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Building A More Conversion-Driven Website For Your E-Commerce Store

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We have all clicked on a website that should have been incredible, only to be let down. In today’s market, having a great product or service is simply not enough — your website needs to match the quality of your product or service.

Conversion-Driven Design 

Look around, and pretty much every website worth its salt is designed beautifully. There are so many exceptional tools that can bring amazing design within reach of almost any website owner. Many e-commerce storefronts lose sight of the fact that while they are out to sell products, user experience is just as important in the buying process. Frankly, many sites are severely lacking when it comes to design. Cumbersome navigation, large images that load slowly and a lack of call-to-action buttons are some of the biggest design flaws we see on a regular basis.

It takes a careful eye to flesh out that perfect balance between what looks good and what works. Don’t fall into the trap of just listing products; ensure your product feed is coupled with dynamic design — design that is functional as well as beautiful. For instance, call-to-action buttons are extremely valuable and can help site visitors who are almost tripping over ways to contact you. Design is not only a way to make a site visually appealing; it must enhance conversions.

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Informative Content 

As much as design can attract attention, superior content should provide the perfect complement. Content can be a mystery for some companies — they don’t see why it is needed on a website designed to sell products. The key to gaining an audience is establishing a community around your product. To do that, you should have something to say. Blogs, FAQ pages and information-rich landing pages are all exceptional ways to interact with your community.

A while back, I was looking through some of our e-commerce client projects to see what was effective and what could use work. What I found was that the sites with the most dynamic content had the most engagement. The thought behind this is that more engagement is equal to more sales.

Content is not always words on the page, but videos, infographics and many other shareable media bits. Leveraging your brand to create content that sells can increase visibility, which, historically, is a great way to increase sales. You can have the greatest product on earth, but if nobody knows what it is good for, you might as well close up shop.

Product Descriptions That Actually Sell Products

Product descriptions are one of the most overlooked pieces of content on e-commerce websites. A solid product description creates a deeper understanding of your product, invites engagement and provides an opportunity for your audience to connect.

Many product descriptions are nothing more than a list of attributes, and that is just fine for your highly educated shopper, but reaching the casual buyer who is undecided should be your goal.

To entice those casual shoppers, a product description should be long enough to engage, but short enough to digest; enough info to list the features, but brief enough to painlessly convince the casual buyer that they need your product. Look to the value the product can provide, and clearly state that in the description, interpreting for your clients why the features make this a superior product.

Product descriptions are also ideal for use in a social media campaign like a Facebook store. Leverage the power of social media for your business: Add products, and make it easy for your followers to buy what they need.

Leverage The Power Of Video

Videos of your products can be an incredible way to introduce potential customers to the advantages you offer over the competition. Integrate videos into your homepage, FAQ page and even individual product pages. One advantage of video is that it can be used for so many more campaigns than just website content.

For instance, we like to integrate our videos into email campaigns. We have found that this is a great way to engage with clients and give them some information they may find useful, even if they do not decide to utilize our product. Videos are ideal when describing your products, and according to research, most consumers would rather watch a video than read a lengthy product description. While this may sound contrary to what I said about content earlier, the platforms for videos and other types of content can be different, and I believe you need both for effective marketing.

Putting It All Together

Building a great e-commerce website is an amalgamation of design and content, all connected seamlessly through multiple channels. A great product or service will only get you so far, so it’s critical that your brand strategy is bulletproof for your e-commerce business.

Conversions are the ultimate goal, and keeping the overall strategy in mind when you are setting up your website will benefit you in the long run. Conversions depend on engagement, and in order to increase engagement, a solid content strategy should be implemented from the beginning.

In today’s online marketing world, an e-commerce site has little chance of simply being discovered on its own. The clients that we’ve had the most success with have all embraced a wide range of marketing opportunities. Set up your website with more than a singular focus on products, and you will likely see a difference right away.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

Chief Marketing Officer / Partner at Marketing 360®, overseeing all inbound lead generation strategies and partnerships.

 

Source: Building A More Conversion-Driven Website For Your E-Commerce Store

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Keeping Up With E-commerce: Last-Mile Delivery Service Deploys ‘Ninjas’ In Online Shopping Boom

Packages are piled higher than people at Ninja Van’s biggest sorting center at a freight facility near Singapore’s Jurong port. Southeast Asia’s big e-commerce operator, Shopee, has just finished its “9/9” online shopping sale and says it got a record 17 million orders in one day. Ninja Van now has the task of delivering most of those orders. “We spend months preparing for how much capacity they require, making sure that we change our processes and have enough drivers,” says Ninja Van’s 32-year-old founder Lai Chang Wen.

Today, Ninja Van delivers on average one million parcels a day around the region, deploying some 20,000 full-time delivery staff, who are dubbed ninjas. Ninja Van’s sales in 2017 rose 9% from a year ago to $13 million and Singaporean Lai was inducted into Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia in 2016.

Ninja Van has so far raised $140 million from a group of investors that includes B Capital and super app Grab. “They’ve really been a leader in last-mile delivery. They are today, we believe, the best service in terms of delivery rates. Everything they’ve achieved using technology is driven to increase customer satisfaction,” says B Capital cofounder Eduardo Saverin, who is a director on the company’s board (and cofounder of Facebook).

Today In: Asia

Lai cofounded Ninja Van in 2014 after a stint as a derivatives trader at Barclays and then setting up Marcella, a custom menswear shop based in Singapore. Monk’s Hill Ventures Managing Partner Lim Kuo-Yi remembers passing on Lai’s pitch to invest in Marcella, but was intrigued by Lai’s proposed solution to the firm’s delivery hurdles.

That proposal is now Ninja Van. Its value proposition is providing a more effective way for Southeast Asia’s small and midsized enterprises to deliver their products as e-commerce in the region explodes. Over 150 million Southeast Asians are now buying and selling online, triple the number from 2015, according a recent report by Bain, Google and Temasek. “What Ninja Van has shown in the last four or five years is the ability to grow the business threefold year-on-year,” says Lim.

Ninja Van is one of a slew of companies offering logistics services for e-commerce deliveries such as Lalamove, GoGoVan and UrbanFox. Competing on cost, speed and reliability isn’t enough, Lai says. Ninja Van also works with SMEs to cut costs and expand their markets. Ninja Van in September introduced a program in Indonesia called Ninja Academy that teaches SME owners about social marketing, inventory management, procurement and sales strategy. “A big part of the question around Ninja Van is how do I evolve my customer base to enable the long tail of commerce,” says Saverin.

Ninja Van entered the logistics scene at an opportune time. Photo: Sean Lee for Forbes Asia

Sean Lee for Forbes Asia

Ninja Van also mines its data to find hidden efficiencies. For example, when multiple merchants are buying the same raw material or product, Ninja Van can then broker a deal to buy in bulk for a lower price on behalf of several customers. The same goes for freight space. “We are the biggest purchaser of air cargo across Indonesia,” says Lai.

With as much as 70% of its transactions still cash on delivery, Ninja Van processes more than a billion dollars in payments a year. While processing those payments, it’s sitting on a massive pool of liquid capital. “There’s opportunity there to extend some level of working capital financing to bridge that gap,” says Lim.

Grab’s investment in Ninja Van is the culmination of an ongoing discussion about collaboration. “We kept finding ways to work together,” says Lai, who first started talking with Grab’s cofounder Anthony Tan four years ago about merging their fleets to improve efficiency.

The two eventually decided that having separate, specialized fleets was more efficient than a combined one, but they have developed a special partnership. Grab customers can access Ninja Van on Grab’s app depending on the kind of delivery. Grab deploys its drivers for on-demand pickups and deliveries, but offers Ninja Van as a discount option for less urgent, next-day courier service to SMEs. Grab has already integrated Ninja Van into its service offering in Indonesia and the Philippines, and plans to do so in Vietnam later this year.

Lai, meanwhile, spends much of his time now in Malaysia and Indonesia, where Ninja Van launched in 2015. “The landscape is very exciting right now, comprised of a lot of small merchants selling on marketable channels,” Lai says. But the real prize, he says, lies beyond Southeast Asia. “There’s a lot more global flow,” he says. Lai won’t name any potential partners, but says the U.S. is “definitely a target.”

Pamela covers entrepreneurs, wealth, blockchain and the crypto economy as a senior reporter across digital and print platforms. Prior to Forbes, she served as on-air foreign correspondent for Thomson Reuters’ broadcast team, during which she reported on global markets, central bank policies, and breaking business news. Before Asia, she was a journalist at NBC Comcast, and started her career at CNBC and Bloomberg as a financial news producer in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Nasdaq. Pamela’s previous incarnation was on the buy side in M&A research and asset management, inspired by Michael Lewis’ book “Liar’s Poker”. Follow me on Twitter at @pamambler

Source: Keeping Up With E-commerce: Last-Mile Delivery Service Deploys ‘Ninjas’ In Online Shopping Boom

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Sick of online shopping deliveries that go MIA or take forever? Ninja Van’s Lai Chang Wen saw how traditional couriers were spoiling the experience – so he jumped in to spoil the market. Even though he had zero experience. Catch the series Game Changers on Monday, 8pm SG/HK. Watch catch-up episodes on Toggle http://bit.ly/2nRyB7Q

FedEx Is Ending a Major Amazon Deal As Amazon Builds a Rival Shipping Network

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FedEx is snipping another tie with Amazon as the e-commerce giant emerges as a competitor by building its own shipping network. The ground-delivery contract with Amazon won’t be renewed when it expires at the end of this month, FedEx said in an emailed statement. The decision quickens the company’s retreat from the largest online retailer just two months after FedEx said its Express unit wouldn’t extend an agreement to fly Amazon’s packages in the U.S.

“This change is consistent with our strategy to focus on the broader e-commerce market,” FedEx said in the statement. Recent moves to bolster service “have us positioned extraordinarily well” to handle demand, it said. The courier will still have a contract with Amazon for international deliveries.

FedEx is reducing its dependence on Amazon as the online retailer builds out a logistics network with hundreds of fulfillment centers and adds next-day air capacity with leased jets. Amazon is also starting a home-delivery service modeled after the contractor-based ground unit at FedEx, which flagged the competitive risk in its latest annual report to U.S. regulators.

E-Commerce Deliveries

Amazon made up about 1.3% of FedEx’s sales last year. To scoop up more e-commerce business, FedEx announced in May that its ground unit would begin seven-day service in January, deliver more packages that had been handed off to the U.S. Postal Service and invest to handle oversized packages.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company has also signed up more drop-off and pick-up points, including with Dollar General Corp. FedEx is even testing a ground-delivery robot.

Longtime rival United Parcel Service Inc., the largest U.S. courier, is taking a different tack by continuing its relationship with Amazon. Analysts have estimated that the retailer’s pledge to expand overnight deliveries fueled a 30% spike in UPS’s domestic next-day volume in the second quarter.

UPS hasn’t said how much revenue it generates from Amazon, but if the total were more than 10%, the courier would be obligated to disclose the information in regulatory filings. The amount is probably close to that threshold, according to analyst estimates.

Profit Pressure

The surge in e-commerce business has been a double-edged sword for FedEx and UPS by spurring sales growth while squeezing profit margins, since home-deliveries are more costly to handle than dropoffs at commercial customers.

In June, FedEx said it was in a “transition year” as it seeks to drive down costs and fix an ailing European business. The company forecast a mid single-digit percentage drop in earnings for the current fiscal year, which ends in May.

By Thomas Black / Bloomberg

Source: https://time.com

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