Connect with us


Underused Tactics and Overlooked Metrics in E-Commerce



Underused Tactics and Overlooked Metrics in E-Commerce

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

There are plenty of impressive tactics or metrics that aren’t often discussed, not necessarily because they aren’t important, but because it’s easy to get locked into the rhythm of simply reporting on traffic and sales.

To change things up, let’s look into some other areas we can optimize to improve the organic performance of e-commerce websites, and some underrated but useful metrics that can help you report on that performance.

Tactics to optimize and measure your e-commerce website performance

Data scraping for SEO and analytics

Data scraping is very useful when you want to retrieve, or scrape, elements from a page for further analysis or optimization.

Most people know that you can scrape common webpage elements such as publication date, author name, or price, but what about more specific aspects of e-commerce websites, and what can we use them for? Product pages have unique attributes that you can scrape, such as “add to basket” type buttons or even product schema; below, I’ll talk about how you can scrape breadcrumb data.

Scraping the breadcrumbs

In short, breadcrumbs are a trail that shows users where they are in the structure of a website, and they are especially useful for navigation and internal linking.

By using crawling tools to scrape data from the breadcrumbs, you can have a more complete view of the site as a whole, and it allows you to identify any trends.

Below, you can see that it’s possible to extract breadcrumb data as a series of values by using XPath, and setting this up as a custom field. This allows you to see the data as a separate field once a crawl is finished.

Evaluating your page templates

The typical page templates that you’d expect to see on an e-commerce site include:

  • Homepage

  • Information pages (e.g. about us, delivery information, terms and conditions)

  • Product pages

  • Category pages

  • Navigational landing pages

  • Blogs / guides

  • Payment / cart pages

  • Help/support area

A large e-commerce website may have a significant number of product and category pages. These are the pages that generate the most conversions and transactions, so it is tremendously helpful to know how you can break these down into more manageable chunks.

For a website with millions of pages, it is practically impossible to crawl the whole site; your crawler will run out of memory and space, or it could take weeks to finish, and that’s just not feasible for most of us. This is where segmentation comes in. Segmenting your website also allows you to focus on one area of the site before moving on to another. 

A common tactic for websites the size of Target or Tesco is to focus on one category per quarter, and then move on to another area of the site. It’s through segmentation that they’re able to do this.

Segmenting product pages

There are many different ways you can segment a website, and focusing on your products can help you start seeing improvements in revenue sooner than if you were to focus on other areas of the site. 

With product pages, a good tactic is to look for URL patterns, such as those that end in .html or contain /product/.

It’s also possible to get additional dimensions from your product pages by segmenting your products by their stock status. Separating pages by whether or not a product item is in stock or not can help you determine:

  • How much traffic is going to out-of-stock products.

  • Whether availability and out-of-stock products are affecting product conversion rates.

  • Get a granular view of what page engagement metrics are affected by stock availability.

When scraping this data, you can look for specific on-page elements such as missing prices or an Unavailable / Out of Stock message on your pages.

Screenshot of Screaming Frog configuration menu.

One method of doing this would be to extract the product availability property from a site’s schema markup. If you’re using Screaming Frog, you can access the Custom Extraction feature in the Configuration dropdown under Custom > Extraction,and then set up your extraction rules.

Screenshot of Screaming Frog extraction list.

Segmenting category pages

Segmenting category pages allows you to find any categories that have hundreds of products and could benefit from being split into subcategories.

Category pages don’t always have specific URL patterns, and they differ from one CMS to another, but you can look out for those that contain /category/ or /shop/. Another good option is to look for unique attributes, such as those with text showing X of Y results or pages with options for sorting product results.

Structured data markup

We saw earlier that you could scrape pages for instances of product data to identify product pages. But before we move on, we need to ensure we understand what structured data or schema markup is and how it can benefit e-commerce websites.

Product markup

Product markup provides more information about your products directly in the SERPs when your audience searches for them. Product markup can also mean your products are more eligible for rich results, such as carousels, images, and other non-textual elements.

The product schema might look something like this:

Screenshot of product schema code.

Once added, product schema allows your audience to see valuable information about your products before they even land on your page, improving your CTR! We can see Walmart has added product schema to their products in the two examples below:

Screenshot of SERP with Walmart product listings.

Star ratings in search results

The more positive reviews your products have, the more likely customers will be to visit your website and buy your products, especially when compared to your competitors.

Star ratings can be pulled in from your product markup through third-party tools such as Trustpilot or Reevoo, or from on-page customer reviews.

Screenshot of SERP with Dell results that contain star reviews.

We see this when looking at these searches for Dell laptops. Realistically, which links are you more likely to click on as a customer: those with high star ratings or those with seemingly no rating at all?

Optimizing crawl budget for e-commerce

There will likely be pages on your website that are useful to existing customers, such as thank you pages after placing an order, logged-in account pages, etc. However, these pages won’t be the most important for new users looking to find you or your products on search.

It costs Google time and money to crawl our sites, so they need to budget accordingly. By managing this crawl budget, we guide search engines toward our most valuable and essential pages.


We don’t need to index every page on our websites.

It’s entirely acceptable to meta-noindex or disallow certain pages in the robots.txt file — in fact, it’s expected. This is because indexing everything could mean that Google might not crawl all of our pages, so they might not index all of our content. This would be a problem, as it could mean some of our high-value, top-converting pages might not rank organically.

That said, we shouldn’t be noindexing vast chunks of an e-commerce website without proper research. By noindexing huge chunks, we’re missing out on the ranking potential for key search behavior, e.g. locations, product sizing, etc.

Use of URL parameters

As users or owners of e-commerce websites, we’re likely familiar with URL parameters. Common areas that we see these parameters include:

Faceted navigation pages and product sorting options are typically blocked in robots.txt files, but it’s a good idea to find out how many of those pages Google is still serving to searchers. We can do this in our chosen crawling tool by selecting the option to ignore robots.txt rules. Alternatively, you can segment landing page session data in Google Analytics by URLs with parameters to see how many of those parameter pages are being served to users. Then, the session data will be used to show how many visits those pages are getting.

It may seem counterintuitive to do this, but these pages tend not to have unique on-page content, as they will have duplicated titles, headings, or body content, which means you could be missing out on other, more essential pages ranking for relevant keywords.

Measuring site speed across templates

With large e-commerce websites, it doesn’t make sense to simply test one or two pages and take that as a site speed reading across the entire website. Each page template is built differently. One type of page can load faster than another — even if all other test parameters are the same.

Testing site speed across multiple page templates

As discussed earlier, there are many different template types that can make up a successful website. Testing a selection of pages from each of these templates is recommended to get the best picture of the load time performance of your site.

An excellent way to do this is through using the PageSpeed Insights API and connecting it to Screaming Frog or using cloud tools such as OnCrawl or Site Bulb, which will test the speed of each page on your website as it crawls.

To do this in Screaming Frog, go to “Configuration”. In “API Access”, select “PageSpeed Insights”, and there you will see fields to include the API key.

Screenshot of PageSpeed Insights Account Information menu.

Once done, in the “Metrics” section, you can select both the device that you want to track and the reports, metrics, etc., that you are interested in extracting page speed information. In the example below, we have selected Crux Data and TTFB (Time to First Byte) and LCP and FCP data. Although the crawl may take longer to complete, this information should now appear alongside the URLs in the final crawl.

Screenshot of PageSpeed Insights metrics menu.

Choosing your testing location

There are various tools you can use to test your site speed, such as PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, and GTmetrix, and most of these do allow you to set your testing location.

It’s important to test your e-commerce site from a location close to where your data centre is located (where your website is hosted), as well as one that is further away. Doing this lets you get an idea of how your real customers are experiencing your store.

If you have a CDN installed, such as Cloudflare, this is also useful, as it allows you to see how much of an impact the CDN is having on your website and how it helps your site load more quickly.

Wherever you decide to test from, remember to keep these locations the same each time you test so you can get accurate results.

Understanding caching and how it influences site speed

If your e-commerce website has caching installed, it’s even more important to test your pages more than once. This is because, on the first test, your page may not have loaded over the cache yet. Once it does, your results will likely be much faster than what you saw on your first test.

With or without caching installed, I would recommend testing each page template around three times for both mobile and desktop devices to get a good measurement and then calculate the average..

Common e-commerce website mistakes

Understanding the common problems that e-commerce websites make is valuable for learning how to avoid them on your own website, as the reasons some tactics remain underused come down to these errors.

Faceted navigation for e-commerce

Whatever your e-commerce site sells, it should be easy to navigate, with sensible menus and navigation options that clearly tell visitors what they will see when they click.

Screenshot of boohoo faceted navigation menu.

You can see this on the Boohoo website, a prominent fashion retailer in the UK. This image shows the women’s dresses navigation, but you can see how it is broken down by type of dresses, dresses by occasion, colour, how they fit, and even by current fashion trends. Users are able to navigate directly to the subcategories they need.

Good website architecture matters

The importance of good architecture cannot be underestimated and should be centered around the core actions you want people to complete. Ideally, it would be best if you attempted to set up a site with the homepage, followed by the subsequent categories, subcategories, and then the products underneath.

Illustration of website structure layers.

Boohoo has followed this same ideology with their architecture — as trends change and new lines of dresses are added, they can quickly expand and edit the architecture as needed.

Keeping it simple and scalable is the key to setting up good architecture. As your store grows, you will likely add more categories and products, so you need to be able to do this efficiently. You should attempt to keep important pages less than three clicks from the homepage and implement keyword research processes to create highly relevant page URLs and subdirectories.

You want people to buy your products, so don’t make it difficult for them. You can then have other areas on the site for content silos and blogs that link to the various categories and products around the site.

Creating effective product pages

The product page design shouldn’t detract from the shopping experience, and the product information should be as “friendly” and accessible as possible.

Try to use the product information you have available in your Product Information Management (PIM) system. Ensure that your sizes, measurements, colors, prices, and other details are easy to find, read, and understand. These details are even more vital if you happen to sell products that others also offer. If you’re not including any sizes, but your competitors are, you’re increasing your chances that potential customers can choose to buy from them instead. If you’re targeting multiple countries, consider whether you need to include your measurements in imperial, metric, or both. Information should be localized where relevant.

Some top ways to ensure you always include enough information and avoid thin content on your product pages are to:

  1. Start with a 50-100 word introduction: Think about what the product does and who needs it? One way to do this can be seen in the example from Apple below.

  2. List the critical features and technical specifications in bullet format.

  3. Include a “deep dive” section: Write a detailed product description with use cases, relevant awards the product may have won, benefits of the product, images of the product in use, and any FAQs.

  4. Make use of user-generated content such as customer photos and reviews.

  5. End with a 50-100 word conclusion: Summarize the product and use a call to action to encourage your customers to make the purchase.

Screenshot of Apple Watch product listing.

Including enough information can be the difference between whether or not you make the sale or whether a customer purchases from a competitor.

Utilizing FAQ content to sell more products

People undoubtedly have questions about your products. If customers can’t find the answers they need on your website, they’ll search elsewhere. They’re likely to buy from that website when they find the answers.

You can rectify this by having a general FAQ section on your website. This is where you would answer questions about website security, shipping and return policies, etc. When it comes to product-specific questions, these should be answered on the product pages themselves.

The need to monitor out-of-stock products

There can be many reasons why a product is out of stock, yet the page is still live on an e-commerce site, including:

Ultimately, out-of-stock products can lead to customer frustration. Unsatisfied customers and a poor user experience — on top of the SEO implications of so many unuseful pages — result in fewer purchases and, ultimately, a poor-performing e-commerce store.

In summary

There are many ways that the performance of an e-commerce website can be optimized and analyzed, and these are just a few. While they may be less common, they can allow you to get additional data, which, once acted upon accordingly, can help you to outperform others in your market.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


The marketing lifecycle: An overview



The marketing lifecycle: An overview

Remember when digital marketing was simple? Create content, throw it over the wall, hope for the best.

Note that we said “simple,” not effective.

To be effective is more complicated, and this keeps accelerating. There are so many options, so many channels, and so many audiences, that effective digital marketing requires a term to which people often react strongly—


Very few people inherently like the idea of “process.” It brings forth visions of rigidity and inertia.

But there simply has to be a framework in which to produce and publish effective marketing assets. Without this, you have nothing but chaos from which productive work gets done accidentally, at best.

How did it get this way for the enterprise? How did things become so interconnected?

  • Marketing isn’t a point in time, it’s an activity stream. It’s a line of dominoes you need to knock over, roughly in order. Lots of organizations do well at some, but fail on others, and thus break the chain of what could be an effective process.
  • Marketing activities overlap. It’d be great if we could do one thing at a time, but the marketing pipeline is never empty. Campaigns target different audiences at the same time, and new campaigns are being prepared as existing campaigns are closing.
  • Marketing involves a lot of actors at vastly different levels. There’s your content team, of course, reviewers, external agencies and contractors, designers, developers, and—of course—stakeholders and executives. Each group has different needs for collaboration, input, and reporting.

Some of the best business advice boils down to this: “Always understand the big picture.” You might be asked to do one specific thing in a process, but make sure you understand the context of that specific thing—where does it fit in the larger framework? Where does it get input from? How are its outputs used?

In this article, we’re going to zoom out for an overhead view of how Optimizely One helps you juggle the complete marketing lifecycle, from start to finish, without letting anything drop.

1. Intake 

Ideas are born everywhere—maybe with you, maybe with your staff, maybe with someone who has no connection with marketing at all, and maybe from an external source, like an ad agency or PR firm. Leading organizations have found a way to widen the top end of their pipeline—the start of their content marketing funnel—and take in more ideas from more sources.

Good ideas combine. Someone has one half of an idea, and someone else has the other half. The goal of effective collaboration is to get those two pieces together. One plus one can sometimes equal three, and more ideas mean better ideas overall. Creativity is about getting more puzzle pieces on the table so you can figure out which ones fit your strategy.

How do you manage the flow of ideas? How do you make sure good ideas don’t get dropped, but rather become great content? The only way to publish great content is to get ideas into the top end of the pipe. 


Optimizely One can streamline and accelerate your content intake using templated intake forms mapped to intelligent routing rules and shared queues. Everyone in your organization can know where content is developed and how to contribute to ideas, content, and campaigns currently in-process. Your content team can easily manage and collaborate on requests, meaning content development can become focused, rather than spread out across the organization. 

2. Plan

Campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum. They share the stage with other campaigns—both in terms of audience attention and employee workload. Leading organizations ensure that their campaigns are coordinated, for maximum audience effect and efficiency of workload.

Pick a time scale and plan it from overhead. What campaigns will you execute during this period? In what order? How do they overlap? Then, break each campaign down—what tasks are required to complete and launch? Who owns them? In what stage of completion are they in? What resources are required to complete them? 

Good marketing campaigns aren’t run in isolation. They’re a closely aligned part of an evolving body of work, carefully planned and executed.


Optimizely One provides comprehensive editorial calendaring and scheduling. Every marketing activity can have an easily accessible strategic brief and dedicated workspaces in which to collaborate. Your content team and your stakeholders can know, at a glance, what marketing activities are in-process, when they’re scheduled to launch, who is assigned to what, and what’s remaining on the calendar.  

3. Create 

Good content takes fingers on keyboards, but that’s not all. 

Content creators need frameworks in which to generate effective content. They need the tools to share, collaborate, structure, stage, and approve their work. Good content comes in part from tooling designed to empower content creators. 

Your content team needs a home base—the digital equivalent of an artist’s studio. They need a platform which is authoritative for all their marketing assets; a place that everyone on the team knows is going to have the latest schedules, the latest drafts, the official assets, and every task on the road to publication. 

Content creation isn’t magic—it doesn’t just appear out of the ether. It comes from intentional teams working in structured frameworks. 


Optimizely One gives your editors the tools they need for the content creation process, AI-enabled editing environments for fingers-on-keyboards, all the way through intelligent workflows for collaboration and approvals. Authors can write, designers can upload and organize, project managers can combine and coordinate, stakeholders can review, and external teams can collaborate. All within a framework centered around moving your campaigns forward. 

4. Store 

Leading organizations look at content beyond its immediate utility. Everything your content teams do becomes an incremental part of an evolving body of work. Content doesn’t appear and disappear; rather, it continually enlarges and refines a body of work that represents your organization over time. 

Good creative teams remix and transform old ideas into new ones. They can locate content assets quickly and easily to evolve them into new campaigns quickly. They don’t reinvent the wheel every time, because they lean on a deep reservoir of prior art and existing creative components. 

Digital asset and content management should store content in a structured, atomic format, allowing your organization to store, retrieve, organize, and re-use marketing assets quickly and easily. 


Optimizely One gives your content team a place to store their content assets, from text and rich media. Content can be archived and organized, either manually, or by using AI to automatically extract tags. Content can be stored as pure data, free from presentation, which makes it easy to re-use. Your content team will always know where to find work in progress, media to support emerging campaigns, or assets from past campaigns. Brand portals make it easy to share assets with external organizations.

5. Globalize 

Business happens all over the world in every language. To effectively compete around the world, your content needs to be globalized. 

Globalization of content is a holistic practice that affects every part of the content lifecycle. Words need to be translated, of course, but you also need to consider cultural globalization—images and symbols that might change—as well as globalization for numbers, currency, and time zones. Going even deeper, you might have to make design changes to accommodate things like differing word lengths and the flow of text. 

Beyond simply changing content, your work process is affected. When does translation happen? Who is authorized to order it? Who can perform it? How do you bring external translation companies into your internal processes, and how does this affect the flow of content through your organization?  


Optimizely One helps you manage the entire globalization process, whether it’s done in-house or automatically via one of our translation partners. Your customers can be served content in their language and culture, and you can carefully control the alternate, “fallback” experience for languages not yet available, or when you’re not translating all of your content.  

6. Layout 

Some experiences need to be visually composed from a palette of content and design components. Designers and marketers want to see exactly what their content looks like before they publish. 

In some cases, this is easy—everyone should be able to see what a web page looks like before it goes live. But what about your mobile app? What about display advertising? A social media update? 

And what happens when you’re modifying content based on behavior and demographics? If you want to see how your web page will look for someone from California who has visited your site before and already downloaded your whitepaper on their iPhone…can you? 

Content no longer leaves your organization on a single channel. Composition and preview is always contextual—there is no single, default experience. Leading organizations want full control over their visual presentation and they know that they need to see their content through the eyes of their customers.  


Optimizely One provides the tools to visually compose experiences across multiple channels and can preview that experience when viewed through the personalization lens of whatever demographic and behavioral data you can dream up. And this works regardless of channel: web, email, display advertising—everything can be previewed in real-time. 

7. Deliver 

Content can’t do any good unless it can reach your customers. You need to publish your content to them, wherever they are, which means having the flexibility to push content into multiple channels, in multiple formats. 

A consumable piece of media is an “artifact.” Your content is the idea and message that make up that artifact. Leading organizations develop their content separate from any concept of an artifact, then transform it into different formats to fit the channel that will spread their message most effectively. 

Sure, make a web page—but also push that content to your mobile app, and into your social networks. Broadcast a text message, and an email. While you’re at it, push the information into the display panel in the elevators. Let’s be bold and broadcast it on the TV screens that play while your customers fill up with gas. 

The key is delivery flexibility. The world of content delivery has changed remarkably in just the last few years. It will no-doubt change more in the future. No platform can anticipate what’s coming, so you just need the flexibility to be ready to adapt to what happens. 


Optimizely One provides complete delivery flexibility. Our systems store your content separate from presentation, and allow multiple ways to access it, from traditional websites to headless APIs to connect your content to mobile apps or other decoupled experiences. Your content can be combined with internally-stored content or third-party content to provide a seamless “content reservoir” to draw on from all of your channels. 

8. Personalize 

Throughout this lifecycle, we’ve moved from content, to artifacts, and now on to “experiences.” 

One person consuming an artifact—reading a web page, listening to a podcast, watching a video—is an experience. Just like one piece of content can generate more than one artifact, one artifact should enable thousands of experiences. 

Technology has advanced to the point where all of those experiences can be managed. Instead of every customer getting the same experience, it can be personalized to that specific customer in that specific moment. 

You can do this using simple demographic or technographic data—perhaps you cut down the information and make your content more task-oriented when you detect someone is on a mobile device. However, the real power comes when you begin tracking behavior, consolidating information about your customers, and giving them specific content based on what you’ve observed. 

Leading organizations have a single location to track customer behavior and data. For every experience, they know exactly what this customer has done, how they’ve interacted with the organization, and they can predict what they’ll do next. Content and artifacts will morph themselves to fit each individual experience. 


Optimizely One connects both customer behavior and demographics along with the tools to activate that data to affect your customers’ experiences. Our platform allows you to track customer behavior and match that with customer demographics—this includes behavior tracking for customers you can’t even identify yet. Based on that behavior and stored data, editors can modify experiences in real-time, changing content and design to match to what each individual customer is most likely to respond. Or let the machine do the work, with personalized content and product recommendations. 

9. Experiment 

No matter how much you know, customers will always surprise you. The right answer to persuading your customer to take an action might be something you’re not even thinking of. Or, you might have an idea, but you’re not confident enough to bank on it. And let’s face it—sometimes, you just love two different ideas. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could publish more than one thing? 

You absolutely can. And you absolutely should.

Leading organizations let go of the idea that an experience is bound to one version of an artifact. Don’t just write one title for that blog post—write three. Publish them all and show them randomly. Let your customers tell you—by their next action—which one was the right one to use. 

Experimentation allows you to try new things without the inertia of re-considering and re-drafting all your content. Ideas can go from your mind to pixels on the screen quickly and easily, and you can see what works and what doesn’t. Try a new title, or next text on a button. Does it give you better results? If so, great, keep it. If not, throw it away and try something else.

Refine, refine, refine. The idea that you publish content in one form and just hope it’s the right one is a set of handcuffs that can be tough to shake. But the results can be impressive.


Optimizely One allows you to quickly create and publish multiple variations of content and content elements to any channel. You can separate your content into elements and try different combinations to see which one drives your customers to move forward in their journey, then automatically route more traffic through winning combinations. You can manage feature rollouts and soft-launches, enabling specific functionality for specific audiences in any channel. 

10. Analyze 

The key to a learning and evolving content team is a transparent and unflinching look into what happens to your content after it’s published.

Analytics need to be considered in the context of the entire content domain. What content performs well but has low traffic? What content is consumed often but never moves customers down their buying journey? Customer behavior needs to be tracked carefully, then used to segment customers into audiences, based on both your content team’s observations and insights provided by AI. 


Optimizely One offers complete behavior tracking and content analysis, showing you what content works, what content doesn’t, and what your customers are doing during every step of their relationship with your entire digital estate. 

Juggle the entire lifecycle 

“Publishing myopia” prevents most organizations from truly benefiting from the power of their content and marketing technology. Too many ideas are undercut by an obsession with the publish button. We rush content out the door and just throw it over the wall and hope it lands. 

Within that mode of thinking, great ideas get trapped under the surface. Great content is delivered to only one channel in one language. Great experiences never see the light of day because content exists in only one form. And every customer sees the same thing, no matter how their own experience might benefit from something else. 

Remember: the marketing lifecycle is a series of stages

Each stage builds on the last and allows content to grow from a random idea your team takes in from the field and turns it into a spectacular multi-channel experience which rearranges and modifies itself to fit each customer. 

Juggling all of the steps in the marketing lifecycle can be done, but it’s easy to lose the forest for the trees and get too myopic about individual steps in this process. Leading organizations step back, consider the entire cycle from start to finish, and make sure their ideas, their products, and their messages are enhanced and strengthened in every step. 


Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat



Building Customer Trust: Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat

Addressing customer issues quickly is not merely a strategy to distinguish your brand; it’s an imperative for survival in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.

Customer frustration can lead to customer churn. That’s precisely why organizations employ various support methods to ensure clients receive timely and adequate assistance whenever they require it.

Nevertheless, selecting the most suitable support channel isn’t always straightforward. Support teams often grapple with the choice between live chat and chatbots.

The automation landscape has transformed how businesses engage with customers, elevating chatbots as a widely embraced support solution. As more companies embrace technology to enhance their customer service, the debate over the credibility of chatbots versus live chat support has gained prominence.

However, customizable chatbot continue to offer a broader scope for personalization and creating their own chatbots.

In this article, we will delve into the world of customer support, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of both chatbots and live chat and how they can influence customer trust. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of which option may be the best fit for your business.

The Rise of Chatbots

Chatbots have become increasingly prevalent in customer support due to their ability to provide instant responses and cost-effective solutions. These automated systems use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers in real-time, making them a valuable resource for businesses looking to streamline their customer service operations.

Advantages of Chatbots

24/7 Availability

One of the most significant advantages of custom chatbots is their round-the-clock availability. They can respond to customer inquiries at any time, ensuring that customers receive support even outside regular business hours.


Custom Chatbots provide consistent responses to frequently asked questions, eliminating the risk of human error or inconsistency in service quality.


Implementing chatbots can reduce operational costs by automating routine inquiries and allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.


Chatbots can handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, making them highly scalable as your business grows.

Disadvantages of Chatbots

Limited Understanding

Chatbots may struggle to understand complex or nuanced inquiries, leading to frustration for customers seeking detailed information or support.

Lack of Empathy

Chatbots lack the emotional intelligence and empathy that human agents can provide, making them less suitable for handling sensitive or emotionally charged issues.

Initial Setup Costs

Developing and implementing chatbot technology can be costly, especially for small businesses.

The Role of Live Chat Support

Live chat support, on the other hand, involves real human agents who engage with customers in real-time through text-based conversations. While it may not offer the same level of automation as custom chatbots, live chat support excels in areas where human interaction and empathy are crucial.

Advantages of Live Chat

Human Touch

Live chat support provides a personal touch that chatbots cannot replicate. Human agents can empathize with customers, building a stronger emotional connection.

Complex Issues

For inquiries that require a nuanced understanding or involve complex problem-solving, human agents are better equipped to provide in-depth assistance.

Trust Building

Customers often trust human agents more readily, especially when dealing with sensitive matters or making important decisions.


Human agents can adapt to various customer personalities and communication styles, ensuring a positive experience for diverse customers.

Disadvantages of Live Chat

Limited Availability

Live chat support operates within specified business hours, which may not align with all customer needs, potentially leading to frustration.

Response Time

The speed of response in live chat support can vary depending on agent availability and workload, leading to potential delays in customer assistance.


Maintaining a live chat support team with trained agents can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses strategically.

Building Customer Trust: The Credibility Factor

When it comes to building customer trust, credibility is paramount. Customers want to feel that they are dealing with a reliable and knowledgeable source. Both customziable chatbots and live chat support can contribute to credibility, but their effectiveness varies in different contexts.

Building Trust with Chatbots

Chatbots can build trust in various ways:


Chatbots provide consistent responses, ensuring that customers receive accurate information every time they interact with them.

Quick Responses

Chatbots offer instant responses, which can convey a sense of efficiency and attentiveness.

Data Security

Chatbots can assure customers of their data security through automated privacy policies and compliance statements.

However, custom chatbots may face credibility challenges when dealing with complex issues or highly emotional situations. In such cases, the lack of human empathy and understanding can hinder trust-building efforts.

Building Trust with Live Chat Support

Live chat support, with its human touch, excels at building trust in several ways:


Human agents can show empathy by actively listening to customers’ concerns and providing emotional support.

Tailored Solutions

Live chat agents can tailor solutions to individual customer needs, demonstrating a commitment to solving their problems.


Human agents can adapt to changing customer requirements, ensuring a personalized and satisfying experience.

However, live chat support’s limitations, such as availability and potential response times, can sometimes hinder trust-building efforts, especially when customers require immediate assistance.

Finding the Right Balance

The choice between custom chatbots and live chat support is not always binary. Many businesses find success by integrating both options strategically:

Initial Interaction

Use chatbots for initial inquiries, providing quick responses, and gathering essential information. This frees up human agents to handle more complex cases.

Escalation to Live Chat

Implement a seamless escalation process from custom chatbots to live chat support when customer inquiries require a higher level of expertise or personal interaction.

Continuous Improvement

Regularly analyze customer interactions and feedback to refine your custom chatbot’s responses and improve the overall support experience.


In the quest to build customer trust, both chatbots and live chat support have their roles to play. Customizable Chatbots offer efficiency, consistency, and round-the-clock availability, while live chat support provides the human touch, empathy, and adaptability. The key is to strike the right balance, leveraging the strengths of each to create a credible and trustworthy customer support experience. By understanding the unique advantages and disadvantages of both options, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance customer trust and satisfaction in the digital era.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


The Rise in Retail Media Networks



A shopping cart holding the Amazon logo to represent the rise in retail media network advertising.

As LL Cool J might say, “Don’t call it a comeback. It’s been here for years.”

Paid advertising is alive and growing faster in different forms than any other marketing method.

Magna, a media research firm, and GroupM, a media agency, wrapped the year with their ad industry predictions – expect big growth for digital advertising in 2024, especially with the pending US presidential political season.

But the bigger, more unexpected news comes from the rise in retail media networks – a relative newcomer in the industry.

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain how these trends could affect marketers or keep reading for his thoughts:

GroupM expects digital advertising revenue in 2023 to conclude with a 5.8% or $889 billion increase – excluding political advertising. Magna believes ad revenue will tick up 5.5% this year and jump 7.2% in 2024. GroupM and Zenith say 2024 will see a more modest 4.8% growth.

Robert says that the feeling of an ad slump and other predictions of advertising’s demise in the modern economy don’t seem to be coming to pass, as paid advertising not only survived 2023 but will thrive in 2024.

What’s a retail media network?

On to the bigger news – the rise of retail media networks. Retail media networks, the smallest segment in these agencies’ and research firms’ evaluation, will be one of the fastest-growing and truly important digital advertising formats in 2024.

GroupM suggests the $119 billion expected to be spent in the networks this year and should grow by a whopping 8.3% in the coming year.  Magna estimates $124 billion in ad revenue from retail media networks this year.

“Think about this for a moment. Retail media is now almost a quarter of the total spent on search advertising outside of China,” Robert points out.

You’re not alone if you aren’t familiar with retail media networks. A familiar vernacular in the B2C world, especially the consumer-packaged goods industry, retail media networks are an advertising segment you should now pay attention to.

Retail media networks are advertising platforms within the retailer’s network. It’s search advertising on retailers’ online stores. So, for example, if you spend money to advertise against product keywords on Amazon, Walmart, or Instacart, you use a retail media network.

But these ad-buying networks also exist on other digital media properties, from mini-sites to videos to content marketing hubs. They also exist on location through interactive kiosks and in-store screens. New formats are rising every day.

Retail media networks make sense. Retailers take advantage of their knowledge of customers, where and why they shop, and present offers and content relevant to their interests. The retailer uses their content as a media company would, knowing their customers trust them to provide valuable information.

Think about these 2 things in 2024

That brings Robert to two things he wants you to consider for 2024 and beyond. The first is a question: Why should you consider retail media networks for your products or services?   

Advertising works because it connects to the idea of a brand. Retail media networks work deep into the buyer’s journey. They use the consumer’s presence in a store (online or brick-and-mortar) to cross-sell merchandise or become the chosen provider.

For example, Robert might advertise his Content Marketing Strategy book on Amazon’s retail network because he knows his customers seek business books. When they search for “content marketing,” his book would appear first.

However, retail media networks also work well because they create a brand halo effect. Robert might buy an ad for his book in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal because he knows their readers view those media outlets as reputable sources of information. He gains some trust by connecting his book to their media properties.

Smart marketing teams will recognize the power of the halo effect and create brand-level experiences on retail media networks. They will do so not because they seek an immediate customer but because they can connect their brand content experience to a trusted media network like Amazon, Nordstrom, eBay, etc.

The second thing Robert wants you to think about relates to the B2B opportunity. More retail media network opportunities for B2B brands are coming.

You can already buy into content syndication networks such as Netline, Business2Community, and others. But given the astronomical growth, for example, of Amazon’s B2B marketplace ($35 billion in 2023), Robert expects a similar trend of retail media networks to emerge on these types of platforms.   

“If I were Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, or any brand with big content platforms, I’d look to monetize them by selling paid sponsorship of content (as advertising or sponsored content) on them,” Robert says.

As you think about creative ways to use your paid advertising spend, consider the retail media networks in 2024.

Like what you read here? Get yourself a subscription to daily or weekly updates.  It’s free – and you can change your preferences or unsubscribe anytime.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading