in mind that although not long ago a single person could manage to do all of the marketing efforts in a small business organization, as Neil Patel puts it: no matter how skilled an individual is, they don’t have enough arms – or hours in the day – to get everything done.

Company culture and values will be better recognized, understood and therefore represented to your customers in a more detailed and accurate manner, by someone who works full-time solely for your company. That being said, hiring a marketing team could turn out to be not only more expensive, but also more time consuming. The first reason for that is the fact that the process of hiring individuals takes time. You need to go through the interviews and questionnaires, then through the analysis of the candidate’s performance and finally you need to handle all of the documentation. Furthermore, it will take some time for the new employee to grasp the needed information and to settle in the new position.

The next detail, that you need to consider when hiring in-house marketers, is the field of marketing that they specialize in. We’re not saying that there aren’t skilled marketing professionals capable of planning and executing marketing campaigns on multiple communication channels such as: email marketing, social media marketing, Google and Facebook ads, as well as website banners and SEO services. What we’re saying is, those professionals usually require an attractive salary and are very hard to find.

via GIPHY

Easier to find, however, are, as we like to call them, one-man-orchestra marketers, who claim they can get it all done. However, at the end of the day it turns out that all they’ve done is spend all your budget with nothing to show in return. This is definitely a scenario, which you want to avoid. One of the ways, in which you could stay away from such outcomes, is to hire multiple marketers, each of them specializing in a different aspect of digital marketing. In that way you will truly create your own mini marketing team, which will be solely focused on your business and its goals. They will be easily accessible, when you need to talk to them, because (unless Covid hits again and we’re all home-office once more) they will be present during office hours and are directly under your management. Moreover, if they enjoy working for you, they will truly be passionate about driving your business to success, since they operate under the same roof as you and their salaries probably depend on your business’s success.

It is our belief that if you insist on hiring in-house marketers, the best way to do it it is to hire a whole team. However, as we already mentioned, this is also probably the most expensive way, in which you can manage your business’s marketing. Aside from the monthly pay that you need to provide to your employees, you also need to think about training costs, as it will take time before your new employees reach full productivity. Furthermore, you cannot have a digital marketing team, without having the appropriate technology, which they need to use, in order to fulfil their goals. So you need to provide devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones, as well as the needed software such as video editing programs or subscriptions to 3rd party digital tools. It is clear to see how the expenses keep getting bigger.

Hire a digital marketing agency

Last, but not least, you can partner up with a digital marketing agency and improve your business’s marketing strategy with their help. At first glance, this option has some similarities to hiring an in-house marketing team (and we’re really talking about a team, and not just a one-man-do-it-all marketer) since in most agencies there are people, specializing in diverse aspects of marketing. However, oftentimes partnering up with an agency can be much lighter on your wallet. That is so because hiring a team will cost you around 5 salaries (if your team consists of 5 marketers, that is), whereas for the same amount of brains (or for even more, as some agencies consist of up to 10 people) you may end up paying less.

One of the biggest benefits that you get from hiring an agency is that you will receive a marketing strategy crafted specifically for the needs of your business but most importantly, at the end of the day you will get measurable results.

The professionals there usually have many years of experience working with diverse brands and businesses. Therefore, chances are, they have done a lot of diverse campaigns and have worked with different types of audiences throughout the years. Furthermore, although they may have done similar campaigns to the ones you want for your business in the past, they will carefully listen to your preferences and propose the best solutions based on your budget and desired outcome.

As Covid drove businesses online and the hunt for skilled digital marketers began, professionals put more effort into improving their performance and became more competitive. So if you’re looking for skilled marketers, who are implementing the latest trends and tools in the digital world, then hiring a digital agency is the right choice for you. That is so, because with all of the disasters happening nowadays, including the economic crisis, which arose as a consequence of Covid, marketers cannot afford to make mistakes.

If you decide to work with a digital marketing agency, you will skip the time consuming task of recruiting in-house marketers. Furthermore, it is easy to distinguish a good agency by simply listening to what people are saying about it. Usually when hiring new employees, you cannot tell straight away whether they are a good fit for your company or not. This can sometimes take up to a few weeks. Plus, your only knowledge about this person comes from their biased CV and from the recommendations (which are rarely, if ever, negative). Therefore, you really have no way of knowing whether or not the person you are willing to hire is actually a good employee. When it comes to digital agencies, however, it’s very easy to conduct a quick google search and see what pops up. Often agencies will also have accounts on platforms such as Trust Pilot, so you can access customer’s feedback from there as well.

Another great feature of digital agencies is that when working with one, you get an outside perspective.

Since agencies’ teams are not entirely and solely engaged with you and your business all the time, they will be able to provide a fresh view over the things you do. Additionally, since they aren’t completely involved in your company and aren’t participating in the day-to-day culture inside your company, they can offer curious ideas, which may be surprisingly good, that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. Furthermore, when it comes to growing your business, they will come up with strategies way beyond what you have planned (or thought about), simply because they are looking for the best solution and are also offering you multiple strategies along the way, so you can choose the right one for your business together.

via GIPHY

As we already mentioned before, digital marketing agencies are result-driven. This means that you will know exactly what you get out of your agreement. At the end of the day, the marketers, working there, will analyze the performance of your campaigns and diverse communication platforms. Then they will create a report and will often visualize the results, explaining to you what worked well and what not so much. Furthermore, they will calculate your ROI and give suggestions on what could be changed in order to obtain higher rates during following campaigns.

Which option is the right for you?

Which option you choose is entirely up to you and the needs of your business. However, if you ask us, we advise you to definitely avoid making an attempt at doing it yourself, simply because it’s too much work for one person, especially if you are not a marketing professional. Furthermore, we believe that hiring a jack-of-all-trades in-house marketer (a.k.a the person who does everything) is not going to help you either, because it will be extremely difficult for one person to keep track of all of the channels and to plan and follow through the implementation of quality campaigns.

So the two options, which you need to carefully consider are hiring an in-house marketing team or partnering up with a digital marketing agency. According to marketmotiv.com, in the UK, a full time digital marketing employee’s salary can vary (depending on his/her experience) anywhere between £1 916 (equal to €2 140) or up to £3 916 (equal to €4 374) a month. On the other hand, approvedindex shares that a digital marketing agency can cost between £1,200 (equal to €1 340) a month up to £5,000 (equal to €5 586) or even more, depending on how intense you want your strategy to be. However, keep in mind that if you hire an in-house team of, let’s say, 5 professionals, then you’re looking at a minimum £9 580 (equal to €10 702) a month worth of salaries (and that is in case they are inexperienced, which shouldn’t be your first option, if we have to be honest).

Therefore, our advice would be to go with the digital marketing agency, simply because it will be lighter on your wallet, you will get the opportunity to work with multiple marketing specialists, who will provide constant support and advice on how to successfully grow your business. Furthermore, you will receive clear, measurable results and suggestions on how to further increase your ROI (return on investment). Moreover, when hiring an agency you will have plenty of time to finalize those projects that have been piling up on your desktop and grow your business further. Plus, while you are focusing on your business, you will also have an exceptional presence in the online world without having to move a finger.

If you are convinced that you need to partner up with a digital marketing agency, Markception’s team will be glad to help you fulfill your business goals. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance with every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. We’re ready to define your company’s goals together with you and plan your way to success.

We believe in the power of creativity and through it we build strong human relations between customers and brands in the online world. Let us be a part of your digital journey, get in touch now.


Don't Make These 10 Online Store Mistakes

We have to be honest, we’re getting a bit tired of mentioning this, but it really is an important aspect of today’s business world, and that is the fact that in 2020 it’s pretty much impossible to have a business without also having an online shop. Did you know that the percentage of people shopping online nearly doubled over the last 10 years? According to Eurostat, in 2009 the online shoppers in Europe were 32%. Furthermore, the website also informs us that in 2018 that figure jumped to 56% and reached 60% in 2019. Those are some impressive numbers, we agree. Therefore, if you still don’t have a website for your business, you need to start planning the launch of your online shop.

Keep in mind, however, that establishing your online store takes time, but it takes even more time to grow your online presence and attract customers in the digital world.
Nobody said that being digital and selling your products online is easy. There are a million little details that you need to think about in order to be successful. Furthermore, there are crucial features of any online shop, which need to run smoothly, in order for your business to be successful. If you make a mistake when setting those up, you could lose valuable leads. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t worry, because we’re here to let you in on the 10 most common mistakes business owners do when it comes to their online stores.

via GIPHY

1. Not being clear on what your costs are

Business owners usually take a step toward the digital and create their online shop with the goal of increasing their profit, generating a certain amount of sales or attracting new customers. Therefore, you need to make sure to calculate your costs, so that at the end of the day you achieve your main goal – to turn profit. Many businesses, however, get tangled up in calculations and find it hard to figure out what prices they need to set for their products, in order to be able to generate a profit. 

Setting the prices low (or as some prefer to do: setting them lower than their competitors) has two major drawbacks,

which concern not only you as a business person, but your whole niche as well. First of them is connected solely to your business. Even if you have a great product, which sparkles the interest of your clients, and even if you succeed in completing hundreds of sales in a week, you can still find yourself empty handed in case you set a lower price than your product really calls for. You will be surprised at how many business owners forget to do the math or skip adding some of the costs of online selling to the equation. 

As Neil Patel reminds us, the formula is simple:

Profit = Demand x (Revenue – Expenses)

However, you must consider adding the costs for shipping, customer acquisition, marketing and any third party tools that you may use, towards your expenses. Once you’ve done that, you ensure that the base of your online shop is set and you can boldly start selling and turning profit.

The second problem, connected to incorrectly set prices, concerns your industry as a whole. Although it’s true that price can significantly influence the decision-making process of your customers, setting a lower price than your competitors is a really bad idea. This is so, because when you set a low price, in a way you are starting a war with your competitors and that can never end well- neither for you, nor for your customers. Furthermore, even if you manage to generate more sales, you should ask yourself will they turn a profit if the price of the products was as low as it gets (hint: the answer is probably no).

via GIPHY

Therefore, the best you could do, in order to stay on top of your competitors is definitely not lowering your prices, but rather offering more value to your customers. Rather than struggling to turn a profit while producing goods, which are lacking in quality, opt in for the pricier materials and propose a valuable product to your clients. In that way you are motivating your competitors to also up their game when it comes to quality.

2. Choosing a complicated design

It’s one thing to have a creative vision for your website, but it’s a whole different thing to be able to combine beauty and practicality in one. Therefore, choosing the right theme for your online shop can drive your business to success, whereas picking the pretty but not really useful layout can scare your customers away. A lot of business owners make the mistake of adding too many features to the wrong places and thus making their customers lost on their way to the digital cart.

UX (user experience) is crucial when it comes to online shopping. There are specific rules of how you should design your website, in order for it to be easily accessible so that your customers can intuitively navigate it. If you decide to disregard those rules, you shouldn’t forget that nearly 80% of the consumers will leave a website if they don’t like what they see there. Therefore, if you haven’t optimized your website in terms of UX, chances are, your business is suffering because of that.

You need to craft your webpage in a way which will make it easy for your customers to navigate it. Arrange your menu in an ordered manner and title the different sections of your online shop accordingly, so that it’s a no brainer what each section talks about and what your customers may expect to be included in each of them. Furthermore, when considering your online shop’s design you need to think about whether or not the theme you’ve chosen supports all of the latest plugins and third party tools, which you may want to use in the future.

3. Optimizing your online shop only for desktop users

The suggestion that “if a web page looks good on a desktop device, then it will also be ok on a mobile device” serves as a common excuse for retailers not to optimize their online shops for mobile devices. This, however, is completely wrong! While responsive designs are getting more popular, unless you implemented such before you even launched your online shop, your content is not going to look the same both on mobile and desktop devices.

Furthermore, if you haven’t done any optimization for mobile to your website, then you might have a bit of a problem with your marketing strategy, since more and more people are connecting to the internet via mobile, rather than desktop devices. Moreover, according to thedrum.com, 63% of traffic to retailers’ web pages and 53% of sales in 2019 happen via mobile. It’s clear to see how impressive this statistic is, therefore we encourage you to start working on developing a mobile version of your website as soon as possible.

4. Having the wrong kind of relationship with your competitors

Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t encouraging you to become best friends with your competitors, nor are we asking you to spend your free time drinking coffee together. What we mean by that is, you need to constantly keep track of what your competitors are doing, however, you shouldn’t copy their efforts blindly.

By doing your competitive analysis regularly, you’re staying on track with the current trends concerning your business’s niche and industry. Furthermore, by noticing what your competitors are doing and what they are offering to the consumers, you can easily figure out which deals appear to be appealing to your customers and which don’t. Therefore you know what to avoid doing in the future.

However, if you like some of their campaigns or if you see that they attract a lot of engagement and attention from the consumers, don’t just mindlessly copy your competitors. Marketing strategies are complicated and there’s much more to them than what the consumers are actually seeing. Therefore by copying your competitors’ visuals and content topics, you are only duplicating what’s on the surface of their campaigns without knowing what their goals are and consequently why are they sharing such content. Furthermore, not knowing what their conversion rates are, as well as how big the costs of those campaigns are, and still sharing similar content, can hurt your business.

So, if you want to get ahead of your competitors, you need to find that golden middle between being too copycat-y and not caring what they are doing at all. Furthermore, rather than mimic their efforts, you need to analyze your own performance and propose content and visuals according to the results. So, if you saw a huge increase in the number of orders for a given product, for example, think about what in your marketing strategy or on your website pushed the consumers to buy the goods from you, rather than from your competitors.

5. Having boring product descriptions

We see online shops, which lack in quality descriptions and presentation of the products as a whole, way too often. A lot of the retailers choose to simply copy the description of the manufacturer of the product (especially valid for eCommerce shops) or just leave the specially dedicated text box blank. Furthermore, while being SEO-friendly is a very good idea, jamming the description of your goods with keywords, is not so much.

Don’t use irrelevant tags and keywords for your products if you don’t want your customers to feel like they were betrayed.

Moreover, if you decide to simply copy the manufacturer’s description, you are playing a role in limiting your organic search visibility. This can happen if a lot of retailers use the same description as you, thus becoming your direct competitor when it comes to ranking in the search engines.

In order to attract the right customers and to persuade them into buying your goods, you need to display your products in the best light possible. This means that you have to upload high quality pictures of your products (you can also upload pictures of your product while in use, so your clients get a better understanding of its features) and give them detailed descriptions, which are fun and engaging. It’s a good idea to use clear, simple headlines for each of your goods and to highlight the benefits of your products by listing them in the form of a bullet point list.

6. Your pages are taking ages to load

A slow website could be one of the reasons why you are not generating as much sales as you’d like. According to a survey, executed by Google, if the loading time on a page takes 10 seconds or more, the bounce rate increases to 123% (bounce rate means that the customer bounced off of your page. They went to another page of your online shop, or simply left your website). Furthermore, Google’s article reads that as the number of elements on a page (such as text, titles, images) goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95% (more elements = slower website).

via GIPHY

It’s easy to see that the consequences of a slow online shop could be devastating. Not to mention that a slow and lagging website is not going to convince your clients that they can trust you with their card details and rely on your services or products. Therefore, in order to avoid having problems with the swiftness of your online shop, you need to regularly test it (both on mobile and desktop) and optimize it, so that it runs smoothly.

7. Having a complicated check out process

One of the absolutely worst mistakes that you can make, when it comes to your online shop is to create a complicated checkout process. It is a truly hideous mistake, because you’ve put the needed effort and succeeded in convincing your audience that they need to buy your product. However, you let yourself down by overcomplicating the checkout process on your online shop and, thus, all you receive in return for your hard work are abandoned carts.

According to internetretailing.net, 87% of consumers say that they will abandon their cart if the checkout process is complicated. Furthermore, 55% of the consumers will never return to the retailers website, if they’ve experienced a complicated checkout process. Those are scary statistics, we know, however, there are steps you can take, in order to avoid this problem. You can stop requiring too much information from your customers during check out and you should definitely refrain from asking them to refill the same or similar details over and over again.

Don’t offer too many cross-selling and upselling deals to your clients before they actually buy the goods that are already in their cart. If you do that you are not only agitating them with more steps before they complete the purchase, but you’re also taking the risk of making it difficult for your clients to calculate the exact amount of money they need to pay at the end. Furthermore, by allowing non-registered users to complete purchases on your online shop, you are widening your potential customers list.

8. Having no brand personas and not segmenting customers

In order to know how to properly address your customers, you need to understand what they might be interested in as well as what are the features of your products that your customers enjoy most. In other words, you need to be able to understand what drives your customers to buy your products. The only way, in which you can do that is by identifying key characteristics of the different types of people who are interested (or might be interested) in what you offer.

You can do that by surveying your existing customers or monitoring their activity on social media. Come up with a name, gender, interests, hobbies, family status and job position for your ideal customer. You can even add a photo of what your client might look like. Furthermore, create multiple brand personas for the different types of products you offer. The key aspect that you need to understand is that different people will be persuaded by diverse features and benefits, therefore you need to communicate to them accordingly. What this means is that you need to segment your audience, identify the goals and pain points of the consumers in each segment and target them with appropriate content.

9. Not optimizing for search engines

Internal and external linking, the usage of keywords and updating your metadata, all of those things will help your website or online shop to climb the ladder and pop up on the first page of search engines. Optimizing your online shop, so that it’s SEO-friendly is key when it comes to attracting new customers. According to 99firms.com, it’s estimated that Google handles 70,000 search queries on average per second. The author continues explaining that this is equal to 5.8 billion searches per day and nearly 2 trillion searches in a year. In other words, people are using search engines pretty often. Therefore, chances are that when they need a given product, the first thing they’ll probably do is a quick Google search.

For this reason, it’s important for your online shop to appear as high as possible (first spot will be preferable) in the results list. Think about what words and phrases your customers may use when searching for your products or your online shop on the internet. That way you can outline keywords, which when used correctly can significantly boost your SEO performance. Furthermore, you can create content, optimized for diverse search intents (what is the goal of people’s search). As ahrefs.com states, there are three main types of intent when it comes to search engines. They are: navigational (when consumers are looking for a specific website they have in mind), informational (when people are eager to research a specific topic and learn more about it) and transactional (when consumers want to buy a specific product or a service).

Another point to think about is whether or not the theme of your website is SEO-friendly. Just keep in mind that some of the outlooks for your online shop can generate poorly coded HTML, which will undoubtedly hinder your site’s performance on search engines.

10. Focusing only on your online shop and disregarding all other communication platforms

Last, but not least, you cannot simply focus all of your energy into growing your website and optimizing it. In order to be successful, you need to first and foremost, take care of your business and work on completing all of the goals and projects that you have planned. Secondly, yes, you need to optimize your website and try to stay away from all of the mistakes on our list. However, the third thing that you must do, if you truly want to make your digital presence count, is to come up with a marketing strategy and use all of the communication platforms that your business has access to, when implementing it.

Identify a goal, which you want your business to achieve, for a certain period of time (for example a quarter). Define your target audience and think of creative content ideas, which can help you achieve your objective. You need to talk to your customers via social media, email newsletter, and other digital means through which you can communicate your message. Furthermore, you need to create an advertising strategy for your products and execute Facebook and Google ad campaigns. Don’t forget to keep track of the results and analyze your performance, so that you know which of your efforts drove your business to success.

via GIPHY

And there you have it – the 10 most common mistakes, which you should try to avoid when it comes to your online shop. Did you know that one of the easiest ways in which you could do that is to outsource some of your marketing tasks? If you are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of details that you need to go through when optimizing your website, why not leave it to the professionals. Here at Markception, we are always ready to help.

We can take care of the whole process of creating your online shop. We will plan the design and the layout of your website and optimize it both for desktop and mobile devices. Furthermore, we will make sure that it is SEO-friendly. Additionally, we can help you come up with an overall goal for your business and we’ll suggest the most appropriate marketing tools through which you can achieve that. You can always count on Markception if you need any assistance with your business’s marketing strategy.


Black Friday Is Near but Are You Ready for It?

Who doesn’t love Fridays, let alone Black Friday? That’s right, we’re just crazy about it because everyone gets a little something out of it. The consumers are up for deals and discounted products and services. The business is happy because of the crowds of people rushing into stores and shopping malls to buy holiday presents. And finally the marketers… Read more


4 Reasons Why Your Offline Business Must Go Online

2020 was supposed to be the beginning of a new chapter of our lives. And it was. For a while at least. Then the world pandemic Covid-19 started and it changed everything - the way we work, study, talk to the doctor or buy things. Read more