Words that Sell

Words are powerful.

Certain words grab the attention of consumers and, when not over-used, can persuade us to stop browsing and click. In the research we did on various marketing and sales websites the words that are recommended most frequently are:

  • You
  • Free
  • New
  • Because
  • Instantly

There are some good tips and a detailed exploration about the above list of five words in this Words That Work post.

People who are brought to your eCommerce site by a promotional email or post on social media using the word “free” are liable to stay and browse other products. What could be better than “free”? According to a MailChimp study, the word “freebie” in the subject line of promotional emails had more opens than “free”; know your audience.

Words that imply time sensitivity get the most opens, says MailChimp.

  • Urgent
  • Breaking
  • Important
  • Alert

And people tend to open “announcements” and “invitations” but don’t pay attention to “reminder” emails.

Have you noticed how many subject lines contain numbered lists? People respond highly when information is presented in list form. It gives readers a feeling of comfort to know where they are  in completing the list. The brain can process it efficiently and remember the information better when it’s in list form. I’ve read that we are drawn to lists intuitively, especially when the number isn’t spelled out but is written as a numeral – Top 20 Reasons to Stay Inside, 5 Back-to-School Lunchbox Meals, Top 10 Tips for Getting Stronger.

Back to that MailChimp study, guess what words strongly attract people?

“Thank you.”

About Time for Bots

You’ve probably talked with a chatbot. Maybe without even knowing it.

Bot is short for robot. And a chatbot is a computer program that runs without user control. The chatbot uses rules and sometimes artificial intelligence and runs in a major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Kik, Slack, Viber, Snapchat, etc.). You ask it questions and interact with it like you would with a real person. Soon chatbots will sound so much like a real person we won’t be able to tell them apart from machines.

For example, let’s say you want to buy gloves from Patagonia online. You would normally go to their website, use menus and search terms to look for gloves and eventually find and buy the pair of gloves that you want.

If Patagonia had a bot, and there might be one by now, you could message Patagonia with Snapchat. It would ask you some questions and you would tell it what you want using voice, emoji, or text.

Instead of browsing a website, you will have a conversation with the Patagonia bot. Hopefully the experience will be like talking with their salesperson. Users don’t need to download an app, the chatbot will exist in the already loaded chat program.

An eCommerce site will likely want to create a bot that helps you purchase something; a service business might create a bot that can answer customer support questions.

Chatbot

You might be as surprised as we were to find out that people are now using messaging apps more than social networking apps. This is a big shift in consumer behavior and why it makes sense to consider using chatbots. You might hear a new term created for this change – Conversational Commerce.

Conversational Commerce, or CUI (Conversational User Interfaces), is the next step beyond GUI (Graphical User Interfaces). The most effective businesses will be able to blend the two to get the best of both.

You might have “talked” to a chatbot that didn’t seem very smart. The rules-based bot is limited and only can respond to questions or commands that the programmer expects. If you say the wrong thing it could get frustrating like it can be when you talk to an automated phone tree.

Another type of chatbot gets smarter and it learns from conversations it has. It understands language, not just commands. This second type of bot uses artificial intelligence (AI). AI has become a reality where chatbots can seem very human and allow businesses to use technology to engage with more consumers.

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM and Amazon all have open-source bot-making tools to help developers build bots.

It’s all happening now, you are witnessing and can take part in a brand new shift into Conversational Commerce.

 

Facing the Giant

The news stories stating that Amazon is on a mission to take over B2B ecommerce in the distribution industry have been increasing since the giant released Amazon Business. We’ve read those stories, too.

It’s an appetizing arena for Amazon, B2B is a multi-billion-dollar pie and they want to gobble up their slice.

Should the competition just give up?

Absolutely not.

Dealers need to stay sharp, this is not a time to be complacent. How are you going on the offensive in the light of the potential encroachment? Some lines of action come to mind; we’d like to hear how you plan on responding or if you are staying the course and not altering an already positive go-to-market strategy.

You can focus on the value proposition you already bring to your customers. And work to strengthen it: top-level customer service, convenience, loyalty programs, trusted technology partners, etc. Dealers can “out-Amazon” the competition with a passion for treating their customers like gold. They are the precious commodity.

FacingGiant

The number of SKUs Amazon Business offers is over 10 million. We’ve heard of an interesting approach to using this immense breadth of inventory to your advantage. Look at it as an opportunity to use Amazon as a wholesaler option. Do the research to ensure you get acceptable margins, as a dealer you already meet the requirements of a FEIN (IRS tax ID #), and can make the minimum dollar purchase or pieces required. Wholesale sourcing at a discount by buying in bulk from Amazon is an approach worth exploring. Some businesses add to their supply chain by leveraging Amazon’s MCF (Multi Channel Fulfillment) option to fulfill orders from their own website.

Begin strengthening your technology efforts. Being shrewd and knowledgeable about advancements in technology, combined with your business know-how, will propel you to making positive decisions to transform your business.

Are you willing to make changes if necessary? The attitude and passion you bring to learning new and different approaches will benefit you as we face the future, even help you invent it for yourselves.

Google Fonts Refresh Becomes a Graphics Trend

In 2011 Google launched something they called Google Web Fonts. They redesigned the site last year; added filters and a fun, interactive UX (user experience), simplified the name to Google Fonts; the resulting refresh had all the right ingredients and now the free fonts are a graphics trend.

Are they really free? Yes, totally free! All of the typefaces listed in the typeface directory are open source, meaning you can use them on any web page or even download and edit them yourself. As an added bonus, the giant engine of Google’s powerful servers ensures that your web visitors will have a good experience.

GoogleFonts
Some Popular Google Fonts

What are web fonts?

When the modern Internet was born, back in 1996, the only typefaces a web designer could sensibly use were the ones that they could be sure every personal computer owner already had installed locally on their PC. If a visitor didn’t have the typeface you used on your website, they would have to download it on the spot.

Back then, Microsoft helped us all out by distributing a bunch of fonts for free, including Arial, Times New Roman and Verdana. Because most of the web users had these fonts local to their PCs, websites looked better. However, you see these fonts over and over.

In 2009 advances in web design introduced the ability for the first time for website visitors to download fonts in real time without a noticeably long download time. The fonts using this new software are called web fonts.

How do I use Google Fonts?

For web designers, an online guide on the Google Fonts API (Application Programming Interface) page explains how to use the Google Fonts API to add fonts to your web pages. “You don’t need to do any programming; all you have to do is add a special stylesheet link to your HTML document, then refer to the font in a CSS style.” (We’ll plug our VibeNet Webstore Designer tool here: dealers can easily add Google Fonts to their B2B e-commerce sites without needing a web designer.)

PromiseGroup
Google Fonts: Josefin Sans, Short Stack, Calligraffitti

As of the writing of this blog post there are 821 free Google Fonts. It’s fun to browse fonts.google.com where you can type in text or change background colors to immediately see how a font would look with your content or page. The site suggests fonts that complement each other and you can use the filter to show the most popular styles, Roboto is number one right now.

Are you thinking about changing your B2B e-commerce site? Adding performance and design through the technology offered by Google Fonts could be the answer.

Cinemagraphs, today’s moving pictures

Cinemagraphs are mesmerizing. A new web trend in 2017, the subtle movement draws your attention, bringing life and surprise to an otherwise still photo. Your eyes are drawn to the looping movement.

Can you smell the coffee?

static1.squarespace.com
(Image source: Cinemagraphs)

Different from traditional gifs, a cinemagraph doesn’t look choppy as it plays. You can select a specific element for your movement and the remaining image looks like a still photograph. The good news is there isn’t anything particularly technical about this new web trend; cinemagraphs are easy to make and look cool!

CarReflection
(Image source: Cinemagraphs: Still images that move)

The simple movement can make your website stand out in a unique and fresh way. Cinemagraphs can conjure up visual storytelling, bring life to a flat website, or awaken your senses. And because they don’t require anything fancy to make, you are immediately an artist.

It makes sense to use the camera on your smartphone to make your cinemagraph because the video will be available right away.

If you search in the Apple Store, there are lots of free, easy-to-use apps:

  • Cinemagraph Pro
  • Motion Moving Gif Pictures
  • Werble
  • Cinemagraph Clips Maker
  • MaskArtDraw Motion
  • Draw Motion

Flixel is the most popular cinemagraph editor on Mac. It’s powerful; we all know Mac handles graphics very well.

There are several free apps for Android in the Play store, too. I downloaded one called fotodanz and quickly created my first cinemagraph!

HandMove

It was so easy to make. First you record either a three or five second video. Then you circle the part you want to have movement. Ta-Da, you’re finished! The app does require that you login to share to social media but you can email the image to use on your website without creating an account.

How will you use a cinemagraph on your website or ecommerce site?

Feeling refreshed and ready to go?

SparklingDrink
(Image source: Cinemagraphs)