easter.jpg

Easter - the time for family, reflection and renewal. Surprise your current customers and engage new ones with the excentos Product Finder. Providing gift inspiration to your customers has never been so easy as with the excentos Workbench.

In this blog post, we showcase some of our favorite Gift Finders and explain why they work so well for all kinds of people, genders and age groups.

1. For the Chocoholics... because nothing screams Easter more than chocolate!

Take me to the Gift Finder: Chocolat Gift Finder

🐣 Hotel Chocolat

🐣 Chocolate Specialists

Hotel Chocolat is a luxury British chocolatier and cocoa grower. With over 130 shops, cafes and restaurants, three boutiques in Copenhagen and a hotel on their cocoa plantation in the Caribbean, Hotel Chocolat are revolutionizing the chocolate industry.

What do we think? This exquisite Gift Finder is oozing in irresistible temptation and an insatiable appetite for the best chocolatey gift. Its simplistic yet luxurious design perfectly compliments the Hotel Chocolat brand. Shopping for Easter eggs has never been so fun!

2. Treats for the kids

Take me to the Gift Finder: Mytoys Gift Finder

🐣 MyToys

🐣 Children's toy specialists

MyToys is Germany's leading retailer of children's toys and accessories and one of the 12 largest online shops in the country! They are a multi-channel retailer with 14 branches.

What do we think? The variety of themes and adorable images easily gets the personality of the child across to the buyer. This Gift Finder is also quite extensive, asking several questions about the recipient to ensure it delivers suitable and intelligent AI-driven recommendations. A win-win situation for both you and your customer. Your customer happily walks away with the perfect gift and you increase your sales.

Take me to the Gift Finder: Smythstoys Gift Finder

🐣 Smyth's Toys

🐣 Children's toy specialists

Smyth's is Ireland's largest toy store and a multinational chain provider of children's toys and entertainment products.

What do we think? The simple theme and colors perfectly fit the branding of a toy store and the graphic of the young boy brings life to the Gift Finder. It's also a great idea to offer users the chance to specify their maximum spend, especially when it comes to buying things like toys which we all know can easily leave a hole in our pocket. Additionally, by filtering out products which are not within the customer's price range, you can better highlight the products which they can afford and are more likely to buy.

3. For the book worms wanting a fresh read this spring...

Take me to the Gift Finder: Magazine Gift Finder

🐣 Magazine UK

🐣 The Magazine Specialists

Magazine UK is the UK's largest online subscription site for hundreds of magazines to suit everyone's preferences.

What do we think? It's always nice to receive advice and tips on what could be a good read. This cool Gift Finder asks about the recipient's personality which is always an important factor in finding the perfect gift.

4. For the whole family!

Take me to the Gift Finder: Gift Finder

🐣 Gifts.com

🐣 The Ultimate Gift Website

Gifts.com is an online shop selling a large assortment of products to suit anyone and everyone.

What do we think? These lovely images really capture the essence of everyone you could want to buy a gift for as well as the occasion to go with it. Since Gifts.com sell such a large amount of products which are suited to all kinds of people, it's important that they provide their customers with a support mechanism like a Product Finder which helps users to narrow down their search.

5. For the special ladies in our life

Take me to the Gift Finder: Douglas Gift Finder

🐣 Douglas

🐣 The Beauty Specialists

Douglas is a German perfume and cosmetics retailer with around 35,000 products in more than 1900 stores across Europe.

What do we think? Buying cosmetics online can sometimes be a challenge since you can't test it or smell it. The Douglas Gift Finder deals with this issue well by asking the right amount of questions. They also use a slider feature for people to specify their age which is a pretty important factor when buying cosmetic products but also great for usability as users don't need to insert any free text.

6. And let's of course not forget the special men in our life

Take me to the Gift Finder: Whiskey Gift Finder

🐣 The Whisky Exchange

🐣 The Whisky Specialists

The Whisky Exchange is one of the largest online retailers of whiskey, advising and serving thousands of people their favorite tipple every week.

What do we think? This Gift Finder is clearly more suited to whiskey lovers since the questions are more focused towards those who know what they are talking about. The concept, however, is great, since it's always helpful to receive advice before you buy with more higher-end products like spirits and liqueurs.

So, how can online Gift Finders benefit my business?

  • Have an edge over your competitors
  • Improve user experience - customers no longer need to feel frustrated by having too many options or a lack of online support.
  • Make online shopping more fun - Gift Finders are interactive and engaging for customers, helping them to discover great product recommendations.
  • Reduce return rates - when people receive the perfect gift then there is no need to send it back.

Start building your concept and provide your customers with gift inspiration.

Learn more about Product Finders

future_glasses_resize_750_500.jpg

Marketing has changed more in the past two years than it has in the past 20 years… is your company doing everything it can to keep up?

In a world of choice overload, it can be difficult for retailers to keep up with their competition but good marketing tools can certainly give a business the edge. With advances in technology, marketing has become so much more than generic white-papers and social media ads. Leading companies are ploughing millions into their marketing departments as they constantly try to find the next best campaigns and creative concepts. This also includes finding the latest AI technology for the most modern and savvy marketing initiatives. However, one thing has and will always remain the same and that is the wise words of wisdom - ‘know your audience!’

This blog post will delve into some of the newest and most innovative marketing methods out there and explain how they can help your different target groups to feel inspired and purchase your products.

"94% of companies agree that personalization is critical to current and future success." - Matizmo

A personalized customer experience is simply expected these days, especially when it comes to sending out things like birthday emails or even just emails which address the customer by their first name. Unfortunately though, this just doesn’t quite make the cut anymore and customers aren’t too impressed. According to Infosys, 31% of customers wished that their shopping experience was more personalized and only 22% were satisfied with the current situation of online shopping.

Guided Selling Technology offers a broad range of tools which can be integrated directly into your website and offer your customers a personalized advice service as well as help them to navigate your products. It's new, it's modern and it works! So let's weigh up the options out there and analyze which suit your target group best.

PERSONALIZATION TOOLS

1. Product Guides

Product Guides help your customers to make educated buying decisions as well as help you as a business to understand their needs by asking simple questions which lead them to ideal product recommendations.

Product Guides are particularly suitable to customers who are unsure about what to buy - especially when it comes to electronic products like cameras, TVs and washing machines where most people don't claim to be an expert and therefore, need a helping hand.

2. Virtual Try On Tool - Mr Spex

Opticians MrSpex demonstrate excellent personalization with their Virtual Try On Tool. They prove that even buying glasses online isn't risky business anymore. Instead of having to go into a MrSpex store, you can now try different pairs of glasses on from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a webcam or a camera phone and with the help of face recognition, you can then try on all the glasses you wish and see which suit best.

Some customers will naturally still prefer the traditional method of going to buy a pair of glasses from the store but this visual fit tool is perfect for your target groups with hectic lives and those people who just need to make a quick purchase without any hassle.

3. Color and Design Selector - Victoria's Secret

The Victoria's Secret bra collection allows you to browse different colors and designs quickly and easily. They even show the model wearing every kind of color and design which makes it super easy for customers to just flick through and decide which they prefer best.

This kind of personalization feature works well for fashionistas where those little adjustments to things like color and pattern can make a big difference.

4. Gift Finders - Douglas Beauty and Cosmetics

Gift Finders are a personalization tool suitable for everyone. They are user-friendly and built on an algorithm which provides great recommendations to all kinds of people with all kinds of preferences meaning nobody is going to be left empty-handed when they get to the checkout.

Take the above example from European Beauty and Cosmetics leader "Douglas" whose Gift Finder provides their customers with personal questions that show they care about their needs and helping them to find the perfect gift.

Chatbots - product advice in the form of a conversation... but online!

You either love or hate Siri and Alexa... the same applies to online chatbots which can be integrated into your online shop to help advise customers find their perfect product. Available as an auditory or textual bot, chatbots are designed to make you feel like you are having a conversation with a human. When customers shop in-store and don't have the energy to go looking for something themselves or need some product advice, they simply ask the nearest sales assistant. Chatbots allow online customers to quickly ask what they want too, no matter where they are or what time of day it is.

Whole Foods Supermarket uses chatbots to advise customers on recipes as well as informs them of the nearest store to go buy all the ingredients.

Chatbots are particularly suited to customers who need an answer quickly and who don't get frustrated by talking to robots.

Intelligent Reasoning

Convince your customers with individual arguments in a user-friendly language and watch your conversions increase. By simply showing your customers that you understand their needs and are transparent in what you are selling, you will see positive changes in your customer loyalty rates.

Providing your customers with intelligent reasoning is basically telling them that a product fulfills all the criteria that they want the product to have, in order for them to buy it. Intelligent Reasoning is used by Product Guides which asks the customers what their product requirements are and then leads them to an ideal match. For example, the Bose headphones state that they include world-class noise cancellation, are lightweight and comfortable to wear and also Bluetooth compatible - everything the customer asked for!


Decide on a Guided Selling Method for your online shop today.


Start your 30 day free trial today

pexels-photo-974902_new.jpeg

As you know, high return rates can be a real pet peeve for any online shop as well as have a detrimental effect on both margins and profit.

Leading retailers are already implementing numerous measures to try combat the masses of refunds and returns they receive every day. However, levels continue to remain high which is not only having a damaging effect on orders but also on business.

Of course, customers do sometimes have a good reason for returning one of your products: maybe they were sent the wrong one or maybe it was faulty. However, on more occasions than not, they are sent a product which doesn't fit or isn't how it was described; it is these kinds of reasons which can be easily avoided and save your business time and money. According to Narvar, 42% of buyers returned an online purchase within the past three months. These high numbers show that returning is the new fashion in which shoppers are taking advantage of free return policies by buying items in three different sizes with the intention of sending at least two back.

This blog post will explain why excentos Online Product Advisers better inform your customers about your products so they know exactly what they are buying and won't feel the need to return it.



1. It's all in the detail

Product Pages details

It is important that your product descriptions are written in detail as this will not only improve your SEO and make it easier for customers to find your products but will also inform them of the specific details which really matter. The customer can then ultimately decide whether that particular product fits their requirements or not. Things to include: color, size, fit, style, measurements, material, fabric, washing instructions, purpose etc. Is your product data complete and detailed? Don't worry if not - excentos can help you to clean up your data and ensure it's ready for making an optimal Product Guide.



2. Hitting the nail on the head

excentos Camera Guide

Pinpoint the exact products your customers love and use this knowledge to your advantage. With excentos Product Guides, you can provide your customers with intelligent recommendations which they are bound to love.



3. Finding the perfect fit

 Jeans Size Guide

For fashion brands and retailers, it is particularly important that you include vital information on size, color and style. It is also a good idea to try make this visual. Include sizing tables with unit conversions if you have international customers and try include photos of the product in every different color you offer. The excentos size matching feature takes factors such as body types, wearing habits and style into account and our color matcher uses image analysis algorithms to simplify the color search without confusing customers with different color names.



4. Data alone has no value

Product Rating

Pay attention to your usage data and draw conclusions from it. What does your typical customer profile look like? Which products are your customers buying? Do your customers cross-buy across certain products? Which of your products have good and bad customer reviews? Utilizing your data to provide better product recommendations to your customers is the best way to sell and results in both better targeting and marketing messages. Another great way to help customers in choosing a product is by using the excentos Customer Reviews feature which showcases the most common customer reviews within your Product Guide.



5. Knowledge is power

As well as analyzing which products your customers love, it is also important that you understand the reasons why customers send back certain products. When sending out your products, ensure that you include a few questions on the product return form where the customer can briefly state their reasons for returning.



6. When you visualize, you materialize

Product Images

Great images are crucial to the presentation of your products. Include as many images as possible and the more angles the better! Zoom functions and even videos of your product in action can really assist your customers in understanding whether that is the right product for them.



Inform customers about your products more effectively and watch your profits grow

Start building your Product Guide with excentos and say Goodbye to high return rates.


learn more about Product Guides

millenials.jpg

"Millennials want it all and they want it now." - Guven Ordun, Research Gate

Millennials, Generation Y - buzzwords which we hear all the time. The primary target group aged between 22-35 years old have certain expectations in mind when they go shopping and their demands continue to grow exponentially.

Some prevalent trends which grace this tech-savvy generation include the influence of social media, aesthetics and more recently, the importance of protecting the environment and fighting for social justice.

This blog post will look into the five main contributors in successful targeting of the millennial shopper.

  • Social Media
  • Inspirational Content Marketing
  • Digital Product Advice and Guided Selling Solutions
  • Customer Service
  • Omnichannel accessibility

1. Social Media

Source: Facebook PlayStation

Top of the list has to be social media. Generation Y spends over 2 hours on social media per day and this phenomenon is not slowing down any time soon. Social media also continues to develop as something more than networking amongst friends and has become the go-to medium for people to be inspired, shop, leave reviews, interact and share experiences.

Thousands of shops and retailers have started investing serious money in social media to attract more customers and increase sales, and why wouldn't they? Social media is the holy grail for marketers and has made the targeting of all ages, genders, personalities and demographics so much easier.

PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT AND INFLUENCERS

With the rise of Instagram, millennials have proven that they are crazy for visual content and are easily influenced by what their favorite celebrities are doing, wearing, eating or where they are going on holiday.

Take for example Meghan Markle's Sarah Flint ballet flats, which were spotted online and consequently sold out minutes later. People feel good about themselves when they know that they are wearing the same shoes as an actress, sports star or influential personality and if they are die-hard fans, then they will undoubtedly flock to the shops and buy every product which they see their idol wearing; regardless of whether they can truly afford it or not.

Source: Sarah Flint https://www.sarahflint.com/

Source: Meghan Markle Style Blog http://meghanstyle.org/

There are influencers in every industry - you just have to find them. Previously, businesses would only invest in influencers with at least 500k followers but this prerequisite no longer exists and companies see value in gifting even those with smaller numbers.

Source: Instagram @tagheuer

SOCIAL MEDIA SHOPPING

Source: Instagram @uniqlo

Promoting your products via social media is an easy way to get a wide reach and directly connect with your customers. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram also have new shopping features which allow you to insert product tags and scan barcodes which link directly to the checkout page. Competitions, giveaways, coupons and vouchers are also appreciated by customers and allow them to get involved and interact with your brand on their favorite social media channel.

2. Inspirational Content Marketing

Source: Instagram @gopro

ONLINE CONTENT

Hand in hand with social media comes good quality content. Inspiring content which users love will gather support and attention from genuine followers onto your page, as well as save you some money on paid-ads. Target groups and personas are not limited to gender, demographics, lifestyle choices and income but also generation. Generation takes all factors into account and since people from the same generation have lived through the same events, experienced advances in technology together, share similar values, etc - they are an ideal target group.

Visual content should be of professional quality and written content should engage the reader, maybe teach them something new or leave a positive impression on them. Give your readers something to think about, something to discuss or simply something to make them smile.

Unfortunately, not all businesses have the budget to invest in marketing resources, however, free copyright websites such as pexels and unsplash provide a large range of professional, copyright-free images and you can find freelance content writers who charge at an hourly rate to provide you content as and when you may need it.

Content which is in vogue at the moment relates to philanthropical issues of social injustice as well as protecting the environment and discussion of ethics and sustainability.

Source: Instagram @thebodyshop

Source: Instagram @thefemalecompany

OFFLINE CONTENT:

Of course online retail is huge and vital for survival but brick and mortar businesses are still not dead and there are measures to be taken to keep them alive. For example, traditional storefronts and displays have become outdated and customers are on the search for exciting and interesting designs which provide them with more than a shopping experience. The kind of experience which is "Instagrammable". Take the example of American fashion retailer Abercrombie&Fitch who across all their stores worldwide have topless male models at the entrance for excitable customers waiting in the queues outside to get their photo taken.

Other popular and innovative in-store trends include: huge flower garlands, interactive gaming stations, in-store DJs, pop-up food stalls and in-store devices which can be linked up to the internet to provide a more fluid shopping experience for not only your customers, but your staff too.

3. Digital Product Advice & Guided Selling Solutions

Douglas Gift Finder https://bit.ly/2HBNunv

ONLINE GUIDED SELLING SOLUTIONS

Generation Y are complaining that their online shopping experience isn't personalized enough. Customers lack good-quality advice online and in a world of choice overload, they are becoming easily frustrated and consequently leaving your shop empty-handed. Many online shops have become overcrowded with products which are difficult to navigate from the user's point of view.

Product Guides act like a virtual sales assistant who can give you advice and guide you to the right product. They do this by asking a few quick and simple questions which AI-driven Guided Selling technology uses to provide you with intelligent recommendations based on your individual needs.

OFFLINE GUIDED SELLING SOLUTIONS

Product advisers are also useful accompaniments in-store and can aide your employees when trying to help customers find their perfect product while also giving them a better product overview. In-store Product Guides can also be used as a helping hand in your busier stores or at peak times. For example, instead of allowing customers to stand and wait to speak with the next available member of staff, they can receive advice independently with the self-sufficient Product Guide.

4. Excellent Customer Service

Source: Apple

Customers tend to expect an answer straight away, 24 hours around the clock and thanks to advances in customer service tools, this is now possible! In addition to human exchange, you can also automate your customer service with online chatbots and troubleshooting guides. Chatbots and troubleshooting guides assist your business with out of hours requests as well as deal with issues which can save your support team valuable time.

5. Omnichannel Accessibility

Generation Y are workaholics who lead fast-paced and active lifestyles. They need access to your shop on every available device they own; from desktop to mobile, watch and IPad. Not only this, but they want it to work as smoothly on their phone as it would on their laptop. Omnichannel accessibility also means that your website is in sync across all channels and your customers can conveniently access everything your website has to offer regardless of the channel they are using.

So, what are the benefits of adapting to Generation Y's needs?

  • They are the largest generation in history
  • Predicted to become huge spenders
  • All are of legal age to buy any kind of product
  • All are of working age which means they probably have the disposable income to shop, shop, shop!

Find out how your business can implement the latest and most effective customer service strategies

Contact Us

amazon_phone.jpg

It’s plain to see why Amazon is leading the e-commerce race. Their excellent user-experience, varied product assortment and innovative means of drawing in smaller, more diverse businesses through FBA has allowed them to target people of all backgrounds, interests and shopping behaviors.

Amazon is accountable for over 37% of the USA's annual retail e-commerce and has over 2 million sellers.

This makes things difficult for traditional small and medium-sized businesses operating outside of the Amazon marketplace.

Smaller businesses are finding it tricky to stand out and charge competitive prices. However, the impersonal nature of shopping on Amazon has allowed SMBs to have a competitive edge in many other areas of business.

Thanks to advances in digital technology, accelerated by huge corporations like Amazon, it’s left customers wanting more! With an increase in customer expectations, people are searching for shopping experiences with a special touch that Amazon is simply too large to provide.

This blog post will demonstrate prime examples of when SMBs overtook Amazon in providing customers with better user experience.

1. Find your niche

To create trust, it’s important you prove that you know your stuff. The easiest way to do this as an SMB is to find your niche and focus on what you are good at. If you do something you believe in and feel passionate about, your energy and efforts will pay off and customers will feel inspired.

Focusing on too many products with limited resources and knowledge makes everything more unmanageable and distorts your vision.

"A jack of all trades is a master of none."

Think about the best kind of restaurants - they are always the ones with limited choice on the menu since it’s impossible to produce good-quality without specialization.

Specialize and you will be able to deliver - take too much on and you will most likely hinder productivity and lose against your competition.

With specialization, you can easily create a unique brand personality and win on content marketing by delivering personalized messages which resonate with your target audience.

Source: Bombas - the performance sock specialist

Although Amazon’s momentous success is mainly down to its huge product assortment - even they started off specializing in only books, taking the strategic decision to expand to other products in 2000.

Even though Amazon has the money to make a large product assortment work effectively, customers are still not 100% satisfied. Users are becoming easily frustrated and impatient by having to trawl through so many products and it’s simply leaving them confused as to which product to buy.

Although higher than the average e-commerce retailer, Amazon still only scored a 13% conversion rate when getting users to the checkout in 2019.

2. Care about the needs of your users

Source: Uncommon Goods

Caring about what your users want can be difficult without personally speaking to them. However, artificial intelligence can do this for you.

AI gets to know your users in numerous ways and can identify patterns in consumer data and behavior which makes it more effective than a human could ever be.

  • Subconsciously: AI can reach conclusions by simply tracking your users' clicks and analysis of data sets.
  • Consciously: Integrating Guided Selling solutions such as Product Guides and Gift Finders into your online shop allow your customers to directly interact on your website. Customers are asked a few questions and their answers are analyzed through AI so that they can be intelligently led to their most ideal product.

With the data collected from customers, you can track and optimize the success of your recommendation behavior through an analytics tool. Measurable trackers also help you to observe your customers' shopping habits, purchase history and wish-lists. This allows you to provide more personalized and targeted recommendations in the future.

Most analytics tools will give a comprised visitor overview, entailing: user ID, user journey, geographical location, clicks and duration spent on your site. Such valuable kind of data helps a business to gain better insight into what their customers want and gives them the know-how to target them better through numerous kinds of recommendations.

Source: excentos analytics - data based on one day period

3. Provide a top-quality customer service

Source: Hipmunk

Rising expectations mean customers want immediate interaction. There is no time to lose when thousands of competitors are out there ready to pounce on your customers.

With conversational agents and chatbots, you can provide your customers with a 24/7 customer service meaning they are never left waiting with unanswered questions.

Chatbots are made up of natural language processing and machine learning and can also help businesses to improve their interaction with customers by recommending products and providing them with advice.

4. Detailed Product Information

Source: Bombas

Since Amazon is made up of millions of sellers, there is naturally no continuity in how transparent and detailed product listings are.

Without detailed product information, users can easily make uninformed purchases which they will want to return. Product descriptions should be informative, providing the necessary specifics as well as the value proposition.

Customers want to know how your product is going to enrich their lives, rather than the technical details behind the making of it. The more benefits you provide the customer with, the more they are likely to fantasize about having your product in their hand and add it to their shopping cart.

Source: Method Body

Naturally, products of technical complexity. e.g. a TV, require more specific details such as measurements but always keep in mind that everything on your website should look as appealing as possible, since it is one of your biggest marketing tools.

Being open with your customers about exact product details will foster long-term customer loyalty and reduce your return rates meaning one up for you over Amazon!

5. Invest in good product presentation

Source: Woodsman Beard Company

Images are everything, especially as the world of consumerism becomes more superficial. The more visualization a customer has, the better and the more likely they are to purchase.

Your online shop should tell your brand's story. Within seconds of a user entering your shop, they should immediately have a feel for what your company is trying to do.

Product videos make a story easier to tell and are enticing for users which can assist them in making informed buying decisions.

Source: Woodsman Beard Company

6. Provide personalized recommendations

Source: The Perfume Shop

Let’s be honest, we would all love to have a full-time personal shopper who would advise us and pick out the products best suited to our needs and desires.

But how can you replicate or compete with the service provided in traditional brick and mortar stores?

With Guided Selling solutions such as Product Guides and Gift Finders, you certainly can!

Guided Selling solutions talk the customer through the online shopping experience, making it more personalized. They give users more control to dictate what they want and don't want in a product, just like they would in-store. What they like and don't like, what are their interests, personality traits, favorite colors etc.

For more help modernizing your online shop, get in touch!

Contact Us