10 Crazy and Effective Call-to-Action Tips for E-commerce Product Pages

10 Crazy and Effective Call-to-Action Tips for E-commerce Product Pages

Business & Entrepreneurship

Call to action marketing is just that: a request to your reader to take some further action. That action can be anything from “Download Our E-book”, “Join Our Mailing List”, or simply “Add to Cart”. In the e-commerce world, every call to action has one eventual goal: conversion, a.k.a. a sale.

Typically, calls to action appear on buttons designed to capture the reader’s attention. Their visual appeal, placement and language can make or break a site’s conversion rate. This is a case where paying attention to seemingly minor details can make a huge difference in a business’ success. The following call-to-action tips for e-commerce ensure that you’re taking all the right details into account.

1) Action!

Start your call to action with a verb. This keeps the text active and addresses the reader directly. Great examples include: Download, Buy or Join.

Call-to-Action Buttons2) Consider Color

Call to action marketing must always walk the line between too subtle and too intrusive. This is especially true when you consider the color of you CTA (call-to-action) buttons. Try a contrasting color that fits within your existing color scheme. Orange and green are generally preferred for CTA buttons, but feel free to try some A/B testing to tweak your choice and see which color works best for you.

3) Shape Shift

The shape of a button alone can set it apart from the other graphics on your e-commerce product page. Try the super sophisticated “squint test” to see if your button stands out. As with color, test to see which shape is most effective with your audience.

4) Use a Large Font

Every customer should be able to read the text easily and clearly. Stay away from anything so large that it comes off as obnoxious, but ask yourself if 81-year-old you would be able to read your call to action without squinting.

5) Short Crisp Text

Call to action marketing language is like poetry. It needs to convey a lot with as few words as possible. Long phrases on a button are unappealing and hard to read.

6) Stick to First Person

Using first person keeps the text relatable and keeps the focus on the reader. Consider the difference between “Download Our E-Book” and “Get My Free E-Book.” Call to action marketing should always center on the reader’s needs.

Create Urgency7) Create Urgency

This is a time-tested strategy. Buyers who feel they might miss out on a deal are more likely to click through. Try substituting, “Join Our List” with “Sign Up and Get 50% Off Today.”

8) Above the Fold

This placement term harkens back to the days of newspapers, where any important information needed to be printed on the front page, above the fold, so it would be seen immediately. The internet equivalent is placement on the first screen, above where a reader would have to scroll down. If you want people to click your call to action, they have to see it first.

Placement Order9) Placement Order

When you have multiple options for your user, always highlight the most important call to action first. For example, ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’ should be more prominent than ‘Save For Later’ or ‘Share With Friends’.

10) Spice it Up

Don’t be afraid to highlight your call to action buttons with tasteful graphics. Or, if your design is meant to be a bit cheesy, feel free to play with that and add animated objects, such as stars or arrows, to highlight the CTA. Just make sure you always stop short of headache-inducing visual clutter.

If Content is King, Automation will Rule

If Content is King, Automation will Rule

Business & Entrepreneurship

We’ve reached a threshold in the world of writing and the bravest companies are stepping into a future of automated content creation. New algorithms and understanding about machine learning have changed the nature of automated content generation and although your computer is still unlikely to produce the next Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the world of simpler prose like e-commerce product descriptions is changing profoundly.

E-Commerce Product Descriptions: The Need for Content

The need for product descriptions grows in tandem with the e-commerce industry. The number of new product descriptions listed every day in this massive industry is due to:

 Ecommerce Content Requirement

  • The exponential growth of e-commerce
  • The increasing number of unique products available
  • The different variations of each product (such as sizes or colors)
  • The requirement for different brand voices in each merchant space

Amid the need for more e-commerce product descriptions is the requirement for smart, conversion-oriented copy. While automated content generation can’t yet entirely replace human-written copy, the combination of automated content creation, human editing and machine learning offers a powerful advantage to e-tailers.

Manual Writing and Algorithmic Writing

E-commerce companies try to balance the need to reduce content creation costs while maintaining a high-quality standard for conversion-oriented product descriptions. Crowd-sourcing is a common solution, but frequently leads to lower quality writing as research and editing fall to the wayside in favor of a speedier content cycle.

Algorithms based on analytics are taking over the industry to help cope with the relentless content development cycle. While automated content creation isn’t perfect, it drastically reduces production cycle time and improves over time with machine learning and algorithmic adjustments. Because the algorithm improves with use and stays on top of consumer behavior trends, it starts with a solid, error-free baseline when writing product descriptions and continually improves. Users can set specific style rules, such as the use of the serial comma, rules about active and passive voice and brand-specific language.

Automated content creation:

  • Is data-driven
  • Provides factually correct product descriptions
  • Prevents human error
  • Adjust to each business’ needs

The CrewMachine Platform

Crewmachine Content Creation Platform

CrewMachine creates system-suggested baseline product descriptions rich in attribute data and search keywords

Product descriptions are the backbone of the e-commerce industry. They communicate with customers and deliver conversions. Producing unique and compelling product descriptions is a challenge for writers who may not be knowledgeable in every area and using manufacturer-provided product descriptions lowers SEO value.

A well-integrated automated content creation platform like CrewMachine creates system-suggested baseline product descriptions rich in attribute data and search keywords. These descriptions follow the best practices of leading marketplaces like Amazon and eBay and are up-to-date and appropriately formatted. Each seller retains the power to set tone and style rules to reflect the brand voice and bring a unique touch to the copy.

How to Beat Your Biggest Competitors on E-commerce Marketplaces?

How to Beat Your Biggest Competitors on E-commerce Marketplaces?

Business & Entrepreneurship

E-Commerce Competitor Analysis: How to Get Ahead

The e-commerce industry fosters fierce competition as businesses large and small vie for a leadership position. Even when you’ve cornered a market, shoppers are fickle and customer loyalty can’t be taken for granted. In order to get an edge on the competition, you need to know what it’s doing. This process is known as competitor analysis. We’ve outlined a few reasons why it’s important and listed some tips for effective e-commerce competitor analysis.

Don’t be Afraid to Stand OutDon’t be Afraid to Stand Out

When you’re competing against international giants, it’s important to be honest about where you can, and can’t compete. Mid-sized e-tailers and giant conglomerates are different animals and that should inform their business strategies. For example, don’t try to compete using the same model as a company that may have vast resources when you don’t. Instead, explore new business models to differentiate yourself. Exploit your differences as a strength and look for novel ways to leverage your advantage.

Understand the Demand

Before pouring all your resources into one area, test the demand and set your strategy accordingly. While research may be the least interesting part of an e-commerce business plan, it will help you plan your steps for a successful outcome. Consider running marketing demos online and offline to understand how consumers react to your new brand, product or concept.

Go MobileGo Mobile

As of May 2015, Google announced that mobile searches outnumber searches on PCs. Any business who isn’t optimizing its online presence for mobile devices is behind the curve. Customers share their shopping experiences, look for solutions online, and make recommendations through social media. And they do it on the go. They browse catalogs from the couch, compare prices while they’re at the mall, and place orders while they’re out running errands. If you’re not optimized for mobile, the time to do it is yesterday.

Watch Closely

Pay attention to your competitors’ businesses and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to learn, both from their successes and failures. This information is free and can be invaluable. All you have to do is pay attention.

Offer a Better Deal

Part of e-commerce competitor analysis is following your competition’s pricing models. If it’s practical, consider integrating repricing apps to help you monitor competitor prices. These apps help keep your prices in line with the competition and give you the option to offer a better deal.

Tips for Identifying Best Freelance Writers and Collaborating with them Efficiently

Tips for Identifying Best Freelance Writers and Collaborating with them Efficiently

Business & Entrepreneurship

It’s a known fact that a business relies heavily on content. After all, it is the written word that helps build brand awareness, increase the number of eyes on a website and improve rankings in search engines. Content is an asset that lives on your site through blogs, case studies, info graphs and white papers. So, it’s easy to see the growing need to hire writers who can churn out crisp blogs or spice up landing pages.

Setting up a content marketing team is one option. However, this can be impractical when the demand for content isn’t steady, and the setup cost is too high. That’s where freelance content writing comes into play. On-demand writers can fulfill your unique content requirements including everything from writing articles and speeches to newsletters. But how do you pick good freelancers from the vast amount of choices and collaborate with them efficiently from far away? Here we help you through this dilemma, so you can hire and retain professional freelance writers like a pro.

1. Identify why you Need a Writer and Know What Kind is Best for Your Content

Identifying Best Content WriterFirst things first, make a list of reasons for hiring a writer. This could include any of the following:

  • Demand for content is more than the existing marketing content team or leader can handle or deliver
  • You wish to update your website
  • You have a lot of content ideas that you want someone to work on

Once you know why you need a writer, figure out what kind of writer you need? Do you want just a writer or someone who doubles as an editor? A writer will create fresh content and convert your ideas into coherent stories. An editor will ensure your content is crisp, devoid of grammatical issues and adheres to your company guidelines. Do you want a writer to work on technical documents or white papers? If so, you’ll need a technical writer. If you’re looking at creating ad copies, you’ll need a copywriter.

2. Ask for Referrals

Once you’ve answered the above, you can begin your search. Start by asking your friends to refer a freelance content writer to you. It could be an agency they’ve worked with or a writer whose work they hold in high regard. In most cases, people recommend those whose skills they are confident about. Suggestions from such a close network have a semblance of trust in them, and the options are at least verified. Besides, you never know when you’ll be served a brilliant writer on a platter.

3. Hire an AgencyHire Agency

The second best option is to seek help from an agency. This works best if you’re on a big budget. Firms like Seliger & Associates, Creative Circle and Outsource are some good examples of a freelance content writing agency. Agencies staff several good writers with a variety of skill sets, they help you scale content, stick to a deadline, have low overheads and often house people with complimentary skills too. Make sure you read their reviews online, so you know what you’re getting into. It makes sense to hire one with a good reputation in the market. On the flip side, agencies come with issues like “high employee turnaround” meaning there may be overheads to train a new person so he/she can fit into the workflow.

4. Keep a Lookout for Good Writers on Blogs and Magazines

This is also a good way to find freelance content writers. The next time you read a blog or pick up a magazine keep your eyes open for words like “contributing writer,” “guest writer” or “freelance writer.” If you like what you read in the piece, jot their details down and ask the person if they’re looking for a new freelance content project. In case the person’s email isn’t given in the piece, look them up by name on Google. You’re sure to see the name pop up on a website or a LinkedIn page. On the side, research the person’s other work, so you get a clear picture of his ability.

5. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google can Help too

Social Media ChannelsTwitter and LinkedIn are great sources when searching for freelance content writers also. Just type in your specific requirement and initiate a search. Track down the one’s who impress you and contact them through their details. Of course! How can we leave out the god of searches “Google”? Type in your need, for example:” Freelance writer fashion and luxury” to get an accurate result from the search. Just writing “hire freelance content writer” is too general. You need to be specific to get the best results. Another thing you should do is run a Google search on the writer to map his online presence, voice and overall ability.

6. Review the Performance of Shortlisted Candidates before Hiring them

When you’ve picked out a few writers, ask them to send links or copies of their most recent work- both published and unpublished. Once you’re convinced of their ability, give them a paid writing assignment as a test with minimal instructions and guidance. See how well they attempt the topic. For a fair review, you can assign the same topic to all the shortlisted writers. However, for cost efficiency give separate topics to each one of them. Keep them on a trial basis for 30 to 60 days to know clearly what value they bring to your company and website. Once you’re convinced of their potential, look forward to partnering with them.

Hiring Freelance Content Writer7. Hiring Process of a Freelancer

Some writers may need a formal contract, while others need just a confirmation email that details the job description and remuneration. Remember, working with freelancers means getting work done remotely. For this reason, you need to draw out a clear communication method with them. Once hired, you should involve freelancers in editorial meetings and processes. Set up expectations from the start and regularly monitor deadlines and completion targets. Be open to feedback and discussion on roadblocks.

8. Familiarize them with Your Company, Customers and Content Workflow

A writer needs to have a clear understanding of your business, its brand voice, who its customers are, the pain points of your industry and the solution your company is providing. He/she should be primarily clear about the content marketing goals and processes. You want to give practical advice, churn thought leadership content or give opinions on trending topics. You should also explain the entire content creation workflow and let them know where they stand in it. This should help to answer questions like: Does their work get edited?; Who publishes the stories that they submit?; Who does work allocation for them?; Who do they inform in case they need time off?

9. Train the Freelancer on Tech Tools you Use

If your company runs and works on a particular tech platform, make sure you train your freelance content writer on it too. It could be as basic as Excel or as intelligent and sophisticated as Ezdia’s CrewMachine platform. Training the freelance writers will cut the content turnaround time considerably and yield quality. Don’t ever assume the writer will learn on his own. Spare time to train them properly.

10. Transparent Payment Process

Set the payment terms clearly right from the start. Freelance content writers can bill you on per-hour, per-word or per-article basis. You can pay local freelance writers through check or cash. You’ll have to use PayPal, Credit Card or wire transfer to pay an international writer. Inform the writers about the tax that will be deducted from the payment, so they don’t cry foul later. It is mandatory in India to deduct 10-percent in taxes before payout. It increases to 20-percent if the PAN is not provided. Draw up a payment process and get it acknowledged by the freelance writer or agency. Factor in the hike in payment to these writers as they become more experienced and established over time. Reward them with extra perks if you find their work exceptional. A clear and prompt payment method will go a long way in strengthening your bond with a freelance writer.

Set-up Fair Deadline11. Set up Fair Deadlines

A little courtesy goes a long way in attracting quality freelance talent. Consider a freelance content writer’s time, the information they require, the amount of work they have and the paycheck they expect to earn. Understanding all of this will help you be fair in setting up deadlines for them. Cut them some slack as creating content needs a world of focus and research. Help them if they are stumbling somewhere in the project. Provide them source material for the content. Don’t pressure them unnecessarily. Also, never make them run for their money. Be prompt in paying them.

12. Be Responsive to Emails or Texts

To work efficiently with freelance content writers, you need to maintain a reliable communication channel. Answer all emails and revert calls and texts from your freelance content writing person or team. This doesn’t mean that you need to start taking daily updates. Just don’t go missing for days on end. Since these are remote workers, it makes sense to involve them in befitting work situations. Say when you’re launching a new product or developing a new social media strategy. Such involvement will not just convert them into your brand’s cheerleader, but build a good rapport with you too.

 Play to Their Strengths13. Play to Their Strengths

If fashion and luxury-driven posts are not their cup of tea, don’t push your writer to write them. Instead, assign them projects that interest them or which they have a thorough knowledge of. Playing to the strength of your writer will give you quality content in less time. Don’t force a topic that they aren’t comfortable with. Make sure the freelance writer knows that he has the power to select what suits him best. This is a win-win situation on both sides.

14. Have a Good Feedback Mechanism in Place

A freelance content writer should be aware of a check-in system, which outlines who they report to and work with. Make sure there aren’t too many people that the freelancer reports too. The feedback should be given to the writer through a dedicated person and not through a whole bunch of people separately. Providing feedback and instructions in this complicated way is the surest way of losing a freelancer. The trick is to give clear directions and instructions minus micromanaging them. Tell the freelancers what needs to be done and let them go on to create the product sans interference.

5 Problems eCommerce Companies Know Well

5 Problems eCommerce Companies Know Well

Business & Entrepreneurship

1) Your Product Information And Content Are Disorderly

Your product data lives inside a set of unwieldy spreadsheets. Images for your listings reside in the cloud — or clouds, rather. Did you put that new lineup in iCloud or Dropbox? Writers send you their work over email, and you have a series of versions of the same product description saved to your hard drive and thumb drive. Attributes? That email was in here somewhere …

The point is you’ve got a lot of data to manage and putting it all together in one place either requires some technology or mad organizational skills. eCommerce companies need a user-friendly, cloud-based database where your data, writers and product images can work together in harmony.

2) So Many Files and Formats

So Many Files and FormatsYou know the pain of constantly reformatting, restructuring and renaming columns all too well. Your download from one marketplace can technically be uploaded to another, but you somehow it feels more like you’ve bent over backwards to make one data set work on a different platform.

What you need is a central repository for your data. One place where you can upload all the attributes and descriptions that let you organize your catalog in ways that make sense to you. One place that can organize all those massive spreadsheets with different column names and formatting.

3) Every Category Is Unique

Product attributes are some of the most valuable data you keep, but no two categories are alike. For instance, women’s maxi-dresses have vastly different attributes from than men’s dress shoes. Even the same product can have several variations, resulting in thousands of bits of critical data to keep straight.

If only there were a way to keep the kinds of attributes you need for each category connected to their respective products.

4) Your Gaps Are Showing

Gaps Are ShowingKeeping with the product attributes theme, there’s this: some attributes are essential for making the sale, and others are required by one platform then unavailable on another.

It’s tricky to spot small errors like missing attributes, images, spelling mistakes, and incomplete product descriptions when you’re crawling through spreadsheet after spreadsheet.

Gaps in your catalog cost you precious time when you post or update your listings.

How great would it be to have a helper collate each of your marketplace’s requirements and then bring them all together for you? Imagine how many more listings you could post in a day if the system suggested content to meet these needs, inserted it into your data and then gave it to you for review and publish.

5) It’s Hard To Track And Optimize Your SEO

Keywords, attributes, context: these things matter greatly to your listings. How do you know what’s working and what’s not? Sure, there’s always sales data to look at, but you can’t see the complete picture from dollars and cents alone.

Ranking tells you how well certain search phrases perform. Keyword research can help you identify widely-used terms that you might be missing. Putting the two together with all your catalog data puts you in control of your destiny as an online seller.

What’s A Seller To Do?

Seller ConcernsMention you’re a seller, and you’re bound to hear a lot of jargon and noise about how you can use this tool or that system to make more sales, but almost all of it overlooks you and your team and how much manual effort goes into a thriving online business.

Sure, you could just throw your content up and hope for the best, but you know that you get more sales when you pay attention to the details.You know that people make buying decisions based on emotion and take action based on the listing’s data, price and marketplace. That’s why you take a few moments to carefully review, rewrite and refine listings before you put them out there to the world.

What you need is a tool that keeps all of your attributes straight, checks for gaps and lets you and your human team collaborate without shuffling through shared files and emails.

You may not know it yet, but what you need is CrewMachine. This powerful tool:

  • Holds all of your product listing data in one place
  • Allows you and your crew to make edits to all of it without sharing files
  • Lets you work with one item at a time
  • Lets you work with the entire catalog or a small, specific batch
  • Tells you when you’re missing critical data
  • Helps you fill your gaps
  • Writes product descriptions for you based on data
  • Tracks keywords and page performance
  • Gives you templates to build your listings
  • Publishes directly to marketplaces
  • Exports your catalog into a neat, upload-friendly sheet

Sellers are using the Crewmachine Content Creation Platform to build, manage and perfect their catalogs with valuable product information and engaging content. To learn how Crewmachine can empower you to grow your business your way, drop us a line.

Amazon vs eBay vs My Own Store – Where to Start Selling Online

Amazon vs eBay vs My Own Store – Where to Start Selling Online

Amazon

Do I need a brick and mortar store as well as an online store?

Which platform should I choose- Amazon, Ebay or my own website?

A budding entrepreneur is surrounded by these and many other questions when starting a retail business. But sometimes these questions can lead someone into doing something that may not be their first choice. In many cases, the easiest option looks more appealing than something that would allow them to express their individuality and offer more opportunities. To overcome this situation, everyone thinking about starting an online store should spend some time channeling their knowledge and experience to find the best solution. Some things to keep in mind include:

1. Level of Experience

If you’re a novice when it comes to online selling, then it’s a good idea to choose a platform that is predefined and easy to use. Ebay is an ideal choice as the platform is user-friendly, has defined parameters for every product and category and guides a user throughout the process with the help of FAQ and Hints. After Ebay, Amazon takes 2nd place in providing a smooth experience, although it doesn’t offer free templates. To create a new eCommerce website or store, you need to be knowledgeable enough to design and set it up, or hire someone to do it for you. You also need to know how to promote your online store, otherwise, you’ll get no traffic, make no sales and it may be a complete failure.

2. Budget

Making a BudgetIt is all about money! Not only about what comes to you but also how much it costs to start the process. With Ebay, you can start with nothing at all and build up cash flow by selling old junk lying around the house using the free templates. As the cash flows in, you can add new items to your store. This is not the case with Amazon as you need to push new products in bulk which involves a hefty investment. If you’re thinking about an online store, you need to also think about the initial investment. Everything from designing and hosting to adding inventory costs money.

3. Long Term Plan

You should be very clear about your long-term goals. If you are looking for a side income source, then Ebay and Amazon are the best platforms to start with. But if you want to expand and turn the business into a full-time income, then you must consider all three platforms as potential sources. Not only will it divide the risk factor, but it will also help in gaining a wider customer base.

4. Time

Time ManagementIn a day-to-day scenario, most people have plenty of time to do the things they want or need to do. But when it comes to business, every second counts, and the time you spend on your business will affect the amount of income you bring in. With that in mind, decide if you want to start a full-time business or work a full-time job and start a part-time business. If first is the case, then opt for all three platforms and invest plenty of time to earn as much as possible. If later is the case, then open a store on Ebay or Amazon as they are both fairly easy and don’t take as much time.

5. Competition

One thing that no one can escape is competition. No matter where you go or where you work, it follows you around and urges you to take the lead or fall back. To get ahead in the competition, you need to have a smart approach. Ebay, is the world’s largest marketplace and has the most competitive market with millions of sellers from all over the world. One product can have thousands of sellers and 100 different varieties on one single platform. To keep up with this kind of competition, you need to be quick and innovative. With Amazon, you can take your time and build a store that attracts plenty of visitors. An online store lets you experiment and build at your own pace, but you need to be persistent to avoid sharks.

6. Control

Ebay and Amazon both have lists of rules to abide by. So when you open a store on these platforms, you need to follow every rule or risk your listing being removed. When it comes to an individual store, you are the boss with no rules in place. Be it shipping, payment or dispatch, everything works according to your rules. But this doesn’t give you the right to sell illegal or counterfeit material online. All three options have unique identities and attract a different genre of customers. But when it comes to an easy business with plenty of cash flow and little investment, then Ebay and Amazon rule the charts. An online store provides you with 100-percent control but takes more time, money, and knowledge. Take plenty of time to consider your options before starting an online retail business on any of the platforms in order to achieve your long-term goals.

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