Responsive design is critical, apps might be a thing of the past and social selling can be profitable when used strategically. Those were some of the thoughts we heard from the panelists at Bronto City Tour in Sydney, Australia last month.
Each panelist represented a very different type of retailer, but much of what works for them is universal. They all agreed that design that displays and functions correctly, regardless of device, is critical. “Bad emails really stand out,’’ noted John Peard, Eshop Manager for O’Neill Australia. Broken messages and photos in the wrong place used to be common. But now? “You just turn your nose up at them,’’ Peard said.
And fixing the problem is more than just window dressing. At ASICS Oceania, switching to responsive design increased email campaign response rates by 30% on tablets and 8% on smartphones, according to Melissa Liao, Ecommerce Merchandise Specialist.
But apps? Baby Dino shut their app down and switched to responsive design to serve their mobile-intensive shopper base. “People’s phones just got overwhelmed with apps,’’ said Dominque Perri, Co-Founder and Head of Marketing for the online children’s clothing retailer. The app was initially intended to help the company gain shoppers among those harried new moms that might browse on their phone while feeding the baby, but it became “just one more thing to manage.’’
The panelists also talked about social and search engine optimization – and the importance of being very selective in those areas. Keywords and paid social media gets pricey, and building an organic following doesn’t work for every type of product.
Peard said O’Neill has had great success with Instagram, specifically with campaigns around women’s beachwear. “It’s low cost, and we sell out every day,’’ he said. The company also does a bit of Facebook retargeting around certain types of wetsuits where the spend has been worthwhile.
At ASICS, the company turns social and SEO spend off and on to correspond with events that drive interest in the company’s sporting equipment and clothing. “We’ll turn paid search on during the Rugby World Cup because people will be looking for jerseys,’’ Liao said.
Baby Dino monitors its success on social by using distinct coupon codes for each platform, so it knows which sites perform.
Simple Ideas to Drive Traffic
Aside from their insight into responsive design, apps and social, the panelists also shared simple ideas for growing your list and ultimately generating sales.
Peard teamed with one of Australia’s largest surfing schools to include a subscription option for O’Neill emails on the school’s indemnity (legal release) form. The cost? Wetsuits for instructors, which O’Neill was already supplying.
Baby Dino posts ideas for children’s bedrooms on Pinterest as a way to draw customers to its website. The site is chock full of advice on selecting baby products, such as strollers and other useful products that make traveling with children easier.
All of the panelists are also interested in browsing automation technology that makes it easier to track shoppers’ website activity and see how long they’re staying on the page.
Baby Dino is particularly interested as the company doesn’t sell its own branded gear, focusing instead on giving shoppers a reason to buy through Baby Dino. They currently segment their audience and target shoppers who have previously purchased with recommendations for complementary products. “With browsing automation, we would better know what people are interested in,’’ Perri says.
Peard says browsing automation will help them retarget more effectively. “We still don’t really know what our customers are doing unless they buy something.’’
Want more ideas and best practices from savvy commerce marketers like these? Check out the rest of our Bronto City Tour Thought Leadership Series. And hear from other great speakers in Miami at Bronto Summit 2016. We have a great lineup this year – including Daymond John, co-star of the popular ABC Television business reality series Shark Tank and the Founder and CEO of global lifestyle brand FUBU.