New Year. New GEOs to grow your business

New Year. New GEOs to grow your business

Happy New Year everyone! As we start 2021, here’s hoping for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year for all of us. We are delighted to start the year with good news and announce that we now have Bing search coverage in even more GEOs to help you serve searchers in more countries. 
Expanding your reach to additional countries is not the only benefit here, as we also now have coverage for mobile traffic in 34 countries. While in the past year due to Covid-19 we have seen an increase in desktop traffic, mobile traffic keeps growing as well.    

The list of countries now serviced across desktop and mobile are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam.  

As a reminder, search coverage is also available in Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey, connecting searchers with search results powered by Yandex across mobile and desktop. 

Our team is happy to assist you in implementing search solutions and making the most out of the available new countries. Please feel free to reach out to your Account Manager for more details.

Not working with us yet? Now is definitely the time to join!  

2020 eCommerce trends: Is Your Site Ready?

2020 eCommerce trends: Is Your Site Ready?

browser extension design

You heard it right, the big retailers will be closed on Thanksgiving 2020. Walmart and Target will operate solely online during Thanksgiving. This can make online shopping for the 2020 holiday season hit sales records.  

The COVID-19 pandemic drove businesses and customers online. This year online sales have already surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday figures of previous years. That’s why it seems most of this holiday season shopping will happen online. According to a recent study, there would be a 73% increase in online shopping compared to last year. So, how can you make the most of this holiday season? In this article, we share insights and tips to get your shopping campaigns ready. 

Holiday Season 2020 Ecommerce: How Is it Going to Look?

The closing of the big retailers for in-store shopping this year will open e-commerce’s greatest window of opportunity. Below you can find the main dates and three eCommerce trends to consider in the next months:

 

Holiday Sales Important Dates

  • October 13-14 – Amazon Prime Day 
  • October 31st – Halloween
  • November 27th- Black Friday Deals
  • November 30th- Cyber Monday
  • December 24th- Christmas Eve
  • January 1st- New Year Sales
  • February 14th- Valentine’s Day

 Ecommerce will grow further this holiday season

If before the pandemic, eCommerce was booming, now it is soaring. COVID-19 accelerated online spending in 2020. Brands needed to adapt quickly, to avoid losing customers. Nike, for example, is integrating digital and in-store sales, powering direct-to-customer selling strategies. Ecommerce will let customers access their favorite brands during the holiday season while staying safely at home. 

 

Retailers, affiliates, associates, and shopping sites should prepare for the coming growth of demand. If your shopping campaigns are not up to date, do it now. Focus on providing your potential buyers exactly what they are looking for.  

Customer trends shifting to online shopping

The new normal is shaping the way we work and shop. More than half of Americans said the pandemic crisis was an opportunity to change their lifestyle. Shopping is not an exception. Here are some key consumer trends that you should take into account:

 

Deal seeking- more than ever, consumers are searching for deals online for their holiday shopping. If you are a brand, consider how to maximize your online exposure to catch those Black Friday shoppers. If you own digital property or a shopping comparison site, this is the time to present the best deals for your visitors, with relevant shopping ads to help them decide. 

 

Loyalty-  as people adapt to buying more things online, they are also more “on the look” for new online brands and retailers. If the brand or site satisfies expectations, it is very likely customers will continue purchasing there. This holiday season, ensure your shopping site is functioning top notch. Relevant product ads can help your visitors discover their new favorites. 

 

Apps- shopping app revenue in the US doubled since mid-march. Shopping apps are convenient, ready where people are (their phones). Sure, they don’t always work well and may have a different inventory. If you are a brand or an online store, consider a mobile app to reach customers everywhere. 

 

How Can Your Business Make the Most of the Holiday Season 2020?

Both retailers and shopping sites need to prepare and up their game for the upcoming influx of online customers. As shopping platforms like Amazon get saturated with sellers, retailers should aim to push their products through ads on shopping comparison sites and on searches. 

If You Are a Retailer 

The critical word here is exposure. You should get the right exposure for your products on the right websites. Your target customer needs to find your product online easily. Product ads are an excellent way to promote your product. Especially on shopping comparison sites, where you already have a high intent customer looking for the best buy.  

How to create the most attractive ad? If you want your ad to stand out for the right customers, here are several tips for an effective ad: 

  1. Your ad should be relevant. Use the most popular query keywords in the ad titles and text. 
  2. Select an attractive image that showcases the product
  3. Speak the language of your customers
  4. Be specific about the need of the customer
  5. Show benefit for the customer buying your product
  6. Include a call to action

 

If You Have a Shopping Comparison Website

Optimize the monetization of your digital property. To attract high intent buyers right where they are shopping, add the Shopping Fuel solution. Product shopping ads are visible at the top of SERPs, making your offer more visible. 

You can also leverage content to attract shoppers. Create sponsored content for brands and publish it on your site. The content can be infographics, product reviews, offers, announcements. This approach is best for sites of high influence and value.  

Make the Most of the Holiday Peak Sales With CodeFuel

Turn your visitors into customers with CodeFuel Shopping Ads. It is designed to work specifically on price comparison, content, search engines, and eCommerce sites, or any search result pages. You can display products by various sellers and affiliates. Get ready for the highest online sales season with CodeFuel, contact us today to learn how. 

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Back to School Shopping in Our New Normal: Tips for Retailers

Back to School Shopping in Our New Normal: Tips for Retailers

back to school shopping ads

Typically, the back to school shopping season is a peak sales time. This year, the back to school season is nothing but full of uncertainty. Since the plans to reopen schools keep changing, parents are taking a wait-and-see approach to buy school supplies. 

Some states intend to return to in-person classes, while some districts are resuming a hybrid approach. Parents are unsure if kids will need backpacks or zoom-friendly shirts. Merchants are unsure of where to focus their marketing strategies. Retailers that are used to having a prime season during July and August, will need to adapt to a changing market.  

In this post, we’ll analyze the impact of the changes and give you tips to adapt to the new normal. 

How Is Back to School Shopping Changing in the New Normal?

COVID-19 is affecting how people work, live and spend. It is also affecting the way we learn. While most schools were closed for two months or more, teachers resorted to alternate methods of learning. This didn’t impress parents, which are concerned with academic readiness for the next grade. 

COVID-19 changed the learning format

According to the Deloitte consumer survey, over 79% of families got digital learning content for school, during school closures, with 32% having classes via live-stream.This requires digital equipment, laptops and desktop computers. 

 However, not all the alternatives were well received by parents, who preferred live streaming sessions and digital learning content to other learning resources. 

There is high uncertainty about the new school season- 

Since it is unclear yet what format will school take place this year, shoppers are uncertain about what to buy and when. Besides health concerns, almost half of lower income shoppers have financial concerns. since they would need to buy technology equipment that is expensive.

The New Spending Trends

Increase in Tech Purchases

Customers want to be prepared. Therefore, parents are shifting their purchases, just in case schools don’t reopen and students’ requirements change. 

There is a marked increase in tech purchases, specially in the category of computers and hardware. In addition, parents are turning into digital resources to supplement or substitute in-person school education. This includes e-learning platforms, licenses for educational tools and digital devices.

Increase in online shopping  

48% of customers still feel unsafe going to stores to make back to school purchases. As a result, online shopping has not decreased. On the contrary, have gained terrain from in-store purchases. Therefore, physical stores are incorporating online stores and applications,  

Another trending pattern is the increase in shopping using personal computers instead of mobile, because of customers staying and working from home more. 

Although consumers still prefer buying school supplies on big retailers, almost half of customers intend to purchase back to school supplies on online stores. Moreover,  online shopping is the preferred way of shopping for higher income buyers. 

Retailers will have to adapt to catch these changes in consumer habits. Now is not the time to wait for what happens with the stimulus and the schools reopening. Companies should pivot and catch the opportunity of back to school sales. 

5 Tips to Adapt your Business to the New Normal

Focus on Online Shopping

Back to school, shopping involves adding up a list of low value items. It is easy to just throw them in the cart while checking off the list. Searching for and adding things to an online cart is often a bit more complicated. 

You can help your customers by easing the online purchasing experience. Features like collection pages that bundle related or frequently used products can ease the customer experience. 

Another obstacle is the shipping cost. Justifying shipping on large purchases is one thing, but school supplies orders are rarely worth paying shipping. To overcome this obstacle, you can offer free shipping with a minimum order purchase amount. 

Shift Your Marketing to Electronic and Technology

Until last year, clothing and accessories were the largest share of the back to school shopping. Uniforms, backpacks, shoes and accessories, for example. However, shopping trends have shifted away from these. Companies should then focus their offers to essentials like pens, notebooks, and technology items.

Improve Your on-site search

Help your customers find what they are looking for by improving your search box. Some pointers that can be helpful:

  • Make the search box visible and at the top of the page. 
  • Add autocomplete to make the search easier
  • Add a “recommended product” feature. This will help you upsell complementary add-ons and show customers related items.

 Use Discounts and Special Offers

Price is still the most important factor in influencing back to school shopping. You can attend to this demand by offering discounts and offers, like bundle discounts or a certain amount off with purchases over certain orders. 

Offer Convenience

Customers demand more convenience than ever because of the stress of juggling work and home life during the pandemic. Nobody has time or patience for long or complicated purchasing journeys. Offer your customers features that maximize their convenience, like same-day delivery, curbside pickup, or a mobile shopping app. 

The Bottom Line

Uncertain times call for innovative solutions. Companies on the back to school market should adapt to these trying times by following these tips: 

  • Shifting into technology and essential items. 
  • Focusing on online shopping
  • Improving your search features 
  • Tap on convenience

Although it is still unsure what shape will take this school year, hopefully, this article can help you convert your visitors and increase on back to school sales. 

 

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Is Your Brand Inclusive? Check out these inclusive marketing practices

Is Your Brand Inclusive? Check out these inclusive marketing practices

Lately, inclusion and diversity are words that resonate loudly. There is a widespread conscience of the importance of reaching and including under-represented groups in companies, media and Internet content. How can you tap on this opportunity and ensure you provide interesting content that reaches to all relevant audiences? This article gives you a primer into inclusive marketing practices and a diversity calendar that help you mark relevant dates and plan your marketing accordingly. 

Why Is It Important to Create Inclusive and Diverse Content?

You know your demographic, your target audience. You know their generic pain points and their needs. However, profiling the audience, creating marketing personas, can be tricky since we live more and more in multicultural environments. Chances are that your audience is diverse, physically, psychologically, and geographically.  Moreover, your audiences want to see more than one type of consumer or voice in your content and media. 

A 2019 survey showed that 62% of respondents said that a brand’s perceived diversity or lack of it impacts their sentiment towards their products or services. This percentage was even higher for some demographics, such as millennials, BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) and the LGBTQ community, reaching up to 85%. The reality is that societies are multicultural, and people are connected in diverse, heterogeneous groups. 

The key is helping your audience recognize themselves in your brand and content. If they don’t, they will look somewhere else for representation. Some industries, such as the fashion industry, have started to change. The growth in fashion blogging, and the boom of fashion influencers in social media, showed the real customers. Now you can see top fashion retailers websites such as Next and Zara, with models from every race, size, and ethnicity. 

Consumers want to see people that look like them using your product or service, and when they do, they are more likely to buy and engage with your content. Therefore, when your company adopts an inclusive approach, it can gain a competitive edge in your market. 

The Challenge for Diversity in Publishing and Advertising  

One of the key topics when talking about diversity and inclusion is the role of the publishing industry and advertising agencies on the change for diversity. Recently an open letter by 600 Black agency employees called for more representation in advertising agencies in staff and leadership. 

Change takes time, and many top agencies signed onto the new initiative #CommitToChange and publicly disclosed diversity data and their commitment to a more diverse workforce. Because the truth is, a more diverse staff and executives helps create messages that are really connected with the intended audiences. 

Diversity and Inclusion Are Not the Same

Diversity means the demographics of your team and your audience. Factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, and geography can mark an audience you didn’t take into account until now. You should question if there are audiences that might be interested in your product or service that are not represented in your marketing campaigns? If your answer is yes, it is time to improve. 

Inclusion is how your company creates content and addresses diversity in its business practices and marketing actions. Salesforce is a great example. Not only they keep inclusive hiring practices, with almost half of their workforce made up of under-represented groups, but they reinforce the message in their learning system. They require developers to abide by principles of inclusive marketing – creating content that resonates with people of diverse backgrounds and characteristics. 

How to Achieve Diversity and Inclusion in your Marketing

So how can ensure you use inclusive marketing practices to reach diverse audiences? Here are some tips. 

Tip #1 -Research Your Audience

Know who may be interested in your product and content even when they are not your typical marketing persona. Go deeper into your data beyond gender, income level, geography, and race, trying to understand factors that don’t usually appear in marketing research such as physical ability. When you create your marketing personas, try to be as varied as possible, reflecting different characteristics of your audience. A way of getting information is to conduct surveys, conduct focus groups to get the sentiment of customers towards your company, becoming an involved brand. 

Tip #2 -Diversity Begins at Home: Look at Your Team

If your company and marketing team do not reflect the diversity of your audience it can be hard for them to connect with your intended customer. When you hire new team members, freelancers or agencies, think about including that voice that your team is lacking. The less distance there is culturally between your team and the market, the more you will reach it. 

Adopting an inclusive culture can boost your business too. According to a Deloitte report, an inclusive culture in your company can improve your innovation, drive growth, and exceed financial goals. 

Tip #3 -Edit Your Content for Inclusion 

Start with the tone. Ensure the tone reflects inclusion, avoiding assumptions. Avoid the use of slang that can be misinterpreted. The Associated Press Style Guide has a whole section about writing about race-related topics. It is important also to use inclusive language when covering disabilities, ensuring you use the proper terms and words on physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities. 

Be careful when using pronouns, using gender-neutral pronouns in your content is best. When in doubt, ask. Try not to use “he” or “she”, instead use “they”. 

Tip #4 -Pay Attention to Your Media and Artwork

The stock photos, media, artwork, and videos used on your website and marketing materials should include a variety of individuals in diverse situations. For example, you want to use an image of female coworkers for a post or ad: 

Diversity

This is a good example of a picture that includes coworkers of different races/ethnicities and ages. However, beware of stereotypes and cultural appropriation. Remember to depict people in a variety of situations regarding gender, race, and physical ability. 

What’s Next?

Knowing where your company is at is a great first step to assess your inclusion culture. Then, you can plan your marketing actions around diverse audiences. A useful tool to plan your content and marketing campaigns is to have a diversity calendar so you can tap the opportunity of relevant dates and create awareness on diversity topics, engaging your audience to your brand. 

 

Features and Solutions Your e-Commerce Site Cannot Miss

Features and Solutions Your e-Commerce Site Cannot Miss

When you shop online you want to find quickly what you are looking for and fast checkout, right? Users want eCommerce websites to be attractive, functional, and easy to use. Your website’s success depends not only on what you offer and how well you market the site but mainly on what features the website offers to the user. 

The internet is full of useful solutions that promise to increase traffic and boost conversions. A quick search can show hundreds of tutorials about how to turn your website into an Internet success. What features and solutions are essential for a successful eCommerce website? Let’s explore.   

What Makes a Successful eCommerce Site?

In a world with over 47 billion websites and with the average conversion rate between 2-3%, you need to stand out to get people to opt-in, engage and buy. These tips and solutions can help you increase your conversion rates and lead your e-commerce to success. 

#1: Optimize your Website for Fast Loading Time

Just two seconds.

That’s the time the average Internet user will wait for your website to load. In this age of instant gratification, if your website takes longer to load,  53% of customers will continue on to other sites. There are a few actions you can take to ensure your website’s loading speed is in shape. 

  1. Figure out your baseline speed – you can use GMetrix, Google Page Speed Insights or another speed checker. Make sure you check both your mobile and desktop speeds.speed test ecommerce sites
  2. Use a high performing hosting plan – if your host is offering several plans, check that you are using the high performing version. It may cost more, but it pays off in the long run with increased conversions. 
  3. Optimize images – large or heavy images can slow your website speed. You can compress your images by resizing, cropping or changing the format. If you are not the DIY type, you can opt for using an optimizer tool. A quick search can offer you both free and paid options. 

#2: Track and Optimize Performance

You can’t improve what you cannot measure, so the saying goes. You need to know about your website traffic with real-time data to optimize it.

#3: Don’t forget SEO and CRO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) optimizes the content so search engines can get your site ranked higher in Search Engines Result Pages (SERPs). Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) optimizes content for users to get them to complete the call-to-action.

You would want to use them together to increase both traffic and conversions. But optimizing your content for both SEO and CRO is not that easy. Search engines algorithms focus on three key factors to determine page rank:

  • keywords and on-page SEO
  • content quality 
  • usage data

Not only you need to improve your SEO to get visitors to your site, but make sure the on-page copy is built for conversion. There are a lot of free and paid tools to check if your website’s copy and content are on target, many of them with free trial periods. 

Give Quality Content and Strong Copy

A strong copy increases conversions by addressing the user query,  driving action, and building relationships with the customers. But first, you need to attract the visitor’s attention to read your content. According to an eye-tracking study, most people don’t read every word of a page, instead, they scan for the most interesting content first.

#4: Give Your Customers What They’re Looking For, and Quickly

Visitors tend to leave a site if it takes too long to find what they’re looking for. Here are a few ways you can help your customers in their search: 

Manage the product categories

Customers looking for a product search based on keywords. That’s why it is important to tag products in a way they can fit into multiple subcategories. For example, if someone is looking for a “wireless headset” but you only have it listed as “gaming headset”, the visitor can understand you don’t carry the product and leave.  

Managing your products categories can help them find what they are looking for right away. Every e-commerce site builder and platform has different product taxonomy processes, so make sure to check yours. 

Optimize your search and recommendations

You can help users find the product they are searching for by optimizing your site search and recommendations. Changes in design can attract visitors to your search functions. Here are some recommendations:

  • Make your search box scroll as the visitor scrolls down
  • Add a call-to-action text to your search box
  • Use autocomplete and offer suggestions
  • Add a “you may also like” features. This ensures your customer always gets value from your site. 

Use Product Ads and Leverage Intent

You can add product shopping ads like ShoppingFuel to further aid potential customers to search and find you. 

Product shopping ads appear following a user search query at the top of the search engine result pages. Therefore, using product ads you can drive more traffic to your website, and help boost your ranking while drawing the attention of high-intent buyers. 

#5:  Focus on the User Experience

Visitors tend to stay and return to sites that provide a great customer experience. There are a few tips to make your customer journey a smooth ride from landing page to check out:

    • Smooth navigation – ensure your interface is user friendly. The rule of thumb is:  simpler, the better. Provide an easy-to-find menu with very few steps to checkout. 
    • Eliminate checkout barriers –  accepting multiple payment options and don’t require every customer to register to buy. Sometimes all a customer wants is to buy a T-shirt. 
    • Go after abandoned carts– if a customer doesn’t complete a purchase, you need to know why and how to fix it. A 

#6: Go mobile

These days a mobile-first or a mobile-friendly site is a must have for any eCommerce business. Customers make half of their online purchases from their phones. So, ensure your website is fully responsive, following the same standards of user experience and easy checkout that your desktop version. And, since search engine algorithms are prioritizing mobile-first sites, having a mobile-friendly site also helps with page ranking. 

What Are the Essential Solutions for an E-Commerce Website?

In summary, the essential solutions for a successful website  are the ones that help your eCommerce site serve customers faster and better by:

  • Loading faster
  • Giving quick and accurate query results- giving value and transforming searchers into buyers.
  • Provide a smooth customer journey – including simplifying the checkout.
  • Track and optimize performance

Solutions such as CodeFuel’s ShoppingFuel and SearchFuel, provide value to your potential buyers, increasing conversion, and retention. And a happy visitor is a loyal customer. Contact us to learn how we can help.