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Shopify Store Locator app: The best is becoming better

 

First of all, we want to send big thanks to all our beloved customers who trusted us and our Store locator app, voted it as the best Store Locator app on Shopify.

As a return, we constantly work hard to empower the app with more features and values. In today post, we will introduce and guide you through 3 of our new upgrades.

No. 1: Restrict address suggestion by countries

Recently many our shop owners tell us that almost their customers search for nearest stores by their zip code instead of other address information like Street, Road, City.

However, as you know, one zip code number could match with many different countries, so what will happen when your customers type a typical number such as 12000?

A lot of suggestions will be shown, even in Thailand or France where you don’t have any stores. That’s so weird and could make your customers be confused, right?

We’ve developed a new feature for Store Locator App to end this problem:  Restrict address suggestion by countries.

How it works

After you enable this function and choose the country that your stores are located in, when the customer type a zip code number in the search bar, just addresses which are from the countries you selected will be shown as suggestions.

How to set it up

 

Step 1: Go to the back end of Store Locator  Settings

Step 2: Types the countries where you have stores and Click “Save”.

Step 3: Enjoy the result.

No. 2: Create your custom Store search filter

You can create your own custom filter to make it easy for your customer to narrow down their searches.

How to set it up

All you have to do is to add tags for your stores in the app backend. (If you have a csv file, you can upload your store list with this information as well.) The process can be provided as follows:

Step 1: Go to the app backend and click on edit button in commands column.

Step 2: Add tags on your Store tags box, and save.

Step 3: Check the result on your shop frontend. The filter will look like this:

When your customer ticks on a (or a number of) tags, your store list will be automatically narrowed down to the ones that contain these tags.

No. 3: Set Store Priority Order

This updated feature will make you smile with satisfaction for certain.

Normally, when you add store information on your site, the list of stores will be displayed by the adding order.

For example, you enter the data of Handy Store at first and that of Rosie Store at last, so Rosie Store will be displayed at the beginning and Handy store will be shown at the end of the list.

However, if it is Handy Store that you like to highlight, the store should be displayed as the first suggestion to attract the most attention.

To make it happen, when you Add stores, fill in Priority section with number that shows the order of prioritized display (Please pay attention that: Greater number indicate greater priority)

Like, you have 20 stores. You are supposed to enter 20 for the store that you would like to display at the beginning of the list, and enter 1 for the store that you like it the least so it will go to the end of the showing list (of course, keep entering 19, 18… for the order of the other stores as you wish)

After that, very simply go to Settings-> Store result sort by -> Priority               

*You are also given the choice to set Store result sort by Alphabetical order if you have no store to highlight but just want to make the list look neat/orderly.

*One important thing to take note is that if you have more than 26 stores to fill, please go to Settings-> Search Setting -> Max results: Enter the number of stores you have. Otherwise, it will always be defaulted to show the maximum data of 26 stores.

Hope you like this new feature. If you have any questions and queries, don’t hesitate to contact us at support@secomapp.com, we’d be happy to be around.

SEO

SEO for Shopify: SEO process and plan

SEO

When you start a new store, it must be overwhelming with tons of work and knowledge. SEO is one of them but you should know the basic of SEO upfront so later on you don’t have to worry about the mess you leave behind at the beginning.

SEO itself is such a huge field for a starter. At the beginning I spent days and months looking for some materials letting me know what exactly a SEO-er does when they have a project, a website to work on. I ended up drowning in 1000 pages and videos of fragmented answers. So I decided to share with you the process of SEO and the free tools that we have to use along the way.

First, SEO is about improving ranking of your webpage on search engine results page. In order to do so, you have to optimize your site based on the search engine secret algorithm. Yes, it’s a secret, they also modify it gradually.  It’s lucky enough that most of the big ingredients are known. These main ingredients are: keywords and their placements on the page, the popularity and trust of the page (mostly based on backlinks), the quality of content (how users react with your content, will they stay for long to thoroughly digest the content, or bounce away quickly).

Step 1: Analyze the SEO website

If you are an absolute starter, you should start off with integrate Google webmaster tools. Google analytics for your Shopify store, then analyze your online shop.

  • On-page factors: Keywords, internal links, site speed
  • Off-page factors: Building backlink

– Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing through your Webmaster Tools accounts you just created. All Shopify stores automatically generate a sitemap. (www.yourstore.com/sitemap.xml)

– Use Google Webmaster Tools to check for 404/500 errors, duplicate content, or any crawling errors.​

You should play around with Webmaster tools at this stage and if you site has any marked red problems by Google, you should go back and forth to fix them.

If the site is no longer a newbie, you can go ahead and analyze it deeper with the criteria listed in the table in step 2

Tools to use: Google webmaster tools. Google analytics

Step 2: Research keyword

Keyword research has one simple goal: to get you to understand how your visitors think and talk about your product or service. “Talk to your customers in their language.” Their language, not yours. Just imagine a Math professor teaching a group of 5 year-old kids, and you would know what I mean.

The advantages of identify main and ‘sub’ keywords are listed below.

  • Build a structured website, and content
  • Know what your customers are looking for
  • Help your customer find you, increase valuable traffic to your site
  • Save time SEO-ing Keyword nobody search for

A good keyword list should be built on products/service, customer insight, competitors, experience, etc.

Tools: There are so many tools out there but you have to start simple. Start with your brain by writing down the words people use when talking to you about your products or services.

You should ask yourself question like:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What are you going to offer them?
  • Why would they be coming to your site?
  • What do you want them to do on the site? Which actions do you want them to take?
  • What word they would search to find you?

Once you have the list, you can use tools like Google Trends, Google suggest, and use Google keywords planner to expand it. I usually use those tools in that order to gradually expand the list.

Besides, you can always take advantage from analyzing your competitors’ websites. It not only serves the purpose of taking keyword ideas from them, but also helps you benchmark your business.

seo benchmark

To complete this table, you can use: SEOquake, SEMrush, Spyfu, etc. (You can download this table with the link at the end of the post).

By combining the list of keywords you find with your own mind, and SEO tools like Google Trends, Google suggest, keywords planner, SEO quake, etc., you will have a list of short and long, main and ‘sub’ keywords for your site.

There is one thing you should bear in mind that you can’t be dependent on these modern tools as they are more often wrong than right on search volume, especially with small niches. You’ll only know real search volumes if you start advertising for these terms in Google AdWords, but not everybody will have the budget or need to do that.

Another tip for building keyword list is that if you find some keywords that are very competitive. You should find all the keywords surrounding that topic and use these later for a “keyword clustering” technique. This process is very well summarized by an info graphic created by Elliance:

Keyword clustering

The result of this stage is to get a list of keywords that covers all the terms that your ideal customers would use to search for you.

Step 3: Build website and landing page structure

After finding the keywords, it is critical to distributing them in different pages. Each page will serve the purpose of SEO-ing a few keywords. Normally a single webpage should be optimized for 1 or 2 keywords only.

Site structure is a science and an art. You should bear in mind the 3-clicks rule which clarifies that most of customers are patient enough to get what they found in 3 clicks. You should structure your site as simple as possible. If a customer has to click more than 3 times to the end of your conversion funnel. You should consider simplifying it.

Site structure

Determine which keywords are your most important ones and make those your top-level pages. You can do this in Excel: each column represents a level of your site, each row a page. Take a site selling fruit juice as an example. This looks something like this:

Keyword list

The structure of your Shopify site will be as follows.

Shopify site structure

Step 4: Write, and build website content

Your content should be written for both human and search engine crawlers. It has to be unique, and valuable while optimized for search engine. All the actions to optimize the keyword placement on the page to make highly recognizable for search engine crawlers are called SEO on-page. SEO on-page tasks mainly include:

  • Ensure you are using one, and only one, H1 tag on your pages.​ H1 (header 1) tags often used as the main headline for a page and they usually contain the page’s main keywords.
  • Ensure H1 tags are used before other header tags (H2, H3, H4).​Your header tags should be used in a hierarchal order. For example, H1 tag text above H2 tag text and H2 tag text above H3 tag text, and so on.
  • Keep your page titles under 70 characters so they aren’t truncated in results.
  • Write good page titles that are human-readable.​ Make sure they include the keywords you are trying to rank for but don’t over­ optimize or make it a string of keywords.
  • Keep your meta description under 150 characters.​This is the text under a page title in a search result. Ensure it clearly describes the page and also include keywords but again, don’t over optimize. Each page’s meta description should be unique.
  • Ensure you include a keyword in your page URL.​ Again, don’t overdo it.
  • Keywords are placed in Image Alt tags and names
  • Keyword density just under 3%, keyword on top of the page is usually more valuable for page ranking.
  • Limit the use of Flash and table
  • Include share button on social
  • Use No-follow link to decrease linkouts
  • High loading speed (check at https://tools.pingdom.com/ )
  • Including Breadcrumbs (help customer identify where they are on your page)

Search engine prefer fresh content so you should frequently update your site content.

Step 5: Build linking structure

  • Build internal link. It serves 2 purposes:
  1. Lengthen the time on-page
  2. Help crawler crawl your website easily

Build internal link SEO

  • Build backlink:

“Content is king and backlink is queen” is a famous quote in SEO-er world. Backlink is the link that points to your page. Backlinks indicate the popularity of your page. However it is not number of backlinks that matters but also the quality of backlinks matters. Your page is more likely to rank higher if your backlink is from a site working in the same or related fields with high trust score already. Building backlinks is a daunting task, it is not only time consuming but also costly. If you increase the backlink number aggressively, it is risky that your site is fined by search engine and won’t appear on their search result page anymore.

Step 6: Analyze the result

Do weekly check for keyword ranking, traffic, conversion.

Tools to use: Rank Tracker, Google analysis

These above steps can be summarized as in this infographic.

Plus: an example of SEO plan https://goo.gl/1sBBsT

 

5 must-have email campaigns for online store

5 must-have email campaigns for online store

5 must-have email campaigns for online store

Email is still one of the most important channels in successful online selling, especially when you just start your online store and have a tight budget for marketing. Email has a variety of usage. Whether you want to welcome new shoppers, offer them enticing deals and discounts, remind them about the products they’ve abandoned or any of our innovative strategies above, email marketing is a very powerful tool. But due to its versatility, it is complicated for beginner to find a starting point for their emailing campaigns. We have found 5 emails that every e-commerce store must have. If you are an online retailer and new to email marketing, it is for you.

Welcome email

It must be familiar to you to receive welcome emails, but you might be shocked by these statistics “The average open rate for welcome emails is a whopping 50%” (Marketing Sherpa) and they typically have 4x open rate and 5x the click-through rate of other mailings (Experian). Retailers that send a series of welcome emails see 13% more revenue than those that send just one. (Internet Retailer 500). Welcome email is a real chance; you should let people know about you right when they’re most interested in hearing from you.

Checklist for welcome emails:

Target: Newly-registered email subscribers or first-time buyers

Timing: a few minutes after email subscription or first purchase (The delay is critical: it makes customers feel the email is not an automatic email but a real welcome from a real person)

Content: In your “Welcome Email”, you should let them know more about you, enough to build trust and interest about you. You should send it from the store founder’s personal email address, not the general sales or support emails

Additional advice: You should limit your email content to a readable length. If you have so many things to say, please send your email in a series, but try to avoid bombarding your customers with your emails. No one likes a person that keeps talking about himself all the time.

Cart abandonment emails

Cart abandonment is a real disaster, but it happens. If you are in any online retailer society, I bet you will hear about it all the time. And the number one advice from experts is always about following up emails. These emails will act as reminders to bring shoppers back to complete the purchase.

It is simple and it works. According to a Marketing Sherpa survey of over 2000 Americans, 51% of people who ever left an item in an online shopping cart find reminder emails helpful with 6% saying they always complete the purchase after receiving the message.

Here is an example from SimplySupplements. They not only reminded me that I still have items in my cart but they also offered me free delivery and free return as an incentive to complete my purchase.

Cart abandoned email

Checklist for cart abandonment emails:

Target: Added Item to Cart but didn’t check out users 

Timing: 1-3 hours after the Added Item to Cart event is tracked depending on your site’s average shopping time

Content: preview of items in cart and link to check out (you can also add personalized recommended items in your email)

Additional advice: If the first email didn’t work out. You can send another one after 24 hours, possibly with an incentive like discount offer. And it is also effective to send them other personalized recommended items as in Dot & Bo example below.

Cart abandonment emails have an average open rate of 30%, and revenue per email is between $1-$3. Adding the second or third email can be quite effective as Dot & Bo saw a 400x increase in campaign revenue with a two-step abandoned cart workflow.

Cart abandoned email with recommendation

Purchase confirmation and shipping

These emails reaffirm your customer that their order is succeeded and it is looked after now. They are really important in terms of customer care. It is even more crucial when you find out that

For every 100 receipts you send, you can make an average of $25 of extra revenue with no extra effort. (Conversio)

Not bad for an automated email, huh?

While the order confirmation email is an additional way of utilizing the above (such as offering discounts, encouraging engagement, etc), it’s also a way of pacing your customer’s expectations. Here is SimplySupplement dispatch comfirmation email, which I found a good example. Despatch onfirmation email from SimplySupplement

Checklist for purchase confirmation and shipping emails:

Order: order confirmation, dispatch confirmation, out for delivery, delivered

Target: checked-out customer

Timing and content: Rights after these actions are taken:

  • Check out: send them an order confirmation as a receipt and expected arrival date.
  • Order is dispatched and out for delivery
  • Order is delivered

Additional advice: It depends on your business that you should send all these above emails or not. But the whole idea is that you tell your customer to relax and wait for their items to arrive. You can also take advantage of these emails to upsell or cross-sell.

Retention

Yes, it happens. Some of your customers just don’t come back. Either they’re a massive fan and purchases again every week or more likely, they’ll fall off the grid within a few months. Obtaining a new customer is 5 times more expensive than keeping an old one. So you have to make extra effort to bring them back by implementing the retention email campaign.

On average, we see open rates of 25-35% e-commerce companies. It’s always worth reminding previous customers you’re still thinking of them (even if they’ve moved to a competitor). Here is an exmaple from Memebox.

retention email from Memebox

Checklist for retention emails:

Target: inactive users or customers in a period (about 30 days for an online store)

Timing: when 30 days has passed since last purchase

Content: latest items or re-engagement offer (coupon code, items, new features) invites dormant users to come back and rediscover why they fell in love with your product or store

Additional advice: Repeat every month. Wait 1 day. If email is not opened, send another email or push notification. Repeat every month.

Date triggered email

Only 24% of online businesses send date triggered emails such as delighting customers with birthday greetings and other anniversaries like membership subscription date (Internet Retailer 500). According to ClickZ, birthday email can lift conversion rates by 60% over other email messages with the same offer. These emails make your subscribers feel special and give them a reason to spend that extra birthday money with you. It is also a good way to warm up your relationship with customers.

Like real birthday or anniversary celebrations, you should offer your shoppers a gift that they can’t pass up like discounted items or a free gift with their next purchase (See how to do it with Free Gifts App). This way you are adding sales while celebrating an important occasion with your shoppers.

Checklist for date triggered emails:

Target: Birthday celebrants and membership anniversaries

Timing: Consider sending the following sequence:

– A pre-email, few days before the event 

– The day of the event itself

– A post-email, few days after the event

Content:

– Be sincere and in a celebratory mood

– Include a compelling call-to-action like “Treat Yourself” or “Pamper Yourself”  

– Create sense of urgency by offering discounts and freebies

Additional advice: The more personalized the email is, the better result it can conduct. So, you can try offering your customers with the customizable products or the one that recommended for them.

Conclusion

Finally, emails that get opened and clicked through are those that are tailored to suit the recipient’s interests. The extent to which an email is personalized, defines the ROI the channel is able to generate for you. These 5 automated emails above are a good start.

Creating targeted promotion campaigns with Free Gifts

Are you tired of coupon code abuse? Wake up and see your promotion code on every coupon sharing site? Or are you looking for a more targeted campaign to create different promotion plans for different customer lists? Our Free Gifts has got medicine for those pains.

Free Gifts allows you to generate unique links for any campaigns operated by the app. Only customers who click on that link are able to take advantage of the promotion campaign. The application for that link is potential. We can list some as the followings.

  • Create a real incentive to encourage customers to join your email list. Normally if you send them the promotion code, it is likely that you’ll see your code later on in other coupon sharing sites, which is a real danger. The overuse of the coupons may bite into your budget. Besides, the incentive is not that valuable if your visitors can easily search for it online.
  • Fuel a real loyalty and/or targeted campaign. You can create a real treat to your valuable customers and set up multiple other campaigns to for other groups of customer just by delivering different groups different links.

Let’s start off by creating an email campaign for your subscribers only! There are only 2 steps away.

  1. Prepare the campaign in Free Gifts backend

Go to backend, Gifts on Cart and set others condition. After setting other condition of your choice, you can generate the promotion link, just simply put your promotion campaign name (or whatever you like to Promotion code box). The app will automatically create a link for you.Enter promotion code to create link in Free Gifts backend

  1. Start emailing

Now, do you have your customer list in hand?

You can start emailing your subscriber with the content like: “This is for you: Buy a T-shirt and get another one free. Promotion is activated only by clicking on this link.”

If you want your email look a more professional. There is nothing holding you back from creating such an attractive email like this one from eDream. Its title is “Subscribers only: Save up to £50!” Just link the button Book now with the one you taken from step 1.

Example of private link usage in email campaign

Have you got any ideas to play around with this interesting feature of Free Gifts. Start your campaign NOW.

 

 

 

 

A checklist for product image optimization on Shopify stores

A checklist for product image optimization on Shopify stores

When shopping online, 68% of product quality is perceived from product images. The photography of a single product is important. But do you know that product images can serve far more important duties by forming a professional look, adding credit to your whole site, and lure organic leads. Here is the takeaway checklist for you to optimize your product picture’s performance on Shopify store.

A checklist for product image optimization on Shopify stores

The pattern consistency

The professional look of your whole store is crucial because it creates the first impression on your customers. Make sure that your thumbnail picture on collection page have a consistent look and feel by keeping the background, size, and pattern the same. A uniform style ties together the aesthetic appearance of your entire store, as well as provides a simplified view of your products for your customers.

Now we can have a small test. Please, look at this picture in 3 seconds, then tell which product interests you.Multiple pattern product images example

Did you find one? No, didn’t you? It is an example of a store with different product picture patterns and backgrounds. It’s impossible for customers to find an interesting product in a glance. Basically, we are left no choice but to have a close look to see what is sold. That is not a wonderful customer experience at all.Uniform pattern product images example

The sizes

As mentioned earlier, you should be consistent about your images’ dimension and proportion. By doing so, your images will appear the same size on collection page.

Research has shown that not every aspect ratio is pleasing to the eye. Over the years it has been defined a “standard” set of proportions, which will always have a nice result: 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9.

Standard image ratios

According to Shopify, the optimum size for square product images is 1024px by 1024px. (As the full-width on your size is 1024px). Therefore when you created a slider with our Banner Sliders app, we recommended to resize your picture height by taking original height*1300/original width). From those ratios, we suggest other optimum picture sizes as 1024:768, 1024:683, 1024:576px.

A good rule of thumb for ecommerce images is to try to keep your image file size below 70kb. Shopify automatically compresses the images so it shouldn’t be a huge problem to you. The advice is to keep your pictures about 70kb.

Format

For most ecommerce situations – JPEGs will be your best bet. They provide the best quality and the smallest file size.

Never use GIFs for large product images. The file size will be very large and there is no good way to reduce it. Use GIFs for thumbnails and decorative images.

PNGs can be a good alternative to both JPEGs and GIFS. If you are only able to get product photos in PNG format, try using PNG-8 over PNG-24. PNGs excel at simple decorative images because of their extremely small file size.

The SEO optimization for the image

Your product image can act as a tool to lure organic search for your store with its name and alt text (or alt tag). Alt text is a text alternative to images when a browser can’t properly render them. In some browsers, customers can see alt texts when they hover their mouse on your picture. Search engines not only crawl the text on your webpage, but they also search for keywords within your image file names, and alt text.

Therefore, creating descriptive, keyword-rich and in Plain English file names and Alt tags is absolutely crucial for image optimization. You can do it with your instinct when asking yourself a question “What would I search for if I were a customer?” Besides, a good habit is to get into is to look at your website analytics, and see what phrasing patterns your customers use to perform searches. Determine the most common naming patterns they use, and apply that formula to your image naming and alt text filling process.

Conclusion

The entire point of optimizing your images is to enhance customer experience on your site, hence help increase your bottom line. So be sure to check your performance regularly and alter your weak points such as checking your alt text optimization and refill it if needed. But checking our checklist when you upload any product pictures is a good start.

Buy X get Y with Promotion Popup

Amazon was one among the most successful stories of applying cross-selling and upselling online. And now, with your Shopify store, why wait?
Do you have any items that should be bought together? Or have you ever seen your customers buying one of them and forgetting the other? It’s time for you to remind them, and give them a little encouragement. The suggestion is to offer them a discount on the second item: Buy X get xx% off Y.
It is easy with Promotion Popup app. Customers will be notified by a popup when they are on their cart page if they already purchased X without Y. In case they did purchase both of them, the discount will automatically apply for Y on their cart.
The setting-up procedure is as easy as follows:
X is Derby Tier Backpack at $148.
Product X
Y is Canvas Lunch Bag priced at $32. Product Y
Now we want to offer customers Y for free if they buy X.
Step 1: Click on “Add New Popup”.
Step 2: At Where Popup Shows -> Show at: choose “Cart Page for Upsell and Cross-sell”. Under that is the block “Choose product variant”, we click search icon to choose product X. (In this case, it is Derby Tier Backpack).Choose Product variant XChoose X and its variants
Step 3: Continue with “Design Popup”, we choose template “Discount Product 1” or “Discount Product 2” by clicking “Select another template”. In this example, we choose “Discount Product 1”. Choose template Discount Product 1(2)
In Discount Product 1 template, there are 2 compulsory information boxes:
1. Product Discount Code: coupon code using to offer Y (Canvas Lunch Bag) for free. The process to generate the code will be shown in step 4 below.
2. Choose Product Variant: choose Y (Canvas Lunch Bag)
The popup will look like this: Modify popup information
There are still 2 parts of the popup that need changing:
1. Default text of template : “Specilal Offer for VALENTINE’S DAY Discount 20% on” to “HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY You have just bought Derby Tier Backpack and get” ( the subject is up to you).
2. Special price : “$32.00” to FREE (as in this example we want to give them Y for free if they buy X).
It is how the new pop up look like: Adjusted Popup for crosselling
Step 4: Create coupon buyBackpackgetBagFREE. Choose Discounts on your control tab:
Site Backend, control tab
The screen will look like this. Create coupon
It is where you customize your offer, and when things get a little tricky. Because, Promotion Popup is set up to automatically apply the promotion code once the customers see the pop up.
As we set up that the pop up will show if the cart has product X, even when the customer deletes X after that, the sale will still be applicable. In the case, it is suggested you apply this rule “take $32 (price of Y) off for order over $140 (close to price of X)”.
Step 5: After generating the coupon code, paste it to “Product Discount Code” box and “Apply To Shop”
Let’s check the result:
1. Searching for Derby Tier Backpack on your product on your catalog: Find and buy product X
2. Go to product page or buy it directly from Quick View popup.
Buy Product X
3. The popup will show up once we click on “Add to cart” button.Popup reminding customer about crossell product
4. Click on “I Want This” button to put Canvas Lunch Bag into cart.Buy Y from the Popup
5. After clicking check out, the discount will be applied. Check out to see the discount
Now, let’s go back to your store and increase your sale with the help of Promotion Popup by Secomapp!
For any questions, how to’s or guides, please drop us a mail at support@secomapp.com. We love to hear from you!