MineWhat Platform

The most comprehensive toolkit for growth stage eCommerce businesses.

Insights in eCommerce for better Visual Merchandising


Ever wondered whether your website is the right fit with your potential customers? Curious about what products sell and what don’t? Or what should be your visual merchandising strategy?

If your answer is yes to one of these questions or to all of them, then read on.
So, here goes –

Your website should reflect your brand values

Think of your website as a profile on any social platform. Your business’ website is your window to the world of opportunity and the world’s sneak peek into your idea. So showcase the vibrancy, utility, and philosophy of your business personality.

Incorporate your USP in every aspect of the website. Impress your target audience with features and offerings that will blow their minds away and you’re already winning hearts!

Optimize landing pages

The idea of a landing page is very similar to the front page of a newspaper. It’s imperative to make sure you get your priorities right on this one and grab those eyeballs! Display the most pertinent content – key category/product sales, hot deals and discounts.

According to a study by HubSpot, businesses with over 40 landing pages generated a whopping 12 times more leads than those with 1-5 landing pages. Personalization of landing pages is another key activity that would engage a diverse target demographic to interact with your products more effectively.

Do multivariate testing

Multivariate testing aids the detection of possible outcomes of a hypothesis by changing multiple variables. For visual merchandisers, this means figuring out what strategy works best in given situation. The sum total of variations in outcome can be expressed as,

[# of Variations on Element A] X [# of Variations on Element B] … = [Total # of Variations]

Try different product mixes with different layouts and product positioning with multivariate testing and find out which combination works best. You should also be looking at different target groups for a comprehensive test outcome.

Best sell your Bestsellers

Effective use of your site’s layout is key to making optimum conversions. You can sell things better by merely positioning products in areas of high visibility.

The first step in this process would be categorizing your store’s inventory based on parameters like discounts, sales volume, search history and the like. Experiment with different product placement mixes till you hit the sweet spot.

Use PIMs

Product information management systems or PIMs are like Wunderlist for visual merchandisers. You can maintain entire databases of your product lineup.

Data from different domains can be compiled in one centralized PIM and this permits a smooth interchange of electronic catalogs between vendors, purchasing firms and marketplace operators. This greatly aids better decision-making for visual merchandising. Salsify, Akeneo, pimcore and Bynder are some popular PIM tools.

For more on how PIMs work and why you should use them, check out this neat video from Intricity101

Harness the power of visuals

By the standards of current evolutionary patterns in human, the sense of vision still continues to hog the limelight over the other senses. Studies show that the average shopper attention is predominantly captured by pictures. Train customers to think the way you want them to with visual cues. Highlight a potential best-seller in category with different product positioning visually.

Dealing with Out-of-Stock products

One of the most common problems faced by eCommerce stores is products going out-of-stock. In the world of online shopping, this is perceived as customer disservice along with delayed shipping, price surges and the like. There are two ways to handle this situation – hide the out-of-stock pages or leave them up and running.

By using automated collections in your inventory management program, you can set the condition to display the product page only if the ‘inventory stock is greater than 0’. As soon as the product in question is back in stock, it will automatically be included in the relevant collection.

In the scenario where you choose to keep the out-of-stock pages visible, there are benefits to the SEO side of things. Also, this is a need-based opportunity for up-selling and/or cross-selling other relevant products of the same category.

Act on analytical insights

As a B2C enterprise, it is common practice to monitor customer behavioral patterns. But how many businesses really act on this data? Understanding customers with analytics and formulating better strategy will boost loyalty and sales enthusiasm.

Go mobile

According to a March 2016 report by SimilarWeb, digital shopping experiences are slowly changing from desktops to mobiles. In the UK, a dominant 65% of total eCommerce traffic came from mobile devices and figures for mobile users were at 54% for the US and 52% for India.

This is a leading trend that is sure to change the way shoppers interact with online stores. As a visual merchandiser, you can take heed of this by creating mobile-friendly user experiences with responsive designs, front and centered product images, minimal text and layout. Don’t forget to slap on the quintessential sticky add-to-cart button.

Customize your visual merchandising strategy with MineWhat. It offers a host of handy features for every e-tail business. Validating landing pages, specific page insights, automated suggestions for products placement and easy export of insight reports for analytics – MineWhat does all of this from the word go.

All you have to do is add a script to integrate. Connect your product feed and let MineWhat bring you the lead.

Hot tips:

  • Intersperse your hero banner with warm and engaging retainers like seasonal greetings and milestones achieved. Make your new visitors feel at home, right on your landing page.

  • Flooding your pages with images won’t make sense unless you are Google Image Search. Unclutter is the mantra.

  • Collate the feedback you get from individual customers with analytical insights pulled from your site’s traffic to build a successful platform.

  • Prevent out-of-stocks with inventory buffers.

Making the most out of the ads on your online store

By some estimates digital ad spend in 2014 was just around a 150 billion USD and is likely to go even higher. Add to this the extremely complex nature of the online ad space in general it can be quite daunting for someone just starting out to navigate through, here are some pointers.

Display vs Search

Shoppers tend to discover your products via multiple channels and given how long and widely varied a buying cycle can be, it isn’t a question of one or the other as much as it is of what kind of a mix of the three you decide to have. Having a good mix of the three is often better than focusing all your efforts on one.

A recent Survata study suggests that for around 34% of shoppers Search is the first stop on their buying journey. Besides search gives you a good way of targeting shoppers who are currently in the market. While running these ads you can consider adding search engine partners to your targeting as that will help you widen your reach. Most eCommerce stores have multiple categories listed, so it can be quite difficult to customize keywords and the campaign for each. When this is the case you can use the Search Dynamic Ads option to automatically target relevant content from your site.

Display ads make more sense from a visibility standpoint. They can help you get your brand or offerings into the customer’s psyche and could bring in conversions a little later. Choose where to show ads on the display network, filter based on content, site similarity etc…To decide on a good mix between the two, you can take a look at how shoppers are finding you. On MineWhat you can not just find a distribution of traffic across different acquisition sources, you can also figure out what categories and brands work best on each one of those so you can fine tune your targeting strategy. If you are going in for a mix, the Search Network with Display Select (SNDS) can give you the best of both worlds.

Is mobile worth it for you

In addition to deciding what kind of a mix of search, display and retargeting you want to go for, you also have to look into whether you need to have different strategies for specific devices as well. While mobile is in right now, skewing your targeting totally toward mobile devices isn’t the right thing for everyone. Shoppers interact with different types of merchandise differently, for example shoppers are more likely to buy books using mobile devices than they are to do so for apparel. Use different attribution models to see if your mobile shoppers buy when they are navigating to your store or if the purchase then happens on desktop or other devices. This will help you adjust your ad strategy accordingly. With MineWhat, our customers can look at data from device specific interactions for each category and brand separately and make changes based on that.

Targeting your ads

There are multiple ways you could target your ads.

  • Location based targeting: Try to find out which of your merchandise works best across different locations so you can then create a targeted campaign around just those products.

  • Placement: While running campaigns on the Display Network, you can choose to target different sites that are similar in content to yours. Another way of going about this is to use your analytics tool to see what are the most common external drivers of traffic to your site and you can target those.

  • Remarketing: You can set up remarketing on both Search and Display networks. This will let you target specific customers who have visited your site before and can create drastic increases in site traffic. According to a recent study around 30% percent of consumers have a positive or very positive reaction to retargeted ads.

  • Demographics: Another key aspect of targeting is to to figure out what demographic your merchandise appeals to and target them alone. If the merchandise you stock is quite varied you can then tailor individual campaigns for each demographic.

Get the most out of Product Recommendations: The Recommendation Funnel

Recommendations are a key part of the revenue streams of most online stores. A recent study found the average revenues generated from product recommendations worldwide was 12% and the conversion rate of visitors who clicked on product recommendations was found to be 5.5 times higher than the conversion rate of non clicking customers. Given the limited real estate available, it’s critical to get it absolutely right. Here are some pointers.

The Recommendation Funnel

Shoppers interact with your store differently based on where they are in their user journey and you should customise your recommendations based on that. What changes as they go along is also how much information you are going to have.

  • Entry level recommendations
  • Before and during the add to cart
  • After the checkout

Get the most out of Product Recommendations: The Recommendation Funnel

Entry Level Recommendations

Shoppers are going to land on your store either directly or via an external link through your ads, organically and otherwise.In most cases when a shopper first lands on your webpage, there’s only a little info on them to tailor recommendations. To get around this you can personalize the point of entry to cater to different personas. Shoppers fall into one of the following categories, they either know what they are looking for or aren’t entirely sure. Those that are of the former type are typically going to use either the site nav links to directly navigate to the product category or the search to navigate to the product. Once the shopper is on the category page or the search results page, you can then base on your recommendations on the frequently purchased products from the page.

To cater to shoppers who are only exploring, you can include a series of collections on the page that will offer them possibilities to explore. While the shopper information available at this stage can be rather minimal, you will still have access to some information like location and any information gathered via cookies from previous sessions. If you have a series of products on your store that are currently trending across any one of these factors you can create a recommendation widget to push those. If you have shoppers who are navigating directly to a landing page from external sources then you can use the recommendation widget to display frequently purchased products from the products on the page.

Before the Add to Cart

Once shoppers have spent some time on the store you have more information on the products or collections they’ve seen. At this point they also given more of an indication to buy. This opens up some possibilities to experiment with the recommendation widget. One thing you could do is to play with the prices and try pushing up sells. Most recommendation widgets have just enough real estate to display 4 products, have two products which are in the exact same range as the ones being viewed and two others which are priced slightly higher. When you are showing a higher priced product. The shopper has no way of ascertaining the added value of the product, except thru the price and that doesn’t work all the time and can put off shoppers. Have a small popup description/quick view type description for each product outlining the extra value.

You can also modify your recommendations based on how long the shopper has been on your store or the number of products they’ve viewed. If you notice that shoppers are viewing similar products for a while you can also use the recommendation widget to offer combos or something on the lines of “products frequently bought together”.

After the add to cart

It’s not always a good idea to show too many recommendations once there are a few products in the cart. You might end up removing the shoppers from the funnel and putting them back at the research stage or even worse they might want to continue their research elsewhere. It’s not a good idea to remove a shopper from a funnel while they are looking for what product to buy. The best thing to do would be to offer product bundles based on the ones already in the cart or offer products that are frequently bought together.

After the Checkout

It isn’t all over once the checkout is complete. You can try to put the shoppers back in the funnel by recommending combos based on the products that were purchased. In case the shopper purchased just one product, you can recommend products bought together to try increasing their order value. You can also recommend collections that are related to the ones purchased.

8 tips on building your online store’s brand on Instagram

Instagram recently added a linking option on ad images that lets users link back to an external link. This move only adds to why every online retailer should consider having a presence on Instagram. A study done by Forrester Research late last year found that posts on Instagram had an engagement rate of 4.21% that’s 58 times higher than the same on Facebook and 120 times higher than that on Twitter. Here are few ideas on how you can build your store’s brand on Instagram.

Don’t focus on immediate gains

Building a following takes time. Don’t expect to open an account one day and then have your followers crowding your online store the next day. When starting out on Instagram, focus on connecting with users, share content that will give them an idea of what your brand stands for.

You don’t have to share product images all the time, you can take users behind the scenes of a photoshoot or the product creation process. Zappos fills its account with images of their employees. An occasional grumpy cat meme might not be terribly out of place if your brand’s image leans toward to a more fun and casual vibe. 🙂

Build a lifestyle around your products

People buy for more than just utility, very often they buy because the purchase makes them feel part of a larger social construct. Keep this in mind while creating images to share on Instagram. Instead of sharing only images of a product on a model or just the products themselves, you can place your products in images that depict a lifestyle around your products. For example if you sell leather jackets, an image of a few concert goers at a rock concert with the jackets on might be a better way to showcase your products. One brand that does this very well is Absolut Vodka. Another way to share product images is to encourage your employees to share pictures of themselves using your products.

Instagram collections

Announce exclusive offers on Instagram. With the image linking option in place for ads, you can consider creating Instagram specific product collections on your store and link the images you post on Instagram back to those pages.

User generated content

Having users share images of themselves using your products is a great endorsement and will go a long way in attracting other users to your brand. Create giveaway contests to encourage users to do so. Spend some time looking through your followers and identify key users who engage with your content often and tag them on your posts to get the ball rolling. It helps if they have a good following of their own. If you have already built a community for your online store, you can consider making these folks a “Community Expert”, “Community Ambassador” or something on those lines. That will give them an added incentive to be an advocate for your brand

Create a hashtag that followers and customers can rally around. You can use a Hashtag monitoring tool to keep a look out for posts with your hashtag in them and “regram” those images from your account. Starbucks is one of those brands which have had a lot of success brands on Instagram and a huge part of the content they share is reposted images from their customers. You can also embed a feed of those posts on your website for an added push to the visitors there.

Influencer generated content

Having celebrities post images of themselves with one of your products might do a lot for your sales but getting them to do so is easier said than done. You could instead focus on a local influencer outreach program which can get you similar results with much less hassle and spend. Target Instagram influencers, bloggers and other key people in the market you operate in, engage with them and try to get them to endorse your products. You can also consider asking your most valued influencers to take over your account for a day and post images on your behalf.

Capitalize on trends

Like on all other forms of social media, creating content that effectively capitalizes on current trends can help attract users to your brand. Be careful while doing so and try to avoid sensitive issues unless you have a purely positive message on those. Here’s a list of 8 biggest marketing faux pax out there to give you a list of things to avoid.

Hashtag research

Hashtags can help bring traffic to your page if used well. Use tools like Webstagram, Populagram or any other Instagram research tool to find out the post volume on each hashtag to help pick the right ones. While generic hashtags like #sale #free might have a high post volume, the crowded nature of those feeds will make it impossible for your posts to be visible for very long. You can instead try finding more niche hashtags to use.

How data can optimize the customer experience

Data is a little word that carries a big punch. It does so much for so many people, but for the sake of simplicity in this article we’ll focus on retailers. If you’re an online retailer and you’re not using data to your advantage, 2015 is the year to really get going on it.

Competitor data is useful, but you can’t forget about your customers’ data either. Predictive analysis, like changing prices or ordering inventory, is possible with competitor’s data. These are useful, but are not enough to effectively run a business. Sure, they help you internally, but what about externally? How can you attract customers and keep them from leaving? It’s simple, the answer lies in the data they already provide you. Data can help improve the customer experience and help online retail catch up to their brick and mortar counterparts’ success.

Provide Personalized Offers & Discounts

Customer data can lay the road for a personalized experience. As competition between brick and mortar retailers and online retailers intensifies, it’s more important than ever to offer the ultimate customer experience for shoppers online. Of course, you can’t see the actual shopper online like you would in a physical store, but you can read their data. Use their cart contents to make recommendations, or send them in the form of an email based on previous purchases. Product recommendations are responsible for an average of 10-30% of eCommerce site revenue, and they can help the customer feel like a rockstar.

Use their purchase history to sweeten the deal even further than before. Roughly a third of customers aged 25-34 want discounts, so be sure to promote them for your younger shoppers. Demographic data like age can make sure you’re offering the right deal to the right people. Did you know that 35.5% of customers aged 55-65 actually want free shipping more than discounts? Oblige them kindly with limited-time free shipping at checkout.

Keep Them On Your Site

A downside of shopping online is how easy it is for a customer to go from one store to the next. It takes very little effort, so use data to make sure they stay. Around 50% of online shoppers visit more than 4 sites before making a final purchase, mainly to check prices of similar products. Make it easy for them, and put a “compare to” price underneath a product listing using competitor pricing data. Prove to them that you have the right product at the right price.

If someone appears to be stuck on a page, offer live chat to aid them with their journey to the checkout screen. Tracking their data can make sure you keep them on your page, and confirm they haven’t completely given up yet. Sometimes product descriptions aren’t enough to convince a customer to go ahead and buy the product. Live chat provides a 73% satisfaction level, so use it to act as a helpful employee to answer any questions they might have. And if the customer chooses to leave for whatever reason, set up retargeting ads. Retargeting ads can bring back 26% of abandoned carts, so remind customers who left your site about that purchase they abandoned.


When a customer is checking out, always offer an option to let them check out as a guest. Although you may be missing some important data points, such as demographics, you will have their email. Use that data to send emails about flash sales to bring them back to your store. Email click to open rates are 56% higher when regarding flash sales compared to regular email campaigns. As stated before, it will build a sense of urgency for customers and keep them loyal to your store. Exclusive discount codes relevant to prior purchases will come in handy, as well. According to RetailMeNot, 64% of shoppers want more discounts in 2015.

Lastly, make sure you’re looking out for the customers’ needs with data. Unfortunately, half of customers experience buyer’s remorse. Keep that number down by offering a credit for the price difference to keep them from feeling like they got ripped off.Approximately 84% of customers site price as the largest influencer of a purchase decision, so if your price changes after a product was purchased, email them an alert.

As you can see, data is a beautiful thing. Online retailers may lack the physical presence that is often crucial to the customer experience, but they are certainly rich in data. Roughly 90% of enterprise data goes untouched. If only 10% of your data boasts this much success, imagine the results after digging for more. Pave your road to success with data, it will be smooth sailing for you and your customers.


Brian Smyth

Brian Smyth is a Content Writer at Wiser. Wiser is a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine that monitors, analyzes, and reprices retail products in real-time. Wiser enables retailers to boost profit margins and revenue, price with confidence, and improve merchandising through powering the development of a sound pricing strategy.

Avoiding data puke, the MineWhat way

In one of his blogs Avinash Kaushik makes a very important distinction between reporting and analysis. Reporting is a series of metrics and data points and analysis(typically) is the inferences and recommendations that are then made on that data. By definition most analytical tools lean heavily into reporting and this makes it very easy for them to crossover into data puke territory. At MineWhat we’ve included a few features that will help you avoid just this.

Contextual data

Viewing data in the right context is key to ensuring that you are always focussing on useful data. A spike in purchases on your store means little unless you know the story behind it, maybe there were a series of bulk purchases or the local league game caused a surge in traffic to your store. The event overlay feature on MineWhat lets you upload different events, for example a series of print ads you ran in your local daily. These events are then overlaid on a trendline so you can see how they affected your sales.

Human analysis on the data

The value of a good analyst is in the inferences they make on the data and the actions they recommend based on this. Avinash Kaushik sums this up well “Dashboards are not reports. Don’t data puke. Include insights. Include recommendations for actions. Include business impact.” On MineWhat users can add their comments and recommendations to the reports available on the app.

Data normalization

In eCommerce not all things are made equal, some categories might have a lot more products than others. As a result of this these categories will always appear at the top of most sales and traffic reports. Unless there’s some form of normalization on the data, you might end up not noticing interesting patterns like a smaller category having a higher conversion rate. In addition to normalization by conversion rate on MineWhat you can also normalize the data by the number of products in the group

27 ways to MOTIVATE shoppers who research online TO BUY

Data from retailing today suggests that around 81% of shoppers try to do some research online before a purchase decision. Here are a few ideas on how to Motivate them to buy.

MOTIVATE shoppers who research online TO BUY

Stats to tweet

  • 81% of shoppers research online before buying

  • 60% of consumers start their research on a search engine before heading to a specific website

  • Shoppers visit 3 eCommerce stores on average before an online purchase

  • 61% of online shoppers read product reviews before making a purchase

  • 66% of shoppers search for warranty info while on an eCommerce store

  • 51% of shoppers search for pricing info while on an eCommerce store

  • 47% of shoppers search for payment info while on an eCommerce store

  • 54% of the researchers want to actually see the product before purchase

  • 51% of the researchers don’t want to wait to receive their item

  • 61% of shoppers would leave a website if it didn’t offer free shipping

  • 6 out of 10 online shoppers are concerned about online security

  • 69% of shoppers feel returning items purchased online is a complicated process

  • 12% of customers say a lack of trust in the online store stops them from buying


Surviving the holiday season: How to not lose money on markdowns.

Markdowns are a bit like a necessary evil for the retail industry. Attempts by retailers to move away from this model have nearly always ended in failure. The problem is even worse online as all it takes for a shopper to go to a new store is to open another tab. Each year as the holiday season heats up it isn’t uncommon to see banners displaying 50% off and more. But unless you run a large store and do large enough volumes to justify the markdowns, you are going to be losing a lot of money trying to keep up with all the dicounting. Here are a four ideas that will help you avoid just that

Never get into a pricing war:

Having a price match guarantee is a slippery slope. While you might get more traffic to your store you might end up losing money because of the huge discounts. Instead, focus on adding extra value to your shoppers for the money they pay. Try adding non monetary benefits to each purchase like the possibility of winning a huge prize, more coupons etc…

Start early and start small:

Start your promotions as early as you can, before the holiday season fully sets in. That way you can hopefully generate enough revenue to justify deeper discounts later on in the season or maybe, just maybe avoid the discounting craze all together. The discount rates on these early sales don’t have to be too high, just work on putting it in front of as many people as possible. While promoting your sale use messaging language that is similar to what might be seen later on “regular” holiday sales.

Unless you sell extremely niche products, you are most likely going to be competing with larger stores with a much bigger marketing budgets than yours. Instead of going head to head with them for CPC ad space, look at local media outlets for your ads. You could possibly get the same level of shopper attention where it matters without having to compete with the biggies. Another approach you could take is to get in touch with influencers in your area and get them to endorse or promote you.

Encourage loyalty:

Unless you do large volumes, those extra orders you get because of a huge discount are not going to help much. You can either focus on getting more traffic to your store or on increasing the average order value(AOV) of each customer. To get in more traffic give out discounts based on successful referrals. One idea to increase the AOV is to have discounts that apply only on purchases above a price range.

Discount based on target demographic

It is quite likely that the whales on your store will continue shopping with you even if you don’t have huge discounts all the time. Find out what products these people are interested in and avoid discounting them too heavily, instead put all the heavy discounts on products that the masses might be interested in.

Navigating The Gender Divide to Persuade your Visitors to Buy

Are men from Mars? And women from Venus? Probably not! But they do show quite different buying behaviour. Here are 18 easy ways to adapt your persuasion strategies to account for gender differences.

18 easy ways to persuade visitors to buy: The Gender Divide

Stats to tweet

  • Men research product info extensively while women scan the product page to see images and video.

  • 62% of men research products using social media channels compared to 50% of women.

  • 35% of women recommend a brand product or service to friends and family via social media vs 28% of men

  • Women are slightly more keen on making sure they get the best price available (77% to 74%)

  • Coupons play a large part in enticing women to shop with 34% of women using them vs 26% of men.

  • Both sexes care about free shipping, with close to 60% saying they’d choose a store that offered it.

  • If you are targeting female shoppers. 14% women pay attention to marketing emails vs 8% of men.

  • 33% of men versus 26% of women first saw their most recent purchase when browsing around online.

  • Men tend to stick to their mission when shopping online

  • Women expand the undertaking by wandering among products and categories.

  • Men search by product while women search by brand.

  • 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision.

  • A lenient return policy lead most visitors to shop more often and to recommend the retailer.


A quick guide to reducing returns

A few days ago I made a purchase online, I got myself a pair of jeans. The product image on the site showed a distinct fading pattern that I was pretty excited about. Imagine my surprise when I got the shipment delivered later and the fading pattern seemed entirely different. I ended up returning the product. That got me thinking and a little reading on the subject turned up some shocking information. Data from a Kurt Salmon study on around 50 retailers indicates that the average return rate on apparel purchases is around 20% to 30% and about 10% of hard goods like gifts, home products, and toys. Here are some ideas you can use to reduce the return rate on your store.

Ensure you have the right product information

Most product returns stem from the fact that the customer feels that what they’ve got delivered isn’t what they saw on the site or ordered in the first place. Ensuring you have the right product information for each item will help in reducing returns of this kind. Having the right product information takes on even greater importance for stores that sell niche products. Occasionally giving out extensive product information is sacrificed for more sleek and usable design. Try finding a balance between the two. Amazon does this quite well, they leave some essential information right on top of the page, the rest of the information is down at the bottom.

Photographs tell a shopper what to expect when they receive their shipment. For apparel, footwear and fashion stores selling the photographs have to convey not just what the product looks like but also what it might feel like(cloth texture). Including some super close up photographs of the product will help with this. Here’s an example.

If you sell anything that comes in different sizes, ensure you have the sizing charts displayed prominently. A canceled order is usually better than a return as you can save the cost of shipping. You can consider sending shoppers more information on their order once they complete a purchase, that way they will have no confusion about what they are going to receive. If they do change their mind they might do so in the brief window before you ship the merchandise.

Discourage change of mind returns

Customers can change their minds once they receive their shipment. Having a small restocking fee on non-defective items will discourage most of these “change of mind” returns. Set up a policy for change of mind returns with the lowest restocking fee for returns that are shipped back immediately and increase the restocking fee for returns that come in later.

Let customers know about changes in their orders

Orders can get mixed up, especially If you sell products that have subtle variations, for example, a cell phone with different cases. If this happens let shoppers know in advance the differences between what they ordered and what you have shipped out. What strategies do you employ to reduce returns? Let us know in the comments below.

4 ideas to encourage impulsive buying among your shoppers

If the Flintstones were real, I’d imagine Fred would walk down to the neighbourhood market place once a week with a list of items he would need. Since those imaginary times, shopping has moved from being something you had to do once in a while, to a social and leisure activity. A marker of this change is how much of shopping now seems to be impulse driven. Some studies suggest that impulsive buying accounts for up to 80% of the purchases in some categories. Here are 4 ideas you can use to encourage your shoppers to indulge in a bit of impulsive buying.

If the Flintstones were real, I’d imagine Fred would walk down to the neighbourhood market place once a week with a list of items he would need. Since those imaginary times, shopping has moved from being something you had to do once in a while, to a social and leisure activity. A marker of this change is how much of shopping now seems to be impulse driven. Some studies suggest that impulsive buying accounts for up to 80% of the purchases in some categories. Now this should sound like every retailer’s dream, but like most other things with human behaviour, it can be quite difficult to predict and manage. Here are 4 ideas you can use to encourage your shoppers to indulge in a bit of impulsive buying based on some research in this area.

Push low price affinity products to shoppers

By some estimates, impulsive purchasing of items like candy and magazines account for around $4.2 billion in annual store revenue. These products sell because(among other reasons) they have a strong association in people’s psyches and require little to no conscious thought to make that purchase decision. The same concept can be applied to an online store as well, pick low priced products that have a strong association with other products that a shopper is interacting with and push these to them. On that note, here’s a plug, 🙂 this is something that we help our customers with at MineWhat. Read this for more info.

Get your product placement and timing right

Trying to encourage any behaviour starts with understanding why and how it occurs. You might have noticed that your local store lines the section near the checkout with products like candy that require very little conscious thought to purchase. Identify products in your store that might fit that description and push them just before the checkout stage.

There’s quite an opportunity for upsells here. Customers aren’t always a 100% sure of their selection and pushing a product priced slightly higher can result in them choosing the latter.

Trigger an emotional reaction

Very often shoppers might buy merchandise for what might seem like irrational reasons. Each shopper assigns some perceived value to a purchase. Shoppers might buy things for reasons ranging from feeling good about themselves, societal acceptance to “he’s got it”. Understanding what kind of reaction your products are likely to generate will go a long way in helping with triggering a favorable reaction. That said, a few approaches to this don’t seem to go out of fashion very much. Here are a couple of them.

* The Social angle: Customers trust recommendations from people they know. An email campaign that targets friends of people who purchased a product is likely to do well. You can integrate this with some kind of incentive program to get people to opt in and share the info with their friends.

* The Celebrity angle: Associating a product to any celebrity seems to work most of the time. Of course how deep your pockets run is an important factor in deciding whether you can do this or not.

Provide immediate gratification

Most shoppers who buy impulsively are looking for immediate gratification and by definition that’s harder to achieve in the eCommerce format. Well, you can offer your shoppers same day delivery, but that will cost you quite a bit. It also comes with geographical limitation, that is unless you are Amazon, Walmart et al.

Take a positive approach to your messaging your delivery times. Talk about how soon they can experience the product instead of a “Delivered in 3 days” message. Another thing you can work on is to create some interim gratification to the shopper. Videos can give a shopper a good idea of what experiencing the product is going to be like. What would be even better is getting videos of the product from your user community.

3 tips from Amazon Prime to run a killer customer loyalty program

A survey by RBC Capital Markets suggests that Prime members spend almost twice as much as non-prime customers. A clear indicator of how well it has worked is the huge revenue it’s been generating from its base of more than 25 million members. They manage to run a great customer loyalty program and charge customers for it!

Reduce barriers between shoppers and shopping

According to Baymard, the average shopping cart abandonment rate for eCommerce websites is 67.91%, which is actually quite high. It’s a great opportunity for any online store to increase cart conversions from 32.9%. What are the pain-points for the customers that make them invest their time to select their products and then not make the purchase?

After the entire selection, shoppers get disappointed on seeing high taxes and delivery charges added to their purchase. What if they came after careful research and chose the best-priced item and then realized that they’ll have to pay a high delivery charge for it?

Amazon understood this part of shopper psyche way back in 2005 and came up with a solution called Prime. By charging a standard fee upfront Amazon saved shoppers from “sticker shock”. The program provides a good return to frequent shoppers, and Amazon makes up for them through the increased number of purchases.

Businesses that thrive on frequent purchases can follow this model, which is the case with most eCommerce websites. Even B2B businesses, where customers need regular supplies can follow such practice to gain maximum benefits of customer lifetime.

Provide customers with valuable non-monetary benefits

Realizing what a customer value is is critical for running any loyalty program. Amazon partnered with other companies to provide non-monetary benefits to customers in the form of free books, TV shows, movies and now even music.

It’s not that they want to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify, at least not yet, that market is already crowded. The intention was to provide customers with benefits that they can’t resist and make them spend more time on the website. The more time a shopper spends on a website, the more chances marketers get to convert them.

Whatever business you are in, you don’t have to be a mammoth like Amazon to provide your customers with valuable benefits. Smaller firms can also work on this model. DeliciousKarma, a gourmet food seller has created a really cool interactive program, where a shopper gets to take part in quizzes, connect through their entire social network like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, invite friends to earn credits, which they can use to shop in their store. Connecting with the customers on social networks help them with better targeting and personalization, and it keeps driving the shoppers back to their website.

Create a full-fledged loyalty program that also helps to acquire new customers

Not just customer loyalty, there is a feature to boost customer acquisitions on Prime as well. We’re talking about giftable Prime memberships. Furthermore, it also comes free with Amazon Student and Amazon Mom. These are targeted towards customers who did not decide to take up Prime membership by themselves. This strategy to promote the loyalty program brings in new signups as well.

None of these services are particularly interesting enough on their own, to make customers shell out a hundred dollars a year, but as a package, it seems like a pretty good deal to the buyers.

Similarly, Delicious Karma acquires new customers by giving their shoppers free credit on each referral. Having such a “wholesome” loyalty program isn’t a bad idea after all, even for smaller firms, as long as you can lure your customers with irresistible benefits.

We hope you can now think of new ideas for your own CLPs, the key is, keep it exciting! Keep watching this space for more on what you can learn from Amazon. If there’s something you want us to cover, just leave a comment below.

3 things you can learn from Amazon to keep your customers engaged and buying

"We think of our customers as invited guests at a party and we are the hosts." That’s Jeff Bezos for you and sure enough that philosophy reflects in how engaged their customers are. Data from 2013’s Foresee Experience Index gives Amazon a customer satisfaction score of 88, the highest among all the other retailers in the Internet Retailer top 500. What strange mojo do they employ to ensure their customers stay loyal and engaged? Here’s some of what we found when we went digging through their website.

Include your customers

The Amazon home page regularly has messages to its shoppers, either about product launches or messages from the founder himself. They’ve been working up to a smartphone release for a while now and a few days back they included a “request invitation” link right on the top of the page. Now it’s quite likely that only a few customers will actually end up attending the event but everyone visiting their webpage would have felt included.

Here’s their current homepage, with a letter from Jeff Bezos to their customers on a product release. Another perfect example of the same kind of attitude.

Use reviews to build trust

Data from a Neilsen advertising survey indicates that only about 14% of people trust advertising while an overwhelming 78% of the people included in the survey trusted customer reviews, even when they were from total strangers. Amazon leverages this perfectly, here’s a snapshot of their review page.

There’s quite a few things going on in the page, each of which helps shoppers to find the info they need to get to a decision.

  • While reading pre-created reviews is usually informative, occasionally you run into something that only someone who’s using the product will know. Amazon lets you ask questions to existing
    users, so you are covered there as well.

  • Another thing on the page that’s really helpful is the juxtapositioning of the most favourable review with the most critical one. Any customer reading the reviews will have both sides of story.

The Little Things

Customer loyalty is a fickle thing, it very often comes down to the small things, transparency, integrity, ease of use etc.. The amazon webstore is littered with examples of these. Here are a few you can learn from.

  • Each product page on the store also lists any available alternate prices on the side so customers can choose which option suits them the best.

  • The product pages also have all the important social media links easily available so customers

  • Every time you log in, Amazon adds a link to the top of the page that looks like “John’s Amazon”. Clicking on the link takes you to page with products that you are likely to be interested in. This little element of personalization not just increases the possibility of conversion, it also helps in cultivating loyalty.

That’s all Folks!! We are writing about Amazon Prime next week. Is there any other topic you’d like us to cover? Just leave a note in the comments section below.

3 Sessions to attend at IRCE2014

Changing, Connecting, Creating – Internet Retailer is back with its annual convention for online retailers. IRCE has something for every aspect of eCommerce, and no matter how you’re a part of this industry, there’s always something you can take away from it. Here’s what we’d lookout for at the convention.

Changing, Connecting, Creating – Internet Retailer is back with its annual convention for online retailers. IRCE has something for every aspect of eCommerce, and no matter how you’re a part of this industry, there’s always something you can take away from it. Here’s what we’d lookout for at the convention.

Indochino’s clever use of tailors in India and China to keep their overheads low while still ensuring their customers stay loyal and get the best out of their bespoke tailoring services has got me very interested in hearing what Sarah Veit Wallis will have to say about their Retargeting programs. If you are at the event and want to figure what’s the best way to keep enticing your shoppers to keep coming back. This is one session i wouldn’t miss.

The second 500 has always been a very interesting space to follow as far as process level innovation goes. I suppose having to catch up with the big boys does have its perks. If I were a small retailer trying to scale up operations, I’d be very interested in what Stefany Zaroban(Assoc Director, Research @ Internet Retailer) has to say on the pros and cons of in-house development vs outsourcing.

eCommerce has been steadily spreading across the globe but setting up an online store in the developing world is completely different from doing so in the developed world. The cultural differences, different problems like infrastructure, shopper preferences and expectations are all very contrasting in these two groups. If you’ve got plans to go global with your e-retail plans, Jonathan Nathusius’s (CEO, Group Cemaco) session on how they overcame payment and shipping issues in Guatemala is a must attend.

On that note, keep watching this space we @ MineWhat have got some very interesting stuff planned for IRCE2014. Expect the unexpected.

eCommerce Analytics: Why you need it?

Analytics, arguably began when American industrialist Frederick Winslow Taylor attempted to improve efficiency by running some time management analysis. Later Henry Ford, began collecting data to study and measure the pacing of the Model T assembly line. Since those days analytics has come a long long way. But there’s a steady trend one can map over the years: a quest for more detail, low level data if you will.

Each major shake up of the industry brings about a whole new crop of startups that promise metrics in more and more exhaustive detail. When Google acquired Urchin and released Google Analytics, the idea that one could find out which webpages users viewed and so on must have been every marketers idea of heaven. Since then, the quest for more low level data has been relentless. Every once in a while a new crop of startups pop up, offering detailed insights that Google Analytics doesn’t offer yet. We now have more than pageview based metrics, we have event analysis, user analysis and even in-page tracking of mouse movements. And all the firms involved are constantly blurring the lines between each of these.

Now where does the online retail business fit into all this? In addition to the increase in detail there’s been something else that’s quite noticeable in the industry: Verticalization. One rather recent and prominent example of this is the numerous unstructured data/text analysis tools for social media analysis. eCommerce analytics in itself is also fairly new (we count ourselves as among the first startups to get here, but i digress, that’s another story 🙂 ) here are some of our thoughts on the topic.

Why eCommerce Analytics?

Why indeed? Should all online stores just install GA, or some other web analytics tool and be done with it. Well of course not, most of these clickstream analytics tools are very good at giving a bird’s eye view of the proceedings.

Say I run an online store and I have to make a decision on how to spread my marketing budget across a few ad platforms(FB, Google, twitter). What web analytics will give me is, how much revenue each of these generate. While i can make a decision based on that alone, the decision would be quite uninformed because I don’t know the “why” of it all – did the facebook shoppers see something that didn’t appeal to their casual intentions?. I also don’t know what i need to do next – Which products should I display to FB shoppers?. Find the “why” behind your marketing data.

Another common approach among eCommerce analytics companies is to focus on the shopper itself. This works really well for marketing personalization. You could identify the highest paying shoppers (whales) on your store and understand their preferences to ensure they always come back. The problem with this is that it isn’t very scalable and the ROI will not justify the effort. Once you start getting a lot of traffic to your store, it’ll quickly become impossible to take care of each one individually. The way out of this is to track shoppers as cohorts or segments showing similar behaviour instead. For example “Shoppers who have an average order value of over $250”.

More metrics but at what cost

All this in-depth analysis is perfectly fine, but a rather worrying trend is that most tools achieve this by giving a very low level framework, which can be then customised by writing custom code. What this does is that it puts analytics almost completely in the hands of tech savvy analysts and IT folk. One thing that we’ve worked on constantly at MineWhat is that this doesn’t happen. An user can create a custom report tracking pretty much anything without having to write any code.

Truly actionable

How far can a business intelligence tool go to convert insights into decisions? Typically the most that can be done is to give the user as much information as possible and then hope that it leads to some action. One way out of this is to take that last step and automate the actions themselves. Say for example if a product analytics tool that has picked out the right products for a landing page banner, can then give out the SKU ids via an API you can update the banner ad directly.

Do you folks think that an analytics tool can take over the decision making in this regard? Will it require human supervision or not? let us know in the comment section below.

I’ll leave you with this quote by the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay.

Running great marketing campaigns: A how to guide for online stores

Running a successful marketing campaign on an eCommerce store is a bit of an art. It’s a whole load of factors including themes, product choices, creative decisions and more coming together in perfect harmony to push you towards achieving your marketing goals. Have you ever had any of your marketing campaigns run like horses on steroids or go flat like a fizzless cola? Well we all have, here a quick checklist of sorts for running a great promotional campaign.

Campaign theming for marketing

Start with listing out all the possible theme options. The ideal theme for a marketing campaign should factor in the target personas, any current trends you want to capitalize on among others. Here’s a great example of a holiday themed marketing campaign page.

The theming on the above promotional campaign reflects the copy perfectly in recreating a feeling of wishes and is themed to capitalize on people’s interest in taking vacations. The presence of a celebrity does add a lot to any promotional campaign. Occasionally eCommerce stores rope in celebrities to run themed marketing campaigns, here’s what it might look like.

Of course how deep your pockets run is an important factor in deciding whether you can do this or not.

Choosing the right campaign medium can make or break any eCommerce marketing campaign, people on different platforms tend to behave differently and it is very important to account for this when choosing themes for a campaign.

Some other important factors to consider include the target location and from there location specific interests and the purchasing capability of the target audience. Once you’ve listed down your theme choices pick the right one for you based on your campaign timeline and affordability.

Picking the right products for your marketing campaign

Once you picked the right theme from among your choices, the next thing to do is to pick the right products, create a great product mix and ensure maximum conversion. The primary thing to keep in mind while picking products for your marketing campaigns is how they fit the demographic you’ve selected for your promotional campaigns. Say a baby trike bike is not very likely to appeal to a target demographic of mid teens.

There’s also a insight driven aspect to choosing the right product for any campaign, on MineWhat users can get insights on product-shopper interactions from specific locations, traffic sources, demographics and more so they can pick out the right products for their marketing campaigns.

It also helps to create a wide enough varied product mix so there’s enough options for shoppers to experiment with while still remaining within the theme of the marketing campaign. This will also help with creating enough cross sell and up-sell opportunities. Picking the right brands will let you co-market your campaign online(i.e) capitalize on any of the marketing efforts done already on those brands.


Most marketing campaigns will require specific creative effort. Good product photography is going to be a big part of this and while we are on the topic, here’s a blog we wrote a little earlier on how to get started with product photography for your eCommerce store.

It is always a good idea to to create specific landing pages according to the traffic sources for each of your shoppers. Your shoppers interact with each of these traffic sources differently and for different purposes, its very important to factor in this in while creating landing pages. Say for example a landing page for facebook has to designed to engage prospective shoppers in a more fun way than something like google search.

Another important thing to include as part of the creative process and later as well is to optimize the campaign for social sharing. Pinterest is shaping up to be a very interesting place for eCommerce marketing with about 44% of all the eCommerce specific shares so say optimizing images for sharing product images on Pinterest will definitely go a long way.

Pick the right medium to tell people about your campaign

Data indicates that Pinterest had the major share of of eCommerce based shares at 44% in 2013 . Facebook was a respectable second with 37% of eCommerce specific shares and Twitter had only about 12% of shares. Again each of these mediums interact with people in different ways and fulfill different purposes. While a Google search for “Adidas shoes size 7” might indicate more of an intent to purchase, similar behavior on Facebook might be more hard to come by.

A/B testing is the name of the game here. Run small campaigns across each of these platforms to determine which one is the best for you. If you do have the budget to spend on a marketing campaign across all these platforms this activity would give you some information on deciding on how to distribute your marketing spend across all these platforms.

Email is another great medium to use for campaigns. Email open rates in 2013 were at around 22% for the eCommerce industry. There were some interesting developments on the email front last year, Gmail began displaying images in emails by default. This will help immensely in sending out great, visually engaging email campaigns.

Post landing actions

The medium specific pages you designed for your marketing campaigns will come in here again. Say a Shopper coming in from Facebook might not directly inclined to make a purchase right away, so giving them something fun might keep them engaged long enough for you to show off some of your products. Simply gamification will also help.

The same logic applies vice-versa too, a shopper coming to your site from a very specific long tail search on google might be more inclined to make a purchase right away. In cases like that it is best to ensure that there is no distractions for them. You can always create opportunities for cross or up sells once they are through with the purchase.
Find out more about converting your shoppers to buyers here with a free downloadable white paper.

Measuring and Refining your marketing campaign

When everything is said and done it is all about the bottomline on your marketing campaigns. While analysing click stream data will definitely be helpful it will take you only so far. MineWhat enables eCommerce stores to not just measure their campaign efficiency, they can also create their own insights on the products in the campaign alone to refine the campaign as it goes along.

Some other good tools to monitor campaigns include

The 6th magic block of eCommerce: Analytics

Running a successful eCommerce store without metrics is almost unthinkable, but there’s a whole world of tools out there for ecommerce stores. These tools keep evolving constantly so it gets harder and harder to differentiate between them. Here’s a quick look at the strengths of some of the more interesting ones.

eCommerce Analytics: The 6th magic block

Surviving CyberMonday: Lessons from the mistakes retailers make on Black Friday

The trend over the last few years has been clear more and more people are leaning towards Cyber Monday sales than they do towards Black Friday sales. Why? I’m sure not getting trampled to death in an insane Black Friday stampede is up there at the top. But whatever the reasons are the numbers are unmistakable. Adobe predicts that the Cyber Monday sales for 2013 will be over 2 Billion USD ($2.270B) that is half a billion over the projected sales estimations for Black Friday($1.628B).

So what can eCommerce stores learn from their brick and mortar counterparts who’ve been running Black Friday sales for decades now? Neilsen published an article earlier this week on the top mistakes most retailers do on Black Friday. For those of you who haven’t read the article you’ll find it here. Here’s our thoughts on a few of them.

Sticking to traditional categories

Its fairly easy to commit this mistake, after all most eCommerce stores sell products that are restricted to a certain category or vertical. One way to break out of this mould is to offer combo deals. You could offer a logical combination to something that you already sell, say you sell just apparel you could throw in a few shoes as well just to complete someone’s wardrobe. You could also prevent your customers going elsewhere for the same thing.

Leaving a bad first impression and Not having door-buster merchandise in stock

Getting on a site after days of anticipation only to find that Flat Screen TV you were really hoping to get is no longer in stock is an impression shattering bummer. Guaranteeing availability on products for a certain amount of time is a great way to create a good first impression with the shoppers on your eCommerce store. Personalization is also a great way to create a good first impression say a personalized landing page based on search queries.

Missing loyalty opportunities

Cyber monday typically brings about a lot of new customers to most sites and in effect gives you an opportunity at creating a new base of fans, Creating some form of a subscription list with the promise of more deals to come is a great way to get people interested. Creating customized deals for existing loyal customers will not only increase your chances at keeping them happy and buying, it will also give the newer customers something to look forward to.

A perfect example of this is Airline loyalty programs, all the publicized and rumoured benefits of their loyalty programs usually act as an incentive for the existing customer base to stay loyal and also gives the newer customers something to aspire towards .

No sense of urgency

The Neilsen article talks about how customers have very little patience for uninformed associates, understaffed checkouts and the like. This problem gets amplified online, the easy availability of alternatives results in rather low attention span and a slow site, or a page crash right in the middle of a checkout isn’t going to do you any favors.

Not measuring your objectives and Not scouting the competition

Well hey while you are here MineWhat can definitely help you with this :).

How to NOT suck at trade shows

Around 36% of B2B marketers feel that trade shows give their companies the highest ROI in comparison with other channels that they use.

Trade shows can be great right? They can help you network, bring in customers, find investors and more but quite often the experience becomes an exercise in futility. The expenses: booths, displays, conveyance, accommodation etc…the ROI on these events sometimes doesn’t justify the effort. With a few trade shows going on right now including “shoporg13” and more coming up in the future, we hope you can use some of what we’ve learnt.

1)Find the right trade show

Start with finding the right trade show for you to attend, there’s quite a few of them all year round and ending up at a wrong event would be a giant waste of money and effort. Work backwards on this one, find out how many of your target customers are likely to attend any event and then take a decision on which one to go to. Some good eCommerce trade shows are the Internet Retailer Conference + Exhibition and shop.org’s annual summit.

Once you know which event you are going to attend, you then need to take a decision on whether you want to go as an attendee or if you are going to set up a booth at the event. Setting up a booth is generally more expensive. Do remember that while going as an attendee will still give you ample opportunities to network, setting up a booth will give you much more in networking possibilities, attendee attention and more

2)Tell people you are going to be there

Getting some attention before the event is priceless. Start with finding out the people/companies that are likely to be at the event. Prepare a list of your targets among them and reach out to them on linkedin or elsewhere and try to set up plans to meet at the event, this will be especially useful if you plan on going as an attendee and want to network.

If you are setting up a booth at the trade show, generating some early interest will definitely help in increasing the number of footfalls to your booth. Trending hashtags on the event are a great way to drum up some interest. While doing that make sure you give a clear idea of what attendees can expect from you. Here’s what we would do.


3)Generate chatter, grab some eyeballs

In most trade shows you are going to competing with over a thousand other companies for some attention. We’ve found that having a fun, engaging product video running in a loop on a display is a great way to grab the attention of people in the vicinity.

Using give-aways can also help in creating interest. Neil Patel, the founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics talks about a great example of Omniture using themed give-aways to generate buzz at a conference.

Location can mean everything for a booth, of course the prime spots are going to be more expensive, be a little creative, study the floor plan and pick up spots that people have to take to get to lunch or the refreshments section.

4)Adapt and deliver your message

Start with some research(pre-event) into the needs of the brands/people likely to be there. Use this to create different versions of the message you’d like to convey. Do ensure that you are building up on your pre-event efforts to generate interest.

Once you’ve managed to get someone’s attention or you have people in your booth, ask them questions on problems they face, adapt your message and give them answers that will solve that.

5)Leave something behind

Most attendees at a trade show are likely to meet more companies/people than they can possibly remember, make it easier for them to do so, leave something behind.

Our visiting cards have a 4-word description of what we do on the back so anyone who takes one of them can easily find out what we do without having to do any research.

Leave a simple, visually appealing one-page document on your company with clear descriptions of the problem you solve.

So what do you folks think? How do you prepare for trade shows? Do let us know in the comments section below.

Using Google Tag Manager: A How To Guide For Ecommerce Stores

Most of us have atleast a few script tags integrated into our websites. One rarely does the trick right? but with the added value that each of these scripts bring comes the added trouble of having to manage each and everyone of them. How often have you had to pull in a webmaster to check up a script integration gone wrong! Luckily for the rest of us mortals(read non tech marketers) Google in its kindness decided to give us an amazing tool to do just that: Tag Manager. Here’s some tips/tricks we use that you might find useful. Let us know what you think.

Installing custom “non-google” scripts in google tag manager

Once you have created an account you will be asked to create a container. What the container does is, it holds any of the other tags you choose to add and it ensures all the tags you add don’t slow down your webpage. You’ll find a few helpful tags like the AdSense tracker, Google Analytics etc…already there by default. If you wish to add a custom script that’ll require a few extra steps

  • Choose “Custom HTML Tag” from the drop down list. and then write or copy and paste code as required

  • Set rules according to what you’d like the script tag to track (example: you want Google Analytics to track all your webpages then you select the pages rule)

  • Save your work as a version and publish when you are satisfied with the preview.

  • You can also choose to debug the script code with the “preview & debug” option.

Tracking in page objects(Preview Panes, Quick-look Panes etc..) with google tag manager

Sometimes a simple “all pages” rule might not be enough if you have any objects within a page that don’t lead to a URL change on clicking. Ecommerce stores have a few of those: product previews and so on.

Google lets you track these with a special “event” rule.

  • Before you can track these you will have to write a trigger point on your website for the what you want to track, lets say clicks on a “preview pane”. It should look something like this.

  • Once you’ve done that Choose the “{{event}}” option from the rule creation interface and create a rule pointing to the trigger point you just defined (example: {{events}} equals previewpaneclick).

  • Now here’s the interesting bit once you’ve defined this trigger point once you can use it to connect to multiple tags as opposed to just writing the same code over and over each time, simply use the trigger point to create a firing rule for each of the scripts.

Tracking flash objects with google tag manager

You can track videos the same way you track other events just write a trigger point as described above and then use that to create another rule on Google Tag Manager.

Are there any other workarounds that you use?, let us know. If you’d like us to cover any of the topics talked about here in more detail, just leave a comment saying so.

Analytics for Ecommerce: Page Views vs Event Level vs User Level vs Product Level

So you are probably among the many people who use Analytics tools on your eCommerce site. They are convenient, informative and enable you to offer relevant content to users. Ever wondered how each of them are different. What can they do? What can’t they do?

Analytics tools are usually one of these types.

* Page View Analytics
* User Level Analytics
* Event Level Analytics

Page View Analytics

Page view analytics (Google does this very well) dig into the past to offer reports on what has happened. Metrics such as click thru rates, page views and time spent on site should help with SEO, SEM and other promotional activities. While this is useful it is only indicatory. What happens between clicks? Yes, your users are dropping out but why are they doing so?


Event Level Analytics

Event level Analytics let you do much more (CrazyEgg and Mixpanel are doing some amazing work here). They enable you to understand exactly what your customers are doing instead of just tracking where they go. You can track actions like hovering, Scrolling, custom events and more to understand how users interact with the content on your Online Store.


User Level Analytics

As the name goes these tools offer in-depth analysis of customer behavior at a user level. These are primarily useful for user segmentation, User Lifetime value and more(Check out KISSmetrics).


Product level Analytics

Now if you could push it even further: if you could run a behavioral analytics engine that gives you insights at a product level(i.e) which specific product is the most engaging, which ones haven’t been viewed and suddenly a whole new world of possibilities emerge.


You can optimize your webpages to highlight your best-selling products. You can manage your campaigns better because you know exactly which product a certain demographic is likely to buy. You can manage your inventory better because you know which products are most likely to sell and so much more. A bird’s view of your data will only get you so far in your quest for conversions, opt for product level insights, take a look at MineWhat Inc.

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