Kyle Marvin | 3 Ways to Know What Your eCommerce Customers Want
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3 Ways to Know What Your eCommerce Customers Want

3 Ways to Know What Your eCommerce Customers Want

 

The beauty of our digital world is that so much data is available to us. Don’t take that for granted. There’s no excuse to not be continually improving your eCommerce operation in a way that is driven by what your customers want. Take a little extra time to define your ideal customer, and make everything better for them.

1. Collect better data & learn how to analyze it.

There are more tools than ever to learn the behavior of your customers from landing on your site to the end – leading to either a checkout or cart abandonment.

Most beginners already do the basic Google Analytics installation of a script on their site. Great, now what? I think in depth analysis is easily the most undervalued practice in the field today. Just doing a few things can greatly improve your edge on the competition.

Take your Google Analytics to the next step with these 4 things

Forgive me if this sounds patronizing, it’s not meant to be. I am by no means an advanced analyst, so this may all be “beginner” to you. If so, congratulations! You’re already in the top tier of your peers. If I could go back in time before I got further into GA, these are the 3 things I would focus on.

1.Conversion (Goal) Tracking

Its insane how many people don’t set up goals. Whether you want to track a sale or a mailing list signup, or any other “goal”, conversion tracking is the cornerstone to knowing what works. There are tons of resources out there, and in most of the people reading this’s case, you’re going to want to set up ecommerce tracking. This amalgamates data such as sales revenue for specific SKU’s, location data, and user metrics from your actual cart to Analytics.

Analytics

2. Using UTM Parameters for Incoming Marketing Campaigns

UTM parameters are a way to tag your links coming from outside marketing campaigns in, so you can gather more detailed data about your incoming traffic and how well campaigns are performing. When using these, you can analyze which specific ads, social posts, or emails are sending traffic to which specific pages, and which ones are converting. In other words – know what the hell works and what doesn’t. What a concept, right?

To throw UTMs on a link, simply go here, and enter your link, and other data that will reference where the link is coming from. In this example, you can see I want a link coming from a specific generic CPC ad on Google, from a specific campaign.

utm parameters setup

Example of setting up UTM parameters

The end result:

http://www.mysite.com/landing-page?utm_source=google&utm_medium=generic%20cpc&utm_term=widgets&utm_content=ad-101&utm_campaign=widgets-1
I like to keep everything lowercase to keep it clean. Now, in my Ad, I will paste in this link as the ad destination, and will be able to track this user from the way he got into the site, through the end of the funnel, and all the behavior therein.
This isn’t as relevant anymore for Adwords, since you can use “upgraded URLs” through tracking templates which even give you dynamic search query information in your Analytics now.
tracking template

Tracking Template Setup in Adwords

3. Event Tracking

This is very much like UTMs in the fact that it adds some parameters at the end of a link to better track behavior. However, the same way UTMs are made to track links off your site coming into your site, event tracking is able to better track activity and behavior within your site. You can use event tracking to track button clicks, email form signups, even different non-link items on your checkout. For example, if you have a size selection on a specific item, you can track the event of clicking the plus or minus button. That means you can find out how many people from Connecticut clicked to enlarge the size then reduce the size again. This is extremely helpful in molding your user experience to better serve them.

4. Attribution Modeling

Attribution is simply how you attribute credit for a conversion. If you get a click on a Google Ad, and the customer converts, you would tend to think that ad deserves all the credit. That could be the case, but it may not be. The majority of sites using conversion tracking are attributing 100% of the sale to the last touch point. This model is flawed in many industries and represents a huge opportunity to find out where to push more ad spend.

Let me give you a couple of examples of how last touch attribution would fail:

Scenario 1: Direct Traffic
  1. Customer searches generic term: “widgets”.
  2. Customer clicks on that ad, and lands on your page. They like what they see, but don’t buy right then.
  3. Customer comes back a month later when they’re ready to buy. They don’t click an ad, and come direct.
  4. Your original touch point (the generic PPC ad gets 0% of the credit for that sale, even though you have conversion tracking set up)
Scenario 2: Branded PPC traffic
  1. Customer searches generic term: “widgets”.
  2. Customer clicks on that ad, and lands on your page. They like what they see, but don’t buy right then.
  3. Customer remembers your brand, and Googles your site name.
  4. Customer clicks on your branded PPC ad – you know – the one you pay to make an ad for your actual brand name.
  5. Your original touch point (the generic PPC ad gets 0% of the credit, even though you have conversion tracking set up)

Clearly, in this case, not all the credit should be attributed to a single touch point. The key with attribution modeling in Analytics is to delegate credit on a percentage basis based on different touch points. You can track virtually every touch point along your funnel. Email, social media interaction, generic PPC, branded PPC, retargeting, etc.

In a nutshell, if you set up the infrastructure to know what’s happening, you will soar past your competition.

2. Get to know your customer.

 

knowing your customer

Building out your customer personas is Marketing 101. But often times, we get caught up in what we think is cool without even knowing who our customers are.

Interact with them on social media. Start with Twitter.

All you need to do is go look at your competitor’s Twitter followers. Want to know what they care about? See what they tweet about, and who they are friends with. See what communities they are involved with, and jump right in.

Twitter is like a party where you can, with finesse and courtesy, jump into existing conversations, mingle, and meet people.

The beauty of Twitter over other networks like Facebook is the interactive nature of it. Find an existing conversation and jump in. Contribute to the conversation, and mingle. Don’t be “that guy” who enters a party and does nothing but pass his business card around. Meet people, shake hands and be interested.

Survey your customers. Use tools that do it well.

If you use a CMS like Shopify, there are some great tools already at your disposal to get into the heads of your customers. Here are a few suggestions specific to Shopify:

  • Delighted. Emails a beautiful branded survey to customers after purchase. Very useful in automatically gathering data from your best prospects: existing customers.
  • Secondlayer. Ask customers questions in real time, while they’re on your site. Set follow-up questions based on previous answers.

Ask your customers questions on your social media posts and email campaigns.

3. Get all James Bond on your competition.

Spy on your goddamn competition

How are they getting traffic?

Find out where competition in your niche is getting traffic and make sure you are capitalizing on those same sources. You can use tools like Spyfu and Google alerts to get a big picture view of some of what your competition is doing. Take your unique angle on the results, and don’t assume you’ll succeed by carbon copying them. Here’s a good blog post that gives some more ways to spy on your competition.

What does the buyer experience?

While you want to maintain your own unique angle on your niche, it never hurts to see what is working elsewhere. See what your competition is doing. You may even want to place an order as a front-end customer to see how they manage an order from start to finish. You may find a light bulb going off when you realize a process in their system that could apply to blow up your sales.

Written by: Kyle Marvin

Kyle is a digital marketing consultant with 12+ years experience in SEO, social media and paid traffic. He currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado with his wife and three kids. Kyle consults small and medium sized businesses with their digital marketing needs and is the Digital Marketing Manager of RapidVisa, Inc. Reach out to Kyle on Twitter.

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