DollarDays Rolls Out Accessible & Successful Site Redesign

By Jessica Herbine

Though the revamp was long overdue, overstock and closeout wholesale biz DollarDays recently launched a new site design and improved mobile accessibility to incredulous results. After re-evaluating technology and marketing vendors not disclosed, DollarDays executed a site overhaul with emphasis on user experience and customer satisfaction.

Tailoring to the consumers’ wants and needs always tends to pay off. CEO Marc Joseph reported the following enhancements to their site metrics:

  • A 12% increase in average order value
  • An 81% decrease in bounce rate
  • A load time that’s up to 4x faster than on the old site
  • 24% more customer registrations – DollarDays’ registration, while free, is necessary to access product details and pricing online

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Joseph noted, “We have truly reinvented online wholesaling. What was once a strictly B2B space, is now wide open for not only businesses, but non-profits and consumers.” This underlying shift in consumer demographics may be partially responsible for the boost in registrations and decrease in bounce rate. That said, it was a clever strategy to launch these changes at the same time.

Joseph stated that DollarDays was vying to reach new audiences, and the excitement of a site overhaul now allows the company to reintroduce their brand to potential customers at a time when performance results and statistics are greater than experienced in years past. If we take anything from this campaign, it’s that allowing consumers open access and easy accessibility is paramount when you have a product or service that people want. Exclusivity is a great marketing tactic for some, but it can also hurt your sales and scope in the long run.

The 3 Types of Bid Management Systems & How They Work

By Jessica Herbine

If bid management software plays a role in your PPC search campaign, you may be wondering how exactly your bid is calculated. David Rodnitzky over at Search Engine Land explains the three forms of bid management you might opt to use in your SEM strategy.

  1. Rules-Based Bidding

This is considered to be the simplest type of management as it looks at each keyword independently to make a bid. It calculates a bid at x amount of dollars per click based on the cost per acquisition (CPA) and conversion rate – in the example offered, a goal of a $50 CPA with a 10% conversion rate means that the management system would calculate a bid at $5 per click ($50 x .1).

That CPC can be shared across mobile, tablet and desktop, and may also be influenced by variables including geography, date and time, actual query vs. the keyword, and average revenue.

  1. Positional Bidding

Where rules-based bidding utilizes a fairly simple algorithm to manage bids, the algorithm used in positional bidding will determine the outcome of numerous conversions to maximize overall performance, not just the CPA. The bid system considers CPC price, volume of clicks and the conversion rate to calculate which position generates the optimal “profit per-thousand-impressions”, instead of Google’s typical “cost-per-thousand” (CPM) pricing.

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A keyword that generates a lot of clicks in the top position and a few in lower positions may actually result in the top bidder paying a lower CPC but a higher CPM. Positional bidding, therefore, finds the bid that puts the customer in the ideal position to maximize results from across the total number of available clicks.

  1. Portfolio-Based Bidding

The most complex management system, portfolio bidding makes decisions that work towards the best interest of the overall account, instead of focusing at the keyword level. Whereas other systems might bid aggressively on multiple keywords that generate solid leads, a portfolio-based system will consider the best scenario to maximize those leads. Instead of playing favorites with the keyword that scores conversions more quickly, portfolio bids look at the account systematically, and then choose which keywords to show and how frequently based on the total number of conversions and volume of revenue they are capable of acquiring combined.

Similarly to how these three bid systems take different approaches to campaigns, so should your marketing team consider each of these methods to determine which will work in your company’s best interest to earn you traffic and lead conversions.

Walmart’s New Savings Catcher Comparison Tool

By Jason Bauman

Wal-Mart's Savings Catcher App

Source: Walmart.com

Recently, Walmart updated their popular mobile application with a new feature, the savings catcher.

Instead of searching through competitors ads manually to try and find prices for the cashier to match, customers can upload their receipt and have the retail giant do the research for them.

If the app finds a lower price from a local competitor, it will notify the customer who receives a refund for the price difference on an electronic gift card.

Built on the promise of providing the lowest prices possible, Walmart’s new savings catcher app is the company’s latest attempt retaining the crown as the shopping destination for price-sensitive shoppers.

 

The Evolution of “Everyday Low Price”

On it’s surface, using the savings catcher is a no-brainer for customers. The process is simple, and the only thing a customer has to do is take a picture of their sales receipt.  After the app is done comparing prices with local competitors, it will send an email to the customer with their savings.

Once you dig into the specifics, however, you start to see that the app has several glaring exceptions.  It will only compare exact items so store brands and “bonus sizes,” often where the lowest cost per ounce is found, are excluded.  Additionally, Buy One Get One (BOGO) offers and sales where you receive a discount for buying in bulk are also not included.  The largest exception is that, similar to their in-store policy, the app will not compare the purchase price with online offerings, including those offered by walmart.com.

For the savvy comparison shopper, it’s likely that they can still find better savings by comparing prices on their own, but the app will find savings for customers who typically would not do this research on their own.

 

Connecting Offline Shopping Patterns With Online Accounts

While the app could go a long way in helping the retail giant maintain their position as the low-cost king, the app offers another benefit for the company that competitors should take note of.  In order to claim their refunded savings, customers need to have their app connected to a walmart.com account.

Once a customer’s receipt is uploaded, Walmart can use this data to track purchasing patterns, including discovering what items customers are likely to buy online, and which they almost always purchase in the store.  Other retailers offer loyalty cards in an attempt to get the same data, but getting a customer to remember to use their card consistently on and off line can be difficult.

With the savings catcher, customer’s don’t need to remember to scan a card, or pay with the appropriate credit card, they simply need to take picture of their receipt for a chance at savings.  The new addition to Walmart’s popular mobile app is sure to go over well with customer, thanks to it’s intuitively simple submission process.

The data Walmart could potentially glean from the savings catcher is invaluable.  For the first time, they’ll be able to combine their customer’s offline and online purchasing patterns and re-evaluate inventory decisions accordingly.  In today’s increasingly information driven economy, Walmart likely hopes that the Savings Catcher will give them a competitive edge over Target and other traditional retail stores while giving them a tool to take on digital retailers like Amazon.

Videos Play an Important Role in Marketing Strategy

By John Nicholson

Video: it’s interactive and is absolutely integral to your eCommerce site. According to a recent survey conducted by marketing research firm Demand Metric, and sponsored by video marketing platform VidYard, the respondents seem to agree that video features drive conversion and promote consumer engagement.

Unlike some other types of content, a video’s performance can be measured and analyzed using hard numbers. This is beneficial when dissecting a video’s effectiveness on ROI. For instance, researchers found that respondents based analytics and success on a number of basic, intermediate and advanced measurements. These include views and shares (basic); average view duration (intermediate); embed location, viewer bounce rates, viewing heat maps and attribution to sales (advanced). 48% of respondents said basic monitoring worked most effectively, while 24% vied for intermediate and 14% for advanced.

The most interesting number to come out of the survey though: 69. That is, of all the 235 B2B organizations, B2C brands and outside agencies surveyed, 69% of the respondents said they plan on increasing their marketing video content budget.

To emphasize the potential of video content creation, VidYard’s research shows that 95% of those surveyed rated the significance of video content as ‘somewhat more important’ or ‘far more important’ than in the past.

Push Notifications: An Untapped Mobile Resource

By Jessica Herbine

There are rules and warnings about over-sharing branded content on your company’s social media accounts. Posting too frequently tends to get on followers’ nerves, and doing so will often drive customers away rather than entice them to engage with your business. However, if that same customer has opted to download your mobile app, the routine sharing of push notifications will actually work in your favor.

Launched together with iOS 3.0 in 2009, “push notifications” are those custom text alerts and badges that pop up and notify the user of new messages or events, even when the application is inactive. According to Urban Airship, push messages can increase both engagement and retention by anywhere from 40 to 116% percent, respectively. Localytics noted that users who enable push notifications have a retention rate that is 3x higher than those who have them disabled.

MobilePushNotification-RueLaLa

Presently, there is a large gap of businesses not utilizing this personalized tactic. New research from Econsultancy shows that only 20% of companies utilize mobile push notifications! The fact that push notifications are available for both Apple and Android means this is a major boon for lead generation and heightened engagement across channels.

However, marketers should still be weary of how often they employ this tool to connect with users.

78% of those who have push notifications enabled said they would “immediately delete the app or disable the notification” if they became too spammy.

Staples Campaign Connects Search with In-Store Purchases

By Jessica Herbine

Only seriously adapting to the mobile game in 2012, Staples Canada spent three months tracking the online and offline results of a digital coupon campaign that had an outstanding effect on the chain’s ROI. Using the digital coupon and promotions platform RevTrax, Staples offered consumers $10 off orders of $30 or more at its Copy & Printer center. This coupon could be printed, accessed as a code or displayed as a mobile landing page, and the redeemed data was filtered to RevTrax to match their search campaigns and keywords with online and in-store transactions.

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Marketing-technology business Kenshoo was able to integrate the keyword-level conversion data into its platform, which boosted coupon redemptions by optimizing the campaign in real-time through tailored ad copy and better informed bid policies. From these tracking tools, Staples saw a 200% increase in incremental ROI; a 148% redemption increase from first to final week; and over 1.4m total impressions. The company’s marketing team was surprised to find that many customers who received and interacted with the ads online still visited in-store to complete their purchase.

The results of this study help to make the case that increased brand awareness and customization carries incredible value. By offering visitors a personalized incentive, Staples was able to successfully track customers through the buying process across multiple channels. It’s interesting to note that searches with non-branded keywords actually drove the highest average orders, a notion which conflicts with the school of thought that specific keyword phrases are better at producing sales than generic terms. No doubt we will be gleaning further insights from other online retailers who engage in a similar cross-promotional process to better understand their customers’ spending habits online vs. in-store.