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Booking.com is one of the world’s most successful hotel reservations website.
Although serving primarily the European market, over 500,000 room-nights are reserved on Booking.com every single day!
This amount of daily conversions is not simply due to chance…
…So what can we learn from their success?
Simply said, Booking.com is a master in “Behavioral Targeting”- nearly all aspects of the user experience is customized and adjusted towards each specific shopper in an attempt to optimize and boost conversion rates.
So let’s take a look at some of the Behavioral Targeting techniques used on Booking.com:
When you first visit the Booking.com website you are greeted with a generic assortment of different hotel offers from around the world:
A.) However the moment you make your first search, the magic happens:
- The shoppers are immediately presented with relevant and timely information about the market conditions in their destination city, creating a sense of urgency and scarcity and pushing the shoppers towards completing the reservation as quickly as possible before their options run out.
(See Arrows #1 & #2)
- First time visitors are presented with helpful usability tips & tricks.
(See Arrows #3 & #4)
- To further cement purchasing intentions, advantageous policies such as free cancellation policies are highlighted.
(See Arrow #5)
B.) When the user selects to view more details on a particular hotel, the information is further customized and the shopper is presented with further targeted information about the chosen listing:
In the above example, the shoppers were presented with banners informing them that:
- The latest reservation for this hotel was done only about 10 minutes ago (page was viewed at 14:00).
- That 4 other people are currently looking at this hotel…(and might take the remaining rooms…so you better hurry!).
C.) Depending on the geographic location and chosen language of the visitor, further targeted information will be presented. As in the bellow example, when a visitor views the site from Israel in the Hebrew language, if there are any reviews for a particular hotel in Hebrew, these will be brought to the front and shown before reviews in other languages. (The idea being that the shopper is more likely to understand and trust a review from somebody from his culture and language then some review from a random person from anywhere else in the world)
D.) After a shopper has executed a search and returns to the home page, the experience is completely customized to the interests of that shopper. The home page now shows hotels from the searched destinations as well as other nearby destinations, the shopper might be interested in. (In this case we searched for Sydney and we are presented with other listings for Sydney and Melbourne, rather than listings from random cities)
As you can see Booking.com is doing as much as they can do to keep their content relevant, current and personalized, while creating a sense of immediacy for their shoppers.
All of this contributes to their stellar amount of daily bookings!!!
Our team in Sydney is getting ready for the largest online retail tradeshow in Australia. It’s the first time we’re exhibiting in Australia and we’re looking forward to meeting some of our existing customers!
If you are in the area come say hello , we’re in booth #3044
With a few marketing tools already in play, like Facebook ads and sponsored stories, Facebook recently launched Facebook Offers for Page Administrators. The feature enables you, as page administrator, to offer discounts or promotions from your page. These promotions potentially create more customers, drive traffic to your website or store and increase sales.
Offers can be shared with the people who like your page, who can share them with their friends, who can share with their friends, and so on. Not only that, a news story is created just for offers, so when people claim your offer, it appears as a story on their news feeds and shared with their friends. These stories potentially create more claims, more stories, and generally more buzz. This feature, according to Facebook, is one of the most viral posts you can create from your page.
Facebook is relying on research that has shown that you can get 3 times return on investment in your business when people refer their friends, so Facebook Offers has the potential to generate more sales. Let’s face it, we all love a good deal, and we all love to tell our friends how great a deal we got.
Easy as 1 2 3
Creating an offer couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is go to your page and click Offer/Event and select Offer. You’ll have to decide if the offer can be redeemed in store (with a barcode), online (with a redemption code) or both. You’ll then be able to create a headline, determine the terms and conditions of your offer and limit the number of people who can claim it, should you choose to.
You’ll also need to set a budget. In its presentation of this new feature, Facebook conveniently claims that the higher the budget you set, the more people you’ll be able to reach. When you set the budget for you offer, it will show you the estimated reach of that particular budget, for example, the estimated reach for a $5 budget is between 95 and 176 people.
You can also determine who will your offer by gating the offer so only certain people can see it, or by adding news feed targeting to optimize your offer’s reach.
How does it work from a customer’s point of view? When someone claims your offer, they’ll receive an email with your terms and conditions, the offer’s expiration’s date, an online redemption code or barcode. In other words, all the details you filled in when you created the offer.
A few tips for creating a successful offer
Obviously, you learn most from experience, so by all means, experiment with your offers and get creative. If, however, you don’t want to feel like you’re shooting in the dark, here are a few tips that might help get you started:
- Give exclusive offers.
- Make a substantial discount. Facebook recommends at least 20% off, or even better, offer something for free, like “buy one get one free”.
- Clearly describe your terms and conditions.
- Use clear and appealing photos, preferably of people using your product, which tend to perform better than images of the product by itself. Make sure the photo looks good when viewed in a thumbnail.
- Keep your headlines simple and informative. Lead with your offer rather than a marketing slogan.
- Set a reasonable expiration date. Give people at least a few days to claim your offer.
- Promote your offer by pinning it to the top of your page so people will notice it.
- Inform your staff about the offer and its terms and conditions.
- Set longer expiration date but spend most of ad budget in first 3 days to create a viral buzz.
As new as this feature is, there is some data regarding its effectiveness. A Facebook case study of Auckland’s Big Little City, the consumer brand for Auckland’s central city Business Improvement, shows 10,000 people claimed offers, as well as 170% increase in fan base over a period of two months.
Sweet Frog, a frozen yogurt store with multiple locations in the US, reported 9,200 people claimed its offer and 144 people redeemed it in store. According to Facebook case study, the offer generated 500 new likes for the brand’s page.
When we design our products and specific features within them ease of use is one of our main concerns. We consider the fact that our customers can log-in and have a cart abandonment email ready for use in less than 5 minutes a major advantage. One of the things that makes this possible are our built-in best practices together with default options that work well for almost everyone.
But sometimes our customers want more control over how things are laid out in the email and now that is possible using our advanced html widget. Using the advanced widget you can create an html template that will be used to display the items that were abandoned in the cart. You are also not only limited to displaying the item’s image but can also display it’s name and price.
To use the advanced widget simply edit your cart abandonment rule and check the Advanced widget (HTML template) checkbox.
The widget is comprised of three sections: header, footer and item html. The header and footer are optional and can be left empty. The item html is displayed for each item in the email. This means that if you decide to display the item in a
table then the tables’ tags need to be placed in the header and footer (since they are repeated only once) while the main table data is placed in the item html section.
Inside of the item html section you can use the following tokens:
%image_url% – A link to the product’s image. This should be used in the `src` attribute of an `img` element.
%product_name% – The name of the product
%product_price% – The current price of the product
%click_url% – This link will lead to either the product’s page or to the shopping cart, depending on the setting you choose in *Click on product images goes to*. It should be used in the
href attribute of the
The advanced widget can be used in cart abandonment emails, viewed products emails and post-purchase emails. Below you can see the difference between how cart abandonment items are usually laid out and a possible use of the advanced html widget:
While many online retailers know that shopping cart abandonment is part of the business, not every retailer will experience the same abandonment rate. Since the first step in solving any problem is understanding it, let’s see how we can measure the shopping cart abandonment rate in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics needs no introduction. This extremely powerful tool is used by over 10 million websites and is invaluable for analyzing and making the right marketing decisions. To measure the abandonment rate we will make use of two advanced features: Goals and Funnel.
Goals allow you to define and track conversion rates for various objectives. An objective can be anything: a visit to a certain page, filling and submitting a form or staying on the site for a certain period of time.
A Funnel is the path a visitor is expected to take on his way to completing the goal.
With these two terms defined you can probably already guess how we will set this up: our Goal will be the order confirmation page and the funnel will be the list of URLs a visitor must go through after adding an item to the shopping cart. In most ecommerce platforms when an item is added to the cart the user is automatically redirected to the cart page, so the cart page will be our starting point followed by the checkout page.
Note: To set up goals you must be an administrator of the Analytics account.
- Click on admin, select your profile and the click on the Goals tab
- Enter a descriptive name for the Goal, we’ll call ours “Cart to Purchase”
- In Goal type select URL Destination and enter the URL of your order confirmation page. This page is typically accessed only when an order is completed
- Click the Use funnel checkbox to add the necessary steps to complete an order. In the screenshot below you can see that I added the cart page as step one and the checkout page as step two.
- Save your Goal.
And that’s it! Depending on the amount of traffic on your site it could take anywhere between a couple of hours to a couple of days to see meaningful data.
How can we tell the shopping cart abandonment rate? Using the Funnel Visualization page.
This report contains a lot of interesting data but the one we care about is the abandonment rate. We can see that in our sample data we have a 43.66% funnel conversion rate which means that our abandonment rate is 56.34%.
I hope you found this post useful.
Today we are launching two new features that expand the scope of triggered emails and increase the potential synergy between our different products.
Shopping cart abandonment doesn’t necessarily mean that the experience you provided to the visitor was lacking. Sometimes the visitor is simply not sure about the product he wants to buy. A new feature allows you to use personalized product recommendations in your cart abandonment emails so visitors see not only what they abandoned but also related products and alternatives.
To use the feature simply select Barilliance Triggered Emails as your email provider and paste the html code inside your cart abandonment template.
A second new feature is Post Purchase Triggered Emails. Just as you can target visitors who didn’t complete a purchase, you can also send triggered emails to visitors who recently completed one and ask them to send a review for the product they just bought or send specific offers depending on the purchased item. It’s also a great way to reach out to customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while.
Post Purchase Emails are available as a new action under your existing cart abandonment actions menu.
As always, feedback and suggestions are welcomed !
As you probably know, one of our products is a shopping cart abandonment solution, which sends triggered emails to people who leave items in online shopping cart without completing the purchase.
A couple days ago, we received the funniest voice mail ever. We just couldn’t stop laughing.
Hear it for yourself here:
Shopping cart abandonment voicemail
Today we are announcing a major upgrade to the behavioral targeting product. The goal of this release is to make it as simple and quick as possible to get value from the product, especially for new customers.
Often, we’ve been asked for best practices that could be implemented using our BT product so we added the “Opportunities” feature which is a collection of pre-defined best practices that customers can use out of the box.
The second feature is the “Offer Zone”. The Offer Zone is a dynamic content zone which allows marketers to create targeted messages quickly without the need for external designers. It also supports tokens, which means that you can create a single rule that shows the message: “We ship to %country%” , and visitors from different countries will see their respective country names and flags. In the screen shot below you can see an example of the offer zone on our website at the bottom right corner.
The combination of the Offer Zone and Opportunities features, allows you to benefit from best practices and ideas that worked for other customers and get to test them on your site real quickly.
Back in November we released a new and powerful feature as part of the behavioral targeting product. It allows marketers to automatically apply coupon codes only to eligible segments of customers, and to create a sense of urgency and scarcity around the offer. It also provides better control of codes distribution since you don’t need to communicate the actual code to customers – our software fills the code and applies it automatically.
The screen below shows an offer to international visitors who arrive to GolfMena.com – $20 off on international shipping
When they click on the banner and arrive to 3balls.com , this segment of customers see the offer and that it expires in 24 hours
Next when they add products to the cart (value over $99) , the coupon code is applied automatically for them. This is just one of many segments you can target with this feature. Other examples will be discussed here in the future.