Upselling and beyond, a balancing act

Was thinking about sending some food stuff (online seller name, intentionally left out) to my sister whom I have not seen in a long time and do my impulsive ‘family good’.

I did a ‘food stuff’ search for a deal and promptly landed via an affiliate link, on to a ‘major food site’.

Still intent on proceeding and encouraged by a $39 deal, I, in mechanical fashion moved through to ‘Add to cart’ to complete the transaction. To my not so shocking surprise I was presented with an upsell for $39 + $ 19.99. Still enthusiastic with a Czech pilsner comfortably urging me on, with finger flickering hesitation, I waved myself through – ‘Why not, I feel the love”. I clicked on “Add”. Yes, I felt good.

It was at that moment that things began to unravel – an ‘Upsell and Beyond” deal popped up for an additional $79 ‘food stuff’ combo”. I was perplexed and confused. I almost had it in my grasp. Almost.

Could we refrain, and not get carried away with the ‘Upsell and Beyond’ selling strategy?. The Pilsner only works for so long. I had it and I lost it. I hate it when that happens.

I know I have not been a customer before with this ‘major food seller’, so predictive analytics, even with cookies would not have kicked in, perpetuating this unfortunate eventuality.

All in a Sunday afternoon, where I wanted to do a little bit of good. Alas, it is unfortunately no more. I ‘xed’ out of the browser tab. The moment had elapsed and my attention had shifted.

Social amplication, curated style

An entirely new job description is emerging in the social/content space – ‘ Social Curator’. This new job is emerging out of a natural evolutionary process of sharing and collecting. Think Pintrest as one of the destinations.

A social curator would ‘curate’ external content, although not necessarily one’s own (spoon content from other sites, blogs, etc ). Think of these newly created posts or pages as a destination which would begin and perhaps end with a short intro and/or ending from the curator, mixed in with links to valuable external content.

This customer centric content could potentially be ideal for brand engagement and retention. Although with clever UX, acquisition could be folded into the mix. Socially curated content goals should be very clear from the beginning. The recipe and servings may be different for B2B and B2C.

For SEO diehards, the very principle of sending links to external sites would initially appear like assisted suicide, however the social amplification effects which would likely occur via social sharing may win the SEO contingent.

There are several important considerations before proceeding down this path. Some of these could be:

a. Content destination/s
b. Content logistics and calendaring
c. FTE support
d. Compliance considerations
e. Clear and well defined goals for the business
f. Measurement of ROI or ROO
g. Web analytics

Have fun curating.

Responsive design, responsibly

My recessive geek gene appears to wake up when I think of this new possibility of cascading the content down to different devices; does give me goosebumps. All the HTML5 action and the CSS wizardry. Nice.

A great explanation from Smashing Magazine “Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities” Read their detailed post here

Back to my other side of the brain here – Prior to consideration, a deep discovery and inventory of existing content today, versus proposed, is certainly not only warranted, but perhaps a must.

A first step is a dive into your analytic’s package which may uncover some gems focusing on the intent of the user. Next, inventory any tools you may have on your site. Then, inventory all your content and begin to categorize – organic traffic v/s onsite v/s google v/s social traffic

3 T’s (text, tools and tasks) will eventually emerge. Juxtapose these against market research/ethnographic studies/Customer experience/Consumer insights and it will all begin to make more than a pretty picture at this point. Exciting patterns should now begin to emerge.
Keep your proposed content ambitions in check at this point (easy to slip these in).

Now, align these patterns with the proposed priorities to the discovery; this time juxtapose the findings against engagement, acquisition and retention. Yep, we are good. Think of your vertical (crucial) and what your customers want (include the the C/X team). You should have most of your answers to your responsive design do’s and don’ts at this juncture.

Establish a matrix This resulting matrix should reveal the desktop, tablet and smart phone 3Ts by the final matrixed priority. It is an artful science. There is no one size fits all. It is an exercise which requires lots of conversations, analysis, and back and forth with the content strategist and the analytic’s champ.

To climate control these experiences by devices, these exercises are prudent to perform to determine what size fits you.

Do share if you have achieved success or other strategies you may have employed.