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The Power of Content: How 1 Article Generated $22 Million in Sales

In partnership with the late model and makeup artist Cindy Joseph, Ezra Firestone helped to build BOOM by Cindy Joseph, an age-positive cosmetic line for women of every generation. As an ecommerce growth expert, Ezra has been known to share insights on building brands that resonate with consumers and stand the test of time. In this episode of Shopify Masters, Ezra Firestone shares his life and business journey and the most important lessons he’s learned along the way.

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Do you have an extra $10 a day, which is $300 a month, which is $3600 a year that you can spend on amplifying content that is designed to talk to your customers about something more than just the products you have for sale? If the answer is yes, create one article, or one video or one piece of content, and then run that as an ad to your buyers, subscribers, fans, people who look like them, and engage them.

Key Learnings shared by Ezra Firestone: 

  • Owning your brand is important. Moving away from dropshipping and white labeling, Ezra stresses the importance of owning your own brand identity and narrative to connect to consumers and finding a purpose associated with the business that you are trying to build.
  • Content testing and reinvest into your business. Produce content and test which pieces convert the best. Then use the revenue generated to put more ad dollars behind those content pieces.
  • Profitability isn’t everything. What’s most important to Ezra is to have fun, enjoy his day to day while creating a product that’s of service and value to his customers. Then he thinks about profitability. With the recent passing away of Cindy Joseph, there’s a higher emphasis on appreciating each day and building the best possible products for the customers.
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Show Notes

Transcript 

Felix: Dream job, Ezra Firestone from BOOM by Cindy Joseph, which is the first pro age cosmetic line for women of every generation and was started 2010 and brings in annual revenues of 22 million. Welcome, Ezra.

Ezra: Hey, super happy to be here. Thank you so much for having me. I love a good conversation about e-commerce and marketing with other Shopify folks.

Felix: Awesome, I can feel this going great. Great episode already. Let’s start off with the motivation behind this. You told us that you were chasing the freedom from a daily grind of a job and I think everyone out there is a yes, I can relate. Tell us about that. What was that? What were you doing and how did you kind of start going on this tour chasing freedom?

Ezra: Well, It’s a good question. I think every entrepreneur is chasing some form of freedom, freedom of time, freedom of location, freedom of resource to be able to use resources towards causes they find noble. They’re kind of running away from pain. In my case, I grew up very poor, and I moved to New York at 18 to play poker for a living. I was staying up all night and sleeping all day and hanging out with a bunch of degenerates, and they call me Johnny, how are you doing? I was like doing whatever I could to make money. I met a guy who was making money from his computer.

Ezra: This is ’04 ’05 and I was fascinated by this idea that my … The model for making money that I had figured out required me to stay up all night and sleep all day and be around a bunch of folks who are not the coolest.I also, once I gave up that life was working a full-time job. I was stuck behind the desk at this yoga studio after I gave up the poker life and was looking for a means of generating money that was something that I enjoyed doing. I ran across a guy who was doing search engine optimization, and he was selling information products. Through him, I learned about the world of online commerce and SEO and traffic and conversion and ultimately, made my way to e-commerce because I found that to be the best business model wasn’t based on a persona, wasn’t a influencer based business that’s more like cash flow based on someone’s personality.

Ezra: It was an asset that I could grow and actually hold the title of the number one mullet wig retailer in America in the late 2000s. But long story short, I found e-commerce in ’07 and ultimately started BOOM because a very good friend of mine, who I was also living with at the time, was a former makeup artist and newly model in the Baby boomer demographic. It was at the time when advertisers were realizing that the Baby boomer demographic had all the surplus money to spend and that they should put people who look like them in ads. I went to this friend of mine that said we should start a brand using your knowledge of makeup and cosmetics but targeting women over 50 who are being sold anti-age, anti-wrinkle, all this like hide it covered up. We had this negative thought process that aging is bad, but we could do something different. We had these cosmetics that are about celebrating every age because, every age really is a different beautiful. That’s a condensed version of how we got BOOM started. It was a business opportunity in the entrepreneurship and e-commerce space that I had come across, after playing poker and growing up poor and having a job I didn’t love. Found my way to e-commerce through a bunch of other stuff. Then ultimately found my way to branded e-commerce where I’m creating a brand and a story in my own products, versus let’s say, dropshipping or white labeling or something like that. Because I believe that to be the most effective and beneficial model because I think the game that we’re playing and then I’ll stop this rant.

Ezra: But I think the game that we’re playing beyond optimizing our businesses to perform better is really that of resource generation. I think the goal is to spend our time and energy generating as many resources we can in a pleasurable way. Then using that resource towards causes that we find noble taking care of our family and our communities and service In the world. Ultimately, when I looked at… I got, 15 or 20 years of my work career that I’m going to keep this pace for. What is the most effective way to generate resource?

Ezra: I came to the conclusion that branded e-commerce where I was developing assets that were saleable that I could then used, that I could then sell and then deploy, the money I make from those assets back into the market was the best way to generate wealth. I don’t actually think that cash flow businesses are the best vehicle for wealth generation. If you look at how people who generate real amounts of resource do it, it’s usually through the liquidation of assets that they built, or the purchasing of assets with money that they got through either liquidating other assets or some other way and then operating those assets and then liquidating them, so that’s kind of my spiel.

Felix: Lots of gems in there. I want to first touch on this the stage where you first got to e-commerce right before you picked up you started BOOM, were they all kind of non branded business that you started. How many were there?

Ezra: Yeah, because at that time, If you think back to, I’m talking ’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09. The traffic source of the day was search engine optimization Google search that was all that existed. AdWords was there, and we were using that but for real the way that e-commerce merchants were making it was on SEO, which then went away around about 2011, 2012 with Panda Penguin and Hummingbird. But Ali Baba, Ali Express, Chinese drops, the ability to source products overseas, there was no infrastructure for that. The only way the source of product was to go to American suppliers, and get their spreadsheets of their products and their images of their products on CDs and build a Yahoo store and osCommerce store and excite or press the shoppers in car them and use them all.

Ezra: Then use search engine optimization and Google AdWords to drive visibility to the store that would then when you would get an order you would fax an American supplier. In my case, a costume wig supplier or get was in gift baskets, barstools, dog supplies, all kinds of stuff and that was the only real way to do e-commerce unless you were doing private labeling, which was a lot harder and more expensive back then. A lot of the folks who were making it an e-commerce at that time were using this business model of dropshipping from American suppliers, which is a bit outdated now, in that the margins on drop shipping are pretty slim and American suppliers. Now, a lot of them understand how to go direct to consumers and so it’s a bit of a more difficult market. But one of the interesting stories to come out of that time is Wayfair. They started right around then doing the same thing I was doing by an exact match domain like grandfatherclocks.com and things like that, using search engine optimization and American suppliers.

Ezra: Now, they’re one of the biggest drop shippers in the world and they now have house inventory. They do billions of dollars a year. They understood some things that I came to later understand at that time, they understood infrastructure, scale, delegation, how to hire people, financial model. I was a very young entrepreneur who was just trying to make a dollar. I was hungry, I was trying to eat. I did not… I was not a business owner, I didn’t understand things I understand now about how to run an operation, how to scale a team, how to manage projects, how to… I just didn’t… I just was a young kid and I was doing. But the interesting thing is some folks who started in that same model at that time, who understood some of these things that allow you to scale an organization are still at it today.

Felix: Are you saying that’s a date? Is it that the supply chain infrastructure is there? Or is that the consumer behaviors different that now positioned brand building to be the better form of resource generation than the kind of drop shipping methods that were before?

Ezra: Two factors. One is that the cost of visibility has gone up considerably. You could get free traffic, really, for article marketing was cheap,Squidoo and hub pages and bookmarks and reciprocal linking. The things that you did to generate visibility back then required sweat equity and not money. You could get visibility for very cheap and therefore you could function on dropshipping margins. It’s harder today when you have to go out and basically buy all your visibility to function on the margin of drop shippers. Secondly, many of the suppliers in America except for the high-end ones, people still do American dropshipping with big expensive bulky items because of the margin, barstools and electric fireplaces and things of that nature.

Ezra: But most of the manufacturing for low priced and impulse buy consumer goods is happening overseas and so all the people who are dropshipping kind of moved in that direction. I moved out of it for a number of reasons. The reason I think it is better is one, if you’re manufacturing yourself, and you have your own brand then all of the energy that you’re investing in developing what I label as brand assets, pixels audiences, email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook Messenger subscribers, Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, all those brand assets are accruing and compounding to be in your ownership. So that one day you can sell that asset. If you’re drop shipping, you’re using all that energy to build exposure and brand value for other people’s items. It just not doesn’t make sense to do that if your goal is resource generation at the highest possible value if that makes sense.

Felix: If someone that’s out there that is going on this dropshipping path that believes that brand building is the future for them, what were the skills that you got to learn? What are the skills that someone has to learn to shift into the brand-building mode?

Ezra: Yeah, the reasons I’m anti drop shipping is one you don’t know where your products are made for the most part. You don’t know how that labor is paid or treated. You don’t know if that stuff is made with good materials, you have no general information on where the product is coming from, which makes it hard to tell a story about the product and also introduces moral and ethical dilemmas, potentially. That’s a huge issue for drop shipping, number one. Secondly, If you don’t have a lot of money, you have to start with something that’s cheap like affiliate marketing, drop shipping, private labeling, where you can get in with low investment and begin to build some capital. But as soon as you have some capital, you need to invest that in developing your own brand.

Ezra: The skillset with developing your own brand is you can private label or white label, but you have to be able to tell the story about how the thing was made, why it was made, what’s the benefit of owning it and why do you exist in the world beyond selling a product. What are your viewpoints as a company, as a brand? What do you think? I have a whole course on this on my blog. If you go to smartmarketer.com//courses and you scroll down to the smart social course. There are an hour and a half free training where I talked about how to develop a voice and a story. A Mission and a purpose and a reason for existing beyond having a product for sale because if all you have is a faceless, nameless product, while you can just sell on Amazon. You can use query-based traffic and you can try to make that work if you’re interested in establishing real value. What that is, what a brand really does, is it engages with a group of people who are sharing a collective experience.

Ezra: It adds value to that group of people’s lives over time through content and it continually offers them solutions to problems they face and conversations they’re having. I’ll give you a specific example. Two specific examples, one, women over 50 who are sharing the experience of aging and the whole world telling them that is wrong. They’re going through menopause, their hair is aging, their skin is changing, it’s wrinkling and things like that. Everybody’s telling them that’s dirty, bad, and wrong. Well, you can communicate with that community and add value to their life through content with ideas and fun ways to take care of your skin and things like that. Then you can offer products and that is the key. In this game, you are engaging with Shopify business owners who have online stores who are interested in improving those and you’re adding value to their life through content that helps them.

Ezra: Then eventually they go and buy different Shopify services and apps and things like that. I think that the key with building a brand is developing a voice and a story and understanding who you’re talking to and what you’re talking to them about. How you can comment on the conversations and problems that group of people is having through content, and then offer solutions really amazing, incredible products that do not have to be unique. How many electric toothbrushes are there out there? They all do the same thing. They brush your teeth electrically. But QUIP, Q-U-I-P has done a really great job telling a story doing content, aggregating all the sort of young disruptor techie toothbrush, people who are interested in electric toothbrushes and now they have an eight or nine-figure brand in a market that already existed because they were good content marketers and storytellers.

Felix: I think there are listeners out there. They’re at this stage where they have some success already and you talk about as soon as you have some capital, start brand building. What is that there? So how do you know if you have enough capital to get the ball rolling just to make a dent towards building a brand?

Ezra: Do you have an extra $10 a day, which is $300 a month, which is $3600 a year that you can spend on amplifying content that is designed to talk to your customers about something more than just the products you have for sale? If the answer is yes, create one article, or one video or one piece of content, and then run that as an ad to your buyers, subscribers, fans, people who look like them, and engage them. Then the people who consume that, filter out the consumers. Anyone who watches 50% of this video, anyone who visited this article and stayed on the page for the top 25% of the time, and cross-sell them and upsell them other products. It’s pretty straightforward. I call it the engage and filter method. You engage people with content and then the ones who consume you filter out and offer them products for sale.

Felix: You looking specifically for engagement. You’re just talking about tactics. You’re talking about, like 50% of a video being watched or someone that you want to develop a further relationship with.

Ezra: Yeah, or it’s someone who already bought from you and now you’re engaging them with content to keep them engaged. Then the ones who are consuming that you can go hey, Facebook, give me an audience of everyone who watched 50% of this branded video about the best places to rock climb in America and then show them an ad for my rock climbing clip. You can do that on the front end or the back end. That is my whole business strategy by the way I amplify content and then I take out the people who engage with my content and I run sales ads to them.

Felix: I’m sure it’s a big operation creating content. We’ll talk about that in a second of it. But before we get there, you mentioned that the story is what is the brand. Do you start … If you get to choose, I guess, do you start with the story or if you have a product already, can you build a story around, which one is powerful?

Ezra: You can definitely build a product, a story around a product? There’s two parts to this. There’s the product, which is the what and the benefits? What is it? What are the benefits of it? How was it made? What stories can you tell about the ingredients in it? What stories can you tell about the benefits of using this product? Who’s using the product? Why are they using it? There’s a whole bunch of stuff you can do. There’s manufacturing process transparency, look at Everlane. Everlane is the best company. I want to be Everlane when I grow up and their whole shtick is manufacturing process transparency. They say we think that in the retail market, you’re getting ripped off and you have no idea what the markups are, and you don’t know how your stuff is made.

Ezra: We’re going to tell you for each of our items, exactly how much it costs us to make it, where we made it, why we made it, and we’re going to tell you what we’re marking it up. Then we’re going to do videos about how denim is a really dirty business. It’s polluting the world’s oceans. We created the denim product that isn’t doing that and all these ways, and you should buy it from us. Their whole shtick is manufacturing process transparency, and their mission is to bring radical transparency to the retail of the apparel market.

Ezra: They’re doing a mission, a story and a purpose all around their products and it’s working really well. There are two sides to it. There’s the product, which is what is it and the benefits of it. Then there’s the who is buying it, and what is the life experience that they’re having, how can you talk them about that? Those are kind of the things that you need to figure out in order to be able to create content that is going to be relevant to a group of people. You can definitely start with a product. But you got to also figure out, who are engaging with this product and what are they interested in? Then you got to figure out what stories can you tell about the product that you have?

Felix: Which is what we doing on a day to day basis and if they are in the stage where they are trying to figure out what stories people actually care about. Everlane story, for example, you’re talking about, do they know this before starting or does your steps that you can take to truly understand what stories were hit with your target customers?

Ezra: Well, you got to test. If you look at BOOM, your business needs a direct response sales funnel that is going to get people in the door and get them to buy from you. My favorite strategy is to use what’s known as a Pre-sell Engagement article, where I write an article that touches on the experience that my people are having, that is interesting and compelling to them that transitions into a pitch for my products, and ultimately gets them in an open to buy mindset and get them to click over to my products. For example, I spent about 20 million dollars, advertising one article. 95% of my front end awareness and acquisition amplification traffic goes to a single article. The article goes like this, “Five makeup tips for women over 50”. Then it’s five tips about how to have a better and more fun and more exciting and more effective makeup routine when you’re over 50.

Ezra: Then it says, hey, by the way, we have this amazing cosmetics and skincare line developed for women, specifically over 50. Here’s all about it and why it’s awesome. Here’s why people love it, go check it out. That’s where we drive all of our traffic. People get all caught up and they need a whole bunch of assets. No, you need one good sales video that you can run as an ad and one good pre-sell article that you can run that too. If those are compelling, and actually talk to your audience, you don’t need much more than that. It’s really not about the quantity of assets, it’s about the quality of assets. Yeah, I would recommend starting with a Pre-sell Engagement article, and a sales video and the best video that I have found, and I’ve spent about $4 million on this particular video this year is what I call, “The love demo love formula or the testimonial sandwich”.

Ezra: It starts with a face to camera customer testimonial from someone who’s actually used and gotten benefits from the product. I’ll usually cycle through about four people five to 10 seconds each being like, “this thing is so amazing and here’s what it did for me.” They’re all enthusiastic and they’re holding it up. They’re showing it and they’re talking about it, and talking about why it’s awesome and it’s a person. Those people look like the people who would be buying these products. This is the right age, is the right demographics, all that stuff. Then it goes into a demonstration of the product in use. What are the benefits of it? How is it used? Why is it awesome and then it ends with another series of customer testimonials. That front end content asset, which is, love demo love customer testimonial, product demo customer testimonial, which if you go to my Facebook fan page BOOM by Cindy Joseph and you look at the ads that we’re running, you’ll see a million of those is working extremely well. Then we leave that to our Pre-sell article.

Felix: Okay guys, so the love demo love is a video that you’re running ads or in traffic too, which then when they click on it goes to Pre-sell article. You mentioned that you drove obviously a lot of millions of dollars against this, and you mentioned that is quality rather than quantity. I’m sure you’ve tested out a lot of different content trying to beat this one?

Ezra: Yeah, I’ve been trying to beat that Pre-sell article for like four years. I’ve tested a million different, 40 some odd ones, some are different Pre-sells against and I can’t beat that so I wrote a really good one first, which is awesome. But, if you look at most e-commerce businesses, they go from a sales video directly to their product offer page, that’s really a fine way to go too. If you go to my website BOOM by cindyjoseph.com and you click on the store, and then you click on the Boom Gold product, the Boom Scrub product or the Boom Clean product, you will see a new strategy that we are using where we have what is known as a product minisite. Essentially what it is, it’s a homepage that has a story about the product that then the user lands on and then they click over to the buy box.

Ezra: What we’ve been doing now is we send traffic from an ad directly to the homepage of our product minisite, which is the story of the product and why it was made and what’s in it and why it’s good. Then once they click through that, they end up on the buy box where they can actually purchase the product. It’s not really a Pre-sell, in that it’s not like a piece of content that is designed to engage them. It’s specifically a product sales piece, but it’s before you get to the buy box. Most people are running a video ad or image ad directly with their product offer page. We’re finding that when we sandwich either an article or a product minisite homepage, I have templates for this minisite homepage in my app called Zipify Pages, which is a Shopify app learning page builder, pretty sweet. You can grab that if you want, but that is working better for a number of reasons.

Ezra: Number one, it gives us more retargeting buckets. We can now tell the people who watch the video didn’t make it to the site, the people who made the Pre-sell but didn’t make it to the products, the people who spent the most time on the Pre-sell, the people who did make it to the product homepage but not the actual product offer page. The people who made the product offer page where they can buy and were able to segment those buckets and target them all with different content in our retargeting, so it helps them that way too. But we’re finding that sandwiching a piece of content between the ad and the buy box, whether it is a product minisite homepage, where it’s a story about the product, or whether it’s a front end, generate awareness for the brand, talk about an experience that customers having, and then that goes to the store page. Either one of those works. I think that the content article is better for awareness and acquisition traffic and that the product mini-site is better when you’re retargeting people back to a specific product.

Felix: Okay, got it makes sense. Let’s talk about the content creation process you go through where you have been trying to beat this control though the one that you’ve been tried before, for years. How does it begin? How do you know what kind of content to start off trying to create?

Ezra: You have to think about the experiences that your customers are having, and then talk about that. You got to interview your customers, you got to know who you’re selling to, you got to know what they’re interested in. We know about the experiences they’re having, they’re having hot flashes, their skins changing, their hair is growing, they’re going through menopause, everyone’s telling them that aging is bad. They’re afraid of wrinkles. We understand our customers and the experience they’re having. Therefore, we can write articles about how to have more fun, or you can go to my blog, and you can see all of our articles and different stuff that we’ve done. But it starts with an understanding of who your customer is. Then I’ve got a whole bunch of in that court that training I was telling you about.

Ezra: I’ve got a bunch of ideas like tips lists, that’s our favorite one. 10 minutes to a better makeup routine, eight skincare tips for women over 50. 4 tips on how to have more fun in your life. We do a lot of tips lists, you can do educational and how-to content you can do things that are related to current events, you can do manufacturing to process transparency.There’s a bunch of different ideas, but it comes back to what is your community going to find interesting. The way to understand that is to understand what experiences are your communities… Is your community having and what conversations are they already engaging with and how can you talk about that? There’s not like a formula beyond understanding who you’re talking to and what they find compelling.

Felix: You like to interview customers of yours to determine this?

Ezra: Yes, I call my grandma. I had a business partner who was a woman over 50. We could talk about the experiences she was having, like, you find and look, generally a lot of people are also interested like we were talking about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu earlier, you and I could come up with 15 different ideas for articles that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu people would be interested in because we know the market because we’re in the market.

Felix: Make sense? You obviously have worked with a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs, you’ve worked with people that are aspiring to be entrepreneurs, through this smart marketer. What do you see, because of your perspective, what do you see most people tripping up on this journey?

Ezra: The most common reason that people don’t build their businesses is they get stuck driving instead of navigating. At some point in your entrepreneurial career, you’re going to have to learn how to delegate. You’re gonna have to learn how to buy help, you’re gonna have to learn how to stop doing customers support yourself. When you’re on the road, driving and taking the turn and you’re tinkering with your Shopify site, you’re tinkering with clay-vo, you’re tinkering with Facebook ads, you’re tinkering with analytics. You can’t be up above the road, looking at the mountain ranges and seeing what’s coming down the pipe, you’re stuck driving. Most people get bogged down in technology. They run all the technology platforms, they do it all themselves, they do all their customer service, they write all their emails, they do all their copy and do all their product sourcing. At some point, you have to learn how to buy help and invest in that help.

Ezra: The reason people say, I hired someone and they didn’t work out was like, no, you didn’t work out. You didn’t invest in them. The interesting thing about buying help is it gets better over time. If you’re buying 20 hours a week of help and that’s how you need to frame it, you are buying help for your brand. For your business, you’re buying 20 hours a week. Well, the first week, that 20 hours is worth whatever it is but by week 12, that 20 hours is worth four times what it was in week one because they’re more effective. The way that I’ll do this is I’ll say okay, I’m going to … There’s a bunch of different roles. There’s copywriting, there’s social media, there’s Facebook advertising, there are managing projects, there’s managing inventory, there’s design, development, video editing. There are all these different roles of areas where you could buy help, and you could use a Services Agency, or you could bring someone in and pay them a part-time or full time salary to play a role on your team.

Ezra: The way that I like to do this, I’ll say, listen, I want you to be the best social media manager in the world within three years and here’s how we’re going to get you there. These are the six best social media blogs. We’re going to have all the articles populate into a Slack channel, you’re going to spend four hours a week reading these articles and taking notes in a notebook. Then we’re going to have a meeting once a week, and you’re going to tell me what you think we could do for the brand. You’re going to read every help article from every blog post from clay-vo and from XYZ, so software that is related to your role. You’re going to go to these events, you’re going to take these courses, you’re going to cut your teeth in these ways. You hold them accountable, and you give them a way to win and you give them educational material and you give them the opportunity to develop a skill set.

Ezra: You actually train and delegate to them. The way that I like to do it is, any repeatable processes that I have, like customer support is a great one that a lot of merchants still do themselves. The way that you do it is I do it, we do it, you do it. You say, look, I’m going to do this, I’m going to document it. I’m going to do it, I’m going to take a video of it, I’m going to make it standard operating procedure, show you each step. Then we’re going to do it together, where I’m going to be looking over your shoulder as you do it, and then you’re going to do it on your own and that’s how you delegate tasks. I think that most people get stuck trying to do everything themselves. The other thing that most people do is they don’t invest enough in paid amplification.

Ezra: Everybody’s so focused on what they can get out of their business, but that really is the wrong mindset. It’s a misguided mindset. It’s about what you can invest into your business. You get out what you put in. What you want to do is take, if you made a hundred grand last year, you want to take between 15 and 30 grand, 15 to 30% of your top-line revenue number and reinvest it in paid amplification. By the way, most e-commerce businesses don’t even run on a 30% profit margin. You’re reinvesting almost 100% of your profit back into paid amplification to grow the snowball of your business, people start pulling from their business, rather than keeping their side hustle or just not are living below their means. They don’t give their business the energy to continue to grow. The paid amplification, the money you invest in ads and new products and new channels, and better brand assets.

Ezra: That’s the fuel that drives the car forward, so you got to continue to invest. Then the other thing that I would say that stops people from scale is life-work balance and overwhelm. People seem to think and I’ve been in this business now, since 2005 and I’ve seen a lot of people burn out. People seem to think that working harder and longer equates to being more successful, but it’s actually the opposite is true. It’s not about how much you work, it’s about what you produce. If you are working yourself to the bone if you’re trying to sprint at all times, and you don’t have time to take care of your body. You don’t have time for your intimate relationships. You don’t have time for your social life, you don’t have enough time for your hobbies.

Ezra: You’re just like a … Business is the backdrop of your existence and you are overwhelmed, stressed mess, that is going to eventually burn you out and your business is going to fail. Whereas if you approach it as a marathon, and you take care of yourself, and you show up to it for eight hours a day Max, but you do that consistently, you have a much better shot of success, and you’re much more pleasant to be around. Ultimately, you will build something that can be sustainable. It’s not about going out and spearing a pig. It’s about watering a mango tree for every day for a year and letting that fruit and then having that mango tree, feed your family for generations. I think that the pace at which people approach their business should be slow down.

Felix: Lots of great and wise advice. I want to start with this idea of using your time wisely. When you have someone that is you might see like going 16 hours a day, spending a lot of time, working hard when they can be working smarter on this. Where can they start looking to determine like, what am I doing wrong? What should I be cutting out? How should I be using my time better?

Ezra: Well, what happens is when you put up container around your work life, and let’s say you don’t start until 10am, and you end at 5 or 6pm, everything that you need to get done will get done within that container. It’s not really about picking what to do because what to do will be apparent. It’s about setting the border and boundary around your work life and then sticking to that which is hard to do and takes vigilance and diligence and intention. But ultimately sets you up for success because, what you do in your work life is going to be dependent upon what the business needs at that point. I have suggestions about what to outsource first. Outsource Customer Service Design and development and video editing you can’t do those yourself and customer support you shouldn’t be doing yourself hold on to advertising.

Ezra: If that’s a skill set you want to learn because it’s a very important one and nobody cares about your money as much as you do. outsource your copywriting or train someone in your voice. Because when you think about everything the copywriters do the product descriptions, the email flows, the broadcast, the blog post the labels, the inserts, the sales and launches, The amount that the copywriter does is astronomical for ecommerce brands. If you can get that off your plate it frees you up a lot. Keep doing the strategy, the vision, the development of new products, the talking to customers, the going out and figuring out what’s next for the business, the consumption and education and learning like do the stuff that’s going to be high value and delegate the rest via either outsourcing or hiring.

Ezra: I would recommend hiring in-house I think that’s a much better strategy and ultimately has you have a much more valuable asset. But I think that it’s not about what you stop doing first. It’s about committing to a certain number of hours and sticking to that and not going over it and then committing to in the hours that you’re not working, doing things that are pleasurable like moving your body, like taking care, like having a social life, like engaging in hobbies, like putting attention on your intimate relationships, that kind of stuff. That is really the game.

Felix: You also mentioned that you need to in value take care of your business too, you need to reinvest in you say a lot of ecommerce brands, don’t do this, don’t let their brands grow with or without this support reinvesting in it.

Ezra: They start holding their cash out far too soon, and they don’t reinvest back in the marketing. I learned this because I’m considered the growth guy by eight, nine-figure brands, private equity companies, venture capital companies, were buying e-commerce brands will come to me and say, we’re considering making a purchase of this retailer that does $50 million a year 100 million dollars a year, whatever. Go in, take a look at the analytics, the ad accounts, the emails, all of it, the CRM, the conversion rate, all that stuff. Tell us number one, do you think this is a good buy? Number two, how you would grow it? One of the interesting things that I saw, looking at all these bigger brands, bigger than mine is most of these folks had one source of profitable customer acquisition, maybe it was SEO, maybe it was Google AdWords, maybe it was Amazon, maybe was Facebook ads, and then they would take all the profit they made from these other channels and invested in customer acquisition at a loss.

Ezra: They would say, I make 100 grand a month in profit, I’m just giving you random numbers, I’m going to take 99.9% of that, and I’m going to invest in customer acquisition, and either breakeven or loss to grow the footprint of my brand assets so that when I run a sale, I’ve got a bigger ship that I can monetize. Once I understood this, my brand went from 3 million to 17 million the next year, because I came up poor. I came up thinking if the advertising campaign isn’t profitable, turn it off. Once I understood Oh, take 100% of what you have and reinvest it back in growth through paid amplification to acquire customers, I understood the game that is afoot, which is a longer-term view of the asset rather than what am I doing right now and what’s going on in the next 30 days? It’s what can this thing be in 12 to 24 months, if I invest 100% of what it has back into its growth.

Felix: This kind of takes away lots of guttering and belief that it will payout.

Ezra: I don’t think it does. I think if you are paying yourself enough to live, let’s say you don’t have a side job, then who cares about acquiring cash in the bank if you can grow the footprint of the asset because if you think about it, the valuation of the company is based on a number of factors. One is profit. Two is repeat business rate. Three is diversification of traffic sources, bunch of different things that the valuation is based on, but one of the things that’s going to increase your valuation is size. If you are subscribing to the idea that the goal is an eventual exit, and not cash flow from the business. I mean cash flow from business really wonderful. My business makes millions of dollars a year in profit, which is really nice. I like that cash flow, but I’m investing all that back in.

Ezra: Then if you’re going to sell it, 18 months before you sell it, you start modifying your acquisition strategy to be more profitable, you start doing more promotions to get your repeat business rate up and stuff like that. But the idea is, we want to build the biggest and best asset possible. If we have the ability to buy or buy customers at breakeven, then we should invest as much money as we can in that, so that we can grow the biggest footprint possible. We can have the biggest asset possible because the real monetization event is going to happen when we sell the thing. I think it’s actually a smarter strategy than pulling cash out. As you go, pulling a bunch of cash out as you go.

Felix: You set them something really important, which is that you will have to acquire customers at breakeven. Is that at a gain?

Ezra: Or a loss? Basically, I’m talking about let’s say, I’m making a bunch of profit from one channel, for example, my business now I make $10 million a year from repeat business because I’ve been around for a long time. I’m taking all that profit, and I’m putting it back into customer acquisition. I’m not profitable on those first customers. But because I have good storytelling, marketing, great products, those people come back around and buy again. I am buying customers at a loss deliberately to build the footprint of my brand because I have good repeat business cross-selling up selling, and I have free revenue from past customers from years ago, which what people don’t understand about paid amplification is it creates what’s known as a halo effect. Year over year, the assets that you generate are more than just the customers, it’s the pixel audiences, the email addresses, things like that the subscribers that you can monetize each year. There’s a halo effect that happens when you invest in amplification.

Felix: Okay, makes sense. Let’s talk about the personal development of an entrepreneur, the people that you’ve seen become a success, what attributes do you see them investing in themselves to be able to walk further down this path of success?

Ezra: Well, one is not being too proud to ask for help. A lot of people don’t want to ask for help when they need it. It’s like you’re not going to be the best at everything. Find someone who knows more than you about finances. Find someone who knows more in the money. That’s a big one. People screw up the money. They don’t pay their taxes. They don’t understand which products have the highest margins. They don’t understand cash flow. They’re not doing their accounting and looking at their books at the 10th of each month to see what does this month look like compared to last month? What does this month look like compared to the month before? Has our cost of goods gone up? Has our marketing costs gone up? Has our salary gone up? If so, why? Like they’re not monitoring the finances in a real way.

Ezra: You’ve got to have your books done at the 10th of every month and you must monitor your books. Look at your profit and loss statement. Look at your year to date Profit and Loss comparative the last year look at your month to date profit and loss comparative to the last month and compared to the last year like really be paying attention to the money, pay your taxes on time, pay your quarterly taxes. There’s like money is really what screws people up for mostly new entrepreneurs who are trying to scale they don’t understand how to handle money and ultimately it sinks them. That’s a big one. But I think Yeah, going back to what I was saying, which is willing to ask for help, and being ever the student, don’t, get too proud and think you know it all and egotistical, it’s like, no, you’re always… There’s always more to learn. There’s someone who knows more, there’s help that you can get, and being willing to let go of control, you can get a lot of entrepreneurs who are control freaks, and they want to micromanage people and be all crazy on them.

Ezra: It’s like, you got to give people autonomy and freedom and give them the ability to acquire a skill set and give them room to grow and pay them well. Be generous and invest in your team. Because if you want to grow something great, you’re gonna need more than just you. I have a whole course on this on my blog, too. But, delegation and scale go hand in hand. Scale can only come from outside yourself. You need to learn how to get out of your own way. That comes and that is, requires the skill set of communication and dealing with people.

Felix: I think one of the key attributes to an entrepreneur that even allows them to go on this journey. To start his journey as it’s kind of overconfidence that they can do it. I think there’s a proven concept where the con is what you’re saying about believing that you know all the answers and being maybe afraid to ask for help but maybe even not even being aware that needs to ask for help. What kind of questions do you ask or do you recommend people ask themselves to determine like … Maybe I don’t know enough about this thing?

Ezra: I think if there’s a mystery, ask for help. If you feel like maybe this could be improved based on how something you saw somewhere else, find someone who knows more about it and ask them about it. Join an online community, a Facebook group, join the mastermind. I also think that entrepreneurship is lonely. You work behind your computer, nobody understands what you’re going through, none of your friends really get it. The pressure, the intensity of being the end of the line for this thing to work, the ups and downs of it, everybody’s salary ragging on you the amount of debt that you take on to fund different parts of your infant. It’s a very intense experience. So if you’re not talking with other people who are having a similar experience, and you’re not sharing your experience and being open about what your struggles are, it’s going to crush you.

Felix: When it comes to resource generation, which I think you get really good point early on about, this is the game of how can you generate the most resources using almost a credit out of thin air, to begin with then overtime reinvesting into keep on growing it, how does someone evaluate what is the activity that will generate the most resources on a day to day basis? How do they decide, how should I spend my time to generate the most resources? What should they be looking at?

Ezra: That’s a bit of … It’s a hard question to answer because there’s a lot of stuff you got to do. You got to do whatever the next most important thing in the business is. You need to be telling better stories, creating good content, optimizing your ads, optimizing your sales funnel, looking at your data and analytics, optimizing your email and autoresponders and broadcasts and flows, creating new products, marketing the past customers. It’s like there’s a whole spectrum of things that you should be doing in your business. But first and foremost, 70% of your energy of your paid amplification budget is going to be spent on acquiring new customers. One thing you could do is create better video assets that are going to engage people and tell a better story to get new customers in the door.

Ezra: That’s never a bad thing to do, is more front end customer acquisition video ads, that’s always a good thing to do. So that looking at different channels, well, okay, I’m getting all my sales on Facebook, can I expand the YouTube? Am I doing retargeting on every available network? When someone visits me and they see my product, are they seeing me on YouTube, the Google Display Network, Google search, Instagram, Pinterest? There’s a lot of stuff to do. It’s not really like a better or worse. It’s like, am I every day, keeping a positive attitude and taking the next step in the direction of my goals. Am I achieving something on a daily basis? Do I have a to-do list that’s related to the business, and am I getting something done at least once a day? That’s the game. It’s really not like a … It’s hard to prioritize or quantify what is more valuable than something else.

Ezra: The truth of the matter is that, and this is the part about people overworking themselves. You’ve heard the 80/20 rule, 80% of your results come from 20% of what you do. The truth of the matter is, you can do that again and go 64/4. 64, but you can 80/20, the 80/20, 64% of your results come from 4% of what you do. You could stop doing 96% of the stuff you’re doing and have a business that’s almost as good. So you’re definitely doing too much and you’re definitely spending a lot of time doing stuff that’s not that great, but it’s hard to know what those things are. The practice is, and it really is a practice is can I show up, enjoy myself, have fun, and take the next best step that I can think of in the direction of growing my business? For me, my vision and my goal is to number one, enjoy myself. I want to have fun. I want to be enjoying what I’m doing. My business partner randomly died last year, you don’t know how long you have.

Ezra: People get sick, people get deceased, people get hit by buses. Like, if you’re not having fun, what are you doing? Number two, I want to make really great stuff. Truly amazing incredible products that serve the world, that helped people. Then three, I wanted to be profitable and I’d like it to make money, but I want it to be in that order. I want to have fun, I want to make good stuff and I want to make money too. I don’t care how big it gets. I think this fascination with scale is a misguided fascination and often cripples people because then you end up with this giant machine that you’re shackled to that makes you miserable that you don’t even like where you could have had something where you were having a good time, making good stuff and still being profitable. It’s not really about how big it gets. It’s about, are you having a good time doing it and are you making good stuff and can you have that be profitable? If so you’ve won the game.

Felix: I think something else that might be misguided is looking at, checking the clock or checking the time, things aren’t happening fast enough, is almost like a recurring thought or in the back of a lot of entrepreneurs has like things aren’t happening fast enough. I’m not succeeding fast enough. To you is this … Does this mean that … I think a lot of people react to this by saying, I should work harder, I should be putting more time, I’m not doing something right. Is that suppose the case or do you all more often see that things just take time to play out?

Ezra: Not everyone’s going to be successful. You have to confront that sometimes what you’re doing isn’t going to work, but the ones who fail are the ones who quit before the magic happens. Most people judge their operations too early. You end up with folks who … Here’s what it takes, it takes six to 12 months to develop a great product. It takes six months to build the technology stack and then it takes six months to market that thing, and now you’re 24 months in and you’ve only done six months of marketing and you probably need to optimize that and do another round. So you’re like 30 months in before you can judge a new brand. Most people are trying to judge it in six months and it’s like, you didn’t give yourself enough time to truly create something that was meaningful.

Ezra: A lot of times you just need to spend more time, but sometimes you got a debt of a product or a debt of a brand and you need to switch gears. If you’ve never made a sale, and you’ve been at it for a year, and you’ve been marketing for a while, you might have something nobody wants. I don’t know how to tell you when you should stop, but I definitely do think a lot of people quit too early.

Felix: Got it. Now, what about you and your team? How do you guys get everything done? What is your project management process?

Ezra: Well, I happen to have a course on that, and a one and a half hour training on my blog. It’s called smartmarket.com//courses, you can click on my project management training, hard to describe that in a one-minute response, but we use technology. We use Slack. We don’t do email, we don’t do Skype. We don’t do Dropbox. We don’t do any of that. We only slack with each other and we use Google Drive to manage and store our files and we use Trello, which is a Kanban system to manage our projects and we communicate, we’re all virtual. I have a whole training on some ideas and thoughts on how to manage projects effectively, but being clear about the technology you’re using.

Ezra: Not being on emails and Skype and texts and all that, keep it all in one thread in a tool like Slack. Make sure you got a good organization of your file structure, make sure you’re managed using some task management tool like a Trello, or an Asana or a Basecamp or a Google key or a LeanKit or Mavenlink or something like that are good suggestions there.

Felix: You caught an early with that SEO that you’re talking about early on and now the importance of brand building. What do you see is something today that is in the early stages that you’re keeping an eye on?

Ezra: I think short-form video assets are coming up. You see Instagram stories, you see Facebook mid-roll video ads. I think the people who are embracing short, short form in addition to long, long-form, so 15 to 30-minute assets along with really short form assets are great tools for exposure at the moment where you can get cheap inventory. I’m focused on product line expansion to continually have additional solutions for the people in my community. I think that upselling and cross-selling past customers is really a necessity for brands today and good storytelling.

Felix: Also BOOM by Cindyjoseph.com’s website and smartmarket.com also where, as I mentioned all those courses, I’ll leave this last question. What was the biggest lesson that you learned last year that you want to employ this year?

Ezra: Things can change suddenly and nothing is quite as stable as you think it is and you’re better off not having a single person as the face and voice of your brand. You’re better off having multiple people who are representatives and brand ambassadors rather than just one because if that one person burns out or goes away for some reason, you have to quickly change a whole lot of your assets, including all your emails, all your videos, your whole website, all your ads, it makes it really difficult as a single point of failure. In general, I’m a fan of brands that are not based around a single persona.

Felix: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming and sharing your experience, Ezra.

Ezra: Yeah, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

Photo of Felix Thea

About the author

Felix Thea

Felix Thea is the host of the Shopify Masters podcast, the ecommerce marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs. Got something to share with Shopify Masters listeners? You can submit your story for consideration.

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Google My Business: So nutzen Onlineshop-Betreiber den Service effektiv

Google My Business Shopify Blog Post

Organischer Traffic von Google, der durch relevante Keywords zustande kommt, ist der erfolgsversprechendste Traffic. Interessenten, die darüber auf die Webseite kommen, haben bereits eine klare Such-Intention und sind somit eher dazu bereit, ein Produkt zu kaufen. Mit wachsender Bekanntheit Ihrer Marke werden auch die Brand-Suchanfragen nach Ihrem Unternehmensnamen wichtiger.

Um Personen, die nach Ihrem Unternehmen suchen, direkt ein positives Bild von Ihnen zu vermitteln, eignet sich ein Unternehmenseintrag bei Google My Business. Welche Vorteile ein solcher Beitrag mit sich bringt und wie Sie eine Verknüpfung mit Shopify problemlos umsetzen können, erklärt Paul Anderie von prandible in diesem Gastbeitrag.

Google My Business in der Customer Journey

Wenn wir über einen zukünftigen Kunden sprechen, geht es im Marketing anfänglich vor allem um drei Phasen der Customer Journey:

  • Awareness – Der potenzielle Kunde erkennt ein Problem oder ein Bedarf wird geweckt.
  • Consideration – Der Interessent wägt ab und vergleicht verschiedene Anbieter. Dabei sucht er nach Produkten, die ihm helfen können.
  • Decision – Der Kunde weiß genau, was er braucht und entscheidet sich.

Marketing Phasen ShopifyInteressenten in der Phase “Awareness” entdecken zunächst, dass sie ein Problem haben und ein Produkt oder eine Dienstleistung als Lösung benötigen. In Phase zwei wird nach Lösungsansätzen gesucht. Bei der Phase “Decision” wissen sie dann bereits genau, welches Produkt sie wollen.

Mit Google My Business unterstützt Google jeden Shop-Betreiber, die Aufmerksamkeit der Suchenden in den unterschiedlichen Phasen effizient zu erlangen.

Google My Business ist Pflicht!

Demzufolge ist Google My Business für jeden Betreiber eines Shops ein Must-have! Wer dieses Werkzeug von Google nicht einsetzt, verschenkt große Potentiale bei der Kundenansprache von organischen Interessenten. Der Eintrag ist für Unternehmen zudem kostenlos.

Ein Anwendungsszenario könnte so aussehen:

Ihr Shop wurde einem Freund weiterempfohlen und dieser neue Interessent sucht nun bei Google nach Ihrem Store oder Ihrer Marke. Marken-Suchanfragen werden mit der Zeit zunehmen, daher gilt es, diese mit besonderem Interesse zu  beachten. Mit Google My Business haben Sie die Chance, sich mit zahlreichen Informationen als Unternehmen vorzustellen und Vertrauen zum Suchenden aufzubauen.

Dazu zählen Elemente wie:

  • Bewertungen von Kunden
  • Bilder von den Personen hinter dem Unternehmen
  • Bilder vom Geschäft bzw. dem Lager
  • Hinweise auf Aktionen

Das führt zu einer immensen Vertrauenssteigerung gegenüber Ihrer Marke und Ihren Produkten.

Einer Studie von BrightLocal zufolge vertrauen 85 Prozent der Befragten Online-Bewertungen genauso wie einer persönlichen Empfehlung.

LesetippSo machen Sie Ihren Onlineshop vertrauenswürdiger.

Vorteile für Onlineshop-Betreiber

Mit Google My Business steigern Sie in erster Linie das Vertrauen von Personen, die ein Interesse an Ihrer Marke zeigen. Der Erstkontakt fällt leichter, da Sie sich als sympathisches Unternehmen präsentieren können und so eine positive Wirkung auf Interessenten haben. Über Bewertungen, Fragen oder hochgeladene Fotos können Kunden und Interessenten zudem direkt mit Ihnen interagieren.

Außerdem kann ein vollständiger Eintrag Sie bei der Suchmaschinenoptimierung unterstützen und verbessert vor allem Ihre lokale Sichtbarkeit (Local SEO).

Darüber hinaus gibt es einige weitere Vorteile, die Sie bei der Anwendung von Google My Business feststellen werden.

Adresse ausblenden

Der erste Punkt ist Ihre Adresse. Da sich Google My Business in erster Linie an lokale Geschäfte richtet, wird auch die Adresse angezeigt und auf Google Maps eingeblendet. Möchten Sie allerdings nicht, dass Personen bei Ihrem Lager oder bei Ihnen zu Hause vor der Tür stehen, können Sie die Adresse auch mit einer Einstellung ausblenden.

Lokale Auffindbarkeit steigern

Sie können mit Google My Business gezielt die Suchanfragen zu Ihren Produkten in Ihrer Umgebung steigern. In der Statistik lässt sich die Suche dementsprechend detailliert auswerten, sodass Sie sehen, welche Anfragen direkt über Ihre Marke und indirekt über Synonyme, Produkte, etc. gekommen sind.

Google My Business Statistiken

Auswertung von Suchanfragen über Statistiken im GMB-Dashboard

Kostenlose Mini-Anzeigen

Mit dem Feature “Beiträge” können Sie kurze Anzeigen in Ihrer Google-My-Business-Box präsentieren. Auf den Karten lassen sich Produkte, Angebote oder Veranstaltungen ideal bewerben, sodass die Interessenten stets sehen, wann es Neuigkeiten im Shop gibt.

Google My Business Beiträge

Erstellung von Beiträgen über Google My Business

Produkte über Google My Business einstellen

Seit Mitte 2018 können eigene kleine Kollektionen innerhalb des Eintrags angelegt werden. Diese Funktion steht allerdings nur “Handels”-Konten zur Verfügung und läuft aktuell noch in der Beta Phase. Die Produkte werden momentan ausschließlich auf dem Handy der Besucher angezeigt. Wer diese Funktion testen möchte, sollte im Google My Business Backend im linken Menü nach “Produkten” Ausschau halten.

Google My Business Produkte

So erscheinen Produkte im Eintrag über Mobilgeräte:

Google My Business Produkte mobilVerknüpfungen innerhalb Shopifys

Shopify liefert verschiedene Apps, mit denen Sie Google My Business bzw. die Funktion Google Shopping verwenden können.

Google Shopping von Shopify

Über die Google-Shopping-App im App Store von Shopify lassen sich Produkte synchronisieren und über das Google Merch Center im Google-Shopping-Bereich bewerben. Es gibt allerdings noch einen zuverlässigeren Weg, um beide Programme zu verbinden.

Google Shopping Feed von Simprosys InfoMedia

Bei der App von Simprosys InfoMedia sprechen die zahlreichen positiven Bewertungen Bände. Die Synchronisierung der eigenen Produkte zu Google kann einfach und kostenlos vorgenommen werden – zumindest für die ersten fünf Produkte. Die genauen Preise für alle weiteren Produktzahlen, finden Sie in der Tarifübersicht der App.

Fazit: Nutzen Sie die Google-Tools für mehr Sichtbarkeit, Vertrauen und Verkäufe

Google My Business bietet Ihnen großartige Möglichkeiten, Ihr Unternehmen in Googles Suchergebnissen prominent zu platzieren. Durch einzelne Funktionen wird bereits früh Vertrauen zu Ihrer Marke und Ihren Produkten aufgebaut.

Die Anmeldung ist kostenlos und die Verwendung wird sich positiv auf Ihre Marke und Ihre Verkäufe auswirken.

Kombinieren Sie Shopify über passende Apps mit den Google-Tools, lassen sich Ihre Produkte problemlos synchronisieren und für gezielte Produkt-Werbeanzeigen in unterschiedlichen Platzierungen nutzen.

Haben Sie bereits Erfahrungen mit Google My Business für Ihr Unternehmen sammeln können? Dann teilen Sie Ihre Eindrücke gern in einem Kommentar unter diesem Beitrag!


Which method is right for you?Über den Autor: Paul Anderie ist Gründer von prandible. Mit der Mission, Ladenbesitzer von der Digitalisierung zu begeistern, machen Paul und sein Team lokale Händler u.a. mit Videokursen zu SEO, Google My Business oder E-Mail-Marketing fit für die Zukunft.

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6 Tipps für Online-Händler: So machen Sie Ihre Website vertrauenswürdiger

Die meisten von uns brauchen im Durchschnitt nur Sekunden, um zu entscheiden, ob sie auf einer Website bleiben oder wegklicken. Und das kann dann schon den Unterschied zwischen einem bereits erwarteten Verkauf oder einem verlorenen Kunden ausmachen.

Screen_Shot_2015-06-02_at_12.50.58_PM.jpg

Ein Teil dieser Blitzentscheidung liegt in der Einschätzung der Vertrauenswürdigkeit Ihrer Website.

Schauen wir uns an, was dahinter steckt. Wir untersuchen hier den Stellenwert, den Glaubwürdigkeit für Kunden hat, wenn sie eine Website besuchen — und was Sie gleich tun können, um Ihr Business seriös zu präsentieren.

Warum eine vertrauenswürdige Website wichtig ist

Derweil Phishing-Betrug, Malware-Attacken –oder schlicht und ergreifend schlechter Kundendienst— zunehmen, werden wir alle immer vorsichtiger, wo wir hinklicken. 

Und wenn Sie einen Onlineshop haben, bei dem Geldtransaktionen stattfinden, müssen Sie extra aufpassen, wie Ihr Geschäft und Ihre Website wahrgenommen werden.

Über die Checkout-Sicherheit müssen Sie sich zum Glück keine Gedanken machen, wenn Sie eine gehostete Lösung nutzen —aber wie steht es um den Ablauf, der den Kunden überhaupt zum Checkout bringt?

Wie erzeugen Sie also Vertrauen in Ihre Website-Oberfläche, so dass der Kunde bis zum Kauf durchklickt?

Was bedeutet Vertrauenswürdigkeit in Bezug auf eine Website und ein Geschäft aus Kundensicht?

Eine Studie des UXMag-Teams hat untersucht, warum Verbraucher einer Marke Vertrauen entgegen bringen. Einige dieser Erkenntnisse tragen wir im Folgenden zusammen.

Eine Firma muss integer sein. Vertrauen erfordert die Überzeugung, dass ein Geschäft legal ist, sich fair verhält und unter Beweis stellt, dass es sich um seine Kunden kümmert.

Ein Produkt sollte halten, was es verspricht. Ein Verbraucher kann erwarten, dass diese Versprechungen korrekt und erwartungstreu umgesetzt werden. So vertrauen die meisten von uns darauf, dass wenn sie auf “versenden” drücken, auch wirklich eine E-Mail an den ausgewählten Kontakt gesendet wird.

Informationen müssen richtig, vollständig und unabhängig sein. Wenn Besucher den angebotenen Informationen und Auswahlmöglichkeiten vertrauen, sind sie weniger versucht, sich anderweitig umzuschauen.

Ein Produkt oder eine Dienstleistung muss qualitativ hochwertig sein. Kunden wollen sich in Ihren Entscheidungen bestätigt sehen, und wir alle wollen sicher sein, dass unsere digitalen Geräte sicher sind und unsere persönlichen Daten geschützt aufbewahren.

“Diese Firma schützt mich und hat meine Sicherheit im Auge.” Datenschutz wird in der digitalen Welt immer mehr zu einem zentralen Kundenanliegen. Wir wollen sicher sein, dass ein Geschäft in unserem Interesse handelt. Wird die Firma meine Kreditkartendaten sicher speichern und persönliche Informationen privat behandeln?

Behalten wir diese Grundlagen im Hinterkopf und setzen wir sie so um, dass Ihre Website vertrauenswürdiger auftritt.

Diese Strategien sind so einfach, dass Sie sie hier und jetzt anwenden können.


1. Ein aussagekräftiges Design spielt eine entscheidende Rolle

Stellen Sie sich folgende Situation vor: Sie laufen die Straße runter auf der Suche nach einem netten Ort, um etwas zu essen. Gehen Sie dann in das Restaurant mit dem kaputten Fenster, dem flackernden Licht über der Tür und dem komischen Geruch, den man schon von draußen riecht? Oder wählen Sie das Restaurant mit dem schönen Schriftzug, hellem Licht und offenen Fenstern, die Passanten einladen?

Die Antwort dürfte einfach fallen. Wenden Sie also die gleichen Regeln bei Ihrer Online-Fassade an —Ihrer Website.

Es gibt heutzutage keinerlei Entschuldigung für eine schlecht gestaltete Website. Es gibt unzählige Ressourcen für ansprechende und funktionale Website-Entwürfe, die Kunden mehr über Ihr Produkt erfahren und letztdlich eine Kaufentscheidung treffen lassen.

Was aber macht Website-Design vertrauenswürdig?

Vergleichen wir zum Beispiel diese beiden Websites. Auf welcher würden Sie wohl eher etwas kaufen?

Endy Sleep

Endy Sleep

Bath Magic Inc.

Bath Magic Inc.

Gehen wir davon aus, dass Sie eher Endy Ihre Kreditkarteninformationen anvertrauen würden, allein wegen der Gestaltung und Unkompliziertheit der Website. Endy strahlt Vertrauen aus. Wahrscheinlich erscheint uns die entspannte junge Frau doch glücklicher als die wütende Dame bei Bath Magic Inc.

Das ist gar nicht böse gemeint gegenüber Bath Magic Inc.— sicher gab es Gründe für diese Design-Entscheidung. Das ist auch okay, aber wenn man diesen Weg einschlägt, muss es genau in Ihre Gesamt-Markenstrategie passen.

Hier also nun unsere einfachen Tipps für ein vertrauenswürdiges Website-Design:

  • Vermeiden Sie ganze Absätze in Großbuchstaben
  • Benutzen Sie nicht den Schrifttyp Comic-Sans (es sei denn, er gehört zu Ihrer Gesamtstrategie)
  • Stellen Sie sicher, dass Ihre Texte grammatikalisch korrekt sind
  • Benutzen Sie keine billig aussehenden Agenturbilder (tolle und kostenlose Bilder gibt’s übrigens auch von Shopify!)
  • Wählen Sie ein einfaches Layout

Tipp: Wenn Ihr Budget es zulässt, ziehen Sie eine Design-Expertin zu Rate, die Sie bei Bedarf beim Re-Design Ihrer Ladenfront berät.

2. Ihre Website profitiert von einem Hauch Individualität

Ist es nicht toll, wenn Sie beim Besuch eines Ladens oder einer Website gleich das Gefühl haben, sich in besten Händen zu befinden?

Womöglich haben Sie noch nicht mal ein Wort mit jemandem gewechselt und wissen bereits allein vom visuellen Eindruck her, dass bei diesem Unternehmen alles in Ordnung ist. Sie sind überzeugt, dass die Verantwortlichen hinter Ihrer Marke und Ihren Produkten stehen.

Ob das über die Botschaften auf der Website oder Ihrer Laden-Fassade rübergebracht wird oder über etwas, das Sie zuvor online gelesen haben—die Firma hat ganz klar ein Vertrauensverhältnis mit ihren Kunden aufgebaut. Wie haben sie das gemacht?

Sehen wir uns die Landing Page von Tim Ferriss’ Website an. Er hat eine unglaublich loyale Fangemeinde. Dieses hohe Niveau hat er durch  die durchgehend zuverlässige Vermittlung von herausragendem Content erreicht.

Falls Sie Tim noch nicht kennen: Seine Website ist perfekt. Für diese Qualität steht er wortwörtlich mit seinem Gesicht auf seiner Startseite!

2. Add a Hint of Personality to Your Website

Nicht nur ist das Design umwerfend, Sie finden auch auf Anhieb folgende Informationen:

  • Ein Foto von Tim Ferriss, damit man weiß, mit wem man es zu tun hat
  • Zitate von namhaften Marken
  • Amazon-Sternebewertungen
  • Ein klarer Call to Action, ein Handlungsaufruf

Für einen Online-Laden ist eine aussagekräftige Ansprache auf der Startseite Ihrer Website entscheidend. Eine “Über Uns”-Seite mit Fotos Ihrer Mitarbeiter und einem Mission Statement ist ebenso eine gute Idee. Gestalten Sie Ihre Produktseiten mit einem persönlichen Touch, indem Sie echte Menschen zeigen, die mit Ihrem Produkt posieren oder interagieren.

In einem anderen Artikel haben wir bereits besprochen, was eine solide “Über Uns”-Seite ausmacht —aber Sie können sicherlich darüber hinaus noch einige individuelle Ideen für Ihre Homepage einsetzen, nach Tims gutem Vorbild.

3. Halten Sie Ihre Website immer aktuell

Neben einigen offensichtlichen Standards –gleichbleibende Serverstandzeiten, schnelle Ladezeiten und eine passgenaue Domain—gibt es noch einige andere Punkte zu berücksichtigen, die Ihre Website auf dem letzten Stand halten.

Alle Informationen zu Versand, Kontakt, Produktdetails etc. müssen  immer aktuell sein. Nehmen Sie sich immer wieder Zeit, Ihre Produktbeschreibungen und alte Blogeinträge nach womöglich veralteten Daten zu durchforsten, die Ihre Kunden fehlleiten oder verwirren könnten.

Eine elegante Art zu zeigen, dass Sie alles unter Kontrolle haben, ist eine Medien-Seite bzw. Pressezitate direkt auf Ihrer Startseite. 

Das Folgende haben Freshly Picked zum Beispiel auf Ihre Startseite gesetzt, nachdem Sie bei der Gründershow Shark Tank (“Die Höhle der Löwen”) und der beliebten US-Talkshow Ellen vorgestellt wurden:

3. Make Sure Your Website Is Up-To-Date
Diese Nachrichten sollten so aktuell wie möglich sein – sie sind eine Art soziale Bestätigung Ihres Geschäfts, die wiederum den Vertrauensvorschuss steigern.

4. Benutzen Sie Security Badges, um von vornherein zu signalisieren, dass Ihre Website sicher ist

4. Use Secure Badges to Display That Your Website Is Safe

Online-Shopper sind mehr den je empfindlich, wenn es um Sicherheit und Datenschutz geht. Daher müssen Sie unbedingt sofort sichtbar machen, dass Besucher auf Ihrer Site sicher browsen.

Falls Ihre E-Commerce-Plattform beim Checkout den Kunden nicht automatisch eine Nachricht anzeigt, dass sie auf einem sicheren Server sind —Shopify macht das natürlich–, dann tun Sie dies per SSL Certificate-Symbol.

Es gibt verschieden Arten, diese beruhingende Kundeninformation zentral darzustellen —z. B. durch Trust Badges in der Fußzeile Ihres Ladens oder durch eine Notiz in der Seitenspalte, dass Sie sich durch einen Drittanbieter absichern—jede Information ist hilfreich.

Bonus: Fügen Sie Ihrem Onlineshop McAfee SECURE als schnellen Vertrauensbeweis hinzu.

5. Zeigen Sie, dass Sie online ständig aktiv sind

Falls es keine Kommentare, Shares oder Likes oder andere Online-Bewegungen in letzter Zeit gibt—wie kann ich dann wissen, ob die Firma wirklich noch im Geschäft ist? Womöglich nehmen sie Aufträge an und versenden sie dann gar nicht!

Es ist wichtig zu zeigen, dass Sie mit Ihrem Kundenkreis in regem Kontakt stehen. Antworten Sie auf Twitter-Nachrichten oder posten Sie Produktansichten auf Instagram—das versichert Ihren Kunden, dass Sie authentisch und aktiv sind.

Ein weiterer toller Weg, um Besucher und Kunden über Geschäftsneuerungen auf dem Laufenden zu halten, ist ein Blog für Ihren Laden.

Schauen wir uns an, was die Bobo Academy in der Fußzeile Ihres Website-Menüs hinzugefügt hat:

5. Show That You're Active Online

Neben Ihren Twitter- und Instagram-Feeds haben sie lustige Karikaturen der Mitarbeiter eingefügt, was dem Auftritt eine nette persönliche Note verleiht. Dadurch fühlt sich die Firma “echt” an, weil sie sich und Ihre Aktivitäten in der Community so offen darstellen.

Um Ihrer eigenen Storefront Ihren Twitter- oder Instagram-Feed hinzuzufügen, können Sie verschiedene Dienste nutzen – oder einfach direkt über die Buttons aus Ihren Social Media-Accounts auf Ihre Site verlinken.

6. Machen Sie es so einfach wie möglich, Ihre Firma zu kontaktieren

Es gibt nichts Frustrierenderes. als zu versuchen, ein Geschäft zu kontaktieren und zu scheitern. Wenn Sie ein vertrauenswürdiges Business sind – warum würden Sie es Ihren Kunden schwer machen, Sie zu erreichen?

Schon ein einfaches Kontakt-Formular auf Ihrer Website wirkt Wunder. Noch besser ist es, wenn Sie sich als etabliertes Business mit einer eigenen Adresse präsentieren, über die Besucher Sie erreichen können.

So kann es aussehen, wenn Sie verschiedene Standorte haben:

6. Make It Easy for Anyone to Contact You

Denken Sie auch daran, möglichst eine Telefonnummer anzugeben. Kunden erwarten heute, dass Sie jederzeit erreichbar sind, über Live Chat, Social Media oder Telefon—ansprechbar zu sein, ist einer der wesentliche Bausteine, wie Sie mehr Vertrauen in Ihr Geschäft und Ihre Website erzielen.

Wenn Ihre Kunden mit einem tatsächlichen Mitarbeiter Ihrer Firma sprechen können, fassen sie mehr Vertrauen.

Fazit

Wir haben Ihnen verschieden Ansätze vorgestellt, wie Sie mehr Vertrauen in Ihre Website aufbauen können, jetzt müssen Sie diese Tipps nur noch umsetzen.

Hinterlassen Sie uns unten einen Kommentar, wenn Ihnen dieser Artikel gefallen hat! 


Which method is right for you?Geposted von Hendrik Breuer: Hendrik ist Redakteur des deutschen Shopify-Blogs. Möchten Sie einen Gastbeitrag veröffentlichen? Dann lesen Sie bitte zuerst diesen Leitfaden.

Dieser Artikel von Tucker Schreiber erschien ursprünglich auf Englisch im Shopify.com-Blog und wurde übersetzt.

Sin categoría

Das Einmaleins der Instagram Hashtags und welche besonders beliebt sind

Mit den richtigen Instagram Hashtags können Sie mehr Leute erreichen, das Interesse Ihrer Zielgruppe wecken und Ihre Markenbekanntheit steigern. Allerdings brauchen Sie dafür spezielle Strategien. Für manche Unternehmen stellt das eine Herausforderung dar, denn es kann schwierig sein, Trends und Muster auf den ersten Blick zu erkennen. Zudem sind Hashtag-Strategien nicht allgemeingültig, was Verwirrung stiften kann.

instagram-hashtags_1024x1024.jpg

Wir zeigen Ihnen in diesem Beitrag, wie Sie wirksame Hashtag-Strategien auf Instagram erstellen, beliebte Hashtags recherchieren und Strategien umsetzen und weiterentwickeln können. Außerdem geben wir Ihnen Tipps, welche Hashtags Sie auf Instagram Sie unbedingt verwenden sollten.

Was ist ein Hashtag und wie funktionieren Hashtags auf Instagram?

Man kann auf Instagram wie auch auf Twitter anklickbare Hashtags zu Posts hinzufügen, die den User zu Schlagwörtern und Themen weiterleiten. Jedes Wort und jeder Satzteil lässt sich in ein funktionierendes Hashtag verwandeln, indem man ein # davor setzt. Wenn User dann das Hashtag anklicken, werden sie zu einem Feed weitergeleitet, in dem der komplette damit verbundenen Content öffentlich angezeigt wird. Die Nutzer klicken auf Hashtags, an denen sie interessiert sind, um auf diese Weise Content auf Instagram zu finden.

Hashtags werden immer dann platziert, wenn Content entdeckt werden soll. Die richtigen Hashtags können Ihre Zielgruppe direkt zu Ihren Posts führen, auch wenn Sie selbst noch gar keinen Kontakt zu den Unsern hergestellt haben. Instagram hat die Funktionsweise von Hashtags jetzt sogar noch erweitert, weil erkannt wurde, wie wichtig diese für die Plattform sind. Marken können jetzt anklickbare Hashtags zu ihren Profil-Steckbriefen hinzufügen.

Instagram Stories hat einen Hashtag-Sticker, mit dem Sie Hashtags in Ihren Stories platzieren können. Wenn User diese anklicken, werden Sie an die Feeds der Hashtags weitergeleitet, als hätten Sie einen Hashtag in Ihrem Post angeklickt. So können User den Hashtags folgen, die sie interessieren, sodass der dazugehörige Content regelmäßig in ihren persönlichen Feeds angezeigt wird.

Lesetipp: Wie Sie direkt in Instagram Stories verkaufen und so mehr Umsatz erzielen, erfahren Sie hier.

Stellen Sie mithilfe von Hashtags Kontakt zu Ihrem Instagram-Publikum her

Für eine solide Hashtag-Strategie ist es entscheidend, dass Sie verstehen, welche Hashtags Sie verwenden sollten. Nur so können Sie Ihren Einflussbereich maximieren und die Interaktion mit Kunden steigern. Es gibt verschiedene Arten von Hashtags, die alle einen gewissen Zweck erfüllen. Jede überzeugende Strategie verwendet eine Kombination aus diesen.

Marken-Hashtags

Diese sollten in Ihrem Profil-Steckbrief angeführt sein und gelten ausschließlich für Ihren Shop. Sie können damit Ihre Markenbekanntheit aufbauen und User ermuntern, sie beim Teilen ihrer nutzergenerierten Inhalte zu verwenden. Beispiele dafür sind #staycold von Stay Cold Apparel, die den Hashtag in ihrer Bio erwähnen und so zum Markieren aufrufen:

stay cold apparel hashtag marke

Auch Generation YES hat aus dem Markennamen einen Hashtag kreiert, mit dem User und Kunden ihre Posts markieren können:

generation yes hashtag marke

Freeletics hat mit #DareToBeFree einen Marken-Hashtag etabliert, der nicht direkt den Markennamen in sich trägt und unter dem sich viele Postings von Usern finden.

freelatics marken hashtag dare to be free

Ortsbezogene Hashtags

Diese sind nicht für alle E-Commerce-Händler von Bedeutung, doch wenn Sie Produkte anbieten, die ortsbezogen sind, sollten sie diese Hashtags unbedingt verwenden. Haben Sie z. B. Tassen, auf denen die Namen von bestimmten Städten oder Ländern stehen? Dann verwenden Sie beispielsweise  #deutschlandtrinktkaffee oder #hamburggrüßt, um mit der entsprechenden Zielgruppe Kontakt herzustellen.

Unterhaltungs-Hashtags

Diese Hashtags dienen nicht dazu, Ihre Zielgruppe zu vergrößern, sondern die Beziehung mit der Zielgruppe, die Sie bereits haben, zu vertiefen. Diese Schlagwörter haben selten etwas mit der Marke selbst zu tun, sondern vielmehr mit der Situation im bestimmten Posts. Unterhaltungsorientierte Hashtags wie in diesem Beispiel zeigen Situationen und Stimmungen, mit denen sich der User identifizieren kann, wie #partyvorbereitung und #ruhevordemsturm.

unterhaltungs hashtags

Hashtags mit Massenanreiz

Hashtags mit Massenanreiz sind die, die Sie im Grunde genommen zu fast allen Posts hinzufügen können. Sie werden häufig verwendet, das heißt also auch häufig gesucht. Mit ihnen können Sie gelegentlich den Einflussbereich Ihrer Posts nach oben pushen, indem sie bereits bestehenden Usern angezeigt werden. Beispiele hierfür sind #instagood und #lovelife.

Ein Beispiel hierfür ist das Modelable distorted people, die ihre Posts mit den Hashtags #streetstyle und #menswear versehen, die thematisch zu ihren Produkten und dem Post passen und gleichzeitig eine breite Masse ansprechen.

allgemeine hashtags distorted people

Zeitbezogene Hashtags

Möglicherweise wollen Sie Ihre Follower daran erinnern, dass es ok ist, ein #montagmorgengesicht zu haben, oder den #sommerregen zu genießen. Zeitgemäße Hashtags können sich z. B. auf gewisse Feiertage, Jahreszeiten oder sogar Tageszeiten beziehen. User lieben zeitgemäße Hashtags und suchen vor allem nach Feiertags- und Jahreszeiten-Content. In diesem Beispiel von 3bears wird auf eine sehr spezielle Art der Start in den Tag gefeiert und dabei der Hashtag #genaurichtig verwendet.

hashtag zeitgebunden events ereignisse

Trend-Hashtags

Hashtags erleben einen Hype und sind im nächsten Moment wieder out, genau wie Mode oder Szenesprache. Manchmal sind Trend-Hashtags einfach nur beliebte Hashtags, die die Leute zu einer bestimmten Zeit verwenden und die aus einem bestimmten Grund Popularität erlangt haben. Oft haben sie mit aktuellen Vorkommnissen zu tun. Vielleicht hat Apple eine neue Version des iPhones angekündigt oder irgendwo im Land wird gewählt. Diese Hashtags sind keine Dauerbrenner, aber wenn Sie sie korrekt einsetzen, können Sie Ihren Einflussbereich vergrößern und Interesse wecken.

Nischen-Hashtags

Gewisse Produkte haben Zielgruppen mit Nischeninteressen. Leute, die z. B. ihr eigenes Virtual-Reality-System kaufen sind vermutlich insgesamt an der allerneuesten Technik interessiert. Kunden, die sich gesund ernähren wollen suchen vermutlich nach Schlagwörtern wie #bio oder #grünessen. Verwenden Sie nischenspezifische Hashtags, um wichtige Zielgruppen zu erreichen. So wie Generation yes mit diesem Post vor allem Kunden ansprechen will, die sich vegan ernähren oder für die Ernährungsform interessieren.

nische hashtag generation yes

Hashtags zu besonderen Ereignissen

Hashtags können manchmal wie Leuchtfeuer sein und User auf besondere Ereignissen in Ihrem Shop aufmerksam machen. Veranstalten Sie bald ein Gewinnspiel? Hashtags wie #gewinnspielzeit und #instagiveaway können dazu beitragen, das gewünschte Publikum zu erreichen. Genau so sprechen Hashtags wie #blitzverkauf und #zweizumpreisvoneinem Schnäppchenjäger an und signalisieren Followern, dass es bei Ihnen online Sonderangebote gibt.

Welche Art von Hashtags sollte ich verwenden?

Nicht alle E-Commerce-Geschäfte profitieren von jeder Art Hashtag. So braucht z. B. ein Händler mit nationaler oder sogar internationaler Reichweite keine ortsbezogenen Hashtags. Und professionelle B2B-Unternehmen werden vermutlich kaum Unterhaltungs-Hashtags verwenden wollen. Und das ist ok. Benutzen Sie die, die für Ihre Marke und Ihr Publikum am besten geeignet sind.

Wie viele Hashtags sollte ich benutzen?

Sie können in einem einzelnen Instagram-Post bis zu 30 Hashtags verwenden. Jetzt wissen Sie, wie viele Sie benutzen können, aber das bedeutet nicht unbedingt, dass Sie auch in jedem Fall so viele verwenden sollten. Zu diesem Thema wurde schon viel recherchiert und es wurden unterschiedliche Ergebnisse gefunden. Worüber sich die meisten Recherchen jedoch einig sind, ist, dass Sie auf jeden Fall mehrere Hashtags (mehr als eins) verwenden sollten. Einer Studie von Agorapulse zufolge bekommen Instagram-Posts mit Hashtags 70% mehr Likes.

Wie viele Hashtags am besten sind, da scheiden sich die Geister. Es gibt Marketingfachleute, die darauf schwören, dass zwei Hashtags völlig ausreichen. Andere hingegen sind der Meinung man sollte alle 30 ausnutzen. In Wahrheit gilt hier sprichwörtlich: Probieren geht über Studieren.

Instagram-Hashtag-Tools machen Ihr Verfahren effektiver

Es kostet viel Zeit, all die Zeichen einzugeben – egal ob man sechs oder 30 Hashtags verwendet. Glücklicherweise gibt es Tools, mit denen Sie das Verfahren effektiver gestalten können. Wir empfehlen Ihnen folgende:

  • PreviewApp – Das Tool ermöglicht es, Gruppen von Hashtags in der App zu speichern und im Content anzuwenden. Anschließend kann man die Posts inkl. Hashtags auf Instagram exportieren. Außerdem testet die App Ihre Hashtags und meldet Ihnen, welche am erfolgreichsten sind.
  • Later – Mit der Funktion “Saved Captions” können Sie neuen Posts Bildunterschriften und Hashtags hinzufügen. Natürlich werden Sie die Hashtags verändern wollen, aber wenn sie ein paar davon immer wieder verwenden, sparen Sie mit diesem Tool viel Zeit.
  • Tag for Likes Pro – Mit diesem Tool lassen sich Instagram Hashtags auf mobilen Geräten leichter finden, kopieren und einfügen. Zudem kann man benutzerdefinierte Listen mit mehreren Hashtags erstellen und sie direkt in Instagram einfügen.

Wenn Sie kein Geld für ein Tool ausgeben wollen, ist ein allgemeines Social-Media-Tool vermutlich die günstigere Variante. Sie können ein Dokument mit verschiedenen Hashtags erstellen und dann eine Social-Media-Planungssoftware wie Agorapulse, Hootsuite oder Sprout Social benutzen. Je nach Bedarf können dann Hashtags oder Gruppen von Hashtags zu den Bildunterschriften in den Posts hinzugefügt werden. Da sie mithilfe all dieser Tools jetzt direkt auf Instagram posten können, sparen Sie sich damit unter Umständen ein paar Schritte und damit Arbeitsaufwand.

hashtag strategie analyse reichweiteWie man Hashtags für Instagram recherchiert

Die Recherche von Hashtags spielt beim Vertrieb auf Instagram eine entscheidende Rolle, denn nur so kann man die leistungsstärksten und beliebtesten Hashtags identifizieren, neue Anregungen für Hashtags bekommen und Trend-Hashtags ausfindig machen.

Es gibt verschiedene Strategien, die Sie beim Recherchieren von Hashtags verwenden können, je nachdem, ob Sie Ihre Liste ausbauen oder neue Trendthemen finden wollen. Sehen wir uns die einzelnen Strategien mal an:

Twitter 

Wenn Sie Trend-Hashtags oder Trendthemen suchen, die aktuell relevant sind, kann Twitter Ihnen einen Vorsprung verschaffen. Dort gibt es nämlich einen Abschnitt über Trendthemen, in dem Sie sehen könne, was die Leute interessiert und was sie teilen.

Beachten Sie jedoch, dass die Verwendung von Hashtags auf Instagram und Twitter anders ist, und dass Twitter sich vor allem mit News befasst. Benutzen Sie also Twitter nur zum Recherchieren und kopieren Sie nicht unbedacht Hashtags, um sie dann auf Instagram zu posten.

Die Konkurrenz 

Es schadet nie, sich die Strategie der Konkurrenz etwas näher anzusehen. Suchen Sie nach Trends und schauen Sie, welche Hashtags sie benutzen. Möglicherweise finden Sie Anregungen für Schlagwörter, die Sie auch für Ihr Unternehmen verwenden können.

Lesetipp: Was treibt die Konkurrenz? Welche Schlüsse Sie aus einer Online-Wettbewerbsanalyse ziehen können, erfahren Sie hier.

Influencer 

Influencer – einschließlich Mikro-Influencer – haben bereits ein Publikum und die Leute holen sich bei Ihnen Rat, lassen sich von Ihnen inspirieren und profitieren von ihrem Know-how. Sie beherrschen das Hashtag-Spiel perfekt und finden immer wieder die besten und relevantesten Schlagwörter. Sehen Sie sich die Profile der Influencer mal etwas genauer an und holen sich Inspiration.

Tools zum Recherchieren von Hashtags

Die obigen Recherche-Methoden sind manuell. Es gibt jedoch auch Tools für die Recherche von Hashtags, mit denen sich Trend-Hashtags und sonstige Dauerbrenner, von denen Ihr Unternehmen profitieren kann, leichter identifizieren lassen.

Zuverlässige Tools zum Recherchieren von Hashtags sind entscheidend, denn man erhält detailliertes Feedback über bestimmte Hashtags, die kein anderes Tool liefern kann.

Die folgenden Tools eignen sich gut dafür:

  • Keyhole: Seit Keyhole seine Hashtag-Recherche auf Instagram erweitert hat, ist es eines der lückenlosesten Hashtag-Anaylse-Tools auf dem Markt. Man erhält detaillierte Informationen zu jedem einzelnen Hashtag, unter anderem wie viele User es zu ihren Posts hinzugefügt haben, die Reichweite des Hashtags und die Aufrufe, die es erhält. Man kann auch sehen, in wie vielen einzelnen Posts das Hashtag erscheint, um die Beliebtheit bewerten zu können.
  • Hashtagify: Das Tool sieht die allgemeine und jüngste Popularität von Hashtags. Es eignet sich hervorragend, um Hashtags zu entdecken, da einem ähnliche Schlagwörter und Hashtags, die andere User in ihren Posts verwenden, angezeigt werden. Hashtagify kann Hashtags über einen längeren Zeitraum verfolgen und so ihre Beliebtheit im Auge behalten, um zu entscheiden, wann man einzelne Hashtags auswechseln sollte.
  • Ritetag: Wenn Sie ein Tool suchen, das Ihnen dabei hilft, möglichst schnell relevante Hashtags zu generieren, ist Ritetag genau das Richtige für Sie. Das Tool schlägt Ihnen automatisch Hashtags basierend auf Ihrem Text und Ihren Bildern vor. Man kann Ritetag auch mit bestimmten Social-Media-Management-Tools verknüpfen, um Vorschläge zu erhalten, während man dort Posts erstellt.

sichtbarkeit reichweite hashtag marketing

Sollten meine Hashtags sichtbar sein?

Keiner will einen Haufen Hashtags lesen, um zum Content zu gelangen. Lange Absätze mit schwer lesbarem Text sind auch optisch nicht attraktiv.

Aus diesem Grund verbergen viele Marken die meisten ihrer Hashtags, indem sie sie unterhalb des Tags “Mehr anzeigen” platzieren. Manche fügen sogar noch  zusätzliche Zwischenräume um den Abschnitt “Mehr anzeigen” herum ein, um große Hashtag-Blöcke vom Rest der Beschreibung zu trennen und den Post ästhetisch ansprechender aussehen zu lassen. Andere Marken fügen die Hashtags in einem separaten Kommentar im Post ein, wobei dies dazu führen kann, dass die Hashtags weniger effektiv sind.

In den meisten Fällen ist es am besten, wenn einfach zwischen Hashtag und Bildunterschrift mindestens eine Leerzeile gelassen wird und die Hashtags unter dem Tag “Mehr anzeigen” verborgen sind. Dadurch steht die Bildunterschrift im Vordergrund, was die Wahrscheinlichkeit erhöht, dass sie gelesen wird. Außerdem sieht der Post so übersichtlich und ansprechend aus.

Lesetipp: Wie Sie mit Shoppable Posts direkt auf Instagram verkaufen können, lesen Sie hier.

Wenn man allerdings ein oder zwei Hashtags zum Branding oder zu Unterhaltungszwecken verwendet, sollten diese auf den ersten Blick erkennbar sein. Sorgen Sie in dem Fall dafür, dass die Hashtags über der Faltung angezeigt werden und an erster Stelle stehen oder auf gleicher Höhe mit der Bildunterschrift erscheinen. So ist es wahrscheinlicher, dass User sie lesen.

Es besteht kein Grund, Hashtags durch mehr als eine Leerzeile zu trennen, auch wenn man das recht oft sieht. Wenn ein User nämlich ewig lange scrollen muss, ehe er zu den Kommentaren gelangt, ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit groß, dass er abspringt und keinen Kommentar hinterlassen wird.

Verbotene Hashtags: Instagrams dunkle Seite

Wussten Sie, dass es auf Instagram verbotene Hashtags gibt? Und dabei handelt es sich nicht nur um Kraftausdrücke und unverblümte Obszönitäten, obwohl die natürlich auch dazu gehören.

Instagram verbietet regelmäßig Hashtags, die häufig für illegalen Content benutzt werden. Bei einigen davon ist das kein Wunder, z. B. bei #shit, aber andere wie #like und #teens könnten für völlig unschuldige Zwecke verwendet werden. Instagram postet keinen neuen Content zu Feeds mit verbotenen Hashtags. Oft wird der Feed sogar ganz gelöscht.

Hashtags können dauerhaft oder vorübergehend verboten werden, und wenn Sie sie verwenden, könnte es sein, dass Ihr Post von einem Shadowban betroffen ist. Das heißt, dass er im Feed ihrer Follower möglicherweise nicht sichtbar ist und auch nicht angezeigt wird, wenn User nach anderen Hashtags in dem Post suchen. Benutzen Sie nur ein einziges verbotenes Hashtag, kann das all die Arbeit zunichte machen, die man in den Post investiert hat.

Bevor Sie also neue Hashtags aussuchen, sehen Sie sich zuerst die Liste aller Hashtags an, die 2018 auf Instagram verboten wurden.

Wirkung Ihrer Hashtag-Strategie messen

Man sollte unbedingt alle Marketing-Aktivitäten messen und dazu zählen auch Ihre Hashtag-Strategien. Doch oftmals ist es schwierig herauszufinden, welche Hashtags funktionieren. Vor allem wenn mehrere in einem Post verwendet werden. Glücklicherweise gibt es mehrere Möglichkeiten, die Wirkung Ihrer Strategie zu messen.

Sehen Sie sich zuallererst das Gesamtwachstum Ihres Kanals an. Sie können das mit der Analytik von Instagram tun, doch es gibt auch viele externe Social-Management-Plattformen, die mehr ins Detail gehen.

Überprüfen Sie, ob Seitenaufrufe, Einflussbereich und Likes für Ihre Profile und Posts angestiegen sind. Wie viele Accounts haben Sie über den Kanal erreicht? Hat sich viel verändert, seit Sie die neue Strategie einsetzen? Wenn Sie keine monatlichen Anstiege sehen, wird es Zeit, etwas an Ihrer Strategie zu ändern.

Sie sollten auch Tools zum Recherchieren von Hashtags verwenden, um die Hashtags regelmäßig zu beobachten. Vergewissern Sie sich, dass ihre Popularität ansteigt und nicht abnimmt. Mit Tools wie Keyhole können Sie auch Ihren Marken-Hashtag verfolgen, um den Einflussbereich und die Seitenaufrufe im Auge zu behalten und zu sehen, wie oft sie von anderen Profilen verwendet werden. Dadurch können Sie besser bewerten, ob Ihr Marken-Hashtag Ihr Geschäft fördert und ob es organisch an Dynamik gewinnt.

Tools von Drittanbietern können auch Informationen zur Nutzung Ihrer Hashtags und über deren Resultate liefern. Sprout Social stellt ausgezeichnete Hashtag-Informationen zur Verfügung und zeigt Ihnen unter anderem an, welche Hashtags die beste Kundeninteraktion erbringen und welche Sie am meisten benutzt haben.

Beliebte Hashtags nach Kategorie

Beim Einsatz von Hashtags auf Instagram muss einiges berücksichtigt werden. Die unten aufgeführten und nach Branche/Ereignis sortierten Hashtags bieten eine solide Ausgangslage. Benutzen Sie diese, um Ihre Hashtag-Strategie ins Rollen zu bringen.

Mode

  • #styleinspo
  • #outfitoftheday
  • #whatiwore
  • #shoppingaddict
  • #beautydoesnthavetobepain
  • #currentlywearing
  • #instastyle
  • #lookgoodfeelgood

Essen und Trinken

  • #omnomnom
  • #foodporn
  • #food
  • #foodie
  • #organic
  • #healthyeats
  • #goodeats
  • #vegetarian
  • #vegan
  • #glutenfree
  • #hungry
  • #homemade
  • #madefromscratch

Reisen

  • #travel
  • #staycation
  • #vacation
  • #sunsout
  • #resortwear
  • #tourist
  • #travelbug
  • #solotravel
  • #honeymoon
  • #traveltuesday
  • #wanderlust
  • #wanderlustwednesday
  • #travelgram

Haustierpflege

  • #puppylove
  • #mansbestfriend
  • #womansbestfriend
  • #catsofinstagram
  • #dogsofinstagram
  • #doglife
  • #catlife
  • #instapet

Technik und Gadgets

  • #techie
  • #latesttech
  • #ilovemygadgets
  • #gadgetsgalore
  • #apple
  • #android
  • #applevsandroid
  • #wearabletech
  • #VR
  • #mobile
  • #makinglifeeasier
  • #innovation

Hochzeiten

  • #ido
  • #tyingtheknot
  • #shesaidyes
  • #heasked
  • #fallwedding
  • #rusticwedding
  • #summerwedding
  • #weddingfavors
  • #centerpieces
  • #sayyestothedress
  • #bohowedding
  • #weddinghair
  • #weddingstyle
  • #loveislove

Sport- und Trainingsgeräte

  • #lookgoodfeelgood
  • #feeltheburn
  • #nopainnogain
  • #workingonabetterme
  • #cardio
  • #fitfam
  • #yogafordays
  • #fitlife
  • #trainhard
  • #noexcuses

Feiertage

  • #stockingstuffers
  • #christmasdecor
  • #spookyhalloween
  • #happyhalloween
  • #thanksgivingtable
  • #turkeyorham
  • #valentineformyvalentine
  • #happyfourth
  • #newyearseve
  • #newyearsresolution
  • #holidaycrazy
  • #holidayspirit
  • #kwanza
  • #hanukkahgift
  • #underthetree

Allgemein beliebt

  • #instagood
  • #nofilter
  • #love
  • #nature
  • #swag
  • #lifeisgood
  • #caseofthemondays
  • #instapic

Instagram-Gewinnspiele

  • #instacontest
  • #instagiveaway
  • #giveaway
  • #sweepstakes
  • #contestalert
  • #contestentry
  • #winit
  • #freebie
  • #winitwednesday

Es beginnt mit einer Strategie

Instagram Hashtags spielen eine entscheidende Rolle beim Marketing auf dem Social-Media-Kanal. Wenn Sie keine bestimmte Strategie verfolgen, werden Sie mit Ihrem Marketing nicht das volle Potenzial der Plattform ausschöpfen können. Verwenden Sie die Tools und Hashtag-Vorschläge in diesem Post, um Ihre eigene Liste erfolgreicher Hashtags zu erstellen, Ihren Einflussbereich zu erweitern und die Interaktion mit Ihren Kunden zu verbessern. Vergessen Sie nicht, die Hashtags regelmäßig zu analysieren und ihre Wirkung zu messen, damit Sie sie bei Bedarf austauschen und somit optimale Ergebnisse erzielen können.

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Which method is right for you?Geposted von Hendrik Breuer: Hendrik ist Redakteur des deutschen Shopify-Blogs. Möchten Sie einen Gastbeitrag veröffentlichen? Dann lesen Sie bitte zuerst diesen Leitfaden.

Dieser Artikel erschien ursprünglich auf Englisch im shopify.com-Blog und wurde übersetzt.

Sin categoría

Schritt-für-Schritt-Anleitung: Google Analytics für E-Commerce-Anfänger

Wer nicht weiß, an wen er verkauft, der verkauft nicht. Eine grobe Vorstellung davon zu haben, wer eigentlich die eigene Zielgruppe ist, reicht bei der steigenden Konkurrenz nicht mehr aus. Besucher von Onlineshops wollen gedanklich abgeholt werden, umgarnt mit einer einfachen Bedienung und tollem Content. Ihr wisst nicht, ob und wie euer Shop bei den Besuchern ankommt? Dann ist Google Analytics das richtige Tool für euch, um es herauszufinden.

Google_Analytics_Coverbild_1024x1024_8f0211cb-1248-4f41-b4c4-7dadaa52bffb.jpg

In diesem Beitrag lernt ihr, was Google Analytics ist, was es kostet und wie ihr das Tool mit eurem Onlineshop verknüpfen können. Um euch den Einstieg in die Google-Analytics-Welt zu erleichtern, erhaltet ihr außerdem einen Überblick über die verschiedenen Metriken, damit ihr die Berichte auch wirklich versteht. Doch zunächst klären wir die Grundlagen!

Inhaltsverzeichnis

  • Was ist Google Analytics?
  • Grundlegende Google Analytics Vokabeln
  • Mit welchen Google-Analytics-Kosten ist zu rechnen?
  • Warum braucht man Google Analytics?
  • Google Analytics installieren: Schritt für Schritt
  • Shopify und Google Analytics verknüpfen
  • Mit Google Analytics die eigenen Zielgruppe verstehen
  • Dimensionen und Metriken von Google Analytics

Was ist Google Analytics?

Google Analytics (abgekürzt GA) verschafft euch einen tiefergehenden Einblick in die Performance eures Onlineshops. Es ist integrierbar mit allen beliebten Marketing-Tools von Google wie Google Ads, Search Console und Data Studio. Dem Nutzer wird die Entscheidung, zu dieser Tracking-Lösung zu greifen, dadurch wesentlich vereinfacht.

Google Analytics ist sogar in seiner kostenlosen Basis-Version ein sehr mächtiges Vehikel und hat vor allem für Onlineshop-Betreiber viele Vorteile:

  • Es zeigt, wie viel Traffic in euren Onlineshop strömt, woher die Besucher kommen und wie diese mit eurer Webseite interagieren.
  • Durch eine einfache Integration in jeden Shopify-Store lassen sich damit wichtige Erkenntnisse über eure Kunden sammeln.
  • Ihr deckt damit Problemzonen auf, die für die Absprungraten eurer Shop-Besucher verantwortlich sind.
  • Es gibt wichtige Hinweise darauf, welche Seiten am beliebtesten sind, wie viele Nutzer tatsächlich konvertieren und warum.

All diese und weitere Einblicke helfen Ihnen, die richtige Zielgruppe anzusprechen und Fehlinvestitionen zu vermeiden. Mithilfe der Berichte, die Google Analytics erstellt, erhaltet ihr alle Informationen, die notwendig sind, um euren Onlineshop zu optimieren und effektive Maßnahmen an der Stelle zu ergreifen, wo es noch nicht funktioniert.

Lesetipp: Ihr steht kurz davor, noch mehr Geld in euer Unternehmen zu stecken? Diese Punkte solltet ihr vor jeder weiteren Investition bedenken!

Grundlegende Google Analytics Vokabeln

Google Analytics verfolgt eine strenge Hierarchie und bedient sich eines bestimmten Vokabulars, um diese Rangordnung zu definieren. Dabei ist die GA-Pyramide wie folgt aufgebaut:

  1. Organisation
  2. Konto
  3. Property
  4. Datenansicht

Hierarchischer Aufbau von Google Analytics
Hierarchischer Aufbau von Google Analytics

Organisation

Organisation gilt als Dachbegriff bei Google Analytics und beschreibt, um welches Unternehmen es sich handelt. Dabei kann es vorkommen, dass eine Organisation mehrere Google-Analytics-Konten betreut. Diese Funktion ist nicht obligatorisch und empfiehlt sich für große Unternehmen mit mehreren Webseiten.

Konto

Während die Nutzung der Organisation nicht zwingend erforderlich ist, braucht jeder Google-Analytics-Nutzer mindestens ein Konto. Damit ist jedoch kein Nutzerkonto gemeint, denn mehrere User können sich in ein und dasselbe Konto einloggen. Vielmehr ist das Google-Analytics-Konto als eine Art Portal zu verstehen, durch das jeder eintreten kann, der den Schlüssel hat. Der Schlüssel wird über die Nutzerverwaltung erteilt, in der die entsprechende E-Mail-Adresse eines Google-Kontos eingetragen wird und damit die Rechte des Users für das Konto bestimmt werden.

Property

Eine GA Property kann jedem Konto zugeordnet werden oder aber ihr verwaltet mehrere Properties unter einem Konto. Jedes Konto kann dabei bis zu 50 Properties beherbergen. Arbeitet ihr in einem Team mit mehreren Abteilungen (zum Beispiel Content Marketer und Web Developer) zusammen und verwaltet eine Webseite mit mehreren Unterseiten, dann lautet die Empfehlung, mehrere Properties zu erstellen, sodass jedes Team die für sie relevanten Ergebnisse einsehen kann.

Datenansicht

Eine Property kann entweder eine Webseite oder eine App sein. Jede Property hat die Kapazität insgesamt bis zu 25 Datenansichten zu verwalten. Bei einer Datenansicht handelt es sich um die visuelle Darstellung der Daten, die Google Analytics über eure Website gesammelt hat. Als Best Practice gilt es, mindestens zwei Datenansichten zu pflegen:

  1. Eine Datenansicht, die unverfälschte Daten sammelt.
  2. Und eine Datenansicht, die mittels Filter den Traffic qualitativ aussiebt und somit Bots, Spam und die Mitarbeiter eures Unternehmens aus den Traffic-Daten ausschließt.

Profi-Tipp: Legt euch außerdem eine Test-Datenansicht an, in der ihr Filter, Segmentierungen oder auch Zielvorhaben vorab testet, bevor ihr diese in eine Master-Datenansicht übertragt. Denn habt ihr einst Daten bei Google Analytics gelöscht, können diese nicht wiederhergestellt werden.

Lesetipp: Ihr steht mit eurem zukünftigen Onlineshop noch ganz am Anfang? In diesem Beitrag erklären wir die 10 wichtigsten Schritte bis zum Launch eures Shops.

Mit welchen Google-Analytics-Kosten ist zu rechnen?

Es gibt zwei Versionen von Google Analytics, die kostenlose und die bezahlte Variante. Die letztere nennt sich Analytics 360. Kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen sind jedoch mit den Funktionen der kostenlosen Version voll und ganz bedient und brauchen in den seltensten Fällen weitere Features.

Denn eines will gesagt sein: Wenn ihr vertraut mit dem Umgang von großen Datenmengen seid und die Zeit und Muße habt, sich einzuarbeiten, ist Google Analytics das richtige Instrument dafür. Wenn ihr allerdings ein kurzes Setup in wenigen Klicks erwartet, dann werdet ihr enttäuscht sein, denn der Start mit Google Analytics erfordert Einsatzbereitschaft und Lernwilligkeit. Somit werden die Google-Analytics-Kosten eher in eurer investierten Zeit ausgedrückt als in finanziellen Ausgaben.

Warum braucht man Google Analytics?

Mithilfe von Google Analytics könnt ihr Informationen über den gesamten Website-Traffic sammeln sowie interessante Einblicke in das Shoppingverhalten eurer Besucher erhalten. Die Google Analytics Berichte vereinen all diese Auskünfte und ermöglichen euch, die Stärken und Schwächen des Shops zu erkennen.

Im nächsten Schritt geht es um die Optimierung der Webseite und des Contents. Euer Ziel ist es, mehr Besucher zu Interaktionen zu bewegen und ihnen die Informationen zur Verfügung zu stellen, die sie brauchen. So können Kunden einfach über die Seite navigieren und entscheiden sich eher für den Kauf eines Produkts.

Folgende relevante Fragen werden mittels Google Analytics beantwortet:

  1. Wie kommen Nutzer zu euch?
  2. Wie entwickeln sich eure aktiven Nutzer im Laufe der Zeit?
  3. Wo befinden sich eure Nutzer?
  4. Wann besuchen eure Nutzer euch?
  5. Welche Geräte verwenden eure Besucher am häufigsten?
  6. Welche Seiten besuchen eure Besucher?
  7. Wie viele Besucher wurden zu tatsächlichen Kunden?
  8. Wie bewegen sich die konvertierenden Kunden durch euren Onlineshop im Gegensatz zu den nicht konvertierenden?
  9. Wie könnt ihr die Ladegeschwindigkeit eurer Website verbessern?
  10. Welchen Content konsumieren eure Besucher am liebsten?
  11. Wie viele Besucher sind im Warenkorb gelandet?
  12. Wie viele Warenkorbabbrüche gab es insgesamt?
  13. Aus welchem Grund wurden die Käufe abgebrochen?

In der neuen Version von Google Analytics werden ähnliche Fragen bereits in eurem Dashboard zu sehen sein und als Shortcut für die wichtigsten Berichte fungieren. Google Analytics beantwortet noch viele weitere Fragen und verfügt inzwischen über eine künstliche Intelligenz, die euch auf die wichtigsten Ereignisse hinweist. Doch für den Anfang sind die oben genannten Themen die relevantesten, um die grundlegenden Optimierungen vorzunehmen. Nun schauen wir uns an, wie die Verknüpfung von Google Analytics mit Shopify zu implementieren ist.

GA Dashboard
Die Google-Analytics-Startseite

Lesetipp: Alle Tipps und Beiträge für erfolgreiches Online Marketing findet ihr hier.

Google Analytics installieren: Eine Schritt für Schritt Anleitung

Bevor ihr die Optimierung eures Shops mit Google Analytics beginnt, benötigt ihr einen Google-Account. Wichtig: Noch vor der Einrichtung des Google-Kontos solltet ihr überprüfen, ob ihr Google Analytics bereits für eine frühere Analyse eures Shops eingerichtet habt. Eine mehrfache Aktivierung führt zu einer Verfälschung der Berichte, die Ihnen das Tool liefert und wirkt sich dementsprechend negativ auf die Anpassungen der Website aus.

Sobald ihr ein Google Konto eingerichtet habt (es geht auch ohne Google E-Mail-Adresse), wechselt ihr zu Google Analytics und könnt euch dort anmelden. Geht dabei wie folgt vor:

  1. Ihr erstellt in Google Analytics ein Konto, indem ihr auf den Anmelden-Button klicken.
  2. Als Nächstes durchlauft ihr drei Schritte, um das Konto zu erstellen. Folgt dabei einfach den Anweisungen von Google, die ihr im unteren Bild seht.
    3 Schritte für die Google Analytics Anmeldung
  3. Um euren Onlineshop mit Google Analytics zu verknüpfen, klickt auf Konto erstellen.
    Konto erstellen bei Google Analytics
  4. Füllt jetzt die geforderten Informationen zu eurer Website aus. Gebt eurem Konto einen Namen, benennt eure Website und fügt die URL eures Shops ein. Bestimmt außerdem eure Branche sowie die Zeitzone, in der ihr arbeitet. All diese Angaben helfen Google Analytics akkurate Daten zu sammeln, die euch später von Nutzen sind.
    Informationen zum Onlineshop angeben
  5. Ruft abschließend eure Tracking-ID auf.
    Informationen zum Onlineshop angeben
  6. Und stimmt den DSGVO-Richtlinien zu.
    DSGVO bei Google Analytics zustimmen
    Profi-Tipp: Damit verpflichtet ihr euch, die Besucher eurer Webseite darauf hinzuweisen, dass ihr Google Analytics nutzt und anonymisierte Daten über sie sammelt. Verwendet dafür zum Beispiel den Cookie Bot.
  7. Ihr werdet nun zu den Property-Einstellungen weitergeleitet. Hier gelangt ihr zu eurem individuellen Tracking-Code. Doch keine Sorge, dank Shopify müsst ihr den Code gar nicht erst anfassen. Kopiert stattdessen die Tracking-ID oben links.
    Tracking-ID kopieren
  8. Nun seid ihr stolze Besitzer eines GA-Kontos, doch damit das Tool seine Arbeit tun kann, muss Google Analytics mit eurem Onlineshop verbunden werden. Google Analytics selbst weist euch darauf hin, dass der Tracking Code auf jeder Seite eures Onlineshops hinterlegt werden soll. Vergesst das ganz schnell, denn auch hier macht Shopify euch das Leben sehr einfach. Mit der kopierten Tracking-ID gewappnet, widmen wir uns nun eurem Shop.

Shopify und Google Analytics verknüpfen

  1. Wechselt zum Shopify Dashboard und klickt auf Onlineshop und Konfigurationen.
    Konfigurationen im Shopify Dashboard
  2. Findt das Fenster Google Analytics und fügt die zuvor kopierte Tracking-ID im Fenster Google Analytics-Konto ein.
    Tracking-ID bei Shopify hinterlegen
  3. Setzt im gleichen Zuge ein Häkchen hinter Erweiterte E-Commerce verwenden, um an die relevanten Daten zum Verkauf über euren Onlineshop zu kommen. Bestätigt die Änderungen durch den Klick auf Speichern.
    Erweiterte E-Commerce Berichte aktivieren
  4. Doch damit seid ihr noch nicht ganz fertig. Um die Datenschutzkonformität zu wahren, fügt in das Feld Zusätzliches JavaScript folgenden Code ein: ga(‘set’, ‘anonymizeIp’, true)

    Mit diesem Schritt habt ihr die IP-Adressen eurer Nutzer anonymisiert und folgt somit der Empfehlung von lokalen Datenschutzbehörden, welche die Speicherung der vollständigen IP-Adressen verbieten.

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Kostenloses Ebook: Die besten Apps für Onlineshops

In diesem Ebook stellen wir Apps und Integrationen vor, die für Online-Händler in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz unerlässlich sind.

Holt euch das Ebook!

Mit Google Analytics die eigene Zielgruppe verstehen

Nachdem ihr euch nun bei Google Analytics angemeldet und eurer Konto mit Shopify verknüpft habt, kann das Tool damit beginnen, Daten über euren Shop zu sammeln. Beachtet, es kann bis zu 24 Stunden dauern, bis Google Analytics euch erste Ergebnisse liefert. In den Zwischenzeit gibt es aber einige Baustellen, denen ihr euch widmen könnt, um euch mit Google Analytics vertraut zu machen und zu lernen, wie ihr von dem Analyse-Tool profitieren könnt.

Als Erstes aktiviert ihr alle relevanten Funktionen, die euch zusätzliche und tiefergehende Daten bieten können.

  1. In der Verwaltung eures GA-Kontos navigiert ihr zunächst zu den Property-Einstellungen. Scrollt zu Werbefunktionen und aktiviert die Berichte zu demografischen Merkmalen und Interessen. Damit erhaltet ihr wichtige Informationen zum Alter, Geschlecht und den Interessen der Besucher eures Onlineshops.
    Einstellungen der Property
  2. Aktiviert außerdem die In-Page Analyse sowie die Nutzeranalyse auf der gleichen Seite, um genauere Daten über eure potenziellen Kunden zu sammeln. Beendet die Konfigurationen mit Speichern.
    Werbefunktionen und In-Page Analyse
  3. Wechselt jetzt wieder in den Verwaltungsbereich von Google Analytics, indem ihr auf das Rädchen unten links klickt, und findt die Einstellungen der Datenansicht ganz rechts auf dem Bildschirm.
  4. Scrollt zu den Site-Search-Einstellungen und aktiviertdas Site Search-Tracking, indem ihr den Schalter auf “EIN“ stellt. Nach der Aktivierung werdet ihr aufgefordert eure Suchparameter anzugeben. Meistens heißen die Parameter “s“ oder “q“.
    Site-Search EinstellungenEine einfache Prüfung verrät euch, welche Parameter auf euren Shop zutreffen. Wechselt dafür auf eure Website, gebt einen beliebigen Begriff in die Suchleiste eurer Webseite an und schaut, was mit der URL passiert. Hier werdet ihr euren Parameter entdecken, der meist direkt vor eurer Suchanfrage in der URL steht, zum Beispiel so:

    https://inara-schreibt.de/search?type=product&q=seo&search=

Damit habt ihr die wichtigen Zusatzfunktionen von Google Analytics aktiviert und seid bereit für die erste Datenauswertung.

Die Dimensionen und Metriken von Google Analytics

Bevor ihr euch an die einzelnen Google-Analytics-Berichte wagt, müsst ihr zunächst die Sprache der Berichte verstehen. Diese wird heruntergebrochen auf sogenannte Dimensionen und Metriken. Dabei sind Dimensionen kategorische Variablen wie Gerätetyp, Ort, Browser, Landingpage und der Kunde. Metriken dagegen sind quantitative Variablen und beinhalten Sitzungen, Seitenaufrufe, Conversions, Absprungrate und die Dauer der Sitzung in eurem Shop.

Für jeden GA Bericht gilt: die Dimensionen befinden sich in den Zeilen während die Metriken in den Spalten sitzen.

Metriken und Dimensionen

Die wichtigsten Metriken im Überblick

Nutzer

Die Metrik “Nutzer“ zeigt euch die Summe der Nutzer an, die eure Website in einem gewissen Zeitraum besucht haben.

Sitzungen

Als Sitzung wird die Summe der Interaktionen auf eure Website in einem bestimmten Zeitraum bezeichnet. Eine Sitzung kann viele Seitenaufrufe und Events sowie E-Commerce-Transaktionen beinhalten. Die Dauer einer Sitzung ist standardmäßig auf 30 Minuten eingestellt. Das bedeutet, wenn ein Nutzer eine Sitzung angefangen hat und nach einer inaktiven Phase von über 30 Minuten auf eure Seite zurückkehrt, dann wird diese als eine neue Sitzung gezählt.

Absprungrate

Die Absprungrate zeigt den prozentualen Anteil der Besucher einer Webseite an, die von eurer Page abgesprungen sind. Das bedeutet, dass sie euren Shop sofort verlassen haben, nach dem Besuch von genau einer Seite, ohne sich weiter durchzunavigieren.

Seitenaufrufe

Diese Metrik beschreibt die Anzahl der Aufrufe eurer Seiten, doch sie beinhaltet nur diejenigen, die Google Analytics auch wirklich verfolgt. Was heißt das? Das Aktualisieren einer Seite sowie das Zurückkehren zu einer Seite, nachdem der Besucher auf einer anderen Seite eures Shops war, zählt dabei als ein zusätzlicher Seitenaufruf.

Seiten pro Sitzung

Diese Zahl zeigt die durchschnittliche Summe der besuchten Seiten pro Sitzung. Zum Beispiel besucht ein Nutzer vier Seiten in einer einzigen Sitzung und ein anderer besucht drei Seiten in einer Sitzung, dann wird die Metrik Folgendes anzeigen: 3,5 (4 + 3 / 2) = 3,5).

Die durchschnittliche Sitzungsdauer

Die durchschnittliche Sitzungsdauer bietet keine exakte Antwort darauf, wie lange ein Besucher im Durchschnitt auf eurem Shop verbracht hat. Dies liegt daran, dass die Metrik so berechnet wird, dass die Dauer der letzten Interaktion auf Ihrer Website von der ersten Interaktion subtrahiert wird, ohne die Zeit mit einzubeziehen, die der Nutzer auf der Ausstiegsseite verbringt. Ein Beispiel: Ein Nutzer landet auf einer Seite und verbleibt dort 6 Minuten, bevor er die Seite verlässt. Die Sitzungsdauer wäre hier trotzdem 0 Sekunden, da 6 – 6 = 0.

Rate Zielvorhaben-Conversion

Google Analytics misst die Conversion Rate von all euren Zielvorhaben und zeigt euch dann wiederum die Summe der Conversion Rates an. Wenn ihr zum Beispiel fünf Ziele definiert habt, die ihr auf eurer Webseite implementieren wollt und jedes Ziel hat eine Conversion Rate von 20 %, dann wird euch Google Analytics sagen, dass die Zielvorhaben-Conversion für eure Webseite bei 100 % liegt.

Bereit zum Datensammeln mit Google Analytics

Nachdem ihr euch bei Google Analytics angemeldet, alles verknüpft und euch einen Überblick verschafft habt, könnt ihr euch nun mit dem angeeigneten Wissen durch die Berichte klicken und versuchen die Zusammenhänge nach und nach zu verstehen. Setzt die Zahlen stets in einen individuellen Kontext. Ist eure Absprungrate zu hoch, kann dies bedeuten, dass eure Inhalte nicht das halten, was sie versprechen.

Behaltet dabei den Mehrwert für eure Kunden im Kopf. Was würde eure Zielgruppe interessieren und länger auf eurer Seite halten? Sind es informative Videos oder eher Blogbeiträge? Versucht möglichst datengetriebene Entscheidungen zu treffen und investiert zielführend, Google Analytics weist euch dafür den richtigen Weg.


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Which method is right for you?Über die Autorin: Inara Muradowa ist Shopify Partner, SEO-Expertin und Corporate Blogger. Neben technischer Suchmaschinenoptimierung und SEO-Beratung steht sie Unternehmen mit Konzeption und Verfassen von professionellen Blogposts tatkräftig zur Seite.

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How to Design a Memorable Logo (Whether You Do It Yourself or Work with a Designer)

Think about the worst logo you’ve ever seen—what comes to mind? If you’re having trouble thinking of one, that’s not surprising.

Good logos stick. Bad ones don’t.

That’s what makes designing a logo different from designing other branding materials. Web banners, ads, and social media posts each have their own design objectives, but none are as focused on being remembered as a logo.

Some of the best logos are the least complicated—think of the Nike swoosh or the McDonald’s golden arches. Ted Kaye, of the North American Vexillological Association, says flag designs should be simple enough that a child can draw them from memory. The same is true of logos.

Your logo is not your brand—you build that separately—but it will become the face of your brand. It will appear on your website, your products, your marketing, your in-store signage, and just about any other place where people interact with your brand.

No matter your budget, you deserve a logo you feel good about. In this guide, we’ll walk you through every step of the process to create a business logo from scratch—from choosing a color to hiring a designer—with the help of real in-house graphic artists.

What is a logo and why do you need one?

A logo is a symbol that represents your brand and your brand’s personality through the simplest image possible. Logos embody your brand in the minds of your customers. Without one, they have nothing to latch onto. Here’s why:

Humans learn from visual cues

If there’s something about your brand you want your customers to know, science says images are more effective than words in communicating it. If images have this power to convey ideas, then the image that will appear most often in your branding is potentially the most important.

Logos are the easiest way to brand a product

If you’ve ever been in a corporate office, you may have noticed a large number of items branded with the company’s logo, like pens, notebooks, bags, or clothing. The Shopify office even has a branded skateboard:

shopify-skateboard
Every kickflip is a branding opportunity.

Branded swag can be handed out at trade shows, given as gifts to potential clients, and even sold in-store. Good conversation can be forgotten a lot quicker than the branded pen a client finds at the bottom of their swag bag.

Logos provide a visual base to draw from for graphic design

Brand consistency is a key element in developing a lasting impression. By having a definitive representation of your brand at its most base level, you’ll have something to draw from when designing other marketing elements.

Logos help you stand out from the competition

Certain symbols or icons are associated with certain industries. Think of how many medical supply businesses use variations of a red cross in their logos. When there are a lot of businesses competing for the same market, distinguishing yourself is the key to getting noticed and remembered.

A logo provides many advantages, so it’s not hard to understand why nearly every business has one. Going logo-less looks unprofessional. It comes across as illegitimate, even untrustworthy.

How much should a logo design cost?

Once you’ve decided you need a logo, you next need to figure out whether you should design your own or hire a designer.

Designing a logo that’s unique but also simple enough to be remembered isn’t something that’s easy for amateur designers. Do what you’d do in any aspect of your business and hire a professional if you have the budget. But how much should a logo cost?

The cost of a logo design can vary significantly based on the experience level of the designer you hire. Logos can be exceedingly expensive, incredibly cheap, or even free. You can look at a designer’s portfolio, but there’s still no definitive way to know the quality of the logo you’ll receive until it’s been designed. Generally, expensive logos created by design agencies are made by professionals, but not every professionally made logo is necessarily good.

london-olympics-logo-controversy
Even professionals sometimes miss flaws in their design that are easily spotted by amateurs. Remember that it’s always good to have a second set of eyes providing feedback.

Should you hire a designer or design your own logo?

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re considering hiring a designer to create your logo:

Do I have the budget? Logo designs can cost anywhere from nothing, if you’re using a free online logo maker, to tens of thousands of dollars if you’re working with a professional designer or agency. Expect to pay around $50 to $300 at the lower end to hire a reasonably experienced designer.

Can I afford to burn money for a logo I don’t use? When you hire a designer, you’re paying for their time, not the logo itself. Since there’s a chance the end product won’t meet your expectations and gets tossed, designers and business owners typically negotiate a “kill fee”; an amount paid to the designer regardless of whether or not the logo gets used. Keep this in mind when budgeting and make sure to account for any potential kill fees.

How much time can I afford to dedicate to logo design? Designing a logo involves more than sitting around and waiting for a “eureka” moment. The process usually is a collaborative one, with designers presenting you several rough options and relying on your feedback to revise their work.

Do I have a good eye for design? Logo design isn’t easy. If it was, you wouldn’t be considering hiring a designer. Some business owners excel at expressing their brand values in words but have trouble translating those words into an image. Designers, on the other hand, usually excel at translating words to images. If your skills are better suited to management than creativity, hiring a designer is probably the right route to take.

How to design a logo from scratch: A step-by-step guide

Illustration of three characters holding various letter 'I's" all in a different style and font, as a metaphor for how to design a logo. Type is one of the considerations. Whether you choose to design a logo yourself, hire a designer, or use an online logo maker, the process will involve the same steps:

  1. Develop your brand identity
  2. Look for design inspiration
  3. Choose colors that reflect your brand
  4. Pick a font
  5. Create several rough versions
  6. Get feedback
  7. Polish your winning design

1. Develop your brand identity

“Brand Identity” is a catch-all term for the visual elements of your brand: everything from your brand colors to your logo to the way elements of your brand are designed. These visual elements work together to distinguish your brand in the minds of your customers.

Before you start sketching designs for your logo, you’ll want to have an idea of your brand’s identity. To start, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why did you start your business?
  • What values are important to you as a company?
  • What sets you apart from the competition?

Your brand’s distinguishing features—what’s most important to you and what will be most recognizable to your customers—lie in the answers to these questions. Before putting your pen to paper, before choosing your colors and aesthetics, ask yourself who you are.

Don’t worry if you can’t answer these questions right away. They’re a step-off point, meant to be pondered. But once you’ve thought about it, you’ll be in a better position to create a logo that effectively sets you apart.

To give you a better understanding of this process, we worked with real in-house designers at the Shopify office to create a logo for LawnPure—our very ownnot-real line of organic, citrus-based, chemical-free lawn-care products.

We started out by creating a “mind map” for our brand values. Mind mapping is a visual brainstorming technique. You start with a central idea (your brand, in this case) and diagram your thoughts by connecting keywords and related concepts around that central idea.

Mind mapping can be done alone or in a group and is a great tool for refocusing your ideas or creating new ones. In brand development, it’s perfect for coming to a consensus around a coherent brand identity.

logo-design-mindmap
“Mind mapping” is a great technique for developing a coherent brand identity.

From our mind map, we were able to develop a conceptually strong brand, making it easier to answer questions that would help us understand what set our brand apart from the competition:

Why did we start our business?

We started our company because we wanted to maintain a healthy green lawn that was safe for our kids and pets to play on. Current chemical fertilizers are great for maintaining a green lawn, but they’re often toxic after being treated. Vinegar-based fertilizers are safer, but are not nearly as effective. When we couldn’t find an effective natural fertilizer, we decided to make our own.

What values are important to us as a company?

At LawnPure, we value ethical, safe methods of lawn care and insect population control. We believe that the key to human prosperity is through scientific research and development of safe, effective, and sustainable lawn care products. We are advocates of environmental sustainability. We believe that humanity has an obligation to protect our environment for our own safety and for the safety of future generations.

What sets us apart from the competition?

Agricultural biotechnology (or “agritech”) is plagued with corporate greed, unsafe practices, and careless disregard for the sustainability of the planet. We’ve seen enough lawsuits over health and environmental issues to know that big agritech cares more about corporate profits than the safety of their customers, employees, and future generations.

What sets LawnPure apart is our desire to implement change. Our team of scientific researchers dedicate their lives to creating safe, effective products for long-term, sustainable farming. In a world of corporate carelessness, LawnPure is like a breath of air as fresh as your naturally cared for lawn.

fresh-green-lawn
Photo by Ryan Bruce from Burst.

Considering our brand identity got our creative juices flowing. We didn’t have a logo design pinned down just yet—but we were able to figure out what values our design needed to project.

2. Look for design inspiration

Getting started is often the hardest part of any creative endeavor. It’s good if you have an idea, but sometimes the problem is having too many ideas at once.

Analysis paralysis occurs when you have so many ideas you get stuck over-analyzing them and become unable to make a decision.

To avoid analysis paralysis, don’t think about creation as a task of building something from nothing. Instead, think of it as a puzzle: the logo already exists in your mind, you just have to put the pieces together by drawing on established design principles.

Learn to speak the language of logos by viewing as many great logos as you can. Think about what made your favourites so memorable.

If you’re looking for some places to check out great logo designs, here’s a list:

  • Logoed: Logoed’s simple, single-page scroll lets you browse a frequently updated collection of stunning logos.
  • Logospire: This vast collection of user-submitted logo designs will help get your creative juices flowing.
  • Brand New: Brand New is a blog that covers designs and redesigns of new and notable brands across all industries.
  • LogoLounge: This blog lets graphic designers upload their latest logos. LogoLounge is perhaps best known for publishing a series of books showcasing artwork that’s been featured on the site.
  • Logo Design Love: Graphic designer David Airey curates this design blog reviewing logos and marketing designs from all over the world.

Design-related hashtags: Many social media communities use specific design-related hashtags for showcasing their graphic design work. Instagram is especially good for this, given the visual nature of the site. Next time you’re browsing the ’gram, check out some of the more popular design hashtags: #logo#logodesigns#logodesigner#graphicdesign#graphicdesigner.

3. Choose colors that reflect your brand

Illustration of two characters playing with oversized paint swatches to reflect the idea of choosing the right colour for your logo. Color is more fundamental to a person’s perception of visual stimuli than many people realize. Studies have even suggested that color can affect your users’ mood, making it crucial to their buying decision.

Photo by Ryan Bruce from Burst.

Your logo’s colors will end up on your website, in-store signage, social media feeds, marketing emails, and every other place where a user interacts with your brand. There’s no color that’s universally “better,” but each color does say something different. You want to make sure you’re saying the right thing.

With that in mind, let’s go over the psychological effects of certain colors:

Brown: An earthy tone, brown is often associated with all-natural ingredients, homemade goods, and freshly baked treats. Given its the color of tree bark, sticks, autumn leaves, and rich soil, brown can also give an outdoorsy aura to your brand.

made-good-brown
MadeGood uses brown heavily in its packaging and marketing to invoke a sense of earthiness and memories of homemade baking.

Orange: Like a roaring fire, orange radiates warmth, energy, and passion. The color of sunsets, it also tends to invoke summer—especially when paired with lighter blues and soft greens.

lumi-orange-logo
Lumi’s orange-focused juice packaging brings to mind sparkling refreshment on a hot summer day.

Yellow: Orange’s high-saturation sister, yellow, also gives off light, energy, and warmth. But if orange’s warmth is a glowing fireplace, yellow’s is the intense heat of a midday sun radiating over baron dessert. Yellow tends to invoke happy feelings, but use it sparingly. A little yellow can add a touch of optimism to a dependable brand, but a lot can be maniacal.

happiness-abscissa-yellow
Perfume retailer Happiness Abscissa (Ha) uses yellow to add a feeling of optimism and joy.

Green: A color with two personalities, green can invoke an organic aura that brings to mind lush rainforests, eco-awareness, and a sense of calm. And yet green just as easily becomes the color of money, greed, envy, and nausea.

v-dog-green
Dog-food brand v-dog uses green to express its back-to-nature approach to dog food. 

Pink: A softer, gentler color, pink has at different points in history been viewed as both masculine and femine. Though contemporary customers will likely associate pink with femininity, it more broadly brings to mind kindness, romance, and love.

mignon-pink
Mignon’s soft pink logo creates the feeling of being loved and cared for.

Red: Bold and unforgiving, red tends to stand-out, which is why it’s become such a dependable color in branding. Like pink, red tends to invoke romance. But whereas pink’s romance is tender and gracious, red’s romance is passionate, loud, and carnal.

kkw-beauty-red
Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty uses a bold, red tone to give the brand a passionate edge.

Purple: The Rasputin of colors⁠, purple is a shadowy, mysterious stranger with an almost magical magnetism. Given that purple dyes historically have had a reputation for being rare and expensive, there’s no mystery how purple has come to be associated with wealth, excess, mysticism, magic, and indulgence.

purple-purple
The aptly named bedding brand Purple makes heavy use of the color to create a sense of futuristic luxury.

Blue: The color of a clear sky, blue tends to invoke feelings of trust, ease, and peace. That said, blue has also been shown to be the least appetizing color. Try to avoid it if you’re selling food.

quad-lock-blue
Reliable blue is the perfect color to create a sense of comfort and security for Quad Lock’s line of protective phone cases.

Black, Gray, White: Sometimes the best color for your brand is no color at all. Shades of black, white, and gray tend to invoke a sense of calmness, balance, or clarity.

schoolhouse-white-gray-black
Schoolhouse pairs shades of grey with soft muted colors to give its home decor brand a sense of calmness.

Using multiple colors 

Most logos are monochromatic. Single colors are easier to coordinate with, and using only one color will simplify your brand’s other graphic design elements. Mono logos also can be reimagined in different colors for different purposes.

fed-ex-logo-colors
The FedEx logo is typically displayed in blue and orange. However, the company has created alternative color logos for specific departments.

The more you can simplify your design, the better. Complex designs are harder to remember and less likely to stick in your customer’s heads.

How do you create color combinations to use for your logo?

If you choose to have a multicolored logo, it’s important to be conscious of what colors you use together. While color theory can be quite complex, there are a lot of online tools to help you fast track a color scheme:

paletton-logo-color-wheel

  • Paletton: Paletton’s color wheel lets you create color schemes using easy, interactive sliders.
  • Coolors: Coolors lets you generate random color harmonies, lock colors you want to hold in you pallette, and adjust other colors collectively to create a fully customizable palette. You can also generate palettes from uploaded images.
  • Colormind: Colormind is especially good for web designers because it includes an easy-to-use tool for achieving readability and color harmony on web pages by previewing color combinations on the same page in real-time as adjustments to the palette are made.
  • ColorSpace: ColorSpace is best for developers, as it automatically generates CSS code to include the color palette you’re creating on your web page.
  • Canva’s color palette generator: Canva generates color schemes randomly or from images. But what makes Canva’s tool unique is its ability to search for color palettes via keywords.

canva-color-palettesWe decided very early in the creation process for LawnPure—the all-natural, citrus-based organic pesticide⁠—that green would be the base color of our logo. Eco-friendly and reminiscent of a healthy lawn, green seemed like the perfect fit.

We started out by trying to replicate the color of a healthy green lawn. This seemed logical in theory, but colors aren’t perceived in real-life the same way they are on-screen. Variations in light, distance, and a host of other factors can affect visual perception and make the same object appear to be many different shades⁠—even in the same image.

logo-color-palette-grass
Many shade variants can be pulled from the same photograph. Original Photo by Scott Webb from Burst.

Expect to spend a while playing around with your base color before you find the perfect fit. The visible spectrum is so vast that the smallest changes in hue, saturation, or brightness can significantly change the mood of your brand’s color. Altering some basic icons and text, we compared a couple of possible shades. Even slight tone differences seemed to communicate something completely different.

lawnpure-logo-color-testBrighter, more saturated tones were attention-grabbing and playful⁠, but also had a cartoonish, juvenile feel to them. A good color for selling toys or comic books maybe, but not right for LawnPure. Darker, more earthy tones of greens did seem to harken back to nature in the way we felt the LawnPure brand should, especially when paired with browns, oranges, and dark reds.

lawnpure-logo-color-text-test
Play around with different color combinations to see how they alter the mood of your logo.

Still, there was something not quite right about them. They exuded a “getting back to nature” quality, but also tended to remind us of military camouflage. A color combination like this might work great for a more rugged brand selling hunting supplies or camping gear, but for the peace-loving hippies at LawnPure selling environmentally sustainable lawn care products, it wasn’t a good fit.

Originally, deciding on green seemed easy, but after hours of experimentation, it started to feel like we hadn’t made a decision at all. “Green” can mean lime green, seafoam green, or forest green⁠—but which green is LawnPure green? After saying no to so many shades, we finally stumbled on to just the green we were looking for.

hex-code-00b151logo-color-adjustLawnPure green (hex code #00b151) is a purer, mild green that’s not too saturated, not too dark, and has just a touch of blue⁠—barely noticeable, but enough to conjure up images of a lush field under a bright blue sky. This was LawnPure’s brand as a color.

We considered pairing LawnPure green with other colors. Mixing it with bright pinks and oranges looked great and gave it a summery quality⁠, invoking the taste of juicy fresh peaches, strawberries, or watermelons. Great for fruity summer beverages or berry-scented candles, but not quite right for LawnPure.

Mixed with sky blues and sandy beiges, it was much closer to epitomizing the image of a well-kept summer lawn. Too close maybe: something felt artificial about these color combinations. It might work for a golf course pro shop, but it still wasn’t quite the LawnPure brand.

Finally, there was brown. Mixing with brown seemed to make the most sense, given that it’s the color of rich soil. But this combination seemed less aesthetically pleasing. Darker browns weren’t very complimentary of LawnPure green. Lighter browns looked better but tended to invoke rocky, dried-up infertile land instead of rich, arable soil.

lawnpure-color-testsIn the end, we decided to leave the second color up in the air. We weren’t rejecting additional colors just yet, but it was clear that any second color used would be minimal. For now, the brand’s main color was decided, and we were ready to start sketching ideas.

4. Select a typeface

Your logo may not include any text, but much of your graphic design will, including your web copy, signage, and a host of other branded materials. For the sake of consistency, it’s important to consider which typefaces your brand plans on using when designing your logo, even if you’re not using them in the logo itself.

Typeface vs. font

The terms “typeface” and “font” are used interchangeably in most contexts, so it’s common to assume they’re synonyms. However, there’s an important distinction: a typeface is a characteristically distinct set of typographical symbols and characters, often divided into variant sets, like Italic and Bold. Each of these variant sets is a font.

typeface-vs-font

The four basic type styles and when to use them

There are many models for sorting fonts⁠. Some focus on style, some on historical significance, and some on endless splintered sub-categories. The most common system, however, sorts fonts into four basic types.

Serif type styles 

serif type styleThe word “serif” describes a small line or stroke attached to the end of a longer stroke in a letter or other character. Serifs are the oldest type style, tracing their roots back to inscriptional lettering used in the Latin alphabet.

  • Characteristics: Serifs are often associated with history, tradition, and antiquity and are used to invoke wealth, elegance, and authority.
  • When to use them: Serif fonts can make attractive display type and traditionally are used for body copy in printed matter, like newspapers, books, and magazines. Luxury brands catering to an affluent audience also commonly use serif type styles.
  • Use in branding: Old-style and transitional serifs tend to feel more “classical”. Modern and “slab” serifs (typefaces with a thicker serif stroke) feel more contemporary, innovative, and creative.
slh-ad-serif
SLH.com uses a slab-serif to portray luxury and modernity. Image courtesy of Campaigns of the World.

Sans serif type styles

san-serif-type-stylesSans-serif typefaces, sometimes called gothic, do not have serifs at the end of character strokes. Sans-serifs have less line-width variation and tend to be easier to read when backlit⁠, making them most prevalently used in text on computer screens. In print media, they’re most commonly used in headlines, but can sometimes be used in body copy.

  • Characteristics: Sans-serifs are more commonly associated with simplicity, modernity, and minimalism. Design-wise, they function well with an abundance of negative space and produce a glossy, refined feel.
  • When to use it: Sans-serif fonts are versatile and good to use for on-screen copy and headlines. Brands typically use sans-serif fonts when trying to convey a sense of contemporary elegant simplicity.
  • Use in branding: Sans-serif typefaces tend to be more legible on-screen than in print, so they’re more often used in body copy on websites than in magazines and newspapers. Generally speaking, sans-serifs give a more neoteric vibe and are used more often by brands trying to convey a sense of innovation and modernity.
mcdonalds-sans-serif
McDonald’s uses a sans-serif typeface to convey simplistic modernity. Image courtesy of Campaigns of the World.

Script styles 

script-stylesScript typefaces are derived from handwriting or calligraphy. Scripts are more fluid than sans or serif styles and are often used in more whimsical contexts. Script styles are versatile and can be used by both formal and casual brands⁠.

  • Characteristics: Being derivative of handwriting, scripts have a tendency to “humanize” text. Script typefaces often have a lot of personality, so they’re particularly good at altering the mood of your copy.
  • When to use it: Scripts should be used sparingly. They’re poorly suited for long, extended body text because they’re generally less legible. However, when paired with a serif or sans-serif typeface, scripts can be a very effective tool for emphasis.
  • Use in branding: Formal scripts give off a feeling of luxury, romance, and passion. Informal scripts can give your brand a more folksy and unpretentious vibe. Scripts can be better for emphasizing words and short phrases, especially if it’s a word you want your customer to pause at.
hbo-script-ad
HBO uses a script typeface for emphasis. Courtesy of Campaigns of the World

Decorative fonts

decorative-font-stylesDecorative (or display) fonts are difficult to categorize since their defining feature is that they forego typographical conventions. Decorative fonts can convey a wide variety of moods but generally focus on a specific theme, motif, or aesthetic. More recently developed fonts tend to be decorative, oftentimes developed specifically for a particular brand.

  • Characteristics: Decorative fonts can be very tricky, since they’re stylistically diverse but generally more difficult to read, making them bad for body copy. Titles might look better in a decorative font style, but even here designers should be careful: overuse of nearly any decorative font has a tendency to look tacky. Decorative fonts also become outdated quickly, since they tend to latch on to aesthetic trends.
  • When to use it: It’s a good idea to avoid any heavy use of decorative fonts. Single characters can be good for adapting or incorporating into logos, but make sure you have the licensing rights to use the character in your logo.
  • Use in branding: Decorative fonts are endlessly diverse, so it’s impossible to narrow them down to a single use. Decorative fonts generally are used in logos, and it’s common for larger brands to have entire typeface sets created just for its own use. Non-character typefaces (such as emojis) are also commonly used to appeal to younger customers.
mcdonalds-emoji-ad
McDonald’s tells a story using only emojis. Image courtesy of Ads of the World.

What does my typeface say about my brand?

Like color, a subtle difference in typeface can say very different things about your brand. It’s OK to have more than one brand font, but the key is consistency. Switching between drastically different fonts over and over can give your branding an indecisive feeling overall, which tends to morph into customer mistrust over time.

If your brand uses a particular set of typefaces, make sure you have concrete guidelines about when to use which fonts. When font choices switch frequently and at random, they tend to evoke a sense of suspicion and anxiety.

Finding the right font might not happen right away, but you can narrow down your choices by considering a few key factors alongside your brand identity.

Just as it was to color, brand identity is the most important factor to consider when it comes to your typeface. Different font attributes tend to invoke different brand qualities:

1. Lines: thick vs. thin 

Bold, thick fonts, like asymmetrical slab serifs, tend to invoke authority and stability. Thinner fonts tend to convey a stronger sense of elegance and progress.

lines-thick-thin-logo-typeface2. Stress: diagonal vs. vertical

Designers refer to a font’s “stress” when describing the angle at which the thinnest parts of a character’s stroke are aligned. Brush scripts and italicized text would be described as sitting on a diagonal axis, while block text would be described as sitting on a vertical axis. Fonts on a vertical axis tend to look more formal and traditional, whereas fonts on a diagonal axis look more casual and inviting.

stress-diagonal-vertical-logo-typeface3. Contrast: low vs. high

When talking about a typeface, “contrast” describes the difference in weight between think and think strokes. Low-contrast typefaces tend to be more legible but less formal looking than mid-range-contrast type. High-contrast fonts tend to look more modern and authoritative.

contrast-low-high-logo-typeface4. Mood: formal vs. informal, classic vs. modern, dramatic vs. calm

Harder to pinpoint is a typeface’s “mood.” Older serif fonts and scripts are more formal and classic looking, with older scripts feeling more dramatic. Newer sans-serifs tend to convey calm modernity but can be either formal or informal. Decorative fonts can be all of the above but generally feel more dramatic. Ask yourself what qualities you ascribe to your font and if those are the same qualities you’d ascribe to your brand.

mood-logo-typeface

5. Create several rough versions

Back at LawnPure, we started brainstorming our brand font alongside the logo creation process. The LawnPure brand considers itself innovative, modern, and futuristic, so classic-mood fonts didn’t feel right. More dramatic fonts didn’t work with our brand either— LawnPure is calm, like fresh grass on a hot summer’s day.

We decided to play around with some calm, modern fonts to see what we came up with:

lawnpure-typeface-testsLike with the logo, our first instinct was to try and emulate the look and feel of grass. We wanted something that felt alive and thriving. Serif typefaces felt “fixed” and tended not to express this quality very well. Sans-serif typefaces were better⁠—but still didn’t feel right.

lawnpure-typeface-tests-2Thin lines tended to feel less formal than thick lines, which was good. However, they also felt pedestrian⁠ in a way that didn’t mesh with LawnPure’s innovative character. Thick lines felt more innovative but seemed to convey a dramatic, less calm mood. We needed something that landed in the middle.

We also tried out some scripts to be used for emphasis. Scripts have the active, wavy quality of grass on a windy day, so we thought this might work well with the LawnPure brand.

lawnpure-typeface-test 3Our scripts definitely had a more informal and interesting character. Script fonts certainly had the wavy quality of grass, but in large doses felt a bit too retro for LawnPure. It was here where we had the idea to combine fonts. We tried a few combinations, but nothing seemed to stick.

Our favorite script was Southern Aire, since it looked the most like grass. We tried combining this font with some other, more formal sans-serif typefaces to see what worked.

lawnpure script testOur problem was, the more we tried to make the script look like grass, the less legible the words became. The more legible we made the script, the less it looked like grass. We were trying to combine two typefaces that just didn’t go together. In the end, we abandoned the script font. But testing it out like this was an important step in creating our final logo.

When you design your own logo, you’re likely going to encounter issues like this. Design involves a lot of trial and error. You might spend a whole afternoon experimenting and have nothing to show for it at the end of the day, aside from the knowledge that narrowing down your options means less work tomorrow.

When completed, the font we thought best exemplified our brand values was Rhino Sans.

lawn-pure-rhino-sansRhino Sans was formal, but not too formal. The lettering felt calm, modern, and unique. It was occasionally unreadable but we weren’t planning on using it for any body text.

One thing we didn’t like about it was the “W,” which was wider than the other letters. It was here we decided to combine our grassy script idea with Rhino Sans. We tested some things out:

lawnpure-script-testsHere, again, we ran into an issue. The more we altered the “W” to look like grass, the less legible it became. It’s important to stress here the hours of trial and error that can go into creating even what appears to be a simple logo.

We tried every script we could. We played around with the dimensions of the characters, adjusted individual lines and angles, used the outline of the characters as a guide for our own hand-drawn characters – but no matter what, the logo just wasn’t right yet.

lawnpure-adjustmentsThat’s when we decided it would be best to design our own “W” specifically to look like grass. If you’re more comfortable hand-drawing your logo, feel free to take this route. Our personal preference was the pen tool in Photoshop.

pen-tool-sketch

6. Get feedback

The creative process is different for everybody. Some may start with sketches, while others might jump right into Adobe Illustrator. The drafting phase involves a lot of trial and error, so don’t get discouraged if things aren’t working.

At a certain point, you’re going to start to feel like you can’t even recognize letters from shapes or good logos from bad. When this happens, it might be time for feedback. Feedback is incredibly important to the creative process, because it’s the only method creators have of “testing” their ideas.

You can get feedback from nearly anyone, just make sure you’re not relying on a single person. It also helps if the people providing feedback are in your brand’s target demographic.

For the best feedback, ask specific questions about how each person perceives your brand based on the logo. Being told your logo is “good” or “bad” won’t be helpful, but knowing how your brand comes across will be.

Here are some ideas for questions to ask when getting feedback:

  • What’s the first thing that sticks out to you?
  • How would you characterize my brand?
  • What do you remember most about the logo?
  • Is there anything you’re confused by?
  • If you could remove one aspect of the design what would it be?

It’s hard for someone to be certain of how they’d react to your brand in real life, so avoid questions like, “Would you buy this?” or “Is this interesting?” More specific questions will garner more specific answers and better feedback.

After messing around with LawnPure’s logo, we had a design that was ready for feedback:

lawnpure-logo-design-feedback

7. Polish your winning design

Using our selected font, we spelled the brand’s name and then drew blades of grass that would stand-in as the “W”. The thing about logo design is that when you meticulously make adjustments to the same image for hours, you can start to lose your grasp of what made the logo good in the first place.

As you gather feedback, the strength of your designs will begin to become more apparent. You’ll notice parts of your design that might not be sticking like you thought they would. Meanwhile, aspects you didn’t give a second thought to will turn out to be widely successful. Feedback can surprise you.

This happened to our design. We spent so long trying to get the grass logo to look more like grass that we forgot to make it look like a “W.” The most common feedback we got on our first draft was that it was unclear how to pronounce “LallnPure.” We went back to the drawing board to widen things up.

The second piece of feedback had to do with the kerning on the last “e” in LawnPure. We used the font’s default spacing, but since the size and dimensions had been altered significantly, the “e” looked a little to far off.

lawn-pure-logo-kerningWe took the feedback, made the suggested revisions, and finally, our polished logo was ready:

LawnPure Logo final

Hiring a designer

If you decide you want to work with a professional, there’s no shortage of websites and online communities where you can find designers to hire for freelance jobs:

  1. Shopify Experts: If you’re looking for a designer who knows ecommerce like the back of their hand, browse through our Shopify Experts marketplace. Shopify Experts can help out with all sorts of design customizations and can be filtered to find an expert in your price range or with experience in your industry.
  2. Upwork: A global online freelancing platform that connects businesses with freelancers remotely. Upwork includes a collaborative timesheet and live chat, making it easy to monitor your freelancer’s progress.
  3. Freelancer: Freelancer is unique in that potential hirees “bid” for jobs that you post, allowing you to find the best designer at the lowest cost.
  4. Fiverr: A two-sided marketplace to buy and sell a variety of digital services, such as writing, graphic design, video editing, and programming. Fiverr offers fixed prices for services regardless of the work time, making it easier to budget your logo design.
  5. Dribbble: A community for designers to showcase their creative work and connect with employers. Dribble works not only as a place to find a designer but also a place to explore new, creative designs for inspiration if you decide to make your own logo.

dribble-screenshot

Tips on working with a graphic designer for your logo

Recruiting a professional graphic designer can be a huge advantage for business owners in need of a good logo. Having an expert to bounce ideas off of is a great way to revitalize your creative energy and separate ideas that work from the ones that don’t.

But partnering with a designer isn’t always a golden ticket to the perfect logo. It’s important to know what to expect when you hire and how to manage a graphic designer. If you’re looking to hire a pro, here’s some tips on establishing a good working relationship with your designer:

  • Perform a background check and be mindful of security. The vast majority of users on freelancing websites are great artists looking to make money doing what they love. But in rare cases, fraudulent applicants will answer job postings with the intention of scamming users. Always check the freelancer’s account page for their portfolio and reviews from previous employers to ensure the quality of their work. Always communicate in writing. Never give out any personal financial information or account passwords to your freelancer.
  • Provide logo examples and as much detail as possible. If there’s a specific look you’d like to emulate, provide a couple of examples. Graphic designers tend to be visual learners, which means it’s going to be easiest to show them what you want as opposed to telling them.
  • Provide a realistic time frame. Respect the creative process and understand that the final product may take a few drafts and feedback sessions before revealing itself. Giving short time frames will result in a logo that feels rushed and incomplete.
  • Give feedback that is clear, concise, specific, and honest. The least helpful thing you can say about a draft is that it’s “good” or “bad,” because neither says anything about what works in the design and what doesn’t. Don’t make vague requests like “Can you make it trendier?” or provide abstract goals like “Try to capture the timeless spirit of our brand.” Instead, try to identify what’s most memorable about the design and what can be removed it.
  • Don’t micromanage your designer. Budget enough time for logo design, feedback, and revisions. There’s no need to check in with your designer in between drafts or monitor them while they’re working. Constantly checking in with a freelancer gives the impression that you don’t trust them to provide quality work or don’t respect their expertise as a designer.
  • Don’t expect them to do any work for free. Don’t ask freelancers to “apply” with original work if you don’t plan on paying them. Don’t ask for “free samples,” “quick revisions,” or “small favours.” Don’t expect to pay with “exposure,” “experience,” or “the chance to build a great portfolio.” This approach is unethical and will almost always result in low-quality work.

Designing a logo for free (or cheap)

In the startup phase of your business, taking on a new hire, even a freelancer, might not be feasible. When this happens, you’re left with two options: design your own logo or use a free online logo generator.

hatchful-free-logo

The five top-ranking free logo makers

If you’re short on time and need a professional logo designed ASAP, then a free logo generator is your best bet. There are plenty of adequate logo makers online, but beware—low-quality logo makers generally result in low-quality logos.

To help your decision-making process, we’ve rounded-up a list of the best free logo creators currently online:

Hatchful by Shopify: Hatchful is Shopify’s free logo-design tool that caters specifically to ecommerce industries. Hatchful works by asking questions about your brand’s personality and industry, then generates designs tailored specifically to your business. From there, Hatchful allows you to customize fonts, colors, icons, and layouts.

hatchful-editorWith its aim on ecommerce, Hatchful’s development process draws heavily on visual marketing fundamentals and the relationship between brand values and design.

For business owners who are well versed in those fields but might need a little help with the design process itself⁠, Hatchful is a great fit. Also, because it’s ecommerce focused, Hatchful provides free, fully loaded branding packages that include high-resolution versions of your logo designed for social media profiles, website banners, branded swag, in-store signage, and more.

hatchful-new-logo

  1. Canva: Canva’s free suite of graphic design tools includes lots of logo templates that can be customized using its intuitive drag-and-drop editor. Canva is great for hands-on users⁠, especially ones looking for complete creative freedom. However, the limitless design options can be overwhelming for first-timers. If you have less design experience, a more accessible logo creator from this list might be better.
  2. LogoMakr: LogoMakr has a streamlined, step-by-step logo creation process that’s easy for beginners to pick up. With a database of over a million searchable graphics, a text toolbar, and a simplified, easy-to-arrange layering system akin to the Layers tool in Photoshop and other more complex design software.
  3. Ucraft: Ucraft’s logo maker is great for creating minimalist logos in a time crunch. Ucraft provides three elemental design options—text, icons, and shapes⁠—alongside a drag-and-drop interface for easy-to-adjust logos. While the design options are limited, Ucraft’s simplicity makes it a great tool if you need a logo in a pinch.
  4. MarkMaker: MarkMaker’s logo generator has very limited customization options, but it makes up for this by being one of the easiest logo generators for beginners to use. Its unique process is sort of like having an AI-powered graphic design robot. Markmaker feeds you an endless scroll of instantly generated logos, asks you which logos you like, and then creates more designs based on your preferences.

The logo creators on this list have advantages and disadvantages. We encourage you to try them all to find the best fit for you.

Logo-generation tools are great for creating professional logos at break-neck speed, but any free logo generator comes with limitations, not to mention the fear of encountering strikingly similar logos from competing brands.

For many full-time entrepreneurs, free online logo generators just won’t cut it. Not because of the logos themselves⁠ (there’s no doubt you can create a stunning, original, on-brand logo with these tools), but because of the curtailed creation process.

Entrepreneurship tends to attract people that thrive on creative expression and innovative problem solving. For people like this, the opportunity to round out their skillset and cultivate their branding chops by designing their own logo is just too good to pass up.

logo-design-photo
Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst.
 

Avoiding common logo design mistakes

If there’s one thing to take away from all of this, it’s that you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of your logo.

Logos are subjective. While there’s no right or wrong way to make one, there are common mistakes and useful techniques to be aware of:

DO keep your color scheme simple. Monochromatic logos are more adaptable and having one simplifies the color selection process. The more colors you use, the more complicated adaptation becomes.

DON’T over complicate your design. Don’t pack too many icons into one logo. Simple figures are far easier to convey rather than complex scenes, and are more likely to be remembered. Consider the staying power of Apple’s iconic design or Volkswagen’s symmetrical “VW” logo.

DO create variations of your logo in different sizes and proportions. When you go to add it to everything from websites to pens, you’ll start wishing you planned for different size options.

DON’T create variations that are too different. Avoid re-arranging too many elements and don’t change the design.

DO explore logos and get inspired by other brands, especially ones in your industry.

DON’T imitate logos too closely. Not only is it plagiarism, but it’s also going to impede any chance your logo has to stand out.

DO be contemporary. Even if your brand has a more “classical” character⁠, it will still need to compete in the modern world. Tons of brands draw on classic design attributes, but completely neglecting decades of design theory will be alienating.

DON’T be too trendy. Logos made in an era obsessed with specific colors, designs, or aesthetics quickly become dated. For example, the original Toronto Raptors logo was conceived in 1994 at a time when bright pastel colors, sharp angular designs, and Jurassic Park were at the height of their popularity. Initial merchandise sales were high, but the logo became dated quickly and after a few minor tweaks was finally discontinued in 2014.

raptors-dated-logo
Relying too heavily on current trends can result in a logo that becomes dated very quickly.

Create a logo you feel good about

Strong, memorable brands tend to have strong, memorable logos. Going through this process to create a simple image might seem like a lot of work, but considering that the design will be linked to your brand for the long-term, it’s worth it.

Every large brand started off small. You don’t need to sacrifice quality design just because you’re in the startup phase of your business. The idea of designing your own logo may have seemed daunting at first, but now, with a stronger understanding of the principles of design and the steps involved in the process, you’re hopefully better equipped to create yours with confidence.

Illustrations by Eugenia Mello

Photo of Evan Ferguson

About the author

Evan Ferguson

Evan Ferguson is a writer, digital artist, and content creator at Shopify. He is best-known for once being retweeted by Ice T.

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How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers

Thinking of putting your business on TikTok? Wondering how other brands are using TikTok successfully?

In this article, you’ll discover how to create TikTok video and find examples to inspire you to use TikTok in your own marketing.

How to Get Started With TikTok: A Guide for Marketers by Jessica Malnik on Social Media Examiner.

Why Consider TikTok?

TikTok’s growth is fascinating on many levels. For starters, it’s the first major social media network that started in China and then spread to the U.S. and the rest of the world. This expansion was expedited when they acquired Musical.ly at the end of 2017.

Because of this, the platform has an extremely international and diverse audience. If you spend more than a few minutes on TikTok, you’ll likely see videos from people in multiple countries and languages. The audience is also young; most users are younger than 30.

TikTok was the most downloaded app in the iOS App Store from January 2018–March 2019. That’s five consecutive quarters.

The NBA uses TikTok similarly to ESPN, with even better results. They have more than 5.5 million fans and 79 million hearts. Whoever is running their account does a great job of varying the content with everything from basketball highlights to fun fan highlight videos like this guy showing off his interesting dance moves:

showing off his interesting dance moves:

Many NBA teams also have their own accounts. The Chicago Bulls have taken this to the next level with an account for their mascot, Benny the Bull. Benny has more followers on TikTok than on Instagram.

He also does collaboration videos with other mascots, like this one with the Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot Gritty. This video highlights one of the many co-marketing opportunities available on TikTok:

He also does collaboration videos with other mascots, like this one with the Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot Gritty. This video highlights one of the many co-marketing opportunities available on TikTok:

Despite the rapid user growth, it’s still early days. If you’re susceptible to shiny-object syndrome, it’s easy to read articles like this and instantly create your account and start posting TikTok videos. That’s rarely a good idea or a sustainable marketing strategy.

First, do your research to see if having a TikTok presence even makes sense for your business. If so, also think about resourcing. Who’ll be responsible for posting and managing videos? What kind of budget will you need? How will you measure the results? These are all things you need to consider.

There are plenty of reasons not to join TikTok right now; however, if your brand fits many of the following criteria, you may want to consider joining sooner rather than later:

  • Most of your target customers are younger than 35. While the app is starting to age up, the majority of users are Gen Zers and younger Millennials.
  • Your products are visually appealing and demonstrative.
  • You’re a musician or artist.
  • Your brand is trendy with a casual, fun, and “cool kid” vibe.
  • You have the resources (staff, budget, etc.) to be able to add another channel to your mix.

Pro Tip: I’m a big fan of pilot programs for testing new marketing channels. If you think your brand might do well on TikTok, start with a 1-month or 3-month test. This requires less time and fewer resources and is less risky if your hypothesis doesn’t work.

#1: Install TikTok On Your Mobile Device

While other social media sites block the ability to download other people’s videos, TikTok’s product team has made it easy to share videos elsewhere. By default, other people can share your content on other social media sites and group texting platforms, and even download full GIF and video versions of your content, all of which is watermarked. This practice gets the word out in an organic, seamless way.

Note that if you don’t want to make your content shareable, you can turn off this feature in your privacy settings.

After you download the app (iOS and Android), you don’t even have to set up an account to start viewing videos.

ALT

When you create an account, TikTok will use AI to surface videos they think you may like on the For You feed, which is the default screen when you first log in. These suggestions get smarter as you spend more time on TikTok, which makes the app incredibly fun and addictive. The app is worth downloading for the awesome animal TikTok videos alone.

#2: Create Your First TikTok Video

If you’ve ever posted a story on Snapchat or Instagram, you’re likely to find the posting features on TikTok powerful, intuitive, and easy to use.

The upload screen gives you the option to create a 15-second or 60-second video. You can either upload an existing video that you recorded earlier or record something on the fly. Regardless of which option you choose, TikTok lets you add special effects, speed up or slow down the video, set a timer, and flip between your front and back smartphone camera.

ALT

Once you’ve uploaded your video, you’ll be able to trim it right within the app.

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In addition, you can add different filters, transitions, and other special effects as seen in this screenshot.

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One of the most popular features is the ability to layer sound on top of your video. You can either create your own audio mash-up or choose from thousands of options within TikTok’s library. I won’t get into it in this post but there are many different audio tactics you can use.

ALT

Just like on Instagram and Snapchat, you can also quickly add text on top of your videos.

ALT

When you’ve finished creating your masterpiece and are ready to share it, you have the option to write a caption, add any relevant hashtags, and adjust your sharing settings.

Even though TikTok’s discovery is AI-based, hashtags still play a big role for users who are searching for content. It’s worth taking the time to do your research in advance so you choose the right hashtags. Two hashtags that you’ll see often are #foryou and #foryoupage. People use these hashtags to try to get on the main TikTok feed.

ALT

Another feature unique to TikTok is the ability to do duets in React mode. You can record yourself alongside your video in a split-screen. This is one way to encourage more engagement with your videos and can be particularly effective with dance challenges.

#3: Explore These TikTok Use Cases for Inspiration

Some of the brands you would expect to be early adopters—including musicians, sports teams, and colleges—are trying cool things on TikTok. In many cases, their videos have more organic views and engagement than their native Instagram posts.

Bakeries

Bakeries, cake decorators, and pastry chefs have been quick to adopt this platform. Due to the visual, highly demonstrative nature of baking, this one makes sense. Most of the TikTok videos end up being chefs and bakers decorating cakes and cookies set to popular music. Many have amassed more than 100,000 fans using this strategy.

The Bailey Bakery has more than 4.4 million fans and 92 million hearts. All of their posts are just bakers decorating cookies with music in the background. Often, they use TikTok’s built-in effects to speed up the process.

Colleges and Universities

With such a young demographic, it’s no surprise that many colleges and universities have TikTok accounts. The University of Florida (UF) has more than 83,000 fans and 973,000 hearts. The account shares everything from student accomplishments and sports hype videos to behind-the-scenes campus footage and dance challenges.

In this video, they showed off one student’s invention—”Gator Bubbly”:

Lawyers

When you think of TikTok users, lawyers are probably not the first group to come to mind. There are dozens of lawyers on this platform. Some use it to build brand awareness and have fun, such as Anthony Barbuto (@thelawyer), who has amassed more than 1.8 million followers and 26 million hearts.

Others lawyers, like Patrick McGeehan (@magic_city_lawyer), are using it to share their legal expertise and advice. This video has more than 48,000 hearts and nearly 1,000 comments:

eCommerce Shops

Many smaller mom-and-pop-type eCommerce shops, especially AliExpress sellers in Asia, are using TikTok to share product demos. They’ll often demonstrate how one of their products works with music in the background.

This TikTok post from the Lomile Shop shares one of their closet organizing products and has more than 1.9 million hearts and 6,800 comments:

Musicians

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard the song “Old Town Road” at least a handful of times in the last year. The popularity of this song is largely due to how the rapper, Lil Nas X, cleverly used TikTok to get the word out.

Two years ago, Lil Nas X was quite literally an unknown artist living in his parents’ basement. He was the first artist to understand TikTok’s meme culture and harness it to appeal to the “cool kids” to create a viral hit that has broken countless records, including the longest time spent as the number-one hit song on both Spotify and Billboard Hot 100.

Early on, he posted a video of himself performing “Old Town Road” on TikTok, which turned into a meme. Due to TikTok’s copycat culture, this meme spread like wildfire with over 513 million video views and more than 5 million people producing videos using the hashtag #oldtownroad, including this popular one of a guy riding a horse at McDonald’s.

From local bakeries and newspapers to lawyers, realtors, and small mom-and-pop eCommerce shops, a growing number of businesses you wouldn’t expect to be early adopters on a platform like TikTok are hopping on and seeing impressive results.

In some cases, the overall reach and engagement levels of their TikTok videos are more than five times what they’d see on more established social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Law Enforcement Agencies

In addition to lawyers, there are many cops and entire Sheriff’s offices using TikTok. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office—which already has a large, engaged following on other social media sites including Twitter and YouTube—was one of the first to jump on the TikTok bandwagon. They have more than 295,000 fans and over 3 million hearts.

The content on their account ranges from general tips and ride-alongs to behind-the-scenes footage and deputies (like this one) doing their own takes on popular TikTok dance challenges.

Newspapers

The Washington Post has more than 158,000 fans on TikTok and 4 million hearts. When you look at their content, they do a great job of integrating TikTok’s meme and fun challenge culture with sharing what’s going on behind the scenes in the newsroom.

This TikTok captures a fun exchange between an editor and reporter, and has more than 98,000 hearts and 165 comments:

Conclusion

Should your brand be on TikTok? As the fastest-growing social media network, this is a valid question that more businesses should be asking. Above are just a few examples of how some early adopter brands are using TikTok.

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Which Social Media Apps Are Best For Restaurants?

Restaurants must be on social media in 2018. After all, it’s often the first place where people go to find a restaurant’s hours, read reviews, and see a menu before heading out the door.

Best_Social_Apps_Restaurants.jpg

But restaurants handle social media differently than other types of businesses. For example, restaurants rely on different social networks than traditional businesses. While they have Facebook and Twitter accounts, Yelp, Google My Business, and Instagram take priority.

In this article, we’ll show you the best social media management apps for restaurants. This article focuses on finding social media apps that support Yelp and Google My Business, has direct Instagram scheduling, and can be used by multiple team members

Essential social media management app features for restaurants

As discussed earlier, restaurants have different social media needs than traditional small businesses. Here’s a list of popular features that many restaurants need for day-to-day social media operations. Make sure your social media management app offers them.

  • Powerful scheduling features. This is a core part of any social media marketing app. If you can’t schedule content well, why use a social media management app at all?
  • Analytics and reporting. Restaurants (and all small businesses) need to know if their social media initiatives work, and social media analytics let your team see results. Some key analytics features to look out for include engagement analytics, network and account comparison, and daily reports.
  • Multiple accounts for each network. You need to be able to link multiple brands and social media accounts to your social media management app. This comes in handy if you have multiple locations with different social accounts, etc. In an ideal world, your social media management platform will allow for at least 5 accounts, but this isn’t the case for all management apps.
  • Support for all social networks and review sites. It’s important that your social media management app supports all of the social networks where your brand is active. This means more than just Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Others include LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, Yelp, and Google My Business. If your app doesn’t support these, you may find yourself scrambling to find an alternative when a client joins another social network.
  • Social listening. Your social media management app should have a listening feature. Use this to keep a constant search going for your brand’s hashtags, keywords, and account names. If someone mentions your brand on social media, you’re notified right away and can respond accordingly.
  • A social inbox. Your social media app should have a great social media inbox where you can view @replies to your brand. Use this feature to respond to support requests, check feedback, and otherwise interact with your customers.
  • Automation features. Make sure your social media management app has built-in automation features. You can use these to automate everyday social media tasks. For example, you may want to create an automation that automatically pulls reports every week on Friday, or one that re-posts your blog posts from last week on Twitter.

The applications in question

Let’s introduce the contenders! Here are the six social media management apps we’re comparing based on feature set for cafes and restaurants:

  • Social Report
  • Sprout Social
  • Buffer
  • Agorapulse
  • MeetEdgar
  • HootSuite

We’ll give each application a quick introduction and break down whether each application offers the features listed above in a table at the end of the article.

Let’s get started!

Social Report — best functionality for restaurants

Social Report is a great social media tool for restaurantsAt Social Report, we make it a point to add new and innovative features to our platform on a regular basis. Offer excellent smart scheduling tools, in-depth analytics and reporting, and a social inbox that brings all of your brand’s mentions into one easy-to-digest inbox.

But best of all, we offer support for all social networks and even some web services—including ones integral to cafes and restaurants. For example, with Social Report you can manage Yelp, post to Google My Business, and even run your Shopify store (helpful for selling gift cards). See our full list of supported networks for more info.

Sprout Social — good social inbox, high price

SproutSocialSprout Social is a big name in the social media management world, and for a good reason. The company has long-offered new and innovative features like an all-in-one social inbox, keyword monitoring, and more.

But Sprout Social app isn’t perfect. It’s the most expensive social media management tool in our price comparison article, and lacks support for smaller social networks and business review platforms. Currently, Sprout Social only integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and has no support for Yelp or other review sites important to restaurants.

Buffer — up-and-coming but lacks essential business functions

Buffer is one of the original social media scheduling apps. It integrates with most of the popular social networks (but not the more obscure ones or review sites). The application recently added analytics and reporting features this year, so it’s officially a full-fledged social media management app.

The application is limited when it comes to features, though. The application only supports the “Big Five” social networks, and ignores Yelp, Google My Business, and review websites and web services that restaurants and cafes rely on.

Agorapulse — solid analytics, limited accounts

AgorapulseAgorapulse is a basic social media management app with solid posting, collaboration, and analytics tools. However, it doesn’t support smaller social networks or review sites, its base plan includes just three social accounts, and it doesn’t offer any type of white labeling.

MeetEdgar — basic functionality for the Big Three

MeetEdgarMeetEdgar is social media scheduling application for small teams. Currently, the application supports scheduling posts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It has an interesting, self-scheduling content calendar that sorts posts by assigned category.

Beyond that, MeetEdgar is extremely limited. It doesn’t offer analytics tools, support for business review websites, or other features that are essential for restaurants. The app doesn’t have the ability to create team member accounts either, and you can’t link more than 25 social media accounts.

HootSuite — lots of features, but lacks review sites

HootsuiteHootSuite is one of the original social media management tools, and one of the best known in the industry. However, it isn’t the social media tool of choice for many restaurants. Despite HootSuite supporting 35 different social networks, it lacks support for any business review websites like Google My Business or Yelp, hence making it a tough sell for restaurants.

Social media management apps for restaurants: concluded!

concluded!

Social Report Sprout Social Buffer Agorapulse MeetEdgar HootSuite
Scheduling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Analytics Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Multiple accounts per network Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Direct Instagram Scheduling Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Yelp Yes No No No No No
Google My Business Yes No No No No No
Automation  Yes Yes No No No Yes
Social Inbox Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

And there you have it: the top social media management apps for restaurants, broken down by features. Make sure to assess your restaurant’s needs, compare the cost of these applications, and which social networks each support before settling on one app. This will save your restaurant money and frustration in the long-run and ensures you’ll drive the best results to your business.

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The 27-Point Checklist to Prepare Your Store for Black Friday Cyber Monday

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is a tremendous opportunity for your ecommerce business to make money.

BCFM_Checklist_Hero.jpg

Last year, over $1.5 billion was collectively sold by Shopify merchants around the world during BFCM—and shoppers spent billions more throughout the four-day event at businesses of all shapes and sizes.

If you want to get in on this year’s biggest shopping weekend, now is the time to start planning.

Preparing for a breakthrough BFCM

Successfully navigating Black Friday Cyber Monday can be stressful for many store owners as they ready their campaigns and prepare their business for an influx of traffic, sales, orders to fulfill, and support requests.

During this and every BFCM, we want your business to have a breakthrough, achieving whatever results represent your personal best.

There are always new milestones to reach regardless of where you are on your entrepreneurial journey. To help you achieve yours, we’re overhauling our annual BFCM Toolbox and checklist, resources built to address the biggest opportunities and thorniest issues you’ll encounter.

The goal is simple: more sales, happier customers, fewer headaches. As always, it’s the execution that’s hard. With this checklist, you’ll have a plan that can survive contact with the real world. And throughout the rest of the year, we’ll ship new products and features and share advice on how to make this holiday shopping season your best (and most profitable) yet. Here’s our recommended checklist for getting your store ready for BFCM.

Get a copy of our 27-point BFCM checklist

Print it out or keep this checklist handy as you prepare for BFCM 2019. It’s filled with tips, tools, and resources to help you sell your best this year.

Download the checklist

  1. Prepare for customers who have already started researching
  2. Craft an irresistible offer
  3. Organize your upcoming sales
  4. Create contingency plans
  5. Test or ensure your website can handle a surge in traffic
  6. Ensure your store can handle increased demand
  7. Create banners and hero images to advertise holiday sales
  8. Plan ads and ad copy
  9. Build suspense and buzz around your upcoming sale
  10. Consider creating abandoned cart emails
  11. Think mobile first
  12. Test your site and get feedback
  13. Place tracking pixels
  14. Retarget past visitors and customers
  15. Begin pitching to blogs and gift guides
  16. Start your email marketing campaigns
  17. Reward loyal customers
  18. Build in scarcity where possible
  19. Integrate live chat
  20. Ensure you have quick and courteous responses
  21. Offer easy and hassle-free returns
  22. Set up Google Analytics
  23. Get familiar with your Shopify Reports
  24. Set up heatmaps and other tools to understand user behavior
  25. Keep an eye on the competition
  26. Turn seasonal shoppers into year-round customers
  27. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t

Start planning now

Illustration for with the word "planning" and a checkmark.

1. Prepare early for customers who have already started researching

Prepare your holiday sales as early as you can and let your customers and visitors know about your upcoming sale well in advance.

According to research from McKinsey & Company, over 70% of US shoppers plan to participate in BFCM. Not only do you need to start preparing early, but you also need to ensure that customers looking for gift ideas and information on particular products find you amongst the sea of competitors.

2. Craft an irresistible BFCM offer

A strategy many retailers use is to run a “jaw-dropping” sale on a popular item to attract customers to their store.

Once customers come for the “doorbuster”, there’s a chance they’ll pick up a few other items on their way to the checkout. Occasionally this product serves as a loss leader, with the difference being made up by customers adding more to their cart than they would have without the flagship product’s deep discount.

A BFCM door-crasher deal from BestBuyA BFCM example of a door-crasher deal from Best Buy

What can’t-miss sale will draw people to your store? If you’re sending an email to your subscribers, consider focusing on the one sale product you feel is the most enticing, instead of promoting all of your Black Friday Cyber Monday sales at the same time.

Alternatively, if loss leader pricing doesn’t make sense for you, you can try out a number of other BFCM promotion ideas, such as:

  • Offering a product bundle
  • Gamifying your offers (e.g. spin-to-win discounts)
  • Creating daily deals that are available for a limited time

Once you’ve attracted new visitors to your store, employ a few proven approaches to boost your average order value, like offering free shipping above a certain threshold or offering seasonal product bundles. That way, you’ll nudge people to add more to their cart beyond just the initial offer that convinced them to visit your store.

3. Organize your upcoming sales

Look at all of your products and plan your deals and discounts ahead of time instead of putting on a sale last minute. Review your margins and inventory to find suitable discounts, and learn how to set up different discounts on Shopify. For this BFCM, you can now create automatic discounts that will apply on a user’s eligible cart.

One idea is to create a “planned sales map” in Google Sheets or Excel, giving you a simple outline of all your upcoming sales. Here’s a pre-made Google Sheets template you can use to plan your sales this year. Just go to File > Make a copy to save it to your Drive.

Choose the products you want to run a holiday sale on and schedule their start dates and sale prices. This way, when the holiday sale rolls around, you can refer to your plans instead of scrambling at the last minute. You can find help in the Shopify App Store to make scheduling sales easy.

When you’re ready to implement your sales, make sure to leverage Shareable Discount Links to make redeeming your offer codes even easier for your customers—and boost your conversions while you’re at it.

Learn more about all of the different types of discounts you can set up in Shopify.

4. Create contingency plans

Do you have the proper backups in place in case anything goes awry? What happens if the shipping company you work with becomes too busy? How quickly can you restock inventory if you sell out earlier than expected?

We’re not looking to stir up unfounded fears, but it’s important to prepare for tough situations. Think about the worst case scenarios for your business and create contingency plans wherever possible. It’s much easier to handle the planning now, versus troubleshooting in the midst of the biggest sales weekend of the year.

Prepare for an uptick in demand

Illustration featuring the word "Demand" and a checkmark.

5. Test or ensure your website can handle a surge in traffic

Sometimes, too many simultaneous requests to your website can bog it down and potentially crash your site. This kind of downtime usually takes an enormous amount of traffic to occur, but it’s still a good idea to ensure your host can handle a spike in traffic.

You can test the server load capacity of your store with tools like LoadImpact.com.

6. Ensure your store can handle increased demand

If you rely on a supplier for your inventory, or your product is created or manufactured by you or your team, consider the increased demand you’ll experience during the holiday season.

Use forecasting tools to help you better predict sales and to order enough supplies before BFCM.

Work with your suppliers and ensure they’re prepared to handle your projected sales for the holiday season. One of the worst things that can happen during a sale is selling out faster than you wanted to and not meeting the demand of your customers.

Ready your campaigns and creative

Illustration featuring the word "Campaigns" and a checkmark.

7. Create banners and hero images to advertise holiday sales

What better way to promote your holiday sales than with gorgeous graphics and visuals? Whether you’re planning to use banner ads to promote your holiday sales or changing the header/hero image on your homepage for Black Friday Cyber Monday, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to get things done.

If you lack graphic design chops, you could use a template from CreativeMarket, use online design tools like Canva, or hire a freelance designer to create your graphics.

8. Plan ads and ad copy

It’s always a good idea to plan the ads and ad copy you’re about to run for a sale or promotion ahead of time so you can put more thought into copy and ad placement.

If you need help planning your ads, here are some resources from our blog:

Just remember that bids can get more expensive during the competitive holiday season depending on your niche. You may need to increase your bid price on specific keywords or for certain audiences to increase the visibility of your ads during big holiday sales. If you plan to do paid advertising, it’s a good idea to prepare your holiday sale ad budgets as well.

Run your first campaign on Shopify

9. Build suspense and buzz around your upcoming sale

It’s easy to announce a Black Friday Cyber Monday sale, but building suspense and buzz can help make it an outsized success.

Entice your customers with emails of what’s to come, post sneak peeks of upcoming sales on social media, and start piquing the curiosity of your customers. The sooner you begin doing this, the more momentum you will have during Black Friday Cyber Monday when you finally announce the sale.

Test and optimize for conversion

Illustration featuring the word "Optimization" and a checkmark.

10. Consider creating abandoned cart emails

According to Barilliance, the average cart abandonment rate on Black Friday 2018 in the US was 82%. Of course, you’ll want to try and keep that number as low as possible.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is by setting up targeted abandoned cart emails. This way, when a customer adds a product to their cart but leaves your store, you can use a compelling email to bring them back to complete their purchase.

Shopify makes this easy with built-in abandoned checkout recovery and a wide selection of abandoned cart apps in the Shopify App Store.

11. Think mobile first

Last year, Shopify stores saw more mobile purchases than desktop purchases across all of BFCM for the second year in a row.

We should expect this trend to continue. What this means for you as a store owner is that thinking mobile first is essential.

What’s your store’s user experience like on mobile? Is it easy and intuitive to make purchases on your store? Is your website mobile responsive?

All of Shopify’s themes are responsive and mobile-friendly, but if you’re not using Shopify, test how your store looks on a mobile device.

Free Reading List: Conversion Optimization for Beginners

Turn more website visitors into customers by getting a crash course in conversion optimization. Access our free, curated list of high-impact articles below.

Get the free reading list

While you’re looking at your store on mobile, make sure to examine your checkout process as well. Especially on mobile, filling in every field required to check out can be a conversion killer, which is why options like Shopify Pay and Google Pay can provide an added boost to your mobile conversions this year if you’re using Shopify Payments. They let customers autofill saved information, reducing the keystrokes or clicks required to make a purchase.

12. Test your site and get feedback

What if you could get inside the head of a potential customer and listen to their thoughts as they navigate your store for the first time? There could be issues you don’t notice or areas of your store where you can make simple improvements—a fresh pair of eyes is the perfect way to surface these otherwise hidden opportunities.

There are many ways to get someone to go through your store and give you feedback, but one great option is UserTesting. UserTesting lets you set parameters about who you’d like to test your store. Then you can watch a random user fitting that description browse your website so you can listen to their feedback.

Feedback is valuable, but you also shouldn’t make unconsidered changes to your store based on a single source of negative feedback. Instead, look for common snags or areas where visitors are frequently confused or frustrated, and brainstorm solutions to make things easier or more explicit, or ways to remove the hurdle altogether.

13. Place tracking pixels

If you run paid campaigns such as Facebook Ads or Google Smart Shopping campaigns, both of which you can set up directly in Shopify, you should place retargeting pixels on your website so you can remarket to your holiday sale traffic. Here’s how to find and generate tracking pixel code for your website with Facebook Ads and Google AdWords:

For help on where and how to paste these code snippets using Shopify, read our documentation.

Market and promote your products

Illustration featuring the word "Marketing" and a checkmark.

In 2017, one ad agency found that on Black Friday, click-through rates more than doubled across all of their clients’ ads. Shoppers are generally more receptive to ads during the holiday season, but because this is an established trend, you’ll find the price of running ads during BFCM typically goes up as well.

But even with increased costs, your customers may be paying more attention to ads during this time. That means marketing can play a significant role in the success of your holiday sales. As mentioned, the first step to getting ready is to plan your ads and ad creative ahead of time. Here are a few other marketing preparations you should consider for the holiday season.

14. Retarget past visitors and customers

If you’ve already set up a Facebook Pixel on your store, now’s the time to use it. When you retarget past visitors, you’ll reach people who may have forgotten about your store and wouldn’t have checked out your sale otherwise.

Exclusive to Shopify merchants, Kit is a free virtual assistant app that helps you run Facebook and Instagram ads—including retargeting. If you’ve not had a chance to meet Kit, now is a great time to try it to take some marketing work off your plate.

You can also retarget customers that have previously purchased from your store. With existing customers being generally easier to reach and market to than brand new customers, shoppers you’ve already sold to in the past should be especially receptive to your latest Black Friday Cyber Monday sales.

15. Begin pitching to blogs and gift guides

Sometimes it can take weeks of back-and-forth with a website before you finalize a sponsorship or partnership agreement. That isn’t to say last-second sponsorships or partnerships aren’t possible, but it’s always better to contact blogs and gift guide websites earlier rather than later.

Find websites talking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals or running gift guides in your niche, and get in touch with them to feature your products and planned sales. If you need help with this, here’s a guide to securing press coverage in unconventional ways (with a $0 budget).

16. Start your email marketing campaigns

During last year’s BFCM, Shopify merchants saw their highest conversion rates from email marketing.

This year, email marketing will likely play an even more significant role in the success of most stores’ holiday sales. Every business owner should have a few email marketing campaigns planned to bring customers back to your website so they can act on your holiday sale offers.

Begin planning, creating, and scheduling the emails you’ll send out during your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Here are some ideas for email campaigns you can put together:

  • Announcing Black Friday Cyber Monday sale: You can send details of the sale ahead of time to existing subscribers, and a reminder email when the sale officially begins.
  • Last reminder before the sale ends: With the volume of emails sent over BFCM, it can’t hurt to remind subscribers that your sale is almost over to make sure they’re aware. Plus, you’ll inevitably get some procrastinators jumping on the expiring deals.
  • Exclusive sale for email subscribers: One way to capture attention in a crowded BFCM inbox is to send a deal that’s only available to your list, on top of your publicly-posted deals. Make sure to tease it on other channels, like Instagram, and let people know when to expect the subscriber-only offer.
  • Sneak-peek of upcoming promotions: Whether your BFCM offer is a discount, an exclusive product, free shipping, donations to charity, or a totally-unique-to-you promotion, start teasing it early to your subscribers so they’re on the lookout for the announcement. Send emails in the weeks leading up to BFCM with hints and teasers.

Plan out your seasonal sales

Illustration featuring the word "Sales" and a checkmark.

17. Reward loyal customers

Black Friday Cyber Monday is an opportune time to build relationships with your previous customers and get them to come back.

Customer marketing is an opportunity to email and retarget your previous customers with your best deals. Give existing customers the chance to access a sale earlier or offer exclusive sales just for being a subscriber on your email list. Exclusive deals also act as an incentive for shoppers to leave their email before potentially leaving your site.

18. Build in scarcity where possible

The holiday shopping season naturally attracts many frantic shoppers looking for the best last-second deals. Offers go fast and customers move even faster, so don’t be shy about letting shoppers know when a deal is about to end or when a particular product is going to sell out, working some scarcity into your store. Consider including countdown timers until or “left in stock” alerts when time or a specific offer is limited.

Update your support process

Illustration featuring the word "Support" and a checkmark.

19. Integrate live chat

You should be easy to reach by customers (and potential customers) during Black Friday Cyber Monday. The last thing you want is to lose a sale because a potential customer couldn’t get an answer quickly enough. Check out the newly released Shopify Chat, our first native live chat function.

If you’re not ready or able to commit to having live chat staffed and monitored at all times, there are still ways to use live chat strategically as a small business. To get the most out of live chat during rush hour, consider enabling it:

  • Right after sending emails or launching promotions, make sure you’re available when you know there will be people clicking through from their inbox
  • On product pages you feature in your BFCM deals, to address any questions customers have before they buy
  • During key purchasing moments, like when someone is viewing their shopping cart

Your live chat tool should be able to give you the control you need to make sure you’re displaying the chat window to the right people, at the times that work best for you.

20. Ensure you have quick and courteous responses

The holidays are a potentially hectic time for customer support, whether it’s managed by you or your team. Part of providing a fantastic experience is having a quick response time—the other part is being courteous and respectful all of your customers.

Having a few standard phrases and replies already prepared will enable you to deliver more consistent, helpful service with minimal upfront effort.

It’s also worth brushing up on how to handle upset customers effectively and empathetically, and what makes for genuinely delightful customer service—getting this information out of your head and written down somewhere makes it easy to share it with your team or any extra help you’ve hired for the holiday rush.

Be memorable this year and customers will remember to come back next year.

21. Offer easy and hassle-free returns

The holidays aren’t just stressful for business owners; they’re also a frantic time for shoppers. Be the business that cares and goes above and beyond the call of duty for their customers.

Make sure your return policy is clear, fair, and well-communicated on your store. It might just convince on-the-fence customers to pull the trigger, since you’re showing confidence in your product and removing potential risk.

Track everything and analyze results

Illustration featuring the word "Tracking" and a checkmark.

22. Set up Google Analytics

Knowledge is power and understanding how your customers shop in your online store is crucial knowledge. Using Google Analytics, a powerful and free traffic tracking tool will allow you to understand your shoppers even more. . If you’re not set up with Google Analytics on your store, or you just want to ensure you’re using it correctly, check out our beginner’s guide to Google Analytics.

23. Get familiar with your Shopify Reports

There’s a lot you can learn from your Shopify analytics, including tracking how your marketing efforts are converting to visits and sales. Since marketing is such a fundamental part of BFCM, make sure to brush up on how you can track, measure, and improve your marketing campaigns directly in Shopify with Marketing Analytics.

24. Set up heatmaps and other tools to understand user behavior

Where are visitors clicking? How do customers read your product pages? While Shopify’s Analytics tools are powerful enough for most businesses, you might want to consider using additional user-tracking tools to gather detailed data during Black Friday Cyber Monday.

Woman working at computer
Image credit: Lucky Orange

You can check out heatmap apps in the Shopify App Store as well as looking at some advanced analytics tools in the Shopify App Store.

25. Keep an eye on the competition

Paying attention to your competition’s marketing efforts can help you gather ideas for your own Black Friday Cyber Monday deals. The easiest way to sleuth on your competitors is to subscribe to their email list. Study the types of emails they send, and how frequently they send them. But remember, don’t be “too inspired.”

Additionally, keep tabs on competitors on social media and set up Google Alerts to see which websites are talking about them.

Post-Black Friday Cyber Monday

Illustration featuring the words "Post-BFCM" and a checkmark.

26. Turn seasonal shoppers into year-round customers

Why does your relationship with holiday shoppers need to end after the holidays? Instead, take steps to maintain and nurture your relationship with new customers you acquired during Black Friday Cyber Monday.

Keep your customers engaged year-round by staying active on social media and sending out post-sale emails to your subscribers. If those seasonal, one-time shoppers didn’t sign up to your email list or follow your social media accounts, then retargeting might be your next best option.

If you set up retargeting pixels, one-time shoppers can become customers you advertise to year-round. Bring them back to your website with enticing ad copy, and continue to expose them to your latest or most-relevant products.

27. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t

The holiday season is an excellent time for your business to learn from its mistakes as well as its successes. The lessons you learn have their own distinct value outside of revenue earned. That’s why it’s important to track everything and reflect on what worked and what didn’t.

As you implement new strategies and tactics this year, make sure to take notes (and screenshots) to document your decisions and the outcomes. These records will give you a benchmark for next year’s holiday season, while also allowing you to see what’s working for your business so you can do more of it.

Here’s to a successful Black Friday Cyber Monday

Preparation, planning, and starting earlier rather than later are the keys to a successful Black Friday Cyber Monday. This checklist should cover most of what you need to know for this year’s upcoming sale events. Hopefully, it puts you in a better position to succeed this holiday season.

If this is your first Black Friday Cyber Monday, treat it as a learning experience. Stay motivated and ambitious, set realistic expectations, and remember to enjoy the ride.

Thank you to Desirae Odjick and Shuang Shan for their contributions to this post!

More resources for making the most of BFCM:

Get a copy of our 27-point BFCM checklist

Print it out or keep this checklist handy as you prepare for BFCM 2019. It’s filled with tips, tools, and resources to help you sell your best this year.

Download the checklist

Photo of Corey Ferreira

About the author

Corey Ferreira

Corey Ferreira is a passionate entrepreneur, coconut water lover, and content creator at Shopify.

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5 Ways to Increase Your Ecommerce Sales with Pop-Ups and Banners

How are customers and potential customers finding your ecommerce store online?

If you’re lucky enough to be ranking at the top of Google search, then you’re probably getting around 36.4% of search traffic thanks to SEO for ecommerce businesses.

But whether or not you’re in the top spot on Google, let’s not forget that typical online readers only spend 15 seconds on a given page.

From the moment potential customers land on your online store, they need a reason to stay.

Attention spans are getting shorter and competition is getting stiffer. Attracting customers to your store is just the first step. If you can’t capitalize, your traffic won’t convert.

Thankfully, pop-ups and banners are still thriving.

Here is how to use them to drive engagement, and more importantly, increase your direct sales.

1. Deliver Exit-Intent Coupons to Prevent Bounces

Exit-intent overlays are explained as:

Before your visitors leave your site (or express “intent” to do so by moving their cursor to the top of their browser window) an overlay pops up in the same window with a message, prompt, or offer.

Here is an example of exit-intent in action:

Example of a popup on Help Scout's website.
(Source: Wishpond)

Note that your popups don’t always have to have the intent to sell.

Check out this example below of how GetVOIP. They use a popup to provide value to their audience by getting them to sign up for their email list, which promises to provide actionable tips to grow their bottom line.

Image of a popup on GetVoIP's website.
(Source: GetVoIP)

According to multiple studies, pop-ups still work. Very well.

Despite countless articles online proclaiming the death of pop-ups…

studies show they increase conversion rates drastically.

  • The average conversion rate for all pop-ups is 3.09%, higher than most PPC conversion rates.
  • The top-performing pop-ups generate a nearly 10% conversion rate on average.

If you can develop effective offers targeted to the right audience at the right time, you can generate high conversion rates.

And the best part is you don’t need to spend any money to do it.

Using the Marketing Overlay tool, you can create customizable exit-intent pop-ups to help reduce bounce rates and encourage sales:

Popup graphic.

The key with exit-intent overlays is accuracy. Specificity.

Is your customer browsing a category page for men’s basketball shoes?

If so, make your exit-intent very specific and target the discount directly on the products they were browsing.

Use a lead magnet to offer a coupon for 20% off on those hot products they were browsing and be sure to back that with your email marketing software. One strategy that’s been converting well for ecommerce marketers is using an interactive signup form.

If you want a more generalized campaign, be sure your discount is compelling enough for them to use. Make it simple and easy. Instead of trying to convince them to provide an email address, have them activate a coupon for nothing in exchange.

This will help you improve your ecommerce conversions fast.

2. Run Pre-Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are notorious days for online deals.

In fact, over 174 million Americans shop online during both of these days. And the average person spends $335 during this period, too.

This is fantastic news for online retailers, right?

Yes, but also, no.

While consumer buying is at an all-time high during this period, competition is also fierce.

Every store you can think of is running deals on these days. And while you should too, you can do more to ensure that you are increasing your ecommerce sales.

How?

By running promotions before Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

(Source: BGR)

While most online stores are only giving deals on these two days, you can capitalize on discount fever by offering coupons beforehand.

From personal experience working in ecommerce, starting a promotion in advance can skyrocket sales.

Here is a game plan that I’ve used with ecommerce clients to increase online sales during this time:

  • Start your deals at the beginning of November
  • 20% off orders over $50
  • 30% off orders over $100
  • 35-40% off on Black Friday

Now that you’ve got the plans in place. It’s time to execute using pop-ups and banners.

Using the Link Promotion tool via AddThis, you can easily set up banners or pop-ups to promote your deals:

AddThis Link Promotion tool.

Use a tool like WordPress or other landing page software to link directly to a category page on your online store that contains all of your products on sale.

In addition to static banners, test out pop-ups and exit-intent to capture more sales:

AddThis Popup

Pop-ups and banners will help you naturally promote your current and upcoming deals.

Feel free to get creative with your banners by using them to provide helpful resources to readers, like this example above from MyRoofingPal that connects potential customers with local roofing companies in their area.

Banner at the top of MyRoofingPal website.
(Source: MyRoofingPal)

3. Create Urgency With Limited-Time Offers

When users land on your online store, what are you doing to drive sales?

Customers can browse all they want, but browsing doesn’t put money in your pocket. Browsing doesn’t help your bottom line and direct sales.

Instead of passively waiting for them to convert, you need to take action.

How? By driving urgency. Something that ecommerce sales platforms like Amazon have almost perfected in the last few years:

Amazon check-out screen.
(Source: Amazon)

In other words, there’s a reason why Amazon has over 100 million Amazon Prime members. Customers want their goods and they want them now.

Check out the image above to see how they induce urgency in online shoppers. Want your product faster? You need to order it now.

Consider the following offers to use on your pop-ups and banner ads to mimic this effect:

  • Free shipping if you purchase in the next 15 minutes
  • $10 off your order for the next 4 hours
  • Order within the next 2 hours to get 20% off

Keep your offers on a tight schedule. Anything over 12 hours will be too long, creating less urgency.

The real goal here is to create the fear of missing out. By putting a time-limit on the offer, users feel that they are missing a deal if they don’t capitalize.

This can help you reduce your cart abandonment and drive more sales from the traffic you’re already getting.

4. Provide Free Shipping For the First 50 Sales

One of my favorite tactics in ecommerce sales is offering a big deal for a limited amount of customers.

One that I have used with great success is:

Providing free shipping for the first 50 sales of the day. Free shipping is a big winner in 2019. Data shows that 93% of consumers would be more likely to buy from you if you offered free shipping. 

According to Statista, the number one reason why people use Amazon Prime is free, fast shipping:

Graph depicting stats on reasons why people use Amazon.
(Source: Statista)

Free shipping can transform your sales. But, the only problem is–ree shipping eats away at your bottom line. Especially if your goods are harder to ship.

For example, shipping a necklace is much cheaper than shipping a television.

To make up for this, if you don’t already offer free shipping on items, only offer them to the first 50 customers in a given day, week, or month, depending on the scale of your current store.

The more sales and traffic you currently have, the shorter the timeframe you will have to use.

Consider running this promotion even just once or twice a month (or year) to generate hype and interest.

5. Run Mobile-Specific Banners

Customers expect your online store to be mobile-optimized.

Currently, most of the traffic online is mobile. And according to research, 61% of mobile online store visitors will leave your store immediately (and won’t return) if they have a poor experience.

Making your ecommerce store design responsive and optimized is critical.

So, pop-ups on mobile should generally be avoided, as they take up too much real estate on screen and can hinder the browsing and buying journey.

Instead, you should run mobile-specific banners that don’t take up the entire screen.

To communicate value, banners across the top of your online store are your best bet, like this example from Eterneva, a company turning ashes into diamonds:

Mobile-specific banner on a mobile site.
(Source: Eterneva)

Notice how they have a subtle ‘order kit’ button placed strategically in the top right of their banner in a way that is mobile friendly and more likely to get clicks.

Having these banners on mobile will ensure you communicate your offers without destroying the user experience.

Conclusion

Ecommerce is more competitive than ever, and attention spans are lower than ever. Getting consistent traffic to your online store is hard enough, let alone getting those visitors to buy your products.

Using banners and pop-ups, you can communicate deals effectively and keep their attention.

Try specific exit-intent pop-ups to prevent bounce rates and drive more action. Promote your latest deals and sales before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Create urgency using limited-time offers. And provide free shipping to the first 50 sales to further induce urgency and drive sales.

What are some ways that you have increased your ecommerce sales with pop-ups and banners?


Adam Enfroy is a writer, content marketing consultant, and strategic partnerships manager for BigCommerce. With 10+ years of digital marketing experience, he’s passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships and software to scale digital growth. Adam lives in Austin, TX and writes about affiliate marketing programs and scaling your online influence on his blog, adamenfroy.com.

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How to Create a Wholesale Channel and Sell to Other Retailers

sell-wholesale-hero.jpg

Imagine you could focus more of your efforts on product design and innovation, beautifying your brand, or streamlining operations, instead of finding customers and worrying about sales.

For some entrepreneurs, these things come more naturally than marketing, which can make sustaining and growing a business a struggle. Luckily, there’s a way you can pass on some of (or even all of) that responsibility to other businesses by creating a wholesale channel.

Table of contents

What is wholesaling?

Wholesaling is the act of selling your products in bulk to another retailer, usually at a discounted price, who then sells the product to their customers.

It’s important to note that creating a wholesale channel for your business still allows you to sell your product to the end consumer.

how selling wholesale works
As a wholesaler, you can sell to both consumers and other retailers. You don’t have to choose one or the other.

The first examples of wholesale businesses that might come to mind are probably large brick-and-mortar department stores, like Walmart or Zellers. Wholesale is, after all, often thought of as an old fashioned business model that’s being disrupted by newer direct-to-consumer ecommerce businesses.

However, in more recent years, wholesale has experienced a revolution of its own due to online marketplaces like Amazon, Wish and Wayfair. While ecommerce enables direct-to-consumer brands to thrive by lowering the barrier to setting up shop, wholesale still offers consumers a convenient shopping experience where they can find everything they need in one place.

Why create a wholesale channel?

This newer version of wholesaling, which often takes place in online marketplaces or through smaller boutiques, has advantages that are attracting direct-to-consumer brands too. Here are 3 reasons why opening up a wholesale channel might benefit your business.

1. Increase sales without increasing marketing spend

As a direct-to-consumer brand, a large amount of your budget needs to be allocated to marketing in order to grow. For every new customer acquired, there is often a cost, after all.

By selling your products wholesale, you can let another business shoulder the cost of acquiring customers, and reinvest your time and money in other areas of your business.

2. Leverage other brands’ audiences to sell your product

Just as acquiring new customers costs money, building a loyal audience of fans and customers is not an easy feat. By creating a wholesale partnership with an established brand that has already made a name for itself within your niche, you can leverage the company’s goodwill to get your product into the hands of consumers.

3. Enter new markets with less risk

Expanding your business to a new country or territory comes with a series of associated costs like warehousing and logistics, or starting from scratch marketing to a population that hasn’t heard of you. Finding another retailer with an existing presence and supply chain in a new market can help reduce the risk if international expansion by cutting your setup costs.

Ultimately, a wholesale business model benefits both the retailer and the wholesaler by creating efficiencies. The retailer gets a new, often complementary, product to sell without investing in research and development, and the wholesaler saves money on marketing by gaining direct access to an existing customer base.

Coming up with a wholesale pricing strategy

Pricing is one of, if not the most, crucial components of creating a successful wholesale business. When selling direct to customers on your own website or in your own retail store, you get to keep whatever profit margin you set for yourself, which often can be north of 50%.

With wholesale, businesses typically give retailers a 50% discount off their regular retail price. The steep discount is to allow retailers to wholesale your product to their customers, while still retaining some profit margin as well. Here is an example of a healthy pricing strategy, where a wholesale business would be retaining 50% profit margin on wholesale orders and 75% profit margin on direct-to-consumer sales.

Product SKU Product Cost Wholesale Price MSRP
SLK101B $20.00 $40.00 $80.00
SPL103B $12.00 $24.00 $48.00
SPL107B $6.00 $12.00 $24.00
A profitable pricing strategy for wholesale requires a business to be able to maintain a profit margin while offering retailers 50% off MSRP.

Therefore, in order to create a successful wholesale business, you will need to be able to offer a large discount off of your retail price to those willing to wholesale your product. This can sometimes pose various risks for small businesses, including not being profitable.

Luckily, there are ways you can price your product for wholesale to mitigate the risk of not being profitable. One way is to offer a discount based on purchase order quantities. This way, retailers will be encouraged to place larger orders to get a better margin upon resale of your product. Many wholesale businesses even set minimum order quantities (MOQs) that retailers must buy in order to carry their product.

When you decide to wholesale your product and have it carried by multiple different stores, you can sometimes run into issues with competing retailers undercutting each other when it comes to price. This is why creating a MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is an important element of your wholesale pricing strategy.

An MSRP is often part of a contract that a business will give to a retailer that wants to sell their products. It guarantees that the retailer will stick to the suggested retail price so that the product pricing will be the same wherever it is found in stores or online. Usually, the MSRP is found alongside individual products on a wholesale storefront, or on a sales sheet or product brochure sent to prospective retailers who wish to carry your product.

One thing to consider when setting up an MSRP agreement is whether or not you want to allow discounting around holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or specify certain times you might want to discount the product on your own website to customers.

As the wholesale supplier you get to set the rules that your retailers have to comply with, but maintaining a fair balance with pricing is essential to making your retailers successful. If your retailers are able to make a profit selling your product, they will continue to come back and place larger orders.

3 ways to set up your wholesale channel

When it comes to creating your wholesale business online, you first need to consider whether you want to create a pure wholesale business or offer a wholesale option in addition to selling directly to consumers through your own store.

There are multiple ways you can approach this and what you choose will ultimately depend on your context.

1. Password protect your wholesale store

If you are considering only selling your product wholesale through other retailers, you will need to create a password protected online store so that only your retailers can place orders at your discounted price.

The easiest way to lock your online store is through Shopify’s password protection feature, available in the Shopify admin.

password protect option in shopify store
Your Shopify store can be password protected under Online Store > Preferences.

By creating a password protected online store, you can set up all your products with a discounted price for your retailers to purchase.

If you are running a larger wholesale business and are worried about your password getting out to unapproved retailers, you might want to look into a more sophisticated password protection app like Locksmith.

locksmith shopify app
The Locksmith app allows you to lock individual products, collections, and variants.

Locksmith has many customizable features, which gives you advanced control over who can see your store and what products they can purchase. Instead of creating one generic password, customers can create accounts and set up their own unique password.

You can also grant customers access to products by applying tags to their profile, sharing a secret link with them, personalizing your inventory based on what country they’re browsing from, along with many other conditions.

locksmith customer accounts
With Locksmith you can choose which customers have access to what parts of your store, and how you share that access with them. 

2. Use Shopify to open a separate wholesale storefront

For businesses that already have a direct-to-consumer store, but want to create a wholesale channel for retail businesses to buy from, there are several options available. The simplest one would be setting up a second Shopify store with a different URL, and using one of the two options listed above to password protect it.

If your company is doing a high volume of sales, you can consider upgrading to Shopify Plus and take advantage of its wholesale channel feature. On Shopify Plus, you can create a wholesale channel within your existing store that is password protected.

james brand wholesale storefront
The James Brand‘s password-protected wholesale storefront.

The wholesale channel creates a wholesale storefront using your existing products, so there is very little additional work involved in setting up this channel. You can also customize pricing by customer groups, using percentages off or volume-based discounts. Best of all, your sales reports are all separated from your direct-to-consumer sales within Shopify reports.

3. Use a wholesale app to create a wholesale channel

Another way to create a wholesale channel on your Shopify store is with the assistance of a Shopify app like Wholesale Club. With Wholesale Club, businesses can break up their retail customers into “tiers” which are assigned specific discounts off of regular retail prices.

discount tiers shopify app
Discount tiers on the Wholesale Club app can be assigned using customer tags.

The app also has a built-in marketing feature that can be used to incentivize customers to buy more in order to get a larger discount.

volume based wholesale discounts
Volume-based discounts can be given to wholesale customers based on cart total and item quantity.

With Wholesale Club, only customers who have approved retailer accounts and are logged in will get access to wholesale pricing. This allows you to create a secure wholesale channel in addition to your direct-to-consumer one, without the need to set up a separate store or product catalog.

Accepting payments for wholesale orders

One way wholesale differs from direct-to-consumer transactions is in the payment terms usually expected from your retail partners. Unlike a regular sale, if a retailer is buying a large quantity of your product they may ask for payment terms that are often referred to as “Net X”: an agreement that the net payment is expected in full within a set number of days (e.g. Net 30 for payment within 30 days).

If a retailer is asking for these preferred payment terms, it means that they want to be able to pay you, as a vendor, within a certain number of days of receiving their order. Shipping a large order to a retailer before they’ve paid you can be risky, especially for small businesses. This is why it is often suggested that you ask for references and perform some due diligence before agreeing to these terms.

How to add net payment terms to your store

Both of the Shopify apps Wholesaler and Wholesale Club allow you to offer customers net payment terms. Customers can be tagged according to the payment terms agreed upon with them, and when they shop on your store they can place unpaid orders.

wholesaler shopify app
With Wholesaler, tagging customer profiles will give them net payment privileges

How to collect payment from wholesale customers

When it comes to actually collecting a later payment, there are a few options for businesses managing their wholesale channel online. One is to record wholesale orders as draft orders on your Shopify store, which allows you to email invoices to your customers through Shopify for them to pay by credit card at a later date. With draft orders, you can also record a payment via cheque by marking an order as paid once the payment is received.

shopify draft orders to create invoices
Under Drafts, store owners can create orders and send customers invoices to be paid at a later date.

Afterpay is another potential solution to taking late payments. The app is usually used for direct-to-consumer sales, allowing stores to offer customers the ability to pay for their purchases in installments.

afterpay checkout
Allowing customers to use Afterpay at checkout lets them pay for their order later in installments.

This same feature could be used for a wholesale channel or store, allowing you to collect payment information from your retail customers and only charge them later in installments. An app like Afterpay would allow you to automate the payment collection process, without the need to track and check up manually on unpaid invoices.

Finding wholesale customers

Now that you have your wholesale pricing strategy figured out, and a wholesale channel setup on your store, it’s time to search for prospective wholesale customers. But where do you find these retailers?

Using your direct-to-consumer website

Oftentimes a retail customer will actually find you first. If you’ve had success with direct-to-consumer advertising, you may have already received messages from distributors who want to carry your product online or in their physical stores.

When you are advertising to consumers online, you are also reaching other business owners who might be interested in carrying your product. This is why it is important to keep a link in your website footer for wholesale inquiries. This provides an easy way for anyone browsing your website to contact you about potential opportunities.

rockwell razors wholesale link in footer
Rockwell Razors keeps an easily accessible link on their website footer to a wholesale inquiry form.

Attending trade shows

Tradeshows are one of the most traditional places that a wholesale business will go to make connections and find retail partners. There are specialty trade shows for nearly every category of retail, from baby apparel and athletic leisure clothing to furniture and home decor. There are even trade show directories that will list top trade shows according to categories.

Trade shows, however, can be expensive. They often require traveling to the location that the show is taking place, and a substantial fee for a booth if you want to exhibit there. Although trade shows are a place to make great connections and find new customers, it is worth attending them first and walking the floor to make sure it’s worthwhile before deciding to exhibit.

Joining a dropship or wholesale marketplace

Another way to get your product on other retailers sites is through online supplier marketplaces like Doba or Modalyst.

Many retailers are looking to dropship products through their ecommerce store and are looking for suppliers locally. In these marketplaces, you can list products from your Shopify store (usually for a small fee) and start dropshipping orders to retailers as they generate sales for you.

Reaching out to complimentary brands

One added benefit of a wholesale channel is that unlike direct-to-consumer, you don’t always need a large volume of customers in order to grow. If you have a handful of high-quality retailers who are successful at selling your product, they can come back and continue to place larger orders again and again.

To find these select partners, it’s worth reaching out personally over social media, phone, or email to a company that you believe would be a great fit. A business that sells complementary products would be a good place to start.

One example of a wholesale collaboration between two complementary brands can be found with Pehr and Stokke:

collaborating on wholesale
Pehr and Stokke formed a partnership, and now sell each other’s complementary products on their respective websites.

Stokke creates and sells a line of cribs and baby furniture for design-minded families. Pehr created a line of their 100% organic sheets that are now sold on the Stokke website, while Pehr now carries Stokke’s cribs on their website.

Some of the best wholesale partnerships are made through personal contact and establishing trust and rapport in real life. So if you see a brand you admire, it’s worth reaching out to them if you believe working together would be beneficial on both sides.

Selling wholesale: A new (old) business model

The rise of ecommerce has allowed direct-to-consumer brands to launch faster and grow digitally. As a result, many had written off wholesale as a fading retail trend. However, a new wave of wholesale businesses are actually thriving in the era of ecommerce by rethinking the way wholesale works.

Both direct-to-consumer brands looking for new sales channels, and entrepreneurs who want to save on marketing spend, are opening up wholesale businesses. With the right pricing strategy and the proper setup, you can start opening your business up to new revenue-generating partnerships and see your product flourish amongst other complementary brands.

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What Ecommerce Sellers Need to Watch for When Expanding to Marketplaces

Amazon has revolutionized the online marketplace, but that doesn’t mean businesses are only interested in selling on a single platform. Diversification of marketplaces remains a key prospect, and given that each platform has distinct requirements, managing a multichannel ecommerce strategy can be an arduous task.

According to an April 2019 survey by ecommerce management platform Feedvisor, more than half of US Amazon marketplace merchants also sell on eBay; close to half sell on their own ecommerce platforms and more than one in three also sell with Walmart.

Overall, diversifying to other marketplace platforms was said to be a 2019 business goal for 35% of Amazon sellers, per Feedvisor. And not only are ecommerce entities growing their marketplaces, these platforms are also adapting to court Amazon’s sellers and buyers.

Walmart’s marketplace represents more than 90% of all available products on its website, according to a report from Marketplace Pulse. (Per eMarketer data, Walmart is the third-largest ecommerce entity in the US by total sales, behind Amazon and eBay.) Even Google is eyeing a piece of the online marketplace with its recently announced revamp of Google Shopping. And eBay—considered the pioneer of the online marketplace—is bolstering its fulfillment services to more closely resemble Amazon’s model.

For sellers, expanding to multiple marketplaces and navigating the nuances of each platform can be a logistical challenge. We spoke with Brian Roizen, co-founder and chief architect at Feedonomics, a management platform for ecommerce sellers, about what some of these common obstacles look like.

What are some friction points that businesses selling on multiple marketplaces face?

Every marketplace and channel has its own set of distinct feed requirements. Some of them, like Google Shopping or Google Shopping Actions, allow you to have 70 characters in your title. But others, like Amazon, allow for 200 characters. And that’s really just the first stumbling point. As you look at the feed specifications for each marketplace, they’re all different.

How do these nuances impact the way sellers list products?

The differences really need to be evaluated in context. When you look at something like the title—if you only get 70 characters on Google, you really have to make those 70 characters count. You need to make sure that whatever people are searching for on Google Shopping Actions or Amazon matches those limitations. You need to be selective about what you include.

If someone searches for something like “running shoes” that doesn’t have the brand in it, it doesn’t have the size or color, it’s really just the noun. They’re clearly not ready to buy that product. They’re more in that research phase. If someone searches for something like “Nike Air Max running shoes, size 12, black,” they’re probably ready to buy that product. But if you don’t have those words in your actual product title, chances are you’re not going to show up. And if you do show up, it’s often a consequence of having to pay for that privilege. So you’ll probably have to pay Google or Amazon something on the pay per click (PPC) side, which most marketers would like to avoid if they can.

What other product catalog considerations should sellers take into account?

If you are not the brand owner, you need to make sure that your product descriptions match what is already on Amazon or eBay. We sometimes see those common errors resulting in anywhere from 10% to 30% of all your products not being able to be listed.

What about managing data across multiple marketplaces?

That can be difficult. The first and maybe the most obvious thing you have to do is initially list that data. But with most merchants and retailers, their product sets are changing. If you look at some fast-fashion companies, every week or two weeks, they’re turning maybe 20% to 30% of their entire product set. And so the challenge becomes: How do we, on a recurring basis, dynamically optimize our product data for Amazon? And then as you expand to eBay, Walmart, Google Shopping Actions and Instagram Checkout, how do you do this for every channel? So you may want to structure different rules for different channels.

So it’s really about managing inventory?

It comes down to a scalability question. For example, we have a client who sells one-of-a-kind surfboards. They would sell that surfboard on their website, and then 5 minutes later someone would want to buy that same surfboard on Amazon. And they just sold out of it on their website, and they only have one in stock. So they have to refund it, and the customer could give them a bad review.

The consequences can be pretty dour because anyone selling on marketplaces knows that Amazon can be very harsh. You can get your entire account suspended if you start to accrue even a small percentage of bad reviews. And part of how you can do that is with order automation. If your team is manually logging in once a day and fulfilling those orders, that’s a huge laborious task. So a lot of what we’ve seen is that a lot of merchants want to fulfill it in one centralized place. That tends to be their ecommerce platform, whether it’s Shopify, Magento or Salesforce Commerce Cloud.