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Take A Deep Dive Into Your E-Commerce Site




Creating a compelling, informative, and user friendly e-commerce site can be tough. There is a lot of testing, planning and feedback collection that needs to happen to ensure a successful site.

Many companies will use tools such as Google Analytics’ in page analytics, which essentially shows a website with statistics at various touchpoints of a webpage, which gives a visual of how often links are clicked, pages are visited, etc.




Google Analytics also offers a behavior flow chart to show where website visitors start, which pages they go to after the landing page, and other useful information. This can be helpful in determining where customers tend to “drop off” or abandon their visit.




There are other ways to get deeper insight into website performance, pain points, and other information that will allow companies to improve the customer experience for their e-commerce customers.


Collect feedback: when customers place orders, or provide contact information at registration on your website, reach out to them to get feedback about their experience. This won’t capture those who abandon the site though. Enter exit intent technology – services designed to detect when a customer is about to leave your website, and make one last attempt to get their attention. This could be a pop up window that gives a special discount or offer if they stay to make a purchase, or another similar activity.

This can be helpful in gathering feedback from those who are ready to abandon the site, but it would have to be quick and easy in order to try to capture that information. Try a simple question such as, “Please let us know why you’re leaving!” and offer responses such as “It wasn’t what I was looking for” or “the website is running slowly/I’m having technical issues”, etc. This may detect trends other methods cannot pick up on.


Use mystery shopping: mystery shopping is an excellent tool that can be used to evaluate the e-commerce process from many different aspects. Not all companies think of evaluating their website using mystery shopping, but incorporating these evaluations can provide a deep dive of ease of use and valuable feedback. There are a couple of types of shopping programs that can be used:

  • Standard experience evaluation: this looks at all aspects of the e-commerce experience. Instruct shoppers to make a purchase and report on ease of use, quality of information, and overall experience. Dig deeper by including a call, email, or chat to customer service to ask questions to evaluate that piece of the journey, and finish with a product return to look at the final piece of the journey.
  • User experience: this is more detailed in that shoppers are instructed to use the website to purchase a specific type of product or register for a service. This looks more like a website video capture or journal in which the shopper provides commentary and suggestions on each point of the process – what was their impression of the website? How many clicks (pages) did it take to get to what they ultimately wanted to do? Where were the pain points? Was there enough information on the website to make an informed decision that would lead to a purchase? What is missing, and what could be improved? These are just some of the aspects that can be captured with this type of shop.


Pop up focus groups: thanks to online technology, this is easier than ever. Reach out to customers that have made online purchases, and offer them the opportunity to provide feedback in a focus group type format. This can easily be done in an online meeting room – listening to the conversations and collecting feedback in this type of setting is useful because people tend to offer more details in a group setting. One person may comment on something that triggers a memory from a past experience for another person, and that person will offer more insight and feedback that builds on a theme. This group conversation can be extremely valuable.


Online shopping is becoming an everyday event for many consumers, and it is only expected to increase in volume and activity. There are many tools to make sure your e-commerce site is as strong and functional as possible.



Why Are Billboards Still a Thing?




Billboards – depending where you live, you may still see these regularly, and wonder if they are still effective. This is an older form of marketing, yet they are still around.

I recently assisted the marketing department at my children’s school. An electrical billboard was just built a mile or so from school, and everyone was excited about being able to make use of it. I wondered if it would do anything – after all, billboards seem outdated and not as effective as they once may have been.

However, this one was a little different – sitting at eye level on a busy intersection, the digital signage was bright and eye catching. In the end, it yielded good results and the school did get inquiries from people seeing the signage.

Surprisingly, billboards are still an effective means of marketing communication for a few reasons.

  • People are not as home as much. According to a recent New York Times article, companies are turning to billboard advertising because people are traveling more, whether it’s communiting to work or going on vacations. Additionally, people have their phones with them almost constantly – an eye catching advertisement may be shared online, giving more punch to the efforts. Spending for what is referred to as “out of home” advertising, including billboards, has increased 4.6% in the last two years. Companies see the value of this out of home advertising.
  • Consumers are cutting the cord when they are home. TV advertising, on the other hand, has fallen 3.6%. Why? People are turning away from traditional television viewing, often times cutting the cord and using other services, such as Netflix, Apple TV, and the like. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll use the cable’s on demand service. With many programs, you can fast forward through the commercials. Advertisers have taken note of this shift and adjusted their spending accordingly.
  • As with everything else, billboards have evolved. While traditional billboards are still being utilized, digital and even interactive billboards are coming into play. These are brightly lit displays with messaging that can be changed easily, which is helpful for marketers. They are also more visually appealing and eye catching. Companies are turning to these digital billboards because they can now incorporate multiple messages (vs the traditional one image/message) and get more bang for the buck.

As technology offers more opportunity for out of home marketing, companies have gotten creative. Below are some interesting uses of billboards:

Create a challenge – in Stockholm, Reebok created a digital, interactive experience for passers by. They were challenged to run past the display, which was wired with a speed tracking device. If someone could beat the 10.5 mile an hour pace, they would be “rewarded” with a new pair of Reebox’s newest shoes.


Take a break – literally. Kit Kat worked off its “Take a Break” slogan in Columbia with a digital display that encouraged passers by to lean up against the display. They would receive a quick massage as they did so.

Kit Kat took this a step further and used social media monitoring to spread the word. They monitored Twitter and looked for users talking about being tired or stressed – when they found these tweets, they sent a reply to the user letting them know they could use a break. They provided a map with the nearest locations of one of their displays and encouraged them to visit and get a quick massage.


Uber focuses on traffic and weather. Iowa State students created a digital display to be used in DesMoines. Their goal was to create something that would be useful and promote Uber services. They created the billboard below and incorporated some neat features. For example, if it started raining, the messaging would change to show people passing by how close an Uber driver was at the moment and how much it would potentially cost for a ride.


While it may be surprising that billboards are still a thing, and you may drive past them daily without giving them much thought, it seems that this is still a means of marketing communication. As digital and interactive billboard technology is enhanced, it is possible that the traditional billboards may die out. Until then, marketers still see the benefit in using this traditional form of advertising.



How Can You Get More From Your Feedback?



There is one very simple way to get even more from your customer feedback surveys – it can give you ideas, and assist in creating ready-made, authentic content for your marketing efforts.

Many feedback surveys offer a space for customers to provide comments regarding their experience with the company. By adding a simple disclaimer, those comments can become material to incorporate in future marketing efforts.

I’m seeing this more often when taking surveys as a customer; the simplest disclaimer with an offer to opt in, serves as a great way to curate content. Take a look at the examples below:

Let them know their words may be used: a restaurant offers optional space for customers to provide comments, and is sure to include the following statement:

The fine print: We reserve the right to use your comments to improve the restaurants or quote you to share the love.

This is a little vague, though it does inform customers that their comments may be used to “share the love.” There is not an opt in (or opt out) feature, so it may prohibit customers from providing this extra detail. It’s a great start, but not ideal.

Make it clear, and let them decide: the example below is perfect. It discloses that the comments provided may be used by the company, allows customers to opt in (or not), and offers a link to the terms & conditions.

feedback auth

Marketing has become challenging, and research points to the fact that customer reviews and word of mouth have more weight than company driven information. By taking this additional step in the feedback process, companies can easily and effortlessly collect this type of information to enhance current marketing efforts.