Takeaways from eCommerce Expo for the smaller retailer. Email capture, CRO, personalisation, Applepay reviews and more (episode 070)

Our host Chloe Thomas attended eCommerce Expo last week, and now brings you her pick of the top takeaways from the event. Including how to get more email sign ups, improving conversions with personalisation, Apple pay for email, and Chloe’s own tips on how reviews can improve your marketing and return on investment.

Key updates include:

  • Reviews
  • Applepay
  • Personalisation / CRO etc
  • Email capture

Full script is below!

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Script: Takeaways from eCommerce Expo 2016:

Please note – this is the script, and I tend to elaborate on these points within the podcast episode- so well worth having a listen too.

Hello MasterPlan world – great to have you all listening, and I’m really pleased to be bringing you a new Takeaways episode. It seems ages since the last one! But now we’re right back in the heart of conference season.

So a couple of quick updates before we dive into my takeaways from eCommerce Expo.

Competition Time

In two weeks’ time I’m going to be chairing at the Internet Retailing and eDelivery Conferences in London. That’s great news for all of you because you’ll get a takeaways update from it, PLUS they’ve given me 3 tickets to giveaway.

Each of the 3 winners will be able to choose to attend either of the conferences or BOTH for free. On an access all areas Retailer Delegate Pass.

You can enter until midnight Wednesday 6th October 2016 – full details are here

Book name change

AND (it’s busy here at the moment) a couple of weeks ago we decided to change the name of my new book. From Customer Manipulation to Customer Persuasion. Whilst it has already outsold all my other books combined (we launched in May) the sales aren’t where my book marketing expert Tom says they should be for the effort put in and we think the reason is the title. So it’s a case of “keep optimising” the changes are slowly happening on Amazon.

If you haven’t yet got involved with my new book – then now would be a great time to do so – it’s ebook, audio, and paperback on Amazon. And you can get a free chapter at CustomerPersuasion.co.uk.

If you have already got involved with my book and found it useful – feel free to put a review of your thoughts up on Amazon.

That is more than enough of my marketing – time now to focus on your marketing, and what the takeaways are from eCommerce Expo.

eCommerce Expo would be a big conference on it’s own, but the event is a huge one as it’s co-located with TFM (Technology for Marketing) and the Call Centre Expo at London’s Olympia.
It’s not one I always get to, but as I was speaking this year I thought I’d better turn up!

It’s held over two days – and I had a packed time catching up with clients, friends, and new acquaintances. Unfortunately I didn’t get into any other sessions, but I still managed to pick up some great updates for you all.

It was a really busy event – with a very positive atmosphere, you may wonder why I’m letting you know that – but I think it’s great way to take the temperature of the industry, and right now everyone’s pretty positive!

I have updates for you on:

  • Applepay
  • Personalisation / dynamic content / that sort of thing!
  • Advertising for email sign ups
  • Using your reviews to improve your marketing (this was my session)

Before we dive into that I want to say a big congratulations to previous podcast guest, and member of my mastermind group Home Leisure Direct who picked up 2 awards at the eCommerce Excellence Awards on Wednesday evening (Best Home and Garden and Best Small Retailer) Well done to the whole team. Listen to my interview with Andy.


This update comes from another past podcast guest and award winner! (winner of best eCommerce campaign at dotmailer’s dotties awards) – as we discussed on the show Mark Lippmann has been trialling Applepay for his business Deborah Lippmann. They’ve had great success including a “Buy with Applepay” button in their emails – right alongside “Buy now” and generating sales from email without the customer even having to visit the website!

I found this in a case study published by dotmailer – and in it Mark says “We have seen an increase of 14% in conversions from our email campaigns in just the first 6 weeks. Nearly 50% of the orders were placed by customer who had not previously ordered from our site. Apply Pay checkout on our site and email campaigns are responsible for more than 50% of mobile conversions. This is a game changer for mobile commerce”

Mark made the integration work by using a 3rd partner – MRKTPAY who are Apple Pay specialists.

Hear more about this approach on my previous podcast interview with Mark earlier this year – episode number 38.

Personalisation and Dynamic Content and CRO

I am never sure how to explain this one! There are so many buzz words it’s hard to describe without confusing people. But it was very big at the show – lots of stands talking about it, and lots of positive case studies and ideas too.

To explain what it is….

To my mind it’s software you can embed into your website that personalises what a visitor sees based on what is known about them. It’s been around in various forms for many years, but now technology is enabling it to reach whole new levels.

So the personalisation can be done on the fly – you set up rules and it works out what’s best to show.

The personalisation can also “automatically” creep off-site. So it can be used for the email marketing, advertising and pretty much anything else you can manage to integrate.

Done well it includes purchase history and pretty much any data you can get on that customer and your customer base in general.

Basically it’s software that puts the right product in front of the right customer at the right time, that can then be extended to get the right customer to your website at the right time, and find the right new customer for you as well.

I spoke to a few businesses in this space and my favourite two are coming up. I suggest you take a look at their website to see what’s possible for you.

If you’re big and enterprise level – then take a look at Blue Venn they build everything bespoke and my is it impressive – but for those with larger budgets.

For the rest of us – I’d take a look at Bunting they have great pedigree and a freemium model – that means you can go and sign up for an account, integrate it with your mailchimp and Shopify and test it out. You only start paying as your pageviews increase.

The bunting clients typically a see a 10% uplift in conversions. For example Australia and New Zealand’s largest underwear retailer Bras n Things saw an AOV increase of 9.6%, and the UK gift retailer At Home in the Country saw a 13% revenue increase.

Advertising for email sign ups

As you all know by now – I’m a massive fan of going after the email sign up.

At the show I met Jim from Rokt who are in the process of going big in the UK – they are actively recruiting new advertisers – that’s you lot.

Their system puts adverts onto the order confirmation pages of a number of websites (including eBay and Ticketmaster) in the UK, USA, Australia and more. Where they get high engagement from targeted consumers.

If your budget is over £2500 – you should speak to them direct, for smaller budgets (and Jim recommends starting with at least £500) there’s a self service platform rather like Facebook Advertising or Google Adwords that you can create an account on direct from their website rokt.com (don’t go to .co.uk it’s a climbing business!).

So what can you do? A fair bit – but I’m going to concentrate on the email signups.

You can put a 140 character “ad” in front of people who have just bought online. Asking them to sign up to your email address.

Once they sign up you can immediately send them a welcome email and put them into your welcome sequence:

  • Either by integrating OR
  • Using the Rokt system to send the initial email(s up to 5) and then doing a bulk csv upload into your own system.

This works out a similar cpc to Google Adwords or Facebook, but of course you’re getting someone that little bit further down the buying path.

This is something I would defiantly be putting on my test list. BUT only if I had a Welcome Sequence ready to push them into.


I was lucky enough to be given access to all Trustpilot’s case studies and research over the summer. From that they hired me to write a white paper and speak on their behalf at eCommerce Expo.
So I thought it was only fair to give you all some insight into what I was sharing…

It was all about how just having reviews turned on is not enough and that you should be using your reviews to improve all your marketing activity.

That’s based on the theory of social proof – that as humans we’re more likely to do something if we see someone else do it first. In 2005 Tu And Fishbach looked further into this and discovered that preference was more powerful than action – what that means is that “Top Rated” is more powerful than “best seller”. Which is why using reviews and review scores in your marketing is so powerful.

So to get more and better quality traffic to your website you should include reviews in your marketing activity – be that on your vans, shops, parcels, or adverts.

You can do this in Google Adwords using Google Seller Ratings Extension which automatically adds your overall review score to your ads.

And you can do this in Google SEO by using Schema.org (aka Rich Snippets) to flag your product reviews to Google and the other search engines.

Likewise to improve conversions you can use your reviews in your email marketing – sequences and broadcasts please! And at every stage of the journey through your website.

If you’d like to know more about this – you can get my white paper from Trustpilot, or sign up to International Ecommerce Day (it’s a free virtual conference) where I’ll be giving another presentation on the topic.

Wrap up

So there’s my updates – a bit short this time as I was heavily involved in meetings. The next takeaways episode will be number 72. That will be my takeaways from both eDelivery Conference and Internet Retailing Conference – I’m going to be chairing at both those events watching lots of sessions by the likes of New Look, Grabble, Lego, eBay, Urban Outfitters, M&S and the list goes on!
In the meantime stay tuned for episode 71 where I’m very excited to be bringing you Dan Adler of Wink Beds – an incredible story that shows the power of both listening to your customers and getting key influencers on board.

If you are at those shows – please do come and say hi!

Have a great week everyone and Keep Optimising!