Reducing US Duty Costs 100% By Shipping Through Canada

US eCommerce stores are spending $0 on their imported goods from other countries by utilizing a smart system with Canada. All they have to do is have their products imported into a Canadian fulfillment center near the US-Canada border (rather than a US one), then send products to customers directly from the Canadian fulfillment center. Companies like stalco handling all that work for you.

Here’s a video that explains it.

What is Duty?

If you don’t know what border “duty” or “duties” are, let’s take a step back. In economics, a duty is a sort of tax that a state implements. It’s typically associated with customs, as the term is often used to describe a tax on certain items purchased abroad.

Duty Drawback Program

The Duty Drawback Program helps to effectively service US customers and eliminate duty cost(s). In recent years, drop-shipping has become massively popular, since you as a business owner don’t need to hold inventory and can focus instead on growing your business.

The Duty Drawback Program is beneficial because customers don’t want to wait a long time to receive items and you can save a lot of money on product costs by eliminating duty costs. Stalco is a Toronto based company that works extensively with this program to easily eliminate 100% of your duty costs for you, in a legal and compliant manner. Save thousands of dollars a year by using Stalco!

Importing Products to the USA

Importing goods to the USA (say from China) and paying duty when the goods land. The amount of duty paid is based on your Cost Of Goods (COG) x the duty rate. This is important from a legal perspective as falsifying the value of COGs can be criminal!

How to Eliminate Your Duty Cost

Let’s say that you ship inventory to Canada from overseas. Depending on the COGs they are duty free or may have a duty cost associated. Duty costs are actually paid to the Canadian Government upon their import.

Though you may be paying some duty costs, Stalco helps by pick-packing (from Toronto) and shipping directly to your US customers under Section 321 customs clearance. Under Section 321, US consumers can import up to $800/shipment free of duty, brokerage and sales taxes. Then, once your customers’ orders are shipped to the US, you claim back all duties paid in Canada, since the Canadian Government only wants the duty if the goods are sold to Canadian consumers.

Case Study

A firm that works with Stalco has COGs of $13.25, the duty rate is 9.50%. The Duty cost per Unit is then $1.26. With Stalco you have a duty savings per unit of $1.26 then. If you have hundreds of thousands of units you’re saving that much!

Common Questions

How can it not cost more to ship to the US from Canada?

Using the same carriers to ship to the end consumer (DHL, UPSMI, etc.). The trucks leave Toronto and are in the US in an hour and a half. They drop the goods off to the different carriers, and it is as if the goods were shipped from the US with the same carriers.

How long does it take to get my duty back?

Wait until all items from shipment have been cleared. When they’re all shipped, Stalco files the Duty Drawback with the Canadian Government. 60 days from the file date the refund check is issued. Sometimes it can be sooner, but 60 days is the standard.

Are delivery times to my customer longer when products are shipped from Canada?

Stalco pick and packs every single day. The truck leaves every day at noon to make it to the US. It then reaches US carriers by the afternoon, so it is no different in that sense.

Do products ever get stuck at the border?

Stalco has been doing this for over 2 years now and has never had a truck get stuck at customs. Stalco does a customs pre-clearance, meaning that the paperwork is all submitted and cleared beforehand.

Are there any product categories that can’t cross the border?

Everything you can sell and buy in the US you can ship across the border, as Canada and the US are fairly similar. Occasionally there are products with lithium batteries, but generally speaking things can cross the border without problems or issues.

Why Expand into Canada?

Canada shares the largest unprotected border with the US and has over 35 million people. Canada has free trade between countries and there is no language barrier. The US and Canada have similar customer profiles (64% are affluent/have disposable income) and there is a lot of cross-border media influence as both use the same TV and media. Canada has a strong economy and a strong demand for international products. Currently the eCommerce market is booming, and Canadians are connected online.

Differences Between US and Canada

There are some cross border logistics differences in trucking, clearance and duties. Both countries do use a different currency, and there are different regulatory bodies (like Health Canada) to consider. There are different sales tax procedures in Canada and the US, and different packaging compliances (labelling, and the layout and info).

Learn More!

To get more information check out Stalco through this link. You can snag your free guide on their site and learn more about eliminating duty costs at the US border.

You can also check out their video at T&C 2019 here.

How to add testimonials on Shopify on your product page

What are testimonials on Shopify?

A testimonial on Shopify is similar to a review. They are often written statements that support your credibility and your expertise. They strengthen trust and the legitimacy of your business by expressing that others trust you and your business. A testimonial from a customer will affirm the performance, quality and even the value of your products or your service.

How to add a testimonial

When you are on your dashboard you’ll want to click on the ‘+ Pre-Built Skill’ button. This will open a box that shows you all of the possible skills you can add to your eCommerce site. Search for the skill by typing ‘testimonial’, or scroll until you find the one called “Show Testimonials as Notification’.

How to edit and customize the testimonials

Now comes the fun part-customizing your testimonials to look and act the way you want them to! The skill is divided into 5 tabs including what to show, where to show it, when to show it, who to show it to and the why tab for A/B testing.

What to show

This tab lets you decide what to show in your Shopify testimonial notification on the product page. In the first tab “Behaviour” you’re able to choose the animation of the testiomonial notification popup. You can decide how it enters, exits and how long it is shown for.

The ‘Testimonial Content’ tab allows you to add data like the name and image of a customer, as well as their location, their rating of your business, and any comments they made. You can also add a link to the review if you’d like. Using this tab you can manually enter all the information you need.

The ‘Design’ tab lets you edit the text colour, the alignment and the style and weight of the texts. Here you can choose from pre-designed themes or design one from scratch. Your designer (or yourself) can use the ‘Custom CSS (Advanced)’ tab if you’re familiar with CSS to further stylize your testimonials.

The ‘Custom Template’ and the ‘JavaScript’ tabs are for your developers if you want to edit anything more advanced.

Where to show

This tab lets you decide where to show the content in your Shopify pages. You can choose the page or pages for the testimonials to show on. The default is to show on all store sections, but to have them appear on the product pages simply click in the box and select ‘Product View Pages’.

You can also set conditions to determine where to show testimonials based on specific URLs or titles. These conditions are ‘Product Conditions’, ‘Product Counter Conditions’ and ‘Page Conditions’. Product Conditions are: ID, is present, is in stock, is not in stock, tags, name/title, and stock level. So if I only wanted to show the testiomonials on a certain journal on my cite I’d select ‘name/title’ and enter the name of the product. Product Counter Conditions are # of shoppers that: viewed the product, added the product to their cart, and purchased the product. So if a viewer was on my journal product page and they added the product to their cart I can set the condition so that they see the testimonials using ‘added the product to their cart’ condition. This means other customers who hadn’t added the product wouldn’t see the testiomonials. Page Conditions are: URL, title, referral URL, URL param. This allows you to set testimonials to only show on specific product URLs, or to show on all URLs except for a specific few.

The ‘Popup Position” selector allows you to choose where the testimonial popups will appear. You can select to show them on the bottom left, top left, top right, or bottom right of the screen on your product page(s).

When to show

This tab lets you decide when to show your Shopify testimonial on the product page(s). You can set specific triggers and conditions on when to show these testimonials. You can have them trigger as soon as a page loads, and limit to only once per hour per shopper if you’d like. Or maybe you only want to show testimonials on Saturdays-you can do that here too. You can also set a schedule if you only want testimonial to show from today until a week from now. Simply enable the schedule and set your dates and times for the testimonials to start and finish.

Who to show

This tab lets you decide who to show your Shopify testimonials to. You can determine this by the shopper’s location or by their journey on your site. So, for example if I only have Canadian shoppers maybe I want the testimonials to only display if a visitor is out of Canada. Then anyone from outside of Canada wouldn’t see the testimonial notifications (based on IP address). You can also choose to only show the testimonials if a shopper has previously viewed a product on your store. That means someone visiting only your homepage wouldn’t see the testimonials.

Why (A/B testing)

This tab lets you decide if you want to A/B test your Shopify testimonial notifications. It’ll allow you to enable or disable testing and also determine the percentage split of who to show the content to. The default is a 50/50 split, meaning 50% of the time customers see the testimonials, and the other 50% do not see the testimonials. This data can be used to compare to each other and determine whether the skill is helping you out.

By default, this skill is turned off. You can enable it yourself and also find out more about A/B Testing through this article.

How to Make your E-mails Stand Out

E-mail Marketing

E-mail is a tried and true method of marketing for many eCommerce stores. You can drive sales, and often your customers have already opted in for you to email them. However, you need to be careful to not bombard your customers with emails. If you do, they’ll stop reading them, or worse yet, unsubscribe. Great marketing with e-mail means that your message is timely, relevant to the customer, and often times it’s personalized.

E-Mail Categories

There are a few different types of e-mail you can send. Transaction emails are e-mails where you include receipts, tracking numbers, and so on. Promotional emails are those where you highlight sales, discount codes, new products and even newsletters. Lifecycle emails highlight a certain behaviour from a customer like abandoned carts, subscriptions, and the likes.

The Elements of a good E-Mail

A good e-mail should have a relevant and catchy subject line. Don’t over-do it on caps or emojis, but try and make something that stands out, or makes the receiver want to know more. Make sure to send e-mails at reasonable times. If you’re sending e-mails from Canada at 10PM to your German customers, it’s going to reach their inbox in the early AM. They may never open it or see it.

The Body of an E-Mail

The format of your e-mail is important. Make sure the content is structured and easily readable in all formats (desktop and mobile) and for different OS’s. Add images and colour and other fancy aspects as needed. But don’t over-do it. They can cause loading or formatting issues if you use them too intensely.

Measure the success of your E-Mails

You want to see how your e-mails are performing, so make sure to track them. You probably want to track the open rate to see how many people are even opening the e-mail rather than immediately deleting it or ignoring it entirely. Track the bounce rate as well, which is how many e-mails don’t make it due to incorrect e-mails, because of spam filters or because of closed or inactive accounts. Click-through rate is another thing you can track. This is percentage of your customers that click on a link or button and engage with your e-mail. On the flipside of this metric, measure the number of customers opting out of receiving your emails or who are unsubscribing.

How to add testimonials to your Shopify shopping cart page

What are Shopify testimonials?

A testimonial is similar to a review. They are often written statements that support your credibility and your expertise. They strengthen trust and the legitimacy of your business by expressing that others trust you and your business. A testimonial from a customer will affirm the performance, quality and even the value of your products or your service.

How to add a testimonial

When you are on your dashboard you’ll want to click on the ‘+ Pre-Built Skill’ button. This will open a box that shows you all of the possible skills you can add to your eCommerce site. Search for, or scroll, until you find the one called “Show Testimonials Under the Cart’.

How to edit and customize the testimonials

Now comes the fun part-customizing your testimonials to look and act the way you want them to! The skill is divided into 5 tabs including what to show, where to show it, when to show it, who to show it to and the why tab for A/B testing.

A quick side note

The testimonials will only appear under the cart page where customers can see the items that are in their cart. This will not display on any cart pages beyond this (the checkout pages), as Shopify recently updated policies on allowing apps to make edits to the checkout page. If you had skills running before the changes, are a Shopify Plus merchant, or have this unlocked by Shopify then you may also edit your checkout pages. For most people this skill will only work on the cart page.

What to show

This tab lets you decide what to show in your Shopify testimonial popups on the cart page. In the first tab “Content” you’re able to add data like the name and image of a customer, as well as their location, their rating and any comments they made. You can also add a link to the review if you’d like. Using this you can manually enter all the information you need. The ‘Design’ tab lets you edit the text colour, the alignment and the style and weight of the texts. Your designer (or yourself) can use the ‘Custom CSS (Advanced)’ tab if you’re familiar with CSS to further stylize your testimonials. The ‘Custom Template’ and the ‘JavaScript’ tabs are for your developers if you want to edit anything more advanced.

Where to show

This tab lets you decide where to show the content in your Shopify cart page. You can choose the page or pages for the testimonials to popup on. This allows you to choose the store section(s) to let the Shopify testimonials appear on, which in this case is the shopping cart page. You can set conditions to determine where to show testimonials based on specific URLs or titles.

The ‘Location on page” selector allows you to choose where the testimonials will appear. You can use the drop-down to choose for them to appear: right after, right before, beginning of, end of, or replace a certain section on your site. You can select the URL to appear, but by default it’ll take your cart page URL. Clicking this button will show a pop-up explaining how to use the selector. On your cart page the blue line will show where the content will be added.

When to show

This tab lets you decide when to show your Shopify testimonial on the cart page. You can set specific triggers and conditions on when to show these testimonials. You can have them trigger as soon as a page loads, and limit to only once per hour per shopper if you’d like. Or maybe you only want to show testimonials on Saturdays-you can do that here too. You can also set a schedule if you only want testimonial to show from today until a week from now. Simply enable the schedule and set your dates and times for the testimonials to start and finish.

Who to show

This tab lets you decide who to show your Shopify testimonials to. You can determine this by the shopper’s location or by their journey on your site. So, for example if I only have Canadian shoppers maybe I want the testimonials to only display if a visitor is out of Canada. Then any one from outside of Canada wouldn’t see the testimonial popups (based on IP address). You can also choose to only show the testimonial popups if a shopper has previously viewed a product on your store. That means someone visiting only your homepage wouldn’t see the testimonials.

Why (A/B testing)

This tab lets you decide if you want to A/B test your Shopify testimonial popups. It’ll allow you to enable or disable testing and also determine the percentage split of who to show the content to. The default is a 50/50 split, meaning 50% of the time customers see the testimonials, and the other 50% do not see the testimonials. This data can be used to compare to each other and determine whether the skill is helping you out.

By default, this skill is turned off. You can enable it yourself and also find out more about A/B Testing through this article.

Letting your Customers Know that you Care

Your customers are at the heart of your business, so it’s time to properly thank them!

How to say thank you

Don’t stress too much about the how. Be sincere and show your customers that you care about their business, and that you appreciate them. Don’t ask for reviews, shares or to buy more products in your thank you. Keep it simple. Just say thanks. If you have the time or capacity you can even personalize the thank you with their name or thanking them for the specific items they purchased. A lot of email platforms let you send automated thank yous where you can auto-enter their name and other details. Do some research and find what works best for you. For smaller companies simply sending thank you e-mails or cards manually may work.

Who to say thanks to

Once your company grows it’s going to be nearly impossible to say thank you to every single customer. So maybe figure out how to organize your customers and prioritize who you’d like to thank. Try thanking repeat/return customers. Or maybe you want to say thank you on the customer’s birthday? Maybe you can send holiday specific thank you cards that would go out on one specific day. Use these strategies to cement and create positive relationships with your customers. This should hopefully see them coming back for more.

A few ideas to share the gratitude

Show care for your customers by offering something special. This could be as simple as a hand written thank you card or include a little gift. You could offer something free, or even a sample. You could make little videos of your team saying thanks to your customers. Offer discounts for the next time the customer shops as a thank you, and as a chance to create a repeat customer. You could even have a ‘customer spotlight’ where you highlight a customer on your site or social media platform.

Different Types of Sales you can have on your eCommerce Store

Sale Types for your eCommerce Store

There are so many possibilities for sales for your eCommerce store. We’re going to use this article to go over the three that I consider the best: sitewide discounts, free shipping on all orders, and product or category specific discounts.

    1. Sitewide Discounts

These are the easiest sales to setup. You can just offer a set discount on your site. This could be any amount. Ten, fifteen, twenty percent off. Whatever you decide. Simply setup a discount code for this and offer it your customers. Here are some ideas for codes: summer2019, summersale, summerdeals. You can use the Promo Bar to offer this deal to your customers. If you only want to offer it to returning customers than you can set up certain triggers and conditions. This means the code will only appear to certain customers, and not to others. You could also try out the ‘Banner Depending on Shoppers’ Time on Site’ to have a designated banner with the sale on it appear on your site. Then utilize the ‘Show Product Sale Countdown Timer’ skill within your product pages to tell customers how much time is left for the sale.

    2. Free Shipping on all Orders

Use the Fera skill ‘Show Free Shipping Top Bar‘ and the ‘Show Free Shipping in Cart’ together to let customers know that shipping is free. This will show to your customers based on their time on the site, or it can just show all the time. The top bar lets you set by a specific price. So, if I offer free shipping on orders over $50 then I can setup the bar to count items in shoppers’ carts and display how much they need to add in $ to their cart to receive the free shipping.

You could also use a promo bar to inform customers that all shipping on your site is free. If you need to, use a code to offer the discount on shipping, or change your store settings to not charge any shipping costs for the time that is sale/offer is going on. You could also use the Fera skills: ‘Show Timer in Cart/Checkout’ and ‘Show Get It by Timer’. The get it by timer will let customers know when they can expect the products to arrive to them by. The timer in the cart page lets customers know how much time they have left to checkout and snag any deals (like free shipping)!

    3. Product/Category Specific Discounts

These discounts or sales might be a bit harder to setup. That’s because you need to offer deals on only certain products or certain categories (summer products?). You can also use the Fera skills mentioned in the other 2 sales to promote product or category specific discounts.

How to add a popup notification of recent reviews in Shopify

What are popup notifications?

Popup notifications are something you can add to your Shopify eCommerce site to show customers information. This can be recent events on your store like purchases or add to carts, or you can show popups of recent reviews on your site.

How to add a popup notification

When you are on your dashboard you’ll want to click on the ‘+ Pre-Built Skill’ button. This will open a box that shows you all of the possible skills you can add to your eCommerce site. Search for, or scroll, until you find the one called “Show Testimonial as Notification’.

How to edit and customize the testimonial popups

Now comes the fun part-customizing your testimonials! The skill is divided into 5 tabs including what to show, where to show it, when to show it, who to show it to and the why tab for A/B testing.

What to show

This tab lets you decide what to show in your Shopify testimonial popups. In the first tab “Testimonial Content” you’re able to add data like the name and image of a customer, as well as their location, their rating and any comments they made. Using this you can manually enter all the information you need.

The “Behaviour” tab lets you decide for how many second(s) to show the testimonial popup for, as well as how you’d like the popup to be animated as it appears, and how it’s animated when it disappears.

The ‘Javascript’ and ‘Custom Template’ tabs allow you (or your developer) to delve deeper into the skills. You can edit code and change how things load/run on your site. We usually recommend leaving these alone if you aren’t a developer or coder.

The ‘Design’ tab also allows you to play around with custom CSS if you’re familiar with it. If not, don’t worry! Simply use the ‘Pre-designed themes’ or chose from ‘Design Options’ where you can edit the text size, colours, space around the notification and so on.

Where to show

This tab lets you decide where to show the content in your Shopify testimonial popups. You can choose the page or pages for the testimonials to popup on. This is great if you only want to show testimonials for specific products or only on a certain set of pages. You can also choose if the popup appears at the top left or right, or the bottom left or right.

When to show

This tab lets you decide when to show your Shopify testimonial popups. You can set specific triggers and conditions on when to show these popups. You can have the popups trigger as soon as a page loads, and limit to only once per hour per shopper if you’d like. Or maybe you only want to show testimonials on Saturdays-you can do that here too. You can also set a schedule if you only want testimonial to show from today until a week from now. Simply enable the schedule and set your dates and times for the testimonials to start and finish.

Who to show

This tab lets you decide who to show your Shopify testimonial popups to. You can determine this by the shopper’s location or by their journey on your site. So, for example if I only have Canadian shoppers maybe I want the testimonials to only display if a visitor is out of Canada. Then any one from outside of Canada wouldn’t see the testimonial popups (based on IP address). You can also choose to only show the testimonial popups if a shopper has previously viewed a product on your store. That means someone visiting only your homepage wouldn’t see the testimonials.

Why (A/B testing)

This tab lets you decide if you want to A/B test your Shopify testimonial popups. It’ll allow you to enable or disable testing and also determine the percentage split of who to show the content to. The default is a 50/50 split, meaning 50% of the time customers see the testimonials, and the other 50% do not see the testimonials. This data can be used to compare to each other and determine whether the skill is helping you out.

By default, this skill is turned off. You can enable it yourself and also find out more about A/B Testing through this article.

How to Beat the Summer Shopping Blues

Beating the Summer Blues

With changing temperatures come changing customer behaviours. While the air is sizzling your sales may not be. Why does the summer mean shopper blues? How come sales tend to drop, especially for eCommerce stores during the summer period?

Why do sales drop in the summer?

People tend to be out and about enjoying the sunshine. Many take the chance to vacation in the summer. There also aren’t very many major holidays during the summer (other than Canada Day/July 4th/May 2/4 in Canada and the US). This tends to mean shoppers are spending less time on their devices, and well, less time shopping.

To keep those sales sizzling, you’ll need to work a tad harder during the warmer months. You need creative ways to sell your products during these slower months. You can use an app like Fera and use the features we provide to add social proof and urgency to your site.

Summer Items

If it makes sense for your brand and for the products you sell, then why not sell summer products? Things like sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, sports gear and so on practically sell themselves in the summer. These items are must haves for those spending their time outdoors. Think of the products you may have, or those you could introduce, that would be needed during the summer months. Offer promotions and sales or highlight these products on your homepages. You can shelve some products that aren’t likely to do well, and keep your business going during the sweltering months of summer.


Shelve those products that won’t do well in summer months or stop stocking up on inventory for them. Rather, you want to increase the inventory of items that are deemed “summer products”. You can also plan ahead and chat with your vendors and your warehouses to negotiate deals. This will help you pass off the savings to your customers and keep your prices low to tempt and sell as many as you can!

Consider expanding your market

While North America may be experiencing summer, it’ll be cold on the other half of the globe. If you can manage it, try shipping internationally. By offering products to the new market you may be able to sell more and even offload some of your ‘winter’ inventory. Just keep in mind that new markets are tricky. Marketing may be different, and the wants and needs of these customers may differ from what you’re used to.

Side Note: Check out this Holiday Calendar that has every holiday on it-from the most obscure holidays like “Leave the Office Early Day” to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Adding apps to your eCommerce store

Setting up an eCommerce business

Getting a business up and running online is difficult. But the hardest part is yet to come: selling. While you have an eCommerce business now, and you have products and an idea of how you’re selling, where you’re selling and who you’re selling to, you still have to sell!

Most people with online businesses either own the brick and mortar location and have an online option, or more often than not, they’re selling online as a sort of side job or hobby. Devoting time to managing your site and selling can be a lot of work. Luckily there are apps out there that can do some of the hard work for you!


eCommerce apps are typically applications that help some process or aspect of your online business. Apps can do things like collect information about your shoppers, create referral or loyalty programs, deliver information about your store, engage leaving visitors, or even add social proof and urgency to your store!

Most of the eCommerce platforms out there have an app marketplace. You can browse apps here and see what best fits your needs. Most often the apps have a trial period so you can test things out and see how they work for you first. There are both free and paid apps, and lots of them are great.

What to look for in an app?

Choosing apps can be really difficult. There are so many available options, how can you tell what’s good? You can check out stores you use and see what kinds of things they do that make you purchase. Do they have promo deals? Social proof popups? Do they let you know what’s in stock and how many people have made a purchase? Are you sent promotional emails? Use that to start your search and narrow down what kinds of things you want on your site.

I like to check out the reviews. See what good (and bad) things people have to say about the app. See how long they’ve been around for, and maybe even give them a quick Google to find out more about the app or its creators. See what your fellow eCommerce owners are saying about apps and what they recommend. Ask your developer or designer if they’d recommend anything they’ve seen or worked with in the past.

Another thing is their support. Do they have help articles and information explaining how to use the app? Do they have live chat for customer support that you can easily access if you need help? These are important things to consider, especially if you’re not very tech savvy or have a hard time with online stuff.

In Summary

Knowing what you want and need for your eCommerce online business will help you narrow down which apps will work best for you. Take the time to do some research and see what other users are saying. You can always reach out to the app support and ask questions or try the app out if it has a free trial before committing to anything fully. The app store/marketplace can be your best friend and business partner if you know what’s worth your time and money. Look for apps that can prove their worth or show they’re making a difference. Try stuff out and have fun selling!

For a great app to boost your conversions check out It’s an app that makes it easy to add urgency, social proof and personalization to your online store to significantly increase your conversion rate.

Customer Service-On Social Media

What is Social Media Customer Service?

Social media customer service is the latest version of customer service available-it’s customer service but offered through social media platforms. Often, it’s more comprehensive than the service we’re used to. It covers before the purchase, during the purchase, and after the purchase. All of the typical issues can be resolved like helping with complaints, providing instruction or guidance, answering questions, and even helping with refunds or order tracking.

The Importance of Social Media

Social media is a constantly growing and changing platform. It’s adapting the way we interact with others and the brands we love. It allows you to connect in real-time and its instantaneous. People like the ease of use, and many would rather get help through their cellphones or online rather than through a typical call or email even.

How to use Social Media Effectively in Customer Service

Effective social media customer service will meet the needs of your customers. Remember to answer and respond to both negative and positive comments. Be careful in how you respond to and manage the negative ones as it may effective future or new customers in choosing you. You want to try and maintain reasonable engagement on social media with your customers, but don’t take dedicated time from your support team’s inquiries. Address the most critical and urgent things first and try to ignore any ‘trolls’.

You can develop an FAQ or a system that can respond with help articles to any questions customers ask automatically. This may save your team time if you find you get the same questions constantly. Make sure your team is on the same page, and in some cases make sure you have some best practices in place. It’ll make your answers consistent and make sure every customer is getting the info they need and being treated well.

Tools you can use

There are tools out there like Intercom that let you link things like Facebook and Grasshopper voice messages to one platform. Then you can answer questions and concerns from your site, as well as calls that come in, or messages from your FB page through Messenger.

The Importance of Saving your Stuff

I don’t know how many times I tell people this-but saving your stuff will save your life! You never know when you’ll make a change, or something happens, and you’ll wish you saved that thing that you didn’t think you’d need. Backups are a lifesaver. There’s a reason we have an undo button, and change tracking, and version saves. It’s to make our lives easier. It’s to make sure we don’t lose data.

Saving data in the online eCommerce world is even more important. You’d be surprised what you can learn from customer data. You can map trends, see what items are popular, see what’s often purchased together and a million more things.

Data Loss

Losing backups or previous saves can actually cause downtime for your business or make your site unreachable. Data loss can come from hacks, from human error, from an online error, or even an angry past customer or employee. So, you need to ensure you have a recovery plan in place-before you need it!

A Backup System

A good backup system for saving your online stuff should have a few things. It should be regularly updated (for all those times you update/change your website), it should be full and capture as much data from your site as possible, it should be stored separately from your servers and your site (if you have them) and you should be able to easily use and access it when you need it. While these seem like simple things, you’d be surprised how often you’re not prepared for data loss.

Why do I need a backup for my Shopify/BigCommerce store?

I’m a firm believer in having previous versions of your store or site saved. You should even keep a separate word document noting the changes you or anyone else have made. This is important for when you install and uninstall apps, or for when you have developers or designers work on your site. Everyone is human and makes mistakes. Maybe your developer royally screwed up your cart page and now nobody can check-out. If you have previous versions or have notes on the changes he or she made, then you can always get help elsewhere and it’s 1000 times easier.

How often should I save?

I don’t think there is a minimum or maximum that is a good rule of thumb. On your site since it’s constantly fluctuating with sales and updates, backup your site at least once a day if possible. If you’re writing blog posts, then maybe after every paragraph-especially when you start to restructure and move sections around. If you’re editing your store’s theme code than save as often as you can. Even creating different saved versions of your theme and labelling them can often be helpful when making bigger changes.

The moral of the story here is save-before you need to! Losing data is never fun, and recovery can be a frustrating hassle, or even impossible. Save yourself the trouble now by taking a few minutes and ensuring you have a recovery plan, backup options and other ways to ensure your data stays safe and recoverable.

What is SEO and Why Does it Matter?


SEO is ‘search engine optimization’. It’s the practice of optimizing and making your site better to increase the quantity and the quality of the traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

What’s important in SEO?

Keyword density is one thing you’ve probably heard about in regard to SEO. It means that your blog or page or post has a keyword. You need to use it enough times (density), but not too many that it becomes overwhelming. Make sure you use them thoroughly and frequently, an exact percentage like many claim isn’t exactly right.


Links help determine how popular things on the internet are. You want to be trying to link build. This means having other sites link back to yours or a specific article/blog. Shares on social media also help in spreading links of your site around. This is largely how search engines like Google can help to rank the popularity of a site-the amount of links and links shared.

Functionality of your site

Your site needs to be able to function and run properly so that bots can ‘crawl’ it and index your content. This means no broken links, changed or missing URLs or even weird code. Everything needs to function so that bots are able to crawl your site properly and share this with search engines like Google.

Make sure your content is good

You want to ensure that you have good quality content. Make sure that it answers the question or addresses the title. You want it to be share-worthy and shareable content to ensure it’s successful.

How to Talk to Your Customers

In today’s eCommerce world, communicating with your customers is key. The way you interact with your customers has a HUGE impact on your brand. Remember that your customers are people too, and as cliché as it sounds-treat them the way you would want to be treated as a customer.

It’s quite easy to forget this, and think people are asking stupid questions or wanting too much. But don’t forget, you know your product/service inside and out, so it’s easy to forget that at one point you might not have known everything there is to know either.

Communication is Key

If you can speak/write to customers in their own language that’s great! Having a multi-lingual team is great to be able to help customers in more than one language. But don’t worry, sometimes you can get by speaking only one language. If you do online support, you can always try Google Translate. It may not be perfect, but then maybe you can at least understand what they are having issues with.

Use positive language when possible. Avoid words like ‘can’t’, ‘don’t’ and ‘won’t’ and try to phrase things in a more positive manner. Say you are sold out of an item. Rather than telling a customer “We can’t get you that item” you might want to try “It looks like we’ll be re-stocking in a week. I can place the order now, and then it’ll be sent once it’s stocked again!”. This conveys the same message, but in a more positive manner.

Keep Your Cool

Remember, talk to customers with respect and treat them how you’d want to be treated. Even if a customer is angry or losing it, you need to keep a calm head. Stay respectful and continue to try to help them.

Don’t forget your manners, even if people aren’t responding with theirs!

Tone and Message is Key

You want to be sending brief messages in a timely manner. Wait too long and customers can get annoyed. They also don’t want to be reading 1,000+ word responses if they don’t need to. Try and address the customer by name if possible, as that’s friendly and sometimes it helps make support seem less robotic. You can also mirror the way talk. If they’re more professional than use a more professional tone. If they use GIFs and LOLs, then you can relax your tone a bit too.

How the World of Buying Has Changed

The way we buy has most definitely changed over the last decade. The business to consumer (B2C) and the business to business (B2B) processes have seen the biggest changes. Consumers don’t just hit your site, scroll to what they want and purchase it immediately. That would be too easy. Rather they spend some time, do some research and gather information. Then they might make the buy. The larger the purchase, the more time it usually takes to close the sale.

Business to Consumer Buying

The stakes are not as high in a B2C relationship. Typically purchases are made based on the purchaser’s emotions and their brand recognition. They aren’t making decisions that impact the business in the long term.

Business to Business Buying

In the business to business world prospective customers are spending more time doing their research on specific vendors. They’re looking at reviews and other companies you’ve worked with. In some cases, they may want to see case studies or data supporting how much you helped another business. You need to stick with them through the journey and prove your value to them.

Often a company will recognize they have an issue that needs solving, they’ll start to research what products/services are available to them to solve their issue, evaluate the pros and cons of the different options and then make a purchase. Some may even do another evaluation after purchase to determine if it’s still right for them, or if it made a change. This can also happen during the period before renewal of your product or service if it occurs.

Make sure you’re online and that you have content

Because B2B’ers are doing research, you want to make sure you have good online content. They’ll be searching to see similar companies that had similar issues and how they solved them.

The after-purchase relationship

Once a customer has bought your product/service it isn’t just the end of the road like it may have been with a B2C relationship. You want to keep them engaged and happy to continue your relationship with them. Make sure you provide service and support. You may want to gather feedback too, and even add-on other services or products in the future. It took a lot of effort to potentially snag that business customer, so don’t waste it!

Wrap Up

With changes in customers and also in technology, the relationships between businesses and their customers has changed. As technology improves so does our access to information. We can research what we buy and know about the company we’re buying from. On the business side it also makes it easier to talk to your customers.

Influencer Marketing and Why it Works

What is influencer marketing?

Before we begin let’s get the definitions out of the way. Influencer marketing is a strategy that uses ‘influencers’ to push a brand or store’s message to the audience. These are people who are typically related to or tied to your market somehow. So, if you were a makeup brand you might use an influencer like James Charles or Jeffree Star to push your product(s) and/or service(s). Most people in the makeup community know these two, and they are deeply connected amongst the makeup world already. If you want to know a bit more you can check out the article on influencer marketing here.

Boost your brand’s awareness

People like to know their fave celebrities or people are using your product. Especially if they’re in the community your brand is a part of or related to. We tend to trust the opinions of these kinds of people. In our eyes they’re almost like experts.

Get the trust of your audience

You can gain your audience’s trust by using influencers they know or like. You can foster authenticity this way and boost your brand awareness. If an influencer is promoting you and using your product people overcome their fear of online shopping a bit more and tend to trust your online store that much more.

Improve clicks, SEO and cart abandonment

Having influencers promoting your stuff can actually help improve some important metrics for you. They can boost the number of clicks to your site, the time spent on your site by customers, and even your cart abandonment rates and SEO. Influencers tend to have a lot of followers and by posting your site link his can help increase clicks in the eyes of Google. This in turn improves your ranking on search engines which will continue to help your store in the long run. Visitors may also checkout your site longer or share the influencer post or link with a friend. This social sharing will boost your sales as well. With a trusted face or person backing you, your site will see less cart abandonments and in turn higher revenue!

Where can I use influencers?

Influencer marketing can work on any social media. The most popular for images is Instagram. Videos can be shared as well, but they tend to be better on a platform like Facebook. Wordier content is better hosted on something like Twitter even. Livestreams may also be the way to go for you. A lot of brands are partnering with gaming live streamers and having them promote their product in a brand deal. How many times have you seen gamers sitting in branded game chairs, or drinking something like Red Bull? It’s small things like this that subconsciously push the products to your users. If they see their fave influencer drinking Red Bull all the time, then maybe they’re more likely to buy it or try it out.

Cart Abandonment and Converting Customers

What is Cart Abandonment?

Cart abandonment is the phenomenon where customers arrive on your site and then add something to their cart but leave without ever completing the purchase. Any item that hits a cart but doesn’t go through the checkout process is considered abandoned by the shipper.

You can calculate the rate by tracking the number of visitors who have items in their carts but disappear before making the purchase. Tools like Google Analytics and can help you see the rates of abandonment and the rates of ‘add-to-carts’.

Why is the Cart Abandonment Metric Important?

Every online business face cart abandonment at some point and to some degree. Many merchants consider it to be one of the top challenges they face. The metric is important to help you, as the business owner, determine how your sales funnel is working. A high Abandonment rate may help uncover some issues in your online business. Maybe your shipping rates don’t calculate correctly or are too high. Or perhaps the UX is bad on the cart page. By trying to reduce the cart Abandonment metric, you are improving your conversion rate, which in turn will lead to sales and revenue for your eCommerce business.

What are the Reasons Behind Abandoned Carts?

People may abandon their carts for a number of reasons. Sometimes there are costs that appear in the checkout page that were originally unexpected and push the total past a point the customer is comfortable with. These can be fees like taxes, shipping costs, or even conversion from one currency to another. Some customers are just browsing and don’t want to commit yet. They may be price matching and have a better price elsewhere. Sometimes the process is too long or difficult to figure out and the customer is impatient and drops off from making the purchase. Maybe you don’t deliver to the customer’s country or city. Or your checkout looks sketchy and customers are concerned for their security or privacy. Understanding the underlying reasons for your customer’s dropping off from the sales funnel can help you make important updates or decisions regarding your store.

How Can I Fix Issues with my Store?

Once you find the underlying reason(s) for abandoned carts you can address the issues. You can simplify the checkout process and make it as fast as possible. Think of how you’d want the experience to be if you were the customer. Make buttons easy and readable, and don’t ask for too much information! Add a progress bar to show customers how far they are in the checkout process. This allows them to easily switch between sections and make edits too. Offering a guest checkout option also allows for a quicker checkout process. You could even offer login through other social media services like Facebook. You can add social proof and trust badges to make the checkout process more reassuring and trustworthy.

Start Blogging for your eCommerce Business

What is blogging?

What is a blog? Well in short imagine it as an online diary. Well, at least that’s how they started out. It was a place for people to talk about their lives or share things. In 2019 it’s grown into a new way to communicate information. So, a blog is an online journal (or website, or part of a website) that displays information. Usually newer posts appear first, and then rest fall in line chronologically by the date and time they were posted. A blogger is a person who writes blogs, and blogging (verb) is the act of writing a blog

Why do people blog?

Blogging is to share information or recipes or stories. For a business they might use blogging to get their keywords or their site ranked more highly on Google or other search engines. Running a blog makes your website searchable and competitive. It helps connect you to a relevant audience, and to potential customers. It can boost the traffic and the leads to your website. Adding a quick call to action (CTA) will help turn that blog traffic into good conversions!

Why does your eCommerce store need a blog?

Blogging is an awesome way to create and build an audience. You can generate traffic and sales for your growing online eCommerce business. Even posting every once in a while, can help you out. Blogs help improve SEO, explain your product and related topics, and they can even increase engagement. Most of the idea of content marketing is related to writing good blog posts. Write about your product, write about similar products, or competitors. The topics are endless!

Increasing your businesses searchability

Blogging helps to get more reach for your business. It helps your SEO. It means your site has more pages, and more pages means that more internal links are pointing to your homepage. There are more chances that someone might come across your blog and find your site. If your blogs get shared, then they get linked to other sites and your page rankings can improve. This will help you climb higher in search engine results and put your blog in front of more and more people. Having posts every so often helps people to see that your website is being updated and that it’s being taken care of. Google rewards active sites by ranking them more highly

Tell your businesses story

Blogging lets you get a bit more personal with your audience. You can craft the story of your business and make a case for why consumers should go with your products and your brand instead of your competitors. People respond emotionally to stories, and they will connect more to your company if you can tell a good story. Your blog can help you get noticed by other sites and people. They’ll share your content and hopefully tell all their friends!

Selling products using Reddit!

Reddit is often an overlooked social media platform. When you think about eCommerce or marketing your mind probably isn’t drifting to Reddit. But I’m going to tell you why you should check it out more often and start thinking about it as a community that can end up helping your business.

What is Reddit?

Reddit calls itself the “front page of the internet” and honestly that’s the best way to describe it. It’s a collection of forums, where people can share stories, videos, opinions and anything else they may want to share. If you can think of a topic there’s probably a ‘subreddit’ or forum channel dedicated to that topic. But seriously, there’s a whole subreddit dedicated to ‘real bees wearing fake top hats’. Check it out if you don’t believe it!

If you just want an overview you can head to the front page of Reddit. It serves trending posts from a variety of subreddits. You can filter by what’s trending, what’s new or even by what’s controversial. You can also search by topic, key word, or subreddit in the navigation bar. Reddit is governed by admins who dictate what type of content is allowed as there are community guidelines to Reddit, and also within subreddits.

So how does Reddit tie into eCommerce?

Because Reddit is a platform for just about everything it is a great place to learn about what’s trending and get people’s opinions on things. For marketers this may mean checking out comments to see what users are saying about your company/products/brand. It’s also useful for first-time business creators who may want ideas for what to sell. Two great subreddits are ‘Buy It For Life‘ and ‘Shut Up and Take My Money’. Buy it For Life is a reddit thread where posters talk about products they’ve had that have survived a long time. These are products they stand behind, they’re durable and they’ve continued to do their job. It’s also a place to post if you want suggestions for say, a new vacuuum cleaner, or a new desk chair, or the best place in LA to get your car washed, whatever you might need.

What are you going to sell?

A tried and true problem for a lot of eCommerce businesses starts from the very beginning of a store’s conception-what are you going to sell? I’d argue this is the most important part of your business, more important than your brand or your beautifully coded website. People won’t want to spend money or boring or mediocre products, especially if they can get them somewhere else. So, invest some time into really thinking about what you’re going to sell, and to who!

Passion Projects

If your dream to start an eCommerce business comes from something you love doing or making, then it’ll be easy to align your love and passion with products. That passion will be the fuel and motivation you need on your journey to start and run an eCommerce store. Start with what interests you have, and things that you already do or like to do. Answering these questions will lead you in the right direction to selling products!

What are you good at?

It’s going to be a lot easier to sell products if you’re already good at something. Use the skills you already have and make the most of them. As they’ve always said, “If you’re doing something you love you won’t work a day in your life!” Use your own competitive advantages, well, to your advantage.

Research, research, research

Use the tools and skills at your disposal. You can check out Google and other places on the internet for ideas. Or pick up a book on eCommerce or selling. There’s a lot of information out there that you can have access to that can help you out. A great tool is Google Trends which lets you look at trends on certain keywords over a period of time. This will help you see what people are becoming interested in, and what they’re losing interest in.

What’s trendy on social media?

Check out social media like Twitter and Instagram to see what people are talking about. They have trending pages and keywords (hashtags!) that let you see what’s popular and what people are talking about. Checkout ads and other sponsored posts that other companies may be marketing on these platforms as well. This kind of research will help you out a lot in deciding what to sell.

Artificial Intelligence and eCommerce

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the simulation of the human intelligence processes by machines. It’s trying to mimic human speech, behavior, feelings and other aspects. It seems like an easy way to personalize and humanize your business, but how can we utilize AI in eCommerce?

AI and eCommerce

Many eCommerce businesses and platforms already use AI technology to develop their ideas and to interact with their customers. This helps to better understand your customers and their behaviours. It can even generate new leads or better the customer’s experience on your site.

Targeting your customers

AI can help determine potential new customers for your business. You’re able to find pre-qualified potential buyers who may be interested in your product or your service. Because many stores already have customer data lying around it can be utilized to help target shoppers.

Personalization for your customers

Artificial intelligence can also help you personalize each individual user’s experience(s). If you visit a site it may notice you spend more time looking at the electronics colelctions than the cat toys. AI can start to learn your behaviours and shopping patterns and then provide you deals on certain electronics, or send targeted ads for specific electronic merchandise. You can also capture the attention of shoppers by using chatbots. As a result they can help provide easy and effective customer support if needed. Chatbots used in the cart pages can provide a customer with specific product details if they need further information, and this can lead to a sale. It seems like an easy way for customers to get the information and the answers they need before making a purchase.

Offering Recommendations

As mentioned earlier, a lot of stores have a lot of data from their users without knowing what to do with it. This is where AI can step in. It can assisst with sales, by offering recommendations based on the recent searches made by a customer. By offering potentially relevant items, or items that can be paired with the product they are browsing, there is a higher potential for success in upselling. Customers like not having to sift through products that are not relevant to them and it increases the likelihood of sales for the eCommerce store owner.

What are the Benefits of eCommerce?

The Global Market

An online store has the whole world at its fingertips. The entire market is available to you as a business owner. You can make a store as general or as niche as you want it to be, whereas a brick-and-mortar store is limited by its geographical area.

Available 24/7

The internet never stops, and neither does eCommerce. Some may see this as a benefit and a burden. Yes, your shop is open 24/7 for customers to buy, but that also means you need your shipping and your team to also work 24/7 so that customers are always being attended to. It’s convenient for the customers, and for the merchant its more opportunity for sales.

Lower costs

The biggest cost saving is in not having a brick-and-mortar location. There are no overhead costs from renting a place to put and build your business. Typically hosting sites for eCommerce platforms are fairly cheap as well, and they’re typically easy to use. You also don’t need sales staff. Granted, your costs will go to warehouses and product storage, as well as potentially to covering some shipping costs. But you could also consider drop-shipping, which may even save those potential costs!

Available anywhere

As we said, eCommerce is a global business and market. You can sell virtually anywhere and anytime. If you’re the merchant running the business, you can also typically be working from anywhere. All it takes is a connection to the internet and a computer to get to your eCommerce store to manage it.


You have the world at your fingertips-and also its data! This will help you start to understand customer behaviours and buying habits. You can see your market, and what industry trends are. This allows you the opportunity for targeted marketing. As a merchant, you can better understand your customers and their wants and needs, and then cater to those exact wants and needs.

Understanding the Liquid Code that Shopify Uses

Understanding what Liquid is

Liquid is a coding language template that was created by Shopify. It is also written in Ruby, an open source programming language. Liquid is finally available as an open source project on GitHub. If you own a Shopify store then you’ll certainly have come across Liquid, as it is the backbone of all the Shopify themes and it’s used to load dynamic content on all online store pages.

The syntax of Liquid code

Liquid is an easy to understand and read code, because it is constructed in a readable manner which is how it can be differentiated from code like HTML. Liquid code uses {{ }} curly brackets and percentage signs {% %}. The liquid code uses 3 major pieces: objects, tags and filters.


Objects are output pieces of data from the Shopify admin. Objects are wrapped in the curly brackets like so: {{ product.title }}. The output of this on your site’s page would therefore be replaced with an item from your store.


Liquid tags are used for logic statements and control the flow of a template. This is where the % signs come into place, they surround the text like so: {% if product.available %}. What this means is that the logic won’t be shown on the page, but you can assign variables and create conditions and loops. In the example, if the product is available you’ll see and output on the site page of the price. If you set another condition using {% else %} then if the item is, say sold out, it will display a sold out message instead of the price.


Filters are used to modify the output of numbers, strings, objects and variables. An example of for colours, for example: {{ '#7abb55c' | colour_lighten: 30 }}. This would put the output as #d0e5c5, which is 30% lighter than #7abb55c.

Some Useful Information

It takes time to understand and get used to Liquid. Because it’s a more readable code, it’s often easier to look through and deduce what the code will do. For further information you can read more about features on Shopify’s help page, or through this reference page that similarly explains tags, filters, objects and even the basics of Liquid code.

Why Should I Understand Liquid

Understanding Liquid will help you as a store owner, and it will help you to realize what your theme is doing. Even if you are not a developer or a coder/engineer, you may be able to fix some things on your own or understand where problems are coming from. This may save you time and money in the future!

What do return policies mean for eCommerce stores?

eCommerce platforms and stores are gaining a lot of traction. More and more of us are shopping online, which also means more and more exchanges and new return policies. But what does this mean for store owners, and what does the mean for consumers?

But Don’t Customers Handle Returns?

In the past it was on the consumer to pay for a return or to deal with the hassle. You would be the one heading to the store to go through the process, or you’d be packaging the product back up and paying the costs at the post office. However, with the growth of direct-to-customer business, and the growth of the eCommerce world, the “hassle-free” returns and exchanges policies are becoming increasingly common. With retail giant Amazon offering unheard of policies, many other eCommerce businesses are having to follow suit to compete.

Is a Return Policy Really an Issue?

Some customers are ordering the same item(s) in multiple colours or sizes to figure out what they like the best, or what fits the best, and then returning the rest. Currently the return rates in physical stores are less than those of online retailers. Return rates are becoming unsustainable, especially for smaller brands. Brands are already having to compete with eCommerce giant Amazon, and Amazon is able to offer amazing policices. Because their focus is on growth, they’re able to offer such generous policies.

What can be done?

Rather than cutting a return policy entirely, brands can find better ways to offer returns or exchanges to their customer base.

To combat these issues, some retailers have been increasing the average order size to qualify for free shipping. Some have been adding better measures to minimize fraud. Those retailers with physical locations are encouraging shoppers to exchange their products in the brick-and-mortar locations instead.

Free Shipping skill for return

Other retailers won’t offer you your money back, rather they will give you a credit for their store to spend that money on something else instead.

Where do we go from here?

The real issue here is that some customers may stop shopping at brands that don’t have generous return policies. Those retailers switching back to older more restrictive return policies will receive backlash, and that could be detrimental. But if nothing changes, then return costs will just continue to rise.

Tips to Help Build Your Online Brand

Serve Your Customers

Always remember who your audience is. Who are you trying to attract and what are their wants and needs? This will set you onto the path for success and help determine everything you do as a business and as a brand. Look for any trends and patterns in your customers. Do they come from Instagram ads, are they always on mobile, are they a younger or older generation? These analytics can help you market and sell and are valuable pieces of information in determining your direction as a business. Understand your customer’s behaviour so you can better serve them and personalize their experience.

Create a Story

People can connect to your brand if you create a brand story. Who are you and how did you get here? Having customers connect emotionally will help them remember your business and build trust with them. Give customers your vision and your mission. Tell them what you stand for and what you care about. Befriend them and they’ll become loyal (and returning) customers.

Become a Voice for Change

Your ideals help define who you are as a business. Think about what you stand for. If you’re a business like tentree then your brand mission is for planting trees and helping nature overall. This idea of championing change is important to tentree, and people have joined and loved the brand because of their commitments to the environment. Think of what causes you stand for and see if they can align with your business. If they do-great. Now think about how you can champion those values too.

Ask for Help

If you’re having trouble-ask for help! Your peers have advice, and your customers are sometimes willing to share what they liked and what they didn’t like. This feedback is important and can help you shape and change your business. Ask for reviews and testimonials from customers who had good experiences. Sharing these with your new customers will build trust and show them that your brand is the one to go with!

A Brand Strategy

Create a Brand Strategy

Creating a brand strategy before you even start to think about the branding process can help guide your business. You can decide exactly what you stand for, who you’re marketing to, and what you want your business to be.

To start building a brand strategy you have to:

    Start research about the market your company is in
    Determine who your target audience will be
    Figure out what your goals are (your mission and your vision will be helpful here!)
    Determine the core value of your brand
    Create a brand guide that will be helpful when you’re in the media or other people want to write about you
    Create a logo and decide on some colours

Creating a Name and Figuring Out What to Sell

This will probably be the hardest part of your brand strategy. You want a short and simple name that is related to your business. It should be easy to pronounce (maybe even easy to spell), not be associated with anything vulgar or inappropriate, and be related to what you do or sell.

Figuring out to sell will also be hard. Maybe you already have a product or service, or maybe you just know you want to start a business. Determining your target demographic will be key in this step. By figuring out who you’ll sell to you can better understand what you want to sell. Do your research in this step to understand the market and what’s already out there. Decide if you’re a niche product or service or if you’re offering something that’s out there just in a better or more improved way.

Market Yourself

To get your brand out there you’ll need to market yourself. A great start would be to learn some of the Google Suite of tools for your business. Learn things like AdWords and the Facebook Business pages to understand marketing and social media. Maybe Instagram is a better way to sell, or you want to get on blogs. Decide what’s right for you and learn more about that avenue of marketing. Some brand channels can include:

    Social media (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Google, etc.)
    A marketing campaign
    Newsletters/email advertisements
    Videos/TV commercials

Memorable Logo and Brand Design for eCommerce that Will Increase Sales

Creating a Brand and Logo

Creating an identify for your business through a well-made logo and a thought-out brand design is hugely important. Having a well-designed brand can tell your customers who you are as a business and make you stand out from your competition.

Your logo is a graphic interpretation of your organization. Your brand is your story. Both should be memorable and well designed to garner interest with your target market.

Start with Research

You need to determine what your business is. Who is your target audience? How do you want your clients and employees to perceive you? Ultimately the goal of your brand and its logo is to convey what your company is about. Try to incorporate your mission and values. But do all of this without saying a word-just with an image.

These questions and thoughts will help to guide you when it comes time to choose design elements and colours. All visual elements have some kind of cognitive association to people, and it’s good to keep these in mind when designing your brand image.

Design Elements

Details like the colour, font and even the shapes you use will be important to creating a brand image and a logo that represent your business. You can use colours in your logo, but always have a black and white version for times when colour isn’t appropriate, or for when something isn’t printed in colour!

Take a look at colour wheels and make sure you understand complementary colours. You don’t want your logo to clash and you want it to be nice to the eyes. Also consider that different resolutions and screens may make the colours look different or stretch out your logo.

For fonts make sure to use something readable. Sans-serif fonts are actually great because for those with dyslexia it’s easier to read. Even comic sans is very readable-though we agree it’s not the prettiest!

Serif fonts are typically more traditional, so if you’re trying for a younger or millennial crowd you may want to switch it up and try something like ‘Space Mono’ or ‘Montserrat’.

Hidden Elements

There are a few brands you may be familiar with that have little hidden messages within them. For example, the brand ‘Tostitos’ has 2 people sharing some chips and dip hidden in their brand name. Check it out:

Amazon has the well-known smiling arrow under their logo-but have you ever noticed that it points from A-Z, showing that at Amazon you can buy just about anything-from A to Z!


Don’t be afraid to try something different and bold! But remember-design is key. Use the rights colours and fonts to get your business’s message across. Keep it light and fun and make sure it’s readable. This is the first thing customers will be seeing when they become familiar with your brand-make it memorable!

The QR Code Comeback

What are QR codes?

QR is short for Quick Response Code. They are those funny looking matrix barcodes you may have seen cropping up all over the place. These barcodes are machine-readable and can contain information. Originally, they were used on products, so the code would provide further details about the product. Typically, the codes point to a website or application.

Previously one needed a special app to be able to use QR codes. Now companies like Apple and Google are able to include the detection of codes natively in their operating systems. This addressed the main barrier that existed, as previously they were reliant on outside apps to read the codes. QR codes have fast readability and have more storage capacity than the average UPC barcode.

How do I use a QR code?

Anyone who has a mobile phone can use their camera to detect QR codes. Most recent phones have this capability built in as it becomes more common to use QR codes. You may have seen posters for tickets use them with the code taking you to the band’s website. Or perhaps you’ve used the Snapchat QR codes to quickly add someone to your friends list. QR codes can even be used on forms to take you to an online consent waiver, or information form. The uses for QR codes are quite endless in today’s internet connected world.

QR codes consist of vertical and horizontal black squares arranged in different patterns on a grid. The required data is stored and can be extracted from the patterns present in the vertical and horizontal parts of the images.

How does QR work?

When using your camera, you point the front-facing camera at the code. It typically takes less than a second once the device recognizes the code. Then the user can click the link that will take them to the desire location. This is especially helpful on items or packaging or posters where there isn’t enough space for all the information, or where the website can act as a partner to whatever has the code on it. This allows brands to create B2C relationships with consumers.

Why should I use QR Codes?

The codes allow consumers and merchants to build relationships. You can connect the mobile user’s daily life with a virtual reality. By adopting a real life and online aspect it makes the brand more interactive and allows an easy way to share data and information. It’s a new channel for discovering products and acquiring customers.

Social e-Transactions

What are e-Transactions?

A transaction is an agreement between a buyer and a seller to exchange goods or services. An e-Transaction is the same agreement; however, it occurs online (hence the ‘e’).

So what does this have to do with Social Media?

With an ever-growing lists of apps that are connecting our world socially, we expect to be able to do everything online. Social Media apps are going so far as to bridge the gap between being social and shopping. Because honestly, what’s easier than being able to scroll your social feeds and shop when you see something you like? Brands are able to create a compelling visual story on their brand accounts. They can leverage influencers and brand ambassadors to further their reach and being able to buy at the click of a button makes it that much easier.

Trends and Indicators

With 1 in 4 people following brands on social media it’s easy to see why social e-Transactions are becoming bigger and better. Adding the option to buy something online on social apps seems like the logical thing to do. You’re seeing the item in real life, being worn or used by someone typically and you can see how many likes and interactions people are having with it. This type of social validation is going to help sell. People already make impulse purchases, but ~87% of eCommerce shoppers believe that social media helps them make a decision.

Social Buying

With new apps tracking our time online, it’s not hard to believe that the average person spends around 2 hours a day on social media platforms. This makes it easier for brands to show their products on a variety of platforms. Consumers can see and visualize the product; they can see other people’s engagement with it and they’re able to find out more about the items.

So where does this leave social e-Transactions?

With the growth of social platforms and the growth of the internet era, everything is doable at the click of a button. Being able to buy on social apps like Instagram and Twitter will allows consumers to get items more easily, and brands to sell online more easily.

Empathetic Design in UX

You want to be able to truly resonate with your user base or your customers. But how do you do this? And how do you do it well? By using empathetic design. We talked a bit about empathy in a recent blog post here. If you want to learn a bit more about designing with empathy you read more there.

How is empathy different than sympathy?

Empathy is the ability to understand another human being’s thoughts, feelings and situation from their point of view (rather than your own POV). It’s like that old adage of picturing yourself in someone else’s shoes.

It’s different than sympathy, which is usually an act to show your care for someone. It may not be easy to immediately understand what people are feeling or thinking. Thus, we cannot immediately solve a problem. We need to use our skills like intuition and imagination to gain insights.

Empathetic Design in UX

So how do we harness the power of empathy in our design (UX)? You should try to find out how your product or service makes a difference to what’s already out there. How do your users that you’re attempting to capture think, do, hear, feel, say and see? What are their reasons to feel this way? By mapping this out you can determine what users can gain from your product/service and what pain they are having with it. This will lead you to make product development choices.

Design for products are not only about how the product looks. It’s about how it works, and if it’s solving a problem. Is it helping users and is it meeting their expectations-essentially does it do what they want it to?

Using Empathetic Design

Using empathy in the design process helps you as a business understand what it important and meaningful to your customer base. You can build relationships and improve your customer retention and conversion rates. It’s helping increase the satisfaction of your guests with minimal effort. Being detached when designing is creating a major wedge between you and the user and this can severley hurt a user’s experience. You can’t assume a user will solve the problem the same way you as a designer or engineer would.

The best way to approach the issue of design is to assume the user knows nothing. Taking this approach means you’ll better explain things and make sure they work for your users. Simply take the time to carry out some research on your users and absorb that information into your overall decision-making and though-process.

eCommerce Business Models

The Mega-Giant that is eCommerce

By 2019 I’m sure everyone has made a purchase online at some point in their lives. Electronic commerce (eCommerce) encompasses all online marketplaces which connect sellers to buyers, and buyers to sellers. The internet is then used to process electronic transactions between different individuals.

eCommerce Business Models

Typically, eCommerce can be divided into 6 major categories or models. These models all represent different online relationships in the process of buying and selling goods:

    Business to Business (B2B)
    Business to Consumer (B2C)
    Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
    Consumer t Business (C2B)
    Business to Administration (B2A)
    Consumer to Administration (C2A)

Business to Business

These are transactions occurring between companies. That can include wholesalers and producers that deal with retailers. B2B accounts for transactions related to goods and services.

Business to Consumer

These are the relationships between the business and the end consumer. This often has to do with eCommerce that occurs online. This has grown more recently due to the birth and growth of the internet. The customer has lots of knowledge and description of the product, reviews, the ability to buy in bulk or at a discount and even sometimes have fast delivery.

Consumer to Consumer

This consists of electronic transactions between 2 customers. Often this occurs through a 3rd party online platform (think Etsy, FB Marketplace, Kijiji and eBay).

Consumer to Business

This is typically seen in crowdsourcing projects (like Kickstarter). In a situation like this the consumer or individual makes the item or service and sells it to a company. Think designing a logo for a company.

Business to Administration

This relationship consists of dealings between companies and public administration. It encompasses services like legal documents, employment and so on.

Consumer to Administration

Electronic transactions are between individuals and public administration. A good example of this is distance educatio and filing taxes electronically.

Why eCommerce?

eCommerce has created a scope of buying and selling that is hard to match. It has a huge reach globally and receptiveness to eCommerce is quite high. Customers have access to buying pretty much 24/7 with the ability to shop online. There are also typically fewer costs to the consumer as selling online offers the business a significant reduction of transaction costs.

All models of eCommerce are thriving, and it’s been said that online sales will increase their sales to 78% by the year 2020.

Creating Urgency to Boost Conversions & Sales

I am an avid online shopper. I love everything about it…the convenience, the selection. The fact that no one can mistake my small stature for a child while searching through the women’s section. As such a lover of online shopping, I feel like I am the PERFECT study for any marketing and sales tactic. I can tell you from personal experience that increasing urgency is a fantastic way to boost sales. (Hello, last pair of shiny pink ballet flats!)

They say the longer someone deliberates over a purchase, the more likely they’ll talk themselves out of it. As a sufferer of buyer’s remorse, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve talked myself out of a buy. But, if I know that there are only a few items left, you better believe I’m going to snatch those up!

This sense of urgency is something that you want to create for your store. As odd as it seems, you actually want to give your shoppers a slight push of anxiety.

I like to think of it like this: Say you’re buying an airline ticket to Tahiti. You’ve done your homework, you’ve found the flight with the best price with your favorite airline. Suddenly, you see there is only 1 ticket left on the flght! You know you’re going to whip out your credit card and pay up; you can’t miss out on getting that last ticket!

Here is the thing to remember, though. Yes, creating a sense of urgency is a great way to boost conversion and sales. But, there is a fine art to showing just the right amount of urgency to gently nudge shoppers in the right direction. Enter offers great skills for your eCommerce store for creating that sense of urgency. Enough to push a customer to a purchase, but not too much to scare them away! Choose from a variety of skills like countdown timers, low stock warnings and showing recent shopper activity.

Cart Timers

Cart timers kickstart the urgency when visitors to your store have added items to their carts. (Check out how it looks in the image below! Great, right?) This helps when you have stock that does disappear quickly. It also reacts to the individual shopper, not restarting if they leave the page or refresh.

Cart Timer showing in Cart

Low Stock + Viewer Count and Social Proof Popups

You can show other customer data with the ‘Custom Purchase + Viewer Counter in Product Detail’ Skill and the ‘Show Social Proof Popups Skill’. This neat skill allows you to create urgency by showing how popular an item is to your customers. You can even show off how many purchases the item has, and how many viewers are currently looking at your items.

Use the Social Proof Popups to have your own customers sell to other shoppers! Recent purchases and add to carts are tracked, and shows actual customer activities and actions are happening on your site. Why not have your customers do all the hard working selling for you?

Tidio Chatbots

Still have concerns about urgency or customers having issues and questions? Well you can always include chatbots. An app like Tidio helps you boost your conversion rates by allowing you to communicate with your customers, recover abandoned carts and answer any questions they have about your products.

Remember, customers accept everything immediately, and nudging them along to a sale boosts conversions and makes sure your customers are getting the products they want!

How to Give Each Influencer a Customized Version of Your Store


Have you ever wanted to give your customers an experience unique and individual to them? With it’s totally possible. You can tailor the experience of each customer to increase their chance of conversion and get them coming back for more!

In this blog post we’ll be going through some skills you can add to your store (custom and pre-built) that will make each customer’s journey on your eCommerce site one they won’t forget! Keep reading to find out how…

Influencer Marketing & Instagram

Suppose you do a lot of your marketing on platforms like Instagram. Or maybe you work with influencers who support or sell your products.

With you can customize the journey of the individual shopper by recognizing where they came from. Perhaps they click a post where you’re selling a t-shirt by a celebrity model who is the promoting influencer.

Now, you know they have some interest in the product, but how do you keep them around to make the purchase? How do you convince them to buy further products? Easy!

You create a custom skill that prompts them to buy when they’re inactive on the page. Or maybe you push similar products below the t-shirt by other model influencers. Better yet- offer them a special discount on the t-shirt! All of this is possible using a custom skill in the app.

Push Notification Example on your eCommerce store

Offering deals and promotions for only mobile or only web customers

Do a lot of your customers come from mobile? That’s not a problem. You can customize skills so that they only show for mobile customers, or, alternatively, customize them to now show for mobile customers at all.

You can make each skill look and act the way you want so you don’t need to worry about crazy popups taking up half of your mobile screen real estate. Create custom messages like the one shown below based on the journey of the visitor.

A specialized promo bar

We’ve all seen the standard promo bar that lets shoppers know you have free shipping, but have you seen one that changes the amount left to hit free shipping? Enter the promo bar!

As you add items to your cart, it does the math for you and lets you know how much closer you are to free shipping.

Once you add an item to your cart (like the $17 one I added) it lets your shoppers know how much they need to add to their cart to qualify for free shipping! (In my case, $33 more)

You can also add a promo bar skill that shows based on the shopper’s location. For example, perhaps it only shows for Canadian customers to let them know about your Canada Day promotion. Or maybe you want to let your US customers know about the July 4th weekend sale!

Why is all this customization useful?

Customizing your eCommerce store in this manner makes customers feel special. They won’t be annoyed to later find out they are only eligible for your sale if they lived in a different country.

They won’t be annoyed by pop-ups and shipping timers for customers from the US when they’re in Canada, and maybe they are even welcomed with a special message becaus they are a returning customer.

Something as simple as a welcome message in Spanish to Spanish speaking customers can make the difference between someone who makes a purchase versus someone who doesn’t. And who doesn’t love that?

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce Defined

eCommerce (or electronic commerce) refers to the buying/selling of goods and services using the internet. It invovles transferring money and data electronically.

When did it all begin?

Many believe that the first purchase ever made online was by a man in Philadelphia who purchased a Sting album. This sale was the first to be protected by encryption tech, though Pizza Hut also often gets credit for the first eCommerce transactions (they’ve been selling online since ’94!).

Different types of eCommerce merchants

Physical stores selling online

Many stores have physical retail locations, but also offer the ability to shop online. Stores like this can either ship the order to the shopper, or you can pick the item up in a location nearby.

Online only stores

Today a lot of stores only sell online so they don’t have to worry about the overhead of owning and operating a business in a brick-and-mortar sense. These stores ship products directly to their consumers.

Online services

Some services can be bought and sold online. These include online consultants, freelancers and even some classes. These also don’t have retail locations, and therefore don’t involve the shipment of goods anywhere. One can download the service or ‘e-good’ and have immediate access to it, or the service can be completed remotely (like coding new features into your website).

Types of eCommerce based on who is involved

Business to consumer (B2C)

Transactions involve a business and a consumer. The business sells the product to the consumers.

Business to business (B2B)

Transactions involve two businesses. An example of this is the company Square, who offers payment solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Consumer to business (C2B)

Consumers sell or contribute monetary value to a business. Crowdsourcing campaigns (think: Kickstarter) are considered C2B eCommerce.

There are a few other forms of eCommerce like government to business, business to government and consumer to government. These are not typical relationships in the eCommerce world, but they still exist.

eCommerce platforms

There are many different platforms that exist where one can create an eCommerce store. A few of the big players right now are Shopify, BigCommerce and WordPress.

Online Marketplaces

Another important feature of electronic commerce is the existence of online marketplaces. Some big ones are Amazon and eBay, but other companies like Facebook’s Marketplace, Kijiji, Etsy and Alibaba are also thriving. These online marketplaces facilitate transactions between merchants and their customers. The marketplace itself doesn’t have inventory (except for Amazon) and rather they connect different buyers and sellers to one another to allow them to do business.

Designing with Empathy

Creating truly valuable content can be hard. To be successful in your content strategy you need to be able to create a connection between your brand and audience. You can’t throw just anything at your audience, they have to connect to it or they won’t remember it.

What is Empathy?

Empathy is the ability that we have to see the world through another person’s eyes. This means we can see what they see, feel what they’re feeling, and experience the things that they do. Of course you can’t literally get in someone’s shoes, but we can get as close as possible. Instead of trying to understand someone from our own preconcieved notions, we put them aside and try to understand their thoughts, ideas and needs instead. Empathy is an innate quality that we all have. It helps gives us a better understanding of one another and it can be a great marketing technique.

empathy heads connected

Marketing with Empathy

Since we have so many similar goods to buy in today’s market, it’s hard to differntiate between them. This means brands need to become better at marketing and selling their products to us. They do this through empathy marketing.

Empathetic research is different than typical marketing research in that it isn’t concerned with facts, rather with their motivations and thoughts. It’s more subjective and qualitative than traditional marketing research and it requires interpretation as you need to determine what people mean, rather than what they say. The objective of empathetic research is to uncover those untangible needs and feelings that show what changes should be made in a product, system, or environment.


Empathy is important in the world of marketing because it allows us to fully understand and uncover the feelings of the people we’re trying to market to. Empathetic research involves collecting subjective information, but then objectively analyzing it. On an objective level you’re learning what people need to be able to do what they want to do. On a subjective level you understand what their goal is and what they’re feeling when trying to accomplish it. We all share empathy-you just need to figure out how to unlock it.

Optimizing Your Conversion Rate

What is a Conversion Rate?

Your site’s conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website (or eCommerce store) that complete a desired goal -known as a conversion- out of the total number of visitors. The higher the rate, the better your site or store is doing. You can use a handy tool like what Entrepreneur has here to see what an increase can do, and what impact improving your site or store can have on your total sales.

Types of Conversions

A conversion can change based on what your end goal is, and even what industry or market you’re working in. A few examples include:

    -A click on a button/link
    -Submission of a form
    -Completion of a purchase
    -Viewing certain pages
    -Bounce rate
    -Reading a specific article

Many different types of conversions can be tracked and measured. This helps you determine the overall health of your online store or site. These can help you measure the goals you have created and see if you’re on track towards completing your goals. Most different types can be measured using an A/B test on your site. For more information about A/B tests read this article.

ECommerce sites should focus heavily on increasing the percentage of visitors who make a purchase. For Fera we would use a conversion rate that tracks the number of users who click to signup for a Fera free trial. This helps us to see how successful our offering is, and where we can make improvements. Some improvements we could test with A/B testing are: changing the signup button colour, or making it more prominent when you visit the site’s homepage.

Ultimate Conversion Goals

A site or store can have many different conversions to track, but most sites will have an ultimate conversion goal that is the primary or overall goal of the site. Figuring out the specific action you want your visitors to complete the most will help you determine the best setup and what tests to run to ensure you’re having the right impact. The end goal is having an increase in your conversion goals, or to have high rates.

Using a Progressive Web App for the Customer Experience

What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)

Progressive web apps are websites that look, feel and function like an app. This means that the user or customer can access information from their fingertips without having to download a mobile app.

Basically PWAs use web capabiltities to deliver the app-like experience to a user or customer all within their browser of choice.

Progressive web apps are great at helping businesses and shp increase their conversions and keep bounce rates low, as users or customers are more likely to spend longer sessions on the site. They’re quick to load, have an improved performance, they’re usually quite engaging and best of all they use less data!

Though these apps are technically run in your web browser, they should still look and feel as a good as a native app would.

A Few PWA Examples

Twitter Lite

twitter lite PWA screenshot

Twitter aimed to make their mobile web experience better, faster and more engaging. From this need arose the Twitter Lite Progressive Web App. It’s aim was for instant loading, further user engagement and lower data consumption. This PWA still allows for push notifications, much like a native app would. It uses less data by feault as it serves smaller media resources and relies heavily on cached data. It allows the user to have control over when Twitter Lite downloads media assets by blurring images and allowing you to click on them to download.


Pinterest PWA screenshot

Pinterest wanted to grow internationally. They realized their mobile experience was not converting at the rate they needed for signups and installs of their app. Due to these issues they decided to invest in creating a PWA. With their new PWA the loadtime is significantly higher and they’ve noticed their enagagement and time spent on the site are significantly higher.

How artificial intelligence is saving jobs and businesses from the retail apocalypse

JC Penny and Gymboree are the latest announcement of store closures in the United States. As e-Commerce booms and Amazon is reaping the rewards—in fact nearly 50% of all online sales last year and 5% of all retails sales—stores as falling victim to the retail apocalypse. But, how are they selling so well compared to companies that have been around for eons and know their customers inside and out? Two words: Artificial intelligence.

The traditional sales process is one that everyone from baby boomers to millennials are familiar with. You walk into a retailer and within seconds a salesperson is there to greet you. You are then courted through the store and shown items based on assumptions that appeal to your age, demographic, what you’re wearing or even who you’re with.

But, this customized experience is what most e-Commerce sites are failing at miserably, while Amazon does really well.

It’s happening under the hood

Today most websites—excluding advertisements—are static. You get to a homepage and whether you’re a trendy urban millennial or a retired grandparent living in the suburbs, you are presented products in the exact same way. If you shop online at the same retailer a month later, you have to start your shopping journey all over. It might remember your purchase history in your account settings but that’s about it. Amazon and big global e-Commerce giants on the other hand are remembering this information through AI and using it to dominate the market.

A.I. as a salesperson

AI is playing the role of a salesperson and it is the future of online retail. Storing answers of questions that you ask, remembering sizes, favourite colours and brands are just a few of the endless ways that AI is delivering better and better experiences each time you shop. It never forgets, will learn infinitely and can deliver what you want, when you want. On top of that, Gen Y and Gen Z shoppers prefer to talk to a smart device rather than a human. They also want to see things they care about and have personalized experiences. They like to feel special and unique.

Using data effectively is also allowing Amazon to outprice other businesses and sometimes even manufacturers on their own products. It can sell products cheaper because it knows their shopper’s journey. They can also upsell effectively and treat customers as lifelong clients, not single transactions. The problem is that Amazon is using data and AI so effectively that it is putting retailers out of business who aren’t keeping pace.

What are small and medium-size businesses to do?

For starters, some are building out their own customized software solutions that are tailored to their business. This involves hiring web developers who specialize in AI as well as data scientists who can make sense of the numbers. Even for a small site, this would be hundred-of-thousands of dollars at a minimum and very time consuming. Time and money is often not something a small company or start-up business has on their side.

But, most are turning to other software solutions that are helping businesses compete. Several software subscription solutions exist that are making it possible to harness the power of AI affordably. A data science degree is not required by the user and a web developer isn’t necessary. The software is easily installed like a browser extension and the user interface quickly walks website administrator through the process of getting set up.

The key is that these AI software solutions are enabling small and medium size businesses to sky rocket their e-Commerce sales without millions of dollars and without knowing how to make sense of big data. Store owners can give their shoppers personalized online experiences that are even better than a loyal sales person would provide.

Evolving past a “nice to have”…

We’re still early in e-commerce history and there is no sign of slowing down. According to Statista in 2019, e-commerce sales are expected to increase from $5.9 trillion industry to over $7.6 trillion. Leveraging data and utilizing AI is critical for businesses to compete in today’s online retail industry.

New Get it By Timer Feature – Sort By City

Calling all drop shippers! We’ve now made it possible to be super precise with your Get it By Timer. Introducing… shipping depending on city! To utilize this feature, click to edit your Get it By Timer. After, select Shipping & Delivery. Next, you’ll want to toggle the Shipping Depends on City? switch to Yes. Once that’s complete, you can type any City into the new textbox that pops up.

Need to include many different cities?

No Problem! Simply click Add Row and then edit the Delivery Speeds Table to meet your needs.

Common Questions about the Get it By Timer

My Get it By Timer was showing yesterday but not today, how come?

The Get it By Timer will only appear if the countdown is within the amount of time you set for the Don’t Show if Timer Is Greater Than option. If the countdown is greater than this value, then the timer will not show. Try increasing the Don’t Show if Timer Is Greater Than if you run in into this issue. You can do so by clicking on Countdown Timer.

My Get it By Timer is Showing the Wrong Dates!

If your dates are not being display correctly (i.e. the delivery date is too far in the future), check if you have weekend shipping on. The app only counts weekdays. So, if you also ship on Saturdays or Sundays make sure you toggle those options to yes! Find these switches by going to Shipping & Delivery and scrolling down to Ship on Saturday? / Ship on Saturday?

Still Have Questions?

Contact our support team through our live chat for help with any other issues you may have!

New Display Condition! Previously Viewed Page

You may have noticed that we’ve added to the display conditions. You can now specify who you want to see a certain skill based on the last page they viewed. To use this feature, go to edit a skill and click on Display Conditions. In the first drop-down menu you’ll want to select Shopper (Journey). Next, click on previously viewed page.

From here you can choose any of the 3 parameters:
1. URL
2. Title
3. Referral URL

Now that you know how to access this feature…

What are some ways your store can benefit from it?

This new display condition is especially advantageous if you want to promote deals to certain demographics. For example, let’s say you have a discount code for only your Facebook followers. You can add your referral URL into the conditions and from then on out, whoever clicks on that link will see that skill.

Now everyone who uses this link will be able to see the unique discount!

Need more help with the display conditions?

Use our live chat to speak with our support team for assistance!

Promo Bar Easy Themes Added

promo bar

We’re always looking for ways to make setting up skills easier for you! We recently launched 10 new pre-designed themes for you to choose from for your promo bar skill campaigns.

We’ll be updating the pre-designed themes for each skill type often, so be sure to log into your dashboard and check out the skills marketplace often.

Aren’t using any Fera promo bar skills yet?

Promo Bar skills are very powerful, since they show up on top of the site and get the user’s attention without blocking the rest of the experience. You can make some really cool countdown bars with Fera today. If you’re not using them you should definitely check them out!

View Available Skills In Your Account

NEW Skill: Time Left To Receive Order Before Christmas Promo Bar

We’ve added a new skill that is available free to merchants using fera today. The skill is a “Christmas Countdown Promo Bar” that lets you create a top promo bar that will count down until a fixed date near Christmas.

How to choose a “time left before Christmas” date to count down to.

You will want to set this date to the latest day you will likely be able to accept orders in order for them to be received before Christmas (using the fastest shipping option available).

Customizing the appearance of your countdown promo bar.

You can also customize the appearance, and we’ve included a few pre-built holiday themes for you to get started.

How to personalize the timer depending on the shopper’s country.

If a shopper is in a country that takes longer for you to show a different timer for those shoppers. You can do this easily with Fera by creating 2 different Christmas Countdown Promo Bar skills.

On each promo bar skill, you’ll want to first create a condition that the shopper is in the target country or countries. You can group conditions and also exclude countries as well. Afterwards just set the modified countdown date, and voila – you’re good to go!

Promo Bars won’t overlap.

Fera will automatically ensure that the promo bars don’t overlap, so it’ll never display two promo bars that same time as long as the display conditions are exclusive.

Ready to try it out?

If you’ve got questions or concerns please reach out and our friendly team will be willing to help. Happy selling!

5 Ways to Quickly Increase Shopify Sales with a Virtual Assistant

increase shopify sales Icon

When you’re running a Shopify ecommerce store, you have a lot to manage: product research, inventory management, order fulfillment, logistics, customer service, and marketing.

There’s a point in every business when it doesn’t make sense for a single individual to try to juggle everything. When that time comes, a great place to start is hiring a virtual assistant (VA). A VA can help you with a lot of different elements of running your store, including marketing initiatives that increase Shopify sales and grow your business.

To quickly find and hire pre-vetted freelance VAs to help with ecommerce marketing, visit

Here are the top five ways a VA can help you increase Shopify store sales quickly.

  1. Optimize Product Listings for SEO and Conversions
  2. Keyword research, competitive analysis, and copywriting with proper optimization of product listings requires time that you may not have the luxury of or the skills for. A VA can take the research and optimization activities to create product listings that convert. Enhanced product listings can increase conversation rates and sales in your Shopify store. Hiring a VA is an efficient way to make it happen.

  3. Create an Abandoned Cart Campaign that Converts
  4. You work hard to get customers to your site. If they leave without purchasing, it’s more cost-effective to bring them back than it is to attract new visitors (though these two initiatives aren’t mutually exclusive). A VA can create an abandoned cart email that incentivizes visitors to finish their purchases.

  5. Test and Optimize Facebook and Google Ad
  6. Doing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for a Shopify store—well, doing it right—takes time. You have to create ad variations, conduct target and keyword research, and continually test, test, test. It’s easy to set it and forget it, but that approach is throwing money away. A VA can monitor and optimize your ads to bring in visitors and sales to your shop.

  7. Use Urgency and Social Proof across Your Site
  8. Because your Shopify site doesn’t integrate urgency and social proof, two of the most important psychological buying influencers, you’re missing out on sales. By integrating Fera’s urgency and social proof tools on your Shopify site, you target your visitors’ innate desire to make purchases. A VA can continue to test and optimize Fera’s implementation with A/B testing and advanced analytics.

  9. Work with Influencers in Your Niche
  10. Finding and working with influencers is a high-impact way to increase sales on a Shopify store. But it’s time consuming to identify and coordinate with these influencers. With a little guidance on the types of influencers you want to work with, a virtual assistant can do outreach, follow-up, and coordination with influencers who meet your criteria.

These are five tasks you can outsource to a freelance VA immediately. Once you’re ready to increase your Shopify sales even more, learn about other key freelancers you can bring on board.

About the Author

Connor Gillivan is the CMO and co-owner of, a rapidly growing freelance marketplace making hiring online simpler. Also, he has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of He currently lives in Denver, CO.

3 Ways to Maximize Customer Lifetime Value

Black Friday & Cyber Monday are the most exciting days for your Shopify store. You get a bunch of orders, mostly from first-time buyers. You close the most deals, and the prospect of selling a lot is exhilarating.

The sad thing is, this doesn’t last forever.

When the sale season ends, merchants are left trying to figure out how to retain their business. How can they make sales, without storewide discounts? How can they incentivize purchases all-year round? In this article, we’ll introduce the different ways you can maximize customer lifetime value:

Tip #1: Leverage the power of product recommendations

Just how important are product recommendations in maximizing customer lifetime value?

A study found that that 56% of online consumers are more likely to return to a site that offers product recommendations and 45% of consumers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations.

One way you can leverage the power of recommendations is to place them in your transactional emails, such as your shipping confirmation emails and order confirmation emails. In fact, Smartmail reports that product suggestions sent via email can increase CTR by an astounding 300%!

A good tip is to send recommendations based on a customer’s past purchase and behavior. This way, you can upsell products that customers will likely buy.

For example, Udemy’s order confirmation email contains product recommendation, which are based on the item that the customer bought. They find out the products that customers will likely buy based on their current purchase and upsell related products.

Udemy Order Confirmation Screen Shot

Promoting your products in your transactional emails make a lot of sense because they have very high open rates. In fact, order confirmation emails alone have an open rate of 70.9%, which is 4x more than the average marketing email. This is because when customers make a purchase, they want to make sure that everything went smoothly.

You can also add product recommendations in your auto follow-up emails and abandoned shopping cart emails like Nordstrom.

Nordstrom Follow up Email with Product Recommendations

Source: Barilliance

Tip #2: Give Coupons or Discounts for the Next Purchase

Coupons and discounts are a great way for you to incentivize customers to make a repeat purchase.

This tactic is effective because customers have the freedom to use the coupon on products of their choice. That said—you should follow Birchbox’s example and try it out:

Birchbox Coupon for next purchase

Again, you can add these to your transactional emails and follow-up emails.

For example, Althea sends a follow-up email a few days after the customer receives their product. They ask for a review, and in exchange they give customers a 10% discount.

Althea Follow Up Email

We all know the importance of product reviews in your Shopify store with respect to cultivating social proof. So, this is one way you can encourage customers to make reviewing a habit.

Kate Spade uses the same strategy in their cart abandonment emails. They remind customers about their abandoned items and encourage them to buy by giving them a discount for their next purchase.

Kate Spade Cart Abandonment Email

Tip #3: Leverage Referral Codes

When you’re searching for a new restaurant to visit, how often do you ask the opinion of your friends and family? How often do you ask them for product recommendations? Where to shop? Every few days? Every week?

Of course, we rely on our friends’ and family’s opinions. We believe what they have to say, because we trust them. If they say a product is great, then it’s great. And that’s the appeal of integrating referrals in your transactional emails.

There’s a growing body of research that proves that referral marketing is effective. In fact, ReferralCandy found that people pay 2x more attention to recommendations from friends. In addition, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.

That said—you can facilitate the referral process and ensure that customers will talk about your brand if they love it. You can do this by placing a referral codes in your transactional emails.

For starters, a referral code is a unique number assigned to your account. You can use this code and send it to your friends and family. When you make a successful referral, you get cash or rewards, which will depend on the brand’s referral program.

A good way you can advertise your referral program is to place them at the bottom of your transactional emails like Althea.

Althea Transactional email with referral program ad

You can also follow Airbnb’s example. After a customer has successfully booked their stay, they are given a referral code, which they can share with friends and family. And when the referral is successful, their friends get $25 off, and they get $25 in return!

Air BnB referral code

How will You Maximize Customer Lifetime Value in Your Online Store?

Customers are wired to open transactional emails and auto follow-up emails. That’s why you should never miss out on the opportunity to maximize customer lifetime value by sending emails with product recommendations, referral codes and coupons.

But how can you create and customize these types of emails on your online store? Spently understands that coding with html and creating great emails from scratch, can be a long process. So they’ve created an email template builder, which allows you to build emails with smart product recommendations, referral codes and discounts.

Spently Email Template Builder GIF

You can start with a 14-day free trial, or subscribe to their starter plan to see how their tool can upgrade your emails and increase your customer lifetime value.

4 Tactics for Behavioural Marketing

  1. Tactic #1-Social Proof Notifications
  2. Use social proof to leverage conversions rates by 10-12%. We trust our connections and are likely to try things they recommend. If we notice a place is buy or popular we may also be likelier to check it out. We’re social creatures and we trust what other people tell us.

    As our world becomes more social and brands start to rely more and more on influencers you want to follow suit. You want to maximize your ability to show your users that people they know, and trust are also engaging, buying and using their products, and loving them! This kind of social proof helps bring in the masses and lift your conversions.

  3. Tactic #2-Recommend a Product
  4. The more data you collect from your customers the better you’ll start to know them. You create these profiles for each customer that can help you choose your marketing strategy and how to target your visitors. If you track their browsing and look at the items they add to their carts you may be able to start recommending products. With enough information you can start to see patterns. Maybe customer A bought a new brush and shampoo, and customer B is buying the same shampoo. Recommend them that brush and maybe they’ll be likely to add it on to their purchase.

    Amazon and their affiliate companies (think Goodreads) do an amazing job of giving recommendations. They’ll send you recommended products and deals that pique your interest because you looked at something similar. Amazon gets almost 35% of their revenue from such recommendations. While it may not be as strong for you it’ll definitely increase the chance that you can turn a visitor into a paying (and maybe returning) customer.

  5. Tactic #3-Email Retargeting
  6. By tracking what your customers are doing on your site you can tailor customized marketing emails to your visitors. By encouraging customers to complete their actions, like finishing their checkout, can be an email retargeting strategy.

    Retargeting emails have a higher open rate than the average email because the content is generally more useful or relatable to the receiver. Sephora does a great job of this if you add items to your cart and disappear. You receive an app notification a bit later about how “it’s not cool to ghost 👻 your cart”. This fun (and millennial relevant) targeting shows they know their customers, how to talk to them and maybe gently nudge them into a purchase.

    If someone comes to your site, doesn’t buy anything and leaves you should hopefully have gathered enough information to craft a useful retargeting email. It should market to them and incentivize them to come back and turn into a converting customer. But don’t send too many marketing emails or messages or you risk pushing away the customer entirely.

  7. Tactic #4-Personalized Emails
  8. We used to send out emails to the masses and hope that our super generic message would capture people’s attention. With today’s ability to filter and create product pitches that are specifically targeted we should avoid being generic. WE can customize based on location, the behaviours of a particular customer and any other touchpoints you track. This makes the recipient of your email feel like you understand them and are sending stuff to them that they’re actually interested in.

    You can even test subject lines and images to see what is helping your emails convert. Track click-throughs to see if recipients open your email or click the links within it. Check out the blogs of apps like HubSpot and MailChimp to see what they recommend for calls to action and other capturing content to add to your company’s emails.

Behavioural Marketing-What Data is Useful?

Have you ever felt like your phone is listening to you? Like you’re just showing your friend your favourite coffee and then you’re on Instagram later and suddenly a marketing ad for that same coffee appears? It can’t be a coincidence can it?

This ties in to today’s topic of behavioural marketing. Behavioural marketing is a version of hyper-targeted marketing that is individually tailored to the unique preferences of a person. The preferences are found by tracking their behaviour and then determining what messaging will be the most effective in reaching them at a given time.

Even if you aren’t a big company, you still have a lot of data. Every individual person who comes to your site got there in a specific way. If you can see their past behaviour you can reach them with relevant messaging. You would be able to send targeted discounts or messages that can capture visitors based on their browsing tendencies and where they might be on the buying journey.

What should I be tracking?

The more visitors and traffic you can get, the more data you can collect. There are a few areas you’ll want to watch to collect the best information:


You can look at previous purchases from your users and use that to send tailored recommendations, upsells, discounts and other types of marketing messaging. If you notice a customer buys a specific item pretty regularly you can send them info on that item, or discounts if they buy in bulk. The opportunities are endless with purchase behaviour.


Track what parts of the website people click to. This helps determine when to push notifications, popups and other reminders. If they’re visiting for a bit maybe popup a discount code to encourage them to make a purchase. If you notice they’ve come back a few times you can highlight your free shipping to perhaps encourage them to make that purchase. For returning visitors you can look at data from their past visit to compare it to this visit and direct messaging at them.


Knowing where your customers are from will help you with marketing barriers. If your shoppers are largely German you might consider offering better shipping to Europe. Or having your site translated to offer a German version. You can also target visitors based on events or specific things happening in their area. An app like Bandsintown can do this and send you alerts to buy tickets when your favourite artists are touring near you.

What are people looking for?

If you can identify what visitors are searching for you can streamline your content to them. A user searching for cat toys isn’t going to care about a popup advertising a big sale for dog food.

What data is useful?

Any data you can get from your customers is useful. Look at what you’re trying to do or sell and decide which things you’ll want to look for. You can always collect all data and then look at only one specific portion. Test different things to see what gives you the best return.

What is AI?

Everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence (AI)

What is it?

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. Merriam Webster defines it as “a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behaviour in computers.” It is also defined as “the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour.” Artificial Intelligence systems will typically show at least some of these human behaviours: learning, planning, reasoning, problem solving, perception, manipulation, motion and perhaps even social intelligence and creativity. While in sci-fi we see AI being human-like robots, it can actually be almost anything. It can range from Google’s search algorithms, to IBM’s Watson, to self-driving cars or even to SIRI.

Narrow AI versus General AI

We see Narrow Artificial Intelligence around us on the day-to-day. It’s in computers that have been taught how to do something without being explicitly programmed on how to do that. An example is a recommendation engine (like the one Amazon uses) to recommend products based on previous purchases. The long term goal of AI research is a Artificial General Intelligence (AGI or strong AI). AGI would be able to outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task. Narrow AI may outperform humans at its specific task, like playing chess or trying to solve equations.

Fera and AI

At Fera we’re leveraging Artificial Intelligence system to better eCommerce. We are using skills from our app on your store. Our app analyzes the data from your visitors to measure the performance of these skills. It can then determine which skills are providing the most benefit for your store. By learning, it applies and experiments with different skills until it has found the combination that’s most beneficial to your site. It will learn and continually improve to offer you the custom solution that drives the most conversions for your site.

The Future

We want to move from weak AI to strong AI. It also needs to feel like we’re interacting with a human, and not a computer. You’ve probably noticed this a lot with telemarketer pre-recorded calls or even customer service live chats. Sometimes it can be hard to determine if it’s a real person or not. As more data is collected and readily available we’ll be able to teach our machines more and more.

We do, however, need to be aware of biased data. A machine can’t determine bias and if we feed it biased data it will learn and continue the patterns of bias, so unwatched and unchecked it can be very dangerous. For this reason there is a lot of talk about AI being open source, to constantly check the data, add data, and to have accountability for it and its process.

What’s the Most Powerful Strategy in Ecommerce Marketing? A Combo of Two Tried and True Tactics


It’s the consistent, all-encompassing goal of any ambitious brand.

Whether you focus on acquisition, retention, repeat sales, upsells, or referrals there’s only ever one goal.

To make more money.

The problem we all face when growing our brands is how difficult it is to attract and hold onto consumers.

You’re competing with dozens (if not hundreds) of competitors, all of whom pour their entire being into explaining how they’re the best. Consumers are fed outlandish claims and promised the world by every brand who wants their business.

But rather than build trust and make sales, the constant barrage of marketing messaging has had the opposite effect. Rather than trust these claims, consumers look at them with skepticism. They believe it’s all hyperbole and often view them as empty sales claims which could never be backed up.

Smart brands out there know this. They know that simply saying you’re the best at X, Y, or Z isn’t enough. They know you need to back up your claims with something a little more substantive.

Ecommerce’s Two Most Powerful Elements

Ask ten different ecommerce brands for their top tip on driving more revenue and you’ll get 10 different answers.

Some focus on product, others on PPC, a few prefer social, and some outliers prefer influencer marketing.

There are 101 different methods to grow your ecommerce store. But only a handful of them are considered absolute must-haves by the majority of brands.

Two of the most powerful actions you can take on your store work because they’re both rooted in sales psychology.

1 – Social Proof

One of the biggest problems you’ll find in convincing users to take a chance on your brand or product is their own uncertainty. As mentioned earlier, consumers are bombarded with overly salesy emails, messages, phone calls, and ads.

Most have, at some point, been burned by those claims. Discovering an offer that once seemed too good to be true actually is would put anyone off online claims of greatness.

This is where social proof comes in.

In the incredible book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, author Robert Cialdini explains social proof as below:
“the principle of social proof. It states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct.”

Basically, when a person is unsure of the best course of action, they’ll look to those around them for pointers. If everyone else is doing X, then so too will the individual.

We are all hardwired to take a lead from the actions of those nearby, and it’s transferred over into the world of online marketing.

Rather than following exactly what everyone else is doing, we will look to our peers to help us form our opinions. Most often, we’ll all consult customer reviews of products or services we’re thinking of purchasing.

Reviews Data

What your customers are saying about your brand is key to landing even more customers and increasing revenue.

It’s why it’s so important for ecommerce brands to prominently feature customer reviews on their site. Not only are people going to actively look for those reviews, but they’re going to have a far bigger impact on other users.

Reviewers have nothing to gain from promoting your company, they’re unbiased and so seen as more trustworthy.

Check any successful ecommerce sites and you’ll see that, often right next to the product, there’s some form of review.

Amazong Reviews

In the above example, there’s a 4-star rating from over 400 reviews. I can also click on that or scroll down to see in-depth reviews.

If I hadn’t already read the book, I’d be far more likely to after seeing such a positive response.

We all like to think that we are individuals. That we forge our own path and make our own decisions.

However, no one person can know every single thing. There’s always going to be an area in which your knowledge is lacking and there’s the risk of making a bad decision.

Deep down we know this. We know there’s always a risk we could mess things up and so we look to others in a similar situation for advice.

Online, this comes in the form of social proof. It is the trust building element every brand needs to have to grow their business. Without it, you’re left with nothing more than claims your audience will view as hollow.

2 – Messenger Marketing

We’ve all heard it before.

Email marketing is the most high return marketing channel. It is the single greatest thing for marketers since sliced bread and something every brand out there needs to invest in.

It’s great advice.

Email marketing has, for a long time, been the only direct channel with your customers. The only way to connect with them on an individual level and foster more personal relationships.

Add to it the awesome automated and transactional sends and you’ve got a recipe for a conversion powerhouse.

However, it’s no longer the only, nor the most effective, channel for direct communication.

That title now rests with Messenger Marketing and Conversational Commerce.

In testing hundreds of thousands of email vs Messenger sends we’ve seen that Messenger wins every single time.

It has more opens, more clicks, and drives more revenue for brands. Here’s a quick look at an experiment we ran on email vs Messenger.

Recart Abandoned Cart Data

Pretty amazing, right?

There’s nothing out there right now that can compete with the huge engagement and conversion statistics of Messenger Marketing.
The question is, why?

Well, it comes down to two elements that are quite closely linked.

The first is device usage. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that with each passing year your consumers are increasingly favoring mobile devices.

Mobile Users Data

Email, whilst great at fostering individual relationships, wasn’t built for the smaller screens of mobile devices.

Even short emails of 100 words can be a bother to read on the smaller screens, and most people won’t put in the time necessary to full absorb the message.

Which brings me on to point 2. Attention span and first impressions. Your users will make a snap judgement on your correspondence and site. They’ll decide, within about 50 milliseconds, whether they’re going to expend their energy on what you’re saying or move off to the next email or webpage.

Now, if in that 50 seconds all they see is a gigantic wall of text on their mobile device, what are they going to do?
They’re going to leave.

If, however, they’re greeted with a 1-2 sentence message in the Messenger inbox, they don’t need to expend any energy as they can understand the content and message with a glance.

This is why Messenger excels with engagement. It’s not only a channel built specifically for mobile devices, but it delivers a message that can be assimilated with zero effort and in no time at all.

Messenger Marketing is already becoming a huge player in the marketing world, and it’s only going to become more prominent. The question is, how can you marry these two conversion driving tactics into a single strategy.

Mixing Social Proof and Messenger Marketing Together

So these two tactics are key to growing your store.
However, whilst they’re powerful individually, they’ll make your growth almost unstoppable when paired together.

Generally speaking, there’s two methods you’ll want to employ to kick your social proof campaigns into overdrive.

One to ensure you collect more awesome reviews, one to properly leverage them for more sales.

Let’s first look at using Messenger Marketing to gain more reviews for your products.

If you’ve ever bought anything online you’ll know that you always get a few follow up emails from the supplier. You’ll often get a receipt and then multiple updates on delivery.

However, 99% of the time, these updates end with the final delivery notification like the below.

Amazon Notification

This has always been a half measure in my opinion. You can replicate the same process of order updates through Messenger, but it’s not going to help grow your brand.

You see, the smart brands out there send another message 3-5 days after the product has been delivered. They wait until the user has had the product a few days but is still excited about their new purchase to ask for a review.

It’s not hard to do. I built out the below message for a new test in Recart in about 3 minutes.

Recart Example

Thanks to the massive engagement stats of Messenger, more people are going to see that message which increases the chances they leave a review.

Notice how I also ask a quick question first to ensure that they’re going to give a positive review. If they reply with there’s a problem they’ll get a second follow up which will ask some questions so I can help solve it.

It’s simple, but effective.

However, it’s not the only way you can leverage both Messenger Marketing and social proof for increased conversions.

You can also use the social proof you collect to supercharge your cart abandonment messages.

As mentioned earlier, consumers are difficult to persuade. They want to be certain they’re not going to be taken advantage off and want to hear their peer’s opinions on your product.

You could simply use your Messages to lead them to the review page for your product/business, but why not incorporate social proof directly into the messages?

Again, it’s a short and easy fix.

Supercharging your Messenger Campaigns with Social Proof

Your cart abandonment Messenger campaigns are there to bring users back to your site and convince them to purchase the product they expressed an interest in.

  1. There’s two major hurdles in securing those sales though.
  2. Getting the users to click on your abandonment message and redirect them back to the site

Getting them to complete the purchase whilst on the site.

I’m going to quickly cover how you can increase the chances users take both these actions with a little social proof.

The first action is to leverage key social proof elements in your cart abandonment messages.

If you’ve been collecting reviews you’ll have a plethora of customer thoughts and perhaps even a star rating for each product.
Consider leading with that if you can.

Now, with automated campaigns you can’t really use product specific review copy as there’s often one general copy template used across all products.

You could, however, utilise store specific feedback to open your messages.

Take a look here at this review from a Gearbunch user below.

Gearbunch Review

It’s pretty general review that only really speaks of the quality and quirkiness of the leggings as a whole. You could repurpose part of the copy as the opening cart abandonment message.

Rather than just saying “you left items in your cart”, you could lead with something simple like “Love all my gear bunch leggings – Peg B. Don’t miss out on joining the thousands of users loving their Gearbunch items!”, or repurpose something more specific from a comment.

Use your happy customers to make the messages stand out a little more and have more of an impact.

Once you’ve got them to click, then you’ve got to convert them on the product page.

Of course star ratings and the like will help here, but you also need some form of dynamic social proof. Something that shows the user this item is in demand, your store is well trafficked, and place that subtle hint that if they don’t complete their checkout quickly they might miss out.

Here’s a couple of ways to really hammer home the importance of the user completing their checkout right now.

1 – Show them that this is a popular product by combining how many people are looking at the product right now, how many have recently purchase, and how many are left in stock.
Fera Counter Screenshot

If I am on the fence about a product but see there’s 4 left, 12 people looking, and 20 have been sold in the last 24 hours, I’m going to take that impulsive action to buy.

2 – Don’t just rely on fear to drive sales, also look at the benefit for the user. We all hate waiting for products we’ve purchased online to arrive, so highlight when they’ll get the product IF they order in the next hour or two.
Fera Timer Screenshot

By framing this as a “order now or wait till next week” type deal, people are more likely to pull the trigger now and complete the purchase.

Combination is Key to Success

Social proof is nothing new in the world of retail or sales.

We all know that customers will look first to their friends and peers for direction on how to spend their money.

We also know that the most effective brands leverage high engagement channels to deliver their message.

However, whilst this is common knowledge so few brands are combining the two into a comprehensive strategy.

And that’s the key to an effective ecommerce growth strategy. It’s not about doing what everyone else is doing but taking what you have access to and combining it in new, effective ways.

This is one combination that can help increase sales. If you want to grow your store, implement these combos and see what other changes you can make.

About the Author

Pete Boyle is the founder of Have-a-word and content manager / chief copywriter at Recart, an all in one ecommerce marketing solution that helps merchants recapture lost revenue and increase their profits. So far, Recart has helped their merchants recapture almost $100,000,000 in lost revenue

Banana Stand is now Fera

Banana Stand is now Feraai

Today I’m excited to announce that we’ve renamed Banana Stand to Feraai. This is a natural and exciting progression as we advance on our plan to help more merchants sell better online.

Feraai Helps Merchants Sell More

Today Banana Stand is being used by thousands of online
businesses around the world to increase sales with
social proof and urgency.

Fera will take this a step further: Fera will be able to help
merchants optimize and increase eCommerce sales in new ways,
while making the customer experience even better.

Merchants will be able to choose from a growing list of
customizable skills and decide how Fera should interact
with customers. Fera will become each store’s own
personalized, smart salesperson.

Feraai is About Smarter Shopper Experiences

Fera will learn from customer interactions
and harness the power of artificial intelligence to deliver
personalized content in ways that feel natural to customers.
This data can be used to customize how Fera uses skills
to sell better to customers.

Fera will enable Merchants to connect with every single
one of their customers in real-time, something merchants
have never been able to do before.

What to Expect This Year

This year we will be changing the way that merchants setup and
interact with Fera. We will be introducing dozens of new
skills, some of which will be created by ourselves and others
which will be introduced by partnering with existing apps
and platforms that merchants already know and love to use.
These new skills will mean more ways for merchants to drive
an increase in sales in new and unique ways.

Thank You For Your Support!

I’m humbled by the support we’ve received from the eCommerce community in the last year from merchants, consultants and the wonderful eCommerce platforms (Shopify, BigCommerce and beyond).

The team and I look forward to helping create more success for our merchants and partners in the years to come!

Increase Dropshipping Sales with Social Proof

Everyone is talking about why Social Proof is essential to your online store. It gives early adopters a reason to purchase from you if you have a new store or product. It turns your customers into your best marketers. Specifically millennials and generation Z have admitted to trusting social media influencers more than actual celebrities. This gives dropshipping stores an advantage that they didn’t use to have. Consumers used to trust brands, now we trust other consumers.

One of the fundamental issues with dropshipping is that it’s hard to find early adopters for your catalogue without creating your own product. Companies like Dropwow make it easy to automate so many aspects of the store ownership process. You can import entire catalogues of vetted products with one click and fulfil those orders with another click.

Dropwow catalog screenshot

The barriers to start a store are basically nothing. As such store owners are skipping over vital steps in the ownership process. These stores 99 times out of 100 will fail. Online store ownership is not easy, and while dropshipping removes some of that difficulty, getting consistent sales that provide a decent return on investment will always be the largest challenge.

Early adopters invest in “why” someone does something. Whereas a lot of dropshipping stores seem to just want to make money. Then the Law of Diffusion of Innovation tells us that the early majority will not purchase unless someone else has (early adopters). The early majority should always be the demographic businesses work towards as they ensure real growth occurs.

This is where social proof comes in. As a store owner, you will need to constantly engage with some of your early customers to create your own group of social marketers. Approach influencers, ask for reviews, do everything you can to prove to other potential customers that people love your products. You can also leverage a number of applications that will present this data in an attractive way to your customers.

Why Social Proof is Important for Dropshippers

  • Emulates a REAL store – a lot of the dropshipping catalogues can be found on so many different sites. Meaning that usually products are not unique to that store. Shopify has made it easy to start an online store using one of their free templates. I see so many dropshipping sites with similar products on the same template. Resulting in essentially carbon copies of the same store. How do you differentiate? Brick and mortar stores are very rarely the same. Adding social proof related data to your site creates the feeling of being in a real store. People are viewing certain products, adding products to their cart, and purchasing all in real-time, much like a brick and mortar brand.
  • Off brand marketing is hard! – generally when someone is searching for something online they search for a product. Often times they will associate a brand with a product and search for that. An example is – you don’t search for tissue paper, you search for Kleenex. This is harder to do in the case of drop shipping. Unless you have a white label partnership a lot of your catalogue’s brands will not be recognizable to most western consumers. As such, your brand is in your store – a purveyor of fine products. Social proof creates instant recognition for your store. As mentioned previously, consumers trust other consumers more than brands.
  • Let your customers do the marketing for you – Save yourself some time while your customers become your best marketing specialists. Social proof reduces barriers to success with social media as well as onsite marketing.
  • The information is valuable to your customers – In a lot of cases customers actually want to see this type of information. They want to see reviews that aren’t just “Amazing product great job!”, but actually constructive information. How many people have purchased or viewed a certain product for example. specifically offers a Get It By Timer – while it doesn’t create social proof it does give customers a sense of urgency to buy while being comfortable about when they’re going to get their product. This reduces customer support requests regarding delivery, saving you time, while ultimately converting a customer.

3 Examples of Dropshippers Doing Social Proof Right

  • MonkStars offers a wide range of products for home and fashion. They have reviews, product counters, among other social proof features within their store.
  • MonkStars Social Proof

  • ArtsyWall uses a social proof popup as well as customer reviews. The popup presents itself when users interact with the store and purchase items.
  • ArtsyWall Social Proof example

  • RUHE is a women’s fashion brand that utilizes social proof counters and feed to show how popular their bikinis are. RUHE is proud that they get a lot of traffic, and they love to show that off.
  • An example of how RUHE uses Social Proof

PSA – A/B Test as much as possible!

There is an old saying “Find a way to make a dollar and do it a million times”. I made a slight change to it, “Find the easiest way to make a dollar and do it a million times”. Without A/B testing you never fully know if you’re working as smart as you should be working. Dropshipping customers can be difficult to predict, use A/B testing to be able to accurately forecast ROI for marketing experiments.

In Conclusion

Dropshipping and social proof / urgency tools should be best of friends. Much like how dropshippers want to automate their manufacturing and delivery methods by partnering with companies like Dropwow, they should also leverage technologies that automate validation around their catalogue.

Dropwow Main Website Screenshot

From a growth perspective there is really no other way to go from zero to a hundred. As we know, 60%~ of online stores make less than $1,000/month. We also know that 60%~ of online stores fail within their first year, a lot of those being dropshippers looking to get rich quick. It takes real work to have a semi-successful online store. Turn your customers into marketers and work a little smarter.

Combine with Shopify and a dropshipping solution like Dropwow and you’ve got a winning solution. Just add a little water and watch your store grow. And by water I mean business development. Checkout the Dropwow blog for more tips on how to be successful dropshipping and increase sales.

Dropwow Blog

Do shopping cart countdown timers increase sales?

Let’s discuss how to use countdown timers on your eCommerce site to increase sales

countdown timer banner

Creating urgency on your site is a strong driving factor in getting sales for your online business. It pushes customers and forces them to make quicker decisions, and then hopefully leads to a purchase. You can create urgency in a few ways, like showing stock levels, the number of viewers of a product, how many of that product have already sold, and of course, countdown timers.

Countdown timers are a clear way to show a customer that if they urgently want a product, they must take action now (or within a specified timeframe). This countdown can be to reserve items in the cart, countdown until a sale is done, countdown for a free (or next-day) delivery or even countdown for some other special promotion.

But how can you tell it’s working for you? Is that urgency helping? Well, use AB tests. It’s a scientific method to compare to versions of something against each other and see which performs better, in this case, which converts more customers.

How can I use a countdown timer?

That’s the easy part. Like we mentioned you can use timers in a variety of situations. The easiest would be to implement a Cart Timer. The ticking time alerts customers that they have limited opportunity to make a purchase before their items are gone. This works amazingly for reserving certain items. Ticketmaster and other ticket sales companies will use this tactic to reduce abandoned carts and convert their traffic into sales.

Out of time ticket message

You need to provide information to customers that is useful. Let them know the time left until a sale ends, or how long their items are reserved in their cart or even how much time is left for something to either ship out same day or for something to arrive quickly (think Amazon).

The best places to include these kinds of timers are:

  • On the homepage (for promotions and when sales will end)
  • Promo Bar Example

  • In the cart page (reserved cart timer)
  • Cart Timer Notification Example

  • The product pages (order in x time to get it by y date).
  • Get it By Timer Notification Example

A Summary

Countdown timers are great and easy to implement on your eCommerce site to deliver results, but remember these 3 points:

  • Honesty! Don’t use fake deadlines, or timers that run out where nothing negative happens to push sales. It won’t work. Be honest and only use timers when there is actually a limit.
  • Don’t go crazy. Too many timers will also alienate your customers. Your timers are only going to be believable if customers can trust the information being displayed.
  • Make the provided information useful. You want to actually aid your customers, not use a timer as purely a sales technique to get money. If an event/holiday is coming up customers want information to let them know when they need to order by so that things are on time.

You want to actually aid your customers, not use a timer as purely a sales technique to get money. Follow these 3 points and you should be able to utilize timers to your best ability.

Social Influence

Human Psychology

We as humans, are very odd. We rely heavily on what others around us are doing. If we see someone else doing something, even if maybe it’s not the right thing to do, we’ll view it as more correct if we see those others doing it. Brings real light to our Moms asking us “if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”.

We’re also quite quick to make snap judgements. Even if it’s super cliché and we’re told not to “judge a book by its cover”. We often make a judgement on a person based on our overall impression. Psychologists have called this the ‘halo effect’. If an expert uses something we assume its great because they’re more knowledgeable than us in a certain area. If a celebrity is endorsing a product, part of the reason we buy is because we want to look or be like them. We also blatantly trust reviews by users as they’ve used the product or the service, and we have not.

The 6 Major Types of Social Proof

We’ve come back to this list time and time again. The 6 types of social proof. We’ll go over them here briefly but if you want a more in-depth understanding check out this article. The 6 types are:

  • Expert
  • Celebrity
  • User
  • Wisdom of the Crowd
  • Wisdom of your Friends
  • Certification

Some Ways to Use Social Proof

Get Influencers Involved

Have users, celebrities or influencers take over your social media accounts for the day. It’s a fun way to get others involved, sharing your brand and working with you. The bonus is they’ll share with their own followers and you may gain some more fans or sales that way.

You can also invite experts in the field as guests in panels, or on your blogs or in a video/podcast setting. By collaborating with them you can tap into their positive influence and add some extra information or trust and credibility by having an expert share opinions and knowledge.

Use influencers. IT’s kind of like celebrity social proof, but on a smaller scale. These can be celebrities in niche areas and when their users see them using your products or services they’re more likely to trust it and attribute positively towards you and your brand!

Create content from your users

You can have your users utilize a certain hashtag attributable to your company or brand. Or you could re-tweet or repost any images or mentions from happy customers using your product or service. You can see how Airbnb use this idea to repost users pictures of beautiful places to stay around the globe.

Airbnb on Instagram

Sites like Slack have a separate account to share tweets where their company has been mentioned. They even interact or like tweets sent out by those who mentioned them favourably or tweeted at them. This kind of positive and fun interaction can do wonders for a brand. If you think this won’t work for you, just know that both Taco Bell and Wendy’s have Twitter accounts that people love to follow for their funny tweets and replies to people. They’ve even gone on to roast or shutdown any negative press and their fans adore it, they keep coming back for more!

Encourage Reviews

Get your users to share their love for you on social media. Have them leave positive reviews where possible. You can email them to ask, reach out to repeat customers, add a prompt to your app or site, and even spotlight those customers who do leave reviews. Whatever you choose this is a good way to get more positive light around your brand and product/service. People likely check reviews before buying and will be influenced by positive reviews you may have.

Google Reviews Logo

Things like Google Reviews are important. When potential customers are searching for nearby restaurants you want yours to show up first. Encourage patrons to leave good reviews. Maybe they can get a discount, or a free app when they come back if you want to incentivize them to leave a review.

While these are just some ways to display social proof, there are many more. Research what works best in your industry and try out different things until you find the combination that works the best for your company.

The Homepage Advantage (with Social Proof)

Where does your traffic go?

Most sites are set up with a static homepage. This means that when someone visits your site they are coming to your homepage. That means you want that landing page to be the one that converts people. You want your site optimized to turn any traffic into revenue. A great way to do this is to use social proof to convince your potential customers to become paying (and returning) customers. Social proof can be a way to boost your conversions by over 50%. So let’s go over 8 different ways you can showcase social proof on your most important page: the homepage.

  1. Showcase where your content has been shared
  2. Other blogs and sites can be extremely influential. So why not leverage their fan base, fame and spread on the internet? Try to showcase people using your products/services, other blogs or sites that have shared your content, or even sites that have written about you (especially if they’re A-list)! By showing you visitors that other people stand behind your product/service or brand, you’re boosting their confidence in you. You could even just use a “As Seen On” header with the logos of the blogs or sites that have showcased your own site.

  3. The proof is in the numbers
  4. Display your numbers! Show how many customers have bought your product, how many have downloaded your book, your star rating, or even just the total number of customers you have. When you show these analytics you are displaying undeniable facts through the numbers. Customers are more likely to trust this than just words alone.

  5. Have others back you up
  6. Display the good things others have said about you. You can have customer reviews, industry leader quotes on your brand or even just showcase other big names who have trusted you to help them out. Getting people in your niche market can be all the more compelling to your customers.

  7. Show who uses your stuff
  8. People love to see that other companies and people have trusted your product enough to try it out themselves. Show brands you’ve partnered with, or you can even display the number of users who have signed up for your services. If you have hundreds of users that displays your product must be good and trustworthy, I mean hundreds of people can’t be wrong, right?

  9. Do you have awards?
  10. Good. Showcase them, everyone loves a winner.

  11. Certifications
  12. Along with awards you can showcase any certifications you may have. Showing you’ve been certified by something else that is trusted can go a long way to building trust and credibility in your brand. Some certifications are free and you just need to take an exam to qualify. Do these and show the world how credible you are.

  13. Reviews, reviews, reviews
  14. Flaunt those happy customers. People trust product reviews more than we trust the product description even. A lot of people look at reviews. Ask yourself if you’ve ever checked reviews before purchasing something on Amazon? You’ve probably done it at least once, so expect that’s what other people are doing. Testimonials can help other customers make purchasing decisions and seeing other people ae happy makes them more likely to buy things and get that happiness for themselves

  15. Social media anyone?
  16. Have your products been shared on social media? Have celebrities mentioned how much they love your products? Has another major brand mentioned you on Twitter? Whatever it may be take advantage of your moment in the spotlight. Show your customers that you’re highly respected by others. Flaunt those mentions

The Full List of 8

  • List the popular sites you’ve been mentioned on
  • Showcase your numbers
  • Highlight your testimonials
  • Reference your big clients and companies you’ve helped
  • Display any awards (especially industry ones)
  • Showcase your relevant certifications
  • Reviews, reviews, reviews
  • Flaunt your social media mentions

The Scarcity Bias

Scarcity Tested

There is an article published by Luigi Mittone and Lucia Savadori about scarcity and our perceived biases towards it. The idea of the scarcity bias is that the “subjetcive value of a good increases due to the mere fact that it is scarce.” The idea is that scarcity affects us deeply. It makes goods seem more attractive in our perception. It’s basically enhancing the popularity of something if it seems like there’s less of it because other people are getting it first. We don’t want to miss out on anything or not feel included. So if we notice something is scarce we perceive it more highly over something exactly the same.

Cookie Jar Example

I always come back to the cookie jar example. Jar A has 3 cookies, Jar B has 10. People tend to reach for a cookie from Jar A. Because there are fewer of them we value them more highly (because we assume they’re someone better since other people must have also taken them). See how social proof snuck in there a litle bit as well. If something is seen as scarce and we see other people are/were interested we are more likely to go for that same item before we miss out. Hello FOMO.


We want to feel unique. So if there’s less of something we might snatch it because we don’t want to be like everyone else and have the same thing. So we grab the last of something to feel different than the crowd.


In the experiment done by Mittone and Savadori their conclusions supported their prediction on the role of scarcity, that it “works as an attractive mechanism that increases the value that the subjects attribute to the good (Mittone   Savadori, 2009).”

You can check out the full article here.

Why Does Urgency Work?

What is it about urgency that works when selling online?

Urgency seems to be a new tactic a lot of retailers are utilizing to get you to buy more, or to buy quickly. Urgency is typically created in one of two ways: limited quantities, or a limited time to buy. You want to give customers a reason to buy now. If customers feel bad not buying immediately than you’re doing an even better job of utilizing urgency. But you don’t need guilt to get this tactic to work for you.

Urgency boils down to the idea that we as people are averse to loss. The idea behind “loss aversion” is that we tend to stick to is the idea that we’re more motivated if we think we may lose out on something than we are by the thought of getting something of equal value. It’s like the cookie study we talked about in an earlier blog post. Two jars are filled with cookies that are the same in both jars. The only difference is that Jar A has 2 cookies and Jar B has 10. People valued the cookies in Jar A more. Psychologically we are tailored to believe that the less there is of something the higher its value is. Why do you think diamonds are so rare and sell for so much money?

Cookies in a Jar

Beware of the backfire

Urgency is not always persuasive. It can also backfire on you in some cases. People sometimes won’t want to feel like they’re forced into anything. If your offer sucks or isn’t trustworthy and real (like the discount is still available after the time runs out) then people won’t trust it and you’ll end up hurting your conversions-it’s quite a fine line. Since people commonly return a few times before making a purchase you’re very likely to get caught if you’re using scummy tactics. Customers aren’t stupid, remember that.

Evocative Words to Create Urgency

Use your words to create urgency

You can easily create urgency just by using the rights words or phrases. These will be helpful on your eCommerce site to create urgency around your products and get more of your customers to convert. Some of these phrases you can directly add to the different skills with your Fera app. Try out some of these variations and see what works best for your shop!

Here’s the list:

  • Limited Time
  • Only today
  • One day only
  • Don’t miss out
  • Act now
  • Hurry
  • Hurry and act now
  • Only a few left
  • Just X remaining
  • Offer expires soon
  • Last chance to get X
  • Now or never

Another added touch to create some urgency would be to add an exclamation (!) point to the end of any of these messages. It adds a little bit of extra ‘hurry’ to the message and let’s your customers know the offer is limited and so is their time to get your products. Experiment using colours like red and maybe even bolding the parts of your message that show your customers they only have a certain amount of time to act.

Try using this messaging for the Product Detail “Limited stock 🔥” messaging. Or for the Cart Timer and Get it By Timer(s) to see what makes the most sense for your site. Test out a few different options and see what you like the best.

urgent text sign

Create a Promotion for Father’s Day!

Get it By Timer for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day fast approaching in North America (and the rest of the world) you may be starting to add sales and deals to your eCommerce store to urge your customers to buy. Luckily is here to help you with two really awesome skills-the Promo Bar and the Get it By Timer. Let customers know if they use a special discount and order within a certain time or number of days that they’ll receive their Father’s Day gifts before the big day.

Get it By Timer

There are a few key steps here. Starting off we want to set a schedule. Let’s have it start immediately and end on Father’s Day. Since is in Canada we will use Sunday, June 17th as our end data because that’s when Father’s Day is here. Since the Schedule uses UTC time I set it to end at 3:59 AM which is 11:59 PM in Canadian time

General Settings for Get it By Timer


I set a priority # here. If you have another skill running you may want to disable it for the time of the Father’s Day one or set a priority to both with a smaller one for the Father’s Day campaign to tell it to run above all else.

Display Message

Now let’s set up the message we want to show. Let’s have it say “Order within %TIMER% to get it by Father’s Day on %DATE%! This will serve as a reminder to people that Father’s Day is coming up and they should order quickly.

Timer display settings

Delivery Speeds

Set your delivery speeds for different regions and what your cutoff time is. Cutoff time is the latest time you can still ship items out on the same day. So I set mine to 3 PM because that’s when the local post office closes, so as long as I can get orders in before then they can ship today instead of adding an additional day. I can’t ship on Saturdays or Sundays but I can deliver on both so I added those settings. If I do ship on weekends I can set another cutoff time for both days if the post office has different hours then.

shipping and delivery times for Get it By Timer

Design   Colour

We can also set certain designs, add borders and so on. My site is quite simple so I’ll leave my default settings. I could also set certain display conditions to only show the Get it By Timer notifications if it follows (or doesn’t follow) one of the following parameters:

display condition options

Promo Bar for Father’s Day

We can also add a special promotion for Father’s Day to drive sales. You can either set up a promotion bar sitewide, for only when customers browse certain items, only on certain days (maybe you want to run a special discount for Dad’s only on Father’s Day?), or basically anything else you can think of. We can add a percentage discount, a dollar amount discount or even offer free shipping. So let’s get started with some settings.

promo bar settings

Setting an End Date

Again let’s set an end date to make sure that our promo ends on Father’s Day (June 17th) at midnight. Since it’s UTC I ended mine at 3:59AM to be 11:59PM in Canada. Since I don’t have a discount code I want to create one. We will uncheck the “pre-existing” box and go through options to setup a new code. The code should expire at the end of Father’s Day. I am calling the code “Love4Dads” and offering them 20% off if they spend a minimum of $25. Each user may use it once, but there’s not limit to how many users can utilize this offer. this code will save to my Shopify Discount code tab and any customer who uses it that meets the order total minimum of $25 will get this discount.

discount code settings for Promo Bar

Display Message

We can also change the messaging to say that it’s a Father’s Day special and to act now or only count hours instead of days, basically however we want it to appear. We can change colour, size, text size, etc. as well. I also added a ‘Take me There’ link button. I’ll link it to my Men’s Collection so customers can be directed to items that might make good Father’s Day gifts for the Dads in their lives. If I don’t want a timer I can also turn off that portion, but I think letting people know the date is coming up might be helpful in adding some urgency. Display conditions will also allow me to show this campaign only if settings meet certain parameters. So if someone’s session time is long, if they are looking at a certain URL (maybe my Men’s Collection?) or any other parameter means the promo bar will only appear if the conditions meet those parameters.

Let’s see our changes live!

Lastly, let’s see both of our changes live! Head to your site and check how the Promo Bar and Get it By Timer are looking once you’re all finished up. Remember, if you had set display conditions you may not see them if you don’t meet those conditions. Adding ?test_mode=1 to the end of the URL will let you see a live test of how they would appear.

Congrats on getting a promotion setup for Father’s Day. If you need any help you can always reach out to our support team where we can guide you through these steps, offer advice and even make edits for you if necessary. Good luck selling!

Emoji(s) and Marketing Yourself

If you’ve ever used a cellphone or the internet, then you’ve probably seen an emoji at one point or another. They’re a fun expressive way to share feelings, react to things, or even create an actual message. We relate them to thoughts, expressions, and feelings and some of us even associate certain emojis to specific friends, occasions or moments.

Banana image created out of emojis

Emojis are great to add personality and a little something extra to content or messages. They can help convey emotion or a certain feeling to a message that may otherwise be flat or ambiguous. Just sending someone “K.” makes the receiver of the message think you’re mad at them, whereas “K 😀.” looks a lot friendlier and not mad. But this raises a question of whether emojis are appropriate to use in the business sense. How can you utilize emojis in a positive and brand-safe manner?

The Right way to Use Emojis for your Business

Choose an emoji that’ll connect with your audience

You need to be mindful of how people use emojis. You don’t want to accidentally send something that has an alternate meaning to many people. A good example of this is this emoji: 🙏🏻. Many people would call this the ‘high-five’ emoji, whereas a lot of other people thought this emoji meant ‘thank you’ or was showing prayer.

Mac Emoji Keyboard Selector

Limit the use of emojis

Please don’t go crazy on emojis. Just because you’re targeting millennials doesn’t mean they can’t speak, read and/or write in anything other than emoji. You typically don’t want to use more than 1-3 emojis at a time when creating content. Use too many and you risk distracting your audience or making your brand or message look cheap and cluttered.

Consider the look of emojis

Don’t use them if they are not necessary. If you can get by without emojis than do it. If you feel it’s necessary for your content than use them. Keep in mind the appearance of emojis though. Different platforms and browsers may display emojis differently, or in some cases, not at all. Using them in marketing and advertising might help make your ad “blend in”. On platforms and areas that use a lot of emojis (say Instagram?), using emojis can actually help make your ads look more natural and blend in with other posts around them. People may not even think they’re ads!

URGENT! Read Me Now

Hopefully that urgent title caught your attention a bit because that’s what we’ll be talking about today-URGENCY!

urgent text sign

What does urgency do?

Urgency is used to capture attention, focus potential customers on what you want them to see (or what action you want them to take) and have them hurry to do it (probably from a fear of missing out).

Some guy (John Kotter) once said that true urgency is rare because “it is not the natural state of affairs. It has to be created and recreated”.

So, let’s get urgent

How do we make something urgent? The biggest and easiest way is time. We all basically fear time anyway so why not use it? This basically works by offering something (like a sweet deal) but then tacking on that you have a tight timeline to get the sweet deal (say 4 hours?). By offering them something they probably want, like free shipping, a discount, $ off, you get them to take action. Limiting the time in which they have to take action makes their decision urgent. As in do it now or miss out and feel bad about it forever.

Scarcity and Urgency go hand-in-hand

You don’t need time to be urgent. You can also use scarcity as a tactic to create a sense of urgency in shoppers. Letting people know there is a limited stock leads to immediate sales as customers are afraid they’ll miss out otherwise.

Dilbert create a false sense of urgency comic

You can also add the idea of scarcity through raising the price. While it’s doesn’t show that the item has limited stock, it shows that that price has a limited stock. Essentially the first people who order get a discount of some sort, and then after those first say 100 shoppers, the price goes up. This idea of price scarcity gets people buying, trying to scoop up products before they become more expensive.

Let us know in the comments how you like to use urgency.

Should I Use A Cart Timer?

Yes! You Should be Using a Cart Timer

If you aren’t using a cart timer you need to nvaigate right back to your eCommerce site and get on it! It’s the easiest way to add urgency to your business. Just adding a timer to an open promotion, or a message saying to hurry and checkout has, on average, much higher rates of engagement.

How do I utilize a Cart Timer?

You just need to add a cart timer to your site. While you can probably hire a developer or site designer to do this (or spend hours looking for a good theme with one pre-built) you can probably just find an app. Fera utilizes a Cart Timer skill in our app, so that’s a good place to test it out.

Man running with cart

You’re going to want to set up some things first. Consider the placement and appearance of the Cart Timer. You’ll want it to be bold and standout, but not too overpowering so that you scare your customers away! With Fera you can move the snippet of code in your theme files to different places. Maybe you want it underneath the “Your Cart” title, or perhaps under the “Checkout” button. It’s all up to you. By default the bar is red as it’s a colour that tends to go hand-in-hand with urgency. But you can test it out and try different combinations of colour and what the message says. Everything is easily customizable so that part won’t be a hassle.

How do I know this is even going to work?

You can guarantee it. With built in AB testing (at least with Fera’s Cart Timer) you can actually see if a cart timer is helping you get any conversions. That nifty little feature will help you decide if its even worth it to bother, and I definitely say it is! You won’t know until you try right?

timer pop art clock

Can Emojis help your conversions?

We all lived through 2017’s Emoji movie. But have you ever stopped to wonder where emojis even came from? And how they dominate our world today (and not just in frightening movie form)?

Emoji History

Back in 1999 when cellphones were kicking off it took a lot of effort for mobile operators to send messages when people were constantly trying to send images. Japanese mobile phone provider NTT Docomo’s (and Shifetaka Kurita who invented emojis) i-mode allowed users to add pictures of commonly used emoticons to texts. These images were ‘single character’ and as such, in a time when there were 140 or 60 character limits, this meant endless texting possibilities for users! Then obviously Steve Jobs took over and got down to business with Apple and now we have 100s of emojis, with new ones being added every year. Emojis are available on basically any app or platform where you can use text. The word emoji is even used because in Japanese it means “picture word”-plus it sounds way better than emoticon!

Emojis have totally taken over the world both in general communications, social networks and on ALL levels of platform marketing. According to Search Engine Journal about 6 billion emojis are sent every day, meaning there’s no possible way you could ignore their existence-I mean we DO have a World Emoji Day on July 17th..

Leveraging Emojis to humanize messages & connect with customers

Emojis are effective in improving happiness, enjoyment in interactions and enhances the information richness of our communications. Looking at emojis is gratifying and an online smiley face can be just as effective as a smiley face of a person in real life! They’re friendly, emotional and personal-regardless of if you think they “fit your brand” or not. In purely written messages there are psychological, contextual, and social cues missing and emojis help bridge those gaps.

The effect of negativity can be reduced in email/text by using emojis. I mean, how much worse does it sound when someone sends you a text that says “ok.” versus one that says”ok😀”. The smiley makes it sound a lot more positive. We also “use” emojis in real life. I mean imagine how creepy it’d be if you had a conversation IRL with someone without showing any emotion at all?

If you have a limited word count you can convey more using less with emojis. But don’t overdo it either. Emojis aren’t words, rather they’re the emotional part of communications. Always respect your customers and try to use emojis naturally and with flow, otherwise you’ll confuse & irritate your audience!

McDonald's Emoji Add

Strategies to integrate emojis naturally

Using emojis on Twitter has shown to increase engagement by 25.4% over messages without emojis. Using them in Facebook posts can increase your number of Likes by 57%, and comments and shares by 33%. We know that people process visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text, meaning emojis are a great skill to leverage in getting your message across, especially when character limits exist or the attention of your consumers is limited!


90% of Info is Visual Infographic

Consider whether or not emojis are suitable for your brand and if they’ll add any value to your campaigns. Use emojis with purpose if you want to boost engagement. Buying is heavily influenced by emotions (not logic and information like some might think!). Using emojis helps to personalize any messages you’re pushing to your customers. They connect more easily and understanding is easier. For example, let’s say you sell food, consider using some food-related emojis to convey your message: 🌮  🍕  🍟  🍔  Aren’t you hungry just looking at those??


Understanding your Audience and Adding Context

You need to understand how your audience communicates with emojis and how they relate to them so that you can leverage them in the best way possible for your business and your brand. They can fulfill the missing context of emotion and help to increase your social engagement. In turn, this will help sales and get your brand out there. But again, don’t overdo it & understand your customer base. You want to make your brand seem like they’re in-the-know and as an authority figure. Posting emojis that don’t mean what you think they do can risk that and hurt your brand. You can check out Emoji Tracker to see realtime emoji use on Twitter if you want to see what some of the most used/most popular emojis currently are.

tips to avoid an emoji fail

You can even use emojis in titles or subject lines in an email. For people who receive lots of emails in their inboxes, every day-an emoji can make yours stand out from the rest. Consider the following subject lines:


  • Save 20% this Valentine’s Day
  • 2-for-1 on all Pizzas this Friday
  • Win a free gift if you subscribe to our newsletter!
  • Win a trip to Europe
  • Congrats! You’ve just won…


Now consider how much more effective they are with correct usage of emojis:


  • ❤️  Save 20% this Valentine’s Day
  • 🍕  2-for-1 on all Pizzas this Friday
  • 🎁  Win a free gift if you subscribe to our newsletter!
  • ✈️ Win a trip to Europe
  • 🌟 Congrats! You’ve just won…

top 15 emoji by subject line appearance graph

Use Fera’s Emojis

We love the 🔥  emoji at the Fera offices. That’s why we incorporated it into our product detail and list counter skills. It gives the impression that products are on fire-or as the kids these days say-‘lit’. When paired with inventory levels and low or limited stock messages you can really drive the point home and get customers noticing your products. We also utilize the ⚠️  emoji for our counter skills. The exclamation gets customers to notice your message and see they have limited time to get your products.


Everything on the Fera app is customizable-even the emojis. So maybe you don’t want the fire-perhaps the 💖  emoji fits better with your brand or your store’s theme. So learn how to change them! In Product List Counters you have the option to A-B Test so you can even see what message will perform best. Sometimes emoji variants can beat out a non-emoji promoted post by as much as 3x!


Setting up your Emojis


Press CTRL + CMD + SPACE and the emoji keyboard pops up in a new smaller window for easy access.



Click on the touch keyboard icon at the bottom-right corner of your screen, then click on the smiley face next to the Control button.


Plain text is boring. Use emojis to convey emotions and excitement in an ever-changing social media universe 🔥  🍌

*Check out a couple cool examples of how companies used emojis to help them market and reach more customers: WWF #Endangered Emoji Campaign, Tweet the pizza emoji & get Dominos delivered & McDonald’s turning people into emojis, Emogi Case Studies & Marketing Insights


GDPR Compliance & Fera

About the GDPR

What is the GDPR?

The GDPR, or as its fully known, the General Data Protection Regulation, is a new regulation that was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14th, 2016. The GDPR will be in full effect as of May 25th, 2018. If you’re non-compliant after this date you may face heavy fines. The GDPR will be enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The GDPR will actually replace the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. It is designed to harmonize data privacy laws across all of Europe, to protect and empower all of the citizens of the EU’s data privacy, and to help reshape the way that companies approach and handle data privacy.

If you are complying properly with the current Data Protection Act (DPA) than most of your approach to compliance will remain valid under the GDPR and can be the starting point to build off of. There are new elements and enhancements, and due to this, you’ll have to do some things for the first time, and even do some things differently.

If you’re not based in Europe, but you do business there or gather any personally identifiable information (PII) from EU citizens via your website, then you’ll be subjected to GDPR regulations.

To learn more read this.

Key Changes

What is ‘Personal Data’?

Personal data is any information relating to a data subject. An identifiable person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as:

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Location data
  • Online identifier (such as IP address or cookie ID)


A breach of the GDPR can result in a fine of up to 4% of annual global turnover, or rather 20 million Euros (whichever is greater). This is the maximum fine that can be imposed as a result of the most serious breaches (not having customer consent to process data or violating the core of the Privacy by Design concepts). These rules apply to both controllers and processors.


Consent must be given in an intelligible and easily accessible form, with the purpose of data processing attached to that consent. You must use clear and plain language so that everyone can easily understand it. It must be equally as easy to give as it is to withdraw consent.

Read more about the key changes here.

How does this effect my eCommerce business?

Is Fera GDPR Compliant?

The short answer is yes, Fera is GDPR compliant. The longer explanation to that can also be read in our Privacy Policy. When Shopify (or you through Shopify) deletes any customer data we delete that customer data as well. In addition, if you request to delete data we can do that as well. When you delete the app we delete all connected data permanently.

What to do?

Entrepreneur has a great guide with 6 steps you can do right now so that you can prepare for the new regulation. Check it out here.

Check out the ICO’s ‘Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation-12 Steps to Take Now’.

How does the GDPR affect Shopify? Find out here.

How does the GDPR affect you? Find out here

How Do I Create a Promo Bar for Mother’s Day?

What is a Promo Bar?

A Promo bar is a feature that lets you show promotions or sales on your eCommerce website. Promo bars will display at the top of all of your site’s pages. They allow you to display information about promotions, sales, discounts, free shipping and more. You can even include a countdown timer to let customers know how much time they have to get a deal!

How can I add one to my site?

You can add a promo bar to your eCommerce site through the App. The idea is that you’re creating urgency on your site. You’re letting your customers and potential customers know that they can get in on a special deal for a time of year, holiday or period of time, but they only have a limited time to get in on the deal.

Head over to the Promo Bar Skill and either ‘create’ or ‘edit’ a skill. Once you’re getting set up you have the option to either use a pre-existing code you have in Shopify, or create a new one that will sync with Shopify’s Discount section. You can set an expiry date, a discount % value, a fixed amount off or free shipping, and if there is a minimum total to use the coupon. You can also set usage limits for the discount code. If you want to link to a specific item that you’re offering a discount or free shipping on you can also include a “take me there” button to the specific product’s URL.

Adding a Promo Bar for Mother’s Day

So Mother’s Day this year (2018) in North America is Sunday, May 13th. So let’s say we want to offer a promo bar for a special Mother’s Day deal where you can get 15% off your purchase (but only if you spend over $25) for the 13th.

First let’s create a Promo Bar Skill.

Create a Promo Bar Campaign

Once we’ve create a promo bar we can get it setup. We want to set a schedule in the ‘General Settings’ tab so that it’s only live for May 13th. Let’s also rename it “Mother’s Day Promo Bar” so we can differentiate it if we have more than one promo bar running.

Promo Bar General Settings

Then let’s set the behaviour of our Promo Bar. We want to set a time for the Promo Bar to end, and potentially change our countdown message. Let’s have it say “We’re giving back to Moms everywhere! Use code %DISCOUNT_CODE% for a discount before time’s up: %TIMER%” The Discount and Timer will be replaced by the code, and the countdown timer when live on your site!

Behaviour of the Promo Bar

Now let’s create a discount code. We will call it “Mother’s-Day-15%-OFF” and set it to expire 05/13/2018 at 11:59PM. We want the code to be a ‘Percentage Off’ and have a discount value of 15%. Let’s set the minimum order total to $25. So you must spend $25 or more to be able to use the discount code. We will set total usage limit as ‘unlimited’ so everyone can use it, not just the first 100 visitors. We will also limit use to once per user.

Create a Discount for Promo Bar

Now we can cusztomize to make it match our site and what we want to promote. Once it’s looking the way we want it to we can check it out on our site.

Design the Promo Bar

Checking out the final product

Now we can check out how it would appear at the top of our site! We’re ready for Mother’s Day and to offer promotions for all sorts of different sales in the future.

The Stand Promo Bar (Mother's Day)

How to Get New Customers to Trust you Immediately

Newsflash, most people don’t trust you.

It’s not because you did anything wrong, or because of your values, beliefs, business, or anything else. This is due to the fact that we’re constantly bombarded by information, messages, chances, ideas and opportunities on the daily. It’s just a fact of our society. But how do you filter out the nonsense, or white noise, from the important stuff?

As a business or brand your job is build up trust and loyalty. You want consumers to feel comfortable buying from you. But today, that’s hard to do. That’s where social proof steps up to the bat.

While you can’t just tell people things and have them immediately trust you, you can have other people say nice things, as we tend to trust what other people have to say. Face it, we trust reviews on the internet from perfect strangers more than we’ll ever trust anything else-especially online!

So here are a few tips and tricks to use Social Proof Marketing to your advantage. Don’t do the work, let others do it for you!

Proof from your customers (and reviews)

Basically when your customers say things like:

  • We just bought this-it’s awesome!
  • I attended this concert/conference/webinar and was there for the whole thing
  • I downloaded this game/guide/document.

This is the easy, base step. Build trust on this and you can start to snowball your social proof from here.

Proof from testimonies

You’ve seen these a million times before. Maybe an ‘Influencer’ posted about this new product you have just “got to try” because they “absolutely swear by it”. You’re basically building authority through associating yourself with someone else, hopefully someone people innately trust

  • “This is the only product I trust enough to ever use on my skin”
  • “I was really impressed with how easy this was to use”
  • “Thank you so much to Company X for making my party absolutely amazing. We love Product X/Service Y so much!”

Authoritative Proof

Prove you’re someone worth listening to. Show that other authority figures/brands are backing you, using your product or talking about you.

  • “Voted the #1 Product by Company X”
  • New York Times Bestselling author
  • Featured on Ellen

You could simply add a few logos of brands or people using your product if you can. It’ll elevate you to a certain level of trust, even if you can’t create long-term trust.

Proof from social media

Probably one of the most influential ways of gaining trust in today’s market. Focus on how many followers you have, the like to comment ratio of your posts, and whether or not you’re a ‘verified’ profile. You’re creating immediate, tangible results about your trust ability. You’re proving a bunch of other people are interacting with your brand or business. They’re liking, sharing and commenting and showing others why they’re loyal or trusting to you!

These also tend to be harder to manipulate or fake, whereas, the others are easier to do so. It definitely helps up the trust factor if you can’t fabricate these results

Case Study Proof

Leverage your actual customers here to provide these for you. You’ll need more in-depth testimonials with data and quotes to back it up. These mean that someone likes your Product/Service enough to let you share their success with it and to attach their business/name/brand to yours. That’s huge and shows others that you’re definitely worth it and that they should probably trust you too!

Whatever you’re trying to do, just remember the goal is to create trusting and loyal customers. You need to show them that you’re worth it or they’ll just find someone else who will. Think of it like a relationship you need to love, nurture and care for to make it grow. And the more you can do this the more people who’ll come flocking to you. Help your customers’ decision-making process and build up those sales!


Optimization is making something as perfect or effective as possible

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

What does Optimization have to do with Conversions?

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

Related areas for Optimization

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

Von Restorff Effect

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

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

Make everything Easy and Simple

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

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

Finally, just use Social Proof

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

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

There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand

Banana Stand live in the city

Social Proof is the new marketing!

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

Social Proof is in the People

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

Line up of people wondering why they're in line

How Fera uses Social Proof

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

Banana Stand Social Proof notification on a Banana Bag

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

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

Use Psychology to Boost Sales and Gain Influence with Customers

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

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

  • Social Proof

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

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

    Social Proof/Conformity

  • Scarcity

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

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

  • Authority

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

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

    Boss Nametag

  • Liking

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

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

  • Reciprocity

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

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

    Dog Comic for Reciprocity

  • Trigger Fear

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

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

Fera Helps you Leverage Scarcity, Social Proof & Urgency

Want to Boost your Online Revenue?

5 ways to boost your online revenue

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about scarcity, social proof, and urgency!

Advocacy Marketing and Boosting your Conversions

Why aren’t we stressing the importance of conversions?

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

Advocates talk…the world listens

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

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

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

So what kinds of conversions can I get?

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

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

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

Getting mixed up in Advocacy and Conversions

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

Content, content, content

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


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

Build everything around your conversion goal!

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

Use your Advocates to get free organic reach and visiblity

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

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

Get Started Today

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

Advocacy-What does it mean?

What is Advocacy Marketing?

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

Mini-Versions of Advocacy Marketing

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

The 3 Keys to Advocacy Marketing

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

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

So tell me, how does Advocacy even work?

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

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


Online Social Media Infographic

How do I use Personalization effectively and Why?

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

Personalization is NOT Customization

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

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

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

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

How do I use Personalization for my Website?

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

Increase Sales with Personalized Messagin Infographic

What are the Challenges of Personalizing your Website?

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

Cartoon of Hands holding devices

How Can I Personalize?

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

A Call to Action for Social Proof

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

The 3 Cs in a Call to Action

  1. Call
  2. Convince
  3. Convert


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


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


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

Social Proof Call to Action

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

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

Good Words to Use for CTA

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

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

Consider Influencers in your marketing strategy

Traditional marketing has died

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


Influencer Marketing can reach customers and convert them

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

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

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


How can I “use” Influencers for my business?

Pick the right influencer

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

Get someone relevant

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

Engage, engage, engage

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

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

Keep your influencers happy!

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

The most important thing to remember

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


Make sure Influencers are benefitting you

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

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

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

Scarcity & Urgency

Why Use Scarcity and Urgency?

People want more of what there is less of image

Scarcity and its Psychology

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

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

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

Cookies in a jar image

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

How do I Use Scarcity Online?

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


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

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


How Can I Use These Tactics Well?

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

Get It By Timer

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

Get it By Timer example image


Cart Timers

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

Cart Timer example image

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

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

Add Urgency to Everything

Increasing the Likelihood of a Desired Action

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

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

But Most Importantly: Add Urgency to Your Offer

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

6 Types of Social Proof

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

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

Bill Gates and Reddit mascot in AMA promo image 

  • Celebrity

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

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

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


  • Certification

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

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

Twitter Logo icon image       Trident Gum recommended by dentists image


  • User

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

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

5 stars image        Emoji expressions image


  • Wisdom of the Many

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

Examples: High social media followings on different platforms

Hands reaching into social media cloud image


  • Wisdom of the Few (Friends)

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

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

Social Media Icons image


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

Use Fera’s Get it By Timers and be like Amazon

Instant Gratification from Ship By Timers

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

How Does Amazon Generate Urgency with Ship by Timers?

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

Amazon dog bed product example

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


Fera is Fighting Back…with Get it By Timers!

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

Watch Get it By Timer example image

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

Get it By Timer editing screen image

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

How Can I Benefit from Using Ship by Timers

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


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

Social Proof & the Magic of Boosting Conversions

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

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

What Is Social Proof?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Product Detail example on a product image

  • Create Social Proof using other customers

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

Social Proof example on a product image

  • Create Social Proof through success stories

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

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

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

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

    Limited Stock message image

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



What’s New at Fera?

We Released New Features!

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

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

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

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

Social Proof Feed

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

Social Proof Skill GIF

Cart Timers

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

Cart Timer Skill GIF

Product List Counters

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

Product List Counter Skill GIF

Product Detail Counters

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

Product Detail Counter Skill GIF

*NEW* Get it By Timer

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

Get it By Timer Skill GIF

*NEW* Dashboard

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


*NEW* Storefront Panel

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

Dashboard before image

Dashboard after image

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

Storefront Panel live preview image

What Happens if I Had Campaigns Running Before the Changes?

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


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


Custom Boost Ranges for Product Detail Counters Skill

IMPORTANT NOTE: has removed the option to “boost viewership counts” as of June 9th, 2018 to comply with Shopify’s policies. We do not want to promote fake data so you can only display real data and numbers with the App.

Product Detail Counter Skill GIF

What is the Boost Feature?

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

Can customers detect Boosted numbers?

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

What are Custom Boost ranges?

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

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

Where do I set Boosting?

Boosting is set in the Skills edit screen from within the social proof/urgency platform.

4 New Social Proof Feed Skill Options Available

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

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

Show Name Whenever Possible

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

Default: YES

Show Notification For How Long?

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

Default: 5 seconds.

Custom Lookback Periods

Lookback Setting

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Onboarding Flow

Onboarding Flow GIF

Changing the Languages

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

Settings to change language in preview image

Default Language: English


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

Dashboard Now Shows Live Shoppers

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

What does the new dashboard widget show you?

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

Here’s a preview:


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


To see what else is new at check out this blog post!