Competitor Analysis in eCommerce: Learn from Others to Improve Your Strategy

a man writes a competitor analysis for an ecommerce website

As an eCommerce business owner, monitoring your competitors will help you thrive long-term. Studying what they’re doing right (and wrong) can provide valuable insights to improve your own marketing strategies. In this post, we’ll explore practical tips and techniques for conducting an effective competitor analysis.

Know Your Competitors Inside and Out

Start by making a list of your 3-5 main competitors. Spend time on their websites analyzing everything from product offerings to pricing, marketing campaigns, and customer experience. Pay attention to details like:

  • Popular product categories and bestsellers
  • Pricing strategies (are they undercutting you?)
  • User experience and site navigation flows
  • Marketing channels used (email, social media, ads)
  • Customer reviews and ratings
  • Shipping and return policies

Go beyond just their websites. Check review sites like Trustpilot, search for competitors on social media, and look at analytics tools like SimilarWeb to understand traffic sources. The more you understand about their strengths and weaknesses, the better positioned you’ll be.

Analyze Winning and Failing Tactics

Take notes on campaigns that seem to be driving sales. Are they running frequent promotions? Sending targeted emails? Running Facebook ads? Look for patterns in what messaging and creative resonates most with customers. You can then test adapting similar strategies for your own business.

Learn from Competitor Mistakes

Just as important as emulating success is learning from the failures of others. Analyze what competitors do well and where gaps exist. Look for underserved customer segments or product categories being overlooked. One leader may own the high-end space but ignore budget options.

Customer feedback and reviews also reveal unmet needs. Is poor service or a weak mobile experience leaving room for you to outshine others?

Track Competitor Activity Over Time

Doing a one-time analysis only shows a snapshot in time. Set up Google Alerts for competitor brand and product names so you stay on top of new developments. Periodically revisit their sites to spot any changes, like new landing pages or abandoned strategies.

This ongoing monitoring allows you to quickly adapt if a competitor discovers a new marketing channel or product category that takes off. It also prevents you from wasting efforts duplicating strategies they’ve since abandoned.

google alerts

Use Competitor Insights to Test New Ideas

Once you’ve gathered intel, it’s time to start testing ways to one-up the competition. For example, if competitors charge $5 flat rate shipping, try free shipping over $50 instead. Or if they rely on Facebook ads, try Snapchat or TikTok.

Give new tactics a few weeks to gain traction before evaluating success. And be willing to pivot if they don’t work as hoped. The goal is continuous testing and improvement based on what you’ve learned from your competitors.

For ecommerce sites built on platforms like Shopify, is especially useful. It can show which apps and plugins a Shopify store is using. This allows other Shopify merchants to get ideas for apps to enhance their own sites. Plus, it helps identify common capabilities that apps provide. If you want to see how another Shopify site implemented a certain feature, checking their BuiltWith profile is a quick way to discover the app behind it.

BuiltWith has become a go-to tool for developers, marketers and store owners to transparently analyze websites and gather intelligence on their technical stack and capabilities. It offers a clever way to gain insights from the online success of others.

Wrapping Up

The ecommerce landscape changes constantly, so staying on top of competitors is crucial for long-term survival and growth. Don’t be afraid to emulate strategies that have been proven to work. Constantly test new tactics based on weaknesses you uncover. Competitor analysis is an ongoing process, but it provides invaluable insights for boosting your strategy and results.


Are you ready to take your ecommerce strategy to the next level? Get started with a competitor analysis today. 

Holiday Season Marketing for Ecommerce in 2023

a woman holds an ecommerce holiday present

The holiday season is a special time of year as an eCommerce business owner. We get to connect with our customers in a meaningful way and, of course, sell our products. The festive marketing strategies you decide to use leading up to the holidays can make all the difference. In this article, we’ll dive into why holiday marketing is a big deal for businesses and how to create marketing campaigns that shine. We’ll even chat about how to measure the success of your efforts and sneak a peek into upcoming holiday marketing trends.

Why your Holiday Season Marketing Strategy is Important

In 2022, holiday spending in the US reached $178 billion, with 60% of consumers preferring to shop online. During the holiday season, people are in a more generous and joyful state of mind. They’re on the hunt for gifts and experiences that’ll bring a smile to their loved ones’ faces. This creates a golden opportunity for your eCommerce business to connect with your customers on an emotional level. 

There’s also a sense of urgency that comes with the holidays. People want to snag those limited-time offers before they disappear. This urgency can really give your sales a boost and build excitement around your brand.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the psychology of holiday shoppers. The holidays have a way of tugging at our heartstrings and stirring up nostalgic feelings. When it comes to holiday traditions like exchanging gifts, decorating the house, and preparing special meals, people are willing to purchase products and services related to these traditions.

Getting Started with your Holiday Season Offer

When it comes to holiday marketing, it’s more than just deals and discounts. It’s about tapping into those warm and fuzzy holiday emotions, creating a sense of urgency, and ultimately, boosting your sales and brand loyalty. Holiday season sales can make up a significant chunk of your business’s annual revenue, so giving it your all in holiday marketing can set you up for long-term success. 

The first step in creating offers that’ll make your customers hit that checkout button is getting to know them like the back of your hand. What do they want? What drives their decisions? This knowledge will be your secret weapon. 

During the holidays, your customers are bombarded with offers. To really stand out, you need to understand them really, really well. Understanding your audience’s quirks and behaviors during the holidays is key to creating offers that truly hit the mark. If your audience is full of busy parents, for example, your offers could highlight time-saving benefits or hassle-free solutions to make their holiday season smoother. Emphasize how your products or services can make their holidays extra special. Offer exclusive discounts, bundle deals, and limited-time promotions to create a sense of urgency. 

a man browses a holiday ecommerce website

Building Your Holiday Marketing Campaign

Crafting your enticing offers is just one part of the equation. You also need to build effective campaigns that reach your target audience through the right channels at the right time. 

Start by choosing the right marketing channels that align best with your audience and business objectives. Email marketing is a popular option, allowing you to directly reach your customers’ inboxes with personalized offers and promotions. Social media advertising is another effective channel, as it allows you to target specific demographics and engage with potential customers in a more interactive way. 

Remember, timing is everything. Start your campaign planning early so you can launch your campaigns with enough lead time to reach your audience. Creating a content calendar can also help you stay on track. Plus, keep an eye on those key shopping dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Offering exclusive discounts or early access can stir up excitement before the big day.

Wrapping Up 🎁 (Pun Intended)

In conclusion, the holiday season is a magical time for ecommerce businesses to reach new customers and engage previous buyers. Building an effective holiday marketing strategy isn’t just about choosing channels and timing. It’s about understanding the psychology of holiday shoppers. By making the right choices and telling captivating stories, you can create campaigns that leave an impression and resonate with your audience, even after the holiday season has come and gone.

There’s still time! Ready to build your personalized holiday marketing strategy? Schedule a consultation with us to get started.

Cross-Selling and Upselling Techniques for eCommerce Growth

upselling and cross-selling in ecommerce

Ecommerce businesses are constantly seeking new strategies to drive growth and increase their revenue. Two powerful techniques that work today are cross-selling and upselling. By implementing these techniques, your eCommerce business can boost sales and enhance your customers’ satisfaction. In this article, explore upselling and cross-selling in eCommerce, provide practical tips and insights on optimization, and address common challenges that you may face when implementing these techniques.

Understanding Cross-Selling and Upselling

Before we get into the correct way to use cross-selling and upselling, let’s first gain a clear understanding of these concepts. Cross-selling involves recommending additional products or services that complement the item the customer is already purchasing. This can be done by analyzing your customers’ browsing history and purchasing patterns to offer them relevant and personalized suggestions. Using these insights, you can successfully cross-sell products that align with your customer’s preferences.

On the other hand, upselling is used to suggest higher-priced alternatives or upgrades to your customer’s initial choices. This technique aims to encourage customers to consider premium options that provide additional features, enhanced performance, or superior quality. By highlighting the value proposition of these higher-priced alternatives, businesses can persuade customers to upgrade their purchase, ultimately increasing the average order value and maximizing revenue.

Both cross-selling and upselling techniques can not only boost sales but also enhance the overall customer experience by offering relevant and valuable recommendations.

Why is Cross-Selling Important in eCommerce?

Cross-selling plays a crucial role in driving growth and increasing revenue for eCommerce businesses. By suggesting relevant add-on products, you can enhance your customers’ overall shopping experience. If used correctly, cross-selling can increase customer loyalty by demonstrating that you understand their needs and desires.

A key benefit of cross-selling is that you can showcase your products and gain visibility on less popular items. When recommending complementary products, you introduce your customers to new and exciting options that they may not have considered otherwise. This expands your customer’s choices, which drives growth and increases sales.

Moreover, cross-selling can help with customer retention and increasing lifetime value. By consistently offering relevant  recommendations, you can create a personalized shopping experience. This can lead to repeat purchases and a higher likelihood of your customers becoming brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and attracting new customers.

a customer purchases a cross-selling ecommerce product

Identifying Potential Cross-Sell Opportunities

A crucial element of successful cross-selling lies in identifying the right opportunities. This involves analyzing customer behavior, purchase history, and product compatibility. 

As an example, a customer who previously purchased a camera could logically be recommended camera accessories like  lenses or memory cards. Understanding your customer’s needs will allow you to offer complementary products that enhance the functionality and enjoyment of the original purchase.

Ecommerce businesses should also consider using collaborative filtering techniques, where recommendations are based on the purchasing behavior of similar customers. This approach can help identify cross-sell opportunities that may not be immediately apparent, but are likely to resonate.

Creating Effective Cross-Sell Offers

When crafting cross-sell offers, it is important to provide detailed information about the recommended products. This may include highlighting key features and benefits that align with your customers’ needs. Clear and concise communication of the cross-sell offer will ensure that its value is communicated.

Visual assets also play a role in capturing the customer’s attention. High-quality product images, videos, and interactive elements can create an immersive shopping experience, making the cross-sell offer more enticing. Additionally, you should leverage customer reviews and ratings to build trust and credibility, further enhancing the appeal of the recommended products.

Furthermore, cross-sell offers can be made more appealing by offering discounts and free shipping. A discount encourages the customer to make an additional purchase by offering additional savings.

The Role of Upselling in eCommerce Growth

While cross-selling focuses on complementing a customer’s purchase, upselling takes a slightly different approach. By suggesting higher-priced alternatives (or upgrades), you can increase their average order value while showcasing the value and benefits of your premium products. This strategy can boost revenue, enhance your brand image and ultimately position your company as a provider of high-quality products.

One of the key drivers of successful upselling is effective product positioning. Highlighting the unique features, superior performance, or exclusive benefits of higher-priced alternatives can create a compelling value proposition that convinces customers to upgrade their purchase. This can be done through persuasive product descriptions, customer testimonials, or comparison charts that showcase the added value of the premium options.

A successful upselling strategy can contribute to customer loyalty and advocacy. When value is perceived in your premium products, your customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and recommend your products to others. This free “word-of-mouth” marketing can increase the growth of your eCommerce business by attracting new customers and expanding your customer base.

cross-selling and upselling in an ecommerce website

Determining Suitable Upsell Items

To excel in upselling, you must carefully analyze your product offerings and identify suitable items that can be upsold. These items should not only complement your customer’s initial choice but also align with their needs and desires. By understanding your customer preferences and considering their budget, you can suggest upsell products that are highly relevant and appealing. 

For example, if a customer is purchasing a smartphone, a suitable upsell item could be a protective case or a wireless charger. These items not only enhance the functionality of the smartphone but also provide convenience and protection.

Crafting Compelling Upsell Offers

Once suitable upsell items have been identified, it is essential to craft compelling upsell offers that resonate with customers. A well-crafted upsell proposal can significantly influence the customer’s decision and increase the likelihood of them accepting the offer. One effective way to create a compelling upsell proposal is by highlighting the benefits and features of the upsell item. By clearly communicating how the additional product or service can enhance the customer’s experience or solve a problem, you can create a strong desire for the upsell. 

Furthermore, showcasing testimonials and providing social proof can further strengthen the upsell proposal. When customers see positive feedback from other satisfied buyers, they are more likely to trust the upsell offer and perceive it as valuable. 

Creating a sense of urgency is another powerful technique in upselling. By offering exclusive deals or limited-time promotions you create a fear of missing out (FOMO) effect, encouraging your customers to take immediate action and opt for the upsell. 

In conclusion, mastering upselling strategies requires careful analysis of product offerings, identification of suitable upsell items, and crafting compelling upsell offers. By implementing these strategies effectively, your eCommerce business can not only increase your revenue but also provide enhanced value to your customers.

a customer purchases an ecommerce upsell product

Balancing Cross-Selling and Upselling for Maximum Impact

While both cross-selling and upselling are valuable techniques, finding the right balance is essential. Bombarding customers with excessive or irrelevant recommendations can be counterproductive and potentially harm the customer experience. Striking the perfect balance involves understanding the customer’s journey, aligning recommendations with their needs, and respecting their preferences. By doing so, businesses can create a seamless and personalized shopping experience that drives growth while fostering customer trust and loyalty.

By adopting these cross-selling and upselling techniques and addressing the associated challenges, your eCommerce business can unlock untapped potential, drive growth, and maximize customer satisfaction. The key lies in deeply understanding your customer, offering tailored solutions, and continuously refining your strategies. 

Ready to build a customized upselling and cross-selling strategy? Schedule a consultation with us and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth!

Enhancing the Customer Experience on your eCommerce Website

A customer experiences an ecommerce website on a tablet

Today’s consumers have countless options at their fingertips. This means that if you can provide a seamless and enjoyable shopping journey, it will help you stand out from your competition. In this article, we will discuss ways to measure your current customer experience, strategies for improvement, and the role technology plays in increasing customer satisfaction. Let’s get into it!

Understanding Customer Experience in Ecommerce

Let’s talk about why customer experience matters in eCommerce. Your goal shouldn’t be to just sell your products; it should be about creating a positive and memorable journey for your customers. When you prioritize their experience, you foster loyalty, drive higher conversion rates, and ultimately fuel business growth. 

One way to create a positive customer experience is a website that’s easy to use and navigate. When your customers can find what they’re looking for without any hassle, it’s a game-changer. Implementing intuitive search functions, clear product categories, and simple checkout processes can make a significant difference and decrease bounce rates.

Another powerful way to improve customer experience is personalized communication. Personalized communication goes beyond just delivering the right message or recommending the right products. It’s about making your customers feel valued and understood. Address them by name in your emails, acknowledge their loyalty, and send them exclusive offers tailored to their preferences. Show them that you appreciate their business and genuinely care about their needs. These small gestures can go a long way in building strong customer relationships.

Why Ecommerce Stores Shouldn’t Ignore Customer Experience

Paying close attention to customer experience not only brings new customers, but also helps to retain existing ones. Positive customer experiences can generate glowing online reviews and testimonials, which enhances your brand’s image. Satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and become loyal advocates for your brand. By investing in customer experience, you’re investing in the long-term success and credibility of your brand.

What’s more is customer experience plays a significant role in reducing cart abandonment rates. A complicated or time-consuming checkout process can push customers away. Simplify the checkout process to make it as user-friendly as possible. Minimize the number of steps required, eliminate unnecessary form fields, and provide clear progress indicators. Offer a guest checkout option for those who prefer a quick and hassle-free experience. The goal is to make the checkout process a breeze, reducing friction and encouraging customers to complete their purchase.

A customer shops on an ecommerce website

Assessing Your Current Customer Experience

To improve customer experience, you first need to know where you currently stand. Start by measuring key metrics that reflect customer satisfaction and engagement. Dive into analytics to uncover valuable insights such as average time spent on the website, bounce rates, and conversion rates. Customer feedback and reviews are also gold mines of information.

Tools for Measuring Customer Experience on Your Website

Various free tools exist to help you track metrics such as bounce rate, time on site, and conversion rates. Google Analytics is a popular choice to give you an inside look into visitor behavior. This powerful tool provides detailed reports on user demographics, traffic sources, and user journey analysis.

In addition to Google Analytics, heat mapping tools like Hotjar can provide invaluable information about where users are clicking, scrolling, or getting stuck on your website. By visualizing user behavior, you can identify pain points and areas for improvement. Heatmaps can reveal which sections of your website receive the most attention and which ones are being overlooked. Use this data to guide the process of optimizing your website’s layout and content.

Google analytics 4

Strategies for Enhancing Customer Experience

Now that you have a clear understanding of your current customer experience, it’s time to implement strategies that will elevate it to new heights. Let’s explore some effective tactics that can make a significant difference.

Improving Website Navigation and Usability

A cluttered and confusing website interface can quickly frustrate your visitors. Optimizing your website’s navigation and ensuring a seamless user experience is vital for enhancing customer satisfaction. Make sure your menus are intuitive, your search functionality is robust, and your pages load quickly. Clear and visually appealing product categories and filters can help customers find what they’re looking for effortlessly. Remember, simplicity is key.

Personalizing the Shopping Experience

Customers appreciate a personalized touch. Tailoring the shopping experience to individual preferences can boost customer engagement and loyalty. Implementing features like personalized recommendations based on past purchases or browsing history can go a long way in making customers feel valued and understood. Additionally, personalized email marketing campaigns and targeted promotions can create a sense of exclusivity and further enhance customer experience.

Streamlining the Checkout Process

The checkout process is a critical juncture where many potential customers abandon their carts. Lengthy and complicated checkout procedures can result in frustration and lost sales. Streamlining the process by minimizing the number of steps, offering guest checkout options, and providing multiple secure payment options can significantly increase conversion rates. Additionally, clear and transparent shipping and return policies can instill confidence in customers and reduce purchase hesitations.

Leveraging Technology to Boost Customer Experience

With the rapid advancements in technology, we have more opportunities than ever to elevate the way your customers interact with your business. Let’s explore some of the ways you can leverage technology to leave a lasting impression.

Mobile Optimization and Customer Experience

With 77% of US adults owning a smartphone and up to 43% of ecommerce sales being made on a smartphone, mobile optimization is non-negotiable. A good first step is to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and optimized for different screen sizes. You can implement responsive design principles and mobile-specific features, such as one-click payment options or swipeable image galleries, to improve conversion rates.

A man uses an AI chat bot on an ecommerce website

How AI and Chatbots Can Enhance Customer Interaction

AI and chatbots are revolutionizing customer interactions. Integrating AI-powered chatbots on your website can provide instant and personalized support, answering customer inquiries and guiding them throughout their shopping journey. Chatbots can assist with product recommendations, real-time customer service, and even offer proactive assistance by analyzing customer behavior. By harnessing the power of AI, you can improve response times and enhance overall customer satisfaction.

Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Embrace an omnichannel approach by integrating your website, mobile app, social media platforms, and physical stores (if applicable) into a cohesive ecosystem. Ensure consistent branding, a unified customer database, and synchronized inventory management. This way, customers can seamlessly switch between channels, pick up where they left off, and enjoy a frictionless experience no matter how they choose to engage with your brand.

Wrapping Up

We believe enhancing the customer experience is an ongoing process. Keep an eye on industry trends, gather customer feedback, and regularly test and optimize your website. By adopting a mindset of continuous improvement, you’ll ensure that your eCommerce website evolves alongside your customers’ needs and expectations. Take a step back and make the experience on your ecommerce website a top priority. Your customers—and your bottom line—will thank you.

Curious how your customers are experiencing your eCommerce website? Schedule a consultation with us for a user experience audit.

Improving Customer Lifetime Value with Ecommerce Loyalty Programs: A Guide for Success + Tools

a man holds up a loyalty card for an ecommerce store

Building a loyal customer base can increase the success of any ecommerce business. Implementing a well-designed loyalty program can help drive repeat purchases for your business, and also increase your customer’s lifetime values (CLV). In this article, you will learn the process of improving CLV with an ecommerce loyalty program and the tools you need for success.

Understanding CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)

Before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk about what CLV is and what it means to you as an ecommerce store owner. CLV is a way to predict the total amount of money a customer is likely to spend on your business during their lifetime. This includes purchases they have already made, but also the potential for future purchases. Increasing CLV can boost your shop’s revenue and profitability.

But remember, each customer interacts with your business in different ways. A customer who makes frequent purchases has a higher CLV than a customer who makes infrequent purchases. Understanding this can help you tailor your marketing and sales strategies. 

The Importance of CLV in Ecommerce

In ecommerce, CLV is especially crucial. With increasing competition, bringing in new customers can be expensive. By focusing on increasing CLV, businesses can drive revenue growth without needing to constantly acquire new customers.

One way to increase CLV is to focus on customer retention. When you make an effort to keep your customers engaged and satisfied, they are more likely to make repeat purchases and refer their friends.

a man looks at an ecommerce loyalty program on his phone

How to Calculate CLV

Calculating CLV can be a complex process because it requires analyzing a variety of factors such as:

  • purchase history
  • frequency of purchases, and 
  • customer lifetime

Here are some basic formulas to help you calculate CLV:

  1. To calculate average purchase value: Total revenue ÷ Number of purchases
  2. To calculate purchase frequency rate: Total number of purchases ÷ Number of unique customers
  3. To calculate customer value: Average purchase value x Purchase frequency
  4. To calculate CLV: Customer value x Average customer lifespan

As a reminder, this formula provides a general estimate of CLV. You may need to adjust it based on your specific industry and customer base. Make sure to regularly monitor your CLV and update as customer behavior and business strategies evolve.

Types of Loyalty Programs for Ecommerce

There are many types of ecommerce loyalty programs out there. 

The most common ones are:

  • Points programs: Customers can earn points for purchases, which can be redeemed for rewards. This program is popular because it provides a clear incentive for customers to keep buying.
  • Tiered programs: Customers are grouped into different tiers based on their purchase behavior, with each tier receiving increasing rewards. This type of program is effective because it provides customers with a sense of achievement.
  • Paid programs: Customers pay a fee to join the loyalty program, and receive exclusive rewards and benefits as a result. This type of program is effective for businesses that offer high-end products or services because it creates exclusivity and attracts customers who will pay for value.

Regardless of the type of loyalty program you choose to implement, it is important it provides clear benefits for your customers. By doing so, it will help you build a loyal customer base and drive long-term revenue growth.

Designing a Successful Ecommerce Loyalty Program

Now that we understand the benefits and types of loyalty programs, let’s explore how to design a successful program.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

Before designing your loyalty program, it’s important to set clear goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase revenue, boost customer retention, or drive repeat purchases? 

When setting goals, make sure you consider the current state of your business. If your business is new, your primary goal may be to increase customer acquisition. But if your business is established, your goal may be to retain your current customers and increase their lifetime value.

an ecommerce marketer looks at a loyalty program report

Identifying Your Target Audience

The next step is to identify your target audience. Who are your most loyal customers? What motivates them to shop with you? When you deeply understand your audience, you can design a loyalty program that resonates with them.

Look at your customer demographics, purchase history, and behavior on your website. This information can help you create customer segments and design a loyalty program that is tailored to each segment.

Choosing the Right Rewards and Incentives

The rewards and incentives offered through your loyalty program are a key factor in its success. Choose rewards that are valuable to customers. Rewards can include discounts, free products, early access to sales, or exclusive content.

When choosing the rewards you will offer, always consider the cost to your business. You want to offer rewards that are valuable to customers, but also cost-effective for your business. One way to do this is to offer rewards that are exclusive to the loyalty program, such as early access or exclusive content.

Thoughts on User Experience

The user experience of your loyalty program is important. Make it easy for your customers to sign up, earn rewards, and redeem them. Your program should be integrated with your ecommerce platform so tracking progress is effortless.

To enhance their experience, consider using gamification. By adding elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards, you can make the loyalty program more engaging and encourage customers to participate.

Best Practices for Ecommerce Loyalty Programs

Now that we have covered how to design a successful loyalty program, let’s explore some best practices to maximize effectiveness.

Personalization and Customization

Personalization is the key to building a strong emotional connection between your customers and your brand. Giving your customers the ability to choose between different reward options can also enhance their experience.

Regular Communication and Engagement

Regular communication is important to keep customers engaged with the loyalty program. Consider sending personalized emails or push notifications to update customers on their reward progress or offer exclusive deals.

Tracking and Analyzing Customer Data

Tracking and analyzing customer behavior and purchase history can provide valuable insights to optimize your program to better drive CLV.

Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

Finally, it is important to continually improve and adapt your loyalty program. Staying up to date with industry trends and listening to customer feedback will ensure your program remains effective over time.

smile loyalty and rewards shopify app

Tools for Ecommerce Loyalty Programs

Implementing an ecommerce loyalty program might seem like a lot of work, but luckily there are many tools available to make the process easier. 

A few tools to consider:

  • Loyalty program applications to design, implement, and manage your loyalty program (such as for shopify).
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software to track customer data and behavior so you can personalize rewards and communication.
  • Email marketing tools to send personalized emails to customers on their reward progress and exclusive deals.

With the tools and the knowledge gained from this guide, you can design and implement a successful ecommerce loyalty program that drives CLV and boosts revenue for your business.

Ready to build a customized loyalty program for your ecommerce store? Schedule a consultation and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth!

How to Use Customer Feedback to Improve Your E-Commerce Email Campaigns

Customer Feedback to Improve Your E-Commerce Email Campaigns

When you run an e-commerce business, it’s no secret that customer feedback is needed to meet your goals. Your customers are what make your business go round, and without them, you cannot grow a successful brand. While many of us understand the role that customer feedback plays in our businesses, do you truly understand the importance of customer feedback? 

Unlike in brick and mortar businesses, e-commerce brands have to actively seek out reviews and complaints from their customers in order to properly understand what is and isn’t working. 

It isn’t as daunting as you might think, and your customers will benefit just as much as your business! Did you know that approximately 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Displaying reviews has also been known to boost conversions by up to 270%.

Collecting Customer Feedback

Best practices for collecting customer feedback

Customer feedback can be difficult. This is because of two main things; Our language is complex, and the quality of feedback varies. As humans, we use a variety of different lengths of words and statements to express the same things, and this can create complications in the process of analyzing reviews. The easiest way to limit complications in the review process is by keeping it simple. Use general rating scales (1-10, Poor to Good), and multiple choice answers to collect general data, while leaving a comment box for more in depth reviews.

product reviews for ecommerce marketing

Tools for collecting customer feedback

Most e-commerce platforms have options to add-in a review section to each product. Adding this section to your website dedicated to customer feedback is a great way to encourage reviews. Any knowledgeable e-commerce marketer will tell you that reviews need to be front and center. A key point to getting customers to review products, and in turn create more sales from positive reviews, is to make the review process obvious, simple, and fast. 

Ensure your customers can both access and leave reviews easily from any point on your website, and that reviews for each product are visually clear on each product page. You can also send out automated “call to action” emails asking for views after purchase, and create forms on your site for customers to provide responses directly to the company. If you want to send out a company survey, or ask your customer base specific questions, programs like Google Forms and SurveyMonkey are great options. 

Reaching out to your customers directly via phone call can be a fantastic way to gather feedback and insights. Speaking with your customers in person helps you to better understand their needs. It can also help to uncover pain points and ultimately enhance your ecommerce strategy. 

Lastly, one of the best ways to obtain feedback is through promotions on social media. You can use special and limited offers to encourage customers to leave feedback, as well as engage in conversation about the brand, and share with others. Remember, when you build your brand’s audience in the right way, they do most of the advertising for you!

customer reviews for an ecommerce website

Analyzing Customer Feedback

Techniques for analyzing customer feedback

First, don’t start by looking for what you want to find. Begin to analyze the data, and sort it into themes as you move through it. Remember, the majority of your reviews are going to have several themes, so ensure that your analysis captures every theme and is organized appropriately. 

When establishing your themes, use a hierarchy of themes – ones that may be broken down into sub-themes as you get further into your analysis. Lastly, create a coding system as you move through the data. Keep an eye out for repeating or “key” phrases, or sub-themes that each review may also fall under. 

This process is the manual version of programs such as Thematic or Nvivo – that compile and analyze customer data. The process that will work best for your brand will depend on the size of the brand, goods or services sold, and other factors – though the manual process is always a great first step.

Incorporating Customer Feedback into Your Email Campaigns

The impact of incorporating customer feedback on e-commerce email campaigns

Presenting customer data is just as simple as explaining a new product, or announcing a new line or service – make it consumable! When you present data to an audience, they’re not looking for an equation and calculations. They want to see the quick, easily consumable visuals. 

In order to create this visual, take your data and break it down into sections: 

  • Where did the score drop? 
  • Where did my score rise? 
  • What were the emerging negative themes? 
  • What were the emerging positive themes? 
  • What should I work on next time? 
  • What did I do well this time? 

You can use a variety of different programs such as GoogleSuite, MicrosoftSuite, Canva, and so many more, to turn these sections into a graph or visual illustration of your customer feedback. Including this data in your email campaign is as easy as any other campaign you send out! 

Let your customers know how excited you’ve been to hear from them and share their opinions with the other customers of the brand. Don’t forget, it’s important to share all aspects of your reviews. No one enjoys receiving a negative review – but the truth is that negative reviews hold just as much, if not more power, than positive reviews. While it can be tempting to put your best foot forward, and bury any negative opinions, these are the ones you should be paying the most attention to! 

Customers expect transparency and adequate service/products. By facing the times in your business that you do not meet expectations, you open the opportunity to address customer feedback directly and bring a trustworthy and open front to your brand. Be transparent, address where you could have improved, and encourage customers to make a further impact by sending in their opinions of the highs and lows of your data! Opening the door to an open conversation with customers after the review process proves your dedication to the ones who love your brand.

an ecommerce customer fills out a review

We’ve got the data, we’ve analyzed it, we’ve sent it back out.. But has it helped?

After all of that trouble, you might be wondering if it really was worth all the fuss. Let’s find out! Using your email marketing program, find your analytics. What was the response rate? How many opened the link to provide further feedback? Analyze this information in the same way you processed your reviews. What worked? What didn’t? Then use that information to improve your process the next time around.

If you’re looking to take your e-commerce marketing to the next level, Uptown Cow can help. Schedule a consultation and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth!

The Power of Video in E-Commerce Marketing

a woman using video marketing for her ecommerce website

Video has become an increasingly powerful tool in e-commerce marketing, with brands of all sizes leveraging video to capture attention and engage audiences. From product demonstrations to user generated content, video has the potential to showcase products in a compelling way, while also building brand awareness and loyalty. 

In this article, we will explore the power of video in e-commerce marketing, highlighting proven strategies that have helped brands increase their engagement, drive sales, and achieve their marketing goals.

The Customer Journey in E-Commerce

Video plays an important role in the customer journey of e-commerce. At the awareness stage, video content can introduce customers to a brand or product, helping to build initial interest and awareness. Product demos or tutorials can help customers better understand how a product works and what sets it apart from competitors, which can aid in the consideration stage of the journey. Additionally, customer testimonials or influencer endorsements can provide social proof and help build trust, which can be a key factor in the decision-making process.

After making a purchase, video content can be used for post-purchase support or follow-up, such as how-to videos or troubleshooting guides. Overall, video marketing enhances the customer journey by creating a more engaging and informative experience, which can ultimately lead to higher conversions and increased customer loyalty.

Best Practices for E-Commerce Video Marketing

Importance of Explainer Videos

Explainer videos have become increasingly popular for organizations to communicate complex ideas or products in engaging and easy-to-understand ways. Short, animated videos can be used to explain how a product works, demonstrate the benefits of a service, or communicate a company’s mission and values. While attention spans are getting shorter, explainer videos are an effective way to quickly capture the attention of viewers and deliver your message in a memorable way. Check out the explainer video by Dollar Shave Club below!

Additionally, with the rise of social media and video-sharing platforms, explainer videos can be easily shared and can potentially reach a large audience. Overall, explainer videos have proven to be a valuable marketing tool for businesses and a useful educational tool for a variety of organizations.

Utilizing Customer Testimonials

Video testimonials are a superior marketing tool compared to written testimonials for a number of reasons. Firstly, video testimonials are more personal and authentic, allowing potential customers to see and hear a real person’s experience with a product or service. This can create a stronger emotional connection and build trust with potential customers. Additionally, video testimonials can communicate nonverbal cues, such as tone of voice and body language, which can enhance the impact of the testimonial. They also tend to be more engaging and shareable on social media platforms, increasing the reach of the message.

Video testimonials can also be more persuasive than written testimonials as they feel less scripted and more spontaneous, making them appear more genuine. Overall, video testimonials provide a more compelling and trustworthy way to communicate the benefits of a product or service from the perspective of real customers. Check out this example of a customer testimonial video!

Optimizing Videos for Search Engines

Optimizing videos for search engines is a critical part of a video marketing strategy. By making sure videos are easily discoverable through search, businesses can increase their reach and attract more potential customers. There are several key elements to optimizing videos for search engines. Firstly, make sure to include relevant keywords in the video title, description, and tags to help search engines understand the content of the video.

Additionally, you should optimize the video’s thumbnail image, as this can affect the click-through rate from search results. Finally, you can promote your video through social media and other channels to increase views and engagement, which can also boost the video’s ranking in search results.

Tips for Effective Video Marketing in E-Commerce

Storytelling as a Powerful Tool

When it comes to video marketing, storytelling can be a powerful tool to captivate and engage your audience. To effectively tell a story, it’s important to start by identifying the key message or theme you want to convey. Once you have a clear message, think about developing relatable characters or scenarios that your audience can connect with. As you begin to craft your story, consider the narrative structure and pacing of your video.

A good story should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, with a climax or resolution that leaves a lasting impression on your audience. Finally, make sure to deliver your story in a way that resonates with your audience – this could involve using humor, emotional appeal, or other techniques that align with your brand’s messaging and values. By following these storytelling principles, you can create compelling video content that helps to build brand awareness, loyalty, and ultimately drive sales.

Incorporating Calls to Action

a graphic of a man pointing to a CTA button

Calls to action (CTAs) are just as important in video marketing as they are in other forms of marketing. In fact, incorporating a CTA in your video can be even more effective, as it provides a clear and immediate prompt for viewers to take action. A well-crafted CTA in a video can guide potential customers towards making a purchase, signing up for a service, or subscribing to a newsletter. 

By including a CTA in your video, you can not only increase conversions but also build engagement and create a stronger relationship with your audience. When creating a CTA for video marketing, it’s important to make it visible and easy to understand. Use clear language, choose a contrasting color or design, and make sure it appears at the right time in the video. With a strong CTA, you can help to drive more traffic and sales to your business.

Optimizing Video Length

Optimizing video length is an important factor to consider when creating video content for marketing purposes. The ideal video length will depend on the platform you are using and the type of content you are creating. On social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok, shorter videos of 15-30 seconds tend to perform better, as they capture the audience’s attention quickly and fit within the platform’s video limits. However, for more in-depth content such as product demos or explainer videos, a length of 2-3 minutes is typically more appropriate.

It’s important to remember that viewers have short attention spans, so keeping your video concise and to-the-point is crucial. In addition, make sure to include engaging visuals, subtitles, and other elements to keep viewers engaged throughout the video. By optimizing the length of your video content, you can increase the chances of viewers watching until the end and ultimately taking the desired action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to your channel.

Tracking and Measuring Success

Tracking and measuring the success of your video marketing campaigns is essential to understanding their impact and improving their effectiveness. By tracking key metrics such as views, engagement, conversion rates, and click-through rates, you can gain insights into what’s working and what’s not, and make data-driven decisions to improve your video content. Measuring success can also help you understand your audience better and refine your targeting and messaging strategies accordingly.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, video marketing is a powerful tool for e-commerce businesses looking to boost their online presence and drive sales. By creating engaging and informative video content, businesses can showcase their products in a dynamic and visually compelling way that resonates with their target audience. Through a variety of video marketing strategies, such as product demos, explainer videos, and customer testimonials, businesses can build trust and credibility with their audience and increase the likelihood of conversions. 

By optimizing video length, incorporating calls to action, and tracking success through analytics, businesses can continuously improve their video marketing efforts and drive long-term growth. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, video marketing will remain a crucial component of e-commerce marketing strategies, helping businesses to stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace.

If you’re looking to take your e-commerce marketing to the next level, Uptown Cow can help. Schedule a consultation and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth!

Maximizing Customer Retention Through E-Commerce Marketing: A Guide for Online Stores

a woman looks at her computer screen with an e-commerce website on it

Today, many e-commerce businesses are investing heavily in online advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing to bring in new customers. And while customer acquisition is an important aspect to any E-commerce business, it shouldn’t be where you focus all your efforts and resources. Retaining customers who have previously purchased from you is an equally important piece of the puzzle (and costs you less in the long-term!).

While nurturing existing customers to make repeat purchases may seem daunting at first, including a customer retention plan in your marketing strategy can directly affect your business’s profitability, growth, and long-term success. In this post, we’ll explore why customer retention is so important for e-commerce businesses and ways you can improve your strategy.


Importance of personalization in e-commerce marketing

The concept of personalization has become increasingly important in the world of e-commerce as it can help businesses create a more relevant and engaging shopping experience. Personalized content and messages are more likely to capture the attention of customers and keep them engaged with your brand. This can lead to increased click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall engagement with your brand. Businesses that don’t focus on offering a personalized experience to their customers risk falling behind their competitors in a crowded market.

Techniques for personalizing customer experiences

The use of customer data and insights is critical to delivering a personalized experience to each customer. This can involve using data from their behaviors on your website, their purchase history, or demographics to create personalized product recommendations, offers, and promotions. Personalization can also be applied to their touchpoints with your company, such as email campaigns, social media advertising, and content marketing by tailoring to the interests and preferences of those individual customers.

Examples of successful personalization strategies

Let’s take a look at media streaming giant, Netflix, and how they use personalization to keep their customers informed and engaged. Netflix uses each customer’s data to recommend personalized content based on their viewing history, ratings, and browsing behavior. They also use this data in their personalized email marketing messages. This works to encourage customers to return to their account and watch new content. Were you ever pleasantly surprised at what Netflix recommended for you?

Email Marketing

Overview of email marketing for e-commerce businesses

Email marketing as a tool to retain your customer base has become an invaluable component to marketing strategy. Emails can be used to bring awareness to upcoming sales, product launches, even social causes that companies partner with. Regularly scheduled emails are a great form of direct digital marketing that keep your company and products in the minds of your customers. Expertly crafted emails help drive traffic to your storefront or blog, your social media accounts, or affiliate businesses.

Best practices for email marketing

Effective email marketing campaigns can help retain and grow your client base, drive traffic to your storefront or socials, and more. Here are some best practice tips to help you optimize your email campaigns: 

  • crafting snappy subject lines 
  • personalization within the email body 
  • compelling and concise copy 
  • relevant, eye-catching and bold graphics
  • including easy-to-find links to all your socials
  • a clear and no-tricks unsubscribe link (it’s illegal not to include one!)

Examples of successful email marketing campaigns

When we think about successful email marketing campaigns, Amazon Prime Day comes to mind on top of the list. So what made this yearly event so successful, and how did email marketing make it happen? 

Every year, this one-day shopping event generates billions for Amazon (and the sellers that use it!). Amazon’s email campaigns in the lead-up to Prime Day often employ time-sensitive headlines, spotlights on big-ticket items, and use language that highlights the scarce nature of the event itself – it’s a once-a-year bonanza, after all. By making sure each email’s subject line is short and sweet, with snappy language and direct links to must-have products, Amazon’s Prime Day email marketing strategy makes the sale as anticipated as a national holiday.

Loyalty Programs

Overview of loyalty programs

So, what is a loyalty program? Though these differ from business to business, loyalty programs are sponsored by the brand or other affiliated companies to provide discounts, products, or cash rewards to “loyal” customers who reach marked thresholds or other milestones for repeat business. The more you spend, the better the reward! 

Benefits of loyalty programs for e-commerce businesses

Loyalty programs and incentives are a great way to encourage customer retention and help to increase traffic to online storefronts and socials, which in turn increases traffic and results in a growth in new prospective customer views. By offering instant discounts upon sign-up to a loyalty program, giving free products or discount codes on a client’s listed birthday, or advertising coupons for successful referral sign-ups, e-commerce businesses have seen tons of success with the combination of email marketing and loyalty programs.

Examples of successful loyalty programs

There are few loyalty programs as successful and with as much cachet as the Sephora Beauty Insider program. With a no-headache signup page detailing all the ins-and-outs of the program clearly, already giving new signees a sense of clarity and trust, the program offers fantastic benefits to its users. Each dollar spent equates to one point earned, with higher-tier users having the benefit of multiple points-per-dollar-spent. Points can be exchanged for a wide variety of luxurious products, beauty events and parties, even affording its users the chance to exchange their points for charitable contributions. This seemingly limitless benefits package attached to their points system makes the Sephora Beauty Insider a smashing success. 

Social Media Marketing

Importance of social media for customer retention

Social media, and social media marketing, has exploded exponentially in the last few years and it’s here to stay. Optimizing your business’ social media strategy and marketing plan is essential to not only retain your customers but also grow your audience. Studying the traffic to your social media via analytics can determine traffic patterns, help refine your engagement strategy, inspire your marketing team to experiment with branding and messaging, and more. But where do you start?

Best practices for social media marketing for e-commerce businesses

The nature of trends and social conversations is fleeting and fast, and your content strategy needs to keep up. Being on top of your social media marketing, engagement analytics, and that of your competitors, is a great place to start. The mechanics of engagement and traffic happen behind the scenes, but what do you need to do on the outside? Here are some key points to remember:

  • Establishing and maintaining your brand’s voice 
  • Create and maintain an optimized posting schedule
  • Automate your posts where possible
  • Reply to customer comments politely and quickly

Customers appreciate brands and companies that treat them like real people, and your social media content should reflect that. Tap into your target demographic and get the inside scoop on what works, and what doesn’t.

Examples of successful social media campaigns

Back in the days of 2017, a young man named Carter Wilkerson jokingly tweeted the Wendy’s account asking how many retweets he would need in order to receive free chicken nuggets for a whole year from the chain restaurant. Back then, brands were just beginning to get the hang of using social media to interact with their customers in a friendly, modern fashion: sarcasm, comebacks, memes, and challenges were the new wave, and Wendy’s took this 17-year-old’s joke seriously.

Well, maybe not seriously. 

What ensued was a meteoric rise to viral fame for both Carter and Wendy’s, this tweet exchange earning the teen a spot on Ellen, and a permanent seat at pop culture’s table. As you can imagine, Wendy’s profits skyrocketed and they did pretty great that year, too. 

Final Thoughts

In closing, customer retention is key to the long-term success of your e-commerce business. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can build strong relationships with your customers and keep them coming back for more. Remember to always put your customers first, personalize your marketing efforts, and continuously analyze your data to improve your strategies.

If you’re looking to take your e-commerce marketing to the next level, Uptown Cow can help. Schedule a consultation and let’s discuss how we can support your business growth.

Getting Started Selling Online

a woman looks at her e-commerce purchase

It’s finally time to launch that eCommerce business that you’ve been thinking about for years. Setting up your website can feel like a daunting endeavor, but this process can be broken down into small manageable steps. This guide will support you in building your website and have you well on your way to your first online sale!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Choosing a Platform
  • Theme & Brand
  • Adding Products
  • Shipping & Taxes
  • Email Marketing
  • Conversion tips

Already have a website and want to add an online store? If your website is built with WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix they can pretty easily add that component. If not, you would have to set up an online store & link to it from your existing site. Questions? Ask us.

Choosing a Platform

The first part of this journey is choosing the appropriate platform to host your eCommerce website. There are a multitude of options! Among the most popular are BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce (WordPress), Squarespace, and Wix.


One of the first things to consider when choosing a platform is pricing. Most companies charge a monthly fee to host your website. In order to accommodate the needs of diverse business, many platforms offer a tiered system of pricing. There is a base product that’s offered and then the price increases when additional features are added. When researching different tiers it is good to maintain a clear vision of your company’s needs. Often first and second-tier options fit the needs of an online store beginner as it covers the basic functions while you navigate online business.


The next thing to consider are the plugins that are offered by each platform. A plugin is a software component that adds a specific function to a computer program. For example, there is a plugin I like called that allows you to set up your own branded rewards program and use that on your website. There are also plugins that help with marketing, fulfillment, data transfer, and other services for your website. Websites ordinarily offer a list of plugins that are compatible with their software. Here you’ll find an example of this type of list for the company BigCommerce. Not all plugins will be right for your brand, so, again it is important to be mindful of your companies specific online goals. 

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process to help increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. Building a strong SEO for your website can be a complex and ever-evolving process. The most important things to consider when you are starting out are a platform that allows you to have a custom domain name, captions/descriptions of photos, and a platform that allows you to convert SEO URL structures. If you’re new to SEO there are applications and plugins that will help you start out. We suggest checking out Yoast SEO if you are using WordPress.

Customer Service

Finally, implementing a customer service function will be instrumental early on in case any issues arise for shoppers. Issues with online shopping could range from photos not loading to the homepage to customers not being able to submit payment when checking out. Whatever the issue is, we recommend finding a platform that offers 24/7 customer support. For more information on choosing the best-fitting platform, check out our article here. 

Theme & Brand

Once you have chosen a platform, it’s time to move onto the theme and overall brand of your business. Themes are used to make your website aesthetically pleasing while also providing an organized design for you and your customers. Themes help to set up your store quickly and avoid fees associated with web design. Many of the eCommerce platforms we mentioned above offer both free and paid themes to choose from. 

Choosing a theme is similar to choosing a platform. Themes are meant to serve your company’s unique needs! We listed below aspects that are important to consider when choosing a websites theme:

  • Themes that are mobile friendly 
  • Support SEO
  • Menu Navigation
  • Allows you to customize 
  • Has technical support 
  • A theme that your targeted customers will enjoy

Below we’ve provided an example of theme options through the themes at BigCommerce. You’ll notice, there are filters you can set for your specific requirements in order to sift the large selection and find the best fit.

Branding is the process of creating a strong and positive perception of the company. Your theme and website layout will be a reflection of your brand. When building your website consider your target demographic and how you want to present your company. Make sure to fill your website and theme with photos and styles that you would associate with your brand. Consult a few friends or fellow entrepreneurs to see if they agree with your branding before you publish and go public. 

Another consideration when creating your brand is the importance of consistency. Maintaining similar brand strategies for your website, social media channels, and advertisements makes you memorable. Developing your brand will continue as long as the company does, so you can expect evolution over time. However, creating a solid baseline strategy before you launch the website will be highly beneficial.

Adding Products

Once you have started building your website, it’s time to add product photos to your website. Customers are going to want to see what they are purchasing before they spend their money. Effective use of photos can help to increase sales and draw attention to the products.

Before you add the photos, you first have to take them. There are a few options when considering what camera to use. The first is using a smartphone camera and the second is a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR). DSLR cameras are high performing, quality camera. DSLR cameras have multiple lens options that allow you to customize photos for specific product photos. These cameras are great, but they aren’t necessary for taking product photos. While smartphones may not have the same capacity as a DSLR, they have come a long way. We recommend exploring what settings and capabilities your smartphone has to produce excellent photos. It will save money to start there.

Once you have the camera, it is time to take the photo. Background is an important aspect that is sometimes overlooked. There are two types that we are going to cover the first are white backgrounds, and the second are lifestyle backgrounds.

  1. White backgrounds

White backgrounds are exactly like they sound, they show the product and the entire background is white. This is used to highlight the product from multiple angles. Setting up white backgrounds has become increasingly easier over the years. If you have smaller products you can purchase a portable studio box that has a white background. It is essentially an enclosed box with one opening for you to place products on the inside. It has its own lighting and makes the photo-taking process quite easy. If you have larger products, we suggest getting a roll of deli paper using this as a background. Below is an example of a jacket with a white background. 

  1. Lifestyle backgrounds

Lifestyle backgrounds are used to help highlight the intended use of the product. For example, if you’re shopping for a sleeping bag to use when camping, the company might have a photo of an individual using the sleeping bag in the wilderness. This attaches an image of use to the consumer’s mind, while showing off the product’s capabilities. The photo below shows a lifestyle photo of a sleeping bag from Sierra Designs. 

Finally, lighting can affect the final outcome of the product photo. Natural light often looks great but can be inconsistent and hard to come by. Using natural light requires the photographer to have flexible availability as the weather won’t always corporate. As mentioned above, you can use a lighting box if you have smaller products. If you are shooting photos for larger products we recommend that you use strong 5000k bulbs, and make sure that all of the bulbs are the same color! Avoid lighting in a way that casts shadows on the surface of the product. Placing the light source behind the camera should minimize most shadows. Additional photo advice can be found here.

Shipping & Taxes


Shipping is an interesting aspect of the eCommerce world. It is the one aspect that you, as a business owner, do not have 100% control of as you are not physically there to deliver the product. So, you’ll want to make the process as seamless as possible. A bad delivery could be the difference between a customer reordering or recommending your business or deciding not to. 

The first steps that we recommend here at Uptown Cow is to decide what type of shipping you want to offer to your customers. There are three basic types of shipping that we recommend considering. 

  1. Free Shipping

This is exactly what it sounds like. For this first shipping type, you offer free shipping to your customers. This is important to consider if you will be competing with a tech giant like Amazon. They are notorious for free 2-day shipping for certain customers, and others are starting to follow along. Consider the costs that you will incur by offering free shipping to your customers. Another consideration for free shipping is to have a minimum order value to qualify for free shipping. Having this order value encourages customers to spend more on your website.

  1. Flat Rate Shipping 

Flat rate shipping is a simple way to offer shipping to customers. You can set up one or two rates that are available. You can have a cheaper option with a longer deliver time, and a more expensive option with a quicker deliver. This allows the consumer to choose the shipping method that works best with their timeline. Flat rate shipping is an affordable approach for businesses providing shipping.

  1. Real Time Shipping Rates (Carrier Calculated)

Plugins and applications can provide a great deal of support in shipping There are specific shipping applications that are capable of calculating shipping rates in real-time. After the customer has entered the shipping location, the application will consider the distance the package must be shipped, the desired delivery speed, and the weight of the items. Using these variables together the program will compute a shipping price for the customers. From there the customer is able to adjust the variables to end up at a price that they are happy with. 

These programs will also give the customer an estimated delivery date for their package. This gives the customer a better idea of when to expect the package and to adjust the shipping if they need it any earlier. 


Luckily packaging is much easier than setting up shipping. This, like many other parts of eCommerce, depends on the types of products that you’re selling. Hypothetically when your product is packaged it should be able to survive a drop of a few feet, just in case this happens on the journey to its final destination. 

There are multiple ways to package your items. Some companies wrap their products in a single box, and surround the item with packing peanuts or a similar protective product. Some companies use air filled plastic bags or bubble wrap. For more fragile items, you should consider a two box packing solution. This is essentially a box inside of a box, to offer additional protection to the product during shipping. When considering the two box solution you should note that the package will be heavier and it will be more expensive to ship.


Taxes, one of our favorite parts of having an eCommerce business!! Just joking, but it is a very important aspect of selling products online. With newer laws & regulations, this is often overlooked. Luckily, many platforms offer automatic tax calculations based on where your customers are. The steps you take to include taxes are specific to your products so our main bit of advice is simply to not forget them!

Email Marketing

Your website is all set up, congrats! Now it’s time to start pushing conversions on your website. A reliable form of communication with your customers is through email marketing. Email is still one of the most used forms of online communication and can be a very profitable practice when done effectively. There are two helpful types of emails to use when you are launching a new website.

The first is welcome campaigns. Welcome campaigns are sent to a customer when they first acquire their email address. We suggest that the first email should have a short description of your company and a message of gratitude for subscribing to emails. After this, you should add labeled photos of products with short descriptions to draw the customer in. You may consider placing a few product reviews in the email as well. Welcome emails allow you to highlight some of the most popular products your unique brand has to offer.

The second campaign that you should set up are abandoned cart emails. These messages are sent to the consumers when they place a product in their cart and then exit the website. It is a message to remind them that they have a product waiting for them that is intended to convince them to complete their transaction. These messages can be sent in many different ways, knowing your customer demographic will help to find the best message. 

You will want to set up a timeframe for when the messages should be sent. Some companies do it a few hours after the customer leaves the website, others will wait a day or two. Adjust the time frame and see what works best for your company. Once you find the right timeline, the emails will be sent automatically. If you have multiple demographics visiting your site you can make multiple, more specific, abandoned cart campaigns. 

The hardest portion of abandoned cart emails is that you will already need the contact information of that customer prior to sending the email. This means that the customer will already have to be an existing customer, have an account on your website, or have subscribed to your newsletter. 

Conversion tips

We cannot emphasize enough the relevance of conversion. A conversion is more than just a customer checking out with a product in their cart. A conversion rate could be:

  • Product added to cart 
  • A completed transaction
  • Email signup 
  • Sharing a product on social media 
  • Many more statistics

It is important to know when starting out, that most conversions are quite small, around 1-2% for the average company. If you believe your conversions are quite low, don’t worry! The online marketplace is a very competitive place. If you’re wondering how to find and analyze conversion rates, we recommend using Google Analytics, we have more info on that here. It is also important to note that other companies will have their own analytic software to play around with as well, BigCommerce Analytics is a strong and reliable analytic program. 

Now we do have a few tips to help you get your conversion rates up on your website.

Email Pop Ups

If you’re looking to get more emails from your customers, an effective tool to use is email pop ups. These are pop ups that appear on the screen when a customer first enters a website, usually on the homepage. They are used to gather information by offering an incentive for filling out the appropriate information. For example, some companies will offer a code for free shipping or a percentage off of their first order. These pop ups take up a large portion and don’t disappear until the customer either click out or if they enter their information. This is a fantastic way to get individuals signed up for a newsletter. Take a look at your email and notice how many companies you get emails from that were likely the result of homepage pop ups!

Live Chat

This is a great tool that many eCommerce sites have started to use. Live Chat helps to increase multiple types of conversion. Live chat can be used to help shorten the entire sales process. It provides customers with a quick way to communicate with your brand and to get questions answered, it’s much quicker than email. 

Another great thing about Live Chat is that you can integrate artificial intelligence (AI) to work with your program. This will allow you to set up automated responses to customers when there isn’t an actual human to respond to the customers. The AI can collect information and schedule a specific time to speak with a representative from your company. A negative part of the bots is that they usually can’t recommend a specific product and don’t usually close a deal. If you don’t feel comfortable using AI you can always restrict the hours that customers are allowed to use the chat features on your website. Make sure the whichever chat system you choose integrates with your platform.

Listed below are a few live chat softwares that you should check out:

  • LiveChat
  • Tidio 
  • Facebook Live Chat
  • Zopim
  • Olark

Wrapping up

After all that hard work, you should have your website set up and ready to go! Your journey to eCommerce greatness has just begun, but hopefully now you’re feeling better about your website and your online business. We hope that this guide helped you and answered and potential questions that came up. If you’re looking for additional information on setting up an eCommerce website you can check out our articles here. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to our team at any time. 

How To Take Product Photos Like A Pro

a camera faces a set ready to take e-commerce photos

There are five senses that we use in our daily lives, and one of the most important is sight. This is why photos are such an important aspect of your ecommerce website. A good or bad product photo could be the reason that a customer purchases a product or goes to another website. Luckily you don’t need to invest a lot of capital or hire a professional to take quality photos that will help drive sales. In this article we are going to go into the important aspects to consider when taking photos for your ecommerce website. It might seem quite daunting to start the process if you’ve never done it before. But not to worry, if you take into consideration the different aspects we are going to cover below, you will be a pro at taking photos in no time!


A high quality camera will help your photos come out looking sharp and detailed. Many companies will use a DSLR camera. DSLR is also known as a digital single-lense reflex camera. These are high quality cameras, and a big appeal is that you can switch your lenses depending on what you’re trying to capture a photo of. When considering what DSLR to get you should also look into the video capabilities of the camera. 

Even though having a DSLR is nice to have for taking photos, it is not necessary. In this day and age almost everyone has a capable camera in the palm of their hands. Smartphones have changed the game and provide the average user with the capability to take beautiful photos. Before spending money on a DSLR, play around with the settings on your phone under the conditions explained below and see how the photos come out.


There are two types of backgrounds that are used for eCommerce photos, white backgrounds and lifestyle photos. White backgrounds are used to show off multiple angles of the product and are probably what you think of when it comes to product photos. You can buy a portable studio box that has a white background and lighting. All you need to do is place the products in a box. They can be quite affordable as well, here is one that we found for under $15 dollars on Amazon. The photo below is from an outdoor retailer named Sierra Designs. In this first photo they use the white background to distinctly show the product and its design.

Unlike standard product photos, lifestyle photos are used to show off a specific function of the product. For example, if you have a phone mount for a bike, you might show off the phone being held in place on the bike. This shows the product but also gives the consumer an idea of how it would function in their daily life. The photo below is for the same product listed above. But this time Sierra Designs took the product out and had a photo shoot in a setting where the product would be used by the consumer. It provides the consumer with ideas of how they can use the product.


Lighting is another important factor to consider when taking photos and something that should be given thought especially when taking white background product photos. You can obviously use natural light, but sometimes this can be tricky to come by depending on where you’re located. To combat this you can use artificial light and be able to take photos at any time during the day. As mentioned earlier in the article, you can use a product box that has lighting included. If you find yourself shooting larger products you will have to set up your own lights. We would recommend using at least two lights, and having an adjustable stand to raise or lower the lights. We would also recommend using strong 5000k bulbs, make sure that they are the same exact color!

Avoid any sort of setup that will cast a shadow on the surface of the object. It is important that you avoid shadows so the entire product will show up in the photo. To avoid this it helps to keep the lighting on the same side of the product as the camera or slightly off to the side. 


There are many accessories that can help to enhance the photo taking experience. A tripod, extra lights, and travel equipment are just a few that will certainly come in handy from time to time. Many of these accessories are not essential, but they will make the entire process easier.

Wrapping Up 

Taking quality photos for your eCommerce site is not as challenging as it may seem. After following the tips and tricks listed above, you will have clean, engaging photos to upload to your website. It might take a little time to get used to the equipment, but make sure to be patient and give it some time. If you run into any bumps in the road or have any questions, please reach out to us. 

P.S. Make sure to subscribe, I’ve heard we will be talking about editing photos soon