Top eCommerce Trends to Upgrade your 2021 Strategy

eCommerce trends 2021 Plesk

Digital analysts, marketers and industry experts are shouting it from the rooftops: now is the era of eCommerce.

With increasing digitalization and demand for access to anything and everything online, retailers across the globe have a simple choice: Dedicate time to understanding online commerce, or risk losing out on what is potentially your biggest market.

Without further ado, we’re going to remedy any questions you have about running an eCommerce business in 2021, with this handy list of the biggest trends coming your way (and some tips on how to tackle them):

eCommerce trends Plesk

Quick and easy shopping, for everyone

Shopify estimates that nearly 150 million new online shoppers have become active since the start of the Covid pandemic. This poses an interesting challenge and risk for eCommerce businesses. On the one hand, online sales are at an all-time high. On the other hand, you’ve now got to deal with a less tech-savvy user, with a world of competition at their fingertips. 

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Streamlining your sales funnel: 
    • Simple, fast check-outs encourage that all-important first buy by new customers. One step too many in the process, and you’ve lost them.
  • The omnichannel approach:
    • Creating a uniform buying experience from in-person sales to mobile shopping is vital in 2021.
  • Retail therapy online:
    • Design a shopping experience that delivers the joy of shopping, keeping UX in mind when building your online store.
  • eCommerce management platforms:
    • Just as your customers enjoy simplicity, make your own life simpler too, with eCommerce management software and widgets. You’ll thank yourself later.

End-to-end is king

With some retailers selling online for the first time and marketplaces setting up increasingly efficient supply chains, the race is on to provide the cheapest, fastest, most exciting shopping experience. Online buyers have high expectations for an end-to-end service, and brands are rising to the challenge. From warehousing to branded packaging to returns management, order fulfilment quality can make or break your business.

But we’re not all Amazon, so growing eCommerce enterprises can contract retail support companies that take care of these operations and resource management for online stores.

Of course, an optimized buying process starting from that first click is vital, so many are opting to use eCommerce widgets and plugins too, allowing them to easily streamline the visitor journey from initial entry to online sale.

eCommerce and creative tech

We’ve all seen shoppable ads and smart assistants like Alexa. These new technologies are becoming part and parcel of the eCommerce experience. This trend also shows growth in the use of AI to improve the user experience, and AR to allow customers to ‘try on’ products before buying them. All of this points to a strong, competitive creativity with tech in online shopping this year. 

How will you impress your site visitors enough to buy?

Customer retention challenges

The strength of your brand is going to come into play in 2021. Marketplaces remain popular, where your brand power is diluted, and you have little direct contact with your customer. Plus, the uncertainty of data sharing laws and third party cookies is sure to push up the cost of customer acquisition, and thus escalate competition.

In light of this challenge, a top priority and trend is to prioritize customer retention and loyalty. How?

  • Gather emails:
    • Direct communication with your customer is going to be more and more beneficial, so focus on collecting email leads for more reliable retention.
  • Incentivize:
    • It’s valuable to reward loyalty and offer targeted discounts. Plus, offering packs or subscriptions can help foment long term relationships. (Plesk Partners, take note!)
  • Remember your brand is everything:
    • Customers feel more connected, and therefore more loyal, to brands that they trust to communicate transparently. Community building outside of your site or service can work wonders for effective customer retention.

Go green and sustainable

It’s no longer enough to sell a great product. Consumers now demand that brands commit to processes that are better for the planet and the community. The continued rise of ‘Green consumerism’ will bring some noteworthy trends for eCommerce in 2021. Retail styles like second-hand eCommerce (a.k.a ReCommerce) are reaching new popularity, while existing sellers must strive for sustainable delivery and fair, environmental production of their wares.

It’s an analytics game

Change in the eCommerce market is lightspeed. The needs and wants of your customers will evolve from week to week, so this trend is about knowing your customer inside-out. Invest in hyper-analysing user behaviour, social media and offline tendencies. The objective is then to drive change that predicts the market. Techniques like dynamic pricing (i.e. adapting to the demand in real time) remain popular this year, as brands recognize the power of this trend.

Be sure to power your site with robust monitoring and analytics through your eCommerce management software or other extensions.

Summary

Phew. So we can all agree that the online world (like the offline world) has greatly evolved since 2019, creating new challenges and opportunities. The key ideas to remember are:

  • Customers want a complete service, with a quick and easy user experience from beginning to end of the shopping life cycle.
  • eCommerce is making use of the best new technologies to give brands a competitive edge. Pay attention to AI and AR.
  • Brand loyalty has never been so important, with a clear necessity for retention strategies and truly connecting with your audience.

What else do you see in the future of eCommerce? Cryptocurrency as a payment method? 3D modelling becoming the best way to present your store online? How will the market respond to the disappearance of third-party cookies? Share your ideas and insights in the comments!

I need a break Elvis Plesky Plesk blog

How to Set up a Successful Seasonal Marketing Campaign

The holiday season is almost here. And whatever your product, industry, or target market is, this is a great time to create a holiday marketing campaign. This is not only to show your existing customers your appreciation but to capture new leads and turn them into customers.

Since ‘tis the season to give and share, we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to help you to create effective seasonal marketing campaigns. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Determine the goals of your campaign

Before you start working on your campaign you need to determine what you want to achieve and the outcomes of your campaign. 

Your campaign’s goal should be specific, measurable, and within a specific time-frame. It should be relevant to the audience and the services and products you’ll be focused on. 

Most probably the goal of your campaign would be to get as many sales as possible. However, don’t forget to make your seasonal campaign more personal. Share some festive mood and cheers to build customer relationships and raise brand awareness.

Step 2: Define your target audience

It’s very important to gather as much information as possible about the people you’re trying to reach. So, to be able to create a smart campaign plan with relevant content and promotions, try to answer the following question about your audience beforehand:

  • Which social media channels do my customers prefer? 
  • Are they using a specific device?
  • What’s the time that attracts the most engagement?

Make sure your campaign refers to all segments of your audience. That is, both new and existing customers. Otherwise, you might consider creating two different campaigns to keep all segments of your audience happy.

Here’s an extra tip: If you want to know more about buyer personas and how to create campaigns for specific personas of the hosting industry, we recommend you our free buyer personas template.

Step 3: Create an offer

One of the most important steps to create a campaign is to understand what products and services will fall under your campaign offer. Your offer should speak directly to the needs of your customers. Try to pick up the most relevant product and services for this purpose, which makes the most sense for your earlier chosen audience.

There are many different tactics when it comes to deciding on products and services that you should discount: products you should discount, the most important to be effective honest, and clear with your customers:  

  • Discount everything equally.
  • Generate exclusive offers on your best sellers.
  • Promote lesser-known or older products.
  • Bundle another product or service.

It’s also a good idea to check your competition. Find out what kind of offer they have, what includes, and what their positioning is. This information will help you to create the most unique offer and stand out from the competition.

Step 4: Create a landing page

Once your offer is ready, you should decide where on your website to place it. We suggest two ways: 

  • Place the discount banner directly on the product page.
  • Create a dedicated landing page – click here for extra tips on how to create a successful landing page.

Step 5: Communicate your promotion

Offer – checked. Landing page – rolling. It’s time to give your campaign the boost it needs. So, to communicate your offers, choose the right channels for potential customers. Unfortunately, not all marketing channels can apply to everyone. Especially those of the web hosting industry. That’s why you’ll need to consider some points:

  • Make sure you know how big your existing audience is.
  • Decide if your promotion is for an existing audience, to attract new customers or both. 
  • Keep clear your existing marketing channels.
  • Know the budget you are ready to spend.
  • Adapt your website to your offers.

And some traditional but very useful indeed channels:

Email Marketing

It’s more likely that you already have a list of customers who might be interested in your offer. Or a list of customers who already bought your products. Or of the ones who sign up for your blog. Well, once you review your database you can create a list of the specific group of customers to whom your offer is relevant. And don’t forget to check the GDPR allowance before sending the campaign.  

Blog 

Another way to make your offer visible and add some SEO benefits to your website is to create a relevant blog post. Don’t forget to include a visual CTA (call-to-action), which will redirect to your campaign landing page or to the page you place the offer.

Social Media 

Social media is a great tool to reach new audiences by using popular industry hashtags or to engage with your existing customers, your community. It’s very important to analyze which social media channels your existing customers prefer and where you can get new ones. When it comes to web hosting or software industries, we recommend Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. 

The most effective way to join ongoing conversations in relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups to offer up your products/services and talk about your new campaigns. Check here to find out more about social media tips for web hosters.

Step 6: Campaign metrics

The final, and probably the most important, step is monitoring your campaign’s behavior and engagement. It’s time to determine if we reach the goals that were set before we launched the campaign. Analyzing your campaign’s performance helps us to understand what works and what doesn’t, which tactics work better than others, and what to keep the same or change for the next time.

With that said, thank you for your attention and for reading this guide. You can drop us a line below if you’d like to share your experience with seasonal marketing campaigns with us. We wish you profitable campaigns 🙂

Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page

Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page - Plesk

Landing pages are an important component of a company’s inbound marketing strategy. At Plesk, we encourage our partners to create a landing page whenever they launch a campaign with us. A good landing page can help increase conversions and turn visitors into leads. For a landing page to be effective, it needs persuasive language, a solid layout and smart copy.

But before you begin creating your masterpiece, it’s vital to know what your goals are. Do you want to sell a product or service? Are you looking for visitors to attend a webinar or event? What do you want your visitors to do when they reach your landing page?

Once you have a clear goal, you’re ready to set up your landing page. So what are some of the essential elements of a landing page? Let’s get into these below.

1) Let’s Begin with the Layout

Your landing page layout should be clean and precise. It should work towards achieving the goal you set out earlier. Let’s take a look at the layout example below, which will work well with most products and services.

Let's Begin with the Layout - Tips for Creating an Effective Landing Page - Plesk

The important components in this landing page layout are:

  • Some room for an attractive header.
  • A section to introduce your main product or service.
  • An area where your main call to action resides.
  • Space for features and benefits of your product or service.
  • Any other information you want to provide.
  • A section for contact details or a support form.

Let’s tackle each of these components in more detail.

2) Use Compelling Imagery

A common place to add images on landing pages is in the header. Attractive and compelling images will help grab your visitors’ attention. As Napoleon himself said, “Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu’un long discours.” Translation: A good sketch is better than a long speech.

So, en avant my friends, to the next component!

3) Words, Words, Words

Words are a powerful ally for any landing page. Use headlines to present your most important message. Use subheadings to add information that adds value to your message. Headlines should be clear, concise and catchy, though it isn’t always easy to catch the 3 Cs. You can focus on the C that works best for your product or service.

And while we’re on the subject, it’s imperative that you apply the 3 Cs to any other copy you want to add to your landing page. Remember what Napoleon said? You don’t want to have your visitors bounce because of long speeches.

Additionally, the offer on your landing page should mirror offers you’re using in your ads. Consistency assures visitors that they’ve reached the right place.

4) Call to Action

The call to action (CTA) button is one of the key elements of a landing page. The aim of a CTA is to get visitors to perform an action, such as complete a sale or join a trial. Persuasive conversion words are your friends here. But there is one vital strategy to consider before you color your landing page with CTA buttons. Use CTAs sparingly. Wordy and too many CTAs will most likely overwhelm your visitors.

5) Call Out Your Best Features

Introduce your visitors to the best features your product or service offers. You can add this information in a separate section on the landing page if you prefer. Make sure that the focus of your copy is on the user and not you, the company. How can the product help your customer? Does it make your customer’s life easier in some way? Highlight the benefits your product or service offers. But keep it simple, keep it short.

Pro tip #1: Use pictures and videos to help users understand your product better.

Pro tip #2: Use customer testimonials. These help build trust and confidence in your product.

6) Point Users to Next Steps

The best way to do this is by having contact and support forms. A contact form gives visitors a place to go with their questions. It also shows that you are there to help them. However, do remember that you want to give visitors as few actions to complete as possible. So make sure that your forms don’t have too many fields or ask for too much information.

So, if you’re still reading up to this point, know that you now have the building blocks for a pretty good landing page.

And if you’re a Plesk Partner in need of more guidance on the topic, please contact your Account Manager. You can also take a look at other resources from our blog for setting up a WordPress website or using social media to boost your site traffic.

But if you’re a weary Internet traveler who stumbled upon this page and liked reading it, let us know in the comments below.

Simple Tips on Social Media For Web Hosting

Social Media Tips For Web Hosting Industry

Social media is one of the most accessible ways to engage with your target audience and build your online presence. It’s also one of the most cost-effective ways to market and promote your business and brand. The hosting industry is no exception – however, it is very specific. Therefore, you have to be careful when choosing the right social media channel for your business. To help you out, here are our top social media tips for web hosting.

To select the right social platform to focus on, you’ll need to find out where your followers are. If you don’t have any social media presence yet, check where your customers are more likely to be. Where do they get information about similar services and products? And where will they probably advertise their own services? From our experience, the best channels for hosters to reach out to their audiences are Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook.

Why Use Social Media for Your Web Hosting Business?

1. Making a Good Impression

Firstly, your potential customers will search for some feedback about your services and end up on your social media pages. They will most probably ask some sales-related questions. You can take the opportunity to answer these frequently asked questions even if your salesperson is not around. Communication during the sales process gives a potential client an idea of what they can expect from your support afterwards. So be sure to make a good first impression.

2. Support and Problem-solving

Similarly, you can offer ‘support’ through your social media questions by communicating and redirecting complaints and questions accordingly. You should keep the comments you received and their replies as a public record of your commitment to your customers. Proof that that you pay attention to and solve their problems. Often it will be them checking on a pre-existing issue, verifying that they haven’t actually been ignored.

3. Encourage Brand Positivity

Our advice is to give questions priority when you spend time on your web hosting social media marketing efforts. Because customers who voice problems on social are also the ones more likely to publicly sing your praises. By showing interest and communicating honestly, you can turn an unhappy client into a brand ambassador.

4. Advertising

Social media should be part of your go-to market strategy. After, you launch a new product or service, you should Facebook post or tweet about it to inform your customers. Not just of your product but of the benefits they may get. Social media is a tool to leverage your original content, solidify your brand awareness, as well as to obtain more visibility.

How to Use Social Media for Web Hosting: Tips

1. Set a Social Media Intention

What are your goals for using social media for your web hosting business? Do you wish to boost sales? Awareness? Build a reputation? Maybe you want to acquire new customer leads or keep your existing ones happy. Setting up a clear long-term intention helps you establish why you’re doing it for more effectiveness.

2. Create a Proper Social Media Calendar

Content is king. And as we mentioned earlier, social media platforms are great boosters for your original content. This is why you should optimize all your marketing materials, content and posts for your social channels, adjusting where necessary to meet your audience’s expectations.

3. Build Communities Around Your Brand

You can do this by asking for feedback and reactions on social media, then replying in a timely manner. We recommend you read and comment on other web hosting forums and blogs too – to show your presence. Or maybe even share that content on your channels with your own added point of view. Not only to boost your community’s efforts and create awareness, but also to potentially start a positive conversation.

This is what we do at Plesk. Because our partners are the core of our business and industry, we make sure to highlight their efforts on a regular basis. Show your partners the support they deserve and send the message that you can all succeed on a larger level.