The Post-Pandemic E-Commerce Conundrum

We've recently been fielding questions from current and prospective clients struggling with navigating YOY e-commerce numbers as the "in-person" world opens up again. If your business was one of those lucky enough to have navigated the pandemic and not only hold on to your sales revenue but grow during this strange time, you may be finding yourself having lots of conversations about how to maintain those numbers moving forward. (The old sales conundrum: any win becomes the new baseline). 

So this month, we're diving into consumer trends related to e-commerce, what you can do to grow your YOY online revenue, and how to view your revenue through a new, post-(ish)-pandemic lens.

The Future of E-Commerce

Real talk: If you’re like me then owning a business, raising kids, and trying to grab social connections when you can, all while balancing personal wellness, managing a predictable schedule feels nearly impossible these days.

I’m a home cook; I love going grocery shopping. Picking out my fresh produce and spending time creating a meal plan with seasonal ingredients is my happy place. However, recently I've had to trade in my love of in-person grocery shopping for a more efficient, online, approach to balance time with my family.

I think this is a common conundrum with many people looking for balance. Even as we exit the pandemic, as we attempt to downshift from the culture of overextension and the Immediacy Era we’ve found ourselves in, people will likely continue to adopt more efficient buying habits. This doesn't mean I will never grocery shop again (because, let’s face it, Instacart never grabs the good produce), but it does mean that I will make trade-offs between what I used to always do in-person and what I now sometimes do online. I may no longer browse in-store for a friend's birthday gift so that I can make my weekly farmers' market trip. 

We're all figuring out the art of convenience versus sacrifice. The digital era may be taking more of our time, but it also allows us to streamline ongoing lifestyle needs. According to McKinsey & Company, during the pandemic era 75% of US consumers have tried a new shopping behavior.

So...back to the original question: What can you do to continue to convert more online business?

Should you bundle shipping into your product prices? 

YES! Always bundle shipping into your prices! These days, shoppers get irritated when they feel they are paying for shipping—90% of consumers say they would shop online more if guaranteed a free shipping option. This is not shady; this is business. Do you publicize your manufacturing fees along with your final sales price? No, it’s business and you don't always need to show how the sausage is made!

Declutter your navigation.

There’s no need to include every product and sub-group in your navigation. Think of your navigation as a little guidepost. Broaden the focus; Men’s, Women’s, Home Goods, and then create your funnel or filter from there. Everyone hates being lost, make it easy for people to get to where they want to be.

Describe your products!

They say content is king for a reason; it can pull a consumer in and close the gap on the sale. People shopping online need to know the material and size of what they are buying so they feel solid about the purchase. More information around your products will deepen any trust or loyalty between the brand and the consumer. It’s also great for SEO!

Reviews can be good and bad—but mostly good.

We all understand that occasionally a bad review will happen, and customers will let it go in a sea of good reviews. (Alternatively, if you're receiving several bad reviews, it's time to take a close look at your product or service.) 

E-commerce can be scary; especially with environmental considerations top of mind, shoppers want to avoid the hassle of returns; they want to know what they are buying is smart and aligns with their needs. So share those reviews!

Streamline the checkout process.

I’m a big fan of the sidebar checkout in Shopify. I love knowing what I have in my cart and what my running total is at all times (and it can tally any sale items which could mean my transaction opportunity is higher). 

Additionally, I LOVE Shopify's Shop Pay...maybe a little too much, just ask my wife. It makes checking out a breeze by remembering my contact/shipping/billing details so I can quickly and efficiently navigate through the process.

SMS (text) can add a big lift—and it's super easy to integrate.

Online shopping's kryptonite is an abandoned cart—if you can address those carts, then you're well on your way to capturing a big chunk of additional revenue.

Scenario: you have items in your cart, and your phone rings, baby cries, your oven timer goes off, and you completely forget what you were doing, or that shopping window has vanished. Fear not! Through SMS, the retailer can send you a quick and delightful nudge to finish up your purchase.

No, this is not annoying or overkill; it's actually helpful and nice to have a reminder and potentially save a little bit of cash. Plus, it makes me feel like I don't need to shop around.

I hope my musings on the future of e-commerce and how to leverage opportunities have helped—or at least offer some comfort. If you'd like to talk further, please reach out. Or, find me in your neighborhood produce aisle!

We merge our dedication to innovative strategies and curiosity-driven design to foster growth and elevate brands.

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Pedal to Success: Navigating Digital Marketing Trends in the Bicycle Industry

Welcome, fellow cycling enthusiasts! Let's take a spin through the scenic greenways of digital marketing trends.. As technology continues to evolve, so does the way we connect with riders, promote our brands, and enhance the overall cycling experience. In this article we’ll take a deep dive into the latest trends that are transforming the cycling experience and propelling the industry forward.

Personalized Customer Experiences: In the age of information overload, cyclists expect tailored interactions that speak directly to their interests and preferences. Brands like Canyon are leading the charge by harnessing the power of data to create personalized experiences across various touchpoints. By analyzing consumer behavior and preferences, these brands can deliver targeted social media ads, customized email campaigns, and tailored product recommendations, ensuring that each rider feels understood and valued. This personalization not only enhances the overall customer experience but also fosters brand loyalty and drives repeat purchases.

Immersive Content: In a world where attention spans are dwindling, captivating content is king. The bicycle industry is embracing immersive experiences through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to engage consumers like never before. Imagine being able to virtually test ride a new mountain bike or explore the scenic routes of a cycling destination from the comfort of your home. These immersive experiences not only provide an exciting way for cyclists to interact with brands but also help potential customers make more informed purchasing decisions. By offering immersive content that allows cyclists to experience products and destinations firsthand, brands can create memorable and impactful brand experiences that resonate with their audience.

Social Commerce: Social media platforms have evolved beyond just a place to connect with friends – they have become powerful platforms for driving sales and generating revenue. With the rise of social commerce, brands in the bicycle industry are tapping into platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase their products and facilitate seamless transactions.  This integration into social commerce is a crucial component of their omnichannel strategy. From shoppable posts to influencer collaborations, social commerce is redefining the way cyclists discover and purchase gear. Additionally, social commerce enables brands to tap into the power of user-generated content, leveraging the influence of loyal customers and brand advocates to amplify their reach and influence within the cycling community.

Community Building: Cycling is more than just a sport – it's a lifestyle and a community. Digital marketing allows brands to foster and grow these communities online, creating spaces where cyclists can connect, share experiences, and support one another. Whether it's through dedicated social media groups, virtual events, or user-generated content campaigns, brands are finding innovative ways to engage with cyclists on a deeper level. By building meaningful relationships with their audience, brands can create advocates who not only support their products but also spread the word to others in the cycling community.

Data-Driven Insights: In the digital age, data is a cyclist's best friend. By harnessing the power of analytics, brands can gain valuable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. From tracking website traffic to monitoring social media engagement, data-driven marketing enables brands to make informed decisions that drive results. By understanding what resonates with their audience, brands can refine their strategies and deliver more impactful campaigns that resonate with cyclists. Additionally, data-driven marketing allows brands to optimize their marketing spend and allocate resources more effectively, ensuring that every dollar spent delivers maximum return on investment. 

Sustainability Initiatives: As stewards of the environment, the bicycle industry is increasingly focused on sustainability and environmental conservation. Digital marketing provides a platform for brands to amplify their sustainability initiatives and connect with eco-conscious consumers. From promoting eco-friendly products to sharing stories of sustainability efforts, brands are leveraging digital channels to showcase their commitment to a greener future. Additionally, sustainability initiatives can serve as a point of differentiation for brands, helping them stand out in a crowded marketplace and attract environmentally conscious consumers who prioritize sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

In conclusion, the bicycle industry is riding the wave of digital innovation, embracing new technologies and strategies to connect with cyclists in meaningful ways. Whether it's through personalized experiences, immersive content, or community building initiatives, brands are leveraging digital marketing to pedal their way to success. So, gear up, embrace the trends, and let's continue to explore the world of cycling together – one pedal stroke at a time!

Design Guide for Launching a Small Brand

Starting a business isn’t just about selling products or services-it’s about building a brand that resonates with your audience. It’s an opportunity for creative expression and will ensure your business has a unique, memorable identity that will stand out in the market. A comprehensive style guide will guarantee consistency in your brand, ultimately leading to a strong brand presence and great content. To help you on your brand journey, we are sharing our 4-part process to create a brand identity that stands the test of time.

Part 1 - Getting to Know Your Brand

When creating a brand identity, the goal is to channel your brand personality and values into a clear visual style. In order to create an authentic and memorable brand, it’s important to start with some questions. What is the product/service you’re providing? What is the story and mission behind the business? Who is your target audience? Narrowing down your story, demographic, and goals will help to pinpoint the visual style that will best suit the brand. 

Part 2 - Conceptualize Your Vision & Create a Moodboard

Once you’ve defined the core values of your brand, it’s time to conceptualize. We recommend starting with a moodboard - it’s a great way to quickly generate ideas and see what aesthetic you gravitate towards. Some things to consider when looking for inspiration include:

  • Color Palette
  • Logo Inspiration
  • Photography (product & lifestyle)
  • Typography (fonts)
  • Imagery (icons, illustrations, graphics, textures)
  • Website + Social Media Examples

When all is said and done, the moodboard should align with the vibe and purpose behind your brand. 

Part 3 - Designing & Refining 

Once a general style has been established and you have your vision in mind, it’s time to bring your brand elements to life. As these are important decisions, it’s easy to get stuck on one idea - we emphasize the importance of experimentation with multiple concepts for logos, color palettes, and style guides. Aim for at least three variations of these to help you discover what feels most authentic to your brand. Once you narrow down a singular concept, continue to refine your elements until they feel complete and authentic. 

Part 4 - Brand Guidelines

As the finalization of your design elements takes shape, it’s crucial to create them into a style guide-your own brand guidelines. Your brand guidelines ensure consistency in how your brand is presented across various platforms. Remember that this should function as a rulebook for how to use your brand. Anyone you pass it off to should be able to understand how your brand should be implemented. At minimum, your brand guidelines should include:

  • Color: consider color codes for both print (CMYK) and web (RGB) materials.
  • Typography: a font pairing of a primary and secondary brand font.
  • Logos: we recommend including a primary brand logo, a secondary logo, and a brand icon. Not every logo will fit in every location across print and web, so it helps to have multiple orientations.
  • Imagery: this could include photography, illustrations, icons, patterns, and/or graphics.
  • Links to all of your brand assets, including font files, logos (png and vector format), and imagery/icons/photography.

Once all of these boxes are checked, your brand is ready to launch! Remember that you don’t have to stop here. As your business develops and evolves, so does your brand journey. There’s always room for more innovation and refinement, so keep pushing the boundaries of what your brand can achieve.

Master Your Email Subscribers' Preferences In 90 Days

Understanding and managing email subscriber preferences is key to an effective email marketing strategy. We wanted to share Good & Gold’s approach which provides a month-by-month plan to help you master subscriber preferences, ultimately leading to more engaging and successful email campaigns.

Month 1: Laying the Groundwork

Segment Your Engaged Audience

Goal: The aim is to focus on subscribers who are most actively engaged with your brand, as they will provide the most reliable data for your initial tests and analyses. Plus, adding first and last name fields to your signup and preferences forms will allow you to send more personalized emails to new subscribers.

Task: Start by analyzing your email list to identify the most engaged subscribers. For larger audiences, segment those who have interacted with your emails in the last 90 days. It's also important to update your email signup form and email preference page to include fields for subscriber’s first and last names. This will allow you to personalize your campaigns to each subscriber.

Create a Versatile Content Plan

Goal: To plan a varied approach that not only drives sales but also enables direct connection with your audience. Each type of content offers a unique opportunity to engage and understand what resonates with your subscribers.

Task: Develop a content calendar that includes a mix of sales promotions, brand stories, and important announcements. Incorporate creative approaches, like the successful Winter Horoscope campaign Good & Gold recently launched for Alfred Coffee.

Month 2: Experimentation and Analysis

A/B Testing - Initial Phase

Goal: The primary objective is to understand which specific elements of your email campaigns are driving engagement. By controlling one variable at a time, you can accurately determine the effect each has on subscriber behavior and preferences. This focused approach to A/B testing will provide you with clear, actionable insights to improve your email marketing strategy.

Task: Begin A/B testing with your email campaigns by varying one element at a time. This could include testing different email send times (AM vs. PM), experimenting with subject lines (using emojis vs. not using them), and altering the placement of your call-to-action (CTA in the header vs. after the body text).

Review and Understand Data

Goal: The objective here is to gain clear insights into what specifically resonates with your subscribers and have that inform your strategy with your next campaign. Did you find that more people opened your campaign in the evening? Consider sending future emails in that time frame. 

Task: Once you've conducted your A/B tests, it's time to dive into the data. Analyze which version of your email campaigns performed better and why.

Month 3: Refinement and Advanced Strategies

Refine Your A/B Testing Approach

Goal: To further enhance the personalization and relevance of your email campaigns. By now, you should start seeing patterns in what your audience prefers, allowing you to tailor your content more effectively.

Task: Based on your findings from Month 2, start refining your A/B testing strategy. Try changing the metrics you're measuring for each variable. For example, if you found that more people opened your email in the evening, you should consider testing to see if they actually placed more orders in the evening as well! 

Also, now that you’ve likely gathered the names of some of your new subscribers, try testing personalization in some of your campaigns.

Implementing Optimized Strategies

Goal: To establish a more targeted and effective email marketing strategy that aligns with your audience’s preferences. The aim is to increase engagement, which could lead to higher open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately, conversions.

Task: Take the most successful elements from your A/B tests and start implementing them in your regular email campaigns. This might involve changing your email send times, updating your subject line strategy, or reformatting your email layout.

Additional Considerations:

  • Feedback Mechanisms: Include surveys or feedback links in your emails to gather direct insights from your subscribers about their preferences.
  • Monitor Industry Trends: Keep an eye on emerging trends in email marketing. What works today may evolve tomorrow.
  • Ongoing Optimization: Remember that subscriber preferences can change. Keep analyzing and adjusting your strategy to stay relevant and engaging.

By following this 90-day plan, you'll be better positioned to understand and cater to your email subscribers' preferences. Not only does this lead to more successful email campaigns, but it also helps in building a stronger, more meaningful relationship with your audience.

Need assistance in mastering the realm of email marketing? We've got you covered. Connect with us today for expert guidance on your next email marketing campaign!

Think Big, Grow Local

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, local businesses face unique challenges and opportunities. This article is a deep dive into the transformative power of digital marketing, offering insights into best practices and tangible benefits of SEO, Paid Media, and Email Marketing. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools to elevate your business, with examples from our successful partnerships with clients like Stumptown Coffee, Alfred Coffee, Domaine Serene, and more.

SEO: Driving Traffic and Visibility

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for enhancing online visibility and driving organic traffic. By strategically optimizing various elements of a website, such as content, meta tags, and backlinks, SEO aims to improve a website's ranking on search engine results pages. When done effectively, SEO helps websites appear higher in search engine rankings for relevant keywords, making it easier for potential customers to find and engage with them. A well-implemented SEO strategy can increase website traffic by up to 1000%, with businesses appearing in the top Google search results capturing up to 33% of user engagement.

Benefits

  • Enhances local discoverability and connects businesses directly with the target audience.
  • Improves website ranking, leading to increased credibility and trust.
  • Drives sustained organic traffic, reducing dependence on paid advertising.

Client Highlights

  • Stumptown Coffee: Improved online visibility, resulting in increased café visits and website traffic.
  • Zupan's Grocery: Enhanced online and in-store visits through SEO-driven promotions.

Paid Media: Maximizing Reach and Impact

Paid Media helps to extend a brand's reach and engages with a wider audience. Unlike organic marketing, it allows businesses to invest in targeted advertising campaigns across various online platforms, including search engines, social media, and display networks. This precision targeting enables brands to reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, ensuring their content reaches a wider range of potential customers. On average, businesses see a $2 return for every $1 spent on Google Ads, and a well-crafted ad campaign can increase brand awareness by over 80%.

Benefits

  • Offers quick visibility and immediate traffic, ideal for promoting new products or events.
  • Enables precise targeting to reach specific demographics and interests.
  • Provides measurable results and insights for continuous optimization.

Client Highlights

  • EWF Modern: Utilized Google Ads to significantly increase store visits and phone calls.
  • Domaine Serene: Increased tasting room visits and website traffic through strategic Google and Meta ads.

Email Marketing: Building Relationships and Loyalty

Email Marketing is a versatile digital strategy that plays a pivotal role in building customer engagement, nurturing relationships, and fostering brand loyalty. Through personalized and targeted email campaigns, businesses can connect with their customers on a more personal level, addressing their specific needs and interests. Over time, email campaigns that contain valuable and consistent content cultivates trust and keeps customers engaged, ultimately creating loyal customers. Email Marketing remains a highly effective channel for engagement, boasting an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent. Additionally, personalized email campaigns can lead to a 20% increase in sales opportunities.

Benefits

  • Fosters direct and personal communication with customers.
  • Enhances customer retention and encourages repeat business.
  • Enables targeted promotions and updates, driving both online and offline engagement.

Client Highlights

  • Alfred Coffee: Increased website visits, café traffic, and app downloads through personalized email campaigns.
  • Stumptown Coffee: Utilized email marketing alongside Google Ads and SEO to drive café and website visits.

Conclusion

Embracing digital marketing is no longer an option but a necessity for local businesses aiming for growth and sustainability. Through this article, we’ve shared insights and best practices that showcase the potential of SEO, Paid Media, and Email Marketing in driving significant results. At Good & Gold, we’re committed to helping businesses like yours harness the power of digital marketing to achieve your goals. If you’re looking to elevate your digital presence and drive real business results, we invite you to reach out to us. Let's work together to create a strategy tailored to your unique needs and objectives.