E-commerce, Conversations & Conversions
We started with a few ideas, but it ended up being a long, long discussion about Website Design Trends for 2023. Welcome to Episode 3 of “Between Two Creeks” - where we wrap up this topic with some interesting insights!
In this episode, we talk about E-commerce and how conversations through ChatBots and Text Messages (you read that right) help drive conversions. For a quick refresher on our previous episodes, click here for Episode 1 and Episode 2 of “Website Design Trends in 2023”.
Let’s get started!
James: E-commerce, on the “embrace technology” point, is a big deal. I would say that everyone knows that you can buy stuff online; you can make your site into a mini Amazon if you feel like it, or you can even sell your stuff on Amazon for that matter, and places like Shopify have their dedicated e-commerce platforms (which) are really popular, or you can use plugins like WooCommerce if you're on WordPress. If you want a simple kind of all-in-one platform, I know you're just building a website right now in Squarespace, which has e-commerce or payment options as well, so there are a lot of options for e-commerce, but what I think is changing a little bit right now is letting people buy from wherever they happen to be and they might not necessarily be on your website.
We were exploring hooking up a clothing brand - they sell uniforms for healthcare, like dentists and doctors and nurses and stuff, and their Instagram feed is actually really popular, and there's a way, right, to buy stuff right from Instagram itself. Their demographic, you know, 20s and 30s and 40s females, are on Instagram, and they can buy stuff directly. That sort of thing is now more trending, and it’s more available than it used to be, so I think that's important for sure.
Also, looking at some analytics and seeing if people are on your website and they add to your cart; have you ever gotten those emails where you actually didn't buy it, but you got an email later saying "Hey! You forgot something in your cart!". And using this technology for that, which is a little bit like going back to the AI conversation that we had with automated assistants - that's going to become more of a trend, I think, in the future.
Noah: I think that the automated abandoned cart - the funnel, is really important and even to the point where they're now using text messages again. I remember, 10 - 15 years ago, text message marketing was a big piece of the pie that people were trying to get everybody to buy into, but now I think it's obviously much better because our phones can link us directly to the website as opposed to getting a text message and then having to go to your desktop and I think the text messages, although annoying, are breaking through the clutter. I am guilty, but I often will abandon the cart in hopes of a promo code the next day (haha). So that's an Insider trick, where I’ll abandon the cart and wait for the email response.
James: Haha, yeah, It's like, oh! Just use this code for 10 percent off! So I mean, that's actually good. I do abandon carts, but I haven't actually thought about doing that on purpose. I usually abandon the cart because I'm indecisive, just flat out, or the shipping was unexpected where I get to the point of checking out, and I go "What?! The shipping's more than the product itself?!" And being Canadian, that sucks, right? So the Americans tend to get the better deals and free shipping, but Canadians sometimes do not, so that's kind of tough, but getting back to your point, the text messaging...
The open rate for text messages is astronomically high, like in the 90% range. The open rate means that if you send something (via text message), what percentage of people actually see it; so for text messages (this is) very, very high. Everyone checks their phone. On email, just for comparison, the open rate might only be 20%, and that would be a good campaign - Two out of ten people, it's like, wow! You have a big list of 10,000 people, but only 2,000 people open it, and then how many clicks and then what do they do after that - you have to measure the whole thing as we said before, but yeah, text messaging services are becoming pretty popular, especially for Consumer Brands.
Noah: And I'm also seeing a lot of ChatBots originate from the phone now, too, so essentially, we're looking at a purchase funnel done through the phone. So, instead of having a phone call follow-up with the sales representative, they will text you. This is popular in automotive now but also any long funnel - long tail sales channel; they're starting to use text more frequently than phone calls because Gen Z is actually more comfortable texting than they are with chatting on the phone. So they rather text the salesperson than have a quick phone call, and you see that with Automotive a lot, you know.
As a car enthusiast, I am constantly looking at the next cool car, and a lot of the salespeople will just text you right away and say hey, you were looking at this vehicle; what do you think? What's going to get it across the line? And we'll just text back and forth, and then once we get past that initial discovery phase, then the phone call usually happens. I find that to be incredibly interesting, and I like to see how brands are starting to adopt what works for Gen Z, you know, and start to evolve into a space that is still coming through, still breaking through and the fact that text is such a powerful medium is still mind-blowing!
James: It all focuses on that mobile experience, right? That kind of sums up what we've been (discussing) in different areas covering the four main points (of website design trends), but I'll summarize them once again. So, website design Trends and how they've changed since the 90s:
- Focus on Experience for Mobile Devices: focus on the easier experience in the first place, meaning great photos, great videos, short form easy navigation and great text that you can skim read, and (make sure) it's optimized for Google as well with SEO.
- Search Engine Optimization: text is still really important for Google to read and to rank you better and better. (Editor's note: and remember to measure with analytics! You can't improve if you're not measuring.)
- The Less is More Concept: where you're using nice photos and nice videos. It's clean, it's high resolution, they are on brand, the colours match up, it's not cluttered and looking like a MySpace page with little spinny wheels and colour and rainbow effects everywhere. You want to really create that sense of calm, and it doesn't matter what industry you're in. These are just principles right now for design: less is more. Using white space, big headlines, nice little easy, digestible bits of content if they want to dig in and read like a whole essay, then allow that as well and even better if they can download something for later reading like a PDF - that's important too.
- Embrace Technology: using AI, using apps, using the Google My Business profile, social media, linking everything - connecting the dots together, having a hub and having it all work together to build your business.
So that's kind of a wrap on the web design topic; Thanks, Noah, and I hope you guys learned something, and we'll be back another time for more!
Check out our previous episode: Part 2 of Website Design Trends in 2023.
“Between Two Creeks” is Twin Creek Media’s weekly podcast series. You can find us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify. If you enjoy listening to the latest and wonkiest in marketing every week, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button! If you want us to amp up your marketing, click here to contact us and let’s chat!