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Ecommerce trends: The rise of the ‘new consumer’ post pandemic

The pandemic has turned people’s lives upside down worldwide and Christmas 2019 feels like a distant, foreign memory. But what impact will Covid-19 have on this year’s peak sales season?

Operations Experience firm parcelLab, has reviewed recent studies and statistics that point to this year’s peak being the most digital ever. They identify who the ‘New Consumer’ is and what they expect when shopping online during Black Friday and Christmas 2020 in their latest report ‘Peak 2020: Meet the ‘New Consumer’.

The New Consumer has become more domestic

The New Consumer spends most of their time at home – it has become the hub of the ‘New Normal’. They work, relax and socialise at home.

Whether, it’s virtual fitness classes, theatre performance, online wine seminars or zoom birthday parties, almost every aspect of the New Consumer’s life has moved online this year.

In just three months, Zoom gained 190 million daily users and Netflix subscriber numbers grew by 16 million in five months.

As a result, this New Consumer has invested heavily in making this space comfortable – we saw this from the vast increase in sales of furniture and DIY at the beginning of the pandemic. But it’s not just homeware that the New Consumer is purchasing.

One in five consumers report that they have bought more online since the pandemic began and intend to continue doing so in the future.

Hello Fresh generated one million new customers in the first quarter alone and reported record sales growth of 40 to 50 percent compared to the previous year. And online retail in the US generated the same growth rates in three months that the industry predicted in 10 years.

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that this peak season will see record online sales. But how successful will Black Friday and Christmas sales actually be? A look back at the year 2019 shows that, according to figures from parcelLab, parcel volume in the electronics sector increased by 186 percent during Christmas 2019 compared to the rest of the year.

In the beauty and food retail sector, the number of parcels dispatched rose by 62 percent. But these records were still broken during lockdown in March and April 2020.

Compared to November and December 2019, parcel volume in the electronics sector rose by another 17.25 percent and by 19.46 percent in the beauty and food industry.

You can download parcelLab’s latest report: Peak 2020: Meet the ‘New Consumer’ here

3 Types of Shopify Product Landing Pages

When you get down to it, every online business is simply a collection of webpages. And for an ecommerce brand, one type of page is by far the most important:

Your product offer pages.

Now, when we talk about product offer pages, we’re referring to the pages on your website where people can actually buy your products.

You might also call these “sales pages,” or “landing pages” (since these are where most of your visitors land when they visit your site).

And generally speaking, there are three main types of Shopify landing pages that you can use to feature your products:

  • Traditional Product Pages
  • Long-form Product Pages
  • Product “Mini-sites”

In this article, you’ll learn what each of these landing pages looks like, their pros and cons, and when it’s best to use one page type versus another.

By the end, you’ll be able to choose the best type of Shopify landing page to maximize the sales of each and every one of your products.


First up, let’s take a look at a traditional Shopify landing page. This is your old-school ecommerce product page, so it should look familiar.

Here’s an example:


The first thing most people will notice when they come to a page like this is the big product image taking up most of the screen. It’s big, it’s bold, and it’s right in your face.
Bam! Here’s a pair of great-looking sunglasses.

And that is pretty typical of traditional Shopify landing pages. They tend to be image-focused, with lots of eye-catching pictures showing the product from multiple angles.

On the other hand, there’s not much text (or copy) on the page. The product description is often just a paragraph or so.

This example has a little more copy, but you have to click “Quality & Details” to see it. So when you click here…

The section expands, accordion-style, to give you more product details through a list of bullet points:

But the fact that you have to click just to see this copy shows you how important it is. (Not very.)

So what’s the deal with these pages? Why are they designed this way?

The answer is actually pretty interesting. See, back in the day—before mobile traffic took over the Internet—people didn’t scroll as much. If you had content farther down on your page, not many people would scroll down to see it.

So designers started adding things like sliders to websites as a way of taking a brand’s conversion elements (or, any piece of content/design on the page that is meant to influence the sale) and cramming as much as they could above the fold.

And that’s why traditional Shopify landing pages are laid out the way they are. In the case of the sunglasses brand, you’ll notice that the three most important conversion elements on the page—the image, the copy, and the “Buy” button—are all right at the top of the page.

Here, take another look:

Today, most people use their phones more than they use their desktop. And you have to scroll on your phone—it’s required. So the issue of people not scrolling isn’t much of a problem anymore.

But here’s the important thing to remember: even though these traditional pages were designed for a different era, they can still work today!

Yeah, they’re a little old-fashioned, but in the right situation, one of these landing pages can convert like gangbusters.


To recap: these are image-heavy pages, with a small amount of copy and a “Buy” button that is usually present above the fold.

So when would you want to use a page like this?

Based on the pros and cons, here are six use cases that make a traditional type of Shopify landing page a good idea.

1) When you have a visual product that requires an image-heavy page.

Because these are image-focused pages, it makes sense they would work well for visual products like jewelry, art, home accessories, and oh yeah—clothes:


If your product is better described with pictures than with words, then a traditional Shopify landing page might just be what you need.

2) When there isn’t a lot to explain about your product.

These landing pages tend to work best when you don’t need much copy to sell your product. If you’re selling a typical pair of sunglasses, there isn’t much else to say except, “These are sunglasses! Here’s what they look like! Want to buy them?”

3) When you already have a strong pre-sell before the person gets to the page.

Here’s a question to keep in mind: Where does this landing page fit into your overall marketing funnel?

Take these 2 scenarios for example:

In the first scenario, you’re driving traffic straight to your landing page. In this case, if your product does need explaining, then your landing page will probably need a decent amount of content to convince people that they should buy your product.

But in the second scenario, you’re actually doing most of the selling in a separate pre-sell article or video. So by the time the visitor hits your product landing page, they’re already convinced. In this case, your landing page doesn’t need to do much except remind the visitor why they should buy and give them a chance to do it.

4) When the page is intended for repeat buyers.

If you’re selling a product made for repeat purchases—like shampoo, Keurig coffee pods, electric toothbrush heads, and so on—then most visitors don’t need much convincing to buy. They’re probably already using the product, and just need a way to re-order it when they run out.

In these cases, a traditional landing page will work just fine.

5) When you’re selling a low-ticket item.

Generally speaking, the less expensive your product is, the less sales copy required to get somebody to buy it.

A $1,000 product probably needs a long-form landing page. But if your product is only $25, then a traditional landing page will likely work because you don’t need a lot of copy to sell it.

That being said, if you feel that you have good, persuasive sales copy—use it! No matter the price of your product. It could make the difference between the buyer choosing your product over a competitor’s.

6) When you’re a mobile-focused brand.

Companies that drive most of their traffic on mobile tend to use traditional product pages. This is because traditional product pages usually leverage less content, making them lightweight and faster loading. (Page load speeds have a direct effect on conversions: sluggish pages equals sluggish sales!)

The truth is, however, that this isn’t always a good idea, since longer-form pages can sometimes convert better for certain products, even on mobile.

We recommend testing what type of Shopify landing page works best for you. In other words: if you’re a mobile-focused brand, don’t use a traditional Shopify landing page just because you see other mobile-focused brands doing it.

Test it for yourself and see what generates the most sales for you.r)


Now that you have a pretty good idea of what a traditional product landing page looks like and you know when to use them, let’s take a look at a few examples of companies that are doing a good job at leveraging them.

We’re not going to dive into too much detail about the actual conversion elements on the page (the images, the copy, the reviews, etc.). We will cover that in a later article.

For now, we’re just going to focus on the overall impression, structure, and layout of the page.

And as you’ll soon see, most of these pages have a similar layout.

Here’s a face and eye cream from Bee Friendly Skincare:


Here’s another skin care product, a coffee scrub that helped launch the company Frank Body:


As you can see from these pages, along with the ones we’ve already shown above, they all have a similar layout:

Big product images on the left (preferably with a video thrown in there too), with a little sales copy and the “Add to Cart” button on the right.

It’s a familiar design, which means that most of your visitors won’t have any trouble navigating these pages.

But while these traditional product landing pages are familiar, they’re also a little old-fashioned. And for a lot of products, companies are getting better results using a different type of Shopify landing page: a long-form product page.


If the traditional product page is short and to the point, then this is the exact opposite: a long page with lots of copy, lots of pictures, and lots of conversion elements to help educate your visitors and persuade them to buy your product.

Unlike the traditional product page, there’s no one-size-fits-all layout for a long-form landing page. The layout varies from one brand to another, depending on which conversion elements you want to include to show your product in the best possible light.

Direct response marketers have known for decades just how effective a long, copy-heavy sales piece can be, so this is nothing new.

Why is long-form content so effective? The answer should be pretty obvious:

It gives you an opportunity to say more!

You can do more selling. You can do more educating. You can spend more time building up the value of your product and explaining the benefits to the visitor.

As you might be able to tell, here at Zipify we’re big fans of long-form Shopify product landing pages. We don’t recommend using them all the time, but there are certain situations when a long-form page makes a lot of sense.


So what are those situations? When does it make the most sense to roll with a long-form product page?

We’ve identified six primary use cases for this type of Shopify landing page:

1) When you have a direct response marketer in charge.

Direct response marketing is intended to get a person to take a specific and measurable action. In our case, that action is to buy your product.

In order for a long-form page to be effective, it should be created according to the principles of direct response marketing.

That’s why, in order to get the best results from a long-form landing page, it really helps if you have a direct response marketer on your team (and preferably in charge).
And there’s another team member who is also really helpful to have around…

2) When you have a good copywriter on the team.

This goes hand-in-hand with use case #1 (above). Just as it’s important to have direct response marketing experience, it’s also critical to have a great copywriter on your team—preferably one who knows how to write direct response-style copy.

Because remember: these pages are long and full of text. So of course it makes sense that you’ll need someone who’s able to write that copy as clearly and as persuasively as possible.

3) When you have a lifestyle or story-based product.

Because these pages give you a lot more room to tell stories, they work really well when your product is based around a certain lifestyle, like Boosted Boards (see below), or requires the telling of a story, like Purple Mattress (see below).

4) When you can visually demonstrate how well your product works.

If there’s a way to demonstrate your product in action and actually show people how effective it is—through something like video demonstrations or before-and-after pictures—that’s definitely something you want to include on your product page and might require the use of a long-form format.

Demoing your product is a really powerful selling tool. It helps clarify what your product does and how it works, answers questions and clears up confusion, provides visual proof of effectiveness, and helps your visitor to actually see themselves using your product.

And when they can do that, they’re a lot more likely to buy.

5) When you have to educate the person before they’ll buy.

Why should someone buy a Purple Mattress instead of a regular memory foam mattress? Well, the Purple Mattress company actually has a really effective sales pitch that answers that question.
But in order for it to work, a little education is required.

In Purple’s case, they have to explain some of the issues with memory foam mattresses and how those can lead to problems like poor sleep and back pain. Then they have to educate you on how their mattress solves those problems and results in a better night’s sleep.

As you can imagine, fitting all this educational content into your product page pretty much requires a long-form format.

Education is often an issue when you have a product that features new technology or new developments that you have to explain to your visitors in order to help them understand why the product is worth buying.

6) When you’re selling high-ticket items.

Remember: the more expensive your product is, the more selling you have to do to convince people to buy it.

If you’re trying to market a product like Boosted Board, for example, you’re going to need to spend quite a bit of time explaining to people why they should shell out $800-$1,600 for this electric skateboard when they can get a regular skateboard for less than $100.

And in order to fit all that content on your sales page, you’ll need to go long-form.


We’re going to share three different long-form pages. Let’s start with Purple Mattress:


A quick scroll down the page will reveal that it’s quite long, with different sections devoted to explaining a different feature or benefit of the product. Like this one:

Or this one:

Or this one:

Notice that Purple doesn’t try to cram too much information into one section. Instead, they break it up into many different chunks, making sure each section is short and easy to read.

When you format your page like this, you can include a lot of content and people will still read it because it’s easy to consume. Purple does a great job with this. Just look at all the different conversion elements they leverage on one page:

  • A funny story-based awareness video
  • Product images
  • Graphics and copy explaining product benefits
  • Shipping & return policy
  • Product reviews
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Links to related accessories

The end result is a page that’s long, but never intimidating. Here’s the whole thing so you can see just how long it goes:

Another thing Purple does that’s really smart is use a “sticky” header, which remains stuck to the top of the page as a visitor scrolls. This way there’s always a “Buy Now” button visible.
Even if you scroll all the way down to the footer, there it is…

Another company that has a great long-form landing page is Boosted Boards. Now, if you just glanced at the top of this landing page, you might think it was a traditional ecommerce page:


But when you scroll down you’ll see it has a lot more content below the fold: lots of high-quality photos and copy explaining how the boards work, and of course, a whole bunch of positive reviews.

So this is really a hybrid page, of sorts. It’s traditional at the top, but long-form under the fold. This is a smart way to do it because you get the benefits of both worlds.
Here’s the whole page so you can see it in all its long-form glory:

For another example check out BOOM! by Cindy Joseph, a $20 million/year Shopify brand created by Zipify CEO Ezra Firestone. They take a similar approach for this product bundle, where above the fold it looks like a traditional product page:


But when you scroll down you see additional videos, reviews, and copy points explaining the benefits of the products:

Here at Zipify, we’re big fans of long-form pages because they allow you to dive into the features and benefits of your product in detail. As a result, you can more effectively sell the visitor on why it’s a great product and why they should buy it.

But as much as we love long-form pages, we can’t call them our favorite. That’s because there’s a new type of Shopify landing page that has been wowing us with its effectiveness…


The third and final type of Shopify landing page is a relatively new concept for physical products:

The product mini-site.

And this is just what it sounds like. You create an entire website for your product.

It’s not a huge website—probably just a few pages. It’s kind of like taking a long-form product page and breaking it up into several smaller pages.

This way, instead of having everything on one long page—your videos, reviews, features/benefits, FAQ, etc.—you can put them each on a different page and link to them through a navigation menu at the top.

Like this:

And that’s really important. Having that menu at the top makes it a lot easier for people to navigate a mini-site versus scrolling through a super-long page (especially on their phone).
In other words, it makes the content easier to consume.

Ezra has been testing these in some of his ecommerce companies, and they’re converting really well. They’re even out-performing long-form sales pages in most cases.
So, should you consider using a mini-site for your product? When is a good time to use this landing page structure?


There’s one really obvious time to use a mini-site:

When you have a single-item brand.

If your entire brand consists of one main product, then creating a mini-site is your best option.

Take Nuraphone, for example.

Nuraphone sells one primary product: high-end headphones that adapt to your unique hearing. And when you visit their website, you’ll see a mini-site with several pages all devoted to selling that one product:


Every page on this site is dedicated to this one product: educating you about it, teaching you how it works, and selling you on why it’s better than any other headphones on the market.

For Nuraphone, this is a pretty natural choice. They only have one primary product, so of course they’re going to focus their whole website on it.

But what if you have multiple products in your ecommerce store? Can you still take advantage of the mini-site layout?

It turns out that yes, you can. In fact, Ezra has been experimenting with a new way of using mini-sites that makes them a viable product landing page template for anyone with an ecommerce store.

How to use mini-sites as part of a bigger online store.

Another option is to create a mini-site that lives within your normal store.

Here’s an example of what that looks like:


Next, we’ll walk through this site to show you how it works and how you can adapt the same strategy for one of your own products.


For this example, we’re going to focus on the mini-site for one of BOOM!’s new products, Boom Clean.

This way, you’ll get to see what a high-converting mini-site looks like, and you’ll learn how to leverage one as part of a larger ecommerce store.

The trick to using a mini-site as part of a bigger store is through the use of a secondary menu located directly underneath your main website navigation.

Here’s a closer look at the menu for Boom Clean so you can see how it works:

This makes it easy to navigate the mini-site, and you can also go back to the main site anytime you want.

Ease of navigation is probably the biggest benefit to using a mini-site. You can leverage all the same conversion elements you would use on a long-form page, but on a mini-site it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Boom Clean’s mini-site consists of 6 pages dedicated to the video, the product story, the ingredients, the reviews, the frequently asked questions, and the “Buy” page (which, you’ll notice, is laid out just like a traditional Shopify product page:)

Remember how Purple Mattress put a sticky header at the top of their long-form sales page, so that you always had a “Buy Now” button showing up on the screen?

Well, in this case making the header sticky could get tricky. (Wow, try saying that 10 times fast.) The BOOM! website already has a main header and a pre-header. When you add the mini-site sub-header, you’ll probably have too much going on at the top of the page.

So what Boom Clean does instead is use a sticky footer. So that on every page of the mini-site, you’ll always have a menu and a “Buy” button located at the bottom of the screen:

Putting the sticky menu here helps keep the header from getting too cluttered.

Oh, and speaking of that header: one thing to think about when creating a mini-site is how to handle the 2 menus on mobile.

For Boom Clean, Ezra decided he didn’t want to use 2 different “Menu” buttons because that could be confusing. Instead, he uses one “Menu” button that loads both the top-level navigation and the mini-site navigation.

Here’s what it looks like:

As you can see, mini-sites are a little more complex due to the need for a menu. But they’re well worth your time and effort, especially for a really important product.

(READ MORE – This New Product “Mini-Site” Sales Page is the Best of Both Worlds)


Now that we’ve covered the 3 main types of Shopify landing pages, the question you probably want to ask is this:

Which of these pages is the best?

The truth is, there’s no right answer to that question. They can all work.

Depending on your product, however, one type might make more sense than another. If you’re selling a low-priced item that doesn’t need much explanation, a traditional landing page might be your best bet.

On the other hand, if your product is expensive and requires a lot of education to sell, then you’re probably better off using a long-form landing page or a mini-site.

(Again, no matter the cost of your product, if you’re selling something unique—something that you’re proud of—then you have plenty of opportunity to write compelling copy to include on your website.)

But in the end, the most important thing isn’t necessarily the structure of your page; it’s the actual content on that page.

So use the guidelines in this article to help figure out the best landing page structure for your product, but don’t get too hung up on it. The really important thing to make sure of is this:

How can you successfully leverage all the conversion elements that will help make your page more persuasive to visitors?

Originally Posted by Ezra Firestone

Top 10 e-commerce SMS templates to increase sales

Top e-commerce SMS templates

So, you want to increase your sales? It’s time you leveraged SMS marketing.

You’ve probably heard about how SMS marketing has a whopping 98% open rate. But did you know that 90% of text messages are read within the first 3 minutes, and the response rate is around 45%?

Wondering exactly how to get started with SMS marketing? You’re in luck. In this article, we’ll offer you our top 10 e-commerce SMS templates. You can customize them to suit your needs and start using them straight away.

But first, let’s go over a few details about SMS marketing.

SMS marketing laws

Be aware of the law in your country or region regarding SMS marketing messages. In the United States, you have to comply with the Telephone Customer Protection Act and CAN-SPAM. In Europe, you must be in line with the GDPR.

Basically, what this means is that you must get customers’ express permission before you can send them marketing messages. Customers must opt-in to receive your messages, and you can only send them the information they have agreed to receive.

Customers must also have the option to unsubscribe at any time.

There are serious consequences for breaking these laws, so make sure your marketing fits within these regulations.

Why use SMS marketing?

How many unread emails are sitting in your personal inbox right now? If you’re like most people, probably a lot!

SMS is different. When your phone buzzes in your pocket, you probably struggle to resist the temptation to check it and see who contacted you. Wherever you are, curiosity gets the better of you.

Done right, SMS marketing is a powerful tool. It brings you closer to your customers and allows them to stay well-informed about their orders and any important news about your store.

A customer’s phone number is highly personal information, and you can do a lot with it.

For an e-commerce store, having such a direct connection to your customer is priceless. Therefore, you need to use this connection wisely.

You don’t want to annoy your customers or interrupt their day, so make sure you’re sending a well-planned message that they will be happy to receive.

Don’t overdo it. Choose a few important SMS e-commerce templates and use them sparingly.

Customers will unsubscribe in a heartbeat if your messages are too intrusive.


Tips for great e-commerce SMS marketing messages

Below you’ll find 10 essential templates to help e-commerce businesses get started with SMS marketing. But before we get to them, here are some important pointers to remember when sending any type of SMS marketing message:

  • Personalize the following templates to create relevant SMS messages that your e-commerce customers will be happy to receive.
  • Use first names and send offers on relevant products.
  • Always include a call to action. Let your customer know exactly what steps you want them to take next. Make it clear and simple to follow (click on a link, text back)
  • Use persuasive language. You have a limit of 160 characters, so write copy that is brief and impactful.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at our top 10 SMS e-commerce templates.

New customer welcome SMS

If a customer has opted in to receive SMS messages from you, that’s excellent news.

They have given you a highly valuable piece of information, their personal phone number, and permission to use it.

Why not thank them with a friendly welcome message and throw in a discount to sweeten the deal?

Hi (name). Thanks for opting-in to receive messages from us at (company name.) To show our gratitude here’s 10% off your first order with the discount code: FIRST

Promotional discount SMS

We mentioned that customers can unsubscribe at any time from your list, so you’ve got to make it worthwhile for them to stay.

If they aren’t receiving any extra benefits, they might opt-out.

How do you avoid losing your hard-won contacts? Every once in a while, offer an exclusive deal for your SMS subscribers only.

Hi, (name of the person)! Have you seen our new summer collection? Type in (insert code) to claim your exclusive discount and receive 15% off: (your website’s URL).

E-commerce loyalty program SMS

SMS is a great channel to inspire your customers to enroll in a loyalty program. Combine a tempting offer and an easy sign-up process to encourage them to sign up.

Here’s one of our SMS e-commerce templates that you could send to your high-value customers:

Hi (Name), Thanks for shopping with (company name). Do you want to become a VIP member and receive exclusive offers? Hit reply and type: VIP. Thanks, the (company name) team.

Upcoming sales SMS

Who doesn’t get excited by the word “sale”?

Drop your customers a text when a sale starts. Turn up the pressure by emphasizing that the sale is only for a limited time and use words like now and hurry. You’ll have customers scrambling to add your products to their cart.


Order and shipping confirmation SMS

After your customer places an order, send a text message thanking them for their order, and provide a link so they can track the status of their order.

Thanks for shopping with us, (name)! Your order has been confirmed. To check the status of your order, click here: (link)

When you ship the product, you can send a shipping confirmation via SMS to get your customers excited. This also increases the chances of a successful, stress-free delivery.

Use SMS to ask customers for feedback

Your customer’s opinions are valuable, so try and get feedback as much as you can.

Why not send your customers a personal thank you over text? While you’re there, you can ask for feedback on their last purchase.

Not all customers will bother to go to your website or an external site to write a review. However, SMS can be a great way to get some valuable feedback about your e-commerce store. Remember to make it super easy for customers to give their opinion via SMS.

Thanks for your purchase of (product name). We value your feedback and are always looking to improve. On a scale of 1-10, how was your experience with (company name)?

You can follow up with one or two more questions, but don’t bombard your customers with texts. Instead, consider sending a link to a survey they can complete online.

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Anniversary or birthday SMS

Show your customers you care about them and appreciate their business.

When you gather client data during registration or first purchase, ask for their date of birth. Then, create an SMS campaign to align with each customer’s birthday.

A highly personalized promotion like this will show your customers that your brand goes the extra mile to make them feel special.

Happy Birthday, (name)! To celebrate, we’re offering you a 20% birthday discount with code: BDAY. Valid for the whole month of July!

You can also offer a reward to celebrate other milestones such as the anniversary of their first purchase.

Upcoming holiday SMS

People receive tons of special offers and marketing materials around important shopping holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas.

The vast majority of those messages will land in their email inbox.

Why not send an SMS to stand out from your competition?

Ready for Christmas? Find the perfect present for the man in your life. Browse our limited-edition winter collection here: (insert link). Reply “XMAS” to receive a 10% discount.


SMS Competitions

A great way to engage your subscribers is through an online competition. Make sure the bar to entry is low so everyone feels like they have a chance to win.

Hi (name), take part in our amazing giveaway! Message YES for a chance to win top prizes like a deluxe pampering set. Thanks, the (company name) team.

Abandoned cart SMS template

Retargeting is a really important tactic if you want to avoid lost sales (and who doesn’t?). It’s crucial to personalize your retargeting text messages. Include a link to their cart and remind the customer if they have any unclaimed discounts.

Hi (name). You didn’t complete your order on (company name). Don’t forget to claim 10% off your first order with code: FIRST. Click here to view your cart: (link)

Get started with SMS Marketing now

And there you go – 10 SMS templates you can start using in your e-commerce store today, so what are you waiting for?

If you want to quickly and painlessly get an SMS campaign off the ground, Carts Guru has you covered. Just create an account and sync your existing customers, and we will take care of the rest.

Originally Written By Louise
On Apr, 28 2020

How Email Marketing Is Helping Brands Increase Sales Plus 4 Ideas for Content


Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series that explores the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on the world of ecommerce. Explore daily insights surrounding the coronavirus crisis or check out these additional resources to help you navigate your marketing strategy during this time.

The global coronavirus pandemic has ushered in an era of unprecedented times: social distancing is requiring people to stay home, businesses to temporarily shutter, and millions to seek unemployment relief while we all collectively work together to stop the spread of the virus. 

Retail is one of the sectors that’s been hit particularly hard. Sales dropped 8.7 percent in March 2020, according to the US Census Bureau. But it’s not all doom and gloom. 

Ecommerce sales are up 37 percent, comparatively between the widespread start of the pandemic in the US (March 15-April 20, 2020) to the beginning of the year (January 1-March 1, 2020), according to research by Klaviyo’s data science team which looked at data across 32,000 businesses that sell online. 

Why are online sales spiking? 

Reasons vary for each business, but one reason is necessity. People are staying home to stay safe, so they need to find an alternative way to get the items they want and need.     

Another reason is a human need for connection. 

“The current crisis is also accentuating emotional drivers, like a sense of connection, that are already core to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand experience…Emotional connections can come from meeting the most basic needs during a time of heightened anxiety and desperation,” said Rich Garnder, vice president for global strategic partnerships at Klaviyo, in an article he penned about why a human need for connection is driving people to shop directly from brands online. 

One easy way to brands can create a connection with customers? Email. 

To see how online businesses have been using email to connect with their customers amid the pandemic, Klaviyo’s data science team looked at a dataset of 18,000 businesses that sell online.

The results are encouraging. 

Within this dataset, both open rates and attributed revenue from email are up significantly since March 15, 2020. Open rates for March 15-April 20, 2020 are up 26 percent compared to the same time period last year. They’re also up 21 percent compared to the first part of 2020 before the pandemic became widespread in the US (January 1-March 1, 2020)

What does this mean? 

Consumers are taking the time to open more emails from brands. It makes sense, considering people have been spending more time at home and less time dealing with the normal hustle and bustle of daily life. 

The data science team saw email attributed revenue is on the rise for online businesses, as well. 

In the chart below, you’ll see that before the pandemic became widespread in the US earlier this year (Jan 1-March 1, 2020), brands were generating $8.5 million dollars per day through email marketing. When the pandemic became widespread (March 15-April 20, 2020), that number went up 68 percent—these businesses are generating $14.3 million dollars per day via email.


Upon closer examination, revenue spiked during the week of April 13-17, 2020 when the first round of stimulus checks began to hit consumers’ bank accounts. Revenue attributed to email on April 16-17th, the highest performing email days, was at $24.5 million dollars per day and was more than half of what these online businesses generated across Black Friday (Nov 29, 2019 – $49.1 million) and Cyber Monday (Dec 2, 2020 – $47.0 million). 

Since mid-March, 2020, Klaviyo has also been surveying brands daily about how the pandemic has been impacting their business, and the data science team’s analysis aligns with the results of those daily polls

Consumers may have held onto their purse strings a bit tighter when states began to issue stay-at-home orders and kept their spending focused on essentials like food and toilet paper, but they’ve since been shifting their dollars to new essentials categories like health and fitness, beauty, and home goods. 

Regardless of whether their sales are up, down, or flat, online brands say the one universal tactic that’s working to help them stay connected to their community of customers is email marketing. They’re using email to talk about how they’re responding to the coronavirus pandemic, ask their community for their help, offer promotions to their customers, promote new products, or, in some cases, to re-position what they’re selling. 

Since data shows that email marketing has been particularly effective for online brands during this time, our data science team dove deep into the data of those 18,000 online businesses to see specifically how email campaigns (one-time sends as opposed to pre-scheduled automated emails) have been performing, as well. 

Overall, 30 percent of brands that have sent a campaign since the pandemic became widespread in the US (March 15-April 20, 2020) have generated at least as much revenue as their best performing Cyber Weekend campaign last year (November 28-December 6, 2019). 

With so many exceptional campaigns, the data science team took a closer look at the best of the best—email campaigns that have generated 5-10X a brand’s typical revenue driven by email—to find successful strategies other brands can use as they adjust their marketing strategies to navigate our current reality. 

What they found? Four common content themes among these emails: sales and promotions, pre-orders and back-in-stocks, home entertainment projects, and shift toward selling face masks. 

Let’s take a closer look at how the high-performing brands are creating effective email content across these specific content categories.

1 | Sales and promotions

Among the brands that have seen the biggest increase in sales, the most popular content they’re sharing is content about sales and promotions. 

One way these brands could be effectively using content about sales and promotions: To clear out inventory and free up cash to operate and pay for overhead expenses, according to the Wall Street Journal.  

Two additional ways brands are specifically using discounts are to sell items for holidays or to link them to the current moment. 

The holiday promotions they’ve used have coincided nicely with Easter and Mother’s Day—times when consumers may like to treat family and friends to an extra special gift since they can’t be together.  

The coronavirus-related promotions have featured extra-sensitive messaging that explains why they’re offering their customers a discount at this time or how they’re specifically targeting promotions to help healthcare and other frontline workers. 

You can see many examples of how brands are effectively using these types of discounts in each of the daily insights here, though let’s take a look at a few specific examples. 


Rufflebutts is an online children’s clothing store that offered an Easter “daily-deal” and outfit inspiration to celebrate the Easter Holiday.


Pistol Lake

Pistol Lake, an online clothing store for men and women, sent this coronavirus-related promotional email to their customer community with a very clear explanation that times are difficult and why they’re offering their merchandise at a discounted price. 


If you’re interested in learning how to get started with sales and promotional planning, now is the best time to start especially with Mother’s Day right around the corner.  

Looking forward to other Spring holidays? Here are a few resources to help you effectively plan your upcoming sales and promotions. 

2 | Pre-Orders and Back-in-Stocks

Among the brands that have seen some of the highest sales recently, the second type of content they’ve been using are pre-orders and back-in-stocks notifications. 

Pre-orders essentially allow your customers to order and pay for a product you haven’t yet released. Back-in-stock notifications let your customers know when a product they’ve explicitly expressed interest in is available again so they can make a purchase.  

These high-performing brands could be using these two specific tactics both as a way to circumvent supply chain and shipping issues that have been caused by this current pandemic as well as to limit financial risk. 

Pre-orders help brands forecast the demand for a product so they can gauge how much of the product to produce, which in turn helps them limit excess inventory from sitting on the books and free up cash. They also help brands collect money from customers upfront, which can help them immediately pay to produce the product and cover other essential business needs they may need cash to cover. 

With pre-orders, brands have been creating product detail pages on their websites with clear, detailed information about the product, and when customers can expect it will be shipped to them.

With back-in-stock notifications, brands are using popup forms on their website, on which customers can check a box and add their email address if they want to be notified when the product becomes available again. When customers sign up for their waitlist, the brand has been able to successfully grow their overall email list, as well. 

Here are two examples of brands that have set up a pre-order or back-in-stock notification.


Revolve, a women’s online clothing retailer, offered a sweatshirt from Frankies Bikinis that was available for pre-order. The product description features estimated delivery dates and clearly sets realistic consumer expectations. 


Who Gives A Crap

Who Gives A Crap, a brand that sells toilet paper online, sold out and used a popup form to collect email addresses for their waitlist so they can let customers know when their products are available again.  Their popup form also serves as a great way to communicate with new customers that they can’t be fulfilling new orders at the moment. 


Learn more about how Who Gives A Crap has used this strategy and explore this guide to learn how to set up back-in-stock notifications on your site.  

3 | Home entertainment projects

Another type of content that brands with increasing sales are using is content that centers around self-entertainment and staying active and engaged with projects while at home.  

Brands may be using this type of content since states have issued stay-at-home orders, which leave people with more free time on their hands while at home. 

“One game maker has seen U.S. puzzle sales soar 370 percent year-over-year in the past two weeks,” reported Hannah Miller for CNBC.  

In their analysis, this is a trend the data science team observed, as well. 

Brands that sell products online in the toys and hobbies category have seen sales increase substantially since March 15, 2020.


The same is true for brands that sell online in the health and beauty category.


The same is true for brands that sell sporting goods online.


Brands have been showcasing home entertainment content in many ways, but two of the most popular have been to create virtual classes or downloadable guides that complement their products. 

Several health and fitness brands, for example, are offering free online workout classes that showcase one of their key products viewers would need to do the class, while some children’s toys companies are offering downloadable activity booklets to help adults entertain and teach their kids at home. 

Here are two examples of brands that are using home entertainment as a key component of their content strategy. 


Peloton, a health and fitness brand, is offering a 90-day free trial of their on-demand workouts through their app. Usually, this offer is only good for 30 days. While the running and cycling classes complement their treadmill and spin bikes, you don’t need to purchase their equipment to get a workout in. They offer other classes like stretch, HIIT, yoga, cardio dance, and much more.



KiwiCo., an online toys and activity destination for kids, is offering a plethora of activities for kids to do at home, including downloadable guides that complement their subscription box crates. These are a fun and easy way for parents to engage their children in learning activities at home.


Want to offer your customers home entertainment options that match up with your products? Explore this guide to see how you can include lists of recommended products in your email outreach. 

4 | Face masks

Finally, brands with increasing sales have been featuring content about how they’re either making, selling, or donating face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended we all wear face masks when in public, brands have been selling them to support the skyrocketing need. They may also be selling them as an alternative way to make money if their current products aren’t ones people are buying at the moment.  

Two apparel and accessories brands who have pivoted their operations to begin manufacturing and selling face masks shared their stories with us. 

They’ve both been particularly careful in how they communicate what they’re selling to their customers. They don’t refer to the masks as “medical masks,” but as “face masks” because they aren’t produced according to specific guidelines that meet the needs of frontline medical workers. 

Here’s an example of Pistol Lake’s face mask and the messaging they’ve included on their product page:


While pivoting your business to begin producing and selling face masks isn’t something everyone can easily do, there are several guides on how to produce the masks, including what types of fabrics and templates to use. Here’s a guide that Pistol Lake found helpful.

Final thoughts

In a time when human connection is more of a need than ever, relationships are incredibly important. Email is a great tool that brands can use to build deeper relationships with customers while keeping them informed and staying connected. 

Many brands are relying on email to talk about how they’re responding to coronavirus, ask their community for their help, promote new products, offer discounts, and show new products that they’re selling to help meet the needs of the moment. 

Among the brands that are seeing unprecedented sales numbers in recent weeks, the most common content they’re sharing tends to feature sales and promotions, pre-orders and back-in-stocks notification, home entertainment projects, and communications about how they’re now selling face masks. 

Originally posted by Christina Dedrick and Marissa McGovern

47 Insanely Practical Work From Home Tips from Our 100% Remote Team

The following is a great post from ALEX TURNBULL
Alex is the CEO & Founder of Groove. He loves to help other entrepreneurs build startups by sharing his own experiences from the trenches. Here is a link to the orig
inal article:

Last week, my wife and I decided we needed to stock up and hunker down.

We’re washing our hands. We’re social distancing. We’re a bit anxious.

But…we’re extremely fortunate.

We haven’t lost our jobs. The business hasn’t gone under and we have a roof over our heads.

I know it’s crazy right now.

The health crisis is real. There are thousands of people losing their jobs and businesses, with thousands more to come.

With kids home from school, a perplexing economy, and a world in crisis, it’s become impossible to function as normal, but I’m hopeful.

If you’re fortunate enough where business is doing okay, it’s time to adapt to change and plan for the future.

One of those changes, whether you like it or not, is remote.

Truthfully, I didn’t even want to drop this post because I felt weird about the timing, but Nathan encouraged me. ?

If you don’t know the Groove story, we’ve been working 100% remotely for the last seven years and know how to manage this lifestyle.

We’ve learned a lot—and so will you.

Our most practical work-from-home tips

This week, I asked the team to share their best strategies for staying productive while working from home.

Below, you’ll find 47 of the most practical work-from-home tips we could come up with—everything from the kind of chair you use to what you should do on your lunch break.

My best work-from-home tips as a founder and CEO

Let me start with a few tips for those of you leading organizations or teams.

Catching a wave

1. Get outside

Weather permitting, I try to get outside for at least a few minutes every day.

I love to surf and I live close to the coast. If it’s warm enough, I try to get down to the water as often as I can.

Even if I can’t surf, a quick walk through our neighborhood does wonders for my productivity when I get back to my computer.

2. Take 20 (for meditation)

Meditation doesn’t need to be a religious thing, and there are tons of great resources out there to help you get started.

I like to spend about 20 minutes a day meditating—usually first thing in the morning. It puts me in the right mental place to start my work with a clear head.

If you’re brand new to meditation, check out the Headspace app, which will introduce you to the practice in just a few minutes a day.

You can also find hundreds of guided meditations for free out on YouTube.

3. Trust the process

As a founder and CEO, my job is to set a direction and to design processes that guide the work of my team.

But even with my commitment to processes, it’s easy as a founder to get impatient—to jump in and try to “help” the team mid-project and unknowingly mess everything up.

No project produces results overnight. Set the direction, design your processes—then get out the way and let your people do what you hired them to do.

4. Trust your people

Yesterday I heard about a company that obviously didn’t trust its employees to stay productive while working from home.

They had managers calling their direct reports every hour—asking what they were working on, whether they were being productive or not.

I’m sorry. But that’s just insane.

Badgering your people is a recipe for resentful, low-performing employees.

All our teams have daily “standups” (we do them through Zoom). The meetings rarely go more than five minutes.

Each team member answers three simple questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What are you going to do today?
  3. Is there anything standing in your way?

Everyone is accountable to the team, not just to me or to their boss.

And, if something is standing in someone’s way, we (as leaders) can take action to remove the impediment immediately—so our people can do their work.

Trust your people.

They’ll be far more likely to do amazing work for you—remote or not.

5. Plan a trip (when you can)

Obviously no one’s traveling right now.

But whenever the world gets back to normal, getting away from my usual surroundings for a few days always recharges me—even if I’m still working.

During normal times, my family and I often travel up to Maine for a change of scenery and to get out of our normal routines.

Even just planning a trip puts some energy in my tank since it gives me something to look forward to.

A peek at my home workstation

Since everyone always asks…

This is my workstation. As with most things in my life, I prefer to keep it simple and uncluttered.

My home workspace

The team’s best work-from-home tips

I wanted to give you more than just my perspective on working from home.

Here (in their words) is what some of the team had to say about how staying productive while working remotely, along with some pictures of their home setups…

Nick McCreath: Co-Founder and Head of Product

Nick McCreath

Currently working from: An isolated farm somewhere in South Africa (no joke, it’s a little village called Bathurst)

1. Don’t expect immediate answers

When you work in an office, it’s easy to see when someone is at their desk, or if they’re tucked away in a meeting room having a conversation with someone else.

You don’t have that luxury in a remote environment. 

You usually have no clue what your teammates are up to even if they’re actively working at any given time. 

Don’t expect answers immediately if you send someone a note. Even if it looks like they’re active on Slack, they might just be busy with other things at the moment.

They’ll get back to you when they’re ready.

2. Get a second screen

I really like having a second screen for my home office. That way I can have Slack or my inbox available without cluttering my desktop or having to navigate between apps, which is a huge time waster.

No extra screen, no problem. Check out Duet or Sidecar, which can turn your iPad into a second monitor.

Nick’s workspace

3. Use lots of Slack emojis

Make liberal use of emojis in Slack or your team chat application.

When people can’t see you physically, it’s tough to know if you got the message, if you’re at your desk, busy, etc… So a little emoji with a status that you’re heads down on a task or out for lunch can go a long way.

It’s also completely okay to snooze notifications for a while so you can focus.

Nick really is on a farm

4. Keep your furry friend close by

Frustrating meeting? Give your pet a belly rub and watch that stress vanish.

5. Be aware of your team’s schedule

When working with teams across multiple time zones, keep tabs on when people’s days start and end so you can make sure you ask for things during times that are convenient for them, not just you.

6. Keep your workspace clean

Do your best to keep your workspace tidy.

I have a routine of tidying up first thing in the morning (not the evening before) which puts my mind in the right place for the day and keeps me as organized as possible.

Lisa Foster, Head of Customer Success

Lisa Foster

Currently working from: Las Vegas, Nevada, where even the casinos are closing right now

1. Stick to your normal schedule

Stick to a schedule. Have a set shift. Start working at a set time, take a lunch break like normal, wrap up your day just like you were in an office. It’s not a free-for-all; it’s just a location change.

2. Use status updates in Slack

I use status updates and emojis in Slack to keep my whereabouts known.

When I’m on with a customer, in a meeting, or away for lunch, I set my status so people know what I’m doing and whether I’m available or away from my keyword.

3. Have an office, but move around

You need a dedicated space to work, but don’t be afraid to move around too.

Sit outside, in the kitchen, at a coffee shop (whenever that becomes “safe” to do again). See where you like to work and are most productive, then do more of that.

Lisa’s workspace

4. Make a technology backup plan

Have a back up plan for staying connected.

Know what you’ll do if you have an internet outage or your computer crashes to get yourself back online asap. Don’t wait until it happens; have a plan in advance for getting back up and running quickly.

Marcin Bunsch, Head of Engineering

Marcin Bunsch

Currently working from: Kraków, Poland

1. Establish rituals

Have a ritual for start and finish of work. It’s very easy to blur the lines, so you need something that marks the start of work, like getting dressed or making a pot of coffee.

More importantly, make sure you have an end-of-day ritual so you can switch off thinking about work and start resting.

2. Change clothes when you’re done with work

Get dressed for work, but then change clothes when you’re done. This helps me maintain work-life balance—even when the commute is 3 steps long.

Antonio Marcello, Marketing

Antonio Marcello

Currently working from: Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

1. Add 10 minute breaks to your schedule

Try to establish a routine, including one or two 10 minute breaks throughout your day.

2. Eat meals away from your desk

Don’t work through your meals. Stand up and go somewhere else in your house to eat—preferably away from your desk.

3. Reach out if you’re feeling isolated

Take advantage of the company’s tools to organize and communicate your work better (Trello, Confluence, Drive, Slack, etc.). And if you’re feeling alone or isolated, let someone know!

Your work friends are just one message away! ?

Cristian Todorovic, Design

Cristian Todorovic

Currently working from: Berlin, Germany

1. Put your phone in the other room

Make sure there are no distractions around your working space. I leave my phone in the other room and only check it during lunch time.

2. Have some basic fitness equipment

Every other day, I grab my dumbbells and fire up a 15–20min session. You’d be surprised how many exercises you can do just with a simple set of dumbbells.

3. Raise your laptop

Stand up and put your laptop on any higher surface, I use a regular komoda from Ikea as my improvised standing desk and it’s great.

4. Get away from the screen

Your productivity is a finite resource and it will reach a peak sometime during the day, so the best way for me to recharge is to move away from the screen.

Go walk your dog, grab a snack behind your house, go for a 15-20min walk.

You’ll be surprised how much these simple things will help you reset and get extra hours of productivity in your day.

Ena Sadikovic, Design

Ena Sadikovic

Currently working from: Setúbal, Portugal

1. Invest in good headphones

Get a pair of good headphones for minimizing distractions from outside. I find this super important for creative work as it helps to stay in the flow.

2. Schedule your work

I sit down in the morning and plan out how much time I’ll need for each task I have coming up. It helps me stay productive and it keeps me from overcommitting.

Erika Trujillo, Customer Success

Erika Trujillo

Currently working from: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

1. Use small packages for snacks

Have snack sized packages of items, and not large bags.

Keep a happy appetite but avoid the binges by preparing smaller sized food items and fruits ahead of time.

1. Don’t sit all day

Regular standing breaks and stretches help keep me loose and focused when I may get tunnel vision while working from home.

I use my Apple Watch to remind me to move every now and then. You can also use a mobile app on your phone. I used Stand Up! before I got my watch.

Erika’s workspace

Glenn Roberts, Engineering

Glenn Roberts

Currently working from: Australia

1. Noise-cancelling headphones

Noise. Cancelling. Headphones. Now.

2. A high-quality headset and microphone

Get a contact-center-quality headset—one that can filter background noise while you’re speaking on a call. I recommend Jabra office headsets.

3. Use ergonomics to your benefit

Get your chair and screen positioned comfortably. Use adjustable swinging arm mounts for external monitors. For laptops, try a Roost laptop stand.

Glenn’s workspace

4. Batch you work

Write in chat rooms, write emails, share screenshots, record screencasts.

On the receiving side, process your communication channels in batches, when you are ready. Turn off unimportant notifications that interrupt you.

Jared Scheel, Engineering

Jared Scheel

Currently working from: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

1. Set boundaries with family and friends

Set clear boundaries and expectations with family and friends. Just because you work at home does not mean you are freely available during all hours of the day.

2. Create a separate, focused space for work

Your kitchen table might do in a pinch, but separating environments will help you focus during work hours and disengage during home hours.

Jared’s workspace

3. Turn your camera on during meetings

Let people see you on video calls. Seeing other people’s faces builds empathy and trust, encourages (some) level of body language expression, and prevents feelings of isolation.

One of our team Zoom calls

Matt Beedle, Engineering

Matt Beedle

Currently working from: Thailand

1. Eliminate distractions

I use Focus, which blocks websites and apps where I’m likely to get sidetracked.

I have it hooked up to my Vitamin-R so when I start a pomodoro, it cuts off Messenger, Airmail, and a load of other stuff.

When my pomodoro finishes, everything is automatically re-enabled

2. Find your most productive hours

Work in your most productive hours.

Personally I like to go to bed super early and work early in the morning.

Matthew Spence, Engineering

Matthew Spence

Currently working from: Canterbury, Kent, U.K.

2. Pajamas aren’t for everyone

If you are struggling to get in the right mindset, maybe working in your pajamas isn’t the right option for you. Try getting dressed in whatever you would wear to an office.

1. Create an isolated space

Find an isolated spot where you can work without being interrupted.

If you know there will be people around, noise cancelling headphones can go a long way to creating an isolated “space.”

Spence’s workspace

Melissa Rosen, Marketing & Customer Success

Melissa Rosen

Currently working from: San Diego, California, U.S.A.

1. Put extra effort into planning

Put more time into prep work so you can work asynchronously. We use sprints here and I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Since you won’t be able to grab your coworkers anytime throughout the office, have a plan for deciding what work will get done, who is responsible for what task, and what your deadlines are.

Hold meetings to get any resources or ask any questions before starting work. You’ll be able to work on your own for hours or days at a time without needing to reach out to other team members constantly for more info.

You’ll be way more productive.

2. Ignore any advice that doesn’t work for you

Feel free to ignore any and all suggestions that don’t work for you.

I personally love working from my bed or couch, and I’m definitely not getting out of my pajamas during this pandemic.

Melissa’s favorite workspace

Don’t force it if something isn’t working for you. Do what feels natural and what helps you get things done.

Nathan Collier, Marketing

Nathan Collier

Currently working from: Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.

1. Get a virtual accountability partner

I use a service called FocusMate, which is a bit like virtual coworking.

You schedule a time to do a one-hour video call where you’re committing to work on one major task during that time.

The service matches you with someone else who wants to be productive in that hour.

When the time comes, I log in and we do a video conference call, but we don’t talk. We just work with the camera on and our microphones muted.

I know it sounds weird, but it’s my personal secret weapon for getting a ton of stuff done in a small amount of time. I often do 4–6 sessions a day.

2. Lift your laptop to eye level

I do everything on my MacBook Air. After about a year working remotely, I noticed it was hurting my neck to stare down at a screen all day.

So I bought an adjustable laptop stand that raises the screen to eye level. It’s been a big help for my posture and my neck feels a lot better.

The stand also folds up really easily, making it portable, which has been great since I’ve been stuck at home lately. I normally work from a coworking space.

Nathan’s kitchen table setup

3. Don’t rely on bluetooth headphones for calls

I have a couple of sets of bluetooth headphones that I love and use all the time. But they have a habit of dropping when I’m on Zoom meetings.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to join a meeting and not being able to hear the audio. Or to hear the audio and have people not be able to hear me.

For that reason, I usually use my old corded EarPods that came with my iPhone 6 for calls and meetings. At the very least I always have them nearby.

Tair Assimov, Engineering

Tair Assimov

Currently working from: Barcelona, Spain

1. Work from cafes or coworking spaces (when it’s safe to do so again)

To escape cabin fever, work once or twice a week from cafes, or better, from coworking spaces. This should give you a motivation boost and appreciation of working from home.

But only after COVID. ?

2. Don’t skip your workout

Exercise is even more important when working from home because it’s easy to just stay inside all day.

Working remotely gives you immense flexibility with your schedule, so take advantage by working out during times that other people find difficult.

For instance, can you go to the gym, go swimming, go jogging, or take a bike ride before noon while others are at the office?

Tayo Agagu, Engineering

Tayo Agagu

Currently working from: Cape Town, South Africa

1. Get used to asynchronous communication

Be comfortable with asynchronous communication.

Messages you send to teammates might not get an immediate response, but that’s okay.

Check out this post for a detailed description of how asynchronous communication can boost productivity: Asynchronous Communication: The Real Reason Remote Workers Are More Productive.

That’s us. What about you?

Of all the responses we got from our team, I think I liked the one from Melissa the best:

Feel free to ignore any and all suggestions that don’t work for you. What works for me may not work for you.

She’s right. Try things and see what works best for you. Keep what works. Ignore what doesn’t.

But always be open to getting better.

Product Promotion in Times of Epidemic

UPDATE, March 16, 2020: Things are moving very quickly throughout the industry and the economy at large. As of press time, several retail chains have suspended in-store sampling, and it is foreseeable that more will follow suit. This has obviously been very traumatic to the entire promotional industry, and many important details remain to be seen. In the days and weeks to come, we will be working with retailers to return to allowing demos in stores as soon as it is safe to do so. We remain hopeful that even before the point where actual sampling is has fully returned, they may allow non-sampling demos and promotions to be performed. To this end, many of our suggestions for what can be done in-store will still be valid; additionally, we are recommending that brands take this down-time as an opportunity to more thoroughly train their ambassadors so that they are more effective at consumer education once the doors re-open. We will, of course, keep you fully apprised of any new developments as they occur.

In this post, we’re diving a bit deeper into that idea to identify specific opportunities where healthy/natural/organic brands can gain share in a turbulent market. These opportunities are rooted in the fact that consumers are actively looking for specific information and products that will help them be healthier and combat the COVID-19 threat. 

With that in mind, and based on our experience, here are some product brand categories that can and should be capitalizing on the opportunity to be front and center, educating and promoting to shoppers amid all the fear and panic.

  1. Natural Soaps

This one is easy. Truly natural soaps (such as the amazing products from Dr. Bronners) are WAY better than standard consumer soaps, or even chemical-based antibacterial soaps. For people who are already keenly interested in making sure they have cleaned their hands (etc.) well, all you need to do is tell them that this product is better, and you’ll have an attentive audience.

The key here – as with most Natural/Organic/Sustainable/Healthy (or NOSH) products – is that you need to be able to tell your value story to the shopper who doesn’t already know it. For most brands, the most effective way to do that is person-to-person, with a trained brand ambassador. With a bit of management (and help from Promomash, of course) you can make sure that the extra expense of a demo will be more than compensated by the extra sales and acquisition of new customers.

  1. Supplements: 

This is another natural fit for the times. There are 2 specific messages that should play well here:

  1. Immune-system support & boost products
  2. General health supplements 

Demos are also a fantastic option for supplements, due to the importance of educating the consumer on how your products help to improve health and immune response, and due to the fact that it’s easier to get a substantial return on investment with the high per-unit prices of the best supplements.

  1. Healthy/organic foods:

Here, more traditional promotional tactics such as displays and discounts can help to increase the prominence of your brand at a more reasonable price. Well-designed coupon/flyers can help to convey your message. These tactics can be deceptively expensive though, and should be evaluated also on the basis of return on that investment; they will tend to require a high base volume in order to be net worthwhile.

  1. Natural sleep aids:

Here’s an opportunity that might not be so obvious – but when you think about it, it’s a potential big double-winner. People are stressed out about everything right now… and they probably need sleep. Help! And on top of that, it’s more important than ever that they get adequate sleep, because for many people that’s the one thing they can do to improve their overall health and immune strength.

If you have a product(s) that encourage a good night’s rest, it’s just a matter of gently reminding people of the importance of sleep, and they’ll be totally on board… probably for the long term.

These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing and to stimulate your marketing boldness. You know your products better than we do, and you know why you developed them for the market. The important thing now is to be bold, spread your message, and turn all the uncertainty into new loyal consumers.

If you would like to discuss ideas for how Promomash can help you get out there promoting fast and furiously during this time, feel free to reach out to our team…we have the expertise and resources to help you make the most out of your promotion dollars.

Good luck!

Originally posted by:
Chris Ambarian is the Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Promomash

How To Uncover Your Competitor’s Ads Without Paying A Dime And Create Profitable Ads In the Process

Are you struggling to come up with ideas for your ads but don’t know where to start?

Are you contemplating on hiring a creative ad agency but don’t have the money to invest?

The best way to create an ad – especially if you’re new – is to model your ads from your competitors.

But make sure you don’t copy it to the T – that’s an absolute big no no.

The goal is to see what type of ads your competition is running and create a similar variation of what they made.

This will save you a lot of money because this process doesn’t require a high budget and often times you can create a similar ad at a lower cost.

One thing I’ve learned in marketing is that not all “expensive” or professional-looking images/videos will translate into sales.

There will be times where the ad that you made for free will convert a lot higher than the ad that costed you $100s of dollars to produce.

Now you’re wondering what’s a cost-effective way to spy on your competitors?

There are tools out there that charge a couple of benjamins and some even charge less than that.

But the best tool I found that’s very useful and has also helped us create profitable ads is………

Drumroll please…..

Facebook Ad library!

Yep, you read right!


This tool will allow you to see what ads your competitors are running and best of all you don’t need to pay to use it!

What a time to be alive!

Benefits of using this tool:


Using Facebook Ad Library, you’ll be able to see what’s currently working in the space and this gives you the luxury of not having to start from scratch.

You also get to see what other products your competitors are promoting and what’s trending in the market.

If they’re running a video ad, then pay attention to how long it is (duration), how many models or influencers they’re using, video effects, and how they’re presenting their product as the solution. Of course, there’s a lot of other things you can look into but these are just the basics to help you understand what goes into an ad.

The longer an ad is running is usually a good sign that it’s profitable. It cost money to run ads on Facebook, so it’s a no brainer that it’s producing results. Keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to fortune 500 companies, they have deeper pockets which allows them to focus more on brand awareness than looking to acquire new customers.

Other tips:

Tip #1: Saving videos from Facebook Ad Library:

Sometimes when you see a really good ad and want to save it for future use or show it to your creative team, then having a back-up copy can be very beneficial. It’s very easy to do this and all you need to do is right click on the video and click on “save video as”.

Tip #2: You can use to find out how much traffic is going to your competitor’s site every month.

Tip #3: You can also take a look at your competitors in Amazon and browse through their TOP customer reviews. Our best ads come from customer testimonials and using this type of ad has allowed us to scale one of our supplement brands to 7 figures.

Social proof is essential to any business and sometimes you can use it to make super profitable ads on Facebook. 🙂

Have fun spying on your competitors!

What Is E-commerce Customer Service? 5 Best Practices for ‘Small’ to Beat ‘Big’

Going up against behemoths like Amazon and Walmart can leave you feeling outclassed, outgunned, and out-funded. But, good news. E-commerce customer service is one of the last bastions where small absolutely crushes big.

Competition is fierce in the e-commerce world. You don’t need me to tell you that.

In the US, 10 companies now control 60.3% of all online retail sales. Somewhere between half and two-thirds of product searches begin on Amazon. And by 2021, fully 70.1% of all digital shoppers are expected to join the Amazon Prime parade.

With trillions in their war chests, the big names have conditioned customers to expect one- to two-day turnarounds, unlimited inventory, and rock-bottom prices.

But, expectations are meant to be exceeded. Especially when it comes to e-commerce customer service.

Are the behemoths really that good at catering to the customer? Do they provide personal support at scale? Are they innovating with the customer in mind?

Simply put: No. In fact, according to this year’s American Customer Satisfaction Index, “There is no improvement in the online shopping experience compared to a year ago—and most aspects have gotten worse.”

Every major online retailer tracked year-over-year declined. And take one guess which category ranks second to last. Yep, “helpfulness of customer support.”

helpfulness of customer support is the second-worst customer experience among top internet retailer
Data, sources, and best practices are available within the E-commerce Customer Service Guide

The truth is going up against the big names as a “small” name can be a huge advantage.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to creatively offload customer support requests, without offloading your customers or support itself. You’ll learn how to automate and integrate support using your current resources.

And we’ll show you how using the right tools — combined with five best practices — can make your business more personal, not less. While still getting more done.

What is e-commerce customer service?

E-commerce customer service provides the framework for supporting shoppers via e-commerce platforms and throughout their life cycles. Support for online businesses must account for the unique challenges involved with serving digital consumers:

  • High volumes of service and support requests
  • Common questions related to products, fulfillment, and returns
  • As well as the need to monitor multiple channels with fast response times

Amidst those concerns, customer experience reigns supreme. Your service team is tasked (quite literally) with being the voice of your brand—the one human touchpoint in an otherwise transaction and digital world.

For early stage companies, the fear of disjointed voices may not be as pressing. Likely because the people talking to customers are the same people who started the business. And that’s what customers love about small businesses.

But you will outgrow—or burnout from—the demanding job of customer support.

Your brand’s central voice will dissipate away from the core stakeholders. And this is where the big e-commerce stores fail. They accept this as an inevitability and focus on process rather than emotion. Because it’s easier to scale.

It’s possible to do both. Moreover, it’s necessary.

Download all 5 best practices (+2 bonus tips!) to learn the ropes of e-commerce customer service

5 e-commerce customer service best practices

“Best practices” tend to veer into hypotheticals. Lots of general advice that leaves you thinking, “Isn’t this common sense?”

Instead, we’ve paired it down to five tangible action items, each including examples and next steps, so you’ll know exactly how to move forward.

1. Pick an inbox that integrates with your e-commerce platform

Choose the best customer support software for your online store to create a solid foundation for customer service. Start by evaluating the tool agents use the most: The inbox.

shared inbox allows your team to keep up with customer requests and stay organized.

image of an ecommerce customer service example using a shared inbox
Groove’s shared inbox

For e-commerce specifically, make sure your inbox offers an integration with your store’s platform to streamline your workflow. Tracking and collecting all the interactions a customer has with your brand in one place will pay dividends.

image of an ecommerce integration within a shared inbox
Groove’s Shopify integration provides a quick view of relevant customer information

An integration with your e-commerce platform allows support reps to see a total customer breakdown: Recent purchases, previous chats or calls, links to social media accounts, etc.

Moreover, your software should allow you to respond not just within the inbox, but through whatever service channel your customer initiated contact. Agents can respond quicker, and with more context, to every inquiry.

Other helpful help-desk features include:

  • Personalized folders for agents or teams
  • Priority folders sorted by severity of the request
  • Channel-based folders to separate submission sources
  • Folders for starred conversations you want to pay attention to
  • Time-based folders so nothing, and nobody, falls through the cracks

Even though I’m showing off Groove in this article—which is understandable, right?—I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. Naturally, we think Groove is the best. ?

But there’s always a chance it won’t be the right fit for your company.

For a tool-by-tool comparison, check out A Better Lemonade Stand’s 7 Customer Service Helpdesks for Ecommerce Stores: How Do They Compare?

2. Make self-service (knowledge base) your e-commerce frontline

knowledge base empowers prospective customers to make informed purchases by providing detailed answers to common questions. After they make a purchase, self-service reduces support volume and increases customer satisfaction.

Why? Because online shoppers genuinely want to help themselves…

90% of shoppers use self-service to find answers
Data from 80 Customer Service Statistics: 8 Lessons to Fuel Growth in 2019 and Beyond

To do this, the first step is ensuring you have a knowledge base. If you don’t, we put together a practical guide on how to create one. Then, keep your help center well organized—with clear sections and tutorials—so customers can easily find what they’re looking for.

image of an ecommerce customer service example using a knowledge base
Parabo Press uses Groove’s knowledge base to answer common questions

Building a solid knowledge base saves both your customers’ and your customer service team’s time.

Make sure that all relevant information (faqs, deliveries, return policy, etc.) is easy to find through Google too. Eliminate yet another step in providing answers to your customers’ questions.

image of an ecommerce customer service example using a knowledge base and google search results
When optimized correctly, Google search results display knowledge base articles for frequently asked e-commerce customer service questions

3. Measure and optimize what matters through smart reporting

From a business-wide perspective, there’s plenty to measure in e-commerce.

In fact, I’ve written extensively about both SaaS and e-commerce customer experience metrics: A guide that (to be honest) almost murdered me during the creation process!

The good news is—if I can master e-commerce customer analytics—anyone can. There you’ll find 10 metrics and step-by-step instructions for each…

Download the Customer Experience Analytics PDF

The even better news here is we can boil all that down to a handful of customer-related key-performance indicators (KPIs) within your helpdesk.

For e-commerce, you’ll want to track metrics like customer happiness, total conversations per day, and tag insights.

image of an ecommerce customer service example using a reporting dashboard
Groove’s Reporting dashboard optimized for e-commerce

Aim to reduce total conversations with a comprehensive knowledge base and website. See if you can improve customer happiness by personalizing responses or reducing response time. And encourage your team to tag trending topics as they see them, so you can alter the product or create a new knowledge base article.

Lastly, combine and monitor bottom-line metrics—like retention, repeat orders, and onsite reviews and rating—alongside your service-specific reporting.

4. Automate everything you can, without losing the personal touch

Automation is the secret sauce of good customer support. Done right, it allows your team to engage on a more personal level with more of your customers.

How? Most likely, you already automate a host of transaction messages: Order confirmations, receipts, and shipping notifications.

What you might not be automating are all the one-off or recurring conversations your customers send when they hit a snag. Common, low-value tasks—like “Where’s my order?” or “How do I return this?”—should likewise be automated so that your support reps can focus on more challenging cases.

But don’t overlook the obvious: Letting customers know you got their request and that you’re on it. During a recent study of ~1,000 small, medium, and large companies across the globe:

62% did not respond to customer service emails

90% did not acknowledge an email had been received

97% did not follow up with their customers are the first email
Source: SuperOffice Customer Service Benchmark Report

The easiest way to avoid those pitfalls is to set-up a personalized auto-reply that, instead of reading like bot-inspired gobbledygook…

bad example of ecommerce customer service

Reads like one human talking to another, while still being honest that it’s an “automatic reply”…

good example of ecommerce customer service
Groove’s auto-replies allow you to automate repetitive tasks

You can even set up automations to target specific customers with specific needs.

example of using auto-replies for better ecommerce customer service
Set up Rules in Groove to route, tag, or auto-respond to certain conversations

From that auto-reply foundation, you should also leverage what we at Groove call canned replies. Saved templates for common conversations you can add, edit, and send with just a few clicks:

Try out canned replies for yourself by signing up for a 15-day trial of Groove

Keep these replies creative, thoughtful, and in your brand’s voice. Just because it’s automated doesn’t mean it needs to sound like a robot.

5. Meet your e-commerce customers on the channels they prefer

Today’s customers have certain assumptions when it comes to communication. Online shoppers expect to be able to connect with their favorite brands over social media, email, real-time messaging, offline support channels, and phone calls.

But keeping up with a ton of different channels can be a huge challenge and hurt your team’s response time.

Unless you know how to connect it all through your helpdesk…

For example, here’s how we integrate Twitter within the Groove inbox for our own customer service:

Twitter mentions funnel through the Groove Inbox

Rather than force an agent to stop what they’re doing and check social media every day (or hour), funnel all your communications through the inbox with integrations.

That same simple process also applies to Facebook:

Facebook mentions funnel through the Groove Inbox

As for live chat and phone support? Absolutely. Both of those sources should likewise be integrated into your centralized help desk software—along with any other communication channels you know your customers care about and use:

communication channels: email, ticketing, phone, SMS, social media, live chat

No missed messages. And no wasted time moving between platforms.

When you proactively listen to your customers’ conversations, whether they happen within your own inbox or through offline channels, you can better serve their needs.

Two bonus e-commerce best practices

6. Outsource e-commerce customer service cautiously

Support is usually the first (and often the only) line of communication customers have with your brand. Offloading it to another company is a big risk.

However, that doesn’t mean outsourcing support is a nonstarter. In some cases (during a holiday boom or when you’re experiencing a surge in sales), it may be the only way to quickly scale your support.

“When businesses grow past $10M-$20M in revenue—larger than five customer service representatives—leaders often find it challenging to maintain quality and keep costs within budget.

Vincent Phamvan

Vincent PhamvanCMO and Head of Growth at Simplr

“By $50M in revenue, scaling the same level of customer experience in-house as when they were a smaller company is very challenging.

“Here’s how Gavin Storey from Tipsy Elves described scaling internally as at a recent virtual summit for the CXLife community:

It was well-intended, but it turns into the blind leading the blind. You have a new, temporary supervisory team leading a new, temporary staffing team and all you’re doing is managing. You’re putting out fires. You’re being reactionary. You can’t be responsive. 

“This is where it may start to make sense to look at a third-party partner (often called a call center or business process outsourcer BPO). Outsourcing customer service can provide a brand with resources to handle much higher volumes with consistent execution by leveraging their playbook. This also can save a company between 20-50% in customer service costs while also expanding hours of operations to cover more hours and days.”

What were the outsourcing results for Gavin?

Our CSAT rating is higher than it has ever been historically. It’s consistently maintaining that pace and we would never have been able to do that, taking it on our own.

If you’re considering this, have your own team test and finalize your processes first. Then, clearly lay out your standards to the third party. Directives and priorities should still come from you.

For business below ~$10 million in annual sales, the right move is to hire, train, adopt software, and improve processes for your own customer service team. Only into eight figures should you begin looking for a trusted partner who you can thoroughly vet by…

  • Visiting their facilities
  • Test driving the experience without their knowledge
  • And interviewing existing clients with similar needs and customers

7. Take every opportunity to ‘wow’ customers, cause the big names don’t

With customers quickly coming and going, relationships in e-commerce tend to be fleeting. If you can provide an absolutely spectacular customer experience though, you maximize the chance of them remaining loyal.

But what exactly does it take to delight a potential customer?

Many companies assume it’s speed. When you prioritize response time above all else though, other factors fall to the wayside.

And the truth is, customers care just as much about the friendliness of the rep as getting an accurate resolution to their problem.

most important aspects of customer experience include both speed and friendliness

Often, these expectations require taking extra time to fully understand the problem and respond with empathy. Give your team the time and creative space to wow customers whenever they see an opportunity.

Excellent customer service is the growth engine for e-commerce brands

Without a doubt, great customer service offers a competitive advantage for your e-commerce business in a crowded marketplace. Everyone acknowledges this, but few understand how to properly implement it.

Start with the right tools to set up a strong foundation. Then, create systems to allow your support team to scale their resources.

The most important of those resources being your brand’s unique voice and ability to form personal connections.

Originally posted by MELISSA ROSEN @ Groove


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