By Author admin

Shopify, Responsive Images and Why They’re Vital To Ecommerce

You’ve heard it before, a picture is worth a thousand words.

When it comes to designing your website and your online experience, pictures can help you do exactly that; to express yourself without the need of so many *thousand* words.

In 2018, we’re continuing to see an increase in rich content on SEO-conscious websites. However, surprisingly, there are still a lot of ecommerce businesses who choose to compromise on site design in order to increase loadability.

responsive images

I can tell you now, images are just as essential to a website page as any other element. Including loadability.

Now so, more than ever before, it’s become more important to ensure your page and the elements on it look just as good on a customer’s small handheld device as it does on a desktop. This means thinking about how your images translate to mobile web browsers.

We’ve all experienced visiting an ecommerce store on our mobile, only to find the layout, pictures or information just don’t fit right, making the page impossible to navigate.

We all remember these experiences well, and not fondly. Now think… did you purchase anything on that site? Is your answer no?

Neither did anyone else.

When Akamai asked consumers about the last time they abandoned an online shopping cart, 33% of online shoppers reported it was because the page took too long to load; this is the third most common reason shoppers will abandon carts on ecommerce stores.

Keeping this in mind, there has never been a better time to consider using responsive images to help enhance your ecommerce store and improve your overall user experience.

What Are Responsive Images?

Responsive images and responsive web design are exactly as they sound. Elements that respond and fit naturally to the device your customers are viewing your site on. Whether it’s mobile, desktop or tablet.

Responsive images are natively supported by modern browsers using srcset. Currently 90.83% of all browsers in Australia and 87.74% Globally support srcset capabilities. This is a perfect and easy way to ensure all your carefully thought out content can be accessed by any user, whatever the device, at any time.

responsive images

The demand and development of responsive images is largely due to the increase in internet accessibility, through the help of smartphones and the progressively rich content of websites.. Responsive images means there is no need for separate HTML for your mobile and desktop websites i.e. the same site that works on your customer’s desktop is the same on that works on their mobile phone.

Designing responsive content also ensures as technology progresses and screen sizes change, your content is able to adapt and stay relevant. This is an integral factor for any front end development; gone are the days of single device web browsing.

A 2016 Oztam-Nielsen study found that Australian households had on average 6.4 internet connect devices. This magnifies how important it is that your content is compatible.

As the state of technology is constantly evolving and changing, you need to ensure your website is able to keep up with each and every change.

How Responsive Images Can Improve UX

The introduction of responsive images means you are not only improving the look of your pages on smaller devices, you are also able to reduce the time customers wait for pages to load as they browse your site; The smaller the screen, the less content the browser needs to load – reducing load times is that simple.

This may not seem like such a big deal, but from a customer’s perspective, load speeds and wait times are one of the main concerns expressed by online shoppers and online users alike. Even Google saw a 20% decrease in traffic as a result of 1 second increases to page load times… If the load speed of web pages is important enough for Google to uphold, it should be a priority for you, too.

Responsive images are a breakthrough in front end development as they allow websites to improve their user experience without compromising the usability or overall layout of the website itself.

The real win for front-end development in terms of responsive images comes from the ability to maintain your images across all platforms. This is an especially important component of multi-device user experience as the site your customers are able to access on their desktop is the same website your customers are able to access on their mobile devices or tablets.

responsive images

Websites that translate across all platforms can help build brand credibility and trust in the customers mind, which can ultimately lead to a higher number of conversions.

Why Responsive Images Are Vital to Ecommerce

We briefly touched on this before, but responsive images and web design are just as important to the overall layout of your page as the actual content. After all, what’s the point of investing hours designing a knockout page if it can’t be viewed on all your customers devices.

There are around 19.4 million smartphone users in Australia at the moment and these numbers are only growing. With so many Australians spending a large amount of time accessing the internet from their smartphones, you can bet they’re also doing their online shopping from the same devices. According to Criteo, in 2016, 48% of all Ecommerce transactions in Australia were completed on a smartphone. This gives us an indication that customers are replacing their ecommerce transactions on their desktops with more portable devices like their smartphones.

Regardless of how your customers are viewing your content, research overwhelmingly shows us they want to browse a site that loads promptly. This can be a challenge when images are a key component of your online store. Slow load times also resulted in a huge 75% of customers saying they would never visit a site again if it took too long to load. For e-commerce stores responses like this to slow loading content can be detrimental.

Criteo’s report from 2016 found that 37% of desktop customers viewed the same retailer’s site on one other device before securing their purchase. This shows us exactly how customers of ecommerce stores are shopping and really emphasises a brands need to have a consistent layout; Combining this information with the implementation of responsive images will really help ensure you’re getting conversions by limiting the load speeds of your e-commerce store. As little as a 1 second delay in page load times can result in a 7% decrease in conversions. While this doesn’t seem significant, for an ecommerce store generating $100,000 in sales daily a 7% decrease in conversions translates to $2.5 million worth of lost revenue a year, all because of slower load speeds.

Responsive images minimise the load times of your website and not only enhance the user experience, but could also play an important role in your SERP ranking. Although there are 200 ranking factors that google takes into account to calculate your all important ranking, the page loading speed is one of them. Optimising the time it takes your page to load could ultimately increase your rankings and help bump you up to the top of the search results page.

There’s no doubt that responsive images can help minimise the weight and overall wait times customers will experience on your website, but these factors can also improve overall user experience as well as the ever significant conversions.

Shopify and Responsive Images

With the introduction of new image properties late last year, Shopify now allows theme developers to have greater control over the responsive properties of their images. These advances to shopify’s capabilities now affords theme developers the opportunity to create and utilise different rules surrounding image attributes such as image.height, image.width and image.aspect_ratio.according to each individual image object. This allows you to implement responsive images on your shopify page, easily and seamlessly.

This feature can be utilised through the regular browser image attribute srcset in your HTML code, allowing you to load a particular sized images determined by the size of the screen the customer is using to view the content.

The srcset attribute gives you the ability to define a set of images, the browser then intuitively chooses the best fit for the device, replacing shopify’s previous solution to the picture sizing, image filter. The srcset attribute gives users the ability to set numeric parameters and dimensions in pixels, specified by width and height. By specifying a set of numeric parameters on custom themes, shopify gives you the ability to create a more responsive system, depending on how you think the image might appear on different sized screens. While there’s no need to alter all your previous image attributes under the image filter system just yet, images with parameters such as “large” or “grande” are still valid on existing custom themes but are slowly being phased out of the shopify platform.

It may be something you never really considered before, or something you had been putting off, but having responsive images on your ecommerce page can have a far greater impact than just making your page look good regardless of the screen size. Their impact comes in the form of reaching and winning new customers, gaining conversions through reducing load times and ensuring customer retention.

To update your ecommerce store to a more responsive, capable page, contact acidgreen your certified Shopify Partners. As we move toward a more fluid web experience between different devices, responsive images will help ensure your brand is not left behind.

acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or give us a call to learn more about our services.

 

 

By Author admin

Automate Ecommerce Campaigns With Shopify Plus Launchpad

Flash sales, what are they good for? Absolutely everything!

shopify plus launchpad

But… they can be extremely taxing on businesses and usually require a lot of manual merchandising.

They’re a mandatory part of the business and yet, planning and executing these events involves time. It also usually follows with a lot of disjointed tasks, as well as a lack of confidence in how the sale will actually perform.

Thankfully, that no longer needs to be the case. Why? Because the experts at Shopify Plus have recently introduced Shopify Plus Launchpad into the market and it’s making bigger leaps than Neil Armstrong.

What does it do?

Shopify Plus Launchpad provides enterprise merchants with a robust solution for managing site traffic, stock and sales volume. The Plus native software now enables merchants to build and launch events such as sales campaigns, product releases, and content changes with ease.

Effectively, it reduces manual and recurring tasks, allowing your time to be utilised effectively and efficiently.

How Does Shopify Plus Launchpad Simplify Events?

Through scheduling and automation, Launchpad can simplify the execution phase by automating your business’ event checklist. Not only does this reduce labour time and costs, It also minimises any risk of error.

“The Launchpad app gives our merchants the ability to put a sale event on ‘autopilot,’ allowing for the pre-planning and automated execution of a sales event.” – Shopify

All the seller has to do is select the specific products for the flash sale or inventory launch.

Even better? Absolutely no coding is required. By utilising Shopify Plus Launchpad, users can simply select a discount of choice, save it and then the rest is history. Shopify Launchpad will automatically launch the discount when the sale date/time comes around.

Shopify Plus’s Launchpad provides:

Exclusivity

Initiate invite-only and limited release product collections

Demand

Automate selection of products launched for sales

Scarcity

Lock your site before the launch of your event & schedule for custom changes to take effect

Integrate Campaign-Specific Themes

With Shopify Plus Launchpad, you can build and adjust campaign-specific themes to highlight sale and/or priority products. Merchants can also optimise these themes in advance to ensure you’re not hit with any unforeseen surprises come launch day.

This is a great way to enhance the customer experience. And, according to a study conducted by Walker, by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the number one key brand differentiator. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

In short, Shopify Launchpad could help to boost your conversions/sales.

Automatically Publish Shopify Scripts

Shopify Plus Launchpad also features an automatic line item script that has the ability to offer exclusive promotions to certain customers on the checkout page e.g. offer a gift upon purchase or offer free shipping on orders over $100.

It also automatically enables a checkout CAPTCHA so you can sleep peacefully knowing your sales are devoid of any bots.

Real-time Tracking Capabilities

Monitoring sales in real-time can be challenging for businesses, particularly for those larger-scale sales and releases.

Luckily, Shopify Plus Launchpad allows businesses to monitor events performance in real-time i.e. allow for the tracking of total sales and placed orders, inventory levels and time-based average order values.

This is all available via Launchpad’s real-time analytics dashboard.

shopify plus launchpad

The dashboard gives merchants the ability to optimise the customer experience based on your audience’s specific consumer behaviour on-the-go. You can track report data at the beginning of the sale, right through to the end (note: the dashboard feature is only active for the first four weeks of your event).
The Shopify Plus Launchpad dashboard shows merchants:

  • Total sales, orders placed & average order values
  • Data about products sold
  • Customer conversion data

Why Use Shopify Plus Launchpad?

Why use anything that will help improve labour time, business efficiency, data reporting as well as help to increase sales?

By enabling Shopify Plus Launchpad, merchants are able to get the most out of their events.

They have the ability to:

  • Automatically schedule product price changes
  • Schedule a time/date of release
  • Rollout entire theme changes
  • Publish specific products to your sales channels
  • Increase inventory levels at the beginning of an event
  • Schedule creative and theme customisations
  • Integrate scheduled line item and shipping scripts for price changes at the checkout
  • Temporarily lock the site before sales or inventory launch
  • Utilise a CAPTCHA system to avoid bots
  • Track event performance via the Launchpad dashboard

With the increasing importance placed on flash sales, it is imperative that they’re executed seamlessly. They’re designed to generate traffic, move inventory and expand the business. However, without utilising systems such as Launchpad, they can cost more energy, money and downtime than they’re worth. The more time you invest in setting up a flash sale, the less valuable the profit from the sale seems.

“Knowing that sale events like a flash sale are an important part of today’s retail landscape, we wanted to provide our merchants with an integrated solution that made the process easy and efficient.” – Shopify Plus’ Director of Product, David Moellenkamp

Shopify Plus Launchpad means merchants can create innovative campaigns with peace of mind. It is your command centre for major digital commerce events; customer-facing automation and real-time dashboarding. For more information, watch the full demo here.

 

For ultimate automation, It also works great with Shopify Plus’ ecommerce automation tool, Shopify Flow that efficiently automates common, everyday tasks. To find out more, contact acidgreen today. We’re your certified Shopify Plus Partners, and we’ll help you choose the path that’s most suitable for your business.

acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency  specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of  industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitteror give us a call to learn more about our services.

By Author Mark Binns

How To Write Effective Email Subject Lines

What comes first? The content or the subject line?

Ok yes, you got me there. Of course you should come up with the content first, but your subject lines should never be an afterthought you tack on after you’ve already written the rest of the email. Even if you’ve crafted the most engaging content ever, it will never see the light of day if it’s hidden behind a terrible subject line.

Across all industries, the average marketing email open rate in 2017 is 21.8%. What’s more, 47% of recipients open the email purely based on the subject line. You might cry, “Don’t judge an email by its subject line” but nearly half of your email recipients are doing just that.

Think of email subject lines like article headlines. How can you seize someone’s attention and sum up your content in just a few words. What will get you the most opens?

As certified Dotmailer partners, acidgreen have compiled a foolproof set of email marketing tips that will save your campaigns from a quick trip to the trash. So, if you want to see those open rates really fly high, read on!

Be Brand Consistent

All marketing efforts are an extension of your brand and your email subject line is no different. Before setting pen to paper, or fingers to your keyboard as it may be, reflect on your brand’s positioning, its overall goals and your target audience.

Even if this one line is the only thing that’s going to be read of your email, you want to make sure that you’re sending the right message.

First impressions last, so you want to start on the right foot with the recipients on your mailing list.

Communicate the Benefits

Each one of your email campaigns should contain content that is useful for the reader, and the subject line is where you communicate the benefit the recipient will receive by opening the email and giving you their time.

Whether your campaign is centred around welcoming new subscribers, an upcoming sale, or presenting useful information, the topic should be evident in the subject line so people know what to expect within the campaign.

Of course you can always put a creative twist on this. For example, an email subject line posing an open-ended question like “Is dark chocolate actually good for you?” is a great way to catch a recipient’s attention with the promise of more information once they open the email.

Having said this, always remember to avoid making false promises in your subject lines just to increase your opens as this is a surefire way to lose the trust of your audience.

Timing is Everything

How many Christmas-related emails do you think you’ll receive this season? We’re dreading the assault on our inboxes already but these emails work for a reason. Timing is highly correlated with relevancy.

Staying up to date with trending topics in your industry or even those in wider popular culture and incorporating mentions of these into your email subject lines is an effective way to stay relevant with your recipients.

Whether you like it or not, discounts and deals are one of the main reasons why consumers sign up for company mailing lists. You don’t want to fall into the trap of your recipients being accustomed to constant sales but if used sparingly, announcing a time-sensitive sale via email is a great way to increase email opens and clicks. You can further add to the sense of urgency within the campaign by incorporating a countdown timer.

Cutting down to the wire, sending the right email at the exact right moment can be the best catalyst for action. For example, an email at 3:00PM on a weekday with the subject line “Get food delivered straight to your office right now!” will be opened faster than you can say “afternoon munchies”.

Add that Personal Touch with Segments

Speaking of relevancy, personalisation is the best way to do it.

Personalisation is all about making the recipient feel understood and special. Using someone’s name in the email subject line was a cool party trick once but now it’s just the baseline.

You wouldn’t send the same texts to your mates and your grandma, so in the same vein, why would you mass send the same subject line to your whole mailing list? With Dotmailer’s dynamic content features, you can create targeted subject lines based on custom segments.

Contact and order data that you’ve captured including someone’s age, location, past orders, level of engagement with previous campaigns and more, should be factored in to help you write a more relevant subject line or even decide whether they should receive this email at all.

Personalise your email subject lines

 

The Medium is the Message

The devices and email clients that your recipients are using will affect the length of the subject line shown. In general, mobile phones in portrait mode show the least number of characters while desktop email clients allow you more space to exercise your creativity.

Dotmailer’s campaign reports provide a breakdown of how your recipients accessed your emails, so you should take this into consideration when crafting your subject line.

While there is no ideal subject line length that will suit all campaigns, studies have found that subject lines between 6-10 words have the highest open rate.

As such, it is important to keep your email subject lines concise and convey any pertinent information towards the start.

Emojis😍😍

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an emoji is worth 💯 characters.

Nowadays, you can’t get through the day without seeing an emoji and that’s because they’re a uniquely eye-catching and succinct way to convey a message.

Especially if your mailing list skews towards the younger generation, communicating with them through the visual language of emojis is a highly effective way to emphasise a concept or tell a story.

Are you an eCommerce company promoting a certain product with your email campaign? Feature a graphical depiction of that product in the subject line! There’s new emojis released every year so take the time to find the perfect one for your campaign.

Keep in mind that emojis display differently in different email clients which can change the tone of your message so always remember to test your campaign before hitting send.

Numbers are your Friend

Every businessperson worth their salt knows the value of solid figures and statistics when it comes down to the decision making process, so why would it be any different when a recipient is trying to decide whether or not to open your email?

Article headlines utilising specific numbers are proven to be effective and the same is true in email subject lines.

Including a piece of data in your subject line sets the recipient’s expectations of the email’s contents.

Compare these examples:

  • 5 steps to increasing your email open rates
  • 50 ways to improve your email content

A low number suggests a simple and straightforward process while a larger number indicates a detailed series of information. Either way, numbers lend you a sense of authority on the subject matter and leave a positive impression on the reader.

Numbers make for effective email subject lines
Source: https://zurb.com/playground/testsubject

Match the Tone to the Contents

As the blurbs to your email body content, your subject lines should complement the information inside. If you have an important company announcement to make, you don’t want to sound flippant in the subject line and have people ignore it.

Building on this, transactional emails receive 8 times more open and clicks compared to other types of emails, and as such the subject lines of these emails should clearly indicate the automated and functional nature of the contents.

For your marketing emails, you can have more fun.

Laughter is the best medicine so if it’s on brand, a humourous email subject line is always going to be received well. Everyone loves a good pun so take the time to come up with a creative one and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.

When special events and celebrations roll around, emotions are heightened so it’s a perfect time for an enterprising marketer to capitalise on those. For example, charming and sweet subject lines work best around Valentine’s Day and you can throw in a few heart emojis for good measure.

Don’t Feed the Spam Filter

Ah, every email marketer’s greatest enemy. The junk mail folder.

Attention-grabbing for all the wrong reasons, email subject lines IN ALL CAPS or with an overdose of exclamation marks can be fatal!!!!!!!!!

Even if they do pass email client spam filters, they’ll likely be seen as spam by the human recipients and worse than going to junk mail, such behaviour could very easily encourage people to unsubscribe from your mailing list once and for all.

Dotmailer offers an inbox and spam filter test through Litmus to help you optimise your campaign but you can perform a preliminary check for yourself through avoiding spammy keywords.

Use Action-Oriented Verbs

The whole purpose of your subject line is to grab the attention of the recipient enough that it encourages them to take action and open the email.

Starting your email subject line with strong action verbs instills a greater urgency in the reader.

Compare the pair:

  • These tips will help you stand out in your next job interview
  • Stand out in your next job interview with these tips

The second subject line has you excited and galvanised for a reason! Sometimes, a simple rewording can be all it takes to boost opens.

Don’t Forget to Test

The last step is certainly not the least!

So you’ve followed all the steps and come up with what you think is the best subject line for your email campaign. But do your recipients think the same?

If there’s one step you can’t afford to skip, it’s this. There’s no harm in testing your subject lines. Dotmailer’s split testing functionality allows you to test multiple subject lines for each campaign so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

It might be as straightforward as adding an emoji or changing the length of your subject lines that really makes a difference to your open rate – you won’t know unless you try!

Over time, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the types of email subject lines that your recipients best respond to.

Bonus Tips!

 

Preheader Text

Often email clients will show a snippet of preheader text after the subject line, which they’ve drawn from the first fragment of text within your email campaign.

Hands up if you’ve ever used this to screen an email. We’re all guilty.

This is a prime opportunity to supplement the message in your subject line with extra information to entice someone to open your campaign.

Rather than thinking of them as two separate elements, using the subject line and preheader text together to communicate a message makes it immensely more effective.

Optimise your from name, email subject line and preheader text

Friendly From Name

If you’ve taken the time to perfect your email from the subject line, to the content, down to the last pixel in the template, you want to make sure you receive all the credit for that.

Before you hit send, check that your brand name, or individual name with your company or job title, is set as the friendly from name.

And that’s it!

These are our tried and tested tips for optimising your email subject lines.

Once you’ve gotten someone past the initial hurdle of opening your email, now your next objective is to captivate them with the content that you’ve teased in the subject line.

Want more help to craft email campaigns which actually convert? Contact acidgreen and benefit from the experience of certified Dotmailer professionals today!

_____

acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency  specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of  industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitteror give us a call to learn more about our services.