Valentine’s Day: French Grocery Shoppers Prefer Romantic Meals Over Flowers

In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, we decided to take a closer look at digital grocery sales in one of the most romantic countries in the world: France. As it turns out, the way to the hearts of the French is through fine cuisine, as romantic dinners for two both dominated in click rates and drove the highest revenue.

We analyzed how visitors behaved when browsing common Valentine’s Day products including flowers, chocolates, champagne and dinners for two.

Leading the pack, the romantic dinner category yielded a click rate of 5.7% (versus only 1.96% for flowers), suggesting many couples across France are planning to stay in on Valentine’s Day and celebrate with a home-cooked feast.

A close second was the Champagne category, which drove at 4.18% click rate. And yet despite driving more clicks than the chocolates category, bubbles generated 60% less revenue than sweet treats, suggesting lovers across the country will be skipping straight to dessert and perhaps avoiding a hangover this year.

If you’re interested in all things Valentine, check out our gifting report.

Superbowl fans are clicking on beer, but converting on healthy snacks

In the weeks leading up to Superbowl, many grocery sites deck their homepage with promotional banners advertising deals on beer, dips, wings, and other culinary highlights from the most popular sporting event in the US.

We took a deep dive into digital consumer behavior on Superbowl-themed category pages, and found that beer drove the highest number of desktop clicks — 70% more clicks than meat and 83% more clicks than produce.

Smartphone shoppers were less enthusiastic about their Superbowl snacks browsing than their desktop counterparts, with only 2% of mobile consumers clicking on beer, and even fewer on meat and produce.

And yet despite the high level of enthusiasm reserved for beer, customers ultimately were 64% more likely to convert on… produce, marking perhaps the stats of a new era of healthy game night snacking?

8 Personal Touches You Can Add to Your Online Store That Customers Will Love

A guest post by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment.

It’s a well-known fact that, when it comes to online shopping and advertising in general, people love to see who is behind a brand. We want to know that we’re interacting with and responding to real people, not just some ad machine or algorithm.

That’s even more important when it comes to spending our money in the mobile era, where we’ve got more people, apps, and ads fighting for our attention every second of the day.

You need to maximize the user experience and establish the connection that boosts sales. Thankfully, it is relatively easy to create familiarity and score some major points with a few simple efforts that include using the data you have, sharing photos of your staff, telling stories about your company and community, and many more customer service efforts.

We’ve got eight tips that you can start following right now, with items that focus on customers, customer service, and your company. A mix of elements and approaches is recommended to not only establish the relationship, but also to capitalize on it in a way that’s not overbearing or creepy.

1. Remember your customers’ names and preferences

This one is going to feel a little obvious but always start with customer names and information that you know. If you have accounts or rewards programs, give users the option to stay logged in for as long as possible.

A nice little greeting that says “Hi” and their name at the top of each page is the perfect way to strengthen your connection. It also makes customer service processes much easier because the user will be able to tell exactly where to click to get access to account information or support channels.

This practice is also useful for improving your email marketing. Remember, the user experience involves every touch point, not just your store’s websites.

It makes sense for Yelp to target a location, but its emails also rely on data about the places we’ve eaten at, left reviews for, or ordered from now that it also has a hand in GrubHub. This email was definitely speaking our language but didn’t feel overly promotional or intrusive because it’s the thing we want from them.

An interesting note about this for eCommerce stores is that Yelp based the email content on relevant information, without asking us beforehand. It timed this BBQ email with summer and recent eating habits that it collected, but never asked us to check off a BBQ box.

You likely are collecting a variety of data about your customers and their habits. Test multiple emails and campaigns to see how much of this information you can use to increase your connection and sales.

2. Ask about special occasions

Most eCommerce companies trade coupons and deals for a newsletter or account signup. While you want to limit the number of things you ask for right away (you don’t need an address or a phone number before someone places an order), consider asking for a customer’s birthday month and day.

This gives you a quick and easy chance to automate a coupon or special deal with a personal touch. It’s their special day, and you’re helping them celebrate — especially useful for that new product launch or big sale you’re planning.

If your products are associated with specific events, like weddings or anniversary gifts, you can ask about these too. You should also use the latest data to see how much outreach should be done via mobile for every customer, even luxury buyers.

One note about these options is that they shouldn’t be a mandatory part of the signup.

3. Consider omnichannel support

Personalization and personal connections mean reaching out to people in multiple ways.

You call your friends on the phone, share events on Facebook, like their photos on Instagram, and meet up in the real world for a variety of activities. Treat your company the same way.

Omnichannel support really means combining multiple avenues to deliver customer service, from social and chatbots to enabling email and telephone options. This means you’re always around and available, ready to help. You’re also providing customers with a way to reach you however they feel most comfortable with at that given moment.

4. Integrate your social channels

Social channels are amazing for eCommerce. They allow you to share your content and new products as well as provide direct customer service. Many now also support plugins and native eCommerce tools so you can sell directly from your social page or feed. Use these to target where your customers are.

Add social feeds to your website. Display tweets and Facebook posts to add credibility and give you an extra little boost when a new customer is looking at your site. They’ll get to see people praising you, coupon codes, or announcements about what’s new.

The more you facilitate and encourage interaction on your social channels, the more customers will feel like they’re interacting with a person, building that connection. Even in these social efforts, be sure your keywords match your goals.

5. Reach out if they need help

Sometimes people give up on a website when they’re confused, overwhelmed, or just uncertain. You know they arrived and were thinking about a purchase. Now, it’s time to find out why.

Re-targeting ads can help by showing these customers the same goods they were looking at to tip them over the edge into buying. However, there are much more active measures you can take as well.

One of our favorite examples for creating a personal experience when it comes to cart abandonment is Strolleria. The company gives customers a call if they leave something in the cart and don’t buy. They make about a dozen calls a day and most end in a voicemail, but they’ve told us that nearly one-third return to the cart and complete the purchase.

This might not work if you have large volumes of sales and carts — Strolleria focuses on high-cost goods — but it can be smart if you’re dealing with big ticket items or something that can confuse people.

Plus, customer service that goes above and beyond is a terrific way to land stellar reviews.

6. Showcase your brand and values

Another key part of creating a personal connection is to have content that features your company and your people. Customers want to connect with individuals more than with a faceless company. You get a stronger connection when you’re sharing your brand values if they align with your customers’.

Share the things you care about and consider framing them as items that your customers care about too.

Highlighting your values also allows you to showcase how you’re different, and the top services you offer. For us at Red Stag Fulfillment, it’s a terrific way to remind potential customers that we offer same-day order fulfillment for a majority of the country.

Sometimes, the right value statement on a product makes the difference for you securing a new sale or being the place people come back to on big events like Cyber Monday. Sharing your values is a best practice all year long, because you never know when people are going to think about what you offer. Birthdays, anniversaries, and other events happen every day. The holiday season makes it easy to remember these kinds of efforts, and we suggest you use that reminder to create a plan for every season.

7. Celebrate your people and events

What’s one of the biggest things that charity bike rides, music festivals, local raffles, and every major sporting event in the U.S. have in common? Sponsors. Companies know that if you see their name associated with something you love, then you’re more likely to associate them with that same loving feeling.

Prepping the warehouse for new products? Planning a pizza party or big lunch for the whole crew? Bringing in new staff or celebrating a birthday? Snap a few photos and put them up on your blog and Facebook page. Hosting a networking event? Highlight your employees who are there as well as members of the community. Or, showcase a talent that one of your staff has in a way that celebrates it.

Again, these are all actions designed to remind customers that you are real people with real hobbies and passions.

And, don’t forget to be a little silly about things:

8. Ask questions

People like other people who ask questions.

We all want to be interesting and want others to be interested in us. One of the best ways to get that feeling is to have someone ask us relevant questions that we want to answer. The key is asking questions in a way that engages customers and gets them talking about themselves, not your company.

So, this isn’t your “how many stars would you give us?” type of question.

Ask about what they need help with, where they’d like to go next, and what more they want. It’s such a successful tactic that even science backs it up as a great way to get someone to agree to a second date. Social science says we all just want to be liked. Make your customers feel liked, and you’re halfway to that repeat sale.

And remember, always make it look good on mobile.

DataSnack: Terms and Conditions pages are viewed 161% + after the holidays, looking for ways to exchange and return

You may think you know your nephew well, but he thinks that sweater you gave him is hideous. And let’s be real – no one needs three scented candles. As consumers rush to return or exchange unwanted items in the post-holiday season, terms and conditions pages see a huge spike in traffic. And don’t forget, traffic is traffic, whether they keep the sweater or not.

Here’s your chance to remove the hassle from a traditionally irksome holiday rite. Make sure your customers don’t have to go digging for key information, and guide them through the returns and exchange process with clear, visual prompts. And of course, while they’re on your platform, why not take the opportunity to unveil new items and entice them with seasonal discounts.

DataSnack: Cosmetics conversion rates increase by 288% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – es

At the very top of the holiday gift list, you’ll find cosmetics and liquor. Data shows that the conversion rate for makeup, skincare and fragrance almost triples on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and, crucially, remains pretty high until mid-January. In fact, this is the only sector where retailers sell more during the post-holiday season than they do during the pre-holiday season – reflecting the fact that, once hooked, many consumers repeat-buy these products.

Another thing to keep in mind when promoting cosmetics on your platform is that shoppers favor gift sets over individual items – during the holiday season, gift boxes get double the recorded conversion rate than they do the rest of the year. When it comes to gift-giving, in general, buyers want to multiply their chances of getting it right!

DataSnack: Mobile conversion rates increase by 167% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – es

Everyone knows the holiday shopping surge starts in November, but it’s not until Black Friday and Cyber Monday that conversion really peaks. And numbers suggest that thrifty (or frazzled) shoppers are purchasing a lot of their gifts on the go. In fact, the mobile conversion rate more than doubles in the lead-up to the holiday season – that’s almost twice the increase recorded on desktop.

Luckily, businesses can prepare for mobile spending sprees in advance, ensuring they keep mobile buyers sweet during crunch time. Capitalize on busy shopping periods by investing in the kind of seamless experience today’s shoppers have come to expect. One-click purchase and pre-filled forms are just two of the time-saving shortcuts that can make filling stockings less of a headache.

[Infographic] Back-to-School: The Late Buyers are the Big Spenders

With Back-to-School is just around the corner, retailers and shoppers are running around getting the last items on the list in time to kick-off a new school year. The magic words of this season have been experience, mobile and seamless journey.

Check out our infographic below that highlights the digital behavior of back-to-school shoppers, based on our recently published study.

Back-to-School Infographic from ContentSquare.jpg

For insights, tips and tricks, read our free study “Back-to-School Shoppers: A Digital Behavior Report

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