How your online store can get its Christmas social media approach just right

Julian Byrne - Thursday, December 10, 2020

You might be thinking it’s a little late for us to be telling you every detail of how you should plan your e-tail shop’s festive-season social media strategy, and you’d be right. Hopefully, you’ll have the key planks of such seasonal plans put down already.

However, it might still be handy for you to do a ‘check-up’ of your brand’s approach to social media this Christmas, before you launch the full campaign in earnest.

So, here are some of the key factors to be thinking about – or reminding yourself of – at this late stage.

Is your brand’s social media campaign well-aligned with its broader goals?

Whatever your business’s goals are for its social media channels, now is the time to re-familiarise yourself with them, as you’re planning your posts on the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for the month or so ahead.

And of course, those goals may well differ from platform to platform. It might be that your brand has a presence on certain social media sites largely to increase brand awareness, while on others, you may be seeking to distribute authoritative and useful content for your target audience, or to acquire new customers.

Whatever – you need to be sure of what your e-tailer’s precise goals are for each social platform, and to plan your seasonal social posts accordingly.

In the process, do what you can to make those goals SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

What is your social editorial calendar looking like?

The above goals will all be important when you’re putting together an editorial calendar for your brand’s social media presence. Such an editorial calendar should consist of a list of exactly what will be published on each of your social channels, and when.

By now, you ought to have this publishing plan already set out for the rest of 2020. So, have another look now at the mix of what you intend to post.

Does your editorial calendar look a little too heavy on one type of content, for example – such as memes or links to ‘how to’ blog articles – when considered alongside your aforementioned broader goals and the audience you have on that given social media channel?

Do you have a strong sense of who your audience is?

Every social network on which your brand is present should provide insightful statistics about your audience. So, before your Christmas social media marketing campaign gets significantly underway, it’s well worth spending a few minutes checking whether the actual audience you’re addressing on your social profiles is consistent with the one you think you’re aiming at.

If your store sells men’s products, for instance, you may be surprised by how strongly women are represented in your follower base on a specific platform like Facebook.

There are several reasons why this may arise. Your Facebook updates may not be very well-matched to what social content men are looking for in your sector, or your products might be largely purchased by women as gifts for the men in their lives.

You can determine what the situation is for your own brand by keeping a close eye on the demographics of your social followers on specific platforms, encompassing their age, gender, location, occupation and interests – among other things. This will then have implications for the exact social content that you produce.

Here at Piranha Designs, we provide social setup expertise as part of our top-level Platinum search engine optimisation and marketing package. It’s one of the key elements that will help you to get your ecommerce outlet noticed for the right reasons online. So, why wait any longer to talk about it with our UK and Gibraltar-based web marketing professionals?

3 ideas for your e-tail store’s content marketing this December

Julian Byrne - Tuesday, November 17, 2020

You won’t need our team here at Piranha Designs to tell you that this December won’t be like just any old December. While we wait to see to what extent a vaguely ‘normal’ Christmas might be possible amid the coronavirus pandemic, you should now be contemplating the implications of this for your brand’s content marketing strategy for the month ahead. 

Here, then, are three suggestions for the kind of content you might look to create in December 2020. 

Rising to life’s challenges in the COVID era 

2020 will be remembered for lots of things. The biggest, though, will be COVID-19, for the simple reason that it really has been all-pervasive, upending pretty much all of our lives. And with the winter having brought new lockdown conditions, now could be a great time to put out coronavirus-themed content related in some way to what your brand offers. 

A store that specialises in kitchen supplies, for instance, might produce an article or two this month on cooking with the family. Or maybe you run a health food store – in which case, you may write a few pieces on the products you stock that might support immunity and reduce your purchasers’ chances of catching a cold or flu. 

Your organisation’s social conscience 

Have your staff been helping to fundraise or provide products or services to the community throughout the tumult the pandemic has brought? If so, the festive period could be a great time to draw attention to it, and even give a ‘round-up’ of your brand’s charitable activities throughout the past year. 

After all, research has indicated that consumers are much likelier to buy from brands that they consider to have a strong purpose – as well as to defend those brands and refer them to friends and relatives. And in this season of goodwill, you’ll want to communicate that your own brand’s purpose is about so much more than its bottom line. 

Teaching skills to at-home customers 

With so many of us once again stuck indoors right now, it should be no great surprise that a lot of brands are appealing to those who are using their enforced at-home time to learn new skills. 

This will be an especially easy route to take with your content marketing if your store sells items that obviously require skill from the people using them – even more so if those items are likely to be strong Christmas sellers. 

That could mean a store that sells musical instruments publishing a ‘how to’ guide for playing the violin, or an art materials store outlining landscape painting tips for its blog readers. 

Or you may run a store that specialises in vinyl records and record players, in which case, you might blog about how to set up a turntable. Or maybe your car parts store could provide instructions on the process of changing the oil in a vehicle? You get the idea; ‘skills’-based content can be applicable to more online stores’ content strategies than you might first think. 

If you aren’t confident about your abilities to create your own compelling content or simply lack the time to do so amid the Christmas rush, why not get in touch with Piranha Designs? We can provide blog writing and guest blogging services as part of our broader search engine marketing solutions, and we would be delighted to hear from you when you reach out to us.

Will Black Friday sales be such a big deal this year?

Julian Byrne - Friday, November 06, 2020

We’re into November, and we’re sure you’ll know what that means – the return of the now-traditional Black Friday. Falling on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States – which means that this year, it’ll be 27th November – Black Friday has become one of the most hyped shopping days on the calendar. 

But as you’ll also know, 2020 isn’t just another year. It’s seen upheaval at a level few of us have ever known, with likely knock-on effects for how we shop in the run-up to Christmas, too. 

You might have reason to rethink your Black Friday strategy in 2020 

We all know that 2020 has been a rocky year for brick-and-mortar stores forced to temporarily close for periods of lockdown, and to impose enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures on their premises when permitted to open. So, it would seem that the now-familiar Black Friday scrums are already firmly off the menu this year. 

Combine this with the fact that the latest England-wide lockdown is set to run – at the time of typing – at least until early December, and it’s clear that large chunks of the UK’s retail premises will be off-bounds to pretty much any shoppers at all this Black Friday. 

But even if these lockdown restrictions were not being imposed, there would be good reason to expect a more subdued Black Friday this year. 

That’s because many in retail are also eager to alleviate the stress the pandemic has already exerted on supply chains and delivery services. This is leading to a greater emphasis on season-long deals, rather than necessarily making a big fuss out of a single day or weekend. 

If shoppers can be encouraged to commit to their Christmas purchases earlier than Black Friday, there can be greater certainty about ecommerce stores having adequate stock, and customers receiving their ordered items in good time. 

A season-wide approach is likely to serve your store best this Christmas 

Of course, we don’t expect Black Friday to ‘go away’ completely as a big shopping event, just because of COVID-19 – a cursory search of Google News should be enough to confirm that. 

Nonetheless, it seems that of all years, 2020 will be a year to focus on such broader strategies as launching your ecommerce outlet’s Christmas sales early, refreshing your discount offers on a week-by-week basis, promoting products of particular relevance to those staying at home, and clearly communicating likely delivery times at this time of possibly widespread delays. 

In short, this won’t be ‘just another’ Christmas shopping season – and while you probably realised that already, you’ll need your store’s approach to Black Friday to reflect it. Reach out to the Piranha Designs team today, and we’ll be pleased to further advise and assist you with your Yuletide and New Year digital marketing, website design and related services. 

How to get more of your casual visitors actually buying

Julian Byrne - Friday, October 23, 2020

While, here at Piranha Designs, we would certainly emphasise the importance of effective search engine optimisation (SEO) for attracting relevant traffic to your online store, the fact remains that it’s one thing to drive visitors, and another thing to get those visitors to become paying customers.

Don’t forget that a lot of your ecommerce store’s visitors won’t see your homepage first, but will instead land on a product page or even blog post via a Google search for a relevant term. They therefore won’t necessarily have any particular loyalty or affinity for your brand, or even recognise your brand... let alone know about your broader product range, promotions or brand values. 

So, how can you transform more of those only-vaguely-interested visitors into people reaching for their debit card when on one of your product pages? Here are some proven strategies.

Don’t depend on brand recognition alone

Sure, some visitors to your e-tail site, even from the moment you set up your store, may be people familiar with your brand’s brick-and-mortar shop – if you have one – or they may know the product brands you carry.

For a very significant proportion of those people you’re trying to convert into buyers, though, none of the above will be the case. So, you can’t rely solely on customers being drawn to a particular brand, whether it’s your own or the ones of the items you stock. 

A particular danger of a more brand-centric approach to the structuring and optimisation of your website, is that you might miss out on sales from those searching for specific product types or features, rather than brands.

Give the customer reasons to feel confident about you

While brands that are literally Apple or Coca-Cola might not need that many “proof points” to instil faith among prospective shoppers, we’re presuming your own store’s brand is nothing like as prominent. Imagine landing on a page of your site while not being familiar with your brand at all – would you buy from here?

The answer’s much likelier to be “yes” is you were to see immediately understandable signs of trustworthiness, such as an “about us” page to show the human face of your business, and a phone number to indicate your customers can easily contact you about anything.

A ‘live chat’ feature and the logos of any relevant industry accreditations or certifications could also really help to drum in the impression that your brand is thoroughly reputable and here to stay.

Make it easy for shoppers to choose

It’ll hopefully go without saying for you that the more barriers you can remove to someone buying from you, the likelier they will probably be to do so.

If, as we’ve covered above, a given would-be buyer doesn’t know your brand, the chances are that they might not know your specific products well, either... and that could make it difficult for them to select the item that would best suit them.

Wrong choices are bad news for both the buyer, who will likely be frustrated as a result, and the store, which will have to handle any associated returns.

So, it’s in your interests to do everything possible to make choosing easy, first time out. That might mean including size guides, product comparison charts, help icons, and all of the specification details the customer will need to make the most informed buying choice.

With our search engine marketing (SEM) services here at Piranha Designs encompassing such key elements as keyword research, page optimisation, guest blogging and more, we can leave your store well-placed to heighten the proportion of casual visitors you convert into buyers. Feel free to contact us via phone or email for further information.

5 steps to boost your appeal to festive shoppers in 2020

Julian Byrne - Thursday, October 08, 2020

It won’t exactly be news to any members of your ecommerce brand’s team – or any of its customers – that 2020 has been a year like no other, although sadly largely in the negative sense. But of course, that simply makes a bit of well-judged Christmas cheer more crucial than ever, which is something your online store can play a part in delivering.

Below are some of our favourite tips for how e-tailers can capitalise on the strange times of the 2020 festive season with their online marketing and sales strategies.

Have a dedicated Christmas section

Of course, we were always going to start with the “obvious” advice, which is as relevant as it is in part because so many merchants actually overlook it.

It’s not necessarily an arduous task to re-jig an existing special section of your online store – the Halloween page, for example – to house and promote Christmas-related items such as festive decorations and chocolate boxes.

You might just be switching out some products and suitably renaming the page, not to mention replacing any links to this page on the homepage and navigation bar.

Be empathetic to your customers

Ask anyone, and it seems that we’re practically all stressed and fed up about at least something at the minute. We wish the pandemic was over already, and we’re fretting about our health and financial situations, and/or those of our loved ones. Other ongoing global events, such as the US election and Brexit situation, will also be causing stress – whatever your customers’ political views may be.

So, if there’s one thing your store should be, it’s supportive to its customers at an angst-ridden and uncertain time. Be the brand that represents the metaphorical shoulder to cry on, by training your staff to handle customer concerns with sensitivity and heart, even when only selling online.

Underline home comforts and conveniences

Whether or not your ecommerce brand also has a high-street presence, a significant proportion of your customers will probably resent still having to spend so much time at home, so long after the COVID-19 crisis first hit Europe in the spring.

But this does present your store with an opportunity to show that an almost exclusively home-based life can be an experience, too. Consider, then, what items your store specialises in that may be particularly relevant for domestic use – think everything from books, blankets and loungewear to home smart speakers, gift hampers and bathroom products.

Tap into the trends of the COVID-19 era

We all know that the pandemic has upended our world and lives, so why wouldn’t it have a similarly dramatic impact on what kind of items people wish to buy during the Christmas season?

Given the economic chaos the coronavirus has visited upon us, it shouldn’t surprise you that high-end luxury goods have already been de-emphasised in many stores’ marketing campaigns this year. In their place, we’ve seen much attention drawn to gifts that are unique, but also immediate sources of joy and comfort in the home at this trying time.

Encourage customers to connect virtually

We aren’t just talking here about how those shopping with you may reach out to your team via email, ‘live chat’ or Facebook Messenger – although this aspect of your service is certainly crucial at a time when your customers won’t want to be left waiting for a response.

That’s because we’re also referring to the myriad ways in which families, friends and colleagues may keep communication lines open with each other as the winter wears on.

Perhaps you could highlight the fashion and makeup products of your brand that could help your shoppers to look and feel good on camera, or the food and wine items that might represent excellent choices for a ‘virtual’ family tea or snack?


Are there ambitions and possibilities for the design or redesign of your e-tail store’s website, or its SEO or PPC marketing, that you would like to discuss in greater detail with the Piranha Designs team? If so, you’re welcome to reach out to us in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh now.

Do your own ecommerce customers have the “fear of missing out”?

Julian Byrne - Tuesday, October 06, 2020

It’s a very human thing to want what someone else possesses, and to be anxious about the possibility that not doing something – whether it is watching a particular TV show, being involved in a given event, or buying a certain product – is the wrong choice.

The phenomenon has even been summed up in an acronym – FOMO, or the “fear of missing out”. What you might not be so familiar with as the owner of an e-tail store, however, is how you can tap into the FOMO that resides in your own target customers to drive sales.

Even something as simple as an add-to-cart button or a call to action like “Buy now while stocks last”, can help you to play on potential buyers’ FOMO across the landing pages and product pages of your online store. But what else can you do to trigger such a key fear in your site visitors?

Accept pre-orders for upcoming products

If you’ve ever read a press release for a newly announced product like a hotly anticipated smartphone, handbag, videogame or music album and placed a pre-order for it on your favourite online shopping site, you’ll already know the power of this functionality for driving FOMO – and sales.

After all, when we’re among the first to have a particular product, it often makes us feel that bit more special – as if we’re members of an exclusive club.

And when you present your customers with the option to pre-order that product, you won’t just trigger their FOMO – you’ll give them a way of alleviating it, too.

Indicate the product is ‘limited’ or ‘out of production’

Brands have long described products as ‘limited edition’ to spur prospective buyers to commit to a purchase of the item straight away.

Of course, another way of seeing it is that all products are ‘limited’ in the sense that none of them can continue in production forever. So, when a certain item in your store does approach the end of the line, another opportunity exists to trigger FOMO by actually displaying the quantity remaining of that product on the product page, before it becomes permanently out of stock.

Display a countdown timer

When the opportunity to buy a certain product at a particular price is time-limited rather than stock-limited, there are few things quite as effective at instilling that ‘FOMO’ urgency as incorporating a real-time countdown timer on the same page where the customer will be browsing the items.

After all, such a timer would be a highly visual reminder of the approaching deadline, complete with movement to catch the shopper’s eye as they compare your sale items.

Embed social media posts on your site

There are ways to drum up hype about a particular product that don’t involve you having to fork out a hefty amount of cash for the services of celebrity endorsers or social influencers. In fact, if people are making a fuss about your product on social media right now, why not draw shoppers’ attention to this, by embedding the relevant content into your site’s own pages?

Just make sure you actually do use the embed tools that the leading social networks make available – there’s this handy guide from Twitter, for instance – so that you are linking directly to the posts in question, rather than stealing content and infringing someone’s copyright as a result.

As you can see, triggering the “fear of missing out” in your e-tail store’s visitors can be handy for getting them to hit that ‘buy’ button for items on your site that they may have otherwise had a merely casual interest in.

Reach out to our website design, SEO and PPC marketing professionals here at Piranha Designs today, and we’ll help you to make the most of the potential that your own ecommerce site offers.

3 SEO changes you can make for your online store without spending money

Julian Byrne - Tuesday, September 29, 2020

You hopefully won’t need the Piranha Designs team to remind you of the importance of optimising your ecommerce store for the search engines to maximise its visibility online – but doesn’t doing such a thing require a certain amount of financial investment?

The short answer is no, not necessarily. Indeed, the following are ‘do it yourself’ SEO tips that online business owners can apply to their sites straight away, without spending a penny.

Improving title tags

All too many online store owners overlook the scope to easily optimise their site’s title tags, having simply accepted the default titles generated by their chosen ecommerce platform.

So, if the title tags for your site’s category pages, for example, are currently along the lines of ‘[Page title] – [Site title]’, consider what extra common-sense details you could incorporate to help both search engines and the human user.

Instead of making do with ‘Men’s – Joe’s Footwear’, could you modify such a title to something like ‘Men’s Trainers – Joe’s Footwear’ or even ‘Men’s Limited Edition Trainers – Joe’s Footwear’? Remember that Google typically shows the first 50 to 60 characters of a title tag, so you shouldn’t go beyond this for the lengths of your modified titles.

Scrutinising rivals

Consider who your competitors are in the organic search results, encompassing not just sites that sell the same products and services as yours, but also sites that may compete in an informational sense by answering questions frequently asked by your target audience.

Any sites taking up space on search engine results pages for queries that your brand is also targeting can be regarded as your SEO rivals.

So, look at what they’ve done in order to enjoy such strong search results. Are they embracing content themes that your site currently doesn’t? Is their site structured in a way that better targets certain strategically important keywords? What kind of user experience does each given rival brand provide – and is it more engaging than the one your site offers?

Answering questions like the above will then enable you to fine-tune your SEO strategy to be better aligned with what is actually likely to work for your brand.

Producing regular content

While we can certainly provide such services as blog content production and guest blogging as part of our search engine optimisation and marketing packages, there’s little to stop you producing your own content in the meantime, provided that you’re confident in doing so.

After all, you know your own brand’s products, services and industry better than anyone else. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “but I’m not a confident writer”, remember that “content” isn’t just words – the likes of product images, how-to videos and other graphics also count. A professional writer could then help to ensure it’s all presented even more effectively.

Nor do you need to be pumping out new content every day for it to be “regular” enough to help your site in the search engines. The weekly or even just monthly publication of new and unique content will be of benefit, provided that the content is of genuine value and usefulness for your target audiences.

These are just some of the steps that you can take with your site now to enhance its SEO prospects – so if you have any further questions about the possibilities, why not enquire to Piranha Designs today? We will be pleased to have a no-obligation discussion of your needs with you, and can also present you with a competitive quote.

5 tips for getting your category pages in shape for the search engines

Julian Byrne - Monday, September 28, 2020

The category pages on an ecommerce site are often overlooked from a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective, despite the fact that they routinely already target and contain keywords that customers frequently search for. So, what further steps can you take to bolster your category pages’ rankings for those often highly competitive keywords?

Begin with the metadata

You can barely claim to have optimised your online store’s category pages if you leave the title tags and meta descriptions untouched. Such metadata will always be at the forefront of any responsible and informed efforts to improve SEO – so be sure to incorporate relevant keywords into them, and a ‘call to action’ (CTA) at the end of each meta description.Also try to keep the length of your title tags and meta descriptions within Google’s character limits – 60 and 160 characters respectively.

Use relevant headings

The title tag and meta description, while crucial to on-page SEO, are hidden away in the page’s HTML, and aren’t visible on the category page itself. The headings, though – with their tags like H1, H2 and so on – very much are clear to see on the actual page. So these, too, need to be relevant. A good rule of thumb is to use the H1 heading – which is typically the primary heading at the top of the page – to reinforce the theme you put in your title tag, referring to the overall subject of the entire page. This might be followed by H2 and H3 subheadings to represent supporting themes on the page.

Incorporate body text

Not everyone actually likes the idea of using body copy on an ecommerce site’s category page, with some preferring to leave imagery of the relevant products to ‘do the talking’ by itself. However, if you want your online store to do well in the organic search rankings, you really can’t do without at least some text in the body of each category page, even if you merely settle for a sentence or two. Carefully choose just one or two descriptive keywords that naturally fit with the copy, and you won’t need to write paragraph after paragraph for your body content if you don’t wish to do so.

Aim for relevant link text

Some ecommerce stores attempting to optimise their category pages often end up committing the classic error of using link text – such as ‘click here’ or ‘find out more’ – that is useless from an SEO point of view.So, consider the opportunities you have with your link text – including in the aforementioned body copy – to send relevance signals to the search engines, such as by referring to specific products or subcategories of products.

Include links in the header and footer

Sure, your site’s header and footer are the same across your site, so you might not see this as a tip for optimising your category pages, so to speak. However, your site’s header and footer do represent useful space in which to perhaps incorporate links to some of the most valuable category and subcategory pages.With Christmas looming in just a few months, for instance, you might take the chance now to link to your festive-season category page, in time to attract the attention of both search engine spiders and human users on the lookout for the best deals on Yuletide gifts.Just make sure you don’t overdo it with the header and footer links; trying to link to all of your ecommerce store’s category or subcategory pages here will not come across well to human shoppers, and will be over-optimised from a search algorithm point of view.

If you would like to discuss your requirements in ecommerce website design or SEO marketing in greater detail, the Piranha Designs team is available at the other end of a phone or email inbox. Don’t wait any longer to get in touch with us in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh.

Branching out from physical to online retail? Here are the first things to think about

Julian Byrne - Monday, August 17, 2020


Amid all of the unwanted interruption and uncertainty that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to businesses that operate solely from ‘high street’ brick-and-mortar premises, we can well understand you wanting to build greater resilience for your firm in this strange new world.

One of the most obvious steps in that regard would probably be launching an ecommerce presence for your brand, even if you have no plans to leave the high street just yet.

But if that’s an operation your business is undergoing or thinking of undergoing, what are the key factors that you need to consider or may be at risk of overlooking?

Brick-and-mortar and online selling are very different worlds!

Hopefully, your brand won’t be under any illusions about the size of the challenge of adding an online sales arm to its high-street offering; it’s not something you can just introduce once and then largely forget about.

Regardless, it’s well worth underlining once more, how profoundly physical and online retail differ. If you’re in a brick-and-mortar store, you can pick up a product in your hands, look at it from different angles, and feel its weight. You can also scrutinise physical details that may not be obvious from the kind of imagery you see in a manufacturer’s brochure or on the pages of an online store.

An ecommerce store, of course, can’t offer these advantages, or certainly not to the same extent. Then, there’s the fact that a physical location can serve as its own form of marketing, with potential customers perhaps constantly driving or walking past it and making a mental note to investigate it if they find themselves requiring related services in the future.

Don’t underestimate what’s involved in making the transition

Whatever your brand happens to sell – clothing, kitchen utensils, art supplies, electrical appliances or something different altogether – there are very significant differences between selling those goods online and offline.

If you’re a brick-and-mortar business selling on the web for the first time, you might therefore underestimate the sheer energy, time and money investment needed to prepare and keep track of such aspects of your online store as its product images, product descriptions and inventory.

Consider, for instance, the images that you use on your product pages. Your brick-and-mortar store obviously doesn’t need to bother with these when it can literally show the item hanging from a hook. But when it comes to online selling, you’ll need at least one photograph, and probably ideally several, in order to give the prospective purchaser a vaguely equivalent experience.

And yes, while you might be able to obtain many usable product photos from the manufacturer or distributor, and upload them to your site, even this process can be more time-consuming than you initially imagine. Picture yourself repeating this task over and over again for literally hundreds or thousands of items, and it could all quickly become overwhelming.

Similar can be said for such key processes as sourcing or devising product descriptions, managing your ecommerce store’s inventory, and marketing it through both traditional and more recent online and digital channels, the latter including the likes of Pay Per Click and video advertising.

Allow us to help you to embrace this exciting new chapter

Notwithstanding all of our advice above, entering the world of online retail as a previously predominantly ‘high street’ brand shouldn’t be something to be scared of. It does, though, necessitate the best preparation, as we would be pleased to assist you with here at Piranha Designs.

Enquire now about such services as ecommerce website design and search engine marketing provided by our team, and you can soon be in a position to get so much more out of the e-tail possibilities that the post-COVID-19 era will represent.

Could a loyalty scheme help to cement your online store’s COVID-19 gains?

Julian Byrne - Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Such is the immensely disruptive nature of a pandemic like the one we have faced over the last few months, that almost no one can claim COVID-19 has been a “good” thing for them overall.

One positive that ecommerce store owners certainly weren’t expecting at the start of the year, however, was a massive jump in the proportion of e-tail sales as part of overall retail sales, due to lockdown restrictions having forced many more people to make purchases from home.

Hopefully, your own online outlet will have effectively capitalised on the jump in overall demand for ecommerce sites’ services, with the consequence of rising sales.

But as the previous lockdown rules gradually loosen and more people are afforded the luxury of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores again, how can your e-tail store consolidate the gains it has made since March?

One short answer to that question is... by introducing a loyalty scheme.

Why are loyalty programs such a great idea anyway?

Sometimes referred to as ‘VIP’ or ‘rewards’ schemes, or even ‘loyalty programs’, loyalty schemes take many forms on ecommerce sites.

However, the broad benefits of such schemes for both the business itself and its customers are well-defined. A VIP scheme could help your store to boost customer lifetime value (CLV or CLTV), which is a measure of the net profit that can be predicted for a given customer over the entire duration of your relationship with them.

Customers who properly engage with loyalty programs are also, of course, more engaged and loyal customers in general with the brands running these schemes. Your own loyalty club members are likelier to read the marketing emails you send them, and to ‘like’ and share your brand’s social media posts.

Then, there’s the not-insignificant matter of all of the data you can gather from the customers who participate in your VIP scheme. This could enable you to develop a better understanding of how your target audience behaves in general, and how you could better reach them with the right products, prices and marketing messages.

A truly great loyalty or VIP scheme goes well beyond the basics

So, what does a good loyalty scheme consist of? Well, first of all, it should offer something of value to the customer from the moment they join as a member or participant. That might be a discount straight away, or perhaps a gift, or extra loyalty points just for signing up.

Whatever you offer at this stage, make sure it’s exclusively obtainable by those joining your loyalty program, rather than just a duplication of an offer you might already present to those subscribing to your emails, for example.

From there, various other features or quirks may be added to your store’s loyalty scheme to help to make it really interesting, with the exact ones you choose dependent on your business’s sector, preferences and needs.

Some online stores, for instance, might throw in additional bonuses for customers who carry out certain actions like answering a survey or installing an app.

Maybe you might also present VIP shoppers with a voucher or extra loyalty points on their birthdays, or introduce a referral element, whereby the loyalty club member is rewarded if they refer someone to the site who goes on to make a purchase from your store.

Or what about rewarding points for other one-off activities like your customers posting images of your store’s products and how they use them with your social media hashtag? The promise of exclusive content can also be a powerful enticement for those who are unsure of whether to become a loyalty member of your site.

There are so many ways to get loyalty schemes ‘right’

The above is naturally not an exhaustive rundown of all of the possibilities for your store’s loyalty scheme; nonetheless, it should give you a sense of some of the intriguing ways you could experiment and mix things up when launching a rewards program.

A well-executed loyalty program can do so much to better market your ecommerce store’s offerings, heighten engagement and boost sales. However, it is also just one of the many aspects of your e-tail business that you will need to focus on getting right for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.


For an in-depth discussion about your online business’s aspirations and needs with regard to website design, SEO and PPC marketing, and so many more areas of specialism of ours, don’t hesitate to enquire to the Piranha Designs team in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh today. 


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