Optimization

Optimization is making something as perfect or effective as possible

Optimization is defined as the act, process or methodology of making something (such as design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible; specifically: the mathematical procedures (such as finding the max of a function) involved in this.

What does Optimization have to do with Conversions?

How much of your day to day with your business is spent trying to drive conversions? Without them you don’t have sales. And without sales you aren’t profitable. So, the major concern is getting your website optimized to better handle converting your user traffic. So rather than just trying to rack up your site’s number of visitors you need to focus on racking up the percentage of those visitors who are actually becoming customers. That’s your conversion rate, and the higher it is, the better. Even just a few percent of increase can mean a lot to your business.

Now we need to consider things like a Call to Action, A-B Testing and even statistics. But where should we even start, and what do we change?

Von Restorff Effect

This one’s named after a psychiatrist who studied this phenomenon. It’s the idea that people take note of, or are more likely to remember, unusual or unique items/products/things more rapidly than “normal” or “uniform” things. We took this one to heart in calling our company Banana Stand-it’s both a catchy name that people remember, but also relates to the aspect of social proof that a real Banana Stand creates. So take it from us-this effect really works!

The best way to do this is by increasing the prominence of your call-to-action button. Hopefully you’ve already read the blog post about that if you’re here. If not, check out the link above. You want your “Buy Now”, “Add to Cart”, “Subscribe”, “Download” button to really stick out. Use colour theory to make the content stick out, use animation to draw the eye to the button, or even use subtly placed shapes and text, or other information to draw the eye towards the action you want your customers to take.

Make everything Easy and Simple

Come on, you don’t want to think hard, or put a lot of effort into things most of the time. Don’t make your customers do it either! You don’t want things on your site to be confusing or unclear to visiting customers, or they’re more likely to leave without completing the action you’re nudging them towards. Basically, minimize the effort people need to put in mentally in selecting and purchasing a product or service.

Do this by making prices straight forward and simple. Don’t add decimals where they are not necessary and try making prices like 19.99, we associate that as being closer to 19 than to 20. You can also ‘anchor’ prices. This means showing higher prices to customers first. This then becomes a comparison (or anchor) point for all other prices on your site. Turns out any large number works. You could have a banner proclaiming you have 3,700 members and then subsequently show products with prices and people tend to perceive them as lower and of better value. This also works with sorting from “highest to lowest” as the default. All prices as you scroll will be seen as better value in comparison. You can even show ‘slashed’ prices where you show the before price and then show the lower ‘now’ price.

Finally, just use Social Proof

We’ve been talking a lot about social proof. But, that’s because it works, and because it’s so easy to implement. You can add user reviews, testimonials or even case studies. Even just by adding a name, photo or the location of the customer you can stregthen the effect of already existing social proof. Customers are more likely to trust it the more believable and real that it feels. Show stock messages, show how many people are viewing a product, show who recently purchased something. All of these tactics help increase social proof and hopefully increase your conversion rates.

So, what are you waiting for? Optimize your site now and consider how users feel upon arriving at your site. Are things easy to use? Are you nudging them towards the action you want them to complete? Is their experience optimized for simplicity and easy of use? If not, now you’re armed with the knowledge to fix these things and make the customer experience the best it can be. And as a result, that’ll mean increased conversions for you!

There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand

Banana Stand live in the city

Social Proof is the new marketing!

Surprisingly social proof has been around forever. Changes in social media and the way we interact with one another has made it even more versatile and easier to use than ever before. Referrals from other customers results in higher lifetime value and we always look to our friends and peers to see what’s new so that we don’t miss out! Now, you cannot force people to interact with each other, but the internet is making things a whole lot easier. If you share and create useful, interesting, funny, exciting content tailored to your customers (and their needs) then they can’t help but get involved in your brand!

Social Proof is in the People

In the image above, you can see just how popular the Banana Stand is. It’s a lot like our own app; at the time of writing we’re #2 in Shopify’s Sales Apps. Because brands and companies have become more personal and “human-like” we’re expecting human-like qualities from them, like trust. Trust is now a central feature to a consumer’s engagement with a brand. We like to live with the group, when you see a bunch of other people crowded around the Banana Stand, you might also feel the urge to join and trust this line-up of people, I mean if it wasn’t good or exciting why else would they be there?

Line up of people wondering why they're in line

How Banana Stand uses Social Proof

We like to think we’re ahead of the curve on Social Proof. I mean, we’re built entirely around it right-how can we not be? Banana Stand does things a bit differently than some other apps you may see out there. We like to keep it real and introduce trust into the mix. That’s why you can’t fake Social Proof notifications in Banana Stand. The app lets you choose whether to show ‘events’ (add to carts or purchases) and for how long to show them. You can also set a max number of events to display and choose whether or not they’re only from one gender, if they display pictures and so on. Everything is customizable to your store, and your brand.

Banana Stand Social Proof notification on a Banana Bag

We also don’t believe in popups. That’s why our Social Proof notifications are automatically embedded into your site. Now, we do realize some people swear by them, so we have also added the option to have notifications pop out. Another major difference that we stand behind is creating trustable and realistic Social Proof. That’s why we show our notifications only within a product page (and only for that product). Our belief is that customers don’t want to be bombarded by Social Proof. They want a natural experience tailored to them.

Paul from Austin, Texas sure as heck isn’t going to care that Nicolette from Brazil just bought her dog chew toys when he’s looking at a Banana bag. Seeing a notification that says something like “Nicolette from Brazil just ordered 3 Squeaky Fire Hydrants 5 minutes ago” isn’t going to make Paul any more likely to buy his Banana bag. There’s no urgency in that kind of a notification system, especially when it’s on every single page of your site.

Use Psychology to Boost Sales and Gain Influence with Customers

What is Psychology and what has it got to do with sales?

Let’s define “psychology.” It is “the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.” To be able to boost sales and gain influence with our customers we need to understand them. If you don’t understand the physchology behind sales, then your sales are going to fall flat or stagnate. To figure out how to gain an edge we’re going to learn about psychology and how we can use sales triggers to get more subscribers, get referrals, get sales, have people download your app, whatever your goal may be! So keep reading…

  • Social Proof

  • We’ve all been sheep at one point, and we’ve all followed the herd at one point or another. Psychologically, seeing other people doing things and enjoying things puts us at ease. We’re social creatures and we take validation from seeing what others are doing and then following along. Now, you can use this tendency to confirm in your own businesses’ sales process. All you need is to show other potential customers that everyone else is “doing it” and then they will too. Let them know everyone is buying this product, or all these people liked this blog post or look how many people joined our mailing list. And voila-they’re also going to be more likely to join now.

    Social proof will help you get even more people doing the same thing-essentially the thing you want them to do. Check out the video below to see this in action

    Social Proof/Conformity

  • Scarcity

  • I won’t drag on to much about the psychology of scarcity since I’ve got a entire article dedicated to this on the blog here. Basically this comes from the idea that humans place a higher value on something that is seen as difficult to attain, or rare. It’s also kind of like the fear of missing out, which you’ll read more about below. Think of white girls and the limited time Pumpkin Spice lattes are out. Or McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes during March. Knowing these items are scarce makes you feel like you “won” and got to be part of something if you managed to snag one. If you want a more extreme version read about McDonald’s and their ‘Limited Time Szechuan Sauce‘. I’m serious-Google it.

    Penguins experiecing scarcity since only 1 fish is left for 4 of them

  • Authority

  • We all know that the phycology of Authority works. We’ve all been students before and just blatantly believe whatever our teacher told us. If they told you that you could hold it and wait to use the bathroom, you trusted them and believed them. People are generally hard-wired to respond to authority (or those who appear to be an authority figure).

    Even a little authority is enough. Selling books? Have a top author pick a few of her faves and share that list. Selling fitness products? Have a trainer give details on a few of his can’t-live-without-these items. Even just a “staff picks” section could be enough authoritative-ness to convince a purchase.

    Boss Nametag

  • Liking

  • We’re more likely to yes or agree if we like or feel connected to a person giving an offer. Why do you think cashiers are always forced to plaster a fake -seemingly nice- smile on their faces? Make your brand and personality clear. You need your colours, images, theme and so on match what you’re trying to sell. You’re not going to make your kid’s clothing store all black with skulls and teenage boys modelling (I mean unless that is what you’re going for?) because it won’t match your message and won’t make you likeable.

    You can also make things shareable. Let your products be linkable to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, whatever media you want. When customers share your products, blog posts, FAQs, whatever it may be, they are showing loyalty or trust in your brand. And then their friends who see the social media posting are more likely to trust you too because it was recommended to them by someone they know and trust.

  • Reciprocity

  • This term comes from the basis of reciprical behaviour. It’s our natural instinct to return a favour or something someone gave us. Imagine your friend takes you out for ice-cream and insists on paying. You relent and let them, but then next time you go out you’ll offer to pay for the ice-cream. That’s reciprocity in action-returning the favour someone did for you. To make this work in sales you need to remind people what you’ve done for them. Say you helped them fix their website free of cost you’d say, “Since I’ve fixed your website for free, I was wondering if you’d mind leaving me a 5-star review on my website.” It’s super easy and it works. You remind people what you gave them and ask for what you’d like in return. And if it’s simple and easy they’ll usually be more than happy to help you out.

    For online businesses this could be as simple as giving people free samples if they spend a certain amount or buy certain products. This tactic works because they feel as if they received a gift and that might earn you a second purchase!

    Dog Comic for Reciprocity

  • Trigger Fear

  • Fear tactics are scary…because they work. And I don’t mean jump-scaring your shoppers or forcing them to watch horror movies, no you can create fear in just 4 letters: F O M O, or fear of missing out! People are afraid of not joining the crowd or being left out, it’s how trends happen. You can create this same feeling in terms of selling. You need to try to create an offer that’s limited, that people could get left out of if they don’t act quickly! This can be coupons, early bird offers, flash sales, limited holiday sales, special editions of products out for a limited time; the list is endless. Just remind people of their fears and then watch the sales happen!

If you’ve made it to the end of this list of psychological triggers for sales, then you’re probably already an expert. Try implementing a few of these tactics and I’m sure your conversions will increase and lead to more sales.

Banana Stand Helps you Leverage Scarcity, Social Proof & Urgency

Want to Boost your Online Revenue?

5 ways to boost your online revenue

You can easily add revenue to your pockets by using Banana Stand to add and leverage 3 super effective and easy techniques.

  • Scarcity: Showing items that are low in stock, ie. Banana Stand’s Product List and Product Detail Tools.
  • Social Proof: Getting your own customers actions to help convert new customers, ie. Banana Stand’s Social Proof Tool.
  • Urgency: Creating a time limit to promote the completion of an action before the time runs out, ie. Banana Stand’s Cart Timer and Get it By Timers.

The Banana Stand app does what people do in real life for brick and mortar stores. When you’re shopping online you don’t get to see how busy a site is, how many t-shirts are left on the rack, or how much time you have to buy before the store closes!

Because of the huge move to online shopping and e-commerce we’ve seen, we decided to bring some of those IRL feelings online. So that’s Banana Stand’s main goal: To help create scarcity, social proof, and urgency for the e-commerce world. We do that by giving you 5 important tools to add these feelings online. Those tools are: Social Proof Feeds , Product Detail Counters, Product List Counters, Get it By Timers, and Cart Timers.

But why’s that important? To boost sales of course. Creating those same real-world feelings, but online, is what helps to get people to convert and hit that ‘Buy’ or ‘Subscribe’ button. It’s what drives conversions in real life, but what was lacking online

Read more about scarcity, social proof, and urgency!

Advocacy Marketing and Boosting your Conversions

Why aren’t we stressing the importance of conversions?

Conversions are one of the most important things if you do anything online. They’re basically the action you want a visitor to your online (website/page/store/course/etc.) to take when visiting. The math here is that more conversions = larger business. So how do we combine conversions with the sweet, sweet concept of advocacy marketing you ask? Let’s dive in!

Advocates talk…the world listens

Okay well, maybe not the whole world, but at least their following(s). Advocacy marketing is a great way to spread and share your content. Basically an advocacy program is having influncers or advocates share your content through their own social channels.

Side plug: If you haven’t yet, give our blog post on “Influencers” a read!

The reason that advocacy works is because we trust the people we know, like and respect. If your family member or best friend tells you about the amazing new Waffle House in town you’re much more likely to check it out then if you just happened to wander by it one day. You probably would have otherwise never given it a second thought. By personally endorsing or gushing about a product/service you’re convincing others to try it out because you’re adding a much needed shot of trust to that product or service. People are also waaaaaaay more likely to pay attention to social media posts from family and friends then from something published by a brand or publisher. Imagine your best friend sharing a post of her trying out the new Bubble Tea flavour at your fave shop. You’ll likely try it next time you’re there. But if you’d seen an add for the new “flavour of the month” on Youtube let’s say, you’d probably have hit that “Skip ad” button faster than you can say ‘Bubble Tea’!

So what kinds of conversions can I get?

All of them. I even wrote you a list with a few examples:

  1. Buys/Purchases
  2. Sign-ups
  3. Leads/Business prospects
  4. Followers on social media
  5. Shares on social media
  6. Subscriptions
  7. Phone calls
  8. Visits to your IRL location

Whatever your own priorities and goals are will define what conversions or metrics are most important to you. Usually you’re trying to make money so those goals will be related to driving sales, driving growth, generating revenue, etc. So now we know what conversions are and we know what advocacy is, but how do we mix them?

Getting mixed up in Advocacy and Conversions

Okay so let’s figure out how to turn our advocates into our top-conversion channel. Let’s use what we’ve got!

Content, content, content

You need to create stuff your advoates will want to share and stuff that they can stand behind. If you or your advocates don’t believe in it, why would anyone else? So give your advocates conversion-driving content. Make it easy to share for different platforms. You want a quick and simple message that will get across to the audience of your advocates. You might even tailor your message to specific platforms or to specific advocates based on their audience and how you might want to connect to different potential customers.

Educate?

What? Why am I educating people? Because, people are going to ask advocates for questions and advice about your product or service. They might not trust your customer service team to give them a real or trustworthy response so they’ll ask an advocate. Make sure your advocates have the content and info they need to share with these kinds of people. Educate them. They’re essentially a part of your team now and you want them to represent your brand or company to the best of their ability.

Build everything around your conversion goal!

If you want someone to sign-up for something and your advocates are sharing the URL to your website, then make sure there’s a way for people to sign-up when they hit your homepage. We talked about needing a “call to action” a few weeks ago, so if you need a refresher read that blog post here. Protect against a high bounce rate or having people not perform the action you want by setting up your landing page to be clear, or making the message you’re trying to get across straight to the point and easy.

Use your Advocates to get free organic reach and visiblity

Your advocates probably have higher organic reach on their social media platforms than your business ever will. Save some marketing and advertising spend and have your advocates vocalize discount codes, sales and specials to customers. You can increase the visibility of whaetevr it is you’re trying to share without having to even pay to promote that content (depending what kind of relationship you have with your Advocate(s)).

It’s obvious that people already use advocate marketing campaigns to get their content out their and get it seen. But they’re not using advcates to drive conversions. They’re only getting half the benefit. So get out there, be smart, and use your advocates to help you convert!

Get Started Today

Use your existing customers to advocate to new visitors and potential customers. Learn how to do this by reading up on Social Proof, or by trying out Banana Stand for free on your e-commerce store. If you’re an over-acheiver, do both!

Advocacy-What does it mean?

What is Advocacy Marketing?

Advocacy marketing is a growing form of marketing. It encourages existing customers to talk about your company and/or products and services. You may have heard whisperings of this concept but by a different name like ‘referral marketing’, ‘peer to peer marketing’ or even ‘social proof’. You can harness advocacy marketing to boost your marketing and your engagement strategies. This type of marketing is more authentic than any other as its driven by real humans and their connections.

Mini-Versions of Advocacy Marketing

Remember how we said ‘social proof’ is kind of a synonym for advocacy marketing? Well, you’re probably already using this type of marketing without even realizing it. Asking for references, case studies, reviews, feedback, etc. means you’re already using a form of advocacy marketing, albeit at a smaller scale.

The 3 Keys to Advocacy Marketing

  1. Give your customers something they really want or need (it must also have value to them)
  2. Offer these customers some way to advocate for you (publicly support you by sharing a link to your site, buying a product, signing a petition, etc.?)
  3. Recognize or thank your advocates for supporting you!

Humans naturally love to advocate for things we like or feel passionate about. We have a psychological urge called reciprocity. This urge makes us feel obliged to help people or to give back when we’ve been helped. Give your advocates something valuable (your support/help, an amazing product/service, etc.) and they’ll happily return the favour.

So tell me, how does Advocacy even work?

If you’re running an advocacy marketing program those that you have deemed “advocates” are sharing your content to their own social channels. Think: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or even by word-of-mouth. When they share to their own personal accounts they’re personally endorsing your product/service. When someone sees the advocates’ content they trust it since it’s someone they know/believe/idolize. Then these consumers are more likely to engage with your brand as they trust the advocate. This works because people trust the people that they know. You’re more likely to pay attention to things that the people you follow on social media post, rather than posts from brands/publishers.

*Social Toaster’s articles on advocacy and marketing helped to inspire this blog post. Check them out here.

Personalization

Online Social Media Infographic

How do I use Personalization effectively and Why?

Personalization for customers is a great way to boost social proof. Customers want to see things they care about. Don’t show them generic information about holiday sales. If they love buying dog supplies for their furry friend then send them a coupon for 20% off pet merchandise. When campaigns have high levels of familiarity they reach more people. It gives them the feeling that someone cares about their experience! According to research done by Epsilon 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it’s one that offers a personalized experience. 90% indicated they find personalization appealing. So why aren’t you trying it out??

Personalization is NOT Customization

Customization is NOT the same as personalization-don’t use these interchangably. Personalization is meeting the needs of your customer(s) more effectively and more efficiently to make your interactions with them faster and easier so they’re happy, satisfied and more likely to return.

Customization is changing something to meet the needs or fit certain reqruirements of a business, person, place, etc.

Personalization can be acheived through customer data and predictive tech, whereas customization is usually done by the user manually making changes to get the experience that’s best for them. Personalization is much more targeted and usable in many different ways.

Some examples of great personalization that helped the marketing of a company was when Coca Cola released their personalized bottles that had people’s names and messages on them in their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign.

How do I use Personalization for my Website?

You can use these same tactics for your website. You want your visitors to have unique, custom experience to your site. Website personalization takes data to provide targeted offers to shoppers based on their browsing behaviour. You could also send data based on what similar customers have been doing or based on a geographic location. All people with an online presence have a “Data Doppelgänger” made up of data from the sites they browse, their GPS locations, responses to ads and mail, online purchases and any public records.

Increase Sales with Personalized Messagin Infographic

What are the Challenges of Personalizing your Website?

You can have a ton of data but if it isn’t relevant then it won’t be useful. To be able to send targeted content to your consumers you need to be able to understand your audience. Make sure to have a scalable way to send and target messages to these consumers. Another key aspect is being able to measure the actual impact of your personalization based on your goals. If you’re trying to boost your conversions you need to see how well personalization is helping you reach this goal, if it even is. You must be careful with data and its application. People can be fearful, especially since you’re taking digital traces of intimate behaviours and reflecting them back to your customers. We might not think an ad is relevant to us, but it can scare us or make us afraid because we’re worried it might be.

Cartoon of Hands holding devices

How Can I Personalize?

You always want to make sure your return matched your investment. If you’re putting a lot into and getting nothing out of it you’re either a) doing it wrong, or b) it just isn’t for you. You want to see how personalized experiences are resonating with your customers, make adjustments and then try again. You’ll eventually stumble across the secret ingredient that make you invincble in your personalization tactics.

A Call to Action for Social Proof

CTAs or a “Call to Action” is something used in e-commerce designed to provoke an immediate response (clicking a button, calling now, subscribing, etc.). But CTAs aren’t always about generating further sales. They can also be used to generate leads, inform your customers, or even to encourage social sharing.

The 3 Cs in a Call to Action

  1. Call
  2. Convince
  3. Convert

Call

Use the first person. Just by changing a pronoun you can dramatically increase the success of your call to action. “Get my free gift now” differs subtly from “Get a free gift now” but it can have a huge effect on your customers and convince them they need to do something now to get in on the offer!

Convince

Keep it simple, but specific. Use language your customers will understand and create a process that makes sense. As a business, you know where you want your customers to go-but they might be confused. You need to nudge them in the right direction and keep your CTA simple. Compel your customers and convince them as to why they want what you’re offering and it needs to be easy.

Convert

It’s key that you don’t assume how your customers will act. Definitely, use A/B testing and see what is and isn’t working for you. You don’t want to assume something is great that in reality, your customers hate about your site.

Social Proof Call to Action

Some CTAs are designed to bring a customer closer to making a purchase, even if the “add to cart” button isn’t currently in sight. You can use it to get customers to sign-up for your newsletter just by saying things like “Join X million of your peers” to boost your conversion rate. But remember-don’t be fake or unbelievable because you’ll stop creating urgency and instead create a bad, untrustworthy picture of yourself.

You can also use CTA for social media by including buttons that make it extremely easy to share content to any kind of social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. If customers can see that products have been shared on social channels it shows that people liked the product enough to promote it on their own personal accounts to their followers. It also shows the product/service was well received by others. This means not only are you boosting your own sites social proof, you’re also boosting your marketing reach, win!

Good Words to Use for CTA

  • Use verbs or action words like-Start, Stop, Join, Learn, Discover (ex. Discover how to use X now)
  • Negative CTAs-Troubled, Worried (ex. Worried about your conversion rate?)
  • Personalization of your CTA- use you/your, me/my (example from above “Get my free gift now”)
  • Communicate value-Want, Need, Save (ex. Save time by using X now!)
  • Make it urgent-Now, Today, Before Ends, Fast (Get it before time runs out!

As your customers find themselves hovering over a CTA, make it as easy as possible for them to do it and convert them!

Consider Influencers in your marketing strategy

Traditional marketing has died

If you pick up any marketing textbook from before basically 2008 you’ll find they’re lacking so much. They don’t touch on new social media platforms or ones that are starting to grow. Back then there was no talk about using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even Snapchat, to market products and services. Skip forward to 2018 where social media use is booming and we have to start considering a move away from traditional marketing tactics to new innovative ways to reach consumers. So how does your brand reach its customers but also convert them? With influencers.

 

Influencer Marketing can reach customers and convert them

We tend to trust recommendations from people we know-or actually even from strangers. Just the fact that someone else tried or used something and had a good experience makes us more likely to try it out too. When it’s something where buying may be risky or pricey this becomes even more important.

Trust is the best currency to use is marketing. If your brand or business doesn’t have trust or credibility then consumers won’t develop brand loyalty. To make your business successful you need to reach consumers in an inspiring way that will help establish trust and grow a long-term relationship. That’s where influencer marketing comes into play.

You can use influencer marketing at any stage of your business-whether you’re a startup, a medium sized business or an enterprise. One study on influencer marketing by Tomoson showed that this type of marketing strategy yields a $6.50 ROI for every dollar spent! That’s insane to think of and its no wonder it’s the fastest growing channel to gain customers online!

 

How can I “use” Influencers for my business?

Pick the right influencer

Picking the right influencer is the most important step. You don’t want to work with someone who isn’t relevant to your business as your target audience won’t know them and their audience wouldn’t be interested in your product. Do your research by Googling or hashtag/keyword searching and seeing the top posts and accounts related to your search. You can also use sites like BuzzSumo or Influence.co or even Viral Nation to help you get started.

Get someone relevant

To find the right influencer you need to decide if they’re relevant. Are they a leading voice or trusted source in your industry? Do they produce content related to the industry you’re in? If you work with relevant influencers you can reach the audience that’s most likely to use your product or service.

Engage, engage, engage

Next, you want to make sure your influencer is engaging. People need to be liking, sharing and commenting on their posts. This isn’t the same thing as the size of the influencer’s following. They could have millions of followers and people constantly liking their posts-but if there isn’t any engagement of their audience you won’t be able to leverage them to sell your products or services. You can calculate engagement rate with a bit of math:

Average # of (likes, comments, and shares) / # of followers

Keep your influencers happy!

Give your influencers fair compensation-this is the biggest issue for this type of marketing strategy. Some micro-influencers may not charge you if you offer them some kind of lifetime discount or free products. Also, let them have some creative freedoms. If you’re too controlling they won’t want to work with you and don’t forget this is their audience too, you don’t want to ruin the campaign’s authenticity or ignore the influencer’s ideas.

The most important thing to remember

The most important consideration when choosing and working with an influencer is to always be nice and respectful. You’re not trying to use these people, you want to maintain a partnership that can be beneficial to both of you. Don’t burn bridges, you never know when you may need to work with people in the future or how past connections can help you gain new ones. People are always questioning authenticity so the more genuine a relationship/partnership is, the better. So always remember: be nice-influencers are in no way obligated to work with you 😀  !

 

Make sure Influencers are benefitting you

The biggest advantage to this strategy is simply reach. With more and more people being online more and more advertising is becoming digital. We’re bombarded with ads every second we’re online. Because of this, more and more people are finding ways to block such ads. Almost 50% of online users have some form of adblocker. This means it’s harder to share online so influencers can help you jump this hurdle.

They can also boost your SEO by getting your name, your brand, and what you do listed online to rank well for SEO purposes. For example, at Banana Stand we want our name out there with keywords like e-commerce, social proof & urgency, and even conversion booster.

Establishing an online presence is more important than ever and it has become key to successful, modern marketing. Without it and the trust and credibility, you can curate your business may not fare so well. So what are you waiting for? Find out how you can get influencers working for you and creating a strong image for yourselves. It basically gets all the hard work done for you and you can watch your business grow!

Scarcity & Urgency

Why Use Scarcity and Urgency?

People want more of what there is less of image

Scarcity and its Psychology

Human beings place a higher value on something that is seen as difficult to attain, or rare, which is known as the scarcity principle.

A great example is a study that 2 researchers conducted about scarcity using cookies in two identical jars.  Jar A contained 10 cookies and Jar B contained 3 cookies. On the basis of the scarcity principle which jar, A or B, do you think participants gave a higher value?

If you answered “Jar B” or “the jar with fewer cookies”, then you’re absolutely right! Because those cookies appeared rare, or more difficult to attain (as there were fewer of them), they were seen as more desirable than Jar A with 10 cookies in it.

Cookies in a jar image

Apply this concept of scarcity to your e-commerce business and if a product looks difficult to attain or scarce, there’s a good chance it’ll look more desirable too.

How do I Use Scarcity Online?

Let’s use another example here. Say you’re shopping for a Christmas present for someone in your family and you find that perfect item. But you’re going to wait until you get paid or until you can confirm with another family member that it’s a good gift idea. That’s when you notice it says “Only 2 left! 🔥  3 people are viewing this product, and 2 have recently purchased it.” You don’t want to have to keep searching for a gift when this one is so perfect. So you buy it.

Why?

You bought that Christmas gift because of scarcity. You felt the urge to buy it before you weren’t able to anymore. The message also added urgency because it let you know others were also looking at the product and had recently purchased it. The message put pressure on you to check out immediately and not miss out. You had to! Crazy how you can be tricked online without even realizing it, huh?

If you can use urgency and/or scarcity correctly on your online business, you can boost your conversions and increase sales with ease. If you use false urgency or scarcity and are dishonest, your customers may run off to your competitors! Those extra sales won’t be worth the harm that being untrustworthy will do to your store and your brand. Don’t damage your reputation, be trustable.

 

How Can I Use These Tactics Well?

You can use a social proof and urgency app to help boost conversions and increase sales. Banana Stand is one such app. Upon downloading you’ll have not 1, but FIVE tools to help you increase urgency. You’ll also have the added bonus of social proof features to further your sales.

Get It By Timer

You can use the “Get it By Timer” tool which is just like the one Amazon uses to increase urgency. This tool lets you know how soon you can receive your order if you order within the specified amount of time. This adds urgency because customers want instant gratification and want to receive products immediately. They realize that if they wait on ordering, they’ll also have to wait on receiving. No one wants to spend extra time waiting for an item they ordered online!

Get it By Timer example image

 

Cart Timers

You can also use Cart Timers. These add urgency to the checkout process by showing a countdown that lets customers know they need to order soon. This is helpful to create urgency when people might be on the fence about making a purchase. These can be enabled to show a countdown starting at any point-10 minutes, 7 & 1/2 or whatever other time you can think of. Don’t set it too high, the point is to create urgency, not let customers know they have hours to make their decision because you could be out of stock!

Cart Timer example image

The checkout timer also has a feature that re-engages customers if they switch tabs during checkout. In the tab, it’ll display a message letting them know not to wait on checking out. It also uses intelligent count resuming, meaning it’ll detect when customers have moved around on the site and only resets the timer if it makes sense to.

These are all easy-to-use features you can add to your site that can help boost your conversions. By showing scarcity & creating urgency you’re subconsciously driving customers to buy, which means more revenue for your e-commerce store!

Add Urgency to Everything

Increasing the Likelihood of a Desired Action

To increase the likelihood of a desired action (like increasing conversions) you have several options:

  • Increase the clarity of your offer
    • Test with A-B testing to see how to best get your message across
    • Pilot any ads/photos/posts you plan on putting out to the world to get lots of feedback
    • Iron out any communication issues/confusion
  • Increase the relevance of your offer to your target audience; or tailor your audience to the offer you’re proposing
    • Research your audience, decide who you want to target
    • Where is your traffic coming from?
  • Increase trust by reducing worry
    • Make sure your website/ad/post looks trustworthy; outdated sites, unsecured sites or payment gates that don’t seem real will have people running away screaming
    • Put together FAQs so customers can get all the info they crave
    • Offer a money-back guarantee if you can
  • Reduce distractions
    • DON’T have a million pop-ups or unnecessary information distracting your customers, keep it clean & simple
    • Make it easy to understand/read, use Layman’s terms (terms someone who isn’t an expert can understand

But Most Importantly: Add Urgency to Your Offer

Dilbert comic about urgency image
Taken from http://dilbert.com/strip/2013-02-18
  • Urgency is strong, but without the things mentioned above it won’t do well on its own
  • Show that other people bought your products or clicked a link or signed up
  • Real urgency is saying an offer expires in 5 hours (and then it doesn’t exist again)
  • Implied urgency is taking words like “now”, “today”, and “hurry” suggest to the customer to act now even if there is no real urgency
  • The right amount of urgency depends on context
  • Add urgency to your stock, let customers know the product won’t be around long due to its popularity and scarcity of stock
  • Have a ticking clock let customers know they’re running low on time, forcing them into action (think like a cart timer, or a get it by timer)
  • Use the colour red-it just works to instill a sense of urgency in consumers thanks to our conditioning from a young age

6 Types of Social Proof

In the easiest terms, there are typically 6 categories that social proof can fall into. They are Expert, Celebrity, Certification, User, Wisdom of the Many and Wisdom of the Few. Learn what each of these means below. See what businesses are using these different types of social proof. Also, check out this blog post to learn how to leverage social proof on your own site & download Banana Stand!

  • Expert
Expert social proof is using an expert in your field/industry that can recommend your product or services or is associated with your brand.
Examples: an AMA (ask me anything) thread on Reddit, Twitter shoutout by an expert, having experts take over your Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram/Facebook for the day to chat with followers

Bill Gates and Reddit mascot in AMA promo image 

  • Celebrity

Celebrity social proof is when you use a celebrity (influencer, actor/actress, model) to either model, use or endorse your products. Oftentimes companies will use influencers (people with large social media followings) to either post about their products or say that they use them.

Examples: Kim Kardashian & Fit Tea on Instagram, Kendall Jenner in the Pepsi commercial, Brooklyn Beckham for Burberry,  or Steph Curry for Vivo

Kyle Jenner Fit Tea promo image Kendall Jenner Pepsi Commercial image Steph Curry for Vivo image

 

  • Certification

This social proof is achieved by being given a verification or “stamp of approval” by an authority figure. This can also be achieved through having an expert approve/recommend/certify your product.

Examples: Blue verification checkmark on Twitter or Facebook, “4 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident/Colgate/Crest”

Twitter Logo icon image       Trident Gum recommended by dentists image

 

  • User

User social proof is leveraging those people who already love your brand and/or your products/services. You can use these loyal followers or buyers to recommend your products or services to new potential customers based on their own experiences with your brand.

Examples: Positive ratings on review sites like Google Maps & Facebook, reviews from happy customers or shared photos/messages of love and support

5 stars image        Emoji expressions image

 

  • Wisdom of the Many

This type of social proof is great for bigger businesses. This type attracts new customers as they see a large group of people promoting and endorsing your brand. This works because you’re more likely to do something when you see lots of others doing it. Consequently, this can also be called social validation.

Examples: High social media followings on different platforms

Hands reaching into social media cloud image

 

  • Wisdom of the Few (Friends)

This type of social proof is when people see their friends approve your product. Similar to the wisdom of the many, you’re more likely to try/buy something if you’ve either seen someone you know using it, or they’ve recommended it to you directly. This is especially relevant with social media being on the rise!

Examples: Seeing friends use a product or service, recommended to you by a friend, they follow you on social media

Social Media Icons image

 

In addition you can check out our other blog post and see how to use social proof on your own e-commerce store! You can finally get the same IRL magic, but online!

Use Banana Stand’s Get it By Timers and be like Amazon

Instant Gratification from Ship By Timers

For those of you thinking that Amazon is going to take over the world…you’re probably right. But now you can use their features (like the get it by timers) to create urgency for your own webstore. The rise in e-commerce means a lot more people are doing their shopping online rather than in brick-and-mortar locations. The difference is that in a store, you can pick something out, buy it and walk out with it immediately. Online it’s not quite as easy. You have the more complex structure of shipping, delivering and then receiving. This can stress a lot of buyers, especially in a growing generation of people who are quite used to the instant gratification of a digital world.

How Does Amazon Generate Urgency with Ship by Timers?

Amazon utilizes a “Ship By Timer”. They ask you if you want the item soon, to which most people answer yes, because honestly who wants to wait to receive something they bought?

Amazon dog bed product example

The notification will give you an estimate of the shipping time left in a countdown. That’s where they create urgency. If you wait too long to order you’ll have to wait longer until that item will arrive.

 

Banana Stand is Fighting Back…with Get it By Timers!

Now you can have the same notifications as Amazon, and create your own sense of urgency with your own products with the Get it By Timers! The Get it By Timer Tool lets you add urgency to your product pages by letting customers know how soon they can receive a product if they order now (or within a set time frame). This customizable option lets you set your own message, with your own colours (red really sets the tone for urgency) and borders and other styles to fit your store’s theme and your brand.

Watch Get it By Timer example image

Edit the Get it By Timer and control your own delivery speeds and shipping time in the settings. The Delivery Speeds Table lets you customize specific ranges for countries/regions that you can ship to. Customer locations are detected by their IP addresses and then Banana Stand shows them the order by to have it shipped by countdown based on their country/region. You can set the Get it By Timer to show a timer only if it’s greater than a certain amount. You want to set this relatively low because using something like “Buy within 60 hours” doesn’t exactly create a sense of urgency.

Get it By Timer editing screen image

There is also a cut-off timer which lets you set a cut-off time (i.e. 3 PM) for same day shipping. So customers would know if they order before 3 PM they can receive it then as well, otherwise, the Get it By Timer will add an additional day of shipping to the total number of shipping days.

How Can I Benefit from Using Ship by Timers

You can add the Get it By Timer to your e-commerce store by using Banana Stand. This Tool lets you add urgency to your product pages by creating a time limit in which they’re able to order. The countdown lets customer’s know how much time is left in order to get the product ASAP, otherwise, they have to wait. A countdown to delivery cut-off time makes your product pages more persuasive and convinces those on-the-fence buyers to get it now, instead of abandoning their carts. Even just the ability to ship & deliver items quickly can be an effective driver of sales. If customers are shopping for gifts or getting something leading up to a holiday having a get it by timer lets them know their gifts will arrive on time & they don’t need to worry about disappointing anyone!

 

Don’t miss out on using the Get it By Timer Tool-it’ll boost your conversions with next to no effort!

Social Proof & the Magic of Boosting Conversions

If you’re new to the internet I suggest taking a peek around at some new beginner sites and some of the giants like Facebook, Amazon & Reddit. So what do those big guys have that your store doesn’t? Well, for starters they leverage the heck out of social proof. If you’ve ever heard of Reddit they grew their entire platform using FAKE users. This made it seem popular…and then VOILA, it actually became popular!

Now we don’t condone creating a million fake user bots or paying people to like your page, rate it, comment, whatever. There’s a much easier way to create social proof on your store, and on your site.

What Is Social Proof?

Social proof, according to Wiki, is “a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour in a given situation.”

Now, let’s unpack that and see what it means to you. The concept of social proof is that we tend to imitate our peers. We see the things they buy, do and like and we want to do the same. Ever seen your buddy buy a sweet new hoodie and it’s got you wanting one? Or how about passing a stranger at the mall with some amazing kicks and trying to figure out where you can get your hands on your own?

We like to fit in and be like others, and in a large sense seeing what our peers are doing helps that feeling. It boils down to “everyone else is doing it (or buying it, or liking it)- I should too!”. How many of us have admitted to our Moms that “yea if everyone else thought jumping off a bridge was a cool thing to do, then I would too…”.

Yeah a lot of us have. And there’s no shame in that. We’re human, and of course, we’re shaped by what our peers are doing around us. It’s a psychological thing anyway, so good luck fixing that!

In a nutshell social proof: builds trust, validates a user’s buying decision & adds credibility to your products. Through this social proof can magically (and easily!) help boost your conversions!

So, How Can I Leverage Social Proof to by own Benefit??

Social Proof exists IRL-you can see how busy a restaurant is and then figure if 50 people are eating there is must be good. Or if 1 million people are going to a Miley Cyrus concert, she can’t be all that bad right? Or thousands of people buying Kayne’s merch have got to know something the rest of us don’t…

But how do we create the feeling virtually? How do we social proof our own website or our own e-commerce stores? We need to nudge users to buy our stuff, encourage them to browse and click around and eventually checkout with a cart full of stuff. This is how we get those glorious boosted conversion rates and higher sales!

There are a million of tools online (Banana Stand included) to help with social proof and urgency, and a ton of apps or even things you can do on your own to boost sales and up your conversions.

 

The Magical List of Types of Social Proof you can Utilize!

  • Create Social Proof through showing the number of visitors viewing a product

    This is a big seller for sites. If you can show how many people have purchased your item and how many people are viewing your products/site you’re more likely to have higher conversion rates. By showcasing your popularity you’re convincing consumers that people love your stuff-and that they should too!

Product Detail example on a product image

  • Create Social Proof using other customers

    You can create social proof directly from other customers. You can add messages that let a potential customer know that Amelia from Utah, USA just bought a hat 30 minutes ago. This perceived purchase makes others more likely to buy things. Seeing a face and name (even of a complete stranger) creates a feeling of trust or credibility and makes people more likely to buy their own. This again ties into the idea of all of us just wanting to fit in.

Social Proof example on a product image

  • Create Social Proof through success stories

    Case studies or other stories about success are a great way to show potential customers to your store how others have created their own success or have achieved something amazing (record # of visitors, increased revenue) by using your product or service. These testimonials create credibility from people who are celebrities or experts, or from the average user that benefitted from your product/service.

    Promote these on your blog, your Facebook page, Twitter or any other channel to get the word out about how customers are using your services or products to become successful! This is most effective if you use before and after numbers, explain what they did or used and how they continue to be successful. You only need a few to add social proof and give users confidence about your site/services/products.

  • The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) for Social Proof

    People are deathly afraid of missing out. This FOMO phenomenon can help you create urgency through social proof. Showing a low stock message, or “one item left” is a great way of doing this. It scares people into action knowing that if they don’t hurry they could miss out. Showing stock numbers encourages consumers to act immediately (reducing cart abandonment) & creates a good experience for customers as it can reduce frustration for them.

    Limited Stock message image

YOUR TURN! So, where are you going to start?

 

 

What’s New at Banana Stand?

We Released New Features!

As you may or may not have noticed we’ve been rolling out some amazing features to the Banana Stand App! For a quick look at what’s new check out the Features page. You can also see a few more technical additions if you check out our Changelog article. These resources give you a quick idea of some things that have been changed.

Banana Stand doesn’t necessarily have versions or updates that you install. We run using what’s called continuous deployment. This means we’re constantly creating new features, making updates and fixing any bugs/issues that may occur.

The biggest (and maybe most confusing change) was that we changed from having a Campaigns section to having a Tools section. We split the old Campaigns Header into Social Proof Feeds and Product Detail Counters and added Product List Counters, Cart Timers & a Get it By Timer to become the 5 Tools.

Within a Tool you can run 1 or more campaigns, which means that Tool is running live with its features on your store! Tools are used to increase urgency and social validation to give your customers a new online shopping experience that makes them feel like they’re in an actual store.

Social Proof Feed

  • Formerly part of the Campaign section
  • Used to be called “Social Proof Notifications” before the change
  • It shows recent purchases from customers
  • Shows when visitors start checking out with products
  • This is all accomplished without using annoying popups! Instead, we embed our social proof notifications so your customers won’t be constantly bombarded with messages.

Social Proof Tool GIF

Cart Timers

  • Display timers in the checkout process to increase the likelihood that a customer completes their order.
  • Display timer(s) and messaging when a customer switches tabs during checkout
  • The Timer intelligently detects when customers have moved around the site to reset their timer only when it makes sense to

Cart Timer Tool GIF

Product List Counters

  • Shows customers the number of other people currently viewing products
  • Displays the number of users about to checkout
  • Reports the number of customers that recently purchased the product
  • Displays low stock alerts when inventory is low

Product List Counter Tool GIF

Product Detail Counters

  • Formerly this Tool was part of the Campaigns section
  • Used to be called “Static Urgency Text” before the change

Product Detail Counter Tool GIF

*NEW* Get it By Timer

  • New feature similar to what you’ve seen on Amazon
  • Customizable messages and specific parameters to decide when the timer will be shown
  • Can see delivery speeds for different countries and regions, and a same-day shipping cutoff time

Get it By Timer Tool GIF

*NEW* Dashboard

You may have noticed the sidebar and Dashboard are a bit different too. They have a couple of new headings and features included as you can see below:

BEFORE

*NEW* Storefront Panel

The storefront panel is a neat little Admin feature we created. When you’re making changes to your store it will follow you around as a little yellow bar on the left side of your screen (like the image below). This tool is NOT visible to your customers-only to you. When you hover your mouse onto the panel it’ll open and look like this yellow square. You can toggle the “testing” on and off, it shows how many Banana Stand Tools are running on the page and also gives you a quick access button to get back to your Dashboard to make edits or see what’s happening within your store.

Dashboard before image

Dashboard after image

You can activate the Storefront Panel right from the Banana Stand Dashboard. If you click the button it’ll automatically activate the panel which you’ll be able to see everywhere on your Shopify store. If you don’t like it you can easily hide or deactivate it.

Storefront Panel live preview image

What Happens if I Had Campaigns Running Before the Changes?

Don’t worry! Even if you had Campaigns running before we migrated to Tools (~January 10th, 2018) nothing will have happened to them, regardless of if they were live or not. They’ll just have split into the new Tools Social Proof Feeds or Product Detail Counters. You can still edit and manage them, as well as create campaigns for the Product List Counter and Cart Timers.

 

We hope you enjoy using Banana Stand & all of our great new features! If you have some ideas or have a specific feature you’d like to see-check out our Future Request Board/Roadmap or send an email to  to suggest an idea!

 

Custom Boost Ranges for Product Detail Counters Tool

We just launched the ability to specify custom boost ranges!

Product Detail Counter Tool GIF

What is the Boost Feature?

In case you don’t already know Banana Stand has the ability to “boost” your viewership, order and add to cart counts. The boost is to help get you new stores off to a good start. Boosting makes it look like more people are shopping on the site which increases your conversion rate.

Can customers detect Boosted numbers?

Absolutely not. Boosted numbers are still naturally counted up and down over time and they still increase/decrease based on current viewer/order/cart counts!

What are Custom Boost ranges?

When the feature is enabled (see above) it uses a random seed for each of your products to start your counts at. Before this feature was created you were limited to the default randomization ranges. They were between 3 and 25 for views, 2 and 15 for add to carts and 2 and 10 for orders.

However, with this new feature, you can specify what you want your seeds to start at within a random range. For example, if you want your viewership counts to randomly be between 100 and 150, then set minimum=100 and maximum=150.

Where do I set Boosting?

Boosting is set in the tools edit screen from within the Banana Stand social proof/urgency platform.

4 New Social Proof Feed Tool Options Available

We’ve added 4 new options that you can configure for your Social Proof Feed tool and the Product Detail Counters tool out of the box (without custom coding).

Within the Tools section → Social Proof Feeds → Behaviour, there are two new options:

Show Name Whenever Possible

Show Name When Possible Option image
If yes then the system will use the customer’s first name whenever possible (such as when the customer is logged in or provided their name with their order). If your store values anonymity then you might want to turn this feature off.

Default: YES

Show Notification For How Long?

How many seconds should each notification show for? For example, if you entered “5” and there are 2 social proof notifications to show to the user, then the total display time will be 10 seconds (before going back to the default display).

Default: 5 seconds.

Custom Lookback Periods

Lookback Option example

Within the Tools section → Social Proof Feeds → What to Show and Tools section → Product Detail Counters → Customization, we added the ability to set a custom lookback period. That is, you can now decide how far back to show a customer’s social proof. For example, if you set the lookback period to 15 minutes then only customers that started checking out with products within the last 15 minutes will be be shown.

Default: 7 days in Social Proof Feeds Tool and 7 days in Product Detail Counters Tool

As usual, Banana Stand is completely customizable via the HTML templates and CSS access you get (plus our robust API). The possibilities are endless!

7+ Languages Out-of-the-box: Including German & Spanish

Good news global peeps: Banana Stand now comes pre-packaged with 8 different languages!

  1. English 🇺🇸🇨🇦🇬🇧
  2. German 🇩🇪
  3. Spanish 🇪🇸🇲🇽
  4. French 🇫🇷🇨🇦
  5. Indonesian 🇮🇩
  6. Norwegian 🇳🇴
  7. Swedish 🇸🇪
  8. Portuguese 🇧🇷🇵🇹

The New Onboarding Flow

Onboarding Flow GIF

Changing the Language

After you install the app it should automatically detect your store’s primary language, however, if it for some reason does not you can find the setting in the Store Settings → Settings area as shown here. You’ll be able to change to one of the languages available and then your Tools notification previews will be adjusted to show in whatever one you chose.

Settings to change preview image

Default Language: English

 

If your language isn’t one of the 8 out-of-box languages then check out this resource article so you can customize exactly what your customers will be seeing! We’re going to keep adding translations as we can, so if yours isn’t an out-of-the-box option it could be on the list to be one soon.

Dashboard Now Shows Live Shoppers

The Banana Stand dashboard now contains a LIVE view of customers that are currently shopping at your store.

What does the new widget show you?

  1. Who they are (if they have an account)
  2. What country they’re from
  3. Where they are located approximately
  4. When the visitor was last on your site
  5. What the visitor was doing when they were last seen (viewing a product, adding to cart or buying a product)
  6. What product they were last concerned with

Here’s a preview:

 

A screenshot of how the new dashboard widget looks in your Banana Stand dashboard. It shows any customers or visitors that are currently shopping on your store, where they are located, when they were last seen, what they were last seen doing and what product they were last seen interacting with.
A screenshot of what the new Current Shoppers widget looks like in your Banana Stand dashboard.

 

To see what else is new at Banana Stand check out this blog post: https://www.bananastand.io/2018/01/17/whats-new-banana-stand/