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He Insulted and Chased Away Chevron

It was winter in Boston and George was an unemployed chemical engineer looking for a job. He had prepared the night before for his phone interview with Chevron for a chemist position. The interview began with the usual pleasantries and they asked how he was.

George responded “It’s 70 degrees and sunny in Boston in November, so I certainly can’t complain.”

They chuckled at his line. Feeling encouraged, he followed up and said:

“Haha, you guys at Chevron keep up the good work with this global warming!”

Silence pursued for 5 solid seconds. George never got a callback from Chevron.

Just as George unintentionally chased away Chevron, e-commerce retailers sometimes chase away customers. Sometimes the shopping cart is broken. Sometimes the website is down. Sometimes prices are marked incorrectly.

And the customer ends up leaving without buying.

But repeat customers are different. They won’t abandon cart when they encounter a problem. To the contrary, they’ll try repeatedly to complete the order and even take the time to let you know of the problem. They’ll give you a chance to fix the problem and return to place the order again.

A customer friendly loyalty program can go a long way towards helping you get more repeat customers. Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and get the kind of customers who return to buy again and again.

Beware of Demon Possessed Customers

Here’s a bizarre incident. A demon-like possession was caught on video in Malaysia.

A guy walked into a convenience store, opened the fridge door and pulled out a drink. Just then he began shaking violently, fell to the floor and it looks like he is having a seizure of some sort.

And then it gets really strange.

While still shaking violently, he points at stacks of toilet paper. Seconds later, the toilet rolls fall off the shelves and a ghost like apparition moves through the fridge. Customers can be seen freaking out and running away.

Strange indeed. And not good for business.

Similar things are happening in e-commerce. Mean-spirited (and maybe even demon-spirited) customers walk into your business and leave negative reviews that scare away prospects and customers.

One way to prevent this is to grow your repeat customers.

Repeat customers love what you are doing. Instead of scaring away customers, they tend to attract new customers by word of mouth and positive reviews.

Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and get more repeat customers.

Bringing Competitors To Their Knees

Jack Aubrey was the captain of the Surprise, a frigate in the British navy. At the time, Napolean was waging war across Europe. Twice Captain Aubrey’s ship was attacked by the bigger, faster and more powerful French frigate, the Acheron. Twice captain Aubrey escaped through luck and cunning.

After the second attack captain Aubrey had, had enough. He said: “This is the second time he’s done this to me. There will not be a third.”

After escaping from the attack, Captain Aubrey’s first order of business was to repair his ship and shore up its defenses. Next, he started a rigorous training regime of his crew to get them ready for a swift attack. His ship’s advisers were hesitant about captain Aubrey’s plans to win against the bigger, faster and more armored Acheron. They tried to change his mind but he wouldn’t budge.

After repairs were completed, the supplies replenished and the crew sufficiently trained, the Surprise set sail, looking to capture the Acheron. But a string of storms, bad weather, and loss of crew demoralized the crew. And yet Captain Aubrey remained focused on his mission.

This story is from the movie Master & Commander. You’ll have to watch it to learn the ending.

If your e-commerce business is under attack from competitors, then use the captain Jack Aubrey playbook to start winning.  First, shore up your defenses by making sure you are not losing your best customers.

Second, go out and find more new repeat customers.

Third, offer deals to your competitor’s customers and convert them into your  customers.

This is the Jack Aubrey way of going on the attack and bringing your competitors to their knees. RewardCamp can help you – by converting new buyers into loyal customers. Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and make more money.

Rewards That Make Customers Buy Frequently

Here’s a question that I get frequently:

“Raheem, what kind of rewards will motivate my customers to return frequently?”

Most people think the answer is to offer fancy rewards. Or that they have to offer generous rewards. In reality, those are not important.  The best rewards have three qualities:

  1. The reward is cash or cash-like (e.g. store credit)
  2. It is easy for the customer to earn the reward
  3. It is easy for the customer to use the reward (rewards that require codes to use are usually not the best)

When you offer rewards with the above qualities, customers are more likely to earn and use rewards.
That’s when the magic happens.

That’s when their likelihood of doing business with you greatly increases.

This is the entire product philosophy behind RewardCamp – to make it easy for your customers. This is why RewardCamp has a high retention rate.

Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and make more money.

Don’t Lose Money Like Target Canada

On January 15, 2015, Target Canada filed for bankruptcy protection after trying and failing to expand into Canada. It lost $7 billion, tainted its reputation and put 17,600 people out of work. Target is well-known in the retail world for being a very effective operator. But this was a rare blunder from Target.

A big mistake that they made was picking a very complicated, new software for their Canadian operations instead of using the home-grown system used in the US. This new software had all the latest bells and whistles and was supposed to allow Target to manage their stores, warehouse and inventory in a more effective way.

But managing stores, warehouse and inventory using the same software also meant that it had a very complex installation and setup process that takes several years. This is where they made the next big mistake.

They tried to rush through the software setup. What normally takes five years, Target tried to do in two. The result was that opening day was a big mess. Shelves were under-stocked, checkout machines were not working and the system was ordering the wrong products from suppliers.

Target tried to fix these problems over the next two years but it just never worked right. Target finally gave up and pulled out of Canada.

Picking software can be a dangerous move and can take down even a giant like Target. You can avoid this kind of risk with RewardCamp. It is easy to setup.

We provide you with advice on the best way to setup your loyalty program (worth hundreds of dollars). We help you to test it. And once it’s running, you can set-it and forget-it!

RewardCamp will work behind the scenes to increase your customer loyalty and make you money. Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and make more money.

They Made An Extra £14 Million

During the great recession of 2008 and 2009, UK based was floundering just like everyone else. Thousands of people were losing jobs. Consumers were canceling travel plans. Airlines were going bankrupt.

The UK travel industry lost £2.1 billion in profit in 2010 alone.

Amidst this turmoil, Sunshine Travel with help from Conversion Rate Experts, made changes to their site and ended up making an extra £14 million dollar. Here’s how they did it.

They began by surveying their customers. They asked customers what they liked and disliked. Anyone who filled out the survey got a chance to win the cost of their last vacation. They asked open-ended questions like “How would you describe us to a friend?” The customer survey yielded gold.

They learned that their prices were confusing. The prices were so low that customers found it hard to believe.  So they made prices more clear by adding details like price per night and price per person.

They learned what their best customers liked and then highlighted those points on the site.  Talking to their customers is how Sunshine Travel survived and thrived.

But which customers should you talk to?

There are two types of customers that are the best for surveying:

1. Your current best customers – these are customers who are buying frequently from you. They love what you are doing.

2. Your lost best customers – these are your best customers that you have lost. These customers used to order frequently but then they stopped. Talking to them will help you learn what needs to be fixed.

RewardCamp’s analytics shows you both, your current best customers and the ones you have lost. Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and make more money.

She Lost Money Even After Her Product Was Featured on GMA

Few years ago, marketing expert Melanie Duncan started an online home decor store.

She achieved a major coup by getting a spot on Good Morning America. As part of the deal, she agreed to give away 350 gifts to the audience. GMA has 5 million national viewers. On the day the spot aired, Melanie’s website received thousands of visitors but only a handful of orders.

She lost a lot of money.

It was a tough start for her new store. Months later, Melanie began noticing little streams of traffic coming from Pinterest. Unlike the Good Morning America traffic, a lot of visitors from Pinterest were placing orders.

She began studying Pinterest. Learning about the audience and the site. Within a short time, Pinterest became the # 1 traffic source. It was contributing to thousands of dollars in sales each month.

Here are 5 tactics Melanie used to get more sales from Pinterest.

* Tactic 1 – Add a Pin It button

Melanie added a “Pin It” button to her site. Pinterest now offers a “Pin It” for business, which is what Melanie recommends.

She suggests adding the “Pin It” button to all your product images. When someone pins a product, all of their followers see it. Over 80% of the pins are re-pins on Pinterest.

* Tactic 2 – Post inspiring messages

Melanie posts images with inspiring messages on her pinterest page. Her audience love these inspiring images and often click on them. Which brings them to her online store and many of them end up placing an order.

* Tactic 3 – Use an easy tool to create content for your pinterest page

She used picmonkey to overlay text onto beautiful images. This allows her to quickly and easily create inspiring content for her pinterest page.

* Tactic 4 – Pin Youtube videos

She pins Youtube videos of her products on her pinterest page. Videos  do phenomenally well on pinterest.

* Tactic 5 – Use Keywords on Pinterest to increase SEO ranking of your store.

Melanie found that Pinterest can significantly increase SEO rankings. She suggests using keywords when setting up your account in the about section. She also used keywords in the captions and the board titles. All of the above tactics will help you land new customers.

RewardCamp can then help you to convert these new customers into repeat buyers. Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and make more money.

Will Customers Buy Even If Prices Are Higher?

I got a question the other day:

QUESTION: Is it possible to keep my customers coming back even if they find better prices and deals with competitors?

ANSWER: Yes, this is possible.

But first, let’s take a step back. One of the pressures faced by e-commerce retailers is the downward pricing pressure. Pricing is the main reason why everyone is losing customers, all the time.

So how does RewardCamp keep your customers coming back, even when your competitors offer lower prices?

Here’s how —

When your customer places an order, they receive store credit as a reward. This is like free money. It immunizes that customer from price competition. Why go through the hassle of finding deals, when you have free money with a retailer?

RewardCamp goes further by making it easy for your customers to earn and use their free reward. They don’t have to jump through hoops, remember codes or any of the hassle usually associated with loyalty programs.

This is why customers keep ordering from you when you use RewardCamp. Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and increase your revenues.

CEO Booted Customers

A few years ago, Dish TV lost 23,000 subscribers in a single quarter. When someone asked the CEO Charlie Ergen what he thought about it, he responded that they don’t have time for unprofitable customers.

These customers were calling 30-50 times a month, requiring lots of support, asking for discounts. He did not elaborate whether these customers were calling about service problems.

So he got rid of ’em.

Funny thing is that e-commerce has a similar problem. Online stores spend tons of money on google adwords and promotions to acquire new customers. These new customers buy a discounted item and never come back for another purchase. And it’s not even because of bad product or service. Most of these lost customers are satisfied customers.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Customers can and will stay for the long-term… if you have a repeat customer funnel.  A repeat customer funnel gets customers coming back for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th order.

RewardCamp implements a repeat customer funnel for you, automatically and in a way that your customers love. Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and get your own repeat customer funnel.

The $2.5 Billion Testimonial?

In March 1985, Nike launched the Air Jordan shoe at stores nationwide.

Within two months Nike had sold $70 million worth of Air Jordan shoes. By the end of the year, the Air Jordan franchise had produced revenues of $100 million. In 2012 alone, the Jordan brand sold $2.5 billion worth of shoes.

Phil Knight called the partnership between Nike and Jordan “the perfect combination of quality product, marketing and athlete endorsement.”

Athletic endorsements is a powerful marketing tactic that generates billions of dollars in sales for big corporations. A simpler version of this tactic can be used by e-commerce companies.

It involves getting customer testimonials and reviews. It’s a great way to increase conversion. But how do you get testimonials?

Here is a 5 step process to generate testimonials for your store.

Step 1: Identify your best customers – the ones who are buying frequently from you. You can use RewardCamp to identify these customers.

Step 2: Make it easy – Draft a sample testimonial that the customer can easily edit.

Step 3: Ask for the testimonials using the email template below:

Hi Customer,

Thank you for being a loyal customer. Would you be open to writing a testimonial for us?

An honest description of your experience with us, in your own words, would work great. Below is a sample to help you get started.

‘I love shopping at ___! It’s ___ (easy, quick, convenient) and I love their great ___ (deals, selection, service).’

Thanks for your help!

Step 4: Use the testimonials. Add it to the home page, to the product page and even your checkout page.

A great side effect of customers writing testimonials is that they also tend to order more often from you.

Once you have these testimonials and reviews in place, you will notice an increase in new customers. Then you can use RewardCamp to convert these new customers into repeat buyers.

Sign up for a free trial of RewardCamp and grow your sales.