Push Notification Tips for Mobile Commerce

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 10.00.08 AM

One of the key advantages of a mobile app for your e-commerce store, is the ability to connect with your customers on a more personal, direct level. Push notifications are a powerful tool to get customers’ attention, but there’s a limit. By this I mean that you have to be strategic with the content and frequency of them, so as not to annoy customers, and drive them away.

WHAT ARE PUSH NOTIFICATIONS?

If you use apps on your mobile device, you’ve certainly seen them. Amazon Prime uses them very effectively. 

Push notifications do not require a particular application to be open on a device for the message to be received by the end user, so a smartphone user can see notifications even when their phone is locked, or an app is not running.

The end user must opt-in to receive push notifications from a given application. An application usually makes the opt-in request on its initial installation, and the user may always grant or revoke consent for notifications at any time.

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 1.05.16 PM

Because people can disable push notifications, it is crucial to offer benefits for keeping them enabled. For example, ride sharing apps have high opt-in rates because users want to receive notifications about driver locations, special deals, and more. Social media apps as well as apps that provide news content have lower opt-in rates.

Here are some ways to increase sales on your mobile commerce app.

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 1.13.31 PM

Step 1 : Your Customers Need to ‘Opt-In’. 

The most effective way is to show them the value in allowing you to send them notifications. Let them know that as soon as they opt-in, they will be receiving offers and discounts directly to them that no one else gets. No one likes to pass up “free money”. Once you have them opted in, deliver.

Notify Customers About Limited Time Sales

As you promised, send subscribers push notifications for sales and discounts. To inspire more immediate action, make them time sensitive. You can create “flash sales” that last a day and send your subscribers a code and a link directly back to your site so they can use it right away. Include a countdown in your push notification to add a sense of urgency. If you can, make them visual with a little graphic or photos of items as they are more likely to get higher engagement rates. Remind potential customers what’s waiting for them at your site and make sure your notifications are like “gifts” and not annoying updates with little value.

Announce new products with push notifications:

Even your most loyal customers may not actively visit the app often enough to keep up with every new product that is released. This is another way that push notifications add value, without coming across as overly-intrusive. As a “thank you” to your customers who download your app, you can even announce new products to them, before anyone else. It’s another way to add a touch of exclusivity to app users, thus creating the incentive to not only download and use your app, but also keep it on their phone. 

Mobile devices are a huge part of our everyday lives, and you should think of screen space as real estate. People download apps that offer entertainment, valuable information, and value. Make sure you provide compelling reasons for your customers to download your app, and make them glad they did!

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 1.33.42 PM

Increasing Mobile Conversions

Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 3.00.20 PM

Nearly 2 billion people will make purchases from a mobile device in 2019, with about 95% of those conducting research from their device prior to completing a checkout. About $1 of every $4 generated in ecommerce comes from mobile, with annual spending exceeding $35 billion.

While mobile’s average conversion rate is just 0.55%, as compared to desktop’s 2.06%, average order value exceeds $100 across all devices (tablets and smartphones). Around 59% of smartphone and tablet users conduct research on their devices, with 59% of them planning to make the final purchase from the same device.

Interestingly, mobile users spend 59% of their time shopping versus closing the sale only 15% of the time, as compared to desktop users, who spend 41% of their time shopping versus closing the sale 85% of the time.

What explains the difference?  

One likelihood is the nature of mobile use itself. It’s quick and convenient enough to browse an online retailer, but users may be in the middle of a workday, or some other distraction causes them to abandon their visit before completing a purchase. 

Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 2.51.37 PM

Mobile shopping also has a limited amount of real estate (screen size) to work with, so it’s vital that the experience be as simple, yet detailed enough to not only pique interest, but encourage order submission. 

Here are a few things mobile retailers can do, to increase conversions:

Personalize: This is the age of personalization.

Use data you have gleaned about the consumer to suggest items they are likely to be interested in purchasing. (Ex: Amazon recommendations)

Create a sense of urgency: If an item is on sale for a short period of time, a countdown clock can be very powerful

Reminding consumers of shipping deadlines is also effective, especially during the holiday season.

Make registration easy: Offer guest or social media-based log-ins.

The less information a shopper has to manually enter, the better. Also, if they do forget a required field, make sure they’re not forced to start from scratch to re-enter all the info again. Speaking of information…by enabling social media log-ins, you access a treasure chest of information that can help you with personalization for future visits.

No nasty surprises: One of the biggest causes for cart abandonment is the discovery of hidden charges such as postal fees and taxes. Such charges can make your deal seem like not much of a bargain.

A cart recovery message, however, can be a good opportunity to remind shoppers of any click–and-collect or alternative delivery options you offer.

Reassure: Before the buyer commits to the sale, there is usually a moment of hesitation. You can ease those fears by giving reassurance with a recovery message that points out your returns policy, any money-back guarantees you offer and if you ship for free.

Mobile will inevitably surpass desktop buying, but it’s imperative that retailers continuously find ways to optimize the experience. Not only for potential new customers, but especially, your most loyal customers. 

Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 3.05.25 PM

You Don’t Need a 6-figure Budget for an Awesome Mobile App

You Dont Need a 6-figure Budget for an Awesome Mobile App! (1)

Mobile, mobile, mobile. Everywhere you go, people are glued to their mobile devices. You’re probably reading this on a mobile device.

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 3.27.20 PM

If you run an e-commerce business, you know the appeal of convenience for your customers to buy their favorite products online. Technology has revolutionized the buying experience. Laps up and down store aisles are replaced by scrolls and swipes, and let’s not forget the tantalizing appeal of ‘instant checkout’. 

So, what’s holding you back from launching your own app?

It’s expensive! Right? Well…sometimes.

If you spent a ton, you’d expect high quality, but do you HAVE to spend a ton to get it?

Let’s first talk a bit about some key features that make great mobile commerce apps.

1) Ease of use:

No-brainer here. In the digital age, people have little patience for fumbling around with a clunky app. 

2) Personalization:

The ability to capture user data (‘Sign in with your Facebook account’) enables targeted, meaningful connections with your customers.

Mobile customers don’t have the time or desire to enter tons of data.

3) Flash Sales & Discounts:

This is typically the main incentive for a customer to download a dedicated app for your store.

4) Fast & Secure Checkout:

Customers want the peace of mind that their data is safe

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 4.46.19 PM

These of course, are only a few examples. You are missing out on the opportunity to engage with your most loyal customers, and make more money by leveraging mobile commerce.

So, where does Sandbox Commerce come into play? 

We connect with your existing Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, or 3d Cart store, and create an engaging, intuitive, powerful, mobile commerce app.

WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK!  < Sandbox Commerce Pricing > 

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 4.50.25 PM

Build Your App!

The Power of Customer Loyalty Programs for E-Commerce

The Power of Customer Loyalty Programs for E-Commerce

Did you know it costs a business about 5-25X more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one?

Not only that, but existing customers spend 67% more than new customers. In short, customer loyalty really pays off — and customer loyalty programs end up paying for themselves.

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 2.10.05 PM

If your main focus is getting more new customers, but you neglect the one’s who support you most, how do you think that’s going to impact your business?

You’ve probably seen real-life examples of this. Maybe you’ve been a long-time cable/internet customer who spends $150/month on services, only to find out that Mr/Mrs. New Customer can get the SAME thing for $99/month. Doesn’t make a very good impression, does it?

So, now you’re thinking, “I get it, but HOW can I build customer loyalty into my e-commerce store”

I’m glad you asked!

One great way, is with Yotpo

With Yotpo’s Loyalty and Referral tools, you’ll reward your customers for the actions that have the most impact on your business with a variety of customizable campaign programs.

Now that you have a starting point, go show some love to the customers who love you!

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”- Sam Walton

E-Commerce is Growing, but Mobile Commerce is Growing Fastest

mobile commerce

By the end of 2019, it’s expected that over 40% of e-commerce will be generated from a mobile device. This segment of sales is the quickest growing segment and it is expected to grow 13% year over year through 2021.

mobile growth (1)

We all know that more and more users are shopping more frequently on their phones, but most small and medium e-tailers aren’t changing how they sell to compensate for this growing demographic.

Shopify and BigCommerce do a fantastic job at making sites reactive to mobile, but it’s really the bare minimum in 2019. Open rates have a 71% open rate, which is staggering when compared to e-commerce open rates of 15.66%

open rates

Amazon has trained us to making shopping easy with two-click checkouts and near instant checkouts from Apple Pay & Google Pay. Mobile wallet transactions in the US account for 55 million shoppers and over $49.3 billion of revenue. That’s a nearly $50 billion market that your responsive website isn’t taking advantage of.

open rates (1)

At Sandbox Commerce, we like to look at mobile apps as the equivalent of websites in the early 2000’s. Most retailers couldn’t justify the cost of developing their own websites and the ones who did went on to rule their space.

Websites like Squarespace and Wix revolutionized how people made websites and made it a justifiable cost. Sandbox Commerce is hoping to follow in the footsteps of giants and make mobile apps available to every online retailer. Try your first free 7 days for free today.

5 Facts About Omni-channel Shopping That You Need to Know

1) 98% of Americans Switch Between Devices in a Day (Google Research)

98% (!!!) of users switch devices throughout the day. It seems slightly obvious but let it sink in that only 2% of your users do not switch devices. Is your store ready to sell on all types of devices?

2) 71% of shoppers agree that it is important or very important to be able to view inventory information for in-store products. (Forrester

Amazon can send you anything in 2-days, but sometimes that isn’t fast enough! It is essential for brick-and-mortar retailers to seamlessly blend the online and instore shopping experience. There’s also a good chance they’ll be checking inventory from a mobile device too. 

3) 64% of marketers cite lack of resources and investment as their top barrier to omnichannel marketing (CMO Council)

First websites were expensive, and now you can build your own for next to nothing. Mobile apps are the next frontier of democratized technology. Sandbox Commerce wants to help you build and customize an app for next to nothing. 

4) 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience. (Zendesk)

Customers notice when you cut corners! They expect to have a fantastic shopping experience; in your store, on your website from their laptop and browsing mobile apps from their phone. Stay ahead of bad reviews and create a fantastic omni-channel shopping experience. 

5) Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement. (Aberdeen Group)

That should be all the proof you need! Every merchant is trying their best to maximize CLV and retention. If it’s a figure you’re not happy with – start with improving your omni-channel shopping

Encouraging Reviews for Your App

Learn about the best ways to solicit app reviews

It’s now such common practice for users to inform their buying decisions based upon online reviews. From Yelp to Amazon and even smaller retailers – this community of reviewers has a massive influence on future buyers. When you understand this, it becomes incredibly clear that your app has to get positive reviews.

Arguably the only thing worse than bad reviews is no reviews… With bad reviews, you at least have the opportunity to respond a resolve a solution

Now that we know what to avoid, what is it going to take to encourage some reviews?

  • Be sure to include to include contact information at the end of your app store descriptions. Make sure someone can talk to a REAL person if they have any problems or questions
  • In your automated emails triggered by purchases, ask customers for a review
  • Offer discount incentives for users who review and recommend your app to others
  • Show people some love for reviews: Give someone a shoutout through your social media for leaving a kind review

For more tips and tricks on how to maintain an engaging and healthy relationship with your audience, check out other articles in the Sandbox Commerce Resources.

Mobile Commerce Trends to Watch Out for in 2019

My Post-1

2019 isn’t waiting for anyone, so the time is now to start planning for your store’s best year to date.

We’ve been keeping our ear to the ground and here are some of the top trends we expect to grow in mobile commerce.

1) Omni-Channel Experiences

98% of shoppers switch devices throughout their day. It’s critical that your customers experience a consistent shopping flow across all of your platforms; website, Facebook, Instagram, mobile app, emails and the list goes on…

2) One-Click Checkouts

We’re all being trained by the Amazon Standard of shopping. We expect items in 2 days, to read helpful buyer reviews and most importantly – to checkout in a hurry.

It’s critical to reward your loyal shoppers by allowing them to check out in as few clicks as possible, remember their preferred shipping info and payment options. There’s a reason that Amazon’s mobile app is their largest channel. Launch your app in 2019 and increase returning customers.

3) Expect to See More Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is the future of convenience shopping. As the technology gains accuracy, the more we’ll be using it to modal furniture in our houses, clothes in our outfits and shoes on our feet.

There’s a few apps out there from large brands like Ikea and Warby Parker that take advantage of this burgeoning area. As more developers figure it out, expect to see it trickle down to more SMBs

Bringing AR to E-Commerce

Apple recently announced iOS 12 at their developer conference. Along with with a handful of incremental updates, there was a big emphasis on their new AR Kit.

With technologies biggest mover putting skin in the AR game, we’ll begin to see more and more AR in our daily lives and eventually trickle into shopping experiences. Shopify also announced that they will bring Apple’s latest AR tech to their platform and give stores new opportunities to implement AR to their products.

What Does AR Mean for My Website Design?

AR offers a shopping experience that a series of photos could never offer. It allows users to engage with your products without ever leaving their house. It will become essential to showcase your products like this, front and center, to offer a cutting edge shopping experience.

Compiling 3d images is a task that Shopify is diligently and iteratively solving. There will be a large upfront challenge to capture these renderings of existing products, but it will be critical for future-proofing your shopping experience. These is the largest hurdle retailers currently face in the AR world from a resources standpoint.

Bringing AR to Mobile

Shopify is doing their best to bring their AR feature set to mobile internet browsing experiences, but they’re not quite there yet. The best option is to still bringing AR to a native application.

If you’re interested in turning your Shopify store into a native app with an AR shopping experience, feel free to grab a time to chat about it with us.

Using Smart Design to Improve Your E-Commerce Store

In the next few blog post, we’re going to uncover some of the best ways to optimize your e-commerce store for checkout. A checkout flow might seem obvious to you, but it’s likely harming your revenue more than you realize. 

Anytime I consult on optimizing an e-commerce store, I ask the contact person these 3 questions…

1) What problem are you trying to solve? Most of the time, the answer is pretty simple. People are always hoping to decrease abandon cart, increase sales conversion rates or maybe solicit email list registrants. Whatever the problem you’re trying to solve – make sure it’s clearly defined because it’s crucial for the next step.

2) Is there data to PROVE this problem exists? We live in a day in age that allows us to track every click, scroll and engagement on our websites. If you can’t provide data that prove this problem exists – go back to step one and make sure you’re able to PROVE this problem exists. 

If you have the data to prove the problem – give yourself a pat on the back. Now take a few minutes to hypothesize what might improve the solution. Take time to think about the less obvious things; button position and color, call-to-actions, and the sequence of which things are displayed. These are all easy things to a/b test

**It’s also important to compare your stats with other players in the industry. You might be trying to optimize an already optimized figure**

3) What does success look like to you? You’ve already provided the analytics that prove what problem exists, now define a scenario in which you have “solved” the problem. It’s important to be realistic with your goals here. No one is going to increase conversion by 33% and you should know that a 3-8% improvement is a win. 

Later this week, we’ll be going through more scenarios of improving your store’s performance in more focused segments. These 3 questions will be acting as the groundwork