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[Recording] Accelerate 2021: Ask me anything with Shoelace, Reviews.io, Rewind and Attentive

A recorded Ask Me Anything session featuring Shoelace, Rewind, and Attentive from Accelerate 2021.

In a series of ebooks and ask me anything sessions this January, we shared the top ecommerce trends you need to react to this year.

If you missed Accelerate 2021, head over to the resources hub to check it out:

You can now watch the recording of the third AMA below (with speakers from Shoelace, Reviews.io, Rewind and Attentive). Don’t have time? Keep reading to see all of the answers summarized.

Q&A summary

1. What’s the best first step to putting together a creative strategy?

The first step is to understand the platform. Ignore articles that claim to know a secret, one-size-fits-all solution. Every brand will have success at different parts of the funnel for their creative strategy. 

Ask yourself: what does this platform accomplish? What is the content that exists for this platform? Think about your content from an organic point of view. Understand that it is a social media space. People are consuming the content to get educated, inspired or entertained. Start with a blank slate. 

Have a variety of different creatives and let your data and intuition dictate what you choose to optimize. You’ll know it works when you look at your targets, KPIs and goals.

2. Ecommerce downtime isn’t something that is talked about often. Since you’ve started Rewind, what’s the worst impact you’ve seen store downtime have on an online business?

We’ve seen small mistakes cause really large problems. At Rewind, we talked to a customer who added an “H” in the action item, which changed “Add to Cart” to “Add to Chart”. It completely broke their store. Unless you know what the code is supposed to look like that’s not something that’s easily found.

The funniest story we heard was about a cat jumping on someone’s keyboard as they were editing their theme. We’ve also seen business relationships turn sour and employees who’ve maliciously tried to cause problems. We’ve seen it all. We’ve encountered customers who, before installing our software, have had days of downtime caused by third-party software interacting with their store.

3. What are some important strategies that most ecommerce merchants overlook?

Testing is a successful strategy that is often overlooked. Listen to customers, gather their feedback and act on it. You should always be testing new things whether that be creative or programs. A/B test your email. Figure out whether you can find a message that attracts a high response rate. 

Ask yourself whether you could be getting more reviews or whether your pricing is correct. The constant of successful businesses is that they are never standing still. They are always testing and learning. 

Often by testing, you can find where and when to make tiny shifts in your approach. And these small alterations can have a huge impact.

4. Why do brands need to invest in text message marketing if they’re already seeing such growth in ecommerce?

Over Cyber Week this past year, mobile comprised 71% of total traffic and about 55% of total conversions. That was groundbreaking. It shows how the pandemic has changed our behaviors. 

At Attentive, we found that half of shoppers are already using text to connect with brands. 90% of those that Attentive surveyed said that they would be willing to sign up to received text messages from these brands. 

Consumer behavior is trending towards this channel. We expect these trends to continue. Many of the habits established during the pandemic have been escalated and are here today – that includes text messages.

5. As more brands adopt text message marketing, how can they stand out from competitors on this channel?

Think about the customer first. Ask yourself, what do we want this experience to be for an end consumer? What do we want this experience to be like for a marketer working in the product? And how are we measuring success? 

Respect the personal nature of texts first and foremost. You can’t treat them like any other marketing channel. 

Focus on “connecting for purpose”. Whether it’s through UGC, being globally conscious or charity, more brands are looking to connect via this channel. 

For example, a text campaign can include who your brand is, what you stand for and outline a way to do good. Be intimate and try to start a conversation rather than a one-way stream of information.

6. How do you compete for the limited attention span of your potential customer when 2020 saw a rapid increase in the number of regular emails in everyone’s inbox? Is it a matter of creating different touchpoints in different media or really rewarding your regulars?

It’s important to be across multiple communication touchpoints. Many people have over four email addresses. There’s a lot of distraction and a lot of clutter. On the other hand, how many people have more than one cell phone number? Not as many. 

If you want to get out of the noise and reach people in a meaningful way go to the place where they are already communicating: text message marketing. 

SMS is not perfect for every retailer but will work for mobile focussed retailers. Timing is everything. Nobody wants to receive a random SMS five weeks later. Focus on communication during the purchasing journey. Be there at the right time and on the right channel.

7. One of the biggest challenges we have with such awesome marketing tools is the integration and orchestration. What are the software providers doing to better integrate, and also to better orchestrate? How do you juggle different apps effectively?

Look at your apps collectively rather than in isolation. Make sure that each one is doing its part and each one is passing the correct information down the chain. Ensure that when you pick a new provider, in any niche, it works with your current app stack. 

Identification is the crux of orchestration and personalization. The ID model specifically should be an integral part of your evaluation process too. Always consider your ideal end goal and hopefully, this will help you feel more focused when dealing with several apps at a time.

8. What’s your biggest piece of advice for small fashion companies looking to improve Shopify sales in 2021?

Focus on your creatives. Take a look at which creatives have historically driven the most conversions. Take a look at what your competitors and the big name brands are doing. 

A lot of UGC is performing well at the moment. TikTok-esque videos are doing really well too. This is the kind of content that people are consuming right now. Craft videos and content that can be used on other platforms. Then you can turn this content into an advertisement that turns into sales.

9. How does the impact of Apple blocking 3rd party cookies impact the digital marketing world and ecommerce conversions?

It is impacting the space severely. There will be more ambiguity and less data overall. There will be smaller attribution windows and more uncertainty. You will have to make more assumptions. The targets that you set you will have to change on all paid social channels. Your 5x return on ad spend last month might be 2x return this month. 

There will be an increased reliance on your own first-party data. Overall, yes, the space will be impacted but you have to adapt and pivot. The truth is we have been spoilt in terms of how we’ve been able to associate revenue and purchases directly with a specific advertisement. 

Now we have to follow a more traditional line and think more carefully. Read ways to pivot your approach to Instagram and Facebook ads here.

10. Better ways to acquire customers without high cost per acquisition?

Reviews.io try to get clients to use their past customer feedback to spin the sales flywheel faster. We want to use that feedback and word of mouth to attract new customers at a lower cost. It works brilliantly for every customer that Reviews.io works with. 

Companies are pushing out this feedback on their own channels and their site. Mostly we’re seeing a lot of traffic and conversion from creating good social content around customer feedback. It spins the sales flywheel faster and lowers your cost per acquisition. Reviews and referrals are the best way to cost-effectively acquire new customers because they are about trust and communication.

Ready to accelerate your growth this year?

Access all the ebooks here. Or, if you want to discuss how retention-building tactics fit into your winner’s strategy this year, book a time to speak with one of our loyalty experts now.

Accelerate 2021 Be Ahead Of The Trends

Special thanks to our friends at LoyaltyLion for their insights on this topic.
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